TAC-15-02—"Vision for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program as a Partner in the Workforce Development System under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act"
Aug 17, 2015 — PDF (69KB)
Aug 13, 2015 — PDF (99KB)
The President signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. This new law represents a renewed commitment to workforce development with an eye to the future through innovation and support for individual and national economic growth. It is aimed at increasing opportunities, particularly for those facing barriers to employment, and invests in the important connection between education and career preparation. It looks to the prosperity of workers and employers and focuses on the economic growth of communities, regions, and states to enhance our global competitiveness as a country. While some research services and resources for those with disabilities will be transferred from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), we expect a seamless transition with minimal disruption, and we express our continued strong commitment to grantees and all key stakeholders.
The new law states that the amendments that it makes to the Rehabilitation Act, as well as the transfer of certain programs from ED to HHS, took effect when President Obama signed the bill. However, WIOA also gives the Secretaries of ED and HHS authority to ensure an orderly transition as they implement these changes so they are carried out in a manner that minimizes disruption. ED and HHS, after working with the Office of Management and Budget, have determined that ED will continue to administer the affected programs until the orderly transfer can be completed as soon as reasonably possible. We will continue to engage and inform grantees and key stakeholders as specific plans for the transfer of these programs are developed and implemented. We appreciate your continued support as we realign and strengthen our programs for people with disabilities.
To obtain a printed copy in the form of a paperback book from the House Legislative Resource Center, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call: 202-226–5210, or write to:
B-106 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-6612
Ask for Public Law 113-128.
PD-16-03: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Requirements for Unified and Combined State Plans
On March 9, 2016, the Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration released a policy directive, PD-16-03, entitled, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Requirements for Unified and Combined State Plans. This guidance—developed jointly by the Departments of Labor), Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development—provides an overview of the Administration’s priorities in relation to the WIOA planning requirements, explains the planning requirements where necessary, and instructs States regarding submission procedures. Specifically, This PD conveys the following to States:
- The vision and content requirements for Unified and Combined State Plans under WIOA;
- The deadline and submission process for Unified and Combined State Plans under WIOA ;
- The requirements to have approved Unified or Combined State Plans in place for Program Year (PY) 2016 and beyond for the six core programs of WIOA; and
- The options for States to incorporate all or portions of partner programs into their State plan submissions if they choose to submit a Combined State Plan.
You can obtain a copy of PD-16-03 at http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/rsa/pd/2016/.
If you have any questions regarding PD-16-03, please contact your RSA state liaison. You can access the list of state liaisons at https://rsa.ed.gov/people.cfm.
WIOA State Plan Submission Portal
The Departments of Labor and Education are pleased to announce the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) State Plan submission portal is now live. The portal is part of the State Plan Requirements Information Collection Request (ICR) (OMB No. 1205-0522) and has been approved as the method by which States should submit their Unified or Combined State Plan. A text version of the ICR, a link to the portal, and a training for State portal users may be found at https://www.doleta.gov/wioa/State_Plan_Resources.cfm.
As a reminder, State Plans are due to the Departments no later than April 1, 2016.
We encourage you to go to be https://rsa.ed.gov/request-access.cfm?usp=Y and request a User account, if you have not already done so. We look forward to receiving your state plan. The Employment and Training Administration, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, and the Rehabilitation Services Administration will each issue State Plan guidance to provide States with additional information and resources.
Final WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements
States must use the Information Collection Request (ICR) for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified and Combined State Plans Requirements. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reviewed and approved this data collection (Control Number 1205-0222). These documents reflect the incorporation of public comments received from the publication of the August 6 Federal Register notice prepared by the Departments of Labor, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture.
- Access to WIOA Unified & Combined State Plan Requirements (PDF, 1.25MB)
- Access to Supporting Statement (PDF, 1.19MB)
Q and A's
The Departments of Education and Labor have jointly developed the following questions and answers concerning the funding of one-stop infrastructure costs.
Q. Will the specific WIOA requirements for local agreements for funding the one–stop infrastructure costs apply in PY 2016?
No. The specific requirements for the local funding agreements, which are related to how the shared and infrastructure costs of the one–stop service delivery system will be paid by the one–stop partners, need not be satisfied in the funding agreements for PY 2016. States and local areas may continue to negotiate local funding agreements as they have been doing so under WIA for purposes of PY 2016. However, the local funding agreements must satisfy the requirements of section 121(h) of WIOA for purposes of funding the one–stop system in PY 2017.
Q. What happens if the local areas fail to reach an agreement for funding the one–stop system in PY 2016?
In the event of failure to reach an agreement for funding the one–stop system in PY 2016, the State funding mechanism will not yet be applicable as the alternative, as it will not be implemented until PY 2017. Therefore, if a local area fails to reach an agreement for funding the one–stop system in PY 2016, the one–stop partners must continue to use whatever process they have been using under WIA to resolve disputes for purposes of funding the one–stop system during PY 2016.
Q. What can States do now to prepare for implementation of the funding requirements in PY 2017?
The Governor and the State Board should begin developing the guidance to be used by the local areas in negotiating agreements for the funding of the one–stop service delivery system. This guidance should also include the development of a State funding mechanism that will be used in the event that a local area fails to reach an agreement.
The following two Q and A’s provide information regarding the issuance of final regulations jointly developed by the Departments of Education and Labor and the submission of the Unified and Combined State Plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, enacted July 22, 2014 (WIOA).
Q: When will the final regulations for WIOA be published?
The Departments of Labor and Education, in collaboration with other Federal partner agencies, published five Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) in April 2015. In addition, the Departments and other Federal partner agencies published several proposed new Information Collection Requests (ICRs) in summer 2015 to inform stakeholders of new data elements that would need to be reported under WIOA. As a result of these publications, the Departments received thousands of public comments, all of which must be considered in the development of final rules and ICRs. The Federal agencies have been diligently working on the analysis of all comments in order to develop final regulations, ICRs, and policies that are consistent with the requirements of WIOA, as well as other authorizing laws for the affected programs. Given the complexity of these issues, the Departments are working toward making the final regulations publicly available in June 2016. The Departments intend to provide necessary information about the requirements imposed by WIOA and the forthcoming regulations as soon as possible through guidance, notification of information collection requirements, and technical assistance, and by making the regulations available on their websites when they are sent to the Federal Register.
Q: When must States submit the first WIOA Unified or Combined State Plan?
WIOA Sections 102(c)(1)(A) and 103(b)(1) require States to submit the initial Unified or Combined State Plan no later than 120 days prior to the commencement of the second full program year after the date of enactment (i.e., July 1, 2016), making the statutory submission date March 3, 2016. However, pursuant to the orderly transition authority in section 503 of WIOA, the Departments of Labor and Education will consider as timely an initial Unified or Combined State Plan that is submitted by April 1, 2016.
Comments being accepted on the Unified State Plan
The Department of Labor, in coordination with the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development, is soliciting comments concerning a collection of data that will be used for Unified and Combined State Plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements is a consolidated information collection that would implement sections 102 and 103 of WIOA (P.L. 113-128). WIOA requires that, no later than March 3, 2016, each state, at a minimum, submit a Unified State Plan as a condition of receiving funds for core programs subject to the Unified State Plan requirements. In the alternative, states may submit a Combined State Plan as a condition of receiving funds under certain named programs subject to the Combined State Plan provisions. See 29 U.S.C. §§ 3112 and 3113. The Unified or Combined State Plan requirements are designed to improve service integration and ensure that the publicly-funded workforce system provides a range of employment, education, training, and related services and supports to help all jobseekers secure good jobs while providing businesses with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. To that end, the Unified or Combined State Plan would describe how the state will develop and implement a unified, integrated service delivery system rather than discuss the state's approach to operating each program individually.
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, we are seeking comment through January 22, 2016 on the proposed WIOA State Plan information collection request (ICR). A copy of the Federal Register Notice for this collection, proposed ICR and supplement, and supporting statement may be accessed at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201503-1205-020.
The Departments published an earlier version of this ICR for a 60-day comment period that closed on October 5, 2015. The Departments responded to comments received during the 60-day comment period and are re-publishing the ICR for a final 30-day comment period as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. This comment period is open for 30 days and closes on January 22, 2016. Any comments not received through the process outlined in the Federal Register (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-12-23/pdf/2015-32278.pdf) will not be considered.
Vision. Policy. Strategy. January 26-28, 2016 in Washington DC
Mark Your Calendars for the National Convening of Workforce Leadership: A conference on Innovation and Opportunity to be held January 26-28, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Download the flyer (PDF 502KB).
Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs)
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed by President Obama on July 22, 2014, is the first major reform to federal job training programs in over 15 years. WIOA is designed to streamline and improve the coordination of employment and training services across federal agencies and strengthen collaboration with state and local partners. To ensure the most effective and efficient delivery of these services, on April 16, 2015 the departments of Labor and Education announced five new proposed rules to fully implement WIOA. The five proposed rules include a joint Department of Labor and Education rule, a Department of Labor rule, and three Department of Education rules to implement the requirements of titles II and IV of WIOA
Here are summaries of each proposed rule and a link to read the comments provided by the public.
- Unified and Combined State Plans, Performance Accountability, and the One-Stop System Joint Provision (Jointly proposed by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education)
This rule, jointly proposed by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, strengthens the alignment of the workforce development system’s six core programs administered by Labor and Education, by requiring unified strategic planning at the state level, common performance accountability measures, and requirements governing the one-stop delivery system. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ETA-2015-0002 at www.regulations.gov.
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor)
This rule, proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor, implements changes to the adult, dislocated worker and youth formula programs; the state and local workforce development boards; the designation of regions and local areas; local plans; the one-stop system; national programs, including Job Corps, YouthBuild, Indian and Native American programs; and Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker programs. The proposed rules also implements changes related to employment services and workforce and labor market information systems and requires the Secretary of Labor to establish a Workforce Information Advisory Council. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ETA-2015-0001 at www.regulations.gov
- State Vocational Rehabilitation Services program: State Supported Employment Services program; Limitations on Use of Subminimum Wage (Proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration)
This rule, proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, implements changes to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services program and the State Supported Employment Services program, as well as new provisions in Section 511 related to the Limitations on the Use of Subminimum Wages. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ED-2015-OSERS-0001 at www.regulations.gov
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Miscellaneous Program Changes (Proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration)
This rule, proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, implements changes to the all other Rehabilitation Act programs administered by ED, including Client Assistance, American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights, Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind programs, and the discretionary grant programs authorized under title III of the Rehabilitation Act. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ED-2015-OSERS-0002 at www.regulations.gov
- Programs and Activities Authorized by the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II of WIOA) (Proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education)
This NPRM will implement changes to programs authorized under AEFLA, which is contained in title II of WIOA. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ED-2015-OCTAE-0003 at www.regulations.gov
Please visit www.regulations.gov to share your comments on the specific proposed rules, in accordance with the process outlined in the NPRMs. Any comments not received through the processes outlined in the NPRMs will not be considered by the departments.
Transfer of the Independent Living Services and Centers for Independent Living programs
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014 transfers the Independent Living Services and Centers for Independent Living programs from the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education, to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ACL has posted a news release regarding the transition of these programs.
Read Submitted Comments on Implementation of Title II and Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
OSERS and the Office Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) thank all the contributors who submitted comments on the implementation of WIOA Title II and Title IV. We received 277 comments by the closing on August 29, 2014.
This thoughtful feedback will be reviewed by the Offices and considered as we prepare the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on proposed regulations.
Please watch for the next opportunity to submit comments in January 2015 when the NPRM is released in the Federal Register.
Additional WIOA Information and Resources
- New OCTAE Blog: WIOA: A Vision to Revitalize the Workforce System
- Dear Colleague Letter to Tribal Leaders to explore how best to pursue the job-driven training theme in pertinent education and training programs in Indian country.
- Dear Colleague Letter to State Directors of Vocational Rehabilitation on the implementation of the January 30, 2014 Presidential Memorandum to carry out a government-wide review of federal job training and education programs to ensure that federal workforce and training system resources are effectively aligned.
- RSA Commissioner Janet LaBreck has written a Dear Colleague Letter about the WIOA.
- RSA has also created a document that highlights significant changes related to the amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, as contained in title IV of WIOA, which take effect on the date of enactment—July 22, 2014.
- Statement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on President Obama signing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
- The White House Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity initiative Web page, including the: Ready to Work report and the Ready to Work fact sheet.
- Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE)
- Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (DOL/ETA)