WIOAPL 15-17 (Local Workforce Development Board Certification Process)
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-17
September 8, 2015
TO: Chief Elected Officials, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Workforce Development Boards, WIOA Workforce Development Board Director, and WIOA Board Chairmen
FROM: Cynthia C. Dungey, Director
SUBJECT: Local Workforce Development Board Certification Process

I.Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to the establishment of a local workforce development board and to outline the procedures for certifying, recertifying, and decertifying local workforce development boards (WDBs).

II.Effective Date

July 1, 2015

III.Background

The vision of the local workforce development board is to serve as a strategic leader and convener of local workforce development system stakeholders. The WDB develops policies and approves investments that support workforce system strategies that support the Governor's and State Board's vision with regard to workforce development, regional economies, the development of effective approaches, including local and regional sector partnerships and career pathways, and high quality, customer-centered service delivery and service delivery approaches.

The purpose of the WDB is to do all of the following:

  • Provide strategic and operational oversight in collaborations with the required and additional partners and workforce stakeholders to help develop a comprehensive and high-quality workforce development system in the local area and larger planning region;
  • Assist in the achievement of the Governor's and State's strategic and operational vision and goals as outlined in the Combined State Plan and other state initiatives; and
  • Maximize and continue to improve the quality of services, customer satisfaction, and effectiveness of the services provided.

Section 107 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires each local workforce development area of the State to establish a WDB to administer the functions outlined in section 107 (d) of WIOA for its local workforce development system. Furthermore, it requires that the Governor of the State certify each local board every two years.

The certification is a process that will assist in creating effective WDBs by ensuring proper membership, by maintaining sound program and fiscal policies, and by providing a system of quality services and enhancing regional economic development.

IV.Definitions

Chief elected official(s): per section 3(9) of WIOA, the chief elected executive officer(s) of a unit of general local government in a local area and, in the case of a local area that includes more than one unit of general local government, the individual(s) designated under an inter-governmental agreement.

Community-based organization: per section 3(10) of WIOA, a private, nonprofit organization that is representative of a community or a significant segment of a community and that has demonstrated expertise and effectiveness in the field of workforce development.

Economic development agency: per section 3(17) of WIOA, a local planning or zoning commission or board, a community development agency, or another local agency or institution responsible for regulating, promoting, or assisting in local economic development.

In-demand industry sector or occupation: per section 3(23) of WIOA, an industry sector that has a substantial current or potential impact on the State, regional, or local economy, and that contributes to the growth or stability of other supporting businesses, or the growth of other industry sectors; or an occupation that currently has or is projected to have a number of positions in an industry sector so as to have a significant impact on the State, regional, or local economy.

  • Ohio has established a state in-demand occupations list using various industry- and occupation- focused measures. These measures include projected openings, projected growth, select JobsOhio industry cluster occupations, and historic job postings data. The list will be validated or further enhanced using business data from the online Workforce Information Exchange job forecasts on a monthly basis. In-demand occupation data is found at http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/OMJResources/In-DemandOccupations.stm.
  • Local WDBs may also identify additional local in-demand occupations using the criteria established in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter (WIOAPL) No. 15-11, Use of Individual Training Accounts.

Individual with a barrier to employment: per section 3 (24) of WIOA, a member of 1 or more of the following populations:

  • A displaced homemaker (defined in section 3 (16) of WIOA);
  • Low-income individuals (defined in section 3 (36) of WIOA);
  • Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians (section 166 of WIOA);
  • Individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities (defined in section 3 (25) of WIOA);
  • Older individuals;
  • Ex-offenders;
  • Homeless individuals (as defined in section 41403 (6) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994) or homeless children and youths (as defined in section 725 (2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act;
  • Youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system;
  • Individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals who are facing substantial cultural barriers;
  • Eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers (defined in section 167 (i) of WIOA);
  • Individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act;
  • Single parents (including single pregnant women);
  • Long-term unemployed individuals; and
  • Such other groups as the Governor involved determines to have barriers to employment.

Public assistance: per section 3(50) of WIOA, Federal, State, or local government cash payments for which eligibility is determined by a needs or income test.

Sustained fiscal integrity: the United States Secretary of Labor has not made a formal determination, during either of the last 2 consecutive years preceding the determination regarding such integrity, that either the grant recipient or the fiscal agent of the area misexpended funds provided under WIOA due to willful disregard of the requirements of the provision involved, gross negligence, or failure to comply with accepted standards of administration.

Workplace learning advisor: per section 3(70) of WIOA, an individual employed by an organization who has the knowledge and skills necessary to advise other employees of that organization about the education, skill development, job training, career counseling services, and credentials, including services provided through the workforce development system, required to progress toward career goals of such employees in order to meet employer requirements related to job openings and career advancements that support economic self-sufficiency.

V.Requirements

A.Establishment of the Local Workforce Development Board

The members of the local WDB must be selected by the chief elected official(s) in each local area pursuant to section 107 (b)(1) of WIOA and must meet the composition requirements of section 107 (b)(2) of WIOA.

1.Required Membership

The local WDB must include representatives from 4 categories:

  • Business

A majority of the local WDB members must be business representatives who are owners, chief executive or operating officers, or other business executives or employers with optimum policymaking or hiring authority.

Pursuant to 20 CFR 679.320 (b), members are to be representatives of businesses or organizations representing businesses, including a minimum of 2 members representing small businesses as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Members should represent businesses that provide employment opportunities in local area in-demand industry sectors or occupations. These representatives are uniquely suited to communicate the emerging workforce needs of employers in high-growth, in-demand sectors to the local WDB.

  • Workforce

Not less than 20 percent of the members of the local WDB must be workforce representatives. Such representatives must include:

  • Two or more representatives of labor organizations (or other employee representatives if there are no labor organizations in the local area); and
  • One or more representatives of a joint-labor management registered apprenticeship program (or other registered apprenticeship program if there is no joint labor-management program in the local area). In areas with joint apprenticeship programs, the apprenticeship representative must be a member of a labor organization or a training director.

To fulfill the requirement that 20 percent of local WDB members be workforce representatives, the local WDB may include:

  • One or more representatives from community-based organizations with demonstrated experience and expertise in addressing the employment needs of individuals with barriers to employment, including veterans or that provide or support competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities; and/or
  • One or more representatives of organizations with demonstrated experience and expertise in addressing the employment, training, or education needs of eligible youth, including representatives of organizations that serve out of school youth.
  • Education and Training

Members of the WDB must include representatives of entities administering education and training activities in the local area.

At least one of these members must be a representative from each of the following:

  • Provider of the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program; and
  • Representative of higher education institutions that provide workforce training (including community colleges).

Additional members may include representatives of local education agencies and community based organizations with demonstrated expertise and experience in addressing the education and training needs of individuals with barriers to employment.

  • Government and Economic Development

WDB members must also include representatives from governmental and economic and community development entities in the local area. This includes at least one representative from each of the following:

  • Economic and community development entity;
  • State Employment Service Office under Wagner-Peyser serving the local area; and
  • Vocational Rehabilitation programs.

In addition to these 4 categories, the chief elected official(s) may appoint other individuals to the local WDB, such as local agencies or entities administering transportation, housing, public assistance, and philanthropic organizations.

The members who are representatives of organizations with "demonstrated experience and expertise" include the following:

  • Individuals who are workplace learning advisors;
  • Members who contribute to the field of workforce development, human resources, training and development, or a core program function; or
  • Members the local WDB recognized for valuable contributions in education or workforce development related fields.

These provisions allow the chief elected official(s) the flexibility to assemble a local WDB that connects all key resources and stakeholders.

2.Nomination Process

WIOA requires that business representatives be appointed from among individuals nominated by local business organizations and business trade associations. The representatives from labor organizations must be appointed from among individuals who have been nominated from local labor federations.

When there is more than one local area provider of ABLE activities, or multiple institutions of higher education providing workforce investment activities, the chief elected official must solicit nominations from those providers and institutions, respectively, in appointing the required representatives. This requirement provides for a representative selection process for these membership categories.

3.Authority of Board Members

Members of the WDB that represent organizations, agencies, or other entities shall be individuals with optimum policymaking authority within the organizations, agencies, or entities. This means that the individual may reasonably be expected to speak affirmatively on behalf of the entity that he or she represents and to commit that entity to a chosen course of action.

4.Multiple Entity Representation

Members of the local WDB may be appointed as a representative of more than one entity if the individual meets all the criteria for representation for each entity represented.

5.Sunshine Law Provisions

The WDB must conduct its business in an open manner as required by section 107 (e) of WIOA, by making available to the public, on a regular basis through electronic means and open meetings, information about the activities of the local WDB. This includes:

  • Information about the local plan, or modification to the local plan, before submission of the plan;
  • List and affiliation of local WDB members;
  • Selection of the OhioMeansJobs center operator(s);
  • Award of grants or contracts to providers of adult and dislocated worker career services and youth program services.
  • Minutes of formal meetings of the local WDB; and
  • Local WDB by-laws, consistent with section 679.310 (g) of the regulations.

The manual outlining the sunshine law provisions, including guidance on Ohio's Open Meetings Act, is found at http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Publications-Files/Publications-for-Legal/Sunshine-Law-Publications/2015-Sunshine-Laws-Manual.aspx .

6.WDB By-Laws

In partnership with the chief elected official(s), the local WDB must establish by-laws and codes of conduct, which at a minimum, must address all of the following:

  • The nomination process used by the chief elected official(s) to elect the local WDB chair and members;
  • The term limitations and how the term appointments will be staggered to ensure only a portion of membership expires in a given year;
  • The process to notify the chief elected official(s) of a board member vacancy to ensure prompt nomination;
  • The proxy and alternative designee process that will be used when a board member is unable to attend a meeting and assigns a designee as per the requirements at section 679.110 (d)(4) of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM);
  • The process to ensure board members actively participate, including the member's attendance, in WDB meetings; and
  • A description of any other conditions governing appointment or membership on the State Board as deemed appropriate by the chief elected official(s).

7.Standing Committees

Standing committees may be established by the local WDB to provide information and assist the WDB in carrying out its responsibilities under WIOA, including identification of strategies for better meeting the needs of individuals with barriers to employment. Standing committees must be chaired by a member of the local WDB, may include other members of the local WDB, and must include other individuals appointed by the WDB who are not members of the board.

Standing committees may include each of the following:

  • A standing committee to provide information and assist with operational and other issues relating to the OhioMeansJobs delivery system, which may include representatives of OhioMeansJobs center partners.
  • A standing committee to provide information and to assist with planning, operational, and other issues relating to the provision of services to youth, which must include CBOs with a demonstrated record of success in serving eligible youth.
  • A standing committee to provide information and to assist with operational and other issues relating to the provision of services to individuals with disabilities, including providing programmatic and physical access to the services, programs, and activities of the OhioMeansJobs delivery system.
  • The local WDB may designate other standing committees (e.g., serving priority populations such as low income individuals), as determined needed and appropriate.

8.Transition from a Workforce Investment Board (WIB) to a Workforce Development Board

For each local area in the State, the members of the local WDB must meet the composition requirements of WIOA. To assist in the transition, the chief elected official(s) may shift the appointment of the current WIB members who are in good standing and have remaining time on the terms to which they were appointed to the newly established WDB. A formal reappointment is not required for members who will continue their service. The chief elected official(s) should be cognizant of the representation these members have on the board as it relates to WIOA required membership and federally mandated WIOA priorities. Shifting too many members whose representation are no longer WIOA required will significantly impact the WDB's composition and number of members.

Additionally, the board chair who was appointed under WIA can remain the board chair under WIOA as long as the board chair is in good standing and has remaining time on his or her term.

As the local WIB transitions into the local WDB, the local board is to continue to meet and conduct its roles and responsibilities, especially as it pertains to WIOA implementation and the delivery of services to adults, dislocated workers, and youth.

B.Workforce Development Board Certification

1.Preliminary Workforce Development Board Certification

As the local workforce development area designation process is ongoing, local workforce development boards should be established within current local workforce investment areas in order to proceed with necessary local WIOA implementation activities.

Being cognizant of the local workforce development area designation process and the impact of this process on local areas as well as the transition from WIA to WIOA, the State will preliminarily certify local WDBs. Preliminary certification will be effective from January 1, 2016 until 6 months after local workforce development area designation has been approved. Certified WDBs will be in place for full implementation of WIOA, including the procurement of the OhioMeansJobs center operator and adult and dislocated worker career services and the development of the local workforce development area's memorandum of understanding.

The State's preliminary certification process shall include a review of the composition of the local WDB, including the appointment process, for compliance with the criteria established in section 107 of WIOA. The composition of each WDB will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Membership composition as required in section 107 (b)(2);
  • Optimum policy making authority of the members or hiring authority for business members as required in section 107(b)(2)(i) and (b)(5); and
  • Chairperson for the WDB is a representative of business as required in section 107 (b)(3).

The chief elected official(s) shall request local WDB preliminary certification from all current local workforce investment areas by November 31, 2015, by completing and submitting the application entitled, "Local Workforce Development Board Certification," and including all of the following:

  • The WDB membership roster, including each member's job title and the business or organization he or she represents;
  • Documentation of the appointment for each board member, including nomination process and/or completed resolutions (even if nominations and appointments were completed under WIA or a current resolution noting the names of the board members carried in from the Workforce Investment Board under WIA); and
  • Conflict of interest forms signed by each board member.

Certification applications and supporting documents shall be submitted to the Office of Workforce Development: OWDPOLICY@jfs.ohio.gov and the subject of the email should read, "WDB Preliminary Certification."

The State will review the packet and notify the chief elected official(s) within 30 calendar days after the submission of the certification or denial of the proposed board.

Failure of the local WDB to achieve preliminary certification shall result in local workforce development areas receiving notice to revise the board roster to correct the identified deficiencies and re-submit the application within 90 days of receiving the denial. The local workforce development area may request technical assistance from the Office of Workforce Development to assist in the development of a compliant WDB.

2.Initial Workforce Development Board Certification

Within 6 months of the local workforce development area designation approval, the chief elected official(s) shall request local WDB initial certification from all newly designated workforce development areas.

Initial WDB certification may also be completed outside the transition from WIA to WIOA time period, whenever a new local workforce development area is designated pursuant to the WIOAPL No. 15-01, Local Workforce Development Area Designation. The chief elected official(s) shall request local WDB initial certification within 6 months of designation as a local workforce development area.

The State's initial certification process shall include a review of the composition of the local WDB, including the appointment process, for compliance with the criteria established in section 107 of WIOA. The composition of each WDB will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Membership composition as required in section 107 (b)(2);
  • Optimum policy making authority of the members or hiring authority for business members as required in section 107(b)(2)(i) and (b)(5); and
  • Chairperson for the WDB is a representative of business as required in section 107 (b)(3).

The chief elected official(s) shall request local WDB initial certification by completing and submitting the application entitled, "Local Workforce Development Board Certification," and including all of the following:

  • The WDB membership roster, including each member's job title and business or organization he or she represents;
  • Documentation of the appointment for each board member, including nomination process and/or completed resolutions (even if nominations and appointments were completed under WIA or a current resolution noting the names of the board members carried in from the Workforce Investment Board under WIA);
  • Conflict of interest forms signed by each board member; and
  • The current copies of the Intergovernmental Agreement, Local Governance Agreement, and the WDB by-laws.

Certification applications and supporting documents shall be submitted to the Office of Workforce Development: OWDPOLICY@jfs.ohio.gov and the subject of the email should read, "WDB Initial Certification."

The State will review the packet and notify the chief elected official(s) within 30 calendar days after the submission of the certification or denial of the proposed board.

The failure of the local WDB to achieve initial certification shall result in reappointment and certification of another WDB for the local area pursuant to Section 107 (c)(2)(C). Local workforce development areas receiving a denial must revise the board roster to correct the identified deficiencies and re-submit the application within 90 days of receiving the denial. The local workforce development area may request technical assistance from the Office of Workforce Development to assist in the development of a compliant WDB.

3.Subsequent Workforce Development Board Certification

Section 107 (c)(2)(A) and (B) of WIOA requires the local WDB to be certified every two years, to ensure the following:

  • Membership composition requirements outlined in section 107 (b)(2),(3), and (5) have been maintained;
  • The extent to which the local board ensures that workforce investment activities are carried out in the local area;
  • Local area meets their performance accountability measures per section 107 (c)(2)(B); and
  • Local area achieves sustained fiscal integrity per section 107 (c)(2)(B).

The chief elected official(s) shall complete and submit the application entitled, "Local Workforce Development Board Subsequent Certification." The application and the supporting documentation are due by November 1 two years after initial certification was approved if initial WDB certification was completed as part of the WIA to WIOA transition. If a local workforce development area is designated outside the transition period and results in an initial certification of the local WDB, the application and the supporting documentation are due by November 1 of the certification year.

In either situation, the application and supporting documentation shall contain all of the following information:

  • The current WDB membership roster, including each member's job title and business or organization he or she represents;
  • Documentation of the appointment for each board member, including nomination process and/or completed resolutions; and
  • Conflict of interest forms signed by each board member.

Subsequent certification applications and supporting documents shall be submitted to the Office of Workforce Development: OWDPOLICY@jfs.ohio.gov. The subject of the e-mail should read, "WDB Subsequent Certification."

The State will review the application and supporting documentation. The State will also gather information about whether or not the local workforce development area met its performance measures for the previous two program years, as well as information regarding the local area's fiscal integrity, to determine how effectively workforce activities have been carried out in the local area.

The State will notify the chief elected official(s) within 30 calendar days after the submission of the recertification packet of the subsequent certification or denial of the WDB.

Failure of a local WDB to achieve recertification will result in reappointment and certification of another local WDB pursuant to section 107 (c)(2)(C). The local workforce development area may request technical assistance from the Office of Workforce Development to assist in the development of a compliant WDB.

4.Decertification of Local Workforce Development Board

Under section 107 (c)(3) of WIOA, the State may decertify a local WDB at any time after providing notice and an opportunity to comment if one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • Fraud or abuse;
  • Failure to carry out the required functions of the local board as outlined in section 107 (d) of WIOA; and/or
  • Failure to meet the same local performance measures for two consecutive program years.

If the State decertifies a local WDB, the State may require that a new local board be appointed and certified for the local area pursuant to a reorganization plan developed between the State and the local chief elected official(s).

Pursuant to section 184 (b)(2) of WIOA, if a local WDB is decertified, the chief elected official(s) may appeal to the United States Department of Labor (USDOL). The appeal must be filed no later than 30 days after receipt of written notification of the decertification. If appealed, the decertification of the local WDB will not become effective until the time for appeal has expired or USDOL has issued a decision.

The appeal must be submitted by certified mail, with return receipt requested, to the following address:

Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor

200 Constitution Ave. N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20210

Attention: ASET

A copy of the appeal must be simultaneously provided to the State.

VI.Monitoring

Through the state's monitoring system, program monitors will review the local WDB's composition during the annual onsite monitoring review for compliance with section 107 (b) of WIOA. Any compliance issues will be handled through the state's findings resolution process. This monitoring process will assist the local areas in identifying and resolving WDB composition compliance issues within the local WDB in preparation of the recertification.

VII.Technical Assistance

The Office of Workforce Development's Technical Assistance Unit will provide technical assistance to those local areas whose WDBs were not certified or recertified, were decertified, or whose WDBs have been deemed out of compliance during the annual program monitoring.

Ongoing support, guidance, training and technical assistance on WDB composition requirements and recruitment, development, and engagement of its members is also available to all local areas.

Requests for technical assistance may be sent to ODJFS, Office of Workforce Development: WIAQNA@jfs.ohio.gov.

VIII.References

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, §§ 106 - 107, Public Law 113-128.

NPRM § 679.310 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20842 (April 16, 2015) (to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 679.310).

NPRM § 679.320 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20842-20843 (April 16, 2015) (to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 679.320).

NPRM § 679.330 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20843 (April 16, 2015) (to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 679.330).

NPRM § 679.340 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20843 (April 16, 2015) (to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 679.340).

NPRM § 679.350 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20843 (April 16, 2015) (to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 679.350).

NPRM § 679.360 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20843-20844 (April 16, 2015) (to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 679.360).

NPRM § 679.390 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20845 (April 16, 2015) (to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 679.360).

NPRM § 683.650 found at 80 Fed. Reg. 20889 (April 16, 2015) (to be codified at 20 C.F.R. § 683.650).

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 27-14, WIOA Operating Guidance, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Transition Authority for Immediate Implementation of Governance Provisions, (April 15, 2015).

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 19-14, Vision for the Workforce System and Initial Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, (February 19, 2015).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-01, Local Workforce Development Area Designation (July 1, 2015).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-11, Use of Individual Training Accounts (July 1, 2015).

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Ohio Sunshine Laws 2015: An Open Government Resource Manual (2015).