How Do the Impacts of Healthcare Training Vary with Credential Length? Evidence from the Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program
This article explores how earnings impacts vary in an experimental evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) job training program. An experimental evaluation of HPOG shows that access to HPOG improved rates of completion of certificates, credentials, and degrees. The gains in education did not translate to gains in average earnings for the full sample. We found that null earnings impact for the full sample masked differences in impacts across subgroups.
Over the first two years, those who completed long-term credentials had program impacts that were about $2,000 larger per year than those who did not complete long-term credentials. Long-term credentials are college degrees or certificates that require a year or more of classes to earn. A possible explanation is that those who earned a long-term credential had different experiences in the program, including more engagement with support services, and different post-program outcomes, such as greater employment in high-wage healthcare occupations such as registered nurse.
HPOG supports education and training for adults with low incomes in the U.S. The program focuses on healthcare jobs that pay well and are expected to experience labor shortages or be in high demand. The HPOG program model offers a series of progressively-higher education and training steps that result in industry-recognized credentials (e.g., certified nursing assistantàpatient care technicianàlicensed practical nurse). When combined with support services and partnerships with local employers, the program is hypothesized to improve labor market outcomes. This model is known as the career pathways framework.