Other Projects


Shifting Gears and the Working Poor Families Project are two major projects currently under management by Brandon Roberts + Associates. Over the past twenty years, the firm has conducted a range of projects for numerous clients. The following provides a brief synopsis of a representative handful of projects.

Making the Futures Initiative of Wisconsin Technical Colleges
Conduct a program implementation and outcome evaluation of a consortium of 15 Wisconsin Technical Colleges' TAACCCT initiative that seeks to implement manufacturing-based career pathway programs in each college.  The programs are expected to follow the Wisconsin definition of adult career pathways developed under their Joyce Foundation funded Shifting Gears' project. The project is conducted in partnership with OMG and DVP Praxis Limited.

On-Ramps to Career Pathways Initiative for Rhode Island Department of Labor and Licenses
Conduct a program implementation and outcome evaluation of Rhode's Inland's Workforce Innovation Fund project.  The initiative seeks to transform One Stop services to better meet the needs of both participants and employers by establishing new sets of services designed to enhance access to employment and career pathways. The project is conducted in partnership with Public Policy Associates.

Accelerating Opportunity for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Conducted a managment evaluation 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.  The Accelerating Opportunity initiative involves other national foundations (Joyce, Kellog, Kresge and Open Society Foundaton), a national intermediary with technical assistance partners, eleven states, and multiple community colleges and adult education programs.

Performance Enhancement Project for U.S. Department of Labor
Technical assistance to state and local Workforce Investment Act organizations to help improve the performance outcomes of their youth and adult workforce development programs. The project was conducted at the request of the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by Public/Private Ventures. Assistance, in the form of workshops, one-on-one consultations, and program reviews were provided to more than 20 state WIA organizations and over 30 local Workforce Investment Boards.

Research and Analysis on State Career Pathway Initiatives
Identification of best policies and practices among community colleges and state systems seeking to develop career pathways for low-wage workers and educationally disadvantaged adults. The project, funded by the Ford, Hewlett, and Irvine Foundations under the auspices of the Workforce Strategy Center, resulted in a publication entitled Building a Career Pathways System as well as contributed to the development of the Ford Foundation Bridges to Opportunity Demonstration.

Assistance to Implement NGA's Pathways to Advancement Project
Provided technical assistance to the National Governors Association as part an initiative to help governors and their policy advisors examine options and develop strategies for expanding working adults' access to and completion of postsecondary education. One aspect of the assistance involved working directly with the Arkansas team to design and implement a plan to enable greater numbers of adults to earn postsecondary education credentials though the development and implementation of a statewide career pathways program

Assessment of State Workforce Policies
Assistance in the review and assessment of state workforce development policies and actions for Public/Private Ventures. One project examined states involved in early implementation of the Workforce Investment Act. The other project focused on state retention and advancement policies and resulted in the publication of States of Change: Policies to Promote Low-Wage Workers' Steady Employment and Advancement.

Evaluation of Urban Efforts to Link Economic and Workforce Development
Evaluation of a National League of Cities demonstration program that assisted five citiesDayton, Flint, Modesto, Oklahoma City, and Pasadenain developing economic and workforce development strategies that assists low-income residents to obtain living wage jobs.

Design and Development of Welfare-to-Work Program
Assistance to the State of Florida in the design and development of a demonstration project offering post-placement retention and career advancement services to welfare recipients. The project, located in Miami, was targeted to recipients recently employed in the retail and health care sectors.

Assessing the Federal Role in Subnational Economic Development
An examination of the federal role in subnational economic development. Operating as part of a team assembled by the National Academy of Public Administration, the project resulted in recommendations about the mission, strategies and organization of the federal government's role in economic development and offered concrete suggestions about particular programs and agencies. The project, supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and The Annie E. Casey Foundation, gave special consideration to the development needs of large inner-city neighborhoods.

Empowerment and Enterprise Zone Assistance
Assistance to the cities of Baltimore, Maryland as well as Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio in the development of their award-winning Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community applications. Work included advising on the development and management of a community based strategic planning process, as well as on the identification and formulation of specific development initiatives.

Evaluation of U.S. Trade Adjustment Assistance Program
An evaluation of the U.S. Trade Adjustment Assistance program conducted in partnership with The Urban Institute. The evaluation sought to determine the impact of trade adjustment assistance on firm performance and to assess whether the current delivery system is effective or could be better administered by the Manufacturing Extension Program or Small Business Development Center Program.

Evaluation of Oregon Workforce Development Programs
An evaluation of Oregon's workforce development system which included an assessment of 23 programs. The assessment examined workforce development programs focused on education reform, job training and economic development with priority attention given to school-to-work, JOBS, and targeted and key industries training programs. The project was done for the Governor's Workforce Quality Council.

Analysis of State Performance Management and Benchmarking Practices
An analysis of the performance management and benchmarking practices of states on behalf of the National Governors' Association. The project was designed to inform the Appalachian Regional Commission on useful processes for performance measurement and performance indicators for economic, workforce and community development policies and programs.

Assessment of Workforce Development Capacity in Baltimore
An assessment of employment and training policies and practices of Baltimore City and the surrounding area, particularly from the perspective of connecting inner-city residents to the greater regional economy. The analysis was designed to examine Baltimore's capacity to participate in The Annie E. Casey Foundation's national Jobs Initiative.