On this page, you’ll find explanations of some of the technical terms used on the rest of this website. If you have further questions, or don’t understand something that isn’t listed here, please get in touch.

American Job Centers
American Job Centers are designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers under one roof. Established under the Workforce Investment Act, and reauthorized in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) of 2014, the centers offer training referrals, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related services. Customers can visit a center in person or connect to the center's information online or remotely through a kiosk. The American Job Centers system is coordinated by the US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA). (Source: US Department of Labor)
Apprenticeships combine paid, on-the-job training with classroom instruction to prepare workers for highly skilled careers.
Community-based organization
A non-profit or not-for-profit organization that primarily serves the needs of a given community
Community college
A higher education institution that primarily serves local communities and almost always provides programs of up to two years’ duration
(includes baccalaureate, sub-baccalaureate, associate's and certificates)
An award conferred by a college, university, or other postsecondary education institution as official recognition for the successful completion of a program of studies
Department of Labor
Higher education institution
A term formerly used in IPEDS to define an institution that was accredited at the college level by an agency or association recognized by the Secretary, US Department of Education. These schools offered at least a one-year program of study creditable toward a degree and they were eligible for participation in Title IV federal financial aid programs (Source: IPEDS Glossary)
Surveys conducted annually by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Read more about data sources
Internal Revenue Services. Read more about data sources
Novel dataset
The unified frame our team created by collecting, aggregating, deduplicating, and cleaning data from the following major existing publicly-available data sources:

(1) Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS): Surveys conducted annually by the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

(2) (TPR): Department of Labor list of Eligible Training Programs

(3) Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System (RAPIDS): Department of Labor primary platform for managing apprentices, occupations, job openings, and other relevant program information in states.

(4) IRS Form 990 Data: Forms used by smaller, tax-exempt organizations for annual reporting.
The Department of Labor primary platform for managing apprentices, occupations, job openings, and other relevant program information in states. Read more about data sources
Technical college
A higher education institution that offers vocational programs of study, often as part of the qualifications and training required for a particular industry or career
Title IV institution
An institution that has a written agreement with the Secretary of Education that allows the institution to participate in any of the Title IV federal student financial assistance programs, other than the State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) and the National Early Intervention Scholarship and Partnership (NEISP) programs.

Title IV aid to students includes grant aid, work study aid, and loan aid. Current and historical programs include: the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant), the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program, the Federal Perkins Loan (formerly the National Direct Student loan or NDSL program), the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) also known as the Stafford Loan (formerly the Guaranteed Student Loan or GSL program), and the Subsidized and Unsubsidized William D. Ford Direct Loan. (Source: IPEDS Glossary)
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. More information available at:
Workforce development sector
Broadly, the workforce sector as a whole has two main goals: 1) to help workers navigate the labor market and connect to employment, and 2) to provide training that enhances workers’ skills. Workforce development programming spans industries and skill sets, serves a variety of audiences, utilizes many different program models, and may or may not receive public funding.
Workforce training organization (or provider)
Organizations providing short-term (less than two-year) post-high-school training opportunities in which learners gain work-relevant skills to help them find a job