prev page next page
WPPL 20-03 (Wagner-Peyser Employment Services for Job Seekers)
Workforce Program Policy Letters No. 20-03
September 17, 2020
TO: Employment Service Staff, Local Workforce Development Board Directors, and OhioMeansJobs Center Operators
FROM: Kimberly Hall, Director, Office of Workforce Development
SUBJECT: Wagner-Peyser Employment Services for Job Seekers

I.Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on the requirements for delivery and reporting of Wagner-Peyser (WP) Employment Services (ES) to individuals seeking employment.

II.Effective Date

Immediately

III.Rescission

ODJFS, Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Transmittal Letter No. 35, Job Seeker Registration (Intake) in Sharing Career Opportunities and Training Information (SCOTI) Labor Exchange System (February 1, 2008) and ODJFS, State-Operated Workforce Programs Policy Letter (SOWPPL) No. 18-01 Delivering Wagner-Peyser Labor Exchange Services in the OhioMeansJobs Centers (November 2, 2018)

IV.Background

Through the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, the Employment Service (ES) program brings qualified job seekers together with employers. Services received through the ES program are provided and reported through the OhioMeansJobs centers as mandated in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that establishes the public workforce system.

The goals of the ES program are to help job seekers obtain meaningful employment opportunities. Employment services may be delivered using one of three methods:

1.Self-service (including virtual services);

2.Facilitated self-help services; or

3.Staff assisted services.

Under WIOA, the ES is identified as a core program that must deliver basic career services in coordination with the other core partners located at the OhioMeansJobs centers, as outlined in WIOAPL 16-09.1 (Establishment of the Workforce Delivery System).

All employment services must be conducted in accordance with WIOAPL 17-01 (Mandate Use of OhioMeansJobs.com for Labor Exchange Activities)

V.Requirements

Provision of Career Services by ES Staff

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

Job Search and Placement Assistance

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

  • Labor market information;
  • Resume assistance;
  • Development of individual employment plans;
  • Assistance with using electronic tools and resources available to individuals on OhioMeansJobs.com and on United States Department of Labor (DOL) platforms;
  • Job placement assistance;
  • Mock Interviewing sessions;
  • Job club;
  • Case management, including required follow-up activities; and
  • Assistance with filing programmatic or civil rights complaints related to the delivery of ES.

Referral Services

As appropriate, ES staff 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:

1.Has significant barriers to employment;

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

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

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

Meaningful Assistance to Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claimants

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

1.Coordination of career services, particularly employment services;

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

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

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

5.Connecting UI claimants to reemployment services.

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

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

2.Telephones with access to the direct, toll-free phone numbers utilized 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;

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

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

5.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 may answer claim specific questions, provide advice, or make decisions that could affect claimants' UI eligibility.

Other Activities

In coordination with OhioMeansJobs center partners, staff may assist universal job seekers through self-service or facilitated self-help services through: 

  • Rapid Response (RR) Services
  • Workshops (on site, online or at partner locations)
  • Resource Room Activities
  • Outreach Activities
  • Services to Employers (as directed by the local OhioMeansJobs center)

Reporting ES Career Services

As appropriate based on each job seeker’s assessed needs and in coordination with the other partners in the OhioMeansJobs center, documentation of career services provided must be reported in the recipient’s case management record using the appropriate code identified for each service in Attachment B: OhioMeansJobs Center Career Services for Job Seekers.

The reporting of ES delivery impacts program performance measures. Ohio’s designated case management system is the only system of record for performance and reporting compliance. Pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code Rule 5101:9-30-04, services must be reported in Ohio’s designated case management system within 30 days of their delivery or implementation using an accurate service code.

Basic Career Services Not Triggering Participation (N)

Some basic career services are informational services and require limited to no assistance from staff. Job seekers engaged in self-service and informational activities are not considered participants and receipt of the service does not trigger participation into the ES program.

Job seekers who receive only N services and who provide personally identifying information are counted among the reportable individuals who accessed ES, but their employment outcomes are not included in the calculation of ES program performance measures.

Basic Career Services Triggering Participation (P)

Other basic career services require more staff assistance and receipt of these services triggers an individual to become a participant and be included in ES program performance measures.

The roles of staff in providing P services are to: 

  • Identify job seekers who have requested P services or who are likely to need such services based on an assessment or a failure to find and maintain unsubsidized employment within a reasonable timeframe;
  • Provide career services directly when feasible or to refer job seekers to other partners and services best suited to address their unique needs;
  • Ensure that all career services provided to a job seeker are entered in the participant’s case management record.

ES Staff should attempt to contact job seekers who received ES to increase the effectiveness of the program, gather supplemental employment data, and identify additional service needs.  The outcome of each contact attempt, including unsuccessful efforts to communicate with a job seeker, must be documented in a case note in the individual’s case management system record.

Additional contact should be made with job seekers who received N services to offer them the opportunity to participate in P services or to explore other programs and activities if the job seeker has not gained employment at the time of the follow-up communication.

For job seekers who have received at least one P service, communication is required 14 days after the initial P service and then at least once every 30 days until the participant enters or returns to unsubsidized employment or declines further services.

ES Staff may cease services after three documented, unsuccessful attempts to contact the job seeker.

Follow-Up Services

Appropriate follow-up services must be made available to a participant placed in unsubsidized employment for one year following the participant's first date of employment. Follow-up services can be useful for participants in order to maintain employment. ES Staff can provide workplace information and tips for success in the workplace environment and other counseling about the workplace.

Additionally, follow-up services provide the continuing link between the participant and workforce system. These services allow ES staff to assist with other services the participant may need once he or she obtains employment. Examples may include assistance with employer benefits, health insurance, and financial literacy and budgeting assistance.

Career Services for Special Population Groups

Ten percent of WP ES funds are earmarked for the provision of services to groups within a special population.  Members of one or more of the populations with barriers to employment listed in Attachment C, ES Special Population Groups are to be served using the earmarked ES funds.

The documentation requirements to verify the existence of a barrier are meant to be minimal and may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Responses on an intake or assessment form signed by the job seeker that indicates the existence of one or more of the barriers described in Attachment C;
  • A verbal statement by the individual as documented in case notes; or
  • Written claim of the existence of a barrier on the self-attestation form (JFS form 13186) signed by the individual.

When providing career services to a job seeker, ES staff shall review available information and ask appropriate questions to determine whether the individual falls within any of the special population groups.  If so, staff must update the case management system record to identify the specific barrier.

Staff time spent serving individuals who are members of a special population group must be reported in the payroll reporting system using the specific reporting code established for the ten percent earmark for serving such groups.

Priority for Veterans and Eligible Spouses

The Jobs for Veterans Act, Public Law 107-288 establishes priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses. Priority means that veterans and eligible spouses take precedence, with all other qualifying eligibility requirements being equal, over non-veteran and eligible spouses in obtaining services and program enrollment. Please refer to WIOAPL 15-20.2 (Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses) for requirements.

Reporting Entry into Employment

Entry of a participant into unsubsidized employment that was facilitated by staff must be entered into Ohio’s designated case management system within 30 days of the date employment is reported.

Follow-up should be conducted during the probationary period on new employment.  If the individual quits or is let go during the first 90 days of employment, staff will continue providing N or P services to the job seeker and entering the additional services into Ohio’s designated case management system.

Follow-up communication with exited participants is required during both the second and fourth quarter after exit from the program, to gather information about employment outcomes. Because the information gathered is supplemental data relevant to the calculation of performance measures, it must be entered into the case management system.

Participant Exit

An ES participant shall exit from the program and begin to be included in program performance measures after 90 consecutive calendar days following the later of:

1.The last P service provided to the participant by the ES program; or

2.The end-date of all enrolled services provided to the participant by partner programs that use Ohio’s designated case management system to report their services.

When all P services have been completed, staff must enter end dates and outcomes for all services. A close reason must also be entered for a program participant. At this point, the case is considered closed and remains in a holding status for 90 days. During this 90-day period, staff may re-open the case if the program participant re-engages employment services. After the 90-day period has lapsed without re-engagement, the participant's case will exit and trigger performance indicators.

Exclusions from ES Program Performance

A participant may be exited from the ES program and excluded from performance reporting for the following reason(s):

1.The participant has become incarcerated in a correctional institution or has become a resident of an institution or facility providing 24-hour support (i.e., a hospital or treatment center) during the course of receiving services;

2.The participant exits the program because of medical treatment. The treatment is expected to last longer than 90 days and precludes entry into unsubsidized employment or continued participation in the program;

3.The participant is deceased;

4.The participant is a member of the National Guard or other reserve military unit of armed forces and is called to active duty for at least 90 days.

If an ES participant exits the program for any of the above reasons, staff shall document the exit reason on the exit screen to ensure accurate calculation of the ES program performance measures.

Performance

WIOA forged the expectation that the core programs, including ES, will work together to meet or exceed each program’s performance measures through effective and coordinated service delivery and performance management.

The following are the federal indicators of performance relevant to the ES program:

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

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

3.Median earnings of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program.

The methodologies used to calculate the above performance measures under ES mirror those used by the programs authorized under Title I of WIOA.

Further explanation of the calculation of each program performance indicator may be found in WIOAPL 17-02 (WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Programs Performance Accountability)

Handling and Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

ES staff who work directly with job-seekers and other workforce program participants, or who handle or process PII about workforce participants, must take steps to ensure that PII is processed in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of the records/documents, and that PII is not accessed, viewed, or used by either the general public, or unauthorized staff at OhioMeansJobs Center partner organizations. Guidelines for safeguarding PII are outlined in WIOAPL 15-07.2 (Source Documentation for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I Program Eligibility) and must be followed.

VI.Technical Assistance

Ongoing support, guidance, and technical assistance on delivering employment services is available by e-mailing EmploymentServices@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 and Part 677.150.

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

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter WIOA No. 10-16 Change 1, Performance Accountability Guidance for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I, Title II, Title III, and Title IV Core Programs, (August 23, 2017).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 17-02, WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Programs Performance Accountability, (September 21, 2017).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 16-09.1, Establishment of the Workforce Delivery System), (April 1, 2019).

Attachment A:  Employment Services for Job Seekers Glossary

Attachment B:  ES Career Services for Job Seekers

Attachment C:  ES Special Population Groups