WIA Questions and Answers - Services and Training

The WIA Services and Training questions and answers (Q&A) may include areas such as supportive and follow-up services, Individual Training Accounts (ITA), customized training, on-the-job training (OJT), and more.

ST-WIA67 -- Under Title I of the WIA youth program, is it an allowable expense to give cash, as an incentive or stipend, directly to a participant?
Yes, cash payments, such as incentive and stipends, would be considered allowable if the payments met the conditions of supportive services as described in the WIA and its regulations [WIA 101(46) and Title 20 of the Federal Regulations 664.440]. If the youth needs the incentive of cash payments in order to succeed in and complete the WIA program, those payments could be allowable under WIA, unless the local board has implemented policy limiting or disallowing such payments. [12/06]

ST-WIA66 -- Can supportive services be provided retroactively? We have a client who did not request supportive services and declined them at initial completion of an individual employment plan; then, three months into the training, the client requested reimbursement for mileage costs. Is such reimbursement allowable under WIA?
The use of WIA funds for supportive services is allowable only if those services are necessary for the individual to participate in WIA Title I activities, and the individual is unable to obtain those supportive services through other programs [Title 20 Code of Federal Regulations (20 CFR) 663.805]. To document those two conditions retroactively would be very difficult. Most likely, any such attempt would lead to questioned costs. Here is the rationale:

First, if the individual has been participating in WIA Title I activities to date without those supportive services, then you cannot argue that those supportive services were necessary for the individual to participate in WIA activities. In this case, you cannot document that travel expenses were needed for the individual to attend training because she or he attended training without travel cost reimbursement.

Second, to document the lack of alternative sources of funding for a period of time that has passed, would be difficult in some cases and impossible in others. For example, if asked whether they would have provided funds for something (e.g., travel, work clothes, child care) at some past date, many organizations would have no way of being able to provide an answer because that determination could be made only in the context of the competing requests for funds or services at the time in question.

An additional concern to consider is that Local Workforce Investment Boards may establish their own limits on the provision of supportive services; therefore, retroactive supportive services may be unallowable in your local area [20 CFR 663.810].

If the individual is in danger of dropping out of WIA-funded activities, our recommendation is that you consider addressing the new need created by the prior lack of supportive services. For example, if the individual cannot afford the books and school supplies needed for the training because she or he spent that money on past transportation costs, rather than retroactively reimbursing those transportation costs, pay for the current books and school supplies.

On the other hand, if the individual no longer needs those supportive services but is requesting reimbursement to compensate for a missed opportunity, the only way to permit that would be through the use of non-WIA funds. [9/06]

ST-WIA65 -- May a client receive supportive services while enrolled in on-the-job training (OJT) and earning an income?
There are no federal or state prohibitions specific to providing supportive services to OJT clients; however, Section 663.810 of Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations allows local areas directly, or through their America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM, formerly known as One-Stop Career Centers, operators, to establish limits on the provision of supportive services. If your Local Workforce Investment Board has not established any such policy and has not authorized its One-Stop operators to do so, then you have only to ensure that the supportive services meet the federal guidelines in the WIA and its regulations. [9/06]

ST-WIA64 -- We currently have several foster youth enrolled in our WIA15 Percent High Concentration of Youth grant who are homeless and we are looking at options to assist them in obtaining emergency funds and housing while they are in the process of applying for Section 8 housing and looking for part-time employment to support themselves while they are in the WIA-funded college program. (1) Can youth who are attending a community college receive needs-related payments while they are attending classes, labs, and tutorials? The payments would be funded through our WIA 15 Percent High Concentration of Youth grant. (2) Can we use WIA 15 Percent funds for temporary emergency housing (2 weeks) for homeless youth who are transitioning out of foster care and in the process of finding employment and applying for Section 8 housing?
The WIA 15 Percent requirements do not address needs-related payments specifically, so your questions fall under the general requirements pertaining to youth activities.

(1) The WIA 134(d)(4)(D) states that "Training services may include ..." and goes on to list some services. The Department of Labor (DOL) has provided us with earlier guidance interpreting such phrases as "may include" as being non-inclusive. That is, the list of training services at WIA 134(d)(4)(D) is not to be interpreted as a description of the only services that qualify as training. Since "training" is not otherwise defined in the Act, Regulations, or other WIA guidance, we must use the "reasonable person" test in defining "training," and ask, "Would a reasonable person consider the college program (that you reference) to be training?" Our conclusion is yes.

The WIA 129(c)(2)(G) lists supportive services as an allowable use of youth funds, and WIA 101(46) includes needs-related payments as a supportive service. Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations (20 CFR) 664.440 does not specifically identify needs-related payments in the list of supportive services for youth; however, the list is considered non-inclusive because of its wording, and we have received informal guidance from DOL stating that we are not to interpret that list as excluding needs-related payments as a supportive service for youth.

So, if it is your assessment that the WIA-enrolled youth in your college program require needs-related payments in order to successfully complete that program, you may use your 15 Percent Project funds for that purpose. Keep in mind, though, that needs-related payments cannot be substituted as a form of salary. There must be a specific need and the need must be related to the successful completion of the training.

(2) The WIA 101(46) and 20 CFR 664.440(d) both allow the use of WIA funds as supportive services for housing costs. This could be as a needs-related payment to the youth (if the youth are in training or will start training within 30 days) or it could be in the form of a supportive service by payment directly to the provider of housing.

Additionally, for future needs, you might want to consider researching private-sector grants to see if you can find another source of funding for the housing component. There are many organizations that consider this an issue worthy of their charitable funds, and by combining such grant funds with your WIA project funds, you are in a position to submit a strong project proposal because you are leveraging two different sources of funds. Grantors prefer to see grantees leverage funds, and of course, it would leave more WIA funds for you to provide training and related services. [8/06]

ST-WIA63 -- Are youth who have aged out of foster care and are currently enrolled in the County’s Independent Living Program considered low income for the purpose of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) eligibility?
Yes. Youth who are currently enrolled in the Independent Living Program may be considered low income for the purpose of determining eligibility under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

Here is the rationale: Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations 664.200 includes low income, as defined at WIA 101(25), as one of the conditions that establish WIA youth eligibility. The WIA 101(25) includes homelessness, as defined in the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney), as one of the conditions that establish low income status. Title 42 of the U.S. Code 11302(a) and (c) (McKinney), define homelessness as, among other conditions, having a primary nighttime residence that is temporary and supervised. Enrollees in the Independent Living Program are youth who are homeless or have left an unsafe home environment, and reside in temporary, supervised housing while they receive training and other assistance. Those enrollees, therefore, meet the WIA low income eligibility criterion.

Two additional points to make: First, although enrollees in the Independent Living Program receive a stipend, you probably could establish low income status directly rather than indirectly through homelessness. Second, if the individuals have aged out of the foster youth system, you could serve them as adults. [6/06]

ST-WIA62 -- We are required to have a process to be used to procure training services that are made as exceptions to the use of individual training accounts (ITA). Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations (20 CFR) 663.430(a)(2) states that this process must include a public comment period of at least 30 days for interested providers. Is this comment period required for the development of the process that we will follow, or are we required to have a 30-day comment period for any training services we would procure under the process?
The public comment period described at 20 CFR 663.430(a)(2) refers only to the actual procurements. That is, every time that you implement the process in order to procure one or more training contractors, you must have a public comment period.

There is, however, a public comment period for the development of the process, as well. It is included as part of the public comment period for the entire local workforce investment plan, which contains a description of the process for exceptions to the ITA system, as required under 20 CFR 661.350(a)(5) and (10). When the entire local plan is made available for public comment, as required under 20 CFR 661.345(b)(3), the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the plan for awarding training contracts. [5/06]

ST-WIA61 -- Does registered mean "enrolled" in the program? If so the following regulations state: Section 663.805 When may supportive services be provided to participants? (a) Supportive services may only be provided to individuals who are: (1) Participating in core, intensive or training services; and (2) Unable to obtain supportive services through other programs providing such services (WIA Sections 134(e)(2)(A) and (B)). (b) Supportive services may only be provided when they are necessary to enable individuals to participate in Title I activities (WIA Section 101(46)). The regulation above states core services could you please clarify?
Application (what was referred to as registration under previously federally funded employment and training programs) and enrollment/registration under WIA are two separate stages in an individual’s quest for WIA funded services. Application is an interval in this process when information about the client is obtained to determine the client’s program eligibility. This activity, even if it results in a positive determination, does not mean the client is a program participant. The client is not a program participant until the client is enrolled/registered in an allowable WIA funded program activity. Enrollment/registration occurs on the day the individual actually begins receiving/participating in WIA funded services, employment and/or training. The paperwork should not be entered into the Job Training Automation (JTA) system until the individual actually begins his or her participation, not in anticipation of beginning services.

Individuals taking advantage of universal core services that do not require a significant level of staff involvement (core A services) may be provided information relating to the availability of supportive services, including child care and transportation, available in the local area, and referral to such services. Once the core services involve a significant level of staff service (core B services), the individual receiving that service is participating in a WIA funded activity and should be determined eligible and enrolled/registered with the proper activity code, and may now be provided WIA funded supportive services. [4/06]

ST-WIA60 -- Are needs-related payments allowable for adults, dislocated workers, and youth, enrolled in training?
Yes. Needs-related payments are among the array of supportive services possible under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and are described as specifically allowable for adults and dislocated workers at WIA 134(e)(3) and Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations (20 CFR) 663.815. No similar section of the WIA specifically authorizes needs-related payments for youth, nor are needs-related payments listed at 20 CFR 664.440, which describes what may be included as supportive services for youth; nevertheless, needs-related payments are an allowable supportive service for youth. This interpretation is based on an unrelated discussion in the preamble to the WIA regulations, which states that "throughout the regulations, the term ’include’ is used to indicate an illustrative, but not exhaustive list of examples" even in sections where the term "but not limited to" has been removed [Federal Register, Vol. 65, No. 156, Page 49351]. We conclude, therefore, that the omission of needs-related payments from the list of allowable supportive services for youth, described at 20 CFR 664.440, is irrelevant, and the definition of supportive services at WIA 101(46), which includes needs-related payments, is as applicable to youth as it is to adults and dislocated workers. [1/06]

ST-WIA59 -- If a local board has met the criteria for using contracts instead of individual training accounts to obtain training services, as described at 20 CFR 663.430, must the local board also obtain a waiver from the State?
No. A waiver would not be needed unless the local board also intends to be the training provider. [10/05]

ST-WIA58 -- Must employers in the private-for-profit sector pay wages to youth in work experience that are equal to the wages of the host firm’s regular employees?
While wage payments must conform to the requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (if an employer/employee relationship exists), participation in a work experience does not necessarily require that the wages be comparable to the firm’s regular employees. However in addition to federal law, wage requirements for youth must also conform with California’s Child Labor Laws (California Labor Code, Section 1791). For more information, you can review the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement’s child labor laws booklet at: www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DLSE-CL.htm. [7/05]

ST-WIA57 -- For which services may Individual Training Accounts (ITA), be used?
The ITAs may be used to obtain training services listed on the State’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). The WIA provides a sample of allowable uses for ITAs, including:

  • Occupational skills training, including training for nontraditional employment
  • On-the-job training
  • Programs that combine workplace training with related instruction, which may include cooperative education programs
  • Training programs operated by the private sector
  • Skill upgrading and retraining
  • Entrepreneurial training
  • Job readiness training
  • Adult education and literacy activities (provided in combination with services described in any of clauses through (vii)
  • Customized training

In general, ITAs are used for tuition, the price or payment for instruction. However, tuition may include access to non-instructional services as a part of the price of tuition. Tuition may include access to services and facilities such as childcare, restrooms, parking, first aid, etc. For example, community colleges typically provide students many services that are not instructional for the cost of tuition. Nevertheless, an ITA may not be used to purchase stand-alone supportive services.

As a matter of clarification, supportive services may be provided to participants that are enrolled in training in accordance with the provisions of WIA and Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Further information on California’s ETPL policies and procedures can be found in the following WIA Directive WIAD06-15. [6/05]

ST-WIA56 -- Is there a requirement regarding allowable payment methods for employees who are on "on-call" status?
Unless otherwise provided for in a union or other contractual agreements between an employer and an employee (or the employee’s representatives), the degree to which the employer places restrictions on the employee determines whether the employee’s time is compensable. For example, if the employee is free to go wherever and do whatever he or she pleases while on call as long as he or she can get to the workplace within a reasonable amount of time after being contacted (e.g., paged), the employer is not required to pay wages. If the employee must remain at a certain location while on call, or must call in frequently to inquire if he or she must report to work, then the employee’s time on this stand-by status is compensable.

Individuals working under a union-negotiated contract or individually negotiated contract may have additional rights for wages while on call or on stand-by status, in accordance with the written agreement. Also, some employers implement their own policies within the scope of the law and may voluntarily choose to pay for time spent on call even if not required by law.

The payment method, e.g., checks, cash, compensated time off, etc., is at the employer’s discretion, but may be negotiated and agreed upon in an employment contract or union agreement. [4/05]

ST-WIA55 -- Does the individual employment plan (IEP) need to be completed regardless of what core service is received by the participant?
No. In part, the Act states that intensive services may be offered to individuals who are unemployed and unable to obtain employment through core services. There is no federal or state policy that indicates which or how many core services an individual must utilize before they can be provided intensive services. The individual employment plan is only one type of intensive service cited in the Act. While the development of a plan would be a responsible step in providing intensive services, it is not a condition for receiving those services.

Specifics in terms of progression through WIA services is a local decision as long as the federal requirement for completing each level of core, intensive and training services prior to receiving next level of service is observed. [4/05]

ST-WIA54 -- Once a youth has satisfied a performance goal by receiving a diploma and subsequently updates their individual service strategy (ISS) and begins a job search, in what WIA youth activity would you place the participant? What is the definition of Job Search Techniques? What WIA activity reflects a participant looking for a job?
You can use code 72, "Employment Services," to document that an individual searching for a job and assign a work readiness skills goal. Under work readiness, "Job Search Techniques" can include developing skills related to résumés, interviews, applications and follow-up letters. While not an exhaustive list, the purpose of these skills is to assist individuals in presenting themselves in a professional manner when pursuing employment opportunities. [1/05]

ST-WIA53 -- The WIA Directive WIAD04-9 page 13 indicates the designated entity may participate in capacity building activities. Does the provision of English as a Second Language (ESL) training to workers who are facing downsizing fall within the scope of rapid response capacity building activities? Is short-term prevocational training allowable under rapid response funding?
The WIA 133(a)(2) permits the governor to reserve for rapid response activities, up to 25 percent of the state’s dislocated worker allocation. The WIA 134(a)(2)(A) further states that the state’s rapid response activities include the provision of additional assistance to local areas that experience disasters, mass layoffs, plant closings, or other events that precipitate substantial increases in the number of unemployed individuals. Generally, the terms rapid response and additional assistance are used separately; thus, even though additional assistance is statutorily part of rapid response, when we speak of rapid response activities we are not including additional assistance activities.

The required and allowable uses of WIA rapid response funds (i.e., funds not including those 25 Percent funds set aside for additional assistance), are listed at Title 20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 665.310 and 665.320, and WIA Directive WIAD05-18.

Although capacity building is an allowable rapid response activity, it is intended to enhance the knowledge and skills of the local workforce development community (e.g., job center staff), not the workers who are or soon will be dislocated. The ESL training and short-term prevocational training are not allowable uses of rapid response funds because they constitute direct services to dislocated workers; however, additional assistance funds may be used if, as described at Title 20 CFR 665.340, there are not adequate local funds to assist dislocated workers. [1/05]

ST-WIA52 -- Since WIA requires the coordination of training costs with funds available under federal programs such as Pell Grants, is it required that a veteran use GI Bill benefits along with an individual training account? The GI Bill benefits seem to be earned benefits and not grants provided through a general federal program.
Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 663.320 does require you to coordinate WIA training funds and other "grant assistance," although it does not define "grant." According to the Veterans’ Administration Educational Benefits web site, www.gibill.va.gov, you are correct in thinking that GI educational assistance is a service benefit (analogous to health care benefits), not a grant.

Under WIA, your Local Workforce Investment Area must establish service priority criteria, and need is among those criteria. Section 663.320(a)(2) of the CFR specifically limits the use of WIA training funds to those who "require assistance beyond that available under grant assistance from other sources...," (i.e., those who need the funding). As long as you are consistent and fair to all potential clients, you may take into consideration the availability of GI educational assistance in determining an individual’s need, but you cannot require a client to apply for that or any other such assistance.

Additionally, there are several forms of military and veteran educational assistance, the Montgomery GI Bill being just one. Some forms seem more like grants than others, e.g., the "Tuition Top-Off" funds, but according to the Veterans’ Administration, educational benefits may be used for any purpose, e.g., living expenses, as long as the veteran meets the eligibility requirements. The WIA funds are more restricted.

We recommend that you approach your determination from a perspective of client need as you would for any other client. [12/04]

ST-WIA51 -- Are veterans, who receive at least one core service, are unable to obtain employment, and are determined by a Job Center operator to be in need of more intensive services, given higher priority to intensive services over non-veterans?
While all individuals may receive some level of services for workforce investment activities, veterans who meet the same local area requirements for eligibility as non-Veterans will have priority for receipt of services. Veterans’ priority does not dictate how local area’s must budget funds among core, intensive and training services. However, local areas are required to ensure that all eligible veteran workers are given priority over eligible non-veterans for all available services. [10/04]

ST-WIA50 -- Where can I find information on workforce investment programs benefiting veterans?
The primary objective of the Veterans Program is to develop and support programs that increase opportunities for veterans to obtain employment and job training in California. Eligible veterans are entitled to receive priority services in job referrals and referrals to training by the Employment Development Department (EDD) staff, as well as other employment-related services. [10/04]

ST-WIA49 -- Section 663.200 of the WIA Final Rules allows for the provision of paid and unpaid work experience as part of the intensive services to adults and dislocated workers. May paid work experience include intensive services that combine work experience and classroom-based activities?
There is no specific guidance in either the WIA or the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the allowability of paying for classroom activities as part of paid work experience for adults and dislocated workers. However, the Department of Labor (DOL) stated that: "State and Local Boards are responsible for developing policies on the use, and duration, of both paid and unpaid internships and work experiences as a service strategy." The DOL emphasizes that State and local boards will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of intensive services, including internships and work experience, in responding to the needs of participants and the results on participant outcomes.

A Local Workforce Investment Board may establish a policy allowing for payment of classroom-based learning that is combined with paid employment on the worksite. The policy must indicate that the classroom portion be related to the worksite component, either as direct skills relative to employment or as general work behaviors such as those described in the question. [10/04]

ST-WIA48 -- Is a WIA participant, enrolled in training, eligible for Needs Related Payments if he/she is currently receiving workers’ compensation?
Yes. Needs Related Payments (NRP) must be based on documented need and must be necessary and reasonable in order for the recipient to participate in training. Local Workforce Investment Boards may set policies that allow, in limited situations, payment of NRP to those individuals receiving workers’ compensation. There must be a sound justification that the workers’ compensation is not sufficient to meet the documented needs of the individual and that the NRP are necessary and reasonable to ensure the participation of the individual in training. With regard to "necessary and reasonable," which is a standard applied to all expenditures of WIA funds by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the weekly amount of the NRP should be no greater than the difference between the weekly family income (e.g. workers’ compensation and/or other) and the maximum applicable levels regarding either unemployment compensation or the OMB poverty level, as required by Title 20 CFR Section 663.840. [10/04]

ST-WIA47 -- Can WIA intake process be considered either an eligibility process or a service activity?
It depends on what occurs during the "intake" process. For example, if it consists of a determination of eligibility for Title IB services, an orientation to the Job Center, or access to job listings, etc., then it would be considered a core self-service and no registration would be required. If it consists of a staff-assisted core, intensive, or training service, then the individual must be registered. For example, staff-assisted core services requiring registration would include job search and placement assistance, career counseling, job search workshops and job clubs, and other such activities. For more extensive guidance, refer to the Department of Labor Training and Employment Guidance Letter 17-05. [10/06]

ST-WIA46 -- Do WIA Intensive Services include other services such as health insurance for my child, purchase of a computer, or gasoline for my car while I’m in training?
One of the core services offered to adults and dislocated workers by local Job Centers is the provision of information relating to the availability of supportive services in the local area, and referral to such services as necessary. The term "supportive services" means necessary and reasonable services such as transportation, child care, dependent care, housing, and other services that are necessary to enable an individual to participate in authorized activities under WIA. After assessing an individual’s training and employment needs, including supportive service needs, a local Job Center will decide which services are necessary and reasonable to enable the individual to participate. [10/04]

ST-WIA45 -- We have defined follow-up (as an activity) as contacting an "exiter" 30/60 day intervals and at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters. Does the State and/or Department of Labor (DOL) mandate we follow-up at these intervals?
Regarding follow-up for performance and supplemental data collection, it is mandatory to use a DOL WIA follow-up form for four quarters after the participant’s exit. This is based on federal reporting requirements. It is optional at 30 and 60 days. Completion of the form may help local areas improve their performance. For example, those who are reported as "Unable Due to Illness/Disability" or "Died/Incapable After Exit" will be subtracted from the total used for determining performance. In other words, they will not become negative terminations, but will simply be removed from the equation. [10/04]

ST-WIA44 -- Does the State have a template or sample Individual Service Strategy form along with case management policies and procedures for its use?
No. The State does not have a standard form or policies and procedures for case management. However, there are technical assistance guides and samples online that might assist you in developing your own forms and strategies. Such guides include: Department of Labor - Office of Youth Services, Technical Assistance Resources; and Sar Levitan Center for Social Policy Studies. [10/04]

ST-WIA43 -- Since available Pell Grants are to be used to cover the costs of training, may the Local Workforce Investment Area supplement the Pell Grant by the maximum amount set by local policy for Individual Training Accounts (ITA)?
Yes. A Local Workforce Investment Board may set a policy that allows for a maximum amount of WIA funds that may be spent on ITAs. The policy could further state that training costs may be subsidized to that maximum amount if other available funds, including Pell Grants, are not sufficient to cover the total cost. The WIA funds may be used to supplement the costs of training beyond the value of a Pell Grant. [10/04]

ST-WIA42 -- If a youth is currently in the follow-up period, can a work experience component be used as a follow-up service to secure a better paying job as listed in the WIA Regulations, Section 664.450?
No. Work experience is not a follow-up service, as described in Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 664.450. However, work experience, paid or unpaid, is another allowable category of service that can be provided as a post-exit service. The Job Training Automation (JTA) Client Forms Handbook list the various types of post-exit services. Work experience is included under Service Code 26.02 as a part of allowable Employment Service. The JTA Client Forms Handbook was transmitted as an attachment to Workforce Services Directive WSD09-8 (February 11, 2010). [4/05]

ST-WIA41 -- May a younger youth participate in an activity that focuses on career with input from the business community?
The Department of Labor and the State only require the Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIA) to offer services that satisfy the ten program elements stated in WIA Section 129 and Title 20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 664.410. The content of these services must be based on each participant’s objective assessment and Individual Service Strategy. While the selection and content of these services are unique to the needs of the participants and availability within the LWIAs, examples of services that may be provided with input from the business sector include: work experience; vocational or occupational skills training (employers might develop a curriculum that could award a certificate at the completion of the activity); and on-the-job training with the requirement that youth complete their formal education (since this activity would require the hiring of the individual after training, it is appropriate for older youth in certain situations). [10/04]

ST-WIA40 -- Can a Local Workforce Investment Area provide a participant with multiple training courses as long as it is within the Individual Training Account cost cap?
Yes, as long as the training is with eligible training providers, the participant otherwise meets the eligibility requirements for training, and the training is consistent with the individual education plan. This is a local decision, which must be consistent with the Local Workforce Investment Board policy. [10/04]

ST-WIA39 -- How does paid training work for current employers?
Customized training [WIA Section 101(8)] is training designed to meet the special needs of employers. The employer pays for not less than 50 percent of the training and guarantees to employ an individual on successful completion of the training. Employed individuals may receive training through state- and local-level WIA-funded programs. Incumbent worker training is an allowable statewide activity [WIA Section 134(a)(3)(A)(iv)(I)]. It is the responsibility of the California Workforce Investment Board to define the term incumbent worker. Employed adults and dislocated workers may receive training services through the One-Stop system when certain conditions are met. These individuals must meet the eligibility requirements for adults or dislocated workers. To receive intensive services and, ultimately, training services, an employed individual must be determined by a Job Center operator to be in need of such services to obtain or retain employment that leads to self-sufficiency. [10/04]

ST-WIA38 -- The Act and Regulations cite Customized Training as an exception to Individual Training Accounts (ITA). The preamble of the Regulations states that ITA exceptions for contracts for special populations must meet the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) criteria even if the provider is not on the ETPL. Please clarify.
The passage you cite in the preamble actually states that training providers operating under the ITA exceptions must qualify as "eligible providers," not as meeting the "ETPL criteria" as posed in your question. Appropriate service providers may be selected as long as the LWIA takes into consideration the specific geographic and demographic factors where the program operates and the characteristics of the special population being served. [12/03]

ST-WIA37 -- If an employer provides customized training, would WIA clients still be able to receive benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Program (UI) or California Training Benefits Program (CTB)?
Eligibility for the UI and CTB would be dependent on the WIA clients’ employment status. If the employer makes job offers to those individuals, hires them, and then trains them, the individuals would be employed during the training and, therefore, ineligible for UI or CTB benefits, even though WIA funds still may be used to subsidize the training costs. On the other hand, if the employer makes the job offers contingent on successful completion of the training, then the individuals would not yet be employees while in training. They would actually be employees after the training because that is when the employer would hire them.

For additional information, please refer to the CTB Fact Sheet. [11/03]

ST-WIA36 -- May an employer provide customized training subsidized under WIA, or must the training be provided by a provider identified on the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL)?
In customized training situations, it is allowable for the employer (or potential employer) to provide the training and the employer need not be on the ETPL. [11/03]

ST-WIA35 -- An employer guarantees to hire individuals who successfully complete a customized training course. At what point in time are those individuals considered employees?
Because the employer makes hiring contingent on the successful completion of training, the individuals are not employees during that training. After the training ends, individuals who successfully complete the training will get a job offer from the employer, and when that offer is accepted, the individuals become employees. [11/03]

ST-WIA34 -- An employer guarantees to hire individuals who successfully complete a customized training course, and offers to pay them a training wage while they are in training. Are those individuals still considered WIA adult or dislocated workers, or are they WIA incumbent workers?
If the individuals are receiving wages—any sort of wage, including a training wage—then the hiring has taken place already and is not contingent on successful completion of training. If the individuals do not successfully complete the training, the employer may choose to terminate their employment; otherwise, they continue to be employed. During the training, the individuals are employees and are not dislocated. If WIA funds are subsidizing the training, the individuals may fit the definition of "adult" and/or "incumbent" worker, but only in the sense that the term describes the specific type of WIA funds being used to train them.

If the employer wants to provide "wages" to the individuals while still making the hiring contingent on successful completion of the training, the employer can, instead of "training wages," offer a hiring bonus. That is, on hiring, the individuals get an additional payment that equals the amount that the employer wanted to provide as a training wage. In this scenario, the individuals remain unemployed (and unpaid) throughout the training, but earn an extra amount on being hired after training.

For additional information, please refer to WIA Sections 101(8) and 134 (a)(3)(A)(iv)(I). [11/03]

ST-WIA33 -- How may I obtain subsidized training for my employees?
There are several possible solutions to your employee training needs. WIA funds, as well as other funds, may be available to subsidize your employee training costs, including customized training. For example:

  • WIA funding may be used to train potential hirees or to train current employees for higher-paying positions.
  • Welfare-to-Work funds may be used to pay for the training of welfare recipients.
  • Funds also may be available through special projects, such as Techforce or Career Ladders into the 21st Century, for certain skill advancement training.

To find out what funds are available for your specific needs, contact the employer services staff at your local Job Center. [10/03]

ST-WIA32 -- Can WIA participants receive core, intensive, and training services concurrently?
WIA provides for three levels of services: core, intensive, and training. These services have to be provided sequentially. However, once the participant is enrolled, he/she may receive core and/or intensive services concurrently. For example, a participant could be enrolled in training and receive core and/or intensive services at the same time. These services may be offered by the different providers in your area. [8/03]

ST-WIA31 -- Can an individual use funds from multiple Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIA) to pay the cost of an Individual Training Account (ITA)?
Yes. Section 195 of the Act states that LWIAs may enter into agreements to pay or share the cost of educating, training or placing individuals participating in programs. This could include sharing the cost of an ITA. Local Workforce Investment Boards should have such cost sharing policies in place along with formal agreements with other LWIAs involved. The use of such agreements should also be documented in the five-year local plan. Since the LWIAs would not be duplicating services, but rather supplementing the costs of service, this would be consistent with the WIA prohibitions on duplication. Finally, the individual must meet the LWIAs’ tests for priority of service and determination of efficient use of funds. [4/03]

ST-WIA28 -- Can supportive services be provided after a participant has been exited?
In written correspondence, the Department of Labor has explained that:

"The Federal policy committee in D.C. has determined that follow-up is a title I activity and therefore supportive services can be offered during this activity even if the participant has exited for performance purposes."

Individuals who have been placed in unsubsidized employment and subsequently exited from the program may be provided WIA-funded supportive services such as childcare, transportation, uniforms, etc. after exit; however, they may not be provided needs-related payments. [10/02]

ST-WIA27 -- We are confused about the requirement that all youth must be registered. Does this mean that all youth walking in the door are to be enrolled and served, or does this mean something else? How do we charge the costs for the core services provided to youth ages 14-17?
Youth that are participating in any of the programs described in WIA Section 129(c) must be registered. Youth who use the Job Center's core services do not need to be registered. It is reasonable for Job Center staff to provide youth ages 14 through 17 more assistance in accessing and using the Job Center's core services than one would expect an adult to need. The additional assistance a youth (14-17 years old) needs in using core services can be provided without registering the youth in the youth program. Youth ages18 through 21 should be enrolled in the adult program to receive staff-assisted (core B) services as they are described in the Department of Labor Training and Employment Guidance Letter 17-05. [10/06]

ST-WIA25 -- If a youth with a learning disability comes in for services, are we held to the basic skills level, or is there an option for establishing an alternative goal, perhaps a functional goal?
Alternative achievement goals may be set for learning disabled youth. Section 664.205 of the Regulations allows Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIA) to establish such a policy and apply it in appropriate cases where individuals are "unable to compute or solve problems, read, write or speak English at a level necessary to function on the job, in the individual’s family or in society." This determination must be identified in the assessment and become part of the individual service plan. The Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) must also develop a local policy that will accept this type of goal in place of the basic skills goal. [6/02]

ST-WIA22 -- Can supportive services be provided as post-placement follow-up services to adults, dislocated workers and youth after they have exited?
Yes. Adults and Dislocated Workers Follow-up services must be made available to adults and dislocated workers who enter unsubsidized employment for a minimum period of 12 months following placement. Not all adults and dislocated workers who are placed in unsubsidized employment will want or need such services. However, they must be made available if they are necessary and reasonable to ensure employment retention, wage gains and career progress. Such services could include, but are not limited to:

  • Additional career planning and counseling
  • Contact with a participant’s employer, including assistance with work-related problems that may arise
  • Peer support groups
  • Information about additional educational opportunities
  • Referral to supportive services available in the community

The need for post-placement supportive services must be documented as part of the Individual Employment Plan in the participant’s file. As stated in Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations Section 663.815, financial assistance, such as needs-related payments, is not allowable for employed individuals. Section 134(e)(3)(A) restricts needs-related payments to unemployed persons who have exhausted or do not qualify for unemployment compensation and who need payments to participate in training. [4/03]

ST-WIA18 -- Is WIA a "work first" program?
No. The WIA Title I adult and dislocated programs are comprehensive employment preparation programs, including core, intensive and training services. Training services are as important to the success of the program as core and intensive services. All three services should be equally available to anyone that needs them. [8/01]

ST-WIA17 -- May supportive services be provided to adults and dislocated workers who are employed and have exited WIA Title I for performance purposes?
Yes. Supportive services may only be provided when they are necessary to enable individuals to participate in Title I activities. [Title 20 CFR 663.805(b)]. The federal policy committee has determined that follow-up is a Title I activity therefore supportive services can be offered during this activity even if the participant has exited for performance purposes. However, needs related payments may not be provided. [8/01]

ST-WIA15 -- When do youth need a work permit?
Youth between the ages of 14 and 17 who have not graduated from high school or received a general equivalency diploma (GED) must have a work permit to obtain employment. Work permits can be obtained through schools. If the permit is needed during the summer, you may apply at the district offices. Youth ages 12-13 may apply for a work permit, but the restrictions on their employment will be greater than for older minors. Youth are generally restricted in terms of number of hours worked in a day, number of days in a week, and type of equipment used on the job. Moreover, minors under 14, for example, may not be employed or permitted to work in clerical or food service occupations.

For complete information on California’s Child Labor Laws as written by the Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Labor Standards enforcement, see: www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/CLLPamphlet2000.pdf. [8/03]

ST-WIA11 -- Is it allowable to use on-the-job training (OJT) to increase base wage/salary of a WIA client who has completed training and begun working in a job that does not pay more than the wage prior to WIA intervention?
No. The OJT contracts cannot be used solely for the purpose of ensuring a higher wage. Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 663.705 requires that such OJT contracts can only be written when the employed worker:

  • Is not earning a self-sufficient wage as determined by Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) policy;
  • The provisions of Section 663.700 are met; and
  • When the training relates to the introduction to new technologies, introduction to new production or service procedures, upgrading to new jobs that require additional skills, workplace literacy, or other appropriate purposes identified by the LWIB. [6/01]

ST-WIA07 -- If approved by the Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB), can a Local Workforce Investment Area (LWIA) devise its own policy regarding the types of follow-up services it offers?
Yes. The WIA requires that follow-up services must be available for registered adult participants for a minimum of 12 months after job placement. The composition of the services is based upon the need of the participant as determined by the LWIA. For youth, WIA states that follow-up services will be provided for not less than 12 months after the completion of participation, as appropriate. Title 20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 664.450(b) clarifies that all youth must receive some form of follow-up services. LWIAs are encouraged to consider the intensity of the services provided and the needs of the individual youth in determining the appropriate level of follow-up services.

It is incumbent upon LWIBs to ensure that the mix of follow-up services available, either from other sources or from WIA, is adequate to meet the needs of the participants they serve. There may be situations wherein only certain follow-up services are applicable or can feasibly be provided, for example, to specific populations or in specific geographic locations. However, local areas should ensure that all participants are aware of where they may obtain follow-up services that meet their individual needs. [6/01]

ST-WIA06 -- Can a training provider refuse to enroll an individual with a voucher?
Yes. A training provider may refuse to enroll an individual who fails to meet its entrance requirements. Staff providing referrals to training institutions should conduct sufficient assessments to avoid the potential for refusal of the participant by the provider. [4/03]

ST-WIA05 -- Is it allowable to use a provider that is not on the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) and that does not issue a "credential" for "prevocational services?"
Yes. The WIA Section 134(d)(3)(C)(vi) indicates that short-term prevocational services are considered intensive services. The law does not require that intensive service providers be on the ETPL. All classroom training providers are required to be on the ETPL regardless of whether or not they issue a credential. [6/01]

ST-WIA04 -- What is advanced training?
Advanced training is a training option for youth. In the absence of state guidance, the Local Workforce Investment Areas may develop a definition for advanced training. [4/03]

ST-WIA03 -- What is customized training?
The WIA Section 101(8) defines customized training as training (a) that is designed to meet the special requirements of an employer (including a group of employers), (b) that is conducted with a commitment by the employer to employ an individual on the successful completion of the training, and (c) for which the employer pays for not less than 50 percent of the cost of the training. [4/01]

ST-WIA02 -- Can the duration and amount of ITAs be limited?
The Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) may impose limits on Individual Training Accounts (ITA), such as limitation on the dollar amount and/or the duration. [4/01]

ST-WIA01 -- Could you provide a list of follow-up services that are appropriate for occupational skills licenses and occupational skills and certificates?
Neither the federal government nor California have developed a comprehensive list that defines follow-up services. The goal of follow-up services is to ensure job retention, wage gains and career progress for participants who have been referred to unsubsidized employment. Follow-up services should be made available as appropriate to the individual. This means that the type of the services provided to individuals may vary depending upon the needs of the individual. The appropriate set of follow-up services must be documented in the participant’s Individual Employment Plan and consistent with the policies of the Local Workforce Investment Board. [4/03]

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