The U.S. Department of Labor announced they awarded $11.4 million in state grants to “develop, enhance state workforce databases.”
Here’s the text of the press release from Friday:
The U.S. Department of Labor announced today the award of $11.4 million in federal Workforce Data Quality Initiative grants. The grants are designed to increase efficiency and effectiveness of these programs.
The department awarded six grants – each approximately $1 million – to eligible State Workforce Agencies in Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Missouri for the development or enhancement of a state workforce longitudinal administrative database. These databases include information on programs that provide training and employment services and allow tracking of similar information on identical subjects at multiple points in time.
For the first time, the department awarded two grants of $2.7 million to SWAs for the integration of their states’ case management, performance reporting, and/or fiscal reporting systems with their states’ longitudinal administrative databases. The grants are awarded to SWAs in Mississippi and Rhode Island.
“This administration is committed to reinvigorating workforce development systems in America,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Access to high-quality data is essential to making good, evidence-based decisions. These Workforce Data Quality Initiative grants help states and local agencies improve the quality and breadth of workforce data, which will benefit businesses, workers and job seekers.”
Grantees will be expected to use their longitudinal databases to conduct research and analysis aimed at determining the effectiveness of workforce and education programs, and to develop tools to better inform customers about the benefits of the publicly funded workforce system.
WDQI databases include information on programs that provide training and employment services, and connect with education data. They may be linked at the individual level and are capable of generating workforce training provider performance information and outcomes, including information and outcomes relevant to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act performance reporting, in a standardized, easy-to-understand format to help customers select the education and training programs that best suit their needs.
Grantees will be expected to achieve multiple objectives during the three-year grant period. Objectives include:
- Developing or improving their state workforce longitudinal administrative databases.
- Connecting workforce data with education data.
- Improving the quality and breadth of the data in workforce longitudinal administrative databases.
- Using longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations.
- Evaluating the performance of education and employment training programs.
- Providing user-friendly information to consumers to help them select the education and training programs that best suit their needs.
- Integrating performance, fiscal, and/or case management systems with the longitudinal administrative database.
One of the objectives is to connect “workforce data with education data” that “may be linked at the individual level.” Sure, what could go wrong here? *Snort*