Compares occupational training, adult education, family literacy provision in the bipartisan, bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) with the House and Senate Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization proposals and with current law.

“[The Workforce Investment Act] WIA, originally authorized in 1998, is now more than a decade overdue for Congressional reauthorization. In the years since its passage, WIA has failed to keep pace with changing economic conditions.  The law’s original emphasis on short-term training and rapid re-employment is increasingly inconsistent with growing demands for longer-term training aligned to high-growth and emerging industries” (p. 1).  In May 2014, the U.S. Senate introduced the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), “bipartisan, bicameral legislation reauthorizing [WIA] for six years, from 2015 to 2020” (p.2).  This report highlights the key differences between WIA and WIOA, featuring a side-by-side comparison of key changes and amendments. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full Publication Title:  Side-by-side Comparison of Occupational Training Provisions in House and Senate WIA Reauthorization Bills and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“The bill amends current law in a number of ways. Key changes include” (p.3): • “Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). WIOA generally maintains the current structure of state and local workforce boards, continuing to require a business majority and chair. However the number of required members is reduced” (p.3). • “State and local plans. WIOA requires a single, unified State plan covering all core programs authorized under the bill. The plan must describe the State’s overall strategy for workforce development…Local plans must be aligned to the strategy described in the State plan” (p.3). • “Performance measures. WIOA creates a single set of common measures for adults across all core programs authorized under the bill, including both occupational training and adult education programs, and a similar set of common measures across all youth serving programs under the bill” (p.3-4). • “American Job Centers (one-stop centers). WIOA requires State boards to establish criteria for use by the local boards to assess the ’effectiveness, physical and programmatic accessibility, and continuous improvement’ of American Job Centers at least every three years” (p.4). • “Employment and training activities. WIOA codifies the elimination of the original ’sequence of services,’ and combines core and intensive services into a new ’career services’ category” (p.4). • “State-wide set aside (i.e., governor’s set aside). WIOA restores the state-wide set-aside to 15 percent” (p.4). • “Funding levels. Unlike current law…WIOA includes specific funding levels for each fiscal year (FY) 2015 through 2020 for the WIA Youth, Adult, and Dislocated Worker programs.” (p.3). • “Data and accountability issues. WIOA includes a revised performance system, making all programs accountable for the same core metrics” (p.3). (Abstractor: Author)