Friday, August 7, 2009

So, do low-skilled workers can improve their employability with ICT skills training?

I haven't blogged in a long time and I must admit I miss it dearly. Blogging helps me to articulate thoughts as the research process evolves and it is a great exercise to confront my own intellectual bottlenecks. I stopped blogging for reasons I can't explain and I profoundly regret it now that I am trying to articulate the findings of a research project that is as we speak in deadline crisis mode. So here I am again...

In September last year, we started a research project in Washington State working with organizations that provide ICT skills training and other employment-related services to help low-income, low-skilled, and unemployed people improve their employment opportunities in the labor market. We were interested in exploring three particular research questions:
  • Do ICT skills training improve employment opportunities for these groups?
  • Do ICT skills and use of ICT at work has an effect on wages for those employed after the training?
  • Are there any aspirational benefits that contribute to employment outcomes?
Three type of organizations participated in the study: 1) Non-governmental organizations; 2) One-stop shops which are financed with state and federal government resources; and 3) Community Colleges. In total, we had 16 organizations in 6 metropolitan areas of the State. We surveyed the trainees that participated in ICT skills training at these organizations between 2007 and 2008. We sent 5000 surveys and received 454 responses back (around 13% response rate considering those surveys returned to addressee).

In the next series of blogs I'll try to articulate the findings of the study and confront through this some of the roadblocks that are getting me stocked and my own internal intellectual struggle to move this project forward

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