RTI International to evaluate career education and training program in Montana

HELENA, Montana — In an effort to strengthen education and career training programs, RTI International has been awarded a contract from the Great Falls College-Montana State University to evaluate the Strengthening Workforce Alignment in Montana's Manufacturing and Energy Industries project, an initiative sponsored by the Department of Labor aimed at bolstering training programs in two key industries. 

The Strengthening Workforce Alignment in Montana's Manufacturing and Energy Industries (SWAMMEI) project is designed to help veterans, displaced workers, unemployed and underemployed adults successfully complete specially designed programs in advanced manufacturing and energy technologies in Montana. The statewide project includes a consortium of 13 colleges that are creating comprehensive job training programs, many of which will be available online to help meet the needs of workers in isolated areas.

"We are excited to partner with the SWAMMEI consortium to help benefit workers and this important economic development effort," said Jay Feldman, Ph.D., education research analyst at RTI. "Our role is help the project team analyze the complex data behind the scenes and adjust strategies, when necessary, to help maximize the impact of the project on the state."  

During the four-year evaluation, RTI will collaborate with the consortium to strengthen and implement the evaluation plan, establish data collection systems, and analyze the program's progress and participant outcomes. The analyses conducted by RTI will help identify the project's impact on participants' education and career development including analysis of success in decreasing the cost of higher education and better aligning training with employer's needs.

The SWAMMEI project is under the Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program, which provides funds to community colleges to expand and improve colleges' capacity to offer career education and training programs and prepare participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations.