Today, many students transfer programs across state lines or move to another state for work after graduation. Many workers also have a job in a state different from where they live. Because most states only have data from within their own borders, it is difficult to truly understand how our nation’s education and workforce training programs are preparing people to find employment. Moreover, many localities cannot access state data, nor can states access local data.
WDQC recently joined an effort to create electronic tools that facilitate reporting by eligible training providers under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Better reporting will help students, workers, and policymakers identify which occupational training programs are leading to good jobs.
The White House released a Presidential Memorandum last week detailing best practices for education and training institutions serving veterans, members of the military, and their families. With 200,000 service members annually transitioning to further education or careers, it is important to provide veterans with reliable information about high-quality postsecondary education.
In a new report, Iris Palmer, Senior Policy Analyst at New America, discusses the pros and cons to stitching together state data systems in order to answer national-level questions about higher education.
The ability to effectively capture and use data to improve local economic development drove the discussion during the U.S. Census Bureau’s Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership Workshop earlier this week in Washington, DC. Every year, the workshop brings together hundreds of representatives from state and federal agencies, and public and private organizations who share an interest in using existing data to create “new sources of economic and demographic information for policymakers and data users.”
A new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Performance Reporting and Related Challenges,” provides general information on how the federal government has been collecting data from the states to report on Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs, and highlights the areas where states are expected to have difficulties in meeting WIOA performance reporting requirements. The GAO did not describe individual state cases in this 43-page report.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has awarded approximately $108 million of State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) grants, to fund projects that will use already linked data to inform policy in one of six priority areas. The 16 states who received awards are American Samoa, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Last week, WDQC hosted its second annual State Advisors Fly-In, “Implementing for Impact,” in Washington D.C. The two-day conference brought together 18 state representatives, WDQC’s national partner organizations, and the federal government to discuss various topics related to data collection and use.
WDQC recently hosted a meeting of representatives from about a dozen national organizations that all share the goal of helping states leverage education and employment data to improve human capital development.
The meeting’s objectives included reviewing organizations’ current activities, approaches, and geographic focus, and developing shared strategies to facilitate more coordination between these organizations and states.
Progress and follow-up actions were discussed in a number of key areas:
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report showing to what extent states match data between educational institutions and workforce sectors. The report’s findings are consistent with WDQC’s survey of states, and are relevant because longitudinal data systems may improve research and policymaking on workforce outcomes.