WSR 17-24-009
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed November 27, 2017, 1:45 p.m., effective December 28, 2017]
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: The department is amending WAC 388-310-1000 WorkFirstVocational education. 2SSB 5347 passed during the 2017 regular session, allowing the department to extend vocational education as an approvable WorkFirst work activity from twelve to twenty-four months, subject to funding.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-310-1000.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.08A.250, 74.04.055, 74.08.090, 74.04.057, 2SSB 5347 (section 1, chapter 156, Laws of 2017).
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 17-20-068 on October 2, 2017.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: November 27, 2017.
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 09-14-019, filed 6/22/09, effective 7/23/09)
WAC 388-310-1000 WorkFirst—Vocational education.
(1) What is vocational education?
Vocational education is training that leads to a degree or certificate in a specific occupation, not to result in a ((baccalaureate)) bachelor's or advanced degree unless otherwise indicated ((below)) in subsection (4) of this section, ((and is)) offered by an accredited:
(a) Public and private technical college or school;
(b) Community college;
(c) Tribal college; or
(d) ((For)) Community based organizations for customized job skills training (((formerly known as preemployment training), community based organizations)) programs only.
(2) Vocational education may include one or more of the following:
(a) Customized job skills training;
(b) High-wage/high-demand training;
(c) Approved homework and study activities associated with the educational activity; ((and/or))
(d) Remedial/developmental education, prerequisites, basic education ((and/or)) or English as a second language training deemed a necessary part of the vocational education program.
(3) What is customized job skills training?
Customized job skills training helps you learn skills ((you need)) needed for an identified entry-level job that pays more than average entry-level wages((.
(a) Customized job skills training)), and is an acceptable WorkFirst activity when an employer or industry commits to hiring or giving hiring preference ((to WorkFirst participants who successfully complete customized job skills training)) upon completion.
(((b) You can find out about current customized job skills training opportunities by asking your employment services counselor, your case manager or staff at your local community and technical college.))
(4) What is high-wage/high-demand training?
(a) There are two types of high-wage/high-demand (((HWHD))) full-time training options for ((TANF recipients)) WorkFirst participants to complete a certificate or degree that will lead to employment in a high-wage/high-demand occupation:
(i) Information technology, health care, or other professional-technical programs((: This option allows you)) that allows recipients to start and finish a one-year or shorter state, community, or technical college training program in ((the information technology, health care)) these fields or other professional-technical programs that meet high-wage/high-demand criteria((; and/or)).
(ii) Certificate/degree completion((: This option allows you)) programs that allow recipients to finish ((up)) the last year of any certificate or degree program, not to exceed a ((baccalaureate)) bachelor's degree, in a high-wage/high-demand field on an exception basis. ((The high-wage/high-demand criteria for this option is based on median income and high-demand occupations within the local labor market as determined by)) Employment security department bases the high-wage/high-demand criteria on median income and high-demand occupations with the local labor market.
(b) ((For both types of HWHD training, the training can be approved one-time only (barring an approved exception to policy))) The department may approve high-wage/high-demand training once in a lifetime without an approved exception to policy.
(c) To qualify for ((HWHD)) high-wage/high-demand training, you must also:
(i) Meet all of the prerequisites ((for the course));
(ii) Be able to obtain the certificate or degree within twelve calendar months;
(iii) Participate full time in the training program and make satisfactory progress;
(iv) Work with ((WorkFirst staff)) the employment security department during the last quarter of training for job placement; and
(v) Return to job search once you complete the educational program if still unemployed.
(5) When ((can)) may vocational education be included in my individual responsibility plan?
((We)) The department may ((add)) include vocational education ((to)) in your individual responsibility plan for up to twelve months if:
(a) Your comprehensive evaluation shows that you:
(i) Need this education to become employed or get a better job; and ((you))
(ii) Are able to participate full time in vocational education or combine vocational education with any approved WorkFirst work activity((; or)).
(b) You are in an internship or practicum for up to twelve months that is paid or unpaid and required to complete a course of vocational training or to obtain a license or certificate in a high demand program; ((or))
(c) You have limited English proficiency and ((you)) lack job skills that are in demand for entry-level jobs in your area((;)), and the vocational education program is the only way that you can acquire these skills (because there is no available work experience, community service or on-the-job training that can teach you these skills); or
(d) You ((are in the pregnancy to employment pathway)) meet the requirements in WAC 388-310-1450 and your comprehensive evaluation shows vocational education would help you find and keep employment. (((See WAC 388-310-1450.)))
(6) ((Can)) May I get help with paying the costs of vocational education?
WorkFirst may pay for the costs of ((your)) vocational education, such as tuition or books, ((for)) up to twelve months, if vocational education is in your individual responsibility plan and there is no other way to pay them. You may also get help with paying your child care costs through the working connections child care program((. (See chapter 388-290 [170-290] WAC for the working connections child care program rules.))) if you meet criteria in chapter 388-290 WAC.
(7) May the department include vocational education in my individual responsibility plan longer than twelve months?
The department may increase the twelve-month limit for vocational education training to twenty-four months subject to funding appropriated specifically for this purpose.