Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Poster Paper: Driving Decision-Making with Longitudinal Data: New Jersey's Workforce Development Dashboard

Friday, November 13, 2015
Riverfront South/Central (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

William Mabe, The Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and Tiffany Smith, NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, shrinking budgets and high caseloads all but guarantee that the workforce system of the twenty-first century will have to serve more job seekers with fewer resources. Maximizing the system’s efficiency and effectiveness will require the U.S. workforce system to evolve into an intelligent workforce system, where data drive the decisions of all stakeholders—from policymakers to workforce program staff, education and training providers, job seekers, and employers.

In the course of administering their workforce programs, state workforce agencies have accumulated vast stores of data. Until recently, in many states, these data have been stored in separate siloes, cordoned off by different funding streams, and difficult to access or use. Since 2012, the United States Department of Labor funded 25 states to link data within workforce agencies and the build workforce longitudinal data systems. The availability of these data now makes it possible to use them to support the decision-making of a variety of workforce system customers.

Our paper presents New Jersey's comprehensive workforce performance metrics dashboard (The Dashboard). In 2013, after concluding that the traditional performance metrics calculated to meet federal reporting obligations were insufficient for providing comprehensive feedback on the workforce system, leadership at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development committed to developing a new set of metrics to support policy and programmatic decisions. Developed after securing buy-in from a broad team of workforce system stakeholders, the Dashboard offers an at a glance summary of four critical dimensions of the workforce system: customer characteristics and flow, skill and employment outcomes, financial compliance, and customer satisfaction. We describe the Dashboard and how it is being used to support improved service delivery, programmatic innovation, and policy change throughout New Jersey' workforce system.