Friday, April 25, 2014

Cheap ain’t always a bargain

I had a fascinating conversation the other day with a colleague in JDC-Israel. We were talking about employment centers, specifically those for the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) population. You can read more about this subject here and also here

When we look at Haredi employment, we look at two levels:
The “inputs” – how much do we need to invest per person
The “outputs” – how much do we invest per success story.

So, for example, how effective (cost-wise) is an employment-training program? Especially in a unique society with cultural and educational challenges and horizons that shape their view differently?

When you look at the number of participants, compared to the number of graduates placed in a ‘good’ job? Or retaining that job after six months? Or promoted after two years?
Sometimes the ‘cost’ of a program isn’t what you think. 

For example: an employment center that refers thousands of people after an interview and a quick class looks like it’s “cheap” for the price. But only a small number of graduates stay employed after a year. 

But an employment center that invests in interview skills, workshops, courses, may look more “expensive” per capita. Yet in the long-term its graduates have good jobs and upgraded positions. 

That’s what success looks like.

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