BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — An audit found that those who participated in some workforce programs didn’t make any more money than before joining programs.

The report describes the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs’ purpose is to increase participants’ employment, job retention and earnings to increase economic growth.

Auditors said the programs could use more oversight and guidance after the Louisiana Workforce Commission had not ensured that all LWDBs had memorandums of understanding to give access to all required partner programs as of June of this year.

The report said participants got credentials and skills at a higher rate compared to other states, but got jobs at a lower rate.

Auditors said while most participants who left two programs in 2019 and 2021 got jobs had earnings lower than two to three quarters before the program. The report also said most program participants didn’t have earnings after leaving that were high enough to be self-sufficient.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is suggested by auditors to evaluate the effectiveness and compliance of each program by using in-depth analysis of services and outcomes.

In her response, LWC Secretary Ava Cates partially agreed with auditor’s findings about analyzing outcomes, saying, “While it could be beneficial for LWC as well as the local areas to gather and analyze additional data to evaluate WIOA program outcomes, LWC lacks the capacity to operate beyond the confines of the federal WIOA requirements without additional state funding to do so.”