An Evaluation of Policy Related Research on Programs for Mid-Life Career Redirection

Vol. II, Major Findings

by Anthony H. Pascal, Duran Bell, L. A. Dougharty, William L. Dunn, Velma Montoya Thompson, L. S. Olson, Linda L. Prusoff

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Surveys and evaluates the literature on domestic and foreign programs for career redirection and adult retraining sponsored by government, employers, and unions, to inform policymakers on promising features for program design and to identify additional research requirements. Although some facilities now exist to aid would-be career-changers aged 30 to 55, they are poorly integrated and do not appear to lead to very rewarding jobs. Furthermore, valid scientific evaluations of those programs are rare. The report therefore recommends conducting pilot programs to gather sound data on the target group served, program costs, and program consequences, the measures of consequences being based on comparisons with control groups. More information also is needed on the pervasiveness and effects of employer discrimination against the older worker. (See also R-1582/1.)

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