Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Ohio Workforce Coalition has been working over the past year on a public policy platform, with the goal of:
- Reducing barriers for adults pursuing education and training.
- Meeting the workforce needs of Ohio employers.
- Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the state workforce development system.
A. Leadership. Appoint a cabinet-level workforce official to lead Ohio’s workforce development activities across all state agencies, and establish workforce committees in the Ohio legislature.
B. Coordination. Adopt a policy to assure that all available federal workforce education and training funds are fully used, and work with local agencies to establish a baseline level of consistent Workforce Investment Act (WIA) services that will be provided throughout the state.
C. Data. Establish cross-agency performance measures and issue an annual workforce education and training report card with county-level data.
Their 2010-2012 Public Policy Platform makes recommendations regarding coordination of funding streams and calculation financial aid as well...
Regarding funding, they are concerned that, "There are multiple federal funding streams that can be used for workforce training and supportive services for people in training, but Ohio does not have policies in place to assure that these resources are fully accessed and effectively used statewide."
Therefore, their recommendation is:
1. The Governor’s office should issue state policy to assure that all state agencies, counties, regions, or districts are using available federal workforce education and training funds. Funding streams include Federal Transportation Funds, the SNAP10 Employment and Training Program, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.
2. The Governor’s Workforce Policy Board, in collaboration with local WIB directors and the Department of Job and Family Services, should develop a set of key statewide WIA policies. These policies should assure that workers, job-seekers, and employers have access to a baseline level of consistent WIA services everywhere in the state and that WIA implementation is not subject to more restrictive local policies and practices.
Regarding financial aid, they write that, "Because Ohio’s FY 2010-2011 budget cut the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) by over 57%, the Ohio Board of Regents implemented a policy that eliminated access to OCOG for students at community colleges and regional branch campuses—many of whom used this need-based financial aid to cover living expenses while they were in school."
Therefore, the Ohio Workforce Coalition recommends that:
1. The Ohio Board of Regents’ calculation of the cost of attendance at public two-year colleges, which is used to determine OCOG availability, should be modified to include living expenses for the most disadvantaged students.
2. The Ohio Board of Regents should permit OCOG funds to be used at all USO institutions for non-credit and occupational certificate programs that prepare students for strategically targeted, in-demand occupations.
- Adjusting the Ohio College Opportunity Grant formula to include living expenses for students at two-year colleges.
- Improving awareness of and access to programs and resources that can help adult students succeed in postsecondary education and training.