Statewide Business Engagement Plan

Over time, ACCES-VR has developed strong, region-based coordination with business.  This coordination is led by a team that is designed to include a Central Office Statewide Business Coordinator, five (5) Employment Specialists (level II) operating as Regional Business Coordinators and 15 Employment Specialists (level I), one in each office.  Currently, there are gaps in this staffing.  The Statewide Business Coordinator position is vacant, there are only 3 Regional Business Coordinators and only 11 Employment Specialists. These gaps in staffing do pose strategic challenges in implementing a consistent business engagement plan throughout the state.

In July 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law.  WIOA is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system in 15 years. It replaces or amends/reauthorizes:

  • Workforce Investment Act of 1998 – the nation’s primary programs and investment in employment services, workforce development, adult education and vocational rehabilitation activities;
  • Adult Education and Family Literacy Act;
  • Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933; 
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 

WIOA calls for significant change.  There is a heightened emphasis on business.  The expectation is for ACCES-VR to meet the needs of business, and the success of that business engagement will be measured.

ACCES-VR has reviewed all of its goals, priorities and strategies to ensure full alignment to the range of new expectations.  With business engagement being a significant priority, a plan of action is necessary.  This Statewide Business Engagement Plan, which is linked to the WIOA Combined State Plan and to the Employment First Report, will set the framework for improving service to and communication with business.

This plan outlines the business-specific statewide priorities, goals and strategies for July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020.  The goals will be reviewed annually to assess progress and to identify changes or updates. Each Regional Business Coordinator has a plan modeled on this baseline.  The Regional Plan identifies local strategies and pilot projects as well.

The Regional Business Coordinators and Employment Specialists will document the following business engagement activities in the One Stop Operating System.  These efforts will contribute towards the system goals of increasing; Repeat Business Customers (% of repeat business using services within the previous three years) and Business Penetration Rate (% of businesses using services out of all business in the State).

Priority 1 – ACCES-VR will build knowledge in the business community by providing employer information and support services.

Goals for this priority:

  1. ACCES-VR will provide information that can assist businesses with hiring individuals with disabilities and will provide a linkage to job-ready people through the New York State Workforce Development System, including those from special populations.

Strategies/specific actions:

  • Ad campaign to promote name recognition among the public and business – projected start date February 2018:

    The previous Ad Campaign ran from September 2015 - April 2016 and resulted in 1,231 individuals calling our 1-800 number for information.The next campaign will run for two years. Year one will target business and year two will target youth.In addition, each region will identify areas that were not covered in this campaign and research costs for bus ads in those areas – targeted timeframe for ads: first quarter of 2018.
     

  • IESs will, through either one-on-one or group meetings with business representatives, provide information regarding recruitment assistance, tax credits, wage reimbursements, federal bonding, customized employment and worker retention services. This will be facilitated through memberships in local SHRM and chambers, attendance at job fairs and similar events in the region utilizing current display materials and promotional items, coordination and/or attendance at consortium meetings, and attendance at Industry Leadership Groups (ILG) or Business Leadership Network (BLN) meetings.
     
  • The above efforts to build business partnerships will be supplemented with periodic communication by the IES IIs/their designees via email to regional listservs of business contacts. Information can include ACCES-VR information and regional or statewide highlights, disability-related information, etc., and will be sent with the approval of the appropriate Regional Coordinator.

Priority 2 – ACCES-VR will meet business training needs.

Goals for this Priority:

  1. ACCES-VR will reach out to the business community to provide:
    1. Work Try-Out employment
    2. On-the-Job Training
    3. Work-based Job Coaching/retention

Strategies/specific actions:

  • IESs in each Region will identify key businesses in their area that are connected to emerging jobs and will seek out these businesses to provide training around the above topics.  Trainings will be provided to both new businesses as well as businesses that are familiar with ACCES-VR.  Presentations can be made to a group of businesses or in-house at an individual business.

Priority 3 – ACCES-VR will provide information, support, and/or other tangible services to business that result in an increase in the employment of youth.

Goals for this Priority:

  1. ACCES-VR will engage business to provide employment opportunities for youth.

Strategies/specific actions:

  • In collaboration with the TAYS unit, IESs will reach out to businesses to provide a mechanism to develop, increase and support employment opportunities for youth.
  • ACCES-VR will promote internship opportunities for youth, including summer employment, using WTO or work-based assessment programs as appropriate.

Priority 4 – ACCES-VR will provide information to businesses regarding how to access untapped labor pools.

Goals for this Priority:

  1. ACCES-VR will provide information to businesses regarding:
    1. ADA/disability etiquette/disability awareness/accommodations training
    2. Career mentoring opportunities

Strategies:

  • IESs will provide opportunities to the business community to learn the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities through attendance at NDEAM business recognition events.
  • IESs/TAYS will coordinate career mentoring opportunities to educate businesses about this potential labor pool.
  • IESs, as part of the national ADA network, will provide no-cost, customized training to businesses regarding the ADA and disability.
  • IESs will coordinate events to educate the business community regarding how to effectively partner with community agencies regarding accessing untapped labor pools.

Priority 5 – ACCES-VR will provide workforce recruitment assistance to businesses.

Goals for this priority:

  1. ACCES-VR will assist business with meeting their workforce recruitment needs.

Strategies:

  • ACCES-VR will provide a variety of services to meet recruitment needs to include:
  • Customized employment placement
  • Direct placement and retention services
  • Employer job analysis
  • Pre-employment testing
  • Special recruitment/job fair coordination
  • Taking job orders
  • Referring applicants