Effective date: April 26, 2019
Revised date: February 18, 2020
There are three ways for local WDBs to provide the 14 required program elements. A local WDB may use a combination of these options:
(1) Partnerships. Local WDBs are not required to use WIOA Youth Program funds for each of the program elements; they may partner with existing local, state, or national entities that can provide program element(s) at no cost to the local Youth Program.1 However, if a program element (or services within a program element) is not funded with WIOA Title I Youth funds, the local WDB must have a signed Youth Services Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place with a partner organization to ensure the partner organization will reliably offer the program element and it aligns with the goals and objectives of the local program.2 Additionally, the local WDB's contract with its youth service provider must include the requirement that the service provider refer participants who need a specific service to the appropriate partner organization with which the local WDB has a Youth Services MOU in place and, that the referral be handled in a manner consistent with the MOU. The local WDB is also responsible for letting the partner organization know the names of the current youth service providers, since it is often the service providers who directly contact the partner organization. This is accomplished by completing the MOU's Youth Service Provider Addendum and updating the Addendum if there are any changes. DWD-DET requires local WDBs to have signed Youth Services MOUs in place by July 1, 2020, for any program elements provided through partnerships.
Note: While WIOA's intent is that local WDBs establish networks of partners to provide program elements, DWD-DET recognizes that there may be circumstances in which a participant with unique needs would benefit from services from a provider outside the local WDB's network of partners. In such a circumstance, DWD-DET does not require the local WDB to establish a formal agreement in order to refer the participant for services. For example, a local WDB has a formal agreement in place with a provider for services that fall under Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling, but a participant with a unique mental health issue would benefit from another provider with specialized expertise. The local WDB could provide this referral without having to establish a Memorandum of Understanding with the specialized provider.
(2) Grants or Contracts. If a local WDB chooses to award grants or contracts to service providers, they must generally do so using a full and open competitive process.3 This competitive process must identify youth service providers based on any criteria outlined in the WIOA State Plan and take into consideration the ability of the provider to meet performance accountability measures based on the primary indicators of performance for the WIOA Youth Program.4 Furthermore, the local WDB must follow all procurement requirements in the Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR parts 200 and 2900, applicable state laws, and county-level requirements.5 If the local WDB has a standing youth committee, it may assign the committee the responsibility for selecting service providers.6
The only exception to the requirement for a competitive process occurs when the local WDB can demonstrate that there is an insufficient number of eligible service providers in the local workforce development area.7 To meet this exception, the local WDB must have a policy that defines what constitutes an insufficient number of eligible youth service providers.8 In this scenario, the local WDB may award grants or contracts on a sole source basis.9
For more information on contracting strategies to serve youth most in need, see TEGL 13-09.
(3) Direct Provision. Local WDB staff may directly provide some or all of the program elements.10 This allows local WDBs the flexibility to provide program elements when it is most efficient and cost-effective to do so; however, DOL encourages the local WDBs to use competitive procurement to award contracts when local areas have access to experienced and effective youth service providers.11 If the local WDB decides to have its staff directly provide youth services and the staff perform other functions within the local area, the local WDB and Chief Elected Official must have a written agreement in place that clarifies how the staff will carry out their responsibilities for providing direct services along with their other responsibilities and comply with any state-level conflict of interest policy.12 The agreement must provide clarity on the expectations for staff when performing their different functions and clear methods for tracking effective execution and accountability for the distinct functions.13
Note: DWD-DET, as the entity with ultimate accountability to DOL for program performance, has the authority to set policy requiring local WDBs to provide some or all of the program elements through competitive procurement.14 DWD-DET currently opts not to exercise this authority.