18 Jun 2018

MATHEMATICA EXTERNAL REVIEW OF JOB CORPS

In March 2018, Mathematica Policy Research published an ‘external review’ of Job Corps. The report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor, consists of a scan of evidence regarding what services and strategies have been effective for Job Corps. Among the questions and potential solutions explored in the report are:

What strategies can Job Corps pursue to enhance the experience and growth of participants?

  • Positive youth development
  • High student expectations
  • Growth mindsets
  • Trauma-informed environments

What disciplinary approaches can Job Corps adopt to enhance the climate and safety of its centers?

  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs
  • Restorative practices
  • Building self-regulation skills

How can Job Corps enhance the employment skills and job readiness of Job Corps graduates?

  • Career pathways programs
  • Micro-credentials
  • Work-based learning and experience
  • Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs

How could changes in Job Corps group dynamics enhance program outcomes for youth?

  • Age of participants
  • Gender of participants
  • Residential environment
  • Learning in groups of different size

What geographic factors could Job Corps consider to optimize the locations of Job Corps centers?

  • Access to Job Corps across the country
  • Proximity to postsecondary institutions
  • Proximity to work experience opportunities

How could Job Corps foster program innovation?

  • Human-centered design principles
  • Prizes to encourage innovation
  • Contractors as innovation labs
  • Communities of Practice

How could Job Corps services be procured or delivered to expand the types of organizations operating Job Corps centers?

  • Subcontracts for smaller, specialized services
  • Limited number of “charter” centers with fewer regulations
  • Formal request for information from stakeholder groups

The full report can be downloaded here: https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/our-publications-and-findings/publications/the-external-review-of-job-corps-directions-for-future-research.