Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

WIOA stands for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and it is federal legislation that provides funding for development of our nation’s workforce by specifically targeting individuals with barriers to employment, including people with disabilities. If you would like to read the WIOA legislation in full, please visit the congress website’s WIOA page.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED) created a statewide initiative to meet WIOA provisions. We highlighted information relevant to our mission below, but the full WIOA State Strategic Plan is available on the MN DEED website.

Goals of the plan: “(1) To reduce educational and employment disparities based on race or disability to provide greater opportunity for all Minnesotans. (2) To build employer-led industry sector partnerships focused on better understanding of the skills that employers need and connecting skilled workers to those opportunities” (MN Strategic Workforce Plan, 2016, p. 3).

In our words: WIOA requires Minnesota to make employment opportunities more accessible and meaningful for people with disabilities by working both with the individuals and their families as well as directly with employers.