The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Congress passed the Act by a wide bipartisan majority; it is the first legislative reform in 15 years of the public workforce system.

Every year the key programs that form the pillars of WIOA help tens of millions of job seekers and workers to connect to good jobs and acquire the skills and credentials needed to obtain them. The enactment of WIOA provides an opportunity for reforms to ensure the American Job Center system is job-driven—responding to the needs of employers and preparing workers for jobs that are available now and in the future.

WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In general, the Act takes effect on July 1, 2015, the first full program year after enactment, unless otherwise noted. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will issue further guidance on the timeframes for implementation of these changes and proposed regulations reflecting the changes in WIOA soon after enactment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The WIOA program is designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system. Its goal is to help American youth and people with significant barriers to employment get high-quality jobs and careers as well as funding for training. WIOA also assists employers with hiring and keeping skilled workers.

Job seekers and students living in one of the many Ohio counties may apply for a WIOA grant at the OhioMeansJobs One-Stop Center in the county where they live.

OhioMeansJobs Centers throughout Ohio provide WIOA services to individuals who wish to apply for available training programs or obtain other services. You will need to contact an OhioMeansJobs Center to apply for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) services. To view a list of OhioMeansJobs Centers in your area, please use OhioMeansJobs Center Finder.

If you are an applicant under the age of 25, please see additional ways someone can be determined eligible on our Youth page. If you are over the age of 25 and can answer yes to one of these three questions, contact the BCW|Workforce center for assistance.

  • Are you a member of a low-income household?  For example, do you or someone in your household receive public assistance such as SNAP, TANF, or SSI?
  • Are you unemployed through no fault of your own, eligible, receiving, or exhausted your unemployment benefits?
  • Have you been affected by a business closure or layoff?
  • Have you depended on the income of a spouse and lost access to that income?

Yes, use the Workforce Inventory of Education and Training to view approved training providers and programs. To narrow results, filter by Zip Code or Keyword for Training Programs or Training Providers.

Eligible and selected students can receive training in dozens of training programs at local area schools. Keep in mind that all training must lead to full-time employment. Training lists change as funds are targeted to occupations with the best wages and the best opportunities for local work. We train many people for careers in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, health care, transportation, and more. Most of the people we help attend a community college in programs that lead to a certificate or a two-year degree that leads to employment.

Do you want to explore your options? A OhioMeansJobs career advisor can help you find the right job for you. Are you a prospective student? Explore the training programs available to you!

Yes, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FASFA, online ( or in-person at the college you are attending. You may qualify for a PELL grant or subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Keep in mind: You may not be eligible for financial assistance if you have previous loans from the past that are not paid off or have a GPA lower than a 2.5.

Under the WIOA program, if you are receiving unemployment benefits, you can continue to receive them while you are taking classes. Although unemployment benefits are typically exhausted after 26 weeks, it is possible to work part-time, attend training, and stretch unemployment benefits up to a full year.

WIOA workforce investments do not need to be paid back.

If you and a Career Advisor create a Career Plan, you would then be eligible for employment, education and/or training-related investments that can help you meet the demands of the area’s economy, while earning improved wages.

This investment is a contract. Eligible residents are expected to follow the career plan that you and your Career Advisor create.  We will monitor your success regularly, including for at least a year after successfully completing the plan.