LOCAL BOARD LIAISON SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT OUT
The Local Board Subcommittee convened a facilitated meeting with Local Board Chairs on May 16, 2001.
The facilitated session was divided into two distinct sessions:
- Dialog with the three state agency partner program directors to address issues being raised at the local level regarding the commitment of these programs to the overall system development and implementation. The three state agency partner programs represented were Division of Employment Services (NYSDOL) representing labor exchange, State Education Departmentís Adult Education & Family Literacy Programs, and the State Education Departmentís Vocational Education Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID). The dialog with these state-level partners was sought because unlike many of the other mandatory partners under WIA, the staff delivering services governed by these 3 funding streams take their policy direction from the state-level.
- Open Board Chair discussion on issues previously identified through a survey as well as other issues raised in the course of the discourse.
One-third of the board chairs from around the State participated in this session and all chairs were active participants in the dialog that ensued.
Several themes emerged from the two different sessions that warrant discussion with the State Board. Of the issues raised and discussed, at least two the Subcommittee would like to present to the full Board for policy action.
Themes and challenges articulated through the entire session included:
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE FOR STATE BOARD ACTION:
- Given the level of frustration expressed by the local board chairs regarding the inability of field staff for the state partner programs, it is recommended that the Board send a letter to the respective Commissioners articulating the problems expressed and seeking written commitment from these state-level partners to more empowerment of the field staff. This empowerment would enable field staff to make real-time decisions on the delivery of services within the one-stop systems. The commitment being sought would also enable field staff to negotiate MOUs and fiscal commitments without multiple layers of bureaucratic review. State-level partners need to ensure that their field level staff are sufficiently briefed to fully understand that programís commitment to financially supporting the system and the services provided through the system. This briefing and/or training should position the field staff to more meaningfully engage in MOU discussions at the local level.
- Given the policy authority vested in local boards over employment and training funding streams and the need to build a system on funds beyond WIA Title I-B, it is recommended that the State Board require each local board to conduct a resource map identifying the variety of employment and training streams flowing to their jurisdiction. Upon approval from the State Board for such a directive, a template would be developed and disseminated to all local boards to serve as a guide in completing such a resource map. Partner programs should be given a directive from their administrative entity to provide this information to the Local Board by a date certain such that the Local Board may be better able to strategically plan around how best to target their resources to meet their economic needs.