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Summary and Insights from the Ten PACE and HPOG 1.0 Job Training Evaluations

Randall Juras and Larry Buron, Abt Global


December 15, 2021

What effects do 10 education and career training programs, using strategies within the career pathways framework, have on educational outcomes, entry to career-track employment and earnings, and other life outcomes? This three-year cross-site report of programs in the PACE project and HPOG 1.0 study provides insight on these impacts, as well as what differences existed between program elements that might explain variation in impacts across programs.

The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) and the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 1.0) are among the earliest evaluations to use career pathways as a framework for program effectiveness research. These two large-scale, random assignment studies evaluated education and training programs for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income adults. The programs represent a range of strategies within the career pathways framework to support getting people started and then advancing in careers.

This report, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, synthesizes three-year findings from across the PACE project’s nine program-level evaluations and the HPOG 1.0 Impact Study.

Key findings include:

  • Most programs had large impacts on credential receipt and more modest impacts on training duration.
  • Only one program, Year Up, increased earnings at the three-year mark.
  • Few programs increased employment overall, but four of the five evaluations of HPOG-funded programs found increased employment in the healthcare field.
  • There is little evidence that PACE and HPOG 1.0 programs, other than Year Up, affected participants’ career progress or well-being.
  • Year Up’s program includes many strongly implemented elements that plausibly contribute to its success.