Regional Collaboration to Create a High-Skilled Workforce: Evaluation of the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge Grants
To promote regional economic growth and expand high-wage employment opportunities, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) within the U.S. Department of Labor collaborated with four other Federal agencies to award grants to 30 self-identified networks of businesses, specialized suppliers, academic institutions, service providers, and academic institutions serving in particular geographic locations and industries. These networks known as “regional innovation clusters” were eligible to receive these grants through two initiatives; The Jobs Innovation and Accelerator Challenge (JIAC), which began in 2011, and the Advanced Manufacturing JIAC, which began in 2012.
In August 2013, Mathematica partnered with W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment to help the ETA understand the role of the multi-agency collaboration both at the Federal level and cluster level; cluster history; how partners within clusters work together to complement each other’s grant activities; workforce-related outcomes; key lessons learned from the initiatives; and the replicability and sustainability of the initiatives.
In this final report, the study team addresses these topics based on data from grant documents across all 30 clusters, telephone interviews with Federal agency representatives, two-day site visits to nine clusters, lists of funded and unfunded partners across the 30 clusters, and a survey of a subset of those cluster partners.