DOL Provides Update on Negotiating WIOA Performance Goals

Christina Pena
February 20, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released on February 16 a new Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The TEGL provides an update on guidelines relevant to WIOA performance negotiations. The negotiation process establishes state and local goals for WIOA common measures, including employment rates and earnings, for which states and local areas will be held accountable. Unlike the Workforce Investment Act, WIOA’s process includes a statistical model that takes into account participant characteristics and economic conditions.

The TEGL reviews the common measures ( “primary indicators of performance”), the definitions of terms related to performance negotiations, the negotiations process applicable to Program Years (PY) 2018 and 2019, reaching agreement on performance levels, and the methodology for assessing actual results against adjusted performance levels. States must incorporate the negotiated performance levels into their WIOA Unified or Combined State Plans.

Although states reported WIOA data for PY 2016 in October 2017, limited performance outcomes were available due to the timing of incoming data. Accordingly, DOL will continue to use proxy data from the Workforce Investment Act in negotiations with states on their PY 2018 and PY 2019 expected levels of performance for the following WIOA Title I and III program indicators: Employment rates at the 2nd and 4th quarters after exit; median earnings the 2nd quarter after exit, and the credential attainment rate. As more WIOA outcome data become available, the statistical adjustment model used to assess performance will be updated and refined.

As required by WIOA, DOL and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) created the statistical adjustment model to ensure that the negotiated levels of performance take into account the actual economic conditions and characteristics of participants. The TEGL notes: “Changes in economic conditions during the two-year period will be accounted for in the application of the statistical adjustment model at the end of the program year.” DOL will also account for the impact of serving customers with barriers to employment in the adjusted levels of performance calculated after the program year.

States should submit WIOA Unified or Combined Plan modifications by March 15, 2018, and must agree to negotiated levels of performance no later than June 30, 2018. The TEGL refers to a complete list of recommended timelines relevant to reaching agreement on performance levels. For full information on the announcement and related documents, see DOL’s Employment and Training Administration Advisory webpage.

For more background on collecting and matching WIOA performance data, see WDQC’s coverage on WIOA reporting


-WDQC is a project of National Skills Coalition.