The report was made possible by funding from the NYC Workforce Funders Group and JobsFirstNYC, including a project-specific grant from the William T. Grant Foundation.
The report presents findings that address the following question:
What are meaningful short-term progress measures that can help young adult workforce programs know if participants are on track to accomplish employment or educational outcomes?
Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) convened the Young Adult Milestone Task Force from Fall 2010 through Spring 2011 as a learning and capacity-building activity of the New York City Benchmarking Project. The group included representatives of eight NYC organizations that provide workforce services to low-income young adults facing challenges.
Through a series of task force meetings, individual data analysis projects and conference calls to share lessons learned, the following themes emerged:
Some specific progress measures were predictive of eventual success;
Lower-skilled young adults may require more than one year to earn a GED; and
Participating organizations reported that they benefited from the opportunity for peer learning and focused data analysis.
The report makes a set of recommendations, concluding that while many funders focus on outcomes of placement and retention in employment, attainment of degree or certificate, and literacy or numeracy gains of at least one educational level, an additional set of measures should be considered as well in order for organizations to engage in ongoing performance improvement.