Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA)

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WIOA stands for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. It establishes several programs and initiatives to help individuals prepare for, find, and retain employment, as well as to support employers in recruiting and training a skilled workforce.


What is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act?

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help individuals build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the 21st century economy, and to help employers find the skilled workers they need to compete in a global marketplace.

WIOA became federal law in 2014, and replaced the previous Workforce Investment Act (WIA). WIOA is designed to improve and modernize the nation's workforce development system by bringing together various employment and training programs under a unified and streamlined framework.

WIOA's key objectives are:

  • To increase access to high-quality employment and training services for job seekers and individuals seeking to advance their careers.
  • To align workforce development efforts with the needs of employers, so that the workforce is better equipped with the skills and training required for in-demand jobs.
  • To enhance the quality and performance of the workforce development system through increased accountability, transparency, and evaluation of programs.
  • To promote coordination and collaboration among various federal, state, and local agencies involved in workforce development.
  • To improve services for vulnerable populations, such as low-income adults, youth, individuals with disabilities, and those facing barriers to employment.

WIOA creates a framework for a comprehensive system of workforce development programs and services, including job search assistance, career counseling, skill training, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and support for dislocated workers. The Act also emphasizes the importance of engaging employers and industry representatives in the workforce development process to ensure that training programs align with current labor market demands.

How to get Started

To access WIOA career services, individuals typically need to meet certain eligibility criteria. The Northwest Regional Workforce Board hosts an information session to share more about the specific services available to you. To RSVP to the information session, please e-mail [email protected] with your full name, complete home address, and phone number in your email RSVP. You may also call 203-574-6971 to register.

In person WIOA sessions are held in our 3 offices throughout the week:
- Waterbury American Job Center (249 Thomaston Ave): Tuesdays at 1:30PM and Thursdays at 10AM
- Torrington American Job Center (62 Commercial Blvd): Thursdays at 2PM
- Danbury American Job Center (185 Main Street): Thursdays at 10AM
Virtual WIOA sessions are every Friday beginning at 9AM. E-mail [email protected] for a link to the session on Zoom.

WIOA offers Career Services

Through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a variety of career services are offered to assist individuals in finding employment and advancing their careers. There are also several career services and incentives offered to employers to support their workforce needs and enhance their hiring and training practices.

Additional Resources

The Education and Training section of the CTHires website provides information regarding training programs throughout the State of Connecticut. It is a user-friendly search engine that also identifies WIOA-approved training courses.

WIOA-Eligible classes and training providers can be found here.

Dislocated Worker/Rapid Response Team Questions

The WIOA dislocated worker program aims to provide targeted assistance and services to individuals who have experienced job loss or face significant employment challenges. Eligible dislocated workers may receive various support services, including career counseling, job training, job search assistance, and other resources to help them re-enter the workforce and obtain employment in demand-driven industries.

Get More Information

Fill out the form below to find out more information about the WIOA Program.

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