As you may know, Opportunity Nation’s diverse coalition pushed hard for updates and improvements to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) last summer. This critical program sends $3 billion a year to states for workforce development initiatives for youth and adults.
We were thrilled when WIOA was reauthorized last summer by a huge bipartisan majority in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Key provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, and the public had a chance to make recommendations to federal officials this spring.
Opportunity Nation provided feedback on several components of the program, particularly cross-sector approaches we believe will help more young adults embark on meaningful education and career pathways and reduce rates of youth disconnection.
- Encouraging more collaboration among state workforce boards, local employers, educational institutions and external partners to achieve successful workforce outcomes;
- Expanding the definition of “career pathways” to prioritize high quality education and training aligned with local skill needs that will prepare students for jobs in their region;
- Requiring states to provide more detail on how they will develop career pathways and encouraging closer collaboration between governors and local workforce boards;
- Providing students and young adults who have recently dropped out of high school with tutoring, study skills training and other supports so they can successfully complete high school or earn a recognized equivalent of a diploma and prepare for careers.
We urge our network to learn about how WIOA can help them strengthen and improve multiple pathways for disconnected youth and those at risk for youth disconnection, and urge their local workforce boards to work closely with elected officials, high schools, nonprofits, community colleges and employers to make sure more young Americans have access to job-training programs.
Click here for more information on WIOA.