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Workforce Investment Act of 1998

Workforce Investment Act of 1998

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The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (or WIA, , , , et seq.) is a United States federal law passed August 7, 1998.


The law was enacted to replace the Job Training Partnership Act and certain other Federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 job training law with new workforce investment systems (or workforce development
Workforce development
Workforce development is an American economic development approach that attempts to enhance a region's economic stability and prosperity by focusing on people rather than businesses. It is essentially a human resources strategy...

). Enacted during Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

's second term, it represented an attempt to induce business to participate in the local delivery of Workforce Development Services. The principal vehicle for this was Workforce Investment Board
Workforce Investment Board
Workforce Investment Boards are regional entities created to implement the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 in the United States, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands....

s (WIBs) which were to be chaired by private sector members of the local community. A majority of Board members were also required to represent business interests. Today, WIA funds can be used to fund workforce education and career pathways
Career Pathways
Career Pathways is a workforce development strategy used in the U.S. to support workers’ transitions from education into and through the workforce. This strategy has been adopted at the federal, state and local levels in order to increase education, training and learning opportunities for...


Workforce Investment Definitions

Sets forth definitions for workforce investment programs as cited by the chapter and for future legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

 using this Act as basis for funding.

Statewide and Local Workforce Investment Systems

  • Directs state governors to establish and appoint the members of a statewide partnership to assist in the development of the state plan.
  • Directs state governors to designate local workforce investment areas in accordance with specified requirements.
  • Requires that local workforce investment boards, and youth council
    Youth council
    Youth councils are a form of youth voice engaged in community decision-making. Youth councils exist on local, state, provincial, regional, national, and international levels among governments, NGOs, schools, and other entities.-About:...

    s within such boards, be established in each local area of a state.

Job Corps

  • Revises provisions for the Job Corps
    Job Corps
    Job Corps is a program administered by the United States Department of Labor that offers free-of-charge education and vocational training to youth ages 16 to 24.-Mission and purpose:...

     (formerly under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), which this title repeals and replaces.)
  • Provides for Job Corps recruitment standards, graduate readjustment allowances through local one-stop customer service centers, industry councils and management information.
  • Revises Job Corps requirements for:
    • Individual eligibility
    • Screening, selection, assignment, and enrollment
    • Job Corps Centers
    • Program activities and continued services
    • Counseling and job placement
    • Support
    • Operating plan
    • Standards of conduct
    • Community participation
    • Advisory committees
    • Experimental, research, and demonstration projects.

National Programs

  • Provides for workforce investment activities and supplemental services under programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives
    Alaska Natives
    Alaska Natives are the indigenous peoples of Alaska. They include: Aleut, Inuit, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Eyak, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures.-History:In 1912 the Alaska Native Brotherhood was founded...

    , and Native Hawaiians
    Native Hawaiians
    Native Hawaiians refers to the indigenous Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants. Native Hawaiians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of Hawaii.According to the U.S...

    , migrant and seasonal farmworkers and veterans (replacing similar programs formerly under JTPA.)
  • Directs the Secretary of Labor
    United States Secretary of Labor
    The United States Secretary of Labor is the head of the Department of Labor who exercises control over the department and enforces and suggests laws involving unions, the workplace, and all other issues involving any form of business-person controversies....

     to make youth opportunity grants to eligible local partnerships to provide specified activities to increase the long-term employment of eligible youth who live in empowerment zone
    Empowerment zone
    The Empowerment Zone Program consists of three US congressional designations. The Renewal Communities , Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities are highly distressed urban and rural communities who may be eligible for a combination of grants, tax credits for businesses, bonding authority and...

    s, enterprise communities, and high poverty
    Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

  • Directs the Secretary to provide assistance to an entity to establish a role model academy for out-of-school youth in a residential center located on the site of a closed or realigned military installation.
  • Directs the Secretary of Labor to provide technical assistance to states to help with transitions, general performance improvement, and dislocated worker training improvement.
  • Directs the Secretary to publish a biennial plan for demonstration, pilot, multiservice, research, and multistate projects. Sets forth requirements for such projects under such plan, including competitive award procedures and peer review.
  • Directs the Secretary to provide for continuing evaluation of programs and activities under this title. Authorizes the Secretary to conduct evaluations of other federally funded employment-related programs and activities.
  • Authorizes the Secretary to make national emergency grants for:
    • Employment and training assistance to workers affected by major economic dislocations
    • Disaster relief employment
    • Additional assistance for dislocated workers


  • Sets forth requirements for:
    • Labor standards, prohibitions on worker displacement, and other requirements relating to use of funds
    • Prompt allocation of funds
    • Monitoring
    • Fiscal controls and sanctions
    • Reports, recordkeeping, and investigations
    • Administrative adjudication
    • Judicial review
    • Nondiscrimination
    • State legislative authority
    • Workforce flexibility partnership plans
    • Use of certain real property
    • Continuation of State activities and policies.
  • Declares that a state shall not be prohibited by the federal government from drug use testing of participants in certain workforce investment programs and sanctioning those who test positive.

Subsequent actions

The law was slightly amended by the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Amendments of 1998 and the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.

External links