Workforce Innovations & Opportunities Act

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act



The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) authorizes the nation’s publicly funded workforce development system. Composed of several different funding streams and related programs, WIOA supports workforce development activities and funds job training programs for adults, dislocated workers and youth and prioritizes services and supports for populations that are under-connected or disconnected from the labor market, education, or training


WIOA reauthorized the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) and was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2014. WIOA seeks sought to modernize the nation’s workforce development system and streamline existing employment and workforce-related education and training systems via unified planning and delivery, common measurements for program performance, and more uniform data collection and usage among many other improvements to previous law. Since that time, States have submitted revisions to their WIOA plans as Congress considers updates to this legislation.

Connection to Career Technical Education (CTE)

WIOA emphasizes greater coordination between workforce development and CTE through aligned definitions and terminology, requires postsecondary CTE to be a partner of the public workforce development system. WIOA also includes the option for states to develop a Combined State Plan that meets the planning requirements for WIOA’s core programs and at least one other federal program (including Perkins V), and other provisions that seek to further align federal workforce development activities with state and local CTE systems. 

Advance CTE Recommendations

Advance CTE advocates for WIOA reauthorization based on these recommendations, which reflect the input and priorities of our members and vision.

Resources on Understanding WIOA

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

  • Full text of WIOA

U.S. Department of Labor Overview of WIOA

  • A summary of WIOA programs and reforms

WIOA Regulations and Related Guidance

  • A website with resources related to the final rules and regulations for WIOA

Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) Policy Guidance and Memoranda

  • A web page that features program memoranda related to career pathways, infrastructure funding of the one-stop delivery system and more

Resources on WIOA Implementation

Coordinating Across Perkins V and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (October 2018)

  • This guide from Advance CTE and the National Skills Coalition looks at six opportunities to promote coordination across Perkins V and WIOA as states develop and implement plans under Perkins V

Realizing Innovation and Opportunity in WIOA: Implementing the Playbook for Creating Effective State Plans (July 2016)

  • Strategies from the National Skills Coalition for states to develop and align career pathways

Aligned by Design: WIOA and Career and Technical Education (June 2015)

  • An overview from Advance CTE, the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Skills Coalition of opportunities for aligning the workforce system and CTE


  • A U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration website with webinars, guides, and other resources related to WIOA implementation

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Infrastructure Costs Toolkit

  • A guide to creating an MOU that complies with WIOA requirements for the sharing of One-stop center infrastructure costs.