Today, July 1, 2015, marks the day that many of the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) take effect. This new law has the potential to make a tremendous difference for tens to millions of workers, jobseekers and students across this country. WIOA’s transformation of our publicly-funded workforce system means that all of us—federal and state partners, governments, non-profits and educational and training institutions, must be pressing for innovations to ensure:
July 1st is about “opportunity.” It’s about implementing strategies to help workers and jobseekers achieve their full potential. Through our AJCs and other service locations, the public workforce system will meet people where they are, whether they’re young adults just starting out, or experienced workers whose need to retool their skills to succeed, whether they are a person with a disability or someone who faces other barriers to a job. Our aligned services need to help each of them build a meaningful career and achieve economic independence.
Now is the time for action among all workforce partners. It is truly a new day for the American workforce system.
Some States and local areas are already hard at work implementing the law and laying the groundwork for big changes and big ideas. Some have formed new partnerships and are creatively aligning workforce resources. Others are redesigning customer service strategies at the nearly 2500 local AJCs.
But we still have much work to do to realize the full vision of WIOA.
Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going
Through town halls and virtual stakeholder events, we listened to you. The Departments of Education and Labor, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, incorporated your feedback into proposed regulations and will continue to do so as we review comments and develop final regulations. We have released early Operational Guidance and technical assistance tools, including a set of Quick Start Action Planners, to help you assess your readiness to implement WIOA and identify areas of strength and focused areas for improvement. And we will continue to issue program guidance throughout the year to operationalize WIOA.
Now that most of WIOA is in effect, we will continue to support the public workforce system as state and local officials transform their systems. Here are the steps we’ll be taking this year to implement WIOA and provide assistance for states and local areas across the country:
Our work has never been more important, and we want to make sure every partner and every region has what you need to succeed. We look forward to working with you to realize the vision of WIOA!
Portia Wu is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training at the U.S. Department of Labor
Johan Uvin is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education
Michael Yudin is the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education
Janet LaBreck is the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Education
Mark Greenberg is the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration of Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Modified On : July 14, 2015
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