Effective workforce development programs can help meet the needs of participants and employers. However, the delivery of such programs requires thoughtful planning and implementation. These resources discuss how research results and accountability measures can help administrators develop effective programs. The first two resources present approaches for using existing administrative data to conduct evaluations. The third discusses the use of performance measures to assess service delivery.

Building Smarter Data for Evaluation Business Assistance Programs: A Guide for Practitioners. 2017. This resource guides program managers and agencies in using administrative and secondary data sources to conduct lower-cost impact evaluations of business technical assistance programs. It recommends that program managers “identify administrative data needed for both program service delivery and eventual impact evaluation at the beginning of a program or pilot.” The guide also outlines 18 best practices for using administrative data and other existing data for impact evaluations.


Making the Most of Workforce Data: State Collaboration with External Entities for Actionable Research. 2016. This report describes the workforce data systems in Kentucky, Minnesota, and New York. It explains that these states “have strategically collaborated with external organizations to enhance their capacity for research, data analysis and interpretation, and unbiased assessment of outcomes.” For example, “Minnesota has two data systems resulting from data sharing agreements between its Department of Education, Office of Higher Education (OHE), and Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).” The report closes with recommendations for states interested in sharing data to impact policy and practice.


The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Accountability System: The Role of Performance Measures in Service Delivery. 2015. This brief describes the WIA accountability system of the 28 Local Workforce Investment Areas randomly selected for the WIA Gold Standard Evaluation. The study finds that “local areas typically used performance measures…to hold the providers of services under the Adult and Dislocated Worker programs accountable for their performance.” The brief also discusses staff perceptions on changes to the performance measures under WIOA. In sum, staff “generally supported (1) the addition of a credential attainment measure and (2) the use of statistical modeling to develop local area performance targets.”