U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

JTPA

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

TD

ISSUE DATE

Feb. 19, 1998

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

Continuing

DIRECTIVE

:

TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER NO. 02-97

 

TO

:

ALL STATE JTPA LIAISONS
ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES
ALL STATE WORKER ADJUSTMENT LIAISONS
ALL ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER SYSTEM LEADS

 

FROM

:

DAVID HENSON
Director
Office of Regional Management

 

SUBJECT

:

Instructions for Submission of Consolidated State Plans Under Titles II and III of the Job Training Partnershp Act (JTPA) for Program Years (PYs) 1998 and 1999 and PY 1998 Wagner-Peyser (W-P) Planning Guidance

  1. Purpose. To provide the Employment and Training Administration's guidance for the preparation and submission of a consolidated biennial State Plan which incorporates threquirements of:

    1. Governor's Coordination and Special Services Plan (GCSSP), JTPA Section 121(a)(1);

    2. Title II Job Training Plan (single State Service Delivery Areas, Section 105(d));

    3. Title III Biennial Plan (Section 311);

    4. Title III Single Substate Area Plan, (Section 311(f)); and

    5. the Planning Guidance for Wagner-Peyser basic labor exchange activities.

  2. References. 

    1. Job Training Partnership Act as amended.

    2. JTPA Regulations, 20 CFR 626-629 and 631, published in the Federal Register on September 2, 1994.

    3. Department of Labor Appropriations Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-78, Section 101(e) and 105).

    4. Training and Employment Information Notice No. 6-96, Guidelines for Implementing Job Training System Improvements Through Waivers of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and Wagner Peyser (W-P) Act.

    5. Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended; 20 CFR Part 652; or 20 CFR Part 653, Subpart B; 20 CFR 1001; and 38 U.S.C. Chs. 41 and 42.

    6. Background. The Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is issuing herein consolidated guidance for the submission of State two-year plans (for PY 1998 and PY 1999, July 1, 1998 - June 30, 2000) for Titles II and III of JTPA; and PY 98 Planning and Review Guidance for the Wagner-Peyser basic labor exchange activities. This guidance is being issued to allow a means for States to describe a State's collaborative system of workforce development. Although this guidance addresses the plan requirements as cited above, States are encouraged to describe the integration of other components of any workforce development systems, including other JTPA components (Job Corps, Native American, Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers), Unemployment Insurance, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Transitional Adjustment Assistance-North American Free Trade Act Agreement Implementation Act, Apprenticeship programs, One-Stop, School-to-Work and Welfare-to-Work.

    7. Program Emphasis. The employment and training system is at a critical juncture. The steps Federal, State and local partners take today to prepare our workforce will determine America's leadership in the future. Working with our public and private partners, the Labor Department is determined to provide all working families with opportunity and security to prosper in the decades ahead. ETA's mission is to contribute to the more efficient and effective functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information and income maintenance-services primarily through States and local workforce development systems. Economic progress greatly benefits many American workers and American businesses, but it poses important challenges as well. New technologies, changes in international trade, deregulation, and greater competition have led to structural changes in the labor market. ETA will foster investments in technology and systems to insure that its services and those of its partners respond to these structural changes and further enhance their value to the labor market.

      The following principles form the framework for ETA's involvement in the implementation of employment and training programs for individuals served by the workforce development system:

        - Continue to help States and local communities build a comprehensive "workforce development" system that provides universal access to information on where the jobs are, what training is needed to get those jobs, where the training is, and how to get training.

        - Promote program integration and coordination among job training and Wagner-Peyser labor exchange programs, readjustment programs, and other related programs and services.

        - Encourage the "mainstreaming" of welfare recipients in the workforce development system. While welfare recipients may be a specific customer segment, they should not be segregated in accessing or receiving services. Appropriate services should be available to all eligible customers, including welfare recipients, offering them choices in access to better labor market information and to training and employment services.

        - Maintain services to other customers - e.g., dislocated workers, low-income non-welfare adults, UI claimants, Veterans, Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers -- while delivering needed services to welfare clients.

        - Maintain strong accountability by States, localities, and service providers. Taxpayers should receive an appropriate return on the federal investment in the workforce development system. This requires that all levels of the system be held accountable for results/outcomes and integrity of funds.

      ETA will be a high performance, customer-focused organization that continues to use performance management to improve results, raise accountability in the provision of high quality job training, employment and income maintenance services through State and local workforce development systems. The Department continues to emphasize the need for:

      1. Collaborative Planning. In its effort to ensure that this guidance reflects the thinking of our partners, the Department of Labor convened a workgroup of State, local, regional and national representatives to examine how best to integrate plans for: JTPA Section 121(a)(1), Section 105(d), Section 311, and Section 311(f); Section 8 of Wagner-Peyser; One-Stop Career Centers; School-to-Work; and other employment and training initiatives into a unified plan that eliminates duplication and provides a single time frame.

        The workgroup modified the instructions contained in the OMB approved format previously issued for Title II GCSSP and Title III State plans. Section I of the instructions/format looks at the State Workforce Development Structure; Section II covers the goals, objectives and coordination efforts for all employment and training programs and initiatives for JTPA (Titles II, and III and other related employment and training programs/activities). Section IV includes all Performance Standards requirements for Title II and Title III. The attachments provide instructions on the process and outline the format for submission of plans.

        Wagner-Peyser emphasis, planning guidance and State checklist relating to the State plan, and PY 1998 W-P policy objectives, are set forth in attachments D and E of this directive and should be considered for inclusion in the final State plan, consistent with Section 7 of the W-P Act.

      2. Systems Development. The Department, in collaboration with the Congress, States, localities and public interest groups, will continue to consolidate and refine the workforce development system to better serve the employment and training needs of disadvantaged adults and youth, and dislocated workers, as well as the requirements of the employer community.

        ETA's system-building goal is for the sustainable operation of an effective system that is increasingly accessible and responsive to customer needs, commonly referred to as a One-Stop Career Center System.

        Integrating all ETA funded programs and services into One-Stop Career Center systems is a key development task. States are strongly encouraged to increase coordination and consolidation of workforce development programs and services through expansion of the One-Stop Career Center System. Linkages with education, vocational education, welfare, registered apprenticeship, vocational rehabilitation, economic development, trade programs, as well as other related employment and training programs should be strengthened whenever possible.

        In addition, new authorizing legislation is expected to create an integrated, highly accountable workforce development system. States and local communities will have greater freedom and responsibility to tailor workforce development services to meet local conditions and be accountable for the goals they set.

      3. Strategic Goals. ETA's Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Plan, submitted to Congress in September 1997, outlined six strategic goals. Those goals have been revised to support the Secretary's vision, facilitate increased coordination and foster greater cohesion within ETA and the Department.

        To achieve its GPRA goals and its mission, ETA has established for JTPA, Employment Service and One-Stop, the following three strategic goals along with outcome and performance goals:

        STRATEGIC GOAL NO 1

        A Prepared Workforce: Enhance opportunities for America's Workforce.

          OUTCOMES

            * Increase employment, earnings and assistance.

            * Assist youth in making the transition to work.

            * Provide information and tools about work.

            * Provide information and analysis on the U.S. economy

          PERFORMANCE

            *  56% of welfare-to-work program terminees will be employed.

            * 64% of JTPA adult disadvantaged terminees will be employed one quarter after program exit with average weekly earnings of $292.

            * 77% of JTPA Title II-C youth terminees will be employed or obtain advanced education or job skills.

            * Engage 1.5 million youth in STW activities.

            * Serve 25,000 out-of-school youth in the initial year of the Youth Opportunity Area Initiative.

            * Increase the number of individuals entering employment after receiving labor exchange services beyond registration by 1%.

            * ncrease the number of job openings listed with the public employment service by 20%.

            * Increase by 100% the number of eligibility certifications issued.

            * Increase the number of resumes in America's Talent Bank by 40%.

            *  Increase usage of LMI products by 10%.

        STRATEGIC GOAL NO. 2

        A Secure Workforce: Promote the economic security of workers and families.

          OUTCOME

            * Protect worker benefits.

            * Provide worker retraining.

          PERFORMANCE

            * Increase the proportion of UI claimants receiving reemployment assistance to 41% by FY 1999.

            * 74% of JTPA Title III dislocated workers terminees will be employed at an average wage replacement rate of 93% and 76% will be employed one quarter after program exist at an average wage replacement rate of 97%.

        STRATEGIC GOAL NO. 3

        Quality Workplaces: Foster quality workplaces that are safe, healthy, and fair.

          OUTCOME

            * Support a greater balance between work and family.

        ETA is looking forward to working closely with States and service delivery areas toward continuously improving the quality and effectiveness of employment and training services so that the jobseekers in this country can obtain employment that moves them toward increased self-sufficiency. We encourage you to incorporate these goals into your planning discussions.

      4. Improvement in Program Services and Outcomes. States and local program administrators should review current strategies to determine which have worked well and which need to be modified so that ETA's continuing objectives--lifting disadvantaged persons out of poverty and assisting displaced workers in finding new employment at equal or greater wages -- are met. Under the GPRA, States and Service Delivery Areas and Substate Grantees will be expected to demonstrate continuous performance improvements during program years 1998 through 2002. The continuous performance improvement will be critical to increasing performance each year.

        To achieve improved services, the Department is emphasizing:

        (1) individual participant choice in the selection of effective and approved employment and training providers to access jobs in demand occupations; (2) up-to-date One-Stop career information on jobs, necessary skills and training opportunities; and (3) employer involvement in the design and implementation of employment and training programs to ensure that relevant skills are addressed. Collaborative planning, increased technical assistance via world wide web, and continuous improvement projects (Enterprise/Simply Better) and models for targeting welfare recipients for best use of resources will contribute to administrative simplification.

        Rapid Response (Sec. 314(b)) is a critical element of early intervention for all dislocated workers. The collaboration of agencies within the State and local area which can provide assistance to workers is an important element of this initiative. The early identification of workers who are likely to require Title III assistance to return to work can result in workers seeking timely allowable services, and understanding the program requirements, prior to dislocation rather than accessing such services after their unemployment compensation entitlement expires.

        Early decisions on whether there are sufficient funds in the State to provide services, including Trade Adjustment entitlements, whether Secretary's National Reserve funds will be required, or whether a combination of resources will be required, is critical to the early return to employment. In addition, the opportunity to collaborate with economic development agencies and community leaders to develop strategies to assist workers to readjust by providing new jobs to a community can make the difference between success and failure for a worker.

        The Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) initiative is based on findings that dislocated workers who are identified early as likely to exhaust unemployment insurance payments and receive job search assistance and other reemployment services can speedily and effectively return to productive employment. Services are being provided and funded by both Wagner-Peyser and JTPA service providers. In addition, profiled and referred claimants will require public labor exchange services and may further require more intensive services or retraining to return to work. Thus, it provides an opportunity to provide such services early in the readjustment process.

        ETA is seeking ways to improve the scope and depth of reemployment services and other assistance requirements to all dislocated workers, including UI claimants, as well as improve the reporting and outcomes requirements of the JTPA, the W-P and the WPRS systems. States are also encouraged to examine the scope and depth of reemployment services to UI claimants and seek methods to improve the usefulness of the WPRS referral system.

        ETA is seeking to enhance opportunity and security for American workers and their families by building a nationwide, universal and "seamless" workforce development system that includes every State and community.

      5. Performance Measures. In ETA's Strategic and Annual Performance Plans, indicators by which attainment of some performance objectives will be measured are tied to indicators currently used in JTPA's current performance standards. In the plans, ETA's performance objectives increase each year. This presents a new, system-wide challenge to improve JTPA's performance continually, and it is a challenge that can only be met through the concerted efforts of all recipients and sub-recipients.

          (1)  Incentive and Sanction Policies. States are encouraged to develop incentives and sanctions policies that will support and reinforce attainment of JTPA's performance improvement goals.

          National departure points for the performance standards customarily are set at minimal levels--typically the 25th percentile for employment and skill attainment measures and the 40th percentile for earnings measures--and constitute the dividing line between unacceptable and minimally acceptable performance. To maintain a focus on continual performance improvement, States are encouraged to change policies that may have accepted and even rewarded performance at or near the national departure points of the performance standards.

          Instead, States should view the national departure points as the floors for minimally acceptable performance, and States should also refrain from adopting adjustments that lower the floors (departure points), because doing so may sustain low performance. States are encouraged to refocus their policies to promote improved performance by raising the levels at which local areas qualify for incentive grants. It is suggested that at a minimum, local areas should qualify for incentive money only if they have met or exceeded the national performance improvement goals that are linked to performance standards. In effect, this would substitute the higher, national performance improvement goals for minimally acceptable levels (national departure points) in the performance standards adjustment models when making incentive awards.

          (2)  Numerical Departure Points. ETA will release the numerical national departure points of the Title II-A, II-C, III and Section 204(d) performance standards in a forthcoming issuance once the necessary economic data become available. There will be no new required performance indicators for Program Years 1998 and 1999.

          Optional post-program measures will be issued for States using wage records to track employment retention and earnings. States will also be permitted to use a single measure of youth employment and enhancements in lieu of two separate measures.

      6. Funding Levels. The PY 1998 appropriation bill (P.L. 105-79) provided the following amounts for the JTPA and Wagner-Peyser programs:

          (1)  Title II-A Adult Training Grants - $955,000,000,

          (2)  Title II-B Summer Youth Employment Program - $871,000,000,

          (3)  Title II-C Youth Training Grants - $129,965,000

          (4)  Title III Dislocated Worker Program - $1,350,510,000, of which $1,080,408,000 is distributed to the States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; and $270,102,000 is retained in the National Reserve, which includes funding for the territories.

          (5)  Wagner-Peyser - $761,735,000

      7. Equal Access to Services. In concert with the Administration's desire to ensure that the Hispanic and other minority populations are being served consistent with their incidence in the service areas in all programs, including JTPA, States are asked to review the characteristics of the populations to be served along with the services to be provided to ensure equal access exists.

  3. State Plans under Titles II, III of JTPA and W-P. ETA's planning objective for PY 1998 and 1999 for JTPA Titles II and III and PY 1998 W-P, One-Stop Career Centers, School-to-Work and other initiatives is to ensure that States have the flexibility to submit a single integrated plan that focuses on customer services and outcomes as States continue to redesign their Workforce Development Systems. The State plan should focus on outcomes rather than processes. It should also lead to integrating program services through a central delivery point. While States are not required to submit a single plan, we encourage them to take advantage of this process as this will enable them to continue to move forward in anticipation of pending legislation.

    1. Wagner-Peyser State Plans for PY 1998. Each State will prepare an annual W-P plan for PY 1998 to provide services and activities within the States as authorized under Section 7 of the W-P Act. The option to submit a single integrated plan does not affect States' obligations to adhere to Federal requirements pursuant to the Wagner-Peyser Act. Further, State W-P plans shall address the PY 1998 planning priorities set out in Attachment D.

      Notwithstanding the format in which the State plan is presented, the State's response to the major areas for W-P planning (i.e., One-Stop Employment Service; Labor Exchange Program Initiatives; Services to Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claimants; Service to Veterans; and Services to Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers) should be identifiable. Likewise, the plan's content should reflect the State Plan Content items in Attachment E, the State Agency Wagner-Peyser Plan Checklist for PY 1998, which will be used by Regional Offices in reviewing plans.

    2. Utilization of Approved Plan. To simplify the State plan process, we are providing States with the opportunity to establish Statewide goals, objectives and core performance measures for the delivery of quality programs that promote the coordination of employment and training activities at the State and local levels. Statutory program performance measures must also be included. If the plan already has been approved for One-Stop, School-to-Work or any other ETA initiatives, States may attach or insert the appropriate information and show the reference page numbers, sections and citations, where applicable, rather than duplicate the information in the consolidated plan.

    3. Utilization of Approved Waivers. In instances where the State has been granted a waiver for any requirements of its plan, a notation should be made to indicate what portion of the plan is affected by the approved waiver. The plan should indicate if the waiver expires before the end date of the plan.

  4. Waiver Request. The Department of Labor's Appropriations Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-78) contains two provisions relating to waivers - a general statutory/regulatory authority that applies to all States, and the Work-Flex Partnership authority. The general statutory/regulatory authority will be discussed in detail in a separate forthcoming TEGL, including guidance for submittal of waiver requests. The waiver requests must be forwarded to the Secretary of Labor via the appropriate Employment and Training Administration Regional Administrator by the Governor of a State. After the State's waiver request is approved, the Governor may delegate such waiver authority to the operating agency head.

    The Work-Flex States have been designated: small States -- Iowa, Oregon and South Dakota; and large -- Florida, Ohio and Texas.

    1. Wagner-Peyser Act Waivers and State Plan Submissions. The Department may grant waivers to any of the statutory or regulatory requirements of Sections 8, 9 and 10 of the W-P Act (except for requirements relating to the provision of services to unemployment insurance claimants and veterans, and to universal access to basic labor exchange services without cost to job seekers [Section 105 of Department of Labor 1998 Appropriations Act]). Section 8 of the W-P Act sets forth the requirements relating to the State planning process.

        (1)  States granted waivers of W-P planning requirements for PY 1997 under Section 8 of the W-P Act, must submit a W-P Act plan for PY 1998.

        (2)  If the State plans to submit a request for waiver of W-P Act provisions or regulations (applicable to Sections 8, 9 and 10), the State should notify the appropriate Regional Office by April 30 and indicate the statutory or regulatory waiver(s) to be requested. The State should also indicate when its waiver request will be submitted.

        The Regional Office will make every effort to act upon waiver requests by July 1, 1998, if they are received by April 30.

        (3)  If necessary, the Regional Offices may extend the State's PY 1997 W-P Plan, until action is taken on the State's waiver request, or require State plans in accordance with the time frame set forth in section 8. Regional Offices that extend a State's PY 1997 W-P plan in order to complete the waiver request review process or in anticipation of a waiver request that changes the State's process for W-P planning will not grant an extension beyond September 30, 1998.

        (4)  1998 State Plans must include instructions for the provision of services to unemployment insurance claimants and veterans, and to universal access to basic labor exchange services without cost to job seekers as required in Section 105 of the Department of Labor 1997 Appropriation Act;

    2. f the State is not submitting a waiver request to the statutory/regulatory waiver authority for W-P Act, the State should submit its entire plan as described in section 8.

  5. Summer Youth Employment and Training Program (SYETP). Summer guidance will be provided soon.

  6. Plan Submission and Content. While States are encouraged to submit a Single State Plan, it is realized that some may still desire to submit separate plans. All plans submitted must meet all of the requirements for the plan as specified in the Act and/or Regulations. The Statewide Job Training Plan (JTP) and the Substate Plan for Single Substate Grantee States (SSSG) must contain the information specified in the attachment for that plan. In the case of the JTP and the SSSG, if the information requested is already included in the GCSSP or the State Plan, there is no need to duplicate the effort; instead reference the page number and section where the information can be found. State Wagner-Peyser plans must address the planning priorities set out in Attachment D. The consolidated plan should be submitted by May 1, 1998. If not consolidated, individual plans are due as follows:

    PLAN No of Copies Due Date
    Title III 32 May 1
    Title III SSSA 32 May 1
    Title II(GCSSP) 33 May 15
    JTP 33 May 15
    Wagner Peyser 3 May 15

    JTPA plans should be submitted to the Associate Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N4459, Washington, D.C. 20210. Plans should include an original signature of the Governor or authorized designee affixed to each of the copies of the plans submitted. The name of the signer (and the signer's title, if designee) must be typed below the signature. One copy of the plan should also be submitted to the appropriate Regional Office. For Wagner-Peyser Act plans, one signed original and a copy should be sent via a letter of transmittal to the appropriate Regional Office. As in the last planning cycle, States are strongly encouraged to submit their plans electronically to expedite the submittal and reduce costs.

    States are encouraged to utilize electronic media whenever possible. States are encouraged to use diskettes, the internet, or e-mail to transmit plans.

  7. OMB Reporting Burden. Public reporting burden for the collection of information for the GCSSP is estimated to average 40 hours per response and the burden for the Title III Plan is estimated to average 20 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data, gathering and maintaining data needed, and completing and reviewing the information.

    Send comments regarding the GCSSP and Title III Plan burden estimates or any other aspects of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the Office of IRM Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, N-1301, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (for GCSSP, 1206-0336). The Title III Plan is a draft document pending OMB approval. The final version displaying OMB approval number will be provided when approved.

  8. Inquiries and Comments. Request for technical assistance or other inquiries should be directed to the Regional Office.

  9. Attachments. 

    1. State Job Training Plans under title II and III of the JTPA

    2. Statewide Job Training Plan

    3. Substate Plan for Single Substate Grantee States

    4. WP Emphasis

    5. PY 1998 State WP Plan Checklist

    6. State Plan for Agricultural Services