Publication Date


Degree Granted


Institution Granting Degree

Walden University


job relocation, dislocated workers, rural areas, communication


Business Administration, Management, and Operations


A variety of government sponsored programs provide retraining and income assistance to dislocated workers, yet it is unclear whether these initiatives are effective in providing workers the essential skills needed for new careers. Using Mezirow’s transformational learning theory, this study was designed to evaluate programs in selected counties in the states of Virginia and North Carolina. Using self-administered surveys, data were gathered from college instructors, dislocated workers, and local business owners. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and related to each research question. Results showed that instructors were effectively using adult training methods, the majority of students perceived their retraining as successful based on the academic results achieved, and local employers were willing to hire retrained workers emerging from the programs. The one area of concern was poor communication among the colleges and the employers. Having the colleges increase correspondence would help employers identify open positions and help workers connect with these companies. The positive steps taken by these programs and the recommendation for improved communications may help other programs overcome retraining obstacles, especially in remote geographic regions of the country.