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Prior to the Workforce Investment Act, the U.S. operated under the The Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933 which created a nationwide system of employment service offices.
In 1998, the Workforce Investmant Act (WIA) was enacted in President Clinton's second term in office. At that time, the nation had historically low unemployment rates. Local Workforce Investment Boards, manned by members of each local community, oversaw the services of each area's one-stop systems, customizing them to the needs of each geographic area.
This legislation was created to assist employers in finding the staff they need and, by training and equipping the workforce, to allow job seekers to obtain the jobs they desire. The innovation this Act instituted was the system of neighborhood One-Stop centers where all types of workers, including adults, the disabled, dislocated workers, veterans and youth, could obtain job search and placement assistance, training, education and employment services and unemployment services. Unlike WIA's predecessor, however, the Job Training Partnership Act introduced business services to the local delivery of workforce development, incorporating the needs of employers as well as employees.
The WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Program strives to meet the needs of employees and employers. It provides employment and training services for eligible individuals so they may locate and obtain meaningful employment. It assists employers in finding the workers needed to reach their business goals and objectives.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 serves up the most recent changes to America's employment system. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Labor website, the Recovery Act prohibits state and local governments and private business from utilizing "stimulus funds for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool." It also loosens the restriction previously in place regarding the contracting of local community colleges. Local investment boards are no longer required to use the Eligible Training Provider List or an Individual Training Account in making contract awards. Can anyone see how either of these changes could possibly improve or enhance the present job delivery system in this nation?
Area 7 Workforce Investment Board
U.S. Department of Labor: "Implementing the Workforce Investment Act of 1998"
U.S. Department of Labor: "Workforce Investment Act -- Adults and Dislocated Workers Program"
U.S. Department of Labor: "Wagner-Peyser/Labor Exchange"
U.S. Department of Labor: "Implementing Workforce Investment Act and Wagner-Peyser Funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009"