Job Training Partnership Act:

Racial and Gender Disparities in Services

HRD-91-148: Published: Sep 20, 1991. Publicly Released: Oct 25, 1991.

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Linda G. Morra
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent and possible causes of disparities in the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program, focusing on: (1) the extent to which disparities occur in the services provided to women and minorities; (2) factors within local project operations that contribute to such disparities; and (3) efforts by states and the Department of Labor (DOL) to monitor the services provided to various demographic groups.

GAO found: (1) in 20 percent of the service delivery areas (SDA) analyzed, white participants were more likely than minorities to receive classroom training, in 13 percent of SDA, white participants were more likely to receive on-the-job training, and in 18 percent of SDA, minorities were more likely to receive only job search assistance; (2) such disparities affected black participants more than Hispanic participants or other ethnic groups; (3) women received classroom training more often than men, and in some SDA, women were less likely to get training for jobs with higher placement wages; (4) the factors that appear to contribute to disparities include self-selection by participants, financial incentives in performance-based contracts, the lack of an independent and comprehensive participant assessment process, the lack of support services for some women and minorities, and the discriminatory actions of some employers and the acquiescence of some staff; (5) state and DOL monitoring activities are inadequate to identify and address disparities in the services provided to minorities and women; and (6) DOL has identified several disparities, but has not determined whether any civil rights violations have occurred.

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