- III. Operational Planning Elements
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that supports the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—
- b. State Operating Systems and Policies
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a description of the State operating systems and policies that will support the implementation of the State strategy described in section II Strategic Elements. This includes—
- 6. Program Data
- A. Data Alignment and Integration
Describe the plans of the lead State agencies with responsibility for the administration of the core programs, along with the State Board, to align and integrate available workforce and education data systems for the core programs, unemployment insurance programs, and education through postsecondary education, and to the extent possible, the Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan. The description of the State’s plan for integrating data systems should include the State’s goals for achieving integration and any progress to date.
- A. Data Alignment and Integration
- 6. Program Data
- b. State Operating Systems and Policies
III. b. 6. A. iv. Describe the State’s plans to develop and produce the reports required under section 116, performance accountability system. (WIOA section 116(d)(2))
Due to the size and complexity of California’s workforce and education systems, the state does not utilize a one-size fits all tool for achieving data alignment and integration. Rather California utilizes a dual approach of front-end integration through the common intake form and back end integration through CAAL-Skills. Both of which work by pooling data from the Title I, Title II, Title III, and Title IV case management and reporting mechanisms - CalJOBS, TOPSpro Enterprise, and AWARE.
Common Intake Form
A statewide co-enrollment workgroup comprised of WIOA core partners, strategic State Plan partners, and regional and local service providers was established to develop strategies to improve alignment for intake, referral, and case management across programs. One of the strategies identified included gathering and assessing various partner programs’ intake forms and other sample forms to identify common data elements. The intent was to work jointly to identify the common elements to create tools that would assist WIOA program participants by: streamlining service delivery; maximizing the benefit of multiple support systems; and curbing redundant administrative processes. Partners established a common understanding that in order to advance a whole-person approach to service delivery, it was important to take stock of each respective partners’ internal processes. Following an assessment of dozens of program intake forms, a sample document was created by Hanover Research identifying the most common data elements across all sample forms. The co-enrollment workgroup adopted this document as the starting point for developing a statewide workforce common intake form.
Following this initial step, partners agreed to begin exploring how to share common data elements electronically. California is in the process of exploring ways to effectively share common elements and trigger referrals between CalJOBSSM, a data exchange, and other data exchange systems used by program partners. The intent of this electronic data exchange would assist job seekers by reducing the burden of providing the same common items to multiple agencies and allow case managers to identify early opportunities to initiate strategic co-enrollment. For Title II and Title IV partners this effort requires an internal assessment of the viability of establishing a data exchange interface within their systems. The California Department of Education utilizes the TOPSpro Enterprise and the Department of Rehabilitation uses the Accessible Web-Based Activity Reporting Environment (AWARE). CWDB is exploring how this electronic data exchange could create efficiencies across partner programs.
The co-enrollment workgroup continues to meet on a regular basis and is actively developing shared technical assistance tools, including accessible training videos, to expand strategic linkages across programs. CWDB is creating a webpage to host all the shared technical assistance tools and a link will be provided to partners to circulate within each of their respective programs. A detailed and coordinated communication strategy, including a staggered roll-out of the various technical assistance tools, is currently being developed by the workgroup.
Title I and Title III
The CalJOBSSM system serves as the official system of record for federally required data for the following programs:
- Title I Adult.
- Title I Dislocated Worker.
- Title I Youth.
- Title III Wagner-Peyser.
- Jobs for Veterans State Grant.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance.
- National Dislocated Worker Grant.
To ensure compliance with the performance accountability measures outlined in WIOA Section 116, the EDD issued Workforce Services Directive WSD19-03, which provides performance guidance related for all programs using the CalJOBS℠ system.
To ensure the quarterly and annual participant data submitted to the DOL is accurate, the EDD issued Workforce Services Directive WSD18-02 to outline the process AJCC staff must take to correct data in the CalJOBS℠ system. The EDD informs all AJCC staff of the year-end reporting schedule to ensure all supplemental data is entered, and that performance data is reviewed prior to the annual report submission.
Assessment and accountability services for the Title II program are provided through TOPSpro Enterprise. TOPSpro Enterprise is a database designed to accurately measure progress, mastery of skills, and competencies needed to both complete, and advance one or more Educational Functioning Levels. It automates scoring, collects student demographic data, tracks agency and individual student performance, generates reports, and aggregates data for state and federal year-end reports.
Features of the data system and relevant processes include the following:
- TOPSpro Enterprise is used to collect and report all student progress and outcome measures, and for collecting information for federal and state annual reporting.
- The system provides student, class, and program reports that enable local providers to have immediate access to the data for targeting instruction for continuous program improvement.
- The local data is submitted quarterly and annually to the California Department of Education for monitoring and aggregation into state and federal reports.
- TOPSpro Enterprise records each student’s goals on entering a class, as well as their educational outcomes.
- Assessment may be formal (e.g., a written test), or informal (e.g., teacher observation of student performance through a check competencies mastered).
The data collected consists of measurable skill gains in the following programs areas: English Language Acquisition, Adult Secondary Education, and Adult Basic Education. The data collection process begins with program staff at agencies funded by the AEFLA inputting the data on a daily basis at each site during the program year. Each week the data collected from AEFLA funded agencies is aggregated at a statewide level. The annual data aggregation and data validation begins August 1st of each year. The purpose of the annual data aggregation and validation process is to compile state and federal year-end reports due annually, by October 1st.
DOR utilizes a case management system known as the Accessible Web-Based Activity Reporting Environment (AWARE). In addition to WIOA data reporting, the AWARE system has a financial component utilized for federal reporting requirements. The system contains consumer data, case notes, and information regarding goods/services for consumers.
Data are collected and inputted in-house by vocational rehabilitation staff located statewide in 13 geographic districts. DOR continues to train staff on the current processes, and new processes as needed, and use AWARE to collect WIOA data. DOR collects and reports summary data in a federally mandated format called the Rehabilitation Services Administration Case Service Report. The RSA-911 report is submitted quarterly for the preceding quarter of the fiscal year by each state’s vocational rehabilitation agency.
DOR continues to engage with workforce partners to determine how to unite data and share it across programs. DOR will continue to engage in conversations on data sharing and efforts currently underway to improve data sharing efforts.
California has continued to work on the CAAL-Skills Program. The purpose of CAAL-Skills is to unite workforce system partners in a program that enables a holistic yet statistically rigorous assessment of California’s workforce system. CAAL-Skills enables the evaluation of workforce programs individually and collectively at the regional level through the assessment of outcomes (e.g., employment, wages and education/training attainment).
The California Policy Lab, comprised of research and data science experts from UCLA and UC Berkeley, has been engaged by the CWDB to evaluate the data provided by CAAL-Skills partners in fulfillment of the federal requirements outlined in WIOA Section 116.
Current data sharing partners include:
- Department of Industrial Relations-Division of Apprenticeship Standards
- Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
- Employment Training Panel
- Department of Social Services
- Employment Development Department
- Department of Education
- Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
- Department of Rehabilitation
- Pilot counties
Although CAAL-Skills provides the ability to collect, store and analyze workforce-related information, it does not include a user-friendly interface or web-portal to help individuals identify those workforce development, training and related-education program that best suits their needs. CAAL-Skills also does not include an electronic interface with other longitudinal data systems at this time. Therefore, the CWDB received federal grant funding from DOL to create:
- A user-friendly public interface (via a web portal), including an interactive dashboard and query tool, that will help workforce system customers and potential customers select the workforce development, training and related education programs that best suit their needs; and,
- A technical interface that will facilitate the exchange of information with other longitudinal systems. The interface proposed, will establish the technical infrastructure that will provide interface options allowing the transfer of data between CAAL-Skills and other systems.
California recently invested $10 million toward planning efforts for the creation of a statewide education data system that will follow children from infancy through the workplace. This includes establishing a Cradle to Career Data Systems Working Group to recommend data system structural components, processes, and options as well as advise ongoing efforts to develop, administer, and enhance the data system. CWDB staff are participating in these discussions for the purpose of exploring potential interface with the CAAL-Skills program.