The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is the long-awaited reauthorization and update of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA). After passing with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress, President Obama signed WIOA into law on July 22, 2014 and it first went into effect on July 1, 2015. WIOA increases the focus of employment and training programs on those with the most barriers to employment while aligning workforce training, education providers, and social services. This page will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. If you have any updates or suggestions for improving it, please let us know!
Illinois Unified State Plan
WIOA requires each state to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Labor that outlines the state’s four-year strategy for their workforce development system. States submit either a unified or combined state plan. A unified state plan, which Illinois has chosen to submit, must cover the six “core” federal programs authorized under WIOA: adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs under Title I; adult education programs under Title II; Wagner-Peyser Employment services programs under Title III; and vocational rehabilitation services under Title IV. A combined plan includes all six “core” federal programs required for the unified plan, but also adds at least one of eleven partner programs identified under WIOA, including SNAP E&T and TANF programs.
Illinois’ partner agencies are now reviewing public comments and a final version of the Unified State Plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor by April 1, 2016. Final rules for the implementation of WIOA will be release by June 2016.
CJC has recently submitted final comments and recommendations on the Illinois WIOA Unified State Plan to the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity. The following six key recommendations are put forward in CJC’s WIOA State Plan comments:
CJC also supports comments submitted by its member organizations, which can be found below:
WIOA Works is the state of Illinois’ site for WIOA implementation details. There is not much here yet, but there is a page of WIOA resources, and a table of WIOA measures that are different or new.
The Center for Law and Social Policy
CLASP has a WIOA Game Plan to maximize opportunities for low-income people, which includes multiple “opportunities for action” recommendations.
CLASP also has an informational WIOA resource page with multiple useful papers and reports, including:
Department of Labor
The Department of Labor provides multiple resources to understand WIOA, its goals, and how it will differ from WIA. Among them are the following:
On October 15, 2014, the DOL hosted a WIOA town hall meeting for the Chicago region. Here is the power point from the meeting.
The DOL has expressed a clear interest in feedback from stakeholders as they develop WIOA guidelines. They can be emailed with ideas, concerns, or other questions at DOL.WIOA@dol.gov. Additionally, the department will be seeking comments on Federal Register Notices (FRN) as proposed data collections and draft regulations become available.
Department of Education
The US Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education maintains a page of WIOA resources and updates, with special emphasis on adult education. Select resources include:
National Skills Coalition
The National Skills Coalition also has a resource page dedicated to WIOA information, including: