The Department of Labor is distributing nearly $12 million in grants to states, which are being awarded through the second round of funding as part of the Workforce Data Quality Initiative.
With these funds, 12 additional states will have the ability to build or expand longitudinal databases of work force data as well as link them to education data in an effort to better the overall performance of work force development programs.
"The states awarded in this second round of funding now will be able to develop high-quality, long-term data that will provide consumers, practitioners and policymakers with comprehensive information about the relationship between education and workforce development programs," says Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
This grant opportunity is based on the administration's central efforts on providing access to high-quality data and is a corresponding initiative to the U.S. Department of Education's Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants for building longitudinal education databases.
Grantees are to use these longitudinal databases to perform research and analysis with the goal of determining the effectiveness of work force and education programs, which should better inform customers of the publicly funded work force system. Multiple goals are also expected to be attained during the three-year grant period. Among these goals are developing or improving state work force longitudinal data systems with individual-level information, enabling work force data to be matched with education data to create longitudinal data systems, refining the quality and range of the data in the work force data systems, and using longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations. Other goals include examining the performance of education and employment training programs, and providing user-friendly information to consumers to help them select the training and education programs that best suit their needs.
The DOL is awarding the funds to Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Washington, and another 13 states have received funds during the first round of grants: Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. These states were ineligible to apply for the second round of funding.