Giving Compass’ Take:
• Straight Talk on Evidence examines the findings from a randomized controlled trial of Year Up, a national workforce training program for low-income young adults. The upshot: It showed great promise.
• Though follow-up is needed over the long term, Year Up was shown to increase the annual income of participants by 40 percent in the third year. Could its success be replicated by other programs?
• For more on how philanthropists can support workforce development, check out this guide.
In this report we discuss unusually promising findings from a large, multisite randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Year Up program for low-income young adults. This newly-published study found earnings effects that are among the largest of any workforce training program evaluated to date in a high-quality RCT.
Program: A full-time, year-long workforce training program for economically-disadvantaged young adults that focuses on economic sectors with jobs in high demand — namely, information technology and financial services.
Evaluation Method: A well-conducted RCT with a sample of 2,544 low-income adults ages 18 to 24, who were neither in school full-time nor employed full-time, carried out at eight urban sites across the United States.
Key Findings: The program produced a 40 percent ($7,011) increase in participants’ annual earnings in the third year after random assignment, compared to the control group.
(i) Longer-term follow-up is needed to determine whether the large effects found in year three endure long enough to justify the substantial program cost ($28,200 per participant).
(ii) Year Up carefully screens applicants and enrolls those identified as being motivated to succeed and interested in career advancement; thus, the effects may not apply to young adults who fall outside such criteria.
Read the full report about Year Up workforce training at Straight Talk on Evidence.
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