- Category: Labor
POLICY BRIEF: Identifying the impacts of job training programs in California
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Every year, over a million Californians receive workforce support and training from state and federally funded programs. In an effort to learn about the benefits of these programs, an inter-agency partnership led by the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) created Cross-System Analytics and Assessment for Learning and Skills Attainment (CAAL-Skills). The CAAL-Skills partnership facilitates data-sharing across seven California state agencies that deliver thirteen workforce programs. Bringing this data together significantly improves the state’s ability to observe who is enrolled in these programs and makes it possible, for the first time, to measure the impacts these programs have on participants’ employment and earnings.
This report and accompanying policy brief highlights findings from the first causal study to estimate the impacts of ten California workforce training programs that share data with CAAL-Skills. The causal impact measures the effect of receiving training on participants’ employment and earnings, relative to what those same workers would have experienced without training.
1. There is meaningful variation in training received across workforce programs (0 to 100%), and, although co-enrollment across workforce programs ranged from 6 to 52%, co-training ranged from 2% to 14%. Further, when training in multiple programs did occur, it was likely a coordinated part of both training programs.
2. The research design was successful at providing new causal evidence for 8 of the 10 training programs. The design was not able to produce impacts for programs that serve unique populations, including the WIOA Title II Adult Education Program and the WIOA Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Enhanced data and alternative research designs will be needed to produce impacts for these training programs.
3. Training impacts on medium-term employment are positive and statistically significant for all eight programs where causal evidence was available.
4. Training impacts on medium-term earnings are positive and statistically significant for five programs and indistinguishable from zero for three programs.