DOL Announces 6th Round WDQI Grant Recipients
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded $11.4 million in its sixth round of Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grants. This funding helps states analyze the effectiveness of workforce and education programs, and develop consumer information tools.
The WDQI grants were awarded for two different purposes. DOL awarded six grants of about $1 million each to Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Missouri to develop or enhance workforce longitudinal data systems. DOL also awarded two $2.7 million “super grants” to Mississippi and Rhode Island to integrate case management, performance reporting, or fiscal reporting systems with their longitudinal data system. With the exception of Texas, few states have integrated operational systems with longitudinal data systems.
The funding amount is about double the available funds predicted in DOL’s request for proposals, because the grants now include both FY16 and FY17 appropriations.
DOL first offered WDQI grants in 2010, to supplement funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Grant Program. The previous five rounds of WDQI funding provided approximately $45 million to help states build or expand workforce longitudinal databases.
President Trump’s proposed FY 2018 budget eliminated WDQI funding. However, we will continue to advocate for increased funding of state longitudinal data systems, so that states may gather more information about their education and workforce programs.