Illustrative Projects

Survey of Participants in Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Program

Texas Department of Commerce (TDOC)

Methodology: Survey Research

To evaluate the effectiveness of job training programs established in Texas under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), PPRI surveyed approximately 320,000 participants over fourteen years. Along with information on the use of public assistance, a complete job history was obtained from program participants thirteen weeks after completing the training program. More complete data involving evaluation of the actual training received was collected from a smaller sample of participants. The data allow analysts to determine the overall success of the JTPA program in obtaining high-quality job placements and to monitor the effectiveness of contractors providing JTPA-sponsored training. The surveys were conducted for the Texas Department of Commerce and selected program contractors. Data also formed the basis of annual congressionally mandated state reports to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Texas Workforce Commission Customer Satisfaction Survey

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)

Methodology: Survey Research

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) contracted with PPRI to conduct federally mandated customer satisfaction surveys for all workforce programs in the state. Interviews were required to be conducted by telephone and the target completion rate had to be at least 70% of state-level workforce program participants. Failure to achieve this rate would have resulted in a loss of incentive funds for the state. PPRI successfully conducted the satisfaction survey of those recently completing job-training programs as well as employers and job seekers. In order to boost response rates, PPRI created its own Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing system (CATI) and implemented a Bad Number Response Initiative for finding hard-to-locate clients.

Evaluation of the Texas Teens Explore Entrepreneurial Minds Project (T-TEEM)

Texas Cooperative Extension Service

Methodology: Needs Assessment, Policy Analysis, Qualitative Analysis and Quantitative Analysis

The Texas Teens Explore Entrepreneurial Minds (T-TEEM) project was a partnership of Texas Cooperative Extension and the Cooperative Extension Program at Texas A&M University in Prairie View. The goals of the project were to:

  1. Build statewide extension capacity
  2. Improve the quality and quantity of community-based programs for children, youth and families at risk, and
  3. Integrate programs for children, youth and families at risk into traditional extension programming.

These goals were accomplished through projects in three Texas counties that targeted at-risk youth and assisted them to become self-sufficient members of their families and communities by learning and using entrepreneurial skills. PPRI staff served as the evaluators for this project. Evaluation was carried out through a five-tiered process that expanded upon the basic components of an empowerment evaluation. The first tier addressed community needs and assets, reviewed research literature, and fully described the program. Tier two gathered process data to demonstrate program accountability. The third tier used the evaluation data to improve the program. The fourth tier documented program effectiveness while the fifth tier provided evidence that the program had made long-term improvements in the lives of children, youth, and families at risk.