Adult Educators and Local WIOA Planning

This fact sheet highlights opportunities for adult educators to engage with partners across the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) system to ensure that planning and implementation under the new law is responsive to the needs of adult learners, and makes effective use of adult education partners’ expertise.

National Skills Coalition
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This fact sheet highlights how adult educators can participate in their local WIOA planning process. It’s important for adult educators to engage in the process because WIOA requires their funding applications to be reviewed by their local workforce development board to ensure alignment with the local plan.

Adult educators can participate in two ways. First, as a member of their local workforce development board. WIOA requires local boards to include representatives from adult education and literacy providers, and higher education institutions providing workforce investment activities. Boards can also include representatives from local educational agencies and community-based organizations.

Adult educators who are not members of their local boards can engage in the process by submitting comments on the local plan. WIOA mandates that draft local plans be made available for a 30-day comment period. Adult educators may want to identify specific ways that local boards can capitalize on adult education expertise to meet WIOA’s mandates.

The primary reason for adult educators to engage in the local WIOA planning process is not so much to produce a plan but rather to guide the implementation of WIOA services at the community level. Participation can also build relationships among educators and community partners.

What the experts say

Adult Educators and Local WIOA Planning is a synopsis of how adult education providers can participate in creating local/regional workforce development plans. By law, adult educators who are not members of their local workforce development board can participate by providing input on the draft plan during the 30-day comment period. Guidance is provided on how adult educators can provide helpful comments. Users should note that although Title III Wagner-Peyser Act (employment services) is one of programs where closer coordination is required, it is not mentioned in the report. 

Adult Educators and Local WIOA Planning is an excellent resource for adult educators because it gives an overview of the importance of being their being a vital partner in implementing WIOA on the state and local levels. The author provides a brief overview of how WIOA is supposed to work in the field of adult education, the local workforce and all Title II entities. It also explains the primary reason to engage in the WIOA planning process and the importance of solidifying partnerships between adult educators and the workforce system.

Understanding the WIOA mandates and compliance requirements is essential at all levels. Adult Educators and Local WIOA Planning should be used to train state WIOA partners, regional and local boards, and partners to ensure follow through of the mandated collaborative process. The implied model in this resource makes practical sense because in today’s world of shrinking resources, it brings stakeholders together to promote partnerships, collaboration, and the leveraging of limited resources to more effectively serve the needs of students and communities.

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