Implementation Evidence Review of Sectoral Programs

Two women analyzing work together

Sectoral training programs are attracting substantial governmental and philanthropic investment. To make good use of this funding, we need to learn from the past and mine existing studies about effective design and implementation of these programs.

Research has revealed that relatively few sectoral training programs have significantly impacted long-term employment and earnings for participants. However, little attention has been given to understanding why some programs have succeeded where so many others have failed to reach full potential.

Review and Synthesis of the Evidence

The PROMISE Center is conducting a structured review and synthesis of the implementation evidence on sectoral programs. These analyses aim to develop a comprehensive understanding of key program features, how they might contribute to participants’ longer-term success, and how these characteristics might be adapted and implemented in diverse workforce training settings. In this study, the PROMISE Center is:

  • Reviewing studies of sectoral training programs that have demonstrated long-term effects on participants’ earnings and employment through experimental analyses (such as Per Scholas and Year Up);
  • Identifying common key features and their implementation in different settings;
  • Highlighting how these features resemble or differ from that have had little to no effect on participant employment and earnings; and
  • Identifying implementation lessons learned and promising practices.


The PROMISE Center is directly supported by the AIR Equity Initiative, AIR’s $100+ million five-year investment to advance equity in several important areas: workforce development, education, public safety and policing, and health. The AIR Equity Initiative is committed to investing in the generation and use of high-quality evidence that address the harmful effects of segregation by race and place.