STRONG LEADERSHIP AND OUTCOMES FOR NEW YORKERS
ACTION BY 2023: Be a national leader for workforce data by investing $7- $10 million of State Wagner Peyser funding for an integrated data system that enables workforce professionals to effectively share and manage programs and performance.
The need for a thoughtful, integrated workforce development data system is especially timely considering the number
of New Yorkers unemployed and without a path forward. Due to the origin of the funding (i.e. the various federal or state programs) the variability in how workforce development programs measure employment makes conducting a crossprogram, system-wide analysis of workforce programs a challenge. As outlined in the Invest in Skills NY brief, Accounting for Success: A Blueprint for Measuring the Performance of New York State’s Workforce Development System, in order to achieve a data-driven workforce system, the state needs to apply a uniform metric across its different programs, and make a real
investment into building, utilizing and maintaining the system. Invest in Skills NY has offered five recommendations to help guide the state in building a comprehensive system for collecting and analyzing data on workforce development:
1. Commit state resources and direct state agencies, in collaboration with local stakeholders (e.g., employers, workforce training providers, and colleges), to build and sustain a comprehensive data system through a transparent and accountable process.
2. Adopt a set of common performance metrics to be used across workforce development programs and funding streams.
3. Build and test the technical elements of the data system.
4. Integrate SUNY and CUNY into the statewide data system to better capture workforce outcomes of the state’s public higher education system.
5. Make data available and user friendly to state and local government agencies, workforce training providers, legislators, employers, and the general public to ensure that it is used to
support strong workforce outcomes.
Fortunately, New York can learn from other states that have taken on the task of streamlining their workforce development
data management systems. States such as Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington have built systems that now
allow the state to prioritize programs and interventions with a strong return on investment. Additionally, utilizing their
State Workforce Board and local workforce system, they are quickly able to respond to changing needs; scale up effective
interventions and shift resources, as needed.
New York is also one of the fourteen remaining states who have neglected to take advantage of the federal Workforce Data
Quality Initiative funding, that provides for up to $2.7 million to an eligible State Workforce Agency for the integration of
the state’s case management system, performance reporting, and/or fiscal reporting systems with the state’s longitudinal
database. The intent of the WDQI databases is to “generate workforce training provider performance information and
outcomes, including those relevant to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act performance reporting, in a standardized,
easy-to-understand format to help customers select the education and training programs that best suit their needs.