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ITA/Eligible Provider Demonstration Grants (SGA/DFA 99-017)

PRESS RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT: David Stewart
FOR RELEASE: Immediate
TELEPHONE: (202) 219-6871 ext. 152

FIRST INDIVIDUAL TRAINING ACCOUNTS FOR US WORKERS ESTABLISHED BY NEW LABOR DEPARTMENT GRANTS TOTALING MORE THAN $6 MILLION

American workers who seek job training will have a greater range of choices, with better information about those who provide training, as a result of a new U.S. Department of Labor-funded initiative that was announced today.

The nation's first individual training accounts will be established with the assistance of nearly $6.4 million in Labor Department grants to 13 States and localities. Under this demonstration program, grantees will provide training services for adults, including dislocated workers, through Individual Training Accounts (ITAs), and develop a roster of eligible training providers together with consumer information about their services.

All adult Americans who seek training will be able to use ITAs after the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is fully implemented on July 1, 2000.

"American workers should be able to get training that fits their needs, as well as good information about the quality and services of training providers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Raymond Bramucci. "These grants and the Workforce Investment Act are part of a whole new approach to training that puts a premium on consumer choice, local control, and convenient 'One-Stop' service delivery."

Funding for this demonstration program will help States and localities implement key features of the Act. The grants will allow them to promote the WIA principle of empowering individuals to make informed career choices, and increase the accountability of program administrators and service providers.

This program is intended to test innovative ways of providing re-employment assistance and training for eligible workers. The 13 grantees will serve as national laboratories for ITA implementation, and will participate in nationwide Department of Labor activities to identify and disseminate effective practices.

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News releases from the U.S. Department of Labor are also accessible on the Internet at: http://www.dol.gov. This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 219-5577. TDD message phone: 1-800-326-2577.




NOTIFICATION OF AWARD

The WorkPlace, Inc.
Bridgeport (Fairfield County), Connecticut
$500,000

The Workplace, Inc., Southwestern Connecticut's Regional Workforce Development Board, will coordinate with the Connecticut Department of Higher Education on eligible provider certification. One goal of the project is to develop an Internet-based list of eligible training providers.

Contact: Joseph M. Carbone, (203) 576-7030 x300

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry
and five local workforce boards (North Central Pennsylvania, Berks, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia)
$500,000

This is a collaborative project between the State and five local Workforce Investment Boards in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Each partner will take the lead in a different aspect of ITA system-building, including electronic payments and Internet access to account balances. The variety of local areas will help demonstrate the impact of market-driven approaches across various geographic settings and diverse customer groups.

Contact: M.J. Duffy, (717) 783-1016

Office of Employment Development
Baltimore City, Maryland
$500,000

One goal for the project is to improve the ITA tracking system for financial and participant information. Another is to improve assessment of individual customer needs, including those of special populations, by assigning assessment specialists to each center. The specialists will provide services to customers, as well as train case managers in the use of assessment tools.

Contact: Linda Harris, (410) 396-1910

State of North Carolina
Commission on Workforce Development
$500,000

The State plans to implement the North Carolina State Training Accountability and Reporting System (STARS). This customer-focused system will contain information on training providers, consumer reports, and ITAs. Plans call for training vendor applications to be taken online, and a customer feedback system to identify priorities for system enhancement. Local workforce investment boards have indicated their support. The ITA portion of the project will be field-tested in three to five local areas.

Contact: Wayne Daves, (919) 715-3300

Georgia Department of Labor, Atlanta Regional Commission, and Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center
$500,000

The project seeks to implement a highly developed ITA system WIA and improve services for four customer groups -- job-seekers, career advisors with varied program affiliations, training providers, and employers. The state will collaborate with urban and rural areas through the Atlanta Regional Commission and the 24-county Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center. One goal is to expand the range of training options for customers in rural areas, beyond those offered by traditional providers. Training accounts may include funding sources other than WIA, including Trade Adjustment Assistance and Pell Grants.

Contact: Alan Carson, (404) 656-7392

Indianapolis Private Industry Council, four local workforce investment boards (Marion County/Indianapolis, Madison-Grant, North Central, and Tecumseh), and Indiana Department of Workforce Development
$497,500

Under this grant, a consortium including the State and four central Indiana workforce investment boards will implement a Web-based consumer reporting system, prepare tools for staff training and development, and assess the impact of changes on training programs.

Contact: Kelley D. Gulley, (317) 684-2447

Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board, Inc., Michigan
$431,665

This project is a partnership involving the grantee and six other workforce investment boards serving Detroit and surrounding counties. The goals include developing a regional eligible provider process, a performance tracking system and consumer reports system, a regional ITA system, and electronic means of sharing labor market and performance information throughout the southeastern Michigan region.

Contact: John H. Bierbusse, (810) 469-5220

Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, and City of Cincinnati and Northwest Ohio Workforce Investment Boards
$500,000

The project is a partnership between the State and workforce investment boards in Cincinnati and the five-county area of northwestern Ohio. Operations will be tested in urban and rural environments. A portion of the grant funds will support staff training and the development and provision of orientation sessions on the ITA and eligible provider processes to job-seekers and current and potential training providers.

Contact: Evelyn Bissonnette, (614) 466-3817

Texas Workforce Commission and seven local workforce investment boards (Golden Crescent, Central Texas, Tarrant County, Texoma, Costal Bend, Heart of Texas, and Permian Basin)
$500,000

This partnership among the state and seven workforce investment boards will develop automated applications for a State Training Provider Certification System and local ITA management system. Activities will include software development, testing, and staff training.

Contact: Barbara Cigainero, (512) 463-7747

State of Missouri
Department of Economic Development, Division of Workforce Development
$500,000

One of the project's goals is to develop Web-based training on the ITA process and consumer-reports system for case managers and other staff. The project also seeks to establish a Web-based response system for customer feedback, and improved application procedures for determining eligible providers.

Contact: Tom Jones, (573) 751-3349

State of Nebraska
Department of Labor
$444,000

Project goals include providing customers with the widest possible choice of quality providers, and developing an efficient system for certifying eligible providers. The project will provide staff training, develop provider and labor market information in Spanish, and provide orientation sessions to providers. The project also will market the eligible provider system to businesses for their consideration and use in selecting providers of incumbent worker training.

Contact: Fernando Lecuona III, (402) 471-9792

The Private Industry Council of SELACO (Southeast Los Angeles County), Cerritos, California
$500,000

This project will develop tools for staff and customers to research occupations and openings in a local area, and improve program outcomes by linking customer choices for training with employer demand for skilled workers. The project also will develop a user-friendly consumer report card.

Contact: Bill Plaster, (562) 402-9336

Worksystems Inc.
Portland, Oregon and surrounding counties of Multnomah, Washington and Tillamook
$500,000

The project will develop a model report card, including automated data collection and generation of consumer reports. The grantee will involve employers and job-seekers in the ITA design process through an Employer Advisory Group and customer focus groups, and develop a cost-benefit tool to support wise investment of ITA funds.

Contact: Anne Hill, (503) 478-7360