News Release

$10 million in grants awarded for nine states to improve and align workforce and education data

WASHINGTON — Effective workforce strategies depend on good data to understand how education programs affect employment outcomes better. To maintain the highest quality data possible, the U.S. Department of Labor and workforce agencies nationwide are working together in the Workforce Data Quality Initiative.

In support of this initiative, the department is announcing $10 million for the program's fifth round to help nine states build or expand their longitudinal databases that link workforce and education data.

"These grants are helping to make our programs more effective and responsive to the needs of industry, while also giving consumers more information about which programs can help them achieve their goals," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

Two new states — Alaska and Tennessee — will receive first-time grants in the WDQI program, while seven states — Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington — will use the additional funding to expand work already initiated on their databases.

Grantees must use these longitudinal databases to conduct research and analysis aimed at determining the effectiveness of workforce and education programs. They will also develop tools to inform customers better about the benefits of the federally funded workforce system. Information gathered through this initiative will develop tools to inform consumer choice about the benefits of the publicly funded workforce system.

This grant opportunity highlights the Obama administration's focus on access to high-quality data; it is a sister initiative of the U.S. Department of Education's Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program. These databases are useful as they track the same type of information on the same subjects at multiple points in time. Both grants will help support the emphasis on accountability and transparency, a key feature of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. They will also support the implementation of WIOA by connecting the data infrastructure across programs, enabling states to meet the act's performance accountability requirements.

Grantees will be expected to achieve multiple goals during the three-year grant period. These goals include:

  • Developing or improving state workforce longitudinal data systems with individual-level information;
  • Enabling workforce data to be matched with education data to create longitudinal data systems;
  • Improving the quality and breadth of the data in the workforce data systems;
  • Using longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations;
  • Analyzing the performance of education and employment training programs; and
  • Providing user-friendly information to consumers, in the form of scorecards or integrated digital platforms, to help them select the training and education programs that best suit their needs.

To find out more about the WDQI grantees, visit:

Editor's note: A list of the grantees, their locations and award amounts follows this news release.



Arkansas Department of Workforce Services


Kansas Department of Commerce


Maine Department of Labor


Michigan Workforce Development Agency


Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development


State of Tennessee


Texas Workforce Commission


Washington State Employment Security Department




ETA News Release: 
Media Contact Name: 

Jason Kuruvilla

Phone Number: 
Release Number: