Public Policy Associates produces high-quality, independent reports that offer analysis and insight to help clients achieve their public policy goals. Here is a sampling:
Examining Michigan's Education Workforce: How to Address the Talent Shortage Facing Michigan's Schools
This project was conducted in partnership with the Michigan Education Association, AFT Michigan, and the Middle Cities Education Association. PPA conducted a statewide listening tour with in-person and online sessions. The solution-driven summits documented educator feedback and identified both opportunities and barriers facing educators in the three areas (recruitment, retention, and diversification of the education workforce in Michigan). PPA coordinated, facilitated, and documented the feedback at the sessions. The findings from this report add depth to the issues facing educators and demonstrate the necessity of coming up with responsive approaches to help prepare and retain educators in the most needed subjects and areas in every district in Michigan.
The Michigan Education Association (MEA) contracted with Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA), to conduct an examination of an open-ended survey question from the 2019 Launch Michigan Educator Survey. Building on the statistical results from the Launch Michigan survey report, this work sampled existing qualitative comments from the educator survey. PPA reviewed responses to the open-ended survey question: “Is there any other reason you are thinking about leaving education?” This question was only asked of those who said they would leave education. The analysis included a coding process to explore the responses holistically, looking for emergent themes not already present in the closed-ended questions and reported the intensity of the themes.
Willamette Workforce Partnership (WWP) is a nonprofit corporation that invests in workforce development programs and represents the Local Workforce Board of Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties in Oregon. WWP’s Rethinking Job Search program was funded by a five-year Workforce Innovation Fund round two grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The program was an educational intervention that applied cognitive behavioral techniques to address the social consequences of long-term unemployment and enhance self-efficacy in job search activities. The program was delivered by trained facilitators interacting with job seekers earning unemployment insurance benefits, and who led them through a proprietary four-week Rethinking Job Search curriculum. The goals of Rethinking Job Search were to increase employment rates for job seekers, reduce time job seekers spend receiving unemployment insurance, and reduce costs of service provision.
Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) was contracted as a third-party evaluator for this program. PPA designed and carried out a three-pronged evaluation, with formative (implementation), summative (outcomes), and cost studies.
In 2014, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) was awarded a Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to implement the Working Families Success Network model in six American Job Centers in the commonwealth. This program, the Virginia Financial Success Network, brought together three strategies into one package: workforce and education services resulting in career advancement, income and work supports, and financial services and asset building. Through these bundled services, VCCS sought to help families increase their earnings and income, reduce their financial transaction costs, and build wealth for themselves and their communities.
PPA was competitively selected to evaluate this important effort. Our evaluation design addressed implementation, impact, and cost, and aimed to provide useful ongoing insights to VCCS and its partners, as well as state policymakers, DOL, and others.
Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) has released a case study of the Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative. The project is funded by a U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund Round Three grant awarded to the Connecticut Department of Labor and implemented by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) in partnership with manufacturing employers, community colleges, technical high schools, and other partners in its region. It is an outstanding example of an effective, demand-driven workforce program that was created in response to urgent employer need. The demand-driven, employer engagement approach used by EWIB and its education and training partners offers insights for addressing the challenges felt by many workforce boards as they strive to more effectively serve the needs of employers and job seekers.
For more information about the PPA’s work with the Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative, contact Dr. Mike Polzin at 517-485-4477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Policy Associates completed the 2017 Child Care Market Rate Study for the Office of Great Start, Michigan Department of Education. The resulting report provides insights about the child care landscape in the state, in addition to supporting an increase in child care subsidy rates across all provider types and age groups and a change to daily or weekly reimbursement.
AARP of Michigan, with the support of the AARP Foundation, partnered with Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) to assess the impact of the Flint water crisis on residents 60 years of age and older. The assessment included two listening sessions facilitated by PPA, and a telephone survey conducted by EPIC-MRA. The listening sessions were used to inform the development of the survey and identified needs relevant to senior residents. Most respondents had medical symptoms they attributed to the water crisis and felt there was a lack of response from human services, not only with seniors but the entire Flint community.
In 2015, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services commissioned Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) to conduct an analysis of juvenile crime trends in the state. The report, which provides an analysis of state and national arrest data from 2008 to 2013, was submitted to the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice to inform the state’s Comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Plan, as required in the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
Public Policy Associates spent more than three years developing a new approach to evaluation that is culturally responsive and addresses racial equity issues. The guide, Considerations for Conducting Evaluation Using a Culturally Responsive and Racial Equity Lens, provides practical insights on how to build teams and establish practices that yield greater insights and seek to ensure that programs are fair and equitable.
Public Policy Associates has produced a guidebook to help states and communities develop collaborative strategies to reduce the overrepresentation of children of color in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The publication, Addressing Racial Imbalances in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Local Communities, describes lessons learned from the experience of the Michigan Coalition for Race Equity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice and a related demonstration project in Saginaw, Michigan.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau selected Public Policy Associates, Inc. to produce a comprehensive online guide for women about the career opportunities in the emerging green economy and strategies for taking advantage of them. PPA conducted extensive research, including interviews with successful women in green careers from around the country, to produce Why Green Is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career.
Drawing on lessons from the Virginia Financial Success Network project, PPA shares insights on the implementation process and supporting ongoing improvement.
Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) was selected to evaluate Danville Community College’s Retooling America initiative, a highly innovative Integrated Machining Technology program that engages students in a real-life work flow cell experience as part of its curriculum. Funded in part by a Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Retooling America was developed with deep employer input and in response to significant employer needs for workers with advanced precision machining skills. Agreements with local technical high schools and other community colleges have enabled the development of a talent pipeline that is proving to be a key factor in attracting new manufacturers to the region, further enhancing the need for skilled workers.
PPA Affiliated Consultant Michael J. Polzin, Ed. D., has also conducted a case study on the Retooling America Initiative.