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President Obama Signs Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Published:  July 24, 2014

On Tuesday, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a jobs promotion bill aimed at preparing and training workers with the twenty-first century skills necessary for employment. A major goal of the Act is to prioritize career pathways with a focus on work-based learning opportunities designed to build stronger connections between job training programs and local employer needs.  To underscore its emphasis on real-world training opportunities, the Act supports on-the-job-training, awarding employers up to 75% reimbursement for such efforts.  

The Act includes specific programs for young, disabled, and veteran workers.  Other provisions of the Act allow for youth funding to support out-of-school youths, of which twenty percent is prioritized for work-to-school activities.  The Act also includes improved services for English language learners and training for the disabled.  Provisions for youths with disabilities are meant to ensure they receive the services and support necessary to be successful in competitive, integrated employment.

When President Obama signed the act into law, he remarked that the goal of the Act was “connecting more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-fill jobs.”

In general, this Act will take effect in July of 2015.  The Department of Labor has also released a fact sheet with highlights of WIOA reforms to the public workforce system.

If you have any questions regarding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, please contact any of the attorneys at Royal LLP at (413) 586-2288.