EXAMPLES IN ACTION Interagency policy alignment, collaboration, coordination and braiding/blending The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA, requires, among other things, states to develop and implement a unified or combined state plan. A unified state plan includes the state’s strategic vision and operational planning elements for the core programs (e.g., vocational rehabilitation) included in the comprehensive workforce development system. The combined state plan includes optional educational or social service programs not considered core programs (e.g., state’s welfare program). This unified or combined state plan should act as a blueprint to facilitate crossagency collaboration with the goal of increasing employment outcomes for jobseekers, including those with disabilities. Led by the National Disability Institute, or NDI, with funding from the ODEP, the LEAD Center has developed materials and resources to assist states and other stakeholders in better understanding the requirements under WIOA as they relate to the unified or combined state plan. These materials and resources can be used to evaluate any state plan and help ensure it is meeting its obligation to include individuals with disabilities and promote cross-agency collaboration.
Iowa State Unified Plan “Iowa operates under an Integrated Service Delivery model to ensure all customers are afforded a
Blended Funding, the Oregon Way The Oregon’s Youth Transition Program is powered by collaboration between the University of Oregon and several agencies, including the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Department, or OVRD. According to National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth,
comprehensive blend of services designed to jointly place them into full-time, non-seasonal employment or upgraded agricultural employment.” “Efforts to blend and braid funds, as well as establish uniform payment systems among state partners continues to be viewed as Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) priority areas going forward.”
California State Unified Plan California’s state unified plan puts an emphasis on braiding resources and integrating and aligning services through the creation of ‘value-added’ partnerships at the state, regional, and local levels. Including, braiding resources from WIOA Title I Adult and Youth programs with WIOA Title II programs to provide supportive services to those attending basic education and skills programs so as to facilitate both course and program completion.
Florida State Unified Plan “Collaborations such as High School/High Tech (HSHT), Project SEARCH, and postsecondary education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education. They also provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be applied.” The LEAD Center has more examples of how states have pursued these efforts in their respective state plans.
or NCWD/Y, “This partnership was created to provide extensive transition services to youth focusing on the areas of self-determination; post-school planning; job training and placement; academic, vocational and personal-social instruction; and post-school followup… The OVRD pays for half of the project upkeep for any LEA that can match their contribution. The LEAs administer the blended funds that pay for communitybased transition specialists. The University of Oregon continues to contribute training and technical assistance to the program.”
42 The Council of State Governments • National Conference of State Legislatures
As states strive to promote workforce inclusion, people with disabilities—including veterans with service connected disabilities—are a key p...