Anatomy of a One-Stop Center Project


Eastside Career Center, Mayor's Office of Workforce Development, Baltimore, MD
Anatomy of A One-Stop

Camdenton Career Center, Central Region (MO) Workforce Investment Board
Columbia Career Center, Central Region (MO) Workforce Investment Board
Anatomy of Two One-Stops

One-Stop Employment and Training Services

As an integral part of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), One-Stop Career Centers provide a variety of employment, training, education, and workforce development resources to job seekers, workers, and businesses throughout the United States. Coordinated by the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA), center facilities have been designed to provide streamlined services in one location. The core principles of One-Stop Centers are:

  1. Universal Access
  2. Customer Choice
  3. Integration of Services
  4. Accountability.

How the Anatomy project will provide insight to One-Stop Centers

Current administrative data cannot describe the myriad of functions and services provided by One-Stop Centers. In addition to workforce related resources for their customers, One-Stop Centers provide the community with information about support services, healthcare, finance, transportation, community based organizations, service agency referrals, and they offer space for community meetings as well as job fairs and recruitment sessions.

Workforce development leaders have found that many federal policy makers are unaware of what takes place within One-Stop facilities. We hope this study will “fill in the blanks�. Our goal is to create a deeper, more comprehensive picture of One-Stop Center operations, including customers, their expectations, and their flow through the system.

Researchers from the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore and the University of Missouri-Columbia are collaborating on this project. The study designs will be complementary, although not identical. Local One-Stop Center staff has provided input as to data collection tools and methods. We hope that the study will provide meaningful information not only to the Department of Labor, but on a local level, as well.

Research Design

The purpose of this study is to describe and map the arrival, internal processing, and destination flows of customers throughout the center.

One-Stop Centers for the study were chosen based on:

  • Location (inner-city, isolated urban, and seasonal/recreation/rural)
  • Availability of administrative information and experienced researchers
  • Willingness of One-Stop managers to participate in the project.

Design principles include:

  1. Flow Analysis

    We will attempt to document what happens to individuals as they are processed through the Center. Who comes into the Center? What do they expect? Where do they go? What do they do? Why?

  2. Process Analysis

    Services will be mapped. What services are being used? What is happening in the Center on a daily basis?

  3. Ethnographic Analysis

    Services will be broken down by demographics. Local demographics will be compared to the demographics of Center customers. Special populations (e.g., veterans, disabled, ex-offenders) use of services will be examined.

  4. Spatial Analysis

    Customer pathways will be documented. Are the services offered conducive to the flow of traffic within the Center? Where (physically) do people go within the facility?

  5. Historical Analysis

    The evolution of the Center will be documented. How have policy changes impacted staff/services? What is their relationship with other community based organizations?

  6. Data Analysis

    An analysis of currently available data will be performed.

Next Steps

Data collection is slated to begin in all sites in March, 2004 and will continue on a regular basis through December, 2004. Sampling methods have been chosen carefully to capture the full range of business operations during different times of the day and different days of the week, as well as non-business hours. Monthly status reports will be submitted to the DOL project officer and One-Stop managers.