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The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds may be used for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) transition activities. In an October 28 Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL), the DOL Employment and Training Administration (ETA) advised that two percent of WIA program year (PY 2014) funds, or about $51.4 million, will be available to states to support transition activities. Local areas must receive at least 50 percent of the total transition amounts allocated to states.
Funds available for transition activities must be used to support activities relating to WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth programs. States and local areas are permitted to blend together the transition funds available under each funding stream. The TEGL also goes on to state that other programs authorized under WIOA Title I, including the Indian and Native American program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker program, and the YouthBuild program may also use WIA funds for transition activities (though the two percent limitation does not apply to these programs).
The TEGL also lists a series of priority activities where states could benefit from early planning, including: identification of contracts, subgrants and other agreements that will need to be modified or replaced; activities relating to state unified planning or combined planning; activities relating to new requirements for co-location of American Job Centers and Wagner-Peyser Employment Services; activities relating to new program requirements for Title I formula programs, including the increased emphasis on career pathways, sector strategies, and work-based training opportunities; and updates to workforce information technology systems.
Provisions of WIOA take effect on July 1, 2015, the first day of the next program year. However, state unified plans and performance accountability measures will not take effect until 2016. Visit DOL’s WIOA page for more information on WIOA transition.