Workforce federal funds to stay at CAO

Published 10:20 am Friday, December 18, 2015

Commission waiting on new guidelines

Controlling the purse strings for federal money that helps fund the OneStop jobs placement service will remain with its current administrator, at least for a while.

This past summer Lawrence County Commission, in a 2-0 vote, changed the administrator of the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act funds to the department of job and family services. The Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization had been the administrator.

Every 10 to 15 years Congress appropriates money for the WIOA program or its predecessor with county commissions across the country designating who administers the program. For the county, WIOA makes up about $300,000 of the OneStop’s budget, which is then leveraged.

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However a state budget bill said county commissions have to choose a lead entity to coordinate services and funds from part of the WIOA program and the temporary assistance to needy families or TANF, also known as welfare. TANF is administered by the DJFS.

Commission president Les Boggs said he interpreted the law as requiring a single administrator. However, CAO executive director D.R. Gossett contended that was not a correct interpretation.

Boggs sought answers from the state and was told new guidelines would be coming out.

“They still haven’t come out with them,” Boggs said at Thursday’s commission meeting.

Because of that Boggs said the CAO would continue as WIOA administrator until the contract ends in June 2016.

“Until we receive guidelines, we are up in the air,” Boggs said.