Put the Ineffective Department of Labor Job-Training Programs on the Chopping Block

David B. Muhlhausen /

House Republicans are attempting to live up to their pledge to cut $100 billion from the federal government’s current fiscal year 2011 budget. One of the funding categories being placed on the chopping block are the employment and training services run by the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) which provides a host of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) job-training programs and other employment services. Compared to President Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request, the plan is to cut $2.8 billion from programs that, according to a January 2011 report by the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO), have little evidence of effectiveness.

The ETA has a history of operating ineffective job-training programs. The predecessor of WIA was the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). A national impact evaluation of JTPA programs that used the scientifically rigorous method of random assignment found the programs to be largely ineffective.  For example, JTPA programs failed to raise the hourly wages of adult participants. (more…)