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International Technical Cooperation

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I stay while I attend training?

Bureau of Labor Statistics staff will assist with reservations for participants if requested at least 4 weeks prior to the start of the training program. Otherwise, participants must make their own housing arrangements.

What ground transportation is available from area airports?

A wide variety of ground transportation options are available from area airports including taxi, bus, shuttle, and rail service. Select an airport to find more information:

How can I get to BLS from my hotel?

Participants are responsible for their own transportation while in Washington, DC. The metropolitan area has one of the most modern transit systems in the world. Getting to BLS and around town is easy with public transit. Most seminar participants commute to BLS using the Metrorail.

BLS is located next door to Union Station, Washington, D.C.'s main hub for rail and bus transportation. It is a short walk from Union Station on Metro's Red Line to the Postal Square Building, where all BLS seminars are held.

What is the weather like?

Washington, D.C. experiences the four seasons of the northern hemisphere. The weather is generally temperate. Spring, early summer, and fall are the most comfortable seasons, although moderate winters are not uncommon. Late summer tends to be hot and humid. These are the current conditions and the weather forecast.

How much money will I need each day?

A minimum of $320 per day is recommended to pay for housing, meals, and other expenses. Financial sponsors should pay allowances directly to participants. BLS cannot accept money for the participants' daily living expenses or medical insurance in tuition payments.

Who is eligible to attend?

BLS international seminars are designed for staff of national statistical offices and other government and international organizations responsible for producing or analyzing economic and labor statistics. Typical participants include economists, statisticians, researchers, analysts, and managers. Participants should have an elementary knowledge of statistics and some experience in analyzing labor or social data.

What are the seminar objectives?

The objectives of the seminars offered by BLS are to strengthen the participants' ability to produce, analyze, and use all types of economic and labor statistics.

Planners, administrators, and policy makers need timely, accurate, and relevant labor statistics in order to plan, carry out, and evaluate programs designed to improve the well-being of the population in both rural and urban areas.

A strong capability to produce, analyze, and use economic and labor statistics is necessary to provide: 1) an initial inventory of socioeconomic conditions; 2) a base against which performance and progress in the attainment of targeted social goals can be judged; and 3) an unbiased source of information that policy-and decision-makers can use to solve problems.

What is the training format?

Specialists from BLS will work with participants during each seminar. Seminars offer opportunities for problem solving, both individually and in group workshops. Participants also will have the opportunity to schedule additional meetings with subject matter experts, if desired.

BLS seminars emphasize highly specialized techniques not taught in university courses and, most importantly, the practical aspects of conducting labor statistics programs on a day-to-day basis. Seminars and customized training programs provide a forum for participants to hear firsthand from BLS staff about their experiences in carrying out specific statistical programs, including problems encountered and solutions adopted.

The sharing of the practical experiences of BLS staff, together with the experiences of the participants and their countries, extends to all aspects of a statistical program. These aspects include: conceptual framework, survey design, questionnaire design, data collection, data editing and processing, estimation, analysis, and presentation of results, with an emphasis on practical applications.

Are certificates awarded for training?

Each participant will receive a certificate upon the successful completion of a training seminar.

What training materials are provided?

BLS will provide each participant with reference materials at the beginning of the seminar. Since seminar materials are provided in English, a reading knowledge of English is desirable.

Due to the emphasis on applied analysis, participants are encouraged to bring with them the following materials: 1) methodological documentation on how data related to the seminar topic are collected in their home countries; 2) questionnaires used in their countries for obtaining those data; and 3) sample publications of those data.

Are simultaneous interpretation services available?

Each seminar is conducted in English. Since BLS does not have interpreters on staff, non-English speaking participants must arrange for and finance simultaneous interpretation. Please contact ITC staff well in advance if interpretation services are needed.

Can BLS subsidize the cost of training?

Individuals or organizations wishing to participate in BLS seminars must pay for the training or find a sponsor who will pay the cost of the training. Participants typically are sponsored by their own government, the United Nations or its affiliated agencies, or other international or regional organizations. BLS regrets that it cannot provide financial support or petition sponsors on behalf of participants.

Participants must complete the BLS Training Payment Agreement form. Payment, in U.S. dollars, is due at least five business days before the trainee's arrival at BLS. Payment may be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT) or credit card. BLS accepts MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover. Please contact for EFT information. BLS will only accept payment by check from a U.S. chartered bank payable to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in U.S. dollars. Payment should include the tuition fee only. Do not include money for participant's travel or medical insurance in tuition payments to BLS. Allowances for housing, meals, and local transportation should be paid directly to participants; a minimum of $320 per day is recommended. Participants also should receive medical insurance allowances directly. All participants should be furnished with round-trip tickets from home to Washington, DC.

Is medical insurance required?

Medical insurance is not required, but is strongly recommended because of the high cost of medical care in the United States. If desired, sponsors should arrange for medical coverage in advance. BLS can provide participants and sponsors with information about temporary medical insurance coverage.

When should I arrive in Washington, DC?

Participants should arrive 1 or 2 days before the seminar begins, in order to adjust to possible time or weather changes. An orientation session will be held on the first day of the seminar.

Where are the seminars held?

Seminars are conducted at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 2190, Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. All seminar participants and international visitors must enter the Postal Square Building through the 1st Street, NE entrance (between Massachusetts Avenue and G Street, NE) across from Union Station. BLS employees are not allowed to escort visitors into the building at the Ceremonial Entrance (North Capitol Street and Massachusetts Avenue, NE). Click here for directions to BLS. Staff in the Division of International Technical Cooperation may be reached by telephone at (202) 691-5666 or by fax at (202) 691-5664.

What are BLS security procedures?

All visitors are required to show photo identification, such as a passport, to gain entry into the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After verification, visitors will be screened with x-ray and metal detection equipment.


Last modified: March 27, 2018