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Institutional Analysis of America Job Centers

Release Date

Nov 14, 2018

Publication Author(s)

  • Mathematica Policy Research
  • Brittany English
  • Deborah Kogan
  • Elizabeth Brown
  • Hannah Betesh
  • Kate Dunham
  • Linda Rosenberg
  • Pamela Holcomb
  • Sarah Osborn

Research Methodology

  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Technical Assistance


  • Adult
  • Dislocated Worker
  • Youth

States & Territories

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin


Institutional Analysis of America Job Centers

This study of American Job Center (AJC) institutional features was funded and overseen by the ETA. It was initiated just prior to the enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). As such, the public workforce system was in the early stages of implementing WIOA. The study team visited 40 purposively selected AJCs. The study examined administrative structure and One-Stop operation; partner involvement; funding and resource sharing practices; data systems and sharing; and service delivery for job seekers and employers. Five briefs were developed under this study which provide information on key features of the AJC system.

  1. Key Institutional Features of American Job Centers
  2. One-Stop Operators of the American Job Center System
  3. Resource Sharing Practices Among American Job Centers
  4. American Job Center Service Delivery in Rural Areas
  5. An Institutional Analysis of American Job Centers: Study Highlights

The study found that at the time of the data collection, there was more to be done, particularly at the AJC level, to leverage partner resources and establish resource sharing agreements; to competitively procure one-stop operators; to use cross-program and entity-wide data for AJC management and to serve participants; and to collaboratively engage employers. It also highlights some unique challenges for AJCs in rural areas. The study also identified strategies that appeared to be working for certain AJCs, for example, AJCs exhibiting successful collaborations through co-location or through managing partnership across a large service area, as opposed to within one AJC.

Study findings should be reviewed in the context of the workforce system in the early stages of transitioning from the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to WIOA. At the time of the study's site visits in the latter half of 2016, state-level workforce and partner agencies were heavily engaged in planning for WIOA and had submitted their first WIOA state plans, and local areas and AJCs in the study were awaiting additional Federal and state guidance on key provisions. While local-level staff anticipated that WIOA could or would lead to significant changes to the current AJC system and day-to-day operations, it was largely unclear to them what these changes would entail or how they would be achieved.

Affiliation: Mathematica Policy Research with Social Policy Research Associates, The George Washington University, and Capital Research Corporation

Authors: Brittany English, Sarah Osborn, Elizabeth Brown, Pamela Holcomb, Hannah Betesh, Kate Dunham, Deborah Kogan, Linda Rosenberg

Key Words: American Job Center, AJC, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, WIOA, public workforce system, administrative structure, and One-Stop operation; partnership; resource sharing practices; data systems, service delivery

Final Report