Regional Planning and the Los Angeles Basin Regional Planning Unit: Wonky Names for Coordination Among Workforce Development Boards to Improve Services to Jobseekers and Employers

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Regional Planning through the Los Angeles Basin Regional Planning Unit - What is it?

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) and the State of California Workforce Development Board mandates regional workforce planning by local workforce development boards.

The Governor and the California State Workforce Development Board, as part of the California Strategic Workforce Plan, designated fourteen regional planning units (RPUs) to organize regionally and develop regional plans that address the objectives of the State Plan: demand-driven skill attainment, achieving income mobility for individuals with barriers to employment, and system alignment among regionally organized Local Boards and their partners.

In the case of Los Angeles County, the State has designated the Los Angeles Basin Regional Planning Unit for the purpose of regional workforce development planning. This unit covers the whole county and is represented by the seven local Workforce Development Boards entirely within Los Angeles County (City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, Pacific Gateway (Long Beach), South Bay, Verdugo, Foothill and Southeast Los Angeles County), contains eighty-eight cities and the unincorporated areas of the county.

These boards operate 38 America’s Job Centers of California career centers (co-branded as WorkSource Centers in Los Angeles) and nearly 40 youth employment centers and portals for youth and young adults.

How the Regional Workforce Development Plan was developed

To develop the Regional Workforce Development Plan, the local WDBs of the LA Basin RPU initiated a process that included: review of existing reports and analyses; individual meetings with key stakeholders; and, to gain a wide range of input, a series of 19 regional planning forums (held during November, December 2016), where hundreds of stakeholders from business, education, economic development and other disciplines shared thoughts on strategies and priorities for the workforce system. After the initial development, the draft plan was open for public comment during the month of February 2017 and was also presented at the local WDB meetings.

March 15, 2017, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 4-Year Regional Planning Unit Plan and Related Local Plans, Program Years 2017-2020 was submitted to the State Workforce Development Board.

The Regional Workforce Development Plan is built upon four pillars:
  1. it is demand-driven by employers, reflecting the needs of priority business sectors;
  2. it ensures inclusiveness and accessibility, enabling all individuals to train for and obtain a quality job;
  3. it seeks alignment across disciplines, including workforce services, education (adult education and community colleges) and economic development to improve effectiveness; and
  4. it uses regional sector pathway programs as a central strategy to build a skilled and competitive workforce – matching job training to growth sectors

The State Approved the LA Basin Regional Workforce Development Plan

In August 2017, the California Workforce Development Board approved the Los Angeles Regional Workforce Development Plan and the component seven local plans.

What did the Regional Workforce Development Plan Recommend?

Through the Regional Workforce Development Plan, the seven partner WDBs of the LA Basin RPU established a series of goals for the regional workforce system. Goals fall into two categories: technical goals and strategic goals. Technical goals relate to the technical requirements of regional coordination, while strategic goals help chart a course for improving the overall effectiveness of the system within the region.

Examples of technical goals are: engagement of industry leaders from priority sectors in identifying skill needs, reviewing training content, determining the value of credentials and recommending programs to address job-seeker skill needs; adopting a regional definition of “industry-valued” to support credential efforts; and developing guidelines for defining “quality jobs.”

Strategic goals include: developing a framework for determining the scalability and replication potential of career pathway programs; adopting a regional protocol for incumbent worker training; developing a framework for supporting workers engaged in the “gig economy”; and more. Work toward accomplishing these goals will be a principal focus of the region over the next two years.

In addition, each of the seven local WDBs drafted a local plan (as mandated) for its specific workforce development activities. These local plans align with the regional plan and are attached as part of the overall plan. (links at bottom of this article)

Narrowing the Focus

After the LA Basin Regional Plan was accepted, the seven WDBs determined to focus initial collaborative efforts on five priority goals out of the 22 identified goals. The five priority goals are:
  1. expand service and outcomes for the region's disconnected youth
  2. Implement a system-wide approach to better engage industries and employers
  3. engage industry leaders to identify skills and training needs of industries
  4. develop a framework to bring more training programs to a regional scale
  5. develop a communications platform to promote sharing of best practices throughout the various workforce development partners

Matching Plans with Funding and Action

In autumn 2017, the State issued a Request for Application process to underwrite implementation of specific regional workforce development activities and initiatives identified in the State's 14 regional plans.

After deliberation, the seven WDBs of the Los Angeles Basin RPU applied for funding for thirteen initiatives. In late December 2017, the State Workforce Development Board awarded the LA Basin RPU $825,000 in WIOA funds to underwrite 12 specific initiatives. The funding period is January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.

As the implementation progresses, this article will be updated. For more information, please feel free to contact the Regional Planning Coordinator at 213-744-7216 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

View the Regional Workforce Development Plan and the Local Plans

Los Angeles Basin Regional Planning Unit - Regional Workforce Development Plan 2017-2020
City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board WIOA Local Workforce Plan 2017-2020
Los Angeles County WDB Local Workforce Development Plan 2017-2020

Southeast Los Angeles County WDB Local Workforce Development Plan 2017-2020

Pacific Gateway (Long Beach) WDB Local Workforce Development Plan 2017-2020

Verdugo WDB Local Workforce Development Plan 2017-2020

Foothill WDB Local Workforce Development Plan 2017-2020

South Bay WDB Local Workforce Development Plan 2017-2020