The demand for skilled workers in technology is increasing faster than jobs can be filled. SPI is studying organizations providing technology education and job placement in order to identify best practices that can help fill the skills gap. Successful upskilling programs will be able to increase equitable participation in local labor markets within these in-demand fields. Evaluation of these programs can be leveraged to support social policies related to upskilling initiatives across the US.
Social Policy Institute forged a partnership with LaunchCode in 2020. The St. Louis-based nonprofit organization offers free technology education and job placement. LaunchCode’s mission is to build a skilled workforce by creating pathways for driven people seeking careers in technology. This initiative will explore the impact of LaunchCode programs, identify best practices, and assess possibilities to scale programming.
Research will focus on:
- Economic mobility: SPI will examine how much better off LaunchCode participants are after graduation in terms of employment, earnings, credentials and competencies. By comparing the economic mobility outcomes of graduates to similar individuals, we can understand the impact of LaunchCode.
- Equity in local labor markets: LaunchCode was created to teach individuals with any level of education and background new skills needed to be successful in a tech career. SPI will study demographic trends related to persistence across a variety of LaunchCode programs and suggest strategies to increase diverse program engagement and completion. Ultimately, these efforts will be able to increase equity in local labor markets.