Request for Public Comments: Exploration of a Multi-Program, Integrated Case Management System, 27896-27897 [2021-10867]

Download as PDF 27896 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 98 / Monday, May 24, 2021 / Notices www.dol.gov/dol/contact/contact phonecallcenter.htm (TTY) for information about this notice. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration [Docket Number: ETA–2021–0001] Background Request for Public Comments: Exploration of a Multi-Program, Integrated Case Management System The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) emphasizes the need for states to develop strategies to align information technology (IT) and data systems across one-stop partner programs to enhance service delivery to customers and improve efficiencies in reporting on performance accountability measures. Such programmatic elements may include common intake and assessment, data collection, case management information, performance accountability measurement, and reporting processes, all to improve coordination of services across one-stop partner programs. Beyond these functions, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) also seeks to enhance the consistency of service responsiveness to customers’ training and reemployment needs nationally, with a near term focus on programs that have served as a temporary safety net in the pandemic and now have the highest reemployment demands. With that tenet in mind, ETA plans to explore options to assist states in the design and deployment of affordable, flexible IT systems to improve service delivery at the local level. While ETA’s highest priority is the strengthening of unemployment insurance (UI) technology systems nationally, there is a natural connection between unemployment and reemployment services. Therefore, we need to look ahead to the broad advancement of IT reemployment infrastructures, inclusive of supportive case management systems, particularly ones that support people who needed safety net programs in the pandemic, and during previous recessions. This is why ETA is seeking comment from stakeholders and the public on how best to support customercentric and outcome driven, holistic case management systems for workforce development, income maintenance programs, and, where possible, other partner programs that also support employment and career advancement including but not limited to those that might be delivered in an American Job Center (AJC). This request for comments will complement insights being gathered through a human-centered Design (HCD) exploration process, focused on understanding the service delivery challenges to AJC customers and the technology needs of those that work with those customers most Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Department of Labor. ACTION: Request for comments. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is seeking public comment on customer-centric solutions to assist States in the design and deployment of affordable, flexible technology systems to improve workforce development and reemployment service delivery at the local level. In collaboration with our Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partner agencies, we will use this information to inform the Department’s deliberations on the implementation of WIOA and technical assistance that we provide to States to help them align technology and data systems across one-stop partner programs with the customer experience at the forefront of the design. DATES: Comments must be received by July 23, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments via the internet. Please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. Use the ‘‘Search’’ function to find docket number ETA– 2021–0001. The system will issue a tracking number to confirm your submission. You will not be able to view your comment immediately because we must post each comment manually. Caution: In your comments, you should be careful to include only the information that you wish to make publicly available. Please be aware that we will not redact any information in your submission, and you should not include personally-identifiable information such as your personal address or telephone number. If, however, you would like to separately share your email address with ETA for potential further discussion and a possible follow up interview on your perspectives, you can send it directly to IntegratedCaseMgmt@dol.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Fitzgerald, Enterprise Program Advisor, Office of Workforce Investment, USDOL/Employment and Training Administration, IntegratedCaseMgmt@ dol.gov, 202–693–9974, or visit https:// khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:32 May 21, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 closely—AJC partner program case workers. Purpose The envisioned design approach aims to put jobseeker customers at the forefront of our efforts to provide jobseekers with employment, training, education, income support, and wraparound services. Nationally there has been progress in the alignment of programs that support employment, reemployment, and career advancement within the programmatic operations, human capital, and strategy development spheres. However, despite serious efforts from States and local communities, many of the IT systems associated with programs remain unaligned. Common challenges in the advancement and alignment of the relevant technology systems include incompatible legacy data systems, inherent political and technical risks with the development of new solutions, and challenges in financing viable options. As a result, there can be inconsistency within and across states in how people seeking help with employment are being served. Depending on the state, the absence of comprehensive IT solutions across programs or the challenges with existing solutions at times results in poor reemployment outcomes within programs that have the highest demands for these services. When programs or staff aim to provide all the services and supports a customer needs to become employed, but IT systems are not aligned, the results can create crossprogram inefficiencies, poor consideration of the totality of the customer’s needs across partner programs, potential duplications, and ineffective use of data. There is an opportunity to improve the quality of services nationally, and the supporting IT infrastructure, by learning what is and what is not working and using that information to enlighten what may be possible from a federal-state partnership. To best inform next steps, and any potential solicitations, incentives or supports for customer-centric and outcome-driven, holistic case management IT solutions across programs, this Request for Information is seeking feedback from the public and, in particular, local, state, and federal program practitioners and IT specialists across relevant programs. The public input in response to this notice will further an understanding of the barriers to developing IT solutions, illuminate IT development successes and lessons learned in this arena, and refine the systems’ capabilities and functionality that would drive the E:\FR\FM\24MYN1.SGM 24MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 98 / Monday, May 24, 2021 / Notices greatest value for reemployment outcomes for customers. This, in turn, may point to potential new system designs to improve IT partnerships. Request for Public Comments ETA is soliciting input from its stakeholders and the public on any or all of the following categories of information and questions. Response to this request for comments is voluntary. Respondents do not need to address every category or question and may elect to focus their comments on those categories and questions that relate to their expertise or perspective. To the extent possible, please clearly indicate the question(s) addressed in your response. We ask that each respondent include the name and street address of his or her institution or affiliation, if any, and the name, title, email address, and telephone number of a contact person for his or her institution or affiliation, if any. Questions As noted above, this Request seeks information concerning any or all of the following categories of information and questions, if applicable: Operations Process Analysis 1. Information related to the largest operational obstacles that stakeholders encounter when helping jobseekers who might need the supports of more than one program. a. In particular, what are the largest operational obstacles faced by these stakeholders and jobseekers? b. What, if anything, has limited coordination and service delivery across programs? c. In what ways do you believe that technology can best help to alleviate those obstacles? khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Technology Implementations 2. Information on areas in which states, territories, or local areas have taken steps to align technology and data systems across programs. In particular, ETA is interested in: a. How many or which partner programs the efforts have encompassed, among any DOL-funded programs, AJC partner programs, or other public benefit or career advancement programs; b. Whether the efforts have included comprehensive case management systems integration; c. Whether the efforts have included agile development solutions that create interoperability among existing systems and leverage modularity, application programming interfaces (APIs), open source technologies and micro services architecture. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:32 May 21, 2021 Jkt 253001 d. Where efforts have included full integration with Unemployment Insurance systems; e. Where human-centered design was integrated into the technology solution; f. Where system-wide analytic capabilities have been realized; g. Whether and in what form barriers have prevented success; and h. Any lessons learned in the process. 3. If full integration of a case management solution across all employment, income maintenance, and career advancement-related programs could not be realized to start, what subset of programs would it make the most sense to align? Functionality (System Level) 4. In contemplating IT solutions, what functionality and flexibilities would be important to include and why? 5. What functionality would be most important to include to allow for the IT solution to continue to expand and add value to program partners and customers? Capabilities (User Level Requirements) 6. At an individual user level, what system capabilities would provide a superior customer-centric, outcome driven case management experience as compared to current experiences? 7. What capabilities would generate the most value for program partners and customers? 8. While keeping the burden on the beneficiary as low as possible, what data would an ideal system collect? Particularly data that would increase our understanding of the impacts of such a system and underlying benefits on under-resourced communities? Other 9. Preliminary state feedback suggests that an integrated case management solution, as an option for states to leverage and focus across program partners as they see fit, would add the most value in terms of addressing existing technology gaps as well as promote better outcomes for customers. ETA seeks feedback on this initial analysis, including: a. From your perspective, would an integrated case management solution add value to your program operations, and if so how? b. What are the pros and cons of a model where a Federal agency or agencies support(s) building a system with a consortium of states, and makes it available to others via open source? c. What are the pros and cons of a model where a Federal agency or agencies coordinate(s) a system framework and states or local areas can PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 27897 operate modules within that larger framework? d. Whether there are other IT gaps or solutions, which would potentially generate more value across programs, for which ETA should analyze solution options? 10. The total cost estimate that a state/ territory currently spends to maintain its case management system annually. a. Is that annual cost for a single module or for an integrated systems across multiple partner programs? 11. Any other general comments not covered above related to comprehensive IT solutions across partner programs. Suzan G. LeVine, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, Labor. [FR Doc. 2021–10867 Filed 5–21–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–FN–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Notice of a Change in Status of the Extended Benefit (EB) Program for Pennsylvania Employment and Training Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice announces a change in benefit period eligibility under the EB program that has occurred since the publication of the last notice regarding the State’s EB status: • Based on the data submitted by Pennsylvania for the week reflecting April 24, 2021, the state no longer meets the criteria necessary to remain triggered ‘‘on’’ the EB program. The states’ 13-week insured unemployment rate (IUR) remains above 5.0 percent, however the 13-week IUR is less than 120 percent of the average 13-week rate of the prior two years during the corresponding 13-week period. Therefore the payable period in EB for Pennsylvania will end on May 15, 2021. The trigger notice covering state eligibility for the EB program can be found at: http://ows.doleta.gov/ unemploy/claims_arch.as. Information for Claimants The duration of benefits payable in the EB program, and the terms and conditions on which they are payable, are governed by the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970, as amended, and the operating instructions issued to the states by the U.S. Department of Labor. In the case of a state beginning an EB E:\FR\FM\24MYN1.SGM 24MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 98 (Monday, May 24, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27896-27897]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-10867]



[[Page 27896]]

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

[Docket Number: ETA-2021-0001]


Request for Public Comments: Exploration of a Multi-Program, 
Integrated Case Management System

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Department of 
Labor.

ACTION: Request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training 
Administration (ETA) is seeking public comment on customer-centric 
solutions to assist States in the design and deployment of affordable, 
flexible technology systems to improve workforce development and 
reemployment service delivery at the local level. In collaboration with 
our Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partner agencies, 
we will use this information to inform the Department's deliberations 
on the implementation of WIOA and technical assistance that we provide 
to States to help them align technology and data systems across one-
stop partner programs with the customer experience at the forefront of 
the design.

DATES: Comments must be received by July 23, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments via the internet. Please visit the 
Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Use the 
``Search'' function to find docket number ETA-2021-0001. The system 
will issue a tracking number to confirm your submission. You will not 
be able to view your comment immediately because we must post each 
comment manually. Caution: In your comments, you should be careful to 
include only the information that you wish to make publicly available. 
Please be aware that we will not redact any information in your 
submission, and you should not include personally-identifiable 
information such as your personal address or telephone number. If, 
however, you would like to separately share your email address with ETA 
for potential further discussion and a possible follow up interview on 
your perspectives, you can send it directly to 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Fitzgerald, Enterprise Program 
Advisor, Office of Workforce Investment, USDOL/Employment and Training 
Administration, [email protected], 202-693-9974, or visit 
https://www.dol.gov/dol/contact/contactphonecallcenter.htm (TTY) for 
information about this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) emphasizes the 
need for states to develop strategies to align information technology 
(IT) and data systems across one-stop partner programs to enhance 
service delivery to customers and improve efficiencies in reporting on 
performance accountability measures. Such programmatic elements may 
include common intake and assessment, data collection, case management 
information, performance accountability measurement, and reporting 
processes, all to improve coordination of services across one-stop 
partner programs. Beyond these functions, the U.S. Department of 
Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) also seeks to 
enhance the consistency of service responsiveness to customers' 
training and reemployment needs nationally, with a near term focus on 
programs that have served as a temporary safety net in the pandemic and 
now have the highest reemployment demands. With that tenet in mind, ETA 
plans to explore options to assist states in the design and deployment 
of affordable, flexible IT systems to improve service delivery at the 
local level. While ETA's highest priority is the strengthening of 
unemployment insurance (UI) technology systems nationally, there is a 
natural connection between unemployment and reemployment services. 
Therefore, we need to look ahead to the broad advancement of IT 
reemployment infrastructures, inclusive of supportive case management 
systems, particularly ones that support people who needed safety net 
programs in the pandemic, and during previous recessions. This is why 
ETA is seeking comment from stakeholders and the public on how best to 
support customer-centric and outcome driven, holistic case management 
systems for workforce development, income maintenance programs, and, 
where possible, other partner programs that also support employment and 
career advancement including but not limited to those that might be 
delivered in an American Job Center (AJC). This request for comments 
will complement insights being gathered through a human-centered Design 
(HCD) exploration process, focused on understanding the service 
delivery challenges to AJC customers and the technology needs of those 
that work with those customers most closely--AJC partner program case 
workers.

Purpose

    The envisioned design approach aims to put jobseeker customers at 
the forefront of our efforts to provide jobseekers with employment, 
training, education, income support, and wrap-around services. 
Nationally there has been progress in the alignment of programs that 
support employment, reemployment, and career advancement within the 
programmatic operations, human capital, and strategy development 
spheres. However, despite serious efforts from States and local 
communities, many of the IT systems associated with programs remain 
unaligned. Common challenges in the advancement and alignment of the 
relevant technology systems include incompatible legacy data systems, 
inherent political and technical risks with the development of new 
solutions, and challenges in financing viable options.
    As a result, there can be inconsistency within and across states in 
how people seeking help with employment are being served. Depending on 
the state, the absence of comprehensive IT solutions across programs or 
the challenges with existing solutions at times results in poor 
reemployment outcomes within programs that have the highest demands for 
these services. When programs or staff aim to provide all the services 
and supports a customer needs to become employed, but IT systems are 
not aligned, the results can create cross-program inefficiencies, poor 
consideration of the totality of the customer's needs across partner 
programs, potential duplications, and ineffective use of data.
    There is an opportunity to improve the quality of services 
nationally, and the supporting IT infrastructure, by learning what is 
and what is not working and using that information to enlighten what 
may be possible from a federal-state partnership. To best inform next 
steps, and any potential solicitations, incentives or supports for 
customer-centric and outcome-driven, holistic case management IT 
solutions across programs, this Request for Information is seeking 
feedback from the public and, in particular, local, state, and federal 
program practitioners and IT specialists across relevant programs. The 
public input in response to this notice will further an understanding 
of the barriers to developing IT solutions, illuminate IT development 
successes and lessons learned in this arena, and refine the systems' 
capabilities and functionality that would drive the

[[Page 27897]]

greatest value for reemployment outcomes for customers. This, in turn, 
may point to potential new system designs to improve IT partnerships.

Request for Public Comments

    ETA is soliciting input from its stakeholders and the public on any 
or all of the following categories of information and questions. 
Response to this request for comments is voluntary. Respondents do not 
need to address every category or question and may elect to focus their 
comments on those categories and questions that relate to their 
expertise or perspective. To the extent possible, please clearly 
indicate the question(s) addressed in your response. We ask that each 
respondent include the name and street address of his or her 
institution or affiliation, if any, and the name, title, email address, 
and telephone number of a contact person for his or her institution or 
affiliation, if any.

Questions

    As noted above, this Request seeks information concerning any or 
all of the following categories of information and questions, if 
applicable:

Operations Process Analysis

    1. Information related to the largest operational obstacles that 
stakeholders encounter when helping jobseekers who might need the 
supports of more than one program.
    a. In particular, what are the largest operational obstacles faced 
by these stakeholders and jobseekers?
    b. What, if anything, has limited coordination and service delivery 
across programs?
    c. In what ways do you believe that technology can best help to 
alleviate those obstacles?

Technology Implementations

    2. Information on areas in which states, territories, or local 
areas have taken steps to align technology and data systems across 
programs. In particular, ETA is interested in:
    a. How many or which partner programs the efforts have encompassed, 
among any DOL-funded programs, AJC partner programs, or other public 
benefit or career advancement programs;
    b. Whether the efforts have included comprehensive case management 
systems integration;
    c. Whether the efforts have included agile development solutions 
that create interoperability among existing systems and leverage 
modularity, application programming interfaces (APIs), open source 
technologies and micro services architecture.
    d. Where efforts have included full integration with Unemployment 
Insurance systems;
    e. Where human-centered design was integrated into the technology 
solution;
    f. Where system-wide analytic capabilities have been realized;
    g. Whether and in what form barriers have prevented success; and
    h. Any lessons learned in the process.
    3. If full integration of a case management solution across all 
employment, income maintenance, and career advancement-related programs 
could not be realized to start, what subset of programs would it make 
the most sense to align?

Functionality (System Level)

    4. In contemplating IT solutions, what functionality and 
flexibilities would be important to include and why?
    5. What functionality would be most important to include to allow 
for the IT solution to continue to expand and add value to program 
partners and customers?

Capabilities (User Level Requirements)

    6. At an individual user level, what system capabilities would 
provide a superior customer-centric, outcome driven case management 
experience as compared to current experiences?
    7. What capabilities would generate the most value for program 
partners and customers?
    8. While keeping the burden on the beneficiary as low as possible, 
what data would an ideal system collect? Particularly data that would 
increase our understanding of the impacts of such a system and 
underlying benefits on under-resourced communities?

Other

    9. Preliminary state feedback suggests that an integrated case 
management solution, as an option for states to leverage and focus 
across program partners as they see fit, would add the most value in 
terms of addressing existing technology gaps as well as promote better 
outcomes for customers. ETA seeks feedback on this initial analysis, 
including:
    a. From your perspective, would an integrated case management 
solution add value to your program operations, and if so how?
    b. What are the pros and cons of a model where a Federal agency or 
agencies support(s) building a system with a consortium of states, and 
makes it available to others via open source?
    c. What are the pros and cons of a model where a Federal agency or 
agencies coordinate(s) a system framework and states or local areas can 
operate modules within that larger framework?
    d. Whether there are other IT gaps or solutions, which would 
potentially generate more value across programs, for which ETA should 
analyze solution options?
    10. The total cost estimate that a state/territory currently spends 
to maintain its case management system annually.
    a. Is that annual cost for a single module or for an integrated 
systems across multiple partner programs?
    11. Any other general comments not covered above related to 
comprehensive IT solutions across partner programs.

Suzan G. LeVine,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, 
Labor.
[FR Doc. 2021-10867 Filed 5-21-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-FN-P