Madison Strategies Group (operating the WorkAdvance model)

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 overview

  • Seeks to increase employment and earnings through sector-specific training and support
  • Includes intensive screening, career readiness assessment, and occupational skills training leading to a credential, job development and placement, and potential for retention and advancement
  • Targeted sectors include manufacturing, transportation, accounting, IT, logistics, and health care
Cost per Participant
$6,032 per participant

Evidence and impacts


Tulsa Community WorkAdvance is not yet in any of the major clearinghouses, but has demonstrated positive results in an independent, high-quality evaluation conducted by MDRC.

  • Increased average annual earnings by $787 within 4–8 years

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review.
  • Identify local sectors that demonstrate high current demand for middle- and entry-level jobs, along with significant opportunities for advancement. Confirm that other job training programs are not already working to fill that demand.
  • Prioritize sectors which have the potential for higher wages and better benefits – especially in the long term.
  • Engage with employers in high-demand industries regularly, including soliciting input on specific training and coursework.
  • Training should include both technical and work readiness and advancement skills. In both cases, the training should be as industry-specific as possible.
  • Set reasonable, flexible participant screening criteria to ensure enrollment expectations are fulfilled and participants reflect their communities.
  • Once participants are placed in jobs, maintain regular dialogue with employers to further improve the program and update it to meet a given sector’s changing needs.