The America’s Promise Grants Program is now halfway into the period of performance and to get to the finish line and achieve overall goals, it’s important to pay close attention to performance data.  The recently completed mid-point assessment provided grantees the opportunity to pause and take a focused look at key metrics and success factors with those overall goals in mind.

How is this information being used? 

Using data to manage your program is only effective if you have the complete picture, so it’s essential that your participant data is accurate and up-to-date.  All of the America’s Promise grants involve multiple partners with specific roles in recruiting, enrolling, tracking, and counseling participants. Data-management systems should be accessible to all partners who are delivering services.  The project director (or data manager) must be proactive and disciplined in requesting and collecting data to ensure an accurate picture on the number of individuals served, enrolled, trained, counseled, graduated/completed and employed.  This can be accomplished through standing calls, weekly data reports or perhaps through a shared case management system that provides data extracts that can be entered in the spreadsheet.  However you are collecting participant data, care must be taken to protect personally identifiable information (PII) in accordance with federal and state regulations. 

Sharing Information to Manage Your Grant

A critical strategy in using data to manage your grant is keeping everyone informed.  Case management tools and graphics will have limited utility if they are not shared with partners that have an operational role in the project.  Sharing data analysis and through regularly scheduled calls and meetings are just as important as collecting the data.  At a minimum, this should include the project director, workforce and training partners, and any organizations that are assisting with outreach and recruitment.  You may want to share this information with your employer partners (this is particularly true when recruiting incumbent workers) and any local, regional or state government agencies engaged in the project.  Sharing your performance data regularly with your project team and partners will help focus resources where they are needed most.  It also helps ensure everyone is working together to ensure the success of your grant.

 

Related Resources on WorkforceGPS

The following resources may be helpful in developing or refining your approach to using data to manage your grant.

The Role of Data Tracking and Documentation in Effective Case Management and Career Counseling

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides an opportunity for a greater emphasis on customer-focused and effective case management.  In providing guidance, support and motivation to customers that seek training, employment, and career advancement, staff take a holistic case management approach that utilizes multiple techniques to address and provide solutions for a variety of barriers and assessed needs of their customers.

Using Performance Information to Manage Health Professions Training Programs

This resource describes how Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program sites used performance management information to develop and improve their programs, based on a review of grantee performance progress reports, a survey of HPOG program directors, and interviews with a subset of directors.  

Fine-Tuning Your Strategic Planning Using Labor Market Analysis and Informed Decision-Making

The U.S. Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has assembled a variety of data sources, labor market analysis samples, targeting process models, and strategic planning resources that can be accessed to augment your strategic planning and decision-making process.  Taken together, these data-focused resources can help you zero in on labor market outcomes and goals for your America’s Promise grant program.

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