By: Janice Urbanik
One of the principles that Partners for a Competitive Workforce (PCW) career pathways partnership teams try to follow is encouraging the attainment of industry-relevant, nationally portable credentials in pathway training programs. We want to ensure that participants are learning, and being certified in, skills that are important to employers and are transferable if they need to move away from our region.
But do these credentials really matter, meaning, do they help participants get a job? Earn more money? PCW’s project evaluator recently analyzed the employment history of over 3,800 pathway participants and found that the answer to these questions is YES! The study looked at the impact of associates degrees, occupational certificates (such as STNA’s, Certified Production Technicians (CPT), etc.), the National Career Readiness Certificate, and Job Readiness Training. In fact, the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), has the biggest percentage impact on employment rate vs. one quarter before enrolling in the pathway per the graph below:
PCW’s evaluator also looked at the impact of credentials on wages vs. one quarter before enrolling in their pathway program. Once again, the NCRC had the largest absolute value impact on monthly/annual earnings, per the graph below:
Further, when controlled for age, quarterly employment rates and earnings in the year prior to intake, quarter exited, gender, race/ethnicity, and criminal record status, a comparison to participants who only took job-readiness classes without earning a credential, the data indicate that the credential earners earn higher wages:
A detailed white paper will be issued shortly and will provide the details on the methodology and analyses used to generate these graphs.
If participants wonder if it is worth their time to participate in the pathway programs that allow them to earn these credentials, the impact is clear – it will enhance their chances of getting a job and earning higher wages. Isn’t that what it’s all about?