Department of Labor Announces New State Grants to Improve Performance of Education and Employment Training Programs

The U.S. Department of Labor invites State Workforce Agencies to apply for a new round of Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grants, including a new “super grant” that will allow one state to integrate case management, performance reporting, and/or fiscal reporting systems with the state’s longitudinal data system.

DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) plans to award about three grants with a ceiling of $1 million each for states to use over a three-year period. Agencies may use funding to create and enhance longitudinal data systems that help analyze the performance of education and employment training programs, and produce user-friendly information for workforce customers. 

In addition, ETA will award a new “super grant” of up to $2.7 million. This effort aligns with language in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that requires states to operate fiscal and performance management systems, but would leverage the significant federal and state investments in longitudinal data systems.

Few states have connected their longitudinal data systems with operational functions like case management and performance reporting, instead using the systems for research and analysis. One exception includes Texas, which has an integrated case management system for many of its workforce programs.

Grantees will be expected to use their longitudinal databases to conduct research and analysis aimed at determining the effectiveness of workforce and education programs and to develop tools to better inform customers about the benefits of the publicly funded workforce system.

The department’s grants are open to eligible State Workforce Agencies nationwide to improve the quality and availability of workforce data. Grantees will be expected to achieve multiple goals during the three-year grant period. These goals include:

  • Developing or improving state workforce longitudinal databases with individual-level information.
  • Enabling workforce data to be matched with education data to create longitudinal data systems.
  • Improving the quality and breadth of the data in the workforce data systems.
  • Using longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations.
  • Analyzing the performance of education and employment training programs.
  • Providing user-friendly information to consumers, in the form of scorecards or integrated digital platforms, to help them select the training and education programs that best suit their needs.
  • Integrating performance, fiscal, and case management systems with the longitudinal database.

To find out more about the WDQI grants, visit: are due May 4th, 2017.