Consortium

Across the country, workforce boards are transitioning from the days of workforce investment to a new era of workforce development spurred by the passing of the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014. Both a reauthorization and modernization of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, WIOA streamlines and strengthens the strategic roles of both state and local workforce boards—including local elected officials—by reducing board size and adding functions that include strategies for meeting the needs of jobseekers and employers. However, the federal government has two years to fully implement the new law; in the meantime, the 1998 Act continues to guide state and local workforce activities.

It is critically important that local elected officials—who are partly liable for federal workforce funds—understand their workforce-related roles and responsibilities today and as the new law comes to bear. That’s why WorkSource Southwest Georgia has created this page as a One-Stop resource for elected officials in Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas and Worth counties.

Learn more about roles and responsibilities, funding and more—both today and as our system transitions to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014—below.

Workforce Roles & Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities for directing the federal workforce funds that flow into states happens at multiple levels of government. Both federal and state law designate Georgia workforce roles and responsibilities locally and statewide.

Governor

Liable for state-received workforce funds and designates an agency to receive and disperse the money.

May configure workforce and additional funding streams to create a core workforce development and delivery system.

Have the option of requiring One-Stop Centers be the only delivery point for state-controlled workforce programs.

Serves on the state workforce development board Has purview over funding for statewide employment, training and response to layoffs.

Legislature

Local Elected Officials

Liable for locally received workforce funds and designates either a local government entity or other fiscal agent for administration.

Designated in an interlocal agreement.

Appoint regional workforce board members, who are responsible for planning and oversight of public workforce services delivered in the region.

Can dictate resource alignment and facilitate connection of programs with educational institutions, public housing agencies, human services agencies and other service organizations or entities.

Collaborate with regional workforce board to develop and approve local plan for service delivery.

Have opportunities to align workforce development goals with regional economic development goals.

Workforce Funding

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a federal program that was signed into law in August 1998, and went into effect in Georgia in July 2000. WIA is the nation’s principal workforce development legislation, providing funds to address the employment and training needs of dislocated workers, low-income adults and youth to ultimately help Georgia businesses meet the needs of today and the future.

The Governor has appointed the State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) to administer WIA funds and designated Workforce Division staff to SWIB, assisting in the regulation of WIA funds which are administered throughout 19 Local Workforce Investment Areas across the state The Federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 was reauthorized in 2014 by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Until the United States Department of Labor implements the new law, however, state and local workforce funding will continue to flow according to WIA.

WIA has five titles, the first of which authorizes the nation’s public workforce development system. “Title 1 – Workforce Investment Systems” authorizes state and local workforce development boards to establish a formula by which funds for youth, adult and dislocated workers programs flow from the federal level, through the states and to the local level; establishes performance metrics; and authorizes the nation’s youth workforce development and One‐Stop Career Center systems.

Most workforce funds received by the state—between 85 and 95 percent—are passed on to Georgia’s 19 local workforce areas for local service delivery. The remaining five to 15 percent of funds may be retained at the state level for use at the Governor’s discretion to address statewide workforce needs. The largest funding streams – Workforce Investment Act, Wagner-Peyser and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families support the majority of workforce services.

 

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

In July 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 was signed into law, reauthorizing the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs through 2020. The bill marks the first major overhaul of the federal workforce system since 1998 and was approved by Congress after a ten-year reauthorization process.

WIOA recognizes the critical role played by local elected officials and regional workforce boards in the overall economic health of local communities. An essential element of WIOA is maintaining strong local governance and providing local boards with the flexibility to address their local workforce challenges, and greater agility through a reduction in the number of required members.

Changes spurred by WIOA center around streamlining programs, reporting, and administration. For instance, the bill eliminates 15 existing federal training programs including WIA incentive grants, WIA Pilots and Demonstration Projects, and the Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF). The law also creates common measures--employees hired, employees retained, earnings, credential rates and skills gains—across core workforce programs for employers and job seekers.

The bill maintains the existing basic structure of WIA (workforce systems title, occupational training title, adult basic education [ABE], literacy and English language acquisition [ESL] title; Wagner-Peyser Act; and Vocational Rehabilitation). It also does not create a single state funding block grant or consolidate current funding streams.

Additionally, the bill maintains that state governors do not have the authority to consolidate local workforce boards. While not exhausted, the points below provide a sense of Chief Elected Officials’ workforce responsibilities and authority. 

Georgia Workforce Partners

State Workforce Development Board

The State Workforce DevelopmentBoard (SWDB), appointed by the Governor, is tasked with administering workforce funds across the state and overseeing the Governor’s state workforce development initiatives.

Their guidance is essential to sustaining Georgia’s competitive advantage nationwide in terms of workforce. The SWIB is comprised of business owners, members of the Georgia General Assembly, statewide agency heads, local elected officials, and representatives from other workforce groups.

Georgia Department of Economic Development, Workforce Division

In April 2014, Governor Deal announced that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development would be repositioned under the umbrella of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) as the new Workforce Division.

This streamlined structure is intended to ensure that the state’s workforce development efforts are aligned with the economic realities of the marketplace and what businesses need to succeed in Georgia. As GDEcD works to bring new investment opportunities to our state and to support existing industry, a critical component of this mission is meeting the workforce needs of Georgia companies.

The Workforce Division adds a workforce development team to Georgia’s economic development assets, providing additional resources to new and existing companies in Georgia. While the Workforce Division’s primary responsibility is managing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) under the leadership of the State Workforce Investment Board – the office is also focused on the broader mission of ensuring that education and training in Georgia is geared toward in-demand jobs.

The Workforce Division plays a critical role in keeping Georgia the No. 1 state in the nation to do business.

Local Workforce Regions

Georgia has 19 local workforce areas responsible the local delivery of workforce services to job seekers and businesses electronically as well as through physical One-Stop Career Centers across the state. Available services include employment search, training and recruitment assistance as well as funding for skills training.

Regional boards’ efforts often are geared toward specific industries or populations identified in their areas as targets due to demand and wage potential. The flexibility built into the system allows each area to collaboratively determine with its local leadership – including Chief Elected Officials and others – what employment and training services are needed to reflect and address their community’s region’s business and economic development needs.

Regional boards are essential to the state’s efforts to strengthen the economy through business attraction and retention. Like the State Workforce Investment Board, each of the 19 local areas is led by a Board of Directors with majority representation from the business community along with leaders from education, economic development, government, labor and community-based organizations.

Additional Resources

National Association of Workforce Boards Publications 

NAWB Publications