WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT (WIOA)
On July 22, 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) was signed into law having received bi-partisan support of Congress. The WIOA is comprehensive legislation that reforms and modernizes the public workforce system. WIOA reaffirms the role of the public workforce system, and brings together and enhances several employment, education, and training programs. This new law provides resources, services, and leadership tools for the public workforce system to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed and improves employer prospects for success in the global marketplace. It ensures that the public workforce system operates as a comprehensive, integrated, and streamlined system to provide pathways to prosperity for those it serves and continuously improves the quality and performance of its services.
Funds are annually allocated to Alabama by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration for the provision of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Title I services for Youth, Adults, and Dislocated Workers. Eight-five percent of the Adult and Youth funds and at least 65 percent of the Dislocated Worker funds are allocated to the local workforce development areas for administration (limited to 10 percent of each funding source) of the local workforce programs, the provision of services for adults, youth, and dislocated workers through the One-Stop Career Centers to include career center services, occupational skills training via individual training accounts (scholarships) at local public and/or private postsecondary institutions, on-the-job training, work-based training and educational services for youth via sub recipient agreements with Youth Program providers.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) allows for 15 percent of the Adult, Youth, and Dislocated Worker formula allocation to the states to be retained at the state level for statewide activities (10 percent for statewide required and allowable activities and 5 percent for state level administration of the WIOA program). The WIOA allows up to 25 percent of the state’s annual dislocated worker funds allocation to be retained for Rapid Response activities. Per the WIOA, statewide activities must include: Rapid Response activities; dissemination of required information relative to the eligible training provider list; conducting evaluations of activities under the WIOA Title I core programs in order to promote continuous improvement; providing technical assistance to State entities and agencies, local areas, and One-Stop partners in carrying out activities in the State Plan, including coordination and alignment of data systems used to carry out the requirements of the Act; assisting local areas, One-Stop operators, One-Stop partners, and eligible providers, including development of staff, including staff training to provide opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment to enter in-demand industry sectors or occupations, and nontraditional occupations, and development of exemplary program activities; assisting local areas for carrying the regional planning and service delivery efforts required under WIOA Section 106(c); assisting local areas by providing information on and support for the effective development, convening, and implementation of industry and sector partnerships; providing technical assistance to local areas that fail to meet the adjusted levels of performance agreed to under 20 CFR677.210 of the WIOA’s Implementing Regulations; carrying out monitoring and oversight of activities for services to youth, adults, and dislocated workers under WIOA Title I, and which may include a review comparing services provided to male and female youth; providing additional assistance to local areas that have a high concentration of eligible youth; and operating a fiscal and management accountability information system, based on guidelines established by the U.S. Secretary of Labor. management information systems, and evaluations of the One-Stop System building.
Allowable statewide activities may include: State administration of the adult, dislocated worker, and youth workforce investment activities, consistent with the five percent administration cost limitation at WIOA Section 134(a)(3)(B) and 20 CFR683.205(a)(a); developing and implementing innovative programs and strategies designed to meet the needs of all employers (including small employers) in the State; developing strategies for serving individuals with barriers to employment, and for coordinating programs and services among One-Stop partners; development or identification of education and training programs that have characteristics referenced in WIOA Section 134(a)(3)(A)(iii); implementing programs to increase the number of individuals training for and placed in non-traditional employment; conducting research and demonstrations related to meeting the employment and education needs of youth, adults, and dislocated workers; supporting the development of alternative, evidence-based programs, and other activities that enhance choices available to eligible youth and which encourage youth to reenter and complete secondary education, enroll in postsecondary education and advanced training, progress through a career pathway, and enter into unsubsidized employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency; supporting the provision of career services in the One-Stop delivery system in the State; supporting financial literacy activities; providing incentive grants to local areas for performance by the local area on local performance accountability measures; providing technical assistance to local workforce development boards, chief elected officials, One-Stop Operators, One-Stop partners, and eligible providers in local areas on the development of exemplary program activities and on the provision of technology to facilitate remote access to services provided through the One-Stop delivery system in the State; providing technical assistance to local areas that are implementing WIOA Pay-for-Performance contract strategies and conducting evaluations of such strategies; carrying out activities to facilitate remote access to training services provided through the One-Stop delivery system; activities to improve coordination of employment and training activities with child support services and activities, cooperative extension programs carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, programs carried out by local areas for with disabilities, adult education and literacy including those provided by public libraries, activities in the correction systems to assist ex-offenders in reentering the workforce and financial literacy activities; developing and disseminating workforce and labor market information; implementation of promising practices for workers and businesses in accordance with the WIOA; adopting, calculating, or commissioning for approval an economic self-sufficiency standard for the State that specifies the income needs of families, by family size, the number and ages of children in the family, and sub-State geographical considerations; developing and disseminating common intake procedures and related items, including registration processes, across core and partner programs; and coordinating activities with the child welfare system to facilitate provision of services for children and youth, who ae eligible for assistance under Section 477 of the Social Security Act.
The Workforce Development Division of the Department of Commerce is the State’s administrative entity for the WIOA program in Alabama with the responsibility to carry out the functions related to grant administration and provision of services (as noted above) for the funds (Five Percent Administrative, Ten Percent Program, and Rapid Response) retained at the State Level.
Required WIOA State Level functions of the Workforce Development Division are described below for each section within the Division.
WIOA Fact Sheet