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Wednesday, June 26, 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, 109th, and 112th Congresses. In the 113th Congress, the House passed legislation reauthorizing WIA.

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 and 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 WIA’s programs and other programs designed to increase the employment and earnings of workers.

The WIA system provides central points of service by its system of around 3,000 One-Stop centers nationwide through which state and local WIA training and employment activities are provided and through which 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 Investment Boards (WIBs), 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. Unlike its predecessor, the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), WIA provides universal access to its services. Finally, WIA is oriented toward a work first approach to workforce development, such that placement in employment is the first goal of the services provided under Title I of WIA

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. 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.

This report provides details of WIA Title I state formula program structure, services, allocation formulas, and performance accountability. In addition, it provides a program overview for national grant programs. It also provides brief overviews of Titles II and IV. 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: June 14, 2013
Number of Pages: 51
Order Number: R41135
Price: $29.95

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