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WIOA Update: Submission of Unified/Combined State Plans

December 15, 2015

As the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) continues its process of implementation, there are many important aspects that states should be currently preparing for, including the submittal of their Unified or Combined State Plan. These required State Plans, due no later than March 3, 2016, act to create accountability within any given state to ensure cross-agency and cross-program collaboration, particularly with respect to the state’s six core programs:

·         Adult Program (Title I)

·         Dislocated Worker Program (Title I)

·         Youth Program (Title I)

·         Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program (Title II)

·         Wagner-Peyser Services Program (Title III)

·         Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Title IV)

It is believed that when these programs operate in a truly collaborative manner, employment outcomes are far more favorable and public funds are spent in a more effective manner by allowing programs to complement each other’s supports and services, as opposed to a duplication of efforts. 

On November 9th, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in concert with the U.S. Department of Education (ED), hosted an informative webinar updating relevant stakeholders as to their responsibilities with respect to the composition of their State Plans, and further information on the particular system in which states will need to utilize in order to properly submit such plans.  The “State Plan Portal” (SPP) is expected to go live once the State Plan Information Collection Request (ICR) rules are finalized. Additionally, the webinar points out several actions that states should be currently taking in preparation for the SPP launch and the March 3, 2016 deadline, such as:

·         Ensuring Workforce Development Boards are compliant with WIOA;

·         Cultivating relationships and opening dialogue among the individuals responsible for the relevant state programs (core programs and possibly others);

·         Beginning outreach to populations that historically have significant barriers to employment (including those with disabilities); and

·         Undergoing market and economic analysis of the state and regions (including information specific to populations that historically have significant barriers to employment, such as individuals with disabilities).

For more information about the specifics included in the webinar, please visit the Workforce One website.