Sadly, one out of four working families does not earn enough to meet its basic financial needs. In response, a priority of the Casey Foundation’s Jobs Initiative was to improve programs and policies around career advancement through the use of data. This research brief explores the findings and challenges of data collected over an eight-year period on thousands of individuals placed in jobs as a result of this effort.
Investing in Career Advancement and Data Collection
Findings & Stats
To ensure precise data collection of career advancement among participants in a program like the Jobs Initiative, start early.
It’s important to collect job earnings data at key points throughout workers’ participation in the program.
For workers placed through the Jobs Initiative who achieved 12-month retention, wages increased significantly compared to those who did not achieve 12-month retention.
A worker’s wage increases and/or improved benefits can help determine whether their overall employment situation has improved.
Statements & Quotations
A particular focus of the Jobs Initiative has been on improving longer-term (i.e., 12 months or more) retention and advancement of disadvantaged individuals in the labor market. JI’s retention requirements go well beyond the traditional retention requirements of other workforce development programs.
Data collection for career advancement is especially challenging because advancing participants are on the move: moving from one job to another, receiving promotions, or attending school for higher-level degrees or training.
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