WDB One-Stop Centers & the Recertification Process: How to Meet State and WIOA Requirements to Ensure Continued Funding


WIOA mandates that local Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) certify American Job Centers (AJCs) or One-Stop Centers at least every three years. The certification process ensures that the services provided in these centers are consistent across the state, aligning with criteria identified in the state unified plan and local plans. The certification is a requirement for AJCs to receive infrastructure funding for their one-stop delivery system.

Certification is a requirement for AJCs to receive infrastructure funding for their One-Stop delivery system. For insight into EDSI’s certification best practices, view this previously published blog.

What is the Recertification Process?

The State Workforce Development Boards (SWDBs) establish specific requirements and provide guidance to LWDBs. These criteria include procedures to guide LWDBs in evaluating program effectiveness, physical accessibility, and continuous improvement. LWDBs manage the certification process and submit the plan and results to the state for final approval. Each state provides criteria for local WDBs to evaluate One-Stop Centers, covering effectiveness, customer satisfaction, physical and programmatic accessibility, alignment, and integration of resources.

How do AJC's effectively meet and demonstrate certification requirements?

LWDBs must demonstrate how well the AJCs integrate available services for job seekers and businesses. The evaluation must include criteria evaluating how well the centers and delivery systems take action to comply with disability-related regulations implementing WIOA sec. 188, set forth at 29 CFR part 38.

Effectiveness can be demonstrated to include:

  • Governance: All required documents are complete and in place before certification
  • A fully executed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) defining functions and responsibilities of all AJC partners. (See MOU graphic below)
  • Functional organizational chart and supervision in place
  • Certified Local Board and compliant board members
  • Professionally staffed locations
  • Detailed tracking of services provided to participants and businesses
  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities of center staff
  • Familiarity with applicable laws, regulations, and policies
  • Job seekers have multiple paths and access to services with responsiveness to business needs
  • Regular outreach to employers and individuals who cannot easily access services
MOU graphic
What is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?

The MOU serves as a functional tool and plan for how the LWDB and partners provide and participate in joint activities that result in efficient leveraging of resources to better serve clients. Like Certification, every three years the MOU must be updated. Included in the MOU is the Infrastructure Funding Agreement (IFA) which is based upon annual budget allocations that identify resource sharing and joint costs for funding the center. IFAs should be reviewed and modified as needed and at least yearly.

Physical and Programmatic Accessibility: Enhancing the Foundations of One-Stop Centers

The certification process involves meticulous evaluations by LWDBs every three years, focusing on the physical and programmatic accessibility of One-Stop Centers. This ensures the necessary infrastructure is in place to cater to diverse needs, aligning with disability-related regulations of WIOA sec. 188.

Key Criteria:

  1. Transportation and Appearance: One-Stop Centers must be accessible by public transportation, driving, or walking, fostering a professional and welcoming environment that prominently displays the One-Stop system identifier.
  2. Accommodation and Modification: These centers should provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities, ensuring modifications to policies, practices, and procedures when necessary to prevent discrimination. Moreover, the administration of programs in the most integrated settings appropriate is emphasized.
  3. Communication and Aids: Effective communication with persons with disabilities is imperative. The provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including assistive technology, is essential to afford equal opportunities to benefit from the program.
  4. Performance Evaluation: Centers must continually evaluate their physical accessibility, attaining negotiated local levels of performance, and demonstrating responsiveness to technical assistance needs. Training, professional development, and outreach to both job seekers and employers are integral components of this process.

Ensuring the accessibility of One-Stop Centers extends beyond mere physical considerations; it encompasses a commitment to inclusivity and nondiscrimination. From maintaining a professional appearance to providing accommodations, each element contributes to the creation of an environment that caters to diverse needs. The emphasis on effective communication and the utilization of assistive technology underscores the importance of reaching all individuals, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

Outreach Strategies: Bridging Gaps & Building Connections

One-Stop Centers must conduct effective outreach to both employers and individuals who may face barriers to accessing services. This includes individuals in remote areas, those with disabilities, limited English proficiency, or currently incarcerated individuals preparing for release. Outreach efforts are a crucial aspect of the certification process, ensuring that all individuals have equal access to the services provided by the One-Stop Centers.

Success = Successful Partner

All One-Stop Centers must comply with applicable physical and programmatic accessibility requirements in compliance with 29 CFR part 38 and WIOA sec. 188. Additionally, each State and Local WDB is responsible for reviewing and evaluating One-Stop Centers on the effectiveness of outreach strategies and efforts.

Continuous Quality Improvement: Enhancing Services and Driving Innovation

LWDBs must demonstrate how well the One-Stop Centers support the needs of job seekers and employers while promoting new and innovative strategies and services and achieving negotiated performance goals (sec, 116(b) of WIOA part 361). Continuous improvement can include but not be limited to:

  • Integrated services for participants and businesses
  • Meeting workforce development needs and recruiting new services and partners
  • Seamless One-Stop programs, equal opportunities, and compliance with regulations
  • Identifying and responding to technical assistance needs
  • Professional staff development and continuous improvement strategies

Suggested Action Steps for Professionals to Meet Recertification Requirements

  1. Regularly review and update the MOU
  2. Conduct comprehensive training sessions for center staff and partners
  3. Establish a dedicated business service team within the center
  4. Implement ongoing customer feedback mechanisms
  5. Regularly assess and update physical accessibility measures
  6. Proactively identify and respond to technical assistance needs

By proactively engaging in these actions, professionals can not only meet recertification requirements effectively but also enhance the overall quality and inclusivity of One-Stop Centers, thereby better serving the needs of job seekers and employers alike.

To learn more about One-Stop Certification, and the process, fill out the form below and one of our experts will reach out soon!