In 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law. 2018 marks the fourth year since its implementation, and the fourth year the Triangle South Workforce Development Board (TSWDB) held WIOA Boot Camp! TSWDB Boot Camp is an annual, local area-wide training that originated with the purpose of teaching local staff and Career Center partners about the foundations of WIOA. This year’s Boot Camp was held at the Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) Center for Workforce Innovation in Sanford, NC and featured three days of informative and interactive training on WIOA law, procedures, performance, and implementation.
Day One of the Boot Camp focused on training WIOA Title I Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Program service providers. Business Services Coordinator, Mike Peluso started the day with a paper airplane themed icebreaker that allowed everyone in the room the opportunity to get to know each other better. Following the icebreaker, Director Rosalind Cross provided local area updates and highlighted policies. Then the Financial Coordinator, Dottie Cieciorka, and Workforce Specialist, Jackie McMillian, covered some important information regarding documenting financial expenditures in NCWorks Online and the Adult Services Coordinator, Kim Shaw, and the Youth Services Coordinator, Angela Nicholson covered how to keep participant cases in compliance.
After lunch, the new TSWDB Business Engagement Coordinator, Jessica Ingram, led a WIOA Family Feud game that pitted “Team Warrior” against “Team Wonder Women” in a head-to-head match on WIOA program knowledge. “Team Warrior” managed to pull out a win by stealing the remaining points in the final round. Following WIOA Family Feud, Jessica gave a presentation on Work-Based Learning (WBL), that included direction on increasing Work-Based Learning opportunities in our local area, and the mandated placement requirements from NC Governor Roy Cooper. Following Jessica’s presentation on WBL, WIOA Service Providers spent the remainder of the day with the Adult Services and Youth Services Program Coordinators to cover issues pertaining directly to their WIOA program(s) of operation.
Day Two of the Boot Camp focused on understanding state requirements, and both WIOA Service Providers and NCWorks Career Center Managers were in attendance to learn more. The day began with an engaging presentation from Performance and Communications Coordinator, Adena Mitchell, on outreach and service provision to various generations. The presentation included some “Name that Tune” style breaks that allowed attendees to guess the artist and song titles of popular music artists of the last 70 years. Immediately following, Yvette German, who currently serves as a Planner and Policy Developer for the Division of Workforce Solutions (DWS), presented needed information on Governor Roy Cooper’s Finish Line Grant initiative, and how it would impact both students and WIOA Service Providers in the TSWDB Local Area.
Following a short break, Boot Camp attendees heard “Straight from the State” as several representatives from DWS provided pertinent information and updates to attendees. Presenting first, was Beth Coberly and Nathan Coppley. They discussed Program Year 2017 performance results for the state of North Carolina and the TSWDB local area. Both presenters provided insight on new performance measures for Program Years 2018 and 2019. Following Beth and Nathan was WIOA Programmatic Monitor, Shastine Lee, and Financial Monitor, Lynn Banks, who both presented information on past TSWDB monitoring results and provided strategies on how we can improve in the future (p.s. the TSWDB had zero findings!). DWS Regional Analyst, Darrin Ballard, ended our “Straight from the State” segment by reviewing information on keying data in NCWorks Online for performance, closing activities with the correct completion codes, and answering pre-submitted questions from WIOA Title I Service Providers.
After lunch and some additional follow-up questions and discussions with Darrin Ballard, Regional Operations Director Michelle Muir presented information on the “Line of Effort” initiatives for the region. Immediately following Michelle was Mike Peluso, presenting information on the NCWorks Commission employer performance measures and tracking service delivery to local businesses. Jessica Ingram then presented information on Business Engagement and work-based learning placements from a Career Center staff member perspective. Day Two of Boot Camp ended with a presentation on local Career Pathways from Scott Panagross and Demorrio Thomas, both of whom serve as Career Pathways Facilitators in our region.
Day Three of WIOA Boot Camp covered a wide array of topics, and attendees included staff, partners, and WIOA Service Providers from the entire local area. The day began with Adena Mitchell leading a Jeopardy-style game on Equal Opportunity knowledge and best practices. Following Adena was the CCCC Associate Director of Human Resources Valorie Benn. Valorie’s presentation focused on appropriate workplace conduct and behavior and encouraged Boot Camp attendees to recognize their own biases that may inadvertently affect customer service practices. After a short break, Crystal McIver of the CCCC Career and Employment Training Program led an interesting, fact-finding icebreaker activity that highlighted the need to communicate clearly with our program participants. Following the icebreaker activity, Crystal served as the moderator for TSWDB’s first WIOA Panel.
The WIOA Panel consisted of representatives from various WIOA Titles, employers, and partners, discussing and providing feedback on several pertinent WIOA issues. On the panel for WIOA Title I (Workforce Development) was TSWDB Director Rosalind Cross. Serving on the panel for WIOA Title II (Adult Education and Family Literacy) was CCCC’s Associate Dean of College and Career Readiness, Sandra Thompson, and the Executive Director of Triangle South Literacy Works, Brian Allen. Representing WIOA Title III (Wagner Peyser) was DWS North Central Regional Operations Director Michelle Muir. Our Employer representative was Darrell Parker of STI Polymer and our CCCC representative was Dean Drew Goodson. Deanna Jones, our Title IV (Vocational Rehabilitation) representative was unable to make it to the panel discussion due to a last minute conflict. The discussion included challenges that each Title and partner currently face, local partnerships and the referral process, retention rates and funding challenges, performance and collaboration, and meeting community needs.
Following the panel discussion and a catered lunch, attendees heard “Straight from the State” one more time concerning the new NCWorks Online Veterans Portal, creating Virtual Job Fairs, Wagner-Peyser Performance Outcomes, and a question and answer session. Then, Tamme Reese, the Quality Improvement Liaison for the NC Department of Commerce presented information on Career Center Certification and the new NCWorks Commission standards for being certified as a Local Area. The Boot Camp’s final session ended the training on a comedic note with several staff and partners coming together for “ISD How,” short skits based on NCWorks Career Center scenarios. Each skit highlighted various Integrated Services Delivery (ISD) best practices through dramatized re-enactments of Career Resource Center, Welcome Team, and Employer Engagement Scenarios.
As a whole, TSWDB Staff is excited to have the opportunity to bring all of the Local Area WIOA partners together annually for training, professional development, and the opportunity to get to know one another better. This year’s Boot Camp was the best yet and we are looking forward to making next year’s Boot Camp bigger and better!