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Division of Research and Evaluation (DRE)

DRE's Mission

Since 1975, ETA has maintained a rigorous research and evaluation approach to informing policy, currently carried out by the Division of Research and Evaluation (DRE) under Section 169 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Section 169 (b)(1) requires a - Five-Year Research Plan every two years "describing the research studies, and multistate priorities of the Department of Labor concerning employment and training for the next five years". This plan shall be transmitted to the House Education and Workforce Committee, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Department of Education and other relevant Federal agencies.

Current Projects and Other Resources
  • Current and On-going Projects - A list of ETA's active research and evaluation projects.
  • Research Paper Program - (Under Construction) The objectives of the program are to: 1) to provide relevant and evidence-based information to stimulate discussion and action among individuals working on the front-line of service delivery in the public workforce investment system and partner organizations, and 2) to simultaneously support innovative and scholarly investigation in the field of employment and training.
  • National Agricultural Workers Survey - An employment-based, random survey of the demographic and employment characteristics of the U.S. crop labor force.
  • Recovery and Reemployment Research Conference - September 2009 Video of proceedings and PowerPoint Presentations from the conference.
  • Employment Research Data Center - Public use data repository for many research and evaluation projects that were conducted or funded by ETA. The datasets are available free of charge.
  • Related Research Sources - Collection of sources containing research information related to employment and training conducted and/or sponsored by the private and public sectors.

Creating a Culture/Environment that Fosters Evidence Based Policy Development

With the establishment of the office of the Chief Evaluation Officer’s (CEO) in the Department of Labor (DOL), ETA collaborates with the CEO to plan and conduct research and evaluation efforts, while cultivating a culture of data- and evidence-based policy development and program management within ETA, and across DOL, through the development of an annual Learning Agenda. ETA's guiding component of this agenda is the Five-Year Research Plan described above under "DRE’s Mission".

Leveraged Efforts and Partnerships

The WIOA recognizes that ETA is not alone in fostering a national workforce preparation and employment system; a system designed to meet both the needs of the nation's employers and the needs of job seekers and those who want to further their careers. Considering the variety of social service assistance that our customers may need, ETA often collaborates with other federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and foundations on research and evaluation initiatives that examine innovative ways to provide an efficient and seamless set of services to our shared customers. This has often led to the development of partnerships formed to leverage resources to accomplish these goals. ETA partners include, Department of Education, Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior, Department of Justice, Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and Environmental Protection Agency. Reports resulting from these research and evaluation partnerships are highlighted here.

Continuous Improvement

An expert panel provided recommendations to ETA for increasing the success of evaluation studies in building a body of effective, evidence-based programs - linked here (two pages plus attachments). The panel convened under a contract with ETA and developed the recommendations based on its review of large evaluations that ETA has sponsored since 2006.

Other DOL Agency Resources