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WorkNow Series | Part 2: Important Data is Hard to Find and Even Harder to Take Action On

June 16, 2020

Data powers workforce systems forward and provides workforce departments with actionable insight. Amongst this data is available labor and jobs, government-provided training, the numbers and stats of each of those, and so much more. But unfortunately, as a result of the (siloed) array of administering systems that differ state to state (and sometimes city to city) mentioned in Part 1, workforce data is often not available holistically. 

States have this data on hand, but it’s commonly siloed within different licensing agencies or dependent on multiple agencies within the government. For both government staff and citizens, there are often policies and programs that people are unaware of or unable to take advantage of because the data is hard to access across these disconnected systems. This makes it virtually impossible for states to always comprehensively understand who is working, who isn’t, who is actively training for each specific industry, and who is moving off of unemployment into which sectors. What kinds of skills do people need in order to find a job? How many people need training? Pulling this data together in one place without a modern, digital solution is a strenuous task. 

Most importantly, this incomplete data impacts state governments when they apply for federal funding for these programs. For example, according to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s (WIOA) Final Rule and FAQ, grantees must collect data for WIOA performance accountability requirements and to track the program’s progress in assisting WIOA’s goal to support job seekers. If the data is incomplete, it could affect the amount of funding they receive as it may show an incorrect amount of progress being made. Because 95% of all workforce departments use WIOA funding according to a Workforce Board Operations Survey, it is extremely important that all necessary information is accessible. 

The most sensible solution continues to be a single, easily-accessible digital credentialing platform. With one platform where anyone can access the important data needed to do their daily jobs (or find their next one), it will create less headache, back and forth of phone calls and emails to verify what’s up-to-date or incorrect, and eliminate the various and burdensome access levels required to get a small detail. 

Merit’s WorkNow program centralizes all the necessary data from local, state, and federal sources onto a single platform. This program removes the hassles of going through multiple systems and people, and having a program that is digital will allow all data to be up-to-date at all times. In turn, this makes accurate data easily accessible for quick credential verification, stats on what government programs need assistance, accurate numbers for WIOA funding, and more. 

Without a digital credential platform, data will continue to be difficult to find and system accuracy will always be in question, as mentioned in part three: System Maintenance & Accuracy.


To take a deeper dive and hear from professionals in workforce development, don't miss out on our WorkNow Webinar Series where we outline and discuss strategies for labor and workforce leaders to tackle today's issues and empower dislocated workers. Click here to watch past and upcoming sessions.

Amanda Davis
Written by Amanda Davis

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