Workforce Investment Act (WIA) At a Glance
Title I Authorizes the new Workforce Investment System:
- Subtitle A contains definitions used in the Act
- Subtitle B describes the new statewide and local workforce investment system (WIBs, One-Stops, Training providers, Youth Councils, State and Local Plans, Adult and Dislocated Worker Services); authorizes funds for adult, dislocated worker, and youth employment and training activities, provides TA
- Subtitle C retains Job Corps as a separate national program; links it to the state workforce development system
- Subtitle D covers all National Programs, e.g., Native American Programs, Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker Programs, Veterans’ Workforce Investment Programs, Youth Opportunity Grants
- Subtitle E covers all Title I administration issues
- Subtitle F repeals JTPA, effective July 1, 2000
Title II Reauthorizes Adult Education and Family Literacy Programs
Title III Workforce Related Activities
- Wagner-Peyser Act (Employment Service)
- Linkages with TAA/NAFTA-TAA, Veterans and Older Americans Acts
Title IV Reauthorizes and Amends the Rehabilitation Act
Title V General WIA Provisions regarding state unified plans, transition provisions, incentive grants.
To view the complete text of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor website at www.doleta.gov/usworkforce/wia/wialaw.pdf.
Passed by Congress in 1998 to help address the challenges of a global economy, the WIA, which replaced the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), took effect July 1, 2000 and provides federal funding for workforce development nationwide. Under WIA, every local workforce area has a Workforce Investment Board (WIB) that oversees the use of WIA funds. Nationwide there are approximately 650 state and local WIBs.
WIA focuses on the needs of employers/businesses and on how to make companies and industries more productive. WIA gives state and local governments the primary responsibility for implementing all programs and mandates an even larger role for business led decision-making. A major goal for WIA is economic development for the business community obtained by growing companies and increasing the number of jobs.
The dual goals of workforce development are to provide the talent and skills employers need to produce and deliver goods and services, as well as raise living standards of working families in America. In order to achieve both of these goals, it is critical to:
- Understand the local labor market and forge strategies to serve both employers and workers;
- Give job seekers and workers effective counseling and access to appropriate training to enable them to earn family-sustaining wages, and
- Assure that the dollars spent on workforce and economic development are spent wisely.
The entities charged with those responsibilities are the approximately 650 state and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) that have been empowered by the federal legislation known as the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). Workforce Investment Boards are business-led, with a requirement that 51% of the membership, as well as the chair, be representatives of the employer community. As the body responsible for serving employers, workers and job seekers, WIBs have the opportunity and responsibility to establish policies that can shape the delivery of services to each of those customers. Boards have broad leeway in determining workforce development policies. Under WIA, they act like a "Board of Directors" for the local labor market area. Their focus is on linking workforce and economic development strategies. The local board's efforts are concentrated on responding to the needs of their labor market-focusing both on the needs and talents of area workers and the needs of area employers.
- Streamlining services through better integration at the street level in the One-Stop delivery system. Programs and providers will co-locate, coordinate and integrate activities and information, so that the system as a whole is coherent and accessible for individuals and businesses alike.
- Empowering individuals in several ways. First, eligible adults are given financial power to use Individual Training Accounts (ITA's) at qualified institutions. These ITA's supplement financial aid already available through other sources. Second, individuals are empowered with greater levels of information and guidance, through a system of consumer reports providing key information on the performance outcomes of training and education providers. Third, individuals are empowered through the advice, guidance, and support available through the One-Stop system, and the activities of One-Stop partners.
- Universal access. Any individual will have access to the One-Stop system and to core employment-related services. Information about job vacancies, career options, student financial aid, relevant employment trends, and instruction on how to conduct a job search, write a resume, or interview with an employer is available to any job seeker in the U.S., or anyone who wants to advance his or her career.
- Increased accountability. The goal of the Act is to increase employment, retention, and earning of participants, and in doing so, improve the quality of the workforce to sustain economic growth, enhance productivity and competitiveness, and reduce welfare dependency. Training providers and their programs also have to demonstrate successful performance to remain eligible to receive funds under the Act.
- Strong role for local workforce investment boards and the private sector, with local, business-led boards acting as "boards of directors," focusing on strategic planning, policy development and oversight of the local workforce investment system. Business and labor have an immediate and direct stake in the quality of the workforce investment system. Their active involvement is critical to the provision of essential data on what skills are in demand, what jobs are available, what career fields are expending, and the identification and development of programs that best meet local employer needs.
- State and local flexibility. States and localities have increased flexibility, with significant authority reserved for the Governor and chief elected officials, to build on existing reforms in order to implement innovative and comprehensive workforce investment systems tailored to meet the particular needs to local and regional labor markets.
- Improved youth programs linked more closely to local labor market needs and community youth programs and services, and with strong connections between academic and occupational learning. Youth programs include activities that promote youth development and citizenship, such as leadership development through voluntary community service opportunities; adult mentoring and follow-up; and targeted opportunities for youth living in high poverty areas.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
• Download the current MOU for 2013. (Due July 2013, complete document)
(PDF file, 3.2 MB)
LWIA #25 Local Plan & Modifications
• Download LWIA #25 Local Plan & Modifications for June 21, 2013
(PDF file, 3.5 MB)