by David B. Muhlhausen, James Sherk
The Heritage Foundation
June 13, 2014
The proposed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) pours more funding into job training programs with long histories of failure based upon the results of large-scale experimental evaluations. As part of its obligation to spend taxpayers' dollars wisely, Congress should expand the evaluation provisions in WIOA to include the job-training programs that have yet to be evaluated. Currently, these provisions will likely result in the evaluation of only one or two large funding streams (such as the adult and dislocated worker training programs). Congress should require the Department of Labor (DOL) to conduct multisite evaluations using randomized controlled trials of all the major job-training programs it operates, and sanction the DOL if it fails to do so. Finding out what works should not be a controversial issue, and legislators pushing for passage of WIOA should be genuinely interested in ensuring its effectiveness.