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Impact – by the numbers

Impact – by the numbers

Employment and training service providers are changing the lives of Ontarians for the better – but how do we quantify that?

The employment and training sector across this province has thousands of heart warming stories about what they do. They help single moms get off of social assistance and reclaim their independence. They help individuals with disabilities show businesses how they can improve their bottom line. They help veterans trying to re-enter the labour market. They help dislocated workers who need to re-train to keep up with changing workforce needs. They help newcomers who are struggling to find opportunity in an often unwelcoming workplace. They help youth navigate the complex pathways of school to work transitioning.

What does all this mean for Ontario’s economic footprint and labour market development? ONESTEP’s Impact – by the numbers project aims to answer this question.

Measuring ROI

Service providers are asked to report on how many individuals they interact with – e.g., served at a job fair, assisted with a resume, placed in a job, hosted at a workshop. They are also asked to report on (among other things) the degree to which the clients they served aligned with identified priority groups; the amount of referrals they received/made; and the level of employer engagement they’ve had with their agency. While understandable from a program management perspective, these indicators contribute little to our understanding of the real value of these organizations, or the return on investment they represent from a public funding perspective.

What we’re doing

21 member agencies of ONESTEP have pooled their resources to look at how non-profit, community-based organizations can quantify the economic impacts they make in their communities, and across Ontario. The project will develop a sector-specific model that quantifies:

  • the overall investment footprint of the organization (financial, capital and human)
  • monetization approaches for primary and secondary impacts of traditionally non-financial benefits
  • cost-efficiency considerations across different approaches to service delivery