Meeting WIOA Requirements: Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance


For National Disability Employment Awareness Month, check out the many resources available in the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM), funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). Bookmark the NCRTM RSA Technical Assistance & Other Resources page for quick access to the RSA portal, RSA TA centers and funded projects, Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) federal partners, other resources and research databases.

In this final blog of a three-part blog series from NCRTM, we offer ways to stay current with employment trends related to the workforce and people with disabilities. View first blog and second blog from NCRTM.

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Successful Work Experiences

Alaska and Nevada VR Websites

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) assists state and local education agencies and VR agencies and service providers, and it keeps close contact with these agencies and providers in order to share real stories of real youth being supported in transition programs. Alaska and Nevada are just two of the states that are creating programs to help youth with disabilities transition into a work environment.

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The National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM): Finding Promising and Effective Resources in the Clearinghouse Library

For National Disability Employment Awareness Month, check out the many resources available in the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM), funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).

We offer pointers for finding up-to-date resources in the NCRTM library and showcase a few products from the RSA-funded technical assistance (TA) centers.

National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM) Homepage

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) supports a vision that people with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, can work in competitive and integrated employment.

The NCRTM is one of the first places you should go to find promising and effective practices that have been shared by RSA-funded projects and TA centers so that vocational rehabilitation (VR) personnel, employers, families and individuals with disabilities can improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

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Join a Webinar: Education – A Key Service in WIOA

This is a cross-post from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education’s Blog Post.

Logo from 2016 WIOA National Convening

March 1, 2:45-4:00pm ET

Join at this link, with password DeptofED1! 

Call in to 888-790-4881, participant code 9552347#.

Education: A Key Service in WIOA. All national survey and economic data points to the importance of youth and adults gaining strong foundation skills, completing high school equivalence, and earning industry-recognized certificates and degrees in order to gain economic stability and self-sufficiency. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) offers multiple coordination points and opportunities with educational institutions at every level to get clients moving ahead.

Panelists include:

  • Janet LaBreck, Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration
  • Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
  • Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services

This panel discussion was cancelled at the WIOA National Convening in January to accommodate delayed arrivals due to weather. The webinar is open to public participation. Please plan to join and invite colleagues to do so as well.

Find resources from the WIOA National Convening, including PowerPoints, the participant list, etc., here.


Posted by
Information Technology Specialist, U.S. Department of Education

July 1, 2015 — Making a Shift in the Public Workforce System

This article is cross-posted on the:

Today, July 1, 2015, marks the day that many of the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) take effect. This new law has the potential to make a tremendous difference for tens of millions of workers, jobseekers and students across this country. WIOA’s transformation of our publicly-funded workforce system means that all of us—federal and state partners, governments, non-profits and educational and training institutions, must be pressing for innovations to ensure:

  • the needs of business and workers drive our workforce solutions
  • one-stop centers, also known as American Job Centers (AJCs) provide excellent customer service to both jobseekers and employers and focus on continuous improvement; and
  • the workforce system supports strong regional economies and plays an active role in community and economic development.

July 1st is about “opportunity.” It’s about implementing strategies to help workers and jobseekers achieve their full potential. Through our AJCs and other service locations, the public workforce system will meet people where they are, whether they’re young adults just starting out, or experienced workers whose need to retool their skills to succeed, whether they are a person with a disability or someone who faces other barriers to a job. Our aligned services need to help each of them build a meaningful career and achieve economic independence.

Now is the time for action among all workforce partners. It is truly a new day for the American workforce system.

Some states and local areas are already hard at work implementing the law and laying the groundwork for big changes and big ideas. Some have formed new partnerships and are creatively aligning workforce resources. Others are redesigning customer service strategies at the nearly 2,500 local AJCs.

But we still have much work to do to realize the full vision of WIOA.

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Through town halls and virtual stakeholder events, we listened to you. The U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, incorporated your feedback into proposed regulations and will continue to do so as we review comments and develop final regulations. We have released early Operational Guidance and technical assistance tools, including a set of Quick Start Action Planners, to help you assess your readiness to implement WIOA and identify areas of strength and focused areas for improvement. And we will continue to issue program guidance throughout the year to operationalize WIOA.

Now that most of WIOA is in effect, we will continue to support the public workforce system as state and local officials transform their systems. Here are the steps we’ll be taking this year to implement WIOA and provide assistance for states and local areas across the country:

  • Providing states opportunities and information to develop State Implementation Teams that will allow workforce system programs to share specific challenges, conduct in-person planning, and connect more directly to the right resources.
  • Rolling out the Innovation Opportunity Network (ION) (, an online learning and teaching community which is a partnership of programs and services, designed to help all levels of workforce development professionals, stakeholders, and partners connect with peers throughout the public workforce system who are working to implement WIOA. ION will provide training and technical assistance, focused on themes the partners have identified as a priority: change management, strategic boards, regionalism, customer-centered service delivery, talent development strategies, system alignment and other topics. Tools include an Act Now webinar series, Voices of Experience videos and podcasts, a community of practice site, virtual events related to WIOA operating guidance. Get engaged by visiting

Our work has never been more important, and we want to make sure every partner and every region has what you need to succeed. We look forward to working with you to realize the vision of WIOA!

WIOA Updates and Resources

For WIOA updates and resources, please visit OSERS’ WIOA Web page.

Additional information can be found on the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education’s (OCTAE) WIOA Web site and the Department of Labor’s WIOA Web site.


Contributing Authors:

  • Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education
  • Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education
  • Janet LaBreck, Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education
  • Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration of Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Posted by
Assistant Secretary, Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

OSERS Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rules to Implement Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

NOTICE: Comment Period is Now Closed.
(June 15, 2015 closing date)

The departments of Education and Labor announced recently that they are seeking comment on five Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs), proposing rules that would implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The act, signed by President Obama on July 22, 2014, is the first major reform to federal job training programs in more than 15 years. It’s designed to streamline and improve the coordination of employment and training services across federal agencies and strengthen collaboration with state and local partners to increase access to and opportunities for the employment, education, training, and support services for individuals to succeed in the labor market.

OSERS encourages comments on all proposed regulations, and is particularly interested in receiving comments in the following areas:

State VR Services program, State Supported Employment Services program, and provisions contained in new section 511 (Limitations on the Use of Subminimum Wages) that fall under the purview of ED
[Docket ID ED-2015-OSERS-0001]

  • Employment Outcome:
    • Definition of EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME in proposed §361.5(c)(15) would mean, with respect to an individual, entering, advancing in, or retaining full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive integrated employment, as defined in §361.5(c)(9) (including customized employment, self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership), or supported employment, that is consistent with an individual’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.
    • This definition would eliminate uncompensated outcomes, such as homemakers and unpaid family workers, from the scope of the definition for purposes of the VR program.
    • To allow agencies to complete the VR process for these individuals, we are considering a transition period of six months following the effective date of the final regulations to implement the proposed definition. We are particularly interested in receiving comment on the proposed six-month transition period.
    • We are interested in receiving comments about providing such a transition period.
  • Performance Accountability Measures:
    • In the ED—only NPRM, we propose to replace the current standards and indicators for the VR program under current §361.80 through §361.89 with a cross-reference in proposed §361.40 to the joint regulations for the common performance accountability measures.
    • We ask that you provide only comments specific to the VR program with respect to this section.
    • Any comments regarding the common performance measures or data requirement, applicable to all core programs, should be provided in connection with the relevant provisions of the joint proposed regulations.
  • Limitations on Use of Subminimum Wage: Proposed Educational Agencies Requirements:
    • Proposed §397.31 would prohibit a local educational agency or a State educational agency from entering into a contract with an entity that employs individuals at subminimum wage for the purpose of operating a program under which a youth with a disability is engaged in subminimum wage employment.
    • With regard to this proposed provision, the Secretary specifically seeks comments regarding the Department’s role and jurisdiction.

Provide your comments on docket ED-2015-OSERS-0001 at

Unified and Combined State Plans, Performance Accountability, and the One-Stop System Joint Provision
[Docket ID ETA-2015-0002]

  • Performance Accountability Measures:
    • Section 116(b) of WIOA requires common performance accountability measures for the core programs of the workforce development system, including the VR program, which are set out in proposed joint regulations (Joint NPRM—Ed and DOL), which, once final, will reside in subpart E of 34 CFR 361. The joint NPRM can be found at the Federal Register (
    • Any comments regarding the common performance measures or data requirement, applicable to all core programs, should be provided in connection with the relevant provisions of the joint proposed regulations.
  • One-stop Delivery System:
    • As a required partner in the one-stop service delivery system, the designated State unit must satisfy all requirements set forth in proposed joint regulations (Joint NPRM—Ed and DOL), which, once final, will reside in subpart F of 34 CFR 361. The joint NPRM can be found at the Federal Register (
    • We ask that you submit any comments regarding the VR program’s role in the one-stop delivery system in conjunction with related provisions contained in the joint proposed regulations.

Provide your comments on docket ETA-2015-0002 at

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Miscellaneous Program Changes
[Docket ID ED-2015-OSERS-0002]

  • Proposed §386.40(b)(1) (Long-term training program):
    • We have proposed to add the following: §386.40(b)(1)” allowing scholars who are in multi-year programs of study and who are currently employed or are seeking employment to start satisfying the service obligation after completion of at least one year of study. This provision would also prohibit scholars who do not complete the program of study from performing the service obligation, except for scholars who complete at least one year of a multi-year program.
    • We request specific comments on this proposal.”
  • Proposed §396.4(c) (Interpreter Training)
    • We propose to add the following definition in §396.4(c): “an individual who has a hearing impairment such that, in order to facilitate communication, the individual depends upon visual modes, such as sign language, speech reading, and gestures, or reading and writing, in addition to any other auditory information.”
    • We particularly encourage the public to comment on the appropriateness of this definition in the context of this program.

Provide your comments on docket ED-2015-OSERS-0002 at

NOTICE: Comment Period is Now Closed.
(June 15, 2015 closing date)

Please visit to share your comments on these above, and all of the proposed rules, in accordance with the process outlined in the NPRMs. Comments to this OSERS blog are not accepted and have been turned off.

Any comments not received through the processes outlined in the NPRMs will NOT be considered by the department.

Posted by
Information Technology Specialist, U.S. Department of Education