prev page next page
WIOAPL 15-01.1 (Local Workforce Development Area Initial Designation)
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-01.1
September 19, 2016
TO: Chief Elected Officials, Local Workforce Development Board Chairperson, and Local Workforce Development Board Director
FROM: Cynthia C. Dungey, Director
SUBJECT: Local Workforce Development Area Initial Designation


The purpose of this policy is to establish the procedures for the initial designation of local workforce development areas.

II.Effective Date



The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) envisions a workforce development system that is customer-focused on both the job seeker and business, and is able to anticipate and respond to the needs of regional economies. Local workforce development areas (local areas) are designated for the purpose of implementing WIOA, establishing OhioMeansJobs service delivery system, and administering the workforce development programs. The local area serves as a jurisdiction for the administration of workforce development activities. Local areas must be designated by the State as a prerequisite to receiving adult, dislocated worker, and youth funding under Title I, Subtitle B of WIOA.

As outlined in section 106 (b)(2) of WIOA and 20 CFR 679.250, the criteria for initial designation are that the area:

1.Was designated as a local area for purposes of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) for the 2-year period preceding the date of enactment of WIOA;

2.Performed successfully; and

3.Sustained fiscal integrity.

The following local areas designated under WIA have met the criteria of initial designation:

1.Area 1

2.Area 2

3.Area 3

4.Area 4

5.Area 6

6.Area 7

7.Area 9

8.Area 10

9.Area 11

10.Area 12

11.Area 13

12.Area 14

13.Area 15

14.Area 16

15.Area 17

16.Area 18

17.Area 19

18.Area 20

Two local areas that were designated under WIA but do not meet all the requirements for initial designation are Area 5 and Area 8. These local areas may still request initial designation.

Initial designation applies to Program Years (PYs) 2016 and 2017.


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.

Consultation: a robust conversation in which all parties are given the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions.

Performed successfully: the local area met or exceeded the levels of performance the Governor negotiated with the local board and chief elected official under WIA sec. 136(c) for the last two full program years before the enactment of WIOA, and that the local area has not failed any individual measure for the last 2 consecutive program years before the enactment of WIOA.

Sustained fiscal integrity: the Secretary has not made a formal determination that either the grant recipient or the administrative entity of the area misexpended funds due to willful disregard of the requirements of the provision involved, gross negligence, or failure to comply with accepted standards of administration for the two year period preceding the determination.

V.Local Workforce Development Area Requirements

The chief elected official(s) has the responsibility for requesting local area designation and shall complete and submit the JFS 00512, Workforce Development Area Designation Application, and include all of the following information:

1.Evidence supporting how the local area meets designation criteria; and

2.Board or council resolution approving the proposed local area.

Designation applications and supporting documents shall be submitted to the Office of Workforce Development: The subject of the email should read, "WDA Designation."

VI.State Requirements

A.Consultation and Comment

When making the decision to initially designate local areas, the State must consult and consider comments received through a public comment process which included the following stakeholders:

1.Local workforce development boards:

2.Local elected officials;


4.Institutions of higher education:

5.Labor organizations;

6.Other primary stakeholders; and

7.The general public.

In Ohio, consultation will entail one or more of the following activities:

1.E-mail notification of requested local workforce development area initial designation to the CEOs and local WDB directors with the opportunity to provide comment;

2.Dialogue with the one or more of the following associations which provide support and guidance to the CEOs and local WDBs:

a.County Commissioner Association of Ohio; and

b.Ohio Workforce Association;

3.In-person meetings and/or teleconferences with individual CEOs and local WDB directors;

4.Collaboration with the Governor's Executive Workforce Board and the Office of Workforce Transformation;

5.Presentations at training events and/or at local WDB meetings; and

6.The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) legal public comment process for workforce policies.

B.Review and Approval of Initial Designation Packets

The State will review the initial designation application and supporting documentation. Under section 106 (b)(2) of WIOA, the State shall approve a request for initial designation from the chief elected official of a local area which met the criteria for initial designation. If a local area designated under WIA requests initial designation under WIOA but does not meet all the requirements, the State has the discretion to approve the initial designation under WIOA.

The State will notify the chief elected official within 45 calendar days after the initial submission of the initial designation or the denial of proposed local area.


Pursuant to section 106 (b)(5) of WIOA and 20 CFR 683.630, if the State denies initial designation of an area as a local area, the chief elected official(s) may appeal the decision through the following appeals process:

  • Within 14 days from the date of receipt of the notice of denial, the chief elected official(s) may file an appeal to the State Board by submitting in writing all of the following information: a statement that the chief elected official(s) is appealing the denial of initial or subsequent designation; the reason(s) why the local area should be designated; and signature of the chief elected official(s).
  • The written appeal shall be submitted by e-mail to:
  • Pursuant to 20 CFR 679.290 (b) and 20 CFR 683.630 (a), the State Board will provide the parties with the opportunity for a hearing, review the appeal, and make a ruling on the appeal within 60 days after the submission of the appeal.

The State Board shall notify the chief elected official(s) in writing, of its decision on whether or not to approve initial or subsequent designation of an area as a local area under section 106 (b)(2) or (b)(3) of WIOA and 20 CFR 679.250.

In the event the State Board denies the appeal or fails to issue a decision within sixty (60) days of the date the appeal is submitted, the chief elected official(s) may further appeal the State Board's decision or lack thereof to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). Pursuant to 20 CFR 683.640, appeals made to USDOL, must be filed no later than 30 days after receipt of written notification of the denial from the State. 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

The appellant must establish in its appeal to USDOL that the appellant was not accorded procedural rights under Ohio's appeal process, or that it meets the requirements for designation in section 106 (b)(2) or (b)(3) of WIOA and 20 CFR 679.250.

The appellant must provide a copy of the appeal to the State Board at the same time that the appellant sends the appeal to USDOL.

VIII.Technical Assistance

Ongoing support, guidance, training and technical assistance on workforce development area designation requirements, including stakeholder consultation, are available to all local areas.

Requests for technical assistance may be sent to ODJFS, Office of Workforce Development:


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

20 C.F.R. §§ 679.220, 679.230, 679.250, 679.260, 683.640.

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).


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