This 2003 background paper offers an overview of WIA’s performance measurement requirements, including those of the mandated partners. The paper offers a common understanding of key terminology and briefly describes the history of performance accountability in the workforce development system beginning with the Government Performance and Results Act and continuing to the push toward common measures across programs in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
With passage of the Workforce Investment Act in 1998, Congress attempted to improve the nation’s employment and training programs by forging a single streamlined, customer-focused workforce development delivery system. The Workforce Investment Act built on emerging workforce development themes and lessons from various employment and training programs. Amongst the major themes in the new law was an increased emphasis on accountability and continuous improvement at all levels. Improving on lessons learned under the Job Training Partnership Act, the WIA established new performance measures for its mandated partners in the three major program areas—WIA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth. In WIA, Congress attempted to weave a myriad of hit or miss programmatic measurements into a new performance-based accountability system.