The Labor and Education Depts. (DOL) seeks public comment on the elements that states will have to include in their Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as the departments draft an guidance to implement the new law next year.
Public Comment Deadline: Oct. 5.
The formal Information Collection Request (ICR), Required Elements for the Submission of the Unified or Combined State Plan and Plan Modifications Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, offers an early look at the features states will have to include in their WIOA state plans. Under the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), states and communities have an opportunity to better address the workforce development and employment needs of low-income youths, particularly those who have dropped out of school.
Under Unified Plans, states are required to explain how they will implement WIOA’s six core programs: Title I Adult, Title I Youth, Title I Dislocated Worker, Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy, Title III Wagner-Peyser, and Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation. States can choose to expand the list of programs in the plan—creating a Combined Plan—by adding any of the optional 11 combined planning partners.
State plans will have to be strategic—analyzing economic conditions, workforce characteristics, and workforce development goals—and operational, including descriptions of state operating systems and policies. Data alignment and integration will require developing a common intake process and the ability to track participation across all programs in the plan.
The ICR also identifies priority of service requirements. State plans must go beyond strategies for the general population; they must expressly define coordination of services for individuals with barriers to employment, veterans, unemployed workers, and youth. There are also program-specific requirements.
Plans will also include assurances that the state had “input into the development” and “provided an opportunity to comment” to a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public.
State plans are due to the federal agencies on March 3, 2016.