Multiple Employment Training Programs

Conflicting Requirements Underscore Need for Change Gao ID: T-HEHS-94-120 March 10, 1994

Despite decades of effort to better employment training programs, conflicting eligibility requirements and differences in annual operating cycles are hampering the ability of the programs to provide participants needed services. Six different standards for defining "low income," five definitions of family or household, and five definitions of what is included in income make determining who is "economically disadvantaged" a complex process. Similarly, differences in age criteria for older worker and youth programs turn coordination into a "jigsaw puzzle." GAO supports overhauling and consolidating the employment training programs to create a customer-driven system embodying four principles: simplicity, tailored services, administrative efficiency, and accountability. In the interim, Congress, the administration, and representatives from state and local programs need to cooperate to identify and eliminate differences in program requirements.

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