The Impact of Co-locating American Job Centers on Community College Campuses in North Carolina

By: Michelle Van Noy | September 2015

Relationships between community colleges and the public workforce system might have an important role in promoting students’ success in the labor market and in college. In particular, the co-location of American Job Centers (AJC) on community college campuses is a particularly strong form of relationship that might benefit students. Yet little is known about the impact of co-located AJCs on students.

This study examines student outcomes at six community colleges in North Carolina that had co-located AJCs on their campuses. Exploiting the variation in the timing of the co-location, the study uses a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impact of AJC co-location on students’ credential completion, employment, and earnings. After three years, AJC co-location had a negative relationship with completion and employment and no relationship with earnings for the overall sample. Where five-year outcomes were available for a subset of students, there was no relationship between AJC co-location and completion, employment, or earnings. For students who completed a credential, the presence of a co-located AJC had no relationship to employment or earnings outcomes. This analysis does not support the notion that AJC co-location improves student outcomes; however, additional analyses are needed where more data are available to fully assess the effect of co-location.

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