What is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act?

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) improves the workforce system, aligning it with regional economies and strengthening the network of 2,500 American Job Centers to deliver more comprehensive services to workers, job seekers and employers. It strives for a more job-driven approach to training and skills development by building closer ties among key workforce partners – business leaders, workforce boards, labor unions, community colleges and non-profits, and state and local officials. In South Carolina, the American Job Centers (AJCs) are called SC Works Centers.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will help job seekers and workers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and match employers with skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. In recent years over 20 million people annually turn to these programs to obtain good jobs and a pathway to the middle class. WIOA continues to advance services to these job seekers and employers.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) promotes the use of career pathways and sector partnerships to increase employment in in-demand industries and occupations. The Act strengthens services for unemployment insurance claimants and it merges core and intensive services into a brand new category called career services, clarifying there is no required sequence of services.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) increases individuals with disabilities’ access to high-quality workforce services to prepare them for competitive integrated employment. It requires better employer engagement and promotes physical and programmatic accessibility to employment and training services for individuals with disabilities. Youth with disabilities receive extensive pre-employment transition services to obtain and retain competitive integrated employment.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) includes a youth program, serving ages 16-24 with educational and employability training. The program assists youth with GED/High School Diploma preparation as well as basic skills improvement. Youth participants are offered an array of employability training which includes developing résumés, career exploration, labor market information and other career readiness preparation. Participants have opportunities to perform paid job internships in their career interest field as well as take driver’s education to obtain a driver’s license. All efforts are made to remove barriers to employment. Youth receive leadership skills training with tours to various businesses/colleges with other partners providing various services, such as education in drug/alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and pregnancy/parenting.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Makes access to services easier by requiring the co-location of the Wagner-Peyser Employment Service in AJCs and by adding the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program as a mandatory partner. Other mandatory WIOA partners include:

  1. Employment and training programs authorized under the WIOA for adults, dislocated workers, and youth;
  2. Adult education and literacy programs;
  3. Vocational Rehabilitation programs;
  4. Senior Community Service Employment programs (i.e., AARP, Goodwill);
  5. Post-secondary vocational education programs (college and technical education);
  6. Trade Adjustment Act programs;
  7. Veterans employment and training programs;
  8. Employment and training programs through Community Action Agencies;
  9. Employment and training programs through public housing authorities;
  10. Unemployment Compensation programs; and
  11. Programs authorized under the Second Chance Act of 2007 for the responsible reintegration of ex-offenders;
  12. Job Corps;
  13. Indian and Native American Programs.

The SC Works system can offer access to all of the programs above based on need.

Interested in the WIOA Program?

Please contact your local SC Works Greater Upstate office to further discuss the WIOA services made available in your county.

SC Works Cherokee – (864)-342-7207

SC Works Greenville – (864)-467-8080

SC Works Greer – (864)-334-3512

SC Works Spartanburg – (864)-764-1966

SC Works Union – (864)-427-7140

Currently Information Sessions are being conducted virtually through phone or video conference. These meetings are held in order to ensure that customers are fully aware of the available options and services provided by the SC Works Greater Upstate Comprehensive Centers and two affiliate centers in Cherokee and Union counties to assist in obtaining full-time employment.

  • Must be 18 years of age, US citizen or eligible non-citizen in compliance of selective service registration requirements.
  • Adult Priority of Service is given to veterans, then recipients of public assistance and other low-income individuals and those basic skills deficient.
  • Dislocated Workers(those laid off, or received notice of lay off, and are eligible for unemployment compensation and unlikely to return to previous employer, or those who are a displaced homemaker), services are available with no income restrictions.

Interested in the Youth Services available through the WIOA Program?

Please contact Upstate ACHIEVE located with SC Works Spartanburg to further discuss the WIOA services made available in your county.

Upstate ACHIEVE – (864)-680-6664

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) may be found at the following website www.doleta.gov/WIOA/

**Visit SC PATH to see a list of current classroom training opportunities available in your area