Labor Should Make Sure CETA Programs Have Effective Employability Development Systems

HRD-82-2: Published: Jan 13, 1982. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 1982.

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GAO undertook a review to determine what effect the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act Amendments of 1978 have had on employability development systems. One of the primary aims of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) is the movement of program participants into unsubsidized jobs, but weaknesses in the development systems were hampering this movement. The 1978 amendments were designed to strengthen the development systems.

GAO found that the movement of participants into unsubsidized jobs failed to improve after the enactment of the 1978 amendments. CETA sponsors are to use the employability development systems to ensure that their programs meet the needs of participants to improve their employability and to assist in their subsequent placement in private jobs; however, at many sponsor locations, the preparation of employability plans was a paperwork exercise that did little to improve the plans. Neither the Department of Labor nor the sponsors emphasized improvement of the employability development systems because they were focusing attention on other requirements which did not directly relate to the movement of participants into unsubsidized jobs. GAO noted that Labor did not adequately monitor the systems or provide adequate assistance and that many sponsor officials complained about the vagueness and inconsistency of the assistance they did receive.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should stress effective employability development systems as a high priority area.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: CETA expires on September 30, 1983. Under its replacement legislation, the Job Training Partnership Act, each State designs and directs its own program. Because of this, there will be no Federal requirements for, or involvement in, how the State programs operate.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should direct the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training to see that every sponsor's staff, including management and independent monitoring unit personnel, is adequately trained in employability development systems, through either the planned course on employability plans or other training, and that this training course should include: (1) the purpose of employability plans and their relationship to the basic elements of employability development systems; (2) the legal requirements applicable to employability plans and development systems; (3) the advantages of having good employability plans; and (4) how to prepare employability plans.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: CETA expires on September 30, 1983. Under the new Job Training Partnership Act, there are no provisions for Federal monitoring of local program activities. The new law does not require each service delivery agent to have independent monitoring status.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should direct the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training to improve monitoring by seeing that: (1) both Employment and Training Administration staff and independent monitoring unit (IMU) personnel give more attention to monitoring employability development systems; (2) the planned monitoring training for Federal representatives covers employability development systems and provides detailed guidance on how to monitor these systems and employability plans; and (3) IMU personnel are adequately trained to monitor employability development systems, including employability plans.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: CETA expires on September 30, 1983. Under the new Job Training Partnership Act, Labor will provide technical assistance only, According to Labor officials, each region will not have a technical assistance staff as currently provided but will probably contract for the services that are needed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should direct the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training to improve technical assistance by making sure that the planned technical assistance guide includes: (1) information on the five areas mentioned in the recommendation dealing with the planned training course; (2) model employability plans and examples of completed plans; and (3) guidance for sponsor management and independent monitoring unit personnel on how to monitor employability development systems, with emphasis on the importance of contacting participants as part of the monitoring process. The Secretary should also direct the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training to improve technical assistance by making sure that the Employment and Training Administration regional staff is qualified to help sponsors develop effective employability development systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

 

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