Local Board Liaison Subcommittee Report Out
Subcommittee met on April 3, 2002, in Syracuse. Commissioner of Labor and Carolyn French co-chaired the meeting that was attended by chairs from Tompkins, Oswego, Fulton-Montgomery-Schoharie, Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming, Allegany-Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Cayuga-Cortland, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison and Broome-Tioga. Sam Haines, State Board member, also was in attendance. Local Board staff directors from Finger Lakes, St. Lawrence and Chenango-Delaware-Otsego were in attendance, although their board chairs were unable to joint the group.
Local Board Chairs kicked off the meeting by each giving a report out on the issues their local boards are working on or confronting in terms of WIA implementation. Issues raised by the board chairs included:
Funding cuts: Virtually all chairs indicated that funding cuts will pose a real challenge as they seek to develop their one-stop systems and bring them to the next level. Many chairs felt it would be a challenge to keep the private sector engaged if funding cuts precluded them from being able to meeting business needs.
- Funding in general: There was some concern raised that it is very confusing to the private sector members of the board as to which program year expires when, and how they keep that straight in terms of identifying priorities and keeping on track with system development.
- Increased Number of Agreements Requiring Negotiation and Signature: In particular chairs indicated that the new Job Bank agreements and Equal Opportunity Agreements issued by the Department of Labor were bogging them down in paper without focusing really on outcomes. Several chairs indicated that they had addressed Job Bank issues in the context of their MOUs and did not see any need to revisit this in a separate document. They also felt these documents mired the board in compliance issues making it very difficult to maintain a focus on strategic and policy issues.
- Conflicting Agendas Between the Public Sector Representatives on the Board: Several chairs raised concerns about the public sector ‘turf’ issues and how this was impacting their ability to retain private sector members and also effectuate real change. One chair stressed the varying agendas of the local educational institutions and sough assistance from SED on helping to clarify across the education partner programs their roles and objectives in being part of the one-stop system.
- Emerging Workers and Youth Programs: One board chair indicated that youth programs and youth funding was becoming a hot topic in his area. Problems were accentuated by multi-counties and multi-funding streams. Several other chairs indicated similar issues were arising; the local chairs asked for guidance on how best to incorporate a ‘system’ vision across such diverse funding streams and agendas. Local chairs asked for input from the state-level commissioners on opportunities to blend funding streams and support for working toward one ‘youth’ agenda related to employment and training activities.
- Program Performance and WIB Staff Performance: Several chairs raised the issue of program evaluation across funding streams. Although many were focused on WIA Title 1-B program performance, they understood the need to get real-time data to make meaningful policy decisions and asked for State Board assistance and guidance in this regard. Additionally, one chair was interested in whether or not other WIBs from around the State had developed evaluation tools for their WIB directors to use in setting salary and performance goals.
Agenda Items Raised by the Co-Chairs included:
Action Items As a Result of the Meeting:
- Subcommittee staff would collect and distribute to all State Board members a schedule of all 33 local board meetings. That list would include a contact person from the local board as a point of reference for details on meeting location, time, etc., if a SWIB member chose to attend. (This schedule is in the board packet for the May 16th meeting and will be mailed to all that could not attend the meeting.)
- When complete, the Allegany-Cattaraugus Orientation Package will be made available to all local chairs for their use.
- Commissioner of Labor would review with her staff the need for the new Job Bank Agreements and whether or not these agreements could be incorporated into the MOU or through some other means. It was understood that the need for the agreements related to equal opportunity issues were part of a federal mandate and thus could not be eliminated at this point.
- A document would be drafted to distribute to local board chairs explaining which funds lapse when.
- Subcommittee staff would survey other states to see if WIB staff evaluation instruments had been developed and could be made available for distribution to local boards in New York State.
- Subcommittee co-chairs would bring to the State Board the desire of local chairs for guidance on assisting local boards and youth councils in moving toward a more systemic approach.