The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) was created in 1998, a time of robust economic prosperity. WIA was created to encourage public-private partnerships in order to modernize workforce development services; serve at-risk youth, under-educated and unemployed/underemployed adults, youth and adults with disabilities and English language learners (ELL); and establish statutory definitions, state and local workforce provisions, Job Corps, national programs and administrative guidelines.
The current economic conditions stand in stark contrast to those when WIA was created 11 years ago. The Department of Education believes the time is right to move forward with WIA reauthorization, in order to help provide opportunities and pathways for those who need new skills in order to compete in an increasingly competitive and difficult economy.
In preparation for WIA reauthorization, our Office of Vocational and Adult Education is hosting a series of WIA Community Conversations across the country. The goal of these conversations is to facilitate a candid and constructive discourse among a comprehensive range of stakeholders whose work is directly affected by WIA. These conversations will help inform our thinking as we prepare for reauthorization.
Comments are now available from Community Conversations held thus far in Sacramento, CA, New York, NY (am and pm), Trenton, NJ (am and pm), Godfrey, IL (am, lunch, and pm), Nashville, TN (am and pm), Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL.
In the meantime, we invite you to share your comments about WIA here on the blog or submit your feedback to us at WIAConversations@ed.gov.