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Case Study: Building a New Workforce Development Program

A state community college engaged us to create a new program connecting people experiencing un- and under-employment with entry-level jobs in manufacturing.  The program was developed in partnership with the state’s workforce agency, 10 manufacturing companies, and the department of engineering at the college.  


After facilitating planning sessions to ascertain goals and priorities with the college, we convened partners for a series of working meetings to create a program plan and funding pitch. After gaining design input from the essential partners and students, we produced a program design and work plan that would support students with wrap-around services while they earned college credits, a stipend for participation, and gained new skills on a pathway to higher paying jobs with industry partners.


After a successful pilot cohort, the program was expanded to serve more students and run continuously. Participants shared that their wages increased from nothing or minimum wage to $15/hour starting, and after completing the associated college classes and on-site training, 85% of participants were making more than $20/hour.  We are proud to be part of a team disrupting a cycle of structural unemployment with pipelines to high-wage jobs for adults in need of employment opportunities.

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