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Sept 30 -- The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), National Science Foundation (NSF), invites public comments to OMB by November 1, 2021 regarding the proposed new National Training, Education, and Workforce Survey (NTEWS).
The 2022 NTEWS will be a voluntary data collection sponsored by NCSES and cosponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education. The content of the 2022 NTEWS builds upon NCES's former federal survey, the 2016 Adult Training and Education Survey (ATES). This collection serves to measure and understand two research concepts that are of national interest: (1) the education, training, and career pathways of skilled technical workers, and (2) the prevalence and interplay of education (postsecondary degrees and certificates), work credentials (certifications and licenses), and work experience programs among American workers.

NCSES serves as a central Federal clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, analysis, and dissemination of objective data on science, engineering, technology, and research and development for use by practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and the public.

As the initial NTEWS, the 2022 data collection effort will serve as the baseline cycle for a planned biennial, rotating panel design. Respondents will have the option to complete the survey by web, paper, or computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). NCSES plans to incorporate a couple of methodological experiments to examine response mode and incentive options in the initial administration.

The U.S. Census Bureau will serve as the Federal data collection contractor on behalf of NCSES and NCES. The NTEWS data will be protected under the applicable Census Bureau confidentiality statutes.

NCSES and NCES intend to publish national estimates from the 2022 NTEWS and use the results to inform the next survey cycle. NCSES plans to use the NTEWS data for the two congressionally mandated biennial reports: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering and Science and Engineering Indicators. NCES plans to release a special-topic statistical report on the status of educational and professional credentials in the United States. Also, a public release file of collected data, designed to protect respondent confidentiality, will be made available to policymakers, researchers, and the public on the internet.

Traditionally, NCSES data sets and reports have excluded a growing portion of the science and engineering (S&E) workforce—those who use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills and knowledge in their jobs, but do not have a bachelor's degree. These workers comprise the skilled technical workforce (STW). With the pervasiveness of science and technology in society, including its central role in the economy, the nature of work has changed for individuals at all education levels, making skilled technical workers increasingly essential to U.S. economic competitiveness, national security, and scientific progress. While some data exist to quantify the number of skilled technical workers, limited information exists to examine how individuals enter, maintain relevance, or seek advancement in STW occupations. Through NTEWS, data can be made available to address the increasing policy interest in the STW and expand NCSES's clearinghouse of S&E data.

Simultaneously, the NTEWS will collect data to address NCES's interest in work credentials (certifications and licenses), postsecondary certificates, and work experience programs (WEP). WEP include internships, co-ops, practicums, clerkships, externships, residencies, clinical experiences, and apprenticeships. While these programs do not necessarily result in work or educational credentials, these are common educational and training pathways for U.S. adults to develop work skills. Prior to NTEWS, NCES administered the Adults Training and Education Survey (ATES, see https://nces.ed.gov/nhes/ates.asp for more information), which is an inactive federal survey that collected data on nondegree credentials and work experience programs. The NTEWS data collection continues NCES's research goals and purpose of the ATES by examining the interactions between work credentials and degree credentials to support workforce learning and the role of education institutions in helping individuals attain work credentials. The NTEWS is expected to have increased utility compared to the ATES because the NTEWS will provide more reliable STW estimates by allocating a larger sample to individuals in skilled technical occupations.

NCSES expects an estimated total of 30,565 respondents to NTEWS. With three samples in the 2022 NTEWS collection, the expected number of respondents for each sample is 27,000 respondents from production, 3,125 respondents from the bridge panel, and 440 respondents from the seeded sample. NCSES will select adults ages 16-75 (inclusive) and not enrolled in high school. The production will select its sample from the 2018 American Community Survey, collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. The bridge panel (non-production because data cannot generate official statistics) will select its sample from a commercial list. Finally, the seeded sample (non-production because data will not be released to the public but will be used for NCSES and NCES analysis for future postsecondary certificates measurement improvements) will be chosen from a list of recent postsecondary certificate awardees from four postsecondary community/technical colleges or systems. The NTEWS sample design will meet the needs of both NCSES and NCES by providing coverage of the workforce-eligible adult population and including an oversample of adults who are in skilled technical occupations.
NCSES Skilled Technical Workforce webpage: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/stw/skilled-technical-workforce.cfm
2022 NTEWS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202109-3145-001 Click IC List for forms, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FR notice inviting public comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/09/30/2021-21254/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request
Point of contact: Gigi Jones, Project Officer, Skilled Technical Workforce Initiative and NTEWS, NCSES gijones@associates.nsf.gov

For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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