Report Shows Job Training Works In Atlanta
By Che Watkins, Center for Working Families
In 2014, The Job Training Alliance (JTA) in Boston completed a study that documented outcomes related to job training and assistance over a one-year period for program outputs and demographics, employment and earned income, and public benefits and taxes paid called “Job Training: Works, Pays, and Saves.” The results of that report are still being used in Boston to guide research and policy decisions around workforce development. It importantly showed the rippled outcomes of increased earnings, taxes paid and decreased public assistance, and has supported the impact of Boston’s workforce development programs.
Atlanta CareerRise recently pulled together a group of six community-based partners, North Highland and Endurance Project Management to embark upon a similar journey. The result is a report, released today, that shows:
“Short-term job training programs offered by effective and accountable community-based organizations in Metro Atlanta are a smart investment for the individual, employers and the economy. Increasing the scale and effectiveness across the nonprofit sector offers a tool to address the region’s economic immobility issues.”
Atlanta CareerRise is a regional funder collaborative that brings together local funders around a shared strategic vision for workforce development in a 13-county region. The collaborative is a catalyst to create sectoral workforce partnerships, train workers, and improve workforce practices. The programs that were reviewed included industries such as construction, information technology, healthcare, manufacturing and logistics. The analysis found that despite significant barriers to employment and career advancement, individuals who completed their job training programs achieved higher employment rates and greatly increased their contribution to the local community.
- Program graduates who maintained their employment for six months contributed to at least $12.9M in wage dollars annually (pre-tax) and an increase of $2.1M paid annually in new state and federal taxes;
- 93%of program participants completed their respective program;
- The average hourly wage of participants employed at intake and employed six months later increased by 67%;
- Program graduates achieve high rates of post-program employment (85%) and 6-month employment retention (78%);
- An annual reduction of $231,036 was spent on TANF and SNAP benefits;
- Programs achieved a 103% return on direct training cost based on annual new wages
“This data shows that the nonprofit community is an incredibly effective economic development tool for our region, so that these programs should be sustained and expanded” said Cinda Herndon-King, Director of Atlanta CareerRise.
The bottom line for our region is that if we want to make a dent in the wage and income inequality in Atlanta, we have to invest in what works. This report shows that high quality job training is a valuable tool to address economic immobility in the region. Participation and alignment of providers, employers, philanthropy, and state and local government will increase that impact through scaling and improved outcomes across the region’s community-based service providers.