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  • II. Strategic Elements

    The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system. The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs. Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs.

    • a. Economic, Workforce, and Workforce Development Activities Analysis

      The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions, economic development strategies, and labor market in which the State’s workforce system and programs will operate.

      • 2. Workforce Development, Education and Training Activities Analysis
        The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the workforce development activities, including education and training in the State, to address the education and skill needs of the workforce, as identified in Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce above, and the employment needs of employers, as identified in Employers' Employment Needs above. This must include an analysis of –

II. a. 2. B. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Workforce Development Activities

Provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the workforce development activities identified in (A) above.

Current Narrative:

II (A) (2) (B) The Strengths and Weaknesses of Workforce Development Activities The Delaware publicly funded workforce system’s greatest strength is its agility to deal with quickly developing workforce opportunities as is evidence by the state’s successful negotiation of the Great Recession. Delaware has the remarkable ability to develop processes and programs and speed them to clients. Paradoxically, (because it has taken almost four years to build) our current greatest advantage is Delaware Job Link (Joblink.delaware.gov) with its retooled resume builder, career lattice project, and streamlined job order procedure. The strength of Delaware Job Link is reinforced by the universality of its use by core and extended partners throughout the state. Delaware is an integrated comprehensive employment and training system. Much of the leadership for programs is centralized and there is a single labor exchange system utilized by all but four partners (who often also use it as a customer rather than a partner). Possibly more important is that this is not a new effort. It has existed since the 1980s. All but five partners are housed in the comprehensive one-stop centers. Services in the centers, where not fully integrated, are effectively linked. Wagner Peyser services are the gateway to the “one-stop” comprehensive centers so that the system is truly serving all Delaware citizens, not only target groups.

Weaknesses. If Delaware’s publicly funded workforce system has any weaknesses, they are - in no special order:

• An inability to recruit providers to leverage priorities established in the state’s funding guidelines;

• Providing training for skills to that may, or may not lead to economic self-sufficiency;

• A lack of awareness amongst workforce professionals concerning the activities of Core, One Stop, and Extended partners;

• A partially linked electronic systems -- not fully linked or consolidated;

• Not a fully streamlined data collection experience for the customer;

• Not all possible connection points between programs are being fully exploited.

• Some duplication exists, in particular, in business services;

• Not all partners are linked electronically; and

• A sense of general confusion caused by U.S. DOL, due to its inability to disseminate timely guidance. Core Partner Strength and Weaknesses

Education Strengths -- Delaware’s small size allows adult education providers to be more responsive, collaborative, and more sensitive to system needs. DOL-DET and DOE Adult Education have combined resources on a number of pilot projects. This history of common goals, knowledge of each system’s processes, and shared clientele has led to collaborations on both statewide and local levels. In addition, adult education providers meet on a monthly basis to monitor state progress towards performance targets and resolve concerns. Consequently, the framework for a workforce development process already exists in Delaware. WIOA will provide the opportunity to analyze current processes and activities to better serve businesses and job seekers.

Weaknesses • While educational services will be provided at all One Stop Centers, space is limited at some. To resolve this concern, information on community programs and on the virtual adult education program will be available at all One Stops for clients who are unable to enroll in classes located at the One Stops. Delaware’s adult education providers meet on a monthly basis and regularly refer students to other sites when capacity has been reached. DOE, DOL-DET, and other partners will develop a central referral system to facilitate better cross functional mutual support and customer service.

• Adults with very low skills will require more instructional time to attain the needed skill levels for employment and/or training. Adult education providers will be providing instruction through targeted demand occupations that can provide entry into employment while also providing information on career lattices that will allow adults to develop informed and realistic plans for job advancement.

• Adults who are English Language Learners will require language proficiency skills related to the specific job markets in which they are likely to find employment. Adult Education providers will be linking with employers to determine the skills and information deemed necessary for obtaining a job and for attaining promotions within the employer’s organization.

Delaware Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Weakness Assessment. DVR’s focus is to help Delawareans with disabilities overcome barriers to employment. The employment gap between Delawareans with and without disabilities is 38.7% and research suggests that a best practice to close this gap is Career Pathways focused counseling strategies, which DVR will be implementing.