Improving Workplace Conditions Through Strategic Enforcement: A Report to the Wage and Hour Division

Reviews a variety of studies with a focus on the relationship between employer behavior and industry structure.

View this Practice »

Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency Career Pathways Program Profile: Year Up

Highlights the strategies employed by a career pathways program offering training and support services to young adults.

View this Practice »

Alternative Welfare-to-Work Strategies for the Hard-to-Employ…

Examines two welfare-to-work strategies in Philadelphia to identify program participation impact for hard-to-employ recipients.

View this Practice »

Washington State’s Basic Food Employment & Training Program

Presents Washington State’s Basic Food Employment & Training program as an innovative model that better meets the employment and training needs of low-income recipients than do SNAP Employment & Training programs…

View this Practice »

The Effects of Customer Choice: First Findings from the Individual Training Account Experiment

Presents early findings on the Individual Training Account (ITA) experiment.

View this Practice »

What Works in Job Training

When it comes to job training, what does available evidence tell us about what works?  What Works in Job Training: A Synthesis of The Evidence summarizes what we know about improving employment and educational outcomes for both adults and youth.The report was prepared through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor, Commerce, Education, and Health and Human Services.

But it’s not enough that one study or evaluation said something works – this summary looks at only the most rigorous evaluations, such as impact studies that can point to the results that happened as a result of a particular initiative.  This means there is higher likelihood you will get the same results if you try the approach studied.

Webinars: Learn How To Maximize Your Use of Workforce System Strategies

Have you wished for an easy-to-use repository of recent workforce development research? Are you looking for ways to get the word out about your organization’s workforce development-related research findings? Do you have clients in the workforce system who need access to evidence-based findings? Take a look at the two webinars developed to provide interactive demonstrations on using the Workforce System Strategy site and real world examples of how we can help you find the resources you need.

Workforce System Strategies: A Tool for the Research Community
This short Webinar is designed specifically to introduce the workforce development research community to the research and implementation tools profiled on Workforce System Strategies. The webinar includes an interactive demonstration of what the site can do for you. You will also hear how this tool relates to ETA-sponsored research, as well as the Department-wide research efforts of DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office.

Beyond Best Practices: Workforce System Strategies
This short webinar takes an interactive look at a Workforce System Strategies with the workforce development professional in mind. Two workforce peers serving as interviewees offering real examples from their work, it demonstrates how to quickly find multiple resources that will help design a new program, develop policy, write grant proposals, conduct research, and more.


Tutorial Offers

Quick Navigation Tips

Learn to quickly mine the rich resources on Workforce System Strategies!  Use this short on-line tutorial to help you find what you want, more efficiently and effectively. 



Workforce System Strategies highlights a wide range of research and implementation tools.

Use it to:
• Help your job-seeker and employer customers achieve better outcomes
• Identify evidence that may be useful in program design initiatives or grant applications
• Be at the forefront of the workforce system!

Tell Us What You Think!

Please contact us with your thoughts!  What is useful – and what is not? What additional features would you like to see?



Reducing Employment Barriers and Investing in Early Childhood Care and Education

For many families, childcare is a barrier to employment.  Between nonstandard working hours and a lack of affordable, high quality childcare options, many parents, particularly low-income parents, are forced to make decisions that favor employment or childcare at the expense of the other option.  Under these circumstances, childcare is increasingly a workforce issue that will have both short-term and long-term effects on participating workers and local economies.  The following WSS profiles highlight the childcare challenges facing low-income parents, examine the ways in which childcare decisions are made, and present an evidence-based case for investment in programs that support early childhood care and development.

  • Choices in the Real World: The Use of Family, Friend and Neighbor Child Care by Single Chicago Mothers Working Nontraditional Schedules.  January 2013.  Using interview data from 50 mothers in Chicago, this report examines the childcare options low-income mothers seek and rely upon for their children’s care during their nontraditional work schedules.  The report authors describe policy considerations for assisting all families that are widely applicable across the United States, including increasing mothers’ options for high quality, affordable childcare during non-standard hours, and encouraging employers to adopt parent-friendly practices.
  • Early Childhood Programs as an Economic Development Tool: Investing Early to Prepare the Future Workforce.  January 2013.  Examining early childhood programs as a beneficial tool for state economic development, this analysis highlights the productivity benefits to children, as future workers, and parents, as current workers.  The author finds that for every $1 spent on high quality programs, the state economy received $2-3 through additional jobs and earnings.  Using this data, the report calls for policymakers to consider ways to invest in early childhood programs that will yield short-term results and ensure the quality of such programs.
  • How Employment Constraints Affect Low-Income Working Parents’ Child Care Decisions.  February 2012.  Drawing upon findings from a larger research report, the authors examine the childcare decisions made by working, low-income parents.  A number of factors affected parents’ childcare decisions in the study, including unreliable transportation, nonstandard and unpredictable hours, inflexible employers, and overall limited job options.  With these challenges affecting numerous households, the report authors recommend expanding the options for early childhood programs, including both care and education based programs, as well as increasing options that fit nonstandard hours.

Read more »

Celebrating National Mentor Day

To recognize National Mentor Day on January 17 and affirm adult mentoring as one of the youth program elements under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, below are selected resources that highlight the benefits and outcomes of the mentor relationship. Mentors often form different relationships that may include supportive older adults; life coaches; role models, and trained school peers. In addition to the beneficial results observed in mentoring relationships, these studies and guides provide helpful tools and resources to create and support successful mentoring programs.

  • Early Implementation Report: Mentoring, Educational, and Employment Strategies (MEES) to Improve Academic, Social and Career Pathway Outcomes in Persistently Dangerous Schools – Generation I. June 2011. Reporting on the implementation of the Mentoring, Education, and Employment Strategies (MEES) grants in nine schools, this resource highlights the ways in which schools coordinated services internally and within the community to best serve their students. Chapter V of this report focuses on mentoring services within the schools, examining the various components of these services and reflecting upon challenges and lessons learned.
  • Mentoring Youth and Young Parents.  January 2013. This resource guidebook acts as both a compilation of case studies and a guidebook for programs to provide mentor support for youth and young, low-income parents.  The guidebook includes suggestions, strategies, examples, and tools to help organizations setup mentoring programs or add mentoring as a services using a five-step framework: (1) laying the groundwork, (2) designing an effective program (3) designing the components of recruitment and mentoring, (4) running the program, and (5) ensuring continuous improvement and impact. . 
  • The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring.  March 2011.  This report presents evidence from a randomized experiment and highlights the effectiveness of individualized student coaching.  As part of the coaching relationship, students received guidance on building self-advocacy and study skills, establishing goals, and connecting daily activities to goal attainment.  The report authors found that students matched with a coach were more likely to remain in college during the course of the relationship, as well as one year after the relationship ended.

Read more »

WSS in 2015: Most Popular Profiles

Calendar year 2015 has been busy for WSS! A wide range of profiles are now available, covering topics such as career pathways, sector strategies, rigorous evaluations of place-based programs, and more! As this year ends, we are highlighting the three profiles with the most online views on WSS since January 2015. We look forward to sharing more engaging studies and informative insights in 2016!

  • What Works in Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence. July 2014. A collaboration among the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Education and Health and Human Services, this report summarizes current evidence about effective job training programs for adults and youth.  Organized into three sections, this resource synthesizes what works for adults, highlights what works for youth, and summarizes evidence-based findings, gaps in research, and recommendations for future research.
  • Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment: Reaching Underachieving and Underrepresented Students with Career-Focused Programs. July 2012. This three-year evaluation examines educational outcomes for California youth that enrolled in college level courses while still enrolled in high school, particularly among underrepresented and underachieving students. Outcomes among dually enrolled students include increased high school graduation rates, a greater likelihood of continuing postsecondary education and transferring to a four-year institution, and a higher amount of accumulated college credits.
  • The Pathways to Prosperity Network: A State Progress Report, 2012-2014. June 2014. Described as an informational letter, this report summarizes the accomplishments of the states participating in a network-based endeavor to create career pathways for youth in high-growth, high-demand occupational fields. With the ultimate objectives of establishing statewide pathways systems through which middle and high school students gain exposure to career options, the Network has succeeded in creating linkages between institutions, building skills of participating students, and expanding opportunities across additional states.

Read more »