August 21, 2003








Office of Workforce Investment




Preparation for Implementation of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Common Performance Measures for Job Training and Employment Programs

  1. PURPOSE. To inform H-1B grantees of the upcoming implementation of OMB’s common performance measures for job training and employment programs in 2004.

  2. REFERENCE. Training and Employment Notice 8-02, March 27, 2003.

  3. 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 OMB has developed common performance measures for programs with similar goals. In explaining this initiative, OMB has stated:

    "Such measures are not determinative of whether a program is effective nor does such a comparison automatically mean one program is necessarily better or worse than another. However, such measures help raise important questions and can help managers improve certain aspects of their programs. This information can then be used to inform decisions about how to direct funding and how to improve performance in specific programs."

  4. 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 the H-1B program and 30 other programs administered by six federal agencies. 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. The four adult measures that apply to participants in H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant programs are:

    Attachment A further describes the four common measures applicable to the H-1B program. The common measures will affect the current measurement system for the H-1B program. For example, the following are the key differences between common measures and the current performance indicators for the H-1B program:

    To the extent possible, ETA plans to 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. Since the common measures do not meet all H-1B program reporting requirements, H-1B grantees will continue to report many of the data elements specified in their grant agreement as well as the common measures.

    The Department of Labor (DOL) will provide guidance and assistance to H-1B grantees in the implementation of the common measures. Further policy guidance on the common measures will be released through a Training and Employment Guidance Letter in summer 2003. A notice addressing reporting instructions for all common measures programs administered by ETA will be published in the Federal Register for public comment in fall 2003. Final guidance on reporting instructions for the common measures will be released in winter 2003/2004.

  5. Action Recommended. H-1B grantees should begin planning for the reporting of common measures pending receipt of final guidance from DOL. H-1B grantees whose projects expire prior to July 2004 are not expected to implement the common measures.

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

  7. Attachment. Attachment A: Common Measures Applicable to H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants.