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WIOA State Plan for the State of Iowa

Overview

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Governor of each State must submit a Unified or Combined State Plan to the U.S. Secretary of Labor that outlines a four-year workforce development strategy for the State’s workforce development system. The publicly-funded workforce system is a national network of Federal, State, regional, and local agencies and organizations that provide a range of employment, education, training, and related services and supports to help all jobseekers secure good jobs while providing businesses with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. States must have approved Unified or Combined State Plans in place to receive funding for core programs. WIOA reforms planning requirements, previously governed by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), to foster better alignment of Federal investments in job training, to integrate service delivery across programs and improve efficiency in service delivery, and to ensure that the workforce system is job-driven and matches employers with skilled individuals. One of WIOA’s principal areas of reform is to require States to plan across core programs and include this planning process in the Unified or Combined State Plans. This reform promotes a shared understanding of the workforce needs within each State and fosters development of more comprehensive and integrated approaches, such as career pathways and sector strategies, for addressing the needs of businesses and workers. Successful implementation of many of these approaches called for within WIOA requires robust relationships across programs. WIOA requires States and local areas to enhance coordination and partnerships with local entities and supportive service agencies for strengthened service delivery, including through Unified or Combined State Plans.

Options for Submitting a State Plan

A State has two options for submitting a State Plan — a Unified State Plan or a Combined State Plan. At a minimum, a State must submit a Unified State Plan that meets the requirements described in this document and outlines a four-year strategy for the core programs. The six core programs are—

  • the Adult Program (Title I of WIOA),
  • the Dislocated Worker Program (Title I),
  • the Youth Program (Title I),
  • the Adult Education and Literacy Program (Title II),
  • the Wagner-Peyser Act Program (Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended by title III), and
  • the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV).



Alternatively, a State may submit a Combined State Plan that meets the requirements described in this document and outlines a four-year strategy for WIOA’s core programs plus one or more of the Combined Plan partner programs. When a State includes a Combined State Plan partner program in its Combined State Plan, it need not submit a separate plan or application for that particular program. If included, Combined State Plan partner programs are subject to the “common planning elements” (Sections II and III of this document) where specified, as well as the program-specific requirements for that program. The Combined State Plan partner programs are—

  • Career and technical education programs authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)
  • Employment and Training Programs under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4)))
  • Work programs authorized under section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(o))
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Programs (Activities authorized under chapter 2 of Title II of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2271 et seq.))
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program (Programs authorized under 38, U.S.C. 4100 et. seq.)
  • Unemployment Insurance Programs (Programs authorized under State unemployment compensation laws in accordance with applicable Federal law)
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program (Programs authorized under Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3056 et seq.))
  • Employment and training activities carried out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Community Services Block Grant Program (Employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.))*
  • Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Program (Programs authorized under section 212 of the Second Chance Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17532))



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* States that elect to include employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.) under a Combined State Plan would submit all other required elements of a complete CSBG State Plan directly to the Federal agency that administers the program. Similarly, States that elect to include employment and training activities carried by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) and 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 that are included would submit all other required elements of a complete State Plan for those programs directly to the Federal agency that administers the program.

How State Plan Requirements Are Organized

The major content areas of the Unified or Combined State Plan include strategic and operational planning elements. WIOA separates the strategic and operational elements to facilitate cross-program strategic planning.

  • The Strategic Planning Elements section includes analyses of the State’s economic conditions, workforce characteristics, and workforce development activities. These analyses drive the required vision and goals for the State’s workforce development system and alignment strategies for workforce development programs to support economic growth.
  • The Operational Planning Elements section identifies the State’s efforts to support the State’s strategic vision and goals as identified in the Strategic Planning Elements section. This section ensures that the State has the necessary infrastructure, policies, and activities to meet its strategic goals, implement its alignment strategy, and support ongoing program development and coordination. Operational planning elements include:
  • State Strategy Implementation,
  • State Operating Systems and Policies,
  • Assurances, and
  • Program-Specific Requirements for the Core Programs, and
  • Program-Specific Requirements for the Combined State Plan partner programs.



When responding to Unified or Combined State Plan requirements, States must identify specific strategies for coordinating programs and services for target populations.* While discussion of and strategies for every target population is not expected, States must address as many as are applicable to their State’s population and look beyond strategies for the general population.

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* Target populations include individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in WIOA Sec. 3, as well as veterans, unemployed workers, and youth.

As part of the planning efforts several special committees have been established to review and make recommendations regarding serving populations with barriers to employment and the infusion of accessibility throughout the entire workforce delivery system to better support ALL Iowans in their career advancement. WIOA defines a number of populations which may experience significant barriers to employment. Iowa is no different than any other state in recognizing that many of its residents may experience difficulty gaining and maintaining employment. The State Plan outlines many of the ways that these individuals will be assisted.

Among the individuals with significant barriers to employment, the following are most notable:

Displaced Homemakers

There are 88,508 potential displaced homemakers as defined as non-wage earners living in a family setting (2014 American Community Survey).

Low-income Individuals

There are 124,355 individuals that are considered low-income, as defined by earning less than 125% of the federal poverty level wage (2014 American Community Survey). In 2014, Iowa ranked 15th among states for the percentage of people who had incomes below the poverty line, 12.2 percent or $23,834 for a family of four, and 14.0 percent of working women, ages 18-64, had incomes below the poverty line. During the same period 14.9 percent of Iowa’s children under age 18 in related families had incomes below the poverty line, ranking Iowa 10th in the nation for child poverty. Creating real opportunities for Iowa’s low-income earners to advance within the workforce system remains a priority of the workforce delivery system partners.

American Indians or Alaska Natives

There are 15,619 American Indians or Alaska Natives in the state (2014 American Community Survey).

Youth with Significant Disabilities

There are 27,352 youth that have significant disabilities (2014 American Community Survey).

Homeless Persons

There are approximately 2,314 homeless individuals,

Foster-care OOS Youth

675 youth aged out of foster care in Iowa in 2014, of this, more than 2% percent lacked a formal transition plan (IA Dept. of Children and Families)

Populations that Speak English as a Second Language

213,227 or 7.4 percent of all individuals in the state speak a language other than English at home, which may indicate limited English proficiency (2014) American Community Survey).

Working Individuals with Disability

There are 76,576 working age people with a recognized disability in Iowa and 46.5% of them are employed. This number places Iowa 3rd in the nation, behind South Dakota and North Dakota. 52.5% of the 13,600 Iowans who are blind or have vision loss are employed as are 58.5% of the 22,900 with hearing differences. Iowa must continue to focus on how to best empower more individuals with disabilities through the independence that employment provides.

Veterans

There are more than 219,006 veterans of working age (between 18 and 64) in Iowa, representing a vital, yet seriously under-utilized, workforce resource. The state’s veteran population has a labor force participation rate that is on average 5 percentage points lower than the state as a whole. Twenty-six percent of veteran’s experience some type of disability, a rate that is nearly twice that of the non-veteran population. The State of Iowa is committed to programs that recognize and reward veterans for the valuable skills they have to offer.

Iowa’s Aging Population

The 2014 Iowa Local Employment Dynamics (LED) data reported 80,569 individuals over the age of 64 working throughout the state. Almost all (94.2 percent) of this population meet the current skill requirements of the positions they occupy. Iowans over the age of 65 make up about 16 percent of the state’s population — outpacing the national average of 14 percent — according to a report published by the Administration on Aging, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the next five years, there will be a significant number of workers eligible for retirement from the manufacturing; healthcare and social services; wholesale and retail trade; education; and public administration industries. Plans for increasing opportunities for meaningful connection to the workforce and continued career advancement for this population is essential to Iowa’s improved workforce delivery system.

Ex-Offenders (Returning Citizens)

Over 8,200 inmates were under the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections in Iowa prisons as of December 31, 2015. An additional 28,924 are on probation/parole and 1,517 are housed in community-based residential facilities (halfway houses). Ninety-one percent of this population is male. The incarcerated population has a larger share of minority inmates than the general population and a significantly lower level of educational attainment. Programs such as the Offender Re-entry Project, Registered Apprenticeship programs and other partnerships between the Department of Corrections and the workforce development community are aimed at acquiring workforce skills which is also crucial to reducing recidivism for these individuals.

Iowa’s key policy makers, Core Partners and employers recognize the value in supporting the integration of these populations into the workforce. Success will be based on how well these and other populations with barriers to employment are able to enter into and maintain permanent, family-sustaining employment. The use of career pathways, Registered Apprenticeship Programs, and a variety of other methods discussed throughout the plan will be integral in providing the necessary supports and services not only to the job-seekers, but also to employers and service providers.

I. WIOA State Plan Type

Unified or Combined State Plan. Select whether the State is submitting a Unified or Combined State Plan. At a minimum, a State must submit a Unified State Plan that covers the six core programs.

Unified State Plan. This plan includes the Adult Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Youth Program, Wagner-Peyser Act Program, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program, and Vocational Rehabilitation Program.      Yes

Combined State Plan. This plan includes the Adult Worker Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Youth Program, Wagner-Peyser Act Program, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program, and Vocational Rehabilitation Program as well as one or more of the optional combined State Plan partner programs identified below.      No

Combined Plan partner program(s)

Indicate which Combined Plan partner program(s) the state is electing to include in the plan.

Career and technical education programs authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.)      No

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)      No

Employment and Training Programs under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4)))      No

Work programs authorized under section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(o)))      No

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Programs (Activities authorized under chapter 2 of title II of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2271 et seq.))      No

Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program (programs authorized under 38, U.S.C. 4100 et. seq.)      No

Unemployment Insurance Programs (Programs authorized under State unemployment compensation laws in accordance with applicable Federal law)      No

Senior Community Service Employment Program (Programs authorized under title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3056 et seq.))      No

Employment and training activities carried out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development      No

Community Services Block Grant Program (Employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.))      No

Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Program (Programs authorized under section 212 of the Second Chance Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17532))]      No

II. Strategic Elements

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system. The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs. Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs.

a. Economic, Workforce, and Workforce Development Activities Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions, economic development strategies, and labor market in which the State’s workforce system and programs will operate.

1. Economic and Workforce Analysis

A. Economic Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions and trends in the State, including sub-State regions and any specific economic areas identified by the State. This must include—

i. Existing Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations

Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand.

ii. Emerging Industry Sectors and Occupation

Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which demand is emerging.

III. Employers’ Employment Needs

With regard to the industry sectors and occupations identified in 1 and 2 above, provide an assessment of the employment needs of employers, including a description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required, including credentials and licenses.

Economic and Workforce Analysis

With the nation in a recession, Iowa’s unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in 2010. Since taking office in 2011, Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds have worked with the Iowa legislature to make growing Iowa’s economy a top priority. Iowa’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in December, 2015 due to Iowa’s strong economic growth.

With the Iowa economy once again on sound footing, Iowa’s policymakers have focused on immediate and long-term economic growth that builds of Iowa’s systemic economic strengths and meets current and future labor needs of Iowa employers. To that end, the Branstad-Reynolds administration commissioned comprehensive studies on Iowa’s economy to help policymakers plan for the next decade.

Battelle Technology Partnership Practice

The Battelle Technology Partnership Practice report, Iowa’s Re-Envisioned Economic Development Roadmap. Over an 18 month period, researchers from Battelle worked with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and regional economic development organizations around the state to conduct a comprehensive study. Battelle is the world’s largest nonprofit independent research and development organization. The Technology Partnership Practice (TPP) assists local, state, and regional organizations, universities, nonprofit technology organizations, and others in designing, implementing, and assessing technology-based economic development programs. The 2014 report provides a full-scale review of Iowa’s industry drivers and potential growth opportunities. It also examines how the state has fared in advancing innovation, job attraction and retention since the last roadmap was developed in 2004-2005. This third-party analysis of the state’s resources, assets and existing gaps, has provided both the qualitative and quantitative foundation on which to base strategy development. The executive summary and full report can be downloaded at iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/battelle.

Georgetown Report

The Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce: “Iowa: Education and Workforce Trends Through 2025” (Georgetown Report). The Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce collaborated with the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) in support of the Branstad-Reynolds administration’s objective to develop projections for long-term education goals. As part of the Iowa’s talent pipeline initiative, the Georgetown Report uses “information on industry and occupational trends to identify long-term education goals and workforce development needs that will be necessary to achieve the state’s economic development goals.” The full report can be downloaded at: cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/Iowa_Wrkfrce2025.pdf.

The Battelle and Georgetown reports, along with the most current labor market data available, form the basis of this plan’s needs assessment. The Battelle and Georgetown reports reflect that Iowa’s strengthening economy presents new challenges requiring swift and innovative solutions. Most prominently, Iowa faces a skills gap. There is a shortage of qualified workers to fill middle-skill jobs in the state. Substantial disparities exist between the number of workers able to compete for middle- skill jobs and those struggling to find low-skill jobs. This skills gap is projected to grow over the next decade. The Georgetown Report forecasts that Iowa will add more than 600,000 jobs by 2025, with approximately 225,000-about 37% of all job openings in the state through 2025-in the middle-skill variety.

A consensus is developing among Iowa policymakers around the need to up-skill Iowa jobseekers and workers in order to meet employers’ need to fill middle-skill jobs. In 2015, the Branstad-Reynolds administration launched Future Ready Iowa, an initiative which calls for 70% of Iowans to have education or training beyond high school by 2025, to help meet the demand for middle-skill employment opportunities. This initiative brings together Iowa Workforce Development, the IDOE, and the IEDA in an endeavor that goes hand-in-hand with the state’s implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Iowa’s Key Industries

Economic progress in Iowa is determined by the performance of key industries throughout the state. The industries that drive economic growth include those with global reach serving customers and markets that extend beyond local communities producing income from sources outside of Iowa. These industries can also serve to substitute for products and services that would otherwise have to be imported into the state. Industry clusters are groups of similar and related firms in a defined geographic area that share common markets, technologies, worker skill needs, and which are often linked by buyer-seller relationships.

In order to fully realize the far-reaching economic impacts of sectors and sub-sectors within regional or local economies, states must map their industry clusters and sub-sectors as well as primary sectors. Mapping should include information about occupations, worker skills, commuting patterns, and other relevant data in order to develop a focused and robust strategy for growth. Industry clusters serve as a catalyst for economic growth and include a mix of local and far-reaching goods and products which are inter-related and represent the entire supply chain and associated parts. The Battelle Report identifies twelve distinct industry clusters as driving Iowa’s economy. From the Battelle Report, Table 1 summarizes the major industry components of these clusters and typical activities.

Industry Clusters

Table 1: Iowa’s Top 12 Industry Clusters & Associated Activities, Alphabetical

Industry Cluster

Activities

Agriculture and Food Production

Agricultural Production, Food Processing & Products Packaging

Automation & Industrial Machinery

Industrial Machinery, Metalworking Machinery & Tools, Electrical Equipment

Avionics & Communications Electronics

Search, Detection, & Navigation Instruments, Other Aerospace-related Industries

Biosciences

Agricultural Feedstock & Chemicals, “Agbiosciences”, Bioscience-related Distribution, Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices & Equipment, Research, Testing, & Medical Labs

Building & Construction Products

Windows and doors (both wood and fabricated metals), Kitchen cabinets Furniture; Nonmetallic mineral products including concrete, glass, stone; plastic pipes

Heavy Machinery

Primary Ag & Construction Machinery, Manufacturing, Vehicular Parts & Components, Mobile Homes

Healthcare Services

Outpatient Care Centers, Home Healthcare, Hospitals, Nursing Care

Information Services, Digital Media & Technology

Software & Computer Services, Internet Services & E-Commerce, Multimedia Publishing

Insurance & Finance

Insurance, Commercial Banking, Securities, Commodities, & Other Financial Investments

Primary Metals Manufacturing

Iron, Steel, Aluminum, Nonferrous and Foundries

Renewable Energy

Wind Turbines, Energy Storage, Ethanol & Biofuels

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Wholesale, Transportation, Warehousing & Storage

Source: Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, Iowa’s Re-Envisioned Economic Development Roadmap (2014).

Battelle Analysis

Due to the impacts of these particular industry clusters on Iowa’s economy, Battelle conducted a comprehensive analysis employing several economic performance measures including:

  • Relative concentration of the industry cluster
  • Job generation
  • Relative growth of the industry cluster
  • Productivity
  • High-skilled jobs compared to the national average
  • Average wages of the industry cluster compared to the national average
  • Impacts to the local supply chain for each industry cluster

Battelle Report

Key Battelle Report Findings Impacting Iowa’s Workforce Delivery System

  • Nine of the 12 industry clusters represent industry specializations in Iowa based on having a significantly higher concentration of employment relative to the national average. This reflects the competitive advantages that Iowa offers these industry clusters relative to the nation and their well-established presence in Iowa.
  • Eight of the 12 industry clusters have a higher level of productivity compared to that same industry cluster nationally. This suggests that it is not simply Iowa’s central location that stands out for many industries and drives the strong level of industry specialization found in Iowa, but that Iowa offers a higher value-added location. Competing on high productivity is critical in today’s innovation-driven, global economy. What is particularly special about the industry clusters driving Iowa’s economic growth is how extensively they outpace the nation, while the average productivity across all private sector industries in Iowa is 90 percent of the nation.
  • Eight of the 12 industry clusters generated economic multipliers of more than $500,000 for every additional $1 million in output they generate. Led by agriculture and food production, which has an extensive footprint across Iowa and deep supply chain, there are many industry clusters in Iowa that have substantial economic multiplier impacts on the state’s economy. Interestingly, the importance of high wages comes through, as the avionics and communications electronics industry cluster, with the highest average annual wages for the industry clusters in Iowa, is also among the leaders in economic impact for the state.
  • Nine of the 12 industry clusters performed better in job changes than the U.S. average for that industry cluster. This is another sign that Iowa’s industry clusters are more competitive than the nation. A sobering reality is that only five of the nine industry clusters performing better than the U.S. gained jobs above the 2007 pre-recession level. The other four industries outpacing the U.S. job growth from 2007-2012, declined less than in Iowa.

Table 2: Output & Employment, Iowa Top Industries, 2014

 

Share of GDP

Share of Employment

Manufacturing

18

16

Healthcare & Social Assistance

7

14

Finance & Insurance

11

7

Retail Trade

6

11

Government

11

3

Real Estate, Rental & Leasing

11

1

Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting

7

4

Source: https://www.educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/2015-12-14%20%20Future%20Ready%20Iowa2.pdf

Iowa currently leads the nation in only one industry cluster, Building and Construction Products. Several industry clusters in Iowa are considerably behind the U.S. average and the remaining industry clusters in Iowa are within one to two percentage points of the national average. In general, the report concluded that the industry clusters driving Iowa’s economy are healthy and have positioned the state to continue its upward track toward economic improvement through strategic job growth.

Existing Demand Industries

The Battelle Report provides a full-scale review of Iowa’s industry drivers and potential growth opportunities. It also examined how the state has fared in advancing innovation, job attraction and retention since the last roadmap was developed in 2004-2005. It identifies the state’s resources, assets and existing gaps, has provided both the qualitative and quantitative foundation on which to base strategy development. Some key findings identified in the report are below:

The Battelle Report takes a look at Iowa’s current position, as compared to the nation and benchmarked states. Due in part to the focused work over the past several years, Iowa is faring well. Some identified successes include:

  • Restructuring of IEDA and streamlining of funding programs
  • Creating better private/public partnerships
  • Better collaboration of stakeholders
  • Improved marketing of Iowa and its assets

Iowa has made substantial economic progress over the last decade, resulting in positive trends in Iowa’s top-line measures of success:

  • Productivity is high -- As of 2013, Iowa’s economic output, in real, inflation-adjusted terms, was 5.9% higher than the pre-recession levels of 2007, outpacing the national growth of 4.7% during the same period.
  • Job growth and workforce are strong -- Iowa outperformed the nation in the growth of both middle and high-skilled jobs. At the same time, the number of low-skill jobs has actually declined as both employers and employees transition to a more skilled workforce.
  • Wages are rising -- Iowa substantially outpaced national gains in private sector average wages. This is consistent with the rising workforce skill levels in Iowa and an increase in the number of higher quality jobs.
  • Per capita income is growing -- While record farm incomes have driven a substantial increase in per capita income during the last decade, from 2007 to 2013, Iowa’s nonfarm personal income also grew 20%, eclipsing national growth of 14% over the same period.

The Battelle Report makes recommendations for strategic priorities that Iowa must adopt to competitively position the state in a global economy. Recommendations (Strategic Priorities) include:

  • Build on the competitiveness and growth of Iowa’s industry clusters through innovation, retention and attraction.
  • Generate and attract skilled workforce in demand by Iowa’s businesses.
  • Accelerate the development of Iowa’s emerging entrepreneurial eco-system.
  • Advance Iowa’s physical infrastructure and regional development capacities to realize Iowa’s economic potential.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is essential to the health and welfare of our communities and vital to the nation’s economic wellbeing, making it an ideal occupation for job-seekers to gain access to higher paying jobs through innovative programs. Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP), work-based learning, and Career Pathway approaches are all well-suited to the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry is also a focus of Enhance Iowa, a statewide consortium of Iowa’s 15 community colleges that is led by Hawkeye Community College and funded as part of a four-year, $15 million grant that is part of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT), a larger federal initiative that has issued a series of grants to community colleges across the nation for the purpose of putting people back to work. The Enhance Iowa initiative will train Iowans in the skill sets local employers need in healthcare, as well as information technology (IT), utilities, and manufacturing.

Healthcare support and nursing positions are anticipated to remain high-demand occupations, especially as more baby boomers reach retirement age. Healthcare is consistently in the top 3 largest industries in Iowa with an existing demand which is expected to grow disproportionate to the availability of matched-skilled workers available to fill healthcare positions. Healthcare accounts for 7 percent of output and 14 percent of Iowa’s employment. The occupation slated to grow the most is nursing, but more than 80% of those jobs will require postsecondary training or certification. Nationally, researchers estimate that as many as 90 million low-skill workers will be at-risk for permanent joblessness by 2022. This will heighten the probability that would-be nurses from low-income and minority backgrounds will be denied access to the field beyond low-skill, low-wage positions.

Construction

The construction sector is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in the construction of buildings, engineering projects (e.g., highways and utility systems) or in the construction trades. Establishments primarily engaged in the preparation of sites for new construction or primarily engaged in subdividing land for sale as building sites are also included in this sector. Construction work done may include new work, additions, alterations or maintenance and repairs. Activities of these establishments generally are managed at a fixed place of business, but they usually perform construction activities at multiple project sites.

In 2014, the construction sector, statewide, comprised 5.0 percent of all employment in Iowa; however, this is an industry that is sensitive to the volatilities of the business cycle, so this percentage is subject to more variation than other industries. This sector had an average annual wage of $51,965 for 2014, which is 22.2 percent higher than the statewide average for all industries (public and private sector). In terms of employment, the construction sector was one of the hardest hit by the most recent recession. The industry shed 3,396 jobs (5.1%) between 2009 and 2010 after hemorrhaging 8,115 jobs (10.9%) between 2008 and 2009. The sector has mostly recovered since then and is nearly up to its 2006, pre-recession peak of 76,002, employing 75,697 Iowans in 2014. Construction has added 12,601 (20.0% growth) jobs since bottoming out in 2010. Wages have increased by 27.7 percent between 2006 to 2014, even though they dipped a bit in 2009. Men make up an overwhelming majority of this industry, holding over 88.6 percent of all jobs in the sector.

In 2014, there were 9,413 construction locations across Iowa, employing 75,697 people averaged throughout the year. Construction work tends to be seasonal. The heavy & civil engineering construction subsector accounts for 16.3 percent of total covered sector employment—making it the smallest and best paid segment with average annual wage of $63,083, construction of buildings represents 21.7 percent, and the largest sub-sector, specialty trade contractors, employs 62.0 percent of all sector employment.

Information Technology

The IT sector comprises establishments engaged in the following processes: (a) producing and distributing information and cultural products, (b) providing the means to transmit or distribute these products as well as data or communications, and (c) processing data. The main components of this sector are the publishing industries, including software publishing, the motion picture and sound recording industries, the telecommunications industries, and the information services and data processing industries.

In 2014, the IT sector provided 26,110 jobs to Iowans, which represented almost 1.7 percent of all covered employment. This sector reported an average, sector annual wage of $50,600, which is 19.0 percent higher than the average wage across all industries (both public and private sector) of the state, $42,536. Employment in this sector was fairly steady from 2006 through 2008, but since then has dropped precipitously, even as the recession has ended and other industries have regained the jobs they shed during the downturn. The downward trend has not proven true for the average income, which has been steadily rising. Since a recent peak in 2007, employment has decrease by 23.5 percent, while over the same period, wages increased 19.9 percent. This likely reflects the fact that the well-paid data and web industries have actually added employment as the sector as a whole has shrunk. Male workers account for a slight majority of the employees in this sector, holding 50.9 percent of the sector’s jobs. Women are actually the majority of workers over the age of 45, perhaps reflecting the growing influence of male-dominated tech careers creating the new jobs in this sector.

Finance and Insurance

In 2014, the finance and insurance sector comprised 6.0 percent of all employment in Iowa (private and public sector). This high-wage sector reported an average annual wage of $68,514 for the sector, which was 61.1 percent higher than the statewide average of $42,536 for all industries. Since 2006, this sector has added 4,411 jobs (5.1%) and the average annual wage grew by $14,713 (27.3%). Despite the trend of long-term growth, finance & insurance contracted slightly after the recession and lost 1,780 jobs between 2008 and 2011. However, the sector began growing again in 2012 and has since surpassed its 2008 peak. Despite the high wages relative to other industries in Iowa, wages for finance & insurance are 30 percent lower than the national average of $97,373; however, Iowa’s wages are fairly in line with other states in our region. Women make up the majority of employees in this sector holding 63.5 percent of all jobs.

This sector comprises firms primarily engaged in financial transactions (transactions involving the creation, liquidation, or change in ownership of financial assets) and/or in facilitating financial transactions. Three principal types of activities are identified: raising funds by taking deposits and/or issuing securities, pooling of risk by underwriting insurance and annuities, and providing specialized services facilitating or supporting financial intermediation, insurance and employee benefit programs. In 2014, there was an average of 6,410 locations employing 90,499 people in the finance & insurance industries across Iowa. The majority of finance & insurance employment (94.6 percent) is represented by only two sub-sectors: insurance carriers and related activities report 46.3 percent, credit intermediation or related activities accounts for 48.3 percent of sector employees. Insurance carriers and related activities boasts a significantly higher average wage than Credit Intermediation or Related Activities, $73,078 and $43,756 respectively.

Agriculture

The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, harvesting timber, and harvesting fish and other animals from a farm, ranch, or their natural habitats. The sector distinguishes two basic activities: agricultural production and agricultural support activities. Agricultural production includes establishments performing the complete farm or ranch operation, such as farm owner-operators, tenant farm operators, and sharecroppers. Agricultural support activities include establishments that perform one or more activities associated with farm operation, such as soil preparation, planting, harvesting, and management, on a contract or fee basis.

In 2014 the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector comprised 1.3 percent of all covered employment (public and private sector) in Iowa. This sector reported an average annual wage of $37,161 for 2014, which was 12.6 percent lower than the statewide average of $42,536 for all industries. Employment increased every year over the period in question, even throughout the recession period. Animal production, the largest segment of this sector, employed 10,547 or 55.2 percent of all sector employment. Iowa leads the nation in the production of corn, soybeans, pork, eggs, ethanol and biodiesel. Crop production segments of this industry employed 4,871 workers in 2014; a substantial portion of sector employment in an industry that has become more reliant on machinery than labor. However, this sector still employs a large number of seasonal workers. The employment in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector does not include self-employed farmers and operations that have less than 10 workers or that have a payroll of less than $20,000 per quarter. With over 80 percent of its land dedicated to farms, agriculture remains a vital industry in Iowa, but the long-term outlook for Iowa’s ag-economy is changing. In 2014 the Iowa Ag Contribution Study was conducted to evaluate the economic significance of Iowa agriculture on the state’s overall economy. The study confirmed that Iowa agriculture is directly linked to a number of industries and ag-support activities. Based on the study, reduction or removal of any one of them would likely negatively impact the others not only locally, but across the region and state. Agriculture and ag-related industries support more than 400,000 jobs across the state, which is approximately 1 in 5 workers.

According to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey (December 31, 2015), 2015 was a record year for production of corn and soybeans in Iowa due to a near ideal growing season in much of the state. While farmers produced record corn and soybean crops, prices have continued to fall as a result of uncertainty regarding the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and large crop production worldwide. Average statewide corn prices fell from $3.76 to $3.48 from December2014 to December 2015 and statewide average soybean prices fell from $9.89 to $8.17 over the same period. During this period there has also been a substantial drop in livestock prices. The livestock industry faced challenges as well. Fed cattle have seen the price drop from $161 per hundred weight down to $116. Hogs are down from $76 to $49 per hundred weight. Iowa’s poultry producers were at the center of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak which resulted in the euthanizing of more than 30 million birds in Iowa during 2015. The USDA described the outbreak of 2015 as the largest animal health emergency in U.S. history.

The tighter margins seen on the farm are starting to ripple through the economy. Land prices are down 3.9 percent. There have been several announcements of layoffs at manufacturers, machinery providers, seed companies, and other businesses that serve the agriculture industry. Coupled with a softening global demand and a strong dollar there have been overall significant impacts on Iowa’s economy.

Toward the Future

Iowa will support the broadening of career pathways available to job-seekers which result in attainment of industry recognized credentials and sustainable employment. Registered Apprenticeship programs result in increased chances for upward mobility, increased pay, and job stability. Iowa’s vision for the future of workforce services includes increasing the number of partner-employers that employ apprentices in the healthcare and other leading industries.

Table 3: Occupations with the most job growth, 2014-2024, Projected, Numbers in Thousands

2014 National Employment Matrix (NEM) Title

NEM Code

Employment, 2014

Change 2014-24

Number

Percent

Median annual wage, 2014

Total, all occupations

00-0000

150,539.9

160,328.8

9,788.9

6.5

$35,540

Personal care aides

39-9021

1,768.4

2,226.5

458.1

25.9

$20,440

Registered nurses

29-1141

2,751.0

3,190.3

439.3

16.0

$66,640

Home health aides

31-1011

913.5

1,261.9

348.4

38.1

$21,380

Food preparation and serving workers

35-3021

3,159.7

3,503.2

343.5

10.9

$18,410

Retail salespersons

41-2031

4,624.9

4,939.1

314.2

6.8

$21,390

Nursing assistants

31-1014

1,492.1

1,754.1

262.0

17.6

$25,100

Customer service representatives

43-4051

2,581.8

2,834.8

252.9

9.8

$31,200

Cooks, restaurant

35-2014

1,109.7

1,268.7

158.9

14.3

$22,490

General and operations managers

11-1021

2,124.1

2,275.2

151.1

7.1

$97,270

Construction laborers

47-2061

1,159.1

1,306.5

147.4

12.7

$31,090

Accountants and auditors

13-2011

1,332.7

1,475.1

142.4

10.7

$65,940

Medical assistants

31-9092

591.3

730.2

138.9

23.5

$29,960

Janitors and cleaners, excluding maids/housekeepers

37-2011

2,360.6

2,496.9

136.3

5.8

$22,840

Software developers, applications

15-1132

718.4

853.7

135.3

18.8

$95,510

Laborers and freight, stock, hand-movers

53-7062

2,441.3

2,566.4

125.1

5.1

$24,430

First-line supervisors of office and admin workers

43-1011

1,466.1

1,587.3

121.2

8.3

$50,780

Computer systems analysts

15-1121

567.8

686.3

118.6

20.9

$82,710

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

29-2061

719.9

837.2

117.3

16.3

$42,490

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

37-2012

1,457.7

1,569.4

111.7

7.7

$20,120

Medical secretaries

43-6013

527.6

635.8

108.2

20.5

$32,240

Management analysts

13-1111

758.0

861.4

103.4

13.6

$80,880

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

53-3032

1,797.7

1,896.4

98.8

5.5

$39,520

Receptionists and information clerks

43-4171

1,028.6

1,126.3

97.8

9.5

$26,760

Office clerks, general

43-9061

3,062.5

3,158.2

95.8

3.1

$28,670

Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing

41-4012

1,453.1

1,546.5

93.4

6.4

$55,020

Stock clerks and order fillers

43-5081

1,878.1

1,971.1

92.9

4.9

$22,850

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

13-1161

495.5

587.8

92.3

18.6

$61,290

First-line supervisors of food prep/serving workers

35-1012

890.1

978.6

88.5

9.9

$29,560

Electricians

47-2111

628.8

714.7

85.9

13.7

$51,110

Maintenance and repair workers, general

49-9071

1,374.7

1,458.1

83.5

6.1

$36,170

Data obtained from the Occupational Employment Statistics program, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Iowa’s Emerging Demand Industries

Iowa continues to expand on its long tradition of agricultural and manufacturing excellence. Both of these industries have served as a springboard for continued industry development in a broad range of areas. Today, Iowa continues to lead the way in advanced manufacturing, value-added agriculture and food production; and is also in the forefront of innovation in renewable energy and fuels; information and communications technology; and distribution and warehousing. Iowa’s emerging industry sectors and occupations are addressed individually in the following section.

Agriculture and Food Production

Iowa is tops in the country in producing pork, soybeans, corn and eggs, according to the Iowa Area Development Group (IADG). Iowa farmers also are leaders in the turkey and dairy industries as well as the bio-based products sector. This sector is comprised of firms engaged in mechanical, physical or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. Firms are often described as plants, factories, or mills and typically use power-driven machines and materials-handling equipment. However, firms that transform materials or substances into new products by hand and those engaged in selling to the general public such as bakeries, candy stores, and custom tailors. In all, Iowa is responsible for more than seven percent of America’s food supply.

Renewable Energy

Located between the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers, Iowa has few fossil energy resources but has significant renewable energy potential. Iowa’s climate, with rainfall in the growing season and dry air at harvest, together with the state’s rich soils produce abundant grain crops. The state leads the nation in the production of both corn and ethanol made from corn. Iowa’s open fields gives the state an unobstructed wind resource that is ranked seventh in the nation. With its many days of sunshine each year, Iowa has the potential to increase solar energy as an untapped renewable energy resource.

Iowa is the 30th most densely populated state in the nation but, because of its energy-intensive economy, the state ranks 5th in total energy use per person. Industry, which includes agriculture and biofuels production in addition to manufacturing, is Iowa’s major energy-consuming sector. Transportation is the state’s second largest energy-consuming sector. The residential sector, where the majority of households heat with natural gas, consumes less energy than all but the commercial sector. Following the release of the Battelle Report, the State of Iowa began investigation into traded clusters to find the emerging opportunities. The renewable chemical industry is one of those emerging sectors due to Iowa’s natural and available resources.

“Iowa owns the bio-fuels space. We are first in ethanol production and second in biodiesel, but that is a commodity,” Debbie Durham says. “Iowa needed to think like a petroleum company. We needed to look at our existing industry and discover a way to harvest high-value chemicals from it.”

To that end, Iowa officials brought together industry experts and researchers from Iowa State University,tested the idea, and drafted the legislation to provide a production tax credit for renewable chemicals. As a result, Iowa will be the first state to market with a fully refundable bio-production tax credit for 30-plus bio-chemicals that can be harvested from the rich fuel stream in Iowa.

Iowa is among the top three states with the highest percentages of total in-state electricity generation from non-hydroelectric renewable energy resources. Wind is the dominant renewable resource used in Iowa. The state is second only to Texas in electricity generation from wind turbines. Most of Iowa’s abundant wind energy is harnessed in the northern and western parts of the state. Hydroelectric power is also used for electricity generation in Iowa. It contributes less than 2% to the state’s total net electricity generation. A small amount of electricity is also generated from biomass.

Iowa is the leading ethanol-producing state in the nation and has the second-largest biodiesel production capacity after Texas. Iowa’s plentiful cornfields provide the feedstock for the state’s more than 40 ethanol plants. Iowa’s ethanol plants have a combined productive capacity of about 3.7 billion gallons per year. Iowa also has cellulosic ethanol plants that use agricultural waste including corn stover (the stalk, leaf, cob, and husk left after harvest) or corn kernel fiber. An existing corn ethanol plant is converting to a cellulosic ethanol plant that processes municipal solid waste. Iowa also has about a dozen biodiesel plants with a combined production capacity of about 330 million gallons per year, according to a report published by the US Energy Administration, Iowa Profile. For more information, go to http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=IA.

Iowa’s energy policies and regulations promote energy efficiency and renewable resources. In addition to several energy efficiency standards, the Mandatory Utility Green Power Option requires all electric utilities operating in Iowa, including those not rate-regulated by the Iowa Utilities Board, to offer green power options to their customers. State regulations also require Iowa’s two investor-owned utilities to own or to contract for a combined total of 105 megawatts of renewable generating capacity and associated production from generating facilities designated by the utilities and approved by the Iowa Utilities Board. Iowa is a natural place for this industry to progress due to its abundant supply of the one raw material most needed by the renewable chemical sector, agricultural sugar.

Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing is Iowa’s largest industry, contributing $25 billion annually to the state’s economy. With nearly 4,000 manufacturing establishments employing over 210,000 people, Iowa continues to supply cutting-edge, innovative products in a myriad of industry sectors. Iowa’s top performing industry divisions hold a pre-eminent position in the United States. Industrial metal processing, automation precision machinery, environment control systems, digital and electronic devices and power generation equipment are highly specialized, surpassing the national trend. Other key industries include:

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Industrial chemicals
  • Construction components
  • Commercial and industrial motor vehicles
  • Food and food ingredients
  • Printing and packaging
  • Medical drugs and devices

In 2014, manufacturing supplied 216,887 jobs to Iowans, which represented 14.3 percent of all employment (both public and private sector). This sector had an average annual wage of $54,401. This is 27.9 percent higher than the statewide average of $42,536 for all industries. The manufacturing sector was hit hard by the most recent recession, shedding 26,621 jobs between 2008 and 2010 (11.7%). Manufacturing has added 16,105 jobs since 2010 (8.0%) but still remains 10,516 jobs below its pre-recession employment level, for net job losses of 4.6 percent between 2008 and 2014. Despite the large drop in employment, wages have continued to rise. Wages have grown every year since 2006, even through the recession. Wages have grown 22.6 percent since 2006, increasing from $44,357 to $54,401 over the same period. Men hold 72.9 percent of all industry jobs in Iowa.

Of Iowa’s 99 counties, 32% are classified as manufacturing dependent, and this is especially true in the effected regions. Iowa currently has over 6,000 Advanced Manufacturing careers, with average pay of over $51,000/year. The Advanced Manufacturing industry is Iowa’s leading contributor to the state’s economy, bringing in more than the agriculture industry, even though Iowa is America’s largest producer of corn, soybeans, pigs, and eggs (Source: Iowa Economic Development). With more than $13.3 billion worth of manufactured and value-added goods shipped out of the country, manufacturing accounts for 88 percent of Iowa’s total exports. Since 2001, Iowa manufacturing exports have grown by 179 percent - nearly 73 percent more that the nation as a whole.

Services Industries

Iowa’s services industry is responsible for creating over 33 percent of the Hawkeye State’s jobs, according to the IEDA. This workforce includes wholesale and retail trade, insurance and healthcare. With such a diversity of occupations in the general “services” industry, the accommodation and food services and the general services industries are included in this section.

Accommodation and Food Services

In 2014, the accommodation and food services sector comprised 7.9 percent of all employment (public and private sector) in Iowa with 120,322 jobs and an annual average wage of $14,418. Although this wage is 66.1 percent lower than the statewide average of $42,536 for all industries, there is a greater ratio of part-time employment in addition to lower hourly rates than other industries. The average wage does not include tips or gratuities earned by wait staff, bell hops, and bartenders that are not reported to their employers. Employment in this sector has recovered well since reaching its recession-low in 2010. Accommodation and food services has grown nearly 8.2 percent since the lowest employment of 111,206 jobs in 2010 and surpassed the pre-recession high of 117,590 employees from 2007. After remaining fairly flat through the recession, wages have also increased in recent years. Also, since 2010, annual wages increased from $12,668 to $14,418 or 13.8 percent. This industry typically employs the most young workers and those who have the greatest barriers to self-sufficiency in Iowa. In 2013, the most recent year available, 30.7 percent of the sector’s workers were between the ages of 14 and 21. Females accounted for 57.8 percent of all workers. This sector is comprised of firms that provide customers with lodging and/or prepare meals, snacks and beverages for immediate consumption. The sector includes both accommodation and food services since they are often combined.

Other Services

The other services (except public administration) sector consists of establishments engaged in providing services not specifically provided for elsewhere in the classification system. Establishments in this sector are primarily engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grant-making, advocacy, and other personal care services.

In March 2014, there were 9,037 locations in Iowa classified in the other services, which employ 44,879 people. This sector consists of many small companies, averaging less than 5 employees per establishment. There are a variety of services represented in this sector, including occupations such as barber shops, auto mechanics, political parties, and nannies. The largest sub-sector is automotive repair and maintenance, representing 35.2 per cent of the employment in this industry. The smallest sub-sector is private households, which represent 9.2 percent of employment.

In 2014, the other services sector comprised 3.0 percent of all employment (both public and private sector) in Iowa, providing the state 44,879 jobs, with an average annual wage of $28,770 that was 32.4 percent lower than the statewide average of $42,536 for all industries. This wage rate is pretty on par for the region, although it is 15.2 percent lower than the national average for this sector. Employment has grown fairly steadily since 2006, even adding jobs during the deepest recession years of 2009 and 2010. Some of the growth was offset between 2012 and 2013 when some establishments providing home health care to individuals was reclassified from private households in this sector to individual and family services sub-sector in the health care and social assistance industries, classified under the health care sector. Since 2006, this sector has added 3,113 jobs, growing by 7.5 percent. Wages have also been steadily increasing, up 24.6 percent over the same period. Keep in mind, however, that these numbers are somewhat distorted by the reclassification outlined above. Women somewhat outnumber men in this sector, especially amongst workers under age 35.

The state is also home to a growing telecommunications sector thanks largely to the Iowa Network Services (INS) statewide fiber-optic network that provides connectivity across the state. These services enable businesses to stay connected from virtually anywhere — even the most remote rural areas. And the numbers are steadily growing. In addition, major industry sectors such as finance, insurance and manufacturing rely on information technology to compete in today’s global economy. Nearly 55,000 high-tech workers in all firms support Iowa’s economy - across technology and non-technology industries.

Information and Communications Technology

In recent years, Iowa has attracted new investments from IT companies, including IBM, Google, Facebook and Microsoft data centers. The technology industry employs over 76,000 workers and accounts for $10.696 billion (8.8%) of the state’s GDP. In 2014, the information sector provided 26,110 jobs to Iowans, which represented almost 1.7 percent of all covered employment. This sector reported an average, sector annual wage of $50,600, which is 19.0 percent higher than the average wage across all industries (both public and private sector) of the state, $42,536. Employment in this sector was fairly steady from 2006 through 2008, but since then has dropped precipitously, even as the recession has ended and other industries have regained the jobs they shed during the downturn. The downward trend has not proven true for the average income, which has been steadily rising. Since a recent peak in 2007, employment has decreased by 23.5 percent, while over the same period, wages increased 19.9 percent. This likely reflects the fact that the well-paid data and web industries have actually added employment as the sector as a whole has shrunk. Male workers account for a slight majority of the employees in this sector, holding 50.9 percent of the sector’s jobs. Women are the majority of workers over the age of 45, perhaps reflecting the growing influence of male-dominated tech careers creating the new jobs in this sector.

The information sector comprises establishments engaged in the following processes: (a) producing and distributing information and cultural products, (b) providing the means to transmit or distribute these products as well as data or communications, and (c) processing data. The main components of this sector are the publishing industries, including software publishing, the motion picture and sound recording industries, the telecommunications industries, and the information services and data processing industries.

Information Sector

The information sector consists of 1,683 units, employing 26,110 works in 2014. The largest subsector is publishing industries (except internet) with 476 establishments (28.3 percent of the industry’s total) and 8,630 employees (33.1 percent of the industry’s total). Telecommunications and data processing, hosting, and related services also make up a significant portion of this sector (25.9 and 22.5 percent respectively). After holding steady for a few years, employment in this sector began to contract in 2009, and the sector continued to shed jobs every year since then. At the same time, wages have grown steadily, bolstered by employment growth in the well-paid data processing, hosting, and related services. Note that many other information technology jobs are classified in the Professional & Technical Services sector.

Distribution and Warehousing

Iowa is in the middle of the United States. Sitting in the center of an eight-state market of nearly one million businesses and thirty-five million people, Iowa’s Midwest location offers a distinct advantage to businesses with both domestic and international markets and suppliers. There are 4,105 transportation and warehousing establishments in Iowa with $5 billion in sales, employing 56,775 people.

Iowa offers particular geographic and tax advantages for distribution and warehousing. With three Interstate highways (I-35, I-80 and I-29) and a network of secondary highways systems, nearly 4,000 miles of rail freight track, statewide airport coverage and 60 barge terminals that ship and receive, Iowa provides efficient and cost-effective transportation options.

It is projected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis that the warehousing and distribution industry in Iowa contributes approximately $5 billion to Iowa’s gross domestic product. There are approximately 4,632 transportation and warehousing establishments in Iowa with $5 billion in sales, employing 64,480 people.

  • Iowa’s roadway system ranks 12th in the nation, with 113,377 miles of highway. Each year $300 billion in goods are shipped to and from Iowa. Trucks originating in Iowa can reach 83 million people within one day’s drive and 252 million people within two days’ drive. Freight and rail shipments can reach vital markets like Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City in just a few short hours.
  • Iowa has 108 publicly-owned airports, including 8 that offer commercial air service. These facilities annually accommodate 2.5 million passengers and transport 175 million pounds of cargo.
  • Iowa is crisscrossed by nearly 4,000 miles of rail freight track, used by 19 freight carriers to carry over 259.3 million tons of freight throughout the state to other destinations. Iowa also has two transcontinental Amtrak passenger routes.
  • The 491 miles of inland waterways in Iowa carry more than 12 million tons of freight each year.
  • General refrigerated storage (public/private units) in Iowa totals nearly 80 million gross cubic ft.

Emerging Occupations

Iowa’s fastest growing occupational data was retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and is displayed in Table 4. Information contained in the table varies slightly when compared to the Battelle report and data reported by Iowa Workforce Development. The discrepancies are based on several factors: differences in data collection methods, date ranges, industry or occupational classification, projection methods used and reporting periods. As part of ongoing planning, data collection methods, reporting periods, and type of data collected will be reviewed for opportunities to enhance consistency. In order to reach the degree of alignment and integration envisioned by the Branstad-Reynolds Future Ready Iowa initiative and WIOA in order to provide services and activities that meet current and future labor-market needs, it is imperative that Iowa policymakers are using the most up-to-date and accurate data, as well as the same methods of classification, reporting, and projection.

Table 4: Fastest growing occupations, 2014 and projected 2024, Numbers in Thousands

2014 National Employment Matrix (NEM) Title

NEM Code

Employment, 2014

Employment, 2024

Change 2014-2024, Number

Change 2014-2024, Percent

Median Ann. Wage, 2014

Total, all occupations

00-0000

150,539.9

160,328.8

9,788.9

6.5

$35,540

Wind turbine service technicians

49-9081

4.4

9.2

4.8

108.0

$48,800

Occupational therapy assistants

31-2011

33.0

47.1

14.1

42.7

$56,950

Physical therapist assistants

31-2021

78.7

110.7

31.9

40.6

$54,410

Physical therapist aides

31-2022

50.0

69.5

19.5

39.0

$24,650

Home health aides

31-1011

913.5

1,261.9

348.4

38.1

$21,380

Commercial divers

49-9092

4.4

6.0

1.6

36.9

$45,890

 

2014 National Employment Matrix (NEM) Title

NEM Code

Employment, 2014

Employment, 2024

Change 2014-2024, Number

Change 2014-2024, Percent

Median Ann. Wage, 2014

Total, all occupations

00-0000

150,539.9

160,328.8

9,788.9

6.5

$35,540

Wind turbine service technicians

49-9081

4.4

9.2

4.8

108.0

$48,800

Occupational therapy assistants

31-2011

33.0

47.1

14.1

42.7

$56,950

 

2014 National Employment Matrix (NEM) Title

NEM Code

Employment, 2014

Employment, 2024

Change 2014-2024, Number

Change 2014-2024, Percent

Median Ann. Wage, 2014

Total, all occupations

00-0000

150,539.9

160,328.8

9,788.9

6.5

$35,540

Wind turbine service technicians

49-9081

4.4

9.2

4.8

108.0

$48,800

Occupational therapy assistants

31-2011

33.0

47.1

14.1

42.7

$56,950

Battelle Highlights

IEDA Director Durham refers to the following guiding principles which emerged from the Battelle report as being transformational to Iowa’s economy and workforce in coming years: • Implementation of appropriate measures of economic success which go beyond traditional measures of jobs and economic activity and include the quality of jobs and improvements in living standards for workers.

  • Iowa’s major industry clusters are driving increased economic performance and will remain critical to economic growth in the future.
  • Balance and integration are keys to economic development planning, especially those that focus on innovation, retention and attraction.
  • The state must provide support and resources sufficient to impact key areas such as workforce, innovation, entrepreneurism, broadband, transportation infrastructure and business climate.

Employer’s Employment Needs

Prior to the authorization of WIOA, Iowa was taking steps to improve its workforce delivery system by developing and implementing programs that increase the capacity of the workforce to meet the needs of employers. Offering opportunities for workers to receive specialized training and to engage hands-on learning will increase workers’ value and appeal to current and future employers.

Middle-Skill Jobs

Middle-skill jobs as those that generally require some significant education and training beyond high school but less than a bachelor’s degree. These postsecondary education or training requirements can include associate’s degrees, vocational certificates, significant on-the-job training, previous work experience, or generally “some college” less than a bachelor’s degree. In some of the analysis (especially when we using BLS projections for occupational growth over the coming decade), BLS estimates of the demand for education and training in detailed occupational categories. But, when analyzing recent trends and future projections in broad occupational categories, skills are divided into high-skill, middle-skill, and low-skill subcategories based on the average educational attainments and/or training of people in those jobs. Accordingly:

  • High-skill occupations tend to be those in the professional/technical and managerial categories.
  • Low-skill occupations tend to be those in the service and agricultural categories.
  • Middle-skill occupations are the others, including clerical, sales, construction, installation/repair, production, and transportation/material moving.

These skill categories reflect only average skill demands within broad occupational categories. Some detailed occupations within the technical and managerial categories require less than a bachelor’s degree, some in the middle categories might require only high school, and some in the service category may require more than high school. There are notable disparities among Iowa’s workers in terms of skills. Information provided by LMI Division, Iowa Workforce Development, in 2015 supported the belief that middle-skill jobs remain a fundamental element of Iowa’s current and future economy. According to Middle Skill Jobs in Iowa, a publication prepared by the Labor Market Information Division (LMI) of Iowa Workforce Development, a significant challenge Iowa faces is a shortage of qualified workers to fill middle-skill jobs. Substantial disparities exist between the number of workers able to compete for middle-skill jobs and those struggling to find low-skill jobs. In Iowa, 34% of available workers possess low-skills, while workers with middle-skills represent 32% of the workforce. Only 12% of available jobs seek workers with low skill-sets while numerous middle-skill jobs remain unfilled. In fact, 55% of jobs require at least mid-level skills. Targeting workers with low-skills for transition to middle-skill jobs is a critical step-forward in minimizing the skill-gap.

Further, helping Iowans up-skill to meet middle-skill job demands will help workers earn better wages. The average annual wage paid to employees whose jobs require only low-skills - skills that can be learned or acquired within 30 days without prior training - is only $22,605. This is 40.7% lower than the Iowa statewide average of $38,120 for all industries. Meanwhile, middle-skill workers in Iowa are earning a mean wage of $35,000 - $60,000 annually. Occupations at the higher-end of the pay range can be found in business and financial operations; healthcare; construction and extraction; and installation, maintenance and repair.

Iowa has a well-documented need for workers with at least middle-level skills and that need is expected to continue to rise in the next few years. Low and middle skill jobs are expected to remain fairly constant and in equilibrium with sufficient numbers of appropriately matched-skill workers to fill current and future jobs. A variety of methodologies and approaches exists in relation to defining work-skills, but it is generally accepted that low-skills are entry-level, non-credentialed skills.

LMI provided a list of skills that employers reported are needed by applicants for open positions. Basic skills include literacy, numeracy, and the abilities to locate and read for information. More than one-fifth (20.9%) of employers in all of the sectors surveyed feel that applicants need basic skills needed for the job, along with Written communication, 50%; Reading for Information, 43%; Mathematics, 39% and Locating Information, 26%.

Soft-Skills

Soft skills that employers reported were needed by applicants for open positions include skills that are well suited to working with others. Nearly one-third (29.9%) of employers in all sectors surveyed reported applicants required soft skills. Soft skills commonly include Motivation, Dependability, Communication Skills, Time-Management, Teamwork, Leadership and Honesty.

Occupational Skills

Occupational skills needed by applicants are typically the technical and know-how skills that apply directly to a job, often referred to as “hard skills” and are primarily job-specific. Nearly two-fifths (37.1%) of employers surveyed believed applicants lacked occupational skills. Other Hard-skills noted by employers as needed by applicants included: Analytical Thinking, Business Communication, Machine Operation, Basic Computer Literacy, Project Management, and Computer

Upon receipt of information concerning occupational skill needs by employers, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) began developing strategies to create opportunities for IVRS job candidates to learn the necessary problem-solving skills to work. While this is currently in development, it is being planned for and will continue to be addressed through a variety of methods including third party contracting for service, direct service provision by IVRS staff, and coordination with a multitude of workforce system partners. In regard to hiring processes, nearly half (46.1%) of the employers reported giving preference to applicants that had obtained certifications for the vacant positions. In addition, 38.7% of respondents indicated they give applicants with veteran status preference in hiring.

With Iowa’s current shortage of middle- and high-skilled workers, it is critical that the state develop strategies that will draw workers and connect them with available middle- and high-skill jobs. Strong gains across a broad range of occupations at both the middle- and higher-skill levels in Iowa demonstrates Iowa’s ability to grow middle- and high-skilled jobs and is a strong indicator of how well the economy has performed in recent years, despite the economic recession and slow economic recovery. Employer-driven policies, supports and industry-focused solutions will prepare a dynamic and Future Ready workforce to meet the challenges of the future. Innovative strategies that are business-driven and increase the skills, talents, and abilities of the workforce will prepare workers to meet the demands of tomorrow’s jobs. The Future Ready Iowa initiative seeks to meet this need by equipping 70% of Iowans with education and training beyond high school. Acceptable credentials, education or experience for most Middle-skill jobs include:

  • High School Diploma + Moderate to Long-Term On-the-job Training
  • High School Diploma + Registered Apprenticeship
  • Postsecondary non-degree award
  • Some College, no degree
  • Associate’s Degree

Iowa’s In-Demand and Emerging Industries

Using LMI data and resources, some of Iowa’s top industry clusters are outlined below along with the standard educational, experiential, training, and skillset requirements.

Table 5: Iowa’s Top Industry Clusters & Associated Education, Skills, & Training (AST)

Industry Cluster

Credential

AST

Agriculture and Food Production

AS,

A, M, S

Automation & Industrial Machinery

PS

A, N

Avionics & Communications Electronics

HS, PS, BA

A, N, I

Biosciences

DP

A, N

Building & Construction Products

HS, PS

A, N, M

Heavy Machinery

HS

A, M

Healthcare Services

BA, MA, HS

A, N

Information Services, Digital Media & Technology

AS, BA, SC

A, N

Insurance & Finance

HS, BA, PS

A, M, S, N

Metals Manufacturing

HS

A, M

Renewable Energy

BA, DP

A, N

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

HS

A, N, S

Key: Career Preparation determined by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Alternative employment pathways may exist as well as differing educational, training, or licensing requirements per state. Iowa requirements are used if/when available. Career Preparation areas/levels include: Education (typical education level needed to enter an occupation): DP = Doctoral or Professional degree; MA = Master’s degree; BA = Bachelor’s degree; AS = Associate’s degree; PS = Postsecondary non-degree award; SC = Some college, no degree; HS = High school diploma or equivalent; < HS = Less than high school; Work Experience (typical work experience level commonly considered necessary for entry into an occupation, or substitutable for formal types of training): > 5 = 5 years or more; < 5 = Less than 5 years; N = None; and Job Training (typical on-the-job training level needed to attain occupational competency): I = Internship/residency; A = Apprenticeship; L = Long-term on-the-job training; M = Moderate-term on-the-job training; S = Short-term on-the-job training; None = N. Source: 2012-2022 State Of Iowa Occupational Projections, LMI, IWD 2014

In consideration of all the available data resources and public and private analyses which have been conducted around Iowa’s changing economic and workforce landscape, indicators point towards the need for a robust and available workforce. The Unified State Plan, as developed in cooperation and collaboration between the required and many optional partners, forms the foundation on which Iowa’s Future Ready Workforce will grow and be further developed. In order to achieve the highest potential for success for ALL of Iowa’s workers, including those with barriers to employment and the youth populations, the state will need to create opportunities to connect all facets of the workforce: employers, job-seekers, providers, and others in meaningful and lasting ways. Through the incorporation of best practices which are business-driven and benefit current and future job-seekers, mutually agreed upon goals will be achieved.

B. Workforce Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the current workforce, including individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in section 3 of WIOA.* This population must include individuals with disabilities among other groups** in the State and across regions identified by the State. This includes: Individuals with barriers to employment include displaced homemakers; low-income individuals; Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities; older individuals; ex-offenders; homeless individuals, or homeless children and youths; youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system; individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers; farmworkers (as defined at section 167(i) of WIOA and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 35-14); individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; single parents (including single pregnant women); and long-term unemployed individuals.   ** Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth, and others that the State may identify.

i. Employment and Unemployment

Provide an analysis of current employment and unemployment data, including labor force participation rates, and trends in the State.

ii. Labor Market Trends

Provide an analysis of key labor market trends, including across existing industries and occupations.

III. Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce

Provide an analysis of the educational and skill levels of the workforce.

IV. Skill Gaps

Describe apparent ‘skill gaps’.

Employment and Unemployment

Iowa’s pre-recession employment level was 1.66 million. So the economy first has to recover the jobs it lost in the recession before going on to add additional opportunities for unemployed workers and new entrants into the workforce. Iowa’s statewide annual average unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in 2014 from 4.7 percent in 2013. At the same time, the U.S. rate for unemployment also improved, dropping to 6.2 percent in 2014 from 7.4 percent in 2013. Iowa and Hawaii tied for the ninth-lowest unemployment rate in the nation. The number of unemployed persons in Iowa averaged 74,000 in 2014, down from 78,200 in 2013.

Men accounted for 60 percent of the unemployed in Iowa in 2014, compared to women who made up 40 percent. Minorities and youth continued to experience the highest rates of unemployment: Blacks or African Americans (14.1 percent), youth 16 to 19 years of age (12.0 percent), and Hispanics (8.5 percent). Workers with less education also continued to experience a higher unemployment rate than better educated individuals: those with less than a high school diploma (10.9 percent), high school graduates with no college (5.8 percent), those with some college or associate’s degree (4.6 percent), and those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (2.1 percent).

The July 2015 labor statistics show that an 11 percent unemployment rate for persons with disabilities while persons without disabilities had a 4.8 percent unemployment rate. This is a significant discrepancy that the core partners will address as the collaborative work continues, and the unemployment rate for this population declines, the outcome will demonstrate the system improvements expected with the WIOA Unified State Plan.

Unemployment insurance benefits paid and average duration continued to trend downward in the wake of the recession. The total weeks compensated for unemployment insurance decreased by 7.2 percent versus 2013. Average duration of benefits dipped to 12.9 weeks from 13.7 in 2013. These levels peaked for Iowa in 2009 when the average duration of benefits were 15.6 weeks paid and 2.6 million weeks were compensated—over twice the amount paid in 2014. Recent benefit amounts now trend near pre-recession levels.

Employment Statistics

Table 6: Iowa Employment Statistics

Labor Force Statistics

2012

2013

2014

2015

Total Employment

1,566,100

1,560,800

1,555,500

1,644,500

Total Unemployment

81,800

72,600

63,400

60,300

Percent Unemployed

5.0

4.5

4.0

3.5

Information obtained from LMI, IWD, 2015.

Iowa’s long term unemployment also eased somewhat in 2014, down to 18.8 percent of total unemployment from 21.1 percent in 2013. Unemployment rates in all nine of the state’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSA’s) and most rural counties decreased in 2014. The Ames MSA experienced the lowest rate of the nine major labor market areas at 2.9 percent; Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA was the highest at 6.3 percent. Jobless rates for Iowa’s 99 counties ranged from a low of 2.6 percent in Lyon to a high of 6.3 percent in Lee.

For the Program Year 2014 (PY14), the Dislocated Worker Entered Employment rate resulted in 69.1%. The target rate for program year 2014 was 70% however this result was within the minimum target rate of 80% of the negotiated goal of 56.0%. Dislocated Worker Entered Employment accounts for individuals employed in the 1st quarter after exit quarter.

Vacancy Data

Table 7 shows reported vacancies by occupational category. The vacancy data reflects data captured between October 31, 2013 and November 30, 2014. The majority of vacancies are within the sales and related, office and administrative support; transportation and material moving; healthcare practitioner and technical; production; and food preparation and serving related occupational categories. The categories are clustered using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.

Among the employers who responded to the survey, 2,984 (31.0%) reported having one or more current or anticipated job vacancies, while 6,643 respondents (69.0%) reported having no job vacancies. There is an average of 34,378 job vacancies per day reported by employers across Iowa. The majority of reported vacancies exist in positions that typically require some training beyond high school or in middle-skill jobs. Of employers that responded with job vacancies, 41.3% were businesses with 10 or fewer employees, 51.2% had between 11 and 99 employees and 7.5% had 100 employees or more. While large employers only accounted for 7.5% of the survey responses, nearly half (47.2%) of the total job vacancies in the state were with large employers. During the same period of time the average ratio of unemployed persons for every vacant position was 1.7%. Vacancy data reflects data captured between October 31, 2013 and November 30, 2014. The majority of vacancies are within the sales and related, office and administrative support; transportation and material moving; healthcare practitioner and technical; production; and food preparation and serving related occupational categories.

Table 7: Iowa’s Current Vacancies, by Category

Category

% of Total

Vacancies per Day (average)

Sales & Related

11.6%

3,994

Office & Administrative Support

11.0%

3,779

Transportation & Material Moving

10.6%

3,643

Healthcare Practitioner & Technical

8.3%

2,847

Production

7.5%

2,593

Food Preparation & Serving Related

6.8%

2,333

Computer & Mathematical Science

5.5%

1,887

Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance

4.9%

1,696

Management

4.8%

1,640

Installation, Maintenance & Repair

4.3%

1,480

Business & Financial Operations

3.7%

1,287

Construction & Extraction

3.6%

1,221

Healthcare Support

3.5%

1,205

Architecture & Engineering

3.0%

1,047

Community & Social Science

2.1%

720

Farming, Fishing & Forestry

2.0%

683

Education, Training & Library

1.9%

639

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports & Related

1.5%

504

Protective Service

1.1%

386

Personal Care & Service

1.1%

366

Life, Physical & Social Science

1.0%

355

Legal

0.1%

45

Military Specific

0.1%

28

Total

100%

34,378

Note: Totals may vary due to rounding methods. Source: Iowa Workforce Development’s Job Bank

Notable Subgroups

There are a number of subgroups that face more significant barriers to employment and therefore require enhanced services such as those envisioned under WIOA. Among these groups are individuals with disabilities, veterans, and the incarcerated population. Each of these groups experience unemployment rates that are significantly higher than those of the general population. They also represent vital resources that the state will need to utilize in order to help counteract the workforce quantity and quality challenges. Table 8 provides the overview of Iowa’s general population and demographic characteristics.

Table 8: Population & Demographic Characteristics

Population Characteristics

Iowa

Des Moines

Cedar Rapids

Davenport

Sioux City

Iowa City

Population, July 1, 2015

3123899

209220

129195

102448

82517

73415

Persons under 18 years, %

23.9

24.8

23.5

24.0

26.6

14.9

Persons 65 years and over, %

15.8

11.0

13.1

12.6

12.4

8.2

Female persons, %

50.5

51.1

50.9

51.3

50.8

50.3

White alone, %

92.1

76.4

88.0

80.7

80.6

82.5

Black or African American alone, %

3.4

10.2

5.6

10.8

2.9

5.8

American Indian & Alaska Native alone, %

0.5

0.5

0.3

0.4

2.6

0.2

Asian alone, %

2.2

4.4

2.2

2.2

2.7

6.9

Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander alone, %

0.1

0.1

0.1

<0.1

0.1

<0.1

Two or More Races, %

1.7

3.4

2.9

3.9

3.7

2.5

Hispanic or Latino, %

5.6

12.0

3.3

7.3

16.4

5.3

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, %

87.1

70.5

86.0

76.6

73.5

79.7

Veterans, 2010-2014

219006

12073

9526

7013

5310

2579

Foreign born persons, %, 2010-2014

4.7

11.3

3.4

3.9

10.7

13.4

Language other than English spoken at home

7.4

17.2

5.1

6.4

17.9

17.2

High school graduate or higher, age 25 years+, %

91.3

87.3

93.3

90.7

83.6

*95.4

Bachelor’s degree or higher, age 25 years+, %

26.4

24.7

30.9

27.3

20.5

58.8

With a disability, under age 65 years, %, 2010-2014

7.7

10.4

7.5

7.4

8.8

5.7

Persons without health insurance,

7.2

12.0

8.8

12.9

14.7

8.7

Persons in poverty, %

12.2

19.9

11.9

17.7

16.6

**27.6

QuickFacts data derived from: Population Estimates, American Community Survey, Census of Population and Housing, Current Population Survey, Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, State and County Housing Unit Estimates, County Business Patterns, Non-employer Statistics, Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners, Building Permits.

Populations with Barriers to Employment

WIOA defines a number of populations which may experience significant barriers to employment. Iowa is no different than any other state in recognizing that many of its residents may experience difficulty gaining and maintaining employment. The State Plan outlines many of the ways that these individuals will be assisted.

Among the individuals with significant barriers to employment, the following are most notable:

  • There are 88,508 potential displaced homemakers as defined as non-wage earners living in a family setting (2014 American Community Survey)
  • There are an additional 124,355 individuals that are considered low-income, as defined by earning less than 125% of the federal poverty level wage (2014 American Community Survey).
  • There are 15,619 American Indians or Alaska Natives in the state (2014 American Community Survey).
  • There are 27,352 youth that have significant disabilities (2014 American Community Survey).
  • There are approximately 2,314 homeless individuals,
  • 675 youth aged out of foster care in Iowa in 2014, of this, more than 2% percent lacked a formal transition plan (IA Dept. of Children and Families)
  • 213,227 or 7.4 percent of all individuals in the state speak a language other than English at home, which may indicate limited English proficiency (2014) American Community Survey).

Individuals with Disabilities

There are 76,576 working age people with a recognized disability in Iowa and 46.5% of them are employed. This number places Iowa 3rd in the nation, behind South Dakota and North Dakota. There are approximately 14,500 youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 20. Each year 25% of youth with disabilities age out of the school system with the goal of achieving career success. Transitioning these individuals into the workforce with the skills needed to compete for in-demand jobs will be essential to meet Iowa’s growing demand for skilled workers. Iowa’s low unemployment rate and the significant skills gap in the labor force, place a greater focus on the need to find ways to bring more people with disabilities into the workforce. Iowa still ranks 7thin the nation in terms of the gap in labor force participation rate (LFPR) between those with and without disabilities. Iowa is outperforming the national average with 34.7% of their 26,400 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities employed and 52.5% of the 13,600 Iowans who are blind or have vision loss are employed as are 58.5% of the 22,900 with hearing differences. Iowa must continue to focus on how to best empower more individuals with disabilities through the independence that employment provides.

Table 9 highlights the top two barriers to employment the clientele of for Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) face throughout Iowa. It is important to keep in mind those served by IVRS have a presenting disability in addition to the listed barriers. This data is current as of December 14, 2015 and includes information from the IVRS total caseload. Of IVRS total caseload (13,982), there were 3,334 persons who were considered low-income. This is determined by participants’ income and state assistance dependency at the time of application. It represents nearly a quarter (23.85%) of all persons currently being served by IVRS with some agencies reporting more than 30% low-income. An average of seven out of 10 participants lack basic educational or occupational skills, with participant residing in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, and Mason City reporting much higher percentages (9.44, 12.05, and 10.77 respectively). IVRS’ prior standards and indicators required the Agency to evaluate the progress made toward self-sufficiency by comparing the income levels at application and at closure of the case record. IVRS continues to evaluate the progress job candidates make toward achieving self-sufficiency as defined by the number of individuals who report dependency upon their own wages at substantial gainful activity levels at closure. IVRS continues to focus and make substantial progress impacting individuals incomes.

Table 9: Individuals Whose Wages Increased from Application/At Closure: 2012-2015 (%)

FFY

Count Increased Annual Wages

Total Successful Closures

Percent

2012

2,009

2,162

92.92%

2013

2,024

2,185

92.63%

2014

2,046

2,205

92.79%

2015

2,180

2,321

93.93%

Table 10 presents the number of individuals with disabilities that have co-occurring barriers to employment with other programs and services that specifically serve this population. IVRS connects individuals with those programs and services based on the goals identified and the services that are available. IVRS’ caseload data is displayed is for a 12-month period.

Table 10: Individuals with Co-Occurring Barriers to Employment, As of 12/2015

Agency

Agency Caseload

Low Income Barrier Count

Low Income % of Caseload

Lack Education or Occupational Skills Barrier Count

Lack Education or Occupational Skills % of Caseload

Burlington

549

90

16.39%

25

4.55%

Cedar Rapids

1568

464

29.59%

148

9.44%

Council Bluffs

863

271

31.40%

104

12.05%

Davenport

884

233

26.36%

84

9.50%

Dubuque

1070

180

16.82%

40

3.74%

Fort Dodge

968

249

25.72%

63

6.51%

Iowa City

929

284

30.57%

76

8.18%

Mason City

910

229

25.16%

98

10.77%

North Central

1599

350

21.89%c

87

5.44%

Ottumwa

779

197

25.29%

51

6.55%

Sioux City

997

206

20.66%

16

1.60%

Waterloo

1183

227

19.19%

53

4.48%

West Central

1683

354

21.03%

76

4.52%

13982

3334

*23.85%

921

*6.72%

 

*Average percentage per office

According to the data, the number of individuals who needed to obtain their high school diploma by fiscal year was relatively small compared to the caseload totals. In these cases IVRS staff works to connect the job candidates with providers of HISET - the high-school equivalency exam used in Iowa -so these individuals can improve their education and pursue post-secondary training. Most of the individuals who receive services from IVRS out of high school have graduated from their secondary education program, which speaks to the collaboration IVRS has with the secondary schools.

Over the course of years the percent of individuals with disabilities who have not obtained their high school diploma prior to working with IVRS has declined. Many times IVRS counselors are involved in staffings to encourage students to remain in school and obtain their high school diploma in order to increase their opportunities upon graduation. Table 11 shows that while IVRS and schools are successful with encouraging secondary completion, students still exit with credentialing skill gap. IVRS works to provide appropriate training programs to enhance the job seeker’s skill sets so they can become more competitive and employed in an integrated work environment. Only 6.7% of the caseload demonstrates a lack of education or skill sets that require further development.

Table 11: Percent of IVRS Job Candidates Enrolled in HISET (GED) by FFY 2012-2015

FFY

2012

2013

2014

2015

Count

33%

20%

20%

11%

Over the course of the past three fiscal years, the percentage of cases in training by category has not substantially changed. This shows that once the individual with a disability achieves their high school diploma or HISET, a substantial portion of the IVRS caseload pursues a post-secondary training credential. While it is not difficult for the person with a disability to obtain their post-secondary credential, the difficulty comes with the employment process. This population of individuals is one of the highest educated populations and has one of the highest unemployment rates. With the WIOA requirements of increased workforce system partnering, IVRS plans to work more extensively with IWD and other core program partners to educate Iowa business and employers are educated on the talents and skills of this population, and the supports available to enhance successful competitive integrated employment.

Table 12: FFY2015 Credential Attainment, IVRS’ Caseload

Credential

Count Achieved

Percent

High school diploma and moderate to long-term OJT

77

1.87%

High school diploma and apprenticeship

1

0.02%

Postsecondary non-degree award

528

12.82%

Some college, no degree

923

22.41%

AA, AS, BA, BS, post graduate and professional degree

949

23.05%

All Other Education Levels

1,640

39.83%

IWD conducted the fifth annual Workforce Needs Assessment from July 2014 through October 2014. In addition to vacancy and retirement data, the survey also addressed the demand for workers and skills required in the workforce. The results of the survey were analyzed on both a statewide and regional basis. In July 2014, a total of 39,996 employers in the state were contacted either by mail or email and asked to complete the survey. By the end of the survey period (October 31, 2014), IWD had received 9,754 responses, yielding a 24.4 percent response rate.

Of the employers that responded to the survey, 2,984 (31.0 percent) reported having one or more current or anticipated job vacancies, while 6,643 respondents (69.0 percent) reported having no job vacancies. There is an average of 34,378 job vacancies per day reported by employers across Iowa. The majority of reported vacancies exist in positions that typically require some training beyond high school. Of employers that reported job vacancies, 41.3 percent were businesses with 10 or fewer employees, 51.2 percent had between 11 and 99 employees and 7.5 percent had 100 employees or more. While large employers only accounted for 7.5 percent of the survey responses, nearly half (47.2 percent) of the total job vacancies in the state were with large employers. During the same period of time the average ratio of unemployed persons for every vacant position was 1.7 percent.

Low-Income Workers

According to US Census data, of Iowa’s 3,004,857 citizens, 367,816 individuals are living in poverty. In 2014, Iowa ranked 15th among states for the percentage of people who had incomes below the poverty line, 12.2 percent or $23,834 for a family of four, and 14.0 percent of working women, ages 18-64, had incomes below the poverty line. During the same period 14.9 percent of Iowa’s children under age 18 in related families had incomes below the poverty line, ranking Iowa 10th in the nation for child poverty. Creating real opportunities for Iowa’s low-income earners to advance within the workforce system remains a priority of the workforce delivery system partners.

In consideration of other factors, such as Iowa’s Housing Wage, fair market rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $689. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities - without paying more than 30 percent of income on housing - a household must earn $2,298 monthly or $27,576 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $13.26. In Iowa, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $7.25. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 73 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or a household must include 1.8 minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable. The estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $10.56. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 50 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.3 workers earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable. Low-income workers are considered a priority population. Supporting working families through a range of state, federal and public-private partnerships will continue to be a priority of the Branstad-Reynolds administration and Iowa policymakers.

Iowa’s Aging Population

The 2014 Iowa Local Employment Dynamics (LED) data reported 80,569 individuals over the age of 64 working throughout the state. They represent approximately 5.7 percent of the total workforce. The educational services (8.8 percent); agriculture and mining (8.0 percent); arts, entertainment and recreation (7.9 percent); and personal services (7.9 percent) industries have the highest percentage of their workforce over the age of 64. There are more males than females in this portion of the workforce, with 51.1 and 48.9 percent respectively. Of those employees eligible to retire, almost all (94.2 percent) of them meet the current skill requirements of the positions they occupy. Iowans over the age of 65 make up about 16 percent of the state’s population, outpacing the national average of 14 percent, according to a report published by the Administration on Aging, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. By the year 2030, Iowa’s 65+ population is expected to double.

The future year estimates in subsequent reports will reflect employees who did not retire in the year they actually were eligible as they may choose to continue their employment. In the next five years, there will be a significant number of workers eligible for retirement from the manufacturing; healthcare and social services; wholesale and retail trade; education; and public administration industries, according to information obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015). The report also looked at the number of older Americans living in poverty and those who still are in the workforce. The number of older Iowans living below the poverty level at $11,770 for an individual is lower than the national rate of 9.5 percent at only 7.5 percent.

While the number of retirees can be somewhat hard for employers to gauge as they look toward the future. The annual estimated number of eligible retirees through 2018. With an estimated 11,949 employees already eligible to retire within the state, many retirement-eligible employees are choosing to remain in the workforce due to their employer’s retention efforts or other reasons. According to the survey, an average of 1.2 percent of the state’s workforce becomes eligible for retirement each year. Current projections available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, show that between 2015 and 2018 at least 40,000 people will be eligible to retire in Iowa.

Veterans

Iowa’s veteran population is a recognized priority in the provision of workforce development services. The state has a proud tradition of effectively transitioning its returning military professionals to civilian employment. There are more than 219,006 veterans of working age (between 18 and 64) in Iowa, representing another vital potential workforce resource. The state’s veteran population has a labor force participation rate that is; on average 5 percentage points lower than the state as a whole. Twenty-six percent of veteran’s experience some type of disability, a rate that is nearly twice that of the non-veteran population. Therefore their participation in the state’s labor force is depressed due to barriers they face. Veterans are also significantly more likely to leave the labor force before the age of 55 than their non-veteran counterparts due either to disability or retirement benefits. More detailed information on programs available for Veterans is provided under the Veteran-specific section.

Ex-Offenders (Returning Citizens)

Another notable group that faces significant barriers to employment in Iowa is its incarcerated population. Over 8,200 inmates were under the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections in Iowa prisons as of December 31, 2015. An additional 28,924 are on probation/parole and 1,517 are housed in community-based residential facilities (halfway houses). Ninety-one percent of this population is male. The incarcerated population has a larger share of minority inmates than the general population and a significantly lower level of educational attainment. Programs such as the Offender Re-entry Project, Registered Apprenticeship programs and other partnerships between the Department of Corrections and the workforce development community are aimed at acquiring workforce skills and reducing recidivism.

The groups listed above offer resources to help combat Iowa’s workforce quantity challenge. Programs discussed in this plan are offered to provide these workforce populations the training and support required to allow them to productively enter the state’s labor force and to gain permanent, self-sustaining employment.

Labor Market Trends

According to Battelle, the Iowa economy is evolving. There is a shift from goods-producing to service-providing industries in response to a range of factors including an aging population, automation, and technology advances. Manufacturing, the largest of the goods-producing industries, has been transformed by technology. Iowa’s nonfarm employment is a mix of goods-producing and service-providing industries. Natural resources and mining, construction and manufacturing are defined as goods-producing sectors. In Iowa, the goods-producing component of the economy has lost employment due to the decline in manufacturing jobs since 2000. The goods-producing industries, which accounted for 21.5% of the state’s nonfarm jobs in 2000, represented 19.0 percent of these jobs in 2014. Both construction and manufacturing incurred large job cuts as the result of the 2008-2009 recession. Meanwhile, the state’s service-providing industries have increased their proportion of nonfarm employment from 78.5 percent in 2000 to 81.0 percent in 2014. The top three service-providing sectors from 2000-2014 (based on rate of growth) were professional and business services (+26.5 percent), education and health (+22.9 percent), and finance (+16.1 percent).

Information Technology lost 14,800 jobs or 36.6 percent of its employment over the period. Most of the losses were concentrated in telecommunications and in book and newspaper publishing and printing. However, the sector is starting to add jobs again as new businesses emerge that provide internet publishing and broadcasting services and web search portals. Health services will continue to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in the state due to the state’s aging population, which will increase the demand for these services.

Some of the newer technologies will play an important role in driving employment growth over the next decade. Included among these are the mobile internet, cloud technology, 3D printing, advanced robotics, renewable energy and next-generation genomics.

For nearly a decade, the millennial generation has been entering the workforce in growing numbers. Currently, this youngest group of workers represents the largest component of the state’s workforce at over 600,000 (38 percent). In 2013, over half of the generation was concentrated in the 25 to 34 year-old age cohort. The Millennials have become larger than the Baby Boom generation, and the generation has not realized its full potential since many of its members are still in their teens and attending school. Though there is a lack of consensus on exact dates, a Millennial is someone who was born in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This generation is also referred to as Generation Y, or the “echo boom” generation. Generation Y represents a population bulge, rivaling the size of the Baby Boom generation. Within just a few years, workers in this group will account for about one half of the state’s total workforce.

Aging Iowans

Birth years are generally used to define the generations: Millennials (1980-1999), Generation X (1965-1979), Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and the Silent Generation (1925-1945). Each generation displays unique traits that are the result of the economic, political and social environment in which they were raised. For example, the Millennials were disproportionately affected by the deep recession of 2008-2009, which in many cases delayed their entry into the workforce. A Pew Research Study found that based on measures such as the percentage unemployed or the share living in poverty, this generation of college-educated adults is faring worse than Gen Xers, Baby Boomers or members of the Silent Generation when they were in their mid20s and early 30s. A major generational shift is occurring in the workforce as the Baby Boomers are beginning to retire, while their children—the “Millennials”—enter their prime working years. The Baby Boom generation is currently 50 to 68 years of age, and accounts for 32 percent of the state’s workforce. The ongoing retirements of the Baby Boomers are likely to cause skill shortages since these individuals have acquired a broad base of knowledge and skills that will need to be replaced. Several of Iowa’s major industries have relatively high proportions of workers in the 55 and over age category, which will require many positions to be filled. Iowa’s Educational Services and Utilities sectors have the largest concentration of older workers at 30 percent.

Other sectors with high proportions of older workers are:

  • Mining (29 percent),
  • Public Administration (28 percent),
  • Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (27 percent) and
  • Transportation and Warehousing (27 percent).

Iowa’s labor force expanded again in 2014 following small declines during the 2009 to 2012 recovery period. The deep recession of 2008-2009 officially ended in June 2009, but its effects lingered with job growth subpar for the next several years. The lack of job opportunities following the recession discouraged many individuals from seeking employment. In 2015, Iowa’s labor force is again expected to experience strong growth following a gain of over 30,000 workers last year (+1.8 percent). From 1990 to 2014, Iowa’s labor force expanded by 253,400 workers, translating into a growth rate of 17.5 percent or 0.7 percent annually. In contrast, the U.S. labor force grew by 23.9 percent over the same period, or close to 1.0 percent annually. Future labor force growth for both Iowa and the nation is expected to be slower as the population ages. According to the 2013 population estimates, Iowa ranks 10th in the nation based on the proportion of its population 65 and over, and 4th in the nation based on its share of population 85 and over.

Historical Patterns

Historical patterns show that labor force growth is tied to population growth and a strong economy. An area that continues to add both people and jobs is most likely to experience long-term economic prosperity. In Iowa, the metro areas have become magnets for individuals looking for higher-paying job opportunities. This trend has been apparent for some time, and is one of the factors that have decreased the supply of younger workers in many of Iowa’s rural counties. For example, Dallas County, which is a part of the Des Moines metro area, leads all Iowa counties based on population and labor force growth. From 1990 to 2014, the county increased its labor force by 26,000 workers for a robust growth rate of 161.5 percent. Johnson County ranked second, adding 26,500 workers (45.9 percent). Based on numeric change, Polk County increased its labor force by the largest number—66,800 (35.2%). Conversely, 22 of Iowa’s rural counties lost a sizable portion of the rural labor force over the same period; Page County led the group with an 18.5 percent drop. Other significant losses occurred in Winnebago County (-17.2 percent) and Hamilton County (-15.5 percent).

Although Iowa’s labor force has grown at a slow pace, the state has one of the higher labor force participation rates in the nation. In 2014, the rate was 70.4 percent compared to 62.9 percent for the U.S. The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the working age population (16-64) who are employed or unemployed.

It is important to note that Iowa has identified the collection and evaluation of data by and between agencies as an area needing improvement. Throughout the plan various data sets have been drawn from and reviewed and it is acknowledged by agency leaders and stakeholders that improved data collection, evaluation and dissemination methods be updated to reflect current technological advances and to draw a more accurate and consistent picture of workforce services. Such a difference is noted in the Georgetown Report which projects Iowa to have approximately 1.84 million jobs in 2025; while Iowa’s Labor Market and Information Division (LMI) projects it will have 1.8 million in 2022. In particular, the Georgetown Report estimates there will be a larger number of jobs in government, real estate, and professional, scientific, and technical services, while Iowa projects there will be a larger number of jobs in education.

Table 13: Georgetown Report projects more total jobs by 2025 than the state of Iowa projects.

Industry

2022 LMI Projections

2025 Georgetown Projections

Difference

Educational services

187,000

47,000

140,000

Healthcare and social assistance

244,700

213,000

31,700

Manufacturing

221,100

189,900

31,200

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting

108,600

86,700

21,900

Accommodation and food services

127,300

116,000

11,300

Wholesale trade

74,000

63,500

10,500

Management of companies and enterprises

22,300

14,800

7,500

Retail trade

193,500

189,700

3,800

Utilities

6,100

6,100

0

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

2,200

4,400

2,100

Information

27,000

30,200

3,300

Transportation and warehousing

75,200

79,500

4,300

Other services (except public administration)

68,900

80,700

11,800

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

22,400

34,200

11,800

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services

82,500

97,500

15,000

Professional, scientific, and technical services

53,900

71,900

18,000

Construction

80,100

99,700

19,600

Finance and insurance

105,200

133,900

28,700

Real estate and rental and leasing

15,100

54,700

39,600

Government

87,600

226,600

138,900

Total

1,804,600

1,839,900

35,300

Note: Differences shown in italics are cases for which Iowa projections for the particular occupation are higher than Georgetown Report projections. Columns may not sum to totals due to rounding. Sources: Labor Force & Occupational Analysis Bureau, Iowa Workforce Development, “Iowa Industry Projections by (2012-2022) by NAICS Code,” 2015; and Carnevale, Smith, and Strohl, Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, 2013.

Skill Gaps

Data on Iowa’s occupations confirm that Iowa retains a strong demand for skilled workers. Employers in all industries have a growing need for workers with training or education beyond high school. According to a 2014 report published by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, less than 40 percent of Iowa’s adults ages 25 - 64, have at least an associate’s degreewhile more than 60 percent of jobs in the state will require postsecondary credentials by 2018.Iowa’s percent of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 25 percent. Economic projections show that skill-based technological change across industries and occupations will support rising demand for postsecondary education and training.

In the American education system, the four-year Bachelor’s degree is the default educational pathway. However, while many good jobs that pay a living wage do not require a Bachelor’s degree, but they do require some education or training beyond high school. There are 29 million such jobs in the national economy. In Iowa, there are 400,000 middle-skill jobs that pay at least $35,000 per year; this represents 26 percent of all jobs in Iowa. Forty percent of these jobs pay more than $50,000 annually and 14 percent pay more than $75,000 annually.

IVRS recognizes that education is an avenue to achieve self-sufficiency and provide a competitive edge to persons with disabilities. As a result almost 36 percent of the IVRS caseload is actively involved in obtaining a post-secondary credential or degree.

Middle-skill jobs will comprise 39 percent of Iowa’s employment. That 39 percent breaks down into these categories:

  • Associate’s degree holders (12 percent)
  • Certificate holders (5 percent)
  • Workers with a professional certification or occupational license as their only credential beyond high school (5 percent)
  • Workers who completed apprenticeships (3 percent)
  • Workers who completed some college coursework that have market value including noncredit courses with market value (14 percent)

There are five pathways to these jobs: two-year associate’s degrees, postsecondary certificates, professional certifications and occupational licenses, registered apprenticeship programs, and employer-based training. Another avenue, referred to as a career pathway, is one in in which students and trainees take a series of courses in a narrow range of occupational competencies coupled with work-based learning opportunities, and results in attainment of industry-recognized credentials.

Disparities exist in the college participation rate of low-income students compared to students from families with higher incomes. The number of students who enroll in college immediately after high school has remained stagnant for low-income students, while increasing for middle- and upper- income students. With more of Iowa’s students projected to be from low-income families in the future, increasing college access will become even more crucial.

Nine of Iowa’s 10 largest school districts reported increases in four-year graduation rates. Of those districts, Cedar Rapids reported the largest gain of 4.1 percent; the district’s overall four-year graduation rate is 85 percent for the Class of 2014. Iowa graduation rates are calculated with a formula established by the U.S. Department of Education. Table 14 provides a comparison of Iowa’s four-year graduation rate for the classes of 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011:

Table 14: Iowa’s Four-Year High School Graduation Rate by Subgroup

Class Year

All Students

IEP

Low SES

ELL

African American

Native American

Asian

Hispanic

White

Class of 2014

90.5%

76.4%

84.1%

83.1%

78.6%

78.3%

90.8%

81.7%

92.2%

Class of 2013

89.7%

72.7%

80.4%

75.7%

73.8%

83.2%

91.1%

79.5%

91.5%

Class of 2012

89.3%

72.7%

79.7%

73.9%

74.1%

72.7%

89.9%%

77.5%

91.1%

Class of 2011

88.3%

69.9%

78.1%

70.0%

73.2%

79.2%

88.5%

75.2%

90.2%

Difference 2013 to 2014

0.8%

3.7%

3.7%

7.4%

4.8%

-4.9%

-0.3%

2.2%

0.7%

Source: Iowa Department of education, https://www.educateiowa.gov/article/2015/04/01/iowa-s-high-school-graduation-rate-tops-90-percent

Iowa’s annual dropout rate decreased in the 2013-14 school year from the year before. The 2013-14 dropout rate was 2.7 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percent from the previous year. The rate reflects the percentage of students in grades 9-12 who drop out of school during a single year. The state’s 2013-14 dropout rate represents 3,932 students.

Table 15: Grades 9-12 Dropout Rate by Subgroup

Academic Year

All Students

IEP

Low SES

ELL

African American

Native American

Asian

Hispanic

White

2013-2014

2.7%

4.5%

5.3%

5.2%

7.2%

6.2%

1.6%

4.4%

2.2%

2012-2013

2.8%

4.4%

5.6%

5.7%

6.9%

6.7%

2.0%

5.3%

2.3%

 

Academic Year

All Students

IEP

Low SES

ELL

African American

Native American

Asian

Hispanic

White

2013-2014

2.7%

4.5%

5.3%

5.2%

7.2%

6.2%

1.6%

4.4%

2.2%

2012-2013

2.8%

4.4%

5.6%

5.7%

6.9%

6.7%

2.0%

5.3%

2.3%

Education Data

Demographic data on children in the college pipeline indicate that Iowa’s future population of high school graduates and traditional-aged college students will be fewer in number and will be increasingly more diverse. Iowa’s school-aged population has become more diverse over the past decade, and is projected continue along this path.

The IDOE shows that minority students made up 9.7 percent of total public school enrollment in 2000-2001, but by 2012-2013, their share of enrollment had more than doubled to 20.2 percent. The Hispanic student population increased the most, from 3.6 percent to 9.3 percent.

2. Workforce Development, Education and Training Activities Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the workforce development activities, including education and training in the State, to address the education and skill needs of the workforce, as identified in Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce above, and the employment needs of employers, as identified in Employers' Employment Needs above. This must include an analysis of –

A. The State’s Workforce Development Activities

Provide an analysis of the State’s workforce development activities, including education and training activities of the core programs, Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan, and required and optional one-stop delivery system partners.*

__________

* Required one-stop partners: In addition to the core programs, the following partner programs are required to provide access through the one-stops: Career and Technical Education (Perkins), Community Services Block Grant, Indian and Native American programs, HUD Employment and Training programs, Job Corps, Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program, National Farmworker Jobs program, Senior Community Service Employment program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (unless the Governor determines TANF will not be a required partner), Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, Unemployment Compensation programs, and YouthBuild.

The State’s Workforce Development Activities

Iowa boasts an array of programs, services and initiatives dedicated to supporting the efforts of a range of workforce stakeholders, including job-seekers and employers.

Iowa Workforce Development

The following section highlights some of the many workforce development activities. Customers entering the workforce system are provided comprehensive services and targeted referrals to other core partners. A large percentage of Wagner-Peyser referrals are from UI.

Through the IowaWORKS integrated service delivery system:

  • Customers are provided career services through WP
  • Services are provided through the 15 integrated one-stop centers and four satellite offices
  • Dedicated WP staff are located in each of the 15 integrated one-stop center and four satellite offices
  • Customers ready for employment after receiving career services may receive staff assisted job search and placement
  • Customers in need of training services are referred to other core partners depending on customer needs
  • Training services are provided through WIOA, VR or Adult Education Services

Online services include:

  • Resume builder
  • Targeted job leads
  • Career exploration and assessments
  • Identify gaps in skills; experiences and education
  • Adult/DW

One-stop services aim to respond to business demand for workforce improvement by up-skilling adults and dislocated workers and equipping them with current, in-demand skills to help them compete in today’s job market. The system provides collective access to career services to meet the diverse needs of job seekers. Career and training services, tailored to the individual needs of jobseekers, form the backbone of the one-stop delivery system. All customers have immediate access to employment and skill advancement services in basic career services, with connection of the customer to additional individualized career services, when determined appropriate in order for a customer to achieve their career goal and obtain or retain employment.

Youth

The WIOA Title I Youth Program seeks to provide young people with customer-centered, high quality services to enhance their skill sets and likelihood of gaining and retaining meaningful employment and attaining self-sufficiency. WIOA youth programs are meant to provide participants with a continuum of services to help them navigate between the educational and workforce systems. Services are based on individual needs of each participant.

Trade

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program provides reemployment assistance to workers who are displaced - due to a lack of work and no fault of their own - from firms hurt by foreign trade, as certified by the U.S. Department of Labor. Assistance is provided to the adversely affected workers so they can overcome job loss and secure reemployment. IWD staff conducts informational meetings for the workers of the closing organizations and helps affected workers access benefits and services which will help enhance their re-employability and build competitiveness for in-demand occupations. The program provides seamless services to participants through a coordinated and functionally aligned effort.

Wagner-Peyser Work with Ex-Offenders

Thousands of inmates and youth are released from Iowa prisons each year. Many of them are eager to get a job and lead a productive life. Without a job it is nearly impossible for these individuals to establish a new life and become productive citizens. Hiring an ex-offender can help them integrate into society so they can become a taxpayer instead of a tax burden. Iowa Workforce Development, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Corrections, has implemented the Ex-Offender Initiative. IWD staff assigned to this initiative work with inmates and network with employers to address the barriers they may have in hiring ex-offenders. Each of the participants in the program completes the National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC). In addition, offenders are also offered work readiness classes that emphasize job applications, resume writing, interviewing skills and effectively addressing the criminal history issue. All of these classes will help the offender present himself or herself better during the recruitment, interviewing and hiring processes with employer. Many employers experiencing labor shortages consider their number one challenge is to identify, attract and retain employees. To address these needs, employers are increasing their applicant pool by looking at individuals with criminal histories. Employed ex-offenders are some of the most dedicated and productive employees. They are overwhelmingly dependable and punctual and the turnover rate is atypically low.

Federal Bonding Program

This program benefits an employer by providing fidelity bond insurance in situations where the employer chooses to hire someone thought to be high risk. The advantage of the program is that the employer profits from the worker’s skills and abilities and is covered in case of potential theft or dishonesty. The bond promotes confidence in a job seeker who needs gain re-entry into or maintain a connection to labor market and demonstrate that he or she can be a productive worker.

Rapid Response Assistance and Layoff Aversion

Rapid Response and Layoff Aversion is a proactive, business-focused, and flexible strategy designed to help companies access an available pool of skilled workers affected by downsizing. It also allows a quick response to layoffs and plant closings by coordinating services and providing immediate aid to companies and their affected workers. Federal and state WARN (Iowa Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) laws offer protection to workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers to give advance notice to the affected workforce or their representatives (e.g. a labor union). The rapid response system first seeks to avert layoffs, when possible, while maintaining the capacity to return workers to productive employment and/or education as quickly as possible if the layoff is unavoidable. Effective rapid response activities require collaboration with employers, employee representative(s), workforce system partners and the community to quickly maximize public and private resources to minimize the disruptions on companies, affected workers, and communities that are associated with job loss.

National and State Emergency Grants (NEG’s and SEG’s)

These special grants are used to temporarily increase the capacity of state, local, and tribal governments to provide dislocated worker services in response to plant closings and mass layoffs by providing retraining and re-employment services to individuals dislocated because of a closure or substantial layoff from a specific business or facility. Emergency grants assist dislocated workers so that all customers would benefit from the service integration, functional alignment, and resources among programs. State or National Emergency Grants provide time-limited funding assistance in response to significant economic events and responds to an unanticipated need for assistance that cannot reasonably be accommodated within the ongoing operations of the WIOA formula-funded (including the discretionary resources reserved at the state level). In addition, SEG’s or NEG’s provide temporary employment in response to federally-declared “emergency or disaster situation of national significance”. This may include declarations by recognized chief official of a federal agency with jurisdiction. Individuals dislocated by the disaster event perform clean-up and recovery activities in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state, and local efforts.

Veterans

Iowa Workforce Development currently has 15 Disabled Veteran Outreach Program specialists (DVOPs) who are located in our IowaWORKS offices across the state. DVOPs main activity is to provide intensive services (comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels and service needs; development of an individual, employment plan to identify the employment goals, appropriate achievement objectives and appropriate combination, of services for the participant to achieve the employment goals; group counseling; individual counseling and career, planning; and short-term prevocational services that may include development of learning skills, communication skills, interviewing skills, punctuality, personal maintenance skills, and professional conduct to prepare individuals for unsubsidized employment or training) to eligible veterans and eligible spouses who have a significant barrier to employment. DVOPs are an essential resource in our IowaWORKS centers.

Iowa has one Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) who is domiciled in the Des Moines IowaWORKS office. The LVER conducts outreach to employers in the area to assist veterans in gaining employment, including conducting seminars for employers and, in conjunction with employers, conducting job search workshops and establishing job search groups; and facilitate employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans in a State under the applicable State employment service delivery system.

The Skilled Iowa initiative also offers Iowans - with Veterans having priority - an opportunity to upgrade their skills through an unpaid internship program. The initiative’s first internship trained a Veteran at a central Iowa business. The business ultimately hired the Veteran for a fulltime position. Over 500 internships have been offered, and 58% resulted in an offer of employment to the participant. Those numbers include 59 Veterans who participated in an internship, 48 who completed the activity, and 24 (or 50%) who were offered employment. For more information about Skilled Iowa, go towww.skillediowa.org.

Home Base Iowa

Another initiative of Iowa Governor Branstad is “Home Base Iowa,” which was signed into law on Memorial Day, 2014. This legislation provides the following benefits to Iowa Veterans, as well as Transitioning Service Members looking to make this state their home:

  • Fully exempts military pensions from state income tax, and includes surviving spouses in this exemption;
  • Special license plate fees waived for those eligible for veteran-related specialty plates (Bronze Star, Disabled Veteran, Ex POW, Gold Star, Iowa National Guard, Legion of Merit, Medal of Honor, Pearl Harbor Veteran, Purple Heart, Retired by branch, Air Force Cross Medal, Airman’s Medal, Navy Cross, Service Cross Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Medal, Soldier’s Medal, Silver Star Medal, Veteran;)
  • Allows private employers to give preference in hiring and promotion to veterans and surviving spouses of military personnel who died either while on active duty, or as a result of such service;
  • Increases funding and eligibility for Military Homeownership Assistance Program;
  • Requires licensing boards to adopt rules giving credit for military training and experience, as well as draft proposals allowing license reciprocity for military spouses; and
  • Higher education institutions must set academic credit standards for military experience.

Another component of Home Base Iowa is member businesses and communities. The Home Base Iowa Communities initiative designates communities as centers of opportunity for military veterans and further highlights Iowa’s statewide commitment to welcoming veterans to the state. Standards to become a Home Base Iowa community include:

  • Ten percent of the businesses in the community agree to pledge to hire a specific number of veterans, post their jobs with IWD, and become a member of Skilled Iowa;
  • The community develops its own welcome/incentive package for veterans;
  • The community prominently displays the Home Base Iowa Community designation; and
  • The community obtains a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body.

Iowa currently has 36 Home Base Iowa communities. For more information, see www.homebaseiowa.org. This website also provides information on job opportunities in Iowa through the .jobs microsite for Veterans, veteran-friendly employers and communities, resources for veterans, Home Base Iowa employers, and more.

Iowa was also the first state to partner with Hilton Worldwide to offer no-cost accommodations to military personnel. The Hilton Honors hotel stays can be used to pursue job opportunities in any industry - and can be used to support job interviews, skills training, housing searches for newly employed Iowans, and other job-seeking activities within the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. Iowa is making points available to Veterans, Transitioning Service Members, Spouse, National Guard and Reserve members, and anyone meeting the Wagner-Peyser definition of a Veteran. Case management is not a requirement. Iowa is currently the largest user of this benefit.

An Air Force Lieutenant Colonel was the first Home Base Iowa hire and the first recipient of Hilton Honors benefits. A native of Maine, the LTC is an Air Force Academy graduate completing 20 years of service to our country this summer. His distinguished career included service as an F-16 pilot, fighter squadron commander, and senior analyst. His last assignment was at the Pentagon as the deputy division chief for operations force management. He has over 2,817 total flying hours, as well as two Distinguished Flying Crosses for service in Serbia and Iraq. He moved to Iowa in 2014 with his wife - an Iowa native - and family to start his civilian career in Des Moines.

Iowa Adult Education and Literacy

Adult education has a rich history in Iowa of providing services that assist adults in improving their skills, achieving their educational goals, and transitioning to further education or employment. Instruction is designed for adults functioning at the lowest levels of basic skills and English language instruction to advanced levels of learning. As defined by Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity (WIOA), Adult Education enables adults to: (1) become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency; (2) obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children; and (3) complete a secondary school education.

The federally-funded adult education and literacy programs administered by the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) Division of Community Colleges provide lifelong educational opportunities and support services to eligible participants. Programs assist adults in obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for work, further education, family self-sufficiency, and community involvement. Iowa’s adult education and literacy (AEL) programs are delivered through the state’s 15 community colleges. By improving the education and skill levels of individual Iowans, the programs enhance the competitiveness of state’s workforce and economy.

Through instruction in adult basic education (ABE), adult secondary education (ASE) and English as a Second Language (ESL), programs help learners to:

  • gain employment or better their current employment;
  • obtain a high school equivalency diploma by passing the state approved assessment;
  • attain skills necessary to enter postsecondary education and training;
  • exit public welfare and become self-sufficient;
  • learn to speak, to read, and to write the English language;
  • master basic academic skills to help their children succeed in school;
  • become U.S. citizens and participate in a democratic society;
  • gain self-esteem, personal confidence, and a sense of personal and civic responsibility.

Eligibility for enrollment includes persons that are at least 16 years of age and not enrolled or required to be enrolled in a secondary school under Iowa Code chapter 299.1A; and meet one of the following:

  • lack sufficient mastery of basic educational skills to enable them to function effectively in society;
  • do not have a secondary school diploma or a recognized equivalent, and have not achieved an equivalent level of education; or
  • are unable to speak, read, or write the English language.

In FY 2015, AEL program enrollment was 19,464, with an unduplicated headcount of 17,773. However, the data management system used to report for federal accounting purposes consisted of 18,321 participants. Of these students, 12,203 were eligible for, and therefore included in, federal year-end reporting based on the NRS requirements.

ABE instruction had the most enrollees in 2015 with 5,859 participants; 48 percent of the total enrollment. ESL was the second largest group of participants with 4,899 participants, while ASE represented 12 percent with 1,444 enrollees. There has been a five year average increase of 5.3 percent in ESL enrollment. Of those that were enrolled in 2015 and federally reported, 50 percent were female and 35 percent self-identified as White. Thirty-one percent of participants identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, 19 percent as Black or African American, and 12 percent as Asian. The remaining three categories (Native American, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and two or more races) combine to about 3 percent of the participants.

Service Demographics

The largest age group served by AEL programs ranged between 25-44 years of age, with 49 percent in this category. The next largest group, 19-24, accounted for 26 percent. The 45-59 age group had 1,576 participants which was slightly higher than the 16-18 age group with 1,208 participants. Additional, optional demographic information is collected from participants in the AEL program that can assist in directing resources to target needs. The three highest status barriers to employment, as indicated upon entry into the AEL program, included the following: self-identified as unemployed (43 percent); self-identified as a single parent (9 percent); and self-identified as being low income (7 percent). It is important to note that a participant might indicate more than one status measure.

Table 18: AEL Populations with Identified Barriers to Employment

Region

Displaced Home-maker (%)

Low-Income (%)

Disability (%)

Veteran (%)

Single Parent (%)

Un-employed (%)

Corrections (%)

Basic Skill (%)

English Language Learners (%)

Grand Total, Number

1

+

18

5

+

20

58

-

31

11

535

2

+

19

6

+

10

46

-

60

14

315

3

+

2

2

-

13

33

-

43

23

221

4

+

2

1

-

4

17

-

37

28

321

5

+

0

1

+

4

35

29

53

29

1280

6

-

1

+

-

+

55

7

33

44

678

7

-

0

+

-

-

44

-

37

40

1041

9

1

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37

11

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2574

11

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10

47

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5135

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25

51

1443

13

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15

29

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58

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992

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320

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1073

While individual unduplicated participation in adult education decreased by 1.3 percent, persisters and completers improved between FY15 and FY14. Individual participants that remained in the program longer than 12 hours-persisters (12,203) increased to 68.5 percent. This is a 23.9 percent increase from FY14 (55.3 percent).

Measuring Educational Gains

To measure educational gains, AEL programs pre- and post-test participants after a minimum number of instructional hours. Without a post-test, measuring gains would be impossible. Of the FY15 persisters, 63.3 percent were post-tested (7,720) as compared to the post-testing rate of 59.0 percent in FY14. As a result of the increase in post-testing, 5,370 demonstrated an educational functioning level gain in FY15 (often reflected as a one to two grade level equivalency gain) and is considered a completer. This represents an additional 1,422 completers (36 percent increase) in FY15.

Performance reflects not only educational gains, but also the awarding of Iowa’s High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) for eligible students passing the state identified assessment (as of January 2014 the state transitioned from using the GED® assessment to the HiSET® as a measurement of high school equivalency). In FY15, the first full reporting cycle for using the HiSET®, 1,942 diplomas were issued, a decrease of 1,466 from FY 14.

Registered Apprenticeship

Registered Apprenticeship is a proven approach for preparing workers for jobs while meeting the needs of business for a highly-skilled workforce. It is an employer-driven, “learn while you earn” model that combines on-the-job training, provided by the employer that hires the apprentice, with job-related instruction in curricula tied to the attainment of national skills standards. The model also involves progressive increases in an apprentice’s skills and wages. Registered Apprenticeship is a flexible training strategy that can be customized to meet the needs of any business. Apprentices can be new hires, dislocated workers, youth or incumbent workers - anyone who needs skill upgrades.

While it is used in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, registered apprenticeship is also instrumental for training and development in growing industries, such as health care, information technology, transportation and logistics, agriculture, hospitality and energy. There are five components to typical registered apprenticeship programs. These include:

1. Business Involvement Employers are the foundation of every registered apprenticeship program.

2. Structured On-the-Job Training Apprenticeships always include an on-the-job training (OJT) component. OJT focuses on the skills and knowledge an apprentice must learn during the program to be fully proficient on the job. This training is based on national industry standards, customized to the needs of a particular employer.

3. Related Instruction Apprenticeships combine on-the-job learning with related instruction on the technical and academic competencies that apply to the job. Education partners collaborate with business to develop the curriculum, which often incorporates established national-level skill standards.

4. Rewards for Skill Gains Apprentices receive wages when they begin work, and receive pay increases as they meet benchmarks for skill attainment which serves to reward and motivate apprentices as they advance.

5. Nationally-recognized Credential Every graduate of a Registered Apprenticeship program receives a nationally-recognized credential. This is a portable credential that signifies to employers that apprentices are fully qualified for the job.

Iowa Currently has 740 Registered Apprenticeship Sponsors over 7000 Active Apprentices and those numbers continue to grow. The state plans to double the number of Active Apprentices in the next 5 years.

Developing Registered Apprenticeship Programs in the following industries is a priority in Iowa:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • HealthCare
  • IT
  • Hospitality
  • Agriculture
  • Construction

Iowa was one of only four states that had a 20-30% increase in Active Apprentices according to DOL. According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity, Registered Apprenticeship is thriving in many organizations across the US, with more than 19,000 RAP meeting the Department of Labor’s standards nationwide. Nationwide, there are about 415,000 apprentices, and over 44,000 participants graduated from the apprenticeship system during the most recent year. While 33% of employers offer some form of apprenticeship program, only 14% have registered apprenticeship programs via the U.S. Department of Labor. Of all companies, 36% plan to either maintain or grow their existing apprenticeship program and an additional 10% plan to explore or start a program. High-performance organizations are 4.5X more likely to indicate they plan to grow their existing apprenticeship program or start one.

Community Colleges Job Training and Development Funds

Each year, U.S. employers spend $177 billion on formal training programs and $413 billion on informal on-the-job training.8 Employers often hire other businesses, educational institutions, or individuals to train their employees. While employers spend most of their formal training dollars on college-educated workers, they spend 25 percent of their formal training budgets on middle-skill workers and 17 percent on high school graduates.

Iowa has two programs designed to support job training and development for new employees (260E) and existing employees (260F). Together, they are an important part of the state’s workforce development efforts. These programs, which are administered through the community colleges, play an essential role in enabling employees to remain current in their training and development so that the businesses they work for remain competitive. Through these public-private partnerships, employer training is provided at little or no cost. The programs are supported through bonds that are repaid using a diversion of a portion of payroll withholding tax revenue.

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

The mission of the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services is to work for and with individuals who have disabilities to achieve their employment, independence and economic goals.

Disability Determination Services Bureau

The Disability Determination Services Bureau is responsible for determining the eligibility of Iowa residents who apply for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs.

Rehabilitation Services Bureau

The Rehabilitation Services Bureau assists eligible individuals to become employed. Persons receiving vocational rehabilitation services have a wide range of disabilities. Most offices are already co-located in the One-Stop Centers across Iowa. Vocational Rehabilitation is a State-Federal program. The Federal share is 78.7%; the State share is 21.3%. The Rehabilitation Services Bureau has 14 area offices and 32 service units.

Administrative Services Bureau

Administrative Services Bureau provides support to the other elements of the Division through the functions of fiscal accounting, budgeting and payroll; statistical records, reporting and closed case file control; personnel management and collective bargaining administration; purchasing and property control; information systems and the physical plant management of the Jessie Parker Building. The Office of the Administrator is responsible for overall administration of the statewide programs. The administrator determines program scope and policies, promotes public interest and acceptance, directs budget funds, develops program plans and provides for staff development, research and evaluation. Under the umbrella of the administrator are the State Rehabilitation Council and the Community Rehabilitation Program Advisory Group.

Collaborative Transition Protocol (CTP)

CTP aligns secondary school IEP and IVRS IPE also providing Student Accommodation Reports for smoother postsecondary transition. Collaborative training is occurring at secondary, postsecondary and VR levels with disability support services

Benefits Planning

Benefits planning provides analysis and assistance for economic independence to individuals on SSI/SSDI.

IWD/IVRS Pilot Project

Five one stop centers are working with VR to improve work flow efficiencies through improved intake and data sharing linkages, enhanced wrap-around supports cross-system and streamlined processes.

Earn and Learn Programs

VR-eligible students with disabilities, in select target areas, benefit from Earn and Learn programs. Earn and Learn programs exist for specific trades in collaboration with Community Colleges, Registered Apprenticeship programs and businesses. VR provides stipend and facilitates business involvement, communicates with secondary, postsecondary and business implementing pathway. Earn and Learn programs can lead to various OJT employment options with a specific focus on employee needs and business needs. Efforts are being made to establish more dedicated integration with Registered Apprenticeship programs. IVRS has attended Career Pathways trainings and are finding more opportunities to network with RAP partners and connect students to RA and related programs.

Progressive Employment

VR job candidates can access a continuum of employment services designed to meet the job candidate at their ability and provide steps for employment progress through a menu of service options designed to facilitate competitive employment.

Self-Employment Program

The Self-Employment program provides resources to help future eligible business owners in developing skills specific to running their own business and provides connection to entrepreneurial opportunities.

Employer Disability Resource Network (EDRN)

Job candidates with disabilities are the ultimate beneficiaries. The EDRN is a one-stop resource for businesses. VR conducts regular ongoing meetings for network of service providers, including a web site, to provide timely response for business inquiries and support.

Business Specialist

The Business Specialist integrates VR staff into business and industry. Contracts are being established with businesses integrating VR service delivery and pathways specific to that business.

AAA Employment Specialists

This collaborative project with the Iowa Department of Aging provides six employment specialists housed at the Area Agencies on Aging and includes employment services and training for eligible participants.

Occupational Skill Training Programs

A myriad of skill training programs designed to meet business needs through specific training. VR eligible Job Candidates are connected with opportunities through cross collaboration with schools, businesses and community providers. Walgreens REDI, Project Search and Transition Alliance Programs are among the more than 20 programs across the state.

Access2Ability

Access2Ability is private/public partnership with Manpower Staffing agency to improve employment outcomes for VR eligible job-seekers.

MOA with Department of Education on Data Dashboard

Students with Disabilities are the ultimate beneficiaries. This program explores ways to better serve students in schools through training, parent/family engagement, resource sharing.

Making the Grade

This contract with community providers focuses on competitive job experience for students in secondary school. Seven sites across state are focused on increasing competitive employment experiences and opportunities.

Youth Leadership Forum

Targeting eligible VR job candidates, in partnership with Department of Human Rights and Iowa Department for the Blind, this program helps increase social advocacy and life skills development for youth. Junior and senior high school students participate in a week-long experience at ISU learning about the qualities related to leadership. Self-advocacy, work-readiness, and interpersonal skills development are taught. Participants also learn about employment laws and labor market needs. Through the experience participants develop confidence in their work abilities and become more connected to their community which increases employment success.

Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP)

In the February, 2016 report, How States Are Expanding Apprenticeship, By Angela Hanks and Ethan Gurwitz, Iowa was highlighted as the leader among states in “developing and supporting strategies to increase Registered Apprenticeship.” Among the contributing factors is the leadership provided by the federal Office of Apprenticeship, which oversees Registered Apprenticeship in the state. Having registered more new RA programs over the past few years, Iowa RAP are expected to keep growing. State support in the form of the Apprenticeship and Training Act in 2014, initially proposed by Gov. Terry Branstad, in his 2014 Condition of the State address and subsequent budget proposal, the act established an apprenticeship program training fund and set annual appropriations at $3 million, tripling the amount of state funding available to support apprenticeship programs. The Iowa Economic Development Authority is responsible for overseeing the funding. This initiative complements other efforts to attract new businesses to the state, which recently became home to large data centers for Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

The apprenticeship training program funds will be used to support grants to Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors—which are typically employers, labor-management partnerships, or industry associations—to subsidize the cost of RAP. Such costs include related classroom instruction, purchasing equipment for the apprenticeship program, and establishing new locations to expand apprenticeship training. As of 2015, 67 sponsors had submitted applications to receive grant funds.

Department for the Blind

The Department for the Blind’s mission is to empower Iowan’s of all ages who are visually impaired and blind to become employed, as well as, live independently in their community. All services at Iowa Department for the Blind, or IDB, promote employment, living independently, and full inclusion.

The Department is recognized as a leading provider of services in the United States. These rehabilitation services include innovative and effective Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living Programs, as well as, world-class library services. The benefits to clients are many and include an impact on attitudes, confidence and independence. The collective social and economic impact is also significant. As Iowan’s with vision loss obtain employment they contribute to Iowa’s economy.

The Iowa Department for the Blind works to educate and inform businesses, family members, service providers, advocacy groups, community and service organizations, as well as, the general public about the true capabilities of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. IDB actively seeks ongoing communication, interaction, and collaboration with all constituencies.

Iowa Department for the Blind collaborates with many stakeholders to provide opportunities for independence and employment throughout the state. IDB provides employment services to blind and visually impaired Iowans who are looking for a job or want to retain or advance in their current career. The Department for the Blind believes that with the right skills and opportunities a blind or visually impaired person can and should be competitively employed and live within their community of choice. IDB programs include:

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Iowans who are blind or have visual impairments and have goals to become employed can receive assistance planning for employment or maintaining current job through training, education, technology, career counseling, and more.

Transitional Vocational Rehabilitation Services

The Transitional Vocational Rehabilitation Services works with middle, high school and college students who are blind or have visual impairments set employment goals and develop plans for achieving the goals they set. This program eases the transition from high school to the world beyond with career counseling and work experience activities by partnering with educational, employer, family, and partner stakeholders.

Business Enterprises Program

Legally blind entrepreneurs can receive training throughout Iowa to run vending machine businesses.

Youth Leadership Forum

In partnership with the Department of Human Rights and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, eligible VR clients can gain vital skills during a week-long event. Skills include:

  • Leadership
  • Social
  • Advocacy
  • Life Skills

Independent Living Program

Iowans who are blind or have Visual Impairments who desire to live independently in their home or community can access:

  • Training
  • Support Groups
  • Rehabilitation Teaching for Iowan’s with Vision Loss

Orientation Center

The Adult Orientation and Adjustment Center provides a curriculum for learning the skills of blindness needed for employment, from traveling to technology needed on the job for vocational rehabilitation clients.

Career Resources Center

The Career Resource Center provides accessible technology, equipment and software to be used to prepare, gain and maintain skills and credentials needed for employment.

Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

This program provides resources and training to ensure individuals they can participate in skill and certificate training. The library is a comprehensive resource where eligible participants can develop skills needed to gain, retain and advance in a career. Accessible resources and training are provided to locate, evaluate and effectively use information. In addition, resources to develop and enhance digital literacy skills are available. The Library also provides accessible resources and programs for English Language Learners with visual impairments and individuals with other disabilities, i.e. dyslexia, hand mobility impairments, etc.

Iowa Department of Human Services

The Iowa Department of Human Services makes a positive difference in the lives of Iowans we serve through effective and efficient leadership, excellence, and teamwork. The Mission of the Iowa Department of Human Services is to help individuals and families achieve safe, stable, self-sufficient, and healthy lives, thereby contributing to the economic growth of the state. We do this by keeping a customer focus, striving for excellence, sound stewardship of state resources, maximizing the use of federal funding and leveraging opportunities, and by working with our public and private partners to achieve results.

Employment Assistance Programs

Home and Community Based Services Supported Employment targets youth (15 and older) or Adults with Disabilities (ID and BI) or Brain Injury. This program provides participants with basic work skills and supports through career exploration, developing work skills and work supports.

PROMISE JOBS

Promoting Independence & Self-Sufficiency through Employment, Job Opportunities, and Basic Skills (PROMISE JOBS). Family Investment Program (FIP) Participants are eligible to receive employment & training services that include supportive services to address barriers to employment. Work readiness services to increase opportunities for employment outcomes are also a part of the PROMISE JOBS program. This includes overarching activities such as education, certification, training, job search assistance, and employment.

Future Ready Iowa

Future Ready Iowa aims to achieve systemic changes to increase the number of citizens with a postsecondary credential with the intended result of increasing the number of skilled workers available to employers. Igniting economic development with a skilled workforce and the best educated student population in the nation will achieve Governor Branstad’s goals, which will increase the income levels of Iowa families.

For the workforce development system this means creating a system that utilizes resources efficiently and aligns government programs in a manner that responds to and supports the needs of private business. Future Ready Iowa was developed by the National Governors Association Policy Academy Developing Iowa’s Future Talent Pipeline and list the general membership of the Policy Academy.

To achieve the prosperity supported by world-class talent educated with Iowa’s values and work ethic, Iowa’s government is responding with the workforce development system of the future. Iowa’s workforce development systems will build the system of tomorrow to attain the results needed today through skill building focused on the job-driven expectations of business and industry - occupational and soft skills.

Through implementation of career pathways and infusing of robust sector strategies across systems, Iowa is committed to serving the underserved citizenry by closing educational and employment gaps to end disparities based on disability, ethnicity, race, class, and geographic location. By 2025, 70% of all Iowans will have earned a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized credential or certification - the new minimum - that meets employer needs.

Future Ready Iowa Objectives

Identify and meet employer needs by focusing on sector strategies, career pathways and better aligning state and federal programs and initiatives, including public-private partnerships, to support high-skill, high-demand jobs.

Communicate high-demand career pathways to students, parents, teachers, counselors, workers and community leaders through career planning, including an interactive portal of career opportunities and required credentials and experience.

Improve college and career readiness, increase interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) study and careers.

Minimize education-related debt.

Future Ready Iowa Strategies

1. Identify and quantify employers’ education, training, and employment needs and capture those needs in a Talent Supply & Demand interactive portal to be driven by a public-private collaborative, leveraging and institutionalizing the sector strategies and career pathways methodologies.

2. Improve degree and credential completion and target resources to support attainment of high-demand credentials, degrees, and certifications valued by employers, including for those individuals with barriers to employment.

3. Cultivate, develop and align work-based learning opportunities including, but not limited to, STEM school-business partnerships, student internships, teacher externships and registered apprenticeships for individuals through public-private partnerships.

4. Create a system of coordinated resources to engage, assist, and reinforce Future Ready career guidance for parents, students, educators and adults.

5. Ensure secondary students have access to high quality career and technical educational programs aligned with labor market needs.

6. Ensure all Iowa students meet high state academic standards, including being literate by the end of the third grade and achieving in STEM disciplines.

7. Increase rigorous concurrent enrollment opportunities in high demand career pathways, including STEM disciplines.

8. Institutionalize the college-going process within secondary schools statewide (College Application Campaign, FAFSA Completion, assessing “college fit,” etc.).

9. Elevate and operationalize promising financial literacy models that impact student borrowing.

10. Nurture entrepreneurial connectivity and skills development.

Iowa Department for the Aging

On March 29, 2012, Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 2320 mandating a reduction in the number of Area Agencies on Aging. Frequently referred to as the “modernization of the aging network,” this initiative effectively reduced the number of AAAs from 13 to six to enhance efficiency. The Iowa Department on Aging works closely with Iowa’s six Area Agencies on Aging and other partners to design a system of information, education, support and services for Iowans that assists older Iowans and adults with disabilities maintain independence. A summary of services offered includes:

Advocacy

Advocate for changes in public policy, practices and programs that empower Iowans; facilitate their access to services; protect their rights; and prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation. Activities may include legislative advocacy, information dissemination, outreach and referral, research and analysis and coalition building.

Planning Development and Coordination

Conduct planning, policy development, administration, coordination, priority setting and evaluation of all state activities related to the objectives of the Federal Older Americans Act.

Health

Support policies, programs and wellness initiatives to empower older Iowans to stay active and healthy and improve their access to affordable, high quality home and community-based services.

Older Iowans

The 2010 U.S. Census found that 20 percent of Iowa’s population is currently 60 years of age or older. By 2030, 20 percent of the population in 88 of Iowa’s 99 counties will be aged 65 or older.

ABE Senior Community Service Employment Program

Individuals age 55 and older, at or below 125% of poverty, and unemployed can take advantage of opportunities for economic self-sufficiency and useful part-time jobs in community service organizations. The primary objective is to increase the numbers of older persons who can obtain employment. Assist participants in receiving work skills training and provide work services for non-profit and governmental organizations.

Governor’s STEM Council

Created with the goal of increasing STEM interest and achievement, the STEM Council is a collaboration of bipartisan Iowa legislators, educators, business, nonprofits, students and families focused on improving STEM opportunities and awareness in Iowa. The STEM Council follows this definition of STEM:

“…an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.”

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is a made up of leaders in higher education, business, pre-K through 12 educators, as well as state and local government officials. The STEM Council is led by Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson. The executive director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is Dr. Jeff Weld. There are 47 members on the STEM Council, including 17 members that comprise the Executive Committee.

Current STEM Initiatives

Microsoft’s IT Academy targets secondary and community college students and their teachers and provides office software and systems network analyst training and certifications to 150 Iowa secondary schools and community colleges.

Iowa STEM BEST Business Engaging Students and Teachers targets secondary school lead applicants with business commitments & Secondary STEM learners. This incentive program is designed to drive school/business partnerships for content delivery/aligned instruction. There are currently five active sites involving 14 districts and businesses.

STEM Teacher Externships target secondary teachers of STEM subjects, and industry partners in STEM areas. Secondary teachers of math, science, technology, and engineering matched full time in summer to an industry to take on authentic tasks and role.

STEM Internships provide grants to employers to support Iowa students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through internships that lead to self-sustaining jobs with Iowa employers.

Iowa Office of Apprenticeship/Apprenticeship USA

The National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 authorizes the federal government, in cooperation with the states, to oversee the nation’s apprenticeship system. In Iowa, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Apprenticeship (OA) is responsible for registering apprenticeship programs that meet federal guidelines. It issues certificates of completion to apprentices and encourages the development of new programs. Registered Apprenticeship is a proven system for training employees in a variety of occupations that require a wide range of skills and knowledge. It is an ideal way for employers to build and maintain a skilled workforce. Registered Apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job learning with technical related instruction in subjects related to the apprentice’s chosen occupation. Registered Apprenticeship, by virtue of its success in preparing skilled workers, helps America compete more effectively in the global economy, and contributes to America’s economic development and sustained economic growth.

The Registered Apprenticeship system provides opportunity for workers seeking high-skilled, high- paying jobs and for employers seeking to build a qualified workforce. In this regard, the Registered Apprenticeship system effectively meets the needs of both employers and workers. While Registered Apprenticeship is highly active in traditional industries such as construction and advanced manufacturing, it is also instrumental in the training and development of high demand industries such as healthcare, childcare, and energy and information technology. Registered Apprenticeship programs are operated by both the public and private sectors, with programs registered with OA called sponsors. Employers, employer associations and labor-management organizations often serve as sponsors.

Recently, community colleges and workforce development centers have collaborated with business and industry to develop Registered Apprenticeship programs through sponsoring employer-participation agreements. Regions that adopt robust Registered Apprenticeship programs in the context of economic development strategies create seamless pipelines of skilled workers and flexible career pathways to meet current and future workforce demands.

The State of Iowa tripled funding for Registered Apprenticeship Programs in 2014 to $3 million and has been recognized by The UAS DOL in regard to innovative practices and number of new Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

Iowa Economic Development Authority

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) offers a variety of programs and services to individuals, communities and businesses to attract and grow business, employment and workforce in Iowa. Ground-breaking economic growth strategies focusing on cultivating start-up companies and helping existing companies become more innovative complement the activities underway to retain and attract companies that are creating jobs for Iowans.

Developing sustainable, adaptable communities ready for this growth is also an essential part of our work at IEDA — providing programs and resources that help communities reinvest, recover and revitalize to make each community’s vision a reality. Much of what you know about Iowa is true. It’s what you don’t know that sets us apart. The Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress seeks to build Iowa’s economic health and strengthen supports to employers as well as current and future employees through dedicated collaborations among key agencies and streamlined processes.

Federal Career Link Program - Community Development Block Grant

Low to moderate income individuals can participate in industry-driven training programs that invest in projects that assist the underemployed and working poor to obtain the training and skills they need to move into available higher-skill, higher wage jobs.

Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program (260E)

Finances training for new jobs created through a business expanding or locating in Iowa through the sale of bond certificates by Iowa community colleges.

Accelerated Career Education Program (ACE tax credits) (260G)

Assists community colleges to establish or expand training programs for occupations needed by Iowa business.

Targeted Industries Internship Program (TIIP)

Provides grants to small and medium-sized companies under 500 employees in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries to help support their internship programs with a goal of transitioning interns to full-time employment in the state upon graduation.

Iowa Jobs Training Program

Finances training for existing of incumbent workforces of Iowa businesses.

Iowa Finance Authority

The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) offers a variety of programs and services to individuals, communities and businesses and has touched the lives of countless Iowans through a wide variety of affordable financing programs throughout its 40 year history. Among other programs, the Agricultural Development Division offers loan and tax credit programs to assist beginning Iowa farmers. Iowa Title Guaranty is also administered at IFA and offers guaranteed title to real property in Iowa.

Training Grants (15B)The Iowa Apprenticeship Act was passed in 2014, increasing the available funding to $3 million for training grants awarded to “sponsors” to conduct and maintain an apprenticeship program. Only apprenticeship programs that meet DOL/OA specific requirements and standards are eligible for training grants. A sponsor or lead sponsor (a trade organization, labor organization, employee organization or other incorporated entity representing a group of registered apprenticeship sponsors) may apply for an IEDA training grant. Funds awarded may only be used to help cover the cost of conducting and maintaining an apprenticeship training program.

Applications for training grants are accepted from any Iowa registered DOL/OA sponsor or lead sponsor and are due by February 1 for the previous training year (January through December).The amount of the training grants available is based on the statutory formula established under Iowa Code Chapter 15B based upon “contact hours.” Contact hours are determined based on an applicant’s combined total of apprentices and related technical instruction (RTI) hours for the most recent training year. The training grant is based on the applicant’s proportionate share of the statewide total of all contact hours.

Iowa Agricultural Development Division (IADD)

The IADD was established by the Iowa General Assembly in 1980 to provide financial assistance to Iowa’s grain and livestock producers. Operating expenses for the IADD are derived from modest application and service fees paid by program participants. The IADD also earns interest from a trust fund, but it does not receive any state tax dollars.

Economic Development

The Iowa Finance Authority issues tax-exempt bonds to businesses and organizations for a wide range of projects. These have included expanding and improving health care services, industrial development and housing. As of 2012, the Iowa Finance Authority has issued more than $7.5 billion in bonds to assist businesses build or expand in Iowa.

Economic Development Bond Program

Issues tax-exempt bonds on behalf of private entities or organizations for eligible purposes.

Private Activity Bond Cap Allocation

In 2014, the State of Iowa received $309 million of volume cap for allocation to eligible projects in the single-family, job training, student loan, beginning farmer, industrial and political subdivision categories.

Iowa Department of Corrections

The Iowa Department of Corrections Professional Development Training Program mission is to prepare and update institution and community correctional employees’ knowledge base, skills, and competencies; to enable them to perform their duties within the parameters of sound and effective correctional practices in order to protect the general public, themselves, and their co-workers, while managing offenders in an environment that supports offender change.

B. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Workforce Development Activities

Provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the workforce development activities identified in (A) above.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Workforce Development Activities

WIOA provided the appropriate context in which to conduct a full-scale examination of Iowa’s workforce delivery system partners, supporters and beneficiaries. Throughout the course of the state’s planning process, the core partners engaged stakeholders, including employers, job-seekers, support agencies and others, in all aspects of plan development. Core Partner key staff met on a weekly basis working together as a team. The team reviewed existing policies and procedures through a combination of quantitative and qualitative exercises and analyses. In March, 2015, key stakeholders participated in a week-long Value Stream Mapping event to examine the global view of the Core WIOA and integrated mandatory employment and training agencies and programs in Iowa. Identification of alignment opportunities and best practices for employment services to Iowans were primary foci of the team.

Value Stream Mapping Event Representation:

  • Members of Industry
  • State Workforce Investment Board Members
  • Regional Workforce Development Board Members
  • Department of Human Rights
  • Department of Human Services - PROMISE JOBS
  • Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Iowa Department for the Blind - Business Enterprise Program, Vocational Rehabilitation Program
  • Department of Education, Division of Community Colleges - Adult Education Literacy
  • Iowa Workforce Development - Youth Program -Job Seekers, Migrant & Seasonal Farm Worker
  • Iowa Workforce Development (IowaWORKS) - Wagner Peyser - Job Seeker, Wagner Peyser - Business Services, Adult Program - Job Seeker, Dislocated Worker - Job Seeker, Disabled Veteran’s Outreach Program, Trade Assistance, Adult Program - Business Services, Dislocated Worker - Business Services, Youth Program - Business Services
  • Community Colleges - GAP Program
  • Iowa Department of Management
  • Iowa Economic Development Authority

The Value Stream Mapping team identified and prioritized key elements that would have the most significant and positive impacts to ALL Iowa jobseekers. Key elements were prioritized to allow for a more focused approached to planning. The team ranked and prioritized the level of difficulty in completing the activities needed to move identified tasks forward. Initially, the focus was on finding existing areas of alignment between the agencies and their respective activities and programs. As the work evolved, weaknesses and strengths of the system as well as its individual parts emerged. It was soon clear that Iowa’s workforce entities had been operating under a “together, but separate” model and it was time for change. A mutual respect and understanding developed among the team members as they worked together to overcome challenges and maximize benefits as a single unified force.

Vital to the process was the purposeful exploration of how and where services could be further aligned to better support job-seekers, employers and service providers. Early on the team adopted a customer-centered approach and reviewed policies practices and potential changes from the perspective of the employer and the job-seeker. Planning efforts were continuously focused on how to best serve the needs of all Iowans - including those with the most significant barriers to employment. Accessibility became a primary theme of the work being done and every potential policy, procedure, action or development was measured in terms of accessibility to ALL Iowans. All Iowans must be able to work within the context of their individual and unique natural and environmentally-specific circumstances.

As planning efforts advanced, the partners’ came to learn from one another and a genuine dialogue of collaboration followed and ensured throughout the planning process. The Value Stream Mapping group also dissected and evaluated the system and its components for current and future effectiveness, accessibility, and a number of other measures.

System, program-level, and infrastructure weaknesses were identified and the following recommendations for improvements were made:

System Enhancements

  • Current and Future Policies: Industry Driven
  • Shared Purpose Reinforced by Quality MOUs
  • Cross Training of All One-Stop Staff
  • Certification of One-Stop Center
  • Comprehensive Resource Assessment and Connection at all One-Stop Centers

Service Delivery Improvements

  • Services: Appropriate & Accessible to ALL Iowans
  • Universal Assessment
  • Commonly Developed Intake & Referral Policies/Procedures
  • Improved Referral Process
  • Co-Enrollment in Programs (instead of sequentially enrolled)
  • Waiting Lists Shared Across Programs
  • Customers Make Informed Decisions
  • Quality Customer Feedback Syste

Infrastructure & Funding Advances

  • Data Collection & Sharing Across Agencies
  • Blend & Braid Funds to Maximize System Capacity

This same team came back together in fall of 2015, to conduct a review of the plan and to further investigate areas of weaknesses and strengths. During the subsequent event, the issues were further examined and placed into one of two categories: system and program-specific. Program-specific issues were evaluated by the appropriate agency or group for further development. System issues were deferred for further development to workgroups and/or the planning team.

  • Issues Identified in Value Stream Mapping Event
  • Communication, duplication, and collaboration of all partners at one stops.
  • Focus of workforce training beyond entry-level skills and towards postsecondary awards/credentials.

Participant referrals:

  • method of delivery,
  • accessibility and availability of appropriate service providers, and
  • tracking of referrals once made.

Integration and data sharing to ensure proper collection and sharing of:

  • client information,
  • data, and
  • areas of duplication in service provision.

Improved understanding of roles and responsibilities of all partners.

Seamless coordination of services to job-seekers and employers.

Elimination of the sequence of service model and incorporation of the integrated parallel career pathways model.

Ability of the partners to:

  • analyze and report on all program participants,
  • track participant progress and outcomes,
  • “talk” to each other via an integrated data collection and dissemination system,

Eligible training providers.

  • New strategies necessary for identifying opportunities to provide skills training, work-based learning, registered apprenticeship, and postsecondary/credential seeking courses together.

Strategies for Addressing Issues Identified by Value Stream Mapping Team

1) Integration of one-stop services to:

a) remove duplication of services,

b) enhance communication among partners,

c) reduce barriers for job-seekers and

d) support employer-driven policies.

2) Incorporation of middle-skills training and learn and earn models into system.

3) Common intake and referral process for all partners.

4) Universal assessment of job-seekers among agencies.

5) Advanced, consistent, training and cross-training for one-stop center and program staff.

6) Co-enrollment in educational programs upfront instead of sequentially.

7) Improved data collection and sharing capability among all agencies.

8) Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) improvements in:

a) Availability to job-seekers and service providers,

b) Accessibility to job-seekers, service providers, and training providers and

c) Method of selection and approval of eligible training providers.

9) Blending and braiding of funds to maximize resources and increase efficiency.

10) Development of policy recommendations to stakeholders.

In December, 2015, the team enlisted the help of a trained facilitator to assist in the process of coming together on any remaining items and to conduct a formal and comprehensive review of progress to-date in order to refine the focus and direction of the remaining planning work. During the event, a number of “themes” developed which served to provide the foundation for system-wide and program-specific improvements throughout Iowa’s Unified State Plan.

Identified Themes:

  • Accessibility
  • Sector Strategies
  • Career Pathways
  • Integration - Technology, Policy
  • Integrated Education and Training

Evidence of the commitment to the above-described themes which now serve as the basis for Iowa’s Unified State plan are found throughout. Recommendations call for innovative strategies that are business-driven and focus on increasing the skills, talents, and abilities of the workforce so workers are prepared to scale industrial and commercial projects across the state. In order to drive the work and keep the momentum, Iowa is rapidly progressing towards a Sector Partnership model for service delivery. Such a model emphasizes industry-led local-level partnerships that maximize each region’s ability to develop the workforce needed to meet the evolving demands of employers and job seekers. Iowa’s Core Partners have plans to develop a handbook that highlights Best Practices which will serve as a guide for implementing the highest of standards and proven methods in One-Stop service delivery.

Iowa plans to continue to evaluate, develop and implement innovative approaches to improve system and program-specific elements of Iowa’s workforce delivery system. As part of this process, individual programs also evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of their individual programs and the WIOA planning and implementation team will keep meeting on a regular basis to provide the oversight and resources needed to support lasting improvements.

C. State Workforce Development Capacity

Provide an analysis of the capacity of State entities to provide the workforce development activities identified in (A) above.

State Workforce Development Capacity

When analyzing capacity, the state must acknowledge the resolute action of the fifteen local workforce development boards (WDBs). Iowa’s local WDBs and their partners strive to find innovative methods of serving participants and employers in their local regions. When successful, they have developed model programming that is shared throughout the state. When program design has not produced desired results, the local providers have adjusted, refined, and shared their lessons. The pockets of excellence that exist around our state provide great opportunity to increase our capacity for serving those who can benefit significantly from our training and education programs.

During the 2013 legislative session, the Iowa Legislature made an historic investment in a portfolio of education, workforce development, job training and adult literacy programs designed to address Iowa’s growing shortage of skilled workers and to increase the state’s workforce delivery system capacity.

This $40.3 million annual investment in worker training programs is delivered through Iowa’s fifteen community colleges and is serving an increased number of Iowans from all social and economic backgrounds to help them acquire the skills and industry recognized credentials needed for gainful employment. It is funded from the state’s gaming industry receipts. The following existing and new community college education, workforce development, job training, adult literacy programs and student financial aid programs are now being supported from this fund. All of these programs are under the administrative oversight of the Iowa Department of Education with the exception of the Kibbie Tuition Grant Program that is being administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission.

This fund assists Iowans from all social and economic backgrounds in acquiring the skills and industry recognized credentials needed for successful access to in-demand jobs. Education, workforce development, job training and adult literacy programs are beneficiaries of this landmark legislation which exemplifies Iowa’s ongoing commitment to innovative and job-driven solutions.

Iowa Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund

  • Workforce Training and Economic Development Fund (260C.18A) $15,100,000
  • Adult Basic Education and Adult Literacy Programs (260C.50) $ 5,500,000
  • Pathways for Career and Employment Program (260H) $ 5,000,000
  • GAP Tuition Assistance Program (260I) $ 2,000,000
  • Work-based Learning Intermediary Network (256.40) $ 1,500,000
  • Kibbie Skilled Worker Shortage Tuition Grant Program (261.130) $ 5,000,000
  • ACE Infrastructure Fund (260G) $ 6,000,000
  • Workforce Preparation Outcome Reporting System $ 200,000

Total $40,300,000

Workforce Training and Economic Development (WTED) Fund (260C.18A)

$15,100,000 was appropriated to support this program in FY 2016.

The WTED fund was established in 2003 as part of the Grow Iowa Values Fund enabling legislation. The WTED fund has become an important source of financing for community college new program innovation, development and capacity building with a focus on career and technical education and the state’s targeted industry clusters. This is the community colleges most flexible funding source and functions like a workforce development program block grant. This program can provide supplemental funding to support the PACE, GAP and adult literacy programs as needed.

Use of Funds

The monies in the Workforce Training and Economic Development fund may be used to support the following programs:

  • Accelerated Career Education Program (260G).
  • Iowa Jobs Training Program (260F).
  • Career Academy Programs (260C.18A, subsection 2, paragraph c).
  • Career & Technical Education Programs (260C.1, subsection 2).
  • In-service Training and Retraining Programs (260C.1, subsection 3).
  • Training and retraining programs for targeted industries (15.343, subsection 2, para. a).
  • Pathways for Academic Career and Employment Program (260H).
  • Gap Tuition Assistance Program (260I).
  • Entrepreneurial education, small business assistance, and business incubators.
  • National Career Readiness Certificate and the skills certification system endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Targeted Industry Clusters

Priority is to be given to programs, projects and initiatives that fall within the states three targeted industry clusters. The program requires that seventy percent of the moneys appropriated shall be used on projects or programs in the areas of advanced manufacturing, renewable fuels and renewable energy, information technology and insurance, and life sciences which include the areas of biotechnology, health care technology, and nursing care technology.

Pathways for Academic Career and Employment Program (260H)

$5,000,000 was appropriated to support this program in FY 2016.

This program was established in 2011 and was funded in FY 2014 for the first time to provide funding to community colleges for the development of projects in coordination with the economic development authority, the department of education, the department of workforce development, regional advisory boards, and community partners to implement a simplified, streamlined, and comprehensive process, along with customized support services, to enable eligible participants to acquire effective academic and employment training to secure gainful, quality, in-state employment. This program is closely aligned with the GAP tuition assistance program and the adult literacy program.

GAP Tuition Assistance Program (260I)

$2,000,000 was appropriated to support this program in FY 2016.

This program was established in 2011 and first funded in FY 2013 to provide funding to community colleges for need-based tuition assistance to applicants to enable completion of non-credit, continuing education certificate training programs for in-demand occupations. This program is closely tied to the PACE career pathways program.

Adult education and literacy programs (260C.50)

$5,500,000 was appropriated to support this program in FY 2016.

$3,883,000 is allocated for the ABE/GED adult literacy programs delivered by Iowa’s Community Colleges as provided for in new IC Section 260C.50

$1,467,000 is allocated for ELL adult literacy programs.

$150,000 is allocated for DE staff support and related leadership activities.

Iowa was one of only three states that did not provide funding assistance for adult literacy programs. This new state funding is supplementing the federal Department of Labor allocation. It will build on existing career pathways policy and programs by investing in adult basic education and integrated learning programs to help more low-skilled adult workers obtain postsecondary credentials and skill sets required for employment in middle skill jobs. This funding may be used to develop and deliver contextualized coursework tied to a community colleges PACE career pathway and GAP tuition assistance programs.

Statewide Work-based Learning Intermediary Network (256.40)

$1,500,000 was appropriated to support this program in FY 2016.

This enabling legislation and statewide network was created in 2009 with a one-time allocation of $900,000 from the Department of Economic Development’s targeted industry program funding allocation. All fifteen community colleges established a regional intermediary network but only a few remained after the initial funding was exhausted.

The program is intended to prepare students for the workforce by connecting business and education by offering relevant, work-based learning activities to students and teachers, particularly opportunities in occupations relating to STEM or to opportunities in targeted industries identified by the EDA. The program focuses on providing students with job shadowing, internships and teacher tour learning experiences.

This program funding can be used to support work-based learning experiences for students enrolled in PACE career pathways and GAP tuition assistance programs.

Kibbie Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant Program (261.130)

$5,000,000 was appropriated to the College Student Aid Commission to support this program in FY 2016.

The Kibbie Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant Program supports students enrolling in high demand career and technical education credit programs.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. One of several workforce programs that incentivize workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for American workers. WOTC provides an incentive to employers to hire workers who traditionally have identified barriers to employment. In Iowa more than 52,000 workers are hired annually with the assistance of the employer tax credit assistance. It also reduces the burden on employers who hire workers facing barriers to employment.

Iowa Apprenticeship Act, Iowa Code Chapter 15B

The Iowa Apprenticeship Act was passed in 2014, increasing the available funding to $3 million for training grants awarded to “sponsors” to conduct and maintain an apprenticeship program. Only apprenticeship programs that meet DOL/OA specific requirements and standards are eligible for training grants. A sponsor or lead sponsor (a trade organization, labor organization, employee organization or other incorporated entity representing a group of registered apprenticeship sponsors) may apply for an IEDA training grant.

Training Grants. Applications for training grants are accepted from any Iowa registered DOL/OA sponsor or lead sponsor and are due by February 1 for the previous training year (January through December).The amount of the training grants available is based on the statutory formula established under Iowa Code Chapter 15B based upon “contact hours.” Contact hours are determined based on an applicant’s combined total of apprentices and related technical instruction (RTI) hours for the most recent training year. This grant is based on the applicant’s proportionate share of statewide total of all contact hours.

Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress Board

In 2012, the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress Board (IPEP) was created by Executive Order and was charged with the “study and recommendation of solutions and policy alternatives for issues arising in the area of economic development”. The mandate of IPEP is to continuously identify and study economic growth issues facing Iowa and recommend solutions and policy alternatives. IPEP commissioned the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice to prepare a report on Iowa’s changing economic needs. A key finding was Iowa’s outpacing the nation in both GDP gains and total job gains from 2007 to 2013, and now exceeds its pre-recession levels in both economic output and total employment. Iowa’s economy continues to improve with most indices reflecting expansion and restored confidence in the economic climate. Despite softening of the agricultural economy, most sectors added jobs or maintained current levels through the end of 2015.

Iowa’s strengthening economy has underscored new challenges requiring innovative solutions. One of the most significant challenges Iowa faces is a shortage of qualified workers to fill middle-skill jobs. Iowa’s plan for achieving success in workforce development systems improvement to meet the needs of tomorrow’s employers relies upon employer-driven policies, strong employer supports and industry-focused solutions. The Labor Market and Information Division (LMI) of Iowa Workforce development (IWD) is tasked with collecting, analyzing, and disseminating a wide array of labor market data and publications for review by Iowa’s business and industry leaders as well as other workforce-related entities. Among them are employment, industry and occupational statistics, wages, projections, trends and other workforce characteristics. This information is reported for the State of Iowa as well as for each local region across the state.

IWD’s Labor Market Information Division (LMI) works in cooperation with the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Employment and Training Administration (ETA) along with the United States Census Bureau. The Division also works closely with local economic development and education professionals to provide custom workforce data in an effort to continually evaluate system needs and to inform recommendations for increased capacity. The establishment of Employers’ Councils of Iowa in each region of the State provides another level of input directly from businesses regarding Iowa Workforce Development and One-Stop Center operations. Iowa remains committed to creating and supporting a business climate that results in additional sustainable job growth.

During the 2013 legislative session, The Iowa Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund was created with the chief goal of improving the lives of Iowans by helping them get appropriate training to compete for 21st century jobs. An historic $66,000,000 in annual appropriations was approved to address Iowa’s growing shortage of skilled workers. This fund will assist Iowans from all social and economic backgrounds in acquiring the skills and industry recognized credentials needed for successful access to in-demand jobs. Education, workforce development, job training and adult literacy programs are beneficiaries of this landmark legislation which exemplifies Iowa’s commitment to advancing job-driven solutions.

Capacity to Meet Future Needs

Iowa’s capacity to meet the evolving needs of the workforce is evidenced in real support through tripled funding to better support Registered Apprenticeship Programs (2014) throughout Iowa. In 2014 year, the Governor established the Home Base Iowa initiative which connects returning veterans with opportunities for careers in Iowa, encourages additional incentives when locating to specific communities and outlines ways for veterans to continue service in options like the National Guard or Reserves. Created with the goal of increasing STEM interest and achievements, the STEM Council is a collaboration of bipartisan Iowa legislators, educators, business, nonprofits, students and families focused on improving STEM opportunities and awareness in Iowa.

Iowa remains committed to ongoing capacity development aimed at achieving the vision and goals of Iowa’s Unified State Plan. Crafting a vision that articulates the needs of many and reflects the values and philosophies of a wide range of partner agencies was important to those involved in writing the plan. The Governor’s current goals for the state of Iowa, NGA Talent Pipeline vision and strategies, Future Ready Iowa, the current mission of Iowa Workforce Development as well as those from Core partner programs, and many other factors were considered, reviewed, and infused into the vision, goals, and throughout the plan. Further, on October 5, 2015, Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds advanced the Future Ready Iowa initiative by setting a goal of 70% of Iowans having two- and four-year college degrees, certificates, work-based learning opportunities, and other valuable credentials and experiences by 2025.

Iowa is well-poised to provide workforce and talent development activities given the knowledge base of our workforce partners. With system components such as career pathway system which includes bridges and stackable credentials, Registered Apprenticeships, and On-the-Job Training programs that meet industry demands, we continue to pursue avenues for continuous improvement. The capacity of the state talent development system to continue providing workforce development activities is dependent on continued communication among state entities, as established through the WIOA Leadership Team. Equally important is communications between state and workforce development boards to ensure a venue through which refinements can be made.

b. State Strategic Vision and Goals

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the State’s strategic vision and goals for developing its workforce and meeting employer needs in order to support economic growth and economic self-sufficiency. This must include—

1. Vision

Describe the State’s strategic vision for its workforce development system.

Developing a Vision

In developing the goals and strategies of Iowa’s Unified State Plan, the Governor’s economic goals, Iowa’s NGA Talent Pipeline Goals, and stakeholder feedback were incorporated to maximize chances of success, reduce duplication of services, and to ensure effective alignment of all of Iowa’s workforce delivery systems. The model advanced by Iowa’s Unified State Plan incorporates and aligns all programs, infusing priority of services into each tenet. This system will focus on intensive services for those individuals who face the biggest obstacles in securing and maintaining employment; ensuring that each agency and partner works collaboratively to remove and reduce barriers to all Iowans. The State Board will provide a governing structure and will require state Core Partners to adopt or participate, to the extent appropriate for each program, the following strategies that frame, align, and guide program coordination at the state, local, and regional levels in order to achieve the state’s three goals. Furthermore, the state will provide ongoing evaluation of the system to ensure maximum and consistent effectiveness.

Unified State Plan Vision

Iowa’s workforce delivery systems will collaborate to build a Future Ready Iowa - a pipeline of skilled workers who are prepared to meet the workforce needs of Iowa’s current and emerging industries. In alignment with the National Governor’s Association Talent Pipeline vision and goals, this unified plan will ensure individuals are prepared for dynamic careers through an emphasis on lifelong learning while meeting the needs of employers. Iowa’s workforce delivery system will assist more Iowans to become Future Ready by attaining the “new minimum” of high-quality education, training, and work readiness by bringing together education, rehabilitation, workforce, and economic development resources and ensuring that all Iowans have access to an integrated and efficient workforce delivery system. Future Ready Iowans will be ready to meet the employment challenges of today and into the future so that ALL Iowans work in competitive, integrated employment settings.

2. Goals

Describe the goals for achieving this vision based on the above analysis of the State’s economic conditions, workforce, and workforce development activities. This must include—

  • Goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce, including preparing youth and individuals with barriers of employment* and other populations.**
  • Goals for meeting the skilled workforce needs of employers.



__________

* Individuals with barriers to employment include displaced homemakers; low-income individuals; Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities; older individuals; ex-offenders; homeless individuals, or homeless children and youths; youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system; individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers; eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers (as defined at section 167(i) of WIOA and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 35-14); individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program; single parents (including single pregnant women); and long-term unemployed individuals.

** Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth and any other populations identified by the State.

Unified State Plan Goals

Goal I: Iowa’s employers will have access to advanced, skilled, diverse and Future Ready workers.

Goal II: All Iowans will be provided access to a continuum of high quality education, training, and career opportunities in the nation.

Goal III: Iowa’s workforce delivery system will align all programs and services in an accessible, seamless and integrated manner.

Accessibility

The State of Iowa is committed to providing programs and services in a readily accessible format and delivery method. Accessibility encompasses a variety of ideas, actions, and high-level collaboration. A range of barriers exists for a diversity of populations. System-level barriers such as exclusionary hiring practices and a lack of employer supports, to geographic hindrances and other location-based obstacles are inherent within the workforce delivery system. For instance, individuals living in Iowa’s many rural communities experience higher levels of isolation, have limited access to available and affordable transportation, are not offered the same educational and training opportunities, and often lack personal and professional support networks and essential services. Adding to the mix is the job seeker’s ability to gain skills due to a real or environmentally imposed restriction.

Recognizing the variety of barriers and restrictions imposed upon job seekers and workers, the State of Iowa is committed, regardless of language skills, age, location, ability, legal history, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, or socio-economic background may gain access. Access may require reasonable accommodations, natural and programmatic supports, intensive services, and creative methods to address the actual or perceived impediment toward meaningful access. Any individual who is seeking services from the workforce system will receive the appropriate, reasonable, and needed accommodation or support. All goals, strategies and actions inherently infuse options for accommodations and accessibility such that all Iowan’s may be provided the necessary supports to be successful in achieving their employment goal. The plan goals, strategies and activities presume and require all core partners to provide the necessary services, support, modification or accommodation for ALL Iowan’s to be successful. All entities responsible for Iowa’s workforce services delivery system will work together to support and encourage a fully accessible and accommodated workforce system that works for ALL Iowans.

Sector Partnerships

The State of Iowa will support the development of statewide and/or regionally based, employer-driven sector initiatives. Sector strategies address the needs of employers through a focus on the workforce needs of specific employer sectors over a specific time period. While working to address the needs of employers, the needs of workers will also be met through the creation of formal career paths to self-sustaining jobs, reduction of barriers to employment, and sustained or increased jobs. Sector partnerships bolster regional economic competitiveness by engaging economic development experts in workforce issues and aligning education, economic, and workforce delivery systems. Systemic change that achieves ongoing benefits for employers and job-seekers, a broad diversity of stakeholders must be engaged through formal, organized sector partnerships.

Career Pathways

Career Pathways are components of sector strategies. Career Pathways support workers’ transitions from training and education into the workforce and into an eventual self-sustaining career. Career Pathways work to increase education, training and learning opportunities for the current and future workforce. Career Pathways help job-seekers develop personal, technical, and employability skills which prepare job-seekers for in-demand and lasting jobs. Colleges, primary and secondary schools, economic development agencies, workforce services providers, employers, labor groups and social service providers all play a vital role in the successful development of Career Pathways approaches. A baseline survey of sector partnerships and career pathways has been completed that will form the foundation for developing career pathways moving forward.

Integration

Delivering workforce services that are better aligned to meet the needs of ALL system beneficiaries is the overarching aim of Iowa’s integration strategies. A fully integrated and well-aligned system is one that prepares Iowa’s employers with the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary to grow a Future Ready workforce and empowers job-seekers and workers with skills, experiences, and opportunities needed to obtain and maintain self-sustaining employment.

Integrated Education and Training

Integrated education and training opportunities will allow for the creation of a Future Ready workforce that prepares ALL Iowans to meet the evolving demands of tomorrow’s jobs. With improved accessibility and alignment of systems, ALL Iowans will be able to participate in the education and training opportunities that support the development of the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for rewarding careers.

Activities to support integrated education and training strategies will align with the NGA Talent Pipeline/Future Ready Initiative recommendations as well as with concepts within the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Taskforce report. A youth-focused work group will be convened by the Core Partners and key stakeholders. Individuals and small businesses will be given guidance on business enterprises, asset development, and benefits planning throughout the start-up, operations and maintenance phases of entrepreneurial pursuits.

3. Performance Goals

Using the table provided in Appendix 1, include the State's expected levels of performance relating to the performance accountability measures based on primary indicators of performance described in section 116(b)(2)(A) of WIOA. (This Strategic Planning element only applies to core programs.)

Performance Management and Accountability

An effective performance management and accountability system depends upon several important factors:

  • Clearly defined performance goals and measures;
  • A data tracking system that provides timely and accurate information, which can be queried or reported in formats that permit close analysis;
  • An on-going evaluation process that not only reviews the current level of performance, but also includes historical and projected performance;
  • Flexible program policies that allow rapid adjustment to issues of economic and workforce impact; and
  • A system of incentive and sanctions.

The State of Iowa has these elements in place for performance accountability of the workforce system. The primary goals featured in the system are the mandated program goals for WIOA Title I (Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth) and Title III (Wagner-Peyser). While some of these measures (placement rates and earnings at placement) are elevated to an enterprise-wide or broader system level for purposes of gubernatorial reports or the Results Iowa website, there are no additional state-established goals for the employment and training system. Regional boards also have the option of establishing additional goals for their workforce areas. In practicality, extensive statutory program goals and reporting requirements that exist in the system mitigates local areas with limited resources to establish any additional goals, however. For this reason, Iowa welcomes federal initiatives to establish measures that are most representative of system success.

The data tracking system in Iowa is extremely valuable to the efforts to improve system performance. Because the state provides a comprehensive tracking system for its programs, the network of One-Stop Centers is supported by coordinated data tracking. The comprehensive reports and query capabilities provided by this system are essential to program analysis at both the state and local levels, leading to data-driven decisions that improve system quality and efficiency.

On-going evaluation and analysis of performance achievement occurs at federal, state and local levels. The ETA Regional Office provides a quarterly assessment of performance and expenditure levels of the ten states in the region. This information is used for comparative and analytical purposes, and is shared with local service providers. At the state level, regional representatives compile data on each region, to include enrollment levels, expenditure rates, and performance achievement. This information is shared with local boards and service providers. Locally, RWIBs routinely receive and analyze performance and enrollment data as part of their oversight responsibilities. For the next two Program Years, Iowa is proposing the following performance levels. These levels are subject to negotiation with the DOL/ETA, and final standards will be established.

WIOA Title I and Title III Benchmark goals for PY16 and PY17 are as follows:

Workforce Development Activities

PY 2016

PY 2017

Adult

PY 2016

PY 2017

Employment Rate 2nd Quarter after Exit

64.0%

65.0%

Employment Rate 4th Quarter after Exit

63.0%

64.0%

Median Earnings 2nd Quarter after Exit

$4,000

$4,100

Credential Attainment within 4 Quarters after Exit

65.0%

65.0%

Dislocated Worker

PY 2016

PY 2017

Employment Rate 2nd Quarter after Exit

65.0%

66.0%

Employment Rate 4th Quarter after Exit

65.0%

66.0%

Median Earnings 2nd Quarter after Exit

$5,500

$5,600

Credential Attainment within 4 Quarters after Exit

63.0%

63.0%

 

Youth

PY 2016

PY 2017

Employment Rate 2nd Quarter after Exit

70.0%

70.0%

Employment Rate 4th Quarter after Exit

67.0%

67.0%

Median Earnings 2nd Quarter after Exit

58.0%

58.0%

Wagner Peyser Act

Wagner Peyser

PY 2016

PY 2017

Employment Rate 2nd Quarter after Exit

63.0%

63.0%

Employment Rate 4th Quarter after Exit

64.0%

65.0%

Median Earnings 2nd Quarter after Exit

$4,500

$4,600

Leveraging Resources Among Iowa’s State Agencies

In the past several years, a number of state agencies have focused their efforts toward the goal of increasing earnings by growing industries in these targeted clusters on both the supply and demand sides of the labor market equation. These efforts are further supported by a number of good management practices, codified by Iowa’s Accountable Government Act, by which all state departments must produce a number of documents and make them available to the Governor and others, executive branch, the legislature, and the general public via the state’s Results Iowa Internet site including:

  • An agency strategic plan, updated annually,
  • A corresponding performance plan with measurable goals for key strategies,
  • A performance report, which details annual progress toward goals in the performance plan.

Assured Focus on Business and Customer Needs

Resources in the One-Stop delivery system come in a variety of forms. Some partners contribute funding for core services, intensive services, and training, while others may provide in-kind services. Local Service plans serve as the mechanism to ensure the focus is on the business and customer needs.

The local planning guidance asks the local workforce investment board to specifically address the status of the labor pool in context with the labor market, identifying the workforce investment needs of business, job seekers, and workers in the region. The board will then describe how they will use its resources and oversight authority to address workforce needs in the region and develop the annual budget. The state will review and comment on each of these plans and, if necessary, make recommendations on how to maximize their resources to address local workforce needs.

The success of these planning efforts and their implementation is evaluated not only by program performance outcomes, but also by a variety of customer satisfaction surveys, forums, and customer comment opportunities. The Workforce Investment Act statute requires a base level customer satisfaction survey format that is used to determine achievement of a performance standard. Iowa’s performance on that measure has always significantly exceeded the performance goals, for both job seekers and businesses. In addition to those surveys, Iowa Workforce Development makes customer comment and feedback opportunities readily available in One-Stop Centers, through its website, and through additional customer surveys. The establishment of Employers’ Councils of Iowa in each region of the State provides another level of input directly from businesses regarding Iowa Workforce Development and One-Stop Center operations.

Finally, the State has provided a number of forums and roundtables throughout the State, primarily focused on business, to further ensure that customer needs are being met. Iowa state agencies recognize that evaluating each agency’s performance in isolation of the other services that are available in a community will not adequately support Regional Workforce Investment Boards in addressing capacity issues in their communities. It will be important to continue working together to identify stronger methods to evaluate the combined impact of all Iowa “One-Stop” Service Partner agencies on their communities to determine our collective success. This approach will be necessary to improve community support of business and job seeker interests.

4. Assessment

Describe how the State will assess the overall effectiveness of the workforce development system in the State in relation to the strategic vision and goals stated above in sections (b)(1), (2), and (3) and how it will use the results of this assessment and other feedback to make continuous or quality improvements.

Iowa will make use of many activities to assess the successful provision of workforce services and the delivery of the Governor’s strategic vision and goals. Efforts at integrated performance reporting, cross-system data alignment and systems interoperability will develop over the course of the four year plan and are contingent on negotiated agreement among the State Plan partners. The activities discussed below all play a role in ensuring that the state is able to make continuous and quality improvements in terms of adhering to federal and state regulations, providing quality services to the workforce system customer, and meeting federal and state outcome expectations.

With a common set of workforce performance measures for the core partners, reports will enable workforce program administrators and policy makers to identify best practices and improve the effectiveness of Iowa’s workforce development programs. Future development of a dashboard of key indicators for local areas to access and compare success through non-personal identifiable information will stimulate dialogue and sharing of procedures, particularly across providers of similar size and economic composition. It is anticipated that for each region, the dashboard would report the number of individuals completing the program, the number of completers subsequently employed, their median earnings, employment stability, post-secondary or training enrollment, and education and training credentials earned. The workforce performance measures evaluate program efforts to:

  • Provide job seekers with access to training that results in industry-recognized credentials;
  • Connect individuals to short- and long-term employment;
  • Increase participants’ overall earnings; and
  • Meet the needs of employers.

In addition to these measures, the state will continue to further implement additional regional level measures to achieving progress toward sector partnerships and career pathway development. These will include the following:

  • efforts to track the development and expansion of sector partnerships throughout the state, by region and focus;
  • a regional enumeration - the number of middle-skill industry-valued and recognized postsecondary credentials awarded in the region; and
  • TBD training-related employment by occupation and or sector, to assess whether training and education programs are leading to employment in relevant occupational fields or industry sectors following program exit to measure post-program success and to aid in determining impact from labor market dynamics.

The state is developing a cross-agency team consisting of core partners, to annually review progress toward integration, One-Stop Certification, adherence to common regional board policies and risk assessment. Initially this review will assess One-Stop partners on whether they are meeting baseline federal requirements pertaining to co-location, cross-training, and meaningful virtual access to services in at least one comprehensive One-Stop in each local area. While this review will not be program specific it will include interviews to ensure understanding of regulations and the cohesiveness of local processes. Recommendations on the criteria to be used in this review are being developed through the One-Stop Design workgroup, convened by the State Board for the purpose of WIOA implementation including representatives from all core programs and other state and local partners in the One-Stop system and is charged with identifying and disseminating information on best practices relating to business outreach, partnerships, and service delivery strategies, identifying and responding to implementation challenges, and providing policy recommendations to the State Board to guide the effective operation of the One-Stop system in Iowa. The criteria is supported with the development of the “One-Stop System Standards” by the workgroup. These standards and reviews help to ensure that all customers are able to access and receive the services they need in the most efficient manner possible. Criteria will include all of the following assessments at a minimum:

  • Leadership, planning and collaboration (how well are core programs involved and aligned?),
  • Customer-focus and customer-centered design (do clients get the services they need?),
  • Manner in which the One-Stop will enable skills attainment leading to industry recognized credentials and degrees (does the One-Stop help move those with barriers to employment on a path to skills development?),
  • Use of data for continuous improvement (do One-Stop operators utilize performance data to improve service delivery?),
  • Professional development and staff capacity building,
  • Employer engagement and focus on high growth sectors,
  • Environmental, programmatic and technological accessibility of the One-Stop (is the facility accessible, visible, capable of meeting the needs of many populations.

The cross agency team will also ensure that each board meets composition requirements and that meetings are being conducted correctly, providing consistency across the state. This consistency ensures that each region is able to carry out the Governor’s vision as outlined in their local plan in the most effective manner.

The final way in which the State ensures effectiveness is through the development and delivery of a core partner customer satisfaction survey. The cross-agency team and policy work group will prepare and facilitate a survey of at least 500 past participants. Once the data is collected the results will be detailed in a summative report. The team will also analyze the data to identify areas in which the workforce development system can improve the customer experience and outcomes. If needed, those recommendations will be distributed to regions for revisions to local plans. By focusing on customer experience, the workforce development system will ensure positive outcomes and word-of-mouth referrals. These testimonials are necessary to ensure that customers have access and will continue to seek services.

c. State Strategy

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the State's strategies to achieve its strategic vision and goals. These strategies must take into account the State’s economic, workforce, and workforce development, education and training activities and analysis provided in Section (a) above. Include discussion of specific strategies to address the needs of populations provided in Section (a).

1. Describe the strategies the State will implement, including industry or sector partnerships related to in-demand industry sectors and occupations and career pathways,  as required by WIOA section 101(d)(3)(B), (D).  “Career pathway” is defined at WIOA section 3(7).  “In-demand industry sector or occupation” is defined at WIOA section 3(23).

State Implementation Strategies

Significant work toward establishing strong sector partnerships was done when the Iowa Department of Education convened an advisory council in June 2015 to address sector partnership and career pathway implementation for the Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE) program - a state funded initiative of the Iowa Skilled Workforce and Job Creation Fund. Enacted and funded in 2013 by the Iowa Legislature, the PACE program supports the implementation of simplified, streamlined, and comprehensive academic and training pathways which enable eligible participants to acquire the necessary skills to secure gainful, quality, in-state employment. Leveraging resources the council initially consisted of representatives from Iowa’s community colleges, but was broadened to include core partners and industry leaders from across Iowa.

The council, known currently as the Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council (SPLC), was well positioned to assist with the implementation of key WIOA provisions which emphasize in-demand industry sectors and occupations and career pathways resulting in attainment of industry-recognized stackable credentials.

Accomplishments of the Council

Common Definitions

The council was tasked with establishing common definitions and expectations for sector partnerships and career pathways aligned with WIOA and other federal guidelines such as the ability to benefit (ATB) provision of the Higher Education Act. To better understand the current sector partnership/career pathway landscape, these definitions were utilized in a survey which was sent to each community college, as well as other organizations involved with convening and facilitating sector partnerships.

Sector Partnership & Career Pathways Survey

The results of the survey were summarized in a report published in December, 2015. Relevant portions of the report have been summarized. There were 40 surveys returned with 36 completed survey responses. All of Iowa’s 15 community college regions are currently being served by sector partnerships; 90 of Iowa’s 99 Counties were being served by sector partnerships; 9 of 16 career clusters were represented and 11 of 16 career clusters identified by Battelle were represented. Additionally, the report showed that 20 of 40 respondents reported having developed and validated at least one career pathway; 30 of the respondents ranked their sector partnership maturity level as “emerging”, while four respondents considered their progress to be in the “planning” stages and four concidered their sector partnership planning to be in the “mature” stage.

The Sector Partnership Report can be accessed in its entirety at: https://www.educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/Sector%20Partnership%20Report%20FINAL%2001%2026%2016.pdf

Sector Partnership Toolkit

Iowa’s response to sector partnership has been to build on existing promising practices. Sector partnerships are major components of Iowa’s Unified State Plan and A Future Ready Iowa. A collaborative effort by the state to provide guidance and training on sector partnerships has resulted in a series of toolkits. The toolkit was produced through a partnership with the Department of Education and Iowa Workforce Development using funds made available by a grant from the Department of Labor in conjunction with Iowa Central Community College as a collaborator and partner. The toolkits are not exhaustive but aimed at preparing the state and regions to make data-informed critical decisions in planning, emerging, and sustaining sector partnerships. By identifying the evolution and processes associated with effective sector partnerships, Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council (SPLC), a business-driven state-sponsored association, promotes a stream-lined workforce talent pipeline along with robust career pathways that link the needs of the employers with all Iowans. Each section in this toolkit contains a narrative, key points, an activity or checklist to practice the principle associated with each partnership, and a self-assessment that helps to evaluate progress and next steps.

Data Use in Sector Partnerships

The report also contains current data critical to developing robust sector partnerships in different regions throughout Iowa. For regions to prioritize targeted industries for growth and development of partnerships, they must keep the following common data points in mind for regional impact: Sector partnerships are composed of industries with shared needs, as well as various education, workforce, economic, and community organizations in supportive roles. Data helps to provide a baseline, but it is not the only consideration. In addition, sector partnerships operate within labor market regions and are not confined to municipal, county, educational, or even state boundaries. Reviewing the data by applying the step-by-step guide will help determine the best scope and size of a sector partnership. But lags, gaps, too little data, or too much data may create limitations. Consider the data as a starting point for future conversations with employers.

A review of information provided by EMSI (a composite, unsuppressed), and up-to-date labor market information database and analytical modeling tool available regionally through Enhance Iowa) about occupations, worker skills, commuting patterns, and other relevant data reveals Iowa’s top industries, which include Construction with 99,778 total jobs in 2015; Healthcare with 203,505 total jobs in 2015; and Finance and Insurance with 95,215 total jobs in 2015. Growth between 2015 and 2015 is expected to increase by 24%, 22%, and 18% respectively.

The Sector Partnerships Toolkit can be accessed in its entirety by going to: https://www.educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/Sector%20Partnerships%20Toolkit%201.0%20Planning.pdf

One Door Many Paths: A WIOA Partners’ Conference

The "One Door, Many Paths" Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Conference was held on June 27-28, 2016, at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa. This was Iowa’s first jointly facilitated conference by Iowa Workforce Development, the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and the Association of Iowa Workforce Partners in partnership with several other key state agencies and community partners. The conference was held to discuss ways to streamline workforce services for Iowans and find solutions to reduce Iowa’s skills gap. The conference also addressed how to help Iowans who are unemployed or underemployed and those with significant barriers to employment. More than 500 attendees had the opportunity to explore areas related to career pathways, employer development, public and private partnership and building sector strategies.

During the conference, sector partnerships toolkit was released in an effort to provide guidance and training on sector partnership developemnt. This is the first in a series of toolkits that aims to prepare the state and regions to make data-informed critical decisions in planning, emerging, and sustaining sector partnerships. Each section in the first toolkit contains a narrative, key points, an activity or checklist to practice the principle associated with each partnership, and a self-assessment that helps to evaluate progress and next steps. This publication was produced through a partnership with the Department of Education and Iowa Workforce Development using funds made available by a grant from the Department of Labor. Special thanks to Iowa Central Community College for their collaboration and partnership.

Current Policy

Iowa provides support for local sector partnerships through its Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE) program. Funding: Iowa’s PACE program funds partnerships between community colleges, industry, and nonprofits, with the community college serving as the grant recipient. While the PACE program is not limited to sector partnerships, PACE funds may be used to support the development and implementation of regional industry sector partnerships. In 2015, Iowa appropriated $5 million for PACE, with awards made to all 15 community colleges through a funding formula. The Iowa statute (Iowa Code 260H.7B) that established PACE identifies sector partnerships as a potential element of PACE programs, and lists activities that may be carried out by sector partnerships.

Future Direction

To strengthen the development and ongoing implementation of Iowa’s sector strategies and career pathway systems, the Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council (SPLC) will serve as a standing committee to the State Workforce Development Board and will have the following attributes:

Planned membership includes broad education, vocational rehabilitation, workforce development, economic development and business and industry association representatives. The Council will include the following attributes at a minimum:

  • Business led and oriented;
  • Tasked to provide state level leadership, support, policy development, coordination and guidance to regional sector partnership development;
  • In charge of convening an annual statewide workshop for regional sector partnerships from across the state to share best practices and promote statewide collaboration;
  • Provision of technical assistance to the regional sector partnerships;
  • The Council will serve as an advisory committee to the State Board of Directors to help fulfill WIOA requirements.

Development and Maintenance of a statewide data base for sector partnerships and career pathways will give participants access to regional hot jobs based on in-demand and emerging industry. Funding is being leveraged from multiple departments, with a mix of state and federal funds and is coordinated through Iowa’s Future Ready Initiative.

Training sessions for sector partnership facilitators will be conducted by recognized national sector partnership consultants and are being scheduled in 2016 to develop a statewide pool of trained, professional facilitators to provide technical assistance and support in the development of regional sector partnerships.

Funding from the 260H PACE Career Pathways annual appropriation from the Iowa Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund will be pursued to support ongoing sector partnership and career pathway development activities in Iowa. The Department of Education, Division of Community Colleges will be responsible for staffing and supporting this effort through the Sector Partnership Leadership Council.

Common Definitions

Sector Partnership

A sector partnership is a workforce collaborative that organizes key stakeholders and targeted industry partners into a sustainable working group that focuses on the long-term workforce needs of a targeted industry cluster. Membership in the sector partnership is determined by the targeted industry partners. Sector partnerships operate within a true labor market region and are not confined to particular workforce, education, or similar regional boundaries. The term industry partners means a concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers, research and development entities, service providers, and associated institutions in a particular field that are linked by common workforce needs. Sector support partners work to meet the skill, recruitment, and retention needs of employers and the training, employment, and career advancement needs of workers. By meeting the needs of sector partnerships on behalf of industry, jobseekers, and workers, sector support partners strengthen a region’s overall economic vitality. Support partners should include entities such as:

  • local government;
  • local economic development agencies;
  • local agencies;
  • chambers of commerce;
  • nonprofit organizations;
  • philanthropic organizations;
  • community service agencies;
  • economic development organizations;
  • industry associations;
  • labor organizations, except in instances where no labor representation exists;
  • representatives of local boards;
  • representatives of K-12, adult education, and postsecondary educational institutions or other training providers; and
  • representatives of state workforce agencies or other entities providing employment services; and representatives of other, related regional sector partnerships.

Key roles in the development and implementation of a sector partnership is that of the convener and facilitator or facilitating team. A convener is a credible entity in a position to identify regional economic and labor needs and convene industry and support partners to develop strategies which address the identified regional needs. A facilitator or facilitating team is a neutral, credible, and trained entity tasked with ensuring the ongoing operation and sustainability of a sector partnership. Accordingly, the facilitator assists in introducing options which address identified regional needs, distinguishing resource needs and funding sources, and other activities vital to the functioning of the sector partnership. The facilitator is not the sector partnership leader, a position which should be designated upon a partnership member. Rather, a facilitator works closely with the partnership leader to accomplish the aforementioned tasks. A convener and facilitator may be the same entity - i.e., the convener may assume the facilitator role - if that entity possesses the appropriate capacities to fully perform in both roles.

Mature Sector Partnership:

  • has a clear neutral facilitator or facilitating team;
  • is led by industry, as demonstrated by industry sector members playing leadership roles (chairperson, etc.), who are committed to the long term sustainability of the sector partnership;
  • has broad industry engagement as demonstrated by industry members attending meetings, partnering on activities, providing in-kind or financial resources, or similar;
  • includes critical and engaged support partners across programs from workforce development economic development, education, community organizations and others. Sector partnership actively communicates and collaborates with regional Workforce Investment Board(s);
  • operates in a true labor market region, not within the confines of a workforce area, community college boundary, or other boundaries;
  • operates under a shared, long-term strategic plan, road map, etc.;
  • has developed at least one effective, employer validated career pathway in support of a target industry cluster based on mapping knowledge, skills and abilities, and skill attainment at multiple entry and exit points;
  • has clear, identified priorities and is able to demonstrate recent (within the past six months) or current activities, services or products that are a direct outcome of the partnership, including, but not limited to the design and implementation, with employers of work-based learning models in targeted sector(s); on-the-job training; cooperative education; paid internships and; pre-apprenticeship or registered apprenticeship programs; and
  • has common agreed-upon dashboard of success indicators (i.e. consensus around sector partnership “outcomes”) determined in part by indicators needed to bring about system changes.

Emerging Sector Partnership:

  • has at least an interim independent facilitator or facilitating team;
  • has engaged at least one private sector champion to help drive the launch and implementation of a sector partnership;
  • includes support partners from workforce development, education, economic development, and other programs or organizations in strategic roles. Is developing the capacity to engage in active communication and collaboration with regional Workforce Investment Board(s);
  • can say with confidence when the partnership is expected to “launch;” and
  • engaged in networking with mature sector partnerships.

Planning:

  • determining whether the partnership really makes sense for their community;
  • considering or preparing for actions needed to launch a partnership, but has not committed to the formation of a sector partnership; and
  • working to identify partners who would be involved.

Career Pathway:

A career pathway consists of structured course sequences which organize rigorous and high-quality education, training, and other services related to a targeted industry cluster to meet the education and skill needs of the region and state, and the particular needs of an individual, all in the context of workforce preparation. This is achieved through collaboration between industry partners and support partners within a sector partnership.

A career pathway must include advising and support services which identify education and career needs and goals to meet the needs of individuals with or without the need for relevant and reasonable accommodations. To meet the needs of all individuals, a career pathway must be equipped to effectively:

  • enable an individual to attain a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and at least one recognized postsecondary credential;
  • prepare an individual to be successful in any of a full range of secondary and postsecondary education options, including Registered Apprenticeships; and
  • help an individual enter and advance within a specific occupation or occupational cluster.

Attention must be given to strategies and approaches which accelerate the educational postsecondary credential attainment and career advancement of the individual to the extent practicable. Such strategies must include, but is not limited to, the concurrent delivery of adult education and eligible postsecondary education programs, and “bridge” curricula which connects adult and basic education to workforce preparation programs and integrates education and training to allow students to advance in their education and employment.

A career pathway system is the cohesive combination of sector partnerships, resources and funding, policies, data, and shared accountability measures that support the development, quality, scaling, and sustainability of career pathways for youth and adults. As such, a career pathway system is a long-term objective for which all sector partnerships should strive. A career pathway system is an overarching frame and is not couched within any one public education, workforce, or other system; however, one system may take the lead on developing the career pathway. The value of a career pathway system is that it is not created in a vacuum, but connects and aligns all other related public systems to each other and to private and non-profit partners.

2. Describe the strategies the State will use to align the core programs, any Combined State Plan partner programs included in this Plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs, and any other resources available to the State to achieve fully integrated customer services consistent with the strategic vision and goals described above.  Also describe strategies to strengthen workforce development activities in regard to weaknesses identified in section II(a)(2).

Alignment Strategies

Core Partners and other key service providers have been designing policies around the following strategies which were developed collaboratively among the partners and other relevant stakeholders. Core Partners have been meeting on a regular basis to ensure that planning efforts are truly partner centric and reflective of the requirements of those who are most at-need within the workforce delivery system in Iowa.

Strategies to Achieve Accessibility

The Workforce System Partners will work with Iowa’s employers to identify and reduce barriers to employment for ALL Iowans. The partnership will expand accessible opportunities for populations which have been traditionally underserved or underrepresented, and those who have one or more barriers to sustainable employment. Alignment and systems improve will help ensure accessibility to ALL Iowans.

Activities to support accessibility strategies will include the ongoing identification, and proactive reduction of barriers to employment for ALL Iowans. Workforce System Partners will develop policies and implement procedures to ensure continuing and unhindered access to Iowa jobs for ALL Iowans.

Strategies to Support Sector Partnerships

The Core Partners and key stakeholders will collaborate to engage employers in the continuous development of programs and initiatives that are responsive to Iowa’s current and future labor-market needs and to significantly expand mature sector partnership activity throughout the state, applying demand-driven methodology.

Activities to support sector partnership strategies include working with employers to increase opportunities for all Iowans to gain the experience, skills, and credentials needed to obtain and maintain self-sustaining employment, closing skill gaps between Iowa’s workforce and employers by expanding and supporting sector strategies for in-demand industries. Identifying and quantifying employers’ education, training, and workforce needs will be a priority. Capturing those needs in a Talent Supply & Demand Dashboard to be driven by a public-private collaborative and disseminated via an accessible computer system will further support Iowa’s sector partnerships. The core partners will infuse innovative strategies throughout service delivery to enhance integration opportunities for individuals with significant barriers to employment and to increase chances of attaining successful competitive employment.

Strategies to Support Career Pathways

ALL Iowans will be engaged in the career pathway development process by utilizing innovative approaches in the delivery of career services and offering a variety of career pathway navigation supports to enhance transition into the workforce.

Activities to support career pathways strategies will be the development of an interagency definition of “self-sustaining employment.” Workforce delivery systems will work in concert to provide workers with the skills, work-based learning opportunities, resources, accommodations and supports needed through the systematic development of career pathways for in-demand industries. ALL Iowans will have access to the occupational and training resources and skills needed to work to their fullest potential and to secure and maintain self-sustaining employment.

Strategies to Support Integration

The quality of workforce development services will be improved through the provision of consistent, integrated, and non-duplicative services across education, rehabilitation, economic and workforce activities and a focused communication strategy. Activities to support integration strategies will involve the creation of a service delivery model which is business-driven, user-friendly, data-driven and dynamic enough to meet the evolving needs of employers. Duplication of services and gaps within the current workforce delivery system will be identified. Policies and collaborative agreements will be drafted and implemented which maximize resources that foster a unified and consistent approach to the provision of workforce delivery services.

Technology and Integration

An accessible data collection effort will streamline data collection processes, increase efficiency throughout the workforce delivery system, and aid in accurate performance measurement for decision making. The state will work to minimize the participatory burden to an accessible system through the creation and implementation of a common intake and reporting system among Core Partners and relevant agencies. A robust policy will be adopted to ease transitions within and across systems and programs using a referral process that allows for direct connection among partners and providers, and holds agencies accountable for assisting workers in achieving success and navigating the system.

Policy and Integration

The state will establish an Iowa Sector Partnership & Leadership Council that is demand-side driven to provide cross-industry, cross-employer, and cross-agency leadership in the development and support of mature sector partnerships and holistic career pathways. Furthermore, the state will engage Iowa’s employment leaders in the development and delivery of workforce services across Iowa. Previously compiled career pathway work is holistic and not institutionally biased - i.e. does not include just the programming of one service provider. The state will bring a diversity of stakeholders together to review and create effective policies, programs, and opportunities for Iowa’s current and future workforce. A center piece of this collaborative effort will be a policy council advising the State Board on proven and promising practices and policies that support an integrated system responsive to labor market needs.. Statewide policies will be developed that support Iowa’s businesses in offering creative and nontraditional in-roads to careers that meet the needs of ALL Iowans.

Benefits and services to Iowa’s job seekers, employees and employers will be maximized through the intentional braiding, integrating and seeking out of diverse funding streams. One-Stop Centers operate under an advanced training certification program to ensure all centers are accessible, operating consistently and that staff have access to the same knowledge, resources, and supports across the state that ensures:

  • Professional Development
  • Consistent staff training,
  • Intra-agency cross training,
  • Eligible Training Provider List access and training, and
  • Advanced technology.

In-demand career opportunities and career pathways will be communicated to students, parents, teachers, counselors, workers and community leaders through career planning, including creation of a dashboard of career opportunities and required credentials and experience.

Strategies to Support Integrated Education and Training

To accomplish integrated education and training, Iowa’s key workforce delivery system partners must:

  • Ensure that ALL Iowans have full access and direct connection to programs that work to address essential components of reading instruction and literacy,
  • Create affordable options for workers to obtain education, training, skills, including personal, soft, and basic skills, and financial literacy, necessary to secure and maintain self-sustaining employment, and
  • Develop opportunities for ALL Iowans to develop entrepreneurial skills and concepts while providing opportunities for connection with Iowa business leaders.

The State Board requires that Core Partners adopt or participate, to the extent appropriate for each program, several strategies that will frame, align and guide program coordination to achieve the state’s vision and goals. Under WIOA, one-stop centers and their partners are considered Iowa’s local One-Stop System and are tasked with performing the following:

  • providing job seekers with the skills and credentials necessary to secure and advance in employment with family-sustaining wages;
  • providing access and opportunities to all job seekers, including individuals with barriers to employment, such as individuals with disabilities, to prepare for, obtain, retain, and advance in high-quality jobs and high-demand careers
  • empowering businesses and employers to easily identify and hire skilled workers and access other supports, including education and training for their current workforce;
  • participating in rigorous evaluations that support continuous improvement of one-stop centers by identifying which strategies work better for different populations; and
  • ensuring high-quality, integrated and data-informed decisions made by policymakers, employers, and job seekers.

In order for Iowa’s One Stop System to accomplish these tasks and to effectively develop a Future Ready Iowa to meet the ever changing demands of Iowa’s economy, Iowa has developed workgroups to ensure high-quality customer service, avoid duplication of programs and activities, and developed a system to ensure that all customers receive the services they need. Through the One Stop System certification process, Iowa’s Core Partners are working to ensure continuous quality improvement (needs something better here) of our comprehensive and dynamic system to ensure that the needs of our economy are met and that ALL Iowans are Future Ready and work in competitive, integrated employment settings.

Iowa’s One Stop System has developed the following Strategies and action steps to align and strengthen programs and system partnerships:

Iowa will improve the quality of workforce development services through the provision of consistent, integrated, and non-duplicative services across education, rehabilitation, economic and workforce activities. The following action steps will be taken:

  • Create a service delivery model which is business-driven, user-friendly, data-drive and meets the evolving needs of employers
  • Identify duplication of services and gaps within the current workforce delivery system and draft policies and collaborative agreements to maximize resources that foster a more unified and consistent approach to the provision of workforce delivery services.
  • Implement an accessible data collection effort that streamlines data collection processes, increases efficiency throughout the workforce delivery system, and aids in accurate performance measurement used in decision-making.
  • Minimize the participatory burden to an accessible system through the creation and implementation of a common intake and reporting system among core partners and relevant agencies.
  • Develop a referral process that allows for direct connection by and between key agency staff, which includes holding agencies accountable for assisting workers in achieving success.
  • Establish a Sector Partnership & Career Pathway Advisory Council to serve as cross agency leadership in the development and support of sector partnerships and career pathways.
  • Engage Iowa’s employment leaders in the development and delivery of workforce services across Iowa.
  • Bring a diversity of stakeholders (Policy Council) together to review and create effective policies, programs, and opportunities for Iowa’s current and future workforce.
  • Create statewide policies that support Iowa’s businesses in offering creative and non-traditional in-roads to careers that meet the needs of ALL Iowans.
  • Braid, integrate and seek diverse funding streams to maximize benefits and services to Iowa’s job seekers, employees and employers.

Develop a communication plan across all Core, regional, and local partners to ensure information is shared. The following action steps will be taken:

  • Intra-agency cross training will be completed on a continuous basis to ensure high quality services and referrals to the appropriate core partners.
  • Eligible Training Provider List
  • Technology component
  • Communicate high-demand career pathways to students, parents, teachers, counselors, workers and community leaders through career planning, including a dashboard of career opportunities and required credentials and experience.
  • Create an advanced training certification program of the One-Stop Center to ensure all One-Stop centers are accessible and operating consistently and that staff have access to the knowledge, resources and supports across the state.
  • Identify liaisons between core and required partners to ensure a quality experience for customers accessing multiple services.

The core partners have been developing pilot projects in coordination with other workforce-related initiatives such as Future Ready Iowa and the Governor’s increased commitment to work-based learning models. This planning and coordination is ongoing and will continue as part of Iowa’s strategy to align required and optional programs now and into the future.

III. Operational Planning Elements

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that support the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II.(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—

A. State Strategy Implementation

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include—

1. State Board Functions

Describe how the State board will implement its functions under section 101(d) of WIOA (i.e. provide a description of Board operational structures and decision making processes to ensure such functions are carried out).

During WIOA implementation, the core partners have collaborated to perform the State Board’s required duties and responsibilities under the Act with the help of required partner agencies. The primary method of collaboration has been work groups involving partners and stakeholders. The work and accomplishments of these groups is detailed in this plan. Moving forward, however, the State Board will need a more robust operational framework to fulfill its duties and responsibilities under WIOA.

Currently, Iowa’s State Board does not have standing committees to assist in their efforts to formalize a structure to engage partners and stakeholders in Iowa’s workforce development system. The State Board will add standing committees to ensure a higher standard of state board functioning. The standing committees will be required to hold regular meetings and to report to the State Board on a regular basis. Once established, the committees will be charged with the following tasks:

  • Review and make recommendations regarding plans and reports required under WIOA;
  • Serve as an advocate of plans and strategies to the Board, IWD leadership, policy makers and stakeholders;
  • Serve as an administrator to collect and manage workforce and talent development information on behalf of the Board;
  • Review state, regional and local plans and activities as required by WIOA and provide status reports to the Board;
  • Perform state workforce board functional responsibilities identified in ss. 101(d)(1) through 101(d)(12) of WIOA and provide recommendations to the Board;
  • Review progress reports and provide status updates to the Board;
  • Assess opportunities and recommend amendments to the Board’s Strategic Plan;
  • Convene and connect talent development resources to drive innovative workforce solutions that support economic development strategies;
  • Consult with state, regional and local resources to champion collaborations and partnerships within the workforce system;
  • Serve as convener to gather thought leaders and practitioners to perpetually evaluate talent development system(s);
  • Serve as a connector of resources to other agencies, service providers, collaborators, initiatives or projects;
  • Serve as a consultant to state/local workforce boards and partners regarding strategies and opportunities;
  • Review talent development systems and networks and recommend innovative solutions and integration of resources;
  • Recommend education and outreach strategies and campaigns to continually align resources and partners; and
  • Perform other functional requirements of the state workforce board as determined by the state board or core partners.

Iowa will also attempt to update the statutory provisions governing the State Board to reflect the State’s strategic vision and goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce. This will include the creation of an operations team, tentatively consisting of representatives from the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Education, the Economic Development Authority, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Iowa Department for the Blind. The Operations Team will provide staff support to the Iowa Workforce Development Board of Directors to achieve improved alignment of the core WIOA programs and the state’s education, workforce and economic development programs. The Director of the Department of Workforce Development will designate the person to coordinate and lead the operations team. Staffing and administrative costs for the operations team shall be provided by the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Education, the Economic Development Authority, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and other potential partners as deemed appropriate.

The Operations Team will be tasked with the following:

  • Coordination and staffing of activities of the State Board.
  • Facilitation and coordination of all research, reports data, analysis, and recommendations associated with the operations team and its purposes.
  • Provision of regular updates to the Workforce Development Board on the status of activities of the operations team and the progress made in aligning programs pursuant to the purposes of the board.

Iowa will also seek to create a Policy Council that will advise the State Board on proven and promising practices with respect to workforce service delivery from across the State and nation. The Policy Council will also make policy recommendations to help create a more integrated workforce development system that is responsive to current and future labor-market needs.

State Workforce Development Board Structure

The State Board was created in 1996. At its inception, the State Board consisted of nine voting members, with the following affiliations, and appointed by the Governor:

  • Four members representing nonsupervisory employees

o Under Iowa Code section 84A.1A(1)(a), of the members appointed by the Governor to represent nonsupervisory employees, two members must be from statewide labor organizations, one member must be from an employee representative labor management council, and one member must be a person with experience in worker training programs;

  • Four members representing employers; and
  • One member representing a non-profit organization involved in workforce development services.

To this day, the State Board’s voting membership remains structurally unchanged. It has the same makeup as it did on the day of its creation in 1996. The State Board’s membership also includes nonvoting members. Over the years, the legislature has added nonvoting, ex officio members. Today, the State Board’s membership includes twelve nonvoting members:

  • Four members of the legislature.

o Under Iowa Code section 84A.1A(1)(b), the legislative members are two state senators, one appointed by the President of the Senate after consultation with the Majority Leader of the Senate, and one appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate from their respective parties; and two state representatives, one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives after consultation with the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, and one appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives from their respective parties;

  • One president, or president’s designee, of the University of Northern Iowa, University of Iowa, or Iowa State University, designated by the State of Iowa Board of Regents on a rotating basis;
  • One representative of the largest statewide public employees’ organization representing state employees;
  • One president, or president’s designee, of an independent Iowa college, appointed by the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • One superintendent, or superintendent’s designee, of a community college, appointed by the Iowa Association of Community College Presidents;
  • One representative of vocational rehabilitation community appointed by the State Rehabilitation Council in the Division of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services;
  • One representative of the Department of Education appointed by the State Board of Education;
  • One representative of the Economic Development Authority appointed by the director; and
  • One representative of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship.

WIOA section 101 sets forth criteria for a state board’s membership structure under the Act. Under WIOA section 101(e), for purposes of complying with WIOA’s state-board requirements, a state may use an “alternative entity” that:

  • Was in existence on the day before the enactment of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998;
  • Is substantially similar to the State board in described in WIOA sections 101(a) through 101(c); and
  • Includes representatives of business in the State and representatives of labor organizations in the State.

The Iowa State Board meets the itemized criteria for qualifying as a complying alternative entity under WIOA. On June 24, 2015, Governor Branstad notified the U.S. Department of Labor that the State Board would serve as an alternative entity under WIOA section 101(e) during the original two-year assessment period.

2. Implementation of State Strategy

Describe how the lead State agency with responsibility for the administration of each core program or a Combined Plan partner program included in this plan will implement the State’s Strategies identified in Section II(c). above. This must include a description of—

A. Core Program Activities to Implement the State’s Strategy

Describe the activities the entities carrying out the respective core programs will fund to implement the State’s strategies. Also describe how such activities will be aligned across the core programs and Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan and among the entities administering the programs, including using co-enrollment and other strategies.

Core Program Activities to Implement the State’s Strategy

Iowa’s strategy for workforce development aims to support the State’s core mission to meet the needs of Iowa’s growing economy and align programs and resources to create an effective and efficient method of workforce development. The State’s strategy is focused on supporting a unified workforce system that involves the coordinated services and resources of all core program partners and workforce system partners. Iowa will increase opportunities afforded by the workforce system to individuals and to businesses. The State of Iowa has convened work groups, made up of members from partner agencies and other key entities, to develop innovative and practical solutions that are reflective of the state’s vision and identified priorities.

Workgroup Priorities

  • Youth Services
  • One-Stop System Design
  • Sector Partnerships
  • Career Pathways
  • Registered Apprenticeships
  • Business Services
  • Strategies for Serving Underserved Populations
  • Policy

The workgroups have been actively reviewing policies, identifying program and system gaps, and have provided recommendations to improve alignment of activities across core programs. The following strategies and activities support the state’s workforce goals to create a Future Ready Iowa where ALL Iowans are afforded opportunities to work in competitive, integrated employment settings.

Improving services to youth in Iowa is going to be accomplished through and examination of system weaknesses and strengths, identification of effective programs within the Core Partner agencies, and engaging of partners outside of the plan who are working to serve youth in other capacities such as school guidance counselors, Iowa National Guard and juvenile corrections. The aim is to align workforce services and ensure that each phase of service delivery is fully accessible to ALL Iowa youth. In order to address the variety of barriers and restrictions experienced by youth of all abilities and backgrounds, especially for youth with multiple barriers to employment, creating a fully accessible system in partnership with other agencies serving youth is critical.

An example of a successful program which is now being used as a model in other areas of the state is IVRS’ development of the Project Search Third Party Cooperative Arrangement (TPCA). The TPCA positively contributed to increased employment outcomes for eligible VR high school students from the Des Moines School District with the most significant disabilities. The focus was on students whose diagnosis consisted primarily of Intellectual Developmental Disability. The School District committed to using non-federal share dollars for the Project.

According to one of its founders, “The Project Search model yields excellent employment outcomes by providing framework for public and private entities to collaborate and deliver services in a coordinated and productive manner. This collaboration allows for total workplace immersion, which facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and relevant job-skills training. Project Search is cost-effective and self-sustainable because it leverages the existing funding streams and expertise of partnering organizations in education, vocational rehabilitation, developmental disabilities services, and other agencies.”

Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) offers a Transitional Vocational Rehabilitation Services program to middle, high school & college students (age 14 and older) who are blind or have visual impairments, with goals around employment. Transition program assists to navigate the transition from high school to the world beyond with career counseling and work experience activities.

IDB also offers a Youth Leadership Program for eligible VR clients, in partnership with the Department of Human Rights and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services to increase leadership, social, advocacy and life skills development for students in secondary schools through participation in a week long summer experience.

One-Stop System Design is working to develop accessible formats and delivery methods through recognizing and addressing a variety of barriers and restrictions to individuals. Increasing technology and offering flexibility in scheduling will aid in improving services delivery. Increasing supportive services and requiring enhanced professional staff development to increase awareness and utilization of supports will begin in 2016.

IDB offers an array of services through its Orientation Center which prepares Iowans who are blind or have visual impairments in learning the skills of blindness needed for employment, from traveling to technology needed on the job. This program is also open to Iowans, such as employers, who are not visually impaired who wish to develop a better understanding of the challenges faced by the visually impaired.

A major milestone in the work which is being done is the development of a One-Stop System customer-centered design model. This model is being developed and will be rolled out to the local areas in 2017. It includes the creation of an incentive program to encourage center staff to provide enhanced customer service to ALL Iowans. The program currently under development by the core partners includes planning for the creation of the following:

  • Collaborative core partner handbook for providing excellent services to job-seekers

o Guidance specific to serving priority populations, such as recipients of public assistance and others identified in WIOA and by the Governor of the State of Iowa

  • Formal guidance on engaging businesses and recruiting community partners
  • Online resource hub for One-Stop Center staff

o Web-based training

o Policy guidance

o Connection to additional resources and staff development opportunities

  • New staff development and training requirements
  • Center certification process
  • Formal recognition of high-achieving centers, staff and clients
  • Improved monitoring procedures developed by the core partners
  • Technical assistance to center staff
  • Center self-assessment tool
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction surveys
  • Formal, outside program evaluation process
  • Improved processes for providing technical assistance and support to centers

Sector Partnerships

Sector Partnerships in Iowa are focused on incorporation of sector strategies and increasing support for industry-led initiatives into workforce services. This includes looking at ways to increase monetary and administrative support of regionally-based sector strategies throughout Iowa. Iowa Workforce Development was awarded a Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant in 2015 to meet the needs of employers and workers in the aftermath of the Avian Influenza epidemic which affected Iowa’s poultry farms and workers through the development and implementation of sector strategies to meet the needs of affected businesses and associated supply chain. Funds from the grant are being used to provide sector partnership facilitator training to Iowa’s impacted regions and to respond to the needs of employers and job-seekers.

IVRS area offices are also becoming involved and engaged in sector partnerships. At the state level, IVRS has representation on the statewide Career Pathways and Sector Partnership Advisory Boards and will be involved in policy development that addresses accessibility issues. At the local level, the sector partnerships are locally developed workforce partners that serve specific industry sectors by providing a talent pool of eligible job candidates, as well as technical assistance to business and industry regarding their specific questions and needs. The Burlington Area Office has one IVRS employee on each sector partnership which has proven to be a systemic approach to placement. This allows the team to serve the business, and when a member of the team resigns or retires, a new member from the organization is then placed on the partnership. In this manner business receives services in a continuous fashion, the relationship is built with the partnership, and there is not any gap in service delivery to the business. IVRS area offices are all working with their local workforce development partnerships to become engaged and involved, or in some instances to create these partnerships where they do not exist. IVRS can be instrumental in this development because IVRS is in every county and has personal contacts in each county. This will serve as a conduit to creating and extending sector partnerships to more rural and remote areas of the state.

The Department of Adult Education and Literacy is involved in the development of sector partnerships and subsequent career pathway development with a focus on aligning services as a participant transitions from adult education through integrated education and training to further their education and employment opportunities. Through the Moving Pathways Forward: Supporting Career Pathways Integration, a three-year technical assistance grant, a state advisory board for career pathways and sector boards has been formed to guide further discussion and development of unified definitions, an approval process and performance measures for evaluating effectiveness and improving alignment among key agencies throughout Iowa.

Registered Apprenticeship

The Governor, with support of the Iowa Legislature, increased the state’s capacity to meet the rapidly evolving needs of employers through increased support to Registered Apprenticeship programs. In 2014, funding to support Registered Apprenticeship Programs was tripled. IWD recently received a grant to hire a Registered Apprenticeship Statewide Coordinator. IWD is contracting with the Department of Education to identify needs and gaps in the state’s Registered Apprenticeship programs and will be applying for the expansion grant to increase the state’s immediate and ongoing capacity to develop Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

Additionally, IWD will be working to build a model for Pre-Apprenticeships for out of school youth and for adults. IWD will be collaborating with IVRS in this process and looking at current successful IVRS programs which incorporate Registered Apprenticeships.

Career Pathways

The Iowa Department of Adult Education and Literacy received a Moving Pathways Forward: Supporting Career Pathways Integration grant which is a three-year initiative to assist states in advancing career pathways systems to transition low-skilled adults to postsecondary education and employment. A state advisory board for career pathways and sector boards has been formed to guide further discussion and development of unified definitions, an approval process and performance measures for evaluating effectiveness. The project provides targeted technical assistance services to support state’s work in developing and implementing career pathways system. The Career Pathways Exchange consolidates and distributes career pathways-related resources, events, and information from federal and state agencies and partner organizations which are reviewed and distributed to key partners in Iowa.

The Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI) is a program through Walgreens that provides retail skills to externs or trainees with a variety of disabilities. The program works in partnership with agencies within a community to provide job coaches who can help externs gain skills and the opportunity for future employment. Participants in the REDI program are not guaranteed employment, however, the purpose of the training is to provide externs the skills and competencies required to be successful in the retail environment. IVRS works in conjunction with Walgreens stores offering the REDI, in addition to providing funding support to CRP partners who oversee job coaching and training. Externs who successfully complete the 120-hour REDI training have the opportunity to apply for openings at Walgreens or with a neighboring business. Since the initiation of REDI in 2012, IVRS has worked with six Iowa providers (CRPs) to deliver REDI training in twelve Walgreens stores across Iowa. IVRS continues to develop Occupational Skill Training Programs per local area office needs. Communication efforts are being expanded at the local IWD Regional Workforce Boards in order to ensure collaboration with existing career pathways and sector boards will be integrated and accessible for individuals with disabilities.

Integration

IWD is looking to purchase a unified, one-stop, web-based workforce case management and labor exchange system which will be fully accessible and operable by the core partners. This system will function as a shared intake and assessment system and serve as a means by which to collect program data. The use of this system will streamline operations and enhance the customer service experience.

Leaders of eight departments developed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to support collaborative service design to increase employment outcomes for individuals with the most significant disabilities. The eight agencies are Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation, Iowa Department for the Blind, Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Department of Human Rights/Division for Persons with Disabilities, Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of the Aging and Iowa Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Council. The Partners agree to support all their local offices in adopting the MOA Objective and Strategies to increase employment outcomes for Iowans with disabilities through state and local collaboration, maximizing resources and minimizing duplication in the support for competitive, community integrated employment outcomes. The MOA increases emphasis on aligning workforce system partners through referral and communication, staff training on integrated activities and improved outcomes.

Integrated Education and Training

Iowa’s Adult Education and Literacy programs concurrently provide access to contextualized instruction, that blends workplace skills with work based learning. Participants engaged in work based learning activities are exposed to an educational approach that uses workplaces to structure learning experiences that contribute to their intellectual, social, academic, and career development. Some of the work based activities that are offered in collaboration with core and required partners include:

1. Job Shadowing - An unpaid experience where a participant follows an employer for a short period of time (a few hours to an entire day) to learn about a particular occupation or industry.

2. Unpaid Work Experience - An unpaid work experience is a limited-term opportunity, longer than a job shadow, for participants to learn about a particular occupation or industry by working at a specific workplace.

3. Internship - Participant internships are situations where participants work for an employer for a specified period of time to learn about a particular industry or occupation. Participant’s workplace activities may include special projects, a sample of tasks from different jobs, or tasks from a single occupation.

4. Cooperative Work Experience - a program of work experience in an actual employment setting related to the vocational interests and educational programs provided to a participant at an area vocational/technical education center.

5. Apprenticeship - An agreement through which the participant gains instruction and support in exchange for work. Pre-apprentice activities can include targeted instruction to prepare the participant to learn with masters of the trade, craft, or profession and begins an occupational career while contributing to the productivity of the enterprise.

6. Service Learning - A teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

7. Participant Entrepreneurship - A participant entrepreneur is a participant who starts a company or non-profit while still attending school.

IDB operates a Career Resource Center for Iowans with visual impairments which provides accessible technology, equipment and software to be used to prepare, gain and maintain skills and credentials needed for employment.

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education has an agreement that outlines shared responsibilities between IVRS and the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education to prepare youth with disabilities for successful competitive, integrated community employment. Through this agreement IVRS has ready access to the student’s IEPs that are on the IVRS caseload, which allows for a more timely development of the IVRS eligibility justification (within 60 days) and the individual plan for employment (within 90 days). This Memorandum of Agreement expands beyond the previous agreement and provides greater direction and support to the local IEP teams. This agreement describes roles and responsibilities and also financial obligations.

B. Alignment with Activities outside the Plan

Describe how the activities identified in (A) will be aligned with programs and activities provided by required one-stop partners and other optional one-stop partners and activities provided under employment, training (including Registered Apprenticeships), education (including career and technical education), human services and other programs not covered by the plan, as appropriate, assuring coordination of, and avoiding duplication among these activities.

Alignment with Activities Outside the Plan

The core partners have been working collaboratively with required and optional partners to develop policies, procedures, and best practices to facilitate the organization and integration of workforce services under WIOA. Policies are prioritized by function rather than by program, when permitted by a program’s authorizing statute and as appropriate to best serve the needs of ALL Iowans, including employers. The shared objective is to create a system which is a truly integrated, seamless, and capable of interactive communication, case management, and incorporation of the appropriate use of technology for maximum effectiveness. This requires coordinating staff communication, inclusion of a diverse group of stakeholders, and a means by which to keep the direction and progression of the remaining work focused.

Functional Alignment - Examines areas of natural alignment or similar program tasks of One-Stop Center staff to identify areas where workloads can be shared or supplemented through the use of functional teams, such as those dedicated to skills development and business services.

Service Integration - Places the priority on serving the diverse needs customer as opposed to meeting generically prescribed goals which may or may not benefit the customer’s unique needs, talents, abilities and interests. Service integration also provides a full range of services staffed by cross-functional teams, consistent with the aligned purpose, scope, and requirements of each program.

Iowa Department of Human Services

The Iowa Department of Human Services makes a positive difference in the lives of Iowans we serve through effective and efficient leadership, excellence, and teamwork through a variety of workforce related programs and supports such as the Employment Assistance Program which provides home and community based services, supported employment to youth, 15 and older, or Adults with Disabilities (ID and BI) or Brain Injury. Basic work skills and supports through career exploration, developing work skills and work supports are among program offerings.

Future Ready Iowa

Future Ready Iowa aims to achieve systemic changes to increase the number of citizens with a postsecondary credential with the intended result of increasing the number of skilled workers available to employers. Igniting economic development with a skilled workforce and the best educated student population in the nation will achieve Governor Branstad’s goals, which will increase the income levels of Iowa families.

For the workforce development system this means creating a system that utilizes resources efficiently and aligns government programs in a manner that responds to and supports the needs of private business. Future Ready Iowa was developed by the National Governors Association Policy Academy Developing Iowa’s Future Talent Pipeline and list the general membership of the Policy Academy.

To achieve the prosperity supported by world-class talent educated with Iowa’s values and work ethic, Iowa’s government is responding with the workforce development system of the future. Iowa’s workforce development systems will build the system of tomorrow to attain the results needed today through skill building focused on the job-driven expectations of business and industry - occupational and soft skills.

Through implementation of career pathways and infusing of robust sector strategies across systems, Iowa is committed to serving the underserved citizenry by closing educational and employment gaps to end disparities based on disability, ethnicity, race, class, and geographic location.

The goal of Future Ready Iowa is:

By 2025, 70% of all Iowans will have earned a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized credential or certification - the new minimum - that meets employer needs.

The goal will be accomplished through the following objectives:

  • Identify and meet employer needs by focusing on sector strategies, career pathways and better aligning state and federal programs and initiatives, including public-private partnerships, to support high-skill, high-demand jobs.
  • Communicate high-demand career pathways to students, parents, teachers, counselors, workers and community leaders through career planning, including an interactive portal of career opportunities and required credentials and experience.
  • Improve college and career readiness, increase interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) study and careers.
  • Minimize education-related debt.

The following strategies will aid in reaching Future Ready objectives:

  1. Identify and quantify employers’ education, training, and employment needs and capture those needs in a Talent Supply & Demand interactive portal to be driven by a public-private collaborative, leveraging and institutionalizing the sector strategies and career pathways methodologies.
  1. Improve degree and credential completion and target resources to support attainment of high-demand credentials, degrees, and certifications valued by employers, including for those individuals with barriers to employment.
  1. Cultivate, develop and align work-based learning opportunities including, but not limited to, STEM school-business partnerships, student internships, teacher externships and apprenticeships for individuals through public-private partnerships.
  1. Create a system of coordinated resources to engage, assist, and reinforce Future Ready career guidance for parents, students, educators and adults.
  1. Ensure secondary students have access to high quality career and technical educational programs aligned with labor market needs.
  1. Ensure all Iowa students meet high state academic standards, including being literate by the end of the third grade and achieving in STEM disciplines.
  1. Increase rigorous concurrent enrollment opportunities in high demand career pathways, including STEM disciplines.
  1. Institutionalize the college-going process within secondary schools statewide (College Application Campaign, FAFSA Completion, assessing “college fit,” etc.).
  1. Elevate and operationalize promising financial literacy models that impact student borrowing.
  1. Nurture entrepreneurial connectivity and skills development.

Iowa Department on Aging

The Iowa Department on Aging (IDA) is the designated State Unit on Aging and was established as a result of The Older Americans Act (OAA), enacted by Congress in 1965. The OAA promotes the well-being of older adults and assists them in remaining independent and in their own homes and communities. The U.S. Administration for Community Living distributes federal OAA funds to State Units on Aging which, in turn, designate Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) at the local level to provide information and services to older Iowans. Title III of the OAA provides funds to help states organize and pay for meals and a broad range of home and community based services through the AAAs and hundreds of service providers throughout the state; this structure is commonly called the "aging network." All persons who are 60 and older are eligible to receive services, but states are required to target assistance to persons with the "greatest social or economic need."

The Iowa Department on Aging is currently charged with an aggressive restructuring of the aging network. On March 29, 2012, Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 2320 mandating a reduction in the number of Area Agencies on Aging. Frequently referred to as the “modernization of the aging network,” this initiative effectively reduced the number of AAAs from 13 to six in an effort to create a more efficient network. The primary goal of the Department on Aging is to have Iowa be viewed as the premier state in which to live and retire.

IDA advocate for changes in public policy, practices and programs that empower Iowans; facilitate their access to services; protect their rights; and prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation. Activities may include legislative advocacy, information dissemination, outreach and referral, research and analysis and coalition building.The 2010 U.S. Census found that 20 percent of Iowa’s population is currently 60 years of age or older. By 2030, 20 percent of the population in 88 of Iowa’s 99 counties will be aged 65 or older.

IDA administers the ABE Senior Community Service Employment Program serving Individuals age 55 and older, at or below 125% of poverty, and unemployed and employers. The program fosters economic self-sufficiency and promotes useful part-time opportunities in community service organizations to increase the numbers of older persons who can obtain employment. The program also assists participants in receiving work skills training and provides work services for non-profit and governmental organizations.

Governor’s STEM Council

Created with the goal of increasing STEM interest and achievement, the STEM Council is a collaboration of bipartisan Iowa legislators, educators, business, nonprofits, students and families focused on improving STEM opportunities and awareness in Iowa. The STEM Council follows this definition of STEM:

“…an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.”

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is a made up of leaders in higher education, business, pre-K through 12 educators, as well as state and local government officials. The STEM Council is led by Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson. The executive director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is Dr. Jeff Weld. There are 47 members on the STEM Council, including 17 members that comprise the Executive Committee.

Current STEM Initiatives target secondary and community college students and their teachers through the Microsoft IT Academy, which provides training on Office software and systems network analyst training and certifications to 150 Iowa secondary schools and community colleges.

Iowa STEM BEST Business Engaging Students and Teachers targets secondary school lead applicants with business commitments & secondary STEM learners through an incentive program to drive school/business partnerships for content delivery/aligned instruction. Five current sites involving 14 districts and businesses exist as part of this initiative.

The STEM Teacher Externships targets secondary teachers of STEM subjects, and industry partners in STEM areas. Secondary teachers of math, science, technology, and engineering are matched with full time work during summer to take on authentic tasks and roles in STEM industries.

Iowa Office of Apprenticeship/Apprenticeship USA

The National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 authorizes the federal government, in cooperation with the states, to oversee the nation’s apprenticeship system. In Iowa, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Apprenticeship (OA) is responsible for registering apprenticeship programs that meet federal guidelines. It issues certificates of completion to apprentices and encourages the development of new programs.

Registered Apprenticeship is a proven system for training employees in a variety of occupations that require a wide range of skills and knowledge. It is an ideal way for employers to build and maintain a skilled workforce. Registered Apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job learning with technical related instruction in subjects related to the apprentice’s chosen occupation. Apprenticeship, by virtue of its success in preparing skilled workers, helps America compete more effectively in the global economy, and contributes to America’s economic development and sustained economic growth.

The Registered Apprenticeship system provides opportunity for workers seeking high-skilled, high- paying jobs and for employers seeking to build a qualified workforce. In this regard, the Registered Apprenticeship system effectively meets the needs of both employers and workers. Registered Apprenticeship is highly active in traditional industries such as construction and advanced manufacturing. It is also instrumental in the training and development of high demand industries such as healthcare, energy and information technology.

Apprenticeship programs are operated by both the public and private sectors, with programs registered with OA called sponsors. A sponsor may be employers, employer associations and labor-management organizations. Recently, community colleges and workforce development centers have collaborated with business and industry to develop Registered Apprenticeship programs through sponsoring employer-participation agreements. Regions that adopt robust Registered Apprenticeship programs in the context of economic development strategies create seamless pipelines of skilled workers and flexible career pathways to meet current and future workforce demands.

The State of Iowa tripled funding for Registered Apprenticeship Programs in 2014 to $3 million and has been recognized by The UAS DOL in regard to innovative practices and number of new Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

ApprenticeshipUSA targets Employers, Veterans, Youth, Unemployed, Underemployed, and Career Seekers through provision of a variety of services. Employers have access to tools to develop a highly skilled workforce to help grow their business. For workers, RA offers opportunities to earn a salary while gaining the skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. ApprenticeshipUSA exemplifies high standards, instructional rigor and quality training. Immediate Employment, Job Training, Skills, and Nationally recognized Certifications and Credentials for job seekers.

Iowa Economic Development Authority

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) offers a variety of programs and services to individuals, communities and businesses to attract and grow business, employment and workforce in Iowa. Ground-breaking economic growth strategies focusing on cultivating start-up companies and helping existing companies become more innovative complement the activities underway to retain and attract companies that are creating jobs for Iowans.

Developing sustainable, adaptable communities ready for this growth is also an essential part of our work at IEDA — providing programs and resources that help communities reinvest, recover and revitalize to make each community’s vision a reality. Much of what you know about Iowa is true. It’s what you don’t know that sets us apart. The Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress seeks to build Iowa’s economic health and strengthen supports to employers as well as current and future employees through dedicated collaborations among key agencies and streamlined processes.

Iowa Economic Development Authority Programs

Federal Career Link Program - A Community Development Block Grant targets low to moderate income individuals through industry-driven training programs that invest in projects that assist the underemployed and working poor to obtain the training and skills they need to move into available higher-skill, higher wage jobs.

The Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program (260E) targets employers creating new jobs in Iowa by providing financing for training for new jobs created through a business expanding or locating in Iowa through the sale of bond certificates by Iowa community colleges.

The Accelerated Career Education Program (ACE tax credits) (260G) targets any business except retail and assists community colleges to establish or expand training programs for occupations needed by Iowa business.

The Targeted Industries Internship Program (TIIP) targets Iowa companies with under 500 employees in the Advanced Manufacturing, Bioscience, and IT industries. It provides grants to small and medium-sized companies under 500 employees in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries to help support their internship programs with a goal of transitioning interns to full-time employment in the state upon graduation.

The Iowa Jobs Training Program targets current workforces of existing Iowa employers through financing training for existing of incumbent workforces of Iowa businesses.

The STEM Internship targets Iowa employers employing STEM major interns. This program provides grants to employers to support Iowa students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through internships that lead to self-sustaining jobs with Iowa employers.

Iowa Finance Authority

The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) offers a variety of programs and services to individuals, communities and businesses and has touched the lives of countless Iowans through a wide variety of affordable financing programs throughout its 40 year history such as the Agricultural Development Division which provides loan and tax credit programs to assist beginning Iowa farmers. Iowa Title Guaranty is also administered at IFA and offers guaranteed title to real property in Iowa.

Economic Development Bond Program - The Iowa Finance Authority issues tax-exempt bonds to businesses and organizations for a wide range of projects. These have included expanding and improving health care services, industrial development and housing. As of 2012, the Iowa Finance Authority has issued more than $7.5 billion in bonds to assist businesses build or expand in Iowa.

The Economic Development Bond Program issues tax-exempt bonds on behalf of private entities or organizations for eligible purposes. In 2014, the State of Iowa received $309 million of volume cap for allocation to eligible projects in the following categories: single-family, job training, student loans, beginning farmers, industrial and political subdivision.

Iowa Department of Corrections

The Iowa Department of Corrections Professional Development Training Program mission is to prepare and update institution and community correctional employees’ knowledge base, skills, and competencies; to enable them to perform their duties within the parameters of sound and effective correctional practices in order to protect the general public, themselves, and their co-workers, while managing offenders in an environment that supports offender change.

Iowa Workforce Development, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Corrections, has implemented the Ex-Offender Initiative which focuses on connecting ex and soon-to-be-released inmates with career opportunities and supports. The workforce advisors assigned to this initiative network with employers to address the barriers they may have in hiring ex-offenders. Each of the participants in the program completes the National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC).

Thousands of inmates are released from Iowa prisons each year. Many of them are eager to get a job and lead a productive life. Without a job it is nearly impossible for these individuals to establish a new life and become productive citizens. Hiring an ex-offender can help them integrate into society so they can become a taxpayer instead of a tax burden.

Many employers experiencing labor shortages consider their number one challenge is to identify, attract and retain employees. To address these needs, employers are increasing their applicant pool by looking at individuals with criminal histories. Employed ex-offenders are some of the most dedicated and productive employees. They are overwhelmingly dependable and punctual and the turnover rate is atypically low.

Iowa DOC supports Private Industry Partnerships In Iowa, which create opportunities for private companies to hire offenders while they are still incarcerated under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections (DOC).

Since the Private Industry Enhancement (PIE) program began in 1992, private companies and the DOC have worked in partnership at locations throughout the state. Offenders have worked millions of hours in fields such as manufacturing, printing, and call center operations, at facilities located on and off prison grounds.

The first private sector partner was established nearly twenty years ago and is still going strong. For employers, the PIE program offers a productive, reliable, and motivated workforce. Offenders are paid market based wages, and by law are allowed to retain 20% of their earnings. The balance is used to pay taxes, child and family support, victim restitution, and room and board. As a result, inmates are able to build some savings before they are released, while at the same time giving back to society.

Although inmates are paid market based wages, the benefits paid by employers are significantly reduced:

  • Employers pay no medical or dental benefits;
  • Employers pay no sick time, vacation or holiday pay;
  • Employers pay no unemployment insurance;
  • Employers pay no workers’ compensation;

In addition, training assistance and training wage programs may be available, making the PIE program a very cost effective solution for many private employers. Inmate employees are carefully screened by the Department of Corrections, and are then interviewed and selected by the employer. As the employer, you retain the right to hire, promote or dismiss offenders, ensuring that you can operate your business successfully. The PIE program for private sector operations is administered by Iowa Prison Industries. IPI can help you determine if the PIE program is right for your company, and will work with you at every step along the way to get started.

The Corrections Education Program (ABE) targets offenders over the age of 18 who do not have a High School Diploma. It is designed to meet the basic literacy needs of adults and improve and/or upgrade current education and skill levels of adults.

Achieving an integrated partnership that seamlessly incorporates services of the programs and activities outside the plan is essential to the success of effective policy planning and development. Central to the idea of achieving an integrated partnership which places the customer first, is a mission towards an integrated case management system that will help streamline workforce development service delivery across the state. The integrated case management system will help streamline service delivery and avoid redundancies. This will help to maximize resources so that they can be directed toward providing high-quality services to job seekers, employees, and employers that are responsive to real-time and future labor market needs.

C. Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Individuals

Describe how the entities carrying out the respective core programs, Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan, and required and optional one-stop partner programs will coordinate activities and resources to provide comprehensive, high-quality, customer-centered services, including supportive services to individuals including those populations identified in section II(a)(1)(B). The activities described shall conform to the statutory requirements of each program.

Services to Individuals

In December, 2015, the partners convened a team to review the Value Stream Mapping work previously completed during an intensive three-day event. The focus of this event was to advance the original themes, ideas and strategies that were developed during previous events through the creation of specific activities and assignment of partners to coordinate the activities. The recommended strategies to achieve the State’s workforce development goals for ALL Iowans including employers and job-seekers, is discussed in this and following sections.

The infusion of accessibility and advancement towards improved alignment among the partners informed the process throughout. Enhanced delivery of workforce services through the incorporation of innovative ideas and actions will be achieved by furthering this work with robust policies and fiscal and legislative support in Iowa. In reviewing the following table, it is important to note that each of Iowa’s goals has an industry, workforce, or system-focus. As evidenced throughout the table, all three foci were considered heavily in development of strategies and activities to accomplish the goals. As previously stated, Iowa’s workforce goals are as follows:

GOAL I: Industry-focused

Iowa’s employers will have access to advanced, skilled, diverse and Future Ready workers.

GOAL II: Workforce-focused

All Iowans will be provided access to a continuum of high quality education, training, and career opportunities in the nation.

GOAL III: System-focused

Iowa’s workforce delivery system will align all programs and services in an accessible, seamless and integrated manner.

Implementation of the State’s Strategy

Accessibility

In order to achieve accessibility, there remains much work to be done with Iowa’s employers to identify and reduce barriers to employment for ALL Iowans. This includes expanding accessible opportunities for traditionally underserved and underrepresented populations, and individuals with barriers to employment to enter into sustainable employment.

Coordinated action steps addressing accessibility include the following:

1. Identification of barriers to employment for ALL Iowans, with special emphasis on, but not limited to, the following:

  • Individuals with Disabilities,
  • Displaced homemakers,
  • Low-income individuals,
  • Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians,
  • Individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities,
  • Older individuals,
  • Ex-offenders/Re-entering Citizens,
  • Homeless individuals including homeless youth and children, and victims of domestic violence,
  • Youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system,
  • Individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers,
  • Eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers,
  • Individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.),
  • Single parents (including single pregnant women) and
  • Long-term unemployed individuals.

2. Provision of guidance and support to Iowa’s employers to address barriers to employment for ALL Iowans, and

3. Reduction in barriers to employment for ALL Iowans.

In order to create a fully accessible system which emphasizes service to individuals, IWD is transitioning to a web-based customer service model. This model will include a customized intake form currently under development by the core partners which will be fully accessible and available in multiple languages.

By bridging services across agencies and programs and placing a greater emphasis on improved and expanded staff training which includes intra-agency cross-training, services to individuals will be further enhanced. A process and procedure for a greater focus on monitoring for program effectiveness within the One-Stop Centers is being developed by the core partners and will be rolled out to local areas in 2017. The plan calls for enhanced customer feedback systems and engagement of stakeholders in the monitoring and feedback process. Provision of technical assistance and feedback on the state-level to local areas will assist in the evaluation of programs and services to individuals, and businesses, and will improve program overall effectiveness. Non-punitive corrective action plans with the goal of providing guidance as well as a formal recognition program for high-achieving centers, staff, and job-seekers will be fundamental to the success of this program.

The needs of businesses are going to fuel the creation of a service delivery model which balances the needs of employers with the employment needs of job-seekers. Minimizing the participatory burden of businesses and individuals will in itself create improved access and encourage job-seekers to pursue additional services. A reporting system which is created, supported and implemented among core partners and relevant agencies will reduce the participatory burden to staff as well.

A referral process that allows for direct connection by and between key agency staff, which includes holding agencies accountable for assisting workers in achieving success is underway and set to be rolled out in conjunction with the Iowa One-Stop Center standards in 2017. The braiding and blending of funding streams will maximize benefits and services to Iowa’s job seekers, employees and employers.

Sector Partnerships

The implementation of sector partnerships will engage employers in the continuous and dynamic development of programs and initiatives which are responsive to Iowa’s existing and future labor-market needs. Coordinated action steps resulting from the incorporation of sector strategies and support of industry-led initiatives into workforce services will include the following:

1. Work with industry to increase opportunities for all Iowans to gain the experience, skills, and credentials needed to obtain and main self-sustaining employment.

2. Close skill gaps between Iowa’s workforce and employers by expanding and supporting sector strategies for in-demand industries.

3. Identify and quantify employers’ education, training, and workforce needs and capture those needs in a comprehensive system (planned to be Career Coach) to be driven by a public-private collaborative and accessible system.

The Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant/National Dislocated Worker Grant (NDWG) provides support for the development and coordination of sector partnerships in regions impacted by the Avian Flu epidemic by targeting three in-demand sectors. The three primary sectors which are targeted include: advanced manufacturing, healthcare & transportation and logistics. This funding is being used, in part, to support the advancement and work of a state sector council - Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council (SPLC), which provides leadership in the development and support of sector partnerships and career pathways. The purpose of the SPLC is to engage Iowa’s employment leaders in the development and delivery of workforce services across Iowa and in the continuous and dynamic development of programs and initiatives which are responsive to Iowa’s existing and future labor-market needs. The NDWG is also funding, in part, the procurement of a CAEL contract which will provide facilitator training throughout the state to facilitate the advancement of sector strategies across Iowa.

An apprenticeship training fund was created as a revolving fund in the State Treasury under the control of the IEDA. $3 million was appropriated for Fiscal Year 2015. A statutory formula is used to allocate training grants to eligible sponsors. Awarded funds may only be used towards the cost of conducting and maintaining a registered apprenticeship training program.

IWD recently received a grant to hire a Registered Apprenticeship Statewide Coordinator. IWD is contracting with the Department of Education to identify needs and gaps in the state’s Registered Apprenticeship programs and will be applying for the expansion grant to increase the state’s immediate and ongoing capacity to develop Registered Apprenticeship Programs. IWD will be working to build a model for Pre-Apprenticeships for out of school youth and for adults. IWD will be collaborating with IVRS in this process and looking at current successful IVRS programs which incorporate Registered Apprenticeships.

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is a statewide, integrated marketing campaign to promote careers and educational pathways in advanced manufacturing. This begins with building a positive perception of these careers while addressing misconceptions of work environment, safety, and wages. Elevate offers resources to the public specifically targeting those eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers, unemployed/underemployed Iowans, U.S. veterans, educators, along with K-12 students and their families. Elevate is a National Partner of The Manufacturing Institute’s Dream It. Do It. This initiative works to change the perception of the industry and inspire the next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers.

Enhance Iowa is another program which will assist in the support and coordination of services to individuals in Iowa. Enhance Iowa originated with a $15 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant was part of a larger federal initiative called Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training or TAACCCT. Started in 2009, the TAACCT program has issued a series of grants to community colleges across the nation for the purpose of putting people back to work. Hawkeye Community College was chosen to lead a consortium consisting of all 15 of Iowa’s community colleges. This consortium, now known as Enhance Iowa, will use the $15 million grant to train Iowans in skill sets needed by local employers.

The TAACCT grant awarded to Enhance Iowa is the fourth and last of four TAACCCT initiatives. Each wave of grants focused on a specific industry or needed skill set by employers. Enhance Iowa’s grant focuses on the areas of IT, healthcare, utilities and manufacturing. In total, 71 entities were given $450 million in the final TACCCT award.

The first wave of funds were allocated on October 1, 2014, and they will continue to be dispersed over a four-year period. All of Iowa’s community colleges will receive a portion of the money, allowing them to purchase new learning equipment and offer more programs. 45 new programs will be offered across the Enhance Iowa consortium as a result.

Career Pathways

Coordinated efforts will engage ALL Iowans in the career pathway process using innovative approaches in the delivery of career services. Key to these efforts will be the offering of a variety of career path navigation supports to enhance transition into the workforce for ALL Iowans. Coordinated action steps within Iowa’s career pathways work will include the following:

1. Provide workers with skills, work-based learning opportunities, resources, accommodations and supports needed for ALL Iowans to secure self-sustaining employment.

2. Provide ongoing supports so ALL Iowans can maintain self-sustaining employment and work to their fullest potential.

Specifically, Youth Services will make connections to statewide support systems, increase and enhance youth engagement, and build the capacity of educators for encouraging movement through a variety of pathway options.

The development of sector partnerships and subsequent career pathway development will continue to be a priority of Adult Education and Family Literacy in Iowa with a focus on aligning services as a participant transitions from adult education through integrated education and training to further their education and employment opportunities. Through the Moving Pathways Forward: Supporting Career Pathways Integration, a three-year technical assistance grant, a state advisory board for career pathways and sector boards has been formed to guide further discussion and development of unified definitions, an approval process and performance measures for evaluating effectiveness.

Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council (SPLC) will provide leadership in the development and support of sector partnerships and career pathways through engagement of Iowa’s employment leaders in the development and delivery of workforce services across Iowa and in the continuous and dynamic development of programs and initiatives which are responsive to Iowa’s existing and future labor-market needs.

IVRS plans to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Department of Education for the purposes of expanding the Intermediary Network with the focus of serving students with disabilities to connect with career pathways. IVRs will fund up to $1.5 million to support the Intermediary Network, which is delivered by the community college system. This expansion, focused on students with disabilities who have traditionally not been able to access career pathways, will develop the mechanism by which students with disabilities gain skills in occupations that are job-driven. This will be accomplished through improved work based learning strategies.

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing will promote careers and educational pathways in advanced manufacturing through creating a positive perception of these careers while addressing misconceptions of work environment, safety, wages and nontraditional population integration into these careers. Enhance Iowa will assist in the support and coordination of services to individuals in Iowa through a Iowa’s 15 community colleges to provide relevant training to Iowans in skill sets needed by local employers.

Career Coach is a Future Ready Iowa initiative in collaboration with IWD, IDOE, and the community colleges. Career Coach provides career pathways by region, access to the ETPL, and many other features to assist job-seekers in online career exploration. It provides users with local occupational level wages, industry trends, employment projections (growth/decline), occupational tasks, skills, education/training needed by occupation, where to find types of education/training, demographic data, and current job postings for employers in Iowa. The tool also includes a career assessment tool (short and long versions), military occupation crosswalk, career cluster, and resume builder.

Career Coach brings together federal, state and private sources under one simple-to-use on-line tool for anyone looking to explore career options by providing them the information to make career decisions. The data sources include the US Department of Commerce, US Department of Labor, US Department of Education, US Census Bureau, Employment & Training Administration and Careerbuilder.

Career Coach will be used, in conjunction with other methods, to communicate high-demand career pathways to students, parents, teachers, counselors, workers and community leaders. In addition, students and job-seekers will be able to navigate the career planning process and be connected to a dashboard of career opportunities with information on required credentials, experience and eligible training providers, by region.

Integration

System-wide integration will rely on improvements to the quality of workforce development services through the provision of consistent, integrated, and non-duplicative services across education, rehabilitation, economic and workforce activities. As the key to collaborative efforts across the various systems within Iowa, the coordinated actions steps for integration of services are extensive and include the following:

Development of an interagency definition of “self-sustaining employment”. IWD is exploring ways to address this issue and is looking into the Wisconsin online assessment tool to determine self-sufficiency in employment.

Implementation of an accessible data collection effort that streamlines data collection processes, increases efficiency throughout the workforce delivery system, and aids in accurate performance measurement used in decision-making.

The Sector Partnership Leadership Council (SPLC) was established to assist with the implementation of key WIOA provisions which emphasize in-demand industry sectors and occupations and career pathways resulting in attainment of industry-recognized, stackable credentials. The SPLC will review and create effective policies, programs, and opportunities for Iowa’s workforce that support employers and job-seekers.

The Iowa Department for the Blind works to educate and inform businesses, family members, service providers, advocacy groups, community and service organizations, as well as, the general public about the true capabilities of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. IDB actively seeks ongoing communication, interaction, and collaboration with all constituencies. The Department for the Blind believes that with the right skills and opportunities a blind or visually impaired person can and should be competitively employed and live within their community of choice. Iowa Department for the Blind collaborates with many stakeholders to provide opportunities for independence and employment throughout the state, including businesses seeking to provide employment opportunities for individuals who are visually impaired.

IDB provides employment services to blind and visually impaired Iowans who are looking for a job or want to maintain or advance their current career. Iowa is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s highest in the percentage of blind and visually impaired people successfully placed, employed and remaining in jobs.

Integrated Education & Training

Preparing a Future Ready workforce that readies ALL Iowans to meet the evolving demands of tomorrow’s workforce requires integrated education and training. This includes providing accessible and increased education and training opportunities for ALL Iowans that support the development of the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to succeed in the job market. ALL Iowans will also have access to entrepreneurial skill development and to learn business strategies and concepts through connections with Iowa’s business leaders. Coordinated action steps to integrate education and training opportunities will include the following:

1. Align with the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Taskforce recommendations.

Align with the Future Ready Initiative recommendations.

3. Align with the NGA Work-Based Learning recommendations (forthcoming).

4. Convene a youth-focused work group.

5. Provide individuals and small businesses with guidance, to include business enterprises, asset development, and benefits planning, in the start-up, operation, and effective management of entrepreneurial pursuits.

Iowa’s Adult Education and Literacy programs concurrently provide access to contextualized instruction that blends workplace skills with work based learning. Participants engaged in work based learning activities are exposed to an educational approach that uses workplaces to structure learning experiences that contribute to their intellectual, social, academic, and career development. Some of the work based activities that are offered in collaboration with core and required partners include:

1. Job Shadowing - An unpaid experience where a participant follows an employer for a short period of time (a few hours to an entire day) to learn about a particular occupation or industry.

2. Unpaid Work Experience - An unpaid work experience is a limited-term opportunity, longer than a job shadow, for participants to learn about a particular occupation or industry by working at a specific workplace.

3. Internship - Participant internships are situations where participants work for an employer for a specified period of time to learn about a particular industry or occupation. Participant’s workplace activities may include special projects, a sample of tasks from different jobs, or tasks from a single occupation.

4. Cooperative Work Experience - a program of work experience in an actual employment setting related to the vocational interests and educational programs provided to a participant at an area vocational/technical education center.

5. Apprenticeship - An agreement through which the participant gains instruction and support in exchange for work. Pre-apprentice activities can include targeted instruction to prepare the participant to learn with masters of the trade, craft, or profession and begins an occupational career while contributing to the productivity of the enterprise.

6. Service Learning - A teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

7. Participant Entrepreneurship - A participant entrepreneur is a participant who starts a company or non-profit while still attending school.

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) plans to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Department of Education for the purposes of expanding the Intermediary Network with the focus of serving students with disabilities to connect with career pathways. IVRS will fund up to $1.5 million to support the Intermediary Network, which is delivered by the community college system. This expansion, focused on students with disabilities who have traditionally not been able to access career pathways, will develop the mechanism by which students with disabilities gain skills in occupations that are job-driven. This will be accomplished through improved work based learning strategies.

The Iowa Apprenticeship Training Program Act (15B) was enacted by the Iowa Legislature in 2014. The purpose of 15B to increase the number of registered apprentices in Iowa by providing training grants to eligible apprenticeship programs. Registered apprenticeships are a proven approach to preparing workers for in-demand jobs and meeting the needs of business for a highly skilled workforce that can innovate and adapt. The program is administered by IEDA in coordination with the United States Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Apprenticeship (OA). Only apprenticeship programs registered and meeting USDOL standards, known as a sponsor, are eligible for an IEDA training grant.

An apprenticeship training fund was created as a revolving fund in the State Treasury under the control of the IEDA. $3 million was appropriated for Fiscal Year 2015. A statutory formula is used to allocate training grants to eligible sponsors. Awarded funds may only be used towards the cost of conducting and maintaining a registered apprenticeship training program.

Each eligible agency using funds provided under Programs for Corrections Education and Other Institutionalized Individuals to carry out a program for criminal offenders within a correctional institution must give priority to serving individuals who are likely to leave the correctional institution within 5 years of participation in the program.

The Iowa Department of Corrections has been an excellent partner with Iowa’s adult education and literacy programs. One of the Departments’ major objectives is to provide educational and career and technical training to these incarcerated youth and adults. The IDOE will continue to work collaboratively with the Department of Corrections (DOC) in aligning their curriculum and student performance standards, data accountability system, and teacher training with the state-administered Adult Education and Family Literacy Program.

Iowa’s adult education and literacy program employs innovative approaches to increase the education levels and self-sufficiency of inmates, while reducing the recidivism rate in Iowa. Corrections programs enrolled 653 participants in Iowa’s information management system in PY 2014. Data sharing agreements have been reached and training provided to include all eligible adult education participants in reporting. This information will be used by both the Department of Education and the Department of Corrections to improve services offered in correctional education programs, to streamline services and to maximize benefits.

Iowa’s approach to corrections education enrolls participants through state correctional institutions and through local correctional facilities. Effective through an MOU and the use of shared state leadership funds, all correctional programs are held accountable to the required common benchmarks (additional tracking of release dates for tracking follow-up will be implemented) through the Iowa’s Assessment Policy. Funds awarded from the AEFLA program funds may be used to support the correctional programs in providing allowable academic programs within the twenty percent expenditure cap. State funds administered through the DOC are awarded to five community colleges to provide adult education programs for adult students in nine state institutions. The DOC contract, in partnership with the community colleges and Iowa Department of Education adult education and literacy team, establishes the level of staff, curriculum and program standards to be offered in each of the nine state facilities. These funds support and extend the academic programs to assist participants in acquiring the basic skills and competencies necessary to move from an institutional setting into the workforce and community.

Another initiative underway is the creation of a data collection effort aligned across core agencies. It includes the development of an integrated system among the core programs. Members of the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation IRSS Project Management Team and Information Technology Department have met with representatives in similar positions in other core programs to begin discussions on a common data collection and common application system. Preliminary discussions centered on common data already collected in the current systems as well as current development structures that can be used to move toward a common system. It was determined that the current Iowa Workforce Development system already contains the structure and code to work across systems and can be built upon to provide a common data and application system. The team is hopeful that a common system can be in place to meet annual reporting requirements for FFY17, and if that cannot be accomplished, the team will develop strategies to share data for individual reporting until the common system is deployed. Some of the core programs have their own development teams while others work with outside vendors so that will add some complexity to determining a target completion date for development of the system. As part of this work, Iowa Workforce Development, in collaboration with other WIOA core programs including Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services Adult Education and Family Literacy, is developing a public dashboard containing information on sector strategies and career pathways.

The dashboard will provide stakeholders with the following information:

  • Identification and information on high-demand jobs;
  • Pathways to high-demand jobs;
  • Information on training including internships and apprenticeships;
  • College and career planning information;
  • Information related to sector partnerships and career pathways integrating labor market information and
  • Information on how to finance a chosen pathway.

The one-stop delivery system will address barriers faced in accessing and maintaining usage of the services provided by core partners through an advanced training and staff development program. Barriers to obtaining and maintaining services from core partners include, but are not limited to transportation, awareness and understanding of services, language barriers, and familiarity with culture and civic education.

D. Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Employers

Describe how the entities carrying out the respective core programs, any Combined State Plan partner program included in this plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs will coordinate activities and resources to provide comprehensive, high-quality services to employers to meet their current and projected workforce needs. The activities described shall conform to the statutory requirements of each program.

Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Employers

One-Stop centers will develop, offer, and deliver quality business services that assist specific businesses and industry sectors in overcoming the challenges of recruiting, retaining, and developing talent for the regional economy. One-Stop systems provide workforce services that meet the labor-market needs of employers. Partners will collaborate to achieve an integrated approach to business services delivery in the State and Local One-Stop systems. This will include the implementation of business-focused outreach and initiatives.

Onsite workplace education allows workers to apply basic academic concepts to everyday job tasks, resulting in a better trained, more productive workforce. Local programs have been working with employers to identify skills employees need to be successful in their jobs and design a course of basic skills instruction around these needs. Instructors integrate examples and tools from the work environment to make learning relevant to the participant.

The Partners will develop policies, procedures, guidance, and proven and promising practices to help Local Staff:

  • Facilitate engagement of employers, including smaller employers and employers in in-demand industry sectors and occupations, in workforce services programs.
  • Offer and deliver quality business services that assist specific businesses and industry sectors in overcoming the challenges of recruiting, retaining, and developing talent for the regional economy.
  • Identify and develop a clear understanding of industry skill needs, identifying appropriate strategies for assisting employers, and coordinating business services activities across programs, as appropriate, in order to support area employers and industry sectors most effectively.
  • Incorporate an integrated and aligned business services strategy among Partners to present a unified voice for the One-Stop Center in its communications with employers.
  • Use the forthcoming performance measure(s) on effectiveness in serving employers to support continuous improvement of these services.
  • Engage employers in sector partnerships that are responsive to labor-market needs.
  • Incorporate employer input when developing innovative training opportunities that are responsive to labor-market needs.
  • Develop a Business Services Team in each Local Region. The Business Services Team must consist of at least one Local Staff member from each Core Partner, and may also include Local Staff from other Partners.

In addition, the partners will develop policies, procedures, guidance, and proven and promising practices regarding the development of programs and activities that may include but are not limited to implementation of initiatives such as:

  • Incumbent worker training programs
  • On-the-job training programs
  • Customized training programs
  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Industry and sector strategies
  • Career pathways
  • Section partnerships
  • Utilization of effective business intermediaries
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Other business services, strategies, and training opportunities, designed to meet the needs of employers.

Existing Services to Employers

Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and IWD work closely with the Iowa Office of Apprenticeship, the community college system and others to identify employers’ workforce needs and to develop solutions to address them. The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) works closely with the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) and Information technology (IT) firms and other businesses heavily dependent on the IT sector to identify the occupational areas of greatest need. The entities collaborated to develop apprenticeship curricula for identified occupations. The resulting Registered Apprenticeship programs for these skills sets are operated in conjunction with internships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and tuition reimbursement programs, which were already in place in Iowa. This endeavor has been so successful that, as IEDA recruits new IT companies to Iowa, the TAI Registered Apprenticeship Program has been one of its selling points. IWD staff recruit apprentices as they work with job seekers in need of new or updated skills. Depending on each employer’s needs, workforce staff may use the National Career Readiness Credential tests or other assessment instruments, provide soft skills training, and provide help with resume writing and other services to prepare job seekers for apprenticeship opportunities.

The Employer Disability Resource Network (EDRN) - was designed to increase the employment of persons with disabilities by pooling agency resources and providing technical expertise to employers throughout Iowa. Members of this group include staff from IVRS, the Department for the Blind, Veteran’s Administration, Small Business Administration, Division of Persons with Disabilities, Workforce Development, Community Rehabilitation Providers, Drake University, and Iowa Medicaid. Persons from high school transition age to the aging population are represented. Members of this group present to individual employers as well as employer organizations throughout the state. At present, much attention has been raised by this group to inform employers about Section 503 Rules for Federal Contractors. Internal tools and resources have been provided to staff of IVRS to assist in educating employers about compliance with Section 503. Additionally, this group presented a conference in August, 2015, to assist in education on hiring persons from diverse backgrounds, including persons with disabilities, and the value these individuals present to the workforce. In Iowa, the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in the last decade; therefore, business and industry are considering populations that they traditionally did not pursue in hiring. With the limited number of work-ready job candidates, the conference agenda was geared toward emphasizing the benefits to employers of hiring persons with disabilities. IVRS is striving to create these connections during this economic opportunity.

Diversity Specialists - Another strategy that IVRS is using with business and industry is creating partnerships that embed diversity specialists in the business. Through a contract, IVRS collaborates with a business diversity specialist through sharing of service costs for IVRS eligible Job Candidates. The specialist then strives to recruit and retain individuals with disabilities in the place of employment. While only one of these arrangements currently exists, IVRS is working to expand these arrangements so that there is one diversity specialist in the geographic area of every IVRS area office.

Providing an integrated service system for employers can be accomplished similar to following the model developed by the workforce partnership in Burlington. This model ties in the community college, the special services and supports of IVRS, adult education, TANF, career pathways, etc. It provides industry the resources and supports they need and want, without involving extra unnecessary contacts and services not required. It provides a streamlined system for recruitment and retention assistance to meet their skill and labor shortage needs. In rural areas where there isn’t a workforce office, IVRS can take the lead in developing the system and involve and invite workforce to travel out when those meetings with business occur so that workforce development uses their resources wisely and avoids unnecessary travel and duplication. The community conversations has already started to develop this system with IVRS being the point of contact in communities where IWD is not located and the businesses are advising VR of what they want and VR is involving the appropriate partners to the table.

To strengthen the development and ongoing implementation of Iowa’s sector strategies and career pathway systems, the Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council (SPLC) will serve as a standing committee to the State Workforce Development Board and will have the following attributes:

  • Planned membership includes broad education, vocational rehabilitation, workforce development, economic development and business and industry association representatives. The Council will include the following attributes at a minimum:
  • Business led and oriented;
  • Tasked to provide state level leadership, support, policy development, coordination and guidance to regional sector partnership development;
  • In charge of convening an annual statewide workshop for regional sector partnerships from across the state to share best practices and promote statewide collaboration;
  • Provision of technical assistance to the regional sector partnerships;

The Council will serve as an advisory committee to the State Board of Directors to help fulfill WIOA requirements.

E. Partner Engagement with Educational Institutions

Describe how the State’s Strategies will engage the State’s community colleges and area career and technical education schools, as partners in the workforce development system to create a job-driven education and training system.  WIOA section 102(b)(2)(B)(iv).

Engaging Educational Institutions

One of the best ways to ensure that future workers will meet the new and evolving skill requirements for jobs is for partnership with postsecondary educational institutions. To meet the skill needs of employers, partnership with educational institutions are critical to provide the needed training to create a pipeline of skilled workers. One-Stop staff works with local institutions and businesses to identify and create applicable training for occupations in need. To engage young people in the workforce system and educate them about the labor force, relationships with K-12 are invaluable, but it doesn’t stop there. There must be a coordinated and continuous effort made by and in harmonization with all of Iowa’s educational entities.

Iowa has 60 colleges and universities listed under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, including the community colleges, four-year institutions, and regents. Included are:

  • two research universities,
  • nine master’s universities,
  • nineteen baccalaureate colleges,
  • twenty-one associate’s colleges.

In addition, eleven special-focus institutions and three baccalaureate/associate’s colleges operate in the state. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, a governing board, oversees the state’s three public universities - the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa.

One-Stop staff are partnering with schools to provide information to students through workshops in the classroom, providing educators with information on how to access workforce services and use LMI in the classroom, as well as career fairs and career days. Career days have been a successful way to partner with K-12, local post-secondary educators, businesses and One-Stops to provide information to young people about post-graduation options. State leaders realize that it is critical to continue to develop improved relationships and to engage educational leaders and innovators at all levels.

To further enhance partner engagement with educational institutions, the State of Iowa is improving the way it manages and disseminates the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). Customers interested in training opportunities are made aware of all training options available to them through the Eligible Training Provider List. Eligible providers listed include community colleges, regent universities, private universities as well as other training programs including Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

Youth programming is among the many critical updates under WIOA and active involvement with Iowa’s educational institutions is essential to operating successful youth programs across the state. State-level coordination and support is also important to creating and implementing necessary system changes to support improved workforce delivery programs reaching Iowa’s youth.

Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development

Programs such as the Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development, a state-led interagency initiative designed to better align policies and programs and to encourage collaboration among multiple state and community agencies on youth-related issues, will be the transforming force behind real improvements.

Youth programming is among the many critical updates under WIOA and active involvement with Iowa’s educational institutions is essential to operating successful youth programs across the state. State-level coordination and support is also important to creating and implementing necessary system changes to support improved workforce delivery programs reaching Iowa’s youth. The Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development (ICYD) Council is an example of a state-led interagency initiative designed to better align policies and programs and to encourage collaboration among multiple state and community agencies on youth-related issues and is the transforming force behind real improvements. The purpose of the ICYD Council is to improve the lives and futures of Iowa’s youth by adopting and applying positive youth development principles and practices at the state and local levels; increasing the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of opportunities and services and other supports for youth; and improving and coordinating state youth policy and programs across state agencies. IWD has been a dedicated partner of ICYD since 1999 and has representation at the leadership and work group levels. IWD has valuable relationships and partnerships as a result of ICYD and looks for opportunities to be a part of ICYD best practices.

The ICYD Council members are leaders of 11 state agencies are listed below:

  • Iowa Department of Education
  • Department of Human Rights
  • Department of Human Services
  • Iowa Workforce Development
  • Child Advocacy Board
  • Commission on Volunteer Service
  • Department of Public Health
  • Early Childhood Iowa
  • ISU Extension and Outreach
  • Judicial Branch, Juvenile Courts

The ICYD Council meets quarterly to receive reports from state agencies and the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC), review progress of current activities, review data, and establish priorities and recommending actions on the many issues affecting youth. The prioritized goal of increasing graduation rate to 95% by 2020 was selected due to its high visibility and as a summative measure of youth development efforts, and the many cross-agency issues that contribute to youth graduating from high school (e.g. substance abuse, family, employment, teen pregnancy, and mental health). Each of the agencies represented on the Council has a role in achieving this goal and work to address these issues as individual agencies, and together as a team, to maximize efficiency in state government and make the best use of existing resources.

ICYD has participated in a variety of state and national youth initiatives and has been recognized nationally (e.g. National conference of State Legislatures, National Governor’s Association, Forum for Youth Investment, and Children’s Cabinet Network) for its work in coordinating youth development efforts. The ICYD Council provides a venue to enhance information and data sharing, develop strategies across state agencies, and present prioritized recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly that will improve the lives and futures of Iowa Youth.

The ICYD Council has several emerging activities in 2016/2017:

  • Full implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reform Project, which assesses the effectiveness of juvenile justice programs. The overall goal of the project is to reduce recidivism of juvenile offenders by ensuring that the right services are provided to the right youth at the right time.
  • Implementation of the Juvenile Reentry System, which guides efforts to reduce the historical baseline recidivism rates for youth returning from placement in the Boy’s State Training School.
  • Develop strategies to eliminate the educational achievement gap for under-represented students.
  • Utilize strategies developed in the performance Partnership Pilot proposal in existing statewide initiatives to improve outcomes for disconnected youth.
  • Provide core membership to new youth-serving advisory groups and to consolidate multiple advisory groups into the existing ICYD council.

F. Partner Engagement with Other Education and Training Providers.

Describe how the State’s Strategies will engage the State’s other education and training providers, including providers on the state’s eligible training provider list, as partners in the workforce development system to create a job-driven education and training system.

Engaging Other Education and Training Providers

To further enhance partner engagement with other education and training providers, the State of Iowa is improving the way it manages and disseminates the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). Eligible providers currently listed include community colleges, regent universities, private universities as well as other training programs including Registered Apprenticeship Programs. The way information on ETPL is obtained, maintained, and disseminated is being improved in Iowa with updates to the ETPL and policies ongoing. As progress continues to move Iowa’s workforce delivery system and services forward, additional outreach to, and engagement of, other types of training providers will also advance. State-level coordination and support is also important to creating and implementing changes to support improved workforce delivery programs reaching ALL Iowans. Programs such as the Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development inform policy and recommend programs targeting youth-related issues. These types of programs are the result of successful engagement with other entities and training providers.

Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development Council (ICYD)

The purpose of the ICYD Council is to improve the lives and futures of Iowa’s youth by adopting and applying positive youth development principles and practices at the state and local levels; increasing the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of opportunities and services and other supports for youth; and improving and coordinating state youth policy and programs across state agencies. IWD has been a dedicated partner of ICYD since 1999 and has representation at the leadership and work group levels. IWD has valuable relationships and partnerships as a result of ICYD and looks for opportunities to be a part of ICYD best practices.

IWD is represented on the HSED Task Force will assist the Iowa Department of Education in exploring new ways to help adults pursue and complete their HSED.

IWD/WIOA has looked for ways to expand partnerships with foster care and is a part of a workgroup assessing college retention for the foster student - to discuss issues and solutions to improve college retentions and outcomes for the foster students.

Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates

Dropout prevention; enhancing outcomes; because of expanded connections to the WIOA Youth Service Provider and American Job Center/IowaWorks/One-Stop staff, IWD hopes to contribute to iJAG’s performance outcomes for high school graduation, continuing education and experiential learning.

Aligning Youth -Focused Advisory Groups

The alignment of youth advisory groups will create more effective and efficient services and supports for youth and families. The Youth Services Workgroup created as a result of WIOA has reflected on the idea of blending with the ICYD Results Group. Agency representation on the WIOA Youth Services Workgroup is also a part of the ICYD Results Group. IWD works with the ICYD Council in with regard to career information targeted to youth; as well as youth rights and safety on the job.

Preparing a Future Ready workforce that readies ALL Iowans to meet the evolving demands of tomorrow’s workforce is the result of successful integration among education and training providers. Creating accessible and increased education and training opportunities for ALL Iowans that support the development of the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to succeed in the job market is equally important. ALL Iowans must be able to gain entrepreneurial skills and to learn business strategies and concepts through connection with Iowa’s business leaders. The following action steps will support state strategies to further engage other education and training providers:

  • Align with the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Taskforce recommendations.
  • Align with the Future Ready Initiative recommendations.
  • Align with the NGA Work-Based Learning recommendations.
  • Convene a youth-focused work group.
  • Provide individuals and small businesses with guidance, to include business enterprises, asset development, and benefits planning, in small business start-up, operation, and effective management.

Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) proposal

The goal of Iowa’s P3 project was to provide an effective bridge between high school and entry into college, training, or employment for disconnected youth to improve their likelihood of a successful transition to adulthood. Iowa Workforce Development agreed to lead the project, partnering with the Department of Human Services and the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, to contribute existing federal funding for the project. Other ICYD Council agencies also committed staff resources.

In October 2015, Iowa was awarded funds to implement the Juvenile Reentry System (JReS). Once fully implemented, JReS will guide efforts to reduce the historical baseline recidivism rates for youth returning from placement in the Boys’ State Training School (STS), group care, and Psychiatric Medical Institutes for Children (PMIC’s). A sub-committee of the ICYD Council, the Juvenile Reentry Task Force (JRTF), is implementing JReS and IWD has been involved in the planning since 2014.

PROMOTING SCHOOL-COMMUNITY-UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS TO ENHANCE RESILIENCE (PROSPER) Promoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER) was designed and tested by researchers at Iowa State University in partnership with researchers at Penn State University.

Iowa was awarded a National Dislocated Worker Grant (formerly Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant) to develop and deliver job-driven services to dislocated workers and employers through the development of sector strategies. Iowa has partnered with Iowa Central Community College and the Iowa Department of Education to utilize these funds to support sector strategies across Iowa.

G. Leveraging Resources to Increase Educational Access

Describe how the State’s strategies will enable the State to leverage other Federal, State, and local investments that have enhanced access to workforce development programs at the above institutions, described in section (E).

Leveraging Resources to Increase Educational Access

The State’s strategies include blending and braiding of funding to maximize the leveraging of other Federal, State, and local investments in order to enhance access to workforce development programs at all levels. State leaders realize the benefit and added strength that bringing a multitude of diverse agencies and programs together represents.

Adult Education and Literacy

The adult education and literacy (AEL) program is Iowa’s front-line program to help adults without a high school diploma or equivalency. As part of the state allocation for the Iowa Skilled Workforce and Job Creation Fund, AEL provides services for individuals who need assistance acquiring the skills to be successful in job training and employment. Funds for the AEL program are leveraged with Title II funds to increase access to services through Your Future Starts Here Iowa (http://yourfuturestartshereiowa.org/), including services targeting English Language Acquisition participants. The $5.5 million investment has supported efforts to integrate standards based instruction with workplace learning to prepare participants to successfully transition to post-secondary training and careers. The AEL program continues to partner with statewide and regional entities to ensure a better understanding of the resources and services of the AEL program and how they can be accessed to build the skills needed for individuals to access higher education. This strategy better prepares individuals for educational success and saves more costly investments of remedial education courses at two- and four-year colleges.

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

IVRS has met with the State STEMS Director to promote the ideas of how to expand high expectations for students with disabilities in the STEMS opportunities. IVRS also has a counselor or associate assigned to every high school and college in the State of Iowa to promote accessibility opportunities for students.

GEAR UP Iowa

The Iowa College Student Aid Commission has been awarded a second federal GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Grant totaling $22 million, beginning in fall 2014. This seven year project will support a cohort of about 6,300 students beginning in the 7th grade and will follow them as they progress through school. The program is a long-term partnership between Iowa College Aid, 12 partner school districts and nearly 40 partnering institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.

The students and their families will receive a variety of services aimed at preparing them academically, financially and inspirationally to enroll and succeed in college. Upon enrollment in a college, GEAR UP Iowa students will receive a modest scholarship for up to four years.

GEAR UP Iowa is charged with significantly increasing the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission administers GEAR UP Iowa in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education and other state agencies; local school districts; postsecondary educational institutions; and community organizations, businesses, and industries.

The total of this seven-year Federal award of $22,379,301 will include $3,206,922 for the first year and represents 50% of the total project budget. The other 50% of program costs will be covered in the form of non-federal matching dollars from 36 partners across the state, totaling $22,670,801.

State-Administered Financial Aid

The State of Iowa appropriated over $70 million in scholarships, grants and loan forgiveness opportunities in 2015.6 This figure does not include financial aid awarded to students from institutional sources or appropriations to the state’s public colleges and universities. Private, Not-for-Profit Colleges and Universities During the 2014-15 academic year, Iowa awarded 81 percent of its need-based scholarship and grant funding to students attending private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. This percentage was substantially higher in Iowa than anywhere else in the nation.

Iowa’s largest grant program, the Iowa Tuition Grant (ITG), awards aid to students attending private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. ITG is Iowa’s largest grant program and had approximately 10 times more funds in 2015 than the second largest program, the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program.

The Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grant and the Iowa Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant (Kibbie Grant) target students who are enrolled in career or technical education programs in areas with high workforce demand at Iowa community colleges.

While there are no scholarships and grants designated solely for students attending Regent Universities, Regent University students can apply for state aid through programs available to all sectors, including the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship, the All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant, the Iowa Grant (eliminated after 2014-15) and the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program. In 2014- 15, 6 percent of state aid was awarded to students attending Regent Universities.

Iowa will continue to leverage state, federal and private resources to increase educational access for ALL Iowans, including those with barriers to employment and traditionally underserved populations.

U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program

Since FY 2011 these grants have helped colleges form regional and statewide partnerships that allowed broad reform of educational and training delivery including innovative strategies for reaching participants who are non-traditional adult learners and other such learners.

The Bridges2Healthcare consortium lead an initiative to accelerate progress and improve retention and outcomes of adults in the healthcare industry in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Bridges2Healthcare established Health Care Academies to provide targeted counseling, assessments, and other services to individuals interested in pursuing careers in healthcare. The individualized support provided by success coaches and retention specialists at these Academies prepare non-traditional students for classroom training before they begin the courses, assist individuals in accessing supportive services provided by the workforce system during their training, and guide program completers through career development after they have completed their programs.

The Iowa-Advanced Manufacturing (I-AM) consortium is an Iowa community college initiative to elevate advanced manufacturing, funded through a $13 million grant awarded in 2012. All 15 of Iowa’s community colleges are working to collaboratively build training capacity by developing and awarding certificates (non-credit and credit), diplomas, and associate degrees in the following signature programs: welding, machining, industrial maintenance, industrial automation, manufacturing technology, robotics, and transportation and logistics. In addition, these programs will be aligned with third-party certifications, including the NCRC™, AWS, NIMS, and MSSC, which are part of the National Association of Manufacturers, endorsed Skills Certification System (NAMS).

“Each community college is doing a tremendous amount of work within their programs, with the support of more than 35 manufacturers and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) to ensure that the I-AM initiative addresses and meets the skill needs of the manufacturing industry,” explains Stephanie Ferraro, I-AM Statewide Project Director.

The fourth and final round of TAACCCT grants, awarded a consortium of all 15 community colleges in Iowa a $15 million grant to build training capacity in the areas of Information Technology, Healthcare, Utilities, and Manufacturing - also known as the “IHUM” Network. Grant funds will be used statewide to create more than 45 additional training certificates in the IHUM targeted areas. The IHUM consortium project was one of 71 awarded nationwide, the award is being used to support community colleges in developing partnerships with employers to educate and train individuals for in-demand jobs. Strategies addressed with the grant that will be leveraged include comprehensive career pathways, use of simulation and technology, intensive student support services, and statewide labor market information data related to employment opportunities. The project is supported by more than 30 businesses and business associations in Iowa.

Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE) and GAP

Both statewide programs are recipients of state appropriations from the Iowa Skilled Workforce and Job Creation Fund aimed at supporting participants achieve educational skills needed to address middle skill gaps in-demand industries.

The PACE funding has been used to implement a simplified, streamlined, and comprehensive process to navigate at-risk participants with customized support services, to acquire effective academic and employment training to secure gainful, quality, in-state employment. Target population includes:

  • Persons deemed low skilled for the purposes of attaining gainful, quality, in-state employment.
  • Persons earning incomes at or below two hundred fifty percent of the federal poverty level as defined by the most recently revised poverty income guidelines published by the United States department of health and human services.
  • Unemployed persons.
  • Underemployed persons.
  • Dislocated workers, including workers eligible for services and benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-210, as determined by the department of workforce development and the federal internal revenue service.

PACE programs include the following components:

  • Measurable and effective recruitment, assessment, and referral activities designed for the target populations.
  • Integration of basics skills and work-readiness training with occupational skills training.
  • Combining customized supportive and case management services with training services to help participants overcome barriers to employment.
  • Providing training services at times, locations, and through multiple, flexible modalities that are easily understood and readily accessible to the target populations. Such modalities shall support timeless entry, individualized learning, and flexible scheduling, and may include online remediation, learning lab and cohort learning communities, tutoring, and modularization.

The leveraging of resources includes the building upon the pipeline process established by PACE to better serve the academic, training, and employment needs of the target populations. The goals of the pipeline include:

  • Strengthening partnerships with community-based organizations and industry representatives.
  • Conducting and managing an outreach, recruitment, and intake process, along with accompanying support services, reflecting sensitivity to the time and financial constraints and remediation needs of the target populations.
  • Conducting orientations for qualified participants to describe regional labor market opportunities, employer partners, and program requirements and expectations.
  • Eliminating temporal and instructional barriers have been minimized or eliminated.

Each PACE program is actively supporting and developing career pathways and bridge curriculum that can be leveraged by the core partners with the following goals:

  • The articulation of courses and modules, the mapping of programs within career pathways, and establishment of bridges between credit and noncredit programs.
  • The integration and contextualization of basic skills education and skills training. This process shall provide for seamless progressions between adult basic education and general education development programs and continuing education and credit certificate, diploma, and degree programs.
  • The development of career pathways that support the attainment of industry-recognized credentials, diplomas, and degrees through stackable, modularized program delivery.

In addition to PACE, the GAP program was established to provide funding to community colleges for need-based tuition assistance to support applicants completing continuing education certificate training programs for in-demand occupations. While funds are targeting toward tuition assistance, support is also leveraged for related certificate costs including but not limited to books and materials.

H. Improving Access to Postsecondary Credentials

Describe how the State’s strategies will improve access to activities leading to recognized postsecondary credentials, including Registered Apprenticeship certificates. This includes credentials that are industry-recognized certificates, licenses or certifications, and that are portable and stackable.

Improving Access to Postsecondary Credentials

It is widely acknowledged that in today’s ever-evolving economic and jobs climate, improving access to post-secondary credentials is an urgent need in Iowa and across the nation. Portable and stackable credentials are essential to developing an ever-progressing and Future Ready workforce. Postsecondary education and credentials are important to economic mobility for individuals in Iowa and across the nation, but according to a 2014 report released by CLASP, Scaling Stackable Credentials, many people can’t afford to complete the requirements to earn a postsecondary credential; others find the process overwhelming. The full report can be accessed at: http://www.clasp.org/issues/postsecondarysthash.oHutDB2M.dpuf.

Future Ready Iowa

Iowa’s Future Ready Iowa initiative aims to 70% of Iowans to have post-secondary credential beyond high school by 2025. The Future Ready Iowa initiative was created after Iowa received a National Governors Association grant in 2014 to develop a shared vision and strategies to improve the educational and training attainment of its citizens and the alignment of those degrees and credentials with employer demand. With Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers to fill jobs in business, industry and non-profit organizations throughout, innovative solutions are being sought to close the skills gap through better alignment of education and workforce resources.

Career Coach is a Future Ready Iowa initiative in collaboration with IWD, IDOE, and the community colleges. Career Coach provides career pathways by region, access to the ETPL, and many other features to assist job-seekers in developing a personal career path through obtaining industry-recognized credentials and through direct contact with at-need employers.

Sector Strategies

Iowa’s Unified State Plan goals include the robust development of sector strategies that engage employers in the continuous and dynamic development of programs and initiatives which are responsive to Iowa’s existing and future labor-market needs. The Core Partners will work with industry to increase opportunities for all Iowans to gain the experience, skills, and credentials needed to obtain and main self-sustaining employment. Expanding and supporting sector strategies for in-demand industries will lead to closing critical skill gaps between Iowa’s workforce and employers. Identifying and quantifying employers’ education, training, and workforce needs and capturing those needs in an accessible and multi-tiered system will strengthen the ability of the job-seeker to connect with the appropriate employer(s). Job-seekers will be able to learn about industry recognized credentials and find opportunities to obtain seek out employers who value their experience and accept their industry recognized credentials.

Career Pathways/Registered Apprenticeships

Coordinated efforts will engage ALL Iowans in the career pathway process using innovative approaches in the delivery of career services. Key to these efforts will be the offering of a variety of career path navigation supports to enhance transition into the workforce for ALL Iowans. Coordinated action steps within Iowa’s career pathways work will include:

1. Equipping workers with skills, work-based learning opportunities, resources, accommodations and supports needed for ALL Iowans to secure self-sustaining employment.

2. Ongoing supports so ALL Iowans can maintain self-sustaining employment and work to their fullest potential.

Specifically, Youth Services will make connections to statewide support systems, increase and enhance youth engagement, and build the capacity of educators for encouraging movement through the pathway options. Registered Apprenticeships will engage educational training entities to identify and enhance career pathways for Apprenticeship options.

Intermediary Network

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) plans to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Department of Education for the purposes of expanding the Intermediary Network with the focus of serving students with disabilities to connect with career pathways. IVRS will fund up to $1.5 million to support the Intermediary Network, which is delivered by the community college system. This expansion, focused on students with disabilities who have traditionally not been able to access career pathways, will develop the mechanism by which students with disabilities gain skills in occupations that are job-driven. This will be accomplished through improved work based learning strategies.

Enhance Iowa

Enhance Iowa originated with a $15 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant was part of a larger federal initiative called Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training or TAACCCT. Started in 2009, the TAACCT program has issued a series of grants to community colleges across the nation for the purpose of putting people back to work. Hawkeye Community College was chosen to lead a consortium consisting of all 15 of Iowa’s community colleges. This consortium, now known as Enhance Iowa, petitioned for and was awarded a $15 million grant to train Iowans in skill sets needed by local employers.

The grant awarded to Enhance Iowa is the fourth and last of four TAACCCT initiatives. Each wave of grants focused on a specific industry or needed skill set by employers. Enhance Iowa’s grant focuses on the areas of IT, healthcare, utilities and manufacturing. In total, 71 entities were given $450 million in the final TACCCT award. The first wave of funds were allocated on October 1, 2014, and they will continue to be dispersed over a four-year period. All of Iowa’s community colleges will receive a portion of the money, allowing them to purchase new learning equipment and offer more programs. 45 new programs will be offered across the Enhance Iowa consortium as a result.

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is a statewide, integrated marketing campaign to promote careers and educational pathways in advanced manufacturing. This begins with building a positive perception of these careers while addressing misconceptions of work environment, safety, and wages. Learn more about why this is so important for Iowans. Elevate offers resources to the public specifically targeting those eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers, unemployed/underemployed Iowans, U.S. veterans, educators, along with K-12 students and their families. Elevate is a National Partner of the Manufacturing Institute’s Dream It. Do It. This initiative works to change the perception of the industry and inspire the next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers.

I. Coordinating with Economic Development Strategies.

Describe how the activities identified in (A) will be coordinated with economic development entities, strategies and activities in the State.

Coordinating with Economic Development Strategies

IVRS has worked with the Department of Economic Development as part of the Iowa Self-Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities. This program supports individuals with disabilities who want to have 51% ownership in a business. The program provides a Business Development Specialist to assist the individual with a disability to receive technical assistance, (i.e. feasibility study, development of the business idea, development of a business plan, etc. ) and financial assistance (i.e. up to $10,000 in funding to support start -up costs.) In addition IVRS works with Small Business Development Centers and the IWD Small Business Development teams to provide necessary technical assistance.

The Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP), an industry-led, CEO-level advisory board established by Governor Branstad in 2011 was charged with the task of continuously identifying and studying economic growth issues facing Iowa and recommend solutions and policy alternatives.

IPEP set out three guidelines for approaching the re-envisioning of Iowa’s economic development roadmap. First, engage a broad range of economic development stakeholders from private industry, economic development and higher education to ensure broad-based input. Second, complete a comprehensive analysis of Iowa’s industry clusters, development resources and economic assets. Finally, review and recommend the programs necessary for Iowa to strengthen its existing industry clusters and capitalize on opportunities for growth.

Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA)

IEDA is charged with responsibility for coordinating four workforce training programs that deliver customized training to grow a skilled and talented workforce for Iowa business. Authorizing legislation is found in Chapters 260E, 260F, 260G and 15B of the Iowa Code. IEDA adopts administrative rules pursuant to Chapter 17A of the Iowa Administrative Procedures Act on how the programs are to be implemented. Three of the four programs, 260E, 260F and 260G-Job Credits are implemented by each of Iowa’s 15 community colleges within its merged area. The 15B program is implemented by IEDA.

The Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program (NJTP)

The Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program (NJTP or 260E) became effective July 1, 1983. The 260E is a business incentive program designed to assist with the cost of training employees in new jobs created by a business expansion or startup in Iowa. To be eligible for assistance, a business must be engaged in interstate or intrastate commerce for the purpose of manufacturing, processing or assembling products, conducting research and development, or providing services in intrastate commerce. Retail, health and professional services are excluded.

Community colleges enter into contracts, referred to as training agreements with eligible businesses to establish a single or multiple projects to provide training to employees in new jobs. To fund the cost of training, colleges borrow money from investors in the form of bond certificates. Like other bonds, revenues are pledged for repayment with interest to certificate purchasers. Certificates are repaid by diverting a portion of the Iowa withholding tax generated by the new jobs into special funds controlled by the colleges. On average, the colleges sell about $38 million in bond certificates annually.

The Iowa Job Training Program (IJTP)

The Iowa Job Training Program (IJTP or 260F) became effective July 1, 1985. The 260F program assists Iowa based businesses to train, develop and upscale work skills of their existing workforces to remain economically competitive. To be eligible for assistance, a business must be engaged in interstate or intrastate commerce for the purpose of manufacturing, processing or assembling products, conducting research and development, or providing services in intrastate commerce. Retail services are excluded.

Iowa Code establishes a job training fund under the control of IEDA in the Workforce Development Fund. Source of funds is $3 million in monies appropriated by the General Assembly for the 260F program. Funds are allocated to the community colleges based on the General State Aid Formula. Colleges enter into training agreements with businesses to provide services for training. A college submits to IEDA an application on behalf of the business for approval to use the allocated amount.

The Accelerated Career Education (ACE) - Job Credits

The Accelerated Career Education Program (ACE or 260G) became effective July 1, 1999. The 260G program assists community colleges to expand current training programs or to establish new programs for occupations most needed by Iowa businesses. To participate in 260G, a business must be engaged in interstate or intrastate commerce for the purpose of manufacturing, processing or assembling products, construction, conducting research and development, or providing services in interstate or intrastate commerce. Excluded are retail, health and professional services.

Iowa Code establishes the total amount of program job credits which may be allocated statewide in any one fiscal year. The total allocated amount is not to exceed $5.4 million. A community college enters into a program agreement with a business to establish or expand a 260G training program. Colleges submit program agreements to IEDA for their proposed use of allocated job credits. A job credit is based upon the hiring wage that the participating business would pay to an individual completing the training program. Instead of paying all withholding tax due to the State of Iowa, the business diverts a portion of the tax to the community college to fund the training program. The diverted portion is equal to the approved 260G job credit amount.

Iowa Apprenticeship Training Program, Iowa Code 15B

The Iowa Apprenticeship Training Program Act (15B) was enacted by the Iowa Legislature in 2014. The purpose of 15B to increase the number of registered apprentices in Iowa by providing training grants to eligible apprenticeship programs. Registered apprenticeships are a proven approach to preparing workers for in-demand jobs and meeting the needs of business for a highly skilled workforce that can innovate and adapt. The program is administered by IEDA in coordination with the United States Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Apprenticeship (OA). Only apprenticeship programs registered and meeting USDOL standards, known as a sponsor, are eligible for an IEDA training grant.

An apprenticeship training fund was created as a revolving fund in the State Treasury under the control of the IEDA. $3 million was appropriated for Fiscal Year 2015. A statutory formula is used to allocate training grants to eligible sponsors. Awarded funds may only be used towards the cost of conducting and maintaining a registered apprenticeship training program.

A key component of the unified plan is the ability to collect, maintain and update the critical information needed by all its stakeholders. Without timely, accurate, relevant, and accessible information, there can be no integration or efficiency in operation. There are several domains to the state operating systems:

1. Program implementation and operational system: Cross-agency alignment and provision of WIOA services requires a common system for collecting core data and reporting elements of the workforce delivery system. This promotes uniformity and consistency and increases efficiency through common tools, definitions and practice. Iowa’s Workforce Development has been working on a product to share among core partners that will serve as a hub for intake in addition to tracking verifiable data and referrals. Through such an approach, Iowa is unifying data needed for performance reporting.

2. Labor Market Information (LMI) System: The LMI system provides the foundation for workforce analysis, research and strategic planning. The Division within Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) maintains a dynamic web site (https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/labor-market-information-division) that provides data and information for individuals, workforce professionals, researchers, and economic development professionals and also produces customizable query tools using Tableau. Reports are available by region and local area such as workforce analysis reports, including employment and industry/occupation projections that will enable workforce partners to plan and coordinate their efforts more effectively. The Iowa Sector Partnership Leadership Council will use the most relevant and up to date labor market information to expand and develop appropriate and employer driven sector partnerships in the region most in need.

3. Communication System: State-level communication and information is distributed to workforce stakeholders across all workforce programs through an e-mail newsletter through a distribution list developed and maintained by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD). The list contains over 1,000 individuals who have signed up to receive notifications of major statewide workforce development news. Members of the e-mail distribution list include business leaders, legislators, policy makers, program administrators, nonprofit organizations and more.

Coordination with economic development strategies is a critical component of Iowa’s plan and state leaders recognize the importance of coordination with economic development strategies to effect successful implementation of Iowa’s Unified State Plan.

b. State Operating Systems and Policies

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a description of the State operating systems and policies that will support the implementation of the State strategy described in Section II Strategic Elements . This includes—

1. The State operating systems that will support the implementation of the State’s strategies. This must include a description of–

A. State operating systems that support coordinated implementation of State strategies (e.g., labor market information systems, data systems, communication systems, case-management systems, job banks, etc.).

Labor Market Information (LMI) Division

The Labor Market Information (LMI) Division of Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) website, www.iowalmi.gov , provides data and information related to Iowa’s labor market, economy and workforce. The website contains, but is not limited to, information about the following areas: wages employment; unemployment; industry and occupational employment; industry and occupational projections; unemployment insurance statistics; Laborshed Studies; employer surveys; education outcomes; career information; and other labor market related publications.

Information is organized by topic (i.e. indictors, industry, occupation and research) and uses Tableau to provide and display data for users such as job seekers; employers, IWD staff; economic developers; academic institutions; government agencies; nonprofit organizations; legislators; grant writers; labor organizations; consultants and other partners in an informative manner.

Career Coach

Career Coach is a Future Ready Iowa initiative in collaboration with IWD, IDOE, and the community colleges. Career Coach provides career pathways by region, access to the ETPL, and many other features to assist job-seekers in online career exploration. It provides users with local occupational level wages, industry trends, employment projections (growth/decline), occupational tasks, skills, education/training needed by occupation, where to find types of education/training, demographic data, and current job postings for employers in Iowa. The tool also includes a career assessment tool (short and long versions), military occupation crosswalk, career cluster, and resume builder.

Career Coach brings together federal, state and private sources under one simple-to-use on-line tool for anyone looking to explore career options by providing them the information to make career decisions. The data sources include the US Department of Commerce, US Department of Labor, US Department of Education, US Census Bureau, Employment & Training Administration and Careerbuilder.

Department of Education

Iowa Department of Education provides assessment and accountability services through a web based data system called TOPSpro (Tracking of Programs and Students) Enterprise for Title II case management and performance tracking. TOPSpro is a computerized database designed for program administrators in adult education, including statewide assessments and related accountability software to accurately measure progress, mastery of skills, and competencies needed to both complete, and advance one or more Educational Functioning Levels (EFL). It automates scoring, collects student demographic data, tracks agency and individual student performance, generates reports, and aggregates data for state and federal year-end reports. Features of the data system and relevant processes include the following:

  • Used for collecting information for the purposes of programmatic and annual reporting.
  • Each local program uses TOPSpro Enterprise (TE®) that enable local providers to have immediate access to the data for targeting instruction for continuous program improvement.
  • The local data are submitted monthly and annually to the IDOE for monitoring and aggregation into state and federal reports.
  • TE® records each student’s goals on entering a class (via the TE® entry record), as well as their educational outcomes (via the TE® update record).
  • Assessment are designed to measure student performance through a checklist of competencies mastered. eTests are automatically loaded in TE® for reference and to drive program decisions.
  • Exit tests for various instructional levels are provided and certain funding streams require that these tests be administered regularly to document student progress.
  • The data collected consists of measurable skill gains in the following programs areas: English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Secondary Education (ASE), and Adult Basic Education (ABE).

For program year 2016-17 the IDOE intends to use the same data system to meet program-specific requirements for collecting and reporting data for WIOA performance reporting requirements. This reporting structure is based on National Reporting System (NRS) guidelines, which are retained under WIOA. The area of change for the IDOE pertains specifically to the addition of UI wage record data as part of the reporting structure.

Data Collection

The data collection process begins with program staff at agencies funded by the Adult Education Family Literacy Act inputting the data at each site during the program year. Data collected from AEFLA funded agencies is aggregated at a statewide level through the web based portal. The annual data aggregation and data validation begins July 1 of each year. The purpose of the annual data validation process is to compile state and federal year-end reports due to ED:DAEL annually, December 31.

Performance measures include all elements in the federal NRS reports, including enrollment, attendance hours, completion of an EFL and advancement of one or more levels, separation before completion, and persistence within a level. Additional performance measures include attainment of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and placement, retention, or completion of postsecondary education, training, or unsubsidized employment or career advancement.

Iowa’s Title II has developed on-line tools to assess the enrollment rates of students enrolled in ABE, ASE and ESL respectively monthly and is publishing outcome data on attainment of equivalency diplomas.

Products

Research is conducted on several labor market related topics from which analysis and report are produced. Below are the following products:

  • College Student Analysis - a survey of Iowacollege students that asks information about their field of study, their desired occupation/industry, desired wages, desired benefits, their intentions to reside in Iowa following graduation and factors that would influence them to stay or relocate. Reports are provided for the state and three sections that cover community colleges, regent universities and private college students.
  • Education Outcomes- assists colleges in determining the effectiveness of their educational programming as it relates to the students’ transition into the workforce
  • Employment Benefit Analysis - a survey conducted with IWD employers across Iowa are asked to provide information regarding benefits they currently offer their full-time and part-time employees in a regional analysis
  • Laborshed Studies - provides local community leaders, economic developers, site selectors and existing or prospective employers a flexible tool for understanding the workforce characteristics and supply of labor for their local labor market based upon commuting patterns. Program also includes statewide data collections.
  • Workforce and Economic Development Status Reports - this report aggregates many different economic, workforce, and education resources into document for Iowa and regional economic marketing regions.
  • Workforce Needs Assessment - this report analyzes the needs of Iowa’s workforce through a survey of Iowa employers and other labor demand data resources.
  • Unemployment Insurance Statistics - monitors and analyze data related to Iowa’s unemployment benefits and taxes for federal and state reporting, along with research purposes.
  • Dislocated Worker Survey - this program collects data from employees who have been or will be dislocated, collecting data regarding occupation, wage, age, education level, services needed and future plans.
  • Promise Jobs Reporting - analyze the employment outcomes of Promise Jobs participants as it relates to employment, wages and the industry they work.

Data is collected and reported for the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics federal-state cooperative programs:

  • Current Employment Statistics- an establishment survey that provides detailed industry data on employment, hours and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls for the state and metropolitan statistical areas
  • Local Area Unemployment Statistics - monthly and annual estimates of total labor force, employment and unemployment are prepared for the state, counties, large cities, metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan areas, combined statistical areas, IWD regions, community college and congressional districts, and council of governments
  • Occupational Employment Statistics-estimates occupational employment and wages paid by employers for the state, metropolitan statistical areas and nonmetropolitan areas known as balance of state
  • Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages - a near census of monthly employment and quarterly wage information by industry. Data is available at both the State and county level

Products are created under the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s Workforce and Labor Market Information Grants for job seekers; businesses/employers; workforce and labor market intermediaries; program and service planners of educational institutions and community organizations; policy makers; partners and other customers. The products include:

State and regional industry and occupational employment projections.

  • The occupation projections provide detailed information on the estimated activity for each occupation in areas of employment, growth rate, total annual openings, wages, career preparation and skill requirements.
  • The industry projection provide detailed information on the estimated activity for each industry in terms of employment and growth

Iowa Licensed Occupations - provides information concerning occupations in Iowa that require a license, certificate or commission issued at the State level such as licensing requirements, associated fees and examination information.

Several publications are also created such as:

  • Iowa Wage Report- report uses OES occupational wages and updates them to make wages more current for the state, metropolitan statistical areas, balance of state areas and IWD regions
  • Iowa’s Workforce and the Economy- an annual statewide economic analysis
  • Middle-Skill Jobs in Iowa- provides information on the mismatch of job opportunities and worker skill sets in Iowa and the IWD regions
  • Business Connection Guide - a business operations resource directory filled with valuable information on starting and running a business
  • Career, Industry and Population Report - provides an overview of the state’s industry, occupation and population trends in a short, concise format describing growth rate patterns for each
  • Employers and Professional On-Line Reference Guide- a resource for planning a business activity or changing existing practices in their organization
  • Career Planners and Job Seekers On-Line Reference Guide- a resource of essential websites and tools aimed at directing individuals’ career or job path towards professional fulfillment
  • Also several state and region career exploration resources that are used to make informed career decisions. The publications provide occupational information on education levels, high-demand and high-growth jobs, STEM and Green Jobs.

B. Data-collection and reporting processes used for all programs and activities, including those present in one-stop centers*.

Data Collection and Reporting Processes

Core partners in Iowa realize there are currently significant data system limitations. The main barrier to joint case management is the inability to share data through a streamlined process due to the lack of a common participant identification method. Information collected is not aligned across core partners due to statutory regulations (e.g., Adult Education does not require a Social Security Number to receive services). Currently, core partners collect their data using their respective state agency systems. There is currently no ability to track participants across programs and no mechanism to identify when a participant has exited from all applicable WIOA core programs.

To begin to overcome these challenges, Iowa has initiated work on a common intake system that will:

  • customize and expand the existing intake system used in IowaWORKS offices that assists in determining program eligibility and promotes co-enrollment;
  • assign a unique identifier to each program participant that will be used to link participants in each of the partner data systems;
  • gather required reporting elements common across all partners;
  • create a common portal by which customers may access services;
  • allow participants to self-refer to partner agencies and partner agencies to refer participants and track referral follow-up and outcomes;
  • and create a staff dashboard with the status of each program participant and shares data across agencies.

IWorks will continue to operate as Iowa Workforce Development’s data collection and case management system for:

  • Wagner-Peyser Act
  • WIOA Title I
  • Veterans Employment and Training programs
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers
  • PROMISE JOBS

IWorks includes a self-service web-based labor exchange system called IowaJobs.org which is available to job seekers and employers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Iowa will implement an accessible data collection effort that streamlines data collection processes, increases efficiency throughout the workforce delivery system, and aids in accurate performance measurement used in decision-making.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) requires core agencies to develop an integrated system that can be used as a common application for services across the workforce delivery system as well as a tool for common data reporting. OMB 1820-0508 outlines revisions to the RSA-911 State-Federal Program for Vocational Rehabilitation Case Service Record and OMB 1205-0NEW provides guidance related to data collection required by section 116(d) of the WIOA including 1) State Performance Report (data by entities that administer WIOA core programs, 2) Local Area Performance Report for Title I, Subtitle B programs, and Eligible Training Provider Performance Report for Title I programs. Although these new reporting requirements significantly expand the amount of data collection required by the agency, they also provide an opportunity for Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services to move out of silos and identify ways the agencies can collaborate to provide a seamless electronic system to provide Iowa’s citizens access to information about services available to them through the core programs and the ability begin the application process from any electronic device connected to the internet—even from the comforts of their own homes. First, IVRS technology staff must assess our current data system and analyze its effectiveness is data collection, analysis, case management and reporting.

Iowa Rehabilitation Services System

The Iowa Rehabilitation Services System (IRSS) is an internal case management system that is owned, maintained, and updated by IVRS. The original concept of IRSS was the development of an interactive, intuitive system designed to meet agency needs for case management, financial management, contract management, vendor management and reporting. After many years of development and scale-backs on the scope of the project, IRSS was put into use in October, 2008. The system that was deployed at that time was developed to meet the data collection and financial needs of the agency. Limited reports were developed and included in the initial deployment to assist with case management. Shortly following implementation, the IVRS IRSS Priority Management Team (PMT) was formed and charged with the responsibility of developing improvements to the IRSS Case Management System to meet the financial, case management and reporting needs of the agency and move the system closer to the original concept. Representatives of the Rehabilitation Services Bureau and Administrative Services Bureau, in collaboration with IT developers and project managers, develop the projects and business rules for all IRSS development.

Over the past seven years, many improvements have been made to the system, including major projects to financial processing for Disability Determination Services, and batch processing of Ticket-to-Work data and revisions to streamline data entry and make IRSS more efficient. The IRSS PMT Committee has also been assigned the task of moving the agency to a paperless case management process to meet future needs.

Considering the development timeframes for past changes to reporting requirements, the requirement changes to the RSA-911 Case Service Record Report in 2013 took several months of development and testing and extensive training with field staff. Proposed changes to the RSA-911 due to WIOA, as well as proposed data collection and retention for common performance accountability requirements will dominate IRSS development over the next several months and, as previously stated, will require much collaboration with IT staff in the other core programs. Significant changes in reporting requirements include:

  • Reporting quarterly on open and closed cases rather than annually on closed cases;
  • Collection of data related Pre-employment Transition Services for potentially eligible students;
  • Compilation of financial data to assure Title I and Title IV expenditures meet the provisions of WIOA;
  • Data collection and reporting after the date of exit;
  • Development of a common application for all core WIOA programs including upload and download of common data;
  • Determination of what data can be collected from other core WIOA programs through a common data dashboard and data elements that need to be added to IRSS or maintained outside of IRSS and imported through batch processes.

The IRSS PMT Committee is awaiting final reporting requirements from RSA. Implementation of the new quarterly reporting requirements is slated for FFY17. Once reporting requirements are finalized, development to meet the new requirements will be targeted for a completion date of 10/1/16.

Along with data required for federal reporting purposes, placeholders for other data that will be useful in measuring the effectiveness of the VR program will also developed into IRSS, for instance, involvement in third-party contract programs. However, not all data used to measure the effectiveness of the program will be developed into the Iowa Rehabilitation Services (IRSS) Case Management System. Data collection sources maintained outside of IRSS include:

  • Transition Alliance Program (TAP) matrixes
  • Making the Grade matrixes
  • Iowa TIER for PETS and other transition data
  • Department of Education Data Dashboard (in development)
  • Iowa Career Pathways Dashboard (in planning stage)

Another initiative underway to minimize the burden of data collection across core agencies includes development of an integrated system among the core programs. Members of the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation IRSS Project Management Team and Information Technology Department have met with representatives in similar positions in other core programs to begin discussions on a common data collection and common application system. Preliminary discussions centered on common data already collected in the current systems as well as current development structures that can be used to move toward a common system. It was determined that the current Iowa Workforce Development system already contains the structure and code to work across systems and can be built upon to provide a common data and application system. The work of this team in in its infant stages, but the team is hopeful that a common system can be in place to meet annual reporting requirements for FFY17, and if that cannot be accomplished, the team will develop strategies to share data for individual reporting until the common system is deployed. Some of the core programs have their own development teams while others work with outside vendors so that will add some complexity to determining a target completion date for development of the system.

Iowa Workforce Development, in collaboration with other WIOA core programs including Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, is also in the beginning stages of developing a public dashboard containing information on sector strategies and career pathways. The dashboard will provide stakeholders with the following information:

  • Identification and information on high-demand jobs;
  • Pathways to high-demand jobs;
  • Information on training including internships and apprenticeships;
  • College and career planning information;
  • Information related to sector partnerships and career pathways integrating labor market information;
  • Information on how to finance a chosen pathway.

The public dashboard is slated as Phase 1 development. Phase 2 includes development of an executive dashboard that can be used for analysis and as an evaluative tool by core programs. Measurements such as job placement data, job creation in high-paying jobs, increased family income, increased career counseling in secondary and post-secondary, and focus on STEM fields have been identified as target areas.

Regarding specific WIOA Performance Measures:

WIOA Performance Measures 1-3: IVRS does not currently collect 2nd quarter wage information. IVRS plans to get the wage information from IWD but it has not been built in the IVRS case management system as this is a new RSA requirement. We were able to go back and review data from 214, which is reported below.

WIOA Performance Measure 4: IVRS does not currently collect data regarding the effectiveness in serving employers. We are working with our State Rehabilitation Council as well as Core Partners to develop a coordinated data collection system.

WIOA Performance Measure 5: IVRS does not currently collect data regarding the education level of program participants except at application and closure. On a quarterly basis, IVRS will be collecting as a RSA911 requirement the education level obtained throughout the participation in the program. RSA has not sent final requirements for collecting this data.

IVRS reviewed data in efforts related to identifying WIOA Performance Measures for the second and fourth quarters of future years. To do this we went backwards and reviewed data from 2014, which will serve as a baseline for employment outcome and wage data which is being collected through a project with IWD.

Based on the data generated by this methodology, at this point in time IVRS will continue to evaluate and develop the baseline for these performance measures and then within two years request to negotiate performance targets that appear appropriate. At this juncture the data is only a snap shot of performance and trends must first be established. IVRS did attempt to establish baseline data from looking at past quarters. Based upon performance indicators for % of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program was 465 with the total number of people exiting to be 912. This was the same data gleaned from the % of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the 4th quarter after exit from the program. The median earnings was $4731 (second quarter after exit). The % of participants who obtained recognized post secondary credentials or a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalency during participation was 275 at the second quarter after exiting the program.

As Iowa looks to support the coordinated implementation of state strategies through its various operating systems, detailed planning and coordination by core partners will continue. The state intends to analyze what is needed, what is valuable, and what is currently in place to build an agile project plan. This analysis will occur in Program Year 2016 and 2017, with implementation beginning in PY17. This analysis will ensure that the work completed is cost effective and of value to all partners.

* For the PY 2016 state plan, descriptions of data collection and reporting processes need only include currently known indicators.

2. The State policies that will support the implementation of the State’s strategies (e.g., co-enrollment policies and universal intake processes where appropriate).  In addition, describe the State’s process for developing guidelines for State-administered one-stop partner programs’ contributions to a one-stop delivery system, including benchmarks, and its guidance to assist local boards, chief elected officials, and local one-stop partners in determining equitable and stable methods of funding infrastructure in accordance with sec. 121(h)(1)(B). Beginning with the state plan modification in 2018 and for subsequent state plans and state plan modifications, the State must also include such guidelines.

Statewide Policy Development

The integrity of local direction is fortified by the guidance provided by representation of the local region’s businesses, labor, educators and local elected officials - in short, the local Workforce Development Board (WDB). In each region, the WDB is supported by the Iowa Workforce Development Board, and Iowa state agencies, in guiding the coordinated implementation of Iowa’s Integrated Service Delivery system in each of the 15 regional workforce development areas that is responsive to the job seekers, employers, Registered Apprenticeship and other partners within the communities in each region. In addition to Wagner-Peyser, Trade, Veterans, New Iowans and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title 1 Adult and Dislocated Worker programs, the Iowa Integration Service Delivery model will provide services to Unemployment Insurance recipients and PROMISE JOBS participants.

The merger of multiple partners and services into a seamless delivery system in a well-integrated One-Stop Center requires planning, policy, and commitment. As a primary partner in each center, it is the policy of Iowa Workforce Development to provide a base level of core services, which in turn are complemented and enhanced by the partner services that may be of a more intensive level or involve training. In this way, integration is emphasized and duplication is minimized. This approach also promotes the maximum use of Workforce Investment Act funds for training activities. The Iowa Legislature passed House File 2699 (2008) that required Iowa Workforce Development to develop a plan by January 1, 2009 that would coordinate the workforce delivery system in a more efficient, cost-effective manner while improving services for customers; co-location and integration of all workforce and job training programs, and improves the effectiveness of the regional workforce system. This workforce delivery system is known as the Iowa Integrated System Delivery model.

Adoption of the Iowa Integrated Service Delivery model by the local WDB in collaboration with Iowa Workforce Development includes the development of local functional leadership whose responsibility is to manage the delivery of products and services regardless of their program source. This includes referrals made to employers, registered apprenticeship programs and other benefits that would benefit the job seeker in their search for employment. Iowa has three functional teams that deliver services in a comprehensive manner at the core and intensive level, which include skill development, and placement. The philosophy of Iowa’s Integrated Service Delivery model applies to services provided to both job seekers, employers and future workforce participants.

Policy guidance for integrated service delivery in the One-Stop System is provided in the form of field memos, a Policy and Procedure Manual, and through the IowaWORKS Integration Policies Guidebook (Iowa Workforce Development, February 27, 2012).

3. State Program and State Board Overview

A. State Agency Organization

Describe the organization and delivery systems at the State and local levels for the programs covered in the plan, including the organizational structure. Include an organizational chart.

State Agency Organization

Iowa Workforce Development

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) administers Iowa’s Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth, and WagnerPeyser Act programs. IWD commits its resources to Iowa’s prosperity by working to ensure the income security, productivity, safety, and health of all Iowans. The department strives to provide safe workplaces, provide a productive and economically secure workforce, provide all Iowans with access to workforce development services, and create a model workplace. In coordination with the Division of Labor Services and the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the department is comprised of the following areas of services:

  • Administrative Services Division
  • Communications Division
  • Labor Market Information Division
  • Operations Division
  • Information Technology Division
  • Appeals Division

Director Beth Townsend has general supervision over the various areas within IWD. The director prepares, administers, and controls the budget of the department and its divisions along with Michael Mauro who is the Division of Labor Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.

Administrative Services Division

The Administrative Services Division provides a variety of services to keep the agency operating smoothly and to assist employees working in the IWD administrative offices. The following is a short list of administrative support functions provided:

  • employee services
  • building management
  • office services
  • printing services
  • financial reporting
  • accounting

Communications Division:

The Communications division within IWD works to communicate all aspects of the agency to external and internal stakeholders quickly and effectively. It is the responsibility of the communications division to respond to all media inquiries in a timely and efficient manner.

Labor Market Information Division

Edward T. Wallace is the Deputy Director and as such provides general oversight and direction to the Labor Market Information Division. The Labor Market Information (LMI) Division collects, analyzes and prepares a wide array of labor market data including the unemployment rate, employment levels, industry and occupational statistics, wages, projections, trends and other workforce characteristics for the State of Iowa as a whole as well as for other defined geographic areas within the State. It is the mission of the Division to produce and deliver information in a reliable and timely manner in order to inform data-driven decisions for business, career, educational programming and economic development.

Operations Division

The Operations Division provides a variety of services to businesses, workers, and the citizens of Iowa by collecting unemployment insurance taxes, maintaining the Iowa Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, and making payments to eligible jobless workers. The Operations Division is also responsible for the delivery of various state and federally funded employment and training services. The regional one-stop centers and offices provide a variety of services to meet the workforce and workplace needs of job seekers, dislocated workers, unemployed persons, and Iowa businesses through partnerships of state and local service providers. They provide job counseling, job training, job placement, and assistance to special needs populations. The division administers the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act, which includes the following:

  • Adult
  • Dislocated Worker
  • Youth
  • Rapid Response
  • National Emergency Grants

The division also administers worker profiling and reemployment services including:

  • Alien Labor Certification Program
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • PROMISE JOBS
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Wagner-Peyser Job Placement
  • Job Insurance Benefits Navigation
  • Unemployment Insurance Assistance
  • Bonding
  • Assistance Navigating Local Veterans Employment Opportunities
  • Disabled Veterans Opportunity Program
  • WorkKeys
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker Program

Information Technology Division

The Information Technology Division within IWD helps develop, maintain, and manage all of the necessary information technology services utilized by both IWD employees and customers using IWD’s variety of services.

Appeals Division

IWD’s administrative law judges working within the Appeals Division, hear and decide administrative appeals regarding unemployment insurance benefits.

Division of Labor Services

The office of the Labor Commissioner was created by the General Assembly in 1884.The Division of Labor administers a variety of services to employers, contractors, and other entities involved in creating and managing workplace safety. The following services are managed by the Division of Labor:

  • Amusement Parks and Rides Inspection
  • Asbestos Abatement Licensing
  • Boiler Inspection
  • Child Labor
  • Contractor Registration
  • Elevators and Escalators
  • Hazardous Chemical Required Reporting
  • Minimum Wage and Wage Collection
  • Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Consultation and Education
  • Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement
  • Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Recordkeeping

Division of Workers’ Compensation

The Workers’ Compensation Law was enacted by the General Assembly in 1913. The law provides medical services and wage replacement benefits to workers who sustain injuries arising out of their employment. The Workers’ Compensation Law is administered by the Division of Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Iowa was one of the first states to provide benefits for injuries, occupational diseases, and occupational hearing losses sustained by workers. Injuries resulting in death, permanent disability, or temporary disability must be reported to the commissioner. If a compensation agreement cannot be reached, the employee may request a hearing before a deputy commissioner that covers the judicial district where the injury occurred. Decisions are reviewed by the commissioner and may be appealed to the district court and Supreme Court.

Iowa Workforce Development Organization as Related to the Unified State Plan Process under WIOA Attached

Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program

The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) works with the Iowa State Board of Education to provide support, supervision, and oversight for the state education system that includes public elementary and secondary schools, nonpublic schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies (AEAs), community colleges, and teacher preparation programs. Iowa’s adult education and literacy programs assist adults in becoming literate and obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency, assists adults who are parents in obtaining the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children, and assists adults in completing a secondary school education. This chart is designed to reflect the line of authority from the authorized state official signing the state plan extension to the state director for adult education. The line of authority goes from the state director for adult education to the bureau chief of the Bureau of Adult, Career and Community College Education to the division administrator of the Division of Community Colleges to the Director and Executive Officer of the State Board of Education. The Director is the authorized State Official who has the authority to sign Iowa’s Adult Education & Literacy Stat Plan.

Adult Education and Literacy Organizational Chart Attached

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

The mission of the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services is to work for and with individuals who have disabilities to achieve their employment, independence and economic goals. Disability Determination Services Bureau is responsible for determining the eligibility of Iowa residents who apply for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs. Rehabilitation Services Bureau assists eligible individuals to become employed. Persons receiving vocational rehabilitation services have a wide range of disabilities. Most offices are already co-located in the One-Stop Centers across Iowa. Vocational Rehabilitation is a State-Federal program. The Federal share is 78.7%; the State share is 21.3%. The Rehabilitation Services Bureau has 14 area offices and 32 service units. Administrative Services Bureau provides support to the other elements of the Division through the functions of fiscal accounting, budgeting and payroll; statistical records, reporting and closed case file control; personnel management and collective bargaining administration; purchasing and property control; information systems and the physical plant management of the Jessie Parker Building. Office of the Administrator is responsible for overall administration of the statewide programs. The administrator determines program scope and policies, promotes public interest and acceptance, directs budget funds, develops program plans and provides for staff development, research and evaluation. Under the umbrella of the administrator are the State Rehabilitation Council and the Community Rehabilitation Program Advisory Group.

Iowa Department for the Blind

The Iowa Department for the Blind works to educate and inform businesses, family members, service providers, advocacy groups, community and service organizations, as well as, the general public about the true capabilities of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. IDB actively seeks ongoing communication, interaction, and collaboration with all constituencies. The Department for the Blind believes that with the right skills and opportunities a blind or visually impaired person can and should be competitively employed and live within their community of choice. Iowa Department for the Blind collaborates with many stakeholders to provide opportunities for independence and employment throughout the state. IDB provides employment services to blind and visually impaired Iowans who are looking for a job or want to retain or advance in their current career. Iowa is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s highest in the percentage of blind and visually impaired people successfully placed, employed and remaining in jobs. Its library features one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of reading materials in alternative formats (e.g., Braille and digital audio). The Department continues to utilize innovative methods and technology to provide quality services to blind and visually impaired people in Iowa. The administrative rules define the specific standards, criteria and guidelines that govern the Department’s operations. The administrative rules are based on the legislation defined in the Iowa Code. The rules are created through a process of confirmation by the Department, the public and legislative rules committees.

Iowa Department for the Blind Organizational Chart Attached

B. State Board

Provide a description of the State Board, including—

State Workforce Development Board

The Iowa legislature enacted legislation creating the State of Iowa Workforce Development Board (State Board) in 1997. Upon its inception and through today, the State Board membership structure has consisted of two classes of members: voting and nonvoting. All voting members are appointed by the Governor. The State Board’s voting membership has been the same since 1997:

  • Four representatives of business;
  • Four representatives of labor organizations; and
  • One representative of a non-profit organization knowledgeable about workforce issues.

Representatives of business serve as the State Board’s chairperson and vice chairperson.

The nonvoting membership has grown over the years. At present, the State Board has the following nonvoting members:

  • One representative of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, appointed by the State Rehabilitation Council;
  • Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind or the director’s designee;
  • Director of the Iowa Department of Education or the director’s designee;
  • Director of the Iowa Department on Aging or the director’s designee;
  • Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections or the director’s designee;
  • Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services or the director’s designee;
  • Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority or the director’s designee;
  • One representative of the Iowa Board of Community College Trustees;
  • One representative of the presidents of the Regents universities (i.e., University of Northern Iowa, University of Iowa, and Iowa State University of Science and Technology);
  • One president or the president’s designee, of an independent Iowa college, appointed by the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities;
  • One representative of the largest statewide public employees’ organization representing state employees;
  • One representative of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship;
  • One state senator appointed by the President of the Senate, in consultation with the Senate Majority Leader;
  • One state senator appointed by the Iowa Senate Minority Leader;
  • One state representative appointed by the Speaker of the Iowa House, in consultation with the House Majority Leader; and
  • One state representative appointed by the Iowa House Minority Leader.

In the June 29, 2016, letter of conditional approvable, the Departments rejected the State Board’s current membership structure, finding that it was not “substantially similar” to the state workforce development board as detailed in WIOA section 101(b). It’s unclear why, because the Departments offered no insight into the rationale that forms the basis for their conclusion. Nonetheless, the charge is clear. In order to have an approved WIOA state plan — which is a requirement in order to receive federal funding for the federal programs governed by the Act — Iowa must alter the membership structure of the State Board so that it complies with WIOA section 101(b).

The Departments wrote in their conditional letter of approval that the Governor must appoint a State Board that is compliant with WIOA section 101(b). In Iowa, the State Board’s membership structure is codified at Iowa Code section 84A.1A. The Constitution of the State of Iowa requires that the Iowa House and Senate both pass a bill, and that the Governor sign it, before the bill becomes a law. The Governor does not have authority under the Constitution of the State of Iowa to act in direct contradiction of an Iowa statute. Consequently, changing the State Board’s membership structure will require legislative action and the Governor’s signature in order to be constitutional. This will not happen by the September 1, 2016, deadline to submit the Departments’ requested revisions to the Iowa state plan.

The Iowa legislature is a part-time legislature. It meets annually, from January until late spring or early summer. As a result, Iowa is unable to amend Iowa Code section 84A.1A, which sets forth the State Board’s membership structure, until the first part of 2017 at the absolute earliest. But that has not stopped IWD from laying the groundwork for enacting legislation during the 2017 session that will amend the statute governing the State Board’s membership structure so that it is in line with the federal mandate.

IWD has already engaged in a dialogue with key stakeholders to lay the groundwork for the enactment of legislation to bring the State Board’s membership structure into compliance with WIOA section 101(b). These conversations will lay the groundwork for draft legislation, which will be submitted to the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) as a department bill from IWD in accordance with applicable administrative pre-session filing deadlines. Thus, IWD will have a bill ready for the legislature to act on early in the legislative session. IWD will lobby legislators to encourage early enactment of the legislation. Working with lawmakers and stakeholders so that the legislature understands the important of meeting the Departments’ mandate to change the State Board’s membership structure should help spur legislative enactment of the legislation. Further, enactment early in the legislative session will allow the Governor to appoint the members necessary to bring the State Board’s membership in reality into compliance with WIOA section 101(b).

1. Membership roster

Provide a membership roster for the State Board, including members’ organizational affiliations.

Membership Roster

The Board members consists of nine voting members. The voting members represent employers, employees and a nonprofit workforce development organization. The current board chair is Andy Roberts and the vice-chair is Dee Vanderheof .

Iowa Workforce Development Board Voting Members

Employer Representatives

  • Caroline Hicks, Swine Graphics Enterprises, LLP, Osceola
  • Suzanne Kmet, Peddicord Wharton Law Firm, West Des Moines
  • John Krogman, Connect-A-Dock, Inc., Atlantic
  • Dee Vanderhoef, Iowa City

Employee Representatives

  • Ken Sagar, Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Des Moines (Statewide labor organization representative)
  • Andy Roberts, Plumbers and Steamfitters Union 33, Des Moines
  • Stacey Anderson, GMP International Union, Dike
  • Robert Gilmore, I.U.P.A.T. District Council 61, Des Moines

Non-Profit Workforce Development Organization Representative

  • Norene Mostkoff, HCI Care Services/VNS of Iowa, West Des Moines

Ex-officio Non-voting Members

  • Gary Steinke, Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Des Moines
  • Drew Conrad, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
  • Greg Lewis, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Des Moines
  • Steve Ovel, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids
  • Greer Sisson, U. S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship, Des Moines
  • Jeremy Varner, Iowa Department of Education, Des Moines
  • Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines
  • David Mitchell, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Des Moines
  • State Senator William Dotzler, Waterloo
  • State Senator Jake Chapman, Adel
  • State Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt, Cedar Rapids Iowa
  • State Representative Greg Forristall, Macedonia

The membership roster will be transitioning as four seats vacate and three filled by new members. The Senate must vote to confirm them. Future membership will adhere to the timeline for new members to join the State Board. Iowa will also attempt to update the statutory provisions governing the State Board to reflect the State’s strategic vision and goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce.

2. Board Activities

Provide a description of the activities that will assist State Board members and staff in carrying out State Board functions effectively.

During WIOA implementation, the core partners have collaborated to perform the State Board’s required duties and responsibilities under the Act with the help of required partner agencies. The primary method of collaboration has been work groups involving partners and stakeholders. The work and accomplishments of these groups is detailed in this plan. Moving forward, however, the State Board will need a more robust operational framework in order to fulfill its duties and responsibilities under WIOA.

Currently, Iowa’s State Board does not have standing committees to assist in their efforts to formalize a structure to engage partners and stakeholders in Iowa’s workforce development system. The State Board will add standing committees to ensure a higher standard of state board functioning. The standing committees will be required to hold regular meetings and to report to the State Board on a regular basis. Once established, the committees will be charged with the following tasks:

  • Review and make recommendations regarding plans and reports required under WIOA
  • Serve as an advocate of plans and strategies to the Board, IWD leadership, policy makers and stakeholders;
  • Serve as an administrator to collect and manage workforce and talent development information on behalf of the Board;
  • Review state, regional and local plans and activities as required by WIOA and provide status reports to the Board;
  • Perform state workforce board functional responsibilities identified in ss. 101(d)(1) through 101(d)(12) of WIOA and provide recommendations to the Board;
  • Review progress reports and provide status updates to the Board;
  • Assess opportunities and recommend amendments to the Board’s Strategic Plan;
  • Convene and connect talent development resources to drive innovative workforce solutions that support economic development strategies;
  • Consult with state, regional and local resources to champion collaborations and partnerships within the workforce system;
  • Serve as convener to gather thought leaders and practitioners to perpetually evaluate talent development system(s);
  • Serve as a connector of resources to other agencies, service providers, collaborators, initiatives or projects;
  • Serve as a consultant to state/local workforce boards and partners regarding strategies and opportunities;
  • Review talent development systems and networks and recommend innovative solutions and integration of resources;
  • Recommend education and outreach strategies and campaigns to continually align resources and partners; and
  • Perform other functional requirements of the state workforce board as determined by the state board or core partners.

Iowa will also attempt to update the statutory provisions governing the State Board to reflect the State’s strategic vision and goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce. This will include the creation of an operations team, tentatively consisting of representatives from the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Education, the Economic Development Authority, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Iowa Department for the Blind. The Operations Team will provide staff support to the Iowa Workforce Development Board of Directors to achieve improved alignment of the core WIOA programs and the state’s education, workforce and economic development programs. The Director of the Department of Workforce Development will designate the person to coordinate and lead the operations team. Staffing and administrative costs for the operations team shall be provided by the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Education, the Economic Development Authority, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and other potential partners as deemed appropriate.

The Operations Team will be tasked with the following:

  • Coordination and staffing of activities of the State Board.
  • Facilitation and coordination of all research, reports data, analysis, and recommendations associated with the operations team and its purposes.
  • Provision of regular updates to the Workforce Development Board on the status of activities of the operations team and the progress made in aligning programs pursuant to the purposes of the board.

In legislation, Iowa will also seek to create a Policy Council that will advise the State Board on proven and promising practices with respect to workforce service delivery from across the State and nation. The Policy Council will also make policy recommendations to help create a more integrated workforce development system that is responsive to current and future labor-market needs.

4. Assessment and Evaluation of Programs and One-Stop Program Partners

A. Assessment of Core Programs

Describe how the core programs will be assessed each year based on State performance accountability measures described in section 116(b) of WIOA.  This State assessment must include the quality, effectiveness, and improvement of programs broken down by local area or provider.  Such state assessments should take into account local and regional planning goals.

Assessment of Core Programs

The WIOA performance accountability measures in Section 116 will be used to assess the effectiveness of programs and service providers statewide and ensuring continuous improvement in the service delivery system. In an effort to increase awareness, accuracy, and transparency, performance reports will be published for each region. These reports allow the state and regions to track and monitor performance regularly. Programs are assessed on their fiscal management, program implementation - including enrollment and performance benchmark attainment, and data management. Additional assessment includes partnership and career pathway efforts for PY 16. The state will target programs for technical assistance that fail to meet the state performance benchmarks. Failure to meet the performance benchmarks for two consecutive years could result in the reduction or elimination of funding.

The state’s assessment of core programs, which aligns to Iowa’s Performance Measures (Appendix A), uses the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) performance criteria that build in accountability through appropriate performance and outcome standards for the state and each program. Beginning with Program Year 2016 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017), the state will utilize the following WIOA Performance Measures for all WIOA core programs: adult, dislocated workers, youth, adult education and literacy (AEL), vocational rehabilitation and Wagner-Peyser (Wagner-Peyser will be excluded from performance measures 4 and 5. Based upon Federal guidance, some core partners are collecting and establishing baseline data to be reported for implementation at a later date.)

1) Employment 2nd Quarter After Exit: The percentage of program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program.

For youth: Placement in Employment or Education 2nd Quarter After Exit: The percentage of program participants who are in education or training activities, or in unsubsidized employment, during the second quarter after exit from the program.

2) Employment 4th Quarter After Exit: The percentage of program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the fourth quarter after exit from the program.

For youth: Placement in Employment or Education 4th Quarter After Exit: The percentage of program participants who are in education or training activities, or in unsubsidized employment, during the fourth quarter after exit from the program.

3) Median Earnings: The median earnings of program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program.

4) Credential / Diploma: The percentage of program participants who obtain a recognized postsecondary credential, or a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent during participation in or within one year after exit from the program. Program participants who obtain a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent shall be included in the percentage counted as meeting the criterion if such participants, in addition to obtaining such diploma or its recognized equivalent, have obtained or retained employment or are in an education or training program leading to a recognized postsecondary credential within one year after exit from the program.

5) Skill Gains: The percentage of program participants who, during a program year, are in an education or training program that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential or employment and who are achieving measurable skill gains toward such a credential or employment.

6) Serving Employers: The indicators of effectiveness in serving employers (yet to be determined).

Iowa intends to negotiate performance standards annually (as was done with WIA) with each respective federal agency. As appropriate, Iowa will instruct each local area on procedures for negotiating their local performance standards or asking them if they desire to adopt the same level as the state. Iowa’s performance level goals for these primary performance measures will help Iowa achieve continuous improvement for each new program year.

In addition to measuring annual performance outcomes, quarterly progress is measured and shared with the local areas. The local areas are able to use these reports to identify areas for improvement. Should local areas fall significantly behind on their goals, they will be required to submit a performance improvement plan outlining the steps needed to bring their performance outcomes up to standards. The Core partners works with the local programs to monitor performance measures consistently throughout the year and provide technical assistance to improve outcomes. Programs receive an annual monitoring (on-site or desk review) to assess fiscal, program and data management performance. The new WIOA performance measures will be added to current federal measures and the same processes will be used to measure quality, effectiveness, and improvement of programs.

IVRS uses a data metrics system for analysis of program effectiveness as well as for measuring the success of a number of innovative system designs that have been implemented during the last year including but not limited to:

  • Provision of pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities transitioning from school to post school outcomes;
  • Provision of work experience opportunities to students with disabilities in transition through the Making the Grade contracts
  • Participation of the potentially eligible student population in pre-employment transition services;
  • Engagement of and delivery of services to the aging population through the Employment Services Contract with Iowa Department of Aging
  • Infusion of systemic alignment of state agency services through the Medicaid aligned funding agreement
  • Provision of strategic employment services in the health care industry through the Unity Point Contract
  • Accomplishment of goals with the Collaborative Transition Protocol resulting in more systemic planning to achieve student outcomes through the Collaborative Outcomes for Students
  • Expansion of the Assistive Technology Specialist program

B. Assessment of One-Stop Partner Programs

Describe how other one-stop delivery system partner program services and Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan will be assessed each year. Such state assessments should take into account local and regional planning goals.

C. Previous Assessment Results

Beginning with the state plan modification in 2018 and for subsequent state plans and state plan modifications, provide the results of an assessment of the effectiveness of the core programs and other one-stop partner programs and Combined State Plan partner programs included in the Unified or Combined State plan during the preceding 2-year period (i.e. the 2-year period of the plan modification cycle). Describe how the State is adapting its strategies based on these assessments.

The core partners have developed a work group to address performance and data issues. This has resulted in the development of the participant service account. This group will continue to meet as the partners to collaborate on WIOA implementation. The assessment based on past performance in the primary indicators of performance set forth in WIOA section 116 will serve as the foundation on which the core partners will measure the effectiveness of Iowa’s workforce services delivery system.

The eventual plan is for the work group to evolve into a team that monitors the system’s achievements on an ongoing basis to identify strengths and weaknesses in the system. This continuous self-assessment will be an important part in the partners’ ongoing efforts to improve workforce services delivery in the state so that the system is streamlined and responsive to current and future labor-market needs.

The state will bring a diversity of stakeholders together to review and create effective policies, programs, and opportunities for Iowa’s current and future workforce. A center piece of this collaborative effort will be a policy council advising the State Board on proven and promising practices and policies that support an integrated system responsive to labor market needs. Statewide policies will be developed that support Iowa’s businesses in offering creative and nontraditional in-roads to careers that meet the needs of ALL Iowans.

C. Previous Assessment Results

Beginning with the state plan modification in 2018 and for subsequent state plans and state plan modifications, provide the results of an assessment of the effectiveness of the core programs and other one-stop partner programs and Combined State Plan partner programs included in the Unified or Combined State plan during the preceding 2-year period (i.e. the 2-year period of the plan modification cycle). Describe how the State is adapting its strategies based on these assessments.

The core partners have developed a work group to address performance and data issues. This has resulted in the development of the participant service account. This group will continue to meet as the partners to collaborate on WIOA implementation. The assessment based on past performance in the primary indicators of performance set forth in WIOA section 116 will serve as the foundation on which the core partners will measure the effectiveness of Iowa’s workforce services delivery system.

The eventual plan is for the work group to evolve into a team that monitors the system’s achievements on an ongoing basis to identify strengths and weaknesses in the system. This continuous self-assessment will be an important part in the partners’ ongoing efforts to improve workforce services delivery in the state so that the system is streamlined and responsive to current and future labor-market needs.

The state will bring a diversity of stakeholders together to review and create effective policies, programs, and opportunities for Iowa’s current and future workforce. A center piece of this collaborative effort will be a policy council advising the State Board on proven and promising practices and policies that support an integrated system responsive to labor market needs. Statewide policies will be developed that support Iowa’s businesses in offering creative and nontraditional in-roads to careers that meet the needs of ALL Iowans.

D. Evaluation

Describe how the state will conduct evaluations and research projects on activities under WIOA core programs; how such projects will be coordinated with, and designed in conjunction with, State and local boards and with State agencies responsible for the administration of all respective core programs; and, further, how the projects will be coordinated with the evaluations provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education under WIOA.

Evaluation

The Core partners works with the local programs to monitor performance measures consistently throughout the year and provide technical assistance to improve outcomes. Programs receive an annual monitoring (on-site or desk review) to assess fiscal, program and data management performance. The new WIOA performance measures will be added to current federal measures and the same processes will be used to measure quality, effectiveness, and improvement of programs.

In the past several years, a number of state agencies have focused their efforts toward the goal of increasing earnings by growing industries in targeted clusters on both the supply and demand sides of the labor market equation. These efforts are further supported by a number of good management practices, codified by Iowa’s Accountable Government Act, by which all state departments must produce a number of documents and make them available to the Governor and others in the executive branch, the legislature, and the general public via the state’s Results Iowa http://www.resultsiowa.org/ Internet site. These documents include:

  • An agency strategic plan, updated annually,
  • A corresponding performance plan with measurable goals for key strategies,
  • A performance report, which details annual progress toward goals in the performance plan.

Assured Focus on Business and Customer Needs

Resources in the One-Stop delivery system come in a variety of forms. Some partners contribute funding for core services, intensive services, and training, while others may provide in-kind services. Regardless of the form, the Local Service plan is the mechanism employed by the state to ensure these resources are focused on the individual business and customer needs.

The local planning guidance asks the local workforce investment board to specifically address the status of the labor pool in context with the labor market, identifying the workforce investment needs of business, job seekers, and workers in the region. The board will then describe how they will use its resources and oversight authority to address workforce needs in the region and develop the annual budget. The state will review and comment on each of these plans and, if necessary, make recommendations on how to maximize their resources to address local workforce needs.

The Employers’ Councils of Iowa in each region of the State provides another level of input directly from businesses regarding Iowa Workforce Development and One-Stop Center operations. Finally, the State has provided a number of forums and roundtables throughout the State, primarily focused on business, to further ensure that customer needs are being met.

The core and partner agencies within Iowa’s workforce system recognize that evaluating each agency’s performance in isolation of the other services that are available in a community will not adequately support Regional Workforce Development Board in addressing capacity issues in their communities. It will be important to continue working together to identify stronger methods to evaluate the combined impact of all Iowa “One-Stop” Service Partner agencies on their communities to determine our collective success. This approach will be necessary to improve community support of business and job seeker interests.

5. Distribution of Funds for Core Programs

Describe the methods and factors the State will use in distributing funds under the core programs in accordance with the provisions authorizing such distributions.

A. For Title I programs

For Title I programs, provide a description of the written policies that establish the State's methods and factors used to distribute funds to local areas for—

1. Youth activities in accordance with WIOA section 128(b)(2) or (b)(3),

Distribution of Funds for Core Programs - Youth program

Sub-state Allocation Process for the Title I Youth Program Funds

Eighty-five percent of the funds Iowa receives for the WIOA youth employment and training activities are allocated to the regions. Iowa allocates 70 percent of that amount using the following federally prescribed formula:

  • 33 1/3% of the funds are allocated on the basis of the number of disadvantaged youth in each region compared to the total number of disadvantaged youth in the state;
  • 33 1/3% of the funds are allocated on the basis of the excess number of unemployed individuals in each region compared to the total excess number of unemployed individuals in the state;
  • 33 1/3% of the funds are allocated on the basis of the number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in each region compared to the total number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in the state.

The remaining 30 percent of regional allocations are based on the number of disadvantaged youth in each region as compared to the total numbers of disadvantaged youth in the state. This option is used to diminish the impact of unemployment concentrations dictated by the federal formula and focus on low-income youth.

The federal statute also requires that a “hold harmless” provision be applied to the WIOA Youth funding streams. This provision ensures that each region will receive a share of funds of at least 90% of the average share of funds received by that region in the previous two years.

2. Adult and training activities in accordance with WIOA section 133(b)(2) or (b)(3),

Distribution of Funds for Core Programs - Adult program

Sub-state Allocation Process for the Title I Adult Program Funds

Eighty-five percent of the funds Iowa receives for the WIOA adult employment and training activities are allocated to the regions. Iowa allocates 70 percent of that amount using the following federally prescribed formula.

  • 33 1/3% of the funds are allocated on the basis of the number of disadvantaged adults in each region compared to the total number of disadvantaged adults in the state;
  • 33 1/3% of the funds are allocated on the basis of the excess number of unemployed individuals in each region compared to the total excess number of unemployed individuals in the state;
  • 33 1/3% of the funds are allocated on the basis of the number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in each region compared to the total number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in the state.

The remaining 30 percent is allocated in two parts: 1) one-half is based on the excess number of unemployed in each region as compared to the total excess number of unemployed individuals in the state; 2) one half is based on the number of disadvantaged adults in each region as compared to the total number of disadvantaged adults in the state. In this way, allocation credit is provided to support low-income individuals in the state.

The federal statute also requires that a “hold harmless” provision be applied to the WIOA Adult funding streams. This provision ensures that each region will receive a share of funds of at least 90% of the average share of funds received by that region in the previous two years.

3. Dislocated worker employment and training activities in accordance with WIOA section 133(b)(2) and based on data and weights assigned.

Distribution of Funds for Core Programs - Dislocated Worker program

Sub-state Allocation Process for the Title I Dislocated Worker Program Funds

Of the funds received by Iowa for dislocated worker employment and training activities, the state allocates 70 percent to the regions using the following data and giving equal weight to each factor:

Insured Unemployment Data: For the most recent calendar year, the monthly average number of individuals who were receiving unemployment insurance.

Unemployment Concentrations Data: Based on the most recent calendar year, regions with unemployment rates above the state average.

Plant Closing and Mass Layoff Data: The number of employees during the most recent calendar year that were impacted by a mass layoff or plant closing.

Declining Industries Data: During the most recent 24-months, the total number of jobs lost in the most recent four quarters as compared to the previous four quarters.

Farmer-Rancher Economic Hardship Data: During the most recent calendar year, the number of farmers/ranchers who have delinquent loans as reported by U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Long-Term Unemployment Data: For the most recent calendar year, the monthly average number of individuals who meet the definition of long-term unemployed. An individual is considered to be long-term unemployed if he/she was out of work for 15weeks out of a continuous 26-week period of time.

For the dislocated worker allocation process, equal application of all six factors of the formula ensures that all possible economic and workforce elements that exist in each local area impact the allocation process. In this manner, factors that might favor or disadvantage certain areas are equally applied.

The federal statute also requires that a “hold harmless” provision be applied to the WIOA Dislocated Worker funding streams. This provision ensures that each region will receive a share of funds of at least 90% of the average share of funds received by that region in the previous two years.

B. For Title II:

1. Multi-year grants or contracts

Describe how the eligible agency will award multi-year grants or contracts on a competitive basis to eligible providers in the State, including how eligible agencies will establish that eligible providers are organizations of demonstrated effectiveness.

The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) is the designated state agency responsible for administering funds and providing program/performance oversight to eligible local entities for the provision of adult education services through a competitive RFP process.

Adult education and literacy eligible providers approved under Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 requirements will continue to receive funding through June 30, 2017, as long as they adhere to State and federal grant expectations, as measured through their status updates, financial reports, and program performance reports.

During grant year 2016-17, the IDOE will implement a new competitive application process for all federal AEFLA funding that will determine the eligible entities that will be awarded funds starting July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020. Through the RFP process, IDOE will identify, assess, and award multi-year grants to eligible entities throughout the state and to ensure that access of services is provided in every county in Iowa. An eligible entity is an organization that can demonstrate effectiveness in providing adult education activities to eligible participants and may include: a local education agency; a community-based or faith-based organization; a volunteer literacy organization; an institution of higher education; a public or private nonprofit agency; a library; a public housing authority; a nonprofit institution with the ability to provide adult education and literacy services; a consortium or coalition or agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described above; and a partnership between an employer and an entity as described above.

The IDOE will use 82.5 percent of the state allocation for the RFP. The priorities of the RFP include: (1) populations with greatest need and hardest to serve, which includes adult learners who are performing below the eighth grade level, (2) populations performing at or above the eighth grade level, but who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and (3) funds may be used (up to 20%) to serve participants in eligible correction settings.

The funding allocated to each service area will be based on up to 85 percent on the literacy needs identified as determined by reviewing the number of citizens needing literacy services (including those without a high school diploma and those with limited English language skills) within each county based on data from the American Community Survey and participants served. The remaining percentage of funds will be allocated based on effectiveness of serving participants through performance.

TIMELINE: The following steps will be taken in conducting the AEFLA competition:

  • January/February 2017: IDOE publishes three-year federal AEFLA Request for Proposals (RFP) aligned with the priorities in the approved State Unified Plan.
  • February/March 2017: IDOE provides a bidder’s conference and technical assistance to inquiries from potential eligible entities.
  • February/March 2017: IDOE establishes a review panel free of conflicts of interests to review and score AEFLA grant applications.
  • March 2017: Due date for AEFLA grant applications.
  • March/April 2017: Reviewers review and score AEFLA grant applications.
  • April/May 2017: IDOE announces AEFLA grant applicants that will receive funding.
  • July 1, 2017: AEFLA grant providers begin grant cycle, programming, and funding.

The IDOE uses the considerations specified in section 231(e) of WIOA to fund eligible providers. Through an RFP process, entities must provide narrative details to demonstrate how they will meet each consideration. The review of proposals will include rating responses to each of the 13 considerations in Title II of WIOA. To determine if an applicant is an entity of demonstrated effectiveness, all applicants will be required to provide data demonstrating their ability to improve skills of low-literate adults in the applicable academic areas related to the RFP. Prior recipients will use data from the student data management system, TopsEnterprise, to show how they have met state-negotiated performance measures for all student levels, as well as for English language learners. New organizations will be provided forms to show demonstrated student learning gain, including low-literacy level and English language learners. An applicant also will be required to demonstrate ability to adhere to the Assessment Policy Guidelines in recording and tracking participant enrollment and progression. Each application will be reviewed to determine whether it meets the standard of demonstrated effectiveness. Applications that do not provide sufficient evidence of demonstrated effectiveness will be eliminated from the competition. Funded entities will be monitored and required to demonstrate continuous quality improvement.

2. Ensure direct and equitable access

Describe how the eligible agency will ensure direct and equitable access to all eligible providers to apply and compete for funds and how the eligible agency will ensure that it is using the same grant or contract announcement and application procedure for all eligible providers.

The IDOE uses developed internal processes to ensure that there is direct and equitable access to the grant funds. All currently funded providers and all other identified eligible agencies receive a grant or contract application notification by e-mail. This includes all known community-based organizations, community colleges, libraries, literacy councils, public housing authorities, and any other provider that is eligible pursuant to Section 203(5). An announcement is posted on the Iowa Grants website at https://www.iowagrants.gov/. In addition to the general distribution of the sections 225 and/or 231 application notifications, IDOE will post a notice of the availability of funding on the website maintained by http://www.iowa.gov/. In addition, the IDOE provides application information at conferences, workshops, and other activities attended by potential providers.

The IDOE requires all eligible providers for sections 225 and/or 231 to use the same application process. This ensures that all applications are evaluated using the same rubric and scoring criteria. Statewide leadership activities are provided through contracted service providers in compliance with state contracting requirements. The IDOE has also developed interagency agreements with the Department of Corrections to provide the appropriate and necessary services for returning citizens. The IDOE ensures that all eligible providers have direct and equitable access to apply for grants or contracts. It also ensures that the same grant or contract announcement, application, and proposal process is used for all eligible providers through the grant management system. During the initial period of the grant submission process, any eligible agency that contacts IDOE with an interest in participating will be provided the information needed. The IDOE believes that these approaches meet the requirements specified in AEFLA and is satisfied that every effort is made to ensure direct and equitable access.

C. Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation

In the case of a State that, under section 101(a)(2)(A)(i)of the Rehabilitation Act designates a State agency to administer the part of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan under which VR services are provided for individuals who are blind, describe the process and the factors used by the State to determine the distribution of funds among the two VR agencies in the State.

The federal vocational rehabilitation basic support state grant in Iowa is divided between the Iowa Department for the Blind and the Iowa Department of Education - Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services in the ratio of 19 percent to 81 percent. This is a historical agreement and has been in place for in excess of 40 years. The U.S. Department of Education - Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) acknowledges the 19/81 ratio between the agencies. This is apparent at the time of grant awards by RSA. The total allocation of basic support dollars to the State of Iowa are granted by RSA to the two state agencies in the ratio of 19 percent to Iowa Department for the Blind and 81% to Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

6. Program Data

A. Data Alignment and Integration

Describe the plans of the lead State agencies with responsibility for the administration of the core programs, along with the State Board, to align and integrate available workforce and education data systems for the core programs, unemployment insurance programs, and education through postsecondary education, and to the extent possible, the Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan. The description of the State’s plan for integrating data systems should include the State’s goals for achieving integration and any progress to date.

1. Describe the State’s plans to make the management information systems for the core programs interoperable to maximize the efficient exchange of common data elements to support assessment and evaluation.

Management Information Systems

With WIOA requiring common performance standards and a single outcome reporting structure across state agencies including the Iowa Department of Education (adult education and literacy), Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Iowa Department for the Blind, and Iowa Workforce Development (Title I employment and training and Wagner-Peyser), data alignment and integration are paramount. From April 2015, a series of inter-agency meetings have been held to formulate Iowa’s plan for data alignment and integration under WIOA. These cross-agency workgroup meetings established a plan to build upon Iowa Workforce Development’s (IWD) central data warehouse and reporting mechanism. This system will provide the integrated data structure allowing for a single system for both standard and “ad hoc” reporting capabilities for WIOA stakeholders, as well meeting WIOA federal reporting requirements.

A series of subcommittees with subject matter experts reviewed WIOA requirements and data definitions, necessary program adjustments for common measures, system enhancements to capture necessary data, and business rules for both proper integration of data and reporting functions. The project is being overseen by the Performance Accountability workgroup.

Core partners in Iowa realize there are currently significant data system limitations across core partners in an integrated case management environment. The main barrier to joint case management is the inability to share data through a streamlined process due to the lack of a common participant identification method. Information collected is not aligned across core partners due to statutory regulations (e.g., Adult Education does not require a Social Security Number to receive services). Currently, core partners collect their data using their respective state agency systems. There is currently no ability to track participants across programs and no mechanism to identify when a participant has exited from all applicable WIOA core programs.

To begin to overcome these challenges, Iowa has initiated work on a common intake system that will:

  • customize and expand the existing intake system used in IowaWORKS offices that assists in determining program eligibility and promotes co-enrollment;
  • assign a unique identifier to each program participant that will be used to link participants in each of the partner data systems;
  • gather required reporting elements common across all partners;
  • create a common portal by which customers may access services;
  • allow participants to self-refer to partner agencies and partner agencies to refer participants and track referral follow-up and outcomes;
  • and create a staff dashboard with the status of each program participant and shares data across agencies.

IWorks includes a self-service web-based labor exchange system called IowaJobs.org which is available to job seekers and employers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. IWorks will continue to operate as Iowa Workforce Development’s data collection and management system for:

  • Wagner-Peyser Act
  • WIOA Title I
  • Veterans Employment and Training programs
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers
  • PROMISE JOBS
  • Food Assistance Employment & Training

2. Describe the State’s plans to integrate data systems to facilitate streamlined intake and service delivery to track participation across all programs included in this plan.

State’s Plan to Integrate Data Systems

As Iowa looks to support the coordinated implementation of state strategies through its various operating systems, detailed planning and coordination by core partners will continue. The state intends to analyze what is needed, what is valuable, and what is currently in place to build an agile project plan. This analysis will occur in Program Year 2016 and 2017, with implementation beginning in PY17. This analysis will ensure that the work completed is cost effective and of value to all partners.

Integrated data systems to facilitate streamlined intake and service delivery to track participation across all programs included in this plan. Iowa sees the need for clear authority, management and responsibility to remain within the agencies running specific programs. Each agency needs the flexibility to conduct analysis, evaluate data, engage service providers and prepare data for internal and state uses, as well as meet their unique reporting requirements of their corresponding federal agencies. As such, the strategy for data integration was to build upon the design from Iowa Workforce Development, a central data warehouse which established a common intake of the participant’s individual record that could be pulled as needed by each core partner. Each agency’s case management system could then build upon the common data program specific information. The data from these case management systems necessary for reporting would then be merged and matched for analysis, evaluation and reporting on the WIOA program as a whole, through IWD.

3. Explain how the State board will assist the governor in aligning technology and data systems across required one-stop partner programs (including design and implementation of common intake, data collection, etc.) and how such alignment will improve service delivery to individuals, including unemployed individuals.

State Board to Assist Governor in Aligning Technology

The state board will be the catalyst as it acts to advocate, convene and recommend processes and plans to move WIOA forward. This will be done via work groups and standing committees. A particular requirement of a new standing committee will be to “serve as an administrator to collect and manage workforce and talent development information” on behalf of the state board. An accessible data collection effort will streamline data collection processes, increase efficiency throughout the workforce delivery system, and aid in accurate performance measurement to help improve decision-making. The state will work to minimize the participatory burden to an accessible system through the creation and implementation of a common intake and reporting system among Core Partners and relevant agencies. A robust policy will be adopted to ease transitions within and across systems and programs using a referral process that allows for direct connection by and between key agency staff, and holds agencies accountable for assisting workers in achieving success and making it easier for jobseekers to navigate the system.

4. Describe the State’s plans to develop and produce the reports required under section 116, performance accountability system. (WIOA section 116(d)(2)).

Iowa’s Development and Production of Required Reports

The data tracking system in Iowa is extremely valuable to the efforts to improve system performance. Because the state provides a comprehensive tracking system for its programs, the network of One-Stop Centers is supported by coordinated data tracking. The comprehensive reports and query capabilities provided by this system are essential to program analysis at both the state and local levels, leading to data-driven decisions that improve quality and efficiency.

An effective performance management and accountability system depends upon several important factors:

  • Clearly defined performance goals and measures;
  • A data tracking system that provides timely and accurate information, which can be queried or reported in formats that permit close analysis;
  • An on-going evaluation process that not only reviews the current level of performance, but also includes historical and projected performance;
  • Flexible program policies that allow rapid adjustment to issues of economic and workforce impact; and
  • A system of incentive and sanctions.

The State of Iowa has these elements in place for performance accountability of the workforce system. The primary goals featured in the system are the mandated program goals for WIOA Title I (Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth) and Title III (Wagner-Peyser). While some of these measures (placement rates and earnings at placement) are elevated to an enterprise-wide or broader system level for purposes of gubernatorial reports or the Results Iowa website, there are no additional state-established goals for the employment and training system. Regional boards also have the option of establishing additional goals for their workforce areas. In practicality, extensive statutory program goals and reporting requirements that exist in the system mitigates local areas with limited resources to establish any additional goals, however. For this reason, Iowa welcomes federal initiatives to establish measures that are most representative of system success.

On-going evaluation and analysis of performance achievement occurs at federal, state and local levels. The ETA Regional Office provides a quarterly assessment of performance and expenditure levels of the ten states in the region. This information is used for comparative and analytical purposes, and is shared with local service providers. At the state level, regional representatives compile data on each region, to include enrollment levels, expenditure rates, and performance achievement. This information is shared with local boards and service providers. Locally, RWIBs routinely receive and analyze performance and enrollment data as part of their oversight responsibilities.

The Partners will collaborate to develop common performance indicators to ensure:

  • Federal investments in employment and training programs are evidence-based, labor market driven, and accountable to participants and taxpayers.
  • Performance will be transparent and accountable to the communities and regions served.
  • Data entry staff are trained and understand the importance of data validation, data collection processes, and the importance of accurate reporting.
  • Compliance with applicable federal standards.
  • Compliance with applicable Partner confidentiality obligations.

The WIOA performance accountability measures in Section 116 will be used to assess the effectiveness of Adult Education statewide and ensuring continuous improvement in the service delivery system. In an effort to increase awareness, accuracy, and transparency, performance reports will be published for each region. These reports allow the state and regions to track and monitor performance regularly. Programs are assessed on their fiscal management, program implementation - including enrollment and performance benchmark attainment, and data management. Additional assessment may include partnership, collaboration, and career pathway efforts.

The core partners will target programs for technical assistance technical assistance that fail to meet the state performance benchmarks. Failure to meet the performance benchmarks for two consecutive years could result in the reduction or elimination of funding.

The participant service account will include the Participant Information Record Layout (PIRL) distributed by DOL. Each partner had the opportunity to submit feedback to the USDOL in September. The PIRL was reviewed members of each core agency. Each core partner will need to create a link to the participant service account. The unique PIRL Identifier will be the common shared data element used to link participants. The participant service account will populate each of the agency specific databases.

Next decisions for the PIRL include whether the participant, staff, or an agency batch process will complete specific data elements. Identification of allowable locations needs determined. IWD secured funding for the initial project to move forward. A project plan and scope need to be developed with a clear timeframe. Sustainable costs are not included. Modifications to agency specific applications are also not included.

A comprehensive list of data elements dependent on partners will be compiled to help develop the state data sharing MOU. This state level template will focus on measures and reporting requirements to be used for regional MOUs. The participant service account will store information about the participant’s post program success and Unemployment Insurance Wage record data. Reporting performance outcomes, the details of who, when, and how this information is to be shared are yet to be determined. The Participant Profile application includes identity authentication steps as a means to verify individuals and maintain privacy.

Another sub-group for Educational Training Provider List (ETPL) has also been meeting and is working on the draft policy surrounding the ETPL process for interested, qualified training providers.

Purpose of the Project

  • Implement new performance accountability measures
  • Refine the Educational Training Provider application and approval process
  • Develop recommendations for additional measures
  • Decide on a system for use as the core partner data base registration and data reporting management system.

Scope of the Project

  • Review new performance measures and identify potential issues, including recording and reporting information
  • Analyze current state of reporting requirements, identify gaps, efficiency opportunities needed indicators of performance
  • Develop a matrix of required data and reporting requirements and coordinate with State leadership to identify additional shared performance requirements across agencies
  • Develop IT scope of work guidelines for data sharing to successfully implement new data and reporting requirements, including the integration of additional program data (i.e.
  • apprenticeship data, iJAG data, STEM credential data, etc.) into longitudinal data coordination efforts
  • Make recommendations regarding effective dissemination of performance data to stakeholders, the public, workforce customers, and program managers
  • Coordinate with NGA Talent Pipeline team
  • Negotiate levels of performance/adjustment factors
  • Delivery Plan
  • Provide data to be shared by Core Partners to go into MOU
  • State data dictionary
  • Issue List
  • Sub-group for ETP will
  • Sub-group for Profile will
  • An intake system to collect participant data
  • A reporting mechanism for reporting state performance to the feds which is viewable by all core partners.

In order to meet the requirements of WIOA for cooperation between the programs of Workforce Development, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Department of Education common portal, referred to as the “Participant Profile,” collects common demographical information and assigns a state wide Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL) number. The profile uses OpenID to permit users to use their personal email address and password. This portal is owned by Iowa Workforce Development and is currently scheduled to receive upgrades which will make agency cross-use more efficient, reliable and secure.

The participant may create their own profile or one may be created by a staff member. The ID of the participant can be verified through DOT records or through Experian. Each individual program will have additional information specific to that program but will use common information, along with the PIRL number, from the profile.

The staff will have a dashboard with the status of each program by participant. Only the staff authorized for each program will have the ability to access details for each program.

Iowa’s Common Data-Collection and Reporting Process

Iowa’s common data-collection and reporting processes are used for all programs and activities provided by workforce investment funds at Iowa’s One-Stop Centers. Iowa’s Integrated Service Delivery system uses a common job-seeker registration and enrollment process that also uses the same computer software that generates the participant data base. IWorks is Iowa’s data management system.

IWorks is web-enabled, requires a secure-password access and has been customized to meet Iowa’s case management and reporting system needs. Each job seeker who comes to a One-Stop Center is asked to enter their specific demographic information, which begins their registration. This partial registration information is then completed and verified by Center staff to ensure complete data entry and program enrollment.

IWorks is the common data-collection process for the following programs:

  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • Wagner-Peyser Act
  • Veterans Employment Training programs
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers
  • PROMISE JOBS
  • Food Assistance Employment & Training
  • Iowa’s State Performance Accountability System

Iowa Workforce Development, Adult Education and Family Literacy, and Vocational Rehabilitation will adopt joint performance reporting requirements as outlined in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Section 116 providing that State joint performance measures and reporting requirements under authority of the Secretary of Labor and Education. Joint performance measures for WIOA shall consist of six (6) customer outcomes specific to core indicators of performance.

Planning Note: States should be aware that Section 116(i)(1) requires the core programs, local boards, and chief elected officials to establish and operate a fiscal and management accountability information system based on guidelines established by the Secretaries of Labor and Education. Separately, the Departments of Labor and Education anticipate working with States to inform future guidance and possible information collection(s) on these accountability systems. States should begin laying the groundwork for these fiscal and management accountability requirements, recognizing that adjustments to meet the elements above may provide opportunity or have impact on such a fiscal and management accountability system.

Planning Note: States should be aware that Section 116(i)(1) requires the core programs, local boards, and chief elected officials to establish and operate a fiscal and management accountability information system based on guidelines established by the Secretaries of Labor and Education. Separately, the Departments of Labor and Education anticipate working with States to inform future guidance and possible information collection(s) on these accountability systems. States should begin laying the groundwork for these fiscal and management accountability requirements, recognizing that adjustments to meet the elements above may provide opportunity or have impact on such a fiscal and management accountability system.

B. Assessment of Participants’ Post-Program Success

Describe how lead State agencies will use the workforce development system to assess the progress of participants who are exiting from core programs in entering, persisting in, and completing postsecondary education, or entering or remaining in employment. States may choose to set additional indicators of performance.

IVRS has for the past four consecutive years exceeded the Federal Employment Standards. The review of data and the strategic plan is being revised to reflect the new opportunities provided by WIOA. New strategies are specifically being addressed in the areas of youth engagement, business services and outreach to individuals in segregated settings.

When evaluating the new performance measures as required under WIOA, IVRS went back and reviewed data from 2014. This serves as a baseline for employment outcome and wage data being collected through a project with IWD. The baseline shows 50.99% of participants in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program, and that the same figure is obtained when considering the fourth quarter measure. This becomes the baseline for IVRS and will be the goal for the FFY 17 until we have more current data and trend information to determine a higher target goal.

On-going evaluation and analysis of performance achievement occurs at federal, state and local levels. The ETA Regional Office provides a quarterly assessment of performance and expenditure levels of the ten states in the region. This information is used for comparative and analytical purposes, and is shared with local service providers. At the state level, regional representatives compile data on each region, to include enrollment levels, expenditure rates, and performance achievement. This information is shared with local boards and service providers. Locally, RWIBs routinely receive and analyze performance and enrollment data as part of their oversight responsibilities.

An effective performance management and accountability system depends upon several important factors:

  • Clearly defined performance goals and measures;
  • A data tracking system that provides timely and accurate information, which can be queried or reported in formats that permit close analysis;
  • An on-going evaluation process that not only reviews the current level of performance, but also includes historical and projected performance;
  • Flexible program policies that allow rapid adjustment to issues of economic and workforce impact; and
  • A system of incentive and sanctions.

The State of Iowa has these elements in place for performance accountability of the workforce system. The primary goals featured in the system are the mandated program goals for WIOA Title I (Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth) and Title III (Wagner-Peyser). While some of these measures (placement rates and earnings at placement) are elevated to an enterprise-wide or broader system level for purposes of gubernatorial reports or the Results Iowa website, there are no additional state-established goals for the employment and training system. Regional boards also have the option of establishing additional goals for their workforce areas. In practicality, extensive statutory program goals and reporting requirements that exist in the system mitigates local areas with limited resources to establish any additional goals, however. For this reason, Iowa welcomes federal initiatives to establish measures that are most representative of system success.

The data tracking system in Iowa is extremely valuable to the efforts to improve system performance. Because the state provides a comprehensive tracking system for its programs, the network of One-Stop Centers is supported by coordinated data tracking. The comprehensive reports and query capabilities provided by this system are essential to program analysis at both the state and local levels, leading to data-driven decisions that improve system quality and efficiency.

On-going evaluation and analysis of performance achievement occurs at federal, state and local levels. The ETA Regional Office provides a quarterly assessment of performance and expenditure levels of the ten states in the region. This information is used for comparative and analytical purposes, and is shared with local service providers. At the state level, regional representatives compile data on each region, to include enrollment levels, expenditure rates, and performance achievement. This information is shared with local boards and service providers. Locally, RWIBs routinely receive and analyze performance and enrollment data as part of their oversight responsibilities.

Labor supply and demand data was analyzed in order to determine the impact from the education and training provided to participants in Title II and co-enrolled as participants in Iowa’s skilled worker pipeline, By utilizing graduate data from the training providers for the supply, and Iowa’s 2012 to 2022 Long-Term Occupational Projections for the demand, occupation-specific data was analyzed. This data by occupation includes:

  • Type of award (certificate, diploma or degree)
  • Program of study
  • Projected job openings (both replacement and new)
  • Wages
  • Education/Training
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Projected job growth

The occupations were then aggregated into occupational categories for analysis, where necessary. The primary source for the supply of education awards was obtained from data housed within the Management Information System (MIS) at the Iowa Department of Education. For each training program offered by Iowa’s community college, the corresponding classification of instructional programs (CIP) was used to track area of study. Occupational projections were used as the primary source for the demand representation. Future occupational demand was defined using the annual growth rate of Long-Term (2012-2022) Iowa Occupational Projections as produced by Iowa Workforce Development. These projections use the standard occupational classification (SOC) system and can be categorized at different levels (two-, three-, five-, and six-digit), where moving from a lower to higher level indicates more disaggregation in the occupational structure.

By linking occupations (SOC codes) to education programs (CIP codes) a crosswalk is created, such as the one available from the National Crosswalk Center®. Additionally, the National Career Clusters® Framework links every CIP code to one of the 16 career clusters, and the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE), assigned one of the 79 career pathways (where each pathway was associated to a unique career cluster) to each of the SOC Codes. While there might be some discrepancies this data is being used to determine the match between educational training needs and occupational demand. With the crosswalk, analysis can be done for each of the occupational categories with the corresponding projected employment demand. Levels for determining high/low wage and high/low demand are based on an average Iowa occupational growth rate for all occupations of 1.3 percent and on the 2013 Iowa average annual salary of $40,240. Regionally and statewide this process can help determine the effectiveness of sector partnerships, career pathway development and programs related to workforce delivery services.

C. Use of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Wage Record Data

Explain how the State will meet the requirements to utilize quarterly UI wage records for performance accountability, evaluations, and as a source for workforce and labor market information, consistent with Federal and State law. (This Operational Planning element applies to core programs.)

Use of UI Wage Record Data

Unemployment insurance wage record data has and will continue to be matched to assist program data collection for students, apprenticeships, training participants, and Promise Job participants for purposes of matching it to employment, wages, and industry. Individual contracts and data sharing agreements are established between IWD and training providers. In return, IWD will provide an aggregate analysis of how their students faired economically after they left their program using wage records.

Iowa Workforce Development has an internal-earnings transfer procedure, and contracts with other national agencies in order to use quarterly wage information to measure progress for state and local performance measures. Each quarter, earnings from Iowa employers are uploaded, and the state system performs the job match by way of Social Security Number matches. Iowa also has a contract with the state of Maryland’s administration of the Federal Employment Data Exchange System (FEDES) and with U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS) and (WRIS2), which provides earnings data for out-of-state individuals who participated in Iowa’s workforce programs. These two systems also provide information on individuals who, as a result of our services, obtain employment with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Postal Service, and federal jobs, in general. All earnings data is secured through multiple, fire-walled systems, and access is granted only to individuals with a legitimate business need. By participating in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS/WRIS2), Iowa has a more accurate picture of the effectiveness of the workforce delivery programs, and is able to report more comprehensive outcomes against performance measures.

D. Privacy Safeguards

Describe the privacy safeguards incorporated in the State’s workforce development system, including safeguards required by section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and other applicable Federal laws.

The usage of TopsEnterprise (TE®), the information management system of Iowa’s adult education and literacy, is in line with FERPA regulations and monitored on an ongoing basis to assure alignment. Users of TE® must annually sign and submit a Personal Confidentiality Statement which serves to safeguard personally identifiable information. Iowa’s adult education and literacy (AEL) also requires each local program to sign an assurance as a part of the funding application indicating adherence to outlined technology requirements. The technology requirements describe the minimum level of security required by local programs. AEL participants have the ability to opt-out of information sharing through a Release of Information form. Students who refuse are not shared for any purpose including federal/state match. WIOA partners will be included in the release statement allowing students to approve the release of their data to the central repository. Likewise, a data sharing MOU will be established between the key individuals responsible for the central data warehouse.

Iowa Workforce Development utilizes data sharing agreements with the schools, agencies and training providers. The entities permit us social security numbers through Globalscape, a secured FTP site provided by IT. The social security numbers are then matched to unemployment insurance records. IWD reports findings in aggregate and reports if we have three or more participants. If we don’t have at least three that information is suppressed. This is done so that you can’t identify any individual specifically.

7. Priority of Service for Veterans

Describe how the State will implement and monitor the priority of service provisions for veterans in accordance with the requirements of the Jobs for Veterans Act, codified at section 4215 of 38 U.S.C., which applies to all employment and training programs funded in whole or in part by the Department of Labor. States should also describe the referral process for veterans determined to have a significant barrier to employment to receive services from the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist.

Priority of Service for Veterans

Iowa Workforce Development will provide all qualified Veterans with priority of service.

In order to maximize and provide priority of services to Veterans, Veterans will be able to register at all Iowa Workforce Development Center locations. Registration is also available on-line 24/7 through www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov, or any of the regional websites. Iowa complies with final regulations which state recipients of USDOL funds for qualified job training programs are subject to the priority of service regulations, and are required by law to provide priority of service to Veterans and eligible spouses. If the SBE eligible Veteran’s needs cannot be met at the point of intake (as determined by core service staff) or if the eligible Veteran requests, they will be referred to the DVOP or appropriate service provider for assistance.

The Iowa Director for Veterans Employment and Training (DVET) and/or his designee (ADVET), has a standing invitation to address district management at their monthly meeting to describe expectations of the Jobs for Veterans Act, and to review program performance. The state has followed-up by requiring that each SWA describe in their local customer service plan how they will ensure priority of service is provided in their programs. IWD Management staff will consult with local partners on how to implement priority of service, and will be monitoring compliance with the established procedure.

Regional Workforce Development Boards (RWDBs) are to ensure One-Stop Operators and service providers recruit individuals in the priority of service categories and develop and provide appropriate services to meet those populations’ needs. Local areas must establish written policies and procedures to ensure priority for the populations described in this guidance for participants served in the WIOA Adult program for eligibility determinations beginning on July 1, 2015. Additionally, based on local policy, the Boards may:

  • Establish a process that also gives priority to other individuals; and
  • Choose to provide individualized career and training services to adults whose income is above the WIOA income guidelines requirement but below the Board-established self-sufficiency wage level.

Each region submits their plan for providing priority of service to Veterans. Each plan is reviewed by the state liaisons to the Regional Workforce Development Board (RWDB). The state liaisons work with the DVET to develop expectations that can be enforced locally. Priority of service is monitored in the following manner:

  • Local management staff audits job orders and other services;
  • Local management will take corrective action on Veteran customer complaints; and
  • Local office management conducts a random review of initial Veteran applications for proper qualification, quality of service provided, and to ensure that the appropriate service was provided.

Corrective action, in the form of continuing education and positive feedback is provided by the DVOP. If problems persist, local management, the Division Administrator and the DVET will be consulted.

Veterans will be made aware of their priority of service entitlement and about the services provided by DVOP staff to SBE eligible Veterans, not only through outreach activities , but through an information and self-assessment pamphlet available both in paper form and on the web. The pamphlet will describe for the Veteran the various services they may receive, their priority of service, and will provide a simple mechanism for the Veteran (and staff) to determine if career services are needed. It is expected that this method will help avoid oversight of Veterans in need of special services. In addition, large colorful posters featuring local Veterans were developed with non-JVSG funds and distributed to all IWD and partner locations asking, “Are You the Spouse of a Veteran?” and explaining priority of service for those individuals.

“The Jobs for Veterans Act (PL 107-288) provides an emphasis on serving veterans by establishing a priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses in all employment and training programs funded by the Department of Labor, including Wagner-Peyser, WIOA and other job training programs offered through competitive grants. Priority of Service is the right of an eligible “Covered Person” to be given priority of service over an eligible non-covered person for the receipt of employment, training and placement services, notwithstanding other provisions of the law.

“Covered Persons take precedence over non-covered persons in obtaining services and shall receive access to services and resources earlier in time than a non-covered person. If services or resources are limited, the Covered Person receives access instead of or before the non-covered person. Procedures or policies that restrict a veteran’s access to WIOA or WP services, even if such restrictions are intended to provide the veteran with specialized services, are contrary to the priority of service requirements.

“20 CFR Part 1010 and 38 U.S.C. 4215, Section 4215(a)(1) defines “Covered Persons” to mean veterans and the spouses “of any of the following:

a. any veteran who died of a service-connected disability;

b. any member of the Armed Forces serving on active duty who, at the time of application for the priority, is listed in one or more of the following categories and has been so listed for a total of more than 90 days:

i. Missing in action;

ii. Captured in the line of duty by a hostile force; or

iii. Forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power; or

iv. Any veteran who has a total disability resulting from a service-connected disability, as evaluated by the Department of Veterans Affairs or any veteran who died while such a disability was in existence.”

“Covered Persons must have served at least one day in the active military, naval or air service, and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable as specified in 38 U.S.C 101(2). Active service includes full-time Federal service in the National Guard or a Reserve component. It does not include full-time duty performed strictly for training purposes, nor does it include full-time active duty performed by National Guard personnel mobilized by the State rather than federal authorities. “Spouses of military personnel killed in the line of duty do not currently qualify for priority of service.

“Spouses of military personnel killed in the line of duty do not currently qualify for priority of service.

“As defined in USC 101, the term “surviving spouse” means a person of the opposite sex who was the wife or husband of a veteran at the time of the veteran’s death, and who lived with the veteran continuously from the date of marriage to the date of the veteran’s death (except where there was a separation which was due to the misconduct of, or procured by, the veteran without the fault of the spouse) and who has not remarried or (in cases not involving remarriage) has not since the death of the veteran, and after September 19, 1962, lived with another person and held himself or herself out openly to the public to be the spouse of such other person.

“The Jobs for Veterans Act provides priority service only to veterans or eligible spouses who meet the program’s eligibility requirements.

Proposed rule 680.650 re-affirms that veterans continue to receive priority of service in ALL DOL-funded training programs but that a “veteran must still meet each program’s eligibility criteria.” Thus for WIOA Title I Adult services, the program’s eligibility and priority considerations must be made first, and then veteran’s priority applied.

Local areas must give priority of service to participants that fall into one of the below priority categories (Proposed § 679.560(b)(21)):

Recipients of Public Assistance

Other low-income individuals. The term “low income individuals” is defined in WIOA Law—Definitions; Section 3(36) means an individual who:

  • Receives, or in the past 6 months has received, or is a member of a family that is receiving or in the past 6 months has received, assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), TANF, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, or state or local based public assistance program; or
  • Receives an income or is a member of a family receiving an income that in relation to family size, is not in excess of the current U.S.DOL 70 percent Lower Living Standard Income Level and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines or
  • Is a homeless individual, or
  • Is an individual with a disability whose own income meets the income requirements above, but who is a member of a family whose income does not meet this requirement.

Individuals Who are Basic Skills Deficient

The term “basic skills deficient” is defined in Section 3(5) to mean a youth or adult who is unable to compute or solve problems, or read, write, or speak English at a level necessary to function on the job, in the individual’s family, or in society. Iowa Workforce Development(IWD) is providing guidance for making this determination by defining it as an individual who meets ANY ONE of the following:

Lacks a high school diploma or equivalency and is not enrolled in secondary education; or

  • Scores below 9.0 grade level (8.9 or below) on the TABE; CASAS or other allowable assessments as per National Reporting System (NRS) developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Division of Adult Education and Literacy or
  • Is enrolled in Title II adult education (including enrolled for ESL); or
  • Has poor English language skills (and would be appropriate for ESL even if the individual isn’t enrolled at the time of WIOA entry into participation.

To ensure that local staff is aware of their responsibilities to provide priority of service, Veteran staff and management will train local non-vet staff and service delivery partners to enhance their knowledge of Veterans’ employment and training needs. As well, the state has, and will continue to issue, field information memos to clarify these responsibilities. All such memos have been reviewed by the DVET.

DAS, IVRS, IWD, Department of Veterans Affairs and the VA office of Vocational Rehabilitation developed a new state training program for veterans with service connected disabilities. This allows a qualified veteran who successfully completes a state work experience program the opportunity to be directly hired into the position and by-pass merit hiring. Additionally, the state of Iowa has established policies regarding priority of service for veterans. Veterans and eligible spouses, including widows and widowers as defined in the statute and regulations, are eligible for priority of service. For the purposes of implementing priority of service, the Final Rule requires that program operators use the broad definition of veteran found in 38 U.S.C. 101(2). Under this definition, the term “veteran” means a person who served at least one day in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, as specified in 38 U.S.C. 101(2). Active service includes full-time Federal service in the National Guard or a Reserve component. This definition of “active service” does not include full-time duty performed strictly for training purposes (i.e., that which often is referred to as “weekend” or “annual” training), nor does it include full-time active duty performed by National Guard personnel who are mobilized by State rather than Federal

Iowa Jobs State Veterans Program Plan

The Jobs for Veterans’ State Grants (JVSG) creates opportunities for all eligible veterans and eligible spouses to obtain meaningful and successful careers through provision of resources and expertise that maximize employment opportunities and protect veterans’ employment rights. Services provided by the Veteran Representative include comprehensive assessments, development of an Individual Employment Plan, career counseling, and referrals to other veteran and community organizations as needed. The Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER) is a member of the business services team. The LVER promotes the hiring veterans to employers, employer associations, and business groups; facilitates employer training, plans and participates in career fairs and conducts job development with employers.

Iowa has an effective business services program across the state. There are Business Services Teams located in each of the 15 Regions who coordinate efforts with DVOP staff to contact current and prospective employers, Federal contractors and subcontractors, and others to promote Veterans -SBE, aged 18-24, and non-SBE - as excellent job candidates and employees.

In addition, partners in the one-stops are utilized to train Veterans in identifying job skills as well as the “soft skills” related to job seeking and job retention. Assessment services are used to identify the skills, knowledge, abilities and preferences of Veterans so that the best possible job match can be made initially. Career exploration services are offered so that Veterans have a good knowledge of available jobs and specific information about occupations. Veterans are offered assistance in understanding the skills needed to function in the work place, and help in understanding how job and career advancement can be accomplished with an employer.

Targeting Services to Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment

IWD Management will serve the role of educators to the one-stop operators, their partners and the Regional Workforce Development Board members. They will train and educate on:

  • The identification of Veteran under Title 38 of the U.S.C;
  • Criteria for the identification of needs for referral for career services;
  • Veterans’ preference requirements and methodologies;
  • The difference between Priority of Service and Veterans’ Preference, and;
  • Veterans’ integration policy as determined by Agency leadership.

Partners such as WIOA partners, PROMISE JOBS/TANF, Trade Act, and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services will also identify Veteran customers at their points of contact or entry, which may or may not be collocated with IWD Veteran staff at the one-stop. Those Veteran customers identified as having a significant barrier to employment as defined by USDOL, VETS, or age 18-24, will be referred to the DVOP for additional services. Veterans will be co-enrolled with PROMISE JOBS if they are receiving Family Investment Program (TANF) assistance and subject to the terms of a Family Investment Agreement (FIA), WIOA, or Trade Act if they are a dislocated worker. Veteran program management monitors case records monthly and quarterly report data to ensure compliance, address issues, quantify progress, and celebrate success with DVOP staff.

The state will ensure adherence to the legislative requirements for Veteran’s staff. This includes, but is not limited to, employing only Veterans to fill the DVOP positions with a preference towards hiring disabled Veterans. Each of these staff is trained in their new roles and responsibilities under the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002. The DVOP, and local Wagner-Peyser management, work closely with all partners to ensure the mandatory WIOA partners provide Veteran’s priority of service.

Iowa has focused staff resources on the utilization of DVOP Specialists, rather than LVERs, for a number of years. We believe it is a better investment of funds to ensure case management is offered to SBE Veterans and those aged 18-24 in accordance with VPLs 01-14, 03-14 and 04-14. All non-Vet staff is assigned to serve Veterans without an SBE, and we expect our non-JVSG funded BSRs to promote Veterans to our business customers. Iowa also elected to eliminate the Veterans Program Coordinator position, and now has a fulltime program manager to provide oversight, monitoring and training. With the deployment of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s “Home Base Iowa” initiative to encourage military personnel to make our state their home, we hired one LVER to conduct outreach to employers to assist Veterans in gaining employment, including conducting seminars, job search workshops, and facilitating employment, training and placement services.

Once identified either by self-assessment, core service staff, or partner staff, that the individual is a Veteran who is eligible for and could benefit from DVOP services, that staff would refer the Veteran job seeker to the DVOP. In offices without a full time DVOP, local management will be responsible for ensuring there is an efficient means of referral that ensures no Veteran eligible for and requiring career services goes without the appropriate service.

The DVOP will facilitate career services by working with the eligible Veteran to develop a written action plan to resolve barriers to employment (i.e. DVOP will refer for appointment with local county Veteran affairs to resolve financial issues and Veteran will follow through by making appointment and going to receive services).

Iowa has instituted an Integrated System of service that includes all of the partners in the Workforce Center, “All Means All.” The system consists of a Membership Team, Skills Development Team and Business Services Team. All DVOP Specialists will be assigned to the Skills Development Team, as this complies with their roles and responsibilities under Title 38. As a member of the Skills Development Team, they will be referred any Veteran their coworkers have identified as eligible for DVOP services because of age (18-24) or who has a significant barrier to employment and needs career services. While working in Skills, they will assist only Veterans who meet the criteria outlined in VPLs 01-14, 03-14 and 04-14; all other Veterans will be served by the non-JVSG staff.

The DVOP will locate, build and maintain good working relationships with Federal agencies (VA), state agencies (Health & Welfare, Education), community based organizations, Veterans and others that may be able to provide services to eligible Veterans age 18-24 or with a significant barrier to employment.

The DVOP staff in Iowa has maintained an excellent working relationship with their local VA VR & E staff. The procedure followed in serving Chapter 31 Vets is in accordance with VA/DOL Technical Assistance Guide (TAG) dated December 2008.

Iowa has established the position of Intensive Services Coordinator (ISC) who is out stationed on a part-time basis at the VR&E Regional office. The position is filled by a DVOP specialist.

DVOPs receive referrals from the VR&E counselor through the ISC and are at that time informed of the Veteran’s employment goal, barriers to employment and any other significant information.

Upon referral, the DVOP immediately conducts an interview to further assess the Veteran’s situation. The DVOP will develop a mutually agreed upon, individualized case management plan to assist the Veteran while in receipt of employment services.

The DVOP will provide resume assistance, interviewing techniques, job leads and establish job development referrals with employers. The DVOP will also make referrals to assist with any special needs the Veteran may have. The DVOP maintains a minimum of weekly contact with the Chapter 31 Veteran and each month submits the results of the month’s activities to the VR&E counselor and the ISC.

Iowa Workforce Development has partnered with the state DOL/ETA Office of Apprenticeship and hosts the following web site: http://www.iowaworkforce.org/apprenticeship/. This web site has been recognized as the premier Apprenticeship web portal in the nation. DVOP staff routinely use this site to place Veterans in training.

The Iowa Department of Education works closely with the DVOP Specialists to disseminate information on Chapter 31 GI Bill programs, the Troops to Teachers program and various other educational programs to provide educational opportunities for our Veterans.

DVOP staff work closely with TANF - Employment and Training program (Referred to in Iowa as PROMISE JOBS) to provide job placement and referral assistance to Veterans who are TANF cash recipients. (Referred to in Iowa as the Family Investment Program).

Though Iowa has no active duty military installations or medical facilities in the state, DVOP staff maintains a close working relationship with the Iowa National Guard. This provides a strong linkage and referral system between all returning National Guard Veterans and the one-stop center.

Iowa Workforce Development maintains a Veterans Benefits and Services book that lists Federal, State, and Local Veteran benefits and services. Several agencies have partnered in contributing to this book, to include USDOL Office of Apprenticeship, Iowa Department of Education, both state and county Department of Veteran Affairs and others. This book is very well received and serves to both inform Veterans and to provide them with the knowledge to access Veteran services provided IWD. This book is distributed to partners, agencies and civic organizations across the state by the DVOPs, Division Administrator, Iowa National Guard, Iowa Department of Veteran’s Affairs, ESGR personnel and volunteers, and USDOL VETS staff.

Home Base Iowa

Another initiative of Iowa Governor Branstad is “Home Base Iowa,” which was signed into law on Memorial Day, 2014. This legislation provides the following benefits to Iowa Veterans, as well as Transitioning Service Members looking to make this state their home:

  • Fully exempts military pensions from state income tax, and includes surviving spouses in this exemption;
  • Special license plate fees waived for those eligible for veteran-related specialty plates (Bronze Star, Disabled Veteran, Ex POW, Gold Star, Iowa National Guard, Legion of Merit, Medal of Honor, Pearl Harbor Veteran, Purple Heart, Retired by branch, Air Force Cross Medal, Airman’s Medal, Navy Cross, Service Cross Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Medal, Soldier’s Medal, Silver Star Medal, Veteran;)
  • Allows private employers to give preference in hiring and promotion to veterans and surviving spouses of military personnel who died either while on active duty, or as a result of such service;
  • Increases funding and eligibility for Military Homeownership Assistance Program;
  • Requires licensing boards to adopt rules giving credit for military training and experience, as well as draft proposals allowing license reciprocity for military spouses; and
  • Higher education institutions must set academic credit standards for military experience.

Another component of Home Base Iowa is member businesses and communities. The Home Base Iowa Communities initiative designates communities as centers of opportunity for military veterans and further highlights Iowa’s statewide commitment to welcoming veterans to the state. Standards to become a Home Base Iowa community include:

  • Ten percent of the businesses in the community agree to pledge to hire a specific number of veterans, post their jobs with IWD, and become a member of Skilled Iowa;
  • The community develops its own welcome/incentive package for veterans;
  • The community prominently displays the Home Base Iowa Community designation; and
  • The community obtains a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body.

Iowa currently has 31 Home Base Iowa communities. For more information, see www.homebaseiowa.org. This website also provides information on job opportunities in Iowa through the .jobs microsite for Veterans, veteran-friendly employers and communities, resources for veterans, Home Base Iowa employers, and more.

Iowa was also the first state to partner with Hilton Worldwide to offer no-cost accommodations to military personnel. The Hilton Honors hotel stays can be used to pursue job opportunities in any industry - and can be used to support job interviews, skills training, housing searches for newly employed Iowans, and other job-seeking activities within the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. Iowa is making points available to Veterans, Transitioning Service Members, Spouse, National Guard and Reserve members, and anyone meeting the Wagner-Peyser definition of a Veteran. Case management is not a requirement. Iowa is currently the largest user of this benefit.

Performance Incentive Awards

The Performance Incentive Award Program will be in accordance with VPL 02-07. The total amount of the funds available for performance awards and incentives will be one percent of the total award for Veterans programs. The Performance Awards and Incentives program will recognize those regions that excel in providing services to Veterans. Regions selected for awards will have demonstrated their excellence of service to Veterans or in support of Veterans programs. Awards will not be distributed in cash. The value of the awards will be significant enough to encourage regions to develop better approaches to delivering services to Veterans. The focus of the awards will be on improving the services to Veterans and strategies for the delivery of services, but not to the exclusion of non-Veterans.

The presentation of the awards will be in a venue that will highlight services to Veterans. The Director of Iowa Workforce Development has made a commitment to present the awards at the annual Veterans Conference during the third quarter of each year. Making the presentations in this manner will again emphasize Iowa’s effort to improve services and highlight the contribution staff makes to improve the lives of Veterans across Iowa.

8. Addressing the Accessibility of the One-Stop Delivery System for Individuals with Disabilities

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners), will comply with section 188 of WIOA (if applicable) and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) with regard to the physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, programs, services, technology, and materials for individuals with disabilities. This also must include a description of compliance through providing staff training and support for addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria.

The State of Iowa is committed to providing programs and services in a readily accessible format and delivery method to any individual who is seeking services from the workforce system. Accessibility as referenced throughout this plan refers to the direct and indirect ideas, actions, philosophies and physical and emotional supports used by an individual or employer to support employment for ALL Iowans. The Partners have legal obligations under federal and state anti-discrimination laws when providing workforce services. Federal and state antidiscrimination laws prohibit discrimination in the provision of services on the basis of an individual’s race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, age, or disability. Meeting the Partners’ legal obligations under federal and state antidiscrimination laws must be a focus when the Partners develop and implement policies, procedures, guidance, and proven and promising practices with respect to increasing and maximizing access to workforce services and when assessing the physical and programmatic access of one-stop system partners, physical office spaces, websites, etc.

Individuals with disabilities constitute a population that has traditionally been underserved or unserved by the workforce development system. The Partners recognize that state and federal anti-discrimination laws impose legal obligations with respect to workforce services delivery to individuals with disabilities. Further, WIOA singles out individuals with disabilities as a group with a barrier to employment that the Partners must target for increased and maximized access to workforce services. As such, the Partners will develop policies, procedures, guidance, and proven and promising practices to create maximized physical and programmatic access and opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Implementation of policies, procedures, guidance, and proven and promising practices to increase and maximize physical and programmatic access for individuals with disabilities must be an element of One-Stop Certification that is strictly applied. In developing the Unified State Plan, Iowa has incorporated several measures which will assist in ensuring that ALL Iowans have equal opportunities within the workforce delivery system and throughout the workforce. Iowa has worked very closely with and has relied upon the expertise provided by the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) and the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDOB). As core partners, IVRS and IDOB has provided ongoing technical assistance and support regarding development of policies, procedures, and system design and evaluation protocols to ensure that ALL Iowans have full and welcoming access. The Iowa Department for the Blind will also be utilized to consider all form of accessibility impacting field of vision. Their Assistive Technology services will ensure accommodations are in place to support access for needed services and supports for all Iowans.

Additionally, key staff and WIOA work group implementers have participated in LEAD Center Webinars regarding serving persons with disabilities under WIOA and have infused the promising practices and policies throughout the vision and goals and the entirety of the Unified State Plan. The one-stop operations and system design group is developing effective policies, plans and procedures that will be incorporated into the One-Stop Center operations. In utilizing the reference guide as a foundation on which to design supportive policies, it is important to note that until such time as the Department of Labor announces new regulations pursuant to WIOA Section 188, the current Section 188 regulations cited herein are used. Section 188 regulatory requirements are organized into three Sections:

  • Providing Universal Access to Programs and Activities
  • Ensuring Equal Opportunity
  • Obligation to Ensure Equal Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Implementing Universal Access and Equal Opportunity through the designation of a Qualified Equal Opportunity Officer

9. Addressing the Accessibility of the One-Stop Delivery System for English Language Learners

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners) will ensure that each one-stop center is able to meet the needs of English language learners, such as through established procedures, staff training, resources, and other materials.

Accessibility

The one-stop delivery system will address accessibility for Individuals who are English language learners by identifying and attempting to bridge the barriers faced in accessing and maintaining usage of the services provided by core partners. Barriers to obtaining and maintaining services from core partners include but are not limited to transportation, awareness and understanding of services, language barriers, and familiarity with culture and civic education. The obstacles faced by English language learners when accessing the one-stop delivery system can be minimized by implementing the following:

  • Creating an inclusive environment for Iowa’s one-stop system through deliberate diversity training;
  • Provide culturally relevant and translated materials throughout the one-stop system as needed, driven by participant needs;
  • Collaboration with additional partners who can assist with the barriers;
  • Interweaving civic education in training offered to core partners and one-stop system staff;
  • Develop a cadre of diversity trainers and translators for core partner agencies; and
  • Incorporate accessibility for English language learners in the one-stop system certification process to address local policies relevant to the needs of English language learners.

IV. Coordination with State Plan Programs

Describe the methods used for joint planning and coordination among the core programs, and with the required one-stop partner programs and other programs and activities included in the Unified or Combined State Plan.

Coordination

Iowa began planning efforts for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) in early 2015 with the formation of a WIOA Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was appointed by the Governor’s Office in partnership with Iowa Workforce Development. The Steering Committee included representatives from the all of the Core Partner programs, the Governor’s Office, Iowa Workforce Development and other Key Program staff. This group was tasked with overseeing WIOA planning efforts in Iowa. The steering committee developed a strategy to ensure effective communications, created a planning timeline, established additional work groups and provided oversight for Iowa’s WIOA planning and implementation efforts. Partners were able to come together to resolve conflicts, improve processes and to meet project goals. The following workgroups were formed to carry out state planning efforts:

  • Communication and Governance
  • Statewide Services Mapping
  • Performance Accountability and Data Sharing
  • Financial
  • Career Pathways and Industry Partnerships
  • Planning, Implementation and Policy
  • One-Stop Operations and System Design
  • Youth Services

In addition to the work groups, there were several special committees established to review and make recommendations regarding topics such as universal definitions, common intake and referral processes, serving populations with barriers to employment, and accessibility.

V. Common Assurances (for all core programs)

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include assurances that—

1. The State has established a policy identifying circumstances that may present a conflict of interest for a State Board or local board member, or the entity or class of officials that the member represents, and procedures to resolve such conflicts;      Yes

2. The State has established a policy to provide to the public (including individuals with disabilities) access to meetings of State Boards and local boards, and information regarding activities of State boards and local boards, such as data on board membership and minutes;      Yes

3. The lead State agencies with optimal policy-making authority and responsibility for the administration of core programs reviewed and commented on the appropriate operational  planning elements of the Unified or Combined State Plan, and approved the elements as serving the needs of the populations served by such programs;      Yes

4. (a) The State obtained input into the development of the Unified or Combined State Plan and provided an opportunity for comment  on  the  plan  by  representatives of local boards and chief elected officials, businesses, labor organizations, institutions of higher education, the entities responsible for planning or administrating the core programs, required one-stop partners and the other Combined Plan programs (if included in the State Plan), other  primary  stakeholders, including other organizations that provide services to individuals with barriers to employment,  and  the  general  public,  and that the Unified or Combined State Plan is available and accessible to the general public; (b) The State provided an opportunity for review and comment on the plan by the State Board, including State agency official(s) for the Unemployment Insurance Agency if such official(s) is a member of the State Board;      Yes

5. The State has established, in accordance with WIOA section 116(i), fiscal control and fund accounting procedures that may be necessary to ensure the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, funds  paid  to the State through allotments made for the core programs to carry out workforce development activities;       Yes

6. The State has taken appropriate action to secure compliance with uniform administrative requirements in this Act, including that the State will annually monitor local areas to ensure compliance and otherwise take appropriate action to secure compliance with the uniform administrative requirements under WIOA section 184(a)(3);      Yes

7. The State has taken the appropriate action to be in compliance with  WIOA section 188, Nondiscrimination, as applicable;      Yes

8. The Federal funds received to carry out a core program will not be expended for any purpose other than for activities authorized with respect to such funds under that core program;      Yes

9. The State will pay an appropriate share (as defined by the State board) of the costs of carrying out section 116, from funds made available through each of the core programs;      Yes

10. The State has a One-Stop certification policy that ensures the physical and programmatic accessibility of all One-Stop centers with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA);      Yes

11. Service providers have a referral process in place for directing Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) to DVOP services, when appropriate; and      Yes

12. Priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses is provided in accordance with 38 USC 4215 in all workforce preparation, development or delivery of programs or services funded directly, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor.      Yes

VI. Program-Specific Requirements for Core Programs

The State must address all program-specific requirements in this section for the WIOA core programs regardless of whether the State submits either a Unified or Combined State Plan.

Program-Specific Requirements for Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Activities under Title I-B

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the following with respect to activities carried out under subtitle B--

a. General Requirements

1. Regions and Local Workforce Development Areas

A. Identify the regions and the local workforce development areas designated in the State.

Regions and Local Workforce Development Areas

Iowa has traditionally had 15 workforce development regions. Each of Iowa’s 15 historic regions was initially designated as a local workforce development area under WIOA section 160(b)(2). Each of Iowa’s 15 local workforce development areas is aligned; thus, under WIOA section 106(2)(A), each of Iowa’s 15 local workforce development areas also constitutes a workforce development region.

Iowa’s 15 Workforce Development Boards (WDB) are as follows.

Local Area/Region 1:

Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties.

Local Area/Region 2:

Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Floyd, Mitchell, Worth, Winnebago, and Hancock counties.

Local Area/Region 3/4:

Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, and Sioux counties.

Local Area/Region 5:

Calhoun, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Webster and Wright counties.

Local Area/Region 6:

Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama counties.

Local Area/Region 7:

Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Buchanan and Grundy counties.

Local Area/Region 8:

Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie and Sac counties.

Local Area/Region 9:

Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine and Scott counties.

Local Area/Region 10:

Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington counties.

Local Area/Region 11:

Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Polk, Story, and Warren counties.

Local Area/Region 12:

Cherokee, Ida, Monona, Plymouth and Woodbury counties.

Local Area/Region 13:

Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties.

Local Area/Region 14:

Adair, Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Montgomery, Ringgold, Taylor and Union counties.

Local Area/Region 15:

Appanoose, Davis, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Van Buren and Wayne counties.

Local Area/Region 16:

Des Moines, Henry, Lee and Louisa counties.

B. Describe the process used for designating local areas, including procedures for determining whether the local area met the criteria for “performed successfully” and “sustained fiscal integrity” in accordance with 106(b)(2) and (3) of WIOA. Describe the process used for identifying regions and planning regions under section 106(a) of WIOA. This must include a description of how the State consulted with the local boards and chief elected officials in identifying the regions.

Designation of Local Areas

At the May, 2015 State Board meeting, the board adopted procedures for the designation of local areas and the procedures are outlined below:

A. At any time, the Chief Elected Official (CEO) and Regional Workforce Development Board from any unit of general local government or combination of units may submit a request for designation as a workforce development area. The State Board must determine if the new local area meets the Governor’s policy criteria. The request will include:

1. To what extent the new local area is consistent with local labor market areas;

2. To what extent the new local area has a common economic development area;

3. A description of federal and non-federal resources available in the new local area, including appropriate education and training institutions to administer activities under the Youth, Adult and Dislocated Worker formula programs under WIOA;

4. Memorandum(s) of understanding between the CEO(s) of the new local area and local service providers, as described in the WIOA, section 121 (b), demonstrating commitment to integration and alignment of resources and services.

5. Consideration of comments received through a public comment process. The public comment period must provide at least 60 days for public comment prior to designation of the local workforce development area and provide an opportunity for representatives of interested business, education, and labor organizations to have input into the development of the formation of the local area.

B. A recommendation, including the reason and conclusion, for approval or denial as a new local area, will be made by the State Board to the Governor. The State Board may consult with any other stakeholders prior to issuing their recommendation. The decision of the Governor will be final and sent to the Chief Elected Official for the New Local Area.

C. Appeal:

1. An appeal must be filed to the State Board at the address in (b) of this section within 30 days of the date of the letter from the Governor.

2. The State Board will provide an opportunity for the CEO at their next public meeting to present their request for designation as a new area.

If the decision of the Governor and the State Board does not result in designation, the CEO may request review by the Secretary of Labor. The Secretary may require the area be designated as a workforce development area, if it is determined that the entity was not accorded procedural rights under the State appeals process or if the area meets the initial designation requirements at WIOA sec.106(b)(2).

Following adoption of the procedures for the designation of local areas, the local boards submitted initial designation decisions to Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend in September, 2015. Regions’ 3/4, 8 and 11 requested recertification of their WIOA compliant boards. Region 16 requested to change the board’s structure to conform to the new WIOA board configuration requirement and the remaining regions (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15) formally requested grandfathering of their non-compliant board structures. IWD is in receipt of the formal letters of request and documentation required for the local board certification process from all fifteen local CEO and RWDB Chairs that the RWIB’s have been constituted according to the required WIOA procedures.

All fifteen regions submitted their formal requests to continue existing service delivery area boundaries. IWD has received the required documentation and board minutes supporting the requests.

"Performed Successfully" means that the local area met or exceeded the levels of performance the Governor negotiated with the Local Board and Chief Elected Official (CEO) and the local area has not failed any individual measure for the last two consecutive program years before the enactment of WIOA.

"Met" is defined as a performance number that is greater than or equal to 90% of the negotiated goal and less than or equal to the actual negotiated goal.

"Exceed" is defined as a performance number that is above the negotiated goal.

"Failed" is defined as a performance number that falls below 90% of the negotiated goal. Performance for initial and subsequent designation is judged according to standards agreed to between the State and local area at the time of enactment rather than under subsequently imposed performance standards. Therefore, performance is judged according to achievement of the performance goals negotiated between the local boards and IWD for PY2012 and PY2013.

"Sustained Fiscal Integrity" means that the Secretary [of Labor] 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.

C. Provide the appeals process referred to in section 106(b)(5) of WIOA relating to designation of local areas.

As identified in the preceding section, the State Board adopted new procedures for designation of local areas, which included a process for appeals relating to designation of local areas. An appeal must be filed to the State Board at the appropriate address identified in the section (b) of the policy, within 30 days of the date of the letter from the Governor. The State Board will provide an opportunity for the CEO at their next public meeting to present their request for designation as a new area.

D. Provide the appeals process referred to in section 121(h)(2)(E) of WIOA relating to determinations for infrastructure funding.

State of Iowa Appeals Process Under WIOA section 121(h)(2)(E). 1. Applicability of Appeals Process.

1.1. This appeals process applies only to a one-stop partner administering a program described in 20 C.F.R. § 678.400 through 678.410 and 34 C.F.R. §§ 361.400 through 361.410. 1.2. If a one-stop partner wishes to appeal the Governor’s determination regarding the one-stop partner’s portion of funds to be provided for one-stop infrastructure costs, the one-stop partner must follow this appeals process.

2. Grounds for Appeal. A one-stop partner may only appeal the Governor’s determination regarding the one-stop partner’s portion of funds to be provided for one-stop infrastructure costs if the Governor’s determination is inconsistent with: 2.1. The proportionate share requirements in 20 C.F.R. § 678.735(a) and 34 C.F.R. § 361.735(a); 2.2. The cost contribution limitations in 20 C.F.R. § 678.735(b) and 34 C.F.R. § 361.735(b); and/or 2.3. The cost contribution caps in 20 C.F.R. § 678.738.

3. Form of Appeal.

3.1. A one-stop partner’s appeal must include all of the following: 3.2. The one-stop partner’s name; 3.3. The name of individual who will serve as the one-stop partner’s point of contact for the appeal as well as that individual’s job title, employer, telephone number, email address, and mailing address; 3.4. The program described in 20 C.F.R. §§ 678.400 through 678.410 and 34 C.F.R. §§ 361.400 through 361.410 that the one-stop partner administers; and 3.5. The grounds for the appeal under Section 3 of this Process. 3.6. All supporting documentation for the appeal in the form of an Appendix, with table of contents and numbered pages.

4. Filing of Appeal. The one-stop partner must file an appeal with all of the Iowa core partners by hand-delivery or certified U.S. Mail at the following addresses: 4.1. Iowa Workforce Development — Legal1 1000 East Grand Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50319 4.2. Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services 510 East 12th Street Des Moines, Iowa 50319 4.3. Iowa Department of Education, Adult Education and Literacy 400 East 14th Street Des Moines, Iowa 50319 4.4. Iowa Department for the Blind 524 4th Street Des Moines, Iowa 50309

5. Deadline for Appeal.

5.1. A one-stop partner’s appeal must be filed on or before the 21st day after the Governor’s determination regarding the one-stop partner’s portion of funds to be provided for one-stop infrastructure costs. If an appeal is not filed within 21 days after the Governor’s determination, it is untimely and will not be considered. 5.2. For purposes of determining the deadline, Day 1 is the day after the date of the Governor’s determination and Day 21 is the 21st day after the date of the Governor’s determination. For example, if the Governor’s determination occurred on December 1, any appeal must be filed on or before December 22. 5.3. An appeal is considered filed for purposes of calculating the deadline when it is received by all of the core partners, not when it is mailed. This means that an appealing one-stop partner must take into account the amount of time an appeal filed via certified U.S. mail will take to be received by all of the core partners. For example, an appeal that is mailed within 21 days of the Governor’s determination but not received by all of the core partners until the 22nd day after the date of the Governor’s determination is untimely and will not be considered. 5.4. If the 21st day after the Governor’s determination falls on a weekend or state holiday, then the deadline to appeal will be the next regular workday.

6. Notice of Appeal. Within five days of filing an appeal, the appealing one-stop partner must send a copy of the appeal to all other local one-stop partners within the local workforce development area and/or region in-person, via email or U.S. Mail. 7. State Board Consideration.

7.1. Within five days of receipt of a Notice of Appeal, the Core Partners shall transmit the appeal to the Chairperson of the State Workforce Development Board and provide a copy of the Notice of Appeal to all non-appealing one-stop partners. 7.2. No one-stop partner is required to submit a response to an appeal. However, if a non-appealing one-stop partner wishes to submit a response to an appeal, it must submit its response to the State Workforce Development Board within five days of its receipt of the Notice of Appeal. 7.3. Within five days of receipt of a Notice of Appeal, the Chairperson of the State Workforce Development Board shall appoint a five-person standing committee to consider the appeal. 7.4. The presiding State Workforce Development Board standing committee shall consider the submissions of all partners when considering the appeal. 7.5. At its discretion, the State Workforce Development Board standing committee may hold a hearing on the appeal. Any such hearing may be held in person and/or electronically. 7.6. The State Workforce Development Board standing committee must issue a written decision on the appeal