Projects

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Implementation Study

2016-2019

Project Overview

Objective

To study the progress of the implementation of changes to workforce programs that aim to strengthen and improve our nation's public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.

Project Motivation

WIOA builds on reforms initiated by its predecessor the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), with a stronger focus on building the evidence base for transforming and modernizing the public workforce system, especially among people with significant barriers to employment

Partners in Progress

Social Policy Research Associates

Prepared For

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation Office

Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) fostered stronger collaboration and deeper partnerships between service providers and program staff. 

Mathematica, together with its partner, Social Policy Research Associates, studied the implementation of changes to programs authorized under Title I (Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth) and Title III (Employment Services). WIOA encompasses six core programs for which coordination and integration were required to be strengthened at the state and local levels. We examined the variation in the approaches states take to implement key WIOA provisions, assessing early implementation progress, and identifying needs for further guidance or technical assistance. We also studied integration between these programs and their WIOA Title II (Adult Education and Family Literacy Act [AEFLA]) and Title IV (Vocational Rehabilitation [VR]) partners. In 2019, we visited 14 states and 28 local areas. In 2020, the team produced several products based on the site visits. They uncovered findings such as:

  • State and local workforce planning efforts included greater involvement of AEFLA and VR partners.
  • Greater efforts were made to provide cross-training for program staff and there was high demand for ongoing cross-partner communication.
  • There was more streamlining of intake and coordination of referral in the American Job Center system, though few changes to co-location of partner staff.
  • Employer services were often integrated across partners, especially for Titles I/III and VR programs.
  • States are putting structures and processes in place to improve data sharing, though not integrating existing data systems.

Related Staff

Grace Roemer

Grace Roemer

Principal Researcher

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Pamela Holcomb

Pamela Holcomb

Principal Researcher

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Samina Sattar

Samina Sattar

Principal Researcher

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Brittany English

Brittany English

Researcher

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