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entitled 'Older Workers: Employment Assistance Focuses on Subsidized 
Jobs and Job Search, but Revised Performance Measures Could Improve 
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Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Employer-

Employee Relations, Committee on Education and the Workforce, House of 

Representatives:



United States General Accounting Office:



GAO:



January 2003:



OLDER WORKERS:



Employment Assistance Focuses 

on Subsidized Jobs and Job Search, but Revised Performance Measures 

Could Improve Access to Other Services:



Older Workers:



GAO-03-350:



GAO Highlights:



Highlights of GAO-03-350, a report to the Ranking Minority 

Member, 

Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, Committee on 

Education 

and the Workforce, House of Representatives.



OLDER WORKERS

Employment Assistance Focuses on Subsidized Jobs and Job 

Search, but 

Revised Performance Measures Could Improve Access to Other 

Services.



Why GAO Did This Study:



Some economists predict that by 2030, the United States 

could experience a 

labor shortage of 35 million workers. As the shortage 

approaches, one option 

available is to encourage people to work beyond traditional 

retirement ages, 

especially because people who are age 55 or older will constitute 

nearly a third 

of the population. Accordingly, increasing demands will be made 

on the workforce 

development system to help ensure that older workers are provided 

opportunities 

to help address the anticipated labor shortage. Concerned that 

the existing 

workforce development system may not meet the needs of older 

workers, the 

Subcommittee’s Ranking Minority Member asked GAO to determine 

the extent that 

older workers are enrolled in federal employment and training 

programs, what 

services are provided, and how performance measures affect 

such services.



What GAO Found:



About 12 percent of the 1.3 million older people who were not 

working and wanted a 

job were enrolled in these programs between July 2000 and June 

2001. Some older 

workers received services without being enrolled in a program 

but these people were 

not counted in program statistics. The majority of older people 

enrolled received 

subsidized jobs through the Senior Community Service Employment 

Program. About 

one-third participated in programs funded by the Workforce 

Investment Act and Trade 

Adjustment Assistance. Most of the older workers enrolled in these 

programs received 

job search assistance, such as help in preparing for interviews 

and writing resumes, 

but some also received job training. Research findings have been 

inconsistent as to 

whether older workers have distinct learning needs, but Workforce 

Investment Act 

program providers are less likely now than in the past to have 

separate programs for 

older workers. The Workforce Investment Act requires program 

providers to report certain 

information so that Labor can determine how well programs are 

performing. These 

performance measures include how many participants find jobs and 

how much their earnings 

have increased. Program providers report that some performance 

measures provide a 

disincentive to enrolling older workers into the program because 

of employment 

characteristics that may negatively affect program performance.

For example, in 6 of 

10 the local areas we visited, officials said they considered 

performance measures a 

barrier to enrolling older workers seeking part-time jobs 

because they would have lower 

earnings and therefore reduce program performance. Consequently, 

some older workers 

may only receive job search assistance and not have access to 

in-depth services, such 

as computer training.



Older workers enrolled in a computer training class in 

Sacramento, Calif., learning such 

skills as keyboarding, office applications, and Internet 

usage.



[See PDF for Image]

[End of Figure]



What GAO Recommends:



GAO recommends that the Secretary of Labor assess Workforce 

Investment Act performance 

measures and make adjustments as necessary to eliminate 

disincentives to enrolling 

older workers in the program. Labor generally agreed with our 

recommendation and has 

formed a task force to review older worker services and said 

that as it assesses program 

performance measures, it will identify and eliminate factors 

that discourage participation.



To view the full report, including the scope

and methodology, click on the link above.

For more information, contact Sigurd Nilsen at (202) 512-7215 

or nilsens@gao.gov



Contents:



Letter:



Results in Brief:



Background:



Older People Enrolled in Federal Programs Generally Receive Subsidized 

Community Service Jobs and Job Search Assistance:



Older People Most Likely to Receive Subsidized Community Service Jobs 

and Job Search Assistance:



Providers Now More Likely to Include Older Workers in Services with 

Younger Workers, but Some Still Offer Special Services:



WIA Performance Measures May Affect Older Workers’ Access to Services:



Conclusions:



Recommendation for Executive Action:



Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:



Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology:



Appendix II: SCSEP National Grantee Activity in Program Year 

2000 (July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001):



Appendix III: SCSEP Grantees’ Use of 502(e) Funds in Program 

Year 2000 (July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001):



Appendix IV: WIA Earnings Change and Earnings Replacement 

Rate Performance Measure Calculations:



Adult Measure:



Dislocated Worker Measure:



Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Labor:



Appendix VI: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments:



GAO Contacts:



Staff Acknowledgments:



Related GAO Products:



Tables:



Table 1: Demographics of People Aged 55 and Over across SCSEP, WIA, and 

TAA Programs:



Table 2: States Using WIA Funds for Targeted Older Worker Services, 

Program Year 2000 (July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001):



Table 3: WIA Employment Related Performance Measures for Adults and 

Dislocated Workers:



Table 4: Program Year 2000 Age Differences on WIA Performance Measure 

Outcomes:



Table 5: Part-time Workers by Age:



Table 6: Earnings Loss by Age of Workers Displaced from Full-Time Jobs 

between January 1999 and December 2001:



Table 7: Proportion of Population Aged 55 and Older and Funds Received 

for SCSEP and WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs for Selected 

States:



Table 8: Local Areas Selected for Site Visits:



Table 9: SCSEP National Grantee Activity in Program Year 2000:



Table 10: SCSEP Grantees’ Use of 502(e) Funds in Program Year 2000:



Figures:



Figure 1: Proportion of People Aged 55 and Over Living in Each State in 

2000:



Figure 2: Use of SCSEP, WIA, and TAA by the 156,000 People Aged 55 and 

Over Who Were Enrolled in Federal Employment and Training Programs 

(July 2000-June 2001):



Figure 3: Number of People Enrolled in WIA and TAA Programs by Age 

(July 2000-June 2001):



Figure 4: Unsubsidized Placement Rates for Older People Enrolled in 

WIA, TAA, and SCSEP (July 2000-June 2001):



Figure 5: Percentage of Older Workers Enrolled in WIA and JTPA 

Receiving Targeted and Nontargeted Services:



Figure 6: Employment Status by Age of Workers Displaced from Full-Time 

Jobs between January 1999 and December 2001:



Abbreviations:



JTPA Job Training Partnership Act:



SCSEP Senior Community Service Employment Program:



TAA Trade Adjustment Assistance:



WIA Workforce Investment Act:



United States General Accounting Office:



Washington, DC 20548:



January 24, 2003:



The Honorable Robert E. Andrews

Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee

on Employer-Employee Relations

Committee on Education and the Workforce

House of Representatives:



Dear Mr. Andrews:



Some economists predict that by 2030, the nation could experience a 

labor shortage of 35 million workers. If the potential labor shortage 

is not addressed, the nation’s productivity, growth, and international 

competitiveness could be threatened. As the shortage approaches and 

labor markets begin to tighten, one option available to increase the 

labor supply is to encourage people to stay in the labor force beyond 

traditional retirement ages, especially because people who are age 55 

or older will constitute nearly a third of the total population--an 

increase of 46 percent over three decades. Evidence suggests that older 

workers--those people aged 55 and older who are either currently 

employed or seeking employment--have a unique relationship with the 

labor market. Generally, although older workers are less likely to lose 

a job, they are less likely to seek reemployment after losing work and 

may experience a larger loss in earnings, as compared to younger 

workers, when they do re-enter employment.[Footnote 1] With the 

potential labor shortage and an aging population, increasing demands 

will be made on the workforce development system to help ensure that 

older workers are provided adequate opportunities to help address the 

anticipated labor shortage and meet employer needs for labor.



In 2000, several employment and training programs provided services to 

older workers. These programs included the Senior Community Service 

Employment Program, which primarily provides low-income older workers 

with subsidized employment in public agencies and nonprofit 

organizations; the Workforce Investment Act programs, which provide job 

search assistance and training to adults and individuals who have lost 

their jobs because of layoffs or plant closings (dislocated workers); 

and the Trade Adjustment Assistance programs,[Footnote 2] which provide 

employment and training assistance for those individuals who have lost 

their jobs due to the adverse effects of international trade.



When the Workforce Investment Act replaced the Job Training Partnership 

Act in 2000, it represented a major change in how employment and 

training services were delivered to older workers. States were no 

longer required to set aside funds to provide services specifically for 

older workers and new performance measures were developed to assess 

program success. The act also created a one-stop system where 

information about and access to a wide array of employment and training 

services became available at a single location. Concerned that existing 

federal employment and training programs may not be oriented towards 

the needs of older workers, you asked us to determine (1) the extent to 

which people aged 55 and older are enrolled in federal employment and 

training programs and what services they receive, (2) how employment 

and training services are provided to older workers, and (3) how 

performance measures may have affected services for older workers.



To determine what employment and training services are provided to 

people aged 55 years and older (older workers) and how these services 

are provided, we surveyed responsible officials in each of the 50 

states and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, on states’ services for 

older workers through several of the major federal employment and 

training efforts: (1) the Workforce Investment Act (49 states 
responded), 

(2) the Senior Community Service Employment Program (50 states 
responded), 

and (3) the Trade Adjustment Assistance programs (48 states responded). 
We 

also surveyed all 595 local workforce areas to obtain information on 

services provided to older workers and received 470 responses. In 

addition, we conducted telephone interviews with the 10 national Senior 

Community Service Employment Program grantees and visited 5 states 

(Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania) to 

obtain more detailed information on how services are provided to older 

workers and what these services include. We selected these states based 

on a variety of considerations, such as the proportion of their 

population that was 55 or older and whether they used Workforce 

Investment Act funds specifically for older workers. Within each state, 

we visited two local areas and met with local officials to discuss how 

older workers access services and how these services are delivered. We 

judgmentally selected these local areas to provide a mix of urban and 

rural areas. (App. I contains a more detailed discussion of our scope 

and methodology.) We performed our work between January and December 

2002 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 

standards.



Results in Brief:



About 12 percent of the 1.3 million older people who were not working 

and wanted a job were enrolled in federal employment and training 

programs between July 2000 and June 2001. Although people who enroll in 

in-depth employment and training services are included in program 

statistics, others who receive more limited or informal services are 

not counted, making it difficult to determine the total number of older 

workers receiving employment and training services. Among those 

enrolled in federal employment and training programs, we found that 

approximately 156,000 people were aged 55 and over--the majority of 

whom had subsidized jobs through the Senior Community Service 

Employment Program. Participants in this program usually earn the 

minimum wage and frequently work in education and social service 

agencies in positions such as teacher aides and receptionists. Fewer 

people age 55 and over were enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act 

and Trade Adjustment Assistance programs. Of the 49,600 older people 

enrolled in these programs, most received job search assistance, such 

as interviewing and resume writing workshops, while a smaller number 

received training--including training for specific jobs as well as for 

basic work skills. In addition, over 60 percent of those leaving the 

Workforce Investment Act programs obtained unsubsidized jobs.



Employment and training providers are less likely now than in the past 

to establish separate programs for older workers, but older workers 

still have access to some services designed specifically for them. 

While research findings on whether older workers have distinct learning 

needs have been inconsistent, Workforce Investment Act and Trade 

Adjustment Assistance providers generally do not serve older workers in 

separate programs, instead choosing to include older workers in the 

services they provide to all workers. For example, 90 percent of local 

areas responding to our survey said their occupational training classes 

funded through the Workforce Investment Act are designed for workers of 

all ages. When the Workforce Investment Act was enacted, eliminating 

the requirement that states reserve funds for older workers, most 

states did not continue to fund programs specifically for older 

workers. However, 10 states indicated that they used Workforce 

Investment Act funds during 2000 to support special programs for older 

workers, such as separate computer classes tailored to older workers. 

Although most states have not used Workforce Investment Act funds to 

support separate older worker programs, at the local level the one-stop 

centers give older workers access to the Workforce Investment Act and 

Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, as well as to the Senior 

Community Service Employment Program that is specifically for older 

workers. About four-fifths of local areas responding to our survey said 

the Senior Community Service Employment Program is colocated in their 

one-stop centers, increasing the likelihood that some targeted services 

are available to older workers.



Employment and training providers report that Workforce Investment Act 

performance measures have limited older workers’ access to more 

intensive services and training because older workers have employment 

characteristics that may adversely affect program measures, 

particularly those related to changes in earnings. The Department of 

Labor holds states and local areas accountable for performance using 

several measures and state and local areas may receive financial 

incentives if they meet or exceed set performance levels but may be 

penalized if they fail to meet these levels. Data from the Current 

Population Survey suggest that older workers have unique employment 

characteristics, such as being more likely than younger workers to work 

part time and to take larger pay cuts when re-entering the labor 

market. All older workers can receive Workforce Investment Act program 

basic job search assistance but their unique employment characteristics 

may discourage program administrators from enrolling older workers into 

more in-depth services, such as training. For example, officials in 6 

of the 10 local workforce areas that we visited consider performance 

measures a barrier to enrolling older workers because of their high 

prior wages and/or their desire to work part time.



We are recommending that the Secretary of Labor assess Workforce 

Investment Act performance measures and make adjustments as necessary 

to eliminate the disincentive to enrolling older workers in programs 

funded by the Workforce Investment Act. In its comments, Labor 

generally agreed with our recommendation and said that it has formed a 

task force to review services to older workers and to identify policies 

to help meet the needs of this group. Labor also noted that as it 

assesses program performance measures it will identify and eliminate 

factors that discourage participation of any group.



Background:



In 2000, approximately 59 million people aged 55 and over resided in 

the United States. The proportion of people aged 55 and over living in 

each state ranged from about 13 percent in Alaska to about 27 percent 

living in Florida (see fig.1).



Figure 1: Proportion of People Aged 55 and Over Living in Each State in 

2000:



[See PDF for image]



[End of figure]



In program year 2000,[Footnote 3] older workers received employment and 

training services from various federal employment and training 

programs, including the Senior Community Service Employment Program 

(SCSEP), the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), and Trade Adjustment 

Assistance (TAA) programs. These programs have various eligibility 

requirements and offer employment and training services through 

different mechanisms.



Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 authorizes SCSEP to promote 

part-time community service activities specifically for low-income 

older individuals and to foster economic self-sufficiency through 

unsubsidized employment. SCSEP, funded at $440.2 million in program 

year 2001, is limited to people 55 years and older with incomes at or 

below 125 percent of the federal poverty level.[Footnote 4] For program 

year 2000, Labor allotted 

78 percent of the funds to 10 national grantees, including the AARP 

Foundation, Experience Works (formerly Green Thumb), and the National 

Council on the Aging, Inc. (See appendix II for a complete list of 

national grantees and funds expended in program year 2000.) The 

remaining 

22 percent was allotted to each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, 

Puerto Rico, and the other territories. At least 75 percent of SCSEP 

funds must be used to subsidize participants’ wages--typically for 

minimum wage jobs in nonprofit and public sector agencies. The 

remaining funds may be used for such activities as assessments, 

counseling, training, and job placement assistance. Section 502(e) of 

title V authorizes limited funds to be used for projects placing older 

workers in unsubsidized employment in the private sector. (See appendix 

III for more details on how these funds were used in program year 

2000.) These projects are intended to emphasize training for jobs that 

reflect required technological skills.



TAA programs assist U.S. workers who lose their jobs because of 

increased imports from, or shifts in production to, foreign countries. 

These programs provide benefits such as trade re-adjustment allowances 

(extended income support beyond normal unemployment insurance 

benefits), services such as job training, and funds for job search and 

relocation. Groups of workers or their representatives can petition the 

Department of Labor for certification of eligibility to apply for 

services or benefits under TAA programs. In fiscal year 2001, TAA 

programs received about $407 million to provide income support and 

training benefits.



WIA specifies one funding source for each of the act’s main client 

groups--adults, dislocated workers, and youths--and creates a system 

whereby clients can obtain information about and access to a wide array 

of job training, education, and employment services at a single 

location, called a one-stop center. WIA specifies 17 partner programs 

that are to provide services through the one-stop center, including 

SCSEP and TAA. This partnership can take different forms, including 

physical colocation at the one-stop center or providing electronic 

linkages to the partners’ programs. WIA requires that the adult and 

dislocated worker programs, funded at about $2.5 billion in program 

year 2001, provide three levels of service: (1) core job search 

assistance, including the provision of labor market information, and a 

preliminary assessment of skills and needs; 

(2) intensive job search assistance, including comprehensive 

assessments, creation of an individual employment plan, case 

management, and short-term prevocational services;[Footnote 5] and (3) 

training, including skill upgrading, literacy classes, and occupational 

training. Core services are available to all job seekers, but WIA 

enrollment is required for intensive services and training. Under the 

adult program, all persons aged 18 or older are eligible to receive 

core services. In areas where funds are limited, priority for intensive 

services and training must be given to recipients of public assistance 

and other low-income individuals. The dislocated worker program is 

generally for those individuals who have been laid off and are unlikely 

to return to their previous employment. To be eligible for the youth 

program, persons must be aged 14--21; have low income; and meet at 

least one of six barriers to employment, such as being a school 

dropout, homeless, or an offender.



When WIA replaced the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) in July 

2000, it replaced the requirement that each state reserve five percent 

of its adult allotment specifically for older worker services with the 

provision that states can set aside up to 15 percent of their adult, 

youth, and dislocated worker allotments to support statewide workforce 

activities. WIA also contains a requirement that each state and local 

area receiving WIA funds must achieve certain levels of performance on 

several measures. The Department of Labor evaluates performance on 

these measures to determine fiscal incentives and sanctions. Some 

measures are common to both the adult and dislocated worker programs, 

such as job placement and retention, but earnings are measured 

differently for the two programs. For the adult program, the measure 

compares participants’ earnings before entering the program to their 

earnings after completing the program and expresses the difference as 

an actual dollar amount. For the dislocated worker program, 

participants’ earnings after completing the program are expressed as a 

percentage of their earnings before entering the program.



In a previous GAO report on WIA performance measures,[Footnote 6] we 

found that established performance measures were a concern to state and 

local officials because of the fiscal sanctions associated with failure 

to meet them. We reported that the need to meet performance measures 

might be the driving factor in deciding who receives WIA-funded 

services at the local level. For example, local staff might be 

reluctant to provide WIA-funded services to job seekers who may be less 

likely to get and keep a job or those who may be less likely to 

experience an increase in earnings.



Older People Enrolled in Federal Programs Generally Receive Subsidized 

Community Service Jobs and Job Search Assistance:



Approximately 12 percent of all older people who were not working and 

wanted a job were enrolled in federal employment and training programs; 

most of these individuals received subsidized community service jobs or 

job search assistance, while a smaller number received training. The 

majority of these older individuals, about 68 percent, were enrolled in 

SCSEP. Other older workers may receive job assistance services without 

being enrolled in a federal employment and training program, but these 

individuals are not counted in program statistics.



Programs Enroll about 

12 Percent of Older 

People Who Want Jobs:



We found that approximately 156,000 people aged 55 and older were 

enrolled in SCSEP, TAA, and WIA adult and dislocated worker programs 

between July 2000 and June 2001--representing about 12 percent of all 

the people in this age group who wanted a job but were not working. 

According to the Current Population Survey, an average of 1.3 million 

people aged 55 to 90 years old were unemployed or were out of the labor 

force and wanted a job[Footnote 7] during this same time period. Many 

of these individuals consider themselves to be retired but wish to 

rejoin the labor market. Some of these individuals are actively looking 

for work; others have tried to find work in the past and have become 

discouraged from continuing their job search. In terms of the 59 

million people who were age 55 and older in 2000, less than 1 percent 

was enrolled in SCSEP, WIA, and TAA.



The total number of older people enrolled in these federal employment 

and training programs is smaller than the number of people aged 55 and 

older who may have actually received services. Although federal 

employment and training programs count the number of people enrolled in 

in-depth services,[Footnote 8] individuals who receive more limited or 

informal employment assistance are not included in program statistics. 

Within the WIA programs, for example, individuals can access self-

service employment resources, such as job listings, through entry-level 

core services without enrolling in WIA. Similarly, within SCSEP, some 

older people receive job search assistance from staff without being 

enrolled as clients in the program. In Pennsylvania, for example, some 

SCSEP providers maintain a job bank for older individuals who need help 

finding a job but do not meet the income eligibility requirements for 

the program.



Of the 156,000 older people enrolled in the three federal employment 

and training programs, more than two-thirds received SCSEP services. 

Our surveys also show that more people aged 55 and over were enrolled 

in WIA programs than in TAA programs (see fig. 2).



Figure 2: Use of SCSEP, WIA, and TAA by the 156,000 People Aged 55 and 

Over Who Were Enrolled in Federal Employment and Training Programs 

(July 2000-June 2001):



[See PDF for image]



[End of figure]



Note: While individuals may be co-enrolled across programs, limited 

national data exists on co-enrollments and what data are available 

shows few co-enrollments.



Although SCSEP only enrolls people aged 55 and over, the WIA and TAA 

programs serve both older and younger individuals. We found that older 

people make up a relatively small proportion of the total number of 

people enrolled in WIA and TAA programs (see fig. 3). Our surveys show 

that both the WIA dislocated worker and adult programs enrolled more 

older people than the TAA programs.



Figure 3: Number of People Enrolled in WIA and TAA Programs by Age 

(July 2000-June 2001):



[See PDF for image]



[End of figure]



Note: States that did not submit enrollment data by age are not 

included.



To the extent that it could be determined, the three federally funded 

employment and training programs that we reviewed reach a small 

proportion of those likely to be eligible. Although different 

eligibility requirements and limited data make it difficult to 

determine the number of older people who qualify for the three federal 

employment and training programs we reviewed, some information is 

available on the number of older people enrolled in individual 

programs. For example, SCSEP enrolled about 1 percent of adults aged 55 

and older whose incomes would make them eligible for services. Within 

WIA, the adult program enrolled less than 1 percent of all people aged 

55 and older who would have been eligible on the basis of age. The 

percentage of eligible older people enrolled in the WIA dislocated 

worker program and the TAA programs is unknown, because national labor 

statistics do not track the population of older people who qualify for 

these services. Nevertheless, information on older people who have 

experienced mass layoffs shed some light on this population. For 

example, the number of older people enrolled in the WIA dislocated 

worker program represented about 14 percent of older people who had 

experienced extended mass layoffs.[Footnote 9] Likewise, the number of 

older people enrolled in the TAA programs constituted about four 

percent of people aged 55 or older experiencing extended mass layoffs. 

However, extended mass layoff data only provides a rough approximation 

of the population eligible for these two programs because the data 

excludes some older people who may qualify for services and includes 

others who may not meet program eligibility requirements, particularly 

for the TAA program.



Older People Most Likely to Receive Subsidized Community Service Jobs 

and Job Search Assistance:



Although WIA and TAA are seen as providing transitional services to 

help unemployed people find jobs, SCSEP primarily provides low-income 

older people with long-term subsidized employment. For those older 

people enrolled in WIA and TAA programs, most received job search 

assistance, while a smaller percentage received job training.



The 106,000 individuals who received SCSEP jobs worked part time in 

nonprofit and governmental host agencies, and typically earned the 

minimum wage. SCSEP participants worked in a variety of fields, ranging 

from public works to health care; however, they most frequently held 

positions in education and social service organizations. SCSEP 

community service jobs vary and can include positions such as teacher 

aides, librarians, day care assistants, receptionists, and nurse’s 

aides. Although some of the host agencies provide services primarily to 

senior citizens, most SCSEP jobs are with agencies that serve the 

general community.



SCSEP has historically focused on providing older people community 

service opportunities and income support, rather than employment and 

training services. However, recent legislative changes to the program 

have emphasized the importance of transitioning SCSEP participants into 

unsubsidized jobs.[Footnote 10] While some SCSEP administrators permit 

older people to work in subsidized community service jobs for 15 years 

or more, other SCSEP operators have instituted time limits--of 1 to 2 

years--to encourage participants to find unsubsidized 

employment.[Footnote 11] SCSEP provides some job search assistance and 

training services to people aged 55 and over to help them find 

unsubsidized jobs. For example, many SCSEP providers help participants 

create resumes and prepare for job interviews. In addition, SCSEP 

operators have limited amounts of funding that can be used to pay for 

classroom courses and on-the-job training at private sector companies. 

For example, at least 14,000 older individuals--many of whom were also 

enrolled in the community service jobs program--participated in SCSEP 

training programs between July 2000 and June 2001 to prepare for 

private sector jobs.[Footnote 12]



People aged 55 and over also received job search assistance and 

training services through WIA and TAA programs. Of the approximately 

523,000 people enrolled in TAA and WIA adult and dislocated worker 

programs between July 2000 and June 2001, about 49,600 were aged 55 and 

older. We estimate that most of these older people received job search 

assistance, while a smaller percentage received job training.[Footnote 

13] Job search assistance can include the provision of job listings and 

information on the skills needed to obtain these jobs, career 

counseling, and interviewing and resume writing workshops. Training 

includes remedial education classes, and occupational skills training 

taught in a classroom or on-the-job. Remedial classes focus on literacy 

and other basic education and work skills, while occupational skills 

training prepares people for specific careers. For example, some 

occupational skills training helps participants obtain credentials or 

licenses for particular professions, such as nursing or truck driving.



Within WIA adult and dislocated worker programs, older people received 

job search assistance through core services before enrolling in the 

programs and receiving intensive services and training. Of those people 

aged 55 and over enrolled in these WIA programs, data suggest that 

about half of these individuals also received training. In addition, 

many other older people may have received job search assistance through 

WIA’s core services without enrolling in the program and were not 

counted in program statistics. Within the TAA programs, more people 

received job training than job search services; however, only about 

6,600 people aged 55 and over were enrolled in this program.



Across SCSEP, WIA and TAA, we found similarities in the characteristics 

of the older people enrolled in these programs. For example, women 

constitute the majority of participants aged 55 and over in all three 

programs. Likewise, as shown in table 1, most older participants in 

each program have at least a high school diploma or general equivalency 

diploma.



Table 1: Demographics of People Aged 55 and Over across SCSEP, WIA, and 

TAA Programs:



Program[A]: SCSEP; Percentage of participants aged 65 or over: 62; 

Percentage of female participants: 73; Percentage with at least a high 

school diploma or equivalent: 66.



Program[A]: WIA-Adult; Percentage of participants aged 65 or over: 19; 

Percentage of female participants: 57; Percentage with at least a high 

school diploma or equivalent: 76.



Program[A]: WIA-Dislocated Worker; Percentage of participants aged 65 

or over: 8; Percentage of female participants: 53; Percentage with at 

least a high school diploma or equivalent: 88.



Program[A]: TAA; Percentage of participants aged 65 or over: 10; 

Percentage of female participants: 61[B]; Percentage with at least a 

high school diploma or equivalent: 69.



Sources: WIA and SCSEP data are from the Department of Labor. TAA data 

are from GAO’s national survey and the Department of Labor.



[A] WIA data cover the 12,309 older workers enrolled in PY00, who 

received services through local adult and dislocated worker programs 

and who exited WIA during this same year. The age data include all 

12,309 older people but due to missing data the gender data are for 

12,308 and the education data for 10,070. SCSEP gender and education 

data are for 60,978 PY00 enrollees who have not exited the program. 

SCSEP age data are for 60,992 PY00 enrollees who have not exited the 

program.



[B] Data on the gender of TAA participants were provided by the 

Department of Labor and cover 

3,645 older people who received TAA services between 10/1/2000 and 9/

30/2001, and then exited the program. The other TAA data presented here 

come from GAO’s TAA survey and cover the 

6,628 older workers enrolled in the program in PY00.

:



[End of table]



Although older participants share some similar characteristics across 

programs, the people enrolled in SCSEP tend to be older than those 

enrolled in WIA[Footnote 14] and TAA programs. While the majority of 

SCSEP participants are age 65 or older, approximately 80 to 90 percent 

of the older participants in WIA and TAA programs are between the ages 

of 

55 and 64. Older participants exiting WIA are more likely to be placed 

in unsubsidized jobs than older participants exiting TAA and SCSEP (see 

fig 4).



Figure 4: Unsubsidized Placement Rates for Older People Enrolled in 

WIA, TAA, and SCSEP (July 2000-June 2001):



[See PDF for image]



[End of figure]



Note: WIA placement rates are calculated by counting the number of 

people aged 55 and over who were employed in the first full quarter 

after exiting the program divided by the number of older people who 

exited during that quarter. TAA placement rate is calculated by 

counting the total number of people aged 55 and over who received 

services in PY00 and exited during this same year, and then the 

percentage of this group that were employed in the first full quarter 

after exiting the program. SCSEP placement rate is calculated by 

counting the number of enrollees placed in unsubsidized jobs divided by 

the established enrollment. The unsubsidized jobs figure only counts 

placements of at least 30 days that are intended to last for at least 

90 days, and jobs in which the participant is better off financially 

with the unsubsidized job than with the community service position.



Providers Now More Likely to Include Older Workers in Services with 

Younger Workers, but Some Still Offer Special Services:



Fewer providers now serve older workers through separate and specially 

tailored programs, but some special services are still available to 

older workers. Research findings on how older workers learn and whether 

they need special services have been inconsistent, and providers under 

different programs have taken various approaches to serving older 

workers. Providers are less likely under WIA than under JTPA to treat 

older workers as a distinct group requiring a separate program, because 

WIA emphasizes a common service delivery system for all workers and 

individual choice over services. As they always have, TAA providers 

include older workers with younger workers rather than providing 

separate services. SCSEP, which serves exclusively older workers, 

tailors its job search and training services to older workers, and is 

colocated in the one-stop centers.



WIA Providers More Likely to Integrate Older Workers in Services with 

Younger Workers:



Under WIA, providers are more likely to include older workers in 

services with younger workers than to serve them in separate programs. 

WIA puts greater emphasis than did JTPA on serving all workers together 

in one common system and gives individuals more choice over the 

services they receive. As a result, WIA providers are more likely to 

assess the needs of older workers on a case-by-case basis, rather than 

considering them a separate group that requires a separate set of 

services. Officials in 5 of the 10 local areas we visited said the 

implementation of WIA resulted in greater integration of older workers 

in services with younger workers. WIA staff members in 9 local areas we 

visited included older workers with younger workers in job search 

activities, and 90 percent of the local areas responding to our survey 

included older workers with younger workers in job training services.



Although some research studies support the approach of integrating 

older workers with younger workers, other studies have found older 

workers benefit from separate programs. Several research studies 

support the view that older workers do not have distinct learning needs 

and would not benefit from separate services. For example, two 

studies[Footnote 15] found that the diversity among older workers as to 

how quickly different older workers learned new skills made it 

impossible to generalize about their employment and training needs. 

Another study[Footnote 16] found that the most effective training 

approaches for older workers are also the most effective for younger 

workers. However, other studies[Footnote 17] found that while older 

workers can learn the same skills as younger workers, they benefit from 

instruction that is more hands-on, involves more one-on-one assistance, 

and is slower-paced than what is typically available in most training 

programs. In particular, older workers may benefit from separate, 

slower-paced computer training classes because some older workers may 

be unfamiliar with, and intimidated by, computers.



Several WIA officials we interviewed concluded that older workers 

should be included in services with younger workers because as a group, 

older workers have no distinct employment and training needs. For 

example, a local area in Florida said older workers do well in job 

training programs serving people of all ages. In past years the local 

area offered a nursing class specifically for older workers, but it 

cancelled this class in part because not enough older workers wanted to 

take it. Similarly, a local area in Massachusetts no longer offered 

training programs specifically for older workers, and said older 

workers do not need such services. According to this local area, 

instructional methods that are successful with younger workers are also 

successful with older workers, and the fact that some older workers 

prefer to take classes with their peers--just as some younger workers 

feel more comfortable in classes serving only younger workers--does not 

imply that older workers need separate classes.



One provision in WIA that has led to greater integration of older 

workers with younger workers is the requirement that program 

participants choose among training programs offered by qualified 

providers. Under JTPA, a local area could contract with a training 

provider to operate a job-training program designed for a specific 

group, such as older workers. WIA generally prohibits such contracting, 

instead letting individual program participants choose which training 

to attend. Local areas now issue vouchers to program participants, 

which they use to pay for training programs offered by qualified 

providers. Because individual program participants choose which 

training program to attend, no program can be restricted only to older 

workers, and older workers are more likely to be integrated in training 

with younger workers. For example, a local area in Pennsylvania used 

JTPA funds to contract with a provider for a training program serving 

only older workers. Under WIA, program participants choose among 

training programs offered by qualified local providers, and none of 

these providers operates a program serving exclusively older workers.



Another change under WIA that resulted in greater integration of older 

workers with younger workers was the elimination of the JTPA older 

worker set aside. Under JTPA, states were required to reserve a portion 

of their funds for services to older workers. Some states passed set-

aside funds along to local areas, and others contracted directly with 

training providers to serve older workers on a statewide basis. WIA 

provided states with greater flexibility, allowing them to use their 

statewide activities funds for a wide variety of purposes. Most have 

not opted to reserve statewide activities funds specifically for older 

workers, preferring instead to include older workers in the regular 

adult and dislocated worker services available in the one-stop centers. 

Twenty-six percent of local areas responding to our survey said that 

because of the elimination of the older worker set-aside, they were 

less likely to target training programs specifically to older workers, 

although older workers still had access to training funded through WIA. 

Several local areas we visited also said they were more likely to 

include older workers in services with younger workers due to the 

elimination of the set-aside. For example, a one-stop center in 

Massachusetts now includes older workers in job search and resume-

writing workshops available to workers of all ages, rather than 

providing separate workshops for older workers as they once did.



Ten of the states responding to our survey chose to use a portion of 

their program year 2000 statewide activities funds specifically for 

older worker services. Some states designated funds for older workers 

because SCSEP providers applied to use the funds for this purpose. 

Another state reserved funds for older workers to ease the transition 

from JTPA to WIA and to promote best practices for serving older 

workers under WIA. These states set aside a portion of their statewide 

activities funds for older worker services ranging from $47,010 in 

Wyoming to $931,214 in South Carolina (see table 2). Almost all the 

states used these funds for job search assistance and classroom 

training, and a few also provided other services such as on-the-job 

training.



Table 2: States Using WIA Funds for Targeted Older Worker Services, 

Program Year 2000 (July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001):



State: South Carolina; Amount expended: $931,214; Job search 

assistance: X; [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills 

training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills 

training: On-the-job training: X; Services provided: Occupational 

skills training: Customized training[A]: [Empty]; [Empty]; Remedial 

training: [Empty].



State: Florida; Amount expended: 855,475; Job search assistance: X; 

[Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom 

training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: On-the-

job training: [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: 

Customized training[A]: [Empty]; [Empty]; Remedial training: [Empty].



State: Arizona; Amount expended: 588,491[B]; Job search assistance: X; 

[Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom 

training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: On-the-

job training: [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: 

Customized training[A]: X; [Empty]; Remedial training: X.



State: Louisiana; Amount expended: 375,391; Job search assistance: X; 

[Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom 

training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: On-the-

job training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: 

Customized training[A]: X; [Empty]; Remedial training: X.



State: District of Columbia; Amount expended: 253,242; Job search 

assistance: X; [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills 

training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills 

training: On-the-job training: X; Services provided: Occupational 

skills training: Customized training[A]: [Empty]; [Empty]; Remedial 

training: [Empty].



State: Colorado; Amount expended: 250,000[B]; Job search assistance: X; 

[Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom 

training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: On-the-

job training: [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: 

Customized training[A]: [Empty]; [Empty]; Remedial training: [Empty].



State: Georgia; Amount expended: 243,236; Job search assistance: X; 

[Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom 

training: [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: On-

the-job training: [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills 

training: Customized training[A]: [Empty]; [Empty]; Remedial training: 

[Empty].



State: Idaho; Amount expended: 134,191; Job search assistance: X; 

[Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom 

training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: On-the-

job training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: 

Customized training[A]: X; [Empty]; Remedial training: X.



State: Massachusetts; Amount expended: 50,000; Job search assistance: 

X; [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom 

training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: On-the-

job training: [Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: 

Customized training[A]: [Empty]; [Empty]; Remedial training: [Empty].



State: Wyoming; Amount expended: 47,010[B]; Job search assistance: X; 

[Empty]; Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom 

training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: On-the-

job training: X; Services provided: Occupational skills training: 

Customized training[A]: X; [Empty]; Remedial training: [Empty].



Source: Survey of state WIA administrative agencies.



[A] Customized training is designed to meet the special requirements of 

an employer and is conducted with a commitment by the employer to hire 

the individual upon successful completion of the training. The employer 

pays not less than 50 percent of the cost of training.



[B] Program year 2000 funds reserved for older worker services, not 

necessarily expended during that program year.



[End of table]



Fewer older workers received targeted services funded by these 10 

states than received targeted services funded by the JTPA older worker 

set-aside. In program year 2000, approximately 2,000 older workers 

received targeted services, representing about 5 percent of the older 

workers enrolled in the WIA adult and dislocated worker programs. In 

program year 1998,[Footnote 18] about 11,000 people aged 55 and older 

received services funded by the JTPA older worker set-aside, 

representing about 29 percent of the older worker enrollment (see fig. 

5).



Figure 5: Percentage of Older Workers Enrolled in WIA and JTPA 

Receiving Targeted and Nontargeted Services:



[See PDF for image]



[End of figure]



Four of the states we visited were among those that used WIA statewide 

activities funds specifically for older workers. Arizona, Florida, and 

Massachusetts used program year 2000 statewide activities funds for 

older workers, while California used program year 2001 funds. For 

example, Massachusetts used the funds to support case managers at a 

one-stop center who specialized in serving older workers. These 

specialists helped older workers find jobs and managed support groups 

in which older workers could share job-search experiences with their 

peers. Arizona used its statewide activities funds partly to support 

job-training programs serving only older workers, such as a customer 

service representative training program. The state also reserved funds 

to send older workers to training programs serving workers of all ages. 

California used $190,853 in program year 2001 funds and $672,450 in 

program year 2002 funds for a computer skills training program for 

older workers. This program served only older workers, offered a slower 

pace of instruction and constant review to ensure mastery of skills, 

and included a job-search component.



TAA providers, like most WIA providers, include older workers in 

services with younger workers. None of the states responding to our 

survey of state TAA administrators said they used TAA funds in program 

year 2000 to provide separate services specifically designed for older 

workers. As they always have, TAA providers served older workers along 

with younger workers.



During our site visits, administrators of public employment and 

training programs were unable to identify private sector companies that 

have established large scale training programs specifically for people 

aged 

55 and over.[Footnote 19] As we noted in a prior GAO report, employers 

may feel that it is more difficult to recoup the costs of hiring and 

training older workers because of the shorter potential length of time 

older workers may remain with the employer as compared with younger 

workers.[Footnote 20]



SCSEP Offers Older Workers Special Services and Is Accessible through 

One-Stop Centers:



Because SCSEP is a program exclusively for older workers, SCSEP staff 

provide job search assistance and training that is tailored to meet 

older worker needs. For example, SCSEP staff members in a local area in 

Pennsylvania adapted their job search assistance by helping older 

workers learn to address age-related questions in job interviews and 

advising them to drop graduation dates from their resumes in order to 

deal with the age discrimination they may face in the job market. 

Another SCSEP provider in Pennsylvania incorporated physical fitness 

into a program that trained older workers for physically strenuous 

health care jobs, such as home health aide. A number of SCSEP providers 

offered computer classes that served only older workers and introduced 

new material more gradually. These providers told us that older workers 

who have not learned new technologies in many years benefit from these 

computer classes.



In most local areas, older workers who visit the one-stop centers have 

access to some of these special services through SCSEP. Seventy-eight 

percent of the local areas responding to our survey said SCSEP staff 

was physically present in their one-stop centers at least once a week, 

usually providing direct services to older workers.[Footnote 21] In 

most of the local areas we visited, older workers who visited the one-

stop centers initially received the same basic job search services 

available to workers of all ages. Older workers were usually referred 

to on-site SCSEP staff only if they had had no success with basic job 

search and other one-stop staff members thought they could benefit from 

SCSEP services. At a minimum, on-site SCSEP staff enrolled income-

eligible older workers in the SCSEP subsidized job program. In five of 

the one-stop centers we visited SCSEP staff offered additional on-site 

services specifically for older workers, such as job search workshops 

tailored to older workers, ongoing case management to help older 

workers find jobs, or a job bank of positions appropriate for older 

workers. These services were usually available to older workers not 

enrolled in SCSEP, as well as to SCSEP participants.



In three local areas we visited, WIA and SCSEP providers coordinated 

their services in ways other than cross-referral and colocation to meet 

the needs of their older workers. For example, in California one SCSEP 

provider received WIA funds from the local Workforce Investment Board 

to operate a satellite one-stop center focused on older workers. 

Although the center served visitors of all ages, it offered an array of 

special programs for older workers, such as a staffing service matching 

older professionals with employers and a computer skills class tailored 

to older workers. In a local area in Pennsylvania, a case manager in 

the one-stop centers was funded jointly by the WIA and SCSEP programs 

and split her time between helping visitors of all ages and providing 

specific services to older workers. Officials in the local area said 

this approach allowed the case manager to make efficient use of her 

time, because she could serve younger workers whenever no older workers 

needed assistance. Also, because the case manager was an expert both on 

general workforce issues and on older worker issues, she could 

determine the best service strategy for each older worker.



WIA Performance Measures May Affect Older Workers’ Access to Services:



Employment and training providers report that, as a result of WIA’s 

performance measures, they are less likely to enroll some older workers 

in services such as training. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census 

data suggest that older workers have unique employment characteristics, 

such as a tendency to work part time and a likelihood to take larger 

pay cuts than younger workers when they re-enter the labor market. 

These characteristics may negatively affect outcomes on certain 

performance measures, and, as a result, administrators in over half of 

the local areas we visited indicated that performance measures are a 

barrier to enrolling older workers into WIA intensive services and 

training.



WIA’s performance measures were established to provide for greater 

accountability and to demonstrate program effectiveness. These 

performance measures gauge program results in such areas as job 

placement, employment retention, and earnings change, as well as skill 

attainment and customer satisfaction. States are held accountable by 

Labor for the quality of the service they provide in these areas, as 

judged by specific performance outcomes. If states fail to meet their 

expected performance levels, they may suffer financial sanctions; if 

states meet or exceed their levels, they may be eligible to receive 

additional funds. A prior GAO report[Footnote 22] noted that the WIA 

performance levels are of particular concern to state and local 

officials. If a state fails to meet its performance levels for 1 year, 

Labor provides technical assistance, if requested. If a state fails to 

meet its performance levels for 2 consecutive years, it may be subject 

to up to a 5 percent reduction in its annual WIA formula grant.



Under WIA, older workers are subject to the same performance measures 

as all other workers. There are a total of eight WIA employment related 

performance measures that are relevant to adults---four pertaining to 

individuals enrolled in the adult program and four pertaining to 

individuals enrolled in the dislocated worker program (see table 3).



Table 3: WIA Employment Related Performance Measures for Adults and 

Dislocated Workers:



WIA Funding Stream: Adult; Performance Measure: Entered employment 

rate.



Performance Measure: WIA Funding Stream: Employment retention rate at 6 

months.



Performance Measure: WIA Funding Stream: Average earnings change in 6 

months.



Performance Measure: WIA Funding StreamDislocated worker: Entered 

employment and credential rate.



WIA Funding Stream: Dislocated worker; Performance Measure: Entered 

employment rate.



Performance Measure: WIA Funding Stream: Employment retention rate at 6 

months.



Performance Measure: WIA Funding Stream: Earnings replacement rate in 6 

months.



Performance Measure: WIA Funding StreamPerformance Measure: Entered 

employment and credential rate.



Source: U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training 

Administration, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 7-99 (Mar. 

3, 2000).



[End of table]



The way two of these performance measures--earnings change which 

compares pre-and post-WIA adult program enrollment earnings and 

earnings replacement which compares pre-and post-WIA dislocated worker 

enrollment earnings--are calculated may limit some older workers’ 

access to more in-depth services, such as computer training. The most 

favorable results to these measures occur when individuals seek full-

time work and had low or no prior earnings. (See appendix IV for a 

description of how these two measures are calculated.) Older workers 

are more likely to work part time than younger workers. As a result, 

older workers seeking part-time work as well as older workers with high 

prior earnings may produce lower outcomes on performance measures as 

compared to those individuals seeking full-time work or with lower 

prior earnings.



Labor’s WIA outcome data for program year 2000 provides current 

performance measure outcomes cumulatively for states[Footnote 23] and 

provides evidence that older workers’ unique characteristics may 

adversely affect program outcomes. With regard to the earnings change 

performance measure outcome for those enrolled in the WIA adult 

program, older workers had an increase in earnings that was 

approximately 35 percent less than younger workers--$2,924 versus 

$4,566. Similarly, with regard to the earnings replacement rate for 

those enrolled in the WIA dislocated worker program, younger workers 

increased their earnings by 7 percent whereas older workers experienced 

a decline in their earnings of 17 percent (see table 4).



Table 4: Program Year 2000 Age Differences on WIA Performance Measure 

Outcomes:



Age: 18-54; Adult-earnings

change outcomes

(average earnings increase): $4,566; Dislocated worker-earnings 

replacement outcomes (earnings replacement rate): 1.07.



Age: 55+; Adult-earnings

change outcomes

(average earnings increase): $2,924; Dislocated worker-earnings 

replacement outcomes (earnings replacement rate): .83.



Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Program Year 2000, Workforce 

Investment Act Standardized Record Data.



Note: These data are for people who received services through local 

adult and dislocated worker programs and who exited the program in the 

first quarter of program year 2000.



[End of table]



As a result of the potential impact on program performance measure 

outcomes, WIA employment and training providers may be choosing to 

serve only those job seekers who are most likely to have large earnings 

increases. A prior GAO report[Footnote 24] identified that the 

performance levels for the measures that track earnings replacement for 

dislocated workers and earnings change for adults may be especially 

problematic and that several state officials reported that local staff 

were reluctant to register dislocated workers with high prior earnings 

or already employed adults. Officials in six of the ten local workforce 

areas that we visited consider performance measures a barrier to 

enrolling older workers into WIA because their high prior wages and/or 

their tendency to work part time negatively impact the area’s 

performance. In addition, state officials in four out of the five 

states that we met with concurred with this view. One state official 

remarked that local workforce investment boards are struggling with the 

WIA performance requirements, and are targeting their WIA training 

funds to people seeking full-time jobs at certain wage levels to meet 

the WIA requirements for earnings gain/replacement. The official 

further stated that the WIA earnings requirements make it difficult to 

serve job seekers looking for part-time work, and those who had prior 

full-time jobs with high salaries.



Several state and local officials commented that performance measures 

create a barrier to providing services and suggested creating a 

separate set of performance measures for older workers or special 

populations. One of the state officials stated that, in regards to the 

performance measures, it is imperative that the vast majority of 

participants earn higher wages and get full-time employment, which is 

at odds with serving older workers who prefer part-time jobs. Two other 

local officials told us that older workers seeking part-time work would 

not be enrolled in intensive services or training because of their 

effect on performance measure outcomes, but could receive core services 

at the one-stop centers or be referred to another program.



Of the 230 local workforce investment boards providing written comments 

on our survey, 23 specifically addressed the negative effects of the 

performance measures on older workers. For example, one official 

stated, “federal programs must recognize the need and desire on the 

part of people 55 and older for part-time work. Performance goals 

discourage serving this group.” Seven of the 10 SCSEP national grantees 

we contacted also expressed a belief that WIA performance standards 

could be a disincentive to enrollment of older workers.



Older workers have unique employment characteristics, such as a being 

more likely to work part-time jobs and experiencing a greater decline 

in earnings when re-entering the workforce, according to the 2001 

Current Population Survey[Footnote 25] and the Bureau of Labor 

Statistics.[Footnote 26] Older workers are approximately 50 percent 

more likely than younger workers to work part time (see table 5).



Table 5: Part-time Workers by Age:



Age: 16-54; Total labor

force: 122,934,000; Part-time

workers: 19,915,000; Percentage of

part-time

Workers: 16.



Age: 55+; Total labor

force: 18,881,000; Part-time

workers: 4,575,000; Percentage of

part-time

Workers: 24.



Source: 2001 Current Population Survey.



Note: Labor force includes both employed and unemployed workers. The 

part-time category includes people with part-time jobs or are 

unemployed looking for part-time jobs.



[End of table]



The Bureau of Labor Statistics data also show older workers who are 

laid off are less likely than younger workers to become re-employed. 

Furthermore, these data show that these older workers are more likely 

to be re-employed part-time (see fig. 6).



Figure 6: Employment Status by Age of Workers Displaced from Full-Time 

Jobs between January 1999 and December 2001:



[See PDF for image]



[End of figure]



Older workers who were laid off from full-time jobs between January 

1999 and December 2001 also tended to experience a slightly greater 

loss of earnings than younger workers upon re-employment.[Footnote 27] 

Specifically, older workers replaced 89 percent of their previous 

median weekly earnings on average, versus 92 percent for younger 

workers (see table 6). These figures understate the impact of job loss 

on the income of older workers because they only pertain to full-time 

work and older workers are less likely to work full time when they are 

re-employed.



Table 6: Earnings Loss by Age of Workers Displaced from Full-Time Jobs 

between January 1999 and December 2001:



Employed full-time: Age: 25-54; Employed full-time: Median weekly 

earnings on lost job: $643; Employed full-time: Median weekly earnings 

on

current job: $593; Employed full-time: Replacement rate: (percentage of 

earnings on lost job): 92.



Employed full-time: Age: 55-64; Employed full-time: Median weekly 

earnings on lost job: $710; Employed full-time: Median weekly earnings 

on

current job: $630; Employed full-time: Replacement rate: (percentage of 

earnings on lost job): 89.



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, unpublished data from the Displaced 

Worker Supplement.



[End of table]



Conclusions:



According to some economists, the United States will face a significant 

labor shortage by 2030. As the population ages, older workers could 

become crucial in filling this projected shortage. Many older workers 

have difficulty re-entering the workforce, and often rely on federal 

employment and training programs to help them find employment. Others 

need these programs to help them upgrade some skills, particularly 

computer skills, so they can enter or remain in a workplace that is 

becoming increasingly reliant on information technology.



Research findings have been inconsistent as to whether older workers 

need special services to help them find or retain employment and 

employment and training providers have taken different approaches to 

providing services to older workers. Under WIA, older workers are 

likely to be integrated with younger workers when receiving employment 

and training services through the one-stop centers rather than receive 

these services through separate targeted programs. While performance 

measures are not necessarily a problem, the way that some of WIA’s 

performance measures are constructed has created perverse incentives 

for program administrators to exclude some older workers from receiving 

more in-depth WIA services, such as training for a particular 

occupation or upgrading computer skills. Consequently, some older 

workers, and any other workers who share similar employment 

characteristics with older workers, may not receive the more in-depth 

services that may be necessary to help ensure that these workers are 

provided adequate opportunities to fill the anticipated labor shortage 

and meet employer needs.



Recommendation for Executive Action:



In light of concerns that older workers have unique employment 

characteristics that could adversely affect certain program outcomes 

and that older workers who need in-depth job search assistance and job 

training to remain in, or re-enter, the workforce may not receive such 

services, we recommend that the Secretary of Labor assess WIA 

performance measures and make adjustments as necessary to eliminate the 

disincentive to enrolling older workers in WIA.



Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:



We provided a draft of this report to Labor for review and comment. 

Labor noted that it found our draft to be both informative and 

interesting because the Department has a strong interest in the aging 

of the American workforce and recognizes that the increasing numbers of 

older people will require changes in the way older workers are thought 

of and treated by the employer community. Labor generally agreed with 

our recommendation and identified steps that it is taking to address 

it. Labor also provided technical comments that we incorporated where 

appropriate. Labor’s entire comments are reproduced in appendix V.



Although Labor acknowledged that our conclusion that some performance 

measures may provide a disincentive to enrolling older workers in WIA 

programs may be correct, Labor believes that such a conclusion may be 

premature and noted that it is based on a limited number of comments 

from project operators and Workforce Investment Boards. While we agree 

that our conclusion is based on a limited number of survey responses 

and interviews, we also believe that such comments raise a warning flag 

to what could be a pervasive problem, and as such, should be taken into 

consideration. Regarding our recommendation that Labor assess WIA 

performance measures and make necessary adjustments to eliminate 

disincentives to enrolling older workers in WIA programs, Labor 

generally agreed, pointing out that as it assesses WIA performance 

measures it will identify and eliminate factors that discourage 

participation of any group. Labor also noted that it is preparing a 

report for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and 

Human Services, and Education that addresses some of the same issues 

covered by our report. Finally, Labor noted that it has formed a task 

force to review services to older workers and to identify policies to 

help meet the needs of this group.



We will send copies of this report to the Honorable Elaine L. Chao, 

Secretary of Labor; relevant congressional committees; and other 

interested parties. Copies will be made available to others upon 

request. In addition, the report will be available at no charge on the 

GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov. Please contact me on (202) 512-7215 

if you or your staff have any questions about this report. Other major 

contributors to this report are listed in appendix VI.



Sincerely yours,



Sigurd R. Nilsen

Director, Education, Workforce,

 and Income Security:

Signed by Sigurd R. Nilsen:



[End of section]



Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology:



We were asked to determine (1) to what extent people aged 55 and over 

are enrolled in federal employment and training programs and what 

services they receive, (2) how employment and training services are 

provided to older workers, and (3) how performance measures may have 

affected services for older workers. In our review of federal 

employment and training programs we focused on three programs funded by 

the Department of Labor (Labor): SCSEP because it is the only Labor 

program that serves exclusively older workers; WIA because it is the 

largest program in terms of funding for employment and training 

services and because its predecessor program, JTPA, required states to 

set aside funds to provide employment and training services 

specifically for older *workers; and TAA because Labor officials told 

us the program serves many older workers laid off from mature 

manufacturing industries such as steel making and textiles.



To conduct our review we visited 10 local areas in 5 states, meeting 

with both local and state officials. We surveyed state officials 

responsible for the WIA, SCSEP, and TAA programs in all 50 states, the 

District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. We also surveyed officials from 

all 595 local Workforce Investment Boards nationally. We conducted 

phone interviews with the ten national SCSEP grantees and interviewed 

officials from Labor and from research and advocacy organizations such 

as AARP, Urban Institute, and National Association of State Units on 

Aging. We obtained and analyzed service and outcome data from Labor on 

the WIA and SCSEP programs. Although we did not independently verify 

the data from the Department of Labor we did review and take into 

consideration Labor’s documents describing the quality of the WIA data. 

Finally, we reviewed research studies on older workers’ employment and 

training needs.



Site Visits:



We selected five states for site visits according to several criteria, 

including the proportion of the population that was aged 55 and older 

and the amount of funds received for administering SCSEP and the WIA 

Adult and Dislocated Worker programs (see table 7). We also chose some 

states because we knew they had special programs or policies regarding 

older workers as well as to ensure geographic diversity. In each state, 

we interviewed officials responsible for administering the state’s WIA 

and SCSEP programs. In some states, we also met with officials 

responsible for the TAA program.



Table 7: Proportion of Population Aged 55 and Older and Funds Received 

for SCSEP and WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs for Selected 

States:



State: Arizona; Proportion of

population

55+ (2000): 21.6%; Rank: 26; WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated

Worker, and SCSEP Funds

 (Program Year 2000): $32,906,236; Rank: 25.



State: California; Proportion of

population

55+ (2000): 18.3; Rank: 47; WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated

Worker, and SCSEP Funds

 (Program Year 2000): 495,357,738; Rank: 1.



State: Florida; Proportion of

population

55+ (2000): 27.3; Rank: 1; WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated

Worker, and SCSEP Funds

 (Program Year 2000): 105,684,671; Rank: 5.



State: Massachusetts; Proportion of

population

55+ (2000): 22.2; Rank: 17; WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated

Worker, and SCSEP Funds

 (Program Year 2000): 35,418,614; Rank: 20.



State: Pennsylvania; Proportion of

population

55+ (2000): 24.8; Rank: 3; WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated

Worker, and SCSEP Funds

 (Program Year 2000): 95,409,899; Rank: 6.



Source: U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Labor.



[End of table]



Within each state we judgmentally selected two local workforce areas to 

visit--one urban and one rural area (see table 8). In each location, we 

interviewed officials representing the WIA program and officials from 

at least one local SCSEP program. The local SCSEP programs we met with 

received funds from state SCSEP grantees and from several of the 

national SCSEP grantees. In addition, in some local areas we visited 

one-stop centers, met with organizations that promote local business 

development, and observed job-training programs designed for older 

workers. Finally, while in California we met with Experience Works, a 

SCSEP national grantee that received WIA funds to operate a computer-

training program targeted to older workers.



Table 8: Local Areas Selected for Site Visits:



State: Arizona; Local area: Maricopa County; City: Peoria (suburban 

Phoenix); Funding source for local SCSEP program(s): Arizona, National 

Council on the Aging, Inc..



Local area: Navajo County; City: Show Low; Funding source for local 

SCSEP program(s): National Council on the Aging, Inc..



State: California; Local area: Silicon Valley; City: San Jose; Funding 

source for local SCSEP program(s): California.



Local area: Stanislaus County; City: Modesto; Funding source for local 

SCSEP program(s): California, National Senior Citizens’ Education and 

Research Center.



State: Florida; Local area: Chipola; City: Marianna; Funding source for 

local SCSEP program(s): Florida.



Local area: Suncoast; City: Sarasota; Funding source for local SCSEP 

program(s): AARP Foundation.



State: Massachusetts; Local area: Boston; City: Boston; Funding source 

for local SCSEP program(s): National Senior Citizens’ Education and 

Research Center.



Local area: Franklin/Hampshire Counties; City: Greenfield; Funding 

source for local SCSEP program(s): Massachusetts, National Senior 

Citizens’ Education and Research Center.



State: Pennsylvania; Local area: Central Pennsylvania; City: Lewisburg; 

Funding source for local SCSEP program(s): Pennsylvania, Experience 

Works.



Local area: Luzerne/Schuylkill Counties; City: Wilkes-Barre; Funding 

source for local SCSEP program(s): Pennsylvania.



Source: GAO analysis :



[End of table]



Surveys:



We distributed three surveys to the 50 states, the District of 

Columbia, and Puerto Rico, focusing on services to older workers during 

program year 2000 (July 1, 2000, to June 30, 2001). One survey was 

designed to obtain information on how states used SCSEP funds, 

including their use of these funds for training, whether they imposed 

time limits on host agency assignments, and how they used 502(e) funds. 

We received 50 responses to this survey (96 percent). Rhode Island did 

not return the SCSEP survey, and Florida was unable to return the 

survey because it did not centrally administer its SCSEP funds during 

program year 2000. A second survey was designed to obtain information 

on how states used WIA funds to serve older workers, including the 

number of older workers served, what services they received, and 

whether and how states used their statewide activities funds 

specifically for older workers. We received 49 responses to this survey 

(94 percent). Connecticut, Delaware, and South Dakota did not return 

the WIA survey. Our third survey was designed to obtain information on 

how states used TAA funds to serve older workers, including how many 

older workers were served and what services they received. We received 

48 responses to this survey (94 percent). Michigan, Missouri, and South 

Dakota did not return the TAA survey, and Puerto Rico did not have a 

TAA program.



We also distributed a survey to all 595 local Workforce Investment 

Boards nationally to obtain information on how local workforce areas 

delivered services to older workers during program year 2000. This 

survey covered topics including special services available to older 

workers in the one-stop centers, the colocation of SCSEP staff in the 

one-stop centers, and the impact of the loss of older worker set-aside 

funds on services to older workers. We received 470 responses to the 

survey (79 percent).



Finally, we conducted telephone interviews and a mail survey to obtain 

information from the ten national SCSEP grantees on their services to 

older workers during program year 2000. The telephone interviews with 

all ten national grantees covered topics such as how job search and 

training services were delivered, the use of 502(e) funds, and 

coordination with WIA. All 10 national grantees returned the mail 

survey, which included quantitative questions on services provided and 

the use of 502(e) funds.



[End of section]



Appendix II: SCSEP National Grantee Activity in Program Year 2000 (July 

1, 2000 to June 30, 2001):



Table 9: SCSEP National Grantee Activity in Program Year 2000:



National grantee: AARP Foundation; Expenditures: $52,814,971; 

Participants served: 15,253; Number of states in

which grantee operated[B]: 32.



National grantee: Asociacion Nacional Pro Personas Mayores (ANPPM); 

Expenditures: 13,372,006; Participants served: 2,556; Number of states 

in

which grantee operated[B]: 11.



National grantee: Experience Works (EW); Expenditures: 109,547,345; 

Participants served: 29,416; Number of states in

which grantee operated[B]: 45.



National grantee: National Center and Caucus on Black Aged, Inc. 

(NCBA); Expenditures: 13,048,388; Participants served: 2,672; Number of 

states in

which grantee operated[B]: 11.



National grantee: National Council on the Aging (NCOA); Expenditures: 

39,314,754; Participants served: 8,524; Number of states in

which grantee operated[B]: 19.



National grantee: National Senior Citizens Education and Research 

Center, Inc. (NSCERC)[A]; Expenditures: 65,325,900; Participants 

served: 15,156; Number of states in

which grantee operated[B]: 28.



National grantee: National Urban League (NUL); Expenditures: 

15,328,944; Participants served: 3,504; Number of states in

which grantee operated[B]: 16.



National grantee: United States Forest Service (USFS); Expenditures: 

27,394,144; Participants served: 5,563; Number of states in

which grantee operated[B]: 42.



National grantee: National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA); 

Expenditures: 6,077,530; Participants served: 1,415; Number of states 

in

which grantee operated[B]: 15.



National grantee: National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA); 

Expenditures: 6,037,991; Participants served: 1,326; Number of states 

in

which grantee operated[B]: 8.



Source: The source for participants served and number of states in 

which grantees operated was Labor. The source for expenditures was our 

survey of the national grantees.



[A] Name has since been changed to Senior Service America (SSA).



[B] States include District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.



[End of table]



[End of section]



Appendix III: SCSEP Grantees’ Use of 502(e) Funds in Program Year 2000 

(July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001):



According to our surveys, eight national grantees and 22 state grantees 

used 502(e) funds during program year 2000 to place older workers in 

and train them for private sector employment. Grantees can operate 

502(e) projects through two funding mechanisms: they can apply for 

funds from a national pool of competitively awarded 502(e) funds, and 

they can choose to use a portion of their regular formula funds to 

sponsor 502(e) projects.



Table 10: SCSEP Grantees’ Use of 502(e) Funds in Program Year 2000:



Grantee: AARP; 502(e) funds expended[A]: $391,120; Number served: 

1,162; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: 

X; Services provided: Job search assistance: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: 

[Empty]; Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: EW; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 1,389,899; Number served: 9,667; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: NCBA; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 40,879; Number served: 68; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: NCOA; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 1,601,082; Number served: 

1,574; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: 

X; Services provided: Job search assistance: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: NSCERC[B]; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 523,164; Number served: 

610; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: USFS; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 88,362; Number served: 48; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: X.



Grantee: NICOA; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 28,477; Number served: 14; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: [Empty]; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: NAPCA; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 73,460; Number served: 44; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Arizona; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 25,359; Number served: 15; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: [Empty]; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: California; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 24,208; Number served: 

25; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: X.



Grantee: Delaware; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 52,228; Number served: 43; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Georgia; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 40,510; Number served: 66; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: X.



Grantee: Kansas; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 140,000; Number served: 101; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Louisiana; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 38,836; Number served: 

21; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: [Empty]; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Michigan; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 6,000; Number served: 3; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: [Empty]; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Minnesota; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 4,296; Number served: Not 

available; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job 

training: X; Services provided: Job search assistance: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; 

Services provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: 

X; Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Montana; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 42,245; Number served: 75; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: X.



Grantee: New Hampshire; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 4,100; Number served: 

5; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: New Mexico; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 52,960; Number served: 

7; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: New York; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 65,573; Number served: 89; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: North Carolina; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 57,912; Number 

served: 43; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job 

training: X; Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; 

Services provided: Remedial training: X.



Grantee: Ohio; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 336,570; Number served: 216; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Oregon; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 30,519; Number served: 18; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Pennsylvania; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 99,777; Number served: 

110; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: South Carolina; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 14,217; Number 

served: 9; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job 

training: X; Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: South Dakota; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 2,469; Number served: 

27; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Remedial training: X.



Grantee: Utah; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 76,000; Number served: 175; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: X.



Grantee: Vermont; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 99,200; Number served: 60; 

Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: X; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Customized training: X; Services 

provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Virginia; 502(e) funds expended[A]: Not available; Number 

served: 6; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job 

training: X; Services provided: Job search assistance: X; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: 

X; Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Grantee: Wisconsin; 502(e) funds expended[A]: 19,637; Number served: 

23; Services provided: Subsidized employment/on-the-job training: X; 

Services provided: Job search assistance: [Empty]; Services provided: 

Occupational skills training: Classroom training: [Empty]; Services 

provided: Occupational skills training: Customized training: [Empty]; 

Services provided: Remedial training: [Empty].



Source: Surveys of state and national SCSEP grantees.



[A] Includes competitively awarded and regular formula 502(e) funds.



[B] Name has since been changed to Senior Service America (SSA).



[End of table]



[End of section]



Appendix IV: WIA Earnings Change and Earnings Replacement Rate 

Performance Measure Calculations:



Adult Measure:



Measure 3: Adult Average Earnings Change in Six Months:



Of those who are employed in the first quarter after exit:



Total post-program earnings (earnings in quarter 2 + quarter 3 after 

exit) minus pre-program earnings (earnings in quarter 2 + quarter 3 

prior to registration) divided by the number of adults who exit during 

the quarter.



Dislocated Worker Measure:



Measure 7: Dislocated Worker Earnings Replacement Rate in Six Months:



Of those who are employed in the first quarter after exit:



Total post-program earnings (earnings in quarter 2 + quarter 3 after 

exit) divided by the pre-dislocation earnings (earnings in quarters 2 + 

quarter 3 prior to dislocation):



Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training 

Administration, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 7-99 on 

Core and Customer Satisfaction Performance Measures for the Workforce 

Investment System, March 3, 2000, pp. 11 & 13-14.



[End of section]



Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Labor:



U.S. Department of Labor	

Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training 

Washington, D.C. 20210:



JAN 15 2003:



Mr. Sigurd Nilsen Director:



Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues United States General 

Accounting Office Washington, DC 20548:



Dear Mr. Nilsen:



This letter is in response to the General Accounting Office (GAO)’s 

request for comments on the draft report GAO-03-350, Employment 

Assistance Focuses on Subsidized Jobs and Job Search, but Revised 

Performance Measures Could Improve Access to Other Services.



The Department of Labor shares with the Congress a strong interest in 

the “graying” of the American workforce. The demographic impact of 

increasing numbers of older people in the population and older workers 

in the workforce will require changes in the way that the older worker 

is thought of and treated by the employer community. The impact of this 

group will also be felt in the Federal employment and training systems 

that have been established to assure that the American workforce is 

prepared and available to meet the challenges of the 21 St century. 

Consequently, we found the draft report to be both informative and 

interesting.



We have comments on the draft report, particularly the Conclusions and 

Recommendations sections of the report found on pages 29 and 30. The 

system established by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is evolving. 

As information becomes available, we will be making adjustments to that 

system to meet the needs of both industry and the workforce. The GAO 

report indicates that WIA performance measures provide a disincentive 

for One-Stops to enroll older workers. This conclusion may be correct, 

but we think it is premature. It is based on a limited number of 

comments from project operators and Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs).



Looking at the same concern from a broader perspective, we note that, 

while activities under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and the 

WIA are not directly comparable, the proportion of older workers 

leaving WIA-supported activities appears to be consistent with results 

for this group obtained under JTPA. Our primary concern is that we have 

available employment related services that can be useful to all 

citizens, including older persons. To that end, as we assess WIA 

performance measures we will identify and eliminate factors which 

discourage participation of any group. Currently, we are preparing a 

report for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and 

Human Services, and Education that addresses some of the same issues 

covered in your draft report. We will share our report with you when we 

send it to the committee.



I have formed a task force to review services to older workers and to 

identify policies that will make more effective use of this valuable 

human resource. We will be examining as much information as possible to 

formulate policies that can meet the needs of this portion of the 

workforce. The Department of Labor is committed to continuous 

improvement in all aspects of our mission to serve older workers.



Sincerely,



Emily Stover DeRocco:

Signed by Emily Stover DeRocco:



[End of section]



Appendix VI: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments:



GAO Contacts:



Joan Mahagan (617) 565-7532

Wayne Sylvia (617) 565-7492:



Staff Acknowledgments:



Melissa Emrey-Arras, Laura Greene, and Lorin Obler made significant 

contributions to this report, in all aspects of the work throughout the 

assignment. In addition, Michael Coullahan conducted the information 

gathering segment for the SCSEP national grantees, Arthur Merriam and 

Joseph Evans contributed to the initial design of the assignment, Shana 

Wallace and Stuart Kaufman assisted in the design of the four national 

surveys, Carolyn Boyce conducted the data analysis for one of these 

surveys, Roger Thomas provided legal support, and Corinna Nicolaou 

assisted in the message and report development.



[End of section]



Related GAO Products:



Workforce Investment Act: States’ Spending Is on Track, but Better 

Guidance Would Improve Financial Reporting. GAO-03-239. Washington, 

D.C.: November 22, 2002.



Workforce Investment Act: States and Localities Increasingly Coordinate 

Services for TANF Clients, but Better Information Needed on Effective 

Approaches. GAO-02-696. Washington, D.C.: July 3, 2002.



Workforce Investment Act: Coordination of TANF through One-Stops Has 

Increased Despite Challenges. GAO-02-739T. Washington, D.C.: May 16, 

2002.



Workforce Investment Act: Youth Provisions Promote New Service 

Strategies, but Additional Guidance Would Enhance Program Development. 

GAO-02-413. Washington, D.C.: April 5, 2002.



Workforce Investment Act: Coordination between TANF Programs and One-

Stop Centers Is Increasing, but Challenges Remain. GAO-02-500T. 

Washington, D.C.: March 12, 2002.



Workforce Investment Act: Better Guidance and Revised Funding Formula 

Would Enhance Dislocated Worker Program. GAO-02-274. Washington, D.C.: 

February 11, 2002.



Workforce Investment Act: Improvements Needed in Performance Measures 

to Provide a More Accurate Picture of WIA’s Effectiveness. GAO-02-275. 

Washington, D.C.: February 1, 2002.



Older Workers: Demographic Trends Pose Challenges for Employers and 

Workers. GAO-02-85. Washington, D.C.: November 16, 2001.



Workforce Investment Act: New Requirements Create Need for More 

Guidance. GAO-02-94T. Washington, D.C.: October 4, 2001.



Workforce Investment Act: Better Guidance Needed to Address Concerns 

Over New Requirements. GAO-02-72. Washington, D.C.: October 4, 2001.



Trade Adjustment Assistance: Trends, Outcomes, and Management Issues in 

Dislocated Worker Programs. GAO-01-159. Washington, D.C.: October 13, 

2000.



Senior Community Service Employment: Program Reauthorization Issues 

That Affect Serving Disadvantaged Seniors. GAO/T-HEHS-99-126. 

Washington, D.C.: May 19, 1999.



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FOOTNOTES



[1] See U.S. General Accounting Office, Older Workers: Demographic 

Trends Pose Challenges for Employers and Workers, GAO-02-85 

(Washington, D.C.: Nov. 16, 2001).



[2] Trade Adjustment Assistance programs include Trade Adjustment 

Assistance (TAA) and North American Free Trade Agreement Transitional 

Adjustment Assistance (NAFTA-TAA). These programs were combined under 

the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002.



[3] A program year starts on July 1 of the calendar year. Program year 

2000 ran from July 1, 2000, to June 30, 2001.



[4] In 2000, this would equate to $21,315 for a family of four in all 

states except Alaska and Hawaii.



[5] Short-term prevocational services prepare individuals for 

employment or training and include development of learning skills, 

communication skills, interviewing skills, punctuality, personal 

maintenance, and professional conduct.



[6] See U.S. General Accounting Office, Workforce Investment Act: 

Improvements Needed in Performance Measures to Provide a More Accurate 

Picture of WIA’s Effectiveness, GAO-02-275 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 1, 

2002).



[7] The Current Population Survey defines the unemployed as actively 

seeking work. People defined as out of the labor force and wanting a 

job, are people who are not searching for employment but have stated 

they want a job. Some people who are retired are considered to be out 

of the labor force and wanting a job.



[8] National program statistics count the number of SCSEP participants 

in the community service jobs program and the number of WIA 

participants enrolled in intensive services and training.



[9] The extended mass layoff data described here covers cases where 

employers have laid off at least 50 workers for a period of at least 31 

days and the workers have applied for unemployment insurance.



[10] The Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000, signed into law on 

November 13, 2000, mandated that Labor establish performance measures 

requiring SCSEP operators to generally place at least 20% of program 

participants into unsubsidized jobs.



[11] Between July 2000 and June 2001, 13 states and 3 national grantees 

operating SCSEP programs had time limits on the length of time 

participants could either stay at a specific host agency or in the 

subsidized community jobs program. 



[12] These training programs were primarily funded under section 502(e) 

of the Older Americans Act.



[13] This estimate is based on TAA and WIA data from our national 

surveys, as well as WIA data from the Department of Labor. Labor’s WIA 

data tracks participants who received services and exited WIA during 

program year 2000. 



[14] WIA data are for individuals who received services through local 

adult and dislocated worker programs and who exited WIA programs before 

April, 2001.



[15] William Crown, ed., Handbook on Employment and the Elderly 

(Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996) and Noreen Hale, The Older 

Worker: Effective Strategies for Management and Human Resource 

Development (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, Inc., 1990). 



[16] F.I.M. Craik and T.A. Salthouse, eds., The Handbook of Aging and 

Cognition (Mahwah, N.J.: Erlbaum Press, 2000).



[17] Neil Charness, et al, “Word-Processing Training and Retraining: 

Effects of Adult Age, Experience, and Interface,” Psychology and Aging, 

vol.16, no.1 (2001). Committee for Economic Development, New 

Opportunities for Older Workers (New York 1999). Irwin Goldstein, 

Training and Development in Organizations (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 

Publishers, Inc., 1989).



[18] Program year 1998 is the last year for which JTPA data are 

available.



[19] These program administrators, however, were able to identify 

private employers--such as Wal-Mart and Disney World--that had a 

reputation for hiring people aged 55 and over.



[20] GAO-02-85.



[21] Some SCSEP staff colocated in one-stop centers are permanent 

employees of SCSEP provider agencies. Others are SCSEP enrollees whose 

subsidized community service placement is in a one-stop center. 



[22] GAO-02-275.



[23] There are no data from Alabama, Louisiana, New York or 

Pennsylvania.



[24] GAO-02-275.



[25] Current Population Survey, 2001, conducted by the Bureau of the 

Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Washington: Bureau of the 

Census, 2001.



[26] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2002 Displaced Worker 

Supplement to the Current Population Survey.



[27] For additional information see Louis Jacobson, et al, The Costs of 

Worker Dislocation (Kalamazoo: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment 

Research, 1993).



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