Written by Terri Kaufman - Workforce Development Specialist with EDSI
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires local workforce areas to provide priority of services and funding support to individuals with low income and barriers to employment. This creates a unique opportunity for Community Based Organizations (CBOs), education providers and Health and Human Service providers to work with Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) to develop and provide workforce development services to help individuals obtain self-sufficiency.
WIOA will help numerous CBOs and other human resources agencies work together in local One-Stops to better service clients. Working together, agencies and individuals can have access to and leverage additional resources and services. Local areas can help disadvantaged and unemployed adults and youth receive supportive services and provide education and training opportunities across multiple programs.
Did you know, it is estimated that nearly one third of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients who are considered work eligible under the age of 24 may qualify for WIOA services and training support?
WIOA has also increased the eligible youth age to 16-24 years old for out-of-school youth and 14-21 years old for low-income youth with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELL). Additionally, 75% of youth funds must be focused on serving at-risk youth, and 20% of those funds must focus on work ready activities.
State and LWIBs will be required to report the number of individuals they serve with barriers to employment. They must develop plans on how these services will be provided and report outcomes!
This is a unique opportunity for Community Based Organizations and Health and Human Service Providers to reach out to your Local Workforce Investment Board. You can help LWIBs to develop plans for youth and adults with barriers to succeed by working together to design training services and programs. Take the time to contact your Local WIB.