WIOA State Plan for the State of Louisiana - August 31, 2016

Overview

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Governor of each State must submit a Unified or Combined State Plan to the U.S. Secretary of Labor that outlines a four-year workforce development strategy for the State’s workforce development system. The publicly-funded workforce system is a national network of Federal, State, regional, and local agencies and organizations that provide a range of employment, education, training, and related services and supports to help all jobseekers secure good jobs while providing businesses with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. States must have approved Unified or Combined State Plans in place to receive funding for core programs. WIOA reforms planning requirements, previously governed by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), to foster better alignment of Federal investments in job training, to integrate service delivery across programs and improve efficiency in service delivery, and to ensure that the workforce system is job-driven and matches employers with skilled individuals. One of WIOA’s principal areas of reform is to require States to plan across core programs and include this planning process in the Unified or Combined State Plans. This reform promotes a shared understanding of the workforce needs within each State and fosters development of more comprehensive and integrated approaches, such as career pathways and sector strategies, for addressing the needs of businesses and workers. Successful implementation of many of these approaches called for within WIOA requires robust relationships across programs. WIOA requires States and local areas to enhance coordination and partnerships with local entities and supportive service agencies for strengthened service delivery, including through Unified or Combined State Plans.

Options for Submitting a State Plan

A State has two options for submitting a State Plan — a Unified State Plan or a Combined State Plan. At a minimum, a State must submit a Unified State Plan that meets the requirements described in this document and outlines a four-year strategy for the core programs. The six core programs are—
 


 
Alternatively, a State may submit a Combined State Plan that meets the requirements described in this document and outlines a four-year strategy for WIOA’s core programs plus one or more of the Combined Plan partner programs. When a State includes a Combined State Plan partner program in its Combined State Plan, it need not submit a separate plan or application for that particular program. If included, Combined State Plan partner programs are subject to the “common planning elements” (Sections II and III of this document) where specified, as well as the program-specific requirements for that program. The Combined State Plan partner programs are—
 


 
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* States that elect to include employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.) under a Combined State Plan would submit all other required elements of a complete CSBG State Plan directly to the Federal agency that administers the program. Similarly, States that elect to include employment and training activities carried by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) and 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 that are included would submit all other required elements of a complete State Plan for those programs directly to the Federal agency that administers the program.

How State Plan Requirements Are Organized

The major content areas of the Unified or Combined State Plan include strategic and operational planning elements. WIOA separates the strategic and operational elements to facilitate cross-program strategic planning.
 


 
When responding to Unified or Combined State Plan requirements, States must identify specific strategies for coordinating programs and services for target populations.* While discussion of and strategies for every target population is not expected, States must address as many as are applicable to their State’s population and look beyond strategies for the general population.
 
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* Target populations include individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in WIOA Sec. 3, as well as veterans, unemployed workers, and youth.

I. WIOA State Plan Type

Unified or Combined State Plan. Select whether the State is submitting a Unified or Combined State Plan. At a minimum, a State must submit a Unified State Plan that covers the six core programs.

Unified State Plan. This plan includes the Adult Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Youth Program, Wagner-Peyser Act Program, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program, and Vocational Rehabilitation Program.     No

Combined State Plan. This plan includes the Adult Worker Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Youth Program, Wagner-Peyser Act Program, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program, and Vocational Rehabilitation Program as well as one or more of the optional combined State Plan partner programs identified below.     Yes

Combined Plan partner program(s)

Indicate which Combined Plan partner program(s) the state is electing to include in the plan.

Career and technical education programs authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.)     No

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)     Yes

Employment and Training Programs under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4)))     Yes

Work programs authorized under section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(o)))     No

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Programs (Activities authorized under chapter 2 of title II of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2271 et seq.))     Yes

Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program (programs authorized under 38, U.S.C. 4100 et. seq.)     Yes

Unemployment Insurance Programs (Programs authorized under State unemployment compensation laws in accordance with applicable Federal law)     No

Senior Community Service Employment Program (Programs authorized under title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3056 et seq.))     No

Employment and training activities carried out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development     No

Community Services Block Grant Program (Employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.))     Yes

Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Program (Programs authorized under section 212 of the Second Chance Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17532))]     No

II. Strategic Elements

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system. The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs. Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs.

a. Economic, Workforce, and Workforce Development Activities Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions, economic development strategies, and labor market in which the State’s workforce system and programs will operate.

1. Economic and Workforce Analysis

A. Economic Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions and trends in the State, including sub-State regions and any specific economic areas identified by the State. This must include—

i. Existing Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations

Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand.

ii. Emerging Industry Sectors and Occupation

Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which demand is emerging.

III. Employers’ Employment Needs

With regard to the industry sectors and occupations identified in 1 and 2 above, provide an assessment of the employment needs of employers, including a description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required, including credentials and licenses.

(A) Economic Analysis. Louisiana is a major energy producing state. In Louisiana, 9.1% of the state’s gross state product is derived from oil and gas extraction and production; basically triple that for the nation as a whole. In fact we are ranked 2 in production of both oil and natural gas if the Gulf waters are included. When energy prices are strong, the state prospers. When oil prices are declining, it is tough----especially for certain areas of the state. Last year has been one of those bad years, and it is reflected in the 2015 employment numbers and the prospects for 2016. The Louisiana Economic Outlook forecasts are based on the following assumptions:

• Slowed by rapid increases in regulations and higher tax rates, the U.S. economy will continue its plodding pace of expansion with RGDP averaging 2.6% growth annually. • Inflation will remain in the modest 2.1% range, and minor increases in interest rates can be expected. • The LEO is projecting a rebound in oil prices to $55 in 2016 and $60 in 2017, though enormous uncertainty requires us to place a $30 to $90 a barrel range around those forecasts. • An increase in industrial demand combined with a reduction in supply due to much reduced rig counts, should put upward pressure on natural gas prices, with the price per mmbtu going to $3.50 in 2016 and $3.90 in 2017. • About half of the $125.1 billion in announced projects are under construction and about half are at the FEED and permitting stage. Viability of the FEED group is threaten by the EPA (1) lowering ozone standards in the U.S. and (2) imposing the Clean Power Plan that will radically raise industrial utility rates.

With the addition of the Hammond MSA, Louisiana is now home to nine metropolitan statistical areas. Prospects for each will dramatically turn on where the MSA is located. Essentially, the LEO sees the state split into three regions: (1) the rapidly expanding Baton Rouge and Lake Charles regions; (2) the languid northern tier of the state; and (3) an oil patch region that will decline through 2016. From the largest to the smallest MSA, the LEO MSA forecast: • Louisiana’s largest MSA---New Orleans---is projected to show meager growth of 0.5% (+2,900 jobs) in 2016 and a better 0.8% (+5,100 jobs) in 2017. Layoffs in the MSA’s oil sector and declining spending by the Army Corps will arrest growth that would be much better due to (1) the opening of two new, large hospitals, (2) $1.1 billion in industrial expansions underway, (3) expansion of the airport, (4) a condo building boom, and (5) a number of new firms coming to the region. New Orleans’ record could be much better in both years if some $23.5billion in projects at the FEED and permitting level actually go “vertical”.

• After cracking the 400,000 employment level for the first time, the 9-parish Baton Rouge region is poised to enjoy two good years of growth, adding 8,900 jobs (+2.2%) in 2016 and 6,200 (+1.5%) in 2017. This MSA has about $8 billion in industrial projects under construction. The slightly slower growth rate in 2017 is due to several of those winding down and few firms at the FEED stage in this MSA. Several high tech firms are entering this market led by IBM---and the remarkable 125% growth in tonnage at the Port will be repeated as the pellet exports evolve. The loss of two significant headquarters and threats from the EPA will stifle growth here.

• After basically seven years of decline, the Shreveport-Bossier MSA will be dragged down again In 2016 by a suffering extraction sector (-800 jobs) but a modest rebound should occur in 2017 (+800 jobs) led by the Benteler Steel expansion at the Caddo-Bossier Port and additions at the Computer Sciences Corporation.

• Persistent layoffs in the energy sector will drive employment lower in the Lafayette MSA for a second straight year in 2016 (-2,600 jobs), but if our oil price forecasts are near the mark, 2017 should be a recovery year (+2,000 jobs). The opening of the new Bell Helicopters plant and the addition of four new high tech firms will help this region.

• Like Lafayette, the Houma MSA is being pounded by the energy sector and energy-related firms. Edison Chouest and Gulf Island Fabricators alone have cuts 3,000 jobs. The LEO projects the energy sector to drag in 2016 (-2,000 jobs) before recovering about 1,000 jobs in 2017 as oil prices hopefully rebound and stabilize. Substantial coastal restoration monies are about to reinvigorate this region as well.

• The hottest area of the state right now is the Lake Charles MSA. This region has a remarkable 39.6 billion in industrial projects under construction and an equally remarkable $45 billion at the FEED and permitting stage. A huge boom in industrial construction workers will drive this region up by 7,400 jobs (+7.1%) in 2016 and another 2,000 jobs (+1.8%) in 2017. This latter year’s growth rate could become much larger if the projects at the FEED stage move to construction. Other good news for this region came when the Golden Nugget Casino opened and actually grew the gaming market without cannibalizing business away from the other two casinos.

• Unfortunately the Monroe MSA has been languishing for 13 years and there seem to be few prospects of that changing over our forecast period. We expect the region’s employment to be flat in 2016 and expand by a modest 200 jobs in 2017. The area was rocked by the announcement that its largest employer---CenturyLink---was starting a round of layoffs. Fortunately only 55 jobs were targeted in this MSA.

• Our forecast for the Alexandria MSA is a continuation of the modest growth the region has experienced for the last two years---adding 500 jobs a year. This projection could turn out to be radically conservative if American Specialty Alloys follows through with their proposed new $2.4 billion, 1,400-person plant.

• Louisiana’s newest, and smallest MSA is Hammond. Composed of only Tangipahoa Parish, this university town is enjoying a very good 2015 due to enrollment and budget boosts at SLU and from an energetic healthcare sector. These same factors should enable the region to add an expected 700 jobs a year over 2016-17.

The combination for the forecasts for these MSAs, along with modest growth in the 29 rural areas of the state, should put the state on a path to add 15,400 jobs in 2016 (up 0.8%) and 19,600 jobs in 2017 (up 1%). If the LEO forecasts are near the mark, sometime between the latter part of 2015 or early 2017 Louisiana will have more than 2,000,000 non-farm employees for the first time in Louisiana’s history

The Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Labor Market Information (LMI), Louisiana Occupational Information System (LOIS) Scorecard is the state’s Virtual Labor Market Information Web Portal. This interactive site provides users with access to the latest Louisiana labor force, wages, population, industry employment, training schools, training programs, Scorecard for completion rates, Youth Web Portal, projections, demographics, nonfarm employment, employer database, unemployment claimants, industry staffing patterns, licensed occupations, demand occupations and career products. The LMI tables and charts and figures that follow provide projections for Louisiana’s long term industry growth projections.

Additional supporting data can be found at:

Existing Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations Louisiana’s short term and long term employment projections suggest that the annual average workforce demand to increase at 1.3 percent outpacing the national annual average workforce demand of 1.1 percent. http://www.laworks.net/Images/WIOA/ExistingOccupations_1.jpg

Top 20 High-Demand Occupations by Employment High demand occupations are those with three, four, or five star rankings as determined by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. LWC’s star ratings system takes into account wages, job openings, employment, and projected growth for over six hundred occupations, both statewide and regionally. Tables 4 and 5 show some of the highest rated occupations sorted by wage and employment, respectively. http://www.laworks.net/Images/WIOA/ExistingOccupations_2.jpg

Emerging Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations 2022 Industry Projections for Louisiana, Two-Digit NAICS The first chart provides projections on industries expected to have the greatest growth by 2022. The highest growth occupation according to these projections will be the medical field. http://www.laworks.net/Images/WIOA/EmergingOccupations_1.jpg

2022 Occupational Projections for Louisiana, Highest Forecasted Growth Jobs with Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses having the highest growth rate of 18.3%. http://www.laworks.net/Images/WIOA/EmergingOccupations_2.jpg

Number of Job Vacancies Across Industry Sectors, Second Quarter 2015 - The industry sector Trade, Transportation & Utilities leads statewide in number of vacancies (14,760 vacancies), followed by Education & Health Services (13,890 vacancies) and Leisure & Hospitality (13,320 vacancies). http://www.laworks.net/Images/WIOA/EmployerEmploymentNeeds_1.jpg

Employers’ Greatest Challenges in Meeting Workforce Needs -In the 2015 Job Vacancy Survey, employers were asked the open-ended question, “What is your greatest challenge in meeting your workforce needs?” The chart above summarizes these responses into the most common responses. It is encouraging that the most common response was “No difficulty.” The second and third most common responses involved a shortage of qualified applicants based on experience and work ethic. http://www.laworks.net/Images/WIOA/EmployerEmploymentNeeds_2.jpg

B. Workforce Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the current workforce, including individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in section 3 of WIOA.* This population must include individuals with disabilities among other groups** in the State and across regions identified by the State. This includes: Individuals with barriers to employment include displaced homemakers; low-income individuals; Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities; older individuals; ex-offenders; homeless individuals, or homeless children and youths; youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system; individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers; farmworkers (as defined at section 167(i) of WIOA and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 35-14); individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; single parents (including single pregnant women); and long-term unemployed individuals.   ** Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth, and others that the State may identify.

i. Employment and Unemployment

Provide an analysis of current employment and unemployment data, including labor force participation rates, and trends in the State. 

ii. Labor Market Trends

Provide an analysis of key labor market trends, including across existing industries and occupations.

III. Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce

Provide an analysis of the educational and skill levels of the workforce.

IV. Skill Gaps

Describe apparent ‘skill gaps’.

(i) Employment and Unemployment

Total Nonfarm Employment, Not Seasonally Adjusted, LA (2012-2015)

http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/WorkforceAnalysis_1.jpg

Total Employment for Selected Sectors, Not Seasonally Adjusted, LA (2014) - Includes Mining, Education&Health Services, and Trade, Transportation, & Utilities.

http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/WorkforceAnalysis_2.jpg

Over-the-Year Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs (NSA), LA (January 2013 - September 2015) -The state has consistently added jobs year-over-year since the beginning of 2013. Year over Year Change in Total Government Jobs (NSA)-Another trend evident in is the decline in the number of jobs in the public sector http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/WorkforceAnalysis_3.jpg

United States and Louisiana Employed-to-Unemployed Ratio - Comparison from January 2008 thru January 2015.

http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/WorkforceAnalysis_4.jpg

Initial Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims, January 2008 to October 2015 -It is evident over this period that hurricanes created large disturbances in the labor markets of Louisiana. For example, Hurricane Gustav August of 2008.

http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/WorkforceAnalysis_5.jpg

Continued Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims, January 2008 to October 2015 - The highest 4 Week moving averages were during the recession, 2009.

http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/WorkforceAnalysis_6.jpg

National and State Labor Force Participation Rates

Date

Louisiana Population

Louisiana Labor Force

Jan 2011

3,463,150

2,082,124

Jan 2012

3,492,668

2,070,340

Jan 2013

3,517,345

2,095,765

Jan 2014

3,540,316

2,110,805

Jan 2015

3,563,305

2,203,170

http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/LaborMarketTrends_1.jpg

Participation Rate and Unemployment Rate in Louisiana (1976-2015)- The charts above show the unemployment rate and labor force participation rate from 1976 to 2015. This time period covers the last five U.S. recessions as designated by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/LaborMarketTrends_2.jpg

Employment Status of the Civilian Non-Institutional Population, Annual Averages, Louisiana (October 2014-September 2015)

http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/LaborMarketTrends_3.jpg

Civilians Not in the Labor Force by Sex and Age, Annual Averages, Louisiana (October 2014-September 2015)http://10.1.26.80/LaWorks/Images/WIOA/LaborMarketTrends_4.jpg

(iii) Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce

“It’s been proven time and again that a more educated and trained workforce is our greatest long-term economic generator.”

Governor John Bel Edwards, January 11, 2016

Louisiana’s Emerging Workforce

Addressing the education and skills gaps of our emerging workforce is critical. Louisiana is one of the richest states in cultural and natural resources, yet our performance lags in almost every critical category. The following are some very daunting demographics of the Louisiana emerging workforce:

o Only 32.1% of the approximate 366,981 working age Louisianans with disabilities are employed.

o Over 23,100 youth ages 16-20 with disabilities and each year a quarter of them will age out of school into an uncertain future.

What’s more, Louisiana is also the world’s prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per capita, than any of its U.S. counterparts. One in 86 adult citizens of Louisiana is serving time in prison; nearly double the national average. Inmates in local prisons are typically serving sentences of 10 years or less on nonviolent charges such as drug possession, burglary or writing bad checks. State prisons, on the other hand, are reserved for the worst of the worst: those serving long-term prison sentences for violent crimes.

Ironically, it is the long-termers who are offered training in the skills trades such as welding, auto mechanics, air-conditioning repair and plumbing in the state correctional facilities. Such opportunities are not available to the 53 % serving their time in local prisons. The cruel reality is that those who could benefit most are unable to better themselves, while men and women who will die in prison proudly show off fistfuls of educational credentials and certificates with an inability to put them to use.

For the past decade, Louisiana has shifted toward a knowledge-based economy. Employers increasingly require postsecondary credentials when hiring workers for good jobs that provide family-supporting wages and career advancement opportunities. The State projects, and is preparing for, a shift in the next five years that will result in an estimated two-thirds of jobs requiring postsecondary education of some kind.

Louisiana recognizes that nearly half of children whose mothers have not completed high school do not graduate on time themselves, compared to just less than five percent of children whose mothers have a bachelor’s degree. The state and local boards are responding to this connection between a parent’s level of education and their children’s skills, academic outcomes and health through aggressive outreach to identify at-risk families and by developing specific interventions within its adult and youth programs.

Total Nonfarm Employment, Not Seasonally Adjusted, LA (2012-2015)

Degree Level

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Annual Projected Openings

Some postsecondary, no degree

8,248

9,105

7,809

10,142

9,250

20,660

Associate degree

5,410

5,944

5,459

5,836

5,788

5,500

Baccalaureate degree

18,325

18,585

18,637

18,807

18,296

9,460

Graduate or professional degree

6,289

6,725

6,883

6,655

6,707

2,410

The preceding table shows the number of completers from Louisiana’s public postsecondary education programs by degree level. Academic years 2010 through 2014 are included. The academic years are labeled by the year in which they begin, so 2014 is the school year beginning in June 2014 and ending in May 2015. This is compared to the number of annual openings from LWC’s long-term projections. This comparison shows a gap in the “some postsecondary” category, which includes short-duration training programs such as certificates or diplomas, that provide less training than a full associate degree.

High demand occupations span all education levels, from occupations requiring a high school degree or less to those that require extensive post-secondary study. Most of the occupations in Table 4 require a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, while the occupations in Table 5 exhibit greater educational diversity, with all levels of educational attainment represented. Table 5 occupations also exhibit significantly more annual total openings than those in Table 4, suggesting that job seekers for those occupations may have an easier time finding a job.

2. Workforce Development, Education and Training Activities Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the workforce development activities, including education and training in the State, to address the education and skill needs of the workforce, as identified in Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce above, and the employment needs of employers, as identified in Employers' Employment Needs above. This must include an analysis of –

A. The State’s Workforce Development Activities

Provide an analysis of the State’s workforce development activities, including education and training activities of the core programs, Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan, and required and optional one-stop delivery system partners.*
 
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* Required one-stop partners: In addition to the core programs, the following partner programs are required to provide access through the one-stops: Career and Technical Education (Perkins), Community Services Block Grant, Indian and Native American programs, HUD Employment and Training programs, Job Corps, Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program, National Farmworker Jobs program, Senior Community Service Employment program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (unless the Governor determines TANF will not be a required partner), Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, Unemployment Compensation programs, and YouthBuild.

Two years ago, the State launched an initiative to balance the emphasis on services between employers (creating job opportunities in demand occupations) and job seekers (recruiting and/or training a highly qualified workforce). This initiative was strategic in nature and is operated out of the State’s Business and Career Solutions Centers, with the purpose of increasing the “value” of services that the State provides both to employers and job seekers. Integral to this system is an understanding of and allowance for needed services to individuals with “significant barriers to employment” and the requirement for “priority of service” under the appropriate laws, regulations, and statutes.

Each Business and Career Solutions Center that is also a Comprehensive One-Stop Center (includes the presence of all partners) offers an extensive array of services which include for job seekers:

For employers, Comprehensive One-Stop Centers offer:

• LWDBs continue to develop and refine innovative and effective models for obtaining industry-recognized credentials, including:

o o Integrated education and training approaches; career pathways, industry or sector partnerships, including those pertaining to Registered Apprenticeship programs and opportunities. o Cohort-based approaches. o Evidence-based approaches that reflect best practices including Registered Apprenticeship programs. o Development of interim credentials for longer-term Registered Apprenticeship programs, which Louisiana can do as an “SAA State” (State Apprenticeship Agency).

In addition, LWDBs may use a portion of local funds to fund pay-for-performance contracts as a form of training delivery under Title I, with continuous evaluation of how target populations are chosen, to fairly serve individuals who face barriers to employment and economic success.

LWDBs may consider the full cost of participating in training services, including expenses related to dependent care, transportation and other essential needs for individuals who need additional assistance.

Louisiana uses a broad range of training programs as part of its workforce development strategy. These programs involve collaborating with local boards, companies and education/training providers to improve training.

LWC requires:

• Local boards and/or One-Stop operators to specifically report on expenditures for career and training services and on the number of participants who received career and training services. This requirement is specifically designed to make planning and funding decisions more transparent, and to provide better opportunities for public oversight.

• Eligible training providers to report results for all of their students for common measures for each program of study, not just participants whose training costs were paid for through the use of WIOA funds, in order to improve transparency of results for programs and for disadvantaged persons.

Adult

The Louisiana Workforce Commission recognizes that for many low-skilled and disadvantaged youth and adults, improved economic opportunity depends on their ability to access education and training necessary to prepare them for college and career success. Evaluation of job training programs for adults finds that postsecondary education, in particular a degree or industry-recognized credential related to in-demand jobs, is the primary determinant of lifetime earnings. Education and training provides opportunities for increasing a family’s financial resources, helps parents stay employed and establishes a solid foundation for the next generation (youth). Incorporating Registered Apprenticeship into service design and delivery is one way LWC expects LWDBs to address the middle skill jobs that account for over half of Louisiana’s labor market as noted in an earlier section, and it likewise addresses the need to focus on in-demand occupations and recognized credentials. One way to accomplish this is by having Center staff involved and engaged in screening and assessment for current registered programs.

LWC operates its Adult Training Program to identify workers who currently need or will need higher levels of education to fare better in the labor market to reduce the incidence and duration of unemployment while supporting higher earnings and job stability. Louisiana honors the Title I Priority of Service requirement by leveraging all available funding streams and partnerships, regardless of state or local funding availability, in providing priority access to higher-intensity career services and training to:

• Public assistance recipients.

• Other low-income individuals.

• Individuals who are deficient in basic skills.

In contrast to WIA, where LWDBs policies on priority of service varied widely, LWC in its implementation of WIOA requires LWDBs to:

• Report the number of individuals with barriers to employment served by each core program, with specific breakdowns by subpopulation.

• Report on the number of individuals with barriers to employment that are served by the Adult and Dislocated Worker program, with specific breakdowns by subpopulation, race, ethnicity, gender, and age.

Dislocated Worker

Layoffs are always challenging for workers and employers. LWC provides Rapid Response Services designed to help employers proceed in an orderly and legal way by guiding them through the process. LWC works with LWDBs and other partners (training and supportive-service providers) to help both.

Direct services to workers facing a plant shutdown or large-scale lay-off, are focused on preparing them to find suitable new employment, and get them back to work as quickly as possible by helping them overcome such difficult barriers to employment as:

• Transferring specialized skills to other occupations or industries.

• A decline in the market demand for certain skills.

• Age or length of work experience.

• Need for formal training or education.

• Lack of jobs with earnings at a level comparable to their previous positions.

Dislocated worker services are custom-tailored to meet an individual worker’s specific needs. Working one-on-one with a case manager, workers are guided through the process of developing an Individualized Employment Plan that includes as a minimum:

• Career planning and counseling.

• Job search and placement.

• Approved training, which include Registered Apprenticeship programs.

• Other needed support services.

Youth

Louisiana does not have a defined service delivery model for WIOA Youth Services. Each LWDB has the autonomy to develop their local youth service model. However, these models must support the implementation of Career Pathways that support postsecondary education, and address the needs of low-income in school youth as well as out of school youth, and support pre-apprenticeship to Registered Apprenticeship opportunities. LWC requires each LWDB to competitively procure and provide all fourteen of the program service elements. LWC has committed to assisting the LWDB’s through the One Stop partners, to develop and provide age and developmentally appropriate models for out of school youth.

LWC will work with local areas to ensure they:

• Will not require out-of-school youth in high-risk categories to prove low-income status to receive services.

• Will provide services to individuals who have dropped out of high school, have not attended school for at least one calendar quarter of the most recent school year, or are subject to the juvenile or adult justice systems under the out-of-school youth program.

• Will target and provide services to homeless individuals, runaways, current or former foster care youth and individuals who or are pregnant or parenting.

• Will provide services to youth who are not attending school, hold a secondary credential, and are either basic-skills deficient or an English language learner.

• Will consider youth living in a high-poverty area to meet the low-income criterion for youth activities funding and services.

The state will monitor and guide local boards such that at least 75 percent of available statewide funds and 75 percent of funds available to local areas are spent on workforce investment services for out-of-school youth.

Adult Education

In 2010, The Louisiana Legislature finalized the transference of responsibility of Louisiana’s adult education delivery system from DOE to Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS). This effort was not simply about moving a program’s administration from one agency to another. It was about reconsidering completely the goals, outcomes, and direction of adult basic education in LA. LCTCS developed a new policy framework whose primary focus is putting LA adults to work by providing high quality basic skills instruction, in addition to wrap- around student services that lead to a seamless transition to postsecondary enrollment, technical skill training, credentialing and sustainable employment.

The LCTCS, Moving Adult Education Forward: A Pro Forma Business Plan was a milestone in re-defining the vision for adult education, focusing on new performance goals—including high school equivalency diplomas, postsecondary enrollments, postsecondary completers, and placement in sustainable employment at family-supporting wages. As a symbol of the new vision the Louisiana Adult Education Program was renamed, “WorkReady U.” Since the 2010 renewed set of expectations and vastly different philosophy in LA with regards to adult education, adult education programs have progressively adjusted educational service and delivery and are well-positioned to provide/deliver/coordinate the required activities under Title II-WIOA.

Adult Education connects into the One Stop system through the intake and assessment process to identify adults with limited basic skills, and then to use innovative instructional models as necessary to prepare adult learners for postsecondary education within the context of serving learners at the lowest skill levels. The LCTCS Adult Education and Family Literacy Program (WorkReady U), administers and provides program performance oversight to eligible local entities that provide of adult education services. These services include academic instruction and education services that increase the individual’s ability to:

Wagner-Peyser

Louisiana already meets a major requirement of WIOA - the co-location of Wagner-Peyser Employment Services in Louisiana’s Business and Career Solutions Centers. The intent is to ensure that unemployment insurance claimants receive the same services as all other job-seekers, including job training, labor exchange, career counseling and labor market intelligence. The UI claimant/job- seeker will also receive eligibility assessments and referrals to an array of education resources and training through the Wagner-Peyser Employment Service program.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) is present in all Comprehensive One-Stop centers and in affiliate locations as necessary to assure effective service to individuals with disabilities through participant’s skills training which enhances participant ability to obtain employment in their desired field, in particular “high demand jobs”. LRS consistently exceeds 70% successful placement in high demand jobs.

The LRS Program Coordinator for rehabilitation technology provides consultation to Comprehensive One-Stop Center staff and affiliate locations to improve knowledge regarding assistive technology and address other accessibility issues,. In addition, the agency’s Rehabilitation Employment Development Specialists (REDS) serve as LRS liaisons for all Comprehensive One-Stop centers and affiliate locations within their region, providing public awareness and services to consumers such as building job-seeking skills and employment development. The State is committed to the success of individuals with disabilities and leads the collaboration effort across all Partner Programs.

LRS continues to renew and revise existing local cooperative agreements, as applicable, with the 70 school districts and 104 charter schools in Louisiana. The Department of Education (DOE) and LRS continue to work together to establish regional core teams throughout the state. LRS collaborates with Department of Education (DOE), the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD), Work Incentive Planning Program, the Office of Community Services, and the Office of Youth Development in an effort to network, share information and utilize comparable benefits to enhance VR services to transitioning students. The primary focus of LRS’ collaboration is to identify and address barriers (e.g. policies, eligibility process, resource allocation), assure effective service provision through support of local interagency core teams, provide cross-agency training, outreach, engage in capacity building of young adults and family outreach efforts, provide continued support of innovative models and practices related to transition and provide information and technical assistance.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TheLouisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is committed to providing cash assistance and supportive services to needy families meeting specific financial criteria and to provide services necessary to accomplish the goals and purposes of Section 401 of the Social Security Act (42 USC 601) in order to:

• Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives.

• End dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage.

• Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

• Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

In January 2014, the Department of Children and Family Services partnered with the LWC to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients develop high demand job skills and move toward self- sufficiency. This partnership builds and expands on the previous partnership between DCFS and LWC, and LWDBs and One -Stop operators to deliver workforce services to TANF families engaged in the Strategies to Empower People (STEP) program and the SNAP Louisiana Job Employment Training (LaJET) program. The LaJet program previously only targeted SNAP recipients classified as mandatory work registrants living in five metropolitan statistical areas. The expanded partnership supports the registration of all working- age SNAP recipients to enroll with LWC and providing access to job postings, job trainings and all other services of LWC.

To this end the Department of Children and Family Services has committed to entering into agreements with public agencies, non-profit organizations or for-profit organizations to provide intervention services including crisis intervention, counseling, mentoring, support services and pre-natal care information, in addition to information and referrals regarding healthy childbirth, adoption and parenting to help ensure healthy and full-term pregnancies as an alternative to abortion. Local boards and One-Stop operators shall facilitate and operate as appropriate under the specifics of these agreements.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)

The state continues to administer the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which is available to workers who lose their jobs or experience reduced hours or income as a result of increased foreign trade activity. Local boards in areas where TAA petitions exist will actively reach out to affected workers to provide TAA-funded training with the same goals as provided under the dislocated worker program.

Trade services are considered an integral part of the One-Stop Center’s service delivery and may involve any and all partners based on the particular needs of individual clients. As such, trade-affected workers may be eligible for:

• Training services.

• Job-search allowances.

• Relocation allowances.

• Re-employment services.

• Funded training.

• On-the-job training,

Like the dislocated worker program, TAA-funded training helps trade-impacted workers obtain the skills necessary to gain suitable employment. TAA will pay tuition, course fees, books and required supplies and equipment, transportation and other items or services deemed necessary for completion of an approved occupational skills training program, including Registered Apprenticeship programs.

Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)

Louisiana provides employment, training and placement services to all veterans through a network of strategically located One-Stop Career Centers, and supported by HiRE. JVSG provides services to veterans and eligible persons according to need, and significant barriers to employment. LWC Jobs for Veterans State Grant-funded activities are co-located within the state’s One-Stop Centers. JVSG staff referred to as Local veteran Employment Representative (LVER) and Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialist are essential parts of and fully integrated into the workforce development network. Further, the veterans program is operating a fully functional re-entry program for returning citizens that is acting as a pilot program for non-veteran returning citizens.

Unemployment Insurance Programs- Louisiana Incumbent Worker Training Programs (IWTP)

The Louisiana Employment Security Administration Fund, known as the Incumbent Worker Training Account. Amounts from this account are pledged and dedicated exclusively to fund training for businesses operating in Louisiana that incur a state unemployment insurance tax liability. The purpose of this program is to upgrade job skills through training. Additional emphasis is placed on preventing job loss caused by obsolete skills, technological change, or national or global competition; retaining jobs; and creating jobs in labor demand occupations. The IWTP is a partnership between the LWC, business and industry, and training providers. The IWTP is designed to benefit business and industry by assisting in the skill development of existing employees and thereby increasing employee productivity and the growth of the company. These improvements are expected to result in the creation of new jobs, the retention of jobs that otherwise may have been eliminated, and an increase in wages for trained workers.

The Louisiana Incumbent Worker Training Account funds are dedicated to support the following types of training:

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Currently the Louisiana Senior Community Service Employment Program is operated by both the state and national non-profit organizations. The program serves low-income persons who are 55 years of age and older who have poor employment prospects by placing them in part-time community service positions and by assisting them to transition to unsubsidized employment. Collectively these programs serve 700 program participants annually. This does not include individuals who are seeking employment and are not eligible for program services. The organizations operating in Louisiana are: AARP Foundation, New Orleans; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge Inc., Baton Rouge; Experience Works Inc., Cottonport; Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, Baton Rouge; Jefferson Council on Aging Inc., Metairie; National Association of Hispanic Elderly, Shreveport; National Council on Aging Inc., Monroe.

Louisiana is committed to bringing together diverse stakeholders (including local boards and One-Stop operators) to develop and expand employment and training opportunities for the state’s senior citizens. The goal of the planning process is to design a long-term strategic view of the senior citizen employment opportunities, inclusive of SCSEP and to measurable strategies to achieve the defined goals.

Job Corps

Job Corps has three sites in Louisiana: a training center in Carville, a technical school in Shreveport and a learning center in New Orleans. Under WIOA, Job Corps is linked to the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II), the State Vocational and Rehabilitation Programs.

The state is committed to partnering with Job Corps to assist eligible youth to connect to the labor force by providing them with:

• Intensive social, academic, career and technical education and service-learning opportunities.• Implementing new performance indicators and requiring their use in decision-making.

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)

Louisiana is committed to providing resources and fostering partnerships in low-income communities that enable low-income individuals to achieve self-sufficiency enhance family stability and revitalize their community. This commitment is the charge of CSBG unit of the Office of Workforce Development, within the LWC. As partner in the Louisiana Combined Plan, the CSBG unit and Louisiana’s forty-two (42) Community Action Agencies (CAAs) carry out locally designed programs providing a range of services and activities that have measurable impacts on the causes and effects of poverty, and support self-sufficiency. The CSBG Community Action programs assists low income populations with transportation, clothing, health services, food, shelter, job preparedness, education and housing assistance. As partners in the Louisiana workforce system continuum of services, CAA services target vulnerable populations and other least job-ready customers by focusing on reduction of the barriers to employment.

B. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Workforce Development Activities

Provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the workforce development activities identified in (A) above.

Title I (Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth) Title III (Wagner-Peyser)

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES/OPPORTUNTIES

LWC has developed policy, vision, certification criteria and contracts to assist LWDBs in complying with WIOA’s expectations. LWC requires development of a regional plan by respective LWDBs including performance targets.

LWDA leadership across the state has experienced, in many instances, challenges developing viable regional workforce partnerships with economic development and educational entities. Vast improvement has been seen in this area over the 18 months, which should allow the development of regional plans that align with the Governor’s vision on workforce and the sharing of resources and ideas for regional implementation, as scarcity of resources, and the true need to partner are becoming drivers.

In the past two years, LWC has created a strong foundation on which to build true partnerships through implementation of the new basic service delivery model and the Continuous Improvement Process as support strategies to LWDA operations.

Budgetary realities and restrictions, combined with the refocus and expansion of services under WIOA, require the Office of Workforce Development (OWD) in particular (and LWC in a broader sense) to take a comprehensive look at how it provides support to service partners.

This plan will ensure the existence of at least one comprehensive One Stop Center in each LWDA, and will encourage LWDBs to operate “additional affiliate One-Stop Centers with any subset of partners, or specialized centers”, as allowed under WIOA.

While the state’s local one stop centers effectively became “integrated”, with local WIA and State Wagner-Peyser staff as early as 2005, there are currently One-Stop Centers in certain local areas with limited presence of both local and state-funded staff providing staff assisted services to employers and job-seekers. Failing here will crash the system financially if continued with respect to affiliate sites.

The plan drives the realignment of funding streams to improve accountability across core programs, support career pathways and sector strategies, and create continuous opportunities to measure performance and identify areas for improvement, resulting in an effective and efficient operation.

This will only work if the LWDAs “buy in” and become more strategic and effective in managing formula-fund dollars. This is an opportunity to guide LWDBs toward a more proactive, strategic, and engaged approach.

Title II (Adult Education)

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES/OPPORTUNTIES

Adult Education has adopted and implemented the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) for Adult Education. Standard alignment with K-12 partners provides rigorous standards that specify what learners should know at each level.

Streamline assessment mandates and reporting results for students. Adult Education has the capability to provide assessment services throughout the workforce training system for One-Stop Centers, including services to OSY under WIOA, as well as post-secondary educational institutions, TANF and SNAP programs,

Provide professional development activities/training that aligns CCRS with evidenced-based practices.

Employer engagement and involvement on program design and curriculum to ensure valid education/training meet regional labor market demands.

Developed and mandated teacher certification course to improve teacher quality and understanding of WIOA requirements.

Develop procedure to evaluate programs and activities to ensure continuous improvement and expansion

Data driven teacher quality evaluation process

Must ensure ABE teachers evaluations include analysis of education services provided to WIOA OSY to ensure WIOA Common Measures are understood and met, or exceeded.

Title IV (Vocational Rehabilitation Services)

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES/OPPORTUNTIES

As a result of LRS, and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program being within LWC’s organizational structure in Louisiana, integration of vocational rehabilitation into the local One-Stop infrastructure has already begun, with some local areas having counselors working within the One-Stops.

Expand the integration of vocational rehabilitation services within One Stop Centers. Proactively address physical and programmatic accessibility; space and logistics, including funding/cost allocation agreements.

An array of services is provided by each component of the One-Stop, including LRS/VR.

Integrate VR into the one-stop service delivery model. Eliminate duplication of effort/services where possible. Cross-train staff, and clarify services available. This includes those responsible for providing said services.

LRS has Employment Development Specialists available in each region. These individuals are specialized in working with individuals with disabilities, including job placement.

To enhance employer outreach and collaboration with one-stop efforts in employer engagement.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

STRENGTHS

OPPORTUNITIES

Department of Children and Family Services currently has partnership to provide Employment and Training Services to TANF recipients state wide through its Strategies to Empower People (STEP) Initiative

State needs to consider increasing the amount of TANF funding dedicated to work-related activities in an effort to increase overall capacity of STEP and other E&T programs and services to eligible participants

TANF recipients (STEP) are connected to local Business and Career Solutions Centers (AJCs), statewide, and are often co-enrolled under WIOA Youth and/or Adult Programs

Referral opportunities through improved partnership with Adult Education and other programs that will be housed in comprehensive one-stop centers in each local area

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES/OPPORTINITIES

The Trade unit has redesigned and implemented new forms to capture data specific to federal requirements, which has improved the quality of the initial interview and intake process.

The trade unit has the opportunity to become a best practice state over a period of time with the implementation of the new forms, which will yield better results from state and federal monitoring reviews.

The Trade unit has restructured its filing system according to the outline of the federal requirements which has streamlined the case management function; improved the organization and flow of the quarterly monitoring review, and minimized the opportunity for findings and disallowed costs.

Retention and quarterly training for TAA staff is essential to ensure continuous improvement and expansion of the Trade program.

The Trade unit has changed its manual Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) claim filing process to a new automated system, which has tremendously improved customer service and decreased the changes for human error and has increased timely processing.

The Trade Unit must continue to work with the Geosol as issues arrive with new automated claims process in order to ensure that the system is efficient and effective in servicing its adversely trade affected customers.

Jobs For Veterans State Grant (JVSG)

STRENGTHS

OPPORTUNITIES

Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist are providing individualized career services to 99% of the Veterans they provide services to. Despite serving only veterans with Significant Barriers, DVOPs have achieved an Entered Employment Rate (EER) of 66%.

Incorporate the service delivery strategy utilized by DVOPs in to the One-Stop Centers statewide. Currently the EER for all Veterans receiving services statewide is 51%. Large opportunity for improvement.

Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) are integrated in to the Business Services Teams within their assigned workforce regions. LVERs conduct employer outreach with and as a part of regional business services teams.

LVERs could be more involved in employer engagement centered around assisting employers to develop and start registered apprenticeship programs and On-the-job training programs. These efforts could provide more opportunities for Veterans to learn while they work.

Senior Community Service Employment Program

STRENGTHS

OPPORTUNITIES

Several reputable NPOs within the state currently providing employment and training programs for seniors 55 and older

Developing partnerships with LWDAs in local areas where NPOs exist to create a referral system; Opportunity to increase the number of NPOs in the state to provide elderly employment and training services in local workforce development areas and workforce regions

Governor’s Office has an existing Office of Elderly Affairs that supports services to elderly citizens

Leveraging WIOA and other federal and non-federal funding to expand services supports by Governor’s Office of Elderly Services

Community Service Block Grant (CSBG)

STRENGTHS

OPPORTUNTIES

Local CAAs have the autonomy to develop strategies and activities that support the needs of low income individuals to secure, and retain employment.

A large percentage of Louisiana CAAs are not engaged partners in their local or regional workforce planning activities, often causing duplication of services.

CAAs administer LIHEAP and often other local, state and federal resources that may assist job- seekers or workforce training participants to remain self-sufficient.

CAAs must take this opportunity to increase their involvement with LWDBs in developing One-Stop Center partnerships, in particular the development of effective cross referrals, and co-enrollment. The ensuing expansion of services under WIOA will require the LWDB and CAA to take a more comprehensive look at how partner resources are aligned and utilized in providing supportive services to job-seekers.

C. State Workforce Development Capacity

Provide an analysis of the capacity of State entities to provide the workforce development activities identified in (A) above.

The Louisiana Combined State Plan Partners have defined “capacity” in three categories of service: efficiency, connectivity, and funding. LWC has a solid foundation in efficiently providing employer and job–seeker services. The implementation and operation of a continuous process improvement strategy shows promise in continuing to create efficiencies in these processes.

There is opportunity for stronger coordination and consistency between Partner Programs, through the use of a Common Intake Process and Co–enrollment strategy that will improve efficiencies across the board for all partners. This “any door” approach will enable any job seeker to enter the system with a consistent approach, which will result in seamless transition among Partner Programs and Supportive Services providers. LWC is also engaged in developing a “data warehouse” that will make data sharing more instantaneous and homogenous to all partners.

The situation that has evolved is one of One–Stop Centers being supported primarily by Wagner–Peyser and WIOA Adult, where ever the dwindling resources are forcing service choices to be made based on cost, and not on job–seeker need, or employer demand. LWC will guide LWDAs in leveraging additional Partner Program funding in order to overcome this shortfall.

The capacity of the State’s education and training services varies from region to region and is based on the needs of individuals and funding availability by the LWDA. The State has adopted a Career Pathway approach to address efficiency issues related to how timely and responsive it is in developing plans and entering job–seekers into training. This will allow employers and job–seekers to focus on a stepped approach to earning education and training.

The State is determined to meet the need of “market connection” by identifying and providing "working learners", with greater flexibility and broader opportunities in education and training in order to overcome limited funding. The State’s goal is to develop capacity to assist job–seekers, who find training and education at odds with making a “family sustaining wage.” This can be accomplished through closely managed and leveraged resources.

LWC is quickly building capacity in Business Services through the use of a combination of “Industry Sector Coordinators” and “Business Consultants” One of which focuses on specific industries (chemical, medical, etc.) while the other focuses on providing service to specific employers within an industry. Together they connect with Program Partners who are enrolling, assessing, and providing career and individualized services to job–seekers in order to meet anticipate and meet labor market demands in a timely manner.

LWC’s Apprenticeship Division is working statewide to improve the capacity of the workforce system relative to incorporating Registered Apprenticeship in service design and delivery, as well as to support the emphasis on career pathways. The engagement of State apprenticeship staff with the Office of Apprenticeship in Dallas has also been robust, and we expect that partnership to continue. As noted earlier in this plan, LWC believes Registered Apprenticeship is a model that strikes “…the critical balance between serving individuals and employers in a manner that will produce strategies that in the long run are good for both.”

LWC’s service platform is proven, and is a solid foundation on which to broaden its use. However, there are still challenges with the state’s larger communities and metropolitan areas. These are difficult to serve consistently, due to the varying size of firms and industry concentrations.

Because of the complexity of adopting new laws, in the context of waning budgets and moving industry targets, the State and its LWDAs face a series of strategic challenges to the workforce system both in services to job seekers and employers. Together, these challenges are high, but the opportunities to address these challenges are even greater. The State is building a coalition of Partner Programs, researching and designing support structures, and shall effective address the next stage of The State’s workforce development system through strategic realignment, simplified navigation and an integrated approach to serving all its customers.

LWC’s Office of Workforce Development has realigned staffing and its operational strategy to provide effective guidance and support to Local Workforce Areas identified in the plan, and in support of regional business engagement strategies. One partner, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, has identified human resources as its greatest challenge in meeting the requirements of WIOA. This is due, largely, to current vacancies and attrition. However, the greatest challenge Louisiana faces is the state’s budget deficit. Currently, Louisiana is facing a reported $70 million deficit thru June 30, 2016, and an estimated $700m–1 billion dollars deficit next fiscal year (July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017, Of greatest concern is that the inevitable cuts in services and belt tightening will negatively impact those individuals in which WIOA targets; out of school youth, individuals receiving public assistance, the unemployed, basic skills deficient, and those with significant barriers to employment. The State’s service delivery models are a solid foundation for striking the critical balance between serving individuals and employers in a manner that will produce strategies that in the long run are good for both.

b. State Strategic Vision and Goals

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the State’s strategic vision and goals for developing its workforce and meeting employer needs in order to support economic growth and economic self-sufficiency. This must include—

1. Vision

Describe the State’s strategic vision for its workforce development system.

On January 11, 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards assumed leadership of the state of Louisiana. In his inaugural speech, he highlighted the numerous challenges the state faces, beginning with a $1.9 billion budget shortfall. He spoke to citizens of his vision, inspired by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, of how we will meet the mounting challenges ahead, “to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”

Gov. Edwards further stated that every challenging task will be examined in a three–step process: (1) gathering all the information about the job at hand (intelligence); (2) choosing a strategy –seeking out all viable options to successfully address the challenge, and selecting those that best fit our mission and goals; and (3) deciding on the tactics and determining how we are going to get done.

In summation, Gov. Edwards charged the people of Louisiana to achieve our shared mission of “Putting Louisiana First” and to make it possible for all Louisiana citizens to be healthy and prosperous.

The Louisiana WIOA Combined State Plan is being developed with the governor’s strategic leadership and is being submitted in compliance with WIOA requirements as a work in progress.

The Louisiana Workforce Investment Council (WIC), the state’s workforce board, supports development of an employer–led, demand–driven workforce development system based on occupational forecasts in which training, education and services for job–seekers prepare Louisiana residents for high–wage, high–demand career opportunities in Louisiana.

We, the people of Louisiana, envision a workforce system that will provide pathways for all Louisianans, including individuals who are receiving public assistance, the unemployed or underemployed, those who are deficient in basic skills, as well as persons with disabilities, including disabled veterans, and others who have significant barriers to employment. All will have access to education, training and the supportive services needed to prepare for and secure high–demand occupations that pay family–sustaining wages.

2. Goals

Describe the goals for achieving this vision based on the above analysis of the State’s economic conditions, workforce, and workforce development activities. This must include—


 
__________
 
* Individuals with barriers to employment include displaced homemakers; low-income individuals; Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities; older individuals; ex-offenders; homeless individuals, or homeless children and youths; youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system; individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers; eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers (as defined at section 167(i) of WIOA and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 35-14); individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program; single parents (including single pregnant women); and long-term unemployed individuals.
 
** Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth and any other populations identified by the State.

STRATEGIC GOALS

Goal 1: Establish Career Pathways as a model for skill, credential and degree attainment for Louisiana citizens to secure jobs that provide opportunities for economic independence and family stability. This goal will be accomplished by executing the following objectives:

1. Workforce development system partners will develop a shared vision and strategy for industry sector-based career pathways for youth and adults. Career pathways must be diverse, with multiple entry and exit points allowing individuals of varying abilities, including low-skilled adults and youth with multiple barriers to employment, to have realistic access to pathways.

2. Engage employers and integrate sector strategy principles to ensure multiple employers, business associations and organized labor are partners in creating demand-driven career pathways.

3. Increase the identification, prioritization and leverage of workforce system partner resources to provide supportive services and reduce barriers for low-skilled youth and adults.

4. Strengthen the alignment of Jump Start, WorkReady U and other viable initiatives as entry and exit points in the career pathways model for in- and out-of-school youth.

5. Expand utilization of registered apprenticeship by industry sector employers to train workers and meet occupational demands.

6. Support and grow learning opportunities for job-seekers and workers by improving processes for transfer credits through postsecondary, apprenticeships and college coursework.

Goal 2: Expand career services and opportunities for populations facing multiple barriers to close the gap in educational attainment and economic advancement through career pathways and improved career services and the expansion of bridge programs.

1.Expand and incentivize the utilization of evidenced-based workforce strategies that support targeted populations (e.g., the long-term unemployed, individuals with disabilities, veterans, out-of-school youth) into sector-based career pathway initiatives to achieve similar outcomes relative to other populations.

2. Create new pathways for success by preparing very low-skill adults to take advantage of sector-based bridge programs that link foundation skills and adult basic education.

3. Enhance and expand the delivery of integrated re-entry and employment strategies to reduce recidivism among Louisiana’s returning citizens and meet the skill and workforce needs of business and industry.

4. Promote the efficient alignment and utilization of supportive resources for populations facing multiple barriers to employment at the regional and local service delivery levels.

1. Foster the improvement and expansion of employer-driven regional sector partnerships to meet occupational demands as supported by regional labor market information.

2. Increase the use of labor market and educational data and technology, in coordination with local data, to inform and guide strategic workforce development decisions.

3. Develop focused, regional workforce initiatives that blend partner resources (co-. investment) to educate and train workers for jobs within the workforce region.

4. Increase the alignment and efficacy of formula, discretionary and competitive workforce funding in efforts to support regional and local workforce initiatives.

5. Promote meaningful, portable industry credentials supported throughout the workforce delivery system that align to workforce demand.

6. Institute a system of accountability for the workforce development system that supports and promotes the evaluation of the effectiveness of state and local workforce development boards in meeting the workforce demands of business and workforce.

3. Performance Goals

Using the table provided in Appendix 1, include the State's expected levels of performance relating to the performance accountability measures based on primary indicators of performance described in section 116(b)(2)(A) of WIOA. (This Strategic Planning element only applies to core programs.)

Proposed performance levels are in Appendix 1 and are subject to modification pending final published regulations on WIOA Performance Management and Reporting System requirements.

In addition to the common performance measures described in Section 116(b)(2)(A), LWDAs will use business–focused metrics to assess outcomes .

Overall Business Market Penetration

The denominator is the number of unique businesses employing 20 or more people in the parishes contained within a given Local Workforce Development Area (LWDA).

The numerator includes the number of unique businesses with 10 or more employees, registered in HiRE, which independently, or with BCSC staff assistance, are engaged with the HiRE system by:

PRIMARY DATA SOURCE

The primary source of information for this measure is data recorded in the MIS system of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), HiRE. Services to employers are automatically recorded by HiRE and manually entered into HiRE by Business and Career Solutions Center (BCSC) staff. The HiRE system has the capability to have service codes added to indicate business market penetration activity.

Targeted Business Market Penetration

The denominator for this measure is 200 businesses in each LWDA – the top 50 businesses in each of the top four industries in the corresponding workforce region

The numerator for this measure include the number of unique businesses in the targeted industries, registered in HiRE that independently or with BCSC staff assistance, have :

PRIMARY DATA SOURCE

The primary source of information for this measure is data recorded in the MIS system of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), HiRE. Services to employers are automatically recorded by HiRE and manually entered into HiRE by Business and Career Solutions Center (BCSC) staff. The HiRE system has the capability to have service codes added to indicate business market penetration activity.

Employer Based Training

This is a count–based measure. Measured training service contracts to employers and training services delivered to individuals include:

PRIMARY DATA SOURCE

The primary source of information for this measure is data recorded in the MIS system of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), HiRE. Training services provided by employers are recorded in HiRE by Business and Career Solutions Center (BCSC) staff.

Demand Occupation Job Vacancies with Staff Referrals

This is a percentage measure. The numerator for this measure is the number of job vacancies for demand occupations in HiRE, by LWDA, receiving at least one staff referral of a job–seeker to fill the position.

The denominator for this measure is the number of job listings for demand occupation in HiRE, by LWDA.

PRIMARY DATA SOURCE

The primary source of information for this measure is data recorded in the MIS system of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), HiRE. Job listings are recorded in HiRE by Business and Career Solutions Center (BCSC) staff and employers. Specifications for demand occupations are accessible by LWDA, with occupational codes (two digit plus four digit extension) and corresponding star ratings from the Occupations in Demand List in Labor Market Information. LWDAs may add selected demand occupations based on local economic drivers and market conditions.

Repeat Customers

The numerator of this measure is a count of unique employers who received at least one BCSC/HiRE service in the baseline year.

The denominator is a count of the unique employers who received at least one BCSC/HiRE service in the prior year, such as:

PRIMARY DATA SOURCE

The primary source of information for this measure is data recorded in the MIS system of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), HiRE. Staff records employer services in the HiRE system. The HiRE system automatically indicates the activities performed by employers without staff assistance.

4. Assessment

Describe how the State will assess the overall effectiveness of the workforce development system in the State in relation to the strategic vision and goals stated above in sections (b)(1), (2), and (3) and how it will use the results of this assessment and other feedback to make continuous or quality improvements.

The State operates a standard format “Metrics Review Process” this includes a Monthly Review of Metrics (MRM) and a Quarterly Review of Metrics (QRM). The MRM focuses primarily on what is considered “real time” or managerial metrics which are designed to identify and address deficiencies that may be emerging, or may become anticipated at a time when the Continuous Improvement Process can make “real time correction” and begin the development of a “corrective action plan” when that development is called for.

In addition to a more immediate assessment of operations, the MRM focuses on identification and sharing of emerging best practices and contains a component of objective review for programs in development or new programs that have not stabilized. The QRM is less “tactical” and more “strategic” in both time and scope. In particular the QRM focuses more on evolving Partner Program relationship, cross program activities, and achieved outcomes against set performance measures. Like the MRM, the QRM results become drivers in the Continuous Improvement Process.

Note the following samples of drivers from both the QRM and MRM. These include, but are not limited to:

o Number of New Employers Engaged

o Number of Employers Returning as a Result of Outreach

o Business Market Penetration Rate, in Particular Business Sectors

o Total Number of Placements in Demand Occupations

o Total Number of Placements in On the Job Training (and Demand Occupations)

o Time Reduction to Refer Candidates Who are Hired

o Referral to Hire Ratio for Job Seekers who receive Core/Individualized Services

o Number of Demand Occupation Jobs Recruited and Staff Referred

o Number of Weeks Dislocated Workers Receive Benefits.

o Qualitative Review of Case Management Processes in Particular Comprehensive Assessments and Individualized Employment Plans

o Success Rate of Gained Employment for Participants from all Partner Programs, in Particular those with Significant Barriers to Employment as indicated in WIOA Priority Populations.

o Metric Points Along this Process Include Percentage of Number Referred, Number Entered, Number of Completions, and Number Employed, of those Eligible for Training or Education Services.

These Samples and all drivers apply across all programs that touch an Employer or Job Seeker (Participant). The QRM and MRM ultimately produce the foundation (through graphical study and depiction) to support the statistical methods used for analyzing and controlling the variations in our processes and thus continuously improving these processes.

c. State Strategy

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the State's strategies to achieve its strategic vision and goals. These strategies must take into account the State’s economic, workforce, and workforce development, education and training activities and analysis provided in Section (a) above. Include discussion of specific strategies to address the needs of populations provided in Section (a).

1. Describe the strategies the State will implement, including industry or sector partnerships related to in-demand industry sectors and occupations and career pathways,  as required by WIOA section 101(d)(3)(B), (D).  “Career pathway” is defined at WIOA section 3(7).  “In-demand industry sector or occupation” is defined at WIOA section 3(23).

The state of Louisiana must put in place an effective strategy to prepare for the impending job market expansion, in terms of both skills demand, and accelerated job growth. WIOA provides a framework in its requirement for agency and program partnerships that will streamline processes, and create a pipeline for recruiting, training, educating, and otherwise preparing citizens to acquire a living wage. To be successful, this must be a collaborative effort and shared responsibility among all partners. An additional benefit of this course of action will come in the form of a stronger economy. The continuous expansion of the collaborative partnerships will allow Louisiana to fulfill the requirements of WIOA. It will also maximize benefits to the state’s workforce, employers and overall economy.

The mission of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) is to put people to work by continuously improving our demand-driven system that responds quickly to the immediate and long-term needs of employers. The core focus is to fill job vacancies by connecting skilled and credentialed job seekers to employers in demand occupations. This section describes the strategies that Louisiana will implement to achieve the governor’s vision and goals of improving employer engagement, cultivating regional labor market intelligence to drive services, targeting workforce recruitment to meet employer demand, integrating all workforce development services, improving training and technical assistance to Workforce Development Boards and Business and Career Solutions (BCSC) staff, while reducing administrative costs.

To achieve these goals, LWC will capitalize on the shared vision of state and local workforce development boards’ leadership for transformational change by implementing a growing body of promising structural, service delivery and accountability innovations that build on existing strengths, challenge assumptions and create a systemic approach to transform the workforce system into a demand-driven system. A core element of this transformational approach is the commitment of the combined partners to the comprehensive implementation of career pathways.

Louisiana Career Pathways

Through the WIOA planning process, the state’s education and workforce partners developed a vision and framework for Louisiana Career Pathways. The following describes their approach in creating a vision and framework for the implementation of a Career Pathway strategy that aligns with in demand occupations.

Vision: Louisiana Career Pathways are designed to improve lives and the economy. Through integrated career pathways, all Louisianans will have the opportunity to access progressive levels of education and training leading to high-value, high-demand careers. The career pathways approach meets learners where they are, by spanning high school, adult education, post-secondary and beyond, leading to sustainable employment. This includes pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship.

Louisiana Career Pathways connect education and training programs and support services that enable individuals to secure employment within a specific industry or occupational sector, and to advance, over time, to successively higher levels of education and employment in that sector. Each step on the Career Pathway is designed explicitly to prepare workers and students for the next level of employment and education.

The Louisiana Career Pathways Framework

Minimally, all Louisiana Career Pathways must: • Be designed in partnership with business and industry as well as regional economic development entities (in order to meet both current and future sector needs). • Have multiple entry points, including for those with limited basic skills and those with prior educational and work experiences • Incorporate multiple exit points (off-ramps, stop-out points) connected to the attainment of industry-recognized stackable credentials and/or academic credentials. o First stop-out point must be aligned with a viable career opportunity. o Exit points must be embedded in a longer pathway that ultimately leads to high-wage, high-demand careers. • Pathways include opportunities, where appropriate, for acceleration, contextualization, work-based learning and co- or dual-enrollment. • Pathways include Registered Apprenticeship programs and opportunities to obtain a recognized post-secondary credential in the form of a Completion Certificate or an Associate’s Degree for those pursuing further opportunity and credentialing through a community college member of the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC). • Include a logical progression/sequence of courses that are applicable to the target credential. o Could define this as blocks of courses tied to defined entry/exit points. o Course sequence provides a clear plan for what students take and when. • Integrate student (participant) supports, including academic supports, non-academic/general support, transitional support, up-front career exploration and ongoing career development as well as job-placement assistance. • Provide the opportunity to earn college credit. o Can include noncredit programs leading to industry-based credentials, but need consistent state policy on how to award college credit for industry-based credentials. o Noncredit pathways are aligned with credit pathways so that students can continue into credit-bearing pathways with transcript credit and without repeating coursework. o Explore the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium and support community college membership throughout Louisiana to enable journey workers to get on a fast-track for an Associate’s Degree by incorporating their Registered Apprenticeship program participation.

The Louisiana Workforce Investment Council, the Workforce Cabinet, and members of the WIOA Planning Team recognize the need for an education and training system that addresses the state’s economic and workforce challenges. The Planning Team will continue to provide leadership in developing Career Pathway initiatives with a focus on targeted populations with significant barriers to employment (e.g., individuals receiving public assistance, long term unemployed, basic skills deficient adults and youth).

Business Engagement

The Business Engagement Initiative is focused on garnering and utilizing input from businesses to build a package of services and strategies to meet business needs today and into the future. There will be special effort to foster relationships with small businesses and targeted industry sectors in order to develop a custom package of services for these customers. Business Engagement will increase overall business utilization and value received from the workforce system, reduce employer costs to recruit and hire qualified workers and decrease the time required to fill vacancies.

Regional Business Service Structure

Regional business service strategies will transform Louisiana’s workforce development service delivery, creating a positive long-term economic impact. This regional approach is appropriate for the following reasons:

To create sector strategies, local Workforce Investment Boards and chief elected officials in each region will collaborate in a regional planning process, establish a regional service strategy and develop sector initiatives for in-demand sectors or occupations in the region. Along with a sector strategy, the LWDBs in the regions, with representatives from secondary and post-secondary education programs, shall lead efforts in the regional/local area to develop career pathways by aligning employment, training, education, and supportive services. Engaging industry will lead to the development of career pathways, growing the pipeline of qualified job candidates to fill existing skill gaps in targeted industries. Two existing within the education system are Workaday and Jump Start.

WorkReady U, supports the mission of educating Louisiana’s adult population and moving them beyond a high school equivalency diploma through credit-earning coursework for postsecondary certificates, degrees and family-supporting jobs. Louisiana colleges and WorkReady U providers have implemented career pathways in the following industries:

Jump Start is a new paradigm for career and technical education (CTE), allowing high school students to attain an industry-promulgated, industry-valued credential in order to graduate high school.Louisiana’s Jump Start program aligns Louisiana’s K-12th grade CTE strategies with the state’s economic development strategies. Jump Start regional teams, consisting of school districts, colleges, businesses and workforce/economic development experts; collaborate to provide career courses and workplace experiences to high school students. Students have the opportunity to earn industry-valued, industry-promulgated credentials in career fields most likely to lead to high-wage jobs, while preparing them to continue their post-secondary education (in 2- and 4- year colleges) and career development.

LWC will provide additional guidance to LWDBs regarding Career Pathways development as part of its ongoing technical assistance and guidance.

Successful regional sector strategies will share the following common principles:

The implementation of a regional sector strategy does not follow a cookie-cutter approach, but does reflect the common principles outlined above. Regions create and implement the best overall approach for their local economy with the following core steps in mind:

The ultimate goal is for sector partnerships to successfully identify workers with skills that employers need to compete and expand, as well as for workers to receive relevant training that leads to increased job stability and advancement opportunities. Business needs change rapidly, therefore it is critical that this effort be driven by regional business and is based on continuous, sustained engagement with regional businesses.

2. Describe the strategies the State will use to align the core programs, any Combined State Plan partner programs included in this Plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs, and any other resources available to the State to achieve fully integrated customer services consistent with the strategic vision and goals described above.  Also describe strategies to strengthen workforce development activities in regard to weaknesses identified in section II(a)(2).

Development of the Louisiana WIOA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)is fundament to alignment of Louisiana Combined State Plan partner programs, required and optional partners programs, and other resources. The MOU will (1) articulate the coordinated vision, goals and objectives for the Louisiana Workforce system and the combined State Plan; (2) establish agreement at the state level for service delivery systems, co–enrollment and define framework of key strategies and other key function of WIOA core partners; (3) provide guidance for partnerships at the regional and local areas. The WIOA Lead Team has begun to development the MOU framework, and recognizes that the fidelity of the state leadership to the collaborative process will have significant impact on regional and local implementation.

LWC shall create and provide opportunities and leadership to encourage and facilitate regional collaborative efforts by workforce system leaders LWDBs and WIOA required partner programs to align workforce policies and services with regional economies and supportive service delivery strategies. LWC shall lead in the analysis of regional labor markets, establishment of regional service strategies, development and implementation of sector initiatives for in–demand industry sectors or occupations for the region and coordination of services. These efforts are expected to enhance capacity and performance of the integrated workforce system.

LWC has developed policy, vision, certification criteria and contracts to assist LWDBs in complying with WIOA’s expectations. LWC requires development of a regional plan by respective local boards which must include performance targets.

It is the intent of LWC to provide guidance, and support to local leadership, while allowing local and regional leadership, the flexibility to develop and implement innovative workforce strategies and solutions necessary to meet the needs of employers, job seekers and the emerging workforce.

LWC shall monitor and support LWDBs efforts in the strategic integration of workforce programs, services and initiatives in order to operate in the most efficient and cost–effective manner possible, while remaining flexible, adaptable, market–based and customer–focused. LWC has adopted, and is committed to, a Continuous Improvement Process approach in refining the structure and alignment of programs under WIOA with additional resources to support achievement of state vision and goals.

III. Operational Planning Elements

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that support the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II.(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—

A. State Strategy Implementation

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include—

1. State Board Functions

Describe how the State board will implement its functions under section 101(d) of WIOA (i.e. provide a description of Board operational structures and decision making processes to ensure such functions are carried out).

The Louisiana Workforce Investment Council (WIC) is established in accordance with Section 101 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and under Louisiana Law, LSA–R.S. 23:2042–2056. The mission of the WIC is to support the development of an employer–led, demand–driven workforce development system based on occupational forecasts in which training, education and services for job–seekers prepare Louisiana residents for high–wage, high–demand career opportunities in Louisiana.

The WIC achieves this mission by:

The responsibilities of the WIC include:

The powers of the WIC shall include:

The WIC meets no less than four times each calendar year, and all meetings comply with the Louisiana Open Meetings Law. Decisions are made by a vote of a majority of the total membership of the WIC. Decision–making votes shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order. Educational and information portions of meetings shall be conducted according to the preference of the Chair. The Executive Committee of the WIC is comprised of the Chair, Vice Chair, heads or designees of state agencies represented on the WIC, at least one legislator, and at least two organized labor representatives.

The Executive is composed of a majority of business members. Duties include, but are not limited to overseeing the implementation of the strategic plan, tracking workgroup plans and progress; leading the alignment of the workgroups; and driving provisions of critical workforce data.

2. Implementation of State Strategy

Describe how the lead State agency with responsibility for the administration of each core program or a Combined Plan partner program included in this plan will implement the State’s Strategies identified in Section II(c). above. This must include a description of—

A. Core Program Activities to Implement the State’s Strategy

Describe the activities the entities carrying out the respective core programs will fund to implement the State’s strategies. Also describe how such activities will be aligned across the core programs and Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan and among the entities administering the programs, including using co-enrollment and other strategies.

During the past several years, the U.S. Department of Labor has reduced both administrative and programmatic funds available to state workforce agencies in both WP and WIA (now WIOA).At the same time funding availability has been diminishing, the coast and complexity of providing service delivery, programmatic management and support, and fiscal and performance reporting have increased. This makes it essential that LWC and local boards work together to reduce overhead costs and streamline (economize) services.

The state integrated One-Stop Center operations under the Workforce Investment Act several years ago. However, there continues to be One-Stop Centers within the state, where local board and/or One-Stop operators (contractors) have very limited or no presence in providing services to employers and job-seekers. These One-Stop Centers are therefore operating (in effect) as stand-alone Wagner-Peyser Employment Service offices.

This plan supports the State’s commitment to supporting at least one “Comprehensive One-Stop Center” in each local area (defined as the presence of all WIOA required Partner Programs). Smaller offices operated by local boards and/or One-Stop operators (contractors) where all Program Partners are not present, shall be designated and operated as “Affiliate” One-Stop centers and may have any subset of partners, but shall not be operated as Wagner Peyser stand-alone Employment Services offices.

Under the plan, local boards will have the flexibility to include additional partners in One-Stop Centers, in particular and specifically identified by the law:

Although support for One-Stop Center operations will change, this plan does not call for any “rebranding” of centers regarding their status as “comprehensive” or “affiliate.” This plan is designed to support a refined focus on employment, training, adult education and vocational rehabilitation programs designed to provide workers and their families an opportunity for economic prosperity.

The new infrastructure combined with the recently redesigned service delivery model will strengthen existing workforce development and adult education programs in four ways that can benefit adults and youth with barriers to economic success by:

This plan creates an opportunity for chief elected officials (CEOs), boards and local communities to rethink reshape and expand workforce systems, policies and practices in a way that conforms to local needs while maintaining fiscal prudence and viability.

The plan also drives the realignment of funding streams to improve accountability across core programs, support career pathways and sector strategies and create continuous opportunities to measure performance and to identify areas for improvement. Operating in the most effective and efficient way by:

Identifying inefficiencies and targeting improvements that will bring costs in line with reasonable standards.

This plan establishes the state’s commitment to supporting the WIOA requirement that “Each local area must have one comprehensive One-Stop Center that provides access to physical services of the core programs and other required partners.”

The required partner programs, in addition to the core programs, (and if they are present) for a comprehensive One-Stop Center under WIOA are:

For the purposes of operations under this plan regarding services provided in a Comprehensive One- Stop Center, each member of the partnership shall agree to core hours, core services, individualized services, supportive services, data sharing and the sharing of costs for business operations.

This plan commits the state to providing support for one Comprehensive One-Stop Center in each local area. Regionally, boards may choose how they use the resources provided under this plan and other support agreements. However, use of these resources shall not becontrary to the provisions and requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor or state laws, regulations and statutes.

The relationship established under this plan between the local boards, required partners and all optional partners shall be operated as a Service Level Agreement (SLA). That is, all resources shall be allocated by formula as defined or specifically detailed in the plan. SLAs find their origin in the private sector where they are streamlined contracts between a provider of a service or product and a customer or subsidiary that could require provision or management of service delivery, and as such are the most cost-effective and simplest to operate fiscal and managerial processes for this activity.

Key elements of the service relationship covered in this plan include implementation, performance, finances and operations. All of these characteristic key elements and expectations can be directly related to service-delivery at a One-Stop Center regarding negotiated performance outcomes and managerial metrics.

o Who will be physically present in the center - full or part time.

o When not physically present will center staff be required to supply support, i.e. provide customer guidance when using an online tool, etc.?

o What services will be offered, and how do those services support a Career Pathway?

o Defined interface with partner programs to provide seamless services.

o Method of supervision and guidance provided to staff.

o Defined administrative or other supports required to be successful.

o Facility costs.

o Operational delivery, how services are delivered, by whom and when.

The state shall allocate Wagner-Peyser-funded staff by formula based on the level of effort necessary to support labor exchange services in an LWDA or region. There are both local areas that are currently overstaffed and that need additional staffing. These mismatches are the result of long-term localized planning for staff support rather than regional and statewide planning. The state intends to change staffing levels through attrition and replacement, supplement with short-term career specialists funded by limited fund sources where appropriate to the source requirement, and relocation and reassignment.

Elements of the Local Delivery Structure

Boards shall develop new local plans under WIOA to align local goals and objectives set forth in the state’s Combined State Plan and also describe collaboration strategies with system partners.

To address limited financial resources yet still meet the needs of Louisiana’ employers, boards must:

Events and projects provide the opportunity for boards and system stakeholders to collaborate, innovate and streamline services to improve workforce service delivery. Continuous improvement efforts by the boards are facilitated and encouraged through activities such as:

o Integrated workforce processes.

o Performance measures.

o Program-specific monitoring toolkits, through the ongoing work of OWD monitoring effort.

B. Alignment with Activities outside the Plan

Describe how the activities identified in (A) will be aligned with programs and activities provided by required one-stop partners and other optional one-stop partners and activities provided under employment, training (including Registered Apprenticeships), education (including career and technical education), human services and other programs not covered by the plan, as appropriate, assuring coordination of, and avoiding duplication among these activities.

In recent years, state agencies, business/industry and other partners in Louisiana have done a magnificent job aligning employment, training, education and human services to respond to the needs of employers and job–seekers. This plan will ensure that the alignment of activities between core programs and partners continues and expands to required partners and One–Stop partners to improve coordination of employment and training activities and avoid duplication of services to customers. Below are some examples of imaginative and coordinated efforts already in action:

I. Engaging Out–of–School Youth (OSY) through LWDA/High School Partnerships

LWC and its local workforce areas have instituted an innovative approach to engaging out–of–school youth throughout the state to enroll in WIOA Youth Programs. Nearly 50 percent of the state’s high school students either drop out of or are expelled from high school before graduation. Understanding the importance of keeping school–age youth engaged in constructive educational experiences, thereby reducing the risk of truancy, crime and violence, LWC’s Office of Workforce Development worked with several local areas to approach public schools and school boards about the possibility of partnering to offer assistance to youth at risk of exiting high school before graduation. The results are cooperative endeavor agreements signed by LWDB chairs and directors, high school principals and public school superintendents to ensure a “soft handoff” occurs the moment these students are removed from the school’s enrollment. Immediately, they are enrolled into WIOA once eligibility has been formally established. Once an ISS is completed, these OSY are provided one or more of the 14 elements available to OSY under WIOA. This method will be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the approach and has already been shared with other states as a promising innovative strategy during the USDOL/NASWA WIOA Convening in Washington, D.C. in January 2016.

II. Louisiana Jump Start Initiative – Employer Engagement– Department of Education

The Louisiana Department of Education, (K–12), has launched an initiative that offers Career Technical Education (CTE) to high school students in grades 10 through 12. This initiative, known as Jump Start, provides classroom training and work experience in demand occupations in Louisiana through unpaid internships provided industry partners. Participating students are able to obtain high school credit hours, college course credits and industry certifications, all leading to high school diplomas. In some instances, students are able to graduate high school with associate degrees, beginning their professional careers in technical fields immediately after completing high school with a dual degree.

Essential to the program’s success is employer engagement. Employers within targeted industries must be willing to engage high school students through internship opportunities, providing students with on–the–job training and career mentors.

As a result, K–12 has engaged industry leaders to promote and support Jump Start. This effort has required many hours of face–to–face meetings, conference calls and engagement of business, local leaders, state legislators and the executive branch of government in order to resolve legal and bureaucratic obstacles preventing program success.

At the heart of the problem is the fact that this has created unnecessary duplication of efforts to engage business leaders through the formation of 10 regional Jump Start teams statewide. These teams are comprised of education (K–12, community and technical colleges), private business, economic development organizations, local One–Stop operators, public sector leaders and others. This is a clear duplication of effort in that local Workforce Development Boards are comprised of the same organizations, and, in many instances, the same people represent these organizations on both Jump Start teams and local boards. While government employees may be accustomed to conducting business in this manner, it has become increasingly frustrating to business owners, and the fear of losing their enthusiasm and commitment has become apparent. Precious time is wasted having the same discussion, in different forums, with the same people. The need to do something to resolve the issue, and do it quickly, is required.

The state’s K–12 leadership and LWC’s Office of Workforce Development have partnered to streamline the process of business engagement by promoting the alignment of regional Jump Start teams and Workforce Development Boards through the local boards and their standing committees on youth. It is through these standing committees that Jump Start programs will be supported, and issues requiring attention outside of K–12’s normal business and management structure will be addressed and resolved. Meetings with each local board have begun, with more to follow in the coming weeks. Those boards that have met on this issue have expressed support and understanding of the need to move forward with this approach. Many provocative questions regarding Jump Start have been raised by board members and captured by the Louisiana Department of Education consultant and OWD

leadership. The interest in making this career pathways initiative for in–school youth the best in the country has taken off, and LWDB members understand their roles in making it happen.

Local and regional workforce plans will be evaluated to ensure those plans align with the state’s plan to support this process. This process is just one solution to promote business engagement as it relates to opportunities for youth and adults in need of training and work experience, but will serve a model of how the public sector must work more closely, eliminate redundancy and work together to provide excellent, result–oriented customer service (e.g., business, job–seekers, future workforce) and improve the business climate.

III. Registered Apprenticeship–LWC

Akey strategy identified in the Louisiana Combined Plan goals and objectives is the expansion of the use of Registered Apprenticeship programs as viable talent development opportunities. Registered Apprenticeship programs have demonstrated that employers who invest in training experience lower employee turnover, increased employee productivity, better employee problem–solving skills and improved employee relations. The employer and employee are equally committed to the program’s success.

LWC Registered Apprenticeship Program supports connecting job seekers to high paying jobs. The building and construction trade programs have been and continue to be the backbone of registered apprenticeship in this state and across the country, LWC is working to develop new non–traditional programs in industries such as health care and advanced manufacturing. The LWC Apprenticeship Division continues to encourage new and currently existing programs to take advantage of partnership opportunities with our workforce system, and has played an active role in discussions regarding Eligible Training Provider List policies and procedures as it applies to registered apprenticeship under the new WIOA regulations.

Previously, many local workforce boards were reluctant to support registered apprenticeship with workforce funding for a multitude of reasons, including concerns regarding perceived performance implications. With the new provisions in WIOA, that clearly support the expansion and incorporation of registered apprenticeship as an evidence–based approach to workforce development, Louisiana sees this as an opportunity to create a new statewide vision that supports substantive partnerships between LWDBs and registered apprenticeship program sponsors. Aligning registered apprenticeship opportunities with WIOA service design and delivery in a holistic and comprehensive manner, however, will require focused effort and education, and policy support from LWC. In this regard, LWC Apprenticeship Division staff are working closely with the Office of Apprenticeship in the Dallas Regional Office.

IV. HUD/Public Housing

As with the aforementioned strategies to engage out–of–school youth through partnerships with high schools, efforts to work with public housing authorities funded with Department of Housing and Urban Development dollars have begun and will continue throughout the life of this state plan. The goal is to partner and share resources to provide education and employment services to out–of–school youth and adults living in public housing.

Public housing authorities received funding from HUD for the main purpose of providing safe, sanitary and decent housing to low–income families. As part of their mission, housing authorities are required to use portions of the funding, subject to its availability, to provide services to residents of public housing in an effort to move them from dependency on public assistance to self–sufficiency.

These limited HUD dollars can be leveraged with resources available through partners of this Combined State Plan to increase services to public housing residents who are eligible to receive services through one or more of the partners herein. This alignment will also decrease the likelihood of duplication of services, as well as other potential waste, fraud and abuse.

V. Re–Entry–Department of Corrections

LWC and its local workforce partners have aligned with the Louisiana Department of Corrections on several re–entry initiatives across the state. Participants are convicted of crimes in criminal court and sentenced to serve time in the re–entry program. This alternative sentencing structure is designed to work with men and women while they are incarcerated in an effort to provide job skills in demand occupations, reducing the chances of recidivism among participants and complying with the terms and conditions of sentencing. Minimally, engagement in the re–entry program ensures the following:

• Inmate receives workforce services prior to release.

• Inmate must secure employment prior to release.

• Peer mentors are assigned to each inmate.

• Peer mentor must verify the inmate’s readiness for release.

OWD is 100% dedicated to this initiative and has specifically assigned specialized staff toward this initiative, working with the Department of Corrections at to maximum–security state penitentiaries: Angola State Penitentiary and the Louisiana Corrections Institute for Women (LWIW)–St. Gabriel.

Additionally, OWD’s Veterans’ Unit received a grant to offer re–entry services to incarcerated veterans in four parishes: Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany and East Baton Rouge. Staff work with these four parishes, in which nearly 60 percent of the state’s incarcerated return to live upon release, to engage both parish and state inmates in the following penal institutions: St. Tammany Parish Prison, Rayburn State Institution, Jefferson Parish Prison, LCIW, Angola and Orleans Parish Prison. Because of the success of this initiative, LWC will seek additional grant funding to continue beyond the life of this grant, which expires December 31, 2016. Other sources of funding will also be sought by both state and parish officials, all of whom are committed to assisting with giving people a second chance to become productive, gainfully employed, taxpaying citizens.

VI. Community Service Block Grant

The Community Service Block Grant unit, as component of the LWC, Office of Workforce Development, will provide leadership and, technical assistance to the local Community Action Agencies (CAA) to support their collaboration and coordination of their employment and training activities, as well as their supportive services with their local and regional WDBs. CAAs in each region will be included in the Louisiana Career Pathways model development, and are well–positioned to serve as lead partners in the development of “supportive service pathways” or service flow charts for

vulnerable populations (low–skilled, low income, individuals with disabilities, re–entering citizens) focusing on reduction of the barriers to employment. The CSBG unit will achieve this commitment by providing best practices models, and supporting financially innovative strategies that aligns services to ensure that customers receive the best available employment and training services, as well as employment supports, to achieve their employment and self–sufficiency goals.

VII. Job Corps

LWC is supporting a strengthening of the relationship between the three Louisiana Job Corps programs and the local and regional WDBs. As referenced earlier in the plan, the Lafayette WDB is currently piloting an innovative pilot location partnership. The New Orleans Job Corps, is the only non– residential Job Corp site in the state, their students commute each day. Local One–Stop Centers are currently working to strengthen their partnerships with the three Job Corps programs to co–enroll Job Corps students in WIOA Youth Programs. Under WIOA, students attending Job Corps are considered out–of–school youth. In light of the 75 percent out–of–school youth expenditure requirement, this is a great partnership to engage and enroll out–of–school youth, develop an ISS on each youth, offer one or more of the 14 program elements available to them under WIOA that are necessary based on their documented needs, and not provided by Job Corps.

This partnership will also allow local WIOA youth programs the ability to refer youth to Job Corps, so the ability to develop, or improve, a cross–referral process is promising. Local areas will be expected to address their respective strategies in their local plans.

C. Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Individuals

Describe how the entities carrying out the respective core programs, Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan, and required and optional one-stop partner programs will coordinate activities and resources to provide comprehensive, high-quality, customer-centered services, including supportive services to individuals including those populations identified in section II(a)(1)(B). The activities described shall conform to the statutory requirements of each program.

WIOA reaffirms the role of the customer–focused one–stop delivery system, a cornerstone of the public workforce investment system, and enhances and increases coordination among several key employment, education and training programs. WIOA presents an extraordinary opportunity for the workforce system to accelerate its transformational efforts and demonstrate its ability to improve job and career options for our citizens through an integrated, job–driven public workforce system that links diverse talent to our nation’s businesses. It supports the development of strong, vibrant regional economies where businesses thrive and people want to live and work.

Through policy, LWC has refined the state’s response to the U.S. Labor Department mandate that the workforce development system become a seamless, integrated system. Prior to implementation, One–Stop Center operations used a rigid customer flow and team model. This new policy establishes a revision and refocusing effort to drive clients to the “right door” because of the state’s need to respond to a decrease in funding and environmental as well as socio–economic changes.

Goals are as follows:

The policy also recognized and responded to the need for training dislocated workers in a way that enhances subsequent job retention and links this effort to meeting the emerging needs of employers for specifically skilled workers.

The Combined State Plan partners have agreed to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that define the parameters and principles of roles and responsibilities of partners in support of the comprehensive One stop Center, and service delivery model in each Local Workforce Development service Area (LWDSA). The MOU will, minimally define the roles and responsibilities of each partner, how resources will be shared, and establish how the integrated service delivery conforms to statutory requirements of each partner.

Through the WIOA Combined planning process the partners have developed a redefined model for the Louisiana Business and Career Solutions Centers, hereinafter referred to as One –Stop center. This model provides the foundation for establishing operations that support the key principles found in the new WIOA law and support expanding partnerships and services. The redesign and refinement provides an unprecedented opportunity to modernize Louisiana’s workforce system and achieve key hallmarks of a customer centered workforce system, where the needs of employers and job–seekers drive workforce solutions, where One–Stop Career Centers and partners provide excellent customer service to job–seekers and employers, where the workforce system pursues continuous improvement through evaluation and data–driven policy and where the workforce system supports strong regional economies.

The foundation for success is efficient and effective coordination of programs, services and governance, based on common assessment process, career service methodology, case management and job development systems. Leadership at all levels must think expansively, moving forward to produce the best customer–focused comprehensive delivery system.

For this process to realize its potential, it will be necessary to move beyond some current categorical configurations and institutional interest in order to truly unify training, education and employment programs into a single, customer–friendly system tailored to the community it serves. Although each local board is responsible for its own service delivery, the state has established minimum standards for a demand–driven integrated service delivery process in order to establish consistency across the state.

This revision of the service delivery process was undertaken as a result of social and economic pressures driving the need for a more effective “demand–driven” operation. However, the revision does not restrict local leadership in developing processes, procedures and techniques based on local needs. Rather, it encourages this development and provides a standardized foundation to support individual development.

The original service delivery model was intended to be focused on the customer in the context of being demand–driven. As was written: “To ensure that job–seekers get to ‘the right service the first time,’ OWD’s service redesign model provides a standardized framework for how customers enter the system, how they are assessed for service need, how they access services, including job placement and how offices are designed and staffed to meet the needs of job–seekers and employers.”

Unfortunately, over time, the system has evolved to focus on the process rather than the customer. Further, the balance of customer focus has become far too heavy on the job–seeker and too light on the employer. This “process evolution” combined with a reduction in resources (personnel and financial) is inhibiting state and LWDA leadership ability to quickly and effectively respond to compliance and performance demands and be flexible in operating a true outcome–based demand delivery system.

This revision is based on continuous process improvement (CPI). This moves the partnership away from the “compartmentalization” process of the original design and allows for the following in a real–time context: benchmarking (metric driven change), anticipating and meeting changing customer needs, local control of the process to reduce cycle time and idle resources and incorporate lessons learned through marrying quality assurance (monitoring) directly to training.

The new design removes the requirement for the lock step “team approach” of membership, career development and recruitment and placement. While this concept was effective from a process–focused approach, forcing every customer through these steps whether needed or not, is not customer demand driven and is very inefficient. So, while it is important that all offices will “standardize job–seeker basic career services and enrollment processes,” the way in which these are delivered must be flexible. The inefficiencies of this process steal time from the partnership’s ability to serve its other customer, the employer and often frustrate the job–seeker.

The new process for all job–seekers regardless of their reason for entering our services is a roadmap (Diagram __ A) designed for speed and flexibility. It provides for continuous assessment, career services and follow–up. This supports the original design concept of “efficiently determining customer needs, routing customers to the appropriate service, tracking customer activity through the process and targeting and recording outcomes.” Each step in this process has an associated metric draw for continuous improvement.

Continued Guidelines and Required Actions:All job–seeking customers visiting a physical One–Stop Center location who receive staff–assisted services are included in the common measures performance calculations.

Because all One–Stop Center services, staff, facility and activities are funded in–part by both WP and WIOA, sequence of services and assessments shall determine the timing for co–enrollment of job– seekers who receive staff–assisted service in a One–Stop Center, or affiliate, into both WIOA Title I and the WP program for reporting and performance measures.

Any job–seeker served in any One–Stop (or affiliate) shall be counted as a participant in WIOA, regardless of the presence of WIOA–funded staff onsite. Conversely, all WIOA participants shall be counted as WP participants, regardless of the presence of WP funded staff at the enrolling service location.

Determining eligibility under dislocated worker, adult and youth status are separate issues from this guidance and are addressed in a separate policy.

Staff shall select and provide services to employers and job–seekers with the intent of developing a high–quality outcome. For this reason, the performance accountability system is based on the quality of services and not the number of services provided.

Service Delivery Process: Assessment, Career Services, and Follow–up for Job–Seekers:

Rather than being divided into three distinct workspaces, local leadership must design space usage to most efficiently and effectively move customers through the process. This may involve some team areas for specific tasks, but should not “silo” staff such that a “lack of work” can exist.

The old term and concept of “intake process” shall be replaced with “assessment process.” While further discussion of assessment in this policy and in its operation will be divided into “initial assessment” and “comprehensive assessment,” always think of assessment as an ongoing process in the context of service delivery.

Assessment may include the use of tools and processes that shall be modified by local leadership to be most effective based on the demographic of their specific location, customer base, staffing levels, program availability and access to supportive services.

One–Stop staff shall provide services without regard for their status as state or LWDB employees. Minimally, job–seeker services must include initial registration, WP and (when applicable) WIOA enrollment, with the appropriate staff–assisted first service.

Career services shall include both basic career and individualized career services as appropriate based on job–seeker and employer need, and the most recently directed criteria associated with compliance and performance under any applicable U.S. Department of Labor grant. These services may include, but are not limited to, assisted job search activities, evaluation of skills, interests, preferences, career counseling training options, matching skills to current job openings, individualized career services, case management and follow–up.

The Three Tracks for a Job–Seeker

In the revised service delivery process, there are three tracks that any job–seeker may take. These are defined as workforce–ready in a demand occupation, workforce ready not in a demand occupation and case management.

It is important to note that one of these tracks will apply to all job–seekers regardless of their reason for entering our staff–assisted service, and that during the course of service assessments and re–evaluation the job–seeker may move from one track to another.

Entry may begin as a self–service electronic registration (in or out of a One–Stop Center), an outreach contact (regardless of reason for outreach), an automatic registration created by an application for UI benefits and the subsequent required service points requiring a visit to a One–Stop Center, a staff–assisted registration and enrollment for a job–seeker who is a “walk in” to a One–Stop Center or an individual who is registered by any means while receiving Rapid Response services.

Job–seekers who are also UI claimants

Required service entry for UI beneficiaries takes one of two forms based on worker profiling. They are profiled as “least likely” to exhaust their benefits (workforce ready) or “most likely” to exhaust their benefits (not workforce ready).

These job–seekers must report to the One–Stop Center at specified service points as a requirement of continued eligibility to receive UI benefits (following the most current U.S. Department of Labor and state guidance for grant specific requirements).

Any job–seeker who is also a UI recipient entering a One–Stop Center for service shall receive an orientation (e.g. provision of labor market information and career information, information on assessment tools and orientation to services available through the One–Stop Center and partner organizations). Orientation is optional but is encouraged for all non–UI recipient job–seekers as well.

Workforce Ready, in a Demand Occupation:

Job–seekers who are not UI recipients may arrive at the One–Stop Center for a variety of other reasons (they may be unemployed by choice or seeking a career change, for example). If the initial assessment indicates they have no significant barriers to employment and are workforce ready in a demand occupation, (as defined above), they will be places on the workforce ready in a demand occupation track.

Those job–seekers who are UI recipients and are determined to be least likely to exhaust their UI benefits shall be placed in either of the workforce ready in a demand occupation track or the workforce ready not in a demand occupation track.

When an initial assessment indicates no significant barriers to employment, and that the job–seeker has skills, credentials, certification, education, soft skills, previous experience or a combination of these factors that qualifies them in a demand occupation, they shall be sent to career specialists performing business services or other career specialists designated by local management for job referral.

Career specialists performing business services (or other designee) shall review the job–seeker’s skills comparing them to specific demand occupation job vacancies, match those skills to job vacancies and make a staff referral. The career specialist who made the referral, or who is case–managing the job– seeker, should plan for a formalized follow–up process, such as a 30–, 60–, 90–day cycle, developed locally with documented reassessment.

Follow–up does not necessarily require a contact call. Alerts and electronic messaging available in HiRE may be utilized.

Workforce Ready, Not in a Demand Occupation:

When the initial assessment indicates a job–seeker is workforce ready (using the criteria above), but not in a demand occupation (including UI recipients determined to be least likely to exhaust their UI benefits), that job–seeker shall be referred to self–service and offered assistance as needed with informational services. As defined in Informational Services, these services will include guiding the job–seeker to labor market information including jobs in demand, wage rates, education requirements, work search tools, skills and interest–matching assessments.

Career specialists should plan for robust and effective follow–up, reassessing as necessary. This is critical because continued failure to achieve employment may indicate the existence of a barrier to employment that was not identified earlier in the assessment process.

Should follow–up for any job–seeker on the workforce ready track show continued unemployment, more individualized career services may be indicated. These job seekers shall be moved to the Case Management Track.

Case Management Track:

Job–seekers who have poor or large gaps in their work history, limited, obsolete or unknown skills, limited education, lack credentials, lack soft skills, have significant barriers to employment or a combination of any of these factors as well as any job–seeker determined most likely to exhaust all their UI benefits shall be considered not workforce ready.

Job–seekers who are not workforce ready shall be provided individualized career services, consisting of a minimum of a comprehensive assessment and development of an individualized employment plan (IEP) in the context of case management.

Comprehensive assessment is vital to collecting information on job–seeker barriers to employment, employment goals, knowledge skills and abilities, and proficiency in occupational knowledge. This assessment shall be done as a client–centered approach to evaluating the needs of a participant without regard to services or training program availability. The purpose is not to match the job– seeker to what is available, rather to determine job–seeker needs.

This assessment is best defined operatively as an intensive interviewing process, which includes behavioral observations and may also require the use of structured assessment tools. Other information gathered may include detailed work history, family support available, social services affiliations, offender status and a detailed education history.

Comprehensive assessment must be documented via case note(s), with regard for privacy and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) rules. It is the responsibility of local management to ensure staff is cognizant of HIPAA rules.

The comprehensive assessment is the foundation for development of an IEP, and no IEP shall be created without completing a comprehensive assessment. In many cases the comprehensive

assessment will then be an ongoing process that may result in changes to the goals and objectives of the IEP.

The IEP is developed with a job–seeker to identify or create employment goals, appropriate achievement objectives and the right combination of services to assist in achieving goals and objectives. In short – “Where am I now?” “Where do I want to go?” “How will I get there?”

The IEP must include goals and objectives that are SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and time bound). A case note must accompany the IEP and must justify the plan based on the identified barrier(s) to employment.

Case management requires a regular follow–up and review or revision of the IEP until such time as the job–seeker becomes workforce ready or enters a training program. In either case, follow–up is critical, using a 30–day cycle until the job–seeker attains employment or completes training.

All IEP’s must be recorded in HiRE. The preferred method is by using the HiRE Wizard. In order to comply with this requirement when IEPs are created as hard copy only, those IEPs must be scanned into the HiRE system not later than close of business the following business day.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Successful implementation of the revised service delivery process depends on development of true partnerships and honest collaboration at all levels and among all stakeholders. This means developing effective partnerships within local communities, including but not limited to business and industry associations, businesses, organized labor, community–based organizations, educational institutions and other partners. Establishment and effective operation of an ongoing and aggressive training program for both state merit and Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB)–funded staff is also critical to success.

Point of Service Leadership: Local Workforce Development Boards through their leadership and supervisory structure, (e.g. WDB directors, local area coordinators, site managers, except as defined in this policy), shall have full functional supervision over all state merit staff operating as a career specialist in a One–Stop Center.

D. Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Employers

Describe how the entities carrying out the respective core programs, any Combined State Plan partner program included in this plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs will coordinate activities and resources to provide comprehensive, high-quality services to employers to meet their current and projected workforce needs. The activities described shall conform to the statutory requirements of each program.

Louisiana‘s core program partners along with One–Stop partner programs in each of the 8 regions coordinate activities and resources through local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs), focusing on delivering regional business services and creating a positive long–term economic impact in the regions. The coordinated activities and resources are designed to provide comprehensive, high–quality services to employers to meet their current and projected workforce needs. This regional approach is appropriate for the following reasons:

The Regional Business Service Team is a partnership between core program partners and mandatory/optional One–Stop partner programs with local Workforce Development Boards that convene and provide guidance to the team. The Regional Business Service Team within each region consists of the following programs:

The RBST meets on a regular basis, at least once a month, in order to collaborate and coordinate their focus on employers’ needs in the region. The RBST supports and aligns Business and Career Solutions Center (B&CSC) business services within each region. Below is a list of business services in the region the team provides to the employer community:

E. Partner Engagement with Educational Institutions

Describe how the State’s Strategies will engage the State’s community colleges and area career and technical education schools, as partners in the workforce development system to create a job-driven education and training system.  WIOA section 102(b)(2)(B)(iv).

Higher education is not a mandated partner in WIOA, however, the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council membership consists of the state leadership of all of the state’s educational institutions, including the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the Board of Regents of Higher Education and the superintendent of education (K-12). Additionally, these cabinet members along with the executive directors of the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Louisiana Economic Development comprise the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. The Workforce Cabinet provides policy leadership, guidance and support for the innovation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Working Group. The Louisiana Career Pathways working group, comprised of representatives of each of the Workforce Cabinet partners, has led the Louisiana Career Pathways planning process.

As stated in Section II (C), Louisiana has developed a shared definition and framework for Career Pathways as the model for the alignment of education, training and work-based learning (apprenticeships, internships) and support services that enable individuals and students to be better prepared to achieve economic independence and family stability. The WIOA partners are embarking on a new concept to organize resources (staff, supports, etc.) around target job-seeker populations and business development using a “pathway” model that will encourage separate agencies to wrap resources, staff and supports around the customer base.

As referenced in Section II (C) Regional Business and Sector Strategies, the educational partners, particularly the Louisiana Community and Technical College System institutions, are key partners in the regional and sector strategies, providing workforce skill training and integrated work-based training to meet regional employer and economic development needs. State partners will work with local and regional workforce development boards and partners to define and build pathways appropriate to the region.

Championed by the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, with the support of LMI and Occupational Forecasting Conference, the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Star Jobs ratings system was developed. The Star Jobs ratings system provides a ranking of the highest-demand, highest-wage jobs in Louisiana, based on factors such as forecasted employment growth (long-term and short-term), jobs available in the previous year, and wages. Star Jobs ratings are developed and dynamically updated in collaboration with leading Louisiana academic, economic development, workforce development and industry experts. Since the inception and implementation of Star Jobs ratings, this ranking system has been utilized by educators across Louisiana at all levels. Below are a few examples:

• The Louisiana Board of Regents incorporates the Star Jobs ratings as part of its cost formula, upon which the funding formula distribution is based.

• The Louisiana Community and Technical College System uses Star Jobs ratings to guide decisions about program eliminations, modifications and additions, to direct its federal Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education funds to grant applications that will increase the supply of high-wage jobs that meet projected state workforce needs and to direct the Workforce Training Rapid Response Grant Program.

• The Department of Education indicates the Star Job rankings related to all Jump Start industry credentials, enabling school counselors to guide students to careers that promise both interesting work and well-compensated career opportunities aligned with their interests and capabilities.

F. Partner Engagement with Other Education and Training Providers.

Describe how the State’s Strategies will engage the State’s other education and training providers, including providers on the state’s eligible training provider list, as partners in the workforce development system to create a job-driven education and training system.

LWC provides the policy and structure for the state’s eligible training providers (ETPL), and the LWDBs are charged with aligning education and training resources in their local areas and regions to provide maximum opportunities for job-seekers to attain skills and experiences needed to obtain employment. As the LWOIA working group and LWC refine and develop career pathway models, local areas will be encouraged to engage education and training partners in local model design and implementation.

G. Leveraging Resources to Increase Educational Access

Describe how the State’s strategies will enable the State to leverage other Federal, State, and local investments that have enhanced access to workforce development programs at the above institutions, described in section (E).

The LWIC has been a catalyst for the leveraging of federal, state and local investments to expand access to workforce development programs in education and training institutions. Several workforce development regions have leveraged local and state resources to attract philanthropic investments to implement innovative targeted strategies targeting low-skill unemployed and underemployed individuals. LWC will continue to work closely with post-secondary education partners, including all Perkins postsecondary recipients, to leverage federal, state and local resources. This includes including financial aid programs and veterans (e.g. GI Bill) benefits to enhance access to educational opportunities.

It should be noted that Louisiana Community and Technical College System, as well as other public and private organizations in the state, have received millions of dollars in discretionary grants and will continue to apply to receive future discretionary grants to support workforce training services and strategies to impact the lives of targeted populations (e.g., dislocated workers, veterans, re-entry, out-of-school youth). The governor’s vision is to improve coordination and collaboration in delivering services to eligible participants in an effort to improve upon the efficacy and effectiveness of service delivery, thereby increasing participation of the state’s those most vulnerable populations in need of workforce training and supportive services, as well as overall program outcomes.

Under the vision and leadership of Gov. John Bel Edwards, the LWC executive director has initiated conversations with federal and state leaders relative to maximization of current federal and state resources to enhance and expand access of low skill citizens to workforce development programs that support career pathways. LWDBs are also being challenged to convene their local partners to develop resource maps of existing resources and transformational opportunities.

H. Improving Access to Postsecondary Credentials

Describe how the State’s strategies will improve access to activities leading to recognized postsecondary credentials, including Registered Apprenticeship certificates. This includes credentials that are industry-recognized certificates, licenses or certifications, and that are portable and stackable.

The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and LWIC have prioritized the development of articulation agreements and the reduction of duplicative processes that challenge and impede the success of Louisiana Career Pathways. Core to the implementation of Louisiana Career Pathways is the identification and development of stackable credentials that meet the needs of high-demand industries and support individual mobility from one post-secondary program to another. This includes Registered Apprenticeships and occupational training programs, and from basic education into post-secondary programs.

The foundation for Louisiana’s approach to post-secondary credentials is the development of Career Clusters at the secondary school level, these are:

• Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

• Architecture & Construction

• Arts, A/V Technology & Communications

• Business, Management & Administration

• Education & Training

• Finance

• Government & Public Administration

• Health Science

• Hospitality & Tourism

• Human Services

• Information Technology

• Manufacturing

• Marketing, Sales & Services

• Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

• Transportation, Distributing & Logistics

This Career Pathway approach is designed to prepare students to meet the demands of postsecondary education and the expectations of employers, in particular those representing “in demand” occupations.

These Career Clusters are designed to support a coherent and focused sequence of rigorous academic and career/technical course work, that commences in the ninth grade and will create a “pathway that leads to either a postsecondary education or credential (or series of credentials) then work. Currently, the state has 25 courses articulated for secondary to post-secondary through a program called “Statewide Secondary to Postsecondary Articulation agreement (STArt).

Integral to this process is the opportunity for a participant to acquire a “portable” and “recognized” credential that they have successfully demonstrated skill competencies on a core set of content that is complete with performance standards that are based on a specific set of work-related tasks in either a single occupational area, or a cluster of related occupational areas. Louisiana currently has 85 certifications that are “Industry Based” and “Locally Designed” around the unique employment needs of specific regions.

I. Coordinating with Economic Development Strategies.

Describe how the activities identified in (A) will be coordinated with economic development entities, strategies and activities in the State.

Sector strategy initiatives will be developed in each of the 8 Workforce Regions of the state. LWC has industry coordinators and business consultants currently on staff and assigned to each region. Their primary roles are to engage business and industry to identify short- and long-term workforce needs, and assist local workforce boards (business consultants) and One-Stop Centers (industry coordinators) with developing goals, objectives and strategies to address these needs.

Each Workforce Region has identified at least 3 of the top industries within the region, industries that have the need to fill vacancies in high-demand occupations. Star Jobs (3-5 star jobs) are the targets. These industries are identified through the use of LMI and engagement with local and regional economic development associations.

Business metrics have been created to provide a mechanism in which to measure the effectiveness of services provided to businesses in each local area and region. These metrics include overall market penetration, targeted (top industries) market penetration, employer-based training, staff referral to vacancies in demand occupations (based on 3-5 Star Jobs) and repeat business customers.

Three regions (Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe) are currently engaged in developing regional sector strategies through a Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant (SP-NEG) the state has received to develop sector strategies and provide employer-based training such as Registered Apprenticeships, on-the-job training and customized training to eligible dislocated workers. Consultants have been engaged to assist with the development of these strategies, which include engaging business and industry, economic development organizations, business associations and others. This is a business-led approach to respond to the needs of employers within specific industries driving the economy of a workforce and/or economic development region of the state. Successful strategies resulting from this effort will be shared and replicated in other workforce and economic regions in Louisiana.

LWC and local areas will also work with Louisiana Economic Development’s Fast Start Program. LED-Fast Start provides quick workforce solutions to businesses in LED’s effort to attract new businesses to the state, or retain existing businesses. Solutions include recruitment and workforce training, working with the state’s community and technical college system to develop curriculum approved by the employer(s) to produce short-term training to job candidates and helping trainees attain the skills necessary to fill jobs quickly. Local One-Stop Centers partner with Fast Start to refer job candidates for short term training, conduct targeted job fairs to connect specific job candidates to specific employers with specific job openings that need to be filled over a specified period of time.

b. State Operating Systems and Policies

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a description of the State operating systems and policies that will support the implementation of the State strategy described in Section II Strategic Elements . This includes—

1. The State operating systems that will support the implementation of the State’s strategies. This must include a description of–

A. State operating systems that support coordinated implementation of State strategies (e.g., labor market information systems, data systems, communication systems, case-management systems, job banks, etc.).

Customer service and a focus on consumer needs for user–friendly resources in the areas of skill assessment, career planning, post–secondary training opportunities and workforce information are the highest priority. Louisiana Occupational Information System (LOIS) integration with HiRE provides a seamless delivery point for occupational and career data.

Through HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment), LWC has maximized customer choice, providing the ability to directly enter the labor exchange process by either self–identification or through staff assistance. The system provides job–seekers with direct access to employer listings through the self–service component, as well as the ability complete skill–based resumes.

Enhancements launched in November 2015 provided job–seekers with the ability to do business with the LWC more efficiently with online access to file appeals to unemployment insurance decisions, access real–time claim updates and the ability to correspond online rather than through postal mail.

Louisiana’s labor market information system, case management system, job bank, and internal (customer and staff) communications systems are all integrated into one system – HiRE. HiRE is administered by Geographic Solutions, Inc. (GSI). GSI is responsible for administration, development, and data management of the HiRE system. Each aforementioned functional area within HiRE has its own module for the intake and management of information (customer, labor market, job listings, etc.). This seamless coordination between these functional areas enables rapid and efficient access to different categories of information needed to assist job seekers and employers.

LWC was one of the first states to develop the Workforce Longitudinal Database System (WLDS) under the WDQI grant. As part of its long-term sustainability, since its full implementation, the LWC’s WLDS system has continued to update all underlying data and enhance its documentation efforts to better use it for program monitoring and effectiveness. The LWC plans to utilize the systems capabilities to continue measure training program effectiveness, develop new measures that can satisfy additional requirements under WIOA as well as help develop the LWC’s data warehouse efforts through incorporating and expanding on business rules, data management and security protocols designed in the WLDS system. As the state continues to fully implement enhanced wage record collection, the LWC plans to use the data to develop new labor market information tools for planning (including skill gap analysis and career pathways), measuring (effectiveness of programs with enhancements on occupational measures) creating data visualization tools for end users.

The WIOA interagency workgroup will continue to identify opportunities to link electronic delivery of services and resources. Featured Job–Seeker Tools

Star Jobs

Louisiana’s Star Jobs rating system was developed in response to the need to broaden our assessment of “top” occupations to be prioritized by training and education policymakers. The previous system effectively identified jobs with the best long–term (10–year) hiring outlook, but incorporated no additional job characteristics. The Star Jobs rating system has been augmented to also consider immediate opportunities and wages associated with that job, as well as short–term (3–year) hiring outlook.

The ultimate advantage of the Star Jobs rating system is the simple, direct way that all rankings are combined into a single measure. Jobs that fare well across several dimensions stand out.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Star Jobs tratings system allows job seekers to explore occupations based on their interests. The Star Jobs system enables users to understand the nature of work, identify education and training requirements, connect with education and training providers and apply for jobs online. My life. My way.

In December 2014, the Louisiana Workforce Commission launched an online mobile tool called My life. My way. for students, young adults and anyone interested in finding high–demand careers that interest them while supporting the standard of living they want to maintain. It seamlessly flows users into Louisiana Star Jobs, the job search and career exploration tool, automatically showing users jobs that pay the salary they need.

B. Data-collection and reporting processes used for all programs and activities, including those present in one-stop centers*.

Louisiana Workforce Commission’s HiRE system (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) is the principal repository for collected data. LWC’s Management of Information Systems (MIS) unit is responsible for ensuring that the data collected is accurate and timely, analyzed and presented for performance reporting.

Collected data is managed by Geographic Solutions Inc. (GSI). GSI houses the data and aggregates the data for the different USDOL program performance reporting processes for which LWC is responsible. Reporting data is delivered through a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site to the appropriate LWC personnel in the necessary formats for submission to USDOL. LWC personnel executes any further data processing (if necessary) and submission. LWC’s Technical Support unit of its Information Technology personnel facilitates the distribution of files to and from GSI through the FTP site.

The MIS unit provides technical assistance to boards and Business and Career Solutions Center staff as it relates to data collection and reporting. Such technical assistance comprises common and program–specific requirements such as eligibility, data entry, case management, individual fund tracking and the management of providers.

As a supplement to HiRE, LWC and boards utilize a third–party vendor (Future Works) which further processes WIASRD data to enable greater detail of information for analysis. This allows LWC and Boards to optimize decision making related to policy and process. In addition to producing performance data each quarter, LWC (specifically Office of Workforce Development) presents quarterly performance reports during the agency’s Quarterly Review Meetings. During this meeting, the agency’s executive staff is made aware of successes and areas needing improvement, as well as proposed plans for improvement.

* For the PY 2016 state plan, descriptions of data collection and reporting processes need only include currently known indicators.

2. The State policies that will support the implementation of the State’s strategies (e.g., co-enrollment policies and universal intake processes where appropriate).  In addition, describe the State’s process for developing guidelines for State-administered one-stop partner programs’ contributions to a one-stop delivery system, including benchmarks, and its guidance to assist local boards, chief elected officials, and local one-stop partners in determining equitable and stable methods of funding infrastructure in accordance with sec. 121(h)(1)(B). Beginning with the state plan modification in 2018 and for subsequent state plans and state plan modifications, the State must also include such guidelines.

LWC, as the lead agency for the implementation of the WIOA Combined State Plan, has developed a foundational set of policies that provide guidance for LWDBs to implement WIOA Core Programs and other associated services. The chart below presents an overview of the state’s policies designed support effective implementation of WIOA and the One-Stop delivery system:

Policy Number

Policy Name

Purpose

OWD 4-10

WIOA Initial Designation

Guidance initial designation WIOA -LWDA

OWD 4-11

WIOA Board Composition and Certification

Guidance on composition and certification criteria for LWDBs

OWD 2.13.1

WIOA Certification Process for ETP L

Guidance to LWDA, training providers and other stakeholders on the certification process and procedures.

OWD 2.3.3

WIOA FY 15 Program Allocations

Provide LWDA allocations for Title I Adult, Dislocated and Youth activities

OWD 2-21

Youth Program Operation

Codifies TEGL WIOA 23-14 guidance for the operation implementation WIOA Youth formula funds.

OWD 2-22

Transition of WIA Carryover

Codifies TEGL 23-14 transition of WIA funds

OWD 2-23

Integrated Service Delivery

Redefines the role and responsibilities for state staff in the Louisiana Business and career Solutions Centers; and key definitions

OWD 2-24

WIOA Adult Dislocated Worker Eligibility Policy

OWD 2-27

IEP & LMI Policy

Codifies TEGL 22-08 , LMI is a tool that provides information for IEP

OWD 2-28

NEG & SP

Guidance to LWDA on Sector Partnership and the National Emergency Grant

LWC leadership and WIOA Combined State plan partners (Implementation Team) are currently working on the WIOA Combined State Plan MOU and the development of Common Intake, Co-enrollment and other policies that will support the efficacy of plan implementation.

3. State Program and State Board Overview

A. State Agency Organization

Describe the organization and delivery systems at the State and local levels for the programs covered in the plan, including the organizational structure. Include an organizational chart.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) interrelates with its partner agencies as illustrated in the organizational chart above.

Among the Executive Branch agencies, the lines of authority are very clear. Each agency is run by a Cabinet–level appointee, and these appointees all report to the governor. All of the cabinet members in the agencies listed above are members of the Workforce Investment Council (WIC).

All post–secondary education is governed by a state Board of Regents, some of whose members are appointed by the governor. The Regents’ chief executive, the state commissioner of higher education, is a member of the WIC. Under the Regents’ umbrella is the Board of Supervisors for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), whose chief executive is also a member of the WIC.

Elementary and secondary education is governed by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). Eight members are elected from the eight BESE districts, and the remaining three members are appointed by the governor. BESE’s chief executive is the superintendent of education, who also is a member of the WIC.

Title 1 (Adult Youth and Dislocated Worker), Title III Wagner–Peyser, Community Service Block Grants (CSBG) and Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation are administered by LWC. Title II (Adult Education) is administered by LCTCS.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are administered by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Organizational Chart: Note- on Org chart DCFS displayed as Department of Social Services.

http://www.laworks.net/Images/WIOA/LaOrgChart.jpg

B. State Board

Provide a description of the State Board, including—

1. Membership roster

Provide a membership roster for the State Board, including members’ organizational affiliations.

Name

Agency/Business

Category

Governor John Bel Edwards

Governor’s Office

Governor

Executive Director Ava Dejoie

Louisiana Workforce Commission

WIOA Titles I, III, IV

Secretary Don Pierson

Louisiana Economic Development

Economic Development

Secretary Marketa Garner Walters

Department of Children and Family Services

One-Stop Partner TANF/SNAP

Mr. John White

Department of Education

Secondary Education

Dr. Monty Sullivan

Louisiana Community and Technical College System

WIOA Title II

Dr. Joseph Rallo

Board of Regents

Higher Education

Secretary James "Jimmy" LeBlanc

Department of Public Safety and Corrections

One-Stop Partner Ex-Offender

Ms. Thelma French

Total Community Action

Community-Based Organization

Mr. Michael "Mike" Mitternight

President, Factory Service Agency, Inc.

Business and Industry

Mr. Brent Golleher

LMOGA

Business and Industry

Ms. Kathy Bobbs

President & CEO, Regional Health System of Acadiana

Business and Industry

Mr. Michael Boudreaux

Part Owner, Juban’s; Beau Soleil

Business and Industry

Mr. John F. Jones

Century Link

Business and Industry

Mr. Charles Moniotte, Chairman

Moniotte Investments

Business and Industry

Mr. Jorge Luis Tarajano

PALA Group

Business and Industry

Mr. C.A. "Buck" Vandersteen

Exec. Dir. Louisiana Forestry Association

Business and Industry

Ms. Jennifer Boggs

President, Louisiana Bankers Education Council

Business and Industry

Mr. Thomas Mitchiner O’Neal

President, Hercules Transport and O’Nealgas

Business and Industry

Mr. Thomas Yura

BASF

Business and Industry

Mr. James Kirkham

Plant Manager, Conagra Lamb Weston

Business and Industry

Mr. Art Favre

President, Performance Contractors

Business and Industry

Mr. Robert "Bob" Lobos

Owner, Wolf Creek Business Growth Institute

Business and Industry

Mr. Mike Palamone

CEO, Urban Systems Associates

Business and Industry

Ms. Sonia Perez

President, AT&T Louisiana

Business and Industry

Mr. Edward "Eddie" L. Rispone

Chairman, Management Board, ISC Constructors

Business and Industry

Mr. James Ray Barker

Bollinger Shipyards

Business and Industry

Mr. John "Patrick" Mulhearn

Executive Director, Celtic Studios

Business and Industry

 

Mr. Jonald Walker, III

J. Walker & Company, Managing Principal

Business and Industry

Mr. Todd McDonald

Liberty Bank

Business and Industry

Ms. Peggy Parker

Allen’s Electric Motors

Business and Industry

Ms. Missy Rogers

Noble Plastics

Business and Industry

Mr. Jim Odom

Presonus

Business and Industry

Mr. Joe Bonita

AAR

Ms. Natalie Robottom

President, St. John the Baptist Parish

Chief Elected Official

Mr. John F. Young, Jr.

President, Jefferson Parish

Chief Elected Official

Mr. Keith Brand

BR Electrical Apprenticeship & Training Committee; Instructor for LTC

Organized Labor

Mr. Jason Dedon

AFL-CIO

Organized Labor

Mr. Louis Reine

President, AFL-CIO

Organized Labor

Mr. John Hopkins

Organized Labor

Ms. Susan Nelson

Organized Labor

Mr. Joseph Ardoin

Treasurer, Local Union 1098-Baton Rouge

Organized Labor

Mr. Gerry Mims

Organized Labor

Mr. Charlie Habig

Plumber and Pipe Fitters Local 198

Organized Labor

Senator Conrad Appel

Louisiana Senate

State Legislature

Senator A.G. Crowe

Louisiana Senate

State Legislature

Representative Ed Price

Louisiana House of Representatives

State Legislature

Representative Patricia Hayes Smith

Louisiana House of Representatives

State Legislature

2. Board Activities

Provide a description of the activities that will assist State Board members and staff in carrying out State Board functions effectively.

Workforce Investment Council (WIC) members are Louisiana’s workforce champions. They represent a cross­section of stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive, integrated workforce development and delivery system that begins with understanding the workforce needs of industry, connects Louisiana citizens to training, and links trained workers to high-wage, high-demand careers.

The Workforce Investment Council: • Develops Louisiana’s strategic plan for a comprehensive, integrated workforce development and delivery system. • Advocates for efficiency and cooperation among stakeholders. • Promotes the development of a well-educated, highly skilled workforce. • Develops strategies to educate Louisianans about career opportunities and businesses about services and resources available to help them meet their workforce needs. • Ensures the equitable distribution of workforce development resources across the state. • Makes recommendations to the governor of geographic designations for workforce development areas. • Directs the activities of the Occupational Forecasting Conference, responsible for overseeing state­ wide and regional job-growth projections, which underpin the planning and budgeting of state and local resources. • Oversees the Industry-Based Credential (IBC) Council, responsible for evaluating the alignment of credentials with state workforce demand for inclusion on the IBC State-Focus List, which guides training programs and other stakeholders to important occupations in the state and the industry­ recognized credentials leading to those occupations. • Oversees, jointly with the Board of Regents, the evaluation of two-year and shorter-term programs for TOPS Tech eligibility in alignment with state workforce demand, guided by state industry and occupational forecasts. • Contributes to the evaluation of TOPS Tech Early Start training providers to ensure alignment with state and regional workforce needs.

Louisiana Workforce Investment Council Strategic Plan (adopted December 15, 2015)

Building a nimble, responsive workforce development system capable of quickly aligning education and training opportunities and employer needs will ensure continued economic growth and establish Louisiana as the best place to find the next great employee.

Vison

Louisiana will be the best place to get a job or grow a business.

Mission

The Workforce Investment Council (WIC) supports development of an employer-led, demand-driven workforce development system based on occupational forecasts in which training, education and services for job-seekers prepare Louisiana residents for high-wage, high-demand career opportunities in Louisiana.

STRATEGIC GOAL 1: FORECASTING

Provide and continue to develop robust, credible industry and occupational forecasts and labor supply analyses that identify current and future workforce demand and drive policy and resource decisions.

1. Maintain comprehensive and accurate industry and occupational short- and long-term forecasts that are refreshed annually to reflect dynamic workforce needs.

2. Position the industry and occupational forecasts as The Louisiana Occupational Forecast as the guide for resource allocation.

3. Support collaboration among state agency partners to continue the annual development of a workforce supply and demand analysis to identify workforce gaps.

4. Support the continued development of user-friendly tools (i.e., Star Jobs; My Life, My Way; and HiRE) that appropriately communicate the forecast and gap analysis to each customer type (i.e. business and industry, job-seekers, state agencies and policymakers, educational institutions, workforce development boards and community-based organizations), enabling more informed decision-making and planning.

5. Coordinate the development and launch of a statewide outreach campaign, including communications and marketing, with the goal of educating students, parents, influencers, educators, job-seekers and workforce development stakeholders about career opportunities available in Louisiana, the pathways to those opportunities and available support services.

STRATEGIC GOAL 2: GROWTH AND ALIGNMENT

Meet current and future workforce demand by better aligning Louisiana’s education and training enterprises to produce more people with the skills, abilities and credentials that meet the needs of Louisiana business and industry.

1. Develop a Louisiana-specific tool that links instructional programs with employment outcomes, helping residents identify education and training pathways that lead to high-wage, high-demand careers.

2. Support growth in the Louisiana labor force pipeline by promoting:

a. An increased high school graduation rate. Goal: Reach an 80 percent graduation rate by 2020, which is the rate in top states as defined by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

b. Education, training and job opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment, as defined by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Goal: Pending performance metric release from United States Department of Labor.

c. The preparation and connection of unemployed and underemployed individuals with skills training for high-demand occupations. Goal: Pending performance metric release from U.S Department of Labor.

3. Ensure compliance with requirements to maximize federal workforce development funding for Louisiana.

4. Adopt policies likely to lead to high-wage employment outcomes that reflect state diversity demographics

5. Increase the percentage of high school graduates who are ready for work or post-secondary education and training that aligns with workforce demand and career opportunities.

6. Ensure that The Louisiana Occupational Forecast and gap analysis are used by stakeholders to prioritize resource investments.

7. Support increased production of post-secondary credentials that lead to high-wage, high-demand career pathways.

8. Promote meaningful, portable industry credentials supported throughout the workforce delivery system that align to workforce demand.

9. Brand Louisiana Star Jobs and HiRE as the best tools to identify high-wage, high-demand jobs in Louisiana, and the education and training necessary to attain those jobs.

STRATEGIC GOAL 3: ACCOUNTABILITY

Institute a system of accountability for the workforce development system. Ensure WIC accountability to the Governor of Louisiana, other WIC members and the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and promote accountability of the Workforce Development Boards as defined by WIOA to the WIC.

Workforce Investment Council

• Conduct a formal stakeholder analysis by the June 2016 WIC meeting, which will be incorporated into the WIC strategic plan to better understand roles, responsibilities, interactions of all workforce development partners.

• Submit a strategic plan in alignment with WIOA to the governor and annually report plan progress as required by statute.

• Hold stakeholders accountable for achieving agreed-upon strategic goals that align workforce supply and demand.

• Evaluate the effectiveness of Workforce Development Boards in meeting workforce demand. LWC will provide a draft evaluation process within three months of receiving federal performance guidelines.

• Direct the activities of the Occupational Forecasting Conference.

• Drive state and local policy to support the alignment of education and training with workforce demand.

• Oversee the Industry-Based Certification Council, responsible for evaluating the alignment of credentials with state workforce demand for inclusion on the IBC State Focus List.

• Oversee, jointly with the Board of Regents, the evaluation of two-year and shorter-term programs for Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Tech eligibility in alignment with state workforce demand.

• Contribute to the evaluation of TOPS Tech Early Start training providers to ensure alignment with state and regional workforce needs.

• Support the alignment of Jump Start Pathways with statewide

STRATEGIC GOAL 3: ACCOUNTABILITY

Institute a system of accountability for the workforce development system. Ensure WIC accountability to the Governor of Louisiana, other WIC members and the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and promote accountability of the Workforce Development Boards as defined by WIOA to the WIC.

Workforce Investment Council

• Conduct a formal stakeholder analysis by the June 2016 WIC meeting, which will be incorporated into the WIC strategic plan to better understand roles, responsibilities, interactions of all workforce development partners.

• Submit a strategic plan in alignment with WIOA to the governor and annually report plan progress as required by statute.

• Hold stakeholders accountable for achieving agreed-upon strategic goals that align workforce supply and demand.

• Evaluate the effectiveness of Workforce Development Boards in meeting workforce demand. LWC will provide a draft evaluation process within three months of receiving federal performance guidelines.

• Direct the activities of the Occupational Forecasting Conference.

• Drive state and local policy to support the alignment of education and training with workforce demand.

• Oversee the Industry-Based Certification Council, responsible for evaluating the alignment of credentials with state workforce demand for inclusion on the IBC State Focus List.

• Oversee, jointly with the Board of Regents, the evaluation of two-year and shorter-term programs for Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Tech eligibility in alignment with state workforce demand.

• Contribute to the evaluation of TOPS Tech Early Start training providers to ensure alignment with state and regional workforce needs.

• Support the alignment of Jump Start Pathways with statewide

STRATEGIC GOAL 3: ACCOUNTABILITY

Institute a system of accountability for the workforce development system. Ensure WIC accountability to the Governor of Louisiana, other WIC members and the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and promote accountability of the Workforce Development Boards as defined by WIOA to the WIC.

Workforce Investment Council

• Conduct a formal stakeholder analysis by the June 2016 WIC meeting, which will be incorporated into the WIC strategic plan to better understand roles, responsibilities, interactions of all workforce development partners.

• Submit a strategic plan in alignment with WIOA to the governor and annually report plan progress as required by statute.

• Hold stakeholders accountable for achieving agreed-upon strategic goals that align workforce supply and demand.

• Evaluate the effectiveness of Workforce Development Boards in meeting workforce demand. LWC will provide a draft evaluation process within three months of receiving federal performance guidelines.

• Direct the activities of the Occupational Forecasting Conference.

• Drive state and local policy to support the alignment of education and training with workforce demand.

• Oversee the Industry-Based Certification Council, responsible for evaluating the alignment of credentials with state workforce demand for inclusion on the IBC State Focus List.

• Oversee, jointly with the Board of Regents, the evaluation of two-year and shorter-term programs for Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Tech eligibility in alignment with state workforce demand.

• Contribute to the evaluation of TOPS Tech Early Start training providers to ensure alignment with state and regional workforce needs.

• Support the alignment of Jump Start Pathways with statewide

4. Assessment and Evaluation of Programs and One-Stop Program Partners

A. Assessment of Core Programs

Describe how the core programs will be assessed each year based on State performance accountability measures described in section 116(b) of WIOA.  This State assessment must include the quality, effectiveness, and improvement of programs broken down by local area or provider.  Such state assessments should take into account local and regional planning goals.

WIOA’s primary measures of performance measure each core program’s effectiveness at producing desired outcomes. Proposed §677.190(a) directs that state and local final adjusted levels of performance each year will take into consideration characteristics of the participants as well as state and local economic conditions through the application of a federal statistical adjustment model. Therefore, the state and local areas will be assessed based on a comparison of the actual performance level with the adjusted level of performance each quarter and annually.

The State’s review of Regional/Local Plans will contain a component regarding to how these plans support and relate to the State’s Vision, Strategies and Goals, and how they relate to realistic achievement of performance measures. More specifically, how they relate to the State’s Continuous Improvement Process. In general, this assessment contains the following components:

· Management Commitment, do they indicate an explicit commitment from all Partner Programs Leadership at the Level of “Decision Maker”?

These components mirror the State’s approach to continuous improvement and are applied to all individual and group goals and objectives.

The state will use the following criteria to evaluate local workforce development area common performance indicators:

1. Exceed: Outcome for each measure must be greater than 100 percent of the performance level.

2. Meet: Outcome for each measure must not fall below 80 percent of the performance level.

3. Fail: Outcome for any one of the measure is less than 80 percent

of the performance level.

Action: In instances when the state or a local area fails a performance measure, immediate technical assistance will be provided by the appropriate office to improve the proficiency of staff members in providing WIOA services and provide an opportunity to develop strategies to improve the program’s ability to meet performance measures.

Note: Performance evaluation thresholds listed above are subject to revision pending final approval of the WIOA regulations governing performance measures.

Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth:

Core Programs will be assessed, in coordination with LWDBs, One-stop Operators and Core partners/providers, through financial and administrative monitoring of all sub-recipients of funds expended under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 for Title I (Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth programs), Adult Education and Literacy Act, Rehabilitation Act Title I, and Wagner-Peyser Act. Other programs and activities will include, but not limited to discretionary grants such as the National Dislocated Worker Grants (NDWG) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program under the Trade Act of 1974, and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015. The State will provide policy guidance to each entity responsible for the administration of Core Programs.

The assessment and evaluation process will include completing annual on-site monitoring reviews of each Core Program to ensure compliance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements of WIOA Section 184(a)(4). These reviews include the appropriate administrative requirements for sub-recipients and applicable cost principles.

The assessment will ensure established policies achieve program quality and outcomes, and meet the objectives of the governing federal laws and regulations. This includes the provision of services by One-Stop Operators, eligible providers of training services, and eligible providers of youth activities; and makes certain that sub-recipients and contractors have demonstrated substantial compliance with federal requirements.

The State will ensure compliance with provisions in WIOA for all Core Programs as well as implement a more robust monitoring and oversight process across all levels. Comprehensive and effective monitoring is key to providing opportunities for technical assistance, training, and sharing of proven strategies and practices, which will lead to improved quality of service to job seeker and a stronger workforce.

Adult Education:

Programmatic/Fiscal Onsite Monitoring: Programs are identified for onsite monitoring through a comprehensive risk analysis based on the following factors: (1) desk monitoring; (2) need to verify data quality and program expenditures; (3) consistent low performance on NRS indicators in several categories; (4) prospective noncompliance with grant requirements identified through review of programmatic and fiscal reports, or ongoing communications with the program; (4) unresolved audit findings; (5) ongoing lack of progress in resolving required actions from prior monitoring visit; (6) significant staff turnover in the program; and (7) recent or newly established programs.

The goal for State onsite monitoring visits are to:

Vocational Rehabilitation:

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) will monitor the services provided within the guidelines of the existing corporative agreements and evaluate if modifications will be needed when they are renegotiated.

To ensure the quality of supported employment services provided to eligible consumers by monitoring the vendors. The monitoring will utilize site reviews and include quality indicators to evaluate the assessment of employment outcomes and an evaluation of the provision of services. The monitoring will be carried out by the state and field office staff.

B. Assessment of One-Stop Partner Programs

Describe how other one-stop delivery system partner program services and Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan will be assessed each year. Such state assessments should take into account local and regional planning goals.

Partner agencies and Partner Programs not covered under the monitoring umbrella of the Core Programs shall be monitored in accordance with their individual governing authority and under the general rules of federal and state fiscal compliance. The LWDB will determine the impact of any of these programs on the Common Intake and Co-enrollment process.

Also refer to III b.4.A

C. Previous Assessment Results

Beginning with the state plan modification in 2018 and for subsequent state plans and state plan modifications, provide the results of an assessment of the effectiveness of the core programs and other one-stop partner programs and Combined State Plan partner programs included in the Unified or Combined State plan during the preceding 2-year period (i.e. the 2-year period of the plan modification cycle). Describe how the State is adapting its strategies based on these assessments.

All core programs met or exceeded performance goals, at the State level, for the prior two program years (PY 13 and PY 14). Adult Education performed at and above the National average at the same time transforming program service delivery to English Language Learners and establishing Career Pathways.

The State is determined to continue focusing on increasing and enhancing quality of employment outcomes for participants. The forthcoming integrated data warehouse will be an instrumental tool in identifying areas of weakness at the all levels (state, regional, local level) and will identify promising practices.

D. Evaluation

Describe how the state will conduct evaluations and research projects on activities under WIOA core programs; how such projects will be coordinated with, and designed in conjunction with, State and local boards and with State agencies responsible for the administration of all respective core programs; and, further, how the projects will be coordinated with the evaluations provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education under WIOA.

The Louisiana Workforce Investment Council has the responsibility for ensuring public accountability by evaluating the effectiveness of the overall workforce development system. Additionally, the WIC is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of LWDBs in meeting workforce demand. To that end, the WIC has charged the Louisiana Workforce Cabinet to develop and submit a comprehensive evaluation plan for the implementation and outcomes of the Combined State Plan effectiveness of the LWDBs in implementation of the core strategies of the plan for their review and approval. This component of the plan, is a work in progress, intended to provide both core program administrators, WIOA Implementation Team, and the LWDBs the opportunity to provide input to the evaluation matrix.

5. Distribution of Funds for Core Programs

Describe the methods and factors the State will use in distributing funds under the core programs in accordance with the provisions authorizing such distributions.

A. For Title I programs

For Title I programs, provide a description of the written policies that establish the State's methods and factors used to distribute funds to local areas for—

1. Youth activities in accordance with WIOA section 128(b)(2) or (b)(3),

• 33 1/3 percent on the basis of the relative number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in the local workforce investment area, compared to the total number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in the state.

• 33 1/3 percent on the basis of the relative excess number of unemployed individuals in the local workforce investment area, compared to the total excess number of unemployed individuals in the state.

• 33 1/3 percent on the basis of the relative number of disadvantaged youth in the local workforce investment area, compared to the total number of disadvantaged youth in the state.

2. Adult and training activities in accordance with WIOA section 133(b)(2) or (b)(3),

33 1/3 percent on the basis of the relative number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in the local workforce investment area, compared to the total number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in all local workforce investment areas in the state.

33 1/3 percent on the basis of the relative excess number of unemployed individuals in the local workforce investment area, compared to the total excess number of unemployed individuals in all local workforce areas in the state.

33 1/3 percent on the basis of the relative number of disadvantaged adults in the local workforce investment area, compared to the total number of disadvantaged adults in all local workforce investment areas in the state.

3. Dislocated worker employment and training activities in accordance with WIOA section 133(b)(2) and based on data and weights assigned.

Unemployment concentration: 25 percent The 12-month average for the most recently completed October-September fiscal year will be used showing the unrounded number of persons unemployed by parish within each LWDA.

Insured unemployed without earnings: 20 percent The 12-month average for the most recently completed October-September fiscal year showing the number of continued claims filed without earnings for the reference week that includes the last day of each month. Data is also by parish within the LWDA. Exhaustees (long-term unemployed): 25 percent This is long-term unemployment data that refers to claimants who received a final payment in unemployment benefits. Data is by parish and is an annual average for the most recently completed fiscal year.

Permanent mass layoffs and plant closings (PMLPC): 10 percent Data used was taken from the total number of separated workers for all recordable layoffs by parish for the most recently completed October-September fiscal year. A mass layoff is defined as one in which 50 or more unemployment insurance claimants filed for benefits against a certain company within a 3-week period and remained unemployed for 30 days or more. If there were no separations or PMLPC firms in a parish, zero was shown for that parish.

Declining industries: 15 percent Since data on all parishes from the suggested CES Program do not exist, covered employment from the ES-202 Program was used to identify industries that showed a decline in employment for the four-year period ending in March of the prior fiscal year. Decreases in employment for all industries within a parish were totaled and that figure was used toward the allocation of funds for that parish and LWDA.

Farmer/rancher economic hardship: 5 percent Numerical difference between the last two Census of Agriculture to determine decline in hiring farm workers.

LWC will evaluate alternative formulas for future allocations in alignment with WIOA sec 133 (b)(2)(B) to ensure that the most appropriate information that is available is incorporated.

B. For Title II:
1. Multi-year grants or contracts

Describe how the eligible agency will award multi-year grants or contracts on a competitive basis to eligible providers in the State, including how eligible agencies will establish that eligible providers are organizations of demonstrated effectiveness.

Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy funding allocations will be established based on data from the American Community Survey in addition to a review of the number of citizens needing literacy services within each of the eight LA Workforce regions. WorkReady U will ensure that funding allocations will be used to provide comprehensive literacy programs in all eight geographical workforce regions and that local providers are sufficiently equipped to meet the needs identified for each area. Further, eligible providers will be expected to identify, and coordinate with, all available organizations and programs in their workforce areas to expand and leverage deliverable services beyond those provided solely through WRU state/federal funding.

Louisiana is focused on performance to ensure that funds are used effectively to serve customers and produce positive results. WRU will implement a funding formula for state/federal adult education funds. The formula will be designed to consider the scope of services provided in the local program and performance as compared to established benchmarks as a basis for an increase or decrease in funds. Performance benchmarks and performance standards will be established with the expectation that grantees will maintain or exceed performance standards through effective service delivery and innovation. LCTCS will award multi-year grants to eligible local providers through a competitive RFP process for the purpose of developing, implementing, and improving adult education within the State. The grants will be for a three-year cycle that applies to all programs. After implementation of services, providers will apply on an annual basis for continuation funding under Title II. (See Title II - Adult Education and Literacy Programs (b) Local Activities, Eligible Provider) During grant year 2016-17, LCTCS will implement a new competitive application process for all federal AEFLA funding to determine eligible providers that will be awarded funds starting July 1, 2017. The review of proposals will include rating responses to the 13 considerations in Title II of WIOA. Below is the schedule for the release of the competitive application: • January/February 2017: LCTCS publishes the federal AEFLA Request for Proposals (RFP) aligned with the priorities in the approved Combined State Plan. • February/March 2017: LCTCS provides technical assistance to inquiries from potential eligible providers. • February/March 2017: LCTCS recruits candidates to review and score AEFLA grant applications. • March 2017: Due date for AEFLA grant applications. • March/April 2017: Reviewers review and score AEFLA grant applications. • April 2017: LCTCS conducts review of budgets and other grant requirements and develops a rank-ordered slate based on applicant scores. • April/May 2017: LCTCS announces AEFLA grant applicants that will receive funding. • July 1, 2017: AEFLA grant providers begin grant cycle, programming, and funding.

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System will ensure that all applicants provide data demonstrating their ability to improve the skills of eligible individuals, particularly eligible individuals who have low levels of literacy, in the content domains of reading, writing, mathematics, English language acquisition, and other subject areas relevant to the services contained in the RFP application for funds. The Adult Education student data management system will provide the data needed to show how prior recipients met State-negotiated performance measures for all student levels including performance measure for English language learners. Forms will be provided for new eligible applicants (See Title II - Adult Education and Literacy Programs (b) Local Activities, Eligible Provider) to provide performance data for student learning gains, including performance outcomes for low-literacy level and English language learners. All applicants will be required to report effectiveness in improving the knowledge and skills of adults to successfully transition to postsecondary education, skills training, or employment. Each application will be reviewed to determine whether it meets the standard of demonstrated effectiveness.

LCTCS will use a performance-based funding formula to determine funding amounts and will consider the literacy rate within each workforce region and the core indicators of performance as outlined in Title II of WIOA. The formula will be designed to consider the levels of performance in the local programs as compared with established benchmarks as a basis for an increase or decrease in funds. Programs that do not meet established minimum standards in the first year will be expected to demonstrate and document substantial improvement toward meeting those standards. Using the approved statewide data management system, monitoring results, and other documentation, WRU will determine and apply requirements for program improvement in the subsequent grant cycles. Minimum standards will be determined initially based on data collected during the first year and will be raised with each new grant cycle. Programs that do not demonstrate and document substantial improvements during each year of the multi-year grant cycle may not be eligible to receive funding in subsequent years of the cycle.

2. Ensure direct and equitable access

Describe how the eligible agency will ensure direct and equitable access to all eligible providers to apply and compete for funds and how the eligible agency will ensure that it is using the same grant or contract announcement and application procedure for all eligible providers.

LCTCS requires all eligible providers for sections 225, 231, and/or 243 to use the same application process. This ensures that all applications are evaluated using the same rubric and scoring criteria. LCTCS ensures that all eligible providers have direct and equitable access to apply for grants or contracts.

LCTCS will hold a full and open competition consistent with the standards of Subpart C, CFR 200.319. All eligible providers will be allowed direct and equitable access to apply and compete for grants or contracts. LCTCS will adhere to all State and Louisiana WIOA Combined Plan laws in regards to awarding grant funds and the expenditure of public funds. The following steps will be utilized to ensure direct and equitable access: • An announcement of the availability of federal funds, under the support of Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, will be disseminated in various methods including but not limited to a minimum of two newspaper outlets that provide state, local and regional news coverage, the LCTCS website, and social media outlets in order to provide the widest possible state coverage. • An announcement of the availability of funds will be sent to all existing adult education providers. • The same grant and application process will be used for all eligible providers in the state. • Standard criteria for evaluation of local proposals will be used for all eligible providers. • Technical assistance will be provided to assist with dissemination of information to all eligible providers interested in applying. Technical assistance opportunities will be included in announcements and the Request for Proposal. • The announcement will contain information such as: o Type of grants available. o Contact person to obtain RFP guidelines. o Timeline with grant application due date. o Other pertinent items. o Any information required by state law in regard to the awarding of contracts and the expenditure of public funds.

LCTCS will use the following process to distribute funds to approved applicants: 1) Not less than 82.5 percent of the grant funds to award grants and contracts under section 231 and to carry out section 225, Programs for Corrections Education and Other Institutionalized Individuals, of which not more than 20 percent of such amount shall be available to carry out section 225; 2) Shall not use more than 12.5 percent of the grant funds to carry out state leadership activities under section 223; and 3) Shall not use more than 5 percent of the grant funds for administrative expenses of the eligible agency. Federal funds may be used to increase the level of nonfederal funds that would be available in the absence of federal funds, and, in no case, replace those nonfederal funds. Federal funds must not be used for the purpose of supplanting, only for supplementing. See Title II - Adult Education and Literacy Programs (b) Local Activities for additional details regarding the processes for the request for application process.

C. Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation

In the case of a State that, under section 101(a)(2)(A)(i)of the Rehabilitation Act designates a State agency to administer the part of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan under which VR services are provided for individuals who are blind, describe the process and the factors used by the State to determine the distribution of funds among the two VR agencies in the State.

This is not applicable in Louisiana since blind services are operated within the same agency.

6. Program Data

A. Data Alignment and Integration

Describe the plans of the lead State agencies with responsibility for the administration of the core programs, along with the State Board, to align and integrate available workforce and education data systems for the core programs, unemployment insurance programs, and education through postsecondary education, and to the extent possible, the Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan. The description of the State’s plan for integrating data systems should include the State’s goals for achieving integration and any progress to date.

1. Describe the State’s plans to make the management information systems for the core programs interoperable to maximize the efficient exchange of common data elements to support assessment and evaluation.

Effective November 9, 2015, the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s HiRE system became a comprehensive system that fully integrates workforce development with unemployment insurance. Not only does this aid the job-seeker/claimant in managing their unemployment insurance benefits, job-search functions, and case management, it also enhances services provided to employers by allowing them to manage unemployment claims as well as utilize recruiting features within the system.

In 2010, Title IV’s Vocational Rehabilitation services moved to LWC’s oversight, specifically under the Office of Workforce Development. Since the transition, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services continues to use the AWARE system (Accessible Web-based Activity and Reporting Environment).

As the lead state agency, LWC hosts regularly scheduled meetings with the administrators of the core partner programs. Louisiana’s Office of Technology Systems (OTS) is a key player in the development of a data warehouse. This data warehouse will be used to collect common data points as it relates to performance ,and will allow each partner agency to extract data for reporting requirements. At the time of this writing, each core partner program has illustrated its process of data collection and reporting structure as well as evaluating the common data points to include in the new data warehouse structure. Data sharing agreements are being reviewed and/or written to ensure a seamless delivery of information.

Having a fully integrated data warehouse offering a full case management system is a long term goal. However, the construction of such a system will be a phased approach. Phase 1 will introduce all common data points, common intake and meet minimum reporting requirements. In Phase 2, the data warehouse will begin to incorporate non-required partner data and feature enhancements such as management of training providers. With this phase individuals will be exposed to all partner services and referred to appropriate services based on intake information.

Louisiana currently produces reports as required by the Workforce Investment Act by aggregating data through multiple sources. HiRE houses participant case management data. Unemployment Insurance wage data is housed in a state-managed mainframe system. Louisiana is also a WRIS member and imports out-of-state wage data for its participants from other WRIS member states and territories.

Unemployment insurance is integrated within our workforce development system via HiRE for ETA programs. HiRE’s system administrator, Geographic Solutions Inc., aggregates data from the aforementioned sources in the required WIASRD format for WIA reporting. Geographic Solutions will continue to assist LWC in the aggregation and preparation of data for WIOA reporting.

2. Describe the State’s plans to integrate data systems to facilitate streamlined intake and service delivery to track participation across all programs included in this plan.

Louisiana’s Implementation Team established a workgroup specifically tasked with data alignment, data sharing and the integration of such data as it relates to WIOA. The group is in the process of evaluating each core partner’s current collection method of the required data elements. Specifically, the group is examining what is collected, how it is collected and how and where data is stored. Collection process changes will be an outcome of the evaluation and will be incorporated into a data warehouse among partner agencies.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission and the state’s Office of Technology Systems are working together to develop a data warehouse where data systems from core partners, minimally, will be integrated to track participation across programs. At the time of this writing, the architecture is being designed and business rules are under development in a phased approach. Phase I will concentrate on the development of the data warehouse with core partners, determine what to collect and how to collect it, as well as the frequency of the collection in a secure exchange environment. Business rules will be established, and data-sharing agreements put into place. Phase II will include the evaluation of common intake and service delivery across all programs. As a result of the two-phase process, reduced duplication of services and improved efficiency is anticipated.

3. Explain how the State board will assist the governor in aligning technology and data systems across required one-stop partner programs (including design and implementation of common intake, data collection, etc.) and how such alignment will improve service delivery to individuals, including unemployed individuals.

Louisiana’s Implementation Team established a workgroup specifically tasked with data alignment, data sharing and the integration of such data as it relates to WIOA. The group is in the process of evaluating each core partner’s current collection method of the required data elements. Specifically, the group is examining what is collected, how it is collected and how and where data is stored. Collection process changes will be an outcome of the evaluation and will be incorporated into a data warehouse among partner agencies.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission and the state’s Office of Technology Systems are working together to develop a data warehouse where data systems from core partners, minimally, will be integrated to track participation across programs. At the time of this writing, the architecture is

being designed and business rules are under development in a phased approach. Phase I will concentrate on the development of the data warehouse with core partners, determine what to collect and how to collect it, as well as the frequency of the collection in a secure exchange environment. Business rules will be established, and data-sharing agreements put into place. Phase II will include the evaluation of common intake and service delivery across all programs. As a result of the two-phase process, reduced duplication of services and improved efficiency is anticipated.

4. Describe the State’s plans to develop and produce the reports required under section 116, performance accountability system. (WIOA section 116(d)(2)).

Planning Note: States should be aware that Section 116(i)(1) requires the core programs, local boards and chief elected officials to establish and operate a fiscal and management accountability information system based on guidelines established by the secretaries of Labor and Education. Separately, the Departments of Labor and Education anticipate working with states to inform future guidance and possible information collection(s) on these accountability systems. States should begin laying the groundwork for these fiscal and management accountability requirements, recognizing that adjustments to meet the elements above may provide opportunity or have impact on such a fiscal and management accountability system.

The State is negotiating data sharing agreements (DSA) between partnering agencies to govern terms and conditions under which program data may be shared. Upon the successful execution of the DSA’s, the State shall collect program data from each partnering agency through secured data transmission protocols and deposit this data into a data warehouse.

The WIOA implementation team will establish business rules for data warehousing. These business rules will provide:

Additional business rules will provide periodic updates to the data warehouse from partnering agency interfaces, through a combination of web based interfaces. Protocol will ensure privacy of personally identifiable information. Partnering agencies will update information to ensure real time data.

The data warehouse will become the source for all subsequent program activities:

Planning Note: States should be aware that Section 116(i)(1) requires the core programs, local boards, and chief elected officials to establish and operate a fiscal and management accountability information system based on guidelines established by the Secretaries of Labor and Education. Separately, the Departments of Labor and Education anticipate working with States to inform future guidance and possible information collection(s) on these accountability systems. States should begin laying the groundwork for these fiscal and management accountability requirements, recognizing that adjustments to meet the elements above may provide opportunity or have impact on such a fiscal and management accountability system.

B. Assessment of Participants’ Post-Program Success

Describe how lead State agencies will use the workforce development system to assess the progress of participants who are exiting from core programs in entering, persisting in, and completing postsecondary education, or entering or remaining in employment. States may choose to set additional indicators of performance.

The State is committed to understanding and improving the six primary performance indicators for the core programs. Case management and follow up processes will continue using benchmarking as a strategy to assess and evaluate results, adjusting strategies as necessary to effectively serve participants.

The State requires employers to report Descriptive Job Title / SOC and Nominal Hourly rate of pay. This will allow a better assessment of participant program success for: Participants entering occupations related to the program from which they exit. • Participants completing longer-term training / services programs relative to those who enter shorter programs and self-service (Return on Investment) • Career progression / Career Pathways typically taken by participants. • Skills acquired at each level of career and skills gap analysis.

C. Use of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Wage Record Data

Explain how the State will meet the requirements to utilize quarterly UI wage records for performance accountability, evaluations, and as a source for workforce and labor market information, consistent with Federal and State law. (This Operational Planning element applies to core programs.)

The use of UI wage record data will continue. Data Sharing Agreements are being reviewed and expanded to accommodate performance related goals.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) is currently importing out-of-state wages from the Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS) into its participant wage records. There are a significant number of participants who previously had and/or seek out of state employment before and after participation in workforce programs. LWC will continue to use WRIS wages to produce a more complete and accurate record of participant earnings.

LWC is also a participant in WRIS2, which permits the use of aggregated data for appropriate Third Party Entities (TPEs). Louisiana may utilize WRIS2 data, as permitted, as its relationships evolve with the administrators of WIOA partner programs. Specific plans for the sharing of WRIS2 data with TPEs has not been finalized.

D. Privacy Safeguards

Describe the privacy safeguards incorporated in the State’s workforce development system, including safeguards required by section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and other applicable Federal laws.

Agency legal counsel and Division of Administration Office of Technology Services reviews and approves language in any applicable data–sharing agreement (DSA)and service contract to ensure that privacy safeguards are properly in place.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) employs multiple safeguards to customer data. Internally, staff members are held accountable for the use of customer data. All employees accessing LWC’s customer management system, HiRE, are required to sign confidentiality agreements governing the use of information in the HiRE system. Rules, policies, and practices employed by LWC staff are focused on guarding customer data being used strictly for LWC program purposes. Staff use of the HiRE system is monitored by supervisors and state administrators for appropriate use.

Information in HiRE is kept on file in a secure database and will only be used by our staff to better provide assistance to LWC’s customers in determining eligibility for federal assistance in obtaining employment and/or training for employment. Customer information will not be transmitted to other companies, solicitors or organizations not associated with the performance of the responsibilities delineated in the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

For security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, HiRE also employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

7. Priority of Service for Veterans

Describe how the State will implement and monitor the priority of service provisions for veterans in accordance with the requirements of the Jobs for Veterans Act, codified at section 4215 of 38 U.S.C., which applies to all employment and training programs funded in whole or in part by the Department of Labor. States should also describe the referral process for veterans determined to have a significant barrier to employment to receive services from the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist.

The state shall provide priority of service for veterans in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 4215(b). The term "priority of service" means, with respect to any qualified job training program, that a covered person shall be given priority over nonveterans for the receipt of employment, training, and placement services provided under that program, notwithstanding any other provision of law. Such priority includes giving access services to a covered person before a non-covered person, or, if resources are limited, giving access to such services to a covered person instead of a non-covered person.

Priority starts with the first One-Stop Career Center (OSCC) member that comes in contact with the veteran or eligible person. During the reception process, a series of questions identifies veteran or eligibility status. Qualified veterans and/or qualified spouses are provided services prior to other customers and an initial assessment is completed by the first available OSCC staff member. If during the initial assessment it is determined that the veteran has an SBE or is a member of another special category, the veteran is immediately referred to a DVOP specialist.

The state provides priority of service in accordance with TEGL 05-03. When a veteran is identified as having barriers to employment, they are fast tracked on a priority basis to ensure that those barriers are resolved as expeditiously as possible. The state has memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with U.S. Department of Labor-funded programs covered by Section 4215 on veterans’ priority and refers veterans to training and supportive services within that network on a priority basis. The state has partnered with educational entities within the state and the vocational/technical institutions, which also provide priority service for veterans and assists them with their educational and literacy needs.

Veterans receive priority for employment and job training opportunities available through WIOA funding, on-the-job training, skills development training and youth training contracts. Veterans can locate training opportunities through use of the HiRE database and receive training at private facilities, which have been approved through the State Established Training Provider List (ETPL). Should veterans meet the eligibility criteria, their training costs are paid by the WIOA program or through individual training accounts. Veterans take priority in instances of training fund shortages. LVER staff and other OSCC staff identify jobs and training opportunities specifically tailored for veterans, as they promote veterans as potential employees. These priority services are made available and provided to veterans, transitioning service members, Chapter 31 veterans, Native American veterans and other groups targeted for special consideration, including difficult-to-serve veterans and veterans with barriers to employment.

The state will closely monitor the provision of priority of service. Both JVSG management and local area coordinators shall periodically conduct site checks to ensure all required priority of service signs are present and properly displayed, and that OSCC staff understand both the requirement of priority of service and its proper implementation. During these site visits, monitors pay particular attention to the implementation of priority of service beyond core services, particularly in the allocation of training funds. The state shall consider an indicated referral rate in any one of these areas being lower for veterans and other eligible persons than for nonveterans to be evidence of a potential priority-of-implementation problem. The state shall immediately place the affected region under examination and take corrective action measures to include, but not be limited, to additional training.

8. Addressing the Accessibility of the One-Stop Delivery System for Individuals with Disabilities

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners), will comply with section 188 of WIOA (if applicable) and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) with regard to the physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, programs, services, technology, and materials for individuals with disabilities. This also must include a description of compliance through providing staff training and support for addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria.

Recognizing the high unemployment rate among individuals with disabilities and the qualified– employee shortage businesses are facing, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and access to all programs, services and facilities. Each One–Stop Career Center utilizes the one–stop disability access checklist to self–evaluate its current level of accessibility.

With support of the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grant (2012 –2015), LWC worked to ensure the physical, communication and programmatic accessibility of all One–Stop Career Centers by conducting specialized training for all center staff on topics including accessibility for all, disability etiquette and awareness, and identifying and assisting job–seekers with hidden disabilities. LWC will continue to maintain these investments in staff training and technology to make certain One– Stop Career Center staff serve adult job–seekers with disabilities effectively.

LWC will incorporate accessibility criteria as part of the One–Stop certification criteria in collaboration with its disability partners and advocacy groups. Additionally, all One–Stop Centers will be monitored onsite annually to ensure compliance with this requirement.

9. Addressing the Accessibility of the One-Stop Delivery System for English Language Learners

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners) will ensure that each one-stop center is able to meet the needs of English language learners, such as through established procedures, staff training, resources, and other materials.

The State encourages local workforce development areas to work with partners --including non-traditional partners such as faith based and community based organizations to identify resources for bilingual assistance in providing services. In addition, future staff recruitment efforts should considered inclusion of second language skills in job descriptions. Basic informational collateral materials describing basic program services should be made available in languages that reflect the make-up of the citizens in the community.

Currently the HiRE case management system is available in Spanish. Future enhancements will incorporate “Google Translate” additional languages based on community need.

IV. Coordination with State Plan Programs

Describe the methods used for joint planning and coordination among the core programs, and with the required one-stop partner programs and other programs and activities included in the Unified or Combined State Plan.

At an Oct. 27, 2014 meeting, the leadership of LWC, DCFS and LCTCS agreed that an inter-agency team should lead the development of the combined state plan. This team operates according to the protocols of LWC’s Agency Initiative Management (AIM) office. The AIM team will be tasked with the development of the combined state plan and with the following objectives:

• Develop an inter-agency workforce strategy and high-level implementation plan for the state.

• Divide the state into common regions.

• Create a plan to reach high-risk populations and locations.

• Perform asset mapping throughout the state to coordinate and optimize resources.

• Refine the list of eligible training providers.

• Define the flow of job-seekers from entry points in any of these agencies through:

The deliverables developed by the inter-agency AIM team will be the road map for state and local areas to implement WIOA service delivery, including all core programs and any other activities and programs the agencies deem necessary.

The team formed by LWC, DCFS and LCTCS will develop a process to identify, assess, train and place job-seekers quickly and efficiently by aligning their federal funding and programs. The goal of this partnership is an efficient and effective service delivery model.

Factors that should be kept in mind while developing this process are:

• Which agencies or programs should/must co-locate? How will the infrastructure and technology costs be spread among the collaborating agencies?

• How will WIOA affect the current field office format for DCFS and LWC?

• How will the state support access to services as outlined in WIOA, making Temporary Assistance for Needy Families mandatory partners? Must these partners be co-located?

• Forecasting data for Louisiana will be used to aid in local and regional coordination. Should forecasting data drive the regional and local plans and if so, how?

• How will the state benefit from the addition of other non-core program partners in this collaboration? (e.g. Department of Corrections, Department of Veterans Affairs, universities, Louisiana Department of Education (K-12), Louisiana Department of Revenue, Louisiana Economic Development).

State Leadership, Governance and Compliance (Strategic)

• Develop a “Combined State Plan” which includes the six core programs, plus one or more optional programs which promote a shared understanding of the workforce needs of the state and a comprehensive strategy for addressing those needs.

• Align core and other programs in a manner that supports a comprehensive in-demand, job-driven workforce system.

• Guide the implementation and continuous improvement of the workforce development system (addressing alignment, career pathways, sector partnerships, and coordination between partners and local areas). • Identify and disseminate best practices in priority populations.

• Develop strategies for technological improvements.

• Streamline statewide workforce and labor market information systems.

State Leadership, Governance and Compliance (Operational)

• Develop a plan to integrate intake, case management and reporting systems across key programs.

• Develop policies to promote partnerships, collaboration, integration, and alignment of WIOA programs and activities at the state and local levels.

• Develop policy establishing local board certification, to the extent the local board has ensured that workforce investment activities carried out in the local area have enabled the local area to meet the corresponding performance accountability measures and achieve sustained fiscal integrity.

• Develop policy criteria for certification of One-Stop Centers.

• Develop strategies to support staff training and awareness across the workforce development system and its programs.

State Leadership, Governance and Compliance (Compliance)

• Develop comprehensive state performance and accountability measures to assess core program effectiveness. • Establish guidelines for determining partners’ contributions to infrastructure funds for the One-Stop system in the event that a local area fails to reach agreement. Local Leadership and Governance (Strategic)

• Develop strategies to continuously improve and strengthen the workforce development system through innovation in, and alignment and improvement of, employment, training and education programs to promote economic growth.

• Develop regional plans that align with the state’s strategic and operational vision and goals outlined in the Combined State Plan.

• Develop effective regional industry and sector partnerships that support employer utilization of the local workforce development system.

• Align workforce investment, education and economic development systems (addressing career pathways, sector partnerships and coordination between partners and local areas).

• Identify and promote best practices for meeting the needs and serving employers, workers and job-seekers/priority populations.

Local Leadership and Governance (Operational)

• Increase access and opportunities (particularly for those identified as priority populations).

• Provide workers with skills and credentials to secure and advance in employment with family-sustaining wages and to provide America’s employers with skilled workers.

• Improve the structure and delivery of services to better address the employment and skills needs and improve the prosperity of workers and employers.

• Develop strategies for using technology to maximize the accessibility and effectiveness of the local workforce development system.

Local Leadership and Governance (Compliance)

• Align local board membership with members that possess optimum policy-making authority in the organizations they represent and have the skills and practical knowledge to contribute fully to the strategic vision of the local area’s workforce system. • Establish bylaws, consistent with state policy, that help improve operations of the local board. Communications/Stakeholders

• Develop a communications/marketing plan that encompasses all working groups. • Initiate a stakeholder analysis.

• Identify communication needs and stakeholder needs. • Identify partners to collaboratively develop and effectively communicate clear guidance and direction that aligns state economic development, education and workforce system policies.

• Develop strategies that improve public awareness and recognition of the One-Stop system to help job-seekers and employers readily access services. Eligible Service/Training Providers

• Establish eligibility procedures to ensure the accountability, quality and labor-market relevance of programs or training services that receive funds through WIOA Title I-B.

• Ensure that qualified providers offering a wide variety of demand job-driven training programs are available to participants, including eligible providers with expertise in assisting individuals with disabilities and eligible providers with expertise in assisting adults in need of adult education and literacy activities.

• Establish a mechanism to share eligible training providers under Title II and IV across core program and partners.

Performance and Data Management

• Develop strategies and policies that align technology and data systems across One-Stop partner programs to enhance service delivery and improve efficiencies in reporting and performance accountability measures.

• Develop effective on-going training and dissemination of information practices across core programs that promote quality and accuracy of data.

• Develop methods of reporting performance of the workforce system that promote transparency and accountability to all stakeholders. Service Delivery and Infrastructure

• Enhance and streamline operations through the integration of customer intake, case management, reporting and fiscal and management accountability systems of One-Stop partners. • Increase access and opportunities to the workforce system, particularly for those with barriers to employment, both physical and virtual.

• Develop innovative workforce services and strategies for area employers that include career pathways, skills upgrading, apprenticeship and other effective initiatives for meeting the needs of area employers and workers.

• Ensure equitable funding of services and infrastructure costs of the One-Stop delivery system.

• Strengthen professional development of providers and workforce professionals.

Other Collaborative Activities A Louisiana Workforce Symposium was held on December 15-16, 2015 in Baton Rouge. The two-day event spotlighted tools to help workforce, education, labor and other organizations sharpen their effectiveness under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The two-day event coincided with the Workforce Investment Council meeting which provided the opportunity to network, share best practices and hear inspiring stories of success in building an outstanding workforce across Louisiana. Throughout 2015. many partner statewide events have included presentations on WIOA. These opportunities to coordinate in statewide events will continue and grow in order to maximize collaboration.

V. Common Assurances (for all core programs)

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include assurances that—

1. The State has established a policy identifying circumstances that may present a conflict of interest for a State Board or local board member, or the entity or class of officials that the member represents, and procedures to resolve such conflicts;     Yes

2. The State has established a policy to provide to the public (including individuals with disabilities) access to meetings of State Boards and local boards, and information regarding activities of State boards and local boards, such as data on board membership and minutes;     Yes

3. The lead State agencies with optimal policy-making authority and responsibility for the administration of core programs reviewed and commented on the appropriate operational  planning elements of the Unified or Combined State Plan, and approved the elements as serving the needs of the populations served by such programs;     Yes

4. (a) The State obtained input into the development of the Unified or Combined State Plan and provided an opportunity for comment  on  the  plan  by  representatives of local boards and chief elected officials, businesses, labor organizations, institutions of higher education, the entities responsible for planning or administrating the core programs, required one-stop partners and the other Combined Plan programs (if included in the State Plan), other  primary  stakeholders, including other organizations that provide services to individuals with barriers to employment,  and  the  general  public,  and that the Unified or Combined State Plan is available and accessible to the general public; (b) The State provided an opportunity for review and comment on the plan by the State Board, including State agency official(s) for the Unemployment Insurance Agency if such official(s) is a member of the State Board;     Yes

5. The State has established, in accordance with WIOA section 116(i), fiscal control and fund accounting procedures that may be necessary to ensure the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, funds  paid  to the State through allotments made for the core programs to carry out workforce development activities;      Yes

6. The State has taken appropriate action to secure compliance with uniform administrative requirements in this Act, including that the State will annually monitor local areas to ensure compliance and otherwise take appropriate action to secure compliance with the uniform administrative requirements under WIOA section 184(a)(3);     Yes

7. The State has taken the appropriate action to be in compliance with  WIOA section 188, Nondiscrimination, as applicable;     Yes

8. The Federal funds received to carry out a core program will not be expended for any purpose other than for activities authorized with respect to such funds under that core program;     Yes

9. The State will pay an appropriate share (as defined by the State board) of the costs of carrying out section 116, from funds made available through each of the core programs;     Yes

10. The State has a One-Stop certification policy that ensures the physical and programmatic accessibility of all One-Stop centers with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA);     Yes

11. Service providers have a referral process in place for directing Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) to DVOP services, when appropriate; and     Yes

12. Priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses is provided in accordance with 38 USC 4215 in all workforce preparation, development or delivery of programs or services funded directly, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor.     Yes

VI. Program-Specific Requirements for Core Programs

The State must address all program-specific requirements in this section for the WIOA core programs regardless of whether the State submits either a Unified or Combined State Plan.

Program-Specific Requirements for Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Activities under Title I-B

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the following with respect to activities carried out under subtitle B--

a. General Requirements

1. Regions and Local Workforce Development Areas
A. Identify the regions and the local workforce development areas designated in the State.
B. Describe the process used for designating local areas, including procedures for determining whether the local area met the criteria for “performed successfully” and “sustained fiscal integrity” in accordance with 106(b)(2) and (3) of WIOA. Describe the process used for identifying regions and planning regions under section 106(a) of WIOA. This must include a description of how the State consulted with the local boards and chief elected officials in identifying the regions.
C. Provide the appeals process referred to in section 106(b)(5) of WIOA relating to designation of local areas.
D. Provide the appeals process referred to in section 121(h)(2)(E) of WIOA relating to determinations for infrastructure funding.
2. Statewide Activities
A. Provide State policies or guidance for the statewide workforce development system and for use of State funds for workforce investment activities.
B. Describe how the State intends to use Governor’s set aside funding. Describe how the State will utilize Rapid Response funds to respond to layoffs and plant closings and coordinate services to quickly aid companies and their affected workers. States also should describe any layoff aversion strategies they have implemented to address at risk companies and workers
C. In addition, describe the State policies and procedures to provide Rapid Responses in cases of natural disasters including coordination with FEMA and other entities.
D. Describe how the State provides early intervention (e.g., Rapid Response) to worker groups on whose behalf a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition has been filed. (Section 134(a)(2)(A).) This description must include how the State disseminates benefit information to provide trade-affected workers in the groups identified in the TAA petitions with an accurate understanding of the provision of TAA benefits and services in such a way that they are transparent to the trade-affected dislocated worker applying for them (Trade Act Sec. 221(a)(2)(A) and Sec. 225; Governor-Secretary Agreement). Describe how the State will use funds that have been reserved for Rapid Response to provide services for every worker group that files a TAA petition.

b. Adult and Dislocated Workers Program Requirements

1. If the State is utilizing work-based training models (e.g. On-the-job training, Incumbent Worker training, Transitional Jobs, and Customized Training) as part of its training strategy and these strategies are not already discussed in other sections of the plan, describe the State’s strategies for how these models ensure high quality training for both the participant and the employer.
2. Describe how the State will incorporate Registered Apprenticeship into its strategy and services.
3. Provide the procedure, eligibility criteria, and information requirements for determining training provider initial and continued eligibility, including Registered Apprenticeship programs (WIOA Section 122).
4. Describe how the State will implement and monitor the priority for public assistance recipients, other low-income individuals, and individuals who are basic skills deficient in accordance with the requirements of WIOA sec. 134(c)(3)(E), which applies to individualized career services and training services funding by the Adult Formula program.
5. Describe the State’s criteria regarding local area transfer of funds between the adult and dislocated worker programs.

c. Youth Program Requirements

With respect to youth workforce investment activities authorized in section 129 of WIOA,—

1. Identify the state-developed criteria to be used by local boards in awarding grants for youth workforce investment activities and describe how the local boards will take into consideration the ability of the providers to meet performance accountability measures based on primary indicators of performance for the youth program as described in section 116(b)(2)(A)(ii) of WIOA in awarding such grants.*

* Sec. 102(b)(2)(D)(i)(V)

2. Describe the strategies the State will use to achieve improved outcomes for out-of-school youth as described in 129(a)(1)(B), including how it will leverage and align the core programs, and Combined State Plan partner programs included in this Plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs, and any other resources available.
3. Describe how the State will ensure that all 14 program elements described in WIOA section 129(c)(2) are made available and effectively implemented.*

* Sec. 102(b)(2)(D)(i)(I)

4. Provide the language contained in the State policy for “requiring additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program, or to secure and hold employment” criterion for out-of-school youth specified in WIOA section 129(a)(1)(B)(iii)(VIII) and for “requiring additional assistance to complete an education program, or to secure and hold employment” criterion for in-school youth specified in WIOA section 129(a)(1)(C)(iv)(VII).
5. Include the State definition, as defined in law, for not attending school and attending school as specified in WIOA Section 129(a)(1)(B)(i) and Section 129(a)(1)(C)(i). If state law does not define “not attending school” or “attending school” indicate that is the case.
6. If not using the basic skills deficient definition contained in WIOA Section 3(5)(B), include the specific State definition.

d. Single-area State Requirements

In States where there is only one local workforce investment area, the governor serves as both the State and local chief elected official. In such cases, the State must submit any information required in the local plan (WIOA section 106(d)(2)). States with a single workforce area must also include:

1. Any comments from the public comment period that represent disagreement with the Plan. (WIOA section 108(d)(3).)
2. The entity responsible for the disbursal of grant funds, as determined by the governor, if different from that for the State. (WIOA section 108(b)(15).)
3. The type and availability of WIOA Title I Youth Activities, including an identification of successful providers of such activities. (WIOA section 108(b)(9).)

e. Waiver Requests (optional)

States wanting to request waivers as part of their Title I-B Operational Plan must include a waiver plan that includes the following information for each waiver requested:

1. Identifies the statutory or regulatory requirements for which a waiver is requested and the goals that the State or local area, as appropriate, intends to achieve as a result of the waiver and how those goals relate to the Unified or Combined State Plan;
2. Describes the actions that the State or local area, as appropriate, has undertaken to remove State or local statutory or regulatory barriers;
3. Describes the goals of the waiver and the expected programmatic outcomes if the request is granted;
4. Describes how the waiver will align with the Department’s policy priorities, such as:
MM.              supporting employer engagement;
NN.               connecting education and training strategies;
OO.               supporting work-based learning;
PP.                improving job and career results, and
QQ.               other guidance issued by the Department.
5. Describes the individuals affected by the waiver, including how the waiver will impact services for disadvantaged populations or individuals with multiple barriers to employment; and
6. Describes the process used to:
RR.               Monitor the progress in implementing the waiver;
SS.                Provide notice to any local board affected by the waiver;
TT.                 Provide any local board affected by the waiver an opportunity to comment on the request;
UU.               Ensure meaningful public comment, including comment by business and organized labor, on the waiver.
VV.                Collect and report information about waiver outcomes in the State’s WIOA Annual Report

The Secretary may require that States provide the most recent data available about the outcomes of the existing waiver in cases where the State seeks renewal of a previously approved waiver;

Title I-B Assurances

The State Plan must include assurances that:

1. The State has implemented a policy to ensure Adult program funds provide a priority in the delivery of training services and individualized career services to individuals who are low income, public assistance recipients and basic skills deficient;     No

2. The state has implemented a policy to ensure local areas have a process in place for referring veterans with significant barriers to employment to career services provided by the JVSG program’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist;     No

3. The state established a written policy and procedure that set forth criteria to be used by chief elected officials for the appointment of local workforce investment board members.      No

4. The state established written policy and procedures to ensure local workforce investment boards are certified by the governor every two years in accordance with WIOA section 107(c)(2).     No

5. Where an alternative entity takes the place of a State Board, the State has written policy and procedures to ensure the alternative entity meets the definition under WIOA section 101(e) and the legal requirements for membership.     No

6. The State established a written policy and procedure for how the individuals and entities represented on the State Workforce Development Board help to determine the methods and factors of distribution, and how the state consults with chief elected officials in local areas throughout the state in determining the distributions.     No

7. The State will not use funds received under WIOA Title I to assist, promote, or deter union organizing in accordance with WIOA section 181(b)(7).     No

8. The State distributes adult and youth funds received under WIOA equitably throughout the State, and no local area suffers significant shifts in funding from year-to-year during the period covered by this plan.     No

9. If a State Workforce Development Board, department, or agency administers state laws for vocational rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, that board, department, or agency cooperates with the agency that administers Wagner-Peyser services, Adult and Dislocated Worker programs and Youth Programs under Title I.     No

10. The State agrees to report on the impact and outcomes of its approved waivers in its WIOA Annual Report.     No

11. The State has taken appropriate action to secure compliance with the Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR 200 and 2 CFR 2900, including that the State will annually monitor local areas to ensure compliance and otherwise take appropriate action to secure compliance with the Uniform Guidance under section WIOA 184(a)(3);     No

Program-Specific Requirements for Wagner-Peyser Program (Employment Services)

All program-specific requirements provided for the WIOA core programs in this section must be addressed for either a Unified or Combined State Plan.

A. Employment Service Professional Staff Development.

1. Describe how the State will utilize professional development activities for Employment Service staff to ensure staff is able to provide high quality services to both jobseekers and employers.
2. Describe strategies developed to support training and awareness across core programs and the Unemployment Insurance program, and the training provided for Employment Services and WIOA staff on identification of UI eligibility issues and referral to UI staff for adjudication.

B. Explain how the state will provide information and meaningful assistance to individuals requesting assistance in filing a claim for unemployment compensation through One-Stop centers, as required by WIOA as a career service.

C. Describe the state’s strategy for providing reemployment assistance to Unemployment Insurance claimants and other unemployed individuals.

D. Describe how the State will use W-P funds to support UI claimants, and the communication between W-P and UI, as appropriate, including the following:

1. Coordination of and provision of labor exchange services for UI claimants as required by the Wagner-Peyser Act;
2. Registration of UI claimants with the State's employment service if required by State law;
3. Administration of the work test for the State unemployment compensation system, including making eligibility assessments (for referral to UI adjudication, if needed), and providing job finding and placement services for UI claimants; and
4. Provision of referrals to and application assistance for training and education programs and resources.

E. Agricultural Outreach Plan (AOP). Each State agency must develop an AOP every four years as part of the Unified or Combined State Plan required under sections 102 or 103 of WIOA. The AOP must include--

1. Assessment of Need

Provide an assessment of the unique needs of farmworkers in the area based on past and projected agricultural and farmworker activity in the State. Such needs may include but are not limited to: employment, training, and housing.

a. An assessment of the agricultural activity in the State means: 1) identifying the top five labor-intensive crops, the months of heavy activity, and the geographic area of prime activity; 2) Summarize the agricultural employers’ needs in the State (i.e. are they predominantly hiring local or foreign workers, are they expressing that there is a scarcity in the agricultural workforce); and 3) Identifying any economic, natural, or other factors that are affecting agriculture in the State or any projected factors that will affect agriculture in the State.
b. An assessment of the unique needs of farmworkers means summarizing Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker (MSFW) characteristics (including if they are predominantly from certain countries, what language(s) they speak, the approximate number of MSFWs in the State during peak season and during low season, and whether they tend to be migrant, seasonal, or year-round farmworkers). This information must take into account data supplied by WIOA Section 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) grantees, other MSFW organizations, employer organizations, and State and/or Federal agency data sources such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration.
2. Outreach Activities

The local offices outreach activities must be designed to meet the needs of MSFWs in the State and to locate and contact MSFWs who are not being reached through normal intake activities. Describe the State agency's proposed strategies for:

A. Contacting farmworkers who are not being reached by the normal intake activities conducted by the employment service offices.
B. Providing technical assistance to outreach workers. Technical assistance must include trainings, conferences, additional resources, and increased collaboration with other organizations on topics such as one-stop center services (i.e. availability of referrals to training, supportive services, and career services, as well as specific employment opportunities), the employment service complaint system, information on the other organizations serving MSFWs in the area, and a basic summary of farmworker rights, including their rights with respect to the terms and conditions of employment.
C. Increasing outreach worker training and awareness across core programs including the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and the training on identification of UI eligibility issues.
D. Providing State merit staff outreach workers professional development activities to ensure they are able to provide high quality services to both jobseekers and employers.
E. Coordinating outreach efforts with NFJP grantees as well as with public and private community service agencies and MSFW groups.
3. Services provided to farmworkers and agricultural employers through the one-stop delivery system.

Describe the State agency's proposed strategies for:

(A) Providing the full range of employment and training services to the agricultural community, both farmworkers and agricultural employers, through the one-stop delivery system. This includes:
 
                                  xlix.         How career and training services required under WIOA Title I will be provided to MSFWs through the one-stop centers;
                                          l.         How the State serves agricultural employers and how it intends to improve such services.
(B) Marketing the employment service complaint system to farmworkers and other farmworker advocacy groups.
(C) Marketing the Agricultural Recruitment System to agricultural employers and how it intends to improve such publicity.
4. Other Requirements
(A) Collaboration

Describe any collaborative agreements the state workforce agency (SWA) has with other MSFW service providers including NFJP grantees and other service providers. Describe how the SWA intends to build upon/increase collaboration with existing partners and in establishing new partners over the next four years (including any approximate timelines for establishing agreements or building upon existing agreements).

(B) Review and Public Comment.

In developing the AOP, the SWA must solicit information and suggestions from NFJP grantees, other appropriate MSFW groups, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations, and other interested organizations. In addition, at least 45 calendar days before submitting its final AOP, the SWA must provide a proposed plan to NFJP grantees, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations, and other organizations expressing an interest and allow at least 30 days for review and comment. The SWA must: 1) Consider any comments received in formulating its final proposed AOP; 2) Inform all commenting parties in writing whether their comments have been incorporated and, if not, the reasons therefore; and 3) Transmit the comments and recommendations received and its responses with the submission of the AOP. The AOP must include a statement confirming NFJP grantees, other appropriate MSFW groups, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations and other interested employer organizations have been given an opportunity to comment on the AOP. Include the list of organizations from which information and suggestions were solicited, any comments received, and responses to those comments.

(C) Data Assessment.

Review the previous four years Wagner-Peyser data reports on performance. Note whether the State has been meeting its goals to provide MSFWs quantitatively proportionate services as compared to non-MSFWs. If it has not met these goals, explain why the State believes such goals were not met and how the State intends to improve its provision of services in order to meet such goals.

(D) Assessment of progress

The plan must include an explanation of what was achieved based on the previous AOP, what was not achieved and an explanation as to why the State believes the goals were not achieved, and how the State intends to remedy the gaps of achievement in the coming year.

(E) State Monitor Advocate

The plan must contain a statement confirming the State Monitor Advocate has reviewed and approved the AOP.

F. Wagner-Peyser Assurances

The State Plan must include assurances that:

1. The Wagner-Peyser Employment Service is co-located with one-stop centers or a plan and timeline has been developed to comply with this requirement within a reasonable amount of time. (sec 121(e)(3));     No

2. The State agency is complying with the requirements under 20 CFR 653.111 (State agency staffing requirements) if the State has significant MSFW one-stop centers;     No

3. If a State Workforce Development Board, department, or agency administers State laws for vocational rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, that board, department, or agency cooperates with the agency that administers Wagner-Peyser services, Adult and Dislocated Worker programs and Youth Programs under Title I; and     No

4. State agency merit-based public employees provide Wagner-Peyser Act-funded labor exchange activities in accordance with Department of Labor regulations.     No

Program-Specific Requirements for Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Programs

The State Plan must include a description of the following as it pertains to Adult Education and Literacy programs under Title II, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA).

A. Aligning of Content Standards

Describe how the eligible agency will, by July 1, 2016, align its content standards for adult education with State-adopted challenging academic content standards, as adopted under section 1111(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(1)).

B. Local Activities

Describe how the State will, using the considerations specified in section 231(e) of WIOA, fund each eligible provider to establish or operate programs that provide the adult education and literacy activities, including programs that provide such activities concurrently. The Unified or Combined State Plan must include at a minimum the scope, content, and organization of local activities.

Adult Education and Literacy Activities (Section 203 of WIOA)
Special Rule

Each eligible agency awarding a grant or contract under this section shall not use any funds made available under this title for adult education and literacy activities for the purpose of supporting or providing programs, services, or activities for individuals who are under the age of 16 and are enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law, except that such agency may use such funds for such purpose if such programs, services, or activities are related to family literacy activities. In providing family literacy activities under this title, an eligible provider shall attempt to coordinate with programs and services that are not assisted under this title prior to using funds for adult education and literacy activities under this title for activities other than activities for eligible individuals.

C. Corrections Education and other Education of Institutionalized Individuals

Describe how the State will establish and operate programs under section 225 of WIOA for corrections education and education of other institutionalized individuals, including how it will fund, in accordance with the requirements of Title II, subtitle C, any of the following academic programs for:


 
Each eligible agency using funds provided under Programs for Corrections Education and Other Institutionalized Individuals to carry out a program for criminal offenders within a correctional institution must give priority to serving individuals who are likely to leave the correctional institution within 5 years of participation in the program.

D. Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education Program

1. Describe how the State will establish and operate Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education programs under Section 243 of WIOA, for English language learners who are adults, including professionals with degrees and credentials in their native countries.
2. Describe how the State will fund, in accordance with the requirements of title II, subtitle C, Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education services and how the funds will be used for those services.

E. State Leadership

1. Describe how the State will use the funds to carry out the required State Leadership activities under section 223 of WIOA.
2. Describe how the State will use the funds to carry out permissible State Leadership Activities under section 223 of WIOA, if applicable.

F. Assessing Quality

Describe how the eligible agency will assess the quality of providers of adult education and literacy activities under title II and take actions to improve such quality, including providing the activities described in section 223(a)(1)(B) of WIOA.

Certifications

States must provide written and signed certifications that

1. The plan is submitted by the State agency that is eligible to submit the plan.     No

2. The State agency has authority under State law to perform the functions of the State under the program.     No

3. The State legally may carry out each provision of the plan.     No

4. All provisions of the plan are consistent with State law.     No

5. A State officer, specified by title in the certification, has authority under State law to receive, hold, and disburse Federal funds made available under the plan.     No

6. The State officer who is submitting the plan, specified by the title in the certification, has authority to submit the plan.     No

7. The agency that is submitting the plan has adopted or otherwise formally approved the plan.     No

8. The plan is the basis for State operation and administration of the program.     No

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Certification for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements

The undersigned certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:

(1) No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

(2) If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions.

(3) The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly. This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Statement for Loan Guarantees and Loan Insurance

The undersigned states, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:
If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions. Submission of this statement is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required statement shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Applicant’s Organization     

Full Name of Authorized Representative:     

Title of Authorized Representative:     

SF LLL Form – Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (only if applicable) (http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html). If applicable, please print, sign, and email to OCTAE_MAT@ed.gov

Assurances

The State Plan must include assurances that:

1. The eligible agency will expend funds appropriated to carry out title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) only in a manner consistent with fiscal requirements under section 241(a) of WIOA (regarding supplement and not supplant provisions).     No

2. The eligible agency will ensure that there is at least one eligible provider serving each local area, as defined in section 3(32) of WIOA.     No

3. The eligible agency will not use any funds made available under title II of WIOA for the purpose of supporting or providing programs, services, or activities for individuals who are not “eligible individuals” within the meaning of section 203(4) of WIOA, unless it is providing programs, services or activities related to family literacy activities, as defined in section 203(9) of WIOA.     No

4. The Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education program under section 243(a) of WIOA will be delivered in combination with integrated education and training activities;     No

5. The Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education program under section 243(a) of WIOA will be designed to (1) prepare adults who are English language learners for, and place such adults in, unsubsidized employment in in-demand industries and occupations that lead to economic self-sufficiency and (2) integrate with the local workforce development system and its functions to carry out the activities of the program; and     No

6. Using funds made available under title II of WIOA to carry out a program for criminal offenders within a correctional institution, the eligible agency will give priority to serving individuals who are likely to leave the correctional institution within five years of participation in the program.     No

Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation

The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan* must include the following descriptions and estimates, as required by section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by WIOA:
 
__________
 
* Sec. 102(b)(D)(iii) of WIOA

a. Input of State Rehabilitation Council

All agencies, except for those that are independent consumer-controlled commissions, must describe the following:

1. input provided by the State Rehabilitation Council, including input and recommendations on the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, recommendations from the Council's report, the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction, and other Council reports that may have been developed as part of the Council’s functions;
2. the Designated State unit's response to the Council’s input and recommendations; and
3. the designated State unit’s explanations for rejecting any of the Council’s input or recommendations.

b. Request for Waiver of Statewideness

When requesting a waiver of the statewideness requirement, the designated State unit must identify the types of services to be provided by the program on a non-statewide basis. The waiver request must also include written assurances that:

1. a local public agency will provide the non-Federal share of costs associated with the services to be provided in accordance with the waiver request;
2. the designated State unit will approve each proposed service before it is put into effect; and
3. All State plan requirements will apply

requirements of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan will apply to the services approved under the waiver.

c. Cooperative Agreements with Agencies Not Carrying Out Activities Under the Statewide Workforce Development System.

Describe interagency cooperation with and utilization of the servivces and facilities of agencies and programs that are not carrying out activities through the statewide workforce development system with respect to:

1. Federal, State, and local agencies and programs;
2. State programs carried out under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998;
3. Programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture;
4. Noneducational agencies serving out-of-school youth; and
5. State use contracting programs.

d. Coordination with Education Officials

Describe:

1. DSU's plans

The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students.

2. Information on the formal interagency agreement with the State educational agency with respect to:
A. consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services;
B. transition planning by personnel of the designated State agency and educational agency that facilitates the development and implementation of their individualized education programs;
C. roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services;
D. procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

e. Cooperative Agreements with Private Nonprofit Organizations

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.8(b)(3)). Describe the manner in which the designated State agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit VR service providers.

f. Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.8(b)(4)). Describe the designated State agency’s efforts to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other State agencies and other appropriate entities in order to provide supported employment services and extended employment services, as applicable, to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities.

g. Coordination with Employers

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.8(b)(5)). Describe how the designated State unit will work with employers to identify competitive integrated employment and career exploration opportunities in order to facilitate the provision of:

1. VR services; and
2. transition services, including pre-employment transition services, for students and youth with disabilities.

h. Interagency Cooperation

Describe how the designated State unit will collaborate with the State agency responsible for administering each of the following programs to develop opportunities for competitive integrated employment, to the greatest extent practicable:

1. the State Medicaid plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act;
2. the State agency responsible for providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities; and
3. the State agency responsible for providing mental health services.

i. Comprehensive System of Personnel Development; Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.10)). Describe the designated State agency's procedures and activities to establish and maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development designed to ensure an adequate supply of qualified State rehabilitation professional and paraprofessional personnel for the designated State unit, including the following:

1. Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development
A. Qualified Personnel Needs.

Describe the development and maintenance of a system for collecting and analyzing on an annual basis data on qualified personnel needs with respect to:

i. the number of personnel who are employed by the State agency in the provision of VR services in relation to the number of individuals served, broken down by personnel category;

ii. the number of personnel currently needed by the State agency to provide VR services, broken down by personnel category; and

iii. projections of the number of personnel, broken down by personnel category, who will be needed by the State agency to provide VR services in 5 years based on projections of the number of individuals to be served, including individuals with significant disabilities, the number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and other relevant factors.

B. Personnel Development

Describe the development and maintenance of a system for collecting and analyzing on an annual basis data on personnel development with respect to:

i. a list of the institutions of higher education in the State that are preparing VR professionals, by type of program;

ii. the number of students enrolled at each of those institutions, broken down by type of program; and

iii. the number of students who graduated during the prior year from each of theose institutions with certification or licensure, or with the credentials for certification or licensure, broken down by the personnel category for which they have received, or have the credentials to receive, certification or licensure.

2. Plan for Recruitment, Preparation and Retention of Qualified Personnel

Describe the development and implementation of a plan to address the current and projected needs for qualified personnel including, the coordination and facilitation of efforts between the designated State unit and institutions of higher education and professional associations to recruit, prepare, and retain personnel who are qualified, including personnel from minority backgrounds and personnel who are individuals with disabilities.

3. Personnel Standards

Describe the State agency's policies and procedures for the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards consistent with section 101(a)(7)(B) and 34 CFR 361.18(c) to ensure that designated State unit professional and paraprofessional personnel are adequately trained and prepared, including:

A. standards that are consistent with any national or State-approved or -recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to the profession or discipline in which such personnel are providing VR services; and
B. the establishment and maintenance of education and experience requirements, in accordance with section 101(a)(7)(B)(ii) of the Rehabilitation Act, to ensure that the personnel have a 21st century understanding of the evolving labor force and the needs of individuals with disabilities.
4. Staff Development.

Describe the State agency's policies, procedures, and activities to ensure that, consistent with section101(a)(7)(C) of the Rehabilitation Act, all personnel employed by the designated State unit receive appropriate and adequate training in terms of:

A. System of staff development

a system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology, including training implemented in coordination with entities carrying out State programs under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998; and

B. Acquisition and dissemination of significant knowledge

procedures for the acquisition and dissemination of significant knowledge from research and other sources to designated State unit professionals and paraprofessionals.

5. Personnel to Address Individual Communication Needs

Describe how the designated State unit has personnel or obtains the services of other individuals who are able to communicate in appropriate modes of communication with or in the native language of applicants or eligible individuals who have limited English speaking ability.

6. Coordination of Personnel Development Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

As appropriate, describe the procedures and activities to coordinate the designated State unit's comprehensive system of personnel development with personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

j. Statewide Assessment

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.11(a)).

1. Provide an assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the State, particularly the VR services needs of those:
A. with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
B. who are minorities;
C. who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program;
D. who have been served through other components of the statewide workforce development system; and
E. who are youth with disabilities and students with disabilities, including, as appropriate, their need for pre-employment transition services or other transition services.
2. Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State; and
3. Include an assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities for transition career services and pre-employment transition services, and the extent to which such services are coordinated with transition services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act .

k. Annual Estimates

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.11(b)). Describe:

1. The number of individuals in the State who are eligible for services;
2. The number of eligible individuals who will receive services under:
A. The VR Program;
B. The Supported Employment Program; and
C. each priority category, if under an order of selection;
3. The number of individuals who are eligible for VR services, but are not receiving such services due to an order of selection; and
4. The cost of services for the number of individuals estimated to be eligible for services. If under an order of selection, identify the cost of services for each priority category.

l. State Goals and Priorities

The designated State unit must:

1. Identify if the goals and priorities were jointly developed

Identify if the goals and priorities were jointly developed and agreed to by the State VR agency and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has a Council, and jointly agreed to any revisions.

2. Identify the goals and priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs.
3. Ensure that the goals and priorities are based on an analysis of the following areas:
A. The most recent comprehensive statewide assessment, including any updates;
B. the State's performance under the performance accountability measures of section 116 of WIOA; and
C. other available information on the operation and effectiveness of the VR program, including any reports received from the State Rehabilitation Council and finding and recommendations from monitoring activities conducted under section 107.

m. Order of Selection

Describe:

1. Whether the designated State unit will implement and order of selection. If so, describe:
A. The order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided VR services.
B. The justification for the order.
C. The service and outcome goals.
D. The time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.
E. How individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for services before all other individuals with disabilities; and
2. If the designated State unit has elected to serve eligible individuals, regardless of any established order of selection, who require specific services or equipment to maintain employment.

n. Goals and Plans for Distribution of title VI Funds.

1. Specify the State's goals and priorities for funds received under section 603 of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of supported employment services.
2. Describe the activities to be conducted, with funds reserved pursuant to section 603(d), for youth with the most significant disabilities, including:
A. the provision of extended services for a period not to exceed 4 years; and
B. how the State will leverage other public and private funds to increase resources for extended services and expanded supported employment opportunities for youth with the most significant disabilities.

o. State's Strategies

Describe the required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the VR and the Supported Employment programs (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act and section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)):

1. The methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities.
2. How a broad range of assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process and on a statewide basis.
3. The outreach procedures that will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities, as well as those who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.
4. The methods to be used to improve and expand VR services for students with disabilities, including the coordination of services designed to facilitate the transition of such students from school to postsecondary life (including the receipt of VR services, postsecondary education, employment, and pre-employment transition services).
5. If applicable, plans for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs within the State.
6. Strategies to improve the performance of the State with respect to the performance accountability measures under section 116 of WIOA.
7. Strategies for assisting other components of the statewide workforce development system in assisting individuals with disabilities.
8. How the agency's strategies will be used to:
A. achieve goals and priorities by the State, consistent with the comprehensive needs assessment;
B. support innovation and expansion activities; and
C. overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the State VR Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program.

p. Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals

Describe:

1. An evaluation of the extent to which the VR program goals described in the approved VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan for the most recently completed program year were achieved. The evaluation must:
A. Identify the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals.
B. Describe the factors that impeded the achievement of the goals and priorities.
2. An evaluation of the extent to which the Supported Employment program goals described in the Supported Employment Supplement for the most recent program year were achieved. The evaluation must:
A. Identify the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals.
B. Describe the factors that impeded the achievement of the goals and priorities.
3. The VR program's performance on the performance accountability indicators under section 116 of WIOA.
4. How the funds reserved for innovation and expansion (I&E) activities were utilized.

q. Quality, Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services.

Include the following:

1. The quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services to be provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities.
2. The timing of transition to extended services.

Certifications

Name of designated State agency or designated State unit, as appropriate     

Name of designated State agency     

Full Name of Authorized Representative:     

Title of Authorized Representative:     

 
States must provide written and signed certifications that:

1. The designated State agency or designated State unit (as appropriate) listed above is authorized to submit the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan under title 1 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by WIOA*, and its supplement under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act.**     No

2. As a condition for the receipt of Federal funds under title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of VR services, the designated State agency listed above agrees to operate and administer the State VR Services Program in accordance with the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan , the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations , policies, and procedures established by the Secretary of Education. Funds made available under section 111 of the Rehabilitation Act are used solely for the provision of VR services and the administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan;     No

3. As a condition for the receipt of Federal funds under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act for supported employment services, the designated State agency agrees to operate and administer the State Supported Employment Services Program in accordance with the supplement to the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan* , the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations , policies, and procedures established by the Secretary of Education. Funds made available under title VI are used solely for the provision of supported employment services and the administration of the supplement to the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan;**     No

4. The designated State agency and/or the designated State unit has the authority under State law to perform the functions of the State regarding the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement;     No

5. The State legally may carry out each provision of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement.     No

6. All provisions of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement are consistent with State law.     No

7. The Authorized Representative listed above has the authority under State law to receive, hold, and disburse Federal funds made available under the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement;     No

8. The Authorized Representative listed above has the authority to submit the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and the supplement for Supported Employment services;     No

9. The agency that submits the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement has adopted or otherwise formally approved the plan and its supplement.     No

Footnotes

__________
 
Certification 1 Footnotes
 
* Public Law 113-128.
 
** Unless otherwise stated, "Rehabilitation Act" means the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by WIOA, signed into law on July 22, 2014.
 
Certification 2 Footnotes
 
* All references in this plan to "designated State agency" or to "the State agency" relate to the agency identified in this paragraph.
 
** No funds under title 1 of the Rehabilitation Act may be awarded without an approved VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan in accordance with section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act.
 
*** Applicable regulations, in part, include the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 76,77,79,81, and 82; 2 CFR part 200 as adopted by 2 CFR part 3485; and the State VR Services Program regulations.
 
Certification 3 Footnotes
 
* No funds under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act may be awarded without an approved supplement to the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan in accordance with section 606(a) of the Rehabilitation Act.
 
** Applicable regulations, in part, include the citations in *** under Certification 2 footnotes

Additional Comments on the Certifications from the State

Certification Regarding Lobbying — Vocational Rehabilitation

Certification for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements The undersigned certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:

(1) No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

(2) If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions.

(3) The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly. This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Statement for Loan Guarantees and Loan Insurance

The undersigned states, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:
If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions. Submission of this statement is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required statement shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Applicant’s Organization     

Full Name of Authorized Representative:     

Title of Authorized Representative:     

SF LLL Form – Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (only if applicable) (http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html). If applicable, please print, sign, and email to MAT_OCTAE@ed.gov

Certification Regarding Lobbying — Supported Employment

Certification for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements The undersigned certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:

(1) No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

(2) If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions.

(3) The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly. This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Statement for Loan Guarantees and Loan Insurance

The undersigned states, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:
If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions. Submission of this statement is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required statement shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Applicant’s Organization     

Full Name of Authorized Representative:     

Title of Authorized Representative:     

SF LLL Form – Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (only if applicable) (http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html).

Assurances

The designated State agency or designated State unit, as appropriate and identified in the State certifications included with this VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement, through signature of the authorized individual, assures the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), that it will comply with all of the requirements of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement, as set forth in sections 101(a) and 606 of the Rehabilitation Act. The individual authorized to submit the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement makes the following assurances:The State Plan must provide assurances that:

1. Public Comment on Policies and Procedures:

The designated State agency assures it will comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements for public participation in the VR Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, as required by section 101(a)(16)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act.

2. Submission of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and Its Supplement:

The designated State unit assures it will comply with all requirements pertaining to the submission and revisions of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement for the State Supported Employment Services program, as required by sections 101(a)(1), (22), (23), and 606(a) of the Rehabilitation Act; section 102 of WIOA in the case of the submission of a unified plan; section 103 of WIOA in the case of a submission of a Combined State Plan; 34 CFR 76.140.

3. Administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan:

The designated State agency or designated State unit, as appropriate, assures it will comply with the requirements related to:

a. the establishment of the designated State agency and designated State unit, as required by section 101(a)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act.
b. the establishment of either a State independent commission or State Rehabilitation Council, as required by section 101(a)(21) of the Rehabilitation Act.

The designated State agency or designated State unit, as applicable      

c. consultations regarding the administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, in accordance with section 101(a)(16)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act.
d. the financial participation by the State, or if the State so elects, by the State and local agencies, to provide the amount of the non-Federal share of the cost of carrying out the VR program in accordance with section 101(a)(3).
e. the local administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, in accordance with section 101(a)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act.

The designated State agency allows for the local administration of VR funds      

f. the shared funding and administration of joint programs, in accordance with section 101(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Rehabilitation Act.

The designated State agency allows for the shared funding and administration of joint programs:      

g. statewideness and waivers of statewideness requirements, as set forth in section 101(a)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Is the designated State agency requesting or maintaining a waiver of statewideness for one or more services provided under the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan? See Section 2 of this VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan.     

h. the descriptions for cooperation, collaboration, and coordination, as required by sections 101(a)(11) and (24)(B); and 606(b) of the Rehabilitation Act.
i. all required methods of administration, as required by section 101(a)(6) of the Rehabilitation Act .
j. the requirements for the comprehensive system of personnel development, as set forth in section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act.
k. the compilation and submission to the Commissioner of statewide assessments, estimates, State goals and priorities, strategies, and progress reports, as appropriate, and as required by sections 101(a)(15), 105(c)(2), and 606(b)(8) of the Rehabilitation Act.
l. the reservation and use of a portion of the funds allotted to the State under section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for the development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of VR services to individuals with disabilities, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities.
m. the submission of reports as required by section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act.
4. Administration of the Provision of VR Services:

The designated State agency, or designated State unit, as appropriate, assures that it will:

a. comply with all requirements regarding information and referral services in accordance with sections 101(a)(5)(D) and (20) of the Rehabilitation Act.
b. impose no duration of residence requirement as part of determining an individual’s eligibility for VR services or that excludes from services under the plan any individual who is present in the State in accordance with section 101(a)(12) of the Rehabilitation Act .
c. provide the full range of services listed in section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the State who apply for services in accordance with section 101(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act?

Agency will provide the full range of services described above      

d. determine whether comparable services and benefits are available to the individual in accordance with section 101(a)(8) of the Rehabilitation Act.
e. comply with the requirements for the development of an individualized plan for employment in accordance with section 102(b) of the Rehabilitation Act.
f. comply with requirements regarding the provisions of informed choice for all applicants and eligible individuals in accordance with section 102(d) of the Rehabilitation Act.
g. provide vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing in the State, in accordance with section 101(a)(13) of the Rehabilitation Act.
h. comply with the requirements for the conduct of semiannual or annual reviews, as appropriate, for individuals employed either in an extended employment setting in a community rehabilitation program or any other employment under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as required by section 101(a)(14)of the Rehabilitation Act.
i. meet the requirements in sections 101(a)(17) and 103(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act if the State elects to construct, under special circumstances, facilities for community rehabilitation programs
j. with respect to students with disabilities, the State,
                                lxvii.         has developed and will implement,
A.   strategies to address the needs identified in the assessments; and
B.   strategies to achieve the goals and priorities identified by the State, to improve and expand vocational rehabilitation services for students with disabilities on a statewide basis; and
                              lxviii.         has developed and will implement strategies to provide pre-employment transition services (sections 101(a)(15) and 101(a)(25)).
5. Program Administration for the Supported Employment Title VI Supplement:
a. The designated State unit assures that it will include in the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan all information required by section 606 of the Rehabilitation Act.
b. The designated State agency assures that it will submit reports in such form and in accordance with such procedures as the Commissioner may require and collects the information required by section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act separately for individuals receiving supported employment services under title I and individuals receiving supported employment services under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act.
c. The designated state unit will coordinate activities with any other State agency that is functioning as an employment network under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program under Section 1148 of the Social Security Act.
6. Financial Administration of the Supported Employment Program:
a. The designated State agency assures that it will expend no more than 2.5 percent of the State’s allotment under title VI for administrative costs of carrying out this program; and, the designated State agency or agencies will provide, directly or indirectly through public or private entities, non-Federal contributions in an amount that is not less than 10 percent of the costs of carrying out supported employment services provided to youth with the most significant disabilities with the funds reserved for such purpose under section 603(d) of the Rehabilitation Act, in accordance with section 606(b)(7)(G) and (H) of the Rehabilitation Act.
b. The designated State agency assures that it will use funds made available under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act only to provide supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including extended services to youth with the most significant disabilities, who are eligible to receive such services; and, that such funds are used only to supplement and not supplant the funds provided under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act, when providing supported employment services specified in the individualized plan for employment, in accordance with section 606(b)(7)(A) and (D), of the Rehabilitation Act.
7. Provision of Supported Employment Services:
a. The designated State agency assures that it will provide supported employment services as defined in section 7(39) of the Rehabilitation Act.
b. The designated State agency assures that:
                                  lxix.         the comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities conducted under section 102(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and funded under title I of the Rehabilitation Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome, in accordance with the requirements of section 606(b)(7)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act
                                   lxx.         an individualized plan for employment that meets the requirements of section 102(b) of the Rehabilitation Act , which is developed and updated with title I funds, in accordance with sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 606(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Rehabilitation Act.
Additional Comments on the Assurances from the State

VII. Program-Specific Requirements For Combined State Plan Partner Programs

States choosing to submit a Combined State Plan must provide information concerning the six core programs—the Adult Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Youth Program, Wagner-Peyser Act Program, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program, and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program— and also submit relevant information for any of the eleven partner programs it includes in its Combined State Plan. When a State includes a Combined State Plan partner program in its Combined State Plan, it need not submit a separate plan or application for that particular program.* If included, Combined State Plan partner programs are subject to the “common planning elements” in Sections II and III of that document, where specified, as well as the program-specific requirements for that program (available on www.regulations.gov for public comment). The requirements that a State must address for any of the partner programs it includes in its Combined State Plan are provided in this separate supplemental document. The Departments are not seeking comments on these program-specific requirements, which exist under separate OMB control numbers and do not represent requirements under WIOA. For further details on this overall collection, access the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ETA-2015-0006.
 
__________
 
* States that elect to include employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.) under a Combined State Plan would submit all other required elements of a complete CSBG State Plan directly to the Federal agency that administers the program. Similarly, States that elect to include employment and training activities carried by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) and 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 that are included would submit all other required elements of a complete State Plan for those programs directly to the Federal agency that administers the program.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

States that include TANF in the Combined State Plan must outline how the State will meet the requirements of section 402 of the Social Security Act including how it will:

(a) Conduct a program designed to serve all political subdivisions in the State (not necessarily in a uniform manner) that provides assistance to needy families with (or expecting) children and provides parents with job preparation, work, and support services to enable them to leave the program, specifically cash assistance, and become self-sufficient (section 402(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act).

(b) Require a parent or caretaker receiving assistance to engage in work (defined by the State) once the State determines the parent or caretaker is ready to engage in work, or once he or she has received 24 months of assistance, whichever is earlier, consistent with the child care exception at 407(e)(2) (section 402(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Social Security Act)

(c) Ensure that parents and caretakers receiving assistance engage in work in accordance with section 407 (section 402(a)(1)(A)(iii) of the Social Security Act)

(d) Take such reasonable steps as the State deems necessary to restrict the use and disclosure of information about individuals and families receiving assistance under the program attributable to funds provided by the Federal Government (section 402(a)(1)(A)(iv) of the Social Security Act)

(e) Establish goals and take action to prevent and reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, with special emphasis on teenage pregnancies (section 402(a)(1)(A)(v) of the Social Security Act)

(f) Conduct a program designed to reach State and local law enforcement officials, the education system, and relevant counseling services, that provides education and training on the problem of statutory rape so that teenage pregnancy prevention programs may be expanded to include men (section 402(a)(1)(A)(vi) of the Social Security Act)

(g) Implement policies and procedures as necessary to prevent access to assistance provided under the State program funded under this part through any electronic fund transaction in an automated teller machine or point-of-sale device located in a place described in section 408(a)(12), including a plan to ensure that recipients of the assistance have adequate access to their cash assistance (section 402(a)(1)(A)(vii) of the Social Security Act)

(h) Ensure that recipients of assistance provided under the State program funded under this part have the ability to use or withdraw assistance with minimal fees or charges, including an opportunity to access assistance with no fee or charges, and are provided information on applicable fees and surcharges that apply to electronic fund transactions involving the assistance, and that such information is made publicly available (section 402(a)(1)(A)(viii) of the Social Security Act)

(i) Indicate whether it intends to treat families moving from another State differently from other families under the program, and if so how (section 402(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Social Security Act)

(j) Indicate whether it intends to provide assistance to non-citizens, and if so include an overview of the assistance (section 402(a)(1)(B)(ii) of the Social Security Act)

(k) Set forth objective criteria for the delivery of benefits and the determination of eligibility and for fair and equitable treatment, including an explanation of how it will provide opportunities for recipients who have been adversely affected to be heard in a State administrative or appeal process (section 402(a)(1)(B)(iii) of the Social Security Act)

(l) Indicate whether the State intends to assist individuals to train for, seek, and maintain employment (Section 402(a)(1)(B)(v) of the Social Security Act)—

1. providing direct care in a long-term care facility (as such terms are defined under section 1397j of this title); or
2. in other occupations related to elder care, high-demand occupations, or occupations expected to experience labor shortages as, determined appropriate by the State for which the State identifies an unmet need for service personnel, and, if so, shall include an overview of such assistance.

(m) Provide for all MOE-funded services the following information: the name of the program benefit or service, and the financial eligibility criteria that families must meet in order to receive that benefit or service. In addition, for TANF MOE-funded services (co-mingled or segregated MOE) describe the program benefit provided to eligible families (SSP services do not have to include a description but the Department of Health and Human Servicecs encourages it) (§263.2(b)(3) & §263.2(c) preamble pages 17826-7)

TANF Certifications

States that include TANF in the Combined State Plan must provide a certification by the chief executive officer of that State, that during the fiscal year, the State will:

Operate a child support enforcement program under the State Plan approved under part D. (section 402(a)(2) of the Social Security Act)     No

Operate a foster care and adoption assistance program under the State Plan approved under part E, and that the State will take such actions as are necessary to ensure that children receiving assistance under such part are eligible for medical assistance under The Unified or Combined State Plan under title XIX. (section 402(a)(3) of the Social Security Act)     No

Specify which State agency or agencies will administer and supervise the program referred to in paragraph (1) for the fiscal year, which shall include assurances that local governments and private sector organizations (section 402(a)(4) of the Social Security Act)—have been consulted regarding the plan and design of welfare services in the State so that services are provided in a manner appropriate to local populations;      No

Specify which State agency or agencies will administer and supervise the program referred to in paragraph (1) for the fiscal year, which shall include assurances that local governments and private sector organizations (section 402(a)(4) of the Social Security Act)—have had at least 45 days to submit comments on the plan and the design of such services      No

Provide each member of an Indian tribe, who is domiciled in the State and is not eligible for assistance under a tribal family assistance plan approved under section 412, with equitable access to assistance under the State program funded under this part attributable to funds provided by the Federal Government. (section 402(a)(5) of the Social Security Act)     No

Establish and enforce standards and procedures to ensure against program fraud and abuse, including standards and procedures concerning nepotism, conflicts of interest among individuals responsible for the administration and supervision of the State program, kickbacks, and the use of political patronage. (section 402(a)(6) of the Social Security Act)     No

(optional) Establish and Enforcing standards and procedures to (section 402(a)(7) of the Social Security Act).— screen and identify individuals receiving assistance under this part with a history of domestic violence while maintaining the confidentiality of such individuals;     No

(optional) Establish and Enforcing standards and procedures to (section 402(a)(7) of the Social Security Act).— refer such individuals to counseling and supportive services;      No

(optional) Establish and Enforcing standards and procedures to (section 402(a)(7) of the Social Security Act).—waive, pursuant to a determination of good cause, other program requirements such as time limits (for so long as necessary) for individuals receiving assistance, residency requirements, child support cooperation requirements, and family cap provisions, in cases where compliance with such requirements would make it more difficult for individuals receiving assistance under this part to escape domestic violence or unfairly penalize such individuals who are or have been victimized by such violence, or individuals who are at risk of further domestic violence      No

Employment and Training programs under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4)))

a. General Requirements

The State agency must prepare and submit an Employment and Training (E&T) Plan to its appropriate Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Regional Office. The E&T Plan must be available for public inspection at the State agency headquarters. A State agency may include its plan for the SNAP E&T program in a Combined Plan under WIOA but will require FNS approval prior to implementation and must continue to make a copy of the plan available for public inspection. If a State includes SNAP E&T in a Combined Plan under WIOA, the State agency will detail the following for each year covered by the Combined Plan:

1. The nature of the E&T components the State agency plans to offer and the reasons for such components, including cost information. The methodology for State agency reimbursement for education components must be specifically addressed;
2. An operating budget for the Federal fiscal year with an estimate of the cost of operation for each Federal fiscal year covered by the Combined Plan. Any State agency that requests 50 percent Federal reimbursement for State agency E&T administrative costs, other than for participant reimbursements, must include in its plan, or amendments to its plan, an itemized list of all activities and costs for which those Federal funds will be claimed, including the costs for case management and casework to facilitate the transition from economic dependency to self-sufficiency through work. Costs in excess of the Federal grant will be allowed only with the prior approval of FNS and must be adequately documented to assure that they are necessary, reasonable and properly allocated. A State must submit a plan amendment to request budget adjustments at least 30 days prior to planned implementation;
3. The categories and types of individuals the State agency intends to exempt from E&T participation, the estimated percentage of work registrants the State agency plans to exempt, and the frequency with which the State agency plans to reevaluate the validity of its exemptions;
4.  The characteristics of the population the State agency intends to place in E&T;
5. The estimated number of volunteers the State agency expects to place in E&T;
6. The geographic areas covered and not covered by the E&T Plan and why, and the type and location of services to be offered
7. The method the State agency uses to count all work registrants as of the first day of the new fiscal year;
8. The method the State agency uses to report work registrant information on the quarterly Form FNS–583
9. The method the State agency uses to prevent work registrants from being counted twice within a Federal fiscal year. If the State agency universally work registers all SNAP applicants, this method must specify how the State agency excludes those exempt from work registration under 7 C.F.R. §273.7(b)(1). If the State agency work registers nonexempt participants whenever a new application is submitted, this method must also specify how the State agency excludes those participants who may have already been registered within the past 12 months as specified under 7 C.F.R. §273.7(a)(1)(i);
10. The organizational relationship between the units responsible for certification and the units operating the E&T components, including units of the statewide workforce development system, if available. FNS is specifically concerned that the lines of communication be efficient and that noncompliance by the participant be reported to the certification unit within 10 working days after the noncompliance occurs;
11. The relationship between the State agency and other organizations it plans to coordinate with for the provision of services, including organizations in the statewide workforce development system, if available. Copies of contracts must be available for inspection;
12. The availability, if appropriate, of E&T programs for Indians living on reservations after the State agency has consulted in good faith with appropriate tribal organizations;
13. If a conciliation process is planned, the procedures that will be used when an individual fails to comply with an E&T program requirement. Include the length of the conciliation period
14. The payment rates for child care established in accordance with the Child Care and Development Block Grant provisions of 45 CFR 98.43, and based on local market rate surveys.
15. The combined (Federal/State) State agency reimbursement rate for transportation costs and other expenses reasonably necessary and directly related to participation incurred by E&T participants. If the State agency proposes to provide different reimbursement amounts to account for varying levels of expenses, for instance for greater or lesser costs of transportation in different areas of the State, it must include them here.
16. Information about expenses the State agency proposes to reimburse. FNS must be afforded the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed reimbursements before they are implemented.

(b) Able-bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD)

A State agency interested in receiving additional funding for serving able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs)* subject to the 3-month time limit, in accordance with 7 C.F.R. §273.7(d)(3), must include the following for each Federal fiscal year covered by the Combined Plan under WIOA: *7 CFR § 273.7(c)(7)

1. Its pledge to offer a qualifying activity to all at-risk ABAWD applicants and recipients

Its pledge to offer a qualifying activity to all at-risk ABAWD applicants and recipients;

2. Estimated costs of fulfilling its pledge
3. A description of management controls in place to meet pledge requirements
4.  A discussion of its capacity and ability to serve at-risk ABAWDs.
5. Information about the size and special needs of its ABAWD population
6. Information about the education, training, and workfare components it will offer to meet the ABAWD work requirement.

(c) Plan Modification

If FNS determines that the performance of a State agency with respect to employment and training outcomes is inadequate, FNS may require the State agency to make modifications to the State E&T plan to improve the outcomes.*
 
_____
 
*7 U.S.C. 2025(h)(5)(E) as amended by Agricultural Act of 2014 .

Funding Disclaimer


 
Funds may not be available when SNAP E&T portions of a Combined State Plan under WIOA are approved. FNS’s obligation after approving a SNAP E&T plan submitted as part of a Combined State Plan is contingent upon the availability of an appropriation from which payment can be made. Any FNS funding resulting from an approval of a SNAP E&T plan submitted as part of a Combined State Plan is subject to FNS receiving sufficient funds (in the Program Financial Control System for FNS) to fund this and all prior approved SNAP E&T plans submitted as part of a Combined State Plan in their entirety in the time and date order received. Federal reimbursement to States for 50 percent of State administrative expenditures and for participant reimbursements is subject to the above conditions.

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)

There are no program-specific state planning requirements for TAA.  If the state includes TAA in a Combined State Plan, the state must incorporate TAA in its responses to the common planning elements in sections II, III, IV, and V of the WIOA State Plan requirements instrument.

Has the state incorporated TAA into the sections indicated above?     No

Jobs for Veterans’ State Grants

The Jobs for Veterans’ State Grants (JVSG) are mandatory, formula-based staffing grants to (including DC, PR, VI and Guam). The JVSG is funded annually in accordance with a funding formula defined in the statute (38 U.S.C. 4102A (c) (2) (B) and regulation and operates on a fiscal year (not program year) basis, however, performance metrics are collected and reported (VETS-200 Series Reports) quarterly (using four “rolling quarters”) on a Program Year basis (as with the ETA-9002 Series). Currently, VETS JVSG operates on a five-year (FY 2015-2019), multi-year grant approval cycle modified and funded annually.
 
In accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 4102A(b)(5) and § 4102A(c), the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training (ASVET) makes grant funds available for use in each State to support Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veterans' Employment Representatives (LVER) staff. As a condition to receive funding, 38 U.S.C. § 4102A(c)(2) requires States to submit an application for a grant that contains a State Plan narrative, which includes:

(a) How the State intends to provide employment, training and job placement services to veterans and eligible persons under the JVSG

(b) The duties assigned to DVOP specialists and LVER staff by the State; specifically implementing DVOP and LVER duties or roles and responsibilities as outlined in 38 U.S.C. § 4103A and 4104. These duties must be consistent with current guidance;

(c) The manner in which DVOP specialists and LVER staff are integrated into the State’s employment service delivery system or one-stop delivery system partner network;

(d) The Incentive Award program implemented using the 1% grant allocation set aside for this purpose, as applicable;

(e) The populations of veterans to be served, including any additional populations designated by the Secretary as eligible for services, and any additional populations specifically targeted by the State Workforce Agency for services from one-stop delivery system partners (e.g., Native American veterans; veterans in remote rural counties or parishes);

(f) How the State implements and monitors the administration of priority of service to covered persons;

(g) How the State provides or intends to provide and measure, through both the DVOP and one-stop delivery system partner staff:

1. job and job training individualized career services,
2. employment placement services, and
3. job-driven training and subsequent placement service program for eligible veterans and eligible persons;

(h) The hire date along with mandatory training completion dates for all DVOP specialists and LVER staff; and

(i) Such additional information as the Secretary may require.

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)

Note: Below is information about the employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.) that is included in the WIOA Combined State Plan. The complete CSBG State Plan is submitted directly to the Federal agency that administers that program and is collected under OMB Control Number: 0970-0382.
 
Where CSBG is included in the Combined State Plan, the State CSBG Lead Agency (as designated by the chief executive of the State under the requirements of section 676(a) of the CSBG Act (42 U.S.C. 9908(a)) will coordinate plans for employment and training activities under CSBG as part of a larger antipoverty and workforce development strategy.
 
As part of the Combined State Plan,the State CSBG Lead Agency must:
 
(a) Describe how the State and the eligible entities will coordinate the provision of employment and training activities through Statewide and local WIOA workforce development systems; and may
 
(b) Provide examples of innovative employment and training programs and activities conducted by eligible entities or other neighbor­hood-based organizations as part of a community antipoverty strategy.

Appendix 1. Performance Goals for the Core Programs

Include the State's expected levels of performance relating to the performance accountability indicators based on primary indicators of performance described in section 116(b)(2)(A) of WIOA.

Instructions:Performance Goals for the Core Programs

Each State submitting a Unified or Combined Plan is required to identify expected levels of performance for each of the primary indicators of performance for the first two years covered by the plan. The State is required to reach agreement with the Secretary of Labor, in conjunction with the Secretary of Education on state adjusted levels of performance for the indicators for each of the first two years of the plan.

Table 1. Employment (Second Quarter after Exit)

Program

PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

Adults

60.00

Baseline

62.00

Baseline

Dislocated Workers

65.00

Baseline

67.00

Baseline

Youth

65.00

Baseline

67.00

Baseline

Adult Education

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Wagner-Peyser

50.00

Baseline

52.00

Baseline

Vocational Rehabilitation</

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 1

Table 2. Employment (Fourth Quarter after Exit)

Program

PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

Adults

50.00

Baseline

52.00

Baseline

Dislocated Workers

55.00

Baseline

57.00

Baseline

Youth

55.00

Baseline

57.00

Baseline

Adult Education

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Wagner-Peyser

45.00

Baseline

46.00

Baseline

Vocational Rehabilitation

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 2

Table 3. Median Earnings (Second Quarter after Exit)

Program

PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

Adults

6,000.00

Baseline

6,200.00

Baseline

Dislocated Workers

7,000.00

Baseline

7,200.00

Baseline

Youth

2,000.00

Baseline

2,100.00

Baseline

Adult Education

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Wagner-Peyser

5,000.00

Baseline

5,200.00

Baseline

Vocational Rehabilitation

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 3

Table 4. Credential Attainment Rate

Program

PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

Adults

65.00

Baseline

67.00

Baseline

Dislocated Workers

70.00

Baseline

72.00

Baseline

Youth

65.00

Baseline

67.00

Baseline

Adult Education

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Wagner-Peyser

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Vocational Rehabilitation

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 4

Table 5. Measureable Skill Gains

Program

PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

Adults

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Dislocated Workers

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Youth

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Adult Education

46.00

Baseline

47.00

Baseline

Wagner-Peyser

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Vocational Rehabilitation

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 5

Table 6. Effectiveness in Serving Employers

Program

PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

Adults

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Dislocated Workers

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Youth

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Adult Education

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Wagner-Peyser

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Vocational Rehabilitation

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 6

Table 7. Combined Federal Partner Measures

Measure

PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level

PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

User remarks on Table 7

Appendix 2. Other State Attachments (Optional)

N/A