Describes the accountability system implemented under the Workforce Investment Act, reports findings about how 28 Local Workforce Investment Areas view the required performance measures, and discusses staff perceptions on changes to the performance measures under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

 “The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) established a system to promote performance-based accountability for the public workforce system. This system assessed the performance of the states and Local Workforce Investment Areas (local areas) charged with delivering employment-related services through the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker programs and other programs. As part of this system, the Act specified four performance measures for job seeking customers: (1) entry into unsubsidized employment, (2) employment retention, (3) earnings after six months in employment; and (4) credential attainment. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) superseded WIA but maintained, with several changes, WIA’s accountability system.

This brief describes key features of the WIA accountability system and the role of performance measures in the 28 local areas randomly selected to participate in the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation….The data are mostly drawn from the evaluation’s qualitative data collection during visits made to the local areas in 2012 and 2013 and telephone interviews in 2014” (p.1-2).

The brief first defines each of the common measures developed “to consistently assess performance across multiple workforce development programs” (p.2). It then also discusses “local area perspectives on the common measures” (p.2), “performance accountability for WIA service providers” (p.3), the “role of performance measures in service delivery,” (p.4) and “staff perceptions of WIOA changes to the accountability system” (p.4).

 “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.6).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: The Workforce Investment Act Accountability System: The Role of Performance Measures in Service Delivery