WIOA Grants: A Valuable Resource for Your Training Programs

Election News
December 21, 2022
By Mark Valentini, Director of Legislative Affairs

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA, originally Workforce Investment Act [WIA]) was reauthorized in 2014, continuing a popular workforce grant program originally started in 1998 to help jobseekers find employment and training opportunities to secure work in high-demand fields. With the current workforce shortage, combined with shifts in the post-pandemic labor market, WIOA is becoming increasingly popular with jobseekers and training providers.

Grant money is awarded by state and local workforce investment boards (WIBs), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor with funds appropriated by Congress. The program makes up about $3 billion of the DOL’s roughly $12 billion annual budget. Robust funding for WIOA is one of the few bipartisan issues on which most Members of Congress can agree. Funding for WIOA continues to increase year after year regardless of which party is in power in Washington, D.C.

Jobseekers use WIOA grants to enroll in training programs that lead to secure employment. They are directed to certain job training programs through their local WIB. Those training programs must lead to employment in high-demand fields. Jobs that qualify as “high-demand” vary from state to state and locality to locality. Each state and local WIB maintains a list of in-demand fields for the regions they oversee. That list is determined by the state or local workforce development board.

Inclusion in a state’s eligible training provider (ETP) list can help a workforce board direct jobseekers to your apprenticeship program. Reach out to your state or local workforce board for more information and to let them know that you are ready to enroll students into your program. WorkforceGPS is also a DOL resource to help you navigate and leverage federal workforce investment programs.

Several state PHCC executives have reported that they have students enrolled in their apprenticeship programs via the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. This can offset or eliminate the costs of the program that are often borne by employers and training providers.

Contact Mark Valentini, PHCC Director of Legislative Affairs at valentini@naphcc.org or 703-752-9871 for more information, or if you would like to share your experience working with your state/local workforce board.

Director of Legislative Affairs
, PHCC-National Association
Mark Valentini is the Director of Legislative Affairs for PHCC—National Association. A seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience on Capitol Hill and with several national trade associations, Valentini applies his expertise in public policy, workforce and training, and insurance and tax matters to advocate on behalf of all PHCC members.

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