Developing relationships with local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), One-Stop career
centers, and service providers will strengthen the programs offered by housing
authorities. The following summary of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) will provide
housing authorities with an overview of job training resources available in their
WIA Funding Process. WIA authorizes funding of three distinct groups:
adults, dislocated workers, and youth. Funds are distributed in the following manner:
- For adults, 85 percent of the funds will be allocated to local
communities. The remainder will be reserved for statewide activities
designated by the state WIB and the governor.
- For youth, 85 percent of funds will be allocated to local
communities. The remainder will be reserved for statewide activities.
The first $1 billion in funding will serve at-risk youth (age
14-21) and at least 30 percent of those funds must be spent
on "out-of-school" youth. Any funds appropriated in
excess of $1 billion will be used by DOL to fund Youth Opportunity
- For dislocated workers (e.g., those who lose jobs resulting
from a plant closing or company layoff), 80 percent will be
used for state and local efforts and 20 percent will be reserved
by the Secretary of Labor for National Emergency Grants' dislocated
worker demonstration efforts and technical assistance.
Three Tier Service Delivery System. "One-Stop" career
centers provide job seekers with information about and access to a wide array of training,
education and employment services at a single neighborhood location. WIA establishes the
following three-tiered structure of service delivery through One-Stop career centers:
- Level 1: A core set of services is available to all eligible
individuals. These services may include: an initial skills assessment
along with job search and placement assistance; information
about available services and labor market conditions; and follow-up
services to help customers who have been placed to retain their
- Level 2: Unemployed individuals who cannot find a job and
low income workers who have not achieved self-sufficiency are
entitled to extensive services including individualized assessments,
diagnostic testing, counseling, pre-vocational services (soft
skills) and job placement referrals.
- Level 3: Only those who still cannot obtain or retain employment
are entitled to actual training services. While the law requires
universal access to One-Stop core services, states with limited
funds must prioritize welfare recipients and individuals with
multiple barriers to employment for receipt of more extensive
training and placement services. To learn more about the One-Stop
system or to find contact information for your community, visit
DOL's One-Stop page at http://usworkforce.org/onestop/.
Governance. State and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) will
govern services, funding requirements, and certification of training providers under WIA.
WIBs will replace the JTPA's Private Industry Councils (PICs). WIBs will not be allowed to
provide direct training or services, but will be responsible for administration and
oversight of the local workforce development system, including the performance of the
The law mandates representation of community-based organizations on WIBs. By applying for
membership to local WIBs, housing authorities could provide input on how local funds are
spent to support disadvantaged clients and begin building a network of community partners.
State Unified Plans. Each state was required to submit a
Unified Plan by April 1, 2000 that explains how the state intends
to coordinate funding for various populations under WIA and how
grants will be awarded. Housing authorities should contact their
local WIB to get a copy of their state's Unified Plan. Some Unified
Plans are available at the Workforce Investment
Act information site.
Provider Certification. Under WIA, training providers must submit a
request for certification to their local WIB to be eligible to provide training to all
eligible clients, including TANF recipients. Certification will be based on the provider's
previous performance outcomes, including job placement and retention rates, clients'
increases in earnings after six months, and attainment of training credentials.
Individual Training Accounts. Under WIA, direct contracts with
training vendors will be replaced by Individual Training Accounts (ITAs). ITAs are
essentially vouchers given to individuals deemed eligible for training services. While
vouchers are intended to give customers a greater sense of consumer choice and promote
competition among training providers, it places the onus on recipients to find the best
quality training and services to meet their needs. Housing authority staff-particularly
WtW case managers-can play an important role in helping voucher recipients research and
locate high quality training providers that meet their needs.