As articulated in the Overview of this Manual, WWRC's Vocational Training Department is aligned with WWRC's Vision for Business Engagement and a Workforce-Driven Model in all aspects of its administration, operations, and student services.   This includes:  the use of Occupational Advisory Committees to guide, shape, evaluate, and modify, as needed, each of its training programs to address identified industry skills gaps and demand-driven job requirements; as well as the leveraging of the DARS Business Development Team as its COE-defined Institutional Advisory Committee to facilitate coordinated statewide employer engagement.  Written charters define the scope, authority, membership, structure, and expectations for each of the Occupational Advisory Committees and the Vocational Training Institutional Advisory Committee.  Training programs with continuously low enrollment, or which are triggered for heightened monitoring as below defined performance benchmarks may result in curriculum modification and/or program closure. 

 

Instructors are expected to conduct at least one industry visit OR one job shadow annually in a business that is related to the assigned training program.  These cannot be the same as Occupational Advisory Committees that may be conducted off-site in a place of business.  Documented industry site visits and job shadows will be maintained by each employee and Operational Supervisor and discussed during annual employee performance reviews.  Guidelines include:

 

  • Industry visitations must be directly related to the area of instruction.
  • There must be a lapse of two (2) years before a repeat visit to the same place of business will be approved.
  • Where-ever possible and feasible, the instructor will accompany other staff (such as vocational evaluators, assistive technology specialists, business development managers, placement counselors) to share expertise and knowledge.
  • No more than two (2) visits per day will be approved.
  • On-site visits should be at least two (2) hours in length.
  • Visitation requests will be processed through standard business practices for travel.
  • If more than one full-time instructor is assigned to a training program, instructors are required to visit different places in the same calendar year.
  • Overnight visitations will be allowed on a case by case basis, to be reviewed for approval by the Career and Workforce Development Division Director.  Regular state travel regulations apply. 

 

Collaborative initiatives with Agency Business Development Managers, industry site visits, consultation with Advisory Committees, and other forms of employer engagement may result in the potential identification of new training program curricula.  Determining the feasibility of a new training program must be well-researched and justified, in writing, to align with WWRC's vision for a workforce-driven model and to meet COE accreditation requirements and that of the U. S. Department of Education for Title IV eligible training programs.   Documentation must include:

 

  • Statement of Need

 

    • Data Driven Research – resources may include (but are not limited to):   Virginia Labor Market Information, Bureau of Labor Statistics; O*Net Online; occupational outlook and economic indicators; growth industry projections (local, regional, state).   Another resource is Labor Market Information (LMI) Central, sponsored by WorkforceGPS. 
    • Employer Validation - advisory committee recommendations for businesses that would likely employ graduates of the program – when and with whom discussions were held, relevant details of any proposals or correspondence generated, and/or processes used to evaluate the feasibility for a new program   
    • DARS/DRS Outreach – projected consumer referral patterns and employer partnerships; perceived level of shared accountability for outcomes and successful implementation of new training program

 

  • Alignment with Identified Skills Gaps and Industry Job Requirements – current and projected workforce needs (local, regional, state), skills and training gaps for the occupational area, occupational wages/starting salaries and earnings potential, required education levels, industry credential requirements, CRC level scores required, if any, and names and locations of potential employers or industry endorsements for the new program

 

  • Alignment with WIOA Career Pathways Definition {HEA 484(d)(2)} – combines rigorous and high-quality education, training, and other services that:
  • Align with skill needs of industry in state/regional economy
  • Prepare an individual to be successful in a full range of secondary/postsecondary options
  • Includes counseling to support the individual
  • Includes education offered concurrently with and in the same context as workforce preparation activities and training
  • Organizes education, training, and other services
  • Enables an individual to attain a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent and  at least 1 postsecondary credential

    AND
  • Helps an individual enter or advance within a specific occupation or occupational cluster

 

  • Proposed Curriculum – Identify how the course content (objectives, learning activities, method of evaluating competency and proficiency level, workforce certification and/or credentialing requirements), program length, delivery format, course-specific admission requirements, and prerequisites are determined; level/scope of employer/industry engagement in development of proposed curriculum; and, completion expectations

     
  • Initial Start-Up Logistics – start-up costs, instructional materials/supplies, resources, hiring/retraining of instructional staff; facility and physical plant requirements; potential funding streams

 

The written justification should be submitted to the Career and Workforce Development Division (CWDD) Director, through the relevant Department Chair, for review and approval.   Minutes of any supporting Advisory Committee meetings and/or written industry/employer endorsements should be attached to the written justification. The CWDD Director is expected to keep the WWRC Pegboard Team and the WWRC Executive Team informed of new program developments, from conceptual and initial planning stages through approval and implementation, to ensure alignment with organizational vision, strategic planning initiatives, performance management systems, physical plant capacity, and other critical elements.

 

Once approved by the CWDD Director and the WWRC Executive Team, the Vocational Training administrative team will work with the assigned instructor(s) to provide required documentation to COE and the USDOE.    New training program implementation timelines are subject to approval by COE and the USDOE. 

 

Ongoing training program curriculum monitoring is conducted through WWRC's Institutional and Occupational Advisory Committee processes, in accordance with written charters for each committee. 

 

WWRC's Organizational Development and Quality Assurance (OD&QA) Division is available to collaboratively plan and conduct an evaluation of all or some training programs within the Vocational Training Department as part of the Center's performance management system.  Such an evaluation may be requested by the CWDD Director and/or initiated as part of WWRC strategic/tactical planning processes.