The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers secure the employment, education, training and support services necessary to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

Every year the core programs that form the pillars of WIOA help tens of millions of job seekers and workers connect to good jobs and acquire the skills and credentials needed to obtain them. With the implementation of WIOA, the Texas workforce system will continue to be a market-driven system, responding to the needs of employers and preparing workers for jobs that are available now and in the future.

WIOA authorizes and brings together the following core programs of federal investment under the workforce development system:

  • Employment and training services for adults, dislocated workers and youth
  • Wagner-Peyser employment services
  • Adult education and literacy programs
  • Vocational Rehabilitation state grant programs that assist individuals with disabilities in obtaining employment

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WIOA Combined State Plan

WIOA requires states to jointly develop and submit a single four-year plan for achieving the workforce goals of the state. The plan will reflect the state’s goals and strategies to:

  • Align, coordinate and integrate education, employment and training programs
  • Guide investments to ensure that training and services are meeting the needs of employers and individuals
  • Engage economic, education and workforce partners in improving the workforce development system

Texas submitted the Combined State Plan (Plan) to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor on April 1, 2016.  The Plan will be approved by the secretary of each federal agency that oversees the core programs.

The Plan includes information for the six WIOA core programs, as well as other programs administered by TWC, including the Senior Community Service Employment Program and Wagner-Peyser Agricultural Outreach.

The Plan and Appendices follow.

Combined State Plan Modification 

On March 21, 2017, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) approved a draft of modifications to the Combined State Plan for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) covering Program Years 2016–2019, for posting for public comment.

Senate Bill 208, 84th Texas Legislature (Regular Session), which transferred the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services to the Texas Workforce Commission, effective September 1, 2016, requires Rehabilitative Services and Blind Services to merge into one division.  This WIOA Combined State Plan Modification includes a new VR Plan that addresses all of the required elements for both general rehabilitative and blind services.

Additionally, on January 30, 2017, the governor approved the redesignation of the Alamo and Coastal Bend workforce development areas, moving McMullen County from Coastal Bend to Alamo.  This WIOA Combined State Plan Modification includes an explanation of this redesignation, as well as an updated map showing the 28 workforce development areas in Texas.

TWC welcomes and invites input on these modifications.  All comments must be submitted by Friday, April 21, 2017, at 5:00 p.m., and may be:

  • e-mailed to TWCPolicyComments@twc.state.tx.us;
  • faxed to (512) 475-3577; or
  • mailed to TWC Policy Comments, Workforce Program Policy, 101 East 15th Street, Room 440T, Austin, Texas 78778.

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WIOA Guidance

The WIOA Guide to Texas Workforce System Operations provides information on the methods by which WIOA reinforces the partnerships and strategies used by Workforce Solutions Offices to serve customers and provides information on how infrastructure and additional costs are determined and paid for by workforce partners in a local workforce system. 

The WIOA Guidelines for Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth provides Boards with criteria and documentation sources for establishing WIOA Title I program eligibility for adults, dislocated workers, and youth.

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WIOA Eligibility

The following WIOA eligibility references are effective starting July 1, 2015.  The selective service desk reference remains valid for WIOA basic eligibility purposes.

The Data Element Review outlines the documentation required for validating WIOA eligibility.

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WIOA Self-Sufficiency Wage Levels

WIOA participants who are employed, but are not receiving self-sufficiency wages, may be eligible for WIOA training services. The U.S. Department of Labor’s 100 percent Lower Living Standard Income Level (LLSIL) guidelines PDF can be used to set minimum criteria for determining whether WIOA Title I participants receive self-sufficiency wages in their local areas. 

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Training Provider Requirements

WIOA requires training providers who want to receive WIOA funds to apply for certification and be included on the Statewide List of Certified Training Providers, which includes all training programs that are currently approved by one or more Workforce Development Boards and certified by TWC. Training providers must submit and receive approval of a Provider Assurance Statement to obtain access to the online application system.

Boards identify providers of youth activities by awarding grants/contracts on a competitive basis a based on the recommendations of the Board’s Youth Council.

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