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Empowering the Nation's Jobseekers

The Workforce Investment represents the first major reform of the nation's employment and job training programs in over fifteen years. It provides the environment for a national workforce preparation and employment system. The Workforce Investment is designed to give Americans new opportunities and choices to train for the jobs of the future by modernizing job training to fit the training needs of today's economy. The law will bring existing job programs up to date with advances in technology, improve the accessibility and quality of adult literacy and education programs, and provide improved training and employment to individuals with disabilities. States are required to fully implement the Workforce Investment Act by July 1, 2000.

To accomplish these goals, the workforce investment system is founded on several key standards.

  • States and localities will streamline services by integrating multiple employment and training programs through the "One-Stop" delivery system.
  • States and localities will empower individuals by using Individual Training Accounts that enable eligible participants to choose the qualified training program that best meets their needs.
  • Each citizen will have universal access to employment-related services.
  • States, localities, and training providers will have increased accountability for their performance. They will have to meet performance goals to remain eligible to receive funds under the Act.
  • Youth Programs will be linked closely to local labor marker needs and the community as a whole, and will provide a strong connection between academic and occupational learning.
  • There will be State and local flexibility to build on existing success in order to implement innovative and comprehensive workforce investment systems.
Each State will establish both State and Local Workforce Investment Boards. The State Board will help the Governor develop a five-year strategic plan describing statewide workforce development activities, explaining how the requirements of the Act will be implemented, and outlining how special population groups will be served. The State Board will advise the Governor on ways to develop the Statewide Workforce Investment System and a Statewide Labor Market Information System. The State Board will also help the Governor monitor statewide activities and report to the Secretary of Labor. Governors will designate local "workforce investment areas" and oversee Local Workforce Investment Boards. New youth councils will be set up as a subgroup of the local board to guide the development and operation of programs for youth.

The workforce investment system is designed to meet the needs of the nation's businesses and job seekers. The Act establishes the "One-Stop" delivery system as the cornerstone of the workforce investment system. The "One-Stop" is the access point for employment-related training services. The underlying notion of the "One-Stop" is integration of the numerous training, education, and employment programs, services and governance structures into a single, customer-friendly system. Customers will benefit from a "One-Stop" delivery system, with career centers in their neighborhoods where they can access core employment services and be referred directly to job training, education, or other services. Through the "One-Stop" system, every individual will have access to core employment related services.

  • Training and employment programs must be designed and managed at the local level where the needs of businesses and individuals are best understood.
  • Customers must be able to conveniently access the employment, education, training, and information services that they need at a single location in their neighborhoods.
  • Customers should have choices in deciding the training program that best fits their needs and the organizations that will provide the service.
  • They should have control over their career development.
  • Customers have a right to information about the success and quality of service providers.
  • Businesses will provide information, leadership, and play an active role in ensuring that the system prepares people for current and future jobs.
For more Information on the Workforce Investment Act:

Gateway to Information on the Workforce Investment Act This U.S. Department of Labor web site is a work in progress. Designed to provide both answers to current and emerging questions about the Workforce Investment Act, this site offers a work space where anyone with an interest in workforce development can pose questions, participate in discussions, and gather information.

Implementing The Workforce Investment Act: Governors' Opportunities And Responsibilities The Workforce Investment represents the first major reform of the nation's employment and job training programs in over fifteen years. Although the legislation does not authorize the consolidation of these programs, it affords Governors considerable opportunities to align them into workforce development systems in their states that are responsive to the changing needs of employers and workers. The Workforce Investment Act provides Governors - working through state agencies and in cooperation with local elected officials, business, and labor - considerable flexibility to address these needs by designing a customer-focused, results-oriented, workforce development system

Let us know about innovative practices in your state or locality. We'd like to share your success with others.


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