Though grants funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) do include some one-time student grants, the act is far more inclusive, funding a wide variety of initiatives to bolster the strength of American professionals. As such, WIA student grants cater to students on specific career paths, such as those enrolled in technical schools, vocational colleges and nursing programs. Inquire with your school's enrollment office, as WIA grant opportunities vary by state.
About the Act
In August 1998 the Workforce Investment Act replaced the Job Training Partnership Act. The act evolved once again in July 2000, becoming Title 1 of WIA, known as Workforce Investment Systems. This act focuses on strengthening overall employment in America, improving employee retention and increasing employee earnings. The WIA achieves these results by striving to improve employee skills, productivity and competitiveness through employment training and assistance programs.
WIA grants from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Employment Training Administration cater to adult and student workers, especially those unable to attain other types of government assistance, such as Pell grants. Specifically, WIA funding targets displaced workers and adult workers. Students may apply for these grants each year. Students in default on federal loans cannot receive WIA grants.
Student Application Process
To apply for WIA grants students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. To receive the award, students must provide proof of citizenship, proof of Selective Service registration (if applicable), educational transcripts, a resume and employment information. In some cases students will be assigned a WIA counselor. Once received, these grants fund WIA-approved job training programs via WIA Vouchers, usually sent directly to your school's scholarship office. Amounts vary.
Other WIA Initiatives
Unemployed and dislocated workers benefit the most from WIA funds. The program provides services such as outreach programs, job-searching workshops, labor-market information services and job-placement assistance. In addition, WIA funds provide ancillary services – such as daycare, transportation and housing assistance – that may prove vital during the job hunt. This act also offers competitive two-year grants for Native American adults to fund employment and training needs. Because the Department of Labor gives the states flexibility in their funding, WIA grant opportunities vary by state.
- Committee on Ways and Means: Workforce Investment Act (PDF)
- Central Piedmont Community College: WIA Grant Application Process
- United States Department of Labor; Workforce Investment Act – Adults and Dislocated Workers Program; April 2008
- Grants; Workforce Investment Act – Indian and Native American Employment...; March 2010
- Federal Grants Wire: WIA Incentive Grants – Section 503 Grants to States
Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.