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.