Retraining the Gulf Coast through Information Technology Pathways: Final Impact Evaluation Report
Authors: Ashweeta Patnaik and Heath Prince
Date: September 2016
Publication Type: Report, 68pp.
The Retraining the Gulf Coast Workforce through Information Technology (IT) Pathways Consortium project was a four-year project funded by the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Round Two Trade Adjustment Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants program. The grant was awarded in September 2012 to Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), which led a consortium of eight additional colleges (the Consortium) across the states of Louisiana and Mississippi (LA – South Louisiana CC, Bossier Parish CC, Delgado CC, Louisiana Delta CC; MS – Copiah-Lincoln CC, Mississippi Delta CC, Pearl River CC, Meridian CC, Northeast Mississippi CC) to implement the grant through March of 2016. In Louisiana, job losses in trade-affected industries such as auto manufacturing, shipbuilding, and furniture accelerated during the recession and its aftermath; in Mississippi, manufacturing was particularly hard hit by foreign competition. But amidst the tight economy and slow recovery, one of the few bright spots was the steady and growing demand in IT occupations. Responding to this need and opportunity, the project’s objective was to capitalize on the region’s growing IT sector and its increased demand for skilled labor by training almost 2,000 TAA eligible workers, veterans, and other individuals with basic skills needs for jobs.
The Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative, in collaboration with the Ray Marshall Center, conducted both an implementation study and a quasi-experimental impact analysis to assess the effectiveness of the project. The Ray Marshall Center was the lead for the impact analysis and used a quasi-experimental approach to estimate the impact of the program on student outcomes.