Rethinking Job Search, an Oregon initiative to help people who are unemployed find work, has earned international recognition. Public Policy Associates, Inc. has been the program evaluator since 2015.
At the June conference of the International Association of Workforce Professionals, Rethinking Job Search facilitator Meredith Howell received an individual award for Innovations in Workforce Systems. Willamette Workforce Partnerships—represented by Susan Barksdale, the project’s lead—received an honorable mention award for organizations in the same category.
Rethinking Job Search is a workshop series that integrates cognitive behavioral techniques to address emotional and social consequences of long-term unemployment.
“It’s nice to see our partners get recognition for this creative, well-implemented workshop series. They are using well-established, effective principles in a completely new setting and format,” said Senior Project Manager Dr. Nancy McCrohan. “The passion and intellect that they have poured into the work is inspiring and is reflected in the positive feedback from participants.”
The project is funded by a Workforce Innovation Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and is based on pilot work conducted by the implementing regional workforce board.
Public Policy Associates’ evaluation includes three components: an implementation study, an outcomes study, and a cost study. The evaluation uses primary, secondary, qualitative, and quantitative data, and includes a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent groups design to assess the project’s success in meeting outcome goals, which include shortening the duration of unemployment benefits.