The Workforce Investment Act is a U.S. law enacted in 1998 that provides programs intended to help citizens acquire and develop job-related skills. The act includes significant federal funding for vocational improvement programs in each state.
The Workforce Investment Act was intended to replace the Job Training and Partnership Act and reform previous federal job-training programs to become a comprehensive system for citizens to gain necessary skills for management of their own careers, as well as a way for U.S. businesses to find skilled workers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Programs offered by the Workforce Investment Act include major provisions for states to create job-training programs and craft unique policies that target at-risk communities for enhanced vocational investment. At a national level, the act gave the U.S. Secretary of Labor the ability to create programs for job development as needed in individual regions or nationwide, including the reform of the national Job Corps.
The Workforce Investment Act provided stable funding for all states to create workforce development programs of their own. Each state is allocated a set amount of funding under the act based on its population. Additional funds in the act are set aside to be used in potential emergency operations, in areas of unemployment crisis or extreme poverty.