WIOA State Plan for the State of Oklahoma

Overview

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Governor of each State must submit a Unified or Combined State Plan to the U.S. Secretary of Labor that outlines a four-year workforce development strategy for the State’s workforce development system. The publicly-funded workforce system is a national network of Federal, State, regional, and local agencies and organizations that provide a range of employment, education, training, and related services and supports to help all jobseekers secure good jobs while providing businesses with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. States must have approved Unified or Combined State Plans in place to receive funding for core programs. WIOA reforms planning requirements, previously governed by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), to foster better alignment of Federal investments in job training, to integrate service delivery across programs and improve efficiency in service delivery, and to ensure that the workforce system is job-driven and matches employers with skilled individuals. One of WIOA’s principal areas of reform is to require States to plan across core programs and include this planning process in the Unified or Combined State Plans. This reform promotes a shared understanding of the workforce needs within each State and fosters development of more comprehensive and integrated approaches, such as career pathways and sector strategies, for addressing the needs of businesses and workers. Successful implementation of many of these approaches called for within WIOA requires robust relationships across programs. WIOA requires States and local areas to enhance coordination and partnerships with local entities and supportive service agencies for strengthened service delivery, including through Unified or Combined State Plans.

Options for Submitting a State Plan

A State has two options for submitting a State Plan — a Unified State Plan or a Combined State Plan. At a minimum, a State must submit a Unified State Plan that meets the requirements described in this document and outlines a four-year strategy for the core programs. The six core programs are—
 


 
Alternatively, a State may submit a Combined State Plan that meets the requirements described in this document and outlines a four-year strategy for WIOA’s core programs plus one or more of the Combined Plan partner programs. When a State includes a Combined State Plan partner program in its Combined State Plan, it need not submit a separate plan or application for that particular program. If included, Combined State Plan partner programs are subject to the “common planning elements” (Sections II and III of this document) where specified, as well as the program-specific requirements for that program. The Combined State Plan partner programs are—
 

 
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* States that elect to include employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.) under a Combined State Plan would submit all other required elements of a complete CSBG State Plan directly to the Federal agency that administers the program. Similarly, States that elect to include employment and training activities carried by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) and 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 that are included would submit all other required elements of a complete State Plan for those programs directly to the Federal agency that administers the program.

How State Plan Requirements Are Organized

The major content areas of the Unified or Combined State Plan include strategic and operational planning elements. WIOA separates the strategic and operational elements to facilitate cross-program strategic planning.
 


 
When responding to Unified or Combined State Plan requirements, States must identify specific strategies for coordinating programs and services for target populations.* While discussion of and strategies for every target population is not expected, States must address as many as are applicable to their State’s population and look beyond strategies for the general population.
 
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* Target populations include individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in WIOA Sec. 3, as well as veterans, unemployed workers, and youth.

This is Oklahoma’s Unified Strategic Four-year State Workforce Development Plan for Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, housed at the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development (OOWD) and implemented through the state’s local workforce development areas, the Wagner-Peyser Act (Title III), housed at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC), the Adult Education and Literacy Program (Title II), housed at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE), and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV), housed at the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS).

The plan covers the period from April 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020. This plan was developed in consultation with Governor Mary Fallin, OOWD, and the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED or Governor’s Council), which serves as the statewide workforce development board, OESC, DRS, and ODCTE. Representatives from economic development, education, the business community, and other interested parties (though the state’s Key Economic Networks (KENs), discussed in section II, A-C) were consulted through their involvement on the GCWED, State Workforce Youth Council, now the GCWED Youth Program Committee, and local workforce boards.

Discussion and request for feedback were conducted in forums with the Oklahoma Association of Workforce Development Boards, and GCWED committees, including the Workforce System Oversight Committee and the Career Pathways Committee. The original version of the plan was posted to the Oklahoma Works website (www.OklahomaWorks.gov) in January 2016 for a 30-day comment period. Comments were reviewed and, where practical, incorporated. Other comments received will be incorporated as part of future modifications to this plan.

This process ensures that the State Plan is a living document, ever evolving and provides value and focus to our efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Oklahoma’s workforce development system.

In June 2015, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) became the new WIOA Title I Grant Recipient Agency and the State WIOA Title I Administrative Agency. The Office of Workforce Solutions at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) transferred to OSU-OKC and was renamed the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development.

Plan Contact:

Michael Widell, Deputy Secretary of Workforce Development

Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

900 N. Portland Avenue

Oklahoma City, OK 73107

405-945-3284

Services to State Target Populations:

The initiatives and activities in this plan directly support Governor Mary Fallin’s strategic economic and workforce development vision known as Oklahoma Works and is consistent with state and federal law. Oklahoma Works, the state’s umbrella initiative, is inclusive of all State Agency Workforce System Partners who represent the voices of our target populations, including our WIOA Core Partners and is aligned to WIOA requirements.

Specifically, OK-WDES, Oklahoma’s Workforce Data Quality Initiative longitudinal database project, will align state data systems to better allow for the identification of determinants and benchmarks along all levels of education and training that lead to employability in the State’s demand sectors and occupations. The development of a common intake portal to identify workforce related social services for which clients are eligible and the relaunch of OKJobMatch, the state’s labor exchange system, will provide better and more relevant job search information and will be fully accessible to our wide range of partners. A relaunch of the OklahomaWorks.gov website, the comprehensive platform for Oklahoma’s workforce development activities, will be fully accessible to our wide range of partners. The expansion and creation of apprenticeship opportunities through leveraged partnerships will result in expanded training and certification of Oklahoma Works system staff through system-wide partnerships of programs and shared costs in addition to other efforts to improve and access thereto for all Oklahomans, including those services needed by our target populations.

Similarly, the standards developed through our various state initiatives will be part of the workforce center certification process under WIOA, to certify our state’s workforce centers, called Oklahoma Works Centers. The workforce system certification process, called No Wrong Door, to be carried out after the initial implementation of WIOA, will ensure standards are implemented. The center and system certification processes are designed to provide improved access and services to ALL clients. Oklahoma also intends to use the career pathways process as a key strategy to better serve clients within these special populations. The Career Pathways framework is described in Section II Strategic Elements under C, State Strategy, Section 1.

With regional and statewide systemic integration and innovation, Oklahoma strives to connect employers (the new WIOA customer) with the skilled workforce needed to succeed and to create jobs, and to raise the education and skill levels of all citizens (including those in WIOA Sec. 3) including dislocated workers, veterans, individuals with disabilities, youth, individuals with limited English proficiency, and low-income individuals.

Dislocated Workers

Oklahoma’s Dislocated Worker programs are operated on a year-round basis by the local workforce development areas. Funds allocated must be used to provide career services. There are three types of career services: basic career services, individualized career services, and follow-up services. Basic career services include eligibility determinations, outreach and intake, initial assessments, labor exchange, and referrals. Individualized career services are determined by workforce staff if necessary for an individual to obtain or retain employment. Follow-up services must be made available as determined appropriate by the Local WDB, for a minimum of 12 months following the first day of employment, to participants who are placed in unsubsidized employment. The Dislocated Worker program in Oklahoma is fully integrated with the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.

Veterans and Others Eligible for Services under Jobs for Veterans State Grants

In Oklahoma, veterans and others eligible for services under Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSGs) are identified at various points of entry into Oklahoma’s workforce development system. All customers so identified receive priority of service. Through an assessment process using a state provided military registration checklist designed to determine significant barriers to employment, eligible veteran customers at Workforce Centers determined to have significant barriers to employment or designated as eligible by the U.S. Department of Labor are referred for services to a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP) when and where available. Those veterans served at Centers lacking an assigned DVOP, or if the DVOP is not available, are referred for services to other Workforce Center staff for services. Workforce Centers are also required to have a flowchart describing the process for veteran customers being served, how a significant barrier to employment is determined and when the eligible veteran is referred to the DVOP for services. OKJobMatch, the state job match and case management system, also identifies veterans with significant barriers to employment when veterans are registered in the system for center staff to refer to DVOPs.

All local office staff and workforce system partners performing labor exchange through the current Oklahoma electronic workforce system are required to provide veterans and other eligible persons with priority of service. Close monitoring through system reports, field visits, and training is conducted to ensure legislative requirements for veterans are followed. Additionally, all Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) are required by state policy OETI-25-2009 (Oklahoma Employment and Training Issuance) to ensure that priority of service is applied throughout their respective service delivery systems, including service delivery points maintained by all sub-recipients. The State priority of service policy obligates LWDBs to monitor local service delivery operations to ensure that their internal policies and procedures result in compliance with the priority of service requirements. Furthermore, OETI-25-2009 requires LWDBs to have policy and procedures in place for priority of service for veterans in their area.

The State assures that veterans and others eligible for JVSG-funded services will be afforded employment and training activities authorized in section 134 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and the activities authorized in Chapters 41 and 42 of Title 38 U.S.C. The State assures that it will comply with the Priority of Service for Veterans established in the Job for Veterans Act (Public Law 107-288). The State and the Veterans Employment and Training Service have a memorandum of understanding to ensure services will be provided to veterans as described in Title 38 U.S.C., Chapters 41, 42 and 43; at 20 CFR Chapter IX, CFR, codified at 20 CFR 1001, 100; and all applicable Training and Employment Guidance Letters (TEGLs) and Veterans’ Program Letters (VPLs).

All four workforce regions follow TEGLs 10-09 and TEGL 3-15 with respect to Priority of Service for Veterans.

Individuals with Disabilities

Oklahoma is focused upon accessibility for all job seekers and businesses and employer work sites throughout all levels of Oklahoma Works. Working with the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), state agency workforce system partners bring sharper focus on developing, supporting, and employing more Oklahoman’s with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities.

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services is leading Oklahoma’s Workforce System towards enhanced accessibility. The objective is to provide equitable services to individuals with disabilities and to ensure that all Workforce System partners comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Access for All initiative within Oklahoma Works places a focus on recruitment, hiring, and promotion of individuals with disabilities. Access for All focuses on the Oklahoma Works system partners as well as employers in the state. This initiative provides training, consulting, and resources to ensure that individuals with disabilities are intentionally included in efforts to achieve greater household wealth for Oklahomans. Access for All equips Oklahoma’s Workforce System with knowledge and resources to make it more accessible to individuals with disabilities that utilize one-stop system programs in person, on the phone, or through the web. Access for All is brought to Oklahoma Works through a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (Oklahoma’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program) and Oklahoma ABLE Tech (Oklahoma’s Assistive Technology Act Program).

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC), the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development (OOWD), and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE) through the Oklahoma Works centers, strive to expand capacity, enhance partnerships, and improve service delivery to improve training and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. Staff work daily with a variety of partners locally and across the state that provide services to individuals with disabilities and the general population either directly at the Oklahoma Works centers or through referrals to partner facilities.

These partners include education/training institutions; employers; healthcare, mental health, and childcare facilities; faith-based organizations; community-based non-profits; legal assistance providers; and other state and federal agencies, such as the Department of Rehabilitation Services, Veterans Administration, Department of Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Corrections. Many of these linkages are formal and codified in memorandums of understanding.

OESC, OOWD, and ODCTE work to develop and support increased employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities (utilizing appropriate state and federal funding streams). Oklahoma Works Center staff routinely refer individuals with disabilities to the OKDRS for more intensive training and job placement opportunities. OKDRS has three certified Social Security Administration (SSA) Work Incentive Counselors working and co-located within Workforce Centers and another three rotating between the remainder of the Oklahoma Works Centers and OKDRS offices.

Oklahoma Works Center staff and OKDRS Benefits Planners collaborate to assist job seekers receiving SSA benefits. Specifically, when referred by center staff, an OKDRS Benefits Planner will explain the importance of working at the highest possible level and above SSA’s Substantial Gainful Activity benchmark. Job seekers are provided general information concerning the impact of work on SSA disability benefits. Upon applying for VR services, these individuals would then also receive detailed reports illustrating the impact of work on other benefits and services the individual may be receiving, such as TANF, SNAP, UI compensation, Veteran’s benefits, etc. OKDRS Benefits Planners address concerns of individuals with disabilities about the possibility of losing benefits and help them understand and maximize their work incentives.

OESC began a two-phase project focusing upon physical and programmatic accessibility entitled “Thinking Accessibility” within the Workforce Centers, UI Service Centers, UI Adjudication Centers and the Appeal Tribunal. This partnership brings OKDRS and OKABT together to provide the resources and tools to assist OESC on continuing their commitment in serving individuals with disabilities.

Oklahoma Adult Education Program - serving individuals with disabilities

Adults with disabilities fall into two major categories: individuals with physical disabilities and individuals with learning disabilities. Strategies for adults with physical disabilities will include ensuring that classroom sites are accessible and that reasonable and appropriate accommodations are made for the individual’s disability. Adult secondary students who may need accommodations on the high school equivalency test will be referred to OKDRS, psychologists, or other resources to obtain the required documentation of a learning disability.

Adults with learning disabilities usually possess an information processing dysfunction which interferes with their ability to acquire, remember, and/or retrieve information. Strategies for adults with both learning and physical disabilities include, training for adult education teachers on teaching adults with learning and other disabilities.

The Oklahoma Adult Education (ABE) program is in its fourth year of an intensive training effort in teaching adults with learning disabilities and other learning differences. This training prepares adult education teachers to use the ten-minute interview and the Payne Learning Needs Inventory to identify the learning strengths and needs of students, to identify accommodations, when needed, and how to use appropriate instructional strategies with adults with disabilities. A key strategy which teachers learn is how to become “co-investigators” with the student into the learning process. Adult education teachers were trained as “trainers” and are conducting regional teacher training workshops to help other teachers learn how to more effectively meet the needs of educationally-disadvantaged adults with disabilities.

Business and Employer Outreach

Oklahoma’s Workforce System recognizes opportunities to reach Oklahoma’s businesses and employers with a powerful message of Access for All. Through relationships old and new, OKDRS and OKABT will lead the workforce partners in working to arrange and deliver training to businesses and employers that will reduce their hesitation to hire job seekers with disabilities and to identify ways to educate about the benefits of directly recruiting and hiring job seekers with disabilities. The creation of fact sheets and other concise deliverables will help businesses and employers to understand not only their obligations, but also the importance of hiring and promoting job seekers with disabilities.

OKDRS utilizes its ADA Coordinator as a resource to provide consultation, technical assistance, and site reviews to identify accessibility issues to all workforce system partners and other agencies, entities, and businesses and employers. The OKDRS ADA Coordinator provides training in various aspects of the Americans with Disability Act and the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design to staff and supervisors of these entities as well. These services are available in order to advance the promotion of equal access for individuals with disabilities in programs, services, and buildings statewide.

OKDRS delivers assistive technology for job seekers in their journey to employment. Assistive technology specialists complete a variety of different assistive technology assessments and evaluations for job seekers, business work sites, and system partners. The types of evaluations are home modifications, vehicle modifications, personal mobility needs, computer access, worksite modifications and activities of daily living, communication school accommodations, and accessibility reviews. Assistive technology specialists focus on the reported obstacle, rather than the disability diagnosis. A big part of an assistive technology evaluation is to identify what the real problem or obstacle is for the individual job seeker or business work site.

Oklahoma Works Center certification policy standards for accessibility

Oklahoma’s Workforce System commitment on enhanced accessibility will continue by ‘Thinking Accessibility’ while serving individuals with disabilities. The “Accessibility = Access for All” within the Oklahoma Works workforce system, is a standard that has been set to springboard success for Oklahoma’s business and employers and job seekers in reaching Oklahoma’s goal of Wealth Generation.

The Oklahoma Works Center standards and certification criteria policy will be designed utilizing the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) for physical accessibility. The Oklahoma Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Law and Standards will be applied for accessibility of digital services. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Levels A and AA, will be utilized for websites, web applications, and digital documents certification criteria and standards.

Ensuring opportunities for all is critical to meet the goal of creating an environment where people with disabilities have the same opportunities to participate in the workforce as do people without disabilities. As businesses and employers find that the labor pool is tightening, following through on these criteria and standards will ensure businesses and employers have access to more qualified people to fill needed positions.

OKDRS assesses every Oklahoma Works Center for accessibility and provides local program guidance to ensure access for everyone.

Youth

Oklahoma is aiming at ways of getting the most out of education programs while intermingling the programs into industry standards as the basis of all goals and ensuring that partner resources and practices are accessible and shared.

We are committed to providing youth with the skills and tools necessary for successful participation in education and training programs, resulting in credentials and/ or degrees and employment in careers in high demand sectors.

The State Youth Program Committee was established to identify and address youth workforce issues. The current state of Oklahoma’s youth population is constantly scanned to ensure advancement for the purpose of developing a statewide plan in support of youth and a communication infrastructure that will inform and engage all stakeholders. This includes dropout prevention for youth 14 and above (14-21) and recovery strategies for those disengaged youth (16-24) years of age.

The State Youth Program committee consists of various state agency representatives, Job Corps, non-profit groups specializing in youth issues, private sector representatives, and youth participants in various state and federal programs. The Committee provides recommendations on policy and performance for the development and implementation of WIOA youth funded programs statewide, and creates an Oklahoma workforce strategy for youth that aligns with youth initiatives and provides common solutions that coordinate with the state’s economic goals building wealth creation for all Oklahomans.

Since educational attainment among youth and adults is a critical component of workforce development, the State Workforce Youth Programs committee, working with the Governor’s Council, will establish and measure targets for educational attainment in Oklahoma. One of the primary goals for the State Workforce Youth committee will be developing a strategy to increase the educational attainment targets. Initial targets may include: percentage of Oklahomans completing 8th grade; percentage of Oklahomans attaining a high school diploma or GED; percentage of Oklahomans attaining an associate degree or industry-recognized credential/certificate; percentage of Oklahomans attaining a bachelor’s degree.

All youth activities focus on developing Oklahoma’s youth to meet the demands of Oklahoma business. This philosophy includes emphasis on increasing the high school graduation rate so that Oklahoma has the highest rate in the nation, expansion of the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) program in Oklahoma high schools and postsecondary institutions, expansion of early childhood education, increasing the number of postsecondary graduates in the state, and introducing youth, educators, and parents to Oklahoma’s targeted industry sectors (ecosystems), the skills needed, and the career pathways and opportunities available. This vision requires facilitating and modeling meaningful youth involvement and creating system-wide solutions by aligning workforce development, education, youth-serve agencies and non-profits, and business to improve opportunities and the quality of life for Oklahoma’s youth.

The Oklahoma State Youth Program Committee promotes youth development by facilitating the collaboration and alignment of statewide and local services that are of the highest quality and responsive to the needs of all youth.

Career Pathways and Apprenticeships

Oklahoma high schools and our local areas are using the WorkKeys assessments as another tool to prepare students for training and jobs. The assessment allows eligible youth to earn a CRC and demonstrate to employers and postsecondary institutions that they have the knowledge base necessary to enter the workforce and/or continue education. Local Workforce Development Boards have always seen a value in the WorkKeys assessment, requiring all clients to take the assessment prior to training and will continue to utilize it under WIOA. This tool will continue to assist youth in earning the Career Readiness Certificate.

Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation, especially among women. The State is making efforts to establish the WorkKeys assessment system in adult and juvenile correctional facilities around the state. Inmates will be able to earn their CRC and several pilot programs are in operation that are placing ex-felons into employment at Oklahoma construction and manufacturing companies. Partnerships between the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, and the state’s career and technology and higher education system are developing innovative programs where ex-felons are going to work at wages that exceed the state’s per capita personal income. The State will expand these programs as data proves that they are instrumental in reducing recidivism and provide valuable employees to Oklahoma’s targeted industries.

The State has developed Oklahoma’s new online career planning system which is now up and running. The official launch date was August 21, 2015. Oklahoma Career Guide (OK Career Guide) is the new and improved statewide career system supported by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, replacing OKCIS. The system is built specifically for Oklahoma and has many of the same features as OKCIS in a new and improved format. The OK Career Guide system serves a wider audience and provides more data to administrators, among other upgrades.

Oklahoma Career Guide - an easy online tool available for all Oklahomans to explore and guide their future. You can take assessments, identify occupations, establish education plans and, ultimately, connect to employers. Whether a youth is searching for career and college options or a youth adult looking for a new career path, OK Career Guide is the powerful tool to provide all the career and educational resources you will need to chart your course for the future.

Oklahoma Career Guide will help youth explore a world of possibilities, make decisions about your future, and prepare for the next step in your education and career planning journey. Depending on your grade level, you will use Kuder Navigator® or Kuder Journey® to achieve these goals.

Middle School & High School Students: Kuder Navigator will help youth learn about themselves, build an education plan, and explore and prepare for the various options after high school. Youth may research occupations and begin to develop a portfolio to display to potential employers or educational institutions.

Postsecondary Students: With a flexible step-by-step process, Kuder Journey® is a youth’s solution for selecting the right major and preparing for their first career. Oklahoma schools and all Oklahomans have access to this online tool at no cost.

Users are able to: Develop career awareness, Develop individual career plans, Create an online portfolio, Take assessments, Explore careers, Research and link to postsecondary schools, Locate scholarships, Set career goals, Connect to business and industry, and Build a resume and cover letter

The State Youth Program Committee will bridge all gaps with organizations such as Job Corps, the Chamber of Commerce, Urban League, and other groups to develop a comprehensive initiative on entrepreneurial development for youth. Oklahoma believes that by tapping into the creative spirit and initiative of our youth we can grow our own into successful entrepreneurs and citizens.

Individuals with Limited English Proficiency

Oklahoma’s local areas are subject to both federal and State requirements regarding non-discrimination and equal opportunity, which includes equal access for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP), regardless of the funding source. This includes the requirement that local areas must take reasonable steps to ensure that individuals with LEP receive, free of charge, the language assistance necessary to afford them meaningful access to the programs, services, and information the local area provides. Local area equal opportunity officers receive training in a number of issues relating to equal access in all Oklahoma Works centers.

Specifically, the Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education program under ODCTE will be designed to prepare adults who are English language learners for, and place such participants in, unsubsidized employment and in-demand industries and occupations that lead to economic self-sufficiency, and assist the workforce development system in carrying out the goals of the state.

Low-Income Individuals

If the funds received by the State and allocated to the local boards for adult services are determined by the governor to be limited, priority of service will be given to public assistance recipients and other low-income individuals (in addition to those who are basic skills deficient). These funds will be used to:

• Provide career services to assist job seekers find employment as soon as possible;

• Provide intensive and training services to job seekers who do not have the skills needed to secure employment immediately; and

• Further develop the statewide network of services.

Oklahoma intends to assist individuals find employment as soon as possible. The first job may be only the first rung on a career ladder, but it is important in helping develop work skills and history. For those who need more than career services to find employment, WIOA provides for intensive training services. Local boards must set the criteria for determining acceptable employment that provides for self-sufficiency through employment in target industries and at wages at or above the average county- and/or state-per-capita wage.

The local WDBs may also use local funds to provide:

• Customized screening and referral to training;

• Customized services to employers on a fee-for-service basis; and

• Supportive services payments to individuals participating in assisted core, intensive or training services.

I. WIOA State Plan Type

Unified or Combined State Plan. Select whether the State is submitting a Unified or Combined State Plan. At a minimum, a State must submit a Unified State Plan that covers the six core programs.

Unified State Plan. This plan includes the Adult Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Youth Program, Wagner-Peyser Act Program, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program, and Vocational Rehabilitation Program.     Yes

Combined State Plan. This plan includes the Adult Worker Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Youth Program, Wagner-Peyser Act Program, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program, and Vocational Rehabilitation Program as well as one or more of the optional combined State Plan partner programs identified below.     No

Combined Plan partner program(s)

Indicate which Combined Plan partner program(s) the state is electing to include in the plan.

Career and technical education programs authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.)     No

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)     No

Employment and Training Programs under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4)))     No

Work programs authorized under section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(o)))     No

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Programs (Activities authorized under chapter 2 of title II of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2271 et seq.))     No

Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program (programs authorized under 38, U.S.C. 4100 et. seq.)     No

Unemployment Insurance Programs (Programs authorized under State unemployment compensation laws in accordance with applicable Federal law)     No

Senior Community Service Employment Program (Programs authorized under title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3056 et seq.))     No

Employment and training activities carried out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development     No

Community Services Block Grant Program (Employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.))     No

Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Program (Programs authorized under section 212 of the Second Chance Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17532))]     No

II. Strategic Elements

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system. The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs. Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs.

a. Economic, Workforce, and Workforce Development Activities Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions, economic development strategies, and labor market in which the State’s workforce system and programs will operate.

1. Economic and Workforce Analysis

A. Economic Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions and trends in the State, including sub-State regions and any specific economic areas identified by the State. This must include—

i. Existing Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations

Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand.

ii. Emerging Industry Sectors and Occupation

Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which demand is emerging.

III. Employers’ Employment Needs

With regard to the industry sectors and occupations identified in 1 and 2 above, provide an assessment of the employment needs of employers, including a description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required, including credentials and licenses.

This section will provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has identified five key demand industry sectors, or economic systems, which we refer to in this state as “ecosystems”. We have identified these sectors / clusters as giving Oklahoma a competitive advantage in a global economy. They exhibit significant potential for employment growth, and provide wealth generating employment opportunities. The five ecosystems’ demand industries produce or provide similar goods and services and therefore have similar needs in workforce, infrastructure, and economic development policy. The five key demand areas are: Aerospace & Defense, Agriculture & Biosciences, Energy, Information and Financial Services, and Transportation and Distribution. In addition to the key ecosystems, due to regional differences across the state there are also complementary ecosystems. Often, the complimentary ecosystems include health care, education, construction and/or manufacturing. Together the key and complementary ecosystems establish the varying needs in workforce, infrastructure, and economic development efforts across the state.

In addition to the five, key, wealth generating ecosystems, it is pertinent to include the complimentary ecosystem of health care which is projected to have the highest growth in Oklahoma at 11%. Registered Nurses and Personal Care Aides are two of the fastest growing occupations in the state. These occupations, especially Registered Nurses, are high demand, high growth occupations that offer high wages. In all projected occupations by 2020, healthcare will be the industry with the highest growth.

Below is a description of the in-demand industries and clusters identified by Oklahoma Works.

Aerospace & Defense

Oklahoma is one of seven global aerospace hubs and home to the largest military and commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul operations in the United States. An estimated 6.3% of the entire state’s economy is attributed to Aerospace & Defense and the Ecosystem employs more than 5% of the state’s workforce.

In 2015 there were 112,650 jobs in the Aerospace & Defense Ecosystem with average earnings of approximately $64,950. Analysis of job growth due to economic demand estimates that total employment will increase to 118,100 jobs by 2020, an increase of 5,450 jobs for the state.

The top occupations within Aerospace & Defense include: Management Analysts; Machinists; Software and Application Developers; Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging and Systems Assemblers; Computer User Support Specialists; System Software Developers; General and Operations Managers; Aircraft Mechanics and Services Technicians; Civil Engineers; Industrial Machinery Mechanics; Computer Systems Analysts; and Market Research Analysts and Market Specialists. The educational requirements for the top occupations within the Aerospace & Defense Ecosystem range from long-term on-the-job training to a Bachelor’s Degree. Each of these occupations employ more than 500 individuals and show growth potential of at least 8%.

In 2015 there were 2,633 Management Analyst jobs and a projected increase of 530, resulting in 3,163 jobs by 2020. The education requirement for Management Analysts is a Bachelor’s degree. Machinist positions require long-term on-the-job training and in 2015 the number of jobs was 2,881 with an estimated increase of 325 totaling 3,206 in 2020. The job number of Software Applications Developers in 2015 was 1,776 and is estimated to reach 2,034 jobs by 2020, an increase of 258 positions. Moderate-term on-the-job training is required for Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging and Systems Assemblers; in 2015 there were 1,374 positions with an expected growth of 185 totaling 1,559 in 2020. Computer User Support Specialists also require Moderate-term on-the-job training. In 2015 there were 1,189 jobs with a projected 1,366 jobs by 2020, an increase of 177. Systems Software Developers require a Bachelor’s degree and represented 1,037 jobs in 2015, this number is projected to increase to 1,205, or 168 jobs, by 2020. Also requiring a Bachelor’s degree are positions as General and Operations Managers; in 2015 there were 1,863 jobs and a growth estimate of 167 jobs totaling 2,030 by 2020. Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians totaled 1,971 jobs in 2015 and require a postsecondary non-degree award; by 2020 the number of jobs is projected to reach 2,138, an increase of 167. Civil Engineers also show a projected of 167 jobs, increasing from 1,080 in 2015 to 1,247 in 2020; Civil Engineers require the completion of a Bachelor’s degree. Industrial Machinery Mechanic require Long-term on the job training, and jobs totaled 892 in 2015 and is expected to increase to 1,054 in 2020. Computer Systems Analysts, Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists all require a Bachelor’s degree. Computer Systems Analysts are projected to increase by 160 jobs, 945 in 2015 and 1,105 jobs in 2020. There were 584 Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists in 2015, these jobs are expected to increase by 144, totaling 728 jobs in 2020.

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Energy

Historically Oklahoma’s economy has been strongly supported by the Energy Industry. Approximately one-quarter of all jobs in Oklahoma are tied to energy, either directly or indirectly. Oil and gas represent one-third of the state’s economic output and the state has a strong renewable offering in wind.

In 2015 the Energy Ecosystem accounted for 125,150 jobs with average earnings of $103,700. Occupations within the Energy Ecosystem are driven by demand, which means that a fluctuating market has the potential to greatly impact the number of jobs. Even with changes in the market, jobs within this Ecosystem are expected to grow by 15,550 jobs, totaling 140,700 jobs in 2020. The Energy Ecosystem is also unique due to the skills and training required to work in the industry, individuals employed in the energy industry possess skills that allow them to transfer employment from one Ecosystem to another.

Top occupations within the Energy Ecosystem include: Oil and Gas Roustabouts; Construction Laborers; Oil, Gas, and Mining Service Unit Operators; Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers; Petroleum Engineers; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers; Industrial Machinery Mechanics; Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators; General and Operations Managers; Oil and Gas Derrick Operators; Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks; and Machinists. These occupations are expected to increase from 2015 to 2020 anywhere from 10% to 28%.

In 2015 Oil and Gas Roustabouts accounted for 5,272 jobs and are projected to increase by 770, totaling 6,042 in 2020. The education requirement for these occupations is Moderate-Term on-the-job training. Construction Laborers require short-term on-the-job training and are expected to increase by 671 jobs from 2,429 in 2015 to 3,100 in 2020. Oil, Gas and Mining Service Unit Operators totaled 4,318 jobs in 2015 and are projected to grow to 4,980 in 2020, an increase of 662. Moderate-term on-the-job training is required for Oil, Gas and Mining Service Unit Operators and also for Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers. These occupations are projected to increase from 4,384 in 2015 to 4,930 in 2020 an increase of 546 jobs. A Bachelor’s degree is required for Petroleum Engineers, an occupation that is expected to increase from 2,963 jobs in 2015 to 3,508 jobs in 2020, an increase of 545. General and Operations Managers also require a Bachelor’s degree and a growth of 314 jobs is projected, from 2,814 in 2015 to 3,128 in 2020. In 2015 there were 3,957 Heave and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, requiring a postsecondary non-degree award these occupations are expected to increase by 432 jobs, totaling 4,389. Machinists and Industrial Machinery Mechanics both require Long-term on-the-job training. In 2015 there were 1,735 Machinists an occupation projected to grow to 1,958 jobs in 2020, an increase of 223. Industrial Machinery Mechanics accounted for 2,053 jobs in 2015 and are expected to increase by 431, accounting for 2,484 jobs in 2020. Moderate-term on-the-job training is required for Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators as well as Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks. There were 2,974 jobs for Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators in 2015 and there will be an estimated 3,327 jobs in 2020, an increase of 353. The number of Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerk jobs totaled 2,158 in 2015 and is expected to increase to 2,384 jobs in 2020, a change of 226 jobs. Oil and Gas Derrick Operators require Short-term on-the-job training and accounted for 2,045 jobs in 2015 with a projected increase of 257, totaling 2,302 jobs in 2020.

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Agriculture & Biosciences

Agriculture & Biosciences is one of Oklahoma’s leading contributors of wealth. Oklahoma has leveraged a long agricultural history of innovation with large investments in life sciences and agricultural research. Examples of industries included in this Ecosystem are: food manufacturing, commodity production and distribution, fertilizer manufacturing, and research and development.

Jobs within the Agriculture & Biosciences Ecosystem totaled 85,580 jobs in Oklahoma, with average earnings of $53,675.

The top occupations within the Agriculture & Biosciences Ecosystem include: Crop, Nursery and Greenhouse Farmworkers and Laborers; Civil Engineers; Veterinary Technologists and Technicians; Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists; Customer Service Representatives; General and Operations Managers; Industrial Machinery Mechanics; Management Analysts; Interpreters and Translators; Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians; Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers; and Mechanical Engineers. The required education ranges from Short-term on-the-job training to a Bachelor’s degree and the range of projected growth is 2% for Farmworkers to 43% for Interpreters and Translators.

Civil Engineers, Market Research Analyst and Marketing Specialists, General and Operations Managers, Management Analysts, Interpreters and Translators, and Mechanical Engineers all require a Bachelor’s degree. In 2015 Civil Engineers accounted for 1,037 jobs with a projected growth of 162 jobs totaling 1,199 in 2020. There were 360 Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists in 2015; by 2020 there will be an estimated 474, an increase of 114. General and Operations Managers are projected to grow by 89 jobs from 1,406 in 2015 to 1,495 in 2020. There were 358 Management Analysts in 2015, and growth projections total 425 in 2020, an increase of 67. Interpreters and Translators have the highest projected growth, increasing from 155 in 2015 to 221 in 2020 a net change of 66 jobs. Mechanical Engineering jobs in 2015 totaled 505 and in 2020 will total 552, an increase of 47 jobs. Crop, Nursery and Greenhouse Farmworkers and Laborers are expected to increase from 6,962 jobs in 2015 to 7,124 jobs in 2020, an increase of 162 jobs; the educational requirement for these occupations is Short-term on-the-job training. The educational requirement for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians is an Associate degree; in 2015 there were 1,013 jobs in this field and there is an expected increase of 161, totaling 1,174 in 2020. In 2015 there were 1,083 Customer Service Representatives and there is a projected increase of 97, totaling 1,180 in 2020. Short-term on-the-job training is the requirement for Customer Service Representatives. Industrial Machinery Mechanics require Long-term on-the-job training and the number of jobs is projected to increase by 74 jobs, from 549 in 2015 to 623 in 2020. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians must attain an Associate degree; the number of jobs within this occupation totaled 346 in 2015 and is expected to grow to 402, an increase of 56. Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers are expected to increase from 890 jobs in 2015 to 943 jobs in 2020, an increase of 53. The required educational attainment for these occupations is Short-term on-the-job training.

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Information & Financial Services

As business operations across all Ecosystems become increasingly reliant on technology to deliver and manage services, the need for occupations in Information & Financial Services will continue to grow. Oklahoma has worked to encourage that growth through incentives, increasing the availability of a skilled workforce and public private partnerships that allow growth. Industries included in the Information & Financial Services Ecosystem are: data centers, banking and investment, cyber security and computer systems.

There were 108,850 jobs in the Information & Financial Services Ecosystem in 2015 with average wages of $75,090. Growth in the Ecosystem is projected to increase by 2,350 jobs by 2020, a total of 111,200 jobs in Oklahoma.

Top occupations within the Information & Financial Services Ecosystem include: Accountants and Auditors; Software and Applications Developers; Loan Officers; Tellers; Computer Systems Analysts; Computer User Support Specialists; Software Systems Developers; Financial Managers; Personal Financial Advisors; Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists; Computer and Information Systems Managers; and Financial Analysts. Except for Tellers and Computer User Support Specialists, all of these occupations require a Bachelor’s degree.

In 2015 there were 7,491 jobs for Accountants and Auditors, the number of jobs is projected to grow by 515, totaling 8,006 in 2020. Software and Applications Developers accounted for 2,441 jobs in 2015 with an expected growth to 2,682 jobs in 2020, an increase of 241. Loan Officers are projected to increase from 3,760 jobs in 2015 to 3,972 jobs in 2020, a total change of 212. In 2015 there were 7,375 Tellers and it is estimated that there will be 7,566 in 2020, an increase of 191 jobs. Computer Systems Analysts jobs totaled 1,471 in 2015 with a projected growth of 177 jobs totaling 1,648 in 2020. There will be a projected growth of Computer User Support Specialists increasing by 116 jobs, from 2,226 in 2015 to 2,342 jobs in 2020. Software Systems Developers accounted for 1,106 jobs in 2015 with projected growth to 1,213 in 2020, an increase of 107 jobs. The number of Financial Management jobs is estimated to grow by 104 jobs, from 2,771 jobs in 2015 to 2,875 in 2020. In 2015 Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists accounted for 688 jobs, in 2020 they will account for 769 jobs, an increase of 81. Computer Information Systems Managers will grow by 64 jobs, from 1,245 in 2015 to 1,309 jobs in 2020. Financial Analysts are projected to total 907 jobs in 2020, an increase of 52 from 855 jobs in 2015.

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Transportation & Distribution

Oklahoma has the benefit of being centrally located in the United States, and the geographic location makes in an important setting for the Transportation & Distribution ecosystem. Oklahoma has access to multiple transportation sectors: three national Interstates such as I-35, I-40, and I-44, port systems, airports with non-stop service across the county, and national rail access. Combined road, rail, airport, and port systems, the intersection of these national transportation avenues makes Transportation & Distribution a key ecosystem for growth and wealth generation for Oklahoma.

Transportation & Distribution includes industries such as: Air, rail, water and pipeline; equipment manufacturing; Warehousing and storage; and Wholesale Brokers. The industries within the Transportation & Distribution Ecosystem are some of the leading contributors of wealth in Oklahoma, as the state’s central location creates an ideal hub for cargo transportation and logistics.

In 2015 there were 126,220 jobs in the Transportation & Distribution Ecosystem with average earnings of $65,800. Based on demand projections jobs within the Ecosystem will increase by 3,230 jobs totaling 129,450 jobs by the year 2020.

Top occupations in the Transportation & Distribution Ecosystem include: Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives, except technical and scientific products; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers; Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers; General and Operations Managers; Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians; Industrial Machinery Mechanics; Customer Service Representatives; Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives for Technical and Scientific Products; Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks; Light Truck or Delivery Service Drivers; Commercial Pilots; Sales Managers; Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists; Accountants and Auditors.

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives, except for Technical and Scientific Products accounted for 8,905 jobs in 2015. By 2020 this number will increase by 719, totaling 9,624 jobs. Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives must complete Moderate-term on-the-job training. There were 17,956 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers in 2015 and these jobs are projected to grow to 18,445 jobs in 2020, an increase of 489 jobs. A Postsecondary non-degree award is required for employment as a Heavy or Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers. By 2020, Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers are projected to total 9,020 jobs, an increase of 468 over the 2015 total of 8,552. This group of occupations requires Short-term on-the-job training. General and Operations Managers require a Bachelor’s degree; in 2015 there were 3,167 jobs in Oklahoma and this number is projected to grow to 3,326 in 2020, an increase of 159. In 2015 there was a total of 1,591 Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technician jobs with a projected increase of 137, totaling 1,728 jobs in 2020. A Postsecondary non-degree award is required for Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians. Long-term on-the-job training is required for Industrial Machinery Mechanics and there were 953 jobs in Oklahoma in 2015; this number is expected to increase to 1,086 jobs in 2020, a growth of 133 jobs. Customer Service Representatives require a High school diploma or the equivalent. There were 2,951 Customer Services Representatives in 2015 with a projected increase of 124, totaling 3,075 jobs in 2020. Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives for Technical and Scientific Products require a Bachelor’s degree and accounted for 3,494 jobs in 2015. By 2020 this number is expected to go to 3,596, an increase of 102 jobs. The educational requirement for Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks is Moderate-term on-the-job training. In 2015 there were 2,594 Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerk jobs with a projected increase of 81, totaling 2,675 in 2020. Light Truck or Delivery Service Drivers must obtain a High school diploma or an equivalent. In 2015 there were 2,673 jobs, by 2020 there will be 2,747 jobs, an increase of 74. In 2015 there were 144 Commercial Pilots, this number is expected to increase by 61 to total 205 pilots by 2020. Sales Managers, Market Research Analysts or Marketing Specialists, and Accountants or Auditors all require a Bachelor’s degree for employment. In 2015 there were 1,017 Sales Managers and this number is expected to grow by 53, totaling 1,070 in 2020. The number of Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists in 2015 was 374, this total is expected to increase to 427 by 2020, a growth of 53 jobs. Accountants and Auditors are expected to increase to 913 jobs by 2020 and increase of 41 jobs over the 2015 total of 872.

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Healthcare (Complementary Ecosystem)

The top five demand occupations in Oklahoma are within the Healthcare industry, and range from personal health care aids, who need less than a high school diploma and some on-the-job training, to Audiologists, who need a Doctoral degree. Healthcare aides make an average of $18,160 a year, while Audiologists make an average of $70,760 annually.

In 2015 there were 237,100 jobs within the complementary Healthcare Ecosystem. This number is projected to grow to 263,900 by 2020, an increase of 26,800 jobs statewide.

Top occupations in Healthcare include: Registered Nurses; Personal Care Aides; Home Health Aides; Medical Secretaries; Nursing Assistants; Medical Assistants; Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses; Dental Assistants; Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics; Pharmacy Technicians; Medical and Health Services Managers; Dental Hygienists; Physical Therapists; and Dentists. Registered Nurses must complete an Associate degree to gain employment and accounted for 21,964 jobs in 2015. This number is expected to increase by 2,522 jobs by 2020, totaling 24,486 jobs. Personal Care Aides and Home Health Aides both require Short-term on the job training. Personal Care Aide jobs totaled 13,714 jobs in 2015 with a projected growth of 2,405 jobs, totaling 16,119 jobs by 2020. There were 7,128 Home Health Aides in 2015. By 2020 there will be an estimated 8,422 Home Health Aides, an increase of 1,294 jobs. Medical Secretaries accounted for 6,925 jobs in 2015, requiring Moderate-term on-the-job training, this number is expected to reach 8,034 by 2020, a change of 1,109 jobs. Nursing Assistants must obtain a Postsecondary non-degree award to gain employment in the projected 17,081 jobs by 2020. This is an increase of 1,047 over the 2015 total, 16,034. Medical Assistants accounted for 7,379 jobs in 2015 and the number is projected to reach 8,272 by 2020, a change of 893 jobs. Medical Assistants require a Postsecondary non-degree award. Also requiring a Postsecondary non-degree award are Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses. The number of jobs within these occupations totaled 9,270 in 2015 and is expected to reach 10,032 by 2020, an increase of 762. In 2015 there were 3,960 Dental Assistants in Oklahoma, requiring a Postsecondary non-degree award, the total is projected to increase by 601 jobs, totaling 4,561 by the year 2020. Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics accounted for 1,888 jobs in 2015. By 2020 the number is expected to reach 2,346, increasing by 458 total jobs. Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics require a Postsecondary non-degree award for employment. Moderate-term on-the-job training is required for Pharmacy Technicians which accounted for 3,928 jobs in 2015. With projected growth of 434 jobs, the number of Pharmacy Technicians will reach 4,362 by the year 2020. Medical and Health Services Managers accounted for 4,069 jobs in 2015, requiring a Bachelor’s degree, the number is expected to reach 4,489 by 2020, and increase of 420 jobs. In 2015 there were 1,824 Dental Hygienists. This occupation has projected growth of 420 jobs, totaling 2,244 by 2020. Dental Hygienists must obtain an Associate degree to gain employment. Physical Therapists and Dentists both require a Doctoral or professional degree. In 2015 there were 1,638 Physical Therapists. By 2020 there will be an estimated 2,010 showing growth of 372 jobs. By 2020 there will be a projected 2,240 Dentists working in Oklahoma, a change of 353 of the 2015 total, 1,887.

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Construction (Complementary Ecosystem)

In 2015 the industries that comprise the complementary Construction Ecosystem accounted for 211,150 jobs in Oklahoma with average wages of $53,270. Construction is an ongoing operational industry in each of the five primary Ecosystems providing work directly and indirectly throughout the state. By 2020 total employment in Construction is expected to grow to 225,470 jobs, an increase of 14,320 jobs.

Top occupations within the complementary Construction Ecosystem include: Construction Laborers; Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters; Operating Engineers and other Construction Equipment Operators; Electricians; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers; General and Operations Managers; Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers; Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers; Machinists; Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers; Architects, except Landscape and Naval; Civil Engineers; Cost Estimators; and Carpenters. The educational requirements for these occupations range from Short-term on-the-job training to a Bachelor’s degree.

In 2015 Construction Laborers accounted for 15,702 jobs in Oklahoma. Requiring Short-term on-the-job training, the number of jobs is expected to grow by 1,546, a total of 17,248 by 2020. Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters totaled 4,801 jobs in 2015 with a projected growth of 541, bringing the job number to 5,342 by 2020. Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters all require the completion of an apprenticeship program. Construction Equipment Operators and Operating Engineers require Moderate-term on-the-job training and accounted for 3,872 jobs in 2015. By 2020 the number of jobs is expected to reach 4,412, an increase of 540. In 2015 Electricians accounted for 6,065 jobs in Oklahoma, the projected increase is 453 totaling 6,518 by 2020. Electricians must complete and apprenticeship program to gain employment. Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers must complete a Postsecondary non-degree award and projected growth of 3,781 jobs by 2020, an increase of 420 over the 3,361 jobs in 2015. General and Operations Managers, Architects, Civil Engineers and Cost Estimators all require a Bachelor’s degree. General and Operations Managers accounted for 4,181 jobs in 2015 with a projected growth of 366, totaling 4,547 by 2020. There were 1,124 Architects, other than landscape and Naval, in 2015. By 2020 this number is expected to grow to 1,370, an increase of 246 jobs. In 2015 there were a total of 1,482 Civil Engineers working in the Construction industry and it is estimated that the number of jobs will increase by 241, reaching 1,765 jobs by 2020. Cost Estimators are projected to reach 1,693 jobs by 2020, an increase of 211 jobs over the 2015 total of 1,482. The number of Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers is projected to grow from 4,700 jobs in 2015 to 5,058 jobs by 2020, an increase of 358; Moderate-term on-the-job training is required for employment in these occupations. Also requiring Moderate-term on-the-job training are Cement Mason and Concrete Finishers. The number of jobs in these occupations was 2,725 in 2015 and is projected to reach 3,084 by 2020, and increase of 359 jobs. There were 3,290 Machinists in 2015, with employment requiring Long-term on-the-job training, the number of jobs is expected to reach 3,629 by 2020, a change of 339 jobs. Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers must attain a Postsecondary non-degree award to gain employment and accounted for 3,439 jobs in 2015. The change is projected to be 298 jobs, totaling 3,737 by 2020. Carpenters accounted for 10,309 jobs in 2015, requiring the completion of an apprenticeship program, the number of jobs by 2020 is expected to reach 10,511, an increase of 202.

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Manufacturing (Regional Complementary Ecosystem)

Manufacturing supports Driver Ecosystems and Complementary Ecosystems throughout the state. As the availability of workforce and the presence of industries varies in different geographical locations, the type of manufacturing present also varies by region. In 2015 there were 140,550 Manufacturing jobs in Oklahoma with average wages of $66,000. As the global economy’s demand continues to grow, Manufacturing is expected to increase to 141,700 jobs by 2020, a change of 1,150 jobs.

Top occupations within the complementary Manufacturing Ecosystem include: Machinists; Industrial Machinery Mechanics; Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers; Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging and Systems Assemblers; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Drivers; Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers; Industrial Engineers; Mechanical Engineers; Logisticians; Software Systems Developers; Aerospace Engineers and Sheet Metal Workers.

Machinists and Industrial Machinery Mechanics require Long-term on-the-job training to gain employment. In 2015 there were 5,506 Machinists; this number is projected to grow to 5,993 jobs by 2020, an increase of 487. Industrial Machinery Mechanics are projected to reach 2,144 jobs by 2020, an increase of 209 over the 2015 total, 1,935. Moderate-term on-the-job training is required for: Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers; Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging and Systems Assemblers; and Inspectors, Tester, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers. In 2015 Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers accounted for 7,014 jobs. These occupations are projected to reach a total of 7,219 jobs by 2020, and increase of 205. There were 1,285 jobs for Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging and Systems Assemblers in 2015, this number is expected to grow by 168 jobs, totaling 1,453 by 2020. By 2020 there will be an estimated 4,190 Inspectors, Tester, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers, an increase of 103 over the 2015 total of 4,087. Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Drivers accounted for 1,670 jobs in 2015, requiring a Postsecondary non-degree award, this number is expected to reach 1,800 by 2020 which is a change of 130 jobs. Sheet Metal Workers must complete and Apprenticeship program to obtain employment in the estimated 1,324 jobs by 2020. This is an increase of 38 jobs over the 2015 total, 1,286. Occupations as Industrial Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Logisticians, Software Systems Developers and Aerospace Engineers require a Bachelor’s degree. Industrial Engineers accounted for 1,161 jobs in 2015 and the number is projected to grow by 85 jobs, totaling 1,246 by 2020. In 2015 there were 1,475 Mechanical Engineers, by 2020 there will be an estimated 1,548 jobs, an increase of 73. The number of Logisticians is expected to reach 347 by 2020, and increase of 44 over the 2015 total 347. Software Systems Developers totaled 380 jobs in 2015. By 2020 this number is projected to reach 423, an increase of 43 jobs. Aerospace Engineers show a projected growth of 42 jobs, from 236 in 2015 to 278 by 2020.

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Planning Region Ecosystems

Per federal regulations, Oklahoma has established four separate planning regions consisting of counties based on geographic location and competitive advantage due to demand industries and ecosystems. Planning regions are named based on their geographic position in the state: Central, Northeast, Southeast and Western.

The Central Planning Region

This section will provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand in the Central planning region. The Central planning region consists of nine counties in the central area of the state, and is more densely populated than other planning regions. As a result, Central Oklahoma has competitive advantages in many areas. Due to the presence of Tinker Air Force Base, Aerospace and Defense is a significant ecosystem. Demand occupations in the Aerospace and Defense ecosystem include: military occupations, aircraft mechanics, software developers, and computer systems engineers. Because of the location and population of Oklahoma City and the intersections of interstates I-35, I-44, and I-40, Central Oklahoma also has competitive advantages in Energy, Information and Financial Services, and Transportation and Distribution. Demand occupations in the Energy ecosystem include: roustabouts, petroleum engineers, drill operators, and machinists. Demand occupations in the Information and Financial Services ecosystem include: accountants, loan officers, and software developers. Demand occupations in the Transportation and Distribution ecosystem include: heavy tractor truck drivers, delivery service drivers and mechanics. As the Central planning region’s demand industries and ecosystems continue to thrive, the complimentary ecosystems such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, and construction will also benefit.

The Northeast Planning Region

This section will provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand in the Northeast planning region. The Northeast planning region consists of eighteen counties north of I-40 and east of I-35. This area varies from being densely populated in and around Tulsa, to more rural in the north and east. Significant demand industries and ecosystems in the Northeast planning region consist of Aerospace and Defense, Energy, and Transportation and Distribution. The Northeast planning region is home to aerospace manufacturing companies, where existing demand occupations include: aircraft mechanics, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, and industrial machinery mechanics. The Energy ecosystem in the Northeast planning region has existing demand occupations such as: petroleum engineers, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers, industrial machinery mechanics, and roustabouts. The Transportation and Distribution ecosystem in the Northeast planning region include demand occupations such as: heavy tractor truck drivers, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, and airline pilots. As the Northeast planning region’s demand industries and ecosystems continue to thrive, the complimentary ecosystems such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, and construction will also benefit.

The Southeast Planning Region

This section will provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand in the Southeast planning region. The Southeast planning region is comprised of seventeen counties in southeast Oklahoma, primarily south of I-40 and either on or east of I-35. The Southeast planning region is a largely rural area. The most significant ecosystem in the Southeast planning region is Transportation and Distribution. This ecosystem includes demand occupation such as: heavy truck drivers, tractor operators, tire builders and team assemblers. The Southeast planning region also has an existing manufacturing economy with occupations including: team assemblers, machinists, sheet metal workers, and industrial production managers. As the Southeast planning region’s demand industries and ecosystems continue to thrive, the complimentary ecosystems such as healthcare, education, and construction will also benefit.

The Western Planning Region

This section will provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand in the Western planning region. The Western planning region is comprised of thirty-three counties in the western half of the state, nearly all of them are west of I-35. This area is overwhelmingly rural and less than 20% of the state’s population lives in these thirty-three counties. The two significant ecosystems in the Western planning region include Agriculture and Biosciences, and Energy. Due to the largely rural landscape of the region, crop and animal production are key occupations. Other existing demand occupations in the Western planning region include: farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers, slaughterers and meat packers, veterinarians, and tractor truck drivers. The Western planning region also has a substantial Energy ecosystem due to expansive oil and gas drilling efforts. These existing demand occupations include: roustabouts, service unit operators, oil derrick operators, and rotary drill operators. As the Western planning region’s demand industries and ecosystems continue to thrive, the complimentary ecosystems such as healthcare, education, and construction will also benefit.

While this section primarily discusses the five key wealth generating ecosystems, and complimentary ecosystems, there are also occupations and industries that have significant footprint in terms of growth and employment. Retail Trade, and Accommodation and Food Services are two industry groups that have high levels of employment and high projected growth. These jobs are not always included in the ecosystem clusters as they offer low wages, and require little training. It would be remiss to not mention the importance of these industries as significant employers in both Oklahoma and the four planning regions. Some of the industries in the Retail Trade group include general merchandise stores, store retailers, and gas stations. Occupations in Accommodation and Food Services industry includes: fast food restaurants, bars, and caterers.

ii. Emerging Industry Sectors and Occupation

While the five ecosystems provide an analysis of the in demand industries and occupations within those industries, further analysis shows that Oklahoma and each of the four planning regions have additional industries and occupations where demand is emerging.

State of Oklahoma

In Oklahoma there are 15 Industries that show significant job growth by the year 2020. In 2015 these 15 industries accounted for 1,320,804 jobs across the state, with average annual earnings equaling $60,910. Oklahoma’s emerging industries encompass wide variety in annual earnings; the annual earning for individuals working within Accommodation and Food Services is $18,743, while the annual earning for those working in Management of Companies and Enterprise is $102,305. It is critical to identify every aspect of the economy, in order to successfully gauge whether the state’s focus should be maintenance or improvement. By the year 2020 the occupations within these 15 industries are projected to produce 1,410,806 jobs. The 15 emerging industries include: Health Care and Social Assistance; Accommodation and Food Services; Government; Retail Trade; Construction; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Finance and Insurance; Transportation and Warehousing; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Management of Companies and Enterprises; Educational Services; Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services; Crop and Animal Production; Utilities; and Wholesale Trade.

Due to the variation in emerging industries, there is also variation in the emerging occupations across Oklahoma. The required educational attainment ranges from no formal educational credential to a Bachelor’s degree. Half of the emerging occupations do not require any sort of formal education. These occupations are projected to account for 262,643 jobs in Oklahoma by the year 2020 while occupations requiring a Bachelor’s degree will account only for 71,923 jobs. The average hourly wage for the top 20 emerging occupations in Oklahoma is $14.76, while this rate is higher than minimum wage pay the majority of these occupations do not provide wealth generation for individuals which in turns creates wealth in the state’s economy. The top emerging occupations in Oklahoma include: General and Operations Managers; Accountants and Auditors; Registered Nurses; Nursing Assistants; Medical Assistants; Security Guards; First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers; Cooks, Restaurant; Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food; Waiters and Waitresses; Janitors and Cleaners, except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners; Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers; Personal Care Aides; Cashiers; Retail Salespersons; First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers; Customer Service Representatives; Stock Clerks and Order Fillers; Construction Laborers; and Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.

Central Oklahoma Planning Region

The Central Oklahoma Planning Region is made up of nine counties: Canadian, Cleveland, Hughes, Lincoln, Logan, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie, and Seminole. The Central Region is home to the Oklahoma State Capitol, some of the higher populated cities, and several colleges and universities. These aspects of the region have a significant impact on the present industries and the available occupations to Oklahomans. There are 14 emerging industries in the Central Region and by 2020, these industries are projected to provide 555,506 jobs, a change of 36,569 over the 2015 number of jobs, 518,936. The emerging industries in the Central Region have an average annual earnings of $61,679, the highest of the four regions. The emerging industries in the Central Region include: Health Care and Social Assistance; Accommodation and Food Services; Government; Retail Trade; Construction; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Management of Companies and Enterprises; Finance and Insurance; Educational Services; Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services; Transportation and Warehousing; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Utilities; and Wholesale Trade.

The average hourly wage for the top 20 emerging occupations in the Central Region is $15.48, like the average annual earnings this rate is the highest of the four regions. Despite having the highest average annual earnings and the highest average hourly wage, over half of the emerging occupations do not require any formal educational credential. The Central Region is one of two regions with an emerging occupation that requires a Doctoral or professional degree. The emerging occupations in the Central Region include: General and Operations Managers; Accountants and Auditors; Postsecondary Teachers; Registered Nurses; Medical Assistants; Security Guards; First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers; Cooks, Restaurant; Food Preparation Workers; Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food; Waiters and Waitresses; Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners; Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers; Personal Care Aides; Cashiers; Retail Salespersons; First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers; Customer Service Representatives; Stock Clerks and Order Fillers; and Construction Laborers.

Northeast Oklahoma Planning Region

The Northeast Oklahoma Planning Region is made up of the following 18 counties: Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington. The 12 emerging industries in Oklahoma accounted for 398,761 jobs in 2015, by 2020 the number of jobs in these industries are projected to total 426,128, an increase of 27,366 jobs. The Northeast Region is home to the second largest city in Oklahoma, Tulsa. There are several colleges and universities as well as unique economic hubs such as the Port of Catoosa and the Mid-America Industrial Park. These factors play a significant role in the reason the Northeast Region is second of the four in average annual earnings, $58,345, and average annual wage for emerging occupations, $14.60. The emerging industries in the Northeast Region include: Health Care and Social Assistance; Government; Accommodation and Food Services; Retail Trade; Construction; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Finance and Insurance; Utilities; Educational Services; Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services; and Other Services (except Public Administration).

The top 20 emerging occupations in the Northeast Region are projected to total 144,756 jobs by 2020. These occupations range from Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers which require no formal educational credential, to Registered Nurses that require a Bachelor’s degree. As stated before the average hourly wage for these occupations is $14.60, the highest average hourly wage is $28.10 for Registered Nurses and the lowest is $8.62 for those employed as Counter Attendants, Cafeteria Food, Concession and Coffee Shops. Currently, the emerging occupations within the Northeast Region total 133,445 jobs. Although this growth is not as significant as some of the other Planning Regions, Registered Nurses account for the third highest growth of emerging occupations. The average hourly wage for Registered Nurses is $28.10 and the number of occupations is projected to increase by 10%. The emerging occupations for the Northeast Region include: Registered Nurses; Nursing Assistants; Medical Assistants; Police and Sherriff’s Patrol Officers; Security Guards; First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers; Cooks, Restaurants; Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, including Fast Food; Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop; Waiter and Waitresses; Janitors and Cleaners, except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners; Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers; Personal Care Aides; Cashiers; Retail Salespersons; Customer Service Representatives; Stock Clerks and Order Fillers; Medical Secretaries; Construction Laborers; and Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.

Southeast Oklahoma Planning Region

The Southeast Planning Region consists of the following 17 counties: Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Coal, Garvin, Haskell, Johnston, Latimer, Le Flore, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, and Pushmataha. The 14 emerging industries within the region total 114,454 jobs and they are projected to grow to 125,449 jobs by 2020. The average annual earnings equals $47,066, this is the lowest of the four planning regions but due to the extreme rural population within these counties, this ranking in comparison to the other areas parallels the population variation between the areas. The emerging industries in the Southeast Region include: Government; Health Care and Social Assistance; Accommodation and Food Services; Retail Trade; Transportation and Warehousing; Construction; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Management of Companies and Enterprises; Real Estate and Rental and Leasing; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Educational Services; Finance and Insurance; Wholesale Trade; and Information.

By the year 2020 the top 20 emerging occupations are projected to provide 47,543 jobs in the Southeast Planning Region. These occupations include Lawyers, Registered Nurses, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, and Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. Due to the spectrum of emerging occupations in the Southeast Region the average hourly wage is $14.60. The educational attainment requirements range from a Doctoral or professional degree to occupations that require no formal educational credential. The top 20 emerging occupations in the Southeast Planning Region include: General and Operations Managers; Lawyers; Registered Nurses; Home Health Aides; Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers; Cooks, restaurant; Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, including Fast Food; Waiters and Waitresses; Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners; Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners; Personal Care Aides; Cashiers; Retail Salespersons; First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers; Stock Clerks and Order Fillers; Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive; Office Clerks, general; Construction Laborers; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers; Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand.

Western Oklahoma Planning Region

The Western Planning Region is the largest of the four and encompasses the remaining 33 counties in Oklahoma: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Cimarron, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Major, McClain, Noble, Payne, Roger Mills, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods, and Woodward. The top 15 emerging industries in the Western Planning Region are projected to account for 230,938 jobs by 2020. Due to the size of the Western Planning Region the emerging industries vary greatly, from Crop and Animal Production, to Transportation and Warehousing, and also Finance and Insurance. Despite the number of industries with annual earnings of $40,000 or higher, the industries with low wage occupations bring the average annual earnings for the emerging industries to $56,307. The 15 top emerging industries in the Western Planning Region Include: Health Care and Social Assistance; Government; Accommodation and Food Services; Construction; Retail Trade; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Crop and Animal Production; Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services; Transportation and Warehousing; Wholesale Trade; Real Estate and Rental and Leasing; Management of Companies and Enterprises; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Finance and Insurance; and Utilities.

The number of jobs from the top 20 emerging occupations in the Western Region is projected to reach 83,627 by 2020. The average hourly wage for these occupations is $14.54; this relatively low average calculated based on 14 of the 20 occupations requiring either a High School Diploma or equivalent at most, meaning a large number of the emerging occupations require no formal educational credential. The emerging occupations in the Western Planning Region include: General and Operations Managers; Accountants and Auditors; Elementary School Teachers, except Special Education; Registered Nurses; Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics; Home Health Aides; First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers; Cooks, restaurant; Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food; Waiters and Waitresses; Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners; Personal Care Aides; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Workers; Cashiers; Retail Salespersons; Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical and Executive; Office Clerks, General; Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery and Greenhouse; Construction Laborers; and Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.

Analysis and Strategic Focus

The Oklahoma Works initiative strives to ensure that existing and new businesses in the state are successful and that Oklahoma residents have the ability to obtain work in occupations that generate wealth. A large majority of the emerging occupations require nothing more than a high school diploma or the equivalent. This level of education and the skills one possesses from this level, will not allow Oklahomans or Oklahoma’s economy to thrive, which is why the occupations within the emerging industries must be analyzed and targeted strategically. There are 18 emerging industries that cover each of the four planning regions as well as the state as a whole, within those 18 industries there are several occupations with highly projected growth. By analyzing occupations that require at least a postsecondary non-degree award and choosing to focus our efforts on careers requiring that level of education at a minimum, Oklahoma can expect more than 472,330 jobs by 2020 with average hourly wages of $29.33 which equates to average annual earnings of just over $61,000. The state is determined to focus our efforts and partnerships on providing the services necessary to ensure that Oklahomans have the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to obtain employment in wealth generating occupations within the established emerging industries. The top 20 emerging occupations requiring at least a postsecondary non-degree award include: Registered Nurses; General and Operations Managers; Accountants and Auditors; Nursing Assistants; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers; Medical Assistants; Elementary School Teachers, except Special Education; postsecondary Teachers; Emergency Medication Technicians and Paramedics; Secondary School Teachers, except Special and Career/Technical Education; Dental Assistants; Lawyers; Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers; Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses; Medical and Health Services Managers; Firefighters; Middle School Teachers, except Special and Career/Technical Education; Physical Therapists; Business Operations Specialists; and Computer Systems Analysts.

III. Employers Employment Needs

This section will describe the employment needs of employer’s in Oklahoma. Oklahoma out performs the nation in the percentage of its citizens 25 years and older with at least a high school diploma - this includes individuals with less than 9th grade education, high school dropouts, and high school graduates or GED recipients. According to U.S. Census ACS 2014 5-Year Estimates, 45% of Oklahomans 25 years and older have at least a high school diploma, compared to the national average of 41.6%. This means that for 45% of Oklahomans, high school is highest level of education received. Oklahoma and the national average are fairly comparable with the attainment of Associate degree - the national average at 7.9% and the Oklahoma average at 7.1%. However, the largest education gap emerges at the bachelor’s degree and graduate or professional degree level. Together, 23.8% of Oklahomans 25 years and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the national average of 29.3%; a difference of 5.5%. The lack of a highly educated workforce, especially for occupations that require bachelor’s degrees or graduate degrees, hinders the state’s competitiveness given the higher demands for knowledge, skills and abilities in today’s and the future global economy.

Over the next decade, only 23% of all new entry level jobs created in Oklahoma will require a high school diploma, or less. With 45% of Oklahomans’ attainment at this level, this means our state faces a 22% gap between the current level of basic educational attainment, and the future new jobs created for that population. With fewer low-skilled jobs created, employers will find it increasingly difficult to hire qualified workers, unless significant steps are taken to upskill workers to ensure the workforce is trained.

A projected shift will emerge for new jobs created that require an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential. For total projected jobs, 50% will require postsecondary training, but for projected new jobs created over the same period, 54% will require an associate degree, a post-secondary training certificate or some industry credential. This shift creates an ever more expansive skills gap, at 24% (as of 2015, 30% of Oklahomans have an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential).

Another gap emerges in the bachelor’s degree level. Based on current levels of educational attainment, 16% of Oklahomans have a bachelor’s degree, but in the next decade, 19% of new jobs created will require a bachelor’s degree. That educational cohort will experience a 3% gap.

There is an education gap between current levels of educational attainment and projected occupational needs, however there are specific needs and skills of employers that must be addressed. According to economic modeling tools EMSI, health care and social assistance is projected to have the largest industry growth by 2020; increasing to 219,500 jobs, a gain of 22,000. Many of the industries to experience the most growth in the health care industry are ambulatory health care centers such as physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, and offices of dentists. Hospitals are also projected to have significant job growth. In terms of smaller industry clusters, local government, limited-service restaurants, and warehouse clubs and supercenters are the top three projected industries by 2020. Many of the skills required by these occupations are specific industry requirements, but also soft skills such as customer service, leadership, and listening.

Upon analyzing the needs of employers based on specific occupations, many line up with projected industry growth. The largest projected occupation group is food preparation and serving related occupations, followed by health care occupations. Some of the occupations that fall under the broader food preparation category are combined food preparation and serving workers, such as fast food.

Retail workers, cashiers, and waiters and waitresses are three of the top five specific occupations projected to see growth. These occupations require no formal education and require short-term on the job training. They are typically jobs that are low wage and do not contribute to wealth generation. Two of the other top five significant growth occupations are registered nurses and personal care aides. These occupations confirm what industry projections show - health care industry will be in demand by 2020. Registered nurse is an occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree and offers high earnings potential, with median earnings of approximately $58,000 per year. These occupations also require soft skills such as customer service, listening, and ethics.

As previously mentioned, there is a projected 24% gap for jobs that require an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential, based on current level of educational attainment and projected new jobs. Occupations that fall in this category are projected to have the most significant skills gap. Occupations that require industry credentials or certificates fall into this category. Many of these occupations are skill-based, and frequently offer earnings significantly higher than low-skilled occupations. Among the highest growth occupations that require an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential include: cargo and freight agents, physical therapist aides, occupational therapist aides, fitness trainers, health technologists, personal care aides, and industrial truck and tractor operators. These are occupations that do not necessarily require significant levels of higher education, but they do require postsecondary training, or an industry certificate or credential.

Economic modeling tool EMSI provides a snapshot of real-time job postings and the intensity of what jobs are currently in high demand. These occupations may or may not be occupations projected to be in-demand in the future. For the period April 2014 to April 2016 EMSI indicates that heavy and tractor truck drivers were the most in-demand occupation with 21,000 statewide job postings over the two-year period. Heavy and tractor truck drivers fall into the category of post-secondary training, and make approximately $40,000 per year. This occupation is prevalent in all regions of the state and falls under the Transportation and Distribution ecosystem.

The second most in-demand occupation from April 2014 to April 2016 is registered nurses, with 5,700 job postings. Registered nurses fall in the bachelor’s degree category and make approximately $58,000 per year. Registered nurse job postings confirm the occupation and industry growth projections mentioned in this plan. Other highly posted occupations include first-line supervisors of retail workers, retail salespersons, and combined food preparation and serving workers.

Along with the education and training requirements of the occupations, employers require necessary hard skills. The top hard skills required for occupations and industries in Oklahoma are management, training, recruitment, sales, and customer service. All of these hard skills confirm the occupation and industry projections, and employer’s employment needs. In addition to the education and training requirements of the occupations, employers require necessary soft skills. The top soft skills in Oklahoma are project management, leadership, learning capabilities, and listening. In addition to these soft skills, there are other skills that employers look for, including: showing up to work, showing up to work on time, and not being under the influence of illicit substances while at work.

Finally, as mentioned throughout this plan, training and certification is paramount to ensure Oklahoma has the necessary skills and abilities to fill job openings in the local and global economy. The top certifications in Oklahoma are commercial driver’s license (CDL), registered nurse, license practical nurse, nurse practitioner, and certified benefits professional. These certificates and credentials also confirm what the industry and occupation story projects.

Based on the projected industries and occupations, employers need employees to have the proper levels of skills, knowledge, and abilities in order to be successful in various occupations. Some of these traits can be learned in a traditional classroom setting, others can be learned through on-the-job training. As indicated through the skills gap, it is evident there will be a significant gap between current levels of educational attainment and future occupational needs, especially those that require an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential. Colleges, Universities, and Career and Technology Centers are instrumental in developing the workforce of Oklahoma. Fortunately, Oklahoma is home to more than 130 educational institutions across the state which help supply local businesses and organizations with a workforce to make Oklahoma competitive in todays and the future economy.

B. Workforce Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the current workforce, including individuals with barriers to employment, as defined in section 3 of WIOA.* This population must include individuals with disabilities among other groups** in the State and across regions identified by the State. This includes: Individuals with barriers to employment include displaced homemakers; low-income individuals; Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities; older individuals; ex-offenders; homeless individuals, or homeless children and youths; youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system; individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers; farmworkers (as defined at section 167(i) of WIOA and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 35-14); individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; single parents (including single pregnant women); and long-term unemployed individuals.   ** Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth, and others that the State may identify.

i. Employment and Unemployment

Provide an analysis of current employment and unemployment data, including labor force participation rates, and trends in the State. 

ii. Labor Market Trends

Provide an analysis of key labor market trends, including across existing industries and occupations.

III. Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce

Provide an analysis of the educational and skill levels of the workforce.

IV. Skill Gaps

Describe apparent ‘skill gaps’.

The following workforce analysis examines state unemployment, employment, labor force participation, comparisons to national averages, and analysis of Oklahoma’s population.

In April 2016, the Oklahoma unemployment rate stood at 4.5%. This is a slight increase from a five-year low of 4% in December 2014, but still maintains the five-year trend in decreasing unemployment rates from a high of 7.1% in January 2010. The April 2016 labor force of 1,871,400, has continued the progression of five-year labor force growth, increasing from 1,765,000 in January 2011. The labor force grew by 5.5% from January 2011 to April 2016.

In April 2016, total employment in Oklahoma was 1,786,300, increasing from 1,656,100 in January 2011. In April 2016 the total unemployment was 78,500, decreasing from 115,500 in January 2011.The April 2016 labor force participation rate for the state of Oklahoma was 62.8%. The current labor force participation rate is the highest since 2009. In 2009, the annual labor force participation rate was 62.7%, in 2010 it was 61.9%, in 2011 it was 61.2%, in 2012 it was 61.5%, in 2013 it was 61.1%, and in 2014 it was 59.9%.

In April 2016 the state experienced its 3rd straight month where the unemployment rate has increased. In April 2016, it stands at 4.5%, which is the highest level since June 2014. Data from the Current Population Survey suggest that an increase in longer-term unemployment played a significant role in the overall increasing number of unemployed as both the median and average duration of unemployment grew over-the-month. During April 2016, there was a net decline of 2,400 jobs and over the last 12 months the state has experienced a net loss of 2,100 jobs. This is down 12,100 jobs from the recent high employment in February 2015.

Oklahoma Employment Situation for Certain Targeted Populations

The unemployment rate for Blacks and Hispanics - 8.0% & 5.5% respectively for the 12 months ending April 2016 - were higher than the corresponding rate for whites at 3.7%. Blacks in Oklahoma who are employed part time were more likely than whites to be doing so for economic reasons, meaning they could not find full-time work, by a measure of 15.4% vs. 10.9%. The same is true of Hispanic part-time workers as well but by an even larger measure - 22.6% vs. 10.9%.

There are currently 168,000 veterans in Oklahoma. Combined, veterans have an unemployment rate of 3.5%, which is lower than the state unemployment rate of 4.5%, Oklahoma veterans have labor force participation rate well below that of nonveterans - 53.0% compared to 65.1%. There are various factors for the low labor force partition rate for veterans, however, there is a concerted effort through many government programs to hire veterans, both in Oklahoma and nationally.

In 2014, women who maintain families had an unemployment rate of 6.9% compared to an overall rate that year of 4.5%. In 2014, according to national statistics, persons with a disability had an unemployment rate of 12.5% compared to 5.9% for those with no disability. Individuals with disabilities were more likely to be employed in part-time work than those without disabilities. We see no reason to doubt that these national statistics also hold true for Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, 583,000 people have a disability - approximately 15% of the total population. 5% of people under the age of 18 have a disability, 14% of individuals between the ages of 18-64 have a disability, and 42% of individuals over the age of 65 have a disability.

For March 2016 Current Population Survey data, employment is broken down into agriculture and non-agriculture subsets. There are approximately 64,000 agriculture workers in Oklahoma for March 2016. Of the total labor force of 1,800,000, the unemployment rate for agriculture workers is 3.5%, this is lower than the statewide average of 4.5%. The predominant age and race for agriculture workers in Oklahoma is white males, over the age of 20. Combined, they make up 46,300 of the 64,000 agriculture workers in the state.

According to the Census ACS 2014 5-Year Estimates, there are approximately 9.6% of Oklahomans who speak a language other than English at home. It is estimated there are 3,554,000 people over the age of 5 and 3,212,000, or 90.4% speak English only. The largest subset of non-English speakers is Spanish speaking, with 6.5% speaking Spanish at home, and 3% of Spanish speakers speaking English at a low level. Numerically, there are 230,700 native Spanish speakers in Oklahoma. All other languages make up no more than 1% each of other languages. Additionally, of the 214,800 foreign born people living in Oklahoma, 144,000 or 67% are not U.S. citizens. These limited English speakers are the individuals who face barriers to employment and face increased difficulties of finding and keeping employment.

Low Income Individuals

Oklahoma has established a goal to increase the number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients who complete career and technology programs or special projects in two-year colleges from 555 in 2014 to 700 by 2018. Completion of college or training with a degree or certification in a skill is critical to finding reliable work and building a pathway to future growth in family income.

Oklahoma has also created a goal to decrease the average number of weeks that recipients receive state unemployment insurance benefits from 16.58 weeks in 2013 to 13.9 weeks by 2018. Unemployment insurance measures the average number of weeks that current recipients of unemployment insurance have been receiving benefits. Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) utilizes a 12 month moving average for this to eliminate issues regarding volatility and seasonality. Long-term reductions in individuals who are dependent on unemployment would mean lower outlays from the unemployment insurance trust fund and thus lower taxes on employers. It also would likely indicate that unemployed Oklahomans are finding new jobs at a faster rate which is of great benefit to them and the overall economy. The state saw a minor increase from 16.49 weeks in 2012 to 16.58 in 2013. The number of initial claimants peaked at 6,300 in January 2009 just following the recession. Over the six-year period, initial claimants have dropped significantly to 2,200.

There are many external forces that impact this measurement, not the least of which is the overall state of the economy. However, concerted efforts and wise policy actions on the part of OESC, should apply downward pressure on this measurement over the long term.

Oklahoma Employment by Age Group

The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies youth as those individuals 16-19 years old. Youth typically have among the highest unemployment rates of any subset. The annual 2014 BLS data shows youth unemployment at 17%, which is lower than the previous year’s unemployment rate of 19.9% and also lower than the 2010 youth unemployment rate of 22%. This downward trajectory of youth unemployment rate is a welcome trend in ensuring this at-risk population is getting necessary job and training skills that can be useful in the future.

Older workers are identified as those individuals 65 years and older and typically older workers constitute a lower portion of the labor force. In 2014, there were 114,000 workers over the age of 65 in a total labor force of approximately 1,800,000. As such, the unemployment rate for workers over the age is 65 years is 1.2%. Further, the labor force participation rate for workers over the age of 65 is 3%. These numbers indicate that workers over the age of 65 have little trouble finding a job, but there are few workers over the age of 65 who are actually part of the labor force.

Oklahoma Employment for Offenders

Oklahoma has an objective to increase the percentage of offenders re-entering the workforce with vocational training or certifications from 3.76% in 2013 to 6% by 2017. Offenders re-entering the community have many hurdles to success. Vocational training assists with economic stability by making the ex-offender more employable and reduces the likelihood of returning to prison. Offenders who gain employment become taxpayers instead of tax takers, by contributing to the overall wealth of the state. The desired percentage increase represents an improvement in the number of offenders completing a vocational training program prior to release from incarceration. This population is more employable and more likely to find employment. A baseline average was established using state fiscal year 2013 data in which 997 offenders completed vocational training and were released. The 997 participants represent 3.76% of the total average population of 26,539 incarcerated offenders. The desired increase to 6% by 2017 would result in 1,560 offenders obtaining career tech certification prior to release using the baseline total average population of 26,539 incarcerated offenders. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education continue to collaborate to operate multiple vocational training programs in 15 different correctional settings.

Oklahoma Long-Term Unemployment

Long term unemployment is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as those individuals who have been looking for work for 27 weeks or more. According to the Current Population Survey, 18,400 individuals have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer. As mentioned previously, total unemployment in April 2016 was 78,500. This means that approximately 24% of all unemployed Oklahomans have been looking for work for 27 weeks or longer. However, more than 3 of 4 workers find a job in less than 6 months.

Statewide Unemployment Rate vs. National Unemployment

Following the national economic downturn in 2008, unemployment rates across the country spiked to levels not seen in nearly 30 years. Oklahoma’s employment situation was adversely affected, but not as severely as other states. According to seasonally-adjusted employment and labor force data obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; Local Area Unemployment Statistics, from the time period dated January 2010 through July 2015, Oklahoma had among the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, and consistently stayed below the national average.

After reaching a peak of 7.1% in the first quarter of 2010, the Oklahoma unemployment rate steadily declined before bottoming out at 3.9% in March 2015. A downturn, and subsequent layoffs in the energy sector in Oklahoma beginning in the second half of 2014, caused ripple effects in the energy sector - and other complementary industries - which caused the unemployment rate in Oklahoma to slightly increase beginning in late 2014, and continuing through July 2015.

The unemployment rate slightly increased from a low of 3.9% in March 2015 to 4.6% in August 2015. While this minimal increase was a reversal in the trend of declining unemployment rates, the Oklahoma unemployment rate still remained below the national average of 5.1%. During the same time period - January 2010 through August 2015 - the national unemployment rate decreased from a high of 9.9% in April 2010 to a low of 5.1% in 2015. The softening of the energy sector did not hurt the national unemployment rate as significantly as the Oklahoma unemployment rate. As a result, the gap between the national unemployment rate, and the Oklahoma unemployment rate narrowed.

Oklahoma’s Changing Population

According to population data gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau and projections from economic modeling software EMSI, it is evident that Oklahoma’s population will evolve and become more diverse in the short and long term. In the 5-year projections beginning in 2015 and ending in 2020, the racial subgroup that will have the most significant change in the state of Oklahoma will be Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. It is projected Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander’s will grow by 15%, from 5,250 to 6,025. Although this group has the largest percent change, they have the smallest total raw number change at an increase of 776 people.

The second highest percent change occurs in the Non-White Hispanic race group with growth at 14%; increasing from 72,870 to 82,860. Non-White, Hispanic consists of Hispanic individuals not of European descent such as Cuban or mixed race Hispanic. Non-White, Hispanics are expected to grow in Oklahoma by approximately 10,000 people by 2020.

The largest numerical gain in Oklahoma’s population will be White, Hispanic. White Hispanics are expected to grow by 11% by 2020; increasing from 324,690 to 359,150. This race group constitutes Hispanic individuals with European descent. A significant number of White, Hispanics in Oklahoma have Mexican or Guatemalan heritage.

Two or more races are projected to have the second highest numerical gain in Oklahoma by 2020; increasing from 219,620 to 239,070, or 9%. Two or more races are individuals who have parents and/or grandparents stemming from more than one race.

White, Non-Hispanic, will continue to be the state of Oklahoma’s largest demographic in 2020. White, Non-Hispanics are projected to increase from 2,603,000 to 2,617,000, an increase of approximately 14,000, or 1% growth. White, Non-Hispanic will remain the largest demographic, however with other races projected to have significant growth, the state of Oklahoma will continue to become increasingly diverse.

Overall, Hispanics are projected to have the most significant growth - an increase of approximately 45,000 people by 2020. No racial or ethnic groups are projected to have a loss during the timeframe covered by this strategic plan.

Population diversity is not homogeneously divided among the state’s counties, as Oklahoma has varying amounts of racial and ethnic diversity. While the population diversity is not equally spread out across the state, much of the racial diversity occurs in various pockets. Statewide, the Non-White population is 32%.

There are areas of the state with higher levels and areas with lower levels. Eastern and Northeastern Oklahoma have higher levels of Non-White populations. Adair, Cherokee, and Muskogee counties have significant Native American populations and contribute to their overall diversity. Each of those three counties have at least 40% of residents as Non-White. The counties in the northeast corner of the state - those east of I-35 and north of I-40 - have the highest concentration of Non-White populations in the state with 13 counties having at least 30% diversity. Southeast Oklahoma has a few counties with diversity levels higher than the state average, but most of the counties have between 20-30% Non-White population. Of all the counties west of I-35 only seven have populations with 30% or more Non-White population.

Texas County, located in the panhandle of Oklahoma, has a significant Hispanic population and the county has greater than 40% Non-White. Caddo County has a Non-White population of above 40%. Metropolitan areas are also areas that have high levels of diversity. Comanche County, home to the state’s third largest city Lawton, and Oklahoma County, home to the state’s largest city, Oklahoma City, have Non-White populations greater than 40%. Many counties in western Oklahoma, especially northwestern Oklahoma have Non-White populations under 20%, and in many cases under 10%. Upon looking at a diversity map of Oklahoma, it becomes clear the counties on the eastern half of the state have significantly more counties of diversity than the western half of the state. Nonetheless, when looking at statewide demographic projections, it is evident that the state of Oklahoma is becoming increasingly more diverse.

According to the United States Census Bureau, between July 2010 and July 2015, the Oklahoma population increased from 3,751,600 to 3,911,350, an increase of 4.3%, which is slightly higher than the national average of 4.1%. However, the population growth was not concentrated in any particular age cohort. According to economic modeling tool EMSI, Oklahoma continues to have an aging population, which is also consistent with the national average.

In Oklahoma, three of the five largest growth age cohorts are 60 to 64 years (increase of 20,450 people), 65 to 69 years (increase of 27,650 people) and 70 to 74 years (increase of 25,420 people).

However, the largest growth cohort of all is 15 to 19 years (35,400). Another large cohort is the under 5 age group, which is expected to increase by nearly 15,000. One troubling aspect is the loss of individuals in the 45-59 age group, which is typically in the prime of their working career. Another age cohort with losing population is the 20-24 age bracket; this age group is in their college years and it will be imperative to attract this age group back to Oklahoma.

A positive note is Oklahoma is projected to experience a baby-boom. There is significant growth in the 19 and under population in Oklahoma, especially compared to the national average.

Like the distribution of race and ethnicity, Oklahoma has a wide variance of median age among its counties. Those counties with an educational institution, such as a university or community college, or a military base, have a much lower median age than those that do not. As mentioned previously, Oklahoma has a varying age pyramid, although the median age of Oklahoma is 36.2 years, lower than the national average of 37.3 years, this is slightly misleading due to the higher number of citizens fifty years and above. Oklahoma is in the midst of a miniature baby boom, with the under 15 age cohort higher than the national average. Although the state has a lower percentage of individuals in the 35 to 54 age bracket than the national average, the future holds a younger population.

The median age in the state of Oklahoma is not homogeneously divided equally across the state; some counties have populations with median ages 40 years or above, other counties have populations with median ages in the late 20’s or early 30’s. There are certain factors that play a pivotal role in determining median age. Counties that are largely rural tend to have older populations. As a result, many counties in western and northern Oklahoma have older populations, many with median ages 40 years and above. Another factor is that counties, or counties surrounding larger metropolitan areas tend to have younger populations. Counties that surround Oklahoma City, Lawton, and Tulsa tend to have younger populations, in part due to higher concentration of families with young children.

Finally, counties that are home to colleges, universities, or military installations will also have younger populations due to the higher concentration of approximately 18-24 year olds living there. Having a younger population provides those areas with a growing and more physically able workforce; however, the cumulative knowledge, skills and abilities may be low due to experience in the workforce. Rural Oklahoma faces challenges as many of the counties have an advancing median age that hinders population growth and the availability of labor for highly physical occupations, such as, production.

ii. Labor Market Trends

In April 2016, the Oklahoma unemployment rate stood at 4.5%. This is a slight increase from a five-year low of 4% in December 2014, but still maintains the five-year trend in decreasing unemployment rates from a high of 7.1% in January 2010. The April 2016 labor force of 1,871,400, has continued the progression of five-year labor force growth, increasing from 1,765,000 in January 2011. The labor force grew by 5.5% from January 2011 to April 2016.

In April 2016, total employment in Oklahoma was 1,786,300, increasing from 1,656,100 in January 2011. In April 2016 the total unemployment was 78,500, decreasing from 115,500 in January 2011.The April 2016 labor force participation rate for the state of Oklahoma was 62.8%. The current labor force participation rate is the highest since 2009. In 2009, the annual labor force participation rate was 62.7%, in 2010 it was 61.9%, in 2011 it was 61.2%, in 2012 it was 61.5%, in 2013 it was 61.1%, and in 2014 it was 59.9%.

In April 2016 the state experienced its 3rd straight month where the unemployment rate has increased. In April 2016, it stands at 4.5%, which is the highest level since June 2014. Data from the Current Population Survey suggest that an increase in longer-term unemployment played a significant role in the overall increasing number of unemployed as both the median and average duration of unemployment grew over-the-month. During April 2016, there was a net decline of 2,400 jobs and over the last 12 months the state has experienced a net loss of 2,100 jobs. This is down 12,100 jobs from the recent high employment in February 2015.

All three Goods Producing industries shed jobs during April 2016, with mining showing a particularly painful loss of 2,200 jobs (the industry has now contracted by nearly 30% from its recent high employment in Nov 2014). Construction, which had seen job growth for the last six months, registered a small decline of 100 jobs.

Retail Trade lost 2,000 jobs in April, although the sector is still in positive territory for the year (up 1,700). The Health Care & Social Assistance sector lost 300 jobs with weakness in both Hospitals and Nursing/Residential Care Facilities.

A bright spot in an otherwise dismal report is the job gain coming from Professional & Business Services - up 1,500 in April. In addition, the state continues to see remarkable employment gains in Accommodation & Food Services (up 1,200 jobs for the month). It should be noted that the recent trend has been for the state to shed jobs in industries that are higher paying (Mining, Manufacturing, etc.) while we are gaining employment in lower paying sectors like restaurants.

Workers with disabilities were more likely to be employed in production, transportation and material moving occupations (per national statistics) and in Oklahoma the industries which employ many of these occupations have recently endured good sized declines in employment (especially manufacturing). Thus it is very possible that individuals with disabilities may have been impacted more by the job losses in manufacturing than their fully abled peers. According to the U.S. Census 16.1% of Oklahomans had a disability compared to a rate of 12.6% nationally (a rank of 6th).

III. Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce

This section will describe the education and skill level of the workforce in Oklahoma. Oklahoma out performs the nation in the percentage of its citizens 25 years and older with at least a high school diploma - this includes individuals with less than 9th grade education, high school dropouts, and high school graduates or GED recipients. According to the U.S. Census ACS 2014 5-Year Estimates 45% of Oklahomans 25 years and older have at least a high school diploma, this is greater than the national average of 41.6%. 23.8% of Oklahomans have a bachelor’s degree or higher, this is lower than the national average of 29.3%.

When breaking down the numbers at each cohort, it is evident that Oklahoma has higher levels of individuals 25 and older with a high school diploma, but lower percentages of individuals with higher education, when compared to the national average. 4.5% of Oklahomans have less than a 9th grade education. This is lower than national average of 5.8%. 8.8% of Oklahomans attended high school but did not graduate, or attain a GED. 31.7% of Oklahomans graduated high school but did not seek further education. Combined, these three education levels equal the 45% of Oklahomans with a high school degree or less. It is imperative for the future of the workforce in Oklahoma to encourage individuals to seek higher education; this ensures wealth generation and a robust economy for the future.

This means that for 45% of Oklahomans, high school is highest level of education received. 24% of Oklahomans attended some college, but did not attain a degree; this is higher than the national average of 21.2%. This is another cohort that could greatly benefit by attending one of Oklahoma’s 130 colleges and universities. They could also benefit from an industry credential or certification. Oklahoma and the national average are fairly comparable with the attainment of associate’s degree with the national average a 7.9% and the Oklahoma average at 7.1%.

The largest education gap emerges at the bachelor’s degree and graduate or professional degree level. 15.9% of Oklahomans have a bachelor’s degree and 7.9% of Oklahomans have a graduate degree or professional degree. Together, 23.8% of Oklahomans 25 years and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the national average of 29.3%; a difference of 5.5%. This education level results in high wage, high skilled occupations that can create wealth generation and prosperity to the state.

Numerically, approximately 593,000 of the 2.5 million people over the age of 25 in Oklahoma have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This percentage is below the national average; the state needs to work to increase this percentage. The lack of a highly educated workforce, especially for occupations that require bachelor’s degrees or graduate degrees, hinders the state’s competitiveness given the higher demands for knowledge, skills and abilities in today’s global economy.

IV. Skill Gaps

This section will describe the apparent skills gap in Oklahoma. Oklahoma out performs the nation in the percentage of its citizens 25 years and older with at least a high school diploma - this includes individuals with less than 9th grade education, high school dropouts, and high school graduates or GED recipients. According to the U.S. Census ACS 2014 5-Year Estimates 45% of Oklahomans 25 years and older have at least a high school diploma, compared to the national average of 41.6%.

This means that for 45% of Oklahomans, high school is highest level of education received. Oklahoma and the national average are fairly comparable with the attainment of associate degrees with the national average a 7.9% and the Oklahoma average at 7.1%. However, the largest education gap emerges at the bachelor’s degree and graduate or professional degree level. Together, 23.8% of Oklahomans 25 years and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the national average of 29.3%; a difference of 5.5%. The lack of a highly educated workforce, especially for occupations that require bachelor’s degrees or graduate degrees, hinders the state’s competitiveness given the higher demands for knowledge, skills and abilities in today’s global economy.

Projected Skills Gap

This section will describe the skills gap of total jobs projected in Oklahoma in 2025. It is estimated there will be 2,567,400 total jobs in Oklahoma in 2025. Based on projected demand for total occupations in 2025, 29% of all jobs in Oklahoma will have entry level requirements of a high school diploma or less. However, 50% of total jobs in Oklahoma will have entry level requirements of an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential.

Only 30% of Oklahoman’s - based on 2015 educational attainment data - meet those qualifications. This indicates that there is a skills gap of 20% based on current levels of education attainment for entry level jobs that require an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential. 16% of Oklahoman’s currently have a bachelor’s degree and 8% currently have a graduate degree or higher. Based on projected demand for entry level requirements for all jobs in 2025, 17% will require a bachelor’s degree and 4% will require a graduate degree or higher. The bachelor’s degree and higher number indicates that based on current levels of education attainment, the state of Oklahoma is currently meeting demand for that qualification level, however, it is not expected that new higher demand occupations will enter the state in the next ten years.

This section will describe the apparent skills gap of total new jobs projected in Oklahoma in 2025. In the previous section, the skills gap was discussed based on all jobs in Oklahoma. This section will only focus on new jobs created by 2025. Again, this section will use 2015 educational attainment data provided by the Census. According to the U.S. Census ACS 2014 5-Year Estimates 45% of Oklahomans 25 years and older have at least a high school diploma, compared to the national average of 41.6%.

This means that for 45% of Oklahomans, high school is highest level of education received. Oklahoma and the national average are fairly comparable with the attainment of associate degrees with the national average a 7.9% and the Oklahoma average at 7.1%. However, the largest education gap emerges at the bachelor’s degree and graduate or professional degree level. Together, 23.8% of Oklahomans 25 years and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the national average of 29.3%; a difference of 5.5%. It is estimated there will be 287,800 new jobs created in Oklahoma by 2025.

For new jobs created in Oklahoma by 2025, 23% of all new jobs created will have entry level requirements of high school diploma, or less. This means that 6% fewer new jobs created will require a high school diploma or less. The shift emerges for new jobs created that require an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential. For total jobs in 2025, 50% required postsecondary training, but for new jobs created, 54% will require an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential. This shift creates an ever more expansive skills gap, at 24% (as 30% of Oklahomans have an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential). Another gap emerges in the bachelor’s degree level. Based on current levels of educational attainment, 16% of Oklahomans have a bachelor’s degree, but by 2025, 19% of new jobs created will require a bachelor’s degree. That educational cohort will experience a 3% gap.

Based on current levels of educational attainment, 8% of Oklahomans have a graduate degree or professional degree, however, only 5% of new jobs by 2025 will require that training level. This indicates that higher skilled jobs will not be created, as such, a surplus of over educated individuals will be employed in occupations under their education level. It is quite evident that the most significant jobs gap emerges in the occupations requiring an associate degree, a postsecondary training certificate or some industry credential. Fortunately, Colleges, Universities, and Career Techs are instrumental in developing the workforce of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is home to more than 130 educational institutions across the state which help supply local businesses and organizations with a workforce to make Oklahoma competitive.

Based on occupation projections for 2025, the largest single occupation in the state of Oklahoma will be retail salesperson, making up approximately 54,550 jobs. This occupation falls in the high school diploma or less category, as it requires no formal education or credential. The largest projected growth occupation by 2025 is fast food preparation worker. This occupation is expected to grow by 16% by 2025. Again, this is an occupation that falls in the high school diploma or less category, as it requires no formal education or credential. The third highest growth occupation is Registered Nurse. This occupation requires a bachelor’s degree and is expected to increase 2,700 jobs, or 10%.

2. Workforce Development, Education and Training Activities Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the workforce development activities, including education and training in the State, to address the education and skill needs of the workforce, as identified in Education and Skill Levels of the Workforce above, and the employment needs of employers, as identified in Employers' Employment Needs above. This must include an analysis of –

A. The State’s Workforce Development Activities

Provide an analysis of the State’s workforce development activities, including education and training activities of the core programs, Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan, and required and optional one-stop delivery system partners.*
 
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* Required one-stop partners: In addition to the core programs, the following partner programs are required to provide access through the one-stops: Career and Technical Education (Perkins), Community Services Block Grant, Indian and Native American programs, HUD Employment and Training programs, Job Corps, Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program, National Farmworker Jobs program, Senior Community Service Employment program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (unless the Governor determines TANF will not be a required partner), Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, Unemployment Compensation programs, and YouthBuild.

Throughout the past two years, the state has enhanced, aligned and expanded its workforce development activities to address the education and skill needs of Oklahoma’s employers and workforce. These efforts were coordinated under Oklahoma’s and the Governor’s broader workforce development initiative, Oklahoma Works, as well as through the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

First, the Workforce system partner agencies have been heavily engaged in statewide strategic planning efforts, these efforts have influenced statewide workforce activities and strengthened the aligned focus of workforce partners throughout the state.

According to EMSI in Quarter Two of 2015, 46 percent of Oklahomans have a high school diploma or less as a level of educational attainment. Projections show that in 2025 only 23 percent of the state’s increasingly robust labor market (new jobs) will be accessible to Oklahomans who have at most a high school diploma. In other words, there is a 23 percentage point skills gap between the credentials Oklahoma’s current workforce possesses and what the state’s future economy will require.

In order for Oklahoma to meet labor demands, for businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and prosper, and for Oklahoma citizens to maintain wealth generating occupations, Oklahoma understands the new minimum for success moving forward will increasingly include a postsecondary degree or credential. Oklahoma Works is designed to increase the wealth of all Oklahomans through providing education and training for citizens to obtain quality employment. The rationale behind these efforts is that coordinating strategic priorities and plans across education, training, and industry will increase the wealth of all Oklahomans by providing employment opportunities for workers and ready availability of highly skilled talent for business and industry. The statewide initiative is built upon a coalition of businesses, educational institutions, state agencies, Workforce Development Boards, and other partners, and is overarching state strategy, but is fully aligned with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

To achieve the overarching goal of wealth generation for all Oklahomans and combat the skills gap, the Office of the Governor, its state workforce partners, and numerous other contributors developed a Strategic Delivery Plan. Beginning in the summer of 2015, the Governor toured the state to each of the Workforce Development Areas to speak with and listen to local business leaders, educators, state agency staff from the core partners and other workforce partners (16 total state agencies), Workforce Development Board members, and representatives from private organizations about our current skills gap and Oklahoma’s plan to shrink the gap. Oklahoma calls these local coalitions Key Economic Networks, or KENs.

KENs are areas in which labor market data demonstrate geographic similarities with regard to occupations and commuting patterns. Within these areas, regional business leaders, educators, private organizations, Native American tribes, economic development organization staff, Workforce Development Boards, and workforce partner staff collaborate to identify solutions to local challenges that, when addressed regionally, will help to grow a skilled workforce and encourage wealth generation in the state. Each KEN region has a Champion, a regional leader from business and industry appointed by the Governor, who coordinates local efforts to support Oklahoma Works. The ultimate goal of these meetings was to hear from local businesses about their needs, and bring all workforce partners and contributors to the discussion on what can be done at the state and local levels. From these meetings, Oklahoma gained valuable insight into business’ needs, and many connections were formed among state agency staff, educators, and business leaders.

In November of 2015, the State began a strategic planning effort to improve Oklahoma’s workforce development system in November of 2015. The effort involved the Core Partners (Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and Office of Workforce Development) as well as other state agency partners who are a part of the state’s workforce development system (Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools, Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology Education, Department of Commerce, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Care Authority, Office of Educational Quality and Accountability, Office of Management and Enterprise Services, State Department of Education, and State Regents for Higher Education). In addition to these workforce system partners, the Oklahoma State Chamber’s Educated Workforce Initiative, business leaders from all regions of the state, members of our Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, members of the Workforce Development Boards, and our state leaders were involved in the planning process. The resulting Oklahoma Works Strategic Delivery Plan was approved by Governor Fallin and key state leaders on December 8, 2015. This Plan is the overarching workforce development strategy to guide workforce development activities in the state.

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Included in the plan are four objectives and sub-strategies on which all state workforce system partner agencies, including the Core Partners, are aligned.

Objective 1: ALIGN AND CONNECT: Develop, align and connect the education and training pipeline with the needs of the state’s regional economies by coordinating strategic priorities and plans across the education and workforce system. Oklahoma is aligning and connecting across state agencies, in the local areas among state agencies and businesses, and from the local areas to the state level. The State’s Align and Connect priorities are on the following issues: 1) career options exposure: aligning Career Pathways and career options with the needs of Oklahoma businesses to ensure more Oklahomans are aware of viable paths to career entry and career building, exposed to careers at an earlier age, empowered with the information needed to best use valuable resources, and workforce-ready faster; 2) postsecondary opportunities in high school: increase postsecondary opportunities in high school to ensure more students graduate high school with specialized knowledge or credentials to enter in-demand occupations, start businesses, or continue education with less time to completion; 3) workforce readiness: align workforce readiness services across state programs and agencies, such that Oklahomans have the employability skills (people, professional, technical application, also known as soft skills) necessary to obtain wealth generating employment; and 4) transportation services: better coordinate transportation services to Oklahomans in rural and urban areas, in order to address the fundamental challenge of connecting education, training, and work opportunities with those citizens who need them most.

Objective 2: DATA: Integrate and use workforce and economic development data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success by 1) using data to decrease labor supply and demand gap: utilize statewide data to decrease the skills gap by defining determinants and benchmarks along all levels of education and training that lead to employability in identified economic systems, evaluating and utilizing competencies and assessments, and identifying and working to minimize existing data gaps (the state’s approach to create a State Longitudinal Data System and connect that to Workforce Data, as required under the Workforce Data Quality Initiative); 2) OKJobMatch: re-launch OKJobMatch.com as the one official job and labor exchange system for the state and case management system for all Title I program data. OKJobMatch, a shared system between the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, will connect jobseekers with employers, making it easier for job seekers to find jobs and for employers to find candidates while improving the accuracy of data available to decision-makers; 3) common connectivity: create a common intake portal in the state’s workforce centers which allows State service providers to better identify the eligibility of citizens and refer them to appropriate providers, ensuring more Oklahomans can enter and remain in the workforce.

Objective 3: PARTNERSHIPS: Cultivate and maintain productive relationships between regional employers, educators, and other workforce partners to ensure an appropriately skilled workforce through KENs.

Objective 4: RESOURCES: Optimize use of resources and incentives to achieve the Oklahoma Works goal by identifying and recommending creative, cross-agency, and cross-sector funding models that support similar workforce programs and include agency programs that potentially benefit from public-private partnerships.

In order to achieve the ambitious goals that have been set through Oklahoma Works, the initiative’s full array of workforce partners must align their efforts and take active roles in ensuring that resources are used in ways that maximize, strengthen, and support the education to workforce pipeline for all Oklahomans. Partnering with Oklahoma Works, the Oklahoma State Department of Education is aligning their JP Morgan New Skills for Youth Grant with the above objectives to ensure business-driven career pathways for all, starting in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Similarly, the eight Workforce Development Boards across the State are partners in Oklahoma Works, and benefit from a better-aligned workforce development system.

Underpinning all Oklahoma Works efforts is a comprehensive asset map, built and maintained by the Delivery Unit within the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which helps to describe the current set of workforce resources and activities in Oklahoma. The map acts as a plan and push to share and maximize state and federal resources in service of the Oklahoma Works goal.

Oklahoma’s Asset Map.

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When fully leveraged, the knowledge generated from the Oklahoma Works asset map will allow us to provide our workforce partners, regional networks, and citizens with knowledge of available resources at the state and local level. We will also be able to effectively evaluate local and statewide socioeconomic and policy barriers and work toward solutions which will assist Oklahomans in obtaining the skills and education necessary for the career path they desire. This foundational work has the potential to significantly increase Oklahomans’ knowledge of resources available and subsequently reduce the current skills gap.

Second, the Core Partners and required and optional one-stop delivery system partners are all engaged in system-building. Currently, the System Oversight Subcommittee (SOS), the working arm of the Workforce System Oversight Committee of the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, is tasked with developing the system-wide framework and policy documents that will comply with WIOA legislation and Federal regulations, and are tasked with compliance review of the system (33 Oklahoma Works Centers located around the state). Staff from the following programs/agencies are represented on this committee: Career and Technical Education (Perkins and Adult Basic Education) through the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, Community Services Block Grant through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Senior Community Service Employment program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Trade Adjustment Assistance programs and Unemployment Compensation programs through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, in addition to business, the Regents for Higher Education, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, among others. The SOS seeks input from the Workforce Development Boards and staff as needed when developing policy and guidance.

Within Oklahoma, the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), the WIOA State Board, is composed of business leaders appointed to the Council who represent Oklahoma’s diverse geography, who are from rural and urban areas, and who represent our state’s major industry economic drivers. The Council governs, manages, and accounts for the way the state issues Department of Labor WIOA monies. Also, the Council, in alignment with the Oklahoma Works goal, has now been tasked with using data to inform policy, track progress and measure success toward ensuring wealth generation, that are state metrics in addition to federal, WIOA measures. State workforce partners, departments, and agencies impacting career readiness have developed state metrics for targeted wealth generation across Oklahoma.

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The GCWED then selected macro indicators to follow that form the foundation of the Governor’s Council Dashboard. GCWED macro indicators can be found here:

Oklahoma’s Macro indicators.

Oklahoma’s Macro indicators.

Oklahoma’s Macro indicators.

This dashboard facilitates the use of data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success consistently statewide.

Similarly, GCWED underwent a structural revision in early 2016, moving the ad hoc Career Pathways committee to a standing committee of GCWED. Along with Career Pathways, the Health Care Workforce Committee was also added as a standing committee. Career Pathways and improving the state’s HealthCare workforce are two priorities of the State, and are now reflected in the bylaws of the GCWED. We now have four total standing committees of the Governor’s Council, including the Workforce System Oversight Committee and the Youth Program Committee.

The GCWED bylaws can be found on the front page of the Governor’s Council page on the Oklahoma Works website.

Third, Oklahoma is committed to adopting an educational attainment goal by year-end 2016. Led by the Office of the Governor, Oklahoma’s state educational institutions with support of other workforce system partners, will use this goal to coordinate efforts on a common target. To support this work, in early 2016, the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development (OOWD) commissioned a comprehensive, statewide study on non-completers from high school, Career Technology programs, and higher education in order to better understand our State’s barriers to educational attainment. The study is designed to explore regional differences for dropping out, and key factors for what would assist in retention. With this information, the OOWD and our Workforce System Agency Partners and Local Workforce Development Boards, Workforce Centers and One Stops, whom we will share all findings with, will be able to better message retention efforts, and better direct resources with regional precision. That is, to better identify the support services needed, and leverage partnerships among the partners to provide those services to ensure more Oklahomans receive education and training. OOWD is expecting a final report late this summer.

Finally, Oklahoma is continuing to move toward regionalism. Under WIA, Oklahoma was consistently moving toward a more system-level, regional focus. For example, Oklahoma implemented system certification, which encouraged and validated system-level practices and better coordination of services. With the roll out of WIOA, Oklahoma is continuing to move toward a more cross-sector, system-wide coordination of services and collaboration toward common goals. In 2016, Governor Fallin designated four planning regions across Oklahoma, which encompass the state’s eight workforce development areas. Similarly, Core Partners have agreed that the memorandums of understanding among partners, typically developed at the local level, will now also be required at the regional level to demonstrate the state’s vision for regionalism and coordination.

B. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Workforce Development Activities

Provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the workforce development activities identified in (A) above.

Oklahoma’s Workforce Development Activities have both strengths and weaknesses.

Initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Oklahoma’s workforce development activities listed in section 2A, suggest that our workforce development system is well-suited for successful progress and change due to strong leadership as well as engaged and connected cross-sector partners, among other strengths.

The Core Partners, in consult with local workforce development area feedback, collaboratively identified strengths and weaknesses of the workforce development system, and the activities listed in 2A, including: Oklahoma Works Initiative outreach and planning through the 2015 Key Economic Network tour, the strategic plan development meetings and resulting objectives, the coordination of the Core Partners and required partners in system-building, the business-led and data-driven restructuring of the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, and the commissioned study on non-completers to guide policy on increasing educational attainment.

Currently, Oklahoma’s strengths include strong leadership, workforce system partner engagement, and unprecedented involvement from the business community.

1) Oklahoma benefits from having strong leadership to guide and push forward the state’s workforce development priorities through our state’s Governor and Cabinet Secretaries. Governor Mary Fallin chose workforce and closing the skills gap and increasing educational attainment as her key priority, as identified in her 2015 and 2016 State of the State addresses. Through her leadership, Oklahoma’s Workforce Partner Agency leadership, which includes Core Partner leadership and leadership from other partner agencies, meet once per month to discuss workforce issues and ways in which partnerships can be leveraged, and how to create a stronger state workforce system. These occur at the Office of the Governor each month. Each leader supports workforce development in the state by publicly promoting the initiative and workforce development activities in the state.

2) Also, as demonstrated by the cross-sector planning and teams under Oklahoma Works’ activities, Oklahoma boasts strong engagement and partnerships from our Core Partners and workforce system partners, and Workforce Development Boards. The State’s partners’ leadership are fully engaged in monthly meetings, mentioned above, where agencies provide updates regarding their education and training activities, and leverage partnerships with, and promotions of, training and education. Additionally, the System Oversight Subcommittee, the working arm of the Workforce System Oversight Committee of the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development is well represented of Core Partner staff and many required partner staff. This well-attended group meets approximately once per month to discuss system-level issues and provide system-level guidance and monitoring. This group is committed to collaborating on the state-level, with local-level guidance.

3) Additionally, Oklahoma has unprecedented involvement from the business community in workforce development efforts. Business leads the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development and Local Workforce Development Boards. Also, Business Champions in the Key Economic Networks (KENs), as a part of the Oklahoma Works initiative, and are engaged to vet and lead numerous Oklahoma Works efforts. Oklahoma is ensuring that business and labor market information is leading policy on the identification of skills needed, employment opportunities, and trends in industry is imperative for a responsive workforce development system. For example, the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development commissioned a yearly statewide labor market information report which will include real time data as well as education assets. This report will be vetted and used by existing state-level business advisory groups, such as the State Department of Education’s Business Advisory Group among others, to make institution-level policy, and disseminate among other business leaders not necessarily associated with the Governor’s Council and WIOA programs. This yearly document will guide Career Pathway efforts across the state.

4) Oklahoma boasts a robust and geographically diverse postsecondary education system with our Career and Technology Education System, and our higher education institutions, which includes our community colleges and four-year educational institutions. In particular, many local Career and Technology Education institutions have strong local ties to communities and are extremely responsive to local business’ needs. This robust system supports Oklahoma’s path to adopt and accomplish a statewide postsecondary attainment goal.

Image is map of Oklahoma CareerTech and university system.

5) Oklahoma has embraced regionalism. Previously, Oklahoma was already working toward a system-approach to workforce development by implementing system-certification and broader coordinated efforts among partners and programs.

With the addition of WIOA required Planning Regions, Oklahoma encourages further cooperation and collaboration among local areas in order to be more strategic with resources and performance targets. Thus, our eight local workforce development areas in Oklahoma are now represented by four regional planning areas. The designation of these areas has opened up new opportunities as these areas consider joint strategies and additional partnerships. For example, the Northeast planning region is meeting regularly and as of June 2016, has elected a leadership team consisting of local elected officials from each of the local areas in their region.

6) The State is supporting local pilot projects which look very promising, which focus on a) the development of MOUs and b) the development of an infrastructure and cost-sharing processes template. Both pilots report to the System Oversight Subcommittee to collect best practices and lessons learned in order to determine the state-level guidance that will come from these pilots. In the second example, Partners have agreed to jointly fund the costs of the Oklahoma Works one-stop center, and are working through the reasonable share formula and process. All core partners are represented on the committee.

Oklahoma’s Workforce Development Activities also have weaknesses that hinder us in realizing our State’s vision for economic prosperity for all of our citizens.

1) In the 2016 legislative session, Oklahoma experienced a budget shortfall of $900 million before the legislative session began, which then grew to more than $1 billion by the end of the session. Many state agencies, including some of our Core Partners, were required to offer voluntary buyouts and layoff staff. Also, postsecondary institutions were required to increase tuition to cover losing state appropriations. Thus, any mention of limited resources and fund sharing elicits anxiety and protection of already limited resources. However, in order to fully realize the vision and strategic priorities of the State, the Partners must work hard to overcome these tendencies to better deliver education and training services to Oklahomans.

2) Also, Oklahoma runs the risk of limited capacity to deliver on the ambitious strategies we’ve set forth. Due to the state’s revamped efforts in and leadership for workforce development activities, there are numerous workforce development initiatives, new and revived, across the state that are requiring engagement from partner staff and the business communities. Thus, partner staff are engaged in numerous workforce related efforts, running the risk of duplication of efforts and burn-out due to a lack of capacity to sustain the efforts with the current amount of staff available at each agency to devote to the efforts. Similarly, the business community may be exhausted in a short amount of time due to the numerous requests for engagement from a variety of partners and initiatives.

3) Although Oklahoma has had lower than the national average of unemployment for years, Oklahoma’s unemployment rate has steadily risen in 2016. January (4.1%), February (4.2%), March (4.4%), April (4.5%), May (4.7%), and June (4.8%) and may increase to be higher than the national unemployment rate (OESC, BLS).

4) Although a major goal under Oklahoma Works is for a fully functional state longitudinal data system to better track the workforce development successes of the state and provide better data to inform policy and resource distribution, the State does not yet have a fully functional system. Further resources and continued commitment of Partners to implement this system is required in order for it to be successful.

5) The State’s Education and Training Provider List (ETPL), Online Case Management System, and Labor Exchange System is not as functional nor fully dynamic as necessary to ensure a seamless system. The State must select a new vendor to ensure all new WIOA reporting requirements are met, the ETPL is fully functional to prevent barriers to identifying and securing education and training for participants, and the labor exchange system is accurate and practical for both job seekers and employers.

6) Oklahoma lacks a common intake or common registration system for citizens to better access programs for which they are eligible. All core partners have their own data systems and there is limited data sharing, which results in participant duplication, and tracking shared performance is difficult. Common intake is needed in order to get participants’ the services they need, quicker, and more seamlessly, and get them education, training, and/or employment as efficiently as possible.

C. State Workforce Development Capacity

Provide an analysis of the capacity of State entities to provide the workforce development activities identified in (A) above.

Oklahoma has demonstrated the engagement in and capacity to deliver on the State’s workforce development goals by leveraging volunteer business leaders, key economic networks across the state, state agency workforce partner agencies and staff, new leadership to move the State forward, and cooperation among core partners to better coordinate and deliver services. Over the past two years, the state has enhanced, aligned, and expanded capacity to address the education and skill needs of the workforce. This has occurred under the state’s and Governor’s broader workforce development initiative, Oklahoma Works, and through the implementation of WIOA.

As mentioned in the Strengths and Weaknesses response, Oklahoma runs the risk of limited capacity, not because of a lack of commitment by Partner staff, but because of the increased urgency and significance of workforce development activities and initiatives in the state.

Within Oklahoma, the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), the WIOA State Board, is composed of business leaders appointed to the Council who represent Oklahoma’s diverse geography, who are from rural and urban areas, and who represent our state’s major industry economic drivers. The Council, in alignment with the Oklahoma Works goal, has been tasked with using data to inform policy, track progress and measure success toward ensuring wealth generation, and governs, manages, and accounts for the way the state issues Department of Labor WIOA monies. State workforce partners, departments, and agencies impacting career readiness have developed metrics for targeted wealth generation across Oklahoma. The GCWED selected targets from these metrics, housed on OKStateStat.OK.gov, that form the foundation of the Governor’s Council Dashboard. This dashboard facilitates the use of data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success consistently statewide. Recognizing that these are members of the business community and volunteers to the Council, these members meet quarterly to best make use of their time and travel from all regions of the state.

Similarly, GCWED underwent a structural revision in early 2016, moving the ad hoc Career Pathways committee to a standing committee of GCWED. Along with Career Pathways, the Health Care Workforce Committee was also added as a standing committee. We now have four total standing committees of the Governor’s Council, including the Workforce System Oversight Committee and the Youth Program Committee.

Key Economic Networks (KENs) are areas in which labor market data demonstrate geographic similarities with regard to occupations and commuting patterns. Within these areas, regional business leaders, educators, private organizations, and workforce partner staff collaborate to identify solutions to local challenges that, when addressed regionally, will help to grow a skilled workforce and encourage wealth generation in the state. Each KEN region has a Champion, a regional leader from business and industry appointed by the Governor, who coordinates local efforts to support Oklahoma Works. These are volunteer business leaders who are working to identify other volunteer business leaders in their areas in order to support the grassroots efforts of regional workforce development activities. KENs provide much needed input to the State regarding business’ needs, and are supported by State leadership.

As part of Oklahoma Works, state workforce partners will intentionally align and connect education and workforce resources to better provide support and remove workforce barriers for the citizens of Oklahoma. Workforce partners will also establish an annual review of funding sources and incentives provided by federal, state, and local sources and chart the effectiveness of federal and state funding used by the state’s education, workforce, and economic development system. Additionally, departments and agencies impacting career readiness will continue tracking metrics for targeted wealth generation. Workforce System Partner Agencies, including the Core Partners, meet monthly to provide updates regarding their education and training activities, and to leverage partnerships with and promotions of training and education. Staff support for initiatives under the Oklahoma Works banner and for workforce development activities is strong, especially with agency and state leadership devoted to the State’s goal.

Also, the System Oversight Subcommittee, the working arm of the Workforce System Oversight Committee of the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, is tasked with developing the system-wide framework and policy documents that will comply with WIOA legislation and Federal regulations, and are tasked with compliance review of the system (Oklahoma’s 33 Workforce Centers located around the state). Staff from the following programs/agencies are represented on this committee: Career and Technologyl Education (Perkins and Adult Basic Education) through the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, Community Services Block Grant and Community Services Block Grant through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Senior Community Service Employment program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Trade Adjustment Assistance programs and Unemployment Compensation programs through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, in addition to business, the Regents for Higher Education, and the Department of Rehabilitation Services, among others. The SOS includes and seeks input on policy and guidance from the Workforce Development Boards and staff as necessary. Staff, who are part of the System Oversight Subcommittee, represent some of the same partners as who attend the monthly workforce system partner meetings but are different staff.

In 2015, Oklahoma’s Governor moved Workforce activities from the Commerce Cabinet Secretary to the Education Cabinet Secretary, and named a new Secretary of Education and Workforce Development for the state of Oklahoma. By shifting workforce to the education Secretary’s portfolio, she demonstrated the type of alignment necessary to ensure a better talent pipeline for Oklahoma. The new structure and new leadership were critical for demonstrating the state’s renewed commitment to workforce development.

Additionally, core partners are committed to better deliver and coordinate resources and services to maximize capacity among staff to better deliver services to jobseekers across the state. The core partners, as well as many required partners, along with the local Workforce Development Boards, will continue to develop a streamlined customer experience through referrals from and to core, non-core, and program partners to coordinate workforce activities and increase the capacity of each partner by allowing specialized services to function optimally and assist in the elimination of the duplication of services. For example, Local Elected Official Consortium Agreements identify collective responsibilities of the LEOs with regard to services provided, funding costs, methods for referring individuals among services, procedures to ensure customers with barriers to employment have access to services, and ensuring the system is meeting the needs of business.

Oklahoma is encouraging the braiding of funding and leveraging of resources through the state’s new resource leveraging tool to be released in the fall of 2016. In this online tool, state agencies, including the core partners, can identify existing workforce development activities and send requests to partner. These requests are then supported and facilitated with the assistance of the Office of the Governor, if needed. Similarly, with the release of this tool, the Office of the Governor, under Oklahoma Works, in July of 2016, challenged each state agency and each Workforce Development Board, to identify one new partner (private or public) to engage.

With stagnant or declining funding from state and federal funding streams, the State is continually seeking more efficient ways to provide services to Oklahomans. One such strategy to address increasing cost margins from private providers is for the state to competitively bid One-Stop operators to develop a pool of vendors from which to choose, a strategy which the state is exploring. Strategies such as this will result in savings at the local board level, enabling more funding to be directed to services and training.

b. State Strategic Vision and Goals

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the State’s strategic vision and goals for developing its workforce and meeting employer needs in order to support economic growth and economic self-sufficiency. This must include—

1. Vision

Describe the State’s strategic vision for its workforce development system.

The State’s strategic vision: In order for Oklahoma to meet labor demands, for businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and prosper, and for Oklahoma citizens to maintain wealth generating occupations, Oklahoma understands the new minimum for success moving forward will increasingly include a postsecondary degree or credential.

Oklahoma Works is designed to increase the wealth of all Oklahomans through providing education and training for citizens to obtain quality employment, beyond the scope of WIOA (this cuts across all agencies regardless of funding streams). Our rationale is that coordinating strategic priorities and plans across education, training, and industry will increase the wealth of all Oklahomans by providing employment opportunities for workers and ready availability of highly skilled talent for business and industry. The statewide initiative is built upon a coalition of businesses, educational institutions, state agencies, and other partners, and is an overarching state strategy, but is fully aligned with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Within Oklahoma, the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), the newly revamped WIOA State Board, is composed of business leaders appointed to the Council who represent Oklahoma’s diverse geography, who are from rural and urban areas, and who represent our state’s major industry economic drivers. The Council, in alignment with the Oklahoma Works goal, has been tasked with using data to inform policy, track progress and measure success toward ensuring wealth generation, and governs, manages, and accounts for the way the state issues Department of Labor WIOA monies. State workforce partners, departments, and agencies impacting career readiness have developed metrics for targeted wealth generation across Oklahoma. The GCWED selected targets from these metrics, housed on the newly created OKStateStat.OK.gov, that form the foundation of the Governor’s Council Dashboard. This dashboard facilitates the use of data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success consistently statewide.

Key Economic Networks (KENs) are areas in which labor market data demonstrate geographic similarities with regard to occupations and commuting patterns. Within these areas, regional business leaders, educators, private organizations, and workforce partner staff collaborate to identify solutions to local challenges that, when addressed regionally, will help to grow a skilled workforce and encourage wealth generation in the state. Each KEN region has a Champion, a regional leader from business and industry appointed by the Governor who coordinates local efforts to support Oklahoma Works.

As part of Oklahoma Works, state workforce partners will intentionally align and connect education and workforce resources to better provide support and remove workforce barriers for the citizens of Oklahoma. Workforce partners will also establish an annual review of funding sources and incentives provided by federal, state, and local sources and chart the effectiveness of federal and state funding used by the state’s education, workforce, and economic development system. Additionally, departments and agencies impacting career readiness will continue tracking metrics for targeted wealth generation. Workforce System Partner Agencies, including the Core Partners, meet monthly to provide updates regarding their education and training activities, and to leverage partnerships with and promotions of training and education.

2. Goals

Describe the goals for achieving this vision based on the above analysis of the State’s economic conditions, workforce, and workforce development activities. This must include—


 
__________
 
* Individuals with barriers to employment include displaced homemakers; low-income individuals; Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; individuals with disabilities, including youth who are individuals with disabilities; older individuals; ex-offenders; homeless individuals, or homeless children and youths; youth who are in or have aged out of the foster care system; individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers; eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers (as defined at section 167(i) of WIOA and Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 35-14); individuals within 2 years of exhausting lifetime eligibility under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program; single parents (including single pregnant women); and long-term unemployed individuals.
 
** Veterans, unemployed workers, and youth and any other populations identified by the State.

Goal 1: Preparing a Skilled Workforce

The goals for achieving the Governor and State’s vision for wealth generation, are both under the umbrella of Oklahoma Works, the workforce development initiative for the state, and specifically within the scope of WIOA at the state and local and regional levels.

First, under the umbrella workforce development initiative for the state, Oklahoma Works, the State began a strategic planning effort to improve Oklahoma’s workforce development system in November of 2015. The effort involved the Core Partners (Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and Office of Workforce Development) as well as other state agency partners who are a part of the state’s workforce development system (Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools, Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology Education, Department of Commerce, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, HealthCare Authority, Office of Educational Quality and Accountability, Office of Management and Enterprise Services, State Department of Education, and State Regents for Higher Education). In addition to these workforce system partners, the Oklahoma State Chamber’s Educated Workforce Initiative, business leaders from all regions of the state, members of our Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development, and our state leaders were involved in the planning process. The resulting Oklahoma Works Strategic Delivery Plan was approved by Governor Fallin and key state leaders on December 8, 2015. This Plan is the overarching workforce development strategy, beyond the scope of WIOA, to guide workforce development activities in the state.

Key Economic Networks (KENs), under the Oklahoma Works initiative, are areas in which labor market data demonstrate geographic similarities with regard to occupations and commuting patterns. In the fall of 2015, the Governor led a tour of all nine KEN areas across the state to hear from local business leaders, local educators, workforce development board members, local agency staff from our workforce system partners, and the State retrieved qualitative data from each KEN regarding the workforce challenges in rural and urban areas of the state.

Thus, included in the plan are four objectives and sub-strategies on which all state workforce system partner agencies, including the Core Partners, are aligned.

Objective/Goal 1: ALIGN AND CONNECT: Develop, align and connect the education and training pipeline with the needs of the state’s regional economies by coordinating strategic priorities and plans across the education and workforce system across the state level, across the local level, and from the local to state level. Oklahoma is aligning and connecting across state agencies, in the local areas among state agencies and businesses, and from the local areas to the state level. The State’s Align and Connect priorities are on the following issues: 1) career options exposure: aligning Career Pathways and career options with the needs of Oklahoma businesses to ensure more Oklahomans are aware of viable paths to career entry and career building, exposed to careers at an earlier age, empowered with the information needed to best use valuable resources, and workforce-ready faster; 2) postsecondary opportunities in high school: increase postsecondary opportunities in high school to ensure more students graduate high school with specialized knowledge or credentials to enter in-demand occupations, start businesses, or continue education with less time to completion; 3) workforce readiness: align workforce readiness services across state programs and agencies, such that Oklahomans have the employability skills (people, professional, technical application, also known as soft skills) necessary to obtain wealth generating employment; and 4) transportation services: better coordinate transportation services to Oklahomans in rural and urban areas, in order to address the fundamental challenge of connecting education, training, and work opportunities with those citizens who need them most.

Objective/Goal 2: DATA: Integrate and use workforce and economic development data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success by 1) using data to decrease labor supply and demand gap: utilize statewide data to decrease the skills gap by defining determinants and benchmarks along all levels of education and training that lead to employability in identified economic systems, evaluating and utilizing competencies and assessments, and identifying and working to minimize existing data gaps, (the state’s approach to create a State Longitudinal Data System and connect that to Workforce Data, as required under the Workforce Data Quality Initiative); 2) OKJobMatch: re-launch OKJobMatch.com as the one official job and labor exchange system for the state. OKJobMatch will connect jobseekers with employers, making it easier for job seekers to find jobs and for employers to find candidates while improving the accuracy of data available to decision-makers; 3) common connectivity: create a common intake portal in the state’s workforce centers which allows State service providers to better identify the eligibility of citizens and refer them to appropriate providers, ensuring more Oklahomans can enter and remain in the workforce.

Objective/Goal 3: PARTNERSHIPS: Cultivate and maintain productive relationships between regional employers, educators, and other workforce partners to ensure an appropriately skilled workforce that meets the needs of employers. Use real-time demand data from local business leaders to guide workforce development at the state, regional, and local levels. Expanding and strengthening local partnerships ensures we will meet the skilled workforce needs of our local employers.

Objective/Goal 4: RESOURCES: Optimize use of resources and incentives to achieve the Oklahoma Works goal by identifying and recommending creative, cross-agency, and cross-sector funding models that support similar workforce programs and include agency programs that potentially benefit from public-private partnerships. At the State level, OKstatestat.ok.gov was launched in 2015 and serves as the performance framework for Oklahoma’s new transparent Performance-Informed Budgeting system.

Goal 2: Meeting the Needs of Employers

Second, Oklahoma intends to use all of the Oklahoma Works strategies, created in partnership with all workforce system partner agencies representing specific populations, to provide improved access and services to ALL clients. In addition to the career options exposure strategy and the career pathways process, which Oklahoma intends to use as a key strategy to better serve clients with barriers to employment, Oklahoma strives to connect employers with the workforce needed and to create jobs and to raise the education and skill levels of all citizens—dislocated workers, veterans, individuals with disabilities, youth, individuals with limited English proficiency, low-income individuals, etc. (outlined in section: How State Plan Requirements are Organized).

Finally, to fully achieve an integrated and effective workforce development system, the state’s regions will build upon the state’s vision in implementing WIOA. For full alignment, the local and regional plans will align with the state’s plan and the Governor’s vision regarding the goals of 1) align and connect across the system and to local economies, 2) integrate data to make better policy and priority decisions, and track progress, 3) expand and strengthen partnerships with business and others to better meet the needs of business, and 4) optimize their use of resources. The local areas will provide improved access and services to ALL clients, including those with barriers to employment and special populations.

3. Performance Goals

Using the table provided in Appendix 1, include the State's expected levels of performance relating to the performance accountability measures based on primary indicators of performance described in section 116(b)(2)(A) of WIOA. (This Strategic Planning element only applies to core programs.)

Please see table in Appendix 1. Oklahoma finalized negotiations on Program Year 16 and Program Year 17 targets by the August 15 deadline.

4. Assessment

Describe how the State will assess the overall effectiveness of the workforce development system in the State in relation to the strategic vision and goals stated above in sections (b)(1), (2), and (3) and how it will use the results of this assessment and other feedback to make continuous or quality improvements.

The State will measure the overall effectiveness of the system as follows:

1. The WIOA performance measures applicable to the WIOA Core Partners include measures for education, credentials and progress in education for both youth and adults. As the state collects the information quarterly. Oklahoma Works will be able to assess the progress of the partners in meeting the State’s vision and goals.

2. The State Workforce System Partners, including WIOA Core Partners, will establish an annual review of funding sources and incentives provided by federal, state and local sources.

3. The State Workforce Partners will chart the effectiveness of federal and state funding for education, workforce and economic development systems throughout the state.

4. Biennial certification of local workforce boards will assure that the boards are fully appointed and include individuals with optimum policy making authority and expertise providing appropriate oversight and policy guidance to the local system.

5. Annual program and fiscal reviews of the eight local boards (as of July 1, 2016).

6. Monitor expenditure levels of the local areas and the core partners to assure services are flowing to participants.

7. Monitor the level of workforce related complaints which reach state level review.

8. Certification of local one-stop centers as required by WIOA.

9. With assistance from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, assure the local one-stops are accessible and accommodate individuals with disabilities.

10. Requiring that Eligible Training Providers provide assurances through their applications for inclusion in the State List of Eligible Training Providers that their facilities are accessible and that reasonable accommodations are made for students as needed.

The local boards and state partners are very familiar with the continuous improvement principles. Results of assessments both positive and negative will be communicated to the local boards and partners. As appropriate, corrective action including plans for improvement will be requested in accordance with continuous improvement principles and evaluated for their likelihood of success. Where performance or fiscal integrity is a concern the State will communicate directly with the local board chair and the chief elected official.

c. State Strategy

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the State's strategies to achieve its strategic vision and goals. These strategies must take into account the State’s economic, workforce, and workforce development, education and training activities and analysis provided in Section (a) above. Include discussion of specific strategies to address the needs of populations provided in Section (a).

1. Describe the strategies the State will implement, including industry or sector partnerships related to in-demand industry sectors and occupations and career pathways,  as required by WIOA section 101(d)(3)(B), (D).  “Career pathway” is defined at WIOA section 3(7).  “In-demand industry sector or occupation” is defined at WIOA section 3(23).

OKLAHOMA’S CAREER PATHWAYS INITIATIVE

Career Pathways - Intended Outcomes

Oklahoma continues to have an active statewide Career Pathways initiative with the goal of having a comprehensive system in place that leads students and out-of-school youth, dislocated workers, and incumbent workers through a full range of career exploration/counseling and education and training opportunities that correspond to employer needs, thus assuring a pipeline of appropriately skilled and credentialed workers for Oklahoma’s companies.

In 2016 the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development changed the status of the Career Pathways Committee from ad hoc to a standing committee of the Council, to further demonstrate commitment to the Career Pathways strategy. Each State agency, including the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, Oklahoma State Department of Education (K-12), Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE), Regents Higher Education (two-year and four-year institutions), Department of Rehabilitation Services, Department of Human Services, Adult Basic Education, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and other partners that provide services to potential members of the talent pipeline has policies in place that align with career pathways.

Similarly, Career Pathway collaborators in Oklahoma include: Business and Industry, Workforce Development Boards and Service Providers, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, one-stop centers, students and parents/guardians, State Department of Education (K-12), Adult Education, Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Department of Human Services, After School Network, Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, Veteran’s Affairs, Private staffing agencies, Professional, trade and labor organizations, Community--based organizations, Faith-based organizations, Department of Corrections, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, Economic Developers, Chambers of Commerce, Regional Economic Development Organizations, Minority organizations (tribes, Hispanic, traditionally black institutions), Local and state elected officials, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Department of Corrections, and Private foundations.

Oklahoma has adopted the Department of Labor definition below.

CAREER PATHWAY—The term ‘‘career pathway’’ means a combination of rigorous and high-quality education, training, and other services that—

(A) align with the skill needs of industries in the economy of the State or regional economy involved;

(B) prepare an individual to be successful in any of a full range of secondary or postsecondary education options, including apprenticeships registered under the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the ‘‘National Apprenticeship Act’’; 50 Stat. 664, chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.) (referred to individually in this Act as an ‘‘apprenticeship’’, except in section 171);

(C) include counseling to support an individual in achieving the individual’s education and career goals;

(D) include, as appropriate, education offered concurrently with and in the same context as workforce preparation activities and training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster;

(E) organizes education, training, and other services to meet the particular needs of an individual in a manner that accelerates the educational and career advancement of the individual to the extent practicable;

(F) enable an individual to attain a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and at least 1 recognized postsecondary credential; and

(G) helps an individual enter or advance within a specific occupation or occupational cluster.

In 2015, the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development adopted the Oklahoma Works Strategic Delivery Plan. The goal of Oklahoma Works is to implement wealth generating policies across the state through the alignment of private and public strategic priorities, helping all Oklahomans to achieve the American Dream. To accomplish the overarching goal of wealth generation for all Oklahomans and combat the skills gap, the Office of the Governor, state workforce partners, private business leaders, and numerous other contributors created this plan which supports, among other things, career pathways and sector strategy efforts.

The Governor’s Council plays a key role in establishing the state vision for workforce and economic development integration. In support of career pathways and Oklahoma Works, the Governor’s Council has a Career Pathways Committee that is focusing on the workforce needs of Oklahoma employers and ensuring education providers can meet those needs, and increasing the skills of Oklahoma workers in order to close the skills gap. Solutions to these challenges are in sector strategies, attainment of credentials/degrees, reducing the high school dropout rate, and career pathways.

Sector strategies and career pathways are being developed to support and align with the five ecosystems (economic systems) of the state: Aerospace and Defense, Agriculture and Biosciences, Energy, Information and Financial Services and Transportation and Distribution, to ensure Oklahomans are exposed to those in-demand careers in wealth generating industries.

Similarly, Career Pathway collaborators in Oklahoma include: Business and Industry, Workforce Development Boards and Service Providers, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, one-stop centers, students and parents/guardians, State Department of Education (K-12), Adult Education, Higher Education, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Department of Human Services, After School Network, Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, Veteran’s Affairs, Private staffing agencies, Professional, trade and labor organizations, Community-based organizations, Faith-based organizations, Department of Corrections, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, Economic Developers, Chambers of Commerce, Regional Economic Development Organizations, Minority organizations (tribes, Hispanic, traditionally black institutions), Elected officials - local and state, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Department of Corrections, and Private foundations.

Action items the Career Pathways Committee is working on include the following:

Oklahoma’s Youth based Career Pathways venture will focus more in depth on strengthening the collaboration with High Schools and Alternative Schools; Adult Basic Education; Training Providers; Postsecondary Education and Quality Pre-Apprenticeships Programs to bridge the education gaps between future workers and the competitive industry clusters. Sharing of partner information at the highest level will be a continuous focus to integrate both analytical and performance figures to maximize the outcomes of all state partners in the Oklahoma Works System.

Career Pathways and Adults and Dislocated Workers

The Oklahoma Works’ strategic plan recognizes that career counseling and training services are critical to the employment success of many adults and dislocated workers, including unemployed and underemployed individuals. Oklahoma continues to develop strategies to support the use of career pathways for the purpose of providing individuals, including low-skilled adults, youth, and individuals with barriers to employment (including individuals with disabilities), with workforce development activities, education, and supportive services to enter or retain employment.

Also in alignment with the goals of Oklahoma Works, local boards continue to utilize Title I Youth, Adult and Dislocated Worker funds in partnership with other entities that provide workforce services, adult and basic education, and rehabilitation services. Together these partner entities expand the access to employment, training, education, and supportive services for eligible individuals, particularly eligible individuals with barriers to employment. This facilitates the development of career pathways and co-enrollment into core programs, and improves access to activities leading to recognized postsecondary credentials, including industry-recognized certificates and certificates that are portable and stackable.

Career Pathways and Registered Apprenticeships

Registered Apprenticeship (RA) is a viable path to career entry and career building. By aligning exposure to Career Pathways and Career Options, Oklahoma will be able to prioritize education and training resources to support placement into high demand occupations, and businesses will be able to provide the hands-on training to build the skilled workforce the businesses need to succeed. The State is committed to fully integrating RA programs as an employment and training solution for one-stop centers. Local areas will have maximum flexibility in serving participants and supporting their placement into RA programs. There are several ways in which training services may be used in conjunction with these RA programs, including developing an Individual Training Account (ITA) for a participant to receive RA training, utilizing an On-The-Job Training (OJT) contract with an RA program for providing both classroom and on-the-job instruction; a combination of an ITA to cover the classroom instruction along with an OJT contract to cover on-the-job portions of the RA; and utilizing incumbent worker training for upskilling apprentices who already have an established working/training relationship with the RA program.

Career Pathways and Youth

The Youth Program Committee of the Governor’s Council play’s an integral part of the State’s strategy (Oklahoma Works) for implementing industry/sector partnerships related to in-demand industry sectors and occupations (ecosystems) and career pathways and will work closely and collaborate with the Career Pathways Committee and all partners. It provides recommendations on policy and performance for the development and implementation of WIOA youth funded programs statewide.

The Youth Program Committee is working on the following action items:

--Work with the education system to support the prevention and recovery of affected youth.

--Develop strategies for both in-school and out-of-school youth.

--Develop a statewide plan in support of youth which would include a communication infrastructure that will inform and engage all stakeholders.

--Provide guidance to assist local areas in achieving compliance.

Oklahoma Works Youth Innovative Approaches to Getting Youth Focused on Career Pathways:

--Career services will provide job seeking individuals with skills and tools necessary for successful participation in education and training programs, resulting in credentials and/ or degrees and employment in careers in high demand sectors.

--In alignment with the WIOA requirement to provide work experience, we will focus youth who may need summer employment, job shadowing, and work based learning such as pre-apprenticeships or internships on that component to get familiar with a work environment.

--Emphasis on the importance of the one-on-one sessions with a career coach to stress the need to get onto a career pathway.

--Ensure that we are utilizing current labor market data based on the region or where a youth plans on relocating.

--We will determine what the skills needs for the job and match the youth with the training and credentials needed to successfully complete the service strategy for the youth.

--While setting up a youth for a job ultimately, we will initially determine whether they have the basic tools for success. Career coaches must be caring enough and have the skill to determine the preparedness for mentoring, training or work experience.

--We will continue working in partnership to learn how our partners’ referral system works. Since some do direct placement with employers, we will be cognitive of who their partners are and who they work with to avoid duplicate and wasteful processes.

New Skills for Youth Grant

The Oklahoma State Department of Education was recently awarded one of the J.P. Morgan Chase and Cos. New Skills for Youth grants. This grant builds on career pathway initiatives under Oklahoma Works. Outcomes from the Career Readiness Initiative will align K-12 career pathways and programs with the high-skill, high-demand needs of business and industry to better prepare students for success in college, technical/STEM careers and the 21st century world of work. This grant will help the state ensure that career pathways efforts are a part of every in-school youth’s education experience. The WIOA Core Partners, among other state agency workforce partners, are involved on this committee and expand career pathways for K-12 youth in Oklahoma.

One-Stop Centers

One-Stop Centers, known as Oklahoma Works Centers, will be retooled to improve quality; and focus on employer needs with regionalism as the concentration for improving economies. The key principle is on skills development, attainment of industry-recognized/industry relevant credentials; degrees; and prioritization of career pathways in high demand sectors.

Staff now have the flexibility to provide services based on the needs of the job seeker:

We have fully implemented DOL’s addition of more simplification in determining the income eligibility of youth, which puts more focus and resources on the training needs of youth and job seekers.

Oklahoma Works will take full advantage of the new reform by the Department of Labor and foster the Department’s streamlining philosophy as we implement new policy and processes.

Intersecting Resources for Strong Service Delivery

Oklahoma Works will deliver by aiming at ways of getting the most out of education programs while intermingling the programs into industry standards as the basis of all goals and ensuring that partner resources and practices are accessible and shared. We will continue to demand and champion program alignments as well as assure access to the broad array of services funded across the state’s workforce and education programs.

In Oklahoma, resources will be interlaced and aligned through the creation of a “stellar customer focus for all approach” with buy in from all partnerships at the state, local and regional level.

Area planning regions will use data and meetings with area employers to determine the in-demand industry sectors and/or occupations, which will, in turn, help determine the career pathways needed for specific areas of the state.

For more information on the Oklahoma Works Strategic Delivery plan visit: Oklahomaworks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Oklahoma-Works-Strategic-Delivery-Plan-February 2016-2.pdf

2. Describe the strategies the State will use to align the core programs, any Combined State Plan partner programs included in this Plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs, and any other resources available to the State to achieve fully integrated customer services consistent with the strategic vision and goals described above.  Also describe strategies to strengthen workforce development activities in regard to weaknesses identified in section II(a)(2).

Central to WIOA is the integration of service delivery among multiple workforce development programs. Oklahoma, under Oklahoma Works, has strong partnerships among state agencies, the State Department of Education, two- and four-year postsecondary institutions, the career and technology education system, economic development organizations, and community-based organizations, both at the State level and at the local level with our Workforce Development Boards. Using the foundation built by these quality partnerships, Oklahoma will further align core and optional programs through the following strategies which support the ultimate goals of preparing a skilled workforce, and meeting the needs of employers, and which are fully aligned with the strategies developed under Oklahoma Works:

1) Continue to align and connect. Coordinate across agencies and programs to prevent “siloing” and duplication. For example, Oklahoma will continue to build on the foundational work of the “A New Day, New Way” process. What began as a pilot project in 2012 to create a center certification process to achieve alignment of education and training programs for the purpose of building a talent pipeline of appropriately skilled and credentialed Oklahomans to meet the demands of Oklahoma employers, has now been revamped and revived under the new requirements of WIOA. First, Oklahoma Works Center certification will be required, followed by a system certification process. Certification ensures the center and system are user-friendly, participant-focused, and business-driven. These certification processes ensure the center and system facilitates an integrated co-located partnership that seamlessly incorporates services of the core partners and other partners in a way that enhances the user-experience (both job-seeker and employer) and avoids duplication.

Also, due to the increased interest in workforce development initiatives and opportunities across the state, more opportunity is had to align and connect in order to address the issue of limited capacity. As duplicative efforts are discovered through continued partnership and communication, agencies and programs will identify more opportunities to align.

2) Utilize data. Ensure investments in employment and training programs are evidence-based, labor market driven, and accountable by utilizing and sharing historical and real-time local and state labor market data that is validated by business, and using common performance indicators to encourage shared accountability and transparency. This strategy improves access to labor market information for both employers and job seekers that will allow them to access job openings, review changing labor market trends and opportunities, and identify education, training, and support services.

3) Coordinate and enhance data systems. To ensure the State can continue to utilize meaningful, reliable data, Oklahoma seeks to address a statewide weakness, and continue to improve data and case management systems, and the coordination among data and case management systems. This includes building the state’s longitudinal data system, connecting data among other agencies, re-launching our case management and labor exchange systems with a new vendor, and working towards a common intake system.

4) Further expand partnerships. In addition to coordination and alignment among the core programs, Oklahoma seeks to strengthen the number of and relationship with required partners and other community partners, both public and private. This strategy also focuses on fostering partnerships with business, in order to improve and expand employer-driven initiatives and policy decisions to ensure Oklahoma is achieving its goal of meeting the needs of employers.

5) Optimize resources. To counter stagnate and decreasing funding streams at the state and federal levels, an identified weakness of our workforce development activities, Oklahoma will continue to identify and leverage cross-agency, cross-program resources. Although Governor Fallin’s goal of increasing the wealth of Oklahomans and creating a more resilient state economic climate will occur over time, producing additional resources, in the interim, core partners and others will continue to seek strategic discretionary grants to further the State’s goals and strategies. Also, with the designation of four regions, local workforce development areas will have the ability to further leverage funds and serve more citizens by merging administrative responsibilities and better-coordinating services. Through the MOU process, we anticipate the partners will identify key areas of overlap to eliminate, further expanding the capacity of the system.

III. Operational Planning Elements

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that support the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II.(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—

A. State Strategy Implementation

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include—

1. State Board Functions

Describe how the State board will implement its functions under section 101(d) of WIOA (i.e. provide a description of Board operational structures and decision making processes to ensure such functions are carried out).

The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GWED, Governor’s Council) is playing a key role as the vehicle to establish the state vision for workforce and economic development integration. Integration of workforce and economic development objectives will result in a competitive advantage for Oklahoma by achieving wealth-creation for business, individuals, and communities throughout Oklahoma. Five ecosystems (economic systems) in major areas of employment throughout the state have been identified as driving wealth in Oklahoma:

1. Aerospace and Defense

2. Agriculture and Biosciences

3. Energy

4. Information and Financial Services

5. Transportation and Distribution

Complementary ecosystems, which help to expand wealth in the economy include:

1. Construction

2. Healthcare

3. Education

4. Creative Industries

The Governor’s Council’s focus is understanding the workforce needs of Oklahoma employers and ensuring education providers can meet those needs, and increasing the skills of Oklahoma workers in order to close the skills gap. Various solutions to these challenges are in sector strategies, attainment of credentials/degrees, reducing the high school dropout rate, and career pathways.

The Governor’s Council includes private and public sector individuals that work together to support the governor’s economic and workforce development vision (Oklahoma Works) across the state. The Council meets quarterly, however, interaction between its members occurs on a regular basis. Initiatives that involve long-standing partnerships between private companies and public agencies are ongoing.

Private and public sector representatives also serve on Governor’s Council committees charged with developing and recommending initiatives, pilots, best practices, etc., to enhance and implement Oklahoma’s workforce and economic development strategy. The committees meet monthly or as needed to accomplish their goals and objectives.

Committees, Purpose and Goal

Workforce System Oversight Committee

The Workforce System Oversight Committee (WSOC) makes decisions on program governance, policy and capacity building for the Local Workforce Development Boards and partnerships. The Committee serves as an oversight board and will ensure compliance with WIOA. WSOC has the following objectives:

Action Items

Youth Program Committee

The Youth Program Committee provides recommendations on policy and performance for the development and implementation of WIOA youth funded programs statewide. The Committee creates an Oklahoma workforce strategy for youth that aligns with youth initiatives and provides common solutions that coordinate with the state’s economic goal of building wealth creation for all Oklahomans. The Committee has the following objectives:

Action Items

Health Care Workforce Committee

The Health Care Workforce Committee informs, coordinates and facilitates statewide efforts to ensure that a well-trained, adequately distributed, and flexible healthcare workforce is available to meet the needs of an efficient and effective healthcare system in Oklahoma. The Committee has the following objectives:

Action Items

Career Pathways Committee

The Career Pathways Committee makes recommendations, informs, coordinates and facilitates statewide efforts to improve Oklahomans’ exposure to high-demand career and entrepreneurship opportunities, along with the education and training required for entry into and advancement within a chosen career. The Committee develops industry sector strategies in state and regional ecosystems to ensure that the education and training system is delivering the skills needed by employers. The Committee has the following objectives:

Action Items

Committee Meetings

Committees meet once a month or as often as necessary to carry out their work. Meetings can be in person, by conference call, video conferencing, etc.

Committee Reports

Committee recommendations are forwarded to the full Governor’s Council for consideration and action.

FUNCTIONS AND PROCESSES

State Plan

The Governor’s Council assists the governor in the development, implementation, and modification of the state plan by assigning staff from various entities represented on the council to collaborate on the initiatives included and the writing of the plan.

The Governor’s Council develops linkages through its members and also through the Workforce Partners Team. This regular contact among partners allows for constant collaboration on issues.

Local Plans

The Governor’s Council Workforce System and Oversight Committee will review local plans submitted from each of Oklahoma’s workforce development areas. This review ensures that the local plans align with the Unified State Plan and that those local plans are demand-driven with significant input from identified local industry representatives. The council provides technical assistance to local areas in the development of their plans, if needed.

Designation of Workforce Development Areas

The Governor’s Council recommends designations of local workforce development areas and will continue to work with local workforce areas on re-designation requests. Any contemplated changes in areas are discussed with all parties involved including the local elected officials, Workforce Development Boards, and service providers. Changes in workforce development areas are done only in the best interests of the State and the business and job seeker customers in that area.

The Governor’s Council approved initial designations for four areas: Tulsa, Southwest, South Central, and Northeast. Initial designations are effective through June 30, 2017.

The Council approved conditional designation for five areas: Central, East Central, Eastern, Northwestern, and Southern. Conditional designations are effective through June 30, 2016 at which time they will be reviewed for compliance.

For the Local Area Initial Designation Process, see link to policy - OWDI 02-2015 Local Area Initial Designation Process. Link: http://oklahomaworks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/OWDI-02-2015-Local-Area-Initial-Designation1-2.pdf.

For the process for Conditional Designation of Local Areas, see link to policy - OWDI 06-2015 Conditional Designation. Link: http://oklahomaworks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/OWDI-06-2015-Conditional-Designation.pdf.

Due to continued reductions in funding, and in an effort to increase funding for direct client services, Oklahoma has made a concentrated effort to work in conjunction with local areas to encourage them to seek re-designation and look at ways to streamline administrative costs.

As an example of the state’s efforts in this area to improve effectiveness and efficiency, Oklahoma has reduced the number of local workforce areas from 11 to 9 and reduced the number of fiscal agents from 10 to 8, since 2010. Beginning July 1, 2016, due to two areas merging into a new area, Oklahoma will have eight (8) workforce development areas and six (6) fiscal agents.

To be designated, local areas must agree to the following Local Area Assurances.

Through PY 2015-2016, the local area assures that:

A. It will comply with the applicable uniform cost principles included in the appropriate circulars or rules of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). [WIOA Section 184(a)(3)].

B. All financial reporting will be done in compliance with federal and State regulations and guidance (i.e. directives and information notices) issued by the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development potential cash hold. [29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 97.21(g)].

C. It will meet State requirements and spend a minimum of 15 percent of combined total of adult and dislocated worker formula fund allocations on training services, beginning with PY 2015-2016 funding.

D. All close out reports will comply with the policies and procedures issued by the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development.

E. It will comply with the audit requirements specified by the State. Failure to comply may result in sanctions imposed by the State.

F. It will maintain and provide auditors, at all levels, accounting and program records including supporting source documentation.

G. No funds received under WIOA will be used to assist, promote, or deter union organizing. [WIOA Section 181(b)(7)]

H. The local board will comply with the nondiscrimination provisions of WIOA Section 188, including the collection of necessary data.

I. The local board will collect, enter, and maintain data related to participant enrollment, activities, and performance necessary to meet all reporting requirements and deadlines.

J. Funds will be spent in accordance with written Department of Labor guidance, and other applicable federal and State law and regulations.

K. It will comply with future State policies and guidelines, legislative mandates and/or other special provisions as may be required under federal law or policy, including the WIOA or State legislation.

L. Priority shall be given to veterans, recipients of public assistance, or other low-income individuals, and individuals who are basic skills deficient for receipt of career and training services funded by WIOA Adult funding. [WIOA Section 134(c)(E) and Training and Employment Guidance Letter 10-09]

M. Priority will also be given to the participation in the designated regional planning areas assisting the Chief Local Elected Officials and Local Board Chairs in developing the regional plan to assist in addressing effectiveness and the reduction of costs.

To ensure re-designation is a truly collaborative process and that the benefits and challenges of re-designation are fully understood, multiple meetings are held with the chief local elected officials, local WDBs, their board staff and service providers, with our American Job Center partners, and with the local workforce board chairs association.

Local Workforce Development Board Certification

The WIOA Section 107 states that the governor of the State, in partnership with the State Board, shall establish criteria for chief local elected officials in the local areas for the appointment of members of the local boards. The certification process is the key strategy to ensure Local Workforce Development Boards have the proper membership and structure to be highly effective in creating and continuously improving an aligned workforce development system, overseeing funds effectively and achieving established performance measures.

The Governor’s Council approves the two-year certification process for the Local Workforce Development Boards. The policy, OWDI 03-2015, provides certification guidance and also clarifies local board membership nomination and appointment as well as the requirements for greater collaboration with stakeholders in their areas including economic development, education, organized labor, transportation, housing, and other sectors, with everyone moving towards the same goals to create community workforce solutions. As a convener of partners and employers, the Local Workforce Development Board has a key role in creating that alignment.

According to Local Workforce Development Board Two-Year Certification Process - OWDI 03-2015, all local workforce boards must be certified by the State showing proper membership established by the governor and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The following Local Workforce Development Boards in Oklahoma have submitted the proper documentation to the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development and after review by the Governor’s Council Workforce System Oversight Committee (WSOC) for accuracy, the WSOC recommended to the full Council that the Local Boards be approved. The Governor’s Council approved the Board certifications.

Local Boards that received a two-year certification:

- Central Workforce Development Board

- Eastern Workforce Development Board

- Northeast Workforce Development Board

- Northwestern Workforce Development Board

- South Central Workforce Development Board

- Southern Workforce Development Board

- Southwest Workforce Development Board

- Tulsa Workforce Development Board

One board, East Central, did not receive certification because they did not meet the population or the performance criteria.

A link to the Local Workforce Development Board Two-Year Certification process policy, - OWDI 03-2015, can be found here: http://oklahomaworks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/OWDI-03-2015-WIOA-LWDB-Membership.pdf.

Allocation formulas for the distribution of funds for adult, dislocated worker and youth programs under WIOA are developed as per the federal WIOA law.

No change has been made to the formula allocation methodology for the upcoming 2 year period from that used under previous workforce legislation.

Policy Alignment

Policy alignment for Oklahoma’s workforce and economic development system is a key, foundational goal for the Governor’s Council. Primary efforts to align policy among the public agencies involved with workforce development and to ensure that policy enhances service delivery to employers, job seekers, and all sub-populations covered by WIOA occur through the initiatives detailed in this plan and include: career pathways, OK-WDES, and the one-stop system and Local Workforce Board certification processes. All of these efforts occur under the umbrella of the Governor’s Council. Additionally, the Workforce Partners is an interagency coordinating team that continuously works to ensure policy alignment to create a seamless service delivery experience for all of those that use Oklahoma’s workforce development system.

Leveraging Resources

The public agencies involved with Oklahoma’s workforce development system have agreed within the parameters of their own unique missions, they will jointly collaborate to:

• Link workforce and economic development;

• Support the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development plan and the governor’s vision for an aligned workforce and economic development system;

• Create a demand-driven system;

• Respond to demand skills within targeted industries;

• Support the Workforce Partners Team;

• Build on the strength of each partner for the common good;

• Model state collaboration as an example for local entities to follow;

• Demonstrate agency commitment to common goals;

• Seek alignment of service delivery for better client access;

• Support and encourage local partnerships and joint planning; and,

• Leverage and link program initiatives where possible for the purpose of achieving broader economic development goals.

The State provides monitoring and assistance to local WDBs to ensure that WIOA Title I funds are not duplicated by other services. The State has encouraged regional planning for local partnership development and continues to find ways to add value to partners and increase participation in system operations.

As formula funding continues to fluctuate, Oklahoma will continue to explore workforce system efficiencies and effectiveness. Currently, a sub-committee of the Workforce System Oversight Committee which includes state and local partners and stakeholders is working toward a system certification process that will ultimately provide a statewide framework and specific outcome standards so that our workforce system will be consistent, aligned and streamlined.

Oklahoma will, through its local planning guidance and process, ask its local WDBs to discuss how their regions are building partnerships and processes that incorporate integrated service strategies to better serve their citizens.

Oklahoma is committed to the alignment of resources at the State and local levels. The State, through the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development is taking a significant step in bringing state agencies together to reduce duplication and enhance collaboration.

Local workforce areas will submit regional plans that will provide details on the current levels of alignment and collaboration and how they will be enhanced. The local boards are also expected to provide details on their efforts to reduce duplication of services and costs and to leverage resources under a regional service delivery approach.

An example of the state-led resource sharing movement are the pilot projects listed below.

McAlester Infrastructure/Cost Sharing Pilot Project

In preparation for the full implementation of Oklahoma’s WIOA New Day, New Way business-driven workforce development system, the System Oversight Subcommittee reached out to one of the current workforce development areas with the intention of putting together a plan for the state to use for one-stop infrastructure and cost sharing model. We engaged their board and partnership team to select a pilot one-stop to dissect their overall operating requirements with the intended outcome to be a model for entire state to replicate. The invites also went out to the state partner directors as well as state chief financial officers. This ensured decisions made at the local level were sanctioned and designed with the state’s knowledge and blessing.

What began as a pilot project in 2012 to create a center certification process, has now been revamped and revived under the new requirements of WIOA. Moving forward, “A New Day, New Way” will focus on Oklahoma Works Center certification with input and guidance from our workforce partners. After Center certification is implemented, “A New Day, New Way” will focus on system-level certification. So, although Oklahoma was on the cutting edge of system certification in WIA, WIOA ensures additional changes are made so that Oklahoma’s Workforce System is comprehensive and responsive to business and job seekers. This Pilot will build on the foundation laid by the original “A New Day, New Way” initiative.

The McAlester, Oklahoma comprehensive center was selected for the pilot location and information regarding overall cost (i.e., computer related service, freight expenses, telecommunication services, rent and utilities, and office supplies) was made available by the current co-located agencies and partners. i.e. computer related service, freight expenses, telecommunication services, rent and utilities, and office supplies. A team was formed to agree upon formulas for the infrastructure costs and will be up for a vote to approve by all. Some apprehension was noted but the state-level financial representatives in the room reassured their staff all suggested was achievable and forward movement was resumed.

The projected timeline for completion of the infrastructure portion will be January 1, 2017. Consensus was reached that all partners represented in the room would be open to cost sharing in addition to infrastructure cost. The current one-stop operator for this area is an unfunded contract with one of the service providers. Even though the staff selected was very much a system oriented staff it became more and more difficult for the other service providers to see them to be a neutral coordinator. It was discussed by all the best way to achieve their goal of neutrality enabling them to provide unbiased and quality services to their shared customers was to share that functional supervisor cost. A committee was formed to develop a comprehensive job description agreed upon by all potential funding providers. Another committee has been formed to analyze what costs would be associated with this position. This should all be decided and agreed upon by October 2016 to be able to release the RFP. Other decisions under consideration by the group will answer questions such as, will the operator be responsible for the system invoices for submission to the fiscal agent for payment?

The first draft of the one-stop operator job description is below, agreed upon and written by all partners:

Roles and Responsibilities of the One-Stop Operator

It is the responsibility of the Southern Workforce Development Board as the administrative entity and fiscal agent to provide oversight of the operation of the workforce system in the Southeast Region. The Board is firmly committed to ensuring that the Oklahoma Works Centers provide universal career services equitably to all customers. By submitting a proposal an individual or entity agrees that if awarded the contract, the resulting contractor will assume the duties of the One Stop Operator/System Operator for all the counties served by the Southern Workforce Development Board.

The role of the One-Stop Operator has been defined as:

Overall management, compliance and oversight of Oklahoma Works centers and services; and coordination of the delivery of Workforce services within the Oklahoma Works system throughout the entire region.

The Operator’s specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

a. Management of the day-to-day operations of the Oklahoma Works centers;

b. Coordinate Service Delivery among Partners

c. Coordinate Service Delivery among Physical and Electronic sites

d. Primary Provider of Services at Physical Centers Includes:

e. Submission of quarterly staffing and operational budgets.

f. Implementation of Board policies

g. Reporting to the One Stop Oversight Committee on operations, performance accountability and continuous improvements as well as other reports requested by the SWB.

h. Outreach and Recruitment of customers

i. Service Staff and Partner training

j. Membership and or participation with local, state association and workgroups

k. Specialized site management

l. Holding Quarterly Workforce Partners meetings

m. In collaboration with the Workforce Board and required partners market, promote, and advertise the one-stop center to educate employers, training institutions, targeted groups and the general public about what services are available, their benefits and how to access them; and industries given priority for training and placement.

n. Promote available system services to organizations by presentation to civic organization on a regular basis throughout the 17 county area.

o. Include specialized outreach methods and marketing to nontraditional and hard to reach or hard to serve groups. Target neighborhoods with high unemployment

p. Coordinate integrated services of partners in a seamless and streamlined fashion according to SWB policy

q. Ensure adaptation are available for specialized population such as those with significant language and cultural barriers including people with disabilities

r. A resource room with self-services information to help customers in selecting careers, job searching, job matching, placement, retention and advancement through ample computers, print, video, and other media. The resource room should be designed for ease of customers use, and staffed with technologically expert professionals who can answer questions and assist in information searches, decisions and connections to all partners’ services.

s. The resource room provides access to labor market information including job vacancy listings, job skill requirements for job listings, and information on employment trends and career options, available training, and employment law. Information on resume writing, interview techniques, and application completion. Performance and cost information on eligible training providers and information on financial aid, performance information on the local One-Stop delivery system, information on System Partners services, information on supportive services including how to obtain them, and information performance on the local One-Stop systems. Help with establishing eligibility for WIOA services and other training and education programs Information on filing for UI.

t. Following up with customers to ascertain progress in achieving career goals to direct them to other core services, partner services.

u. Register all job seeking customers using the One-Stop services in the State of Oklahoma database system.

v. Business Services

w. Recruitment of job seeker customers with skills required by employers tailoring services to meet specific employer or sectoral needs. This includes resolving employer needs and brokering services.

x. Collect customer satisfaction information from employer customers provide SWB with collected data on a quarterly basis.

y. Offering links to training services to support on-the-job and customized training to employers whose jobs meet the criteria set forth by the Workforce Development Board and who enter into agreements as set forth by the Workforce Investment Board policy;

z. Hosting general and customized job fairs for occupation, industry, or employer;

aa. Communicating to employers about tax benefits and other incentives for participating in One-Stop Center services; Coordinate with existing job fair initiatives;

bb. Achieving the contracted performance measures and deliverables established by the SWB.

cc. Serve as the liaison to the community, partner agencies, and employers for Oklahoma Works.

Central Oklahoma WIOA Focused MOU Pilot Project

Another example of Oklahoma preparing for full implementation at the direction of the Governor’s Council to promote resource leveraging, is the Central Oklahoma WIOA-focused MOU Pilot Project.

The Central Oklahoma Workforce Development Area was asked to develop a WIOA focused MOU to provide process development to provide guidance for the entire state. They engaged their core partners to sit at the table and developed a MOU group and have been providing the state system oversight subcommittee with feedback from their efforts. Members of this team include: Core Partners of the Local Board, Board staff, Board members, community college representatives, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, service provider representatives, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, K-12 education representatives, ORO Development Corporation, and Department of Human Services. The pilot project will propose a timeline for completion of the MOU in compliance with state and federal guidelines.

Oklahoma Regional Training and Development

Governor’s Council and Oklahoma Association of Workforce Development Board Chairs Training- April 2016

The Governor’s Council, in partnership with the Oklahoma Association of Workforce Development Board Chairs, in April 2016 provided initial training for the Local Elected Officials and board members to prepare them for the new local planning regions to explain their role and responsibilities for making this a success for their regional economies.

The consultant was nationally recognized facilitator Mary Ann Lawrence and the one-day session was well attended by board members and local elected official from all over the state with approximately 100 participants. Most of the training was focused on the basics of the new WIOA law and what it would mean for them when the planning regions are fully operational. This session prepared attendees for planning and implementation of Oklahoma local planning regions.

USDOL and Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development Training- May 2016

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) the Office of Workforce Development hosted an in depth Strategic Board Training at Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City on May 19, 2016. Titled “Strategic v. Tactical Action for Boards, Rick Maher, President and CEO, of Maher & Maher spoke and lead the event. The training focused on the important elements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the impact WIOA has on board members’ critical role in the successful expansion and development of the state’s workforce system. The individuals in attendance represented nearly every aspect of the workforce system including: Workforce Development Boards, Local Elected Officials (LEOs), business and industry, core partners, state agencies, and educational institutions.

After an introduction to the essential elements of WIOA and an overview of how those elements would almost certainly change the business operations of entities across the system, participants were asked to consider the vision of a transformed workforce development system. The discussion of a workforce system that has an even greater impact, stronger integration and an even longer term focus provided the mindset for teams to divide and work with regional partners on developing a “plan to plan”. Some of the key topics that resulted from both the initial discussion and regional focus groups include the following: “Proceed until Apprehended!” - WIOA will only be as transformational as state and local leaders allow it to. “Build Strong Partnerships Now.” - WIOA requires partnering on an advance level, early discussion and collaboration will help eliminate issues that may come about during the phases of implementation. “Don’t Reinvent the Wheel.” - Find emerging best practices and bring them to scale for the needs of the state as well as the individuals the state is serving.

The event was considered successful by all parties involved, setting a positive tone for a successful system wide implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

2. Implementation of State Strategy

Describe how the lead State agency with responsibility for the administration of each core program or a Combined Plan partner program included in this plan will implement the State’s Strategies identified in Section II(c). above. This must include a description of—

A. Core Program Activities to Implement the State’s Strategy

Describe the activities the entities carrying out the respective core programs will fund to implement the State’s strategies. Also describe how such activities will be aligned across the core programs and Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan and among the entities administering the programs, including using co-enrollment and other strategies.

Oklahoma has established a work group of stakeholders in the Workforce Development system called the System Oversight Sub-Committee to create solutions to barriers and hurdles that were preventing success to the system.

System Oversight Sub-Committee

The Oklahoma Works System Oversight Sub-committee, established in 2012, is composed of Oklahoma workforce development system partners, including the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education—Adult Basic Education, the Department of Rehabilitation Services - Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission--Wagner-Peyser , the State Regents for Higher Education, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and Title I programs representing Adults, Dislocated Workers and Youth. The business community is also represented. It is hoped that other entities, such as the Department of Corrections, and the Departments of Health and Mental Health will eventually be added to establish a more comprehensive approach for creating solutions.

The team has been a cohesive unit since Governor Fallin recognized the necessity to build a new, more responsive, workforce development system to meet the needs of Oklahoma’s businesses and create wealth for the state. This subcommittee was designed to carry out the strategic mission of GCWED and reports to the Workforce System Oversight Committee of that body.

At the present time, the committee is collaborating in writing and identifying policies and processes that will continue to align, build, and improve the workforce development system in wake of the WIOA implementation, as well as contribute to Oklahoma’s overall economic well-being. They meet on a regular basis and identify program specific barriers and create solutions to move forward. Most of the local areas are in the process of building partnerships to accomplish their version of the utopian system and require guidance from this team; discovering they feel very comfortable requesting assistance from their peers representing their agency.

One of the major hurdles they identified at this point is the Memorandum of Understanding at a state and local level addressing service delivery and resource sharing. Under the new law the requirements will change from the past documents and definitions will have to be created specific to our state. For example, the MOU documents in the past have not been as effective or binding as hoped and are exploring possibilities around requiring MOU contracts instead for more impact. Resource and cost sharing creates a culture of distrust and possessiveness when it comes to the negotiating tables. However, Partners are attempting to make this a win/win for all and keep all stakeholders involved. The WIOA law required we have viable processes in place to address cost and resource sharing and this team has established pilots to address infrastructure/cost sharing and have engaged voluntary involvement of State Agency Directors and Chief Financial State Agency Officers.

The WIOA also requires local planning regions to write unified plans. The sub-committee is attempting to write a draft guidance for these plans which will include input from all the agencies involved.

The benefits are:

The workforce system being designed will be the springboard to success for Oklahoma’s business and jobseekers, helping Oklahoma reach its strategic vision that Oklahoma’s workforce development system increases profitability for businesses and increases income for all Oklahomans.

B. Alignment with Activities outside the Plan

Describe how the activities identified in (A) will be aligned with programs and activities provided by required one-stop partners and other optional one-stop partners and activities provided under employment, training (including Registered Apprenticeships), education (including career and technical education), human services and other programs not covered by the plan, as appropriate, assuring coordination of, and avoiding duplication among these activities.

Oklahoma enhanced, aligned, and expanded its workforce development activities to address the education and skill needs of the workforce. This has occurred under the state’s and Governor’s broader workforce development initiative, Oklahoma Works, and through the implementation of WIOA. Governor Fallin’s statewide initiative is built upon a coalition of businesses, educational institutions, state agencies, and other partners, and is fully aligned with the federal Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act.

To achieve the overarching goal of wealth generation for all Oklahomans and combat the skills gap, the Office of the Governor, its state workforce partners, and numerous other contributors developed a Strategic Delivery Plan through a statewide strategic planning effort. The effort involved the Core Partners as well as other state agency partners who are a part of the workforce development system. In addition to these workforce system partners, the Oklahoma State Chamber’s Educated Workforce Initiative, business leaders from all regions of the state, members of our Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, and our state leaders were involved in the planning process. The resulting Oklahoma Works Strategic Delivery Plan was approved by Governor Fallin and key state leaders. This Plan is the overarching workforce development strategy to guide workforce development activities in the state.

Included in the plan are four objectives and sub-strategies on which all state workforce system partner agencies, including the Core Partners, are aligned.

Objective 1: ALIGN AND CONNECT

Objective 2: DATA

Objective 3: PARTNERSHIPS

Objective 4: RESOURCES

In order to achieve the ambitious goals that have been set through Oklahoma Works, the initiative’s full array of workforce partners must align their efforts and take active roles in ensuring that resources are used in ways that maximize, strengthen, and support the education to workforce pipeline for all Oklahomans. Underpinning all Oklahoma Works efforts is a comprehensive asset map, built and maintained by the Delivery Unit within the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which helps to describe the current set of workforce resources and activities in Oklahoma. The map acts as a plan and push to share and maximize state and federal resources in service of the Oklahoma Works goal.

When fully leveraged, the knowledge generated from the Oklahoma Works asset map will allow us to provide our workforce partners, regional networks, and citizens with knowledge of available resources at the state and local level. We will also be able to effectively evaluate local and statewide socioeconomic and policy barriers and work toward solutions which will assist Oklahomans in obtaining the skills and education necessary for the career path they desire. This foundational work has the potential to significantly increase Oklahomans’ knowledge of resources available and subsequently reduce the current skills gap.

The Core Partners and required and optional one-stop delivery system partners are all engaged in education and training activities at the state/system level. Currently, the Workforce System Oversight Subcommittee, the working arm of the Workforce System Oversight Committee of the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, is tasked with developing the system-wide framework and policy documents that will comply with WIOA legislation and Federal regulations, and are tasked with compliance review of the system (Oklahoma’s 33 Workforce Centers located around the state).

The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), the WIOA State Board, in alignment with the Oklahoma Works goal, has now been tasked with using data to inform policy, track progress and measure success toward ensuring wealth generation, that are state metrics in addition to federal, WIOA measures. State workforce partners, departments, and agencies impacting career readiness have developed state metrics for targeted wealth generation across Oklahoma. The GCWED selected targets from these metrics, housed on the newly created OKStateStat.OK.gov, that form the foundation of the Governor’s Council Dashboard. This dashboard facilitates the use of data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success consistently statewide.

The Oklahoma Works Strategic Delivery Plan will assist Core program partners with the process to achieve alignment of education and training programs for the purpose of building a talent pipeline of appropriately skilled and credentialed Oklahoman’s to meet the talent demands of Oklahoma employers.

This alignment will serve to create and build a comprehensive workforce development SYSTEM within each region. This system will:

Each region’s system that will be certified is the “network of mandatory and optional partners, programs, centers and service providers that collectively address the community’s workforce development needs."

To create this workforce development system, partners must

The process evaluates:

The process verifies that a region has implemented an effective and comprehensive workforce development system strategy that includes:

C. Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Individuals

Describe how the entities carrying out the respective core programs, Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan, and required and optional one-stop partner programs will coordinate activities and resources to provide comprehensive, high-quality, customer-centered services, including supportive services to individuals including those populations identified in section II(a)(1)(B). The activities described shall conform to the statutory requirements of each program.

Oklahoma believes the coordination, alignment and provision of services will further enhance the customer experience. In order to promote a seamless service delivery, key stakeholders such as the State Administration, Workforce Development Boards (WDB), Oklahoma Works Centers, and other Core Partners will collaborate to develop an integrated approach to providing quality, customer driven, value-added services. As a state, we realize the importance of nurturing a partnership with the core programs defined in WIOA and business. Creating this partnership on this onset will allow all stakeholders to have input and buy-in to the one-stop seamless delivery of services. This approach will effectively organize staff and facilities in a manner that further streamlines customer service delivery, capitalizes on the strengths of staff, location, and technology capabilities. All these efforts will reduce duplication, save diminishing resources, increase customer satisfaction, and better develop our valued service delivery professionals.

Common performance measures also encourage joint responsibility for the success of all customers across the core programs and ensure access as well as the delivery of available one-stop services. With the elimination of the sequencing of services, staff now have the opportunity to provide access to services based upon the customers’ assessed need. Whether customers access services at a comprehensive center, an affiliated site, a network of eligible one-stop partners or a specialized center as described in WIOA § 678.300, they will be provided information on the availability of career services, training services, program services and activities offered and/or provided.

Coordination and alignment within the Oklahoma Works Centers will be achieved by two main processes required by policy set forth in Oklahoma Workforce Development Issuance 04-2016, Local Elected Official (LEO) Consortium Agreement. Policy 04-2016 will require each area’s LEO’s to enter into an agreement; this agreement identifies the responsibilities of the LEO’s collectively. One requirement is to agree on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed and executed by the Local WDB. The MOU is the result of the negotiations between one-stop partners, relating to the operation of the one stop delivery system and approved by the CLEO in the local area as described in WIOA § 678.500. The MOU will cover items such as: description of services to be provided in the one-stop system; an agreement on funding costs of services and operating costs of the system including infrastructure costs; funding of shared services and operating costs for one-stop delivery system; methods for referring individuals between partners for appropriate services; and procedures ensuring customers with barriers to employment, including those with disabilities, are addressed by providing access to services, whether in person or virtual, are available through the one-stop delivery system. Alignment of services will more accurately reflect to state and federal mandates, stakeholders, the public, and other interested parties on how the public workforce system is meeting the needs of business, the workforce and contributing to economic growth.

Another requirement in the consortium agreement is to agree on designation and certification of a one-stop operator through a competitive process developed and executed by the Local WDB. A one-stop operator that has been competitively procured will ensure that all one-stop partner services are coordinated and are provided in accordance with federal, state and local policies. This will assure seamless service delivery and oversight.

Oklahoma recognizes the need to provide career services through the one-stop system by the required one-stop partners defined in the WIOA. The first service option is basic career services. The first option consists of providing information on available services in the one-stop center, initial assessments, eligibility determinations, career planning, access to the career resource room for computer assistance and self-service options, resume preparation assistance, labor exchange services, labor market information, referrals to other system programs, demand occupation lists, eligible training provider lists, available supportive services, meaningful assistance for unemployment assistance claimants, and financial aid assistance.

Individualized career service is the second service delivery option. In this option customers have access to: customized assistance and specialized assessment of their skills knowledge and abilities to assist in career planning; diagnostic testing and other assessment tools, in-depth interviewing and evaluation; development of the individual employment plan; training services which may include short-term pre-vocational services, on-the-job training opportunities, internships in and work experiences, English language acquisition; financial literacy services and out-of-area job search and relocation assistance.

Third, follow-up services must be made available as determined appropriate by the Local WDB, for a minimum of 12 months following the first day of employment, to adults or dislocated workers who are placed in unsubsidized employment. Priority of services to Veteran and other eligible persons will continue to be Oklahoma’s priority. Additionally, the commitment to serve the individuals listed in the WIOA legislation such as persons with disabilities, unemployment insurance recipients, long-term unemployed, dislocated workers, low income individuals, limited English proficiency individuals and youth still remains and will continue be a focal point in the one-stop service delivery.

D. Coordination, Alignment and Provision of Services to Employers

Describe how the entities carrying out the respective core programs, any Combined State Plan partner program included in this plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs will coordinate activities and resources to provide comprehensive, high-quality services to employers to meet their current and projected workforce needs. The activities described shall conform to the statutory requirements of each program.

The Partnerships objective of Oklahoma Works aims to cultivate engagement and productive relationships among business leaders in the private sector, Oklahoma’s education and training systems, and other workforce partners, specifically through Key Economic Networks (KENs) within the state. These strong relationships will facilitate essential knowledge sharing and encourage the alignment of statewide and regional business and industry needs with the skills taught throughout Oklahoma’s education system. Each KEN region will work to develop and engage strong private sector relationships in order to help ensure that business and industry workforce needs are heard and met. KEN region champions report directly to the Governor’s liaison but also work in conjunction with The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development and workforce development boards. One of the local board’s roles is to coordinate workforce investment activities with economic development strategies through regional planning. Board representatives include all required system partners as well as employers that are representative of the local areas economic drivers. Workforce Boards are employer driven and service delivery strategies are determined by employers needs and implemented by the partnership.

Oversight of the system falls upon the Governor’s Council whose mission is be to assist the Governor in the development, recommendation and implementation of wealth-generating policies and programs within the workforce system and consistent with the State Plan. The Governor’s Council operates in accordance with the functions contained in WIOA to oversee Oklahoma’s Workforce Development System. The purpose of the Governor’s Council is to:

  1. Guide the development of a comprehensive and coordinated workforce development system for the state and monitor its operation; and
  2. Review and make recommendations that will align the workforce system, including education, with the economic development goals of the state for the purpose of creating workforce and economic development systems that are integrated and provide Oklahoma a competitive advantage in a global economy.

Members of the Governor’s Council representing organizations, agencies, or other entities are individuals with optimum policymaking authority within their organizations, agencies or entities. In order to provide the Governor with wide-range perspective on workforce policy issues, the members of the Governor’s Council represent diverse regions of Oklahoma, including urban, rural, and suburban areas from both the public and private sectors.

A major driver in coordination of employer needs is the Workforce System Oversight Committee of the Governor’s Council. - The Workforce System Oversight Committee is co-chaired by a member from the private sector and a member from the public sector. The Oversight Committee makes decisions on program governance, policy, and capacity building for the Local Workforce Development Boards and partnerships. Helping assure policies and practices are business driven.

The Governor’s Council, Key Economic Networks, Local Workforce Development Boards, and regional planning coordination of services to employers will create the driving force and synergy needed to build a well-trained, dynamic workforce that will meet the needs of the 21st Century employers, generating wealth for all.

Employer Services Offered by Workforce Partners include:

Wagner-Peyser at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

Adult Basic Education at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education

Rehabilitation Services at the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

Title I Programs at the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development

Workforce Development Boards

Apprenticeships

Oklahoma Department of Commerce

E. Partner Engagement with Educational Institutions

Describe how the State’s Strategies will engage the State’s community colleges and area career and technical education schools, as partners in the workforce development system to create a job-driven education and training system.  WIOA section 102(b)(2)(B)(iv).

Oklahoma’s education leaders and training providers are a vital part of the state’s workforce board. The Governor’s Council for Workforce & Economic Development includes the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chancellor of the State Regents for Higher Education, and the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education as participants.

Oklahoma’s Strategy for partner engagement with education and training Providers includes:

1. Increasing postsecondary opportunities for students still in high school by methods such as:

Success with this strategy increases the number of postsecondary degrees awarded to high school students so they can enter the workforce with needed skills or credentials or enter postsecondary institutions with a significant number of credit hours; ensures schools will have a better understanding of skilled labor needs in local communities and will be able to assist students in finding meaningful employment with high wages and internships; and, ensures businesses will have the appropriately skilled workforce they need in less time.

The following stakeholders are required to achieve this strategy:

Oklahoma’s stakeholders have committed to the following workflow and milestones:

Evaluate programs’ effectiveness in the state and the use of incentives to encourage participation

2. Improving workforce readiness—the employability skills needed to enter and succeed in the workforce—was identified by business leaders and educators across the state as another priority issue. By aligning workforce readiness services among state programs and agencies, Oklahomans will have the employability skills necessary to start businesses or succeed in wealth-generating occupations. Workflow and milestones include:

This priority strategy requires the involvement of ALL workforce partners that have programs involving career readiness, as well as KENs and KEN Champions.

The Partnership Strategy of Oklahoma Works is to cultivate and maintain productive relationships between regional employers, educators, and other workforce partners to ensure an appropriately skilled workforce. Resources required to effectively achieve this strategy include:

The goal is to identify and recommend creative, cross-agency, and cross-sector funding models that support similar workforce programs and include agency programs that potentially benefit from public-private partnerships. The strategy will build on Oklahoma’s performance-informed budgeting efforts and encourage agencies to create and/or expand pay-for-performance funding strategies.

F. Partner Engagement with Other Education and Training Providers.

Describe how the State’s Strategies will engage the State’s other education and training providers, including providers on the state’s eligible training provider list, as partners in the workforce development system to create a job-driven education and training system.

The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development has developed a policy in accordance with WIOA for the application process to be used by schools wishing to be on the eligible training provider list. Local areas have been instructed to ask their current providers to apply. The intent is to create as many pathways to education as possible for interested student/participants. Eligible training and education providers will confer and strategize how we can update our services to be more job-driven and meet employers’ needs. Using the states strategies, we will collaborate with our educational leaders and partners to create accessible training programs that meet the needs of our customers and will provide them with meaningful training. Oklahoma’s education leaders include the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chancellor of the State Regents for Higher Education, and the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

For training providers to receive WIOA funds for the provision of training services, they must meet certain performance and reporting-related criteria to be included on the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). This does not apply to Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs as these evidence-based programs are placed on the statewide ETPL automatically.

Oklahoma’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) is available electronically at the OKJobMatch.com website. This list is an important tool for participants seeking to earn credentials, certificates or degrees in one of Oklahoma’s targeted occupations. Oklahoma’s list offers a wide range of programs, including classroom, online, and registered apprenticeships. Another important tool for participants is the Oklahoma Career Guide website. OK Career Guide is the state’s computerized career information system. It is an easy online tool available for all Oklahomans to explore and guide their future. Individuals can take assessments, identify occupations, and establish education plans. It is a critical tool for middle and high school students as well as adults to access current career and labor market information.

RA programs technically turn Oklahoma employers into training providers. While prioritizing education and training resources to support placement into high demand occupations, Oklahoma businesses will be able to provide the hands-on training to build the skilled workforce they need to succeed. Oklahoma is focusing on an expansion of RA programs in the state, and has received an ApprenticeshipUSA Accelerator Grant, which will focus on creating and expanding RA opportunities within the State’s wealth-generating ecosystems: Aerospace and Defense; Agriculture and Biosciences; Energy; Information and Financial Services; and, Transportation and Distribution, as well as the complementary ecosystems which help to expand wealth in Oklahoma’s economy - Construction, Health Care, Education and Creative Industries.

Oklahoma also has exceptional partnerships between the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and both the higher education system and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE) system, these partnerships provide vocational training and supportive services to adults receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Oklahoma was also recently awarded one of the J.P. Morgan Chase and Cos. New Skills for Youth grants. Outcomes from the Career Readiness Initiative will align K-12 career pathways and programs with the high-skill, high-demand needs of business and industry to better prepare students for success in college, technical/STEM careers and the 21st century world of work. This grant will help the state assure that career pathways efforts are a part of every in-school youth’s education experience.

The CareerTech Skills Centers School System is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Skills Centers specializes in the delivery of career and technology education to inmates under the supervision of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and juveniles under the supervision of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs. The intent of this division of ODCTE is to continue to evolve as business and industry changes. The goal is to provide educational services that will cause skills centers students to seek and find success in the workplace and in society. Preparing these inmates for a successful transition and reentry by training these individuals for high wage, high skill, and/or high demand jobs is necessary to reduce recidivism and assist individuals in becoming productive members of society as well as closing the skills gap for our business and industry.

G. Leveraging Resources to Increase Educational Access

Describe how the State’s strategies will enable the State to leverage other Federal, State, and local investments that have enhanced access to workforce development programs at the above institutions, described in section (E).

The Oklahoma Works initiatives funded by National Governors Associations grants and interagency funding is identifying targeted strategies to keep youth in school and to increase education attainment in groups that have not attained credentials or degrees. Longitudinal data will be collected through new systems which are being created through U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education will provide opportunities to target at risk youth through programmatic or educational improvement. Oklahoma is working through Complete College America programs to achieve greater completion rates, increasing economic opportunities for citizens. The Resources objective will also identify specific avenues for cross-agency solutions. Ultimately, partner agencies will be empowered to reallocate existing resources to provide a greater range of workforce services to Oklahomans. This effort will also examine opportunities to further leverage private investment in programs and services and to implement formal public-private partnerships.

The two strategies identified in III.a.2.E of the plan include the following:

1. Increasing postsecondary opportunities for students still in high school by methods such as:

2. Improving workforce readiness—the employability skills needed to enter and succeed in the workforce—was identified by business leaders and educators across the state as another priority issue. By aligning workforce readiness services among state programs and agencies, Oklahomans will have the employability skills necessary to start businesses or succeed in wealth-generating occupations.

CTE Programs of Study

One of the requirements of WIOA is that Perkins Act recipients are mandatory partners. For Oklahoma this will mean that public school career and technical education programs, technology centers, and almost all of Oklahoma’s community colleges will strive to increase postsecondary opportunities for students in high school and improve workforce readiness.

This has and will continue to occur through programs of study, which are utilized in Oklahoma to link secondary and postsecondary education with occupational outcomes and industry certifications and credentials. The intentional partnerships between secondary education, postsecondary education, and business and industry allow the state to streamline its secondary and postsecondary education and instruction with that of the workforce needs.

Programs of study must lead to two of the following three: high skill, high wage, and/or high demand occupations. Oklahoma defines a high wage career as one with an average hourly rate equal to or greater than the average hourly rate of all occupations as reported by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. The FY16 average hourly rate was $19.64 in Oklahoma according to the Oklahoma Wage Network. A high demand industry is defined as an occupation in which state, local, or regional labor market data show that demand exceeds projected employment supply. High skill occupations require an industry-recognized certificate, credential, postsecondary training, apprenticeship, or degree.

Each approved CTE program of study will include a specific non-duplicative sequence of CTE courses and the appropriate rigorous academics required to prepare CTE students for success in postsecondary education and the high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand workplace. CTE programs incorporate content aligned with challenging state and national academic standards in language arts, mathematics, and/or science. State recognized CTE technical skill and academic assessments benchmark student attainment of both academic and technical skills.

Skills Centers

Over the forty-plus years of serving incarcerated offenders in Oklahoma, Skills Centers have evolved from a division with a few occupational training programs to a large school system with a multitude of programs and services for both adult and juvenile offenders. CareerTech has partnered with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and has established 11 Skills Centers within correctional facilities that provide career and technical training opportunities to incarcerated individuals. Adult Basic Education is offered in most of these correctional facilities that also offer career and technical training programs. This allows funding to be provided that support Adult education and literacy activities, integrated education and training, Career pathways, concurrent enrollment, and transition to re-entry initiatives and other post release services with the goal of reducing recidivism.

A successful transition from corrections to the workplace can mean a life of success for ex-offenders. To prepare offenders for successful transition, career and technical education, employability and life skills are integrated into this educational delivery system. Skills Centers students may seek certifications recognized by both state and national industries. Career Readiness Credentials (CRC) may be secured documenting work readiness skills many business and industry employers seek. The Skills Centers provides students with numerous interconnected and integrated components, each an integral part of preparing offenders for success in the workplace and in society. The Skills Centers works in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) and Oklahoma Correctional Industries (OCI) to offer a U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, registered apprenticeship programs for offenders in Cabinetmaking.

Through these and other programs the state will be able to leverage existing state, local, and federal investments and financial resources that enhance access to workforce development programs.

H. Improving Access to Postsecondary Credentials

Describe how the State’s strategies will improve access to activities leading to recognized postsecondary credentials, including Registered Apprenticeship certificates. This includes credentials that are industry-recognized certificates, licenses or certifications, and that are portable and stackable.

Oklahoma has a substantial skills gap in its workforce. As we look to the year 2020, the state’s greatest challenge will be increasing the number of students with workforce credentials or associate degrees, as well as increasing the number of college graduates. Current estimates show a 23-point gap between our current workforce and the skilled workforce we will need by 2020.

Complete College America

Complete College America (CCA) is the most comprehensive and ambitious higher education initiative ever undertaken by the state of Oklahoma. The goal is to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma by an average of 1,700 per year, from 30,500 annually in 2011 to 50,900 annually by 2023, a 67 percent increase. This must be done to meet the projected need for additional college-educated workers to keep Oklahoma competitive in a global economy.

Gov. Mary Fallin is a strong advocate for the initiative, saying at the kickoff press conference in September 2011, "We can and must do better in producing a highly skilled and educated workforce in our state. This is part of our agenda - developing the Complete College America program."

More attention must be placed on college completion because Oklahoma’s community and economic development depends on developing human capital and preparing citizens for innovation and flexibility in an ever-changing economy.

Oklahoma’s five-point plan to increase degree and certificate completion has led CCA to name Oklahoma the national model for degree completion. Our state plan focuses on promoting college readiness, transforming remediation, strengthening pathways to certificates and degrees, expanding adult degree completion efforts, and rewarding performance and completion.

Significant progress is being made toward these goals. In year one of CCA deployment, our public and private colleges and universities reported 2,945 additional graduates than in the previous year, significantly exceeding our average annual goal of 1,700. Additionally, in April 2012, the State Regents, with cooperation and input from our college and university presidents, adopted a new approach to make the higher education funding formula a performance-driven model.

In year two of our CCA initiative, Oklahoma’s public and private higher education institutions and career technology w conferred 3,577 additional degrees and certificates, and in year three, again surpassed the average annual goal, conferring 1,842 additional degrees and certificates.

While we have made substantial gains and exceeded these early benchmarks, we acknowledge the growing challenges we face in maintaining this significant momentum. Other CCA states have increased their investment in degree completion initiatives, while Oklahoma has repeatedly surpassed our goals on either flat or reduced budgets.

Five national foundations are providing multiyear support to Complete College America: the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education.

ApprenticeshipUSA Grant

Oklahoma is the recipient of an ApprenticeshipUSA Accelerator Grant. The grant will focus on creating and expanding RA opportunities within the State’s wealth-generating ecosystems: Aerospace and Defense; Agriculture and Biosciences; Energy; Information and Financial Services; and, Transportation and Distribution, as well as the complementary ecosystems which help to expand wealth in Oklahoma’s economy - Construction, Health Care, Education and Creative Industries.

Registered Apprenticeship is a viable path to career entry and career building. By aligning exposure to Career Pathways and Career Options, Oklahoma will be able to prioritize education and training resources to support placement into high demand occupations, and businesses will be able to provide the hands-on training to build the skilled workforce the businesses need to succeed. The State is committed to fully integrating RA programs as an employment and training solution for one-stop centers. Local areas will have maximum flexibility in serving participants and supporting their placement into RA programs. There are several ways in which training services may be used in conjunction with these RA programs, including developing an ITA for a participant to receive RA training, utilizing an OJT contract with a RA program for providing both classroom and on-the-job instruction; a combination of an ITA to cover the classroom instruction along with an OJT contract to cover on-the-job portions of the RA; and utilizing incumbent worker training for upskilling apprentices who already have an established working/training relationship with the RA program.

I. Coordinating with Economic Development Strategies.

Describe how the activities identified in (A) will be coordinated with economic development entities, strategies and activities in the State.

Oklahoma recognizes that workforce development must be linked to economic development. That link is made in several ways and at several levels.

At the state level, The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is the state’s lead economic development entity and a participant of the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development. The work of the Council is driven, in part, by data and business intelligence provided by the Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce, the OOWD and other state level workforce partners attend monthly meetings at which economic development issues can be discussed in the light of workforce needs.

At the regional level the nine Key Economic Networks (KENs), led by business champions in the area, help lead the Workforce system in creating a system that is responsive to the needs of business and industry.

In addition, local economic development professionals serve on the Workforce Development Boards, assuring that economic development issues/needs are considered as decisions are made.

b. State Operating Systems and Policies

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a description of the State operating systems and policies that will support the implementation of the State strategy described in Section II Strategic Elements . This includes—

1. The State operating systems that will support the implementation of the State’s strategies. This must include a description of–

A. State operating systems that support coordinated implementation of State strategies (e.g., labor market information systems, data systems, communication systems, case-management systems, job banks, etc.).

OKJobMatch.com, Oklahoma’s labor exchange system, is currently out for a RFP to obtain a new provider to provide better and more relevant job search information. In the meantime, Oklahoma will use our existing system until a new vendor is selected and implemented. Oklahoma uses OKJobMatch.com as its statewide job bank and case-management system. The changes to OKJobMatch, after a vendor is selected, will allow for better job search results for the job seeker, and more features to be used for the business community. A part of this site is Oklahoma Service Link (OSL), our case management system. The current system is available for job-seekers looking for work in all 77 counties as well as providing employers a place to search for talent and post jobs.

We are also committed to a relaunch of the OklahomaWorks.gov website, the comprehensive platform for Oklahoma’s workforce development activities, to be fully accessible to our wide range of partners. An RFP will be released soon, which will identify a vendor to improve the site in order to truly be the state’s labor market information system.

OK-WDES will consist of a multi-agency data repository that will house workforce- and education-related data to provide a platform for linking data across data-generating agencies necessary to improve data collection and dissemination, and to inform and support the objectives of Oklahoma Works. OK-WDES has been partially funded by a Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant. The efficiencies achieved through integrated information access and virtual services are expected to result in cost savings that will then be applied to the maintenance and enhancement of the workforce data enterprise system. Existing WIOA formula funds can be used, at the Governor’s discretion, to assist with data collection and research projects at the state and local levels that are conducted and/or guided by the OOWD.

Our electronic data systems are under development to ensure they are responsive, accurate, and compliant. We will continue to pursue available strategies as guidance is issued.

B. Data-collection and reporting processes used for all programs and activities, including those present in one-stop centers*.

Objective 2 of the Oklahoma Works Strategic Delivery Plan is to integrate and utilize workforce and economic development data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success. The written plan, approved by the Governor, formally engages Workforce System Agency Partners from the State Regents for Higher Education, the State Department of Education, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and OMES. Effective collection and utilization of education, workforce, and economic data is essential to Oklahoma’s ability to decrease the gap between labor supply and demand, and to generate wealth for all Oklahomans. OK-WDES (Oklahoma Workforce Data Enterprise System) will be the data collection instrument for Oklahoma Works.

OK-WDES will consist of a multi-agency data repository that will house workforce- and education-related data to provide a platform for linking data across data-generating agencies necessary to improve data collection and dissemination, and to inform and support the objectives of Oklahoma Works. OK-WDES has been partially funded by a Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant. The efficiencies achieved through integrated information access and virtual services are expected to result in cost savings that will then be applied to the maintenance and enhancement of the workforce data enterprise system. Existing WIOA formula funds can be used, at the Governor’s discretion, to assist with data collection and research projects at the state and local levels that are conducted and/or guided by the OOWD.

Currently, workforce programs including Wagner-Peyser and the WIOA Title I Youth, Adult, and Dislocated Worker Programs utilize Oklahoma’s virtual case management system, OKJobMatch for data collection and reporting processes

* For the PY 2016 state plan, descriptions of data collection and reporting processes need only include currently known indicators.

* For the PY 2016 state plan, descriptions of data collection and reporting processes need only include currently known indicators.

2. The State policies that will support the implementation of the State’s strategies (e.g., co-enrollment policies and universal intake processes where appropriate).  In addition, describe the State’s process for developing guidelines for State-administered one-stop partner programs’ contributions to a one-stop delivery system, including benchmarks, and its guidance to assist local boards, chief elected officials, and local one-stop partners in determining equitable and stable methods of funding infrastructure in accordance with sec. 121(h)(1)(B). Beginning with the state plan modification in 2018 and for subsequent state plans and state plan modifications, the State must also include such guidelines.

The state operating systems across core partner programs are intended to provide coordinated, comprehensive services and access to resources that will support the implementation of state strategies that:

Provide workforce solutions to grow and develop an educated and skilled workforce that attract and support a strong and vibrant economy;

Promote a customer-centered delivery system for businesses/industry, jobseekers and youth that provide access to training and employment opportunities; and

Produce strong partnerships that support regional economies based on data-driven decisions and focus on continuous improvement and evaluation.

As the state continues its implementation strategies for WIOA, stakeholders will work towards identifying co-location and case management strategies to create efficiencies that will support and help manage a shared client base, avoid duplication of services and leverage resources. The following information describes data management systems currently used by core partners.

Title I

OKJobMatch is an integrated, vendor hosted system supporting: labor exchange for employers and job seekers, case management for program requirements, training providers and approved programs, reporting capability for all required federal, system and activity reports, and some interface with Unemployment Insurance.

Job Seekers and Employers: OKJobMatch Is a self-service job matching and workplace information service for employers and job seekers. Job seekers can establish an Internet account to manage their job search activities and register with labor exchange activities. Employers can establish an account to manage job openings and view job seeker resumes. Staff can create and manage job orders on behalf of employers.

Workforce Staff: Client management application that allows case managers to track their caseload and report information required under Labor Exchange, Re-Employment Services, WIOA, TAA (TRA Adjustment Act) and other federal programs. Provides a standardized process for following participants through the workforce development system network. It eases the load for case managers by providing a tool that can manage and monitor caseloads, assess employment barriers, establish training and employment plans, search for service providers and WIOA eligible training providers and programs, and track job placements. Collects all information required to generate reports for these federal programs.

Oklahoma elects to co-enroll WIOA adults and Wagner-Peyser. Integrated service delivery was implemented to improve access to quality services through service and program integration, support the linkages between workforce programs and economic development by developing shared goals and emphases, implement the intent of the Governor’s Council and the State Strategic Plan for comprehensive workforce system integration, provide a framework to empower and support the Workforce Development Board’s integration of Wagner-Peyser and WIOA Title I Adult program operations at the local level, and reduce duplication and seek efficiencies in a time of limited resources. Thus, an integrated case management system and labor exchange system assist in ensuring the client management application allows case managers to track and report for a variety of federal programs.

Title II

LACES NexGen (Literacy, Adult, and Community Education System) is an online student data management software designed for providers of Adult Basic Education (ABE), volunteer literacy, and correctional education. With LACES NexGen, we are able to track everyone associated with our ABE/GED/ESL programs, including students, classes, and staff. It collects all NRS-related data and generates required and optional NRS tables. LACES NexGen also tracks outcome measures such as educational gains, goal achievement, cohort outcomes, demographic information, and attendance hours, so we can monitor how our program is performing over time.

LACES NexGen is NRS and OCTAE compliant, and NRS and OCTAE requirements are built into the software, which includes specific required fields and automatic population of cohorts. The software is updated when the NRS and OCTAE makes changes to the way students are tracked and reported for funding purposes.

Title III

OKJobMatch is an integrated, vendor hosted system supporting: labor exchange for employers and job seekers, case management for program requirements, training providers and approved programs, reporting capability for all required federal, system and activity reports, and some interface with Unemployment Insurance.

Job Seekers and Employers: OKJobMatch Is a self-service job matching and workplace information service for employers and job seekers. Job seekers can establish an Internet account to manage their job search activities and register with labor exchange activities. Employers can establish an account to manage job openings and view job seeker resumes. Staff can create and manage job orders on behalf of employers.

Workforce Staff: Client management application that allows case managers to track their caseload and report information required under Labor Exchange, Re-Employment Services, WIOA, TAA (TRA Adjustment Act) and other federal programs. Provides a standardized process for following participants through the workforce development system network. It eases the load for case managers by providing a tool that can manage and monitor caseloads, assess employment barriers, establish training and employment plans, search for service providers and WIOA eligible training providers and programs, and track job placements. Collects all information required to generate reports for these federal programs.

Fiscal Link allows case managers and program administrators the ability to process participant and vendor payments for all WIOA programs including NEG (National Emergency Grants) grants, and TAA activities.

ReportLink is a web-enabled One-Stop workforce development federal reporting data management system providing WIOA, TAA, Labor Exchange and WISPR reports.

Title IV

The AWARE Case Management System is an Electronic Records Managements software used by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, to track services provided to individuals served by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services under the State/Federal Vocational Rehabilitation and the Older Blind Independent Living programs.

The AWARE system is an internet-based system that is accessed by a web browser on a secure network. All data elements necessary for Federal and State reporting are captured and it automates all U.S. Department of Education, Office of Rehabilitative Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration mandated reports. In addition, it maintains high accessibility standards (508 compliant) to accommodate staff who are blind (screen readers), low vision (optimized fonts and background displays) or unable to use a computer keyboard or mouse in a normal way (i.e. voice recognition systems).

Alliance Enterprises, Inc. the owners of the AWARE system, prioritizes its customers’ ability to provide accurate and timely Federal reporting and it provides customized options to meet each state’s needs. The data produced by the system is stored in an industry standard Microsoft Sequel Server database for each of reporting, analysis and data sharing through security data connections. Alliance also works closely with its state customers to insure it meets policy and business practice standards required by the state. In Oklahoma’s case Alliance customized AWARE to handle a financial system tied to the PeopleSoft system, the State Treasurer’s office, and Third Party Administrators who process Medical/Pharmacy claims via data imports and exports.

Data collection and Reporting Processes:

The workforce system partners are utilizing the Oklahoma Works, Key Objective: Data, to integrate and use workforce and economic development data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success. Under this objective, Workforce Partners have identified the “Common Connectivity” strategy in the form of a common intake portal as a priority for the state. Oklahoma is seeking the USDOL Reemployment and System Integration Dislocated Worker grant to secure the necessary resources to design and implement a common intake system in Oklahoma. If received, the State will be able to make more progress toward a coordinated system. Oklahoma is also continuing to leverage data infrastructure, such as that developed through the Workforce Data Quality Initiative and State Longitudinal Data Initiative grant, to continue to implement coordinated data collection and reporting.

State policies supporting state strategy implementation:

All Oklahoma Works workforce system policies will support the alignment of service delivery and focus on increasing the wealth of all Oklahomans. Policy development and process is a collaborative approach, utilizing the System Oversight Subcommittee (SOS) members who draft and revise policy. The Workforce System Oversight Committee (WSOC) reviews all policy upon release.

For example, under guidance of the WSOC and SOS, two pilots in the local areas are occurring with regards to the MOUs and infrastructure cost sharing and contributions. From these pilots, Oklahoma anticipates retrieving best practices and lessons learned to distribute to other regions and local areas undergoing the same negotiations. As these pilots are in process, pilot participants are continually reporting successes and set-backs to the SOS and WSOC. SOS is using these lessons learned to draft policy for the system. Once released, the guidance will be accompanied with technical assistance by the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development and our system partners represented on the System Oversight Subcommittee.

Guidance policy for system and regional implementation will be released 30 days prior to each of the following milestones: December 1, 2016: Regional self-assessment and SWOT Analysis; February 1, 2017: Establish administrative cost agreements; March 1, 2017: Develop sector strategies framework; and April 1, 2017: Collectively negotiate and establish regional agreements or MOUs, necessary to establish local levels of performance and performance accountability measures. Once released, these policies will be located with all other policies on the Oklahoma Works website at www.oklahomaworks.gov/policy-center.

The State is also in the process of developing the State’s procedure for State-administered one-stop partner programs’ contributions and equitable and stable methods of infrastructure in accordance with 121(h)(1)(B), utilizing core partner leadership and staff of the SOS, if local agreements reach an impasse. Oklahoma will issue policy governing the State’s procedure for this process by July 1, 2017.

3. State Program and State Board Overview

A. State Agency Organization

Describe the organization and delivery systems at the State and local levels for the programs covered in the plan, including the organizational structure. Include an organizational chart.

The Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development (OOWD), housed at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC), guides the workforce development system in Oklahoma. There are four core programs in Oklahoma. The OOWD/OSU-OKC serves as the Governor’s grant recipient and administrative entity for Oklahoma’s WIOA Title I programs: Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth. They also manage various discretionary grants and National Emergency Grants (NEG) that have been awarded. Wagner-Peyser is administered by the Oklahoma Employment and Security Commission (OESC). Vocational Rehabilitation is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), and Adult Education and Family Literacy is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE).

These core partners work closely together as well as with the State Workforce Development Board - referred to in Oklahoma as the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED). The Governor’s Council advises the Governor on workforce priorities and initiatives while also overseeing workforce activities across the state and assisting in the development and implementation of the WIOA State Plan.

The Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development provides staffing support for the Governor’s Council and its committees, provides technical assistance to eight local workforce development boards, and monitors their activities. It is responsible for workforce system planning and policy, and partner and resource development. It coordinates workforce system projects and provides strategic guidance to Local Workforce Development Boards. The office also coordinates Rapid Response activities for the state.

The OOWD is under the direction of the Governor and the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Workforce Development. A Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development and an Executive Director direct the office in the day-to-day operations. (See Chart 1 State Agency Organization.)

State agency organization chart

The OOWD focuses Oklahoma’s workforce development system on creating the innovation needed to create and retain jobs, to raise the education and skill levels of its citizens, and to connect employers with the workforce they need. Oklahoma’s ultimate goal is a comprehensive workforce development system that is fully integrated and accountable. The OOWD facilitates the collaborative process of creating and implementing a systems approach to workforce development that serves business and creates employment opportunities for all Oklahomans.

The State Workforce Partners team, originally established under the authority of an Executive Order, is an interagency team comprised of executive level staff from workforce, education and economic development agencies of the state for the purpose of providing staff support to the Governor’s Council and to create efficiencies, eliminate duplication, and eliminate barriers to jointly providing a service delivery system. The Workforce Partners team works closely with the Governor, Cabinet Secretary and the Workforce Development office and assists the Governor’s Council.

Workforce Partners Organization Chart

The Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development and its Workforce Partners work in conjunction with the Governor’s Oklahoma Works initiative. Oklahoma Works is an initiative designed to increase the wealth of all Oklahomans through providing education and training for citizens to obtain quality employment. The rationale is that coordinating strategic priorities and plans across education, training, and industry will increase the wealth of all Oklahomans by providing employment opportunities for workers and ready availability of highly skilled talent for business and industry. The initiative is built upon a coalition of businesses, educational institutions, state agencies, and other partners.

The goal of Oklahoma Works is to implement wealth-generating policies across the state through the alignment of private and public strategic priorities, helping all Oklahomans to achieve the American Dream. To accomplish the overarching goal of wealth generation for all Oklahomans and combat the skills gap, the Office of the Governor, State Workforce Partners, private business leaders, and numerous other contributors created this plan. Listed below are the four objectives of Oklahoma Works and organization chart. The objectives seek to provide necessary support while removing education and workforce barriers impacting the citizens of Oklahoma.

OklahomaWorks organizational chart

B. State Board

Provide a description of the State Board, including—

Oklahoma brings together leaders from business, government, education, and non-profit sectors to jointly develop ways to coordinate workforce development with economic development. The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development works to develop creative solutions that expand and improve Oklahoma’s workforce, providing better jobs for workers and a skilled workforce for business and industry.

The interrelation of agencies within Oklahoma’s workforce system starts with the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development. The Governor’s Council serves as Oklahoma’s lead workforce development entity and its statewide Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Board. The Governor, in accordance with Section 101 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, established the State Council as an advisory body to the Governor, and the body was codified by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2006 (WIA) an in 2015 (WIOA).

The Governor’s Council includes private and public sector individuals from all areas of the state that work together to support the governor’s economic and workforce development vision Oklahoma Works. It is business-led with a majority of the members coming from private sector employers with optimum policymaking or hiring authority.

The Governor’s Council meets quarterly; however, interaction between its members occurs on a regular basis. Initiatives that involve long-standing partnerships between private companies and public agencies are ongoing.

The governor appoints private sector representatives from Oklahoma’s key industry sectors. These sectors, or ecosystems, include high-growth clusters statewide. There are five main ecosystems for the state of Oklahoma: aerospace and defense; energy; agriculture and biosciences; information and financial services; and transportation and distribution.

The governor establishes terms of appointment or other conditions governing appointment or membership on the council. Members are appointed for staggered terms. Members continue to serve until a replacement is appointed by the Office of the Governor. If vacancies occur during a term of office, the Office of the Governor makes new appointments for the duration of the term. All initial terms of office start on November 1 after receiving notification by letter from the Office of the Governor specifying an explanation of the term structure.

Private and public sector representatives also serve on Governor’s Council committees charged with developing and recommending initiatives to enhance and implement Oklahoma’s workforce and economic development strategy. Those committees are: Workforce System Oversight Committee, Youth Program Committee, Career Pathways Committee, and Healthcare Workforce Committee. Recommendations are taken to the full Council for action.

The Governor’s Council is staffed by the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development (OOWD). OOWD also staffs the Workforce System Oversight Committee, the Career Pathways Committee, and the Youth Programs Committee. The Department of Health staffs the Healthcare Workforce Committee.

Governor’s Council Standing Committees

Workforce System Oversight Committee

Purpose (According to the Governor’s Council Bylaws)

Makes decisions on program governance, policy and capacity building for the Local Workforce Development Boards and partnerships. The Committee serves as an oversight board and will ensure compliance with WIOA.

Goals/Objectives

Action Items

Youth Program Committee

Purpose (According to the Governor’s Council Bylaws)

Provide recommendations on policy and performance for the development and implementation of WIOA youth funded programs statewide. Create an Oklahoma workforce strategy for youth that aligns with youth initiatives and provides common solutions that coordinate with the state’s economic goals building wealth creation for all Oklahomans.

Goals/Objectives

Action Items

Healthcare Workforce Committee

Purpose (According to the Governor’s Council Bylaws and Oklahoma Statute)

Inform, coordinate and facilitate statewide efforts to ensure that a well-trained, adequately distributed, and flexible healthcare workforce is available to meet the needs of an efficient and effective healthcare system in Oklahoma.

Goals/Objectives

Action Items

Career Pathways Committee

Purpose (According to the Governor’s Council Bylaws)

Make recommendations, inform, coordinate and facilitate statewide efforts to improve Oklahomans’ exposure to high-demand career and entrepreneurship opportunities, along with the education and training required for entry into and advancement within a chosen career. Develop industry sector strategies in state and regional ecosystems to ensure that the education and training system is delivering the skills needed by employers.

Goals/Objectives

Action Items

1. Membership roster

Provide a membership roster for the State Board, including members’ organizational affiliations.

A list of the members of the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development are listed in the chart below. Membership is in compliance with WIOA Section 101 (b) Membership.

Membership consists of:

Council Membership Roster

Ex-officio, non-voting, members of the Council represent the following state agencies:

Native American Liaison-Office of the Governor

OK Dept. of Commerce

OK Dept. of Corrections

OK Dept. of Health and Human Services

OK Dept. of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services

OK Health Care Authority

OK State Dept. of Education

OK State Dept. of Health

OK State Regents for Higher Education

Oklahoma Legislators are not included on the Governor’s Council, as it is not allowable by Oklahoma Statute.

2. Board Activities

Provide a description of the activities that will assist State Board members and staff in carrying out State Board functions effectively.

Oklahoma brings together leaders from business, government, education, and non-profit sectors to jointly develop ways to coordinate workforce development with economic development.

The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development works to develop creative solutions that expand and improve Oklahoma’s workforce, providing better jobs for workers and a skilled workforce for business and industry.

The Governor’s Council operates in accordance with the functions contained in Section 101 (d) of the WIOA to oversee Oklahoma’s workforce development system. The Governor’s Council advises the governor on the creation, implementation, and continuous improvement of a comprehensive statewide workforce development system in support of economic development.

The Governor’s Council uses the Workforce Partners Team, committees and work groups to facilitate an aggressive agenda that focuses resources from Oklahoma’s employment, education, and economic development communities to secure statewide economic growth.

The Governor’s Council assists the governor in the preparation of the state plan by assigning staff from various entities represented on the council to collaborate on the initiatives included and the writing of the plan.

The Governor’s Council develops linkages through its members and also through the Workforce Partners. This regular contact among the Partners allows for constant collaboration on issues.

The Governor’s Council Workforce System and Oversight Committee will review local and regional plans submitted from each of Oklahoma’s workforce development areas and regions. This review ensures that the local and regional plans align with the state plan and that these plans are demand-driven with significant input from identified local industry representatives. The council provides technical assistance to local areas and regions in the development of their plans, if needed.

The Governor’s Council also recommends designations of local workforce development areas and will continue to work with local workforce areas on re-designation requests. Any contemplated changes in areas are discussed with all parties involved including the local elected officials, WDBs, and service providers. Changes in workforce development areas are done only in the best interests of the State and the business and job seeker customers in that area.

The Council is responsible for certifying Local Workforce Boards. The certification process is the key strategy to ensure Local Workforce Development Boards have the proper membership and structure to be highly effective in creating and continuously improving an aligned workforce development system, overseeing funds effectively and achieving established performance measures.

As also described in the Plan, the Governor’s Council was instrumental in making recommendations regarding the assignment of local workforce areas to regions. This process was an open process including input from local boards, local elected officials and stakeholders prior to the creation of the four Oklahoma Regional Workforce Planning Regions.

Allocation formulas for the distribution of funds for adult, dislocated worker and youth programs under WIOA are developed as per the federal WIOA law.

Timelines and Progress on Activities

September 2015: All required State Board members were appointed.

November 6, 2015: First WIOA compliant State Board meeting

November - January: State Board New Member Orientations Conducted

March 24, 2016: State Board and the Governor identified four Planning Regions for State

April 29, 2016: New Bylaws for the Governor’s Council approved

4. Assessment and Evaluation of Programs and One-Stop Program Partners

A. Assessment of Core Programs

Describe how the core programs will be assessed each year based on State performance accountability measures described in section 116(b) of WIOA.  This State assessment must include the quality, effectiveness, and improvement of programs broken down by local area or provider.  Such state assessments should take into account local and regional planning goals.

A consideration for each of the core programs will be the delivery of quality, customer service oriented, and effective programs driven by continuous improvement principles,

Once the baselines for all of the core programs has been determined with the US Departments of Labor and Education, each of the core programs whether state or locally based will be expected to invest their program funds in a manner that both meets the intent of their funding streams and targets the required performance.

The WIOA local workforce programs and more recently the Wagner Peyser program have been operating under a variation of the new performance measures under previous iterations of workforce legislation. While not all the local workforce areas met performance under WIA, corrective action has been taken and in accordance with a request from the chief elected official we have merged the failing area into its neighbor. We believe that this designation will result in improved performance.

Each of the Planning Regions will be required to describe how they plan to meet performance and a review of their Plans will include a determination of whether the described strategies are likely to result in the required performance numbers. Where they are not meeting performance, technical assistance may be offered and the regions may be instructed to continue to work on appropriate strategies.

The State’s data collection and reporting system allows the state to produce monthly reports which are used by our local workforce areas as an indicator of the likelihood they will meet performance. As the state collects the information quarterly, Oklahoma Works will be able to assess the progress of the partners in meeting the State’s vision and goals. Local areas and Planning Regions are expected to take actions as necessary to make course corrections based upon review of the data.

Oklahoma Works and the Governor’s Council will encourage all Core Program partners to describe in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to be entered into at the local level, how they will create a symbiotic environment in which the partners can be instrumental in helping each other meet the new measures through dual enrollment, leveraging funds, shared case management and shared follow up as applicable. Regional partners will be required to negotiate performance measures and each region would conduct regular reviews internally to determine if the region is on target to meet the annual performance measures. The results of the regular reviews will be included in both the Regional MOU Annual Renewals and in the Center Certification documentation. The MOU and the Center Certifications are reviewed by Oklahoma’s Workforce System Oversight Subcommittee with recommendations going to the Workforce System Oversight Committee of the Governor’s Council.

Regular monitoring of the core programs, which is part of the responsibility of the regional one-stop operator, and monitoring conducted by the core programs of their locally delivered services will ensure alignment of services, coordination of partner services and advancement toward meeting and exceeding the negotiated performance measures. As deficiencies are found by state level reviews, the regional area will be notified and may receive an observation or finding in the reports with applicable corrective action requested of the core partner.

The six primary indicators of performance under WIOA for each core partner (note that primary indicator four and five do not apply to Wagner-Peyser Employment Services) are:

1. Entered Employment - The percentage of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program.

2. Employment Retention - The percentage of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the fourth quarter after exit from the program.

3. Median Earnings - The median earnings of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program.

4. Credential Attainment Rate - The percentage of participants who obtained a recognized postsecondary credential or a secondary school diploma, or its recognized equivalent, during participation in or within one year after exit from the program. A participant who has obtained a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent is only included in this measure if the participant is also employed or is enrolled in an education or training program leading to a recognized postsecondary credential within one year from program exit.

5. Measurable Skills Gains - The percentage of participants who during a program year are in an education or training program that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential or employment and who are achieving measurable skill gains, defined as documented academic, technical, occupational or other forms of progress towards such a credential or employment.

6. Effectiveness in Serving Employers (not yet defined by DOL or ED) - This will be based on indicators developed as required by Section 116(b)(2)(A)(iv) of WIOA.

The state also ensures that local workforce development areas meet performance accountability measures in addition to the provision of quality services to individuals and employers, and the state will provide technical assistance when needed. The local boards and state partners are very familiar with the continuous improvement principles. Results of assessments both positive and negative will be communicated to the local boards and partners. As appropriate, corrective action including plans for improvement will be requested in accordance with continuous improvement principles and evaluated for their likelihood of success.

The Workforce System Oversight Committee plans to assess the need for a policy on assessments of performance to ensure that each region has a performance. Oklahoma wants to ensure that each region has a performance review to identify that the current actions are being coordinated through regional MOUs and regional plans. This approach will document the quality, effectiveness and improvement of each region thereby allowing core partners to review relevant information and take action to improve the system.

B. Assessment of One-Stop Partner Programs

Describe how other one-stop delivery system partner program services and Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan will be assessed each year. Such state assessments should take into account local and regional planning goals.

Oklahoma will assess one-stop delivery partner program services by assessing performance, soliciting self-assessment, participation in the system, program effectiveness, accessibility of the system, among other assessments.

First, for example, to assess performance, the State will continue to develop standard data gathering across core and other programs to determine the structure of joint reports in the future, calling on the expertise of core entities. The state and local areas will be assessed based on a comparison of the actual performance level with the adjusted level of performance each quarter and annually. As guidance is released from the federal office, Oklahoma will work quickly to continue to develop common performance assessment guidance and tools, in concert with our partners at the state and local levels.

Second, for example, to assess core and other one-stop delivery system partner program services each of the assessments will take into account local and regional planning goals through Memorandum of Understanding agreements (MOU), self-assessments, and Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) analyses. The regional MOU agreements that are negotiated with each partner will further detail locally-identified requirements for integrated service delivery. Each region will create a plan to measure agreed upon success factors, which will include continuous improvement strategies to ensure high quality customer service at the Oklahoma Works Centers. Currently, the state is exploring what the additional state-level criterion could be used to assess the effectiveness of partnerships and outcomes. Guidance to the local and regional areas on these criterion will be released by February 2017.

Oklahoma also seeks input from the regions using a self-assessment tool to be completed by the local boards within a region, and will be completed quarterly. The regional planning self-assessment tool is organized under the three standards categories (Governance, Business Services and Job Seekers Services) and includes corresponding indicators that are components of each element. The completion of this tool will be accompanied by completion of a SWOT analysis. SWOT analyses at the regional level will be completed every two years. The first self-assessment and the summary of the regional SWOT analysis must be submitted by December 1, 2016.

For example, information gathered from this tool includes: a sign in sheet from the regional meeting for partner participation verification, and evaluation of indicators to assess their area’s progress toward submitting a Regional Plan.

Keeping in mind the objective of regionalism, as delineated at §679.200 of the WIOA Final Regulations, “the purpose of identifying regions is to align workforce development activities and resources with larger regional economic development areas and available resources to provide coordinated and efficient services to both job seekers and employers.”

A four-point scale representing the phases of an ongoing development process helps the regions assess progress. Indicators are as follows:

1 = Initiation Phase: The team has discussed this indicator but has not started planning.

2 = Planning Phase: The team is engaged in a planning process to agree upon the steps necessary to move forward.

3 = Implementation Phase: The team has completed planning and is in the process of implementing strategies.

4 = Sustain/Enhance Phase: Strategies have been fully implemented. The team is managing for sustainability and further enhancement of this indicator.

This Self-Assessment Tool also contains measures of the accessibility of System components. Accessibility means that job seekers with disabilities can use System resources, both physical and technology-based, without facing discrimination based on the job seeker’s disability. Assessing accessibility, among other criterion, assists the State in ensuring a comprehensive and responsive workforce development system.

C. Previous Assessment Results

Beginning with the state plan modification in 2018 and for subsequent state plans and state plan modifications, provide the results of an assessment of the effectiveness of the core programs and other one-stop partner programs and Combined State Plan partner programs included in the Unified or Combined State plan during the preceding 2-year period (i.e. the 2-year period of the plan modification cycle). Describe how the State is adapting its strategies based on these assessments.

The State will be assessing programs against negotiated performance on a regular basis. In negotiating new levels, the state will look at how well core partners did on the previously negotiated measures. It is anticipated that upon installation of the state’s new data collection and reporting system (currently being procured and anticipated completed migration by summer 2017) that we will be better able to analyze data in real time which will help all the partners make course corrections as needed.

For programs that meet or exceed performance the state will evaluate the economy and performance of the planning region or local area as appropriate to determine the new measures. For areas where they have been barely meeting performance, the state will examine whether the area is in need of technical assistance, has implemented best practices or should be under a corrective action plan with respect to their performance. As appropriate, the state will communicate with the appropriate elected official.

Also, the state is planning to implement its own measures as allowed and encouraged under WIOA, to reflect those elements of the workforce system critical to the success of Oklahoma’s workforce and businesses. The state will also consider how well the core programs are doing with the Oklahoma Works Partner measures, metrics found on OKStateStat, and macro metrics set by the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, as required by the Office of the Governor.

D. Evaluation

Describe how the state will conduct evaluations and research projects on activities under WIOA core programs; how such projects will be coordinated with, and designed in conjunction with, State and local boards and with State agencies responsible for the administration of all respective core programs; and, further, how the projects will be coordinated with the evaluations provided for by the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Education under WIOA.

The System Oversight Subcommittee (SOS), a subcommittee of the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), is currently working together on a variety of projects and the process of evaluations. The SOS plans to get feedback from the local regions and various partners as the State transitions from WIA to WIOA. So far the SOS has not been able to take a measured look at how these programs will be evaluated.

The SOS is also creating a WIOA-compliant assessment tool, which is organized under three standards categories (Governance, Business Services and Job Seekers Services) and includes corresponding indicators that are components of each element. Local and Regional Teams will use this tool to examine each indicator to assess their local area and region’s progress toward achieving a quality system. The SOS will use this completed tool to evaluate region and local progress and implementation to create a better workforce development system for Oklahoma.

5. Distribution of Funds for Core Programs

Describe the methods and factors the State will use in distributing funds under the core programs in accordance with the provisions authorizing such distributions.

A. For Title I programs

For Title I programs, provide a description of the written policies that establish the State's methods and factors used to distribute funds to local areas for—

1. Youth activities in accordance with WIOA section 128(b)(2) or (b)(3),

The Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development (OOWD) is actively, and continuously, working on updating policies and procedures in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. By providing an understanding of the methodologies used to distribute formula funds for Youth program activities in accordance with WIOA Section 128(b)(2) and/or (b)(3) , the OOWD hopes to expand transparency and tighten partnerships across all levels of the workforce system. In an effort to avoid confusion and/or contradiction, the OOWD has decided to wait until all current and pending program year and fiscal year funds are distributed, awarded, and fully executed to each of the eight local Workforce Development Areas. The OOWD plans to issue new policy on the distribution of Youth program formula funding no later than January 31, 2017.

Effective Program Year 2017, the State of Oklahoma elects to utilize a discretionary allocation formula for Youth program funds. Upon receipt of the federal Notice of Obligation, the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development will calculate a minimum amount of 85% to be distributed to the local areas through formula distribution. The following criteria and percentages will determine the amount of funding for Youth program activities each of the eight Workforce Development Areas will be awarded:

The number of unemployed individuals in counties with an unemployment rate of at least 6.5% will be summed and weighted. The percent share of unemployed in areas of substantial unemployment will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars. The State has elected to use counties as areas of substantial unemployment due to the ability to gather a 12 month average at the county level, as opposed to a historical five year average available for geographies such as census tracts.

The number of unemployed individuals over 4.5% of the labor force represents the number of excess unemployed for each county. The amount for each county will be divided by the total number of excess unemployed to determine the percentage of excess unemployed. This percentage will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars.

The number of disadvantaged youth for each county will be divided by the total number of disadvantaged youth in the state. This percentage will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars.

The relative number of youth, under the age of 18, per county residing in a family with an income below the poverty level.

In the event that the formula allocation determines an area is to receive less than 90% of the average percent share of previous two year’s percent share, the amount needed will be ratably reduced from those areas whose data based formula allocation amount was higher than the 90% minimum award. This is done to ensure that award amounts from year to year do not result in the often extreme fluctuations of unemployment and population.

2. Adult and training activities in accordance with WIOA section 133(b)(2) or (b)(3),

The OOWD is actively, and continuously, working on updating policies and procedures in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. By providing an understanding of the methodologies used to distribute formula funds for Adult program activities in accordance with WIOA Section 133(b)(2) and/or (b)(3) , the OOWD hopes to expand transparency and tighten partnerships across all levels of the workforce system. In an effort to avoid confusion and/or contradiction, the OOWD has decided to wait until all current and pending program year and fiscal year funds are distributed, awarded, and fully executed to each of the eight local Workforce Development Areas. The OOWD plans to issue new policy on the distribution of Adult program formula funding no later than January 31, 2017.

Effective Program Year 2017, the State of Oklahoma elects to utilize a discretionary allocation formula for Adult program funds. Upon receipt of the federal Notice of Obligation, the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development will calculate a minimum amount of 85% to be distributed to the local areas through formula distribution. The following criteria and percentages will determine the amount of funding for Adult program activities each of the eight Workforce Development Areas will be awarded:

The number of unemployed individuals in counties with an unemployment rate of at least 6.5% will be summed and weighted. The percent share of unemployed in areas of substantial unemployment will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars. The State has elected to use counties as areas of substantial unemployment due to the ability to gather a 12 month average at the county level, as opposed to a historical five year average available for geographies such as census tracts.

The number of unemployed individuals over 4.5% of the labor force represents the number of excess unemployed for each county. The amount for each county will be divided by the total number of excess unemployed to determine the percentage of excess unemployed. This percentage will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars.

The number of disadvantaged adults for each county will be divided by the total number of disadvantaged adults in the state. This percentage will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars.

The relative number of adults, aged 18 and older, per county residing in a family with an income level below the poverty level.

In the event that the formula allocation determines an area is to receive less than 90% of the average percent share of previous two year’s percent share, the amount needed will be ratably reduced from those areas whose data based formula allocation amount was higher than the 90% minimum award. This is done to ensure that award amounts from year to year do not result in the often extreme fluctuations of unemployment and population.

3. Dislocated worker employment and training activities in accordance with WIOA section 133(b)(2) and based on data and weights assigned.

The OOWD is actively, and continuously, working on updating policies and procedures in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. By providing an understanding of the methodologies used to distribute formula funds for Dislocated Worker program activities in accordance with WIOA Section 133(b)(2), the OOWD hopes to expand transparency and tighten partnerships across all levels of the workforce system. In an effort to avoid confusion and/or contradiction, the OOWD has decided to wait until all current and pending program year and fiscal year funds are distributed, awarded, and fully executed to each of the eight local Workforce Development Areas. The OOWD plans to issue new policy on the distribution of Dislocated Worker program formula funding no later than January 31, 2017.

Effective Program Year 2017, upon receipt of the federal Notice of Obligation, the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development will calculate a minimum amount of 60% to be distributed to the local areas through formula distribution. Due to the state’s historically low levels of unemployment, factors closely related to levels of unemployment in each county will be weighted more heavily. The following criteria and percentages will determine the amount of funding for Dislocated Worker activities each Workforce Development Area will be awarded:

The relative number of allowed unemployment claims in each county over a 12 month period.

The number of long-term unemployed individuals for each county will be divided by the total number of long-term unemployed to determine the percentage of funding each county should receive. The percentage will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars.

The number of unemployed individuals for each county will be divided by the total number of unemployed. This percentage will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars.

The number of jobs lost, in each county, within industries which have experienced declining employment county will be divided by the total number jobs lost within the same industries statewide. This percentage will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars.

The decline in farm income in each county, will be divided by the total decline in farm income across the state. This percentage will then be multiplied by the total calculated amount of pass through dollars.

As mass layoff data is no longer available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the state does not track and/or report on this information, mass layoff data is weighted at zero.

In the event that the formula allocation determines an area is to receive less than 90% of the average percent share of previous two year’s percent share, the amount needed will be ratably reduced from those areas whose data based formula allocation amount was higher than the 90% minimum award. This is done to ensure that award amounts from year to year do not result in the often extreme fluctuations of unemployment and population.

Due to the differences and fluctuations in federal, state, and local economic and unemployment situations the Governor will, if necessary, adjust the formula no more than once per program year to ensure that dislocated worker funding is awarded based on the most relevant circumstances and data in relation to the period of time for which the data is analyzed.

B. For Title II:

1. Multi-year grants or contracts

Describe how the eligible agency will award multi-year grants or contracts on a competitive basis to eligible providers in the State, including how eligible agencies will establish that eligible providers are organizations of demonstrated effectiveness.

Distribution of Funds for the Adult Basic Education Grant

Oklahoma has grouped each of its 77 counties into four Oklahoma WIOA regions. These four Oklahoma WIOA regions are further divided into a total of eight Workforce Development Areas. The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE) will group these 77 counties into Adult Basic Education (ABE) Service Areas. No more than 30 ABE service areas will be determined using multiple criteria including their location relative to the four WIOA regions, the eight Workforce Development Areas, current and potential service provider areas, and input from stakeholders. After collecting this input ODCTE staff will determine these ABE service areas. Each ABE service area will be a combination of one or more Oklahoma counties. A county can be in only one ABE service area, and all 77 counties will be served and included in a service area.

Once these ABE service areas are determined, ODCTE staff will determine an allocation amount by using data for each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. This initial allocation will include 1) number of eligible individuals within a service area, and 2) ABE service area need. A formula will then be determined using these two variables to determine an allocation amount for each county. The amount for each county within an ABE service area will be totaled, and then eligible providers will compete for this amount in their application. This amount will be held steady for not more than three years. After this period allocation amounts for each service provider will be determined using a formula that accounts for the ABE service area need, number of eligible individuals within a service area, and performance of the service provider.

Distribution of funds for EL Civics and Corrections grants

The ODCTE will fund English Literacy (EL) Civics in conjunction with an integrated education and training activities. Components funded within this program are adult education and literacy activities, workforce preparation activities, and workforce training. Eligible recipients will have the opportunity to apply for EL Civics and Corrections grants. The formula used for each of these grants will be 1) a base amount for each recipient and 2) service provider need. Recipients will receive a hold steady amount of not more than three years. After this period allocation amounts will be determined through a formula that includes 1) a base amount for each recipient, 2) service provider need, and 3) performance of the recipient after two years of providing the service. An eligible recipient for either the EL Civics or the Corrections grants do not have to be a recipient of the Adult Basic Education grant. Service areas of both EL Civics and Corrections grants may not mirror that of the ABE service areas.

(i) Describe how the eligible agency will award multi-year grants or contracts on a competitive basis to eligible providers in the State, including how eligible agencies will establish that eligible providers are organizations of demonstrated effectiveness.

Eligible provider means an organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities. This may include a local educational agency, a community-based organization or faith-based organization, a volunteer literacy organization, an institution of higher education, a public or private nonprofit agency, a library, a public housing authority, a nonprofit institution that has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals.

In the Fall/Winter of 2016 the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education will hold a competition to award funds in a multi-year competition for Adult Basic Education grants, English Literacy Civics grants, and Corrections grants. Eligible agencies will have the option of being able to apply for one or more of these grants. Eligible agencies will have the option of applying for one or more service areas in the Adult Basic Education grant. Agencies will also have the option to apply for an English Literacy Civics grant and/or a Corrections grant. One RFP will be utilized in this process for all three grants. The same grant application and process will be used by all eligible applicants.

The application will contain the local application criteria listed within Section 232 and the 13 considerations listed in Section 231(e) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title II Adult Education and Literacy.

The following elements may be used by the ODCTE in determining demonstrated effectiveness of eligible training providers:

In order to demonstrate past effectiveness eligible providers will provide performance data on its record of improving the skills of eligible individuals, particularly eligible individuals who have low levels of literacy, in the content domains of reading, writing, mathematics, English language acquisition, and other subject areas relevant to the services contained in the State’s application for funds. An eligible provider must also provide information regarding its outcomes for participants related to employment, attainment of secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and transition to postsecondary education and training.

There are two ways in which an eligible provider may meet these requirements:

(1) An eligible provider that has been funded under title II of the Act must provide performance data required under section 116 to demonstrate past effectiveness.

(2) An eligible provider that has not been previously funded under title II of the Act must provide performance data to demonstrate its past effectiveness in serving basic skills deficient eligible individuals, including evidence of the following:

Eligible provider applications will be initially reviewed by the Local Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) in the Adult Basic Education (ABE) service area in which they are applying and determine if their application aligns to the local WDB plan. Eligible providers will receive this input from the WDBs, have an opportunity to revise their application, and then submit to their application to the ODCTE. WDBs would then review the whole application and provide their recommendations to the ODCTE regarding the applications of the eligible provider. The ODCTE would then take into consideration these recommendations and select the ABE service provider/s for each of the ABE service areas.

A rubric will be developed and the evaluation criteria will include the 13 considerations in 231(e) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title II Adult Education and Literacy, as well as other components deemed necessary to review the application.

The award cycle for all grants will be four years. Awards will be given for program years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2121. After this time, recipients may have the option of applying for a grant extension. This grant extension can be renewed in subsequent years until the ODCTE determines that a new multi-year competition for the grant needs to occur.

2. Ensure direct and equitable access

Describe how the eligible agency will ensure direct and equitable access to all eligible providers to apply and compete for funds and how the eligible agency will ensure that it is using the same grant or contract announcement and application procedure for all eligible providers.

Eligible providers will apply for the Adult Basic Education Grant, EL Civics Grant, and Corrections Grant directly to the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Notification of the RFP will first take place on the ODCTE website. Subsequent notification may follow through electronic as well as other means to those parties potentially interested in applying for the grant. Core WIOA partners and one-stop partners will also be notified at the same time as the RFP is published on the website. The application will be available as a Microsoft Word document that can be downloaded from the ODCTE website. The completed application will be emailed to the Oklahoma State ABE Director. Upon receiving the application the Oklahoma State ABE Director will send a notification with 24 hours to the applicant that the ODCTE has received the application. Each applicant will fill out the same application and submit their application through the same means. This will ensure direct and equitable access to all eligible providers.

C. Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation

In the case of a State that, under section 101(a)(2)(A)(i)of the Rehabilitation Act designates a State agency to administer the part of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan under which VR services are provided for individuals who are blind, describe the process and the factors used by the State to determine the distribution of funds among the two VR agencies in the State.

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS) is the single Designated State Unit for these funds. OKDRS is a combined agency, no distribution is required.

Title I, Part B, Priority Group 1 - Estimated Funds = 11,481,000 (Average Cost of Services = 2,922)

Title I, Part B, Priority Group 2 - Estimated Funds = 13,617,000 (Average Cost of Services = 2,922)

Title I, Part B, Priority Group 3 - Estimated Funds = 1,602,000 (Average Cost of Services = 2,923)

Title VI, Part B - Estimated Funds = 300,000 (Average Cost of Services = 4,700)

6. Program Data

A. Data Alignment and Integration

Describe the plans of the lead State agencies with responsibility for the administration of the core programs, along with the State Board, to align and integrate available workforce and education data systems for the core programs, unemployment insurance programs, and education through postsecondary education, and to the extent possible, the Combined State Plan partner programs included in this plan. The description of the State’s plan for integrating data systems should include the State’s goals for achieving integration and any progress to date.

1. Describe the State’s plans to make the management information systems for the core programs interoperable to maximize the efficient exchange of common data elements to support assessment and evaluation.

Currently, two partners under WIOA operate the same case management/reporting system for their respective programs. Labor Exchange and Title 1 programs have utilized an integrated case management/reporting system for many years. This system uses real time data across programs to prevent duplication of services, track program services and calculate integrated performance data and while it has been practical and economical, it is not utilized by all of the core partners. All of the partners have a computerized case management system that meets the specific requirements of each program. Integrating to a unified system and adjusting for a streamlined intake and service delivery system is high priority. Oklahoma is currently in the process of reviewing case management/reporting systems that have the capability of meeting the requirements for integrated case management and reporting across core programs.

Currently each core partner will use their existing systems, updated as necessary, to gather the needed information for performance reporting as required by the WIOA. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, through data sharing MOUs, will provide the required wage information for federal reporting purposes in compliance with applicable federal and state laws.

Oklahoma expects the regions to enter into data sharing agreements based on local MOUs. In the future as data systems are procured and upgraded, the state will look at ways in which the data can be accessible between among our one-stop partners along with the appropriate confidentiality agreements.

2. Describe the State’s plans to integrate data systems to facilitate streamlined intake and service delivery to track participation across all programs included in this plan.

Oklahoma is committed to the goals of eliminating duplication of services and addressing the needs of common intake and case management, however we do not have an immediate plan for integrating data systems. Therefore, the core partners are in discussions to increase the exchange of data to the maximum extent possible. The core partners are in the process of developing WIOA specific MOUs in order to exchange data, establish governance, specify common intake, and track program participation. Additionally, data sharing MOUs will address the use of wage record data in order to successfully comply with WIOA performance accountability measures and state indicators of performance. Oklahoma is currently exploring strategies and funding sources to achieve these goals.

3. Explain how the State board will assist the governor in aligning technology and data systems across required one-stop partner programs (including design and implementation of common intake, data collection, etc.) and how such alignment will improve service delivery to individuals, including unemployed individuals.

Oklahoma is dedicated to developing a roadmap towards greater data alignment and integration of participant and performance data across core programs with the ultimate goal of providing effective and efficient services that leads to the participants’ certificate attainment and employment. The development and implementation of a data system that will allow the sharing of participant information and services across core programs will make benchmarking a reality.

An objective of the Oklahoma Works Strategic Delivery Plan is to integrate and utilize workforce and economic development data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success. The written plan, approved by the Governor, formally engages Workforce System Agency Partners from the State Regents for Higher Education, the State Department of Education, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services. Effective collection and utilization of education, workforce, and economic data is essential to Oklahoma’s ability to decrease the gap between labor supply and demand, and to generate wealth for all Oklahomans.

A multi-agency data repository will be developed that will house workforce- and education-related data to provide a platform for linking data across data-generating agencies necessary to improve data collection and dissemination, and to inform and support the objectives of Oklahoma Works. The efficiencies achieved through integrated information access and virtual services are expected to result in cost savings that will then be applied to the maintenance and enhancement of the workforce data enterprise system. Existing WIOA formula funds can be used, at the Governor’s discretion, to assist with data collection and research projects at the state and local levels that are conducted and/or guided by Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City.

Given this context, the state is approaching the matter of data-sharing and the building of interoperable data systems with the following principles in mind:

• The technological construction for interoperable data-systems is constructed to aid the objectives of the programs they are designed for and will not wrongly constrain or predetermine the policy choices of program administrators and operators in a way that restricts the capacity for policy innovation.

• Data-sharing and data integration efforts are most logical where there is a commonality of importance, necessity, or purpose and set goals. All efforts to improve data-sharing agreements or, where appropriate, move towards data-integration will proceed on the basis of value-added partnership such that all partners gain something from the partnership.

• Agreements recognize and take into account the varied needs of different programs and consumer populations, the varying privacy requirements of different programs, recognition of data-ownership by program operators, and the need to work collaboratively to create shared solutions that serve both the programs being operated, and the consumer receiving services.

• Data-sharing and data integration was developed in order to meet state and federal privacy and security standards as well as those of each partner agency.

•The State Board has created workgroups to assist the Governor in aligning technology across core programs and One-Stop mandatory partners with the goal of improving service delivery to individuals.

Representatives from all WIOA core programs, Title I, Adult Basic Education, Department of Rehabilitation Services, and The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, have all participated in workgroups, with representatives meeting with State Board staff either collectively or program to program. To date, the workgroup has done all of the following:

• exchanged information about common data elements that support assessment and evaluation

• exchanged information about data systems in-use and extant performance reporting processes

• shared information on WIOA performance metrics, reporting requirements, regulations, and guidelines

4. Describe the State’s plans to develop and produce the reports required under section 116, performance accountability system. (WIOA section 116(d)(2)).

State agencies will work with the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development to ensure required reports for the performance accountability are completed to the best of the state’s ability. The priority is to identify and deploy a third-party, non-agency entity to receive, clean and report from multiple data sources in the short term and ultimately to assist in the development of common reports when a common system is implemented.

Oklahoma will also await guidance from the Departments of Labor and Education.

Planning Note: States should be aware that Section 116(i)(1) requires the core programs, local boards, and chief elected officials to establish and operate a fiscal and management accountability information system based on guidelines established by the Secretaries of Labor and Education. Separately, the Departments of Labor and Education anticipate working with States to inform future guidance and possible information collection(s) on these accountability systems. States should begin laying the groundwork for these fiscal and management accountability requirements, recognizing that adjustments to meet the elements above may provide opportunity or have impact on such a fiscal and management accountability system.

B. Assessment of Participants’ Post-Program Success

Describe how lead State agencies will use the workforce development system to assess the progress of participants who are exiting from core programs in entering, persisting in, and completing postsecondary education, or entering or remaining in employment. States may choose to set additional indicators of performance.

The State Workforce Partners will establish an annual review of funding sources and incentives provided by federal, state and local sources. In addition, the State Workforce Partners will chart the effectiveness of federal and state funding for education, workforce and economic development systems throughout the state.

The Governor of Oklahoma has set a performance funding budget model for each of Oklahoma’s agencies which includes all core workforce partners to deliver the performance expected while staying within their monetary allotments.

The core workforce partners will utilize the WIOA Performance Measures for the Core Programs to monitor and improve all WIOA core programs. These performance measures include Employment (Second Quarter and Fourth Quarter after Exit), Median Earnings, Credential Attainment Rate, Measureable Skill Gains, and Effectiveness in Serving Employers. Performance for each of these measures will be segmented by Adults, Dislocated Workers, Youth, Adult Education, Wagner-Peyser, and Vocational Rehabilitation. State and local workforce boards will utilize these performance measures in measuring the progress of the core partners in their area. These measures will assist Oklahoma in determining the effectiveness of its workforce development system and allow the state to continuously improve this system.

The workforce system oversight subcommittee will conduct an annual review of the funding sources and incentives provided by federal, state and local sources. This review will assist in charting the way federal and state funds are utilized by both the educational system and workforce development system in the state. The measures, goals and objectives negotiated by the core partners will be used to gage the effectiveness of the workforce system as a whole. The Local Workforce Development Areas will be reviewed to ensure they are meeting the goals and objectives outlined in their local plans for effectively using workforce dollars to meet the educational and employment needs of the participants seeking service through the integrated workforce system. The Oklahoma Works centers will be measured using the "New Day, New Way" guidelines developed by the Governor’s Council for Workforce Development ensuring ease of access for all.

“A New Day, New Way” began under the Workforce Investment Act and has been revived under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and focuses on Oklahoma Works Center certification with input and guidance from all workforce partners. After Center certification is implemented, “A New Day, New Way” will focus on system-level certification.

The state will use the Eligible Training Provider (ETP) system to monitor the completion and employment rate of all participants receiving training services through the workforce system. The ability to review educational programs to ensure that participants are becoming employed in the occupations in which they are trained will assist both the educational system and the workforce system in determining the effectiveness of the training programs being developed and offered in our state. Programs eligible to receive workforce funding for the training of participants will be reviewed on a bi-annual basis and the programs not meeting performance levels set by the state will be removed.

The Oklahoma Workforce Development Enterprise System (OK-WDES), Oklahoma’s response to the Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI), will connect a diverse range of tools for common presentation to customers and integrative use of common data. OK-WDES will eventually be linked to the State Department of Education’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS), and together they will conduct analysis, implement continuous process improvement in the delivery of workforce and education services, enhance return on investment, and drive strategic policy making.

Additionally, a Common Connectivity team has been developed, as part of the Oklahoma Works initiative, to make decisions on the statewide data sharing component.

C. Use of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Wage Record Data

Explain how the State will meet the requirements to utilize quarterly UI wage records for performance accountability, evaluations, and as a source for workforce and labor market information, consistent with Federal and State law. (This Operational Planning element applies to core programs.)

The state is currently working on MOUs with core partners as well as reviewing state statutes to allow for data sharing among core partners.

D. Privacy Safeguards

Describe the privacy safeguards incorporated in the State’s workforce development system, including safeguards required by section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and other applicable Federal laws.

Data security and privacy is key to ensuring Oklahoma statewide core partner operations are available as authorized to share vital data that is necessary for WIOA and Oklahoma Works partner activities.

The State of Oklahoma consolidated data and operational systems and provides a centralized CyberCommand Security Operations Center within the Office of Management and Enterprise Services Information Services (OMES IS) that protects workforce systems from cyber threats. Automated tools assist with protecting the network. OMES IS ensures that all workforce systems provide security authorization and user authentication. The data retention polices are required by the Oklahoma Records Management Act for agencies to identify, and adopt a records retention schedule for the retention of documents and data following state and federal mandates. Due to the nature of consolidated operations the state adheres to the U.S Department of Defense standards for data protection and end of life destruction.

The privacy requirements for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) outlined in section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g) are enforced through role based user operations that ensure separation of duties and data disclosure. The state mandates the local system staff must be compliant and must sign state confidentiality agreements following data security training. All data sharing agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) documents are strictly enforced and utilized for all data sharing. Aggregated data is used to ensure user privacy unless approved agreements allow for participant data that support workforce or education operational and reporting needs.

To further protect personally identifiable information collected in WIOA, Unemployment Insurance (UI), and statewide reporting or operational systems including OKJobMatch and ServiceLink, have implemented state level security measures. These include limiting and logging physical access to database servers, 128-byte encryption, SSL and individual password protection to guard against unauthorized access as mandated by state laws and guidelines enforced by OMES IS.

7. Priority of Service for Veterans

Describe how the State will implement and monitor the priority of service provisions for veterans in accordance with the requirements of the Jobs for Veterans Act, codified at section 4215 of 38 U.S.C., which applies to all employment and training programs funded in whole or in part by the Department of Labor. States should also describe the referral process for veterans determined to have a significant barrier to employment to receive services from the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist.

Governor Fallin has indicated her strong support of efforts to support returning and transitioning service members, veterans and their families. A special committee was formed consisting of cross agency members who worked on various efforts to coordinate services and to plan hiring events for returning military personnel and their families.

In support of this effort, OSU-OKC and the Governor’s Council launched a website (OKmilitaryconnection.com) to connect veterans with a variety of state and national resources and services; especially hiring events sponsored by OKmilitaryconnection.com. This site will be expanded and enhanced over time, and it will ultimately be a key part of the OK-WDES.

The State is also working with employer councils, trade associations, the State Chamber, local chambers, state and federal agencies and education/training providers to connect transitioning service members, veterans and other eligible persons with quality training and employment. Efforts are also under way with Oklahoma’s ODCTE technology centers, community colleges, and four-year institutions to develop fast-track credentialing and degree programs that offer credit for experience gained during military service.

In Oklahoma, veterans and others eligible for services under Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSGs) are identified at various points of entry into Oklahoma’s workforce development system. All customers so identified receive priority of service. Through an assessment process using a state provided military registration checklist designed to determine significant barriers to employment, eligible veteran customers at Workforce Centers determined to have significant barriers to employment or designated as eligible by the U.S. Department of Labor are referred for services to a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP) when and where available. Those veterans served at Centers lacking an assigned DVOP or if the DVOP is not available are referred for services to other Workforce Center staff. Workforce Centers are also required to have a flowchart describing the process for veteran customers being served and how a significant barrier to employment is determined and if eligible, when the veteran is referred to the DVOP for services. OKJobMatch, the state job match and case management system also identifies veterans with significant barriers to employment when veterans are registered in the system for center staff to refer to DVOPs.

All local office staff and workforce system partners performing labor exchange through the current Oklahoma electronic workforce system are required to provide veterans and other eligible persons with priority of service. Close monitoring through system reports, field visits, and training is conducted to ensure legislative requirements for veterans are followed. Additionally, all Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) are required by state policy OETI-25-2009 (Oklahoma Employment and Training Issuance) to ensure that priority of service is applied throughout their respective service delivery systems, including service delivery points maintained by all sub-recipients. The State priority of service policy obligates LWDBs to monitor local service delivery operations to ensure that their internal policies and procedures result in compliance with the priority of service requirements. Furthermore, OETI-25-2009 requires LWDBs to have policy and procedures in place for priority of service for veterans in their area.

The State assures that veterans and others eligible for JVSG-funded services will be afforded employment and training activities authorized in section 134 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and the activities authorized in Chapters 41 and 42 of Title 38 U.S.C. The State assures that it will comply with the Priority of Service for Veterans established in the Job for Veterans Act (Public Law 107-288). The State and the Veterans Employment and Training Service have a memorandum of understanding to ensure services will be provided to veterans as described in Title 38 U.S.C., Chapters 41, 42 and 43; at 20 CFR Chapter IX, CFR, codified at 20 CFR 1001, 100; and all applicable Training and Employment Guidance Letters (TEGLs) and Veterans’ Program Letters (VPLs).

All four workforce regions follow TEGLs 10-09 and TEGL 3-15 with Priority of Service for Veterans.

8. Addressing the Accessibility of the One-Stop Delivery System for Individuals with Disabilities

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners), will comply with section 188 of WIOA (if applicable) and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) with regard to the physical and programmatic accessibility of facilities, programs, services, technology, and materials for individuals with disabilities. This also must include a description of compliance through providing staff training and support for addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. Describe the State’s one-stop center certification policy, particularly the accessibility criteria.

Oklahoma is focused on accessibility for all job seekers and businesses and employer’s work sites throughout all levels of Oklahoma Works. Working with the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), system partners bring sharper focus on developing and employing more Oklahoman’s with disabilities.

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services is leading Oklahoma’s Workforce System towards enhanced accessibility. The objective is to provide equitable services to individuals with disabilities and to ensure that all Workforce System partners comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Access for All Initiative

The Access for All initiative within Oklahoma Works places a focus on recruitment, hiring, and promotion of individuals with disabilities in the state of Oklahoma’s workforce system. Access for All focuses on the Oklahoma Works system partners as well as employers in the state. This initiative provides training, consulting, and resources to ensure that individuals with disabilities are intentionally included in efforts to achieve greater household wealth for Oklahomans. Access for All equips Oklahoma’s Workforce System with knowledge and resources to make it more accessible to individuals with disabilities that utilize one-stop system programs in person, on the phone, or through the web. Access for All is brought to Oklahoma Works through a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (Oklahoma’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program) and Oklahoma ABLE Tech (Oklahoma’s Assistive Technology Act Program).

To help build a foundation for the Access for All initiative, the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS) and Oklahoma ABLE Tech (OKABT), partnered to provide regional Access for All academies, webinars, newsletters, and weekly tips statewide. The one-day seminars focused on accessibility in the built environment and in technology, as well as some of the legal drivers, to create accessible points of contact between workforce system partners and job seekers in Oklahoma. These academies are critical training components to help staff close the gaps in workforce utilization, income, and poverty among people with disabilities. To best prepare job seekers to gain employment, workforce system staff must be aware of the benefits and requirements for ensuring accessible workforce services and environments. The academies help workforce system staff focus on the requirements for better employer engagement and promoting physical and programmatic accessibility to employment and training services for individuals with disabilities.

The Access for All webinar series will bring focus on accessibility, legal, policy, and technology as they relate to job seekers with disabilities. Topics will include: An Overview of the Access for All Initiative in Oklahoma; Technology Accessibility 101: An Introduction to Accessibility in the Web; Accessibility Basics in Microsoft Word 2010; Basic Technology Accessibility Testing; An Overview of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and Workforce Center Structural Accessibility Toolkit Update.

The Access for All weekly tips and newsletters are scheduled emails to workforce system partners that will provide continued coverage and the most current accessibility information regarding physical and programmatic accessibility, including assistive technology.

Oklahoma Employment Security Commission - Modeling the way to “Thinking Accessibility”

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC), through the Oklahoma Works Centers, strive to expand capacity, enhance partnerships, and improve service delivery to improve training and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. Staff work daily with a variety of partners locally and across the state that provide services to individuals with disabilities and the general population either directly at the Oklahoma Works centers or through referrals to partner facilities.

These partners include education/training institutions; employers; healthcare, mental health, and childcare facilities; faith-based organizations; community-based non-profits; legal assistance providers; and other state and federal agencies, such as the Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS), Veterans Administration, Department of Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Corrections. Many of these linkages are formal and codified in memorandums of understanding.

OESC works to develop and support increased employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Oklahoma Works Center staff routinely refer individuals with disabilities to the OKDRS for more intensive training and job placement opportunities. OKDRS has three certified Social Security Administration (SSA) Work Incentive Counselors working and co-located within Workforce Centers and another three rotating between the remainder of the Workforce Centers and OKDRS offices.

Workforce Center staff and OKDRS Benefits Planners collaborate to assist job seekers receiving SSA benefits. Specifically, when referred by center staff, an OKDRS Benefits Planner will explain the importance of working at the highest possible level and above SSA’s Substantial Gainful Activity benchmark. Job seekers are provided general information concerning the impact of work on SSA disability benefits. Upon applying for VR services, these individuals would then also receive detailed reports illustrating the impact of work on other benefits and services the individual may be receiving, such as TANF, SNAP, UI compensation, Veteran’s benefits, etc. OKDRS Benefits Planners address concerns of individuals with disabilities about the possibility of losing benefits and help them understand and maximize their work incentives.

OESC began a two-phase project focusing upon physical and programmatic accessibility entitled “Thinking Accessibility” within the Oklahoma Works Centers, UI Service Centers, UI Adjudication Centers and the Appeal Tribunal. This partnership brings OKDRS and OKABT together to provide the resources and tools needed to assist OESC on continuing their commitment in serving individuals with disabilities.

Phase 1 - “Thinking Accessibility”

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Assistive Technology Specialists, conducted physical accessibility reviews of all Oklahoma Works Centers statewide. The physical site accessibility review instrument included an assessment of parking area(s) and pathway(s), entrance(s), bathroom(s), water fountain(s), public telephones, and fire alarm systems. Final assessment reports were provided to each OESC Program Manager III and the directors of the Oklahoma Works Centers for final discussions and understanding of findings.

The OKABT program created individual Accessibility Toolkits for each Oklahoma Works Center in the state along with the UI Service Centers, UI Adjudication Centers and the Appeal Tribunal. The Accessibility Toolkit abstracted findings from the physical accessibility reviews conducted by OKDRS, and added suggested remedies and, where feasible, possible expected costs associated with the suggested remedies. Each Toolkit includes the full itemized set of findings and suggested remedies as well as a summary report for each area. The Toolkits will serve as the foundation for an ongoing effort to make the state’s Oklahoma Works Centers and OESC offices more accessible to job seekers with disabilities.

As OESC reviews the Accessibility Toolkits, both OKDRS and OKABT will be available to provide additional guidance and technical assistance. This will help OESC finalize budgets, coordinate efforts, and create timelines for remediation where suggested in the Accessibility Toolkit.

Phase 2 - “Thinking Accessibility”

The OKDRS and OKABT will provide a focused effort to work with OESC to identify ways to improve accessibility of technology resources that it provides to job seekers in the state. OKABT will first work to analyze information and communication technology procurement and development within OESC, then identify and help narrow gaps identified in this analysis. Over time, OKABT will help OESC to create and maintain a technology accessibility program that ensures the continuing delivery of accessible technology solutions to Oklahoma’s job seekers.

OKABT will assist OESC to assure accessibility of a new website through assessment, consultation, or other means, and to assure that accessibility is part of their technology procurement process by utilizing the Technology Accessibility Program Review. This review is performed to identify key technology tools and resources for job seekers and internal audiences using the Technology Accessibility Integration Plan which will identity and prioritize technology tools such as web applications, website, documents, and/or multimedia, identify owners and managers of identified tools, formulate basis for technology accessibility training and technical assistance, identify relevant practitioners and leadership for focused training, assess tools for accessibility, and assist in technology barrier removal.

Oklahoma Adult Education Program - serving individuals with disabilities

Adults with disabilities fall into two major categories: individuals with physical disabilities and individuals with learning disabilities. Strategies for adults with physical disabilities include ensuring that classroom sites are accessible and that reasonable and appropriate accommodations are made for the individual’s disability. Adult secondary students who may need accommodations on the high school equivalency test will be referred to OKDRS, psychologists, or other resources to obtain the required documentation of a learning disability.

Adults with learning disabilities usually possess an information processing dysfunction which interferes with their ability to acquire, remember, and/or retrieve information. Strategies for adults with both learning and physical disabilities include, training for adult education teachers on teaching adults with learning and other disabilities.

The Oklahoma Adult Education (ABE) program is in its fourth year of an intensive training effort in teaching adults with learning disabilities and other learning differences. This training prepares adult education teachers to use the ten-minute interview and the Payne Learning Needs Inventory to identify the learning strengths and needs of students, to identify accommodations, when needed, and how to use appropriate instructional strategies with adults with disabilities. A key strategy which teachers learn is how to become “co-investigators” with the student into the learning process. Adult education teachers were trained as “trainers” and are conducting regional teacher training workshops to help other teachers learn how to more effectively meet the needs of educationally-disadvantaged adults with disabilities.

Business and Employer Outreach

Oklahoma’s Workforce System recognizes opportunities to reach Oklahoma’s businesses and employers with a powerful message of Access for All. Through relationships old and new, OKDRS and OKABT will lead the workforce partners in arranging and developing training to businesses and employers in order to reduce their hesitation to hire job seekers with disabilities and to identify ways to educate employers about the benefits of directly recruiting and hiring job seekers with disabilities. The creation of fact sheets and other concise deliverables will help businesses and employers to understand not only their obligations, but also the importance of hiring and promoting job seekers with disabilities.

OKDRS utilizes its ADA Coordinator as a resource to provide consultation, technical assistance, and site reviews to identify accessibility issues to all workforce system partners and other agencies, entities, and businesses and employers. The OKDRS ADA Coordinator provides training in various aspects of the Americans with Disability Act and the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design to staff and supervisors of these entities as well. These services are available in order to advance the promotion of equal access for individuals with disabilities in programs, services, and buildings statewide.

OKDRS delivers assistive technology for job seekers in their journey to employment. Assistive technology specialists complete a variety of assistive technology assessments and evaluations for job seekers, business work sites, and system partners. Evaluations include home modifications, vehicle modifications, personal mobility needs, computer access, worksite modifications, activities of daily living, communication school accommodations, and accessibility reviews. Assistive technology specialists focus on the reported obstacle, rather than the disability diagnosis. A big part of an assistive technology evaluation is to identify what the real problem or obstacle is for the individual job seeker or business work site.

One-stop system certification policy standards for accessibility

Oklahoma’s Workforce System commitment on enhanced accessibility will continue by ‘Thinking Accessibility’ while serving individuals with disabilities. The “Accessibility = Access for All” within the Oklahoma Works system, is a standard that has been set to springboard success for Oklahoma’s business and employers and job seekers in reaching Oklahoma’s Goal of Wealth Generation.

The one-stop system standards and certification criteria policy will be designed utilizing the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) for physical accessibility. The Oklahoma Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Law and Standards will be applied for accessibility of digital services. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Levels A and AA, will be utilized for websites, web applications, and digital documents certification criteria and standards.

Ensuring opportunities for all is critical to meet the goal of creating an environment where people with disabilities have the same opportunities to participate in the workforce as do people without disabilities. As businesses and employers find that the labor pool is tightening, following through on these criteria and standards will ensure businesses and employers have access to more qualified people to fill needed positions.

OKDRS assesses every one-stop for accessibility and provides local program guidance to ensure access for everyone.

9. Addressing the Accessibility of the One-Stop Delivery System for English Language Learners

Describe how the one-stop delivery system (including one-stop center operators and the one-stop delivery system partners) will ensure that each one-stop center is able to meet the needs of English language learners, such as through established procedures, staff training, resources, and other materials.

The one-stop delivery system will meet the needs of English Language Learners through a variety of methods.

For example, one of the policies provides quality and timely language assistance services to customers with English language learners by ensuring meaningful access and accessibility to all programs, services and activities, regardless of the funding source.

OESC complies with Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) [29 CFR 38]; there are trained bi-lingual staff located in the Workforce Centers and Unemployment Insurance Service Centers for on-site language interpreting for English language learners customers, as well as, Telephone Language Interpretive Services and Document Translation Services. The local one-stop center, based on funding availability, may provide access to Google Translate for individuals who are English-language learners and for whom translators may not be available. Additionally, the one-stop center will partner with local Adult Learning Centers to provide literacy services to LEP clients.

Training for staff will be conducted and presented by subject matter experts on federal, state, and local policies on serving clients with limited English proficiency, as well as etiquette for both the internal and external customers.

The professional development of staff and technological resources provided will assist English language learners in understanding the services available to them in the one-stop centers.

IV. Coordination with State Plan Programs

Describe the methods used for joint planning and coordination among the core programs, and with the required one-stop partner programs and other programs and activities included in the Unified or Combined State Plan.

The Oklahoma Core Partner Agency Directors, a discussion group working on Core Partner WIOA Programs compliance, were engaged in writing and also, appointed staff to draft the state plan. The core partner staff organized to develop the planning process.

In developing the Unified State Plan, the core partners met and continue to meet to share information, compile data, and focus on the outcomes of the workforce system and state plan process. The Unified State Plan was approved by the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development on January 29, 2016. Following approval, the plan was placed on www.OklahomaWorks.gov for formal public comment and review. The Plan was revised and submitted in June 2016 at that request of the USDOL.

The following statewide initiatives highlight the specific state plan programs representing the work of core partner programs and the state workforce system:

Oklahoma Works Initiative

Within Oklahoma, The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED) has been tasked with using data to inform policy, track progress and measure success. State workforce partners, departments, and agencies impacting career readiness have developed metrics for targeted wealth generation across Oklahoma. The GCWED selected targets from these metrics, housed on OKStateStat.OK.gov, that form the foundation of the Governor’s Council Dashboard. This dashboard facilitates the use of data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success consistently statewide.

Key Economic Networks (KENs) are areas in which labor market data demonstrate geographic similarities with regard to occupations and commuting patterns. Within these areas, regional business leaders, educators, private organizations, and workforce partner staff collaborate to identify solutions to local challenges that, when addressed regionally, will help to grow a skilled workforce and encourage wealth generation in the state. Each KEN region has a Champion, a regional leader from business and industry appointed by the Governor who coordinates local efforts to support Oklahoma Works.

Oklahoma Works is an initiative designed to increase the wealth of all Oklahomans through providing education and training for citizens to obtain quality employment. The goal of Oklahoma Works is to implement wealth-generating policies across the state through the alignment of private and public strategic priorities, helping all Oklahomans to achieve the American Dream. To achieve the overarching goal of wealth generation for all Oklahomans and combat the skills gap, the Office of the Governor, its state workforce partners, and numerous other contributors created this plan.

As part of Oklahoma Works, state workforce partners will intentionally align and connect education and workforce resources to better provide support and remove workforce barriers for the citizens of Oklahoma. Workforce partners will also establish an annual review of funding sources and incentives provided by federal, state, and local sources and chart the effectiveness of federal and state funding used by the state’s education, workforce, and economic development system. Additionally, departments and agencies impacting career readiness will continue tracking metrics for targeted wealth generation.

Oklahoma launched OklahomaWorks.gov to serve as the state’s comprehensive platform and interactive labor market tool for a broad audience, including job seekers, employers, workforce partners, and policy makers. The site includes information on job openings, labor market data, degree and credential requirements, and available education and training resources. Departments and agencies impacting career readiness will continue tracking metrics for targeted wealth generation.

System Oversight Subcommittee

The Oklahoma Works System Oversight Sub-committee, established in 2012, is composed of Oklahoma workforce development system partners, including the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education—Adult Basic Education, the Department of Rehabilitation Services - Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission--Wagner-Peyser , the State Regents for Higher Education, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and Title I programs representing Adults, Dislocated Workers and Youth. The business community is also represented. It is hoped that other entities, such as the Department of Corrections, and the Departments of Health and Mental Health will eventually be added to establish a more comprehensive approach for creating solutions.

The team has been a cohesive unit since Governor Fallin recognized the necessity to build a new, more responsive, workforce development system to meet the needs of Oklahoma’s businesses and create wealth for the state. This subcommittee was designed to carry out the strategic mission of GCWED and reports to the Workforce System Oversight Committee of that body.

At the present time, the committee is collaborating in writing and identifying policies and processes that will continue to build and improve the workforce development system in wake of the WIOA implementation, as well as contribute to Oklahoma’s overall economic well-being. They meet on a regular basis and identify program specific barriers and create solutions to move forward. Most of the local areas are in the process of building partnerships to accomplish their version of the utopian system and require guidance from this team; discovering they feel very comfortable requesting assistance from their peers representing their agency.

One of the major hurdles they identified at this point is the Memorandum of Understanding at a state and local level addressing service delivery and resource sharing. Under the new law the requirements will change from the past documents and definitions will have to be created specific to our state. For example, the MOU documents in the past have not been as effective or binding as hoped and we are exploring possibilities around requiring MOU contracts instead for more impact. Resource and cost sharing creates a culture of distrust and possessiveness when it comes to the negotiating tables. However, Partners are attempting to make this a win/win for all and keep all stakeholders involved. The WIOA law required we have viable processes in place to address cost and resource sharing and this team has established pilots to address infrastructure/cost sharing and have engaged voluntary involvement of State Agency Directors and Chief Financial State Agency Officers.

The WIOA also requires local planning regions to write unified plans. The sub-committee is actively working on draft guidance for these plans which will include input from all the agencies involved. There are several ways the state’s workforce system will benefit from the regional unified plans, some which include: a more effective, consistent, user-friendly, customer-focused, high quality service-delivery approach for Oklahoma citizens and businesses; efficiencies for workforce programs and staff; alignment among education, workforce, and economic development; accountability for services and results; maximizing all workforce development resources; a true competitive advantage for Oklahoma’s economic development efforts; and a pipeline of appropriately skilled and credentialed workers ready to meet the employment needs of Oklahoma employers

The workforce system being designed will be the springboard to success for Oklahoma’s business and jobseekers, helping Oklahoma reach its strategic vision that Oklahoma’s workforce development system increases profitability for businesses and increases income for all Oklahomans.

Access for All Initiative

Oklahoma is focused on accessibility for all jobseekers, businesses and employer’s work sites throughout Oklahoma; Governor Mary Fallin implemented the Oklahoma Works Initiative focusing on Education and Training for Tomorrow’s Jobs. The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED) is playing a key role as the vehicle to establish the state vision for workforce and economic development integration. Working with Oklahoma Works, the system partners bring sharper focus on developing and employing more Oklahomans with disabilities. The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services is leading Oklahoma’s Workforce System towards enhanced accessibility. The objective is to provide equitable services to individuals with disabilities and to ensure that all Workforce System partners comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Access for All Initiative within Oklahoma Works places a focus on recruitment, hiring, and promotion of individuals with disabilities in the State of Oklahoma’s workforce. Access for All focuses on the Oklahoma Works system partners as well as employers in the state. The initiative provides training, consulting, and resources to ensure that individuals with disabilities are intentionally included in efforts to achieve greater household wealth for Oklahomans. Access for All equips Oklahoma’s Workforce System with knowledge and resources to make it more accessible to individuals with disabilities that utilize one-stop programs in person, on the phone, or through the web. Access for All is brought to Oklahoma Works through a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and Oklahoma ABLE Tech (Oklahoma’s Assistive Technology Act Program).

The one-stop system standards and certification criteria policy will be designed utilizing the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) for physical accessibility. The Oklahoma Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Law and Standards will be applied for accessibility of digital services. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Levels A and AA, will be utilized for websites, web applications, and digital documents certification criteria and standards.

Ensuring opportunities for all is critical to meet the goal in creating an environment where people with disabilities have the same opportunities to participate in the workforce as do people without disabilities. As businesses and employers find that the labor pool is tightening, following through on these criteria and standards will ensure businesses and employers have access to more qualified people to fill needed positions.

Youth

Oklahoma is aiming at ways of getting the most out of education programs while intermingling the programs into industry standards as the basis of all goals and ensuring that partner resources and practices are accessible and shared.

We are committed to providing youth with skills and tools necessary for successful participation in education and training programs, resulting in credentials and/ or degrees and employment in careers in high demand sectors.

The State Workforce Youth Committee was established to identify and address youth workforce issues. The current state of Oklahoma youth population is constantly scanned to ensure advancement for the purpose of developing a statewide plan in support of youth and a communication infrastructure that will inform and engage all stakeholders. This includes dropout prevention for youth 14 and above (14-21) and recovery strategies for those disengaged youth (16-24) years of age.

The State Workforce Youth Programs committee consists of various state agency representatives, juvenile court judges, Job Corps., non-profit groups specializing in youth issues, private sector representatives, and youth participants in various state and federal programs. The Committee provides recommendations on policy and performance for the development and implementation of WIOA youth funded programs statewide, and creates an Oklahoma workforce strategy for youth that aligns with youth initiatives and provides common solutions that coordinate with the state’s economic goals building wealth creation for all Oklahomans.

Since educational attainment among youth and adults is a critical component of workforce development, the State Workforce Youth Programs committee, working with the Governor’s Council, will establish and measure targets for educational attainment in Oklahoma. One of the primary goals for the State Workforce Youth committee will be developing strategy to increase the target numbers. Initial targets may include: percentage of Oklahomans completing 8th grade; percentage of Oklahomans attaining a high school diploma or GED; percentage of Oklahomans attaining an associate degree or industry-recognized credential/certificate; percentage of Oklahomans attaining a bachelor’s degree.

All youth activities focus on developing Oklahoma’s youth to meet the demands of Oklahoma business. This philosophy includes emphasis on increasing the high school graduation rate so that Oklahoma has the highest rate in the nation, expansion of the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) program in Oklahoma high schools and postsecondary institutions, expansion of early childhood education, increasing the number of postsecondary graduates in the state, and introducing youth, educators, and parents to Oklahoma’s targeted industry sectors (ecosystems), the skills needed, and the career pathways and opportunities available. This vision requires facilitating and modeling meaningful youth involvement and creating system-wide solutions by aligning workforce development, education, youth-serve agencies and non-profits, and business to improve opportunities and the quality of life for Oklahoma’s youth.

The Oklahoma State Workforce Youth Programs committee promotes youth development by facilitating the collaboration and alignment of statewide and local services that are of the highest quality and responsive to the needs of all youth.

Central Oklahoma WDA WIOA Focused MOU

The Central Oklahoma Workforce Development Area was asked to develop a WIOA-focused and WIOA-compliant MOU to provide process development and guidance for the entire state. Workforce development system partners participate in this group, including: the Core Partners of area Boards, Workforce Development Board members, local community college representatives, staff from the Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, local service providers, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, local K-12 educators, ORO Development Corporation, and the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. As the MOU is being developed, the group is consistently providing feedback from their efforts to the state system oversight subcommittee, who will develop system-wide guidance. Although the group has a tentative timeline for completion, shared services and cost agreements likely will not be developed and finalized until further USDOL guidance is released.

V. Common Assurances (for all core programs)

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include assurances that—

1. The State has established a policy identifying circumstances that may present a conflict of interest for a State Board or local board member, or the entity or class of officials that the member represents, and procedures to resolve such conflicts;     Yes

2. The State has established a policy to provide to the public (including individuals with disabilities) access to meetings of State Boards and local boards, and information regarding activities of State boards and local boards, such as data on board membership and minutes;     Yes

3. The lead State agencies with optimal policy-making authority and responsibility for the administration of core programs reviewed and commented on the appropriate operational  planning elements of the Unified or Combined State Plan, and approved the elements as serving the needs of the populations served by such programs;     Yes

4. (a) The State obtained input into the development of the Unified or Combined State Plan and provided an opportunity for comment  on  the  plan  by  representatives of local boards and chief elected officials, businesses, labor organizations, institutions of higher education, the entities responsible for planning or administrating the core programs, required one-stop partners and the other Combined Plan programs (if included in the State Plan), other  primary  stakeholders, including other organizations that provide services to individuals with barriers to employment,  and  the  general  public,  and that the Unified or Combined State Plan is available and accessible to the general public; (b) The State provided an opportunity for review and comment on the plan by the State Board, including State agency official(s) for the Unemployment Insurance Agency if such official(s) is a member of the State Board;     Yes

5. The State has established, in accordance with WIOA section 116(i), fiscal control and fund accounting procedures that may be necessary to ensure the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, funds  paid  to the State through allotments made for the core programs to carry out workforce development activities;      Yes

6. The State has taken appropriate action to secure compliance with uniform administrative requirements in this Act, including that the State will annually monitor local areas to ensure compliance and otherwise take appropriate action to secure compliance with the uniform administrative requirements under WIOA section 184(a)(3);     Yes

7. The State has taken the appropriate action to be in compliance with  WIOA section 188, Nondiscrimination, as applicable;     Yes

8. The Federal funds received to carry out a core program will not be expended for any purpose other than for activities authorized with respect to such funds under that core program;     Yes

9. The State will pay an appropriate share (as defined by the State board) of the costs of carrying out section 116, from funds made available through each of the core programs;     Yes

10. The State has a One-Stop certification policy that ensures the physical and programmatic accessibility of all One-Stop centers with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA);     Yes

11. Service providers have a referral process in place for directing Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) to DVOP services, when appropriate; and     Yes

12. Priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses is provided in accordance with 38 USC 4215 in all workforce preparation, development or delivery of programs or services funded directly, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor.     Yes

VI. Program-Specific Requirements for Core Programs

The State must address all program-specific requirements in this section for the WIOA core programs regardless of whether the State submits either a Unified or Combined State Plan.

Program-Specific Requirements for Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Activities under Title I-B

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the following with respect to activities carried out under subtitle B--

a. General Requirements

1. Regions and Local Workforce Development Areas

A. Identify the regions and the local workforce development areas designated in the State.

B. Describe the process used for designating local areas, including procedures for determining whether the local area met the criteria for “performed successfully” and “sustained fiscal integrity” in accordance with 106(b)(2) and (3) of WIOA. Describe the process used for identifying regions and planning regions under section 106(a) of WIOA. This must include a description of how the State consulted with the local boards and chief elected officials in identifying the regions.

C. Provide the appeals process referred to in section 106(b)(5) of WIOA relating to designation of local areas.

D. Provide the appeals process referred to in section 121(h)(2)(E) of WIOA relating to determinations for infrastructure funding.

2. Statewide Activities

A. Provide State policies or guidance for the statewide workforce development system and for use of State funds for workforce investment activities.

B. Describe how the State intends to use Governor’s set aside funding. Describe how the State will utilize Rapid Response funds to respond to layoffs and plant closings and coordinate services to quickly aid companies and their affected workers. States also should describe any layoff aversion strategies they have implemented to address at risk companies and workers

C. In addition, describe the State policies and procedures to provide Rapid Responses in cases of natural disasters including coordination with FEMA and other entities.

D. Describe how the State provides early intervention (e.g., Rapid Response) to worker groups on whose behalf a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition has been filed. (Section 134(a)(2)(A).) This description must include how the State disseminates benefit information to provide trade-affected workers in the groups identified in the TAA petitions with an accurate understanding of the provision of TAA benefits and services in such a way that they are transparent to the trade-affected dislocated worker applying for them (Trade Act Sec. 221(a)(2)(A) and Sec. 225; Governor-Secretary Agreement). Describe how the State will use funds that have been reserved for Rapid Response to provide services for every worker group that files a TAA petition.

b. Adult and Dislocated Workers Program Requirements

1. If the State is utilizing work-based training models (e.g. On-the-job training, Incumbent Worker training, Transitional Jobs, and Customized Training) as part of its training strategy and these strategies are not already discussed in other sections of the plan, describe the State’s strategies for how these models ensure high quality training for both the participant and the employer.

2. Describe how the State will incorporate Registered Apprenticeship into its strategy and services.

3. Provide the procedure, eligibility criteria, and information requirements for determining training provider initial and continued eligibility, including Registered Apprenticeship programs (WIOA Section 122).

4. Describe how the State will implement and monitor the priority for public assistance recipients, other low-income individuals, and individuals who are basic skills deficient in accordance with the requirements of WIOA sec. 134(c)(3)(E), which applies to individualized career services and training services funding by the Adult Formula program.

5. Describe the State’s criteria regarding local area transfer of funds between the adult and dislocated worker programs.

c. Youth Program Requirements

With respect to youth workforce investment activities authorized in section 129 of WIOA,—

1. Identify the state-developed criteria to be used by local boards in awarding grants for youth workforce investment activities and describe how the local boards will take into consideration the ability of the providers to meet performance accountability measures based on primary indicators of performance for the youth program as described in section 116(b)(2)(A)(ii) of WIOA in awarding such grants.*

* Sec. 102(b)(2)(D)(i)(V)

2. Describe the strategies the State will use to achieve improved outcomes for out-of-school youth as described in 129(a)(1)(B), including how it will leverage and align the core programs, and Combined State Plan partner programs included in this Plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs, and any other resources available.

3. Describe how the State will ensure that all 14 program elements described in WIOA section 129(c)(2) are made available and effectively implemented.*

* Sec. 102(b)(2)(D)(i)(I)

4. Provide the language contained in the State policy for “requiring additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program, or to secure and hold employment” criterion for out-of-school youth specified in WIOA section 129(a)(1)(B)(iii)(VIII) and for “requiring additional assistance to complete an education program, or to secure and hold employment” criterion for in-school youth specified in WIOA section 129(a)(1)(C)(iv)(VII).

5. Include the State definition, as defined in law, for not attending school and attending school as specified in WIOA Section 129(a)(1)(B)(i) and Section 129(a)(1)(C)(i). If state law does not define “not attending school” or “attending school” indicate that is the case.

6. If not using the basic skills deficient definition contained in WIOA Section 3(5)(B), include the specific State definition.

d. Single-area State Requirements

In States where there is only one local workforce investment area, the governor serves as both the State and local chief elected official. In such cases, the State must submit any information required in the local plan (WIOA section 106(d)(2)). States with a single workforce area must also include:

1. Any comments from the public comment period that represent disagreement with the Plan. (WIOA section 108(d)(3).)

2. The entity responsible for the disbursal of grant funds, as determined by the governor, if different from that for the State. (WIOA section 108(b)(15).)

3. The type and availability of WIOA Title I Youth Activities, including an identification of successful providers of such activities. (WIOA section 108(b)(9).)

e. Waiver Requests (optional)

States wanting to request waivers as part of their Title I-B Operational Plan must include a waiver plan that includes the following information for each waiver requested:

1. Identifies the statutory or regulatory requirements for which a waiver is requested and the goals that the State or local area, as appropriate, intends to achieve as a result of the waiver and how those goals relate to the Unified or Combined State Plan;

2. Describes the actions that the State or local area, as appropriate, has undertaken to remove State or local statutory or regulatory barriers;

3. Describes the goals of the waiver and the expected programmatic outcomes if the request is granted;

4. Describes how the waiver will align with the Department’s policy priorities, such as:
  1. supporting employer engagement;
  2. connecting education and training strategies;
  3. supporting work-based learning;
  4. improving job and career results, and
  5. other guidance issued by the Department.

5. Describes the individuals affected by the waiver, including how the waiver will impact services for disadvantaged populations or individuals with multiple barriers to employment; and

6. Describes the process used to:
  1. Monitor the progress in implementing the waiver;
  2. Provide notice to any local board affected by the waiver;
  3. Provide any local board affected by the waiver an opportunity to comment on the request;
  4. Ensure meaningful public comment, including comment by business and organized labor, on the waiver.
  5. Collect and report information about waiver outcomes in the State’s WIOA Annual Report

The Secretary may require that States provide the most recent data available about the outcomes of the existing waiver in cases where the State seeks renewal of a previously approved waiver;

Title I-B Assurances

The State Plan must include assurances that:

1. The State has implemented a policy to ensure Adult program funds provide a priority in the delivery of training services and individualized career services to individuals who are low income, public assistance recipients and basic skills deficient;     Yes

2. The state has implemented a policy to ensure local areas have a process in place for referring veterans with significant barriers to employment to career services provided by the JVSG program’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist;     Yes

3. The state established a written policy and procedure that set forth criteria to be used by chief elected officials for the appointment of local workforce investment board members.      Yes

4. The state established written policy and procedures to ensure local workforce investment boards are certified by the governor every two years in accordance with WIOA section 107(c)(2).     Yes

5. Where an alternative entity takes the place of a State Board, the State has written policy and procedures to ensure the alternative entity meets the definition under WIOA section 101(e) and the legal requirements for membership.     Yes

6. The State established a written policy and procedure for how the individuals and entities represented on the State Workforce Development Board help to determine the methods and factors of distribution, and how the state consults with chief elected officials in local areas throughout the state in determining the distributions.     Yes

7. The State will not use funds received under WIOA Title I to assist, promote, or deter union organizing in accordance with WIOA section 181(b)(7).     Yes

8. The State distributes adult and youth funds received under WIOA equitably throughout the State, and no local area suffers significant shifts in funding from year-to-year during the period covered by this plan.     Yes

9. If a State Workforce Development Board, department, or agency administers state laws for vocational rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, that board, department, or agency cooperates with the agency that administers Wagner-Peyser services, Adult and Dislocated Worker programs and Youth Programs under Title I.     Yes

10. The State agrees to report on the impact and outcomes of its approved waivers in its WIOA Annual Report.     Yes

11. The State has taken appropriate action to secure compliance with the Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR 200 and 2 CFR 2900, including that the State will annually monitor local areas to ensure compliance and otherwise take appropriate action to secure compliance with the Uniform Guidance under section WIOA 184(a)(3);     Yes

Program-Specific Requirements for Wagner-Peyser Program (Employment Services)

All program-specific requirements provided for the WIOA core programs in this section must be addressed for either a Unified or Combined State Plan.

A. Employment Service Professional Staff Development.

1. Describe how the State will utilize professional development activities for Employment Service staff to ensure staff is able to provide high quality services to both jobseekers and employers.

2. Describe strategies developed to support training and awareness across core programs and the Unemployment Insurance program, and the training provided for Employment Services and WIOA staff on identification of UI eligibility issues and referral to UI staff for adjudication.

B. Explain how the state will provide information and meaningful assistance to individuals requesting assistance in filing a claim for unemployment compensation through One-Stop centers, as required by WIOA as a career service.

C. Describe the state’s strategy for providing reemployment assistance to Unemployment Insurance claimants and other unemployed individuals.

D. Describe how the State will use W-P funds to support UI claimants, and the communication between W-P and UI, as appropriate, including the following:

1. Coordination of and provision of labor exchange services for UI claimants as required by the Wagner-Peyser Act;

2. Registration of UI claimants with the State's employment service if required by State law;

3. Administration of the work test for the State unemployment compensation system, including making eligibility assessments (for referral to UI adjudication, if needed), and providing job finding and placement services for UI claimants; and

4. Provision of referrals to and application assistance for training and education programs and resources.

E. Agricultural Outreach Plan (AOP). Each State agency must develop an AOP every four years as part of the Unified or Combined State Plan required under sections 102 or 103 of WIOA. The AOP must include--

1. Assessment of Need

Provide an assessment of the unique needs of farmworkers in the area based on past and projected agricultural and farmworker activity in the State. Such needs may include but are not limited to: employment, training, and housing.

a. An assessment of the agricultural activity in the State means: 1) identifying the top five labor-intensive crops, the months of heavy activity, and the geographic area of prime activity; 2) Summarize the agricultural employers’ needs in the State (i.e. are they predominantly hiring local or foreign workers, are they expressing that there is a scarcity in the agricultural workforce); and 3) Identifying any economic, natural, or other factors that are affecting agriculture in the State or any projected factors that will affect agriculture in the State.

b. An assessment of the unique needs of farmworkers means summarizing Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker (MSFW) characteristics (including if they are predominantly from certain countries, what language(s) they speak, the approximate number of MSFWs in the State during peak season and during low season, and whether they tend to be migrant, seasonal, or year-round farmworkers). This information must take into account data supplied by WIOA Section 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) grantees, other MSFW organizations, employer organizations, and State and/or Federal agency data sources such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration.

2. Outreach Activities

The local offices outreach activities must be designed to meet the needs of MSFWs in the State and to locate and contact MSFWs who are not being reached through normal intake activities. Describe the State agency's proposed strategies for:

A. Contacting farmworkers who are not being reached by the normal intake activities conducted by the employment service offices.

B. Providing technical assistance to outreach workers. Technical assistance must include trainings, conferences, additional resources, and increased collaboration with other organizations on topics such as one-stop center services (i.e. availability of referrals to training, supportive services, and career services, as well as specific employment opportunities), the employment service complaint system, information on the other organizations serving MSFWs in the area, and a basic summary of farmworker rights, including their rights with respect to the terms and conditions of employment.

C. Increasing outreach worker training and awareness across core programs including the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and the training on identification of UI eligibility issues.

D. Providing State merit staff outreach workers professional development activities to ensure they are able to provide high quality services to both jobseekers and employers.

E. Coordinating outreach efforts with NFJP grantees as well as with public and private community service agencies and MSFW groups.

3. Services provided to farmworkers and agricultural employers through the one-stop delivery system.

Describe the State agency's proposed strategies for:

(A) Providing the full range of employment and training services to the agricultural community, both farmworkers and agricultural employers, through the one-stop delivery system. This includes:
 
  1. How career and training services required under WIOA Title I will be provided to MSFWs through the one-stop centers;
  2. How the State serves agricultural employers and how it intends to improve such services.

(B) Marketing the employment service complaint system to farmworkers and other farmworker advocacy groups.

(C) Marketing the Agricultural Recruitment System to agricultural employers and how it intends to improve such publicity.

4. Other Requirements

(A) Collaboration

Describe any collaborative agreements the state workforce agency (SWA) has with other MSFW service providers including NFJP grantees and other service providers. Describe how the SWA intends to build upon/increase collaboration with existing partners and in establishing new partners over the next four years (including any approximate timelines for establishing agreements or building upon existing agreements).

(B) Review and Public Comment.

In developing the AOP, the SWA must solicit information and suggestions from NFJP grantees, other appropriate MSFW groups, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations, and other interested organizations. In addition, at least 45 calendar days before submitting its final AOP, the SWA must provide a proposed plan to NFJP grantees, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations, and other organizations expressing an interest and allow at least 30 days for review and comment. The SWA must: 1) Consider any comments received in formulating its final proposed AOP; 2) Inform all commenting parties in writing whether their comments have been incorporated and, if not, the reasons therefore; and 3) Transmit the comments and recommendations received and its responses with the submission of the AOP. The AOP must include a statement confirming NFJP grantees, other appropriate MSFW groups, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations and other interested employer organizations have been given an opportunity to comment on the AOP. Include the list of organizations from which information and suggestions were solicited, any comments received, and responses to those comments.

(C) Data Assessment.

Review the previous four years Wagner-Peyser data reports on performance. Note whether the State has been meeting its goals to provide MSFWs quantitatively proportionate services as compared to non-MSFWs. If it has not met these goals, explain why the State believes such goals were not met and how the State intends to improve its provision of services in order to meet such goals.

(D) Assessment of progress

The plan must include an explanation of what was achieved based on the previous AOP, what was not achieved and an explanation as to why the State believes the goals were not achieved, and how the State intends to remedy the gaps of achievement in the coming year.

(E) State Monitor Advocate

The plan must contain a statement confirming the State Monitor Advocate has reviewed and approved the AOP.

F. Wagner-Peyser Assurances

The State Plan must include assurances that:

1. The Wagner-Peyser Employment Service is co-located with one-stop centers or a plan and timeline has been developed to comply with this requirement within a reasonable amount of time. (sec 121(e)(3));     Yes

2. The State agency is complying with the requirements under 20 CFR 653.111 (State agency staffing requirements) if the State has significant MSFW one-stop centers;     Yes

3. If a State Workforce Development Board, department, or agency administers State laws for vocational rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, that board, department, or agency cooperates with the agency that administers Wagner-Peyser services, Adult and Dislocated Worker programs and Youth Programs under Title I; and     Yes

4. State agency merit-based public employees provide Wagner-Peyser Act-funded labor exchange activities in accordance with Department of Labor regulations.     Yes

Program-Specific Requirements for Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Programs

The State Plan must include a description of the following as it pertains to Adult Education and Literacy programs under Title II, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA).

A. Aligning of Content Standards

Describe how the eligible agency will, by July 1, 2016, align its content standards for adult education with State-adopted challenging academic content standards, as adopted under section 1111(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(1)).

B. Local Activities

Describe how the State will, using the considerations specified in section 231(e) of WIOA, fund each eligible provider to establish or operate programs that provide the adult education and literacy activities, including programs that provide such activities concurrently. The Unified or Combined State Plan must include at a minimum the scope, content, and organization of local activities.

Adult Education and Literacy Activities (Section 203 of WIOA)

Special Rule

Each eligible agency awarding a grant or contract under this section shall not use any funds made available under this title for adult education and literacy activities for the purpose of supporting or providing programs, services, or activities for individuals who are under the age of 16 and are enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law, except that such agency may use such funds for such purpose if such programs, services, or activities are related to family literacy activities. In providing family literacy activities under this title, an eligible provider shall attempt to coordinate with programs and services that are not assisted under this title prior to using funds for adult education and literacy activities under this title for activities other than activities for eligible individuals.

C. Corrections Education and other Education of Institutionalized Individuals

Describe how the State will establish and operate programs under section 225 of WIOA for corrections education and education of other institutionalized individuals, including how it will fund, in accordance with the requirements of Title II, subtitle C, any of the following academic programs for:

  1. Adult education and literacy activities;
  2. Special education, as determined by the eligible agency;
  3. Secondary school credit;
  4. Integrated education and training;
  5. Career pathways;
  6. Concurrent enrollment;
  7. Peer tutoring; and
  8. Transition to re-entry initiatives and other post release services with the goal of reducing recidivism.

 
Each eligible agency using funds provided under Programs for Corrections Education and Other Institutionalized Individuals to carry out a program for criminal offenders within a correctional institution must give priority to serving individuals who are likely to leave the correctional institution within 5 years of participation in the program.

D. Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education Program

1. Describe how the State will establish and operate Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education programs under Section 243 of WIOA, for English language learners who are adults, including professionals with degrees and credentials in their native countries.

2. Describe how the State will fund, in accordance with the requirements of title II, subtitle C, Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education services and how the funds will be used for those services.

E. State Leadership

1. Describe how the State will use the funds to carry out the required State Leadership activities under section 223 of WIOA.

2. Describe how the State will use the funds to carry out permissible State Leadership Activities under section 223 of WIOA, if applicable.

F. Assessing Quality

Describe how the eligible agency will assess the quality of providers of adult education and literacy activities under title II and take actions to improve such quality, including providing the activities described in section 223(a)(1)(B) of WIOA.

Certifications

States must provide written and signed certifications that

1. The plan is submitted by the State agency that is eligible to submit the plan.     Yes

2. The State agency has authority under State law to perform the functions of the State under the program.     Yes

3. The State legally may carry out each provision of the plan.     Yes

4. All provisions of the plan are consistent with State law.     Yes

5. A State officer, specified by title in the certification, has authority under State law to receive, hold, and disburse Federal funds made available under the plan.     Yes

6. The State officer who is submitting the plan, specified by the title in the certification, has authority to submit the plan.     Yes

7. The agency that is submitting the plan has adopted or otherwise formally approved the plan.     Yes

8. The plan is the basis for State operation and administration of the program.     Yes

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Certification for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements

The undersigned certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:

(1) No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

(2) If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions.

(3) The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly. This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Statement for Loan Guarantees and Loan Insurance

The undersigned states, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:
If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions. Submission of this statement is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required statement shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Applicant’s Organization      Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education

Full Name of Authorized Representative:      Kimberly Sadler

Title of Authorized Representative:      Associate State Director

SF LLL Form – Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (only if applicable) (http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html). If applicable, please print, sign, and email to OCTAE_MAT@ed.gov

Assurances

The State Plan must include assurances that:

1. The eligible agency will expend funds appropriated to carry out title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) only in a manner consistent with fiscal requirements under section 241(a) of WIOA (regarding supplement and not supplant provisions).     Yes

2. The eligible agency will ensure that there is at least one eligible provider serving each local area, as defined in section 3(32) of WIOA.     Yes

3. The eligible agency will not use any funds made available under title II of WIOA for the purpose of supporting or providing programs, services, or activities for individuals who are not “eligible individuals” within the meaning of section 203(4) of WIOA, unless it is providing programs, services or activities related to family literacy activities, as defined in section 203(9) of WIOA.     Yes

4. The Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education program under section 243(a) of WIOA will be delivered in combination with integrated education and training activities;     Yes

5. The Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education program under section 243(a) of WIOA will be designed to (1) prepare adults who are English language learners for, and place such adults in, unsubsidized employment in in-demand industries and occupations that lead to economic self-sufficiency and (2) integrate with the local workforce development system and its functions to carry out the activities of the program; and     Yes

6. Using funds made available under title II of WIOA to carry out a program for criminal offenders within a correctional institution, the eligible agency will give priority to serving individuals who are likely to leave the correctional institution within five years of participation in the program.     Yes

Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation

The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan* must include the following descriptions and estimates, as required by section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by WIOA:
 
__________
 
* Sec. 102(b)(D)(iii) of WIOA

a. Input of State Rehabilitation Council

All agencies, except for those that are independent consumer-controlled commissions, must describe the following:

1. input provided by the State Rehabilitation Council, including input and recommendations on the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, recommendations from the Council's report, the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction, and other Council reports that may have been developed as part of the Council’s functions;

2. the Designated State unit's response to the Council’s input and recommendations; and

3. the designated State unit’s explanations for rejecting any of the Council’s input or recommendations.

b. Request for Waiver of Statewideness

When requesting a waiver of the statewideness requirement, the designated State unit must identify the types of services to be provided by the program on a non-statewide basis. The waiver request must also include written assurances that:

1. a local public agency will provide the non-Federal share of costs associated with the services to be provided in accordance with the waiver request;

2. the designated State unit will approve each proposed service before it is put into effect; and

3. All State plan requirements will apply

requirements of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan will apply to the services approved under the waiver.

c. Cooperative Agreements with Agencies Not Carrying Out Activities Under the Statewide Workforce Development System.

Describe interagency cooperation with and utilization of the servivces and facilities of agencies and programs that are not carrying out activities through the statewide workforce development system with respect to:

1. Federal, State, and local agencies and programs;

2. State programs carried out under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998;

3. Programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture;

4. Noneducational agencies serving out-of-school youth; and

5. State use contracting programs.

d. Coordination with Education Officials

Describe:

1. DSU's plans

The designated State unit's plans, policies, and procedures for coordination with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of VR services, including pre-employment transition services, as well as procedures for the timely development and approval of individualized plans for employment for the students.

2. Information on the formal interagency agreement with the State educational agency with respect to:

A. consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including VR services;

B. transition planning by personnel of the designated State agency and educational agency that facilitates the development and implementation of their individualized education programs;

C. roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services;

D. procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.

e. Cooperative Agreements with Private Nonprofit Organizations

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.8(b)(3)). Describe the manner in which the designated State agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit VR service providers.

f. Arrangements and Cooperative Agreements for the Provision of Supported Employment Services

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.8(b)(4)). Describe the designated State agency’s efforts to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other State agencies and other appropriate entities in order to provide supported employment services and extended employment services, as applicable, to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities.

g. Coordination with Employers

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.8(b)(5)). Describe how the designated State unit will work with employers to identify competitive integrated employment and career exploration opportunities in order to facilitate the provision of:

1. VR services; and

2. transition services, including pre-employment transition services, for students and youth with disabilities.

h. Interagency Cooperation

Describe how the designated State unit will collaborate with the State agency responsible for administering each of the following programs to develop opportunities for competitive integrated employment, to the greatest extent practicable:

1. the State Medicaid plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act;

2. the State agency responsible for providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities; and

3. the State agency responsible for providing mental health services.

i. Comprehensive System of Personnel Development; Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.10)). Describe the designated State agency's procedures and activities to establish and maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development designed to ensure an adequate supply of qualified State rehabilitation professional and paraprofessional personnel for the designated State unit, including the following:

1. Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

A. Qualified Personnel Needs.

Describe the development and maintenance of a system for collecting and analyzing on an annual basis data on qualified personnel needs with respect to:

i. the number of personnel who are employed by the State agency in the provision of VR services in relation to the number of individuals served, broken down by personnel category;

ii. the number of personnel currently needed by the State agency to provide VR services, broken down by personnel category; and

iii. projections of the number of personnel, broken down by personnel category, who will be needed by the State agency to provide VR services in 5 years based on projections of the number of individuals to be served, including individuals with significant disabilities, the number of personnel expected to retire or leave the field, and other relevant factors.

B. Personnel Development

Describe the development and maintenance of a system for collecting and analyzing on an annual basis data on personnel development with respect to:

i. a list of the institutions of higher education in the State that are preparing VR professionals, by type of program;

ii. the number of students enrolled at each of those institutions, broken down by type of program; and

iii. the number of students who graduated during the prior year from each of theose institutions with certification or licensure, or with the credentials for certification or licensure, broken down by the personnel category for which they have received, or have the credentials to receive, certification or licensure.

2. Plan for Recruitment, Preparation and Retention of Qualified Personnel

Describe the development and implementation of a plan to address the current and projected needs for qualified personnel including, the coordination and facilitation of efforts between the designated State unit and institutions of higher education and professional associations to recruit, prepare, and retain personnel who are qualified, including personnel from minority backgrounds and personnel who are individuals with disabilities.

3. Personnel Standards

Describe the State agency's policies and procedures for the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards consistent with section 101(a)(7)(B) and 34 CFR 361.18(c) to ensure that designated State unit professional and paraprofessional personnel are adequately trained and prepared, including:

A. standards that are consistent with any national or State-approved or -recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to the profession or discipline in which such personnel are providing VR services; and

B. the establishment and maintenance of education and experience requirements, in accordance with section 101(a)(7)(B)(ii) of the Rehabilitation Act, to ensure that the personnel have a 21st century understanding of the evolving labor force and the needs of individuals with disabilities.

4. Staff Development.

Describe the State agency's policies, procedures, and activities to ensure that, consistent with section101(a)(7)(C) of the Rehabilitation Act, all personnel employed by the designated State unit receive appropriate and adequate training in terms of:

A. System of staff development

a system of staff development for professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit, particularly with respect to assessment, vocational counseling, job placement, and rehabilitation technology, including training implemented in coordination with entities carrying out State programs under section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998; and

B. Acquisition and dissemination of significant knowledge

procedures for the acquisition and dissemination of significant knowledge from research and other sources to designated State unit professionals and paraprofessionals.

5. Personnel to Address Individual Communication Needs

Describe how the designated State unit has personnel or obtains the services of other individuals who are able to communicate in appropriate modes of communication with or in the native language of applicants or eligible individuals who have limited English speaking ability.

6. Coordination of Personnel Development Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

As appropriate, describe the procedures and activities to coordinate the designated State unit's comprehensive system of personnel development with personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

j. Statewide Assessment

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.11(a)).

1. Provide an assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the State, particularly the VR services needs of those:

A. with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;

B. who are minorities;

C. who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program;

D. who have been served through other components of the statewide workforce development system; and

E. who are youth with disabilities and students with disabilities, including, as appropriate, their need for pre-employment transition services or other transition services.

2. Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State; and

3. Include an assessment of the needs of individuals with disabilities for transition career services and pre-employment transition services, and the extent to which such services are coordinated with transition services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act .

k. Annual Estimates

(Formerly known as Attachment 4.11(b)). Describe:

1. The number of individuals in the State who are eligible for services;

2. The number of eligible individuals who will receive services under:

A. The VR Program;

B. The Supported Employment Program; and

C. each priority category, if under an order of selection;

3. The number of individuals who are eligible for VR services, but are not receiving such services due to an order of selection; and

4. The cost of services for the number of individuals estimated to be eligible for services. If under an order of selection, identify the cost of services for each priority category.

l. State Goals and Priorities

The designated State unit must:

1. Identify if the goals and priorities were jointly developed

Identify if the goals and priorities were jointly developed and agreed to by the State VR agency and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has a Council, and jointly agreed to any revisions.

2. Identify the goals and priorities in carrying out the VR and Supported Employment programs.

3. Ensure that the goals and priorities are based on an analysis of the following areas:

A. The most recent comprehensive statewide assessment, including any updates;

B. the State's performance under the performance accountability measures of section 116 of WIOA; and

C. other available information on the operation and effectiveness of the VR program, including any reports received from the State Rehabilitation Council and finding and recommendations from monitoring activities conducted under section 107.

m. Order of Selection

Describe:

1. Whether the designated State unit will implement and order of selection. If so, describe:

A. The order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided VR services.

B. The justification for the order.

C. The service and outcome goals.

D. The time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.

E. How individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for services before all other individuals with disabilities; and

2. If the designated State unit has elected to serve eligible individuals, regardless of any established order of selection, who require specific services or equipment to maintain employment.

n. Goals and Plans for Distribution of title VI Funds.

1. Specify the State's goals and priorities for funds received under section 603 of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of supported employment services.

2. Describe the activities to be conducted, with funds reserved pursuant to section 603(d), for youth with the most significant disabilities, including:

A. the provision of extended services for a period not to exceed 4 years; and

B. how the State will leverage other public and private funds to increase resources for extended services and expanded supported employment opportunities for youth with the most significant disabilities.

o. State's Strategies

Describe the required strategies and how the agency will use these strategies to achieve its goals and priorities, support innovation and expansion activities, and overcome any barriers to accessing the VR and the Supported Employment programs (See sections 101(a)(15)(D) and (18)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act and section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA)):

1. The methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities.

2. How a broad range of assistive technology services and devices will be provided to individuals with disabilities at each stage of the rehabilitation process and on a statewide basis.

3. The outreach procedures that will be used to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities, including those with the most significant disabilities, as well as those who have been unserved or underserved by the VR program.

4. The methods to be used to improve and expand VR services for students with disabilities, including the coordination of services designed to facilitate the transition of such students from school to postsecondary life (including the receipt of VR services, postsecondary education, employment, and pre-employment transition services).

5. If applicable, plans for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs within the State.

6. Strategies to improve the performance of the State with respect to the performance accountability measures under section 116 of WIOA.

7. Strategies for assisting other components of the statewide workforce development system in assisting individuals with disabilities.

8. How the agency's strategies will be used to:

A. achieve goals and priorities by the State, consistent with the comprehensive needs assessment;

B. support innovation and expansion activities; and

C. overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the State VR Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program.

p. Evaluation and Reports of Progress: VR and Supported Employment Goals

Describe:

1. An evaluation of the extent to which the VR program goals described in the approved VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan for the most recently completed program year were achieved. The evaluation must:

A. Identify the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals.

B. Describe the factors that impeded the achievement of the goals and priorities.

2. An evaluation of the extent to which the Supported Employment program goals described in the Supported Employment Supplement for the most recent program year were achieved. The evaluation must:

A. Identify the strategies that contributed to the achievement of the goals.

B. Describe the factors that impeded the achievement of the goals and priorities.

3. The VR program's performance on the performance accountability indicators under section 116 of WIOA.

4. How the funds reserved for innovation and expansion (I&E) activities were utilized.

q. Quality, Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services.

Include the following:

1. The quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services to be provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities.

2. The timing of transition to extended services.

Certifications

Name of designated State agency or designated State unit, as appropriate      Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

Name of designated State agency     

Full Name of Authorized Representative:      Noel A. Tyler

Title of Authorized Representative:      Interim Executive Director

 
States must provide written and signed certifications that:

1. The designated State agency or designated State unit (as appropriate) listed above is authorized to submit the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan under title 1 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by WIOA*, and its supplement under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act.**     Yes

2. As a condition for the receipt of Federal funds under title I of the Rehabilitation Act for the provision of VR services, the designated State agency listed above agrees to operate and administer the State VR Services Program in accordance with the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan , the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations , policies, and procedures established by the Secretary of Education. Funds made available under section 111 of the Rehabilitation Act are used solely for the provision of VR services and the administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan;     Yes

3. As a condition for the receipt of Federal funds under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act for supported employment services, the designated State agency agrees to operate and administer the State Supported Employment Services Program in accordance with the supplement to the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan* , the Rehabilitation Act, and all applicable regulations , policies, and procedures established by the Secretary of Education. Funds made available under title VI are used solely for the provision of supported employment services and the administration of the supplement to the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan;**     Yes

4. The designated State agency and/or the designated State unit has the authority under State law to perform the functions of the State regarding the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement;     Yes

5. The State legally may carry out each provision of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement.     Yes

6. All provisions of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement are consistent with State law.     Yes

7. The Authorized Representative listed above has the authority under State law to receive, hold, and disburse Federal funds made available under the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement;     Yes

8. The Authorized Representative listed above has the authority to submit the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and the supplement for Supported Employment services;     Yes

9. The agency that submits the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement has adopted or otherwise formally approved the plan and its supplement.     Yes

Footnotes

__________
 
Certification 1 Footnotes
 
* Public Law 113-128.
 
** Unless otherwise stated, "Rehabilitation Act" means the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by WIOA, signed into law on July 22, 2014.
 
Certification 2 Footnotes
 
* All references in this plan to "designated State agency" or to "the State agency" relate to the agency identified in this paragraph.
 
** No funds under title 1 of the Rehabilitation Act may be awarded without an approved VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan in accordance with section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act.
 
*** Applicable regulations, in part, include the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 76,77,79,81, and 82; 2 CFR part 200 as adopted by 2 CFR part 3485; and the State VR Services Program regulations.
 
Certification 3 Footnotes
 
* No funds under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act may be awarded without an approved supplement to the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan in accordance with section 606(a) of the Rehabilitation Act.
 
** Applicable regulations, in part, include the citations in *** under Certification 2 footnotes

Additional Comments on the Certifications from the State

Certification Regarding Lobbying — Vocational Rehabilitation

Certification for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements The undersigned certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:

(1) No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

(2) If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions.

(3) The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly. This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Statement for Loan Guarantees and Loan Insurance

The undersigned states, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:
If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions. Submission of this statement is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required statement shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Applicant’s Organization      Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

Full Name of Authorized Representative:      Noel A. Tyler

Title of Authorized Representative:      Interim Executive Director

SF LLL Form – Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (only if applicable) (http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html). If applicable, please print, sign, and email to MAT_OCTAE@ed.gov

Certification Regarding Lobbying — Supported Employment

Certification for Contracts, Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements The undersigned certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:

(1) No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

(2) If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions.

(3) The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly. This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Statement for Loan Guarantees and Loan Insurance

The undersigned states, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:
If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, ''Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' in accordance with its instructions. Submission of this statement is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required statement shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

Applicant’s Organization      Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

Full Name of Authorized Representative:      Noel A. Tyler

Title of Authorized Representative:      Interim Executive Director

SF LLL Form – Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (only if applicable) (http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html).

Assurances

The designated State agency or designated State unit, as appropriate and identified in the State certifications included with this VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement, through signature of the authorized individual, assures the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), that it will comply with all of the requirements of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement, as set forth in sections 101(a) and 606 of the Rehabilitation Act. The individual authorized to submit the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement makes the following assurances:The State Plan must provide assurances that:

1. Public Comment on Policies and Procedures:

The designated State agency assures it will comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements for public participation in the VR Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, as required by section 101(a)(16)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act.

2. Submission of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and Its Supplement:

The designated State unit assures it will comply with all requirements pertaining to the submission and revisions of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and its supplement for the State Supported Employment Services program, as required by sections 101(a)(1), (22), (23), and 606(a) of the Rehabilitation Act; section 102 of WIOA in the case of the submission of a unified plan; section 103 of WIOA in the case of a submission of a Combined State Plan; 34 CFR 76.140.

3. Administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan:

The designated State agency or designated State unit, as appropriate, assures it will comply with the requirements related to:

a. the establishment of the designated State agency and designated State unit, as required by section 101(a)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act.

b. the establishment of either a State independent commission or State Rehabilitation Council, as required by section 101(a)(21) of the Rehabilitation Act.

The designated State agency or designated State unit, as applicable       (B) has established a State Rehabilitation Council

c. consultations regarding the administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, in accordance with section 101(a)(16)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act.

d. the financial participation by the State, or if the State so elects, by the State and local agencies, to provide the amount of the non-Federal share of the cost of carrying out the VR program in accordance with section 101(a)(3).

e. the local administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, in accordance with section 101(a)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act.

The designated State agency allows for the local administration of VR funds       No

f. the shared funding and administration of joint programs, in accordance with section 101(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Rehabilitation Act.

The designated State agency allows for the shared funding and administration of joint programs:       No

g. statewideness and waivers of statewideness requirements, as set forth in section 101(a)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Is the designated State agency requesting or maintaining a waiver of statewideness for one or more services provided under the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan? See Section 2 of this VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan.      No

h. the descriptions for cooperation, collaboration, and coordination, as required by sections 101(a)(11) and (24)(B); and 606(b) of the Rehabilitation Act.

i. all required methods of administration, as required by section 101(a)(6) of the Rehabilitation Act .

j. the requirements for the comprehensive system of personnel development, as set forth in section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act.

k. the compilation and submission to the Commissioner of statewide assessments, estimates, State goals and priorities, strategies, and progress reports, as appropriate, and as required by sections 101(a)(15), 105(c)(2), and 606(b)(8) of the Rehabilitation Act.

l. the reservation and use of a portion of the funds allotted to the State under section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act for the development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of VR services to individuals with disabilities, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities.

m. the submission of reports as required by section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act.

4. Administration of the Provision of VR Services:

The designated State agency, or designated State unit, as appropriate, assures that it will:

a. comply with all requirements regarding information and referral services in accordance with sections 101(a)(5)(D) and (20) of the Rehabilitation Act.

b. impose no duration of residence requirement as part of determining an individual’s eligibility for VR services or that excludes from services under the plan any individual who is present in the State in accordance with section 101(a)(12) of the Rehabilitation Act .

c. provide the full range of services listed in section 103(a) of the Rehabilitation Act as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the State who apply for services in accordance with section 101(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act?

Agency will provide the full range of services described above      

d. determine whether comparable services and benefits are available to the individual in accordance with section 101(a)(8) of the Rehabilitation Act.

e. comply with the requirements for the development of an individualized plan for employment in accordance with section 102(b) of the Rehabilitation Act.

f. comply with requirements regarding the provisions of informed choice for all applicants and eligible individuals in accordance with section 102(d) of the Rehabilitation Act.

g. provide vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing in the State, in accordance with section 101(a)(13) of the Rehabilitation Act.

h. comply with the requirements for the conduct of semiannual or annual reviews, as appropriate, for individuals employed either in an extended employment setting in a community rehabilitation program or any other employment under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as required by section 101(a)(14)of the Rehabilitation Act.

i. meet the requirements in sections 101(a)(17) and 103(b)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act if the State elects to construct, under special circumstances, facilities for community rehabilitation programs

j. with respect to students with disabilities, the State,
  1. has developed and will implement,
    1. strategies to address the needs identified in the assessments; and
    2. strategies to achieve the goals and priorities identified by the State, to improve and expand vocational rehabilitation services for students with disabilities on a statewide basis; and
  2. has developed and will implement strategies to provide pre-employment transition services (sections 101(a)(15) and 101(a)(25)).

5. Program Administration for the Supported Employment Title VI Supplement:

a. The designated State unit assures that it will include in the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan all information required by section 606 of the Rehabilitation Act.

b. The designated State agency assures that it will submit reports in such form and in accordance with such procedures as the Commissioner may require and collects the information required by section 101(a)(10) of the Rehabilitation Act separately for individuals receiving supported employment services under title I and individuals receiving supported employment services under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act.

c. The designated state unit will coordinate activities with any other State agency that is functioning as an employment network under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program under Section 1148 of the Social Security Act.

6. Financial Administration of the Supported Employment Program:

a. The designated State agency assures that it will expend no more than 2.5 percent of the State’s allotment under title VI for administrative costs of carrying out this program; and, the designated State agency or agencies will provide, directly or indirectly through public or private entities, non-Federal contributions in an amount that is not less than 10 percent of the costs of carrying out supported employment services provided to youth with the most significant disabilities with the funds reserved for such purpose under section 603(d) of the Rehabilitation Act, in accordance with section 606(b)(7)(G) and (H) of the Rehabilitation Act.

b. The designated State agency assures that it will use funds made available under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act only to provide supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities, including extended services to youth with the most significant disabilities, who are eligible to receive such services; and, that such funds are used only to supplement and not supplant the funds provided under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act, when providing supported employment services specified in the individualized plan for employment, in accordance with section 606(b)(7)(A) and (D), of the Rehabilitation Act.

7. Provision of Supported Employment Services:

a. The designated State agency assures that it will provide supported employment services as defined in section 7(39) of the Rehabilitation Act.

b. The designated State agency assures that:
  1. the comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities conducted under section 102(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act and funded under title I of the Rehabilitation Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome, in accordance with the requirements of section 606(b)(7)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act
  2. an individualized plan for employment that meets the requirements of section 102(b) of the Rehabilitation Act , which is developed and updated with title I funds, in accordance with sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 606(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Additional Comments on the Assurances from the State

VII. Program-Specific Requirements For Combined State Plan Partner Programs

States choosing to submit a Combined State Plan must provide information concerning the six core programs—the Adult Program, Dislocated Worker Program, Youth Program, Wagner-Peyser Act Program, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program, and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program— and also submit relevant information for any of the eleven partner programs it includes in its Combined State Plan. When a State includes a Combined State Plan partner program in its Combined State Plan, it need not submit a separate plan or application for that particular program.* If included, Combined State Plan partner programs are subject to the “common planning elements” in Sections II and III of that document, where specified, as well as the program-specific requirements for that program (available on www.regulations.gov for public comment). The requirements that a State must address for any of the partner programs it includes in its Combined State Plan are provided in this separate supplemental document. The Departments are not seeking comments on these program-specific requirements, which exist under separate OMB control numbers and do not represent requirements under WIOA. For further details on this overall collection, access the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ETA-2015-0006.
 
__________
 
* States that elect to include employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.) under a Combined State Plan would submit all other required elements of a complete CSBG State Plan directly to the Federal agency that administers the program. Similarly, States that elect to include employment and training activities carried by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) and 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 that are included would submit all other required elements of a complete State Plan for those programs directly to the Federal agency that administers the program.

Appendix 1. Performance Goals for the Core Programs

Include the State's expected levels of performance relating to the performance accountability indicators based on primary indicators of performance described in section 116(b)(2)(A) of WIOA.

Instructions:Performance Goals for the Core Programs

Each State submitting a Unified or Combined Plan is required to identify expected levels of performance for each of the primary indicators of performance for the first two years covered by the plan. The State is required to reach agreement with the Secretary of Labor, in conjunction with the Secretary of Education on state adjusted levels of performance for the indicators for each of the first two years of the plan.

Table 1. Employment (Second Quarter after Exit)

Program PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level
Adults 57.00 61.00 55.24 61.00
Dislocated Workers 72.00 75.10 75.29 75.10
Youth 63.00 62.60 62.76 62.60
Adult Education Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Wagner-Peyser 55.10 61.00 55.24 61.00
Vocational Rehabilitation Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 1

Oklahoma finalized negotiations on Program Year 16 and Program Year 17 targets by the August 15 deadline.

*Adult Education and Vocational Rehabilitation are not required to provide numbers per their federal partner contacts.

Table 2. Employment (Fourth Quarter after Exit)

Program PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level
Adults 66.00 61.50 60.45 61.50
Dislocated Workers 81.00 75.10 74.08 75.10
Youth 71.00 62.70 62.86 62.70
Adult Education Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Wagner-Peyser 60.30 61.50 60.45 61.50
Vocational Rehabilitation Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 2

Oklahoma finalized negotiations on Program Year 16 and Program Year 17 targets by the August 15 deadline.

*Adult Education and Vocational Rehabilitation are not required to provide numbers per their federal partner contacts.

Table 3. Median Earnings (Second Quarter after Exit)

Program PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level
Adults 4,664.00 4,664.00 4,675.66 4,664.00
Dislocated Workers 6,084.00 6,084.00 6,099.21 6,084.00
Youth 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Adult Education Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Wagner-Peyser 4,664.00 4,664.00 4,675.66 4,664.00
Vocational Rehabilitation Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 3

Oklahoma finalized negotiations on Program Year 16 and Program Year 17 targets by the August 15 deadline.

Table 4. Credential Attainment Rate

Program PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level
Adults 62.00 60.90 62.50 60.90
Dislocated Workers 58.00 56.80 58.50 56.80
Youth 52.00 44.50 52.50 44.50
Adult Education Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Wagner-Peyser n/a n/a n/a n/a
Vocational Rehabilitation Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 4

Oklahoma finalized negotiations on Program Year 16 and Program Year 17 targets by the August 15 deadline.

Table 5. Measureable Skill Gains

Program PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level
Adults Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Dislocated Workers Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Youth Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Adult Education 42.00 42.00 43.00 43.00
Wagner-Peyser n/a n/a n/a n/a
Vocational Rehabilitation Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 5

Oklahoma finalized negotiations on Program Year 16 and Program Year 17 targets by the August 15 deadline.

Table 6. Effectiveness in Serving Employers

Program PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level
Adults Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Dislocated Workers Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Youth Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Adult Education Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Wagner-Peyser Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline
Vocational Rehabilitation Baseline Baseline Baseline Baseline

 

User remarks on Table 6

Oklahoma finalized negotiations on Program Year 16 and Program Year 17 targets by the August 15 deadline.

Table 7. Combined Federal Partner Measures

Measure PY 2016 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2016 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level PY 2017 Proposed/ Expected Level PY 2017 Negotiated/ Adjusted Level
        

 

User remarks on Table 7

Appendix 2. Other State Attachments (Optional)

Wagner-Peyser Figure A

Wagner-Peyser Figure B