Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI)

The Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) supports the development of, or enhancements to, longitudinal administrative databases that integrate workforce data and education data. WDQI also emphasizes promoting improvements and the level of quality of these systems, in addition to increasing the accessibility of performance data, including data reported by employment services and training providers. Education data are being collected under the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education to which the WDQI is a parallel effort. The SLDS emphasizes the collection of workforce data and the WDQI was created, in part, to accompany the work being done on the education side to gather longitudinal data.

WDQI is a collaborative partnership at the Federal level between the Departments of Labor and of Education. The long-term WDQI and Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems goal for States is to use their longitudinal data systems to follow individuals through school and into and through their work life. WQDI grant recipients are expected to demonstrate similarly established partnerships between state workforce and educational agencies. High quality and consistent data that are available from service providers about services offered, and how well their customers benefited as they enter or re-enter the labor market, are integral to informed consumer choices. Each WDQI grantee is expected to fully develop (or expand in the case where states have a database underway) their workforce longitudinal database in addition to using that database to conduct analysis of state workforce and education systems. Additionally, WQDI grantees are expected to use this data analysis to create materials on state workforce performance to share with workforce system stakeholders and the public.

WDQI Objectives

  • Develop or improve state workforce longitudinal data systems to include data from Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records, UI benefit claims, training and employment services (such as WIOA; Wagner-Peyser; Trade Adjustment Assistance; Veterans; Adult Education and Literacy, and Disability programs) and other data sources like the Federal Employment Data Exchange System.
  • Enable workforce data to be matched with education data to ultimately create longitudinal data systems with individual-level information beginning with pre-kindergarten through post-secondary schooling all the way through entry and sustained participation in the workforce and employment services system.
  • Improve the quality and breadth of the data in the workforce data systems.
  • Use longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations and analyze the performance of education and employment and training programs.
  • Provide user-friendly information to help customers select the training and education programs that best suit their needs

Highlights of WDQI

Highlights of WDQI
State Highlights


Provided data in an interactive dashboard for local workforce areas to inform practices in their areas. They also build a tool to allow Kentuckians to explore careers based on several inputs including, their individual knowledge, skills, and abilities, a particular major, a specific salary or occupation.


Released the Iowa Community College Program Outcomes Interactive Charts. This interactive dashboard provides employment and wage outcomes data by academic program.

Iowa Community Colleges | Iowa Student Outcomes

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s response to challenges presented by COVID-19 is a great illustration of how data capacity built over a decade with the help of WDQI funds, including a partnership with RIPL (Research Improving Peoples’ Lives) to build a secure, accessible, permissions-based Data Lake in the cloud, enabled Rhode Island to quickly respond to surging unemployment insurance claims. Their long-term effort to build infrastructure – high quality data, governance (now built into the system), security, agency data-ownership, all the mechanics (data dictionaries, recipes for combining data, etc.) coupled with the successful track record they already have with their WDQI deliverables (the integrated performance reports & ongoing research and analysis with RIPL, the extensive data contained in Data Hub, etc.), made it easy to launch (in ten days).

WDQI National Office Liaison

Toquir Ahmed,

WDQI Grant Information

Please visit the WDQI Grant webpage for additional information on the grant initiative and the latest awardees.

WDQI Grantee Information

Please visit the WDQI Grantee webpage for information on grant award amounts, reporting requirements, and links to grantee project designs and technical assistance.

Technical Assistance Resources

Please visit the page for Technical Assistance in building state's ability to build (or to have built) a workforce database that integrates longitudinal education data.

WDQI Resources


  • TEN 36-16 Release and Availability of Two Reports: Using Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) Databases to Develop and Improve Consumer Report Card Systems (CRCS) and How States Manage Eligible Training Provider Lists: Findings from a State Survey

Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 


2014 NCES Summer Forum and STATS-DC Data Conference