This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-07-167 
entitled 'Workforce Investment Act: Employers Found One-Stop Centers 
Useful in Hiring Low-Skilled Workers; Performance Information Could 
Help Gauge Employer Involvement' which was released on December 22, 
2006. 

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United States Government Accountability Office: 

Report to Congressional Requesters: 

GAO: 

December 2006: 

Workforce Investment Act: 

Employers Found One-Stop Centers Useful in Hiring Low-Skilled Workers; 
Performance Information Could Help Gauge Employer Involvement: 

GAO-07-167: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-07-167, a report to congressional requesters 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) required that many federal 
workforce employment and training programs for low-income individuals, 
the unemployed, and other job seekers provide their services through a 
streamlined delivery system. WIA also promoted greater employer 
engagement in this delivery system by, among other things, calling for 
it to help meet employers’ workforce needs with services provided 
through one-stop centers. In 2005, we found that about half of 
employers were aware of their local one-stop centers. However, 
questions remained about how employers use them. In this report, GAO 
addressed (1) the extent to which employers, both large and small, hire 
their employees through one-stops; (2) the extent to which these 
employers view one-stop services as useful; and (3) factors that may 
affect one-stop service to employers. To answer these questions we 
surveyed employers who had used the one-stop system, visited eight one-
stops, and talked to one-stop and Labor officials. 

What GAO Found: 

Regardless of size, employers completing our survey hired a small 
percentage of their employees through one-stops, and two-thirds of 
those they hired were low-skilled. About 80 employers who could provide 
estimates reported hiring about 9 percent of their new employees 
through the one-stops, roughly 1,300 of their 14,500 hires in 2005. 
They also reported that about two-thirds of those hired were low-
skilled workers, in part because they thought the labor available from 
the one-stop centers was mostly low-skilled. Employers told us they 
would hire more job seekers from the one-stop labor pools if they had 
the skills for which they were looking. 

Employers primarily used only one of the seven services generally 
available through the one-stop, but they generally viewed whatever 
services they did use as helpful. Most employers used the centers’ job-
posting service. Fewer made use of the one-stops’ physical space or job 
applicant screening services. Still, when employers did take advantage 
of a service, they generally reported that it was useful because it 
produced positive results, such as reaching more job applicants than 
would have applied otherwise. When employers reported that they did not 
use a particular one-stop service, in most cases they either were not 
aware that the one-stop provided the service, obtained it elsewhere, or 
carried through on their own. 

At least three factors may affect one-stops’ service to employers. The 
first of these is the skill set of the labor pool. One-stop officials 
said that their job candidates generally had either low skills or 
lacked the specialized skills needed by employers. The second factor 
cited by one-stop officials is the limited number of staff available to 
serve employers. Staff at one-stops must serve both employers and job 
seekers with the staff and funding available to them. The fact that the 
Department of Labor collects limited information on employer engagement 
in the one-stop system is a third factor that may affect the level of 
service to employers. While Labor collects information on employer 
satisfaction, this measure does not provide information on how 
employers use the system. Labor has said its new data collection system 
will include such information, but this remains to be seen. 

Figure: Employees Hired through One-Step: 

[See PDF for Image] 

Source: GAO 2006 survey of business establishments. 

[End of Figure] 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the Secretary of Labor follow through with plans to 
collect information on employers’ use of one-stop services and develop 
a way to measure employer engagement in the workforce investment system 
as part of the department’s performance reporting system. Labor noted 
its intent to collect such information. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-167]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Sigurd Nilsen at (202) 
512-7215 or nilsens@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Employers Hired About 9 Percent of 2005 New Hires through One-Stops, 
Two-Thirds of Whom Were Low-Skilled: 

Employers Mostly Used Job Posting Services and Generally Reported That 
Using Any Service Produced Positive Results: 

One-Stop Service to Employers May be Affected by Limited Skills in 
Their Labor Pool, Limited Staffing, and the Lack of Employer-Related 
Performance Information: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments: 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Labor: 

Appendix III: Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Related Products: 

Table: 

Table 1: One-Stop Centers We Visited: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Employees Hired through One-Stops: 

Figure 2: Comparison of Actual Hiring through One-Stops with Employers' 
Perceptions of the One-Stops' Labor Pool: 

Figure 3: Proportion of Skilled Workers Hired through One-Stops and 
through Private Sector Recruiting Firms: 

Figure 4: Percentage of Employers That Used Each One-Stop Service in 
2005 and How They Rated Its Usefulness: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

December 22, 2006: 

The Honorable Michael B. Enzi: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Edward M. Kennedy: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Patty Murray: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety: 
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: 
United States Senate: 

In any given quarter, the U.S. economy creates and destroys about 8 
million jobs. The resulting dynamic requires that workers find new jobs 
and employers hire new workers. Those who are seeking jobs, 
particularly the unemployed as well as low-income individuals, can 
access federal workforce employment and training programs, many of 
which are overseen by the Department of Labor (Labor) through a 
streamlined delivery system required by the Workforce Investment Act of 
1998 (WIA). This system consists of about 1,900 career, or "one-stop," 
centers across the country where programs can provide their services. 
WIA also promoted greater employer engagement in this delivery system 
by requiring that employers make up the majority of members and lead 
local and state workforce investment boards that oversee the one-stop 
centers and by calling for these boards to help meet employers' 
workforce needs with services provided through one-stop centers. While 
the law does not require any one particular service, the centers do 
offer services such as job postings, access to training for existing 
employees, information about employee resources like day care, or 
simply the use of a center's facilities for conducting job fairs or 
interviews. Employers can also pay a fee for more customized services, 
if they are offered. In addition, the local boards can solicit funding 
from employers and others to pursue initiatives in job development and 
training. 

In 2005, we found that about half of employers were aware of their 
local one-stop centers.[Footnote 1] However, questions remained about 
how employers were using those one-stop centers. In view of the desire 
of policymakers to engage and serve employers of all sizes in the 
workforce system, we looked specifically at how some employers make use 
of the one-stop centers. We have examined (1) the extent to which 
employers, both large and small, hire their employees through one- 
stops; (2) the extent to which these employers view one-stop services 
as useful; and (3) factors that may affect one-stop service to 
employers. 

To answer these questions, we conducted a Web-based survey of employers 
from our 2005 report who told us they had previously used one-stops, 
interviewed 17 one-stop officials from 10 one-stops in 5 states, and 
interviewed Labor officials and officials from other organizations with 
knowledge of workforce programs. We made an extra effort to contact 
small employers but could not reach many of them because of business 
closure and employee turnover. The results of our survey represent only 
those who completed it and cannot be generalized to the universe of 
businesses that have used one-stops. We obtained completed surveys from 
113 businesses, which we categorized in three groups by size: 14 small, 
48 medium, and 51 large businesses. Geographically these businesses 
were located in 36 states and ranged from a large fast food franchise 
to a sheet metal fabricator with only 10 employees. We visited 8 one- 
stop career centers representing a mix of urban, suburban, and rural 
areas in California, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and 
conducted phone interviews with officials in 2 one-stop centers in 
Pennsylvania. In some cases, officials from Local Workforce Investment 
Boards participated in these interviews. We selected 4 of these states 
because they had the most employers that had used one-stop services in 
our national survey, and Wyoming for a rural perspective. We performed 
our work in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards between December 2005 and October 2006. See appendix I for 
details of our methodology. 

Results in Brief: 

Regardless of size, employers completing our survey hired a small 
percentage of their employees through one-stops, and two-thirds of 
those they hired were low-skilled. About 80 of 113 employers--those who 
could provide estimates--reported hiring about 9 percent of their new 
employees through the one-stops in 2005. This amounted to roughly 1,300 
of the 14,500 workers they hired in 2005. They also reported that about 
two-thirds of those hired through the one-stops were low-skilled 
workers, in part because they thought the labor available from the one- 
stops was mostly low-skilled. Employers told us they would hire more 
job seekers from the one-stop labor pools if they had the skills for 
which they were looking. 

Employers primarily used only one of the seven services available 
though the one-stop, but they generally viewed whatever services they 
did use as helpful. Most employers used the centers' job posting 
service. Fewer made use of the one-stops' physical space or job 
applicant screening services. Still, when employers did take advantage 
of a service, they generally reported that it was useful because it 
produced positive results. In the case of posting job openings, 
employers reported that it resulted in more applicants than would have 
applied otherwise. The few employers who used one-stop facilities 
reported that doing so increased their visibility when hiring. They 
also said that using one-stop services saved them time and money. One 
employer, for example, noted that use of the one-stop allowed his 
company to avoid renting hotel conference rooms for job interviews when 
it was hiring. When employers did not use a particular one-stop 
service, in most cases they said that they either were not aware that 
the one-stop provided the service, said they obtained it elsewhere, or 
said that they carried through on their own. 

At least three factors may affect one-stops' service to employers. The 
first of these is the skill set of the labor pool. Citing this factor 
as one of their top challenges, one-stop officials said that their job 
candidates generally had either low skills or lacked the specialized 
skills needed by employers. They also said, however, that employers may 
perceive the available pool as less skilled than it really is. One-stop 
officials cited the limited number of staff available to serve 
employers as a second factor affecting their service to employers. 
However, few of the one-stops we visited reported having received 
private sector funds that could be used to hire more staff, even though 
the law allows for charging fees or soliciting money from employers, 
and we have identified charging fees as a promising practice. The fact 
that Labor collects limited information on employer engagement in the 
one-stop system is a third factor that may affect the level of service 
to employers. One-stop officials at several centers noted that 
performance information generally focuses on services to job seekers 
and not employers. While Labor collects information on employer 
satisfaction, this measure does not provide information on how 
employers use the system. Labor has said its new data collection system 
will include such information, but this remains to be seen. 
Additionally, while Labor has launched initiatives designed, in part, 
to help one-stop centers model approaches to serving employers, the 
impact of these initiatives may be limited to those centers selected to 
participate in the program or receive program grants. A majority of the 
one-stop officials we spoke with reported they were not participants in 
Labor's national initiatives such as the High-Growth Job Training 
Initiative or the National Business Learning Partnership, and that 
these had no impact on their capacity to serve employers. 

In this report, we recommend that the Secretary of Labor follow through 
with plans to collect information on employers' use of one-stop 
services and develop a way to measure employer engagement in the 
workforce investment system as part of the Department of Labor's 
performance reporting system. In its comments on a draft of this 
report, Labor noted its intent to collect such information. 

Background: 

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 sought to improve the quality of 
the workforce by creating a streamlined delivery system for services 
offered by 17 federal workforce development programs. Under WIA, each 
program is required to make services available through the one-stop 
center system established for each local area. The services available 
to job seekers at one-stops include career counseling and referral to 
training programs. Although not specified under WIA, the services 
available to employers at one-stops include posting job openings, 
screening job applicants, assisting with downsizing, accessing labor 
market information, providing information on financial incentives and 
employee supports,[Footnote 2] training services, and making available 
one-stop facilities. 

So that the private sector drives the employment and training 
activities of the workforce investment system, WIA requires that 
business representatives lead and constitute the majority of members on 
state and local workforce investment boards. Each local board is 
responsible for developing a comprehensive local plan that describes 
the one-stop delivery system established in a particular local area. 
This plan must identify the workforce investment needs of area 
businesses and describe how the board will ensure that one-stop service 
providers meet these needs. Although Labor oversees the system, states 
and local areas have flexibility to design and operate their local 
systems as long as they are not inconsistent with the requirements of 
WIA. 

Labor has several initiatives that were designed, in part, to help one- 
stop centers model approaches to serving employers. The President's 
High-Growth Job Training Initiative targets worker training and career 
development resources toward helping workers gain the skills they need 
to build careers in fields like health care, information technology, 
and advanced manufacturing jobs. According to Labor officials, more 
than 138 High-Growth Job Training Initiative grants have been awarded 
totaling approximately $250 million, as of August 2006. The grants are 
awarded to local workforce investment boards that oversee one-stop 
centers. The National Business Learning Partnership program was 
designed to match high-performing local workforce areas with local 
sites that wish to engage businesses more successfully. As part of this 
program, a protégé site is matched with a mentor to provide one-on-one 
consultation, develop a work plan, and support a transition to a demand-
driven system. In order to participate in the National Business 
Learning Partnership program, the workforce investment board overseeing 
the local one-stop center must submit an application for the low- 
performing one-stop to become a protégé. Not all who apply are accepted 
into the program. 

While Labor assesses WIA programs through such measures as job seeker 
employment rates, average earnings, and job retention, only one measure 
for these programs relates directly to employer services: employer 
satisfaction. In accordance with an Office of Management and Budget 
initiative, Labor also assesses workforce programs with common 
measures, which are similar to some of the WIA measures. However, none 
relate directly to employer services. To improve the collection of 
performance information, Labor is in the process of designing a new 
performance reporting system: the Workforce Investment Streamlined 
Performance Reporting System, slated for implementation in 2007. 

In previous work on employers and one-stops, we found that as a 
company's size increased, so did awareness and use of one-stop 
services. Employers were more likely to use hiring services--posting 
job openings and screening job applicants--than they were to use 
training services. In general, employers were satisfied with the 
services they received. 

Employers Hired About 9 Percent of 2005 New Hires through One-Stops, 
Two-Thirds of Whom Were Low-Skilled: 

Employers responding to our survey hired a small percentage of their 
workers through one-stops in 2005, about 9 percent.[Footnote 3] This 
amounted to roughly 1,300 of the 14,500 workers hired by the 80 
employers we surveyed who could provide this information. Although some 
employers had hired a large percentage of their workers through the one-
stops, most had hired only a small percentage. In a typical case, a 
manufacturer hired only 1 of its 21 new hires (5 percent) through one- 
stops. In a less typical case, a manufacturer hired 250 of its 1,100 
new hires (23 percent) by posting all of its job openings with the 
local one-stop center. According to Labor officials, the size and 
skills of the local labor pool overall (not just at the one-stops), 
along with a wide array of other factors, may affect the ability of an 
employer to hire a large percentage of workers from the one-stops. 
There were no material differences in hiring patterns for employers of 
different sizes.[Footnote 4] 

About two-thirds of workers hired through one-stops were low-skilled, 
according to the employers who provided us with an estimate.[Footnote 
5] Of the approximately 1,300 workers employers hired in 2005, about 
900 were low-skilled.[Footnote 6] (See fig. 1.) Employers said they 
relied on these workers to fill their entry-level positions. Employers 
in the food service industry hired low-skilled workers from one-stops 
to fill their cashier and wait staff positions. Another employer, in 
the manufacturing industry, hired low-skilled workers for entry-level 
positions on the production floor. 

Figure 1: Employees Hired through One-Stops: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO 2006 survey of business establishments. 

Note: This information cannot be generalized to all employers who use 
one-stop services. The numbers used in this graphic are from those 
employers who could provide us with estimates, 80 of the 113 employers 
who completed our survey. 

[End of figure] 

Some of the employers completing our survey reported that they had used 
one-stops to hire mostly low-skilled employees, in part because they 
thought it was mostly low-skilled workers who were available from the 
centers. Based on their interactions with one-stops, employers 
characterized the labor pool at one-stops as being, on average, 61 
percent low-skilled, 26 percent mid-skilled, and just 12 percent high- 
skilled. With the exception of high-skilled workers, these percentages 
closely mirror the proportion of workers at various skill levels that 
they actually hired through the one-stops in 2005. (See fig. 2.) 
Although many indicated a willingness to hire more job seekers from the 
one-stops, some questioned whether such hires would be qualified. For 
example, an employer in Green Bay, Wisconsin, told us that he had a 
difficult time filling his open positions for welders and would be more 
than willing to hire from the one-stop center if it had qualified job 
seekers. 

Figure 2: Comparison of Actual Hiring through One-Stops with Employers' 
Perceptions of the One-Stops' Labor Pool: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO 2006 survey of business establishments. 

Note: This information cannot be generalized to all employers who use 
one-stop services. The numbers used in this graphic are from those 
employers who could provide us with estimates, 80 of the 113 employers 
who completed our survey. Because of rounding, percentages for 
employers' perceptions do not sum to 100. 

[End of figure] 

A greater proportion of the workers that employers hired through 
private sector recruiting firms were high-skilled, in comparison to the 
proportion they hired in the one-stop. Specifically, 51 percent of the 
workers they hired through the private sector recruiting firms were 
high-skilled in comparison to 5 percent of the workers they hired 
through one-stops. (See fig. 3.) Employers told us they used private 
sector recruiting firms either to find employees with specific 
expertise and experience or when they had a difficult time finding 
employees. For example, a financial services business used private 
sector recruiting firms to search for new executives. Another said 
these firms were only used when it was not possible to fill an open 
position after a reasonable period of time. 

Figure 3: Proportion of Skilled Workers Hired through One-Stops and 
through Private Sector Recruiting Firms: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO 2006 survey of business establishments. 

Note: This information cannot be generalized to all employers who use 
one-stop services. The numbers used in this graphic are from those 
employers who could provide us with estimates, 80 of the 113 employers 
who completed our survey. 

[End of figure] 

Despite their perceptions of skill levels available through the one- 
stops, employers completing our survey seemed willing to recruit from 
any source if there were qualified employees available. Many said they 
attempted to recruit employees from a variety of sources, including one-
stops, and hired the best applicant from any of such sources. For 
example, one said the firm had listed all of its job openings with the 
local one-stop, but ended up finding most employees through employee 
referral and walk-ins. Another employer that hired through employee 
referrals provided a bonus to workers who referred new employees to the 
company. In addition to having workers approach them, some employers 
also recruited workers directly from colleges and universities. Another 
said it used newspapers and the one-stop center and found employees 
from both. According to Labor officials, generally the most effective 
recruitment strategy is word-of-mouth through friends and relatives. 

Employers Mostly Used Job Posting Services and Generally Reported That 
Using Any Service Produced Positive Results: 

Employers completing our survey primarily used only one of the seven 
services generally available though the one-stop, the job posting 
service. However, when employers did take advantage of a service, in 
general they reported that it was useful because it produced positive 
results, such as a pool of applicants larger than would have been 
available otherwise. Employers also reported positive experiences in 
terms of interacting with one-stop staff, as well as savings in time 
and money. Employers who did not use a particular one-stop service 
reported that they were either not aware that it was offered, obtained 
the service elsewhere, or had carried through on their own. 

Employers Often Used One-Stops' Job Posting Service, and Less 
Frequently Used Other Available Services: 

Of all services offered by one-stops, the one most often used by 
employers we surveyed was posting jobs.[Footnote 7] Other services, 
such as screening applicants, using one-stop facilities, and using 
labor market information, were used less. A small fraction of employers 
we surveyed used information about financial incentives, assistance 
with downsizing and averting layoffs, or training services.[Footnote 8] 
(See fig. 4.) 

Figure 4: Percentage of Employers That Used Each One-Stop Service in 
2005 and How They Rated Its Usefulness: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO 2006 survey of business establishments. 

Note: This information cannot be generalized to all employers who use 
one-stop services. To calculate the percentage of employers that used 
each one-stop service, we divided the number of employers who reported 
using each service by the number of employers who reported using any 
service in 2005, 81 of the 113 employers who completed our survey. 

[End of figure] 

Employers Generally Reported That Using One-Stop Services Produced 
Positive Results, with the Exception of Posting Job Openings, where 
Results Were Mixed: 

Most employers who posted jobs with the one-stop said the service was 
useful. However, others found that it did not produce the candidates 
they needed. Most of those who used the job posting service said that 
it was useful or very useful because it increased the size of the 
audience they were able to reach and resulted in a greater number of 
job applicants. A company official at one mid-sized medical laboratory 
characterized one-stops as a place where "almost anyone would go to 
find a job," and said posting jobs with the one-stop enabled the lab to 
reach a large and diverse audience. For one small business manager, 
posting jobs with the one-stop produced about 900 applications. For 
some employers, however, a greater number of applicants, in and of 
itself, was not productive. About one-third of employers posting jobs 
with the one-stop did not find it to be useful. The owner of a mid- 
sized manufacturing company in Wisconsin echoed the experiences of 
others in telling us that when he posted a job opening with the one- 
stop it did not generate the applicants who had the qualifications he 
needed. 

Although fewer in number, employers who screened applicants or accessed 
labor market information through the one-stop or who used one-stop 
facilities said these services were useful. Of those who found 
screening services useful, most said that it increased the number of 
job seekers with the skills they needed. One large retail company was 
able to hire over 500 new employees as a result of prescreening 
interviews and background checks performed by the one-stop. In another 
case, a mid-sized manufacturing company said the one-stop's screening 
service saved the company time by reducing the applicant traffic in the 
office. Of those who found it beneficial to use the one-stop centers' 
facilities, most said it provided a convenient location for recruiting. 
One mid-sized manufacturing firm told us that the one-stop facilities 
provided a central location where the employer could accept 
applications, conduct testing sessions, and make photocopies of 
relevant documents. Another employer told us that using the one-stop's 
facilities enabled the company to continue recruiting employees while 
the business's building was under construction. Most of those who found 
labor market information useful said it helped the firm set wage rates 
and comply with prevailing wage requirements. 

Although used by few, training services and information about financial 
incentives and employee supports were also useful to the employers we 
surveyed. Employers that found training services to be useful said it 
was because they improved their employee skills.[Footnote 9] For 
example, 40 entry-level employees at a large manufacturing firm learned 
to read blueprints and acquired other skills highly valuable to the 
company through training arranged by the one-stop. According to the 
human resources manager, these employees were better positioned for 
advancement in their careers as a result. Of those who said information 
about financial incentives and employee supports was useful, most 
pointed to the fact that it was appropriate to the needs of their 
establishment or employees. One small business employer said that his 
local one-stop coordinated potential candidates for tax credits and 
made his employees aware of programs that could help the company. He 
cited these services as one of the reasons his business would be 
looking to expand in the area served by this one-stop center. 

While few of those we surveyed had used a one-stop's help in downsizing 
or averting layoffs, those that did said that they found this service 
useful or very useful. Specifically, almost all said the one-stop's 
assistance helped them comply with federal laws regarding downsizing 
and resulted in more employees finding new employment after downsizing 
than would have otherwise occurred. In one case in 2005, one-stop 
officials met with a group of about 50 workers laid off by a large 
manufacturing firm in Indiana and told the workers about how to access 
the one-stop's search assistance and training opportunities. According 
to the human resource manager, the one-stop's help spared him from 
fielding multiple queries about job search services. In addition, he 
said the one-stop staff gave the laid-off employees direction and 
encouragement toward new employment opportunities. 

Employers Who Used One-Stop Services Generally Reported Positive 
Experiences in Terms of Effort, Staff Interaction, Time, and Savings: 

Many employers who responded to our survey said that the amount of 
effort required to work with the one-stops was reasonable. Most of 
those we surveyed said it was easy or very easy to use one-stop 
services. Few complained about excessive paperwork or other 
administrative requirements associated with one-stop services. Some 
employers we interviewed recalled doing very little paperwork. 

Employers were also generally positive about their interactions with 
one-stop staff. Among those who answered our survey question on staff 
interaction, about 70 percent rated staff highly on their 
professionalism. The employers we interviewed on our site visits said 
that being familiar with one-stop staff was valuable to them and added 
that their one-stop contact was professional and responsive. Several 
said they felt very comfortable asking their one-stop staff member for 
any assistance. 

Employers also said that one-stop services had saved them time and 
money. Using one-stop facility and screening services allowed employers 
to recruit new workers more quickly and efficiently, thereby saving 
time. Many employers noted that one-stop services, which generally are 
free of charge, had saved them money. One employer said the one-stop's 
meeting rooms, high-speed Internet access, photocopying assistance, and 
other services helped him save his company almost $2,000. He contrasted 
his experience with that of other company franchises that had paid 
hotels or others for such services. 

For Services They Did Not Use, Employers Reported Either Not Knowing 
about Them, Finding Them Elsewhere, or Providing Them on Their Own: 

Many of the survey respondents who did not use one-stop services said 
it was because they did not know the one-stop offered these services. 
On average, about one-quarter of employers who did not use a particular 
one-stop service said it was because they did not know it was 
available. Employers cited training services and information about 
financial incentives and employee supports as the two services they 
were least aware of and thus among those used the least. 

Some employers looked elsewhere for services that were also available 
at one-stop centers. For example, many employers accessed labor market 
information from sources other than the one-stops, such as information 
available from educational organizations or professional associations. 
Also, 35 percent of employers who did not post jobs with the one-stop 
reported posting jobs through other outlets, such as through private 
sector recruiting firms, newspapers, the Internet, and using word-of- 
mouth (other employees). In our discussions with employers, some said 
they need to tap all resources available to find qualified employees. 

It was also the case that employers did not use some services that 
involve activities they generally do on their own. With regard to 
training, for example, one employer said that making musical 
instruments requires training by a seasoned instrument maker. While 
about one-third of employers used screening services, over 70 percent 
of those who did not said it was because they do their own screening 
internally. 

One-Stop Service to Employers May be Affected by Limited Skills in 
Their Labor Pool, Limited Staffing, and the Lack of Employer-Related 
Performance Information: 

At least three factors may affect one-stops' service to employers. The 
first of these is the skill set of the labor pool, which some officials 
characterized as low or lacking the specialization some employers 
requested. Part of the challenge, according to others, is that 
employers may perceive the skill level as lower than it actually is. 
One-stop officials cited the limited number of staff as a second factor 
that affects their service to employers. The fact that Labor collects 
limited information on employer engagement in the one-stop system is a 
third factor that may also affect one-stops' service to employers. 
While Labor has launched initiatives to better meet employers' needs 
for workers, such as the High-Growth Job Training Initiative, the one- 
stops we visited were not significantly affected by them. 

Skills of the Labor Pool May Make It Difficult for One-Stops to Meet 
Demand for Skilled Workers: 

The one-stop officials we interviewed cited the skills of the labor 
pool available through the one-stop as one of their top challenges in 
providing employers with qualified applicants. Whether the problem is 
that the labor pool is low-skilled, lacks the specific skills, or is 
misperceived by employers is difficult to determine. Some officials 
cited the low skill level or lack of education in their labor pool, 
while others cited the lack of specialized skills needed by employers. 
On average, officials estimated that about one-third of their labor 
pool was low-skilled, with these estimates ranging from 8 percent to 85 
percent. A one-stop official noted that it was difficult to provide 
employers with applicants that met employers' minimal requirements for 
having at least a high school or general equivalency diploma. Other 
officials told us they do not have enough skilled workers to supply the 
needs of the businesses in their areas. For example, a one-stop 
official explained the difficulty in filling an employer's need for 
workers experienced in mixing batches of cosmetics. 

When told that employers in our survey used the one-stop to hire mostly 
low-skilled workers, some of the one-stop officials we interviewed said 
that to some degree employers can misperceive the skills of the one- 
stop labor pool. They noted that employers may not see skills as 
transferable to their particular needs. For example, a one-stop 
official told us that when skilled workers were recently laid off at a 
tubing manufacturing company, other local employers viewed them as low- 
skilled because the applicability of their skills to other jobs in the 
labor market was not readily apparent. Other one-stop officials stated 
that employers may characterize the one-stops' labor pool as low- 
skilled because high-skilled or professional job seekers do not 
necessarily tell employers that they have used the local one-stop 
center. According to a one-stop official, high-skilled job seekers are 
more likely to say that they found the job posting on the Internet 
because they want to convey the impression that they did not need 
assistance. In addition, one-stop staff suggested that some employers 
may perceive the labor pool as low-skilled because of a lack of 
applicant screening by the one-stop. One-stops provide screening 
services in varying degrees. In cases where the one-stop did not 
screen, employers seeking high-skilled workers may be overwhelmed by 
the number of low-skilled job seekers applying for open positions. 

A Limited Number of One-Stop Staff Are Available to Serve Employers, 
but One-Stops We Visited Generally Did Not Leverage Additional Private 
Sector Funding to Increase Staff or Resources: 

According to most of the one-stop officials we interviewed, another 
challenge they faced was the lack of staff available to serve 
employers. Staff at one-stops must serve both employers and job seekers 
with the staff time and funding available to them. While some officials 
told us that services to employers and job seekers complement each 
other, others said that their staff primarily serve job seekers and 
serve businesses as a collateral duty. In fact, half of the one-stop 
centers we interviewed had no staff dedicated exclusively to serving 
employers. One official told us that in addition to serving job 
seekers, he went door to door to local businesses in the area to 
promote one-stop employer services because he had no staff dedicated to 
doing so. The other half of the one-stop centers we visited dedicated 
at least one person to serving employers full-time. The fact that 
employers expressed satisfaction with one-stop staff would suggest that 
at least for them levels of staff weren't an issue. Nonetheless, all of 
the one-stop officials we spoke with agreed that if they were provided 
with more funding, they would expand services to employers. Some either 
said they would use funding to hire additional staff devoted to 
employer services or they would increase one-stop service offerings to 
employers like training for their incumbent workers. 

Although a practice we identified as promising--leveraging private 
sector funding--could be used by one-stops to hire more staff, most 
officials we interviewed stated that they had not done so.[Footnote 10] 
Six of the 10 one-stops we visited did not receive any funding of this 
type. The 4 one-stops that did receive private sector funding charged a 
fee for services or to use the facility. Each received less than 
$10,000 per year, an amount described by some of these officials as 
minimal. When asked why they had not received private sector funding, 
one-stop officials we interviewed stated several reasons, including 
hesitancy to solicit funds in addition to tax dollars already paid by 
businesses as well as lack of expertise and knowledge regarding how to 
solicit private sector donations. 

The Lack of Employer-Related Performance Information That Labor 
Collects May Affect How One-Stops Serve Employers: 

Labor has limited information about employer engagement in the one-stop 
system. Although Labor measures employers' satisfaction, this measure 
does not provide information on how employers use the system. Labor 
officials told us that they do not rely on this information for any 
purpose, and as we previously reported, the information is too general 
for states and local areas to use. We recommended, at that time, that 
Labor require states to collect and report on employer use of the 
workforce system.[Footnote 11] Labor was developing a new data 
collection and reporting system that it has since discontinued and 
replaced with a new system still under development. Labor officials 
told us that their latest data collection system will generate 
information on employers' use of one-stop services, and will be 
implemented in program year 2007. However, this remains to be seen. 
Moreover, it is not clear that Labor will use this information to 
measure employer engagement. 

Some one-stop officials we spoke with acknowledged that there is a need 
for performance measures related to employer services. Officials at 
several one-stop centers we visited also recognized that performance 
information Labor collects focuses on services to job seekers and not 
employers. Several one-stop officials stated that some basic measures 
are necessary to tie one-stop staff effort to employer outcomes and 
that if Labor were to collect such information, doing so might 
influence how they serve employers. 

Although Labor does not require that one-stops collect performance 
information related to employer services, officials at many of the one- 
stops we visited, recognizing its importance, collected such 
information. Eight out of the 10 one-stops collected some type of 
performance data on their services to employers in order to assess how 
well they were serving employers in their local area. This included the 
number of new employers using the one-stop services, number of hires, 
repeat usage rate, self-service versus staff-assisted services, and 
number of on-site recruitments. Officials said they use this 
information to plan outreach and to assess progress toward achieving 
performance goals. For example, a one-stop official said, "We use the 
data to see who is using us and who is not and try to figure out the 
reason," which suggests the value of this information for getting more 
employers to use the one-stops. 

Most of the One-Stop Officials We Interviewed Reported That Labor 
Initiatives on Employer Services Had No Impact on Their Capacity to 
Serve Employers: 

Labor initiatives intended to increase one-stop capacity to serve 
employers may have limited reach, at least until greater dissemination 
occurs. Two of the 10 local workforce investment boards we visited 
received High Growth Job Training Initiative grants, and none 
participated in the National Business Learning Partnership program. 
According to the officials whose boards received grants, the funding 
was helpful because it increased the resources available to help 
address the needs of employers. One-stop centers whose local boards did 
not receive any program grants told us that the initiatives, which are 
intended to disseminate information in general, have not helped them 
build their capacity to serve employers. In those cases where a board 
did not seek a grant or participate in the programs, any potential 
impact may depend on the efforts of local officials to seek out program 
information. Labor has taken steps to disseminate findings gained from 
the National Business Learning Partnership by publishing case studies 
that exemplify various best practices approaches to serving employers. 
Officials from Labor also stated that they educate one-stop officials 
and others about their initiatives through a Web site. 

Conclusions: 

WIA promoted greater employer engagement, in part, by calling on the 
one-stop center system to help meet employers' workforce needs. While 
neither the act nor Labor regulations specify their level or range, 
employer services are clearly part of this equation. While there are 
many ways that employers might be engaged, our findings raise questions 
about the extent to which it is occurring via service to employers. 
Although employers we contacted found one-stop services useful, a lack 
of qualified applicants, and misperceptions about applicants' skill 
levels and a lack of awareness of some services had the potential to 
negatively affect their engagement with the system. This is all the 
more important because they represent a subset of all employers--those 
that actually used the one-stops. The fact that employers hired such a 
small percentage of their hires through the one-stop, coupled with the 
finding from our previous work that small employers are less likely to 
be aware of the one-stop services available to them, could mean that 
small employers in relation to large employers are even less engaged in 
the system. 

Beyond this, there is another and greater indication that employers are 
not central to the system, in that Labor has not attempted to measure 
their engagement. Labor officials acknowledge that they do not use 
their single measure related to employers--satisfaction--but also 
acknowledge the importance of having information about employers' 
engagement in the system. Without such information, it is not possible 
to understand the extent to which employer involvement is helpful to 
job seekers or to employers, to know what role employers can play in 
achieving success for the one-stop delivery system, or to determine 
what, if anything, should be done to improve employer engagement. While 
Labor has said that its new data collection system will collect 
information on employer use of services, it is not clear if Labor will 
use this information to measure employer engagement in the one-stop 
system. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To ensure that Labor has a better understanding of the extent that 
employers are engaged in the workforce system, we recommend that the 
Secretary of Labor follow through with plans to collect information on 
employers' use of one-stop services and develop a way to measure 
employer engagement in the workforce investment system as part of the 
department's performance reporting system. 

Agency Comments: 

We provided a draft of this report to Labor for review and comment. In 
its comments, Labor acknowledged the limited data available on 
employers' use of one-stop services and noted its intent to collect 
additional employer data through a new performance reporting system 
beginning July 1, 2007. While Labor noted that our sample did not allow 
for generalizations, it said our report highlighted issues that the 
Employment and Training Administration has been engaged in tackling for 
the past few years. A copy of Labor's response is in appendix II. 

Labor also provided technical comments on the draft report, which we 
have incorporated where appropriate. 

We will send copies of this report to the Secretary of Labor, 
appropriate congressional committees, and other interested parties. In 
addition, the report will be available at no charge on GAO's Web site 
at [Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

A list of related GAO products is included at the end of the report. If 
you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact 
me at (202) 512-7215. You may also reach me by e-mail at 
nilsens@gao.gov. Key contributors to this report are listed in appendix 
III. 

Signed by: 

Sigurd R. Nilsen: 
Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Our objectives were to determine (1) the extent to which employers, 
both large and small, hire their employees through one-stops; (2) the 
extent to which these employers view one-stop services as useful; and 
(3) factors that may affect one-stop service to employers. To answer 
these questions, we conducted a Web-based survey of employers, visited 
one-stop career centers, and interviewed Labor officials and officials 
from other organizations with knowledge of workforce programs. See 
below for more detailed information on each of these aspects of our 
research. We performed our work from December 2005 through October 2006 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

Survey of Employers: 

In order to obtain a list of employers who had used one-stop services, 
we built upon a previous survey effort. This previous survey of 
employers was conducted in July through October of 2004. During this 
previous effort, 1,356 respondents completed surveys. The overall 
response rate to this previous survey was 54 percent. On the basis of 
an analysis of characteristics of responding and nonresponding 
employers, we concluded that the results of the respondents could be 
considered as being nationally representative of all employers with 
regard to issues such as whether or not they knew about one-stops, knew 
about the one-stops in their area, and knew about the services 
available at one-stops. In this earlier effort, 466 of the 1,356 
business establishments that were surveyed indicated that they were 
users of one-stop services. 

For this study, a contractor attempted to contact each of these 466 
employers and obtain their e-mail addresses for the Web-based survey. 
Of the 466 employers contacted, the contractor obtained e-mail 
addresses from 178. In some cases employers were unwilling to provide 
their e-mail address and in other cases the employers were no longer in 
business. We sent a Web-based survey to these 178 businesses and later 
attempted to contact an additional 25 small businesses. We received 
completed surveys from June through September 2006 from a total of 113 
businesses in three size categories: 14 small, 48 medium, and 51 large. 

The results of this survey are not nationally representative and cannot 
be generalized to the universe of U.S. private sector businesses that 
have used one-stops because of the small size of our survey population 
and possible response bias. While the 1,356 responding businesses in 
the earlier effort were considered representative for the purposes of 
our earlier survey, the 466 responding businesses that used one-stops 
may or may not have been representative of such businesses nationally. 
Businesses that had used the services of one-stops and that had 
favorable experiences might have been more familiar and more likely to 
be willing to take time and report on their experiences. Conversely, 
businesses that had unfavorable experiences might also be more likely 
to report on their experiences to make them known. Therefore, the 113 
businesses we contacted in this effort may reflect a group of 
respondents whose aggregate views may not accurately reflect all 
businesses' experiences with one-stops in the country. 

For the small businesses we attempted to survey, we could not reach 
many of them because of business closure and employee turnover. We 
attempted to survey 42 small businesses that had used one-stop services 
in the past, but only received completed surveys from 14. In addition 
to contacting these employers by phone to encourage their participation 
in our survey, we also mailed letters and e-mailed messages in cases 
where we obtained their e-mail addresses. We were able to identify 10 
small businesses in our sample that were out of business, had sold the 
business to new owners, or had new employees that do not currently use 
the one-stop centers. 

The 80 employers included in our analysis of hiring patterns are those 
whose reported total hires in 2005 were within plus or minus 10 percent 
of the sum of their hires through one-stops, the private sector, and 
other sources. For some of these employers, the number of workers they 
reported hiring at three skill levels did not match the number of 
workers they hired from each source. For these employers, we compared 
results excluding them with results leaving them in. The results were 
roughly the same. The comparisons of hiring patterns for large and 
medium businesses were assessed by comparing the median values of the 
proportion (employees hired through one stop over total hires) using 
the nonparametric Wilcoxon Rank sums test. 

In addition to survey nonresponse, the practical difficulties of 
conducting any survey may introduce other types of errors, commonly 
referred to as nonsampling errors. For example, differences in how a 
particular question is interpreted, the sources of information 
available to respondents in answering a question, or the types of 
people who do not respond can introduce unwanted bias into the survey 
results. We included steps in the development of the survey, the 
collection of data, and the editing and analysis of data for the 
purpose of minimizing such nonsampling error. For example, in cases 
where an employer gave an answer other than the choices provided, we 
reviewed, verified, and then categorized each answer. 

Site Visits: 

We also visited eight one-stop career centers in four states: 
California, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and by phone 
interviewed officials in two one-stop centers in Pennsylvania. We 
selected Wyoming for a rural perspective and the 4 other states because 
they had the most employers that had used one-stop services in a 
national survey we conducted in 2004. In each state we visited two one- 
stop centers selected to provide a mix of urban, suburban, and rural 
areas. At each one-stop center we visited, we spoke with relevant one- 
stop center officials and at least one employer that used the one- 
stop's services. In preparation for each site visit, we sent officials 
in each one-stop center a list of structured questions that they 
answered in advance of our meeting with them. We then used these 
questions and responses to guide our discussions with and gain further 
clarification from one-stop officials during our site visits. In some 
cases, officials from the Local Workforce Investment Boards also 
participated. 

Table 1: One-Stop Centers We Visited: 

State: California; 
City: El Centro; 
Local board: Workforce Investment Board of Imperial County; 
One-stop center: Imperial County One-stop Business and Employment 
Services. 

State: California; 
City: San Diego; 
Local board: San Diego Workforce Partnership, Inc; 
One-stop center: Metro Region Career Center. 

State: North Carolina; City: Charlotte; Local board: Charlotte- 
Mecklenburg Consortium; One-stop center: Charlotte JobLinks. 

State: North Carolina; 
City: Lincolnton; 
Local board: Centralina Workforce Development Board, Inc; 
One-stop center: Lincoln County JobLink Career Center. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
City: Norristown; 
Local board: Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board; 
One-stop center: PA CareerLink Montgomery County-Norristown. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
City: Philadelphia; 
Local board: Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board; 
One-stop center: PA CareerLink Philadelphia North. 

State: Wisconsin; 
City: Green Bay; 
Local board: Bay Area Workforce Development Board, Inc; 
One-stop center: Brown County Job Center. 

State: Wisconsin; 
City: Walworth County; Local board: Southeastern Wisconsin Workforce 
Development Board; 
One-stop center: Walworth County Job Center. 

State: Wyoming; 
City: Jackson; 
Local board: [Note: Wyoming has one state workforce board that oversees 
all one-stops]; 
One-stop center: Jackson Workforce Center. 

State: Wyoming; 
City: Riverton; 
Local board: [Note: Wyoming has one state workforce board that oversees 
all one-stops]; 
One-stop center: Riverton Workforce Center. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

Interviews with Labor Officials and Others: 

We interviewed Department of Labor officials who are responsible for 
overseeing the operation of the one-stop system. In addition, we 
interviewed employer groups and workforce organizations to determine 
perspectives on how the workforce system serves employers. We 
interviewed representatives from the following organizations: 

* U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Center for Workforce Preparation, 

* National Association of Manufacturers' Center for Workforce Success, 

* Jobs for the Future, and: 

* National Association of State Workforce Agencies. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Labor: 

U.S. Department of Labor: 
Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training: 
Washington. D.C. 20210: 

Dec 12 2006: 

Mr. Sigurd R. Nilsen: 
Director: 
Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, NW: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Dear Mr. Nilsen: 

The Department of Labor appreciates the effort made by the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) to develop data as part of its study on 
employer usage of One-Stop Career Centers under the Workforce 
Investment Act. We understand that the study was difficult to conduct 
due to the limited data sources available to GAO during the process. 
While the survey process was the obvious choice for collecting 
additional data, the limited sample size and response to the survey 
prevent any generalizations to the workforce system as a whole, 
particularly given the decentralized nature of the system. It is 
important to note that on November 6, 2006, the Department published in 
the Federal Register its intent to collect additional employer data 
through the new Workforce Investment Streamlined Performance Reporting 
system beginning July 1, 2007. 

Even with the limited methodology, the report highlights a number of 
"legacy" issues regarding the workforce investment system, most 
notably: (1) its lack of a demand-driven approach to workforce 
investment, that is, seeing employers as important customers who drive 
investments and service delivery design in a regional labor market; (2) 
not approaching workforce investment with an industry focus 
strategically tied to regional economic growth; and (3) not positioning 
One-Stop Career Centers as service delivery points in regional 
economies designed to provide all individuals access to high quality 
career information and lifelong learning opportunities. The Employment 
and Training Administration has been very engaged in tackling all of 
these issues for the past few years, in particular through the 
President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, the Community-Based 
Job Training Grants and the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic 
Development (WIRED) effort. 

In addition, the Administration has remained steadfast that statutory 
reforms are needed as part of Workforce Investment Act reauthorization 
to ensure that a greater number of individuals are served and are truly 
being prepared for jobs in the current economy as well as into the 
future. This in turn will better meet the needs of our nation's 
employers and help them remain viable in the global economy. The 
President's proposal includes greater flexibility through consolidation 
of funding streams and implementation of Career Advancement Accounts 
(CAAs), which are self-managed accounts designed to help out-of-school 
youth, dislocated workers, incumbent workers and others gain access to 
post-secondary education and training to advance their skills and 
careers. 

If you would like additional information, please do not hesitate to 
call meat (202) 693-2700. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Emily Stover DiRocco: 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Sigurd Nilsen, (202) 512-7215 or nilsens@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

Patrick di Battista, Assistant Director, and Paul Schearf, Analyst-in- 
Charge, managed this assignment. Tina Paek and Rosemary Torres Lerma 
made significant contributions throughout the assignment. Walter Vance 
provided methodological assistance. Susan Baker, Stefanie Bzdusek, and 
Cathy Hurley contributed to the administration and analysis of our 
employer survey. Susan Bernstein and Susannah Compton helped develop 
the report's message. Jessica Botsford and Richard Burkard provided 
legal support. 

[End of section] 

GAO Related Products: 

Trade Adjustment Assistance: Most Workers in Five Layoffs Received 
Services, but Better Outreach Needed on New Benefits. GAO-06-43. 
Washington, D.C.: January 31, 2006. 

Workforce Investment Act: Labor and States Have Taken Actions to 
Improve Data Quality, but Additional Steps Are Needed. GAO-06-82. 
Washington, D.C.: November 14, 2005. 

Workforce Investment Act: Substantial Funds Are Used for Training, but 
Little Is Known Nationally about Training Outcomes. GAO-05-650. 
Washington, D.C.: June 29, 2005. 

Workforce Investment Act: Labor Should Consider Alternative Approaches 
to Implement New Performance and Reporting Requirements. GAO-05-539. 
Washington, D.C.: May 27, 2005. 

Workforce Investment Act: Employers Are Aware of, Using, and Satisfied 
with One-Stop Services, but More Data Could Help Labor Better Address 
Employers' Needs. GAO-05-259. Washington, D.C.: February 18, 2005. 

Workforce Investment Act: Labor Has Taken Several Actions to Facilitate 
Access to One-Stops for Persons with Disabilities, but These Efforts 
May Not Be Sufficient. GAO-05-54. Washington, D.C.: December 14, 2004. 

Workforce Investment Act: States and Local Areas Have Developed 
Strategies to Assess Performance, but Labor Could Do More to Help. GAO- 
04-657. Washington, D.C.: June 1, 2004. 

Workforce Investment Act: Labor Actions Can Help States Improve Quality 
of Performance Outcome Data and Delivery of Youth Services. GAO-04-308. 
Washington, D.C.: February 23, 2004. 

Workforce Investment Act: One-Stop Centers Implemented Strategies to 
Strengthen Services and Partnerships, but More Research and Information 
Sharing Is Needed. GAO-03-725 and related testimony GAO-03-884T. 
Washington, D.C.: June 18, 2003. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Workforce Investment Act: Employers Are Aware of, Using, and 
Satisfied with One-Stop Services, but More Data Could Help Labor Better 
Address Employers' Needs, GAO-05-259 (Washington. D.C.: Feb. 18, 2005). 

[2] This information includes financial incentives that encourage 
employers to hire, such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and programs 
that support employees such as child care and transportation 
assistance. 

[3] The results of our survey cannot be generalized to the universe of 
businesses that have used one-stops and only represent the views of 
those who responded to the survey. Our survey respondents are a subset 
of respondents to a survey we conducted in 2004. In that nationally 
representative survey, 466 employers told us that they had used one- 
stop services. We obtained valid e-mail addresses from 178 of these 
businesses. In some cases employers were unwilling to provide their e- 
mail address and in other cases the employers were no longer in 
business. We sent a Web-based survey to these 178 businesses and later 
attempted to contact an additional 25 small businesses. We received 
completed surveys from June through September 2006 from a total of 113 
businesses. Appendix 1 contains additional information on the 
limitations of our survey methodology. 

[4] We found no significant differences in hiring patterns between 
large and medium businesses, and because of the limited number of small 
businesses, we did not include them in the analysis. 

[5] A low-skilled worker, for the purposes of our survey, is a worker 
with a high-school education, its equivalent in training, or less. 

[6] Across all sources, including one-stops, 54 percent of those hired 
were low-skilled, 26 percent were mid-skilled, and 19 percent were high-
skilled. 

[7] Because the number of employers who used a service was often small, 
we could not determine if there were material differences in the type 
of one-stop service used by employer size. 

[8] As would be expected, some services, such as assistance with 
averting layoffs or downsizing, are not very often needed by employers. 

[9] Training services can be provided at the one-stop center or through 
some other entity, such as a community college. 

[10] WIA authorizes local boards that manage one-stops to solicit funds 
from employers and/or have one-stops offer services for a fee to 
employers. We identified this as a promising practice in the following 
report: GAO, Workforce Investment Act: One-Stop Centers Implemented 
Strategies to Strengthen Services and Partnerships, but More Research 
and Information Sharing Is Needed, GAO-03-725 (Washington. D.C.: June 
18, 2003). 

[11] See GAO-05-259. 

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