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Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office


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February 15, 1999


By: Laura Jordan, Research Attorney

You asked for a summary of the performance measurement provisions of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (For a complete analysis of WIA see OLR report 99-R-0071).


WIA requires states and local areas to measure the success of WIA-authorized workforce development, adult education, and literacy activities by using certain "core" performance indicators. States may add their own indicators.

Core indicators include the number of individuals entering training, receiving a license or other certificate, obtaining a high school diploma or a GED, finding a job, and keeping a job for six months, and the amount each participant earns after working six months.

The governor must negotiate the state’s initial and subsequent performance levels with the U.S. labor secretary. The performance levels, which must be identified in the state’s WIA plan, must increase annually over three years. States must annually report to the secretary whether they have met the standards. The Labor Secretary must annually prepare a state comparison report.

If a state fails to meet its performance standards in any year, it can ask for technical assistance from the U.S. Labor Department. If it fails to meet standards two consecutive years, or if it fails to submit its annual report, the labor secretary may reduce the state’s appropriation by up to 5%. If a local area fails to meet its performance standards, it can ask for state or federal technical assistance. If it fails two years consecutively, the governor can take corrective action, including establishing a new local board.

WIA provides incentive grants of between $750,000 and $3,000,000 to states that exceed established performance standards.

To implement WIA’s performance measurement provisions, the governor must create an information system that tracks WIA funds and participant use of the workforce development system.

WIA requires states to conduct ongoing evaluations of their workforce development system. They must annually report on the status of these evaluations to the labor secretary. To the extent possible, states must coordinate evaluation efforts with federal efforts. States must periodically provide reports to their statewide workforce development boards and local area boards. These two boards must also participate in designing evaluation studies.

We have included a description of the state Labor Department’s current performance measurement system.


State performance must be measured by using (1) four core indicators for adult and youth programs, (2) three additional indicators for youth programs, (3) any additional state-established indicators, and (4) a customer satisfaction (including participants and employers) indicator. Customer satisfaction can be measured through surveys after a participant has completed a program.

Core Indicators

WIA sets the following core indicators for adults and youth:

In addition, it sets the following core indicators for youth: Other Information that Must be Annually Reported

WIA requires states to annually report the information below to the U.S. labor secretary. States may, at their option, include some or all of the items as performance indicators in their state plans.

Negotiation of Performance Levels

When negotiating initial and subsequent statewide performance levels, the governor and the labor secretary must consider whether the levels will result in high customer satisfaction, how the proposed levels compare to those submitted by other states (taking into account differences in economic conditions and participant characteristics), and whether the levels will "ensure optimal return" on federal funds.

A state’s performance levels must be expressed in an objective, quantifiable, measurable form.

Before 2003, the governor must negotiate two more years of state performance levels. He can ask the labor secretary to adjust the performance levels if unanticipated circumstances warrant it.


WIA requires the governor to establish local areas, which are served by local boards. The governor, each local board, and the mayors and selectman of the towns served by a local board must establish local performance levels that are measured by the statewide indicators.

The three parties must negotiate the local performance levels based on the specific economic, demographic, and other characteristics of the local population.


States must measure the success of their adult education and literacy programs by using the following indicators:

The state agency responsible for adult education and literacy programs must negotiate initial and subsequent performance levels. The levels must continuously increase and must be included in the state plan. The agency must renegotiate the levels before 2003.


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