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PE Research & Development Activities at ICI

Phase 1. Define and replicate model (2012 – 2016) 

  • Identified key model components 
  • Established PE Learning Collaborative across five state agencies 
  • Developed foundational training and TA materials to support model uptake 
  • Embedded data collection protocols for evaluation 
  • Documented adoptions strategies, challenges, and solutions 

Phase 2. Measure outcomes and fidelity (2017 – 2020)

  • Conducted impact and process evaluation of model replication 
  • Partnered with other researchers to support ongoing analysis 
  • Established foundation of evidence-base of impact on outcomes for N=4,300 jobseekers 
  • Developed and tested Fidelity of Implementation toolkit 
  • Disseminated informational and research products via 

Phase 3. Scale-up (2020 – 2023)

  • Expand and refine Learning Collaborative approach to support PE implementation 
  • Document implementation strategies and catalog solutions for operational barriers 
  • Create multiple learning objects (videos, manuals, guides) to support PE implementation 
  • Connect fidelity and VR Coach tools to facilitate evaluation of outcomes 
  • Produce Scale-Up toolkit to support PE and innovation research

PE as a Dual-Customer Model

VR Client Focused Components:

  • Adoption of the “Everybody is Ready for Something” Approach: Work experiences boost confidence, increase motivation to complete VR, and introduce employers to potential future employees. Early work experiences provide vocational evaluation information while increasing motivation for consumers.
  • Full array of work experiences: These include low and high dose strategies such as job tours, mock interviews by employers through to 6-week work experiences and internships. 
  • Focus on jobseekers with intensive pre-work needs such as those with multiple significant disabilities, criminal justice involvement, behavioral disabilities, and poor work histories.
  • Rapid Engagement in Real Life Work Settings with a reduction on “job readiness” assessments and evaluations. 

Employer Focused Components:

  • Creating a “business as customer” delivery system: Engagement with employers is characterized as a sales approach that seeks to serve the business’s current and future employment needs.
  • Employer Risk Reduction Options that include options for liability and worker’s compensation coverage for employers and sources for stipends.
  • Employer Tracking Database: An ever-expanding employer database is maintained that includes employer specifics, and their levels of availability for providing work experiences. 


PE Model Fidelity

To support ongoing research and evaluation specific to PE model adoption, the ICI has developed the PE Fidelity of Implementation (FOI) Toolkit. The PE Learning Collaborative has informed the development of this Fidelity of Implementation toolkit, through site visits, meetings, and by direct input.

PE MODEL COMPONENTS Services to jobseekers with barriers to employment Business relations Team approach for meeting dual-customers' needs Strategies to mitigate risk Array of WBL activities offered to jobseekersRapid and sustainedengagement with VR and businessesTeam members assigned to support needs of jobseeker Array of WBL activities offered to businessesRapid and sustained engagement with VR and jobseekersTeam members assigned to support needs of business Cross-functional communication processes match jobseekers needs and business/ labor market needsData collected to track unmet needs; services provided; and needs met (outcomes) for both customers VR agencyor partner provides liability insuranceand workerscompensation coverageVR agency or partnerprovides training offsetor paid wage to jobseekers ascompensation for WBLWBL focus on exposure and experience

The FOI toolkit includes 18 sub-criteria under the core model components in Figure 1 and a five-point scale to score adherence to the items. This tool was developed iteratively with input from VR agencies, researchers, consultant Dr. Dennis Moore, and federal grant project officers as part of the ICI’s NIDILRR-funded PE model replication and evaluation study. It was further field tested and refined under the 2017-2020 field-initiated PE project.

For more information about the toolkit or to view a pre-publication version, please contact

PE Presentations & Publications

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