Redefining Workforce Development in Northeast Ohio: How National WorkAdvance Demonstration Made Local Impact

Nov 30, 2016

The Fund for Our Economic Future, Deaconess Foundation and The Raymond John Wean Foundation, along with grantee partner Towards Employment, are pleased to release a local impact report on WorkAdvance, a national pilot tested in Northeast Ohio over the last five years that demonstrated an ability to deliver workforce services more effectively for low-income individuals. Employers can be connected to talent they need, while individuals can enjoy better earnings and increased potential for career advancement. 

Coordinated locally by Towards Employment and supported by the Fund for Our Economic Future and other national funders, WorkAdvance showed that a comprehensive provision of services, focusing on targeted sectors and emphasizing advancement, could lead to better outcomes for disadvantaged jobseekers and employers. The local report builds off of analysis released by social policy research firm MDRC in August, titled "Encouraging Evidence on a Sector-Focused Advancement Strategy," that includes results for the test sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and New York, in addition to Northeast Ohio. 

Results show WorkAdvance is a clear winner. Northeast Ohio program participants accessed more services; were 49 percent more likely to work in a targeted sector (health care or manufacturing) and more likely to be working regular shift, fulltime, or in a permanent job, and in a job with opportunities for career advancement; and averaged a 14 percent increase in earnings after two years. 

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