ERIC Number: ED317747
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Shortchanging the Workforce. The Job Training Partnership Act and the Overselling of Privatized Training.
Donohue, John D.
The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) represents a 6-year experiment in the privatization of public responsibilities that demonstrates that enlisting private energies to serve the public purpose is an appealing but deceptively elusive goal. Although contractors are evaluated and paid by reference to output standards, accountability is difficult to enforce in human capital development. Suppliers are able to meet performance standards without producing real long-term changes in trainees' productivity or employment prospects. Although evaluation has been hampered by limits on data collection and monitoring, mounting evidence shows that (1) the pattern of training is driven more by short-term job placement than long-run payoffs; (2) the small numbers of trainees are selected from among the large number of eligible persons more by the criterion of "job readiness" than by need for training or ability to benefit; and (3) subsidies for on-the-job training are distorted into wage subsidies, with public money buying little or no incremental training. The information and monitoring systems essential to realize the JTPA ideal were rejected as unduly expensive and intrusive. There is little incentive for contractors to concentrate on people who would otherwise remain unemployed and impoverished and no compelling evidence that the JTPA system makes much difference in the pattern of employment, earnings and productivity of the U.S. work force. (51 references.) (CML)
Descriptors: Accountability, Economically Disadvantaged, Education Work Relationship, Employment Potential, Federal State Relationship, Job Placement, Job Training, Outcomes of Education, Private Sector, Retraining, Standards, Unemployment, Vocational Education, Work Experience Programs
Economic Policy Institute, 1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 812, Washington, DC 20036 ($8.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Inst., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Job Training Partnership Act 1982