|Decision Makers:||Employers & Businesses Local Government State Government Federal Government Nonprofit Leaders|
|Population Reach:||10-19% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.
Vocational training supports acquisition of job-specific skills through education, certification programs, or on-the-job training. Programs may also include training and assistance in job searches, personal development resources, and other comprehensive support services (e.g., child care during training). Some programs provide participants with financial compensation for the duration of their participation. Currently in the United States vocational training is usually provided to individuals with little job experience or education, individuals who are unemployed, or dislocated workers via government-sponsored programs or public-private partnerships.
There is strong evidence that vocational training for adults increases employment and earnings among participants, including young adults and unemployed individuals (Heinrich 2013, Heinrich 2013a, NBER-Andersson 2013, Audhoe 2010, Hollenbeck 2009, PPV-Maguire 2010, Hebbar 2006, Mathematica-Schochet 2006, US DOL-Gritz 2001). Vocational training can help dislocated workers regain employment, but does not consistently lead to full wage recovery (Heinrich 2013a, Hollenbeck 2009, Hebbar 2006).
Although participation in vocational training often leads to an initial reduction in earnings as participants engage in training and education, participants increase employment (Heinrich 2013, PPV-Maguire 2010, Hebbar 2006) and earnings more than non-participants following program completion (Heinrich 2013, PPV-Maguire 2010).
Job Corps, a widely implemented vocational training program for young adults that includes comprehensive support services and financial compensation, appears to increase earnings, employment, and education two years after program completion (Mathematica-Schochet 2006), especially among those who complete a vocational training or GED program (US DOL-Gritz 2001). Five to ten years after assignment, however, most participants’ earnings are similar to non-participating peers, except for those who were older (20-24) when they enrolled. Job Corps also appears to reduce arrest and incarceration rates among participants (Mathematica-Schochet 2006). More comprehensive vocational training programs may be more effective than less comprehensive programs; an evaluation of Jobstart, based on the Job Corps model but lacking comprehensive support services and financial compensation, demonstrates no effects on employment or earnings (YG-Program search).
Researchers suggest that program implementers provide workers with structured guidance in training selection and supportive services within training once they have enrolled. Developing training programs in partnership with local employers is also recommended to ensure workers are trained in in-demand skills (Hamilton-McConnell 2014).
Group training techniques in vocational interventions appear to reduce stress among unemployed participants (Audhoe 2010). Vocational education and employment programs for individuals who have been incarcerated may reduce recidivism (Bouffard 2000). More stringent state-level work policies implemented with welfare reforms in the 1990s appear to have reduced vocational education and training for mothers with low incomes and low levels of education (Dave 2011).
Government-sponsored vocational training programs exist throughout the country. Job Corps has training centers in all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico (Job Corps).
Job Corps has centers in Laona and Milwaukee (Job Corps).
* Journal subscription may be required for access.