The Alabama Workforce Invest Area’s (AWIA) goal for Adult services is to provide workforce investment activities that increase the employment, occupational attainment, and retention and earning of participants, which will improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of Alabama’s economy. There is a priority for eligible low income and welfare recipients and for certain veterans or veteran spouses to receive specific services.
The program provides a range of self-service and staff assisted services for adults seeking employment. Under the Adult program, individuals are eligible for services such as comprehensive and specialized assessment of skills levels, aptitudes, abilities and needs; development of an Individual Employment Plan; individual career counseling; and out-of-area job search assistance. More intensive services are also available for eligible adults who experience more difficulty in obtaining jobs such as Individual Training Accounts, On-the–Job training, and job readiness training conducted with a commitment by an employer or a group of employers to employ an individual upon successful completion of training.
Individual Training Accounts
One of the primary means of delivering educational or occupational training services for Adults and Dislocated Workers and Youth are Individual Training Accounts (ITAs). ITA services may only be provided to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) participants by training providers who have applied for placement and been placed on the Eligible Training Provider List.
Prospective education and/or occupational skills training providers must meet specific criteria in order to initially and subsequently retain training provider status. Postsecondary education institutions, which offer instruction leading to generally recognized certification in high-demand occupational skills, and other institutions providing similar vocational instruction services, are among the entities, which may apply for inclusion on the Eligible Training Provider List.
The normal limitation on length of training for regular WIOA funded ITAs is two years. The ITA service delivery model continues to be monitored, revised, and implemented with ongoing success. Based on the principle of customer choice, the ITA is designed to allow each participant to develop a career strategy and to pursue training based on the most effective track for his or her individual interests and skills.
The Alabama Workforce Investment Area (AWIA) strives to maximize the number of clients in training through the efficient use of local area funds. In order to maximize the number of participants, the AWIA Local Board uses cost limitations on Individual Training Accounts. The maximum amount allowable for ITAs was adopted as follows:
- Short term training of 13 weeks or less up to $3,500
- 52 weeks training or less up to $6,500
- 17 months or less up to $8,000 (greater than 12 months but less than 17)
- 17 to 24 months up to $12,000 (greater than 17 months but no longer than 24)
On-the-Job Training Program
The Workforce Development Division of the Alabama Department of Commerce administers the On-The-Job Training (OJT) program which gives individuals an opportunity to learn job skills and allows employers to train new employees while saving money on training costs.
Under the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, On-the-Job Training participants’ employers are reimbursed a portion of these participants’ wages in compensation for the extraordinary costs in additional time and attention generally associated with the provision of such training, and in recognition of the lesser workplace productivity of these trainees. Negotiations with the employer establish the maximum length of participants’ training period. The maximum length of such training, however, is not to exceed six months.
Business Service Representative from the local career center or a member of Workforce Development Division staff and the employer will create a training plan that defines training objectives and goals for the trainee(s). Based on the number of employees, employers may receive up to a seventy-five (75) percent reimbursement of hourly wages paid to a trainee. This reimbursement serves as an incentive to encourage employers to hire individuals who do not have all of the required skills for a particular job. This program is designed to fulfill the employment needs of local employers by providing a trained workforce while increasing productivity and profits.
The goals of the OJT program are permanent employment upon successful completion of training; placement into occupations that are long-term; and to build a skilled workforce for a growing Alabama economy.
More information on the OJT Program can be found in the brochure below:
Incumbent Worker Training Program
Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and administered by the Workforce Development Division of the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) is designed to provide funding assistance to qualifying Alabama for-profit businesses to provide skills training to full- time, permanent company workers. The training must be a business necessity that will enhance companies’ abilities to compete in global economies, expand present markets, and help ensure the permanency (layoff aversion) of businesses in Alabama. For the workers, the training will upgrade present work skills, heighten job security, provide marketable skills, and increase the possibilities for higher wages and promotional opportunities. The Workforce Development Division staff members administer, monitor, and evaluate the training program. They also provide fiscal and subrecipient agreement compliance assistance during the training process.
Dislocated Worker Program
The Alabama Workforce Investment Area Dislocated Worker Program is intended for workers who lost jobs due to plant closures, company downsizing, or some other significant change in market conditions. In most cases, it must be unlikely that these dislocated workers will return to their previous employment, and they must be eligible for (or have exhausted) unemployment compensation. Other conditions can lead to eligibility, such as being self-employed (but not working as a result of general economic conditions), or being a displaced homemaker. The program tailors employment and training services to meet dislocated workers’ needs; works with workers and firms facing substantial layoffs; and encourages labor, management, and community partnerships with government to address worker dislocation.
Dislocated workers are eligible for services such as comprehensive and specialized skill assessment, development of an Individual Employment Plan, labor market information, and job search and job placement assistance. Additional services are available for eligible dislocated workers who need additional help in getting jobs. The sequence of services is individualized and may include more intensive assessments, career counseling, occupational skills training, Individual Training Accounts, On-the–Job training, and job readiness training conducted with a commitment by an employer or a group of employers to employ an individual upon successful completion of training.
The program goal is to increase employment and employment retention for its participants and to provide employers with a skilled workforce and qualified job applicants.