The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) provides the framework for a national workforce preparation and employment system designed to meet the needs of both the nation's businesses and job seekers, including those who want to further their careers.
WIA establishes a Workforce Investment System under which each state appoints a workforce investment board to develop, in coordination with the Governor, the strategic workforce plan for the state. In addition, the Governor designates local workforce investment areas in each region of the state and, in turn, the chief elected official (CEO) in each region/local area appoints a local workforce investment board to oversee that area's workforce investment system and assist the CEO in planning, oversight, and evaluation of local workforce investments. The primary objectives of the local board are to promote effective outcomes consistent with statewide goals, objectives, and negotiated local performance standards and to set policy for the local workforce investment system.
The Governor has designated the cities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lomita, and Torrance as the Region's local area, which is known collectively as "Pacific Gateway". In addition, these four cities have established the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board (WIB) to serve as the local workforce investment board for the Region. The Board is comprised of 43 members who represent businesses in the local area (majority), local educational entities, labor organizations (15% minimum), local community-based organizations, and economic development agencies in addition to representatives from key one-stop partner entities.
Local Workforce Investment System
Our local workforce investment system is based on the "one-stop" concept whereby job seekers and businesses receive core services provided in collaboration with One-Stop Partners. Job seekers benefit from various employment and training services funded under WIA and other Federal programs, including information about and access to a wide array of job training, education, and employment services. Employers benefit through access to business services designed to meet their current and emerging workforce challenges and numerous sector-based industry initiatives undertaken by the Workforce Investment Board.
The mission of the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board is to create and implement a comprehensive and accountable workforce investment system based on the needs of local and regional employers by such activities as:
- Creating and implementing a strategic business service plan, which identifies business employment needs and matches education and training services to meet those needs
- Convening and facilitating partnerships among business (large and small), government, and organized labor to effectively address the labor
- Involving the business community in employment training, skill standards, employee development and other related activities
- Creating and increasing livable wage job opportunities for economically disadvantaged persons, persons with disabilities, mature workers, and other such groups requiring special targeting
- Developing meaningful tracking and accountability systems
- Seeking grant and other resources to fill gaps and ensure comprehensive and effective services
Workforce Investment Board Responsibilities
The Workforce Investment Board's responsibilities include:
- Coordinating workforce investment activities in the local area with economic development strategies
- Promoting participation of private sector employers
- Developing and submitting a local workforce investment plan to the Governor
- Preparing and adopting a budget
- Selecting one-stop operators with the agreement of the Chief Elected Official (CEO)
- In cooperation with the CEO, appointing a Youth Council as a subgroup of the Workforce Investment Board
- Awarding grants or contracts to eligible providers of youth activities
- Identifying eligible providers of training and intensive services
- Developing local policy on the amount and duration of training
- Conducting program oversight over workforce investment activities
- Negotiating local performance measures with the CEO and the Governor
- Assisting in the development of a statewide employment statistics system
Like many Workforce Intermediaries, Pacific Gateway looks at the Region and the Southern California marketplace through the lens of our industry clusters. Of specific note, the Workforce Investment Board has formally adopted priority strategies to be inclusive of the following sectors:
- [Educational and] Healthcare Services
- Retail Trade (Youth Focus)
- Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities
- Professional and Business Services
- Leisure & Hospitality
The Hire-A-Youth Initiative provides youth and young adults, ages 14-24, employment opportunities at area businesses, work readiness skills, career awareness and other workforce preparation opportunities designed to support successful entry into the workforce of the 21st Century. Specific elements include the Summer Opportunities Job Fair, year-round hiring events, and the Inspired Internship Program, which provides youth, ages 16-24, with valuable career awareness and exposure to the world of work through work-readiness training, job coaching, and internship opportunities with local employers.
To ensure candidates for entry-level employment have the skills needed by local employers, the Board is in the process of adopting a Work Readiness Credential. Upon implementation, this employer-driven credential will certify to employers that job seekers have mastered the basic skills necessary to ensure a success transition to the workforce.
- The Workforce Investment Board designates the One-Stop career centers, provides policy guidance, oversees job training activities, and develops a strategic plan as the blue print of workforce development in the cities of Long Beach, Lomita, Signal Hill, and Torrance.
The initial Five-Year Strategic Plan Modification has been modified to include Program Year (2009-2010) revisions and incorporate local modifications consistent with State's Unemployment Insurance Code changes under Senate Bill 293 (Statues of 2006, Chapter 630).
Workforce Investment Act Local Plan Modification Program Year 2009-2010
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- The Integration Project, for the Learning Lab area, based on enhanced skill development, is completely complimentary to the WIB's focused priorities on sector-based strategies that benefit businesses and residents.
Integrated Service Delivery Plan Documents
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Putting in Place Jobs that Last
At the end of 2010, OECD LEED, an international economic development organization and strategic partner to the CA Workforce Association, produced a Guide on their thinking about workforce and economic development. It seems to have logical comparative lessons for California. You can review here.
Download the Report