EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION
ADVISORY SYSTEM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Washington, D. C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

ETA Advisory System

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

OPR

ISSUE DATE

November 14, 2001

RESCISSIONS

 

EXPIRATION DATE

Continuing

DIRECTIVE

:

TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER NO. 06-01

 

TO

:

ALL STATE WORKFORCE LIAISONS
ALL STATE WORKFORCE AGENCIES
ALL STATE WORKER ADJUSTMENT LIAISONS
ALL ONE-STOP CENTER SYSTEM LEADS

 

FROM

:

EMILY STOVER DeROCCO
Assistant Secretary

 

SUBJECT

:

Changes to the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Advisory System

 

  1. Purpose. To announce changes to the advisory system (formerly called the directives system), used by ETA to communicate guidance and information to the states, grant recipients, and other interested parties.

  2. Background. The ETA advisory system has been in place for many years. It is used to disseminate the Department's interpretations of Federal law requirements; procedural, administrative, management, and program direction; and other information to the states, direct grant recipients, and other interested parties. This guidance does not address internal ETA issuances.

    ETA currently sends nine different categories of advisories to states (although the last three are rarely used):

    1. The Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) is used to transmit program development and interpretative guidance statements, as well as funding allotments to State Workforce Liaisons, State Workforce Agencies, State Worker Adjustment Liaisons, One-Stop Center System Leads, and Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Grantees.

    2. The Training and Employment Information Notice (TEIN) is used to provide new information and announcements, transmit planning schedules, and reiterate or clarify previously issued interpretations. The TEIN is sent to State Workforce Liaisons, State Workforce Agencies, State Worker Adjustment Liaisons, and One-Stop Center System Leads.

    3. The Employment Service Program Letter (ESPL) is used to transmit instructions, information concerning objectives, standards, rules, regulations, procedures, and related information for developing and implementing employment service programs. It is sent to State Workforce Agencies.

    4. The Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) is used to interpret statutes, issue policy and guidance, transmit material about objectives, rules, regulations, standards, procedures and related information for administering the unemployment insurance programs. It is sent to State Workforce Agencies.

    5. The General Administration Letter (GAL) is used to transmit guidance concerning the overall organization and general administration of the employment service, unemployment insurance, and related programs. It is sent to State Workforce Agencies.

    6. Handbooks are used to issue technical instructions, information, or guidance about either a specific program or administrative area or a group of related activities or functions pertaining to a single program or administrative area. Technical Assistance Guides (TAGs) are included in this category. Handbooks are sent to regional offices, state agencies, subgrantees, and other direct grantees, as appropriate.

    7. The Reports and Analysis Letter (RAL) is used to transmit instructions and samples of forms for statistical reports (except budget and fiscal reports) which state agencies submit to ETA National and Regional Offices. It may also be used to supplement statistical reporting requirements. It is sent to State Workforce Agencies.

    8. The Fiscal Letter (FL) is used to transmit material concerning fiscal standards, fiscal reports and procedures, the budgetary process, and expenditure of funds (except the unemployment compensation trust fund). It is sent to State Workforce Agencies.

    9. The Employment Security Manual (ESM) addresses state and local program operating interpretations, standards, and procedural and reporting instructions for the operation of the state employment security system. It is sent to State Workforce Agencies.

    In addition, ETA's special targeted programs, such as the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program, Indian and Native American Program, Senior Community Service Employment Program, Job Corps, and Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services (ATELS) have separate means of communicating to their field structures.

    Several developments prompted ETA to review the current advisory system. First, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) enacted in August 1998, replaced the Job Training Partnership Act on July 1, 2000. This legislation reformed many workforce programs and linked most of them more closely together through a One-Stop service delivery system. Second, WIA required ETA to reorganize to align functions to carry out the new legislation. Third, advances in technology for providing Internet access to advisories and reporting requirements, as well as on-line reporting, can enable more efficient means of communication between ETA and states, grant recipients, and other interested parties. In light of the above, and because the current advisory system predates these developments, ETA decided that the advisory system needed to be reconsidered. An internal task group was established to develop recommendations to improve the advisory system.

    A Federal Register Notice was published on September 27, 2000 (65 FR 58212), requesting public comment on key questions relating to the advisory system. The Federal Register Notice identified the following principles or objectives as guiding the redesign of the system:

    1. Customer Focus:  The system should provide timely, quick, and accurate information to the people who need to use it.

    2. One Cohesive System:  All ETA programs should be recognized as part of a single workforce development system and the advisory system should be organized to reinforce this recognition.

    3. Sharing of Information:  ETA should encourage free and open communication with its customers. Full awareness of policies and sharing of information will contribute to greater efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the objectives of workforce development.

    4. Logic and Clarity:  The system should be logical and clear. The present system should be simplified because there are currently so many types of issuances. They may cause confusion among customers and stakeholders about where to look for information and guidance.

    5. Comprehensiveness:  All advisories used by ETA should be under the umbrella of a single system.

    6. Use of Electronic Communication:  Achieving the objectives of speedy and open communications, as well as easy access to information, argues for utilizing electronic means of communication. Policy and information should be made available quickly on an appropriate ETA web site that includes a comprehensive electronic directory of issuances, searchable by program and topic. Customers should be able to subscribe to a list serve which will notify them when a new advisory is issued, and have the option of receiving notification of only certain categories of advisories.

    Fourteen states and cities submitted comments to the September 27, 2000, Federal Register Notice. Based on these comments, and recommendations from ETA officials and staff, the ETA advisory system has been modified as described in this TEGL.

  3. Revised Advisory System. The revised advisory system will include the following categories of external advisories:

    1. Training and Employment Guidance Letters, used to transmit policy and operational guidance to the WIA state and local workforce systems and WtW.

    2. Unemployment Insurance Program Letters, used for policy and guidance specific to the UI program.

    3. Handbooks and Technical Assistance Guides, used to issue to state workforce agencies technical instructions, information, or guidance concerning either (1) a specific program or administrative area, or (2) a group of related activities or functions pertaining to a single program or administrative area.

    4. Training and Employment Notice (TEN) is a new issuance that will be used by product line offices to communicate announcements of meetings and publications, or general information. They will be signed by the product line administrator and posted on the advisory web site at wdr.doleta.gov/directives. TENs will be issued to a specific product line's customers or to the entire WIA system, depending on the nature of the information being communicated. They will be sequentially numbered for all of ETA and indexed.

    5. Bulletins used by ETA's special targeted programs, such as the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program; Indian and Native American Program; Senior Community Service Employment Program; Job Corps; and Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services to communicate to their field structures will continue.

    The following advisories are eliminated: TEINs, ESPLs, GALs, RALs, and FLs. Information and guidance previously issued via these series will now be issued via the TEGL, UIPL, or TEN. Currently active advisories in those series will continue in effect as long as needed. At the beginning of each program year (TEINs) and fiscal year (all others), checklists will be issued, by series, rescinding obsolete advisories and listing those remaining active. Series checklists will be issued until all advisories in the eliminated series have been rescinded. Hard copies of advisories in the eliminated series are available upon request from the Office of Policy and Research at (202) 693-3669. Electronic copies of TEINs, GALs, ESPLs, FLs, and RALs are also available on the advisory web site at: wdr.doleta.gov/directives.

    Because major parts of the Employment Security Manual are now obsolete, no new portions will be added to it. Any new guidance will be issued as UIPLs.

  4. Electronic Communication. All new ETA advisories addressed to external offices are accessible via doleta.gov/library/directives. A search engine is available that allows all issuances posted on this Advisory web site to be searched by topic. Hard copies of TEGLs, UIPLs, TENs, and Handbooks will not be routinely distributed by ETA. However, limited numbers of large ET Handbooks will still be issued in hard copy, as well as be accessible electronically on the web site.

  5. List Serve. A "list serve" function allows users to subscribe to particular advisory series. For example, a State WIB or a Youth Council can subscribe to all TEGLs, ATELS Circulars and/or Job Corps Bulletins. This list serve feature also allows subscribers to be notified via e-mail when a new advisory is issued (directions on "how to" subscribe to the list serve are available on doleta.gov). Alternatively, public users can choose to unsubscribe and instead regularly check the web site.

  6. Action Required. States should transmit this guidance to the Local Workforce Investment Boards, substate grantees and workforce investment system partners as expeditiously as possible.

  7. Inquiries. Questions regarding this Training and Employment Guidance Letter should be directed to your appropriate Regional Office.