. 44: 7/- _/I 3 REPORT TO THE CONGRESS ’ llllll!~lllllllllllllllllll\lillll” LM095720 Opportunities For Improving Training Results And Efficiency At The East Bay Skills Center; Oaklan,d, California Under The Manpower Development And Training Act B-146879 ’ ‘department of Labor Department of Health, Education, and Welfare BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES SEB.lOJ971 COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES WASHINGTON, D.C. 20548 B- 146879 To the President of the Senate and the Cl Speaker of the House of Representatives This is our report on opportunities for improving results and efficiency at the East Bay Skills Cen- ,f/952 : traini$& mI&:oc? ter in -Oaklana, -. . _.__ California, operated jointly by the Depart- ment of Labor and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, under the Manpower Development and Train- 2 I - ing Act. Our review was made pursuant to the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53), and the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67). Copies of this report are being sent to the Director, Office of Management and Budget; the Secretary of Labor; and the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. Comptroller General of the United States CHAPTER Page Individuals completing training 41 Conclusions 46 Recommendations to the Secretary of Labor 46 Counseling services provided to trainees 48 Conclusions 50 Recommendations to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare 51 Payments for unexcused absences 52 Conclusions 53 Recommendation to the Secretary of Labor 54 Assessing results of program activities and providing follow-up services to trainees in need of assistance 55 Conclusions 57 Recommendation to the Secretary of Labor 57 6 PROGRAM MONITORINGAND EVALUATION BY FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES 59 Conclusions 62 Recommendation to the Secretaries of Labor and of Health, Education, and Welfare 62 7 SCOPEOF REVIEW 64 APPENDIX I Letter da&d September 23, 1970, from the Assistant Secretary for Administration, Department of Labor, to the General Ac- counting Office 67 .. . Contents Page DIGEST 1 1 INTRODUCTIQN 6 Manpower Development and Training Act 6 Development of the institutional train- ing program 7 Manpower training skills centers 9 East Bay Skills Center 9 2 PROGRAM RESULTS 13 Training provided 14 Training costs 16 Results of training 18 3 TJNDERUTILIZATIONOF THE EAST BAY SKILLS CENTER 21 Conclusions 25 Recommendations to the Secretaries of Labor and of Health, Education, and Welfare 26 4 PROGRESSTOWARDMOREEFFECTIVE FUNDING AND TRAINING PROCEDURES 28 Problems in project-by-project funding 28 Problems with courses designed along traditional education lines 31 Changes in funding and training proce- dures 32 Conclusion 34 5 IMPROVEMENTS NEEDEDTO ENHANCEEFFECTIVENESS OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM 36 Selection of individuals for training 36 Voluntary and involuntary termina- tions 40 Individuals employed prior to com- pleting training 41 benefit of independent review of the performances of the executive agen- ties. GAO selected the East Bay Skills Center for a review of activi- ties under the institutional training program in response to this urg- ing. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS Following are the principal results of the Center's training program during its 45-month operating period. --About 3,350 trainees enrolled in vocational training courses, and 550 other trainees obtained basic education and prevocational in- struction under a contract with the local community action agency. --The average length of the courses completed in 1968 was about 8 months, and the average cost of training a person was about $4,100. --Of the 2,826 trainees who left the training courses during the pe- riod July 1967 through December 1969, 1,805 completed training or left training to accept employment and 1,021 left training prior to completion for various other reasons. --Follow-up information on the employment status of 430 of the 685 trainees who had enrolled in courses completed in fiscal year 1968 and had completed training or accepted employment prior to complet- ing training showed that about 67 percent of the 430 trainees were working and 33 percent were not working. --According to GAO's analysis of changes in earnings for a random sample of former trainees, about two thirds of the trainees who were employed were earning at a higher rate than they were earning prior to training. The data which GAO obtained on program results provides some insight into the accomplishments of the Center. However, the absence of ade- quate data on the employment status of former trainees precluded GAO's arriving at a conclusion concerning the Center's overall effectiveness. Space acquired, renovated, and equipped was designed to provide train- ing to 1,500 individuals at one time. However, from April 1966 to December 1969, the Center had an average monthly enrollment of about 490 trainees, or only about 33 percent of the complement that the Cen- ter was desi‘gned to serve. Center facilities were not fully used because --institutional funding for skills centers was reduced, --provisions were not made for other federally supported organizations to use the facilities for their training programs (see p. 21). 2 COMPTROLLERGENERAL'S OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVING TRAINING REPORT TO THE CONGRESS RESULTS AND EFFICIENCY AT THE EAST BAY SKILLS CENTER, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, UNDER THE MANPOWERDEVELOPMENTAND TRAINING ACT Department of Labor Department of Health, Education, and Welfare B-146879 DIGEST --_--_ WHY THE REVIEW WAS MADE The Manpow~~.,,n~vell,opment"aFcl Traini,ng.Act,,of 1962 authorizes institu- tional, or classroom-type, training for unemployed or underemployed persons who cannot be expected to secure full-time employment without such training. Manpower training,s&&lJ~-Xc~enters were established in July 1968 by the DQ%?mmyTm%r and Health, Education, and Welfare to help carry out the institutional training program. In contrast to most institu- tional training courses prior to July 1968--small classes were held in public schools after school hours--skills centers generally operate in former school buildings or industrial and warehouse structures during the day and provide a large number of persons with training in a variety of occupations and with work orientation, counseling, and job-placement services. Sixty-nine skills centers were operating in October 1970. Enrollments in skills centers accounted for 17 percent of all persons in the insti- tutional training program in fiscal year 1969. The Department of Labor, through agreement with State employment security agencies, determines the occupations for which persons are needed, se- lects the persons to be trained, pays them training allowances, and helps them find employment. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, through agreements with State vocational education agencies, provides the curriculum, instructors, and facilities for the courses to be taught. The General Accounting Office's (GAO'S) review covered the !raininq ac- tivities_~f~,~~~~-~-~~~~~~~~~r~~~~~~~~a~d.,-~~Ca.l-ifornla. From April 1966--about 2 years prior to its official designation as a skills center--through December 1969, the Center incurred costs of about $14.9 million and provided training to about 3,900 persons. -:? The Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, in reporting on the ‘J^:II~~ 1968 amendments to the Manpower Development and Training Act, urged GAO to broaden its evaluation of manpower programs to give the Congress the --take appropriate action to convert the funding of the Center's operations to an annualized basis, institute a more flexible cur- riculum design to permit continuous trainee intake and exit from the Center's trai'ning courses, and group together related occupa- tional training courses to allow-trainees to progress as far as they are able within the groupings. (See p. 35.) --allocate the necessary funds to ensure that Center operations are monitored adequately. (See p. 62.) The Secretary of Labor should also --direct the employment security agency (1) to be appropriately selec- tive in screening individuals for skill training, (2) to refer per- sons with serious physical handicaps or emotional problems, when possible, to programs designed to overcome their particular problems rather than to training programs for which they are not suited, and (3) to prov'dI e persons qualified to accept employment without train- ing with appropriate job-placement assistance rather than with train- ing. (See pa 46.) --review the implementation of the Center's revised attendance proce- dure to ensure that trainees do not receive allowance payments for periods of unexcused absence. (See p. 54.) --to the extent feasible within existing fund limitations, require the employment security agency to obtain information on the status of former trainees and, where the need for assistance is indicated, provide termi‘nees with follow-up services. (See p. 57.) The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare should also examine into the nature and extent of counseling services currently provided at the Center, furnish appropriate guidelines concerning the case-load levels and the frequency of counseling contacts, and emphasize to the Center the importance of adequate documentation of counseling services. (See p. 51.) AGENCYACTIONS AND UNRESOLVED ISSUES The Department of Labor and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare advised GAO of their general agreement with the recommendations and outlined corrective actions to --encourage full utilization of all skills centers (see p. 26), --provide for funding all skills centers on an annualized basis, a more flexible curriculum design, and the grouping of related train- ing courses (see p. 35), --improve the procedures for selecting individuals for training (see P* 47). --the Center's method of funding its training courses on a project-by- project basis was causing delays in initiating follow-on training courses after pri‘or courses had been completed (see p. 28), and --the design of the training courses did not readily permit new trainees to enter into training positions made available through attrition as the courses were proceeding (see p. 31). Persons referred to the Center for training frequently did not meet the enrollment criteria that a person be in need of training to obtain em- ployment. Some trainees were physically or emotionally handicapped; and some appeared to have possesseds at the time they were referred for training, sufficient skills to obta in employment without training. (See P* 36.) The Center's counseling program was designed to help the trainees plan their vocational goals and to assis t them with personal problems that would hinder their progress in getting a job. Only limited counseling services, however, were provided and records frequently were not main- tained on the counseling that had been.provided. (See p. 48.) Contrary to the Manpower Development and Training Act and to Department of Labor directives, many trainees were paid training allowances for unexcused absences. (See p. 52.) Local employment security offices are expected to maintain contact with trainees and their employers after completion of training, render fur- ther assistance that may be needed, and evaluate the effectiveness of the training program to provide a basis for making program changes. The local employment security agency did not develop needed information on the status of trainees who left the Center for employment and did not provide these trainees with such follow-up services as additional train- ing and placement services. (See p. 55.) GAO believes that the administrative weaknesses noted in its review could have been identified and corrected earlier through more appropri- ate and timely monitoring by the two Federal Departments and their State counterparts. (See p. 59.) RECOIdVENDATIONS OR SUGGESTIONS The Secretaries of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare should --make effective use of the excess capacity of the Center for skills training and other manpower programs operating in the Oakland area or, if that is not feasible, minimize operating costs by seeking other possible uses for excess capacity. Consideration might also be given to obtaining a smaller facility more in line with needs. (See p. 26.) CHM?TERl INTRODUCTION The General Accounting Office has made a review of the operation of the institutional training program conducted at the East Bay Skills Center in Oakland, California. The institutional training program is authorized by title II of the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962, as amended (MDTA) (42 U.S.C. 2581). We examined into the results of the training program from its inception in April 1966 through Eecember 31, 1969, the utilization of the training facilities, the selection of individuals for training, the counseling of trainees, and the follow-up on former trainees. The scope of our review is described on page 64. MMPOWERDEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING ACT MDT;Pprovides that persons who lack the skills needed for available jobs be given the training and related educa- tion which will qualify them for work in occupations where shortages of trained workers exist. Title II of MDTA, per- taining to training and skill development programs, directs the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health, Educa- tion, and Welfare to develop and institute programs to se- lect and train unemployed persons who cannot reasonably be expected to obtain full-time employment with their present skills and underemployed persons who are working but who, with training, could obtain higher level employment. Title II authorizes both on-the-job and institutional training programs to prepare workers for job opportunities. The institutional training program provides vocational training in either a public or a private vocational educa- tion institution using a classroom method of teaching. Un- der MDTA, the Department of Labor is responsible for --determining the occupations for which skilled in- dividuals are needed, 6 --establish procedures to examine into the nature and extent of counseling services and to emphasize the importance of adequate documentation of counseling services (see p. 51), --further strengthen attendance control procedures (see p. 54), --make funds available for follow-up services (see p. 57), and --develop and implement a comprehensive regional monitoring system (see pp. 62 and 63). MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE CONGRESS GAO is reporting these matters to the Congress because of its expressed interest in how effectively and efficiently the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare carry out manpower training programs. After the need for training in certain occupations has been determined, the local vocational education office des- ignates the training facilities and, in cooperation with administrators of the training facilities, prepares course curricula and budgets for all costs other than the training allowances, which are determined by the employment security office. After the training proposal has been reviewed and ap- proved by the responsible State agencies, it is submitted to a Federal review team, composed of officials of the Of- fice of Education and the U.S. Training and Employment Ser- vice, for a review of the (1) adequacy of the labor market justification, (2) adequacy of the training plan, (3) suit- ability of the budget, and (4) overall compliance with ob- jectives and requirements of MDTA. Under section 301(b) of MDTA, as amended in October 1968, State employment security agencies and vocational ed- ucation agencies are authorized to approve and obligate 20 percent of their apportioned funds for training pro- posals without further approval by the Federal Government. Proposals for the remaining portions of their funds may be approved by the State agencies but may be disapproved by either the Department of Labor or HEN within 30 days of transmittal to the Departments' regional offices. Approval ' is contingent upon the training proposals' conforming to the States' federally approved Cooperative Area Manpower Planning System plans. After approval of the training proposals, the local employment security office screens, counsels, tests, and se- lects persons for referral for training and subsequently provides trainees with counseling, job-placement, and follow-up services. The local vocational education agency office supervises the educational and vocational training and provides counseling during the training. 8 ww counseling, selecting, and referring applicants for institutional training, -- paying training allowances, -- assisting trained individuals in finding training- related employment, and -I making follow-up studies to determine if the train- ing programs meet the occupational needs of the in- dividuals. The U.S. Training and Employment Service of the Man- power Administration administers these activities through agreements with State employment security agencies. Prior to March 1969 these activities were administered through the Manpower Administration's Bureau of Employment Security. MDTA provides also that the Department of Health, Ed- ucation, and Welfare (HEW) enter into agreements with States to provide training programs--including curriculum, in- structors, and facilities-- for the occupations determined and the trainees selected by the Department of Labor. The Bureau of Adult, Vocational, and Technical Education, Of- fice of Education, HEW, administers these training functions through agreements with State vocational education agencies. The principal officials of the Department of Labor and HEWhaving responsibility for the administration of the institutional training program are listed in appendix III. DEVELOPMENTOF THE INSTITUTIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM Institutional training projects are developed and car- ried out jointly by the local offices of the responsible State agencies in coordination with their Federal counter- parts in the Department of Labor and HEW. The local employ- ment security offices determine the need for training, on the basis of comparisons of labor supply and demand, and propose the establishment of institutional training courses to a coordinating committee composed of community represen- tatives. 7 The Watts riot in August 1965 gave Oakland attention as a "hot city" where the next riot was expected. Shortly thereafter four centers were decided upon in California, three in the Los Angeles area and the fourth in Oakland. In early 1966, the proposal to operate a skills center in Oakland was approved by the Department of Labor and HEW.l The skills center was planned with a capacity to train 1,500 persons. A Department of Labor official in San Fran- cisco told us that the capacity of the center was determined on the basis of a commitment by the Department's Washington office that MDTA institutional training funds of $5 million would be made available for training in the first year of operation. In April 1966 the East Bay Skills Center was established as a training facility under the sponsorship of the Peralta Junior College District in Oakland. The Center, which was officially designated as a Man- power Training Skills Center by the Department of Labor and HEW in July 1968, is located in the northern part of the city of Oakland, as shown on the map on page 11, and is housed in part--242,000 square feet--of a building, leased by the District, that was formerly used by a manufacturing company. (See picture on p. 12.) The State Department of Human Resource Development (DHRD) is the employment security office for the State of California. Local DHRDoffices prepared the justifications of the need for training at the Center. These offices are responsible for referring applicants for training, paying allowances to trainees, assisting those terminating training in finding employment, and performing necessary follow-up studies. Training curricula at the Center were established by the State vocational education agency in coordination with the District. 'IlTotal Impact Evaluation of Manpower Programs in Four Cities" (first phase report), January 1970--Olympus Re- search Corporation, Salt Lake City, Utah. MANPOWER TRAINING SKILLS CENTERS Manpower training skills centers--an important compo- nent of the institutional training program--are designed to provide trainees with individualized training programs. Skills centers were developed in response to the acute and widely varying needs of large numbers of trainees for spe- cial teaching methods and approaches and for a broad range of supportive services. The skills centers are self-contained facilities, op- erating on a full-time basis during the day, generally un- der public school administration, to provide work orienta- tion, basic and remedial education, institutional skill training in a variety of occupations, and counseling and related services for trainees recruited from a broad area. In July 1968 the Department of Labor and HEW identified 55 establishments as meeting the established requirements and designated them as manpower training skills centers, As of October 1970, 69 skills centers were operating. The number of trainees enrolled in skills centers has increased each year and has accounted for a growing portion of all in- stitutional trainees. In fiscal year 1969, enrollments in skills centers accounted for about 23,000 persons, or 17 percent of the enrollees in institutional training courses funded under MDTA. EAST BAY SKILLS CENTER The Olympus Research Corporation, a management consul- tant firm under contract with the Department of Labor, in its report on manpower programs in four cities stated that the original impetus for establishing a skills center in the Oakland area came from the California State Employment Service and the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce. The State employment service in late 1965 proposed four skills centers in California, in- cluding one in Oakland. In 1965 the Economic Development Administration chose Oakland as the site for an intended demonstration of what it could do in urban development and advocated a skills center as vital to its plans. 9 FACILITY HOUSING THE EAST BAY SKILLS CENTER Costs incurred in operating the Center from inception through June 1970 totaled about $16,400,000, consisting of $9,300,000 for training costs--instructional services, sup- portive services, equipment, facilities, and program admin- istration-- and $7,100,000 for trainees' allowances. The original lease of the Center building covered a Z-year period beginning in April 1966 at a monthly rental of $12,262, or $147,000 a year. The lease was renewed for an additional 2-year period in April 1968 at a monthly rental of $13,000, or $156,000 a year. In the first program year, about $500,000 was spent for building modifications, prin- cipally for partitions and for changes to meet fire regula- tions. An additional $290,000 was spent in the two follow- ing years for other building modifications. Training allowances are paid to trainees at a rate equal to the State's average unemployment insurance weekly benefit payment plus certain adjustments to give recognition to a trainee's number of dependents, the trainee's length of enrollment, and in certain instances for transportation be- tween a trainee's residence and the Center. The average allowance paid to trainees enrolled at the Center during the period January 1 through June 30, 1969, was $63 a week, 12 LOCATION OF EAST BAY SKILLS CENTER TRAINING PROVIDED From inception of the training program through Decem- ber 31, 1969--a period of 45 months--the Center enrolled about 3,350 trainees in its vocational training courses and provided basic education and prevocational instruction to an additional 550 trainees between September 1967 and June 1968, under a contract with the local community action agency which operated the area's Concentrated Employment Program. As shown in the chart on the following page, the number of trainees at the Center has ranged from a low of 80 during the early months of operation in August and September 1966 to a high of 1,100 trainees in March 1967 and has followed a declining trend since that time through December 1969. Data maintained by DHRD showed that, of 542 trainees entering the Center during calendar year 1969, about 73 per- cent were male, 67 percent were 25 years of age or under, 51 percent had no dependents, 51 percent had not completed high school, 67 percent had been unemployed 26 weeks or less, and 16 percent were on public assistance. 14 CHAPTER2 PROGRAMRESULTS The principal results of the Center's training program during its initial 45-month operating period are summarized below. --About 3,350 trainees enrolled in vocational training courses, and another 550 trainees obtained basic ed- ucation and prevocational instruction under a con- tract with the local community action agency. --The average length of the courses completed in 1968 was about 8 months, and the average cost of training a person was about $4,100. --Of the 2,826 trainees who left the training courses during the period July 1967 through December 1969, 1,805 trainees completed training or left training to accept employment and 1,021 trainees left training prior to completion for various other reasons. --Follow-up information on the employment status of 430 of the 685 trainees who had enrolled in courses com- pleted in fiscal year 1968 and had completed training or accepted employment prior to completing training showed that about 67 percent of the 430 trainees were working and 33 percent were not working. --Our analysis of changes in earnings for a random sam- ple of former trainees showed that about two thirds of the trainees who were employed were earning at a higher rate than they were earning prior to training. The data presented in this chapter provides some in- sight into the accomplishments of the Center. However, the absence of adequate data on the employment status of former trainees precluded our arriving at a conclusion concerning the Center's overall effectiveness. Details of the Center!s program are discussed in the following sections of this chapter. 13 TRAINING COSTS We analyzed Center records to ascertain the costs for the 45 training projects which included 67 training courses completed in calendar year 1968, the latest period for which cost data was available at the time of our field re- view. We estimated that the costs for the 67 courses totaled $4,466,000, as shown below. Amount Center costs: Instructional services $1,664,000 Building rental and employee pay- roll benefits 378,000 Equipment purchases and maintenance and repair 134,000 Utilities, custodial services, and miscellaneous costs 218,000 Total Center costs 2,394,ooo Allowances naid trainees 2.072.000 Total estimated costs $4,466,000 An average of about 18 trainees were enrolled monthly in each of the 67 courses. Cur allocation of the total es- timated costs of about $4.5 million shows that the costs averaged about $511 a man-month, or about $6,100 a man- year. The lengths of the various courses ranged from 25 to 56 weeks. The average length of the 67 courses was about 8 months, and, the average cost to train a person was about $4,100. As shown in the following table, the costs, as es- timated by us, of training persons in the various courses varied considerably. 16 NUMBER OF TRAiNEES AT TI-IE CENTER FROM NUMBERQF TRAINEES APRIL 1966 THROUGH DECEMBER 1969 1160 - 1120 1080 1040 1000 960 920 880 840 800 760 720 680 640 660 560 520 480 440 400 360 320 280 240 200 160 120 80 40 0 A l?ESULTSOF TRAINING Center records showed that, of the 2,826 trainees who left the vocational training courses during the period July 1967 through December 1969, 1,805 trainees, or 64 percent, either completed training or left training to accept employ- ment and 1,021 trainees left training prior to completion for reasons such as absenteeism, personal problems, loss of interest, and illness. This data is summarized below. Number and percent of trainees 1967 Status (note a> 1968 1969 Total Completed training or left train- ing to accept employment 482 74% 873 64% 450 55% 1,805 64% Voluntary and involuntary termi- nations --166 26 -- 494 36 --361 45 1,021 36 Total 3 100% 1,367 100% 811 E% 2,826 E% aJuly 1967 through December 1967 only. A further analysis of the reasons that 1,805 trainees left the program follows: Number and percent of trainees 1967 (note a> 1968 1969 Total Employment 386 80% 673 77% 328 73% 1,387 77% Other than employment --96 20 -- 200 23 122 -- 27 418 23 Total 482 100% 873 100% 450 100% 1,805 100% -Z r= Em -m aJuly 1967 through December 1967 only. DHFUIis responsible for making a follow-up on the em- ployment status of terminated trainees. Our review of Center and DHRD records pertaining to the 1,224 trainees enrolled in the 67 training courses completed during calendar year 1968 showed that 685 trainees, or 56 percent, completed training or accepted employment prior to completing training and that the remaining 539 trainees either dropped out, 18 Range of Number Length of Enrollment estimated Occupational of projects Actual costs division projects in weeks Authorized (note a) w Low Automotive and aircraft mechanics 10 26 to 56 369 $ 6,244 $2,613 Clerical and sales 14 25 to 40 335 343 28Lb 6,452 1,716 Welding, machine ser- vicing and assembly 11 26 to 56 320 359b 11,776 2,972 Federal preapprentice and utility workers 5 25 to 30 160 129 7,219 1,990 Technical 3 47 95 9gb 5,618 5,000 Culinary and related services -2 26 to 48 105 86 5,111 2,347 Total g 1,384 a aThe enrollment total of 1,294 shown above exceeds the actual number, 1,224 of en- rollees because of transfers of trainees from one course to another. b The fact that enrollment was higher than authorized is due to the enrolling of trainees to replace others leaving or dropping out prior to completion of a course. High-cost projects generally evince high equipment and teacher salary costs, low enrollment levels, and long training periods; low-cost projects generally evince low equipment and teacher salary costs, high enrollment levels, and short training periods. 17 Of the 33 former trainees who were employed at the time of our review, 16 were employed in training-related jobs. The former trainees who generally accepted employment prior to completing their training were working in non- training-related jobs. We compared the earnings of the 33 former trainees who were employed at the time of our interviews with available earnings data at the time they entered training. The com- parison showed that the earning rates of 21 were higher than they had been prior to training and that the earning rates of 10 were lower. Information on the earnings of the other two prior to their entering training was not available. The earning rates for the 22 trainees who were employed prior to completion of training averaged 17 percent more than the earning rates indicated for them prior to training, The earning rates for the 11 trainees who attended training through its completion averaged 12 percent more than indiN cated prior to training. Our contacts with the former employers of 20 trainees who had been employed after leaving the Center showed that four had quit, seven had been fired for unsatisfactory per- formance, and five had been laid off because of lack of work or injury. We were not provided with reasons for separation of the remaining four. Benefits of training may have been derived by some of the 1,021 trainees (see p. 18 > who left the program before completing training for reasons such as absenteeism and per- sonal problems. DHRD does not, however, perform any follow- up with such trainees to determine their experiences in the labor market. Of the 50 such terminees included in our ran- dom sample of 116, we were able to determine the status of only 4. One trainee had joined the Navy, one was employed, one had been employed but was again unemployed, and one had not been employed during the g-month period after she left the Center. 20 voluntarily or involuntarily--for reasons such as absentee- .ism, personal problems, loss of interest, and illness=-or transferred to other courses at the Center. DHRDperformed a limited amount of follow-up on ter- . . rimarily through inquiries mailed at 3-, minated trainees, p 6-9 and l&month intervals. (See p. 55.) The data ob- tained by DHRD in this manner showed that, at the most re- cent contact or attempted contact with the 685 former train- ees who had completed training or had accepted employment prior to completing training, 287, or 42 percent, reported that they were working; 143, or 21 percent, reported that they were not working; and 255, or 37 percent, could not be located. To examine into the employment status of former train- ees , we selected at random 116 from the 1,224 trainees who had been enrolled in the 67 training courses completed in calendar year 1968 and reviewed the Center's and DHRD's rec- ords relating to their participation in the training program and interviewed the former trainees and/or their last-known employers. The records showed that, of the 116 trainees, 66 had completed training or had left to accept employment be- fore completing training and 50 had left training prior to completion, for various reasons. In interviewing the 66 former trainees and/or their employers, we learned that 33 were employed, 29 were unemployed, and 4 were going to school. Shown below is the time that had elapsed from the time the 66 trainees had left the Center to the time of our interviews. Elapsed time after leaving Center 18 months 12 to 18 6 to 12 less than Status Total or more months months 6 months Employed 33 2 18 13 Unemployed 29 3 14 11 1 Going to school -4 -- 1 -3 - Total 66 = C1 readily permit new trainees to enter into positions made available through attrition as the courses proceeded. (See p. 28.1 The low utilization of the Center's facilities was not offset by the use of the facilities for other federally sup- ported manpower training programs. Between September 1967 and June 1968, the Center acted as a subcontractor to pro- vide basic education and prevocational instruction to 550 trainees under the area's Concentrated Employment Program (CEP). The Center, however, was not awarded the follow-on contract for such training. The continued use of the Cen- ter's facilities for such programs would appear to be in keeping with congressional intent. The Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, in its report (S. Rept. 1445) dated July 20, 1968, on the 1968 amendments to MDTA, expressed concern that there was no plan or rationale for linking the operation of the skills centers with CEP and JOBS. The Committee expected that program sponsors funded under part B, title I, of the Economic Op- portunity Act would use funds provided to arrange for or purchase skill training or other services from MDTA programs. The Committee clearly envisioned that title I-B funds could be used by CEP and JOBS sponsors for institutional training activities by subcontracting with an institutional training operator, such as a skills center, to provide the training services. The 1968 amendments to MDTA, effective October 24, 1968, provided in section 231(b) that--in making arrangements for institutional training financed with funds appropriated to carry out titles I and II of MDTA including but not limited to basic education, employability and communications skills, prevocational training, and vocational and technical training--priority be given to the use of skills centers for carrying out such training. To implement the 1968 amendment to section 231(b), the Department of Labor in September 1969 established a policy that priority would be given to MDTA skills centers for pro- grams such as CEP and JOBS. In June 1970 the Department of Labor and HEW jointly issued guidelines for the planning and 22 CHARTER3 UNDERIJTILIZATION OF THE EAST BAY SKILLS CENTER The Department of Labor planned to fund the Center to permit its operation at a 1,500-trainee level. However, other high-priority programs such as the Job Opportunities in the Business Sector program (JOBS) were authorized, and the Department was unable to provide the level of funding that had been planned for the Center. With the exception of funding for fiscal year 1967, funds made available to the Center have not been adequate to permit its operation at the planned level, as shown below. Authorized Fiscal Funds training year available positions 1966 $ 4,744,162 688 1967 5,041,808 1,555 1968 1,926,658 625 1969 3,509,585 680 1970 2,353,929 430 Total $17,576,142 3,978 The total number of trainees who were enrolled in the vocational and educational tra$ning program from its incep- tion through December 1969 represented an average monthly enrol.lment of about 490 trainees, or about 33 percent of the complement that the Center was designed to serve. During calendar year 1969, an average of about 300 trainees were enrolled each month, or about 20 percent of the complement that the Center was designed to serve. The low utilization of Center facilities was primarily attributable to a reduction in MDTA institutional funding for skills centers and a failure to provide for use of the facilities for the educational and vocational programs of other organizations. Also, the Center's method of funding its training courses was causing delays in initiating follow-on training courses after prior courses had been completed, and the design of the training courses did not 21 The proposal was submitted tb and approved by the re- gional MDTA program officer, and the HEW regional office approved the subcontract with the Opportunities Industri- alization Center. 24 development of skills centers,which include procedures for implementing the policy. In June 1967 the Department of Labor contracted with the community action agency to operate CEP in the Oakland area. The agency arranged with the Center to conduct a pro- gram of basic education and prevocational instruction for 550 CEP participants from July 1967 through June 1968 at a subcontract price of about $753,000, exclusive of training allowances. The price included about $170,000 for the Cen- ter for necessary renovations to provide classroom space and $72,000 for instructional equipment. CEP participants were enrolled during the period September 1967 through June 1968; the number of participants ranged from a low of 49 in Sep- tember to a high of 487 in March and averaged 224 a month during the period. On March 11, 1968, CEP requested the Center to submit a proposal by March 15, 1968, for providing basic education under a second-year CEP contract with the Department of La- bor. The Center Director told us that, because of the lim- ited time available, the proposal submitted in response to this request was a rough estimate and not a final document. The Center's proposal provided for training 400 persons for periods ranging from 8 to 30 weeks at a cost of $877,000, exclusive of trainee stipends. The community action agency's council approved the proposal as part of the second-year CEP. However, the Department of Labor then notified the agency that CEP funds for the second-year program had been reduced from $9.6 million to $4.6 million. The agencyOs director thereupon determined that the Center's cost pro- posal was too high to be acceptable within the new budget. We found no evidence to indicate that the community action agency negotiated with the Center to develop a basic educational instruction program in keeping with the reduced CEP budget. Instead, the agency director requested the Op- portunities Industrialization Center in Oakland to submit a proposal for the basic education training subcontract. The community action agency helped the Opportunities Industri- alization Center to prepare the proposal providing for training 344 persons for a period of 18 weeks at a cost of $463,000, exc 1usive of training stipends. 23 programs. To realize the maximum benefit from the large investment in modifying the building for use as a training facility-- about $790,000 (see p.12)--and the significant annual rental costs, every effort should be made to use the excess capacity of the facility for other manpower programs operating in the Oakland area, such as the Job Corps, CEP, and JOBS. RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE SECRETARIES OF LABOR AND OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE We recommend that the Manpower Administration and the Office of Education make effective use of the excess capa- city of the Center for skills training and other manpower training programs operating in the Oakland area or, if that is not feasible, minimize operating costs by seeking other possible uses for the excess capacity. Consideration might also be given to obtaining a smaller facility more in line with needs. The Assistant Secretary for Administration, Department of Labor, commented on our draft report by letter dated Sep- tember 23, 1970. (See app. I.) A Department of Labor official told us that the views of DHRDon the draft report were incorporated in the Department's comments to us. In commenting, the Assistant Secretary pointed out that the De- partment of Labor and HEWhad developed and issued in June 1970 new guidelines for the planning and development of skills centers and that these guidelines would encourage other programs to make use of skills center facilities. He said that, although the Department<of Labor's regional staff was making a continuous effort to achieve -full utilization of the Center, there was no immediate-prospect of this. He also stated that the Department of Labor'would wait to see if these efforts alleviated the Cent&r's excess capacity problem and that, if the problem still persisted after a year or so, the Department would look into the desirability of moving to <a smaller building. ' The Assistant Secretary, Comptroller, HEW, by letter dated October 2, 1970 (see app. II), advised us that HEW agreed that appropriate steps should be taken to make use of 26 In February 1970 the Regional Assistant Commissioner of HEW in San Francisco told us that he was concerned about the poor utilization of the Center facility. He stated that a team of Federal officials was scheduled to make a comprehensive review of the Center's operation and that a report on the review would be sent to the State vocational education agency and to the State human resources develop- ment agency. He stated also that he expected that HEW and Department of Labor representatives would meet with these two State agencies and would meet later with officials of the Peralta Junior College District. He said that he was advised that the Job Corps unit in the Department of Labor was negotiating with the State vocational education agency and the Center for use of part of the facility in the near future. In February 1970 the Department of Labor's Regional Manpower Administrator in California told us that he was concerned about low utilization of the Center and that the low utilization in fiscal year 1970 was due to a decrease in the amount of funds provided. He pointed out that MDTA in- stitutional training funds made available to California in fiscal year 1970 were $?,993,000 less than the amount made available in fiscal year 1969 and that the reduction re- sulted in decreases in a number of training projects. The Regional Manpower Administrator stated that the Job Corps was giving serious consideration to leasing space at the Center and that he had encouraged the Job Corps to uti- lize the Center's services, including its instructional services, if possible. He stated also that he understood that funding of 4 projects under section 241 of MDTA was imminent and that the courses, whi&h would be held at the Center, would increase enrollment by 180 trainees. CONCLUSIONS If the funding of MDTA institutional training programs at the Center is continued in subsequent years at the same level, the Center's facilities will continue to be signifi- cantly underutilized, unless steps are taken to use the Center to provide training services for other manpower 25 CHAPTER4 PROGRESSTOWARDMOREEFFECTIVE FUNDING AND TRAINING PROCEDURES The Center had achieved less-than-effective use of its facilities, staff, and other resources because (1) the method of funding its training courses caused delays in ini- tiating follow-on training courses after prior courses had been completed and (2) the design of the training courses did not readily permit introduction of new trainees into training positions made available through attrition as the courses proceeded. As a result, fewer persons were provided training than could have been if the courses had been de- signed to permit replacement of terminated trainees. PROBLEMSIN PROJECT-BY-PROJECTFUNDING The Center has not been funded in a manner which pro- vides for continuous operation of its training courses but rather has been funded on a project-by-project basis. The Department of Labor's procedures (see p. 7) require (1) the local employment security agency to determine the need for a specific type of training, (2) the local vocational edu- cation agency to prepare and approve a training course, (3) State and Federal officials to review and approve the training proposal, and (4) after approval, the employment security agency to recruit trainees and the vocational edu- cation agency to assign members of the existing staff or to hire new staff members, and to resolve administrative matters associated with providing a training course. Although the Center reprogrammed training courses in most skills on a continuing basis, the above procedures had to be completed before each succeeding course could be scheduled. Center facilities are costly to maintain even when not fully used because of fixed costs--the rental for building space and the amortization of the investment in building modifications and equipment. Expenditures for modifying the building to use as a training facility amounted to about $790,000. (See pm 12.) Two of the classrooms are illus- trated in the pictures on the following page, Also, the 28 the Center's excess capacity. He stated that HEWwas hope- ful of additional funding during fiscal year 1971, which would provide for an increase in skills training. He stated also that, before considering a smaller facility, consideration must be given to the capital investment, the local community involvement, and the large expenditures already incurred. In December 1970 a Department of Labor official told us that the Department planned to have CEP provide basic education to its enrollees at the Center beginning in Feb- ruary 1971. 27 Center acquired large amounts of equipment, such as type- writers, lathes, drill presses, milling machines, and cash registers, for the training courses. In view of such a significant investment in the facilities, every effort should be made to use them to the greatest extent feasible. The underutilization of space and equipment resulting from the funding procedures is illustrated below. Clerk-typist course During 1968 two courses were given with an authorized total enrollment of 40 persons. The first course ended in August and the second course ended in November. Planning for the next two courses began in April 1968. The courses were funded and approved in January 1969. One of the follow-on courses started in January and the other started in February 1969. As a result, intervals occurred between the end- of the two 1968 courses and the beginning of the two follow-on courses, of 5 and 3 months, respectively, during which the classroom space was unused. Switchboard operator course During the period March through September 1968, the Center gave a course with an authorized enrollment of '20 persons for training telephone switchboard opera- tors. In April 1968 the Center initiated plans for a follow-on course for 20 persons, but the course was not funded and approved until January 1969. The course began in January 1969, more than 3 months after the pre- ceding course was completed. During this period the classroom space was unused. Periods in which training facilities are not used re- sult in increased per-person training costs. Fluctuating levels of training activities also have an affect on the Center's ability to recruit and retain a qualified staff be- cause the number of training personnel needed varies, de- pending on whether courses are being given. Finally, as discussed on page 36, course-scheduling practices at the Center appear to have contributed to inappropriate selec- tion and referral of individuals for training. 30 EQUIPMENT IN TWO CLASSROOMS AT THE EAST BAY CENTER GROCERYCHECKERCOURSE METAL FORMING COURSE CHANGESIN FUNDING AND TRAINING PROCEDURES HEWrecognized that, during late 1967 and early 1968, manpower training skills centers experienced long delays in obtaining funding for training projects. These delays re- sulted in facilities not being used, instructors leaving, and delays in enrolling trainees. Project-by-project fund- ing resulted in sharp fluctuations in enrollments and re- duced skills centers' capacities to respond quickly to local needs. The Senate Cormnittee on Labor and Public Welfare, in its report dated July 20, 1968, on the 1968 amendments to MDTA, directed the Department of Labor and T3EWto revise the funding arrangements for skills centers. The report stated that the Committee expected some skills centers to be funded on an annual rather than a project basis in order that a de- termination might be made of whether annual funding would improve administration and guarantee that persons most in need of training are served. In August 1968 the skills centers in Forth Worth, Phil- adelphia, and Syracuse began operating their institutional training programs on an annual funding basis. In July 1969 after reviewing the results of the change in funding proce- dure, the Division of Manpower Development and Training of the Office of Education, HEW, approved the use of annual funding-- the "annualization" concept--for all skills centers. Annualization of funding enables skills centers to de- velop operating plans--including planning, development, and funding of training courses --to cover the basic training program for a year or more. The operating plan specifies the education and training to be offered, the additional services to be provided, the number of trainees expected, a schedule of trainees to be enrolled, and the timing and amount of the related expenditures. The annualization con- cept allows a skills center director to schedule the center's work to minimize excessive peaks and valleys in enrollments. To maintain a constant enrollment level, skills centers operating under the annualization concept can institute a more flexible curriculum design which permits continuous 32 PROBLEMSWITH COURSESDESIGNED ALONGTRADITIONAL - EDUCATIONLINES Each training course at the Center was designed along traditional education lines. A prescribed training curricu- lum was established for each course, through which trainees were presented with increasingly difficult subject matter as the course proceeded. A specific number of training posi- tions was established for each course. This system resulted in a progressively declining utilization of facilities and training staff as a course proceeded because of (1) the high attrition rate due to trainee dropouts--voluntary and invol- untary-- and (2) the Center's policy of placing trainees in employment as soon as they were adjudged proficient for a known job opening. New trainees generally could not benefit from enrolling in vacancies in on-going courses created by dropouts because of the lack of knowledge of the training previously provided in the courses. Our examination of the records of 116 randomly selected trainees who were enrolled in courses completed during 1968 showed that 79 had left training prior to completion of their courses. We noted that, in the 1969 fiscal year courses, a high attrition rate and difficulties in enrolling new trainees as positions became available were experienced. At the time of our fieldwork, 25 of the 32 courses funded in fiscal year 1969 had reached or exceeded the halfway point of the sched- uled training period. Of the 584 trainees enrolled, only 318 (54 percent) were still in training at the halfway point. Of the 25 courses, 21 had reached the three-quarter point of the training period; and, of the 496 trainees enrolled, only 198 trainees (40 percent) were still in training. The Center Director advised us that, when possible, the Center tries to enter trainees in vacated training positions until a course reaches its halfway mark; but, as a course progresses, the characteristics and standards for enrollment of a trainee must be raised if the trainee is to catch up and maintain pace with the class. He also stated that train- ees entering courses beyond the midpoint could not be ex- pected to complete the courses. 31 The Center Director advised us that he was aware of the benefits of the annualization concept but that he had not been able to implement the program because of the limi- tations of existing regulations which were project, rather than program, oriented, He added, however, that the Center planned to prepare its fiscal year 1971 project proposals on the basis of the annualization concept. An official of the State Department of Education told us that he believed annualization was necessary-but that guidelines for putting the concept into effect had not been developed. The Regional Manpower Administrator advised us that he had participated in meetings to discuss annualization and open-end and cluster-type training with Center and State agency staff and to lend assistance in implementing this ap- proach to training. He said that it was hoped that by using this approach the Center would be able to train more persons with the same amount of funds because it would be possible to replace trainees who completed courses early or dropped out. He said that this approach also would provide an op- portunity for enrolling trainees in courses throughout the year. The HEW regional program officer for MDTA in California agreed that annualization appeared to offer advantages not available under the current project method of funding but stated that HEWhad not issued guidelines for establishing an annualized program. CONCLUSION We believe that the new funding and training proce- dures--annualized funding, open-entry/open-exit system, cluster courses --offer opportunity for a more effective training program. Under these procedures recruitment goals could be set sufficiently in advance to provide greater op- portunities for enrolling those most in need of the train- ing and programs could be planned to provide better utili- zation of facilities and promote greater continuity of staff. Individualized attention to trainees and continuous progress of those in training would become more feasible. 34 trainee intake and exit from center programs. This concept of an open-entry/open-exit system provides an individual with the opportunity to enter a training course at given in- tervals throughout the year and to terminate when he has at- tained the level of training consistent with his occupational goal. The open-entry/open-exit system generally stablizes the enrollment throughout the year and consequently tends also to equalize the demand for administrative and counsel- ing services throughout the year. Annualization is accompanied by a concept under which educationally and industrially related occupations are grouped or "clustered" at the same skill level or in a skill ladder progression that allows a trainee to progress as far as his ability will carry him. For example, a motor vehicle mechanic occupational cluster may consist of specialties ranging from a low-skilled occupation--service station atten- dant--to progressively higher skilled occupations--body re- pairman, tune-up man, transmission mechanic, or air- conditioning mechanic. An individual could enter the motor vehicle occupational cluster in the body repairman course and, if he showed high aptitude, could subsequently take the transmission mechanic course. If he did not exhibit the mechanical aptitude for body work, he could enroll in a course, such as that for service station attendant, requiring less mechanical apti- tude. 33 CHAPTER5 IMPROVEMENTS NEEDEDTO ENHANCE EFFECTIVENESSOF THE TRAINING PROGRAM Our review revealed a number of operating areas in which improved administration by DHRDand the Center could result in a more effective training program. The DURDlocal offices frequently selected and re- ferred for training at the Center individuals who had physi- cal, mental, or emotional handicaps which the Center was not equipped to remedy or who did not appear to need the training available at the Center to obtain gainful employ- ment. The Center was not providing trainees with the compre- hensive counseling service to improve their attitudes and motivation with the objective of increasing their employ- ability. The Center did not penalize trainees for unexcused ab- sences. DHRDwas not obtaining sufficient data on the employ.. ment status of former trainees to assess the adequacy of training at the Center. In addition, DHRDdid not provide these trainees with such follow-up services as additional training and placement services. The above matters are discussed in detail in the fol- lowing sections of this chapter. SELECTION OF INDIVIDUALS FOR TRAINING Our review revealed that individuals were frequently referred to the Center for training by local DHRDoffices although they did not appear to meet the criteria for en- rollment. Some trainees were physically or emotionally handicapped; and some appeared to have possessed, at the time of their referral for training, sufficient skills to obtain gainful employment. 36 In a draft report, we proposed that the Secretaries of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare, together with re- sponsible State and Center officials, take appropriate ac- tion to convert the funding of the Center's operations to an annualized basis and to adopt the open-entry/open-exit and the occupational cluster concepts. .. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration advised us that the new guidelines for the planning and de- velopment of skills centers provide for annualized funding and that annualized funding at the Center began in March 1970. The AssistantSecretary, Comptroller, HEW, advised_& that HEW and the Department of Labor had reviewed and ap- proved procedures to permit annualization of the funding of .J the Center, beginning-with .. . fiscal year 1971. Center records showed that in March 1970 thd De;-art'- .*'- ment of Labor and HEW approved annualized funding for' 260 .' training positions at a cost of $1.9 million for the period March 1970 through December 1970 and that the training proj- ects would be operated on the open-entry/open-exit and the occupational cluster bases. : 35 The selection criteria to be used by the local DHRD offices in making referrals to the Center was defined by the coastal area director of DHRDin a December 1966 memo- randum to the local offices. The memorandum stated that the training was designed for those who did not have skills or who had low or obsolete skills. The offices were ad- vised not to refer to the program individuals who had sal- able skills but who might be unemployed or underemployed for such reasons as racial discrimination, physical handi- caps, emotional problems, alcoholism, or age. The memoran- dum pointed out that trainees selected should be in reason- ably good physical condition. DHRD is responsible for selecting enrollees for train- ing at the Center. The State office allocates the available training positions to the local offices stationed throughout the Oakland area. The local office selects individuals on the bases of their personal characteristics and the occupa- tional perfo'rmance requirements. As a test of the adequacy of the selection and referral process, we reviewed the case histories of the 116 trainees selected at random from among the 1,224 trainees who had been enrolled in the 67 training courses completed in cal- endar year 1968. Our classification of the appropriateness of these 116 trainees for enrollment in the training courses is shown in the following table. Appropriate Inappropriate Trainee --- status Total (note a) (note b) Indeterminate ----~ voluntary and involuntary termination 50 13 21 16 Employed prior to com- pleting training 29 9 10 10 Completed training - 37 20 -8 -9 Total =116 42 = =39 =35 Percent -100.0 - 36.2 -33.6 -30.2 aThe selection of a trainee was classified as appropriate when he appeared to meet the re- quired physical and educational levels set forth in the training projects and needed a salable skill. bThe selection of a trainee was classified as inappropriate when the case history indicates that he exhibited serious physical, medical, or emotional problems; did not meet the re- quired reading level; did not indicate an interest in training; or appeared to be job- ready as evidenced by prior work history and education levels. 38 The enrollment of persons whom the Center is not de- signed to serve reduces the number of training positions available for those who could benefit from the Center's program. To improve the selection process, the Center and DHRDtemporarily initiated, at the time of our review, an additional screening process under which enrollees under- went a further evaluation at the Center after they were re- ferred by the local DHRDoffices but before they were ac- cepted as trainees. In the Department of Labor's Employment Security Man- =L the section dealing with the selection of applicants for training provides that: "In considering an applicant for suitable training courses, the decision will be based upon an appraisal of his skills, aptitudes, in- terests, and personal qualities ***.I' The IYDTAHandbookOs chapter on selection and referral of trainees states that: II*** A heavy responsibility, therefore, rests on the Employment Service to select and re- fer for training those workers who (a) are par- ticularly in need of this training in order to obtain employment, and (b) at the same time are so likely to profit from it that they will ob- tain full-time suitable work promptly upon their completion of the course." Relative to the personal characteristics of persons selected for training, the DHRDmanual states that: "Some applicants may seek training as a solution to their personal or financial problems, MDTA training is not intended to remove a physical handicap, cure a psychosis, restore a damaged reputation, or erase a prison record. *** In the long run, a careless or sstop-gapV referral to training for a person with serious personal prob- lems is as undesirable as no service at all in terms of the ultimate effect on the individual." 37 Voluntary and involuntary terminations The case histories showed that,'of 34,trainees who had left, 21 had been selected and referred for,.training al- though they had problems, singly or in combination, such as drug addiction, alcoholism, serious mental and emotional dis- orders, or physical handicaps. Center officials advised us that the Center had experienced only limited success in de- veloping skills of individuals with these problems and in placing them. The following cases illustrate the selection of trainees not meeting the criteria for enrollment. Trainee A was referred to the Center by a local DHRDof- fice on June 19, 1968, for training as a waiter. The referral was made after one interview by DHRD, during which the trainee refused counseling services. He was enrolled at the Center on June 24, 1968. On July 8, 1968, the trainee received his first counseling. The counselor records stated that the trainee used dope and stole and that he was using the program for obtaining the training allowance rather than for training. The trainee left on July 19, 1968, after being advised to do so by the counselor. Trainee B was a 39-year-old single male with no depen- dents, who recently had been released from 6 years of imprisonment. He was initially referred to the program in November 1967 for enrollment in basic education un- der CEP. DHRDrecords indicated that this trainee was an alcoholic. Shortly after being enrolled he was ar- rested for drunkenness. On May 8, 1968, he was jailed for carrying a gun and his enrollment was terminated. On June 10, 1968, the trainee was reenrolled in a machine operator course. Reports of the enrollee's counselor showed that the trainee had a drinking and attendance problem. He was placed on probation and, after failing to attend 20 training classes, his en- rollment was terminated in September 1968 for poor at- tendance and inability to adjust to the program. As shown in the above table, the case histories for 30 percent of the trainees included in our sample did not con- tain enough information to permit a conclusion on their ap- propriateness for enrollment in the training courses. ;., -, ; $‘. ,c / ,,_I,: . . . 1, . ‘. .. .1 r. : :, .’ ‘2 : 1: y: 39 because of their potential for employment without additional training or because of their participation primarily to ob- tain the training allowance. Cases of such individuals follow. Trainee A was a 47-year-old Army veteran who spent 22 months at the Center in an auto mechanic training course. His records showed 11 years of military service as an auto mechanic and 2 years of civilian experience as an auto mechanic assembler. The records indicated that the trainee had had auto mechanic experience since retirement from the military but that an ulcer problem had prevented him from working for a long period. Our discussions with a DHRDrepresentative indicated that the trainee was apparently employable without addi- tional training and that he should have been referred to a job. The counselor's records stated that the trainee probably had not learned a great deal more than he already knew from his experience in the Army and that he should have been able to obtain jobs in trans- mission work and minor auto repairs. Trainee B was a 4%year-old male who was referred to a l-year truck mechanic course which began on February 14, 1967, reportedly to fill the local DHRD office enroll- ment quota for this course. The records indicated that prior to referral he had been steadily employed as a mo- tel manager for 4 years. He filed an application for employment at the local DHRD office, but there was no evidence in the records to show whether he had been re- ferred to a job. He apparently had no particular prob- lems that would prevent his employment, as indicated by his class records at the Center and his previous work experience. On the basis of these factors, a DHRDrep- resentative agreed with us that he was employable and was not in need of skills training. After 230 days of training as a truck mechanic, the trainee obtained non-training-related employment with a shoe repair shop. In our contact with the trainee in September 1969, he advised us that he was manager of the shop. 42 Individuals employed prior to completing training The case histories showed that, of 19 trainees employed before completing training, 1Qdid not appear to need skills training, as demonstrated by their previous work histories, or did not indicate an interest in training, The following cases illustrate the selection of train- ees not meeting the criteria for enrollment. Trainee A was a 23-year-old female who had achieved a 12th-grade reading level and an eighth-grade arithmetic level. Prior to her being referred to the Center, she had attended the Opportunities Industrialization Center in Oakland to improve her typing. DHRD files did not indicate that she had been referred to employment when she applied for training although she appeared to be employable. She was enrolled in a bank teller course on April 8, 1968. After 2 weeks she left the Center TV accept employment as a clerk typist and was employed in the same job when we contacted her employer in August 1969. Trainee B was a 36-year-old male who was enrolled in the aircraft mechanic course on January 2, 1968, Cen- ter records showed that he had completed 2 years of col- lege and had had 10 years of experience at various cook- ing jobs, 7 years as a personnel clerk in the Army, and 2 seasons as a line inspector in a cannery. The DHRD records did not indicate that he had been referred to employment although he appeared to be experienced in several types of work and to have a creditable work his- tory. On April 12, 1968, about 4 months after enroll- ment, he left to accept employment in a non-training- related job as a laboratory assistant with a chemical company. He was employed in the same job when we con- tacted his employer in August 1969. Individuals completing training The case histories showed that, of 28 trainees who had completed training, eight had been selected for training al- though they did not appear to meet the enrollment criteria 41 problems that could be taken care of at the Center. Those making the assessments were instructed that alcoholism, drug addiction, severe psychological disturbances, and some phys- ical handicaps could best be served by agencies other than the Center. The DHRD local office manager at the Center advised us that the assessment-week concept was an interim measure but that it would be used as long as necessary to ensure the quality of trainee selections. When the assessment concept was first placed in operation, seven applicants referred for enrollment in a welding course were rejected by the Center for such reasons as lack of interest, absenteeism, or alco- holism. 44 Trainee C was a 31-year-old single female who was ini- tially enrolled in the CEP basic education course on September 25, 1967. Her apparent problem was an in- ability to speak English. Center records showed that she had completed 1 year of college in Colombia, South America, where she had been employed as a secretary for 10 years. DHRDrecords disclosed that she could type 60 words a minute and could take shorthand, but only in Spanish. Her counselor noted that she was reluctant to speak English but was capable of doing so, that she was not interested in secretarial-type work, and that she had indicated a strong desire to become a nurse. Prior to completion of the basic education course, she was counseled on ways to enter the nursing field. At one time she was considered by the Center as possibly ready for employment but she declined employment, stating that she wanted only to learn English. In April 1968 she enrolled in a bank teller course, according to a Center official, primarily to give her added exposure to English and to provide her with money. Shortly after the start of the bank teller course, she was given permission by the Center to attend chemistry and English classes at a local college. She was re- ferred to a job as a clerk-typist but did not accept the employment, indicating that she wanted only a part- time job in order to continue her classes at college. The bank course was completed on October 11, 1968. She told us in May 1969 that she was attending college and was not working. The DHRDcoastal area director, in a memorandum dated June 4, 1969, notified the local DHRD offices that the drop- out rates for trainees were alarming and that more reliable screening procedures were necessary. To improve the quality of referrals, DHRD and Center officials instituted an "orien- tation assessment week" in June 1969. Under the assessment- week procedure, a counselor and a vocational instructor in- terview each trainee to determine (1) the suitability of the trainee for the occupation selected and (2) the trainee's 43 had rejected only a few persons referred by DHRDfor more recent courses. The State chief of the DHRD client division services section advised us that a refinement of the selection and referral process to reduce the number of dropouts would re- sult, in his opinion, in screening out many individuals who needed special assistance but who could not obtain it be- cause other programs to meet their needs to become employ- able were not available. He stated, however, that the Cen- ter was not presently capable of servicing individuals with serious problems. Department of Labor and HEW regional officials and cer- tain State officials generally agreed that a better match- a ing of individuals' abilities with the requirements for en- rolling in the training program was needed to improve the effectiveness of the program. Conclusions Referrals to the Center of individuals either not suited to training or not in need of training result in im- proper use of program funds and reduce the number of open- ings available for persons who can be helped by skills training. The screening of an individual for referral to the Center should involve an evaluation sufficient to re- late his needs to his ability to benefit from the training program and to afterwards obtain gainful employment. The adoption by the Center of a weekly assessment pe- riod for determining that suitable persons have been re- ferred by DHRDoffices appears to have had a beneficial ef- fect. Improved screening of applicants by local DHRDof- fices, however, would obviate the need for the Center to conduct the weekly assessment procedure which was intended only as a temporary procedure. Recommendations to the Secretary of Labor We recommend that the Manpower Administration empha- size to DHRD 46 Officials at nine local DHRDoffices which made refer- rals to the Center advised us that improper referrals gener- ally resulted from the lack of sufficient time to adequately screen prospective trainees. The officials told us that they were given as little time as 4 or 5 days to fill their quota of persons for a particular course. They said that, although their files showed that a large number of individ- uals were interested in particular types of training, a great deal of time would have to be spent in locating these individuals. They said also that in most cases individuals could not be located at the address shown in the records or, when located, were found to be employed or to be no longer interested in training. At two of the local DHRDoffices, we were told that, because of the low educational level of applicants coming into their offices, it was difficult to find individuals who met the selection criteria for enrollment in the train- ing program. (See p..37.) Center officials told us that they recognized that in- appropriate referrals of individuals were being made but that, to avoid showing a high dropout rate, they retained these individuals in the training courses on the premise that they might benefit from participating in the program, Center and DHRDofficials stated that the local DJARD offices had been primarily responsible for inappropriate selection of prospective trainees. DHRDofficials stated that many of these offices had used the Center as a "dump- ing ground" for problem cases or undesirable persons. They also pointed out that it was sometimes difficult to deter- mine a prospective trainee's true interest in a particular course because he might know what subjects were being of- fered and might express interest in a course just to be re- ferred to the Center. Center officials advised us that the assessment-week- procedure had encouraged the local DHRDoffices to exercise better judgment in screening and selecting individuals for referral to Center programs and that consequently the Center COUNSELING ---- SERVICES PROVIDED - -B.-.--m- -I TO TRAINEES Only limited counseling was provided to trainees. Also, records frequently were not maintained on the counseling that had been provided to the trainees. The objective of the counseling program at the Center is defined in the Center's Teachers Handbook, as follows: "Counseling is all those activities which comple- ment teaching by assisting the trainee to plan for a vocational and or educational objective; examine and evaluate his personal, interpersonal and social functioning; determine those personal characteristics which contribute to or impede progress toward ultimate employment." To achieve its objectives, the Center has further out- lined in the handbook the following specific activities which counselors should provide. --Assist trainees to understand and adjust to the train- ing program through interviews and group discussions. --Formulate with the trainee, in coordination with the instructional staff, an individualized plan of ac- tion which would enable him to obtain a vocational objective. --Assist a trainee to recognize and use his talents in facing and overcoming his deficiencies and to develop skills to cope with problems which interfere with training. --Serve as a resource to instructors for their under- standing of the trainee's behavior and adjustment in the classroom. --Make periodic evaluations with instructors of the trainee's motivation and attitude toward the vocation and progress in the course. 48 --that it be appropriately selective in screening in- dividuals for skill training, --that individuals with serious physical handicaps or emotional problems be referred, when possible, to programs designed to overcome their particular prob- lems rather than to training programs for which they are not suited, and --that individuals qualified to accept employment with- out training be provided with appropriate job- placement assistance rather than with training. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration noted that, to improve the selection processes, DHRDhad initiated a screening procedure (see pO 43) and noted sig- nificant improvement; but he also noted that, owing to DHRD's emphasis on serving the severely disadvantaged, it was dif- ficult to completely eliminate inappropriate referrals be- cause of the characteristics of the severely disadvantaged, 47 Coun>eling records were available for 91 of the 93 trainees. They showed that there had been counseling con- tacts with the trainees on an average frequency of slightly more than once a month. The records showed, however, that counselors were not regularly providing the counseling ser- vices outlined in the Teachers Handbook. For 52 of the 91 trainees, there was no information regarding the trainees' backgrounds and personal characteristics; for 43 trainees there was no information reflecting periodic evaluations of their progress at the Center; and for 53 trainees there was no information indicating their vocational desires or inter- ests in their training courses. The Center's head of student personnel told us that counseling was provided to only those trainees who were hav- ing obvious problems that affected their receptiveness to the training at the Center. He stated that in such cases the counselor was responsible for establishing a trainee's vocational objective and for evaluating his performance, mo- tivation, attitudes, and interests. He explained that the counseling records were intended to reflect the problems of a trainee as noted by his coun- selor. He stated that, if a trainee had no problems and was performing satisfactorily in his training, there would be no need for counseling and little or no documentation would be reflected in the counseling records. He stated also that he did not believe that the counseling case load was excessive or that it prevented the counselor from dealing with the problems of those trainees in need of counseling services. Conclusions -- There is a need to provide all trainees with counseling services in a planned and systematic manner to help identify trainees' problems and to enhance their potential for obtain- ing and retaining employment. To provide such counseling to trainees, the case load assigned to each counselor must be set at a reasonable level. Also, counseling contacts should be adequately documented to enhance the counselor's ability to recall pertinent information, to facilitate follow-up --Maintain a written record of all significant facts regarding the trainee, contacts with the trainee, evaluations from contacts with outside agencies, and pertinent observations. The personnel files of 43 of the 116 trainees in our randomly selected sample (see p* 19) contained no record of a counseling contact. The files showed that the remaining 73 trainees had had an average of five counseling contacts each, about one contact each month. The counseling records generally noted only that a contact had been made and that a problem had been discussed. We discussed the lack of more information in the coun- seling records with the Center director in July 1969. He told us that, during the period covered by our sample, the counselors had very high workloads which made it impossible for them to keep the necessary records. He said that, although the counseling may have been performed, the counsel- ors frequently did not record the contacts. The director stated that he was placing emphasis on development of better counseling records. To ascertain whether counseling had been provided and improvements had been made on documenting counseling con- tacts, we reviewed the counseling records for 93 trainees enrolled in four courses which had been completed or were still in process in the fall of 1969. Each of the four courses in our review had been assigned a counselor. Except for having an initial interview upon entry to the Center, the trainees did not meet regularly with their counselors. The four counselors assigned to the four courses stated that their major counseling efforts were di- rected toward helping the trainees with their day-to-day problems as they occurred and that other counseling services were not provided unless a trainee who had obvious problems brought them to the attention of his counselor. The four counselors advised us that the major factor which restricted their counseling efforts was the excessively high case load. They indicated that a lower average case load would enable them to adequately counsel all trainees, not only those who came to them with problems. 49 PAYMENTSFOR UNEXCUSEDABSENCES Many trainees were paid training allowances for unex- cused absences, contrary to the intent of the MDTA and to Department of Labor directives. The Center's payment of al- lowances for such absences does not contribute to trainees' developing good work habits or becoming aware of the re- quirements in the world of work. Section 231 of MDTA provides that training agencies be responsible for determining and certifying (1) whether a trainee has a satisfactory attendance record and is making satisfactory progress in training and (2) whether a trainee had good cause for unsatisfactory attendance or progress. The importance of a trainee's attendance at MDTA train- ing courses is stressed in the Department's handbook and DHRD instructions,which state that the payment of training allowances for days that trainees are absent is dependent on the training agencies l determination of whether a trainee had good cause for being absent. The Center's attendance policy basically has remained unchanged since its inception. The policy requires trainees to attend each class to receive the training allowance, sub- ject to certain circumstances. For example, the attendance policy in September 1969 permitted (1) 1 day of excused absence each month to take care of personal business, (2) 1 day of excused absence each month for illness, (3) ex- cused absence for court leave, and (4) excused absence for unusual and unforeseen circumstances. With the exception of absence for illness, all absences were to be approved in advance. For the period February through June 1969, we examined into the adequacy of the Center's procedures and practices for ensuring that trainees were not being paid for unexcused absences. The procedures require (1) instructors to record and submit daily attendance reports to an attendance office for posting to a trainee attendance card, (2) the attendance office to classify each reported absence as excused or unex- cused on the basis of documents submitted by the trainee or discussions with the trainee's counselor, and (3) the atten- dance office, at the end of each pay period, to furnish a 52 counseling, to enable the Center to better evaluate its counseling activities, and to enable continuity of counseling in cases of counselor turnover. Recommendations to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare We recommend that the Office of Education examine into the nature and extent of counseling services being provided at the Center and furni,sh appropriate guidelines concerning the case-load levels and the frequency of counseling con- tacts. We recommend also that the Office of Education empha- size to the Center the importance of adequate documentation of counseling services. The Assistant Secretary, Comptroller, HEW, advised us that HEWconcurred with our recommendations and stated that the procedures for their implementation would be included' in an Office of Education'<s skills center handbook which was being developed and that the handbook would amplify the Of- fice of Education's responsibilities for counseling services as set forth in the June 1970 guidelines on skills centers. of unexcused absences and has revised its attendance proce- dures to effect proper control. The revised procedure should preclude the paying of training allowances to trainees for unexcused absences and should help in motivating enrollees toward regular class attendance. Recommendation to the Secretary of Labor We recommend that the Manpower Administration review the implementation of the Center's revised attendance proce- dure to ensure that trainees do not receive allowance pay- ments for periods of unexcused absences, The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration advised us that the revised attendance procedures instituted by the Center appeared to be adequate and that the Depart- ment's regional staff was making continuing efforts to fur- ther strengthen the attendance control procedures and to see that they are fully implemented. 54 list of the unexcused absences to the instructors for their use in preparing the weekly requests for training allowances. Our review of the attendance records and reports for trainees attending the Center during the period February through June 1969 showed that an average of 313 trainees were in attendance daily, which accounted for 29,785 train- ing days during the period. The weekly requests for train- ing allowances propared by the instructors showed 2,507 absences, an absentee rate of 8.4 percent. The trainee at- tendance cards maintained by the attendance office, however, showed 4,083 absences, an absentee rate of 13.7 percent. Our analysis of the 1,576-day discrepancy between these records showed that 1,529 were unexcused absences and that 47 were excused absences. The P,576-day discrepancy in absences resulted generally from the instructors' incorrectly recording unexcused ab- sences, as shown on the list furnished by the attendance of- fice, on the weekly requests for allowances, Some instruc- tors told us that they did not use the information furnished by the attendance office; they maintained their own atten- dance records and made their own evaluations of reasons given by trainees for their absences, The Center director told us in February 1970 that the attendance procedure had recently been revised. He stated that the revised procedures required the instructors to for- ward the weekly requests for training allowances to the at- tendance office for verifying that the unexcused absences as shown on the trainee attendance cards list furnished t: instructors, had been correctly recorded by them on the re- quests for training allowances. State DHRDofficials stated that they would review the adequacy of the revised attendance procedures in the near . future. Conclusions Center management has recognized the need to improve its controls to ensure that trainees are not paid for periods 53 interviewed or otherwise obtained data for 66 trainees who were included in our random sample of 116 and who had com- pleted training or had accepted employment before complet- ing training. DHRD follow-up records on these 66 trainees showed the following information. 3-month follow-up 6-month follow-up Completed Left for Completed Left for full employ- full employ- Status course ment course ment Employed 2 6 5 8 Unemployed 10 4 3 1 Could not locate 4 5 11 6 No information -21 -14 -18 -14 As shown above, DHRDdid not locate or obtain infor- mation on two thirds or more of the 66 trainees through its mail follow-up. Cur follow-up examinations and interviews with the 66 former trainees and/or their last known employers revealed that 33 were employed, 20 had been employed earlier but were currently unemployed, nine had not been employed since leaving the Center, and four were attending school. For 16 of the 20 trainees who became unemployed, we found that they had quit or had been laid off, or fired; for four no information could be developed. Former employers told us that most of the 16 trainees left employment for such rea- sons as irregular attendance and poor job performance. These trainees might have been aided in overcoming such problems if follow-up services had been offered. With re- gard to the nine trainees who had not been employed since leaving the Center, we noted that either very little or no follow-up assistance had been offered to them by DHRD. These persons also, it appeared to us, could have been helped through appropriate follow-up services. At the DHRD offices referring persons to the Center, the managers told us that the offices generally provided follow-up services only when specifically requested by former trainees. 56 ASSESSINGRESULTS OF PROGRAM ACTIVITIES AND PROVIDING FOLLOW-UPSERVICES TO TRAINEES IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE DHRDdid not develop needed information on the status of trainees who left the Center for employment and there- fore was unable to review the effectiveness of the training program and to initiate changes where appropriate. Further, DHRDdid not provide these former trainees with such follow- up services as additional training and placement services. The MDTA Handbook states that local employment service offices are expected to maintain contact with trainees after completion of training to evaluate the effectiveness of the IYDTAprogram. Such evaluations are essential to pro- vide. a basis for making program changes. At the time of our fieldwork, DEED was responsible for mailing a follow-up questionnaire at l-, 3-, and 6-month intervals to trainees who had completed a training course at the Center or who had accepted employment prior to completing training. Prior to March 1969 follow-up questionnaires to these trainees were required at 3-, 6-, and 12-month intervals. DHRD's internal procedures also provide for its continued place- ment assistance or other aid to trainees who have completed courses9when circumstances indicate the need for such aid. DHRDobtained only limited follow-up data on former trainees from the mail questionnaires. As of the most re- cent contact or attempted contact with the 685 former train- ees who were enrolled in courses completed in 1968 and had completed training or had accepted employment prior to com- pleting training, 255 trainees (37 percent) could not be located, 287 (42 percent) reported that they were working, and 143 (21 percent) reported that they were not working. Further, DHRDdid not prepare summary statistics for each training course or for the Center's overall training program from the follow-up questionnaires obtained from former trainees. The questionnaires therefore did not pro- vide a basis for systematic assessment of the results of program operations. To further analyze follow-up data and to obtain an in- dication of the potential need for follow-up services, we 55 would be made available to skills centers to provide follow- up services and that a skills center was required to include staff for this function in its "base funding" budget which provides for resources in a separate category specifically set aside for basic facility and administrative staff costs. ; 58 The manager of the DHRDoffice at the Center told US that funds had not been provided for making follow-up in- terviews with former trainees or their employers, that he had to rely on the mail questionnaires for obtaining infor- mation on the retention rate of terminated trainees, and that experience had shown a response rate of only about 15 percent to questionnaires sent out at the 6-month inter- val. DHRDand regional Department of Labor officials told us that follow-up information on the status of former train- ees and follow-up services to former trainees were essential but missing components of the Centerss program. The State chief of the DHRDclient division services section told us that postplacement follow-up would be given greater empha- sis in the future. Conclusions Our review indicates that DHRD should place greater emphasis on the follow-up of terminated trainees to obtain information for assessing the results of program operations and to identify trainees who need further assistance in ob- taining and retaining jobs. Because of the low response rate to the mail question- naires, DHRDmay have to personally contact a sample of trainees who have left to obtain more complete follow-up information. Recommendation to the Secretary of Labor We recolmnend that the Manpower Administration, to the extent feasible within existing fund limitations, require DHRD to obtain information on the status of former train- ees and, where the need for assistance is indicated, pro- vide terminees with follow-up services. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration ad- vised us that, under the new skills center guidelines, funds 57 placement and any recommendations for improving the instruc- tional program. A local official of the State Department of Education told us that he was directed by his office in Jan- uary 1970 to implement this requirement at the Center and that he intended to do so. We reviewed reports made by the Federal-State review team and discussed the monitoring and evaluation being pro- vided to the Center with knowledgeable officials in the re- gional offices of the Department of Labor and HEW and in the DHRD and the State Department of Education offices. The Federal-State review team made seven visits to the Center during the period March 1967 through June 1968. The visits generally lasted one day and included an inspection of the facility and discussions with Center and DHRDperson- nel on problems and progress of the Center. The reports made by the Federal-State review team on the results of the visits contained comments on the Center's problems but only general and brief comments on whether the Center was meeting program goals, the adequacy of the training program, the rate of placement of trainees in jobs, and the working rela- tionships between Center and DHRDpersonnel. The Department of Labor's directive regarding the Federal-State review ef- fort makes no mention of the specific areas to be reviewed and evaluated during a monitoring visit. 60 CHAPTER6 PROGRAM MONITORINGAND EVALUATION BY FEDERALAT!JDSTATE AGENCIES Operations of the Center have not been monitored ade- q=tely, in our opinion, by the Department of Labor, m, DHRD, or by the State Department of Education. We believe that the weaknesses in administration discussed in previous sections of this report, concerning selection of individuals for training, counseling, unexcused absences, and follow-up activities, could have been identified and possibly cor- rected earlier through more appropriate and timely monitor- ing of training operations. Various Federal and State guidelines require that oper- ations of the Center and related activities of DHRDbe moni- tored. For example, a memorandum issued by the Department of Labor in June 1966 states that, for each training project having an enrollment of 200 or more trainees, a Federal- State team composed of regional representatives of the De- partment and HEWand of their State counterparts should re- view the projects within 60 days after the start of a proj- ect and every 4 months thereafter. A prior Department of Labor directive to State employ- ment security agencies provides that States make an evalua- tion of MDTA training programs at least once each fiscal year. The directive specifies that the evaluation be di- rected to determining (1) adherence to standards and proce- dures for recruitment, selection, and referral of trainees, (2) adequacy of counseling services, (3) trends in the num- ber leaving training courses and the extent of efforts to help trainees adjust to training, and (4) accuracy and ade- quacy of reporting. An HEWprogram memorandum issued in June 1969 estab- lished a requirement that training facilities prepare a written self-evaluation for each instructional program within 30 days after completion. It provides that the self- evaluation include an assessment of local administration, instruction, supervision, and trainee achievement and 59 primarily of dealing with the day-to-day problems noted in their review of enrollment and termination statistics re- ceived from the Center for ongoing courses. They said that their activities were not specifically directed to identify- ing program areas in need of improvement and that fund lim- itations for staff prevented implementation of a formal and effective monitoring system. The program supervisor for the State Department of Ed- ucation told us that the monitoring performed by his staff does not follow any definite plan for evaluating each train- ing course. He also stated that he was not aware of any HEW guidelines defining his department's responsibilities for monitoring. CONCLUSIONS Effective and continuous monitoring of Center and DHED operations by Federal and State representatives is essential to detect and correct program weaknesses, strengthen pro- gram administration, and better ensure achievement of pro- gram objectives. RECOMMENDATION TO THE SECRETARIES OF LABOR AND OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE We recommend that the Manpower Administration and the Office of Education allocate the necessary funds to ensure that Center operations are monitored adequately. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration advised us that the new skills center guidelines require that a Department of Labor and HEW regional office team, working with their State counterparts, periodically --evaluate the operation of each skills center for which they are responsible, --assess conformity of the operations with the skills center criteria and performance standards, and 62 Regional officials of the Department of Labor and HEW and representatives of DHRD and the State Department of Ed- ucation commented on the lack of funds available for hiring staff to make systematic evaluations of MDTA training pro- grams. State representatives advised us that greater defi- nition and delineation of the monitoring and evaluation ac- tivities to be performed by their respective agencies was needed for establishing a coordinated and responsible moni- toring system for MDTA programs. Regional officials of the Department of Labor told us that, except for reviews of the training projects submitted for approval, little monitoring and evaluation of Center and DHRD operations had been made since July 1968. They stated that visits had been made to the Center since July 1968 but that no reports had been prepared. They also said that the heavy work load and shortage of staff precluded their mak- ing visits every 4 months as required by the June 1966 mem- orandum. The HEW regional senior program officer for MDTA train- ing in California told us that the monitoring and evaluation of MDTA training programs was primarily the responsibility of the State Department of Education and that the regional HEW staff limited its monitoring activities to participation in the visits performed by the Federal-State review team and to the review process for approving training projects. The HEW regional program officer told us also that he had recently prepared written guidelines for use by the State Department of Education in evaluating institutional training programs and that he expected that these guide- lines would be implemented in May 1970. The proposed guide- lines would require the State to periodically evaluate training conducted under its State agency agreement with HEW and to submit reports of these evaluations to the Com- missioner within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year. The proposed guidelines include detailed comments on how the evaluations of programs are to be made. DHRD officials told us that their monitoring and eval- uation of the Center's and DHRD's activities consisted 61 CHAPTER- 7 SCOPEOF REVIEW Our review of the East Bay Skills Center in Oakland, California, was directed primarily toward analyzing the re- sults of program operations of the Center since its incep- tion in April 1966 through December 31, 1969, and toward evaluating the administrative efficiency of program areas such as use of the training facility, selection of individ- uals for training, and counseling and follow-up services. We reviewed applicable legislation, policies, program documents, reports, correspondence, and other pertinent rec- ords at the Center, the DHRDoffice located at the Center, and other DERD offices in the Oakland area. Also, we re- viewed records and reports at the regional offices of the Department of Labor and HEW in San Francisco, and at the DHRDand State Department of Education headquarters offices in Sacramento. In addition, we interviewed former trainees and their employers to obtain their views and comments on the results of the training received by the trainees. We randomly selected for review the available records for 116 of 1,224 trainees who were enrolled in the 67 train- ing courses completed at the Center during calendar year 1968. We considered the trainees' eligibility, the appropri- ateness of their referral to the Center, the counseling ser- vices provided them, and the follow-up contacts by DHRD. Our review was performed primarily at the Center in Oakland, 10 local offices of DHRD in Oakland, offices of the Peralta Junior College District in Oakland, and regional offices of the Department of Labor and HEW in San Francisco, California. 64 --sumimarize the team's recommendations and submit them to the appropriate Cooperative Area Manpower Planning System Committee and the MDTA Skills Center Advisory Committee. The Assistant Secretary stated further that the Man- power Administration was acutely aware of the importance of monitoring and was working to develop and implement a com- prehensive regional monitoring system. The Assistant Secretary, Comptroller, HEW, advised us that HEW, through the Office of Education, had developed a project evaluation form which required a report to the State agency 30 days after completion of a project; that the State agency had allocated an educational supervisor to the Cen- ter and the Junior College District-that administers the Center; and that the allocation of sufficient funds to en- sure that Center operations were monitored adequately had not been possible due to budgetary restrictions. 63 ., APPENDIXES APPENDIX'1 Page 2 3. Selection of Individuals for Training GAO reccmmends that the Department direct the Department of Human Resources Development (DHRD) to be appropriately selective in screening individuals for skill training, giving due recognition to the existing ca$%bilities of the center. In order to improve the selection processes, DHRDhas initiated a screening procedure and'has noted significant improvement. At the same time, with emphasis by DHRD on serving the severely disadvantaged, it is difficult to completely eliminate inappropriate referrals because of the characteristics of the severely disadvantaged. 4. Unexcused Absences GAO recommends a review of the implementation of the center's revised attendance procedure to ensure that trainees do not receive allowance payments for periods of unexcused absence. The revised attendance procedures instituted by center management appear to be adequate. Our regional staff is making continuing efforts to further strengthen the attendance record control procedures and to see that they are f'ully implemented. 5. Follow-up Services GAO recwnds, to the extent feasible within funding limitations, emphasizing to DHRD the importance of obtaining information on the status of former trainees and provides terminees with needed follow-up services. Under our new guidelines, funds will be made available to skills centers to provide follow-up services. When a skills center submits its "base funding" budget, they are required to include staff for this function. Base funding is the provision of resources from funds apportioned to the States in a separate category specifically set aside for basic facility and administxzbtive staff costs. 6. Effective Monitoring . GAO recommends development of appropqlate controls and procedures and allocate the necessary funds to ensure that center operations are monitored adequately. 68 APPENDIX I Page 1 ?J.S.3DEPARTME&JTOF LABOR OFFICE OF TEE ASSISTANTSRCRBTARY FORADMINISTRATKON WASHING’lVN, D.C. 20210 SEP 23 1970 Mr. Henry Eschwege Associate Director U.S. Geneml Accounting Office wdingtm, D. c. 20548 Dear Mr. Eschwege: This is in xwponse to your request for comments on a draft report on opportunities for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of institutional training programs at the East Bay Skills Center, Oakland, California. For ease of reference, our comments follow the order of recommendations in the report. 1. Under Utilfzation of the Center The General Accounting Office (680) recommends that the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) take appropriate steps to either make use of the excess capacity or have other maslpower training programs operating in the Oakland area use the center of skills training or ux!.nimi.ze operating costs by seeklng other possible uses for the present excess capacity. DOL and HEWdeveloped and issued in June, 1970, new guidelines for the planning and development of skills centers. The guidelines encourage other programs to make use of skill center facilities. Our regional staff is making a continuous effort to achieve full utilization of the center but there is no immediate prospect of this. We feel, however, that we should wait to 868 if these efforts alleviate the center's excess capacity problem. If the problem still persists after a year or so, we will look into the desirability of moving to a smaller building, 2, Funding Center Operations on an Annualized Basis GAO recommends that appropriate action be taken to convert the funding of center Operations to an aAAualiZed basis. Guidefines for the Planning and Development of Skills Centers provide for annualfzed funding. Annualized tiding at the East Bay Skills Center began in March, 1970. 67 APPENDIX II Page 1 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION. AND WELFARE WASHINGTON, D.C. 20201 OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OCT 2 1970 Mr. Philip Charam Associate Director Civil Division U. S. General Accounting Office Washington, D. C. 20548 Dear Mr. Charam: This is in reply to the General Accounting Office draft report to the Congress of the United States on Opportunities for Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Institutional Training Programs at the East Bay Skills Center, Oakland, California, under the Manpower Devel- opment and Training Act. It represents the consensus of the cognizant Office of Education (OE) offices, the California State Vocational Agency, and the East Bay Skills Center on those findings which pertain to the Secretary of Bealth, Education, and Welfare. NEED F'OR GREATERUSE OF CENTERFACILITIES We concur that appropriate steps should be taken to make use of the excess capacity of the Skills Center. We are hopeful of additional funding during Fiscal Year 1971 which would provide an increase in skill training. However, before considering a smaller facility, consideration must be given to the capital investment, the local community involvement, and the large expenditures already incurred. METHODOF FUNDIWGAND DESIGN OF TRAINING COURSES We concur that appropriate action should be taken to convert the funding of center operations to an annualized basis. This procedure has been reviewed and approved by both Departments - Health, Education, and Welfare, and Labor - which will now allow for annualization of the funding of the East Bay Skills Center beginning with Fiscal Year 1971. COUNSELING SERVICES PROVIDED TO TRAINEES We concur with the recommendation that an examination should be made into the nature and extent of counseling servfces at the Center as well as furnishing appropriate guidelines and emphasizfng the impor- tance of adequate documentation, These procedures will be required by the Office of Education in the Skills Center Handbook which is in process and will amplify OE's responsibilities as set forth in the guidelines for the Planning and Development of Skills Centers. 70 APPENDIX I Page 3 Our new guidelines require, on a timely basis, a Department of Iabor and Health, Education, and Welfare regional office team, working with their State ctnmterpsarts, to evaluate the operation of each skills center for which they are responsible. Thia review will: a. Assess conformity to skills center criteria, Any deviation frm criteria must be fully explained and justiffed. b. Judge confo ty with perfomance standards. A separate written report for each center detailing the fIndings and relating to the specific criteria will be submitted to the national office with recommendations. c. A sumary of the Team's reccmmendations will be submitted to the appropriate CAMFSCommittee and MM!A Skills Center Advisory Ccmittee. The Manpower Administration is acutely aware of the importance of monitoriug and is working to develop aud.Implement a comprehensive rqion~lmonitoring; eystem. We appreciate the opportunity to review and cament on this report in draft form. The findings aud recommendations presented should be of considexuble assistarace to us in our efforts to efficiently admiaiater the erkills centers. Sincerely, Assistant Secretary for Administmtion APPENDIX III Page 1 PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS OF THEDEPARTMEXTOFLABORAND THE DEPARTMENTOF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE RESPONSIl3LEFOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE INSTITUTIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM Tenure of office From -To DEPARTMENTOF LABOR SECRETARYOF LABOR: James D. Hodgson July 1970 Present George P. Shultz Jan. 1969 June 1970 W. Willard Wirtz Sept. 1962 Jan. 1969 ASSISTANT SECRETARYFOR MANPOWER: Malcolm R. Love11 July 1970 Present Arnold R. Weber Feb. 1969 June 1970 Stanley H. Ruttenberg June 1966 Jan. 1969 MANPOWER ADMINISTRATOR: Paul Fasser, Jr. Oct. 1970 Present Malcolm R. Love11 June 1969 Oct. 1970 J. Nicholas Peet Feb. 1969 June 1969 William Kolberg (acting) Jan. 1969 Feb. 1969 Stanley H. Ruttenberg Jan, 1965 Jan. 1969 DEPARTMENTOF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE SECRETARYOF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE: Elliot L. Richardson June 1970 Present Robert H. Finch Jan. 1969 June 1970 Wilbur J. Cohen Mar. 1968 Jan. 1969 John W. Gardner Aug. 1965 Mar. 1968 72 APPENDIX II Page 2 Page 2 - Mr. Philip Charem HEW, through the Office of Education, has developed a project evaluation form which requires a report to the State agency 36 days after completion of e project. Ii-8 addition, eke State agency has allocated an educational supervieor to the Center and the Junior College District that admPnisters the Center. The allssatisn of sufficient funds to ensure that Center operatbons are monitored adequately has not been possible due to budgetary restrictions. [See GAO note.] Sincerely yours, GAO note: The deleted comments pertain to matters discussed in the draft report but omitted from this final report. ,i' 71 APPENDIX III Page 2 PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENTOFLABORAND THE DEPARTMENTOF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE RESPONSIBLEFOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE INSTITUTIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM(continued) Tenure of office From -To DEPARTMENTOF HEALTH. EDUCATION. AND WELFARE (continued) ASSISTANT SECRETARY(EDUCATION), DEPARTMENTOF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE: Vacant June 1970 Present James E. Allen, Jr. May 1969 June 1970 Peter P. Muirhead (acting) Jan. 1969 May 1969 Lynn M. Bartlett July 1968 Jan. 1969 Paul A. Miller July 1966 July 1968 Francis Keppel Oct. 1965 May 1966 COMMISSIONEROF EDUCATION: Sidney P. Marland, Jr. Dec. 1970 Present Terre1 H. Bell (acting) June 1970 Dec. 1970 James E. Allen, Jr. May 1969 June 1970 Peter P. Muirhead (acting) Jan. 1969 May 1969 Harold Howe, II Jan. 1966 Dec. 1968 ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER,BUREAU OF ADULT, VOCATIONAL, AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION, OFFICE OF EDUCATION: Arthur L. Hardwick July 1970 Present Grant Venn May 1966 June 1970 John R. Ludington (acting) July 1965 May 1966 U.S. GAO, Wash., D.C. 73 APPENDIX Page II Letter dated October 2, 1970, from the As- sistant Secretary, Comptroller, Depart- ment of Health, Education, and Welfare, to the General Accounting Office 70 III Principal officials of the Department of Labor and the Department of Health, Educa- tion, and Welfare responsible for the ad- ministration of the institutional training Program 72 ABBREVIATIONS CEP Concentrated Employment Program DHRD California State Department of Human Resource De- velopment GAO General Accounting Office HEW Department of Health, Education, and Welfare JOBS Job Opportunities in the Business Sector program MDTA Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962, as amended
Opportunities for Improving Training Results and Efficiency at the East Bay Skills Center, Oakland, California Under the Manpower Development and Training Act
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-02-10.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)