Implementing the WorkAdvance Model
Lessons for Practitioners
WorkAdvance is a sectoral workforce development program designed to meet the needs of workers and employers alike. For unemployed and low-wage working adults, the program provides skills training in targeted sectors that have good-quality job openings with room for advancement within established career pathways. For employers in those sectors, WorkAdvance identifies and trains workers who meet technical skill and work readiness expectations and can grow into second and third jobs. In a randomized controlled trial, the program resulted in large increases in participation in every category of services, as well as in training completion, credential acquisition, and employment in the targeted sector. The program also boosted earnings overall, but effects varied widely across providers, offering useful insights. Based on MDRC’s evaluation of the WorkAdvance demonstration and advice from the providers involved, this practitioner brief presents practical lessons for launching a sectoral employment initiative with a focus on advancement.