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Operations/Management Basics from Strategies and Practices for Effectively Serving All One-Stop Customers
This section identifies examples of effective strategies relating to the operation and management of One-Stop Centers and partners, including:
- Site selection and transportation,
- Strategic planning,
- Selecting a management team,
- Data collection,
- Developing performance measures for outcomes and customer satisfaction,
- Ensuring continuous quality improvement,
- Complaint and grievance resolution, and
- Certification, monitoring, and compliance.
Site Selection and Transportation
Under the regulations issued by CRC, One-Stop Centers and other organizations in the workforce investment system are required to follow specific rules regarding site selection and transportation to help ensure that their services are available to all potential customers. Decisions are made regarding the site selection for the local One-Stop Center that enable all customers to reach the facility with ease, and that do not exclude any specific categories of customers. The site selection process focuses on convenience within the community, availability of various types of transportation, and safety. Specific examples of practices related to site selection and transportation that have proven successful include:
- Involving members of the broader community such as public and private transportation agencies, and faith-based and community organizations (working with new immigrants, older workers, and individuals who were formerly incarcerated).
- If the service delivery area is not served by public transportation, taking steps to make all One-Stop programs and activities available to customers who do not drive. These steps may include providing information about alternative transportation options and resources or offering programs and activities in satellite locations such as shopping malls or other public facilities.
Under the programmatic regulations issued by ETA, the local workforce investment board is required to undertake strategic planning. In developing the strategic plan, the board takes into consideration the needs of the local community, including individuals with multiple barriers to employment, particularly when designing the delivery of programs and activities provided by One-Stop Centers and other organizations. Specific examples of practice related to strategic planning that have proven successful include:
- Articulating a clear vision and mission.
- Providing the opportunity for representatives of diverse populations to inform the One- Stop Center of their communities' needs by participating in strategic planning, One-Stop Center charter reviews, and similar processes.
- Adopting measurable goals and objectives for employment outcomes for customers with multiple barriers to employment.
- Incorporating in the plan's stated goals and objectives an individualized approach to service delivery through the One-Stop that incorporates strategies such as customized employment.
- Reviewing on a periodic basis the local service plan for serving customers with limited English proficiency.
- Making One-Stop management and staff aware of the requirements of the following two sets of plans. The policies, practices, and procedures adopted by the One-Stop Center and other organizations in the workforce investment system follow the specifications and requirements set out in these plans.
- The State and local workforce investment board (SWIB and LWIB) plans on how to address the employment needs of customers with multiple barriers to employment, and
- The State's Methods of Administration (MOA) plan for achieving nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.
Selecting a Management Team
A multiple-partner management team for One-Stop Centers and partners is convened for planning purposes and to ensure that there is a clear definition of partner roles. For One-Stop Centers with a single agency management structure, planning teams that include relevant partners can serve this purpose. Specific examples of practices related to selection of a management team that have proven successful include:
- Organizing the management team to include members of all critical mandated and non-mandated partner agencies who are authorized to make decisions for those agencies.
- Clearly defining and outlining management roles and functions in writing.
- Ensuring that the management team meets regularly to discuss and decide on critical policy, resource, procedure, and priority issues, including issues related to serving customers in various underserved populations.
- Ensuring that the management team has measurable goals and objectives in the area of employment of persons with significant barriers to employment.
Under the programmatic regulations issued by ETA and non-discrimination/equal opportunity regulations issued by CRC, One-Stop Centers and other organizations in the workforce investment system are required to collect specific data about customers at various points of the service process, and to maintain and store that data in specific ways. Specific examples of practices related to data collection that have proven successful include:
- Collecting data that tracks job seeker satisfaction and meets the objectives of collaborating partners and other entities providing financial assistance.
- Analyzing demographic data to determine the frequency with which various diverse populations are able to move from core to intensive to training services to ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in access to each of these service tiers.
- Reviewing records to determine whether various diverse populations participated in programs and activities in a meaningful and effective fashion.
- Ensuring that management information systems comply with legal requirements relating to storage and confidentiality of information, including information concerning disability.
Developing Performance Measures for Outcomes and Customer Satisfaction
Under the programmatic regulations issued by ETA, One-Stop Centers and other organizations in the workforce investment system are required to negotiate and adopt outcome performance measures, including measures of consumer satisfaction. The LWIB negotiates outcome performance measures that properly account for services to persons with significant barriers to employment. The One-Stop Center and other organizations capture other data concerning the success of individualized services provided to these customers. This data can include customer satisfaction as well as the relationship of outcomes to an individualized employment plan. The One-Stop Center and other organizations include this data as part of the information provided to SWIBs, LWIBs, policymakers, and entities providing financial assistance. Specific examples of practices related to outcome performance measures and consumer satisfaction that have proven successful include:
- To the extent that customer satisfaction surveys are used, separating out the data regarding the satisfaction of customers with multiple barriers to employment from the overall data to ensure that the satisfaction of these populations is specifically measured and taken into consideration.
- Eliciting customer satisfaction and other feedback in a variety of ways to allow all customers the opportunity to provide it (e.g., verbal, written, electronic, via voice telephone and relay of TTY/TDD).
- Within customer satisfaction efforts, establishing policies that allow for the collection of information on the degree to which the jobs obtained for participants match their employment plans.
- Using forms for customer and partner feedback that specifically ask about issues of customers experience in using the range of One-Stop services.
- Using forms for customer and partner feedback that specifically ask about whether services are effective and provide meaningful benefit.
Ensuring Continuous Quality Improvement
Under the programmatic regulations issued by ETA, local workforce investment boards, through operation of One Stop Centers and other organizations in the workforce investment system, are required to engage in continuous quality improvement. This function must be carried out consistent with the nondiscrimination/equal opportunity regulations issued by CRC.88 The One-Stop Center and other organizations embrace the concept of continuous quality improvement, including the strategy of disaggregating the data relating to specific groups, analyzing this information and integrating lessons learned into current practice. Specific examples of practices related to continuous quality improvement that have proven successful include:
- Regularly engaging in a "secret shopper" who accesses the center as a new user wanting to receive services and making improvements based on the feedback the "secret shopper" provides.
- Where a particular customer with significant barriers to competitive employment is not progressing, adopting policies to help determine whether that lack of progress is connected to a lack of individualized or other appropriate services, or a lack of such supports as needed/appropriate accommodations.
Complaint and Grievance Resolution
Under the programmatic regulations issued by ETA and non-discrimination/equal opportunity regulations issued by CRC, One-Stop Centers and other organizations in the workforce investment system are required to adopt procedures for resolving discrimination complaints and grievances related to program-related issues, such as the quality of services. The One-Stop Center and other organizations adopt procedures for grievances/complaints about the quality of services (program-related grievances) and discriminatory treatment of customers of diverse populations (discrimination complaints). In order to comply with these requirements, One-Stop Centers and other organizations must adopt the following strategies:
- Informing all customers about the policies and procedures for filing program grievances and discrimination complaints. The contact information for the person(s) with whom such complaints and grievances may be filed, including voice and TTY/TDD or relay service phone number(s) and email address(es), is given to each new customer in a variety of formats.
- Developing and publishing writing policies setting forth the resolution procedures for program-related grievances and discrimination complaints. These policies should be made available in appropriate languages for non-English speaking customers and individuals with various types of impairments, such as visual and cognitive impairments.
- Keeping logs of complaints alleging discrimination. There are written policies in place to ensure that these logs are kept secure in a confidential fashion. [See Appendix A]
Certification, Monitoring, and Compliance
Under the programmatic regulations issued by ETA and the non-discrimination/equal opportunity regulations issued by CRC, SWIBs, Regional Workforce Investment Boards (RWIBs), and LWIBs are required to monitor their subrecipients, such as One-Stop Centers, Center operators, contractors, and other organizations in the workforce investment system. They are also required to ensure compliance by these subrecipients with the provisions of WIA Title I, including Section 188 and the applicable implementing regulations. In addition, each One-Stop Center and other organization in the workforce investment system is required to monitor and ensure compliance with the applicable legal requirements by any entities that receive financial assistance from or through the Center or organization, including its partner agencies and service providers. Specific examples of practices related to certification, monitoring, and compliance that have proved successful include:
- Adopting certification and re-certification standards for One-Stop Centers and other organizations in the workforce investment system that include specific requirements concerning universal and customized strategies for persons with multiple barriers to employment.
- Ensuring that staff members are aware of and follow the specifications and requirements contained in the SWIB and LWIB strategic plans and the State's Methods of Administration plan.
- Designing monitoring instruments that include specific inquiries relating to:
- The provision of aid, benefits, services, and training for targeted populations, including customers with multiple barriers to employment, and
- Compliance with the requirements of Section 188 of WIA and the implementing regulations.
- Recruiting a team comprised of local stakeholders, including diverse community members, to assess One-Stop Centers and other organizations in the workforce investment system across the array of issues related to effective and meaningful access and use. The One-Stop Center or other organization then implements constructive recommendations that will help improve problem areas and achieve compliance.
- Using remedies to address violations that include prospective relief (such as training and policy development/revision) to ensure that service providers come into compliance with all applicable laws.