Insights Into CETA's In-School Youth Programs

HRD-82-116: Published: Sep 28, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed in-school youth programs operated under title IVA-3, Youth Employment and Training Programs (YETP), and title IIB of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). Specifically, GAO was asked to determine: (1) differences and similarities between programs established under YETP and title IIB, including the nature and extent of local educational agency (LEA) involvement; (2) education and employment experiences of youth who had left the in-school youth programs; and (3) views of participants about the programs' helpfulness in reaching education and employment goals.

GAO stated that significantly more prime sponsors served in-school youth under YETP than under IIB, but there were few statistically significant differences between the programs. The similarities between the programs were far more noticeable than the differences. However, there were some basic differences that could have implications for future employment and training legislation. Under YETP, prime sponsors had more LEA agreements and spent considerably more dollars pursuant to those agreements than under IIB. Similarly, more prime sponsors had made arrangements with LEA's for awarding academic credit under YETP than under IIB. Both programs provided a variety of activities and services to in-school youth, but YETP permits a greater array of services. Even so, there were no statistically significant differences between the programs in terms of activities or services which sponsors provided to participants under LEA agreements or under contracts with non-LEA organizations. Regarding participants, GAO found few differences between the two programs. A profile of those who participated in YETP and IIB programs revealed that the participants had similar demographic characteristics, such as race and sex, as well as similar CETA experience and public assistance status. They differed, however, in terms of age and economic status. GAO concluded that, given the attention which has been focused on merging IIB and YETP, the data presented in this report point out that the differences found between the two programs tended to stem from specific objectives in the YETP legislation.

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