• Overview

    Since 2007, the Ohio Workforce Coalition has been bringing together leaders from education and training institutions, economic and workforce development organizations, business and industry, labor, and human service providers. The Coalition promotes public policies that build the skills of adult workers, meet employer skill needs, and strengthen the workforce system to ensure opportunity and prosperity for Ohio families.

Register Now for the 2016 Best Practices Conference!

Register now for the 2016 Best Practices Conference, May 18-20 at Crowne Plaza in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Join the Mid-America Economic Development Council and the Ohio Workforce Coalition as these two organizations partner to provide insight from industry thought leaders about workforce challenges and opportunities that affect economic development across the Midwest and the nation. Presenters at the 2016 Best Practices Conference will address a number of relevant topics, including workforce development, talent acquisition and workforce retention. We look forward to seeing you in Ohio’s capital city, the fastest growing in the Midwest. Space is limited, so register today!

For the full schedule, hotel information, and to register, visit:
Mid-America Economic Development Council.

If you are an Ohio Workforce Coalition member you may register online at the member rate. Please click on the OWC Member Conference Registration option and select “next”. You will then be asked to input a registration code, which has been sent to you via email by Kerrie Carte (klcarte@wsos.org). Please contact Kerrie for more information.

OWC Leadership Advocates at NSC 2016 Skills Summit and Brings Home the State of Action Award

Skill Summit 1 2016

OWC leadership members attended the National Skills Coalition 2016 Skills Summit in early February in Crystal City, Va. The event drew more than 270 workforce advocates, employers, and community college leaders from 29 states and resulted in more than 200 congressional visits and meetings with officials from both the White House and multiple governors’ offices.

Additionally, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) provided the keynote address on his Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act which is being co-sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). The JOBS Act would amend the Higher Education Act by expanding Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in short-term, job-focused training programs. OWC leadership advocated for seven different policies from the NSC’s legislative agenda ranging from the expansion of Pell grant access for short-term credentials, to an increase in resources for adult basic education, to investment in a better data system to track post-college workforce results.

Skill Summit 2016

Specifically, the National Skills Coalition is leading the workforce development space to focus on the following legislative priorities:

• Fund workforce and CTE state grants at authorized levels in Fiscal Year 2017
• Support doubling WIOA Title II/adult education funding
• Endorse the JOBS Act, which expands Pell eligibility to short-term, industry-validated, postsecondary certificates
• Endorse the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act to provide better information about post-college workforce results
• Endorse the Community College to Career Fund Act to provide dedicated support for partnerships between industry and community colleges
• Sponsor legislation redirecting the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to support apprenticeship and other work-based learning
• And sign a “Dear Colleague” letter calling for current restrictions on TANF skills training to be lifted.

In addition, the Ohio delegation was given the State of Action Award.

“Thanks to the persistent advocacy efforts of the Ohio delegation, the state is now home to several policies and practices that help elevate and move forward workforce development wins,” said NSC Communications Director Nicky Lauricella Coolberth in a press release. “Whether it was through administrative and legislative achievements, the Ohio delegation made sure their state was involved in these award winning actions.”

Skill Summit 2 2016

For more information on the Skills Summit or the most pressing issues related to workforce development policy, please visit www.nationalskillscoalition.org.

Ohio Draft Combined Plan Comments from the Ohio Workforce Coalition

The draft includes many strong features, including the 10 reforms that were part of the 2014 Unified Plan, including but not limited to the development of common intake, assessments, and case management; encouraging co-enrollment; increasing career counseling; and implementing common performance measures. Also, the draft continues the alignment of Career and Technical Education (CTE) with other workforce development programs that was established in the Unified Plan.

The draft combined plan builds on these reforms by including increased integration with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); and state support and requirements for CTE Programs of Study, stackable credentials, and articulation.

The draft plan, however, misses some major opportunities.

The plan mentions Ohio’s Workforce Alliances, but fails to highlight these sector partnerships as a key strategy with broad applications. For example, the state could use the Alliances to inform CTE programs of study and avoid burdening employers with overlapping requests for engagement. The plan does not include a way of funding the Alliances after June 30, 2017.

The draft plan does not discuss the planned uses of the Governor’s reserve fund as required by WIOA, including the use of reserve funds to support sector partnerships.

The plan does not discuss how the state will implement the priority of service for low-income individuals, public assistance recipients, and individuals with low basic skills. This is an important new requirement of WIOA that should be emphasized in the plan and in a separate WIOA policy guidance letter developed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The U.S. Department of Labor has recently indicated that they will require a description of the state’s process for priority of service in the state plan. Ohio should specifically include a statewide policy on priority of service and set service goals to ensure that people with barriers to employment are being prioritized through the workforce system.

The draft plan fails to provide data on the state’s immigrant population and the steps that will be taken to serve this population.

The Title II section of the plan indicates that in the second year of the plan Integrated Education and Training (IET) activities will be required. The plan would be stronger if this important strategy were highlighted as a key reform in the strategic portion of the plan, and not mentioned only in the Title II program plan. In addition, the Perkins part of the plan should discuss steps Ohio will take to integrate postsecondary CTE and adult basic education, including professional development.

Important steps to support career pathways are mentioned at places in the plan (including in discussions of the Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP), IET, and CTE), however the development of career pathways is not highlighted as a key strategy in the strategic portion of the plan.

The plan is unclear whether or not the WIOA common measures will be applied to TANF E&T and whether TANF E&T will be included in the state’s dashboard. These would be positive steps that would enhance coordination.

The draft plan indicates that CTE is part of the state’s dashboard and common measures; however, the Perkins portion of the plan does not include the additional state indicators that are among the state’s common measures.

The draft plan misses the opportunity to include SNAP E&T as part of the combined plan, in particular state actions to increase resources by obtaining SNAP E&T 50-50 funds.

The analysis of the state’s labor market understates the need for postsecondary training by using the BLS category of occupations that require only a high school education, without recognizing that about half of these occupations require some form of postsecondary training of at least a month in length.

The draft plan for Eligible Training Providers seems to rely on providers self-reporting performance. In order to increase consistency, validity, and reliability, instead of relying on self-reports the state should require providers to send administrative records on all students/participants to the state for matching with wage and other administrative records.

The plan should also identify steps that the state will take to provide a comprehensive student scorecard system on training providers so that the public has sufficient information to make informed choices.

Regional Hearings Announced: 2016 Combined State Plan

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Governor must submit a Unified or Combined State Plan to the U.S. Secretary of Labor (USDOL) that outlines a four-year workforce development strategy for the state’s workforce development system. The four-year plans take effect July 1, 2016, and will be submitted on March 3, 2016.

The 2016 Combined State Plan details the state’s successes and vision for Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth (WIOA Title I), Adult Education and Family Literacy (WIOA Title II), Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education, and Senior Community Service Employment. The 2016 Combined Plan adds reforms to Wagner-Peyser (WIOA Title III), Vocational Rehabilitation (WIOA Title IV), and Jobs for Veterans State Grant.

The 2016 Combined State Plan and a link to register for the public hearings will be published on the Office of Workforce Transformation website on Monday, January 11, 2016. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to comment in person at one of five regional hearings:

• Tuesday, January 26, 2016, Terra State Community College
• Tuesday, January 26, 2016, Tallmadge High School
• Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Eastland Career Center
• Thursday, January 28, 2016, Great Oaks Institute of Technology
• Thursday, January 28, 2016, Shawnee State University

For more information about the public hearings, click here.

ODJFS releases information regarding registering as an Eligible Training Provider under WIOA

President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. WIOA, like its predecessor, authorizes the use of Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) to pay for occupational skills training that provides specific vocational skills that lead to proficiency in performing actual task and technical functions required by certain occupational fields at entry, intermediate, or advance levels and results in attainment of a recognized postsecondary credential.

To ensure the state is compliant with WIOA, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is redesigning the Eligible Training Provider Online (ETPO) application. The new system will be called the Workforce Inventory of Education and Training (WIET). As a part of the redesign, the criteria to become an eligible training provider also have changed.

All providers of occupational skills training that leads to a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential must register in WIET to become an eligible training provider for WIOA. Attached is a list of the new data elements that must be entered to create your Provider Registration, Programs, and Program Locations, which you will manage and certify each year. You may view the attachment by clicking here.

The new WIET application will be launched in January 2016. There will be a set period of time for you to enter your provider registration and program(s) details into the new WIET application. You will receive another email that will contain all the details of the dates in January 2016 and the new website address that will allow you to register in the new WIET application.

If you provided on-the-job training, customized training or other training for the local workforce area that did not result in a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential, you will need to work with your point of contact in the local area to continue to provide those services as a local provider; however, you will not be part of the statewide eligible training provider list.

If you have any questions regarding the WIET Redesign, please contact the OMJ Help Desk at 1-888-296-7541, Option #4.

Join NSC for a New Webinar on Sector Partnerships

National Skills Coalition is pleased to present their newest webinar: State Policies to Support Sector Partnerships. Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, states are required to support local sector partnerships, a proven strategy for meeting the needs of workers and employers. During this webinar, National Skills Coalition will share tips from its forthcoming toolkit for creating robust state sector partnership policies. Partners in the field will share lessons learned from sector partnership policy in their states. Details are as follows:

State Policies to Support Sector Partnerships
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
1-2:15 p.m. ET
Click here to register.


Brian Wilson, State Policy Director, National Skills Coalition

Speakers include:

Brooke DeRenzis, Senior State Policy Analyst, National Skills Coalition

• Nancy Snyder, President, Commonwealth Corporation

Emily Templin Lesh, Assistant Director, Policy and Industry Partnerships, Colorado Workforce Development Council

• Kerrie Carte, Planning & Development Coordinator at WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc.; Ohio Workforce Coalition Administrator

Webinar participants also will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers. Don’t miss this useful conversation — register today!

National Skills Coalition is a not-for-profit, non-partisan 501-c-3 tax-exempt organization.Contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.

National Skills Coalition
1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Suite 712, Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202-223-8991
Fax: 202-318-2609

Demystifying the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for Community and Economic Developers: A Primer

With provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act already in effect, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Senior Policy Analyst Joseph Ott highlights key reforms of the WIOA along with implications for policy makers and practitioners. What changes has this legislation prompted, and how might they help improve outcomes for workers, employers, and communities alike?

Read his report here.