Assesses the approach that U.S. public policy makers took to address high unemployment during the great recession.
This report is based on site visits conducted from mid-2005 to mid-2006 to 41 One-Stop Career Centers and the state-level offices in the 19 states in which the centers are located.  The report, part of a longer-term project to conduct a national net-impact evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, describes the linkages that the TAA program has established with its One-Stop Career Center partners and economic development agencies.  In many states and local One-Stop Career Centers, the TAA program has developed strong and extensive linkages with Employment Services, the Unemployment Insurance program, and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Dislocated Worker program.  Evidence suggests that strong linkages with these partners, particularly with WIA, lead to service delivery that is better coordinated and can improve participants’ access to the services and supports they need to obtain suitable re-employment.  By contrast, linkages are weaker with other partners of the One-Stop delivery system, including Vocational Rehabilitation and veterans’ workforce programs, possibly because only a few TAA participants need or are eligible for the services these partners provide.  Linkages with economic development agencies are also fairly weak.  (p. 1-3) (Abstractor: Website Staff )

Major Findings & Recommendations

• In many states and local One-Stop Career Centers, the TAA program has developed strong and extensive linkages with certain workforce development programs, particularly ES, UI, and the WIA DW program. Due to both state and Federal encouragement, linkages between TAA and the WIA DW program, in particular, appear to be increasing around the country. These linkages are in evidence at the state level as well as at local One-Stop Career Centers and in state-local efforts such as Rapid Response. • These strong and—in the case of WIA—growing linkages are likely to have an important effect on the TAA program. The hope is that by better coordinating service delivery between TAA, WIA, ES, and UI, services to TAA participants will improve and participants will be able to receive all of the services and supports they need to succeed. The net impact analysis associated with the National TAA Evaluation should provide some insight into the impact of this increased coordination on participant outcomes. • Despite the evidence of strong collaboration between TAA and ES, UI, and WIA, the linkages between the TAA program and some other workforce development programs, particularly VR and veterans’ workforce services, are relatively weak. However, it may be that these weaker linkages are appropriate given that only a few TAA participants need or are eligible for the services these partners provide. • By contrast, negative implications for TAA participants are much more likely to arise from the lack of strong linkages between the TAA program and local economic development efforts, coupled with the limited usage of demand-focused practices such as EBT or clear policies requiring training in demand occupations. Without stronger linkages with economic development efforts and a clearer focus on the demand side of the labor market, the TAA program is unlikely to be as effective as it could be in assisting participants with finding long- term employment. • Fortunately, because of the growing emphasis of WIA programs on forging partnerships with employers and local economic development efforts, the TAA program may be able to simultaneously improve its connections to local employers and economic development efforts simply by developing stronger linkages with WIA DW programs. This will likely help the TAA program to be more effective in meeting the needs of TAA participants and possibly improve the program’s performance. • This paper has identified a number of important factors that contribute to the TAA program’s ability to develop strong linkages with its One-Stop partners. Beyond the extensive Federal guidance that has been issued promoting the coordination of services, these include formal administrative arrangements that bring partners together, state and local-level initiatives that strongly promote coordination, the One-Stop delivery system itself (including the co-location of partners), and a consolidated MIS that enables partners to track participants’ progress. Factors impeding stronger linkages, by contrast, include the TAA program’s limited staffing, constraints on the use of funds for non-training services, and program rules and requirements that are not aligned across the partners" (p. 25-26). (Abstractor: Author)