The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law July 22 and has the potential to create great opportunities for ABC members who have been looking for skilled workers to fill the labor shortage. Here’s how it directly affects ABC members: WIOA authorizes $9.5 billion dollars in training funds This money dedicated to workforce development and training is an important step in ensuring workers develop the skills they need so the nation’s workforce can keep up with economic demand. It makes it easier for construction companies to train their workforce Employers can now become a training provider without needing to qualify at the local level. Companies who train can now get reimbursed for on-the job training, incumbent training and customized training—including assistance with up to 75% of a trainee’s wages, in some cases. WIOA offers an alternative to a competitive grant by paying these companies through a training account on a per-trainee basis. WIOA shifts the focus onto making workforce training effective WIOA’s goal is to get employers actively engaged and focused on training for in-demand jobs. It is significantly more streamlined than its predecessor, the Workforce Investment Act, which expired in 2003. It ensures small businesses have the opportunity to participate in developing training programs that will train people for available career opportunities. It allows existing construction craft training programs and others that provide workers with industry-recognized credentials to use workforce investment funding. Now what? Here’s how to get involved Work with a local ABC chapter to get started (use the chapter locator map to find a chapter). Contact a local American Job Center (One-Stop) to become involved in workforce initiatives, get qualified to become a training provider and get reimbursed.* Reach out to a state Office of Workforce Investment for additional information on how to get involved with the new law in place. For more on the law, the Jobs and Careers Coalition created this fact sheet with detailed information. *All resources might not yet be available on the One-Stop website. Be sure to check back for updates as the law goes into effect.