Are Veterans Employment Programs Working?

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified sources of waste in among 45 disability employment programs. While each program may be needed for its particular niche, the management of each program is the source of the waste.

The GAO study found that these 45 programs overlap at least once, and are administered by 9 federal agencies. Of these, the programs with the highest number of redundancies are programs servicing servicemembers and veterans.

In addition to being a potential source of waste, the GAO concluded that little is known about the programs’ effectiveness. Only 1 program conducted a traditional “impact report,” which helps the program know whether or not it is successful.

The report went on:

[quote]Most (32) of the 45 programs surveyed tracked at least one employment-related outcome measure for people with disabilities, but overall little is known about the effectiveness of these programs. The most commonly tracked outcomes for people with disabilities were “entered employment” (28 programs) and “employment retention” (18 programs).

However, it may be difficult to compare outcomes across programs, in part, because of variation in the type and severity of participants’ disabilities. In addition, only 10 of the 45 programs reported that an evaluation had been conducted in the last 5 years.

Just one of the 45 programs (Job Corps) reported conducting an impact study—a study that would most clearly show whether the program (and not other factors) was responsible for improved employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

However, additional studies are underway for at least two other programs.[/quote]


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