Designed to be win-win for unemployed workers and employers, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 assists eligible individuals gain employment by providing financial assistance in the form of a grant for specialized workforce training. In the process, it provides a more highly skilled labor pool for employers to select from when filling job vacancies. Eligible persons include those who have been involuntarily dislocated due to a layoff, termination or unfavorable economic conditions and are having difficulty finding alternate employment. Each state is responsible for its own program management, but in general, One-Stop Career Centers coordinate the application process.
Confirm that you meet all of the eligibility criteria prior to applying for the WIA grant. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age, a current U.S. citizen and either involuntarily unemployed or having difficulty securing employment due to a lack of training of work-related experience and skills.
Locate the One-Stop Career Center closest to you. These centers are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and provide career resources to job seekers ranging from job leads, career planning, resume writing assistance and job coaching.
Visit your local One-Stop Career Center to speak with a caseworker regarding the details of the Workforce Reinvestment Act grant and begin the application process. Be sure to bring proof of identification such as a driver’s license and social security card, documentation verifying your involuntary discharge, layoff or termination and an updated copy of your resume, as these items may be required to verify the information on your application.
Wait for further instruction regarding the status of your grant application. You may be placed on a waiting list before you are eligible to receive WIA services, depending on applicant volume and the core and intensive services that must be completed before you are eligible to enroll in a training program.
Begin utilizing the job resources once you are notified that your application has been approved. The WIA provides three levels of service: Core services, which provide job outreach and placement assistance; intensive services, which include assessments and career planning; and training, which allows for enrollment in a workforce training program paid for by the funds from the grant. Each of these items must be completed in the order listed above: You cannot enroll in a training program until you have completed the core and intensive service. These steps are critical in identifying your career path and determining which type of training program would be best suited for your needs.
Locate a qualified training provider and make contact to enroll in a training program.
Complete and forward any required paperwork such as proof of registration and tuition to your caseworker, who will then send the grant money directly to the educational institution to cover the costs associated with the training class.
Complete your training class and begin searching for a career in your field upon successful completion. Your One-Stop Career Center provides ongoing job assistance services and will be a significant asset if you continue to struggle to find employment.
Items you will need
- Driver's license
- Social Security card
- Proof of dislocation from your employer
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