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Training and Development Policy

Individual Learning Account Pilot Initiative

A Learning Tool for the 21st Century

Appendix D: Synopses of Agencies' Federal ILA Pilots

Department of Commerce

Goal: Ensure SES workforce gives priority to participation in development activities annually.

Results: Data to be submitted at a later date.

Department of Defense

Air Force

Air Combat Command (ACC)

Goal: To improve performance and promote mission readiness.

Results: Commander/supervisor survey results confirmed that the ILA program enhanced individual performance and improved mission readiness. Eighty-eight percent of commanders/supervisor respondents indicated that participating employees showed improved job performance. A hundred percent of commander/supervisor respondents indicated that morale and quality of life for participating employees was improved. Seventy-three percent of employee respondents said they would not have been able to achieve their professional goals without the ILA. Total of 484 employees from a variety f fields participated.A total of $238,535 was expended.

ACC recommended that pilot be fully funded and implemented AF wide to enhance readiness and contribute to continuing quality of life efforts for employees.

Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service

Goal: Build Internet skills among administrative support staff.

Results: Six staff members expressed interest in the ILAs project and two have taken courses.The program has been extended into FY 2002 and two additional courses will be added for the participants. The pilot contributed to raised awareness among the targeted population of expanded Internet skills needed by the organization and encouraged some managers to recommend training for the targeted population overlooked in the past.

Department of Housing and Urban Development
(Upward Mobility Program ILA)

Goal: Enhance the Department's Upward Mobility Program by providing resources to a target audience for continuous learning and development.

Results: The pilot project was viewed as a success. The participants in the program gained additional training and developmental opportunities because of the available funding through ILAs. The training completed by each participant was program specific and was selected based on trainees' needs to acquire skills and knowledge in their specific career area. Twenty-three participants used their ILA resources expending approximately $20,000.

Department of Labor
(Boston/New York Offices of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management-OASAM)

Goal: Encourage employees to participate in lifelong learning activities and take charge of their learning and development.

Results: Fifty employees out of seventy eligible employees participated in the ILA project. By the end of the pilot 34% had taken training. Most participants were generally enthusiastic about the program because it presented them a good opportunity to learn something new and develop their skills. Supervisors believed ILAs encouraged participants to take training and showed that the Department is interested in employees' training and development.

Department of Transportation
3 components of Federal Highway Administration (FHA)

Goal: Determining the practicality and feasibility of ILA use in FHA.

Results: Participants generally saw ILAs as an opportunity to assume greater responsibility for their professional development, to tailor learning and development activities to their individual needs, and to obtain needed training on a more timely basis. Most agreed that there is potential for ILAs to have a positive impact on employee growth and development in the long run.

Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Information Systems (IS) Investment Fund

Goal: Meet the IS organizational need of developing project management certificate program.

[See Career Growth Program ILA results.]

Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Accounting Competencies Program

Goal: Increase the number of certified public accountants (CPAs) in the Western Region in order to meet the IRS' goal of developing a talented, highly skilled workforce equipped to provide exceptional service to taxpayers.

[See Career Growth Program ILA results.]

Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Career Growth Program

Goal: Enhance individual career growth and development that supports the overall mission of the IRS.

Results: The IRS pilots went well. Approximately 1500 of 2000 eligible employees participated. Most participants just finished their initial courses at the end of 2000.The agency plans to do surveys, interviews or focus groups in spring 2001 to further assess the program. However, the ILA programs continues to grow in funds allocated, employees participating, and the development of highly strategic and innovative programs. The agency stated that "the potential return on investment in terms of employee career development, retention of highly qualified employees, a more competent workforce and employee satisfaction is well worth the cost of the program."

Enviornmental Protection Agency

Goal: Identify the emerging learning needs of support staff for purposes of revitalizing this occupational area to enhance organizational effectiveness, managerial effectiveness, and employee satisfaction.

Status: Implementation began in Fall 2000. Results not yet available.

General Services Administration
(Online University ILA)
Goal: Give employees more control and input into theirtraining and provide them with individual accounts to take trainingonline. (OLU)

Results: OLU is being used as a major training vehicle to reduce the cost of travel associated with training. The ILA met established performance measures as evidenced by surveys showing savings from employeestaking online courses vs. traveling and using higher priced commercial courses was significant.

Overall, the employees were very excited about having Online University (OLU) as a training resource. They were particularly impressed by both the quality of the individual courses and the quantity of courses available in a wide variety of subjects. They also enjoyed the convenience and flexibility of online education, with the ability to work at one's own pace being the biggest draw to taking future online courses. Managers commented, " The online university is great because it assists my employees with continuing development and encourages educational growth. The cost savings makes it even better!"

General Services Administration
(Federal Supply Service, (FSS)(ILA)

Goal: To assist participants to meet the new educational requirements of the FSS position and increase the number of employees meeting qualification requirements for these acquisition positions.

Results: The program has been very successful and is funded through 2003. Additional data will be submitted later.

Occupational Safety and Health
Review Commission

Goals: Improve employee performance. Meet specific agency performance goals. Support employee career-long goals. Support employee efforts to acquire skills and knowledge needed to succeed in specific occupations and professions. Employee attainment of at least 40 hrs of training. Increasing employees access to and use of emerging learning technologies.

Results: The ILA covered all eligible employees in the agency. Of these, fifty-two received a minimum of forty hours of training. Questionnaires were used to assess employees', managers' and supervisors' perspective of the pilot. All managers/supervisors reported that they noticed an improvement in their employees' performance as a result of taking courses based on their ILAs. Three felt that the courses contributed greatly. One supervisor responded that,"ILA provided mechanism for me to make sure appropriate training was provided."

The majority of employees reported that the courses contributed somewhat or greatly to enhancing or improving job performance.

Office of Personnel Management
(Retirement Claims Division)

Goals: Encourage employees to become more involved in their own learning and development. Provide flexible learning opportunities for employees.

Better prepare employees to successfully acquire necessary skills to meet present and future performance challenges.

Results: Overall, the ILA pilot program has been successful. A significant number of participants thought the courses they attended were very valuable to their effectiveness at work. One hundred percent of those who started an ILA-funded course completed it. The three main objectives were definitely met.

Eighty-four participants out of one hundred and four eligible, completed a Plan of Action to reserve their ILA. Sixty-two participants attended one hundred and thirty three learning opportunities. Sixty-six percent of the learning opportunities were taken during official time. Thirty-four percent of the learning opportunities were taken during non-official time. Ninety-six percent of participants thought the program should continue.

Social Security Administration
Divisional Headquarter component and a Region

Goal: Promote employee core competencies through use of self assessment tool with links to on-line training that can be taken to strengthen areas identified as weak

Status: Implementation began in August 2001 and will run through February 2001 for the regional component and for a year in Denver. Results will be reported after March 2001.

Results are excerpted from individual agency evaluation reports.

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