The Legislative Audit Bureau released an audit [pdf] last month of the construction trade apprenticeships in Wisconsin. This is the third audit of the apprenticeship program and the second since it has been under the control of the Department of Workforce Development. The local papers didn’t cover its release much (and the AP article sucked), but I found the audit really interesting. This might be because I have never read a full audit before or because I am much more interested in policy processes than most people, but really, I think, it is because the results of this audit are just really interesting.
Wisconsin’s Legislative Audit Bureau, which employs a good number of La Follette graduates, “is a non-partisan legislative service agency created to assist the Legislature in maintaining effective oversight of state operations…The results of these evaluations are provided to the Legislature, along with recommendations for improvements in agency operations.”
This particular audit was conducted, because “[s]ome legislators have expressed concerns that relatively few minorities and women participate in apprenticeships and that there has been inconsistent enforcement of Executive Order 108, which requires apprentices to be employed on certain state construction and highway projects.” It is a broad topic (and Policy Analysis teaches you to limit, limit, limit scope), so I was surprised at the breadth and depth of the research conducted. The audit results in two recommendations – one recommending DWD actually follow the Executive Order (generally a good idea) and one recommending reporting to the Legislature on key matters.
The audit is worth a read through. The writing is really accessible and the findings are very interesting. It would be a good way to explore one of the career avenues available to you post-graduation. One of my weaknesses in Policy Analysis was not telling the client what to do. This audit does an excellent job modeling how to make a recommendation without just telling the client what to do.