As of 10/1/2017, this manual has been retired. For current policies, procedures, and standards for the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Division, please refer to the following manuals:

In this manual, references to DARS now refer to TWC. The manual includes both links to public content and links to content available only to staff.

Chapter 12: Pre-Employment Transition Services

(Added 06/16)

12.1 Overview

The standards in this chapter apply to the purchase of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), as defined by the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Section 422.

Pre-ETS are provided to transitioning students aged 14 to 22 to help them prepare for work and independence after high school.

For more information about Pre-ETS, refer to the DRS Rehabilitation Policy Manual (RPM) Chapter 10: Transition Services, 10.4.1 Providing Pre-Employment Transition Services .

12.1.1 Key Terms

Definitions of the following key terms pertaining to transition services can be found in the DRS RPM Chapter 10: Transition Services, 10.1 Key Terms:

Additional Standards for Providers Terms

Camp—a program or set of organized activities for students with disabilities, aged 14 to 22. Pre-ETS camps include components for teaching and providing opportunities for the student to develop and practice specific skills. The two kinds of camps are:

Employment Services Contract—a bilateral contract between DARS and a provider that establishes services as described in Chapter 2: Standards for Work Readiness Services, and Chapter 8: Standards for Employment Services.

Integrated Setting—a community setting where a person with a disability interacts with employees and other persons (as appropriate to the position) who do not have disabilities, to the same extent that employees without disabilities interact with other employees and persons without disabilities. Employment enclaves, work crews, and segregated employment sites are not considered integrated settings for paid employment. Based on CFR §361.5(c)(9)(ii)(A).

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)—a written document that states the understanding or agreement of two or more parties about the subject matter of the agreement; also referred to as a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The agreement may or may not be legally binding and enforceable, and an MOU may or may not constitute a contract;

Pre-ETS Contract—a bilateral contract between DARS and a provider that provides Pre-ETS that are not available through existing employment services contracts.

Temporary Learning Experience—camps, seminars, conferences, classes, and other types of structured activities for students with disabilities, aged 14 to 22, that focus on providing opportunities for the student to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities related to improving work readiness and/or the development of work-related interests and goals. For more information about Temporary Learning Experiences, refer to DRS RPM Chapter 8: Training Services, 8.5.6 Temporary Learning Experiences .

12.2 Providing Pre-ETS

Pre-ETS can be authorized through existing employment services contracts, formally known as Community Rehabilitation Program contracts. If Pre-ETS are authorized under an existing employment services contract, follow the applicable requirements in Chapter 8: Standards for Employment Services and in the DRS RPM Chapter 9: Employment Services.

When the services under an existing employment services contract do not meet the identified needs of a group of consumers, a Pre-ETS contract may be awarded through an open enrollment procurement listed on the Texas Electronic State Business Daily.

12.2.1 Pre-ETS Contracts and Service Categories

All services included in a Pre-ETS contract must address one of the key categories defined under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Pre-Employment Transition Services.

The five required Pre-ETS categories are:

Note: Supported Employment, including all assessments and benchmarks, is not included in Pre-ETS.

Example

Examples of Pre-ETS that would require a Pre-ETS Contract include, but are not limited to, camps, seminars, conferences, or classes that are developed to meet training needs of persons aged 14 to 22 to assist in their preparation for work and independence after high school. This type of service is not included in a traditional Employment Services Contract.

For more information about when a Pre-ETS contract may or may not be required, email the Pre-ETS mailbox at pre-ets@twc.state.tx.us.

12.2.2 Pre-ETS Proposal Requirements

(Revised 07/16)

The provider must submit a Pre-ETS contract packet for the applicable open enrollment posting.

The Pre-ETS contract proposal packet must include:

To make changes to previously submitted contract packets, or amendments to existing contracts, new contract packets must be submitted containing the items listed above.

Additional Information for Proposals

The ratio of students to trainers must not be greater than six students to one trainer.

The base rate for Pre-ETS must not be higher than $18.00 per hour for each student attending the program when calculating the total allowable cost.

All costs to be included in the cost of service must be outlined in the proposal.

Any goods and services that may have to be purchased for a student to participate in the program must be included in the proposal.

The DARS statewide transition specialist reviews DARS1821, Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Proposal, and all other related materials. The DARS statewide transition specialist will let the provider know within 10 business days whether the proposal has been approved or more information is needed.

For more information about Pre-ETS contract requirements, email the Pre-ETS mailbox at pre-ets@twc.state.tx.us.

12.3 Staff Qualifications for Pre-ETS

All Pre-ETS trainers must meet the following qualifications:

Documentation must be provided to the DARS regional transition specialist to verify staff qualifications. The DARS regional transition specialist forwards this information to the DARS central office program specialist.

For questions about Pre-ETS staff qualification requirements, email the Pre-ETS mailbox at pre-ets@twc.state.tx.us.

12.4 Pre-ETS Purchasing Restrictions

The following goods and services may not be purchased by DARS for consumer use (management exceptions are not permitted):

Note: Check with the Department of Public Safety for information about specific regulations. (For example, many small trailers do not require a title of ownership.)

DARS funds also may not be used directly to pay consumer wages or dues to a professional association or trade union.

Food and beverages may be purchased for consumers only when Pre-ETS activities require participants to stay overnight.

Any additional items that are required to support a consumer's participation in an approved Pre-ETS program can be requested through the counselor and will be considered individually. Items that may be authorized by the counselor include uniforms, hygiene products, and required tools and equipment for a specific employment goal.

12.5 Required Outcomes for Payment

Specific outcomes must be clearly documented for all Pre-ETS.

12.5.1 Attendance

The consumer must be present for at least 95 percent of the applicable program hours in order for payment of the service to be authorized.

Exceptions

When absences are due to circumstances out of the provider's or consumer's control, the provider may submit a DARS3472, Contracted Service Modification. Once the form has been reviewed, the provider will be notified of its approval status. In cases where the DARS3472 is approved, the payment to the provider will be prorated.

12.5.2 Progress

The DARS counselor completes the DARS1822, Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Pre- and Post-Assessment, with the consumer to assess the consumer's ability level: when the consumer applies to participate in Pre-ETS activities and when the consumer completes the Pre-ETS activities. In order for the payment of Pre-ETS to be authorized, these assessments must demonstrate that the consumer made progress towards achieving the agreed-upon objectives of the Pre-ETS activity.

The provider must document the outcomes of the Pre-ETS that are purchased. This documentation must include evidence that:

To document consumer activities, attendance, and progress, the provider completes the DARS1823, Pre-Employment Transition Service (Pre-ETS) Progress Report.

12.6 Required Documentation for Payment Authorization

The provider must receive a valid service authorization from DARS before initiating any Pre-ETS.

When requesting payment for approved Pre-ETS, the provider must submit the following to the DARS office that issued the service authorization:

12.7 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Pre-ETS

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is considered to be a less formal way to document an agreement between state agencies or other government entities.

DARS may request an MOU between all parties that serve a DARS consumer in the delivery of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) as defined by the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The purpose of the MOU is to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and resources that are necessary to successfully deliver the services to the consumers. Pre-ETS MOUs must be authorized and signed by agency executive staff in accordance with the applicable signatory authority.

The DARS Contract Management Unit (CMU) works with the DARS program and administrative staff as well as with other agencies and entities to develop MOUs and to provide contract management for all MOUs.