On July 2, NACo released a new resource on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the 2014 legislation authorizing federal funding to states and counties for workforce and economic development programs. The report, Counties and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, details WIOA’s role in our nation’s workforce development system and how counties help administer and deliver program resources to local jobseekers and businesses.
WIOA operates as a federal, state and local partnership, and counties play a direct role in WIOA through local Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) and American Job Centers (AJCs), both authorized under WIOA Title I. Local WDBs can be made up of one or several counties and develop strategic workforce plans and funding priorities for their local jurisdictions. Board members are appointed by local elected officials and include representatives from counties and cities, community-based organizations and local businesses. In addition to mapping out workforce goals, local boards also oversee the operation of AJCs, which deliver hands-on career resources to residents and businesses that are tailored to local needs.
The release of NACo’s WIOA report comes as Congress is considering FY 2020 appropriations for WIOA and looking ahead to program reauthorization in FY 2021. NACo has closely monitored efforts around WIOA appropriations, especially Title I programs important to counties, which received a $178 million boost to $3 billion under the FY 2020 spending bill that passed in June 2019 by the U.S. House of Representatives.
As Congress weighs next steps for program funding and long-term reauthorization, NACo will continue to engage with key legislators to ensure counties have the flexibility and resources needed to deliver workforce resources to our communities.
For more NACo resources on WIOA, please see the following links:
- U.S. House panel advances FY 2020 spending bill for federal health, human services and workforce programs
- Support Workforce and Local Business Development: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- U.S. Departments of Labor and Education release final WIOA regulations