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DOL ANNOUNCES THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT (WIOA)
(June 25, 2015)
Labor Commissioner Designee Catherine Hendry, Esq., is pleased to announce the implementation of the The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed by President Obama on July 22, 2014. This new federal legislation is the first major reform to federal job training programs in more than 15 years. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). WIOA is designed to improve the coordination of employment and training services across federally funded programs; and strengthen collaboration, coordination and partnerships between and among Public Agencies, Community Based Organizations, Private Sector Businesses and Employers.

The Act emphasizes �Work First�, (temporary or transitional) to job seekers in conjunction with increased access to training, education and other support necessary to succeed in the job market and in their careers. WIOA emphasizes the engagement of Businesses and Employers to guide and lead the �alignment� of training with the skills needed to match qualified workers to the demands of our 21st century workforce; it provides opportunity for �incumbent worker training� and transitional jobs which promote �On the Job Training� (OJT�s) and �Paid Apprenticeship�s �. Additional highlights of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) include:

    ? Reform to the Public Workforce System & America�s Job Centers (currently called One Stops and located at VI Department of Labor Offices)
    ? Improved �Access� to Comprehensive Services from Partner Programs and Agencies
    ? Designation of �mandatory� partners comprised of VIDOL- Employment Service, Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth:, VIDHS-Voc-Rehab,& VIDOE �Adult Education and Literacy Act Programs
    ? Establishment of a �comprehensive� American Job Center (One Stop) that provides access to �physical� co-located services across the core programs and from the required partners.
�The Virgin Islands Department of Labor (VIDOL) is thrilled to launch the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act as it will improve the coordination of employment and training services across the Territory�, said the Commissioner Designee. The public is invited to join the VIDOL and our partners as we introduce the �WIOA Kick-Off Event� in both districts on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 at 12:00 noon, at the American Job Centers located at the VI Department of Labor on both St. Thomas and St. Croix. We encourage all Virgin Islanders to visit the VIDOL website (www.vidol.gov) for more information, or visit the American Job Center locations. Additional information on the WIOA can also be accessed on the United States Department of Labor websites (www.doleta.gov/wioaand www.wioa.workforce3one.org .
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