Multiple Employment Training Programs:

Conflicting Requirements Underscore Need for Change

T-HEHS-94-120: Published: Mar 10, 1994. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 1994.

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GAO discussed employment training programs and how the multiplicity of programs hampers service delivery. GAO noted that: (1) 14 federal departments and agencies oversee 154 employment training programs and other activities, with 2 departments having responsibility for most of the programs; (2) many programs target the same client populations, have the same goals, and provide many of the same services; (3) the overlapping programs confuse and frustrate clients and employers, hamper targeted service delivery, duplicate administrative structures at all government levels, raise costs unnecessarily, and make program evaluation difficult; (4) program administrators cannot coordinate the programs because of differing eligibility criteria, definitions, and annual operating cycles; (5) monitoring agencies have not collected adequate data on programs' participant outcomes and compliance, which has led to waste, abuse, and mismanagement; (6) the employment training system should be restructured to become customer-oriented by eliminating conflicting requirements and consolidating programs by target population; (7) the new training system's design should address what populations to serve, what services to offer, the role of general purpose programs, standard eligibility requirements, and obtaining participant input and support; and (8) the new training system should embody the principles of simplicity, tailored services, administrative efficiency, and accountability.

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