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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®

Policy and Advocacy

Workforce Investment Act

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Key Information:

In the summer of 2014, Republicans and Democrats reached a bipartisan, bicameral deal to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 as P.L. 113-128, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The bill was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014. The latest updates can be found on the WIOA section of the CTE Policy Watch blog.

The Department of Education has solicited comments and input from a variety of stakeholders related to WIOA implementation, which ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium provided a joint response to. The Department of Labor has since released a statement that the draft regulations related to the law's implementation would be delayed until spring, when it plans to release additional Notices of Proposed Rulemaking. ACTE is in the process of developing resources and information to assist its members in implementing this landmark legislation.

Implementation Resources:

To learn more about available resources for WIOA implementation, please visit the WIOA section of the CTE Policy Watch Blog.

In addition, please visit the following websites for more information:

Background Information:

Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998 as P.L. 105-220. It replaced the Job Training Partnership Act in an effort to streamline and strengthen America's job-training system. Taking full effect on July 1, 2000, WIA was intended to create a locally integrated "One-Stop" delivery system of multiple employment services, job training and education programs, designed to be universally accessible to job seekers and meet local industry demands in communities across the county. WIA mandated the participation of partner agencies that provide such services, including postsecondary Perkins-funded CTE programs.

Implementation of WIA worked well in some local areas, but, overall, there has been a downward trend in the provision of employment services, particularly in the number of job seekers being referred to training programs. WIA was due for reauthorization in 2003, however, the legislation encountered significant delays as Congress struggled to design an effective way to utilize the one-stop model and was mired in partisan politics. However, in May 2014, leaders from both chambers of Congress reached a deal to incorporate components from previous failed attempts into a successful bill, which passed the full Senate on June 25 by a vote of 95-3 and the House on July 9 by a vote of 415-6. President Barack Obama signed WIOA into law on July 22, 2014, however, the majority of the provisions included in the legislation will not go into effect until July 1, 2015 or later.

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Advocacy Toolkit

One of ACTE's most effective advocacy tools is you! Becoming an advocate is one of the most important actions you can take to secure the future of CTE. ACTE has developed a wide variety of tools to assist you in your advocacy activities, keep you informed and promote ongoing support for CTE. The tools here provide step-by-step directions and examples that will help you reach out to policymakers at the local, state and federal levels, as well as your community and the media. From your Members of Congress to your local mayor, these individuals all make decisions that directly or indirectly impact CTE. With your help, we can ensure the strength and future of CTE! 

House/Senate CTE Caucus

In 2007, former Reps. Brian Baird (D-WA) and Phil English (R-PA) launched the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, the House caucus is chaired by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), and serves as a promotion vehicle for legislation, ideas and information related to CTE.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) serve as co-chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus to bring attention in the U.S. Senate to improving and strengthening access to CTE. 

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