Examines the Workforce Investment Act’s (WIA’s) objectives and the evidence on program performance and impact.
The Workforce Investment Act: Implementation Experiences and Evaluation Findings examines “WIA’s objectives and the evidence on program performance and impact. The chapters were originally commissioned for a meeting held with staff of the European Commission for a discussion of WIA lessons and the implications for future workforce programming in the United States as well as Europe” (p.1). The introductory chapter provides a brief overview of each of the subsequent chapters of the book: 1) understanding WIA, 2) program implementation, 3) performance management, 4) impact evaluations, and 5) future evaluation choices. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“All of the evidence on WIA program effects on employment and earnings is suggestive, rather than confirmatory. Studies that produce confirmatory evidence need experimental designs to establish participant and control groups. The suggestive findings are based on methods that are careful and clear about the limitations of the impact estimates. It is fortunate that the effects of WIA, as it is now operating some 12 years after its creation, are finally being examined in new federal studies under way using randomized designs, but it will be several years before early results are known” (p.46). (Abstractor: Author)