On July 22, 2014, then President Obama passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to amend the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 and to provide states and local areas the flexibility to collaborate across systems in an effort to better address the employment and skills needs of current employees, jobseekers, and employers, and to promote individual and national economic growth. WIOA modernizes and streamlines the Workforce Investment Act, which had been due for reauthorization since 2003. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.
Objectives of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
- Requires States to Strategically Align Workforce Development Programs: WIOA ensures that employment and training services provided by the core programs are coordinated and complementary so that job seekers acquire skills and credentials that meet employers' needs.
- Promotes Accountability and Transparency: WIOA ensures that Federal investments in employment and training programs are evidence-based and data-driven, and accountable to participants and tax-payers.
- Fosters Regional Collaboration: WIOA promotes alignment of workforce development programs with regional economic development strategies to meet the needs of local and regional employers.
- Improves the American Job Center (AJC) System: WIOA increases the quality and accessibility of services that job seekers and employers receive at their local AJCs/One-Stop Centers.
- Improves Services to Employers and Promotes Work-Based Training: WIOA contributes to economic growth and business expansion by ensuring the workforce system is job-driven, matching employers with skilled individuals.
- Provides Access to High Quality training: WIOA helps job seekers acquire industry-recognized credentials for in-demand jobs.
- Enhances Workforce Services for the Unemployed and Other Job Seekers: WIOA ensures that unemployed and other job seekers have access to high-quality workforce services.
- Improves Services to Individuals with Disabilities: WIOA increases individuals with disabilities' access to high quality workforce services and prepares them for competitive integrated employment.
- Makes Key Investments in Serving Disconnected Youth and Other Vulnerable Populations: WIOA prepares vulnerable youth and other job seekers for successful employment through increasing the use of proven service models services.
- Streamlines and Strengthens the Strategic Roles of Workforce Development Boards: WIOA makes state and local boards more agile and well-positioned to meet local and regional employers' workforce needs.
5 Year Strategic Local Plan