"For the Common Good" is a statewide project with the goal of facilitating the formation of local interagency linkage teams throughout Ohio. These local teams focus on improving services to at-risk youth and adults through the development of collaborative interagency linkages. Since 1990, 46 local linkage teams have been formed under the project's auspices. Originally initiated as a result of the Family Support Act of 1988 (FSA) that required states to make educational services available to participants through the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Training Program, the project has now expanded its focus to all workforce development efforts and operates under the direction of a team composed of state-level staff.
Prior to the passage of the FSA, Ohio had already implemented welfare reform activities in 42 of its 88 counties through the Ohio Fair Work program. Since 1987, an informal network had gradually been established between educators and human services staff at the state level. Implementation of the FSA provided the opportunity to forge stronger connections between educational and support services and to expand the range and capacity of programs for learners at-risk.
In the summer of 1989, Ohio formed a team at the state level to facilitate the development of linkages between educators and human services staff. Originally composed of representatives from the Ohio Department of Human Services (ODHS) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the state team has been expanded to include representation from the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services (OBES) Job Training Partnership Act Division and Employment Services Division; the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR); the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS); Ohio One-Stop; the Ohio State University Extension; and Common Good Local Linkage Teams. The primary focus of the state team is to strengthen both state and local linkages in programs and services designed to serve the common customers of agencies that comprise Ohio's workforce development system. The team provides important leadership at the state level for the development of interagency linkages at the local level.
To encourage and facilitate local linkages of programs and services for workforce development customers, the state team planned and implemented five workshops to train local interagency linkage teams. A total of 46 local linkage teams from throughout Ohio were trained during these 2-day workshops held in April 1990, October 1991, October 1993, May 1995, and December 1997. The workshops were designed to provide sufficient planning time for teams to draft an action plan for guiding their activities during the following 12 months. Technical assistance in the form of state-level staff expertise was available to the teams.
Teams attending the workshops were required to have members repre-senting the following areas: adult basic education, vocational educa-tion, Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), human services, employ-ment services, and postsecondary education. Since 1993, teams have also been strongly encouraged to have representatives from their local ODADAS boards and community action agencies. Beyond these requirements, each team filled its roster according to local community needs and preexisting linkages.
To sustain and encourage the local linkage teams formed under its leadership, the state team also planned and implemented four follow-up meetings for local linkage teams. During these meetings, held in June 1991, May 1993, April 1994, and December 1995, teams reviewed and revised their action plans, networked with other teams, and shared successes.
Of the 46 teams formed through the project, 29 are still active; a contact list for active teams is shown on the reverse side. Many of the continuing teams are involved in other linkage activities such as One-Stop centers and Ohio Family and Children First Councils. The Fact Sheet "For the Common Good Local Linkage Team Follow-up" provides specific information about team activities.
|For the Common Good is supported by funds from the Ohio Department of Education, Division of Vocational and Adult Education.
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