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WIOA Services and Performance Begins July 1st

June 30, 2016

Breaking News: Final Rules were issued for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act on June 30, 2016. For more information, please visit https://www.doleta.gov/WIOA/. LEAD Center will review the Final Rules and provide analysis in upcoming newsletters.

On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA significantly advances the strategic alignment of workforce development programs, including Adult Dislocated Worker and Youth Programs; Wagner-Peyser Employment Service; Adult Education and Family Literacy Programs; and Vocational Rehabilitation. With a focus on career pathways, the goal of WOIA is more than employment outcomes. The intent of the workforce development system is to equip individuals with and without disabilities with the skills, competencies, and stackable credentials needed to assist them to meet labor market demand, increase earnings, and advance their careers and economic security. Since 2014, both the Departments of Education and Labor have issued proposed rules for public comment, provided guidance to states to develop Unified and Combined State Plans, and jointly developed aligned definitions of the primary indicators of performance.

On July 1, 2016, the Unified and Combined State Plans and the performance accountability provisions of WIOA become effective. States have been busy making modifications to their data systems to fully implement the data elements and definitions to comply with the new WIOA performance requirements. On June 29, 2016, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) WIOA NO. 26-15 to help states understand the expected levels of performance for each of six primary indicators of performance regarding achievement of unsubsidized employment during the second and fourth quarters after exit by program participants, median earnings levels, achievement of postsecondary credentials, as well as participation levels in education and training programs that are achieving measurable skill gains toward a credential or employment, and effectiveness of core programs in serving employers.

The new TEGL provides guidance to states regarding expected levels of performance and how to adjust levels of performance to be negotiated with ETA and Education for the first two years to take into account actual economic conditions in a state and the characteristics of participants served, including the number of individuals with disabilities and others with multiple barriers to employment. In addition to the state negotiated levels of performance, states must work with local workforce development areas to establish performance goals for WOIA Title I Programs.

WIOA puts an emphasis on serving a significant population of people with multiple barriers to employment including, within this definition, individuals with disabilities. For the first time, at a local level, data to be collected will identify program participants with disabilities, the services being received, and skills development and certifications, as well as employment outcomes.

States will receive the final negotiated levels of performance from ETA no later than August 15, 2016.

WIOA requires effective and meaningful participation of job seekers with disabilities in all workforce development services and supports. Local and state workforce development systems will be reporting quarterly on their performance regarding individuals with disabilities.

Learn more about WIOA services! Job seekers with disabilities and the staff who provide them with support should visit American Job Centers in their community to learn more about available training and career services to match local demand for skilled workers.

The LEAD Center will provide analyses of WIOA performance across the core indicators in future newsletters.