181.00.05 Ark. Code R. § 002 - Two-Year Arkansas Strategic Plan of 2005-07

State Two-Year Plan

Submitted Under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998

State of Arkansas for the period of July 1, 2005 -June 30, 2007

Plan Development Process

Describe, in one page or less, the process for developing the State Plan.

1. Include (a) a discussion of the involvement of the Governor and the State Board in the development of the plan, and (b) a description of the manner in which the State Board collaborated with economic development, education, the business community and other interested parties in the development of the State Plan. (§ 112(b)(1).)
2. Include a description of the process the State used to make the Plan available to the public and the outcome of the State's review of the resulting public comments. (§ 11 l(g), 112(b)(9).)

At the direction and guidance of the Arkansas Workforce I nvestment Board, Arkansas began developing its State Plan in February 2005, when preliminary guidance was provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

A preliminary meeting with all partners was conducted to: outline the expected process for the plan's development, distribute agency assignments, and develop a calendar with timelines for completion.

Upon receipt of the find planning guidance via the April 12 Federal Register, subsequent meetings and discussions were conducted with:

* Representatives of the Institute of Economic Advancement (1EA) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) regarding their assistance with the assemblage and formatting of the plan, and

* Representatives of UALR and state-level partners to coordinate the efforts required to provide labor market and economic data.

* The Governor and the Workforce Investment Board Chair to ensure that the Governor's vision was fully articulated in the plan.

* The Governor's Liaison, to ensure that the plan accurately conveyed the Governor's vision for the State's workforce system.

A website was developed by UALR to post all plan submissions, as they became available, for review by interested parties.

By April 22, 2005, agency representatives submitted information for their respective sections of the plans. Each participating agency held public review of their individual plans, as required by their respective programs.

During it's May 10, 2005 meeting, the Executive Committee of the Workforce Investment Board was presented with access information to the website to facilitate the members' review and comment of the State Plan. Members were asked to submit any input on an ongoing basis.

On May 15, 2005, a public notice was published to announce the beginning of the official 30-day public comment period, with links to the website. Comments, suggestions, etc. received during this period were incorporated, as appropriate, into the plan.

A final draft was prepared and submitted to the Executive Committee of the Workforce Investment Board on May 26, 2005.

The Executive Committee of the Workforce Investment Board met via teleconference on May 31, 2005 and approved the final draft and its submission to the Department of Labor's National Office.

I. State Vision

Describe the Governor's vision for a statewide workforce investment system. Provide a summary articulating the Governor's vision for utilizing the resources of the public workforce system in support of the State's economic development that address the issues and questions below. States are encouraged to attach more detailed documents to expand upon any aspect of the summary response if available. (§112(a)and (b)(4)(A-C).)

A. Arkansas Workforce Investment Board

Vision

A Globally-recognized workforce in Arkansas - educated, trained, skilled - with the character and work ethic needed to excel in a changing economy.

Mission

To establish a unified, flexible, accountable workforce training system implemented through the collaboration of business, industry, labor, and citizens and characterized by accessible and responsive one-stop workforce systems.

The system will offer employers a resource for workers in existing and emerging occupations and empower Arkansans to receive employment services as well as job-specific training.

B. What are the State's economic development goals for attracting, retaining and growing business and industry within the State? (§112(a) and (b)(4)(A-C).)

The Governor has shared a clear vision for Arkansas' economic development that defines a stronger partnership between economic development, education and the public workforce system to attract, retain and grow Arkansas' high growth industries.

He enthusiastically supports the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, as implemented by the U. S, Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, and will mirror this initiative in Arkansas.

This strategic effort will prepare workers to take advantage of new and increasing job opportunities in high growth/high demand and economically vital industries and sectors of the State's economy.

The Governor's strategic goals for attracting, growing and retaining businesses within Arkansas are defined below:

* Identity the workforce skill sets needed in high growth, high demand industries and adapt Arkansas' education and workforce development systems to prepare Arkansas' citizens for the business opportunities and skill demands of today and tomorrow.

* Maximize state-level resources to focus efforts on recruiting and retaining high growth businesses and creating high wage jobs in economically critical industries.

* Maximize the stale's resources to support statewide economic development activities through research, information, service, training, and education.

* Increase public workforce system access to all populations (youth, working adults, persons with limited English proficiency, mature workers),

C. Given that a skilled workforce is a key to the economic success of every business, what is the Governor's vision for maximizing and leveraging the broad array of Federal and State resources available for workforce investment flowing through the State's cabinet agencies and/or education agencies in order to ensure a skilled workforce for the State's business and industry? (§112(a) and (b)(4)(A-C).)

Arkansas' workforce development partners, defined broadly to include the wide array of education, workforce development and economic development partners, have a history of collaboration directed toward meeting the needs of Arkansas' workforce and business customers. All partners are charged with being demand-driven and asked to continuously improve their responsiveness to customer needs through customer contact and use of improved labor market information.

The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board will continue to identify opportunities for cross program integration to address unmet needs for Arkansas' citizens and businesses.

A key strategy is to use the National Governor's Association's (NGA) Pathways to Advancement Project's State Team to identify gaps and recommend specific state policy changes to the Governor to support the success of career pathways programs.

D. Given the continuously changing skill needs that business and industry have as a result of innovative and new technology, what is the Governor's vision for ensuring a continuum of education and training opportunities that support a skilled workforce? (§112(a) and (b)(4)(A-C).)

The Governor recognizes that workforce preparation is honed by an education system that focuses on achievement of sound academic and workplace skills, and continues throughout a person's lifetime. This vision anticipates life-long learning supported by a fully integrated workforce system.

In his April 2, 2005 press release, the Governor announced that two Arkansas initiatives were touted as national models in a recently released manual from the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices.

The initiatives, Arkansas Smart Core Curriculum and Universal Access to Advanced Placement, are featured in "Getting it Done: Ten Steps to a State Action Agenda," which was released during the 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools. The guidebook is a component of NGA Chairman Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's "Redesigning the American High School" initiative.

E. What is the Governor's vision for bringing together the key players in workforce development including business and industry, economic development, education, and the public workforce system to continuously identify the workforce challenges facing the State and to develop innovative strategies and solutions that effectively leverage resources to address those challenges? (§ 112(b) (10).)

The Governor sees the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board (State Board) as the catalyst for bringing these partnerships together. The State Board brings Arkansas' key business leaders to the table with leaders of education, workforce and economic development, to increase awareness of challenges facing business and the workforce system. This creates opportunities for innovation and development of successful strategies.

The Governor's vision is that the State and Local business-led boards will continue to improve in:

* Understanding and addressing the workforce needs of business and industry;

* Taking full advantage of federal flexibility and waiver provisions;

* Targeting available resources to areas with the most economic impact; and

* Maximizing the use of public and private resources invested in workforce development.

Another mechanism for achieving the Governor's vision is the State's active participation in the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). In April 2005, Arkansas hosted a DRA Advanced Leadership conference in Little Rock.

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership serving a 240-county/parish area in an eight-state region that is designed to remedy severe and chronic economic distress by stimulating economic development and fostering partnerships that will have a positive impact on the region's economy. The DRA helps economically distressed communities leverage other federal and state programs that are focused on basic infrastructure development and transportation improvements, business development, and job training services.

F. What is the Governor's vision for ensuring that every youth has the opportunity for developing and achieving career goals through education and workforce training, including the youth most in need, such as out of school youth, homeless youth, youth in foster care, youth aging out of foster care, youth offenders, children of incarcerated parents, migrant and seasonal farm worker youth, and other youth at risk? (§112(b)(18)(A).)

With the advent of the shared federal vision for youth, Creating a Collaborative Approach to Prepare Youth for Success in a Global, Demand-Driven Economy, and DOL's New Strategic Vision for the Delivery of Youth Services under the Workforce Investment Act, the State has mobilized is efforts to follow the lead established by its federal partners.

One of the Governor's five priorities for Arkansas' workforce investment system, the Statewide Youth Initiative to Address the Neediest Youth, is designed to increase the support and expand the services to the State's youth in need. Accordingly, through their representation on the State Board, the entities participating in this effort represent a broad spectrum of youth populations in need throughout the state. Those that have been or will be called to participate in the effort include, but are not limited to, those providing services to out of school youth, homeless youth, youth in foster care, youth aging out of foster care, youth offenders, children of incarcerated parents, migrant and seasonal farm worker youth, and other youth at risk.

II. Identify the Governor's key workforce investment priorities for the State's public workforce system and how each will lead to actualizing the Governor's vision for workforce and economic development. (§§ 111 (d)(2)and112(a).)

The Governor has established five key priorities for the Arkansas public workforce system (Workforce Investment Board). These priorities will lead toward development of a demand-driven workforce system that will support our state's workforce and economic development:

* In support of the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, utilize Arkansas' labor market information to identify high growth/high demand target industries in the ten workforce areas. This strategic effort will prepare workers to take advantage of new and increasing job opportunities in high growth/high demand economically vital industries and sectors of our state's economy. The foundation of this initiative is E3 partnerships that include the public workforce system, business and industry, education and training providers, and economic development, collaborating to identify innovative workforce solutions.

Accessing non-traditional labor pools to till the workforce pipeline being vacated by the retiring baby-boom population will be a key method of building the capacity of our state's workforce through this initiative.

The President's High Growth Job Training Initiative was implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to provide national leadership for a demand-driven workforce system and assure that no worker is left behind. High Growth includes industries with significant job growth, industries critical to the nation's economic development, industries that significantly impact growth of other growth industries, new and emerging industries, and industries being transformed by technology and requiring significant changes in the workforce skill sets.

* Initiate college-based career pathway programs (innovative strategies for improving the attainment of higher education credentials among adult students, particularly those who work full-time) and develop and implement specific state policy changes to support the success of career pathway programs and promote access to higher education for adult students in support of the National Governor's Association's Pathways to Advancement Project.

At the state level, the National Governor's Associaltion's Pathways to Advancement Project involves decision-making leaders representing the Departments of Education, Higher Education, Workforce Education, Economic Development, Employment Security, Workforce Investment, the Association of Two-Year Colleges, the Good Faith Fund, Science & Technology Authority, Entergy Teamwork Arkansas, Slate Chamber of Commerce/AIA, Business and Economic Forecast Centers, and Planning & Economic Development Districts who have responsibility for the education, training and life-long learning of Arkansas' workforce.

* Address solutions to issues of out-of-school youth, high school dropouts, runaway and homeless youth, youth in foster care, court involved youth, children of incarcerated parents, and migrant youth in support of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Training and Administration Division's vision for serving out-of-school and at-risk youth, as issued in July 2004.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Investment Act focused on alternative education for/of neediest youth, meeting the demands of business (especially in high-growth industries and occupations), and improved performance. The Governor's initiative has established a statewide vision and strategic plan to address the neediest youth, which is underway. Key state agency participation is essential to focus on ETA's vision and strategy of No Child Left Behind, and to develop a pipeline of skilled workers to meet the economic needs of Arkansas.

* Provide outreach and service delivery for persons with Limited English Proficiency (LLP), including Hispanic- and Asian-American workers, and migrant populations.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Hispanic Worker Initiative addresses the workforce needs of Hispanic workers, and challenges us to prepare Hispanic workers for good jobs with solid career paths. According to the 2000 Census, Arkansas' Hispanic population has experienced a growth of 86,866 (an increase of 337%) over the past ten years, and reflects the second largest gain in the United States. Through the Arkansas Workforce Centers, partnerships and collaborative efforts involving faith-based and community organizations, economic development officials, educators, and employers can provide English as a Second Language (ESL), Vocational ESL (VESL), job search assistance, financial wellness and awareness programs such as FDlC's MoneySmart (a proven financial empowerment program proven to enhance employee retention, and career information (including career ladder information).

* Collaborate on a multi-level outreach effort through the public workforce system with the U.S. Department of Labor, state and local Workforce Investment Boards in support of the 2005 workforce initiative of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

In 2005, the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation has launched a Workforce Initiative to link featured employers with mature job seekers in an effort to address a growing concern for the projected shortage of experienced and capable workers. Six states, including Arkansas, have been asked to participate in the roll-out of this nation-wide initiative to develop hiring partnerships with companies that value the experienced age 50+ worker, companies that have hiring needs, and companies that represent various industries and opportunities for the mature job seeker. The Governor's vision is to accomplish within this framework a series of solutions through the following measures:

* Develop an Arkansas state partner model for replication in all states;

* Deliver information, interactive tools, and resources to mature job seekers at state and local levels through the workforce centers;

* Encourage partnerships with key trade associations and outreach to trade journals;

* Develop local service delivery to mature job seekers and local resources for smaller employers to be informed of the value of hiring mature workers;

* Facilitate industry-specific dialogue to define needed industry-specific skills;

* Cultivate partnerships with public and private training providers; and

* Participate in a national AARP Workforce Advisory Board chaired by a Governor.

These five key priorities for Arkansas' workforce system, as well as measures to achieve even greater success through achieving of these priorities are addressed in the Governor's vision for the system in Section I.

III. State Governance Structure (§112 (b) (8) (A))
A. Organization of State agencies in relation to the Governor:
1. Provide an organizational chart that delineates the relationship, to the Governor, of the agencies involved in the public workforce investment system, including education and economic development and the required and optional One-Stop partner programs managed by each agency.

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2. In a narrative describe how the agencies involved in the public workforce investment system interrelate on workforce and economic development issues and the respective lines of authority.

The agencies involved in the public workforce investment system of Arkansas coordinate at the highest level in that the director's of Human Services, Workforce Education, Education, Workforce Services, and Economic Development are all members of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. Members are aware of and responsive to issues that concern their respective programs as they relate to the public workforce system. Programs, of the board are actively engaged at the local level of the workforce investment areas, and members participate in providing services through the comprehensive work of the Arkansas Workforce Centers throughout the state by their presence in the centers and/or a referral process,

Area Customized Training Coordinators of the Department of Economic Development meet regularly with local chambers of commerce, employer advisory councils, human resource associations, and other local partners to collect and share information in an effort to have a coordinated strategy and to avoid duplication of efforts. Additionally, regularly scheduled meetings occur among the state agencies' staffs for sharing of information and definition of job roles to avoid duplication of effort and services to customers at every level.

All of the state agencies involved in the public workforce investment system are within the Governor's administration.

B. State Workforce Investment Board (§112(b) (1))

Describe the organization and Structure of the State Board. (§111)

As mandated by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and reinforced by Arkansas Act 1125 of 1999, the state Workforce Investment Board is comprised of 42 members. Board composition requires:

One member of the House of Representatives

One member of the Senate

One member of the Women's Caucus

One member of the Black Caucus

Representatives of Arkansas businesses

One chief elected official

Not less than three representatives of labor organizations

No less than two representatives who have experience related to youth activities

No less than three representatives of individuals and organizations who have expertise in the delivery of workforce investment activities of which one shall be a chief executive officer of a two year college nominated by the Association of Two-Year

Colleges, one shall be a director of an agency responsible to a local workforce investment board for administrative workforce investment program, and one member representing community-based organizations

One member who represents an organization of Arkansans with disabilities

One member who has a disability

The Directors of: Department of Workforce Education, Workforce Services, Human Services, Economic Development, Higher Education, Rehabilitative Services, and a representative of Employment and Training Activities carried out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Additionally, the Governor may select one person from any of the following to serve in a dual capacity on the board:

Arkansas Development Finance Authority

Arkansas Economic Development

Slate Board of Education

State Board of Workforce Education

Department of Higher Education Coordinating Board

Transitional Employment Assistance Program Advisory Council.

Business representatives must make up a majority of the state board composition. They are appointed by the Governor from individuals who are nominated by business organizations and trade associations. The chairman of the slate and local boards must be from the private sector. In no event shall the Board consist of more than forty-eight members.

The State Board has two officers, Chairman and Vice Chairman. The Governor selects a Chairperson for the board from among the representatives of business in accordance with State law. The Chairperson presides at all meetings of the Board and Executive Committee and shall have such other duties, powers, and responsibilities as assigned by the Board and its by-laws.

The Chairman, upon consultation with the Governor, selects a Vice-Chairman from among the members of the Board. The Vice-Chairman acts as Chairman in the absence or disability of the Chairman.

Through its standing and ad hoc committees, the State Board fulfills its mission of providing workforce initiatives. The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board has three (3) standing committees: Executive, Strategic Planning, and Program and Performance Evaluation. An ad hoc Budget Committee was established upon the inception of W1A in Arkansas as well.

The structure of the State Board includes several standing committees.

Executive Committee--Arkansas Act 1125 prescribes the formation of an Executive Committee of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. The Executive Committee meets monthly and has the authority of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board to act during the interim between Board meetings. Executive Committee decisions are implemented immediately and are ratified at the next Arkansas Workforce Investment Board meeting.

Strategic Planning Committee-This committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Board to carry out the functions listed in Section 6(a) (l)(2)(4)(5)(9)(I5)(I6)(l7) and (18) of Arkansas Act JI25.

Program and Performance Evaluation Committee--This committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Board to carry out the functions listed in Section 6(a)(3),(6)(7)(8) (!0)(/l)(I2)(/3). and Section 6(f) of Arkansas Act 1125.

Budget Committee--This ad hoc committee was established by the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board to provide recommendations for the expenditure of WIA Title IB formula and 15% Statewide Activity funds.

2 Identify the organizations or entities represented on the State Board. If you are using an alternative entity which does not contain all the members required under section 111(b)(1), describe how each of the entities required under this section will be involved in planning and implementing the State's workforce investment system as envisioned in WIA. How is the alternative entity achieving the State's WIA goals? (§§ 111 (a-c), 111 (e), and 112(b) (1))

The following table reflects current state board membership and the organizations represented on the board:

Arkansas Workforce Investment Board

First Name

Last Name

Category

Marguerite

Abowitz

Business / Industry

Tom

Anderson

Business / Industry

Teme

Baker

Business / Industry

Gilbert

Baker

Senate

Dan

Bakke

CEO - Two-Year College

Linda

Beene

State Agency - Department of Higher Education

Bobby

Blount

Business / Industry

Sydney

Case

Business / Industry & Person with Disability

Larry

Featherstone

Business / Industry

C. Ann

Fleming

Business / Industry

Steve

Franks

State Agency - Department of Workforce Education

Willie

Gilbert

Business / Industry

Linda

Gray

Business / Industry & Labor Organization

Diane

Hilburn

Business / Industry

Philip

Hood

Business / Industry

Mike

Huckabee

Governor

James

Hudson

State Agency - Division of Services for the Blind

Alan

Hughes

Labor Organization

Catherine

Janosky

Business / Industry

John

Selig

State Agency - Department of Human Services

Jim

Knight

Business / Industry

Steve

Lux, Chairman

Business / Industry

Harold

Majors

Business / Industry

Ken

Milbrodt

Business / Industry

Eddie

Miller

Community Based

Steven

Morgan

Business / Industry & Labor Organization

Mike

Norton

Local WIA

Dalton

Price

Business / Industry

Michael

Rebick

Business / Industry

Frank

Scroggins

Chief Elected "Official

Jim

Smith, Vice Chairman

Business / Industry

Frieda

Tirado

Business / Industry

Larry

Walther

State Agency -Arkansas Department of Economic Development/HUD Representative

Bill

Warren

Business / Industry

Artee

Williams

State Agency - Department of Workforce Services (formerly Arkansas Department of Employment Security)

Franklin

Wise

Business / Industry

John

Wyvill

State Agency - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services

Vacant

Member of the Black Caucus

(nomination is pending)

Vacant

Member of the House of Representatives

(nomination is pending)

Vacant

Member of the Women's Caucus

(nomination is pending)

3. Describe the process your State used to identify your State Board members. How did you select board members, including business representatives, who have optimum policy-making authority and who represent diverse regions of the State as required under WIA? ( 20CFR 661.200 )

Section III. B.2. above, reflects the different entities on the State Board. Their locations in die stale represent diverse regions. Members are selected based on the mandated composition.

4. Describe how the board's membership enables you to achieve your vision described above. (§§111(a-c) and 112(b) (1))

As required by federal law, Slate Board members are comprised of representatives from key public and private-sector elements across Arkansas. In addition to the public sector stakeholders and their respective involvement as described above, the private sector Board leaders are a crucial component in providing the light and vision of our demand-driven workforce system, creating the success of workforce investment in the state. The diversity of the Board's composition lends itself to an open forum for different perspectives and individuality among the membership. Members are involved in the decision-making and approval process for all policy, action items, and other activities required and/or allowable under the Workforce Investment Act. The role of State Board members is presented in an orientation session to new members.

5. Describe how the Board carries out its functions as required in sec. 111(d) and 20 CFR 661.205. Include functions the Board has assumed that are in addition to those required. Identify any functions required in sec. 111(d) the Board does not perform and explain why.

As indicated in Section II of this document, the Governor has established five priorities for the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board in PY 2005 and 2006. To fulfill its mission, the State Board is responsible for assisting the Governor in all functions required. It is through the Board's selected committee structure that these functions are provided and accomplished. In addition to serving on one of the standing Board committees, each Board member also agrees to participate in a collaborative effort to explore an agenda for setting goals and planning actions to address the specific priority issues.

6. How will the State Board ensure that the public (including people with disabilities) has access to board meetings and information regarding State Board activities, including membership and meeting minutes? ( 20 CFR 661.205 )

Public notices are provided to the media for all scheduled board membership activities and meetings. The board composition and membership, deliberations and meeting minutes are posted on the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board website. The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act is strictly adhered to at the state and local level, and is regularly monitored for compliance by the Board.

In an effort to provide access to all persons with disabilities, the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board provides the following accessibility to individuals: wheel chair accessibility is available at all State Board meetings and interpreter for the hearing impaired can be provided at all Board meetings upon request. Additionally, TDD communication accessibility can be provided upon request.

7. Identify the circumstances that constitute a conflict of interest for any State or local workforce investment board member or the entity that s/he represents, and any matter that would provide a financial benefit to that member or his or her immediate family. (§§111(f), 112(b) (13), and 117(g))

Members of the Slate and Local Boards are subject to state laws governing conflict of interest. Arkansas Act 1125 of 1999 clearly delineates the Conflict of Interest policies for the State. More specifically, a member of the Board is precluded from voting on any of the following:

* matters regarding the provision of services by an entity that the member represents;

* matters that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or the immediate family of the member;

* matters in any other activity determined by the Governor or by law to constitute a conflict of interest.

Additionally, Arkansas Act 553 of 1999 and the Governor's Directive GPD-I requires State Board members to file a statement of financial interest within 30 days of their appointment.

8. What resources does the State provide the Board to carry out its functions, i.e. staff, funding, etc.?

The Governor's 15% Workforce investment Act discretionary funds are used to carry out State Board activities. These funds provide staff positions and include operating expenses such as facilities, travel, and meeting preparation costs. There is authorization for thirteen staff members who organize, plan, develop, and implement each state board meeting, carry out recommendations as assigned from the Board, and implements action items upon request following each State Board meeting. The Executive Director acts as a facilitator and participant at all State Board meetings, and assists in appointing special committee chairs and ad hoc committee members. The staff supports the various committees and workgroups, as well as state partners and stakeholders. Staff members conduct research on issues and provide background required by the Board members to engage in productive discussion and high-level policy decisions.

C. Structure/Process for State agencies and State Board to collaborate and communicate with each other and with the local workforce investment system (§ 112(b) (8)(A))
1. Describe the steps the State will take to improve operational collaboration of the workforce investment activities and other related activities and programs outlined in section 112(b) (8) (A), at both the State and local level (e.g., joint activities, memoranda of understanding, planned mergers, coordinated policies, etc.). How will the State Board and agencies eliminate any existing State-level barriers to coordination? (§§111(d)(2) and 112(b) (8)(A).)

Collaboration is encouraged by the Board through its broad membership among Stale and local public and private entities. All agency directors of the required partner programs are represented on the Slate Board, as well as labor, education, and private business employers. Collaboration is achieved through the many efforts of the Board and legislation enacted by the State of Arkansas, as highlighted below.

Board Issuances

In 2004, the Stale Board issued a new certification policy for all Arkansas Workforce centers. The intent of the policy was to ensure that the public workforce system provides job seekers with a single point of contact for employment, training, education, and supportive services. For business/industry customers (employers,) access lo resources for workforce development, retention, and expansion issues, including a pipeline of qualified applicants is provided. With the oversight of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, Arkansas Workforce Centers in communities throughout the State integrate multiple workforce development programs and resources and make them available to individuals at the 'street level" through an innovative, efficient user-friendly delivery system.

Workforce Consortium

The Workforce Consortium was established in 2003 to determine the data management needs of all one-stop system partners and find or design a new system. The new system enables the agencies to share client data, thereby reducing the number of times a client has to provide the same information to different state agencies. The State Executive Chief Information Officer's staff facilitated the Workforce Consortium. State agencies benefiting from shared client data include the Department of Human Services, Division of County Operations, Adult Education, Workforce Education, Rehabilitation Services, Department of Workforce Services, Transitional Employment Board, and Workforce Investment Board.

Legislation

The 85th General Assembly of the Arkansas Stale Legislature enacted legislation in April 2005 to improve the coordination between the oversight board for the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agency and the state's Workforce Investment Board. This new requirement provides for three new members of the Transitional Employment Board to include the director and two members of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. Additionally, this legislation will result in the movement of the slate's TANF block grant to the Department of Workforce Services, who will be responsible for all case management activities for this program. These changes have been made to increase employment opportunities for low-income families by strengthening the relationship between local Workforce Centers and the TANF program.

America's Job Link System

Arkansas has utilized the America's Job Link System (AJL) for one year. The Arkansas Department of Information Systems hosts the system and the Kansas Department of Labor maintains the application. The AJL system has eliminated the previously costly labor exchange and W1A systems with an expected interface with partner agencies. This innovative method provides:

* One-stop case management, data collection and reporting

* A single-job placement system which can be used by all partner agencies

* Program management and reporting for WIA adult, dislocated worker and youth programs and labor exchange programs

* A staff assisted and a self-service job match system for job seekers and employers

* An eligibility determination process that leads staff to identify programs for which the individual might be eligible

As a result of this program, job seekers and business clients receive significant benefits impacting opportunity and success. Impacts are:

* Entry to the system from multiple locations, including home or office

* Decreased number of times the client has to provide basic information

* Access to additional useful information (career preparation, labor market, disabilities resources, support services, etc.)

* Better-pre pared and more timely referrals between partner agencies

* The job seeker has access to job listings and the employer has access to resumes, depending on the job seeker's and the employer's preferences of what information to make public, if any

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The Arkansas State Legislature in the 2005 legislative session, with the Governor's support, passed legislation moving the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant from the Arkansas Department of Human Services to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. The intent of the legislation was to expedite the delivery of employment related services to Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) clients, and increase the overall work participation rate for this target group. The synergy generated by this centralization of similar functions is benefiting, and will continue to benefit Arkansas' job seekers, both with and without barriers.

Arkansas Workforce Centers

It was envisioned that the local Arkansas Workforce Centers (AWC) would be designed by employers for employers, to help find and train qualified workers, and assist qualified workers to find jobs in business and industry. The idea was to simplify the maze of current programs into a comprehensive, streamlined system of services for job seekers and employers, eliminating the need to visit different locations and understand multiple, complex program requirements. The Arkansas Workforce Centers bring about the integration of federal, state, and local workforce programs, giving employers and workers a chance to connect in real or virtual communities, and access labor market information, education, and training.

The partners of the Arkansas Workforce Centers share memoranda of understanding, cross-train for eligibility determination and service referrals, and in many cases use common intake or registration forms. Additionally, the AWC certification document requires that each comprehensive AWC have a business liaison team composed of representatives from each partner who serve as a single point of contact to provide information regarding customized services and outreach to the business community.

2. Describe the lines of communication established by the Governor to ensure open and effective sharing of information among the State agencies responsible for implementing the vision for the public workforce system; between the State agencies and the State Workforce Investment Board.

Through the representation and involvement of directors of State agencies, open lines of communication are ensured. As members of the Governor's cabinet, regular meetings are scheduled among these entities to discuss issues and tactics. The State Board's committees meet regularly and include representatives from local boards, and critical entities' at the State and local levels, including business and industry.

Arkansas state agencies represented on the Transitional Employment Board, which is the oversight agency for the stale's TANF program, include the Arkansas Departments of Health and Human Services, Higher Education, Workforce Education, Economic Development, Workforce Investment Board and the Department of Workforce Services. These agencies are charged to work cooperatively to utilize their financial resources, skills and expertise to improve the state's economy and reduce dependency on welfare.

3. Describe the lines of communication and mechanisms established by the Governor to ensure timely and effective sharing of information between the State agencies/State Board and local workforce investment areas and local Boards. Include types of regularly issued guidance and how Federal guidance is disseminated to local Boards and One-Stop Career Centers. (§112(b)(1.)

The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) has a long established Issuance and Informational Memorandum system in place whereas policies, guidance, and general instructions are provided to local areas in the provision of WIA services. All issuances and informational memoranda are transmitted electronically by way of email to all interested and affected parties. The system is set up to distribute information to all ten local workforce investment areas, including Chief Elected Officials, local board chairs, local administrators, one-stop operators, program operators, partner agencies, the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board and staff, and DWS central and local office staff. All policy is transmitted via consecutively numbered issuances, under the signature of the directors of the Department of Workforce Services and the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board.

4. Describe any crosscutting organizations or bodies at the State level designed to guide and inform an integrated vision for serving youth in the State within the context of workforce investment, social services, juvenile justice, and education. Describe the membership of such bodies and the functions and responsibilities in establishing priorities and services for youth. How is the State promoting a collaborative cross-agency approach for both policy development and service delivery at the local level for youth? (§112(b) (18)(A))

In response to the White House Task Force Report on Disadvantaged Youth, released in December 2003, and to the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) new strategic vision for delivery of youth services under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board served as the catalyst to bring together cross-cutting organizations to create the new Arkansas strategic approach to serving our state's neediest youth.

On April 27, 2005, representatives from state and local workforce boards, business and industry, education, health and human service agencies, juvenile justice system, and Job Corps met together to collaborate on our state's new strategic vision. Utilizing the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration's Training Employment and Guidance Notice No. 3-0-4, dated July 16, 2004, as the guideline, twenty-two participants created the following new state vision and mission for serving our youth:

Vision: All youth-serving entities freely share information and resources to create and sustain a comprehensive system that provides youth easy access to the services and support that will prepare them to become productive members of society.

Mission: Ail partners (agencies, churches, faith-based and other community organizations and family members) actively seek input from employers and youth and jointly focus their resources on meeting the needs identified.

The collaborative team committed to becoming a formalized entity to share resources and eliminate duplication of services in order to maximize the efforts of all youth-serving entities. The first action of this group is to determine all resources currently available through the collaborative agencies, followed by the gathering of accurate identification of youth needs in order to ensure that everything possible is being done to meet those needs. The membership of this collaborative group, named the Arkansas Youth Development Collaborative, has chosen a slogan that accurately depicts the direction of their efforts for the future: "Providing a network of services to prepare today's youth for the 21st Century." The Arkansas Youth Development Collaborative is currently composed of agencies and service providers that have the ability to provide the services to youth to fulfill this mission. All members have a voice in the creation of an alternative learning environment for our at-risk and neediest youth. A vision of a One-Stop Center for youth that will focus on this population through community support, mentoring, and alternative education is believed to have the ability to assist in reducing recidivism and diverting delinquency. Combined efforts to provide youth services at this center can lead to educational or vocational attainment and meaningful employment. For business and industry (also collaborative partners) these efforts can provide a productive labor pool for tomorrow's jobs. Critical labor shortages will be filled by youth prepared with skills for high growth/high demand industries and is promoted by our Governor as a priority for the workforce system in our state.

As a group, collaborative members identified three issues critical to success that were determined to be the first priority in moving forward. They were to:

1) expand, mobilize, and promote the multi-agency team;
2) identify current and potential resources available; and
3) communicate all available information to stakeholders. Action teams were created to address each of the goals, and each member of the collaborative group chose to align themselves with one of the teams. Strategies to achieve the goals were created, along with actions, responsibilities, and timelines. Team members agreed to meet as needed to achieve identified goals. They also agreed to meet quarterly as a collaborative group to provide status, support, and to identify future actions required to achieve the new vision.
IV. Economic and Labor Market Analysis (§112(b)(4).): As a foundation for this strategic plan and to inform the strategic investments and strategies that flow from this plan, provide a detailed analysis of the State's economy, the labor pool, and the labor market context. Elements of the analysis should include the following:
A. What is the current makeup of the State's economic base by industry?

The 2004 Arkansas population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 2,752,629. Arkansas' Civilian Labor Force (Seasonally Adjusted) numbered 1,328,000 in March 2005. The number of employed stood at 1,259,400 and unemployed at 68,600. The state's unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, which matched the Federal unemployment rate. This was according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey.

Arkansas' total nonfarm payroll jobs (not seasonally adjusted) totaled 1,166,900 in March 2005. The following table shows the industry sector breakdown for Arkansas' nonfarm jobs. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector had the largest number of jobs (240,900 jobs), followed closely by government (206,600 jobs) and manufacturing (202,700 jobs). The natural resources and mining sector had the fewest (7,300 jobs).

Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Arkansas March 2005

I ndustry Sector

Number of Jobs

Percent of Total

Nonfarm Jobs

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

240,900

20.6%

Government

206,600

17.7%

Manufacturing

202,700

17.4%

Educational and Health Services

145,500

12.5%

Professional and Business Services

108,200

9.3%

leisure and Hospitality

91,700

7.9%

Construction

51,200

4.4%

Financial Activities

51,500

4.4%

Other Services

41,100

3.5%

Information

20,200

1.7%

Natural Resources & Mining

7,300

0.6%

Another measure of economic impact is the contribution to Gross State Product (GSP) by industry. Manufacturing (18.35%) and Services (18.29%) are the dominant industries, with other significant contributions from Wholesale & Retail Trade, Finance Insurance & Real Estate, and Government.

Industry Breakdown by GSP (Millions of Current Dollars $ 2002*)

Manufacturing

13,202

18.35%

Services

13,160

18.29%

Wholesale & Retail Trade

10,324

14.35%

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

10,226

14.22%

Government

9,268

12.88%

Transportation & Public Utilities

5,076

7.05%

Construction

3,442

4.8%

Information

2,712

3.77%

Corporate Management

2,270

3.16%

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

1,941

2.69%

Mining

309

0.043%

Arkansas experienced higher unemployment rates than the United States from 1998 to 2000. In 2001, both the State and the Nation had an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. Arkansas did outperform the U.S. in 2002 and 2003, but the nation fared better in the recovery of 2004.

Click here to view image

Arkansas' Labor Force grew an annual average of 0.8 percent from 1,241,700 in 1998 lo 1,306,200 in 2004. During the same period, Employment grew 0.7 percent annually while Unemployment grew at an annual average rate of 2.9 percent.

Civilian Labor Force

Year

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Labor Force

1,241,700

1,2 53,700

1,256,100

1,252,300

1,273,600

1,279,400

1,306,200

Employment

1,179,300

1,198,000

1,203,400

1,193,200

1,205,200

1,204,500

1532,100

Unemployment

62,400

55,700

52,700

59,100

68,400

74,900

74,100

Unemployment Rate

5.0%

4.4%

4.2%

4.7%

5.4%

5.9%

5.7%

Source: Arkansas Employment Security Department

(http://www.discoverarkansas.net/)

B. What industries and occupations are projected to grow and or decline in the short term and over the next decade?

Short Term

The Top Fifty Growth Occupations table demonstrates that Arkansas, like the nation, is moving away from manufacturing industries towards a more service based economy. The top growth occupations are dominated by health services, sales, and other support functions, including transportation. Also growing is the demand for professionals including Lawyers and Accountants. The only manufacturing related occupation in the Top Fifty is Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers.

The Top Twenty Declining Occupations and Top Twenty Declining Industries tables tell a similar story. Manufacturing occupations compose many of the Top Twenty. The decline in Sewing Machine Operators is reflected in the decline in Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing as these jobs and industries have moved out of the country. Likewise, the decline in Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing and Other Wood Product Manufacturing are results of movement out of the United States.

Other declining occupations are the result of increasing automation in every level. The decline in Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive and Word Processors and Typists can be attributed to increases in the productivity of others in the office. Most professionals now compose their own correspondence and documents rather than dictate them for other to input. Self-checkout in stores and pay at the pump contribute to the decline in Cashiers as an occupation.

Top Fifty Growth Occupations

SOC 1 Code

SOC Title

29-1111

Registered Nurses

41-2031

Retail Salespersons

35-3021

Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers. Including Fast Food

35-3031

Waiters and Waitresses

37-2011

Janitors and Cleaners. Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

31-1012

Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

53-3032

Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer

39-9011

Chid Care Workers

45-2092

Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse

43-41 71

Receptionists and Information Clerks

25-2021

Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

25-2031

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education

25-9041

Teacher Assistants

43-4051

Customer Service Representatives

11-1021

General and Operations Managers

11-9011

Farm. Ranch, and Other Agricultural Managers

33-3051

Police and Sheriffs Patrol Officers

43-9061

Office Clerks. General

21-1093

Social and Human Service Assistants

29-2061

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

41-4012

Sales Representatives. Wholesale and Manufacturing. Except Technical and Scientific Products

49-9042

Maintenance and Repair Workers. General

37-3011

Landscaping and Grounds keeping Workers

39-9021

Personal and Home Care Aides

13-2011

Accountants and Auditors

33-3012

Correctional Officers and Jailers

29-1051

Pharmacists

23-1011

Lawyers

35-2014

Cooks. Restaurant

31-1011

Home Health Aides

47-2111

Electricians

37-2012

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

31-9091

Dental Assistants

35-2021

Food Preparation Workers

35-1012

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers

29-2052

Pharmacy Technicians

41-1011

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sates Workers

33-9032

Security Guards

47-2031

Carpenters

51-4121

Welders. Cutters, Solderers. and Brazers

53-3022

Bus Drivers. School

11-9111

Medica! and Health Services Managers

25-2011

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

29-2041

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

31-9092

Medical Assistants

11-3031

Financial Managers

47-2061

Construction Laborers

13-1111

Management Analysis

43-3071

Tellers

15-1031

Computer Software Engineers. Applications

Ranked by Net Growth

Top Twenty Declining Occupations

SOC Code

SOC Title

53-7062

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

51-2092

Team Assemblers

43-5081

Stock Clerks and Order Fillers

41-9041

Telemarketers

51-6031

Sewing Machine Operators

43-6014

Secretaries, Except Legal. Medical, and Executive

51-3022

Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutlers and Trimmers

43-5071

Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks

43-9022

Word Processors and Typists

53-3031

Driver/Sales Workers

51-2022

Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers

51-9198

Helpers-Production Workers

51-7042

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

41-2011

Cashiers

51-7041

Sawing Machine Sellers, Operators, and Tenders, Wood

51-4021

Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

43-9021

Data Entry Keyers

51-4041

Machinists

53-7064

Packers and Packagers. Hand

51-3021

Butchers and Meat Cullers

Ranked by Net Growth

Top Twenty Declining Industries

NAICS Code

Industry Title

561400

Business Support Services

311600

Animal Slaughtering and Processing

445100

Grocery Stores

447000

Gasoline Stations

111000

Crop Production

337100

Household and Institutional Furniture

424900

Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers

331300

Alumina and Aluminum Production

333900

Other General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing

332300

Architectural and Structural Metals

339900

Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing

315200

Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing

332900

Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing

333400

Ventilation, Healing, Air-Conditioning, and Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturing

335300

Electrical Equipment Manufacturing

323000

Printing and Related Support Activities

541500

Computer Systems Design and Related Services

321900

Other Wood Product Manufacturing

336400

Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing

332600

Spring and Wire Product Manufacturing

Ranked by Net Growth

Long Term

While most of the long term Top Fifty Growth Occupations are like the short term ones, there are some differences. Transportation and Services still make up the majority of the Top Fifty, but Manufacturing occupations make some comebacks. Most notably. Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers move to the Top Fifty Growth Occupations from the Top Twenty Declining Occupations. Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers remains in the Top Fifty and is joined by other Manufacturing occupations, including Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders and Helpers - Production Workers.

The long-term story for the Top Twenty Declining Occupations and Top Twenty Declining Industries is also much like the short-terra outlook. Changes in technology add Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators and Meter Readers, Utilities, among others, to the Top Twenty Declining Occupations.

Changes in Extraction industries abound in the Top Twenty Declining Industries. The decline in Sawmills and Wood Preservation is also reflected in the decline in the related Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills. Oil and Gas Extraction is also joined by other production and distribution related industries in the Top Twenty Declining Industries.

Top Fifty Growth Occupations

SOC Code

SOC Title

53-3032

Truck Drivers. Heavy and Traclor-Trailer

41-2031

Retail Salespersons

35-3021

Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food

29-1111

Registered Nurses

41-2011

Cashiers

37-2011

Janitors and Cleaners. Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

35-3031

Waiters and Waitresses

31-1012

Nursing Aides. Orderlies, and Attendants

43-9061

Office Clerks, General

11-1021

General and Operations Managers

49-9042

Maintenance and Repair Workers. General

41-1011

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers

39-9011

Chid Care Workers

43-4051

Customer Service Representatives

41-4012

Sales Representatives. Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products

43-41 71

Receptionists and Information Clerks

29-2061

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

51-4121

Welders. Cutters. Solderers, and Brazers

51-9111

Packaging and Filing Machine Operators and Tenders

53-7062

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers. Hand

25-2021

Elementary School Teachers. Except Special Education

53-3033

Truck Drivers. Light or Delivery Services

25-2031

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education

51-1011

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Production and Operating Workers

21-1093

Social and Human Service Assistants

25-9041

Teacher Assistants

35-2021

Food Preparation Workers

51-3022

Meat. Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

51-9198

Helpers - Production Workers

35-1012

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers

45-2092

Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse

13-2011

Accountants and Auditors

37-2012

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

47-2111

Electricians

53-7051

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

43-3031

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

43-3071

Tellers

33-9032

Security Guards

43-1011

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Office and Administrate Support Workers

37-3011

Landscaping and Grounds keeping Workers

11-9011

Farm. Ranch, and Other Agricultural Managers

41-2021

Counter and Rental Clerks

31-1011

Home Health Aides

39-9021

Personal and Home Care Aides

35-2014

Cooks. Restaurant

13-1073

Training and Development Specialists

33-3051

Police and Sheriffs Patrol Officers

51-9061

Inspectors, Testers. Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

29-1051

Pharmacists

29-3023

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Ranked by Net Growth

43-6014

Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive

43-9022

Word Processors and Typists

51-6031

Sewing Machine Operators

43-9011

Computer Operators

43-4131

Loan Interviewers and Clerks

43-9111

Statistical Assistants

43-9021

Data Entry Keyers

43-5053

Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

41-9041

Telemarketers

51-2022

Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers

43-5041

Meter Readers, Utilities

27-3010

Announcers

43-5081

Stock Clerks and Order Fillers

51-7042

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

43-4151

Order Clerks

51-7041

Sawing Machine Setters. Operators, and Tenders, Wood

51-6051

Sewers, Hand

39-5012

Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists

51-6099

Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers, All Other

53-4 02-:

Railroad Brake. Signal, and Switch Operators

Ranked by Net Growth

Top Twenty Declining Industries

NAICS Code

NAICS Title

111000

Crop Production

321100

Sawmills and Wood Preservation

315200

Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing

517100

Wired Telecommunications Carriers

335300

Electrical Equipment Manufacturing

325100

Basic Chemical Manufacturing

322100

Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills

221100

Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution

316200

Footwear Manufacturing

325300

Pesticide, Fertilizer, and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing

814000

Private Households

332900

Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing

221200

Natural Gas Distribution

337100

Household and Institutional Furniture

324000

petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing

515100

Radio and Television Broadcasting

333300

Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing

454300

Direct Selling Establishments

211000

Oil and Gas Extraction

311500

Dairy Product Manufacturing

Ranked by Net Growth

C. In what industries and occupations is there a demand for skilled workers and available jobs, both today and projected over the next decade? In what numbers?

Arkansas Occupational Demand by Education Level Industrial and Occupational Employment Projections 2002-2012

Bachelor's Degree

Occupation Annual Job Openings by Growth

General and Operations Managers

308

Elementary School Teachers

173

Post Secondary Teachers, Other

167

Secondary School Teachers

163

Business Operation Specialists

160

Teachers (all classes), Other

154

Miscellaneous Counselors

147

Accountants and Auditors

141

Agri, Farm, and Ranch Managers

113

Training and Development Specialists

97

Associate's Degree/Vocational Training

Occupation Annual Job Openings by Growth

Registered Nurses

556

Licensed Practical Nurses

204

Automotive Service Technicians

92

Computer Support Specialists

67

Preschool Teachers

64

Radiologic Technicians

63

Bus and Truck Mechanics

63

Paramedics

62

Medical Records Technicians

62

Dental Hygienists

58

Work Experience/On-The-Job Training Only

Occupation Annual Job Openings by Growth

Truck Drivers

750

Retail Salespersons

612

Combination Food Prep./Service Workers

587

Cashiers

445

Janitors and Cleaners

358

Waiters and Waitresses

355

Nursing Aides

330

General Office Clerks

308

Maintenance and Repair Workers

259

Retail Sales Managers

248

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D. What jobs/occupations are most critical to the State's economy? Arkansas' Major Employers

Arkansas companies are well represented in the Fortune 500 list of major companies (http://www.1800arkansas.com/data_demographics/files/2004%20Fortune%20500%20List.pdf).

Additionally, a significant number of nationally known companies are headquartered in Arkansas, for a list of these companies, please see Arkansas Corporate Headquarters (http://www.1800arkansas.com/data_demographics/files/Arkansas20%Corporate%20Headquarters.pdf).

Largest Employers (Manufacturing)

1. Tyson Foods, Inc.
2. Pilgrim's Pride
3. Whirlpool Corporation
4. Georgia-Pacific Corporation
5. International Paper Company

Click the hyperlink below to see the complete list of Top 40 Manufacturing Employers. (http://www.1800arkansas.com/data_demographics/files/2040%20Manufacturing%20Employers%202004.pdf).

Largest Employers (Non-Manufacturing)

1. State of Arkansas
2. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
3. Federal Government
4. J. B. Hunt Transport Services. Inc.
5. Baptist Health, Inc.

For a list of Arkansas' largest employers, see Arkansas' Largest Employers

(http://www.1800arkansas.com/data_demographics/files/Arkansas%27%20Largest%20Employers%202004%20(codes).pdf). for listings of major employers by county, see Major Employers by County

(http://www.1800arkansas.com/data_demographics/index.cfm?page=employers_by_country).

Industry Sectors

Until the mid-1950s, Arkansas' economy was dominated by agriculture. As the state began to industrialize, Arkansas' manufacturing base grew, especially in food and kindred products, forest products, and apparel.

By the mid-1980s, two economic forces began to affect the economic structure of Arkansas. First, the diversification of manufacturing brought significant growth in plastics, metals, electronics, and transportation equipment. Second, by the late 1980s, growth in the service, wholesale, and retail sectors greatly diversified Arkansas' economy.

During the 1990s, further economic diversification occurred as services, particularly health and business services, grew significantly.

Manufacturing employment, while remaining an integral part of Arkansas' labor force, has shrunk as other economic sectors sustained rapid growth. Current manufacturing employment and payroll data by manufacturing industry can be found in the Industry Mix 2003 (http://www.1800arkansas.com/data_demographics/files/Industry%20Mix%202003.pdf).

Arkansas Gross Stale Product 2002

Click here to view image

As stated in Section IV, I, Arkansas is a very diverse state that not only has a huge agriculture industry, but some of America's corporate/industry giants as well. Industries that Arkansas* Department of Economic Development are targeting include:

1. Administrative Services
2. Life Science
3. Information Technology
4. Logistics
5. Metals
6. Transportation Equipment
7. Forest Products
8. Food and Kindred Products
9. Rubber and Plastics
10. Agriculture

With this list of industries along with the top twenty industries statewide and the lop ten industries in each of Arkansas' ten Workforce Investment Areas (short-term industry projections), the Labor Market Information Department is developing an "Industry/Career Pathways/Occupations" database. This tool will allow the employers and citizens of Arkansas to perform searches that will produce not only occupational skills information, but also the whole array of labor market information found in Arkansas' ALMIS database.

E. What are the skill needs for the available, critical and projected jobs?

To provide information on the skill needs of jobs/occupations in Arkansas, as mentioned in the above section, Department of Workforce Services Labor Market Information section has created (through the Pathways to Advancement Policy Academy) a skills matching prototype on the "Discover Arkansas" Labor Market Information web site. The tool links Arkansas' growth industries to the nationally recognized Educational Career Clusters. It also identifies if a growth industry is a targeted industry by the Arkansas Department of Economic Development or an industry that has been identified by the Department of Labor High Growth Employment Initiatives. The tool identifies occupations related to each growth industry and career pathway and provides information on skills, projections, wages, training programs, and licensing requirements. It is also noted if an occupation is an employment opportunity. The 0*Net skills sets are being utilized to complete the matching process for Arkansas job needs as provided at Section IV.H.3 of this document. Our "Discover Arkansas" web site is now being populated and a complete version of the tool for the entire State and each of the ten Workforce Investment Areas will be completed by October 2005. Many phases are already available and accessible by local schools statewide.

F. What is the current and projected demographics of the available labor pool (including the incumbent workforce) both now and over the next decade?

Age, Ethnicity, and Educational Characteristics of the Arkansas Labor Pool Age

The makeup of Arkansas' population by age is very similar to that of the United States. The largest differences between Arkansas and the U.S. are in the categories 62 years and over and 65 years and over. The median age is also higher in Arkansas, 36.3 for the 2003 estimate, compared to 36.0 for the United States.

Age

Arkansas

2003 Estimate

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

Median age (years)

36.3

36.7

36.2

36.3

18 years and over

74.47%

74.39%

73.58% *

73.75% *

21 years and over

70.70%

70.68%

70.01% *

69.80%*

62 years and over

16.29%

16.05%

16.10%

15.97%

65 years and over

13.55%

13.41%

13.49%

13.44%

Data followed by an * indicates a Significant Difference at the 90 percent level between that data and the data from the most current year

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09, 2004

http://www.census.dov/acs/www/

Age

United States

2003 Estimate

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

Median age (years)

36.0

35.9

35.7*

35.5*

18 years and over

74.33%

74.17% *

73.96% *

73.75% *

21 years and over

70.59%

70.47% *

70.20% *

69.99% *

62 years and over

14.36%

14.31% *

14.32%*

14.34%

65 years and over

11.98%

11.97%

12.01% *

12.06% *

Data followed by an * indicates a Significant Difference at the 90 percent level between that data and the data from the most current year.

Source; U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09, 2004

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

The similarity to the United States also holds true for the group aged 34 or under. Given these similarities, Arkansas will become even more like the Nation as time passes.

Age

0 to 34 years

2003 Estimate

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

Arkansas

48.26%

47.88%

48.25%

48.27%

United States

48.54%

48.68%

48.92%

49.26%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09, 2004

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

Race and Ethnicity

Arkansas is less diverse than the United States in both racial makeup and ethnicity. The racial makeup of Arkansas is concentrated in White and Black or African American populations.

Race

Arkansas

2003 Estimate

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

White

79.33%

80.05% *

80-78% '*

80.05% *

Black or African American

15.46%

15.77%

15.47%

15.85%

American Indian and Alaska Native

0.65%

0.38% *

0.49%

0.39% *

Asian

0.97%

0.82%

0.75% *

0.65% *

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

0.04%

0.05%

0.02%

0.01%

Some other race

1.96%

1 25% *

0.88% *

1.30%*

Two or more races

1.60%

1.69%

1.61%

1.75%

Data followed by an * indicates a Significant Difference at the 90 percent level between that data and (he data from the most current year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09,2004

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

By comparison, the United States exhibits less concentration in White and Black or African American, and greater percentages in Asian and Some other race.

Race

United States

2003 Estimate

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

White

76.16%

75.76% *

76.52% '*

77.31%*

Black or African American

12.13%

12.04% *

11.97% *

11.95%*

American Indian and Alaska Native

0.77%

0.70% *

0.70% *

0.75%

Asian

4.15%

4.00%*

3.81% *

3.76%*

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

0.14%

0.13%*

0.14%

0.15%

Some other race

4.76%

5.06%*

4.57%*

3.93%*

Two or more races

1.89%

2.32% *

2.29% *

2.15%*

Data followed by an * indicates a Significant Difference at the 90 percent level between that data and the data from the most current year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09, 2004

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

Arkansas is very different from the United States in regard to its population of Hispanic Origin. While the percentage of Hispanic or Latino (of any race) is estimated to grow, it is stilt a much smaller share of total population than in the United States.

Hispanic Origin

Arkansas

2003 Estimate

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

Hispanic or Latino (of any race)

3.72%

3.51% *

3.35%*

2.67% *

Not Hispanic or Latino

96.28%

96.49% *

96.65% *

97.33% *

Data followed by an * indicates a Significant Difference at the 90 percent level between that data and the data from the most current year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09,2004

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

Hispanic Origin

United States

2003 Estimate

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

Hispanic or Latino (of any race)

13.85%

13.50% *

13.07%*

12.60% *

Not Hispanic or Latino

86.15%

86.50% *

66.93% *

87.40% *

Data followed by an * indicates a Significant Difference at the 90 percent level between that data and the data (ram the most current year

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09, 2004

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

Education

Arkansas faces many challenges in education. Compared to the United States, Arkansas is greatly overrepresented by high school graduates and below, and lags behind the nation in those with any kind of college degree. (See Chart)

Click here to view image

The estimates for population 25 years or higher with a bachelor's degree or higher are considerably higher for the United States than Arkansas. (See Tables below)

Educational Attainment

Population 25 years and over

Arkansas

2003 Estimale

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

Less than 9th grade

7.99%

7.26%

8.26%

7.88%

9th to 12th grade.no diploma

12.29%

12.85%

14.58% *

14.77%*

High school graduate (including equivalency)

35.52%

33.60%*

34.04%

35.03%

Some college, no degree

20.37%

21.75%*

20.65%

21.17%

Associate degree

4.79%

4.81%

4.50%

4.48%

Bachelor's degree

12.26%

13.21 %

12.36%

11.22%

Graduate or professional degree

6.78%

6.51%

5.61% *

5-45% *

Percent high school graduate or higher

79.7

79.9

77.2*

77.3*

Percent bachelor's degree or higher

19.0

19.7

18.0

16.7*

Data followed by an *indicates a Significant Difference at the 90 percent level between that data and the data from the most current year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09, 2004

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

Educational Attainment

Population 25 years and over

United States

2003 Estimate

2002 Estimate

2001 Estimate

2000 Estimate

Less than 9th grade

6.45%

6.68%*

6.70%*

6.97%*

9th to 12th grade, no diploma

9.94%

10.69% *

11.22% *

11.48%*

High school graduate (including equivalency)

29.80%

29.59% *

29.57% *

29.57% *

Some college, no degree

20.29%

20.36%

20.37%

20.53% *

Associate degree

6.99%

6.76%*

6.62% *

6.46%*

Bachelor's degree

16.89%

16.56% *

16.33% *

16.03% *

Graduate or professional degree

9.65%

9.37%*

9.19%*

8.96% *

Percent high school graduate or higher

83.6

82.6*

82.1*

81.6*

Percent bachelor's degree or higher

26.5

25.9*

25.5*

25.0*

Data followed by an * indicates a Significant Difference at the 90 percent level between that data and the data From the most current year.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

American Community Survey Office

Last revised: Thursday September 09. 2004

http://www.census.gov/acs/mvw/

Implications/Issues

Arkansas faces a number of the same challenges the nation faces as a result of the changing makeup of the workforce and its population. Arkansas is facing a reduction in the workforce due to the baby-boomer retirements and has insufficient numbers of skilled and qualified existing workers and emerging workers to take their place. For these reasons, the workforce investment system looks to the Governor's priorities as a strategic solution to these challenges. The Mature Worker, Youth, and Limited English Proficiency Initiatives and the NGA Pathways Project focus on strategies to fill the pipeline of qualified workers that business and industry in Arkansas demands.

Through business/industry input, targeted outreach efforts, and collaborative strategies, the partnerships under the Workforce Investment Act provide solutions to these challenges.

G. Is the State experiencing any "in migration" or "out migration" of workers that impact the labor pool?

The state is experiencing an impact in the labor pool due mostly to the "out-migration" of workers who possess bachelor's, graduate, or professional degrees and the "in migration" of workers who have a high school diploma or lesser amounts of formal education.

Net migration by industry reflects the makeup of the State's economic base discussed in earlier sections. The largest net migration was, by far, in manufacturing, followed by retail trade and educational, health, and social services. Also notable is the net loss of high knowledge level/high wage jobs.

Industry

(Employed civilian population age 16 and over):

1995 to 2000

Net Migration

Manufacturing

12.777

Retail trade

4,305

Educational, health, and social services

4,003

Arts, ent, rec, accommodation, & food services

2,251

Agriculture, forestry, fishing. and hunting

1.947

Construction

1,862

Transportation, warehousing, and utilities

1.036

Other services (except public administration)

735

Public administration

587

Wholesale trade

382

Mining

-91

Information

-115

Finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing

-650

Prof., sci., mgmt, admin. & waste mgmt services

-929

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000. Migration DVD, issued October 2003.

Prepared by the Policy Research Institute, The University of Kansas,

email:pn@ku.edu

H. Based on an analysis of both the projected demand skills and the available and projected labor pool, what skill gaps is the State experiencing today and what skill gaps are projected over the next decade?
1. Wage Change as an Indicator of Labor Supply
2. Completers Data as a Skills Shortage Tool
3. Employer Reported Shortages

The Labor Market Information (LM1) staff prepares short-term (2-year) industry and occupational employment projections annually, as well as long-term (10-year) employment projections biennially, following the biennial release of the national employment projections. The most current available short-term projections cover the period 2003-2005, and the most current long-term projections cover the period 2002-2012. This data was used in conjunction with the newly developed Skills-Based Employment Projections application from the Projections Managing Partnership, to identify the following three areas where gaps are and will continue to be present.

Skills: learned sets of facts and standards required by many work situations

* Reading Comprehension

* Active Listening

* Speaking

* Critical Thinking

* Writing

* Instructing

* Active Learning

* Coordination

Knowledge: learned capabilities that allow workers to master and perform the specific activities of their jobs

* Customer and Personal Service

* English Language

* Education and Training

* Mathematics

* Psychology

* Clerical

* Mechanical

Generalized Work Activities: the types of tasks common to many jobs.

* Establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships

* Communicating with supervisors, peers or subordinates

* Getting information needed to do the job

* Handling and moving objects

* Organizing, planning and prioritizing work

* Updating and using job-re levant knowledge

* Making decisions and solving problems

* Identifying objects, actions, and events

* Monitoring processes, materials or surroundings

I. Based on an analysis of the economy and the labor market, what workforce development issues has the State identified?

There are several issues that need to be addressed concerning workforce development in the State of Arkansas.

1. The State of Arkansas does not have any single system that can clearly describe "the workforce" in "terms" common to the business and industry that exists or to industries that are looking at locating in Arkansas. An evaluation system that will clearly identify the skill, knowledge and abilities of the workforce needs to be created, implemented and maintained. This system should have a common set of terms that relate to both the business and industry and the education providers.
2. Other demographic information also needs to be collected, analyzed and documented. Information such as drive time/distance to work, as it is associated with hourly wages. Turn over rates for companies and the association between turn over rates and hourly salaries also deserve a look.
3. Work ethic in the workforce is a critical factor that needs to be addressed at an early age and improved on for the existing workers.
4. Communication skills seem to be an issue that all industry is continually trying to improve. In general, "soft" skills need to be developed in most of the existing workforce as well.
5. Supervisory skills among the first and second line supervisors are desperately lacking. Most of the supervisors in these positions have achieved this position through longevity with the company and lack any real training in how to deal with personnel/ supervisory issues.
6. Technology upgrades are needed with most of the workers in Arkansas today. As new plants locate in Arkansas and existing companies expand, they are faced with increased levels of technology that the workforce must embrace to maintain a competitive edge in their business or industry.
7. There is an ever-increasing demand for ESL and bi-lingual employees. The diversity of the workforce demands that the employees deal with much different co-workers than has ever been required of them. They must have a positive way to deal with this prior lo being faced with it.
8. We have an increasing need to create special schools for incoming workers and their children who are from Japan and China. The American and Arkansas culture for education is much different than in the Eastern Societies. There are issues to address with this changing culture as more and more companies move here from those regions of the world.
9. The Arkansas workforce needs to be developing clusters of skills that cross several industry skill sets. The development of new skill sets for new industries that allow the worker to maintain a productive life style in the current industries is critical.

As we learn which new industries may be residing in Arkansas, we must anticipate the skill and knowledge required for these new industries and begin training for them. If we wait until they are here, we will be playing catch up with skill sets while the companies are trying to be productive with less than effective workers.

10. There are issues exist with the existing workforce and the skills that are becoming outdated. Weekly, even daily there are announcements of plant closures and layoffs. These transitional people must lean new job skills to keep themselves productively employed. A re-training of workers of all ages must be considered to keep pace with the ever changing market conditions.

The membership of the oversight board for the state's TANF program includes several state agencies. The board routinely examines policies and procedures that could be changed to improve service delivery. In addition, when the Arkansas Legislature meets every two years, these agencies work together with legislators to propose legislation designed to enhance State laws.

Arkansas is a small diverse state that not only leads the nation in rice production, but is also the home to some of America's corporate giants such as; Wal-Mart, Axciom, Tyson Foods, Dillard's, and Alltel, to name a few. This creates a host of issues that the workforce development system must address to ensure that the employers in the State have a varied but highly skilled and trained workforce.

When analyzing economic data, six of the lop ten fastest growing occupations in Arkansas require an Associate Degree or higher level of education. In contrast, when studying occupations with the largest amount of net growth, eight of the ten top growth jobs require only either moderate or short-term on-the-job-training. In the 2000 census Arkansas' percentage of adults holding post-secondary degrees was 20.7% compared to a national average of 30.7% (DP-2 Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000; Census 2000 Summary File 3(SF-3) Sample Data; United States and Arkansas). This leads Arkansas into many issues tor the system to address:

Is there sufficient funding for the system to address its varying training needs? This question leads directly to a broader question of what efforts need to be undertaken to better understand expenditures, whether administrative or programmatic, to guarantee that resources are being utilized effectively.

How can career technical education be enhanced to ensure that Arkansas' youth and workers are prepared for today's workplace and succeed in their academic and career goals?

How can we close the wage gap differences between Arkansas' workers compared to the workers in surrounding states and nation, so that we can retain our trained workforce? What career pathways are available for workers to transition to higher paying jobs?

Additionally, Arkansas' Governor has listed five priorities for the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board to adopt, these include:

1. The President's High Growth Job Training Initiative.
2. National Governors' Association (NGA) Pathways to Advancement Project.
3. Statewide Youth Initiative to Address the Neediest Youth.
4. Outreach and Service Delivery for Persons with Limited English Proficiency
5. Statewide Initiative for Mature Job Seekers and Employers.

When looking at the demographic data for the State, particularly the northwest region, we are experiencing large increases in the number of immigrants. Many of these immigrants have limited English-speaking abilities. Issues for the system to address:

What workplace competencies can be developed to ensure that workers possess the skills that businesses need to succeed?

How do we better integrate with our educational and training partners, as well as business and industry, to address literacy barriers?

While addressing both economic and labor market issues, Arkansas must also address systemic issues. These include:

How do we ensure that Workforce Center partners are paying their fair share? How can the system better serve special populations such as youth and individuals with disabilities?

Can the State better coordinate program activities such as administrative costs and monitoring in an effort to maximize resources?

How can local boards and One-Stop operators better meet the needs of their business community?

What waivers should the State pursue to more effectively manage the workforce development system, given the limited administrative resources?

J. What workforce development issues has the State prioritized as being most critical to its economic health and growth?

Concentrated and on-going data studies reveal barriers such as low wages, decreased funding, and reduced labor force for the future. Projects such as the National Governor's Association Career Pathways prioritize the need for a more definitive refinement of bridging the gap for workers between the ages of 18 to 21 who need skills upgrades, and/or apprenticeship programs to better equip them with a career path for building their future.

Arkansas just concluded a conference featuring the leadership of eight states recognized as the Delta Regional Authority. The three-day symposium focused on health and economic issues brought about by conditions in the delta areas of the state. The focus was on heightened awareness and coordination of resources to better identity and serve the customers of this region of the stale.

As listed at Section II of this document, the Governor has identified five priorities for the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. The highest priority is the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, which involves modeling efforts on the national level to determine high growth/high demand industries specific to Arkansas. This information is then provided to local areas who share with their partners to better recognize economic impact for planning and future growth, and encourages coordination of training providers for education and employment issues that surface. The remaining four Governor's priorities target specific non-traditional labor pools as the resource for filling the pipeline of workers for the identified high growth/high demand industries.

The issues contained in the previous section are of equal importance and must be addressed by the workforce system in order to achieve economic health and growth. While some of these issues are administrative and can be addressed at the State level with input from local partners, others will be addressed by the State Workforce Investment Board through their existing committee structure.

Arkansas was one of eight stales, and the only southern stale, selected to participate in the National Governors' Association Pathways to Advancement Policy Academy in 2004. A major economic concern identified by the Arkansas team was a lack of post-secondary education among adults. Arkansas needs a strategy not just to increase the percentage of high school completers who go into post-secondary education but also a strategy to help and encourage adults to take advantage of post-secondary education opportunities.

The Arkansas Pathways to Advancement Policy Academy team identified two goals, each with several strategies, to address the problem of too few post-secondary credentialed adults.

Goal 1: Increase the attainment of post-secondary credentials through the establishment of local career pathways initiatives connected to regional high-demand/targeted jobs.

Strategy 1: Identify regional high-demand targeted jobs. (Priority)

Strategy 2: Expand access to financial aid and support services for working adult students. (Priority)

Strategy 3: Identify and establish data collection and analysis system. (Priority)

Strategy 4: Replicate Career Pathways pilot project at several other two-year colleges.

Strategy 5: Initiate possible supportive state policies to better connect Adult Ed, WIA, TANF and other appropriate programs as feeders to college/Career Pathways initiatives.

Strategy 6: Support institutions in creating articulated pathways for purposes of creating Career Pathways initiatives.

Strategy 7: Reward/provide incentives to institutions for enrollment and completion for working adult students.

Goal 2: Increase interest and awareness of the benefits of post-secondary education among working adults.

Strategy 1: Develop a unified communication message and plan.

Strategy 2: Encourage employers to find ways to recognize post-secondary credentials in employment practices.

Strategy 3: Encourage communities to focus on post-secondary needs/pportunities.

Strategy 4: Explore alternative ways to use "Ways in Mentor" website to engage adults in alternative postsecondary delivery systems.

V. Overarching State Strategies
A. Identify how the State will use WIA Title I funds to leverage other Federal, State, local, and private resources in order to maximize the effectiveness of such resources and to expand the participation of business, employees, and individuals in the Statewide workforce investment system? (§ 112 (b(10))

The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board strongly supports and encourages local workforce investment areas to seek out additional Minding opportunities through, private, public, and co-funding opportunities with other government agencies, private businesses, foundations, and partner programs.

Trained individuals are networked and help each other in grant identification, research, review, and partnership as a result of a free intensive training program sponsored by the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. Approximately 25 individuals from across the State were trained in techniques for writing successful grant proposals. The training also focused on the importance of strategic planning and partnerships in selecting the grant to enhance their program.

The Governor feels very strongly about leveraging other federal, state, local, and private resources in order to maximize the effectiveness of current resources. The Governor's Office established Mapping Arkansas Progress (MAP), an online central clearinghouse for government grant programs, which previously was not available in Arkansas.

The (MAP) program makes it possible to search for grants that have been awarded and provides information on how the grants are used. MAP allows searches to be made by county, city, stale agency, slate grant program, and year. Searches can be made simply by clicking on the desired geographic area of the state to identify grant resources. The county map version of the search allows users to view the grants awarded during the past year in their county. Employees in the State agencies who award grants enter, monitor, and constantly update information.

A second program, Targeting Arkansas' Potential (TAP), was created. TAP provides a comprehensive list of Stale grant opportunities and links to federal grant programs. It allows database searches by key word, agency, or grant program name. The federal link gives users the chance to learn of additional federal grant opportunities. The MAP and TAP programs are both available at:

http://www.arkansas.gov/governor/programs/index.html

B. What strategies are in place to address the national strategic direction discussed in Part I of this guidance, the Governor's priorities, and the workforce development issues identified through the analysis of the State's economy and labor market? (§§ 112(b) (4) (D) and 112(a) )

Section II identifies the Governor's priority to parallel the President's High Job Training Initiative and to utilize E3 partnerships. This enables Arkansas to become a more demand-driven State.

Determining Arkansas' high growth industries and preparing our workforce with the skills and competencies to fill the labor pipeline for those industries are reflected in the Governor's Five Priorities for the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, which are:

* The President's High Growth Job Training Initiative

* NGA Pathways to Advancement Project

* Development of Arkansas' new strategic approach to serving our State's most needy youth

* Outreach and service delivery of persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

* Statewide Initiative for Mature Job Seekers and Employers.

Further discussion of this strategy may be found in Section, V.C.

C. Based on the State's economic and labor market analysis, what strategies has the State implemented or plans to implement to identify and target industries and occupations within the State that are high growth, high demand, and vital to the State's economy? (§§ 112(a) and 112(b) (4) (A)) The State may want to consider:
1. Industries projected to add a substantial number of new jobs to the economy; or
2. Industries that have a significant impact on the overall economy; or
3. Industries that impact the growth of other industries; or
4. Industries that are being transformed by technology and innovation that require new skill sets for workers; or
5. Industries that are new and emerging and are expected to grow.

Many items in this category are addressed previously in this plan. Section IV.B. presents tables identifying the Top Fifty Growth Occupations, both short- and long-term. The Arkansas Department of Economic Development possesses a list often target industries referenced in Section IV.C. Additionally, Section 1 V.C. contains Industrial and Occupational Employment Projections through 2012, by Educational Level. The levels represented are Bachelor's Degree, Associate's Degree/Vocational Training, and Work Experience/On-The-Job Training Only.

The strategy to focus on the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative to frame the Arkansas' high growth target industries involves collaboration with economic development and with our slate Labor Market Information professionals to determine which of the nationally-identified high-growth industries are also considered high-growth industries at the state level. Measuring high growth industries unique to Arkansas (not considered high growth nationwide) also is critical in determining Arkansas' target industries. The public workforce system in Arkansas is responsible for facilitating industry forums to identify workforce challenges and issues and then to serve as the catalyst to facilitate E3 (Employment, Education, and Economic Development) partnerships to create solutions to workforce issues.

U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, Business Relations Group (BRG) currently utilizes a State Coordinator to serve as point of contact for national initiatives that are to be implemented at the state level. This coordinator is a member of the Business Relations Team of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board staff which has been instrumental in securing environmental scan data for each of the nationally identified high growth industries by surveying the ten workforce areas of the State for information on each of the industries and any relationships the local workforce investment areas have developed with them. This industry information is utilized at the national level when facilitating business and industry forums and serves as a basis to determine best practices of innovative workforce solutions.

Section IV J. details the two goals identified by the Arkansas Pathways to Advancement Policy Academy and lists specific strategies to accomplish these goals. These goals are to identity regional high demand targeted jobs (priority), and to increase interest and awareness of the benefits of postsecondary education among working adults.

D. What strategies are in place to promote and develop ongoing and sustained strategic partnerships that include business and industry, economic development, the public workforce system, and education partners (K-12, community colleges, and others) for the purpose of continuously identifying workforce challenges and developing solutions to targeted industries' workforce challenges? (§ 112(b) (8))

Governor Mike Huckabee established his priorities in 2005 for the public workforce system in Arkansas, which focus on establishing E3 (Employment, Education, and Economic Development) partnerships to prepare our workforce for new and increasing job opportunities in high growth high demand and economically vital industries and sectors of Arkansas' economy. The vision for Arkansas parallels the national vision for the collaboration between the public workforce system, employers, education and training providers, and economic development professionals to develop solutions to the workforce challenges facing identified high growth high-demand industries.

It is the role of the public workforce system to serve as the catalyst to bring together these partners for the purpose of sharing information, ideas, and resources to create compelling solutions to workforce challenges. Each partner plays a role in the creation of a demand-driven workforce system in Arkansas, with solutions that allow the labor force to gain the skills and competencies needed to succeed in satisfying careers.

At the State Board level, staff members are dedicated to each of the high growth high demand industries and serve as the project leader for any initiatives developed to promote workforce solutions identified through collaborative efforts with business/industry, education and economic development. Examples of initiatives being developed through collaboration include work with the healthcare industry to address the nursing shortage in our stale, building capacity at the community- college-level to develop training for drivers in the transportation industry, and provide customized training necessitated by technology upgrade to the forestry industry, in partnership with our State's economic development professionals, and local community colleges.

At the local level, workforce center certification standards require a business services representative (team) for each workforce area within the state. It is the responsibility of this person (team) to serve as the liaison between the workforce system and the area employers to enhance awareness of services offered and to promote the collaboration between education, economic development, and area employers in an effort to establish a demand-driven workforce system.

Partners within the local workforce centers are further engaging business by re-establishing Local Employer Advisory Committees (LEACs). The Department of Workforce Services (DWS), formerly Arkansas Employment Security Department, provider of Wagner-Peyser services in Arkansas, has revived the committees to help the State improve services provided to employers. Local committees composed of a cross-section of all business and industry in the local area, one-stop operators, and W1A providers are formed so job services can be tailored to the special needs of each community. Committee members meet with local workforce center partners to discuss employer needs and how the Stale can help meet those needs. Information is provided on new programs and services and potential benefits for employers who utilize the programs.

During the Spring of 2005, representatives from state and local workforce boards, business and industry, education, health and human service agencies, juvenile justice system, and Job Corps met to collaborate on the State's new strategic vision. Utilizing the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration's Training Employment and Guidance Notice No. 3-0-4, dated July 16, 2004, as the guideline, twenty-two participants created the following new state vision and mission for serving Arkansas' youth:

Vision: All youth-serving entities freely share information and resources to create and sustain a comprehensive system that provides youth easy access to the services and support that will prepare them to become productive members of society.

Mission: All partners (agencies, churches, faith-based and other community organizations, and family members) actively seek input from employers and youth and jointly focus their resources on meeting the needs identified.

The collaborative team committed to becoming a formalized entity and established the following goals:

1) expand, mobilize, and promote the multiagency team;
2) identify current and potential resources available; and 3) communicate all available information to stakeholders. Action teams were created to address the goals, and each member of the collaborative group chose to align themselves with one of the teams. Strategies to achieve the goals were created, along with actions, responsibilities, and timelines.
E. What State strategies are in place to ensure that sufficient system resources are being spent to support training of individuals in high growth/high demand industries? (§§ 112(b) (17) (A) (i) and 112(b) (4) (A))

The Governor includes High Growth High Demand as his top priority for the State. To this end, the Governor is actively working with many State agencies to address economic development and workforce challenges across public systems. Currently, the Department of Economic Development, Workforce Services, University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Institute for Economic Advancement, and the Stale Workforce Investment Board are working to identify Arkansas' high growth high demand industries.

The business-led State Board will assist this effort by providing the necessary leadership and convening the necessary partners to guide the system towards the Governor's vision. In support of high growth/high demand industries, the State Board earmarked additional Incumbent Worker Training Program monies from the 15% Reserve Funds. Unlike the previously existing IWTP, these funds are restricted for use by industries identified as high growth high demand in Arkansas. This should optimize the amount of resources spent on training in occupations of high growth and high demand areas.

The Governor's charge for government is to improve partnerships, identify cost savings, and increase the sharing of resources to expand training services. This optimizes the amount of resources spent on training in occupations in high growth and high demand areas.

F. What workforce strategies does the State have to support the creation, sustainability, and growth of small businesses and support for the workforce needs of small businesses as part of the State's economic strategy? (§§112(b) (4) (A) and 112(b) (17) (A) (i))

The Arkansas Workforce Centers are required, through the Arkansas Workforce Center Certification Criteria, to have a Business Liaison Team. This team, in addition to providing a link to Wagner-Peyser activities, links employers to the prepaid services of the workforce system. Services such as job application acceptance, assessments, and pre-scrcening help small businesses by relieving some of the human resources-related costs of recruiting qualified employees. Employer services such as those available through the network of partnerships under the Workforce Investment Act also help in the reduction of costs associated with turnover, thus, increasing the small business' return on investment.

Additionally, the services to job seekers ultimately benefit small and emerging businesses. By providing clear career and labor market information to potential applicants, the Arkansas Workforce Center partnerships are able to assist motivated people in making well-informed choices about education and training needs and promote the probability of businesses success by bringing the right people and jobs together.

The State Board's Incumbent Worker Training Program gives priority points to Arkansas businesses that employ fifty or fewer people.

The State Board's close association with it's economic development partners allows better coordination of efforts to ensure a steady pipeline of workers equipped with skills employers need, and helps facilitate conversation with Arkansas' outstanding training providers for customized training.

The U.S. Department of Labor's E3 Initiative applies to Arkansas' valued small businesses as well as large businesses.

G. How are the funds reserved for Statewide activities used to incent the entities that make up the State's workforce system at the State and local levels to achieve the Governor's vision and address the national strategic direction identified in Part I of this guidance? (§ 112(a) )

With the newly announced Governor's priorities and the national priorities, reserve funds are being used in a variety of ways to provide incentives for system-building and collaboration efforts that focus on both priorities.

In spring 2005, the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board established subcommittees to focus on each of the Governor's Priorities for the State. The committees will recommend a number of uses for the funds. The committees will direct the use of these funds to provide technical assistance, training, incentives, and increasing the availability and provision of needed services to various populations. These populations include, but are not limited to the most needy youth, individuals with disabilities, mature workers seeking to re-enter the workforce, and individuals with limited English proficiency.

Additionally, funds will be made available to provide training and other services for industries with statewide shortages of workers; programs that identify and train for high wage, high growth occupations, enhanced partnerships, and service-integration strategies.

Finally, the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board will use these funds to support the efforts of Arkansas' National Governor's Association's Pathways to Advancement Team. The Pathways to Advancement project has been working to increase access to postsecondary education for working adults age 25 and over.

H. Describe the State's strategies to promote collaboration between the public workforce system, education, human services, juvenile justice, and others to better serve youth that are most in need and with significant barriers to employment, and to successfully connect them to education and training opportunities that lead to successful employment. (§ 112(b) (18)(A))

The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board serves as the catalyst to bring together the public workforce system, education, human services, juvenile justice, and others to collaborate on a new strategic vision for serving the youth of Arkansas. The group formalized itself and established a vision and mission (III.C.4.) to better serve the youth of Arkansas. This group has committed to freely exchanging ideas and services and has identified resources available within this collaboration.

The exploration of assets resulted in a resource map in the form of a matrix, which identifies each collaborative organization's purpose, clients, activities, partners, outcomes, and results. Within this collaborative group, subteams are focusing on the achievement of short-term goals identified through a prioritization of issues, which are to:

* Identify and utilize needed resources and funds

* Expand, mobilize, and promote the multiagency collaborative team

* Develop an effective communication system among youth-serving entities

* Identify and publicize underutilized services.

I. Describe the State's strategies to identify State laws, regulations, policies that impede successful achievement of workforce development goals and strategies to change or modify them. (§ 112(b) (2))

Arkansas is currently participating in the National Governor's Association's (NGA) Pathways to Advancement initiative. This initiative requires the State to assemble a team to participate in an NGA-led policy research and planning activity. Arkansas' state team consists of representatives from the primary State workforce development agencies: Department of Higher Education, Department of Workforce Education, State Workforce Investment Board, Department of Workforce Services, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Economic Development, Arkansas' Association of Two-Year Colleges, the Good Faith Fund, and the Governor's Office.

One of the missions of this group is to form a Slate policy research advisory team that will identify current State laws, regulations, and policies that impede the access of Arkansans to postsecondary education. Upon identification, NGA will assist the State team in the development of specific strategies to address the barriers.

The ongoing work of this group represents an excellent first step towards the removal of the current barriers existing among Arkansas' workforce entities and, with the Governor's full support, the appropriate actions will be taken for the removal of these barriers.

Arkansas' participation in the National governor's Association's (NGA) Pathways to Advancement initiative required the establishment of Home Teams. These teams are responsible for initiating system change by helping multiple agencies and institutions work together.

NGA required all participating slates to develop a team of five to eight senior executives from relevant slate agencies, educational institutions, private non-profit and business organizations. Team members must include a senior-level representative from the Governor's Office.

One of the missions of these Home Teams is to review current federal, state and institutional support programs for potential gaps in accessibility to childcare, healthcare, and transportation, and possibly develop state policy options for addressing any gaps.

We believe that this represents an excellent opportunity to identify and address impediments to the ongoing development of the State's workforce system.

The membership of the oversight board for the State's TANF program includes several state agencies. The board routinely examines policies and procedures that could be changed to improve service delivery. In addition, when the Arkansas Legislature meets every two years, these agencies work together with legislators to propose legislation designed to enhance State laws.

J. Describe how the State will take advantage of the flexibility provisions in WIA for waivers and the option to obtain approval as a workflex State pursuant to §189(i) and § 192.

The State wishes to apply for the following waiver options for PY 2005 in an effort to maximize the service delivery of WIA in the state.

* Section 122(d) of WIA requires that training providers submit verifiable program-specific information on the outcomes of all individuals and WIA participants who have attended the training program when applying for subsequent eligibility. Section 122 also stipulates that the information submitted must meet minimum levels set by the State. Currently, most of Arkansas* training providers have entered into the subsequent eligibility portion of this process. However, many of them, especially the two and four-year public colleges, have found it difficult or impossible to collect the required data due to the different reporting requirements for the Department of Education and WIA. This has caused many schools to be disqualified as Eligible Training Providers in Arkansas or to quit participating in the process. DWS attempted to assist the schools in obtaining the necessary information for subsequent eligibility by matching student social security numbers with Unemployment Insurance wage records. Due to the FERPA law and the realization that not all schools collect and/or use actual social security numbers for enrollment, the process was not successful. The few training providers who do collect the required data have also found it difficult to meet the State minimum levels. In many instances, one poor WIA performer has disqualified a program because of the small number of WIA participants served by the program.

Therefore, in order to maintain an adequate number of training providers and programs on the Eligible Training Provider List. Arkansas is requesting to have initial eligibility reinstated and waive Section 122(c) and (d) that requires subsequent eligibility.

* The State of Arkansas wishes to exercise the waiver option by allowing the transfer of funds between the adult and dislocated worker funding stream to be raised from 20% to 40%. This would greatly benefit local workforce areas in more-effectively responding to significant plant closures or layoffs, better serving the needs of their demographic area population.

* The State wishes to extend our current waiver Permitting Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) for Youth. The current approved waiver ends June 30, 2005.

* The State of Arkansas is seeking additional flexibility through the waiver process to meet employer demands for incumbent worker training. Accordingly, the Slate is requesting a waiver of the language that limits the authority to provide the activities identified in WIA Sections 129(b) and 134 to the State level.

While WIA allows Incumbent Worker Training Programs to be funded at the State level, we believe the opportunity to accelerate Incumbent Worker Training activities would be of considerable benefit to those Arkansas employers in urgent need of more highly-skilled employees in order to effectively compete in today's marketplace. Without such funding assistance, some of these employers might well succumb to such competitive pressures, and the jobs these employers provide in the local areas would be lost.

This waiver would permit local areas, on a voluntary basis, to request to use up to 10% of local area adult and dislocated worker formula allocation funds to provide Incumbent Worker Training, a state wide employment and training activity. Local Areas will be expected to track these formula funds by funding stream.

VI. Describe major State policies and requirements that have been established to direct and support the development of a Statewide workforce investment system not described elsewhere in this Plan as outlined below. (§ 112(b)(2) )
A. What State policies and systems are in place to support common data collection and reporting processes, information management, integrated service delivery, and performance management? (§§ 111(d) (2) and 112(b)(8)(B))

Two of the significant efforts by Arkansas during 2004 and 2005 to support common data collection and reporting, information management, integrated service delivery, and performance management resulted from Arkansas' participation in the National Governors' Association Pathways to Advancement Policy Academy and from the selection of a new One-Stop operating system for the State. Please see Section IV, I. and J., for a discussion of the policies resulting from the Policy Academy. As part of Goal 1, Strategy 3, a data collection plan has been developed that matches data from the Departments of Higher Education, Workforce Education, and Workforce Services, along with some data from individual training institutions and program operators. The data are used to provide a picture of whether Arkansas is achieving its overall workforce development goals.

The One-Stop operating system and its use by partners are described in Section X.

A. The system was selected by a learn representing the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, Department of Workforce Services, Department of Workforce Education's Adult Education, Department of Workforce Education's Rehabilitation Services, Department of Human Services' Division of County Operations, the Transitional Employment Board, and Arkansas' Chief Information Officer. Data and reporting needs were gathered through fact finding meetings and on-site reviews of Arkansas Workforce Centers. Representatives of Workforce Centers, including WIA and Employment Service experts, and persons familiar with the needs of unemployment insurance, TAA, financial management, labor market information, eligible training provider system, and partner programs participated in evaluating the three candidate systems and selecting the America's Job Link Alliance system (called Arkansas Job Link in Arkansas).
B. What State policies are in place that promote efficient use of administrative resources such as requiring more co-location and fewer affiliate sites in local One-Stop systems to eliminate duplicative facility and operational costs or to require a single administrative structure at the local level to support local boards and to be the fiscal agent for WIA funds to avoid duplicative administrative costs that could otherwise be used for service delivery and training? (§§ 111(d) (2) and 112(b) (8) (A))

The Arkansas Workforce Center certification policy addresses the issue of co-location and the use of satellite and affiliate centers. As a statewide system, Arkansas Workforce Centers cover metropolitan areas as well as rural areas. Therefore, different types of centers are required in order to meet customer needs, ensure statewide coverage, and provide easy access to services. The overall Arkansas workforce development system is a combination of a wide array of public and private resources and programs.

Comprehensive Arkansas Workforce Centers are the cornerstones of information and access to these resources. The comprehensive centers are complemented by satellite and affiliate centers that provide broader access but more limited on-site services offering connections back to the comprehensive sites

The certification policy requires the local workforce investment board to prepare a business plan for each workforce center that will identify the available products and services, the organizational structure, an operational and financial plan including cost allocations, staff development training, marketing strategies, and other related information necessary to operate an Arkansas Workforce Center.

A state policy requiring a single administrative structure at the local level has not been necessary as all ten local workforce investment areas in Arkansas have chosen a single organization to serve as the administrative and fiscal agent for the area.

C. What State policies are in place to promote universal access and consistency of service Statewide? (§112(b) (2))

The Arkansas Workforce I nvestment Board approved the Arkansas Workforce Center Certification Criteria in January 2004. This critical policy mandates not only universal access but also consistency of services.

A significant key lo implementing the Arkansas Workforce Center system was the "no wrong door" approach to providing services that encompass the principles of universal access, integration, co-location, collaboration, and performance as the building blocks to the system. With the "no wrong door" philosophy, any Arkansas Workforce Center partner can provide assistance with employment and training or services in support of the customer's job search or skill development. The customer is able to access the best mix of services from the combined menu of all partners' resources, and gain immediate access to the appropriate next step.

The Department of Human Services, Division of County Operations case workers are co-localed in some of the local Workforce Centers so that an individual can apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANK), Food Stamps, and Medicaid assistance. Recent State legislation transfers responsibility for TANF case management activities to the Department of Workforce Services, the recipient of the Department of Labor funds for the Workforce Investment Act System. This change increases the number of staff members available in the local Workforce Centers and the services offered to those who enter the workforce system.

The certification site lo bear the Arkansas Workforce Center name involves implementing the core standards. The local WIB is the agent charged with substantiating, implementing, and monitoring the standards. These standards are based on the business plan model for continuous improvement. The Arkansas Workforce Center Certification Criteria may be found at the following website: http://www.arworks.org/pdfs/CertificationFinal.pdf

D. What policies support a demand-driven approach, as described in Part I. "Demand-Driven Workforce Investment System," to workforce development, such as training on the economy and labor market data for local Board and One-Stop Career Center staff? (§§ 112(b) (4) and 112(b) (17)(A)(iv))

As part of the plan developed through the Pathways to Advancement Policy Academy, State agencies have agreed to use a common method to identify high demand occupations and industries and to use the resulting list to target training. The core list is developed by the Department of Workforce Services' Labor Market Information section, and is supplemented by data from the Arkansas Department of Economic Development and the nationally identified Education Career Clusters and U.S. Department of Labor's High Growth Employment initiatives.

All other initiatives of the Labor Market Information section are addressed in Section IV.

E. What policies are in place to ensure that the resources available through the Federal and/or State apprenticeship programs and the Job Corps are fully integrated with the State's One-Stop delivery system? (§ 112 )(b)(17)(A)(iv))

The State ensures that the resources available through apprenticeship programs and the Job Corps are integrated into the local One-Stop systems by coordinating programs through representation on the State Board, Local Boards, Youth Councils, and the newly created state collaborative team focusing on serving the State's youth. Job Corps plays a key role on local boards and youth councils and was represented at the inaugural meeting of the State youth collaborative team. The collaborative team (which also has representatives from local workforce boards and one-stop operators) has committed to becoming a formalized entity with goals to serve the State's most needy youth by freely sharing information and resources lo provide and sustain a comprehensive system.

The State Board WIA Youth Coordinator collaborates with the Arkansas Slate Director of Bureau of Apprenticeship Training and attends monthly meetings of the Arkansas Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee. In October 2004, the WIA State Youth Coordinator and the Arkansas State Director of Bureau of Apprenticeship Training partnered as State representatives for a national apprenticeship information exchange workgroup meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, to better understand both systems and build relationships.

VII. Describe the actions the State has taken to ensure an integrated One-Stop service delivery system Statewide. (§§ 112(b) (14) and 121))
A. What State policies and procedures are in place to ensure the quality of service delivery through One-Stop Centers such as development of minimum guidelines for operating comprehensive One-Stop Centers, competencies for One-Stop Career Center staff or development of a certification process for One-Stop Centers? (§ 112(b) (14).)
B. What policies or guidance has the State issued to support maximum integration of service delivery through the One-Stop delivery system for both business customers and individual customers? (s112(b) (14).)

The Arkansas Workforce Center Certification criteria approved by the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board provide guidance on the integration of service delivery within the Arkansas Workforce Center network, for an Arkansas Workforce Center to be considered for certification, the One-Slop operator, with the mandated and optional partners, will be required to jointly prepare an Arkansas Workforce Center site business plan. The business plan will identify the available products and services, the organizational structure, an operational and financial plan including cost allocations, staff development training, marketing strategics, and other related information necessary to operate an Arkansas Workforce Center. The review and approval of that plan by the local Workforce Investment Board will prevent duplication of services and provide for the inclusion of all partners.

It should be noted that Appendix C of the criteria is a Code of Professional Ethics and Practices, which every workforce center employee must sign on an annual basis. This code serves as a reminder that a One-Stop Center is a service organization and that job seekers and employer clients deserve the best efforts.

C. What actions has the State taken to promote identifying One-Stop infrastructure costs and developing models or strategies for local use that support integration? (§ 112(b) (14))

According to the State criteria issued for certification of Arkansas Workforce Centers, partners are required to share costs of the centers consistent with their on-site staffing participation on a square footage basis. The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board ensures that all partners at the State level understand and fully participate in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Cost Allocation process. The square footage basis is used to allocate the space used directly by staff, and for the allocation of shared space and other shared operating costs that may include cash and in-kind products and services. Staff time used in common areas is considered as an in-kind contribution.

The local WiB is responsible for overseeing partner cost-sharing commitments and for renegotiating commitments when needed. The One-Stop operator will be responsible for notifying the local WIB when commitments are not being implemented or when commitments need to be renegotiated. Partners are accountable for adherence to the cost allocation memorandum of understanding, and the business plan implementation. The local WIB is responsible for negotiation and the enforcement of partner commitments as needed, including seeking assistance from the Arkansas WIB with State-level commitments when appropriate.

The MOU and cost allocation templates are provided as Appendices D and E of the Arkansas Workforce Center Certification policy and are used to standardize procedures throughout the State.

D. How does the State use the funds reserved for Statewide activities pursuant to (§§ 129(b) (2)(B) and 134(a)(2)(B)(v)) to assist in the establishment and operation of One-Stop delivery systems? (§ 112(b) (14))

Since the inception of WIA, the State Board has invested 15% statewide funds toward establishment and operation of the One-Stop System. The funds are earmarked for a major One-Stop outreach effort designed to inform the general public about the existence and locations of centers, One-Stop staff certification, One-Stop infrastructure improvements, One-Stop signage, and numerous training sessions for One-Stop staff to assist in the delivery of services.

Additionally, investments are made in Arkansas' labor market information to provide local one-stop systems with better access to relevant economic analysis and labor market information critical in developing a demand-driven system,

E. How does the State ensure the full spectrum of assets in the One-Stop delivery system support human capital solutions for businesses and individual customers broadly? (§ 112(b) (14).)

Arkansas is developing a system that will ensure that One-Stop services are expanding and reaching all customers in the State. The goal is to meet the needs of the public workforce system by providing the human capital investment necessary for businesses and industries to flourish through the successful integration of workforce services. With the Governor's new priorities for Arkansas and the Workforce Investment Board, strategics are being developed to provide more guidance and identify additional vehicles of support for the public workforce system. The State Board has assigned each board member to an ad hoc committee dedicated to each of the five priorities. These committees will determine their vision, mission, goals, and develop action plans to accomplish the Governor's priorities in 2005-06.

Each local workforce investment area is required to develop business liaison learns, and State staff business relations team representatives will work closely with other slate and local area staffs to identify local priorities, high growth industries, and declining or emerging industries for increased and more effective delivery of customer services.

Unemployment Insurance wage records. However, the attempts proved unsuccessful. Secondly, schools that have the required data have found it difficult to meet the State minimum levels. In many instances, one poor W1A performer has disqualified a program because of the small number of W1A participants served by the program. In other instances, a provider has met or exceeded minimum State levels in all but one category and is disqualified. Therefore, in order to maintain an adequate number of training providers and programs on the ETP list, the State requires that a training provider must meet minimum State levels of performance only for a portion of the performance measures that they report. Local boards have the authority to increase the levels of performance required by the State, and require additional verifiable program-specific information from training providers for eligibility.

Despite the efforts mentioned above, Arkansas is quickly losing training providers from the ETP list. For this reason, the State requests a waiver of WIA Section 122(c) and (d) and initial eligibility reinstated. Sec Section X.C.

2. Describe how the State solicited recommendations from local boards and training providers and interested members of the public, including representatives of business and labor organizations, in the development of these policies and procedures.

Arkansas' ETP policy, listing the minimum levels for provider performance, was developed through workgroups made of representatives from local boards, training providers, private businesses, and other State agencies. The Department of Workforce Services staff meets with local board staff to address and resolve issues pertaining to recommendations. Per State requirements, interested members of the public and business community have a 30-day period for submitting comments from the date the public notice was printed and/or made available for public comment.

3. How will the State maintain the State's eligible training provider list?

The DWS administers the ETP list through the Arkansas Consumer Report System (ACRS) web site available at http://www.arkansascrs.org

The general workflow process through ACRS is as follows:

* A training provider submits an application on-line. The application is screened for minimum State requirements (i.e., completeness of cost and performance information and relation of training to an employment opportunity) and assigned a status of "Pending". The local board is automatically notified of the pending application.

* The local board evaluates the application and assigns a status of "Approved" or "Disapproved". The training provider is automatically notified of the status.

* Approved applications are published on the ETP list immediately upon designation.

4. Describe the procedures the Governor has established for providers of training services to appeal a denial of eligibility by the local board or the designated State agency, a termination of eligibility or other action by the board or agency, or a denial of eligibility by a One-Stop operator. Such procedures must include the opportunity for a hearing and time limits to ensure prompt resolution.

Arkansas' ETP appeals procedure is included in its entirety and presented as Attachment D to this document.

5. Describe the competitive and non-competitive processes that will be used at the State level to award grants and contracts for activities under title I of WIA, including how potential bidders are being made aware of the availability of grants and contracts. (§ 112(b) (16).)

Arkansas utilizes the procurement law governing all State agencies to award competitive and non-competitive contracts participating with any federal or State funds. Additionally, Arkansas follows State policy to include specific guidance and procedures outlined in the State Administrative Procedures Act. The primary method of competitive bidding for contracts generally is referred to as the Request for Proposal (RFP). Potential bidders are made aware of funding available for competitive bid through the notification process required by law and regulation. The availability of competitive grants is advertised on the Stale Board website, and through public notices mailed to interested parties.

6. Identify the criteria to be used by local boards in awarding grants for youth activities, including criteria that the Governor and local boards will use to identify effective and ineffective youth activities and providers of such activities. (§ 112(b) (18) (B))

Arkansas has developed a plan for youth activities designed to ensure that a comprehensive array of services and community resources will be available to all eligible youth. Arkansas' Strategic Five-Year Plan for WIA provides guidance to Local Boards on criteria to be used in identifying effective providers and youth activities. These criteria were developed collaboratively during the original WIA planning process and are used by Local Boards as guidance in developing their own criteria tor competitively awarding grants for youth activities.

In accordance with Section 123 of the WIA, Local Boards identify eligible providers of youth activities and awards are granted on the recommendations of the youth councils and criteria established by the State Board. Youth councils are responsible for the design of a comprehensive program of services to eligible youth in each local area in compliance with the WIA and Arkansas Act 1125 of 1999. Funds for youth activities are provided in accordance with Section 129 of the WIA.

Beyond the current criteria that Local Boards and their youth councils use in identifying effective youth providers and activities, the Department of Labor's new strategic vision recognizes that targeted youth are a vital segment of the new workforce. It notes that WIA-ftinded Youth programs must provide youth with quality secondary and postsecondary education and prepare them for entry into positions in high-growth industries and other employment opportunities.

As both the Department of Labor and State of Arkansas continue to develop their new youth vision, additional criteria and guidance for Local Boards and their youth councils will be identified and provided to Local Boards. These additional criteria will emphasize service in following specific areas:

* alternative education, meeting the demands of business in a high-growth economy;

* youth most in need; and

* improved performance (based upon the national implementation of simplified, common measures).

H. One-Stop Policies (§112(D)(14))
1. How will the services provided by each of the required and optional One-Stop partners be coordinated and made available through the One-Stop system. Include how the State will consolidate Wagner-Peyser Act funds to avoid duplication of core services. (§ 112(b) (8) (A).)

The State's strategy to ensure services are provided by each of the required and optional One-Stop partners through local One-Stop systems is discussed in Section IX. A.I., "One-Stop Delivery Strategies." The State has provided guidance and technical assistance to local workforce investment areas to ensure that Wagner-Peyser services are delivered through local One-Stop systems in ways that minimize duplication of services and costs. The State is exploring ways to cross-train one-stop staff to deliver core services utilizing the state's integrated management information system so as not to duplicate services.

2. Describe how the State helps local areas identify areas needing improvement and how technical assistance will be provided.

The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board (AWIB) and the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) cooperatively assist Local Boards in identifying areas needing improvement through fiscal, program, and governance compliance monitoring. When areas needing improvement are identified through monitoring by the Department of Workforce Services, they are communicated to the AWIB. The two agencies coordinate the provision of technical assistance based upon the identified need according to die WIA Responsibilities Agreement between the agencies. Technical assistance is provided to the Local Areas in developing and implementing corrective action strategies by one or both agencies. Technical assistance and policy guidance also is provided through the DWS Issuance and Informational Memorandum system.

The AWIB offers capacity-building resources through educational workshops and workforce conferences involving all one-stop partners. The State is committed to continually improving State-level technical assistance and capacity building.

3. Identify any additional State mandated One-Stop partners (such as TANF or Food Stamp Employment and Training) and how their programs and services are integrated into the One-Stop Career Centers.

The State has not mandated any additional One-Stop partners. However, the Arkansas State Legislature in the 2005 legislative session, with the Governor's support, passed legislation moving the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant from the Arkansas Department of Human Services to the Department of Workforce Services. The intent of the move was to expedite the delivery of employment related services to Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) clients, and increase the overall work participation rate for this target group. It is our expectation that the synergy generated by this centralization of similar functions untimely will benefit the Arkansas* job seekers, those with and without barriers. It is the intent of the Arkansas Department of Human Services that the TANF program will be more fully integrated into the Arkansas Workforce Center system.

Additionally, although the TANF and Food Stamp programs are not a mandated One-Stop partner, case workers arc located in selected Workforce Centers assisting in efforts to determine eligibility for cash assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid. There is a desire to expand the number of locations where case workers are co-located.

I. Oversight/Monitoring Process -- Describe the monitoring and oversight criteria and procedures the State utilizes to move the system toward the State's vision and achieve the goals identified above, such as the use of mystery shoppers, performance agreements. (§ 112(b) (14))

The Slate conducts annual on-site compliance reviews of programmatic, financial, procurement, one-stop certification/delivery system, equal opportunity and ADA requirements. Corrective actions, including training and technical assistance are required and provided as a result of any findings or problems in the delivery of services.

Monitoring procedures and a monitoring instrument are used to perform the annual on-site reviews. Currently, these documents are being revised to accommodate and include the monitoring/oversight and evaluation requirements of all federally-funded programs that are under the direction of the Department of Workforce Services and the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board (AW1B) as they are developed in accordance with the requirements of the Workforce Investment Act, the Federal Regulations, U. S. Department of Labor guidance, and State requirements.

Through continued monitoring and performance evaluations, the Stale provides technical assistance to the Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIA) to assist in the improvement of performance and to achieve the overall goals of the workforce development system. Where warranted, the State, in coordination with the LWIA operators, develops policy and necessary policy revisions for use in local operations.

The Stale requires the LWIA to implement a monitoring, evaluation, and corrective active system. Local areas must put into place a system of sound fiscal policies, monitoring, and corrective action similar to that of the stale system in order to ensure that all funds received are spent in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and direction of the state and local workforce investment boards.

J. Grievance Procedures. (§§ 122(g) and 181(cc) ) Attach a copy of the State's grievance procedures for participants and other affected parties (including service providers.)

See Attachment D

K. Describe the following State policies or procedures that have been developed to facilitate effective local workforce investment systems (§§ 112(b) (17) (A) and 112 (b)(2))
1. State guidelines for the selection of One-Stop providers by local boards

One-Slop operators are responsible for administering the Arkansas Workforce Centers. Their roles may range from simply coordinating service providers in the center lo being the primary provider of services at the center. The role is determined by the local board. In areas where there is more than one comprehensive One-Stop center, there may be separate operators tor each center or one operator for multiple centers, depending on need. The operator may be selected by the local board through a competitive process, or the Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) may designate a consortium that includes three or more required One-Stop partners as an operator. The LWIB itself may not serve as a One-Stop operator except with the consent of the chief elected official(s) of the local workforce investment area and the Governor.

One-Stop operators are the entities selected by the local boards that perform the role agreed to by the local board. The agreement between the local board and the One-Stop operator must specify the operator's role. That role may range from simply coordinating service providers within the center to being the primary provider of services within the center. (WIA sec. 121(d) )

Per State requirement, entities selected to be the One-Stop operators include:

* Post-secondary educational institutions

* Employment service agency established under the Wagner-Peyser Act on behalf of the local office of the agency

* Private, nonprofit organizations (including community-based organizations)

* Private for-profit entities

* Government agencies

* Other interested organizations or entities, as applicable

The local workforce investment board, with the agreement of the chief elected official(s), must designate and certify One-Stop operators in the local workforce investment area. The One-Stop operator is designated either through a competitive process or under an agreement between the local board and a consortium of entities that includes at least three or more of the required One-Stop partners identified at WIA Section 121(d).

The local board may be designated or certified as the One-Stop operator only with the agreement of the chief elected official(s) and the Governor. The designation or certification must be made publicly, in accordance with the requirements of the 'Sunshine Provision" in WIA section 117(e), and must be reviewed whenever the biennial certification of the local board is made under 20 CFR 663.300(a). (WIA sec. 117(0(2))

2. Procedures to resolve impasse situations at the local level in developing memoranda of understanding (MOUs) to ensure full participation of all required partners in the One-Stop delivery system

To ensure that Local Areas comply with the notification and sanction provisions specified in 20 OTl 662.310(b) and (c) addressing non-signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the State issues a directive intended to remind Local Areas and their required One-Stop partners of their responsibility to inform the State Board and the State agency responsible for administering the partner program. The directive also addresses the sanctions provided in the WIA regulations for failure to execute an MOU.

Arkansas shall employ the process described in §662.310 (b) for resolving an impasse between a local Workforce Investment Board and any local One-Stop partners. Specifically:

a) The Local Workforce Investment Board and their local partners must enter into good faith negotiations in an effort to negotiate an MOU.
b) If an impasse occurs, the negotiating parties must seek the assistance of the appropriate state agency in an effort to resolve the impasse situation.
c) If resolution is not reached, the negotiating parties will be required to present their issue to the State Board, which will attempt to mediate the dispute and assist the parties in arriving at a resolution.
d) If the State Board is unable to facilitate a successful resolution to the impasse, the Governor and the State agency responsible for administering the partner's program will be notified.
e) The Governor, the State agency, and the State Board may consult the appropriate Federal agency to resolve the impasse.
f) If resolution is not reached, the impasse will be reported to the Secretary of Labor and the head of any other Federal agency with responsibility for oversight of a partner's program.
g) Sanctions will be imposed on the board and/or partner program as specified in §662.310 (c).

The State also ensures that all impasse notifications are conveyed to the Department of Labor and other appropriate federal agencies.

3. Criteria by which the State will determine if local Boards can run programs in-house

The Arkansas Workforce investment Board, acting on behalf of the Governor, has chosen to prohibit local boards from running WIA programs in-house. At its July 11, 2000 regular quarterly meeting, the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board made the decision that the state would adhere to Federal and state WIA law by determining that it is not in the best interests of the State for local WIA administrators to be granted a waiver to provide core and/or intensive services and/or to be a one-stop operator. The issue has been debated in-depth since waiver requests were submitted by select local workforce areas. During these processes, public comments have been solicited prior to an open forum discussion with local elected officials. Should this be a consideration at a later date, the AW1B will submit this issue in the form of a waiver request from the Governor to the Department of Labor.

4. Performance information that on-the-job training (OJT) and customized training providers must provide

As allowed under the WIA Section 122(h) (1), the State has excluded OJT and customized training providers from the reporting requirements of the Eligible Training Provider List. The State has not established separate data collection requirements for these providers.

5. Reallocation policies

Recapture and Reallocation Policies and Procedures were approved by the State Workforce Investment Board and issued effective July 1, 2002. These policies apply to all funding streams under WIA (Youth, Adult, Dislocated Worker). This issuance provides background for the reallocation requirements of WIA and provides examples and instructions on the recapture and reallocation processes. It also addresses the effect of recapture of funds on administrative funds maintained at the local area.

6. State policies for approving local requests for authority to transfer funds (not to exceed 20%) between the Adult and Dislocated Worker funding streams at the local level

Arkansas has requested in this document for approval of the Workflex provision, and will be requesting a waiver so that the allowance for transfer of funds between Adult and Dislocated Worker funding streams may be raised to 40%.

7. Policies related to displaced homemakers, nontraditional training for low-income individuals, older workers, low-income individuals, disabled individuals and others with multiple barriers to employment and training

Local areas have authority to develop and implement local policy, guidance, procedures, and definitions targeting those services to special participant populations such as displaced homemakers, nontraditional training for low-income individuals, older workers, low income individuals, and others with multiple barriers to employment and training. Limitations on funding also may require that Local Boards establish policies regarding priority of service to specific population groups within the low-income and public assistance recipient categories. Such priority of service policy will be included in local plans.

The State has also committed to addressing the Governor's priorities of improving employment and training opportunities to persons with disabilities, the limited-English proficient, mature workers, and most in-need youth. Additionally, the State encourages collaborative efforts at the local level to address the employment and training needs of welfare recipients, ex-offenders, and other emerging workforce populations. In these cases the collaborations are most likely to succeed with Faith- or Community-Based organization involvement.

Among others, the Department of Human Services is represented on the local Workforce Investment Board. This representation assists in communicating program requirements for the TANF, Food Stamp and Medicaid programs and resolving barriers to recipient issues and services.

8. If you did not delegate this responsibility to local boards, provide your State's definition regarding the sixth youth eligibility criterion at section 101(13) (C)(iv) ("an individual who requires additional assistance to complete an educational program, or to secure and hold employment"). (§§ 112(b) (18) (A) and 20 CFR 664.210 ))

The State delegates the responsibility to local boards for defining the sixth youth eligibility criterion in their local WIA plan, based on local needs.

IX. Service Delivery - Describe the approaches the State will use to provide direction and support to local Boards and the One-Stop Career Center delivery system on the strategic priorities to guide investments, structure business engagement, and inform service delivery approaches for ail customers. (§ 112(b) (17)(A)) Activities could include:
A. One-Stop Service Delivery Strategies: (§§ 112(b) (2) and 111(d) (2))
1. How will the services provided by each of the required and optional One-Stop partners be coordinated and made available through the One-Stop system? (§ 112(b) (8) (A))

The One-Stop delivery system is a system under which entities responsible for administering separate workforce investment, educational, and other human resource programs and funding streams (referred to as One-Stop partners) collaborate to create a seamless system of service delivery that will enhance access to the programs' services and improve long-term employment outcomes for individuals receiving assistance.

As specified in Section 121 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Part 662 of the WIA Regulations, each Arkansas local workforce investment board (LWIB), with the agreement of the chief elected official(s), must develop and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the One-Stop Delivery System between the LWIB and the One-Slop partners consistent with the following requirements and must contain the following basic component:

* The services that will be provided through the One-Stop system. (In Arkansas, centers that provide services through the One-Stop system are called Arkansas Workforce Centers)

* How the costs of services and operating costs will be funded, including cost-sharing strategies and methodologies

* Whai methods will be used for referral of individuals between the One-Stop operator and partners

* How long the MOU will be in effect. An optional partner may withdraw from the MOU by giving written notice of intent at least 60 days in advance.

* What procedures have been developed for amending the MOU

* Other provisions as determined by the local board

Arkansas' planning and development process included extensive discussions with AWC representatives at the Stale and local levels. State-level agency coordination is vital to ensuring that the mandated and necessary mix of partner programs and services meet the needs of the workforce and businesses throughout the State.

State-level coordination includes the following steps:

* Providing local planning guidance that assists Local Boards in facilitating linkages among partner programs and systems;

* Ensuring Slate- and local-level accountability by guiding outcome-based linkages among partner programs and systems; and

* Developing cost sharing options and strategies that will reduce the administrative expenditures of WIA funds while better supporting One-Stop infrastructures and expanded direct services such as training.

The services of the required and optional partners are coordinated in the Arkansas Workforce Centers (AWCs) through the co-location of the partners, the referral system among partners, the cross training for eligibility determination, and the use of common intake forms. In addition, in order for an AWC to become certified, the partners of the AWCs are required to submit a business plan outlining the operational structure and describe quantified and measurable goals for the center as a whole. The plan also identifies how the partners will assist each other in meeting the individual performance standards of each organization and funding source.

The Labor Market Information and Analysis section of the Department of Workforce Services and other AWC partners provide informational resources through the AWC resource rooms. The resource rooms are Americans with Disability Act compliant and provide access to information via Internet, printed publications, videos, and other information delivering methods for job seeking or career changing clients. The resource rooms also act as an information clearinghouse for employers.

2. How are youth formula programs funded under (§ 128(b) (2) (A)) integrated in the One-Stop system?

In Arkansas' locally driven workforce system, the Local Boards, in partnership with their youth councils, develop and enhance relationships with local agencies and service providers to ensure that the necessary services are available to eligible youth through their One-Stop systems.

Local Boards also are encouraged lo work in conjunction with their CEOs to appoint a comprehensive array of representatives from local youth service providers, parents, supportive service organizations, and other interested parties to their local youth councils.

3. What minimum service delivery requirements does the State mandate in a comprehensive One-Stop Centers or an affiliate site?

A Comprehensive Arkansas Workforce Center is the physical location where, at a minimum, all the core services of the required programs will be available (if partner/program services are provided in the workforce area). Employment Services, Adult and Dislocated Worker Services, and Veteran's Services must be accessible on site on a full time basis in order to be considered comprehensive. The center will have a business liaison team as the single point of contact for business services. Additionally, job search or job development leads performed by any partner will be entered into database.

Satellite Centers are locations in which five or more programs are delivering services, providing access to the web-based system, and providing staff assistance to customers. Each satellite center must be part of a comprehensive center's business plan, and must have a minimum of five programs, two of which must be mandated WIA programs, providing services on a full lime basis.

Affiliate Sites must be tied to a comprehensive center's business plan, must have hardware, software, and Internet access at minimum, and must provide information about services available at the comprehensive center.

4. What tools and products has the State developed to support service delivery in all One-Stop Centers Statewide?

Each local workforce investment area is required to have at least one comprehensive center with an ADA compliant resource room. Tools within the resource room include computers with Internet access, fax machines, and telephones. The computers may be used by job seekers to search websites for job openings, post resumes with selected employers, access resume writing assistance, practice computer applications, and find information about the labor market and skill requirements through several State sponsored websites.

Tools and products developed to ensure service delivery to employers include the recently constructed Arkansas Job Link, a web-based service that is designed to allow employers to post job openings on their own. One particularly valuable web based resource is www.discoverarkansas.net

In addition, each workforce investment area is required to maintain a website linking partner services, labor market information and service delivery information. Local areas often include links to resources for business/industry to find information regarding labor and immigration law and human resources information.

5. What models/templates/approaches does the State recommend and/or mandate for service delivery in the One-Stop Centers? for example, do all One-Stop Centers have a uniform method of organizing their service delivery to business customers? Is there a common individual assessment process utilized in every One-Stop Center? Are all One-Stop Centers required to have a resource center that is open to anyone?

The Arkansas Workforce Center Certification Criteria manual provides guidance to local workforce investment boards on the core standards required in the development of the Arkansas Workforce Centers and the standards of excellence to be achieved. The goal of this policy guidance is to develop a world-class workforce center network that goes well beyond the minimal requirements established by the federal Workforce Investment Act It is critical to make the centers user friendly and attractive, creating a public image that is inviting to job seekers, education seekers, and employers seeking skills and talent in the local labor markets.

This manual brings all the tools approved by the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board (WIB) into a single reference for Local Workforce Investment Boards, the certifying agents of the Arkansas Workforce Centers. The intent of the Arkansas WIB in creating this is to provide a guide to what is expected, not to provide the means of accomplishing it. Ongoing organization, implementation, and continuous improvement assurance of the local certification process are the responsibility of the local WTB. This certification manual describes only the expectations and minimum requirements of the AWC's but does not provide a means for accomplishing the task of seamless delivery of services. As mentioned earlier the partners within the AWC must create a business plan that describes how each is a part of the integrated system.

The certification process promotes excellence and continuous improvement. This certification process serves as an opportunity to continually re-examine, improve, and revise procedures to ensure that the Arkansas workforce development system is a primary asset in Arkansas' economic growth and subsequent high quality of life.

B. Workforce Information - A fundamental component of a demand-driven workforce investment system is the integration and application of the best available State and local workforce information including, but not limited to, economic data, labor market information, census data, private sources of workforce information produced by trade associations and others, educational data, job vacancy surveys, transactional data from job boards, and information obtained directly from businesses. (§§111(d)(8), 112(b) (1), and 134(d) (2)(E))
1. Describe how the State will integrate workforce information into its planning and decision making at the State and local level, including State and local Boards, One-Stop operations, and case manager guidance.

The local workforce investment areas often have distinct labor market needs and for this reason representatives from economic development, education, business and industry, and the workforce system were consulted as the Department of Workforce Services' Labor Market Information section developed the area specific occupation demand lists. Allowable Title I-funded training programs correspond to these lists. Through that relationship, the local boards are able to promote skill attainment in areas of growth or need

The State also is involved in identifying the high growth industries of the state in an attempt to plan education, certification, and career selection strategies for job seekers who access the services of the Arkansas Workforce Centers.

Through the partnerships under the Workforce Investment Act, along with voluntary partners such as the University of Arkansas Institute for Economic Advancement, census data, business and industry surveys, and labor market information are analyzed for areas of greatest need and customized services.

The State board has established ad hoc committees to focus on each of the Governor's priorities. Those priorities, with high growth job training as the overarching initiative, focus on providing a steady pipeline of qualified workers to Arkansas' employers. The State board uses the information and analysis from the partnerships to plan the budget and strategies of the board to ensure the success of this demand driven workforce system.

2. Describe the approach the State will use to disseminate accurate and timely workforce information to businesses, job seekers, and employment counselors, in easy to use formats that are readily accessible within One-Stop Career Centers and at remote locations such as libraries, schools, worksites, and at home.

Arkansas provides accurate, timely state and local workforce information to employers, job seekers, students, economic developers, researchers, analysts, and employment counselors. The information, including economic data, labor market information, census data, educational data, job information and career information, is provided through an Internet-based web site called "Discover Arkansas".

The web site has specially designed portal pages with information pertaining to business, education, industries, jobs, occupations, labor market information, and career information. Labor Market publications and articles are available on-line and can be easily downloaded and printed. Customized data requests may be made through the interactive data analysis pages of the web site. Web site help is available either by phone or via e-mail.

As mentioned earlier the AWC resource rooms serve as a clearinghouse for workforce information for businesses and labor market information for job seekers and those wishing to change careers.

3. Describe how the State's Workforce Information Core Products and Services Plan is aligned with the WIA State Plan to ensure that the investments in core products and services support the State's overall strategic direction for workforce investment.

The Labor Market Information and Analysis section has aligned Arkansas' Workforce Information Core Products and Services Plan with the Arkansas' Workforce Investment Board's Two Year Plan, supporting our overall strategic direction for workforce investment. The grant plan is designed to respond to the State Board's strategic direction. Workforce information is the key to supporting informed choice in the workforce development system. The State's core products and services are directly responsive to the needs of the workforce system and the State will:

* Continue to populate the ALMIS database with state data. The database is incorporated with DWS's LM1 web site called "Discover Arkansas". The most current information is maintained in the ALMIS database and displayed on the "Discover Arkansas" web site.

* Produce and Disseminate Industry and Occupational Employment Projections. Short-term and long-term industry and occupational employment projections reflect industry and occupational trends essential to career and program planning and are produced for both the State and for Local Workforce Investment Areas.

* Provide occupational and career information products for public use. The Occupational/Career Information staff produces and disseminates many customer-focused occupational and career information products. All products may be found on the "Discover Arkansas" web site. Products include:

* Projected Employment Opportunities List

* Occupational Employment and Wage Data Publication

* Arkansas Affirmative Action Data

* The Future Awaits

* Career Watch magazine

* Career Video CDs

* Top Ten Occupations By Educational Level CDs

* Directory of Licensed Occupations

* Long-Term Industry and Occupational Projections

* Short-Term Industry and Occupational Projections

* Labor Market Information Resources

* Occupational Outlook Handbook-support and distribution

* Ensure that workforce information and support required by State and Local Workforce Investment Boards are provided. This is done through meetings with the Local Workforce Investment Board's staff to determine localized needs, provide training, provide input on existing and innovative LMI products and measure consumer service. Quarterly meetings are held with Local Board staff to examine problems and offer solutions to information questions. To meet the standards of the Local Boards, quarterly meetings are held with Local Board's staff to examine problems and offer solutions to informational questions.

* Maintain electronic delivery systems such as the following websites:

* www.discover.arkansas.gov - LM1 Portal Site

* www.arkansascrs.ora- Arkansas' Consumer Report System

* www.arkoscar.om- Arkansas' Career Inventory Delivery System

* www.careerwatch.org- Arkansas' Career Magazine

* Support state workforce information training activities. The LMI section holds annual LMI Users conferences to train State and Local WIB and AWC staff members and partners. LMI staff provides training at career fairs, seminars, conferences and other meetings as requested.

4. Describe how State workforce information products and tools are coordinated with the national electronic workforce information tools including America's Career Information Network and Career Voyages.

Arkansas' workforce information web sites include articles and links to the national tools with links to ACINet, Career Voyages, and America's Job Bank. "Discover Arkansas" utilizes America's Job Bank directly within its Occupation search tools. The Director)' of Licensed Occupations tiles are submitted for viewing on ACINet. The State Occupational projections are submitted for viewing on the Career One-Stop and State Occupational Projections web sites. The Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Current Employment Statistics, Local Area Employment Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, and Mass Layoff Statistics data are submitted and displayed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site.

C. Adults and Dislocated Workers
1. Core Services. (§ 112(b) (17) (a) (i))
a. Describe State strategies and policies to ensure adults and dislocated workers have universal access to the minimum required core services as described in § 134(d) (2).

The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board approved the Arkansas Workforce Center Certification Criteria in January 2004, This critical policy mandates not only universal access but also consistency of services.

A significant key to implementing the Arkansas Workforce Center system is me "no wrong door" approach to providing services that encompasses the principles of universal access, integration, co-location, collaboration, and performance as the building blocks to the system. With the "no wrong door" philosophy, when a customer approaches any Arkansas Workforce Center partner requesting assistance with employment and training needs or services in support of the customer's job search or skill development, the customer is able to access the best mix of services from the combined menu of all the resources provided by any of the partners, and gain immediate access to the appropriate nexi step.

b. Describe how the State will ensure the three-tiered service delivery strategy for labor exchange services for job seekers and employers authorized by the Wagner-Peyser Act, including (1) self-service, (2) facilitated self-help service, and (3) staff-assisted service, and is accessible and available to all customers at the local level.

After Arkansas' new management information system, Arkansas' Job Link (AJL) self-service online component goes live in July 2005, ail clients, applicants, and employers will be able to file applications and job orders on line from home, the office, a local Arkansas Workforce Center, or any other computer with internet access.

Each local office will have a bank of computers available for applicant use to self-file for either employment service (ES) or initial unemployment insurance (Ul) benefits. The employers also will be able to use these computers to self-file job orders. The bank of computers will have an attendant experienced with both ES and UI and will furnish services to all who need assistance with the process.

The local offices will have Wagner-Peyser staff, Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA), Re-employment Grant Staff, and VETS staff available to do direct staff assisted services for the clients who have difficulty with the two prior mentioned features, as well as to perform file searches and call in for specific job orders, and will provide special services to specific groups such as veterans, TEA, etc.

c. Describe how the State will integrate resources provided under the Wagner-Peyser Act and WIA Title I for adults and dislocated workers as well as resources provided by required One-Stop partner programs, to deliver core services.

The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) integrates labor exchange activities with WIA Title I services by strategically locating service points in at least a single comprehensive Arkansas Workforce Center in each Local Area, and in affiliated locations based on community need and funding availability. Local resource sharing agreements, memoranda of understanding, and rents and leases are negotiated with Local Boards and partners to document specific provisions of service based upon local needs. The agreements define roles and responsibilities of partners, identify joint planning for the provision of services to common customers and development of projects that serve identified community needs, and ensure coordination of employer job identification efforts. DWS Area Operation Chiefs and Local Office Managers are authorized to participate on Local Boards and in certain local areas to participate in partner consortiums that act as One-Stop Operators. This helps to ensure the integration of Wagner-Peyser Act services into the local systems. In addition, this job service leadership helps to address other issues related to system integration, collaborative marketing, capacity building, services and staffing, accountability, universal access, and administrative decisions.

Another example of integration of services is the implementation of a new management information system in the Slate that replaces the WIA and Labor Exchange systems. The new system facilitates sharing of client information between the partners. WIA staff is being cross-trained in the labor exchange system to increase the efficiency of workforce center operations by allowing WIA staff to register job seekers and enter job orders into one system.

2. Intensive Services. (§112(b)(17)(a)(i)) Describe State strategies and policies to ensure adults and dislocated workers who meet the criteria in § 134(d) (3) (A) receive intensive services, as defined.

Arkansas' Local Boards provide employment and training activities as required under WIA sections 134(d)(3)(A). The statewide provision of intensive services is built on the principle of informed customer choice and provides an opportunity for customers to make informed choices about available services, allowing access to the full range of education, training, and employment services.

The Arkansas Workforce Center Certification Criteria instrument as approved by Governor Mike Huckabee and the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, is used by local boards to certify all their workforce centers. Very stringent requirements are set out in the instrument to assure that all the services are available and being provided. (The complete certification document is Attachment F to this state plan) As a part of the certification process a chart is developed which lists all intensive services available at that workforce center for participants and employers, the agencies who provide that service in the workforce center, and the funding sources utilized to provide those services. Intensive services available at the Arkansas Workforce Centers include:

Comprehensive and Specialized Assessments of Skills Levels and Service Needs

Individual Employment Plan Development

Group Counseling

Individual Counseling and Career Planning

Case Management for Participants Seeking Training

Short Term Prevocational Services- learning, communications, interviewing, personal maintenance, professional conduct

to prepare individuals for unsubsidized employment or training. It is required that each workforce center be certified as a comprehensive, affiliate, or satellite center at every location in all of the ten workforce investment areas of the state. Recertification of the sites must be conducted every two years by the local boards, using criteria that require continuous improvement as outlined in the standards for excellence developed as part of the certification document.

Additionally, the Stale Board and the DWS develops and issues guidance, as necessary, to clarify the provision of intensive services to participants.

3. Training Services. (§ 112(b) (17) (A) (i))
a. Describe the Governor's vision for increasing training access and opportunities for individuals including the investment of WI A Title I funds and the leveraging of other funds and resources.

The Governor's overall vision for Arkansas' workforce system, as described in Section I, requires the State and Local Boards to seek ways to target limited resources to areas that produce the most efficient use of public funds.

The Governor and the State Board already have directed the use of 15% Discretionary funding towards increased training access and opportunities for individuals in Arkansas' high growth occupations. Additionally, the State Board is establishing committees, based upon the Governor's Priorities, that will work towards advancing workers with barriers to employment (Neediest Youth, Persons with Disabilities, Working Adults).

Local Boards and One-Stop centers are better positioned to convene industry and employer associations, employers, and training entities to best identity current and future employer or industry skill needs in the Governor's priority areas. Using the knowledge gained from these partnerships, One-Stop provide navigate individuals through the various sources of training and support services.

b. Individual Training Accounts:
i. What policy direction has the State provided for ITAs?
ii. Describe innovative training strategies used by the State to fill skills gaps. Include in the discussion the State's effort to broaden the scope and reach of ITAs through partnerships with business, education, economic development, and industry associations and how business and industry involvement is used to drive this strategy.
iii. Discuss the State's plan for committing all or part of WIA Title I funds to training opportunities in high-growth, high-demand and economically vital occupations.
iv. Describe the State's policy for limiting ITAs (e.g., dollar amount or duration)
v. Describe the State's current or planned use of WIA Title I funds for the provision of training through apprenticeship.
vi. Identify State policies developed in response to changes to WIA regulations that permit the use of WIA Title I financial assistance to employ or train participants in religious activities when the assistance is provided indirectly (such as through an ITA). ( 20 CFR § 667.266(b)(1) )

Arkansas* demand-driven workforce investment system provides for maximum local flexibility in the administration of Individual Training Accounts (ITAs). This affords Local Boards control over determining their training needs. Each Local Board is responsible for developing their policies pertaining to:

* Limiting the dollar amount of ITAs, and

* Identifying the appropriate occupational training

Arkansas has not yet developed policy to comply with the changing requirements for permitting the use of WIA Title I financial assistance to employ or train participants in religious activities when the assistance is provided indirectly (such as through an ITA). According to changing WIA requirements, this type of indirect support does not violate WiA regulations as long as program participants are given a genuine, independent choice about where to direct their financial assistance through an ITA. We understand that rules regarding the use of WIA Title 1 financial assistance for the direct support of faith-based organizations have not changed. Direct support occurs when Title I assistance is given directly to a faith-based organization by a WIA grantee. A policy dealing with this matter will be developed and distributed appropriately as soon as possible. Additionally, steps will be taken to assure that potential service providers such as faith-based organizations are made aware of this opportunity.

The Governor supports national direction of applying more funding towards training by eliminating waste and duplication in program costs, and has given priority to the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative.

c. Eligible Training Provider List. Describe the State's process for providing broad customer access to the statewide list of eligible training providers and their performance information including at every One-Stop Career Center. (§ 112(b) (17) (A) (iii))

To ensure maximum access to the One-Stop Career Centers, the eligible training provider list is available for viewing through the Arkansas Consumer Report System web site at http://www.arkansascrs.org. The list may be searched by provider or program name or by the local board of approval. All updates to the list are real-lime.

d. On-the-Job (OJT) and Customized Training (§§ 112(b) (17) (A) (i) and 134(b)) Based on the outline below, describe the State's major directions, policies and requirements related to OJT and customized training.
i. In a narrative format, describe the Governor's vision for increasing training opportunities to individuals through the specific delivery vehicles of OJT and customized training.
ii. Describe how the State:

* Identifies OJT and customized training opportunities;

* Markets the concept as an incentive to untapped employer pools including new business to the State, employer groups;

* Partners with high-growth, high-demand industries and economically vital

* industries to develop potential OJT and customized training strategies;

* Taps business partners to help drive the strategy through joint planning,

* competency and curriculum development; and determining appropriate

* lengths of training, and

* Leverages other resources through education, economic development and industry associations to support OJT and customized training ventures.

The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board does not conduct On-the-Job-Training. Arkansas' workforce investment system gives authority to local Workforce Investment Boards to determine whether Title 1 providers will offer OJT opportunities under training services. The State Board, however, does provide guidance to the Local WIBs regarding OJT contracts and strategics for engaging employers in OJT opportunities. The State Board also works very closely with the Arkansas Department of Economic Development's Customized Training Coordinators to identify and coordinate resources for customized training opportunities.

The State Board is facilitating the grant writing process in several Workforce Investment Areas for Department of Labor investments that require Economic Development, Educators, and Business and Industry to identify the changing skill requirements for both existing and emerging businesses in Arkansas. In addition, the State Board is hosting technical assistance and training seminars in employer services and geographical information systems (GIS) mapping and analysis. OJT and customized training are employer services above and beyond the traditional Wagner-Peyser services that employers have seen in the past. Technical assistance in GIS and census data analysis, coupled with the Labor Market Information that Department of Workforce Services collects, helps the local areas in determining the gaps in training or employer service delivery throughout the stale.

Additionally, the AWIB Incumbent Worker Training Program, an allowable activity for 15% funds, encourages customized training to help support the retention, or expansion, of Arkansas companies,

4. Service to Specific Populations. (§ 112(b) (17) (A) (iv))
a. Describe the State's strategies to ensure that the full range of employment and training programs and services delivered through the State's One-Stop delivery system are accessible to and will meet the needs of dislocated workers, displaced homemakers, low-income individuals such as migrants and seasonal farm workers, women, minorities, individuals training for non-traditional employment, veterans, public assistance recipients and individuals with multiple barriers to employment (including older individuals, people with limited English-speaking proficiency, and people with disabilities.)

Effective Local Boards and their local One-Stop service delivery systems are central to ensuring Arkansas' business and industry have access to an appropriately and continuously prepared workforce. They do so by assisting the State's diverse population in preparing for and accessing occupations that arc in demand, in industries that are vital to Arkansas' economy. The State's demographic diversity presents unique challenges that often result in barriers that may exclude many segments of the population from achieving self-sufficiency.

Four of the five priorities for WIA set by the Governor support the continued and expanded service to these populations.

* Statewide Youth Initiative to address the neediest youth

* Outreach and service delivery for persons with limited English proficiency

* Pathways to Advancement Project that includes strategies to develop and implement specific state policy changes to support the success of career pathway programs and promote access to higher education in general for adult students.

* AARP Workforce Initiative Foundation to promote linkages between mature job seekers and employers

The State uses a tiered approach to ensure that the ftill range of employment and training services is delivered to migrant and seasonal farmworkers. The One-Stop Career System, Migrant Farm Labor Center (MFLC), located at Hope, Arkansas and the Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC), which operates the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP), provide integrated services to the migrant and seasonal farmworker population. Services are provided through local One-Stops, where a large variety of partners, including the NFJP, have input into designing the mix of services and can provide particular knowledge about the needs of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Industry needs, including those of agriculture, also receive special attention.

Although migrant farmworkers are eligible for the full array of services, because of their mobility, services are usually limited to those core and related assistance services needed to help them get to their next destination, which may be other locations in the State. The majority of services provided to the migrant population are available through the MFLC through its cadre of partners. Partners include the MFLC. which is a division of the Department of Workforce Services (DWS); Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC), which operates the NFJP in Arkansas; Hope Migrant/Community Health Center, which disseminates health and medical services; and the Southwest Arkansas Migrant Education Cooperative, which coordinates education services for the children of migrant farmworkers. Additional services also are delivered through the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Migrant Mission, which is also located adjacent to the grounds of the MFLC.

Although employment and training services are available to seasonal farmworkers through the MFLC, a majority of services for this client group are provided through the One-Stop delivery system and/or the AHDC, which provides employment and training services through the One-Stop delivery system and through stand alone offices. All of these services arc coordinated through the One-Stop system and are directed by Memoranda of Understanding between AHDC and the One-Stops, and at the policy level by service of the State Monitor Advocate, who is an employee of the DWS and serves on the AHDC Board of Directors.

The NFJ'P provider is fully integrated into most of the One-Stops as a co-located partner or through computerized means. Service by the NFJP on the Local Workforce Investment Boards also provides numerous opportunities to identify the needs of seasonal farmworkers and to ensure that they are adequately served. Due to meager resources, the members of the One-Slops and LWIB's have been discussing methods to leverage their resources such as through co-enrollments.

The NFJP partner also has been able to help leverage other resources vital to fulfilling the needs of the seasonal and migrant farmworker population. Resources such as pesticide safety education services have been secured through the Environmental Protection Agency, Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, Corporation for National & Community Service, and assistance related to breast care, other cancer and preventing sexually transmitted diseases has been provided by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), through the Centers for Disease Control. A grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and assistance from the larger financial services community has made the provision of financial literacy services and small business development services available to rural communities where seasonal farmworkers are likely to reside. A collaborative relationship between the DWS and AHDC made it possible to secure a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to raze and restore emergency housing at the MFLC and to purchase needed equipment for proper maintenance of the facility and grounds.

The Department of Human Services provides applications and other materials in Spanish and Braille, and interpreter services are available for use by the hearing impaired and those clients who cannot speak English.

b. Describe the reemployment services you will provide to unemployment insurance claimants and the Worker Profiling services provided to claimants identified as most likely to exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits in accordance with section 3(c)(3) of the Wagner-Peyser Act.

Unemployment insurance (UI) claimant profiling establishes a dynamic link between unemployment insurance and the reemployment services systems. As such, the development and implementation of a profiling mechanism should be thought of as the first critical step in the establishment of a customer-focused "profiling and reemployment services system." Profiling is intended to identify Uf claimants who:

* are permanently laid off and are unlikely to return to their previous industry or occupation,

* are likely lo exhaust their regular UI benefits, and

* will need reemployment assistance in order to make a successful transition to new employment.

This early provision of services is designed to shorten claimant unemployment periods and to speed up the return to productive, stable employment. In Arkansas Reemployment Services are offered to Ul profilees in two ways. First, the Department of Workforce Services has four Job Search Workshop Coordinators who schedule and conduct Job Clubs for the profilees, teaching such subjects as how to get your own job, appropriate dress, resume preparation, completing a job application, interview skills, etc. The purpose of these workshops is to make the individual more marketable to local employers. Second, the Department of Workforce Services has ten staff persons who work exclusively with Ul profilees in making sure they are registered for work and have active applications in the State labor exchange system. Those not registered or active are contacted and registered or activated. In addition, Ul profiles are matched to jobs and called in for job referrals on available job listings.

c. Describe how the State administers the unemployment Insurance work test and how feedback requirements (under §7(a) (3) (F) of the Wagner-Peyser Act) for all Ul claimants are met.

Wagner-Peyser staff and reemployment staff have a responsibility of informing Ul staff of any negative issue that might affect a client's eligibility for benefits. Some of the negative issues include refusal of work, failure to report for a job interview, failure to respond to a call-in to discuss a job referral, not able and available for work, etc. The UI Department then has the responsibility to investigate the issue and to determine the penalty, if any, based on UI Law. Likewise, the Job Workshop Coordinators report attendance to the UI Department of clients scheduled for the Job Search Workshop.

d. Describe the State's strategy for integrating and aligning services to dislocated workers provided through the WIA rapid response, WIA dislocated worker, and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs. Does the State have a policy supporting co-enrollment for WIA and TAA?

The Governor has designated the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) as the State Dislocated Worker Unit and lead agency for the Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force with the responsibility for carrying out rapid response activities, in accordance with die provisions of the Act at Section 112(b) (l7)(A)(ii). DWS also is the state agency responsible for administration of the Trade Adjusunent Assistance and Workforce Investment Act programs in me State, which facilitate the integration and alignment of services to all dislocated workers. In addition, the State Dislocated Worker Unit assures coordination with local workforce investment areas when arranging for Worker Assistance Workshops and other educational and job fairs provided to dislocated workers.

The State does not have a policy regarding co-enrollment for WIA and TAA; however, the State encourages all local workforce investment areas to co-enroll and work cooperatively with other employment and training programs when funding services to clients.

e. How is the State's workforce investment system working collaboratively with business and industry and the education community to develop strategies to overcome barriers to skill achievement and employment experienced by the populations listed in paragraph (a) above and to ensure they are being identified as a critical pipeline of workers?

Arkansas' participation in the NGA Policy Academy Pathways to Advancement (see also Sections IV.J. and VI.D. ) has drawn together individuals from business and industry, the education community, economic development, workforce partners, and others to identify barriers to skill attainment and employment and to develop plans to overcome the barriers. The plans address adults who do not have post-secondary degrees or credentials. Typically all the groups listed in IX.C.4.a. are represented heavily in this population, so they are a target of the Pathways to Advancement plan. As part of the data collection and reporting phase of the Pathways project, progress in attaining post-secondary education and employment will be tracked for a variety of target groups, including 'students specifically receiving assistance under WIA partners such as WIA Individualized Training Accounts (ITAs) or contracts, Transitional Employment Assistance (TANF), Rehabilitation Services, apprenticeship. Trade Adjustment Assistance, prisons, special populations."

f. Describe how the State will ensure that the full array of One-Stop services is available to individuals with disabilities and that the services are fully accessible?

The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board is committed to ensuring that the programs, services, and facilities of each Arkansas Workforce Center are accessible to all of Arkansas' workers, including individuals with disabilities.

As stipulated by federal law, all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements must be met before a center is eligible to receive the Arkansas Workforce Center certification, or utilize the Arkansas Workforce Center name and logo. The Arkansas Workforce Centers must meet the requirements of compliance as provided in the DOL Memorandum "WIA Section 188 Disability Checklist" dated July 22, 2003 from Assistant Secretaries of Labor Pizzella, Grizzard, and DeRocco.

g. Describe the role LVER/DVOP staff has in the One-Stop Delivery System? How will the State ensure adherence to the legislative requirements for veterans' staff? How will services under this Plan take into consideration the agreement reached between the Secretary and the State regarding veterans' employment programs? (§§112(b)(7), 112 (b)(17)(B), 322, 38 U.S.C. Chapter 41, and 20 CFR § 1001.120 ))

The Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) program staffs are fully integrated into the comprehensive service delivery points (SDP). LVERs and DVOPs are to provide training in veterans preference, priority of service to veterans, and assessment procedures to ail office staff; provide services to veterans; and monitor veteran activities in the comprehensive workforce centers and to the other SDPs in the local surrounding areas.

The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Operations Manual- Part VI outlines the responsibilities for providing priority services to veterans. The LVERs and DVOPs work closely to provide training to all partners in providing services to veterans on a priority basis. Local memoranda of understanding between ADWS, WI A, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Education outline the coordination and non-duplication of services provided lo veterans. DVOP/LVER staff works closely with veterans' organizations, County Veteran Service Officers (CVSOs), personnel associations, civic and community organizations, and WIA staff in their continued efforts to provide the best services to the Veterans of Arkansas.

h. Department of Labor regulations at 29 CFR 37, require all recipients of Federal financial assistance from DOL to provide meaningful access to limited English proficient (LEP) persons. Federal financial assistance includes grants, training, equipment usage, donations of surplus property, and other assistance. Subrecipients also are covered when Federal DOL funds are passed-through from one recipient to a sub-recipient. Describe how the State will ensure access to services through the State's One-Stop delivery system by persons with limited English proficiency and how the State will meet the requirements of ETA Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 26-02, (May 29, 2003) which provides guidance on methods of complying with the Federal rule.

Arkansas' Local Areas are subject to both federal and State requirements regarding non-discrimination and equal opportunity, which includes equal access to persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). To ensure meaningful access to programs and services to LEP persons, the State is issuing a directive that transmits policy and guidance on serving LEP individuals pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, its implementing regulations, and Section I.S8 of WIA.

In addition, the Governor has placed priority on meaningful access and service delivery on this population. Our Arkansas Workforce Centers will undergo reviews for compliance and for assessment of need and service potential.

Currently, critical documents for core services are translated into Spanish, Arkansas' most common language among the LEP population, and translation services are accessible within comprehensive centers. Additionally, areas with a high concentration of LEP population normally have a bilingual staff member or partner agency representative who can provide translation services.

One particular partner present in each of the comprehensive centers provides English as Second Language classes as a service not only to the job seeker, but also on the job site as an employer service.

i. Describe the State's strategies to enhance and integrate service delivery through the One-Stop delivery system for migrant and seasonal farm workers and agricultural employers. How will the State ensure that migrant and seasonal farm workers have equal access to employment opportunities through the State's One-Stop delivery system? Include the number of Migrant and Seasonal Farm workers (MSFWs) the State anticipates reaching annually through outreach to increase their ability to access core, intensive, and training services in the One-Stop Career Center System.

The state employs a multifaceted approach to identify the migrant and seasonal farmworker population and deliver appropriate workforce services. The primary approach is to identify and serve the migrant population through the Migrant Farm Labor Center, located at Hope Arkansas. A majority of the migrant farmworker population that serves Arkansas and the Midwestern Migrant Farm Labor Stream enter the State and the labor stream through southwest Arkansas and register at the (MFLC). The MFLC is the oldest and largest center of its kind and serves more than 30,000 registrants annually.

The MFLC is a virtual One-Stop offering health and medical, education, overnight residential, and employment and training services, including emergency support services. The MFLC is managed by the DWS and houses the following organizations:

Migrant Farm Labor Center (MFLC)/DWS provides management and oversight of MFLC, registration and housing services for Migrant Seasonal Farm Workers (MSFW), and dissemination of some employment related information for migrating families. The center also collects information on destinations and demographics, provides referral assistance, and provides education and advocacy on the needs of the customers and the purpose of the center. More than 25,000 customers were served by the center in the twelve-month period ending December 31, 2004.

Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC) provides core, intensive, training and related assistance to eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Customers also receive food and clothing, health and education information, pesticide safety education, referrals to other providers, translation and first aid and CPR demonstrations. During 2004,4,877 customers received services.

Hope Migrant/Community Health Center provides health and medical services to the local population and the migrant farmworker population on a sliding fee basis, with some services provided free of charge or through reimbursement from AHDC.

The center offers non-invasive radiology, minor procedures, EKG, laboratory testing and patient education in both English and Spanish. In 2004, 6,532 participants were served.

Southwest Arkansas Migrant Education Cooperative provides education and recreational services for the children of migrant farm laborers that register at the MFLC. Indoor and outdoor recreational facilities as well as computer aided education services are available. Students receive counseling on staying in school and completing their education, parents are prepared to work with their children, school districts are informed of the population coming to their areas, and a toll-free hotline is provided to facilitate information sharing among students, parents and school districts. The cooperative served 8,205 students during 2004.

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention operates the Hope Migrant Mission Center, which is located on the outskirts of the entrance to the MFLC. The Mission provides migrant farm families with clothing, personal hygiene articles, refreshments and a place where families are able to relax for a short period of time. Children receive the opportunity to play and relax in an atmosphere conducive to development.

The State has integrated the Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC). AHDC provides employment and training and related assistance services to the migrant and seasonal farmworker population under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to the State's One-Stop delivery system. AHDC receives funding to operate the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) under Section 167 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). AHDC is a full partner in a majority of the State's One-Stops and is quite visible as a co-located partner or is connected to the One-Stops through electronic means. Staff members serve on the local One-Stop boards in most areas, have effective Memoranda of Understanding (MOU's) in place, and share operating expenses through cost-sharing agreements. The State Monitor Advocate, who is employed by the DWS and charged with ensuring that services are delivered to migrant and seasonal farmworkers on a fair and equal basis, also sits on the AHDC Board of Directors and has the opportunity to monitor its services as well as oversee the certification process for migrant labor serving the slate through the H2A farm labor program.

AHDC employs fully bilingual staff in those offices frequented by non-English speaking customers, and this Spanish speaking ability enhances the capacity of the overall One-Stop delivery system. A majority of the AHDCs that are co-located in the One-Stops also have performed agricultural labor services and understand where and how to interact with farmworker customers. This knowledge and experience is shared and expanded through staff development meetings with other One-Stop staff in cross-training activities.

Input from the employer community, especially die agricultural community, is received through a variety of means. First, agricultural employers are represented on the State Workforce Investment Board and help develop policy and procedures for the overall workforce development System. At the local level farmers and growers are involved to inform the delivery of services and ensure that employment and training services are in keeping with needs of the industry. AMDC also has made a concerted effort to involve the farmer and grower communities by conducting pesticide safely education and certification services to farmers and farmworkers and has extended and invitation to the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation to help identify a person who can represent the industry through service on the AHDC board. AHDC staff also works in very close proximity to staff at the Arkansas State Plant Board, which functions in many ways as a department of agriculture.

As mentioned above, more than 30,000 migrant and seasonal farmworker customers are expected to receive services in the State on annual basis. These customers will have access to the full array of core, intensive, training and related services under the Workforce Investment Act. Services also will be provided through the One-Stops, the MFLC and AHDC. Every effort will be made to ensure that customers are aware of the adult, dislocated and NFJP and services that may be available through other partners and the faith-based community.

5. Priority of Service
a. What procedures and criteria are in place for the Governor and appropriate local boards to direct One-Stop operators to give priority of service to public assistance recipients and other low-income individuals for intensive and training services if funds allocated to a local area for adult employment and training activities are determined to be limited? (§§ 112(b) (17) (A) (iv) and 134(d) (4) (E))

Arkansas recognizes the statutory mandate of WIA to prioritize delivery of adult intensive and training services to recipients of public assistance and other low-income individuals in situations where local area adult funding is limited.

Under conditions of limited funding availability, priority of service will be provided to low-income customers. Accordingly, local areas must complete the following as part of their local plans:

* Assess local area needs for employment and training services, particularly low-income individuals

* Identify how low-income individuals will be prioritized for intensive and training services, including how WIA and other One-Stop resources will be directed to these groups

b. What policies and strategies does the State have in place to ensure that, pursuant to the Jobs for Veterans Act ( P.L. 107-288 )[ 38 USC 4215 ], priority of service is provided to veterans (certain spouses) who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for all employment and training programs funded by the U. S. Department of Labor, in accordance with the provisions of TEGL 5-03 (9/16/03/)?Labor exchange agencies are required to comply with Federal and State laws to ensure that "priority of service" to veterans is maintained at all levels. AESD and the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) monitor and ensure that veteran activity is properly directed toward meeting the agreed-upon performance standards established by the Director of AESD and the Director of VETS (DVET).

Veterans who meet the job related selection criteria established by an employer will be given first consideration for all job referrals. As appropriate, job openings will be developed for veterans and other eligible persons on a priority basis through employer contacts and by other means whenever suitable job openings are not available. All job orders received by the Service Delivery Points automatically are placed in veteran's hold until qualified veterans are considered. Orders in veteran's hold can be released only by the veteran staff, employment supervisors, or SDP managers. Mandatory employers are identified and contacted by veterans' staff to promote the value of hiring and retention of veterans. In the previous legislative session, Arkansas passed a Veterans' Preference Law (Act 653 of 2003) which greatly increased the areas of coverage to include state institutions of higher education. Additonally, Act 653 of 2005 gives state employees who are veterans with service connected disabilities up to six days of administrative leave when treatment is done at a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital.

All veterans are given an in-depth assessment to determine if the veteran falls into one of the specific targeted special populations of veterans (outlined below). If needed, the veteran is then referred to a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist for intensive services. Intensive service is available through employment and training information through public media to include television, radio, and newspapers; electronic web pages with links to America Job Bank, America Talent Bank and other employment sites; Job Fairs; and through SDP staff and self-service centers.

Through partnerships, MOUs and networking contacts, the Veterans' staff works closely with veterans' organizations, County Veterans Service Officers, personnel associations, civic and community organizations, prisons, homeless centers. Transition Assistance Program workshops and WIA staff in their continual search for ways to enhance and promote services for veterans.

The Veterans' Program Manager monitors each SDP to ensure compliance with the approved State Veterans' Program and Budget Plan. The DVET also monitors the SDPs through reports, surveys, on-site evaluations and technical assistance visits.

D. Rapid Response. (112(b)(17)(A)(ii)) Describe how your State provides Rapid Response services with the funds reserved under section 133(a)(2).
1. Identify the entity responsible for providing Rapid Response services. Describe how Rapid Response activities involve local boards and Chief Elected Officials. If Rapid Response activities are shared between the State and local areas, describe the functions of each and how funds are allocated to the local areas.

The Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force, made up of the Department of Workforce Education, the Department of Workforce Services, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and the Department of Economic Development, has been appointed by the Governor to provide rapid response services in Arkansas. The Task Force provides the required rapid response activities for dislocated workers and trade-impacted workers, as outlined in the Workforce Investment Act at Subpart B, Sec, 665.310.

After initial notification of a layoff or impending layoff, a planning meeting (community meeting) is scheduled with elected officials, business leaders, community organizations, local boards, and key partners to create action plans to assist both the community and the dislocated workers.

2. Describe the process involved in carrying out Rapid Response activities.
a. What methods are involved in receiving notice of impending layoffs (include WARN Act notice as well as other sources)?

The Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force learns of business closures and impending worker layoffs through a statewide network using local, state, and federal agency offices including the Arkansas Workforce Center offices, media outlets including newspapers, radio, internet news links and corporation websites, employer & employee contacts, Union contacts, local elected officials, community-based organizations. Worker Adjustment and Retaining Notification (WARN) notices, and through monitoring of current labor market information.

b. What efforts does the Rapid Response team make to ensure that rapid response services are provided, whenever possible, prior to layoff date, onsite at the company, and on company time?

Immediately upon receiving notice of a permanent closure or a substantial layoff, the Task Force contacts company officials and conducts an on-site employer visit to discuss available resources and set up a Planning Meeting. Whenever possible, the worker assistance workshops are negotiated with the employer to be held onsite prior to the layoff date, and on company time.

c. What services are included in Rapid Response activities? Does the Rapid Response team provide workshops or other activities in addition to general informational services to affected workers? How do you determine what services will be provided for a particular layoff (including layoffs that may be trade-affected)?

A Rapid Response Specialist establishes contact with company officials within a short period of time after learning of a covered dislocation event to begin collecting information about the applicable layoff/closure, including worker demographics, to provide to appropriate service providers. The Task Force provides the required rapid response activities outlined in the Workforce Investment Act at Subpart B, Sec, 665.310. The activities of the Task Force are detailed below.

Upon initiation of on-site contact with the employer, representatives of the affected workers, and the local community, an assessment is made which may include:

* Layoff plans and schedule of the employer;

* Potential for averting the layoff(s) in consultation with State or local economic development agencies, including private sector economic development entities

* Background and probable assistance needs of the affected workers

* Reemployment prospects for workers in the local community

* Available resources to meet the short and long-term assistance needs of the affected workers

The Task Force plans Worker Assistance Workshops to provide labor market and job search information to affected workers, as well as sponsoring or participating in Job Fairs to facilitate employment opportunities.

Information and access to unemployment compensation benefits, comprehensive One-Stop system services, and employment and training activities, including information on the Trade Adjustment Assistance program are provided as well.

Other services provided at the time are guidance and/or financial assistance in establishing a labor-management committee voluntarily agreed to by labor and management, or a workforce transition committee comprised of representatives of the employer, the affected workers and the community. The committee may devise and oversee an implementation strategy that responds to the reemployment needs of the workers. The assistance to this committee may include:

* The provision of training and technical assistance to members of the committee

* Funding the operating costs of a committee to enable it to provide advice and assistance in carrying out rapid response activities and in the design and delivery of WIA-authorized services to affected workers. Typically, such support will last no longer than six months

* Providing a list of potential candidates to serve as a neutral chairperson of the committee

* The provision of emergency assistance adapted to the particular closing, layoff, or disaster

* The provision of assistance to the local board and chief elected official(s) to develop a coordinated response to the dislocation event and, as needed, obtain access lo State economic development assistance. Such coordinated response may include the development of an application for a National Emergency Grant under 20 CFR part 671. (WIAsec. 101(38) and 134(a)(2)(A))

During the planning meeting, necessary services and action plans for the affected employees are discussed and determined. This includes the availability of training, layoff aversion, employee transition, educational fairs, and job fairs.

The Task Force conducts a worker assistance workshop, attended by representatives of local and state agencies and affected workers, to review the programs and assistance available to them. Services and needs discussed at the workshop include retraining and educational opportunities, unemployment insurance, social service programs, stress associated with unemployment, credit counseling, insurance needs, and tips on how to find a new job. Worker assistance workshops also give the dislocated worker valuable information for establishing successful reemployment plans. The Task Force notifies all speakers, local and state agencies, partners, local education institutions, and community organizations. Attendees (workers) complete a survey of needs requirements at the workshop, which is used to determine appropriate individual services later.

3. How does the State ensure a seamless transition between Rapid Response services and One-Stop activities for affected workers?

The Task Force conducts a worker assistance workshop, which is attended by representatives of local and state agencies, including staff of the Arkansas Workforce Centers, and affected workers to review the programs and assistance available to them. Workers have the opportunity at the worker assistance workshops to meet with personnel from each of these agencies to arrange for services.

4. Describe how Rapid Response functions as a business service. Include whether Rapid Response partners with economic development agencies to connect employees from companies undergoing layoffs to similar companies that are growing and need skilled workers. How does Rapid Response promote the full range of services available to help companies in all stages of the economic cycle, not just those available during layoffs? How does the State promote Rapid Response as a positive, proactive, business-friendly service, not only a negative, reactive service?

The Stale is positioned lo readily educate employers regarding the services available through the Task Force and to connect dislocated workers to new or emerging jobs within the state by including the Arkansas Department of Economic Development as a member of the Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force.

Materials explaining the purpose and role of the Task Force and rapid response services are published and provided to workers, employers, and the community through the mail, internet, handouts, and meetings. News releases are available via radio, television, and newspapers and are adapted to the specific audience. The Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force annual report on Rapid Response is prepared annually and contains success stories, services available, and services provided to affected companies. This material is sent to all libraries, County Judges, Chambers of Commerce, Mayors, and state legislative offices. It is also provided to state-wide businesses and associations. Rapid Response personnel attend Chambers of Commerce and other civic and community organization meetings to speak and explain the services and benefits of early notification.

5. What other partnerships does Rapid Response engage in to expand the range and quality of services available to companies and affected workers and to develop an effective early layoff warning network?

The unique design of the Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force combined with the critical involvement of organizations with strong linkages to education, economic development, employment, and organized labor provides a network with the ability to quickly and efficiently detect forthcoming layoffs and/or closures. Close and constant communication with employers also is essential to any early lay off-warning network. The Task Force has developed intensive partnerships that bring together workforce intermediaries, economic development entities, small business development centers, higher education institutions, community organizations, labor organizations, education, employers, and industry associations. These multiple partnerships generate support for employers and workers during times of economic downturn.

6. What systems does the Rapid Response team use to track its activities? Does the State have a comprehensive, integrated Management Information System that includes Rapid Response, Trade Act programs, National Emergency Grants, and One-Stop activities?

The State has implemented a new management information system for the One-Stop activities to include W1A programs, the Wagner-Peyser labor exchange system, and National Emergency Grants. The State is exploring the integration of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program into the new system and interfacing with several other one-stop partners to exchange information. Currently, Rapid Response activities are tracked through spreadsheets and databases developed internally.

7. Are Rapid Response funds used for other activities not described above (e.g., the provision of additional assistance to local areas that experience increased workers or unemployed individuals due to dislocation events in case of unusually large layoff events)?

The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board has made additional financial assistance available to local areas that experience increased workers or unemployed individuals due to dislocation events. This support has been funded by the 15% statewide activity funds.

E. Youth. ETA's strategic vision identifies youth most in need, such as out of school youth, (and those at risk) youth in foster care, youth aging out of foster care, youth offenders, children of incarcerated parents, homeless youth, and migrant and seasonal farm worker youth as those most in need of service. State programs and services should take a comprehensive approach to serving these youth, including basic skills remediation, helping youth stay in or return to school, employment, internships, help with attaining a high school diploma or GED, post-secondary vocational training, apprenticeships, and enrollment in community and four-year colleges. (§ 112(b) (18))
1. Describe your State's strategy for providing comprehensive, integrated services to eligible youth, including those most in need, as described above. Include any State requirements and activities to assist youth who have special needs or barriers to employment, including those who are pregnant, parenting, or have disabilities. Include how the State will coordinate across State agencies responsible for workforce investment, foster care, education, human services, juvenile justice, and other relevant resources as part of the strategy. (§ 112(b) (18))

In December 2004, Arkansas representatives attended a regional forum sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education with the expressed purpose of collaborating on a new youth vision for serving our neediest youth. This forum was held in response to the White House Task Force Report on Disadvantaged Youth (December 2003) and the new strategic vision for delivery of youth services under the Workforce Investment Act of the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA). As a direct result of this regional forum, the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board served as the catalyst to bring together representatives from state and local workforce boards, business and industry, education, health and human service agencies, juvenile justice system, and Job Corps to collaborate on our state's new strategic vision for serving Arkansas' neediest youth.

All twenty-two representatives committed to organizing themselves into a formal collaborative entity with a vision of freely sharing information and resources to create and sustain a comprehensive system that provides youth easy access to the services and support that will prepare them to become productive members of society. The collaborative team established action teams with short-term goals to help them move forward with the vision and created a timeline of future actions.

In a document entitled "Governor's Priorities for WIA" (January 12, 2005), the Governor identified the State's priorities to address needy youth. Among the priority groups are migrant youth. The Governor, through the State Workforce Investment Board, notified all pertinent agencies of the State's desire to reach tins target group with services intended to help them remain in school through high school graduation and participate in the post-secondary education process. Services to assist those who may have dropped out of school prior to graduation also were identified and authorized.

The migrant population is of great concern to Arkansas due to the fact that this group is growing in size and scope. Arkansas has seen a 337% increase in its Hispanic population over the past ten years and many of these families formerly worked in the agricultural industry. Many of them also have found employment in similar industries such as the poultry and cattle industries. 'English as a second language' services are of particular importance to this client group. The workforce development system will utilize a portion of its resources to assist these youth.

Students benefit from the educational process when they are at their healthiest. In addition to the resources of the workforce development system, other agencies such as the Arkansas Department of Health and the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff have directed a portion of the State's tobacco settlement funds to keeping Hispanic youth healthy by steering them away from tobacco products and helping those who use tobacco products to desist. Moreover, the private sector has become involved in this process. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, through the Blue and You Foundation, recently provided a grant to the AHDC to expand its health outreach services to the Hispanic population throughout seven counties in central Arkansas. Many of the recipients of these services also will be members of the migrant youth population.

In particular, local Workforce Investment Boards serving Central, Northwest and Southwest Arkansas are directed to focus their attention on this client group as the overwhelming majority of the Hispanic population and thus migrant youth are likely to be found in these regions.

2. Describe how coordination with Job Corps and other youth programs will occur. (§ 112(b) (18) (C))

Job Corps is an integral partner in providing services to WIA eligible youth. At the local level, Job Corps is an active member of youth councils, and coordination efforts have been very successful in providing service and connecting with the local One-Stop systems. Job Corps was represented at the state collaboration meeting for creating the new strategic approach to serving our state's neediest youth and has committed to being an active member of the ongoing, formalized collaborative state team that organized itself on April 29,2005.

3. How does the State Plan to utilize the funds reserved for Statewide activities to support the State's vision for serving youth? Examples of activities that would be appropriate investments of these funds include:
a. Utilizing the funds to promote cross agency collaboration
b. Demonstration of cross-cutting models of service deliver
c. Development of new models of alternative education leading to employment
d. Development of demand-driven models with business and industry working collaboratively with the workforce investment system and education partners to develop strategies for bringing these youth successful into the workforce pipeline with the right skills.
e. Describe how your State will, in general, meet the Act's provisions regarding youth program design. (§§112(b)(18) and 129(c))

In response to activities outlined in WIA sections (112(b)( 18) and 129(c), Local Boards will develop and enhance relationships with local agencies and service providers to ensure that necessary services are available to eligible youth. Coordination with foster care, education, welfare, and other relevant resources occurs through local youth councils and will be monitored through State review.

The Governor dedicates statewide funds for ongoing youth activities such as:

* Distribution of Additional 15% Discretionary Funding to Local Areas with High Concentration of Eligible Youth. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and implementing regulations require states to use a portion of statewide activity funds to provide additional assistance lo local areas that have "high concentrations of eligible youth." The Department of Workforce Services, formerly Arkansas Employment Security Department, develops methodologies and calculates several allocation levels for funding and identifies those workforce areas in Arkansas eligible for this additional funding. The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board makes the final determination as to the level of funding and distributes additional funding based on the chosen methodology.

* Promotion of cross-agency collaboration. During the Spring of 2005, the State Board served as the catalyst to bring together representatives from state and local workforce boards, business and industry, education, health and human service agencies, juvenile justice system, and Job Corps to collaborate on Arkansas' new strategic vision for serving youth. The State Board sponsored a 2-day workshop to facilitate this effort as a follow-up to the Regional Youth Forum in December 2004 discussed above. The U.S. Department of Labor's new strategic vision for the delivery of WIA youth services was issued in TEGN No.3-04, July 2004, and served as the basis for this collaborative effort. The participating team members committed to continuing the collaboration and to formalize its existence. The team established a vision and a mission for providing services to the youth of Arkansas, with particular interest in serving the neediest youth. Goals and action teams were established, complete with timelines for accomplishments. This collaborative team agreed to meet quarterly as a comprehensive unit, with action teams meeting on an as-needed basis for the accomplishment of strategies leading to successful goal attainment. Statewide youth activities funds will be utilized to promote this effort.

* The cross-agency collaborative work group visualized as its long-term goal a learning/development one-stop center for the youth of Arkansas, conceived by the multi-state agencies, education, business/industry, and other providers of youth services. This center will fill a void that currently exists, with input from youth, families, and communities being utilized to develop strategies to enable our youth to become viable candidates to fill the labor force pipeline within our state. This demand-driven youth center will better prepare the youth of Arkansas by focusing on high-growth industries within our state, regardless of education level, job skill, or readiness training required. All levels of education will be accessible through this central location, whether it is on-the-job training, apprenticeship opportunities, or post-secondary education. The abilities of the youths will be addressed to enable them to meet the needs of business and industry, with the result being productive members of society meeting the workforce needs of our state. Statewide youth activities funds will be required to facilitate the achievement of this vision.

F. Business Services (§§ 112(a) and 112(b)(2).) Provide a description of the state's strategies to improve the services to employers, including a description of how the State intends to:
1. Determine the employer needs in the local areas and on a statewide basis.

A variety of strategies carried out on a local and statewide level assist in the determination of employer needs. Statewide strategies include the gathering and disseminating of workforce and labor market information to the local areas. The recent addition of the Arkansas Labor Market Information Library at http://discoverarkansas.net provides a wealth of information to assist in the development of business services. Armed with this data, state and local staff will be more able to develop the menu of services available to businesses.

In June 2005, the Slate Board will conduct statewide training for local area business services representatives to assist them in discerning the needs of businesses in their local areas and expanding employer usage of the workforce system. This training will also assist our efforts in ensuring that the workforce system in Arkansas is: comprehensive and coordinated for our business customers, linked with other workforce partners to reduce duplication of employer contacts, and create a seamless service strategy for businesses.

2. Integrate business services, including Wagner-Peyser Act services, to employers through the One-Stop System.

In early 2005, Arkansas re-energized the Local Employer Advisory Councils (LEACs) across the State. The driving force behinds the LEACs are the employees of the Employment Security Department, the agency responsible for Wagner-Peyser programs in Arkansas. Other members include local human resource managers and other business professionals with hiring authority. LEACs provide a forum, through regularly scheduled meetings, for employers to discuss concerns and gather information regarding Wagner-Peyser and the other One-Stop programs.

3. Streamline administration of Federal tax credit programs within the One-Stop system to maximize employer participation? {20 CFR part 652.3(b), §112(b)(17)(A).)

Although the administration of federal tax credit programs is primarily accomplished at the centralized state level, we can increase awareness of these programs and maximize employer participation by;

* Posting information about Federal tax credits on our partners' websites

* Making the forms available through download from our ESD and AWIB website, and

*Including information about the tax credits through publications sent to employers

G Innovative Service Delivery Strategies (§112(b)(17)(A).)

1. Describe innovative service delivery strategies the State has or is planning to undertake to maximize resources, increase service levels, improve service quality, achieve better integration or meet other key State goals. Include in the description the initiative's general design, anticipated outcomes, partners involved and funds leveraged (e.g., Title I formula, Statewide reserve, employer contributions, education funds, non-WIA State funds).

One outcome of Arkansas' participation in the NGA Pathways to Advancement Policy Academy has been the adoption of a common list of high demand training occupations and the agreement by all suite agency workforce partners to use the list in evaluating new training options. The list was developed using Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Labor Market Information as a base (projections data), supplemented as described below. A state level work group from a variety of state agencies, private businesses and local agencies validated the list and determined the level of projected need to consider as high demand. The process was repeated with local public and private counterparts in each of the ten Arkansas Workforce Investment Areas. The resulting list was matched to the Educational Career Clusters and to the two-year industry targets adopted by the Arkansas Department of Economic Development. A note identifying the U.S. DOL High Growth Initiative industries was included with the list.

Another initiative that drew on the knowledge, skills and resources of many partners is the adoption of Arkansas Job Link to operate and manage WIA IB, WIA HI and other workforce programs in Arkansas (see Section VI.A. )- Because initially the system will be used for WIA IB and WIA HI, WIA and Wagner-Peyser shared equally in funding of the conversion from the old systems and of the implementation. Each partner program will pay the cost of linking with AJL. Linkages are expected in 2005 with Unemployment Insurance, Transitional Employment Assistance (TANF), Rehabilitation Services and Adult Education. Trade Adjustment Assistance Act funds will be used to make any changes necessary to use AJL to manage TAA programs. WIA funds are being used to complete customization of the financial reporting system.

2. If your State is participating in the ETA Personal Re-employment Account (PRA) demonstration, describe your vision for integrating PRAs as a service delivery alternative as part of the State's overall strategy for workforce investment.

Not applicable.

H. Strategies for Faith-based and Community Organizations (§112(b)(17)(i).) Enhancing outreach opportunities to those most in need is a fundamental element of the demand-driven systems goal to increase the pipeline of needed workers while meeting the training and employment needs of those most at risk. Faith-based and community organizations provide unique opportunities for the workforce investment system to access this pool of workers and meet the needs of business and industry. Describe those activities to be undertaken to :
(1) increase the opportunities for participation of faith-based and community organizations as committed and active partners in the One-Stop delivery system; and
(2) expand the access of faith-based and community-based organizations' clients and customers to the services offered by the One-Stops in the State. Outline those action steps designed to strengthen State collaboration efforts with local workforce investment areas in conducting outreach campaigns to educate faith-based and community organizations about the attributes and objectives of the demand-driven workforce investment system. Indicate how these resources can be strategically and effectively leveraged in the State's workforce investment areas to help meet the objectives of the Workforce Investment Act.

Arkansas' commitment to provide universal access and meaningful service to clients includes the participation and resource sharing with the Faith and Community based organizations in the state. The Arkansas Workforce Centers in every area of the state have informal referral processes with many Faith-based groups. Several of the Local Workforce Investment Boards have entered formal grant proposals with Faith and Community based groups. The State board has a staff person assigned to this initiative providing technical assistance and participating with other state agencies in an effort to increase the quality of service to the client through the collaboration of the publicly funded system and Faith and Community based organizations.

The Governor and the State Board recognize that the integration and partnership of Faith and Community based organizations with me local One-Stop systems is critical to serving individuals with multiple barriers in our most economically oppressed areas of the State.

Faith and Community based organizations are vital partners in an effort to ensure that the people of Arkansas can attain self-sufficiency and that businesses can continue to find die qualified workers they need for the future.

In Arkansas' workforce system, the Faith and Community based organizations provide services such as clothes closets, sou skills training, interviewing skills, supportive services, job-coaching and other adult mentoring activities mat fill the gaps that financial and staff restrictions sometimes produce.

X. State Administration
A. What technology infrastructure and/or management information systems does the State have in place to support the State and local workforce investment activities such as a One-Stop operating system designed to facilitate case management and service delivery across programs, a State job matching system, web-based self service tools for customers, fiscal management systems, etc.? (§§ 111(d) (2), 112(b) (1) and 112(b)(8)(B))

Arkansas has excelled in its efforts in modernizing its data management system used for both Labor Exchange and W1A. Currently, the State is utilizing America's Job Link (AJL), as this program has met the vast majority of the State's requirements. In Arkansas, this program is recognized as Arkansas Job Link (www.arjoblink.arkansas.gov). Evolving to this operating and management information system is part of Arkansas" on going efforts to continue to raise the bar in meeting both employer and job seeker expectations. Because of its accessibility, it serves the needs of job seekers and employers who want options available to them in assessing the labor market, either through self-service or staff-assisted help. It also shares a single database with WIA for ease and efficiency in case management information, and visible and usable real lime to facilitate client training assistance. Additionally, AJL provides the information job seekers and employers require to make informed decisions, including career information. State and local profiles for planning purposes, and links to job listings on America's Job Bank.

Customer-specific portal pages offer customers the information they require to explore their labor market needs. Individuals are offered many services, including:

* Securing career profiles

* Comparing occupations side-by-side

* Searches, by skills and interests

* Search, by job type available

* Identifying lists of employers to support their job searches

* Availability of articles, publications, and access to other career resources.

Businesses can create job descriptions using occupational profiles, comparing local occupational wages, creating demographic profiles for affirmative action planning or government contracts, and more.

Arkansas's One-Stop operating system fully integrates labor exchange and case managed services for job seekers and employers. It was selected for Arkansas by a multi-partner team with significant input from State and local users. It is anticipated that additional State workforce system partners' (Ul, TAA, Rehab Services, DHS, TEA/TANF) programs will be integrated into AJL such that basic demographic data sharing will occur. This will allow the State to improve data reporting, better evaluate program performance, and ultimately improve services to clients, for the caseworker and job service interviewer, it will greatly facilitate establishing and maintaining currency of client accounts. We fully expect to have full functionality across AJL within the year.

B. Describe the State's plan for use of the funds reserved for Statewide activities under WIA§ 128(a) (1).

The State's current plan for the use of statewide discretionary funding is focused on the Governor's Priorities, as indicated below:

* High Growth Job Training Initiative

* Pathways to Advancement

* Assisting the State's Most In-Need Youth

* Assisting Persons with Limited English Proficiency

* Assisting Mature Job Seekers

The development of plans to commit a portion of the Statewide Activity funds towards each of these priorities is ongoing. The State Board has determined that targeting these areas through solicitations that make funds available, as well as through the funding of unsolicited proposals, will greatly enhance the workforce system's capacity to provide training and other services to the targeted client populations and industries.

C. Describe how any waivers or workflex authority (both existing and planned) will assist the State in developing its workforce investment system. (§§189(i)(1), 189 (i)(4)(A), and 192))

Arkansas wishes to exercise the workflex option to enable us to request waivers on statutory or regulation of several subjects, including those of listed below. During PY 2005-06, the State will work to address the problems and challenges of implementing these policies in Arkansas.

* Section 122(d) of WIA requires that training providers submit verifiable program-specific information on the outcomes of all individuals and WIA participants who have attended the training program when applying for subsequent eligibility. Section 122 also stipulates that the information submitted must meet minimum levels set by the State. Currently, most of Arkansas' training providers have entered into the subsequent eligibility portion of this process. However, many of them, especially the two and four-year public colleges, have found it difficult or impossible to collect the required data due to the different reporting requirements for the Department of Education and WIA. This has caused many schools to be disqualified as Eligible Training Providers in Arkansas or to quit participating in the process. DWS attempted to assist the schools in obtaining the necessary information for subsequent eligibility by matching student social security numbers with Unemployment Insurance wage records. Due to the FERPA law and the realization that not all schools collect and/or use actual social security numbers for enrollment, the process was not successful. The few training providers who do collect the required data have also found it difficult to meet the state minimum levels. In many instances, one poor WIA performer has disqualified a program because of the small number of WIA participants served by the program.

Therefore, in order to maintain an adequate number of training providers and programs on the Eligible Training Provider List. Arkansas is requesting to have initial eligibility reinstated and waive Section 122(c) and (d) that requires subsequent eligibility.

* The State of Arkansas is requesting to a waiver to allow the transfer of funds between the adult and dislocated worker funding stream to be raised from 20% to 40%. This would greatly benefit local workforce areas in more-Effectively responding to significant plant closures or layoffs, better serving the needs of their demographic area population.

* The State of Arkansas is requesting an extension to our current waiver permitting Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) for Youth. The current approved waiver ends June 30, 2005.

* The State of Arkansas is seeking additional flexibility through the waiver process to meet employer demands for incumbent worker training. Accordingly, the State is requesting a waiver of the language that limits the authority to provide the activities identified in WIA Sections 129(b) and 134 to the State level.

While WIA allows Incumbent Worker Training Programs to be funded at the State level, we believe the opportunity to accelerate Incumbent Worker Training activities would be of considerable benefit to those Arkansas employers in urgent need of more highly-skilled employees in order to effectively compete in today's marketplace. Without such funding assistance, some of these employers might well succumb to such competitive pressures, and the jobs these employers provide in the local areas would be lost.

This waiver would permit local areas, on a voluntary basis, to request to use up to 10% of local area adult and dislocated worker formula allocation funds to provide Incumbent Worker Training, a state wide employment and training activity. Local Areas will be expected to track these formula funds by funding stream.

D. Performance Management and Accountability. Improved performance and accountability for customer-focused results are central features of WIA. To improve, states need not only systems in place to collect data and track performance, but also systems to analyze the information and modify strategies to improve performance. (See Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 15-03, Common Measures Policy, December 10, 2003.) In this section, describe how the State measures the success of its strategies in achieving its goals, and how the State uses these data to continuously improve the system.
1. Describe the State's performance accountability system, including any state system measures and the state's performance goals established with local areas. Identify the performance indicators and goals the state has established to track its progress toward meeting its strategic goals and implementing its vision for the Workforce Investment system. For each of the core indicators, explain how the State worked with local boards to determine the level of the performance goals. Include a discussion of how the levels compare with the state's previous outcomes as well as with the State-adjusted levels of performance established for other states (if available), taking into account differences in economic conditions, the characteristics of participants when they entered the program and the services provided. Include a description of how the levels will help the State achieve continuous improvement over the two years of the plan.

Arkansas is continually working towards the creation of a flexible, demand-driven system that is fully accountable at the State and federal levels. Arkansas has recently increased its focus on understanding and meeting the needs of employers through the establishment of a Business Relations Team on the state level and the Local Employer Advisory Councils (LEACs) on the local level.

Upon the completion of Arkansas' recent conversion to the America's Job Link Alliance computer system, a wealth of data now are available via reports that assist Arkansas in tracking its progress toward meeting its strategic goals and vision for the State's workforce investment system.

This information includes specific demographic information regarding participants who received services from Workforce Center staff as well as those availing themselves to the self-service component. From an employer perspective, we are now positioned to have the capability to access information relating to the wide-array of services provided to employers who access our system via activity reports, job service activity reports by NAICS codes and occupations. This information is proving invaluable in setting specific goals and tracking overall progress towards those goals.

In an effort to better evaluate progress toward our strategic goals, state staff currently is developing the following necessary processes to assist with performance monitoring:

* Preparation of a quarterly performance summary by local areas that will provide an historical trend for each performance measure, providing data by quarter for the current program year and the characteristics of clients served within the local area

* State staff will begin initiating discussions with each local area to analyze local area performance and identify methods for improvement

In early 2005, Arkansas' Governor established five priorities for the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. (See Section II of this document for complete list) In May, the Budget Committee started meeting to discuss the PY 2005, and developed line items for funding the priorities as identified in the state. On June 2, 2005, the Budget Committee approved the PY 2005 budget and will present it to the full board at its next quarterly meeting in July, 2005 for ratification. Specifically, funds were budgeted to support the governor's Priorities for AWIB.

The AWIB Executive Director has established five AD HOC committees composed from the state board membership. AH state board members were asked to select which committee was of most interest to them in order to determine where they wanted to make their contribution in developing the goals and vision of the priorities. State AWIB staff will facilitate the five committees in a continuing effort to highlight and advance strategies for achieving these goals. Some of the committees have already met, and others are joining a larger state push for increased awareness of the specific issues such as Mature Worker opportunities. Local workforce investment areas were also advised of these priorities in the early stages of development, and were encouraged to include them as part of their local plans for PY 2005-2006.

In setting the levels for negotiation of Arkansas' PY 2005-2006 performance targets, state AWIB staff studied previous year's levels, analyzed statewide economic conditions, looked at other state's performance levels within Region IV, and used all these factors in developing the suggested performance levels for the seventeen measures. Work sheets for these core indicators were then provided to each of the ten local workforce investment areas. The locals were advised to review and discuss each measure with their local board performance committees and chief elected officials, and then have their pivotal decision makers available on a conference call with state AWIB staff to discuss their desired levels and negotiate the resulting local and state level outcomes. Some local areas agreed with the stale proposals, and others had specific measures they wished to adjust. After careful deliberation and consideration of all conversations, the staff compiled the desired state levels and submitted them for negotiation with the Department of Labor representatives for discussion and /or approval. On June 10, 2005 additional discussions were held between state staff and DOL representatives. Those agreed upon standards will be compiled and relayed back to locals as their required PY 2005-2006 performance levels, and the state levels will also be provided as an amendment to the Department of Labor for placement as an attachment to Arkansas' Strategic Plan for PY 2005-2006.

2. Describe any target applicant groups under WIA Title I, the Wagner-Peyser Act or Title 38 Chapters 41 and 42 (Veterans Employment and Training Programs) that the State tracks.

All veterans, regardless of their category, are provided priority service by employment staff. Employment staff works with all of the specially targeted veterans groups such as those with multiple barriers to employment, newly separated, and economically/educationally disadvantaged veterans. Those who require intensive services are referred to the appropriate DVOP, LVER or WIA staff. Once referred, the staff member will work closely with the veteran to overcome his/her barriers to employment.

3. Identify any performance outcomes or measures in addition to those prescribed in WIA and what process the State is using to track and report them.

Currently, Arkansas has no additional performance measures for the workforce system outside those prescribed by the WIA. Upon inception of WIA, the State Board attempted to develop some additional measures, but due to limitations of Arkansas1 MIS system, these measures were never implemented. It is expected that Arkansas' recent conversion to the America's Job Link Alliance system will facilitate the re-emergence of discussions of additional performance measures by the State Board.

4. Describe the State's common data system and reporting processes in place to track progress. Describe what data will be collected from the various One-Stop partners (beyond what is required by the DOL), use of quarterly wage records (including how your state accesses wage records), and how the Statewide system will have access to the information to continuously improve.

A full description of the State's common data system and reporting processes in place to track progress is included in Sections IV. J., VI.A. and X.A. of this report.

Some of the data collected beyond that required by the Department of Labor include assessment information obtained from the client that will reveal his/her service needs and eventual successful employment. Such items include name, contact information, SSN, employment plan, spouse's military history, migrant worker status, name of service providers), test scores, amount of PELL grant, identification to which state the client is seeking employment, county of residence, county of service, work history, career objectives, and preferences (wage, work shift, full/pan time employment, whether the client wants resume visible to employers, etc.).

Quarterly wage records are utilized for Department of Labor reporting through the WIA Quarterly Performance Report, WIA Annual Report, the WIASRD and the Labor Exchange ETA 9002 Report. These reports are obtained through an interface between the State UI database and Arkansas Job Link, as well as through another interface between DART and AJL. Wage records also are obtained through the Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS) and loaded into AJL for calculation into Department of Labor performance reports.

Since the implementation of AJL, Arkansas has begun the process of linking this program with other systems, as described in Section X.A. Such linkages with UI, TANF, Adult Education, Rehabilitation Services and others will allow the programs to exchange eligibility and performance information for individuals served by more than one program. We anticipate using AJL itself to operate TAA soon, so linkage will not be required. Additional information regarding this system and data collection plan is described in Section VI.A.

5. Describe the actions the Governor and State Board will take to ensure collaboration with key partners and continuous improvement of the Statewide Workforce System.

The State Board works collaboratively with our key stakeholders in many areas of workforce development in Arkansas. Besides the appearance of many partner representatives on the State Board, the Governor was instrumental in Arkansas being selected as one of eight states to participate in a new National Governors Association (NGA) project.

The NGA project required assembling of a 'State Team" consisting of the Agency Directors, many of which represent the required WIA Partner programs. This State Team is tasked with looking at a variety of issues pertinent to the State's workforce investment system.

Additionally, the State Board's Strategic Planning Committee is expected to begin discussions soon regarding MOUs and interagency agreements among the various State-level partners. This committee is dedicated to the continuous improvement of the state's workforce system.

6. How do the State and local boards evaluate performance? What corrective actions (including sanctions and technical assistance) will the State take if performance falls short of expectations? How will the State and Local Boards use the review process to reinforce the strategic direction of the system?

During the Spring 2005 monitoring visit, the Department of Labor Regional Office suggested that Arkansas mirror their process for analyzing quarterly WIA data. To that end. State staff has begun providing perfomance data to each local area complete with requested responses detailing the methods or steps to be taken to improve performance in each measure. State staff also will assist local areas in developing strategies that are in accordance with the State's overall strategic direction.

The State Board approved a Sanctions Policy in 2005 that prescribes the corrective actions to be taken for failures in annual performance. The State will provide technical assistance in support of the local corrective action plan including assistance in meeting the strategic elements of the state and local system.

Additionally, Arkansas is participating in the Department of Labor-sponsored Performance Enhancement Project. The first in a series of training sessions, conducted by the Social Policy Research Associates, convened in the Spring of 2005. This project is designed to enhance both the provision of services and improvement of performance.

Beginning July 2005, local areas will be charged with appearing before the State Board at its quarterly meetings to discuss performance and other pertinent local issues. These appearances also will provide an opportunity for local areas to discuss how their efforts are consistent with the strategic direction of the State.

7. What steps, if any, has the State taken to prepare for implementation of new reporting requirements against the common performance measures as described in Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 15-03, December 10, 2003, Common Measures Policy?

In addition to statewide training provided by the State, the State MIS will be updated by America's Job Link Alliance (AJLA) to meet the common measures requirements. Arkansas has chosen to be part of a pilot project to use WRIS data for performance on common measures under a variety of federal workforce programs.

8. Include the proposed level for each performance measure for each of the two program years covered by the Plan. While the plan is under review, the state will negotiate with the respective ETA Regional Administrator to set the appropriate levels for the next two years. At a minimum, states must identify the performance indicators required under section 136, and, for each indicator, the State must develop an objective and quantifiable performance goal for two program years. States are encouraged to address how the performance goals for local workforce investment areas and training providers will help them attain their statewide performance goals.

The State's proposed WIA performance levels for Program Years 2005-2006 are included in this plan as Attachment J. The state assumes that more detailed discussions may take place during the formal negotiation and approval of the goals.

E. Administrative Provisions
1. Provide a description of the appeals process referred to in § 116(a) (5).

In accordance with 20 CFR 667.600, the purpose of this procedure is described as a process for dealing with grievances and complaints from participants and other interested parties affected by the statewide workforce investment programs. This is a process for resolving appeals from decisions made at the local level and a process for remanding grievances and complaints related to the local Workforce Investment Act programs to the local area grievance process.

The purpose of this procedure also is a process for appealing decisions made concerning the statewide workforce investment system. These procedures will be made available upon request to all WIA Title I participants and staff persons.

General guidelines for tiling a grievance or complaint are listed in Attachment D.

2. Describe the steps taken by the State to ensure compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements outlined in § 188.

The State developed a Methods of Administration (MOA) document that reflects the State's commitment to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity. The elements contained in this document present Arkansas' policy on the nondiscrimination provisions outlined in WIA Title 1 Section 188. The provisions of the MOA apply to Arkansas Job Service, Unemployment Insurance, and WIA Title I activities and recipients. The Stale has issued the State Policy on nondiscrimination and equal opportunity. This directive contains the nine distinct elements outlined in the MOA and highlights compliance requirements that are significant to Local Areas and other WIA Title I recipients. These elements include:

* Requiring each local area to designate a local level Equal Opportunity Officer

* Notice and communication requirements

* Reviewing assurances in Job Training Plans, Contracts, and Policies and Procedures

* Compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title 29 CFR Part 37

* Ensuring Universal Access

* Data and information collection and maintenance

* Monitoring recipients for compliance

* Complaint processing procedures

* Corrective actions and sanctions

XI. Assurances
1. The State assures that it will establish, in accordance with section 184 of the Workforce Investment Act, 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 the allotments made under sections 127 and 132. (§112(b)(11).)
2. The State assures that it will comply with section 184(a)(6), which requires the Governor to, every two years, certify to the Secretary, that -
a. the State has implemented the uniform administrative requirements referred to in section 184(a)(3);
b. the State has annually monitored local areas to ensure compliance with the uniform administrative requirements as required under section 184(a)(4); and
c. the State has taken appropriate action to secure compliance pursuant to section 184(a)(5). (§ 184(a)(6).)
3. The State assures that the adult and youth funds received under the Workforce Investment Act will be distributed equitably throughout the State, and that no local areas will suffer significant shifts in funding from year to year during the period covered by this Plan. (§112(b)(12)(B).)
4. The State assures that veterans will be afforded employment and training activities authorized in section 134 of the Workforce Investment Act, and the activities authorized in chapters 41 and 42 of Title 38 US code. The State assures that it will comply with the veteran's priority established in the Jobs for Veterans Act. ( 38 USC 4215 ).)
5. The State assures that the Governor shall, once every two years, certify one local board for each local area in the State. (§ 117(c)(2).)
6. The State assures that it will comply with the confidentiality requirements of section 136(f)(3).
7. The State assures that no funds received under the Workforce Investment Act will be used to assist, promote, or deter union organizing. (§181 (b)(7).)
8. The State assures that it will comply with the nondiscrimination provisions of section 188, including an assurance that a Methods of Administration has been developed and implemented (§ 188.)
9. The State assures that it will collect and maintain data necessary to show compliance with the nondiscrimination provisions of section 188. (§185).)
10. The State assures that it will comply with the grant procedures prescribed by the Secretary (pursuant to the authority at section 189(c) of the Act) which are necessary to enter into grant agreements for the allocation and payment of funds under the Act. The procedures and agreements will be provided to the Stately the ETA Office of Grants and Contract Management and will specify the required terms and conditions and assurances and certifications, including, but not limited to, the following:

*General Administrative Requirements:

* 29 CFR pan 97 - Uniform Administrative Requirements for State and Local Governments {as amended by the Act) - 29 CFR part 96 (as amended by OMB Circular A-133) - Single Audit Act

* OMB Circular A-87 - Cost Principles (as amended by the Act) *Assurances and Certifications:

SF 424 B - Assurances for Non-construction Programs

* 29 CFR part 37 - Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Assurance (and regulation) 29 CFR § 37.20

* CFR part 93 - Certification Regarding Lobbying (and regulation)

* 29 CFR part 98 - Drug Free Workplace and Debarment and Suspension Certifications (and regulation)

*Special Clauses/Provisions:

Other special assurances or provisions as may be required under Federal law or policy, including specific appropriations legislation, the Workforce Investment Act, or subsequent Executive or Congressional mandates.

11. The State certifies that the Wagner-Peyser Act Plan, which is part of this document, has been certified by the State Employment Security Director.
12. The State certifies that veterans' services provided with Wagner-Peyser Act funds will be in compliance with 38 U.S.C. Chapter 41 and 20 CFR part 1001.
13. The State certifies that Wagner-Peyser Act-funded labor exchange activities will be provided by merit-based public employees in accordance with DOL regulations.
14. The State assures that it will comply with the MSFW significant office requirements in accordance with 20 CFR Part 653.
15. The State certifies it has developed this Plan in consultation with local elected officials, local workforce boards, the business community, labor organizations and other partners.
16. As a condition to the award of financial assistance from the Department of Labor under Title I of W1A, the grant applicant assures that it will comply fully with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of the following laws:

- Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), which prohibits discrimination against all individuals in the United States on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and against beneficiaries on the basis of either citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States or participation in any WIA Title I-financially assisted program or activity;

- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the bases of race, color and national origin;

- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities;

- The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age; and

- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs. The grant applicant also assures that it will comply with 29 CFR Part 37 and all other regulations implementing the laws listed above. This assurance applies to the grant applicant's operation of the WIA Title I-financially assisted program or activity, and to all agreements the grant applicant makes to carry out the WIA Title 1-financially assisted program or activity. The grant applicant understands that the United States has the right to seek judicial enforcement of this assurance.

17. The State assures that funds will be spent in accordance with the Workforce Investment Act and the Wagner-Peyser Act and their regulations, written Department of Labor Guidance implementing these laws, and all other applicable Federal and State laws.

Attachment A

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Attachment B

Frequently Used Acronyms (AWIB)

AATYC - Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges

ACRS - Arkansas Consumer Reporting System

ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act

ADED - Arkansas Department of Economic Development

AESD - Arkansas Employment Security Department

AJL - Arkansas Job Link

ARS - Arkansas Rehabilitation Services

AWC - Arkansas Workforce Center

AWIB - Arkansas Workforce Investment Board

BLS - Bureau of Labor Statistics

BRG - Business Relations Group (of the DOL)

CAP - Corrective Action Plan

CEO - Chief Elected Official

CFBCI - Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives

CSBG - Community Services Block Grant

ADED - Arkansas Department of Economic Development

DHS - Department of Human Services

DOL - Department of Labor

DSB - Division of Services for the Blind

DVOP - Disabled Veterans Outreach Program

DWE - Department of Workforce Education

DCO - Division of County Operations

DWS - Department of Workforce Services (formerly AESD)

E3 - Economic Development, Employment, and Education

EEO - Equal Employment Opportunity

ESL - English as a Second Language

ETA - Employment and Training Administration

ETPL - Eligible Training Provider List

GAE - Governor's Administrative Entity

GDWTF - Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force

GIS - Geographic Information Systems

FBCBO - Faith and Community Based Organization

HGJTI - High Growth Job Training Initiative

HUD - Housing and Urban Development

GPRA - Government Performance and Results Act

IRP - Individual Re-employment Plan

IT - Information Technology

ITA- Individual Training Account

IWTP - Incumbent Worker Training Program

LEP - Limited English Proficiency

LMI - Labor Market Information

LVER - Local Veterans Employment Representative

LWIA - Local Workforce Investment Area

LWIB - Local Workforce Investment Board

MOU - Memorandum of Understanding

MSFWs - Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers

NAICS - North American Industry Classification System

NASWA - National Association of State Workforce Associations

NAWB - National Association of Workforce Boards

NEG - National Emergency Grant

NGA - National Governor's Association

OJT - On the Job Training

PIP - Performance Improvement Plan

PRA- Personal Re-employment Account

RFP - Request for Proposals

SCSEP - Senior Community Service Employment Program

TAA - Trade Adjustment Assistance

TANF - Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

TEA - Transitional Employment Assistance

TEB - Transitional Employment Board

TEGL- Training and Employment Guidance Letter

Ul - Unemployment Insurance

VA - Veteran's Administration

WARN - Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification

W-P - Wagner-Peyser

WIA - Workforce Investment Act

Attachment C

Arkansas State Plan

Workforce Investment Act of 1998

Guidance for Selecting One-Stop Operators

One-Stop operators are responsible lor administering the One-Stop centers of the Arkansas Workforce Center System. Their roles may range from simply coordinating service providers in the center to being the primary provider of services at the center. The role is determined by die local board. In areas where there is more than one comprehensive One-Stop center, there may be separate operators for each center or one operator for multiple centers. The operator may be selected by the local board through a competitive process, or the local workforce investment board (LWIB) may designate a consortium that includes three or more required One-Stop partners as an operator. The LWIB itself may not serve as a One-Stop operator except with the consent of the chief elected official(s) of the local workforce investment area and the Governor.

Who is the One-Stop operator? The One-Stop operator is the entity selected by the local board that performs the role agreed to by the local board. The agreement between the local board and the One-Stop operator must specify the operator's role. That role may range between simply coordinating service providers within the center to being the primary provider of services within the center. (WIA sec. 121 (d).)

The types of entities that may be selected to be the One-Stop operator include:

* A postsecondary educational institution

* An Employment Service agency established under the Wagner-Peyser Act on behalf of die local office of the agency

* A private, nonprofit organization (including a community-based organization)

* A private for-profit entity

* A government agency

* Another interested organization or entity

One-Stop operators may be a single entity or a consortium of entities and may operate one or more One-Stop centers. In addition, there may be more than one One-Stop operator in a local area.

How is the One-Stop operator selected? The local workforce investment board, with the agreement of the chief elected official(s), must designate and certify One-Stop operators in the local workforce investment area. The One-Stop operator must be designated as follows: Through a competitive process, or Under an agreement between the local board and a consortium of entities that includes at least three or more of the required One-Stop partners identified at W1A Section 121(d).

Under what limited conditions may the Local Board be designated or certified as the One- Stop operator? The local board may be designated or certified as the One-Stop operator only with the agreement of the chief elected official(s) and the Governor. The designation or certification must be made publicly, in accordance with the requirements of the 'sunshine provision" in WIA section 117(e), and must be reviewed whenever the biennial certification of the local board is made under 20 CFR 663.300(a). (WIA sec. 117(f)(2).)

Attachment D

Arkansas State Plan

Workforce Investment Act of 1998

Grievance and Appeal Procedure

I. Purpose:

In accordance with 20 CFR 667.600, the purpose of this procedure is as follows:

[] A process for dealing with grievances and complaints from participants and other interested parties affected by the statewide workforce investment programs

[] A process tor resolving appeals from decisions made at the local level

[] A process for remanding grievances and complaints related lo the local Workforce Investment Act programs to the local area grievance process The purpose of this procedure is also a process for appealing decisions made concerning the statewide workforce investment system. These procedures will be made available, upon request, to all WIA Title I participants and staff persons.

II. General Guidelines for Filing a Grievance or Complaint [WIA §181(c); 20 CFR 667.600; 20 CFR 610]
A. Each local workforce investment board will establish and maintain a procedure for grievances or complaints alleging violations of the requirements of Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 or Arkansas Act 1125 of 1999 from participants and other interested or affected parties. Grievances or complaints involving local activities should follow these local procedures. Grievances or complaints involving statewide activities should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Executive Director (Director) of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board at the address below.
B. If a grievance or complaint is filed with the Director that, in the opinion of the Director, after consultation with the chairman of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, should first be filed with the local workforce investment board, that grievance will be remanded to the administrator or director of the local board to be processed there. This decision will be made within 30 days of receiving the grievance. Notification of remanding will be sent to the complainant or informant.
C. All complaints, with the exception of complaints alleging fraud or criminal activity, must be filed within one year of the alleged occurrence.
D. The name of the complainant or informant will be kept confidential where possible. Where disclosure of the person's identity is essential to assure a fair determination of the issues and to effectively accomplish responsibilities under the Workforce Investment Act, disclosure will be under conditions that promote continued receipt of confidential information. Written reports may be subject to disclosure under Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
E. No person, organization, or agency may discharge or in any other manner retaliate against any person because that person has filed a complaint, instituted any proceeding related to the Workforce Investment Act, testified or is about to testify in any proceeding or investigation, or provided information or assisted in an investigation.
F. Complainant's statement must include:

[] The full name, telephone number (if any), and address of the person making the complaint

[] The full name and address of the person or entity against whom the complaint is made

[] A clear and concise statement of the facts, including pertinent dates, constituting the alleged violation

[] The provisions of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Act 1125 of 1999, regulations, a grant, or other agreements under WIA Title I believed to have been violated

[] A statement disclosing whether proceedings involving the subject of the request have been commenced or concluded before any federal, state, or local authority, and if so, the date of the commencement or conclusion and the name and address of the authority

G Upon receipt of a grievance or complaint, the Director or designee will acknowledge of receipt of the grievance to all parties by certified mail, return receipt requested. The acknowledgement of receipt of the grievance will:

[] Outline the stops to be taken to resolve the matter

[] Notify all parties of the right to request a hearing

[] Advise of attempt to reach an informal resolution

[] Provide a synopsis of issues to be decided

H. The Arkansas Workforce Investment Board (State Board) will be consulted on all grievances or complaints. A written decision will be made within 60 days of receipt of the grievance or compliant. If requested, a hearing will be completed within those 60 days.
I. The following procedures will apply to a hearing:

[] The hearing will be informal. Technical rules of evidence will not apply. Hearsay evidence will be admissible at the discretion of the hearing examiner

[] Hearings will be held at a time and place determined by the Director, in agreement with the State Board, after reasonable written notice has been sent to the parties and the witnesses.

[] The party requesting the hearing will have the burden of establishing the facts and the entitlement to the relief requested.

[] Either party may be represented by an attorney or other representative.

[] Either party may bring witnesses and documentary evidence.

[] The respondent will cooperate by making available any person under their control or employ to testify, if these persons are requested to testify by the complainant, and to release requested documents relevant to the issue after the requesting party has established that such testimony/documental ion is relative and not cumulative.

[] Either party or representative will have the opportunity to question any witness.

[] A verbatim record or tape recording will be made of the proceeding.

[] A written decision will be made by the Director or designee, after consultation with Arkansas Workforce Investment Board.

J. If a hearing is not requested, the Director or designee will conduct an administrative fact finding investigation, with the collaboration of the State Board. The investigation will include:

[] Opportunities for all parties to submit an in-depth position statement, including documentary supportive data and/or records

[] Access to and review of appropriate official records

[] Interview of principle parties and opportunity for all parties to offer rebuttal to information received

[] A written decision

K.. A written decision will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and will contain the following:

[] Statement assuring that all steps included in the grievance/complaint procedures have been adhered to

[] Issue(s) being decided

[] Statement of facts

[] Reasons for the decision

[] Remedies to be offered, if appropriate

[] Summary

[] Advisement of the right to appeal the decision

L. A party to which the decision is adverse may appeal the decision lo the Secretary of Labor (Secretary). The appeal must be filed within 60 days of the receipt of the decision. All appeals must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address below. A copy of the appeal must be simultaneously provided to the appropriate U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Regional Administrator and the opposing party. The Secretary will investigate the grievance or complaint and make a final determination relating to the appeal no later than 120 days after receiving such appeal.
M. If no decision reached by the Director and the State Board within 60 days of the filing of the grievance or complaint, then the grievance or complaint may be filed with the Secretary within 120 days of the original filing date. The procedures listed in II(L) above must be followed.
N. In most cases, the decision of the Secretary may be appealed to the Office of Administrative Law Judges within 21 days of receipt of the final determination. Instructions for this appeal are given in 20 CFR 667 Subpart H. [WIA §186; WIA §187]
O. Nothing in this procedure shall be constructed to prohibit a grievant or complainant from pursuing a remedy authorized under another federal, state, or local law.
III. Appeal of Local Decisions
A. A decision made by a local workforce investment board may be appealed to the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board (State Board) when no decision is reached within 60 days or when either party is dissatisfied with the local hearing decision. [WIA §181 (c)(1); 20 CFR 667.600 ]
B. A training provider that has been denied eligibility or has had eligibility terminated may appeal to the State Board within 60 days of the decision. ( 20 CFR 663.565(b)(4); 20 CFR 667.640(b); WIA § 122(g) ]
C. A provider of on-the-job training or customized training that has been denied eligibility may appeal to the State Board within 60 days of the decision. [ 20 CFR 667.640(b)(iii);WIA § 122(g) ]
D. The appeal must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested to the Director at the address below within 60 days of the local decision or, when no local decision has been reached, within 120 days of the original filing date. The Director will contact the local board director or administrator and investigate the appeal. Except as indicated below, procedures in II(H-O) above will apply.
E. A decision made under the state appeal process concerning a training provider (including on-the-job training and customized training may not be appealed to the Secretary of Labor. [ 20 CFR 667.640(b)(3) )
IV. Appeal of Non-designation as Workforce Investment Area. [ 20 CFR 661.280; 20 CFR 667.640(a); WIA §116(a)(5); Act 1125 §8(f)]
A. A unit or combination of units of general local government or rural concentrated employment program grant recipient (as described in WIA § 116(a)(2)(B) ) that requests, but is not granted designation as a local workforce investment area under WIA §116(a)(2) or §116(a)(3) may appeal to the decision to the State Board within 30 days of the decision. The appeal must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested to the Director at the address below.
B. The Director, with collaboration by the Stale Board will investigate the appeal and make a decision in agreement with the State Board within 60 days of receipt of the appeal.
C. If the appeal does not result in designation, an appeal may be made to the Secretary within 30 days of the appeal decision of the State Board. It must be submitted by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Secretary at the address below. A copy of the appeal must be simultaneously provided to the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board. The appeal will be made in accordance with 20 CFR 667.645.
V. Appeal of Local Areas Found in Violation of WIA Title I
A. The Governor of Arkansas (Governor) is responsible for resolving findings that arise from the State's monitoring reviews, investigations and audits (including OMB Circular A-133 audits) of subrecipients. Appeal procedures in III above will be followed, with the Governor making the final decision. [ 20 CFR 667.500(a) ]
B. A local area may appeal to the Governor to rescind or revise a reorganization plan imposed because of failure to meet performance levels for two consecutive program years. The Governor must make a final decision within 30 days after receipt of the appeal. The Governor's final decision may be appealed by the local board to the Secretary under 20 CFR 667.650(b) not later than 30 days after the local area receives the decision. The decision by the Governor to impost a reorganization plan becomes effective at the time it is issued, and remains effective unless the Secretary rescinds or revises the reorganization plan. The Secretary will notify the Governor and the appellant in writing of the Secretary's decision within 30 days after receipt of the appeal. [WIA § 136(h); 20 CFR 666.420(c); 20 CFR 667.650]
C. A local area found to be in substantial violation of WIA Title I that has received notice from the Governor that either all or part of the local plan will be revoked or that a reorganization will occur may appeal to the Secretary within 30 days of written notification of the revoked plan or imposed reorganization. The actions do not become effective until the time for appeal has expired or until the Secretary has issued a decision. The Secretary will notify the Governor and the appellant in writing of the Secretary's decision within 45 days of the receipt of the appeal. [ 20 CFR 667.650; WIA § 184(b) ]
D. A local area found to be out of compliance with the uniform administrative requirements found at 29 CFR part 95 or part 97, as appropriate may appeal to the Secretary in accordance with WIA § 667.650. The action will not become effective until the time for appeal has expired or the Secretary has issued a decision. [ 20 CFR 667.710 ]
VI. Special Complaint Procedures
A. Complaints of discrimination from participants and other interested parties will be handled in accordance with WIA section 188(b) and the Department of Labor nondiscrimination regulations implementing that section. Questions about or complaints alleging a violation of the nondiscrimination provisions of WIA section 188 may be mailed to the Director, Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N4123, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210. [ 20 CFR 667.600(f) ]
B. A Complaint may be made directly to the Secretary of Labor if a WIA Title 1 recipient has discharged or in any other manner discriminated against a participant or against any individual in connection with the administration of the program involved, or against any individual because such individual has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this title, or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding or investigation under or related to this title, or otherwise unlawfully denied lo any individual a benefit to which that individual is entitled under the provisions of this title or the Secretary's regulations. In this case, the Secretary shall take such action or order such corrective measures, as necessary, with respect to the recipient or the aggrieved individual, or both, within 30 days. [WIA §1840]

C Info Rmation and complaints involving criminal fraud, waste, abuse or other criminal activity must be reported immediately through the Department of Labor's Incident Reporting System to the DOL Office of lnspector General, Office of Investigations, Room S5514, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, or to the corresponding Regional Inspector General for Investigations, with a copy simultaneously provided to the Employment and Training Administration. The Hotline number is 1-800- 347-3756. [ 20 CFR 667.630 ]

D. Testing for use of controlled substances is not pan of the Arkansas Workforce Investment system, therefore, an appeal procedure is not established for this procedure at this time. [ 20 CFR 667.640(c) ]
VII. Job Corps [ 20 CFR 670, 470; 20 CFR 670.545]

Job Corps has a separate appeal procedure.

A. A person who is determined to be ineligible to participate in Job Corps or is not selected for enrollment may appeal the determination to the outreach and admissions agency or to the center within 60 days of the determination.
B. The appeal will be resolved according to the procedures in 20 CFR 670.990 and 670.991.
C. If the appeal is denied by the outreach/admission contractor or the center, the person may appeal the decision in writing to the Regional Director within 60 days of the date of the denial. The Regional Director will decide within 60 days whether to reverse or approve the appealed decision. The decision by the Regional Director is the Department of Labor's final decision.
D. If an applicant believes that he or she has been determined ineligible or not selected for enrollment based upon a factor prohibited by W1A § 188, the individual may proceed under the applicable DOL nondiscrimination regulations implementing WIA § 188.
E. Disciplinary actions taken by a Job Corps center may be appealed in accordance with that center's appeal policy.

Addresses:

Executive Director

Arkansas Workforce Investment Board

#1 Pershing Circle

No. Little Rock, AR 72 114

Secretary

U.S. Department of Labor Washington, DC 2 02 10 Attention: ASET

Attachment E

1. A1 (a) VISION AND GOALS, USP SECTION 2, PAGES 2 -4, PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND INDICATORS

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) will Implement the Performance Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators with the reporting of data to comply with the 34 CFR 361, Subpart E, 361.80 through 361.89 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998. The information below will provide DSB performance for Standard I and Standard 2.

Evaluation Standard 1- Employment Outcomes.

A Designated State Unit (DSU) must assist any eligible individual, including an individual with a significant disability, to obtain, maintain, or regain high-quality employment.

In order to pass Standard I a state VR agency must meet or exceed the performance level for four of the six indicators including meeting or exceeding the performance level for two of the three primary indicators. Primary indicators are 1.3,1.4 and 1.5.

* Performance Indicator 1,1: Change in the number of employment outcomes

The difference between the number of individuals exiling the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the VR program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period.

Required performance: Must equal or exceed previous year's performance.

2 005 Update: FY 2 004 DSB Performance - 338 difference + 3 or. 90% increase

*Performance indicator 1,2: Percent Employed

Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome. Required Performance: Performance level must be 68.9%.

2005 Update: 409 individuals exited after receiving services with 338 status 26 closures. 82.64% exited program with an employment outcome.

*Performance Indicator 1.3: Employed Competitively

Of all individuals determined lo have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, self- or business enterprise program (BEP) employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. Minimum wage is defined in the regulations as the Federal or State minimum wage, whichever is higher. Required Performance: 35.4%

2005 Update: FY 2004 DSB Performance- 78.70%

338 individuals exited the VR program with an employment outcome

266 individuals exited the VR program with an employment outcome earning at least minimum wage ($5.15 per hour)

* Performance indicator 1.4: Significant Disability

Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.

Required Performance: 89.0%

2005 Update: FY 2004 DSB performance- 100%

266 individuals exited the VR program with an employment outcome earning at /east minimum wage ($5.15 per hour)

266 individuals with significant disabilities exited the VR program with an employment outcome earning at least minimum wage ($5.15 per hour)

* Performance indicator 1.5: Earning Ratio

The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self- or BEP employment with earning levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the state's average hourly earning for all individuals in the state who are employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Report "State Average Annual Pay" for the most recent available year). Required Performance: A ratio of .59

2005 Update: FY 2004 DSB Performance - .65

266 individuals exited the VR Program with an employment outcome earning at least minimum wage ($5.15)

$ 9.00 average hourly wage of individuals who exited the VR Program with an employment outcome earning at least minimum wage ($5S. 15)

$13.89 State's average hourly earnings .65 Ratio

* Performance indicator 1.6: Self-Support

Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, sell'-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the difference between the percentage who report their income as the largest single source of economic support at the lime they exit the VR program and the percentage who report their own income as the largest single source at the time they apply for VR services.

Required Performance: Performance level is a difference of 30.4%

2005 Update: FY 2004 DSB Performance 34.96%

233 or 87.59% individuals reported their own income as the largest single source of support at the time of exiling the VR program

140 or 52.63% individuals reported their own incomes as the largest single source of support at the time of application.

93 or 34.96% difference between the two percentages

Evaluation Standard 2; Equal Access to Services

2.1 The service rate of all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities from non-minority backgrounds. Required performance level: .80

2005 Update: FFY 2004 DSB Performance - .87

146 minorities exited the VR program

102 minorities exited the VR program after receiving services

69. 86% Service rate of minority individuals

381 non-minorities exited the VR program

30 7 non-minorities exited the VR program after receiving services

80. 58% service rate for non-minorities

.87 ratio level of service rate

2. F1 (h) FUNDING, USP SECTION 2, PAGES 28-29, EVALUATION AND REPORT OF PROGRESS IN ACHIEVING IDENTIFIED GOALS AND PRIORITIES AND USE OF TITLE I FUNDS FOR INNOVATION AND EXPANSION ACTIVITIES

2005 Updates

DSB continues to provide grants to three Centers for Independent Living (Cits): Mainstream, Spa Area Independent Living Services (SAILS) and Delta Resource Center. The grants provide employment-related services.

The Arkansas Radio Reading Services for the Blind continues serving individuals who are blind and visually impaired The Radio Reading Service for the Blind Network broadcasts 24 hours per day, seven days per week on the SAP channels of AETN channels 2, 6, 9, 13, and 19. The Arkansas Telephone Reader is a computer system that reads the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette, the Arkansas Times, U.S.A. Today, The New York Times, and nine regional papers by a combination of digitized and human speech. The reader can access individual stories by using a touch-tone telephone, allowing them to read what they want, when they want.

DSB has applied for a Medicaid home and community-based services waiver to provide and expand services to VR consumers ages 25 through 54 who are blind or have a severe visual impairment in conjunction with another severe physical impairment (or multiple impairments) which are negatively affecting their employability.

DSB continues to promote Jobline, a telephone-based information system to provide access to career and recruitment information for persons who do not read standard print and cannot drive to employment USD office locations. The advantage of this access method, which is provided by ESD and the National Foundation for the Blind, is that it can provide mote specific job search information to the consumer. Using other similar programs, consumers must listen to the entire employment section of the classified advertisements in newspapers. JOBLINE allows the consumer to target specific types of jobs, request job openings in a certain zip code, and/or specify a distance from the consumer's home to search for job opportunities. Information about JOBLINE is available on the DSB website-

3. A1 (a) VISION AND GOALS, USP SECTION 2, PAGES 4-5, STRATEGIES AND METHODS USED TO EXPAND AND IMPROVE SERVICES

2005 Update:

DSB requires staff to obtain a bid for all purchases for individuals with a disability when the cost of the item exceeds $1,000. By continuing this procedure when state policies increased the amount required for bids to $5,000 allows DSB to continue to comply with requirements to make wise and frugal financial policies and procedures.

DSB is participating in the Ticket to Work Program administered by the Social Security Administration and sent eight representatives to the "Just the Ticket" Work Incentives Seminar in Little Rock, Arkansas, September 14, 2004. This information will be used in the coming year to administer the program. Ticket to Work is designed to remove some of the barriers built into the Social Security Administration disability programs preventing beneficiaries to return to work* Ticket to Work also is designed to encourage beneficiaries to access vocational rehabilitation services to assist them to return to work. DSB continues to provide technical assistance on Ticket to Work upon request to local Department of Human Services Offices statewide, covering 75 counties and 83 offices.

VR Transition Services are designed to ensure there is not a gap between services provided students by the educational system and those provided by rehabilitation. Transition activities promote movement from school to a post-secondary setting for students from age 14 through high school

DSB is committed to providing transition services to Arkansas youth and in the coming year plans to utilize information on transition strategies and best practices obtained at the transition conference to be held by RSA June 16-17, 2005, in Washington D.C. Two DSB representatives were sent to participate in these workshops; Bridging Service Gaps, Building a Career, Making Life Choices, Addressing the Leadership Challenge, and Utilizing Federally Supported Transition Initiatives.

DSB is entering its sixth year of administering the Jump Start program, a statewide career development program for high school students who are blind or severely visually impaired The purpose of the program is to expose these student? to the world of work and help them in transitioning from high school to employment/adulthood. DSB places students in part-time jobs in the mornings and then does activities in the afternoons to develop career awareness and self-sufficiency.

In the afternoons DSB takes students on field trips to businesses; teaches the students how to do their own shopping, cooking, and laundry; provides instruction by certified mobility and orientation specialists; and teaches job search skills and computer technology. These skills wilt help them work, go to college, and be more independent

Approximately 30 students from across the state apply each year, and DSB is able to accept 22 students into the program. This year marks the second summer that the Jump Start program has been reduced to three weeks instead of the usual four weeks. DSB houses the students at the Arkansas School for the Blind during the week and students go home on weekends. In addition to providing mobility specialists, counselors, job coaches, technology/computer COORDINATIONs, a nurse, house parents, and other staff while the students are in training, DSB provides all meals, transportation, lodging, recreation, training materials, and salaries for the students' part-time jobs. Students receive a Jump Start T-shirt and a certificate for completing the program.

Working part-time and interacting with other students who are blind or severely visually impaired increases the student's confidence, social skills, and self-esteem. Some students who complete this part of the program go into Phase Three and are found summer jobs in their communities in the following year.

4. USP SECTION 2, PAGES 13-16, COMMUNITY REHABILITATION PROGRAMS

2005 Update

DSB will not continue its contract with the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services in which payment to Community Rehabilitation Programs was block funded. DSB does not have as many consumers attending CRP's as in past years and it is felt that the agency can save money by funding these consumers on an individual basis rather than in a block. The agency will work with local CRP's to develop feasible programs to put consumers to work in communities and also develop more job placement services in the community to better utilize available resources.

5. D1 (d) NEEDS ASSESSMENT, USP SECTION 2, PAGES 16-18, STATEWIDE NEEDS ASSESSMENT, ESTIMATES, GOALS AND PRIORITIES; STRATEGIES AND PROGRESS REPORTS

COMPREHENSIVE NEEDS ASSESSMENT

2005 Update Comprehensive Needs Assessment

An independently conducted thorough needs study was conducted by Opinion Research Associates in 2003. The results of the 2003 survey were reported in the FY 2004 updates and have not changed.

6. USP SECTION 2, PAGES 21-25, ORDER OK SELECTION 2005 Update

Categories

Clients Served

26 Closures

Costs

I

274/24%

60/22%

$ 428,417.20

H

652/56%

212/32.5%

$1,096,570.12

III

218/19%

59/27%

$ 400,174.79

IV

13/1%

7/53.84%

$ 42,049.97

Total

1,157

338

SI,967,212.08

Average cost per client: $1,700.27

Number of minorities served: 382

Projections for FY 2005 Update

Number of individuals in the State eligible for services 1,239

Number of eligible individuals who will receive services under Title I. part B 1,239 Number of eligible individuals who will receive services under Title VI, part B 27

7. F1 (h) FUNDING, USP SECTION 2, PAGES 27-28, QUALITY SCOPE AND EXTENT OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

2005 Update:

DSB continues to provide supported employment services and uses the following providers: Abilities Unlimited, Finders Keepers, Jenkins Industries, First Step, Abilities Unlimited of Fort Smith, Fort Smith Skills Training Center, Mid Arkansas River Valley Abilities (MARVA) Inc., Skills Training and Rehabilitations (STAR) Skills Training Center, Jobs Plus, and Forrester-Davis Development Center. In FY 2004, DSB provided supported employment services to 20 individuals. Of this number, 5 cases were closed, of which 3 were closed competitively employed not in supported employment, I was closed competitively employed in supported employment, I was closed not competitively employed-not in supported employment, and 0 were closed without an employment outcome.

FFY 2005-2006 Projections: 20 consumers will be served

8. J1 (c) USP SECTION 2, PAGES 37-45, COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT

2005 Update

III. PROJECT STATUS COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT

The Arkansas Division of Services for the Blind (DSB) supports a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPI)) as required by Section 101(a)(7) of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992. DSB's CSPD Plan Is aimed at securing and maintaining an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals to provide rehabilitation services to blind and visually impaired Arkansans.

DSB presently has 88 authorized positions and a total of 62 current employees providing services to a total of 2,295 consumers, 1,276 of whom arc vocational rehabilitation clients. There are 12 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and eight (8) Rehabilitation Teachers. This provides a VR counselor ratio of 1063 per year. The remaining VR staff includes two field supervisors, one case monitor, nine business and technology staff (Including Vending Facility Program), 20 support staff and ten administrative staff. It is anticipated that two to four new VR Counselors will be needed over the next five-year period.

DSB has established a deadline of September 30,2005 for vocational rehabilitation counselors currently employed to meet CSPD requirements. DSB continues to focus heavily on implementing the Division's CSPD Plan and anticipates extending the date to September 30, 2008 for new counselors currently enrolled in university masters programs. All counselors, including those in retiree status, have been actively involved in an education program and/or scheduled to take the CRC exam. The Comprehensive Personnel Development Team (CPDT) appointed by the Director was instrumental in implementing the CSPD plan and the Division is expected to meet the September 30, 2005 deadline for completion of its plan for VR counselors included in previous report. Grant support will focus on the Division's training of new VR staff; second priority for Rehabilitation Teachers and other paraprofessionals. Additionally, DSB staff participated in a variety of teleconferences and distance learning opportunities as well as state and federal conferences for personal growth and development. Grant support for certification activities are included in the CSPD summary.

Partnership with Universities is on-going with staff meeting quarterly with the UALR Advisory Committee providing input regarding agency CSPD needs. The Committee reports on university scholars eligible for employment and DSB continues to provide internships and practicums to scholars in UALR's Masters Program. DSB also serves on the UAPB undergraduate Advisory* Committee and coordinates practicums upon request.

The University of Arkansas Regional Continuing Education Center has provided CSPO support for staff by designing and delivering training to meet the agency's needs. University courses, web-based classes, distance learning opportunities, and state and federal conferences have been utilized for certification requirements and personal growth and development.

The Arkansas Office of Personnel Management (OPM) continues to recommend the minimum qualifications, job descriptions and salary rates for specific classifications, based upon labor market surveys, which are then reviewed and approved by the legislature. OPM has amended State Minimum Qualifications for entry-level staff to show preference for rehabilitation field certifications. Similarly, senior positions now require such certification or Its equivalency based upon the current standards of each certifying entity. DSB utilizes the Oklahoma State University Rehabilitation Recruitment Center to advertise vacancies nationwide. Locally, the Arkansas Department of Human Services personnel vacancies are published in the Career Opportunities Bulletin, the statewide newspaper, DSB website, ESD offices, other state agencies, and college and university recruitment bulletins. Internships are available to students in the rehabilitation programs across the state. Recruitment efforts are ongoing to colleges and universities with a predominately minority enrollment. This Division will recruit, and, to the degree possible, hire counselors with a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or other closely related degree.

Staff Development: State Special Education is a partner to DSB in enactment and monitoring of the transition requirements under the Rehabilitation Act, which mirror similar requisites under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Higher education trains staff in rehabilitation specialty areas, and DSB provides leadership training for staff with the In-service Training Grant as a vehicle for implementation. Training is provided based on Training Needs Assessment conducted annually to address issues of retention of qualified staff, succession planning and leadership development.

Individual Communication Needs:

DSB provides interpreter services through a contract with Communication Plus for communication with persons with limited English speaking ability'-Appropriate modes of communication, including sign language interpreters are available on a contractual basis. The directive to utilize Communication Plus has been provided to all staff and Is on file in each DSB office and the Counselor Field Manual. Additionally, DSB serves on the Arkansas Advisory Committee for the Arkansas Project for Children with Deafblindness and is an affiliate of the Helen Keller National Center. The Deaf/Blind Consortium has developed information in Spanish and has provided training for parents and professionals to foster stronger partnerships among agencies who work with this special population.

Reader service, guide service, and any special adaptive equipment arc made available to applicants for services, consumers, and DSB personnel. Information is also available in the medium of choice for persons making application for DSB services and for persons with disabilities who are employed by DSB.

This Division will recruit, and, to the degree possible, hire counselors with a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or other closely related degree, and utilize the CPDT to implement an education plan for existing personuel to be retrained to meet certification standards for the certifying entities for CRC*. LPC\ AER* and LOC*

Update/Summary - Education Activities for Professionals and Paraprofessiouals in meeting Certification Standards:

"CRC - Council on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification Twelve (12) Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors:

Six (6) CRC

Two (2) Scheduled - October (2005) Exam

Two (2) New VR-University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Master of Arts in Counseling with emphasis in Rehabilitation Counseling Two (2) Retiree Status (must enroll in one university course to meet educational requirements per the agency CSl'l) Plan)

Other Educational Activity:

One CRC currently pursuing Dual Masters: Rehabilitation Teaching Program,

UALR as a RSA Scholar; anticipated graduation date August 2005

One Field Supervisor - Masters Program - LiALR

*LPC - Arkansas State Board of Counseling (Licensed Professional Counselor) One (1) LPC - scheduled for October, 2005 CRC Exam Two (2) Completed Directions in Rehabilitation Counseling On-line Program to maintain certification

DSB has utilized UNT-CDER, UALR Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling Programs, University of Arkansas Regional Continuing Education Center (RCEC), and the In-service Training Grant as vehicles to meet C'SPD requirements for vocational rehabilitation counselors currently employed. DSB has six CRC VR Counselors (one of these has Orientation and Mobility Certification; one is pursuing a dual masters in Rehabilitation Teaching at UALR); two applicant status for October CRC exam.

DSB anticipates completing CSPD Plan for VR counselors currently employed by September 2005.

DSB provides financial support for all activities related to obtaining and maintaining certification. DSB will pay for one repeat test, all other testing fees become the responsibility of the Counselor. DSB allows time for study on the job, and certification is a part of the Performance Evaluation Plan.

Other activities and resources utilized to support the agency plan included: *CRC Review Seminars sponsored by UALR and RRCEC

*Various teleconferences and programs that grant pre-approved CEU's by CRCC

*Bridgeworks Teleconference Network for On-line Study Groups and Courses

*The Ethics Series sponsored by Region VI- RCEC

*Directions in Rehabilitation Counseling Program, a self-paced on-line course approved by CRCC

* ACVREP - Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals

* (formerly AER - Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired)

Rehabilitation Teaching and Orientation and Mobility Certification: Eight (8) Rehabilitation Teachers - R/T

Three (3) R/T Certified

One (1) Re-certification Process; Masters Rehabilitation Teaching Program UALR; RSA Scholar

One (1) Certified Low Vision Specialist (lapsed)

Three (3) No Certification (2 new)

One (1) Supervisor Certified

Succession Planning:

Community Leadership Institute for Change Knowledge (CLICK) -RCEC

1- Completed Sessions I- 4; Session 5 Scheduled July, 2005;

Program will be completed by September, 2005

2 - Completed Program - September, 2003

Other Certifications:

*LOC - Library of Congress

* One (1) (Certified Braille: Transcriber)

The University of Oklahoma, College of Continuing Education

Certificate of Achievement in Training and Development Program

Project Director/Training Coordinator

Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

State of Arkansas, the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board

Project Director/Training Coordinator

Executive Leadership Institute in Rehabilitation - Oklahoma One Administrator

Certified Public Managers Program (CPM)

University of Arkansas at Little Rock - Arkansas Public Administration

Consortium - (APAC) - One Administrator

Certified Volunteer Managers Program (CVM)

* University of Arkansas at Little Rock - Arkansas Public Administration Consortium (APAC)

Three (3) - Training Coordinator/ Braillist/Rehabilitation Program and Planning Director

California State University, Northridge (CSUN)

Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP)

One (1) - Staff Development Specialist I

Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

Two (2) - Technical Support Specialists

Randolph Sheppard Program

International Rood Safely Council

Four (4) - ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification Program

Department of Human Services (DHS) Supervisory

All staff completed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Update Training

DSB utilizes Region 6 Rehabilitation Continuing Education Center (RCEC) University of Arkansas website for posting job openings to recruit qualified counselors from university programs within Region 6. Additionally, the UALR Advisory Committee for the Masters program provides quarterly updates on status of students in the University Program nationwide. The Project Director and Area Supervisor, who is also a student, serves on the UALR Advisory Board for the Masters program, which meets quarterly to discuss program activities as it relates to careers in rehabilitation and CSPD issues for state agencies. UALR reported 231 students in 37 states and two other countries enrolled in the on-line Program and will have will have 44 graduates as of summer of 2004 and 15 certificates.

DSB continues to partner with universities across the state in providing practicums and internships and participates on various Advisory Boards; the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), a Historical Black College/University (HBCU) Undergraduate Rehabilitation Program; the UALR Master of Arts in Counseling Program; and Arkansas Independent Living Council (AlLC).

DSB currently has ten (10) VR counselors appointed to local Workforce Investment Boards statewide and continues involvement in Employment Security One-Stop activities. Additionally, DSB participated in various conferences sponsored by the state Workforce Investment Board and various Workforce investment Act activities.

Community Outreach:

Public relations activities continue to increase with counselors providing in-service training, technical assistance, and serving as speakers for colleges and universities. Counselors continue to participate in community fairs, conferences and workshops statewide. More than 6,000 brochures and promotional items have been distributed regarding DSB Services and programs, informing consumers and aiding in recruiting individuals into the field of rehabilitation. Due to the local revitalization initiative, requests for Information and services have increased from a variety of community programs and projects, i.e., special health programs and various non-profit events. DSB continues to utilize J. Kelly Referral Services as a statewide marketing and outreach tool. Other marketing strategies included submitting success stories to various newsletters: DHS Today, the AER and the Arkansas Independent Living Center (AILC). Counselors also provide local in-services, and articles in local newspapers have increased this reporting period.

Professional Growth /Development:

DSB Staff continues to be actively involved in consumer group and professional organizations; CSAVR/NCSAB spring and fall conferences; state and national Federation of the Blind (NFB) meetings and conferences; American Council of the Blind (ACB); the State Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER); and the Arkansas Rehabilitation Association (ARA) Training Conference.

Training has been accomplished with all staff participating in at least one or more training activity. These pre-service and post employment training opportunities enhanced and increased the supply of skilled personnel in the field of rehabilitation to more effectively manage the Vocational Rehabilitation Program on a statewide basis. Various on-line training has been utilized for paraprofessionals to enhance skills; the newest training addition is the DHS on-line Management training program with 14 participants from DSB.

Evaluation results, case reviews, and agency statistics indicate training provided through assistance of the In-Service Training Grant has resulted in upgrading existing skills and competencies of agency staff and improvements in staff performance. Through on going training efforts, the impact of improved vocational rehabilitation services provided to consumers contributed to achieving successful employment outcomes for 338 individuals.

It is anticipated that recruitment and retention of qualified staff will have an impact on training. Turnover is constant due to retirees, promotions, new hires and transfers. Therefore, New Employee Orientation Sessions are planned as needed. Trainings are: one week of Professional Skills training at the Louisiana Center for the Blind Phase II of-New Employee Orientation for new staff; one week at Lions World Services for the Blind (LWSB), scheduled as needed within three months of employment; and Job Shadowing for new Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Rehabilitation Teachers. DSB will also take advantage of the Region recruitment program which includes tools for recruiting persons for careers in the field of rehabilitation specific to agency needs. Brochures are available in both Spanish and English.

Upgrading skills of VR Counselors has been established as a priority by the DSB Director to meet RSA CSPD requirements of qualified staff. VR Counselors plans are expected to be completed by September, 2005 and grant support will focus on Rehabilitation Teachers and support staff to enhance skills and competencies in their respective areas. This Division will continue to provide training for professionals and paraprofessionals to strengthen skills for staff to provide services leading to successful employment outcomes for blind and severely visually impaired Arkansans.

Year Five Training Activities: See Calendar or Events - April, 2004- May-2005

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

CSPD TRAINING ACTIVITIES:

Two VR Counselors received CRC making a total of six certified counselors.

Two (2) Counselors and one (1) Field Supervisor enrolled In Masters in Rehabilitation Program,

University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR); one (I) currently pursuing dual masters at UALR

These on-line programs were key to implementing DSB's CSPD plan.

Additional activities provided to maintain certification credentials also include sponsoring cost of exam fees for staff eligible to sit for the CRC Exam and staff enrolled in various on-line courses. One (1) Directions in Rehabilitation Counseling

JUMP START: This three-week summer program provides work experience and community living experiences for students ages 16-21 as they transition from school to work or higher education; 21 students were accepted for the June, 2005 program. This is the seventh year DSB has collaborated with the Arkansas School for the Blind to hold Jump Start. The Jump Start program is scheduled June 12,2005 - July 1,2005. Entergy Arkansas awarded DSB a $2,000.00 grant for the 2005 Project. VR Counselors, Rehabilitation Teachers, administrative staff and designated support staff contribute to the success of the program.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Implementation Training/Activities:

Ten (10) VR Counselors continue to participate on Local WIA Boards across the State and attend various workshops, training sessions and media days.

DSB continues to acquire various videos, tapes, articles, and magazines for the DSB Resource Library. The staff can use these resources to increase their knowledge and skills and can share this information during presentations to groups and counseling with individuals.

DHS On-line Management Training Program:

This pilot program provided How to Master training and skills assessment in soft skills in Leadership, Team Building, Business Management, Customer Services, Performance Managentent, and Personal Career. This on-tine program provided (raining opportunities for all staff and was utilized in performance plans by supervisors.

Fourteen (14) support and management staff participated: DHS Staff Development sponsor

DSB staff participated in various teleconferences and webcasts, including, but not limited to, these topics

* National Transition Conference

* employment issues

* the Work Incentives Improvement Act

* the Workforce Investment Act

* Department of Labor Return-to-Work Programs. Institute's Employment Technology Work Group which focused on the One-stop System

* the Ticket to Work Program

* Business Leadership Networks

* state and local Workforce Investment Boards

* One-Stop Delivery systems

* statewide systems

* performance accountability * Guide dogs

* Understanding Edgar

* Informed Choice

* Ethics

* administrative issues

Attendees: Administrative Staff, VR Counselors

New Employee Orientation:

New staff participated in Professional Skills Training at the Louisiana Center for the Blind and received training under blindfold in all areas of vocational rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Teaching, Staff also participated in similar training at Lions World Services for the Blind and other staff will be scheduled as needed.

Attendees: VR Counselors and Rehabilitation Teachers

Supervisory Training: Executive Order 86-1

This is required training for supervisors/managers in Arkansas State Government consisting of three separate trainings:

3-Day Supervisor Training (DHS Policies and Procedures)

Basic Supervision (DHS Policies and Procedures; and Management of People)

Interpersonal Communications (Communication Process and Cultural Communication)

Sponsor: DHS Staff Development

Two (2) - Administrative Staff Completed Training

All staff completed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA) Update Training as required to comply with new privacy standards set by Congress to protect client's medical records and other protected health information.

DSB participated in Person Centered Training for Students with Vision and Hearing Losses sponsored by the National Technical Assistance Consortium for Children and Young Adults who are Deaf/Blind (NTAC). Case Studies were presented on model transition programs, communication skills and hands on activities with parents, special education teachers and rehabilitation agencies that work with deaf/blind consumers.

Sponsor - Arkansas D/B Project Dept. of Education: VR Staff attended

Succession Planning:

Community Leadership Institute for Change Knowledge (CLICK) is a two-year program designed for managers who are relatively new in their roles or those who wish to update and refine management techniques as well as staff interested in advancing to supervisory positions. The training involves face-to-face lecture, self-directed activities, web-based activities, and individual development assignments. Sponsor: Region VI- RRCEC, Attendees: Three (Two have completed the program, and one will complete the program September, 2005.

Technology: The Arkansas Technology Center for the Blind works in partnership with the Arkansas School for the Blind (ASB). The Business and Technology staff operates the lab on the campus of ASB and maintains the original lab in the State Office for consumers and the public. The staff reports an average of 35-40 monthly visits to the original lab. Two Technical Support Specialists completed the Microsoft Office Certification program.

Computer Training:

Blind Services Information System (BSIS)

All staff continues to receive training in the new automation system to enhance case management and record tracking for VR staff. Just-In -Time Training is provided and is ongoing as changes occur and new staff hired.

Microsoft Excel 2003 Training:

This training was designed and delivered by Staff Development Specialist.

All new staff receives Ibis 2-day training which includes hands-on instruction and a workbook in all media in their office and on an as needed basis. Follow-up sessions on all computer classes will be planned/provided upon request.

Attendees; VR Counselors, Rehabilitation Teachers, and Support Staff

VR Counselor Training/Placement - Counselors participated in various employment conferences at national, regional and state levels. Additionally, staff was involved in various Workforce Investment Board One-Stop activities as well as the following advisory committees: Arkansas Networking Consortium for Deaf/Blindness; UALR Masters Program Advisory Committee; Delta Transportation Grant Project with Rehabilitation Services (CADET); Region VI Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program Advisory Committee; Region VI Independent Living Council Committee; the Region VI Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP); the Arkansas Independent Living Council (AILC); and the Jobs for Arkansas Graduates (JAG) Advisory Committee with the Arkansas School for the Blind; LWSB Business Service Advisory Council

Quarterly Field Services Meetings: Cross-training for all Field Services staff to update on agency programmatic changes; manual updates; BSIS; job development/placement, transition; Workforce Investment update; eligibility, planning and follow-up; transition services, and RSA mandates. Various vendors, service providers and staff arc included on the program. Attendees: All Supervisors, VR Counselors, Rehabilitation Teachers, and Support Staff

Monitoring:

The Case Reviewer conducted comprehensive case reviews on all VR cases and added Rehabilitation Teacher cases to identify additional training needs. Supervisors reviewed and monitored cases using the BSIS program.

A Public Forum is scheduled for May 19, 2005 for consumer input in the development of DSB's State plan and to obtain public comment on the changes and updates to the Title I and Title VI Vocational Rehabilitation Program for fiscal year 2004.

DSB Staff was actively Involved in consumer group and professional organization conferences both on the state and national level. Staff attended: CSAVR/NCSAB, National Federation of the Blind (NFB), American Council of the Blind (ACB), the State Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), and the Arkansas Rehabilitation Association (ARA) Training Conference.

Training has been accomplished in each area with all staff participating in at least one or more training activity as set forth in the objectives in the original grant. These pre-service and post employment training opportunities enhanced and increased the supply of skilled personnel in the field of Rehabilitation to more effectively manage the Vocational Rehabilitation Program on a statewide basis. Through on-going training efforts, the impact of improved Vocational Rehabilitation Services provided to 2,295 consumers contributed to employment outcomes for 705 consumers, 338 of which were successful Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) placements.

Evaluation results, case reviews, and agency statistics indicate that training provided through assistance of the In-Service Training Grant has resulted in upgrading existing skills and competencies of agency staff and improvements in staff performance. The DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators as reported in the DSB State Plan can also measure the impact of training.

PROJECTED TRAINING ACTIVITIES: MAY, 2005 - SEPTEMBER, 2005

MAY, 2005

CSPD - four (4) Scholars

University of Arkansas at Utile Rock, University of North Texas/San Diego State University, Master

Rehabilitation Counseling Distance Education Courses

ACB State Conference - Administrative Staff

New Employee Orientation/Professional Skills Training (4)

Understanding IDEA Teleconference

Arkansas AER Conference May 9-10

Arkansas ARA Conference -Little Rock May 25-27

DSB Public Forum May 19

Empowerment in the Workplace May 26

JUNE, 2005

CSPD

Jump Start - Summer Transition Program June 12 - July 1

Summer Deaf/Blind Workshop June 28-30

National Transition Conference June 15-17

Deaf/Blind Consortium

DSB Board Mtg.

2005 MidSouth Summer School (I) June 5-10

JULY, 2005

CSPD

CLICK: Attraction at Work July 6 - 8

American Council of the Blind (ACB) - Nevada July 1-7

National Federation of the Blind (NFB) -Kentucky July 1-7

Special Show - 2005, Little Rock, Depl. or Education July 28-30

AUGUST, 2005

The Many Faces of Aging -

Professional Support Conference

Cortical Visual Impairment

SEPTEMBER, 2005

Region VI Education Forum

DSB Statewide Training Conference

El(c) STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNANCE, USP SECTION 2, PAGES 26-27, DSB COMMISSION BOARD:

2005 Update:

The Division of Services for the Blind (DSB) has a legally constituted Consumer Board (Act 481 of 1983), with its members appointed by the Governor, which under the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, meets the requirements to function as a Commission board. The Division Director is named by the Commission Board with the approval of the Governor, and develops and administers the agency program, at the direction of the Commission Board. Program priorities are set by the Commission Board every other year, and reviewed annually.

A formal report containing programmatic, fiscal and administrative information Is presented to the Commission Board quarterly by the DSB Director. Advice and recommendations of the Commission Board are documented in official minutes and responsive reports arc made during (he following quarterly meetings to ensure compliance with public notice regulations.

In compliance with Federal directives, the DSB Commission Board mandates consumer satisfaction surveys be conducted annually. The DSB Case Reviewer provides satisfaction surveys to all DSB consumers on an annual basis. The surveys are provided in the individual's medium of choice. The DSB Case Reviewer compiles the results of the survey. The DSB Commission Board mandates an additional independent third party satisfaction survey of individuals receiving DSB services every three years. The results of both satisfaction surveys are presented to (he DSB Commission Board for discussion, comment, and recommendation. The DSB Commission Board directs the DSB Director to modify policy and procedures within Federal regulations and law to improve customer satisfaction. The DSB Commission Board solicits input from individuals who are or have been recipients of DSB services.

The DSB Commission Board assures (hat it is a consumer-controlled Board representing the interests of individuals who arc blind and conducts a review and analysis of the effectiveness of and consumer satisfaction with DSB service providers. The DSB Commission Board is responsible under Arkansas law for operating and/or overseeing (he operation of the vocational rehabilitation program that provides services In Arkansas to individuals who are blind. The DSB Commission Board assures that DSB will administer the state plan in accordance with 34 CFR 361 ET al-State Vocational Rehabilitation Service Program.

DSB held a public forum May 19, 2005, to receive input from consumers, providers of services, other agencies and /he public. Eight (S) individuals attended the public forum. Interpreter Services were available during the public forum. A notice was placed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a statewide newspaper. Notice of the public forum was also submitted to Arkansas Radio Reading Service, the DSB website, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Arkansas Independent Living Council, Centers for Independent Living, Lions World Services for the Blind, Arkansas Department of Education-Special Education Unit, Arkansas School for the Blind, Arkansas School for the Deaf, Client Assistance Services (CAP), Arkansas Department of Human Services, Workforce Investment Board, and consumer groups. Each DSB office was notified of the public forum. Each updated section of the state plan was reviewed and discussed.

Attachment F

The goal of this process is to develop a world-class workforce center network that goes well beyond the minimal requirements established by the federal Workforce Investment Act. It is critical to make the centers user friendly and attractive, creating a public image that is inviting to job seekers, education seekers, and employers seeking skills and talent in the local labor markets.

This document brings all the tools approved by the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board (WIB) into a single reference for Local Workforce Investment Board members involved in certifying or recertifying local Arkansas Workforce Centers. It is the intent of the Arkansas WIB to provide this instrument as a guide to what is expected, not to provide the means of how it is to be accomplished. Ongoing organizing, implementation, and ensuring continuous improvement of the local certification process are the responsibility of the local WIB.

Included are minimum core standards that must be a part of the local certification/ recertification process. In a clear, concise manner this guide documents the Arkansas Workforce Board Certification Process needed by the local WIB when conducting certification site visits. It also reviews the Quality Assurance Process to be used by the Arkansas WIB to ensure minimum standards are met and that the Arkansas Workforce Center brand name is protected. It is expected that each local workforce investment area may supplement these core standards with additional locally applicable criteria and performance measures to ensure continuous improvement.

Certification is not just about a one-time designation. It is an ongoing process that keeps all parties involved and achieving at high performance levels. As such, the certification process also allows for achieving excellence standards as continuous improvement planning occurs. This certification process serves as an opportunity to continually re-examine, improve, and revise procedures to ensure that the Arkansas workforce development system is a primary asset in Arkansas' economic growth and subsequent high quality of life.

Arkansas Workforce Investment Board Staff

Jane English, Executive Director

Cindy Varner, Deputy Director

Main Phone: (501J-371-1020

FAX: (501)-371-1030

TDD: (800)-285-1131

arkansaswib@mailstate.ar.us

PART I

Introduction

The following are core principles for building and continually improving the Arkansas Workforce Center system:

* High quality services to employers, with quality expectations defined by business and industry needs.

* High quality services to individuals, with quality expectations defined by system users.

* Single points of access for a wide array of integrated and coordinated publicly available services.

* Customers who are empowered by information and user-friendly system tools.

* A variety of access points and services that attract a broad range of system users.

* Coordination of funding sources aimed at addressing identified customer priorities.

* Reducing unnecessary duplication of services.

* Increased accountability at all levels.

* Improved youth services through better career counseling, information, and connections between employers and schools.

* Infusion of continuous improvement methods throughout the system.

* Increased overall value of the system through new, creative partnerships.

Historical Background

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) provided the framework for States to create a more comprehensive, customer-focused workforce investment system. Governor Mike Huckabee signed Arkansas Act 1125 of 1999, the Arkansas Workforce Investment Act, on April 6,1999, thereby providing the process that linked employers and job seekers through a Statewide workforce development delivery system. The establishment of a one-stop delivery system for workforce development services was a cornerstone of the reforms contained in Title I of the Workforce Investment Act, and in Arkansas' workforce development and economic development initiatives.

The State of Arkansas was divided into 10 local workforce investment areas based on common geographic and economic factors. Each area contains at least one comprehensive service center, and may have other satellite centers as part of local access networks connected to the comprehensive sites.

This system provides customers a single point of contact for employment, training, education, and supportive services. Under the oversight of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, Arkansas Workforce Centers in communities throughout the State integrate multiple workforce development programs and resources, and make them available to individuals at the 'street level" through a user-friendly delivery system.

It was envisioned that the local Arkansas Workforce Centers would be designed by employers for employers, to help find and train qualified workers, and assist qualified workers to find jobs in business and industry. The idea was to simplify the maze of current programs into a comprehensive, streamlined system of services for job seekers and employers, eliminating the need to visit different locations and understand multiple, complex program requirements.

A significant key to implementing the Arkansas Workforce Center system was the "no wrong door" approach to providing services that encompasses the principles of universal access, integration, co-location, collaboration, and performance as the building blocks to the system. With the "no wrong door" philosophy, when a customer approaches any Arkansas Workforce Center partner requesting assistance with employment and training needs or services in support of the customer's job search or skill development, the customer is able to access the best mix of services from the combined menu of all partners' resources, and gain immediate access to the appropriate next step.

The system was designed to be an open marketplace where:

* Employers define the skills and workforce levels they need.

* Job seekers are armed with information and resources to acquire and document skills they can use in the marketplace.

* Employers, through participation on workforce investment boards, are able to hold the system accountable through performance standards, strategic information, and system oversight.

* The Arkansas Workforce Center brand name is widely recognized and valued.

* Public resources are targeted and coordinated toward clearly identified customer needs.

The Future

Progress toward complete implementation of Arkansas' workforce development vision is ongoing. A crucial element in this is the continued involvement of business, industry, and community leaders. Workforce development depends heavily upon the vision and leadership of our State's employers.

The Arkansas Workforce Centers will bring about the integration of federal, State, and local workforce programs, giving employers and workers a chance to connect in real or virtual communities, and access labor market information, education, and training.

Ultimately, the workforce investment system is designed to increase the employment, retention, occupational skill levels, and earnings of Arkansas' workers through universal access to career management tools and high quality service, while creating a well trained, more competitive workforce for Arkansas' employers. As a result, these systems will improve the skills of the workforce, increase worker income with resulting increases in family self-sufficiency, reduce welfare dependency, enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the State of Arkansas, and ensure a high quality of life for all Arkansans.

PART II

The State Workforce Investment Board's Mission

To establish a unified, flexible, accountable workforce development system implemented through local workforce investment boards to enhance collaboration of business, industry, labor, service providers, and citizens, delivered through an accessible and responsive Arkansas Workforce Center system. The system will offer employers a resource for workers in existing and emerging occupations, and empower Arkansans to receive employment services as well as job-specific training.

The State Workforce Investment Board's Vision for Certification

To provide business and industry with a skilled, trained workforce so that current and future market needs can be fully met. This will be accomplished by creating an environment that integrates services across agencies and programs, minimizing duplication of services and funding, improve job seeker and business customer access, and create a framework for continuous improvement.

PART III

Role of the State Workforce Investment Board for Certification

The Arkansas WIB will establish and coordinate policy for use by local workforce investment boards in conducting certification and recertification of Arkansas Workforce Centers. This policy will be provided to the local workforce areas. The Arkansas WIB will ensure that the workforce centers meet the minimum criteria to be designated as a certified Arkansas Workforce Center. The Arkansas WIB will seek to ensure that other State agencies participate fully in the workforce centers, through MOUs, resource sharing, and cost allocation. Issues that cannot be resolved by the local WIB should be forwarded to the Executive Director of the Arkansas WIB for determination. If the Arkansas WIB decides that these standards are not being met, the local WIB will be notified and a corrective action plan will be requested. If the deficiencies are not corrected in a timely manner, decertification of the center will be recommended to the Governor.

Role of the Local Workforce Investment Board for Certification

It is the responsibility of the local WIB to select a One-Stop operator through methods described in the Workforce Investment Act. The local WIB may select a single operator for a network of multiple, comprehensive sites, or may choose a separate operator for each site. The local WIB is also responsible for certification and recertification of the Arkansas Workforce Centers in their area. The local WIB will use the minimum criteria provided by the Arkansas WIB. The local WIB has the authority to add criteria beyond the State minimum levels. In order to ensure quality, best practices are encouraged throughout the workforce system; any additional criteria should be shared with the other areas and the State Board. The local WIB has the responsibility to monitor the Arkansas Workforce Centers to ensure compliance with the certification/ recertification process. If the local WIB determines that these standards are not being met, the One-Stop operator will be notified and a corrective action plan will be requested. The local WIB has the authority to revoke certifications and/or select new operators if standards are not met and corrective actions of the operator are not successful. The Local WIB will seek to ensure that adequate, attractive, and functional facilities are provided.

PART IV

Arkansas Certification Policy

As a Statewide system, Arkansas Workforce Centers cover metropolitan areas as well as rural areas. Therefore, different types of centers are required in order to meet our customers' needs, ensure statewide coverage, and provide easy access to services. The overall Arkansas workforce development system is a combination of a wide array of public and private resources and programs. Comprehensive Arkansas Workforce Centers are the cornerstones of information and access to these resources. The comprehensive centers are complemented by satellite and affiliate centers that provide broader access but more limited on-site service offering connections back to the comprehensive sites. Centers must:

1. Be strategically located to maximize service to employers and employees.
2. Have enough traffic to warrant operations.
3. Provide on-site services (interpreter, documents, etc.) based on demographic need.
4. Have hours of operation that are based on customer needs and are customer driven.
5. Ensure that uniform procedures are in place to implement Veterans Preference for job placement.
6. Ensure that priority of service for training opportunities for veterans is clearly implemented for all U.S. DOL programs.

The minimum core standard certification criteria (Appendix B) approved by the Arkansas WIB will be used to certify comprehensive centers, as well as satellite centers. Consistent with the State Plan, the Local WIB will certify each local workforce center. At its discretion, the local WrB may set certification requirements and/or standards that exceed the minimum criteria established by the Arkansas WIB.

As stipulated by federal law, all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements must be met before a center is eligible to receive the Arkansas Workforce Center certification, or utilize the Arkansas Workforce Center name and logo. For specific requirement compliance see DOL Memorandum "WIA Section 188 Disability Checklist" dated 22 July 2003 from Assistant Secretaries of Labor Pizzella, Grizzard, DeRocco.

For an Arkansas Workforce Center to be considered for certification, the One-Stop operator, with the mandated and optional partners, will be required to jointly prepare an Arkansas Workforce Center site business plan (see Appendix B). The business plan will identify the available products and services, the organizational structure, an operational and financial plan including cost allocations based on square footage, staff development training, marketing strategies, and other related information necessary to operate an Arkansas Workforce Center. The review and approval of that plan by the local WIB will ensure the avoidance of duplication of services and provide for the inclusion of partners.

Arkansas Workforce Center partners are required to share costs of the centers consistent with their on-site staffing participation on a square footage basis. The Arkansas WIB will ensure all partners at the State level understand and fully participate in the MOU/Cost Allocation process. The square footage basis will be used to allocate the space used directly by staff, and for the allocation of shared space and other shared operating costs. Shared costs may include cash and in-kind products and services. Staff lime used in common areas will be considered as in-kind contribution.

The local WIB will be responsible for overseeing partner cost-sharing commitments and for re-negotiating commitments when needed. The One-Stop operator will be responsible for notifying the local WIB when commitments are not being implemented or when commitments need to be re-negotiated. The local WIB will hold the partners accountable for adherence to the cost allocation memorandum of understanding, and the business plan implementation. The local WIB will be responsible for negotiation and enforcement of partner commitments as needed, including seeking assistance from the Arkansas WIB with State-level commitments when appropriate. The MOU and cost allocation templates provided as Appendices D and E will be used so that the procedure is standardized throughout the State.

Before a site can receive a certification, the local WIB must ensure that the site is operational and the following items are provided by the local WIB to the Arkansas WIB:

* Approved Governance Agreements (MOU, Cost Allocation and Business Plan).

* Approved ADA compliance plan.

* Fully functional Resource Area (Facility Checklist, see Appendix B, Basic Resource Center Review).

Local WIBs will notify the Arkansas WIB when a certification is issued, renewed or revoked. Marketing activity utilizing the Arkansas Workforce Center name is allowed when the local WIB approves and issues a certification. If a certification is revoked, the affected center must cease using the Arkansas Workforce Center name in it's marketing until the identified problems are addressed.

Comprehensive Centers

One of the key responsibilities of the local WIB is to ensure that the Workforce Investment Act's core services are available in at least one comprehensive center located in each designated workforce investment area. Comprehensive centers are expected to provide all of the core services as outlined in Section 134(d)(2) of the Workforce Investment Act. Local WIBs may add to these minimum requirements based on the needs of each area.

A Comprehensive Arkansas Workforce Center is the physical location where, at a minimum, all the core services of the required programs will be available (if partner/program services are provided in the workforce area). Any center staff who has been cross-trained and maintain proficiency may perform these core services:

* WIA Title I Adults

* WIA Title I Dislocated Workers

* Trade Act

* Social Security Programs (Employment & Training Program)

* WIA Title I Youth

* Unemployment Insurance

* Job Corp

* Title V Older Workers

* Native American programs

* Carl Perkins

* Veterans Employment

* Migrant & Seasonal Farm Workers Programs

* Community Service Block Grants

* Wagner Peyser

(Employment Service)

* Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (ARS and DSB)

* WIA Title II - Adult

Education & Literacy

* HUD (Employment & Training Program)

Additionally, non-mandated partners/programs may include:

* Economic Development

* State Agencies

* Literacy Councils

* Non-Traditional

* Libraries

* Non-Federal funded partners

* County Veteran Service Officers

* Other appropriate organizations

* Chambers of Commerce

At least ten of these programs must be provided within a comprehensive center. The Arkansas WIB will seek to ensure that all organizations that receive federal funds for employment and training services make these services available in the workforce centers. Employment Services, Adult & Dislocated Worker, and Veterans Services must be accessible on site on a full time basis.

Each comprehensive center will have a center manager to ensure that:

* Services are provided in an integrated, seamless delivery method under the name of Arkansas Workforce Centers.

* Staff from the various programs is available and cross-trained to deliver services in an integrated and seamless manner.

* Services and funding between partners are not duplicated.

* The center manager will be an employee of the One-Stop Operator or will work under the direction of the One-Stop operator.

To facilitate integration, partners will share resources, technology platforms, job development teams, coordinate case management of co-enrolled customers, job databases, support services, application protocol and forms, assessment, business services, marketing plans, performance and evaluation measures.

The center will have a business liaison team as the single point of contact for business services. It is expected that staff involved with initiating employer contacts will participate in the team in a coordinated outreach program under the Arkansas Workforce Center name and marketing approach. The team will consist of business contact staff from all partner programs and will, at a minimum, provide the following structure and coordination in approaching the business community:

* A team leader to coordinate the activities of the team.

* A coordinated 'script" to market the system to employers.

* Use of the Arkansas Workforce Center name as the primary marketing approach, with agency specialty areas (i.e. Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Services for the Blind, DVOP/LVER Veterans Services) presented as a part of the overall system as needed.

* An information sharing strategy that makes contact results available to all team members.

* A clear menu of services across all partners.

* A division of duties with employer sector specializations as deemed appropriate for quality customer service.

* Multiple agency participation with clear cost and information sharing commitments.

* At a minimum, Job Search or Job Development leads performed by any center staff will be entered into the Wagner Peyser database. Note this also applies to both the satellite and affiliate locations.

Comprehensive centers are also encouraged to create opportunities to establish additional points of access. These are viewed as additional, free, mutually beneficial services provided to the community that provide evidence of continuous improvement in serving employer and workforce needs.

The Arkansas WIB will create a website for public access to the Arkansas Workforce Center network, including a means for area input. Each local WIB will be responsible for ensuring that its comprehensive centers maintain and update the website for public access. Additionally, at least one comprehensive center in a Workforce Investment Area must have a toll free telephone number, so information is easily accessible to clients throughout the area.

The Arkansas WIB will provide or make available to the workforce centers a web-based operating system that will provide a system of record for these services. This system should incorporate:

* One common database for the State.

* Common intake into program systems.

* Swipe cards to record services used.

* Virtual One-Stop entry (can be accessed by customers from any computer that is internet connected).

* Pathways to labor market information/job searches/information for job seeker-businesses.

Satellite Centers

A satellite is a physical location where five or more programs are delivering services, providing access to the web-based system, and providing staff assistance to customers. Each satellite must be a part of a comprehensive center's business plan, with the relationship of the satellite to the comprehensive site fully explained. The following represent minimum requirements for the establishment of a satellite center. Local WIBs may add to these minimum requirements based on their area's needs.

An Arkansas Workforce Center satellite office must:

* Be linked through the business plan to a comprehensive center, as coordinated by the One-Stop operator.

* Ensure that it operates within the core standards of the business plan, with its connection explained as a sub-part of the business plan of the comprehensive center.

* Have a minimum of five programs, two of which must be mandated WIA programs, providing services on a full time basis.

* Provide universal access to core services with a referral process to the comprehensive center or other provider locations for services not delivered on-site. Any center staff who have been cross-trained and maintain proficiency may perform these services.

* Include a resource center as defined in Appendix B.

* Consistently meet client traffic/intake levels to warrant establishing and maintaining a center as established by the local WIB.

Minimum certification criteria as approved by the Arkansas WIB for the certification of comprehensive centers will also be used by the local WIB to certify a satellite workforce center. The local WIB will certify each satellite workforce center using the core standards in Appendix B. As with comprehensive centers, in order to display the Arkansas Workforce Center name and logo, workforce center satellites must be certified by the local WIB. A copy of this certification must be provided to the Arkansas WIB.

Affiliate Sites

Affiliate Sites must be tied to a comprehensive site through the business plan. Affiliate Sites may include stand-alone partner program facilities as well as virtual sites.

Affiliate Sites display signage specified by the Arkansas WIB indicating it is an Arkansas Workforce Center. Additionally, upon agreement with the comprehensive One-Stop Operator, Affiliate Site must make available brochures and signage indicating what customer services are available at the Comprehensive Site. To be an official Workforce Center Affiliate Site, a location must:

* At a minimum having hardware, software and Internet access

* Provide a measurement of usage

* Provide staff assistance, if available, to its customers in using the computer

* Promote Arkansas Workforce Center to its customers by making available Arkansas Workforce Center brochures, newsletters, directories and other information useful to customers

* Agree to make a referral to an Arkansas Workforce Center for additional services as needed.

Certification/Recertification Overview

The certification of a site to bear the Arkansas Workforce Center name involves meeting and sustaining core standards. The local WIB is the agent charged with substantiating that, at a minimum, the Arkansas WIB standards are met. These standards are based on the business plan model for continuous improvement. The seven core standard components embody quality principles and practices that have been proven to produce superior results in areas such as customer satisfaction, financial performance, employee satisfaction, and productivity.

Part of the certification process will involve site visits by the local WIB. After a site has become operational, it will be certified. The local WIB works with the One-Stop operator to make certain that each site meets established administrative, physical, and operational standards.

In order for a workforce center to be certified, it must meet the minimum core standards as outlined in Appendix B. Initial certification will be for two years. Recertification of centers must occur at the end of every two years using criteria that require continuous improvement as outlined in the standards for excellence (section II). To achieve recertification, documentation showing continuous improvement (statistical material, business relationship improvement, etc.) must be provided.

Initial Certification (Core Standards)

Two years duration

First Recertification (Excellence Standards)

Two years duration; specific qualitative improvements clearly demonstrated and documented through metrics, performance standards, employer & customer surveys, etc.

Subsequent Recertification (Updating of Excellence Standards)

Renew every two years, based on continuous improvements that can be demonstrated and are documented.

Certification Process

Steps that may be taken in issuing a certification are as follows:

Step One

Local WIB establishes a vision for the local Arkansas Workforce Center system.

Step Two

Local WIB establishes certification process and criteria incorporating Arkansas WIB criteria of core standards. The local WIB selects the One-Stop operator. The local WIB also selects/ approves the network of sites in the workforce area. It is important that the local WIB and operator have an agreed upon set of mutual expectations. Several discussions may be needed between the parties before reaching agreement on the final business plan.

One-Stop operator opens Arkansas Workforce Center on-site and operates based on the agreed upon business plan.

Step Three

Step Four

After an agreed upon amount of time, the local WIB conducts a site visit to document that the core standards are met (see Appendix B for documentation requirements). The Local WIB also conducts a facility review of the site and the resource center to ensure compliance.

Step Five

If the operator and site meet the core standards for the business and site plan, the local WIB issues a certification. If there are deficiencies, the local WIB issues a letter to the One-Stop operator requiring corrective actions with an expected deadline for completion. On or before the deadline, the operator requests a review to receive the certification.

Step Six

The local WIB will provide to the Arkansas WIB a copy of the certification instrument for each site.

To aid with determining whether a site has met all the requirements to bear the Arkansas Workforce Center brand name, the Arkansas WIB's Arkansas Workforce Board Certification Process and its core standards will be the instrument used when conducting a site visit. The local WIB has the authority to add additional criteria and measures, as well as determine the method of measurement.

Recertification Process

Initial certification (core standards) is for two years. Once a center has been certified, it is the local WIB's responsibility to recertify every two years utilizing a continuous improvement plan to find ways to improve customer satisfaction.

Steps that may be taken to issue a recertification are as follows:

Step One

Local WIB establishes recertification process and criteria incorporating Arkansas WIB criteria for excellence standards.

Step Two

Local WIB reviews the amended business plan and conducts site visit to review documentation and to conduct site facility check.

Step Three

Local WIB issues recertification or letter on deficiencies to One-Stop operator.

Step Four

The local WIB will provide to the Arkansas WIB a copy of the recertification instrument for informational purposes.

PART V

Quality Assurance Process

Monitoring and continuous improvement assessment is a consistent theme throughout the Workforce Investment Act. These responsibilities reside at several different levels within the overall workforce investment framework. Adhering to the basic certifying criteria established by the Arkansas WIB is a core element of the monitoring and evaluation process. Monitoring and continuous improvement assessment occurs at both the State and local levels.

Certification responsibilities reside with the local WIBs. These boards are the bodies that must approve all new certifications and recertification of any existing centers. The local WIBs may use criteria for certifying in addition to the basic certifying criteria established by the Arkansas WIB, but the boards must ensure that the basic core standard criteria are part of their processes.

All Arkansas Workforce Center sites operate similar to franchises of major private sector businesses. In order to display the Arkansas Workforce Center name and use the workforce center operating system, the centers must meet minimum core standards established by the Arkansas WIB. The Arkansas WIB will conduct scheduled and random quality assessments of centers, as needed, to ensure that the minimum core standards are being met in order to protect its "brand name."

However, since certifying the centers is ultimately a local WIB responsibility, feedback and any corrective action necessitated by the joint reviews will be channeled back to the local WIBs for response. The Arkansas WIB retains the right to revoke use of the Arkansas Workforce Center brand name if minimum core standards are not met at any particular center. Since the local WIBs are the certifying bodies, applying any sanctions will be carried out through the local WIBs. The Arkansas WIB will work cooperatively with local WIBs, if problems are identified, to seek remedial action. In the unlikely event that compliance is not reached, the local WIB may be directed by the Arkansas WIB to revoke use of the Arkansas Workforce Center name.

Local WIBs are required to have at least one comprehensive center within their workforce investment area. If that requirement is not met, the Arkansas WIB is responsible for initiating action against the local WIB. Such action may include technical assistance, but could ultimately result in reorganization of the local WIB as provided under the Act.

Local WIBs will be responsible for an ongoing process of continuous improvement strategies as they maintain oversight of their certified network of Arkansas Workforce Center sites. The process will include ongoing efforts to

Appendix A: Definitions

Affiliate site In addition to the responsibilities outlined on page 16, affiliate sites may also provide opportunities to disseminate workforce information through other entities, such as libraries, high schools, etc.

Comprehensive workforces center A physical location where all of the core services of all programs mandated by the WIA are accessible to all patrons of the workforce center.

Core services Core services are provided by all workforce center partners and universally accessible to ail customers. There are no eligibility requirements for core services.

Cost allocation methodology The square footage for each agency and the amount of time per week the space is utilized is determined. Agency contributions (rent, janitorial, utilities, workers, training, etc.) are figured. This amount is shown on the budget and the agency fair share is determined by the percentage of total square footage usage divided by the overall amount paid.

In-kind contributions In-kind contributions are tangible products and services assigned to the center in lieu of cash consistent with the negotiated cost allocation plan. Such products and services may be used to cover certain items in the overall budget of the center. Examples include phone systems, copiers, marketing materials, paper, supplies or other budgeted items. Time spent on-site by partner staff may be considered an in-kind contribution if performed for the benefit of the entire center.

One-Stop operator The One-Stop operator is an agency or organization designated by the local WIB and charged with the responsibility for establishing and maintaining a highly effective network of workforce centers focused on team building to deliver quality services to both the employer and job seeker. The One-Stop operator is responsible for ensuring that sufficient space in the workforce centers is made available to all providers of services mandated by the Workforce Investment Act to enable those agencies to provide employment and training services in the center. The One-Stop operator is responsible for overseeing the activities conducted in the common areas of the workforce center, including the center's resource room facilities.

Physically located For an agency or organization to be considered to be physically located at a workforce center, the core services provided by that agency or organization must be available to workforce center customers.

Satellite workforce center A physical location where five or more workforce center partner(s) are providing services for their programs, and also providing access to the web-based workforce center system and staff assistance to customers.

Shared operational costs Shared operational costs of a center are those costs that cannot be directly allocated to the housing/occupancy requirements of the partner staff, or to program-specific usage of space. Examples include rent for common reception and resource areas, and the general greeter/receptionist. All site partners, as specified by the approved cost allocation plan, will share such costs.

Workforce center system A workforce center service delivery strategy which includes a workforce center (comprehensive or satellite) where customers can choose how to access information and services.

Services, Job Seekers Core

* Available to the general public requiring no eligibility requirements.

* Outreach, intake (which may include worker profiling and re-employment services), and orientation to the Arkansas Workforce Center system.

* Initial assessment.

* Eligibility information for services for all partner employment and training programs.

* Job search assistance, career information, and counseling.

* Job matching and referral.

* Local, regional, and statewide labor market information.

* Information on financial assistance, including unemployment insurance.

* Information on certified education and training providers, performance outcomes of service providers, workforce center activities such as job fairs and supportive services.

* Orientation to personal computers for access to self-directed services.

* Follow-up activities including reassessment services.

Intensive

* Any funding source or partner may provide services; e.g., services routinely provided by veterans' services staff and vocational rehabilitation staff for clients who qualify for their assistance.

* Comprehensive assessment of knowledge, skills, abilities and interests by use of various assessment tools, such as testing.

* Development of individual employment plans.

* Group counseling.

* Individual career counseling.

* Case management.

* Short term pre-vocational and stand alone services, such as basic adult education, English as a second language, General Educational Development (GED), basic computer literacy, interviewing skills, and soft skills.

Training

* Training may be provided from multiple sources, including Pell grants, WIA, Individual Training Accounts (ITA), or clients own resources.

* Occupational skills training, including training for non-traditional employment, will be provided through ITAs for adults and dislocated workers.

* On the job training.

* Programs that combine workplace training with related instructions, which include cooperative education programs.

* Private sector training programs.

* Skill upgrading and retraining.

* Entrepreneurial training.

* Job readiness training.

* Adult education and literacy activities where they are integrated with other training services.

* Customized training conducted with commitment to employ the individuals upon successful completion of training.

* Registered apprenticeship and training programs.

Services, Employers Core

* Orientation to the Arkansas Workforce Center system and services.

* Self-enrollment and common application for services with validation criteria.

* Multiple methods to list jobs available to the public, and the method of referral.

* Access to America's Career Kit that integrates America's Job Bank system.

* Automated job matching.

* Screening and referral of qualified candidates.

* Training programs, providers, and consumer reports on effectiveness of specific providers.

* Labor market information to bridge economic and workforce development.

* Human resource information, i.e., tax credits, unemployment insurance, and access to labor law and compliance information.

* Initial skills assessment and/or occupational profile of positions.

* Access to computerized training to upgrade incumbent basic skills.

* Rapid response, initial contacts.

Intensive

* Account executive services, including brokering with other service providers/ resources.

* Job profiling.

* Rapid response services, including outplacement.

* Seminars and informational workshops.

* Customized assessment for new hires/ exiting staff.

* Linkages with other employers that have similar needs.

* Individualized recruitment plans.

* Access to entrepreneurial assistance.

* Access to economic development programs and services.

Training

* Incumbent worker training.

* On the job training.

* Customized job training funded under WIA.

* Advanced skills training.

Appendix B:

Documentation of Business Plan & On-Site Review

Location________________________________

Date___________________________________

Reviewer_______________________________

Business Plan & On-Site Review Checklist

1. Check yes or no to indicate that the business plan reflects the criteria.
2. Check yes or no to indicate if the described documentation was obtained during on-site review.
3. Describe the center's strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Items in Section I (core standards) must be checked "yes" for both the business plan review column and the column for on-site documentation for an initial certification to be awarded. This will document that the center meets minimum core standards necessary for awarding of an initial certification.

Items in Section II (excellence standards) will be rated as documentation of progress toward excellence. It is anticipated that the standards in this section will become part of the baseline standards for recertification. The local WIB will discuss progress toward meeting all of these standards during its ongoing quality review discussions throughout the certification period.

Defining the Business

Section 1 - Core standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The plan describes the core business of the center and where the center fits in the marketplace - including major partners and major competitors.

Interview with management level partners reflects understanding of the core business and the relationship of the business to similar organizations in the marketplace.

The plan describes the center as a single business with multiple investors in a joint venture - it includes a clear description of each investor's contribution to the business and their expected benefit.

Interview with management level partners determines that partners are able to describe specific investments they are making and the specific returns that make the investments a wise use of funds.

The plan includes an internal analysis of the center's strengths and weaknesses and an external analysis of the opportunities and threats in the marketplace.

Interview with management level partners identifies specific opportunities that the center intends to seize and specific threats that the center has a plan to address.

Section II - Excellence Standards

YES

1 NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The plan has a rationale for the location and layout of the center that connects directly to the needs of the customer base

Center has analysis of site locations, site layouts, and assessment of how current site relates to the ideal.

The plan indicates how the center is coordinated with economic development and social service networks in the community.

Interviews with economic development and social services leaders confirm coordination strategies with the center.

The plan describes how center leadership is involved with other One-Stop operators and with the local WIB in regional service strategies.

Documentation of collaboration meetings with the local WIBs and other centers is presented to reviewers.

The center has an active business advisory group that keeps the center aligned with the service needs of employers.

Documentation of advisory group meetings, attendance and key actions in support of the center are presented to reviewers.

The center utilizes external data about the community, the labor market needs, and employer hiring practices to define its core business purpose and strategies.

Key data sources and evidence of uses of data in planning are presented to reviewers.

Strengths (use back of page if needed):

Opportunities for Improvement (use back of page if needed):

Products and Services

Section 1 - Core standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The center describes its set of products and services to the public as a "menu of services" for a single business operation, not a menu of separate organizations operating under one roof.

Observation at the site of the unified presentation to the public of the clear menu of services.

The plan identifies the major customer groups of the center and describes the major service needs of each group.

Interviews with management level partners show evidence that the center used input from customers to establish needs and create appropriate products and services for each major customer group.

The plan describes the resources available to the general public and the assistance available from partner commitments for continual staff support to the public in the resource room.

Observation on-site of the resources available and the staff interaction with customers in accordance with their needs.

Section II - Excellence Standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The center has established quantified service standards for customers accessing the products and services of the center (wait times for computers, shifting of staff to address bottlenecks, empowering staff to use multiple funding sources).

Interviews with on-site staff to test knowledge of standards and observation on-site to see application of standards to customer service.

The center has identified additional services that customers need and has created new arrangements with service partners to meet the needs.

Interviews with on-site staff to identify the means of providing the new services and for identifying new needs. Observation of application to customers.

The center has identified key community based organizations that assist the center in creating future products and services for key target groups.

Evidence of meetings with community organizations and new products developed. Interviews with community organizations.

Strengths (use back if needed):

Opportunities for Improvement (use back if needed):

Marketing

Section 1 - Core standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The center plan describes an external communications strategy explaining how the center will communicate with the community - content, frequency, media.

Copies and examples of materials are reviewed on-site and are consistent with plan

Center has identified specific approaches for attracting customers consistent with the customer targets identified.

Interviews with management level partners confirm targeted approaches and on-site evidence is noted - including presentations and visits to other organizations.

The center plan describes the identity that the center is establishing in the community - when/how partner staffs identify with the center name vs. agency names.

On-site reviews of documents reflect promotion of center image through use of signage, nametags, letterhead, and marketing materials.

Section II - Excellence Standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The center plan describes the coordination of marketing efforts with the local WIB and with the Arkansas WIB in the promotion of the center brand name.

On-site review of evidence of coordination meetings and results of meetings. Evidence in marketing materials of broader promotion of region and State.

The center plan describes the coordination with other centers and with the local WIB to address sector-based responses from employers.

On-site review of evidence of coordination with business services staff of other centers and with the local WIB to address regional consistency in marketing to employers.

The center has identified specific funds that will be used for the marketing budget.

On-site review of marketing budget, expenditures and evidence of use of funds for marketing materials and approaches.

Strengths (use back if needed):

Opportunities for Improvement (use back if needed):

Management & Organizational Structure

Section 1 - Core standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The business plan includes an organizational chart that demonstrates a functional structure. The major functions are identified as well as the cross-agency staff for each function.

On-site observation of staff organization within the center is consistent with functional alignment and presents a "one employer' image to the public.

The plan identifies the center manager and the manager's internal communications strategy with frontline staff of all service partners at the site - content, frequency, media used, staff meetings.

On-site evidence of communication strategies described in plan, including staff meeting agendas and internal memos. Interviews with frontline staff to confirm.

The plan describes the staff development strategy that will be employed for all staff of the center, including cross-information with other organizations.

On-site evidence of overall plan, including interviews with staff to confirm that development strategies are being implemented.

Section II - Excellence Standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The business plan includes a staff code of professional ethics in dealing with the public - professionalism, dress code, and phone procedures, courtesy.

On-site evidence that plan is being implemented in interactions with public and staff-to-staff. Review of customer satisfaction feedback to confirm

Center manager has a staff customer satisfaction survey and a process for addressing staff issues - management has set goals for staff satisfaction.

On-site review of process and results - evidence that internal changes were made in response to staff feedback.

There is a coverage plan on-site to ensure that absence of a key management or operational staff person does not result in failure of a key function.

Interviews with key staff confirm that they know who covers for them and for others when needed to perform key functions.

Strengths (use back if needed):

Opportunities for Improvement (use back if needed):

Operational Plan

Section I - Core standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The plan describes the customer flow in a manner that presents the center to customers as a single business, not a hand-off from agency-to-agency.

On-site service simulation follows the described flow and confirms the "one business" approach and presentation.

There is an identified process for creating and using management information and customer feedback to adjust operations to address identified issues or deficiencies.

On-site confirmation with management of process used plus evidence of actions taken to address identified issues.

There are center-wide policies and procedures that apply to all staff operating on-site.

On-site evidence of Operations Manual with policies and procedures, and staff access to material - interviews with staff confirm knowledge and usage.

Section II - Excellence Standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

A contingency plan exists for dealing with unplanned absences, unexpected traffic (due to layoffs, etc.). and service bottlenecks at the site.

On-site evidence of plan - interviews with staff to determine examples of implementation -observation of implementation, if applicable.

A technology plan exists for the site -the plan identifies gaps for both customers and staff, and cites specific technology needed to fill gaps.

On-site interviews with staff to confirm relevance of plan -review of staff satisfaction and customer satisfaction results related to technology needs.

The business plan identifies specific customer service standards for each major function or service offered (wait times, time to return calls, etc.).

On-site review of evidence that management reviews service standards - implementation is observed with customers at site.

Strengths (use back if needed):

Opportunities for Improvement (use back if needed):

Measuring Success

Section I - Core standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The plan describes quantified and measurable goals for the center as a whole and an action plan to ensure the goals are accomplished (who does what by when).

Interview with management demonstrates they have a strategy for monitoring progress of the goals and taking action if goals are not being met.

A process is described for how data on center performance indicators and program outcome data for partners is utilized, including how often reports are reviewed, who reviews them, how they are analyzed, where the analysis goes, etc. A copy of the reporting format is included in the plan.

An actual report is available on site along with evidence of usage (such as staff meeting agendas, memos, written action plans).

The plan describes standards and measures that must be met by each partner in relation to center goals, along with their goals and strategies for meeting and exceeding those standards.

Interview with key management staff describes how goals were established, and how strategies are updated in response to progress review.

Section 11 - Excellence Standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The plan describes the format and frequency for reporting of progress to the local WIB in accordance with established outcomes/ processes and with adherence to the certification agreement.

A copy of the report is available, which contains interviews with management on quality of discussions, and changes made as a result of guidance from the local WIB.

The plan identifies how partners will assist each other in meeting the individual performance standards of each organization and funding source.

Interviews with on-site team leaders from each partner organisation will confirm that plan is being implemented and partners are providing assistance.

Strengths (use back as needed):

Opportunities for Improvement (use back as needed):

Financial Plan

Section 1 - Core standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

The business plan provides a unified, center budget that includes sources and levels of funding. It is clear which organizations pay for which parts of the overall operation, and which activities and spaces are shared.

On-site discussions with partners verify that plan is being implemented and all partners are meeting funding commitments.

The plan describes how the budget has been developed in response to center vision, goals and resource commitments made by partners.

Interview with management reveals their underlying assumptions, and how they are directing resources to support strategic goals of the center.

The plan describes how resource gaps and potential funding opportunities have been identified.

Interview with management indicates how they have linked potential funding opportunities with specific gaps, and what the plans are for attracting identified funding sources.

Section II - Excellence Standards

YES

NO

Documentation

YES

NO

Center manager has discussed funding gaps, needs, and desired re-alignment of resources with partner organizations, and has presented analysis and responses to the local WIB for input into the MOU negotiations.

On-site evidence of financial analyses and discussion with management on actions needed by local WIB to address gap closure and cost sharing among service partners.

Center manager has established strategy for fund development beyond traditional government sources -including sources such as business contributions, acquisition of grants, and fee-for-service approaches.

Discussion with center manager on fund development plans and actions taken to implement.

Strengths (use back if needed):

Opportunities for Improvement (use back if needed):

Basic Facility Review

Facility Feature

Yes

No

Located on public transportation (n/a if not available)

Common Reception Point

Space for group services

Private space for personal discussion

Space for itinerant or part-time services

Space to expand to acci .new partners

Clearly posts hours of operation

Expanded hours when warranted

Adequate general parking and handicap parking

Visible and prominent external signage

Clean exterior, free of trash and weeds

Clear and professional internal signage

Staff wear name tags

Staff use common logo for stationery and cards

Site has been ADA reviewed (reference checklist cited on page 10)

Has adequate computers available for use by general public

Restrooms are clean and adequately supplied

Menu of services is displayed

Vision and mission are displayed

Information about center performance is displayed or readily accessible

Facility Strengths:

Facility Opportunities for Improvement:

Basic Resource Center Review

Resource Center Feature

Yes

No

Resource area is the focal point of the center and draws customers in

Self-help materials are readily available

Materials are available in alternative formats for the disabled or non-English speaking

Staff are stationed in the resource area and readily available to customers

Resources are available for employers as well as job seekers

Information is available in a wide array of media, including video, audio, books, periodicals, and software

The area has appropriate signage to guide customers to resources

The area includes capacity for customers to photocopy, print, telephone, fax, and access the internet

There are materials appropriate for youth to use in career exploration, postsecondary selection, and financial aid assistance

Labor market information is easily understandable and accessible

There are tools for customers to self-assess their skills and develop resumes

Resource Room Strengths:

Resource Room Opportunities for Improvement:

Certification Recommendation

Award Certification:____________________________________

Award Certification subject to

meeting the following conditions:________________________________

Certification Reasons:__________________________________________

Certified by:__________________________________________________

Date:_______________________________________________________

Appendix C: Code of Professional Ethics and Practices

As an Arkansas Workforce Center Professional, I pledge to:

1. Exhibit and uphold the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct in order to ensure the integrity and advancement of the Arkansas Workforce profession. 1 pledge that 1 am law abiding, honest, reliable, dependable, fair, cooperative and trustworthy.
2. Advance programs and services that are consistent with the public trust and responsive to the public interest.
3. Demonstrate commitment to maintaining professional competencies through ongoing professional development.
4. Exercise maximum effort in the workplace to ensure optimal benefit to my employers, jobseekers, organization and community.
5. Promote cooperation and collaboration with partner organizations in order to maximize our customers' opportunities for success.
6. Respect the integrity, promote the welfare, and maximize the freedom of choice and informed consent of my customers.
7. Respect and protect the privacy of my customers when gathering, recording, storing and sharing confidential information.
8. Recognize and respect the unique challenges faced by culturally or ethnically diverse, and physically or mentally challenged individuals.
9. Abstain from using my official position to secure personal or political privilege, advantage, gain or benefit.

I certify that 1 have read and understand the Arkansas Workforce Code of Professional Ethics and Practices and promise to follow its guidelines. I further certify that 1 have never been disciplined by my employer for a violation or situation that is addressed in this Code of Professional Ethics and Practices.

_____________

Signature Date

_____________

Appendix D: Memorandum of Understanding Template

Introduction

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is entered into in accordance with the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). This agreement among the signature agencies and organizations describes how their resources will be utilized to better serve mutual customers in the_________Arkansas Workforce Investment Area, and the Workforce Center which is part of the Arkansas Workforce Investment System. It is understood that the Center will be a collaborative effort based on trust and teamwork among agencies working together as partners to accomplish a shared goal of improving the quality of life for individuals through employment, training, and education.

This collaboration will enhance economic development to better serve the present and future needs of employers in this area. This will be accomplished through a comprehensive workforce center located in_______and the Center's satellite(s) located in_________________.

Vision Statement

The purpose of the Arkansas Workforce Center is to advance the economic well being of our area by developing and maintaining a quality workforce.

____________________Workforce Center Partners will ensure universal access to services for all customers, provide customer choice in service and service delivery, and ensure accountability in performance and customer satisfaction. These services are designed to connect the unemployed citizen and dislocated worker to a job, prepare the underemployed citizen for a new job, and introduce youth to employment. This will be achieved through the co-location and integration of employment, training, education, and economic development services for youth, job seekers, workers, and employers.

Management and Structure

Parties to this agreement will work as partners to ensure that all youth, jobseekers, workers, and employers will be served comprehensively, in a seamless system, which addresses their needs, merges common services across programs, and minimizes duplication.

Partners will retain responsibilities for reporting and monitoring of their respective programs. In addition, any tracking request by the Workforce Center will be done as required by the law.

Parties to this agreement will work under the direction of the center manager for all non-programmatic issues.

Duration

This Memorandum of Understanding shall remain in effect until terminated by the repeal of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), otherwise by action of law, or in accordance with this section.

Any partner may withdraw from this MOU by giving written notice of intent to withdraw at least 60 calendar days in advance of the effective withdrawal date.

The withdrawal of a partner shall not affect the cost to the remaining partners.

Withdrawal will in no way nullify the MOU for the other partners.

Notice shall be provided to all partners.

All partners may agree to the termination of this MOU in writing.

Any partner may request modification of its terms.

Ratification of the request by all other partners will constitute the modification in question.

Confidentiality

All partners agree to honor the attached information release form. Exchanged information shall remain private and confidential in accordance with the most restrictive confidentiality requirements of any of the partners collecting, receiving, or sharing information. Additionally, workforce center personnel must recognize that client-counselor communications must be protected and the need for privacy accommodated.

Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions

The partners of this agreement and respective staff assure that applicants, claimants, and participants of our Workforce Center programs shall not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, or belief. Furthermore, if applicants are receiving WIA program benefits or are participating in any WIA Title 1 financially-assisted program or activity (Section 188 of WIA and 29 CFR Part 37.20 identifies civil rights laws) as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States, they shall not be discriminated against in any way.

The partners to this agreement will agree on a One-Stop Equal Opportunity Officer for the workforce area who will process complaints of discrimination and attempt to address same as prescribed by 29 CFR Part 37, "Implementation of the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions of WIA."

The partners to this agreement will abide by 29 CFR Part: Section 188 of WIA, and implementing directive issued by the State of Arkansas.

Cost Allocation Plan

Shared Funding of Services

This MOU will not change with the quarterly review and/or adjustments reflected by the Cost Allocation.

A partner can only pay for costs that are allocable to that partner's fund source. Each partner will contribute services and pay for costs associated with those services. If the partners are only sharing space, "fair share" will be charged according to a formula based on square footage as the basis for allocation. The cost per square foot becomes a pooled cost that is directly charged to the partners located at the Arkansas Workforce Center. For common area computation, WIA Title 1 may be considered as up to three separate funding streams based on the presence of Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth programs.

Exceptions to the general principle requiring that costs be shared proportionately may include:

* Unrestricted Funds may be used to pay for any portion of the costs, since there are no restrictions on the type or amount of costs these funds may pay.

* Partially Restricted Funds may be used to provide services to the general population.

* Costs Fully Allowable To More Than One Fund Source may be paid in part or in whole by one of the sources without regard to the rules on cost allocation.

* Immaterial Costs are costs so minor in amount that they do not need to be allocated.

Although the________________Center is designed to be a seamless service delivery system for the customer, available services will be provided from various entities with different funding accountability. Because of these various funding streams, this plan has been developed to ensure that each partner bears its fair share of the costs of maintaining the Center.

Common Space, which is available for use by all partners, includes a conference room; break room, reception area, storage and restrooms, computer-resource lab, and testing room.

Dedicated Space is space intended for the use of one partner only.

Indemnification

Any public liability claims against the State pertaining to the leased premises shall be submitted to the Arkansas Claims Commission for adjudication in accordance with Arkansas Code Annotated § 19-10-201 et. seq.

Systematic Referral Process for Workforce Center Customers

It is agreed that the Workforce System partners of this signed MOU will conduct referral for services in the following manner. Common intake will be used to determine the customer's needs. This will allow staff to make the appropriate referral. The following process will be used for all customers referred for services.

* Customers will receive a written referral form with the date, time, and place of the appointment.

* The maximum amount of time to schedule a customer appointment should not exceed three working days.

* The individual making the appointment will be responsible for follow-up.

Arkansas Workforce Center Performance Criteria

It is agreed that the local workforce center will strive to achieve the following standard of quality service for its customers, employees, and partners.

All partner agencies can expect:

* To be listed as a source for applicable referrals for services rendered to customers.

* To work in a safe and professional environment.

All job seekers or those seeking employment enhancement can expect:

* Prompt and courteous service from the staff.

* The services designed to assist customers in achieving their educational and/or job placement goals.

* Access to job listings, which includes job description, salary, location, and required experience/education.

* Unbiased and/or non-discriminatory pre-screening practices.

* Courteous service from staff representatives.

Employer customers can expect:

* Ability to post their job openings either openly for access by any job seeker or in a masked format so that potential applicants are screened.

* Courteous service from staff representatives.

* Access to job applicants, either screened by the Workforce center or self-referred.

All employees can expect:

* To work in a safe and professional environment.

* To receive the best tools to achieve the desired outcomes for their customers.

* To be fairly compensated for their-services. All partners will:

* Deliver high quality services through the Workforce Centers.

* Make a positive attempt to place customers in jobs with family sustaining wages.

* Make a positive attempt to place customers in jobs for a minimum of 180 days.

Governance of the Workforce Delivery System

In accordance with WIA section 117(d), the__________________Workforce Investment Board will select a One-Stop operator with the agreement of the chief elected officials and conduct oversight of the workforce system, youth activities and employment and training activities under title I of WIA, in partnership with the chief elected officials.

In accordance with WIA section 121(d), the agreement between the Local Board and the One- Stop operator shall specify the operator's role. That role may range between simply coordinating service providers within the center, to being the primary provider of services within the center, to coordinating activities throughout the local workforce system.

Each partner in the Workforce delivery system agrees to abide by the Federal and State laws and regulations that apply to their individual programs.

Confidential Personal Information Release

I hereby authorize the Arkansas Workforce Center to use and exchange all pertinent personal information with all One-Stop partners as necessary to better serve my needs.

I understand that all exchanged information shall remain private and confidential in accordance with the most restrictive confidentiality requirements of any of the Workforce Center Partners collecting, receiving, or sharing information.

_______________

Printed name

_______________ _______________

Signature Date

_______________ _______________

Witness Date

All partners/programs are expected to participate in the workforce center to the extent allowed by law. For example, the centers need recognize that Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Division of Services to the Blind, as well as the LVER/DVOP Veterans representatives are restricted by specific federal statutory law to work activities associated with these three programs. The following are the services that will be delivered through the Workforce Center, along with those agencies responsible for delivering the services and the various funding sources that each will bring to the operation:

Example

Core Services

Agencies

Funding Sources

Intake

ES

DHS

Voc Rehab

TEA

AARP

STW

Green Thumb

ADE/Lit

Administrative Entity.

WIA Title 1. Subtitle B

WIA Title III, Subtitle A. Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to Work Act of 1994

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

WIA Title II

WtW

One-Stop Services Orientation

GCCL:

DHS

Voc Rehab

TEA

AARP

Green Thumb

STW

WIA Title I. Subtitle B

Perkins-GCCC Funding

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to Work Act of 1994

WtW

Assessment

GCCC

JC

DHS

Voc Rehab

TEA

AARP

Green Thumb

STW

Ouapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

VA*

WIA Title I, Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle C

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to Work Act of 1994

Perkins

WIA Title II

WIA Title I, Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

WtW

Job Search,

Placement

Assistance, Career

Counseling

ES

GCCC

JC

DHS

HUD

Voc Rehab

TEA

AARP

Green Thumb

STW

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

WIA Title 1, Subtitle B

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title 1, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to WorK Act of 1994

Perkins

WIA Title II

WtW

Labor Market Information

ES

GCCC

JC

Voc Rehab

STW

Quapaw Tech

WIA Title II, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

School to WorK Act of 1994

Perkins

WtW

Local Area

Performance and

One-Stop Delivery

System Information

Green Thumb

WIA Title I. Subtitle B

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Local Area

Supportive Services

Information &

Referral

ES

GCCC

DHS

HUD

Voc Rehab

TEA

Green Thumb

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

VA & CVSO

WIA Title I. Subtitle B

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

Department of Human Services

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Perkins

WIA Title II

WIA Title I, Subtitle D (County Veteran Serv. Officer)

WtW

Filing Ul Claims Information

ES

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Establishing Eligibility

WtW Financial.

Training and

Education

JC

DHS

Voc Rehab

TEA

STW

WtW

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

School to WorK Act

Follow-up Title 1

Individuals

Unsubsidized

Employment

ADE/Lit

JC

DHS

WIA Title II

WIA Title I. Subtitle B

WIA Title I. Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

Eligibility

Determination Title 1of WIA

JB DHS

WIA Title I, Subtitle B

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

Resource Room Usage

JC

HUD

AARP

STW

Quapaw Tech

ADE/LIt

WIA Title 1. Subtitle B

WIA Title 1, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to WorK Act

Perkins

WIA Title II

Job Referrals

ES

GCCC

JC

DHS

Voc Rehab

AARP

STW

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

WIA Title III. Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title I. Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to WorK Act of 1994

Perkins

WIA Title II

WtW

Talent Referrals

ES

STW

WIA Tide III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B School to WorK Act of 1994

Screened

ES

WIA Tide III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Job Clubs

AARP

STW

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V School to WorK Act

Internet Browsing Job. Information & Training Searches

ES

GCCC

JC

HUD

Voc Rehab

STW

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

WIA Title I, Subtitle B

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

School to WorK Act of 1994

Perkins

WIA Title II

Internet Accounts

Career Kit, Personnel

Kit

STW

School to WorK Act of 1994

For Employees

Agencies

Funding Sources

Labor Market Information

ES

GCCC

JC

Voc Rehab

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Core Services

Agencies

Funding Sources

Training Program Information

GCCC

JC

DHS

HUD

Vcc Rehab

TEA

AARP

STW

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

VA

WiA Title 1, Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title 1, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to Work Act

Perkins

WIA Title II

WIA Title I, Subtitle D

For Employers

Skills Assessment

GCCC

JC

DHS

Voc Rehab

AARP

TEA

Green Thumb

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

VA*

WIA Title I, Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title I. Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Perkins

Department of Human Services

WIA Title I, Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

WtW

Screened Referrals

ES

GCCC

JB

Voc Rehab

Green Thumb

WIA Title III. Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title I. Subtitle C (Job Corps)

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

WtW

WOTC & WtW Tax Credits

ES DHS Voc Rehab

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B Department of Human Services WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act WtW

Access to Talent Bank

WIA Title I, Subtitles WtW

Access to Economic

Development

Information

GCCC

JC

Quapaw Tech

WIA Title I, Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Perkins

WtW

Job Restructuring

JC

Voc Rehab VA'

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

WIA TlUe IV Rehabilitation Act

WIA Title I, Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

Core Services

Agencies

Funding Sources

Labor Law Information

ES

GCCC

Qua paw Tech

ADE/LIt

WIA Title 1, Subtitle B

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

Perkins

WIA Title II

Intensive Services

Agencies

Funding Sources

Comprehensive and

Specialized

Assessments of Skills

Levels and Service

Needs

GCCC

JC

Voc Rehab

AARP

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

VA*

WlA Title 1, Subtitle B

Perkins

WlA Title 1, Subtitle C {Job Corps)

WlA TiUe IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Perkins

WlA Title II

WlA Title I. Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

WtW

Individual

Employment Plan

Development

AWIB (Vets Only)

GCCC

JC

DHS

Voc Rehab

AARP

Green Thumb

STW

WlA Title I. Subtitle B

WlA Title III. Subtitle A. Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

Perkins

WlA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

WlA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to Work Act of 1994

WtW

Group Counseling

GCCC

JC

Voc Rehab

ADE/Lit

WiA Title I. Subtitle B

Perkins

WlA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

WlA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

WlA Title II

WtW

Individual Counseling and Career Planning

GCCC

JC

DHS

Voc Rehab

TEA

AARP

Green Thumb

STW

Ouapaw Tech

VA*

WlA Title I, Subtitle B

Perkins

WlA Title 1, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

WlA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to Work Act of 1994

Perkins

WlA Title I, Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

Case Management

for Participants

Seeking Training

AWIB (Vets Only)

JC

DHS

Voc Rehab

Green Thumb

VA*

WlA Title I, Subtitle B

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

WlA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

WlA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

WIA Title I, Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

Intensive Services

Agencies

Funding Sources

Short Term

Prevocational

Services - learning,

communications, interviewing, personal

maintenance,

professional conduct

- to prepare

individuals for

unsubsidized

employment or

training

GCCC

JC

HUD

Voc Rehab

TEA

AARP

Green Thumb

STW

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

VA*

WIA Title 1, Subtitle B

Perkins

WIA Title 1, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Housing and Urban Development (HUDJ

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to Work Act of 1994

Perkins

WIA Title II

WIA Title I, Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

wtw

Training Services

Agencies

Funding Sources

Occupational Skills Training

GCCC DHS*

Voc Rehab TEA AARP

Green Thumb Quapaw Tech VA*

Perkins

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

On-the-Job Training

AWIB (Vets Only)

JC

DHS*

Voc Rehab

TEA

AARP

Green Thumb

STW

Quapaw Tech

VA*

WIA Title III, Subtitle A, Wagner-Peyser Subtitle B

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Form Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

School to Work Act of 1994

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle D (Disabled Veterans Only)

WtW

Programs combining

workplace training

with related

instruction

GCCC

DHS*

JC

Voc Rehab

STW

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

Perkins

Department of Human Services

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

School to Work Act 1994

Perkins

WIA Title II

WtW

Training programs

operated by the

private sector

GCCC

DHS*

Voc Rehab

Green Thumb

Quapaw Tech

Perkins

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

WtW

Perkins

Training Services

Agencies

Funding Sources

Skill upgrading and Retraining

GCCC

DHS*

Voc Rehab

AARP

Qua paw Tech

ADE/Lit

VA

Perkins

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Perkins

WIA Title II

WIA Title I, Subtitle D

wtw

Entrepreneurial Training

GCCC

DHS*

Perkins

Department of Human Services

Job Readiness Training

GCCC

JC

DHS*

Voc Rehab

TEA

Quapaw Tech

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle C {Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Perkins

wtw

Adult Education and Literacy activities provided in combination with any of the above training services

JC

DHS*

TEA

Green Thumb

Quapaw Tech

ADE/Lit

WIA Title I, Subtitle B

Department of Human Services

Welfare Reform Act (Dept, of Human Services)

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Perkins

WIA Title II

wtw

Customized training conducted with a commitment by an employer to employ upon successful completion ot train ins

GCCC Voc Rehab Green Thumb Quapaw Tech

Perkins

WIA Title IV Rehabilitation Act

Older Americans Act of 1965 Title V

Perkins

wtw

*DHS - Done as a referral for other agencies

Other Support Services

Agencies

Funding Resources

Needs related payments

GCCC

DHS

TEA

Quapaw Tech

WIA Title I, Subtitle B

Perkins

Department of Human Services

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services)

Perkins

Transportation

GCCC

JC

DHS

TEA

Quapaw Tech

Perkins

WIA Title I, Subtitle C (Job Corps)

Department of Human Services

Welfare Reform Act (Dept. of Human Services) Perkins

Appendix E: Resource Sharing Agreement Template

Resource Sharing Agreement Between Workforce Investment Area and Its Partners in the Arkansas Workforce Center in__________________

Period of Agreement

This agreement becomes effective on the date signed by the parties and continues in effect until June 30,2004, or until terminated by mutual consent; however, if such mutual consent cannot be attained, then any party to this agreement may consider it to be canceled by giving thirty days notice in writing to the other parties, and this agreement shall thereupon be canceled upon the expiration of such thirty day period.

In the event that any party fails to materially fulfill that party's responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of this agreement,_______________ may, upon timely written notice of default to the other party, immediately terminate the whole or any part of this agreement.

Furthermore, in the event that federal or State laws or other requirements should be amended or judicially interpreted so as to render continued fulfillment of this agreement, on the part of any party, substantially unreasonable or impossible, or if the parties should be unable to agree upon any amendment which would therefore be needed to enable the substantial continuation of the services contemplated herein, then the parties shall be discharged from any further obligations created under the terms of this agreement.

This agreement is subject to the availability of State and/or federal funds, and if such funds become unavailable, then by written notice the contract will be terminated as specified in the written notice.

Any change in the scope of the agreement must be mutually agreed to in writing prior to, or contemporaneously with, the effective date of the change.

Authority and Purposes

The purposes of this agreement are to:

* Coordinate the resources and assets of the partnering agencies to provide an efficient system for delivering the core and intensive services for employers and job seekers as envisioned by the Workforce Investment Act.

* Establish guidelines for creating and maintaining a cooperative working relationship, which will allow the________________ and its partners to coordinate services to clients served at the Workforce Center located____________.

* Provide for joint planning and evaluation to devise methods to effectively coordinate service delivery to clients, and to effect more efficient management of limited financial and staff resources.

General Provisions

All parties to this agreement shall:

* Comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ( Public Law 88-352 ). Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1990 ( Public Law 93-112 ), The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 ( Public Law 101-336 ), The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( Public Law 105-220 ), The Jobs for Veterans Act ( Public Law 107-288 ) pertaining to priority of service in DOL funded programs, and all amendments to each, and all requirements imposed by the regulations issued pursuant to these acts. These regulations provide in part that no persons in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, political beliefs or religion be excluded from participation in, or denied, any aid, care, services or other benefits provided by Federal and/or State funding, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination.

* Mutually agree to reasonably assist the other partners in the development of necessary service delivery protocol, including the following:

* Client orientation, referral, job search and enrollment.

* Development and coordination of clients' service plans.

* Sharing client service delivery information between partners and Workforce Center Staff.

* All partners agree that the provisions contained herein are made subject to all applicable federal and State laws (Facility Use Agreements) regulations and/or guidelines imposed on either or all parties relating to privacy rights to participants, maintenance of records and other confidential information relating to clients.

* Partners agree that all equipment and furniture purchased by any party for purposes described herein shall remain the property of the purchaser after the termination of this agreement

Cost Allocation

A partner can only pay for costs that are allocable to that partner's funding sources. Each partner will contribute services and pay for costs associated with

Attachment G

AGENCY STRATEGIC PLAN

FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 2005-2009

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

FUNCTIONAL AREA: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

AGENCY STRATEGIC PLAN APPROVAL FORM

FOR THE FISCAL YEARS

2005-2009

Larry Walther

______________

(Director's Signature)

STRATEGIC PLAN

Agency Name

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

Agency Mission Statement: To develop and diversify the state's economy to enhance the quality of life for current and future Arkansans through expanding existing business and industry and to stimulate job creation and retention.

AGENCY GOAL 1: To stimulate job creation, retention and capital investment in the State of Arkansas.

AGENCY GOAL 2: To support and increase the development capacity of Arkansas communities.

STRATEGIC PLAN

Agency Name

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

Program

Business Development

Program Authorization

A.C.A. 15-4-201 et seq.

Program Definition:

Program Funds-Center Code: 0790P01

Business Development partners with various constituencies to generate economic opportunity through the efficient use of available resources to support the growth and retention of existing businesses, to foster entrepreneurship and to recruit new and higher paying jobs to Arkansas. This will include the promotion of a regional concept in the establishment of new business and industry.

AGENCY GOAL (S) #

1

Anticipated Funding Sources for the Program:

General revenues

GOAL 1: To stimulate job creation, retention and capital investment in the State of Arkansas.

OBJECTIVE 1: 00KH Work with strategic partners to assist existing business and industry with their needs and to actively recruit new business and industry development.

STRATEGY 1: Increase the number of leads for new jobs and investment and provide accurate and timely responses and proposals to prospects.

STRATEGY 2: Support the workforce training needs of new and existing businesses through an aggressive customized training program.

STRATEGY 3: Assist businesses interested in direct foreign investment, import, or export in Arkansas.

STRATEGY 4: Assist with the development of small and minority business enterprises.

STRATEGIC PLAN

Agency Name

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

Program

Business Development Program

PERFORMANCE MEASURES: (Effort, Output, Outcome, and/or Efficiency)

DESCRIPTION

(Indicate the Goal and Objective to which applicable)

METHODS AND SOURCES USED OBTAINING DATA

FISCAL YEAR 2005

FISCAL YEAR 2006

FISCAL YEAR 2007

FISCAL YEAR 2008

FISCAL YEAR 2009

Average salaries of new jobs proposed. (Outcome measure)

Incentive

agreements, project mgrs., research from C/B analysis

$12.66 /hr***

$12.66

/hr***

S12.66 /hr***

S12.66

/hr***

S12.66 /hr***

Average salaries of new jobs proposed as a result of our discretionary incentives (Outcome measure/Key measure)

Incentive

agreements,

research

$14.00 /hr***

$14.00 /hr***

$14.00 /hr***

S14.00 /hr***

$14.00 /hr***

Average cost/benefit ratio for projects involving ADED incentives (Efficiency measure/Key measure)

Incentive agreements,

research

$2.00 return for $1.00 invested

$2.00 return for $1.00 invested

S2.00 return for $ 1.00 Invested

$2.00 return for $1.00

invested

$2.00 return for $1.00

invested

Number of site visits to existing businesses and industries (Output measure/Key measure)

Internal databases

1500

1500

1500

1500

1500

Number of jobs announced as a result of our discretionary incentives (Outcome measure/Key measure) *

Incentive

agreements,

research

2,828

2,828

2,828

2,828

2,328

Number of job opportunities announced by all businesses in Arkansas seeking assistance from the Arkansas Department of Economic Development**. (Outcome measure! *

Internal databases

6901

6901

6901

6901

6901

Total amount of new capital investment announced in

Arkansas for all businesses seeking assistance from the Arkansas Department of Economic Development**. (Outcome measure)*

Internal databases

S834M

S834M

$834M

$834M

$834M

STRATEGIC PLAN

Funding committed to Arkansas businesses (includes funds from federal & state sources and tax credits)**. (Outcome measure)*

Internal databases

$67M

$67M

$67M

$67M

$67M

Number of trade shows and trade missions attended which facilitate promotion of Arkansas** (Output measure).

Internal databases

6

6

6

6

6

Number of marketing assists provided to Arkansas businesses. (Output measure)*

Internal databases

1000

1000

1000

1000

1000

Number of businesses receiving international trade assistance from the Arkansas Department of Economic Development** (Output measure)

Internal databases

75

76

46

47

48

Number of small or minority businesses receiving assistance from the Arkansas Department of Economic

Development (Output measure)

Internal databases

500

500

500

500

500

* Using a three-year moving average.

**For the indicated measures, the Department will provide a breakdown of the performance results by

sector, in the interim progress report, for "Agricultural", "Hi-tech Manufacturing", "Knowledge-Based", and "Other" businesses.

*** 5% above three year moving average

STRATEGIC PLAN

Agency Name

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

Program

Community Development Program

Program Authorization

A.C.A. 15-4-201 et seq.

Program Definition:

Program Funds-Center Code: 0790P02

The Community Development Program increases communities' capacity for action through strategic planning and the development of projects that improve the local economy and quality of life for current and future generations

AGENCY GOAL (S) #

2

Anticipated Funding Sources for the Program:

General revenue, Cash funds, Federal funds

GOAL 1: To support and increase the development capacity of Arkansas communities.

OBJECTIVE 1: 01KH Work with strategic partners to assist communities in developing and obtaining the necessary resources to identify and solve local development challenges.

STRATEGY 1: Facilitate the Arkansas Communities of Excellence (ACE) process.

STRATEGIC PLAN

STRATEGY 2: Create partnerships aimed at increasing communities' development capacity.

Agency Name

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

Program

Community Development Program

PERFORMANCE MEASURES: (Effort, Output, Outcome, and/or Efficiency)

DESCRIPTION

(indicate the Goal and Objective to which applicable)

METHODS AND SOURCES USED OBTAINING DATA

FISCAL YEAR 2005

FISCAL YEAR 2006

FISCAL YEAR 2007

FISCAL YEAR 2008

FISCAL YEAR 2009

The number of communities participating in ACE process (Outcome measure)

Internal databases

108

119

131

144

158

The number of communities that demonstrate the use of a strategic planning process to evaluate needs prior to submitting a CDBG grant request. (Outcome measure/Key measure)

Internal databases

5

6

7

8

9

Percentage of CDBG funds distributed to locations with a population of 5,000 or less (Output measure)

Internal databases

75%

75%

75%

75%

75%

Percentage of CDBG projects distributed through need based funding formulas (Output measure/Key measure)

Internal databases

70%

70%

70%

70%

70%

STRATEGIC PLAN

Percentage of CDBG projects Identified as priority needs within the consolidated plan submitted to HUD that were funded (Outcome measure/Key measure)

Internal databases

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Number of Energy Office outreach activities completed per year, including educational seminars, demonstrations, etc. (Output measure)

Internal databases

25

27

28

30

31

STRATEGIC PLAN

Agency Name

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

Program

Administration and Support Program

Program Authorization

A.C.A. 15-4-201 et seq.

Program Definition:

Program Funds-Center Code: 0790P03

The Administration and Support Program provides the ancillary services necessary for the Business Development and Community Development programs to achieve their goals and objectives. This program includes traditional administrative support as well as research, planning, technology, marketing and communication services.

AGENCY GOAL (S) #

1,2

Anticipated Funding Sources for the Program:

General Revenues, Federal Funds, Cash Funds

GOAL 1: Maximize the utilization of human and fiscal resources.

OBJECTIVE 1: 02KH Provide administrative direction and support to insure that department programs meet their objectives and performance targets.

STRATEGY 1: Have periodic reviews to assess progress toward meeting goals, objectives and performance targets.

STRATEGY 2: Provide agency programs with sufficient resources to achieve goals, objectives and performance targets.

OBJECTIVE 2: 03KH Provide for marketing, advertising and general operations support and overhead cost not otherwise included in the Administration and Support Program or treated as a direct cost in other programs.

STRATEGY 1: Provide agency programs with needed resources through the assistance provided by information technology, research, planning and communications.

STRATEGIC PLAN

Agency Name

Arkansas Department of Economic Development

Program

Administration and Support Program

PERFORMANCE MEASURES: (Effort, Output, Outcome, and/or Efficiency)

DESCRIPTION

(Indicate the Goal and Objective to which applicable)

METHODS AND SOURCES USED OBTAINING DATA

FISCAL YEAR 2005

FISCAL YEAR 2006

FISCAL YEAR 2007

FISCAL YEAR 2008

FISCAL YEAR 2009

Percentage of agency performance targets met {Outcome measure/Key measure) (Obj. 1)

Internal databases

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Percentage of budget in Central Administration (Objective 1 of the Administration and Support Program) compared to total agency budget (Efficiency measure/Key measure) (Obj.1)

Agency calculations

20%

20%

20%

20%

20%

Agency information technology budget as a percentage of total agency budget (Effort measure) (Obj. 1)

Agency calculations

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

Number of legacy Information systems maintained by agency staff or maintained through contractual services (Effort measure) (Obj. 1)

Historical data

0

0

0

0

0

Number of prior year audit findings repeated in subsequent audit (Outcome measure/Key measure) (Obi. 1

Annual audit findings

0

0

0

0

0

Advertising funds spent in support of the Business Development and Community Development goals (Effort measure) (Obj. 2)

AASIS, agency calculations

BD=90% CD=10%

BD=85% CD=15%

BD=90% CD=10%

BD=85% CD=15%

BD=90% CD=10%

Attachment H

Part 1

STATE PLAN FOR THE STATE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES PROGRAM

AND STATE PLAN SUPPLEMENT FOR THE STATE SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES PROGRAM

STATE: ARKANSAS

AGENCY: ARKANSAS REHABILITATION SERVICES

AGENCY TYPE: GENERAL X BLIND_____ COMBINED

SECTION 1 : LEGAL BASIS AND STATE CERTIFICATIONS
1.1 The Arkansas Rehabilitation Services__________________(name of designated Slate agency or designated State unit) is authorized to submit this State plan under title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended' and its supplement under title VI, part B of the Act."2
1.2 As a condition for the receipt of Federal funds under title I, part B of the Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services_________________________________(name of the designated State agency)' agrees to operate and administer the Stale Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program in accordance with the provisions of this Slate plan\ (he Act. and all applicable regulations', policies, and procedures established by the Secretary. Funds made available under section 111 of the Act are used solely for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under title 1 and the administration of this Slate plan.
1.3 As a condition for the receipt of Federal funds under title VI, pan B of the Act for supported employment services, the designated State agency agrees to operate and administer the State Supported Employment Services Program in accordance with the provisions of the supplement to this State plan6, the Act, and all applicable regulations7, policies, and procedures established by the Secretary. Funds made available under title VI, part B are used solely for the provision of supported employment services and the administration of die supplement to the title I State plan.
1.4 The designated State agency and/or the designated State unit has the authority under State law to perform the functions of the State regarding this State plan and its supplement.
1.5 The State legally may carry out each provision of the State plan and its supplement.
1.6 All provisions of the Stale plan and its supplement are consistent with State law.
1.7 The Commissioner. Arkansas Rehabilitation Services_________________(title of State officer) has the authority under State law to receive, hold, and disburse Federal funds made available under this Stale plan and its supplement.
1.8 The Commissioner. Arkansas Rehabilitation Services___________________(title of State officer) has the authority to submit this State plan for vocational rehabilitation services and the State plan supplement for supported employment services.
1.9 The agency that submits this State plan and its supplement has adopted or otherwise formally approved the plan and its supplement.
1.10 The effective date of this Stale plan and its supplement is 10-01-2005.

___________________________________________ John C. Wyvill

(Signature) (Typed Name of Signatory)

5/31/2005______________ Commissioner. Arkansas Rehabilitation

Services

(Date) (Title)

1 Public Law 93-112. as amended by Public Laws 93-516, 95-602. 98-221, 99-506, 100-630, 102-569, 103-073, and 105-220.

2 Unless otherwise slated, "Act" means the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. as amended.

3 All references in this plan to "designated State agency" or to "the State agency" relate to the agency identified in this paragraph.

4 No funds under title I of the Act may be awarded without an approved State plan in accordance with section 101(a) of the Act and 34 CFR part 361.

5 Applicable regulations include the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81. 82, 85, and 86 and the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program regulations in 34 CFR part 361.

6 No funds under title VI, part B of the Act may be awarded without an approved supplement to the title I Slate plan in accordance with section 625(a) of the Ad.

7 Applicable regulations include the EDGAR citations in footnote 5, 34 CFR part 361, and 34 CFR part 363.

SECTION 2 : PUBLIC COMMENT ON STATE PLAN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
2.1 Public participation requirements. (Section 101(a)(16)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.20(a) ( 1) and (2), (b), and (d), and 363.11 (g)(9))
(a) The designated State agency, prior to the adoption of any policies or procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the State plan and supported employment services under the supplement to the State plan, including making any amendment to such policies and procedures, conducts public meetings throughout the State to provide die public, including individuals with disabilities, an opportunity to comment on the policies or procedures, and actively consults with the Director of the client assistance program carried out under section 112 of the Act, and, as appropriate, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and Native Hawaiian organizations on the policies or procedures.
(b) The designated State agency provides adequate notice of the meetings in accordance with State law governing public meetings, or, in the absence of such State law, in accordance with procedures developed by the State agency in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Council, if the agency has a Council.
2.2 State review process. (34 CFR Part 79 )

If the Stale plan, its supplement, or amendment to the State plan is subject to die State review process, such materials are reviewed and commented on in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12372, and comments provided by the State review process are transmitted to the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

This State plan and its supplement are subject to the State review process.

Yes X No

SECTION 3 : SUBMISSION OF THE STATE PLAN AND ITS SUPPLEMENT
3.1 Submittal of the State plan, its supplement, and revisions to the plan and its supplement. (Sections 101(a)(1). (23) and 625(a)(1) of the Act)
(a) The Slate submits to the Commissioner a State plan for vocational rehabilitation services that meets the requirements of section 101 of the Act and a State plan supplement for supported employment services that meets the requirements of section 625 of the Act on the same date that the State submits a State plan under section 112 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
(b) If the State submits a State unified plan under section 501(b) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 that includes the State plan for vocational rehabilitation services and its supplement for supported employment services in the unified plan, the State submits to the Commissioner the State plan for vocational rehabilitation services and its supplement for supported employment services on the same date that the State submits its unified plan under section 501(b) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
(c) The Stale submits only those policies, procedures, or descriptions required under this State plan and its supplement that have not been previously submitted to and approved by the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration.
(d) The State submits to the Commissioner at such time and in such manner as the Secretary detemines to be appropriate, reports containing annual updates of the information relating to the:
(1) comprehensive system of personnel development;
(2) assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress;
(3) innovation and expansion activities; and
(4) requirements under title I, part B or title VI, part I! of the Act.
(e) The State plan and its supplement arc in effect subject to the submission of such modifications as the State determines to be necessary or as the Commissioner may require based on a change in State policy, a change in Federal law, including regulations, an interpretation of the Act by a Federal court or the highest court of the Stale, or a finding by the Commissioner of State noncompliance with the requirements of the Act, until the State submits and receives approval of a new Stale plan or plan supplement.
3.2 Supported employment plan. (Sections 101(a)(22) and 625(a) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.34 and 363.10 )

The State has an acceptable plan for carrying out part B of title VI of the Act, including the use of funds under that part to supplement funds made available under part B of title I of the Act to pay for the cost of services leading to supported employment.

SECTION 4 : ADMINISTRATION OF THE STATE PLAN
4.1 Designated State agency and designated State unit. (Sections 101(a)(2) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.13 )
(a) Designated State agency.
(1) There is a State agency designated as the sole State agency to administer the State plan, or to supervise its administration in a political subdivision of the Stale by a sole local agency.
(2) The designated State agency is:

X primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities; or

____ not primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities.

(3) In American Samoa, the designated State agency is the Governor.
(b) Designated State unit.
(1) If the designated State agency is not primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities, the State agency includes a vocational rehabilitation bureau, division, or other organizational unit that:
(A) is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities, and is responsible for the designated State agency's vocational rehabilitation program, including those responsibilities specified in subparagraph (5) of this paragraph of the State plan;
(B) has a full-time director;
(C) has a staff, at least 90 percent of whom are employed full time on the rehabilitation work of the organizational unit;
(D) is located at an organizational level and has an organizational status within the designated State agency comparable to that of other major organizational units of the designated State agency; and
(E) at a minimum, has the following responsibilities that cannot be delegated to any other agency or individual:
(i) all decisions affecting eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, the nature and scope of available services, and the provision of services;
(ii) a determination that an individual has ended participation in the vocational rehabilitation program and achieved an employment outcome after receiving vocational rehabilitation services;
(iii) policy formulation and implementation; and
(iv) allocation and expenditure of vocational rehabilitation funds.
(2) The name of the designated State unit is Arkansas Rehabilitation Services;____________ ______________.
4.2 State independent commission or state rehabilitation council. (Sections 101(a)(21) and 105 of the Act; 34 CFR 361.16 and .17)

The State plan must contain one of the following two assurances.

(a) __The designated State agency is an independent commission that:
(1) is responsible under State law for operating, or overseeing the operation of, the vocational rehabilitation program in the State;
(2) is consumer-control led by persons who:
(A) are individuals with physical or mental impairments mat substantially limit major life activities; and
(B) represent individuals with a broad range of disabilities, unless the designated State unit under the direction of the commission is the State agency for individuals who are blind;
(3) includes family members, advocates, or other representatives, of individuals with mental impairments; and
(4) undertakes the functions set forth in section 105(c)(4) of the Act;

or

(b) X The State has established a State Rehabilitation Council that meets the criteria set forth in section 105 of the Act and the designated State unit:
(1) jointly with the Council develops, agrees to, and reviews annually State goals and priorities, and jointly submits annual reports of progress with the Council, consistent with the provisions of section 101 {a)(!5) of the Act and section 4.12 of this State plan;
(2) regularly consults with the Council regarding the development, implementation, and revision of State policies and procedures of general applicability pertaining to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services;
(3) includes in the State plan and in any revision to the State plan, a summary of input provided by the Council, including recommendations from the annual report of the Council, the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction, and other reports prepared by the Council, and the response of the designated State unit to such input and recommendations, including explanations for rejecting any input or recommendation; and
(4) transmits to the Council:
(A) all plans, reports, and other information required under title 1 of die Act to be submitted to die Secretary;
(B) all policies and information on all practices and procedures of general applicability provided to or used by rehabilitation personnel in carrying out this Slate plan; and
(C) copies of due process hearing decisions issued under title I of the Act, which are transmitted in such a manner as lo ensure that the identity of the participants in the hearings is kept confidential.
(c) If the designated State unit has a State Rehabilitation Council, Attachment 4.2(c) provides a summary of the input provided by the Council consistent with the provisions identified in subparagraph (b)(3) of this subsection of the Slate plan, the response of the designated State unit to the input and recommendations, and explanations for the rejection of any input or any recommendation.
4.3 Consultations regarding the administration of the state plan. (Section 101(a) ( 16)(B) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.21(a) )

The designated State agency lakes into account, in connection with matters of general policy arising in the administration of the plan, the views of:

(a) individuals and groups of individuals who are recipients of vocational rehabilitation services, or in appropriate cases, the individuals' representatives;
(b) personnel working in programs that provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
(c) providers of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
(d) the Director of the client assistance program; and
(e) the State Rehabilitation Council, if the Stale has such a Council.
4.4 Non-federal share. (Section 101(a)(3) of the Act; 34 CFR 80.24 and 361.60(b) )

The non-Federal share of the cost of carrying out this State plan is 21.3 percentum and it is provided through the financial participation by the State, or if the State elects, by the State and local agencies.

4.5 Local administration. (Section 101(a)(2)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.15 )
(a) The State plan provides for local administration and each local agency is under the supervision of the designated State unit and is the sole local agency responsible for the administration of the program within the political subdivision that it serves.

Yes__ No X

(b) IF YES, Attachment 4.5 identifies each local agency and describes the methods each local agency uses to administer the vocational rehabilitation program in accordance with this State plan.
4.6 Statewideness and waivers of statewideness. (Sections 101(a)(2)(A) and (4)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.25 and .26)

The State plan is in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, except in the case when:

(a) The State unit is providing services in one or more political subdivisions of the Stale that increase services or expand the scope of services that arc available statewide under this State plan and the:
(1) non-Federal share of the cost of these services is met from funds provided by a local public agency, including funds contributed to a local public agency by a private agency, organization, or individual; and
(2) services are likely to promote the vocational rehabilitation of substantially larger numbers of individuals with disabilities or of individuals with disabilities with particular types of impairments.
(3) If the State is providing services that meet the provisions of subparagraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this subsection. Attachment 4.6(a)(3) requests a waiver of statewideness in accordance with the requirements in 34 CFR 361.26(b); or
(b) Earmarked funds arc used toward the non-Federal share and such funds are earmarked for particular geographic areas within the State contingent on the State notifying the Commissioner that it cannot provide the full non-Federal share without the use of such earmarked funds.
4.7 Shared funding and administration of joint programs. (Section 101(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.27 )
(a) The designated State agency is carrying out a joint program involving shared funding and administrative responsibility with another State agency or a local public agency to provide services to individuals with disabilities.

Yes__ No X

(b) IF YES, Attachment 4.7(b) describes the:
(1) nature and scope of the joint program;
(2) services to be provided;
(3) respective roles of each participating agency in the provision of services and their administration; and
(4) share of the costs to be assumed by each agency.
(c) If the joint program provides Services in one or more political subdivisions of the State, the State requests a waiver of statcwideness in accordance with the provisions of 34 CFR 361.26 and subparagraph 4.6(a)(3) of this State plan subsection.
4.8 Third-party cooperative arrangements involving funds from other public agencies (Section 12 of die Act; 34 CFR 36i.28 )
(a) The designated State unit has entered into a third-party cooperative arrangement for providing or administering vocational rehabilitation services with another State agency or a local public agency that is furnishing part or all of die non-Federal share.

Yes_ No X

(b) IF YES:
(1) The services provided by the cooperating agency are not the customary or typical services provided by that agency but are new services that have a vocational rehabilitation focus or are existing services that have been modified, adapted, expanded, or reconfigured to have a vocational rehabilitation focus.
(2) The services provided by the cooperating agency are only available to applicants for, or recipients of, services from the designated State unit.
(3) Program expenditures and staff providing services under the cooperative arrangement are under the administrative supervision of the designated State unit.
(4) All State plan requirements, including the State's order of selection, if an order is in effect, apply to all services provided under the cooperative program.
(c) If the third-party cooperative program provides services in one or more political subdivisions of the State, the Slate requests a waiver of statewideness in accordance with the provisions of 34 CFR 361.26 and subparagraph 4.6(a)(3) of this State plan.
4.9 Cooperation, collaboration, and coordination. (Sections 101(a) (! 1) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.22, .23 and .24)
(a) Cooperative agreements with other components of statewide workforce investment systems.

The designated State agency has cooperative agreements with other entities that are components of the statewide workforce investment system of the State in accordance with the provisions of section 101(a)(11)(A) of the Act.

(b) Replication of cooperative agreements.

The designated State agency replicates the cooperative agreement identified in paragraph (a) of this subsection of the State plan at the local level between individual offices of the designated State unit and local entities carrying out activities through the statewide workforce investment system.

(c) Interagency cooperation with other agencies and entities.

Attachment 4.9(c) describes the:

(1) interagency cooperation with, and utilization of the services and facilities of the Federal, State, and local agencies and programs, including programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture and State use contracting programs, to the extent that such agencies and programs are not carrying out activities through the statewide workforce investment system;
(2) coordination, consistent with the requirements of paragraph 4.9(d) of this subsection, with education officials to facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services;
(3) manner in which the designated Stale agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers, consistent with the requirements of paragraph 5.6(b) of the State plan; and,
(4) efforts of the designated State agency to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other State agencies and entities with respect to the provision of supported employment and extended services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the requirements of subsection 7.5 of the supplement to this State plan.
(d) Coordination with education officials.

Plans, policies, and procedures for coordination between the designated State agency and education officials responsible for the public education of students with disabilities that are designed to facilitate the transition of the students who are individuals with disabilities from the receipt of educational services in school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services under this State plan are described in Attachment 4.9(c)(2) which also includes information on a formal interagency agreement with the State educational agency that, at a minimum, provides for:

(1) consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including vocational rehabilitation services;
(2) transition planning by personnel of the designated State agency and the educational agency for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs under section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
(3) the roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and
(4) procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need transition services.
(e) Coordination with statewide independent living council and independent living centers.

The designated Stale unit, the Statewide Independent Living Council established under section 705 of the Act, and the independent living centers described in part C of title VII of the Act within the State have developed working relationships and coordinate their activities.

(f) Cooperative agreement with recipients of grants for services lo American Indians.
(1) There is in the Slate a recipient(s) of a grant under part C of title I of the Act for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near Federal and State reservations.

Yes_ No X

(2) IF YES, the designated State agency has entered into a formal cooperative agreement with each grant recipient in the State that receives funds under part C of title I of the Act. The agreement(s) describes strategies for collaboration and coordination in providing vocational rehabilitation services lo American Indians who are individuals with disabilities, including:
(A) strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that assist in eligibility determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;
(B) procedures for ensuring that American Indians who are individuals With disabilities and who are living near a reservation or tribal service area are provided vocational rehabilitation services; and
(C) provisions for sharing resources in cooperative studies and assessments, joint training activities, and other collaborative activities designed to improve the provision of services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities.
(g) Reciprocal referral services with a separate agency for individuals who are blind.

In those Stales in which there is a separate designated Slate unit for individuals who arc blind and also a designated State unit for all other individuals with disabilities, the two State units:

(1) have established reciprocal referral services;
(2) use each other's services and facilities to the extent feasible;
(3) jointly plan activities to improve services in the State for individuals with multiple impairments, including visual impairments; and
(4) otherwise cooperate to provide more effective services, including, if appropriate, entering into a written cooperative agreement.
4.10 Methods of administration. (Sections 101(a)(6) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.12, .19 and .51(a) and (c))
(a) General.

The State agency employs methods of administration found by the Commissioner to be necessary for the proper and efficient administration of this State plan.

(b) Employment of individuals with disabilities.

The designated State agency and entities carrying out community rehabilitation programs in the Slate, who are in receipt of assistance under title I of the Act, take affirmative action lo employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities covered under and on the same terms and conditions as set forth in section 503 of the Act.

(c) Written standards for providers of services.

The designated Slate agency has established, maintains, makes available to the public, and implements written minimum standards for the various types of providers used by the designated State unit in providing vocational rehabilitation services under this State plan.

(d) Facilities.

Facilities used in connection with the delivery of services assisted under this State plan comply with the provisions of the Act entitled "An Act to insure that certain buildings financed with Federal funds are so designed and constructed as to be accessible to the physically handicapped", approved on August 12, 1968 (commonly known as the "Architectural Barriers Act of 1968"), with section 504 of the Act and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

4.11 Comprehensive system of personnel development. (Section 101(a)(7) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.18 )
(a) The designated State agency has implemented a comprehensive system of personnel development that meets the requirements of section 101(a)(7) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.18.
(b) Attachment 4.11 (b) describes the designated State agency []s policies, 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. The description addresses the following requirements:
(1) collection and analysis on an annual basis of data on qualified personnel needs and personnel development consistent with the provisions of 34 CFR 361.18(a);
(2) 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 qualified personnel, including personnel from minority backgrounds, and personnel who are individuals with disabilities;
(3) establishment and maintenance of personnel standards meeting the requirements of 34 CFR 361.18(c) to ensure that personnel, including professionals and paraprofessionals. are adequately trained and prepared, including:
(A) standards that are consistent with any national or State-approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or, in the absence of these requirements, other comparable requirements that apply to the profession or discipline in which such personnel are providing vocational rehabilitation services; and
(B) to the extent that such standards are not based on the highest requirements in the State applicable to a particular profession or discipline, the steps the Slate is currently taking and the steps the State plans to take to retrain or hire personnel within the designated State unit so that such personnel meet standards that are based on the highest requirements in the State;
(4) standards to ensure the availability of personnel within the designated State unit or other individuals who are, to the maximum extent feasible, trained to communicate in the native language or mode of communication of an applicant or eligible individual;
(5) staff development to ensure that all personnel employed by the designated State unit receive appropriate and adequate training; and
(6) coordination of its personnel development system with personnel development under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
4.12 Annual state goals and reports of progress. (Sections 101(a)(15), 105(c)(2) and 625(b)(2) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(b) )
(a) Assessments and estimates.
(1) Attachment 4.12(a) documents the results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment Jointly conducted by the designated State unit and the Stale Rehabilitation Council (if the State has such a Council) every 3 years, and:
(A) describes the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the State, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of:
(i) individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
(ii) individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this State plan; and
(iii) individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system, as identified by such individuals and personnel assisting such individuals through die components.
(B) provides an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State.
(2) For any year in which the State revises the assessments, the designated State unit submits to the Commissioner a report containing information regarding revisions to the assessments.
(b) Annual estimates.

The designated State agency annually submits Attachment 4.12(b) that includes. State estimates of the:

(1) number of individuals in the State who are eligible for services under this State plan;
(2) number of such individuals who will receive services provided with Funds provided under part B of title 1 of the Act and under pan B of title VI of the Act, including, if the designated Stale agency uses an order of selection in accordance with paragraph 6.4(c) of this Slate plan, estimates of the number of individuals to be served under each priority category within the order; and
(3) costs of the services described in subparagraph (1), including, if the designated State agency uses an order of selection, the service costs for each priority category within the order.
(c) Goals and priorities.
(1) Attachment 4.12(c)(1) identifies the goals and priorities of the State in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs and also identifies any revisions in the goals and priorities for any year the State revises the goals and priorities.
(2) Order of selection.
(A) If the State agency is operating on an order of selection. Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(A) shows the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services and provides a justification for the order, the service and outcome goals, and the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category consistent with the provisions of paragraph 6.4(c) of this State plan.
(B) If, however, the agency assures in paragraph 6.4(a) of this State plan that it can provide the full range of services identified in subsection 5.1 of this State plan to all eligible individuals. Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(B) satisfies all of the provisions identified in paragraph 6.4(b) of the State plan.
(3) Goals and plans for distribution of title VI, part B funds.

Attachment 4.12(c)(3) specifies, consistent with subsection 7.4 of the State plan supplement, the State[]s goals and priorities with respect to the distribution of funds received under section 622 of the Act for the provision of supported employment services.

(4) Basis.

The goals and priorities are based on:

(A) the analysis of the comprehensive assessment and any revisions in the assessment consistent with the provisions of paragraph 4.12(a) of this State plan;
(B) the performance of the State on the standards and indicators established under section 106 of the Act; and
(C) other available information on the operation of the vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs, including reports from the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has a Council, and the findings of monitoring activities carried out by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.
(5) In accordance with the provisions of section 101(a)(15)(C)(ii) and (iii) of the Act, the goals and priorities, including any revisions to the goals and priorities, are jointly developed, agreed to, and reviewed annually by the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council.
(d) Strategies.

Attachment 4.12(d) describes the strategies, including those identified in section 101(a)(l5)(D) of the Act and the innovation and expansion activities of paragraph 4.13(a) of this State plan, the designated State agency will use to:

(1) address the needs identified in the assessment conducted under paragraph (a) of this subsection and achieve the goals and priorities identified in paragraph (c) of this subsection;
(2) carryout outreach activities to identify and serve individuals with the most significant disabilities who are minorities consistent with the provisions of subsection 7.6 of the State plan supplement; and
(3) overcome identified barriers relating to equitable access to and participation of individuals with disabilities in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and State Supported Employment Services Program.
(e) Evaluation and reports of progress.

Attachment 4.12(e) describes the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program, and includes an annual joint report of the designated Slate unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council, to the Commissioner on the progress made in improving the effectiveness of the program from the previous year. The description includes:

(1) an evaluation of the extent to which the goals identified in subparagraph (c) of this subsection plan were achieved;
(2) an identification of the strategies that contributed lo achieving the goals;
(3) to the extent to which the goals were not achieved, an explanation of the factors that impeded that achievement;
(4) an assessment of the performance of the State on the standards and indicators established pursuant to section 106 of the Act; and
(5) a report consistent with paragraph 4.13(c) of this State plan on how the funds reserved for innovation and expansion activities were utilized in the preceding year.
4.13 Innovation and expansion. (Section 101(a)(18) of the Act)
(a) The designated State agency reserves and uses a portion of the funds allotted to the State under section 110 of the Act:
(1) for the development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under this State plan, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment and goals and priorities of the Stale identified in paragraphs 4.12(a) and (c) of this State plan; and
(2) to support the funding of the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under section 105(d)(1) of the Act, and the funding of the Statewide Independent Living Council, consistent with the resource plan prepared under section 705(e) ( 1) of the Act.
(b) Attachment 4.12(d) describes how the reserved funds identified in paragraph (a) of this subsection of this State plan will be utilized.
(c) Attachment 4.12(e) describes how the reserved funds were utilized in the preceding year.
4.14 State-imposed requirements. (Section 17 of the Act; 34 CFR 361.39 )

The designated Slate unit identifies upon request those regulations and policies relating to the administration or operation of its vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs that are State-imposed, including any regulations or policy based on State interpretation of any Federal law, regulations, or guidelines.

4.15 Protection, use. and release of personal information. (Sections 12(e) and 101(a)(6)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361, 38 )

The designated State agency and the designated Slate unit have policies and procedures that are consistent with the provisions in 34 CFR 361.38 to safeguard the confidentiality of all personal information, including photographs and lists of names.

4.16 Mediation and impartial due process hearing. (Section 102(c) of the Act)
(a) Fair hearing board.

There is a fair hearing board, established by the State prior to January 1, 1985, that is authorized under Slate law to review determinations or decisions made under the Act and to carry out the responsibilities of the impartial hearing officer.

Yes__ No X

(b) Mediation and review procedures.

IF THE ANSWER TO (a) IS "NO ":

(1) The designated State agency has established procedures consistent with the requirements of section 102(c) of die Act for mediation of and procedures for the review through an impartial due process hearing of determinations made by personnel of the designated State unit that affect the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to applicants or eligible individuals.
(2) Attachment 4.16(b)(2) contains the procedures for medialion; the procedures for review through an impartial due process hearing; and, the procedures to seek an impartial review of the decision of the hearing officer, including the standards for reviewing decisions of an hearing officer, if the designated State agency has elected to implement such review procedures.

IF THE ANSWER TO (a) IS -YES":

(1) The designated State agency has established procedures consistent with the requirements of section 102(c) of the Act for mediation of determinations made by personnel of the designated State unit that affect the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to applicants or eligible individuals.
(2) Attachment 4.16(b)(2) contains the procedures for mediation.
4.17 Reports. (Section 101(a) ( 10) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.40 )
(a) The designated State unit submits reports in the form and level of detail and at the time required by the Commissioner regarding applicants for and eligible individuals receiving services under the State plan.
(b) Information submitted in the reports provides a complete count, unless sampling techniques are used, of the applicants and eligible individuals in a manner that permits the greatest possible cross-classification of data and ensures the confidentiality of the identity of each individual.
SECTlOIN 5: SCOPE OF THE STATE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES PROGRAM
5.1 Scope of vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities. (Section 103(a) of the Act)

Vocational rehabilitation services provided under this State plan are any services described in an individualized plan for employment necessary to assist an individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual, including:

(a) an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;
(b) counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice consistent with the provisions of section 102(d) of the Act and subsection 5.3 of this State plan;
(c) referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies through agreements developed under section 101(a)(11) of the Act and subsection 4, 9 of this State plan, if such services are not available under this State plan;
(d) job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;
(e) vocational and other training services, including the provision of personal and vocational adjustment services, books, tools, and other training materials, except that no training services provided at an institution of higher education shall be paid for with funds under this State plan unless maximum efforts have been made by the designated State unit and the individual to secure grant assistance, in whole or in part, from other sources to pay for such training;
(f) to the extent that financial support is not readily available from a source (such as through health insurance of the individual or through comparable services and benefits consistent with section 101(a)(8)(A) of the Act and subsection 6.8 of this State plan), other than the designated State unit, diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental impairments, including:
(1) corrective surgery or therapeutic treatment necessary to correct or substantially modify a physical or mental condition that constitutes a substantial impediment to employment, but is of such a nature that such correction or modification may reasonably be expected to eliminate or reduce such impediment to employment within a reasonable length of time;
(2) necessary hospitalization in connection with surgery or treatment;
(3) prosthetic and orthotic devices;
(4) eyeglasses and visual services as prescribed by qualified personnel who meet Slate licensure laws and who are selected by the individual;
(5) special services (including transplantation and dialysis), artificial kidneys, and supplies necessary for the treatment of individuals with end-stage renal disease; and
(6) diagnosis and treatment for mental and emotional disorders by qualified personnel who meet State licensure laws;
(g) maintenance for additional costs incurred while participating in an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs or while receiving services under an individualized plan for employment;
(h) transportation, including adequate training in the use of public transportation vehicles and systems, that is provided in connection with the provision of any other service described in this subsection and needed by the individual to achieve an employment outcome;
(i) on-the-job or other related personal assistance services provided while an individual is receiving other services described in this subsection;
(j) interpreter services provided by qualified personnel for individual!; who are deaf or hard of hearing, and reader services for individuals who are determined to be blind, alter an examination by qualified personnel who meet State licensure laws;
(k) rehabilitation teaching services, and orientation and mobility services, for individuals who are blind;
(l) occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and initial stocks and supplies;
(m) technical assistance and other consultation services to conduct market analyses, develop business plans* and otherwise provide resources, to the extent such resources are authorized to be provided under the statewide workforce investment system, to eligible individuals who are pursuing self-employment or telecommuting or establishing a small business operation as an employment outcome;
(n) rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices;
(o) transition services for students with disabilities that facilitate the achievement of the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;
(p) supported employment services;
(q) services to the family of an individual with a disability necessary to assist the individual to achieve an employment outcome: and
(r) specific post-employment services necessary to assist an individual with a disability to retain, regain, or advance in employment.
5.2 Written policies governing the provision of services to individuals with disabilities. (Sections 12(c) and 101(a)(6)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.50 )
(a) The State unit has written policies covering the nature and scope of each of the vocational rehabilitation services specified in section 103(a) of the Act and subsection 5.1 of this Slate plan and the criteria under which each service is provided.
(b) The policies are consistent with the provisions in 34 CFR 361.50 and:
(1) ensure that the provision of services is based on the rehabilitation needs of each individual as identified in that individual's individualized plan for employment; and
(2) do not establish any arbitrary limits on the nature and scope of services to be provided to the individual to achieve an employment outcome.
5.3 Opportunity' to make informed choices regarding the selection of services and providers. (Sections 101(a)(19) and 102(d) of the Act)

Applicants and eligible individuals, or, as appropriate, the applicants' representatives or the individuals' representatives, are provided information and support services to assist the applicants and eligible individuals in exercising informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process, consistent with the provisions of section 102(d) of the Act.

5.4 Services to American Indians. (Section 101(a)(13) of the Act)

Except as otherwise provided in part C of title 1 of the Act, the designated State unit provides vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing in the State to the same extent as the designated State agency provides such services to other significant populations of individuals with disabilities residing in the State.

5.5 Scope of vocational rehabilitation services to groups of individuals with disabilities. (Sections 101(a)(17) and 103(b) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.49, .61 and .62)
(a) The State plan provides for the following optional vocational rehabilitation services for the benefit of groups of individuals with disabilities.
(1) __The establishment, development, or improvement of community rehabilitation programs, including, under special circumstances, the construction of a community rehabilitation facility, that are used to provide services to promote integration and competitive employment.

If the State elects to use die authority to construct a facility for a community rehabilitation program, the following requirements are met:

(A) The Federal share of the cost of construction for facilities for a fiscal year does not exceed an amount equal to 10 percent of the State's allotment under section 110 of the Act for that fiscal year.
(B) The provisions of section 306 of the Act that were in effect prior to the enactment of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 apply to such construction.
(C) There is compliance with the requirements in 34 CFR 361.62(b) that ensure the use of the construction authority will not reduce the efforts of the designated State agency in providing other vocational rehabilitation services, other than the establishment of facilities for community rehabilitation programs.
(2) __Telecommunications systems, including telephone, television, satellite, radio, and similar systems, that have the potential for substantially improving service delivery methods of activities described in this section of this State plan and developing appropriate programming to meet the particular needs of individuals with disabilities.
(3) __Special services to provide nonvisual access to information for individuals who are blind, including the use of telecommunications, Braille, sound recordings, or other appropriate media; captioned television, films, or video cassettes for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing; tactile materials for individuals who are deaf-blind; and other special services that provide information through tactile, vibratory, auditory, and visual media.
(4) ___Technical assistance and support services to businesses that are not subject to title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that are seeking to employ individuals with disabilities.
(5) ___Small business enterprises operated by individuals with significant disabilities, the operation of which can be improved by the management services and supervision of the designated State agency, along or together with the acquisition by the designated State agency of vending facilities or other equipment and initial stocks and supplies.
(A) If the State unit provides small business enterprise services, only individuals with significant disabilities are selected to participate in this supervised program.
(B) If the State unit sets aside funds from the proceeds of the operation of the small business enterprises, it has a description of the methods used in setting aside funds and the purposes for which funds are set aside.
(C) Under its small business enterprises, the Stale unit provides:
(i) __only the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program;
(ii) __only a program or programs other than the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program;
(iii) __both the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program and another program(s).
(6) __Consultative and technical assistance services to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including employment.
(7) ___Other services that promise to contribute substantially to the rehabilitation of a group of individuals but that are not related directly to the individualized plan for employment of any one individual with a disability.
(b) If the State plan provides for any of these services to groups of individuals with disabilities, the designated State unit has:
(1) written policies covering the nature and scope of each of the vocational rehabilitation services it provides and the criteria under which each service is provided; and
(2) information to ensure the proper and efficient administration of those services in the form and detail and at the time required by the Secretary, including:
(A) the types of services provided;
(B) the costs of those services; and
(C) to the extent feasible, estimates of the numbers of individuals benefiting from those services.
5.6 Contracts and cooperative agreements. (Section 101(a)(24) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.31 and .32)
(a) Contracts with for-profit organizations.

The designated Stale agency has the authority to enter into contracts with for-profit organizations for the purpose of providing, as vocational rehabilitation services, on-the-job training and related programs for individuals with disabilities under part A of title VI of the Act, upon the determination by the designated State agency that such for-profit organizations are better qualified to provide such vocational rehabilitation services than non-profit agencies and organizations.

(b) Cooperative agreements with private non-profit organizations.

The manner in which the designated State agency establishes cooperative agreements with private non-profit vocational rehabilitation service providers is described in Attachment 4.9(c)(3).

SECTION 6 : ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES
6.1 Record of services. (Section 101(a)(6)(A) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.47 ) The designated Stale unit maintains for each applicant or eligible individual a record of services that satisfies the requirements of 34 CFR 361.47.
6.2 Referrals and applications. (Sections 101(a)(6)(A) and 102(a)(6) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.41 )
(a) The designated State unit has standards for the prompt and equitable handling of referrals of individuals for vocational rehabilitation services. These standards include timelines for making good faith efforts to inform individuals of application requirements and to gather information necessary to initiate an assessment to determine eligibility and priority of services.
(b) Once an individual has submitted an application for vocational rehabilitation services, an eligibility determination is made within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 60 days, unless:
(1) exceptional and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the designated State unit preclude making an eligibility determination within 60 days and the designated State unit and the individual agree to a specific extension of time; or
(2) the designated State unit is exploring an individuals abilities, capabilities, and capacities to perform in work situations under section 102(a)(2)(B) of the Act.
6.3 Information and referral services. (Section 101(a)(20) of the Act)

The designated Slate agency has implemented an information and referral system that is adequate to ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided accurate vocational rehabilitation information and guidance, using appropriate modes of communication, to assist such individuals in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining employment, and are appropriately referred lo Federal and State programs, including other components of the statewide workforce investment system in the State.

6.4 Ability to serve all eligible individuals; order of selection for services. (Sections 12(d) and 101(a)(5) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.36 )
(a) The designated State unit is able to provide the full range of services listed in section 103(a) of the Act and subsection 5.1 of this State plan, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the State who apply for services.

Yes_ No X

(b) IF YES, Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(B) contains an explanation that satisfies the requirements of 34 CFR 361.36(a)(2) or (3) and describes how, on the basis of the designated State unit's projected fiscal and personnel resources and its assessment of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with significant disabilities within the State, it will:
(1) continue to provide services to all individuals currently receiving services;
(2) provide assessment services to all individuals expected to apply for services in the next fiscal year;
(3) provide services to all individuals who are expected to be determined eligible in the next fiscal year, and
(4) meet all program requirements.
(c) IF NO:
(1) Individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected for vocational rehabilitation services before other individuals with disabilities.
(2) Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(A) contains:
(A) the order lo be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services; and
(B) a justification for the order of selection.
(3) Eligible individuals who do not meet the order of selection criteria are provided access to the services provided through the designated State unit's information and referral system implemented under section 101(a)(20) of the Act and subsection 6.3 of this State plan.
6.5 Assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services. (Sections 7(2)(A)(i) and (D), 7(20)(A), 101(a)(12) and 102(a)(1)(A), (2)(B) and (4) of the Act)
(a) To determine whether an individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and the individual's priority under an order of selection for services, if the State is operating under an order of selection, the designated State unit, to the maximum extent possible consistent with the requirements of this State plan, uses existing and current information, including information available from other programs and providers, particularly information provided by education officials and the Social Security Administration, and information provided by the applicant and the family of the applicant.
(b) To the extent that existing information is unavailable or insufficient, the designated State unit provides appropriate assessment activities lo obtain necessary additional information to make the determination regarding the applicant's eligibility, and, if applicable, the applicant's priority under an order of selection.
(c) The State unit's determination of an applicant's eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services is based only on the following requirements.
(1) A determination that the applicant has a physical or mental impairment.
(2) A determination that the applicant's physical or menial impairment constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment,
(3) A presumption, in accordance with section 102(a)(2)(A) of the Act and paragraph (d) of this subsection of the State plan, that the applicant can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.
(4) A determination that the applicant requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.
(d) The designated State unit presumes that an applicant who meets the eligibility requirements in subparagraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this subsection of this State plan can benefit in terms of an employment outcome unless the designated State unit can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services due to the severity of the individual's disability. In making such a demonstration, the designated State unit First explores the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations through the use of trial work experiences consistent with the provisions of sections 7(2)(D) and 102(a)(2)(B) of the Act.
(e) If there is appropriate evidence that establishes the applicant's eligibility for Social Security benefits under Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act, the designated State unit:
(1) presumes the applicant to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services under this State plan (provided that the individual intends to achieve an employment outcome consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual) unless the designated State unit can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services due to the severity of the disability of the individual in accordance with the provisions of section 102(a)(2) of the Act and paragraph 6.5(d) of this State plan; and
(2) considers the applicant 10 be an individual with a significant disability consistent with the provisions of section 7(21)(A) of the Act.
(f) In the application of the eligibility criteria, the following requirements are met.
(1) No duration of residence requirement is imposed that excludes from services under the plan any individual who is present in the State.
(2) No applicant or group of applicants is excluded or found ineligible solely on the basis of the type of disability.
(3) The eligibility requirements are applied without regard to the age, gender, race, color, creed, or national origin of the applicant.
(4) The eligibility requirements are applied without regard to the particular service needs or anticipated cost of services required by an applicant or the income level of an applicant or applicant's family.
6.6 Procedures for ineligibility determination. (Section 102(a)(5) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.43 )

If the State unit determines that an applicant is ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services or determines that an individual receiving services under an individualized plan for employment is no longer eligible for services, the State unit:

(a) makes the determination only after providing an opportunity for full consultation with the individual or, as appropriate, with the individual's representative;
(b) informs the individual or. as appropriate, the individuals representative, in writing, supplemented as necessary by other appropriate modes of communication consistent with the informed choice of the individual, of the ineligibility determination, including:
(1) the reasons for the determination; and
(2) the description of the means by which the individual may express, and seek remedy for, any dissatisfaction with the determination, including the procedures for (he review by an impartial hearing officer consistent with the provisions of section 102(c) of the Act and subsection 4.16 of this State plan;
(c) provides the individual with a description of services available from the client assistance program and information on how to contact that program; and
(d) reviews any ineligibility determination that is based on a finding that the individual is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services within 12 months and annually thereafter, if such a review is requested by die individual or. if appropriate, by the individual's representative, except when the:
(1) individual has refused the review;
(2) individual is no longer present in the Stale;
(3) individual's whereabouts are unknown; or
(4) individuals medical condition is rapidly progressive or terminal.
6.7 Closure without ineligibility determination. (Sections 12(c) and 101(a)(6)(A) of die Act; 34 CFR 361.44 )

The State unit does not administratively close an applicant's record of services prior to making an eligibility determination unless the:

(a) applicant declines to participate in, or is unavailable to complete an assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services; and
(b) State unit has made a reasonable number of attempts to contact the applicant or, if appropriate, the applicant's representative to encourage the applicant's participation.
6.8 Availability of comparable services and benefits. (Sections 101(a)(8) and 103(a) of the Act; 34 CFR 361.53 )
(a) Prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation services, except those services identified in paragraph (d) of this subsection, to an eligible individual, or to members of the individual's family, the State unit determines whether comparable services and benefits exist under any other program and whether those services and benefits are available to the individual.
(b) If comparable services or benefits exist under any other program and are available to (he eligible individual at the time needed to achieve the provisions of the individual's individualized plan for employment, the State unit uses those comparable services or benefits to meet, in whole or in pan, the cost of vocational rehabilitation services.
(c) If comparable services or benefits exist under any other program, but are not available to the individual at the time needed to satisfy the provisions of the individual's individualized plan for employment, the Stale unit provides vocational rehabilitation services until those comparable services and benefits become available.
(d) The following services are exempt from a determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits:
(1) assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;
(2) counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice consistent with the provisions of section 102(d) of the Act;
(3) referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies through agreements developed under section 101(a)(11) of the Act, if such services are not available under this State plan;
(4) job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;
(5) rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices; and
(6) post-employment services consisting of the services listed under subparagraphs (1) through (5) of this paragraph.
(e) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this subsection also do not apply if the determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits under any other program would interrupt or delay:
(1) progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;
(2) an immediate job placement; or
(3) provision of such service to any individual who is determined to be at extreme medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate qualified medical professional.
(f) The Governor of the Stale in consultation with the designated State vocational rehabilitation agency and other appropriate agencies ensures that there is an interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination that meets the requirements of section 101(a)(8)(B)(i) -(iv) of the Act between any appropriate public entity, including the State medicaid program, public institution of higher education, and a component of the statewide workforce investment system, and the designated State unit so as to ensure the provision of the vocational rehabilitation services identified in section 103(a) of the Act and subsection 5.1 of this State plan, other than the services identified in paragraph (d) of this subsection, that are included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, including the provision of such services during the pendency of any dispute that may arise in the implementation of the interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination.
6.9 Participation of individuals in cost of services based on financial need. (Section 12(c) of the Act; 34CFR 361.54 )
(a) No financial needs test is applied and no financial participation is required as a condition for furnishing the following vocational rehabilitation services;
(1) assessment for determining eligibility and priority lor services, except those non-assessment services that are provided during an exploration of the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations, consistent with the requirements of sections 7(2)(D) and 102(a)(2)(B) of the Act;
(2) assessment for determining vocational rehabilitation needs;
(3) counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice;
(4) referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies through cooperative agreements under section 101(a)(11) of the Act and subsection 4.9 of this State plan, if such services are not available under this State plan; and
(5) job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services.
(b) The State unit considers the financial need of eligible individuals, or individuals who are receiving services during an exploration of an individual[]s abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations consistent with subparagraph (1) of paragraph (a) of this subsection, in order to determine the extent of the individual[]s participation in the costs of vocational rehabilitation services.

Yes X No

(c) IF YES:
(1) The State unit has written policies on the determination of financial need that are consistent with the provisions of 34 CFR 361.54 and these policies:
(A) are applied uniformly to ail individuals in similar circumstances; and
(B) ensure that the level of the individual's participation in the cost of vocational rehabilitation services is:
(i) reasonable;
(ii) based on the individual's financial need, including the consideration of any disability-related expenses paid by the individual; and
(iii) not so high as lo effectively deny the individual a necessary service.
(2) Attachment 6.9(c)(2) specifies the services for which the designated State unit has a financial needs test.
6.10 Development of the individualized plan for employment. (Sections 7(2)(B), 101(a)(9), and 102(b)(1) and (2) of the Act)
(a) The designated State unit conducts an assessment to determine the vocational rehabilitation needs for each eligible individual, including the need for supported employment services, or, if the Slate is operating under an order of selection, for each eligible individual to whom the State is able to provide services, for the purpose of identifying the provisions to be included in the individualized plan for employment that meets the requirements of section 102(b) of the Act
(b) The development of the individualized plan for employment meets the following procedural requirements.
(1) The individualized plan for employment is developed and implemented in a timely manner subsequent to the determination of the eligibility of the individual for services under this State plan, except if the State is operating under an order of selection, the individualized plan for employment is developed and implemented only for individuals to whom the Slate is able to provide services.
(2) The designated State unit provides to the eligible individual or the individual's representative, In writing and in an appropriate mode of communication, information on the individual's options for the development of the individualized plan for employment, including:
(A) information on the availability of assistance, to the extent determined appropriate by the eligible individual, from a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor in developing all or part of the individualized plan for employment for the individual, and the availability of technical assistance in developing all or part of the individualized plan for employment for the individual;
(B) a description of the full range of components that must be included in an individualized plan for employment;
(C) as appropriate,
(i) an explanation of agency guidelines and criteria associated with financial commitments concerning an individualized plan for employment;
(ii) additional information the eligible individual requests or the designated State unit determines to be necessary; and
(iii) information on the availability of assistance in completing designated State agency forms required in developing an individualized plan for employment;
(D) a description of the rights and remedies available to the eligible individual, including, if appropriate, recourse to mediation and the impartial due process hearing consistent with the provisions of section 102(c) of the Act and subsection 4.16 of this Slate plan; and
(E) a description of the availability of the client assistance program and information about how to contact the program.
(3) The individualized plan for employment is developed as a written document prepared on forms provided by the designated State unit and is developed and implemented in a manner that affords eligible individuals the opportunity to exercise informed choice in selecting an employment outcome, the specific vocational rehabilitation services to be provided under the plan, the entity that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services, the settings in which the services will be provided, the employment setting, and the methods used to procure the services consistent with the provisions of section 102(d) of the Act
(4) The individualized plan for employment is agreed to and signed by the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, and approved and signed by a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by die designated State unit with a copy of the individualized plan for employment provided to the individual or, as appropriate, to the individual's representative, in writing and, if appropriate, in the native language or mode of communication of the individual or, as appropriate, of the individual's representative.
(5) The individualized plan for employment is reviewed at least annually by a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor and the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative and amended, as necessary, by the individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, in collaboration with a representative of the designated State agency or a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor, as determined to be appropriate by the individual.
(6) If there are substantive changes in the individualized plan for employment with respect to the employment outcome, the vocational rehabilitation services to be provided, or the providers of die services, such amendments to the individualized plan for employment do not take effect until agreed to and signed by the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, and by a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by the designated State unit.
6.11 Mandatory components of the individualized plan for employment. (Sections 101(a)(9), 102(b)(3), and 625(b)(6)(C),(E), and (F) of the Act)
(a) Each individualized plan for employment includes, at a minimum, die following mandatory components describing the:
(1) specific employment outcome that is chosen by the eligible individual, consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the eligible individual, and, to the maximum extent appropriate, results in employment in an integrated setting;
(2) specific rehabilitation services mat are:
(A) needed to achieve the employment outcome, including, as appropriate, the provision of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, and personal assistance services, including training in the management of such services; and
(B) provided in the most integrated setting that is appropriate for the service involved and is consistent with the informed choice of die eligible individual;
(3) timelines for the achievement of the employment outcome and for (he initiation of services;
(4) entity chosen by the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services, and the methods used to procure the services;
(5) criteria to evaluate progress toward achievement of the employment outcome;
(6) terms and conditions of the individualized plan for employment, including, as appropriate, information related to the:
(A) responsibilities of the designated State unit;
(B) responsibilities of the eligible individual, including those related to:
(i) the achievement of the employment outcome;
(ii) participation, if applicable, in the paying the costs of the plan; and
(iii) applying for and securing comparable benefits consistent with the requirements of section 101(a)(8) of the Act and subsection 6.8 of this State plan; and
(C) responsibilities of other entities as the result of arrangements made pursuant to comparable services or benefits requirements as identified in section 101(a)(8) of me Act and subsection 6.8 of this State plan; and
(7) projected need for post-employment services, as determined to be necessary.
(b) The individualized plan for employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom an employment outcome in a supported employment setting has been determined to be appropriate also contains the identification of the:
(1) extended services needed by the eligible individual; and
(2) source of the extended services or, to the extent that the source of extended services cannot be identified at the time of the development of the individualized plan for employment, the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that extended services will become available.
6.12 Annual review of individuals in extended employment or other employment under special certificate provisions of the fair labor standards act of 1938. (Section 101(a) ( 1 4) of the Act)
(a) The designated State unit:
(1) conducts an annual review and reevaluation of the status of each individual with a disability served under this Stale plan who has achieved an employment outcome 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 ( 29 U.S.C. 214(c) ) for 2 years after the achievement of the outcome (and annually thereafter if requested by the individual or, if appropriate, the individual's representative), to determine the interests, priorities, and needs of the individual with respect to competitive employment or training for competitive employment; and
(2) makes maximum efforts, including the identification and provision of vocational rehabilitation services, reasonable accommodations, and other necessary support services, to assist the individuals described in subparagraph (a)( 1) in engaging in competitive employment.
(b) The individual with a disability, or, if appropriate, the individual's representative has input into the review and reevaluation, and acknowledges through sign-off that such review and reevaluation have been conducted.

STATE PLAN SUPPLEMENT FOR THE STATE SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES PROGRAM

SECTION 7 : PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION
7.1 Designated slate agency. (Section 625(b)(1) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(a) )

The designated State agency for vocational rehabilitation services identified in subsection 1 -2 of the title I State plan is the State agency designated to administer the State Supported Employment Services Program authorized under title VI, part B of the Act.

7.2 Statewide assessment of supported employment services needs. (Section 625(b)(2) of the Act; 34 CFR 36311(b) )

Attachment 4.12(a) describes the results of the comprehensive, statewide needs assessment conducted under section 101(a)(15)(a)(1) of die Act and subparagraph 4.12(a)( 1) of the title 1 State plan with respect to the rehabilitation needs of individuals with significant disabilities and the need for supported employment services, including needs related to coordination.

7.3 Quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services. (Section 625(b)(3) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(c) and .50(b)(2))

Attachment 7.3 describes the quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services to be provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities who are eligible to receive supported employment services.

7.4 Goals and plans for distribution of title VI, part B funds. (Section 625(b)(3) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(d) and .20)

Attachment 4.12(c)(3) identifies the State's goals and plans with respect to the distribution of funds received under section 622 of the Act,

7.5 Evidence of collaboration with respect to supported employment services and extended services. (Sections 625(b)(4) and (5) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(e) )

Attachment 4.9(c)(4) describes the efforts of the designated State agency to identify and make arrangements, including entering into cooperative agreements, with other State agencies and other appropriate entities to assist in the provision of supported employment services and other public or nonprofit agencies or organizations within the State, employers, natural supports, and other entities with respect to the provision of extended services.

7.6 Minority outreach. ( 34 CFR 363.11(0)

Attachment 4.12(d)(2) describes the designated State agency's outreach procedures for identifying and serving individuals with the most significant disabilities who are minorities.

7.7 Reports. (Sections 625(b)(8) and 626 of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(h) and .52)

The designated State agency submits reports in such form and in accordance with such procedures as the Secretary may require and collects the information required by section 101(a)(10) of the Act separately for individuals receiving supported employment services under part B of title VI and individuals receiving supported employment services under title I of the Act.

SECTION 8 : FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION
8.1 Five percent limitation on administrative costs. (Section 625(b)(7) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(g)(8) )

The designated State agency expends no more than five percent of the State's allotment under section 622 of the Act for administrative costs in carrying out the Slate Supported Employment Services Program.

8.2 Use of funds in providing services. (Sections 623 and 625(b)(6)(A) and (D) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.6(c)(2)(iv), .11(g)(1) and (4))
(a) Funds made available under title VI, part B of the Act are used by the designated State agency only to provide supported employment services to individuals with the most significant disabilities who are eligible to receive such services.
(b) Funds provided under title VI, part B are used only to supplement, and not supplant, the funds provided under title 1 of the Act, in providing supported employment services specified in the individualized plan for employment.
(c) Funds provided under part B of title VI or title I of the Act arc not used to provide extended services to individuals who are eligible under part B of title VI or title 1 of the Act.
SECTION 9 : PROVISION OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES
9.1 Scope of supported employment services. (Sections 7(36) and 625(b)(6)(F) and (G) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(g)(6) and (7) )
(a) Supported employment services are those services as defined in section 7(36) of the Act.
(b) To the extent job skills training is provided, the training is provided on-site.
(c) Supported employment services include placement in an integrated selling for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of individuals with die most significant disabilities.
9.2 Comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities. (Section 625(b)(6)(B); 34 CFR 363.11(g)(2) )

The comprehensive assessment of individuals with significant disabilities, including the assessment of rehabilitation, career, and employment needs, conducted under section 102(b) ( 1 )(A) of the Act and paragraph 6.10(a) of this Stale plan and funded under title I of the Act includes consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome.

9.3 Individualized plan for employment. (Sections 102(b)(3)(F) and 625(b)(6)(C) and (E) of the Act; 34 CFR 363.11(g)(3) and (5) )
(a) An individualized plan for employment that meets the requirements of section 102(b) of the Act and subsections 6.10 and .11 of this State plan is developed and updated using funds under Title I.
(b) The individualized plan for employment:
(1) specifies the supported employment services to be provided;
(2 ) describes the expected extended services needed; and
(3) identifies the source of extended services, including natural supports, or, to the extent that it is not possible to identify the source of extended services at the time the individualized plan for employment plan is developed, a statement describing the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that sources will become available.
(c) Services provided under an individualized plan for employment are coordinated with services provided under other individualized plans established under other Federal or State programs.

ATTACHMENTS REQUIRED OF ALL AGENCIES

Attachment 4.9(c): Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities

(1) Cooperation with Agencies That Are Not in the Statewide Workforce investment System and with Other Entities
(2) Coordination with Education Officials
(3) Cooperative Agreements with Private Non-profit Vocational Rehabilitation Service Providers
(4) Evidence of Collaboration Regarding Supported Employment Services and Extended Services

Attachment 4.11(b): Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Attachment 4.12 Assessments; Estimates; Goals and Priorities; Strategies; and Progress Reports

(a) : Results of Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities and Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs
(b) : Annual Estimates of Individuals to Be Served and Costs of Services
(c)
(1) : State[]s Goals and Priorities
(3) : Goals and Plans for Distribution of Title VI, Part B Funds
(d) : State[]s Strategies and Use of Title 1 Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities
(1) To Address Needs Identified in the Comprehensive Assessment and to Achieve Identified Goals and Priorities
(2) To Carryout Outreach Activities to Identify and Serve Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities Who are Minorities
(3) To Overcome Identified Barriers Relating to Equitable Access to and Participation of Individuals with Disabilities in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program.
(e) : Evaluation and Report of Progress in Achieving Identified Goals and Priorities and Use Of Title I Funds for Innovation and Expansion Activities

Attachment 4.16(b)(2): Mediation and Impartial Due Process Hearing Procedures

Attachment 7.3: Quality, Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services

ATTACHMENTS CONTINGENT ON OPTIONS SELECTED

The following attachments identified by an "X" are also submitted as pan of the State plan.

__Attachment 4.2(c): Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated Stale Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or Recommendations

__Attachment 4.5: Local Administration

__Attachment 4.6(a)(3): Request for Waiver of Statewideness

__Attachment 4.7(b): Shared Funding and Administration of Joint Program

_Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(A): Order of Selection

__Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(B): Explanation to Support the Decision Not to Establish an Order of Selection

__Attachment 6.9(c)(2): Services Subject to Financial Needs Test

ARKANSAS REHABILITATION SERVICES

STATE PLAN FOR VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES PROGRAM

AND SUPPLEMENT FOR SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT

Attachment H

Part 2

II. ATTACHMENTS REQUIRED OF ALL AGENCIES

Attachment 4.9(c): Cooperation and Coordination with Other Agencies and Other Entities

Carrying Out Activities Through The Statewide Workforce Investment System

ARS serves all 75 counties in Arkansas and VR counselors have itinerary points in each community. Referrals arc made directly to the appropriate ARS field office serving the individuals' community. ARS maintains cooperative agreements with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education regarding the continuity of provision of vocational rehabilitation services and access to higher education. ARS maintains interagency agreements with the Arkansas Department of Education and Special Education, regarding transition services to students in public schools. ARS has cooperative agreements with Community Rehabilitation Programs throughout the state and a performance based reimbursement system for provided services. ARS also has agreements statewide with private non-profit agencies providing supported employment services and extended services to individuals with the most significant disabilities.

Arkansas is primarily a rural state with agriculture as one of the major industries. The Eastern Arkansas area is included in the Southern Delta Region of the U.S. Farming and related occupations are a major portion of the agricultural industry in the state. Farm related accidents and injuries account for a significant number of disabilities leading to loss of employment and income. Rural populations of individuals have been recognized as unserved and underserved regarding vocational rehabilitation by NIDRR and others.

ARS is exploring the development of cooperative agreements with programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development for the Department of Agriculture. ARS will explore the development of an Information and Referral System with the appropriate programs through Rural Development to refer individuals whose employment has been impacted as a result of agricultural related or other disabilities.

Attachment 4.11(b): Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Policies, Procedures And Activities To Establish And Maintain A Comprehensive System Of Personnel Development

Data on Qualified Personnel Needs and Personnel Development

Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) maintains a comprehensive data system on personnel and personnel development. Data collected includes the following:

* Number and type of personnel employed in each professional and paraprofessional category:

Title

Total

Staff

Vacant

Male

Female

White

Black

Other

Disability

ACCOUNTANT

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

ACCOUNTING SUPERVISOR II

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

ACCOUNTING TECHNICIAN II

8

8

0

0

8

8

0

0

1

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT II

7

7

0

0

7

4

3

0

0

AGENCY PROGRAM COORDINATO

5

5

0

3

2

3

2

0

1

APPLICATIONS & SYSTEMS ANALY

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

ASST PERSONNEL MANAGER

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

BAKER 1

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

BAKER II

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

BLDG PLANT MAINTENANCE SUPV

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

BLDG PLANT MAINTENANCE SUPV

2

2

0

2

0

2

0

0

0

CARPENTER SUPERVISOR

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

CHAPLAIN

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

CHIEF PHYSICIAN SPECIALIST

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

CLERICAL ASSISTANT

3

3

0

0

3

3

0

0

0

COMPLIANCE ADMINISTRATOR

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

COMPUTER APPLICATION MANAGE

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

COOK 1

2

2

0

1

1

0

2

0

1

COOK II

5

4

1

2

2

2

2

0

1

COORDINATOR OF INTERPRETIVE

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

CUSTODIAL WRKR II

14

14

0

7

7

7

7

0

5

DENTIST

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

DlETARY SERVICES DIRECTOR

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

DIRECTOR MAINTENANCE

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

DIRECTOR OOF PHYSICAL THERAF

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

DP PRODUCTION SCHEDULER

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

ED COORD VOC PLANNING & EVAL

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

ELECTRICIAN SUPERVISOR

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

ELEVATOR OPERATOR

2

2

1

1

0

0

1

0

3

ENGINEER PE

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

EXECUTIVE SECY/ADMINISTRATIVE

13

13

0

0

13

6

7

0

0

EXTRA HELP

19

19

0

8

11

1 1

8

0

0

FOOD PRODUCTION MANAGER II

2

1

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

FOOD PRODUCTION MANAGER

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

FOOD SERVICE WORKER II

6

6

0

3

3

4

2

0

0

FOOD SERVICE WORKER III

3

3

0

I

2

2

1

0

0

GENERAL PHYSICIAN

2

2

0

1

1

1

1

0

0

GRANTS COORDINATOR

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

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* Existing vacancies, turnover rates, and projected separations:

- Existing vacancies are presently at 22. Many vacant positions are not used or ARS is working with OPM to change the classifications or delete the positions because they are no longer relevant to the agency.

- The average yearly ARS turnover rate is 10%.

- Projected yearly separations (including turnover) within ARS is 15%

* Projected client numbers to be served and optimum client/counselor ratio:

83 counselors will serve a target of 16.000 clients. The optimum client/counselor ratio is 193 clients per counselor on average.

* Projected staff requirements for the coming five years:

23 Years or More of Service

Number

Percent

Management

49

36%

Direct Service Delivery

27

21%

Medical/Allied Health

7

5%

Central Support

14

11%

Direct Service Delivery Support

20

16%

Other Support*

9

7%

TOTALS

126

25%,

*Inc!udes: Housekeeping, Food Service, Elevator Operators, Laundry, Custodial, Maintenance, Drivers, Security

Years of Service

Number of Staff

OVER 28

58

28

17

27

10

26

15

25

10

24

22

TOTAL

122

Projected ARS staff requirements for the next five years is approximately 15% a year (turnover, retirements and separations). Management and direct service delivery (professional and support) will be the main needs. ARS has received upgrades for support staff upgrades and continues to use the Career Ladder Incentive Program to help meet future needs. ARS recently received new approved Market Labor Rates for the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Series. The new rates with help the agency's efforts in the areas of recruiting qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors.

As part of the maintenance of offering a program of development, ARS maintains a list of higher education institutions in the state, which prepare rehabilitation professionals. This listing is maintained by type of program and by category of professional development. ARS also monitors students who enroll in rehabilitation and related programs at each of the institutions and programs by category and the number of students who graduated during the prior year, with and without certification or licensure. The Staff Development sections at ARS and DSB have collaborated to develop and disseminate a formal survey of the higher education institutions each June to assure timely and accurate data for planning proposes. The following is a sample of the yearly survey:

ARKANSAS INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION REHABILITATION AND RELATED PROGRAMS

SURVEY

Name of Institution:

______________________________

Name of Department:

______________________________

Name of Program:

______________________________

I. Number of students enrolled in the program during the past school year:__________ Of those enrolled, please specify the number of:
A. Male_______ Female________
B. African-American_____ Caucasian_____ Hispanic_____ Other_____

Asian-American_______ Native-American_______

Persons with Disabilities______

C. Under age 20______ Age 20 to 29______ Age 30 to 39______ Age 40 to 49______ over age 50______
2. Number of students who dropped out of the program during the past school year:

___________

3. Number of students who graduated from the program during the past school year:

___________

4. Number of graduates with the required credentials for certification during the past school year:

___________

5. Number of graduates who were certified/licensed during the past year: Type of certification/license received:

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

6. Number of graduates employed by:

State Rehabilitation_______________________

Private Rehabilitation_____________________

7. Names and addresses of graduates: (Attach additional sheets if needed.)

The minimum qualifications for the Counselor III, and II are bachelor's degrees in psychology, sociology, or related field with three, two, years of experience, respectively.

The Rehabilitation Counselor III is functionally the entry-level counselor position. Because of the state's salary structure, ARS have had a difficult time recruiting at the lower levels. Hires are being made at the Counselor II level. The Counselor I positions are being used for intern positions. ARS during the last year has been able to raise the counselors' series salary level through Market Labor Rates Standards.

ARS PLAN OUTLINE

Arkansas Rehabilitation Services has implemented the following plan to address the requirements of the CSPD. The initial phase of the plan will focus on rehabilitation counselors. Later phases will address the other VR professionals identified in Section 101(a)(7).

* STANDARD

Because there is no standard established by the State of Arkansas. ARS bases its personnel standards for counselors on the degree needed to meet the national CRC requirements. CRC requires a Master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a closely related field, as defined by the CRC.

Action(s) taken:

Effective October 1. 2007 ARS will hire vocational rehabilitation counselors only in the position classified as Rehabilitation Counselor III. Vocational rehabilitation counselors must be classified as Rehabilitation Counselor III and meet other qualifications in order to become a Senior Counselor. Effective September 30. 2007 all ARS employees in the classification of Rehabilitation Counselor III or Senior Counselor will meet the standard of having a master's degree and either be CRC certified, or eligible to sit for CRC certification. After September 30. 2007 all ARS employees in the position classified as Rehabilitation Counselor III or Senior Counselor, who do not meet the standard of having a master's degree and either CRC certification, or eligibility to sit for CRC certification, will be reclassified to the position of Rehabilitation Counselor II. The counselors who do not meet CSPD requirement and are reclassified to the position of Rehabilitation Counselor II will be required to have prior approval on cases where paid for service are planned on their IPE. The District Manager or their designee will provide prior approval.

Action(s) needed:

Formally adopt and communicate the master's degree standard in ARS. The state Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is aware of our efforts to do this. We are preparing to go before the upcoming legislative session to get counselor positions minimum qualification changed. OPM currently does not recognize ARS master's degree level standards in the minimum qualification in the vocational rehabilitation counselors' series.

* NEW STAFF

All personnel hired by ARS in any position classified as a Rehabilitation Counselor III or Senior Counselor will meet the standard of a master's degree and/or be CRC certified. When there is not an applicant with the master's degree, ARS will permit the hiring of a bachelors degreed counselor in a Counselor II position with a condition of employment that the person will seek and obtain a masters degree within three years of employment.

Action(s) taken:

Requested that Office of Personnel Management (OPM) align the state class specifications with the state qualification and implementation criteria to read that the minimum education qualification is a Master's Degree rehabilitation counseling for Senior and III Rehabilitation Counselor positions. We arc still working with OPM to make this necessary change. We now advertise for a Counselor II position with the preferred qualification being a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and CRC certified. Documentation on requirements of the Rehab Act for these standards will be presented during the next legislative session.

Requested that Office of Personnel Management (OPM) change the minimum education qualification lor Rehabilitation Counselor III positions to a Master's Degree in rehabilitation counseling two years of experience. We also requested Senior Rehabilitation Counselor positions be changed to a Master's Degree in rehabilitation counseling, three years of experience, and a CRC Certification. OPM is seriously considering these changes. ARS will have to modify classification and job duties to reflect changes that are different from other titles that arc similar within other state agencies.

Action(s) taken:

ARS has devised and implemented recruiting strategies to identify potential applicants for vacancies.

* EXISTING STAFF:

ARS currently has 48 out of 83 counselors that meet the national CRC standard. (We presently have 15 unfilled counselor positions.) The priority of training and development within CSPD continues to be emphasized for direct service delivery personnel in ARS. ARS presently has 13 counselors involved in distant learning graduate training programs in order to become eligible to sit for CRC exam. ARS has 21 counselors that arc not eligible to sit for CRC or involved in a CSPD program. Of these, 1 is a counselor who has between 16-25 years of career service and 11 arc counselors with 25 or more years of service and are eligible to retire. Preference on training is given to the higher priority during the current fiscal year based on availability of training funds.

Priority 1: Counselors with related bachelor's degrees who have completed graduate hours in a rehabilitation-counseling program and/or are currently enrolled or accepted into a program. (13 counselors)

Priority 2: Counselors with related master's degrees (as per CRC criteria for eligibility-categories D. 1 to D.4) who will need from one to six graduate courses for CRC exam eligibility. (1 counselor)

Priority 3: Counselors with a Master's Degree who express interest in obtaining masters degree in rehabilitation counseling. The counselors in this priority would have between 1 and 15 years of career service with the state. (2 counselors)

Priority 4. Counselors who have between 16-25 years of career service with the state and are not eligible to sit for CRC or involved in a learning program. (1 counselors)

Priority 5: Counselors who have 25 or more years of career service with the State and are not eligible to sit for CRC or involved in a learning program. (I I counselors)

In all priority categories, counselors who receive educational assistance would be expected to comply with the provisions of the ARS Educational Leave Policy and agree to continue working with the agency for two years for every 9 credit hours completed.

Action(s) taken:

Determined availability of ARS resources to fund training. The Federal In-Service Training Grant FY 2001-2005 has increased tuition and textbook expenditures.

A request for a waiver of regulations preventing payment for college courses leading to a degree from the Department of Finance and Administration has been approved for the Federal In-service Training Grant FY 2001 -2005.

Identified alternative methods of funding for education. We presently have three VR Counselors involved in distance-learning coursework at the University of North Texas, at no cost of tuition to the agency. Other VR counselors who do not meet the requirements of CSPD are encouraged to enter the program at the University of North Texas.

Identified methods and opportunities for training (e.g., traditional classroom, distance learning, etc.). Bight counselors are enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. There arc three individuals enrolled in the graduate distance- learning program at the University of North Texas. ARS has one counselor enrolled in the masters in rehabilitation program at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

* RECRUITING:

When recruiting for Rehabilitation Counselor vacancies, ARS vacancy announcements state that MRC and CRC are preferred. Applicants who have the preferred qualifications are referred for interview. If a selection cannot be made from those candidates, a candidate with the State minimum qualification may be hired, subject to the condition that the master's degree will be obtained within a specified time.

The Rehabilitation Counselor III is functionally the entry-level counselor position. Because of the state's salary structure, ARS have had a difficult time recruiting at the lower classification levels. ARS is now hiring Counselor II level, with promotion opportunities being made available once the individual meeting the standards for the Counselor III level.

Action(s) taken:

Requested change from OPM to require master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling for the Rehabilitation Counselor III positions with two years of experience needed. This is still pending.

OPM has approved ARS request to use Extra Help positions for Rehabilitation Counselor Interns, allowing ARS to initiate a paid internship program. The minimum qualifications for the Intern are the same as a Counselor I position - bachelor's level. This program continues to be an effective tool for recruiting new counselors.

Action(s) needed:

A Human Resource Development component of the CSPD team reviews and oversees the current training levels of all personnel in each category. Required standards and evaluation of training needs and timelines are established. The HRD component develops and monitors agency policy and procedure in terms of hiring, training, or retraining personnel to meet standards. This function includes notifying public agencies and all personnel of those steps and timelines.

Personnel Training. Including Staff Development

ARS ensures that all personnel receive appropriate and adequate continuing education. The agency provides for employees to attend classes, seminars, and conferences, and disseminates information through newsletters, in-service training, workshops, etc.

Several innovative efforts are currently in progress in the area of training and staff development

* Distance Learning - Technology equipment is in place and is being used to present an ongoing series of conferences and courses to virtually all employees through the use of local downlinks and the Internet. The agency has also developed an Intranet system that will be used as a method for delivering staff training.

* HRD continues to use a series of institutes and training programs that have included every ARS employee.

* Online training is being conducted to address agency needs. These brief training programs include topics that ARS has identified as important to ARS operational effectiveness.

* Performance Evaluation and Training Needs - Each Employee Performance Evaluation addresses training needs. These needs receive priority for funding. In those cases where sufficient common training needs arc identified, the agency develops and provides this training to groups.

* Cooperative Relationships - The agency continues to have close relationships with the Arkansas Rehabilitation Continuing Education Center through the University of Arkansas. ARS staff serves on advisory boards and steering committees for those organizations, and are able to influence the type of research, training, development, and consultation provided by these organizations to meet ARS needs.

* Technology Training - The agency offers ongoing training programs for professional and para professional personnel in the area of technology. The ARTEC Lab is being used for ongoing training of staff in the areas of software application training, internet training for Job Placement. ARMIS training for the agency's client training system. etc.

* Acquiring and Disseminating Knowledge and Research - ARS staff development section provides training materials offered through the National Clearinghouse at Oklahoma State University, National Rehabilitation Association professional organization publications and the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues documents. These materials, articles and research results documentation that provide this agency's professional staff with much needed latest information that is useful in working with our customers.

* Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 -The Agency has conducted extensive training on Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, and key components of the Acts are incorporated into new employee orientation and training. Collaboration and cooperation with our partnering state agencies arc continuing. The agency is being kept updated with the latest development of the Workforce Investment Act that is before Congress at this writing. ARS continues to provide input into the reauthorization of the Rehab Act and the Workforce Investment Act.

Special Communication Needs Personnel Training

ARS will continues to employee personnel who are able to communicate in the native languages of applicants for service and clients who have limited English speaking ability.

ARS also provides special communication modes such as interpreters, captioned videos, specialized telecommunications services and material for individuals who are deaf and deaf-blind as well as other specialized media systems for individuals with disabilities. Whenever possible, people with needed language skills are hired, special equipment is provided as needed. Interpreters are provided in training settings when needed. Sign language skills are included as a minimum qualification for positions providing services to deaf persons. When needed, special entry rates arc offered to persons who possess needed special language or communication skills. ARS also is providing training opportunities in Spanish. Arkansas is experiencing a large influx of Spanish speaking citizens into the state and these citizens arc now requesting our services. The agency is providing assistance to our employees in order to help them accommodate these needs.

Performance Evaluation System

ARS continues the process of continuously examining and modifying its personnel evaluation system, particularly with rehabilitation counselors, to emphasize serving persons with the most severe disabilities. Performance evaluation focuses on accomplishing the purposes of the Act and Federal Regulations. The Evaluation in no way impeded the accomplishment of the purpose and policy of the Act. The agency's Personnel Performance Evaluation System was just recently updated and approved by OPM. All Managers/Supervisors have been provided training on those approved updates.

Coordination with Personnel Development under IDEA

ARS coordinates its comprehensive system of personnel development with personnel development under IDEA. ARS provides training opportunities for our direct service support personnel in the areas of transition. Key VR counselors are involved with state transition coordinators that arc provided by Special Education within the state. ARS VR counselors are involved in annual transition coordination meetings. Information on IDEA is forwarded to all ARS employees including the latest IDEA reauthorization proceeding that are ongoing. ARS is aware that the latest IDEA legislation have been passed and ARS will provide training for key personnel with the agency who will be dealing with the schools and transition. The agency is presently looking at restructuring the field program in order to effectively utilize personnel that will be doing transition. ARS is fully committed to providing transition services through our agency with collaboration and cooperation with the public schools.

Attachment 4.12 Assessments; Estimates; Goals and Priorities; Strategies; and Progress Reports

Results of Comprehensive Statewide Assessment of the Rehabilitation Needs of Individuals with Disabilities

The requirements for a comprehensive, statewide assessment are that it must be jointly conducted by the designated state unit and the State Rehabilitation Council. The results must include a description of the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the State, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services. The needs of individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program. And, the needs of individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system.

ARS and the Arkansas Stale Rehabilitation Council have contracted with Dan Hopkins and Associates, Inc. (DMA), an independent consulting firm with personnel that have extensive expertise in the field of vocational rehabilitation. In order to complete the assessment of needs of people with disabilities in the state of Arkansas. DHA is using a three pronged approach to gather data: statewide survey of people with disabilities, statewide focus groups of stakeholders and interview surveys with service providers.

DMA is in the process of completing the data collection phase of the needs assessment for Arkansas. Surveys have been mailed to 373 consumers. To date. 271 of those surveys have been returned. Subsequently, DHA has mailed follow-up reminders to the 102 consumers who did not return the survey.

Additionally, DHA has worked directly with Rebecca Riggs, Director of the Arkansas Independent Living Council, and an initiative to collect data from focus groups of stakeholders around the state. DHA has developed a cadre of advocates for people with disabilities throughout the State. DHA has collected surveys at four sessions that have been conducted.

DHA is working with staff in the ARS Central Office to have surveys completed by ARS personnel. As the data collection phase is completed, the data will be analyzed. DHA is attempting to increase the number of respondents to the surveys so that all of the data will generalize to the larger population of consumers and other stakeholders.

As a result of the difficulty that encountered in receiving surveys, DHA has received an extension to the original closing date of the project, June 30, 2005. DHS is working to complete the project as soon as possible so that the useful results will be provided to the agency.

Need to Establish, Develop, or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs

Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP's) in Arkansas provide an important array of services to persons with disabilities, and Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) employs a variety of methods and strategies to accomplish appropriate partnering with these statewide community based programs. Through the process of contracting for rehabilitation related services, ARS is frequently involved in planning for the establishment and development of emerging programs and proactively strives to maximize consumer utilization at the community level whenever possible

ARS maintains a Community Program Development Section (CPDS) to provide certification and consultation to the CRP's in Arkansas. In order to be reimbursed for services provided, the CRP must be certified by ARS annually, and must maintain compliance with that certification throughout the contract year- The CPDS is also responsible for tracking/documenting consumer involvement in statewide CRP's, and for administering, and maintaining a performance based funding system used by ARS to reimburse CRP's for contracted consumer services. The "1999 Arkansas Standards for Community Rehabilitation Program Certification" is the official guide used to complete CRP certification. This guide is periodically reviewed and amended as needed.

ARS conducts periodic statewide consumer and provider needs studies and obtains public input to help determine the types and levels of services provided by the Community Rehabilitation Programs. Input solicited from CRP's, consumers, providers, and vendors will be incorporated into the standards when deemed appropriate. The "1999 Arkansas Standards for Community Rehabilitation Program Certification" discourages consumer processing type activities, and monetarily rewards timely transition to competitive employment in integrated settings consistent with the consumers demonstrated abilities, and with consideration regarding the individuals informed choice.

As part of the ongoing partnering process with statewide CRP's, and in an effort to provide supportive programmatic and fiscal contract oversight, the CPDS conducts frequent on-site compliance reviews, comprehensive consumer case reviews, consumer satisfaction interviews, and frequent Service to Billing Audits.

In addition to providing consultation and technical assistance as needed, the CPDS coordinates topic specific training for CRP staff through affiliations with colleges/universities in Region VI who offer training designed to enhance skill levels of CRP Directors and program support personnel.

CPDS personnel serve on the Planning and Advisory Committee for the University of North Texas-University of Arkansas sponsored, Continuing Education for Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP RCEP) training effort. This federally sponsored grant provides training and technical support for CRP's in Region VI. Currently several statewide CRP Directors and support staff along with CPDS personnel are enrolled in the CRP RCEP "Certificate in Management Program".

ARS-CPDS provides CRP's with information and encourages participation in the Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) Program which is a federal set-aside program that provides government contracting opportunities for qualified CRP's. Six CRP's (under contract with ARS) are current participating JWOD contractors. Participation in this program fluctuates annually.

ARS also encourages CRP's to participate in the provisions of ACT 1718, which was adopted during the 2001 regular session of the 83rd General Assembly. Act 1718 serves as Arkansas' state use law, and is designed to promote the purchase of products and services from CRP's by local municipalities and agencies of state government. The ARS CPDS provides technical assistance, and guidance to statewide CRP's relating to act 1718 activities.

The ARS CPDS works closely with the Administrative Boards of Directors and staff of statewide CRP's to encourage program development which provides a realistic work atmosphere, conducive to rapid acquisition of meaningful work related skills leading to timely competitive employment in integrated settings for all referred consumers.

Number of Individuals Eligible for Services

Estimates Of The Number Of Individuals In The State To Be Served Under Part B Of Title I - FY 2006

Priority Cateeorv I:

Eligible individuals who are most significantly disabled.

COST

Number to be Served *

. 3,127

Number to be Rehabilitated - 352

$ 1,763,580.00

Priority Cateeorv II:

Eligible individuals who are significantly disabled.

Number to be Served

. 18,673

Number to be Rehabilitated - 2,193

$ 11,536,420.00

TOTAL TO BE SERVED

TOTAL TO BE

REHABILITATED

TOTAL COST

21,800

2,545

$513,300,000.00

Estimates Of The Number Of Individuals In The State To Be Served Under Part B Of Title VI -FY 2006

Type of individual to be served

Number Served

Rehabilitated

Supported Employment Model

Mental Illness

36

3

Job Coach/Mobile Crew Transition Employment

Mild Mental Retardation

136

18

Job Coach/Mobile Crew

Traumatic Head Injury

11

2

Job Coach/Mobile Crew

Other

127

22

Job Coach/Mobile Crew

TOTAL

310

45

Performance-Based Evaluation

While RSA (Rehabilitation Services Administration) performance-based evaluation focuses on a State agency as the unit of analysis, the National Performance Plan and the standards and indicators outlined by RSA can be quite useful to State agencies in monitoring the functioning of their offices within the State.

To take advantage of this unique opportunity, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services and the State Rehabilitation Council of Arkansas elected to generate an evaluation report that would serve both purposes. As indicated in the evaluation report that follows this section, Chart 1 is used to present a summative measure of ARS performance. The Chart 1 documents the performance of the agency as a whole. By contrast the tables document the contributions of each field office to that standard and are used in corrective action. Correspondence in the evaluation measures to assess the effectiveness of the program as a whole and at the field office level ensures total alignment and compliance of the vocational rehabilitation program in the state with the vision and goals set forth in Federal Legislation.

RSA specification of performance benchmarks relays an unequivocal message regarding the effectiveness of the State programs it funds. The chart that follows documents Arkansas Rehabilitation Services performance in FY 2004. This is due to the close monitoring of the program's activities through monthly reports and feedback lo field offices.

This trend is expected to continue as constant efforts are being made in every section toward streamlining and efficiency. Innovative and more cost-effective methods of data collection to meet federal requirements arc constantly explored. For example, the distribution of consumer satisfaction survey forms developed by the State Rehabilitation Council of Arkansas is becoming an integral part of case closure procedures and serves several purposes in addition to fulfilling a soon to be federal requirement. Access to Social Security and Economic Security Division information is invaluable and cost-effective over other strategies in documenting long-term employment outcomes.

To The Extent That The Goals Were Not Achieved, A Description Of The Factors That Impeded The Achievement Of The Coals

ARS proactive philosophy is such that any anticipated obstacle to progress is dealt with in a timely manner. As a result no impediments were detected by the Rehabilitation Services Administration to the achievement of our goals.

An Assessment Of The Performance On The Standards And Indicators Established Pursuant To Section 106

Standard 1: Employment Outcomes

Performance Indicator 1.1

The number of individuals exiting the VR program who achieved an employment outcome during the current performance period compared to the number of individuals who exit the program after achieving an employment outcome during the previous performance period.

[Performance level: Equal or exceed previous performance period..]

The data indicates that the number of individuals in Arkansas who achieved an employment outcome increased during FY 2004 the last year that data is available - from 2,228 in FY 2003 to 2,440 in FY 2004.

Performance Indicator 1.2

Of all individuals who exit the VR program after receiving services, the percentage who are determined to have achieved an employment outcome.

[Performance level: 55.8% for General/Combined Agencies.]

The data indicates that 55.5% of the individuals in Arkansas who exited the VR program after receiving services achieved an employment outcome.

Performance Indicator 1.3

Of all individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, the percentage who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage. [Performance level: 72,6% for General/Combined Agencies.]

The data indicates that the percentage of individuals determined to have achieved an employment outcome, who exited the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage was 99.8% in Arkansas which exceeds the federal benchmark of 72.6%.

Performance Indicator 1.4

Of ail individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who are individuals with significant disabilities.

[Performance level: 62.4% for General/Combined Agencies.]

The data indicates that of all individuals who exited the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the percentage who were individuals with significant disabilities in Arkansas was 77.7% which exceeds the federal benchmark of 62.4%.

Performance Indicator 1.5

The average hourly earnings of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings levels equivalent to at least the minimum wage as a ratio to the State's average hourly earnings for all individuals in the State who arc employed (as derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report 'State Average Annual Pay" for the most recent available year).

[Performance level: A ratio of 0.52 for General/Combined Agencies.]

The data indicates that in Performance Indicator !.5 in Arkansas the ratio was 0.68, which exceeds the federal benchmark of 0.52.

Performance Indicator 1.6

Of all individuals who exit the VR program in competitive, self-, or BEP employment with earnings equivalent to at least the minimum wage, the

difference between the percentage who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at exit and the percentage who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at application.

[Performance level: 52.0 mathematical difference in percentage for General/Combined Agencies.]

The data indicates that in Performance Indicator 1.6, the mathematical difference between the percentage who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at exit and the percentage who reported their own income as the largest single source of economic support at application was 65.85 in Arkansas which exceeds the federal benchmark of 53.0.

Standard 2: Equal Access to Services

Performance Indicator 2.1

The service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities. [Performance level: Ratio of 0.80 for both Genera!/Combined Agencies.]

The data indicates that in Performance Indicator 2.1, the service rate for all individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds, as a ratio to the service rate for all non-minority individuals with disabilities was 0.91 in Arkansas, which exceeds the federal benchmark of 0.80.

Innovative Approaches To Expand And Improve The Provision Of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) is the state program that provides vocational rehabilitation services to assist individuals with significant disabilities in becoming employed and living independently (with the exception of DHS-Division of Services for the Blind). The state Vocational Rehabilitation programs are funded through the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998) and have been provided through federal and state matching funds since 1973.

As a result of statewide studies and program evaluation, ARS has implemented the following changes:

* The Arkansas Rehabilitation Services Operating Policy Manual was revised into a policy and procedures manual, The revised ARS Policy and Procedure Manual was promulgated and effective October 10, 2002. The manual draft document was done by a group of administrators, supervisors, counselors, and rehabilitation assistants from all components of the agency. The State Rehabilitation Council of Arkansas had representation in this group as well as the Client Assistance Project. Policy was selected along with being revised from the present policy manual and changes made to improve services to the most significant disabled and to be in compliance with Federal regulations. A permanent Policy and Procedures committee has been formed to evaluate policy and procedures on an ongoing basis to assure compliance with state and federal regulations.

* The agency policy for reimbursing expenditures to Community Rehabilitation Programs is a performance-based system. The system award points to CRP's according to client progress toward employment. As a result of continued emphasis on employment, the performance-based funding system has been revised to place greater rewards on competitive employment outcome and reduce rewards for other steps in the process.

* ARS updated its Arkansas Standards for Community Rehabilitation Program Certification. This resulted in reduced consumer processing type activities and encourages timely transition to competitive employment in integrated settings consistent with the consumers informed choice.

* The new ARS client tracking system, Arkansas Rehabilitation Integrated Management Information System (ARIMIS), has been brought on line and has been in operation since April 2002. The new ARIMIS system is internal to ARS and allows tracking for reporting purposes, review of case status history for counselors and administrators, and eventually purchasing and budgeting with case service funds. In addition, ARS has linked with the State information system, Arkansas Administrative

* Statewide Information System (AASIS.) This is an external system now required for all state agencies in Arkansas, and includes ail purchasing and human resource functions linked into a statewide system. The second phase of the system, which enhances aspects of the system, is being prepared for implementation.

* The Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council of (SRC) has been integrally involved in all aspects of the agency's operations, including planning, personnel policies, and program evaluation studies. The SRC has assigned specific members to be primarily involved with the various aspects of the agency. The responsible persons from the SRC coordinate and report to the RCA at regular meetings.

* A revision of ARS Comprehensive System of Personnel Development as required by Section 101(a)(7) Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 has been approved by RSA and implemented by the agency.

The primary vehicles for expanding services lo individuals with the most severe disabilities continues to be the Agency's order of selection, staff training on severe disability, comprehensive outreach strategies, and special programs to serve groups that have been traditionally unserved or underserved. Policy implementation regarding presumed eligibility and service delivery for Social Security beneficiaries also tends to expand services individuals with the most severe disabilities. The Ticket to Work program which is being implemented in Arkansas will also serve to expand services to individuals with the most severe disabilities. Arkansas was in the second phase round of states to implement the Ticket to Work.

The Order of Selection places persons with the most significant disabilities as the highest priority for receiving services. Coupling this with performance evaluation criteria has resulted in increased outreach at the local level to identify and provide services to the most severely disabled.

Staff will continue to receive special in-service training on issues related to individuals with the most severe disabilities, including technology needs. Emphasis is placed on serving persons with the most severe disabilities at statewide staff meetings, newsletters, and intra-agency correspondence.

Close working relationships with organizations providing education and vocational preparation will continue. ARS staff will continue to serve on advisory boards for local and state school-to-work programs, and one-stop services programs. In this capacity, they will conduct outreach to persons with the most severe disabilities. Close contact with the network of Centers for Independent Living throughout the state is maintained as an outreach effort.

Special programs through the Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center such as the Spinal Cord Injury Program and the Traumatic Brain Injury Program provide opportunities to serve persons that otherwise might not be served.

An individual who is Most Severely Disabled is defined as one who has a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously (I) limits two or more functional capabilities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of employment outcome; (2) whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple VR services over an extended period of time; and (3) who has one or more physical or mental disabilities.

Attachment 7.3: Quality. Scope, and Extent of Supported Employment Services

During FY 2006, funds received under Title VI, Part B, will be assigned on an allocation basis to counselors statewide. Each counselor will have an allocation and will accept referrals from other agencies, programs or other sources. Funds will be used to purchase services from approved vendors. Counselors may also use funds from their Title I allotment to purchase Supported Employment Services. The client population will include individuals with the most significant disabilities including: developmental disabilities, chronic mental illness, traumatic head injury, and deaf and hearing impaired who are determined eligible for supported employment services or in future years with any other most significant disability group from whom continuing support will be available through agency agreement or by natural supports.

Estimates Of The Number Of Individuals In The State To Be Served Under Part B Of Title VI -FY 2006

Type of individual to be served

Number Served

Rehabilitated

Supported Employment Model

Mental Illness

36

3

Job Coach/Mobile Crew Transition Employment

Mild Mental Retardation

136

18

Job Coach/Mobile Crew

Traumatic Head Injury

11

2

Job Coach/Mobile Crew

Other

127

22

Job Coach/Mobile Crew

TOTAL

310

45

III. ATTACHMENTS CONTINGENT ON OPTIONS SELECTED

Attachment 4.2(c): Summary of Input and Recommendations of the State Rehabilitation Council; Response of the Designated State Unit; and Explanations for Rejection of Input or Recommendations

Summary of Activities with State Rehabilitation Council of Arkansas

The State Rehabilitation Council (the Council) works in partnership with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) according to the requirements of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Members are appointed by the Governor and charged with providing review, guidance, and technical assistance in agency activities as outlined in 34 CM 361.17 of the Act

During FY 04 the Council held four (4) regular quarterly meetings and also participated in several special events sponsored by ARS. Minutes of all meetings are available upon request and may also be reviewed at the ARS website: www.arsinfo.org/src.btml.

Consultation and collaboration with ARS by the Council is conducted mostly through standing committees. The list of committees, responsibilities, and 2004 accomplishments arc described elsewhere in this report. We are pleased to provide a summary of the significant accomplishments of the council for 2004. We would like to acknowledge the support of designated ARS personnel, Barbara Starks and Kizma Williams. We also appreciate the hard work of the ARS Communications staff in development of this report.

Activities

Federal and State Audit Review: The council reviewed the RSA audit findings and recommendations and provided input on ARS action plans. The council reviewed and provided input on the Arkansas Legislative Audit report.

Policy and Procedures: ARS Senior Management staff provided reports and solicited input in regard to policy changes and updates for the policy and procedures manual and for the Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center.

Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center: HSRC personnel provided reports on reorganization of training programs, implementation, behavior management program, and capital improvement projects for maintenance and operation.

Agency Updates: ARS Commissioner Wyvill and other ARS staff provided progress reports and updates on:

* Legislative and State Supreme Court activities on funding for school adequacy and impact on agency budget.

* Progress reports on action plans for legislative audit.

* Development and implementation of counselor qualifications and salary levels.

* Reauthorization of Rehabilitation Act and activities of Council of State Administrators in Vocational Rehabilitation.

* Data collection and RSA 911 report.

* Review of completion of 04 agency goals and goals for 2005.

* Implementation of security system for Central Office.

* Review of TEAMS reports for Field Services and Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center.

* Review of customer satisfaction surveys for 2003.

* Review and input on Memoranda of Cooperative Agreements with partnering programs.

Special Activities

One Stop Center Accessibility: Concerned that many continue to not be accessible.

Website Enhancement: Council provided recommendations and input on additions and changes to the ARS website and the State of Arkansas website.

Partnering Activities: Received regular updates and provided input on activities of the Arkansas Independent Living Council; received reports and provided input and recommendations for the Workforce Investment Board; received updates from the state Transition Services Program; received reports from the Governor's Commission on People with Disabilities.

Arkansas Ability Awards: Participated in the second annual Arkansas Ability Awards program recognizing outstanding employers and significant achievements of consumers.

National Conference of State VR Administrators: The Chair attended the national conference of the Council of State Administrators in Vocational Rehabilitation held in Washington, D.C. Chair received training and networked with other state SRC attendees.

Resource Plan: Council prepared resource plan and budget.

Statewide Needs Assessment: Collaborated with ARS personnel to develop a plan for statewide needs assessment for 2005.

Assessment will be a cooperative activity with ARS and SRC.

ARS Fall Conference: Council members attended annual training conference.

State Rehabilitation Council Plan

A. Purpose of the Council

Shall be to aid in carrying forward the work and mission of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) and to provide feedback to the Commissioner regarding the objectives, for which the Council was organized, including:

1. Promoting the worth, dignity, rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities;
2. Reviewing, analyzing, and advising ARS performances and effectiveness of services;
3. Partnering with ARS in review and development of goals and priorities;
4. Advising and assisting in developing state plan;
5. Assisting in review and evaluation of customer satisfaction;
6. Assuring involvement and input of persons with disabilities in regard to the operations and delivery of ARS services;
7. Collaborating with ARS on statewide needs assessment;
8. Developing a Resource Plan and budget.
B. State Plan Collaboration - SRC Policy and State Plan Committee

The Committee partners with ARS by reviewing, collaborating and providing input regarding all ARS policies and the Arkansas State Plan, and to enhance the goals of ARS. The Committee reviews and provides input on an ongoing basis regarding the development of the State Plan, collaborates with ARS on the State Needs Assessment and reviews and provides input on ARS policies for services.

C. SRC Member Goals
1. Continue to communicate with legislature at state and federal level;
2. Participate in One-Stop accessibility;
3. Explore community outreach projects to learn needs of people with disabilities;
4. Research the possibility of conducting a leadership and fact-finding conference, training, and sharing of ideas and facts with other states' SRCs.

Response of ARS to Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council was made through the process of committee response to their respective responsibilities. This is an ongoing process that involves collaboration and cooperation between ARS and the SRC. There were no instances of rejection by ARS of input or recommendations by the SRC.

Attachment 4.12(c)(2)(A): Order of Selection

Order of Selection and Justification

The Arkansas Rehabilitation Services established an amended Order of Selection policy effective July 1, 2001. Revisions to the ARS policy follow the ARS regulatory process, including public comment and the advice, counsel, and approval of the State Rehabilitation Council of Arkansas.

The current ARS' Order of Selection assures the provision of services to clients with the most significant disabilities first. Services and expenditures will be closely monitored to enable the ARS Commissioner to close or open priority categories as deemed appropriate. This will assure services are continued for cases determined eligible and receiving services under an Individualized Plan for Employment. Adequate funds will be conserved to provide diagnostic services for all applicants to determine eligibility and category placement.

The Order of Selection priority categories, justification for each, outcome and service goals arc listed below:

ORDER OF SELECTION

ARS will provide services based on an Order of Selection on a statewide basis. ARS' Order of Selection assures clients in Priority 1 and II will have first priority for the provision of services. * If funds become available, individuals in Priority III and IV may receive services.

Rehabilitation clients who have an IPE for VR services or EE services in place prior to the implementation of the Order of Selection policy will receive services as recorded in their IPE.

Priority Category I - Most Significantly Disabled

An individual who is Most Significantly Disabled is defined as one who:

1. Has a significant physical or mental impairment which seriously limits two or more functional capabilities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of employment outcome;
2. Has one or more physical or mental disabilities;
3. Can be expected to require multiple VR services* over an extended period of time.**
Priority Category II - Significantly Disabled

An individual with a significant disability is defined as one who:

1. Has a significant physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one or more functional capabilities (mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of employment outcome;
2. Has one or more physical or mental disabilities as defined in Definitions; and,
3. Can be expected to require multiple VR services* over an extended period of time.**
Priority Category III - Non-Significantly Disabled Needing Multiple Services

An individual with a non-significant disability who is expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services.

Priority Category IV - Non-Significantly Disabled

An individual with a non-significant disability not classified in a higher priority.

* Two (2) or more major VR services, i.e. counseling, guidance, assistive technology, physical or mental restoration, training, and placement.

** 90 days or more from the date services arc initiated.

Attachment I

State Plan for Department of Workforce Education Program Year 2005-2006

April 14, 2005

Ms. Cheryl L. Kennan, Director Division of Adult Education and Literacy U.S. Department of Education 550 12th Street SW Washington, DC 20002-7240

Dear Ms. Keenan:

In accordance with Section 224(c) and (d) of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, enclosed is Arkansas' revision to the 2000-2005 Workforce Investment Act State Unified Plan. The following documents are submitted:

* Revision to the 2000-2005 State Unified Plan

* Program Year 2005-2006 Performance Measure Benchmarks

* Department of Workforce Education Organizational Chart

* Governor's Comment Letter

* Certifications (EDGAR 76.104, Certification and Assurances)

* Disclosure of Lobbying Activities ( 31 U.S.C. 1352 )

* Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion - Lower Tier Covered Transactions

* Certifications Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension and other Responsibility Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

Please contact George French, 501-682-1972, for additional information.

Sincerely,

George French

(501) 682-1972

dl

Enclosures (7)

c: Program Advisors

05/GF/067

State of Arkansas

Revision to the 2000-2005 WIA State Unified Plan

Adult Education Revisions for Program Year 2005-2006

April 1.2005

This revision to the Arkansas State Unified Plan of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 is submitted as an extension of current program operations for one year of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), using the process established in Section 422 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) [ 20 U.S.C. 1226(a) ] since the current law has expired and the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education-approved one-year extension of our operating plan will expire on June 30, 2005.

Following the process for revision of the State Plan detailed in the memo from Susan Sclafani, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, dated December 21, 2005, and its attachments, Arkansas is submitting:

1. New performance targets for PY 2005-2006 which have been negotiated with Charles Talbot, Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL) Area Coordinator for Arkansas. These new benchmarks exceed the actual performance data from PY 2003-2004.
2. Grants to eligible providers for PY 2005-2006 will be an extension of the current grants. Under direction from DAEL, Arkansas conducted a one year competition for grants for PY 2003-2004 rather than follow the multi-year process contained in Part II, F of the State Plan. In other particulars the process in the State Plan in Part II, F was followed then and will be followed in awarding PY 2005-2006 funding.
3. Updated organizational chart reflecting the line of authority from Governor Mike Huckabee, Dr. Steve Franks, Director of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Education, the authorized State officials signing the plan revision to George French, Deputy Director of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Education and State Director of Adult Education.
4. This revision has been submitted to Governor Huckabee for review and comments and communication from him is included.
5. The following updated certifications and assurances with original signatures:
a. Certifications (EDGAR 76.104, Certification and Assurances)
b. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities { 31 U.S.C. 1352 )
c. Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion -- Lower Tier Covered Transactions
d. Certifications Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

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Attachment J

State Of Arkansas Proposed WIA Title I Performance Goals for PY 2005 & 2006

WIA Performance Category

PY 2003 Negotiated Performance Levels

PY2004 Negotiated Performance Levels

PY2005 State WIB Proposed Levels

PY 2006 State WIB Proposed Levels

2005 GPRA Performance Goals

Adult Entered Employment Rate

83.0%

84.0%

82.0%

83.0%

76.0%

Adult Employment Retention Rate

88.0%

89.0%

90.0%

91.0%

86.0%

Adult Earn Change In Six Months

$3,600

$3,700

$3,800

$3,900

$3,400

Adult Employment and Credential Rate

62.0%

64.0%

65.0%

65.5%

N/A

DLW Entered Employment Rate

89.0%

90.0%

88.0%

89.0%

83.0%

DLW Employment Retention Rate

96.0%

97.0%

96.0%

97.0%

92.0%

DLW Earnings Replacement Rate

99.0%

100.0%

$750

$1,000

N/A

DLW Employment and Credential Rate

70.0%

71.0%

72.0%

72.5%

N/A

Older Youth Entered Employment Rate

75.0%

76.0%

77.0%

77.0%

69.0%

Older Youth Employment Retention Rate

82.0%

83.0%

82.0%

83.0%

80.0%

Older Youth Earnings Change in Six Months

$3,600

$3,700

$3,600

$3,650

N/A

Older Youth Credential Rate

44.0%

45.0%

46.0%

47.0%

N/A

Younger Youth Skill Attainment Rate

81.0%

82.0%

83.0%

84.0%

N/A

Younger Youth Diploma Rate

60.0%

61.0%

62.0%

63.0%

53.0%

Younger Youth Retention Rate

58.0%

60.0%

61.0%

62.0%

N/A

Participant Customer Satisfaction

78.0

79.0

79.0

79.5

N/A

Employer Customer Satisfaction

75.0

76.0

77.0

77.5

N/A

Notes

181.00.05 Ark. Code R. § 002
8/22/2005

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