Long Term Unemployed: Have you explored WIA?

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jenab in Austin, Texas

68 months ago

Are you aware of Workforce Investment Act (USA), and how it can help you? If you're a "dislocated worker" or have economic hardships due to your skills, you may be eligible for WIA services including training. There are too many details to cover in this forum, but if you haven't attended a local WIA orientation or completed an eligibility interview with a WIA specialist through your local workforce (in the US), then here are some things you need to know.

First some misconceptions:
1) It is not a loan and does not have to be repaid
2) Being employed is not an automatic exclusion
3) It is not a degree program
4) Having a college degree does not exclude you
5) Eligibility looks at your entire circumstances, not just one aspect
6) WIA is not retroactive
7) It is not a reimbursement program

There are hitches of course; keep in mind:
1) WIA is a one-time only program; you can't participate in WIA re-training twice
2) It is not an instant or passive process; it's an intensive one
3) State and Local Workforce Boards administer WIA; there are variations in eligibility/participation requirements
4) You must be registered with the state workforce agency
5) You must complete the application prior to intake
6) You must have the required documents for intake
7) Training is only available through state approved vendors
8) Training is limited to high demand fields and workplace skills
9) You cannot change training programs once started
10) Not all training programs or training providers are created equal (due diligence required)

If you do not know what you want and what you need, it'll be a waste of time. You must be dedicated to be very proactive in the entire process (be clear about your needs, and make sure to get answers to all questions). You have to take ownership of your career development, especially when participating in WIA retraining. Your WIA counselor cannot and will not do it for you.

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mary in Tampa, Florida

68 months ago

I took the teacher certification alternative course paid for by WIA. The schools are not hiring older teachers. I (had - no longer) a friend who took the computer certification course, and a friend got her a job at a crappy-job legal office.

Folks, WIA is wonderful - providing the jobs are available.

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