The Education and Labor Dept’s will issue new rules to implement updated provisions of a workforce training program that helps underserved youth and adults get onto a sustainable career path.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), enacted July 22, 2014, provides many opportunities to advance a customer-centered workforce investment system driven by the needs of job seekers and employers. For example, WIOA restructures Job Corps (CFDA Number: 17.259) to ensure career and technical education and training is geared toward in-demand occupations and disadvantaged youth receive a regular high school diploma and/or a recognized postsecondary credential that prepares them for employment in the global economy. The restructuring includes: new performance accountability and management systems; a requirement that the DOL secretary provide technical assistance to low-performing centers; and a requirement that all grantees must re-compete for funding.
WIOA establishes an aggressive timeframe to publish a set of regulations for implementation. WIOA is the first update to the nation’s core workforce training programs since the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) 16 years ago. The draft regulations mark an important milestone in WIOA implementation. They come in five parts, known as Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs), with each addressing different aspects of the law.
The five NPRMs:
- Joint NPRM—DoEd and DOL (DOL) developed a joint NPRM to implement jointly-administered activities under title I of WIOA regarding Unified and Combined State Plans, performance accountability, and the one-stop system. The joint NPRM applies to all core programs, including the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Adult Education programs.
- DOL-only NPRM—This NPRM will implement changes made to the adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs authorized under title I of WIOA.
Three ED-only NPRMs:
- Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA)—This NPRM will implement changes to programs authorized under AEFLA, which is contained in title II of WIOA.
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973—Two NPRMs will implement changes made to the programs authorized under the Rehabilitation Act, which is contained in title IV of WIOA, as well as new provisions added: state Vocational Rehabilitation Services program and the state Supported Employment Services program, as well as new provisions in Section 511; and
- All other Rehabilitation Act programs administered by DoEd—Client Assistance, American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights, and the discretionary grant programs authorized under title III of the Rehabilitation Act.
The regulations will be published in the Federal Register on April 16. At that point, the public can submit comments for 60 days. The departments plan to analyze these public comments and anticipate issuing Final Rules implementing WIOA in early 2016.