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Summaries of RCT Grants

RCT evaluation of the Per Scholas workforce training program in two expansion sites

This project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the Per Scholas workforce training program in information technology for low-income adults as delivered at scale in two expansion sites in Washington D.C. and Columbus, Ohio.

Grant Recipient: Economic Mobility Corporation

Term: 2019 –2027

Principal Investigators: Anne Roder, Ph.D., Economic Mobility Corporation

Mark Elliott, Economic Mobility Corporation

Funding: $1,427,398

Summary: This project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the Per Scholas workforce training program in information technology for low-income adults as delivered at scale in two expansion sites in Washington D.C. and Columbus, Ohio (Arnold Ventures is supporting the expansion under a separate project). In two well-conducted, independent RCTs, Per Scholas was previously found to produce earnings gains of $4,000-$5,000 annually (~30%), two to three years after random assignment. This RCT will determine whether the large impacts found in the two prior studies at Per Scholas’ original location in the Bronx can be reproduced under expanded implementation conditions in the new geographic settings.

Under this project, Economic Mobility Corporation, working in partnership with the Per Scholas team, will recruit and enroll 1,400 individuals over a 26-month period at the two expansion sites in D.C. and Columbus. At each site, 700 individuals will be randomly assigned to either a treatment group offered Per Scholas training or a control group. The study’s primary outcome will be participant earnings during the third year after random assignment, measured with state unemployment insurance records collected from Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Ohio. In addition, the study team will measure secondary outcomes regarding employment, postsecondary education, and other indicators of financial well-being. The study team will also estimate the cost of training and education in the treatment versus control group, and compare it to the earnings impacts as part of a streamlined cost-benefit analysis.

The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

Grants

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