Missouri's WIOA Partners

Missouri's Harris Equal Opportunity Award Nomination: WIOA Partners

Contact Information of Individual Submitting Nomination

Nominator: Danielle Smith

Email Address: danielle.smith@ded.mo.gov

Agency Name: MO Division of Workforce Development


Missouri's WIOA Partners

The State of MO's WIOA Partners and each of the 14 WDBs strive to provide Equal Opportunity and ensure Nondiscrimination in all of our programs, products and services. During the past two years, we have seen tremendous growth and energy invested in outreach to various protected populations around the state. Much of the work that DWD has accomplished has been in partnership with the agencies and WDBs that share our commitment to EO and ND. One agency that has assisted DWD is the LEAD Center through Technical Assistance provided by Jamie Robinson and other staff with LEAD.

Missouri's DWD has worked to improve services to people with disabilities by training all staff including leadership and frontline service providers. Missouri DWD utilized the Section 188 Promising Practices in Achieving Universal Access and Equal Opportunity training developed in cooperation with the LEAD Center and Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation, to ensure universal access to programs and services. This training initiative includes a management track and a front-line staff track providing scenario-based examples. Ongoing training is being provided to Equal Opportunity Officers from each WDB and they in turn are providing this training material to the Missouri Job Center staff in their regions.

Statement of results, accomplishments, impacts and any other appropriate information that demonstrates why the nominee's efforts were an exceptional contribution.

Missouri's DWD utilized the WIOA Core Partners and several members of Local WDBs to develop its One-Stop Certification process and requirements to ensure equal opportunity and nondiscriminatory practices were fully integrated to determine how well each Center is complying with WIOA Section 188 (Attachment 1). Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation and Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind staff provided significant input to the requirements in addition to DWD's Equal Opportunity Unit. The DWD is actively engaged with the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) as a part of the ODEP's Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) through the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in the US Department of Labor. This collaborative seeks to align and improve policies and service delivery practices in order to improve outcomes for those with significant disabilities who are seeking employment. As a part of this initiative, DWD and DMH sought to improve staffs' knowledge of our mutual services in order to provide better outcomes for our customers.


Other significant contributions 

The State of Missouri's Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act partners including each of the fourteen Workforce Development Boards throughout the State are ensuring Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in our programs, products and services. Led by Mardy L. Leathers, Director of the Missouri Division of Workforce Development (DWD), workforce leadership and staff are participating in new system-wide training and engagement with their supervisors and staff. We have seen tremendous growth and energy invested into outreach to various protected populations around the state. Much of the success that the Missouri Division of Workforce Development has realized is a direct result of the support for equal opportunity and nondiscrimination demonstrated by our leadership in the workforce system and the collaborative partnerships of the Workforce Development Boards in our state that share our commitment to Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination.


Examples of work