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RULE §811.3 Choices Service Strategy

Published: 2015

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(a) A Board shall ensure that its strategic planning process includes an analysis of the local labor market to:   (1) determine employers' needs;   (2) determine emerging and demand occupations; and   (3) identify employment opportunities, which include those with a potential for career advancement that may assist a Choices eligible's progression toward self-sufficiency. (b) The Choices service strategy shall include:   (1) Workforce Orientation for Applicants (WOA). As a condition of eligibility, applicants and conditional applicants are required to attend a workforce orientation that includes information on options available to allow them to enter the Texas workforce.   (2) Work First Design.     (A) The work first design:       (i) allows Choices participants to take immediate advantage of the labor market and secure employment, which is critical due to individual time-limited benefits; and       (ii) meets the needs of employers by linking Choices participants with skills that match those job requirements identified by the employer.     (B) Boards shall provide Choices participants access to other services and activities available through the One-Stop Service Delivery Network, which includes the WOA, to assist with employment in the labor market before certification for TANF cash assistance.     (C) Post-employment services shall be provided in order to assist a Choices participant's progress toward self-sufficiency as described in §811.4(a)(1) and §811.51.     (D) In order to assist a Choices eligible's progress toward self-sufficiency:       (i) Boards shall provide Choices eligibles who are employed, including mandatory Choices participants coded by HHSC as working at least 30 hours per week, earning at least $700 per month, and receiving the EID, with information on available post-employment services; or       (ii) Boards may provide Choices eligibles with post-employment services as determined by Board policy. The length of time these services may be provided is subject to §811.51.     (E) In order to assist employers, Boards shall coordinate with local employers to address needs related to:       (i) employee post-employment education or training;       (ii) employee child care, transportation or other support services available to obtain and retain employment; and       (iii) employer tax credits.     (F) Boards shall ensure that a family employment plan is based on employer needs, individual skills and abilities, and individual time limits for TANF cash assistance.   (3) Post-Employment Services. A Board shall ensure that post-employment services are designed to assist Choices participants with job retention, career advancement, and reemployment, as defined in §811.51. Post-employment services are a continuum in the Choices service strategy to support a Choices participant's job retention, wage gains, career progression, and progression to self-sufficiency.   (4) Adult Services. A Board shall ensure that services for adults shall include activities individually designed to lead to employment and self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.   (5) Teen Services. A Board shall ensure that services for teen heads of household shall include secondary school, as defined in §811.2(13), and making the transition from school to employment, as described in §811.30 and §811.50.   (6) Choices Eligibles with Disabilities. A Board shall ensure that services for Choices eligibles with disabilities include reasonable accommodations to allow the Choices eligibles to access and participate in services, where applicable by law.   (7) Target Populations. A Board shall ensure that services are concentrated, as further defined in §811.4(d)(5) and §811.11(d), on the needs of the following:     (A) recipients who have six months or less remaining of their state TANF time limit, irrespective of any extension of time due to a hardship exemption;     (B) recipients who have 12 months or less remaining of their 60-month federal TANF time limit, irrespective of any extension of time due to a hardship exemption; and     (C) recipients who are extended TANF recipients.   (8) Local Flexibility. A Board may develop additional service strategies that are consistent with the goal and purpose of this chapter and the One-Stop Service Delivery Network.

Source Note: The provisions of this §811.3 adopted to be effective November 18, 2003, 28 TexReg 10261; amended to be effective February 26, 2007, 32 TexReg 906; amended to be effective September 29, 2008, 33 TexReg 8192