Evaluation of Travis County Investments in Workforce Development: 2022 Update
Authors: Cynthia Juniper, Patty Rodriguez, Heath Prince (Principal Investigator), David McCoy, and Thomas Boswell
Date: March 2023
Publication Type: Report, 181pp.
In FY 2016–FY 2021, Travis County invested over $14 million through contracts with workforce development programs for low-income residents who face challenges in finding steady employment with sufficient earnings to support themselves and their families. These programs provide services ranging from Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL) and high school equivalency certification (HSEC) programs, to short- and long-term skills training leading to certifications and/or associate degrees across a wide range of occupations. These occupations include nursing and other healthcare professions, information technology, skilled trades, manufacturing, and other occupations in area growth industries with good prospects for career advancement.
Four of the Travis County workforce development grantees receive county-funded assistance as a consortium, the Workforce Education and Readiness Continuum–Travis County (WERC-TC). WERC-TC providers are Workforce Solutions Capital Area Career Centers, Goodwill of Central Texas, Austin Area Urban League, and American YouthWorks. Four additional community-based organizations maintaining workforce development contracts with Travis County are included in this report: Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, Capital IDEA, LifeWorks, and Skillpoint Alliance. In addition, WERC-TC grantee American YouthWorks also delivers services to participants through Travis County funding that is not WERC-TC.
To understand program participant outcomes and the impact of these services, the county has contracted with the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources (RMC), an organized research unit in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas, to conduct a longitudinal evaluation of its investments. This evaluation report presents findings and analyses of programs funded during a six-year on-going evaluation (FY 2016–FY 2021).