Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

W. Jeff Wallis

Second Supervisor

Janice Girardi

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to conduct a case study summative evaluation of a municipal agency’s employment and training program that receives federal, state, and local government funding to prepare urban youth for eventual economic self-sufficiency. This is the first summative evaluation of a local government’s after-school youth employment and training program, which was designed to address the unemployment problem in general and, specifically, the employability and soft skills gap between youth and employers. This study measured the effects of youth participation in a 6-week intervention that incorporated three distinct elements: work-based experience, job-readiness skills training, and soft skills training. To determine the effectiveness of the program, the researcher analyzed historical data from two groups, youths (n = 44) and employers (observers) (n = 20) utilizing a convergent parallel mixed-methods design. Content analysis revealed the similarities between the program’s training materials and the tools used to measure outcome data. Findings derived from the scores of the Resume Scoring Rubric, the Work Personality Profile Self- Report, and the Work Personality Profile demonstrated overall positive effects of the program on youth participants based on the perspectives of the youth and the employers. The results of this study will aid stakeholders in improving their understanding and decision making regarding future use of this particular program and for other government-funded youth employment and training programs, which are designed to increase the employability of urban youth.

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