IV. Coordination with State Plan Programs
Describe the methods used for joint planning and coordination among the core programs, and with the required one-stop partner programs and other programs and activities included in the Unified or Combined State Plan.
Coordination with State Plan Programs
Florida Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Core Leadership
Similar to the work of the Florida WIOA Task Force described in section (II)(c)(2) above, a WIOA Interagency Implementation Team consisting of professional team members from all core programs was created. This team met monthly to learn about each core program – its structure, purpose and customer base – and what contributions could improve the statewide system. This work set the stage for program alignment and identification of opportunities for interagency collaboration on implementation activities. Initial implementation workgroups were created to conduct the beginning phases of WIOA implementation and recommend future approaches.
Following the initial efforts of the WIOA Interagency Implementation Team workgroups, the core partners used the WIOA Unified Plan Two-Year Modification as an opportunity to review and update coordination with state plan programs. WIOA core program leadership revised WIOA teams and streamlined the approach for implementation and tracking of progress. The WIOA Core Leader Team changes are summarized below:
- Adjusted membership for the WIOA Core Leader Team and the State Plan Implementation Team to include at least two members from each core partner (adding members from new partners as needed) to ensure appropriate representation. Membership structures were designed to ensure a “thread” of participants throughout the system so key issues may be identified at each level and brought for discussion at the WIOA Core Program Leadership meetings.
- Workgroup updates and relevant WIOA information that impacts the Florida workforce networks are presented at the monthly WIOA Core Leader meetings. The Core Leader Team uses tracking and communication tools to ensure a venue to report progress, identify resource needs and make recommendations for additional workgroups to implement key components of the unified state plan.
- Specialized personnel with experience such as legal or information technology programming may be requested as subject matter experts for specific meetings.
Joint Planning and Coordination Among Core Programs and Required One-Stop Partner Programs
As described in 20 CFR, Unified and Combined State Plans Under Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, §676.135 states and local workforce development boards must regularly revisit state plan strategies and recalibrate strategies to respond to the changing economic conditions and workforce needs of the states.
Since the submission of the first Unified State Plan in Spring 2016 and the submission of the Two-Year Modification in 2018, regular interagency meetings of the WIOA Core Partner programs addressed aspects of plan implementation. These meetings included leadership and subject matter experts from the Florida Department of Education’s Divisions of Career and Adult Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Blind Services, the Florida College System, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and CareerSource Florida. This group revisits state plan strategies and obtains data-driven information about program performance.
Every two-years, a workgroup of subject matter experts from the core partners and the Florida College System is formed to address the federal Information Collection Request (ICR) requirements for the State Plan and to create instructions for local plans. These meetings typically occur in advance of receiving the ICR, training, or guidance. This workgroup identifies opportunities to continuously improve the quality of the plan and the process for managing the plan.
The plan consists of strategic and operational planning elements that define each program’s statewide duties and roles relating to the workforce system, and it details a process to fully integrate all federally mandated and optional partners. The four-year plan (2020-2024) is consistent with the requirements of federal and state law with an emphasis on streamlining services, empowering individuals, universal access, increased accountability, local board and private-sector leadership, and local flexibility and integration of programs.
Workgroup members collaborate to identify and submit information reflecting changes in labor market and economic conditions along with a narrative update on strategic and operational planning elements described in the original unified plan. The workgroup focuses on writing and submitting a plan that describes accomplishments since 2018 and aligns program elements with the state’s vision and goals. Plan partners meet regularly and collaborate to complete updates and submit the plan in the WIOA State Plan Portal.
CareerSource Florida, DEO, and the core partners develop guidelines that provide direction for local plans submitted under Public Law 113-128, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). These plans must be submitted in partnership with the chief elected official. The workgroup responsible for collaborating on the WIOA State Plan creates instructions for local boards to submit their WIOA Four-Year Local Plans. These guidelines provide direction for the creation of local plans aligned with the vision and goals of the state plan and CareerSource Florida’s business and market-driven principles to be the global leader for talent. These principles include:
- Increasing the prosperity of workers and employers
- Reducing welfare dependency
- Meeting employer needs
- Enhancing productivity and competitiveness
Local plans are based on current and projected needs of the workforce investment system, with an increased emphasis on coordination and collaboration at all levels to ensure a seamless system for employers and job seekers, including those with disabilities. Local plans identify the education and skill needs of the workforce and the employment needs of the local area. Plans include an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of services provided to address identified needs. Assessments include the best available information, evidence of effectiveness, and performance information for specific service models and a plan to improve program effectiveness by adopting proven or promising practices as a part of the local vision. LWDBs provide a comprehensive view of the systemwide needs of the local workforce development area.
Local plans address how LWDBs foster strategic alignment, improve service integration and ensure the workforce system is industry-relevant, responding to the economic needs of the local workforce development area and matching employers with skilled workers. Services described in local plans should lead to greater efficiencies, reduce duplication, and maximize financial and human resources. These plan guidelines require LWDBs to address current and future strategies and efficiencies to address the continuous improvement of Florida’s workforce system and its focus on customer service excellence.
Local workforce development boards provide leadership and should seek broad stakeholder involvement in the development of their local plan. Local elected officials, local workforce development board members, core program partners and mandatory one-stop partners are an integral part of the planning process. Each plan addresses how the LWDB coordinates service delivery with core programs of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Division of Blind Services and the Division of Career and Adult Education as well as required partners including, but not limited to:
- The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program;
- Housing and Urban Development (where available);
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families; and
- The Senior Community Service Employment Program.
Local areas are required to enter into MOUs, negotiate IFAs and identify resource sharing amongst all partners with a presence in the career centers. These agreements are designed to serve as a means to access other partners federal, state and local resources for the provision and streamlining for services to customers accessing services through the workforce system.
Improvements to Strategic Planning Business Relationships
Adjustments made since the development of the WIOA Unified Plan Two-Year Modification eliminated redundancy between planning and implementation teams, streamlined the decision-making process, reduced the number of participants (and associated time commitments) and reduced administrative support requirements. Florida now has a more streamlined and efficient approach made up of three key business relationships for coordinating WIOA programs. Each group and associated coordination activities are listed below:
- The State Workforce Development Board (CareerSource Florida Board of Directors)
Membership: Appointed workforce and policy investment board business and government leaders
- Approve state workforce system policies pertaining to the implementation and management of WIOA
- Review overall state and local performance
- Arrange for resource supports as needed and available
- Provide support and assistance in delivering key policy messages and recommendations to the governor, legislators, federal entities and other key stakeholder groups as needed.
- WIOA Core Program Leadership Team
Membership: WIOA Partner Program Directors and subject matter expert staff – CareerSource Florida; Department of Economic Opportunity Division of Workforce Services; Department of Education Divisions of Vocational Rehabilitation, Blind Services, Career and Adult Education; and Colleges and Universities
- Receive and consider recommendations for WIOA implementation and management from the WIOA State Plan Implementation Team
- Discuss potential issues of mutual concern and seek solutions
- Provide thorough vetting of complex issues prior to submitting key information and recommendations from the WIOA State Plan Implementation Team to the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors
- Commission implementation workgroups as needed
- Arrange for resource supports as needed
- Prepare and deliver key information and recommendations for implementation, strategy and performance to the governor, agency heads, legislators, the state workforce investment board and federal Departments of Labor and Education
- WIOA State Plan Implementation Team
Membership: Planning Directors and Program Leadership for WIOA partner programs
- Review and interpret legal and regulatory requirements of WIOA
- Incorporate the requirements into the state planning and performance processes
- Identify and communicate resource and information supports across WIOA partner programs
- Draft policies, guidelines and tools for developing and tracking the state plan
- Prepare and deliver state plan (and plan updates) and coordinate the development and delivery of local plans
- Track approved state plan workgroups and activities to ensure goals are achieved
- Consider and approve recommendations of workgroups
- Report plan progress to WIOA Core Program Leadership Team
- Make recommendations for additional teams or resources to maintain progress
- Communicate key messages and issues to agency heads
These activities allow the formation of workgroups to engage in coordinated projects designed to continue implementation and enhancement of the workforce system within the WIOA framework. These workgroups include planning directors, program leadership and subject matter experts for WIOA partner programs.
Examples of topics these workgroups have covered include the following:
- Enhancing infrastructure and data sharing processes including development of state data sharing agreement
- Conducting studies to evaluate case management systems and make recommendations for features and functionality of future Florida workforce network solutions (copy of reports available upon request)
- Designing and implementing a Continuous Improvement Performance Initiative that collects and tracks key performance indicators that complement the WIOA Primary Indicators of Performance (https://careersourceflorida.com/performance/)
- Exploring the use of the Mississippi Data Hub located at the national Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NASPARC) to enhance the integration of the Florida workforce network across WIOA core programs for job seekers (https://nsparc.msstate.edu/)
- Designing and implementing a standardized Policy Development Framework (https://careersourceflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Policy-Development-Framework.pdf and https://careersourceflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Policy-Development-One-Pager.pdf)
- Continuing expansion of apprenticeships into key industry sectors (https://apprenticeflorida.com/)
- Researching the Gig Economy to gain deeper understanding and develop future strategies for Florida’s workforce, education and economic development (https://careersourceflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Gig-Economy-Report.pdf)
- Coordinating membership of state and local workforce boards
- Coordinating development of a network of qualified benefits planners to augment Social Security Administration contracts for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services
- Completing a stakeholder engagement analysis to determine where to target outreach efforts, including business engagement
- Reviewing services, programs and partnerships of core WIOA programs to reduce duplication of efforts as well as gaps between programs
- Working collaboratively to ensure that disability coordinators are cross-trained with core partner processes
- Identifying opportunities to expand services/programs to meet ongoing needs of people with barriers to employment, including people with disabilities
Workgroups use project management and process-driven approaches and tools. This includes charter and mission statements, flowcharting, timelines for deliverables, requirements matrices and other management documents. Meetings are managed and documented using detailed agendas and workgroup documents are accessible to all team members across agencies. Decision points, recommendations and progress updates from the workgroups are vetted through the core program leadership and other key stakeholder groups prior to their presentation to the CareerSource Florida Board. This encourages and ensures transparency, flow of information and open communication between all core programs.