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F. Partnership Development

Adult education programs are a part of a one-stop delivery system involving multiple partners and processes which assist individuals in meeting their goals. While partner structures within communities are unique to local needs, this section provides an outline of existing partner structures as well as infrastructure. Programs receiving AEFLA funds are required to engage in the on-stop delivery system. However, AEI encourages all adult education programs to leverage partnerships to meet the needs of learners and help them reach their goals. 

Utilizing this infrastructure and having a clear understanding of partner roles and resources provides for consistency of service across the state and ideally leads to the elimination of redundancy.

State and Local Partner Structure

Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC)

The vision of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) is that every Colorado business has access to a skilled workforce and every Coloradan has access to meaningful employment, resulting in statewide economic vitality.  The CWDC’s mission is to facilitate the creation and sustainability of a business‐led Colorado talent development system that appropriately integrates the work of economic development, education, training and workforce development to meet the needs of businesses, workers, job-seekers and students.

The CWDC was formed under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and is responsible for the continuous improvement of the workforce system and oversight of funds under what is now the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)¹, and ensuring a statewide strategic vision created from the bottom up through council members and local partners.

Additionally, under state statute and executive order, CWDC is charged with aligning the efforts of economic development, education, workforce development, government and business stakeholders at the local, regional and state levels. CWDC convenes partners, leverages resources and works to remove communication and regulatory barriers in order to help businesses create jobs, retain jobs and access a highly competitive workforce.²

The CWDC is a business-led, public private partnership comprised of 40+ governor-appointed council members that are active participants in workforce development activities, including representatives from state/local government, labor unions, businesses, and advocacy organizations.  There are also 12 CWDC staff members that utilize three steering committees (Sector Strategies, Advocacy, and Education and Training) and multiple working groups to move the work forward.  The CWDC is housed in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, but is technically its own entity.

The CWDC is authorized through executive order to act on behalf of the Governor for state level policy decisions required by WIOA. Examples of these decisions include approving the WIOA state plan, designating local workforce areas, and implementing the state formula on infrastructure sharing, if needed. The CWDC meets three times per year and all meetings are open to the public. When policies are being developed, a one or two week comment period is used to capture input from all stakeholders potentially affected by the policy.

Core and Required Partners of the One-Stop Delivery System

Per WIOA Section 3(12) - (13), the following groups are core programs in the one-stop delivery system. The core programs are all held accountable to the same performance measures.

  • WIOA Title I Adult Program (Labor)
  • WIOA Title I Dislocated Worker Program (Labor)
  • WIOA Title I Youth Program (Labor)
  • WIOA Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy Act funded programs (Education)
  • WIOA Title III Wagner Peyser Program (Labor)
  • WIOA Title IV Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (Labor)

WIOA names additional required partners who must work together at the state and local level as it relates to the requirements in WIOA:

  • Career and technical education programs authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)
  • Employment and Training Programs under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Programs authorized under section 6(d)(4) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4)))
  • Work programs authorized under section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015(o))
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Programs (Activities authorized under chapter 2 of Title II of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2271 et seq.))
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program (Programs authorized under 38, U.S.C. 4100 et. seq.)
  • Unemployment Insurance Programs (Programs authorized under State unemployment compensation laws in accordance with applicable Federal law)
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program (Programs authorized under Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3056 et seq.))
  • Employment and training activities carried out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Community Services Block Grant Program (Employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9901 et seq.))*
  • Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Program (Programs authorized under section 212 of the Second Chance Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17532))

Local Contacts and Sector Partnerships

Additional individuals and partnership convenings exist at the local level that can serve as a source of knowledge to programs and help local adult education programs and other partners effectively engage with businesses. If you have any questions or need additional support navigating these relationships, contact your AEI Program Coordinator.

  • Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs): As outlined in WIOA Section 107, LWDBs are comprised of mostly representatives of businesses in the local area and are tasked with many responsibilities, including: developing, submitting, and implementing a local area plan; collecting and analyzing economic, workforce, and training data; promoting promising practices; negotiating MOUs with partners; and selecting one-stop operators. LWDB meetings are public and anyone can attend. Meetings must, at a minimum, be held quarterly.
  • Local Workforce Area Directors and Sub-Area Directors: Local workforce area directors and sub-area directors are responsible for managing all aspects of workforce programs under WIOA. The directors also coordinate the MOU process under WIOA with partners in their local area and submit the information to the LWDB for review and approval.
  • Adult education representative on the Local Workforce Development Board: As outlined in Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, Section 107 (b)(2)(C)(i), each Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) “shall include a representative of eligible providers administering adult education and literacy activities under title II.” This individual represents adult education for the local workforce area or sub-area he or she is representing. This individual also ensures Title II AEFLA programs in that local workforce area or sub-area receive updates about local area or sub-area board meetings, and brings information and questions to the board from Title II AEFLA programs in the area.
  • CDLE Business Service Representatives (BSRs): There are BSRs in every Local Workforce Development Area and sub-area of the state. If a local program needs to contact an employer to tell them about their services or get feedback about improving services to best meet the employer’s needs, AEI strongly encourages the program to go through the local BSR first. This allows a coordinated approach between partners when reaching out to employers, helps reduce employer fatigue, and increase common messaging. To get in contact with your local BSR, contact your local workforce area director.³
  • Sector Partnerships
    • What are they? A sector partnership is an industry specific regional partnership led by business in partnership with economic development, education, and workforce development.   Over 450 businesses are actively involved in sector partnerships across Colorado. For more information, visit the CWDC website.
    • What geographic boundaries make up a region? Sector partnerships are based on 14 economic development regions as defined in the Colorado Blueprint. These geographic boundaries are different from the ten federally-recognized Local Workforce Development Areas which are used to establish local workforce boards and WIOA Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs).
    • Get involved in a sector partnership: Fill out the Connect With a Sector Partnership form to get involved in a sector partnership. CWDC staff or a sector partnership convenor will get in touch with next steps. Additionally, sector partnership meetings are open to the public and partners in the one-stop system are encouraged to attend. The purpose of the meetings is for business to get together and discuss their needs while education, economic development, labor partners and others listen to the conversation. Business is the only stakeholder actively participating in these meetings so the conversation remains business-driven.

¹WIOA Section 101 outlines the requirements for state workforce development boards.
²Adapted from the Colorado Workforce Development Council website's About Us page.
³Colorado Department of Labor and Employment


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