Recovery and Reemployment Research Conference

September 2009 Video and Presentations

This conference translated specific research, pilot, demonstration, and evaluation efforts into actionable strategies that can be used in the workforce system. By clicking on the links below, participants will have the opportunity to hear about workforce strategies for green jobs, entrepreneurship, training, unemployment and reemployment services, and research and policy tools to manage and improve systems. A goal of the conference was for participants to gain insight into what works and what can be replicated in communities across the nation. The conference featured a combination of plenary sessions and workshops, including presentations by ETA leaders.

Plenary Conference Events - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

  • Welcome and Introductory Remarks Video

    Speakers: Jane Oates, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL); Martha Kanter, U.S. Department of Education

Concurrent Workshops - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

  • Employing Data to Better Serve Hispanic Workers - This session provided an opportunity to present the most recent data and research conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center on the characteristics of the Hispanic labor force in the U.S. and shed light on how this data is analyzed and integrated on the service delivery level to better serve Hispanic workers in the public workforce system.

    Presenters: Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Hispanic Center; Diane Swift, Telamon Corporation.

    Presentations: Rakesh Kochhar.pdf; Diane Swift.pdf

    Moderator: Alina Walker, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • From Labor Shortage to Labor Surplus: Policy Strategies with an Emphasis on Persons with Disabilities - This discussion focused on the impact that the financial crisis has had on the nation's labor market and the organization and delivery of workforce development services to hard-to-serve populations, including persons with disabilities.

    Presenter/Presentation: Paul Harrington.pdf , Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University

  • Let's Take a Step Back: Planning at the Regional Scale to Address Unemployment - Today's economy operates in a regional context and crosses political jurisdictions. This session shed light on two multi-component evaluation studies that were underway which presented innovative features and potential promising strategies in the reemployment of dislocated workers in today's high growth job sectors and emerging regional economies.

    Presenters: Lauren Eyser, Urban Institute; Linda Toms Barker, Berkeley Policy Associates

    Presentations: Lauren Eyster.pdf; Linda Toms Barker.pdf; Judy Turner.pdf

    Moderator: Judy Turner, California Innovation Corridor

  • Targeting Services: Statistical Assessment Tools for Effective Service Delivery - This economic downturn has brought to the fore the need to leverage labor market impact and economic outlook data into training and job placement opportunities for One-Stop clients. This workshop explored the uses of statistical assessment tools and labor market information systems as cost-effective approaches at the point of service delivery to help inform One-Stop staff and customers in their job search efforts and in their selection of reemployment services.

    Presenters: John Dorrer, Maine Department of Labor; Chris O'Leary, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

    Presentations: John Dorrer.pdf; Chris O'Leary.pdf

    Moderator: Greg Weeks, Washington State Employment Security Department

  • Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education: Research, Practice and Policy Perspectives Video - Helping low-skilled adult learners enrolled in adult education programs transition to postsecondary education - particularly community college - is no easy task. Learn how the U.S. Department of Education has strategically used research to shape local practice as well as state-level policy development in support of this goal. Five projects encompassing recent research activities, site-based demonstration projects and on-going policy development initiative were be featured. These projects included: Adult Basic Education (ABE) to Community College Transitions Project, ABE to Community College Transitions Symposium, ABE Career Connections, Ready for College - Adult Education Transitions Project and Supporting States' Development of Policies for ABE to Postsecondary Education Transitions.

    Presenters: Christopher Coro and Ronna Spacone, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education

    Presentations: Coro/Spacone.pdf

    Moderator: Federico Zaragoza, Alamo Community College District

  • Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization: Listening Session - The purpose of the listening session was to shed light on the Department's Workforce Investment Act reform principles and to solicit feedback from the research community for the pending reauthorization process of WIA. This session was paneled by prominent researchers in the field of workforce development policy to hear their ideas and suggestions in shaping new WIA legislation informed by their research.

    Presenters: Gordon Berlin, MDRC; Randall Eberts, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

    Presentations: Randall Eberts.pdf

    Moderator: Gerri Fiala, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Getting UI Recipients Back to Work - ETA has conducted many demonstrations and research projects that have focused on innovative ways to rapidly reemploy workers. This session discussed best practices and lessons learned from past reemployment demonstrations to provide immediate suggestions for application in today's economy. Topics discussed included reemployment bonuses, wage insurance and alternative work search requirements.

    Presenters: Gary Burtless, Brookings Institution; Paul Decker, Mathematica Policy Research

    Presentations: Gary Burtless.pdf; Paul Decker.pdf

    Moderator: Wayne Gordon, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Linking Administrative Data for Evaluating and Managing Programs Video - Linked administrative data can be a low-cost, effective tool for research, evaluation and management of public workforce system programs. By combining individual level record data from Workforce Investment Act, Wagner-Peyser Act and Trade Adjustment Assistance programs with unemployed insurance wage records, a wealth of information on employment, earnings and customer achievement can be analyzed. Learn how states use administrative data to help inform workforce development policy and for the benefit of their state and local public workforce systems.

    Presenters: Chris King, University of Texas, Austin; David Stevens, University of Baltimore

    Presentations: Chris King.pdf

    Moderator: Aaron Fichtner, Rutgers University

  • Measuring Demonstration Success: Lessons Learned from the Limited English Proficiency and Hispanic Workers Initiative Video - The evaluation of the Limited English Proficiency and Hispanic Workers Initiative (LEPHW) was an effort to gauge the effectiveness of five demonstration projects that each implemented different models of contextualized English language acquisition and occupational skills learning via an implementation analysis. This session explored ways to raise the bar on implementation studies to obtain evidence-based information for future pilots and demonstrations. Learn about the different models the grantees employed, promising practices gleaned from the field and recommendations for future demonstrations.

    Presenters: L. Patrick Dail, VESL for Successful Worker, Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY

    Presentations: L. Patrick Dail.pdf; Deborah Santiago.pdf; Gloribel Nieves-Cartagena.pdf

    Moderator: Gloribel Nieves-Cartagena, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Pathways to Employment for Students with Disabilities - The role of education and its relationship to both employment and economic self-sufficiency are clear. Earnings and wealth are tied to levels of education. For some students with disabilities, the pathway to employment may not be through postsecondary settings but accessing employment upon graduation. This workshop explored some of the federal and state options that may impact the transition of students with disabilities from school into employment upon ending their entitlement to education. Such a process requires that there is collaboration and coordination across state and local programs, a clear focus on the desired outcome being employment and a willingness to share resources (personnel, expertise and fiscal) to meet the student's goal of a good job.

    Presenters: William Kiernan, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts

    Presentations: William Kiernan.pdf

    Moderator: Alexandra Kielty, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • The Training Option: Role of the community College - Community colleges are preparing workers now so that they can compete for jobs in the future, but how community colleges fulfill this role will vary. To some, community colleges are a path to a four-year education. To others, they are the providers of associate's degrees, occupational skills training, contract training with employers, certifications of the increased demand on the community college system to play a greater role in preparing workers for the jobs a new economy has to offer.

    Presenters: Thomas Bailey, Community College Research Center, Columbia University; Robert LaLonde, University of Chicago

    Presentations: Thomas Bailey.pdf; Robert LaLonde.pdf

    Moderator: Robert G. Templin, Northern Virginia Community College

  • Engaging Disconnected Youth in the Labor Market Video - Disadvantaged, disconnected and unemployed youth are having greater difficulty with competing for work in today's economy. These difficulties are amplified for youth with employment barriers, particularly less-educated young men, and especially hard-to-employ African American young men. This workshop focused on policies and practices to deal with this pressing issue.

    Presenters: Peter Edelman, Georgetown University; Robert Lerman, Urban Institute

    Presentations: Robert Lerman.pdf

    Moderator: Gregg Weltz, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Entrepreneurship and the One-Stop Service Delivery System - The U.S. economy is facing many challenges in the days and months ahead, perhaps none more important than the creation of jobs and the return of stable economic growth. Entrepreneurs will play a critical role in this effort by creating many new jobs and innovating new processes and ideas. They are critical to the success of every economy. This session discussed methods to more effectively integrate entrepreneurship strategies into the public workforce system to assist local workforce boards become engines of economic growth.

    Presenters: Sheena McConnell, Mathematica Policy Research; Horace Robertson, Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education

    Presentations: Sheena McConnell.pdf; Horace Robertson.pdf

    Moderator: Jonathan Simonetta, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Linking Education and Employment Data Video - Education and workforce data have largely been ships sailing in opposite directions until very recently. States like Florida, Maryland and Texas have taken the lead in linking data from secondary and post-secondary educational institutions with workforce data to help inform training and workforce development policies. Just recently, the Recovery Act underscored the critical need for such data linkages when it allocated resources to expand such efforts on a national scale. This session will explore research findings on linking education and workforce data and next planning steps for the Recovery Act Data Quality Initiative.

    Presenters: Lou Jacobson, CAN; Tate Gould, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

    Presentations: Lou Jacobson.pdf; Tate Gould.pdf

    Moderator: John Beverly III, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • New Challenges in Acquiring Administrative Data - Credible research, whether of programs or demonstrations, depends on having high-quality data including in many instances, administrative data from state UI or other workforce programs. However, the processes leading up to acquiring this data have become increasingly complex, time-consuming and expensive. This session offered an overview of the various steps to data acquisition and discussion of outstanding issues from a practitioner, state and national perspective.

    Presenters: Ron D'Amico, Social Policy Research Associates; Rich Hobbie, National Association of State Workforce Agencies; Eddie Sparkman, Virginia Employment Commission

    Presentations: Ron D'amico.pdf; Eddie Sparkman.pdf; Sande Schiffers.pdf

    Moderator: Sande Schifferes, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Serving the UI Customer: A Look at Strengthened Connections in Wisconsin - ETA conducted an innovative demonstration project in Wisconsin to find strategies to facilitate linkages between the state's unemployment and reemployment services. The project's objectives were to: 1) better connect unemployment benefit recipients with One-Stop Career Center reemployment services and 2) better connect the unemployment and reemployment programs via data-sharing and joint provision of services. At this session they discussed how Wisconsin got unemployment benefit recipients back to work faster using this old, but new method.

    Presenters: Sherry Almandsmith, Berkeley Policy Associates; Lutfi Shahrani, Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin

    Presentations: Almandsmisth/Balducchi,/Shahrani.pdf

    Moderator: David Balducchi, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Transitioning Low-Wage Workers to Productive Careers - Almost a quarter of the U.S. workforce - some 30 million Americans - can be classified as low-wage workers or working poor, toiling in jobs that are often part-time, with little or no benefits, and pay under $9 an hour. In addition, low-wage workers are some of the hardest hit individuals in a slack economy. For this population, it is imperative to develop viable solutions and supports that help lift them out of poverty and into productive careers. These solutions may include such things as career counseling, reemployment services, job training and work supports. This session discussed two research projects that focus on obtaining critical intelligence about the low-wage worker population and solutions to help them rise out of poverty.

    Presenters: Thomas Brock, MDRC; Chris O'Leary, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

    Presentations: Thomas Brock.pdf; Chris O'Leary.pdf

    Moderator: Christine Ollis, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

Plenary Conference Events - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Concurrent Workshops - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

  • Evaluating WIA Using Administrative Data - The federal government currently spends over $16 billion on job training and employment services mainly under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). Recent research findings note that WIA training programs increased employment and earnings, on average, for participants in the WIA Adult and WIA Dislocated Worker programs although the quality of training was uneven across different states. This workshop explored to state of the art non-experimental evaluations of WIA and an evaluation of employment and training programs in Washington State discussing both the methodology development services to hard-to-serve populations, including persons with disabilities.

    Presenter: Kevin Hollenbeck, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research; Peter Mueser, IMPAQ International and University of Missouri, Columbia

    Presentations: Kevin Hollenbeck.pdf; Peter Mueser.pdf; KennethTroske.pdf

    Moderator: Kenneth Troske, University of Kentucky

  • New Approaches to Expanding Access to Education for Low-Skill Adults Video - The panel discussed an innovative approach to delivering training and education to low-income/low-skill adults. The I-BEST model challenges the conventional notion that basic skills instruction ought to be completed by students prior to starting college-level courses.

    Speakers: Davis Jenkins, Community College Research Center at Columbia University; Israel Mendoza, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

    Presentations: Davis Jenkins.pdf; Israel Mendoza.pdf

    Moderator: Mary Clagett, Jobs for the Future

  • On the Fast Track: Making the Most of Reemployment and Eligibility Assessments - ETA established the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) Initiative in 2005 with the goals of enhancing the rapid reemployment of dislocated workers, eliminating potential overpayments and realizing cost savings for unemployment insurance trust fund.

    Presenter: Jacob Benus, IMPAQ International; Kim Morigeau, Nevada Department of Employment Training, and Rehabilitation

    Presentations: Jacob Benus.pdf; Kim Morigeau.pdf; Robert Pavosevich.pdf

    Moderator: Robert Pavosevich, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Preserving Jobs and Averting layoffs through Short-Time Compensation (Video) - In his inaugural address, President Barack Obama said, "It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job, which sees us through our darkest hours." Short-time compensation, sometimes called "work sharing," is a program within the federal-state unemployment compensation system that provides pro-rated unemployment benefits to workers whose hours have been reduced in lieu of a layoff.

    Presenter: Alison M. Shelton, Congressional Research Service; George Wentworth, National Employment Law Project

    Presentations: Alison M. Shelton.pdf; George Wentworth.pdf; Suzanne.Simonetta.pdf

    Moderator: Suzanne Simonetta, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Upcoming Research Topics: The ETA Research Grant Program - Approximately 30 years ago, ETA provided grant opportunities to individuals pursuing doctoral programs. Recently reviving this practice, ETA competitively awarded seven research grants of $7,500 to doctoral candidates and post-doctoral students whose dissertation topics or published writings directly relate to the public workforce system.

    Presenter: Adam Butz, University of Kentucky; Laren Eyster, George Washington University; Elizabeth Nisbet, Rutgers University; Jooyoun Park, Kent State University; Anita Pena, Colorado State University; Ting Zyhang, University of Baltimore

    Presentations: Upcoming Research Topics.pdf; Adam Butz.pdf; Lauren Eyster.pdf; Elizabeth Nisbet.pdf; Jooyoun Park.pdf; Anita Pena.pdf; Ting Zhang.pdf

    Moderator: Heidi M. Casta, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Entrepreneurship through Self-Employment Assistance (Video) - The Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program allows unemployment benefit recipients who are likely to exhaust their benefits the opportunity to collect UI benefits while engaged in entrepreneurial training. This innovative program has helped individuals in nine states realize their dream of starting their own business. Hear about the recent research evidence concerning this program including best practices and lessons learned from the field.

    Presenter: Susan Bass, Maryland Self-Employment Assistance Program; Joanne Saltzberg, Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore; Eloise Vitelli, Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community

    Presentations: Joanne Salzbert.pdf; Eloise Vitelli.pdf; Steve Wandner.pdf

    Moderator: Steve Wandner, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Picking up the Pieces: Dislocation and Reemployment in a Downturn Economy - Early intervention can help in the transition to new employment for workers employed in industries affected by trade or the economic downturn. Rapid Response teams provide early intervention services for all significant dislocations, whether or not they are trade related. This workshop shed light on research finding around rapid response and trade adjustment assistance services.

    Presenter: Anthony Alongi, Minnesota Dislocated Worker Program; RonD'Amico, Social Policy Research Associates

    Presentations: Anthony Alongi.pdf; Ron D'Amico.pdf

    Moderator: Erin FitzGerald, Employment and Training, USDOL

  • Preparing Ex-Offenders for Reemployment in a New Economy - In good times, many communities are challenged to find successful approaches for helping ex-offenders gain reemployment. In these troubled times, some approaches offer more promise than others. This workshop explored collaborative networks of partners created to better assist ex-offenders, including innovative efforts to give program participants a choice in service providers through performance-based contracting.

    Presenter: Jeanne Bellotti, Mathematica Policy Research; Carol Lease, The Empowerment Program

    Presentations: Jeanne Bellotti.pdf; Carol Lease.pdf

    Moderator: Eileen Pederson, Employment and Training Administration, USDOL

  • Random Assignment of its Alternatives (Video) - It is widely accepted that random assignment evaluations are the gold standard of rigorous research. In many cases, however, random assignment is either too costly or not feasible to implement. This workshop will explore the instances in which random assignment is appropriate and when (and what) alternatives methodologies would be the next best thing.

    Presenter: Robinson Hollister, Swarthmore College; Richard Nathan, SUNY-Albany

    Presentation: Jon Baron.pdf

    Moderator: Jon Baron, Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy

  • Sector-Focused Skills Training For Low-Income Adults - What are the best ways to equip low-skill adults with marketable, in-demand skills that lead to stable career pathways? Over the past decade, a number of private foundations have funded experimental approaches to sector-focused skills training for low income adults. Researchers will share the results of their study and their implications for designing effective employment and training strategies for low-income adults.

    Presenters: Joshua Freely and Sheila Maguire, Labor Market Research, Public/Private Ventures

    Presentation: Freely/Macguire.pdf

    Moderator: Ray Uhalde, Jobs for the Future