WORKFORCE BRIEF SERIES: WIA – Workforce Investment Act


The WIA Mission

In 1998, Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to create a system of One>Stop Career Center locations that would provide universal access to employment and training services for a wide range of workers, including adults, low-income youth, and dislocated workers.


Report Author: The California EDGE Coalition

Date: August 2011


This installment of the Workforce Brief Series titled “WIA – Workforce Investment Act” describes the federally-funded system that establishes career centers and business-led workforce boards across the country. To learn more, download the full text of the article here.


California received about $400 million in federal WIA funds in 2011-12. The total is a sharp reduction from the WIA funds received in recent years. In 2009-10, California received $497 million in WIA funds and $470 million in WIA ARRA funds for a total of $967 million. In 2010-11, California received $462 million in WIA funds.

Braided Resources

Some local areas combine WIA dollars with other federal and state funds to support One Stop Career Centers and other workforce activities.


By The Numbers

Three years of WIA funding in California compared:







33% (5 Million)

California workers earning less then $13.63 per hour


EDD is required to report to the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) on state and local performance
measures. Accountability reporting is only required for participants who are enrolled in intensive services or training. Performance reporting uses a set of metrics that measure outcomes such as employment, earnings, retention, and attainment of a recognized credential.

Population Served

The WIA funds target three distinct populations: adults, youth, and dislocated workers.  One-Stop Career Centers also provide services to employers, including labor market information, recruitment, and screening.

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