What is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)?
The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act is a federally funded program designed to support jobseekers in obtaining industry specific credentials and/or certifications that help them secure employment and increase their ability to earn higher wages.
Services that include customized career services, training, and earn and learn require jobseekers to meet certain eligibility and/or income requirements.
What services are available at the Career Resource Center?
At your local career resource center there are three different services available for adults (jobseekers over the age of 18) that include the following:
Standard Employment Services: All jobseekers have access to standard employment services. Employment services include use of the computer lab, basic computer services, resume/interview workshops, and community resource referrals.
Jobseekers who meet certain eligibility requirements (see Question 14) have access to customized employment assistance that includes the creation of a job development plan (skill and interest exploration, resume review, mock interview, job placement support and access to all standard services).
Through WIOA, jobseekers who meet eligibility requirements (see Question 14) can receive funding to attend approved programs to obtain a certification, license, or degree. Training Assistance opportunities are based on the availability of funds in your local area.
Earn and Learn Opportunities
These opportunities allow jobseekers to gain firsthand experience and discover what jobs in an industry are really like. These opportunities can include on-the-job training, apprenticeships, internships, and work experience. Earn and Learn opportunities are based on availability and jobseekers must meet certain eligibility requirements (see Question 14).
Learn more about the services available for job seekers.
Youth Service Programs provide services for jobseekers between the ages of 16-24 years old who are interested in education, training, and employment. Services can include: Job Readiness Training, GED and High School Diploma Assistance and Paid Work Experience.
Am I eligible for WIOA Funded Training if I am already in school?
If you are currently enrolled in school and are looking for WIOA funding to cover your remaining expenses, please contact your local resource center. WIOA funding cannot be used to pay for pre-requisites or previous expenses. Funds are issued directly to the school. Do not self-pay; WIOA will not issue reimbursements.
Am I eligible for WIOA Funded Training if I have recently graduated from school?
Customers applying for training services who have recently received a technical school certificate, college degree or diploma (one year or less) may not be considered for training services. Please speak with the career center staff at your local center to see if you will be able to apply for WIOA funded training.
In most cases, Customized Career Services would be an alternative service for those who have recently graduated from school.
Am I eligible for additional WIOA Funded Training if I have previously received funding from WIOA for training?
Customers who have previously received WIOA funding for training are only eligible for additional training funds if:
- You are looking to advance in your current industry and additional training will provide you with the education you need to move to the next level OR
- Your training was in an occupation where there is declining opportunity, or the industry is no longer experiencing growth (there are not opportunities for you to earn higher wages) OR
- Your training was in an industry that was impacted by COVID-19. It must be at least 2 years after you successfully completed the program, obtained training related employment and are able to show how this additional training will help you increase your income opportunity.
If these scenarios do not apply to you, in most instances you will not be eligible for WIOA Funded Training, but we encourage you to speak with a career center staff as some exceptions can be made.
Should I apply for WIOA Funded Training if I have previously received WIOA funding for training and did not complete the training?
If you were unable to complete training due to an extenuating circumstance (school closure, incarceration, judges’ orders to work, eviction, child support mandates, care for an ill family member, death in the family, medical illness etc.) then you might be able to reapply for WIOA funded training. It must be at least 1 year after you withdrew from the program, you must have provided information to your career advisor prior to program withdrawal, and the extenuating circumstances must be resolved.
What documents are required to apply for services?
You will be asked to complete:
- Checklist (Adult or Dislocated Worker)
- WIOA Eligibility Application
- Grievance and Complaint Policy
- WorkSource Georgia Portal Account
You will be asked to provide proof of:
- Work authorization (US Citizen or Permanent Resident with Work Authorization)
- Social Security Number
- Current address/residency
- Selective Service Registration (males only, born after 1/1/1960)
- Adult or Dislocated Worker Eligibility
- Verification of SNAP/TANF benefits OR
- Verification of gross household wages received in the last 6 months
- Dislocated Worker
- Verification of lay off from job and unemployment benefits (Claims Examiner Determination Letter) OR
- Statement of unemployed status
Please review the Adult or Dislocated Worker Eligibility Checklist under Step 2 Complete Required Documents.
What if I do not have a Driver License or State ID?
You must provide approved proof of identification. You can apply for a Driver’s License or State Identification Card by contacting your local Department of Driver Services. If you have additional questions, please reach out to your local Department of Driver Services.
What if I do not have a Social Security Card?
If you do not have a social security card either apply online or complete application and mail it or visit your local Social Security Office.
What if I do not have a Selective Service Registration?
Selective service is a requirement for males only born after January 1, 1960. Contact the Selective Service System, www.sss.gov or 1-888-655-1825 to request a Status Information Letter.
How do I upload documents to the WorkSource Georgia Portal?
You can review the video “How to Upload Documents” under Step Four: Upload Required Documents to the WorkSouce Georgia Portal.
Will the local career resource center know that I uploaded my documents?
No, please make sure you reach out to your local center to let them know that you have uploaded documents. If you need contact information for your local career resource center, you can find it at: https://atlworks.org/job-seekers/#find-us
Once I submit my WIOA Eligibility Application, when will I hear if I am eligible for services?
The Eligibility Specialist at your local center will notify you within 7 business days after you submit a completed application. Submitting an incomplete application can delay your process.
Once I submit my WIOA Eligibility Application, how long before I can begin receiving services?
All jobseekers are welcome to use the resources at the career resource centers anytime throughout their job search process. The timing for receiving other services is dependent on the service.
If you are eligible for Customized Career Services, you will begin your Job Development Plan within 7 business of being determined eligible.
After eligibility is determined, additional steps will be required to determine what training will work best for you. You will be required to attend the Starting Your WIOA Program Session and complete program related documents to ensure that the training you selected is a good match and meets your needs.
Earn and Learn Opportunities
After being determined eligible for an Earn and Learn opportunity, the local center will work with an employer to help set-up the opportunity. Timing on these opportunities is based on availability.
Communication and prompt responses with your local career resource center will help you move through the process more quickly.
How long is my WIOA Eligibility valid?
Eligibility is valid for 90 days from the date of your completed eligibility application.
What is the Starting Your WIOA Program Session?
The starting your WIOA Program Session is a virtual session that provides eligible customers with the information they need to select a training and get approved for training. The session covers information on three research questions:
- Am I selecting the best industry based on my skills and experiences?
- Does this industry provide me with the financial opportunity I need to support my needs?
- Does this school help me get the license, certification, or degree that I need for the industry of my choice?
When is the Starting Your WIOA Program Session offered?
The Starting Your WIOA Program is offered virtually every Wednesday at 10:00 AM, every other Wednesday at 3:00 PM and every other Saturday at 9:00 AM. Once you have been determined eligible, the career resource center staff will register you for the session.
Can I attend any school or training program I wish?
Are there any types of training that WIOA does not fund?
Skills training is only provided for occupational specific jobs and careers where hourly rates and salaries are paid and in demand. Totally commission, fee-based careers such as real estate, cosmetology, massage therapy and nail technicians are not approved for funding.
How much funding is available for WIOA funded training?
You can receive up to $7,000 for a training that is up to one year and up to $10,000 for a training that is up to two years. Programs over two years are not approved.
What are some of the training programs that are most frequently funded by WIOA?
Some of the most popular programs include occupations in health care, industrial maintenance, electronics, welding, truck driving, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning repair. You can view the most in demand jobs in metro Atlanta on the High Demand Occupation List.
How long can my training last?
WIOA funded training must be completed in 2 years or less.
Programs should not exceed 104 weeks (2 years). Exceptions to this policy may be approved on a case-by- case basis and requests should include evidence that financial support is available during extended training periods.
Am I eligible to receive Trade benefits for training?
Trade Adjustment training assistance is handled through the local GA Department of Labor Career Centers.
Do I have to apply for financial aid? Do I have to accept loans to supplement WIOA?
For jobseekers that are applying to a Technical College or University WIOA requires that you apply for financial aid and exhaust all grant funding (Pell Grant, Hope Grant, Zell Miller and other applicable scholarships) before WIOA funding can be applied.
If possible, do not accept any loans until you have spoken with your Career Advisor about your specific financial situation.
Can I start school before my WIOA is approved?
No, do not attend classes or pay in advance for any training that you expect to be paid for by WIOA funding until your training plan is completed, signed, and approved by you and your Career Advisor.
Why do some programs require additional testing or experience for approval?
Some career areas such as Information Technology, Project Management and Human Resources require previous work experience in the field. Your Career Advisor will assess your previous work experience and skills to determine your suitability for these areas.
Will WIOA pay for prerequisite courses?
No, WIOA does not cover pre-requisite, remedial or developmental courses. Applicants must be fully accepted into their program of study for funding approval.
I have been out of school for many years. Do you have staff that can help me choose a career and adjust to returning to school?
Yes, a Career Advisor will be assigned to work with you throughout your training and until you find employment. Career Advisors can help you research labor market information, provide interest and aptitude assessments, and access a variety of tools to assist you in planning your career. You should inform your Career Advisor when you are having problems, either personal or academic, which may interfere with training.
I have a bachelor’s degree. Will WIOA pay for me to receive a master’s degree?
Not typically. Exceptions may be reviewed individually. Educators seeking teacher certification in STEM (Science Tech Engineer Math) related subject areas will be reviewed on an individual basis.
What additional supports are available?
Some career resource centers, offer supportive services to individuals who might need additional support (example: Supplies/Materials/Books/ Transportation/Child Care etc.). Supportive services are offered on an as needed basis and based on the availability of resources.
How long does it take to find out if I can attend training?
Your Career Advisor will contact you within 7 business days after a completed Your WIOA Program packet is submitted.
Can I continue to receive unemployment insurance while in training?
Yes. Please note that you may exhaust unemployment insurance before you finish training if you select a training program longer than your employment benefits are scheduled to last. Attending WIOA Funded training does not extend your unemployment insurance benefits.
How long will the career resource center follow-up with me after I complete training?
Career center staff will follow-up with you for one year after you complete training and found employment.
What services are available to help me find employment?
After you complete training, if you need additional support finding employment, your Career Advisor will be able to provide you with job leads in your industry and access to workshops on preparing you for your job search.
WorkSource is a free, federally funded program that helps put people to work.