The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires the public workforce system to report a primary performance indicator of its effectiveness in serving employers. To explore how to best meet this requirement, the U.S. Department of Labor, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, piloted three possible employer service measures. The purpose of this project is to study the appropriateness, reliability and validity of the three piloted measures, as well as to analyze other measures used by states, local areas, and Federal agencies to assess effectiveness in serving employers. It includes knowledge development to understand and document the state of the field, an analysis and comparative assessment of measurement approaches and metrics, and the dissemination of findings through a report, as well as research and topical briefs.

Research Questions:

  • How do states, local areas and federal agencies define 'services to employers'? In what ways are the definitions similar and in what ways are they different?
  • What measures are currently being used, or have been used in the past or in other contexts, to understand engagement with employers by states, local areas and Federal agencies? How are the data for these measures collected?
  • What are options for evaluating the feasibility, validity and reliability of proposed measures?

Project Duration: 36 Months

Contract End Date: September 2020

Contractor: The Urban Institute, with George Washington University, Capital Research Corporation, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies

For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov


The Department of Labor's (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.