Series # :
  ETAOP 2013-19
Title :
  Evaluation of the Aging Worker Initiative: Interim and Final Reports
Release Date :
  May 16, 2013
Abstract :
  These reports describe key aspects of the Aging Worker Initiative (AWI), developed by the Employment and Training Administration in response to the rising percentage of older workers in the labor force and the potential need for the workforce system to address their needs. AWI involved grants of about $1 million each, awarded competitively in the summer of 2009 to 10 local organizations in the U.S., to develop new strategies for serving workers 55 years of age and older. The projects were required to: involve employers, the workforce system, and educational providers as partners; focus on high-growth jobs; and provide data for reporting and evaluation purposes. The AWI evaluation, conducted by Social Policy Research Associates and its subcontractor, Mathematica Policy Research, began in June 2009 and involved the collection of qualitative data in two rounds of telephone reconnaissance calls and site visits and the acquisition of quantitative participant data (collected by grantees). Grantees found that participants who enrolled in occupational training were reluctant to take training longer than two or three months and were interested in getting jobs as quickly as possible to meet their financial needs. Many participants were intimidated by attending training in a community college classroom with primarily younger students and several grantees altered or adjusted the training to meet the needs and goals of participants. The AWI projects also tested enhanced case management and job readiness services such as: use of “older worker specialists” or “navigators” to help older workers access services; special workshops to rebuild self-confidence and knowledge of the current job market; and revamped job search skills training and job clubs designed for older workers. Grantees also created short-term training in introductory computer skills and workplace literacy training, as well as internships. The AWI projects served just under 4,000 older workers, 85 percent of whom were either unemployed or anticipated being unemployed. At the time that grantees provided participant data in the spring of 2012, most of the projects were still ongoing and about half of exited participants (i.e., those who had not received services for 90 days) had obtained unsubsidized employment and most were working full-time. Younger participants had better outcomes than older participants -- 63 percent of those aged 55 to 59 were employed compared to 47 percent of those 60 to 64 and 37 percent of those 65 to 69.

Publication Author(s)
Social Policy Research Associates
/ Mathematica Policy Research
  • Tyler Moazed
  • Elizabeth Laird
  • Michelle Derr
  • Kathleen Keefe
  • Deanna Khemani
Full Text Document(s)
Additional Information

Hard copy available: No