Worker Training

Digital delivery of job training programs allows educational material to meet a worker where they are, matching their availability or need for specific content.

Domain Statement

Historically, worker training required meeting in a physical space and at a given time, and it was difficult to tailor worker training to individual circumstances. And yet the limited empirical evidence evaluating worker training programs has typically found only modest success.

We are working on a variety of research projects and collaborations to improve the opportunities for workers to smoothly transition between industries and to achieve better economic outcomes. When workers better understand which programs meet their needs, they make more informed decisions, and in turn, effective training programs are incentivized to expand and better tailor their offerings to those workers who most benefit from their services.

Project Abstracts

Read about some of the worker training research projects the lab is working on.

Examining the Social Value of Targeting Interventions in Retraining Programs

This project uses administrative data, machine learning, and causal inference methods to evaluate the effectiveness of job retraining programs in Rhode Island for different types of individuals. Understanding which segments of the population do not respond well to existing programs in turn informs the design of job retraining programs as well as which programs to recommend to different individuals.

AI & Machine Learning, Social Sciences & Behavioral Nudges

Boosting Efficacy, Efficiency, and Accountability in Government Training Programs

Lab researchers are building a tool to help participants in government-funded training programs to select the programs likely to be most effective, taking into account an individual’s circumstances and qualifications. With a broad set of collaborators, the lab is using administrative data, science, and technology, and the outcomes of previous program participants to create the tool. This project will also incentivize training programs to add value to the earning capacity of program attendees.

AI & Machine Learning, Social Sciences & Behavioral Nudges


Learn firsthand from some of the researchers and practitioners associated with the lab.

Sources of Labor Market Upheaval — and How the Workforce Can Adapt to Constant Change

Some people adapt to job loss better than others. Here, labor policies are compared across many studies to inform how the future workforce can adapt to various sources of change.

The Research Challenges of the AI Labor Market Challenges

The increasing application of artificial intelligence across the economy has the potential to dramatically transform work across sectors.

Eleanor Cooper: Launching a Digital Career from Community College

Cooper, MBA ‘17, founded Pathstream, partnering with software companies to build digital skills career programs delivered through college and university partnerships.

Shlomy Kattan: How XPRIZE Is Fighting Adult Low Literacy

Kattan, Executive Director of Adult Literacy at XPRIZE, improving access to literacy instruction for low-income and low-skilled adults through a competition.