Reports on the net impacts, or “value-added,” of WIA services on employment, earnings, and other outcomes of interest using administrative data from seven states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Texas and Washington.
"This paper relies on a quasi-experimental approach to estimate the net impacts of participation in WIA. The treatment group is comprised of individuals who received core, intensive, or training services through WIA and exited from the program during a particular period of analysis. The comparison group is carefully constructed from a population of nonparticipants.... The data used for estimating program impacts are administrative program records drawn from official state WIASRD [Workforce Investment Act Standard Record] files and ES [Employment Service] records for Program Years 2000 and 2001, linked to Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records for several years prior to entry into WIA or registration with ES and up to eight quarters after program exit and to TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] records" (p.iii). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• [The study] "concludes that WIA services as currently provided in these states are effective and appear to be doing a good job of addressing WIA’s stated objectives. Moreover, the approach used to generate these estimates is likely to produce impact figures that are inherently conservative." • "On average, the study estimate that receiving any WIA services increases employment rates by about 10 percentage points and average quarterly earnings by about $800 (in 2000$). Furthermore, such services reduce participation in public assistance somewhat as well. All of these measured impacts are statistically significant." • "The impacts of receiving WIA training services as compared to individuals who were served by WIA or the ES, but did not receive training services were also positive, but generally smaller in magnitude than for the receipt of any WIA services. Adult participants receiving training or referrals to training experienced statistically significant increases in employment of about 4.4 percentage points and in average post-exit earnings among employed adults of more than $660 per quarter and for employed dislocated workers of more than $380 per quarter. Again the range of impacts across states was wide; at least one state showed significant negative impacts on earnings." • "The magnitudes of the treatment effects varied somewhat, but their significance and sign were largely consistent across states and population subgroups. The observed impact variation in part may reflect differing “bundles” of services offered by states. Some states allow local workforce boards, One-stop Centers, and service providers considerable leeway in bundling training with intensive services, whereas others do not." • "While variation in the size of the impacts was apparent, the impacts for dislocated workers seemed to be consistently larger than those for adults. And, for both adults and dislocated workers, impacts for women were greater than for men, a finding that is largely consistent with the literature on training impacts. An examination of the time trend in outcomes suggests that the positive impacts persist over the first two post-exit years" (p.v). (Abstractor: Author)