Ohio residents who are unemployed, making a career change or need more training to qualify for a job, may be eligible for a Workforce Investment Act training grant. The WIA was passed into law by Congress in 1998 and was designed to help retrain and develop the existing and future workforce. The new legislation assists adult and dislocated workers and youth entering the workforce through employment services and training.
Qualifying for WIA Grants
Ohio is required to qualify applicants per the regulations set out in the Workforce Investment Act. The WIA grant program is not an entitlement program and requires each recipient to qualify for eligibility before training grants are awarded. Determining eligibility for a grant requires the disclosure of personal, economic and employment information. Applicants may be asked to provide a number of documents including the possession of a Social Security number, proof of current state residency, proof of income and unemployment status if applicable.
Finding a One Stop Location
The place to begin searching for a WIA grant is through a state-run workforce service center. Ohio has placed workforce service centers known as One Stop Career Centers in 20 regions of the state and boasts a total of 90 locations. The state's Office of Workforce Development provides links to each One Stop location's website allowing the public to link directly to the most convenient career center for assistance.
WIA Grant Application
Ohio residents requiring career training begin their application by visiting a One Stop Center and making an appointment to see a case worker. Appointments are not always granted for the same day and may be made several days later requiring the applicant to return at a later time to fulfill them. At the appointment, the case worker will begin the process of taking the down the applicant's work history, identifying a skill set and creating a career plan.
Case workers are charged with the task of identifying where the applicant fits into available employment opportunities and whether the applicant needs further training to qualify for a particular job. Grant money can be awarded for a variety of courses or needs including additional software training, the completion of a certification or for learning basic skills. Ohio's Office of Workforce Development lists on its website the current statewide initiatives funded with WIA training grants. Currently listed are construction careers throughout the state and job expansion for the gas industry in Eastern Ohio.