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Highlights

GAO reviewed employment competencies for youth in job training programs that local service delivery areas (SDA) provided, specifically the: (1) extent and nature of youth competency systems; and (2) competency attainment data states used to judge local program performance.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status
If Congress chooses to require a separate competency standard, it should apply the standard to all youths who attain competencies and amend the Job Training Partnership Act to enable Labor to collect the data necessary to establish and develop an adjustment methodology for such a standard.
Closed - Not Implemented

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Labor 1. The Secretary of Labor should: (1) recommend that states adjust the positive termination rate and the cost-per-positive-termination standards for youth programs to compensate for differences in SDA competency systems; and (2) provide technical assistance to help states make these adjustments. The Secretary should also advise the states that the following adjustments are needed: (1) higher positive termination rates for SDA that offer only preemployment/work maturity competency training; (2) higher costs-per-positive-termination for SDA that offer more costly training; and (3) lower positive termination rates for SDA that have more stringent criteria for reporting positive competency terminations to the state than for SDA that have less stringent criteria.
Closed - Implemented
GAO recommended that Labor, in rewarding good program performance, adjust for differences among local programs in the services provided to youth and their criteria for success. Based on the GAO analysis, Labor went beyond the GAO recommendation and required all programs to provide more substantial services.

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