As part of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), all states are required to submit a combined workforce plan by April 1, 2016. The plan is required to align several of the state’s largest workforce programs, including:
• Title I of WIOA, which funds county OhioMeansJobs Centers and job training and job search assistance programs for adults, dislocated workers and low-income youth;
• The Wagner-Peyser Act Program, which funds a variety of employment services to connect job seekers and employers;
• Adult Basic and Literacy Education, which funds high school equivalency preparation, adult math, reading and literacy courses; and
• The Vocational Rehabilitation Program through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, which supports vocational rehabilitation programs for individuals with disabilities.
Ohio has chosen three additional programs to include in the state’s combined plan including:
• Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education, which provides funding for career technical training for secondary and post-secondary students;
• Senior Community Service Employment Program, which is a community service and work-based job training program for older Ohioans; and
• Jobs for Veterans State Grants Programs, which helps veterans find jobs through employment services at local OhioMeansJobs Centers.
Ohio is uniquely positioned to be a nationwide leader in this effort, with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation working with stakeholders throughout 2014 to develop a unified state workforce plan, incorporating many of the programs that are now required under WIOA. Together with local program providers and state policymakers, the plan made several recommendations to improve the workforce system, and better connect Ohio employers with qualified workers.
Over the next several months, we will again be engaging with local providers and state agency partners to build upon Ohio’s unified state workforce plan.