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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.

American Indian and Alaska Native alone are estimated to represent 1.1 percent of Idahoans while IDVR provided services to this group at a rate of 4.4 percent.  The latest available statistics indicate this population is overserved, however these data should be interpreted with caution as estimates of error can skew these results. 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 but has ended our agreement with the Idaho Department of Juvenile Correction. However, IDVR will maintain 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.