What is WIOA?
WIOA (W-I-O-A) is lingo for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act — which is a new law that benefits youth and adults with disabilities who want to work. In a rare display of bipartisan agreement, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed WIOA in the summer of 2014. This Act modernized and streamlined the outdated Workforce Investment Act (which had been due for re-authorization since 2003). Approved for nearly $3 billion, this program funds state and local workforce initiatives, and provides a comprehensive menu of complimentary job training services for anyone who qualifies. The state of Arkansas implemented this new law in July of 2016, for youth and adults ages 16-24.
How can Job Path help me?
Job Path is a job placement agency, working specifically with high school students and young adults as they prepare for the workforce. Services available through Job Path include Vocational Counseling, Pre-Employment Classes, Job Placement, On-the-Job Training, Summer Internships for Students, Career Assessment and Planning, Rehab Technology, Benefits Counseling, Transportation — everything needed to ensure long-term success.
What will this cost me?
For those who qualify, there is no cost for Employment Readiness and Job Coaching services.
Will I loose my benefits?
WIOA was passed to empower and encourage well-able adults to find successful job placement — our long-term goal is to help you put more dollars into your bank account through a job you love. But you are not going to loose your benefits if you’re unable to find work. As you connect to Job Path, we will ensure you have access to a Social Security Benefits Counselor. They’ll be on-hand to answer every question and concern up front, so that you understand exactly what the employment path will look like for you and your current benefits package.
What if I’m not currently in school?
While the re-authorization of the Workforce Investment Act is primarily for students preparing for transition, it also extends new opportunities for young adults who are not currently connected to school or work. WIOA expanded the ages youth are eligible for services from 16-21 to 16-24, to encourage students who have dropped out to return to school and pursue post-secondary education and training for job placement as well.
How do I qualify for these services?
Assessment through Arkansas Rehabilitation Services is your first step in learning if you qualify for these services — if you have any questions or concerns, or if you need assistance in locating your local ARS office, reach out through the contact form below or give us a call at 479-567-2779 (ask for our resident expert Katie Baker).