LEAD Center Reviews Unified WIOA State Plans: What We Learned
LEAD Center staff reviewed state plans from California, Iowa, and North Carolina utilizing a guide we developed that identifies key areas for plan design and implementation to advance effective and meaningful participation of youth and adults with disabilities in the workforce development system. LEAD Center staff analyzed both Title I and Title IV requirements with particular attention to new roles and responsibilities based on changes in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Across all three state plans, there is an expressed commitment to (a) serve people across the spectrum of disabilities, including individuals with significant disabilities; (b) cross-system collaboration, in which customers of the system are served by staff organized by function rather than program or funding source; (c) program and physical accessibility with the new requirement of monitoring and review of American Job Centers (AJCs) annually based upon agreed state criteria defined by Section 188 of WIOA, which promotes universal access and equal opportunity; and (d) Employment First and expanded Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) partnerships with students with disabilities while they are still in high school with pre-employment transition services, a new WIOA requirement. LEAD will continue to review WIOA state plans, and will disseminate results later this year.