Leveraging Partnerships and Collaboration

In this section, workforce development staff will learn how to build effective community partnerships and collaborations across multiple service delivery systems that align public and private resources to improve the inclusion of people from underserved groups, including individuals with disabilities, in career pathways programs.


How can we improve collaboration with entities that have experience working with underserved populations, including individuals with disabilities, in order to enhance our capacity to effectively serve these individuals and ensure equal opportunity and nondiscrimination?

  • This self-paced eLearning module provides tools and resources to support American Job Center front line staff and managers to create partnerships and implement innovative strategies to serve people with disabilities.
  • This framework to create cross-partner training plans can help American Job Centers outline the considerations needed to increase the capacity of workforce staff.

How can we promote inclusion, participation, and employment outcomes for underserved groups in career pathways programs?

This is an example of a statewide approach to build workforce system infrastructure to support equal opportunity and lessons learned along the way. It includes suggested action steps and useful resources.

How can we coordinate services and leverage funding to meet the employment needs of job seekers who may benefit from multiple service providers and resources to reach training and employment goals?

This facilitator’s guide for partner planning and collaboration can help assess and improve service integration at the state and local level.


WIOA Program Partners List: This list describes Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act core, required, and other partners with which local areas might identify and connect to support partnership and collaboration efforts.

American Job Centers Customer Flow Scenarios: This booklet (available in both English and Spanish) features five illustrated stories that represent scenarios of customer experiences, and the guidance an American Job Center staff member might provide. Two stories focus on disability issues: 1) Sam has an undisclosed disability and needs guidance on reasonable accommodations and other rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act while returning to the labor force. 2) Charles is an employer seeking guidance to hire and accommodate workers with disabilities and is seeking resources on employee retention.

Customer Service Training Plan Framework: This cross-partner training plan provides a framework that outlines the objectives, needs, strategies, and curriculum considerations to be addressed to further increase the capacity of workforce staff providing customer service in an American Job Center.

Working Across Partners: A Day in the Life of an American Job Center: This self-paced eLearning module provides tools and resources to support American Job Center staff and managers apply partnerships as an innovative and effective service design to serve people with disabilities. The module includes an accompanying Reflect, Relate, and Apply Activity Sheet to help draw connections between the topics, examples presented, and experiences as a manager and/or front-line American Job Center staff.

Iowa - One Door Many Paths: a  WIOA Partners’ Conference: This best practice highlights an Iowa state-level partnership utilizing a blending and braiding of funds to support a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partners conference to address customers with barriers need to access services across different WIOA programs. One consistent outcome of this best practice is the workforce system takes steps to be more aligned to support the goals of WIOA in having a seamless customer service delivery experience, including for people with disabilities.

Georgia – Vocational Rehabilitation Partnership: This best practice highlights how funding a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, whose caseload consists of shared Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I and IV customers, can maximize positive outcomes for both job seekers with disabilities and workforce programs. It shows how having a vocational rehabilitation counselor established an innovative model for how different workforce systems can work together for the benefit of job seekers with disabilities.

Promising Practices in Achieving Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity: A Section 188 Disability Reference Guide: This reference guide, developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides technical assistance to help American Job Centers and their partners in the workforce development system meet the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements for individuals with disabilities in Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The guide includes practices that promote equal access to the American Job Center system for individuals with disabilities and others who experience barriers to employment.

Missouri’s Commitment to Equal Opportunity: Using WIOA’s Section 188 to Create a Blueprint for Improving Access & Equal Opportunity: This system innovation brief details Missouri’s statewide approach to building infrastructure to support equal opportunity, and what they learned along the way.

Integrating Financial Capability and Asset Building Strategies into the Public Workforce Development System: This paper highlights how the workforce development system can leverage the power of partnerships to facilitate access to financial capability services for customers within American Job Centers and in the broader community. It shares some replicable models that American Job Centers have established to provide financial capability services.

Understanding Medicaid Buy-in: A Tool to Advance Employment for People with Disabilities: This two-page resource includes answers to questions about how Medicaid Buy-In can be a tool to decrease barriers to employment for people with disabilities.

Veterans’ Priority & Military EmploymentThis website is a centralized collection of information for the Veterans programs, policies and initiatives that primarily affect the Wagner-Peyser Employment Service, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and Jobs for Veterans State Grants employment and training programs.

Leveraging Partners to Serve Returning Citizens with Disabilities: This quick reference guide includes strategies to help American Job Centers leverage partners to secure wrap-around support services to help justice-involved citizens with disabilities find and retain employment.

Systems Coordination Strategies and Resources: This page contains links to information and resources to help multiple service systems coordinate services and leverage funding to meet the employment needs of an individual job seeker with a disability or other barriers to employment.

Service Integration Continuum: Facilitator’s Guide for Partner Planning & Collaboration: This guide includes tools to support Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act state and/or local partners with assessing levels of service integration and identification of areas of interest for focused efforts toward improved levels of service integration.