- 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. 7. Priority of Service for Veterans
Describe how the State will implement and monitor the priority of service provisions for veterans in accordance with the requirements of the Jobs for Veterans Act, codified at section 4215 of 38 U.S.C., which applies to all employment and training programs funded in whole or in part by the Department of Labor. States should also describe the referral process for veterans determined to have a significant barrier to employment to receive services from the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist.
As outlined in Section (II)(a)(2) State Workforce Development Activities, the Jobs for Veterans State Grant program is operated by the Idaho Department of Labor (IDOL), which also administers all Title I-B and Title III programs, as well as Unemployment Insurance and Trade Adjustment Assistance programs. More information about the specific activities and services available through these programs are outlined in the Activities Analysis. Because these programs are administered by the same agency, the department has policies in place that ensure consistency in providing appropriate priority of service for veterans across all of these programs. This also ensures effective referrals and co-enrollment where appropriate. A copy of the department’s Priority of Service Policy can be found as an appendix to this modification.
Wagner-Peyser and Veteran State Plans both outline veterans’ priority of service and are also highlighted in the WIOA Title I-B Eligibility Technical Assistance Guide (TAG) for career planning staff throughout the state. Updates to the Wagner-Peyser and Veteran State Plans are included in this Combined State Plan under “Program Specific Requirements.”
The Idaho Department of Labor requires all American Job Center (AJC) managers attend the annual state veterans’ training where a significant amount of time is spent discussing priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses. These staff are able to share this information with partners within AJCs to ensure they have an understanding of the priority veteran customers reserve.
Implementation and monitoring of the state’s Priority of Service Policy
American Job Center staff are frequently reminded that Priority of Service (POS) for covered persons is mandated for any services funded entirely, or in part, by the USDOL. The most basic Priority of Service measure is extended to covered persons by notifying them that they are entitled to priority of service. Signage in Idaho’s AJCs informs covered persons that they have Priority of Service before non-covered persons and encourages them to identify themselves as veterans in the automated system and to office staff. This is also noted on the covered person’s registration. AJCs have incorporated a questionnaire into the front desk duties. This questionnaire is given to covered persons and helps staff determine the appropriate service and service provider. (See bulleted list below).
Historically, Idaho has not encountered any issues with providing priority to covered persons in these programs. However, if resources become scarce and more competitive, covered persons will be accepted before qualified non-veterans as noted in the Priority of Service policy as mentioned earlier.
The State Veterans’ Coordinator (SVC) provides quality control and ensures that Priority of Service processes and procedures are implemented. The SVC reviews the entire AJC office veterans’ operations, analyzing data on services and outcomes for veterans. The SVC provides a written report to Idaho management staff that evaluates the office’s implementation of priority of service measures
Monthly veteran program meetings with local management and veteran staff are conducted on a statewide basis to review processes and identify necessary improvements in which Priority of Service is discussed. If necessary, process improvement or corrective action plans are developed.
Additionally, the state’s Recently Registered Veterans report is periodically reviewed. When an eligible person is identified a DVOP sends an introductory email listing IDOL’s services, and the eligible person is encouraged to contact the DVOP for additional services. Otherwise, an ES staff member contacts them. The covered persons receive various informational handouts, resume assistance, job search strategies, and information on community resources. They are also provided a review of the veteran section of the IDOL web page showing a list of veterans’ services offered by IDOL. If a covered person does not qualify for DVOP services, an Employment Services staff member will review the covered person’s IdahoWorks registration.
In addition to the items listed on the previous page, the state has taken these additional steps to ensure priority of service for covered persons:
- Idaho has designated Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVERs) and the Consolidated Positions to provide Priority of Service training in their local American Job Centers as often as needed. LVERs will also provide training to smaller offices that do not have a Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)-funded staff member.
- Signage is posted in all American Job Centers asking veterans to identify themselves to any local office staff.
- Front desk staff are instructed to ask the covered person to complete an intake form that lists all the Significant Barriers to Employment (SBEs) recognized by USDOL VETS. Completion of this form helps to determine eligibility for DVOP services or if a referral to an Employment Services consultant is appropriate.
- All American Job Centers have pamphlets outlining the department’s promise to covered persons, including Priority of Service, how the state administers this preference, and other useful information.
- Recently separated veterans are the first priority in the referral of UI claimants for the RESEA program.
IDVR has a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Program, the purpose of which is to ensure seamless, coordinated, and effective vocational rehabilitation services to Idaho’s veterans with disabilities and dependents with disabilities, improving cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies, avoiding duplication of services, improving inter-agency communication, and to establish staff cross-training opportunities.