PhD in Public Policy

Jonathan R. Payne ’15

Jonathan Payne

Career

  • Current position: Senior Program Manager, JFF
  • Position during PhD studies: Technology Integrator, Noble High School

Jonathan taught for a year at Franklin High School in Franklin, NH, was a field biologist for Normandeau Associates, then became a preservation and restoration carpenter with Preservation Timber Framing.

He became a chemistry and engineering teacher at Noble High School in Maine, where he later served as the school’s technology integrator. 

Jonathan’s current role at JFF includes curriculum creation, youth apprenticeship and educational systems designed to provide every American access to an education which has currency in the labor market.

Degrees:

  • PhD in Public Policy with a concentration in Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Southern Maine, 2015
  • MS in Teaching and Learning, Extended Teacher Education Program, University of Southern Maine, 2010
  • BS in Marine and Freshwater Biology, University of New Hampshire, 2001 

 

Dissertation

Title: A Pilot Benefit and Cost Analysis Study of Sponsors of Registered Apprenticeships in Maine

Abstract: A skills gap exists in Maine because of lack of diversity in educational opportunity offered to students. Preparation for college and career readiness has become conflated. High schools focus primarily on core academic knowledge, often forsaking the knowledge necessary to prepare for jobs that do not require college educations. College is not for everyone, and some students fail to graduate, leaving them without a credential, often in debt, and lacking any skills that would lead to meaningful employment. In countries across the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada those issues are addressed through apprenticeship, and empirical research suggests that sponsoring apprenticeship is beneficial for the apprentices, their employers, and society at large. The research also suggests, however, that cost plays a significant factor in a business’ decision to sponsor apprenticeship. To date, no benefit-cost analysis for sponsors of apprenticeship has been conducted in the United States. Therefore, this research performs a pilot benefit-cost analysis study for sponsors of Registered Apprenticeship in Maine. To do so, a mixed methodology consisting of an intake interview, accounting framework, and exit interview was conducted with eight sponsors -- three trade unions and five businesses -- of Registered Apprenticeship across southern and central Maine. This research found that six of the eight sponsors saw monetary benefits as a result of sponsoring an apprentice through Registered Apprenticeship. It is likely that all sponsors would realize a monetary benefit if the non-monetized benefits were to be monetized. That is because the research also found that sponsors see benefits to recruitment, retention, and advancement, as well as in the ability to invest in and shape the training of their employees, which factor was not monetized in this research. This study also recommends three additional areas of research that would assist policymakers and educators to better prepare the workforce. First, focus on increasing empirical research of the benefits and costs across all sectors. Second, proliferate the new empirical research of the benefits of apprenticeship and increase implementation of Registered Apprenticeships. Third, increase labor union involvement and engagement in establishing and maintaining Registered Apprenticeships.