New York State Workforce Development System New York State
Technical Advisory
 
March 30, 2006
Workforce Development System Technical Advisory #06-3.1
 
TO: Chairpersons of Local Workforce Investment Boards
Chief Elected Officials
WIA Grant Recipients
WIA Fiscal Agents
WIA Local Area Contact Persons
Subject:Revised: State Policy Guidelines and Required Action for Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) Regarding Functional Alignment for the Delivery of WIA Title IB and Wagner-Peyser Workforce Services
Purpose:
  1. To inform Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIAs) of the need to develop and implement local/regional goals and strategies for aligning and integrating the delivery of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title IB services and Wagner-Peyser Employment Services
  2. To require an addendum to each LWIA Comprehensive Three-Year Local Plan that: explains the local areaís strategy to achieve functional alignment for WIA and Wagner-Peyser service delivery and service structure; details progress toward consistent service delivery for all customers across all sites; and includes a revised budget representing how the WIA Title I resources will be allocated in support of an aligned local/regional service delivery plan
  3. To provide policy guidelines, format and timeframe for submitting a Comprehensive Three-Year Local Plan Addendum to the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), including the required public comment period and signature pages
  4. To provide definitions, clarifications and format for mandatory submission by the Local Board of a revised budget for delivering WIA Title IB services and activities
References:Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Sections 121, 134 (c) and (d); Workforce Investment Act Final Rules, 20 CFR Part 652, Sections 662.100, 662.230, 662.250, 662.260 and 662.270; U.S. Department of Laborís (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 17-05, issued February 17, 2006; Fiscal Year 2006 ETA Budget and budget resolution; the Presidentís Fiscal Year 2007 ETA budget request.
Background:The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 reformed the nationís publicly funded employment and training delivery system by streamlining services through the creation of a One-Stop Delivery System, providing universal access to employment-related services and empowering individuals through access to information, services and training. It also increased accountability by instituting comprehensive performance standards and ensured a strong role for Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) and the private sector. The primary intent of WIA was to improve customer access and service through the creation of a seamless system of workforce services supported by the coordination and alignment of federal funding streams for employment and training. The Act sought to eliminate the duplication of services and expand access to a broader customer pool by offering comprehensive employment and training services to job seeker and business customers.

The Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933 established a nationwide system of public employment offices, known as the Employment Service. The Act was amended in 1998 to make the Employment Service a mandatory partner in the One-Stop Service Delivery System. The Employment Service focuses on providing a variety of employment-related labor exchange services for both jobseekers and employers.

It is imperative that these federally funded programs within an LWIA are valued contributors to the economic viability of their communities and regions. Given the realities of diminished resources, this requires each program to develop more aggressive strategies to align staff and services around employment and training functions, rather than providing services through siloed program funding streams. The Workforce Investment Act lists mandated services within each of its titles. The goal of a One-Stop System is to align around those services rather than operate parallel programs. WIA Title IB and Wagner-Peyser programs, One-Stop System operators and LWIBs must acknowledge and embrace, that for the local/regional workforce delivery system to be successful in meeting the local communityís needs, effective, non-duplicative, real-time strategies must be developed that will enable the system to meet customer need and performance measures in the current funding and performance environment.

Over the five years of WIA implementation, numerous Local Workforce Investment Areas have moved toward implementing greater levels of system integration. Integration has progressed from focusing on the establishment of One-Stop Centers to the co-location of Wagner-Peyser programs and development of affiliate sites with partner agencies. Local areas have also instituted cross-training of partner staff and, in some instances, reduced points of access while increasing service levels.

Functional alignment is both an opportunity and a tool to effectively organize staff and facilities in a manner that further streamlines customer service delivery, capitalizes on the strengths of staff, location, and/or technology to deliver services, and thereby reduces duplication. As a first step toward facilitating local and regional discussion around the alignment or re-alignment of service delivery for WIA Title IB and Wagner-Peyser, NYSDOL convened a facilitated dialogue between the LWIB Directors and DOL Employment Services Regional Administrators on February 24, 2006, to begin formal discussions to better serve communities throughout the State.

These discussions centered on the key concept that todayís operational plan for optimum customer service requires service integration which leads to system integration. It is not enough to co-locate partners, orient customers to partner programs, and refer customers to these programs for the One-Stop Delivery System to succeed. It must now move beyond the concept of program to the concept of service, recognizing by whom, and in what manner services are most efficiently delivered. In doing so, each local area must review their current service delivery procedures, identifying the who, what, when, where, and how of the current program delivery model, and re-shape it to achieve greater efficiency. Common intake forms, single points of customer service, services delivered according to customer need rather than program focus, common staff performing single functions, and common goals, data, and measures are considerations leading to functional alignment.

It should be noted that, although this Technical Advisory is specific to requiring the alignment of WIA Title IB and Wagner-Peyser programs, a more complete integration with other local and regional partner programs is encouraged.

Action:Local Workforce Investment Boards and NYSDOLís Division of Employment Services, as the primary resources supporting the local/regional workforce system, must work toward the development of functional alignment plans that will best serve their local One-Stop customers. Local/regional dialogue will result in the development and submission of a formal addendum to the local areaís Comprehensive Three-Year Local Plan. The Functional Alignment Addendum must be crafted according to the guidelines contained in Attachment A, Functional Alignment Addendum Development Guidelines.

Submission Requirements:

The local areaís Functional Alignment Addendum to its Comprehensive Three-Year Local Plan is to be completed in draft form for the April 12, 2006, joint meeting of the LWIB Directors and NYSDOL Division of Employment Services Regional Administrators.

The Functional Alignment Addendum draft must include the signatures of the Local Workforce Investment Board Director and the Division of Employment Services Regional Administrator attesting to their concurrence with the development and implementation of this service integration plan and the customer flow. The Addendum in final form must be submitted by April 30, 2006, to the New York State Department of Labor by the Local Workforce Investment Board Chair and Chief Local Elected Official(s) for the local area. Local areas must achieve full implementation of the Functional Alignment Addendum by July 1, 2006.

Revised Information: The revision pertains only to the submission of the signatures discussed in this paragraph. Flexibility is granted with regard to submitting the signatures of the Local Workforce Investment Board Chair and Chief Local Elected Official(s) since it is recognized that pre-determined meeting schedules impact this process. Therefore, original WIB Chair and CEO signatures will be due within the established timeframe if possible, but no later than the July 1, 2006 implementation date.

At the time of submission to the Department, the local area must also make the Functional Alignment Addendum available for public review and comment, in accordance with the public comment period requirements outlined for the original Comprehensive Three-Year Local Plan. The local area must furnish the Department with a record of any negative comments received related to this Addendum, how such comments were addressed and any resulting changes made to the plan Addendum.

The Functional Alignment Addendum should be submitted electronically via email to WDTDLocalPlans@labor.state.ny.us. Also forward the attachments with original signatures as appropriate to:

New York State Department of Labor
Workforce Development and Training Division
Building 12, Room 450
State Office Building Campus
Albany, New York 12240

Attention: Mr. Yue F. Yee, Deputy Director
Functional Alignment Addendum

Attachments:A. Functional Alignment Addendum, Development Guidelines
B. Signature Page: Local WIB Director and NYSDOL Regional Administrator
C. Signature Page: Local WIB Chair
D. Signature Page: Chief Local Elected Official(s)
E. Functional Alignment Budget Forms and Instructions
    1. Functional Alignment Budget Template
    2. Functional Alignment Budget Instructions
F. Local Workforce Investment Area Designation Requirements
G. Local Workforce Investment Area Designation Request Form