Across the nation, people seeking employment are often confronted with employers that require job applicants to have post secondary credentials and/or education. To provide more effective job training and placement services to people most in need of employment, federal legislators restructured the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), creating the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which President Obama signed into law in July 2014. With the final implementation of WIOA scheduled for July 2016, WIOA State Plans are due to the federal government by March 3, 2016. Many states are releasing their plans now and in the next few weeks for public review and comment. This provides an excellent opportunity to learn about what your state is planning, and how this will impact people with low-incomes, including parents, trying to obtain education, training, and job placement. It will be important for state residents to peruse the plan for ways in which the state is abiding by federal regulations and how the state intends to provide “priority of service” to those with the most barriers to employment. People of color, including parents—whether custodial or noncustodial—are more likely to be among those receiving higher priority for service under WIOA, due to the new law’s focus on serving people with barriers such as: lower income, long-term unemployment, being a single parent, being within two years of the state’s TANF time limit, lack of housing, and having a criminal record.
Wisconsin’s WIOA state plan DRAFT has been posted for public review and comment. This is an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the state plan. CFFPP especially encourages organizations serving and advocating for parents of color in lower-income communities across Wisconsin to review the plan and submit comments. CFFPP intends to provide its own analysis and commentary in early January. All comments will be shared verbatim with the WIOA Leadership Team for consideration and with the Departments of Labor and Education upon final submission.
Please send any public comments no later than January 13, 2016, to:
Phil Koenig at DETWIOA@dwd.wi.gov or
201 East Washington Avenue, E-100
PO Box 7972
Madison, WI 53707