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  • 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—

III. a. 1. State Board Functions

Describe how the State board will implement its functions under section 101(d) of WIOA (i.e., provide a description of Board operational structures and decision making processes to ensure such functions are carried out).

Current Narrative:

In January 2017, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter appointed a seventeen-member Workforce Development Task Force to “examine ways to improve Idaho’s funding and delivery of training programs to meet our state’s growing demand for skilled workers.” The Task Force concluded that Idaho needed an entity in the state to better focus and direct workforce development efforts, and empowering a more business-driven Workforce Development Council was the right way to do it. Of the nine recommendations delivered by the Task Force in July 2017, the highest priority was placed on implementing an organizational model that meets the following expectations:

a. Is industry-driven;                                                                                                                                                                                                                            b. Can hire/direct dedicated staff;                                                                                                                                                                                                  c. Can effectively coordinate industry-driven workforce development efforts among state agencies and educational institutions; and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              d. Is actionable and accountable.

In response to the Task Force recommendations, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter updated his Executive Order concerning the Council adding industry members, moving the Council under the Executive Office of the Governor and appointing an Executive Director in late 2017. Visit the Council's website to view the full report - https://wdc.idaho.gov/ - under "Task Force Recommendations". 

State Board Responsibilities

In Executive Order No. 2019-08, Governor Brad Little reauthorized the Idaho Workforce Development Council as the state board under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

As outlined in the executive order, the council is specifically responsible for advising the Governor, Legislature and appropriate executive agencies on matters related to developing and implementing a comprehensive workforce development strategy for Idaho that:

a.   Increases public awareness of and access to career education and training opportunities;                                                                       b.   Improves the effectiveness, quality and coordination of programs and services designed to maintain a highly skilled workforce; and;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        c.   Helps provide for the most efficient use of federal, state and local workforce development resources.

The Workforce Development Council is also responsible for the development and oversight of procedures, criteria, performance measures and expenditures for the Workforce Development Training Fund, a state-funded mechanism to support workforce education and training.

Implementation of State Board Functions

As described in the introduction to this section, a significant shift in the composition and responsibilities of the Idaho Workforce Development Council was made in late 2017. The Workforce Development Council now meets the membership requirements for the WIOA State Board. In addition to serving as the state board, under a waiver granted by USDOL, the Council also serves as the local board.

The majority of the work carried out by the Workforce Development Council is through a committee structure. Quarterly meetings of the full Council are scheduled a year in advance and committees have standing monthly meetings. Notice of meetings and materials are posted on the Workforce Development Council’s website. Council meetings are typically well attended by the public with approximately 40-50 attendees from education and workforce agencies participating in each quarterly meeting.

The Workforce Development Council also empanels ad hoc committees, appointed by the chair when needed. All committees may include members from the general public who have special knowledge and qualifications to be of assistance to the council.

Currently, there are six standing committees, the Executive Committee, the Work-Based Learning Committee, the Workforce Development Policy Committee, the Grant Review Committee, the One-Stop Committee and the Outreach Committee. As defined in the bylaws, the Executive Committee consists of five private sector members and one representative of a labor union, appointed by the Governor. The primary function of the Executive Committee is to ensure that the Governor’s directive to develop and implement a comprehensive workforce development strategy for Idaho is carried out. The Executive Committee is also empowered to conduct business in the interim between meetings and may act on behalf of the entire council.

The remaining committees are briefly described below:

Workforce Development Policy Committee

The Workforce Development Policy Committee is responsible for developing most of the policies that govern council actions in carrying out its responsibilities. The committee is specifically responsible for the Workforce Development Training Fund policies and the Eligible Training Provider policies. The committee is also charged with developing an annual projection of needs for state investment into workforce development activities.

One-Stop Committee

The One-Stop Committee ensures that the Workforce Development Council assists the Governor in fulfilling the requirements of the State Workforce Investment Board as set forth in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act - with an emphasis on continuous improvement, alignment and coordination. The committee develops policies as needed for WIOA and supports the coordination of procurement activities for the one-stop system.

A WIOA Advisory Group, consisting of programmatic leaders of the core and optional partners (referenced in Section II.c.2 Program Alignment, Section III.a.2.A Implementation of State Strategy, Assessment and Section III.b.4 Evaluation of Programs and One-Stop Program Partners), supports the One-Stop Committee on WIOA implementation and assisting the Workforce Development Council to fulfill its responsibilities under WIOA section 101(d) and WIOA section 107 (d).

The WIOA Advisory Group recommends actions to implement the WIOA State Plan and other provisions/requirements of WIOA. These recommendations are presented to the One-Stop Committee, where the executive leaders of the partner agencies can ensure proper resourcing and implementation needs are addressed. The One-Stop Committee then recommends measures for adoption by the full council.

Work-Based Learning Committee

The Work-Based Learning Committee leads the development of replicable and sustainable work-based learning opportunities. The Committee is charged with cultivating a nimble system under the Idaho Leader framework (Learn About Work. Learn Through Work. Learn At Work) to ensure that high-quality programs are available throughout the state. They also help promote the opportunities and benefits of work-based learning to employers, individuals and influencers.

Grant Review Committee

The Workforce Development Council is responsible for approving expenditures (i.e. awards) of the state-funded Workforce Development Training Fund. This was previously the responsibility of the Directors of the Departments of Commerce and Labor in consultation with the Governor’s office. To maintain a separation of duties between setting the policy for the Workforce Development Training Fund and awarding grants, a Grant Review Committee reviews applications and make recommendations to the Council. The Grant Review Committee is chaired by a member of the Executive Committee.

Outreach Committee

The Workforce Development Task Force recommendations and subsequent Executive Order from the Governor added “increase public awareness of and access to career education and training opportunities” to the responsibilities of the Council. The Outreach Committee drives the coordination across state agencies, education and the private sector to fulfill this important responsibility.

State Board Decision Making Process

The Council has authority to make decisions regarding its functions as both the state board and the local board under WIOA. Recommendations from committees are placed on the agenda for consideration by the full Council at its quarterly meetings. The Executive Committee, who meets monthly, can take action on items requiring more expeditious review. The Executive Committee is then required to report on its actions at the next full Council meeting.

At the quarterly meetings, the full Council reviews pertinent decision items, including supporting documentation and presentations by staff, as appropriate. The Council will deliberate if necessary, and the recommendation is either approved, or amended in a motion from a council member. A separate council member must second the motion. After being seconded, the full Council votes to approve or reject the recommendation. If the vote is unclear, a roll call vote is taken. When the Council is meeting virtually, or when a member feels the action item has support of the Council, the member can request unanimous consent. The Chair still requires a second and provides an opportunity for discussion. The Chair then offers members the ability to object and if an objection is made, a roll call vote is taken. If no objections are made, the motion passes. In order for a decision to be binding, a quorum of members must be present at the time the vote takes place. Recommendations which are rejected by the council are returned to the appropriate committee for further work or revision.