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Strategic Goal 1
A Prepared Workforce

Enhance Opportunities for America’s Workforce

Job Research Cneters at One Stop locations provide job seekers to access to America's Job Bank as well as other job search references and assistance.
Job Research Cneters at One Stop locations provide job seekers to access to America's Job Bank as well as other job search references and assistance.
Photo by: Michael Carpenter

DOL is committed to enhancing opportunities for America's workforce by providing the tools and assistance necessary for success in today's job market to people new to the labor force or wishing to improve their potential. Special emphasis is placed on closing theemployment gap for out-of-school youth and providing long-term jobs for individuals moving from welfare towork. In addition, the Department publishes cruciallabor market information to support key economic andpolicy decisions.


Job seeker recieves job search assistance at One-Step Career Center
Job seeker recieves job search assistance at One-Step Career Center
Photo by: Michael Carpenter

Overview

American workers must have quick and easy access to a broad array of high quality and highly effective workforce development services to continue to enjoy increased employment and earnings in the global economy of the 21st Century. One-Stop Career Centers provide the focal point for meeting the challenges of a global economy. Through the One-Stop Centers, communities can build the local partnerships and organize the workforce development services that enable adults to acquire the skills needed for jobs and career changes that lead to high wages.

Technology has dramatically increased the Department's ability to offer services and products to customers in a broad range of formats and at almost any time. National, State, and local job matching systems, labor market information, resource directories, and occupational and career information are online to enable direct customer access or to assist staff in providing services, and are available anywhere that personal computers can be found, such as customers' homes, businesses, and public libraries. To provide for the special needs of persons with disabilities, the One-Stop Centers have improved access to their facilities and services.

Serving the Public

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), with support from the Women’s Bureau, operate a number of programs that provide the information and skill-building opportunities that lead to increased employment and earnings.

  • Adult programs authorized under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) provide the workforce preparation, training, and support services needed to increase the participants’ skills, employment opportunities, and earnings.

  • Welfare-to-Work programs provide welfare recipients with education, training, and assistance tailored to prepare individuals with multiple barriers to employment to obtain jobs.

  • Wagner-Peyser Act employment services include: a range of labor exchange services, such as access to resource rooms with the latest technology that job seekers use to obtain employment; staff-assisted job search assistance and counseling; job referral and placement; recruitment and screening services for employers; and labor market and career information.

  • Electronic information is available to bring together job seekers and employers nationwide through America's Labor Market Information System, America's Job Bank, America's Career Information Network, America's Learning Exchange, and a wide variety of labor market and workforce development tools.

  • ETA’s Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services works to increase the number of apprenticeship occupations, providing opportunities for satisfying and rewarding careers in highly paid, skilled occupations.

  • VETS programs target veterans requiring special assistance, such as service-connected disabled veterans, and homeless, minority, or older veterans, as well as younger veterans recently separated from active service.

  • The Women’s Bureau seeks to ensure that issues current to women are identified and supported in Departmental programs.

Program Costs

Outcome Goal 1.1  Net Costs ($B)

FY 2001 program costs of $3.2 billion for Outcome Goal 1.1 support ETA’s adult training programs and employment services, in addition to the employment services and training provided for veterans by the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.

In FY 2000, costs for this outcome goal showed a slight increase compared to FY 1999, as DOL transitioned from the training programs of the Job Training and Partnership Act to those of the Workforce Investment Act. Costs continued to
increase in FY 2001, reflecting an increasing tempo in WIA training operations following the start-up/structuring activities of FY 2000. FY 2001’s increased costs also are a result of legislative changes in the Welfare-to-Work program that expanded participant eligibility.

DOL Challenges for the Future

Akey Secretarial area of emphasis is re-orienting and improving the effectiveness of the Department’s job training programs to meet the needs of the 21st Century workforce. The Department will increase collaboration within the One-Stop framework, leveraging the full array of services available from all partners, to enable all workers to secure employment with the opportunity for increased earnings and career advancement.

The Department and its partners also will take advantage of available technology, measure performance and customer satisfaction, address infrastructure and capacity needs, and seek new ways to break down the barriers to integrated One-Stop service delivery. The collective goal is to provide high quality services and information that best serve the nation's job seekers and employers.

The economic impact of the September 11th terrorist attacks is likely to have a disproportionate effect on low-wage workers, who tend to be early victims of rising unemployment and the last to benefit from expanding job opportunities during times of recovery. The Department will marshal the expertise of all our service partners to ensure positive outcomes on behalf of these workers.


WELFARE-TO-WORK (WtW) PROGRAM — INCREASE RETENTION RATE AND AVERAGE EARNINGS OF WtW PARTICIPANTS

Of those Welfare-to-Work (WtW) participants placed in unsubsidized employment, 66 percent will remain in the workforce for six months with six percent average earnings increase by the second consecutive quarter following the placement quarter.

Results: The goal was not achieved. Of those WtW participants placed in unsubsidized employment, 49 percent remained in the workforce for six months with 59 percent average earnings increase by the second consecutive quarter following the placement quarter.

Welfare-to-Work Participants Placed in Employment

Program Description:

The WtW program seeks to place and retain in jobs individuals who face formidable barriers to employment, including long-term welfare recipients, those who have exhausted their welfare benefits, young adults transitioning from foster care and certain non-custodial parents. The program concentrates on quickly placing participants in a work activity while offering ongoing supportive services critical to successful long-term employment, such as child care, and emergeny housing. A work activitycan be an unsubsidized job, experience, or on-the-job training. Placements focus on jobs with progressive wage gains that lead to economic self-sufficiency

A unique feature of WtW is the program’s primary emphasis on post-employment services, including occupational skill training, General Educational Development (GED) preparation, and further education. By providing these services in a work-based environment, DOL helps to assure that participants retain jobs, increase their wages, and develop a permanent attachment to the labor market.

The program began in FY 1998 by issuing grants to States and competitive grants to local communities. States must provide $1 in match for every $2 in Federal grant funds they receive. The Department made a concerted effort to award WtW competitive grants to small-scale community and faith-based organizations.

Analysis of Results: Two following factors may have contributed to the shortfall in the targeted retention rate:

  • Employment has declined in the service and retail sectors, both significant sources of entry-level placements for WtW participants whose typically low educational and skills levels and short work histories often cause these workers to be laid off in an economic downturn.

  • The accuracy of grantee reporting has been questionable as noted in the FY 2000 Annual Report and as further emphasized in the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) recent performance review of WtW competitive grants. As a result, DOL has simplified reporting requirements and has been training grantees on these requirements during this past year. A major data validation review is also underway with the objective of assisting organizations with limited Federal grant experience to understand and meet the requirements.

Strategies: Strategies for improving retention and earnings gain outcomes include the following new initiatives and technical assistance products that assist grantees in addressing the employment needs of specific WtW participants:

  • Make Retention More Attractive: The Department will increase grantees’ use of tax credits, the Federal Bonding Program, post-employment services, individual development accounts, and especially the newly authorized post-employment support payments as ways to make retaining employment more attractive to participants and more feasible for employers.

  • Magnify and Extend Service Provision: DOL will continue merging the WtW program into the One-Stop Centers to increase the array and duration of support and post-employment services to place and retain these participants in long-term unsubsidized jobs with advancement potential.
  • DOL is implementing several technical assistance and pilot ventures related to increasing employment, retention, and earnings opportunities for noncustodial parents and ex-offenders.

  • The Pathways to Advancement pilot project: This project, implemented jointly with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), subsidizes employers to upgrade and advance current entry-level, low-wage, working TANF "alumni." One-Stop partners will fund training for welfare recipients or other at-risk job seekers from the WtW program and other sources to fill the vacancies created by the pilot project’s "alumni." Lessons learned from the pilot projects will be communicated to other grantees.

  • Validate Data At the Program Level: Using software and tools provided by the Department, all active WtW grantees will complete a Data Validation Self-Audit by June 2002. By September 2002, a re-sample by OIG is expected to conclude that all grantee data is timely and reliable.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans:

The Department will not separately report goals and performance results in future DOL Annual Performance Plans and Reports for the participants targeted by this program. However, the results of services to WtW participants will be summarized in the Department’s measures for the job training and public labor exchange goals as well as in the agency-level performance plans and reports prepared by DOL’s Employment and Training Administration.

Audits and Program Evaluations:

The Office of Inspector General issued a final report, "Welfare-to-Work Competitive Grant Program Performance Audit," recommending that the Department conduct data validation reviews at the grantee level. OIG also recommends that DOL work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure that HHS’ Welfare-to-Work program evaluation captures the aspects of effective program innovation.

In response to these recommendations, DOL has taken a number of actions including:

  • The Department’s Welfare-to-Work program will focus its FY 2002 technical assistance activities specifically on retention and wage gains, to address OIG’s recommendation that grantees be required to follow-up with participants in unsubsidized employment to determine if additional services are needed to assure employment retention.

  • The Department has posted on its website a performance and reporting software package that enables grantees to readily prepare the program reports required by DOL and includes edit features to preclude common errors (http://usworkforce.org/resources/accountability.htm ). An additional software package to assist grantees in further analyzing the quality of their data will be made available in the near future.

  • The Department will work with the Department of Health and Human Services to assure that their national evaluation design is tailored to assess the innovative approaches being used to move welfare recipients from welfare dependency to economic self-sufficiency.

Appendix 3 provides further information on this audit. ■

(Goal 1.1A — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)


THE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT – INCREASE EMPLOYMENT AND EARNINGS FOR ADULTS

Of those registered under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) adult program and employed in the first quarter after exit, 77% will be employed in the third quarter after program exit, with increased average earnings of $3,264.

Results: The goal was achieved. The retention rate after three quarters of employment was 78 percent, one percentage point above the target. Actual earnings increased by $3,684, exceeding the target of $3,264. Final data will be available when States submit the annual report. That data will contain an additional quarter of wage records, so results are expected to vary from this report.

Program Description: The Workforce Investment Act’s (WIA) Adult Program improves the quality of the workforce, reduces welfare dependence, and enhances the productivity and competitiveness of the Nation’s economy. The Department allocates adult employment and training funds by formula to the States, which further distribute the funds to local Workforce Investment Areas. The One-Stop Centers in each Area deliver to adults services that fall into three tiers:

  1. Core services, such as resume writing assistance, labor market information and job search strategy workshops, are available to all adults;
  2. Intensive services, such as career assessment, are targeted primarily to unemployed individuals who are not able to find a job without staff assistance; and
  3. Training services are available to individuals who need to acquire new skills in order to find and retain a job.

Workforce Employment Act.  Adults Placed in Employment

Analysis of Results:
DOL based the PY 2000 goals on the outcome of negotiations between the Department and State agencies, and the results reflect the performance that 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands reported.

States and local areas used the Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage record reporting system for the first time as their performance reporting data source. To ensure high standards of reliability, the Department is conducting a "validation project" to examine States’ reporting and the UI wage record system to assure valid and reliable data.

Strategies: DOL developed the following major strategies to improve the WIA Adult Program after its first year of full operation:

  • The Department conducted "WIA Readiness Reviews," which uncovered several areas that affect the delivery of quality services and the accurate and reliable reporting of both services and outcomes. For example, the review results indicate that: a) eligibility determination policies varied among and within States; b) the number of eligible training providers was less than what would be necessary for competition and customer choice – primary tenets of WIA; and c) using the flexibility afforded them, States had adopted inconsistent approaches to certain measures of adult services, affecting the comparability of data.

  • The Department designed guidance and technical assistance activities to address the problems that the "WIA Readiness Reviews" revealed in the first year of program implementation. States and local service providers use the guidance and technical assistance to improve services and outcomes for individuals the WIA Adult Program serves.

  • DOL began deploying the guidance it developed as a result of the "WIA Readiness Reviews." The Department is working with a network of partners from business coalitions, public interest groups, and community and faith-based organizations to implement the WIA program refinements for their respective constituents. This will assure more consistent policy, which will improve service delivery, outcomes and reporting. DOL will assess its success in deploying the guidance during the second half of PY 2001.

  • The Department began "showcasing" the best WIA programs. The Workforce Excellence Network (which consists of the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services and Labor, the National Association of Workforce Boards, the National Leadership Institute and other organizations) conducts two major national conferences each year - the "Journey to Excellence" and "Workforce Innovation" - to display programs and innovations. In "Journey to Excellence," State and local service provider staff members who have achieved excellent results provide workshops to other State and local program staff. "Workforce Innovation" showcases projects with technological innovations that have improved employment and training services for adults and other WIA customers. For PY 2001, DOL will build upon these basic strategies by refining readiness reviews, providing additional training and technical assistance, and working with its partners to improve core, intensive, and training services and thus improve the employment, retention, and wages of adults.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans:

The Department has reviewed its future year goals and strategies in light of the first year’s implementation experience and will maintain its planned targets of 70 percent employment, 80 percent retention, and $3,423 average earnings gain for PY 2002. ■

(Goal 1.1B — FY 2000 Annual Performance Plan)


INCREASE JOB SEEKERS’ ENTRY INTO EMPLOYMENT

Increase by one percentage point, the share of applicants who receive labor exchange services that enter employment, resulting in more than 3.2 million Employment Service applicants entering employment

Results: The goal was fully achieved. 23.6 percent of job seekers who received labor exchange services entered employment surpassing the goal of 22.6 percent for a total of more than 3.85 million job seekers entering employment.

Program Description: In assisting job seekers to find employment, public employment service staff provides job search, referral, and placement services, and other activities and services such as counseling, testing, assessment, and occupational and labor market information. Additionally, the public employment service provides job seekers with access to automated job vacancies, resume posting and training services through America’s Career Kit (America’s Job Bank, America’s Career Info Net, and America’s Learning Exchange).

During Program Year 2000, State workforce agencies continued the transition to providing labor exchange services through One-Stop delivery systems. In the One-Stop environment, coordination of labor exchange service delivery occurs with the provision of other Federally-funded workforce development services as required under the Workforce Investment Act.

Analysis of Results: The results reported for this measure represent the proportion of job seekers registered with the employment service who entered employment during Program Year 2000. State workforce agencies collect information on the number of applicants registered with the public employment service and the number who enter employment which they in turn report to the Department in the form of summary statistics.

The Department projects the number of job seekers entering employment to further increase when Guam and New Jersey provide final data.

Entered Employment Rate

The Department developed a comprehensive Labor Exchange Performance Measurement System that includes newly developed performance measures and an improved system of obtaining outcome information based on unemployment insurance wage record data. Studies in selected States have indicated that the current reporting procedure, which requires follow-up contacts with job seekers, significantly understates the outcomes of the public labor exchange when compared to data available from the unemployment insurance records. Full implementation of the new measures requires substantial changes, and the reporting process that supports the collection of data will be effective in Program Year 2002.

Strategies: ETA has invested in
training to improve the skills of front-line One-Stop workers. Training emphases have focused on addressing the needs of customers, accessing and using America’s Career Kit tools and O*NET (Occupational Information Network), an electronic tool that identifies, defines, describes, and classifies occupations. O*NET can be used by employers to define and classify jobs and seek job applicants, and by workers and others in searching for jobs and making career choices. These investments have been part of ETA’s efforts to ensure that staff-assisted services are provided to job seekers and employers in One-Stop delivery centers and have contributed to increased effectiveness in performing the labor exchange function.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans:

Based on the performance and reporting improvements expected from the implementation of the Labor Exchange Performance Measures, the Department has established the following targets for this goal in the FY 2002 Annual Performance Plan:

  • 55 percent of job seekers registered with the public labor exchange will enter employment with a new employer by the end of the second quarter following registration;
  • 70 percent of job seekers will continue to be employed two quarters after initial entry into employment with a new employer. ■

(Goal 1.3A — FY 2000 Annual Performance Plan)

Picture of 2 people looking at notes.
Photo by: Michael Carpenter


JOB LISTINGS WITH THE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE

Increase by 15 percent the total number of job openings listed with the public employment service, including both those listed with State Workforce Agencies and those listed directly with America’s Job Bank (AJB) via the Internet.

Results: The goal was fully achieved. The number of job openings listed with State Workforce Agencies (7.4 million) and America’s Job Bank (5.4 million) increased by 26.4 percent over Program Year 1999.

Program Description: As part of providing labor exchange, recruitment, and other technical services to employers, the public employment service publishes job openings. Employers can advertise their job openings with State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), job seekers can research these opportunities, and staff can screen and refer suitable candidates to these jobs at the request of the employer. Employers also can publish their job openings on America's Job Bank (AJB), which is a national Internet-based job system that facilitates connections between employers and job seekers. Most jobs listed with the SWAs are subsequently posted on AJB. (Jobs posted on AJB from SWA listings are excluded from the AJB count in the table below.)

Job Openings Listed with the Public Employment Service.

Analysis of Results: Even though data from one key State (New Jersey) have not yet been received, the goal was achieved. The Department projects that the report from New Jersey, which represented 2.55 percent of the total number of job openings received in Program Year 1999, will increase the overall results for this goal.

The Department’s investments in AJB and in increasing awareness of AJB among State agencies and the public have contributed to the 96 percent increase in the number of AJB direct listings. Among the key investments:

  • Employer focus groups and a market analysis provided information that facilitated the development of new versions of the AJB website. Several new versions were released during the Program Year, each of which made the site easier to navigate and use for the employer customer.

  • Training of One-Stop office staff on the use of AJB (and the other Career Kit products) began during Program Year 2000, increasing the visibility of this tool in many of the One-Stop centers and leading staff to recommend the service to employers with whom they work.
picture of a table with statistics
  • A public information campaign, also begun during Program Year 2000, is increasing the general public’s awareness of the site.

Strategies: DOL continues to assist States to identify more effective strategies for working with employer customers in One-Stop systems overall, including listing their jobs.

New tools in development will enable employers to prepare job descriptions that are more likely to attract job seekers with the appropriate skills.

The Department placed a stronger emphasis on performance overall with the development of the Labor Exchange Performance Measures. Although the new measures are not yet in effect, the States are broadly aware of their development and understand that performance outcomes are a key focus and support for ongoing budget requests. In addition, the new performance data will be available in both raw form (with the ability for ad hoc reporting) and also as management reports for the States and DOL to facilitate performance monitoring.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans:

The Department recognizes that increasing the number of job opportunities listed with the public labor exchange improves the likelihood that job seekers will locate suitable employment. In the FY 2002 Annual Performance Plan, the number of job openings listed with the public labor exchange therefore has been incorporated as one supporting measure under a performance goal to improve the outcomes for job seekers and employers who receive public labor exchange services.

(Goal 1.3B — FY 2000 Annual Performance Plan)

 

When Heather was down-sized from her job as human resources director for a Louisville Company, she found herself at a One-Stop Center looking for her next job. Her resume was entered into the online job bank at the One-Stop Center. The resume attracted the attention of a technology firm, and she was soon working for the technology firm’s human resources department. One Stop Centers are an invaluable information resource for those who have lost their jobs. Centers include resource rooms with the latest technology job seekers use to obtain employment, such as resume preparation tools, staff-assisted job search assistance and counseling, job referral and placement, as well as information on careers and the labor market.

 

EMPLOYERS REGISTERED WITH AMERICA’S JOB BANK

Increase the number of new employers registered with America’s Job Bank from 51,000 to 60,000.

Results: The goal was achieved. During Program Year 2000, 66,563 new employers registered with America’s Job Bank.

Program Description: America’s Job Bank (AJB), an Internet-based labor exchange system, complements the services provided by the public employment service offices in the States. Job seekers can search for a job in AJB’s online listing of openings and post a resume to an online database free of charge. Employers who register to use the service can search the resume database for potential candidates in addition to being able to post their job openings on the site. The site provides both employers and job seekers a "scout" feature, offering users the ability to save searches based on search criteria they choose, have the system automatically run those searches again at user-defined intervals, and then e-mail them the search results.

AJB evolved from the Interstate Job Bank that was initiated to carry out the Secretary’s responsibilities in this area under the Wagner Peyser Act. The State of New York established the Interstate Job Bank under agreement with DOL and continues to operate the AJB under a DOL grant.

Analysis of Results: The number of new employers that register with AJB has increased steadily each year, since its inception in Program Year 1996. The increased registration during Program Year 2000 is attributed to several factors:

  • The web site was redesigned to make it more intuitive and user-friendly.

  • DOL initiated a public information campaign during Program Year 2000 that contributed to increased employer awareness of the services that are offered free to employers.

  • State employment office staffs in One-Stop Centers were trained on uses of AJB that increased the web site’s visibility and most likely led to staff recommending the service to employers with whom they have contact.

  • The economy experienced a tight labor market during the July 2000-June 2001 measurement period for this goal.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans:

DOL has streamlined the number of goals in the FY 2002 Annual Performance Plan, and this goal has been discontinued. The outcomes of employer registration will be measured in the future through the percentages of public labor exchange registrants and job training program participants who secure and retain employment. ■

(Goal 1.3C — FY 2000 Annual Performance Plan)


INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN PARTICIPATING IN APPRENTICESHIP

Increase by 6% the number of newly registered female apprentices over the end of the FY 1999 baseline.

Results: The goal was fully achieved. The number of newly registered female apprentices increased by 21 percent over the FY 1999 baseline.

Percent Increase in the Number of
Newly Registered Female Apprentices
             6%                     21%
Picture of a chart discribing the Percent Increase in the Number of Newly Registered Female Apprentices.
   Fy 2001 Target         Fy2001 Result

Program Discription
Registered apprenticeship combines on- the-job training and related classroom instruction to enable workers to learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Registered apprenticeships are career training programs based in an industry which determines the skills its employees will need and trains them to achieve the relevant knowledge. Joint employer and labor groups, individual employers and/or employer associations voluntarily sponsor the programs. Completion of a registered apprenticeship program provides a certification of skills that can be recognized throughout the country. Registered apprenticeship programs offer an important avenue to increase women’s access to career employment opportunities in highly paid, specialized occupations.

The Department manages the National Registered Apprenticeship System, approving training programs and registering apprentices in 23 States. DOL delegates the management authority through Federal-State partnerships with State Apprenticeship Councils/Agencies (SACs) in 28 States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Analysis of Results: In FY 1999, there were 7,551 newly registered female apprentices. In FY 2001, there were 9,162, an increase of 21 percent over the two-year period. Females represented 7.2 percent of all newly registered apprentices in FY 2001.

Approximately 60 percent of apprentices, including minorities and females, fall within the following industries: communication/ transportation, construction, health, manufacturing, and other services. Since FY 1999, there has been a 52.5 percent increase in women registrants within the health sector. The communication/ transportation sector follows with a 15 percent increase. Manufacturing and construction reflect a 21.5 percent and 7 percent decrease, respectively, in new women registrations.

As the apprentices gain skills, they are compensated through a progressively increasing schedule of wages. In FY 2001, available data indicate that the average hourly wage for new apprentices was $9.37. Upon completion of the multi-year apprenticeship training period, apprentices earned an average of $18.74 hourly.

The data for this goal are obtained from the Apprenticeship Information Management System (AIMS) and State data maintained on registered apprentices.

Strategies: DOL attributes its success in meeting the performance goal to several strategies:

  • Providing, in collaboration with the National Association of State and Territorial Apprenticeship Directors, technical assistance to existing apprenticeship sponsors to help them meet their obligation to recruit and retain women.

  • Conducting promotional activities, including:

    • Presentations to the Workforce Investment Boards emphasizing the need to support community-based organizations and other stakeholders that transition women from welfare to work through registered apprenticeship; and

    • Using professional public information materials (CD-ROMs, brochures and pamphlets) that feature women in successful apprenticeship occupations.

  • The Department has also developed cooperative working relationships with Federal and State agencies and community-based organizations to raise awareness of apprenticeship’s benefits, to enhance opportunities for women, and to improve coordination of outreach to sponsors.

  • The Department continued to collaborate with the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations outreach grantees, which educate women about the registered apprenticeship system. Women learn where and when to apply for apprenticeship, the commitment and dedication needed to fulfill their apprenticeship obligations, and the requirements needed to meet the minimum qualifications to enter apprenticeship.

  • DOL also plans a new initiative to increase the capacity of registered programs to improve recruitment, retention and placement of traditionally underrepresented groups within their respective programs. Some of the strategies include selecting program sponsors who have demonstrated success with underrepresented groups,

establishing a repository of those selected experts, and coordinating and linking the technical experts with those program sponsors requesting assistance.

Image of woman looking at blue prints.
Photo from: DOL's PhotoDisc photography library.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans:

The Department has revised its FY 2002 apprenticeship goal to target program expansion by offering apprenticeship as a means for meeting the training needs of business and workers in areas where the program has not been traditionally used. Areas of emphasis are reflected in the goal’s performance indicators:

  • Increasing the number of new apprenticeship programs;

  • Increasing the number of new businesses involved in apprenticeship;

  • Increasing the number of new apprentices; and

  • Increasing the number of new programs in new and emerging industries.

In the longer term (2-4 years), the Department will add goals for the percentages of enrolled individuals who complete apprenticeship programs and for their average wage gains.

Evaluations: The General Accounting Office completed a review of the National Apprenticeship Registered System and its report, "Registered Apprenticeships: Labor Could Do More to Expand to Other Occupations," includes the following four recommendations for DOL:

  1. Lead in identifying apprenticeable occupations with shortages of skilled labor and establish plans for promoting apprenticeship in these occupations;
  2. Identify funding for developing apprenticeships;
  3. Establish a mechanism for sharing information among labor representatives and employers; and
  4. Ensure that current apprenticeship database information shared is detailed, accurate and complete, which will enable the Department to evaluate progress in meeting labor market needs.

As reflected in the revised performance indicators, the Department agrees with these recommendations and is developing strategies to address them.

See Appendix 3 for further information regarding this evaluation. ■

(Goal 1.1F — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)


PREPARE WOMEN FOR THE LABOR FORCE

Increase the number of women in the labor force who have greater knowledge that can assist them in improving their pay and benefits, worklife needs, and career advancement as measured by a 5 percent increase.

Results: Performance exceeded the goal. 42,449 women received assistance, surpassing the FY 2001 target of 33,600 by 26 percent.

Program Description: The mission of DOL's Women's Bureau is to advance opportunities for women in the workforce. As the trend of female participation in the workforce increases, the Department seeks to provide information, skills, and support networks to women attempting to enter or advance in the workforce.

picture of a woman taking notes.
Photo from: DOL's EyeWire Images photography library.

Analysis of Results: The Department directly reached 42,449 women with labor force information, which includes women provided individual assistance or consultation, women aided through service providers, employers educated or provided information, women provided assistance to gain entry into apprenticeships and non-traditional occupations through grant programs, and women provided information and assistance to gain entry into high-wage careers.

The 42,449 women reached directly, as measured by the Women's Bureau, are a fraction of the estimated one million women reached indirectly through DOL's influence in changing policies and programs as well as other advocacy activities. For example, with support from the Department, Mississippi established a Commission on the Status of Women with the potential to impact all working women in the State through the development of new employment policies.

Several sources of data are used for collecting performance information: an automated tracking system to collect data for technical assistance provided to women; an evaluation form used at workshops, conferences, symposiums, and forums; contractor reports of results; comment cards distributed with all Departmental publications as well as at some sponsored or co­sponsored events and exhibits; and, unsolicited information, such as letters from constituents.

Strategies: The Department leverages the resources of the Women’s Bureau by joining in collaborative ventures and partnerships with public, private, and academic sectors, to reach out to the widest possible audience through activities such as pilot projects, workshops, training sessions, and public forums.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans:

The Department recognizes the need to develop strategic and performance goals that are more outcome-oriented to measure DOL’s progress towards enhancing the lives of America’s working women and their families. The Department has discontinued the current goal for FY 2002, and has reflected the Women’s Bureau’s initiatives as strategies contributing to the achievement of other Departmental program goals for this fiscal year. ■

(Goal 1.1I — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)


HELP VETERANS ENTER EMPLOYMENT

Twenty-seven percent of those veterans and other eligible persons registering for public labor exchange services will enter employment each year through assistance provided by VETS-funded staff and the Wagner-Peyser funded systems.

Results: The goal was fully achieved. The entered employment rate for veterans assisted by the public employment service system was 33 percent. (Reports have been received from all but five States.)

Program Description: The Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is responsible for maximizing employment and training services to America’s veterans by ensuring priority of service to veterans throughout the public labor exchange.

The Department funds State Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs). DVOP staff provide a variety of specialized services through the public labor exchange, including career coaching, vocational guidance, assessment, job search and job development services, referral to training, and other supportive activities to those veterans requiring special assistance. LVERs ensure that veterans receive services on a priority basis in local employment service offices, train local office staff, facilitate job search and Transition Assistance Program workshops, and conduct outreach to employers and community groups on veterans’ issues.

Analysis of Results: The ratio of veterans entering employment to those registering with the public labor exchange continues to show an increase due to the renewed focus on the quality and intensity of services provided to veterans to meet their individual needs. The program staff identify job ready veterans who do not require intensive services and "fast track" these registrants to receive the level of services that will enable them to successfully meet their employment goals. To disabled veterans or those with significant barriers to employment who may require a broad range of support, DVOP staff offer career coaching, skills assessment, job development, referral to training, follow-up and other intensive services.

The Department is redefining the data collection and reporting process for all public labor exchange measures. The 33 percent entered employment rate of veterans registered with the public labor exchange significantly understates the actual level of performance because of data collection procedures, which require staff follow-up to confirm employment. The introduction during the next year of unemployment insurance wage records to track employment results will resolve the program’s reporting problems. In addition, a number of States are in the process of converting their data collection systems to facilitate the collection and reporting of information on the results of job training programs authorized by the Workforce Investment Act. The automated system changes have delayed receipt of some States’ reports (Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Pennsylvania), requiring the Department to estimate the entered employment rate.

Strategies: LVERs assist transitioning service personnel to identify the credentials and training needed for jobs requiring licenses and or certifications in a variety of industries that will be available upon their separation from the military service.

In FY 2002, the Department will implement a national marketing program to promote employment opportunities for veterans and to expand VETS’ licensing and certification initiatives

In a continuing effort to strengthen cooperative working relationships with the State workforce agencies, the Department hosted four regional workshops involving VETS national office staff, VETS field staff, and State agency administrators. The workshops focused on enhancing the working relationships between the Department and the States, and developing new approaches to increase the number of job applicants who enter employment.

During this period, VETS has also worked closely with the Department’s Employment and Training Administration to review and align VETS’ performance measures with those of the United States Employment Service, advancing the goal of integrated employment and training services through the One-Stop service delivery system.

Program Evaluation: In FY 2001, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued two reports on VETS: "Veterans’ Employment and Training Service: Proposed Performance Measurement System Improved, but Further Changes Needed,"

issued in May, and "Veterans’Employment and Training Service: Flexibility and Accountability Needed to Improve Services to Veterans" issued in September. Both reports focus on the Department’s oversight of employment and training services provided to veterans. The Department has developed new performance outcome measures and monitoring tools for the public labor exchange that replace process measures. The revised procedures for establishing performance targets and measuring outcomes will go a long way toward resolving issues raised by GAO in their recent audits by significantly improving the programs’ emphasis on outcomes. Appendix 3 provides further information on both reports.

Goals Assessment and Future Plans:

The Department has delayed by one year the implementation of new public labor exchange veterans’ performance goals, originally planned for FY 2002, to provide the States additional time to develop their data collection systems. The new goals will closely mirror those prepared by the United States Employment Service, and more complete data available from State Unemployment Insurance wage records will permit the Department to set significantly higher and more realistic performance targets beginning in FY 2003. ■

(Goal 1.1J — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)

 

We try to have useful information for everyone,” said Clyde Fazenbaker, a veterans employment representative with the Illinois Department of Employment Security who also serves as a facilitator for the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshops at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center north of Chicago. “It’s always a challenge because we have people leaving the military at all stages of their lives and they have different needs and expectations about civilian employment.” During the last 10 years, more than 12,000 military personnel have made a successful transition into civilian life after participating in TAP workshops held at Great Lakes.

 
 

Photo from: DOL/VETS


MOVE HOMELESS VETERANS INTO UNSUBSIDIZED EMPLOYMENT

At least 50 percent of those veterans eligible and other eligible persons enrolled in Homeless Veteran Reintegration Project (HVRP) grants enter employment.

Result: This goal was exceeded. The entered employment rate in the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Project grants totaled 54 percent.

Program Description: The Homeless Veteran Reintegration Project funds employment, training, and other support services (e.g., medical treatment, counseling, transportation) to enable homeless veterans to reintegrate successfully into the workforce. Organizations receiving grants under this program typically provide job search, counseling, placement assistance, remedial education, classroom and on-the-job training, and supportive services such as transportation and transitional housing — often in concert with HUD, VA and other service providers.

Grantees are also strongly encouraged to establish linkages with rehabilitation agencies for such services as drug and alcohol counseling.

Analysis of Results: During the past year, the Department has improved the entered employment rate for homeless veterans participating in the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Project by reinforcing this outcome as the primary focus for service providers, while continuing to assist participants to overcome the multiple problems that prevent many homeless veterans from securing and retaining employment. The program’s services now emphasize longer-term job retention and targeted training to match available jobs. In addition, the Department has developed closer linkages with associated Federal, State, and local community based organizations in order to leverage resources to increase service capacity. Once on the job, homeless veterans are contacted periodically to ensure their successful transition from homelessness to gainful employment. These follow-up visits enhance job retention and play a significant role in supporting self-esteem – a significant factor in the reintegration of a homeless veteran into the workforce.

 

Mark, a four year Army veteran and Baltimore native, bounced around the country for 20 years looking for work, doing odd jobs on fishing boats, oil rigs, and other manual jobs, abusing drugs and alcohol. After roaming around the country, his mother recommended the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET). "I came in scared," Mark said. "Now I want to recover." Mark has earned his GED and moved into a Single Room Occupancy apartment at MCVET. He currently performs building security for MCVET and has just completed technical school for heating and air conditioning repair and maintenance. Since 1993, MCVET has been providing a comprehensive series of programs to homeless veterans in Maryland including a day-drop-in facility, emergency and transitional housing, health care assessments, job training and placement. This continuum of care, plus a philosophy that insists that every resident has skills and abilities to achieve independent living, has earned MCVET recognition from the Departments of Labor and Housing and Urban Development as a "National Model" for seamless services to homeless veterans.

 

Strategies:

  • The Department will expand its technical assistance efforts to current service providers particularly first-time grantees by: (1) helping them develop linkages with Federal, State, and local community resources; (2) improving reporting systems at the local level; (3) convening an advisory committee composed of experienced grantees; and (4) emphasizing longer term follow up services, job retention, wage enhancement, and improved quality and applicability of training. In addition, the Department will identify potential new service providers including faith-based and community organizations as potential grantees.

  • During FY 2002, DOL also plans to assist grantees by orienting them to the problems of homeless veterans including substance abuse, mental and physical disabilities.

Goals Assessment and Future Plans:

In FY 2002, this goal targets an increase to at least 54 percent of veterans enrolled in the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Project entering employment and the establishment of a baseline rate for job retention six months after the homeless veterans enter employment. ■

(Goal 1.1K — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)

 

Staff of the Veterans' Employment and Training Service inform reservists and National Guard members before activation about their civilian reemployment rights and responsibilities. A federal law guarantees that they can return to their civilian jobs when their military duty is done.

 
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