New Briefs on TANF/WIOA Collaboration Released
Five new briefs have been released by the federal Office of Family Assistance profiling promising collaborations between Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs to serve low-income or vulnerable populations. The series of briefs is part of an OFA project, “Integrating Innovative Employment and Economic Stability Strategies into TANF Programs,” coordinated by Public Strategies and MDRC.
Gathered through conversations with TANF agencies and their workforce and education partners in 19 locations across nine states, ultimately 14 briefs identifying practices that can be scaled or adapted by TANF programs will be produced. The first five briefs are:
Tulare County, California: TANF and WIOA programs in Tulare County, California are working together to coordinate employment services for CalWORKs (TANF) and work-eligible clients. Strategies include co-enrollment in programs — including WIOA career services, TANF supportive services, and a subsidized employment program — as well as shared spaces, cross-program workgroups, and a common database to exchange performance outcomes. This site also has a special focus on serving migrants and seasonal workers in rural areas.
Weld County, Colorado: TANF and WIOA programs at the Employment Services Centers of Weld County are maximizing resources to serve target populations by sharing a work-based learning team, infrastructure costs, and flexible staff across programs. This collaboration also facilitates the coordination of two-generation and immigrant/refugee services.
Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore: Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore job center and its partners have streamlined TANF and WIOA assessment and referral processes, as well as sharing staff, spaces, and resources across programs, to improve service delivery to TANF customers. Job center partners aim to match jobseekers with employers through opportunities such as a “reverse job fair,” a job search database, and a regional job developer to specifically work with customers.
Nevada: American Job Centers in Southern and Northern Nevada are integrating TANF and WIOA services to connect more work-eligible participants to education, training, and employment opportunities. To streamline and expand service delivery, the American Job Centers have implemented a common referral process and co-located TANF and WIOA staff. Nevada is also designing an integrated data system to improve cross-program tracking and service coordination.
Spokane, Washington: This brief highlights the collaboration between American Job Centers (called WorkSource) and TANF agencies in Spokane, Washington. WorkSource and partners have restructured staffing, resource allocation, and approaches to workforce development services with a customer-centered design. Leaders are also investing in organizational change through staff training, cross-program communication, and building support among staff at all levels.