Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 1 of 25
Illinois Pathways Initiative:
Moving Regional Sector Partnerships to Scale in Manufacturing
(Note: Innovation project as described in Technical Proposal below is being altered to include random assignment methodology for workers; regional partnerships are being adjusted to 4-6 regions; number of participants adjusted to 600-800 participants.)
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) will work together to scale up and sustain regional sector partnerships to address the growing skilled worker shortages in
manufacturing. These agency partners will implement innovative state economic development, workforce development and education policies and systems to scale up proven models of regional public-private sector partnerships and make these partnerships an integral part of the public workforce investment system. This initiative will use an evidence-based regional partnership model that includes key features of leading regional partnership models that have been proven to meet employer needs as well as expand opportunities for the most vulnerable populations served through the public workforce investment system including low-income adults and long-term unemployed and dislocated workers. This model will be applied first to manufacturing but will be designed for application in other key sectors.
Illinois Regional Partnership Model: Key Features. This integrated model is based on four major features that are found in evidence-based regional partnership models:
1. Sector-Focus. Regional partnerships engage multiple employers in the same sector to fully specify sector-wide and employer-specific needs including current and projected job openings and the skills required for these jobs. The partnerships develop a deep sector-specific expertise and understanding of both general and specific employer needs and the processes employers use to hire, train and advance their workers.
2. Career Pathways and Bridge Programs. They develop regional workforce pipelines to meet these job needs by working with employers to define career pathways that allow workers to progress from entry-level to more advanced jobs and attain stackable industry-recognized credentials along the way. These career pathways include “bridge” programs that provide low-skilled adults the opportunity to integrate
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 2 of 25 basic academic and technical skill development and immediately enter skilled employment with
industry-recognized credentials. This feature is critical in addressing the needs of the most vulnerable adult populations served by the public workforce investment system because bridge programs “accelerate” the transition into advanced technical training and employment.
3. Flexible and Integrated Public-Private Delivery Systems. They move workers along these career pathways to meet employer needs through flexible and integrated public-private delivery systems that engage employers and education and workforce partners in all stages of the pipeline from outreach to intake and training and placement and retention. These systems provide employers and workers with a wide variety of training options including work-based learning (e.g., OJT, work experience, incumbent worker) which leverages employer expertise and resources and enables workers to reduce foregone earnings typically associated with long-term training. They also effectively braid public funding streams including adult education, career and technical education, and workforce programs.
4. Transition and Support Services. They also integrate public funding streams to provide individualized transition assistance and supports (e.g., tutoring, childcare, transportation, access to public benefits, and subsidized work experience). This feature is critical in serving the most vulnerable populations in the workforce system.
Illinois will integrate these four key features into an Illinois regional partnership model for manufacturing that will be scaled up across multiple regions within the state for this project.
Moving Proven Models to Scale: Four Strategies. Although these evidence-based models of regional sector partnerships are widely cited as key features of a more demand-driven public workforce investment system, there is currently no evidence to suggest they can be successfully scaled up to meet employer and worker needs and achieve breakthrough performance improvements across multiple regions. This project is designed to address this problem. It is based on a theory of change and logic model focusing on four major state strategies that are necessary for scaling up and sustaining regional partnerships as major features of
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 3 of 25 the public workforce investment system:
1. State Public-Private Sector Partnerships. Establish statewide public-private sector partnerships that coordinate and support regional partnerships by: (1) providing career pathway frameworks and
partnership models that can be “regionalized” and (2) promoting and supporting employer engagement. 2. Coordinated State Policies and Guidelines. Develop state economic development, adult education,
career and technical education and workforce policies that promote and reward the braiding of public and private funding for integrated delivery systems based on career pathways and facilitate the use of stackable industry-recognized credentials through improved statewide credit transfer and the
integration of industry and educational credentialing systems. These policies should be supported by guidelines and technical assistance and professional development in how to apply these policies in organizing and managing regional partnerships.
3. State Labor Market and Management Information Systems. Build enhanced state labor market and management information systems for supporting regional partnerships based on career pathways and integrated delivery systems. These systems should provide a statewide platform that can be
regionalized to address differences in regional needs and delivery systems while still leveraging economies of scale required for moving regional partnerships to scale and sustainability.
4. Performance Accountability, Continuous Improvement, and Evaluation Systems. Establish statewide sector-based performance accountability and evaluation systems that enable continuous improvement and assure state and regional stakeholders that these partnerships provide a return on investment. Why Choose Illinois as the Test State?: Building on the Illinois Pathways Initiative and Shifting Gears and Accelerating Opportunity. Illinois is well-positioned to fully implement and evaluate these four state strategies as an extension of the current Illinois Pathways Initiative---a public-private P-20 education and workforce initiative to meet employer needs and expand career opportunities in nine STEM-related sectors including manufacturing. The Illinois Pathways Initiative is supported in part by federal Race to the Top
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 4 of 25 (RTTT) funding. It is led by a public-private governance body in cooperation with the Illinois Business Roundtable and is managed through the Illinois Pathways Interagency Committee (IPIC) consisting of all state economic development, workforce development and education agencies. The major agency partners coordinating the Illinois public workforce investment system and jointly submitting this proposal are
members of the IPIC including the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO-- WIA Title I), Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES--Wagner-Peyser and Unemployment Insurance) and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB--Adult Education and Perkins/Career and Technical Education). The IPIC also will have support from a statewide Pathways Resource Center that will provide technical assistance to local and regional partners throughout the state.
This Illinois Pathways Initiative also will establish a statewide public-private partnership for each sector, including Manufacturing, no later than August, 2012. These partnerships, called Learning Exchanges, will work with the IPIC to engage employers and industry associations and support the development of career pathway systems that fully integrate secondary and postsecondary education and workforce systems at the state and regional levels.
In addition, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and foundation funders have undertaken two major
initiatives—Shifting Gears and Accelerating Opportunity—to develop sector-based “bridge” program models and develop state policies to coordinate adult education, career and technical education, and WIA Title I funding to support them through regional partnerships. These initiatives also have established bridge programs in over 51 community colleges and adult education providers. These important initiatives provide a strong starting point for implementing state policies to support regional partnerships in this project. How Will Illinois Test and Evaluate State Strategies for Scaling Partnerships? The WIF funds will be used to fully integrate the public workforce development system into the larger Illinois Pathways Initiative to address the needs of adult workers served through the public workforce investment system, especially
low-Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 5 of 25 income adults and long-term unemployed and dislocated workers. WIF funds will be used to implement these four key state strategies and provide $7 million in seed funding to 6-8 regional sector partnerships that agree to implement, evaluate, and sustain the Illinois evidenced-based regional partnership model. This seed funding will go to regional partnerships with fully engaged industry, economic development, workforce development, and education partners. These partnerships will fully engage the required partners in the public workforce investment system including the local workforce investment board (LWIB), IDES, community colleges and other adult education providers. The local workforce investment area (the fiscal agent for WIA Title I funding at the local level in Illinois) will serve as the fiscal agent and will be responsible for managing WIF grant funds and insuring that all participants meet WIF funding requirements. This funding will be targeted to regions that have fully engaged partners and have the greatest need as evidenced by the highest number of projected and actual openings in critical manufacturing jobs. Finally, this funding will be provided to partnerships that have the highest potential to sustain their activities beyond the funding period in cooperation with the Manufacturing Learning Exchange.
This project will provide funding to these regional partnerships to enroll, assess, and train 750 to 800 WIF-eligible workers to enter career pathway employment in their regions. As a Type C project, Illinois will engage a third-party evaluator in developing a quasi-experimental design to determine if these regional partnerships are having positive impacts for both employers and workers.
Why Is This Project Important to the Public Workforce Investment System? This project will result in evaluation findings that will provide critical guidance to the Illinois Pathways Initiative as well as other federal and state sector initiatives in scaling and sustaining regional sector partnerships as cornerstones of the public workforce investment system. This project will provide the first net impact estimates for the benefits to employers and will provide similar estimates for a broader worker population including low-skilled adults and long-term unemployed and dislocated workers. This project also will inform future federal legislative initiatives such as the SECTORS Act and related proposals for WIA reauthorization.
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 6 of 25
1. Description of the Problem or Issue
Problem Definition. Over the last decade, federal and state governments and their foundation partners have promoted widespread experimentation in how to build a more flexible, demand-driven workforce investment system—a system that can meet the rapidly changing needs of both employers and workers, especially low-skilled workers being left further behind. These efforts have resulted in the development of proven models of regional industry-sector partnerships.
The major problem now facing the workforce investment system is how to scale up and sustain these proven models through federal and state economic development, workforce, and education policies and braided funding. In particular, federal and state agencies need to deploy new policies and approaches that support diverse regions in achieving and maintaining consistently high levels of performance from these proven models and generate larger impacts for more employers and workers, especially the most
vulnerable populations served by the public workforce investment system. Solving this problem is critical in guiding future federal and state legislative and policy decisions over the coming years.
Extent of Problem: The Case of Manufacturing. This problem is most evident in the growing challenges faced by manufacturers and their public workforce system partners in finding and training skilled workers. Illinois labor market projections estimate over 2,000 annual job openings in manufacturing with major concentrations in skilled jobs. Illinois manufacturers have posted over 2,000 job openings for machining and over 700 for welding and 1,000 for industrial maintenance this year. Meetings with manufacturers over the last six months have indicated that most of these jobs are going unfilled or are being filled with workers that require considerable training after being hired. For example, in meetings in the Peoria/Pekin area, six mid-sized employers together reported over 100 job openings that remain unfilled in machining and welding alone. These worker shortages have caused them to delay or refuse further customer orders putting a major drag on economic growth in their region.
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 7 of 25 partnerships to meet worker shortages because manufacturers, unlike healthcare employers, have different skill requirements for job openings with similar job titles in machining and welding and require a more flexible and customized approach to meeting their needs. This factor will ensure that regional models are sufficiently robust and flexible to meet the needs of a wide variety of employers within and across regions.
2. Strategic Approach and Logic Model
Goals and Outcomes. The goal of this project is to evaluate how state economic development, workforce and education policies and systems can scale up and sustain regional manufacturing partnerships to:
Employer Outcomes. Improve the effectiveness and efficiency (hire and retention rates, staff costs) and reduce the time (number of days job openings remain unfilled) in filling skilled job openings with
qualified workers (employer satisfaction).
Worker Outcomes. Improve the effectiveness (hire/retention rates and earnings) and cost-effectiveness (outcomes per cost) and reduce the time (acceleration) in moving workers from intake to training to placement and retention in skilled jobs, especially low-skilled workers requiring basic skill remediation before entering training and employment. This includes reducing the total costs of participation of workers especially foregone earnings for workers participating in long-term training.
This project also will implement these state policies and systems to achieve and maintain consistently high levels of performance for both employers and workers within and between regions.
Strategy and Logic Model
Theory of Change and Strategies. This project is based on a theory of change that argues that regional sector partnerships, based on proven national models, cannot move to scale and achieve consistently high levels of performance without the state policies and systems in place to support them. This project will focus on four major challenges experienced in Illinois and other states that require state strategies to move regional partnerships to scale and sustain them after the end of project funding.
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 8 of 25 in engaging employers and establishing many of the basic features of proven models without outside assistance and support. Second, regional partnerships did not provide a consistent organizing structure for employers that have establishments in more than one region which causes confusion and higher
transaction costs. For example, some manufacturers have been engaged in a model regional partnership in the north-central region of Illinois, and like other Illinois manufacturers, have similar facilities in other regions and are seeking to fill the same types of skilled jobs in each of these regions. As a result, they need consistent and predictable partnership arrangements across all regions that are tailored to the needs and capacities of regions but are built off the same general platform. Finally, regional partnerships find it difficult to maintain employer engagement and momentum without reinforcement from a broader industry support system including national and state industry associations. This is the key to sustainability.
The Illinois strategy to address these challenges is to use the Manufacturing Learning Exchange, soon to be established by the Illinois Pathways Initiative, to be the state public-private partnership that can coordinate and support regional partnerships by providing career pathway frameworks and models that can be “regionalized” and by promoting employer engagement. This state partnership will involve leading state manufacturing associations and employers as well as leading universities, colleges, schools and workforce partners that have committed to implementing a statewide Manufacturing Career Pathways model
addressing four major career pathways: (1) product/process development (engineering), (2) production (e.g., machining, welding), (3) mechatronics (e.g., maintenance), and (4) logistics and warehousing. This partnership will promote the implementation of this pathway model with regional and local partners throughout the state. This project will provide additional staff resources to the Manufacturing Learning Exchange to promote and support the implementation of the integrated regional partnership model. The Illinois Business Roundtable is working with state agency partners and leading industry associations to establish this Manufacturing Exchange no later than August, 2012 and has provided a letter of support for this project. As shown in the logic model, the Illinois Pathways Initiative including the IPIC and the
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 9 of 25 Manufacturing Learning Exchange are critical “inputs” and resources into this strategy.
Strategy 2: Coordinated State Policies and Guidelines. Proven regional partnership models are based on the capacity to braid public and private funding into integrated delivery systems and support career pathway models with stackable credentials. Regional partnerships face barriers in doing this without clear state policies that incent and enable this to happen. This is especially true for state adult and career and technical education policies that determine funding levels and program approval. For example, the Illinois Shifting Gears initiative and the related Accelerating Opportunity initiative require state education (ICCB) and workforce (DCEO) policy actions to provide the incentives and policy guidelines necessary to
implement bridge programs, an essential feature of regional models. These initiatives require higher levels of state community college reimbursement and clear guidance on the use of WIA funding. Further state policies and guidance are now being developed to support more flexible integrated delivery systems based on open-exit bridge models that integrate work-based learning options so that the most vulnerable
populations can move more rapidly through bridge programs into employment and technical training to achieve breakthrough performance improvements in regional partnerships. This also involves state policies and guidance on the integration of industry and educational credentialing including credit transfer to provide a statewide platform for career pathways and industry-recognized stackable credentials.
The Illinois strategy to address these challenges is to use the IPIC to further develop state economic development, adult education, career and technical education and workforce policies that promote and incent the integration of public and private funding for integrated delivery systems based on career pathways and facilitate the use of stackable industry-recognized credentials through improved statewide credit transfer and the integration of industry and educational credentialing systems. These policies will be supported by guidelines and technical assistance in how to apply these policies in organizing and
managing regional partnerships. As shown in the logic model, the Illinois Pathways Initiative including the IPIC and the Manufacturing Learning Exchange as well as the Shifting Gears and Accelerating
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 10 of 25 Opportunities initiatives are critical “inputs” and resources into this strategy.
Strategy 3: State Labor Market Information and Management Information Systems. Regional partnerships must develop a deep expertise and understanding of the needs of sectors and individual employers. For a small scale project, this expertise can reside in a few key staff that capture and communicate this
information in cooperation with a small number of employers over a short period of time. However, this expertise is difficult to scale and sustain without labor market and skill information systems that can organize and communicate this information on a consistent basis throughout a larger and more complex partnership involving 20-30 employers from different segments of the sector over multiple years. In addition, regional partnerships need to have management information systems that can share information among all partners on progress in moving participants through career pathways from outreach to intake and training and placement. Most existing state management information systems are not designed for this purpose resulting in higher operating costs for regional partnerships in managing their public-private delivery systems based on career pathways.
The Illinois strategy to address these challenges is to build enhanced state labor market and management information systems for supporting sector-focused regional partnerships based on career pathways and integrated delivery systems. The enhanced labor market information system will integrate employer input into state and regional projections; will use the Manufacturing Learning Exchange’s career pathway framework to describe and post career pathway opportunities and jobs; and, will use the
Exchange’s national skill standards frameworks based on industry certifications (e.g., NIMS, MSSC, AWS) to provide a common way to describe skill requirements across employers who may organize work
differently even for the same occupation. This infrastructure will provide a platform to address unique regional needs while still leveraging economies of scale required for moving regional partnerships to scale and ensuring long-term sustainability. As shown in the logic model, the Illinois Pathways Initiative including the existing labor market information system and the $12 million investment in the cloud-based Illinois
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 11 of 25 Shared Learning Environment (ISLE) will be the information and technology infrastructure for the
Manufacturing Learning Exchange and will be the foundation for building regional labor market information tools and information systems to support regional partnerships.
Strategy 4. Performance Accountability, Continuous Improvement, and Evaluation. Most regional partnerships have been established with federal, state and foundation seed funding and must report on multiple and inconsistent performance measures and provide evidence to public and private stakeholders that they are getting results and providing a return on investment. Most partnerships face major costs and challenges in doing this on their own and have problems in reporting consistent and comparable results especially after the seed investment is over. In addition, most partnerships do not have the expertise to collect and use data to drive continuous improvement in their systems without substantial help from external data system and evaluation experts who are usually engaged only for the demonstration project.
The Illinois strategy to address this challenge is to establish statewide sector-based performance accountability and evaluation systems based on common performance measures that enable continuous improvement and also provide assurance to state and regional stakeholders that these partnerships are providing a return on investment. As described in the logic model, the Illinois Pathways Initiative is establishing statewide performance measures for managing P-20 and workforce pipelines that can be operationalized through state longitudinal data systems being established through the Illinois State Longitudinal Data System (ISLDS) and Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI). In addition, the IPIC will establish a statewide resource center that will provide assistance in using data for continuous improvement at the regional and local levels. These current statewide efforts will provide critical inputs and resources for this strategy.
Strategies, Activities and Outputs. These four strategies will be implemented through the following activities resulting in outputs described below and summarized in the logic model.
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 12 of 25 Activity 1.1: Establish State Manufacturing Partnership Team. Illinois Pathways Interagency Committee (IPIC) WIF Project Leadership Team and the Manufacturing Learning Exchange will establish a 5-member State Manufacturing Partnership team to work with regional sector partnerships. This will integrate the project into the larger Illinois Pathways Initiative and the Manufacturing Learning Exchange. Output: State Manufacturing Partnership Team.
Activity 1.2: Select, Develop and Launch 6-8 Regional Manufacturing Partnerships. DCEO and the State Manufacturing Partnership Team will develop and issue an RFP and conduct outreach to the entire state to solicit applications from regional partnerships. DCEO and the team will select 6-8 partnerships with the approval of the IPIC WIF Leadership Team and will provide training and capacity building assistance up to the launch of these partnerships. Output: Trained Regional Partnerships Launched.
Activity 1.3: Support and Sustain Regional Partnerships During Entire Project Period. The State
Manufacturing Partnership Team will provide ongoing support to partnerships in cooperation with support provided under Strategies 2-4 including state policies, labor market and management information systems, and performance management and evaluation systems. This ongoing support will be focused on consistent implementation of the partnership model and continuous improvement in performance. Output:
Partnerships Meeting Model Requirements During Project Period. Strategy 2: Coordinated State Policies and Guidelines.
Activity 2.1: Revise and Expand State Policies to Support Regional Partnerships. The IPIC WIF Project Leadership Team and State Manufacturing Partnership Team will finalize the regional partnership model and identify remaining policy changes needed to support the model. They will then revise existing policies and develop new policies as needed to support partnerships implementing the model. Output: State Agency Policies.
Activity 2.2 Develop Policy Guides and Technical Assistance Materials and Provide Assistance: The State Manufacturing Partnership Team in cooperation with the Pathways Resource Center will develop
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 13 of 25 policy guides and technical assistance materials for working with regional sector partnerships based on flexible but proven national models that specify: (1) roles and responsibilities of all public and private partners in managing a regional workforce pipeline through an integrated delivery system that includes sector bridge programs (2) how this delivery system can be supported through the integration public and private funding including the braiding of adult education, WIA Title I, Wagner-Peyser, and Perkins and career and technical education funding, and (3) how partnerships can be supported through the Pathways Manufacturing Learning Exchange and state systems described below. Output: Policy Guides and
Technical Assistance Materials and Ongoing Training and Support.
Strategy 3: Enhanced Labor Market and Management Information Systems
Activity 3.1: Enhance Employment Projection and Job Opening Systems. IDES will work with the Manufacturing Learning Exchange to enhance the current IDES projection system based on national models that provide structured input from employers in projecting job growth and openings in critical occupations for major career pathways at the state and regional levels. They will then work together with DCEO to incorporate the pathways and skills framework into the job opening system on the Pathways website so employers can use a menu to describe skill requirements for the most critical job openings in the region based on the Manufacturing Learning Exchange career pathways framework. IDES will work with the State Manufacturing Partnership Team to provide training and support on the system as needed. Output: Enhanced System and Ongoing Training and Support.
Activity 3.2: Develop Illinois Pathways Customized Websites for Regional Partnerships. DCEO and the Manufacturing Learning Exchange will then incorporate this enhanced labor market information system into a statewide Illinois Pathways website that can be “customized ” by sector and region to allow employers participating in regional partnerships to consistently: (1) communicate career opportunities and long-term and short-term employment needs for all major manufacturing career pathways based on the enhanced projection system, (2) post and describe job openings, and (3) specify the skills required to fill these jobs
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 14 of 25 based on the Manufacturing Learning Exchange career pathways framework. DCEO and the Manufacturing Exchange will then provide ongoing training and support to regional partnerships in using this website. Output: Statewide Illinois Pathways Customized Website and Ongoing Training and Support.
Activity 3.3: Enhance State Agency Management Information Systems. Agency partners will work together to finalize the integrated delivery model design including participant flow from outreach and intake to training, placement and retention. They then will develop a plan for enhancing management information systems and the related technology infrastructure and applications for use by regional partnerships in managing flow from outreach to intake and case management through an integrated delivery system involving: (1) automated intake and referral for moving workers to orientation and intake opportunities, (2) blended e-learning in bridge and technical training programs, and (3) participant accounts for
communicating with potential and actual participants, and (4) case management systems coordinated through the public workforce system. This will be done in coordination with the development of the Illinois Shared Learning Environment (ISLE)—the cloud-based technology infrastructure for the Illinois Pathways Initiative. The agency partners will then deploy the enhanced management information systems and related technology and applications infrastructure with the 6-8 regional partnerships selected for the project. They will provide ongoing training and support in cooperation with the State Manufacturing Partnership Team. Output: Enhanced Systems and Ongoing Training and Support.
Strategy 4: Performance Accountability, Continuous Improvement, and Evaluation System
Activity 4.1: Develop Performance Measures. Agency partners will use the interagency Illinois Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) team to develop statewide workforce pipeline performance measures consistent with federal and state workforce and education performance measures and national models for defining career pathway and bridge program performance. The career pathway and bridge program measures will be developed in cooperation with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) national project. Output: Measures Defined.
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 15 of 25 Activity 4.2 Enhance Data Collection and Performance Management and Evaluation Systems. Agency partners will work together to develop and implement a reporting system for reporting costs and funding consistent with the proposed measurement strategies also described later. Agency partners will develop and link state data systems for implementing these measures and providing information to regional partnerships. This will be done in cooperation with the Illinois WDQI team and will be housed at Illinois State University in cooperation with agency partners. In addition, the agency partners will work with Southern Illinois University (SIU) and the third-party evaluator to develop and administer an ongoing employer survey that will measure employer outcomes as well as awareness and engagement in the regional partnership. Finally, agency partners will work together to integrate these enhanced systems into a comprehensive performance management system to support accountability, continuous improvement and evaluation. They also will work with the State Manufacturing Partnership Team in providing ongoing training and support to the regional partnerships. Agency partners will work with the third-party evaluator to finalize an evaluation system that can be used to provide assurance to stakeholders that regional partnerships are provided a return on public and private investment. This will also be designed consistent with USDOL evaluation requirements for the project. Output: Enhanced Systems and Ongoing Training and Support. Activity 4.3 Develop Guides and Technical Assistance Materials and Train and Support Partnerships. The State Manufacturing Partnership Team will develop guides and technical assistance materials in
cooperation with the Pathways Resource Center to use data to report and improve regional performance. Output: Guides and Technical Assistance Materials and Ongoing Training and Support.
Evidence-base for Strategy. As described earlier, this project will evaluate how innovative state policies and systems can scale up and sustain an “evidence-based” regional sector partnership model. There is
substantial evidence that regional sector partnerships get positive outcomes for both employers and workers. For example, employers report reduced hiring costs (e.g., Sunny Schwartz and Johan Uvin, 2004, “Benefits of Sector-based Approach”, Center for Research and Evaluation, Commonwealth Corporation).
Illinois Technical Proposal and Logic Model Page 16 of 25 Other reports show positive outcomes for workers including low-income and disadvantaged workers (e.g., Anne Roder, 2008, Targeting Industries, Training Workers, Improving Opportunities, Public-Private Ventures). These outcome evaluation reports are supported by at least two more rigorous net impact evaluations. The most rigorous evaluation of sector partnerships was conducted by Public-Private Ventures through a random assignment evaluation of three regional partnerships (Sheila Maguire et al. 2009, Job Training That Works: Findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study). This research found that program participants were more likely to be employed and earned 18.3 percent more than the control group over 24 months with even larger earnings differences (29.3 percent) occurring in the final year. This
research also concluded that funding stream policies and guidelines as well as performance management systems need to be aligned and streamlined to support regional partnership models. This research is one of the major foundations for the state strategies for moving these regional partnerships to scale in Illinois.
As summarized by Neil Ridley and Elizabeth Kenefick from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in a 2011 brief entitled “Research Shows the Effectiveness of Workforce Programs,” a quasi-experimental evaluation of a sector-based program in Texas using comparison groups also found significantly higher earnings for program participants over seven years. These CLASP researchers also summarize findings on the impacts of bridge programs—a key feature of regional partnership models. They report that one national model (I-BEST) study from Washington State showed that participants were more likely to earn a certificate/degree and experienced higher employment rates and earnings than
non-participants 9 months after leaving the program. The I-BEST model is being used in the Illinois Accelerating Opportunity initiative and is a key component of the regional partnership model for this project.
3. Work Plan and Project Management
Work Plan. The project will be implemented according to the following work plan with lead implementers, milestones and timelines specified for each strategy.
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 17 of 25
Strategy/Activity Implementer Lead Outputs Milestones Timelines
1. Statewide Public-Private Coordination of Regional Partnerships Based on Proven Models 1.1 Establish State Manufacturing
Partnership Team IPIC WIF Project Leadership Team and DCEO Project Director
Partnership Team 1.1.1 Provide funding to Manufacturing Learning Exchange to hire staff Months 1-2 1.1.2 Identify DCEO, IDES, and ICCB lead agency staff for team Months 1-2
1.1.3 Team trained to work with partnerships Months 3-4
1.2 Select and Launch 6-8 Regional
Manufacturing Partnerships DCEO and State Manufacturing Partnership Team with IPIC WIF Project Leadership Team Approval
Trained Regional Partnerships Launched
1.2.1 Develop and issue RFP for selecting regional partnerships Months 1-4 1.2.2 Conduct outreach to all regions in the state
1.2.3 Select 6-8 partnerships and establish grants Months 2-4 Months 6-11 1.2.4 Conduct training and capacity-building and launch partnerships Months 9-12 1.3 Support and Sustain Regional
Partnerships During Entire Project Period
Partnership Team Partnerships Meeting Model Requirements During Period
1.3.1 Review quarterly progress in meeting implementation and performance
goals Months 9-40
1.3.2 Provide technical assistance as needed Months 9-40
2. Coordinated State Policies and Guidelines 2.1 Revise and Expand State Policies
to Support Regional Partnerships IPIC WIF Project Leadership Team and State Manufacturing Partnership Team
State Agency Policies 2.1.1 Finalize regional partnership model and identify remaining policy changes needed to support the model
2.1.2 Revise existing policies and develop new policies as needed to support partnerships implementing the model
Months 1-2 Months 3-4 2.2 Develop Policy Guides and TA
Materials and Provide Assistance State Manufacturing Partnership Team Guides and TA Materials and Professional Development
2.2.1 Develop guides and technical assistance materials for policies to support model including braided funding
2.2.2 Provide training and ongoing support to regional partnerships
Months 4-7 Months 8-40 3. Labor Market Information and Management Information Systems
3.1 Enhance Employment Projection
and Job Opening Systems IDES and Manufacturing Learning Exchange
Enhanced System 3.1.1 Acquire/develop system for engaging employers in projection process 3.1.2 Incorporate pathway and skills framework into job opening system 3.1.3 Implement and provide ongoing support with regional partnerships
Months 1-4 Months 5-8 Months 9-40 3.2 Develop Illinois Pathways
Customized Websites for Regional Partnerships
DCEO and Manufacturing Learning Exchange
Customized Website 3.2.1 Develop template for regional partnerships based on Illinois Pathways and Manufacturing Learning Exchange statewide website including linkage to enhanced labor market and job posting system
Months 1-5 3.2.2 Develop example of how to regionalize and develop guide for training
3.2.3 Work with regional partnerships to launch website
3.2.4 Support regional partnerships in maintaining customized websites
Months 3-4 Months 5-12 Months 13-40 3.3 Enhance State Agency
Management Information Systems DCEO, ICCB, IDES Enhanced Systems 3.3.1 Finalize the integrated delivery model design including participant flow from outreach and intake to training, placement and retention Months 3-4 3.3.2 Develop agency plans to enhance systems to implement model Months 4-6
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 18 of 25
Strategy/Activity Implementer Lead Outputs Milestones Timelines
3.3.3 Enhance systems to support the model to improve effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery
3.3.4 Provide ongoing support to regional partnerships
Months 6-12 Months 9-40
4. Performance Accountability, Continuous Improvement, and Evaluation System
4.1 Develop Performance Measures Project WDQI Team Measures Defined 4.1.1 Work with Illinois Pathways and WDQI Agency Teams and CLASP national
project to review and identify possible performance measures Months 1-3 4.1.2 Finalize performance measures and identify data sources including both
new and existing data sources
Months 1-3 4.2 Enhance Data Collection and
Performance Management and Evaluation Systems
Project WDQI Team Enhanced Systems 4.2.1 Develop and implement employer survey to measure employment outcomes
consistent with evaluation plan Months 1-40
4.2.2 Develop reporting system for local partnerships to report costs and use of
local and state funding leveraged for federal project funding Months 1-3 4.2.3Develop and implement enhanced data systems for supporting remaining
measures on worker outcomes including case management system
4.2.4 Integrate into a comprehensive performance management system to support performance accountability, continuous improvement and evaluation and
implement and support system with regional partnerships in support of evaluation 4.2.5 Develop evaluation system to estimate the impacts of regional partnerships for the project and for continuing use in the Pathways Initiative with regional partnerships and provide ongoing support to the third-party evaluator
Months 8-52 Months 12-52 Months 12-52 4.3 Develop Guides and Technical
Assistance Materials and Train and Support Partnerships
State Manufacturing Partnership Team with IPIC Resource Center
Guides and TA materials and Ongoing Training/Support
4.3.1 Review existing guides and resources available through Illinois Pathways
Resource Center Months 1-3
4.3.2Develop customized guides and resources
4.3.3 Provide training and ongoing support to regional partnerships
Months 4-6 Months 8-40
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 19 of 25 Project Management. The management of this project will be fully embedded into the Illinois Pathways Initiative management system to ensure a quick project ramp-up and long-term sustainability.
The project will be managed in cooperation with the Illinois Pathways Initiative including the Illinois Pathway Interagency Committee (IPIC) consisting of representatives from all workforce development and education agencies and the Illinois Manufacturing Learning Exchange. As described earlier, the learning exchange is an industry-led public-private partnership with representatives from all major stakeholders that would be engaged in regional sector partnerships. The project will be lead by a Project Leadership Team consisting of the staff director of the Illinois Manufacturing Learning Exchange and the state agency heads
Manufacturing Learning Exchange
(statewide public-private coordinating partnership)
Illinois Pathways Interagency Committee (IPIC)
IPIC WIF Project Leadership Team
--Manufacturing Learning Exchange Director --DCEO WIA Title I Director
--IDES Wagner-Peyser Director --ICCB Perkins/CTE Director --ICCB Adult Education Director
Project Director (DCEO)
Data System Coordination Regional Partnership Grant
Manager & Monitors (2) Subcontractors:
Pathways Websites for Regional Partnerships
Employer Survey (with IDES) Emp
Project Manager (IDES)
LMI/Data System Coordination Subcontractors:
Data System (Illinois State University) with DCEO/ICCB Systems Enhancements
Project Manager (ICCB)
Data System Coordination Subcontractors:
Bridge Program E-Learning Resources and Professional Development and Technical Assistance
State Manufacturing Partnership Team
Manufacturing Learning Exchange Industry Lead
DCEO-WIA Title 1 Rep IDES--Wagner Peyser Rep ICCB-Perkins/CTE Rep ICCB--Adult Education Rep
Regional Partnership Directors
6-8 Regional Partnerships
Project WDQI Team
IDES Data Lead DCEO Data Lead ICCB Data Lead ISU Data Center Director
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 20 of 25 for all four funding streams coordinated through the public workforce investment system. This leadership team will provide guidance to the overall project director housed at DCEO and project managers at both the IDES and ICCB. The project director will be responsible for managing the overall work activities and outputs of the project according to the work plan in cooperation with the other two project managers, using performance accountability, continuous improvement, and evaluation systems. Grant activities will be managed through the "leading indicators of success" in the grant and performance management system. The Project Director at DCEO also will have three grant managers who will be responsible for grant management and fiscal and programmatic monitoring for the 6-8 regional partnership grants. In addition, the Project Director at DCEO will manage the State Manufacturing Partnership Team in cooperation with IDES and ICCB Project Managers to work directly with Regional Partnerships to use the performance accountability system and project reporting system to improve implementation and performance over the project period. Finally, the DCEO Project Manager will be responsible for managing SIU in conducting the employer survey. The IDES Project Manager will be responsible for managing grant funds for labor market and career information resources used by regional partnerships, establishing the interagency data system at Illinois State University (with the IDES as the liaison with state agencies). The ICCB Project Manager will be responsible for developing the bridge program resources for the regional partnerships including e-learning resources, providing professional development, and working with IDES and DCEO on data systems. The WDQI Team will provide support to the DCEO Project Manager and the State Manufacturing Partnership Team in carrying out the project work activities in cooperation with the IDES and ICCB project managers. The DCEO Project Manager has extensive experience in managing complex federal projects with 25 years of related experience and is prepared to implement upon grant award. DCEO has met all federal oversight and reporting requirements over the past year. As described in the project work plan, upon written notice of a grant award, we will work cooperatively with the USDOL to finalize the evaluation plan and issue an RFP for an external evaluator to begin work no later than six months after receipt of grant
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 21 of 25 funds. The RFP will contain all required qualifications as detailed in the attached Evaluation Plan. This third-party evaluator will work with the WIF Project Director and the IPIC WIF Project Leadership Team as well as the national USDOL evaluator to revise and implement the evaluation plan and submit all required reports to the Illinois Pathways leadership team and the USDOL.
4. Strategic Leadership
Because this project will be implemented as an extension of the Illinois Pathways Initiative, the project team will use the larger initiative to engage and communicate to strategic partners and integrate the project into existing federal and state funding streams for long-term sustainability.
Strategic Relationships and Leadership Buy-In. The strategic partners necessary for implementing and sustaining this effort and their major roles are described below:
Illinois Business Roundtable and Manufacturing Learning Exchange--Engage industry partners in forming regional sector partnerships and providing technical assistance and support to employers in their roles in these partnerships. Illinois Business Roundtable has provided a support letter to commit to playing this role in the project in cooperation with major industry associations that will be active
members of the Manufacturing Learning Exchange. The three agencies also have provided letters to commit to their roles in this project as part of the larger Illinois Pathways Initiative.
Illinois Public Workforce System Agencies--IDES, DCEO, ICCB—and Illinois Workforce Partnership (IWP)---Engage public workforce system partners including Local Workforce Investment Boards, community colleges and adult education providers in forming regional partnerships and support their roles. The three agencies have provided a letter to commit to their roles in this project. The IWP representing local workforce system partners has also provided a letter of support.
Strategic Communication. The project will utilize the Illinois Pathway Initiative communication channels to communicate the purposes, goals, and outcomes of the project. The project will utilize the Illinois
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 22 of 25 Pathways and Manufacturing Learning Exchange Website to provide continuous updates on the project. The project team also will provide regular updates to the Illinois Workforce Investment Board, the Illinois P-20 Council and the Illinois Community College Board. The project also will require regional partnerships to hold annual meetings and open houses to communicate progress to regional stakeholders.
Integration into Formula-Funded Activities. State agency policies will be designed to ensure the full integration and braiding into adult education, career and technical education and workforce funding streams and programs. In addition, the project will ensure that promising strategies continue after the project by first requiring that all regional partnerships leverage other funding during the project so that they learn how to braid together existing public and private funding to make regional partnerships successful and sustainable. Also, the project will use the evaluation to determine how state policies can be improved to support and sustain their partnerships as part of the Illinois Pathways Initiative and the Illinois Shifting Gears Initiative.
5. Performance Accountability Framework: Data Collection, Measurement, and Reporting
As described earlier in our theory of change, the performance accountability, continuous Improvement, and evaluation system is a critical strategy in scaling and supporting regional partnerships. This project will supplement traditional workforce investment performance measures with new types of data critical in managing the performance of regional partnerships as specified earlier under goals and outcomes.
New Supplemental Measures. These supplemental measures will address: (1) Employer Outcomes— the number and average length of time that employers have job postings that are not being filled with qualified candidates and overall engagement and satisfaction of employers in regional partnerships, (2) Acceleration of Regional Service Delivery Systems-the average time it takes for partners to move
participants from orientation and intake to employment in response to employer demand (acceleration) for different types of jobs and types of participants including low-skilled workers, and (3) Cost-Effectiveness: Public-Private Costs Per Outcome—the total costs incurred by all public and private partners in filling employer openings and producing employment and earning outcomes including the “total cost of use of
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 23 of 25 services” of participants (e.g., transportation to services, maintaining contact, deferred earnings) that drive up income and service support costs of workforce programs, prevent participation of low-income and long-term unemployed and dislocated workers, and are the major causes of participants not completing programs and transitioning to employment. The project will work with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and other national experts to develop cost-effectiveness (costs per outcome) measures that will provide incentives for partnerships to serve low-skilled adults including both low-income adults and the long-term unemployed.
Data Collection Approach. These new supplemental measures plus more traditional performance measures will be addressed through an integrated data collection approach that extends current management information systems and longitudinal data systems.
Data Category New/Existing Data Source
Employer Outcomes—Job-Fill Times and
Rates and Quality of Workers New Employer Survey
Common Measures of Regional Delivery System Performance—Skill/Credential Attainment, Employment, Retention, Earnings
Existing State ICCB, IDES, and DCEO performance measures and management information systems and WDQI longitudinal data systems including UI wage record warehouse at Illinois State University
Cost-Effectiveness: Public-Private Costs Per Outcome—Employer, Service Provider, and Participant
Existing/New Employer Costs—Employer Survey
Service Provider Costs—Grant Reporting System for Providers (including federal/state/local sources of funding for these costs)
Participant Costs of Participation—Reporting System from Data Collected by Case Management System
The Employer Outcome Measures will be addressed by establishing an employer survey that will ask employers to report the number and average length of unfilled job openings by major career pathway and occupational cluster (e.g., welding, machining) consistent with the labor market information system used to project and describe openings for the partnership. This survey will be based on leading national models developed by state employment security agencies and industry associations including a model survey that was conducted by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) in estimating job vacancies for nursing that was used by Illinois in evaluating progress in reducing the nursing shortage. The other
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 24 of 25 employer outcome measures will be operationalized through employer engagement and satisfaction
questions that will be added to the job vacancy survey.
The Common Measures of Regional Delivery System Performance will be defined in cooperation with Illinois Pathways Initiative partners through the Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) working group consisting of data experts from all state education and workforce agencies. These measures will be designed as common measures that are consistent with existing federal and state measures for Wagner-Peyser, WIA Title I, Adult Education, and Perkins/Career and Technical Education and related state funding streams. These measures will be used by all Learning Exchanges under the Illinois Pathways Initiative, including the Manufacturing Learning Exchange, to report progress. This effort also will be coordinated with Illinois’ participation in a national multi-state project sponsored by CLASP to develop career pathway measures including measures for bridge programs.
The Public-Private Cost-Effectiveness (Costs Per Outcome) Measures will be addressed by extending current management information systems to capture the fully loaded costs of providing services and the private (e.g., employer) and public federal, state and local public funding used to pay for these services through WIF and leveraged funding. This will include case management reporting that will capture the total costs incurred by participants in using services and what was provided to offset these costs.
Baseline Analysis and Progress Report Timing. The project will use these approaches and systems to measure the baseline performance of regional partnerships before launch and then provide regular progress reports to state and regional partners and the U.S. Department of Labor. The project will conduct the first employer survey prior to the launch of 6-8 regional partnerships. The employer survey will go to all employers participating in the regional partnerships (estimated at 15-20) and a matched comparison population (5-8 for each employer participating) from the same regions based on the USDOL approved evaluation plan. The project also will conduct a baseline performance analysis of all partners prior to launch including a baseline cost analysis to provide the basis for reporting progress and impacts. The project will
Illinois Technical Proposal Page 25 of 25 then conduct a second employer survey to estimate final outcomes for Employer Outcomes measures. Management Information Systems and State Longitudinal Data Systems. Illinois has highly developed and robust management information systems in place that can be leveraged to capture required baseline and quarterly progress data for performance management and improvement as well as evaluation. DCEO and IDES have linked management information systems for managing client flow in Wagner-Peyser and Unemployment Insurance and WIA Title I programs. ICCB is one of the few state agencies that have integrated client-level data for both Perkins/Career and Technical Education and Adult Education as well as students participating in non-credit programs funded through WIA Title I and other funding sources. All three agencies are participating in the WDQI working group and have agreed to support the integration of data systems for regional partnerships to manage continuous improvement and contribute data to the state longitudinal data system managed by ISU in partnership with IDES. This ISU data system will be used by state partners and the third-party evaluator to evaluate the performance of regional partners over the project period and this will provide the basis for the sustainability of the Illinois Pathways performance accountability and evaluation system and applicability to all sectors not just manufacturing.
Type C Evaluation Plan and Third-Party Evaluator. This project is applying for Type C funding that requires a rigorous evaluation design to measure employer and worker impacts and related cost savings through a third-party evaluation. The evaluation plan submitted for this project includes both an implementation and outcome/impact evaluation designed to meet the needs of the Illinois Pathways Initiative and the U.S. Department of Labor. The quasi-experimental impact evaluation will involve a matched comparison group of worker participants who receive and do not receive services through regional partnerships. This will provide the basis for estimating impacts on employment and earnings. In addition, the impact evaluation will involve a matched comparison group of employers participating and not participating in regional partnerships. The plan also will report improvements in cost-effectiveness (costs per outcome) for employers and participants and the public workforce investment system.
Implement state policies and systems to scale up regional manufacturing partnerships to reduce skilled worker shortages and increase
worker employment and earnings
1. Statewide Public-Private Coordination of Regional Partnerships 1.1 Establish State Manufacturing Partnership Team with
Manufacturing Learning Exchange
State Manufacturing Partnership Team 1.2 Select and Launch 6-8 Regional Manufacturing
Regional Partnerships Launched
1.3 Support and Sustain Regional Partnerships During
Entire Project Period Partnerships Meeting Model Requirements During Project 2. Coordinated State Policies and Guidelines
2.1 Revise and expand state policies to support regional partnership model including bridge programs
State Policies 2.2 Develop guides and technical assistance materials to
support partnerships and provide assistance Guides and TA Materials and Ongoing Training/Support 3. Labor Market Information and Management Information Systems
3.1 Enhance employment projection and job opening
systems Enhanced System and Ongoing Training/Support 3.2 Develop Illinois Pathways customized websites for
regional partnerships Regionalized Website and Ongoing Training/Support 3.3 Enhance state agency management information
systems and train and support partnerships
Enhanced Systems and Ongoing Training/Support 4. Performance Accountability, Continuous Improvement, and Evaluation System
4.1 Develop performance measures Measures Defined 4.2 Enhance data collection and performance
management and evaluation systems
Enhanced Systems 4.3 Develop guides and technical assistance materials and
train and support partnerships Guides and TA Materials and Ongoing Training/Support Illinois Pathways - IPIC - Manufacturing Learning Exchange - ISLE - Pathways Resource Center Shifting Gears and Accelerating Opportunity
- Bridge Programs - State Policies State Data Systems
- ISLDS - IWDQI - IDES LMI
Systems - IDES, DCEO and
ILLINOIS PATHWAYS: MOVING REGIONAL SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS TO SCALE IN MANUFACTURING
Regional Partnership: Employer Outcomes
Reduce number of unfilled job openings
Reduce time from job posting to hire
Improve quality of job applicants
Improve employer satisfaction
Regional Partnership: Worker Outcomes
Increase employment rates and earnings levels and gains (nine months post-program)
Increase access and success of low-skilled workers
Improve cost- effectiveness
Regional Partnership Employer Impacts:
Higher levels of
performance compared to employers not participating in partnerships over project period
Regional Partnership Worker Impacts:
Increase long-term employment rates and earnings (2-years post-program)
Higher short-term (9 months post-program) and long-term (2 years post-program) employment rates and earnings compared to workers not receiving services through the partnerships