Workforce Investment Act: Employers Are Aware of, Using, and Satisfied with One-Stop Services, but More Data Could Help Labor Better Address Employers' Needs

GAO-05-259 Published: Feb 18, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 2005.
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The economy of the United States is fueled by 8 million private sector businesses that employ 106 million of the nation's 137 million workers. Employers are seeking better ways to meet their workforce needs as they compete in the global economy. This report examines (1) the extent to which employers, including small businesses, are aware of and using the one-stop system; (2) the degree to which employers who use one-stop services report satisfaction and what factors cause employers not to use them; and (3) what Labor has done to support employer awareness and use of the workforce system and how Labor measures its success in meeting the needs of employers.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Labor To ensure that Labor has a better understanding of the degree to which the publicly funded workforce system meets employers' needs, the Secretary of Labor should require states to collect and report on employer use of the one-stop system in addition to continuing to collect general employer satisfaction information.
Closed – Not Implemented
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) had proposed an individual record of employers served by the workforce system be included in its ETA Management Information and Longitudinal Evaluation (EMILE) reporting system. ETA revised its proposed system, called the Workforce Investment Streamlined Performance Reporting System (WISPR), and planned implementation for July 2009. However, Labor reported that WISPR was suspended because of the challenges imposed on the workforce system by the economic downturn, and the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the need to inform new Departmental leadership, and budgetary constraints associated with projected costs of information technology infrastructure. Further, ETA is reassessing its approach to performance reporting in light of the amendments to the Trade Act of 1974 enacted by the Trade and Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act of 2009 and the impending reauthorization of WIA.

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