Meeting the Needs of Businesses through the Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Worker…

Author(s): Dunham, Kate.

Organizational Author(s): Social Policy Research Associates and Mathematica Policy Research

Funding Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Resource Availability: Publicly available

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Describes the business services that 28 randomly selected Local Workforce Investment Areas participating in the Workforce Innovation Act Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation provided at American Job Centers, as reported by program staff in interviews during 2012 and 2013.


Businesses play a critical role in ensuring a strong economy and jobs for American workers. Thus, while the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) focused on the activities that Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) provided to job seeker customers, it also mandated that they serve businesses and allowed them to use funds from the Adult and Dislocated Worker programs to assist both growing and shrinking businesses. To enable LWIBs to customize their services to meet the needs of the businesses in their communities, the Act gave LWIBs considerable flexibility on the design and implementation of business services. WIA’s successor, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), further emphasizes the provision of business services and employer engagement. It mandates that LWIBs develop ‘effective linkages’ between employers and the workforce system and provides them with more flexibility to use their Adult and Dislocated Worker program funds for business services, such as incumbent worker training. It also requires local areas to measure their effectiveness in serving businesses.

This brief describes the types of business services provided by the 28 randomly selected Local Workforce Investment Areas (local areas) that participated in the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation. It focuses mostly on services provided to businesses funded by WIA but also discusses services provided by WIA’s partner programs at America Job Centers (AJCs, formerly One-Stop Career Centers), such as the Wagner-Peyser Employment Service (ES) and the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) programs. This brief is based on interviews with staff from WIA and its partner programs who worked directly with businesses. The interviews were conducted during visits to the 28 study local areas in 2012 and 2013” (p.1-2).

 “This issue brief is one in a series of briefs that presents findings from the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation, which is being conducted for the U.S. Department of Labor…, Employment and Training Administration…. The study examines the implementation, effectiveness, and benefits and costs of the Adult and Dislocated Worker programs using an experimental design” (p.11).

(Abstractor: Author)

Full Publication Title: Meeting the Needs of Businesses through the Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs

Major Findings & Recommendations

“The [WIA Gold Standard Evaluation] found that:
•LWIBs typically provided businesses with assistance in filling job openings, developing employer-based training, and gathering information.
•Most study LWIBs funded dedicated staff members—typically located at American Job Centers— to work directly with businesses.
•In nearly all study local areas, staff believed that extensive outreach was needed to make businesses aware of the available services and increase their engagement in the system.
•The extent of collaboration among business staff from WIA and its partners varied from no collaboration to a fully-integrated team of staff who were specialized by function, regardless of program affiliation” (p.1).

The authors conclude that “[g]iven the greater focus on businesses in WIOA, LWIBs around the country are likely to look for ways to strengthen and expand these services….Given resource limitations, the challenge for local Adult and Dislocated Worker programs will be to balance resources for job seeker services with resources for business services, so that staff can develop the strong relationships with employers that are necessary for the programs’ success” (p.10).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

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Views: 115
Publication Date: 2015
Posted: 8/11/2017 1:48 PM
Posted In: Workforce System Strategies
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