The federally funded Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) is comprehensive reform legislation that replaced the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and amended the Wagner-Peyser Act.

WIA reforms federal job training programs and creates a new, comprehensive workforce investment system. Massachusetts is divided into 16 local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIA), each governed by a Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) in partnership with the Chief Elected Official for the area.

Individual Training Accounts

Under Title I of WIA, Individual Training Accounts (ITA) allow individual job seekers, who need occupational skills training in order to successfully reenter the workforce, to choose from a pre-approved list of training courses. A key tenet of the Workforce Investment Act is that adults and dislocated workers, who have been determined to need training, may access training with an ITA. With the exception of certain infrequently occurring circumstances, all training services provided to eligible adults and dislocated workers under WIA Title I must be provided through the use of Individual Training Accounts.

The Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) approves ITA eligible courses on a regional level. Each LWIB establishes the approval criteria for its local area and providers submit courses to each of the LWIBS for those areas for which they wish to make their training offerings available.

Eligible Applicants

This is an open and competitive procurement process. Private and public service providers offering a program of training services are eligible to apply

Included are post-secondary educational institutions:

  • offering programs that are not eligible to receive Federal funds under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, or
  • do not lead to an associate degree, baccalaureate degree or certificate.

Other eligible providers include:

  • for profit and not-for-profit entities,
  • community-based organizations,
  • labor organizations, and
  • other training services providers.

Training Program Services

WIA defines a "program of training services" as:
a) One or more courses or classes that, upon successful completion leads to:
  • A certificate, an associate degree, or baccalaureate degree, or
  • A competency or skill recognized by employers, or

b) A training regimen that provides individuals with additional skills or competencies generally recognized by employers.

All private, business, trade schools and other non-colleges must be licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Education if $250 or more is charged for tuition per student in a 12-month period.

In addition, a bond with surety, or a term deposit account payable to the Commonwealth as beneficiary, Commissioner of Education, to be held in trust for the benefit of the students. The Massachusetts State Auditor handles surety.

All applicant organizations, which are overseen by any other licensing boards or commissions, must meet all requirements for licensing and accreditation and be in good standing.

Timeline

This is an open and rolling application process. Applications are accepted at any time. However, all organizations interested in providing training services to WIA participants through an ITA are urged to submit their application packages at least six weeks before the course/program start dates.