Local workforce education and employment program providers—and the state agencies that oversee them—routinely collect lots of data on their programs. Too often these data are used primarily to comply with mandated reporting requirements, and do not inform efforts to improve program outcomes.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) provides funding to state workforce agencies (SWAs), to strengthen and expand longitudinal data systems (LDSs) to track individual participants through employment programs and into the labor force. The WDQI provides an opportunity for states to use data to promote continuous improvement of workforce education and employment programs.
This brief provides guidance to states preparing applications to the WDQI so that they can build provisions into their proposals that will strengthen workforce longitudinal data systems, and enable them to use the data to improve outcomes for state residents seeking gainful employment and employers seeking qualified workers.
The brief is based in part on CCRC’s experience working with six Midwest states involved in the Joyce Foundation's Shifting Gears initiative.