The Workforce Innovation and opportunity Act of 2014
President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Congress passed the Act by a wide bipartisan majority; it is the first legislative reform in 15 years of the public workforce system.
WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In general, the Act takes effect on July 1, 2015, the first full program year after enactment, unless otherwise noted. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will issue further guidance on the timeframes for implementation of these changes and proposed regulations reflecting the changes in WIOA soon after enactment.
WIOA brings together, in strategic coordination, the core programs of Federal investment in skill development:
- employment and training services for adults, dislocated workers, and youth and Wagner-Peyser employment services administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) through formula grants to states; and
- adult education and literacy programs and Vocational Rehabilitation state grant programs that assist individuals with disabilities in obtaining employment administered by the Department of Education (DoED).
WIOA also authorizes programs for specific vulnerable populations, including the Job Corps, YouthBuild, Indian and Native Americans, and Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker programs as well as evaluation and multistate projects administered by DOL. In addition, WIOA authorizes other programs administered by DoED and the Department of Health and Human Services.
WIOA replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and retains and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The Tennessee Career System is comprised of three types of facilities: Regional Comprehensive Career Centers, Affiliate Sites and local Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDOL&WD) local offices.
The regional labor market in Southeast Tennessee has been designated Local Workforce Investment Area # 5 and includes the following counties:
- Bledsoe County
- Bradley County
- Hamilton County
- Marion County
- McMinn County
- Meigs County
- Polk County
- Rhea County
- Sequatchie County
The Administrative Entity that disburses funds for workforce investment activities at the direction of the Local Workforce Investment Board with the concurrence of the Local Chief Elected Official is –The Southeast Tennessee Development District.
To deliver services across a vast geographical area, a comprehensive network of One Stop Career Centers has been developed. In each Career Center location, a number of different training, education and employment programs are unified to provide more customer friendly service to business and to job seekers. Partner unification occurs through co-location or accommodation through established systems of referral.
The Local Workforce Investment Board
The Local Board is responsible for developing the Local Plan and conducting oversight of the One-Stop system, youth activities and employment and training activities in partnership with the chief elected official. The Local Board is also responsible for the following:
- Selecting One-Stop operators;
- Selecting eligible youth service providers based on the recommendations of the Youth Council, and identifying eligible providers of adult and dislocated worker intensive services and training services;
- Developing a budget for the purpose of carrying out the duties of the Local Board;
- Negotiating and reaching agreement on local performance measures;
- Coordinating workforce investment activities with economic development strategies and developing employer linkages;
- Other duties as defined by WIOA.
The Youth Council is a subgroup of the Local Workforce Investment Board. It is responsible for the following:
- Coordinating youth activities in a local area;
- Developing portions of the local plan related to eligible youth, as determined by the chairperson of the Local Board;
- Recommending eligible youth service providers, subject to the approval of the Local Board;
- Conducting oversight with respect to eligible providers of youth activities in the local area, subject to the approval of the Local Board;
- Carrying out other duties, as authorized by the chairperson of the Local Board.
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