WIA, the WIB and YOU

WIA, the WIB and You

On August 7th, 1998, the United States Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act, Kevin Price PhotoGail Breen Photoreplacing the Job Training Partnership Act and certain other federal job training provisions with a more coordinated and accessible system for servicing the needs of unemployed and under-employed Americans.

The act was one of those rare bi-partisan efforts in which merit trumped politics. Enacted during President Clinton’s second term by a Republican Congress, the legislation brought business into partnership with government for the local delivery of Workforce Development Services.

As in other states, New York State established a number of multi-county Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). In our area, we are serviced by two: the Chenango-Delaware-Otsego (CDO) WIB and the Fulton-Montgomery-Schoharie (FMS) WIB.

Why should you care?

If you are out of work, facing layoff or down-sizing, or considering a change in employment; if you’ve just moved to the area or recently finished your education; if you have a new or expanding business or you plan to move your business to the area, there is now an unprecedented depth and coordination of services ready to help you.

Kevin Price is the Executive Director of the CDO WIB. Gail B. Breen is his counterpart at the FMS Workforce Development Board. Sweet RESULTS – Careers interviewed both.

In detailing the history and evolution of WIA, Ms. Breen made note of the difficult early days of the Act when the government “took seventeen… maybe nineteen funding streams and said, ‘you will all play together.’ That’s sometimes a hard thing to do.” She continued, “It’s been a long haul over the past six years, and we’ve been very fortunate in our area. Our partners get along together very well.” Mr. Price echoed that description of the CDO board.

Asked for clarification of the WIB’s role, Mr. Price explained that it is “to set direction of the Workforce Investment System; to establish the policies and procedures; to determine how the funding is spent and on what types of services and functions.”

“Basically, it’s the policy making body for the employment and training system.”