Evidence-Building Capacity in State Workforce Agencies: Insights from a National Scan and Two Site Visits
The U.S. Department of Labor funded this national scan to collect information on the research and evaluation capacity of state workforce agencies. The scan included 41 states, and the researchers from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies conducted site visits to Ohio and Washington, two states that have substantial research and evaluation capacity. Three quarters of the agencies reported having at least one unit that initiates research and evaluation efforts, but a majority of agencies reported staff capacity as inadequate or fair. The site visit findings from Ohio and Washington showed two states with a strong culture of using workforce research to inform policy, longitudinal administrative data sets, and buy-in from the governor and other agency heads. To help bring other states to the level of Ohio and Washington, the researchers recommend additional grant funding, training, and technical assistance to help build the capacity of state workforce agencies to conduct research and evaluation.
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