Since 1992, IAF labor market intermediaries have put low-income workers into high-paying careers in health care, technology and trades. The Economic Mobility Corporation recently released a 14-year “gold standard” randomized control test of San Antonio’s Project QUEST, the flagship labor market intermediary for the IAF.
Study authors assert that “Project QUEST has demonstrated the largest, sustained earnings impacts ever found in a rigorous evaluation of a workforce development program. These findings provide conclusive evidence that investing in the skills of low-income workers not only can make a difference, it can move families out of poverty into the middle class.”
Inspired by the success of Project Quest in San Antonio, IAF leaders have established an additional nine projects in the West and Southwest US: Capital IDEA in Austin; Project ARRIBA in El Paso; VIDA in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas; JobPath in Tucson; NOVA in Northeast Louisiana, Skills-Quest in Dallas; Capital IDEA-Houston; Project IOWA and Arizona Career Pathways. In 2014, DuPage County United launched its own labor market intermediary, Career Connect Metro West.
Collectively, these institutions have trained and placed tens of thousands of adults in living wage jobs which pay, on average, $40,000 annually plus benefits and a career path. This number is expected to grow as the West / Southwest IAF expands this strategy further.
In photos at right, trainees learn to cradle a newborn and conduct PERRLA evaluations at Project QUEST in San Antonio. [Photo Credit: Jerry Lara, San Antonio Express-News]
Nine Year Gains: Project QUEST's Continuing Impact, Economic Mobility Corporation (2019)
San Antonio Program Moves Low-Skilled into Middle Class, Houston Chronicle [pdf]
Not All Programs Fade: New Report on Project QUEST RCT Shows Sizable None-Year Earnings Gains for Low-Income Workers, Straight Talk on Evidence [pdf]
With Louisiana as the state with the third highest number of poor people, many of them working full-time, Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith leaders are devising new ways to tackle poverty. Says Pastor Clayton Moore, "If you work, how is it that you're poor?"
NCLI leaders have launched Another Chance to Succeed (ACTS), modeling itself on Project QUEST in San Antonio and NOVA in Monroe, Louisiana. The goal is to train adults into higher wage jobs of at least $15 / hour. ACTS is targeting January 2017 as its start-up date.Read more
The NOVA Workforce Institute of Northeast Louisiana broke their own record in job-placement this month, placing 17 of its graduates in living wage careers. Since 2009, NOVA has placed 461 adults into living wage work, with a projected annual wage impact of $7.4 million. Economist Bob Eisenstadt, the rector of the University of Louisiana at Monroe's Center for Business and Economic Research said,Read more
NCLI Gets 3 Congressional (R & D) Candidates to Agree on Medicaid Expansion, Payday Lending and Workforce Development
- Expand Medicaid in Louisiana;Read more
When approached by a call center seeking to train workers for high turnover jobs paying $8 / hour, NOVA challenged the employer to invest in worker development for higher paying work. The call center responded and now NOVA trainees start at $10 / hour and move to $12.50 / hour within three months, including benefits; call center attrition has dropped. NOVA is becoming a new kind of hiring hall, offering training for dignified work that pays fair wages and offers benefits.