TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT
NOTICE

NO.

18-04

DATE:

March 9, 2005


TO : ALL STATE WORKFORCE AGENCIES
ALL STATE WORKFORCE LIAISONS
 
FROM : MARIA K. FLYNN
Administrator
Office of Policy Development and Research
 
SUBJECT : Release and Availability of ETA Occasional Paper 2005-02: "The Effects of Customer Choice: First Findings from the Individual Training Account Experiment"

  1. Purpose. To announce the release and availability of the ETA Occasional Paper 2005-02: "The Effects of Customer Choice: First Findings from the Individual Training Account (ITA): Experiment."


  2. Background. The Workforce Investment Act provides a great deal of flexibility to states and local areas in the area of training for employment, including (1) setting the monetary value and other parameters of individual training accounts (ITAs), and (2) deciding how much guidance One-Stop counselors will provide to customers in the formulation of training decisions. This paper describes the early findings of an experiment on the use of ITA's in the One-Stop system. The ITA Experiment was designed to explore how different counseling approaches affect customer choices. It also shows how the varied approaches generate different training outcomes, including employment and earnings outcomes and, most importantly, customer satisfaction.

    A summary of the key findings from the ITA Experiment include:


  3. Publication Description. This interim report explains the three approaches being tested in the eight sites and how they were used. The findings on the implementation of each ITA approach are explained. Estimates of the relative impacts of each approach on the receipt of counseling, training choices, and costs of WIA training are provided. The relative impacts on final outcomes—employment, earnings, and customer satisfaction-will be presented in the final report.

    Based on these intermediate outcomes, the researchers' analyses suggest that the ITA approaches (as implemented) influenced customers' receipt of counseling and their likelihood of receiving an ITA. However, the approaches do not appear to have had a large impact on customers' training choices. Impacts will not be known until the final report is completed. From that report, data will be used from a survey of the study participants and state administrative data to answer questions about how customers fared after receiving their ITAs or choosing to forgo ITA-funded training. Findings from the final report will assist policymakers in local workforce investment areas with more definitive evidence about the best approach or approaches to administering ITAs.

    To view an abstract of this publication as well as to download the full report as a PDF, visit the ETA Occasional Paper series Web site at: http://www.doleta.gov/reports/searcheta/occ/

EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Washington, DC 20210