Congress enacted the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998 to replace the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) which had been the federal government's employment and training assistance program for 16 years. Unlike JTPA which allowed services and funds to flow through State agencies, WIA mandates more local involvement and ostensibly more local control.
The WIA provides the framework for a unique public private partnership to address employers needs for a skilled workforce and employees needs for training in high demand areas. WIA is an effort to empower individuals seeking employment by providing them with appropriate resources and training to increase their skill level to help meet the needs of the business community.
The program is administered locally by The Office of Economic Development with an advisory board composed of a majority of private sector representatives. Other board members represent employee groups, non-profit service providers, and public sector agencies.