Investing Resources Wisely
In this era of constrained resources and a changing economy, policymakers at all levels want to support education and workforce programs that get results.
Multiple programs with significant federal and state funding are designed to prepare people for success in the 21st century workforce. A great deal of information is collected about the outcomes and effectiveness of these programs. But because these programs are administered by different agencies for different types of students and jobseekers, these outcome data are kept separate and may not have aligned definitions that make them comparable. That makes it difficult for governors, state legislators, or even the president to see, in one place, the data that would help them understand if these programs are effectively working together and meeting labor market needs.
Data systems that include the full array of education and workforce programs, and allow linkages to wage records that show whether participants got good jobs, are a powerful tool for policymakers to get a holistic picture of their human capital strategy. These systems also facilitate program evaluation, which can identify effective practices to improve policy.