Federal Agencies Launch New Data Partnerships

Christina Pena
August 4, 2016

The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Labor are involved in several promising new initiatives that could improve education, training, and labor market data linkages, as well as their use for evaluation and policy.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau has launched the “Administrative Data and Data Linkages Research Program” grant competition. The program aims to improve upon existing methods of data management, linkage, and governance of data access (including privacy protection for individuals and businesses). The deadline for submitting applications is August 31, 2016. Institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations may apply. Visit the U.S. Government’s grants portal for more information about the opportunity and application instructions.
  • Also, the Census Bureau is exploring the possibility of partnering with selected higher education entities to measure graduates’ employment outcomes. The project could take advantage of the Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program collection of Unemployment Insurance quarterly wage record data from most states. (WDQC looks forward to providing more information once it’s available.)
  • The U.S. Department of Labor, the University of Chicago’s Center for Data Science and Public Policy, and the National Economic Council, will develop a Skills Cooperative Research Database. The project will harness public and private data with the goal of providing streamlined, secure access to information about jobs and skills.

These projects come at a time when two significant federally-mandated expert groups are commencing their exploration of data collection and how to make the most of information already being gathered.

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, the bi-partisan group that will examine over the next year how the growth of all types of data and technological innovation can be more effectively used for the public good, is expected to focus part of its work on education and workforce data.

The Workforce Information Advisory Council, which recently held its inaugural meeting, has a more specific mission. The Council will advise the Secretary of Labor on improving workforce and labor market information systems, and advancing cooperation between the Department of Labor and states.

Check back for updates on these initiatives.