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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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DOL Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2005
Performance and Accountability Report

Strategic Goal 1: A Prepared Workforce

Enhance Opportunities for America's Workforce

America's engine of prosperity is its skilled workforce. The maintenance of our strong national economy depends, in part, on developing a steady stream of workers that are qualified job candidates possessing skills that are relevant to the needs of today's employers. The Department must ensure that every available labor pool is tapped, including job seekers with special needs such as the people with disabilities, veterans, disadvantaged youth, and those who have lost their jobs due to foreign competition. Addressing the job seekers' needs is further complicated by the changing workplace. New technologies, increased competition, and changing labor markets have prompted employers to downsize, change employment patterns, and seek alternative labor sources. Furthermore, the nature of work itself is changing, and the Department must support the need of our workforce for lifelong learning and skills upgrades.

The Department has a leadership responsibility to support the needs of the changing workforce and position the U.S. for continued economic development and growth. This aspect of our mission is captured by the first strategic goal — A Prepared Workforce. Agencies with programs supporting this goal are the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

The Department's performance in achieving this goal is determined by accomplishments organized at the outcome goal level and measured at the performance goal level. Three broad objectives — Outcome Goals 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 — support Strategic Goal 1, and they contain nine performance goals (see table below). In FY 2005, the Department achieved or substantially achieved five of its goals for A Prepared Workforce — a record that understates actual accomplishments, since most targets were reached even in goals falling into the “not achieved” category. Entered employment, retention, education and earnings change improved over prior year results in every instance, largely due to DOL's strategic integration of service delivery and targeting of services.

Outcome Goal 1.1 - Increase Employment, Earnings, and Retention
Four performance goals achieved & two not achieved

FY 05 /PY 04 Costs
(millions)

WIA Adult (04-1.1A)

Goal achieved. Four targets reached.

$922

One-Stop employment services (04-1.1B)

Goal not achieved. Two targets reached, one not reached.

725

Dislocated Workers (04-1.1C)

Goal not achieved. Three targets reached, one not reached

1455

Veterans' employment (04-1.1D)

Goal achieved. Six targets reached.

196

Apprenticeship (05-1.1A)

Goal achieved. Three targets reached.

23

Disability Employment Policy (05-1.1B)

Goal achieved. Five targets reached.

52

Other14 (Community Service Employment for Older Americans, Native American Adult, National Farmworker, and Work Incentive Grants programs, etc.)

503

Outcome Goal 1.2 — Increase Opportunities for Youth Employment
Two performance goals not achieved

WIA Youth (04-1.2A)

Goal not achieved. Three targets reached, one not reached.

$987

Job Corps (04-1.2B)

Goal not achieved. Two targets reached, one substantially reached, and one not reached.

1313

Other (Youth Offender Reintegration, Native American Youth, etc.)

155

Outcome Goal 1.3 — Improve the Effectiveness of Information and Analysis On The U.S. Economy
One performance goal substantially achieved

Bureau of Labor Statistics (05-1.3A)

Goal substantially achieved. Six targets reached, one substantially reached, and one not reached.

$536

The following charts illustrate DOL's strategic goal net costs in FY 2005, with A Prepared Workforce shares set apart. The first allocates total Departmental costs of $49.912 billion; the second allocates an adjusted net cost of $12.222 billion that excludes major non-discretionary items associated with Strategic Goal 2.15 Net costs of this goal in FY 2004 were $8.654 billion.

 

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percent of net cost graph excluding income maintenance

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The outcome goals and programs listed above, along with their results, costs, and future challenges are discussed in more detail on the following pages.

14These programs report against goals that are included in the annual budget, but not the Performance and Accountability Report.
15The excluded costs are referred to as Income Maintenance — unemployment benefit payments to individuals who are laid off or out of work and seeking employment ($31.488 billion) plus disability benefit payments to individuals who suffered injury or illness on the job ($5.936 billion).


Outcome Goal 1.1 — Increase Employment, Earnings, and Retention

The Department assists workers and employers with valuable information and specific training to help them take full advantage of the constantly changing demands and resources in the labor market. Central to this effort is a nationwide network of approximately 2000 One-Stop Career Centers which assist communities to match adults to work and skill enhancement opportunities. This comprehensive workforce investment system also helps businesses meet their ongoing recruitment and human services needs. Through a national business services model, the Department helps national employers understand and use the full resources of the One-Stop system to better access trained workers. For individuals with disabilities, the One-Stop Centers have improved access to their facilities and services by installing assistive technologies. DOL is also making a special effort to help our nation's military service members adjust to and re-enter the civilian workforce by providing priority services at all One-Stop Centers pursuant to the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002.

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), with support from the Women's Bureau and the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, operate a number of programs and projects that provide information, assistance, skill-building opportunities, and effective strategies for providing the programs and services that lead to increased employment and earnings. In the first column of the table below are the numbers, agencies, reporting periods16, goal statements, achievement, and a summary of results at the performance indicator level for DOL performance goals associated with this outcome goal.

Disappointing results were confined to efficiency measures (cost per participant), which were new this year. Targets that were established without reliable trend data proved overly ambitious.

Performance for most of DOL's employment and training programs is measured by entered employment — the percentage of participants who obtain jobs subsequent to receipt of services — and by retention — the percentage of those who obtained jobs who are still employed six months later. Earnings are important, too; no chart is provided because the two programs that have data used different indicators. This will be resolved over time as Federal job training program common measures are implemented. Baseline efficiency data exist for a few programs but offer little useful information at this point.

These charts show, for each program in this outcome goal that tracks employment and retention rates, the result for the previous year, the target for the reporting period and the result. There are significant differences in entry and retention rates between programs; this can be explained by the types of services offered and the populations they serve. Increases across the board are partially attributable to improving overall economic growth and employment. Key DOL contributions were facilitating more integrated service delivery by State Workforce Agency partners and encouraging them to focus on high growth occupations and industries in placement and training services. The only surprise in employment and retention results was a pleasant one. Outcomes for job seekers using One-Stop employment services exceeded expectations for the second consecutive year. Accordingly, PY 2005 targets for employment and retention rates are being raised by several percentage points.

DOL also played a crucial role in our Nation's response to Hurricane Katrina. Within days of Katrina's landfall, DOL awarded up to $191 million to affected States, including those States hosting evacuees. The funds, from the National Emergency Grant program, helped to create temporary jobs. These jobs put displaced people to work performing crucial jobs, such as providing shelter, food, and clothing, and performing clean-up and restoration work. These jobs also provide short-term training for vocational skills, which create new career pathways to help evacuees return to jobs in their community or where they choose to settle.

 

Goal (Agency) and Statement

Performance Summary

FY 05/PY 04 Costs
(millions)

04-1.1A (ETA)

Increase the employment, retention, and earnings of individuals registered under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult program.

Goal achieved. Four targets reached.

$922

04-1.1B (ETA)

Improve outcomes for job seekers and employers who receive One-Stop employment and workforce information services.

Goal not achieved. Two targets reached, one not reached.

725

04-1.1C (ETA)

Increase the employment, retention, and earnings replacement of individuals registered under the WIA Dislocated Worker program.

Goal not achieved. Three targets reached, one not reached.

1455

04-1.1D (VETS)

Improve employment outcomes for veterans who receive One-Stop and homeless veterans' services.

Goal achieved. All six targets were reached.

196

05-1.1A (ETA)

Strengthen the registered apprenticeship system to meet the training needs of business and workers in the 21st Century.

Goal achieved. All three targets were reached.

23

05-1.1B (ODEP)

Provide national leadership to increase access and employment opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities receiving employment, training, and employment support services by developing testing, and disseminating effective practices.

Goal achieved. Five targets reached.

52

Other (Community Service Employment for Older Americans, Native American Adult, National Farmworker, and Work Incentive Grants programs, etc.)

503

Results Summary
Of the six performance goals listed, DOL achieved four and did not achieve two. As illustrated, primary outcomes of participant employment and retention improved over the prior year for every program. Results were also positive for the two programs with targets for increasing participants' earnings — WIA Adults and Dislocated Workers.

Coletta lost all her belongings and her job due to Hurricane Katrina. A hurricane survivor from New Orleans, Coletta attended a job fair sponsored by the North Central Texas WorkForce Board (NCTWFB) and found a position with The Reel Thing, a catfish restaurant. She began work immediately and expressed her appreciation to the entire community for other support, including shelter, clothes, and hot meals. The job fair, held at space donated by the Comfort Suites in McKinney, featured more than 16 employers. “Our goal is to provide each person arriving in our area with an opportunity to work. Texas, and especially the North Central Texas area, is eager to aid those surviving Hurricane Katrina and help them get back on their feet. We do not plan to stop with this one job fair. We will continue to work tirelessly toward our goal,” said Linda Davis, executive director of the NCTWFB.
Caption above
Photo credit: Workforce Commission and North Central Texas WorkForce Board

Disappointing results were confined to efficiency measures (cost per participant), which were new this year. Targets that were established without reliable trend data proved overly ambitious.

Performance for most of DOL's employment and training programs is measured by entered employment — the percentage of participants who obtain jobs subsequent to receipt of services — and by retention — the percentage of those who obtained jobs who are still employed six months later. Earnings are important, too; no chart is provided because the two programs that have data used different indicators. This will be resolved over time as Federal job training program common measures are implemented. Baseline efficiency data exist for a few programs but offer little useful information at this point.

These charts show, for each program in this outcome goal that tracks employment and retention rates, the result for the previous year, the target for the reporting period and the result. There are significant differences in entry and retention rates between programs; this can be explained by the types of services offered and the populations they serve. Increases across the board are partially attributable to improving overall economic growth and employment. Key DOL contributions were facilitating more integrated service delivery by State Workforce Agency partners and encouraging them to focus on high growth occupations and industries in placement and training services. The only surprise in employment and retention results was a pleasant one. Outcomes for job seekers using One-Stop employment services exceeded expectations for the second consecutive year. Accordingly, PY 2005 targets for employment and retention rates are being raised by several percentage points.

DOL also played a crucial role in our Nation's response to Hurricane Katrina, Within days of Katrina's landfall, DOL awarded up to $191 million to affected States, including those States hosting evacuees. The funds, from theNational Emergency Grant program, helped to create temporary jobs. These jobs put displaced people to work performing crucial jobs, such as providing shelter, food, and clothing, and performing clean-up and restoration worThese jobs also provide short-term training for vocational skills, which create new career pathways to help evacuees return to jobs in their community or where they choose to settle.

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retention in employment graph

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16Those indicating a Program Year (PY) are reporting on the period from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005 due to the forward funding mechanism of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998.


Net Cost of Programs
FY 2005 program costs of $3.874 billion supported Employment and Training Administration programs to provide employment and training for adults through formula grants to States, registered apprenticeship, and employment services; programs for dislocated workers; Veterans' Employment and Training Service assistance to veterans; Office of Disability Employment Policy efforts to develop, evaluate, and disseminate strategies to improve employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities; Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives contracting outreach; and Women's Bureau efforts to increase job opportunities for women.

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Future Challenges
To continuously improve outcomes for WIA participants, the Department is focusing on integrated service delivery and new approaches to workforce investment designed to ensure workers have the right skills to get and retain good jobs with good wages. Separate funding streams for the Wagner-Peyser Act funded employment services and the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker programs continue to present challenges to program performance as services are duplicated and additional funds are spent on administrative support. With WIA Reauthorization, DOL proposes to combine these funding streams with WIA Youth into one consolidated program.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed a study in FY 2005 that found room for improvement in access to One-Stops for persons with disabilities. DOL, in collaboration with the Rehabilitative Services Administration and the Social Security Administration, is developing a strategic plan to address the matter.

The voluntary nature of the Apprenticeship program's relationships with employers and State Workforce Agencies makes it difficult to capture information consistent with the Federal job training program common measures. To encourage States' cooperation, Apprenticeship has been expanding its Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) electronic registration project.


Increase Employment, Retention, and Earnings for Qualified Adults
Performance Goal 04-1.1A (ETA) — PY 2004

Increase the employment, retention, and earnings of individuals registered under the Workforce Investment Act Adult program.

Indicators, Targets and Results

PY 2003
Result

PY 2004
Target

PY 2004
Result

Target Reached*

Percent of participants employed in first quarter after program exit

74%

75%

77%

Y

Percent of those employed in the first quarter after program exit still employed in the third quarter after program exit

85%

85%

86%

Y

Average earnings change for those who are employed in the first quarter after program exit and still employed in the third quarter after program exit

$3,260

$3,300

$3,746

Y

Average cost per participant

N/A

$2,192

$2,153**

Y

PY 2004 Costs

$922 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)
** Estimated based on quarterly reports

Goal Achieved

As a single father, Kenneth had experienced a great deal of adversity in his life. While incarcerated due to his dependence on drugs and alcohol, Kenneth realized he needed to find a better path. With encouragement from family, friends and his parole officer, Kenneth obtained a job at a local restaurant earning $12,000 a year after his release from prison. While he remained drug-free for three years, Kenneth looked for employment that provided a more stable and higher income. He visited Ozark Action, Inc. in Missouri, and enrolled in the WIA Adult program. Kenneth completed his C-1 Truck Driver training with the assistance of the program and began driving for the trucking company. He bought his own truck and currently makes nearly $40,000 per year! He is clearly traveling down a far brighter path.
Caption above
Photo credit: Kenneth Duncan & Michael Kelley

Program Perspective
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult program is designed to help adult workers (employed and unemployed) acquire the skills and jobs they need to compete in a global economy. WIA Adult program funds are provided by formula to States and local communities that operate statewide networks of One-Stop Career Centers. The Centers provide a continuum of seamlessly-integrated services (including services under the Wagner-Peyser Act and the WIA Dislocated Worker program) which offer comprehensive assistance to workers and employers. States also use the WIA Adult program to leverage additional, non-Federal resources to increase the quality and variety of assistance.

The Department uses four indicators to evaluate the success and cost effectiveness of WIA employment and training services for adults: entered employment, retention, earnings change, and cost per participant. A high entered employment rate indicates that participants have improved financial security. A high retention rate indicates stability of participants' new positions. Higher earnings change reflects effective assistance, especially of training services. The cost per participant gauges program efficiency. Successful leveraging of non-Federal funds can lower the cost per participant by allowing the program to increase the number of people served.

National labor market conditions strongly influence the WIA Adult program outcomes. In recent years, during recovery from the economic downturn of 2000 and 2001, the program outcomes continuously improved as the unemployment rate decreased. Throughout this period, DOL continued to improve its integrated One-Stop delivery system and raise its performance standards accordingly. Over the past four years, targets for entered employment and retention increased a total of six and seven percentage points respectively. DOL adjusted the earnings change target to more accurately reflect current economic conditions.

Analysis and Future Plans
The Department achieved its performance goal for the WIA Adult program. The entered employment rate, employment retention rate and earnings change results exceeded targets, and efficiency was only slightly off the target. As illustrated below, performance is trending upward for all three outcome indicators. Entered employment and retention have remained above the targets, while earnings increase rose significantly from $3,260 in Program Year (PY) 2003 to $3,746 in PY 2004. This is the first year for which efficiency data have been reported.

The broad economic indicators were positive over the past twelve months and provided a boost to the performance outcomes for the Adult program. During this period, the economy added about 2.2 million jobs, unemployment fell from 5.4 percent to 4.9 percent; and interest rates remained low. Productivity was up and average weekly earnings increased by 2.7 percent as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To continuously improve outcomes for WIA participants, the Department is focusing on integrated service delivery and new approaches to workforce investment designed to ensure workers have the right skills to get and retain good jobs with good wages. Key strategies include: 1) Strengthening strategic partnerships with the business and education communities to develop workforce solutions that are responsive to State and local economies and that that relate specifically to high demand occupations and industries; 2) Assuring that every individual, including individuals with disabilities, veterans, new Americans, older workers and others have access to the full array of integrated services through the One-Stop delivery system; and 3) Leveraging a wide array of non-WIA resources to maximize the impact of WIA investments and to train more workers with the skills they need to be successful.

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Management Issues
As part of an on-going response to concerns raised by the Office of Inspector General regarding accuracy of data reported by States for WIA performance, in PY 2004 DOL developed and implemented a data validation methodology for WIA programs. State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) used handbooks, user guides, and software (developed by DOL) to validate outcomes reported in PY 2003 and PY 2004. In PY 2005, SWAs will implement common performance measures (for Federal job training programs). DOL will revise the data validation materials and software to support accurate and reliable data reporting.

Separate funding streams for the Wagner-Peyser Act funded employment services and the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker programs continue to present challenges to program performance, as services are duplicated and additional funds are spent on administrative support. DOL took steps to consolidate the reporting on all programs and is conducting a feasibility study in several State agencies. With WIA Reauthorization, DOL proposes to combine these funding streams together with WIA Youth funding into one consolidated program.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its report in December 2004, Labor Has Taken Several Actions to Facilitate Access to One-Stops for Persons with Disabilities, but These Efforts May Not Be Sufficient (Study 2 in Appendix 2). DOL instituted a workgroup — including the Rehabilitative Services Administration and Social Security Administration, as well as DOL's Civil Rights Center, Office of Disability Employment Policy and Veterans' Employment and Training Service — that has met consistently since January 2005. In collaboration with the workgroup, DOL has begun to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan to address the One-Stop system's provision of services to people with disabilities. This workgroup's mission is to develop an inter-agency work plan that will promote service delivery excellence for people with disabilities in the One-Stop Career Center system. The approved policies and strategies will be translated into a work plan.

The GAO issued its February 2005 report, Employers Are Aware of, Using, and Satisfied with One-Stop Services, but More Data Could Help Labor Better Address Employers' Needs (Study 3 in Appendix 2). Prior to the issuance of this report, DOL proposed a comprehensive, streamlined reporting system for 12 different programs — EMILE (ETA Management Information and Longitudinal Evaluation), and is currently conducting a feasibility study. Also, DOL revised its planning guidance to require States to describe how they will actively engage businesses and inform demand-driven service delivery approaches for all customers.

A GAO report issued in May 2005, Labor Should Consider Alternative Approaches to Implement New Performance and Reporting Requirements (Study 4 in Appendix 2), examined EMILE. Pending completion of the aforementioned study, DOL revised reporting requirements, effective July 1, 2005, to facilitate common performance measures reporting across DOL's employment and training programs.

A June 2005 GAO report, Substantial Funds Are Used for Training, but Little Is Known Nationally about Training Outcomes (Study 1 in Appendix 2), raised concern about how WIA funds are being used and how much is being spent on training. In response, DOL is standardizing the definition of ‘participant exit' for purposes of assessing program performance. States began implementing these changes on July 1, 2005. Through the newly revised Workforce Investment Act Standardized Record Data system, DOL will be able to capture information on all participants who receive training in each program year.


Improve Employment for Public Labor Exchange Users
Performance Goal 04-1.1B (ETA) — PY 2004

Improve outcomes for job seekers and employers who receive One-Stop employment and workforce information services.

Indicators, Targets and Results

PY 2003
Result

PY 2004
Target

PY 2004
Result

Target Reached*

Percent of job seekers registered for employment services who enter employment with a new employer by the end of the second quarter following registration

61%

58%

64%

Y

Percent of job seekers who continue to be employed two quarters after initial entry to employment with a new employer

80%

72%

81%

Y

Average cost per participant

N/A

$52

$62

N

PY 2004 Costs

$725 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)

Goal Not Achieved

Program Perspective
A fundamental underpinning of the nation's One-Stop Career Centers is the delivery of employment and workforce information services to a universal population of both businesses and job seekers. Funded principally through WIA, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Jobs for Veterans Act administered by the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), One-Stop employment and workforce information services are designed to help workers (employed and unemployed) obtain jobs and give employers access to the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Providing effective services responsive to unique local/regional labor market conditions and the needs of workers is key to achieving successful outcomes for both workers and employers. Such services are provided in collaboration with a wide array of One-Stop partners and are fully integrated for seamless service delivery to customers. One-Stop employment and workforce information services are a continuum of core, intensive, and training services available through One-Stop Centers. Core services include skill assessment, job counseling, and labor market information and are available to everyone. Intensive services have a limited eligibility, based on need, and include employability skills and case management. Training services are available to those needing more than core and intensive services.

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employment retention graph
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One-Stop employment services are provided universally to customers at no charge, with special emphasis on services for Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, veterans17, and businesses. Services include a wide array of workforce and labor market information, career guidance products and tools, assessments, job matching and referral, reemployment services for UI claimants, targeted services for veterans and more.

DOL uses three key indicators to evaluate the success and effectiveness of One-Stop employment and workforce information services: entered employment, employment retention, and average cost per participant. A high entered employment rate indicates that participants have improved financial security. A high retention rate indicates stability of participants' new positions. With the implementation of common performance measures for Federal job trainings in PY 2005, DOL will add earnings change, which indicates the impact of services on post-program participation earnings potential.

To stimulate full integration of workforce information services into planning, decision making, and service delivery programs for adults, including employment services, DOL is collecting and reporting data for PY 2005 on the impact of workforce information on participant employment outcomes. (See performance goal 04-4.1A Electronic Tools for further detail about the Workforce Information System.)

Analysis and Future Plans
Both the entered employment rate and the employment retention rates exceeded targets and increased from PY 2003. The cost per participant (efficiency) measure was new in PY 2004; results fell short of the target. Consequently, the overall performance goal was not achieved.

In PY 2005, ETA will implement Federal job training program common measures. States will be required to report on One-Stop customers who receive workforce information services and their outcomes, and their two-year strategic plans will include a discussion of workforce information as a tool in serving job seekers and employers.

To continually improve performance, DOL has aggressively expanded high growth industries and employers through its Business Relations Group (BRG). In partnership with States, the BRG has collaborated with large multi-state employers as well as industry associations to broker their connection to the one-stop delivery system. This partnership has helped match job seekers with employers. In addition to working toward integrating the Wagner-Peyser funded One-Stop employment services and WIA services, DOL has strengthened its focus on the role of workforce information in the design and delivery of core, intensive and training services.

The Employment Connection in Ohio demonstrates how the workforce system and employers can work together to meet their needs. In February 2005, the Employment Connection coordinated with Home Depot to conduct a mass recruitment session in 20 different locations. Approximately 350 applicants attended and more than 70 applicants were hired through the recruitment session. Stan, a 54 year old veteran who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era, was one of the applicants who was hired at the session. After his service in the Navy, he worked on computer repairs for 25 years. However, after losing his job due to an economic downturn, Stan accessed services through Employment Connection. “The Employment Connection is a very good organization and supports unemployed people in the area. They have a lot to offer and provide a very supportive environment,” he said.
Caption above
Photo Credit: Michael Longo, Anthony Schweppe, Stanley Stewart

Management Issues
Separate funding streams that fund One-Stop employment services, particularly the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker funding and the Wagner-Peyser Act funding, continue to present challenges to program performance. DOL took steps to consolidate the reporting on all programs and is conducting a feasibility study for consolidated reporting in several State agencies. With WIA Reauthorization, DOL proposes to combine these funding streams and WIA Youth into one consolidated program to minimize duplication of services and administrative support funds.

In PY 2004, ETA actively participated in a pilot study with VETS to research statistical models for goal setting purposes (Study 11 in Appendix 2). The efficiency component of the study has focused on how to determine unit costs for the general population of job seekers and veterans who receive One-Stop employment and workforce information services. The study pointed to several variables that will impact program cost per participant including the unemployment rate, cost of labor and facilities, population density, relative number of job seekers and veterans, and unexpected major corporate layoffs, among others. The earnings gain component of the study relied on a small sample of state data (three states) so the results may not be statistically relevant across all states. Nevertheless, average earnings gains among participating states equaled zero for all job seekers, and generally greater than zero for veterans.

As part of an on-going response to concerns raised by the Office of Inspector General regarding the accuracy of data reported by States for performance, DOL developed and implemented a data validation methodology for WIA programs, including One-Stop employment services. State workforce agencies used handbooks, user guides, and software (developed by DOL) to validate outcomes reported in PY 2003 and PY 2004. In PY 2005, SWAs will implement common performance measures (for Federal job training programs). DOL will revise the data validation materials and software to support accurate and reliable data reporting.

In 2004, One-Stop employment and workforce information services were assessed through the PART. The program was rated Adequate. The PART assessment found that accountability for performance results by grantees was insufficient given the delay in implementing long term performance measures. In response, DOL fully implemented the common measures for job training programs on July 1, 2005. ETA will collect baseline data on these measures during PY 2005 and grantees will negotiate levels of performance in PY 2006.


17For specific information about the outcomes achieved by veterans who receive One-Stop employment and workforce information services, please refer to Performance Goal 04-1.1D.


Assist Dislocated Workers
Performance Goal 04-1.1C (ETA) — PY 2004

Increase the employment, retention, and earnings replacement of individuals registered under the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker Program.

Indicators, Targets and Results

PY 2003
Result

PY 2004
Target

PY 2004
Result

Target Reached*

Percent of participants employed in the first quarter after program exit

82%

82%

84%

Y

Percent of those employed in the first quarter after program exit still employed in the third quarter after program exit

90%

91%

91%

Y

Average earnings replacement rate for those who are employed in the first quarter after program exit and still employed in the third quarter after program exit

91%

91%

93%

Y

Average cost per participant

N/A

$3195

$3318**

N

PY 2004 Costs

$1455 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)

** Estimated based on quarterly reports

Goal Not Achieved

Eileen appreciates those who helped her on her journey, and now makes a difference in others’ lives. She began her job search at Missouri Career Center after her job was eliminated from a financial investment firm. At first, she was discouraged to begin a new career because of her age. After her enrollment in the WIA Dislocated Worker program, however, Eileen attended the Adult Education and Literacy Workplace Readiness Workshops and pursued a degree in Psychology. With a strong determination, two part-time jobs, and a continuance of supportive services by Dislocated Worker staff, Eileen received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with honors. Currently, she is working as a career manager for Lakes Country Resource Center and plans to look for opportunities to help others achieve their dreams.
Caption above
Photo credit: Della Hamlin

Program Perspective
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Dislocated Worker program aims to quickly reemploy laid off workers and preferably to enhance their employability and earnings by increasing occupational skills. The Department allocates 80 percent of the WIA Dislocated Worker funds by formula to the States. The Secretary may use the remaining 20 percent for discretionary activities specified in the Workforce Investment Act, including assistance to localities that suffer plant closings, mass layoffs or job losses due to natural disasters and military base realignment and closures. The Dislocated Worker program is part of a continuum of seamlessly-integrated services (including services under the Wagner-Peyser Act and the WIA Adult program) which reflect comprehensive assistance to workers and employers. States also use the WIA Dislocated Worker program to leverage additional, non-Federal resources in order to increase the quality and variety of assistance they are able to offer.

Four key indicators are used to assess the program's success. The entered employment rate indicates how quickly participants' incomes (hence family security) are restored and whether they maintain continuous attachment to the labor force with minimal disruption. The retention rate and earnings replacement indicators demonstrate the program's effectiveness at matching and/or enhancing participants' skills and abilities to maximize their opportunities. The average cost per participant measure gauges program efficiency. Successful leveraging of non-Federal funds lowers the unit cost by allowing the program to increase the number of people served.

Analysis and Future Plans
The Department did not achieve its performance goal for the WIA Dislocated Worker program. Although entered employment, employment retention and earnings replacement rates all reached or exceeded targets, efficiency (cost per participant) was off target because PY 2004 was the first year of measurement for this indicator.

Broad economic indicators were positive over the past 12 months and provided a boost to outcomes. During this period, the economy added about 2.2 million jobs, unemployment fell from 5.4 percent to 4.9 percent, and interest rates remained low. Productivity was up and average weekly earnings increased by 2.7 percent as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the reporting period.

In PY 2005, the Department continues implementing demand-driven workforce investment strategies that promote the successful transition of dislocated workers to good jobs and new careers. In addition, the Department is pro-actively developing transition strategies to position workers in declining industries (thus likely to be dislocated) to obtain the skills they need to transition more quickly.

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Management Issues
As part of an on-going response to concerns raised by the Office of Inspector General regarding accuracy of data reported by States for WIA performance, in PY 2004 DOL developed and implemented a data validation methodology for WIA programs. State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) used handbooks, user guides, and software (developed by DOL) to validate outcomes reported in PY 2003 and PY 2004. In PY 2005, SWAs will implement common performance measures (for Federal job training programs). DOL will revise the data validation materials and software to support accurate and reliable data reporting.

Separate funding streams for the Wagner-Peyser Act funded employment services and the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker programs continue to present challenges to program performance as services are duplicated and additional funds are spent on administrative support. DOL took steps to consolidate the reporting on all programs and is conducting a feasibility study in several State agencies. With WIA Reauthorization, DOL proposes to combine these funding streams into one consolidated program.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its February 2005 report, Employers Are Aware of, Using, and Satisfied with One-Stop Services, but More Data Could Help Labor Better Address Employers' Needs (Study 3 in Appendix 2). Prior to the issuance of this report, DOL proposed a comprehensive, streamlined reporting system for 12 different programs — EMILE (ETA Management Information and Longitudinal Evaluation), and is currently conducting a feasibility study. Also, DOL revised its planning guidance to require States to describe how they will actively engage businesses and inform demand-driven service delivery approaches for all customers.

A GAO report issued in May 2005, Labor Should Consider Alternative Approaches to Implement New Performance and Reporting Requirements (Study 4 in Appendix 2), examined EMILE. Pending completion of the aforementioned study, DOL revised reporting requirements, effective July 1, 2005, to facilitate the reporting of common performance measures across DOL's employment and training programs.

A June 2005 GAO report, Substantial Funds Are Used for Training, but Little Is Known Nationally about Training Outcomes (Study 1 in Appendix 2), raised concern about how WIA funds are being used and how much is being spent on training. In response, DOL is standardizing the definition of ‘participant exit' for purposes of assessing program performance, and States began implementing these changes on July 1, 2005. Through the newly revised Workforce Investment Act Standardized Record Data, DOL will be able to capture information on all participants who receive training in each program year.

The Department is currently conducting a study in which seven State workforce agencies are co-enrolling all of their Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) participants into the Dislocated Worker program to examine how co-enrollment affects the performance outcomes of both populations. Results are expected in 2008.

In response to the PART review conducted in 2002 in which the program was rated Adequate, DOL implemented common performance measures for job training programs. DOL is also integrating its training programs to eliminate duplication of services and provide flexibility to States.


Help Veterans Get and Keep Jobs
Performance Goal 04-1.1D (VETS) — PY 2004

Improve employment outcomes for veterans who receive One-Stop and homeless veterans’ services.

Indicators, Targets and Results

PY 2003
Result

PY 2004
Target

PY 2004
Result

Target Reached*

Percent of veteran job seekers employed in the first or second quarter following registration

58%

58%

60%

Y

Percent of veteran job seekers still employed two quarters after initial entry into employment with a new employer

79%

80%

81%

Y

Percent of disabled veteran job seekers employed in the first or second quarter following registration

53%

54%

56%

Y

Percent of disabled veteran job seekers still employed two quarters after initial entry into employment with a new employer

77%

78%

79%

Y

Entered employment rate for homeless veterans participating in the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP)

61%

60%

65%

Y

Employment retention rate after 6 months for homeless veteran HVRP participants

N/A

baseline

57%**

Y

PY 2004 Costs

$196 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)

** Estimated using preliminary results through the second quarter

Goal Achieved

Program Perspective
VETS delivers One-Stop employment and workforce information services to veterans through grants to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), so that unemployed and underemployed veterans receive the assistance needed to obtain suitable employment. These grants fund positions for Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veterans' Employment Representatives (LVER), who are assigned to One-Stop Career Centers nationwide and focus on veterans' specific employment needs.

Through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP), VETS delivers targeted employment services to homeless veterans by making competitive grant awards, predominantly to community and faith-based organizations. HVRP grantees provide services such as career counseling and job search assistance, and establish collaborative linkages with local rehabilitation agencies for substance abuse treatment. These services often are provided in concert with local service providers funded by the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs.

As a component of One-Stop employment and workforce information services, the DVOP/LVER program enables SWAs to deploy veterans' program specialists where the needs for intensive services to veterans and transitioning service members are greatest. A “two-tiered” approach to service delivery allows job-ready veterans to be served by other SWA staff, while veterans with employability barriers are served by DVOP/LVER staff. This strategy leverages resources so that a maximum number of veterans are served even as resources are concentrated on those veterans with the greatest needs.

VETS regards entry to employment and retention in employment as the key outcomes of its programs and is implementing Federal job training program common measures. Since these measures substantially revise the definitions for employment and retention, VETS will establish new baseline values for these measures during PY 2005. Monitoring these outcomes will enhance the measurement of the program's impact and allow for comparisons across similar programs.

The most recent special survey of the employment situation of veterans by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (July 2004) shows that veterans in general fare well compared to their non-veteran counterparts, with an average unemployment rate of 4.5 percent compared to 5.9 percent. However, major segments of the veteran labor force have decidedly higher unemployment rates than non-veterans, particularly young, recently separated veterans, older veterans (45 to 54), and disabled veterans.

In spite of a promising start, Michael’s life changed drastically a few years after completing his Air Force service. With increasing family challenges, Michael began to drink heavily and use drugs. He gave up his hobbies and sold his belongings to support an ill relative. He changed jobs frequently, his marriage failed, and he lost his truck and apartment. He had nowhere to live and didn’t care about anyone or anything. Through a program at the West Haven VA Hospital, he completed detox and was recommended for transitional living at Homes for the Brave, a residential program for homeless veterans. The Vocational Specialists on staff helped him conduct a job search. Through programs at CTWorks, he learned basic computer skills and applied for WIA funding to help him get back into driving rigs. He was offered a better paying truck-driver position, and was able to save money and eventually moved on.
Caption above
Photo credit: Homes for the Brave

Analysis and Future Plans
This goal was achieved. Targets for Entered Employment Rate and Employment Retention were reached, as 60 percent of veteran job seekers were employed in the first or second quarter following registration and 81 percent of veteran job seekers continue to be employed after initial entry into employment with a new employer (retained in employment). For disabled veterans the corresponding achievements were 56 percent Entered Employment Rate and 79 percent being retained in employment. Homeless veterans achieved a 65 percent Entered Employment Rate.

Broad national economic indicators for unemployment, interest rates and productivity were positive over the past twelve months and provided a boost to the performance outcomes for the veterans program. Positive results are also attributed in part to continued efforts by VETS to facilitate communication between VETS State offices and State Workforce Agencies on strategies to maximize services to veterans. Several of these strategies are: 1) emphasis on DVOP and LVER staff serving as the critical link for services to veterans with employment barriers, as well as serving as a focal point for transition assistance and homeless veteran reintegration, while other SWA staff provide service to job-ready veterans; 2) SWAs' use of new flexibilities in the development of plans of service for veterans; 3) VETS guidance and technical assistance to SWAs on skill quality, credentials, job development, employer relations and intensive services as a means of ensuring retention and progress for veterans placed in jobs. For HVRP, sharing of best practices among grantees has paid dividends.

While performance targets have been reached, other trends cause concern and require close monitoring by VETS and SWAs. Registrations of veterans seeking services have declined in the past year. The percentage of veterans receiving staff assisted services (an indicator of veterans with employment barriers) has also showed a recent trend downward. VETS will collaborate with its SWA partners in the analysis of this information in order to come to a clearer understanding of the factors responsible for these shifts in order to determine if new strategies need to be developed.

Based on data for the first two quarters of the performance period, the retention rate for HVRP participants is 57 percent. These results reflect the outcomes experienced by about 62 percent of those enrolled during the four quarters of the performance period. This preliminary retention rate indicates that members of the homeless veteran target group continue to struggle somewhat in their efforts to maintain stable attachment to the workforce following receipt of HVRP services. VETS, with its grantee network, is actively examining approaches for improving grantee tracking procedures, grantee follow-up services, and homeless veteran retention rates.

Management Issues
During FY 2005, SRA International assisted VETS and the Employment and Training Administration with research on developing baseline data for efficiency and earnings change measures for veteran jobseekers. These veteran job seekers receive One-Stop employment and workforce information services. The project, Developing Efficiency and Earnings Gain Measures (Study 11 in Appendix 2) found that there were many factors that influenced a State's costs of service delivery, such as its unemployment rate, cost of labor and facilities, population density, relative number of veterans, and unexpected major corporate layoffs. Analysis also indicated slight earnings gain by participants in three States; this result contrasted with the findings from a prior study, which reflected a decline in earnings. VETS is considering additional efficiency measures such as cost per veterans who receive staff-assisted services that reflect the diversity of local conditions. The information helps to refine how earnings data are best applied and serves to reinforce VETS' caution in establishing earnings targets.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report Preliminary Observations on Changes to Veterans' Employment Programs, issued in May 2005, found that more work needs to be done to implement a minimum standard for veterans entering employment that all States will be expected to meet (see Study 8 in Appendix 2). VETS will conduct a nationwide study of its DVOP/LVER programs to develop initiatives for better integration into one-stop career centers.

GAO also issued Job Retention Goal Under Development for DOL's Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program in May 2005 (see Study 9 in Appendix 2). The report recommended that DOL develop a realistic performance goal for employment retention of homeless veterans in order to better assess the success of HVRP. DOL is currently collecting retention data and will establish a baseline for setting and measuring performance targets.

A third May 2005 GAO report, Enhanced Services Could Improve Transition Assistance for Reserves and National Guard, recommended that DOL and the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs determine what demobilizing Reserve and National Guard members need to make a smooth transition and explore options on ways to enhance their participation (see Study 10 in Appendix 2). DOL is actively participating in a DOD led effort to determine needs, and the best ways to provide them.

Feasibility Assessment of a Web-Based Career Guidance Tool for Transitioning Military Service Members, completed in June 2005, determined that no existing web-based tool meets the needs of transitioning service members and veterans (see Study 7 in Appendix 2). Contingent upon the availability of funding, DOL plans to develop with the DOD a customized tool that will include career tips, a search function and details on civilian occupations.


Satisfy High-Growth Industry Labor Needs via Apprenticeships
Performance Goal 05-1.1A (ETA) — FY 2005

Strengthen the registered apprenticeship system to meet the training needs of business and workers in the 21st Century.

Indicators, Targets and Results

FY 2004
Result

FY 2005
Target

FY 2005
Result

Target Reached*

Percent of those employed in the month after registration still employed nine months later

N/A

baseline

78%

Y

Average wage gain for tracked entrants18 employed in the first quarter after registration and still employed nine months later

N/A

baseline

$1.26

Y

Average cost per registered apprentice

N/A

baseline

$109

Y

FY 2005 Costs

$23 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)

Goal Achieved

Program Perspective
The National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 established the foundation for developing and expanding the nation's skilled workforce through apprenticeship programs and establishing standards for safeguarding the welfare of apprentices. The National Registered Apprenticeship System is responsible for the accreditation, registration, certification, and is the nationally recognized credentialing system for skilled, craft, and technical trade training programs throughout the U.S. Voluntary cooperation with State agencies, businesses, program sponsors, industry leaders, employers, employer associations and educational institutions support the Apprenticeship System. The top priority is to provide opportunities for jobseekers to find jobs with career paths, earn competitive wages, and offer the opportunity to obtain nationally-recognized industry credentials.

As the Department continues to support the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative (HGJTI), the Apprenticeship System strives to expand its system by targeting the identified high-growth industries: health care, information technology, biotechnology, geospatial technology, automotive, retail, advanced manufacturing (including aerospace), transportation, hospitality, financial services, and energy. The Apprenticeship System plays a vital role in the HGJTI by providing apprentices with industry-recognized credentials that are sanctioned by DOL, thereby helping to supply U.S. employers with the skilled workers they need to stay competitive and keep the economy growing. During FY 2005, there were 541 programs and 8130 apprentices registered with more than 6100 active programs and more than 24,300 active apprentices in high-growth industries.

The Women in the Trades Construction Apprenticeship Preparation Program was developed and piloted in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2004. The four-week curriculum includes physical conditioning, health and safety training, construction math, job readiness skills, guest speakers, and skills training at seven different apprenticeship schools. Participants received hands-on experience in the sheet metal, electrical, plumbing and pipefitting, ironworker, carpenter, and pile driver trades. This preparation program is designed to expose the women to different trades, to understand the commitments and requirements of the construction industry, and to prepare them for successful entrance into various apprenticeship programs. Gwendolyn, a program participant, said, “To have a marketable skill is an incredible privilege. We have chosen to devote ourselves to perfecting our trade.”
Caption above
Photo credit: John Hakala and Gwendolyn Beecher

Analysis and Future Plans
Fiscal Year 2005 was a transitional year for evaluating performance in the Apprenticeship program. To tell a broader story of employment outcomes for registered apprentices, the Apprenticeship program moved toward common performance measures, by collecting baseline information on employment retention rate, earnings gain and efficiency measures. These common measures reflect individual apprentice outcomes and allow comparison with other ETA programs.

The established baseline results of the common measures show that during the first quarter of FY 2005, 78 percent of over 18,000 newly registered apprentices were still employed nine months after the month of registration, and their average hourly wage gain was $1.26 (from $11.92 to $13.18). An important strategy of the apprenticeship program is targeting high-growth industry demand-driven career training. Apprentices are compensated for improved skills through wage increases that also lead to a higher employment retention rate. During FY 2005, the average cost per registered apprentice was $109, efficient for Federal employment programs. By leveraging large investment from the private sector, Apprenticeship demonstrates a low cost, market driven approach to training America's workers.

The apprenticeship model functions as a self-sustaining system, with employers covering most training expenses such as wages, classroom training, supervision, and mentoring for the duration of the program, which can be several years. The apprenticeship system graduated 119,363 apprentices in the last four years, all of whom were employed, earned credentials verifying technical competencies, and increased their earnings in the process.

Management Issues
Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) collects program and apprenticeship information and is a unique data system that operates independent of States' workforce information systems. Efforts are underway to determine whether and how Unemployment Insurance wage records may be used to capture information consistent with the common measures. Access to and disclosure of State unemployment insurance wage records is being sought in consultation with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and efforts are continuing to allow DOL to pilot the common measures using State UI wage records. In addition, the State Apprenticeship Councils' participation in the RAIS is voluntary, and the collection of retention and earnings data continue to be challenging.

Apprenticeship has been expanding its electronic registration project in RAIS. It allows program sponsors to register apprentices electronically, provides the source data for documenting pay rates, general employer workforce and demographics information, and completion credentials. Moreover, RAIS has reduced the application processing time, made the system more cost-effective, and improved the program's ability to track data.

In August 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report, Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Labor Can Better Use Data to Target Oversight, that identified several areas for improvement (Study 5 in Appendix 2). DOL will follow up on GAO's recommendations by better utilizing information in the existing data sources and data mining tool; encouraging State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) States to participate in RAIS; and providing technical assistance on issues identified in final reports of the 14 SAA reviews conducted in FY 2005.


18Twenty-three States are federally-registered apprenticeship programs and enter data on individuals into the Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS). A group of “tracked entrants” is defined as the cohort of apprentices registered and entered into RAIS during a given reporting period.


Increase Employment Opportunities for Youth and Adults with Disabilities
Performance Goal 05-1.1B (ODEP) — FY 2005

Provide national leadership to increase access and employment opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities receiving employment, training, and employment support services by developing, testing, and disseminating effective practices.

Indicators, Targets and Results

FY 2004
Result

FY 2005
Target

FY 2005
Result

Target Reached*

Number of people with disabilities served through ODEP projects

6151

6718

9768

Y

Entered employment rate at pilot sites.

19.0%

24%

24.1%

Y

The 3-month and 6-month retention rates for people with disabilities served by the pilots

12.3%

6.9%

22%

17%

46.7%

39.0%

Y

Y

Effective practices identified through pilot projects and other research-related initiatives

10

11

19

Y

FY 2005 Costs

$52 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)

Goal Achieved

Program Perspective
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides national leadership on disability employment policy to the Department of Labor and other Federal agencies. ODEP develops and influences the implementation of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices throughout the workforce development system, including employers. The implementation of these effective policies and practices will result in an increase in employment opportunities, and the recruitment, retention and promotion of people with disabilities. ODEP also supports the implementation of the employment-related goals of President Bush's New Freedom Initiative.

Joey is a 21 year old student with a disability who recently left the Montgomery County, Maryland Public School system without any job prospects. Under an Office of Disability Employment Policy grant, the Montgomery Local Workforce Investment Board was able to get Joey the customized employment services he needed to become successfully employed. The local grant staff worked with Joey, his family, the school, and related community employment service providers to coordinate Joey's customized employment plan. The grant staff met with a variety of businesses near Joey's home. After meeting with a local retail clothing store, the grant staff discussed Joey's skills and interests while explaining the concept of customized employment. The store’s manager loved the idea and said that she needed to create a new position as a “markdown attendant”; which exactly matched Joey’s interests and skills. Joey got the job. According to the employer, this task was always just a "fill-in" responsibility by other staff whose job it is to attend to customer needs. This new job creation allows other staff to focus on customer-service, while Joey fulfills another essential business need. Joey works 25 hours per week, and earns $7.00 per hour. He takes public transportation to and from work.
Caption above
Photo credit: DOL

ODEP's response to low employment rates among people with disabilities is comprehensive and aggressive, and includes securing the active involvement and cooperation among a number of Federal, State, and local agencies as well as private sector organizations. ODEP strategically invests in policy development and research activities that identify policy options and validate evidence-based practices. The results of these activities are reflected in the indicators and targets used to measure ODEP's performance.

Major external factors that influence performance outcomes include several workforce trends. These trends include projected workforce shortages, turn-over and retirement, and the trend of working beyond the traditional retirement age. Many of these workers may experience disabling conditions, increasing pressure on the employer to keep workers on the job and to have employees who are temporarily disabled return to work quickly. Finally, small businesses will continue to be the backbone of the U.S. economy. They employ half of all private sector employees and have generated 60 to 80 percent of new jobs annually over the last decade. Small employers face unique challenges in hiring and retaining disabled workers.

ODEP develops policies and practices that empower employers to rethink their strategies for employee recruitment, development and transition with the goal of retaining long-term, high-quality, high-contributing employees. Additionally, ODEP develops policies and practices that enhance coordination of the support needed to keep workers on the job and return employees to work quickly following an injury or illness. This support includes access to healthcare, housing, and reliable transportation.

Analysis and Future Plans
ODEP achieved its goal. In FY 2005, ODEP continued collecting data from pilot projects and research activities: the number served; entered employment rate; retention rates (at three and six months); and the number of effective practices identified. Based on available data through the end of the third quarter of FY 2005, 9768 people with disabilities received employment related services, exceeding the target of 6718. The entered employment rate is 24.1 percent, 0.1 percent above the target of 24 percent. The three-month and six-month retention rates are 46.7 percent and 39.0 percent, exceeding the targets of 22 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Nineteen effective practices were identified through pilot projects and research initiatives, again exceeding the set target of eleven by eight.

In FY 2006, ODEP will continue its performance improvement efforts by aligning its strategies and activities to reflect a stronger reliance on its own internal staff to concentrate on policy development, analysis and applied research initiatives as opposed to using externally-funded public and private organizations. Activities will focus on ODEP's core mission to develop and influence the implementation of policies and practices that will increase employment opportunities, recruitment, retention, and promotion of adults and youth with disabilities. Accordingly, in FY 2006, ODEP's Performance Goal will be modified to ensure its activities are measured in terms of their impact on the workforce development system and its partners.

Management Issues
ODEP conducts pilot projects to determine the effectiveness of disability employment strategies for dissemination throughout the workforce development system and partners. Pilot project data is collected and assessed internally and externally. Oversight includes quarterly project reports, staff visits to project sites and regular conference calls with project staff. ODEP also contracts with an external evaluator to independently verify data collected in pilot project reports, review project documents and activities, and visit project sites.

ODEP's multi-year external evaluation of pilot projects assesses the nature and extent of systems change to determine the effectiveness of strategies employed for increasing the capacity of the workforce development system to respond to the needs of people with disabilities. Findings continue to demonstrate: 1) the capacity of the workforce development system has expanded and is strengthened to better serve people with disabilities; 2) people with disabilities are moving from low-skill, minimum wage work to higher-paid jobs in technical or other new career fields; 3) attitudes at One-Stop Centers regarding the provision of services to people with disabilities are changing; and 4) governmental agencies are now working together to share information and leverage resources to better serve people with disabilities.

DOL is conducting a follow-up case study of 12 Workforce Investment Act (WIA)-assisted sites to provide information that will enable practice to inform policy and improve performance results of WIA-assisted programs that serve people with disabilities (see Case Study Research: How People with Disabilities are Served through the Workforce Development System — Study 6 in Appendix 2). Since States' initial implementation of WIA, One-Stop Career Centers and youth services have been addressing the challenges of serving all customers, including those with disabilities. The case study focuses on assessing impact and customer satisfaction.


Outcome Goal 1.2 — Increase Opportunities for Youth Employment

Even though the median age of the workforce is rising, the percentage of workers between the ages of 16 and 24 is expected to grow more rapidly than the overall labor force for the first time in 25 years. The majority of jobs will continue to require workers who have acquired knowledge and skills via two-year colleges, vocational training, moderate to long-term on-the-job training and real work experience. High school drop-outs are three to four times more likely to be unemployed than college graduates. These statistics help to explain why an important part of DOL's mission is to help disadvantaged youth prepare for competition in a 21st century work environment.

DOL administers two programs designed specifically to serve youth: the WIA Youth formula grant program, which provides comprehensive services through local workforce investment areas, and Job Corps, an intensive, largely residential academic and employment training program. Services to in-school youth help them remain in and complete secondary school, move into post-secondary education or advanced training, and ultimately transition into successful careers. Out-of-school youth receive services that provide them with the necessary skills to attain educational credentials (i.e., high school diploma or general equivalency diploma), participate in vocational and post-secondary training opportunities, and transition into gainful employment or a career. Through these programs, our Nation makes the type of meaningful investment in at-risk teenagers and young adults that is necessary to help them become productive and self-sufficient members of the nation's workforce.

Two performance goals measure DOL's progress in helping youth prepare for entry to the workforce. Both are administered by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). Funding and reporting for both programs are for Program Year (PY) 2004 (July 2004 - June 2005).

Performance Summary

Diploma attainment

Literacy & numeracy

Entry to employment*

Employment retention

Efficiency

PY 2004 Costs (millions)

WIA Youth (04-1.2A) Increase placements and educational attainments for youth served through the WIA youth program. Goal not achieved. Three targets reached, one not reached.

Result

65%

72%

82%

$2822

$987

Target

53%

68%

79%

$2663

PY03

63%

71%

81%

Job Corps (04-1.2B) Improve educational achievements of Job Corps students, and increase participation of Job Corps graduates in employment and education. Goal not achieved. Two targets reached, two not reached.

Result

64%

47%

84%

$24,809

1313

Target

64%

45%

85%

$22,503

PY03

*For WIA Youth, 19-21 year olds only; for Job Corps, measure includes enrollment in education or training.

Students with the Chinese American Service League, a comprehensive social service agency dedicated to serving the needs of the Chinese community in Chicago, participated in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training as part of the Women’s Bureau Group E-Mentoring in Nursing (GEM-Nursing) project. The two CPR training sessions included hands-on skills training to teach students how to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies. The GEM-Nursing project is an innovative on-line program designed to encourage young people to explore career opportunities in nursing. Students communicate on-line with nurses around the country who represent a wide range of nursing careers. Participants also attend events and training to broaden their exposure to nursing and healthcare-related careers.
Caption above
Photo credit: DOL/WB staff

Results Summary
Neither of the goals was achieved because — as with several adult employment and training programs in Outcome Goal 1.1 — efficiency measure (cost per participant) targets were overly ambitious in this (baseline) year. Outcomes, however, were positive. Educational attainment reached or exceeded targets for both programs. Job Corps participants' literacy and numeracy gains exceeded targets. The WIA Youth program exceeded its placement target, but Job Corps fell just short of its graduates' placement target. WIA Youth also reached its retention target. For the WIA Youth program, this year's performance continues an upward trend in all three outcome indicators stretching back several years. For Job Corps, this year was the first for which new Federal youth job training program common measures data were collected, so comparison to prior years is not possible.

Although national economic conditions improved in this reporting period versus preceding “recovery” years, the boost this provided to performance was offset by increasing the WIA Youth program's focus on out-of-school youth. Out-of-school youth are traditionally harder to serve. Continued improvement in overall performance was achieved by providing State Workforce Agencies with technical assistance, especially on collaboration with other social service organizations, and by strategic use of incentives for targeting at-risk youth and promising occupations. Job Corps' education efforts (diploma and literacy/numeracy) appear to be paying off. This is encouraging because academic and career success are highly correlated and expected to become even more so as the knowledge economy further evolves.

Net Cost of Programs
FY 2005 program costs of $2.455 billion supported ETA programs providing employment and training assistance to youth through formula grants to States, and Job Corps. Decreased costs resulted from reductions in the WIA Youth program and from the phase-out of Youth Opportunity Grants and the School-to-Work initiative.

 

outcome goal 1.2 graph

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Future Challenges
For the WIA Youth program, continued emphasis on serving youth who have left school will make it difficult to improve measured overall education and employment performance. So far, existing strategies appear to be working well. In addition, implementation of a new data reporting system has been difficult and may require a new approach.

Job Corps' large operation, though fundamentally sound, poses many management challenges. In fact, Job Corps controls roughly 95 percent of the DOL real property portfolio that is not leased through GSA. To that end, in keeping with the principles of Executive Order 13327, Federal Real Property Asset Management, which President Bush issued in February 2004 “to promote the efficient and economical use of America's real property assets … ", Deputy Secretary Steven J. Law established a Departmental workgroup designed to address the management challenges related to real property — while working to more fully implement this key President's Management Agenda initiative. In addition, the Inspector General's Top Management Challenges addressed in this report also highlights the need to improve management of real property assets. In the near future, the Job Corps program is implementing new data validation procedures and is continuing to look closely at whether its physical assets (the residential training centers) are being utilized as efficiently as possible.


Assist Youth in Making a Successful Transition to Work
Performance Goal 04-1.2A (ETA) — PY 2004

Increase placements and educational attainments for youth.

Indicators, Targets and Results

PY 2003
Result

PY 2004
Target

PY 2004
Result

Target Reached*

Percent of 14-18 year-old youth who enter the program without a diploma or equivalent who attain a secondary school diploma or equivalent by the first quarter after exit

63%

53%

65%

Y

Percent of 19-21 year-old youth employed in the first quarter after program exit

71%

68%

72%

Y

Percent of 19-21 year-old youth employed in the first quarter after exit still employed in the third quarter after program exit.

81%

79%

82%

Y

Average cost per participant

N/A

$2663

$2822**

N

PY 2004 Costs lions)

$987 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)

** Estimated based on quarterly reports

Goal Not Achieved

Program Perspective
The WIA youth program is an important component of an integrated workforce system. WIA authorizes services to low-income youth (ages 14-21) with barriers to employment. Eligible youth are deficient in basic skills or are homeless, are a runaway, are pregnant or parenting, are offenders, school dropouts, or foster children. The program serves both in- and out-of-school youth, including youth with disabilities and other youth who may require specialized assistance to complete an educational program or to secure and hold employment. Service providers prepare youth for employment and post-secondary education by stressing linkages between academic and occupational learning. They also assist youth by providing tutoring, alternative schools, summer employment, occupational training, work experience, supportive services, leadership development, mentoring, counseling, and follow-up services.

In July of 2004, DOL published guidance outlining its new strategic vision for the delivery of youth services under WIA. This vision emphasizes that "out-of-school youth and those most at risk of dropping out are an important part of the new workforce 'supply pipeline' needed by businesses to fill job vacancies in the knowledge economy. WIA-funded youth programs will provide leadership by serving as a catalyst to connect these youth with quality secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities and high-growth and other employment opportunities.” Efforts are now focused on four major areas: alternative education, demand-driven strategies for providing youth with the skills businesses need, serving the neediest youth, and improving performance.

WIA Youth graph

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PY 2004, progress was tracked against four performance indicators. For the older youth population, entrance into and retention in employment are the most appropriate indicators of success because the program's services are focused on preparation for and success in the workforce. For the younger youth population, where services are geared toward academic achievement as a means of career preparation, achievement of a diploma or its equivalent is the most meaningful indicator of future success in the workforce. The cost per participant measure gauges the efficient use of Federal dollars.

In recent years, the program has made steady progress by all measures (see chart). Cost for participants, a new indicator as of PY 2004, is expected to increase, at least in the short term, due to targeting a harder to serve out-of-school youth population as well as general increases observed for the cost of education and training programs nationwide.

Two years ago, when Mathias arrived at Eastman Youth Development Campus, a youth detention center in Georgia, the seventeen-year-old was without any personal or career goals. While he was on the campus, Mathias enrolled in the WIA Youth program. During the program, Mathias earned his General Equivalency Diploma and a Certified Construction Worker Certificate. He also demonstrated his good work ethic. After his release in January of 2005, Mathias found employment and enrolled in a local technical college to obtain a Document Processing Assistant Certificate. Recently, Mathias was accepted into a university. Now, his personal goal is to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering!
Caption above
Photo credit: Robert Dixon and Betty Johnson

Analysis and Future Plans
Results for PY 2004 continue an upward trend that began with WIA implementation in 1998. All three outcome indicators increased from PY 2003 and exceeded performance targets. Most important is the continued increase in high school diploma attainment, given the strong statistical correlation between educational attainment and success in the labor market.

Average cost per participant was slightly higher than expected — $2822 vs. a target of $2663. However, consistent with ETA's vision for youth services, the program has served a higher proportion of out-of-school youth. Out-of-school youth are a more expensive population to serve, with a cost of $3724 per participant, therefore the overall cost per participant increased over prior years. At the time the cost per participant target was estimated, DOL did not anticipate the full extent of increased expenditures on out-of-school youth.

During PY 2004, DOL held a series of Regional Forums that convened State education agencies along with workforce development, juvenile justice and child welfare agencies from 45 States to identify opportunities for improving programs across agency lines. DOL has provided States with a Federal/State benchmarking tool to provide States with broad principles to assist them in gauging the effectiveness of their collaborative efforts.

In the fall of 2004, DOL awarded Foster Youth Demonstration grants to five States aimed at assisting foster youth who have or will be transitioning out of foster care to access employment and training opportunities. In the summer of 2005, DOL awarded 16 demonstration grants to State and local agencies and community-based organizations to help prepare youth offenders to enter high growth and high demand industries.

For PY 2005, targets will increase to 69 percent for the entered employment rate, 80 percent for the employment retention rate and remain at 53 percent for the diploma attainment rate. The target is not increasing for the diploma attainment rate due to an increased emphasis on services to the neediest youth, especially out-of-school youth, who traditionally have low rates of diploma attainment.

Management Issues
Performance data for the WIA youth program are both complete and reliable. DOL continues to implement the recommendations made in a February 2004 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled Labor Actions Can Help States Improve Quality of Performance Outcome Data and Delivery of Youth Services that recommended coordination with the U.S. Department of Education to connect school dropouts to local WIA youth programs and to establish standard monitoring procedures.

GAO issued a report in May 2005 entitled Labor Should Consider Alternative Approaches to New Performance and Reporting Requirements (Study 4 in Appendix 2). The report recommended that DOL consider alternative approaches to implementing its new reporting system, including ongoing consultation with stakeholders, phased implementation, and pilot testing. DOL will continue to consult with representatives of the State and local workforce system. In addition, DOL is conducting a feasibility study in three States and two local areas to examine the changes needed at the State and local levels to meet the proposed data collection requirements as originally proposed in the July 2004 Federal Register.

The WIA Youth program received a rating of Ineffective in the PART review conducted in FY 2002. Since that time the program has made significant progress in addressing recommendations to adopt common performance measures for Federal job training programs and conduct an impact evaluation of the WIA Youth program. States will begin reporting on the new measures in their first quarterly report due in November 2005. The impact evaluation will be commissioned upon WIA reauthorization, as knowledge of the program's new direction will be critical to the design of any meaningful study.


Increase Placements and Educational Attainments of Youth
Performance Goal 04-1.2B (ETA) — PY 2004

Improve educational achievements of Job Corps students and increase participation of Job Corps graduates in employment and education.

Indicators, Targets and Results

PY 2003
Result

PY 2004
Target

PY 2004
Result

Target Reached*

Percent of Job Corps graduates (within 1 year of program exit) and former enrollees (within 90 days of program exit) who enter employment or enroll in post-secondary education or advanced/occupational skills training

N/A

85%

84%

N

Percent of students earning a high school diploma, General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or certificate while enrolled in a Job Corps program

N/A

64%

64%

Y

Percent of students who will achieve literacy or numeracy gains of one Adult Basic Education (ABE) level (one ABE level is approximately equivalent to two grade levels)

N/A

45%

47%

Y

Average cost per participant

 

N/A

$22,503

$24,809

N

PY 2004 Costs

$1313 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)

Goal Not Achieved

Program Perspective
Job Corps is an intensive academic and vocational training program (primarily residential) for economically disadvantaged youth ages 16 through 24 who often face multiple barriers to gainful employment. This program provides occupational skills, academic training, social education, and other support services, such as housing, transportation and family support resources, to more than 60,000 individuals at 122 centers nationwide. Job Corps centers, ranging in size from 200 to 2,000 students, are located in both urban and rural communities. Most Job Corps centers are operated by large and small companies under performance-based contracts. Other Job Corps centers are operated by Federal departments.

Collbran Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center celebrated their Eagle Corps team’s second place finish in the Colorado regional For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics competition that is sponsored by NASA. This year, 38 teams participated and had six weeks to build their robot for the competition. Volunteer mentors from local engineering firms, as well as a retired mechanical engineer, assisted the 22-member Eagle Corps team in programming, engineering and electronic wiring for its robot’s construction. While preparing for the competition, the team not only designed and built the robot, but also created a competition Web site (www.eaglecorps.ws), researched the partnering companies, produced a button to trade with other teams, and designed a team jersey. The drawing of the team’s robot was created by a participant who taught herself the AutoCAD program. “Robotics is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Tim, a 17-year-old team member.
Caption above
Photo credit: Johnathon Noe, Elijah Davis, Tim Lawrence, Tim Silburn, Darrell Martin, Deak Chamberlain, and Maria Temiquel

Job Corps centers provide services tailored to each student's needs to help them achieve the skills and credentials required to be successful, productive citizens and to obtain work opportunities that lead to long-term employment. In PY 2004, DOL began reporting Job Corps performance according to the job training common measures for youth programs: placement in employment or education, attainment of a degree or certificate, literacy and numeracy gains, and average cost per participant. The first three measures are indicators of student achievement in terms of placement in employment and in enhancing their employability; the efficiency measure assists program management in controlling costs.

As with other employment and training programs, Job Corps' performance can be impacted by external factors such as local labor market conditions and national economic trends. In recent years, an increasingly knowledge-based labor market has challenged Job Corps to redirect both academic and technical career training approaches. In addition, adjustment to federally standardized job training program common measures has provided program management challenges.

Analysis and Future Plans
During PY 2004, Job Corps continued to improve educational achievements of its students, as indicated by meeting the target of 64 percent of students earning a high school diploma, GED or vocational certificate while enrolled in Job Corps. In addition, in the first year of measuring literacy and numeracy gains, Job Corps exceeded the target by improving these outcomes for 47 percent of all students who were basic skills deficient at entry. Attainment of these two measures indicates that Job Corps' focus on academics — through partnerships with local school districts, innovative teaching approaches, and integration with skill training — has helped prepare students academically, as well as vocationally, for success in the labor market.

The entered employment/education measure, which until this year included program graduates only, now includes former enrollees and will ultimately include all students. While placement of graduates increased from 90 percent to 91 percent, former enrollees' results had more impact than expected; the overall rate just missed the target of 85 percent. This does indicate that the target was ambitious, and Job Corps will focus on reaching that placement rate in PY 2005 by encouraging Career Transition Services (CTS) providers to focus their energies and services on recent graduates.

Job Corps utilizes performance-based contracting for center operators and CTS providers; center operators' and contractors' revenues are linked to performance on specific measures of student success. Such provisions, particularly incentive fees for contractors, have led to improved student outcomes. Regional offices conduct assessments and annual contract reviews of outreach and admissions contractors, center operators and CTS providers that include compliance measures for operations and performance measures related to student outcomes. In addition to improving student outcomes, Job Corps maintains safe and healthy environments at all Job Corps centers by cooperatively working with other DOL agencies to conduct safety and health inspections annually.

Management Issues
Job Corps is committed to maintaining a comprehensive data collection and reporting system that meets the highest integrity expectations, and has established multiple methods to continuously assess the validity of the system. Given the scope of operations, however, there have been challenges to maintaining uniform quality. Recently, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified several areas of concern related to Job Corps' data validation procedures in Job Corps Performance Measurement Outcomes Report (Study 13 in Appendix 2) and Performance Audit of Job Corps Center Operating Costs (Study 12 in Appendix 2). To ensure system-wide data integrity, Job Corps is implementing requirements for regional offices to review individual student data using a stringent targeted sampling methodology, and is taking steps to recover overpayments if irregularities are identified.

Job Corps controls roughly 95 percent of the DOL real property portfolio that is not leased through the General Services Administration. In keeping with the principles of Executive Order 13327, Federal Real Property Asset Management, which President Bush issued in February 2004 “to promote the efficient and economical use of America's real property assets," Deputy Secretary Law established a Departmental workgroup designed to address the management challenges related to real property — while working to more fully implement this key President's Management Agenda initiative. In addition, the Inspector General's Top Management Challenges addressed in this report also highlights the need to improve management of real property assets. Job Corps is investigating whether its physical assets (the residential training centers) are being utilized as efficiently as possible.

In 2004, the Job Corps program was assessed through the PART, and was rated as Moderately Effective. In response to findings identified in the PART, DOL has:

  • Created a strategic plan to improve services to Hispanic/Latino and Limited English Proficient students to improve the employment and earnings outcomes of their population;
  • Developed an Asset Management Plan and Capital Asset Plan to complement the FY 2007 budget submission;
  • Developed a decision-making process for capital investments in real property, based on alignment with a business case presented to support instructional programs which target high growth economies;
  • Assembled a cost effectiveness workgroup to improve program efficiency; and
  • Piloted a project to utilize Unemployment Insurance wage records in an aggregate format in order to proceed with full implementation of common measures by PY 2006.

Outcome Goal 1.3 — Improve the Effectiveness of Information and Analysis On The U.S. Economy

Maintaining competitiveness in the 21st Century requires Americans to be knowledgeable about trends in the global, national, and local economies. Private citizens, business owners, and public officials need to have access to up-to-date, high-quality information and statistics to assist them in making better informed decisions. The Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which produces some of the Nation's most sensitive and important economic indicators, looks for opportunities for innovation to improve the usefulness of its products and services to our customers. For example, in FY 2005, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program released a new on-line tool for labor market analysis. The Location Quotient Calculator is designed to aid economic development professionals in accurately identifying industries that attract jobs and income, and sell goods and services outside their community. This innovative use of the QCEW data allows the customer to conduct a focused, detailed industry study at the desired geographic level.

Goal (Agency) and Statement

Performance Summary

FY 2005 Costs (millions)

05-1.3A (BLS)

Improve information available to decision-makers on labor market conditions, and price and productivity changes.

Goal substantially achieved. Six of eight targets were reached, one was substantially reached and one was not reached.

$536

Following several decades of population decline and job losses, Philadelphia has worked relentlessly to bolster economic growth and improve its competitiveness nationally, with notable success in recent years. Mr. Stephen Camp-Landis, City of Philadelphia Budget Office analyst, cites BLS employment and wage data as useful to formulating public policy decisions and addressing citizen needs. According to Mr. Camp-Landis, the City uses CES and QCEW data to help project tax revenues. The resulting improvements in the quality of those projections have allowed Philadelphia to effectively manage an annual wage and business tax reduction program for eleven years. CES and QCEW data can be found at http://www.bls.gov/sae/home.htm and http://www.bls.gov/cew/home.htm, respectively.
Caption above
photo credit: Rick McMullin

Results Summary

DOL reports performance for this goal using such indicators as timeliness, accuracy, relevancy, efficiency, and customer satisfaction with statistical products and services because these represent critical aspects of a statistical program's performance. The results presented here reflect continuous efforts to improve statistical products and services available to decision makers. Some FY 2005 achievements include:

  • BLS improved the Diary — a collection instrument used to obtain information for the Consumer Expenditure Survey — to make it more user-friendly. For example, the respondent now uses check boxes instead of writing out responses when providing information on meals away from home.
  • BLS improved the timeliness of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) annual data release. Data were made available in August — one month earlier than in recent years.
  • The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program began in March publishing Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) using the new OMB definitions. Concurrent with this release, CES also expanded its coverage to include all MSAs for the first time ever; previously, about three-quarters of the MSAs had been published.

Net Cost of Programs
FY 2005 program costs of $536 million support BLS programs to produce and disseminate timely, accurate, and relevant information on the economy. The Bureau's budget and costs trended upward from 1999 to 2005. This trend is attributed primarily to mandatory cost increases; the creation of new programs, such as the American Time Use Survey; and important improvements to survey programs, such as the Consumer Price Index, Producer Price Index, and Employment Cost Index.

 

outcome goal 1.3 graph

Text only

Future Challenges
To respond to the changing economy, maintaining sufficient response levels, and evolving technology, DOL will use various strategies, including the following:

To respond to the changing economy:

In FY 2006, BLS will begin publishing a new data series that will allow workers and employers to compare wages and salaries among metropolitan areas. In an increasingly mobile society, workers need data to help them evaluate job offers from firms located in a variety of locations, and employers need data to compare labor costs when deciding where to establish or expand operations. Produced by the National Compensation Survey, the inter-area pay relatives will present this information in an easy-to-use format free from the effect of differences in survey timing, occupational staffing patterns, and industry mix.

To maintain a high level of response for its voluntary surveys:

In FY 2005, BLS started a multi-year effort to improve informational materials included in data collection efforts. BLS systematically collected information on how respondents view BLS and its programs from interviewers who regularly interact with respondents. Based on the information learned, in FY 2006, BLS plans to conduct a test of the impact of including an informational brochure in the survey packages of the Occupational Employment Statistics program.

To meet the challenges of evolving technology:

In FY 2006, BLS will improve users' ability to find information through the release of a new search engine for the Web site. This technology will improve the search engine results to coincide with user expectations, identify common misspellings and provide alternative choices, and display links to related materials.


Timely, Accurate, and Relevant Economic Information
Performance Goal 05-1.3A (BLS) — FY 2005

Improve information available to decision-makers on labor market conditions, and price and productivity changes.

Indicators, Targets and Results

FY 2004
Result

FY 2005
Target

FY 2005
Result

Target Reached*

Number of series (e.g., Current Employment Statistics, Employment Cost Index, etc.) converted to the North American Industry Classification System (12 series in total)

8

9

9

Y

Percent of domestic output of in-scope services included in the Producer Price Index (PPI)

59.2%

75.7%

76.3%

Y

Percent of in-scope industries in the labor productivity measures

58.0%

58.3%

59.2%

Y

Percent of the components of the new repricing system completed

17%

40%

37%

N

Cost per transaction of the Internet Data Collection Facility

$6.13

$3.32

$2.44

Y

Customer satisfaction with BLS products and services (e.g. the American Customer Satisfaction Index)

82%

75%

74%

S**

Percent of scheduled releases issued on time (108 scheduled releases)

96%

100%

100%

Y

Percent of accuracy measures met (e.g., revision, coverage, etc. - 17 accuracy measures in total)

83%

100%

100%

Y

FY 2005 Costs

$536 Million

*Indicator target reached (Y), substantially reached (S) or not reached (N)

**ForeSee Results has stated that one percentage point is not statistically significant for this indicator.

Goal Substantially Achieved

 

Program Perspective
BLS reports performance for this goal by producing timely and accurate data that meet customer needs. Improvements to the data are measured through increases in the relevancy, coverage, and response rates. The indicators presented here represent the various dimensions of BLS products and services that are important to our customers. The targets chosen balance respondent burden and data user needs, while supporting continuous improvement of our programs and products.

To continue improving its products and services, BLS analyzes and evaluates new economic and statistical methodologies, new technologies, and new survey design, collection, and dissemination approaches. Keeping abreast of improvements and using these improvements to deliver data in a more timely and useful manner, while still maintaining cost effectiveness, are essential ingredients to meeting our goals and providing the quality of service our customers expect. For example, after a multi-year improvement project, the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program began using in FY 2005 redesigned estimating models for States. Focusing resources on improving these estimates, which are a key component of labor market analysis, will lead to an improvement in local area information available to decision-makers, a reduction in the annual revision in monthly State estimates by approximately 20 percent, and the achievement of the BLS data accuracy target.

Analysis and Future Plans
The goal was substantially achieved. Targets were exceeded, reached, or substantially reached for seven of the eight performance indicators.

Teuila, a high school senior, has always liked animals and thought about becoming a veterinarian. Her guidance counselor at Kahuku High and Intermediate School, Mr. Matthew Mumma, suggested that she look up veterinarian in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) on the BLS Web site. The OOH describes the nature of the work, working conditions, training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects for seven out of every eight jobs found in the U.S. Upon learning about the number of advanced science courses involved, Teuila realized that her academic strengths laid elsewhere. She reviewed the requirements for a veterinary technician, but found that occupation may not provide the salary she desired. After further research, Teuila has decided to pursue a career in elementary education. Teuila cites the information found on the OOH Web site as being instrumental in helping her to make a good career choice. The OOH can be found on the BLS Web site at http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm.
Caption above
Photo credit: DOL

BLS reached its target for converting one data series from the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) in FY 2005. The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses data were converted to NAICS in December 2004 as planned.

Targets were exceeded for improving data coverage in the PPI and in labor productivity measures as BLS continued to improve the accuracy of its data. While the PPI measures average changes in selling prices received by domestic producers for their output, labor productivity is the ratio of the output of goods and services to the labor hours devoted to the production of that output. BLS improved data coverage for calculating the PPI by increasing the percent of service industries from 38.8 percent (1997 baseline) to 76.3 percent in FY 2005. BLS increased data coverage in labor productivity measures to 59.2 percent, up from 58 percent in FY 2004 (baseline).

BLS did not reach its target, 40 percent, for completing components of the new PPI repricing system as only 37 percent of the components were completed. As part of the continuing effort to modernize the computing system for monthly processing of the PPI, this new system will be based on a more secure, stable, and expandable computing platform.

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) Web site is the Bureau's nationally recognized source of career information. Using the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey, the OOH Web site substantially reached its target, a score of 75, in the third quarter of 2005. The BLS score was 74; the aggregated Federal government score for this time period was 73.5.

BLS exceeded its target for decreasing the cost per transaction of its Internet Data Collection Facility, which is used by survey respondents to report data. Providing a single, manageable, and secure architecture for Bureau surveys to use in collecting information over the Internet, the cost per transaction in FY 2005 was $2.44. The cost per transaction decreased significantly from $6.13 in FY 2004, and surpassed the stretch target of $3.32. The 2005 result will be lower than outyear targets because, due to periodic replacement cycles, fewer costs were incurred.

BLS met the timeliness indicator for all of its 108 scheduled releases. Additionally, BLS met the established accuracy target for all 17 of its statistical program measures.

To further integrate budget and performance, one of the President Management Agenda priorities, BLS will revise its FY 2006 performance goal framework to more closely link costs and results at the performance indicator level.

Management Issues
BLS is confident that the performance data collected and reported are complete, accurate, and reliable. BLS programs are evaluated both internally and externally to ensure that they provide taxpayer value. As required by OMB Statistical Policy Directive #3, the seven statistical series designated as Principal Federal Economic Indicators are evaluated on a three-year schedule. In FY 2005, BLS completed performance evaluations for the Producer Price Indexes, Current Employment Statistics Survey, Real Earnings, Employment Cost Index, and Productivity and Costs.

During FY 2005, BLS responded to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Federal Information Security Management Act Audit of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) System. Of the 18 security control areas evaluated, 17 areas were adequately established, implemented, and operating effectively in compliance with FISMA. The one area needing improvement was related to the CPI contingency planning control area, where BLS has since made progress by purchasing and placing the necessary equipment to support the plan in the recovery facility. Also, the CPI Continuity of Operation Plan testing under their current technical testing plan has been completed. The review is described in an OIG's report, Federal Information Security Management Act Audit of the Consumer Price Index System (Study 14 in Appendix 2). Additionally, the OIG is conducting a review of the Employment Cost Index, which will be completed in FY 2006. The OIG also plans to start a review of the Producer Price Indexes in FY 2006.

Using the Program Assessment Rating Tool in FY 2005, OMB rated BLS as Effective, the highest rating category. In its findings, OMB recommended that BLS maintain program-monitoring and operational successes; complete efforts to show aspects of program performance more clearly to the general user; and complete efficiency measures to cover more of the Bureau's programs. In response, BLS has improved the precision of some of our performance targets and revised measures to focus more on outcome. In FY 2006, BLS will continue to work collaboratively with the Department to explore ways to increase transparency of its performance goals and indicators.

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