The President signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. This new law represents a renewed commitment to workforce development with an eye to the future through innovation and support for individual and national economic growth. It is aimed at increasing opportunities, particularly for those facing barriers to employment, and invests in the important connection between education and career preparation. It looks to the prosperity of workers and employers and focuses on the economic growth of communities, regions, and states to enhance our global competitiveness as a country. While some research services and resources for those with disabilities will be transferred from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), we expect a seamless transition with minimal disruption, and we express our continued strong commitment to grantees and all key stakeholders.
The new law states that the amendments that it makes to the Rehabilitation Act, as well as the transfer of certain programs from ED to HHS, took effect when President Obama signed the bill. However, WIOA also gives the Secretaries of ED and HHS authority to ensure an orderly transition as they implement these changes so they are carried out in a manner that minimizes disruption. ED and HHS, after working with the Office of Management and Budget, have determined that ED will continue to administer the affected programs until the orderly transfer can be completed as soon as reasonably possible. We will continue to engage and inform grantees and key stakeholders as specific plans for the transfer of these programs are developed and implemented. We appreciate your continued support as we realign and strengthen our programs for people with disabilities.
To obtain a printed copy in the form of a paperback book from the House Legislative Resource Center, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call: 202-226–5210, or write to:
B-106 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-6612
Ask for Public Law 113-128.
Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs)
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed by President Obama on July 22, 2014, is the first major reform to federal job training programs in over 15 years. WIOA is designed to streamline and improve the coordination of employment and training services across federal agencies and strengthen collaboration with state and local partners. To ensure the most effective and efficient delivery of these services, on April 16, 2015 the departments of Labor and Education announced five new proposed rules to fully implement WIOA. The five proposed rules include a joint Department of Labor and Education rule, a Department of Labor rule, and three Department of Education rules to implement the requirements of titles II and IV of WIOA
Here are summaries of each proposed rule and a link to read the comments provided by the public.
- Unified and Combined State Plans, Performance Accountability, and the One-Stop System Joint Provision (Jointly proposed by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education)
This rule, jointly proposed by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, strengthens the alignment of the workforce development system’s six core programs administered by Labor and Education, by requiring unified strategic planning at the state level, common performance accountability measures, and requirements governing the one-stop delivery system. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ETA-2015-0002 at www.regulations.gov.
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor)
This rule, proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor, implements changes to the adult, dislocated worker and youth formula programs; the state and local workforce development boards; the designation of regions and local areas; local plans; the one-stop system; national programs, including Job Corps, YouthBuild, Indian and Native American programs; and Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker programs. The proposed rules also implements changes related to employment services and workforce and labor market information systems and requires the Secretary of Labor to establish a Workforce Information Advisory Council. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ETA-2015-0001 at www.regulations.gov
- State Vocational Rehabilitation Services program: State Supported Employment Services program; Limitations on Use of Subminimum Wage (Proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration)
This rule, proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, implements changes to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services program and the State Supported Employment Services program, as well as new provisions in Section 511 related to the Limitations on the Use of Subminimum Wages. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ED-2015-OSERS-0001 at www.regulations.gov
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Miscellaneous Program Changes (Proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration)
This rule, proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, implements changes to the all other Rehabilitation Act programs administered by ED, including Client Assistance, American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights, Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind programs, and the discretionary grant programs authorized under title III of the Rehabilitation Act. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ED-2015-OSERS-0002 at www.regulations.gov
- Programs and Activities Authorized by the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II of WIOA) (Proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education)
This NPRM will implement changes to programs authorized under AEFLA, which is contained in title II of WIOA. (PDF)
Read the comments on docket ED-2015-OCTAE-0003 at www.regulations.gov
Please visit www.regulations.gov to share your comments on the specific proposed rules, in accordance with the process outlined in the NPRMs. Any comments not received through the processes outlined in the NPRMs will not be considered by the departments.
Transfer of the Independent Living Services and Centers for Independent Living programs
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014 transfers the Independent Living Services and Centers for Independent Living programs from the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education, to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ACL has posted a news release regarding the transition of these programs.
Read Submitted Comments on Implementation of Title II and Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
OSERS and the Office Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) thank all the contributors who submitted comments on the implementation of WIOA Title II and Title IV. We received 277 comments by the closing on August 29, 2014.
This thoughtful feedback will be reviewed by the Offices and considered as we prepare the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on proposed regulations.
Please watch for the next opportunity to submit comments in January 2015 when the NPRM is released in the Federal Register.
Additional WIOA Information and Resources
- New OCTAE Blog: WIOA: A Vision to Revitalize the Workforce System
- Dear Colleague Letter to Tribal Leaders to explore how best to pursue the job-driven training theme in pertinent education and training programs in Indian country.
- Dear Colleague Letter to State Directors of Vocational Rehabilitation on the implementation of the January 30, 2014 Presidential Memorandum to carry out a government-wide review of federal job training and education programs to ensure that federal workforce and training system resources are effectively aligned.
- RSA Commissioner Janet LaBreck has written a Dear Colleague Letter about the WIOA.
- RSA has also created a document that highlights significant changes related to the amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, as contained in title IV of WIOA, which take effect on the date of enactment—July 22, 2014.
- Statement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on President Obama signing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
- The White House Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity initiative Web page, including the: Ready to Work report and the Ready to Work fact sheet.
- Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE)
- Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (DOL/ETA)