What New Truck Drivers Need To Know About The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA):
Of special interest to anyone wanting to become a truck driver, and has lost their job, is that WIOA can help pay for, or completely pay for, truck driving school.
Please see below for links to your state's WIOA center, or visit careeronestop.org.
The WOIA went into effect in 2015 and supersedes the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The new legislation is mainly administrative & consolidated several workforce development programs into the WIOA , while distributing much of the oversight onto the individual states. For all intents & purposes, there weren't any noticeable changes that will affect applicants.
WIOA funding is available for truck drivers. WIOA funds have been used by thousands of people to pay for some or all of their truck driving school tuition.
The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act is a Federal program that provides training and job placement services for dislocated and displaced workers, who have lost their employment through no fault of their own. WIOA training funds are designed to serve laid-off individuals, older youth and adults who are in need of training to enter or re-enter the labor market. If you have lost your job, through lay-offs, plant closings, etc., you may be eligible for paid training and job placement services.
In addition to job services for displaced workers, the WIOA also provides for Adult Education services, to help those who lack high school diplomas, and/or need to obtain sufficient reading, writing and math skills.
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The WIOA established a single strategic plan and performance accountability system for several different workforce development programs, including the WIA, youth programs, and disaster relief.
The WIOA expands disaster relief authority, including disaster relief employment for displaced workers, to provide assistance in an emergency or national significant disaster that could result in a large amount of unemployment. It doubles the time period, to 12 months, for which disaster employment may be provided to participants.
Most applicants will probably not notice any major changes to the program. As always, check with your individual state for details (links below).
The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act is a federal act to provide training and skills development to youths, adults, and otherwise dislocated workers (i.e., laid-off, plant closings, etc.).
It was introduced as a way to increase employment, earnings, and skills of its participants, and as a result, reduce welfare dependency, improve the quality of the workforce, and increase the productivity and economic well-being of the U.S. as a whole. A population that is skilled, employed, and financially secure is good for the economy of the country, generally.
How Can I Apply To WIOA Programs?
At the bottom of the page are direct links to your states WIOA provider. They will be able to help you determine your eligibility and get you started on your way. Or visit careeronestop.org
Dislocated Workers are those individuals who have a solid history of participating in the workforce, but have lost their income or employment through no fault of their own under at least one of the following conditions: If you have been employed for the last 6 months, and were laid-off or otherwise had your job leave you, the WIOA may be able to help you with training and job placement.
- A person who has lost their job through no fault of their own or laid off, will be laid off soon, is eligible for, has exhausted, or is not eligible for Unemployment Insurance, has been employed for 6 months, and is unlikely to return to their previous occupation without further services or training. If you had a job and got laid-off, and probably won't be returning to it.
- A person who has lost their job through no fault of their own or laid off, or will be laid off soon, due to permanent closure of, or any substantial layoff at, a plant or facility.
- Is employed at a facility at which the employer has announced that the facility will close within 180 days.
- Previously self-employed and unemployed due to natural disaster and economic conditions.
- After layoff, have become reemployed in an income maintenance position (a job with a lower rate of pay than your lost job) and meets the definition of a currently employed dislocated worker.
- Being discharged (under honorable circumstances) either voluntarily or involuntarily from the military and unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation.
- A person who quits or resigns work is not considered a dislocated worker.
What Is a Displaced Homemaker?
A displaced homemaker, for dislocated worker eligibility purposes, is an individual who has been providing unpaid services to family members in the home, has been dependent on the income of another family member and is no longer supported by that income and is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment. Typically, stay-at-home moms or other at-home care-givers.
What if I have been fired from my job? Do I qualify?
If you have been terminated through no fault of your own, you may be qualified for dislocated training services depending on the conditions of your termination.
Once I submit my application, how long before I can begin my training?
In short, ASAP. After you have been determined to be eligible, and have completed basic education test, every effort is made to help you start as soon as possible.
"Supportive" services such as transportation, childcare, dependent care, housing and needs-related payments are provided under certain circumstances to allow an individual to participate in the program.
"Rapid Response" services at the employment site for employers and workers who are expected to lose their jobs as a result of company closings and mass layoffs are also available.
Individuals whose layoff was created or affected by international trade, may access information and services under the Trade Act programs.
States are responsible for program management and operations including enrollment, service delivery, and certification of training providers. Please see below for links to your specific state WIOA pages, or visit careeronestop.org
You must be an Adult, Dislocated Worker, or Displaced Homemaker as defined by the program above, and provide proof of:
- U.S. Citizenship/or Legal Alien
- Social Security Number
- 18 years old or older
- Selective Service Registration (Males only, born on or after 1/1/1960)
Dislocated workers will also need to provide:
- Notice of layoff or no-fault termination notice (Displaced Homemakers bring copies of layoff of spouse)
- Verification of unemployment insurance status (Claims Determination letter)
- Job search records (can use copies of records submitted to Unemployment Insurance)
Currently employed displaced workers, if dislocation and WIOA application does not happen in the same year, will have to provide tax return information proving income decreases.
How long can my training last? Generally, 2 years, except in specific, case-by-case circumstances.
WIOA may be approved for up to 2 years. 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. Note: Limitations have been increased to four years for graduate degrees for Registered nurses seeking nursing instructor positions at universities and technical college’s program limit. Applicants with non-medical baccalaureate degrees will be considered for accelerated Registered Nursing Master’s level programs at Regents Schools.
Can I continue to receive unemployment insurance while in training?
Yes. You will be given a special claimant trainee status while you’re in an approved training program. This means that you may continue to draw unemployment insurance while you are in full-time training (full-time as defined by the school). 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.
Can I attend any school or training program I wish? Generally, you will have to go through state-approved programs. See below for links to your state's specific WIOA website.
The school and the training program must be on the Eligible Provider List. Totally online programs are not generally approved. Short term prevocational services, such as certain test preparation courses, may be approved.
Will I have to apply for a loan to supplement WIOA?
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. You will be required to apply for PELL and HOPE Grants.
Will WIOA pay for any training that I wish to take?
Presently skills training is only provided for occupational specific jobs and careers where hourly rates and salaries are paid. Totally commission, fee-based careers such as real estate, cosmetology, massage therapy and nail technicians are not approved for funding. Lists of additional sources of financial aid are available for clients who wish to pursue these careers. Short-term certification and exam preparation courses are offered based on individual need. There are also limits on the amount of funding available for training ($5,000 for up to one year of training; $8,000 for up to two years of training).
What are some of the training programs that are most frequently funded by WIOA?
Some of the most popular programs include: health care occupations, clerical and office technology, accounting, advanced computer technology, industrial maintenance, electronics, welding, truck driving, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning repair, and teacher certification.
Are a drug screen and criminal background check required?
A background check and drug screen may be required and will be provided for individuals enrolling in WIOA training programs prior to training enrollment, such as truck driving, health care and education.
Please see below for direct links to your states WIOA provider. They will be able to help you determine your eligibility and get you started on your way:
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor sponsors its own career exploration and training portal: careeronestop.org
- District Of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands
- West Virginia