An Innovative Training Program is Helping Atlantans Get — and Keep — Jobs

Posted February 16, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Atlanta CareerRise helps individuals get hired, stay employed and increase their earnings.

Atlanta Career­Rise is an inno­v­a­tive work­force-train­ing pro­gram focused on lever­ag­ing part­ner­ships in high-growth indus­tries. Launched in 2011, the pro­gram — which receives fund­ing from the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion — is already out­per­form­ing more tra­di­tion­al train­ing efforts, accord­ing to a new evaluation.

Researchers at Emory University’s Pol­i­cy Analy­sis Lab­o­ra­to­ry stud­ied 300 par­tic­i­pants enrolled in the Atlanta Career­Rise pro­gram between 2013 and 2016. They found that Atlanta Career­Rise grad­u­ates were hired more often, remained on the job longer and received bet­ter earn­ings when com­pared to demo­graph­i­cal­ly matched trainees in pro­grams fund­ed by the Work­force Inno­va­tion and Oppor­tu­ni­ty Act.

The dif­fer­ences between the two groups are com­pelling. Atlanta Career­Rise graduates:

  • earned 30% high­er wages over one year, trans­lat­ing to an addi­tion­al $4,456 in income;
  • expe­ri­enced 19% high­er employ­ment rates in the first three months post-pro­gram, as well as high­er employ­ment rates in sub­se­quent quar­ters; and
  • were 19% more like­ly to remain employed 12 months after they com­plet­ed the program.

Atlanta Career­Rise is one of 33 region­al col­lab­o­ra­tives the Casey Foun­da­tion sup­ports through its invest­ments in the Nation­al Fund for Work­force Solu­tions — a net­work that fos­ters stronger part­ner­ships among train­ing providers and employ­ers in 26 states. Such con­nec­tions help col­lab­o­ra­tives grow the skills of job seek­ers from low-income neigh­bor­hoods so that they are bet­ter qual­i­fied to secure careers in high-growth industries.

It’s clear that the Nation­al Fund mod­el is work­ing in Atlanta,” says Cin­da Hern­don-King, direc­tor of Atlanta Career­Rise. With the Casey Foundation’s sup­port, we want to apply it on an even greater scale and ensure more res­i­dents in Atlanta’s south­side can benefit.”

Since its incep­tion, Atlanta Career­Rise has enrolled more than 650 peo­ple, 90% of whom com­plet­ed the pro­gram with a com­bined 2,000 indus­try-relat­ed cre­den­tials. Such results are attract­ing the atten­tion of oth­er part­ners and investors across the state, includ­ing the Geor­gia Depart­ment of Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment. Atlanta Career­Rise is now the prime con­trac­tor on a $400,000 grant from the department’s work­force divi­sion that will aim to strength­en employ­er part­ner­ships in the health care, infor­ma­tion-tech­nol­o­gy and logis­tics sectors.

These find­ings rein­force the val­ue and impor­tance of cul­ti­vat­ing part­ner­ships among employ­ers and train­ing providers,” says Janelle Williams, who over­sees the Foundation’s work­force and eco­nom­ic inclu­sion efforts in Atlanta. Tak­ing a demand-dri­ven, sec­tor-based approach helps employ­ers find the tal­ent they need while enabling indi­vid­u­als to step into a job that will help them sup­port their fam­i­lies for the long run.”

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