U.S. Employment and Training Programs and Performance
Standards System Design
Carolyn J. Heinrich
Prior to the recession that began in 2007, public expenditures on employment and training services were declining. For example, in fiscal year 2007, the total U.S. federal government appropriations for WIA programs—youth employment, adult job training, dislocated worker assistance, Job Corps, and other national activities—was $4.4 billion, down 18 percent from fiscal year 2005. Within the WIA program, the number of adults receiving training was likewise declining appreciably relative to its predecessor, JTPA (Frank and Minoff 2005). Furthermore, the JTPA program had substantially reduced the size and scope of federal public employment and training programs relative to its predecessors, the Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA) and the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA).
In 2009, the Obama administration reversed these trends of diminishing public expenditures on employment and training. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) injected an unprecedented level of funding (an addition of more than $3.5 billion) into the public workforce development system and associated employment and training programs.1 This infusion of resources to aid unemployed and underemployed workers nearly doubled U.S. federal government funding for WIA programs and rejuvenated public interest in improving the effectiveness of the workforce development system.
This book focuses on the two most recent workforce development programs, JTPA and WIA. JTPA is widely known for having intro-