This report reviews the work of the Workforce Calculator Project, which is being conducted by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) to enable forensic laboratories to identify the personnel required to support a given level of casework within each area of investigation and the associated investment in capital equipment to support that level of activity.
The first year of this 2-year project produced an initial work tool (Beta Calculator), based upon a decade of performance of the most efficient laboratories in Project FORESIGHT. The project’s second year resulted in the development of a more sustainable and more detailed econometric analysis as a long-term planning tool. All sample laboratories met a standard of 90 percent laboratory-wide efficiency, using the ASCLD Maximus award criteria. Economic analysis examined laboratory performance related to the type of jurisdiction (state, metropolitan, or regional) size of population served, and state crime rates (violent and property). In the project’s second year, a more sustainable and detailed econometric analysis produced a long-term planning tool that followed the reported experience of practitioners in using the beta calculator. In some cases, the laboratories indicated the beta calculator output was consistent with their current allocation; other users reported the beta calculator confirmed known or suspected understaffing in various areas of the laboratory’s work. These laboratories also suggested improvement for the calculator. Each suggestion has been incorporated into the enhanced workforce calculator, developed in the project’s second year. Laboratories are encouraged to download and test the Gamma Workforce Calculator and report findings to the principal investigator (contact information provided). The Gamma Workforce Calculator can be downloaded from this report page, and access is also provided to a presentation on the calculator project by the project leader (Dr. Paul Speaker).