State of Maine Waiver Request Waiver from the Requirement to Prohibit the Use of Individual Training Accounts for Older and Out-of-School Youth Posted for Public Comment Bookmark and Share

October 4, 2013

State of Maine Waiver Request

Waiver from the Requirement to Prohibit the Use of Individual Training Accounts for Older and Out-of-School Youth

The Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment Services (MDOL/BES) is requesting a waiver for the Federal Regulations (20 CFR) Section 664.510 under the provisions established in Section 189(i)(4)(B) of WIA. Section 664 prohibits the use of Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) for Youth participants except if they are determined eligible and are co-enrolled as either an Adult or Dislocated Worker. This waiver is to be retroactive for PY12 and to continue through PY13.

The intent of this request is to allow Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) to use ITAs for Older Youth participants based on a valid assessment of their interests, skills, aptitudes and goals. Under the current regulations, expenditures for ITAs are only to be charged to the Adult and Dislocated Worker funding streams. The co-enrollment requirement is a duplicative and unnecessary process which does not allow LWIBs to charge the cost of the ITA back to the Youth account but draws down on “limited” Adult program funds. The current regulation also does not allow expenditure to be appropriately counted towards the 30 % out-of-school expenditure requirement.

Date: September 26, 2013

State: Maine

Agency: Maine Department of Labor/Bureau of Employment Services

Provide narrative for the following elements:

Statutory and/or regulatory requirements to be waived
The Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services (MDOL/BES) is requesting a waiver of the requirements of 20 CFR, Section 664.510 under the provisions established in Section 189(i)(4)(B) of WIA statute. Section 664 prohibits the use of Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) for Youth participation except in the case they are determined eligible for and are co-enrolled in either the Adult or Dislocated Worker program.

Actions Undertaken to Remove State or Local Barriers
There are no state or local statutory or regulatory barriers to implementing the proposed waiver.

Goals and Expected Programmatic Outcomes of the Waiver
The goals of the waiver are to expand service options for youth, increase program flexibility, enhance customer choice, improve staff efficiency, and decrease paperwork associated with dual enrolment and related tracking (older youth). A waiver will maximize the service delivery capacity of the WIA Youth program within the CareerCenter delivery system by allowing youth who are employment-focused, rather than academically inclined, to have the same access as adults and dislocated workers to the advantages of ITAs. This waiver is to be retroactive for PY12 and to continue through PY13.

The Waiver will allow older out-of-school youth to select approved ITA programs from the Maine Consumer Report System, while retaining their youth classification. Training costs can be charged as out-of-school Youth expenditures; thereby, eliminating the need to track such expenditures across funding streams as is done presently.

Individuals Impacted by the Waiver
This waiver will directly impact older WIA eligible Youth allowing them to benefit from an ITA without the necessity of requiring co-enrollment. This waiver will positively affect the efficiency of the Youth case manager issuing the ITA and will enable older Youth participants to directly receive the types of services afforded adult and dislocated workers that most closely and efficiently meet their training and employment needs.

Process for Monitoring Progress in Implementation
MDOL/BES will monitor progress and ensure accountability of federal funds in connection with this waiver. MDOL/BES current program monitoring policy and procedures will be modified to ensure compliance with the intent of this waiver.

Notice to Affected Local Boards
Local Boards will be sent a draft copy of this waiver before it is submitted in its final format for public comment. Their collective feedback and suggestions for improvement will be considered by MDOL/BES before the waiver goes out for public comment and then submitted to ETA for the approval review.

Upon approval of the waiver, the local boards will create a local policy to communicate guidance based on the content of this waiver for the Youth service providers in their local areas.

Public Comment
The completed waiver will be posted to the home page of the State Workforce Investment Board and the Maine Department of Labor/ Bureau of Employment Services for public comment for a 15 day comment period prior to the formal submission to USDOL-ETA. http://www.maine.gov/labor/ and http://www.maine.gov/swib/