• Project on Workforce Team

Workforce Almanac Survey FAQs

If you hear from the Workforce Almanac Survey Team and are interested in participating, the following is a summary of this study to help you decide whether to be a part of it.


1. What is the Workforce Almanac?

2. What should I know about a research study?

3. Why is this research being done?

4. Why am I being invited to take part in a research study?

5. Are the questions you will ask me tailored to my organization at all?

6. How did you learn about my organization?

7. How long will the survey last, and what will I need to do?

8. How will my privacy be protected if I participate in this research? What happens to the information you collect?

9. Do I have to participate?

10. What happens if I say yes, but change my mind later?

11. Is there any way being in this study could be bad for me? Or have any benefits?

12. When will the survey results be available?

13. Who can I talk to?

14. Will I get a copy of the consent form?



1. What is the Workforce Almanac?

The Workforce Almanac is a research project that is mapping the current landscape of the Workforce Development Sector in the U.S. It includes a survey research study, which asks organizations in the Workforce Development Sector about topics not covered in public data sources, including programs' models and pedagogy, leadership and learner demographics, and outcomes measurement, among other information.

The Workforce Almanac is part of the Project on Workforce, an interdisciplinary, collaborative project between the Harvard Kennedy School's Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, the Harvard Business School Managing the Future of Work Project, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


2. What should I know about a research study?

  • Someone will explain this research study to you.

  • Whether or not you take part is up to you.

  • Your participation is entirely voluntary.

  • You can choose not to take part.

  • You can agree to take part and later change your mind.

  • Your decision or refusal to participate or withdraw at any time will not be held against you and will not affect you.

  • Your refusal to participate will not result in any consequences or loss of benefits you are otherwise entitled to receive.

  • You can ask all the questions you want before you decide.


3. Why is this research being done?

The purpose of our research is to gather a sample of detailed data from Workforce Development Organizations across the United States to understand some of the features, characteristics, and benchmarks of the sector. The data is to be used in an aggregate context analysis, as we are not concerned with an individual organization’s practices, but the whole sector’s.


4. Why am I being invited to take part in a research study?

You are being asked to participate in a research study because of your position at the Workforce Development Organization we are capturing information about in this research.


5. Are the questions you will ask me tailored to my organization at all?

No. We are asking you the exact same questions as all other participants, and these questions address topics such as your organization's general operating information, leadership demographic information, learner information, outcome measure information, research practices information, wrap-around services information, employer, industry, and educational relationships information, pedagogical practices information, focus on foundational workplace skills, focus on job-specific skills, and information about professional development opportunities for staff.


6. How did you learn about my organization?

We learned about your organization and about you via your organization's online presence, and publicly available data sources like TrainingProviderResults.org, IPEDS, IRS, and the Department of Labor.


7. How long will the survey last, and what will I need to do?

We expect this survey interview to take approximately 90 minutes to complete. Please also note that there is the possibility that we will follow up for additional information or clarification after the survey interview.

We are asking all participants the exact same questions, and these questions address topics such as an organization's general operating information, leadership demographic information, learner information, outcome measure information, research practices information, wrap-around services information, employer, industry, and educational relationships information, pedagogical practices information, focus on foundational workplace skills, focus on job-specific skills, and information about professional development opportunities for staff.


8. How will my privacy be protected if I participate in this research? What happens to the information you collect?

This survey interview will be recorded via Zoom. The video portion will be immediately deleted, and the audio file kept for transcription. Once it has been transcribed, the audio will also be deleted. Survey responses will be captured in Qualtrics, and anonymized during the analysis.


9. Do I have to participate?

Participation is completely voluntary. You can choose not to take part, and you can agree to take part and later change your mind. Please know that refusal to participate will not result in any consequences, nor will your decision be held against you.


10. What happens if I say yes, but change my mind later?

You can leave the research anytime; it will not be held against you and will not affect your role or organization. If you withdraw from the study, the data collected to the point of withdrawal will be deleted.


11. Is there any way being in this study could be bad for me? Or have any benefits?

We don’t believe there are any risks from participating in this research. There are no benefits to you from your taking part in this research. We cannot promise any benefits to others from your taking part in this research. However, possible benefits to the Workforce Development Sector in the United States include the first open access “big data” source of postsecondary training organizations in the United States and generalizable benchmarking data that organizations can use to inform their decision-making and understanding of the sector.


12. When will the survey results be available?

We will keep this website updated with more information on the release of survey results. Stay tuned!


13. Who can I talk to?

If you have questions, concerns, or complaints, or think the research has hurt you, you can contact the research team by emailing tforshaw@fas.harvard.edu or the Project on Workforce at the Harvard Kennedy School on projectonworkforce@hks.harvard.edu


The Harvard University Area Institutional Review Board ("IRB") has reviewed and approved this research. You may talk to them at (617) 496-2847 or cuhs@harvard.edu if:

• Your questions, concerns, or complaints are not being answered by the research team.

• You cannot reach the research team.

• You want to talk to someone besides the research team.

• You have questions about your rights as a research subject.

• You want to get information or provide input about this research.


14. Will I get a copy of the consent form?

Yes, if you choose to verbally sign the consent form in Qualtrics during your interview, we will then sign the form and email you a soft copy. A version of your consent form will be retained by the Harvard Project on Workforce, and you can email tforshaw@fas.harvard.edu or projectonworkforce@hks.harvard.edu should you wish to obtain it in the future.