OVERVIEW OF THE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT OF 1998
What is the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA)?
The Workforce Investment Act (Public Law 105-220) was signed into law August 7, 1998 to provide the framework for a unique national workforce preparation and development system.
The goal of this system is to help workers improve their skills, get better jobs, and keep those jobs longer. WIA also helps employers by providing the skilled workers they need to be successful in today’s global economy.
How is WIA Organized?
WIA is organized to put the control of developing policies and spending funds in state and local hands instead of being determined at the federal level.
Role of the Federal Government
The role of the federal government is to monitor state and local activities to make sure that they conform to the law and to provide assistance in understanding what is required and what is allowed for under the law.
The U.S. Department of Labor is the federal agency that issues WIA funds to the states.
Role of the State Government
Similar to the federal government, the state government is also responsible for monitoring local activities and spending and for providing assistance in carrying out the law as needed.
The state agencies who are primarily involved with WIA include the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Development.
Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services
In Ohio, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) is the recipient of the WIA funds issued from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Ohio Department of Development
The Ohio Department of Development facilitates the Governor’s Workforce Policy Advisory Board.
Role of Governor’s Workforce Policy Advisory Board
Members on this Board represent a range of groups including business, organized labor, legislators, education, social service agencies, and other who have a stake in employment and training issues.
The Board helps the Governor set state performance goals and priorities, continuously improves the State’s workforce development system, and assists local leaders who will shape workforce development policy at the local level.
Role of Local Government
County commissioners are typically the Local Elected Officials who oversee the workforce development system of a local area.
What are WIA Local Areas?
Local areas are divided into regions called Workforce Investment Areas. In Ohio, there are 20 Workforce Investment Areas.
The Mahoning and Columbiana County area is know as WIA Area 17.
Who Oversees the Local WIA Areas?
The Executive Council oversees the local workforce development system of a local area. The Mahoning and Columbiana County Commissioners are the Executive Council for WIA Area 17.
Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) - Business Led
The law requires each local workforce investment area to be governed by a business-driven Workforce Investment Board in conjunction with the Chief Local Elected Official.
Board members are appointed by the Local Elected Officials, and WIB members include private sector businesses, organized labor, community-based organizations, local government agencies, and local education agencies.
The WIB exercises a broad view over many workforce-related programs and agencies funded from a variety of sources. The WIB works to identify the local areas needs and resources and develop a strategic consensus among local leaders and service agencies in order to ensure that education and training programs continue to meet the needs of local employers and job seekers.
The WIB also provides policy guidance, designates an operator for the area’s One-Stop Career Centers, and oversees the job training activities within their local areas.
The WIB is also charged with integrating a workforce system that is flexible, seamless, and responsive to the needs of both job seekers and employers, which is the One-Stop Workforce System.
Who Receives the WIA Funds for WIA Area 17?
Mahoning and Columbiana Training Association (MCTA)
MCTA is the recipient of Area 17 WIA funds from ODJFS; therefore, MCTA is the WIA Administrative Entity and WIA Fiscal Agent for Area 17.
MCTA can provide funding for classroom training or on-the-job training to those who are eligible based upon WIA guidelines.
MCTA is also the One-Stop Operator for Area 17.
What are One-Stops?
Established under the Workforce Investment Act, One-Stop Career Centers are designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers and employers under one roof.
The Area 17 One-Stops are at the following locations:
Mahoning County One-Stop
141 Boardman-Canfield Rd.
Boardman, OH 44512
Columbiana County One-Stop
7860 Lincole Pl., Suite 1
P.O. Box 314
Lisbon, OH 44432