Series # :
  ETAOP 2017-13
Title :
  Evidence-Building Capacity in State Workforce Agencies: Insights from a National Scan and Two State Site Visits
Release Date :
  May 9, 2017
Abstract :

The National Association of State Workforce Agencies conducted a nationwide assessment to understand current research and evaluation capacity within state workforce agencies (SWAs). This report summarizes the responses and findings from forty-one states; identifies technical assistance and capacity needs by research skill area, and catalogues recent research publications produced by State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). The feedback gathered from the first set of questions gauges the interest or demand by SWAs, governors, and legislatures for the types of research and evaluations that can be produced; and the types of state and/or outside researcher partnerships related to funding, conducting, or participating in research and evaluation projects. The second set of questions focus on understanding the current SWA staff capacity (levels, experiences, and skills) to conduct research and evaluation; types and levels of funding; kinds of research and evaluation studies produced with or without partners from calendar years (CY) 2011 to 2015; and plans to initiate new studies or evaluations with or without outside contractor or partner support during calendar years 2016 through 2018. The third set of questions asked the states to identify individual studies and evaluations, including the authors and partners, research methods used, data sets accessed, central research question addressed, and approximate cost of the study.

A second part of the report features case studies of two states: Washington and Ohio, that have developed significant capacity in the area of research and evaluation. Both states provided extensive background and historical information related to the evolution of their longitudinal administrative data systems to support research studies and evaluations; described the roles and functions of the different organizations within their respective states that conduct, coordinate, or support research and evaluation on workforce programs; explained how data sharing requests are processed and data is confidentially secured; and discussed specific studies, assessments, and surveys conducted on workforce programs. The states also shared additional information about computer systems and software, staffing, program and budget environments; and described relationships between research data centers, state workforce investment boards, research plans, and management use of evidence-based policy-formation supported by the research and evaluation entities in each state.

Organization: National Association of State Workforce Agencies

Authors: Yvette Chocolaad, Stephen Wandner

Key words: evaluation and research, WIOA, assessment, evidence-based decision-making, capacity-building

Publication Author(s)
National Association of State Workforce Agencies
  • Yvette Chocolaad
  • Stephen Wandner
Full Text Document(s)
Additional Information

Hard copy available: No