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Dec 13 -- The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation Office, Department of Labor, invites comments by February 12, 2024 regarding the collection of data for an evaluation of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program.

The Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) intends to design and conduct an evaluation to assess the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program. WOTC is a provision of the Internal Revenue Code (title 26 of the U.S. Code) that provides employers a tax credit as an incentive to hire people with barriers to employment in 10 Target Groups (including veterans, recipients of certain public benefits, people with disabilities and others). DOL is responsible for certification of WOTC participant eligibility, and the Internal Revenue Service in the Department of Treasury issues the tax credits to employers. The goal of this project is to build knowledge about the effectiveness and implementation of the program. CEO, in collaboration with the Office for Workforce Investment (OWI) in the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), seeks to better understand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), how it is administered amongst state workforce agencies, how it serves job seekers and employers, the effectiveness and efficiency of its current design, potential improvements in structure and operations, and potential future research in this area. This initial request pertains to an implementation evaluation of WOTC. An outcome and impact evaluation are anticipated in the future.

This Federal Register Notice provides the opportunity to comment on:

1. Internet Survey of State Workforce Agency (SWA) Administrators. Surveys will be issued in the winter of 2024–2025. These surveys will address the implementation processes used by SWAs to administer the WOTC program, including recruitment of individuals and businesses, issuance of conditional certifications, processing WOTC certification requests, interactions with other involved organizations, and use of automated systems. SWAs will also be asked to provide contact information for Businesses that requested WOTC certifications, Business Representatives used by employers seeking WOTC certifications, American Job Centers and other community organizations authorized to pre-certify WOTC Target Group members, and individuals certified in WOTC Target Groups.

2. Internet Survey of Businesses and Business Representatives. Surveys will be issued in the winter of 2024–2025 to address the processes used by Businesses or their Representatives to recruit, certify and hire WOTC candidates.

3. Internet Survey of American Job Centers (AJCs) and Partner Organizations that can pre-certify the eligibility for a WOTC Target Group. This survey will address the activities that AJCs and other partner organizations (identified by SWAs) engage in to pre-certify individuals in 10 WOTC Target groups.

4. Internet Survey of WOTC-Certified Candidates. This survey will address the implementation processes experienced by the WOTC Target Group members in obtaining a WOTC certification, and their subsequent employment.

CEO funded independent contractor Economic Systems, Inc. (EconSys) to conduct the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Evaluation. This project is an implementation study intent on better understanding WOTC, including how it is administered by state workforce agencies, how it serves job seekers and employers, the effectiveness and efficiency of its current design, potential improvements in structure and operations, and potential future research in this area. This study will gather relevant descriptive statistics and perform an evaluability assessment to identify appropriate designs for further study.

WOTC: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/wotc
WOTC Evaluation overview and research questions: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oasp/evaluation/currentstudies/Work-Opportunity-Tax-Credit-Evaluation
Draft data collection instrument and technical documentation requested from DOL by AEAStat.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-27300

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