Reviews 14 local Workforce Investment Board partnerships to identify factors that facilitated innovative collaborations, major challenges to collaboration; and actions the Department of Labor (Labor) has taken to support local collaborative efforts.
“The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) sought to strengthen the connection between workforce programs and employers, but GAO’s prior work has found that collaboration remains a challenge. With WIA currently awaiting reauthorization, GAO reviewed (1) factors that facilitated innovative collaborations among workforce boards, employers, and others; (2) major challenges to collaboration; and (3) actions the Department of Labor (Labor) has taken to support local collaborative efforts... The 14 local initiatives profiled in this report illustrate how workforce boards collaborated with partners to develop innovative and employer-driven services that helped address urgent local workforce needs. The variety of ways in which they helped employers meet their needs and yielded results may be testimony to the viability and potential of WIA’s vision for local partnership: critical skill needs were met, individuals obtained or upgraded their skills, and the local system of workforce programs was reinvigorated by increased employer participation. Furthermore, the common factors that facilitated these collaborations, as well as the key challenges they encountered, can be instructive for future collaborations and efforts to enhance the workforce investment system" (p. 28). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• Workforce Investment Boards and their partners focused on urgent, common needs that provided a catalyst for collaboration • Leadership was critical in spurring action and building partnerships • Leveraging resources supported collaborative efforts • Partners provided employer-responsive services to enhance collaboration • Demonstrating results helped sustain collaborations • Workforce Investment Boards overcame some challenges to address diverse employer needs and developed their own measures to track employer engagement • Some boards were challenged to develop comprehensive strategies to address diverse employer needs with wia funds • Labor has taken steps to support local collaborative efforts and address some challenges but has not made information on leveraging resources readily available quoted from the lead-ins but not consecutive so I didn't use quotes around the whole thing.