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10.2 Youth Program Design


Chapter 10.2.1 Resources

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Chapter 10.2.2 Resources

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Chapter 10.2.3 Resources

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Chapter 10.2.4 Resources

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Chapter 10.2.5 Resources

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10.2.1 Case Management

Effective date: January 1, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) defines "case management" as "the act of connecting youth to appropriate services."1

Local WDBs are required to provide case management to all Youth Program applicants and participants.2 Case management begins during the enrollment process, before a youth is a participant, and continues throughout program participation and follow-up.3 Since case management is not one of the 14 WIOA Youth Program elements, it does not trigger or extend participation in the WIOA Youth Program.4 While case management is a required activity, it is not tracked in the Automated System Support for Employment and Training (ASSET) because it is not included on DOL's Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL), which is used for federal performance reporting.5

10.2.2 Information and Referral

Effective date: January 1, 2019

The local WDB must provide each participant information about appropriate services available through the one-stop system that support the participant's individual service strategy (ISS).1 The local WDB must also refer participants to appropriate training or educational programs that have the capacity to serve the participant.2

10.2.3 Objective Assessment

Effective date: January 1, 2019


All Youth Program participants must receive an objective assessment of their:

  • academic levels;
  • basic skills levels;
  • occupational skills;
  • prior work experience;
  • employability;
  • interests and aptitudes;
  • areas of strength;
  • developmental needs; and
  • service needs, including supportive services.1

The career planner does not need to complete the entire objective assessment if it is appropriate to use a recent objective assessment developed under another education or training program.2 In this context, DWD-DET defines "recent" as having been completed within the previous six months.3

Note: There may be instances where, during the previous six months, a youth completed one or more components of the objective assessment that was administered by another education or training program or a licensed medical provider but does not have a comprehensive objective assessment that satisfies WIOA's requirements. In this case, DWD-DET encourages the career planner to use those components that have been completed and focus WIOA resources on the components that still need to be completed.

Basic Skills Assessments for Youth

The local WDB must use formalized assessment instruments that are valid, reliable, and appropriate for the target population when assessing basic English reading, writing, and math skills.4 The test administrator must be qualified to administer the assessment.5 The formalized test should also be cost effective and easy to administer with results that are easy to interpret.6 The local WDB may, but is not required to, use assessments approved for use in the Department of Education's National Reporting System (NRS).7 Likewise, the local WDB is not required to determine an individual's grade level equivalent or educational functioning level (EFL), though these assessments may be used.8 The local WDB must also provide individuals with disabilities reasonable accommodations in the assessment process if needed.9

WIOA Youth Program funds may be used towards costs associated with assessing an individual's basic skill level for an eligibility determination, even though the individual is not yet a program participant.10 The local WDB may also use results from a previous basic skills assessment if the assessment was performed within the past six months.11

Career-Related Assessments for Youth

Career-related assessments help youth understand how their interests, values, preferences, motivations, aptitudes, and skills affect their potential success and satisfaction with different career options and work environments.12 Multiple assessment tools may be necessary to meet the needs of an individual and address the required components of the objective assessment.13 Youth with disabilities may benefit from less formalized assessments14 and may need information on benefits planning, workplace supports, and accommodations.15 Career-related assessments may be provided by WIOA Youth Program staff or through referrals to national and community-based partners and resources.16

10.2.4 Individual Service Strategy

Effective date: January 1, 2019

Career planners must work with each participant to develop an individual service strategy (ISS) that identifies:

  1. the participant's education and employment goals;
  2. appropriate achievement objectives that will help lead to goal attainment;
  3. the program elements that will help lead to goal attainment.1

The participant's education and employment goals must identify an appropriate career pathway for the participant,2 and the overall ISS must be a plan for successful achievement of one or more of the WIOA performance indicators.3 All program elements provided to a youth participant must align with the goals identified in the youth's ISS.4

Development of the ISS is a required component of the youth enrollment process.5 It is developed after the objective assessment and is based on the results of the objective assessment.6

Note: The career planner does not need to create an ISS with a new participant if it is appropriate to use a recent ISS developed under another education or training program.7 In this context, DWD-DET defines "recent" as having been completed within the previous six months.8

Career planners must update the youth's ISS on an ongoing basis by documenting the program elements provided, the participant's progress, activities completed, benchmarks reached and any other accomplishments, regardless of who provides the program element.9 Additionally, the ISS must be updated to reflect new and/or removed program elements. Updates are captured in the "Manage Customer Notes" page in the Automated System Support for Employment and Training (ASSET).

10.2.5 WIOA Youth Program Expenditure Requirements

Effective date: January 1, 2019

The WIOA Youth Program has two unique expenditure requirements.

For more information, see:


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