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Fall 2017
HappeningsHappenings at the Association of Iowa Workforce Partners
  • Save the Date for the 2018 AIWP Annual Conference April 18-20, 2018! We are seeking presenters and encourage anyone or group with an interesting approach or strategy for serving individuals and businesses to submit a presentation for consideration. Please follow this link to submit a workshop idea.
  • The Association of Iowa Workforce Partners also plans to hold its annual Legislative Reception the morning of January 24 at the Iowa State Capitol. Mark your calendars to join us as we speak to Iowa legislators about the importance of workforce services, especially during times of low unemployment.
ResourcesResources Worthy of Your Attention
CaseStudiesCase Studies in Collaboration
Sector partnerships are increasingly recognized as an effective method for aligning education, economic, and workforce development systems to address industry-identified labor market needs and are comprised of industries with shared needs, as well as various education, workforce, economic, and community organizations in supportive roles. These partnerships develop and continuously evaluate goals, policies, and service-delivery strategies to meet the needs of employers in a given sector. In doing so, they operate within labor market regions, and are not confined to municipal, county, educational, or state boundaries. Effective sector partnerships are industry-driven, meaning industries identify needs and assume the lead role in developing strategies which address their identified needs.

The Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE) program provides funding to each of Iowa's 15 community colleges to implement simplified, streamlined, and comprehensive education and training pathways. These pathways are designed to help eligible participants secure gainful, quality, in-state employment. In 2015, the Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation convened the Sector Partnership and Career Pathway Advisory Council (SPAC) to provide state-level feedback on the implementation of sector partnerships and career pathways through the PACE program. The council initially consisted of representatives exclusively from Iowa's 15 community colleges; however, membership was broadened to include representatives from several state agencies, trade unions, and non-profit organizations. SPAC was tasked with establishing common definitions and expectations for sector partnerships and career pathways for the state of Iowa. After the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the council ensured these definitions aligned with expectations of the new federal statute, as well as other federal guidelines such as the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision of the Higher Education Act.

After the passage of WIOA, which contains several provisions that emphasize credential attainment through the use of sector partnerships and career pathways, it was recognized that the SPAC was well positioned to assist with the implementation of these WIOA provisions and, to that end, Iowa's Unified State Plan lays out a vision for the SPAC going forward.

For more information on current Sector Partnerships operating in Iowa, please see the inventory via this link.
TranslatingWIOATranslating WIOA
You may have heard some talk recently about a One-Stop Operator being selected for each district in Iowa. Just what is a One-Stop Operator, and what does it do? The short answer is the One-Stop Operator is the entity that coordinates the service delivery among all of the partner agencies in One-Stop centers. This is accomplished by creating and facilitating partnerships that:
  • Seamlessly incorporate services for common customers served by multiple program partners of the One-Stop center.
  • Develop and implement policies that reflect an integrated system of performance, communication, and case management, and use technology to achieve integration and expanded service offerings.
  • Organize and integrate services by function (rather than program) and through the coordination of staff communication, capacity building, and training.
Who can be the One-Stop Operator?
  • Local or county governments, school districts, State agencies, and Federal WIOA partners;
  • Employment Service State agencies under the Wagner-Peyser Act;
  • Indian Tribes, tribal organizations;
  • Educational institutions, such as: institutions of higher education, nontraditional public secondary schools such as night schools, and area career and technical education schools;
  • Community-based organizations, nonprofit entities, or workforce intermediaries;
  • Other interested organizations that are capable of carrying out the duties of the One-Stop Operator, such as a local chamber of commerce, other business organization, or labor organization;
  • Private for-profit entities;
  • Local WDBs, if approved by the Chief Elected Official (CEO) and the Governor
  • A consortium of at least three Core Partners
While a WIOA service provider can be the One-Stop Operator, the One-Stop Operator designation is not the same thing as being a WIOA service provider or fiscal agent. Under the new WIOA regulations, the One-Stop Operator must be chosen at least every four years through a competitive selection process. Iowa is currently in the midst of this process.
DearBobDear Bob
Dear Bob,
We've had some cuts in our district, and there are worries about the future budget situation. This makes it hard to stay focused on our jobs. Do you have any suggestions for getting through uncertain times?

Sleepless in Schleswig

Dear Sleepless,

One of the late Steven Covey's most powerful insights was the distinction between the "circle of concern" and the "circle of influence". At work and at home, many things can create concern or anxiety. Much of this is out of our control, but we do have a level of influence over certain things. Proactively focusing energy and attention on what we can change (or prevent) allows us to frame our work and our day in a positive and productive context. In the case management world, here are some things over which we still have control:
  • Data Entry - Not the most glamorous part of our job, but making sure all i's are dotted and all t's are crossed prevents little issues from becoming larger.
  • Avoid Case Management Lapses - Maintaining customer focus during a client's entire enrollment increases the likelihood they will receive a meaningful continuum of services, and successfully reach their goals.
  • Follow Policy and Procedure - A simple thing, but simple things can be the first ones we discard when times get tough. Shortcuts are tempting in times of stress, but they usually come back to haunt us.
  • Who is in front of you today? - Give your utmost attention and best effort to the customer sitting right in front of you, right now. The unemployment rate may be 4%, but for that person, it's 100%. Serving that customer in spite of an uncertain and challenging environment gives you control and ownership of your day.
There is no magic wand to make stress and uncertainty go away. The good news is when you apply a proactive approach to your "circle of influence" you will see that you have influence over more things than you thought possible. Good luck!
UpcomingEventsUpcoming Events
  • AIWP Annual Conference - Save the Date for April 18-20, 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa
  • AIWP Annual Legislative Reception - January 24, 2018; 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. at the Iowa State Capitol
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Association of Iowa Workforce Partners