WIOA connects individuals to foundational educational resources such as GED prep, English language & literacy and other basic skills education.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is federal legislation designed to expand and strengthen the workforce, particularly supporting marginalized, low-income and youth job seekers with significant barriers to employment. To meet compliance with WIOA standards, state workforce programs must coordinate services to address the needs of both job seekers and employers in their region.
States are required to develop and implement strategic programs for each title of WIOA. Programs are administered through each state's One-Stop center and local partners such as community colleges.
Job training and employment services for unemployed & underemployed adults, youth & dislocated workers
Post-secondary education for eligible adults as well as programs that emphasize basic skills & English language skills for low-literacy adults and immigrants
Integrates the U.S. Employment Service with WIOA's One-Stop career center system (American Job Centers)
Integrates programs that help individuals with disabilities attain employment & independent living into the One-Stop system
WIOA was signed into law in 2014 by President Barack Obama, replacing its predecessor, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). WIA initially established the One-Stop system, requiring that various employment services and required partners colocate in centralized offices across the nation.
WIOA reauthorized these programs and introduced several significant changes:
States were required to develop a unified plan to incorporate all WIOA programs
All adult programs were to be tracked & reported on using a single set of common performance measures
Increased the focus on serving individuals with significant barriers to employment, such as low income or low literacy
WIOA expired in 2020 and has been due for reauthorization since. It passed the House in the spring of 2022 and is currently under review in the Senate. WIOA funding continues to be distributed on a temporary basis, but reauthorization is critical to maintaining the strength of the nation's workforce.