About the Study

In 2015, the Chief Evaluation Office partnered with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to fund contractors Mathematica, Social Policy Research Associates, and MDRC to design and conduct an evaluation to better understand the implementation and outcomes of the National Guard Youth Challenge (YC) and Job Challenge (JC) program. The implementation study and outcome evaluation of three Job Challenge grants includes an analysis of post-JC outcomes between 2016 and 2018 for justice-involved graduates. The analysis drew on quantitative and qualitative data including interviews, observations, program and survey data, focus groups, and administrative data from state education and criminal justice agencies.

The National Guard YC program is an initiative that aimed to assist high school dropouts aged 16-18 in obtaining their high school diploma or GED through a 20-week, community-based residential course followed by a year of mentoring. ETA’s Reentry Employment Opportunities program funded YC programs in Georgia, Michigan, and South Carolina to include more court-involved youth and add a follow-on 20-week residential occupational training program called Job Challenge (JC). JC grantee programs recruited and enrolled 905 youth from January 2016 to December 2018. 

This Department of Labor-funded study includes a final report and an issue brief and was a result of the annual learning agenda process. It contributes to the growing labor evidence-base to inform employment and training programs and policies and addresses Department strategic goals and priorities.

Download the summary

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.