In August 2008, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) contracted with Coffey Consulting, LLC to conduct a process and outcomes evaluation of three ETA grants to TCR! awarded between January 2007 and February 2009. The stated goals of Twin Cities Rise! (TCR!), are to maintain a market-driven, outcomes-based approach that puts the needs of employers first and places emphasis on the achievement of a “gold standard” job, which is career-focused and pays a living wage. Founded in 1994, the mission of TCR! is to provide employers with skilled workers – primarily African American men in the Twin Cities area – by training underemployed and unemployed adults for skilled jobs that pay a living wage of at least $20,000 annually with benefits.
The process evaluation documented program procedures and services and identified key implementation lessons. Outcomes considered included program retention, job placement and quality. The report contains an executive summary, an overview of TCR!, a summary of grant performance and outcomes, and a discussion of findings and implications. Information for the report came from three site visits that took place between September 2009 and December 2010 and included classroom observations as well as interviews with key informants. For the analysis of participant outcomes, the research team used aggregate data from the programs funded by the original Demonstration Grant and individual records for the Continuation and Earmark Grants. Data were most complete for the Earmark Grant.