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Biography

Brandon Roberts + Associates, LLC is a public policy consulting firm focused on issues of postsecondary education, workforce and economic development. The firm has twenty plus years of experience providing evaluation, planning, program development, research as well as strategic analysis and technical assistance services to a diverse group of clients including private foundations; federal, state and local public agencies; and national intermediary organizations.  

The firm organizes its work around the overall concept that sound data and objective analyses are the essential foundations for effective findings, recommendations and actions. This includes designing and developing program initiatives, which may involve utilizing Theory of Change and Logic Model processes in order to organize, guide and monitor strategic plans and actions. It also includes designing and executing research projects as well as program evaluations, deploying both qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques.  In addition, the firm provides advice, technical assistance and workshops on performance metrics and benchmarks.    

In recent years the firm has led and been involved in several major evaluation initiatives.         

  • Evaluation of the Wisconsin Round 2 TAACCCT grant to develop manufacturing adult career pathways in 15 of 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Wisconsin Round 4 TAACCCT grant to strengthen healthcare programs to better serve adult learners. Each evaluation is a four year effort focused on providing formative feedback as well as assessing program implementation and measuring participant outcomes via propensity score modeling.  In addition, an evaluation of a special $5 million TAACCCT Round 4 grant for Advancing Career Pathway Development in Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges.   The evaluation and final report focused on the  collective actions and progress the technical colleges achieved and the factors contributing to and challenges those efforts. The projects were conducted in partnership with Equal Measure and DVP-Praxis, LTD. 
  • Designed and now execute a formative evaluation (2007-2014) of the Joyce Foundation's Shifting Gears initiative, a multi-state, multi-year systems change effort that seeks to strengthen state postsecondary, adult basic education and skills development systems so that more low-skilled adult workers gain the education, skills and credentials needed to advance and succeed in the ever changing global economy.  The evaluation activities include overall initiative and state-specific Theory of Change/Logic Model development; twice yearly, multi-site visits to each state followed by formative feedback memos to the Shifting Gears Management Team; and the publication of issue specific reports to inform the broader field of policy and practice (e.g., The Shifting Gears Approach to Systems Change, 2009). Six states participate in Shifting Gears:  Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, with each seeking to implement bridge/career pathway strategies to improve education and employment outcomes of low-skilled workers.          
  • Conducted a management evaluation (2011-2012) for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of their new national initiative to improve transitions from adult basic education to community college credit-based credentials in five states:  Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina.  The Accelerating Opportunity initiative involves other national foundations (Joyce, Kellogg, Kresge and Open Society Foundation), a national intermediary with technical assistance partners, fives states, and multiple community colleges and adult education programs.  Evaluation activities involve providing formative feedback to the leadership team on efforts to provide management and technical assistance to the states and colleges as they implement the AO initiative.

In addition, Mr. Roberts has worked recently on a number of other evaluations including the Rhode Island WIF One Stop project, Alaska TAACCCT Round 4 consortium project, and the Working Student Success Initiative involving community colleges in the states of AR, CA, VA and WA. 

Mr. Roberts has a BS in government (1975) and a MSP in urban and regional planning (1977) from Florida State University.