The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: A Better Approach to Serving Youth Facing Barriers to Employment

by Chris Warland

Nov 16, 2015
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) changes the ways in which states and communities provide employment services to youth through the public workforce system. These older and out-of-school youth will likely face additional barriers to employment and have different service needs when compared with younger and in school youth. To effectively meet the employment needs of out-of-school youth, states and communities will need to change the type, intensity, and scope of the employment services they offer under WIOA. There are lessons that workforce boards and their partners can learn from prior efforts to enhance and expand youth summer jobs programming to better serve at-risk, older, and out-of-school youth as well as community-based programs targeting youth who face serious and significant barriers to employment. This brief draws on some of those lessons to offer practical program design recommendations for enhancing WIOA youth services to better accommodate older and out-of-school youth.
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