Welcome to our WCTF Blog series: Achieving Impactful Outcomes: Observations from WCTF. I’m excited to introduce you to our upcoming blog series created specifically for you: our colleagues and partners in workforce development working to support businesses and workers in Massachusetts to create a stronger economy. This is blog number 1 of 4 that will be shared over the next month and a half.
At CommCorp, we’re in the skills-building business. Across the Commonwealth, we design and execute workforce programs in partnership with businesses, educators, training providers and the workforce system. In this series, we are going to focus on key takeaways from our management of the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF).
The Massachusetts Legislature established the WCTF in 2006 to support sector partnerships that lead to employment outcomes. More than ten years later, the WCTF continues to invest in demand-driven programs designed by industry sector partnerships that train and place unemployed and underemployed workers.
Since 2006, we’ve learned a lot. We carefully review each partnership we fund; acknowledging and learning from any challenges we and our partners come across. Recently, we completed a round of WCTF funding called Addressing the Middle Skills Gap. This round of funding was designed to address the gap between skills held by workers and the skills needed by employers for jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than the equivalent of a 4-year degree.
The partnerships funded between 2013 and 2016 demonstrated impressive outcomes:
- 903 job seekers were enrolled and 817 (90%) completed training;
- 670 people were placed in jobs at 447 companies; this is 82% of graduates and 74% of participants, compared to a national enrollment to placement rate of 56% for similar programs; and,
- 83% of workers placed were retained for at least 6 months as compared to a national average of 64%, and earned an average of $15.02 per hour.
Additionally, this round confirmed our understanding of what elements are necessary to ensure successful outcomes for businesses and job seekers:
- We know that it is essential to use data to drive our decision-making;
- We’ve honed in on the essential elements required to design a strong program; and
- We’ve learned the key factors vital to building a strong partnership
Each of the above components are crucial to yielding impactful results for the populations we serve and over the next couple of months, we will explore these topics even further and share our insights with you. You will be hearing from various members of the CommCorp team including Rebekah Lashman, our Senior Vice President of Sector Strategies, Theresa Rowland, the Director of the WCTF, and Anthony Britt, our Program Manager for the WCTF. We hope that you find this series to be helpful and we look forward to engaging with you further.