Click the topics below to go to the section:
- Service Flow
- Job Seeker Practices
- Business Services
- Career Pathways
- Related Initiatives
- Ticket To Work
- Unified Planning
- Financial Literacy
Coordinating Pre-ETS activity with WIOA Youth Services, and Alaska’s Job Center System
- Alaska VR agency, K-12 Education, and WIOA Youth Workforce Program are sharing resources and expertise to expand shared connection of youth with disabilities.
- Transition Camp and Supporting Job Club strategy is replicable, and establishes a “shared pipeline” for youth with disabilities to career pathways and the support systems to those pathways for all job seekers.
Iowa Service Integration
- State level management from Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation and Workforce Agencies developed a strategy to engage staff in establishing a common service flow in Job Centers.
- Leadership targeted four of the 15 state comprehensive workforce centers to engage in joint service process discussion with staff.
- Learned that “integration” means different things to different people, but joint discussion facilitated by leadership from VR and Workforce jointly can generate a common service flow that makes sense for job seekers.
- There is no data yet because the collaborative discussions have just occurred in the past year.
- Integration II: RSA-TAC-15-01 calls on VR and the other American Job Center partners to "collaborate to create a seamless customer-focused one-stop delivery system that integrates service delivery across all programs and enhances access to the program's services." There is no formal definition in WIOA for collaborative or integrated services. This paper provides a working model for levels of connection between partners to provide clarity and suggests definitions of four common strategies used by partner coalitions to help clarify the most appropriate use of each in particular settings. The paper was instrumental in the creation of WINTAC's Integration Continuum.
Practices of States with Order of Selection
For a variety of reasons, a number of states are currently in or initiating an Order of Selection (OOS) process. On this page, we will seek to add practices from states where job seekers with disabilities will be engaged by partner agencies in the Career Service and Pathway opportunities within job centers, partnering with the VR agency while on a waiting list with an SVRA. For those interested in how other states are initiating an OOS process, this is a resource compiled from states sharing their approaches: Table version; List version. For those interested in the General Steps and Process When State VR Agencies Implement Order of Selection, we have that resource as well.
Common Intake Practices Among States
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) strengthens and reinforces the partnerships and strategies necessary for One-Stop Centers to provide high-quality career services to job seekers and to develop enhanced alignment across partner programs. Characteristics of a high-quality center include the development of a common intake across partner programs to encourage system alignment, reduce individual burden and ensure customers greater access to programs based on their need. WINTAC, in consultation with several states, has gathered some best practices, processes and tools regarding common intake.
Georgia Workforce and Vocational Rehabilitation Partnership to increase co-enrollment and improve career outcomes for people with disabilities
Job seekers with disabilities often need to navigate multiple systems to access the resources they need to achieve meaningful employment outcomes. Because of separate functional silos, duplication or fragmentation of services may result. The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) grantee in Georgia has funded a full-time Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) within the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) whose entire caseload consists of shared co-enrolled WIOA Title I and WIOA Title IV customers to maximize positive outcomes for both job seekers with disabilities and workforce programs.
Use of the Integrated Resource Team (IRT) Strategy in Virginia:
- The VR agency in Virginia uses the Integrated Resource Team (IRT) strategy with Job Center partners in a process that is unique to each customer's needs, while taking advantage of the diverse expertise and creativity of the participating professionals.
- Dr. Joseph Ashley, the Assistant Commissioner of Virginia DARS, provides three examples of customer service to demonstrate how the IRT works in Virginia.
- This strategy has been piloted in several regions, and provides the opportunity for VR expertise to lead to engagement of people with disabilities in Career Pathways and access other services available through America’s Job Centers. In addition, Virginia is participating in the RSA Career Pathways initiative as one of the four grantees. The IRT is a strategy for leveraging and braiding resources that can effectively increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in Career Pathways.
Collaboration of community agencies and resources is reported to be essential in effectively addressing homelessness in a community, in the same manner as required to effectively address the needs of job seekers and the industry of a community. As the service populations and agencies are common with the workforce system, how homelessness interacts with workforce is locally determined, just as the collaborative strategies to address the common challenges will be unique to each community.
Burt M. & Anderson, B. (2006) Changing Homeless and Mainstream Service Systems: Essential Approaches to Ending Homelessness, Toward Understanding Homelessness: 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research.
- As we consider strategies to articulate service flow in the American Job Centers in a manner to support Core and Required Partner agencies address how it can be improved, we've considered available publications related to resource mapping, courtesy of our friend and colleague, Dr. Darlene Groomes.
Collaborative Business Engagement
There are a number of examples identified below with regard to how State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies are working with WIOA Core and Required Partner agencies and other organizations, such as economic development agencies and Workforce Development Boards, to meet the needs of business sectors with increasing effectiveness together. These examples are provided through interviews with state agency personnel, and this activity was conducted in partnership with the JDVRTAC and CSAVR:
- Illinois Collaborative Business Practice
- Indiana Collaborative Business Activity
- Iowa EDRN in WINTAC Practice Template
- New Hampshire Collaborative Business Activity
- Montana Collaborative Business Engagement
- Missouri Collaborative Business Engagement
- Michigan Collaborative Business Activity
Guidance on establishing Networking Groups between agencies for purposes of collaborative business engagement are provided by our colleagues with the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI).
Iowa Reverse Job Fair:
- Staff from Iowa Department for the Blind, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, AJCs through the Disability Employment Initiative, along with other partners came together to develop a unique approach for engaging businesses and increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
- This Reverse Job Fair concept allows the job seekers to highlight their strengths and skills and present the full spectrum of their abilities to business representatives looking for their skillsets.
- The Reverse Job Fair provides a deeper connection between the WIOA core partners and the business community and a broader appreciation on the part of the employers for the skills and attributes of the individuals seeking work.
Using Labor Market Information
North Dakota DVR Labor Market Information:
The North Dakota DVR (NDVR) requested Intensive Technical Assistance (ITA) for the Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center (JDVRTAC) regarding Business Engagement (BE) and Labor Market Information (LMI). NDVR wanted to create a culture within the agency where all VR Counselors would be able to help clients learn to access and use LMI in an easy-to-understand and meaningful way. NDVR would partner with DOL for assistance on how to access and navigate through LMI information. The use of LMI would help clients and counselors identify vocational opportunities and the methods to achieve employment through on-the-job training, short-term training, or attending postsecondary education.
Iowa Disability Access Committees
The State of Iowa has created a committee to its State Workforce Board which focuses on Employment and Disability. This Disability Access Standing Committee has established local committees with the same focus and similar make-up for each of the AJCs in the state, including physical access, programmatic access, and guidance and support to all Workforce staff to support capacity to include individuals with disabilities in service.
Job Center Training on Section 188 - Missouri
- The VR Agency, as a Core Partner in the Missouri Workforce Center System, provides training to Job Center leadership and service staff on Section 188.
- The strategy is designed to create more comfort and confidence on the part of staff in partner agencies in including those with disabilities (whether disclosed or not) in center services.
- VR expertise supports the engagement of individuals with disabilities in Career Pathways.
- Section 188 Training
- Section 188 Reference Guide – Missouri
- Job Center Training - Missouri
- Analysis of MO Job Seekers Survey
Alaska Youth Services Coordination
- Alaska VR has taken the leadership role in development of youth transition services and engagement of youth with disabilities into existing career pathways programs. Partnerships are with K-12 Education, AJCs, DEI project, Community Rahab Providers, Independent Living Centers, Mental Health Trust, Regional Training Centers, University System and industry sectors.
- These initiatives leverage funding across multiple partners, staff time and resources, allowing for shared outcomes and for efficient and effective service delivery.
- Recent data from K-12 education has demonstrated the VR-led initiatives have already positively impacted graduation rates, resulted in a higher proportion of youth with disabilities entering career pathways programs, and greatly increased exposure to employment and career options, and increased industry partnerships.
South Dakota Business Tours Tool Kit
- A team consisting of WIOA core partners across all four titles came together to identify ways to work together to gain a deeper understanding of employer needs within high demand occupations.
- The business tours are a way for cross-agency business outreach staff to gain a deeper understanding of the business need, culture and physical work environment to increase responsiveness to both employer and job seekers by making an informed match that is a win-win.
Benefits Advisement in Alaska
Alaska identified a need for increasing capacity of service providers to be responsive to questions regarding benefits and work incentives for individuals receiving SSI and SSDI benefits through a multi-tiered approached:
- Purchasing and maintaining an Alaska-specific DB101 system: https://ak.db101.org/;
- Training VR Counselors, frontline AJC staff, Community Rehab providers and other partners as Financial and Work Incentive Navigators;
- Increasing the number of VR CRPs who are trained Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs); and
- Increasing the number of AJC Employment Counselors/Disability Resource Coordinators who are CWICs.
- This multi-tiered approach increases resources within the AJCs, VR and partners to have the necessary information to respond to questions regarding work and SSA benefits for Ticket To Work clientele and for agency staff and providers to have the knowledge for informed referrals for full Benefit Analysis when needed.
- This initiative has expanded the system’s capacity and timeliness to meet the needs of SSA beneficiaries, thereby increasing the potential for earlier engagement into employment.
- Alaska developed a quality assurance system to ensure CWICs providing benefit analysis to VR clients remain up-to-date on skills and knowledge.
Collaborative Workforce Employment Network Operation: Iowa
- The Regional Workforce Partners, including the Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, have established a Collaborative Workforce Employment Network under the Ticket to Work Program.
- There is an effective Partnership Plus agreement that outlines partner roles, ticket assignment and follow-along service commitments.
- Ticket to Work milestone and outcome payments are collaboratively invested to increase the responsiveness of the Center’s Career services to include individuals with disabilities and support their engagement in the region’s Career Pathway models.
- This model increases the relevance of the career services for all partner case management services and the partnership with regard to service response for all customers.
Nebraska Example in Unified Planning
- Focus on planning to implement rather than planning to be compliant
- Shared and sustained planning
An act to replace the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, to extend and revise the authorization of grants to States for Vocational Rehabilitation services, with special emphasis on services to individuals with the most severe disabilities, to expand special Federal responsibilities and research and training programs with respect to individuals with disabilities, to create linkage between State Vocational Rehabilitation programs and workforce investment activities carried out under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, to establish special responsibilities for the Secretary of Education for coordination of all activities with respect to individuals with disabilities within and across programs administered by the Federal Government, and for other purposes.
- U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: Murray, Isakson, Harkin, Alexander Applaud HELP Committee Passage of Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization. Ranking Member’s Newsroom. (July 31, 2013).
- National Disability Institute (NDI) released Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the 2015 FDC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. The report finds that in the 27 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, ensuring all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve "economic self-sufficiency," this population still faces numerous financial hurdles and roadblocks to financial inclusion.