The Community College Research Center released a report, Using State Data to Promote Continuous Improvement of Workforce Programs: Guidance to the U.S. DOL Workforce Data Quality Initiatives, that provides guidance to states applying for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI). In an effort to strengthen longitudinal data systems (LDSs), the WDQI will provide funding to state workforce agencies. By improving LDSs, the Department of Labor is hoping to track individual participants through education and employment programs and in the workforce.
This data will be used to help program providers and workforce systems improve their overall performance and provide students with programs that best fit their needs. The report outlines a four-step model that will support innovation and lead to improved workforce outcomes:
- Analyze gap between job demand and credential production by region.
- By recognizing industry needs, states will be able to provide regionally specific and relevant curriculum that will set students up for success upon earning their credentials.
- Track progression across education/workforce systems and into the labor market.
- By tracking students’ progression through education and workforce systems into the labor market, states can see the effectiveness of programs and identify where the “leaks” are within these systems that impede student progress.
- Engage providers to analyze opportunities for program improvement, implement and evaluate systemic solutions.
- By using and analyzing the data collected, states and providers can work together to create and implement new and improved programs.
- Set system performance goals and create policy incentives for innovation.
- By setting ambitious performance goals, states will be able to provide something for these programs to strive for and can push workforce programs to provide the best services for students.
The information provided in this report intends to assist states in better understanding their education and workforce systems. In turn this can help states to improve their programs and provide the best training options for students.