From February 2017 through June 2019, more than 500 students enrolled in the Cascades Job Corps College and Career Academy (CCCA), a pilot program focused on enrolling Job Corps students in college to prepare for a career in healthcare or information technology. Abt Global and its partner, MRDC, evaluated the pilot, which provided career pathways programming intended to increase education and training in the short-term and employment and earnings in the long-term. The pilot offered expanded and intensive academic instruction, career pathways technical training, and non-cognitive skills training.
This evaluation, funded by the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office and the Employment and Training Administration, found that the basic vision in DOL’s solicitation showed promise in implementing a college-focused Job Corps model. A moderately-sized eligible population could and would enroll in a college-focused Job Corps program. CCCA demonstrated that a residential program with academic and non-academic supports can substantially increase time in college and employment-related training. As expected, the evaluation found a negative impact on earnings during the 18-month follow-up period, as the program offers training for up to three years, and time in Job Corps is usually time not working.