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.
Throughout the development of the Combined Plan, the state has used a variety of methods to ensure coordination across agencies that administer programs and activities in our Combined Plan. State agencies, non-profit and private partners, and the general public have provided input throughout the Plan development process, all committed to a shared goal of creating a more integrated and effective workforce system that works for all Hoosiers. By having the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet (GWC) spearhead efforts on the plan, the GWC has been able to bring together the 7 state agencies represented on the Cabinet to ensure greater collaboration on the State Workforce Plan.
Last summer, GWC staff held a meeting with the Agency Heads of those 7 state agencies to gather initial support from each agency for the state’s first Combined Plan and chart a plan of action towards submission of the Plan in the spring of 2020.
A Listening Tour was conducted by GWC staff in the fall that included a stop in each of Indiana’s 12 workforce regions. The Listening Tour stops were attended by staff from the core programs, required one-stop partner programs, other programs and activities included in the Combined Plan, and other interested stakeholders. Some of the common themes heard during the Listening Tour included the need to co-locate more services to reduce barriers for Hoosiers and the importance of considering common barriers, such as childcare and transportation, when trying to reach individuals with education and training services. Additionally, the importance of better external communication to ensure Hoosiers are aware of programs available to them and better internal communication across agencies to lessen duplication of services and ensure various funding streams are being used most effectively was brought up repeatedly. Completing the Listening Tour before beginning to draft the Plan allowed for the state to identify those common themes and work to incorporate that feedback heard from local regions directly into the Plan.
Indiana’s Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps served as another valuable source of feedback in developing the Plan, as well. The Coaching Corps is an intensive program that recognizes the vital role of career coaches play in the talent development system and works to give them the tools and training they need to best serve individuals. Indiana is one of only two states to adopt this program, which selects a diverse mixture of individuals from public workforce centers, adult educational institutions, K-12 schools, and non-profits from all 12 Indiana workforce regions each year. At the end of the year-long program, coaches have the opportunity to recommend new policies and practices to state leaders. Common themes from the coach’s presentations to state policymakers were the importance of additional training for career coaches and the need to reduce “red tape” for individuals through a simplified intake system and the lessening of redundancy between organizations. These themes played a prominent role in developing the goals and strategies central to the Plan.
Also in the fall, multiple committees began meeting to assist with developing the Plan. The committee members consisted of core partners, employers, education and training providers, advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders. Committees met regularly over a period of several months and played an active role in developing the Plan. They helped initially shape the overall goals and vision of the Plan and then offered continuous feedback as the various sections of the Plan were developed. The breadth of individuals represented on the committees allowed for the State to draw on committee members with specific areas of expertise when drafting the various sections of the Plan. Committee members, particularly state agency staff, also had the opportunity to share sections of the Plan with relevant individuals outside of the committees and report back to their committee with feedback. These and other efforts ensured that each section of the Plan incorporated substantial feedback from multiple sources before reaching a completed state.
The Plan was posted for public comment on the GWC website and notice was sent out to a broad audience of the available public comment period. Additionally, a webinar was held that gave the opportunity for individuals across the state to offer live public comment. The committees met at the end of the public comment process to review the comments received and make any necessary updates to the Plan. The Plan was then submitted for final review and approval to the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet before its submission.