Addressing Workforce Challenges facing Manufacturing in OH-PA Region

Official Title
Third-Party Evaluation Services for the Oh-Penn Pathways to Competitiveness Workforce Innovation Fund Grant
Ohio-Pennsylvania Interstate Region
10/2012 – 10/2016
Workforce Development
Impact Evaluations
Process Evaluations
Outcome Evaluations
West Central Job Partnership
Mixed Methods Research
Qualitative Data Analysis
Quasi-experimental Impact Evaluations
Survey Analysis
Survey Design and Sampling

IMPAQ evaluated the effectiveness of an initiative to address critical workforce challenges facing the Ohio-Pennsylvania manufacturing sector. The goals were to:

  • Create stronger cooperation and alignment across states, programs, and funding streams for improved efficiencies and results for job seekers and employers;
  • Create a robust sector strategy to align regional manufacturer requirements and training services; and
  • Develop clear manufacturing career pathways.

This evaluation quantified the impact of the program on job seekers, assessed changes in employer satisfaction with candidates, and identified effective practices for bringing together regional stakeholders to develop the workforce and respond to the needs of the industry. The results will inform continuing efforts to improve workforce development and training strategies.

We used a mixed methods evaluation approach. To review the data on job-seekers, the quasi-experimental impact evaluation employed propensity score matching techniques and used individual-level wage record and employment services. To assess best practices and lessons learned, the process evaluation included extensive qualitative data gathered from interviews with workforce development stakeholders and local employers. To measure changes in employers’ satisfaction with candidates and their perceptions of nationally recognized credentials, the outcomes analysis included a baseline and follow-up employer survey.

Our team included senior researchers, analysts, and survey practitioners. Their decades of experience in mixed methods research was combined with in-depth knowledge of the public workforce system and related U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) grant programs. This includes serving as a third-party evaluator for 15 U.S. DOL grantees in 12 states, performing quasi-experimental impact evaluations, outcomes studies, implementation evaluations, and cost studies.