Publication Date

10-27-2015

Abstract

[Excerpt] The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA; P.L. 113-128), which succeeded the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220) as the primary federal workforce development legislation, was enacted in July 2014 to bring about increased coordination among federal workforce development and related programs. Most of WIOA’s provisions went into effect July 1, 2015. WIOA authorizes appropriations for each of FY2015 through FY2020 to carry out the programs and activities authorized in the legislation.

Workforce development programs provide a combination of education and training services to prepare individuals for work and to help them improve their prospects in the labor market. They may include activities such as job search assistance, career counseling, occupational skill training, classroom training, or on-the-job training. The federal government provides workforce development activities through WIOA’s programs and other programs designed to increase the employment and earnings of workers.

WIOA includes five titles: Workforce Development Activities (Title I), Adult Education and Literacy (Title II), Amendments to the Wagner-Peyser Act (Title III), Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Title IV), and General Provisions (Title V). Title I, whose programs are primarily administered through the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), includes three state formula grant programs, multiple national programs, and Job Corps. Title II, whose programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), includes a state formula grant program and National Leadership activities. Title III amends the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, which authorizes the Employment Service (ES). Title IV amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which authorizes vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities. Title V includes provisions for the administration of WIOA.

The WIOA system provides central points of service via its system of around 3,000 One-Stop centers nationwide, through which state and local WIOA employment and training activities are provided and certain partner programs must be coordinated. This system is supposed to provide employment and training services that are responsive to the demands of local area employers. Administration of the One-Stop system occurs through Workforce Development Boards (WDBs), a majority of whose members must be representatives of business and which are authorized to determine the mix of service provision, eligible providers, and types of training programs, among other decisions. WIOA provides universal access (i.e., an adult age 18 or older does not need to meet any qualifying characteristics) to its career services, including a priority of service for low- income adults. WIOA also requires Unified State Plans (USPs) that outline the workforce strategies for the six core WIOA programs—adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs (Title I of WIOA), the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA; Title II of WIOA), the Employment Service program (amended by Title III of WIOA), and the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grant Program (amended by Title IV of WIOA). Finally, WIOA adopts the same six “primary indicators of performance” across most of the programs authorized in the law.

This report provides details of WIOA Title I state formula program structure, services, allotment formulas, and performance accountability. In addition, it provides a program overview for national grant programs. It also offers a brief overview of the Employment Service (ES), which is authorized by separate legislation but is an integral part of the One-Stop system created by WIOA.

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Suggested Citation
Bradley, D. H. (2015). The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the One-Stop delivery system (CRS Report R44252). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

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