Guidance to Vocational Rehabilitation and the other “Core” and “Required” service programs identified in WIOA emphasizes customer service for job seekers and business customers in terms of “collective impact”.
“To amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to strengthen the United States workforce development system through innovation in, and alignment and improvement of, employment, training and education programs in the United States, and to promote individual and national economic growth, and for other purposes.” (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, H.R. 803 1/3/14)
What is the vision for customer service under WIOA?
Under WIOA, partner programs and entities that are jointly responsible for workforce and economic development, educational, and other human resource programs collaborate to create a seamless customer-focused one-stop delivery system that integrates service delivery across all programs and enhances access to the programs’ services (tac-15-01 RSA, page 3).
We are engaged in multiple conversations across the country on what this means for State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies. There are many questions that are a part of this discourse:
- What is integration and how is it manifested in American Job Centers (AJCs) in different states?
- How does the Career Pathways Service Model engage all of the Job Center customers?
- How does the VR leadership strengthen the outcomes for people with disabilities in the collaborative service system?
- How do VR programs and their customers benefit from an aligned service approach?
- What approaches in developing agreements are needed to support this system?
Service integration involves: A combination of strategies to align and simplify access to client services and supports with the goal of providing the best experience possible. Implementation of a distinctive mix of partner agencies, strategies and processes based on the resources available, the needs of the clients served and WIOA requirements. Inclusion of new practices initiated by WIOA into the Workforce and the Core Partners’ service systems, impacting the following:
- Service delivery policies and procedures
- Management information systems
- Performance management systems
In this tool kit, you will find resources in the form of guidance, literature, and practice. There are toolkits and recorded training events or webinars, as well as opportunities for members of your team to engage in discussions regarding topics that are most significant in addressing the changes for your organization. We hope that you will take an opportunity to explore the information posted, participate in our webinars, and join one of our Community of Practice topic discussions.
If your questions or interest in the Service Integration and Alignment of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services in the American Job Centers is of a wider scope than the information available in this tool kit, we would enjoy hearing your suggestions of how this resource can be strengthened.