The Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act, Part 2: Learning About the WIOA In School Youth Program

WIOA In School Youth - IowaWORKS-Southern Iowa Blog

We are returning to our Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) post from July 20th. There, we discussed WIOA Out of School Youth (OSY). Today, we will quickly outline WIOA In School Youth (ISY) services. If you are familiar with Workforce Investment Act (WIA) you will notice these services have been expanded and the eligibility for services for ISY has changed. Let’s dive right in.

In-school youth must be aged 14-21, attending school, low income, and meet one or more additional conditions, which could include:

  • Basic skills deficient
  • English language learner
  • An offender
  • Homeless, runaway, in foster care or aged out of the foster care system
  • Pregnant or parenting
  • an individual with a disability
  • person who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program or to secure and hold employment

Consider this example: Hector is a 15 year old High School sophomore who lives on your block. Hector receives Free/Reduced Lunch and is an English language learner.  Hector may qualify for WIOA services.  You see Hector everyday while waiting at the bus stop, walking home from the park, or on the soccer fields on Saturdays. When you see him you ask yourself “What programs can assist Hector in his education and career goals?”  One answer to that question is WIOA.

Hector can obtain the following services if he applies and qualifies for WIOA:

  • Tutoring, study skills training, instruction, and evidence-based dropout prevention and recovery strategies that lead to completion of the requirements for a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent…
  • Alternative secondary school services, or dropout recovery services…
  • Paid and unpaid work experiences … include—
  • summer employment opportunities and other employment opportunities available throughout the school year;
  • pre apprenticeship programs;
  • internships and job shadowing; and
  • on-the-job training opportunities;
  • Occupational skill training, which shall include priority consideration for training programs that lead to recognized postsecondary credentials…
  • Education offered concurrently with and in the same context as workforce preparation activities and training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster
  • Leadership development opportunities… community service… and other positive social and civic behaviors…
  • Support services
  • Adult mentoring… for a total of not less than 12 months
  • Follow-up services for not less than 12 months after the completion of participation, as appropriate
  • Comprehensive guidance and counseling, which may include drug and alcohol abuse counseling and referral, as appropriate
  • Financial literacy education
  • Entrepreneurial skills training
  • Services that provide labor market… information about in-demand industry sectors… and career exploration services
  • Activities that help youth prepare for and transition to postsecondary education and training

Returning to Hector’s hypothetical situation: how does WIOA help him prepare for life after high school? WIOA is designed to engage Hector in the classroom, in the community, and at the worksite. WIOA provides services for those who are eligible for assistance until they finish high school or obtain a HiSet Diploma and determine a career pathway plan like going to work, starting college, etc.

For more information contact a WIOA representative at 641-684-5401.

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