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Alabama PYs 2020-2023 Published Approved

Located in:

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.

Current Narrative:

Coordinated planning for all Alabama core and partner programs will be centered in the Alabama Department of Commerce. The WIOA staff resources have recently been placed within the Alabama Department of Commerce in a newly created Commerce Workforce Division. The Alabama Department of Commerce is the entity responsible for the economic development strategies for the state. By this new alignment, it is the specific job duty of the Deputy Secretary of Commerce Workforce Development Division to make sure the WIOA program is coordinated with the economic development strategies. Regional Workforce Councils of the state are also the responsibility of the Department of Commerce and will serve as the foundational information gathering entities that provide data and recommendations to the Alabama Workforce Board. The Workforce Board quarterly meetings and the meetings of its committees will bring forward needs, recommendations, data analysis, and initiatives to improve workforce development and to meet the needs of Alabama’s current and emerging industries. The Partners Team is defined as the Alabama Team that attended the “National Convening” in Washington a few months ago. This team developed the original Alabama Combined Plan and continues to work as a team to edit and expand the Combined Plan to resolve the identified conditions received from USDOL. This team represents the working group of several Cabinet level Secretaries, Commissioners and Directors that have directed the team to align, leverage, coordinate and lead the Combined Plan. The Governor, through these Cabinet members, has directed the agency coordination. The Partners Team will formally plan and set up coordination strategies that will be disseminated to all the Career Centers and Career Center staff to ensure all plans and actions that guarantee citizen success is placed into action. 

State Workforce Development Board Policies for Enhanced WIOA Services

⦁    The core and partner agency staff will be cross-trained on all publicly funded workforce development programs to create an individualized education plan and employment training plan (IEP) for all students as a no wrong door entry.

⦁    Each person entering into the workforce system should be given a comprehensive needs assessment and an individualized education and employment plan (IEP).

⦁    The State Workforce Development Board will allow the Alabama Department of Human Resources staff and the Alabama Community College staff to pre-certify individuals as WIOA eligible. The Local Area Board and Career Center staff would then verify eligibility. (This will speed up the process at the Local Career Center.)

⦁    All set-aside funds reserved for marketing from WIOA Title I and Title III and other state agencies will be used to market the AlabamaWorks! Brand to expand the scale, scope, and reach of our unified marketing campaign.

⦁    To establish a human capital development fund with state reimbursements from the SNAP 50-50 program to support funding for childcare, transportation, and housing for career pathway participants.

⦁    The WIOA credential policy reflects the Alabama Committee on Credentialing and Career Pathways (ACCCP) process of vetting non-degree credentials of value. Once the ACCCP has developed the customized credential for each of the 16 career clusters to replace the RtW Alabama Certified Worker Credential, recommend inclusion in the countable credentials for WIOA.

⦁    A. The statewide policy governing local area non-performance reflects the following timeframe and sanctions that maybe imposed. Each level of failure to perform by a local area results in an elevated level of sanction.  As follows:
4 quarters (1 full Program Year) of failing any 1 performance metric = mandatory technical assistance by the State
6 quarters of continued failure = Mandatory Administrative and Program Oversight by the State
8 quarters of continued failure = Funding sanctions and Reconstitute the Local Area Board
B. A continuous improvement of at least 10 percent each year in the minimum number of participants served in the low income and target populations is required for each local area and workforce investment board.

⦁    In addition to the two WIOA Effectiveness in Serving Employers performance measures already approved by the State Board, Alabama has adopted a state-specific approach. This approach will capture a percentage of each population of individuals with barriers to employment being served in each of the seven workforce regions.  

Number of each special population served & employed
Number of eligible Alabamians belonging to each population of individuals with barriers to employment

This measure was designed to enhance employer access to skilled employees by reducing the number of individuals on the sidelines who are not currently participating in the labor force.

⦁    The Alabama Workforce Development Board bas adopted the populations of individuals with barriers to employment targeted in the Success Plus goal.  

Adults with Aging Dependents
Caregiver
Displaced Homemaker
English Language Learners
Ex-offenders
Homeless individuals
Indians, Alaskan natives, Native Hawaiians    
Individuals nearing TANF exhaustion
Individuals preparing for Non-traditional fields
Individuals with low levels of literacy
Individuals with substantial cultural barriers
Long-term unemployed
Low Income
Migrant & Seasonal Farmworkers
Older individuals
People with disabilities
Single parents
Unemployed or Underemployed
Youth aged out of foster care
Youth with parents on Active Duty Military

⦁    In an effort to increase performance in Alabama’s seven workforce regions, Governor Ivey will refocus federal workforce funds over the next four years to more directly benefit those region’s citizens who are in need of job training. Governor Ivey will ask each workforce region in the state to incrementally increase the percentage of WIOA funds used directly on job training over a four-year period, beginning with at least 45 percent in year one, 50 percent in year two, 55 percent in year three, and 60 percent in year four. This shift to place additional federal resources directly into job training opportunities for Alabamians will help increase performance for workforce regions and decrease the state’s growing workforce shortage. 

⦁    A LWDB, with agreement of the chief local elected official (CLEO), must designate or certify career center operators to run the local comprehensive career center. Such an entity must be designated or certified as a career center operator through a competitive process, unless the sole source process is followed, as mentioned below. Eligible entities can include a LWDB, with the approval of the CLEO and the governor. While LWDBs can be the career center operator, they must still be selected through a competitive process and 20 CFR § 678.615(b) requires the LWDB to have appropriate firewalls and conflict of interest policies and procedures in place which must conform to applicable federal rules. One way to avoid a conflict of interest is to establish effective conflict of interest policies and maintain appropriate firewalls that apply when the LWDB competes to be the career center operator. This may include, for example, a requirement for an outside entity to conduct the competition. For example, the LWDB could contract with a separate and independent outside entity to conduct the competition. Outsourcing the entire process (including development of requirements, drafting the request for proposal or invitation for bid, evaluation of proposals/bids, and identification of best entto an alternate entity would be the best practice in this circumstance to avoid a conflict of interest. These costs and activities would be allowable under WIOA. Alternatively, the State Workforce Development Board or State agency could conduct the competition where a LWDB is competing to be the career center operator. If the LWDB chooses to have an outside entity conduct part of, or the entire career center operator competition, the outside entity must meet certain requirements. The outside entity must be an independent organization that is capable of exercising professional and ethical judgment. The outside entity must also be required to submit a conflict of interest statement. Payment for running the competition would be an allowable cost under WIOA. The LWDB must also publicly disclose any conflicts of interest, real or apparent, and any recusal by individuals or organizations with real or apparent conflicts of interest. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) believes it is a best practice, consistent with the public disclosure requirements of WIOA § 107(e) and 20 CFR § 679.390, to publicly disclose any conflicts of interest and recusals on the LWDB’s website, or, if the LWDB lacks a website, the State WDB’s website. Additional methods, such as publication in newspapers, may also be used to ensure full and regular public disclosure. A LWDB may be selected as a career center operator through sole source procurement only with agreement of the CLEO and the Governor. The LWDB must establish sufficient conflict of interest policies and procedures and these policies and procedures must be approved by the Governor. WIOA requires the LWDB to conduct monitoring of its career center operator. When the LWDB is the career center operator, there is an inherent conflict of interest in that the LWDB cannot effectively monitor itself. In such circumstances, DOL requires an outside entity or a State agency, such as a State auditor or inspector general, to conduct the monitoring and report the monitoring results to the CLEO. 
LWDB members may not:
⦁    Vote on a matter under consideration by the LWDB:
⦁    Regarding the provision of services by such member (or by an entity that such member represents); or
⦁    That would provide direct financial benefit to such member or the immediate family of such member; or 
⦁    Engage in any other activity determined by the Governor to constitute a conflict of interest.