TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT
NOTICE

NO.

02-02

DATE:

August 27, 2002

 

TO

:

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

 

FROM

:

GRACE A. KILBANE s/s
Administrator,
Office of Workforce Security

 

SUBJECT

:

New Approaches For the Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS)

  1. Purpose. To announce a new approach for funding and expanding WRIS.

  2. Background. WRIS is an important tool for states to use for performance measurement and reporting under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. WRIS was developed to facilitate several activities: 1) exchange of wage data between participating states for the purpose of assessing and reporting on state and local performance for programs authorized under Title 1B of the Workforce Investment Act; 2) evaluate training provider performance under the Workforce Investment Act; and 3) meet performance and reporting requirements for programs authorized under the Wagner-Peyser Act.

    Originally, the short-term plan for funding WRIS was for ETA to pay for development and implementation of the system. The long-term plan for funding was for states to "self-fund" both the ongoing operation and administration of the system through state paid fees to be managed by National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA).

  3. New Approach For WRIS. In consideration of the importance of WRIS to the workforce system; to eliminate barriers for state participation in WRIS, and to avoid the complexities of setting up a system to manage state "self-funding," the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is pleased to announce our intent to continue full funding for the operation and administration of WRIS. With this announcement, ETA actively encourages states currently not participating in WRIS to now consider the value of participation.

    Because state owned wage record data is the foundation of WRIS, it is critical that states continue to play a strong role in the ongoing administration and development of WRIS. NASWA has worked in partnership with ETA in the development and administration of WRIS to date, and ETA intends to continue working closely with NASWA and the states as WRIS develops.

    To support the integration of service delivery and performance measurement within the one-stop system, it is ETA's goal to work with states to expand the use of WRIS for additional programs in addition to WIA and Wagner-Peyser. ETA plans to work with NASWA and the states on a phased approach to expansion that would first expand the use of WRIS as soon as possible to performance management for all USDOL funded programs identified as required one-stop partners under WIA. ETA then plans to look toward expansion of WRIS for performance measurement for other one-stop partner programs funded by other federal agencies. ETA recognizes there are many policy and operational issues associated with expanding WRIS and is committed to working collaboratively with states and the other programs to identify and resolve issues associated with expansion.

    It is important to note that ETA is not suggesting any change to the current construct for WRIS. It continues to be voluntary for states to participate subject to the WRIS data sharing agreement between states and NASWA. To further improve the value of WRIS, ETA is also working with NASWA to evaluate the viability of making federal wage data available through WRIS.

  4. Action Required. Please make this information available to appropriate state staff in impacted program and operational areas. Key state players include representatives from Unemployment Insurance, WIA, Wagner-Peyser, One-Stop leads, information technology leads, and legal counsel. States and interested parties should keep alert for future announcements about WRIS, expansion activities.

  5. Inquiries. Parties with questions regarding WRIS should visit the "WRIS Watch" on the NASWA web site at www.naswa.org. In addition specific questions may be directed to Gay Gilbert, Chief USES/ALMIS at ggilbert@doleta.gov.