CETA Demonstration Provides Lessons on Implementing Youth Programs

HRD-81-1: Published: Dec 8, 1980. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 1980.

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The Department of Labor's Youth Incentive Entitlement Pilot Projects is a demonstration designed to test whether a guaranteed jobs program would induce economically disadvantaged youths to remain in or return to school and provide jobs to reduce the high unemployment rate among these youths. While retaining overall responsibility for the program, Labor contracted with a private corporation for the research design, management, and evaluation of the demonstration.

GAO found that most worksites provided adequate work experiences, but others had problems in job quality, supervision, job development, counseling, and worksite operation. Many sponsors experienced serious operational problems implementing or complying with program requirements. Labor and the managing corporation frequently intervened in sponsor operations, raising questions of whether the demonstration was a fair test of the guaranteed job concept and whether sponsors are capable of implementing such complex programs. Some sponsors had difficulty developing and sustaining sufficient jobs in the right locations, placed low priority on counseling, and did little worksite monitoring during the first year of the demonstration. Some problems were not identified and others, although identified, were not corrected. Some legislative and program requirements were largely ignored; others were too difficult to accomplish. Staff turnover was high. Many private sector jobs were with employers that normally hire young workers, minimizing the job creation impact of the program.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should, if the Entitlement concept is to be extended or expanded to other sponsors or a similar program is adopted, assure that it is implemented gradually to allow sponsors time to develop the necessary management capacity.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: If Entitlement is extended or expanded, or a similar program is adopted, the Secretary of Labor should help sponsors upgrade worksite supervision, job development, participant counseling, and sponsor monitoring.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should, if Entitlement is extended or expanded or a similar program is adopted, increase efforts to promote cooperative relationships between sponsors, schools, and other organizations serving youths.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  3. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should, if Entitlement is extended or expanded or a similar program is adopted, establish and enforce requirements that limit program management costs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  4. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should, if Entitlement is extended or expanded or a similar program is adopted, create, implement, and enforce adequate controls to prevent substitution.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  5. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: If Entitlement is extended or expanded or a similar program is adopted, the Secretary of Labor should require sponsors to strictly enforce reasonable attendance and academic standards thereby enhancing the program's credibility and effectiveness for both participants and the general public.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

 

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