Identifies strategies that states and localities use to manage and supplement funding for job training programs based on a review of public and private funding sources, initiatives, and collaborations in Massachusetts, Washington, and Texas.

“This report aims to provide information to state and local workforce development entities, including local workforce development boards and training providers, to help in their funding and training decision making. State and local workforce agencies can consider their current sources and public investments in job training and determine whether they may want to augment federal job training funds with public and private dollars. Though many states and localities are already engaged in strategies that increase and leverage additional funding, this report may provide additional ideas for augmenting, leveraging, and increasing the flexibility of funding for job training programs” (p.1-2).

“[T]his report describes public expenditures for three states—Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington—and five metropolitan statistical areas…in those states—Austin, Boston, Houston,Seattle, and Worcester” (p.v).

“Using budget data and discussions with key administrators, the study illuminates the array of funding streams from multiple sources, identifies how the funding flows, and examines the varying structure of the state and local workforce systems” (p.2-3).

“This report draws on interviews with state and local public and nonprofit workforce development organizations; a brief review of existing literature and published reports; a review of federal, state, and local budget documents; the JPMorgan Chase grantee databases for 2014–17; and the latest available Workforce Investment Act Standardized Record Data…” (p.4).

“Despite the recent policy focus on strengthening and improving our nation's public workforce system, there is little recent literature examining public workforce system funding at the federal, state, and local level and even less describing how funding streams flow from the federal level to the state and from the state level to local entities and programs. To meet the training needs of workers and employers, some states and localities supplement federal funding with substantial public and private investments. Investing funds efficiently requires knowledge of how states and localities are using federal, state, and local funding sources to fund job training” (p.1).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Public Funding for Job Training at the State and Local Level: An Examination of Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington


Major Findings & Recommendations

“State and local areas need to supplement federal funding for job training with state and local funding sources because of the requirements federal funding imposes and because of the need for more funding. The three focal states supplement federal…expenditures by spending a substantial amount of state funding on workforce development.... State and local examples demonstrate six strategies that workforce entities can use for managing public funding for job training programs:” (p.3) 1.“Seeking diverse revenue sources[.] Having many sources of nonfederal revenue can give agencies the flexibility they need to help harder-to-serve participants. Private funds may be more immune to economic downturns or changes in the political environment” (p.vii). 2. “Leveraging public and private funding[.] Workforce development entities may use funding to leverage additional funding from other sources…[and] use public dollars to leverage private investments from employers, corporate philanthropy, and foundations” (p.viii). 3. “Braiding and blending funding[.] Braiding and blending funding streams increases the potential for leveraging and efficiency, and provides greater flexibility when paying for services. Braiding funding means pooling funds from different sources, but tracking spending and and reporting outcomes for each source separately….[B]lended funding…streams are combined but recipients do not need to report separate outcomes” (p.viii). 4. “Using dedicated fees to fund training[.] Dedicated fees can be a substantial source of funding for job training….[I]n Massachusetts, businesses that pay into the state’s Workforce Training Fund become eligible to apply for training grants” (p.ix). 5. “Managing funding for sector-based job training….[S]tates and localities are moving beyond traditional advisory boards and seeking other ways to engage employers” (p.ix). 6. “Collaborating and coordinating with other agencies to help fill training gaps[.] Public entities must also consider how to manage public funding across the local workforce development system, filling training gaps and reducing duplicative programs and services” (p.ix) “These three states vary significantly in how centralized or decentralized their workforce development systems are. This…impacts the locus of control for how…funds are disbursed, how easily public funds are distributed and used, and how to coordinate funding and collaborate on workforce programs” (p.3). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)