Thanks to all who joined the webinar on March 1, we were thrilled to host over 600 participants. Below are the archives and resources shared during the webinar.
Infographics shared during the discussion:
Find other resources from the WIOA National Convening, including PowerPoints, the participant list, etc., here.
Two excerpts from the transcripts highlight the rich discussion that took place during the webinar:
Serving Individuals with Barriers to Employment
Michael Yudin: …it shouldn’t matter what the barrier is. The individual, whether they speak English as their primary language or not—whether they have a disability or not—and many of the folks that come into our workforce development system do have multiple barriers, but the whole point of this is to create this seamless high-quality and accessible system that meets the needs of the individuals and they very well may have multiple needs. They should be able to come to a one stop system and get the supports whether it’s English language instruction, whether it’s vocational rehabilitation, whether it’s other kinds of supports or services.
Johan Uvin: … I really appreciated Michael’s points, you know, so that we don’t fall into the trap of compartmentalizing people based on whatever their significant barrier is, but that we would really take this opportunity to work together between the various programs and say, well do we have data that show for example what the incidence of disabilities is in the English learner population, in the foster youth population, and whatever it may be, and that we then come together at the federal, state and local levels to really figure out a strategy that would leverage the various assets that the programs bring.
Janet LaBreck: … And I think that’s right. I think that is really important to understand also the partnership piece and that’s why I think that this piece of legislation is so important to all of us because this gives us that opportunity to really leverage the expertise that each one of us as core partners brings to the table to support the community’s needs. I think that the more we do that and the more effective we are at putting those strategies together, the more successful our consumers will be.
Serving Youth, Especially Disconnected Youth
Janet LaBreck:… We have all had experience with these populations and I know that in particular for the VR community we have a national technical assistance center for youth to deal specifically with this so that we are engaging the National Technical Assistance Center to help with supporting and providing resources and information that really does address these issues so that information can be provided. We can do outreach. We can provide support at the community level for families, for individuals, for school systems who—where youth may have already become disconnected. We also have another technical assistance center also that deals with transition and the purpose of that Transition Center is to also deal with those individuals who have not certainly become disconnected as of yet but who may in fact be at risk for becoming disconnected. And to provide those supports to educators and certainly I think the professional community, their families and the VR community itself to really be able to provide supports and information based on research and evidence-based practices that are going to align with providing services and supports to those individuals who may be at risk for becoming disconnected.
Portia Wu:…I wanted to add to that. With the emphasis in WIOA in the youth formula programs funded through the Department of Labor, there’s a real shift to focusing on disconnected youth saying states have to put 75% of their formula funds to that work and with 20% of that—20% of youth funds going towards work based experiences. So that, combined with the measuring credentials—measuring skills gained—I think that all of this is really going to encourage the partnerships which we’ve been talking about on this call, both from our side funded from the Department of Labor, as well as our education partners, to really think together about how do we get disconnected youths connected with those industry specific oriented training programs that can lead to skilled jobs? So I think that’s another one of the great opportunities and we look forward to partnering with all of you on that.
Johan Uvin: …I think also, Portia, the work in the apprenticeship space—I think that is also getting a little bit of a boost through WIOA and through some new investments that Congress has authorized… And also within title II, you know, I’m not sure if folks are aware that every year between 700,000 and 750,000 disconnected youth younger than 25 reconnect with education through title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Up until this point in time, we didn’t have much to offer beyond the educational experience for them. Now with the integrated education and training provisions with the new activities that are allowed such as workforce preparation activities, we can actually do a lot more. We can also go to our partners in title I, III or IV and say, what can we do here?
Mark Mitsui: As well as the combined partners.
Johan Uvin: Yes, we can say, … what can we put together here that has an industry focus, gives people a real credential and good skills, and expands the opportunities that did not exist before for this subpopulation?