Performance Metrics for Connecting Activities

Performance Metrics

Programs in the public and nonprofit sectors are increasingly aware of the need to pay attention to measurable results as well as the overall number of people engaged in program activities. For Connecting Activities, this has been a long-term practice. Our work has built-in metrics that provide feedback on results. Some of the metrics we look at include the following:

  • Student participation: How many students are engaged in work-based learning experiences and career development experiences
  • Employer engagement: How many employers are engaged with students in work-based learning and career development
  • Quality of employer engagement: Do employers stay involved with the program year after year? Do we also bring in new employers who are interested in getting involved? Do we see a variety of involvement, with both new and long-term employer participants, from a variety of industries and career areas?
  • Employer-paid wages: Youth work experiences include a mixture of paid, unpaid and subsidized experiences. A priority for the Connecting Activities initiative is brokering employer involvement, and one of our measures is the estimated total of "qualifying wages" -- wages paid by employers to students in Connecting Activities placements.
  • School involvement: How many schools are partners in the Connecting Activities initiative? And in our broader network of partner and member schools, how many are sponsoring career development activities for their students?
  • Skill development: What are the skills that students develop through their work-based learning experiences? Using the Workplace and Career Specific skills built into the Work-Based Learning Plan we can look at the array of skills that students use in their work experiences. We analyze both the "Top 15" to look at the most common skills that students focus on, as well as some of the less common skills to see the diversity of work experiences and career areas that students explore.
  • Skill gain: Do students show skill gain during their work-based learning experiences? We look at aggregate data from the Work-Based Learning Plan to analyze skill gain between the initial baseline review and the final review at the end of the work experience.

Basic Measures - Student Participation, Employer Engagement, School Involvement

Date Range: 7-2016 to 6-2017

Measure Number
Number of Students in Connecting Activities Work-Based Learning (Job/Internship) Experiences 10,780
Number and Percent of these Students with Work-Based Learning Plans 7,493 (70%)
Number of Employers in Work-Based Learning Experiences 4,044

Variety of Employers and Work Experiences

Employer Industry Clusters Number of Work Experience Placements
Education and Child Care 1917
Retail and Services 1159
Health Care 1073
Human Services 869
Business 823
Hospitality Tourism and Recreation 762
Law Government and Public Service 580
Arts Media and Communications 329
Manufacturing Science Technology Engineering and Math 219
Environment Natural Resources and Agriculture 156
Construction and Design 134
Information Technology 89
Transportation 64

Skills Used in Work Experiences

Skill Examples (sorted by most common) Number of Work Experience Placements
Time Management 1962
Equipment Operation 670
Leadership 643
Customer Service 616
Project Management 602
Problem Solving 549
Collecting and Organizing Information 547
Teaching and instructing 462
Computer Technology 455
Interacting with Customers or Clients 420
Creativity 319
Critical Thinking 271
Understanding All Aspects of the Industry 256
Active Learning 215
Teamwork 159

Skill Gain Measures - From Work-Based Learning Plans

= Review #1 = Review #2
Attendance and Punctuality  3.79
Workplace Appearance  3.82
Accepting Direction and Constructive Criticism  3.76
Motivation and Taking Initiative  3.6
Understanding Workplace Culture, Policy and Safety  3.69
Speaking  3.63
Listening  3.76
Interacting with Co-Workers  3.77
Time Management  3.72
Equipment Operation  3.51
Leadership  3.59
Project Management  3.66
Computer Technology  3.66
Collecting and Organizing Information  3.73
Customer Service  3.48
Problem Solving  3.49
Teaching and Instructing  3.61
Interacting with Customers or Clients  3.53
Creativity  3.61
Critical Thinking  3.61
Active Learning  3.57
Understanding all Aspects of the Industry  3.23
Interacting with Children  3.44

Scale Key - Work-Based Learning Plan Rating Scale
(1) Performance Improvement Plan Needed: Is not yet demonstrating the foundation skills required for the position and needs to have a formal plan for improving skills and performance.
(2) Needs Development: Beginning to demonstrate and develop the foundation skills required for the position.
(3) Competent: Demonstrates foundation skills required for the position.
(4) Proficient: Consistently demonstrates foundation skills required for the position and shows initiative in improving own skills.
(4) Advanced: Consistently demonstrates the foundation skills required for the position and shows initiative in improving own skills and using these skills to support the work of the organization.