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SOWPPL 18-01 (Delivering Wagner-Peyser Labor Exchange Services in the OhioMeansJobs Centers)
State-Operated Workforce Programs Policy Letter No. 18-01
November 2, 2018
TO: Employment Services Staff, Local Workforce Development Board Directors, and OhioMeansJobs Center Operators
FROM: John B. Weber, Deputy Director, Office of Workforce Development
SUBJECT: Delivering Wagner-Peyser Labor Exchange Services in the OhioMeansJobs Centers

I.Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to identify the array of career and employer services delivered in the OhioMeansJobs centers through the Wagner-Peyser funded Employment Service.

II.Effective Date

Immediately

III.Background

The Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933 established a nationwide system of public employment offices known as the Employment Service (ES). Subsequent legislation transformed the ES delivery system to provide universal access to an integrated array of labor exchange (LE) services so that workers, job seekers, and businesses can find the assistance they need in the American Job Centers (in Ohio, called the OhioMeansJobs centers). Universal access means that LE services are available to all employers and job seekers, including veterans, unemployment insurance (UI) claimants, students, migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW), and individuals with disabilities. Job seekers who are veterans receive priority for services, including priority of referral to jobs and training.

The goals of LE services are to help job seekers obtain meaningful employment opportunities and to assist employers in obtaining skilled and productive employees. LE services may be delivered using one of three methods: self-service (including virtual services), facilitated self-help services, and staff assisted services. Other than self-service which may be accessed from remote locations, the LE services delivered through the ES system are provided by ES staff in the OhioMeansJobs centers consistent with 20 C.F.R. section 652.215.

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Wagner-Peyser program is identified as a core program to emphasize the need to coordinate its operations with the other core programs (specifically, the WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth programs, adult education provided by Aspire, and the vocational rehabilitation program provided by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities) to establish a collaborative and integrated workforce delivery system. WIOA provides a significant opportunity for coordination across partner programs, including planning, reporting, and service delivery. LE services fall under the category of basic career services that must be delivered in concert with the other partners.

ES staff shall solely use OhioMeansJobs.com to provide all LE services involving job search, placement assistance, career counseling, and resume posting for job seekers and for recruitment, job posting, resume searching, and related business services for employers seeking assistance with talent acquisition. The system may also be used to provide information on career choices, job fairs, and training opportunities.

IV.Definitions

Career services: Universally accessible employment services made available to all individuals.

Employment professional (EP): Employment Service staff who provide Wagner-Peyser LE services to the universal job seeker.

Employment Service (ES) staff: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) state merit staff including employment professionals, migrant outreach staff, and workforce specialists who provide Wagner-Peyser program services.

Job club: A structured job search program designed to prepare individuals for a successful job search by obtaining basic job-seeking skills and individualized assistance. The program includes, at a minimum, instruction on resume writing, application preparation, interviewing skills, job lead development, development of a job search plan, and mock interviews.

Labor exchange (LE) services: Services provided to universal job seekers and businesses which include job search, placement assistance, and career counseling for job seekers, and appropriate recruitment, job posting, and other business services conducted on behalf of employers in the local workforce development area (local area).

Memorandum of understanding (MOU): An agreement developed and executed between the local workforce development board (WDB) with the agreement of the chief elected official and the OhioMeansJobs center partners relating to the services of the OhioMeansJobs center delivery system in the local workforce development area.

Migrant and seasonal farmworker (MSFW): An individual who is employed, or was employed in the past 12 months, in farmwork of a seasonal or temporary nature, including those whose agricultural labor requires travel to a job site such that they are unable to return to a permanent place of residence within the same day.

Migrant outreach staff (MOS): ES staff who provides Wagner-Peyser LE services to MSFWs and to employers who recruit and hire MSFWs.

OhioMeansJobs.com: The statewide electronic system for labor exchange and job placement activity operated by the State.

Rapid response (RR): A series of activities provided by the State to assist impacted dislocated workers in obtaining reemployment as soon as possible.

State merit staff: State government employees subject to a merit system of personnel administration as defined in the United States Office of Personnel Management regulations at 5 C.F.R. Part 900, subpart F.

Universal job seeker: Any individual who seeks LE services at an OhioMeansJobs center, who registers on OhioMeansJobs.com, or who is a UI claimant.

Workforce development board (WDB): The entity certified by the Governor of the State to carry out the functions described in section 107(d) of WIOA for a local area.

Workforce specialist (WS): Employment Service staff who provides Wagner-Peyser LE services to employers.

V.Requirements

A.Provision of Services

LE services provided through the ES must include:

a.Assisting job seekers in finding employment;

b.Assisting employers in filling jobs;

c.Facilitating the match between job seekers and employers; and

d.Providing workforce and labor market information such as information on in-demand industry sectors and occupations.

ES staff shall assist job seekers and employers by providing services that include, but are not necessarily limited to, the services described below.

Partners in the OhioMeansJobs centers are required to work together collaboratively and with the local workforce development board (WDB) to establish and maintain the OhioMeansJobs center delivery system, including the coordination of integrated and seamless services consistent with the locally negotiated MOU. Therefore, the LE services provided by ES staff will necessarily vary between local areas and OhioMeansJobs centers based on staffing levels, current MOU obligations, needs of the OhioMeansJobs centers, and needs of the job seekers and employers.

1.Job Search and Placement Assistance

EPs may provide an array of employment-related services to universal job seekers, including, but not limited to:

a.Labor market information;

b.Resume assistance;

c.Development of individual employments plans;

d.Assistance with using electronic tools and resources available to individuals on OhioMeansJobs.com and on United States Department of Labor(DOL) platforms;

e.Job placement assistance;

f.Mock Interviewing sessions;

g.Job club;

h.Case management, including require follow-up activities; and

i.Assistance with filing programmatic or civil rights complaints related to the delivery of Wagner-Peyser LE services.

2.Referral Services

LE services are intended to assist job-ready individuals with rapid entry or re-entry into employment and are not meant to be provided as intensive, long-term assistance. As appropriate, EPs will refer universal job seekers, including those with barriers to employment, to programs and services carried out by partners in the OhioMeansJobs center delivery system and to other workforce development programs based on the job seeker’s needs. The referral to another program is appropriate for a job seeker who is likely to meet that program’s eligibility requirements and who:

a.Has significant barriers to employment;

b.Lacks skills that are in demand, including the lack of a secondary school diploma (or equivalent) or post-secondary credential(s);

c.Needs supportive services to obtain or sustain employment; or

d.Would be best served by the services and resources provided by the other program to a target population that includes the job seeker.

3.Meaningful Assistance to Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claimants

The EPs, along with the OhioMeansJobs center partner carrying out WIOA Title I program services, have specific obligations to provide meaningful assistance to UI claimants, which include:

a.Coordination of career services, particularly LE services;

b.Targeting UI claimants for job search assistance and referrals to employment;

c.Ensuring claimants meet eligibility requirements, including searching and registering for work and participating in reemployment services;

d.Providing information to UI program staff that could affect a UI claimant’s or applicant’s eligibility or benefits; and

e.Connecting UI claimants to reemployment services.

The term meaningful assistance is defined as having staff well-trained in UI claims filing and claimant rights and responsibilities. This requirement only encompasses helping individuals navigate Ohio's claims filing process and providing them with general information on their responsibilities as claimants. These functions are informational in nature and not directly connected with determining the claimant's eligibility for benefits.

In the OhioMeansJobs centers, meaningful assistance provided to individuals seeking assistance in filing a UI claim includes the following resources and activities:

a.Computers available for individuals to file a claim for UI or to file an appeal of their claim;

b.Telephones with access to the direct, toll-free phone numbers established by the ODJFS Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations for individuals seeking assistance from UI merit staff in filing claims or appeals, which does not include referrals to a general information phone number;

c.Posters providing claimants with information on how to file UI claims, which must be visible in the resource room;

d.Additional documents meant to assist UI claimants, which must be available in the resource room; and

e.Resource room staff who are trained on navigating the UI claim filing processes and who can provide general information to claimants on their responsibilities.

Only UI Adjudication Center state staff answer questions, provide advice, or make decisions that could affect claimants' UI eligibility. Meaningful assistance may be provided by other technology approved by the State that enables trained staff to provide the assistance. Examples of technology that enables remote assistance include live web chat applications or similar technology.

4.Rapid Response (RR) Services

The primary purpose of RR services is the prompt reemployment of impacted workers by helping them quickly transition to new jobs and to minimize the duration of their unemployment. EPs may participate in RR activities by working with other OhioMeansJobs center partners to provide LE services to individuals impacted by a layoff or plant closing, including the delivery of such services at specialized OhioMeansJobs centers such as transition centers established in response to the layoff event.

Further guidance on the delivery and coordination of RR activities may be found in the WIOA policy letter describing RR program requirements for employer closure, mass layoff, disaster mass job dislocation, and Trade Adjustment Assistance events.

5.Workshops

In coordination with the other OhioMeansJobs center partners, workshops may be developed and conducted by EPs and made available to universal customers or targeted populations. Workshops must be entered into OhioMeansJobs.com to facilitate job seeker awareness and registration. Workshops may include:

a.Basic computer skills;

b.OhioMeansJobs.com navigation;

c.Use of social media in the job search process;

d.Soft skills workshops;

e.Resume workshops;

f.Interviewing skills and mock interviews; and

g.Other appropriate workshops that enhance and do not duplicate the partner services in the OhioMeansJobs center.

6.Resource Room Activities

In conjunction with other OhioMeansJobs center partners, EPs may assist universal job seekers engaged in self-service or facilitated self-help services in the center's resource room. Resource room assistance may include:

a.Assisting job seekers with registering for and accessing the resources available on OhioMeansJobs.com;

b.Assessing the basic service needs and barriers of veterans using the prescribed form(s) to make appropriate referrals;

c.Conducting orientations to the center’s services;

d.Assisting with coverage of the center’s reception desk; and

e.Providing other LE services deemed necessary to the operations of the OhioMeansJobs center.

7.Outreach Activities

EPs may conduct outreach to engage more potential customers in OhioMeansJobs center services. Acceptable sources of information identifying potential customers to whom outreach may be conducted include the following:

a.Partner referrals;

b.Workshop attendee lists;

c.Reports identifying job seekers who have visited the resource room or have registered on OhioMeanJobs.com;

d.Specialized UI reports including claimant or exhaustee reports, new job seeker reports, and listings of individuals completing online orientation for reemployment services;

e.Attendance rosters from rapid response orientation sessions and OhioMeansJobs center workshops; and

f.Lists of participants accessing WIOA- or Trade-funded training.

8.Services to Employers

Utilizing OhioMeansJobs.com, WS staff will serve employers by matching job orders with registered job seekers and universal job seekers, which may include keyword searches of the database of job seeker resumes available on OhioMeansJobs.com.

Working in coordination with the local area’s integrated business services team or the other partners who serve businesses, WS staff may also provide the following categories of employer services:

a.Workforce retention and expansion services;

b.Workforce recruitment assistance;

c.Workforce incentives;

d.Labor market information;

e.Provision of rapid response activities; and

f.Other employer services.

Additionally, WS staff may provide referrals to specialized business services (e.g., tax credit and bonding programs, training services, economic development resources, accommodations needed by employees with disabilities) offered by partners within the OhioMeansJobs center delivery system or by other providers.

9.Services to MSFWs

Each MOS provides services to both MSFWs and employers. The MOS shall notify MSFWs of services available in the OhioMeansJobs centers, on OhioMeansJobs.com, and from other sources and help them access and navigate the services. The goals are to assist MSFWs in overcoming barriers to employment and to help them find employment. MSFWs may receive:

a.Talent development services including work readiness assessments, job readiness development, career counseling, and ongoing support;

b.Job search support including job matching and workshops;

c.Career planning including career interest inventories, labor market information, and follow-up services;

d.Youth development and placement including assistance with academic or occupational learning, development of leadership skills, and preparation for further education; and

e.Assistance with filing complaints, including referrals to the State Monitor Advocate for follow up and resolution and arranging for or providing translation services as needed.

10.Support for OhioMeansJobs Center Operations

In addition to providing career services, required partners in the OhioMeansJobs center service delivery system including the Wagner-Peyser program must participate in the operation of the system. For ES staff, this may include, but is not limited to:

a.Attending partner meetings to discuss service delivery, upcoming events such as job fairs, and other topics relevant to LE activities;

b.Assisting in the development of common forms and procedures to be used by the partners;

c.Reviewing and commenting on workflows and processes that guide service delivery and operations; and

d.Participating in other appropriate planning, service delivery, and partner activities meant to enhance effectiveness and improve customer outcomes consistent with this policy letter and the terms of the MOU.

B.Reporting

The services described in the previous section must be entered within 30 days into the Ohio Workforce Case Management System (OWCMS) Labor Exchange (LE) system and OhioMeansJobs.com.

VI.Technical Assistance

Ongoing support, guidance, and technical assistance on delivering Wagner-Peyser services are available by e-mailing the Wagner-Peyser mailbox at JFSLaborExchange@jfs.ohio.gov.

Assistance with training needs may be requested by e-mailing the Training Unit at OWD_WorkforceTraining@jfs.ohio.gov.

VII.References

Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, §§ 301- 308, Pub. L. 113-128.

20 C.F.R. Part 652.

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 19-16, Operating Guidance for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Guidance on Services provided through the Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Wagner-Peyser Act Employment Service (ES), as amended by title III of WIOA, and for Implementation of the WIOA Final Rules, (March 1, 2017).

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter One-Stop Operating Guidance for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act No. 16-16, One-Stop Operations Guidance for the American Job Center Network, (January 18, 2017).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-15.2, Rapid Response Program Requirements – Employer Closure, Mass Layoff, Disaster Mass Job Dislocation, and Trade Adjustment Assistance Events, (April 11, 2018).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 17-01, Mandated Use of OhioMeansJobs.com for Labor Exchange Activities, (September 15, 2017).