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Insights

Stepping Up: Interim Findings on JVS Boston’s English for Advancement Show Large Earnings Gains

Anne Roder and Mark Elliott

From the Social Finance Institute

The Social Finance Institute, Economic Mobility, Education, Results-Based Funding

Key Takeaway

This study from Economic Mobility Corporation documents significant wage gains and job retention from Massachusetts Pathways’ English for Advancement program, which engaged more than 1,000 residents in Boston, Lynn, Lowell, and Lawrence. The evaluation, which includes an ongoing randomized control trial, is the first RCT study of the earnings impacts of a workforce development program for English-language learners.

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In 2017, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Jewish Vocational Service, and Social Finance launched the Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Project, a Pay for Success initiative to help limited English speakers in Greater Boston make successful transitions to employment and higher-wage jobs.

This study from Economic Mobility Corporation documents significant wage gains and job retention from the project’s English for Advancement (EfA) program, which engaged more than 1,000 residents in Boston, Lynn, Lowell, and Lawrence. The evaluation, which includes an ongoing randomized control trial, showed that EfA demonstrates a substantial impact on earnings in the second year after project enrollment. As the first RCT study of the earnings impacts of a workforce development program for English-language learners, the EfA study findings are important for the adult education and workforce development fields.

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