The Use of Market Mechanisms in U.S. Workforce Programs: Lessons for Reauthorization and the European Social Fund

King, Christopher T.
Barnow, Burt S.
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What the European Social Fund Can Learn from the WIA Experience Conference This paper is based in part on a larger study of the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 conducted with colleagues in eight states and 16 localities from 2003-2005. After presenting background on WIA and the study, we present key results concerning one of the more important and controversial aspects of WIA: increased emphasis on market and market-like mechanisms in the delivery of workforce services in the United States. We then discuss these findings and wrap up with a series of conclusions and recommendations, both for informing the WIA reauthorization process, which is now underway, and for providing guidance to the European Social Fund.