- 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—
- b. State Operating Systems and Policies
III. b. 4. D. Evaluation
Describe how the State will conduct evaluations and research projects on activities under WIOA core programs; how such projects will be coordinated with, and designed in conjunction with, State and local boards and with State agencies responsible for the administration of all respective core programs; and, further, how the projects will be coordinated with the evaluations provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education under WIOA.
The state plans on addressing several technical assistance items identified by the federal review team after the plan’s submission.
Under the direction of Idaho’s Workforce Development Council, the One-Stop Committee will develop evaluation strategies and processes as required by Section 116(e) of WIOA. These strategies and processes will establish, implement, and utilize methods for continuously improving core programs in order to achieve high-level performance within, and high-level outcomes from, the workforce development system.
The evaluations will be designed with input from the Workforce Development Council and in conjunction with the state agencies responsible for the administration of the core programs. They may include, for example, an analysis of the new service delivery model for rural and remote Idaho, or customer feedback and outcome measures, incorporating data from the performance indicators collected under Section 116 of WIOA. The frequency, scope, and content of such evaluations may be determined by several factors, including but not limited to: performance gaps identified in program assessments, compliance with federal regulations, and the feasibility of such evaluations based on resources and funding.
All partners in the one-stop system will work with their federal oversight agencies to participate in evaluation projects as requested.
In the spring of 2021, several WIOA core partners participated in the Evaluation Peer Learning Cohort 4 (EvalPLC). This project served as an interactive technical assistance forum, comprised of cross-agency representatives from up to six state teams representing core WIOA programs, which collaborated and developed capstone projects (e.g., research design for a specific project, statement of work for a request for proposal for an evaluation, state evaluation action plan) to support the development and implementation of their state and/or local research and evaluations.
As a result of this project, Idaho WIOA Titles I, III, and IV examined and analyzed current evaluation processes and research conducted within each program. With guidance from the EvalPLC project, the team developed research questions related to improving the enrollment process within each agency and identifying next steps for creating a standardization of the enrollment process to inform best practice and training for career planners and frontline staff to ensure comprehensive services for all WIOA participants.
In addition to the EvalPLC project, the Idaho Department of Labor developed and administered an evaluation to gain insight and inform effective training for WIOA Title I-B career planners that included a two-fold process:
- an Annual Customer Satisfaction Assessment, ; which combines Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Customer Satisfaction. WIOA participants receive a link to an online, voluntary survey from their WIOA career planners. The survey is designed to gather information about One-Stop center accessibility and customer satisfaction, encouraging their feedback about the workforce development system’s programs and services.
- a WIOA Career Planner Survey (Ongoing). With its goals to continuously improve its service delivery to Idahoans, the state began to assess the various ways to improve WIOA Career Planner staff training in May of 2021.
Due to the force of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Idaho quickly shifted away from its standard model of onboarding and training WIOA career planners to a virtual/remote approach. The state initially sought to understand the effectiveness of training new career planners during the pandemic, utilizing the information gathered to identify and close gaps in knowledge and/or technical abilities. After some analysis, the survey project later determined that assessing all WIOA staff, regardless of tenure, would provide a more robust pool of responses, highlighting areas where even seasoned career planners might benefit from additional program training.
This evaluation and research project continues throughout PY21 as responses to the confidential survey are reviewed and tabulated. The analysis of the resulting data will help determine the best approaches the state should pursue to train WIOA staff.