Systematic Equity Review and Gap Analysis of Rigorous Research Evidence on Sectoral Programs

African American man leading a meeting

Recent rigorous evaluations have revealed that a handful of sectoral programs have been successful at increasing the employment and earnings of participants multiple years after participation. Yet each program’s offerings, contexts, and effects vary. Additionally, the populations they serve–and don’t serve–may vary, which raises questions about which communities may be benefiting from these services and which may be underserved.

The Systematic Equity Review

The PROMISE Center is conducting a systematic equity review of rigorous research on sectoral and workforce training programs to identify how the effects of these programs may differ for different populations. We are focused on understanding who sectoral workforce programs are serving, where they are being offered, what the programs provide, and by whom they are being provided.

Our goal is to identify variations in the services and supports provided and examine how factors such as program type and lead organization may affect different populations. Another key goal of our work is to identify who Is not being served and illustrate opportunities could be more equitably provided to different populations and regions across the country.

In this study, the PROMISE Center will:

  • Systematically equity review studies of relevant workforce programs;
  • Extract critical information on program components, to whom and where programs are offered, and program success;
  • Examine the work of sectoral workforce programs, specifically which types of programs and combinations of program features they offer, their program beneficiaries, types of settings, and specific areas; and
  • Identify and provide information on the gaps among program offerings, their program beneficiaries, and where they are provided. This can critically inform the field where services may be needed.


The PROMISE Center is directly supported by the AIR Equity Initiative, AIR’s $100+ million five-year investment to advance equity in several important areas: workforce development, education, public safety and policing, and health. The AIR Equity Initiative is committed to investing in the generation and use of high-quality evidence that address the harmful effects of segregation by race and place.

Sarah Sahni
Principal Researcher