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March 29 -- The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is soliciting comments by May 28, 2021 concerning a proposed extension for the authority to conduct the O*NET Data Collection Program through November 2024.
 
The O*NET Data Collection Program is an ongoing effort to collect and maintain current information on the detailed characteristics of occupations and skills for more than 900 occupations. Section 308 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) authorizes this collection and requires the Secretary of Labor to oversee the “development, maintenance, and continuous improvement of a nationwide workforce and labor market information system” which shall include, among other components, “skill trends by occupation and industry.” The resulting database provides the most comprehensive standardized source of occupational and skills information in the nation. O*NET information is used by a wide range of audiences, including individuals making career decisions, public agencies and schools providing career exploration services or education and training programs, and businesses making staffing and training decisions. The O*NET system provides a common language, framework and database to meet the administrative needs of various federal programs, including workforce investment and training programs supported by funding from the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services.

The O*NET database provides:

Detailed information for more than 900 occupations.
Descriptive information using standardized descriptors for skills, abilities, interests, knowledge, work values, education, training, work context, and work activities.
Occupational coding currently based on the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) taxonomy.

The O*NET Data Collection Program uses an occupational taxonomy, the O*NET-Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), which has been updated to reflect the 2018 SOC, mandated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by all federal agencies collecting occupational and labor market information. Previously, the O*NET-SOC was based on the 2010 SOC taxonomy. The O*NET-SOC comprises occupations at the most detailed level of the SOC and includes additional occupational specificity as needed. In addition, new and emerging occupations in high-growth sectors of the economy have been identified and added to the taxonomy. Data have been published for 821 O*NET-SOC occupations, 701 of which have undergone more than one update.  
 
The O*NET electronic database and related O*NET products and tools have been incorporated into numerous public and private sector products and resources, examples of O*NET use are presented in the O*NET Products at Work (PAW) document at http://www.onetcenter.org/​paw.html.  

The O*NET Data Collection Program received initial OMB clearance in 1999 for a pretest and seven subsequent clearances that have allowed data collection to continue without interruption since June 2001. The current clearance expires November 30, 2021. This request is to continue to update occupations that reflect older data as well as to collect data on new and changing occupations included in the 2018 SOC for 3 more years (December 1, 2021–November 30, 2024), subject to annual budget levels.

O*NET website: https://www.onetcenter.org/
Draft O*NET information collection request: https://www.onetcenter.org/ombclearance.html
FR notice inviting public comments: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/29/2021-06387/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request
 
Point of contact: Lauren Fairley, Workforce Analyst, ETA (202) 693-3731 fairley.lauren@dol.gov

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