In the fall of 2009—at the request of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), the Office of Statistical and Science Policy (Office of Management and Budget, OMB), and the Under Secretary of Education (OUS)—the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) began a new interagency effort to improve federal statistical data on the education, training, and credentials that out-of-school youth and adults need for jobs. An Interagency Working Group on Certificates and Certifications was founded to oversee this work. In 2012, the group's scope expanded to include federal statistical measures of participation and enrollment in work-related education and training and its name changed to the Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA). GEMEnA consists of senior representatives from the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, as well as CEA, NCES, OMB, and OUS. GEMEnA meets regularly to review on-going work and plan future work; the notes from these meetings are available here.
With GEMEnA's expert guidance and support, NCES has embarked upon a multi-faceted effort to apply best-practice survey development principles towards the goal of developing valid national measures of the participation in and credentialing of education and training for work, and to build government-wide consensus for the adoption of these measures.
GEMEnA's portfolio includes four main strands of work:
GEMEnA has established an Expert Panel to ensure the relevance of its work for answering critical policy and research questions. The Expert Panel consists of thought leaders from the worlds of education, economics, and workforce development who use data to understand the role of human capital development in fostering and sustaining economic growth. Thus far, the Expert Panel has met once, in November 2012 (see meeting summary).