Creating an Equitable, Resilient Workforce System

New Ideas for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is landmark legislation that establishes the structure, programs, and funding for our nation’s public workforce system. It was adopted in 2014 with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The undervaluing of jobs that require skills training is apparent in funding declines for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) over the past two decades. WIOA — the primary law that establishes the structure, programs, and funding for our nation’s workforce system — is intended to be our nation’s main vehicle for workforce training.

To contribute to an inclusive economy, we need to turn WIOA from an underfunded system to one that is adequately resourced to deliver high-quality skills training that supports the assets and aspirations of working people, helps small businesses who hire locally and invest in their workers, and advances racial equity and pathways to quality jobs. This discussion brief lays out a set of ideas that taken together, can improve WIOA in this way.

Attached document published May 2023

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