WIA Questions and Answers - Administration
The WIA Administration questions and answers (Q&A) may include areas such as Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIB) and Youth Councils, Chief Elected Officials, the State and local five-year plan, America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM (AJCC), formerly known as One-Stop Career Centers, Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), and more.
- ADM-WIA30 -- Both the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) 117(h)(2)(A)(v) and Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations 661.335(b)(5) specify that youth councils must include “individuals, including former participants, and members who represent organizations, that have experience relating to youth activities.” What type of “former participants” are being referenced in this requirement? Would a former participant of any type of youth program qualify, or must the individual be a former WIA participant?
Youth council members who qualify as “former participants” must be former participants of a WIA-funded program. [6/06]
- ADM-WIA29 -- What are the rules for maintaining the confidentiality of client information under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)?
The term “confidentiality” is not defined under WIA, although WIA provides guidance and requirements on this issue. The WIA 136(f)(3) requires compliance with Title 20 of the U.S. Code 1232g (General Education Provisions Act 444). Similarly, WIA regulations (Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations Preamble) provide several discussions of confidentiality, and one reference specific to individual employment plans in Section 669.400. The Employment Development Department (EDD) also includes confidentiality requirements in its WIA subgrant agreements (Exhibit BB, Item 20), which disburse WIA funds.
In general, WIA requires that any personal information that can, directly or by reasonable inference, identify a specific individual (e.g., a telephone number, a Social Security account number):
- Is collected, used, and stored in a manner that ensures that it will not be accessible to anyone not authorized to access it
- Is not collected unless needed for the provision of some service or to determine eligibility for a program
- Is not used for any purpose other than the program or service for which it was collected, unless the subject of the information (if the subject is an adult), or a parent of the subject (if the subject is a minor or dependent), provides consent for the information to be shared
- Can be released to the subject of the information upon his or her request
- Is not accessible to anyone other than those authorized to access it (including agents of oversight and regulatory entities, and in cases in which the information has been subpoenaed, parties to the legal matter)
- Is made accessible to subcontractors and researchers only with the stipulation that they adhere to the same requirements that the direct recipients and higher-tier subrecipients must follow, unless the information is provided in aggregate form only (thereby preventing the identification of any specific individual)
- Is published only in aggregate form, preventing readers from being able to identify, or reasonably infer the identity of, any individual subject
Again, that is just a general summary of what is required under WIA.
Additionally, each WIA partner program has its own statutes, regulations, directives, and policies pertaining to confidentiality. For example, EDD is required to adhere to the confidentiality requirements specified in the California Unemployment Insurance Code 1094 and 2111, and the California Civil Code 1798 – 1798.78 (the Information Practices Act). [6/06]
- ADM-WIA28 -- Is a contractor required to retain copies of all active and follow-up client files before they are transferred to another contractor?
Local workforce investment areas (local areas) are required to maintain all Workforce Investment Act (WIA) records for a minimum of three years from the date of the final payment of the subgrant agreement. If, at the end of the three years, there is litigation or an audit involving any of those records, those records must be retained until the resolution of the litigation or audit (WIA Subgrant Agreement, Exhibit BB, Item 13). This requirement is consistent with general federal administrative requirements.
Additionally, if a local area subcontracts out any of the work or services specified in the WIA Subgrant Agreement, the local area must ensure that the subcontractor performs to the standards required in the WIA Subgrant Agreement (Exhibit BB, Item 5). For example, the subcontractor must maintain its WIA records or forward them to the local area for maintenance. There is no specific requirement with respect to copying records in anticipation of a transfer of files or clients. It is the responsibility of the local area to ensure that it has written policies and procedures that will reasonably ensure the accuracy, thoroughness, accessibility, and security of WIA records during the required maintenance period. [6/06]
- ADM-WIA27 -- The WIA states that a Job Center operator may be a consortium of entities that, at a minimum, includes three or more of the one required Job Center partners. Assuming a consortium is formed with three or more required partners, could it also include non-required Job Center partners? Could a Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) executive director be part of a consortium?
Neither the Act nor the regulations stipulate that all of the consortium partners must be required Job Center partners, as long as at least three are required partners. Title 20 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 662.400(a), allows for entities that are not required Job Center partners to be selected as Job Center operators. Therefore, a consortium chosen as a Job Center operator may include partners that are not required Job Center partners, provided that at least three of the consortium entities are required partners. However, an individual such as the LWIB executive director may not be included as a partner in a Job Center operator consortium. An “entity” is meant to be an organization or an agency, not an individual. [7/05]
Yes. The WIA Section 117(h)(2)(A)(i) states that the membership of each Youth Council shall include members of the local board with special interest or expertise in youth policy. A representative from the local K-12 system, appointed to the Local Workforce Investment Board, could be appointed to the Youth Council and fill this need. [7/05]
- ADM-WIA25 -- How can individuals file complaints regarding administrative, training or discrimination issues pertaining to their participation in WIA programs?
Customers alleging that the Local Workforce Investment Area (LWIA) has violated administrative provisions of WIA or who have a complaint about a service provider, may file a complaint with the LWIA and with the state subsequently if the issue is not resolved at the local level.
Customers, alleging discrimination or violation of equal opportunity laws, may file a complaint with the local Equal Opportunity Officer with the LWIA or directly with the Civil Rights Center (CRC) of the Department of Labor (DOL). Consequences vary depending on the nature and severity of the violation. [7/05]
- ADM-WIA24 -- Are illegal aliens prevented from accessing a local Job Center centers to obtain job leads?
No. There are no federal or state restrictions regarding who may use a Job Center. A Job Center provides universal access for many self-service activities, including job search. [6/05]
- ADM-WIA22 -- How long are contractors required to retain their client files after the 12-month follow up?
While neither the WIA nor the Regulations address record retention requirements for contractors, Federal Administrative Requirements hold Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIA) responsible for maintaining all records for not less than three years after a grant has been closed out and audited. While working within this guideline, the LWIA should develop a policy reflecting a reasonable effort to meet the needs of local area monitoring, and state monitoring and auditing. [10/04]
- ADM-WIA21 -- We would like to advertise our WIA programs in small announcements on radio or television. To minimize our advertising costs, we need to keep these announcements as brief as possible. Are we required to include the tag lines, “equal opportunity employer/program” and “auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities”?
No, Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations Section 37.34(b) states that publications and broadcasts in the news media must state that the program or activity is an equal opportunity employer or program, and does make auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. However, the exact wording of the tag lines is not specified. It is, therefore, permissible to use more concise wording as long as the policies of nondiscrimination and reasonable accommodation are communicated. [2/04]
Yes. In developing policy to govern the workforce system, WIA does not prohibit a local area from limiting its expenditure of WIA funds to participants who reside in the local area. Section 661.120 of the WIA Regulations gives states and local areas responsibility to develop WIA policies as long as they are consistent with the law, regulations, federal policy and, in the case of local areas, state policy. Since the state has not developed a policy in regards to residency, the local areas may develop such a policy at their discretion. [10/03]
- ADM-WIA18 -- Is a youth council mandated to have a youth coordinator? If so, how is that position funded?
No. The WIA does not mandate that a youth coordinator position be assigned to the youth council. This is a Local Workforce Investment Area (LWIA) staffing decision. [12/02]
- ADM-WIA17 -- Are the WIA participant application, enrollment, exit and follow-up forms on the WIA Web site that I may download?
No. While the WIA data forms you have listed are not available through the Employment Development Department’s Workforce Services Division (WID) Web site, you may contact the WID’s Job Training Automation (JTA) Help Desk in order to receive hard copies (916/653-0202). Currently, computerized copies of these forms for data entry may be accessed only by authorized users of the JTA system. [10/02]
- ADM-WIA15 -- Does the Chief Elected Officials (CEO) determine the membership size and composition of the board? Is a vote required of the Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) to determine size and composition of the board itself or is such a vote only a recommendation to the CEO?
Section 117(c) of the Act empowers the CEO to select the membership of the LWIB. In appointing the board, the CEO must meet the criteria stated in Section 117(b) that assures a board will be composed of a specific cross section of decision makers in the community. While the Act identifies certain representatives as required members, it is silent regarding the number of representatives that must be seated on the board. The Act also allows for the appointment of “…other individuals or representatives of entities as the chief elected official in the local area may determine to be appropriate” [Section 117(b)(2)(B)]. Since the Act is silent on the issue of voting as it relates to board size and composition, this action would be a LWIB decision. [4/03]
- ADM-WIA14 -- Do the Protocols and Guidelines for State Monitoring apply to Regional Advisors as well as State Monitors?
No. The Employment Development Department (EDD) Regional Advisors are the Department’s technical assistance staff. The monitoring protocols apply only to reviews completed by the Department’s compliance monitors. [10/02]
- ADM-WIA13 -- When do you assess whether a Local Workforce Investment Area (LWIA) is within the five percent window of serving youth who are not income eligible?
The five percent window is measured on a program year basis. However, from a program management point of view systems should be in place to track this as you go along. This will avoid surprises at the end of the program year and afford the opportunity to make corrections as you go along. [9/02]
- ADM-WIA12 -- A Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) is considering changing from Individual Training Accounts (ITA), a voucher system, to a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) method as the primary means of procuring training. The ITAs are cited as the primary means of procuring training, with an option to use alternative means, in the approved local five-year plan. Would this require a 30-day comment period before release of the RFP’s, or would the original 30-day comment period for the local plan of a year ago suffice?
The LWIB must first ensure that the proposed change in service procurement methodology from ITAs to RFPs meets one of the three allowable circumstances under which this may be done, as stated in Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 20 CFR), Section 663.430:
- When the services provided are on-the-job training (OJT) or customized training, or
- When the LWIB determines that there is an insufficient number of eligible providers in the local area to accomplish the purpose of a system of ITAs. The Local Plan must describe the process to be used in selecting the providers under a contract for services. The process must include a public comment period for interested providers of at least 30 days.
- When the LWIB determines that there is a training services program of demonstrated effectiveness offered in the area by a community-based organization or another private organization to serve special populations with multiple barriers to employment (see Title 20 CFR Section 663.430 for the full text).
If number two above is applicable, then the Local Plan must describe this. If the approved plan described the circumstances and reasons under which an “alternative means” would be used to procure training and it clearly described that means (i.e., the RFP process in sufficient detail), then it may suffice without having to be modified. However, if the approved plan is not sufficiently specific, then there would have to be a plan modification with a required 30 day public comment period.
If number two above is not applicable, there are four additional situations in which the Governor may require a plan modification and the attendant 30-day comment period. The Governor has decided that all four of these apply in California (refer to Directive WIAD05-5, Subject: Local Plan Modifications PY 2005-06, October 5, 2005, “Background,” and to Title 20 CFR, Section 661.355). These are:
- Significant changes in local economic conditions
- Changes in the financing available to support WIA Title I and partner-provided WIA services
- Changes to the LWIB structure
- A need to revise strategies to meet performance goals
The first three would not be applicable regarding the question. However, if the proposed change in service procurement methodology is for the purpose of revising strategies in order to meet performance goals, then a plan modification would be required to indicate such, which would then require a 30 day comment period as part of the modification process. [6/02]
Directive WIAD00-7, Subject: Standards for Oversight and Instructions for Substate Monitoring (April 10, 2001), transmitted the federal and State requirements regarding local area monitoring responsibilities. The directive includes appropriate citations from WIA, the Code of Federal Regulations, and links to relevant Office of Management and Budget Circulars. [6/02]
- ADM-WIA10 -- Has the California Workforce Investment Board (CalWIB)established standardized methods or policy for determining if funds are limited in local areas, or is this still a local decision?
The methodology used to determine whether or not funding is limited in a local area is not currently defined at the state level and is a local decision. However, the CalWIB is interested in standardizing the methods that are used to determine if funds are limited and may develop policy for local areas to use in making this determination in the future. [3/02]
- ADM-WIA09 -- To meet the 50% + 1 business requirement on the Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB), is a nonprofit business (such as a hospital or a credit union) considered a business? Must business representatives on the LWIB represent private-for-profit businesses?
The WIA Section 117(b) does not specify whether nonprofit entities meet the definition of “business” for identifying LWIB membership or whether this definition means for-profit businesses only. Since the Governor has not provided any further policy guidance regarding this requirement, it is a Local Workforce Investment Area’s (LWIA) responsibility to select members that appropriately represent the interests and character of the community. To reinforce the importance of accuracy and balance in board representation, the selection criteria found in Section 117 of the Act also states that the representatives must be “…appointed from among individuals nominated by local business organizations and business trade associations.” [12/01]
- ADM-WIA08 -- Do Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIA) have the flexibility to design the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process required by WIA?
Yes. The LWIAs should refer to Title 29 CFR, Part 37, Section 37.76, regarding the ADR process. The Department of Labor (DOL) added this requirement in response to input from complainants and recipients who wanted a more flexible, less adversarial means of resolving discrimination complaints. Complainants still have the right to file a complaint with the Center of Civil Rights (CRC) if they use the ADR process. [7/01]
Client files must be retained for as long as the client is receiving services. Once services to the client are terminated, the file must be retained for three years per WIA Directive WIAD05-16. In the case of litigation or an audit initiated prior to the end of the three years, the files must be retained until resolution, in accordance with Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 97.42 and Title 29 CFR Section 95.53, or for three years, in accordance with WIA Directive WIAD05-16, whichever date is later. [10/06]
- ADM-WIA06 -- What is the WIA system’s response when a client expresses dissatisfaction? Are there any major adverse repercussions?
Customers, alleging that the Local Workforce Investment Area (LWIA) has violated provisions in WIA or its regulations, may file a complaint with the LWIA and, if not resolved, with the State. Consequences resulting from the complaint depend on the nature of the complaint.
Customers, alleging a violation of nondiscrimination or equal opportunity laws, may file a complaint with the local Equal Opportunity Officer or directly with the Civil Rights Center (CRC) of the Department of Labor (DOL). Consequences vary depending on the nature and severity of the violation.
As a service to potential customers, the state’s online Eligible Training Provider List will eventually provide performance data on each training service provider. This information will include statistical information regarding the provider’s success in offering training services to customers along with other information rating customer satisfaction with the services provided. This will provide potential customers with important information so that they may make informed choices in selecting training programs. [4/03]
- ADM-WIA05 -- Is there a conflict of interest if you receive funding from WIA and serve on the Youth Council?
There would not be a conflict of interest as long as the Youth Council representative abides by the Standards of Conduct in the WIA Subgrant Agreement between the State and the Local Workforce Investment Area (LWIA). The Standards of Conduct require that “(e)very reasonable course of action will be taken by the Subgrantee in order to maintain the integrity of this expenditure of public funds and to avoid favoritism and questionable or improper conduct. This agreement will be administered in an impartial manner, free from efforts to gain personal, financial or political gain.” The Standards further require that “(a)n executive or employee of the Subgrantee, an elected official in the area or a member of the Local Workforce Investment Board, will not solicit or accept money or any other consideration from a third person, for the performance of an act reimbursed in whole or in part by the Subgrantee or the Subgrantor. Supplies, materials, equipment or services will be used solely for the purposes allowed under this agreement. No member of the Local Board will cast a vote on the provision of services by that member (or any organization, which that member represents) or vote on any matter which would provide direct financial benefit to that member (or immediate family of the member) or any business or organization which the member directly represents.” [6/01]
Yes. The CAP is a separately funded Vocational Rehabilitation program under Title 1 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and as such, a required Job Center partner, as stated at WIA Section 121(b)(1)(B)(iv). [4/01]
- ADM-WIA02 -- Must each Local Workforce Investment Area (LWIA) have an Equal Opportunity (EO) Officer?
Yes. Each LWIA must designate an EO Officer who is responsible for coordinating its obligations under the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of WIA Section 188 and Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 37.23. [4/03]