The Workforce Investment Act (WIA): Program-by-Program Overview and Funding of Title I Training Programs
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA):
Program-by-Program Overview and
Funding of Title I Training Programs
Updated September 6, 2007
Blake Alan Naughton
Analyst in Education Policy
Domestic Social Policy Division
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA):
Program-by-Program Overview and
Funding of Title I Training Programs
This report tracks current appropriations and related legislation for Title I of the
Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (P.L. 105-220). Following a brief
summary of each WIA program, the report presents the status of legislative proposals
contained in the Administration’s FY2008 budget request and compares WIA
funding in the FY2007 appropriation, the FY2008 budget request, and FY2008
House and Senate committee and floor actions, as they occur.
WIA provides, in general, job training and related services to unemployed and
underemployed individuals. WIA programs are administered by the Department of
Labor (DOL), primarily through DOL’s Employment and Training Administration
(ETA). State and local WIA training and employment activities are provided through
a system of One-Stop Career Centers. Authorization of appropriations under WIA
expired in FY2003 but is annually extended through appropriations acts.
Reauthorization legislation was considered in the 108th and 109th Congresses, and a
subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and Labor held its first
reauthorization hearing in the 110th Congress on June 28, 2007.
WIA authorizes several job training programs: state formula grants for Youth,
Adult, and Dislocated Worker Employment and Training Activities; Job Corps; and
other national programs, including the Native American Program, the Migrant and
Seasonal Farmworker Program, the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program,
Responsible Reintegration for Young Offenders, the Prisoner Reentry Program, and
Community-Based Job Training Grants (also known as the Community College
Initiative). An additional national program, formerly in the Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD), was made a part of WIA on September 22, 2006,
by the YouthBuild Transfer Act (P.L. 109-281). For FY2008, the President proposes
to consolidate WIA Youth, Adult, and Dislocated Worker Activities with
Employment Service and other programs into a single funding stream called Career
Advancement Accounts (CAAs).
Appropriations for WIA are made through the Departments of Labor, Health and
Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Labor-
HHS-ED). The FY2007 Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution (P.L. 110-5)
provided $5.13 billion for WIA Title I programs. The President’s FY2008 budget
requests $4.50 billion in WIA funding. On June 21, 2007, the Senate Committee on
Appropriations reported S. 1710 (S.Rept. 110-107), which would provide $5.22
billion for WIA. On July 11, 2007, the House Committee on Appropriations reported
H.R. 3043 (H.Rept. 110-231), which would provide $5.21 billion for WIA. The
House passed the bill by a vote of 276 to 140 on July 19, 2007.
This report will be updated as major legislative developments occur.
Most Recent Developments..........................................1
Program-by-Program Overview of WIA Title I...........................2
State Formula Grant Programs (Subtitle B).........................2
Youth Activities (Chapter 4).................................2
Adult Activities (Chapter 5)..................................2
Dislocated Worker Activities (Chapter 5).......................2
Job Corps (Subtitle C)..........................................3
National Grant Programs (Subtitle D)..............................3
Native Americans Program (Section 166).......................3
Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program (Section 167)..........3
Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program (Section 168)...........3
Pilot and Demonstration Programs (Section 171).................3
Responsible Reintegration for Young Offenders..............3
Prisoner Reentry Initiative...............................4
Community-Based Job Training (CBJT) Grants..............4
YouthBuild Program (Section 173A)..........................4
WIA FY2008 Appropriations: Funding Comparisons and
Career Advancement Accounts (CAAs)........................6
Rescission of Unspent Funds.................................8
Job Corps Administration...................................9
List of Tables
Table 1. WIA Appropriations for FY2007 and FY2008 Under Current Law....5
Table 2. FY2007 Appropriations and FY2008 Budget Request for
the Proposed Career Advancement Accounts........................7
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA):
Program-by-Program Overview and
Funding of Title I Training Programs
Most Recent Developments
On July 19, 2007, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3043, the
Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008 (Labor-HHS-ED) , by a vote of 276 to 140. The
bill, reported July 11 by the House Committee on Appropriations (H.Rept. 110-231),
would provide $5.21 billion to fund programs authorized under Title I of the
Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (P.L. 105-220) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008.
On June 21, the Senate Committee on Appropriations reported S. 1710 (S.Rept. 110-
107), its Labor-HHS-ED proposal, which would provide WIA Title I programs $5.22
billion in funding.
On February 5, 2007, the Administration released the President’s budget request
for FY2008. As it did for FY2007, the Administration proposes integrating several
WIA and other programs into a consolidated grant to states to fund Career
Advancement Accounts (CAAs). The request for WIA Title I programs under
current law is for $4.50 billion.
Title I of WIA provides, in general, job training and related services to
unemployed or underemployed individuals. This report briefly summarizes each
WIA program and compares WIA funding under Labor-HHS-ED in the following:
!the FY2007 appropriation act (P.L. 110-5);
!the President’s FY2008 Budget of the U.S. Government;
!the FY2008 Senate committee report (S.Rept. 110-107); and
!the FY2008 House-passed bill (H.R. 3043, H.Rept. 110-231).
Most WIA programs operate on a program year (PY) of July 1 to June 30. FY2008
appropriations fund programs from July 1, 2008, until June 30, 2009. Although WIA
authorized funding through September 30, 2003, WIA programs continue to be
funded through annual appropriations.
1 This report revises and updates a prior version originally written by Ann Lordeman.
In recent years, both the House and Senate passed bills that would have
reauthorized and revised WIA. In the 109th Congress, both chambers passed different
versions of a reauthorization bill, H.R. 27: the House on March 2, 2005 (H.Rept.
109-9), and the Senate on June 29, 2006 (S.Rept. 109-134). No further action was
taken on the bill.2 The first formal step toward reauthorization taken by the 110th
Congress was a hearing held on June 28, 2007, by the House Committee on
Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and
of WIA Title I
Except for Job Corps and the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program, all
WIA programs are administered by the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment
and Training Administration (ETA). The administration of Job Corps and Veterans’
Workforce Investment is discussed below.
State Formula Grant Programs (Subtitle B)
The three formula grant programs for youth, adults, and dislocated workers
provide core funding for employment and training activities provided by the national
system of One Stop Career Centers. Statutory formulas distribute funds to states on
the basis of factors such as unemployment, and states in turn distribute funds to local
Youth Activities (Chapter 4). This program provides training and related
services to low-income youth ages 14-21 through formula grants allocated to states,
which, in turn, allocate funds to local entities.
Adult Activities (Chapter 5). This program provides training and related
services to individuals ages 18 and older through formula grants allocated to states,
which, in turn, allocate funds to local entities. Any individual may receive “core”
services (e.g., job search assistance); to receive “intensive” services (e.g., individual
career planning and job training), an individual must need these services to become
employed or to obtain or retain employment that allows for self-sufficiency.
Dislocated Worker Activities (Chapter 5). In general, of the funds
appropriated for this program, 80% are allocated by formula grants to states (which
in turn allocate funds to local entities) to provide training and related services to
individuals who have lost their jobs and are unlikely to return to those jobs or similar
jobs in the same industry. Generally, 20% of the appropriation is reserved by DOL
for a National Reserve account, which in part provides for National Emergency
Grants to states or local entities (as specified under Section173).
2 For information on WIA reauthorization, see CRS Report RL32778, The Workforce
Investment Act of 1998 (WIA): Reauthorization of Job Training Programs in the 109th
Congress, by Blake Alan Naughton and Ann Lordeman.
Job Corps (Subtitle C)
Job Corps is a residential job training program first established in 1964 that
provides services to low-income individuals ages 16-24 primarily through contracts
administered by DOL with corporations and nonprofit organizations. Currently, there
are 122 Job Corps centers in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. On
February 8, 2007, DOL announced that three new centers will open, including the
first centers in each of the remaining two states, New Hampshire and Wyoming.
National Grant Programs (Subtitle D)
WIA establishes a number of grant-based programs to provide employment and
training services to special populations.3 Typically, grant competitions are open to
a variety of public and private entities, including workforce boards and faith-based
and community organizations.
Native Americans Program (Section 166). This program provides
training and related services to low-income Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, and Native
Hawaiians through grants to Indian tribes and reservations and other Native
Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program (Section 167). This
program provides training and related services, including technical assistance, to
disadvantaged migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents through
discretionary grants awarded to public, private, and nonprofit organizations. This
program is also referred to as the National Farmworker Jobs Program.
Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program (Section 168). This
program provides training and related services to veterans through competitive grants
to states and nonprofit organizations. It has been administered by DOL’s Veterans’
Employment and Training Service since FY2001.
Pilot and Demonstration Programs (Section 171). The Secretary of
Labor is provided discretion to fund pilot and demonstration projects in order to
develop and evaluate innovative approaches to providing employment and training
services. In recent years, three programs have been specified in appropriations
language and funded under the authority of Section 171.
Responsible Reintegration for Young Offenders. This competitive
grant program, first funded in FY2000, supports projects that serve young offenders
and youth at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.
3 Several programs authorized by Subtitle D are not discussed here. Youth Opportunity
Grants (Section 169) were last funded in FY2003. National Emergency Grants (Section
173) draw from funds made available under Dislocated Worker Activities. WIA also
authorizes technical assistance, research, and evaluation under Subtitle D.
Prisoner Reentry Initiative. This competitive grant program funds faith-
based and community organizations that help recently released prisoners find work
when they return to their communities. This program was first funded in FY2005.
Community-Based Job Training (CBJT) Grants. This competitive grant
program, also known as the Community College Initiative, funds entities to
strengthen the capacity of community colleges to train workers in the skills required
to succeed in high-growth, high-demand industries.4 CBJT grants were first funded
in FY2005, with funds drawn from the Dislocated Worker National Reserve
(although the President annually requests separate funding for the program).
YouthBuild Program (Section 173A). This competitive grant program
funds projects that provide education and construction skills training for
disadvantaged youth. Since its inception in 1992, the program was administered by
the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but was moved to DOL by the
YouthBuild Transfer Act (P.L. 109-281), effective for FY2007. Participating youth
work primarily through mentorship and apprenticeship programs to rehabilitate and
construct housing for homeless and low-income families.
WIA FY2008 Appropriations: Funding Comparisons
and Administration Proposals
Table 1 shows FY2007 appropriations, the FY2008 budget request, and the
amounts reported by the Senate Committee on Appropriations and passed by the
House of Representatives. Amounts include all WIA programs described above, plus
technical assistance; pilots, demonstrations and research; and evaluation.
Under the President’s FY2008 request, aggregate funding for WIA programs
would decrease by $632 million, or 12%, compared to the FY2007 funding level of
$5.13 billion. (The greatest funding year for WIA, with an initial appropriation of
$5.63 billion, was FY2002.) In the Senate committee bill, funding would increase
by $83.6 million, or under 2%. In the House-passed bill, funding would increase
slightly less, by $72.5 million. The Administration’s budget would decrease funds
to state and local workforce boards under the three formula funds by $566 million,
or 19%; the Senate committee and the House would maintain the state formula grants
at FY2007 levels. The Administration’s proposed decrease is in addition to the
rescission of unspent balances discussed below.
The budget request would eliminate funding for the Migrant and Seasonal
Farmworkers Program, as well as funds for Technical Assistance. The Senate
committee recommendation would maintain funding for migrant workers, and the
4 For further information on Community-Based Job Training Grants, see CRS Report
RL33811, The President’s Demand-Driven Workforce Development Initiatives, by Ann
Lordeman and Linda Levine.
House-passed bill would increase this program by nearly $4 million. Neither the
Senate committee nor the House would fund Technical Assistance. The
Administration proposes minor increases in funding for YouthBuild and Evaluation,
and a $25.0 million increase for the CBJT Grants. Neither the Senate committee nor
the House would increase Evaluation or CBJT but both would increase YouthBuild
by a larger amount: the Senate committee by $15.5 million (31%); the House by
$10.5 million (21%). Finally, the budget request would slightly decrease funding for
Pilots, Demonstrations, and Research, to $13 million. The Senate committee,
however, recommends an increase to $30.7 million, of which $27.7 million would
be directed to 79 projects specified by Senators. The House bill provides for an
increase to $28.1 million, of which $10.0 million would be directed for a new young
parents demonstration program and the rest ($18.1 million) for 80 Member-specified
Table 1. WIA Appropriations
for FY2007 and FY2008 Under Current Law
($ in thousands)
C o mmi t t e e P a sse d
WIA Grand Total5,134,1094,501,7625,217,6985,206,569
Youth Activities Formula Grantsa940,500840,500940,500940,500
Adult Activities Formula Grantsa864,199712,000864,199864,199
Dislocated Worker Activities1,471,9031,114,9391,471,9031,471,903
Formula Grants (non-add)a1,189,811875,623b1,189,8111,189,811
National Reserve (non-add)282,092239,316b282,092282,092
CBJT Grants (non-add)c125,0000125,000125,000
Nat’l. Reserve Activities (non-157,092239,316157,092157,092
Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkerse79,752079,75283,740
Veterans’ Workforce Investment7,4357,3517,4357,435
Responsible Reinintegration. for49,104055,0000
Young Offenders (non-add)
Prisoner Reentry (non-add)19,642000
Reint. of Ex-Offenders (non-add)-39,60013,64268,746
Yo uthB uild 49,500 50,000 65,000 60,000
Pilots, Demonstrations and Research14,70013,00030,65028,140
Evaluatio n 4 ,921 7,000 4,921 4,921
Source: Table compiled by CRS from the following sources: (1) FY2007 Appropriations from
House Committee on Appropriations tables, based on the provisions of P.L. 110-5; (2) FY2008
Request from the DOL FY2008 Budget Justifications, available at [http://www.dol.gov/dol/budget/];
(3) FY2008 Senate Committee from S.Rept. 110-107; and (4) FY2008 House-Passed from H.Rept.
110-231 and H.R. 3043.
a. For state formula grant allocations, see [http://www.doleta.gov/budget/statfund.cfm].
b. Dislocated Worker Activities amounts for Formula Grants and National Reserve reflect ETA’s
“Appropriation Summary Table” [http://www.doleta.gov/budget/08req$.xls]. Although the
total is the same, different breakdowns appear in the formal requested appropriations language
($902,939,000 for Formula Grants and $212,000,000 for National Reserve). DOL staff
indicated in budget briefings and subsequently that the formal request language was in error.
c. In this table, Community-Based Job Training (CBJT) Grants are shown on two lines: first as a
specified amount reserved from the Dislocated Worker National Reserve funding stream (as
appropriated in FY2007 and allowed for by the Senate and House committees), and second as
a separate funding line (as requested by the President).
d. FY2008 amounts shown for Job Corps do not include $28,872,000 that both the Senate and House
committees would recommend for federal administrative expenses. For further information, see
the Job Corps Administration discussion below.
e. Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers includes funds for technical assistance.
The President presents the FY2008 budget request with proposal to create5
Career Advancement Accounts (CAAs), a program that would require new
authorizing legislation to fund. The Administration’s budget request also made a
number of other proposals for FY2008, including a rescission of unspent funds from
the three state formula grant programs and a request to move Job Corps from the
Office of the Secretary to the Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
Finally, the Administration proposes changes to the programs authorized as pilots or
demonstrations under Section 171, by consolidating the two ex-offender programs
and separately funding the community college program. These proposals are
Career Advancement Accounts (CAAs). The President requests $3.4
billion for new Career Advancement Accounts for FY2008. A similar proposal for
CAAs was also made in the FY2007 budget request, but was not enacted. DOL
states that the design for CAAs is based on lessons learned from similar programs,
including Individual Training Accounts (ITAs), Personal Reemployment Accounts
(PRAs), and Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs). For FY2008, the Senate
committee report states that it is deferring consideration of CAAs, “without
prejudice,” until consideration by the authorizing committee. The House bill also
does not fund CAAs. Further, the House committee report includes language
prohibiting DOL from further use of Dislocated Worker National Reserve funding
for CAA pilots.
These accounts would be “self-managed” and would provide $3,000 to adults
and out-of-school youth6 to pay for expenses directly related to postsecondary
education and training for one year, renewable for a second year, for a total two-year
account of up to $6,000 per worker. A single funding stream would be allocated to
states by an unspecified formula. This funding stream would consist of the combined
funding for WIA Youth, Adult, and Dislocated Worker Programs, plus funds for non-
5 For further information on CAAs, see [http://www.doleta.gov/budget/08bud.cfm].
6 From the CAA documents released by DOL, it is not clear if or how the proposal would
serve in-school youth - a population currently served under WIA.
WIA programs including Employment Service (ES) Grants to States, Labor Market
Information (LMI) Grants, and the federal funds for administering the Work
Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Tax Credit.
Table 2 shows the FY2007 appropriation for each program that would be
consolidated to create CAAs, and the amount requested for each program under
current law. The amount requested for CAAs is 12.9%, or $503.8 million less than
the total FY2007 funding for programs that would be consolidated to create the
Under the CAA proposal, the Secretary would reserve an unspecified portion
for a national reserve fund to be used to address unanticipated events, such as natural
disasters, and for innovative projects for adults and youth. Under current law, 20%
of the amount appropriated for dislocated workers is to be used in a national reserve
for these types of activities.7 Also under current law, states are required to use 25%
of their dislocated worker allocation on rapid response activities, such as career
counseling and case management, delivered by states as soon as possible after the
announcement of a plant closing or mass layoff. Under the CAA proposal, states
would apply to the Secretary for funds from the national reserve for rapid response
activities. Of the amount for CAAs allocated to each state, up to 5% would be
available for state administrative costs and an additional 10% for local costs
(including support for operating One-Stop Career Centers).
Table 2. FY2007 Appropriations and FY2008 Budget Request
for the Proposed Career Advancement Accounts
($ in thousands)
To tal 3 ,916,792 3,413,000
WIA Youth Activities940,500840,500
WIA Adult Activities864,199712,000
WIA Dislocated Worker Activities1,346,9031,114,939
ES Grants to States715,883688,769
WOTC/WtW Tax Credits (Admin)17,67717,677
Source: Table compiled by CRS from information contained in the DOL FY2008 Budget
Justification, except for the FY2007 LMI Grants amount which is from Attachment I to DOL Training
and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 29-06, June 15, 2007.
Although CAAs have not been enacted, the Department of Labor is piloting the
program. ETA issued its solicitation for FY2006 Community-Based Job Training
(CBJT) Grants on July 3, 2006 (71 Fed. Reg. 37948-37960), and included a priority
provision assigning bonus points for applicants piloting Career Advancement
7 In recent years, appropriations language has specified the National Reserve amount.
Accounts, among other options. ETA clarified the intent behind awarding CBJT
Grant application bonus points for CAAs on August 4, 2006 (71 Fed. Reg. 44321-
44322), stating it included this program because “ETA recognizes that some states
may be piloting CAAs in advance of the FY 2007 budget.” On December 11, 2006,
ETA awarded 72 grants in 34 states, but it is not known how many of these grantees,
if any, are piloting CAAs.
On July 7, 2006, ETA invited specified states8 to participate in a demonstration
of CAAs. On October 26, 2006, ETA announced that three states (Indiana,
Pennsylvania, and Wyoming) would participate in a statewide demonstration project
for high-growth job industries, while another five states (Georgia, Michigan,
Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio) would pilot CAAs for use by workers affected by the
recent auto industry layoffs. Grants to each state are for $1.5 million — contingent
upon the state securing an equal level of matching funds — and are renewable for a
second year, for up to a total of $24 million, allocated from the Secretary’s
discretionary funds over two years. In addition, the announcement and the FY2008
DOL budget documents state that a competition for additional CAA projects will be
announced, requiring an evaluation of the programs using randomized participant
assignment. However, the House committee report directs DOL not to provide any
more CAA demonstration grants from dislocated worker national reserve funds and
further requires that a plan for use of any demonstration grant funds be submitted to
the Appropriations Committees prior to obligation.
Rescission of Unspent Funds. The Administration request includes a
rescission of $335 million in unexpended state balances available from the three-year
spending authority WIA allows for youth, adult, and dislocated worker programs.
The amounts include obligated, but not yet expended, funds. The request is based
on DOL’s concern about the “lapsing” of funds not spent in the allowable time. In
response to previous Administration requests to rescind unexpended balances, the
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked by the Senate and House
authorizing committees to study the issue. GAO found that DOL does not have
accurate data on state spending and that very little funds lapse.9 An updated10
approximation of lapsed funds can be determined from DOL reports of unexpended
balances at the end of a program year, less carry-out to the next program year. At the
end of PY2005 (June 30, 2005), $6.4 million of unexpended funds were not carried
over to PY2006. This represents 0.6% of unexpended balances and came from ten
states. The Senate committee would reject the rescission; however, the House-passed
bill includes the rescission.
8 Nine states were invited to participate in the CAA demonstration “due to current or
announced layoffs occurring in the automotive manufacturing industry.” They are Georgia,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Maximum demonstration grants per state are for $3 million over two years, dependent upon
leveraged funding. A tenth state, Pennsylvania, was invited in another correspondence “to
participate in another facet of this CAA demonstration.”
9 U.S. Government Accountability Office, Workforce Investment Act: Interim Report on
Status of Spending and States’ Available Funds, September 5, 2002, GAO-02-1074.
10 For WIA state spending reports, see [http://www.doleta.gov/budget/qtrlyspend.cfm].
Job Corps Administration. The FY2006 appropriations act (P.L. 109-149,
Section 102) directed DOL to transfer Job Corps from ETA to the Office of the
Secretary of Labor. The Administration’s budget request for FY2008 seeks to return
Job Corps to ETA. Both the Senate committee and House-passed bills, however,
would keep Job Corps in the Office of the Secretary, accounting for the program
under Department Management. To address the appropriation for federal
administrative expenses, the committees would assign $28.9 million to Department
Management for this purpose, reducing youth program administration funding in
Ex-Offender Activities. The Administration’s budget request proposes to
consolidate two programs that are funded under the general pilot and demonstration
authority of Section 171, Responsible Reintegration for Young Offenders and the
Prisoner Reentry Initiative, into a single program to be called Reintegration of Ex-
Offenders. Funding for the new program was requested at $39.6 million, with $20
million targeted toward youth offender programs. The Senate committee rejected the
proposal by increasing funding for Responsible Reintegration for Young Offenders
to $55.0 million; however, the committee recommended not funding the Prisoner
Reentry Initiative and funding the new program in its place (reduced to $13.6
million). The House-passed version accepted the consolidation proposal,
maintaining the FY2007 level of funding, $68.7 million, with $48.0 million of that
amount directed toward ex-offender programs for youth.