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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Workforce Development Education Program, Florida Department of Education, Report No. 01-56, November 2001
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The state’s workforce development education system provides programs that are useful to industry and help students achieve economic self-sufficiency. However, completion rates in these programs are low—27.2% of the students who entered workforce education programs during the 1995-96 school year completed a program. Completion rates ranged from 17% in community college associate in science degree programs to 47.8% in community college adult vocational certificate programs.

Workforce programs provided between Fiscal Years 1996-97 and 1998-99 produced higher employment rates and higher average beginning wages for program completers than in the previous four years. Improved employment rates and increased earnings can be attributed to a strong economy in recent years and to actions taken by community colleges and school districts in response to legislative initiatives linking performance to funding.

Florida businesses are generally satisfied with the quality of training that their employees receive from the workforce development education system. However, they would like to see more hands-on and practical experience that would make employees more “job ready.”

Florida has taken the lead in transforming the workforce development education funding process from a system based on the number of students served to one based on performance. In order to implement the funding formula, administrators have found it necessary to make significant changes in their program offerings, as well as in their method of gathering and reporting data.

There is an ongoing controversy concerning whether workforce development programs should be offered only by community colleges. Community college proponents cite the different missions of the two systems and numerous efficiencies associated with such a consolidation, while the school districts note the success of the current program, the nature of the students served by school districts, and costs associated with consolidation.

The Legislature should consider actions in four areas to ensure continued improvement in workforce education programs:

  • require local providers to justify providing programs with low completions; 
  • require a more timely process for identifying new and emerging occupations;
  • amend the funding formula to provide consistency in performance awards over time; and
  • consider several controversial issues before amending the dual delivery system for workforce education programs

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Adult Education and GED
School District Workforce Education
Career Education
School District Certificate Programs
Postsecondary Career Training Programs
Continuing Workforce Education
Florida College System
Education System
State University System
Choice Scholarship Programs
School District Certificate Programs
Department of Economic Opportunity
Workforce Services
Board of Governors

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 10-35 Profile of Changes to Florida’s Public Career Education Program Offerings,published in April 2010.
  • Report No. 10-34 School Districts and Florida College System Institutions Frequently Change Their Career Education Programs,published in April 2010.
  • Report No. 10-26 Florida Should Not Use the Targeted Occupations Lists as the Sole Criteria to Fund Career Education Programs,published in March 2010.
  • Report No. 10-18 Public Career Education Programs Differ From Private Programs on Their Admission Requirements, Costs, Financial Aid Availability, and Student Outcomes,published in January 2010.
  • Report No. 06-28  Workforce Estimating Conference Potential Not Realized; Barriers Can Be Addressed, published in March 2006.
  • Report No. 04-68 Progress Report: Workforce System Still Needs Financial Self-Sufficiency Performance Standards, published in September 2004.
  • Report No. 04-42 Progress Report: Students Benefit from Workforce Education Programs, But Performance Can Be Improved, published in June 2004.
  • Report No. 04-19 Information Brief:  Workforce Development System Overview, published in February 2004.
  • Report No. 03-10 Special Examination: Review of the Workforce Development System, published in January 2003.
  • Report No. 02-36 Program Review: Apprenticeship Program Is Beneficial, But Its Ability to Meet State Demands Is Limited, published in June 2002.
  • Report No. 02-33 Program Review: Adult General Education Performance Improves; However, Placement Rates Need Improvement and the State’s Residency Policy Needs Definition, published June 2002.
  • Report No. 02-32 Justification Review: Workforce Development Education Program, published in May 2002.
  • Report No. 01-30 Progress Report: Community College Budget Incentives and Interagency Articulation Improve, But Graduation Rates Still Inflated, published in June 2001.
  • Report No. 99-34 Review of the Workforce Development System, published in February 2000.
  • Report No. 98-07 Program Evaluation and Justification Review Supplemental Analysis: Community College Revenues and Expenditures, published in August 1998.
  • Report No. 97-49 Review of the Community College System's Performance-Based Program Budgeting Measures and Incentive Fund, published in February 1998.
  • Report No. 95-25 Review of Postsecondary Vocational Programs, published in January 1996.
  • Report No. 95-24 Employment Training Programs: Varied Purposes and Varied Performance, published in January 1996.
  • Report No. 95-16 Review of Enterprise Florida Jobs and Education Partnership, published in December 1995.
  • Report No. 98-06A Program Evaluation and Justification Review of the Florida's Community College System, published in August 1998.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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