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The Workforce Investment Act is a federal act that “provides workforce investment activities, through statewide and local workforce investment systems, that increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants, and in-crease occupational skill attainment by participants, and, as a result, improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the produc-tivity and competitiveness of the Nation. ” The law was enacted to replace the Job Training Partnership Act and certain other Federal (outlined below in History) and job training laws with new workforce investment systems (or workforce development). The law was enacted during Bill Clinton's second term and attempts to induce business to participate in the local delivery of Workforce Development Services through Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) which were to be chaired by private sector members of the local community. A majority of Board members were also required to represent business interests. 
Training and Partnership Act of 1982 was the predecessor of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. This law used federal funding to implement programs that prepared youth and unskilled adults for entry into the workforce and provided employment-related services for disadvantaged individuals. For each succeeding fiscal year, programs such as adult and youth programs, federally administered programs, summer youth employment training programs and training assistance for dislocated workers were carried out .
The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 consolidated all existing federal job-training programs. This act offered work to low-income individuals, long-term unemployed individuals, and out-of-high school individuals. Training and full-time jobs in the public service were provided for unemployed, underemployed, and disadvantaged individuals. In order to decentralize control of federally controlled job training programs, the Act provided funds to state and local governments through federal grants .
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 authorized: (a) the formula grant programs of vocational rehabilitation, supporting employment, independent living, and client assistance; (b) a variety of training and service-discretionary grants administered by the Rehabilitation Administration; and (c) research activities that were administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Also, this Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability and expanded special Federal responsibilities and training programs within the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
The Manpower Development Training Act of 1962 originated when President John F. Kennedy told legislators that “Large scale unemployment during a recession is bad enough, but large scale unemployment during a period of prosperity would be intolerable.” This act dealt with this situation by promoting a professional training plan and providing major Federal Funding to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in order to improve the technical training of the unemployed and underemployed labor in the postwar period. The professional training plan provided federal funding to retain workers displaced because of technological change and for classroom and on-the-job-training targeted to low-income individuals and welfare recipients.
The Wagner Peyser Act of 1993 established a nationwide employment system of public employment offices. These offices were known as the employment service and were created for cooperation of the States in the promotion of system to aid employment .
The main goal of the WIA is to create a system that provides a means to in-crease employment, retention, and earnings of individuals. Accomplishing this goal is dependent on the services the WIA provides to increase occupational skill attainment by participants. The WIA is split into five titles that outline how the WIA accomplishes this goal.
Title one of the Act authorizes state workforce investment boards, as well as local workforce investment boards. In order to measure how well people are doing in the program, title one requires the use of certain standards for success. Title one also authorizes a one-stop delivery system to be used in the program. This system sets up one place participants can go in their local area to get both job training and referrals. National programs such as jobs corps, Native American, migrant, and veterans programs are also authorized in title one.
Title two sets up systems to help adults reach certain literacy levels in order to be successful in the workforce. Adult education is provided to help adults reach a minimum of an 8th grade reading level before entering the workforce.
Grants and contracts are authorized in title three to provide and conduct the following training, projects, and services. Grants provide academic training to individuals that provide rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities. Training to maintain and upgrade basic skills and knowledge of the people providing service delivery and rehabilitation technology services is provided under title three. Grants and contracts are also authorized to conduct special projects and demonstrations that include research and evaluation that expand rehabilitation services. Additionally, vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities who are migrant or seasonal farmworkers is provided. Grants are also used to initiate recreational programs for individuals with disabilities to aid them in employment, mobility, socialization, independence, and community integration. Lastly, grants and contracts are authorized to provide training and information to individuals with disabilities and their representatives. This training should develop skills necessary for individuals with disabilities to gain access to rehabilitation systems and statewide workforce investment systems and become active decision makers in the rehabilitation process .
Title four amends The Rehabilitation Act of 1998 in order to work with the WIA to accomplish the goal of helping people return to the workforce. Title four creates a national council on disability, which is appointed by the president, to link rehabilitation programs to state and local workforce development systems. Members of this council are individuals with disabilities, parents or guardians of individuals with disabilities, or other individuals who have substantial knowledge or experience relating to disability policy or programs. The function of this council is to guarantee that people with disabilities have access to local and state workforce development systems in order to provide equal opportunity .
Title five provides general provisions by which the WIA can accomplish its goals. Title five states that the WIA is a state unified plan. Incentive grants will be rewarded to states exceeding negotiated performance levels and defined indicators of performance. 
The provisions of the Act were delineated into five subchapters:
Sets forth definitions for workforce investment programs as cited by the chapter and for future legislation using this Act as basis for funding.
Each state receives a different amount from the federal government for their budget under the Workforce Investment Act. The amount in the budget is dependent on the size of population for each State. Utah gets $1.5 million each year from the federal government. Due to the fact that Utah has a relatively small population, compared to other states, the budget stays with the state instead of being distributed to local areas. In larger states, such as California, the budget is much larger and is divided out to local boards. The budget, regardless of the state, can be used for the following three main “streams:” 
The Secretary of Labor reserves Twenty percent of funds for National Emergency Grants, dislocated worker demonstration efforts, and technical assistance.
The remaining 60 to 80 percent are allocated to local areas, while 15 percent are reserved for statewide activities, and 25 percent are reserved for State rapid response efforts.
Eighty Five percent of youth funds are allocated to local areas. Fifteen percent are reserved for statewide activities, and funds appropriated in excess of $1 billion (up to $250 million) will be used by the U.S. Department of Labor to fund Youth Opportunity grants. States can merge the fifteen percent set-asides for statewide activities from the three separate funding streams if they choose to do so (for example, state set-aside funds from the adult stream may be used for statewide youth activities.) Also, with the approval of the Governor, local areas may transfer 20 percent between adult and dislocated workers funding streams.
The law was slightly amended by the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Amendments of 1998 and the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803; 113th Congress) was enacted on July 22, 2014 . It seeks to consolidate job training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) and will streamline the process of receiving services from three levels (core, intensive, and training) into a single process, allowing clients to receive needed services earlier in the process. In addition, it will push those providing WIA services to collaborate more with the Vocational Rehabilitation programs in order to provide more services for people with disabilities into a single funding stream. It also amended the Wagner-Peyser Act, reauthorized adult-education programs, and reauthorized programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The various job programs are authorized for six years with a requirement that they record and report on how many people get new jobs through their participation in the programs. The new regulations are currently in draft form and will not be finalized till January 2016.