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Ten years of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA): Interpreting the research on WIA and related programs

Date Added to Library: 
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 10:16
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 
Individual Author: 
Decker, Paul T.
Berk, Jillian A.
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Published Date: 
Autumn (Fall) 2011
Published Date (Text): 
Autumn (Fall) 2011
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
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In 1998, President Clinton signed the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Implemented in 2000, WIA replaced the Job Partnership Training Act (JTPA) as the primary federal job training program. Congress viewed WIA as a way to end “business as usual” in the workforce investment system. WIA aimed to transform the employment and training system by streamlining service delivery and providing universal access to services. It promoted customer choice by giving state and local agencies more flexibility in service design, attempted to more fully engage businesses, and fundamentally changed the service provided to youth…

The primary goals of this “Policy Retrospectives” piece are to synthesize what we know empirically about the WIA program and discuss lessons for WIA reauthorization. In particular, we explore the design of the WIA program and its initial implementation and evolution. We also examine the extent to which states and local areas have taken advantage of the flexibility inherent in WIA’s design. Since results from an experimental evaluation of WIA will not be available until 2015, we present evidence from evaluations of prior federal job training programs as well as nonexperimental evaluations of WIA and experimental evaluations of WIA service components. We are interested in evidence of the impact of WIA on participants, the impact of WIA service components, and any evidence about the impact of WIA on different populations of workers. (author introduction)

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