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:
- Prioritize Target Populations with Specific, Focused Strategies
- Make Career Pathways Accessible to Low-Skilled Adults and Youth
- Invest in Work-Based Learning Strategies for Disadvantaged Job Seekers
- Utilize the 21st Century Workforce Development Fund Advisory Committee
- Tie Work-Based Training to Employer Job Quality Standards
- Support Ongoing Professional Development for Frontline Staff
CJC also supports comments submitted by its member organizations, which can be found below:
- Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
- Literacy Works
- Safer Foundation
- Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
- Women Employed
|April 2, 2015||US Depts. of Labor and Education posted proposed WIOA implementation regulations|
|June 15, 2015||Comments due on draft regulations from US Depts. of Labor and Education.|
|July 1, 2015||WIOA effective, but WIA plans and performance measures remain in effect for first full year.|
|April 1, 2016||Deadline for State Unified or Combined Plan submission; Levels for new performance indicators are negotiated as part of approval of Unified or Combined State Plan.|
|June 22, 2016||DOL, DoED and HHS will publish Final Rules to implement WIOA.|
|June 30, 2016||DOL and ED must develop performance indicator relating to effectiveness in
|July 1, 2016||WIOA goes into full effect, replacing WIA plans and performance measures.|
|Full Department of Labor WIOA Implementation Timeline|
Where to Start
- Visit our WIOA Contracts Page, to view contract amounts for all contractors serving Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth jobseeking populations.
- WIOA Works Implementation Page, which includes archives of weekly implementation webinars.
- CLASP’s summary of key WIOA provisions.
- National Skills Coalition’s Side-by-Side Comparison of WIA and WIOA.
- Chicago Jobs Council’s Working Group notes and presentations on WIOA roll out.
- Regulations: Draft WIOA regulations were released by the US Departments of Labor and Education on April 2. The departments are seeking public comment on the proposed regulations by June 15.
- Visit their WIOA Implementation page for archives of weekly webinars.
The Center for Law and Social Policy
CLASP also has an informational WIOA resource page with multiple useful papers and reports, including:
- A helpful summary of key WIOA provisions
- Report: New Opportunities to Improve Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults
- Shared Accountability in WIOA and Career Pathways, a paper outlining the scope of shared accountability under WIOA, and how performance measures can best support integration of service delivery for low-income, lower skilled individuals.
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:
- The Innovation Opportunity Network (ION) is an online learning and teaching community for stakeholders at all levels of implementation
- WIOA Overview
- WIOA Factsheet
- Frequently Asked Questions about WIOA
- The following list of webinars: An Introduction to Key Provisions in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Titles I and III
- Operating Guidance to state workforce systems regarding WIOA Youth Program transition.
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
- Title II Overview
- Making Skills Everyone’s Business
- A video overview of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act:
National Skills Coalition
- A Side-by-Side Comparison of WIA and WIOA. See Below for highlights from the comparison.
- A broad overview webinar called Unpacking WIOA
- The report Realizing Innovation and Opportunity in WIOA: A Playbook for Creating Effective State Plans released concurrently with a webinar
- WIOA Overview Presentation by Jennifer Foster of the Illinois Community College Board, presented at CJC’s December, 2014 Working Group meeting. Among other topics, the presentation covers the integration of activities across titles. See details about new Title II activities.
- Women Employed and Chicago Jobs Council webinar: Illinois Adult Career Pathways: Ready, Set, WIOA (you can also view the slides from the webinar).
- California’s Department of Rehabilitation produced a WIOA Side-by-Side Comparison examining policy changes that will affect vocational rehabilitation services. Among areas examined are Independent Living, Distinct Services to Youth, and Supported Employment.
Highlights from the National Skills Coalition Side-by-Side Comparison (Full Comparison here)
Maintains geographic diversity requirement, Prohibits representation of multiple categories, Authorizes governor to select chairperson.
|Unified State Plan||Requires a state plan that outlines a five-year strategy for the statewide workforce investment system.||Requires single four-year plan covering the four core programs authorized by WIOA: Title I (Workforce Development for Adults, Dislocated Workers and Youth); Title II (Adult Education and Literacy); Title III (Wagner-Peyser); and Title IV (Vocational Rehabilitation).|
|Establishment of One-Stop Delivery System||
||Required Services—Essentially maintains current law. Consolidates core and intensive services as “career services.”Service Delivery—Essentially maintains current law.Co-location—Requires employment services offices to be collocated with one-stop centers.Continuous Improvement—In order to be eligible for infrastructure funding, requires state board to establish objective criteria and processes to assess effectiveness, physical and programmatic accessibility, and continuous improvement of one-stop centers and the one-stop delivery system, including standards relating to service coordination.
|Identification of Eligible Providers of Training Services||
||Eligibility—Maintains current law.
Adds requirement that state consider the degree to which the training programs of such providers relate to in-demand industry sectors and occupations in the state.
Adds requirement that providers may receive initial eligibility for only 1 year for a particular program.
|View the full side-by-side comparison here|