U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210
February 7, 1997
TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER NO. 05-96
STATE WORKFORCE LIAISONS
BARBARA ANN FARMER
JTPA Allotments for Program Year (PY) and Calendar Year (CY) 1997; Wagner-Peyser Preliminary Planning Estimates for PY 1997; and Annual Program Emphasis
Purpose. To provide States with Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Titles II-A, II-C, and III allotments for PY 1997; Title II-B allotments for CY 1997; and preliminary planning estimates for PY 1997 public employment service (ES) activities, as required by Section 6(b)(5) of the Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended. Also, to provide overall program emphasis for PY 1997.
References. Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended (29 U.S.C. 49); 20 CFR 652 and 20 CFR 653; JTPA Sections 202, 252, 262, 302, and 601, as amended by the Job Training Reform Amendments Act of 1992; Training and Employment Guidance Letters (TEGL) Nos. 4-88 and 4-95.
Background. The JTPA Titles II-A, II-C and III allotments, and the Wagner-Peyser preliminary planning estimates, are for the program period July 1, 1997, through June 30, 1998. The Title II-B allotments are for the CY 1997 summer program. These allotments and preliminary planning estimates will be published in the Federal Register.
The JTPA allotments and the Wagner-Peyser ES preliminary planning estimates are part of the Fiscal Year 1997 funds appropriated in the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, P.L. 104-208, for PY 1997.
These appropriations include $895,000,000 for Title II-A, a 5.29 percent increase from the PY 1996 Title II-A level; $871,000,000 for Title II-B, a 39.36 percent increase from the CY 1996 level; $126,672,000 for Title II-C, the same as the PY 1996 Title II-C level; $1,286,200,000 for Title III, a 17.79 percent increase from PY 1996; and $761,735,000 for allotments to States under Wagner-Peyser, the same as the PY 1996 level.
JTPA/ES Joint Planning and Coordination Provisions. As plans are developed in accordance with relevant statutory provisions and schedules issued by the Department, States are reminded that particular attention needs to be given to the Governor's statement of goals and objectives for JTPA, and joint ES/JTPA planning initiatives consistent with Section 8(b) of the Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended.
Program Emphasis. The basic mission of the employment and training system remains one of assisting all Americans to gain access to the information and other resources they need to obtain good jobs at decent wages, and to ensure that U.S. businesses have access to the skilled workers they need to successfully compete in a global economy.
The entire network of partners at the State/local level and their service providers, as well as our private sector partners, make the system function and perform for those who need the services provided -- our customers. Building upon the accomplishments in 1996, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has identified a series of goals which will serve to maximize the contributions of its associates and its partners in serving America's workers and job seekers, as well as facilitate a smooth transition to possible new legislative mandates for the nation's employment and training system (see Attachment I). These goals represent the key overall objectives of the Employment and Training Administration and are designed to compliment more detailed measures and objectives of individual programs. Beyond these goals, during the forthcoming year, the employment and training community will be faced with a series of challenges and opportunities -- welfare reform, the new statutory waiver authority provided by Congress, and possible new legislation.
Welfare Reform. The objective of the welfare reform effort is to focus the system on assisting welfare recipients to move from dependence to self-sufficiency. A great opportunity exists, but the challenge to the States is enormous: How to move this population -- many of whom face significant barriers to employment -- off the welfare rolls and onto the employment rolls with limited financial resources. It is quite understandable that the employment and training community is now focused on welfare reform since the law has only recently been enacted, but it is helpful to view these efforts in the context of the broader employment and training system. There is much to be learned from the work that has already been done in finding employment for this population.
The track record of JTPA in placing welfare recipients in jobs is positive, and participant data show that local efforts have successfully integrated these individuals into the system. While welfare recipients may be a specific customer segment, they should not be segregated in accessing or receiving services. Services, such as America's Job Bank, America's Talent Bank, and access to training opportunities, should be available to welfare recipients as much as any other customer at One-Stop Career Centers, the Employment Service, and other points of service.
Immediate job placement -- or "work first" -- is the central focus of the welfare reform legislation and can "jump start" many welfare recipients onto the path of self-sufficiency. Others will need sufficient information and guidance to decide their employment direction, and some will need to learn basic work requirements. For many people, "work first" should include work coupled with training and related services to form a career path or career ladder.
The employment and training community has other important tools for promoting self-sufficiency. These include: the connection between learning and earning that is at the heart of the apprenticeship and school-to-work programs; external supports like day care, transportation, counseling, and health care; work-based contextual learning; and on-the-job training developed in partnership with the private sector.
Locally, the existing partnerships between the public and private sectors have an enormous contribution to make in improving the long- and short-term employment prospects of welfare recipients. Local, business-led Private Industry Councils or "employment councils" oversee training and placement of low-income adults and youth, including welfare recipients and dislocated workers. They also play a significant role for States and localities engaged in building One-Stop Career Centers and School-to Work systems. Moving individuals from welfare to work will depend, in large part, on strengthening and expanding these partnerships.
Even as we ask a great deal from the private sector, we must also help supply them with tools and incentives to contribute more. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), administered by the State Employment Security Agencies, offers such an incentive for companies that employ long-term welfare recipients. This program allows employers to reduce the federal tax liability for their businesses (up to $2,100 per worker), if they hire individuals -- including welfare recipients -- from groups who consistently have the most difficulty in finding employment. Service delivery areas can become pre-certification agents under WOTC. It is in employers' long-term interest to have a skilled and productive workforce, and to that end, help plan for and direct the development of the employment and training system.
Waivers. New waiver authority provided in the Department of Labor's (DOL) 1997 appropriations act represents another opportunity for the employment and training system. The two different authorities -- general statutory and Work-Flex waivers -- provide unique and important ways of improving service to our customers. The general waiver authority provides increased flexibility to States and local areas in implementing reforms to the workforce development system in exchange for accountability for results, including improved performance. It is an important opportunity for States and localities to begin or continue to organize services into a workforce development system through the concepts of One-Stop Career Centers and School-to-Work systems which enhance the training and employment opportunities available to adults and youth. The general waiver authority is for a period of one program year, beginning July 1, 1997.
The Work-Flex provision permits DOL to grant specific waiver authority to States based on a plan submitted by the State and approved by the Secretary. States granted such authority may approve waivers requested by service delivery areas, substate areas, or other selected areas in the State. Work-Flex authority may be granted to a State for up to five years.
As a means to promote reform in the employment and training system, DOL has set forth the following principles for use in developing waiver requests:
Individual Opportunity and Customer Choice. Empowering participants who need employment and training services with the resources and information needed to make good choices.
Leaner Government. Replacing separate programs with streamlined systems for youth and adults, organized around the School-to-Work and One-Stop concepts.
Greater Accountability. Ensuring a clear focus on results, not process, through mutually agreed upon improvements in performance outcomes.
State and Local Flexibility. Providing States and local communities with the authority to tailor programs to meet locally determined needs.
Strong Private Sector Roles. Ensuring that business, labor and community organizations are full partners in systems design and quality assurance.
ETA intends that the process for development of waivers will be a collaborative one. ETA Regional Offices will be responsible for providing guidance and assistance to the States as they develop their waiver requests, answering questions about the ETA waiver policy, and advising the Assistant Secretary regarding approval of the waiver request(s). It is expected that the Regional Offices will have a continuing dialogue with States during the developmental stages of waiver requests. The Regional Offices will be available to review and provide comments on draft proposals and provide assistance in preparation of the waiver plan submission. States will submit completed waiver requests to the appropriate Regional Administrator.
(1) General Statutory Waivers. A TEGL is being issued which addresses the procedure for seeking general waiver requests. ETA is very interested in working with States within the statutory authority to make improvements in the workforce delivery system. To this end, ETA will actively consider specific requests for waivers to remove both programmatic and administrative barriers that will result in improved services to individuals, that will assist the State and its local service delivery structure in implementing workforce delivery system improvements, or that will remove requirements that do not appear to add value to the organization or delivery of quality services. The employment and training community has been provided with new authority to build a Workforce Development System. ETA believes that effective use of the authority will demonstrate Federal, State and local commitment to meeting the needs of our joint customers.
(2) Work-Flex Waivers. A TEGL is being issued which invites States to submit applications under the Workforce Flexibility Partnership Demonstration Program (Work-Flex). The Work-Flex authority is intended to provide States with the ability to enhance the development of a comprehensive workforce development system, including implementation of the One-Stop Career Center system and the School-to-Work system. Another important area is improving the quality and quantity of outcomes for individuals served. Both of these areas will be of substantial importance in granting waivers under Work-Flex.
ETA Regional Offices will provide information on Work-Flex administration and implementation, and States are encouraged to consult with regional staff early in the process. Because Work-Flex is a demonstration program with implications for future job training and employment service delivery, it is important that Work-Flex be tested to ensure that appropriate accountability can be maintained. States granted Work-Flex authority will be required to work closely -- on an ongoing basis -- with ETA staff so that both the Federal and State partners are fully informed on the status and issues under Work-Flex. States may be asked to participate with ETA staff in designing and conducting an evaluation of the effectiveness of Work-Flex. In applying for waivers, States must recognize that the impact of the use of Work-Flex authority to achieve goals and outcomes specified in the State proposal will be reviewed annually.
Procedures. Notices of Obligation (NOOs) for the Title II-A, II-C, and III programs will be issued on July 1, 1997, under the PY 1997 JTPA Grant Agreement. A second NOO will be issued to each State after November 1, 1997, for Title III, to increase or reduce the funds available to the State to reflect the amount of reallotted funds the State gains or loses, as discussed in TEGL No. 4-88.
Title II-B summer program funds were appropriated as Fiscal Year (FY) 1997 funds, not as Program Year 1997 funds. Separate NOOs for the CY 1997 Title II-B program were issued on February 4, 1997 under the current PY 1996 JTPA Grant Agreement. Thus, States will be required to submit a separate JTPA Title II Quarterly Status Report (JQSR) for these FY 1997 Title II-B funds, and they will not be combined with Title II-A and Title II-C PY 1997 data. Additionally, States will draw cash under the Payment Management System (PMS) for Title II-B FY 1997 funds, and these II-B funds will not be combined with other Title II funds under PMS.
Title II-A Allotments. Attachment II is a comparison of PY 1996 and PY 1997 JTPA Title II-A allotments by State. For all States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, the following data were used in computing the allotments:
Data for Areas of Substantial Unemployment (ASUs) are averages for the 12-month period, July 1995 through June 1996.
The number of excess unemployed individuals or the ASU excess (depending on which is higher) are averages for this same 12-month period.
The economically disadvantaged adult data (age 22 to 72, excluding college students and military) are from the 1990 Census.
The allotments for the Insular Areas are based on unemployment data from the 1990 Census, or if not available, the most recent data available. A 90-percent relative share "hold-harmless" of the Title II-A PY 1996 allotments for these areas and a minimum allotment of $75,000 were also applied in determining the allotments.
Title II-A funds are to be distributed among designated SDAs according to the statutory formula contained in Section 202(b) of JTPA, as amended by Title VII, Miscellaneous Provisions, of the JTPA Amendments of 1992. (This Title VII provides an interim allocation methodology which applies to the PY 1997 allotments). This is the same formula that was used in the previous program year.
Title II-B Allotments. Attachment III is a comparison of CY 1996 and CY 1997 Title II-B allotments by State. The data used for these allotments are the same data as were used for Title II-A allotments, except that data for the number of economically disadvantaged youth (age 16 to 21, excluding college students and military) from the 1990 Census was used.
For the Insular Areas and Native Americans, the allotments are based on the percentage of Title II-B funds each received during the previous summer.
Title II-B funds for the 1997 Summer program are to be distributed among designated SDAs in accordance with the statutory formula contained in Section 252(b) of JTPA, as amended by Title VII, Miscellaneous Provisions, of the JTPA Amendments of 1992. This is the same formula that was used in the previous program year.
Title II-C Allotments. Attachment IV is a comparison of PY 1996 and PY 1997 JTPA Title II-C allotments by State. The data used for these allotments are the same data as were used for Title II-B allotments.
The allotments for the Insular Areas are based on unemployment data from the 1990 Census or, if not available, the most recent data available.
Title II-C funds are to be distributed among designated SDAs according to the statutory formula contained in Section 262(b) of JTPA, as amended by Title VII, Miscellaneous Provisions, of the JTPA Amendments of 1992. (The Title II-C formula is the same as for Title II-B). This is the same formula which had been used in the previous program year.
Title III Allotments. Attachment V is a comparison of PY 1996 and PY 1997 JTPA Title III allotments by State. The total appropriation includes 80 percent allotted by formula to the States, while 20 percent is retained for the National Reserve account, including funds allotted to the Insular Areas.
The unemployment data used for computing these State allotments, relative numbers of unemployed and relative numbers of excess unemployed, are averages for the October 1995 through September 1996 period. Long-term unemployed data used were for CY 1995. Allotments for the Insular Areas are based on the PY 1997 Title II-A allotments for these areas.
Title III formula funds are to be distributed to State and substate grantees in accordance with the provisions in Section 302(c) and (d) of JTPA, as amended.
Reallotments of these Title III formula funds, as provided for by Section 303 of JTPA, as amended, will be based on completed program year expenditure reports submitted by the States and received by October 1, 1997. Title III allotments will be adjusted upward or downward, based on whether the State is eligible to share in reallotted funds or is subject to recapture of funds.
ES Planning Estimates. Attachment VI shows ES preliminary planning estimates for PY 1997. Attachment VII is a comparison of PY 1996 final and PY 1997 preliminary estimates. These preliminary estimates have been produced using the formula set forth at Section 6 of the Wagner-Peyser Act, 29 U.S.C. 49e. They are based on averages for the most current 12 months ending September 1996 for each State's share of the civilian labor force (CLF) and unemployment. Final planning estimates will be published in the Federal Register, based on Calendar Year 1996 data, as required by the Wagner-Peyser Act.
The total planning estimate does include $18,000,000 or 2.363 percent of the total amount available which is being withheld from distribution to States to finance postage costs associated with the conduct of Employment Service business for PY 1997.
The Secretary of Labor has set aside 3 percent of the total available funds to assure that each State will have sufficient resources to maintain statewide employment services, as required under Section 6(b)(4) of the Wagner-Peyser Act. In accordance with this provision, $22,312,050 is set aside for the administrative formula allocation. These set-aside funds are included in the total planning estimate. Set-aside funds are distributed in two steps to States which have lost in relative share of resources from the prior year. In step one, States which have a CLF below one million and are below the median CLF density are maintained at 100 percent of their relative share of prior year resources. All remaining set-aside funds are distributed on a pro rata basis in step two to all other States losing in relative share from the prior year but which do not meet the size and density criteria for step one.
Ten percent of the total sums allotted to each State shall be reserved for use by the Governor to provide performance incentives for public ES offices; services for groups with special needs; and for the extra costs of exemplary models for delivering job services.
States should allocate the JTPA allotments as follows:
(1) Title II-A allotments according to the requirements contained in Sections 162(e) and 202(b) of JTPA, as amended, subject to Title VII of the JTPA Amendments.
(2) Title II-B allotments according to the requirements contained in Sections 162(e) and 252(b) of JTPA, as amended, subject to Title VII of the JTPA Amendments.
(3) Title II-C allotments according to the requirements contained in Sections 162(e) and 262(b) of JTPA, as amended, subject to Title VII of the JTPA Amendments.
(4) Title III allotments according to the requirements contained in Sections 302(c) and (d) of JTPA, as amended.
States should initiate planning for PY 1997 consistent with the program emphasis statement discussed in this TEGL. Planning for ES programs should also be consistent with provisions of the Wagner-Peyser Act and Federal Regulations at 20 CFR Part 652.
Technical questions on the allotments may be addressed to Jess Aragon or Sherryl Bailey on 202-219-7979.
Policy questions may be addressed:
for JTPA Title II, to Ron Putz on 202-219-5305;
for JTPA Title III, to Zen Choma on 202-219-5306;
for ES, to David Morman on 202-219-5185 or John Beverly on 202-219-5257.
ETA FY 1997 Goals
Title II-A Comparison
Title II-B Comparison
Title II-C Comparison
Title III Comparison
Wagner-Peyser Preliminary Estimates