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Massachusetts one-stop career centers: Job placement for disadvantaged students

Lisa A Matrundola, Johnson & Wales University


This study investigated the services provided to students’ participating in career preparation programs (e.g., career counseling, mentoring, apprenticeships, work-based learning, or GED programs) provided by the Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers. A study conducted by the President’s Task Force for Disadvantaged Students (2003) found that students are exiting secondary school systems without the proper vocational, educational, and/or social skills to work competitively in today's society. According to this report, students are failing in secondary schools because of having a disability, dropping out of school, and not passing standardized tests. The task force recommended that students receive enhanced career counseling and training services under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in order to better prepare students for the workforce. This research incorporated a sequential mixed methods study utilizing a quantitative research design and a qualitative phase. The research included three methods of data collection: the first qualitative method involves interviews with the One-Stop Career Center staff that work with these programs. The second method was both quantitative and qualitative using the data obtained by N = 300 customer satisfaction surveys. Open-ended responses were analyzed to identify similarities among participants’ perceptions. The final measurement was quantitative by obtaining the outcome placement data from the Massachusetts One-Stop Employment Tracking System (MOSES), which is a statewide database that records all career preparation and employment services, along with placement outcomes provided by the Career Centers. Data was compared within the groups using t-tests and ANOVA to determine if there was a statistical difference among the services provided within the Career Centers. Overall, this research demonstrated that participation in career preparation services (e.g., career counseling, WBL, internships, or mentoring) offered at the career centers across the state does positively impact the placement outcomes of youth. The results from this research may contribute to existing literature on improving employment services for students. Additionally, this research assisted the One-Stop Career Centers in developing promising practice models for providing services to youth across the state. The research findings also demonstrated the benefits for the ongoing development of collaboration with the partners of the Workforce Investment Act.

Subject Area

School administration|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Matrundola, Lisa A, "Massachusetts one-stop career centers: Job placement for disadvantaged students" (2010). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3404243.