Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Appalachia Partnership Initiative?

The Appalachia Partnership Initiative (API) is a $20 million social investment program created by Chevron and local partners—the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and RAND—to address education and workforce development needs in the Greater Pittsburgh region. This region includes 27 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

The initiative aims to improve education and technical training in order to help develop a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of the energy industry and related manufacturing industries in the region. The API will achieve its goals by investing in the development of new programs and the expansion of existing work.

Why is API investing in the local workforce?

In 2012, the Allegheny Conference surveyed 37 local organizations across 10 local counties and found that they planned to make 7,000 new hires by 2020. The same study found that a shortage of skills in the local workforce, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), could prevent energy companies from filling thousands of new jobs in the region. A robust supply of workers educated and trained in STEM is important to success in the energy and other related manufacturing industries—and to a country’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.

How much will be invested in the partnership?

Chevron will commit $20 million to help address the critical business needs in the tri-state area by helping to develop a skilled workforce. But the investment goes beyond dollars: API partners and programs will work together to evaluate success; connect students, teachers, and workers to additional resources; and provide education and training that helps to meet future workforce needs and sustain the region over time.

What are the goals of the initiative and how will success be measured?

The overall goal of the initiative is to improve the economic and education environments in the region—increasing access to and the quality of STEM education and technical training—in order meet the needs of growing regional energy and manufacturing industries. API will achieve this goal through the development of new programs and supporting existing efforts. The hope is that the API will serve as a catalyst and model for other companies in the area to use, adapt, and follow.

Chevron and its partners will invest in efforts focused on

  • Increasing participation in K-12 STEM programs in the region
  • Improving middle and high school math and science proficiency scores in the area
  • Increasing the number of adult learners attaining certifications (2-year and 4-year post-secondary programs) across the tri-state area.

RAND is the evaluation partner for the API and will track and evaluate program efforts, distributing regular reports on the progress against program goals.

What is the geographic scope of the partnership?

Engagement efforts will be aimed at communities in 27 counties across southwestern Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio. Workforce needs are critical within this region, and businesses are in high demand for capable and highly skilled workers.

What is RAND's involvement?

RAND is the independent evaluation and monitoring lead for the API, providing objective evidence to help the initiative assess its progress. RAND is producing five annual, independent reports that document the region's STEM workforce, employment, and wages in energy- and advanced manufacturing-related industries as well as STEM education.

RAND is also tracking the efforts of the API-funded programs toward the initiative's strategic goals through a portfolio monitoring and evaluation system. Findings from the monitoring and evaluation of this portfolio will be available at the conclusion of the initiative. Descriptions of the programs funded by the API and their progress on key indicators will be available annually through an interactive, web-based map. The map will be featured on this website.

Experts from RAND Education and Labor and RAND Social and Economic Well-Being are conducting the evaluation and producing the reports.