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a. 1. D. Provide the appeals process referred to in section 121(h)(2)(E) of WIOA relating to determinations for infrastructure funding

Current Narrative:

Appeals Process Referred to in WIOA Section 121(h)(2)(E)

The U.S. Department of Labor developed a uniform policy for acceptable methods of cost allocation and resource sharing with respect to funding the one-stop delivery system. Under WIOA and consistent with the Uniform Guidance, funding provided by the one-stop partners to cover the operating costs, including infrastructure costs and additional costs, of the one-stop delivery system must be based on the partner program’s proportionate use of the system and relative benefit received. WIOA requires LWDBs, with the agreement of the chief elected official, to develop and execute MOUs with required partners on the operation of the one-stop delivery system in the local service delivery area. Each LWDB must include an IFA in the MOU with required partners. The IFA details how infrastructure costs for the one-stop delivery system will be funded in the local area. Local workforce development boards and career centers are expected to act in good faith and negotiate infrastructure costs and additional costs of operating a local one-stop delivery system in a transparent manner.

CareerSource Florida Administrative Policy 106, Memorandums of Understanding and Infrastructure Funding Agreements requires LWDBs to make every effort to resolve any disputes at the local level and describes the process for resolution of issues including escalation from the LWDB to senior leadership in the affected agencies (e.g., CareerSource Florida, DEO and DOE).

If a LWDB is unable to execute MOUs or agree on infrastructure costs with required partners, all parties shall attempt to resolve the issue in a timely and efficient manner.  If resolved no further action is necessary. If issues regarding MOUs and/or IFAs remain unresolved, LWDBs shall document the issue and efforts at resolution. Documentation is forwarded to the Department of Economic Opportunity, Division of Workforce Services (DEO) and the Chancellor for Career and Adult Education, the Director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Director of the Division of Blind Services or the executive administrator(s) of agencies responsible for administering the partner’s program. DEO and the appropriate division will work to resolve the impasse and secure an executed agreement. A joint decision shall be transmitted within 30 calendar days of receipt. 

Issues will be remanded back to the local partners to execute recommended action. If issues remain unresolved, the LWDB must notify CareerSource Florida and include the details of the impasse. CareerSource Florida will work with the Commissioner of Education, the Executive Director of the Department of Economic Opportunity or other agency heads to resolve the impasse and provide a resolution response to the all parties. Decisions are considered final.

If recommended action or required resolution is not implemented, the State Funding Mechanism (SFM) will be initiated.

Under the Local Funding Mechanism (LFM), one-stop career center partners may determine what funds they will use to pay for infrastructure costs. There are no specific caps on the amount or percentage of overall funding a partner may contribute to fund infrastructure costs under the LFM, except that contributions for administrative costs may not exceed the amount available for administrative costs. LFMs provide LWDBs and partners the flexibility to design and fund a one-stop delivery system through a consensus, to meet the needs of their local area by leveraging the funds and resources available to provide program services. The intent of the LFM is to encourage local areas to reach a consensus in developing a local IFA.

After all local MOU and IFA negotiation options have been exhausted, even when only one required partner is unable to come to agreement, the SFM is triggered.

The CareerSource Florida Board of Directors, represented by its CareerSource Florida staff, consults with the Governor regarding the funding of infrastructure costs and is responsible for the development of the formula used by the Governor under the SFM to determine a one-stop career center’s budget.

Under the SFM, the LWDB is required to calculate the statewide funding caps and the amount available for local areas that have not reached consensus and to determine the partners’ contributions for infrastructure. The statewide caps are calculated by considering total funding for a partner against the statutory caps specified in WIOA for infrastructure costs. The SFM is only applicable to required partners and cannot be triggered by additional partners not reaching a consensus.

If the SFM is triggered:

Local workforce development boards must provide a notice they are unable to reach a consensus on infrastructure funding to the Governor, CareerSource Florida and the Department of Economic Opportunity. Notification must be provided by the specific date established in DEO’s guidance on infrastructure funding.

The SFM requires complex calculations and determinations and seek the guidance of multiple parties. Reaching consensus on IFAs must be completed by the LWDBs no later than March 30, prior to the beginning of the subsequent program year beginning July 1.

Local workforce development boards must provide local negotiation materials to the Department of Economic Opportunity. The following steps will be executed:

1. Determine one-stop career center infrastructure budget(s);

2. Establish cost allocation methodology;

3. Determine partners’ proportionate shares;

4. Calculate statewide caps;

5. Assess the aggregate total of infrastructure contributions as it relates to the statewide cap; and

6. Adjust proportionate shares.

Local workforce development boards and partners may appeal the state funding mechanism and determination of shared infrastructure costs. The appeal may be founded on the basis that the determination is inconsistent with proportionate share requirements, the cost contribution limitations or the cost contribution caps consistent with the process described in the state plan.

Appeals must be sent within 21 days from the LWDB’s receipt of the state’s determination on shared infrastructure costs. Appeals must be filed in writing with the President and CEO of CareerSource Florida. Decisions on appeals will be documented in writing and considered final.

CareerSource Florida Administrative Policy 106, Memorandums of Understanding and Infrastructure Funding Agreements, can be viewed online.