Adult vocational training

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can provide assistance to unemployed workers. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program basics

  • Connects adults to demand-driven, job-specific training and career and technical education
  • May feature other support services, such as job search assistance
  • Can be administered by community colleges, nonprofits, and other intermediaries

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)


Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

Target population

Low- and moderate-income adults

Program cost


Implementation locations

Dates active


Outcomes and impact

  • Increased earnings and employment
  • Potential decrease in recidivism

Keys to successful implementation

  • Engage early and regularly with local employers and business leaders to identify high-demand industries and occupations with a strong long-term outlook; tailor program offerings accordingly.
  • Prioritize funding enrollment in programs that build towards a degree (such as community colleges), but also have natural “checkpoints” such as the potential to earn a certificate in the short term.
  • Encourage participants to consider diplomas or certificates in new industries in addition to ones in which they already have experience. Evidence indicates health programs often produce the most significant gains.
  • Provide participants with clear, evidence-backed projections of future earnings and specific career paths within their selected industry and educational program.
  • Partner with high schools, community colleges, and non-profit vocational programs to expand training in high demand industries.

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