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Work Investment Opportunity Act Evaluation Report

The Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) went into effect 7/1/2015 after being signed by President Obama. WIOA is the largest single source of federal funding to support workforce development (U. S. Dept. of Labor Employment and Training, 2016).

In Utah, WIOA is primarily administered through the Department of Workforce Services (DWS). With WIOA programs, the state of Utah aims to help Utahans attain economic selfsufficiency through increased access to quality employment, education, training, and support services. The state plans to utilize data, partnerships, and available resources to support those providing services to employers and jobseekers in need (Utah’s DWS, 2017).

The state of Utah has been successful in their implementation of WIOA. While many WIOA outcomes reflect program success, DWS strives to further improve service delivery and program outcomes. To this end, Utah’s WIOA program leaders contracted with the Social Research Institute (SRI), University of Utah to conduct a program evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation was to answer the following key research questions posed by DWS leadership:

  1.  What is the overall composition and experience of the WIOA customer base relative to demographics, education and work history, barriers to program participation, and satisfaction with DWS programs and staff?
  2. How do the DWS WIOA front-line staff experience implementing the WIOA program? From their perspective, what program and policy components support and /or hinder success in program implementation? What changes and/or supports would help them be more effective in administering the WIOA program?
  3. What can workers’ notes and data entered in UWORKS reveal regarding the appropriate implementation of WIOA services?

To learn answers to these questions, three methods of data collection were employed: 1) inperson interviews with WIOA customers; 2) focus groups with WIOA front-line staff and 3) a review of case notes and other data in the online UWORKS system.

Read the reports that came from this project:

Work Investment Opportunity Evaluation Report (Jan 2020)


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Last Updated: 12/12/23