With the release of the Tier 1 Common Performance Metrics, we presented them for public comment and suggestions for the  3 weeks. All edit proposals were evaluated and considered by the Workforce System Effectiveness Committee (WSEC), added if appropriate, and presented back to the full Baltimore Workforce Development Board (BWDB).

In October 2017, the WSEC began creating standardized data collection metrics that evolved into the current version of Tier 1 Common Performance Metrics. These metrics are modeled after those used in the One Baltimore for Jobs (1B4J) program and created with insight from various other city agencies and partners to ensure alignment with WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) guidelines. The initial data collection effort identified approximately $46 million in total investments, the majority of which came from public sources. The WSEC learned that since funders collected such vastly different performance metrics (and through publicly available online data), there was no medium to collectively measure the impact of such a large investment. The Tier 1 Common Performance Metrics report inclusive demographic information, as well as workforce-specific data such as training program enrollment, tracking job placement and retention, wages, etc. Through the work of the BWDB and WSEC, it has become clear that an integrated data system- and dedication to it- is the key to connecting all players within workforce development.

The Baltimore Workforce Development Board, in conjunction with Baltimore City’s Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) and the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative (BWFC), has made some recent strides in the standardization of data collection regarding Baltimore’s workforce. This past September, the BWDB unanimously passed a Resolution requesting the collection of certain grantee data by Workforce Funders, which can be found here. The resolution calls for workforce funders both public and private to require its grantees to submit an Annual Workforce Report (a common reporting form) as described by the BWDB, specifically the WSEC. The goal is not to use the data for punitive purposes, but rather to evaluate outcomes in order to better serve our workforce. The WSEC members completed an analysis of public and private workforce investments and determined that the standardization of performance measurement is a critically important step towards tailoring Baltimore City’s workforce into a cohesive system accessible to all of its residents, employers, providers, and funders.

The BWDB and BWFC Data Workgroup intend to additionally develop Tier 2 Common Performance Metrics and definitions for barrier removal conditions, and services and/or outcomes, after adoption of these Tier 1 Metrics. Tier 2 Metrics would include process metrics like barrier removal or soft skills attainment; and longer term impact metrics like wage gains over time or labor market attachment. These additional metrics would address the need to track systems-level outcomes and provider desires to work and engage with clients who have more barriers. Notably, the Tier 1 Metrics, and subsequently the Tier 2 Metrics, are informed through a racial equity and inclusion lens wherein the systems building, considerate data collection, and effectiveness monitoring include being cognizant of the various racial barriers that are present. It is an approach that involves, “analyzing data and information about race and ethnicity; understanding disparities and learning why they exist; looking at problems and their root causes from a structural standpoint; naming race explicitly when talking about problems; and developing solutions that reflect strategies to eliminate policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race,” according to the Full Racial Equity Task Force Recommendations adopted by the Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation Board, October 2013.

We are at a critical moment where change is both necessary and, most importantly, possible.

Edit proposals were accepted from November 10, 2018 to December 3, 2018 and the metrics have been finalized. Edit: Tier 1 Common Performance Metrics can be found below.