• Andrea Glispie

Helping good programs get better through DFW Workforce Benchmarking Collaborative

Updated: Oct 23, 2018

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Pathways to Work, in collaboration with Communities Foundation of Texas and JP Morgan Chase, kicked off Phase Two of the DFW Workforce Benchmarking Collaborative to help community-based workforce programs make improvements to their service delivery or data collection operations.

This builds off last year’s efforts in which the client outcome data of twenty workforce programs in Dallas and Fort Worth was compared against outcomes of over 300 programs in the national workforce benchmarking data set and yielded these findings on local programs:

  • Insufficient data is available on longer-term job retention after placement, which is essential in assessing the effectiveness of services. The percentage of DFW programs able to report retention was 35% at six months (vs. 55% nationally), and 20% at 12 months (vs. 70%).

  • For the DFW programs covered in the survey, there was often less data available on participant demographics such as reading level, educational attainment, and criminal background status than in other national programs. This is information which could help programs better understand who’s being successful (and who’s not), in order to make improvements to services and target needed community partnerships.

  • There appears to be a heavier reliance by DFW programs on client self-reporting to confirm wages and job retention, versus employer confirmation, pay stubs or other means of validating that information. For example, only 15% of DFW programs reported verbally contacting employers for verification vs. 41% of programs nationally.

Thirteen organizations that participated in Phase One of the benchmarking collaborative have continued in Phase Two. They are receiving technical assistance from Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and working on continuous improvement projects like improving job retention data tracking, enhancing client recruitment strategies, and engaging in deeper working relationships with employers. Senior directors, program managers and frontline staff from these sites also come together for periodic forums to ensure lessons learned and insights from the continuous projects are widely shared. This work will wrap up in December.

Read more about Phase One of the DFW Workforce Benchmarking Collaborative here.

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