WorkAdvance - 7/14/15
There have been many ideas put forth to help rebuild America’s middle class. Some have proposed higher minimum wages – others have proposed large tariffs on foreign goods and/or vastly reduced levels of immigration. Some economists have scoffed at such ideas, favoring solutions that make workers more valuable to employers through training.
MDRC, a New York based policy analysis group, recently released a preliminary assessment of an experiment called WorkAdvance. WorkAdvance offered targeted sectorial training programs for low income workers in New York City, Tulsa, Oklahoma and in northeast Ohio.
From twenty eleven to twenty thirteen, about thirteen hundred unemployed or low wage workers were enrolled in the programs. Participants received services like job placement and post employment counseling, but the major component was training for in-demand jobs. As indicated by writer Eduardo Porter, after two years, participants made fourteen percent more on average than workers in a control group.
That amounts to nearly two thousand dollars a year. The WorkAdvance program costs only five to seven thousand dollars per worker. One quarter of the workers enrolled in the WorkAdvance experiment had a criminal record.