The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA; P.L. 105-220) is the primary federal program that supports workforce development activities, including job search assistance, career development, and job training. WIA established the One-Stop delivery system as a way to co-locate and coordinate the activities of multiple employment programs for adults, youth, and various targeted subpopulations. The delivery of these services occurs primarily through more than 3,000 One- Stop career centers nationwide.
WIA includes four main titles that cover employment and training services, adult education and literacy services, the employment service, and vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities. The authorizations for appropriations for most programs under WIA expired at the end of FY2003. Since that time, WIA programs have been funded through the annual appropriations process.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a markup of S. 1356 (the Workforce Investment Act of 2013) on July 31, 2013, and ordered the bill reported by a vote of 18 to 3. S. 1356 would reauthorize WIA through 2018.
S. 1356 would maintain the One-Stop delivery system established by WIA but would make changes to the programs, services, and governing structure of WIA, through changes to Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), state plan requirements, national programs, and alignment and coordination provisions across all titles. Some of the major changes include the adoption of primary indicators of performance across all WIA titles, the requirement of a Unified State Plan that includes all core programs, the authorization of innovation and replication grants, greater emphasis on economic and employment outcomes for adult education programs, and expanded services for youth and students with disabilities. This report provides a comparison of major themes in current WIA and in S. 1356.