Since 2012, the Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) has provided forty-five competitive grants to States, regions, and localities to transform the public workforce system, including breaking down program silos; implementing innovative approaches to the design and delivery of employment and training services that generate long-term improvements in performance; and strengthening performance incentives for improved outcomes. By focusing on change at both the service delivery and the systems levels, and by requiring rigorous third-party evaluation of each investment, ETA seeks to ensure that these investments form the basis for broader change and continuous improvement in the operation of the public workforce system.
Goals of the Workforce Innovation Fund
- Deliver services more efficiently and achieve better outcomes, particularly for vulnerable populations (e.g. low-wage and less-skilled workers) and dislocated workers, especially those who have been unemployed for many months;
- Support system reforms and innovations that facilitate cooperation across programs and funding streams in the delivery of client-centered services to jobseekers, youth, and employers; and
- Emphasize building knowledge about effective practices through rigorous evaluation and translating “lessons learned” into improved labor market outcomes, bring such practices to scale in other geographic locations and increased cost efficiency in the broader workforce system.
The Workforce Innovation Fund at the Department of Labor is one of several Federal grant programs that include the Department of Education’s Investing in Education Fund (I3) and The Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund. These grantor agencies fund projects that use evidence to design and implement systems level and program service delivery strategies. Each Workforce Innovation Fund grantee must procure an independent evaluator to examine and report out on the models and interventions being implemented. The evaluation studies are designed to provide evidence of effective strategies that can be replicated throughout the system.
For more information on the WIF and the three rounds of grant awards and the Pay for Success awards, please visit: www.doleta.gov/workforce_innovation
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