The LEAD Center brings together Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partners at the national, state, and local level to expand policy, employment, leadership, and economic advancement opportunities and outcomes for all people with disabilities. Below are highlights of some of the LEAD Center’s activities during 2020 related to WIOA Performance Reporting, Equal Opportunity Regulations and Policy, Promoting Work and Financial Literacy, and Inclusive Career Pathways.
WIOA Performance Reporting
Making it easier to use data to drive system improvements, the LEAD team developed an interactive online data visualization tool which allows the exploration of all WIOA disability-related data elements by state, county, and region, in addition to other variables such as type of participant and services received. The LEAD Center works in partnership with DOL's Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy to encourage the use of quality data to drive system improvements for people with disabilities.
- Understanding WIOA Disability-Related Reporting: Tools for Data Visualization (September 17, 2020). Introduction to a new online interactive data visualization tool which helps states and local areas better understand their disability-related reporting and how it benefits programs, employers, and participants with disabilities.
- WIOA Disability-Related Reporting: A Deep Dive into the Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL) (September 24, 2020). Access to quality data makes good policy possible and workforce services accessible for everyone. This webinar showcased leading practices.
- NAWB Workshop: Using Data to DRIVE System Improvements for Individuals with Disabilities (June 29, 2020). This session, from the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Conference, provided attendees with tools and strategies related to performance reporting requirements under WIOA, with a focus on promoting positive outcomes for people with disabilities
Understanding Equal Employment Opportunity Regulations & Policy
The LEAD Center provides knowledge translation on the use of effective strategies to increase employment and economic advancement through implementing nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIOA Section188.
- Statewide Cross-System Training on WIOA Section 188: Broadening Access for People with Disabilities & other Barriers to Employment (May 21, 2020). Representatives from Virginia’s Equal Opportunity Office, WIOA Adult & Dislocated Worker Programs and Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services share approaches in how to effectively engage workforce staff and partners across all four WIOA Titles (Title I, II, III, IV) to implement equal opportunity practices.
- Equal Opportunity and Accessibility for WIOA Partners during COVID-19 and Beyond (June 18, 2020). During COVID-19, many American Job Centers and core workforce system partners have shifted to virtual services. COVID-19 has highlighted new accommodation needs for people with disabilities and the workforce staff who support them.
- The ABLE Act and Employment: Strategies for Maximizing the Effectiveness of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act as a Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes of People with Disabilities (March 2020). This brief discusses how provisions of the ABLE Act (Public Law 113-295) can be combined with federal benefit services and other federal programs and initiatives to further employment for people with disabilities.
- Virginia Accessibility Training Pilot: Training hundreds of staff statewide across all four WIOA titles and their partners. (To learn more, see article later in this newsletter.)
Promoting Work and Financial Literacy
The LEAD Center provides knowledge translation on the use of effective strategies to increase employment and economic advancement through integrating financial literacy strategies, including Social Security work incentives, ABLE accounts, and asset development to promote economic empowerment.
- Get Empowered: Make the Most of Your Job and Improve Your Financial Security Building Financial Solutions for People with Disabilities (February 27, 2020). National experts joined the U.S. Department of Labor, America Saves, and the LEAD Center for this webinar to provide information and resources to help people with disabilities achieve their financial goals.
- Financial Strategies for Workers with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Pandemic (April 22, 2020). The LEAD team was joined by experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the New York Legal Assistance group, and National Disability Institute to share strategies that workers with disabilities could implement immediately to increase their financial stability.
- How WIOA Can Support Workers Facing Economic Challenges (April 29, 2020). The COVID-19 emergency presents a time of significant health and economic uncertainty for individuals with disabilities, as well as their families and communities. In this webinar, several workforce board representatives highlighted the key ways WIOA and workforce professionals can support workers facing economic challenges today and in the future.
- Curation of a Financial Toolkit with DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration, Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy (in development).
Promoting Inclusive Career Pathways
The LEAD Center provides knowledge translation on the use of effective strategies to increase employment and economic advancement through creating Inclusive Career Pathways to leverage resources across systems that promote employment for people with disabilities.
- Strategic Partnerships to Create Inclusive Career Pathways (March 10, 2020). This webinar explored the strategic partnerships that can lead to improved employment and career outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities.
- Virtual 2020 National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) Veterans Conference: Discovering Your Purpose After Transitioning: Tools for Finding the Right Career Match Post-Discharge (August 13, 2020). This interactive session provided participants with: (1) tools specifically developed to assist in the “discovery” process, which is especially useful for war-wounded Veterans seeking employment or apprenticeships, and (2) tools to assist Veterans in envisioning how their military training, discipline, and mission-focus can benefit an employer and how to make that connection.
- Training series to increase registered apprenticeship for Veterans, in partnership with DOL’s Veterans' Employment & Training Service, Office of Apprenticeship, Office of Disability Employment Policy, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Readiness and Employment Apprenticeship.