Workforce Investment Act:

Implementation Status and the Integration of TANF Services

T-HEHS-00-145: Published: Jun 29, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 2000.

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Cynthia Maher Fagnoni
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the integration of services at one-stop centers provided under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, focusing on: (1) the status of states' efforts to implement WIA and the extent to which TANF services are integrated into the new workforce investment system; (2) the challenges states and localities have encountered in establishing their integrated systems under WIA; and (3) service delivery approaches that show promise in integrating and streamlining services in the one-stop centers.

GAO noted that: (1) while states are making progress implementing WIA, not all of them will have completed all implementation steps by July 1, 2000, when WIA takes full effect; (2) frequently delayed are the steps related to establishing formal agreements between partners at the one-stop centers; (3) to support the one-stop system required under WIA, states report using multiple federal funding streams during fiscal year 2000 with the top funding sources most often coming from Department of Labor programs, such as WIA, the Employment Service, and Unemployment Insurance; (4) although TANF is an optional partner with WIA, linkages between WIA and TANF are being forged in most states; (5) as states and localities have attempted to integrate their services under WIA, they report having confronted several challenges including: (a) the difficulties of building partnerships with other agencies, as required under WIA; (b) developing the infrastructure to support an integrated program--including both the physical facilities and the computer systems; and (c) developing an integrated approach and responding at the same time to the requirements of individual federal programs; and (6) despite these challenges, GAO found that states are developing integrated service delivery approaches that show promise, often focusing their efforts on resolving the issues that had been found in the fragmented employment training system.

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