Jabbari to study social mobility, equity in programs


Jason Jabbari, a research assistant professor with the Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University in St. Louis, received a two-year $325,373 grant from the Smith Richardson Foundation for research titled “Examining social mobility and equity in certificate and apprenticeship programs,” focused on the LaunchCode program.

“Given the transformation of the labor market — especially in the wake of the pandemic — there is a need for new pathways to high-skilled employment. But research has yet to catch up,” Jabbari said. “LaunchCode has created a variety of new programs — especially for individuals that are typically underrepresented in STEM, like women and persons of color.”

By combining earnings, employment and credit data from Equifax with program data from LaunchCode’s, the team aims to understand how participating in such programs can increase social mobility and equity in STEM fields, he explained. The team also will use in-depth interviews with applicants to better understand barriers and opportunities within the programs.

The research team will include co-principal investigators Stephen Roll and Yung Chun, both research assistant professors at SPI; Michal Grinstein-Weiss, the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor at the Brown School and SPI director; and Dajanae Palmer of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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