About the Study

In 2016, the Employment and Training Administration, in partnership with the Chief Evaluation Office, awarded a contract to Abt Associates, with the Urban Institute, MEF Associates, W.E. Upjohn Institute, Capital Research Corporation, George Washington University, and McBassi & Company to evaluate the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) training programs across all 46 grantees, mostly community colleges. 

The AAI programs seek to: 

  • Increase apprentices' access to high-growth occupations and industries
  • Create career pathways that encompass apprenticeship and align with post-secondary educational opportunities
  • Use strategies that increase apprenticeship opportunities for underrepresented populations
  • Implement new and innovative public polices or public-private partnerships that increase demand for apprenticeship
  • Encourage employers to adopt and offer apprenticeship opportunities

This Department of Labor-funded study contributes to the labor evidence-base to inform programs and policies that impact community colleges, apprenticeships, and employment and training. The project also addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.

Research Questions and Key Components
Research Questions:

  • What benefits accrue to employers of apprenticeship?
  • On the supply side, how do AAI grantees generate apprenticeship slots?
  • On the demand side, how do AAI grantees and employers identify strong candidates for apprenticeship?
  • What are the key features of an AAI apprenticeship?
  • What are the employment outcomes for apprentices?
  • What innovations and lessons form the basis for broader change and sustainability that encourages employers to adopt apprenticeships?

Key Components:

  • Implementation analysis to describe how AAI programs develop, operate and mature
  • Outcomes analysis to describe the range of in-program and post-program outcomes for apprenticeship participants
  • Return on investment analysis to estimate the benefits and costs of apprenticeship to employers

Program Duration: 69 Months

Contract End Date: April 2021

Contractor: Abt Associates, with the Urban Institute, MEF Associates, W.E. Upjohn Institute, Capital Research Corporation, George Washington University, McBassi & Company

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.