Initial Year Policy
  

Initial Year Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this Initial Year policy is to identify requirements for establishing local Workforce Development Board (WDB) lists and the State List of Eligible Training Providers.

Background

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) gives participants with Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) the opportunity to select their own training provider from a State List of Eligible Training Providers. After receiving core and intensive services and in consultation with case managers, WIA training participants with ITAs use the State List to make an informed choice. WIA section 122 establishes the requirements for creating and maintaining this list for the Initial Year of eligibility.

The State List is cooperatively developed and maintained by local Workforce Development Boards and the State Department of Workforce Development (DWD). It is based on the names and information contained in the 11 local WDB lists. These are submitted to the State according to the process described in this policy. In developing the policy, DWD attempted to minimize the number of barriers training providers would face to be on the list. This was done to encourage a broad participation on the Statewide "shopping" List of Eligible Training Providers.

Eligibility to be on the list for the Initial Year differs from Subsequent Years. For the Initial Year, WIA identifies two groups of programs that are automatically eligible to be on the local and State List:

  1. Postsecondary educational institutions that are eligible to receive Federal funds under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, and also provide a program that leads to an associate degree, baccalaureate degree, or certificate; and
  2. Entities that carry out programs under the National Apprenticeship Act and are registered under the Act.

For all "Other" eligible training providers, the State is required to develop the process for gaining eligibility to be on the local and State List. This "Other" group includes community-based organizations, private organizations, and postsecondary Title IV agencies that offer programs that do not lead to an associate degree, baccalaureate degree, certificate, or technical diploma.

The WIA eligibility process for training providers pertains only to Individual Training Accounts for adults and dislocated workers 18 years and older. Customized training, On-the-Job Training, and the other training exceptions identified in WIA Section 134(d)(4)(g) are not covered under this process.

Training providers may need to obtain approval or accreditation of their training programs for other reasons. The WIA process does not affect these existing approval and accreditation processes. While the approval or accreditation of a provider may be an important consideration for WIA training participants in deciding whether to use their ITA with that provider, the WIA process concentrates on providing participants with information on provider performance. This allows ITA customers to make informed choices on how to use their ITA.

The WIA Regulations 663.508 define programs of training services for ITAs as "(a) One or more courses or classes that, upon successful completion, leads to: (1) a certificate, an associate degree, or baccalaureate degree, or (2) competency or skill recognized by employers, or (b) a training regimen that provides individuals with additional skills or competencies generally recognized by employers." DWD has further defined the policy to say training for a GED is not to be considered for ITA training unless it is a part of job readiness training. Stand-alone GED preparation is allowed as an Intensive Service. DWD based this policy on the suggestion of the WIA Training Workgroup and the Dislocated Worker Workgroup that met during the summer of 1999.

Process for Development of the Local Lists

Post Secondary Educational Institutions Receiving Title IV HEA Funds

  • Applications

WIA Section 122 allows each local WDB to decide the type of application they want interested training providers, qualifying under this category, to fill out. Because the Department desires to make the State List of Eligible Training Providers easily accessible to ITA customers and staff through an ITA web-site, it asks local WDBs to use the application required for "Others" and follow the procedures described in III.C. Interested training providers will contact the local WDB where they want to provide training for an application. A sample copy of the application is in Attachment A.

Wisconsin Technical Colleges, University of Wisconsin Campuses, and others that receive funding from Title IV are eligible under this category. (Listing of Wisconsin agencies eligible to receive Title IV funding.) For information on agencies approved by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board (WEAB) visit its web site. At this WEAB site you will find a listing of schools that are required by law to be approved by WEAB. State statutes require the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board to grant approval to for-profit schools, in-state, non-profit schools incorporated after January 1, 1992, and out-of-state non-profit colleges.

Regulations 663.515(a) state in order to be considered eligible under this category, a training agency must submit an application to "local board(s) for the local area(s) in which the provider desires to provide training services." In addition, this section of the Regulations say a description of each program of training services needs to be provided.

For the Initial Year, they can be submitted continuously beginning June 1, 2000.

  • Criteria for Local Selection

All training agencies eligible under this category are automatically included on the local list. There are no criteria for selection; however, the local WDB will need to verify that the training program funded with Title IV HEA funds leads to an associate degree, baccalaureate degree, certificate, or technical diploma. If it doesn?t, the agency would fall under the requirements for "Other" described in III.C. of this document.

There are no minimum required performance levels.

  • WDB Creation of Local List

The WDB compiles the names of eligible training providers under this category and combines them with the names from Apprenticeship and "Other" categories. This composite list plus the application of each eligible provider are submitted to the Division of Workforce Excellence beginning June 1, 2000. The information is submitted electronically using the application template that will be forwarded to all WDBs. Up-dates or information on new applicants can be submitted continuously after June 1.

Apprenticeship Programs Registered Under the National Apprenticeship Act

  • Applications

WIA Section 122 gives WDBs the opportunity to decide the type of application they want interested training providers, qualifying under this category, to fill out. Because of different funding and management requirements, unique to Apprenticeship, the Division of Workforce Excellence and the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Council are studying what changes need to be made to the sample Application in Attachment A. This will occur over the next several months. The intent is to make the State List of Eligible Training Providers accessible to the 100 apprenticeship councils and the numerous private employers that offer apprenticeship opportunities in their place of work. This will give ITA customers a broader range of choices.

For the Initial Year, they can be submitted continuously beginning June 1, 2000.

  • Criteria for Local Selection

There are no criteria for selection of this group. They are automatically eligible to be on the local and State List. In addition, all apprenticeship programs in the State of Wisconsin are registered under the National Apprenticeship Act.

There are no minimum required performance levels.

  • WDB Creation of the Local List

The WDB compiles the names of eligible training providers under this category and combines them with the names from postsecondary Title IV and "Other" categories. This composite list plus the application of each eligible provider is submitted to the Division of Workforce Excellence beginning June 1, 2000. The information is submitted electronically using the application template that will be forwarded to all WDBs. Up-dates or information on new applicants can be submitted continuously after June 1, 2000.

"Other" Public or Private Agencies

  • Local Application Process

All training providers in this category are required to submit an application to local WDBs in order to be included on the local training provider list. Attachment A of this document contains a sample copy of the application form. All interested training providers will contact the local WDB where they want to provide training for an application. WDB contact information is in Attachment C.

Each Workforce Development Area is responsible for distributing the applications to providers and determining the time and manner in which they are to be submitted. The submittal information needs to be included with the distribution. DWD will notify the employment and training community of the availability of applications at each of the 11 Workforce Development Areas.

Training providers who desire to offer multiple training programs within a WDA will need a separate listing for each of the training programs to be offered. Training providers that offer multiple programs and want them identified on the State List can decide to fill out applications and identify them over a period of time. The intent for Subsequent Years is to not have training providers re-apply with the application in Attachment A for programs that are already on the State List.

For the Initial Year, they can be submitted continuously beginning June 1, 2000.

  • Criteria for Local Selection

Each local WDB will review their submitted applications. They will use the following criteria to determine if the applicant is eligible to be on the local list. A training vendor who meets all of the criteria must be included on the local list.

  • The application is complete.
  • The description of the program of training services is complete.
  • The performance information addresses: 1) program completion rates for individuals participating in the program; 2) percent of individuals who obtain unsubsidized employment; and 3) wages at placement in employment.
  • The performance information is for the most recent 12-month period.
  • The application contains the required cost information.
  • The training provider has not violated any conditions of WIA.

In addition, the local WDB will review performance information of training provider applicants in this category to determine if they have met minimum performance levels set by the State. The performance guide is in Attachment B.

  • WDB Creation of Local List

The WDB compiles the names of eligible training providers under this category and combines them with the names from postsecondary Title IV and Apprenticeship categories. This composite list plus the application of each eligible provider is submitted to the Division of Workforce Excellence beginning June 1, 2000. The information is submitted electronically using the application template that will be forwarded to all WDBs. Updates or information on new applicants can be submitted continuously after June 1, 2000.

Process for Creation and Maintenance of State List

State Acceptance and Verification of Local Lists

Upon receipt of the local list of names and applications, the Department has thirty days to verify the accuracy of the information for the "Other" group of eligible providers. If the State does not verify this group within the thirty-day time period, they will automatically be on the State List.

If it is determined a training provider in the "Other" category has not met the minimum performance requirements, DWD has the responsibility to remove the provider from the list after it has consulted with the local WDB where the training is to be provided. The rejected training provider has the right to appeal. Training programs covered under Title IV of the HEA and Apprenticeship Act are not reviewed by the State, and they cannot be removed from the State List.

Removal and Appeal Process

Training providers have a right to appeal a local or State decision denying them eligibility or terminating them on the local and State List of Eligible Training Providers. The primary reasons for denial and termination, as cited in the WIA section 122 and Regulations 663.510, are a training provider: 1) has not met performance standards, 2) has provided inaccurate information, and 3) has "substantially" violated the Act. In all cases, consultation between the State and local WDB(s) must take place before action can be taken against the training provider.

When an eligible training provider is terminated from the list, the following procedures will be followed:

  • The training provider will be notified in writing of the action to terminate, and the cause for the termination. Depending on the discussion between the local WDB(s) and the State, one of these entities will author the letter. It will be in a prescribed format agreed upon by both entities.
  • The letter will say that in 60 calendar days from the date the letter was signed, the training provider will be removed from the State List of Eligible Training Providers.
  • The letter will also inform them of the process they follow to appeal the action.

The appeal process is described in Chapter III (L) of the JTPA Policy and Procedures Manual. By 7/1/00 the manual will be updated to reflect WIA language. It is not anticipated there will be major changes in the way appeals are conducted under WIA.

Development of State List

After verifying eligible training providers in the "Other" category, the Department will organize all names and information, including postsecondary Title IV and Apprenticeship, in the State List of Eligible Training Providers. It is based on a format that ITA customers and job center staff can access through the Department?s ITA web-site. The information will be organized so that the user can identify training providers by training program or location. In using the web-site and "shopping" for a training provider, they will have a broad range of information available to them, including performance information. It will be fully accessible to persons with disabilities. For the Initial Year, the List will be available July 2000.

DWD will explore options for addressing the WIA requirement of creating a list of eligible providers of Nontraditional Occupations (NTO). It will be using the assistance of the Leadership Team on Nontraditional Employment for Women to do this.

Dissemination

DWS will notify all WDBs, training providers, One-Stop Operators, and others within the One-Stop Delivery system of its availability and how to access it. Local WDBs, in turn, will need to ensure this information is "widely available," through its One-Stop Delivery system, to customers seeking information on training outcomes, as well as participants in employment and training activities funded under WIA and other programs. The list must also be available to customers whose training is supported by other One-Stop partners.

Maintenance of the List

DWD will maintain the State List of Eligible Training Providers. It will be updated continuously after July 2000.

Summary of State and WDB Responsibilities

State Responsibilities

  1. Develops the application.
  2. Notifies the employment and training community of the availability of applications at each local Workforce Development Board.
  3. Establishes criteria for local WDBs to use in determining eligibility of "Other" training providers.
  4. Establishes the minimum performance levels for training providers under the "Other" category.
  5. Accepts local WDB lists and verifies the accuracy of the "Other" training provider information.
  6. In consultation with local WDBs removes "Other" training providers who do not meet performance levels and takes appropriate enforcement action against providers that intentionally provide inaccurate information and or "substantially" violate the Act.
  7. Compiles names and information from local lists and puts them in the format of the State List that is available through the Department?s web-site.
  8. Facilitates and maintains the appeal process.
  9. Updates the State List continuously after July 2000.

Local WDB Responsibilities

  1. Determines the time and manner all applications are to be submitted and notifies interested training providers.
  2. Distributes and accepts applications.
  3. Determines if postsecondary Title IV training programs lead to an associate degree, baccalaureate degree, certificate, or technical diploma.
  4. Reviews applications of "Other" providers and applies criteria for eligibility found in III. C., including review of minimum performance levels established by the State. (Attachment B)
  5. Compiles a list of names of eligible providers, and submits it with the applications to DWD in the electronic format prescribed by the State.
  6. Ensures the dissemination and appropriate use of the State List through the local One-Stop system.
  7. Consults with DWD in cases where termination of an eligible provider is contemplated because inaccurate information has been provided.
  8. Works with DWD in cases where the termination of an eligible provider is contemplated because of violations of the Act.
  9. Establishes limitations on dollar amount and or duration of ITAs (optional).