The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) puts a renewed and intensified focus on the importance of labor market information. Ron Painter (CEO, NAWB) summed it up well in an interview with EMSI: “If we thought WIA was interested in data, WIOA is obsessed with data.”
Here are a few stats simply comparing term usage within the two laws:
The new law makes a lot of changes to WIA in an effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the workforce development system. Many of those changes require the use of LMI since LMI has been proven to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Some examples can be found in Sections 107(d), “Functions of Local Board,” and 108(b), “Requirements for Local Plans.” These sections direct boards to focus workforce efforts on “in-demand industry sectors or occupations” through the following measures:
- The establishment of industry and sector partnerships that will have a substantial current or potential impact on the state, regional, or local economy, and that contribute to the growth or stability of other supporting businesses or to the growth of other industry sectors.
- Analysis of the regional workforce, including current and projected labor force employment.
- Analysis of economic conditions and skill levels of the regional workforce.
All of these activities, and many others, require the use of LMI. Simply put, WIOA requires that workforce boards use more data and that they use it a lot more frequently.
This is where EMSI comes in. EMSI specializes in turning labor market data into useful information that helps workforce boards establish strategic partnerships and understand the strengths and weaknesses of their regional workforce. Bottom line, EMSI makes it easy to be obsessed with data.