CFED Scorecard

CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

Education
Workforce Development
Overview

Employers increasingly demand workers with training and education beyond a high school degree. Vocational and postsecondary education and training can also lead to substantial earnings increases. Under the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), states provide an array of employment and job training services through local “one-stop” centers.  

One-stops offer three types of sequential services: Core, Intensive and Training. Core services, such as job search and career counseling, are available to all adults. If an individual cannot find a job through Core services, they can access Intensive services, which include more comprehensive assessments and individual training plans. Training services, such as occupational skills and job readiness training directly linked to job opportunities in the local community, are usually limited to those who have not been successful finding employment after receiving Intensive services. Because the cost to deliver Training services is greater than to deliver Intensive or Core services, states often limit the number of people who can access training services. Yet, training is often necessary to meet employer demand and allow workers to find quality jobs.

What States Can Do

WIA gives state Workforce Investment Boards broad discretion in directing funding to Core, Intensive or Training services, and in establishing the eligibility requirements to move through the sequence of services. Nationally, the median percentage of WIA participants, known as “exiters,” who received Training services is 53%. States can prioritize Training services in funding allocations and make it easy for individuals to move quickly through the sequence of services.

Strength of State Policies: Workforce Development

Does state allocate adequate
WIA funding for workforce training? 1
StateAdequate workforce
training funding?
Adult WIA "exiters"
who received training (%)
Alabama 89.4%
Alaska 71.7%
Arizona 66.6%
Arkansas 95.5%
California 32.6%
Colorado 81.1%
Connecticut 50.3%
Delaware 95.2%
District of Columbia 48.6%
Florida 78.8%
Georgia 66.7%
Hawaii 40.2%
Idaho 86.4%
Illinois 66.1%
Indiana 9.3%
Iowa 2.3%
Kansas 26.0%
Kentucky 45.8%
Louisiana 2.7%
Maine 74.4%
Maryland 69.4%
Massachusetts 73.6%
Michigan 60.5%
Minnesota 59.3%
Mississippi 32.8%
Missouri 1.9%
Montana 58.3%
Nebraska 85.3%
Nevada 54.6%
New Hampshire 52.3%
New Jersey 81.8%
New Mexico 93.0%
New York 3.9%
North Carolina 14.0%
North Dakota 67.8%
Ohio 40.4%
Oklahoma 3.3%
Oregon 1.1%
Pennsylvania 25.5%
Rhode Island 40.3%
South Carolina 45.6%
South Dakota 27.5%
Tennessee 80.6%
Texas 17.8%
Utah 0.2%
Vermont 46.8%
Virginia 53.2%
Washington 48.7%
West Virginia 69.6%
Wisconsin 60.2%
Wyoming 77.4%

Notes on the Data

1. "PY 2013 WIASRD Data Book, Table II-25," Social Policy Research Associates, March 2015. Accessed June 30, 2015. A state's workforce development is considered adequate if the number of WIA exiters who received training is above the national median of 53%.

How States Are Assessed

States receive credit for allocating adequate Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding for workforce training if 53%, the national median, or more of WIA participants received some sort of workforce training. 

What States Have Done

Over half of states have recognized the importance of funding workforce training programs. In 26 states, 53% or more of WIA participants received workforce training.

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