Report Shows Potential of On-Ramp Programs to Create Talent

Posted: Updated:
(image courtesy of Strada Education Network) (image courtesy of Strada Education Network)
INDIANAPOLIS -

A new report from a division of Indianapolis-based Strada Education Network suggests career "on-ramp" programs are showing success. "On-ramps to Good Jobs: Fueling Innovation for the Learning Ecosystem" highlights nine programs and suggests a majority of participants found "good jobs" in a field related to their training. However, only 100,000 people throughout the country are taking part in such programs.

Andrew Hanson, senior research fellow at the Strada Institute for the Future of Work and co-author of the report, says there are 65 on-ramp programs in the U.S. that are defined by their target population of working class adults between the ages of 25 and 64 who are earning less than $25,000 annually. He says the programs serve as an intermediary that provide several functions, including sourcing and screening candidates for employers, skills development for workers, wraparound support services such as transportation, and employment and placement services.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Hanson said the report outlined benefits and challenges.

"The two things that stand out in terms of the outcomes of the programs (include) job placement rates. Every program has a job placement rate above 80 percent and some had job placement rates above 90 percent," said Hanson. "The second piece is that the earnings increases were sometimes two-to-four-fold. In many cases, we had folks who were working part-time and then were able to move to a full-time position that doubled or quadrupled their earnings."

Hanson said on-ramp programs, though, face several barriers to reaching more Americans. He says the major barrier is the design of the program.

"The economics of the program, they tend to rely heavily on public and philanthropic funding, which is not typically a sustainable funding source so they don't have a strong business case to grow the program beyond its current capacity based on those limited funding schemes," said Hanson. "Another major barrier is that the employer partners in many cases perceive participating within the on-ramp program and bringing on the employee as goodwill rather than good business. So, they typically are run through an employer's corporate social responsibility department rather than a typical HR department or traditional hiring mechanism."

He adds many of the on-ramp programs don't measure their return on investment well, which makes it difficult to sell the business case to employers. However, the report says the small number of participants in the programs creates a significant opportunity for investors, government and employers to help them grow.

“The research is clear: On-ramps are promising post-secondary learning pathways that are targeted, cost-effective and lead directly to good and better jobs," according to the report. "The challenge, however, is how to help scale these efforts and build better business cases for on-ramps? Some only reach 12 adult learners at a time, but we have millions more who need this important boost in skills. Employers, impact investors, funders, and entrepreneurs as well as policymakers and learning providers all need to take these working models and improve upon them to close the systemic skills gaps for our most vulnerable workers.”

Hanson says, while none of the programs analyzed in the report are located in Indiana, there is an enormous opportunity to develop on-ramp programs that can benefit the state's economy. You can view the full report by clicking here.

  • Perspectives

    • Owe Taxes? What Went Wrong in 2018 and How to Survive It

      The 2018 tax filing deadline came and went. Whew! But for some Americans, the tax headache has just begun. This year was the first filing under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and while some taxpayers saw larger refunds others received a rude awakening. If you’re reeling from a large tax burden, this article is for you. The Root of the Problem Remember how excited you were when you received your first paycheck—followed by dismay when you saw how much was taken out for taxes.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Photo of Gary City Hall courtesy of the City of Gary

      McDermott Details Gary Retail Desert

      The city of Gary is facing challenges as it tries to rejuvenate retail business in the city. In an interview with our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana, Aaron McDermott, president of Latitude Commercial Real Estate Services in Schererville, says the challenge is due to the perception, proximity and demographics associated with Gary. 

    • The Landing project involves redeveloping seven buildings and two parking lots into a mixed-use development.

      New Restaurant Concept Coming to The Landing

      The developers of a $34 million redevelopment project in downtown Fort Wayne have announced a new partnership. Cincinnati-based The Model Group says it is working with Cunningham Restaurant Group to bring a "new and unique" restaurant experience to The Landing.

    • Ball State Among '30 Best Online MBA Degree Programs'

      Ball State University’s Miller College of Business has been recognized as one of The 30 Best Online MBA Degree Programs by MBA Central. The website details 30 programs across the nation and praises Ball State’s program for its variety and affordability.

    • Ryan Wagoner

      Profit With a Purpose: The Rise of Social Impact Investing

      Social impact investing is a fast-growing sector driven by investors who want to use private capital to further the public good. This industry provides a unique opportunity for results-oriented social entrepreneurs to invest in businesses, funds and nonprofits with the intention of generating positive, measurable social change alongside financial return. By engaging in impact investing, investors can align their investment portfolios with their philanthropic priorities.

    • Lilly and Avidity Biosciences Announce Partnership

      Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Avidity Biosciences Inc. have announced a new partnership. The global licensing and research collaboration will work toward the discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines in immunology and other areas.