With the program already underway, the first step is to meet with key city partners implementing the program, Villarreal said.
There are a variety of partners who perform the initial assessment and provide services to support students entering a vocational training program. Then there are the organizations that actually dispense instruction,” Villarreal said. “We will spend time with these groups to help them define their processes and systematically gather feedback from the people who are on the front lines of implementing these processes. We want to understand if the plans are being executed as planned and if they are producing the expected results.
The UEI conducts collaborative improvement research. In this project, the UEI will work closely with program implementers to create a two-way street for the exchange of data and information. Researchers and practitioners will develop a shared theory of implementation and a shared theory of customer response for RTW’s six core function areas: Community Outreach and Marketing, Intake Services, Assessment Services, cases, training and education, and data entry.
UEI also plans to integrate some science-based improvement work with return-to-work case managers to address a shared problem-solving process and address workplace challenges.
“Based on our experience working with workforce development organizations and schools, we view Ready to Work case management as a critical function area that will disproportionately influence the overall success of the program. “, said Villarreal.
The institute will also evaluate income and employment data from the Texas Workforce Commission to determine if the program is making a difference for its participants,” Villarreal said.