1. The institution has a written strategic plan that includes, at a minimum, the following components:  mission of the institution; vision of the institution; objectives for a minimum period of three years; strategies for achieving the objectives; and, strategies for evaluating progress toward achieving the objectives (4-1 through 4-4). 
  2. The strategic plan is reviewed by the faculty, administration, and institutional advisory committee and revised as necessary at least annually (4-4).
  3. The results of the evaluation of progress toward achieving the objectives are documented annually (4-4).

Introduction

WWRC engages in ongoing strategic planning at federal, state, and organizational levels, in accordance with federal Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) regulations currently authorized under Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), Commonwealth of Virginia requirements for all state agencies, and annual WWRC Blueprint initiatives.   All strategic planning initiatives are led by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and/or WWRC Administration, with engagement of critical internal and external stakeholders throughout the process.   The WWRC consumer "voice" is reflected in analysis of feedback obtained through the gathering of satisfaction data.

 

DARS, including WWRC as a major division of DARS, participates in the four-year federally mandated Combined State Plan process, as defined by the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) for State VR Agencies under WIOA.   The current Virginia Combined State Plan covers the period July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2020 and is inclusive of COE required elements.   At the state level, WWRC engages in a biennial strategic planning process that is aligned with the federal Combined State Plan, but is much more descriptive in nature.  These two strategic planning documents collectively serve as key underpinnings of WWRC's annual Blueprint for Direction which is a tactical strategic plan that serves as a "living document" and is actively monitored and adjusted, as needed, to ensure timely progress in meeting prioritized performance objectives and goals.  Where relevant, Blueprint objectives directly supported by federal and state strategic plans are referenced.   All strategic planning documents are available for Visiting Team review.

 

Written strategic plans, including federal, state, and organizational, are routinely monitored and progress toward defined goals and objectives is evaluated and documented at least annually.  Each year the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) submits an Annual Report to the Commissioner of the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration and to the Governor of Virginia on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the state.  SRC Annual Reports are posted to the DARS website in accessible formats.  WWRC's performance relative to key and other measures contained within State Strategic Plan is monitored and documented quarterly through the Virginia Performs website through what is known as the Agency Scorecard.  WWRC's Annual Report includes data on performance relative to both federal and state measures, as well as operational and priority objectives contained within its Blueprint     

 Analysis

WWRC engages in ongoing strategic planning at federal, state, and organizational levels, in accordance with federal Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) regulations currently authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), Commonwealth of Virginia requirements for all state agencies, and annual WWRC Blueprint initiatives.   Strategic plans are developed in consultation with internal and external stakeholders, including individuals with disabilities, and are reviewed, and revised as needed, at least annually by faculty, administration, and WWRC's Institutional Advisory Committee.  Program performance data, progress toward goals/objectives, and any indicated adjustments, are documented annually. 

    • Identification of Partner Programs
    • Strategic Elements:  Analysis of economic, workforce, and workforce development activities; State Strategic Vision and Goals; and, State Strategy
    • Operational Planning Elements:  State Strategy Implementation; and State Operating Systems and Policies

Virginia's Combined State Plan describes the methods used for joint planning and coordination with core and partner programs.  The VR Services portion is a required component of the Combined State Plan and must be reviewed and approved by the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).  The VR Services Portion consists of seventeen (17) descriptions. Prior to WIOA, RSA referred to this content as "attachments" to the VR State Plan.  The VR portion of Virginia's Combined State Plan must be coordinated and developed collaboratively with the Governor-appointed State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), comprised of a group of individuals, most of whom have disabilities. The SRC works on behalf of people with disabilities by serving as a source of advice, information, and support for DRS's vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs.  The WWRC Director routinely attends quarterly SRC meeting and is the designated point of contact for the SRC's Internal Committee on WWRC Operations.

  • State Strategic Planning – The Commonwealth of Virginia's strategic planning process and performance management system, Virginia Performs, has been operational since 2005.  The system is a product of the Council on Virginia's Future which was established pursuant to House Bill 2097 of the 2003 General Assembly.  The Council's purpose is to create a vision of Virginia's future and a system for state government that aligns with and supports achievement of the vision.  The purpose encompasses several factors:  providing a long-term focus on high priority issues; creating an environment for improved policy and budget decision-making; increasing government accountability and transparency; improving government performance; and engaging citizens in dialogue about Virginia's future.  It is comprised of four linked processes: strategic planning, performance measurement, program evaluation, and performance budgeting. 

    Because the processes are designed to work together to manage the performance of state government, this system is referred to as Virginia's performance management system.  Included with the strategic plan for WWRC listed on the Virginia Performs website, is statistical and other information related to current initiatives, rankings and customer trends.  The Virginia Performs system operates on a biennium with information contained in the current as well as the upcoming two-year cycle.
  • WWRC Strategic Planning - Paralleling these required processes for Federal VR and State Government Agencies and resulting from facility-wide strategic planning initiatives subsequent to a change in leadership in 2007, WWRC has even more closely defined its priorities and monitors its performance through the use of its annual Blueprint for Direction.  The Blueprint for Direction is an internal operational document developed through a collaborative process of actively engaging stakeholders and service providers, including WWRC faculty and staff and members of its Institutional Advisory Committee, in identification of key operational goals for WWRC.    The Blueprint enables WWRC to identify how it will carry out the federal and state strategic plans that guide the overall direction of the Center.  Key Operations highlight annual resources and expected annual outputs and outcomes.  The 2016-2018 Blueprint is endorsed by the State Rehabilitation Council, the Virginia Manufacturers Association, the Manufacturing Skills Institute, DRS District Managers and Workforce Development Unit, the National Consortium of State Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers, the Virginia Assistive Technology System's Assistive Technology Advisory Council and the WWRC Foundation. The Blueprint provides an overview of WWRC plans to improve the independence and employment of people with disabilities and demonstrates how Virginia and the United States benefit from this wise investment.

All written strategic plans exceed minimal expectations under this COE standard and will be available for review by Accreditation Visiting Team members.

Challenges & Solutions

Strategic planning follows well-defined and structured business processes at federal, state, and organizational levels.  The primary challenge for WWRC is the potential for misunderstanding and/or misinterpretation of published statistical data and performance outcomes due to necessary variances in timeframes (i.e. four year cycle at federal level, biennial cycle at state level, and annual at organizational level), and the application of required formulas that define key and other performance measures which are not always congruent.   Explanatory remarks, including the measure definitions, are always provided to minimize confusion and to clarify "just in case" documents are inadvertently compared. 

Summary

The Accreditation Self-Study Committee finds WWRC in full compliance with Standard 4. 

Supporting documentation will be on exhibit in the required format at the time of the accreditation site visit.  Evidence of compliance with COE Standard 4 will be verified through staff interviews, team member observations and review of Self-Study materials, and file/document/record audits, as indicated.  

Self-Study Exhibits

The following key contacts and supporting documentation are provided to supplement hyperlinks integrated within this narrative:

  • Key Contacts
Name/TitleCampus LocationEmailPhone Number
Rick Sizemore, DirectorBirdsall-Hoover Building, Administration OfficeRick.Sizemore@wwrc.virginia.gov(540) 332-7162
Kathy Trossi, OD&QA Division DirectorMary Switzer Building, Suite 25-29Kathy.Trossi@wwrc.virginia.gov(540) 332-7230

 

  • Relevant sections of the WWRC Administrative Governance Manual (AGM):