Highlights efforts taken by selected 12 states and 14 local workforce investment areas (in those states) to improve the quality of case management services provided to Trade Adjustment Assistance customers.

Report discusses the legislative and regulatory framework for case management in Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), identifies attributes of effective case management for TAA customers, and describes strategies, organized in four broad categories, for improving case management services in TAA.  These strategies include:  1) improving case managers’ skills and knowledge through training, feedback, and improved hiring practices; 2) coordination and system integration with other workforce programs; 3) rethinking case managers’ roles and responsibilities; and 4) redesigning management information systems. (Abstractor: Website Staff)

Full Publication Title: Practices from the Field for Improving Case Management and Increasing Workforce System Integration in the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program

Major Findings & Recommendations

"To provide more effective and accessible case management services for TAA participants, state agencies and local programs used the following strategies and approaches: • “Improving case managers’ skills and knowledge through training, feedback and improved hiring practices. Training on core case management skills and ’person-centered’ approaches, while not common, was delivered by various methods. It included mentoring and experiential approaches (role-playing and simulations), delivered in the classroom and through webinars, by a variety of providers (e.g., state training agencies, state and local managers, public institutions, or external consultants) and targeted to both new and veteran staff. • “Implementing efforts to improve program coordination and system integration. State and local efforts to improve access to case management ranged from limited efforts to align specific program policies to broad statewide transformations. All these approaches required: development of cross-cutting visions on how services would be delivered and programs would work together, alignment of specific programs’ policies, authority to implement the policies, and specific efforts to secure initial buy-in and ongoing input from staff. • “Rethinking case managers’ roles, responsibilities, and job titles. States and local areas employed various models each with different benefits and trade-offs to staff TAA case management. Some used Employment Services (ES) merit staff as primary case managers while others leveraged WIA staff to provide case management with state merit staff conducting inherently governmental TAA activities (such as approving [Individual Employment Plans] IEP and training plans). Still other states employed a functional alignment model, in which staff (funded under different programs) were cross-trained to serve TAA (and other) customers. • “Redesigning information systems. To improve case management by facilitating seamless delivery of services, states and local areas engineered a variety of new intake, customer flow, and management information systems (MIS). These systems permitted enrollment information to be shared across programs, decreased points at which customers had to provide data, and allowed for common ways to document customer activities and progress" (p.vi-vii). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)