U.S. Department of Labor
Washington, D. C. 20210


WIA/Performance Goals




March 24, 2003















Assistant Secretary




Negotiation of Performance Goals for Program Years Four and Five Under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act


1. Purpose. To inform states of the guidelines for negotiating performance goals for the performance and customer satisfaction indicators for the fourth and fifth program years (PY2003 and PY2004) of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

2. References. Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Section 136; Workforce Investment Act, Final Rules, 20 CFR Part 666 and Part 661; Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 7-99, "Core and Customer Satisfaction Performance Measures for the Workforce Investment System"; TEGL No. 8-99, "Negotiating Performance Goals and Incentives and Sanctions Process Under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)"; TEGL No. 11-01, "Guidance on Revising Workforce Investment Act (WIA) State Negotiated Levels of Performance"; TEGL No. 4-02, "Modifications to State's Strategic Five-Year Plans for Title I of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Wagner-Peyser Act, Including Unified State Plans".

3. Background. TEGL 8-99 provided states with guidelines on the negotiation of performance goals for WIA's performance and customer satisfaction indicators for the first three program years. Prior to the fourth program year, states will submit to their Regional Administrators the agreed upon performance levels for the fourth and fifth program years (PY2003 and PY2004) in the form of a modification request to the state plan.

4. Reaching Agreement on State Performance Levels. WIA requires states to use their negotiated levels of performance to manage for continuous improvement and enhanced customer satisfaction. The following negotiation process provides a uniform framework for states to set performance goals that demonstrate this commitment. The negotiation process for performance levels for PY2003 and PY2004 must be completed by June 30, 2003 (WIA section 136 (b)(3)(A)(v) and 20 CFR 666.120(e)). A recommended timeline for the negotiation process is included in Attachment I. This process does not apply to the six early-implementing states.

A. Process for Reaching Agreement on State Performance Levels

The process for reaching agreement on state performance levels will include the following steps:

  1. After conducting their own analysis of factors that may affect performance, states will propose levels of performance for each of the performance and customer satisfaction indicators for PY2003 and PY2004. States should send their proposed levels to the Regional Administrator serving the state.

  2. The regional office will review the analyses used by the state to develop the proposed performance levels and will work with the state to set mutually agreed upon levels of performance.

  3. Once the performance levels are agreed upon, the state will submit its negotiated performance levels to the Regional Administrator in the form of a modification request to the state plan. The Regional Administrator's approval of this modification request will constitute formal approval of the state's performance levels and will serve as official notification to the state of its performance levels for PY2003 and PY2004.

B. State Proposed Levels of Performance

States should use PY2001 performance data and PY2002 negotiated levels of performance to project levels of performance for PY2003 and PY2004. They should also use recent quarterly performance data to inform the performance path the state is following. The Department anticipates that states will submit proposed levels of performance that reflect continuous improvement and additional experience, and show increases over the prior years' performance levels. However, performance levels may vary, up or down, based on prior performance and environmental factors that are beyond the state's control. WIA section 136(b)(3)(A)(iv) and TEGL 8-99 address additional factors, such as differences in economic conditions, characteristics of participants, and services to be provided, that will be considered in the negotiation process.

Throughout the performance negotiation process, states should be aware of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goals for the Department for PY2003. These goals will be used by regional offices as benchmarks by which to gauge their states' proposed performance levels. GPRA is an important mechanism by which Congress evaluates the success of Federal programs, including those which are operated by states and localities. GPRA is also a principal component of the President's Management Agenda, by which the Administration will evaluate programs as part of the goal of budget and performance integration. The collective performance of states determines if the Department meets the GPRA targets. The GPRA performance goals for the Department are listed in Attachment II.

States will submit their proposed levels of performance to their respective Regional Administrators. States should be prepared to provide support for their performance levels by providing the following information:

C. Negotiation of Levels of Performance

The regional office will review the proposed levels of state performance and compare the levels with the state's 2001 and recent quarterly performance data, the state's 2002 negotiated levels, and national 2003 GPRA goals for the Department. Regional offices will also consider states' overall past performance reported for PY2000 and PY2001. During both of these program years, the majority of states met all performance expectations. Further, roughly half of all states exceeded expectations on all performance measures. Additionally, regional offices will take into account the environmental factors mentioned above as addressed by the state (listed in WIA section 136(b)(3)(A)(iv) and TEGL 8-99). The regional office will analyze the quality of the data presented by states, including its relevance, source, the time period from which it is drawn, and whether the data is part of a trend or anomalous.

The negotiation process will focus on whether each performance level appears appropriate in light of statutory criteria and this guidance, and the adequacy of any information states offer to substantiate each level. If regional offices determine through their analysis that a state could increase its proposed performance levels to more fully support continuous improvement and customer satisfaction strategies, they will negotiate with the state to obtain mutually agreed upon performance levels.

5. Modifications to State Plans. Under 20 CFR 661.230(b)(2), and as outlined in TEGL 4-02, a change in "performance indicators" is considered a substantial change that must be officially incorporated into the state plan through a modification. Therefore, states must submit modifications to the state plan reflecting the agreed upon performance levels for the fourth and fifth program years. These plan modifications are subject to the same public review and comment requirements that apply to the development of the original state plan. Therefore, the state must provide an opportunity for public comment on the modification prior to submission to the regional office. The agreed upon performance levels are incorporated into the state plans when the Regional Administrator approves the state's modification of its plan.

6. WIA Reauthorization and Common Measures. States should be aware that there are potential legislative and policy changes on the horizon that may impact the WIA performance measurement system. First, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 was authorized for five years only, and the congressional process to pass reauthorizing legislation is underway.

Second, the Employment and Training Administration plans to implement a set of common performance measures for job training and employment programs, including WIA adult, dislocated worker, Wagner-Peyser, and youth programs, in 2004. These common measures are part of the President's Management Agenda and one of the five government-wide goals in this initiative - budget and performance integration. The common measures will be implemented in 31 training and employment programs administered by six Federal agencies. The measures consist of four performance indicators for all programs serving adults and four indicators for all youth programs. The common measures are briefly described in Attachment III.

ETA will provide more information on the common measures and changes to the WIA performance measurement system in the future through Federal Register notices and other means. Until the WIA performance measures are administratively or statutorily modified to reflect the common measures, the current statutory framework for the WIA performance system and negotiation process will be followed. Therefore, states and regional offices must negotiate performance levels for the current WIA measures of performance and customer satisfaction for both PY2003 and PY2004.

7. Action Required. States are requested to distribute this information to the appropriate state and local staff.

8. Inquiries. Questions concerning this issuance may be directed to the appropriate regional office.

9. Attachment.