The History & Impact of WIOA

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Federal Workforce Development Programs in America: A Timeline

WIOA's numerous predecessors all played a role in shaping the modern-day version of the nation's federal workforce development program.



This act created the United States Employment Service and a nationwide system of public employment offices, setting the foundation for today's One-Stop Career Centers.


Manpower Development Training Act

This act provided federal funding for workforce training programs to improve the technical skills of the unemployed, low-income individuals & welfare recipients.


Comprehensive Employment and Training Act

This act subsidized jobs for underemployed & disadvantaged individuals, including, uniquely, artists. At its peak, over 10,000 artists were employed through federal funding.


Workforce Investment & Opportunity Act

WIOA reauthorized many of the programs under WIA, with additional measures designed to streamline programs & reporting and make services more accessible to disadvantaged job seekers.


Workforce Investment Act

This act created the One-Stop system to consolidate programs and make it easier for individuals to access employment services & other resources from one location.


Job Training and Partnership Act

This act created four individual programs that provided federal funds to support job training for several groups of individuals, including youth, unskilled adults & dislocated workers.

WIOA by the Numbers


people served


received training


yearly decrease in participants


fewer participants in 2020 than in 2016


When will WIOA be reauthorized?

WIOA expired in 2020. A reauthorization passed the House in the spring of 2022 but has remained stalled in Senate committees. While funds are still being appropriated as a part of yearly budgets, full reauthorization is critical to ensuring that funding and program requirements are scaled to meet the needs of today's labor force.

Modernizing WIOA to Meet the Needs of Today's Job Seeker

The numbers don't lie - WIOA needs a modern overhaul. While reauthorization is a necessary step in this process, modernizing WIOA on the case management level is critical to boosting participation, program retention & outcomes.

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