Secretaries' Innovation Group

Job Training

Medical Marijuana - July 2019

  • Medical marijuana has been used as the gateway to state recreational legalization ever since Gorge Soros was reported to have told his employees “start with medical marijuana”. It has been a spectacularly successful strategy. But leaving the strategy aside, is there any basis for the claim that for certain symptoms there are no FDA approved safe and effective alternatives to marijuana?

​         Cannabis/Cannabinoids: What the Science Tells Us
​         Dr. Jack Stein, Chief of Staff, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Lessons Learned from Medical Marijuana Legalization in Other States
​         Garth Van Meter, Vice President of Government Affairs, Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Job Corps - November 2018

  • One of the very oldest Great Society programs, Job Corps, has operated for over 60 years, but has been resistant to improving employment results.  Mathematica’s most recent study uses survey and tax data on a nationwide sample of 15,400 treatments and controls. The findings indicate the Job Corps increases educational attainment and reduces criminal activity but fails to increase earnings after an early phase-out period.  
  • DOL Secretary Acosta has embarked on a ground up overhaul and Tom Deuschle, responsible for Job Corps, will present steps DOL is taking to make fundamental changes.   

​         Job Corps 
​         Tom Deuschle, Department of Labor​

Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment  ​RESEA - November 2018

  • As members know, our SIG UI proposal would permit states to own and manage their own UI revenues.  This would allow states to better allocate revenues between benefit payments and back to work expenditures with the intent of minimizing duration and keeping employer taxes low.  Congress itself increased back to work funding through increases to RESEA, contingent upon states’ implementing increasing proportions of evidence-based programming. In this session, we will discuss the expanded program with Administrator Gay Gilbert, along with ways to increase performance consistent with guidance from DOL.

​         Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program
​         Gay Gilbert, Administrator, Unemployment Insurance, Department of Labor

Why Do Federal Job Training Programs Fail to Have Larger Impacts on Employment and Wages Than They Do? - July 2017
Using before and after outcome comparisons from job training programs can be misleading.  This presentation will review issues related to estimating the net impacts of job training programs and describe what the evidence shows are  true net impacts. This will be followed by a discussion of hypotheses and conjectures as to why impacts from most of these programs are not larger than they are.   This session will also highlight cost effective programs including mandatory job search for benefit applicants.  
On Labor Market Policy
​         Jacob Alex Klerman, Senior Fellow, Abt 

Innovation from Wyoming - November 2016

  • This twelve week intensive training and placement program in operation since 1986 boasts a 90% program completion rate with 85% of graduates placed in full time jobs at the end of program, and a 75% employment rate two years after program completion.   What makes it unusual is the structured therapeutic focus on mental health through the application of a calm and secure environment for groups of ten women who have experienced toxic stress in their personal lives.

​         Climb Wyoming
​         Ray Fleming Dinneen, Executive Director, Climb Wyoming 
​         Donna Nelson, Statewide Director of Operations, Climb Wyoming

Universal Engagement in Work - November 2016

  • Big impacts on work rates and dependency can be obtained where there is a mandatory requirement for job search and job readiness, before resorting to enrollment in more expensive or lengthier interventions such as skills training.  Utah is able to reach all its unemployment applicants and recipients in a cost effective way through the use of online tools combined with profiling for those who are more likely to need more intensive services.  

​         Effective Job Search
​         Michelle Beebe, Unemployment Insurance Director, Utah Department of Workforce Services 


From Career Academies to Apprenticeships:  Doing the Hard Work of Integrating Work and Learning to Provide Meaningful Advancement Opportunities - July 2017

  • From MDRC - - Established more than 30 years ago, Career Academies are organized as small learning communities, combining academic and technical curricula around a career theme with partnerships with local employers to provide work-based learning opportunities.  Through a combination of increased wages, hours worked, and employment stability, real earnings for young men in the Academy group increased by $3,731 (17 percent) per year — or nearly $30,000 over eight years.
  • From the President Trump’s executive order - - It shall be the policy of the Federal Government to provide more affordable pathways to secure, high paying jobs by promoting apprenticeships and effective workforce development programs, while easing the regulatory burden on such programs and reducing or eliminating taxpayer support for ineffective workforce development programs.
  • This session will explore avenues of integrating work and learning for both youth and adults.  

​         Improving Youth Labor Market Prospects: Long-Term Findings From an Evaluation of Career Academies
​         James Kemple, Research Alliance for New York City Schools, New York University

November 2014

  • Engaging men - - Bringing men back into the economy using apprenticeships as a guided pathway 

​         Expand Apprenticeship to Widen Opportunity and Promote Economic Development
​         Robert Lerman, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute & Professor of Economics, American University
Georgia Work Based Learning / Youth Apprenticeship Program
​         Dwayne Hobbs, WBL/YAP Program Manager, Georgia Department of Education

Community Colleges - August 2013

  • SIG members are major customers of community colleges through their referrals and sometimes direct purchases.  How well are they working for us?  Only 19% of associate degree candidates and 8% part-time candidates graduate in four years.  ​Time is the Enemy - - Findings from how Tennessee restructured its system to focus on short term completion in vocation specific certificates.

​         Game Changers
​         Tom Sugar, Senior Vice President, Complete College America
Certificates: An Underappreciated Credential
​         Stephen Rose, Research Professor, Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University

Conference Materials by Subject Matter

**To view power point presentations and supporting materials, click on underlined title.