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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (OASP)

Implementation Evaluation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Green Jobs and High Growth/Health Care Grants

Evaluation Overview

The Department of Labor is conducting an implementation evaluation of four grant programs awarded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds in early 2010, including:

  • Energy Training Partnership Grants
  • Pathways out of Poverty Grants
  • State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grants
  • Healthcare and High Growth Training Grants

Together these programs include over 150 projects with total award amounts of nearly $665 million dollars, with wide variation in grantee organizations and populations served. The programs focus on workforce development and training to prepare workers for careers in various industries related to renewable energy and energy efficiency, healthcare, and other emerging industries.

Evaluation Goals

The project involves collecting data from grantees to assess the implementation of these grants in areas including program context, design and goals, recruitment, training, support, partnerships, proposed program outcomes, and program replicability and sustainability. Additional tasks include reviewing site documentation, conducting site visits to a sample of grantees from each grant program, conducting a survey of all grantees, and conducting focus groups with participants. The final report will address key research questions related to the implementation of grant programs in these industry sectors.

Key Research Questions

Some of the key research questions that will be addressed in the study include:

  1. What are the characteristics of the workers being trained in skills necessary for employment in Green Jobs, health care and other emerging occupations as defined in the SGA?
  2. How many grantees are implementing training that leads to an employer-recognized credential? How many grantees include some component of work readiness certification in their programs?
  3. How do grantees ensure that the skills being trained for are those that local employers need and that would lead to good jobs for program graduates?
  4. To what extent did grant winners build relationships with employers and create pathways for trainees to: enter jobs in the industry of the training; facilitate good career pathways, including career ladder/advancement opportunities; and establish new pipelines for workers into and through the industry?
  5. Have grantees' partnered with employers who are committed to hiring their program's participants, and if so on what scale? Are the employers involved in the design of the program or curriculum, or only in the end results? More generally, how did grantees integrate training with job placement services?
  6. What lessons, program models or other best practices can be replicated in other workforce investment programs?
  7. What percentage of grantees will continue operating their grant-funded activities after ETA Recovery Act funding has ended? At what size? Did grantees develop formal sustainability plans, and if so were they beneficial?

Evaluation Key Information

The period of performance of this evaluation is 24 months ending in September 2012. The overall budget for the evaluation is $917,248. The evaluation contractor is IMPAQ International. For more information on this evaluation please contact Savi Swick at (202) 693-3382 or swick.savi@dol.gov.