If you are looking to jumpstart a new career, you'll want to learn about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA). WIOA funding is designed to underwrite tuition, books and other fees for students looking to gain the training they need to begin the job of their dreams.
So what does WIOA pay for, exactly? This quick guide will help you understand if you qualify and what this funding can cover.
Requirements for WIOA
There are only a few things necessary to receive WIOA funding. You must be at least 18 years old and be considered low-income by your state’s guidelines. If you qualify for SNAP benefits, for example, you will likely qualify for the WIOA.
During your academic work, you'll need to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. If your grades drop, a case manager will give you a semester to improve before removing funding. However, many online training programs are only a semester in length.
For some career paths, it may also be necessary to pass a drug test. Oftentimes these include truck driving, healthcare, and education.
If you qualify for a WIOA scholarship, textbooks, fees, and tuition will be covered up to $4,000. WIOA funding also includes:
A $25 stipend to spend on school supplies at the bookstore
Funds for childcare of $15 a day for up to two children younger than 12 years old
Gas money, depending on how far you must travel for class
Reimbursement for some tests and supplies
What Courses are Covered by WIOA?
Each state has a different list of courses that qualify for WIOA funding. Often, these grants are available for online training, making many new careers available even to those who lack transportation.
Some training programs that qualify include:
Keep in mind that WIOA does not pay for training over $4,000. If you don’t have other scholarships, it may be wise to consider a course that is within that budget. Many online courses meet that requirement and can prepare you for the certifications needed to get hired in a competitive job market.
Learn More About WIOA
There are a few options for learning more about WIOA. If you visit Workforce GPS, you can find technical assistance, research, and webinars that you can use to better position yourself for a new career path.
Most communities have One-Stop Centers, which are sometimes known as American Job Centers. There, you can connect with a case manager who can help you submit your application for funding as well as connect you with educational organizations that qualify in your state.
Case managers can also help you craft an engaging resume, master interview skills, and improve other skills that may have impacted your career previously. With the support of the WIOA program, schools, and case managers, you'll be able to succeed in your job search—and the rest of your career.