DOL Releases Final Guidance on WIOA

Christina Pena
February 23, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor released final guidance on the elements that states must incorporate into their unified or combined plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). As part of their plans, states must describe how they will draw on key labor market information, align data systems, assess post-program success, and use wage records to report outcomes.

Draw on labor market information  Unified or combined plans must include an analysis of the state’s economic conditions and labor market, including ‘skills gaps’ and employer needs.

Describe plans for aligning data systems – States will need to describe how their lead agencies will align and integrate available workforce and education data systems, and protect privacy in these systems. The Departments of Labor and Education expect to work with states to inform future guidance on these systems, which are required under Section 116(i) of WIOA. 

Assess participants’ post-program success – States must show how lead agencies will use data systems to assess progress of participants who are exiting from core programs. Outcomes include entering, persisting, and completing postsecondary education, or entering or remaining in employment.

Use wage records to report outcomes – States need to explain how they will use quarterly Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records for performance accountability, evaluations, and as a source for workforce and labor market information.

States’ WIOA plans are due by April 1, 2016. For more information on WIOA guidance, see the National Skills Coalition’s “Skills Blog.” Also see WDQC’s infographic “How WIOA Data Works.”