This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Alabama Workforce Development – Evaluating the Efficiency of the Alabama Local Workforce Investment Board Structure




Ulmer, Matthew

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This study provided an assessment of the Alabama Workforce Investment Board structure by surveying board members of each of Alabama’s three local workforce investment boards. The survey instrument was inspired by a similarly focused survey administered by a local workforce investment board in northwest Missouri, and focuses on a variety of topics workforce investment board members are uniquely qualified to address. The survey was administered online via the Qualtrics Survey system in July of 2015. A factor analysis was performed on the survey instrument to determine underlying constructs influencing the data. Of the sixteen survey items directly analyzed through the factor analysis, nine successfully loaded onto one of two factors. The first factor was named Board Culture and the second Board Autonomy. It was determined 70.89% of the variance was explained by the items found within the two factors. Cronbach’s alpha was used to determine the reliability of the variance of the survey instrument. Factor one reported a Cronbach’s alpha of .869 while the second reported a .867. These figures suggested a strong indication of the reliability of the survey instrument’s items. In addition to the factor and instrument reliability analyses, the researcher performed independent samples t-tests on the nine items which successfully loaded onto one of the two factors. The means of the three local boards were compared by combining the responses of two boards each representing one county and the means of the balance of state board representing sixty-five counties. Of the nine items, seven of the t-tests found statistically significant iii differences between the two groups. The themes of the items reaching statistical significance include: the appropriateness of the geographic scope of the board, board decision making capabilities, external engagement and partnerships, board autonomy, and board assessment of service providers. From the data cited, a conclusion can be drawn suggesting the smaller, locally focused boards perceived themselves as being more efficient and effective relative to their peers on the balance of state board. Optional items on the instrument provided anecdotal evidence to support these findings; however, they also illustrated strong qualities found among those on the larger boards.