« PreviousContinue »
preliminary findings of a study of individual referrals in MDTA
which show these enrollees to be younger, whiter and more likely
to bo female and less likely to be disadvantaged, than enrollees
in either skills centers or class-size groups.
Institutional training completers had about three times the
income improvement of Institution pouts, but the latter gains vere still substantial. There was consistent growth in income
gains with longer length of training.
Among Institutional training occupations, health services "paid
off" most handsomely, followed by machine trades, construction traces,
food services/homemaking, clerical/sales and service trades, in that
However, this ranking was heavily affected by those entering
the labor force through the training route, therefore favoring occupatio:::
popular with females.
Abstracting from the increases in labor force
participation would bring construction trades to top ranking, followed
by health services and machine trades.
Only a scattering of
niscellaneous skills seemed to lack substantial impact.
education and other components unaccompanied by skills training was
reasonably effective for those jaeviously out of the labor force, but
had little wage and employment stability impact.
Shifting to OJT, the marginincome gains between completers and dropouts was not as great, it's the former was still nearly double
the latter. "Dropout" for an OJT enrollee, of course, has a different meaning than for Institutional rams, requiring the enrollee to quit
or lose his job.
The relationship between length of training and
incone gain was less consistent for OJT, peaking at about six to nine
months after some fluctuation.
However, the nature of out must be
kept in mind.
Ninety percent of the OJT enrollees, as contrasted
with sixty-six percent of the Institutional, had held at least one
job in the pretraining period and many were probably being upgraded
without changing employers.
Frequently, as OJT enrollees were con
tacted for intervicw, they would respond, "But I have never been
enrolled in a training program!"
As a generality, the job rather
than the training content was probably the goal and length of training
was of uncertain relevance,
Among OJT occupations, various miscellaneous skills brought the
greatest income gains followed by mechanics/repair, food services/ honeriaking, clerical/sales and construction trades, with service trades
skills bringing up the rear; a quite different rank: ing
than for Institutional with food services/homemaking having surprisingly favorable results in both areas.
:DTA and Institutional Change
A troublesome aspect of ADTA administration has been the -'necessity of coordinating the efforts of employment services and
vocational educators at the state and local levels and, consequently, the efforts of the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and
Yet, in retrospect, it has been worth it and the program
and the labor market institutions would be worse off without that dual
The not always felicitous marriage performed ten years ago with the Nations' education associations holding the shotgun while the Congress performed the ceremony bound together two federal agencies
with very different philosophies.
To thic Labor. Dapariment, the job
has been the thing, the more immediate the better with training to be minimized and dispensed with where possible. To the U.S. orfice
of Education, the more training the better, with almost an implication
with sune officials that the jobs will take care of themselves.
HEW generally ignoring its ADTA responsibilities and the Labor Depart
nent preferring divorce as long as it could maintain custody, a small
group within USOE's Division of lanpower Development and Training can be credited with protecting the union and kceping both partners reason
They have been primarily responsible for the institutional
changes UDTA has wrought in the schools while the Labor Department has
brought about major reorientation within the public employment service.
The major institutional achievenent from the education side has
been the development of the skills center, an institution dedicated to
the training of the disadvantaged and to providing on site as many as
possible of the supportive services necessary to make that training
effective. At the same time, however, BDTA has contributed to modular training, open entry/open exit practices, the developnent of training
clusters, and the integration of remedial basic education and skill
training--practices which are spreading throughout all of education:
At the same time, the Labor Department has been largely successful
in redirecting the federal-state enployment service from an adminis
trator of unemployment insurance and a labor exchange seeking to meet
employer needs to an overall manpower agency emphasizing service to
those who need it most.
Federal manpower resources have enasled it to
go far beyond a simple labor exchange function into the developent of
Using MDTA funding and authority as leverage, the
Labor Department has developed nez labor market techniques through research and experiment and has introduced and made substantial progress in the practices of manpower planning at the state and
Weaknesses of !!DTA
Since repentance is no longer possible, criticism has no place in a funeral sermon. Faith in the continuance of the substance, if not the nane, of DTA justifies and demands tempering praise for past achievenent with identification of areas where inprovement is needed.
First, an inlierent weakness about which little can be done within the limits of a training programi Improvement of the earnings of those plagued by low incores and esplorzent requires a cozbination of employability, enpiozzent opportunities and access to jobs. 'IDTA's role is prisarily the forner, though enrollnent may place the individual into a systen leading to the latter. It contains no tools for job creation. Fuch of the disillusion with the program which exists acong the disadvantaged arises froa its use in locations in which eaaploynent opportunities are scarce or out of reach because of obstacles other than the individual's lack of skills. To enroll them was to set thea up for disappoint:eat. Solution lies only in better integration of NITA's services with subsidized private and public job creation, equal e:ployzent opportugity efforts and labor naršet services and more training for jobs increasiag in dezand as coatrasted with those available primarily because of high turnover.
Other linitations are more accionable.
Pecause of an understandable desire to serve as many
people as possible within available budgets, there has been a
tendency to concentrate on occupations requiring only limited training and sone tendency to avoid people needing a great deal of
The case of identifying occupations with "reasonable
expectation of employment" within this predo.ninately high turnover
range of jobs has reinforced this tendency.
But the ADTA placements,
to no one's surprise, have experienced similar turnover.
program for many or rich program for a few" choice is always a
difficult one but the data seeins to support a higher pay off for the
Greater per capita investment.
In compensating for those traditional institutions unwilling
or incapable of servirg the disadvantaged, "IDT!, particularly the
has, to some degree, created a set of segregated
institutions, often in second class facilities, reinforcing the
separation of the disadvantaged for the mainstream and catering to the secondary labor market. The few instances where IDTA projects are integrated into community, colleges and other "mainstream" institutions suggest that it can be done, is worth doing but isn't
3. The 35' percent skill shortage rounding out the 65 percent disadvantaged has become a source of Iceway rather than an economic
No real attempt is made to identify skill shortagos of which
there arc fex within the reach of DTA as presently administered. There are undoubtedly useful roles for MDTA outside of service to the
Sore of the current activities on beinalf of displaced