Rigorous Evaluation to Generate Evidence | Workforce Innovation and Learning

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Resources are scarcer than ever and workforce practitioners and policymakers need to know that policies and programs are achieving their intended impact.

We blend our diverse expertise in mixed-methods research to conduct rigorous evaluations that generate comprehensive and reliable findings. See how we are generating evidence to support practitioners and policymakers across the country.

Our Projects

Evidence Building Portfolio and Evaluation of state Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) programs

The Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program is designed to help unemployment insurance (UI) claimants return to work more quickly through supportive reemployment services. AIR supports the USDOL’s RESEA Building Portfolio Project. As a subcontractor to Abt Associates, AIR co-leads a robust evaluation technical assistance portfolio designed to build state workforce agencies’ capacity to plan, design, and execute evaluations of their state RESEA programs, as well as a cost study designed to estimate the overall costs of the program, and a selection model study, designed to understand and optimize states’ selection models.

AIR, as a subcontractor to Actus Policy Research, is also working directly with two states—North Carolina and Wisconsin—to design and execute rigorous evaluations of their RESEA programs.

North Carolina’s RESEA evaluation consists of an experimental impact evaluation and implementation evaluation. The impact evaluation uses a random assignment evaluation design to measure the effects of North Carolina’s RESEA program on employment, earnings, and receipt of UI benefits, with results expected starting in 2024. The implementation evaluation aims to develop an in-depth understanding of how the program is delivered to support examination of areas for improvement and potential replication. 

Wisconsin’s RESEA evaluation is also comprised of an experimental impact evaluation and implementation evaluation. Using a random assignment evaluation design, the study team will examine the program’s effects on key outcomes, including employment, earnings, and receipt of UI benefits, with preliminary results in 2023. The Wisconsin design will also measure the impacts of requiring claimants to attend a second RESEA meeting, compared to requiring claimants to attend only a single meeting. The implementation evaluation focuses on understanding the delivery of the program to inform future decision-making and potential replication. 

VETS Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot

AIR is supporting the DOL CEO to conduct the VETS Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot (ENPP) Evaluation, as a subcontractor to Westat. The project aims to understand and build evidence on the use of VETS employment navigators to improve outcomes for transitioning service members (TSMs) and military spouses. The AIR team is conducting an evaluability assessment that draws from formative evaluation reports, discussions with national pilot staff, reviews of available quantitative data, findings from the Westat’s implementation and outcomes study (as available), and input from both CEO and a technical working group (TWG). The AIR team will summarize the final evaluability assessment findings in an evaluability assessment report, a research options memo, and a briefing.

Evaluation of San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families’ (DCYF) High School Partnerships Strategy Program

San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth and Their Families’ (DCYF) contracted with AIR to conduct a mixed methods implementation study to examine the participation, implementation, service coordination, and outcomes of program participants in its High School Partnerships (HSPART) program. HSPART programs are designed to provide youth at select San Francisco high schools with work-based learning and career exposure opportunities. The study focuses on understanding facilitators and barriers to HSPART program implementation, identifying areas for improvement and best practices, and examining the experiences of program participants. Findings from the evaluation will support DCYF’s efforts to refine HSPART programming and improve youth workforce development in San Francisco to better meet youth needs.