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The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was initially passed by President Obama in 2014 in an effort to modernize and streamline the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

The 2022 reauthorization of WIOA is designed to continue efforts to help American job seekers, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, access high-quality jobs and careers while helping employers hire and retain skilled workers. Bill H.R. 7309 reauthorizes funding for employment, education, training, and support services that aims to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system.

Facts about H.R. 7309:

  • This bill is a five-year reauthorization (July 1, 2023 through 2028) of the WIOA of 2014 and would increase the authorizations of appropriations for both existing WIOA programs and establish new program authorizations.
  • Sponsored by Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA-3) and introduced on March 3, 2022. Passed in the House of Representatives on May 17, 2022 (220 Yea, 196 Nay).
  • The 2022 version includes an increased emphasis on justice involved populations, opportunity youth, and individuals with barriers to employment.
  • Main sections of the bill include: Workforce Development Activities, Adult Education and Family Literacy, Amendments to the Wagner-Peyser Act, Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, and Authorizations of Appropriations.
  • Extends formula grants for Youth Activities, Adult Activities, and Dislocated Worker Activities and increases their current funding levels.
  • Establishes a new formula grant program to support summer and year-round employment for eligible youth. The bill authorizes approximately $927 million in FY2023 (increases each year to $1.49 billion in FY2028) for states that support employment and job readiness programs for opportunity youth ages 14-24.
  • Specifies that 75% of Adult Activities funded must be used to provide services to workers with barriers to employment, low-income individuals, and individuals who have foundational skill needs rather than be “given priority”.
  • Establishes a performance accountability system that focuses on the exiters’ employment outcomes (earnings of employed participants, credential attainment, effectiveness in serving employers).
  • Reauthorizes the Job Corps (administered by the United States Department of Labor) that offers free education and vocational training to young men and women ages 16 to 24. Job Corps campuses would be able to provide 12 months of employment services for former enrollees instead of 3
  • Authorizes $250 million FY2023 (increasing each year to $500 million in FY2028) in competitive grant funding for reentry employment opportunities that support the employment and reentry of justice- involved individuals to the labor market.
  • The Employment Service was designed in 2014 to be a one-stop delivery service bringing together individuals seeking employment with employers seeking Amendments in WIOA 2022 include the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa.
  • Authorizes appropriations for the purpose of making grants to assist States in meeting the costs of vocational rehabilitation services provided in accordance with State plans under as may be necessary from 2023-2028.

By Bill Woolf
Bill Woolf, Principal & Founder