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Policy and Advocacy

Workforce Investment Act



Key Information
Current Act Implementation Resources

Key Information:
  • The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) was last reauthorized in 1998 as P.L. 105-220.
  • It was originally scheduled for reauthorization in 2003, but has been delayed numerous times (the program continues under the prior law with congressional funding).
  • In May 2014, Republicans and Democrats reached a bipartisan, bicameral deal to reauthorize WIA, marking the most significant progress to date in reauthorization.
  • The latest updates can be found on the WIA section of the CTE Policy Watch blog.

ACTE Positions & Statements Other Groups' Positions Key Legislation
H.R. 803: Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act (passed House 3/15/03) S. 1356: Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (passed HELP Committee 7/31/13)

Current Act Implementation Resources:

Visit the following organizations for additional information:

Background Information:

Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998 as P.L. 105-220. It replaced the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) in an effort to streamline and strengthen this country's job-training system. Taking full effect on July 1, 2000, WIA 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 the Perkins program.

Implementation of WIA has 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. According to U.S. Department of Labor data analyzed by the Center for Law and Social Policy, there has been an approximate 66 percent drop in the number of people receiving training in the early years of WIA's implementation and the last years of JTPA. Among the reasons cited for this change includes local funds being diverted from service delivery for infrastructure development in the new One-Stop system. Additional frustrations at the local level have included limited business engagement in the system and complicated negotiations among partner agencies regarding funding and service delivery.

The Workforce Investment Act was originally scheduled for reauthorization in 2003, but numerous delays have occurred, and a new law has not been finalized.

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Data Quality Initiatives

With a growing national focus on data and accountability to help students succeed in education and careers, collecting high-quality data and sharing it across different agencies is more important than ever. For CTE, data quality and access issues include appropriately measuring student achievement, including the attainment of high-quality credentials; ensuring the quality of Perkins-funded CTE programs; and providing data to consumers on the connection between education and labor market outcomes.

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