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DOL National Convening Supports Workforce Leadership in Implementing WIOA

March 31, 2016

The Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration, in collaboration with multiple federal offices and national partners, held a national convening of workforce leadership to support state teams in the design of innovative approaches to implement the vision of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in their states and local areas. The LEAD Center participated in the three-day event held January 26-28 in Washington, D.C. A major theme of the convening was collaboration between multiple state systems and innovative approaches to meeting the vision of WIOA. Although all of the sessions were relevant, sessions of particular interest for LEAD Center’s work included “Collaborating to Strengthen Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities,” “Serving Individuals with Vocational Rehabilitation,” and “Braiding and Leveraging Resources.”

Since braiding and leveraging resources has been a focus of LEAD Center’s work for the past several year, the presentation by Joseph Ashley, Assistant Commissioner of Virginia’s Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, was particularly important. Dr. Ashley highlighted their Disability Employment Initiative, in which they braid and leverage resources that increase the capacity of partners to come together to promote employment outcomes for jobseekers with disabilities and veterans, as well as to create additional resources for workforce programs that serve ALL customers. Within his presentation, Dr. Ashley provided examples of how they use Integrated Resource Teams (IRTs) that enhance cross-program collaborations and service alignment in developing integrated career plans to for people who experience multiple barriers to employment.

Materials from the National Convening have been made available on the Innovation and Opportunity Network website, with supplemental information on the WorkforceGPS website