WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD, INC.
July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2017
In this section, the elements represent the high-level vision, goals, economic and workforce information analysis, strategies, and outcomes that the CEO and strategic partners collaboratively identify for the future of the LWIA.
A critical part of this section is economic and workforce information analysis. The LWIB analyzes and interprets labor market information (LMI) and other relevant data to provide context for the overall plan. The plan is based on a thorough understanding of the economic strengths and workforce needs and skills of the LWIA, in alignment with the governor’s vision, strategies, and goals and in the best interests of local jobseekers and employers.
In addition, this section discusses how local policies, operations, and administrative systems will be aligned in the LWIA. Local strategies drive the quantitative targets and desired outcomes described.
A. VISION: Describe the vision for the LWIA’s economy and workforce.
Our Mission and Vision have not changed since the founding of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. in 1999…
“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.” (Strategic Plan of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board: Mission, Vision, Goals, and Performance Indicators, 2012)
B. OVERARCHING STRATEGIES
1. Describe how the vision will guide investments in workforce preparation, skill development, education and training, and other initiatives.
“Our goals flow from our vision of the economy, the workforce, and the community as we see it evolving in the years to come. We realize that there are many general strategies that point toward the goals that we have set for our efforts. These broad and diverse strategies lead to action plans, that is, specific programs, projects, or tasks with specific and measurable outcomes that are regularly evaluated that become the focus of the Board, its staff, and its partners.
1. Build and maintain a workforce that is adequate in numbers and quality to meet the emerging needs of current and prospective Lancaster County businesses.
a. Continue every effort to move persons currently out of or on the margins of the workforce into an appropriate job setting;
b. Arrange for the reentry of dislocated workers back into the workforce as quickly as possible;
c. Facilitate the easy transition of persons in an education or training environment to an appropriate work setting;
d. Encourage the immigration and integration of qualified workers into the County as needed;
e. Promote and support programs that encourage retired workers to reenter the workforce on their terms after retirement;
f. Advocate for the placement of persons with disabilities in employment situations;
g. Collaborate with community groups to facilitate the placement of persons being supervised by the criminal justice system into appropriate employment situations; and
h. Promote and support the responsible use of high school students as part-time workers whenever possible.
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.
a. Increase the general literacy level of the Lancaster County workforce;
b. Increase the familiarity of the emerging and incumbent Lancaster County workforce with state-of-the-art technology;
c. Constantly monitor the training needs of Lancaster County business, identifying common needs wherever possible that may lead to cooperative training efforts;
d. Increase the readiness of incumbent and prospective workers to perform the duties required of them by employers;
e. Encourage the planners of educational curricula to increasingly anchor the knowledge and skills they set out to teach to real-life venues that include the workplace.
3. Assure equal access of all Lancaster County residents to education and employment.
a. Network with other community systems in findings ways to overcome barriers that affect access to education and employment, particularly in transportation and child care;
b. Promote and maintain an intensive network of education and employment services to address the special educational and employment needs of persons on the margins of the mainstream workforce (dropouts, persons reentering the workforce after long absences, persons where English is a second language, persons entering the workforce after incarceration);
c. Actively address prejudice as a barrier to education and employment wherever it exists.
4. Assist all Lancaster County residents in finding success and satisfaction in their careers.
a. Initiate and sustain an on-going flow of information about career and educational opportunities in Lancaster County to students, workers, educators, parents, service providers and the public;
b. Actively advocate for and promote a variety of options for career success that do not necessarily require a four-year college degree;
c. Graduate high school students from Lancaster County schools with above average academic skills and high career maturity;
d. Encourage wherever possible the development of high-quality, low-cost continuing education opportunities for adults.
5. Develop and maintain an effective and efficient workforce system that uses the power and influence of the Board to attract partners, build alliances and coordinate resources.
a. Cultivate a single vision and voice for the workforce development system in Lancaster County as it represents itself to the public and to policymakers;
b. Constantly look for ways to develop a common vision for workforce-related goals with economic development, welfare, education, and other community systems;
c. Diversify the funding base for the Lancaster County workforce system with a goal of better financial sustainability;
d. Develop and use an ongoing public relations program to communicate the vision, goals, and programs of the Board to the public at large and public policymakers;
e. Advocate for change in federal and state legislation to allow more flexibility in workforce development initiatives at the local level;
f. Develop and maintain an on-going process of data collection that attempts to identify current needs and emerging trends on the demand and supply side of the workforce picture;
g. Develop and maintain an evaluation system that holds the Board, its staff, and its partners and, to a lesser degree, partners from other, related systems accountable for their roles in reaching system-wide goals;
h. Develop and maintain a proactive financial management system that fully integrates the role of Fiscal Agent with its routine roles related to operations.
i. Develop and maintain an on-going process of strategic planning with a ten year planning horizon that is updated every two years;
j. Develop and empower a staff through a chief executive officer to work toward Board-identified goals within operating constraints also developed and monitored by the WIB.” (Strategic Plan for the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board)
2. Describe how the LWIB will align strategies to achieve the governor’s vision for Pennsylvania, as expressed in the state’s Integrated Workforce Plan.
In general, the Strategic Plan of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. is directly aligned with the Integrated Workforce Plan of the Commonwealth of PA. Goal 1 addresses the Commonwealth goals related to Developing a Competitive Workforce and Better Connecting Job Seekers with Employers. Goals 2, 3, and 4 address the Commonwealth goal of Building a Pipeline of Talent, while Goal 5 speaks to the goal of Building a Strong Fiscal Foundation.
We believe that we are aligned and that no additional action needs to be taken.
3. Describe the strategies to increase coordination, maximize and leverage resources to develop a high- demand, skilled workforce to support the needs of business and industry in the LWIA.
See I, B, 1 above where we have included strategies that flow out of our Goal statements in the Strategic Plan.
C. ECONOMIC AND LABOR MARKET ANALYSIS
1. Describe the economic conditions in the LWIA, identifying the critical businesses and industries, population and workforce trends, and the economic challenges facing the local area.
“The Lancaster County economy has performed well and, in many ways, is well positioned for the future. It is very diverse, showing strength in several important sectors with significant export potential. Population and job growth compare relatively well with the rest of Pennsylvania and the nation. The County has many public and private institutions in place, which provide the foundation for moving the needle of prosperity in the right direction.
The County’s business mix is diverse with output dominated by two traditional sectors – agriculture and manufacturing (food, metals, printing), which are reinventing themselves because of the application of technology. We are a growing logistics and transportation hub as well as a major health care center as the overall population changes. Technology has allowed these industries to grow in wages, output, and competitiveness but not in employment. Construction and automotive services have had considerable dislocations as a result of the most recent recession.
Low-skill, low-wage industries in retail and hospitality have dominated our growth in employment over the last 15 years.
Technology requires workers with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. However, with our low educational attainment levels and a school dropout rate that continues to be very high, particularly in our Latino community, the talent pipeline from school to work is consistently threatened. The loss of headquarters operations among existing companies has meant a decrease of research and development activities in the business community. We have a significant number of liberal arts institutions at the post-secondary level that produce little research and development activity. There is no post-secondary engineering school in the region. Our secondary technical school misses many young people because it is a senior year-only program.
Entrepreneurship has been alive and well in Lancaster County over the years. Our business mix is dominated by small business (under 20 employees) with self-employment being a viable option for many people. Business openings outweigh business closings over time with a net positive effect on growth in employment. We have a number of viable minority-owned businesses that have made use of an above average infrastructure for business and capital development.
While entrepreneurship is thriving, the growth of technology-based start-ups has been very low.
We are successfully assimilating Latino and Asian minorities into our social and economic fabric while avoiding the “hollowing out” effect caused by people leaving our central city and not being replaced. We have a very low crime rate when compared to other areas of our size around the country. The overall poverty rate is relatively low and racial and ethnic minorities have been able to access the career paths that lead to “middle skill/middle wage” jobs.
However, poverty is concentrated in Lancaster City and a few boroughs, a reflection of a variety of issues including housing, education, and negative racial and ethnic attitudes.
Our transportation, arts, recreation, and health care infrastructure has been improving over the decade but still are limited and not necessarily attractive to younger workers. We have made great progress in upgrading and retrofitting our older industrial, commercial, and residential infrastructure while preserving farmland and limiting unrestricted growth. However, development pressures continue on municipalities around the County. Cooperation for more regional planning is growing and can be an asset to regional economic growth.” (A Framework for Economic Growth in Lancaster County, June 2012)
2. Provide an analysis of the local economy, labor pool, and labor market. Include analysis of the following data:
Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. provides data used in this analysis. Job data is modeled data to date while output data is through 2011. This is the most current information available.
a. Current makeup of the local economic base by industry.
Lancaster County is a diverse economy with many nuances. Strictly looking at total employment, it is led by the manufacturing (13.2%), health care (12.4%), retail (12.3%), and construction (7.7%) sectors. However, contribution to gross regional product clearly shows manufacturing (22%) as the leader with health care (11%), retail (8%), wholesale trade (7%), and finance and insurance (7%) among the top five.
Many clusters including health care, financial services, education, hospitality business services, builders and contractors, and wholesale trades will grow jobs in the next ten years. Many of these are lower-skill, lower-wages jobs in which we have tended to avoid investing.
However, another set of clusters including agriculture and food processing, metals and metal manufacturing, chemicals, logistics and transportation, wholesale trade, retail, builders and contractors, and health care are highly competitive (location quotient) and expected to grow in competitiveness over the next ten years. We believe that jobs related to these industries are the sweet spot in jobs for the future. These industries will tend to have fewer jobs but have significant replacement opportunities for which they will hire higher-skilled workers.
b. Industries and occupations expected to grow or decline in the short-term and over the next decade.
Our projections for job growth and our sense of where to invest public funding is referenced in the section above.
To this analysis of industries, we have added our Top 100 Hot Jobs in Lancaster County research, which generates a list of jobs that pay above the family-sustaining, wage and that include needs based on growth (or decline) and replacement across industries. This information is akin to the middle skills/middle wage research that was done by the Brookings Institution near the end of the last decade.
Lancaster County has a major need for skilled workers with technology skills and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) knowledge but not necessarily a college credential. We are one of the top areas in the country in percentage of middle skill jobs in the economy…low in unemployment and quick to recover from economic downturns.
Among the jobs at the top of the most recent list are Material Handlers, Customer Service Representatives, Truck Drivers, Registered Nurses, Sales Representatives, Office Clerks, Nursing Aides, Elementary School Teachers, Managers, First Line Supervisors of Retail Workers, LPNs, Team Assemblers, Personal Financial Advisors, and Carpenters.
Using the Top 100 Hot Jobs list, we have organized six Career Pathways that group these demand jobs together; detail at least three levels for each Pathway based on skills, knowledge, and experience; and examine the resources that are available for skill acquisition in the local community. The six Career Pathways (with the expected openings over the next decade and the average salary are…
- Production (6,472, $16.19)
- Administrative Support (5,425, $15.16)
- Sales (5,327, $22.36)
- Health Care (3,913, $28.14)
- Construction and Trades (3,887, $20.21)
- Technical Support (2,149, $23.90)
Many of these Pathways, particularly Administrative Support, Sales, and Technical Support touch all of our high-priority industry clusters in the Lancaster County economy. Production, Health Care, and Construction and Trades are more industry-centered but contain transferrable skills that allow significant amounts of lateral movement across industries.
In many ways, we find that information generated from our Career Pathways work is quite useful in our work with PA CareerLink® participants, EARN clients, and young people who participate in our youth programming.
c. Local industries and occupations that have a demand for skilled workers and have available jobs, today and projected over the next decade.
Currently, we have high demand around manufacturing jobs, which seems consistent with our projections for the future. Health care openings are significant but seem to be most consistent in the lower-paying part of the Career Pathway. Demand for people in the Technical Support Career Pathway such as accountants and bookkeepers, certain information technology workers, human resource specialists, and marketing technicians seem to be in high demand. Sales people at all levels are consistently in demand, again, corresponding to our longer-term projections.
d. Occupations that are most critical to the local economic base.
See our discussion of Career Pathways in I, C, 2, c above.
e. Skill needs for the available, critical, and projected jobs.
Skills needs break down into two levels as far as we have been able to determine.
Almost regardless of the Career Pathway, people need a higher level of basic skills, which are oriented to the workplace. Reading and understanding instructions; the ability to understand information that is communicated through charts and graphs; basic mathematics such as decimals, fractions, and percentages used in applications such as measurement and quality control; and the ability to keyboard and use basic information technology form the basis of the literacies that are involved at this level.
Soft skills such as attendance, planning for emergencies, handling difficult people, working in teams, problem-solving, and getting along with others complement basic literacy and make work better for people.
At a higher level, people need technical skills that can range from welding and fabricating to doing bookkeeping on a computer to designing a website or selling a $500,000 machine. Technical skills vary by Career Pathway but are easily identified and documented…although options for training are more limited in some Pathways than others.
f. Current and projected employment opportunities in the LWIA.
See our discussion of Top 100 Hot Jobs in I, C, 2, c above.
g. Job skills necessary to obtain employment opportunities (from C.2.f.).
See our discussion of skills in I, C, 2, e above.
h. Current and projected demographics of the available labor pool, including the incumbent workforce.
From 2012 through 2022, we project growth in the population from 530,546 to 555,142, some 24,596 or 5%. Population growth by age cohorts follows the Pennsylvania trends in most cohorts except in the younger cohorts from 0-19 where growth will remain higher. In comparison to the national patterns, Lancaster County bucks the trends at the higher (65 and over) and lower (19 and under) groups.
We believe that this shows two things. First, Lancaster County has a younger population of children and young adults than many other areas. Second, it reflects the pattern of Pennsylvania having a rapidly aging population and Lancaster County being a place where many people want to retire.
Age factors negatively in certain key industries including manufacturing and construction, which have an aging workforce that will need many replacement workers over the next 10-20 years. Many of the people retiring will take with them management, supervisory, and technical skills that will be hard to replace.
Ethnically, we are very diverse with a growing population of persons with Hispanic backgrounds. Many of our early Latino immigrants (in the 1960s) were Puerto Rican but that mix now includes Dominicans, Haitians, and Mexicans among folks from other parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Latinos currently comprise 8% of the population (55,424) with that population expected to grow in excess of 20% in the next ten years to 65,412 or almost 12% of the County population.
As far as gender, we are 49% male and 51% female and follow closely state and national trends.
Demographically, we have a mixed bag…an aging workforce in key industries, a larger than average future workforce, and many eager folks from other cultures who bring with them significant skills and motivation as well as some barriers related to culture and language.
i. Current LWIA skill gaps and skill gaps projected to occur over the next decade.
As we now see it, many of our current skills gaps will be our future skills gaps as we move forward…
- A significant lack of basic skills that are a direct result of a very high dropout rate among high school students (near 50% in the School District of Lancaster) will continue to be a barrier for many people. Many dropouts have significant issues related to poverty and their involvement with the criminal justice system.
- A significant lack of technical skills is the result of a variety of factors including the lack of applied mathematics and science in high school curricula, the tendency among parents to value “college” over technical training, and the increasing decline of apprenticeships and formal on-the-job training.
- Gaps in skill training around certain Career Pathways, specifically Sales and Production, where new training models have not replaced more traditional ways of on-the-job training provided by companies.
- The inability of many workers to advance to higher levels of Career Pathways because of their lack of higher-level math and science skills, which are essential.
j. Workforce investment needs of businesses, jobseekers, and workers in the LWIA.
This information is included in other sections of the Plan.
k. “In-migration” and “out-migration” of workers that impact the local labor pool.
Overall, Lancaster County is a net exporter of workers with 75,960 people living in the County but working elsewhere and 62,056 people working in the County but living elsewhere. Workers who lived elsewhere came from York, Berks, Lebanon, and Chester Counties while residents who worked elsewhere worked in Dauphin, Chester, York, and Berks County confirming that the labor and workshed for the County is largely the counties that surround it. We tend to take the broad view and understand our local labor pool in relation to the larger context. There are impacts and we understand them as demonstrated above and below.
The number of people living and working in the County was 157,038.
We believe that the labor pool is fairly typical across the labor and workshed with regard to the skill and occupational mix. However, personal experience tells us that people who leave the County for Dauphin and Chester Counties often are a part of the Administrative Support and Technical Support Career Pathways.
D. KEY PRIORITIES AND GOALS
1. Based on the LWIB’s vision and its economic and labor market analysis, identify the key workforce development priorities for the local area.
See I, D, 2 below where we enumerate the priorities and the strategies that follow from them.
2. Describe the strategies to address each key priority, identifying the goals to be achieved.
Five Strategic Priorities focus the overall Strategic Plan of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board to the immediate future and provide a basis on which to build programmatic activity. (From the Strategic Plan of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board)
I. Build and nurture a common vision and purpose between workforce and economic development entities in the community.
A. Pursue an industry cluster or sector strategy for workforce and economic development where health care, biotechnology, communications, metal and metal fabricating, automotive, food processing, and construction become priorities for workforce and economic development because they have the most potential for developing “gold-collar” jobs (high-skill, high-demand, high-wage) that raise the level of the occupational mix in the community.
1. Whenever possible, facilitate occupational skill and incumbent worker training through industry consortia that promote companies working together to meet shared training needs.
2. Wherever needed, support the workforce needs of other industry clusters that may not be on the priority list.
3. Support continued research centered on the industry cluster concept to identify other areas in the regional industry mix that may have the potential for the significant development of “gold collar” jobs.
B. Build and maintain a position as the organization in the community that is the primary advocate for developing an innovation system that includes incumbent worker training, the maintenance of a pipeline from school to work, local research and development, the support of technology transfer activities, and the growth of entrepreneurship to support the competitive advantage of key industries in the local economy.
C. Consistently work throughout the planning period to develop the notion among local policy makers that economic development should always be linked to the development of better jobs for the people of Lancaster County.
D. Pursue regional workforce development cooperation on the basis of industry clusters rather than geography.
II. Encourage coordination and cooperation between the workforce development system; other related community systems, including but not limited to the welfare system, secondary and post-secondary education, adult basic education, economic development, aging, faith-based organizations, local government, and the business community.
A. Assure that the PA CareerLink® system is easily accessible to citizen and business customer alike.
B. Align the service delivery system in the PA CareerLink® and elsewhere to support the priorities in this Plan, using interagency teams wherever possible.
C. Develop and maintain formal, structural linkages between the Board and the Lancaster Chamber, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, Lancaster Prospers, the Lancaster County Association of Human Resource Professionals, and MANTEC that may or may not include membership on the Board.
D. Deploy and support a process that supports linkages with employers and the Board and PA CareerLink® that engages resources from a broad base of community partners.
E. Explore the involvement of other organizations as actors or possible actors in the workforce system.
F. Make the Workforce Investment Board the preferred source for labor market, occupational, and career ladder information in the County for the public and private sector.
III. Improve the current workforce development delivery system so that a significant additional number of persons from racial and ethnic minorities, particularly in the southeast part of Lancaster city, are brought into the workforce.
A. Involve community organizations based in the southeast area more extensively in the work of the PA CareerLink®, particularly in job recruitment, retention and advancement activities.
B. Become a voice in the community that encourages diversity in employment and increased access of marginalized people to the workforce.
C. Prepare employers and employees to work with and in a diverse workforce by increasing cultural competence among all parties.
D. Facilitate a planning process that uses research and community input to consider ways to reduce unemployment and underemployment in the Latino community.
E. Drive a deeper connection with the Re-Entry Management System in Lancaster County and the PA CareerLink®.
F. Research, develop, and implement a strategy and service delivery system that addresses the needs of the older worker, particularly the unemployed and newly-retired Baby Boom worker.
IV. Enhance the ability of the workforce development and lifelong learning systems to service the underemployed worker.
A. Promote the usage of a Career Readiness Credential as the culmination of a program that promotes work readiness through the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County with the support of the business community.
B. Wherever possible, find ways to move people into the multiple entry points of career ladders that lead to gold collar jobs in priority industries, focusing on entry-level and beyond.
C. Assure that the individuals who deliver workforce development and education services in the community understand career counseling and are equipped to use it to the benefit of users of the service delivery systems.
D. Participate in existing or convene community task forces to examine the issues of the high school dropout problem, child and elder care, transportation, and housing and their impact on workers in conjunction with the agencies in the community who are the primary point of contact for those issues.
E. Continue to align the PA CareerLink® service delivery system immediately to more directly address the issues involved in underemployment, including but not limited to:
1. Child and elder care;
3. Past criminal record and/or incarceration;
4. Job advancement, career ladders, and career counseling;
5. Sector and occupational skill priorities;
7. Integration with the lifelong learning system.
F. Advocate for and implement a definition of training that supports lifelong learning as it occurs through formal and informal, traditional and non-traditional learning formats.
G. Encourage through regular contacts with education providers the development of a more worker-friendly lifelong learning system, particularly in regard to more flexibility in skill training and academic coursework.
1. Wherever possible, work with education providers to introduce new models that are incumbent worker friendly.
2. Encourage the development of curriculum that can be used in education that occurs in institutions and in education that occurs in companies.
H. Assure that a coordinated and rational system exists to deal with the workforce needs of individuals for labor exchange and training services that result from job churning.
V. Provide the emerging workforce with adequate career guidance that leads to a successful school-to-work transition.
A. Continually expand the breadth and depth of programming with the K-12 system by adding all school districts, by reaching into the elementary grades, by reaching out to parents, and by involving all school personnel in programming.
B. Assure that all skill and career path materials developed in the sector strategy outlined above have a well-defined linkage with regard to skill development that reaches back into school curricula and that those connections are regularly discussed with curriculum planners, school guidance counselors, and parents.
C. Make the Youth Council the preferred source for career resources and labor market information dissemination for young people, parents, and educators in the County.
D. Be a strong voice in the County advocating programs that would reduce the dropout rate within the area.
a. Describe how the strategies will align with the governor’s priorities outlined in the State Plan.
In the same way that our longer-term goals and strategies align with the State Plan (see I, B, 2), these more short-term Priorities above and the strategies that come from them also align with the State Plan. Priorities I, II, and III connects to the Commonwealth goals related to Developing a Competitive Workforce and Better Connecting Jobseekers with Employers. Priorities II, III, IV, and V relate to the Commonwealth goal of Building a Pipeline of Talent. The Commonwealth goal of Building a Strong Fiscal Foundation is implicit in the way we do business and more directly related to our longer-term goals and strategies.
b. Describe how the strategies will support the best interests of jobseekers and employers and the economic development plans for the local area, identifying key partnerships necessary to successfully implement the LWIB’s strategies. Specify the roles of specific entities and programs and how the partnerships and priorities will meet the needs of employers and jobseekers.
As a major partner in the Lancaster County Economic Development Collaborative, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. is an active partner in a group that includes the Lancaster County Planning Commission, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, The Lancaster Chamber, the United Way of Lancaster County, the Lancaster Housing Opportunities Partnership, and the Lancaster County Community Foundation.
Together, our colleague agencies and we have developed goals and strategies that have the prospect of “moving the needle” in progress toward our common economic goals. We believe that the following allow us to take the best advantage of assets and positive factors in Lancaster County to affect change…
- Focus business attraction and growth on past and present strengths in the regional economy and on industries that grow family sustaining jobs;
- Encourage the development of supply and distribution chains of priority industries;
- Increase entrepreneurship;
- Upgrade the foundation and STEM skills of the workforce.
Obviously, the Board is most involved in the strategy related to upgrading the foundation and STEM skills of the workforce. However, our partners rely on the data that we generate about the Lancaster County economy to focus business attraction efforts, analyze supply and distribution chains, and find opportunities for entrepreneurship.
In addition, we operate three major Industry Partnerships that include the Center for Manufacturing Excellence, Center of Excellence in Long-Term Care Practice, and the Lancaster County Agriculture Council as well as the Industrial Maintenance Training Center of Pennsylvania. Our ongoing relationship with businesses in the region through the Partnerships puts us in contact with 500+ companies in food, metals, plastics, biotechnology, and printing manufacturing; health care; and agriculture and agribusiness, addressing the needs of the key industries in the region that have been identified by the Board. Several of those efforts are done in partnership with the Berks County Workforce Investment Board; the Lancaster County Agriculture Council and the Industrial Maintenance Training Center operate across the Commonwealth.
Our network of relationships with service-providing contractors is extensive and indicative of the breadth of our reach into the community. In PY’12, contractors include ResCare, EDSI, Harrisburg Area Community College, Reading Area Community College, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, the Consolidated School of Business, the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit #13, the Lancaster Chamber, the Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the School District of Lancaster, Neighborhood Services, Community Services of Organized Labor, and the Spanish-American Civic Association among others.
Over the years, we have also developed an extensive network of relationships among other service delivery entities with the County. Our Executive Director is the elected chair of the Lancaster County Re-Entry Management Organization, a collaborative of more than 50 organizations that provide service to formerly incarcerated citizens. We work closely with the Spanish-American Civic Association and fund services that are provided at La Plaza for people who are primarily Spanish-speakers and not connected with the PA CareerLink®.
We understand that we are a system that integrates with other community-based systems and that relationships are the key to developing networks that get things done, “moving the needle” on workforce and economic development goals.
c. Describe strategies for meeting the workforce needs of the local area’s employers. Include strategies that support the creation and sustainability of small businesses and new and emerging industries.
In our work with employers over the years, we have found that they want two things – a more technically-savvy incumbent workforce and a better-prepared entry-level workforce.
Through our Industry Partnerships, we have been responding to the needs articulated by employers for nearly ten years, training hundreds if not thousands of incumbent workers. Virtually all of the training has focused in upgrading the technical skills of workers who are already employed. Shared training with multiple employers participating that is directed at raising the skills of the regional talent pool is a clear best practice in which Lancaster County and Pennsylvania have excelled. We intend to keep doing this as long as funding is available.
Lately, however, providing employers with a more “work-ready” prospective worker has been the focus of our reinvention of the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County over the last two years. A “work-ready” employee is literate, knows how to act on the job, and has a certain level of hard-skills that they bring to the job. Our innovations with regard to assessment (WorkKeys), putting suitability ahead of eligibility, use of Individual Training Accounts, and new placement strategies have paid off in more and better placements and retention.
While we know that existing companies appreciate these enhancements to the way we do business, we also know that several companies who were new to the area have actually used the PA CareerLink® to staff their entire workforce as they have started operations, thereby saving thousands of dollars in recruiting and other human resource expenses.
We intend to expand all of these initiatives with a revamped Business Services Team, which now works directly with the Executive Director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. so that we are sure that our business services operational functions occur within our broader strategic objectives.
3. Describe plans for increasing engagement with business, industry, education, economic development, and community organizations to achieve greater participation within the local workforce system, in order to identify workforce challenges and develop strategies and solutions to address those challenges.
As we have explained above, we are already very engaged with a variety of community systems. Referral networks are well-established and relationships are long-standing.
Still, we see opportunities to increase participation in the local workforce system with…
- More focused attention on all types of manufacturing-related employers and the Production career pathways;
- More aggressive use of social media and Constant Contact;
- Building the existing relationship with the Spanish American Civic Association and its new Tech Centro project;
- Offering more value-added services to businesses (and fee-generating activities for the workforce system);
- Implementing a fully-credentialed and fee-generating career counseling service at the PA CareerLink®; and
- Upgrading the capacity of the Business Services Team for value-added selling.
Many of these items will be further explained in the Operational Plan section, which follows.
4. Describe any regional or sector strategies tailored to the LWIA’s economy, and how these strategies intersect with the state’s strategies.
Since 2002, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. has been a leader in promoting and implementing cluster or sector strategies in the region, the Commonwealth, and the nation. Our Executive Director serves on the Board of Directors of the National Network of Sector Partners and is on the faculty of the National Sector Skills Academy run by the Aspen Institute.
We see our original cluster strategies as still relevant with very few changes. However, the addition of new Career Pathway data and corresponding programming adds a new, more occupationally-focused dimension to our previous work. The addition of six Career Pathways – Production, Administrative Support, Sales, Construction and Trades, Health Care, and Technical Support – to our seven priority industries – Health Care, Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food Procession, Metals and Metal Fabricating, Communications, Construction, and Automotive Services – provides a robust matrix that connects industries and occupations to the benefit of everyone who is trying to understand how career development works.
These efforts are directly related to past work by the Commonwealth in identifying statewide industry clusters, continuing efforts with regard to High Priority Occupations, and new emphases directed to manufacturing industries.
5. Describe the LWIB strategy to coordinate discretionary and formula-based investments across programs in support of the vision, including how the LWIB will use program funds to leverage other federal, state, local, and private resources to effectively and efficiently provide services.
Traditionally, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. has been very strong in attracting public funding, having managed grants from the US Department of Labor, the US Department of Agriculture, the PA Department of Labor and Industry, and other government entities.
For the last several years, the corporation has also been successful in attracting funding for special projects from philanthropy including the Alcoa Foundation, the Wal-Mart Foundation, the Highmark Foundation, the PA Fund for Workforce Solutions, the ATT Foundation, and the Lancaster County Community Foundation.
Fee-for-service income has been rising both from businesses and individuals. Wherever program income is generated from WIA-related activities, the income is documented and used in the same program year to fund similar services The Board has begun a social enterprise that we expect to be a revenue-generator. Currently, the social enterprise is being run within the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. with close supervision from the Finance Committee of the Board. Finally, its staff has successfully managed the Lancaster County Agriculture Council (for a fee) for nearly two years and the Lancaster County Reentry Management Organization for over five years.
With this recent history in mind, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. would like to increase the amount of non-formula funds from the roughly 33% of the budget which currently exists to a figure that is much closer to 40% over the next several years. This relates closely to the goal of the State Plan to build a stronger fiscal foundation and, ultimately, a more sustainable workforce system.
6. Describe integrated cross-program strategies for specific populations and sub-populations.
With guidance from the Board over the last two years, the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County has implemented a service delivery strategy that provides consistent expectations and a clear process for every jobseeker no matter whether they are a dislocated workers, a formerly incarcerated citizen, an EARN participant, an out-of-school young person, an incumbent but underemployed individual, a veteran, a homeless person, or any other group. The process requires participation in workshops involving work search skills, assessment using WIN, the attainment of the equivalent of the National Career Readiness Credential through the Ready2Work program, and involvement in an active work search.
While there is one set of expectations and one process for all, case management around the special needs of these various populations provides the extra services that many people require. This model allows the staff of the PA CareerLink® who do case management to share that responsibility with probation officers, school counselors, and case managers from throughout the social service system, leveraging the resources that are available for this important function.
We believe that this concept has significantly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the service delivery system in Lancaster, allowing us to serve many more people than could be served by the workforce system alone.
7. Describe the LWIB’s strategies to connect youth to education and training opportunities that lead to employment, ensuring that students, parents, teachers, counselors, and school administrators have access to quality data regarding career pathways and options.
For over 10 years, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. has been involved in extensive research about the nature of career pathways and the options that young people have to participate in Gold Collar (high-skill, high-wage, high-demand) jobs. Our research pre-dated the High Priority Occupations that were eventually defined by the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis.
Early in our history, the Board stopped doing the more traditional summer youth programming and began focusing on providing good data and quality information to young people, their parents, and people in the educational system focusing on three critical points in a young person’s career decision process using a wide variety of funding sources…
- For late elementary and early middle school students, we do Career Camps…week-long day camps that focus on the variety of careers that are out there in the job market;
- For middle school students and their parents, we do Pathways to Gold Collar Career…an event that brings employers together with young people and their parents to talk about good jobs in Lancaster County as the family is preparing for their youngster to choose their high school courses; and
- For high school students, we do a Job Shadowing event with hundreds of companies and thousands of kids participating…to get down to the specifics of what jobs a young person might (or might not) like.
That work has been supplemented over the years by presentations to superintendents, counselors, curriculum planners, and teachers about the information that we have gathered. This is an ongoing part of our programming as is our Road Trip for Educators that we do every June where we take folks from the education system out to visit businesses for three days. Career Connect, a joint project with the Lancaster Chamber, offers an online resource for people in education who need career resources for career fairs, career days, job shadowing, and other career exploration activities.
We expect all of these activities to continue with constant revisions as the job market and future career opportunities continue to evolve.
8. Describe the LWIB’s strategies to ensure that eligible youth—including disconnected youth and youth with multiple barriers—have the opportunity to develop and achieve career goals through education and workforce training.
See I, D, 6 above. Eligible youth are able to access services offered by the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County in the same way that any person who is part of any special population is able to do so. These young people have the added advantage of being case managed by our contractor, ResCare, which provides additional services of a supportive nature.
A specialized program for young people who have been involved in the juvenile justice system provides specialized services to help the participants overcome their barriers and be successful in completing their supervision and finding a job.
In addition, we are advocates with the education system for technical training that moves people toward our six Career Pathways - Production, Administrative Support, Sales, Construction and Trades, Health Care, and Technical Support. Wherever possible, we speak favorably about including these Pathways as alternatives to traditional career development
E. DESIRED OUTCOMES
1. Describe the benchmarks that have been (or will be) developed in support of key priorities.
Our Strategic Plan addresses a number of variables that we consider to be important in measuring our efforts. “There will be a variety of key variables that will allow the Board to gauge the overall performance of the workforce system. They include…
- A continually growing workforce,
- A lower unemployment rate,
- An increased number of people entering targeted occupational categories (gold collar jobs),
- More students enrolling in education and training programs that expand and complement the traditional four year college option,
- A lower dropout rate among high school graduates who participate in post-secondary education of all kinds,
- Less remedial training needed on the job for high school graduates,
- Lower dropout rate among high school students,
- More people participating in continuing education activities,
- Higher literacy rate among the County population, and
- A lower number of people on public assistance of all kinds.” (Strategic Plan of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board: Mission, Vision, Goals, and Performance Indicators)
In addition, we support the indicators that have been developed by the Lancaster County Economic Development Collaborative which include…
- Steady increases in export activity;
- Growth in the number of start-up businesses;
- Sustained employment in agriculture and advanced manufacturing;
- Growth in family-sustaining jobs;
- Increased high school graduation;
- Increased amounts of technical training during and after high school.
Finally, we monitor a number of process outcomes for the PA CareerLink® including…
- First visits and total visits
- Ready2Work graduates
- Occupational skill training completers
- Metrix users
- ITA or training completers
- GEDs achieved
- EARN enrolled
- Job Search Center enrolled
- E-mail contacts; Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn followers
All of these indicators are reported regularly to the Performance Committee of the Board of Directors and the Leadership Team of the PA CareerLink® for review and action as necessary.
2. Describe – and provide specific quantitative targets for – the desired outcomes and results. Local levels of performance negotiated with the governor and CEO (pursuant to Section 136(c)) are to be used to measure the performance of the LWIA and used by the LWIB to measure the performance of the local Fiscal Agent (where appropriate), eligible providers, and the PA CareerLink® delivery system in the LWIA. Attach Table 1 for WIA programs (Appendix A).
Normally, we benchmark the indicators we use to data that goes back at least ten years. Our quantitative targets usually look for continuing progress in “moving the needle”, particularly in areas in which we have less control. Some indicators have no quantitative target and are instead descriptive statistics that monitor the ebb and flow of services (primarily the process indicators).
Our negotiated program goals for WIA programs (which are included in Appendix A) provide the service delivery system and all subcontractors with guidance as far as the expectations of the system.
3. Describe how the negotiated levels of performance support and ensure the LWIB’s vision.
It is very obvious to us that what gets measured gets done. Performance measures inform our oversight function, our evaluation of our contracts and collaborations, and the overall return on investment of the public funds with which we are entrusted. They inform the way that we deploy and manage resources as management and program staff. They often drive innovation as we look for ways to improve what we do.
We are not afraid of performance standards and embrace them as a part of what we do as an organization day-in and day-out.
4. Describe any additional goals that the LWIB intends to achieve, for example, an increase in the percentage of workers employed in jobs with family-sustaining wages, or an increase in the number of employers with job opportunities.
See above in I, E, 1.
5. Describe how the performance of regional activity is tracked and measured.
There are basically no differences in the ways that the performance of our regional activities is assessed from the ways that our local activities are assessed. The indicators are the same. We all provide information. One of the partners collects and reports the data.
F. PLAN DEVELOPMENT
1. Describe the involvement of the Local Elected Official (LEO), the LWIB and stakeholders in the development of the local plan.
Recently, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. completed a process that led to a new Strategic Plan and an Operational Plan, which were approved by the Board in July 2012. That process involved the staff, Board and stakeholders at various levels and will be taken to the County Commissioners for their information later in Fall 2012.
We also included in this Plan excerpts from the “Framework for Economic Growth in Lancaster County” of the Lancaster County Economic Development Collaborative, which reflects a year of conversation with our colleagues in the economic development community.
This Plan was reviewed by the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. at its regular meeting on September 20, 2012 and approved for publication to the community for comment.
2. Describe the collaboration between the LWIB and representatives from economic development, education, the business community, and other interested parties, in the development of the local plan.
See I, F, 1 above.
3. Describe the process used to make the plan available to the public. Attach a copy of the public notice(s). (Appendix B)
An announcement that the Plan is available for review and comment was published in the Lancaster Intelligencer-New Era on September 28, 2012. In addition, the draft of the Plan was available at www.lancastercountywib.com.
4. Provide a summary of the comments received during the review period (if any) and how the comments were addressed. (Appendix C)
The operational plan makes clear how specific workforce programs will operate, administer, implement, and monitor systems and structures to achieve the vision, strategies, and goals identified in Section I. The LWIB should discuss how participant groups will be served by the programs described in the local plan including, how services are delivered for employers and targeted jobseeker populations. This section includes an overview of the workforce system and its organization at the local level and descriptions of specific workforce programs and required policies.
A. OVERVIEW OF THE LOCAL WORKFORCE SYSTEM: STRUCTURE
1. Describe the local workforce development system, its entities and their respective roles and functional relationships. If any entities are incorporated, include corporate board functions.
Founded in 1999 as the successor organization to the Lancaster County Private Industry Council, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. has a mandate through the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to be the lead organization in Lancaster County for workforce planning, to cooperate with State officials in providing business with locally-validated labor market information, and to arrange for a service delivery system that meets the workforce needs of business and the public alike.
With the cooperation of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, and the Lancaster County Planning Commission, the Board has in place a comprehensive Strategic Plan that focuses its investment strategy on seven industry clusters in the Lancaster County economy — health care, biotechnology, communications, construction, food processing, automotive, and metals and metal fabricating — that are growing and that support gold-collar (high-skill, high-pay, high-demand) jobs. Board staff people work with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to assure that labor market information collected by the Department is interpreted with an understanding of local factors.
In addition, the Board administers federal and state monies that fund programs for adults, dislocated workers, and young people through the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County and other contractors. The PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County is a one-stop service center where 14 different employment, education and training, and social service organizations provide services to employers, jobseekers, and people who are seeking to increase their skills portfolios.
Currently, the Board consists of 29 members, 18 of whom are from business and industry. Board members and Youth Council members who are not on the Board are appointed by the Lancaster County Commissioners. Representatives from labor, education, social services, and elected officials make up the balance of Board membership. Representatives from the business community also represent sectors of the seven priority clusters. Board members serve three-year terms and are eligible to serve two consecutive terms.
Officers, Executive Committee members and Committee chairs are mostly private sector members of the Board. Committees consist of the Executive Committee, the Performance Review Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Youth Council. Currently, the Board meets bi-monthly while the other committees have varying schedules.
a. Describe the role of the LEO in the governance and implementation of WIA in the LWIA. In LWIAs with more than one unit of government, indicate the decision-making process between/among LEOs. Attach LWIB/CEO Agreement (Appendix D).
In our system, the local elected officials (LEO) are the Lancaster County Commissioners. The Commissioners have chosen a minimalist role in their relationship with the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. The Commissioners appoint members but delegate all other matters to the Board. The Board briefs the Commissioners annually. See the LEO-WIB Letter of Understanding, which is a part of Appendix D for more detail.
b. Describe the role of the entity responsible for the disbursal of grant funds, as determined by the CEO. Provide the identity and contact information of that entity.
In its role as fiscal agent, the Corporation manages fiscal planning, budgeting, bookkeeping, grants management and reporting, fiscal monitoring, and liaison with the auditors.
2. Describe the LWIB’s role in the local workforce development system.
a. Describe the board membership and the process used to identify and select members.
Our Board includes a majority of members from business and industry (with at least two representatives from our seven priority industry clusters) and members from K-12 and high education, labor, community-based organizations, PA CareerLink® partners, economic development, and government.
Board members from business and industry are nominated by the Lancaster Chamber or the Steering Committees of various Industry Partnerships. 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.
b. Describe the committee structure of the LWIB.
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 except where explicitly restricted (Annual Budget, Annual Plan, Election of Officers must be approved by 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, and up to three at large Board members.
Further, the Performance Review Committee reviews and approves all contracts for services, monitors performance, meets regularly, is chaired by the Vice-Chair of the Board and staffed by the Deputy Director. The Local Management Committee manages relationships and contracts for services on behalf of the Department of Public Welfare. It is chaired by the Director of the Lancaster County Assistance office, staffed by the Deputy Director, 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 and is staffed by the Fiscal Director.
c. Identify and describe any functions the LWIB has assumed other than those required by statute.
By and large, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. has focused on the corporate functions required by statute and WIA-specified functions. It has assumed a major planning and coordinating role for the work done by contractors engaged in incumbent worker training and youth programming. The Board did become the employer of record for some PA CareerLink® staff with the concurrence of BWDP.
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.
d. Describe how the LWIB ensures timely, open, and effective sharing of information among local and state agencies, other boards, the local workforce investment system, and the PA CareerLink® offices.
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 eleven 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 functioned as a consultant to workforce entities around the country.
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 the Workforce Investment Board. PA CareerLink® leadership including the Site Administrator is regularly invited to meetings of the WIB staff and contractors.
e. Describe the Youth Council:
i. Describe how the Youth Council integrates a vision for youth through collaboration with youth-focused agencies and organizations within the LWIA.
ii. Describe the relationship between the Youth Council and the LWIB.
In its outreach to young people, the Youth Council partners with a wide variety of other youth-serving organizations including Junior Achievement, the Boy Scouts of American, the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, Neighborhood Services, school districts, post-secondary institutions, the North Museum, and others. Every effort is made to collaborate in service delivery to avoid duplication.
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 Workforce Investment Board, Inc. 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.
3. Identify the PA CareerLink® Operator and describe the process for Operator selection and the relationship of the Operator to the LWIB. Describe any anticipated changes to the Operator/Consortium, and the roles and responsibilities of the Consortium.
This Workforce Investment Board continues to use the option of an Operator/Consortium to oversee the PA CareerLink®. The Consortium is comprised of the three largest space renters as well as two at-large members who are selected by vote of the Investors. The Operators, through the Chair, report to the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. during monthly meetings of the Executive Committee of the Board.
Currently, the Operator Consortium of the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County consists of ResCare (representing Title I), the Department of Public Welfare, the Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership, the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, and the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit #13. The Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. contracts with the Consortium 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 14 partners of the PA CareerLink®.
Other than a possible change to the at-large members, no changes are anticipated in the coming years.
4. Identify the WIA Title I Contractor(s) for Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth services. Describe the process for selection.
On February 4, 2011, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. released a formal Request for Proposals to solicit providers to act as the Title I Contractor for the local area.
As of July 1, 2011, ResCare Workforce Services replaced the Lancaster Employment and Training Agency as the WIA Title I Contractor. A contract between ResCare and the Workforce Investment Board was developed that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each party. The contract with ResCare is reviewed by the Board on a bi-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 ResCare should be continued or whether is should be competitively bid.
As a representative of the largest space-supporting partner (Title I) ResCare is a member of the Operator Consortium.
5. Provide an organizational chart (Appendix E) that delineates the relationship among the agencies involved in the workforce development system, including the LEO and required/optional PA CareerLink® partner programs and lines of authority. The chart should reflect the distinct separation between governance and service delivery structures. For incorporated entities, include the corporate board.
An organization chart is provided in Appendix E.
6. Discuss the process used to determine how WIA funds are used for infrastructure, personnel, contracts, and other costs to provide the required WIA core, intensive, and training activities.
During our annual budgeting process, we begin by looking at more or less fixed costs such as infrastructure, personnel, and contracts. We look at our other funding streams to determine the contribution that they will be making to the overall system and where overhead costs can be shared. This gives us a crude measure of whether revenues and expenditures are in-synch. A deficit causes a review of fixed costs to find cost savings as needed.
As we flesh out the process and add new information, we get a better idea of the reality of the situation and any actions that management needs to take to make it work. We usually do a working budget for the new fiscal year in June with a revised budget in the early fall.
If opportunities arise during the year for innovation, particularly any involving cost savings, we actively take advantage of them in consultation with the Board.
7. Describe any regional workforce development partnerships, including their purpose, roles, goals, objectives, and their activities that help improve LWIA performance.
At this point, this Board participates in several regional Industry Partnerships and collaborations, which allow the Board to better fulfill its mission to serve employers and their need for a workforce to be competitive in the global marketplace. The Industrial Maintenance Training Center of PA provides consultation to school around the Commonwealth that provide training in industrial maintenance and mechatronics to incumbent workers. It also partially funds training in those skill areas. The Center for Manufacturing Excellence serves the incumbent worker training needs of manufacturers in Berks and Lancaster Counties while the Lancaster County Agriculture Council provides training for the dairy industry in more than 20 counties in the Commonwealth.
8. Describe how the strategic direction and performance goals are communicated to partners and stakeholders for PA CareerLink® planning and alignment.
As strategy-oriented planning moves forward with documentation of direction and goals, we have regular communication with partners and stakeholders through their participation in our formal meetings (Board, Leadership Team, Operators, staff) and in other ad hoc briefings that are held as needed. Internal customers are as important as external customers. We spend a good deal of time in getting this right.
9. Describe how the LWIB will ensure effective implementation of the local plan.
Through our regular communications processes, Board staff is very aware of what is happening in WIA and PA CareerLink® programming. We regularly review performance data and try to be pro-active before any negative trends become ingrained in processes. Board members are actively involved on committees that assess performance and hold us accountable for doing what we say we plan to do. At least annually, staff does an assessment of progress toward goals that is reviewed by the Executive Committee.
B. OPERATING SYSTEMS AND POLICIES: SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM
1. Describe the LWIA’s workforce development service delivery network.
Within the LWIA, the PA CareerLink® provides a continuum of services that lay the groundwork for successfully acquiring the skills for employment through a variety of opportunities available as intensive and or training services.
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®. Fourteen investor partners that range from required partners such as Title I and BWDP to groups that voluntarily choose to participate such as 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 daily.
A strong feature of the PA CareerLink® enrollment process involves the 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 finding a job with a criminal background.
If the individual is in need of training, a wide variety of occupational skill training and traditional academic courses are available through the Individual Training Account system using approved training providers.
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 their 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 concentrate 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®.
Currently, the Board supports industry partnerships in food processing, long-term care, agriculture, 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 an occupational skill focus and are targeted to specific groups (ex-offenders, Latinos).
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 occupational skill 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. Provide the number, type, and location(s) of PA CareerLink® offices in the LWIA. Indicate the name of the site and identify the management position(s) at the site. Include positions such as PA CareerLink® Administrator, Manager(s), and Supervisor(s).
There is one comprehensive PA CareerLink® in Lancaster County which is located at 1016 N. Charlotte St. in the northern part of Lancaster City. Management and supervisory positions include the Site Administrator, Administrative Services Team Lead, Coordinator of Core Services, Coordinator of Business Services, and Coordinator of Assessment and Occupational Skill Training.
3. Describe how the LWIB will assess the effectiveness of its configuration of PA CareerLink® site(s), including, but not limited to, business hours and 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. Currently, the PA CareerLink® is open to 7:00 p.m. on one or two evenings per week, depending on demand.
4.Describe the type and availability of training and employment activities and supportive services that will be made available in the LWIA and the process to assess and determine service offerings.
Within the LWIA, the PA CareerLink® provides a continuum of services that lay the groundwork for successful training as well as a variety of training opportunities. People begin with skill assessment, obtain remedial assistance if needed, complete the National Career Readiness Credential, and move into occupational skill training through Individual Training Accounts as authorized.
PA CareerLink® staff provide counseling with information on high priority occupations and assessment of individual choice. A Service Delivery Guide has been developed by the PA CareerLink® partners. Most training and supportive services are handled by the Title I Contractor, although limited transportation vouchers are available from the Site Administrator.
5. Describe the LWIB’s strategy for seamless service delivery, including the transitions among core, intensive, and training services and referral to partner services for both business and jobseeker 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.
A multi-disciplinary Leadership Team developed a customer flow chart, including corresponding Standard Operating Procedures. See this flow chart in the One-Stop Partner Agreement in Appendix F. This protocol has embedded the idea of seamless service delivery within the entire customer flow process.
6. 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, expanded hours of instruction in information technology, our occupational skill training activities funded with Individual Training Accounts focus on priority clusters and occupations…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.
7. Attach the current, fully-executed LWIB/One-Stop Partner Agreement (OSPA) to identify current, specific levels and methods of participation of each required and optional partner program in the local service delivery system (Appendix F).
See Appendix F for the One-Stop Partner Agreement.
8. Describe how individual programs, using the funds allocated under each specific Title, will align with and implement the strategies and vision outlined in the Strategic Plan section.
We start with the strategic vision of the board, which incorporates priority clusters with employers’ needs for a well-prepared workforce when developing new activities. Then, we thoroughly vet the activity with the Leadership Team to ensure it meets the requirements of the funding source and the PA CareerLink®.
Every new programmatic activity is tied to one of the Strategic Priorities contained in the Strategic Plan and carried over to the Operational Plan so that everyone involved understands that every WIA and PA CareerLink® activity ties back to an imperative endorsed by our business-led Board.
9. 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 the Job Search Center, 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.
C. OPERATING SYSTEMS AND POLICIES: BUSINESS SERVICES
1. Describe the role of the Business Services Team (BST) in PA CareerLink® office(s).
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®.
2. Describe how the LWIB will ensure that the local strategic plan and goals for business services are communicated to and linked with the BST.
Business Services Team members periodically meet with the Executive Director and other 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 employers and around projects that require the attention of multiple partners occurs. The Executive Director as well as the Site Administrator constantly reminds the Business Services Team of its connections to the broader strategies of the WIB through formal monitoring and informal consultation.
3. Describe the BST outreach strategy and plans to promote partnerships and linkages with state and local businesses, professional service organizations, and trade associations and to support sector engagement goals.
Our Business Services Team implements the marketing and outreach goals that have been defined by the Strategic and Operational Plans of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. Our focus on the needs of business keeps individual companies high on our list of relationship-building and maintenance. Intermediaries and professional associations such as the Lancaster Chamber, the Economic Development Company, the United Way, the Lancaster County Association for Human Resource Management and others offer mixers, business expos, and events of all kinds in which we are involved.
4. Describe the LWIA’s service delivery solutions for business customers, including, but not limited to, developing career ladders, industry-recognized credentialing, customized service delivery, collaborations and/or partnerships.
This local area has made the industry partnership a vehicle for incumbent worker training work. With three partnerships that we support directly, including agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and health care, 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.
5. Describe how the LWIB will ensure that BSTs offer services and resources to businesses that include, but are not limited to, lay-off aversion strategies, On-the-Job Training (OJT) and customized training opportunities, recruitment, toolkits, data visualization and other materials.
In many ways, we have found that the traditional tools in the tool belt of business services such as on-the-job training are outdated and irrelevant to the companies with which we work. The American business model has changed with temp-to-hire currently being the predominate model which obviates OJT in many cases. We still search for job orders but we have shifted our focus to the value-added services for which companies will pay including testing and assessment, online training, and other human resource-oriented functions, which are brokered through out Business Services Team.
Many of the ideas behind the development of these new value-added services come directly from the contact that the Business Services Team members have with employers.
6. Describe the standardized metrics (e.g., repeat business, Return on Investment (ROI), labor market penetration, new hires) that will be used to measure the success and effectiveness of a BST.
After more than ten years of work with companies that now number more than 500 in Lancaster County, we find that repeat business is probably the best measure of how our business engagement efforts are doing. Companies are often unwilling to share quantitative operation data; secondary data sources are often too general and do now allow the inquirer to isolate the effect of one intervention (like a program). We watch the number of companies who opt into our social media options, which regularly attend our Job Fairs, who participate in our Industry Partnerships, and the turnover of the private sector people on our Board.
To date, all of the indicators have been good.
D. OPERATING SYSTEMS AND POLICIES: PRIORITY OF SERVICE
1. Describe the LWIB’s strategies and processes for compliance with Jobs for Veterans Priority.
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 eligible veterans are referred to the BWDP Veterans’ Representative for evaluation, service, and/or referral. Other PA CareerLink® staff 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. For example, during our job fairs, Ready2Work graduates are invited to attend an hour in advance of the general public. Veterans in our database also receive the invitation for priority attendance.
2. Describe the criteria used to determine whether funds allocated for employment and training activities are limited and the process that the PA CareerLink® Operator uses to apply priority.
If in the process of budget monitoring, the local area determines that it does not have sufficient funds for the number of individuals who need intensive and training services because of unemployment and underemployment, the Board applies the priority of service policy. The Board uses the number of unemployed individuals in the County and compares this number with available funding as the criteria to determine sufficient funds. The Title I Contractor is made aware of the limitations and applies the policy as part of their contract with the WIB. WIA Adult intensive and training services are limited to low-income individuals as outlined in 663.600 which states… that in the event that funds allocated to a local area for adult employment and training activities are limited, priority for intensive and training services funded with title I adult funds must be given to recipients of public assistance and other low-income individuals in the local area.
3. Describe LWIB eligibility and priority selection policy for Adults and Dislocated Workers. Attach the LWIB’s Priority of Service policy (Appendix G).
Eligibility for WIA funding is determined by the Title I Contractor using as a guide the instructions provided in WIIN 3-99 Change 2 as well as applicable sections of the law and regulations. See Appendix G for the local Priority of Service policy.
E. SERVICES TO ADULTS AND DISLOCATED WORKERS
1. Describe how partner resources will be integrated to deliver core services to adults and dislocated workers.
Our Resource Room is the hub of core activities for the system. Our functional supervisory approach to staffing allows us to use a multi-agency workforce (with BWDP providing the majority of workers). Our Flow Chart for Job Seeker Services (see Appendix F) maps all of the steps of the process, providing standard operating procedures from each that also correlate with the position descriptions of individuals. Staff people have been trained in their roles and work together in teams that also work together. Core services are where everything begins.
2. Describe measures to ensure that intensive services are provided to adults and dislocated workers who meet the criteria in WIA Section 134(d)(3)(A).
In our operation, eligibility determination follows suitability activities, which place the burden on the customer to prove their readiness to take the program that we offer. Frequent Career Exploration 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 and training services that, eventually, customers select in consultation with PA CareerLink® staff.
3. Describe measures to leverage resources to provide increased access to training opportunities.
By using a career pathway model along with a skills acquisition map to chart curricular needs, we have been able to not only offer more focused training to our WIA and EARN customers but also attract the attention of other funders. We are closely connected with the Make It in America initiative, a TAACCCT-funded program with Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, and several programs funded by the PA Departments of Corrections and Public Welfare as well as a community foundation for persons returning to the community from prison.
Funding from a variety of sources for training makes it more likely that accessibility will increase for the diverse group of jobseekers with which we work.
4. Describe how the Eligible Training Program/Provider system is used to provide improvement of education and training opportunities in response to the needs of business and industry.
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 (a multi-county area in southeastern PA) contains occupations that may not be relevant for the local (Lancaster County) market, the Board retains the right to limit the training for the high-priority, locally demand-driven 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 are excluded from consideration.
As a part of its prerogative to develop and implement a system to deliver training services, the Board has determined as a part of a formal request for proposals process that there is an insufficient number of eligible training providers in the local area to accomplish the purpose of a system of Individual Training Accounts. It has developed a process to select providers under a contract for service and began the process of securing public comment for 30 days beginning on October 27, 2010. The process concluded with Board approval for the use of an exception to an ITA to provide training if it is needed.
To be clear, the PA CareerLink® encourages informed customer choice as it offers training using the ITA process and limited other contracted or procured training.
5. If implementing the waiver of the statutory exclusion and regulatory prohibition of using Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) for out-of-school youth, describe training services for out-of-school youth.
After an objective assessment, eligible and suitable out-of-school youth are given the opportunity to explore and enroll in an ITA, using the same as system as an adult or dislocated worker.
6. Describe the approach to OJT and customized training, including identifying opportunities, marketing, networking, and leveraging resources.
We have used OJT or CJT only once in the more than ten years of our existence for philosophical, programmatic, and financial reasons. We have no plans for such in the future.
7. Describe current and/or planned use of WIA Title I funds for apprenticeship training.
We have found little or no demand for apprenticeships in any industry in Lancaster County except construction. There, we sponsor a pre-apprenticeship program to prepare people to enter construction apprenticeships with the support of an employer. Much of that program has been funded with non-WIA monies from foundations and other sources.
F. SERVICES TO SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
The Operational Plan must address service strategies for: dislocated workers, displaced homemakers, low- income individuals (such as: migrant and/or seasonal farm workers, women, minorities, individuals training for non-traditional employment), veterans, public assistance recipients, individuals with multiple barriers to employment (including older individuals, persons with limited English proficiency, persons with disabilities,
and ex-offenders), and youth.
Where the LWIA employs similar service strategies for all populations, the strategies need only be addressed once. Strategies that are unique to a specific population must be described separately.
1. Describe the strategies to provide services, such as those listed:
a. Re-employment services
b. Unemployment Compensation work test
c. Rapid Response services
d. Trade Act services
In many ways, we answered this question definitively when we redesigned our service delivery structure and developed several key operating principles that have guided the implementation of the system as it has been operationalized
- Regardless of how the various funding streams want to be branded, there is really only one program at the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County…that is, the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County;
- At its heart are a sequence of services in which everyone can participate in some way including suitability (workshops), career guidance; eligibility; assessment; enrichment; Ready2Work; occupational skill training funded through Individual Training Accounts and other limited contracted or procured training as approved; and the Job Search Center;
- Standards are strict…a bronze-level score on the WorkKeys test leading to a National Career Readiness is required to move on to training;
- However, enrichment is provided so that every client can be successful;
- Job search begins as the person walks through the door and completes an online resume on CWDS and ends with successful placement and retention.
Every client group including dislocated workers, displaced homemakers, low-income individuals, migrant and/or seasonal farm workers, veterans, public assistance recipients, older individuals, people with limited English proficiency, persons with disabilities, ex-offenders, and youth can be and is served within the system.
However, many special populations need additional case management to deal with more difficult barriers than the workforce system is able to handle. Case management is the service where the special circumstances of these groups are addressed. We do limited case management within the system, concentrating primarily on the targets of our funding streams – dislocated workers, out-of-school youth, and low-income adults. We encourage our referral sources – case workers, probation officers, school counselors, pastors, and other - to continue providing case management to the individuals that they refer while we do what we do best.
Migrant and seasonal farmworkers are included in this group of special populations who will receive the full range of services equal to other customers. Staff will consider the preferences, needs and skills of individual migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
Re-employment and unemployment compensation customers including those called in for PREP are served through the Resource Room where they are case managed by BWDP staff as they engage the process of services described above. Rapid response referrals also enter the Resource Room and the normal service delivery process while being case managed by the Rapid Response Coordinators. In a similar way, Trade Act customers enter through the Resource Room and are case managed by BWDP staff.
G. SERVICES TO YOUTH
1. Describe how the LWIB will promote collaboration among the public workforce system, educational system, human services, juvenile justice, and others to better serve youth who are most in need and have significant barriers to employment. This includes the provision of: career pathways, STEM education, labor market-based career development, advanced manufacturing, and energy-sector 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. Another at-risk group includes those young people with physical and/or mental disabilities and young people aging out of foster care.
Addressing these issues involves engaging a broad network of youth-serving agencies including the juvenile justice system, the child protective system, and the welfare system as well as other faith and community-based organizations.
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 expect to continue to provide training options in welding, printing, manufacturing, customer service and office technology.
Incorporating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into our offerings is of the highest priority. The Board contracts 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 also supports an instructor who provides ABE/GED to students enrolled in the Out-of-School program. This helps the young people prepare for their GED and increases their chances of a successful literacy/numeracy outcome as well.
2. Describe the criteria used for awarding grants for youth activities, including criteria used to identify effective or ineffective youth activities and providers of such activities.
See II, C, 5 below. Youth programs are competitively procured using the Request for Proposal procedure found in Appendix I. Each responsive proposal received is reviewed by a committee of the Youth Council as well as staff and community members (if needed). Annually, providers present their programs and outcomes to the entire Youth Council, and each Title I contract is reviewed for renewal. Often, Council members have interaction with the youth providers, which spurs questions and good discussion.
3. Describe how policies ensure compliance with applicable safety and child labor laws.
All providers of work experience must ensure 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. In addition, when the local area has operated work experience activities, the employer of record is a competitively bid staffing agency. WIB staff monitor on-site activities.
4. Describe the processes used to provide initial intake, objective assessment, case management, individual service strategies, and eligibility assessments for youth. Include policies for Eligibility Verification and Priority Selection for Title I-B Youth (Appendix H).
The contractor, who is also responsible to recruit individuals for their programs, completes initial intake for youth. All youth participant files are submitted to the Title I Contractor for secondary review and must be approved by the Contractor prior to youth beginning services with the contractor. Objective assessment, case management and individual service strategies are the responsibility of the selected contractors. Each of these elements is monitored onsite at least once per contract period.
5. Describe the framework for youth programs that includes the following components:
a. Preparing youth for post-secondary education
b. Connecting academic and occupational learning
c. Preparing youth for unsubsidized employment opportunities
d. Connecting youth to the business community through intermediary entities
Overall, the youth program of the Board addresses the portion of its mission statement, which targets “the needs of Lancaster County residents for meaningful work that enhances their quality of life”. It provides information to all involved on post-secondary education and occupation training that leads to meaningful employment opportunities. It connects young people, parents, businesses, and education in a network oriented to the success of the individual person.
The Youth Council provides opportunities for youth that meet the components listed above by crafting Requests for Proposals based on the needs of the funding source as well as the needs of local youth.
For in-school youth, contractors are expected to serve at least one of these target groups (which could change from time to time):
a. Youth enrolled in high priority occupationally-related course work, high priority vocational classes, or who plan to enter a high priority occupation or post-secondary courses after graduation;
b. Youth enrolled in the School District of Lancaster; or
c. Youth enrolled in one of the following geographic areas of Lancaster County: Columbia/Marietta; Ephrata; Quarryville/New Providence; Gap/Narvon.
In addition, the following priorities were established for in-school youth programs:
a. Connect youth with occupations in demand in the local labor market by preparing them for work and/or post-secondary education;
b. Emphasis on careers in STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math;
c. Providers who are able to integrate into the school system;
d. Providers who are capable of meeting the common measures requirements, and who understand that obtaining a high school diploma, in-demand work skills, education, and a job are objectives of this RFP.
For out-of-school youth, contractors are expected to serve at least one of these target groups (which could change from time to time):
a. Meet the Title I eligibility criteria (see Eligible Participants section);
b. Be a high school dropout or be in need of employability skills; and
c. Have legally withdrawn from school and be between the ages of 17 and 21 at the time of eligibility determination and not older than age 21 at the time of program enrollment.
At least 30% of enrolled youth must be high school dropouts.
In addition, the following priorities were established for out-of-school youth programs:
a. Address the issue of youth dropping in and out of the workplace by emphasizing the attainment of a GED;
b. Immediately connect dropouts, under-employed and unemployed youth with the educational and workforce system;
c. Look to programs that demonstrate partnerships;
d. Work with providers capable of meeting the common measures requirements and who understand that obtaining a high school diploma/GED, in-demand work skills, education, and a job are objectives of this RFP.
6. Describe how the LWIB incorporates the required youth program elements within the framework, including:
a. Tutoring, study skills training, instruction leading to secondary school completion, including drop-out prevention
b. Alternative secondary school services
c. Summer employment opportunities linked to academic and occupational learning
d. Paid and unpaid work experiences
e. Occupational skills training
f. Leadership development opportunities
g. Comprehensive guidance and counseling
h. Adult mentoring
i. Supportive services
j. Follow-up services
Overall, the Youth Council requires that contractors have a broad program design that meets the following general criteria, which include the ten required elements for youth:
• For out-of-school youth, evidence of ability to work with youth participating in the Title II ABE/GED program at the PA CareerLink®;
• Demonstrate the ability to provide the 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;
• 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 occupational skill 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;
• Supportive services including transportation, books, uniforms, and interview and employment attire;
• Follow-up services (personal contacts as well as social and traditional media) for at least one year after exit in order to provide youth with ongoing career and employment assistance;
• Strongly encourage employed youth to complete the GED/diploma component through counseling and case management.
7. Describe the services provided to non-WIA eligible youth under the 5% exception.
We do not use the 5% eligibility exception on a regular basis, rather we reserve the right to use this as back-up should a youth be determined to be non-WIA eligible after enrollment.
8. Describe the process and criteria for determining “serious barriers to employment.’
In June 2009, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. approved the following policy for determining “serious barriers to employment”. The sixth youth barrier is defined to include youth with a disability and out-of-school youth who have less than three months of continuous, full-time employment within the past year. This criterion is documented during the eligibility process as needed.
9. Describe how the LWIB coordinates with Job Corps and other youth programs.
We have been unsuccessful in having a Job Corps representative on our Youth Council in spite of repeated attempts to get the Job Corps engaged over the last three years. When we had representation, the individual was very engaged with our Council and our youth. We are very well represented by the K-12 education system, the juvenile justice system, organizations that serve youth with a disability, child protection services, and faith and community-based organizations that serve youth.
H. ADMINISTRATION AND PERFORMANCE
1. Describe how the LWIB ensures that all partner services are made available through the PA CareerLink® center and that core services are not duplicated.
In the early part of 2012, a lengthy process of developing a continuum of services and standard operating procedures for the PA CareerLink® included representatives from the Operator partners and others. This process helped to identify and eliminate overlap in services provided in the Center.
Continuous improvement is assured through regular monitoring of PA CareerLink® outcomes and processes by the Performance Review Committee, a committee of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc.
2. Describe any LWIA policies or guidelines implemented to support WIA Title I program operations that are not addressed elsewhere in the local plan, including information about the purpose, development, implementation, and monitoring of such policies.
The WIB reserves the right to transfer the maximum amount of funds allowable between funding sources.
3. Describe the system used to capture and report performance data.
The local WIB uses a combination of CWDS and in-house reports generated by the PA CareerLink® and Title I Contractor to capture performance data. This information is shared internally with the Leadership Team and, then, presented to the Performance Committee of the Board.
4. Describe the monitoring process and oversight criteria and procedures used to move the local workforce investment system toward LWIA goals.
The goal of the fiscal and programmatic monitoring by the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. is to provide contractors and staff with technical assistance, make recommendations for program improvement, discover potential errors before they become an issue, and identify best practices. The Monitoring Procedures document includes general policies and procedures for the type, content, and frequency of monitoring for Workforce Investment Act and Department of Public Welfare funding managed by the WIB. PA CareerLink® Lancaster County, Service Provider Agreements, On-the-Job Training Agreements, Purchase of Service Agreements, and the WIB Fiscal System are covered by the Plan. The policy allows for risk assessments in determining the type and frequency of monitoring.
The Performance Committee of the WIB meets quarterly to review performance measures, both federal and local. In addition, all monitoring reports are shared with the WIB Executive Committee annually and youth monitoring reports are shared with the Youth Council.
5. Describe the competitive process and non-competitive process to be used to award grants and contracts for activities carried out under WIA Subtitle I, including the process to be used to procure training services that are made as exceptions to the ITA process. Include how community-based organizations and faith-based organizations are notified of contract opportunities.
Requests For Proposals (RFPs) are used in instances that include the procurement of youth providers, providers of services where off-the-shelf offerings do not meet the needs of the local area, and non-ITA training services when the Local Board determines that there are an insufficient number of eligible providers in the local area to accomplish the purpose of a system of ITAs.
A legal notice is sent to the local newspaper announcing the availability of the RFP and the process to receive the RFP package. Letters inviting bidders to contact the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. for the RFP packet will be sent by the agency staff using agencies/businesses who are on the "Inventory of Potential Service Deliverers." This list consists of entities that include community based, for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental organizations. The WIB also posts both the notice and RFP on it’s website.
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 basis in response to local needs. The WIB adheres to procurement procedures, which are consistent with the PA and Federal laws, regulations and circulars.
A Purchase of Service agreement is used when off-the-shelf or proprietary purchases are made for services. In these instances, the WIB checks with similar organizations or companies to ensure that we are purchasing the goods or services at the best price.
6. Attach the LWIB Procurement Policy (Appendix I).
See Appendix I for the Procurement Policy.
7. 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 LWIB or PA CareerLink® Operator. Attach the appeal policy (Appendix J).
See Appendix J for the provider appeal policy and procedure.
8. 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. Attach the policy (Appendix K).
See Appendix K for the procedures outlined by the Title I Contractor.
9. Describe the grievance procedure for PA CareerLink® staff. Attach the policy (Appendix L)
See Appendix L for the procedures outlined by the Title I Contractor.
10. Describe the administration of WIA funds used by the LWIB. Include risk management and oversight responsibilities for WIA funds, PA CareerLink® and other workforce development resources.
We plan to continuously strengthen our regular processes to ensure 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.
11. Describe measures used by the LWIB to eliminate duplicative administrative costs.
Overall, the administrative structure that supports the WIB system in the region is very lean with six full-time employees including support staff doing the administrative work.
12. Describe the property management approach used by the LWIB.
Requests for property with a planned total acquisition cost between $499 and $10,000 are accompanied by three (3) competitive quotes from suppliers. In some instances, such as computer purchases the WIB may choose to purchase using a sole source if the product is compatible with other similar items or best meets the needs for which it is being purchased.
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 WIB identification tags. An Annual Property Inventory form will be prepared and submitted to the BWDP by September 30 of each year.
Nonexpendable property and equipment purchased by subcontractors must be purchased using procedures consistent with WIA and applicable state and federal standards and can be used only for WIB 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. Property and equipment purchased by subcontractors remains the property of the WIB. Property purchased in whole or in part by program contractors funded through tuition and/or performance-based contracts become the property of the program contractor.
The program costs of purchases (excluding training and capital purchases) with a unit cost below $25,000 will be expensed in the year of acquisition and charged based on benefits received. Purchases with a unit cost at or over $25,000 that are attributable in whole or in part to subsequent program years will be allocated to the appropriate program year as a pre-paid expense. Overhead costs such as rent and insurance will be shown as pre-paid expenditures regardless of the dollar amount.
Capital purchases, including furniture, equipment and software with a unit cost at or over $10,000 and a useful life of more than one year will be capitalized and noted on year-end financial statements.
Property, which is required by state or federal rules to be inventoried, will be maintained as part of the WIB inventory schedule. All property purchased and used by the WIB benefits all funding sources due to the nature of WIB's normal business practices. Employees are responsible for ensuring proper use of resources made available to them by following applicable sections of the Personnel Policy Manual.
Revised June 10, 2013
This section provides the policies and other supporting documentation with which the LWIB demonstrates that it is complying with applicable laws and regulations. A number of elements that were part of the narrative in past local plans are now addressed in this section. Where applicable, a web link is preferred in lieu of the actual document.
Please note that the WIB may modify documents contained as Appendices without modification to this Plan so long as the modification is not a significant change that impacts the operation of the LWIA as outlined in WIA Final Regulations Section 661.355.
“Modifications to local plans are necessary to maintain the viability of the plan and to ensure that the workforce system is responsive to changing workforce development needs. A modification is required for any significant change impacting the operation of the LWIA. Such changes include, but are not limited to: significant changes in local economic conditions; changing in the financing to support WIA Title 1 and partner services; changes in the LWIB structure; or a need to revise strategies to meet performance goals” (WIA Final Regulations, Section 661.355).
Required Local Plan Appendices
A. LWIA Common Measures Negotiated Performance Goals
B. Published Notice(s)
C. Public Comments Received/Addressed
D. LWIB/CEO Agreement
E. Organization Chart
F. LWIB/One-Stop Partner Agreement
G. Priority of Service Policy(ies)
H. Eligibility Verification and Priority Selection for Title I-B Youth
I. LWIB Procurement Policy(ies)
J. Training Provider Appeal Policy
K. Participant Eligibility Appeal Policy
L. PA CareerLink® Staff Grievance Procedure Policy
M. LWIA Individual Training Account (ITA) Policy
N. Self-Sufficiency Policy
LWIA Common Measures Negotiated Performance Goals
LWIA Common Measures Negotiated Performance Goals
WIA Common Measures Performance
Previous Year’s Performance
WIA Performance Levels
Adult Entered Employment Rate (EER) Adult Employment Retention Rate (ERR) Average Six-Month Earnings
Dislocated Worker Measures: Dislocated Worker EER Dislocated Worker ERR
Dislocated Worker Average Six-Month Earnings
Literacy Numeracy Gain
Placement in Education or Employment
Attainment of Degree or Certificate
Public Comments Received/Addressed
No comments were received.
LWIB/One-Stop Partner Agreement
WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD
PA CAREERLINK LANCASTER COUNTY
ONE-STOP INVESTOR PARTNER AGREEMENT
July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2014
TABLE OF CONTENTS
One-Stop Investor Partner Agreement (OSIPA) 1
Signature Pages 7
1. Organization Charts
2. Staff Charts
3. Service Delivery Charts
One-Stop Investor Partner Agreement
PA CareerLink Lancaster County
This One-Stop Investor Partner Agreement (OSIPA) identifies the building located at 1016 North Charlotte Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania as a comprehensive Pennsylvania CareerLink Center hereafter named “PA CareerLink of Lancaster County”. It serves to define the seamless one-stop delivery system that will be provided at this center through collaboration between and among various One-Stop Investor Partners hereafter referred to as “Investor Partner” and the LCWIB, in accordance with the One-Stop Investor Partner Agreement (OSIPA).
The OSIPA addresses all major factors that have been identified as critical to providing quality services and to the effective and efficient operation of an integrated PA CareerLink Center.
The parties to the OSIPA will work cooperatively to maintain chartering and certification criteria, such as accessibility, PA CareerLink Quality Review, Staff Development and Credentialing.
This plan identifies the short and long term business planning needs, including tying PA CareerLink products and services to job seeker outreach and business services needs.
The parties to this OSIPA will work cooperatively to help local businesses find skilled worker, provide high quality workforce development services that are customer-focused and help resident find and use the tools, information and services they need to manage their careers.
The provisions and terms of this OSIPA detailed herein are subject to change as mandated by federal and/or state regulation and/or policy or as negotiated by the Investor Partners and LCWIB.
Mission and Vision
“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.”
The LCWIB vision and mission provides the foundation for the vision and mission of the PA CareerLink Centers throughout the Lancaster County.
The PA CareerLink version of that mission is to function as the keystone of the local workforce development system by providing regionally supported, locally directed, easily accessible, market-driven services and information that address employer needs, that are considerate of the abilities and work support needs of the diverse population, and that empower all customers to make informed choices.
The PA CareerLink vision is to provide an extensive, integrated array of self-directed and staff assisted employment services and linkages, while providing necessary infrastructure for the process to facilitate growth and continuous improvement.
The Investor Partners at this PA CareerLink will ensure that the vision and mission are incorporated in the operations by providing services as defined in the LCWIB Local Plan and this OSIPA, that are customer-focused and delivered in a seamless, one-stop fashion. As such, continuous quality improvement of the service system is based upon satisfying the customer needs and what is in the best interest of the service delivery system and not based upon the specific interest or needs of individual organizations.
The “Lancaster County Organization Structure Chart” (Attachment 1) identifies the LCWIB, One-Stop Operator Consortium, PA CareerLink Administrator, PA CareerLink Leadership Team designated by the LCWIB and the Operator.
The LCWIB is charged with developing the Local Plan, establishing the policies and procedures for service delivery and to meet chartering and certification requirements. LCWIB oversight role of the PA CareerLink service delivery is to ensure the operations are in compliance with all Agreements.
Roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Provide direction for the service delivery requirements for targeted high priority and industry cluster needs.Approval of the OSIPA and the performance level established
- Manage and ensure accuracy with the timely date entry requirements for the Regional data collection and reporting information process.
- PA CareerLink enrollment, Title I WIA registration and the LCWIB case management, employer, and rapid response databases.
- Conduct ongoing overall evaluation and monitoring of the PA CareerLink system operations to evaluate outcomes and consider modification or enhancements.
The Operator Consortium is held accountable for the operations at each PA CareerLink. The Operator Consortium works with all the Investor Partners through the PA CareerLink Administrator to manage, integrate, coordinate and conduct oversight of all services and resources in the PA CareerLink. Any changes or modifications to our services are voted upon by all partners before the changes are implemented to be sure all parties are in agreement and deem it appropriate.
The Operator Consortium roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Hiring and functional responsibility over the PA CareerLink Administrator this includes direct program authority no matter who the hiring agency may be.
- Develop, maintain and continually review service delivery structures for each of the PA CareerLink sites to ensure adequate levels of service that is proportional to customer needs
- Approval of the OSIPA and the performance levels established
- Manage, oversee and interface with all Investor Partners to coordinate the delivery of services as part of the system.
PA CareerLink Administrator
The PA CareerLink Administrator is the liaison between all parties to this plan. The PA CareerLink Administrator works with the Investor Partners to implement and ensure service delivery is meeting all requirements. The PA CareerLink Administrator manages the documentation, provides communications and disseminates information to all Investor Partners. The roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Direct, manage and coordinate all functions and operations of a PA CareerLink site on a daily basis
- Convene, chair and provide information to the Investor Partners for review and approval of items that require an action to be taken
- Provide Investor Partner action recommendations to the Operator Consortium and LCWIB for various operation processes that need to be in place.
Reporting Requirements as defined by LWIB policy
All partners report placements on a monthly basis and to LWIB as well as on CWDS. This is a collaborative effort to report outcomes for all of our programs. This information is gathered and shared by the PA CareerLink Site Administrator at Leadership Team meetings and Executive Committee Meetings in conjunction with the Operator Chair. Monthly placement information is required of all partners.
The Investor Partners are responsible for taking action on decisions that define the products and/or services that will be provided at the PA CareerLink and ensure that any action taken aligns with the vision and mission of the LCWIB along with service delivery requirements.
The Local Contact defined within the OSIPA will be entitles to one (1) vote. If the Local Contact cannot attend a scheduled meeting, their proxy may be given to a designee or to another Local Contact. If the Local Contact does not attend a majority of the meetings during a fiscal year, the PA CareerLink Administrator will forward a notification to the Operator Consortium for resolution which may result in a designation of different Local Contact to serve on the committee.
A majority of present members (either in person or by proxy) is required for action to be taken. In lieu of a meeting, an emailed action request may be made by the PA CareerLink Administrator and a majority of members is required for action to be taken.
The Investor Partners will meet on the fourth Thursday of each month unless otherwise notified. The scheduled meetings and the notes from the meeting will be maintained and posted via email.
Action items include, but are not limited to…
- RSA and RSAB
- CareerLink Quality Reviews and responses
- Corrective Action Plans and continuous improvement
- Performance and outcome evaluations and reporting
- Investor Partner recommendations and implementation requirements
- Personnel Issues
Establish CareerLink Staff Teams
- Leadership Team: Anna Ramos – PA CareerLink Administrator
- Business Services Team: Tom Woronko – BWDP Supervisor
- Safety-Security Team: Tom Woronko – BWDP Supervisor
- Core Services: Len Pugliese – WIB Staff
- Assessment and Training Services: Martin Wubbolt – WIB Staff
- Administrative Services: Michelle Deller – WIB Staff
Direct Program Staff
The “PA CareerLink of Lancaster County Staff Chart” (Attachment 2) identifies the staff located at the PA CareerLink along with their general functions identified. PA CareerLink staff has direct contact with the customers and therefore, must provide customer services that meet service delivery requirements. The PA CareerLink Administrator may direct the program staff to cover areas as needed.
Job Search Assistance
Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership
Eligibility for WIA, Title I Services
Job Search Assistance
ResCare Workforce Services
Adult basic and literacy education
(ESL, GED and family literacy)
Employer Services – workplace basic skills
Lancaster Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13
Eligibility for Public Assistance
Welfare to Work
Lancaster County Assistance Office
Customer Job Training
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center
Services to individuals with disabilities
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Services to older adults
Title V Work experience
Lancaster County Office of Aging
Job Search Assistance for Veterans
Supportive Services for Veterans
Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership
PA CareerLink Staff
Adult basic and literacy education
One on one tutoring services
The Literacy Council of Lancaster Lebanon
Information and referral
The Community Services of Organized Labor
Re-Employment & Transitional Information
To Dislocated Workers
All Core Services are free; Intensive Services may incur a small fee. All partners are in agreement that they will provide for the overall operations of the One-Stop system, as detailed in the “One-Stop Resource Sharing Agreement.”
When fulfilling services for the One-Stop system, all partners are under the functional direction of the PA CareerLink Administrator. Those partners who may be co-located but not providing services through the One-Stop system are not under the functional supervision of the PA CareerLink Administrator. At the time that a co-located partner begins to provide One-Stop services, co-located staff fall under the functional direction of the PA CareerLink Administrator, in accordance with the formal PA CareerLink Administrator job description.
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County is housed at 1016 N. Charlotte Street and has eleven (11) partners, one (1) of which is located off-site. The Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board holds the lease on the Liberty Street address. The facility was renovated to meet the specifications of the Investor Partners. It is spacious, professional looking and welcoming to both employers and job seekers. Investors are expected to keep all office spaces neat and orderly and public areas, such as the resource room, are organized for optimum customer service.
There are the following agreements for this One-Stop center:
LWIB/One-Stop Operator Agreement with the operator and /or consortium for the One-Stop center. Executed: 7/1/11 Term: 7/1/11-6/30/14
LWIB/One-Stop Partners Agreement with the One-Stop Partners.
Executed: 7/1/11 Term: 7/1/11-6/30/14
Accessibility Compliance was conducted on this site and certificate awarded and dated:
Effective July 1, 2008
One-Stop Resource Sharing Agreement is current, executed with all partners, mandated and voluntary, fully detailing the financial obligations for the One-Stop.
In compliance with Local Chartering Criteria and in application for PA CareerLink Certification,
we certify that the following documents have been fully executed and received commonwealth
One-Stop Service Plan is current and executed with all partners, mandated and voluntary, that
fully details the functionality and operations of the One-Stop. One-Stop Service Plan has been
reviewed and approved by the BWDP RD and appropriate Program Coordination Services staff.
Our facility is in compliance for ADA specifications for building accessibility. We have sufficient parking spaces, access doorways and a lift- mechanism to move disabled customers from floor to floor. Our interior spaces include accessible rest rooms, wide passages, obstruction free access to all areas and classrooms. Additional our greeters will assist customers whenever needed.
Our equipment & services include ADA accessible computer terminals (2 located in the resource center ) with software accommodations. We have a magnifying reader; Braille materials, audio materials, TTY telephone, and audio assist devices. Staff has been trained in sensitivity issues and accommodation techniques (this is recurring training).
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County had a review conducted by the Office of Equal Opportunity and received certification of compliance on January 15, 2013. The LCWIB also conducts a Quality Assurance on a regular basis our last Quality Assurance was conducted on May 15 and July 2, 2012 with no discrepancies.
All parties to this Agreement will abide by state and federal grant requirements, including but not limited to nondiscrimination, accessibility, the federal lobbying act, state and federal debarment, in accordance with policies and guidelines developed and distributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County’s Enhancement Plan was submitted, reviewed and edited, and accepted as of February 21, 2005. Updates are noted regularly and revisions were added October 23, 2006. The Enhancement Plan can be viewed by accessing the raise-up website located at: www.raise-up.org The Enhancement Plan goes beyond required ADA Compliance to insure full access to all services by all customers. Key components of the PA CareerLink Lancaster County Enhancement Plan are ensuring ADA Compliance, literature and audio visuals accessible to all customers, continual updates and satisfaction to all customers. This Plan was developed and implemented by the Safety Team.
Language Enhancement Plan
Lancaster County has a diverse population with a large language base. The Southeast sector of Lancaster City has a high Latino population. As a result the PA CareerLink experiences a high volume of Latino customers. Should language barriers exist, all staff has been provided a copy and direct instructions on utilizing the Language Line. In addition PA CareerLink Staff can translate in the following languages;
- Eight Staff members available to translate to Spanish
- One Staff members available to translate to French
The Staff Development Team along with the Site Administrator, has developed a process to ensure staff development training. A staffing survey was given to all staff to rate their competencies in all areas of their work and the survey also asked for suggestions in training needs. A majority of staff listed competencies such as; serving the diverse population, communication skills, computer skills, new soft-ware technology and cross-training as needs of interest. These interests have been targeted into areas of training development that has been incorporated into monthly staff meetings. Each staff meeting encompasses one hour of staff development training. All staff is encouraged to attend these monthly trainings, attendance is taken and is documented in the staff minutes.
Professional development is the sole purpose of our monthly meetings and is of high importance to our Workforce Investment Board strategic goals. Career coaching trainings have been conducted for all staff to practice role playing and learning how to speak to customers about Career Pathways.
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County Investor-Partners are committed to the credentialing our staff. To date, three staff members are participating in a training to become Career Development Facilitators. This is an online course with some classroom based training through the National Career Development Association. The objective is to continue to rotate all staff through this process.
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County Quality Review is conducted at our monthly staff meetings. Time is given at the end of these meetings for open discussion what are the needs in all areas, what is working or not working within our process flowchart and suggestions for improvement. These discussions are documented and reviewed with the Site Administrator who then bring them to our Leadership Team to review and report back at the next meeting what direction was taken with the suggestions. Brief weekly meetings are also held every Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m., these meetings are held to report out the happenings of the week and all agencies are given the opportunity to discuss updates or areas of concern to all staff. Bi-weekly Operations Team meetings are held to review topics for our bi-weekly Leadership Team meetings and discuss operational quality control issues. All processes are continually reviewed for compliance with our approved and agreed upon process flowchart of services.
Core Services consist of unassisted business registration of the PA CareerLink system. Cores Services are a helpful introduction into the one stop system. The employer can easily list job openings, access on-line resumes, run automated job matching, screen qualified candidates for jobs and access Labor Market Information. The CareerLink specialist associated with the BST routinely searches the PA CareerLink website for new employer registrations and then makes an initial contact through telephone, e-mail or a visit to the site to a newly registered employer.
At the time of contact, the CareerLink Specialist reviews the Job Order and provides any additional assistance required. In addition any addition issues or business needs identified are referred to the appropriate CareerLink staff person for follow-up or to schedule a visit as appropriate.
Intensive Services allow the PA CareerLink staff to assist the employer in various areas such as: job applicant referral, testing and assessment, rapid response, interviewing assistance, pre-screening applicants and job fairs. The BST representative will meet with the employer at their place of business to provide quality customer service. Customized training to meet specific employer needs is available in as well for incumbent workers.
Specialized Services include On-the-Job-Training Programs, Employer Tax Credit awareness, Labor Market Information, monthly focused Industry Consortium Meetings, office space and equipment rental, customized job training through a referral process and skill training. These services or products are provided at the PA CareerLink Lancaster County or the employer’s site, whichever best meets the needs of the individual customer to receive quality training services.
The Business Services Team plans to increase identified company participation in PA CareerLink to benefit the job seeker customer: By using a variety of personal contacts and business calling practices, determined by the following WIB sectors Industrial Clusters; (Manufacturing, Agriculture and Food Processing; Automotive, BioTechnology, Communications, Construction, Healthcare, and Metals). We approach employers to ascertain:
∙ Number of individuals hired in the past 1, 2, and 3 years;
∙ Forecast of hires, at 1, 2, and 3 years;
∙ Time of year when most hires occur to develop a hiring chart and to make most efficient use of calling time;
∙ Contact person and phone number
The Business Services Team connects with each existing consortium to determine job openings and anticipated hires. Once job openings are determined, we work with companies to add them to the PA CareerLink system.
Expected outcomes for the Business Services Team include.
- ∙ Increase current activity by meeting with 30+ employers on a quarterly basis, these include face to face meetings to develop a good customer rapport with our employers.
- ∙ Generate sales of fee for service options to employers for their incumbent workers. These includes current WorkKeys testing and development of training based on their specific employment needs.
- ∙ Two major job fairs a year; one in the fall and one in the spring and participation in training graduations and invite employers to meet graduates.
The flow of services to our business customers is as follow. Our business customers are any of our current employers and any new current employer that is not registered on the PA CareerLink system. They can either, call into the PA CareerLink, email the PA CareerLink Site Administrator, fax an order, utilize the WIB website a direct link into the PA CareerLink system at www.jobs4lancaster.com or visit our location at Liberty Place in Lancaster. If an employer visits our office they are directed to either the PA CareerLink Site Administrator or to the Team Leader of the Business Services Team. At this time we sit down with the employer explaining all of their options and opportunities, they are then given a tour of the facility focusing on Ready 2 Work. Usually, when an employer visits sign up is “on the spot” (as well as when we visit employers at the own facility). Once a customer has been given the service they requested, there are routine follow-ups made to the employer by an account representative of the Business Services Team.
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County has a network of community services and support available to address Business Customers needs. The Lancaster County workforce Investment Board members have been very active and supportive in assisting the PA CareerLink Lancaster County to meet unusual demands or Employer needs. The Board has been very aggressive in acquiring grants and additional funding to meet special needs or to develop new services.
Service Integration: The BST focus is to provide quality services to the businesses of Lancaster County. The BST has open communication among our partners to ensure the non-duplications of services. We strive to be a seamless system. The BST is fully aware of the other partner services. A business customer would not be aware that the services offered might be from different agencies housed in the PA CareerLink. We function as a team. As mentioned earlier, the BST is comprised of staff from various partner agencies with expertise in serving the Business Community. The first priority in all cases is to satisfy the needs of the customer regardless of agency affiliation. As business needs are identified, all partners with expertise in that area are contacted to work together to provide a joint plan to meet the needs to the customer.)
Community Resources: the PA CareerLink Lancaster County continues to make connections with faith-based and community-based organizations. They are an important part of the One-Stop. We include them in our list of businesses and use them as a resource for the services they provide. We market employment opportunities and other services for job seekers and gather information on the services and opportunities available to the public through the faith based organizations. We strive to ensure quality service between all agencies and organizations. Currently the Pa CareerLink is a voting member of the Re-Entry Management Organization – this organization focuses on Re-entry into the workplace. Through this organization, the PA CareerLink has established close relationships with the following agencies; Bird Ministries, Tabor Inc., The Water Street Mission, LOVE, Inc., and Choose Your Future just to name a few.
Enrolling Into Services: PA CareerLink of Lancaster continues to reach out to local businesses, agencies and organizations with the information and services that are available to them. This effort will generate and increase the enrollment as businesses identify their needs and recognize that the PA CareerLink Lancaster County can provide these services and be an asset to them.
In regards to incumbent worker training, the PA CareerLink Lancaster County works closely with the staff of the LCWIB regarding the plan and process to make incumbent worker training available to county businesses. The BST Team Leader and other appointed PA CareerLink staff attend LCWIB board meetings and receive email and newsletters from the LCWIB staff regarding industry consortia and industry driven incumbent work training opportunities. We are committed to raise the skill levels of the workforce in our county. Efforts such as on-site-visits, phone calls and emails are made to promote marketing.
Literacy Programs are provided to the PA CareerLink Lancaster County by the IU-13 staff (a staff member sits on the BST). Anyone in need of services is referred directly to them.
Workforce Development Assessment Process: The PA CareerLink utilizes the TABE locater. Additionally in 2006, PA CareerLink has rolled out the Workforce Readiness Program that utilizes the WIN Locater, O’Net and Work Keys. The WIN Locater and O’Net is offered in a group testing environment every Monday and Wednesday. After completing the WIN Locater, job seekers with a score level of 4 and up are referred to the Work-Keys assessment. These tools are proven and universally accepted, and have been provided to with the approval of the LCWIB, Operator’s Consortium and Investor Partners. PA CareerLink staff have the experience and knowledge to administer and to interpret these tools. We find them to be effective and accepted in with job seekers and employers.
Currently, we work with Ready 2 Work employers to utilize this assessment process either at their organization or entering the PA CareerLink for assessment. After a review of the all available assessment tools, and in concert with the Workforce Investment Board the above mentioned assessment tools were selected as the best to meet the needs of the employer community. The above mentioned tools are key in assisting the PA CareerLink develop a skilled Workforce with an emphasis on High Priority Occupations and identified industry clusters.
Job Seeker Services
PA CareerLink Lancaster County is a one-stop center with a mission to provide employment, training, literacy and vocational rehabilitation services to all customers. With oversight from the local Workforce Investment Board (WIB), all Core, Intensive and training services are available and performed at the PA CareerLink site. Each PA CareerLink partner will share in the delivery of these services to the extent allowable by the individual funding streams, policies, procedures, state and federal laws. Through the development of an integrated delivery system, each partner will participate to the fullest extent possible to ensure that all customers have full access to the services listed below.
Core Services for Job Seekers
Universal core services are available to all Lancaster County residents and employers at the PA CareerLink and/or electronically via the PA CareerLink website. They may utilize the Career Resource Center to job search, access the telephone to contact employers, fax, access the TTY machine & ADA equipped computers. These services include the following:
- Orientation to the PA CareerLink system and services
- Self-registration process and common application for services
- Assistance with resume preparation and dissemination to prospective employers
- Job opening information
- Job referral services – self-directed or staff assisted
- Job search and job placement assistance
- Training programs, training provider listings and consumer reports/performance information on each certified provider/program
- Employment statistics information on demand and growth occupations, wages and educational/training requirements
- Supportive services information and referral services
- Unemployment compensation information
- Program eligibility information
- Initial skills assessment
- Access to computerized training to upgrade foundation skills
- Follow up for at least 12 months for individuals who obtained employment
Core services are available throughout the day and evening to anyone in the community who wants to take advantage of them. Staff are available to facilitate inquires and to provide customers with the assistance they need to optimize these services. The PA CareerLink internet-based operating system is used whenever feasible to deliver core services.
With the Lancaster County’s unemployment customer needs and requirements an increase in customer traffic has bombarded our Resource Room with an average of 3,000 customers on a monthly basis. The PA CareerLink is committed to working with all job seekers within the community including those most in need of basic education and training services, older adults, those with physical handicaps, non-native speakers of English, and adults receiving public assistance. In addition, we recognize that minority job seekers have a disproportionately high rate of unemployment and low job retention within the community and we are particularly interested in helping to alleviate these inequities.
Matching appropriate job seekers to interested employers requires PA CareerLink staff to be able to effectively:
Assess the knowledge and skills of job seekers within the context of a particular employment opportunity;
Determine whether the job seeker has the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes (work ethic, professionalism, etc.) to succeed in a particular workplace;
Determine whether the employment opportunity is within the job seeker’s required parameters (location, wage, benefits, etc.);
Resolve any support service issues (such as transportation and childcare) the job seeker may be experiencing prior to beginning employment; and
Support the match through regular contact, as appropriate, during the initial stages of employment.
Each of these items is critical to customer satisfaction and, ultimately, to ongoing economic development in Lancaster County. A good employment match results in long-term family-sustaining employment for the job seeker and a more productive workplace for the employer. A poor match, on the other hand, results in a revolving door of unsuccessful employment for the job seeker and low productivity for the employer.
In addition to the core services described above, at the PA CareerLink Lancaster County, there are two additional levels of service available to customers: intensive services and training services. While these levels of service are not necessarily sequential, there is every expectation that most customers receive intensive services prior to receiving training services.
Intensive services are designed to offer job seekers a more comprehensive assessment of skills, provide more in-depth counseling services, and offer a variety of pre-training services such as basic skills instruction or work-readiness skills.
Adult basic and literacy education services for individuals are available at a variety of locations throughout Lancaster County. Services include work-based foundation skills, GED instruction, English as a Second Language, Family Literacy and basic skills instruction in targeted areas. Intensive services for employers might include an employee basic skills educational assessment, a job-specific task analysis, specialized curriculum development and on-site basic skills instruction.
- In-depth assessment of skills, knowledge, and career assistance
- Group and individual counseling
- Short-term, pre-vocational services
- Case management, including access to child care and transportation services
- Work-based foundation skills
- Work experience
- Other intensive services as determined by a partner agency’s governing legislation
Training Services for Job Seekers
- Job readiness training
- Occupational skills training and Individual Training Accounts
Adult education and literacy
Training services are available to eligible individuals to help them acquire and keep family-sustaining employment. Our goal is to provide short term training in the in-demand occupations by listening to our employer base for what their skills gaps are and developing training to fill the gap. Some training services are provided through individual training account (ITA) system which allows job seekers to select the training organization that best meets their individual career preparation path.
Training services, in particular, may be provided at a variety of locations depending on the vendor. The delivery of all services complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure accessibility to all customers.
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County Investors share in the delivery of core, intensive and training services to the extent allowable by the individual funding streams, policies and procedures. Through the development of an integrated delivery system, each partner participates to the fullest extent possible to ensure that all customers have full access to a vast array of services.
Customer flow through the PA CareerLink is seamless (Flowchart attached). Staff members are clearly identified and each is expected to treat every customer with warmth, courtesy and respect. When a job seeker enters the PA CareerLink, he or she is welcomed by a receptionist and directs them to a CareerLink Specialist. The CareerLink Specialist is interested in hearing about why the customer has come to the PA CareerLink. It is the job of the CareerLink Specialist to make the customer feel welcomed, valued and heard. During the initial contact with the customer, the focus is on responding to the customer. All customers are encouraged to attend our Career Planning Workshop where they will hear all of the services available to them and to begin the process of enrolling in our services.
Job searching customers are encouraged and assisted by staff to enroll on the PA CareerLink website. Customers have the option to enroll independently or with assistance from staff. Customers who need Intensive Services are referred immediately to the partner agency or scheduled for an orientation of Intensive/Training Services.
Job seekers who are referred to the Resource Center are able to access information in multiple media, including:
- An extensive library of audio and video resources;
- Print, including books, newspapers and national directories;
- Televisions and VCRs with headphones;
- Large print materials; and
- A phone bank where customers can make calls to prospective employers and/or file unemployment claims.
- Currently 17 computers in the resource room are linked to the Internet with access to the PA CareerLink site where customers can obtain information about employment, training, research and career guidance. Trained staff are available to help customers find information or to answer any questions.
Some customers may require career counseling and/or educational assessment prior to accessing information in the Resource Room. These customers may include non-native speakers of English, low-literate adults, adults who are uncomfortable with technology and/or any other customer with a specialized need. Staff will be on hand at all times to work individually with customers. All agencies provide staff to assist in providing core services and assisting in identifying job seeker needs. This includes staff time in the Career Resource Area.
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County averages approximately 150 customers per day, approximately 30 new enrollees can be counted on any single day. To avoid overflow we schedule orientations for service delivery programs and schedule enrollment accordingly. On occasion and only with the direct desire of the customer if the house is full we will ask them to return for one on one services, direct them to other services in the building until enrollment can be accomplished or familiarize them with community organizations that can access the system (ex: Libraries, community agencies). All enrollments into the Commonwealth Workforce Development System are recorded as well as all walk-ins into our One-Stop center by the customer completing an enrollment form. There are a series of questions that are asked on the form to indicate what services the customer may benefit most from and a list of referrals are sent on a weekly basis to the appropriate referral agency.
When customers enter the Resource Room and are triaged by staff, their paperwork is reviewed. Included in their paperwork is a CareerLink registration form that asks various questions to determine what the needs are of the customer. Based on the answers, appropriate referrals are made to community based organizations or other programs. Lists are made and sent to partner agencies as a referral and this is done on a monthly basis.
All staff must participate and be familiar with the PA CareerLink Orientation process. The CareerLink flowchart is attached to review how a customer moves through our process. Each step is identified with a standard operating procedure that staff will follow and document on CWDS.
The Career Resource Center provides all customers with a variety of brochures and information about our agencies, services and programs available in Lancaster County. Staff is available to answer questions regarding United Way Services. Staff members participate in numerous outside agency councils. The PA CareerLink Lancaster County is a member of the Re-entry Management Organization of Lancaster County and the Site Administrator sits on this board. In addition the Pa CareerLink works with many local non-profit agencies; the main purpose is to have a point of contact with each agency for referral purposes.
The Pa CareerLink has close contacts with all 22 school districts providing tours of our facility on scheduled basis and attending school fairs and visits schools to present our services. Additionally, the PA CareerLink has direct contact with Faith-based organizations such as: The Water Street Rescue Mission, LOVE, Inc, Manheim Methodist Church, Oberlin Church, Bird Ministries, and Choose Your Future. Again, these connections are geared to job recruitment, placement and training, however the Pa CareerLink utilizes these connections as referrals for the customer when requested.
Serving Special Population Groups
PA CareerLink Lancaster County attempts to ensure that all visitors are given the opportunity to access all available PA CareerLink services even if programs for special population groups cover them. It is our intent to collect information on special population groups through the Job Seeker Enrollment Sheet that is completed the first time a customer visits the center. Staff provides a verbal description of available services, determines possible barriers to employment, identifies special needs, and makes appropriate referral to the Partner agencies or refers to agencies out of the one-stop system if needed.
Literacy: The PA CareerLink Lancaster County defines literacy as the fundamental basic skill to be addressed. When a customer is assessed or self-identifies literacy as a skills gap, PA CareerLink staff persons provide information and referrals for services including:
- GED certification
- Improvement of basic math and reading skills that may not lead to certification Acquisition of basic English skills for limited English proficiency individuals through participation in English-as-a-second language instruction
- Acquisition of basic computer literacy skills.
PA CareerLink of Lancaster County has implemented a computer literacy training class that is held every Friday for those job seekers in need of basic computer skills.
Youth: Using a closely monitored case management approach, Youth services are provided to youth 14 -21 years of age. The PA CareerLink staff focuses on both in school and out of school youth. A “return to school program” compliments the PA CareerLink Lancaster County where youth who have dropped out of school can attend GED classes in the morning and wrap around job/life skills training in the afternoon. This program supports the need for a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as enhances occupational learning and the promotion of higher education.
Additionally, the PA CareerLink works with the community to oversee and implement an annual Career Camp that is held each year at the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center. This camp is offered to 7th and 8th graders and focuses on our targeted industry clusters.
Youth are referred through schools, community-based organizations, family and friends. Customized service delivery includes:
- Case Management
- Service Planning
- Supportive Services
- Drop-out prevention
- Leadership development
- Career awareness and exploration
- Occupational learning
- Employability skills
- Work experience
- Job Search Assistance
- Follow-up Services
Veterans: The PA CareerLink Lancaster County employs a full-time Veteran Employment Representative II. The Vet Rep provides intensive employment & training services to meet the need of disabled veterans and other eligible veterans.
Veteran Services, in keeping with the priority of services for veterans as specified in Public Law 107-288/TEGL 5-03, all programs within the PA CareerLink give veterans the first priority for services and veterans receive this priority even in the absence of the DVOP, under the Jobs for Veterans Act.
Ex-offenders: The PA CareerLink Lancaster County serves ex-offenders, offering the same services provided to all customers. Currently the PA CareerLink Site Administrator sits on the board of the Re-entry Management Organization of Lancaster County. In working with the warden, the PA CareerLink can enroll inmates into the system to search for jobs prior to release. Assessment and focus on GED completion is also directed to all in-mates and ex-offenders.
Welfare Customers: are directed through the County Assistance Office for various programs including: EARN, Supported Work, Food Stamp Program and New Directions.
Measures of Success
The PA CareerLink Lancaster County measures success by following the Performance Measures established by The LCWIB Performance Measures Committee as well as the LCWIB local plan.
The standards and benchmarks of system success that are currently collected by the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board are;
- Employer Satisfaction
- Market Share of Employers
- Job Seeker Satisfaction
- Entered Employment Rate
- Job Seeker Market Share
- UI Job seekers
- UI Recipients
- Demographics of customers
- Population served by zone
Data collected is in an effort to ascertain a “snap-shot” of our customer. Demographics are recorded, securing: age, race, ethnicity and gender of all customers. Additionally we collect information of the established “Zones” in the city of Lancaster. These zones reflect the voting wards of the city. This data collection was requested to ascertain “if” we were serving the improvised areas of the city/county of Lancaster – an area that is in need of “job growth”. Through this small method of data collection we have been able to report the high volume of service to the Latino community in the city of Lancaster.
All successes are communicated to the LCWIB, the Operator’s Consortium, the Investor Partners and the PA CareerLink staff via monthly meetings or email. One measure of success that has spear-headed a change of heart in the PA CareerLink Lancaster County is the “Guiding Principles”. This document will continue to be used as a method of excellence in the upcoming program year.
Term of Agreement
This OSIPA is for the period starting July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2014, unless otherwise terminated by action of law or amended pursuant to the provisions of this plan. The LCWIB may, but is not obligated, to extend this OSIPA by written notification to the parties.
The LCWIB may terminate this OSIPA either by individual Investor Partner or in its entirety upon ninety (90) days written notice to the parties, with or without cause.
Cause includes, but is not limited to:
• Failure to meet the OSIPA or RSA requirements
• Failure to meet the required LCWIB performance and outcome standards
• Failure to meet the chartering and certification requirements
• Non-Compliance with the OSIPA in regards to policies and standard operating procedures as established by LCWIB Local Plan
Termination of the OSIPA may also terminate the OSIPA and/or RSA either by individual Investor Partner or in it entirety.
LCWIB may terminate this OSIPA upon date of written notice to the Investor Partner for circumstances that would constitute a breach of this OSIPA and render it null and void. These circumstances include:
• Violation of the Workforce Investment Act
• Program abuse, fraud or other criminal activity on the part of the parties
• Lack of funding by any or all parties
• Violation of state and federal grant requirements, including but not limited to, nondiscrimination, accessibility, federal lobbying act, state and federal debarment and policies and guidelines developed and distributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Workforce Development Investor Partnership.
An Investor Partner may elect to be released from this OSIPA upon written notice to the LCWIB within ninety (90) days with or without cause.
LCWIB may incorporate a modification to this agreement upon Board action.
Any Investor Partner may request a modification by the issuance of a written amendment request. The modification request must be approved by the LCWIB prior to incorporation.
Upon LCWIB approval of modifications, a notification of the modifications will be made in writing to all parties for incorporation by reference.
Upon LCWIB disapproval of modifications, a notification of the reasons why the request was denied will be made in writing to the party who made the request. The party will have the right to appeal through the Impasse Resolution process.
Any substantial difference must be documented in writing to the parties which reach an impasse, after which the following process will be implemented:
- Between Investor Partners – the PA CareerLink Administrator will mediate impasse issues between Investor Partners. If impasses cannot be resolved the PA CareerLink Administrator will refer issues to the Operator Consortium.
- Between Investor Partners and the PA CareerLink Administrator – the PA CareerLink Administrator will forward the impasse to the Operator Consortium for resolution.
- Between Operator Consortium and Investor Partner – the Operator Consortium will document the impasse issues and notify the LCWIB in writing at least ten (10) days prior to the next scheduled LCWIB appropriate committee meeting for resolution.
- Between LCWIB and the Investor Partner – LCWIB may negotiate modifications ot this OSIPA, terminate this OSIPA or forward the impasse to the BWDP for resolution.
All parties acknowledge and agree to abide by the “LCWIB Complaint/Grievance and Equal Opportunity Policy and Procedure” for other impasse resolutions.
Authority and Signatures
LWIB and One-Stop Investor Partner Agreement
The signature page reflects the following plans and agreements; The Resource Sharing Agreement Narrative, The One Stop Investor Partner Agreement and the One Stop Service Plan.
The signed parties acknowledge that they have the authority to fully execute these plans on behalf of their respective organizations and that they will exercise due diligence and good faith in carrying out the principles and obligations stated herein.
The period of the Agreement is July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2014, unless otherwise terminated by action of law or amended pursuant to the provisions of these plans.
Executive Director, LCWIB Date
Operators Consortium Chair: Lancaster/Lebanon IU13 Date
Deputy Director, BWDP Date
The Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, Inc. Date
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Date
Community Service of Organized Labor Date
The Lancaster County Career and Technology Center Date
The Lancaster County Assistance Office Date
Lancaster County Office of Aging Date
ResCare Workforce Services, Title I provider Date
PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County
Priority of Service Policy
Adult Intensive and Training Services
Priority of Service Policy
WIA states that in the event funds allocated to a local area for adult employment and training activities are limited, priority for intensive and training services funded with Title I adult funds must be given to recipients of public assistance and other low-income individuals in the local area. Local areas must establish priority criteria, which may include the availability of other funds, the needs of specific groups within the local area, and other appropriate factors. The local policy may establish a policy that gives priority to recipients of public assistance and other low-income individuals that also serves other individuals meeting eligibility requirements.
Funding is limited and will be available first come/first served to all eligible, suitable customers who are able to benefit from selected training. Priority of service to adults is outlined below:
First priority as required by WIA is 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 occupationally-related skills training to successfully enter/reenter the labor market.
In addition to the above stated policy, 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.
Eligibility Verification and Priority Selection
Title I-B Youth
Local processes that document and verify youth program eligibility, identification of youth participants, and policies ensuring services to youth most in-need:
Youth recruitment and eligibility
From the 2012 WIA Title I Youth Contract:
To retain responsibility for participant recruitment, eligibility, selection, and minimum enrollment levels;
To conduct eligibility certification based upon criteria established in WIA and in accordance with any applicable standards established by the Workforce Investment Act, and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
Not to enroll applicants in this program until the Title I Contractor (ResCare) has verified and approved their WIA eligibility;
Services to youth most in need:
From the 2012 WIA Title I In-school Youth Request for Proposal:
A. Participants funded through this grant must:
1. meet the Title I eligibility criteria (see Eligible Participants section); and
2. be a Lancaster County student in his or her last year of secondary education
B. Target Population
The Youth Council has established the following target populations and expects that proposers will choose to serve at least one of these target groups:
1. Youth enrolled in high priority occupational course work, high priority vocational classes, or who plan to enter a high priority occupation or post-secondary courses after graduation;
2. Youth enrolled in the School District of Lancaster;
3. Youth enrolled in one of the following geographic areas of Lancaster County: Columbia/Marietta; Ephrata; Quarryville/New Providence; Gap/Narvon.
C. Priorities for in-school youth programs:
1. Connect youth with occupations in demand in the local labor market by preparing them for work and/or post-secondary education;
2. Emphasis on careers in STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math;
3. Providers who are able to integrate into the school system;
4. Providers who are capable of meeting the common measures requirements, and who understand that obtaining a high school diploma, in-demand work skills, education, and a job are objectives of this RFP.
From the 2012 WIA Title I Out-of-School Youth Request for Proposal:
A. Participants funded through this grant must:
1. Meet the Title I eligibility criteria (see Eligible Participants section); and
2. Be a high school dropout or be in need of employability skills; and
3. Have legally withdrawn from school and be between the ages of 17 and 21 at the time of eligibility determination and not older than age 21 at the time of program enrollment.
B. At least 30% of enrolled youth must be high school dropouts.
C. Priorities for Out-of-School youth programs:
1. Address the issue of youth dropping in and out of the workplace by emphasizing the attainment of a GED;
2. Immediately connect dropouts, under-employed and unemployed youth with the educational and workforce system;
3. Look to programs that demonstrate partnerships;
4. Work with providers capable of meeting the common measures requirements and who understand that obtaining a high school diploma/GED, in-demand work skills, education, and a job are objectives of this RFP.
LWIB Procurement Policy
Request for Proposal (RFP) System
RFPs are used in instances that include the procurement of youth providers, providers of services where off-the-shelf offerings do not meet the needs of the local area, and non-ITA training services when the Local Board determines that there are an insufficient number of eligible providers in the local area to accomplish the purpose of a system of ITAs.
1. A legal notice will be sent to the local newspaper 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.
Alternately, the WIB may choose to notify interested bidders that the RFP and related documents are available online. Information regarding the postings will be clearly outlined in all notices to potential bidders.
4. Under normal circumstances, the WIB will issue the RFP at least 30-calendar days prior to the due date for submission.
1. 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 or posted on the specified website 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 rules and regulations of the funding sources 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 Executive Director signs the agreement on behalf of the Board. Significant changes to the scope of work or budget will be presented to the WIB Board for approval.
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 basis in response to local needs.
The WIB adheres to procurement procedures, which are consistent with the PA and Federal laws, regulations and circulars.
Requests for property are coordinated through the Agency's Fiscal Director. Atypical nonexpendable property requests are reviewed by the WIB Executive Director. The requests are reviewed against budget authorization and need and availability of used equipment.
Annually, WIB staff compile a list of common office supplies in order to conduct a review of vendors. The list is presented to at least three (3) vendors (or researched online). The vendor with the lowest overall cost is selected as the office supply provider for the year. Specialty items such as small electronics will be purchased based on three (3) price quotes. Requests for property with a planned total acquisition cost between $499 and $10,000 are accompanied by three (3) competitive quotes from suppliers. In some instances, such as computer purchases the WIB may choose to purchase using a sole source if the product is compatible with other similar items or best meets the needs for which it is being purchased.
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 WIB identification tags. An Annual Property Inventory form will be prepared and submitted to the BWDP prior to September 30 of each year.
Nonexpendable property and equipment purchased by subcontractors must be purchased using procedures consistent with WIA and applicable state and federal standards and can be used only for WIB 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. Property and equipment purchased by subcontractors remains the property of the WIB. Property purchased in whole or in part by program contractors funded through tuition and/or performance-based contracts become the property of the program contractor.
Training Provider Appeal Policy
Appeal Policy for Procurement
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.
Participant Eligibility Appeal Policy
From the Title I Contractor (ResCare) Handbook
COMPLAINT & GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
You have the right to file a complaint. A grievance or complaint involving discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or political affiliation or belief may be instituted and filed against, as circumstances warrant, jointly, or singularly, ResCare and/or a sub-contractor and/or training provider engaged to provide services in the WIA program. Such grievance or complaint on such grounds may include, but is not limited to, eligibility determination of a participant, termination for unjust cause, payment of wages or inequity of salary and wages, internal control of finances, unsatisfactory or unsafe working conditions, political patronage, political activities, kickbacks, nepotism, and/or maintenance of effort per WIA requirements. Discrimination complaints must be filed according to the procedure outlined in the EQUAL OPPORTUNITY and UNIVERSAL ACCESS section of this handbook.
Complainants alleging a violation of the Workforce Investment Act or Regulations or other Agreements under the Act shall seek resolution of such allegation through this procedure as provided. All program complaints must be processed according to locally established procedures before seeking recourse through the State. Complaints clearly resulting from discrimination must be filed by the aggrieved part, in writing, to the Deputy Secretary for “Workforce Development and Safety, Department of Labor and Industry, or Directorate of Civil Rights. Any individual who feels she/he has been unjustly treated should follow the grievance procedure outlined below.
Issuing a Complaint/Grievance Against ResCare or a Training Provider:
ResCare’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 ResCare.
The Opportunity to File A Complaint: Any aggrieved party who has an alleged complaint shall notify ResCare, 1016 N. Charlotte Street, 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 to the Program Director of ResCare 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 day s of the informal conference to all aggrieved and charged parties. This written notice will contain an explanation of the right to request a hearing.
Investigation: ResCare 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 the witnesses, if any, and inspection of any relevant documents. At this point, an attempt will be made to resolve the issue(s) informally. ResCare 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 ResCare Program 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 the Workforce Development and Safety. 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 instance where an impartial hearing officers I 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.
PA CareerLink® Staff Grievance Procedure Policy
PA CareerLink® Staff Grievance Procedure Policy
(not involving allegations of discrimination)
Complaints of alleged discrimination must follow your employer’s written Equal Opportunity procedures. Complaints referred to in this policy include only non-discriminatory offenses or situations. If for any reason, you feel unsafe or threatened in any way, you will follow the proper Safety and Security procedures to alert a supervisor or member of the Safety and Security Team.
As a PA CareerLink7 Lancaster County staff member, your primary responsibility is to provide professional, seamless customer services to all PA CareerLink7 constituents in collaboration with our partner agencies.
If you feel that a situation was handled inappropriately, you may file a complaint by first reporting the incident to your functional supervisor either verbally or in writing. If the issue is not resolved, you may then submit a written complaint to the Site Administrator. All complaints must be initiated within five working days after the date of the incident. If deemed necessary, a meeting may be held with the staff member, member of management and the Site Administrator for fact-finding and resolution.
If after the fact-finding meeting you do not agree with the resolution, a written grievance may be filed with the Site Administrator within two working days after the the fact-finding meeting. At that time the Operator Chairperson (or his/her designee) will be involved. The decision of the Operator Chairperson (or his/her designee) is final.
This policy in no way circumvents other remedies that you may have available to you from your employer.
LWIA Individual Training Account (ITA) Policy
Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board
Individual Training Account
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, be a Workforce Investment Board priority occupation and meet the following local standards:
Cost - Adult, Youth and
Dislocated Worker $10,000 funding cap over a two year funding period. Other required costs of training as outlined in the school catalogue are included in the cap. Training must be scheduled to complete within the funding period. If the participant qualifies for funding from other sources, reimbursement from these sources will be considered and the level of WIA funding will be applied accordingly based on the customer’s training and supportive services cost needs. 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 so that the participant is able to successfully complete training.
Duration 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.
Location 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.
Other 1. All other factors being substantially equal, the WIB reserves the right to select the most cost effective training option.
2. The WIB Executive Director may waive conditions contained in this policy for extraordinary circumstances and funding considerations.
Approved: November 18, 1999
Modified: September 4, 2001, effective July 1, 2001
Modified: April 1, 2003, effective July 1, 2003
Modified: May 5, 2009, effective February 17, 2009 consistent with the effective date of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Modified: October 6, 2009; effective for program start dates beginning on or after November 1, 2009.
Modified: September, 2011; added Youth, removed Welfare, changed LETA to WIB; effective July 1, 2011
Modified: May 7, 2013; added language regarding the needs of participants per BWDP.
Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, Inc.
Adult and Dislocated Worker Self-Sufficiency Policy
Intensive and Training Services
Self-sufficiency for employed adults includes eligible adults who meet the low-income definition established by the Workforce Investment Act. Individual Employment Plans for employed adults must lead to employment that pays at least the Lower Living Standard Index Level for an individual.
Self-sufficiency for employed dislocated workers includes eligible dislocated workers who are earning less than 85% of their wage at dislocation. Individual Employment Plans for employed dislocated workers must lead to employment that pays at least the Lower Living Standard Index Level for an individual, or more than 85% of their wage at dislocation (if the dislocation occurred within one year of application), whichever is higher.