Education: A Key Service in WIOA

This is a cross-post from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education’s Blog site.


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:

Logo displays One Team; One Vision; One Conversation

Logo from 2016 WIOA National Convening

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?

July 1, 2015 — Making a Shift in the Public Workforce System

This article is cross-posted on the:


Today, July 1, 2015, marks the day that many of the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) take effect. This new law has the potential to make a tremendous difference for tens of millions of workers, jobseekers and students across this country. WIOA’s transformation of our publicly-funded workforce system means that all of us—federal and state partners, governments, non-profits and educational and training institutions, must be pressing for innovations to ensure:

  • the needs of business and workers drive our workforce solutions
  • one-stop centers, also known as American Job Centers (AJCs) provide excellent customer service to both jobseekers and employers and focus on continuous improvement; and
  • the workforce system supports strong regional economies and plays an active role in community and economic development.

July 1st is about “opportunity.” It’s about implementing strategies to help workers and jobseekers achieve their full potential. Through our AJCs and other service locations, the public workforce system will meet people where they are, whether they’re young adults just starting out, or experienced workers whose need to retool their skills to succeed, whether they are a person with a disability or someone who faces other barriers to a job. Our aligned services need to help each of them build a meaningful career and achieve economic independence.

Now is the time for action among all workforce partners. It is truly a new day for the American workforce system.

Some states and local areas are already hard at work implementing the law and laying the groundwork for big changes and big ideas. Some have formed new partnerships and are creatively aligning workforce resources. Others are redesigning customer service strategies at the nearly 2,500 local AJCs.

But we still have much work to do to realize the full vision of WIOA.

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Through town halls and virtual stakeholder events, we listened to you. The U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, incorporated your feedback into proposed regulations and will continue to do so as we review comments and develop final regulations. We have released early Operational Guidance and technical assistance tools, including a set of Quick Start Action Planners, to help you assess your readiness to implement WIOA and identify areas of strength and focused areas for improvement. And we will continue to issue program guidance throughout the year to operationalize WIOA.

Now that most of WIOA is in effect, we will continue to support the public workforce system as state and local officials transform their systems. Here are the steps we’ll be taking this year to implement WIOA and provide assistance for states and local areas across the country:

  • Providing states opportunities and information to develop State Implementation Teams that will allow workforce system programs to share specific challenges, conduct in-person planning, and connect more directly to the right resources.
  • Rolling out the Innovation Opportunity Network (ION) (workforce3one.org), an online learning and teaching community which is a partnership of programs and services, designed to help all levels of workforce development professionals, stakeholders, and partners connect with peers throughout the public workforce system who are working to implement WIOA. ION will provide training and technical assistance, focused on themes the partners have identified as a priority: change management, strategic boards, regionalism, customer-centered service delivery, talent development strategies, system alignment and other topics. Tools include an Act Now webinar series, Voices of Experience videos and podcasts, a community of practice site, virtual events related to WIOA operating guidance. Get engaged by visiting ion.workforce3one.org

Our work has never been more important, and we want to make sure every partner and every region has what you need to succeed. We look forward to working with you to realize the vision of WIOA!

WIOA Updates and Resources

For WIOA updates and resources, please visit OSERS’ WIOA Web page.

Additional information can be found on the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education’s (OCTAE) WIOA Web site and the Department of Labor’s WIOA Web site.

 


Contributing Authors:

  • Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education
  • Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education
  • Janet LaBreck, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education
  • Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration of Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Posted by
Assistant Secretary, Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

WIOA: A Vision to Revitalize the Workforce System

This blog was cross-posted from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education blog.

Reminder: Public comment period on the 5 proposed notices of rulemaking is now closed.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) aims to increase access to and opportunities for employment, education, training, and support services, particularly for individuals with the greatest barriers to employment. WIOA, which marks the most significant change to the Federal adult education, vocational rehabilitation, and workforce development systems in more than a decade, promotes stronger alignment of workforce, education, vocational rehabilitation, and other human services systems in order to improve the structure and delivery of services to individuals, including adults and youth with disabilities and others who face barriers to employment.

While the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services have always strived to create and expand access to education, training, and employment opportunities for the millions of youth and adults who seek services through their programs, WIOA modernizes and streamlines the workforce development system to offer holistic, wrap around services to support gainful employment in the competitive integrated labor market. WIOA also supports innovative strategies to keep pace with changing economic conditions and calls for improved collaboration among agencies, not just at the State and local levels, but also at the Federal level.

The successful implementation of WIOA will require States and local areas to establish strong partnerships with core programs and other partners in the community, including local educational agencies, in order to successfully serve program participants, workers, and learners. WIOA’s unified and combined state planning provisions support this coordination by requiring a four-year strategy based on an analysis of workforce, employment and unemployment data, labor market trends, and the educational and skills level of a State’s workforce. The strategic planning process will help States align education, employers, and the public workforce system for efficient and effective use of resources. This coordinated planning will also ensure that programs and services are responsive to employer, business, and regional and community needs.

Additionally, the one-stop centers (American Job Centers or AJCs) represent a cornerstone for the alignment and coordination of workforce, education, vocational rehabilitation, and social service programs. WIOA highlights opportunities for core and partner programs— including postsecondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, programs under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Second Chance Act—to become a part of the one-stop system. AJCs are encouraged to integrate, as appropriate, intake, case management, and reporting systems, including fiscal and management accountability systems, to improve customer service. WIOA will make it easier for federally funded education, training, and support services to track and tailor services to shared customers at AJCs. As such, more people will be able to enroll in career pathway programs that simultaneously offer relevant basic skills instruction and occupational skills training for in-demand jobs in their local area. The public will also be able to access the necessary social services that provide individuals and families with pathways to self-sufficiency. Furthermore, AJCs will enable employers to identify and hire skilled workers and access other supports, including education and training for their current workforce. WIOA’s emphasis on services to individuals with barriers to employment and on reaching out-of-school youth make it particularly important to ensure that State and local human services agencies actively partner with their colleagues in WIOA implementation.

The transformation of the workforce development system will take time and considerable effort. The Departments are committed to providing guidance and technical assistance to States and local areas to help realize this vision for our shared customers. To that end, the Departments of Labor and Education published five Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) to implement WIOA. The five NPRMs include: a joint NPRM, issued by the Departments of Labor and Education in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, proposing to implement jointly-administered activities related to unified planning, performance accountability, and the one-stop system; a Department of Labor NPRM proposing to implement DOL-specific activities under titles I and III of WIOA; and three Department of Education NPRMs proposing to implement the requirements of titles II and IV of WIOA. The proposed regulations are designed to: update and improve federal workforce programs that serve workers, job seekers, and employers; strengthen accountability and transparency; increase access to work-based learning tools, such as apprenticeships; and foster more cohesive planning within economic regions.

We had accepted comments on the NPRMs, which can be found at www.regulations.gov, until June 15, 2015 (NOW CLOSED). You can find information on how to use regulations.gov on the site under “Are you new to the site?” See the announcement with docket numbers, an FAQ, a recorded statement by Acting Assistant Secretary Uvin, and a recorded webinar on entering comments.

The Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, along with States and local providers performing the work on the front lines, can make a difference for those individuals who have the greatest barriers to employment by offering them enhanced access, increased opportunities, and clear pathways to good jobs making self- and family-sustaining wages. Read the Department of Labor’s Training Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL 19-14) to learn more about how we can work collaboratively to revitalize the workforce system.

Guest authors:

Portia Wu is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training at the U.S. Department of Labor

Johan Uvin is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education

Sue Swenson is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education

Janet LaBreck is the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Education

Mark Greenberg is the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration of Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Posted by
Heidi Silver-Pacuilla is the author of the original Blog post on Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) Blog site at the U.S. Department of Education.