WIOAPL 16-10 (Certification of the Workforce Delivery System)
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 16-10
May 30, 2017
TO: Chief Elected Officials, Local Workforce Development Board Chairpersons, Local Workforce Development Board Directors, and OhioMeansJobs Center Operators
FROM: Cynthia C. Dungey, Director
SUBJECT: Certification of the Workforce Delivery System

I.          Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the requirements for certifying the workforce delivery system in the local workforce development area.

II.         Effective Date

Immediately

III.        Background

The workforce delivery system is the cornerstone of the public workforce development system. It is designed to increase access to, and opportunities for the employment, education, training, and support services that individuals need to succeed in the labor market, particularly those with barriers to employment. The workforce delivery system brings together workforce development, educational, and other human resource services in a seamless customer-focused service delivery network that enhances access to the programs' services and improves long-term employment outcomes for individuals receiving services.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires the State and local workforce development areas (local areas) to create and maintain a workforce delivery system that enhances the range and quality of education and workforce development services that employers and individuals can access. The system must include at least one comprehensive physical American Job Center (in Ohio, called OhioMeansJobs center) in each local area. The system may also have additional arrangements to supplement the comprehensive center. These arrangements include an affiliate center, a network of affiliate centers and/or specialized centers.

Section 121(g) of WIOA and 20 C.F.R. 678.800 requires the local workforce development board (WDB) to certify the OhioMeansJobs center every three years. Per section 121(g) of WIOA, the State, in conjunction with chief elected officials and local WDBs, must establish objective criteria and procedures for local WDBs to use when certifying the OhioMeansJobs centers. 20 C.F.R. 678.800 allows the local WDB to establish additional criteria, or set higher standards for service coordination, than those established by this policy. If the local WDB elects to do so, the local WDB must review and update the criteria every two years as part of the local plan update process established in WIOAPL No. 16-03, Regional and Local Planning.

The certification criteria sets standard expectations for the provision of seamless customer-focused employment, training, and related services that help individuals overcome barriers to employment and job retention. The certification process is important in establishing a minimum level of quality and consistency of services in OhioMeansJobs centers across Ohio.

As it is the responsibility of the local WDB to certify the OhioMeansJobs centers within the local area, the local WDB must evaluate the centers to ensure the local area's workforce system is quality-focused, employer-driven, customer-centered, and tailored to meet the needs of the local area's and planning region's economies. A high-quality workforce system is only accomplished by providing all customers access to OhioMeansJobs centers that connect them with the full range of services available in their communities, whether they are looking for jobs, building basic educational or occupational skills, earning a postsecondary certificate or degree, or obtaining guidance on how to make career choices, or if they are businesses and employers seeking skilled workers. It is the local WDB's responsibility to ensure their workforce system is of high quality. Furthermore, local WDBs must certify OhioMeansJobs centers in order to be eligible to use infrastructure funds in the state funding mechanism as outlined in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter (WIOAPL) No. 16-06, State Mechanism for Funding OhioMeansJobs Center Infrastructure Costs.

IV.       Definitions

Affiliate OhioMeansJobs center: A site that makes available to job seeker and employer customers one or more of the programs, services, and activities of the OhioMeansJobs center's partners.

Comprehensive OhioMeansJobs center: A physical location where job seeker and employer customers can access the programs, services, and activities of all required OhioMeansJobs center partners.

OhioMeansJobs center operator: One or more entities designated or certified under section 121(d) of WIOA.

OhioMeansJobs center partner: An entity described in section 121(b)(1) or (b)(2) of WIOA that participates in the operation of the workforce delivery system.

Specialized centers: Centers that address specific needs, including those for dislocated workers, youth, or key industry sectors, or clusters.

Workforce delivery system: A system under which entities responsible for administering separate workforce development, education, and other human services programs collaborate to create a seamless system of service delivery that will enhance access to the programs' services and improve long term employment outcomes for individuals and businesses.

V.        State Requirements

A.        Establishment of Certification Criteria

Per section 121(g) of WIOA, the State, in conjunction with chief elected officials and local WDBs, shall establish objective criteria and procedures for local WDBs to use when certifying the OhioMeansJobs centers. Local WDBs shall use this criteria to evaluate the OhioMeansJobs centers and workforce delivery system for effectiveness, including customer satisfaction, physical and programmatic accessibility, and continuous improvement.

The established criteria used to conduct certification reviews is based on:

1.         Standards relating to service coordination among partners within the OhioMeansJobs centers and the workforce delivery system;

2.         Factors relating to effectiveness, accessibility, and improvement of the workforce delivery system;

3.         Achievement of negotiated federal performance measures;

4.         Integration of available services; and

5.         Meeting the needs of local employers and participants.

All OhioMeansJobs centers must comply with applicable physical and programmatic accessibility requirement, as set forth in 29 C.F.R. Part 38, the implementing regulations of section 188 of WIOA.

B.        Phases of Certification

The workforce delivery system and the OhioMeansJobs center certification will be conducted in 3 phases:

1.         "Must Meet" Standards;

2.         Quality Assurance Review; and

3.         Ongoing Continuous Improvement Review.

1.         Phase 1 - "Must Meet" Standards:

The certification review of the 9 categories of standards will be conducted using the JFS 08044, OhioMeansJobs One-Stop System Certification Phase 1 Measures Checklist (renamed to OhioMeansJobs System Certification Standards Checklist). The standards are applied to one comprehensive center in each local workforce development area. These standards include:

  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, including completion of the ADA checklist and the OhioMeansJobs center operator's participation in training specific to serving individuals with disabilities, such as "Windmills" training or “At Your Service” web-based training at http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/WorforceProf/Serving-with-Disabilities.stm;
  • Postings and plans, including Civil Rights postings, Emergency Action plan, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) plan;
  • The physical site of the OhioMeansJobs center and its staff;
  • The functionality of the resource room;
  • OhioMeansJobs and American Job Network branding;
  • Operations of the center, including registration and referral process, accessibility, and employer services team;
  • Coordination with partner programs;
  • Customer services, including center hours of operation, customer feedback process, and website; and
  • Notification, identification, and accessibility of Veteran programs.

For the comprehensive center to be certified, all standards must have been met.

2.         Phase 2 - Quality Assurance Review:

Comprehensive OhioMeansJobs Center(s)

Benchmarks for critical success factors are used to review the quality of the OhioMeansJobs system for each comprehensive OhioMeansJobs center in the local area. These benchmarks support the certification criteria. The comprehensive center(s) within the local area must meet a certain level of excellence to attain phase two certification. The benchmarks include:

  • OhioMeansJobs Center Provides Excellent Customer Service to Job Seekers, Workers, and Businesses.

1.         Reflects a welcoming environment to all customer groups who are serviced by the OhioMeansJobs centers;

2.         Develops, offers, and delivers quality business services;

3.         Improves the skills of the job seeker and worker customers;

4.         Creates opportunities for individuals at all skill levels and levels of experience;

5.         Provides career services that motivate, support, and empower customers; and

6.         Values skill development.

  • OhioMeansJobs Center Reflects Innovative and Effective Service Design.

1.         Utilizes an integrated and expert intake process for all customers entering the OhioMeansJobs centers;

2.         Designs and implements practices that actively engage industry sectors;

3.         Combines traditional labor exchange services with strategic talent development to employers;

4.         Ensures meaningful access to all customers;

5.         Includes both virtual and center-based service delivery for job seekers, workers, and employers; and

6.         Incorporates innovative and evidence-based delivery models.

  • OhioMeansJobs Center Operates with Integrated Management Systems and High-Quality Staffing.

1.         Reflects the establishment of robust partnerships among partners;

2.         Organizes and integrates services by function;

3.         Develops and maintains integrated case management systems;

4.         Develops and implements operational policies;

5.         Uses common performance indicators; and

6.         Trains and equips OhioMeansJobs center staff.

Within each of the 18 benchmarks are a total of 33 critical success factors. The JFS 08029, OhioMeansJobs System Certification Benchmarks Metrics, will be used to score the center against the 18 benchmarks and 33 critical success factors.

In order for the local WDB to certify the comprehensive OhioMeansJobs center, the center must have attained a score of 64 on the JFS 08029, meaning the center meets at least 80% of the critical success factors. . If the minimum score is not obtained, the comprehensive center is not certified, and the OhioMeansJobs center operator, in collaboration with the local WDB, must develop a corrective action plan to identify issues and timelines for meeting requirements.

Affiliate OhioMeansJobs Center(s)

Also part of this certification phase, a review of all affiliate OhioMeansJobs centers in the local area will be conducted using the JFS 08044. The center(s) must meet all the standards.

3.         Phase 3 – Ongoing Continuous Improvement:

Comprehensive OhioMeansJobs Center(s)

Progress for obtaining quality assurance and continuous improvement is reviewed in Phase 3. Additionally, the 18 benchmarks and 33 critical success factors, using the JFS 08029, will be assessed.

In order to be certified, the comprehensive center must have attained a score of 64 on the JFS 08029. If the minimum score is not obtained, the comprehensive center is not certified, and OhioMeansJobs center operator, in collaboration with the local WDB, must develop a corrective action plan to identify issues and timelines for meeting requirements.

Affiliate OhioMeansJobs Center(s)

All affiliate OhioMeansJobs centers in the local area are reviewed by using the JFS 08044. The center(s) must meet all the standards. Any center not meeting these standards will not be recognized as an OhioMeansJobs center within the Ohio workforce delivery system.

A quality workforce delivery system means that all OhioMeansJobs centers in the local area are committed to the provision of quality service delivery. Therefore, in addition to the review of the JFS 08044, the local WDB may choose to assess the affiliate OhioMeansJobs centers within the local area by completing the JFS 08029.

C.        Tools and Resources Provided for Assistance in the Certification Process

Due to the comprehensive nature of phases 2 and 3, and in the interest of ensuring all OhioMeansJobs center partners have input, the following tools will be made available to the local WDBs for use in gathering and receiving data pertinent to the JFS 08029.

  • Mystery Shopping: ODJFS will coordinate random mystery shopping training and activities around the state. The shoppers will come from partner agencies, third party entities, and available staff. For reference the Mystery Shopping standard feedback form can be found at: http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/WIOA/implementation.stm. This activity will be an ongoing effort and results will be distributed quarterly to those local areas affected.
  • Partner Assessment: A partner assessment feedback document is available for use by state and local partner agencies to solicit anonymous feedback from staff to share with local areas throughout phase 2 and 3 certification periods. The partner assessment will be available at http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/WIOA/implementation.stm. The certification review team may use this qualitative information when rating the JFS 08029.
  • Website Review: A review of each OhioMeansJobs center website(s) in the local area should be conducted. Items to be reviewed include, but are not limited to, whether the website:

1.         Contains updated information;

2.         Is easy to navigate;

3.         Has proper branding per WIOAPL No. 16-07, OhioMeansJobs and American Job Center Branding;

4.         Adheres to WIAPL No. 13-04, Mandated Use of OhioMeansJobs.com for Job Placement and Referral Activities in Ohio or any future version of this policy;

5.         Includes all required information pertaining to the provision of services to veterans per WIOAPL No. 15-20, Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses; and

6.         Contains information on all programs.

A standard website review tool will be available at: http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/WIOA/implementation.stm for use by review teams. This tool is also being planned to be used by state partners to provide feedback to the local areas.

VI.       Local Workforce Development Area Requirements

A.        Certification Review Team

Each local WDBs will establish a certification review team that is comprised of members from the local workforce development community.

This certification review team is responsible for managing the certification process through desk and on-site reviews of the local system and making a recommendation to the local board regarding certification. The local WDB has the discretion in forming the review team as far as size and membership. Suggestions for a review team composition are:

1.         Selecting individuals with the following backgrounds:

a.         A representative from the local WDB;

b.         A workforce professional in the local area;

c.         A business representative from the local WDB; and

d.         A peer workforce professional reviewer from another local area; or

2.         Contracting with an independent third party with workforce development knowledge and experience.

The OhioMeansJobs center operator shall not be a member of the certification review team. As the contracted overseeing entity of the OhioMeansJobs center, it will be a conflict of interest to serve on the review team or participate in any part of the certification review process.

A representative from the local WDB should be identified as the primary contact person for the OhioMeansJobs center operator to coordinate certification activities and lead the review team.

OhioMeansJobs center partner programs may participate in the certification process by providing relevant data and activities to be used by the local certification review teams.

B.        Phases of Certification

The workforce delivery system and the OhioMeansJobs center certification will be conducted in 3 phases.

1.         Phase 1 – "Must Meet" Standards:


The phase 1 review was due by June 30, 2016 and has been completed by all local WDBs.

2.         Phase 2 – Quality Assurance Review:

Comprehensive Center(s)

The local WDB and the certification review team conducts a review of each comprehensive OhioMeansJobs center in the local area using benchmarks for critical success factors established by the State, in conjunction with the local WDBs.

Prior to the on-site review of the comprehensive OhioMeansJobs center(s), the certification review team may conduct the following activities as part of the quality assurance review:

  • A desk review of initial materials prior to the on-site visit; and
  • Review of information from any additional tools that are provided by the State.

During the on-site visits, the certification review team will review benchmarks and critical success factors used to review the quality of the OhioMeansJobs center. The JFS 08029 will be used to score the center against these benchmarks and critical success factors.

The certification review team will also complete the JFS 08028, OhioMeansJobs System Balanced Scorecard. This balanced scorecard summarizes the ratings of the benchmarks and critical success factors that were analyzed during the on-site visit.

In order for the local WDB to certify the comprehensive OhioMeansJobs center, the center must have attained a score of 64 on the JFS 08029, meaning the center meets at least 80% of the critical success factors.

If the minimum score is not obtained, the comprehensive center is not certified, and the local WDB must develop a corrective action plan to identify issues and timelines for meeting requirements.

Affiliate Center(s)

The certification review team will also review of all affiliate OhioMeansJobs centers in the local area by using the JFS 08044. The center(s) must meet all the standards. Any center not meeting these standards will not be recognized as an OhioMeansJobs center within the Ohio workforce delivery system.

The local WDB and the certification review team must take into consideration the number of OhioMeansJobs center in the local area. For those local areas with a large number of centers, the quality assurance review will take more time to complete. Local WDBs may resolve this issue with the establishment of multiple certification review teams or staggering the on-site reviews over a period of time.

Phase 2 certification must be completed by June 30, 2019.

3.         Phase 3 – Ongoing Continuous Improvement:

Comprehensive Center(s)

The JFS 08028, the JFS 08029, and corrective action plan, if previously completed, are used to monitor progress on addressing any deficiencies identified in the previous certification. They are also used to assess progress on quality assurance and continuous improvement for each comprehensive OhioMeansJobs center in the local area.

The JFS 08029 and JFS 08028 should be completed by summarizing the ratings of the benchmarks and critical success factors for the certification period. In order to be certified, the comprehensive center must have attained a score of 64 on the JFS 08029.

If the minimum score is not obtained, the comprehensive center is not certified, and the local WDB must develop a corrective action plan to identify issues and timelines for meeting requirements.

Affiliate Center(s)

The certification review team will also review of all affiliate OhioMeansJobs centers in the local area by using the JFS 08044. The center(s) must meet all the standards.

If the local WDB choses to do so, the certification review team may assess the affiliate OhioMeansJobs centers within the local area by also completing the JFS 08029.

Phase 3 certification must be completed by June 30, 2022 and every three years thereafter.

C.        Certification by the Local Workforce Development Board

The local WDB will review and the recommendation from the certification review team regarding certification of the comprehensive center(s) and affiliate center(s).

Once the comprehensive and/or affiliate center is certified, the local WDB will issue a written notice to the OhioMeansJobs center operator(s) indicating that the certification requirements have been met.

If either a comprehensive or an affiliate OhioMeansJobs center is not certified by the local WDB, the local WDB will issue a written reason for non-certification and the actions expected from the OhioMeansJobs center operator(s) to become certified. The certification review team will follow up with the OhioMeansJobs center operator(s) to ensure activities are completed to become certified and report results back to the local WDB.

D.        Submission of Certification to the State

The local WDB notifies the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services upon completion of each certification phase by sending the completed JFS 08028 for the comprehensive center(s), the JFS 08044 for the affiliate center(s), and documentation of the local WDB’s approval of the review to OWDPOLICY@jfs.ohio.gov.

The JFS 08028 for each comprehensive center in each local area will be posted on the Office of Workforce Development (OWD) website to provide customers with information and to track certification progress.

If an affiliate center is not certified, OWD will indicate such and will not recognize the center on the OWD website.

E.        Changes in the location of the OhioMeansJobs center

The local WDB and the certification review team must conduct a review of the OhioMeansJobs center using the JFS 08044 if there is any change in the location of the OhioMeansJobs center regardless of the certification phase and the type of center.

The local WDB will submit the JFS 08044 and documentation of local WDB approval to OWD at OWDPOLICY@jfs.ohio.gov.

VII.      Technical Assistance

Ongoing support, guidance, training and technical assistance on the development of the workforce system as well as the maintenance of the system and the certification of the system are available to all local areas.

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

VIII.     References

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, §§ 106, 121, and 188, Public Law 113-128.

ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), Public Law 110-325.

20 C.F.R. §§ 678.300-440, 678.600-635, 678.800, and 683.295.

2 C.F.R. Parts 200 and 2900.

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 4-15, Vision for the One-Stop Delivery System under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), (August 13, 2015).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 16-07, OhioMeansJobs and American Jobs Center Branding, (November 14, 2016).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 16-06, State Mechanism for Funding OhioMeansJobs Center Infrastructure Costs, (November 10, 2016).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 16-03, Regional and Local Planning, (October 21, 2016).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-20, Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses, (December 21, 2015).

ODJFS, Workforce Investment Act Policy Letter No. 13-04, Mandate Use of OhioMeansJobs.com for Job Placement and Referral Activities in Ohio, (December 26, 2013).

Attachment A:           Phase One Instructions and JFS 08044, OhioMeansJobs System Certification Standards Checklist

Attachment B:           Phase Two Instructions and JFS 08029, OhioMeansJobs System Certification Benchmark Metrics

Attachment C:           JFS 08028, OhioMeansJobs System Balanced Scorecard