We paired common and industry terms used across the O4O site to describe workforce activities, learning and education, and data use with their descriptions to help provide additional context for the narratives.

If you think we missed a term that should be here, send us a message at [email protected].

Workforce Development

American Job Centers

American Job Centers are at the heart of the workforce investment system under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). These centers provide an integrated array of high-quality services so that workers, job seekers, and businesses can conveniently find the help they need under one roof in easy to reach locations. American Job Centers are designed to help businesses find qualified workers and help job seekers obtain employment and training services to enhance their careers. These services include assessment of skills, abilities, aptitudes and needs; assistance with Unemployment Insurance; access to employment services such as the states' job board and labor market information; career counseling; job search and job placement assistance; and information on training, education and related supportive services such as day care and transportation. Eligible individuals can obtain more intensive services and training. (benefits.gov)

Dislocated Worker

Displaced workers are defined as persons 20 years of age and over who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was eliminated. (BLS.gov)

Education and Training Program

Training/Education programs are defined as those postsecondary activities (seminar, workshop, course, customized training, etc.) that develop or enhance the skills of existing employees or members of any business or industry. These are typically non-credit activities or training. (uark.edu)

Job Placement

Job placement is a service that educational institutions, employment agencies and recruiters offer to help individuals find work. (work.chron.com)

Job Placement Rate

A job placement rate is the measurement of graduates employed in the careers for which they were trained. A job placement rate is generally calculated by the number of graduates employed in their field, divided by the total number of graduates from a particular institution. (goodwin.edu)

Low Income

The term "low-income individual" refers to an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year was less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level. (ed.gov)

Measurable Skills Gain

The percentage of program participants who, during a program year, are in an education or training program that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential, such as an academic, technical, or occupational credential or certificate, or employment and who are making progress towards those outcomes.

Non Placement Services

Services provided by a workforce board to a participant that is not a job training program or job placement activity. Services can include referrals to other organizations, case-management activities such as housing, childcare, or transportation assistance, or soft-skill/professional skill development.


A person entering a job and/or education and training program that has not previously held a job in this area.

Not in Labor Force

People not in the labor force are those who do not meet the criteria to be classified as either employed or unemployed, as defined below.

  • They were not employed during the survey reference week, and
  • They had not actively looked for work (or been on temporary layoff) in the last 4 weeks

( US Bureau of Labor Statistics)


A job seeker client or customer who receives job services, training or other support through a workforce one-stop career center. (Wikipedia, One-stop career centers)

Supportive services

Supportive services are services such as transportation, child care, or dependent care, necessary to enable an individual to participate in activities authorized under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act, such as an education or training program. (oewd.org)


People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. (bls.gov)

Wage gain

Wage Gain measures those program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second and third quarters prior to the date of participation, and employed in the second and third quarters after exit quarter, the percentage of unduplicated individuals who had higher wages after exit compared with the wages prior to participation. (qualityinfo.org)


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. (dol.gov)

Workforce Boards

WDBs are part of the Public Workforce System, a network of federal, state, and local offices that support economic expansion and develop the talent of the nation’s workforce. Workforce boards typically oversee American Job Centers in their region, channel Federal workforce dollars to the downstream organizations, and set workforce strategy for their region. (careeronestop.org)

Workforce Investment Area

A Workforce Investment Area is the geographic region within a state that is covered by a single Workforce Development Board. This could contain a single county, multiple counties, multiple municipalities, or just a single municipality.


Eligible youth, ages 14-24, who face barriers to education, training, and employment. (dol.gov)

Education and Training

Completion rate

The ratio between the number of students in the study program, which graduated from the university in the reference year and the number of students enrolled so many years ago, as the length of the full-time study program. (IGI-Global)

Credential earned

Credentials include academic diplomas, academic degrees, certifications, and non degree pathways. A credential earned would be one of the listed above, e.g. high school diploma.

Training Provider/Program

Training providers and/or programs provide employment training resources for adults and dislocated workers. (edd.ca.gov)

Training costs

Training costs include the actual materials created or utilized for training and time spent in each training module or conference.

Vocational certificate

Vocational certificates provide intensive, focused training that prepares learners for work in a specific trade. In these programs, students develop the core skills needed to perform daily, practical tasks for vocational careers, like carpentry, appliance repair, automotive maintenance, plumbing, real estate, cosmetology, medical coding, dental assisting, or the culinary arts. (thebestschools.org)


Data Governance

Data governance is the process of setting and enforcing priorities for managing and using data as a strategic asset. A data governance body with authority and oversight over the management of agency data assets is a key piece of data infrastructure. These bodies are commonly called by such names as Data Governance Boards, Data Councils, or Data Strategy Teams. The data governance body establishes policies, procedures, and roles for developing, overseeing, and coordinating data management policy and helps prioritize data resource allocations to answer agency key questions and meet stakeholder needs. (Federal Data Strategy, Data Governance Playbook, July 2020)

Data Management

The policies, procedures, and technical choices used to handle data through its entire lifecycle from data collection to storage, preservation and use. A data management policy should take account of the needs of data quality, availability, data protection, data preservation, etc. (OpenData Handbook, Glossary of terms)

Data Privacy

Data privacy, sometimes also referred to as information privacy, is an area of data protection that concerns the proper handling of sensitive data including, notably, personal data but also other confidential data, such as certain financial data and intellectual property data, to meet regulatory requirements as well as protecting the confidentiality and immutability of the data. (SNAI)

Data Security

Data security is the practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft throughout its entire lifecycle. (IBM, What is data security?)

Data Set (Dataset)

A collection of data. The data set lists values for each of the variables, such as height and weight of an object, for each member of the data set. (Wikipedia, Data set)

Data sharing

The term “data sharing” refers to the collection of practices, technologies, cultural elements and legal frameworks that are relevant to transactions in any kind of information digitally, between different kinds of organizations. (Support Center of Data Sharing, What is data sharing?)

Data sharing agreements

A data-sharing agreement is a formal contract that clearly documents what data are being shared and how the data can be used. Such an agreement serves two purposes. First, it protects the agency providing the data, ensuring that the data will not be misused. Second, it prevents miscommunication on the part of the provider of the data and the agency receiving the data by making certain that any questions about data use are discussed. Before any data are shared, both the provider and receiver should talk in person or on the phone to discuss data-sharing and data-use issues and come to a collaborative understanding that will then be documented in a data-sharing agreement. (University of Chicago)

Open Data (Public access to data)

Data is open if it can be freely accessed, used, modified and shared by anyone for any purpose - subject only, at most, to requirements to provide attribution and/or share-alike. Specifically, open data is defined by the Open Definition and requires that the data be A. Legally open: that is, available under an open (data) license that permits anyone freely to access, reuse and redistribute B. Technically open: that is, that the data be available for no more than the cost of reproduction and in machine-readable and bulk form. (OpenData Handbook, Glossary of terms)

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