State auditor Jim Nobles told lawmakers Wednesday that the state needs to get a better handle on the effectiveness of workforce programs intended to get unemployed people back to work.
The workforce programs received about $235 million in federal and state funding in fiscal 2009. Nobles said the programs seem to help the unemployed, but he said there is no system in place to consistently and thoroughly monitor the effectiveness of programs.
"What helped? What is working? What is successful?" he asked legislators. "If we really want to know how we should structure and run these programs, we need to be able to answer a lot more questions."
Nobles said the Department of Employment and Economic Development has faced budgetary and regulatory restrictions on efforts to monitor workforce programs.
The programs offer everything from resume writing workshops to training for new careers. Services are delivered by government employees and nonprofit agencies.