If the goal is to increase the number of job seekers that participate in high-quality training programs, more can be done to improve the coordination between the Department of Labor and these groups. 

This report  by American Enterprise Institute offers recommendations for enhancing the federal workforce development system by reviewing and identifying inefficiencies in the current system. It concludes by forwarding several policy suggestions aimed at improving the way that Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding is used by job seekers and training providers.

Key Points

  • The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is the primary federal legislation that authorizes many training and workforce development services. These services help train job seekers with skills, but administrative hurdles limit its effectiveness.
  • Congress allocates roughly $4.8 billion for WIOA programs that serve six million participants. While smaller than other postsecondary aid programs, job seekers can combine WIOA funding with other state and federal aid to pay for training—although relatively few individuals navigate eligibility requirements needed to do so.
  • Additionally, few WIOA participants receive and use funding for actual training services. Policymakers and WIOA caseworkers should prioritize training and simplify reporting requirements to encourage a healthy marketplace of WIOA-eligible training providers.