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What's New in Workforce Investment?

Workforce Investment News Archive

U.S. Departments of Transportation, Education, and Labor Release Joint Transportation Jobs Report
Sep 1, 2015
The U.S. Departments of Transportation, Education, and Labor today (August 24) released a joint report entitled "Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways across the Transportation Industry." The report details the future growth areas or employment "hot spots" in transportation by industry subsectors, occupations, career areas, and geographic areas. It also identifies good-paying, high-demand transportation jobs and analyzes the patterns in the education and work experience required for entry, including on-the-job training requirements for new entrants to gain full competency.

?The report indicates that employers will need to hire and train a total of 4.6 million new workers - 1.2 times the current transportation workforce - due to expected growth, retirements, and turnover in the transportation industry from 2012 to 2022. Projections suggest that 417,000 of these positions will be created as a direct result to increased demand on our transportation systems. The highest percentage of these jobs will be in transit and ground passenger transportation and these new openings will be concentrated in the West Coast, the Gulf Coast, the upper Mid-Atlantic, several Mountain States, and the Midwest.

Much of the regional transportation job growth is driven by growth in the large metropolitan areas within those regions - the highest number of job openings in transportation will likely be generated in New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago. In addition, these jobs will pay relatively well. Thirteen out of the top 20 highest demand transportation jobs pay above the median wage, sometimes substantially.

While demand for transportation workers will vary by region, subsector, and occupation, these workforce changes will result in increased job opportunities for skilled and semi-skilled workers across the transportation sector. For every future job opening in central services or construction in the transportation industry, there will be an estimated two jobs in maintenance and 21 in operations. The recruitment and training of new and current workers responsible for the operation, maintenance, and construction of America's transportation infrastructure will be critical to maintaining a system that meets our economic and security needs in the 21st century global economy.

But the report also highlights a significant skills gap in the demand for and supply of high skilled workers; it indicates that projected annual job openings are 68 percent larger than the number of students who are completing related educational programs annually across selected transportation occupational groups. One solution is an increase in Career and Technical Education programs of study. Such programs begin in high school and continue into postsecondary education or apprenticeship and provide the foundational and early occupational skills training needed in skilled occupations. Pre-apprenticeship programs for disadvantaged youth and adults can prepare low-skilled and underrepresented populations for entry into these skilled positions. Furthermore, Career Pathways systems that are aligned with Registered Apprenticeship programs can expand the number of people who can access these high-demand jobs.

Read the full report here.

ETA Announces Webcast Providing an Overview of the Information Collection Request for WIOA Unified and Combined Plans
Aug 31, 2015
The purpose of a new recorded webcast is to provide an overview of the proposed information collection request for WIOA Unified and Combined State Plans.

On August 6, 2015, the Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development published a Federal Register notice seeking public comment on the proposed planning requirements and related burden, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This pre-recorded session is designed to provide information on this request and tips on how to make a good comment. Presenters from the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services discuss the contents of the PRA package, introduce the Information Collection Request (ICR), and note the WIOA requirements for state plans. This webcast also highlights the process for submitting comments on the ICR during the 60-day comment period.

Click here to view the webcast

Click here for the slides, transcripts and additional handouts

Evaluation of the Re-Integration of Ex-Offenders (RExO) Program: Two-Year impact Report
Aug 26, 2015

The Evaluation of the Re-Integration of Ex-Offenders (RExO) Program: Two-Year Impact Report The Reintegration of Ex-Offenders (RExO ) project began in 2005 as a joint initiative of the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the Department of Justice, and several other federal agencies. The programs funded under RExO primarily provide three main types of services to ex-offenders: mentoring, which most often took the form of group mentoring, but also included one-on-one mentoring and other activities; employment services, including work readiness training, job training, job placement, job clubs, transitional employment, and post-placement follow-up; and case management and supportive services.

In 2009, ETA commissioned a three-year random assignment evaluation of the RExO project. This report summarizes the initial impacts of the RExO program on offender outcomes in four areas: service receipt, labor market success, recidivism, and other outcomes. The results are based on outcomes for these individuals in the two-year period after they enrolled into the study. Two sources of data provided outcome information for this analysis: a telephone survey that asked about a range of items, including service receipt, labor market outcomes, recidivism, health and mental health, substance abuse, housing, and child support issues and administrative data that provided state and local criminal engagement information.

A final impact report is scheduled to be submitted in fall 2015, and will focus on impacts in the three-year period following random assignment (RA) into the study. The final report will include data similar to those reported in this report, but will add data for a third year following RA. Additionally, the final report will include administrative data on employment and earnings, which will allow for an analysis of the extent to which recall or other response bias in the survey results may have affected the estimates of impact on labor market outcomes. If the administrative data analysis provides results consistent with the analysis of survey data, the joint finding will provide solid evidence that RExO positively impacts participants' labor market outcomes. Further, despite the lack of impacts on recidivism described in this report, the final report will examine whether differences in recidivism emerge in the third year after RA.

Link to Two Year Impact Report

ETA Seeks Comment on WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs
Aug 26, 2015

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is seeking public comment on the proposed extension of the WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs "Gold Standard Evaluation." Specifically, ETA is requesting clearance for a six-month extension of OMB clearance allowed to complete the WIA Evaluation's 30-month follow-up survey. Click here for the August 14 FEDERAL REGISTER notice with full background and burden hour estimates. Comments are due by October 13.

The WIA Evaluation will address the following research questions:

  1. Does access to WIA intensive services, alone or in conjunction with WIA-funded training, lead adults and dislocated workers to achieve better educational, employment, earnings, and self-sufficiency outcomes than they would achieve in the absence of access to those services?
  2. Does the effectiveness of WIA vary by population subgroup? Is there variation by sex, age, race/ethnicity, unemployment insurance receipt, prior education level, previous employment history, adult and dislocated worker status, and veteran and disability status?
  3. How does the implementation of WIA vary by LWIA? Does the effectiveness of WIA vary by how it is implemented? To what extent do implementation differences explain variations in WIA's effectiveness?
  4. Do the benefits from WIA intensive and training services exceed program costs? Do the benefits of intensive services exceed their costs? Do the benefits of training services exceed their costs? Do the benefits exceed the costs for adults? Do the benefits exceed the costs for dislocated workers?

Department of Education Announces a Funding Opportunity - Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities
Aug 10, 2015

The Department of Education has announced a funding opportunity - Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities. The Department has identified $3,500,000 in resources with an estimated $725,000 as the average size of each of the four awards.

A State VR agency or State VR agencies applying as a group in accordance with 34 CFR 75.128 are eligible to apply for this funding. The project period is up to 60 months. In deciding whether to continue funding the projects awarded through this competition for the fourth and fifth years, the Department, as part of the review of the application narrative and annual performance reports, will consider the degree to which the projects demonstrate substantial progress toward their goals and objectives regarding-

  1. The number of distinct career pathways accessed and/or created through the project, and the recognized postsecondary credentials and occupational clusters in each;
  2. The number of eligible individuals who entered each career pathway;
  3. The number of eligible individuals who attained one or more recognized secondary or postsecondary credentials;
  4. The number of eligible individuals who achieved competitive integrated employment in each career pathway; and
  5. The corresponding weekly wage and employer benefits received by these individuals.

Date of Pre-Application Webinar: August 13, 2015.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 8, 2015.

Click here for additional background and the application requirements.

Click here for the statement of priority.