Workforce Investment Act MOU Self-Assessment Tool
Purpose: to assist local areas in moving their MOU process forward. These questions are designed to identify essential components of a successful MOU Process. They can be used to help you assess where you are and on what areas you will need to focus attention or where you may need assistance. Other useful documents include NYSDOL's MOU Template and the NYATEP/NYSDOL One-Stop System Building Toolkit. These two documents will be used as the basis for review and compliance with the law.
Defining the One-Stop System
The system is the overall method or plan for serving the universal population within a local workforce investment area. To define the "system" requires the bringing together of all the partners (mandated and non-mandated as identified by the chief elected official) to identify the clients to be served by each of the partners. The law defines the responsibilities for being a partner as:
- Making available to participants, through a one-stop delivery system, the core services described in section 121(c) of WIA that are applicable to such program or activities; and
- Participating in the operation of such system consistent with the terms of the MOU described in section 121(c) of WIA and the requirements of the Federal law in which the program or activities are authorized.
The system is broader than the one-stop centers in a given area. The system brings together partners and programs to provide universal access to the core services of the programs in a seamless fashion. The goal is to increase system access for all customers. Not all system programs will be universal; that is all programs will not be able to serve all people. However, all people can be served somewhere in the system. The system is about defining "common turf" across programs and services to provide core services. No individual program is required to cede its "unique" turf or to violate its governing statute.
In accordance with the Design Team report, the system is defined as being customer driven, demand side led, performance driven, providing multiple access points, providing a value added dimension to services and improving continuously. How services will be delivered and through what mechanisms should be defined through negotiation among the partners in the system. Many of the partners perform similar functions while some of the partners are specifically precluded from engaging in certain activities. The key to operationalizing the system is to maximize each program's capabilities while minimizing administrative duplication
- Has the LWIA developed a vision and mission statement? general purpose statement? operating principles? Have they been included in the MOU?
The vision and mission statement and principles that may be included in this section should logically link to any One-Stop System Performance Requirements and Goals stipulated in the document.
- Has an assessment been done of employer and job seeker needs? How was this used in the development of the vision and mission and in the design of services to be delivered? Which partners were involved in this needs assessment and how?
- Who in the local area defined the vision for the "system"? Which partners (mandated and non-mandated) helped define the vision for the system?
The overarching vision for the system should ideally be a product of the local workforce investment board in conjunction with the chief elected official and the program partners. It should be based on an assessment of the needs of the customers in the system (this should include the customers of all the partner programs). A shared vision for the local one-stop system unifies the system and helps customers and staff understand what you want to accomplish in your local area. It is important to create a vision statement that resonates with individual customers, business customers, local workforce investment board members and staff in all partner organizations.
- Does the MOU identify the core, intensive, training and other support services that each partner will provide through the One-Stop system, the applicable funding source for that service, and a description of the manner in which the service will be made available through the system?
These services are fully identified in the law as follows: core services - 134(d)(2)(A-K); intensive services - 134(d)(3)(C); training services - 134(d)(4)(D); and other - 134(e)(1-3). A detailed explanation of the core, intensive, training and other services that will be delivered to customers of the One-Stop system should be provided, including the services delivered at the One-Stop site and the services that will only be accessible through the One-Stop System. MOUs must also specify those partners delivering the services. This effort will also assist the partners in developing a more integrated delivery strategy that includes the issuance of Individual Training Accounts (ITAs). A matrix of each partner's customers and what core services need to be provided to those customers should be included here.
- Are definitions for core services agreed to by all partners?
Please consider the following:
- What are the core services applicable to each partner program?
- What is meant by each of the terms on the list (section 134(d)(2)(A-K)?
- What are "basic labor exchange activities traditionally provided"?
- What are the core services for business customers?
- Who has developed the mix of services that business and job seekers need in your local area? Were all partners involved? How were job seeker and business needs considered?
- Based on all partner's customers, have you estimated the number of customers who will receive each of the services to be offered?
A survey of partner's service volume - the number of customers served per week, month and year - should be conducted, as well as information collection on peak periods of service during the year for each partner. This will help the local area to properly prepare the system to serve the customer's needs (e.g. proper staffing levels, sufficient materials, etc.). It should be noted that WIA Title I adult program mandates universal access of core services. This is a significant change from the adult services allowable under JTPA, which targeted the economically disadvantaged. This must be taken under consideration when planning the number of individuals that will be served in the center and in the system.
- Does the MOU describe the systematic referral process among the partners?
Has the area fully described the process for the system (not just the center), as well as the listing of procedures for partners to follow? The description must explain how customers will be connected with services, who will be the point of contact, how the intake, enrollment and assessment processes will be handled, who will provide these services, and how the initial referrals for service will take place. If a common customer release form is used, this should be referenced and attached.
- Do the services to be offered meet what is required, or does the MOU specify services beyond those that WIA requires?
Have other services such as needs related payments, child care, transportation, job fairs, job readiness, tax credit determination, etc. been added?
- How and where will customers access services?
Please provide a listing that includes all elements of the system, not just the center(s).
- What efforts have been undertaken to identify gaps in services? What are the gaps? How can they be filled?
To the extent that gaps exist, customers will suffer and performance will be negatively impacted. Understanding each partner's full mission may help to ensure that gaps do not occur and that all customers will be served.
- What if a system partner chooses not to recognize or value a program's services?
The WIA requires mandatory participation by a variety of programs. The law does not relieve a partner from fulfilling any of its individual mission. Thus, if a system seeks active participation from all partners and programs, it must recognize and value the individual services of each program. It is important to remember that while many of the partner programs are required to only provide certain core services through the system, other programs such as the Title I B programs and the Wagner Peyser funded programs, must provide all of their services through the system. The value of these services must be accounted for in determining the cost of the overall system.
- If the "system" was initially defined by only a select number of partners, how has the local area ensured that those partners' customers not included in the defining of the "system" can access services through the system?
All partners should be involved in this process, however, if that is not the case, then the affected partners should address this issue with the local area prior to signing off on the MOU. Each partner must feel comfortable that the needs of their customers can be met within the system as defined in the MOU.
- Has a map of the local One-Stop system been attached?
This should include centers, affiliated sites, electronic access points, and Resource Rooms. Attached to the map should be a listing of sites by address with program operator(s) identified.
- How will the One-Stop system ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Describe what actions will be taken to make the building, resources and materials available to customers with access impairments.
- How will discrimination complaints be handled?
A step-by-step procedure should be developed to address complaints.
- Does the MOU include agreement to address the following system goals?
- Customer satisfaction
- Cost effectiveness
- Support for employers in developing high performance workplaces
- Self-sufficiency and welfare reduction
- Enhanced linkages between workforce investment services and business needs
- Universality and customer choice
- Assisting customers in attaining knowledge/skills needed in the workplace
- Has a system to measure customer satisfaction and continuous improvement of the One-Stop system been agreed to by all partners?
- Are there arrangements for all partners (such as a "partners table") to monitor the performance of the system on an ongoing basis? What are the arrangements and how often will the monitoring occur?
- Has the LWIA adopted OSOS? If not, has a Case Management/Management Information System been adopted?
If OSOS is being used, the agreement to do so must be in the MOU. If it is not, the alternate system must be identified, as well as the assurance given that the local area will ensure its compatibility with OSOS. Adoption of an alternate system does not absolve the local area from producing any of the required reports.
All One-Stop partners are expected to participate proportionately in the system. The MOU should distinguish between the services delivered at the One-Stop site(s) and services delivered within the One-Stop system through the agreed upon systematic referral of services. The identification in the MOU of total system costs and the resources that will support those costs is a critical step in making the One-Stop system sustainable.
- Has a Cost Allocation and Resource Sharing Agreement been negotiated, reached and included in the MOU?
For further assistance in developing this section, please see the "Guidelines for Cost Allocation Plans."
What is the difference between "shared" costs and "direct" costs within the local One-Stop system?
The "system" is the overall methodology or plan for serving the universal population in the local workforce area. Since the MOU is a system level agreement, it must identify all of the costs necessary to operate and provide services in the system. One-Stop system costs are all costs associated with the unified delivery of numerous employment and training programs within a workforce investment area. Because the One-Stop system is, by its very nature, a partnership and, because all partners have ownership in the system, system costs fall into two general categories:
- Shared system costs
- Program delivery costs
Shared system costs: are those costs that facilitate the unified delivery of services. Partners must elect to participate in the system and, as such, elect to financially support the system. Shared system costs are costs that will eventually be allocated back to all participating partners in proportion to the actual use attributable to each partner. In this context, the collective financial support of the partners might be used to fund a variety of system activities that will be performed for the benefit of the partnership such as, but not limited to:
- Governance: those activities necessary to sustain and administer the partnership. In general, these are the costs of the LWIB and Youth Council and include fiscal oversight costs, and other administrative overhead attributable to the continuing existence of the LWIB and the Youth Council
- Marketing costs: associated with the promotion of the expanded service delivery system
- Technology: intended to link all partner to a common database
Program delivery costs are those costs which each partner program incurs related to the delivery of employment and training services. These are:
- Direct service costs: costs incurred by a partner that provides a direct benefit solely to the partner's employment and training program(s) or business function
- Shared service costs: costs incurred by a partner which benefits two or more partners within the local One-Stop system
Using this definition, One-Stop Center costs could be either direct or shared service costs. In addition, affiliate site costs would generally be direct service costs.
The WIA provides no new money for the operating and administrative costs of the system (which includes the operating costs of the One-Stop Centers, Resource Rooms and Affiliated Sites). The ability to fund these costs will come from optimizing program capabilities to achieve administrative efficiencies.
See the NYATEP/NYSDOL One-Stop System Building Toolkit, Services and Funding section for more assistance. This can be found at http://www.nyatep.org/ in the publications section or on the Workforce New York website at http://www.workforcenewyork.org/toolkits.htm
Note: Page 16 of the toolkit lists six (6) system components. It is likely that not all components will have costs that qualify as shared system costs.
- How will reasonable accommodation costs be shared?
For each area that requires accommodation (e.g. doorways, rest rooms, written materials) please indicate how each partner's costs will be determined.
- What costs are not included within the One-Stop system costs?
One-Stop center costs are part of the overall One-Stop system although they should be separately identified in the MOU. The MOU should reflect all of the system costs. Those costs attributable to partner programs that are not statutorily required to be provided through the One-Stop system should not be included in the overall cost of the system or shown in the MOU, unless the local area has determined to provide these services through their local system.
- How will a "system" derive cash from its partners?"
WIA does not provide any new money to support system costs. In order to free up cash in the system, partner programs must be able to achieve administrative savings either through the sharing of services or the elimination of duplicative costs. In terms of facility costs, partners who might otherwise choose to co-locate in new space may not easily be able to break free from existing lease arrangements. The system must be realistic in what can be afforded by the partners today and down the road.
- What does a local area's One-Stop Implementation Grant represent in terms of a contribution to the cost of the system?
The One-Stop Implementation Grants were funds made available by USDOL to assist local areas in jump-starting their one-stop system building. These funds cannot be attributed to any one partner's contributions to the system. The funds represent the federal government's contribution to system building in that local area.
Other MOU Agreement Requirements
- Does the MOU include every mandatory One-Stop partner?
A complete listing of the required partners is given in section 121(b) of WIA. The law does not distinguish among partners. There are no "major" or "minor" partners; there are no "primary" or "secondary" partners. All partners in the system as defined in the legislation are equal.
- Does the MOU fully identify each partner that is party to it?
The MOU should include the name and address of each partner, as well as the program that they are representing.
- Has the MOU been signed by all One-Stop partners, thereby confirming their acceptance of its terms and conditions?
This is a requirement.
- Does the MOU state the duration of the agreement?
This is negotiable, but it is recommended that the duration be at least one year.
- Does the MOU include the assurance that all One-Stop partners will participate in the New York State Job Bank?
This is required, as use of the NYS Job Bank ensures that referral and placement information will be tracked, job matching will be maximized, and results will be measured in a non-duplicative way.
- Does the MOU contain a general assurance that appropriate confidentiality parameters will be honored?
It may also be necessary to execute a separate Confidentiality Agreement among partners wishing access to other partner's information.
- Does the MOU contain procedures for dispute resolution including provisions for formal meeting of the parties involved, and mediation by the LWIB or its Executive Committee? Does it include language as to the LWIB's final authority on dispute resolution?
Specific language on this provision has been suggested in section IX of the MOU Template that was developed by the NYS Department of Labor.
- Does the MOU contain provisions concerning on severability?
For example, the following may be used: "If any part of this MOU is found to be null and void, or is otherwise stricken, the rest of this MOU shall remain in full force and effect, until renegotiated or rewritten."
- Does the MOU contain provisions that allow for modification, alteration, revision, extension and renewal?
Specific language on this provision has been suggested in section XI of the MOU Template that was developed by the NYS Department of Labor.
- Have the following assurances been included in the MOU?
- All partners in the One-Stop delivery system will adhere to any prescribed reporting schedules
- All partners in the One-Stop delivery system will provide any required performance data
- All partners in the One-Stop delivery system will provide any required data in a compatible format
- All partners in the One-Stop delivery system agree to work toward the development of common performance goals and measures that will be in alignment with the stated goals of the workforce investment system.
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