Mayor Article

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Update
DOL Addresses Transition Funding Issue

By Josie Hathway

As the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) is implemented across the country, the funding allocations are causing serious difficulties for many cities and local areas. Congress provided no protection from funding loss for local areas in the transition from the old employment and training system, the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), to WIA. Without the protection of a sub-state 90 percent hold harmless provision, many cities will experience significant reductions in funding when WIA is implemented. For example, Louisville would loose 65 percent of their funds to serve adults and youth. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has agreed after correspondence from the Hill and pressure from organizations such as The U.S. Conference of Mayors, to allow Governors, at their discretion, to implement a 90 percent hold harmless for local areas. Amendments to WIA will not be considered until next spring. If Governors choose to implement a hold harmless, it will provide needed relief for many cities and consortiums of cities and counties who face serious funding losses and disruptions in employment and training services.

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