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PY 2012 Strategic Plan - Questions and Answers

 

Questions and Answers (last updated: April 30, 2011) new-icon.gif

     

 

Plan Preparation Options / Submission Deadlines

What planning options do we have in PY 2012?

States have several options.  States can develop an Integrated Workforce Plan which incorporate several Department of Labor programs as well as the Wagner-Peyser Agricultural Outreach Plan.  States can also elect to develop and submit a Unified Plan which would include specific programs in other Federal departments.

We have traditionally prepared a “stand-alone” plan but don’t see that reference in the planning requirements or Training and Employment Guidance Letter 21-11.  May we prepare a stand-alone plan?

The State Integrated Workforce Plan Requirements take the place of what was previously referred to as the “stand-alone” plan requirements.  The new name reflects the inclusion of other DOL programs for which a state must also prepare a strategic plan, including the Wagner-Peyser Agricultural Outreach Plan (AOP), Trade Adjustment Assistance, and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).  At a minimum, states must submit a plan for WIA, W-P, and the AOP, and submit a brief description of coordination with the TAA program.  A state may choose to include a SCSEP plan with its submittal.  The Integrated Workforce Plan requirements are available at : http://www.doleta.gov/usworkforce/wia-planning/docs/integrated-planning-guidance.doc.

There have been some preliminary conversations in our State regarding the possibility of developing a Unified Plan.  Are the guidelines for preparation significantly different from past planning cycles?

No.  ETA has made very few changes to the content requirements of the Unified Plan requirements, such as inclusion of waiver plans as part of the state plan, inclusion of the AOP, and some adjustments to the assurances, the requirements and process are largely unchanged from prior years.  The Unified Planning requirements are available at:
http://www.doleta.gov/usworkforce/wia-planning/docs/unified-planning-guidance.pdf.

Does the Unified Plan also require the submittal of a one-year Agricultural Outreach Plan, similar to the Integrated Plan requirements?  Does the Unified Plan also require the submittal of a short description of coordination with TAA program, similar to the Integrated Plan requirements?

Yes.  Both these elements are required.

What is the deadline for submission of the State Plan?

Given the importance of developing a plan with a five-year time horizon and creating and strengthening partnerships to sustain plan achievement, ETA is providing a longer “time window” for State submission.  States have two main options regarding the timing of their plan submission.  These are meant to give states additional time to engage partners in meaningful strategic planning.

For Option 1:  A state may submit its full plan by April 16, 2012.  The plan will be reviewed and, if approved, would go into effect beginning July 1, 2012.

For Option 2:  A state may submit its plan after April 16 and as late as September 17, 2012.  Under this option, states must submit a request for temporary extension of its current plan, current waivers, performance targets, and a justification for the additional time.

To whom do we submit a full State Plan or extension request, when is it due, and who needs to receive copies?

The full plan or extension request, due April 16, 2012, should be submitted to the Federal Coordinator for Plan Review and Approval, with a copy to the appropriate ETA Regional Administrator. The request can be sent by e-mail to WIA.PLAN@dol.gov or in hard copy to:

Division of WIA Adult Services and Workforce System
Employment and Training Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave. NW Room S-4209
Washington, DC 20210
Attn: Heather Fleck

The copy of the State Plan submitted to the Federal Coordinator should have an original signature, since the ETA National Office maintains the official file for the Federal Government. State Plans or extension requests sent elsewhere in the National Office (such as to the Secretary of Labor) result in unnecessary delays in the review and approval process.

Who will contact the state if the state plan is deemed incomplete because all required documents were not received?

Upon receipt of the state plan, ETA staff will conduct a “completeness” review.  If the submittal is determined to be incomplete, the appropriate Regional Administrator’s staff will communicate with the state contact listed in the submittal to obtain all missing documents.  Once all missing documents have been received, National Office staff will confirm receipt of the complete state plan and indicate the date for the start of the review. 

Plan Content

What are our options for Plan content?

States have three options for what to include in their Plan.

Option 1:  Integrated Workforce Plan:  States may submit an Integrated Workforce Plan that provides a plan for Workforce Investment Act and Wagner-Peyser programs, the Agricultural Outreach Plan, and a short description of plans for coordination with Trade Adjustment Assistance; or,

Option 2:  States may submit an Integrated Workforce Plan that includes items noted above in Option 1 plus their Senior Community Service Employment Program State Plan.  For either of these two options, the plans will include only workforce programs under the jurisdiction of the Department and must comply with the State Integrated Workforce Plan Requirements; or

Option 3:  States may submit a State Unified Plan that encompasses not only Workforce Investment Act Title I/Wagner-Peyser programs and other Department programs, but also certain programs administered by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development.  Those plans must meet the requirements of Section 501 of the Workforce Investment Act. 

Please note:  If a state chooses not to include its Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) plan as a part of the Integrated Workforce Plan or Unified State Plan, then that state must submit a plan for SCSEP separately using the instructions in the Integrated Workforce Plan Requirements.

Agricultural Outreach Plan

With the Agricultural Outreach Plan now incorporated into the Integrated Workforce Plan, does it now have a five-year time span or are we obligated to provide an update each year?

The Wagner-Peyser regulations require states to submit agricultural outreach plans that must include certain information on an annual basis.  States will be obligated to submit a modification to the Strategic Plan each year during PY 2013 – PY 2016 to reflect changes to the Agricultural Outreach Plan.  ETA will issue future guidance on how these modifications should be prepared and submitted.

Public Comment

What are the requirements for public review and comment of the Strategic Plan?
While no mandatory period is established for the public review of the State Strategic Plan in WIA, ETA expects that a reasonable time will be given for this opportunity for the WIA/W-P portions of the State Plan.  States are required to provide at least 30 days for review and comment of the Agricultural Outreach Plan for WIA 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program grantees, appropriate MSFW groups, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations, and other interested organizations.
ETA encourages, but does not require, that states provide a period for public review and comment if a State chooses to request a temporary extension of its PY 2011 State Plan for a portion of PY 2012.

Plan Submission Signature Requirements
Which officials from our state are authorized to represent the state in this process?                            
The governor of the state can submit the plan or extension request. In addition, the individuals designated by the governor to represent the state, as indicated in the section of the State Plan entitled Program Administration Designees and Plan Signatures can submit the plan or extension request. These officials include the Agency Head or WIA Liaison.  Electronic signatures for the governor and his designees are also acceptable.

Plan Submission Extension Requests

Our state intends to submit an extension request.  Do we follow the same actions required for the State Plan submission in accordance with Section 12 of TEGL number 21-11?  In other words, can the extension be submitted by email to wia.plan@dol.gov or hard copy?  And to whom should the letter be addressed, and from whom should it be submitted?

Yes, extension requests, due April 16, 2012, should be submitted to the Federal Coordinator for Plan Review and Approval, with a copy to the appropriate ETA Regional Administrator. The request can be sent by e-mail to WIA.PLAN@dol.gov or in hard copy to:

Division of WIA Adult Services and Workforce System
Employment and Training Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave. NW Room S-4209
Washington, DC 20210
Attn: Heather Fleck

The governor of the state can submit the plan or extension request. In addition, the individuals designated by the governor to represent the state, as indicated in the section of the State Plan entitled Program Administration Designees and Plan Signatures (assuming it is up-to-date), can submit the plan or extension request. These officials include the Agency Head or WIA Liaison.  Electronic signatures for the governor and his designees are also acceptable.  This protocol should provide states with as much flexibility as possible, recognizing different signature protocols for Federal plan submissions.

Waiver Requests under Each Submission Option

What do I have to do if my state wants to request a new waiver as part of its plan extension request?

States wishing to request new waivers as part of the state plan extension should submit full waiver plans to ETA. The waiver plan must include all the required elements listed in the WIA regulations at 20 CFR 661.420(c), and is subject to public comment requirements.  Please note that states wishing to request new waivers as part of their state plan extension will have to resubmit these requests as new waivers with the submittal of the full state plan. 
States can email their request to WIA.PLAN@dol.gov, with a copy to the appropriate Regional Administrator. Information that may be helpful in submitting waiver requests is available at www.doleta.gov/waivers. The regional offices are also available for consultation as states prepare their waiver plans or consider new waiver requests.
States can also submit a hard copy waiver request with an original signature to the Federal Coordinator for Plan Review and Approval, and one copy to the appropriate ETA Regional Administrator. The address for the Federal Coordinator is as follows:

Division of WIA Adult Services and Workforce System
Employment and Training Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave, NW, Room S-4209
Washington, DC 20210
ATTN: Heather Fleck
My state has a number of approved waivers that expire June 30, 2012.  How do we request that approval be extended for these waivers?
For states submitting a request for a temporary extension of the State Plan, states may also request a temporary extension of currently approved waivers and provide a list of waivers it wishes to extend.  However, full waiver plans must be submitted as part of the full plan submission.

Performance Negotiation

Will guidance be issued regarding performance negotiations for the WIA and the W-P PY 2012 performance goals?

Yes, Section 14 of Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 21-11 provides information regarding the negotiation of WIA and W-P performance levels.  ETA will also issue another TEGL which will provide additional guidance regarding performance negotiations for PY 2012. 

Must we renegotiate new performance goals?
Yes.  All States must have new goals in place for PY 2012.

What are the timetables for the submission of the performance goals?

If a state submits its full State Plan by April 16, 2012 then the proposed performance levels are due to the appropriate Regional Administrator no later than April 16, 2012.  If a state has requested and is approved for a temporary extension of its State Plan, then the state must be submit its proposed performance goals at the time of the full plan submission.

States that submit their full plans after April 16, 2012 will operate under the PY 2011 performance goals until which time the final performance goals for PY 2012 have been negotiated and agreed upon, but no later than December 31, 2012.  Once PY 2012 performance goals have been negotiated and agreed upon, they will be implemented retroactively to July 1, 2012.

Technical Assistance

Our State has a number of new individuals assigned to manage the planning and partnership process for FY 2012.  Can we expect some assistance from ETA to benefit these individuals as well as our more experienced staff?

Yes.  ETA will undertake a technical assistance effort during the March – September 2012 period to assist States and localities.   Staff is encouraged to frequently consult the “WIA Strategic Planning Resources” webpage at http://www.doleta.gov/usworkforce/wia-planning/ for guidance and technical assistance products.

ETA also intends to provide pre-recorded webinar presentations on a number of important topics associated with the PY 2012 planning process which will be posted on the website. These include:

#1  Overview of State Planning
#2  Joint Planning and ETA Emphases
#3  Labor Market Information and Analysis
#4  Program Strategies, including:

  • Adult/Dislocated Worker/Wagner-Peyser
  • Rapid Response Strategies
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • Youth Program Strategies
  • Coordinating with Competitive Grants

#5  Business Engagement Strategies
#6  Serving Target Populations
#7  Agricultural Outreach Plan

#8  SCSEP State Plan