East Los Angeles Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Project Evaluation

Note: This WestEd project was completed in 2016.


East Los Angeles College (ELAC) is California’s third-largest public, two-year postsecondary institution and is the first community college in Southern California to offer college-credit courses that allow students to learn all facets of the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council’s industry-recognized, nationally portable credentials.

ELAC’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program will better prepare students for high-wage employment in the transportation and logistics industry. The initiative aims to accomplish this by enabling the college to improve student recruitment, retention, and program completion for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)-eligible workers, displaced workers, veterans, and the general student population, in their pursuit of degrees, certificates, and industry credentials.

The core strategy is an evidence-based student-coaching model proven to lift student retention and completion rates by 10% to 15%. By working in coordination with local employers and industry (e.g., UPS, Port of Los Angeles) the project aims to:

  • Increase attainment of certifications, certificates, diplomas, and other industry-demanded credentials
  • Introduce innovative and effective methods for curriculum development and delivery that address specific industry needs
  • Demonstrate improved employment outcomes

Using a comparison cohort design, the four-year evaluation conducted by WestEd assessed program effects on student outcomes (e.g., program completion, credentials/certificates earned, employment). WestEd collected data via student focus groups, student surveys, and key informant interviews, as well as worked with California’s Employment Development Department to access employment outcomes.

This U.S. Department of Labor-funded evaluation was completed in 2016.