© Copyright 2005 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning
Occasional Paper No. 3
Workforce Development Training Fund Evaluation at the Macro
and Micro Levels
by: Mark A. Harris, Ph.D., Sociologist
Through June 30, 2002, the Wyoming Workforce Development Training Fund (WDTF) was managed by the Department of Employment
(Harris, 2002a). Management of the WDTF was transferred to the Department of Workforce Services
(Enrolled Act No. 47, 2002) on July 1, 2002, subsequent to the legislative creation of the department
(Enrolled Act No. 94, 2001).
The WDTF went through a substantive rule change effective July 1, 2004 (Department of Workforce Services, 2004). This evaluation examines firms and individual trainees who completed WDTF training contracts under prior rules (Department of Workforce Services, 2004). Additionally, the analysis reflects upon grants to a specific employer with intended employment for participants after training (i.e., referred to as Section 2 grants; Department of Workforce Services, 2004, p. 1-1) as opposed to training in high demand occupations (referred to as Section 3 grants; Department of Workforce Services, 2004, p. 1-4) not tied to a specific employer (e.g., training provided by a community college).
Research & Planning has conducted a number of individual-level (e.g., retention, wage progression) programmatic outcomes analyses (Glover, 2000; Harris, 2002a; Harris 2002b; Harris, 2004; Harris, Potter, Mixer, & Burgin, 2004; Jones, 2004; Saulcy, Glover, & Leonard, 2004). This publication examines firm characteristics (e.g., a macro-level phenomena) among establishments in which trainees are employed as well as individual-level outcomes experienced by participants. Identifying the employment context of program participants helps researchers and policy makers to better interpret individual-level outcomes.
For example, an analysis of individual-level labor market outcomes of program completers may indicate that participants largely fail to retain employment in the state. One may conclude from this that training is ineffective for retaining employment and should be altered or terminated. Additional macro-level analysis may reveal however that, for whatever reason, trainees were employed in firms that were themselves unstable (e.g., characteristically high turnover, firms going out of business). In such a case, the inability to retain employment in the state may be more closely related to the instability of firms rather than the failure of training to imbue skills in individual trainees. A redirection of training recipients into more stable firms rather than modification or abandonment of the training program may increase worker retention in the state.
The first article provides the employer context (e.g., characteristics such as the average age and average wage of all employees in the firm) in which WDTF trainees are employed and compares these attributes to the characteristics of firms generally. The second article provides an examination of individual labor market outcomes of WDTF participants and utilizes manually matched (Glover, 2002) and statistical control group methodologies (Harris, 2002b; Jones, 2004).
Department of Workforce Services, Business Training and Outreach Division. (2004). Chapter 1: Workforce Development Training Fund. In Wyoming Administrative Rules. Retrieved March 10, 2005, from http://www.wyomingworkforce.org/programs/wdtf/pdf/4Chapter%201,%20WDTF%20Business
Enrolled Act No. 47, House of Representatives Fifty-Sixth Legislature of the State of Wyoming, W.S. §9-2-2604 (2002).
Enrolled Act No. 94, House of Representatives Fifty-Sixth Legislature of the State of Wyoming, W.S. §9-2-2018 (2001).
Glover, W. (2000, March). The flow of labor in Wyoming: Department of Family Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Job Training Partnership Act. Wyoming Labor Force Trends. Retrieved February 14, 2005, from http://doe.state.wy.us/lmi/0300/a1.htm
Glover, W. (2002, June). Compared to what? The purpose and method of control group selection. Wyoming Labor Force Trends. Retrieved February 11, 2005, from http://doe.state.wy.us/lmi/0602/a2.htm
Harris, M. (2002a, May). Measuring the impact of Wyoming's workforce development training fund. Wyoming Labor Force Trends. Retrieved February 14, 2005, from http://doe.state.wy.us/lmi/0502/a1.htm
Harris, M. (2002b, June). Measuring the impact of Wyoming's workforce development training fund: Part two. Wyoming Labor Force Trends. Retrieved February 11, 2005, from http://doe.state.wy.us/lmi/0602/a1.htm
Harris, M. (2004). Chapter 2: Work activity one year after graduation. In Where are they now? Wyoming community college graduates' labor market outcomes. Casper, WY: Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning.
Harris, M., Potter, B., Mixer, L., & Burgin, R. (2004, October). A comparison of employment and enrollment outcomes based on temporary assistance for needy families' eligibility. Occasional Paper No. 1: Evaluation of Federal Training & Education Programs. 1, 18-26.
Jones, S. D. (2004, October). Examining workforce investment act programmatic outcomes. Occasional Paper No. 1: Evaluation of Federal Training & Education Programs. 1, 1-17.
Saulcy, S., Glover, W., & Leonard, D.W. (2004) Chapter 3: Research using only administrative data. In Where are they now? Wyoming community college graduates’ labor market outcomes. Casper, WY: Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning.
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