New York State Workforce Development System New York State
Technical Advisory
 
August 9, 2004
Workforce Development System Technical Advisory #04-14
 
TO: Chairpersons of Local Workforce Investment Boards
Chief Elected Officials
WIA Grant Recipients
WIA Fiscal Agents
WIA Local Area Contact Persons
Subject:Interpretive Services for One Stop Customers with Limited English Proficiency
Purpose:To advise Local Areas of the availability of Language Services Associates interpretive services to ensure universal access to One Stop Career Center services for customers with limited proficiency in the English language
Background:Universal access to local One Stop delivery system services is the fundamental principle behind the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Such access can be limited, on occasion, by a consumer’s inability to read, write, or understand English. While many Local Areas have taken steps to provide interpretive services through multi-lingual staff and partner resources, gaps may exist in serving all customers with limited proficiency in the English language.

The Workforce Development and Training Division (WDT) is offering, on a one-year demonstration basis, to assist Local Areas in meeting their interpretation needs. WDT has engaged the services of Language Services Associates to provide immediate access to telephonic interpretation services in approximately 170 languages. A universal account number will be assigned to each interested full-service One Stop Career Center to allow authorized staff to access services. Language Services Associates will track all calls by date, time, location, staff person, language and duration.

WDT will assume the cost of this service for full-service One Stop Career Centers only (affiliate and partner sites are excluded) on a one-year pilot basis, October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2005. However, due to limited resources and no prior history in offering such services, WDT reserves the right to study usage and costs, for the purpose of reviewing Local Area practices and revising its commitment to assume all expenses. If circumstances warrant, WDT may require Local Areas to adjust staffing and its delivery of interpretative services to address high volume requests for Language Services Associates services in particular languages. Alternate cost sharing arrangements (including the requirement for a Local Area to retain its own vendor) may also be imposed, if costs exceed reasonable limits.

Local Areas must provide the following assurances on the attached form, in order to access Language Services Associates interpretation services:

  • All existing local One Stop resources (including, but not limited to, multi-lingual staff, existing partner staff with a demonstrated language proficiency and existing locally procured contractors that provide interpretation services) must be used prior to accessing Language Services Associates services. Language Services Associates interpreters should only be used to overcome existing gaps in serving full-service One Stop customers with limited proficiency in the English language.
  • Each Local Area must institute an effective tracking system to record all calls to Language Services Associates interpreters from its full-service One Stop locations. At a minimum, all calls must be tracked by date, time, full-service One Stop location, staff person initiating the call, requested language and duration of call.
  • The local Grant Recipient must agree to reconcile the local tracking system logs for all its full-service One Stop locations to usage reports generated by Language Services Associates on a monthly basis. Language Services Associates will provide monthly electronic usage reports to local Grant Recipients, WDT and NYSDOL’s Purchasing Office. These reports must be reconciled each month to maintain WDT’s commitment to assume the costs of this service.
  • The Local Area must agree to assume all costs for Language Services Associates interpretive services, if its local Grant Recipient fails to reconcile the local tracking system logs for all its full-service One Stop locations with Language Services Associates electronic usage reports on a monthly basis.
Action:Local Areas interested in accessing Language Services Associates interpretive services, in accordance with the conditions stated above, must complete the attached “Request for Language Services Associates Interpretive Services,” attesting to the required assurances with original signatures from the Local Grant Recipient and Chairperson of the Local Workforce Investment Board. (Note that a decision to decline Language Service Associates interpretative services does not relieve any Local Area of its obligation to serve customers with limited proficiency in the English language. WDT will monitor each Local Area’s compliance with federal Limited English Proficiency provisions during the course of its regular reviews of One-Stop operations.) Completed forms must be received by 5:00 p.m. September 15, 2004, at the address listed below. No faxes or emails will be accepted. Staff will then contact the Local Grant Recipient to explain the process for initiating service. Please submit completed forms to:

Ms. Margaret Moree, Director
Workforce Development and Training Division
New York State Department of Labor
State Office Building Campus
Building 12, Room 450
Albany, New York 12240
Attention: Request for Language Services Associates’ Interpretive Services

Attachment:Form: “Request for Language Services Associates Interpretive Services.”