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GAO discussed: (1) the need to restructure the federal employment training assistance system; and (2) legislative proposals that address previously identified concerns. GAO noted that: (1) the 154 overlapping and duplicative assistance programs are hard for clients to access and for administrators to implement, add administrative costs, fail to meet clients' needs, and lack evaluation systems; (2) to simplify the system, the 13 legislative proposals would either reduce the number of programs, create clearer points of entry and clearer pathways between programs, or create common definitions and program requirements; (3) care must be taken to eliminate or consolidate only those programs that share similar characteristics; (4) one-stop centers at the service delivery level would provide clearer access and program coordination, eliminate duplicative service delivery structures, and provide a focal point for labor market information and employer contacts; (5) several proposals establish the use of case managers to assist clients and other proposals give local program administrators greater flexibility by providing waivers from federal regulations; (6) simplifying the system would reduce federal, state, and local administrative bureaucracies; (7) few of the proposals would require comprehensive program assessments or local labor market information to better meet client and employer needs; and (8) several proposals would require agencies to establish performance standards and collect outcome data, but only two proposals would require evaluations of program impact on participants and the local community.

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