About the Study

In 2017, the DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office (CEO), in collaboration with ETA, funded contractor Mathematica to conduct an implementation and impact evaluation of the America’s Promise grant program. The implementation study examines how the 23 grantee organizations implemented their programs between 2016 and 2020. Early findings on how the grantees’ sector training strategies were affected by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic were released in 2021. Final findings from the evaluation’s impact study are anticipated later in 2023. This evaluation adds to the growing evidence base about how career pathways and related sector-based training programs and regional partnership strategies meet employers’ needs and prepare American workers for middle- and high-skilled jobs.

The America’s Promise implementation evaluation included the collection of qualitative data from a variety of sources — including virtual site visits, phone interviews with grant representatives and employer partners, focus groups with America’s Promise participants, a grantee survey, and a partner network survey — and analysis of grantees’ performance data from the Workforce Integrated Performance System (WIPS). Researchers used these data to identify the approaches taken by America’s Promise grantees to strengthen or establish regional partnerships and provide assistance to unemployed and underemployed individuals, as described in the final report. Additional reports include an evaluation design pre-specification plan, a data-use agreement toolkit, and three short issue briefs. The issue briefs describe in-depth findings from interviews conducted with a large number of employer representatives (31) as well as the survey administered across the 23 grantee sites. Finally, a short paper examines the outcomes of America’s Promise participants by gender after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This DOL-funded study was a result of the annual process to determine the department’s research priorities for the upcoming year. It contributes to the labor evidence-base to inform employment and training programs and policies and addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.

Download the summary

Project Duration: 87 Months

Contract End Date: September 2024

Contractor: Mathematica Policy Research and Social Policy Research Associates

For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.