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Employment and Training Administration: Increased Authority and Accountability Could Impove Research Program
George A. Scott (au)
With current rising unemployment rates and the need for a more skilled workforce, the Dept. of Labor's (Labor) Employment and Training Admin. (ETA) must invest in sound research that identifies the most effective and efficient ways to train and employ workers for 21st century jobs. While ETA traditionally has played an important role in providing job training, employment assistance, and labor market information for the nation's workers, the current unemployment crisis has made this role more critical. Since 2002, GAO and others have criticized ETA for not focusing sufficient attention on its research program, particularly with regard to complying with congressional mandates, conducting policy-relevant research, and disseminating key research findings in a timely way. In this context, this report examined the structure and processes of ETA's research and evaluation center in terms of the elements that leading national research organizations cite as essential to a sound program; that is, research independence, transparency and accountability, and policy relevance. The report addressed the following questions: (1) How does ETA's organizational structure provide for research independence? (2) What steps has ETA taken to promote transparency and accountability in its research program? (3) How does ETA ensure that its research is relevant to workforce development policy and practice? Includes recommendations. Figures.
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