For the purpose of improving the management and effectiveness of programs and activities carried out under this subchapter, the Secretary, through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements, shall provide for the continuing evaluation of the programs and activities under this subchapter, including those programs and activities carried out under this section.
The Secretary may conduct evaluations of other federally funded employment-related programs and activities under other provisions of law.
Evaluations conducted under this subsection shall utilize appropriate and rigorous methodology and research designs, including the use of control groups chosen by scientific random assignment methodologies. The Secretary shall conduct at least 1 multisite control group evaluation under this subsection by the end of fiscal year 2019, and thereafter shall ensure that such an analysis is included in the independent evaluation described in paragraph (1)(B) that is conducted at least once every 4 years.
The entity carrying out an evaluation described in paragraph (1) or (2) shall prepare and submit to the Secretary a draft report and a final report containing the results of the evaluation.
Not later than 30 days after the completion of a draft report under paragraph (5), the Secretary shall transmit the draft report to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the Senate. Not later than 60 days after the completion of a final report under such paragraph, the Secretary shall transmit the final report to such committees.
If an entity that enters into a contract or other arrangement with the Secretary to conduct an evaluation of a program or activity under this subsection requests permission from the Secretary to publish a report resulting from the evaluation, such entity may publish the report unless the Secretary denies the request during the 90-day period beginning on the date the Secretary receives such request.
After consultation with States, localities, and other interested parties, the Secretary shall, every 2 years, publish in the Federal Register, a plan that describes the research, studies, and multistate project priorities of the Department of Labor concerning employment and training for the 5-year period following the submission of the plan. The plan shall be consistent with the purposes of this subchapter, including the purpose of aligning and coordinating core programs with other one-stop partner programs. Copies of the plan shall be transmitted to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, the Department of Education, and other relevant Federal agencies.
The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Education, may conduct a study examining the characteristics of eligible youth that result in such youth being significantly disconnected from education and workforce participation, the ways in which such youth could have greater opportunities for education attainment and obtaining employment, and the resources available to assist such youth in obtaining the skills, credentials, and work experience necessary to become economically self-sufficient.
Using funds available to carry out this subsection jointly with funds available to the Secretary of Commerce, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, and the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, and the Secretary of Education, may conduct a study of the effectiveness of the workforce development system in meeting the needs of business, such as through the use of industry or sector partnerships, with particular attention to the needs of small business, including in assisting workers to obtain the skills needed to utilize emerging technologies.
The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Education, may conduct a study examining the number and percentage of individuals who receive employment and training activities and who enter nontraditional occupations, successful strategies to place and support the retention of individuals in nontraditional employment (such as by providing post-placement assistance to participants in the form of exit interviews, mentoring, networking, and leadership development), and the degree to which recipients of employment and training activities are informed of the possibility of, or directed to begin, training or education needed for entrance into nontraditional occupations.
The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Education, may conduct studies to determine the feasibility of, and potential means to replicate, measuring the compensation, including the wages, benefits, and other incentives provided by an employer, received by program participants by using data other than or in addition to data available through wage records, for potential use as a performance indicator.
The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, may conduct studies to assist public housing authorities to provide, to recipients of public housing assistance, job training programs that successfully upgrade job skills and employment in, and access to, jobs with opportunity for advancement and economic self-sufficiency for such recipients.
The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, may conduct studies that lead to better design and implementation of, in conjunction with employers, local boards or State boards, community colleges or area career and technical education schools, and other organizations, effective evidence-based strategies to provide services to workers who are low-income, low-skilled older individuals that increase the workers’ skills and employment prospects.
The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with other heads of Federal agencies, as appropriate, may conduct studies that, through convening stakeholders from the fields of education, workforce, business, labor, defense, and veterans services, and experts in such fields, develop guidelines for assessing, accounting for, and utilizing the prior learning of individuals, including dislocated workers and veterans, in order to provide the individuals with postsecondary educational credit for such prior learning that leads to the attainment of a recognized postsecondary credential identified under section 3152(d) of this title and employment.
The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall conduct a multistate study to develop, implement, and build upon career advancement models and practices for low-wage health care providers or providers of early education and child care, including faculty education and distance education programs.
The Secretary shall conduct a multistate study to develop and disseminate strategies for ensuring that programs and activities carried out under this Act are placing individuals in jobs, education, and training that lead to equivalent pay for men and women, including strategies to increase the participation of women in high-wage, high-demand occupations in which women are underrepresented.
The Secretary shall prepare and disseminate to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, and to the public, including through electronic means, reports containing the results of the studies conducted under this paragraph.
The Secretary may, through grants or contracts, carry out multistate projects that require demonstrated expertise that is available at the national level to effectively disseminate best practices and models for implementing employment and training services, address the specialized employment and training needs of particular service populations, or address industry-wide skill shortages, to the extent such projects are consistent with the priorities specified in the plan published under paragraph (1).
Agreements for grants or contracts awarded under this paragraph shall be designed to obtain information relating to the provision of services under different economic conditions or to various demographic groups in order to provide guidance at the national and State levels about how best to administer specific employment and training services.
A grant or contract awarded for carrying out a project under this subsection in an amount that exceeds $100,000 shall be awarded only on a competitive basis, except that a noncompetitive award may be made in the case of a project that is funded jointly with other public or private sector entities that provide a substantial portion of assistance under the grant or contract for the project.
A grant or contract shall not be awarded under this subsection to the same organization for more than 3 consecutive years unless such grant or contract is competitively reevaluated within such period.
The Secretary is authorized to use funds provided under this section to carry out peer review activities under this subparagraph.
In awarding grants or contracts under this subsection, priority shall be provided to entities with recognized expertise in the methods, techniques, and knowledge of workforce investment activities. The Secretary shall establish appropriate time limits for the duration of such projects.
Of the amount made available pursuant to section 3172(a)(2)(A) of this title for any program year, the Secretary shall use not more than 10 percent of such amount to carry out demonstration and pilot projects, multiservice projects, and multistate projects relating to the employment and training needs of dislocated workers. Of the requirements of this section, such projects shall be subject only to the provisions relating to review and evaluation of applications under subsection (b)(6)(C). Such projects may include demonstration and pilot projects relating to promoting self-employment, promoting job creation, averting dislocations, assisting dislocated farmers, assisting dislocated fishermen, and promoting public works. Such projects shall be administered by the Secretary, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training.