March 27, 2003








Assistant Secretary




Implementation of Common Performance Measures for Job Training and Employment Programs

1. Purpose. To inform the workforce investment system of the implementation of common performance measures for job training and employment programs in 2004.

2. Background. In 2001, the President announced a Management Agenda to improve the management and performance of the federal government. One of the five government-wide goals, budget and performance integration, emphasizes program effectiveness. As part of the President's budget and performance integration initiative, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has developed common performance measures for programs with similar goals. In explaining this initiative, OMB has stated:

3. Common Measures. In coordination with federal agencies, OMB has developed uniform evaluation metrics, called "common measures," for job training and employment programs as well as four additional crosscutting, government-wide functions, including housing assistance, wildland fire management, flood mitigation, and disaster insurance. The common measures are intended to institute uniform definitions for performance. The common measures for job training and employment will be applied to 31 programs administered by six federal agencies. Attachment A provides a list of covered programs. These programs are expected to implement the common measures (begin information collection and reporting) in 2004.

Four performance measures for adults and four indicators for youth have been established for job training and employment programs:

Adult Measures

Youth and Lifelong Learning Measures
Attachment B further describes these measures. The common measures will affect the current performance measurement systems of all covered programs. For example, the following are some key differences between the common measures and the current performance indicators for Workforce Investment Act Title IB programs:

There are similar differences between the common measures and the current performance indicators for Wagner-Peyser, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and the other job training and employment programs administered by ETA.

To the extent possible, ETA will administratively implement the common measures within the existing statutory framework to minimize reporting on multiple sets of measures. For all covered programs, when current program indicators and common measures are similar, the definitions of current indicators will be replaced by the common measure definitions. For current program indicators that are not comparable to the common measures, programs will continue to report on the current indicators as well as the common measures.

The Department will provide guidance and assistance to the grantees and program operators in the implementation of these measures. A workgroup of representatives from the federal agencies implementing common measures for job training and employment programs has been established by OMB. This workgroup will facilitate communication among agencies and will serve as a forum to work on common implementation issues. A notice providing a single set of instructions on implementing the common measures for all covered programs administered by ETA will be published in the Federal Register for public comment in spring 2003. Final guidance on the implementation of common measures will be published by fall 2003.

5. Action Required. Please make this information available to appropriate program staff.

6. Inquiries. Questions regarding the common measures should be directed to the appropriate regional office or grant administrator.

7. Attachments.

Attachment A:  Job Training and Employment Programs Impacted by Common Measures
Attachment B:  Common Measures for Job Training and Employment Programs