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On February 19, the Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 19-14, outlining the agency’s vision for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and identifying steps states and local areas can take now to move forward with implementation. The TEGL follows ETA’s announcement last month that the release of the Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) guiding WIOA implementation will be delayed until spring 2015.
The TEGL identifies goals for WIOA implementation, as well as specific actions states and local areas can take now to implement the law. ETA specifically calls on state and local workforce boards to support sector strategies and career pathways that advance opportunities for all workers and jobseekers, and instructs states and local areas to develop partnerships across programs and agencies and with business facilitate the development of sector strategies and career pathways approaches within WIOA.
The TEGL also elaborates on the timeline for the release of the draft regulations and other resources that will support implementation. DOL and the Department of Education (ED), both jointly and separately, will release 5 NRPMs covering jointly administered activities, ETA-administered WIOA provisions, Adult Education and Family Literacy, and the Rehabilitation Act. Once the regulations are released, there will be an opportunity for public comment, and final rules will be published in early 2016. ETA plans to also issue operating instructions and operating and programmatic guidance, and will provide technical assistance beginning early 2015 and throughout implementation.