The Workforce Almanac
About The Almanac
Over 60% of American workers do not hold a 4-year college degree. These almost 70 million American workers without a bachelor’s degree have gained crucial skills on the job training and through bootcamps, micro-credentialing programs, community colleges, among other short-term workforce training programs.
Short-term workforce training programs have been growing in demand. Polling data finds that Americans are increasingly seeking education programs that are relevant for work and suited to their personal needs. Over the past two years, even as community college enrollment has dropped, bootcamps and online training programs are growing in size and market share. Billions in federal, state, and private philanthropic dollars support an expanding set of non-profit, for-profit, and public programs where learners gain work-relevant skills in service of job attainment.
However, system-level data about the US workforce development sector (WDS) is sparse or incomplete, program-level data is highly fragmented, and replicable drivers of program success remain ill-understood. There is no validated benchmarking information about costs, pedagogical approach, program characteristics, duration, equity, or performance outcomes across the field.
At the Almanac, we are building better, open-access, systemic data and evidence about the WDS. Our work aims to advance three key public policy goals:
To more effectively identify who is served and underserved in the WDS
To better understand the types of jobs the WDS is training for
And ultimately, to orient resource allocation towards equity, effective programs, and areas of highest need.
Through our research, we seek to advance knowledge about America’s WDS in three primary ways:
We are building an open-access novel data infrastructure that combines distinct data sources covering the WDS, including 70,000+ publicly-funded training programs.
We are designing, testing, and executing a survey instrument, which draws on a random sampling population technique to collect generalizable insights about the WDS. In interviews conducted with WD providers, we will collect information about aspects of the WDS not yet covered by existing data sources, including programs' models, pedagogy, participants served, and if/how program success is currently being tracked.
We are also disseminating our findings on the WDS in the form of practitioner-focused feedback and publications. For instance, our first white paper offers a descriptive analysis of the publicly-funded Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) eligible training programs.
We can only change what we can see, understand and interrogate. We envision our research as a public good for the workforce development ecosystem. We are offering leaders and practitioners in public, private, philanthropic, and academic organizations a new system-level opportunity to see, understand, interrogate, and ultimately orient this sector towards more equitable and effective outcomes.
David Deming | Principal Investigator
Peter Blair | Advisor
Joseph Fuller | Advisor
Robert Schwartz | Advisor
Rachel Lipson | Director
Nathalie Gazzaneo | Research Fellow
Tessa Forshaw | Doctoral Researcher
Alexis Gable | Doctoral Researcher
Arkādijs Zvaigzne | Doctoral Researcher
Jorge Encinas | Doctoral Researcher
Austin Batson | Research Assistant
Andrew Epifanio | Research Assistant
Vidisha Mehta | Research Assistant
Janellie Salcedo | Operations