• 0.30,2.00

The WRTP provided certificate programs in health care and construction, soft skills training, case management, and supportive services to help people with low incomes find and keep better paying jobs and to meet local industry needs.

Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) Sectoral Employment Program  is currently offering some services remotely in response to COVID-19
Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) Sectoral Employment Program is currently offering some services remotely in response to COVID-19

The WRTP provided certificate programs in health care and construction, soft skills training, case management, and supportive services to help people with low incomes find and keep better paying jobs and to meet local industry needs.

WRTP provided short-term training programs—selected to match local labor market demand—that resulted in nursing assistant, medical assistant, and construction certificates. Participants also received soft skills training, case management, remedial education, job placement assistance, and post-employment services. Child care and transportation assistance were available for participants receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Training programs ranged from 40 to 160 hours and lasted from two to eight weeks. Participants were required to have a 6th to 10th grade reading level, a driver’s license (for construction training), and a negative drug screen (for health care training). They were also interviewed to determine their career goals and any challenges they might face in participating. WRTP was implemented in Milwaukee, WI. The study that examined WRTP also evaluated two other interventions: Jewish Vocational Service-Boston and Per Scholas.

Year evaluation began: 2003
Populations and employment barriers:
Intervention services: Case management, Education, Employment retention services, Supportive services, Training, Occupational or sectoral training, Soft skills training, Job development/job placement
Setting(s): Urban only

Effectiveness rating and effect by outcome domain

Back to top
View table help Need more context or definitions for the Outcome Domain table below? View the "Table help" to get more insight into terms, measures, and definitions.

Scroll to the right to view the rest of the table columns

Outcome domain Term Effectiveness rating Effect in 2018 dollars and percentages Effect in standard deviations Sample size
Increase earnings Short-term No evidence to assess support
Long-term Supported favorable $6,212 per year 0.297 335
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term No evidence to assess support
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable 3% (in percentage points) 0.064 341
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term No evidence to assess support
Long-term No evidence to assess support
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods No evidence to assess support

Participant race and ethnicity
Black or African American
78%
White, not Hispanic
16%
Hispanic or Latino of any race
4%
Another race
2%

Implementation details

Back to top

Dates covered by study

The study of the WRTP program began in 2003 and was conducted over a two-year period. Researchers enrolled participants in the study over a two-year period and surveyed them twice: (1) at some point before 24 months had elapsed since they enrolled, and again (2) between 24 and 30 months after they enrolled.

Organizations implementing intervention

The program was implemented by WRTP, an association of employers and unions. The association works to attract high-wage jobs to Milwaukee and retain them once they are there, with the goal of creating career opportunities for community residents with low incomes who are unemployed.

Populations served

About half the study participants were women, and about half were men. Four in five were African American (80 percent), and about 16 percent were white. Two in five (40 percent) had histories of incarceration, which was a significant barrier to employment going forward. Eighty percent had either a high school diploma or a GED, and 8 percent had some postsecondary education. Just 12 percent had less than a high school education.

WRTP required participants to have a 6th to 10th grade reading level, depending on the employment sector; to complete an interview to determine their career goals and participation challenges; to have a driver’s license (with no more than five violation points) for the construction sector program; and to receive a negative drug screen for the health care sector program.

WRTP mostly served young adults. About 28 percent were between the ages of 18 and 24, and 34 percent were between the ages of 18 and 26. Half the participants were employed when they enrolled. WRTP study participants reported an average annual income of only $11,600 for the year before the study.

 

Description of services implemented

WRTP’s approach was to provide short-term, job-specific training and help guide disadvantaged workers into higher quality jobs than they might have been able to access without its help. Its short-term pre-employment training programs in the construction and health care sectors were included in the study.

  • WRTPs health care certification training offered participants the opportunity to pursue certified nursing assistant and certified medical assistant certificates.
  • WRTP construction certification training offered participants certifications in asbestos removal, utilities construction, and general construction. WRTP’s construction trades training was an 80-hour course that included technical material, contextualized math, safety awareness, and instruction on the use of relevant tools and machines.
  • WRTP manufacturing pre-employment training was discontinued during the study period because of deteriorating employment opportunities in the manufacturing area.

Study participants in the intervention group were taught soft skills for employability—skills related to punctuality, regular attendance, strategies for dealing with childcare, workplace issues, and operating within the industry culture. These skills were integrated into technical training. Participants also received case management, job placement, post-employment retention, remedial education as needed, help getting a driver’s license, and, for those receiving TANF, assistance with childcare and transportation.

Service intensity

WRTP developed pre-employment training that ranged between 2 to 8 weeks long (40 to 160 hours) depending on the track to which the participant was assigned. These trainings were developed in response to specific employers’ requests or clearly identified labor market needs. Program participants reported spending an average of 1.6 months in training at WRTP.

Comparison conditions

The comparison group members could not receive services from the study sites for the duration of the study, but they were free to attend other employment programs or seek access to other services in the community.

Partnerships

WRTP worked with a variety of public and nonprofit service agencies and contracted with outside organizations to provide case management and support services. WRTP’s training providers came from industry, local technical schools, or community colleges.

Staffing

WRTP staff made connections with a variety of public and nonprofit service agencies and contracted with outside organizations to provide case management. For participants in its construction and manufacturing tracks, WRTP relied on Workforce Investment Act (WIA) services, support from a local community development company, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) case managers, who in turn helped participants with child care and transportation. For participants in its health care track, WRTP contracted with a local community development agency to provide supportive services. Training coordinators also provided support as necessary.

The study authors did not include information on the number of staff or their training, degrees, or certifications.

Local context

WRTP was implemented in Milwaukee, WI.

Fidelity measures

The study did not discuss any tools to measure fidelity to the intervention model.

Funding source

WRTP received funds from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to develop a model program in manufacturing training in 1997. In 2000, WRTP was awarded a demonstration grant from the United States Department of Labor to replicate the program in two other sectors: construction and health care.

In 2003, when the organization was selected to participate in this study, it was using a range of public and private funding sources to providing training and placement services in all three sectors (manufacturing, construction and health care).

Cost information

The study did not discuss a cost per participant, nor was there a comparison of costs and benefits.

Studies of this intervention

Back to top
Study quality rating Study counts per rating
High High 1