Thursday, May 26, 2016

WIOA? Where have you been?

Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, Inc.

By now you have probably heard me talk about WIOA.  If not, where have you been?  This is your chance to get involved and collaborate with the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, Inc. to ensure that the Lehigh Valley has a private sector driven workforce system.

In 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) providing a framework for states to make changes to their workforce systems.  The federal law sets parameters to enable better alignment of workforce priorities across multiple partners, training and service providers, employers and economic development and community partners, to ensure that together we are creating a skilled workforce.

Governor Wolf established five broad goals for Pennsylvania’s workforce development system.
1. Establish career pathways as the primary model for skills, credential and degree attainment and provide all Pennsylvanians, with an emphasis on Pennsylvanians with barriers to employment, an opportunity to obtain a job that pays.
2. Expand public-private investment in the state’s pipeline of workers and in incumbent workers for targeted industry sectors from entry-level skills to middle skills through Industry Partnerships, WEDnetPA, and other innovative strategies.
3. Increase opportunities for all youth to participate in work-based learning through summer employment, pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, internships and similar experiences.
4. Engage employers through multi-employer workforce partnerships to improve the connection and responsiveness of workforce programs to the demand side of the labor market. Increase public-private investment in critical skills, and support the spread of employer practices that create jobs that pay.
5. Strengthen data sharing across state agencies and workforce development partners to better understand education and employment outcomes and rely more effectively on data to improve our target our efforts.

How does the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board respond to these challenges and goals? Stay tuned! Next month I will present the results from public comments on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Transitional Local Plan for Program Year. This plan presents our vision, mission, goals, and strategies necessary to support the work of our regional and state partners. 

This plan also outlines many of the programs and initiatives planned for Lehigh Valley's public workforce system through the services in the PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley centers.  

Lehigh Valley’s Plan is available for review at  If you have any questions or comments please email me at  

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