Labour market outcome as the end success goal (i.e., employment, earnings, and retention)—often referred to as self-sufficiency (SS) outcome in the U.S., U.K., and South Korean policy context—is the starting point from which job readiness training (JRT) outcomes are defined (i.e., completion and job placement). JRT outcomes then restrict the scope of what constitutes the content of training (i.e., interviewing skills, resume development, and other behavioral strategies) that needs to be delivered in order to deliberate these success outcomes. These identified attributes then help create the bucket list for how to be job ready. However, the list is far from addressing the soft / noncognitive skills mismatch. Transforming Impossible into Possible (TIP) is an evidence-informed group work practice model in workforce development and it is the main purpose in the presentation to examine the comparative advantage of TIP against other traditional programs in the U.S. and South Korea.
Method and Results
This study uses data obtained from intervention and comparison groups in two countries—TIP (n=120) and comparison group (n=120) in the U.S. and TIP (n=320) versus control group (n=320) data from 16 sites in South Korea. Data collection took place in 2016.
This study investigates whether the intervention group performs better on key psychological capital and economic outcome variables—perceived employment barriers, employment hope, grit, executive functioning, resilience, health, economic self-sufficiency (ESS), and employment outcomes. Propensity score method is used to estimate the effect of TIP intervention by accounting for the covariates that predict receiving the treatment and control for the covariates. The pre-post difference scores for each variable were calculated to conduct a series of t-tests.
Findings indicate that TIP intervention group significantly outperformed the comparison group in all key variables (particularly in decreasing perceived barriers). In both intervention and comparison groups from each country, psychological self-sufficiency (PSS) was found to significantly affect economic self-sufficiency (PSS), mediated by grit, resilience, and executive functioning skills. The effects were significantly greater in the TIP intervention groups.
Human-centered workforce development is critical to facilitating successful job attainment for low-income individuals. Job-training programs are not only opportunities for employment, but are also avenues for economic development (Jacobs & Hawley, 2009). However, in today’s economic and political climate, there are debates as to how best to evaluate that human-centered process that leads to program effectiveness, techniques, and approaches. TIP can provide a bottom-up strategy to system change in ways to match the supply and demand side of the labor market by centering on qualities that are essential to success based on participant experience.