Design, Sites, and Data Sources
To identify candidate sites, MDRC and Jobs for the Future conducted phone interviews with individuals ranging from national policymakers to county officials and researchers believed to be knowledgeable about pathways models in general, pathways work in the six states in the Great Lakes region (Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan), or pathways work in specific communities in the region.
Teams consisting of staff members from the Joyce Foundation, MDRC, and Jobs for the Future conducted one- to two-day visits to six of the most promising sites in four states (Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin). While on site, team members interviewed most of the key players in the pathways program, including the school district(s), high school leaders and teachers, community college administrators, employers and their organizations, workforce agencies, and others. Materials and notes collected during these visits were used to generate site visit reports, which provided the basis for the findings and recommendations delivered to Joyce in a final memo. Four communities were selected for investment by the foundation:
- Northwest suburbs of Chicago (Districts 211 and 214)