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Karen
Gardiner

Principal Associate, Social & Economic Policy

Karen Gardiner has almost 30 years of research and evaluation  experience on a wide range of programs and policies related to low-income individuals, including employment and training programs, welfare reform, and child support enforcement.  Her primary clients are the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Gardiner serves as  project director for the Evaluation of the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI), a five-year DOL project that includes an AAI grantee implementation study, apprentice outcomes study, employer return on investment study, and assessment of a demonstration to encourage employers to adopt apprenticeships.  She is principal investigator for Employment Processes as Barriers to Employment in the Low-wage Labor Market, an HHS study.

Gardiner directed Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education, an implementation and impact study for HHS of nine programs that incorporate elements of the career pathways framework. For DOL, she led the Evaluation of Round 4 of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grants (TAACCCT) program. In addition to overall project direction, her technical work on these studies includes site recruitment, evaluation design, implementation research, and dissemination of results through publications and presentations to a variety of audiences. She is also vice president of the board of directors of Jobs Have Priority, Inc, an organization whose mission is to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless seek, obtain, and retain employment and secure housing.

Expertise:

  • Welfare and low-income assistance/family support
  • Workforce development
  • Policy assessment/ analysis
  • Evaluation design and data collection (including survey design and management)

Key Projects:

Selected Publications/Presentations:

  • Gardiner, Karen, Daniel Kuehn, Elizabeth Copson, and Andrew Clarkwest. 2021. Expanding Registered Apprenticeship in the United States: Description of American Apprenticeship Initiative Grantees and Their Programs. Report prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. Abt Associates, Rockville, MD.
  • Gardiner, Karen, Karin Martinson, and Samuel Dastrup. 2021. Instituto del Progreso Latino’s Carreras en Salud Program: Three-Year Impact Report, OPRE Report 2021-97. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Gardiner, K. and R. Juras. (2019). PACE Cross-Program Implementation and Impact Study Findings, OPRE Report 2019-32, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Gardiner, K., Rolston, H., D., Fein, D. and S. Cho. Pima Community College Pathways to Healthcare Program: Implementation and Early Impact Report, OPRE Report 2017-10, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2017. 
Karen Gardiner