Opening Speech - Commissioner  Andor  E N
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  • 1. The One-Stop System in the United States Conference on Shaping the Future of the European Social Fund (ESF) June 23, 2010 Dianne Blank Assistant Director U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • 2. Progression of employment and training policy in the U.S. • Key policy themes • Less focus on— • Income eligibility as the gateway to services • Job training as the primary means for getting a job • More focus on— • Personal responsibility • Reducing duplication of effort, but through service coordination • State and local flexibility in decisionmaking • Involving the private sector • Workforce Investment Act of 1998 mandated use of one-stop service delivery system. 2
  • 3. Sixteen employment and training programs must provide services thru one-stop system Source: Workforce Investment Act 3
  • 4. Structure of one-stop system • Each state must have one or more local areas • Governed by state and local workforce investment boards (WIBs) • Boards make key policy decisions and provide oversight • Private sector chairs board and must be in majority • Each local area must have one or more comprehensive one-stop center • One-stop centers have no funding for infrastructure-- programs share cost 4
  • 5. Local flexibility is key to WIA’s program design • States and local areas decide many aspects • Where to place their one-stop center(s) • What programs are on-site or available remotely • How infrastructure costs will be shared • How to organize services and who provides them • This flexibility allows for tailoring services to meet local needs and facilitates innovation • Consistency across one-stop centers not important • But, compliance with individual program requirements must be ensured • Reporting requirements • Oversight activities 5
  • 6. Consolidating services through the one-stop has brought challenges • Lack of infrastructure funding • Most states rely on one or two programs • Funding cuts have sometimes meant fewer centers • Some centers have supplemented funding • Developing linkages between programs • Services increasingly available, but more emphasis on electronic linkages or referral • Linkages between key programs never developed in some states • Creating effective governance structure • Engaging private sector proved challenging • Workforce boards tend to be large and unwieldy • Federal agencies other than Labor have been slow to engage 6
  • 7. What do we know about how well the WIA one- stop system is working? • Two ways to assess • Performance measurement • Rigorous evaluations • WIA’s performance measurement system • Outcomes are compared to performance goals and result in incentive funding or financial sanctions • Uses data already available from unemployment records • But, WIA’s performance system has shortcomings and does not provide for assessing one-stop performance • WIA required a rigorous evaluation, but Labor was slow to act • Results not available until 2015 • Limited to 3 WIA-funded programs 7
  • 8. The future of WIA • WIA was due to be renewed in 2003, but efforts thus far have stalled • When action is taken, some key questions deserve attention • How can we ensure policymakers have the information they need to make decisions about where to invest scarce resources? • How might the key players at all levels be brought to the table to participate as stakeholders and investors? • How can we balance flexibility and accountability to achieve the goals of WIA? • What can be done to make the system more nimble and able to adapt to changing economic and budgetary conditions? 8
  • 9. For more information Contacts Andrew Sherrill, Director Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues 202-512-7252 sherrilla@gao.gov Dianne Blank, Assistant Director Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues 202-512-5654 blankd@gao.gov Laura Heald, Assistant Director Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues 202-512-8701 healdl@gao.gov To access our reports, visit www.gao.gov 9