What the Workforce Investment Act does to reduce unemployment

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Enacted by the US Congress in 1998, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is targeted toward reducing unemployment by helping all type of workers find jobs befitting their skills or get them training to qualify for jobs available in their community. Although funded on the national level, WIA programs are administered by the states through local agencies such as Central Arizona Governments, the agency created through the partnership of Pinal and Gila Counties.

Nationwide the WIA program provides job training to economically disadvantaged adults and youth, while providing employers with a workforce trained through community colleges, vocational schools, on-the-job training (OJT), and work experience. Key elements to the WIA program are community linkages, individualized training, and service placement. Eligible participants have the opportunity to enhance their employability to compete for the jobs and meet the current needs of the local labor market. These include:

• Individualized case management/career planning to provide job development and job placement.

• One-Stop Centers provide fully equipped resource room for job search activities (telephone for making appointments, computers for completing resumes and employment applications, access to local, state and county job banks, etc.).

• Assessment testing – vocational aptitude and ability testing to assist in career decision making and for training/employment matches.

• Job search and self-sufficiency workshops to produce skills and job search and job retention.

• Basic education and GED preparation – computerized academic training through open entry/open exit classes based on individual need.

• Applicable support services (work clothing, child care, transportation needs, medical/dental/vision needs, etc.).

A key feature of WIA is the One-Stop Delivery System for workforce investment activities. This is a system where entities responsible for administering separate workforce investment, educational and other human resource programs and funding streams collaborate to create a seamless system of service delivery designed to enhance access to the programs’ services and improve long-term employment outcomes for individuals receiving assistance. Besides adults, youths and dislocated workers, this system also serves the special needs of veterans, senior citizens and Native Americans; and oversee employment and training activities connected to the US Department of Urban Development and community services block grants.

Administration of WIA in Arizona is provided by the state Department of Economic Security (DES). Oversight functions include fiscal tracking, participant data tracking, reporting to the US Department of Labor, monitoring the Local Workforce Investment Areas and local service providers for compliance and quality issues, providing training and technical assistance to the system and policy interpretation and development.

Pursuant to federal law, 95 percent of WIA funds are allocated to Local Workforce Investment Areas, with the remaining 5 percent available for discretionary purposes such as administration, statewide initiatives, and competitive grants for employment and training programs.

Core WIA services overseen at the local level include:

• Determining eligibility to receive assistance under WIA Title I

• Outreach, intake and orientation to the information and other services available through the One-Stop delivery system

• Initial assessment of skill levels, aptitudes, abilities, and supportive service needs (child care and transportation and referral to other services as appropriate)

• Job search and placement assistance and where appropriate career counseling

• Provision of employment statistical information relating to the local, regional and national labor market areas and provision of performance information and cost information on eligible providers of training services, youth activities, adult education, post-secondary vocational education, vocational education activities available to school dropouts, and vocational rehabilitation, and

• Information regarding filing claims for unemployment compensation.

One-Stop Centers under the Pinal/Gila partnership are located in Casa Grande and Globe.

On May 21, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the US Senate to overhaul the WIA law. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 would both streamline and update the program. New standards for performance after training will be required. For instance, a person taking an adult literacy program under WIA will not be considered trained if he just learns to read. He must prove retention of information required to hold a job. More emphasis will be placed on securing employment for high school dropouts and disabled people.

States, which receive funding based largely on levels of unemployment, will also have to submit a strategic plan showing how they will coordinate training, education, and vocational rehabilitation (services for people with disabilities). The system will become more tailored to individuals, instead requiring that everyone follow a rigid “sequence of services” before they are trained. Bureaucratic rules for managing the program will be simplified.

James Hodl (25 Posts)

James J. Hodl is a career journalist who has worked for newspapers, magazines and trade journals. A graduate of Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, Hodl began his career as a reporter with the Palatine (IL) Herald and the Morton Grove (IL) Review before becoming editor of the trade publication Appliance Service News. In recent years, Hodl has had articles published in Consumers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Home Remodeling, Kitchens & Baths and Salute; and has contributed to trade publications serving the home furnishings, restaurant and casino markets. A native of Chicago, Hodl relocated to San Tan Valley in 2013.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Arboretum November Exhibit: Luminary Artist John Aho

    October 30th, 2014
    by

    Tempe luminary artist John Aho celebrates light, both natural and unnatural. By day he excels at capturing subjects ranging from […]


    Gilbert Artists Teach Camera Basics & Fall Color Nov. 9

    October 30th, 2014
    by

    Editor’s Note: Gilbert pro photographer Michael Madsen shoots with a Nikon, while Patty Van Herpen prefers Canon. The artistic duo […]


    Freeport-McMoRan Awards $60,000 Grant to Experience Matters to Enhance Women’s Economic Empowerment, Reduce Domestic Violence

    October 30th, 2014
    by

    Phoenix- Experience Matters, an organization that is creating a stronger, more vibrant community by connecting the skill and passion of […]


    Cowboys, ranchers to be honored at two events

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    Superior Chamber of Commerce will host La Noche de Vaquero, Night of the Cowboy on Saturday Nov.


  • Stories Just For You

    Panthers light up scoreboard in playoff win

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun The ninth-ranked Panthers fell behind early in their first playoff game appearance since 2011, trailing eighth-ranked Glendale Prep by two touchdowns in the first quarter.


    Elder Yocum’s four TDs leads Bearcats to playoff win

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News Senior quarterback Destry Yocum threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the sixth-ranked Bearcats first-round playoff victory over the Salome last Saturday night.


    Bob Padilla joins the Florence Hall of Fame with brother Art

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    Florence – Bobby Padilla was excited when he got the call that he would be entering the Florence Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a Florence High Gopher football player.


    Free arsenic and lead testing for children, pregnant women offered in Winkelman, Hayden

    October 29th, 2014
    by

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that there are high levels of arsenic and lead in the air, in tailings and other waste piles, and in the soil of


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin