If you work in workforce development, you know that demands for your programs are skyrocketing right now, while available funding continues to decrease. Because of new technology, new legislation, and a host of other reasons, the field is changing rapidly, making this the perfect time to evaluate your programs through a workforce development program assessment.
Keep reading to learn how to perform an effective evaluation of your programs and why it critical to do so.
Why Do We Need A Workforce Development Program Assessment
Whether you are actively seeking new donors, grants, other sources of funding, or just want to make sure your organization is operating at peak efficiency, conducting a program assessment can provide crucial information you need before implementing any changes.
Your Workforce Development Assessment
As we’ve mentioned before, no two organizations are exactly the same, and therefore you will have to spend time creating a workforce development program assessment process that is right for your program. However, we are offering some basic things you may want to think about as you design your workforce development program assessment.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – Key performance indicators should have a strong connection to your organization’s mission and goals. It may also prove helpful to choose KPIs that align with those of the grant funders from whom your organization receives or hopes to receive funding. Your KPIs are also what you will ultimately use to determine program success.
- Financials – Obviously, funders want to see organizations that are financially solvent. But looking at the numbers should go deeper than just the bottom line. During the assessment process, your organization should be able to take an accurate measurement of the price of its programs with the mindset of ultimately finding new ways to streamline those processes and continue to stretch funding farther.
- Administrative Processes – Technology itself has revolutionized how our programs are run, and yet many of the administrative burdens we face are left over from the old days of pushing paper. In order to function effectively and be able to serve the most individuals using the least amount of time and money, it is important to take an accurate measurement of the efforts invested on administrative processes. From there, many creative solutions can be found to help your organization use technology to develop leaner administrative processes.
For more thoughts on this topic, read the Upjohn Institute’s report on how to use administrative data for program evaluation. The National Conference of State Legislatures also maintains a listing of resources for workforce development organizations that may prove inspirational as you design your evaluation criteria.
Of course, a workforce development program assessment is really just a tool, and going through the process is only the first step towards a larger process of updating your organizations programs and services, as well as its processes.
However, the information garnered from the evaluation can be one of the most helpful tools in creating your plan, and utilizing that information properly can ultimately help you secure more funding and offer more and higher-quality services to your constituents, making the workforce development program assessment process well worth the time and money.
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