In January, Y-TAC met with over 50 people from New York. The participants were Community Employment Specialists (CES) (contracts from ACCES-VR to CRPs, nonprofits, etc.) from each of the 10 regions, Transition Aged Youth Specialists (TAYS) (who are VR staff) from each of the 15 VR district offices, and state office staff.
During the meeting, we covered the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the intersections of CESs and TAYS. We had a great deal of information on Day 1 about similarities and differences between Title I Youth and Title IV/Rehab Act students and youth and the various services for each. We spoke about co-serving cases and how important it is to build our networks and collaboration to benefit the youth/students and maximize funding.
We covered Pre-ETS, Supported Employment, Section 511–Subminimum Wage Employment, etc. It was a bit of a review for some participants, but for others new in their positions it was helpful information. Through a needs assessment, it was found that state office staff know a lot about WIOA while field level staff do not, so we tried to fill that gap.
The energy, excitement, and engagement over the two days was amazing. They are thirsty for knowledge and have grand plans for what they want to achieve in 2018. They felt our presence, information, and interactive activities led to the success of the training and look forward to doing more with us. They also said it really helped them prepare for the monitoring visit they have next week with the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).
We are excited to be developing an intensive agreement with NY ACCES-VR to help them continue to build from here and tap more into opportunity youth areas.