The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federal law, effective 2015-20, that helps job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services. Under WIOA, the partners that oversee services—government, nonprofit, education, and industry—are tasked with designing programs that ensure workers have the skills they need to get good jobs at family-sustaining wages. The law also helps match employers with the skilled workers they need to stay competitive.
How does WIOA serve the public?
WIOA guides the services available at American Job Centers (AJCs), numbering about 2400 offices, located throughout the Unites States. AJCs provide free help to the public for a variety of career, education and training, and employment-related needs. You can find AJCs in your local area on CareerOneStop.
AJCs offer a self-service resource room which includes computers with Internet access, telephones, and fax machines. Staff are typically available to assist job seekers with building a resume, general career exploration, and job search.
Centers also have experienced career counselors on staff who work with job seekers to identify their interests, assess their skills and abilities, and advise them on in-demand jobs and potential training opportunities. Many AJCs also offer recruiting events, workshops on resume writing, interviewing skills, and job search activities.
AJC programs are overseen by Workforce Development Boards, with representatives from local business, higher education, local elected officials, and workforce experts. They ensure services are consistent and high-quality, and focused on the business needs of the local area.
Who qualifies for education and other special services?
WIOA’s goal is to improve access to job training and education opportunities for people who have barriers to employment. The law emphasizes earning credentials as a foundation for improving career prospects for the long-term. A high value is placed on training that leads to industry-recognized credentials, that are in local demand, and likely to garner a living wage or beyond.
Programs and provisions include these groups:
- individuals with disabilities
- out-of-school and at-risk youth
- youth in foster care or young adults who have aged out of foster care
- formerly incarcerated individuals
- older workers
- veterans, and others
WIOA resources support four titles, or designations.
- Title I serves youth and adults, including workers who have been laid off from jobs, public assistance recipients and other low-income individuals, and individuals who lack some of the basic skills needed for work. Services include paying for education and training, job search classes, summer jobs and internships for youth.
- Title II helps eligible adults who have barriers to employment obtain education, training, or employment. Services include English language and literacy classes, and job search help for immigrants.
- Title III covers services for people who qualify for unemployment insurance. General services for the public are also included in this title, including many AJC services, and referrals to training and education resources.
- Title IV provides employment services for people who have disabilities that are a substantial barrier to employment. Participants may receive diagnosis, an individualized rehabilitation program, counseling and guidance, training, job placement, and services to support job retention.
WIOA also authorizes employment and training services for the Job Corps, YouthBuild, Division of Indian and Native Americans Programs, and National Farmworker Jobs Program.
Explore a variety of career, training, and job search resources on CareerOneStop.
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