Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)




Description: Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, reaffirms the role of the public workforce system, and brings together and enhances key employment, education, and training programs.WIOA provides resources, services, and leadership tools for the workforce system to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed and improves employer prospects for success in the global marketplace. Customers will have access to a seamless system of high-quality services through coordination of programs, services and governance structures. The Act builds closer ties among key workforce partners—business leaders, workforce boards, labor unions, community colleges, non-profit organizations, youth-serving organizations, and State and local officials—in striving for a more job-driven approach to training and skills development.


WIOA continues to promote the One-Stop Delivery System for workforce development activities and to require partnerships in the one-stop delivery system. Partners include: Title I adult, youth and dislocated worker programs; Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy program; Wagner-Peyser employment services (ES) program as amended by Title III of WIOA; Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) programs under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act as amended by Title IV of WIOA; Job Corps; Native American programs; Migrant Seasonal Farmworker programs; Veterans’ workforce programs; welfare-to-work programs; Senior Community Service Employment Program activities; Carl Perkins postsecondary vocational education programs; TAA and NAFTA assistance programs; Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Unemployment Insurance; employment and training programs authorized under Community Services Block Grant programs; and veterans’ employment and disabled veterans outreach programs; second chance re-entry planning and implementation programs; TANF; and SNAP.

Purpose: Individuals seeking to manage their career need access to information and high quality services and Montana businesses need skilled workers. It is the purpose of WIOA and the one-stop delivery system to help facilitate meeting both of those needs. This program is intended to empower individuals through better integration of services and meaningful labor market information (employment statistics) so that individuals can make informed choices about their careers.

Services: All Montanans 18 and older are eligible for basic career services.Individualized career services may be provided to individuals that have been determined to be in need of these services in order to obtain and/or retain employment that allows for self-sufficiency.

Training services are available to employed and unemployed adults and dislocated workers who have met program eligibility requirements and have been determined:(1) unable or unlikely to obtain or retain employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency or wages comparable to or higher wages from previous employment; (2) in need of training services to obtain or retain employment leading to economic self-sufficiency or wages comparable to or higher than wages from previous employment; (3) Have the skills and qualifications to participate successfully in training services; and have selected a program of training services that is directly linked to employment opportunities in their area or in another area to which the individuals are willing to commute or relocate.

Economic Development: The program is intended to help Montanans make wise career choices and educational/training decisions. Workforce development plus educational development equals economic development. Business and industry must have access to a highly skilled workforce in order to compete globally. The complete Workforce Investment Act (all five titles) is designed with this in mind.

Administration: The Statewide Workforce Programs and Oversight Bureau (Bureau) provides statewide program oversight and also acts as the fiscal agent and administrative entity for the State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB). Bureau functions include fiscal tracking, participant data tracking, reporting to the U.S. Department of Labor, monitoring the Workforce Investment Board and local service providers for compliance and quality issues, providing training and technical assistance to the system and policy interpretation and development. A portion (15%) of the funding for each program (adult, youth and dislocated worker) allotted to states is reserved for the Governor’s set aside and the remainder (85%) of the adult and youth funds are passed through to the local areas. Montana reserves twenty-five percent of the dislocated worker funds alloted to the state for rapid response activities provided by Job Service Workforce Centers, 15% is reserved for the Governor’s set aside and 60% is passed through to the local areas. On behalf of the SWIB, the Bureau contracts with local providers who then provide services to adults, youth and dislocated workers.