The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) offers the opportunity for partnering state agencies to submit unified or combined plans to deliver workforce and education services.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in coordination with the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS), issued joint guidance on state plan submission requirements, and established a common portal for state plan submissions.

Mandatory Elements for State Plan Submission Under WIOA

States must use the final Information Collection Request (ICR) published on February 22, 2016 for their WIOA Unified and Combined State Plans.

This final ICR reflects the incorporation of public comments received from the publication of the Federal Register Notices (FRNs), and details all of the required components of the joint WIOA state plans.  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reviewed the final ICR, and approved this data collection under Control Number 1205-0222.

Requirements for Submitting Unified or Combined State Plans

In the webinar on this page, the statutory requirements for Unified and Combined State Plans are reviewed, and presenters describe what states can do to comply with the provisions of WIOA. 

The State Plan Information Collection Request (ICR) process and timeline, as well as other related Federal planning tools and resources are described as well.

Strategic Planning as an Ongoing Activity

Strategic planning is, in theory, a continuous process that begins with an external assessment (labor market analysis or environmental scan), and internal assessment (organizational gap analysis) or SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

Then comes identifying the strategies to pursue along with goal setting, establishment of objectives to meet those goals, and the targeting of quantifiable, measurable outcomes. 

This is usually followed by timelines and milestones to meet expected outcomes, after which an implementation and evaluation occur, and the entire cycle begins again. 

So, even in your last year of a five-year plan, you would be in the first year of your next five-year cycle, theoretically.

OPM Workforce Planning Cycle

    Credit:  Office of Personnel Management Workforce Planning Model

Responsiveness to the Region's Labor Market Analysis

A combined business and compliance plan serves as a roadmap for achieving the labor market outcomes desired for your customers and needed to achieve greater economic prosperity for your community.

This requires leadership and vision in labor market-relevant planning that includes evaluation, assessments, data-driven decision-making, and collaboration to best meet the needs of special populations, jobseekers, workers and businesses alike.