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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Workforce Investment Act and the One-Stop Delivery System

David H. Bradley
Specialist in Labor Economics

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA; P.L. 105-220), which succeeded the Job Training Partnership Act (P.L. 97-300) as the main federal workforce development legislation, was enacted to bring about increased coordination among federal workforce development and related programs. WIA authorized the appropriation of “such sums as may be necessary” for each of FY1999 through FY2003 to carry out the programs and activities authorized in the legislation. Authorization of appropriations under WIA expired in FY2003 but has been extended annually through the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Labor-HHS-ED). Reauthorization legislation was considered in the 108th and 109th Congresses. In both the 108th and 109th Congresses, the House and the Senate passed different versions of legislation that would have reauthorized WIA. However, in neither instance did the two chambers reconcile the differences between the bills they had passed. In the 112th Congress, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce ordered reported the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297) but it was not taken to the House floor.

In the 113
th Congress, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has ordered reported H.R. 803—the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act (SKILLS Act). This bill was introduced on February 25, 2013, by Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, the chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. A legislative hearing on H.R. 803 was held before the full Committee on Education and the Workforce on February 26, 2013. On March 6, 2013, the committee, after considering four amendments to H.R. 803, ordered the bill reported by a vote of 23 to 0. H.R. 803 was debated in the House on March 15, 2013, and passed by a vote of 215-202.

WIA includes five titles: Workforce Investment Systems (Title I), Adult Education and Literacy (Title II), Workforce Investment-Related Activities (Title III), Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 (Title IV), and General Provisions (Title V). Title I, whose programs are primarily administered through the Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), includes three state formula grant programs, multiple national programs, Job Corps, and demonstration programs. In addition, Title I authorizes the establishment of a One-Stop delivery system through which state and local WIA training and employment activities are provided and through which certain partner programs must be coordinated. 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 of WIA amends the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, and Title IV amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Title V includes provisions for the administration of WIA.

The focus of this report is on Titles I and II of WIA, both of which authorize programs to provide job search, education, and training activities for individuals seeking to gain or improve their employment prospects. The programs and services in these two titles are covered in detail in this report. Title III of WIA amends the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, which establishes the Employment Service (ES), to make the ES an integral part of the One-Stop system created by WIA. Because the ES is a central part of the One-Stop system, it is discussed briefly in this report even though it is authorized by separate legislation (Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933).

Date of Report: April 5, 2013
Number of Pages: 51
Order Number: R41135
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