See you at APPAM!

SPR is excited to share our insights at the annual meeting of the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) 2017 Fall Research Conference,  Measurement Matters: Better Data For Better Decisions, from November 2-4, 2017 in Chicago, IL. Follow @social_policy on Twitter for updates and reflections from #2017APPAM. Please join us for the following sessions: Thursday, November 2, 2017: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM Panel: Long-Term Follow-Ups of Workforce Development Programs Gold Coast (Hyatt Regency Chicago) SPR Staff: Christian Geckeler Friday, November 3, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM Continue reading →

What makes an apprenticeship an apprenticeship?

This blog post was written by Kristin Wolff of Social Policy Research Associates. In a word, quality. Last week, Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) participated in the international convening of innovators and researchers working to launch, build, and scale apprenticeship programs – INAP, the International Network on Innovative Apprenticeship. Sponsored by Urban Institute, the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship, and the Swiss Embassy, the event brought together representatives of dozens of countries to share ideas and experiences. Skills-building & Signaling Apprenticeship is the original training Continue reading →

Creating a Pipeline of Middle-Skill Workers for the New Manufacturing Economy

Recent technological changes, such as the rise of automated production, have contributed to new growth in advanced manufacturing sectors and increased demand for middle-skill workers – those who have some postsecondary technical education or related work experience but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. Employers in many areas of the U.S. have reported difficulty finding enough workers with the skills they need, especially in emerging fields such as robotics, and many have called for reforms in the education and training system to generate a stronger pipeline Continue reading →

Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM)

The Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM) initiative was designed to help unemployed adults (including TAA-certified workers) gain the skills required to fill available jobs in Michigan’s advanced manufacturing sector. The M-CAM initiative was developed by a consortium of eight community colleges in Michigan and was funded in October 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor through a Round 3 Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. The M-CAM leadership team selected Social Policy Research Associates as the third-party evaluator for the Continue reading →

Meet SPR at Meeting of the Minds

We’re excited to share our work and join the conversation at the California Workforce Association’s Meeting of the Minds: Driven by Demand on September 5-7, 2017. For more information, please check out our sessions listed below: Tuesday, Sept 5, 2017 10:00 – 11:30 Advancing Apprenticeships San Carlos 2 Moderators Vinz Koller, Director of Training and Technical Assistance Social Policy Research Associates Diane Walton, OSID Chief, ETA, Region 6, U.S. Department of Labor Presenters Suzi LeVine, Former Ambassador to Switzerland & Liechtenstein Eric LeVine, CEO, CellarTracker Continue reading →

Connecting Older Adults to Benefits Programs

This blog was written by Anne Paprocki of Social Policy Research Associates. By providing support for healthcare expenses and food, public benefits programs like the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help low-income older adults stay healthy, self-sufficient, and in their homes. But multiple studies have found that eligible older adults under-enroll in these programs due to stigma, belief that others are more deserving, the perceived burden of applying, or difficulty following complex application and eligibility processes. The National Continue reading →

Job Training for the Automation Age

This blog was written by Annelies M. Goger, Ph.D. of Social Policy Research Associates. The global economy is on the cusp of profound economic shifts stemming from the diffusion of new technologies – such as robots, self-driving vehicles, and machine learning – and the impacts they are likely to have on the US economy and the world as a whole. The oft-cited Ball State University report from 2013 found that 88% of job displacements in manufacturing in the last decade were attributable to automation (productivity Continue reading →

Evidence in Action: Connecting Workforce Innovation Fund Evaluation Results to the Implementation of WIOA

This blog was written by Hannah Betesh of Social Policy Research Associates. It originally appeared on America Forward and has been cross posted in full below: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) was one of several tiered-evidence initiatives introduced by the Obama administration—including the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund and the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) fund—all of which supported the refinement, scaling and evaluation of promising approaches to improve the social, education and economic outcomes for low-income Americans. Through three rounds of Continue reading →

Upskilling Dislocated Manufacturing Workers in Michigan

This blog was written by Heather Lewis-Charp of Social Policy Research Associates. Macomb County Michigan made national headlines after the 2016 presidential election, because the characteristics and voting choices of its electorate were perceived to have been key to the outcome of one of the most fiercely contested elections in recent memory. The results highlighted the negative influence that the shifting manufacturing economy has had on working class men in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. In many ways, Macomb County, home to General Motors, Continue reading →


Determining “what works” in social policy is at the heart of SPR’s work. Evidence—as uncovered through evaluation—is critical to improving policies and programs designed to help those most in need. To share our perspective on the importance of evidence-based policymaking and learn from others in the field, SPR recently participated in the #All4Evidence Twitter chat. Continue reading →