WIOA Youth Program

WIOA may be best summarized in the following statement: 

‘… to provide workforce investment activities, through statewide and local systems that increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants, and increase attainment of recognized credentials by participants, and as a result, improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, increase economic self-sufficiency, meet the skill requirements of  employers, and enhance the productivity and competiveness of the Nation.’


There are 14 required program elements that are available through local programs:

  • Element (1) tutoring, study skills training, instruction, and evidence-based dropout prevention and recovery strategies that lead to completion of the requirements for a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent (including a recognized certificate of attendance or similar document for individuals with disabilities) or for a recognized postsecondary credential;   
  • Element (2) alternative secondary school services, or dropout recovery services, as appropriate;
  • Element (3) paid and unpaid work experiences that have as a component academic and occupational education, which may include—(i) summer employment opportunities and other employment opportunities available throughout the school year; (ii) pre-apprenticeship programs; (iii) internships and job shadowing; and (iv) on-the-job training opportunities;
  • Element (4) occupational skill training, which shall include priority consideration for training programs that lead to recognized postsecondary credentials that are aligned with in demand industry sectors or occupations in the local area involved, if the local board determines that the programs meet the quality criteria described in section 123;
  • Element (5) education offered concurrently with and in the same context as workforce preparation activities and training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster;
  • Element (6) leadership development opportunities, which may include community service and peer-centered activities encouraging responsibility and other positive social and civic behaviors, as appropriate;
  • Element (7) supportive services;
  • Element (8) adult mentoring for the period of participation and a subsequent period, for a total of not less than 12 months;
  • Element (9) follow up services for not less than 12 months after the completion of participation, as appropriate;
  • Element (10) comprehensive guidance and counseling, which may include drug and alcohol abuse counseling and referral, as appropriate;
  • Element (11) financial literacy education;
  • Element (12) entrepreneurial skills training;
  • Element (13) services that provide labor market and employment information about in-demand industry sectors or occupations available in the local area, such as career awareness, career counseling, and career exploration services; and
  • Element (14) activities that help youth prepare for and transition to postsecondary education and training.

Key Provisions:

  • Minimum of 75 percent of State and Local youth funding expended on out-of-school youth
  • At least 20 percent of local Youth formula funds must be used for work experiences, such as summer and year round employment, pre-apprenticeship, on-the-job training, or internships and job shadowing


Criteria for out-of-school youth services:

  1. Not attending school (adult education excluded)
  2. Age 16-24
  3. Falls within at least ONE (1) or more of the following barriers:

       i.School Dropout

       ii.Within the age of compulsory school attendance, but has not attended school for at least the most complete school year calendar quarter

       iii.Recipient of a secondary school diploma or equivalent AND is basic skills deficient or an English Language Learner

       iv.Offender (Juvenile or Adult)



       vii.Foster child (In or Aged out of Foster Care, Out-of-home Placement, or Eligible under Section 477 of Social Security Act)

       viii.Pregnant or parenting

       ix.Individual with a disability

       x.A low-income individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program or to secure or hold employment


Criteria for in-school youth services:

  1. Attending any school (adult education excluded)
  2. Age 16 to 21
  3. Low-income individual
  4. Falls within at least ONE (1) or more of the following barriers:

       i.Basic schools deficient

       ii.English language learner

       iii.Offender (Juvenile or Adult)



       vi.Foster child (In or Aged out of Foster Care, Out-of-home Placement, or Eligible under Section 477 of Social Security Act)

       vii.Pregnant or parenting

      viii.Individual with a disability


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