Gabriella C. Gonzalez

Photo of Gabriella Gonzalez
Senior Social Scientist; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in sociology, Harvard University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Gabriella C. Gonzalez is a senior social scientist at the RAND Corporation and an affiliate faculty member at Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her work focuses on school-to-work transitions, workforce development, and career and technical education, employing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Gonzalez is leading RAND's monitoring and evaluation of the Appalachia Partnership Initiative; co-leading a study of a public-private partnership that aims to support the semi-skilled workforce training needs in the energy and advanced manufacturing sector in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, sponsored by the National Science Foundation; and leading the implementation analysis of a newly developed career pathway program in New Orleans, designed to improve the employment and careers of underserved populations into the energy and advanced manufacturing sector in the region, sponsored by the New Orleans mayor's Workforce Investment Office and funded by the Department of Labor.

Her work in K-12 skills analysis includes leading evaluations of a summer learning and virtual Algebra program in Baltimore City Public Schools, funded by the National Science Foundation, and a program to improve students' socio-emotional learning in Jackson Public Schools, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. She recently completed a study sponsored by the National Energy Technology Laboratory on the alignment of education and training with workforce needs in the energy sector in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Gonzalez received her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University. 

Recent Projects

  • Investigating the alignment between education, training, and employment in the energy sector in West Virginia and the Pittsburgh region
  • Evaluating ShaleNET, a partnership between a consortium of community colleges and energy industry in OH, PA, TX, and WV
  • Implementation and Evaluation of Tools for Life in Jackson Public School District in Mississippi
  • Evaluating the Military Spouse Education and Career Opportunity (SECO) programs
  • Evaluating the early progress of New Haven Public School reforms and the New Haven Promise

Selected Publications

Gonzalez, G., Doss, C., Kaufman, J., and R. Bozick, Supporting middle-skills STEM workforce development: analysis of workforce skills in demand and education institutions' curricular offerings in the oil and gas sector, RAND (RR-2899-NSF), 2019

Gonzalez, Gabriella C. Robson, Sean, Phillips, Andrea, Hunter, Gerald, and David S. Ortiz, Energy-Sector Workforce Development in West Virginia: Aligning Community College Education and Training with Needed Skills., RAND (RR-812-NETL), 2015

Gonzalez, Gabriella C., Singh, Reema, Karam, Rita, and David S. Ortiz, Energy-Sector Workforce Development in Southwestern Pennsylvania: Aligning Education and Training with Innovation and Needed Skills., RAND (RR-807-NETL), 2014

Gabriella Gonzalez, Educational Attainment of Immigrant Families: Community Context and Family Background, LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2005

Recent Media Appearances

Commentary: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


  • An engineer teaching an apprentice, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    How Work-Based Learning Can Bring Employers and Students Together

    Work-based learning experiences help college grads better prepare for work. WBL programs often serve as a workforce pipeline for companies. WBL is also successful at the K–12 level and at

    Jul 24, 2019 The RAND Blog

  • A woman inspects a manufacturing plant

    Keeping Americans on the Job in a Changing Economy

    Despite calls to bring back U.S. coal mines and factories, the real issue isn't a lack of family-sustaining jobs, it's a mismatch between workers and available jobs.

    Oct 20, 2017 U.S. News & World Report

  • High school students taking a computer class

    Getting Technical: Preparing High School Students for the Workforce America Needs

    Fields such as computers, engineering, and health care are expected to grow. Employers and policymakers have a vested interest in ensuring that America's high schoolers are ready to meet future employment needs. Access to high-quality career and technical education programs is key.

    Aug 25, 2016 The Hill

  • Workers working in a factory

    Back to Work: Middle-Skill Jobs in the STEM Economy

    The STEM economy will grow by 17 percent through 2018, with expected job vacancies totaling 2.4 million. Middle-skill STEM jobs—such as computer support specialists, web developers, and engineering technicians—are in the highest demand.

    Aug 24, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, June 18, 2014

    With Child Migrants Set to Become Students, Educators Must Prepare

    Between 70,000 and 90,000 unaccompanied children are expected to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by year's end. Lost in an intensifying debate over U.S. immigration policy is the possibility that this wave will spill from shelters to schools. To best respond to this reality, policymakers and educators should consider what research says about educating migrant children.

    Jul 14, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • multiple choice standardized test answer sheet

    Are High-Stakes Tests Counterproductive?

    If we want testing to exert beneficial effects on teaching and learning, we need to advocate for higher-quality tests and for evaluation and accountability systems that use multiple measures and do not rely exclusively on test scores, write Laura Hamilton and Gabriella C. Gonzalez.

    Apr 22, 2013 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette