I. PLAN DEVELOPMENT
Describe the process for the development and modification of the local Plan, as well as how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 implementation strategy, was incorporated into the process. Click here to see a copy of the approval of the Plan by the County Commissioners and here to see a copy of the signatures of partners in the WIB-Operator Agreement.
A. A description of the involvement of the Local Elected Official (LEO), the Local Board and stakeholders in the development of the Plan;
As a part of its ongoing strategic planning, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board developed and approved its Operating Plan for PY 06 and 07 in the spring of 2005 with final approval and adoption on May 10, 2005. The Board and selected community partners including the Lancaster Chamber, the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit, the School District of Lancaster, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, the Lancaster County Planning Commission and others participated in a half-day retreat on February 3, 2005 where modifications to the Strategic Plan of the Board that would necessitate modifications to the Operating Plan of the Board were discussed. Representatives of the LEO (Commissioner Molly Henderson) and of the PA CareerLink Operator Consortium participated in all aspects of the planning. See Appendix F for the current Strategic and Operating Plans of the Board.
Subsequently, staff added details to the Plan and returned it to the Performance Review Committee of the Board of Directors for comment. Upon some modification and approval of the Committee, the Plan was approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors on 2005 and published to the Board of Directors of the Board and the community.
This Plan is the foundation for the information that we now offer to the PA Department of Labor and Industry in response to its 2006 request. The re-drafting of the Plan to conform to the specifications of the request has been reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Board. The final Plan was adopted by the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board at its regular meeting on September 21, 2006.
In response to requests from the PA Department of Labor and Industry, our Recovery Act Funding Priorities were approved by the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board on March 19, 2009 with the initial draft submitted to the Department on March 26 and a review submitted on April 10, 2009. Our American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Implementation Strategy was submitted to the Department on May 14 and a revision submitted on June 1 with Board approval on June 2, 2009.
Commissioner Craig Lehman represented the LEO through his attendance at meeting of the Board and its Executive Committee in all of the recent actions of the Board in relation to the required submissions. Further, the Implementation Strategy was reviewed by the entire Board of County Commissioners including Commissioners Lehman, Dennis Stuckey, and Scott Martin at a meeting of the Commissioners on May 27, 2009.
Finally, as requested by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, our PY 09 WIA Local Plan is a modification of our PY 06 WIA Local Plan with the addition of information from the ARRA Implementation Strategy mentioned above. It was available for public comment on www.lancastercountywib.com for 30 days beginning on August 10, 2009. The Board of Directors will review and approve it on September 17, 2009 with final approval expected by the PA Department of Labor and Industry on or around September 30, 2009.
B. A description of the collaboration between the Local Board and representatives from economic development, education, the business community and other interested parties in the development;
As a way of encouraging comment on the Plan, our stakeholders and the public have been encouraged to express their opinions at meetings of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, the Lancaster County Commissioners (May 27), the staff of the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County (July 10), The Lancaster Chamber (August 10), and the Lancaster County Planning Commission (August 10).
C. A description of the process used to make the Plan available to the public and the outcome resulting from review of public comments. Describe measures taken to provide increased transparency and measures to include or address all comments received within the review period. A copy of the published notice should be included as Appendix A. Any comments related to the Plan, and a brief discussion regarding any changes made to the Plan in response to comments received, should be included as Appendix B.
Notice of the Plan being available for public review will be placed in the local newspaper with directions to refer to the website of the Board at www.lancastercountywib.com for a complete copy of the Plan. All comments will be directed to Scott Sheely, Executive Director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, who will compile them and respond to commenters. Suggestions from the public will be noted in Appendix B of the Plan with comments as to how they might affect the Plan contents.
During the period for public comment, there were no suggestions from the public to the Plan. Appendix B is blank.
II. VISION AND PRIORITIES
Describe how the LWIB will:
1. Utilize available resources to support local workforce and economic development;
2. Maximize and leverage resources to develop a high-demand, skilled workforce to support the needs of business and industry in the local area;
3. Engage business, industry, education, economic development, and community organizations to participate with the public workforce system to identify workforce challenges and develop strategies and solutions to address those challenges;
4. Ensure a continuum of education and training opportunities that support a skilled workforce, including the vision for economic recovery, touching on the Recovery Act principles and how the Recovery Act funds can be integrated into transformational efforts to achieve an invigorated, more innovative public workforce system capable of helping future economic growth and advancing shared prosperity for all Pennsylvanians;
5. Ensure that every youth has the opportunity for developing and achieving career goals through education and workforce training, including youth most in need of assistance: out-of-school youth, homeless youth, youth in foster care, youth aging out of foster care, youth offenders, children of incarcerated parents, migrant and seasonal farmworker youth, youth with disabilities, and other youth at risk;
6. Increase training access and opportunities through:
a. the use of WIA Title I and Recovery Act funds as well as other leveraging resources;
b. contracts or agreements with institutions of higher education, especially community colleges, apprenticeship programs, and other training providers; and
c. expanding the relationships and curricula developed through industry partnerships.
Overall, the mission of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board is to coordinate, develop, and maintain an effective and responsive system of programs and services that integrates the needs of employers for an ample and productive workforce with the needs of Lancaster County residents for meaningful work that enhances their quality of life.
We see a system that takes a leading and influencing role within what is really a network of systems. We envision a workforce that is adequate in numbers and equipped with a work ethic, foundational academic skills, and specific occupational skills that fit the needs of local employers and that rival those of other areas with which we are in competition. We see a diverse workforce and prospective workforce with equal access to educational resources and a diverse job market where there is equal opportunity for all workers and prospective workers.
In addition, we see an environment where individuals find success and satisfaction in their careers and in the financial rewards that flow from them. We envision a system that is responsive to workforce needs as they emerge with the power and influence to make change happen. Ultimately, this overall process keeps the Lancaster County economy strong by encouraging established businesses to grow and prospective businesses to consider Lancaster County as a venue for their enterprises.
Over the years, we have used this framework to inform our dialogue with the systems with which we interrelate - business and industry, economic development, and education - in order to encourage better coordination and eliminate duplication. We have used this vision to promote system change within the public workforce system in Lancaster County, re-inventing one-stop services and better aligning the services provided by our contractors with the intentions of the Board. We made the PA CareerLink the operational creature of the Board by providing clear direction and regular oversight.
Increasingly, as we reached out to business, our vision has anticipated the changing priorities of public sector funding with regard to incumbent worker training. We organized and continue to support industry partnerships with the health care, construction, food processing, metal, lumber and wood, agriculture, and plastics industries. We piloted groundbreaking work with industrial maintenance skills as they apply to the packaging industry in cooperation with our many education partners in the region. Much of this work has been done with our workforce colleagues in the South Central and Berks County workforce investment areas.
Since 2001, the Lancaster County Board has been the recipient of four major federal grants - Community Audit, Sectoral Employment Implementation, High Growth Job Training, and Regional Innovation Grant. We partnered with the PA Department of Aging, Microsoft Corporation, the Lancaster County Foundation, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, the Alcoa Foundation, and the RR Donnelley Foundation on several projects in the same timeframe. In PY 09, we managed nine Industry Partnership Training grants. We aggressively used WIA funding to build bridges to the traditional workforce system. We routinely have leveraged funding that totals two or three times our WIA allocation.
Additionally, the Board was a founding member of the Lancaster County Re-Entry Management Organization and supports the RMO's work with ex-offenders.
In the last two years, the Business Services Team of the Lancaster CareerLink expanded its outreach to area businesses. Our recent focus on workforce readiness in cooperation with the Lancaster Chamber using WorkKeys and WIN has added a new dimension to the value-added services that we offer employers.
Our early work with the analysis of the local economy won the Board a seat at the economic development table. Most of the economic development entities in the County - the Lancaster Chamber, the Economic Development Company, the County Planning Commission, the Keystone Innovation Zone, the County Indicators Project, and others - use the WIB-established industry priorities and have adopted them as their own.
Significantly, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board is a founding member of Lancaster Prospers, our Lancaster economic development collaborative, with the Executive Director serving on the Steering Committee. The Board participated on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Agriculture established by the Lancaster County Commissioners and continues to be a leader in its ongoing work. The Board staffs four Center of Excellence sponsored by Lancaster Prospers in Long-Term Care Practice, Packaging Operations, Production Agriculture, and Renewable Energy as well as providing staffing around economic data.
We have seen the ARRA as a way to continue this foundational work and to further develop and enhance these themes going forward.
As a result of the significant infusion of ARRA funding, we will be able to serve many more adults, especially customers who are collecting public assistance; many more dislocated workers, including a greater number of unemployment compensation (UC) claimants; and many more youth, especially during the summer months.
We believe that strategically we must maximize the efforts on behalf of our fellow citizens to provide them with training and placement services that will get them back to work as quickly as jobs become available. At the same time, we need to connect the new services for youth with our ongoing service delivery system so that every young person has the opportunity for developing and achieving their career goals through education and workforce training with a special emphasis on out-of-school youth, youth in foster care, young offenders, children of incarcerated parents, migrant and seasonal farm workers, youth with disabilities, and other young people at risk.
By dramatically increasing the number of customers we serve, we will help to stimulate the economy. At the same time, we have the opportunity to build out our existing system to increase the depth and breadth of what we do. Any plan must keep both priorities in mind.
Moving forward with a strategic vision for this Plan, we have certain basic principles that are compatible with the intent and spirit of the ARRA and which will guide our service delivery strategy...
— We intend to use more than 75% of the adult and dislocated worker funding for job readiness (including Job Club) and training activities and to spend more than 75% of the youth funding in the first summer;
— Wherever possible, we will use systems that are already in place. We intend to keep our overhead low and not incur fixed costs. We plan to competitively bid wherever possible. We are looking for vendors that follow the rules and produce the outcomes we desire. We have already contacted qualified customers that may be interested and discussed with them the process for accessing the new services.
— We intend to be the employment business service of choice for employers in Lancaster County, serving the hiring needs of industries such as health care that continue to hire larger number of people while at the same time serving the more modest needs of small and medium-size businesses as well.
— We plan to apply for competitive grants from state, federal, and philanthropic sources if they fit the priorities established in this plan.
— We intend to be totally transparent in what we do. We have a section of our website...www.lancastercountywib.com...devoted to the planning for and use of ARRA funding. We expect to file all reports in a timely way.
— We will explore and use new ways to get the word out about programming to every resident of Lancaster County. We held a "Train for the Future" Day on April 29, 2009 where almost 200 individuals had intakes to determine their eligibility for training as well as a "Here to Help" Day on May 6, 2009 where over 600 people met with PA CareerLink staff and nearly 80 community service providers to explore services that they might need in the future.
B. Priorities and Goals
1. Identify key workforce investment priorities for the local workforce system.
a. Describe how each supports the local workforce development vision. Include strategies to align with Pennsylvania's current objectives, the Governor's Job Ready Pennsylvania priorities; and the creation and sustainability of small, new, and emerging industries.
Our goals flow from our vision of the economy, the workforce, and the community as we see it evolving in the years to come:
1. Build and maintain a workforce that is adequate in numbers to meet the emerging needs of current and prospective Lancaster County businesses;
2. Develop and maintain a workforce that is equipped with a work ethic, foundational academic skills, and specific occupational skills that fit the emerging needs of local employers and that rival those of other areas with which we are in competition;
3. Assure equal access of Lancaster County residents to education and employment;
4. Assist Lancaster County residents in finding success and satisfaction in their careers.
5. Develop and maintain an effective and efficient workforce system that uses the power and influence of the WIB to attract partners, build alliances and coordinate resources.
Since 2001, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board has used a model focusing on primary industry clusters in the Lancaster County economy to guide its workforce investments. Five industry clusters - health care, agriculture and food processing, metals and metal fabricating, communications, and construction - became the priorities with biotechnology and automotive services eventually being added in succeeding years. These seven clusters align perfectly with the priority industry clusters of the Commonwealth of PA.
Currently, we continue to study business services and logistics and transportation as two additional clusters that we may add to our previously-established investment portfolio. An additional technology-based cluster in industrial maintenance has been identified and developed into a significant occupational-based cluster.
We are actively engaged in broadening and deepening our work in the industry clusters indicated above by developing more pre-employment training options, particularly related to the health care, construction, food processing and metals industries. We have integrated those efforts into our regular programming at the PA CareerLink on behalf of our WIA and welfare customers over the last two years. We continue to build out our Ready2Work workforce readiness program by making the Lancaster County Career Readiness Credential a required step for further training and job search activities.
In addition, we plan to increasingly use the EmployOn labor exchange service to supplement the resources of the PA CareerLink website. Our intention is to have the job descriptions of 200 or more companies from our priority clusters into our database of WorkKeys-profiled jobs.
Using the high priority industries, we have done extensive work to identify the career ladders within the industries that are important to the Lancaster County economy. We plan to continue using the High-Priority Occupations list for Lancaster County as the template which guides our workforce investments and the investments of other public sector investments over which we have any influence. We expect this commitment to have further impact on WIA contractors, ITA contractors, Project 720 schools, potential contractors for incumbent worker training, investments by the economic development system, and other public sector investments.
In addition, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board is a full partner in Lancaster Prospers, a collaborative of economic development organizations in the area, which has formed a strategic vision for the development of small, new, and emerging industries in the area. Assets, SCORE, and the Small Business Development Center of Kutztown University provide specific services to new companies. The Executive Director of the Board also serves on the Steering Committee of the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) for Lancaster County.
Generally, we feel that our priorities and goals align very well with the Strategic State Workforce Investment Plan of Pennsylvania as well as the JobReady PA strategy of the Rendell administration. Strengthening industries though industry partnerships, increasing opportunities for PA residents, preparing youth for the careers of tomorrow, and implementing rigorous accountability standards are themes that flow throughout our own planning efforts.
2. Discuss how goals and priorities are adjusted to respond to the economic downturn and the subsequent infusion of Recovery Act funds, including:
a. How workforce investment system resources (WIA formula funds, Recovery Act, etc.) can be deployed to serve increased numbers of businesses and job seekers;
b. Increasing access to education and training opportunities for adults and dislocated workers who need to upgrade or acquire new skills and developing career pathways that meet the transformed workforce of the future;
c. Preparing youth for the workforce of tomorrow; and
d. Developing partnerships with community colleges and other institutions of higher education, business, labor organizations, registered apprenticeship programs, and community and faith-based organizations to align workforce development strategies in the local area or region.
Building a continuum of education and training opportunities is essential to the work that we need to do over the next year or so in response to our ARRA obligations.
In the planning and implementation that has already happened, we have used several important assumptions as foundational. Short-term, skill oriented training that is designed by industry and which involves a non-credit certificate that could be brokered into a longer-term academic credential is just as important as more traditional educational or apprenticeship opportunities. In fact, employers like it. We think that a person with a stack of short-term, skill-oriented credentials in their portfolio become very employable very quickly. This thinking is at the heart of the service delivery system that we describe above.
Our goal is to put people back to work first and then to work on their skill and educational attainment as the next priority. This means that we have pushed for new training options that take three weeks, three months, or six months to complete as folks work on their job search activities. This is again reflected in what we describe earlier in this document.
It is also clear to us that there are still not enough content options to address the needs of employers for skilled workers. We need to encourage more curriculum development in fields that are new or that have not been addressed before. We have been actively involved in designing, evaluating, and implementing this curriculum through projects with Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, the Smart Energy Initiative, and other groups. We must push our partners to fill the gaps that exist by working together as providers to grow pipelines and career paths.
Finally, all of this new programming must fit into our existing system so that it continues beyond our stimulus work. We have encouraged all of our education and training providers to put the new courses that they are developing on the Eligible Provider List so that they make a long-term commitment to offering the course and take responsibility for the success of graduates as they move back into the workforce.
Overall, the expansion of our WIA and TANF networks of youth-serving individuals and organizations through the recent Regional Career Education Partnership (RCEP) and the Pennsylvania Youth in Transition (PAYT) initiatives has helped us connect with virtually every category of at risk young person. We believe that ARRA programming fits well into this strategic framework and network of existing partners that we have already established.
III. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
1. Describe the role of the LEO in the governance and implementation of WIA in the local area. In local areas consisting of more than one unit of government, indicate the decision making process between the local elected officials.
In Lancaster County, the LEO is the Board of County Commissioners who are represented on the Board and Executive Committee by Commissioner Craig Lehman. Two important WIB staff members - the Deputy Director and the Fiscal Officer - are loaned County employees. The County Controller is the Fiscal Agent for the Board.
The County Commissioners approve all plans and contracts that relate to funding that flows through the County Controller's Office and Commissioners. Approval is granted upon signature of two of the three Commissioners.
2. Identify the WIA Title I Contractor. Describe the process for selection and the relationship of the WIA Title I Contractor to the PA CareerLink Consortium.
With the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act, the Lancaster Employment and Training Agency (LETA), a department of County government, was chosen as the WIA Title I Contractor based on their past history in that role. A contract between the County of Lancaster and the Workforce Investment Board was developed (and is still operative) that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each party. The contract with LETA is reviewed by the Board on an annual basis; performance is monitored by staff on a quarterly basis.
In addition, the Board determines on a bi-annual basis whether the contract with the County should be continued or whether it should be competitively bid.
3. Identify the PA CareerLink Consortium. Describe the role of the Consortium in the One-Stop System and the relationship to the LWIB.
Currently, the Operator Consortium of the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County consists of the Lancaster Employment and Training Agency, the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, the Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership, the Community Action Program, and the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit #13. The Consortium contracts with the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board to provide service delivery as required by the Board at the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County, to hire and supervise an Administrator and other staff, and to function as liaison with the 16 partners of the PA CareerLink.
4. Identify the Fiscal Agent, as determined by the Chief Elected Official (CEO). Provide all contact information for this entity (WIA Section 118(b)(8)).
5. Provide an organizational chart (Appendix C) that delineates the relationship between the agencies involved in the workforce development system, including the LEO and the required and optional PA CareerLink partner programs and line of authority. The chart should reflect the distinct separation between governance and service delivery structure consistent with the State's LWIB Staffing Policy.
See Appendix C for an Organization Chart.
B. Local Workforce Investment Board
1. Describe any functions the Board has assumed other than those required by statute.
By and large, the Board has focused on the functions required by statute. It has assumed a major planning and coordinating role for the work done by contractors engaged in incumbent worker training and youth programming.
However, it also has taken an expanded role in its role as broker between the workforce system and the business community by guaranteeing that people who finish the Ready2Work program are indeed ready to work. It has also enlarged the role of the Business Services Team of the PA CareerLink so that its members are more fully addressing the needs of employers.
2. Describe measures developed to improve operational collaboration of workforce investment activities and programs. Include measures to identify and eliminate existing barriers to coordination.
We have intentionally used new programming to break down barriers between entities and promote better organizational cooperation. The workforce readiness initiative, our implementation of WorkKeys and WIN as a common language, the introduction of EmployOn and Words for Work, expanded hours of instruction in information technology, our pre-apprenticeship activities focused on the construction industry...all force staff to think differently and administrators to move out of their comfort zones.
Ultimately, we depend on process evaluation that involves all stakeholders to determine whether the initiative is working or needs attention.
Also, we have invested quite a bit of energy in coordinating the efforts of workforce, education, and economic development entities that routinely call on businesses. We see much closer cooperation with our colleagues at the Business Retention and Expansion Program (Economic Development Company of Lancaster County), our WedNet partners (Millersville University, the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, Harrisburg Area Community College), and our friends in economic development (EDC, Keystone Innovation Zone, County Planning Commission). Our relationship with the Lancaster Chamber is strong while our connection with MANTEC is growing.
3. Describe how the Board ensures that meetings and information regarding Board activities are accessible to the public (including persons with disabilities.)
All meetings of the Workforce Investment Board are held at the PA CareerLink which is ADA-accessible. Information about meetings reaches people in the community through written and virtual notification through a number of community information outlets. All Board meetings are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.
Annually, the meeting dates and times of all Board, Executive Committee, and Youth Council meetings are published in local newspapers. Additionally, all documents detailing Board activity including Minutes are posted on the Board website...www.lancastercountywib.com...with the notice that "auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities".
4. Describe how the Board ensures timely, open and effective sharing of information between state and federal agencies, other boards and the local workforce investment system, including the PA CareerLink.
Staff people participate in a variety of activities where information is shared with our colleagues at federal and state agencies and other parts of the workforce investment system. We attend the annual meetings of the National Association of Workforce Boards, the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, National Workforce Alliance, and the National Network of Sector Partners. We have been the organizer of an annual convening of workforce, education, and economic partners in State College for the last eight years. We regularly are invited to present at national and state meetings. The Executive Director is a faculty member of the National Sector Skills Academy and has spoken at the PA Sector Skills Academy as well. The Deputy Director and one of our Project Managers are Fellows of the PA Sector Skills Academy.
At home, the Deputy Director of the WIB regularly attends PA CareerLink Operator meetings while the Chair of the Operator Consortium is an ex officio member of the Executive Committee of the Board and a member of the Workforce Investment Board. PA CareerLink leadership including the Site Administrator is regularly invited to meetings of the WIB staff and contractors.
5. Describe the Board committee (other than Youth Council) structure, membership, and functions.
Overall, the Board uses a simple committee structure that includes an Executive Committee, a Performance Review Committee, the Local Management Committee, and a Finance Committee (in addition to the Youth Council). The Executive Committee is empowered to enact the business of the Board, meets monthly, is chaired by the Chair of the Board of Directors, and staffed by the Executive Director. The Committee consists of the three Board officers, the chairs of the Youth Council, LMC and Finance Committee, a County Commissioner, and two at-large members.
Further, the Performance Review Committee reviews and approves all contracts, monitors performance, meets regularly, is chaired by the Vice-Chair of the Board, and staffed by the Deputy Director. The Local Management Council manages relationships and contracts on behalf of the Department of Public Welfare. It is chaired by the Director of the Lancaster County Assistance office and meets regularly. The Finance Committee monitors financial operations including the budget process, meets as needed, and is chaired by a private sector member of the Board who is a CPA and is staffed by the Fiscal Director.
6. Describe Youth Council membership and how its composition supports programs that prepare youth for employment in demand occupations.
7. Describe the relationship of the Youth Council to the Board and to the WIA Title I Contractor.
The Youth Council is a standing committee of the Workforce Investment Board. It is chaired by a private sector member of the Board and includes additional private sector Board representation. Several public sector WIB members, including a representative from the WIB Title I Contractor, as well as other appointees from the youth-serving community are members of the Youth Council. All members are appointed by the Lancaster County Commissioners. A Youth Coordinator who is a WIB employee staffs the Council.
Business from the Council follows the same review process as that which comes from other committees. Normally, this involves review and action by the Executive Committee of the Board.
8. Describe the process used to identify and select local Board members.
Private sector board members are nominated by the Lancaster Chamber or the Steering Committees of various Industry Partnerships operated by the Board. Labor, education, and economic development nominate their designees. Certain required public sector members are nominated by their governing organizations. The Lancaster County Commissioners eventually appoint all nominees.
9. Describe the process to identify a potential conflict of interest for, or any matter that would provide a financial benefit to: a Board member, a member's immediate family, or a representative entity. Include actions to be taken by the Board or Board member, in the event of a conflict of interest.
All members of the Workforce Investment Board are required to certify that they have no current conflicts of interest and that they will advise the Chair of the Board of any that may arise by using the process recommended by the PA Department of Labor and Industry. Not revealing an actual conflict of interest may result in dismissal from the Board.
A Board member may not vote on a matter under consideration by the Board regarding provision of services by the member or the entity the member represents; matters that would provide direct financial benefit to the member, his/her immediate family; or a business with which the member or his/her immediate family is associated or any other activities that would be in conflict with the conflict of interest prohibitions outlined in the State Plan.
Conflict or conflict of interest does not include an action having a de minimis economic impact or which affects to the same degree a class consisting of the general public or a subclass consisting of an industry, occupation, or other group which includes the Board member or a member of his immediate family, or a business with which he or a member of his immediate family is associated.
In addition, Board members are required to complete a Statement of Financial Interest on an annual basis.
IV. ECONOMIC AND LABOR MARKET ANALYSIS
Provide an updated analysis of the local economy, the labor pool, and labor market with a focus on the economic downturn and projections for economic recovery. This analysis must include the following:
A. The current makeup of the local economic base by industry.
Lancaster County has a very diverse economy. It is one of the top 20 agriculture producing counties in the US. More than 20% of employment is in good producing industries although there has been a shift from durable to non-durable goods over the last 20 years. Food processing, cabinetry manufacturing, metal fabricating, biotechnology, plastics, and printing are the primary manufacturing industries that were growing until the beginning of the recession.
Health care continues to be a major employer with long-term care being the driver of growth in that sector. The construction industry took a sharp decline both in the residential and commercial parts of the industry but is expected to rebound in late 2009. The Manheim Auto Auction, the world's largest wholesale auto auction drives the automotive services sector which continues to be slow due to the economic downturn.
Since 2000, the Board has monitored the composition of the economy by benchmarking 20 clusters of industries and their supply and distribution chains. Seven of the 20 cluster have been designated as priority - health care, biotechnology, communications, construction, agriculture and food processing, metals and metal fabricating, and automotive services. Growth, competitiveness (as measured by location quotient), and average wage are the primary criteria for determining a priority industry. Retail and hospitality are two large sectors that are not priority industries because of their low average pay.
We continue to look at logistics and transportation and business services as clusters that may be added to the priority list at some time in the future. Textile and precision electronics manufacturing seem to be two industries that are losing employment and that we do not expect to rebound due primarily to foreign competition.
With the exception of 2001 (and probably 2008-2009), the workforce in Lancaster County has been growing since 2000. In the period from 2000-2004, the five fastest growing industry groups in the County were transportation, health care, education, lumber and wood products, and business services. The five largest industry clusters in 2004 were health care, retail, hospitality, construction, and business services.
See Appendix K - Data for Economic and Labor Market Analysis for the back-up data for this analysis.
B. Current and anticipated plant closings, mass layoffs, and business expansion.
Plant closings and/or mass layoffs that have occurred in the last year include Linens n Things, Circuit City, Bank of Lancaster County, Lancaster Newspapers, American LaFrance, School Specialty, Fleetwood Homes, NTN-BCA, Yellow Freight/Roadway, Bulova Technology, Flexsteel, Anvil International, Carolina Logistics, Wilton Armetale, Nichia, and Signature Custom Cabinetry.
Over the same period, the opening of the Lancaster County Convention Center and Marriott Hotel has been a significant business addition with more than 175 people being hired.
C. Industries and occupations expected to grow or decline in the short term and over the next decade.
Manufacturing in the area is expected to slowly decline but primarily as a result of increasing automation rather than work going offshore. Lancaster and surrounding Berks and York Counties continue to be manufacturing powerhouses in spite of the recession. Construction is expected to rebound quickly from the recession while financial and business services, retail and hospitality may be slower to recover. Health care continues to expand in spite of the recession.
With the increasing sophistication of technology in manufacturing, the need for industrial maintenance and mechatronics technicians is expanding dramatically. There is a huge anticipated shortage of health care workers, in general, and registered nurses, specifically. Truck drivers at every level will be in demand in the long-run. The skilled trades in construction - carpenters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians - will also be in heavy demand in the years to come. Many of these shortages are driven by two trends - growth in the industry and the need to replace a workforce that is near retirement.
For the most part, low-skill jobs in manufacturing are decreasing dramatically although the retail and hospitality industries continue to employ many workers in low-skill jobs that pay less than a family-sustaining wage.
See Appendix K - Data for Economic and Labor Market Analysis for the back-up data for this analysis.
D. Local industries and occupations that have a demand for skilled workers and have available jobs, both today and projected over the next decade.
See A and C above. We are primarily interested in industries that support family-sustaining wages.
E. Occupations that are most critical to the local economic base.
See A and C above.
F. Skill needs for the available, critical and projected jobs.
Our needs for skill training in Lancaster County are varied. In some cases, we need to train many more people than we currently train (health care). In other cases, the training that is offered needs to be upgraded to assure that the curriculum matches the technology needs of businesses (industrial maintenance). Often, skill training is available but there are not enough people who are interested (construction trades, manufacturing).
Increasingly, we find that employers are looking for pre-employment skill training that improves the readiness of the potential employee and that connects them to the incumbent worker training provided upon and after hire. Training in welding, fork lift operation, basic health care skills, the use of computer applications, and safety are all topics that address needs in high priority occupations that are important for the area.
Finally, the persistent sense among parents, teachers, counselors, and politicians that a four-year degree is the most desirable outcome for students that graduate from high school is a huge barrier to getting people into the jobs that require skills, not theoretical education. We send 70% of all high school graduates to college where 50% drop out and never finish. This speaks to a major mismatch between public perception and the realities of the world of work.
G. Current and projected demographic of the available labor pool, including the incumbent workforce.
Projections for the growth of the County indicate a slowing of growth from the double digit growth of the 1990s. The trend toward a rapidly increasing Latino and immigrant population are also expected to continue. Lancaster County has a younger population than many other parts of Pennsylvania so the prospect of finding replacement workers for the Baby Boom generation in younger age cohorts is good. The high percentage of older workers in certain industries such as health care and construction is worrisome.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate of the County is consistently one of the lowest in the Commonwealth, indicating that the pool of workers, in general, is shrinking.
See Appendix K - Data for Economic and Labor Market Analysis for the back-up data for this analysis.
H. Any "in migration" or "out migration" of workers that impact the local labor pool.
Affordable housing has become a major issue for employees and employers. We see an increasing number of people living in Lancaster County that work in Montgomery and Chester Counties. At the same time, we see an increasing number of Lancaster County workers that live in Lebanon, York, and Dauphin Counties where the housing is more affordable. Eventually, this situation will impact the available labor pool in ways that we do not yet understand. The Board uses the On the Map tool from the US Bureau of the Census as the source of most of this information.
Workforce or affordable housing was raised as a major issue in the County Housing Plan. The Board expects to be involved in the issue as the discussion moves forward within the County.
See Appendix K - Data for Economic and Labor Market Analysis for the back-up data for this analysis.
I. Current local area skill gaps and skill gaps projected to occur over the next decade.
See A and C above.
V. PLANNING AND EVALUATION
A. Describe the network that is the Workforce Development System in the local area. Provide information about the availability and coordination of services. Include information about strategic partnerships with community and faith-based organizations, RIGs, WIRED, IPs, Health Careers, and others.
We have invested almost a decade in attracting partners, building alliances, and coordinating resources in Lancaster County. We have 16 active partners in the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County. Our workforce readiness program is offered in five faith and community-based organizations as well as the PA CareerLink.
We run 11 traditional and non-traditional industry partnerships; some are local while others are more regional. We run four Centers of Excellence sponsored by Lancaster Prospers, our local economic development collaborative, as well as doing all of the research and data analysis for the group. We concluded in July 2009 work on a Regional Innovation Grant around the packaging industry in southeastern PA. We continue to be a partner in the WIRED project in biotechnology run by the Delaware Valley Innovation Network.
We work with all 16 school districts and most of the youth-serving organizations in the County through our Youth Council. We are a founding member of the Lancaster County ReEntry Management Organization which our Executive Director currently chairs. We sponsored an extensive research project on the dynamics of the Latino community in Lancaster County and are now staffing the Latino Coordinating Committee that grew out of it.
We use these relationships to reach out to more people than we ever have done in every corner of the community. In the course of doing this, we feel confident that our broad and well-established network will allow us to address the "dual-customer" mission of WIA and ARRA.
B. Describe the integration of the labor market information provided by the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis (CWIA) into planning and decision-making.
This Workforce Investment Board routinely uses the RDAT database and the database of PA employers as a basis for its strategic and operational planning activities. Most of that information is aggregated and displayed in other formats for the information of policymakers. In addition, the Board staff uses Strategic Advantage, a proprietary labor market information tool of Economic Modeling Strategies, Inc., particularly to obtain timely projections of industry and occupational information.
C. Describe how LWIA ensures that the strategic direction and performance goals are communicated for PA CareerLink planning and alignment.
A number of the PA CareerLink Operators and Investors serve on the Workforce Investment Board including representatives from LETA, the County Assistance Office, the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Community Action Program, Community Services of Organized Labor, Millersville University, and the Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership. The PA CareerLink Administrator and Chair of the Operator Consortium are ex officio members of the Executive Committee of the Board. The PA CareerLink Administrator regularly attends WIB staff meetings while the Deputy Director of the WIB regularly attends Operator Consortium and Investor meetings.
In addition, the WIB-Operator Memorandum of Understanding (Appendix D) clearly spells out the expectations of the Board with regard to PA CareerLink operations. The Performance Review Committee of the Board regularly monitors PA CareerLink performance. The PA CareerLink Administrator shares a report of key variable at the monthly Executive Committee meeting.
VI. SERVICE DELIVERY
A. Delivery System
1. Provide a description of the service delivery network.
Keeping with the strong demand-centered orientation of this Board, the service delivery network makes extensive use of feedback from the business community as it reaches out to employers and jobseekers alike. The seven priority industry clusters and their corresponding career ladders provide a framework for conceptualizing the way that we deliver service and keep us focused on the outcomes that count...placements in jobs that matter for area industry and that provide family-sustaining jobs for the people of Lancaster County.
At the core of the service delivery system is the Lancaster County PA CareerLink. Sixteen investor partners that range from required partners such as Title I and BWDP to groups that voluntarily choose to participate such as Harrisburg Area Community College and the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center share in the organizational structure. Over 200 people a day use the PA CareerLink with some 50 new people coming through the doors every day.
A relatively new feature of the PA CareerLink enrollment process involves the strong suggestion that customers participate in Ready2Work, the workforce readiness system of the one-stop. Folks complete an online pre-assessment of their skills and knowledge using WIN as well as examine their career goals using O*Net. Persons with very low adult basic education skills connect with the Title II provider, the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit, while others that need skill enrichment use WIN to improve their literacy skills. A WorkKeys assessment becomes a credential that customers can take to employers, proving their competency to meet employer requirements.
Along the way, the customer can build a portfolio of other skills by attending a variety of workshops that include topics ranging from resume writing and interviewing skills to how to prevent injuries on the job. A number of pre-employment short courses oriented to skill building in health care, welding, sanitation, and information technology offer many opportunities for customers to add additional components to their skill portfolios.
Case managers work with individuals to compare the personal goals and aspirations of the individual with the level of skill that they possess and the connection of those skills to valid job opportunities in the community. Some folks need help in job search. Some people need additional training. Other people need support as they start a job and move through the early stages of employment. Many people just need encouragement as they do most of the work.
Our connection with community and faith-based organizations allows us to leverage the resources of many entities and extend the services of the PA CareerLink and WIB system. Community and faith-based organizations are among our contractors. Many of these organizations are investor partners in the PA CareerLink. Some are PA CareerLink affiliates. The Board and the PA CareerLink are members of the Lancaster County Re-Entry Management Organization and the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness.
Contracts between the WIB system and the Department of Public Welfare connect that system to the regular processes described above. Wherever possible, welfare customers are integrated into the regular processes of the PA CareerLink. In fact, integration is the general policy of the Board regarding special populations. Our particular outreach to the homeless and re-entry populations follows the same philosophy as those folks enter the service delivery system.
Youth services have a distinct career information and workforce readiness flavor to them as well. Our increased focus on out-of-school youth with our WIA funding lifts up general literacy and specific skill training as the keys to getting a family-sustaining job. Career awareness is the primary goal of our TANF-funded outreach to schools in the County. Fourteen school districts are now engaged in activities that concentrates on the entry-level jobs that are a part of the career ladders of our priority industries. Career camps for young people as young as fifth grade serve hundreds of youngsters every summer.
Our ongoing connection with the Lancaster Chamber assures that businesses are at the table for these school and work partnerships. The Chamber encourages businesses to offer opportunities for students that include plant tours, mentoring, speakers at career fairs, and internships and then lists those possibilities on a website where they can be accessed by teachers, students, and families.
A separate Business Services Team of the PA CareerLink provides additional linkage between the PA CareerLink and the business community. The BST exists to gather job orders but it is also engaged with the rapid response function of the PA CareerLink, the layoff aversion system for south central PA, the network of industry partnerships that exist in the region, and the workforce readiness function of the PA CareerLink. This entity makes regular contacts with area companies coordinating its calling with the staff of the Business Retention and Expansion Program, MANTEC, and area colleges.
Currently, the Board supports industry partnerships in food processing, long-term care, agriculture, lumber and wood, construction, plastics, and metals and metal fabricating. An occupational based partnership in industrial maintenance has been recognized as a world-class, high technology initiative. Several partnerships have a pre-employment focus and are targeted to specific groups (ex-offenders, Latinos). The area is also connected to a biotechnology cluster in the Delaware Valley and an information technology cluster in Berks County.
Our industry partnership structure allows direct connections to other parts of the system. Liaison with the PA CareerLink is easier. Partnerships sponsor career camps and participate in other school-to-work activities. Companies that are a part of partnerships use the workforce readiness system and support pre-employment training that leads to employment in entry-level jobs. Project managers of the industry partnerships meet regularly with PA CareerLink and WIB staff to share information and coordinate joint projects.
In summary, our service delivery system extends well beyond the required WIA funded activities. Our plan is to continue developing this network to the end of better services for our employer and jobseeker customers.
2. Identify the PA CareerLinks of the Board including the number of sites, location, and affiliate sites. Describe factors used to assess the effectiveness of such configuration.
There is one comprehensive PA CareerLink in Lancaster County which is located at 1016 N. Charlotte St. in the northern part of Lancaster City. There are seven additional PA CareerLink affiliate sites in Lancaster City and County including the Spanish American Civic Association, Neighborhood Services, Urban League, Water Street Ministries, Community Services of Organized Labor, the Brightside Opportunities Center, and the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit #13 (which has multiple sites around the County).
Affiliates have a very specific role in the system which primarily revolves around offering the Ready2Work program and referring participants to the PA CareerLink for their final WorkKeys assessment. Their effectiveness in the system is evaluated by their ability to do this task.
Include factors for determining a location's business hours and the types of services offered.
In providing PA CareerLink services, we begin with the idea that services should be available at the hours that our customers need and in places that are accessible to them. We then determine the resources that are available to make this happen. We have moved from a limited system with one site that operates on a traditional work week and work day to a system that stretches its resources to be responsive to the needs of customers.
Affiliate sites provide the ability of the PA CareerLink system to extend its resources beyond its 8:30-5:00 workday on Monday through Friday. The ability to provide resources at any of the sites is limited by funding and staff resources.
Currently, the Charlotte St. location is open during the school year for night classes that are run by Millersville University, a partner in the PA CareerLink but not for other PA CareerLink services. The PA CareerLink is open to 7:00 p.m. on two evenings per week.
3. Describe the process and criteria used to certify/validate PA CareerLink and affiliate sites.
In our operation, monitoring and evaluation of PA CareerLink operations and outcomes which eventually result in certification is the responsibility of the Performance Review Committee of the Board. Usually, at the beginning of the second quarter after the fiscal year (around October), the Committee reviews results from the previous fiscal year and comments on its findings. WIB staff review the findings with the Operator Consortium and the PA CareerLink Administrator as well as current PA CareerLink operating procedures (similar to the Chartering process that was conducted in the past).
Our intention is that a final validation or charter is issued after a plan of corrective action is completed sometime by the end of the calendar year.
4. Describe overarching service delivery strategies, including the following:
a. The strategy for seamless service delivery including: transition between core, intensive and training services and referral to partner services for both businesses and individual customers.
In addressing the issue of seamless service delivery, the Operators and the PA CareerLink Administrator have developed a number of initiatives that promote coordination. A tracking system that monitors referrals through the system assures that customers receive the benefits of all of the service for which they are eligible. Interagency teams work together on structural and service delivery detail for employer and jobseeker customers.
b. The type and availability of training and employment activities and supportive services, the provision of universal service availability for individuals with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and those with significant barriers encountered and the means to address them. Include a description of how these were assessed and determined.
A Service Delivery Guide has been developed by the PA CareerLink partners and is included for reference in Appendix J. See the WIB-Operator Memorandum of Understanding which is included in Appendix D for more information related to this question.
c. Include a copy of the memorandum of understanding (Appendix D) between the LWIB and each partner in the local workforce investment system, as required in WIA Section 118(b)(2)(B).
See the WIB-Operator Memorandum of Understanding which is included in Appendix D for more information related to this question.
5. Describe how the Eligible Training Program / Provider System is used to provide improvement of education and training opportunities in response to the needs business and industry. Include the policies and procedures to determine eligibility of local level training providers, the use of performance information to determine continued eligibility, update or revise system information, and the agency responsible for these activities.
Overall, the expressed needs of business and industry drive the development of the Eligible Training Program/Provider System. The career ladders and projected supply of the high-priority occupations that are a part of the WIB industry cluster priorities dictate the kinds of education and training opportunities that are supported.
Given the fact that the official High-Priority Occupations list that is used by the entire region contains occupations that may not be relevant for the local market, the Board retains the right to limit the training for the occupations that it supports to its sense of what is important for the local economy.
Board staff reviews and approves the applications for training programs that are submitted by local providers for inclusion on the Statewide List of Eligible Training Providers. Training for occupations that are not on the High Priority Occupations List is generally excluded from consideration. The application system automatically excludes any entity that has a past history of non-performance from participating in the system.
6. Describe and provide examples of coordination with apprenticeship programs.
Our closest collaboration with apprenticeship programs occurs as an outgrowth of our Construction 101 program which provides the core curriculum for the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) training for the construction industry. Participants receive national certification for their completion of the curriculum which counts toward several of the apprenticeships offered by Associated Builders and Contractors.
Efforts to develop and coordinate our training with apprenticeships have been stymied by employers who seem to see the apprenticeship model as no longer relevant.
B. Adults and Dislocated Workers
1. Describe how the Board ensures adults and dislocated workers have universal access to the minimum required core services and how partner resources are integrated to delivery core services.
Guaranteeing accessibility at a number of levels (physical, psychological, geographical) is an important part of ensuring universal access to services. Our relationship with a growing network of community and faith-based organizations helps us to reach into local communities and overcome barriers to participation. Ultimately, our strategy involves getting people to the comprehensive one-stop center where the bulk of services are provided.
Over the years, the PA CareerLink investor partners have developed a way of looking at the core services that are needed and finding ways to resource those needs together. This involves the sharing of staff and financial resource to those ends.
2. Describe measures taken to ensure intensive services are provided to adults and dislocated workers who meet the criteria in WIA Section 134(d)(3)(A).
Weekly orientations provide potential users of intensive services with a sense of the array of services that are available. These orientations are the entry point into intensive services that, eventually, customers self-select in consultation with PA CareerLink staff.
3. Discuss how, in the context of a low-growth economy, innovative training strategies to...
a. Address longer-term unemployment.
b. Increase services to workers in need.
c. Support the full range of PA CareerLink customers in acquiring the skills needed to attain jobs in high-growth, high-wage industries and occupations, including such supports as needs-based payments, basic skills remediation, English as a second language, and supportive services.
d. Ensure education and training delivered through the workforce system results in education and workforce skills of demonstrated value and focus assessments and certifications toward the next level of education and employment.
e. Provide targeted work experiences in order to prepare individuals for job opportunities in new industries or occupations, particularly using registered apprenticeships and on-the-job training for all jobseekers and summer work experience for youth.
f. Align workforce activities with education, economic, and community development strategies to meet skill needs of individuals for occupations and industries important to the local and regional economies.
g. Items a-g addressed below
Our answer to the low-growth economy which we anticipate for the next several years lies in our recent experience.
Over the last three years, we have successfully added workforce readiness as a priority for service delivery in the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County, now an equal companion to our traditional priority of labor exchange. Our emphasis on workforce readiness is closely tied to our Industry Partnerships. Much of the content of this training has been designed with the help of our Industry Partnerships and provides a direct link into the needs of the employers for skilled talent.
— Our Ready2Work program provides assessment, knowledge enrichment, and skill enhancement with a Career Readiness Credential based on WorkKeys as one of the major outcomes of the process.
— Additional skill-oriented career programs in pre-allied health preparation, customer service, introduction to manufacturing, HOT (hands-on training) lab in mechanical maintenance, Construction 101, Printing 101, introduction to industrial food sanitation, welding, and Microsoft Unlimited Potential allows the individual to add other skill-oriented credentials to their portfolio.
— Upon completion of these activities (and sometimes during the learning process), individuals participate in the many activities in the PA CareerLink related to placement including resume writing, job interview preparation, and a very active and robust Job Club which has a full-time job search capability.
— For some, connection to further training through the Individual Training Account (ITA) option is another possibility. However, many of the offerings on the ITA system are limited and take too long to complete for an individual who wants to get back to work quickly.
Our Youth programming has a strong career education component that dovetails nicely with the summer work experiences that are required by the ARRA. A connection to our current out-of-school youth programs and the training offerings described above already existed and was easily expanded.
We propose to do more of what we already do using a number of funding streams...
— Double the capacity of the Ready2Work program by expanding the program as offered in the PA CareerLink as well as offered in community and faith-based organizations around the region. Our recent experience with the Spanish-American Civic Association and Neighborhood Services has proven that this is doable.
— Increase the number of short-term skill training offerings and offer them to dislocated workers while continuing to serve the welfare-to-work, ex-offender, and out-of-school prospective workers that the programming has served to date. We'd like to add fork lift driver training to the mix as well as connections to a new level of training that will last up to 6-12 months in administrative support, computer hardware technician, laboratory skills, building maintenance, welding, environmental remediation, and sales.
— Increase the number of Unemployment Compensation (UC) claimants served through the Profile Re-Employment Program (PREP) with the goal of offering reemployment services to all UC claimants. Because PREP customers report to the PA CareerLink, there is a direct and on-site feed into the Ready2Work, job readiness, and skill training options available to UI recipients This will help stimulate the economy and potentially reduce the cost of UC for employers.
— Double the capacity of the job readiness and placement activities currently offered in the PA CareerLink. We have recently increased capacity for our job readiness program in response to the customer demand for services. We are exploring ways to make this activity more effective and efficient without sacrificing quality.
— Significantly increase the number of ITAs. More on this strategy below.
— Expand and reinvigorate the activities of the Business Services Team. Now is the time to work with employers on their anticipated needs when business activity rebounds. We will need to expand our BST and focus on expanding our relationships with business beyond our Industry Partnership and Ready2Work employer base. By promoting the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program to employers, we will encourage them to hire the job seekers we serve, while helping employers to save money and create jobs.
We also recognized that there were gaps to be filled in order to make the system more responsive.
— Added more medium-term (3-12 months) courses to the ITA list. These courses are offered at times beyond weekdays during the day. They need to have multiple starts during the year and are offered to the public as established courses. Some need to be offered in Spanish. We are interested in programming that addresses skills related to occupations on the High Priority Occupation list that have not previously been addressed including administrative support, computer hardware technician, laboratory skills, building maintenance, environmental remediation, and sales. All of the courses are included on the ITA list so that providers accept their responsibility for outcomes. We also think that adding them to the ITA list will give us some hope of sustainability for the training. A total of 26 new offerings have been developed and are operational.
— With the anticipated length of this recession, we developed an alternative for people who have completed training and are ready for a service/learning experience as a volunteer in the community while they continue to work on finding a job. We have already reached out to the United Way of Lancaster County to explore ways to use the existing volunteer network to accomplish this goal.
4. Describe any plans for transferring funds between the Adult and Dislocated Worker programs. Include the circumstances applicable to a transfer request, the measures to assure no loss of service to the original program population, and the expected impact on program performance.
As we look to the future, we feel that the ability to transfer up to 100% of the funds between the formula Adult and Dislocated Worker programs and 30% of the ARRA funds between Adult and Dislocated Worker programs guarantees us the flexibility that we need to deliver services and that the ability to do so will have minimum negative impact on customers. Normally, we make these kinds of adjustments when funds in one category are depleted because of the needs of customers requesting services.
5. Describe the reemployment services (RES) provided to Unemployment Insurance claimants, including:
a. Coordination of RES with other services provided at the PA CareerLink under WIA.
b. Services that will be provided under RES such as skill assessment, career guidance, individual service plans, and labor market information.
Because Profile Re-Employment Program (PREP) customers report to the PA CareerLink, there is a direct and on-site feed into the Ready2Work, job readiness, and skill training options available to UI recipients. Our goal is to offer reemployment services to all UC claimants by integrating them into the ongoing processes of the PA CareerLink.
We have added a PREP session weekly to the PA CareerLink schedule and aligned these sessions with ITA orientations. This allows us to channel UC claimants into the regular processes of the PA CareerLink described above that include skill assessment, career guidance, individual service plans, and labor market information.
C. Service to Specific Populations
Describe for each of the groups listed below, the process used to integrate programs in the service delivery system, such as maximize and leverage resources, ensure sustainability of the system, avoid duplication, and provide innovative services within the LWIA. Describe how the LWIA will ensure that Recovery Act services will be prioritized for low income individuals and those receiving public assistance.
- Services to businesses
- Approach to identify qualified applicants for partner programs
- Services to migrant seasonal farm workers
- Services to persons with disabilities
- Services to veterans and related eligible persons including National Guard and returning veterans
- Services to TANF customers and low-income individuals
- Services to displaced homemakers
- Services to women and minorities
- Services to individuals with multiple barriers to employment, including:
- Older individuals
- Persons with limited English proficiency
- Persons with disabilities, and
- Services to dislocated worker and Trade Act eligible participants.
We provide service to significant special populations in a variety of ways.
Given the large number of organizations that are partners in the PA CareerLink, many groups are served through the one-stop service delivery structure. The presence of BWDP, Veterans Services, LETA (Title I), OVR, the Department of Public Welfare, the Community Action Program, the Lancaster County Office of Aging, the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (Title II), Goodwill Industries, and others in one location assure that the needs of dislocated workers, women, older persons, people with limited English proficiency, persons with disabilities, minorities, and other individuals are addressed. The presence of most of the significant training institutions such as Millersville University, Harrisburg Area Community College, and the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center as partners in the PA CareerLink provide an important linkage for people to additional training that they might need to advance their job possibilities.
Our ongoing relationship with community and faith-based organizations in the County allows us to collaborate with other entities and groups to meet the needs of other people. We have a direct connection to the New Choices, New Options program for displaced homemakers through the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center which is a PA CareerLink partner.
Both the Board and the PA CareerLink are members of the Lancaster County Re-Entry Management Organization which coordinates services needed by ex-offenders. The Board uses its relationship with Lancaster County Coalition to End Homeless to facilitate services for homeless persons. These broad community coalitions have also connected us with other parts of County government including the Offices of Mental Health/Mental Retardation Services, Drug and Alcohol Services, Adult and Juvenile Probation and Parole, Children and Youth Services, and the Youth Intervention Center.
A number of significant community-based organizations including Neighborhood Services and the Spanish-American Civic Association (SACA) have been and/or are contractors of the Board for welfare, or incumbent worker training initiatives. Several including the Water Street Ministries, Community Services for Organized Labor, the Urban League, and SACA are also affiliates of the PA CareerLink.
All of the services mentioned above are delivered within the PA CareerLink structure using a one-stop service delivery strategy. For the most part, delivery of services is seamless with employees from different organizations and funding streams providing services. Readiness for employment has become an important overlay for our total system with assessment, career counseling, foundational skill training, and pre-employment skill training becoming important components that complement the services enumerated above.
In the same way, priority industry clusters and high priority occupations as well as the need to address common measures become a unifying factor that adds focus and brings consistency in service delivery.
D. Priority of Service
1. Provide the Individual Training Account policy (Appendix E) including policy for justification of exceptions. Describe how ITA resources area leveraged with other resources.
ITAs are available to eligible and suitable adult, youth, and dislocated workers as funding allows. Board policy does put limits on the length of training and the funds that are allocated for any one individual. The Board policy makes no distinction between adults and youth. The High Priority Occupations List for the region is another framework for determining suitability. See Appendix E.
2. Describe local policies regarding self-sufficiency, including the process for establishing, monitoring compliance with and updating policy.
Overall, the system uses the self-sufficiency standard for Lancaster County that is provided by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) as a guide for policy development and, at a practice level, for working with customers around employment and re-employment activities. We understand that our current use of this standard is limited and we look forward to understand how better to apply it to people in other circumstances, particularly the underemployed worker that is major factor in our strategic priorities. We expect to further develop our policies as our understanding increases.
3. Discuss the LWIB's policies and procedures for priority of service for the One-Stop Consortium, including the process used to determine whether funds are limited.
With an approved priority of service policy, the Board is able to set priorities in the event that funding is not sufficient to serve all customers. The policy applies primarily to WIA intensive and training services. See Appendix F.
4. Provide the Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Veterans priority policies (Appendix F). Veterans priority must be sufficient to meet the requirements of 20 CFR 1010.230, published at 73 Fed. Reg. 78132 on December 19, 2008.
At an administrative level, the PA CareerLink Administrator provides training to all partners on Jobs for Veterans Priority Compliance. At the service delivery level, normally all veterans are referred to the BWDP Veterans' Representative for evaluation, service, and/or referral. Other PA CareerLink staff, however, are also available to address the needs of veterans as they arise.
It is understood that regardless of the priority of service policy veterans receive priority of service when all other conditions are equal. See Appendix F.
E. Rapid Response (RR)
Describe the LWIB's role and functions in the provision of Rapid Response services including coordination with statewide Rapid Response activities.
Our local Rapid Response team which includes representatives from Job Club (LETA), BWDP, and the Business Services Team works with Community Services for Organized Labor and statewide representatives from the PA Department of Labor and Industry to respond to plant closings and other dislocations. Specifically, the local, regional, and state representatives to the team share the responsibilities for providing the information and services to affected workers.
Overall, the format of our Job Club which is essentially an intensive job search experience allows us to incorporate folks being served through Rapid Response into the flow of our ongoing dislocated worker efforts. Training services under Rapid Response use the same High Priority Occupations criteria and Ready2Work program that are foundational within other parts of the system.
Services are delivered by PA CareerLink partners using priorities established by the local Workforce Investment Board.
1. Describe the strategy to ensure eligible youth have the opportunity to develop and achieve career goals through education and workforce training. Include strategies to address:
a. Youth most in need, such as out-of-school youth, homeless youth, youth in and aging out of foster care, youth offenders, children of incarcerated parents, migrant and seasonal farm worker youth, and other at-risk youth.
b. Reconnecting disconnected youth through multiple pathways to education and training that enable them to enter and advance in the workforce.
c. Serving youth with funds from the ARRA and how strategies respond to the economic downturn.
d. STEM education and Green jobs.
Within Lancaster County, many of our youth challenges revolve around complications that arise when young people drop out of school. Teenage pregnancy, gangs and crime, and low skills (that condemn young people to underemployment) are symptoms of the dropout problem. There are five Project 720 school districts in the County - Lancaster, Hempfield, Conestoga Valley, Penn Manor, and Elizabethtown. Another at-risk group includes those young people with physical and/or mental disabilities and young people aging out of foster care.
Much of the orientation of our TANF supported programming is on prevention through programming that helps students develop career aspirations and skills at an early age. Career camps reach out to young people in later elementary and middle schools. Career fairs and other activities in the schools revolve around the priority industry clusters that are the focus of WIB policy and planning. The Chamber secures and publishes resources that support teachers, students, and parents. Schools are gradually being introduced to the workforce readiness system of the PA CareerLink.
Workforce readiness is a more specific agenda for the out-of school youth programming that is supported through WIA. Skill and knowledge assessments are packaged with soft skill training and more specific skill training that addresses the entry points to career ladders among employers in priority industries. We fund a pre-apprenticeship program for construction in cooperation with the apprenticeship training program at Associated Builders and Contractors and the Lancaster County Probation and Parole Services. We anticipate other training options in welding, sanitation, printing, and information technology in the near future.
Incorporating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into our offerings is of the highest priority. The Board recently contracted with the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit #13 to bring a full-time math instructor into the PA CareerLink to assure that issues around computing (the downfall of many young people) are being addressed. The Board is also supporting additional slots for GED preparation through the IU as well. Pre-employment training under ARRA has a strong green and technology focus.
See below for more information on our Summer Youth Employment Program which is ARRA funded.
2. Describe the Youth Council and how it is integrating a vision for serving youth through collaboration with crosscutting agencies or entities within the local workforce investment system.
In its outreach to young people, the Youth Council partners with a variety of other youth-serving organizations including Junior Achievement, the Boy Scouts of American, the Boys' and Girls' Clubs, the Lancaster-Lebanon Science and Technology Alliance, Job Corps, and others. Every effort is made to collaborate in service delivery to avoid duplication.
3. Describe local efforts to promote collaboration between the public workforce system, education, human services, juvenile justice, and others to better serve youth that are most in need and have significant barriers to employment. Additionally, describe local efforts to successfully connect youth to the education and training opportunities that lead to successful employment.
Youth Council has a very focused method of involving school districts in its efforts, primarily using TANF resources. Fourteen of the 16 school districts are now involved in TANF youth programming to one degree or another. In addition, an intentional partnership with the Lancaster County Adult Probation and Parole Services has led to a very successful project that prepares young people for skilled careers in the construction industry.
Also, the terms of contracts with out-of-school youth providers require the contractor to be onsite at the PA CareerLink; to collaborate with the Title II Contractor for the provision of adult basic education, GED, and ESL programming; and to use the High Priority Occupations list as a primary reference in their work.
4. Describe the strategy to coordinate with Job Corps, PA Conservation Corps (PCC) and other youth programs.
A representative from Job Corps is an active and involved member of the Youth Council. That person shares information with members and assures that appropriate action on referrals takes place.
In addition, the Board currently sponsors a PA Conservation Corps crew based at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology specifically for graduates of its Construction 101 pre-employment training program.
5. Describe policies to ensure compliance with applicable safety and child labor laws.
Any contract provider of work experience must assure that they will comply with applicable safety and child labor laws. The contractor is typically the employer of record in these cases, not the Board.
6. Describe the strategy to provide initial intake, objective assessment, case management, individual service strategies and eligibility assessment for Youth.
By and large, the contractors that are selected to provide youth services do intake, objective assessment, case management, development of individual service strategies, and eligibility assessment as part of the activities that are specified in their contracts.
7. Describe the design framework for youth programs that includes the following components:
- Preparing youth for post-secondary education;
- Connecting academic and occupational learning;
- Preparing youth for unsubsidized employment opportunities;
- Connecting youth to the business community through intermediary entities.
In general, the Youth Council has established the following priorities for serving out-of-school youth:
- Address the issue of young people dropping in and out of the workplace by emphasizing the attainment of a GED;
- Whenever possible, immediately connect dropouts with the education and workforce system;
- Look to programs that demonstrate partnerships;
- Work with providers capable of meeting the common measures requirements.
Proposers for in-school youth programming must serve youth in their final year of secondary education and scheduled to graduate with a diploma during the current school year. Also, the Youth Council has established the following target populations and expects that proposers for in-school youth programming will choose to serve at least one of these target groups:
- Youth with disabilities, including learning disabilities;
- Youth enrolled in the School District of Lancaster;
- Youth enrolled in one of the following geographic areas of Lancaster County: Columbia/Marietta, Ephrata, Quarryville/New Providence, Gap/Narvon.
8. Describe the anticipated program design for the WIA Youth funds provided under the Recovery Act. Include in this description a program design for both younger, in-school, and older or out-of-school youth (including the 22-24 year olds that can be served with Recovery Act funds).
Our plan is to commit all of the WIA Youth funds provided under the Recovery Act to the Summer Youth Employment Program. See VI(F)(12) below.
9. Describe any policies or strategies, in alignment with State guidance, to ensure implementation of activities that support out-of-school youth during summer and/or non-summer months, such as supportive services, needs-based payments, or day-care.
To date, our primary strategy for assuring out-of-school youth have supportive services is to encourage referring entities such as Lancaster County Children and Youth Services, Lancaster County Juvenile Probation and Parole Services, and the Lancaster County Assistance Office to maintain their case management role as the individual moves into youth services provides under WIA. Most other options are severely limited.
10. Describe strategies to incorporate the required youth program elements within the design framework. Elements to include are:
- Tutoring, study skills training, instruction leading to secondary school completion, including dropout prevention;
- Alternative secondary school services;
- Summer employment opportunities linked to academic and occupational learning;
- Paid and unpaid work experiences;
- Occupational skill training;
- Leadership development opportunities;
- Comprehensive guidance and counseling;
- Adult mentoring;
- Supportive services; and
- Follow-up services.
Overall, the Youth Council requires that proposers must design a program that meeting the following criteria:
- For out-of-school youth, evidence of ability to work with youth participating in the Title II ABE/GED program at the PA CareerLink;
- Commit to locating program staff on-site at the PA CareerLink and to be actively involved with PA CareerLink activities;
- Demonstrate the ability to provide the intensive, customer-focused case management and support services needed by the youth to obtain a GED/diploma as a critical step towards self-sufficiency;
- Identify, address, and/or refer for issues blocking education and employment goals;
- Help youth identify employment opportunities linked to their skills and interests; provide career exploration and integrate the WIB industry clusters into the curriculum;
- Participate in the PA CareerLink's Workforce Readiness system, including preparing youth for the WorkKeys competency tests using the WIN remedial activities, and using the newly developed Microsoft curriculum whenever appropriate;
- Intensive job readiness, job placement, job shadowing, job coaching, and job retention activities for youth near the completion of the GED/diploma component including:
- life skills including dealing with diversity, budgeting , time management, responsibility, interpersonal skills, working with others, accepting supervision;
- employability and job search skills including interviews, resumes, applications, and proper attire/hygiene,
- job retention skills including dependability, responsibility, attitude, teamwork, and critical thinking for program completers;
- Post-secondary opportunity information including training, financial aid, and military options to youth near the completion of the GED component;
- Build strong relationships with targeted employers willing to support the importance of GED/diploma completion, and who will hire and retain GED/diploma completers;
- Concentrated pre-employment training to youth and potential employers;
- Intense and on-going job retention support for both the employer and participant once the participant is employed;
- Facilitate communication and problem resolution between employers and youth;
- Immediate intervention for both the employer and participant if problems are identified at the worksite;
- A strong mentoring component;
- Provide each of the applicable Ten Required Program Elements (or indicate who will provide them); and
- Strongly encourage employed youth to complete the GED/diploma component through intensive counseling and case management.
11. Describe services provided to non-WIA eligible youth under the 5% exception (WIA Section 129(c)(5)). Include the process and criteria used to determine "serious barriers to employment."
Under normal circumstances, youth providers are expected to serve eligible youth. The 5% exception is typically not utilized.
12. Describe the Summer Youth Employment Program (STEP) authorized by the Recovery Act. In your description, distinguish between WIA-funded and Recovery Act-funded youth as appropriate when different program components apply, including...
- Program period(s)
- Program design for younger, in-school, and older or out-of-school youth (including the 22-24 year olds that can be served with ARRA fund
- Program elements
- Pre-/post-work readiness test
- Types of worksites
- Use of wages and/or stipends
Our Summer Youth Employment Plan under ARRA plan addresses younger youth, youth currently enrolled in WIA programs, and older youth that are already participating in our pre-employment programming. Programming began in early June for younger youth and youth currently enrolled in programs and runs through the end of September for older youth.
We have recruited nearly 350 placements for student workers, primarily in non-profit and governmental entities. We expect to place around 250 young people in summer work experiences and use most of the funding in the first summer. We have designed our own basic workforce readiness assessment tool which will be used at the beginning and end of the program. We use a competitively procured staffing service to act as the employer of record for the student workers.
Wherever possible, we have connected the summer work experience for a wage with a training experience. Younger students attended a career camp before a one-week work situation. Older students participated in Ready2Work and pre-employment training before taking part in a work experience where they practiced their new-found skills in a real world setting. Placements have been chosen on the basis of the willingness of the organization to work with skill development while having the student contribute their labor to the needs of the organization.
Overall, we planned to place 30 young people ages 14-15 in the one week work situation; 60 youth ages 16-17 in a longer-term learning/work placement; and more than 300 folks aged 18-24 in a more directed work setting with the ultimate goal of unsubsidized employment or placement in an education program.
G. Business Services
1. Describe the role of the Business Service Team in the PA CareerLink system.
A separate Business Services Team of the PA CareerLink provides additional linkage between the PA CareerLink and the business community. The BST exists to gather job orders but it is also engaged with the rapid response function of the PA CareerLink, the layoff aversion system for south central PA, the network of industry partnerships that exist in the region, and the workforce readiness function of the PA CareerLink. This entity makes regular contacts with area companies coordinating its calling with the staff of the Business Retention and Expansion Program, MANTEC, and area colleges.
2. Describe how the Local Area ensures that local strategic plans and goals of the PA CareerLink system for business services are communicated and connected with Business Services Teams.
Business Services Team members regularly meet with the WIB staff and the Project Managers of the industry partnerships that are supported by the WIB. At those meetings, sharing of information around the case management of employer and around projects that require the attention of multiple partners occurs. The Executive Director and Deputy Director of the WIB constantly remind the Business Services Team of its connections to the broader strategies of the WIB through formal monitoring and informal consultation.
3. Describe service innovations offering human resource solutions for business customers, including development of career ladders, industry recognized credentialing, customized service delivery, and collaboration or partnership.
This local area has made the industry partnership as a vehicle for incumbent worker training work. With seven partnerships that we support directly, an additional two in which we are partners, and two more that are in the planning stages, we know how to organize businesses, identify their needs, and find the resources that are required to address gaps.
Building out the company part of the workforce readiness system has allowed us to get information from companies about job descriptions, career ladders, and entry-level jobs at unprecedented levels of detail. WorkKeys gives us a common language for talking about knowledge and skill requirements. Our Business Services Team also connects companies with other resources for economic development and productivity enhancement that exist in the community and the region.
4. Describe any Local Area plans for waiving the required 50% matching employer payment for Customized Training. If applicable, describe the criteria that will determine the percentage of cost to be paid by the employer.
At this point, this Board does not do Customized Training but we reserve the right to request the waiver in the future if it is needed.
5. Describe any plans the Local Area has to permit the use of up to 10% of Local Area formula funds to conduct Statewide Activities, such as Incumbent Worker Training.
At this point, this Board does not use formula funds for Statewide Activities but we reserve the right to do so in the future if it is needed.
H. Faith-Based and Community Organizations
Describe service coordination with Faith-Based and Community Organizations.
Our connection with community and faith-based organizations allows us to leverage the resources of many entities and extend the services of the PA CareerLink and WIB system. Community and faith-based organizations are among our many community partners. Many of these organizations are investor partners in the PA CareerLink. The WIB and the PA CareerLink are members of the Lancaster County Re-Entry Management Organization and the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homeless.
Specifically, there are seven faith and community-based organizations that are affiliates of the PA CareerLink including the Spanish American Civic Association, Neighborhood Services, Urban League, Water Street Ministries, Community Services of Organized Labor, the Brightside Opportunities Center, and the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit #13 (which has multiple sites around the County). Ready2Work programming is available in all of these locations with participants ultimately being directed to the PA CareerLink for final WorkKeys assessment.
A. Program Administration
Describe any local policies or guidelines implemented to support WIA Title I program operations that are not addressed elsewhere in the Plan. Include information regarding the purpose, development, implementation, and monitoring of such policies.
None at this time.
B. Fiscal Administration
1. Describe the administration of WIA funds used by the LWIB. Include oversight responsibilities for WIA funds, PA CareerLink and other workforce development resources.
Since its inception and to the present, this area has used the Lancaster County Controller as the fiscal agent for the system. The LEO, the Lancaster County Commissioners, approve all WIA-funded contracts and the annual Resource Sharing Agreement.
In addition, the Board itself encourages all workforce-related partners to present their annual plans to the Board for discussion and comment. Board staff people regularly monitor the amounts and appropriateness of contract spending. They also provide written feedback to the contractor and for the record along with plans for corrective action when and if needed.
2. Describe measures to eliminate duplicative administrative costs being used by the LWIB.
Overall, the administrative structure that supports the WIB system in the region is very lean with five full-time employees including support staff doing the administrative work.
3. Describe the property management approach used by the LWIB.
Our property management approach is consistent with BWDP and County of Lancaster requirements for inventory control and property disposal.
When applicable, contractor property management systems are monitored annually by the Fiscal staff. Property is to be secured when not in use. Annually, the Fiscal staff reconciles in-house property records with the physical inventory. Property no longer serviceable or utilized by the program is determined surplus and disposed of.
4. Describe how the Board will ensure that Recovery Act funds will supplement, not supplant, existing resources.
To assure that the expenditures of all funds are regularly monitored, we have established an ARRA budget, a regular budget, and a consolidated budget so that the Finance and Executive Committee can provide more specific oversight. Expenditures will be tracked against budget projections and reviewed and approved after the fact.
5. Describe the monitoring and oversight criteria and procedures the Local Area has in place to ensure not only compliance with the laws, regulations, and guidance but also with the intent and spirit of the Recovery Act, particularly to monitor reemployment services and summer employment, including summer employment worksites.
Summer monitoring is comprised of three on-site components: worksite compliance, a participant interview, and a supervisor interview. The participant interviews may be completed individually or in small groups and must encompass at least 80% of the youth assigned to the worksite.
At least one time during the program, a LETA staff person other than the assigned Field Representative will perform the Compliance monitoring using the Worksite Compliance Checklist. For the six week programs, the second review may be conducted by the assigned Field Representative. A LETA staff person other than the assigned Field Representative will conduct the Participant Interviews using the Participant Interview Form. A LETA staff person (may be conducted by the assigned Field Representative) conducts an Interview with the Supervisor/Instructor at least once during the program.
Programs with identified issues will be followed up by the assigned Field Representative and the Summer Program Coordinator within five days. Issues related to important situations such as safety, child labor laws, and EO will be dealt with by the Field Representative and the Summer Program Coordinator within one working day.
6. Describe pro-active risk management strategies the Board will implement to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of all funds and activities.
We propose nothing extraordinary believing that our regular processes have over the years assured us that waste, fraud, and abuse of funds and activities does not exist. All sub-contracts are competitively procured. Sub-contracts have clear and specific work plans of action. We regularly monitor spending and results providing plans for corrective action as needed. Internally, duties among staff are separated in a way to provide checks and balances in the fiscal function.
1. Describe the competitive and non-competitive process that will be used to award grants and contracts (WIA Section 118(b)(9)). Include how community-based organizations, including faith-based organizations, are notified of contract opportunities (TEGL 17-01). Also include the process to procure training services that are made as exceptions to the ITA process.
See Appendix H for policies and procedures around procurement.
2. Describe the criteria used for awarding grants for all WIA and Recovery Act youth activities, including criteria used to identify effective or ineffective youth activities and providers of such activities.
See Appendix H for policies and procedures around procurement.
3. Describe how providers of all youth services are procured under the Recovery Act. If using funds for summer employment opportunities and the fiscal agent or the LWIA is not operating this program element, please specifically describe procedures for procuring summer employment operational entities and job opportunities.
Providers of WIA youth services have been procured using the policies and procedures around procurement in Appendix H. The Summer Youth Employment Program is operated by the Lancaster Employment and Training Agency, a part of County government.
4. Describe the process to award contract for Customized Training, On-the-Job Training.
At this point, the Board does not plan to use Customize Training and On-the-Job Training as an option in its planning but it reserves the right to do so as things develop.
5. Describe how the LWIA will implement the Recovery Act provision allowing the Board to award a contract to an institution of higher education or other eligible training provider if the Board determines that it would facilitate the training of multiple individuals in high-demand occupations and if such a contract does not limit customer choice.
At this point, the Board does not plan to use this option in its planning but it reserves the right to do so in the future.
6. Describe the system to assure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations regarding Minority and Women Business, discrimination or harassment.
Each Request for Proposal and subcontract written by the Workforce Investment Board contains provisions to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
D. Appeals and Grievances
1. Describe the procedures established for providers of youth or training services to appeal a denial of eligibility, a termination of eligibility or other action by the Board or One-Stop Operator.
Initial disputes arising from the procurement process up to and including the point of contract award will be handled by Workforce Investment Board staff.
- If the informal approach does not adequately resolve the dispute, the aggrieved party will put the issues into writing and submit a formal appeal to the Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Board. The aggrieved party must submit this letter within 10 working days from the verbal discussion held with Board staff. The Executive Director will issue a written decision within 10 working days.
- Should the aggrieved party choose to appeal the decision of the Executive Director, a written appeal must be submitted to the Workforce Investment Board Executive Director within 15 days after receiving the results of the formal dispute.
- The Executive Director will forward the appeal to the Executive Committee for review. The Executive Committee will consider the case and will render a written decision within 30 days of written appeal from the aggrieved party.
- In the case of a youth procurement, the Executive Director will forward the appeal to the Youth Council who will have 15 days to review the appeal and forward a recommendation to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will then consider the recommendation of the Youth Council and will render a written decision within 30 days of receipt from the Council.
- In instances where the dispute is complicated or requires lengthy investigations, the timelines may be extended for a reasonable period of time.
- The decision of the Executive Committee is to be considered final.
2. Describe the procedure(s) for individual customers to appeal a denial of eligibility, reduction, or termination of services or other adverse action by the PA CareerLink or service provider.
LETA, as the Title I and Welfare provider chosen by the Board, has an established procedure in place to deal with complaints and grievances by customers against LETA or a training provider. These steps are outlined in Appendix I and include informal and formal methods of filing complaints.
3. Describe the grievance procedure for PA CareerLink staff.
PA CareerLink staff people follow the grievance procedure established by the individual's employing organization. The PA CareerLink is not an employing entity. Normally, the PA CareerLink Site Administrator has an idea of the partner grievance procedures and consults with the representative of the employing organization as appropriate.
4. Attach copies of each of the above processes.
See Appendix I.
E. Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
1. Provide contact information for the Equal Opportunity (EO) Officer and EO Liaison(s) in the Local Area.
Staff training from the Office of Equal Opportunity of the PA Department of Labor and Industry has been supplemented by regular updates from the Office of Vocation Rehabilitation that is a part of the local PA CareerLink operation. Compliance assurances are a part of every contract relationship that the Board negotiates. Our boilerplate contract language for every contract addresses all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
Kim Sullenberger, Deputy Director, is the EO Officer. Andrew Garner is the Deputy EO Officer. Kim and Andrew can be reached at 717-735-0333. Tom Woronko from the BWDP staff is the EO Liaison and can be reached at 717-299-7631.
2. Describe how the identity of the EO Officer and the appeal process are made available.
Posters that identify the EO Officer and that explain the appeal process are available in the PA CareerLink and at all Title 1 contractor sites.
3. Describe the appeal process for assuring that no individual shall be excluded from participation, denied benefit or employment, nor subjected to discrimination under or in connection with, any program or activity for any reasons, including but not limited to: race, color, religion, national origin or citizenship, age, disability, political affiliation or belief.
In accordance with 29 CFR Part 37, contract language for all contracts includes the following statement...
"Subgrantee shall not discriminate against any employee, applicant for employment, independent contractor, or any other person because of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex or disability. Subgrantee shall take affirmative action to insure that applicants are employed, and that employees and agents are treated during employment or WIB without regard to their race, color, religious creed, disability, ancestry, national origin, age, or sex. Such affirmative action shall include, but is not limited to: employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training. Subgrantee shall post in conspicuous places, available to employees, agents, applicants for employment, and other persons, a notice to be provided by the contracting WIB setting forth the provisions of this nondiscrimination clause."
Each formal monitoring visit with contractors includes an EO component. This annual review compares the contractor's actual performance to planned activities and reviews the contractor's EO activities. Included is a review of the dissemination of the EO/nondiscrimination and sexual harassment policy; EO record keeping procedures; complaint procedures; and the accessibility of the program and structure (and willingness to provide reasonable accommodation). Contractors must present an adequate EO policy and identify the designated liaison. The program monitor also determines the status of any EO grievance proceedings previously initiated, checks that EO posters are displayed prominently in English and Spanish (if applicable); and verifies that participants and staff have been apprised of their civil rights under federal law.
Individuals who feel that they have been discriminated against file a written complaint with the EO officer who then investigates it and acts on it according to the appeals process.
A. Performance Management
1. Describe the monitoring process and oversight criteria and procedures utilized to move the system workforce investment toward the LWIA goals.
Overall, the goal of WIB monitoring is to use the results to provide contractors with technical assistance and to make recommendations for program improvement. The monitoring plan includes general policies and procedures for the type, content and frequency of monitoring for Workforce Investment Act and Department of Public Welfare funding contracted by the WIB and the County of Lancaster. The PA CareerLink, participant-based contracts, on-the-job training contracts, and other contracts (which are generally non-participant based) are covered by the plan. Monitoring is normally conducted annually.
In addition, the plan outlines the appeal process for monitoring reports which concludes with a decision made by the Executive Committee, should there be no previous resolution.
2. Describe the system to capture and report performance data.
A real-time tracking system is used by the PA CareerLink and its partners to track customer activity using the most up-to-date data. The system was developed by the PA CareerLink and is administered by Community Services for Organized Labor, a PA CareerLink partner. It has the capacity to capture information and provide reports that are needed. In addition, the PA CareerLink Operating System provides a historical look at individual and summary information for customers. CWDS is the system of record for reporting performance data.
3. Describe how partner services are made available through PA CareerLink, including how the LWIA will avoid duplication of core services.
In its planning and evaluation processes, the Board continually encourages the PA CareerLink management to drive duplication out of service delivery. The PA CareerLink itself has standard inter-agency teams that address coordination of services.
Beyond the PA CareerLink, the Board encourages its contractors and potential contractors to work together so that as opportunities arise, organizations bring the best of their resources forward in proposals in partnership with other organizations that are doing the same. Many times, the Board offers bonus points in Request for Proposals for collaboration among organizations.
4. Describe how the LWIA identifies areas needing improvement and any processes in place to address deficiencies.
Through the work of the Performance Review Committee of the Board, the Board itself is able to identify areas that need improvement and process that may provide barriers to effective service. The Committee reviews contract performance information, a broader dashboard of service delivery indicators, and locally-developed customer satisfaction results as part of its ongoing charge from the Board.
Within the PA CareerLink management processes, deficiencies are also addressed by the inter-agency teams that deal with issues related to employer and jobseeker service delivery.
5. Describe LWIA policies or strategies to ensure effective implementation of Common Measures. Identify the performance indicators and goals established to track progress toward meeting strategic goals and implementing the LWIA's vision for the workforce investment system.
As the Board bids and reviews contracts, it is conscious of the need to meet Common Measures. It specifies requirements in the contracts themselves. It modifies and customizes contracts to meet the needs of special populations. It suggests changes in programming that may help the contractor be more on target with performance expectations.
Beginning several years ago, PA CareerLink staff participated in information-sharing activities (including a Statewide conference call) to define common measures and inform people as to their responsibilities. Those efforts have continued normally through briefings at staff meetings and other staff activities. We expect these types of activities to continue into the foreseeable future.
6. The Recovery Act emphasizes the importance of accountability. Describe overall efforts for performance and reporting of the results of activities funded by the Recovery Act and how the Board will measure whether it has achieved the local goals for implementation as described in "Local Vision and Priorities".
Our policies and procedures around accountability are comprehensive and long-standing (approved in 2002). All subcontracts are monitored annually as is the Title I Operator and the PA CareerLink. The WIB and the Title I Operator have worked very closely together to ensure that the ARRA is implemented locally within the framework that Congress intended. ARRA expenditures are monitored and approved monthly by the Executive Committee of the Board.
In addition, Board staff in partnership with PA CareerLink program staff monitor certain program indicators including but not limited to number of individuals enrolling and completing training, number of young people enrolling and completing Youth programming, number of people enrolling and completing Ready2Work, number of people placed, number of people retained, length of time enrolled in programs, and so on.
At a higher level, Board staff also monitors its basic ARRA principles including % of total adult and dislocated worker funding spent on training, % of youth funding spent in summer 2009, % of overhead expenditures charged to ARRA, and % of employers in Lancaster County who are engaged with the PA CareerLink through the Business Services Team.
7. Describe the methodology for determining whether Summer Youth Employment Program participants have attained a measurable increase in work readiness skills and what tools will be used for this determination.
Generally, we are using attainment of a Career Readiness Credential as the epitome of what we hope each young person engaged in the Summer Youth Employment Program will accomplish. However, we realize that not all of the young people involved will be able to acquire the Credential so we have developed internally an assessment (Work Readiness Attainment Rating Sheet) to measure progress toward certain key workforce preparedness goals. This assessment is used as a pre- and post-test for persons participating in the Summer program.
B. Negotiated Performance
1. Describe how levels of negotiated performance ensure and support the LWIA vision.
While the Board has a vision that extends well beyond WIA and its performance standards, it is acutely aware of its negotiated performance expectations and strives to meet them. The Board has a track record of not renewing contracts with providers who have a history of non-performance. There are several of the measures that we have had a hard time meeting. We continue to seek contractors that can meet the performance requirements and to seek technical assistance from the PA Department of Labor and Industry as needed.
We believe that the planning guidelines from the PA Department of Labor and Industry that stress priority industries and high-priority occupations provide a focus that will assure that the negotiated levels of performance are reached.
2. Provide a listing of the LWIA performance standards for the Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Programs negotiated with the Center for Workforce Investment and Analysis, as Appendix G in the Plan.
Performance standards are included in Appendix G.
Appendix A - Published Notice
Appendix B - Plan Review Comments
Appendix C - Organizational Chart
Appendix D - WIB-Operator Memorandum of Understanding
Appendix E - ITA Policy
Appendix F - Priority of Service Policy
Appendix G - Performance Measures and Levels
Appendix H - Procurement Policies and Procedures
Appendix I - Grievance Policies and Procedures
Appendix J - Service Delivery Guide
Notice Published in Lancaster Newspapers
Plan Review Comments
WIB-Operator Memorandum of Understanding
Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board
Customer Authorization Policies
In order to maximize available resources, the following criteria must be applied to adults and dislocated workers who are eligible to receive Individual Training Accounts (ITAs). All ITAs must be included on the available statewide list and meet the following local standards:
Cost - Adult and Dislocated
Dislocated $10,000 tuition cap per year, with a 15,000 cap over the two year funding period. Other required costs of training as outlined in the school catalogue are not included in the cap. If the participant qualifies for funding from other sources, reimbursement from these sources will be considered and the level of WIA funding will be reduced accordingly. If WIA funds and those from other sources are insufficient to cover full tuition and other costs, the provider is required to assess the customer's need and to assist in the arrangement for private funding.
Cost - Welfare
$11,000 tuition cap per year, with an $18,000 cap over the two year funding period. Other required costs of training as outlined in the school catalogue are not included in the cap. If the participant qualifies for funding from other sources, reimbursement from these sources will be considered and the level of Welfare funding will be reduced accordingly. If Welfare funds and those from other sources are insufficient to cover full tuition and other costs, the provider is required to assess the customer's need and to assist in the arrangement for private funding.
Two years (104 weeks) maximum of Workforce Investment Act funded training.
Labor Market Demand
Training must be in a demand occupation within the local labor market. Training is oriented to full-time, unsubsidized, permanent employment in the occupation(s) trained for at a competitive wage.
Training must be located within Lancaster County or an adjacent county that is within reasonable commuting distance unless training is not available in that market area. A legitimate request outside the area will be considered on an individual basis if costs are reasonable and customary for the service and travel and lodging expenses are not encumbered by the WIB.
1. All other factors being substantially equal, LETA reserves the right to select the most cost effective training option.
2. The LETA Executive Director may waive conditions contained in this policy for extraordinary circumstances and funding considerations.
Priority of Service Policy
Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board
Priority of Service Policy
Funding for intensive and training services is limited and will be available first come/first served to all eligible, suitable customers who are able to benefit. Priority of service to adults is outlined below:
First Priority as required by WIA are to Low Income Individuals who meet one of the following [as summarized from WIA section 101 (25) (B)]:
- receives or is a member of a family that receives cash public assistance payments;
- receives an income or is a member of a family receiving an income during the past six months that does not exceed 70% of the lower living standard income level;
- is a member of a household receiving food stamps (or was eligible to receive within the past six months);
- is a homeless individual;
- is a foster child;
- is an individual with a disability whose own income meets the income requirements.
As funding permits, consideration will be given to the following specific groups:
- residents receiving subsidized housing benefits
- older individuals who qualify under Title V of the Older Americans Act
The following will be considered as funding permits when family income is less than 125% of poverty level:
- individuals with limited English speaking ability
- high school dropouts
- single parents
- individuals with a disability (only the individual's income is considered)
In all instances, training will only be considered for customers who have little or no work history, or who require occupational skills training to successfully enter/reenter the labor market.
Adult, dislocated worker, and youth customers who reside in Lancaster County will have priority for services. Customers who reside outside of Lancaster County may be served as funds are available.
Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board
Priority of Service for Veterans
The Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board and the services of the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County will comply with the requirements set forth in the Veterans Priority of Service legislation. At a minimum, all covered persons who access the workforce system through the local one stop will take precedence over non-covered persons at the earliest possible point of entry. Procedures will be developed to ensure that covered persons are identified at their point of entry and that they are made aware of their entitlement to priority of service; employment, training, and placement services available; and the eligibility requirements for these programs and services.
Performance Measures and Levels
Procurement Policies and Procedures
Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board
Request for Proposal (RFP) System
1. A legal notice will be sent to multiple county newspapers announcing the availability of the RFP and the process to receive the RFP package.
2. Letters inviting bidders to contact the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) for the RFP packet will be sent by the agency staff using agencies/businesses who are on the "Inventory of Potential Service Deliverers."
3. The WIB will forward the RFP to interested bidders under a cover letter which contains, at a minimum:
- time and date proposals must arrive at the WIB, and
- name and telephone number of the WIB contact person.
4. Under normal circumstances, the WIB will issue the RFP at least 30-calendar days prior to the due date for submission.
On December 7, 2007 the Board approved an RFP duration of up to three years, effective with the Agreements current at the time of approval.
Format and Content of the RFP
1. The RFP contains information in sufficient detail to ensure full and open competition among qualified contractors.
2. In the case of the selected contractor, the proposal will become part of the formal contract.
At the discretion of the WIB, a pre-proposal (bidders) conference may be held to afford the WIB an opportunity to emphasize portions of the RFP considered especially important, allow the WIB to formally respond to written questions previously submitted by bidders, and allow the bidders to ask the WIB additional questions in writing on forms provided during the pre-proposal conference. If held, a written transcript of all questions and answers will be mailed to all recipients of the basic RFP no later than 5 workdays after the conference in order to give contractors maximum response time. Responses become a formal part of the RFP.
Receipt of Proposals
Proposals will be time and date stamped and their receipt recorded as they are received by the WIB. Proposals will be reviewed for completeness and compliance with the RFP format provided. Proposals meeting compliance standards will then be forwarded to the review committee for evaluation and completion of the RFP rating sheet.
Selection of Service Providers
Service providers will be selected consistent with the Act and to the extent possible, will be selected on a competitive basis. For all contracts, the WIB will establish standards to be followed in making determinations of demonstrated performance. All such determinations will be in writing and completed prior to the award of a contract. All proposals will be evaluated utilizing the criteria set forth in the WIA Regulations. Proposals will be scored using an award criteria and point system.
Awards to Service Providers
Awards are made to organizations possessing the demonstrated ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of the proposal. Once determination is made that the contractor has the capacity to meet the requirements of the RFP, the Committee recommends contracts for Board approval.
After approval by the WIB Board, staff from WIB begin to negotiate the terms and conditions to be contained in the final contract. Concerns which may have come up during the selection process are addressed and must by resolved satisfactorily prior to contracting. When negotiations are completed, the WIB presents the contract to the Lancaster County Commissioners for final approval at a public meeting.
Sole Source System
In certain instances, the Board may decide that a sole-source contract be issued. Documentation and rationale will be maintained in support of such actions.
The local Board may explore other options to solicit service providers. These grants or contracts will be awarded on a competitive bases in responsive to local needs.
WIB adheres to the County of Lancaster's procurement procedures, which are consistent with the PA and Federal laws applicable to third class Pennsylvania counties. The County of Lancaster's Purchasing Department oversees LETA's purchase of both expendable and nonexpendable property. The volume purchasing capacity of the County enables the WIB and LETA to purchase standard office supplies, equipment, and furniture at substantial discounts. The County also uses "state contracting awards" to obtain equipment previously bid and accepted by the Department of General Services.
Requests for property are coordinated through the Agency's Fiscal Director. Atypical nonexpendable property requests are reviewed by the director. The requests are reviewed against budget authorization and need and availability of used equipment.
All LETA requests for property purchases are also reviewed by the Purchasing Department which authorizes a "purchase order" to obtain the property. Requests for purchases are reviewed for budget authorization and the availability of surplus equipment within County departments. Requests for property with a planned total acquisition cost between $499 and $10,000 are accompanied by three (3) competitive quotes from suppliers.
A sealed bid process administered by the County Purchasing, Controller, and Commissioner offices is used for acquisitions with a total cost of $10,000 or more. This process demands public announcements of the bid requirements and specifications. The bids are opened and awarded at separate public meetings.
Prior to making purchases, written approval from the Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership (BWDP) is required for items $5,000 and over. This property is inventoried and marked (except computer software packages) with WIA identification tags. An Annual Property Inventory form will be prepared and submitted to the BWDP prior to September 30 of each year.
Property purchased in whole or in part by program operators funded through tuition and/or performance-based contracts become the property of the program operator. Nonexpendable property purchased under line item contracts must be purchased using procedures consistent with WIA standards and can be used only for WIA contracted purposes. Prior approval by WIB is required for purchases $500 and over. All contractor purchases are reviewed by the WIB Fiscal Department for consistency with program objectives, budget authorization, and program needs. Copies of source documentation are included with each purchase reimbursement request.
Grievance Policies and Procedures
Lancaster Employment and Training Agency
Grievance Policies and Procedures
Issuing a Complaint/Grievance against LETA or a Training Provider
LETA's formal grievance procedure is to be used only to address serious problems that may arise during your participation in a program. If you have a complaint or grievance, you should present it either verbally or in writing to your Case Manager or site representative (immediate supervisor). If there is not an adequate resolution to the problem, you must file a written complaint with the next designated supervisor in line of authority. It is important to realize that you must use the training provider/employer's grievance procedure before filing your complaint with LETA.
The Opportunity to File a Complaint
Any aggrieved party who has an alleged complaint shall notify Lancaster Employment & Training Agency, 1016 N. Charlotte St., Lancaster, PA 17603 as soon as possible after the alleged violation occurs, but no later than 365 calendar days or in the case of discrimination complaints, within 180 days of the date of occurrence. Aggrieved parties will be required to exhaust any available worksite or training provider administrative remedies to the alleged violations. When no procedures are available, the aggrieved party will be required to meet with the designated representative of the worksite or training provider to explain the problem, and together they shall attempt to resolve the issue informally.
Notification of Filing the Complaint
If the aggrieved party remains dissatisfied, she/he will be required to file a written complaint with the Executive Director of LETA within five days after exhausting the remedies outlined above.
Opportunity for an Informal Conference
An informal conference will be held within 10 days from the filing of the complaint. The findings of the informal conference will be rendered within 10 days of the informal conference to all aggrieved and charged parties. This written notice will contain an explanation of the right to request a hearing.
LETA staff will conduct an independent investigation of all allegations contained in a complaint, including separate interviews with the aggrieved and charged parties respectively, as well as the interrogation of witnesses, if any, and inspection of any relevant documents. At this point, an attempt will be made to resolve the issue(s) informally. LETA staff will adhere to all confidentiality policies.
Opportunity for a Hearing
If the aggrieved party is not satisfied with the results of the informal conference, she/he must notify the LETA Executive Director in writing within 5 days and request a hearing. A written decision shall be rendered within 60 calendar days of filing the complaint and shall include the right of the aggrieved party to file an appeal with the PA Department of Labor and Industry, Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development. The aggrieved party will be informed of their rights to be represented by an attorney or other duly authorized person of his/her own choosing and his/her own expense, and to present evidence and question others who present evidence.
In instances where an impartial hearing officer is needed, preference is to choose someone agreeable to both parties. In the event that none is agreed upon, the State Bureau of Mediation, Department of Labor and Industry is contacted to provide a list of area members accredited by the American Association of Arbitrators. A hearing officer will be chosen from the list.
Service Delivery Guide
Data for Economic and Labor Market Analysis