On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed into law the bipartisan, bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, which provides funding and programs that are integral to the education and training of the next generation of highly skilled electrical workers. WIOA provides for $9.5 billion in funding, subject to the congressional appropriations process, and authorizes key employment and training programs and the American Job Center (or “One-Stop Center”) service delivery system.
A number of IEC chapters currently receive funding through several key workforce development programs that have helped them to train more than 7,000 apprentices per year. The expanded funding eligibility of WIOA presents both opportunities and challenges for IEC chapters seeking to take advantage of the newly reauthorized and improved workforce investment system as increased competition for funding can be expected.
Click here for IEC’s assessment of WIOA and how chapters and contractor members can get involved.
The Departments of Labor and Education will continue to update their resources as WIOA takes effect. This process will also require the execution of agency rulemakings to implement many of the Act’s provisions, so stay tuned for information on how IEC chapters and employers can weigh in to further improve the quality and delivery of workforce programs. Be sure to check for updates and expanded IEC assessments of WIOA on this page.
- WIOA authorizes $9.5 billion in funding for workforce programs.
- Funding assists key initiatives that many IEC chapters use to support their apprenticeship training programs.
- The Act promotes registered apprenticeship and offers funding opportunities for IEC chapters and members.
- IEC members will see increased competition for funding from organizations like community colleges and private entities.
- To obtain funding, we may also see other players mimic the apprenticeship model.
- Most provisions will go into effect in July 2015.
- IEC advises members to get involved with state and local workforce investment boards, or the competition will.
- Department of Labor WIOA Resource Page
- The White House's Ready to Work Initiative
- One-Stop Career Centers by State
- State Workforce Agency Directory
- DOL to Hold Stakeholder Webinar on WIOA and Apprenticeship on September 12, 2014
- Mid-South IEC listed as a program that's working
- Got Skills? Retooling Vocational Education (The Economist, Aug, 23, 2014)