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Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Implementation

President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA, also called Opportunity Act) of 2014 into law on July 22, 2014. The Act, which supersedes the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system since WIA was enacted in 1998. WIOA takes effect July 1, 2015 (the start of PY15), although pieces of it will not go into effect until 2016. As states wait for guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on implementation, relevant resources will be posted here for Washington practitioners.

Key Improvements from Current WIA Law (PDF, 454 KB)

Opportunity Act in Washington

Washington State Workforce Board: In October 2014, Washington Governor Jay Inslee designated the Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board (WTECB - commonly called the Workforce Board) the official state workforce development board under the Opportunity Act, and provided direction on his vision for system transformation under the Act. The Workforce Board is committed to an open and inclusive process of gathering input and recommendations toward designing the state's new Opportunity Act system. The Workforce Board agreed upon co-chairs for the WIOA Steering Committee and named three subcommittees. You can read more about the structure of each committee or subcommittee and view the timeline on WTECB's WIOA website.

The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) has representation on each of the committees and will be supporting the Workforce Board in implementing the Opportunity Act in Washington. ESD will also remain the granting authority for federal funds under the Act.

Frequently Asked Questions: ESD's goal with the FAQs is to get the best possible answers to your questions back to you as quickly as possible. If ESD's answers raise additional questions or if you feel there is additional information that should have been considered, please forward these to Your feedback will help us determine whether the answers need to be revised or expanded. Any revised answers will be forwarded back to you as quickly as ESD can complete its review and input process. ESD will also make revisions as it receives addituional guidance from DOL Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA), if necessary.

Opportunity Act feedback loop: In order to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new Act, ESD needs to hear from all of you - your experience and observations will help identify opportunities for improvements in the implementation of the Opportunity Act. ESD will post questions for your input periodically throughout the planning and implementation process. Your thoughts matter!

The Opportunity Act

Opportunity Act Bill Public Law No: 113-128
Opportunity Act Title I
Opportunity Act Title II
Opportunity Act Title III
Opportunity Act Title IV
Opportunity Act Title V
Opportunity Act Regulations - coming soon

WIA Bill Public Law No: 105-220
WIA Technical Amendments
WIA Regulations - final rule

Federal Resources

Opportunity Act Stakeholder Consultation webinars - Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration (DOLETA) held a series of online stakeholder consultation events from mid-August through mid-September. Recorded sessions and materials are available on the Workforce3One website.
Opportunity Act Resources webpage

Opportunity Act State and Local Readiness Assessment Tools

DOLETA will be conducting state and local area implementation readiness consultations to gain an understanding of technical assistance needs as the Opportunity Act is implemented and has created the below tools to assist DOLETA staff in that process.

State Readiness Consultation tool (Word, 96KB)
State Readiness Consultation tool (PDF, 61.5KB)
Local Area Readiness Consultation tool (Word, 82.5KB)
Local Area Readiness Consultation tool (PDF, 55.7KB)


Getting Ready for Change: What Will WIOA Mean for the Day-to-day Operations of Your One-Stop Center? - a presentation by Greg Newton (PDF, 1.7MB)
Implementing the WIOA in Arizona - full presentation (PPTX)  - the full presentation for Arizona's WIOA implementation kick-off meeting
Implementing the WIOA in Arizona - NASWA presentation (PPTX) - a condensed version of the above presented as the September NASWA conference
NASWA presentation talking points

Other Resources

WIOA Governor/State Shall and May Provisions - a helpful guide from the National Governor's Association (PDF, 581KB)
WIOA Duties by Entity - a reorganized version of the above NGA Shall and May Provisions
One-page Opportunity Act Summary by the Workforce Board (9/30/14)
Washington's Opportunity Act Overview and Appendices (9/15/14)
WIOA Regions Briefing webinar (6/16/15)



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