Public Policy Associates, Inc., (PPA) has released the final report of the evaluation of the 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.
Retooling America was led by Danville Community College (DCC) in southern Virginia and was funded in part by a Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The initiative 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 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. Among the key results of the evaluation:
- Being responsive to employer needs is a key factor for eliciting and sustaining deep employer involvement.
- Graduates of the program are viewed positively by employers as being more productive and more capable of generating revenue than new employees that did not go through the program.
- Community colleges can play a pivotal role in rebuilding and transforming a local economy.
The final evaluation report is available for download. A case study on how Danville Community College helped to create an advanced manufacturing talent pipeline and catalyze economic development is also available.
PPA is a national leader in the evaluation of workforce development programs across the United States. You can learn more about PPA’s workforce development research on its website. For more information, contact PPA President Colleen Graber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-485-4477.