- Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation (Combined or General)
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan  must include the following descriptions and estimates, as required by section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of WIOA:
 Sec. 102(b)(2)(D)(iii) of WIOA
p. 1. A. Identify the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals
Evaluation and Reports of Progress
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), in collaboration with the Florida Rehabilitation Council (FRC), established three strategic goals for FFY 2015. These goals and priorities were developed based on an analysis of VR’s performance on the federal standards and indicators, the preliminary results of the statewide needs assessment and input from customers, providers and other stakeholders.
The following section provides VR’s evaluation and report of progress towards achieving its strategic goals.
Review of Current Goals, Objectives and Strategies
Goal 1: Ensure Customer success and satisfaction by improving business and support processes.
Objective 1.1: Improve and align VR business processes to support WIOA implementation
Strategy: 1. Develop and implement all components of the VR Business Relationship Program. Performance Measure:
- Full integration and implementation of all components, including business services, field services operations and IT support systems
The VR Business Relations Program (BRP) developed processes to streamline their operations and better integrate into field service operations. BRP has developed partnerships with businesses and industry sectors to expand customized employment and summer worksite opportunities. BRP staff have provided numerous trainings and presentations to businesses, providers, VR staff and local groups such as Chambers and trade-group chapters. BRP implemented and customized Salesforce software to track employer information and outreach activities and allows for reporting out area level employer and performance data. BRP also participates in collaborative activities such as the ApprenticeshipUSA grant team and USDOL-ETAs Integrated Business Services Cohort.
Strategy: 2. Redesign and implement pre-employment services for transition-age customers.
- Services re-aligned to new WIOA guidelines and implemented within required timeframes
- Budget set-aside requirements met
VR has recently lowered the age limit for Transition services to 14 years of age and implemented pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) through the following activities.
- Expansion of Third Party Cooperative Arrangements with school districts to include pre-employment transition services and providing updated training and resources to schools, providers and VR staff.
- Piloting Youth Peer Mentoring Services in 3 counties and entering into an Intensive Technical Assistance Plan to expand the program statewide.
- Developing the Student Transition Activities Record (STAR) Program to track Pre-ETS referrals and providing training to school districts, providers and VR staff. VR is also working with stakeholders to develop ways to engage school districts not using the STAR program.
VR continues to work toward meeting the Pre-ETS budget requirements and is working with WINTAC on a Technical Assistance Agreement to better plan future services.
Strategy: 3. Design and implement a program about service alternatives for customers to use in making an informed choice prior to entering subminimum wage employment.
- Number of people diverted from or transitioned out of subminimum wage jobs
VR has successfully implemented Career Counseling/ Information and Referral (CCIR) services for participants in subminimum wage employment. During SFY 2018-2019, approximately 4700 participants received CCIR services. VR has approved 21 agencies to provide this service. VR also provides internal and external stakeholders technical assistance and support on compliance with Section 511.
CCIR services have received positive feedback from providers and participants, and VR is working with stakeholders to develop a follow-up process for CCIR participants who express an interest in VR services or employment.
Strategy: 4. Design and implement enhancements to the Vendor Profile document for customer use in making informed choices regarding employment providers.
- Establish baseline use of Vendor Profile
- Customer satisfaction with Vendor Profile
VR launched the Service Provider Choice Directory (SPCD) in August 2017, through the VR external website. Prior to its launch, VR delivered live orientation webinars for VR staff and providers to discuss the information available in the Directory and system use. Usage statistics for October-December 2017 are below.
Usage Statistics for Website: http://ChoiceDirectory.Rehabworks.org (external)
- Date Range: October 1st, 2018 - September 30th, 2019
- Total number of Visit During this Date Range: 961,323
- Total Number of Pages Viewed by Visitors:7,191,100
Usage Statistics for Website: http://it-in-web-01/vendorprofile (internal)
- Date Range: July 1st, 2018 - September 30th, 2019
- Total number of Visit During this Date Range: 14,476
- Total Number of Pages Viewed by Visitors: 22,930
Objective 1.2: Redesign supports for VR service & business processes
Strategy: 1. Coordinate and develop the VR services portion of the statewide plan.
- Timely submission of all required information
VR successfully developed and submitted the VR services portion of the Unified State Plan.
Strategy: 2. Design and implement an approach for integration of performance and business intelligence information.
- Number of revised management reports implemented
- Satisfaction of affected VR Managers with revised reports
This strategy is on hold until after all current reporting processes are modified to meet WIOA requirements.
Goal 2: Ensure Employee success and satisfaction by improving development opportunities and workplace environment.
Objective 2.1: Provide a comprehensive workforce planning and development system
Strategy: 1. Implement employee onboarding and mentoring processes statewide.
- Percentage of new employees completing all requirements within 90 days
- Percentage of new employees assigned a mentor within 10 days from start date
- Protégé/mentor/supervisor satisfaction ratings
From June to July 2016, a series of webinars provided VR staff information on the new mentoring program, how to use the system and setting up personal profiles. This concluded with a Mentor / Protégé Matching Day. The Mentoring Program officially kicked off in August 2016. The VR Organizational and Employee Support Section (OES) is available via the Mentorship Program Help Desk email to assist with any Mentorship program questions and IMAP software assistance.
Strategy: 2. Develop an agency-wide workforce and succession management plan, including a process to capture organizational knowledge.
- Process accurately identifies critical positions and information
- Participant satisfaction with process / components
Strategy: 3. Design a program for identifying and developing VR Leadership candidates.
- Successful pilot/ rollout of program
- Percent of VR employees initiating participation
- Participant satisfaction with program components
Actual Performance (3 & 4):
VR’s Supervisor Succession Training Program (SSTP) was successfully launched statewide in October 2016. As of December 2019, 32 participants have successfully graduated from SSTP.
Strategy: 4. Develop standards, guidelines and curriculum for VR employee training.
- Improvement in climate survey items: Q8. Opportunities to learn and grow- 83.61%
- Q11. I am satisfied with the training provided by VR- 77.19%
- Percentage of VR employees successfully completing identified training requirements
VR’s Learning and Development Office (LDO) has developed standardized resources for designing VR training and courses, that allow curriculum to be designed in various (blended) formats. LDO has collaborated with program and administrative staff to revise New Counselor Training materials and provides consultation and support to VR staff on training aspects when launching new programs or services.
Objective 2.2: Provide a safe, accessible and adequately equipped work environment
Strategy: 1. Develop a comprehensive safety plan for monitoring VR facilities statewide. Specific components include a process for reporting defective/unsafe working conditions, safety and facilities management training for area staff, a move manual, a statewide safety manual, statewide first aid info, furniture inspection instructions and a facility security / building access policy at HQ.
- Improvement in climate survey item: Q17. Physically safe work environment- 81.94%
- Pulse survey results following implementation of each improvement
VR has developed a comprehensive safety plan and resources that are used in all VR offices and facilities. This strategy continues operationally.
Explanation of Performance:
Strategies that contributed to achievement of goals and priorities
Following the previously established planning process, VR Senior Leaders regularly review progress and update strategies as needed. Annually, the Senior Leadership Team completed a thorough review of the strategic plan, and then held a planning meeting to determine which projects to include in the updated strategic plan. Strategy updates are provided quarterly and reported out to VR Leadership and stakeholders.
The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) completed their monitoring visit with VR in April 2017. In addition, VR completed its Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA), which informed agency planning in FFYs 2020-23. VR updated its strategic goals and priorities after receipt of the RSA Monitoring Report and completion of the CSNA. Currently, VR agency priorities are to ensure IT systems are fully capable of collecting data required for federal reporting, and to refine its service delivery procedures to meet Pre-ETS budget requirements while continuing to meet the needs of other customers.
Smooth operation of the strategic planning process is in part due to VR senior leaders’ commitment to provide all supports necessary for project teams to be successful. Senior leaders also realize the value of feedback received from VR customers, personnel, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. Arrangements are in place so that anyone can provide feedback on the state plan, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a dedicated email address on the Florida VR website, www.rehabworks.org/plans.shtml. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Concerted effort has also been made to standardize and streamline VR operational processes and procedures, such as staff development, planning, IT governance and development schedules, and business intelligence functions.
Barriers that impeded achievement of goals and priorities
Despite obstacles such as changes to waitlist management, fiscal strains, preparing for and implementing Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), staff turnover and rising caseload sizes, VR made great progress towards achieving its strategic projects and agency priorities. When waitlist categories were closed due to fiscal and human resource deficits, field staff used this time to reconnect and engage customers, as well as close cases for customers no longer interested in services. Budget and caseload projection models were also developed during this time and have allowed VR to better manage and plan.
Preparing for WIOA implementation forced VR to reexamine its business processes and organizational structure, which has resulted in more efficient and standardized operations. It allows VR to develop true partnerships and connections with other employment-focused entities. These improvements, borne out of necessity, have increased VR’s ability to plan, as well as to be flexible when barriers are encountered.
WIOA Performance Indicators
|WIOA MEASURES||Actual Performance(PY 19)||Previous(PY 18)|
|Employment Two Quarters after Exit||baseline||baseline|
|Employment Four Quarters after Exit||baseline||baseline|
|Median Wage Two Quarters after Exit||baseline||baseline|