What Is WIOA? – Introducing #EmbraceTheMandate

What exactly is WIOA?

WIOA is the acronym for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a federal law signed in 2014 and implemented in 2015. Totaling just under 300 pages, WIOA both reauthorizes and reforms pieces of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act.  Adults have always been covered under the law. Now, youth with disabilities and their support systems are primarily impacted by Title IV of the law, which mandates collaboration between schools and Vocational Rehabilitation agencies to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to youths with disabilities. In fact, Vocational Rehabilitation agencies are required to spend 15% of their federal dollars on Pre-ETS.

What does WIOA mean to me? – We will feature best practices here.

That’s a lot of technical policy information telling you what to do, but not how to do it. And naturally, collaboration between schools and Vocational Rehabilitation agencies can look different from state to state, district to district, and even classroom to classroom. This is where Education Associates and Project Discovery can help. We are seeking out the early adapters to identify the very best practices in Pre-ETS provision from across the country and sharing them here on our blog series, #EmbraceTheMandate.

Sharing a commitment to smoother transitions and brighter futures

In the final draft of WIOA, Congress states, “The days of students with disabilities leaving school poorly educated, with no employment experience, no job prospects, living lives of poverty, and too often ending up in segregated day programs, need to come to an end.” This is a daunting task, but you have joined us here because you share our commitment to empowering students with the skills they need to be Job Ready. Life Ready.  Follow #EmbraceTheMandate to explore best practices for using these new resources to help students succeed.

Additional Resources

Check out the resources below for more detailed breakdowns of the sections of WIOA that impact students with disabilities:






Job Ready. Life Ready.

Life-learning begins with discovery.

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