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Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grant (TAACCCT): Final evaluation report (The Greater Cincinnati Supply Chain Career Development Center (SCCDC) 2018)

Absence of conflict of interest.

Citation

The Greater Cincinnati Supply Chain Career Development Center (SCCDC). (2018). Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grant (TAACCCT): Final evaluation report. Cincinnati, OH: Author.

Highlights

  • The study’s objective was to examine the impact of The Greater Cincinnati Supply Chain Career and Development Center’s (SCCDC) Supply Chain Management and Materials Handling & Logistics programs on education outcomes.
  • The study used a nonexperimental design to compare the program completion of students enrolled in SCCDC programs to students in a matched comparison group.
  • The study found that participation in the Supply Chain Management program, one of the SCCDC programs, was associated with a significant increase in the likelihood of program completion.
  • The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors used a comparison group from different academic programs presenting a confounding factor. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the SCCDC programs; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Intervention Examined

The SCCDC’s Supply Chain Management and Materials Handling & Logistics Technologies Programs

Features of the Intervention

The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program provided $1.9 billion in grants to community colleges to improve skills and support employment in high-demand industries, notably manufacturing, health care, information technology, energy, and transportation. Through four rounds of funding, DOL awarded 256 TAACCCT grants to approximately 800 educational institutions across the United States and its territories.

Using TAACCCT funds, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College developed The Greater Cincinnati Supply Chain Career Development Center (SCCDC) project. The project recruited TAA workers, veterans, and other adult learners who reside in counties across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. In 2014, the college was awarded another TAACCCT grant to enhance its Supply Chain Management and Materials Handling & Logistics Technologies programs and train additional workers in order to meet local employer needs. The five SCCDC programs included Supply Chain Management, Forklift Essentials, Global Logistics Associate, Commercial Driver's License, and Manufacturing Skill Standards Council-Certified Logistics Associate and Certified Logistics Technician. The project enhanced several accelerated training programs by modernizing the curriculum, using technology-based learning modules, and linking programming to industry-recognized credentials. Additionally, SCCDC expanded the student services available under the Pathway to Employment Center (PTEC)—career interest and talent assessments, academic advising and tutoring, and career coaching and resources—to those enrolled in SCCDC programs.

Features of the Study

The study used a nonexperimental design to compare program completion rates of students who participated in the SCCDC programs to students who did not participate. Each SCCDC program was matched to a comparison program also offered at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, including Automotive Service Management, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 40-hr, OSHA 24-hr, and Chemical Operator. Programs were matched to a “best match” based on the similarity of program structure including department, credit/noncredit status, program size, and program duration. Next, the authors matched students enrolled in SCCDC programs to similar students in “best match” programs using propensity scores developed from demographic variables. Study participants included 389 students in the treatment group and 705 in the comparison group. Data sources included administrative data provided by the college, data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, participant intake forms completed at baseline, and study participant follow-up surveys. The authors conducted statistical models to examine differences in the odds of program completion between the two groups overall and by SCCDC program.

Findings

Education and skills gain

  • The study found that there was no overall statistically significant relationship between being enrolled in an SCCDC program and program completion.
  • However, the study found that Supply Chain Management program participation was significantly associated with program completion. Students in the Supply Chain Management program were more than twice as likely to complete their program compared to students in the Automotive Service Management program.

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

The authors created a matched group of non-participating students to compare to students enrolled in SCCDC programs based on demographic characteristics. However, the treatment and comparison group students were enrolled in different programs. For example, students from the Forklift Essentials program were compared to that of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration program. Because the two groups were enrolled in different programs, differences in outcomes could be due to varying factors in the programs of study (such as required coursework) and not the SCCDC programs. Therefore, the study is not eligible for a moderate causal evidence rating, the highest rating available for nonexperimental designs.

Causal Evidence Rating

The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors used a comparison group from different academic programs presenting a confounding factor. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to SCCDC’s Supply Chain Management and Materials Handling & Logistics Technologies programs; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Reviewed by CLEAR

May 2020

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