The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Youth Program provides workforce activities that ensure the needs of young people are met. The Target population of WIOA Youth include both in-school and out-of-school, so services provided reflect the priorities of each of these unique populations.
In-school priorities include comprehensive and integrated services that promote enhanced academic achievement, successful graduation, awareness of post-secondary and technical education; work readiness; and connections to the world of work. The focus is on drop out prevention; preparation for post-secondary college or technical schools; and assistance with work related goals. These priority services are delivered in partnership with the school system in which the youth is enrolled.
Out-of-school priorities for younger youth (age 14-18) include returning the youth to school for secondary education completion; awareness of post-secondary and technical education; work readiness; and connections to the world of work. For those who are 19-24 years old, primary emphasis is on completing their secondary-education and on building connections to advanced training and/or post-secondary education tied to the completion of a WIOA approved credential. for older out-of-school youth, a plan for financial self-sufficiency is the backbone of the service strategy.
The Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council has adopted a set of three Youth Skill Attainments. The three skill attainments are basic skills, work readiness skills and occupational skills.
Basic skills are those skills that result in the acheivement of basic education skill levels necessary for entry into the labor market. Work Readiness skills are broken down into two categories - career development and work ethic skills. Career development skills help participants choose a career, search for and obtain employment. Work ethic skills create an understanding of and the ability to respond to the basic requirements of the work environment. Occupational skills training will prepare participants to meet the entry level of specific skills relative to their possible occupation goals.
The program also provides opportunities for classroom training, on-the-job training, worksite training and support services in order to enhance the youth's employability and opportunities for post-program participation.