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Starting Your Career Over – Workforce Investment Act

Apr 1, 2012 | 3 comments

If you are a laid off worker, this means you left your job through no fault of your own. There may be help available for you with regard to your education or training to start a new career. Many of us have lost our jobs during this economic turn down and may be facing difficult decisions of taking any job that comes along or starting over with a new career.

It is hard enough to face the trials of keeping our lives together — daycare, house payments, transportation and the taxing job of finding a job. What should we do?

Being on a job for twenty years and now, you want me to start over? Wow! How much of a pay cut will you have to settle for? Do you go work for someone who is the same age as your children? Or, are you a young person trying to work a full-time job and go to school full- time? No matter what the case, if you were laid off from your job, help may be available.

Help comes in the form of the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker Program (WIA). This program is offered in all fifty states. What does it do? WIA Programs provide high-quality employment and training services that address the needs of individuals in need of training, retraining, and skill upgrades.

This program aims to increase the employment, job retention, earnings, and career advancement of U.S. workers. This Adult and Dislocated Worker Program, under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, is designed to provide quality employment and training services to assist eligible individuals in finding and qualifying for meaningful employment and to help employers find the skilled workers they need to compete and succeed in business.

The Core Services includes outreach, job search and placement assistance, and labor market information available to all job seekers;

Intensive Services includes more comprehensive assessments, development of individual employment plans and counseling and career planning; and

Through Training Services, customers are linked to job opportunities in their communities, including both occupational training and training in basic skills. Participants use an “individual training account” to select an appropriate training program from a qualified training provider.

“Supportive” Services such as transportation, childcare, dependent care, housing and needs-related payments are provided under certain circumstances to allow an individual to participate in the program.

States are responsible for program management and operations including enrollment, service delivery, and certification of training providers.

In addition to unemployed adults, employed adults can also receive services to obtain or retain employment that allows for self-sufficiency. State and local areas are responsible for establishing procedures for applying the priority and self-sufficiency requirements.

With all of this being said, each State has the responsibility for implementing this program. Check your State’s guidelines. You may be able to get assistance in starting a great new life.

In Texas and specifically in the Heart of Texas Board Area (McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Limestone Counties), funds are available for the dislocated worker. This is a great opportunity for going to college to get an Associates Degree or obtain a license or certificate for a trade.

At the HOT Workforce Center at 1416 South New Road in Waco, Staff will help you screen and apply for this possibility. It’s simple and quick with a broad range of assistance. Sheena Williams at 254-296-2922 will schedule an appointment time. Invest a little time in exploring this chance to change your life. The HOT Workforce Center is ready to assist you. If you are in one of its outlining counties, go to the nearest office and tell them you have an interest. (See corresponding story HOT Workforce Announces Enhanced Job Placement Efforts in this issue!)

What do you have to lose? Nothing, but almost everything to gain. Check it out today!