Publication Date

Summer 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Bryan Reaka (Director), Greg Arbuckle, and Daniel Jackson

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Workforce development programs designed to provide individuals with the skills necessary to gain employment have been in existance for over 80 years. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) was a federal workforce development program that ran from 2000 to 2014. The WIA provided three main programs: youth, adult, and dislocated worker. The focus of this research was to evaluate the individual services in the adult and dislocated worker programs in the Western Kentucky Workforce Investment Area and identify the most effective service in each program.

The adult and dislocated worker programs each offered three tiered services: core, intensive, and training. Individuals entered the core service and progressed until employment was obtained or they exited the programs. The services were evaluated based on the success and failure rates of the outcomes using the reported data retrieved from the Workforce Investment Act Standardized Record Data (WIASRD) database.

The number of participants were counted in each service as well as the number of individuals that were employed and not employed after exiting the programs. Individuals employed after exiting the program, were counted as successful outcomes. Individuals that were not employed after exiting the program were counted as unsuccessful outcomes. The study found evidence that the training service was the most effective service in both the adult and dislocated worker programs.


Economic Policy | Labor Economics | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation