Job Corps Should Strengthen Eligibility Requirements and Fully Disclose Performance

HRD-79-60: Published: Jul 9, 1979. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1979.

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To determine whether the Job Corps effectively enhances the employability of its target population, GAO reviewed data and visited some 12 Job Corps centers, selected recruitment and placement agencies, and other training programs serving the disadvantaged.

The Job Corps program has serious problems including the following: (1) little assurance exists that the Job Corps is serving only youths who need to be removed from their environment as the Congress intended; (2) inadequate criteria for determining a placement rate and questionable placement data allow the Corps to depict the program in a very favorable light, but the rate does not provide adequate information to properly assess effectiveness; and (3) based on initial steps taken to determine the Corps' long-term impact on earnings, graduates, while earning more than nongraduates, do not earn enough to break the poverty cycle.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should: (1) Compute and report to Congress additional information including a placement rate based on the total number of terminees. The rate should be accompanied by an analysis to distinguish between full- and part-time employment. (2) Revise the placement definition to include requirements that a placement be counted only for those who spend a minimum amount of time in the Corps, that a placement be made within a prescribed maximum amount of time following termination, and that a placement be effective for a prescribed minimum amount of time. (3) Require that the Corps randomly validate reported placements.

    Agency Affected:


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