Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) to increase the employment, retention, and earnings of the nation’s workforce and to increase the productivity and the competitiveness of the United States. To affect these purposes, the WIA implemented a one-stop delivery system for training and job placement services.
One-Stop Service Delivery System
The WIA’s One-Stop service delivery systems are implemented at the state and local level. The WIA establishes state and local workforce investment boards to implement the system. Through the boards, state and local governments have substantial discretion in the creation and implementation of their programs. The one-stop delivery system of the WIA includes both adult programs and youth programs.
The WIA contemplates three progressive levels of adult services: core services, intensive services, and training services. An adult is not eligible for the next level of services unless his or her needs were not met by the prior level.
1. Core Services
Under the WIA, the following core services are available to all adults:
- Eligibility Determination,
- Initial Assessment,
- Career Counseling,
- Job Placement Assistance, and
- Education about unemployment insurance.
2. Intensive Services
Intensive services are available to those people unable to find employment through core services. Welfare recipients and other low-income workers receive priority for these intensive services if funds are limited. Intensive services include the following:
- Comprehensive assessments,
- Group Counseling,
- Individual Career Planning, and
- Development of individual employment plans.
3. Training Services
Training services are available under the WIA to those adults and dislocated workers who are unable to find employment after using intensive services. Participants in the training services must be found to have the skills necessary to be successful. Following is a list of the types of training offered to eligible workers:
- On-the-job training,
- Occupational skills training,
- Job readiness training,
- Adult literacy activities,
- Skills upgrading, and
- Entrepreneurial training.
The WIA also provides a number of training programs to eligible youth. To be eligible for these services, a person must generally be between the ages of 14 and 21, have a low income, and meet at least one of the following six barriers to employment:
- Deficient in basic skills,
- Homeless, runaway, or foster child,
- Expecting a baby or already a parent,
- School dropout,
- Offender, or
- Requires additional assistance to retain a job or to complete school.