The Real Problem With WIOA

I’m still confused over why the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is already considered an abject failure because it didn’t do anything about the predatory lending practiced by institutions covered by an entirely different piece of legislation, but in the meantime, while watching this, I was pleased to see someone mention, even if somewhat obliquely (and then completely ignored by the host), the one clear aspect of WIOA (and its predecessor, the Workforce Investment Act) that really does work to the advantage of those schools that rip people off: the fact that there isn’t nearly enough funding in WIOA to provide quality training to people who are eligible for the program. If people had better options, maybe they wouldn’t be in a position to be taken advantage of by these terrible schools.

I’ve written about the completely inadequate funding levels for adult education in WIOA here. I’m not an expert by any stretch on the job training programs covered in WIOA, but I gather from what little I do know that the funding for these programs is inadequate as well. If people think that it’s the WIOA-funded one-stops that should be counseling people about higher ed student loans, then in their next breath it night be good to talk a little about whether one-stop staff capacity is sufficient—or sufficiently knowledgable—to do this, and if not, what kind of money it might take to  make that happen.

Again, I’m really interested in how workforce investment advocates might do more to stop the higher education scam artists that prey on the unemployed and unskilled, but most of the discussion over the last week or so hasn’t been very clear about the differences between higher eduction and WIOA, how they actually work together, and how they could work together better, given such a restrictive funding environment. Without such clarity, it’s hard to know which policy choices, if any, will make a difference. This is one area where your comments would be much appreciated!

3 thoughts on “The Real Problem With WIOA

  1. I thought you might find this article interesting. .

    Perhaps we could connect sometime on my work. I have been working to bring attention nationally to the low literacy levels of hundreds of thousands of non-college early childhood educators. In light of the push for universal pre-school, this is a timely subject. Attached is a policy brief I wrote to Massachusetts State Officials in DOE, DOL and Board of Higher Ed.


    Elizabeth A. Gilbert, Ed.D.

  2. Would love to learn more about your work. The linkage between adult and pre-K important, but engaging with early education advocates on this issue is tricky, I’ve found. Anyway, I don’t think the attachment or link made it through (we may have blocked people from doing that in the comments), so feel free to try again or send it along to me over e-mail and I’ll pass it along.

    Thanks also for the article link. I mentioned this article in the post previous to this one. It’s excellent, and I wish the media would go to McCarthy for expertise instead of some of the folks who have been in the media recently responding to this article who clearly know less about the topic.

  3. Pingback: Some New(ish) Federal Adult Education Data to Chew On | Literacy & Policy

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