WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation


Between November 1st, 2011 and January 31, 2013, the Central Region completed phase one of a national study of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker programs. This research, “The WIA Dislocated Worker and Adult Programs Gold Standard Evaluation” aims to measure the effectiveness of WIA-funded intensive and training services on customers’ employment-related outcomes. Just like in clinical drug trials, an important part of this study was the initial random assignment of customers. Customers who were found eligible and suitable for intensive services were randomly assigned by computer to one of three study groups: Full WIA Services, Core and Intensive Services Only, and Core Services Only.

PHASE TWO of the study involves honoring the 15 month time period during which each randomly assigned customer must stay in the research group to which they were randomly assigned. Once each individual customer’s 15 month period ends, they are then eligible for any services regardless of the research group to which they were previously assigned.

The U.S. Department of Labor funded this study because when WIA was passed in 1998, Congress required that the employment and training services that it funded be evaluated. Rigorous evidence of the effectiveness of the WIA-funded services is needed to justify continued funding for WIA. Moreover, findings from the evaluation can help policymakers and program administrators improve services.

Central is one of 28 Workforce Investment Areas across the nation that was randomly selected for this important study. The combined findings from these 28 Areas will allow researchers to describe the effectiveness of WIA services nationwide.

The Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC) recognizes that this evaluation presents a tremendous opportunity for the workforce investment system to make public documentation of the importance of WIA-funded services to the participants we serve. For this reason, CPWDC looks forward to analyzing the results and, in turn, making improvements to the services provided to our customers.