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j. 1. C. Who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program;

Current Narrative:

According to the latest Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment, the most common themes that emerged in this area based on the perceptions of respondents were:

  • In general, a case can be made that individuals living in rural areas, with less access to services, support, training and education are underserved.
  • Language and culture are barriers to certain populations accessing services or seeking employment, including a growing refugee population in parts of Idaho. Translation services are not readily available.
  • Native American tribes live in isolated locales in Idaho with limited employment options.
  • IDVR has increased outreach efforts and coordination with partner agencies; however, there is a continued need for outreach to potentially unserved populations.
  • Ex-offenders with a high rate of substance abuse issues require services from multiple agencies and face resistance from the employment community.

The WIOA Advisory Group has specifically identified rural service provision a traditionally underserved area to address in II.c.1 of this plan.

The Division utilizes telephone-based translation services when necessary to bridge language barriers presented by Idaho’s growing refugee population.

The outreach activities targeted toward Idaho’s refugee and minority populations are detailed in section o of the program specific section of this plan for the Division.

The Division notes that the intersection of rural service provision and tribal affiliation can present substantial barriers to obtaining employment in these rural communities and will continue to view this population as underserved. IDVR will continue outreach efforts accordingly for this population.

The Division will continue to strengthen partnerships with entities in the workforce development system to reach populations of interest such as youth.

The Division co-locates with the Idaho Department of Correction. IDVR maintains relationships with IDOC and IDJC and will continue to engage with these entities to further efforts to reach youth and adults in the corrections system across Idaho.

IDVR is a current sub-awardee of the 5-year State Apprenticeship Expansion Equity and Inclusion (SAEEI) Grant that was awarded to IDOL. IDVR’s Business Relations Manager is an active member of the Apprenticeship Idaho Coalition and the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) team under the SAEEI grant. The agency also created an Apprenticeship Counselor/Coordinator position to work on the DEIA team under this grant to support work to reach the grant deliverables around increasing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility for Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Idaho. In addition to IDVR’s members of the DEIA team, the team also includes two members of the greater IDOL Apprenticeship Team, and two positions from Idaho Department of Corrections. The DEIA team is currently evaluating grant deliverables and prioritizing the development of marketing and educational materials for employers and sponsors that discuss the importance and value of diversifying their talent pipelines and workforce. The partnership between DEIA team members will foster positive relationships that will assist both individuals with disabilities and individuals with IDOC involvement to be informed about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities and to be successful in Registered Apprenticeship programs that they enter. However, though those areas are targets of the DEIA team there is an overarching goal of increasing diversity more broadly to include areas of apprentices completing Registered Apprenticeships throughout the state of Idaho. 

IDVR has also established a positive working relationship with Idaho Business for Education the sub-awardee of the Idaho Workforce Development Council’s Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grant (YARG) for supporting students and youth in Idaho to have increased knowledge of and access to Registered Apprenticeships across the state.  This partnership is working towards the goal of increasing the amount of students and youth who have awareness of and enter into Registered Apprenticeship Programs. Partnership processes have been developed to include monthly meetings, a detailed referral system, an increase in resource sharing, and joint presentations and presence at high schools.

The Division will be sending expert WIOA representation to the annual Idaho Department of Juvenile Correction conference for a panel presentation on core WIOA partners and services available across Idaho's Workforce Development System.