The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), passed in July 2014, mandates cross collaboration among and within various state and federal agencies to gather data on employment expansion for all, including those individuals with disabilities.
This cross collaboration, which must be reported in a state’s Unified Plan, overall is expected to provide increased job readiness tools to job seekers, reduce duplication of efforts, and more efficiently use public dollars resulting in positive employment outcomes; evidence of significant cross-measurement is the successful .integration of employment-related state agency databases. This integration is intended to provide a more accurate picture of employment statistics within each state. A pilot study to assess the success of integration was conducted in Illinois, New Hampshire, and Texas. The specific intent of the study was to identify infrastructure changes that need to be made to integrate the systems, specific challenges to reporting performance data, and possible security breaches to the core data systems.
The primary challenges reported by the surveyed states regarding the development of a more integrated state database system included:
- Citing limited guidance, all three states reported that early implementation was slowed because WIOA regulations are not yet final and certain details about performance reporting are unresolved.
- Cost and complexity of integrating data systems was a significant concern.
- Missing participant data may continue to affect the quality of information states report to federal agencies.
This pilot study provides key information that will guide subsequent changes in other states as they come into cross collaboration compliance across state and federal agencies.