Reforming WIOA: What Governors Can Do

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 is the largest federal workforce development program, sending more than $5 billion to the states annually. Governors and states should take full advantage of WIOA to achieve their workforce goals.

1. Audit WIOA Providers and Programs: Governors or state legislators should order an audit of all WIOA providers, programs, and any other use of WIOA dollars in the state to identify areas for improvement.

2. Limit the ETPL to High-Quality Providers and Upgrade ETPL Technology: Governors should cull their eligible training providers list significantly to ensure that workers are directed toward only the best providers. States should also invest in upgrading their technology so that workers can navigate the list more easily and connect with high-quality training opportunities more quickly.

3. Use Discretionary Funds to Their Full Potential: Governors should identify creative ways to utilize their WIOA discretionary funds (currently up to 15% of their total state funding allocation) to achieve their workforce goals.

4. Set State-Specific Priority Service Groups: Governors should work with private industry and local leaders to identify which demographics or industries are most in need of workforce development services and prioritize these groups.

5. Determine How to Provide One-Stop Services Efficiently: Governors and local officials should deliver some career services online or in partnership with higher education establishments, libraries, or other community centers.

6. Hold Local Workforce Development Boards Accountable: Governors should pursue all paths to hold local workforce boards accountable, including implementing clear metrics for success and consolidating or eliminating entities that are underperforming.

7. Change State Laws to Allow for Virtual Meetings: Governors and state legislators should allow state and local workforce development boards to meet virtually, which reduces costs and expands the pool of eligible board members.

8. Leverage WIOA Outreach Opportunities: States should pursue a comprehensive advertising and public relations plan to raise awareness of the benefits of WIOA programs and promote training and job opportunities.

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