BLS/LMI Oversight Council
BLS Labor Market Information Oversight Council (BLOC) Members
The Workforce Information Council (WIC) was a required governance council mandated by the passage of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. This governance structure has been of significant benefit to BLS, the States, and the Labor Market Information (LMI) system during the last 16 years. On July 22, 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was signed into law, superseding the WIA. The WIOA mandates the creation of the Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC). The membership of the WIAC is broad-based and it will provide high level strategic advice for the overall workforce information system, for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In order to better serve its strategic planning and communication needs, BLS is chartering the BLS/LMI Oversight Council (BLOC). The BLOC will develop strategic plans for the BLS federal-state cooperative programs, it will provide governance for BLS Policy Councils, and it will be tasked with obtaining program input from and dispersing program information to BLS State partners.
To conduct oversight operations for the BLS federal-state cooperative programs, to develop strategic plans to govern broad program changes, and to provide governance for and to work across the program Policy Councils to ensure that program changes are implemented in a cooperative and coordinated manner that benefits the entire federal-state cooperative system. Also, to serve as a communication conduit to ensure that State concerns are heard at the federal level and that program information is dispersed to all States, to explore expanded use of LMI data, to conduct customer outreach, and to liaise with other teams, including the WIAC.
- Perform oversight and governance to ensure that the BLS federal-state cooperative programs are operated efficiently, and to ensure that program changes fully consider input from all parties.
- Develop strategic plans to govern future directions for these programs.
- Promote program data quality, and work to improve and enhance the quality of data.
- Ensure that Policy Council actions and decisions are consistent with BLOC goals.
- Ensure that program changes are communicated and coordinated across programs.
- Ensure that major program decisions are made with broad input from the LMI Directors.
- Sponsor, conduct, and review research that might lead to new or improved data products at the national, state, and local levels.
- Serve as a communication conduit for States to communicate with BLS management, and for BLS management to communicate with States.
- Consult customers to confirm the usefulness of the current data suite, and to identify and address deficiencies.
- Act as a liaison with the LMI system and with the WIAC.
- The council is responsible for chartering and governance of the program Policy Councils.
- The council has the authority to plan, develop, and deliver strategic plans for the federal-state cooperative programs.
- Meeting notes
- Short- and long-term Strategic Plan for the BLS federal-state cooperative system. It is anticipated that short-term plans will be updated annually. The frequency of updates to the long-term Strategic Plan will be determined by the BLOC.
- Inputs to the plan will include the short- and long-term plans from each Policy Council, and the annual planning memorandum prepared by BLS Associate Commissioner for Employment and Unemployment Statistics.
- Plans should take into account other BLS programs that could have an impact on state LMI systems (occupational projections, JOLTS, CPS, etc.).
- The Council can establish study or work groups (such as customer, high tech, wage record, etc.) for specific approved projects related to the BLOC mission/goals, subject to budget/funding availability.
The Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Labor Statistics is the sponsor for this council. The Associate Commissioner for the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics will serve as the Federal co-chair of the council, and a state-elected member will serve as the State co-chair.
Council members will communicate via in-person and telephone meetings, and by email. The team will post meeting notes on a team website.
- Meeting agendas are to be distributed to all states in advance.
- Notes are required within 10 business days of the end of a meeting.
- Notes will be shared on a BLS site accessible to States.
- Meetings will normally be held 3 times per year.
- Partners in the LMI Community and other guests will be allowed, but must be invited.
Guests and nonmembers are welcome to attend meetings, but may participate in discussions only when specifically invited to do so by the co-chairs. Guests are requested to notify the co-chairs prior to the meeting that they will attend, so adequate meeting room space may be obtained. If the co-chairs determine that confidential material will be discussed in the meeting, the observers will be asked to leave the meeting during that discussion.
The primary source of funds will be from BLS. BLS will provide travel funds and other approved costs as needed for council sponsored projects.
- There will be 6 BLS members.
- Membership is determined by the BLS Deputy Commissioner.
- There will be 6 State members, one representing each BLS region.
- State members will serve for two years.
- Members may serve more than one consecutive term if so inclined and elected.
- BLS Office of Field Operations will organize regional elections; odd regions in one year, even regions the next.
- Elections for odd-numbered regions (i.e., Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago) will be held in odd-numbered years, and elections for even-numbered regions (i.e., Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco) will be held in even-numbered years. Terms will coincide with the BLS fiscal year (October 1–September 30).
- Initial terms will be 2 or 3 years depending on the region that a member is representing.
- OEUS Associate Commissioner (Federal co-chair)
- OIES Assistant Commissioner
- OCEA Assistant Commissioner
- OOSEP Assistant Commissioner
- OFO-OCSP Division Chief
- OFO-Regional Commissioner
- LMI Director — BLS Boston Region One (1) Representative
- LMI Director — BLS Philadelphia Region Three (3) Representative
- LMI Director — BLS Atlanta Region Four (4) Representative
- LMI Director — BLS Chicago Region Five (5) Representative
- LMI Director — BLS Dallas Region Six (6) Representative
- LMI Director — BLS San Francisco Region Eight (8) Representative
As part of the work conducted by the BLOC, and previously with the Workforce Information Council, BLS sponsors study groups to conduct research in areas of interest for the Labor Market Information (LMI) community. The research is designed to better inform users about timely and relevant topics, illuminate data available to the LMI community, or explore better ways of capturing and reporting data. Research is typically done by a group comprising state and Federal employees along with outside contractors in some cases to ensure a well-rounded perspective is provided on the topic being researched.
- Enhancing Unemployment Insurance Wage Records - Potential Benefits, Barriers, and Opportunities [PDF]
- High-tech Industries in the U.S. Economy [PDF]
- Enhancing Unemployment Insurance Wage Records - Potential Benefits, Barriers, and Opportunities (First-Year Report) [PDF]
Team Charter (PDF)
Last Modified Date: March 29, 2018