LOCAL EMPLOYMENT PLANNING COUNCIL (LEPC)

LEPC Strategic Plan Template Instructions


Introduction

The Employment Ontario Local Employment Planning Councils (LEPCs) Strategic Plan template is to be completed by all LEPCs requesting funding to deliver LEPC services. This document contains specific instructions on how to complete the Strategic Plan template provided.

Purpose

The Strategic Plan is one of the most important tools in maximizing an organization’s likelihood of success in meeting its goals and objectives. The purpose of the Strategic Plan is for the LEPC to indicate how they will achieve their performance commitments, in agreement with the ministry, within budget and within the pilot period. Once completed, the Strategic Plan will inform the performance commitments that will be included in your amended LEPC agreement. The LEPC Strategic Plan template must:

  • be evidenced-based;
  • identify the LEPC’s strategic priorities for the coming year; and,
  • be informed through consultation with community stakeholders.

The following principles will help guide pilot activities. LEPCs will:

  • be as ‘local’ as possible, considering the unique context of pilot communities;
  • ensure local planning and service coordination is integrated and encompasses Employment Ontario as well as other locally delivered employment, training, human and support services;
  • assist all stakeholders, particularly service providers and employers, to attain a shared understanding of issues affecting local labour market supply and demand through the collection and dissemination of labour market information which is relevant to the local context; and
  • foster collaboration amongst all stakeholders within the community, including other ministries and other levels of government.

LEPC Program Objectives

The purpose of the LEPC pilot is to create a network of intermediaries aimed at improving conditions in local communities through improved collection and dissemination of local labour market information, and community engagement to drive local approaches in the planning and delivery of employment and training services. The LEPC will help to

  • Improve employer participation rates in employment and training programs (e.g. Employment Service (ES) job placements, etc.);
  • Improve rates of service coordination amongst local service providers (e.g. increase service coordination rates amongst EO service providers operating in the community); and
  • Improve integrated local planning of EO and non-EO services amongst service providers.

Ministry Responsibilities

The ministry is responsible for advising the LEPC on:

  • Appropriate timelines for the submission of the LEPC Strategic Plan template;
  • Government and ministry priorities, provincial legislation, and other elements which may have an impact on the strategic planning of the LEPC; and
  • Identification of issues that must be addressed prior to final approval of the LEPC Strategic Plan template.

The ministry will review each LEPC Strategic Plan template submission and consider if performance commitments are appropriate for the funding to be received.

LEPC Responsibilities

LEPCs will include details in their Strategic Plan template to illustrate the relationship between:

  • the strategic plan deliverables to be undertaken from April 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017;
  • the pilot objectives;
  • the intended outcomes of the strategic plan deliverables and the impact on LEPC stakeholders; and
  • performance measures to be used to evaluate the success/impact of deliverables and the benefit to stakeholders.

Ministry staff is committed to supporting the LEPC in developing their Strategic Plan; however, each organization will be held accountable for the deliverables identified in its Strategic Plan, within budget and indicated timelines.

Strategic Plan Instructions

Introduction

This LEPC Strategic Plan template is designed to provide a consistent approach for all funded LEPCs to identify performance commitments/deliverables and how they will achieve these performance commitments, in agreement with the ministry, within budget and within the pilot timelines.

The LEPC Strategic Plan template represents the opportunity for planning, and the LEPC may attach any supporting documentation (i.e. organizational charts, etc.) where necessary. In addition the ministry may request the LEPC to provide more detail or additional supporting documentation as needed.

All sections of the LEPC Strategic Plan template must be completed in full except where stated otherwise.

The LEPC Strategic Plan PDF template will be posted to the Employment Ontario Partners Gateway (EOPG) website.

The LEPC Strategic Plan template is a PDF fillable form. You must have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer in order to complete the template. Please contact the IT technical support person or department in your organization should you need assistance with Adobe Acrobat.

Once you have completed the template, save it on your computer’s hard drive in a folder that you can easily access.

Handwritten submissions will not be accepted.

It is recommended that you refer to your LEPC agreement and the Call for Proposal (CfP) Application Guide when completing your LEPC Strategic Plan template.

More detailed instructions on how to submit the plan are located on the first page of the LEPC Strategic Plan template and in this document in Section 5.13 Strategic Plan Submission.

Please contact your MTCU employment and training consultant if further assistance is required.

LEPC Contact Information and Declaration

This section of the template includes a variety of basic information about your organization including your corporate contact information.

The Corporate Contact is the person who will receive all of the system generated emails such as the Estimate of Expenditure Reports (EERs), Statement of Revenue and Expenditure Reports (SRERs) and other reporting templates. If there is a person more appropriate than the current corporate contact to receive this information, please insert their name and contact details in this section.

The Service Provider Signing Authority is an officer or representative who is vested with the powers to commit the organization to a legally binding agreement and can be listed as the corporate contact. Examples are chief executive officers, presidents, executive directors, etc.

It is the responsibility of each organization to ensure that any individual signing documents such as strategic plans, LEPC agreements or reports has the legal authority to bind the organization.

Tip: To ensure transparency and accountability, it is considered a best practice to ensure that your ministry employment and training consultant has an updated list of the individuals, such as board members, who possess legal signing authority.

PART 1: LEPC STRATEGIC PLAN INTRODUCTION

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary provides a synopsis of the Strategic Plan and is designed to give the ministry and other stakeholders a brief overview of the information contained in the Strategic Plan and the prime objective of the Strategic Plan. The summary should be brief and should not contain unnecessary procedural details or detailed financial plans.

Background and Mandate

This section should describe the mandate of the LEPC, as set out in its legal agreement with the ministry. It should briefly outline any statements of accountability, special reporting requirements or other review date(s) for the LEPC.

The LEPC vision or value statements should be included. For example, a good vision statement speaks to the future and impact of the LEPC. This answers the question “Where do we want to be?” and “What will be the desired impact of our work in our community?” As well a good values statement should answer “What do we believe in?”

The LEPC should demonstrate the link between its mandate and the ministry’s objectives, strategies and activities, as well as the government’s priorities, where appropriate.

Organizational Overview

This section describes your organizational capacity and expertise that qualifies your organization to undertake the deliverables proposed in your Strategic Plan. This section must describe what organizational changes have taken place since the start of the pilot. This section answers “What organizational changes have we undertaken to position us for success?”

Advisory Committees

This section should describe the LEPC advisory committee structure that has been established to carry out the LEPCs intended functions. This structure must include the following:

  • Central Planning Table: comprised of key community representatives such as service providers, employer groups, and different levels of government (i.e., municipalities, federal and provincial government departments and ministries, including the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities).
  • Subject-Matter Working Group(s): more focused and detailed engagement related to specific local labour market issues or subject matter areas. The working group structure must include:
    • Industry Engagement: comprised of key industry, labour and community representatives;
    • Service Planning: comprised of key service providers, network representatives and local community advocacy groups; and
    • Intergovernmental/Inter-Ministerial: comprised of representatives from key municipal, provincial and federal government departments and ministries that deliver services in the community.
  • Secretariat: provides support in the following areas:
    • Administration (organizing and facilitating meeting, events, etc.);
    • Labour market information, collection, analysis and dissemination to local community Stakeholders;
    • Stakeholder liaison, engagement and partnership building.

PART 2: STRATEGIC PLAN DEVELOPMENT

Background on Local Labour Market Conditions

This section should provide some background facts about communities within the LEPC catchment, as well as some of the local labour market challenges and opportunities identified. It should also include an historic overview of local employment/labour market trends, as well as current concerns and challenges. This section should provide an overview of findings on local conditions identified by the LEPC and other stakeholders in the catchment area. This section should also provide the short-term and long-term impacts of the LEPC.

Tip: Short term impacts are anticipated impacts to the community during the course of the 18-month span of the pilot. Long-term impacts are the anticipated impact on the community past the length of the pilot project.

Plan Development

This section should describe the process undertaken by the LEPC to develop the strategic plan. Specifically the LEPC should outline:

  • Consultations, outreach and partnership development activities undertaken with a wide range of local stakeholders in order to mobilize the community to identify and address local labour market issues and opportunities, and workforce development needs.
  • The evidence-based research approaches used to identify the local labour market challenges, opportunities stated in the previous section. This includes a summary of findings from qualitative and quantitative research studies that will be used to identify goals and projects in the strategic plan.
  • Any background analysis of local employment, labour market and socio-demographic characteristics that was used to inform the strategic plan.

LEPCs can use this section as an opportunity to summarize any major limitations of the proposed research activities that might impede on their ability to draw clear conclusions about the local challenges/ opportunities identified in the plan. LEPC should therefore also describe how they will address these limitations through subsequent activities during the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

PART 3: LEPC PERFORMANCE COMMITMENTS

General Instructions

LEPCs will support the improvement of labour market conditions in local communities through undertaking the following activities, supported by evidence and identified as a priority by community partners.

  • Labour Market Information and Intelligence: expanding current understanding of local labour market issues and needs and improving access to labour market information resources. Specifically, the ministry has identified the following as priorities for LEPC:
    • Develop an understanding of local labour market characteristics using pre-existing data sources
    • Develop an understanding of local labour market characteristics through community outreach
    • Identify key changes to local community workforce characteristics
    • Identify industry, human resources or social economic trends affecting the local labour market.
    • Analyze training needs and employment opportunities in the community or in local industries.
    • Identify potential skill set misalignments between in-demand occupations and local labour market supply

For example one of the deliverables for LEPCs would be delivering information sessions to build local capacity to analyze and interpret local labour market information for effective planning.

  • Integrated Planning: serving as a central point of contact and key facilitator for linking employers, service providers, other ministries and levels of government and other community groups to identify and respond to labour market and workforce development challenges and opportunities, and gaps in employment and training and human and social services, through collaborative planning.
  • Service Coordination for Employers:  acting as a hub for connecting employers, industry associations, sector groups and other employer groups with appropriate employment and training services to address their workforce development needs; working with local employment and training service providers, including those outside the Employment Ontario network such as Ontario Works Employment Assistance (OW-EA) and Ontario Disability Supports Program – Employment Supports (ODSP-ES), to coordinate services to employers, such as job development and job placements.
  • Research and Innovation: collaborating with community stakeholders to develop projects related to the research and piloting of innovative approaches to addressing local labour market issues or opportunities.  For example one of the deliverables for LEPCs should be conducting community research on specific local labour market issues affecting employers.
  • Sharing Best Practices and Promising Approaches: working with provincial and community organizations, including other LEPCs, to identify and share local best practices that could inform action in other areas.

In addition to the objectives listed above, the LEPCs must also develop effective means of collecting and disseminating local labour market by  

  • Creating a fully functional accessible bilingual website
  • Developing an information dissemination strategy to ensure the resources posted on the LEPC’s website are known to key stakeholders and the public
  • Developing means of collecting and disseminating local labour market knowledge to a variety of different audiences

LEPCs must identify proposed deliverables and performance measures for each of the five LEPC activity areas.

The ministry has adopted an approach to strategic planning based on the process map illustrated below:

Strategic Plan process map

Each of the terms will be further defined in the sections below; however, the graphic above shows the relationship between the main components of the performance commitments in the strategic plan template.

Strategic Goal

This section should include a brief overview of the planned objective that the LEPC strives to achieve. Goals and objectives provide organizations with a blueprint that determines a course of action and aids them in preparing for meeting community needs. A Strategic Goal can be defined as the planned objectives that the LEPC strives to achieve during the 18-month pilot project. The maximum length for this section in the Strategic Plan template is 500 characters.

Deliverable

A deliverable is the product of a project or program activity. They are usually measured in terms of the work accomplished (i.e. number of workshops conducted, tools developed, materials distributed, etc.).

LEPCs must identify proposed deliverables and performance measures for each of the five LEPC objectives outlined in section 5.1.

LEPCs must refer to Schedule A of their LEPC agreement and the CfP Application Guide for a comprehensive description of the five activity areas prior to identifying specific deliverables.

Please note that as part of ministry reporting on deliverables, the ministry requires that LEPCs provide access to products and outcomes, and appropriate source data to evaluate the pilot.  Examples include 3rd party evaluator reports, survey instruments, consultation summaries and reports, and supporting data analysis. 

Also, the strategic plan is not a comprehensive list of all activities undertaken by a LEPC within the pilot period. If there is not a concrete deliverable, then this activity should be considered part of an organization’s broader operations. The maximum length for this section in the Strategic Plan template is 500 characters.  

Expected Outcome

An outcome is the benefit or change to the community that occurs as a result of the project or program and is tied to a specific deliverable. An outcome is measureable and may relate to behavior, skills, knowledge, attitudes, values or other attributes. An outcome should answer the question: “How is a stakeholder better off after having received the service or product developed?” The maximum length for this section in the Strategic Plan template is 500 characters.

Examples of an outcome are included below:

Start-Up Phase Outcomes:

  • Establishment of LEPC planning tables, working groups and secretariat.
  • Increased community engagement on workforce development issues through expanded outreach to diverse local actors such as employers, service providers, municipalities and other stakeholders.
  • Improved community awareness of the local labour market landscape, including labour market supply and demand conditions, skills imbalances and the diverse workforce development needs of employers. 
  • Improved awareness of the systems of employment, training and other related programs and services available within the community and how they interact or do not interact with each other.

Post Start-Up Phase Outcomes:

  • Increased innovative and diverse service delivery or planning partnerships amongst community providers and other actors.
  • Clear articulation of, and responses to, local labour market issues such as labour supply and demand, skills imbalance and the diverse workforce development needs of employers.
  • Clear articulation of employment, training and other programs and services successes, gaps and duplications.
  • Improved local evidence base of labour market information.
  • Improved local service planning, access and program delivery.

Performance Measure

A performance measure must be developed to evaluate how effective a deliverable has been in achieving its intended outcome. Developing a performance measure involves specifying one or more indicators for each outcome to serve as the evidence of whether a deliverable has achieved its outcome and how successful it has been. The maximum length for this section in the Strategic Plan template is 500 characters.

The initial focus for LEPC performance will be on the measurement and collection of data to support the development of baseline performance standards, and from which an overall service quality standard may subsequently be determined, should the pilot be scaled into a full program.

To develop a performance measure one must identify:

  • a specific, observable and measureable characteristic or change that will represent the achievement of an outcome; and
  • the specific indicators that will capture the level of achievement.

Role

In this section, LEPCs should indicate which role their organization will fulfill through the lifecycle of a project deliverable. Each organization’s role should be discussed and clearly articulated before the Strategic Plan is completed. For the purpose of the Strategic Plan, the roles of the Lead and Partner are described below.

Lead: The lead organization will take primary responsibility for managing the work and directing the collaboration which will result in the outlining of a performance measure, the completion of the deliverable, and the achievement and reporting of an outcome. They will also take the lead in communicating progress with partner organization to ensure that all timelines and commitments can be met.

Partner: A LEPC will be identified as a partner when developing a formal program and service planning partnership with one or more community stakeholders in which the LEPC is not the lead. These partnerships should address issues identified during governance process and as much as possible align with and support Employment Ontario priorities. During such partnerships it is best practice to develop and sign a memorandum of understanding in advance of undertaking any collaborative projects.  

Funder: LEPC provides funding (financial support) to a third party to develop a research and innovation project. LEPCs must have business practices in place when funding projects to:

  • Conduct outreach with community stakeholders to raise awareness of LEPC support for local labour market research and innovation projects;
  • Conduct open, transparent and evidence-based intake, assessment and selection of project proposals;
  • Develop project funding agreements with clearly articulated deliverables, payment schedules and legal accountability;
  • Monitor design, development, implementation and outcomes of all funded projects; and,
  • Ensure project funds were spent appropriately and represent value for money through audit and accountability measures.

Note: As per the LEPC agreement, LEPCs must assess, select and fund a minimum of one research and innovation project to address identified labour market issues, challenges, or opportunities delivered directly by the LEPC as well as allocate a portion of their regular operating funds to funding a minimum of one research and innovation project through a third-party local Stakeholder.

Start Date and Completion Date

It is the expectation of the ministry that LEPCs will plan to have deliverables beginning and ending at different points throughout the year. Progress on deliverables will be monitored via quarterly reporting. Maintaining and planning timelines is particularly important when collaborating as the lead organization will be responsible for notifying any partnering or supporting organizations of any delays.

It is the responsibility of the LEPC to inform their MTCU employment and training consultant if any deliverable will not be completed by the contracted Completion Date. If a deliverable cannot be completed at all, an organization may choose to submit another deliverable in its place.

The submission, amendment or approval of all deliverables is at the discretion of the ministry and any changes to contracted commitments must be discussed with your MTCU employment and training consultant.

Rationale for Proposed Activities

This section must include an overview of the reason for choosing the course of action described in the Deliverables section.

In the instances where a research project is proposed the LEPCs must use this section to describe limitations of the proposed research activities that might impede on their ability to draw clear conclusions about the local challenges/ opportunities identified in the plan. LEPC should therefore also describe how they will address these limitations through subsequent activities during the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

Methodology

When a deliverable includes a research project, LEPCs must use this section to describe how they will carry out the research project to address the local challenge/ opportunity identified in the Strategic Plan.

The methodology section should include a brief description of the research project and the methodologies being proposed to address the research question(s). This includes a brief description of the type of research project and methods that will be used to collect and analyze data. Examples include: literature review, inter-jurisdictional scan, environmental scan, quantitative or qualitative data analysis.

This section should identify labour market information and data sources, consultation tools and frameworks, and research methods that will be used. If the project involves primary or secondary data collection, this section should describe how this data will be obtained (e.g. survey instrument, secondary source, structured or semi-structured interviews etc.).

This section should also describe limitations of the proposed research activities that might impact their ability to support clear conclusions about the local challenges/ opportunities identified in the plan. LEPC should therefore also describe how they plan to address these limitations through subsequent activities during the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

In the instances where a research project is proposed the LEPCs must use this section to describe how they plan on addressing the local challenge/ opportunity identified.

As outlined in the LEPC agreement, when undertaking research, the LEPCs must adhere to the following guidelines and principles for the purposes of providing high-quality, objective research and analyses:

  • Be objective and systematic in designing and conducting research projects and data analysis;
  • Be transparent about research intentions, methodology and limitations, distortions in data and biases in analysis;
  • Employ technically sound research methodology that is appropriate for the intended purpose of the research;
  • Make conclusions and recommendations that are based on research and analysis that is rigorous and methodologically-sound;
  • Employ systematic approaches to data collection, review, verification, and storage methods;
  • Employ technically sound methodologies and analyses that are appropriate for the intended purpose;

LEPCs must also use this section to identify if the products from this delivery that are to be disseminated publicly will be reviewed by a qualified third-party independent researcher employed for the purposes of providing insight and direction on all research-related activities (e.g. the development of data collection tools and instruments, research analyses, and research reports) prior to publication. A clear explanation must be provided if the LEPC proposes not employing the services of a third-party independent researcher for the deliverable.

LEPCs are also expected to fund research and innovation projects through their regular operating funds. They must conduct an open, transparent and evidence-based intake, assessment and selection of project proposals and ensure project funds were spent appropriately through financial oversight and accountability.

Milestones

This section must include an overview of the key milestones and the expected dates for the proposed deliverable. The LEPC will report and provide feedback against performance commitments/deliverable achievement and management through their Quarterly Status and Adjustment Report (QSAR). The milestone fields are restricted to 500 characters.

Additional Deliverables

At the bottom of each table there is an option available to add another deliverable for the objective. Clicking on this button opens up a new table with the LEPC activity area filled in and the rest of the fields empty.

Deliverable Example

The following table is intended to help illustrate the connection between the process map presented in Section 5.1 and the Strategic plan template.
•	Example of a LEPC Performance Commitment from the Strategic Plan template for Labour Market Information and Intelligence

Example of a LEPC Performance Commitment, continued

Please note, not all information included in the LEPC Strategic Plan template will be pulled into the amended LEPC agreement. Only the Deliverable and Completion Date fields will be used in the contract creation process. The remaining fields will be used to inform discussions with your MTCU employment and training consultant and facilitate monitoring and reporting.

Strategic Plan Submission

 
Once completed, the LEPC Strategic Plan template will inform the performance commitments in your amended LEPC agreement.

  • The LEPC Strategic Plan template submission deadline is 11:59 pm on March 17, 2016.
  • Email your LEPC Strategic Plan template to your MTCU employment and training consultant (ETC) with the following subject header: LEPC STRATEGIC PLAN, <Site ID>, <community name> e.g. LEPC_STRATEGIC PLAN 1234A_ABC Community
  • Email a copy of the completed LEPC Strategic Plan template to the LEPC Mailbox.