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Des Moines Area Community College’s Workforce Training Academy Connect Program Three-year Impact Report

Jill Hamadyk and Randall Juras


July 6, 2021

This report documents the Workforce Training Academy Connect (WTA Connect) program’s impact on education, employment, and earnings three years after participant study entry. Operated between 2012 and 2015 by Des Moines Area Community College, WTA Connect aimed to help low-skilled adults improve their basic math and reading skills to prepare them for occupational training in fields such as healthcare and advanced manufacturing. Program components include basic skills remediation, short-term occupational certificate training courses, and advising.

The evaluation assessed whether study participants randomly assigned to a group that could enroll in WTA Connect had better education and employment outcomes than a group that could not enroll but could use other employment and training services. The study found that WTA Connect had positive impacts on receipt of exam-based credentials and confidence in career knowledge. The program had no detectable impact on average quarterly earnings, employment, job quality, access to career supports, or family economic well-being.

WTA Connect is one of nine programs being evaluated under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) project sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.