Organizational structure, affiliations, and evaluation are issues that make a distinction between Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) programs that demonstrate sustainability and those that do not.
EWDJT programs that stand by themselves and attempt to go it alone often have an extremely difficult time. Stand-alone programs must support all activities required to train, place, and track students. Support must cover 100 percent of organizational infrastructure costs, facilities, and administrative obligations. A possible solution may be to become part of larger job training program and thereby contribute only a portion of overall costs. In this arrangement, programs share facilities, organizational infrastructure, administrative overhead, and staff. This results in classrooms and instructors that are better utilized, and job placement staff who are always active.
Affiliating with other organizations dramatically reduces the economic burden on the Brownfields portion of the overall program and provides a stronger magnet for attracting community support and financial assistance. A good analogy is adding another car to a train rather than building an entirely new railroad.
Program evaluation is ultimately a means of ensuring that the needs of both students and employers are met. The process assesses the viability of the training, as well as the degree to which the program outcomes meet the needs of the local labor market. Programmatically, evaluation enables the organization to make informed decisions regarding:
- Program development.
- Maintenance, modification, and elimination.
- Allocation of resources.
Program evaluation will also provide information regarding:
- The demand for program graduates.
- The success of program graduates.
- The direction for curriculum improvement.
- Equipment and material needs for successful program delivery.
Periodic evaluations ensure that the EWDJT program is providing quality education, enabling students to become academically relevant and socially competent. It communicates a commitment to excellence and continuous quality improvement to employers and the community.