Measuring Business Impact: A Workforce Development Practitioner's Guide

Measuring Business Impact: A Workforce Development Practitioner's Guide

Commonwealth Corporation, 2011

Toolkit Purpose 

Measuring Business Impact is a guide on sector-based workforce development programs, focusing on how to engage with businesses and measure the benefits of workforce development interventions. The guide is meant to address any knowledge gap workforce development practitioners may have in terms of engaging with businesses and measuring their programs' business impact. The guide argues that measuring business impact must move beyond telling good stories about the benefits of training to more systematic examination of the changes in worker performance that result from training and how these changes are valued by the businesses involved. In turn, this will build the capacity of workforce development practitioners, businesses, and educational institutions to more systematically align training design and business goals.

Publisher 
Boston Foundation
Intended Audience 
Workforce development practitioners with limited experience or capacity in engaging businesses in their program work. Parts of the guide may also be of use to workforce development practitioners engaged in project planning or implementation, staff of Workforce Investment Boards, career centers, training providers, educational institutions, and interested businesses, as well as independent evaluators of workforce development projects.
Career Pathways Target Population 
Program participants in workforce development projects
Based On 
Thirty-one workforce development projects in a range of industry sectors, including healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, financial services, education, skilled trades, and renewable energy, carried out under the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) Massachusetts between 2007 and 2011.
Summary of Toolkit Approach 

Measuring Business Impact defines sector-based workforce development as targeting particular industry sectors to develop an understanding of their dynamics and needs in order to craft solutions tailored to that industry. Measuring Business Impact is organized around five key steps to measure the impact of a business intervention. These are:
- Define the problem and the training solution;
- Identify business impact indicators;
- Gather the data;
- Analyze the data; and
- Share and use the results of your analysis.
Each section of the guide includes a description of each step, suggestions and tools to support the process at each step, and relevant examples from Massachusetts to demonstrate business impact measurement in practice.

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