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Evaluating Job Services for Our Nation's Veterans: Supplemental Findings from a WIA Gold Standard Evaluation
Finding a job can be one of the biggest challenges veterans face after leaving the military, especially for veterans with disabilities. But with support from the public workforce system—accessed through American Job Centers (AJCs)—veterans can receive help to overcome employment barriers in the civilian workforce. AJC services for veterans have been supported by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker programs and the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSGs).
A new study from Mathematica Policy Research sheds light on the characteristics of veterans who visit AJCs, the assistance they receive, and how AJCs ensure veterans are given priority of service. The findings are based on data from 28 sites across the country, randomly selected for Mathematica’s WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation. The study also includes an in-depth analysis of job services provided to veterans in Pennsylvania and Texas.
Key findings include:
- Program administration: Veterans who sought help from AJCs were often assisted by JVSG staff who were, in most cases, veterans themselves.
- Priority of service: Although many veterans were not aware of their right to priority of service upon first entering an AJC, they were usually informed during intake.
- Veterans’ characteristics: In Pennsylvania and Texas, veterans were more likely than nonveterans to be male, to be older, and to have a disability. Veterans in these states were also significantly more likely to have had some college than their nonveteran counterparts.
- Employment outcomes: After receiving services, veterans secured employment at slightly lower rates than nonveterans, but they earned slightly more. In Pennsylvania and Texas, employment services, such as receipt of WIA-funded training, referrals to federal contractors, and other job referrals, were positively correlated with veterans’ average quarterly earnings after leaving the program.
Employment training and service programs targeted to veterans will continue under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA), which superseded WIA. Exactly how WIOA will affect the way in which veterans receive services remains to be seen. However, through WIOA, AJCs will be encouraged to look for ways to improve service coordination and better tailor services to meet the needs of veterans and their families. Learn more about Mathematica’s study by reading the final report: Volume I and Volume II.
Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration commissioned Mathematica to conduct a national random assignment evaluation of the Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Worker programs' effectiveness.
Providing Services to Veterans Through the Public Workforce System: Descriptive Findings from the WIA Gold Standard Evaluation
Mathematica is conducting the largest, most rigorous evaluation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker programs to date. While the overall evaluation targets civilian workers, a supplemental study focuses on veterans in 28 localities.
Providing Services to Veterans Through the Public Workforce System: Descriptive Findings from the WIA Gold Standard Evaluation, Volume I
As thousands of military veterans return from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and seek to enter the civilian labor market, providing effective employment and training services to veterans is becoming increasingly important.
Providing Services to Veterans Through the Public Workforce System: Descriptive Findings from the WIA Gold Standard Evaluation, Volume II
Using data collected from interviews with program staff and administrative data for the 28 local workforce investment areas randomly selected to participate in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation, we examined the characteristics of...