Overlap Is Not Synonymous with Duplication

May 12, 2011

By Evelyn Ganzglass

On May 11, 2011, the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce to the Committee on Education and Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on removing inefficiencies in the nation's job training programs.  CLASP's Director of Workforce Development, Evelyn Ganzglass testified before the committee on the steps Congress should take to create a more coherent and effective workforce system. Below is an excerpt:

Even though the results of an experimental evaluation of the Workforce Investment Act are not yet available, several rigorous, quasi-experimental evaluations conducted since 2000 have demonstrated the value of training and workforce services, especially for disadvantaged individuals.

In our view, overlap is not synonymous with duplication. We believe that one size does not fit all and that it is beneficial to have specialized expertise and capacity that can be brought to bear from multiple systems to provide the appropriate mix of services needed to address the unique needs of different employers and populations.

For these reasons we recommend that rather than consolidating programs in a hands off manner as some have suggested, Congress should take the following actions to promote a more coherent and effective use of resources:

  • Congress should align program goals and provide incentives across programs to encourage and nurture stronger connections between WIA and other programs to create multiple pathways to postsecondary and career success for low-income adults, dislocated workers and disadvantaged youth.
  • We urge Congress to reduce the need for duplicative reporting and accounting systems.
  • Congress should streamline and reduce the paperwork burden associated with the eligibility determination and verification processes.
  • Congress should focus on obligations rather than expenditures in assessing fund availability.
  • And finally, Congress should provide more consistent funding to encourage states and local areas to plan wisely and well.

To view a video of the hearing visit: http://edworkforce.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=23950.  Ms. Ganzglass's testimony begins around the 23-minute mark.

Read the entire testimony >>

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