DOL Calls for Grant Applications

by Michelle Massie
April 8, 2015

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its solicitation for applications for the fifth round of the Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grants.

State Workforce Agencies are invited to apply for the new WDQI grants, in which DOL has approximately $10 million available to fund about eight grants. 

Applications are due May 6, and each state may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $1.2 million. The period of performance is three years, commencing on July 1. According to the solicitation, applicants must be members of the Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS) 2 at the time grant funds are released and must abide by the WRIS2 Data Sharing Agreement.

WDQI grants will helps states to improve the quality and availability of workforce data by building or expanding their state workforce longitudinal databases; as well as to promote better coordination between workforce and education programs.

Once awarded, grantees may use funds to accomplish a combination of the following goals: 

  • Develop or improve State workforce longitudinal databases;
  • Enable workforce data to be matched with education data to create longitudinal data systems;
  • Improve the quality and breadth of the data in the workforce data systems;
  • Use longitudinal data to evaluate the performance of federally and state-supported education and job training programs; and
  • Provide 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.

WDQI was launched in 2010. It is a sister initiative of the U.S. Department of Education's Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program, which recently released its own funding announcement. Together, they encourage the development of state education and workforce longitudinal administrative databases.