State Reporting Section
One of the primary functions of the State Reporting Section involves the design and development of an information collection and reporting system. This is accomplished through a close working relationship and continuous communication with IT staff in order to help them understand the technical requirements for participant data collection and reporting based upon USDOL and user requirements. This involves troubleshooting technical problems in the data collection system and analyzing reporting outcomes for incomplete, contradictory, illogical, and/or redundant information.
Information on participant activities and outcomes is collected in the data collection system. Staff in the State Reporting Section design, distribute, and update forms for participant data collection based upon requirements established by the USDOL. They develop data element definitions and instructions for completing forms. The staff collects narrative and statistical data from service providers regarding status of special grants such as National Emergency Grants.
The State Reporting Section is responsible for providing reports to USDOL, program managers, auditors, monitors, and other stakeholders. The process of collecting required data elements includes not only that data reported from program operators, but also involves collecting wage data on those participants who have completed their services. In order to report participant performance outcomes, we have an agreement with the Alabama Department of Labor to provide Unemployment Insurance wage information as reported by the employers of the participants. In addition, we request data from the USDOL Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS) to collect data on WIOA participants who are employed in states outside Alabama. We assimilate all the data and tabulate performance outcome results based upon data provided to us. This information is used to develop and submit USDOL required Quarterly WIA/WIOA Performance Reports for both State Level and Local Level performance outcomes. A similar, yet more comprehensive and complex process is used to develop and submit USDOL required Annual Performance Reports for both State Level and Local Level performance outcomes.
In addition to the Quarterly and Annual participant performance reports, the USDOL requires several additional reports. We are responsible for assembling and reporting data to USDOL for weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports for special grants such as National Emergency Grants (NEGs), and others. There is also a requirement to annually submit the Workforce Investment Standardized Record Data (WIASRD) report. This is an electronic submission of the entire set of records of participants who have exited from WIA services during the specified reporting period. After the submission of the WIASRD, we are required to submit the Data Element Validation (DEV) report to USDOL which analyzes the accuracy of data reported on the Annual Performance Report and the WIASRD.
We work closely with the IT contract staff to develop various ad hoc reports to be used for management purposes. Section staff communicates to IT staff the requirements for participant data ad hoc reporting based upon user requirements, test the accuracy of the ad hoc reports, and provide technical assistance to managers, Career Center staff and other service providers in the use and application of these ad hoc reports.
Various procedures are used to ensure the quality of the data contained in the data collection and reporting system. Staff review participant data submitted on appropriate forms and provide technical assistance to managers, Career Center staff, and other service providers on completion of participant data forms. There is a USDOL required annual process of validation of data reported via the USDOL Data Element Validation (DEV) software that selects samples of records for which source documentation is reviewed. In this process, actual participant case records are reviewed to validate the information reported and source documentation is required to support the data. Last year, approximately 1200 records were sampled. State Reporting Section staff conduct customer satisfaction surveys via telephone for both participants who have completed services and employers who have received services through the Career Center delivery system. In addition to these data quality assurance processes, we sample UI wage records by reviewing wage history records received from Alabama Department of Labor files. We also continuously reconcile participant records to our internal Individual Training Account (ITA) tracking and payment systems.
In addition to reviewing participant records through reports and by desk top review, the section staff routinely conducts on-site technical assistance visits to the Career Centers throughout the state. With these on-site reviews, the staff reviews participant files for inaccuracy, needed corrections, possible problems, provide technical assistance and answer questions from staff.
In addition to these functions, the State Reporting Section maintains the information contained on Alabama’s list of Eligible Training Providers. This list is required by the USDOL and contains information on those training providers who have been approved to provide services to WIOA participants. This information includes the cost of training, the length of training, the numbers of trainees, and trainee outcomes.