Connecting the Workforce: Using WIOA Funds with Career Credentials
For those of us tasked with creating a stronger, more skilled workforce, the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity ACT (WIOA)
presents a chance to build the bridge between job seekers and employers using career credentials and workforce solutions.
WIOA includes funding for workforce developers to increase attainment of industry-recognized certifications. Those who use WIOA funds for this purpose should know:
- How skill assessments, credentials, and WIOA can work together
- How skill assessments can be used in employer services (workforce recruitment assistance, training services, strategic planning, economic development, etc.)
- How assessments help with employer performance measures
While recent guidance from the US Department of Labor will not count foundational skills credentials (like the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate®
) for the purposes of reporting on program performance, those credentials can be used to verify attainment of foundational skills in combination with other services for career pathways, apprenticeships, or additional credentials. However, there are opportunities to leverage ACT WorkKeys solutions to improve Employer Performance Metrics currently under evaluation.
In other words, where there’s a will to build learners’ skills, there’s a way to fund career credentialing services for WIOA participants.