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Project Highlights

The mission of the California Employment Training Panel

Training Panel (ETP) is to help retain businesses and jobs in the state, increase California’s economic competitiveness, and enhance the skills of the workforce. The agency wanted to know whether it was achieving these goals and hired SPR to find out.

Our team conducted

interviews with key informants to understand how ETP is administered and surveyed nearly 700 employers participating in the program. Our quantitative analysis included an outcomes study of ETP administrative data and a quasi-experimental firm-level impact study to understand the effects of the program on company sales and employment.

Our study found that ETP

funding helped employers and labor organizations retain and motivate their workforce, establish or update internal human resources training systems, stay competitive by keeping their employees updated on the latest technologies, maintain more rigorous quality control processes, and train workers on new equipment or technology during major upgrades or expansions.

The study has broader

applications because many similar incentive programs exist at state and local levels, but the research on their effectiveness is scant and largely out-of-date.

Overall, we found compelling evidence that state-level programs that incentivize employers to train their workforce show promise for addressing employer-driven concerns about skills gaps, stimulating job creation and upward mobility, increasing competitiveness, and creating a stronger culture of lifelong learning within the workplace."
California Employment Training Panel Impact Report

Locating the greatest need.

Large and midsized ETP clients reported offering more training in all content areas than small companies. This suggests that small companies may underinvest in training, potentially due to resource constraints. Small companies may have a greater need for support with incumbent worker training compared to midsized and large companies.

Identifying positive impacts.

A quasi-experimental impact study estimated ETP-funded companies had, on average, more employees and higher revenues than a similar sample of comparison companies that were not funded by ETP. This suggests ETP funding may have improved labor productivity and competitiveness.

Raising research questions.

This research supports the hypothesis that public investments in employee training can help address market failures that result from employers underinvesting in such training. Further research on state-level employee training programs across the country and in different labor markets could investigate if the findings are generalizable across regions and communities, industries, or firm types.

Related Resource

State of California Employment Training Panel Program Assessment Report

Releated Resource

State of California Employment Training Panel Program Assessment Summary

Related Resource

California ETP Employer Issue Brief