WIOAPL 16-02 (Eligible Training Providers)
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 16-02
November 10, 2016
TO: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Local Workforce Development Board Director, Fiscal Agent, and OhioMeansJobs Center Operators
FROM: Cynthia C. Dungey, Director
SUBJECT: Eligible Training Providers

I.Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria for eligible training providers and the procedures for approval of eligible training providers on the State's Workforce Inventory of Education and Training (WIET).

II.Effective Date

Immediately

III.Background

The workforce development system established under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) emphasizes informed consumer choice, job-driven training, provider performance, and continuous improvement. The quality and selection of providers and programs of training services is vital to achieving these core principles. The State plays a leadership role in ensuring the success of the eligible training provider system in partnership with the local workforce development boards, the OhioMeansJobs system, and its partners.

As required by section 122 of WIOA and 20 C.F.R. 680.400, the State, in partnership with the local workforce development board, must identify providers of training services that are qualified to receive WIOA funds to train adults, dislocated workers, and out-of-school youth. Therefore, WIOA requires that each state maintain a list of eligible training providers. In Ohio, this list is maintained on WIET. The State must establish eligibility criteria and procedures for initial determination and renewals of eligibility for training providers and training programs to receive funds under WIOA Title I-B. WIET and the related eligibility procedures must ensure the accountability, quality, and labor-market relevance of programs of training services. In administrating the WIET process, the State and local workforce development areas must work to ensure that qualified providers offering a wide variety of job-driven training programs are available.

Pursuant to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter (WIOAPL) No. 15-09, Training Services for Adults and Dislocated Workers, WIOAPL No. 15-10, Youth Program Services, and paragraph (E)(4) of rule 5101:14-1-02 of the Administrative Code, training services and occupational skills training for which individual training accounts (ITAs) are used shall only be delivered by providers who have met the eligibility criteria and are listed on WIET pursuant to section 122 of WIOA. An ITA is one of the primary methods through which training is financed and provided for adults, dislocated workers, and out-of-school youth who are 18-24 years old. ITAs are established on behalf of a WIOA participant to purchase a program of training services from eligible training providers. Further guidance regarding training services and use of ITAs may be found in WIOAPL No. 15-09, WIOAPL No. 15-10, and WIOAPL No. 15-11, Use of Individual Training Accounts (ITA).

IV.Definitions

Eligible providers of training services: entities who meet the criteria and procedures established by the State to be eligible to receive WIOA title I-B funds.

Occupational skills training: an organized program of study that provides specific vocational skills that lead to proficiency in performing actual tasks and technical functions required by certain occupational fields at the entry, intermediate, or advanced level, and results in attainment of a recognized post-secondary credential.

Program of training services: one or more courses or classes, or a structured regimen that leads to:

1.A recognized post-secondary credential, secondary school diploma or its equivalent;

2.Employment; or

3.Measurable skill gains toward such credential or employment.

V.Requirements

A.Eligible Training Providers

Eligible training providers are those entities who meet the criteria to provide training services through an ITA to adult, dislocated worker, and out-of-school youth participants and include:

1.Institutions of higher education that provide a program which leads to a recognized post-secondary credential;

2.Entities that carry out programs registered under the National Apprenticeship Act (29 U.S.C. 50); and

3.Other public or private providers of a program of training services, which may include joint labor-management organizations and eligible providers of adult education and literacy activities under title II (in Ohio, Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE)), if such activities are provided in combination with occupational skills training.

B.Management of the Workforce Inventory of Education and Training

The State establishes the criteria, information requirements and procedures, including procedures identifying the respective roles of the State and local workforce development areas, governing the eligibility of providers of training services. The State is responsible for all of the following activities:

1.Ensuring the development and maintenance of the state list of eligible providers and programs;

2.Ensuring programs meet the eligibility criteria and performance levels established by the State;

3.Removing programs that do not meet State-established program criteria or performance levels;

4.Taking appropriate enforcement actions against providers that intentionally provide inaccurate information or that substantially violate the requirements of WIOA; and

5.Disseminating WIET to the public and the local workforce development boards.

In partnership, the local workforce development board also has responsibilities in the management of WIET. The local board must complete the following activities:

1.Carry out procedures assigned to the local workforce development board by the State, such as informing the State of:

a.Specific issues pertaining to the providers; and

b.Inaccurate performance data.

2.Work with the State to ensure there are sufficient numbers and types of providers of training services, including eligible providers with expertise in assisting individuals with disabilities and assisting adults in need of adult education and literacy activities;

3.Ensure the dissemination and appropriate use of WIET through OhioMeansJobs.com.

Additionally, the local workforce development board may also:

1.Make recommendations to the State on the procedure used in determining eligibility of providers;

2.Request additional information from eligible training providers to assist out-of-school youth, adults, and dislocated workers with informed choice; or

3.Conduct site visits and report on these visits in an effort to rate providers.

C.Initial Eligibility Procedures for New Providers

With the exception of registered apprenticeship programs, any provider that has not previously been an eligible provider of training services under section 122 of WIOA or section 122 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), must submit required information to be considered for initial eligibility.

Any training provider who is providing a program of training services funded through WIOA using ITAs must be on WIET.

Any institution of higher education that provides a program that leads to a recognized post-secondary credential and other public or private providers of programs of training services, including online schools, joint labor-management organizations, and ABLE activities, must submit the following information to the State as a pre-requisite to being determined an eligible training provider:

1.Provider name, address, e-mail address, and name of contact person;

2.A description of the training or educational institution and each program of training services to be offered;

3.Indicators of performance, including:

a.Graduation rate;

b.Job placement rate;

c.Workplace earnings; and

d.Credentials received.

4.A demonstration of high quality training services, including accreditation;

5.Evidence of state licensure and/or copies of licensure requirements applicable to training provider;

6.The ability of the provider to provide training services to individuals who are employed and individuals with barriers to employment (e.g., availability of financial aid, grants, and scholarships);

7.Number of years the provider has been in business;

8.American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance; and

9.To the extent possible, alignment of the training services with in-demand industry sectors and occupations in Ohio.

Any training provider applying to become an eligible training provider must meet all of the following criteria:

1.The training provider must have been in business 2 years, or longer;

2.The program of training services offered by the training provider must be accredited;

3.The training provider must not be presently debarred, suspended, proposed for disbarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in transactions by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) or the State of Ohio;

4.The training provider must not have any outstanding tax liability to the federal government or the state of Ohio that are more than six months past due; and

5.The training provider must not have any outstanding civil, criminal, or administrative fines or penalties owed to or pending at the federal level or in the state of Ohio.

To become an eligible training provider the WIET application site at https://owcms.ohio.gov/wiet/ must be completed. The State will review all applications. The training provider will be notified via e-mail of approval or denial. Approvals or denials will be made for both the training institution and each program of training services for which the institution applied.

Eligible training providers may apply for approval of additional programs of training services at any time after initial eligibility by following the same procedure.

D.Transition of Eligible Training Providers from WIA to WIOA

As the State has redesigned the eligible training provider system, including requirements for becoming an eligible training provider, all WIA approved eligible training providers who provide programs of training services through ITAs, must re-register their institution or training entity and their programs of training services to be approved on WIET.

E.Continued Eligibility Procedures for Eligible Training Providers

Procedures for continued eligibility for eligible training providers is a two part process. One process is to renew the eligible training provider status as an institution or training entity, and the other process is to renew each program of training services for that institution or training entity.

Training providers renew their status as eligible training providers as well as their program(s) of training services by submitting the updated information to WIET at https://owcms.ohio.gov/wiet/.

The State will review all submitted applications, both for the provider as well as for the program of training services. The State will terminate and remove providers that fail to meet criteria necessary to remain eligible. The training provider will be notified via e-mail when its status has either been renewed or terminated.

If a provider of training services does not renew its status within 90 days of the renewal date, the provider will be terminated and removed from WIET. The training provider will no longer be permitted to provide training services funded by WIOA.

Institution and Provider Renewals

For an institution or training provider to continue to be an eligible training provider, their status must be renewed, at a minimum, every 12 months based on the date the institution or training provider was last approved.

The institutional or provider renewal is an update of basic provider information and general performance data. Eligible training providers must renew their status by providing updated contact and State licensure and other accreditation requirements in an accurate and timely manner.

Provider's Program Renewals

For an institution's or e-training provider's program of training services to continue to be eligible, the program's status must be renewed, at a minimum, every 12 months based on the date the program of training services was last approved. Program renewals may or may not occur concurrently with an institution's or provider's renewal.

As part of the renewal process, data in the Ohio Workforce Case Management System (OWCMS) will report the following information as it pertains to the institution's or provider's program of training services:

1.The percentage of WIOA program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program;

2.The percentage of WIOA program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the fourth quarter after exit from the program;

3.The median earnings of WIOA program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program;

4.The percentage of WIOA program participants who obtained a recognized post-secondary credential, or a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent during participation in or within one year after exit from the program;

5.Information on recognized post-secondary credentials received by WIOA program participants;

6.Information on cost of attendance; including costs of tuition and fees, for WIOA program participants; and

7.Information on program completion rate for WIOA participants.

For renewals beginning July 1, 2017, the eligible training provider must update the performance information listed above for all students enrolled in the training program as well as the graduation rate for the program of training services.

F.Registered Apprenticeship Programs

All registered apprenticeship programs that have been approved by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, as a recognized State apprenticeship agency, are automatically eligible to be training providers and included on WIET. All current registered apprenticeship programs in Ohio will be notified of their eligibility, the benefits of being an eligible training provider, and their option to being included on WIET. All apprenticeship programs applying to become registered will be informed of their eligibility to become a training provider and the benefits to being included on WIET as part of their application process.

Once included on WIET, registered apprenticeship programs will remain on the list of eligible training providers until they are deregistered or until the registered apprenticeship program notifies the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that it no longer wishes to be included on this list.

Inclusion of a registered apprenticeship program on WIET allows an adult, dislocated worker, and out-of-school youth, through ITAs, OJTs, or a combination of both, to use WIOA funds toward apprenticeship training, consistent with their availability and limitations.

G.Loss of Eligibility

A training provider must deliver results and provide accurate information in order to retain its status as an eligible training provider. Providers determined to have intentionally supplied inaccurate information or to have substantially violated any provision of title I of WIOA or the WIOA regulations, including 29 CFR part 37, must be removed from WIET in accordance with the enforcement provisions of WIOA section 122 (f) as follows:

Intentionally supplying inaccurate information

Upon determination that a provider of training services intentionally supplied inaccurate information, the eligibility of such provider to receive funds under WIOA shall be terminated for a period of time that is not less than 2 years.

Substantial Violations

Upon a determination that a provider of training services substantially violated any requirement under title I of WIOA or title I of WIA, the eligibility of such provider to receive funds under the adult and dislocated worker training activities shall be terminated for a period of not less than 2 years.

Repayment

A provider of training services whose eligibility is terminated as a result of either intentionally supplying inaccurate information or substantial violations of WIOA shall be liable for the repayment of funds improperly secured or received during the period the violation(s) occurred.

If a provider has been terminated from WIET based upon intentionally supplying inaccurate information or committing substantial violations, the training provider may appeal the termination of eligibility using the procedure outlined in section V (H).

H.Appeal Process for Eligible Training Providers

If an institution or training provider has been denied as an eligible training provider, has lost eligibility, or has been terminated from WIET, the institution or training provider may appeal the denial or termination using the following procedure:

1.Within 14 days from the date of receipt of notice of termination, the provider may file an appeal to the State by submitting in writing all of the following information: a statement from the provider appealing the termination as an eligible training provider; the reason(s) why the provider should be eligible, and the signature of the contact person for the training provider.

2.The written appeal shall be submitted by e-mail to: WIOAQNA@jfs.ohio.gov.

3.The State will review the appeal, provide the opportunity for a hearing and issue a written decision/response within 60 days of the receipt of the appeal.

I.Partnership with Local Workforce Development Boards

Local workforce development boards may supplement information requirements established by WIET in order to support informed customer choice and the achievement of local performance measures. This additional information may include:

1.Information on programs of training services that are linked to local in-demand occupations;

2.Information that shows how programs are responsive to local workforce development area needs; and

3.Other appropriate information related to the objectives of WIOA.

Local workforce development boards may also establish policy regarding how eligible training providers listed on WIET will be utilized locally without inhibiting consumer choice.

J.Dissemination of List of Eligible Training Providers

In order to assist participants in choosing employment and training activities, the State must disseminate the list of eligible training providers and accompanying performance and cost information to local workforce development boards in the state and to members of the public, including the OhioMeansJobs delivery system and its program partners. Eligible training providers must be reviewed and updated regularly and provider eligibility must be reviewed at least annually.

In order to ensure informed consumer choice, the State's eligible training provider list and accompanying information (WIET) must be widely available to the public through electronic means, including searchable databases. WIET must be available through the OhioMeansJobs delivery system, as well as through its partners, including the State's secondary and post-secondary education systems. WIET should be accessible to individuals seeking information on training outcomes, as well as participants in employment and training activities funded under WIOA. WIET must also be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

WIET must be accompanied by appropriate information to assist participants in choosing employment and training activities. Such information must include:

1.Recognized post-secondary credential(s) offered;

2.Supplied provider information as part of eligibility; and

3.Performance and cost information.

VI.Technical Assistance

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

VIII.References

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, §§ 122, 123, and 188 Public Law 113-128.

20 C.F.R. §§ 680.340, and 680.400 through 680.510.

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 41-14, WIOA Operating Guidance, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA or Opportunity Act) Title I Training Provider Eligibility Transition, (June 26, 2015).

O.A.C. 5101:14-1-02(E)(4).

Rescissions:

ODJFS, Workforce Investment Act Transmittal Letter No. 23, WIA Eligible Training Provider Online (ETPO) Procedure Guidance, (September 27, 2006).

ODJFS, Workforce Investment Act Guidance Letter 8A-2000, Eligible Training Providers-Initial Eligibility Criteria.