A recent article in the New York Times cited San Antonio’s Project Quest job training as a remarkable success. Participants complete college degree programs and go on to secure positions in the job marketplace. This is in sharp contrast to the many retraining program that fail to produce results.
What makes Project Quest different?
“In a nine-year trial comparing a group of people who took part in Project Quest with a group who did not, the Quest graduates ended up earning $5,000 more annually.
Project Quest outsources 300 to 400 students each year with a cadre of community colleges and other schools where they can complete degrees in health care, nursing and other disciplines that are in sharp demand but lack qualified candidates. Seventy percent of these positions are in health care.
Quest staff provide coaching and support to participants in required weekly Vision, Initiative and Perseverance (V.I.P.) sessions. Students offer performance reports and receive guidance on coping with college courses and training. Quest coaches coordinate tutoring in math and English – subjects which participants find challenging.
“Project Quest provides half of the cost of tuition and also helps with rent and utilities when necessary.” Bus passes are given to students who do no have cars to attend classes. There is also financial assistance for child care.
“Typical trainees spend 18 months in the program, and as graduation nears, they are walked through mock job interviews and learn how to prepare a resume and pitch themselves to employers.”
The program is not cheap; it costs about $11,000 per student, but the results are clearly worth it.