Workforce Investment Act
The Workforce Investment Act, or WIA, reformed Federal job training legislation and created a new and comprehensive workforce investment system. Title I of WIA authorizes a number of services which include employment and training activities for adults, dislocated workers, and youth.
Please Note: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) was signed into law on July 22, 2014 and supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). For more information, click here.
To receive adult services an individual must be 18 years of age or older, a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen, and in compliance with the registration provisions of the Military Selective Service Act.
Services to dislocated workers are similar to those offered to adults however the eligibility requirements differ. There are many situations that cause a person to qualify as a Dislocated Worker. Possibly the worker has been laid off from a long-term job and has very little hope of returning to that employer or industry. He or she could have been an unpaid caregiver to the family and dependent upon someone else's income. Self-employed workers who have faced natural disasters or local economic downturns may also qualify for assistance as dislocated workers.
Youth services are available for in-school and out-of-school youth. These services prepare youth for postsecondary educational opportunities and for employment. Eligible youth must be 14 to 21 years of age, low income, and meet at least one of six specific barriers to employment.
The Workforce Investment Network, or WIN, is the primary framework for the delivery of WIA services in Mississippi. The larger, or "comprehensive", WIN Job Centers offer co-located partner staff such as employees of the Department of Employment Security, Department of Rehabilitation Services, local community colleges, and various other partners. The smaller, or "affiliate" centers offer services by the Department of Employment Security and provide information about other partners' services.
Three levels of WIA services are provided through the WIN Job Centers with service at one level being a prerequisite to moving to the next level. The first level consists of core services. Core services include activities such as outreach, intake and eligibility determination as well as information on services available through the WIN Job Center. Other services include basic assessment of skill levels, aptitudes, abilities, and supportive service needs; job search and placement assistance and the provision of labor market information.
Some individuals need only the most basic information and services to meet their needs. However, for a large number of clients, core services are the foundation for developing a more comprehensive plan for attaining employment and/or training goals and targeting the intensive services most appropriate for the client.
To be eligible for intensive services, adults and dislocated workers must have received at least one core service and have been determined to be in need of intensive services in order to obtain or retain employment. Intensive services may include comprehensive and specialized assessments of the skill levels and service needs of adults and dislocated workers, a variety of counseling services, the development of an individual employment plan, case management for participants seeking training services; and short-term prevocational services, including development of learning skills, communication skills, interviewing skills, punctuality, personal maintenance skills, and professional conduct to prepare individuals for unsubsidized employment or training.
The third and final level of WIA service is training services. Training services may be made available to adult and dislocated workers who have received at least one core and one intensive service.
|Training services may include:|
|Occupational skills training
|Programs that provide workplace training with related instruction which may include cooperative education programs
|Private sector training programs
|Skill upgrading and retraining
|Job readiness training
|Adult education and literacy training in conjunction with other training services
Training services are provided in a manner that maximizes customer choice in the selection of an eligible provider of such services. First, eligible adults are given financial power to use Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) at qualified institutions. These ITAs supplement financial aid already available through other sources and in some cases pay for the entire cost of training. Second, individuals are empowered with greater levels of information and guidance, through a system of consumer reports providing key information on the performance outcomes of training and education providers. Third, individuals are empowered through the advice, guidance, and support available through the WIN Job Center.
WIA also offers services that benefit employers. Services include assistance in finding workers, training new or existing workers and in addressing business downsizing and/or closing.
Annual Reports and State Plans of WIA and Wagner-Peyser activity in Mississippi are available.
For additional information on WIA services and any applicable eligibility criteria, please contact the WIN Job Center nearest you.