About the Study

In 2019, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) partnered with the Employment and Training Administration to fund contractors MDRC and Abt Associates to develop research and evaluation framework options that will support the Department of Labor’s efforts to ensure a strategic, continuous learning process responsive to Job Corps’ evidence-building needs. The study will produce an implementation evaluation as well as impact feasibility assessment(s) incorporating two to four demonstration pilots or service model variations, including the Job Corps Scholars program, to evaluate innovations in Job Corps services.

This Department of Labor-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 programs and policies that impact community colleges and employment and training. The project also addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.

Research Questions:

  • What does Job Corps administrative data reveal about the various characteristics of its enrolled population? What is known about the characteristics of Job Corps’ eligible but not enrolled population, and its underrepresented populations?
  • What are the considerations, opportunities, risks, and challenges in building a research framework that supports continuous evidence building of Job Corps program components and/or demonstration pilots? What are some possible frameworks, how and why do they vary?
  • How were Job Corps demonstration pilots and/or service model variations implemented? What factors influenced implementation?
  • What are the variations in the model, structure, partnerships, and services of Job Corps demonstration projects and/or service model variations compared to the traditional Job Corps program model? What are the variations and the reasons for this variation?
  • What are the most rigorous evaluation design options for the demonstration project? What are risks, opportunities, or trade-offs involved with the various options?

Project Duration: 60 Months
Contract End Date: September 2024
Contractor: MDRC, Abt 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.