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What Is WIOA?

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is the federal legislation and funding stream administered by the US Department of Labor (USDOL) to support state workforce systems and programs. In Alaska, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is the agency charged with implementing the WIOA requirements. WIOA was signed into law on July 22, 2014, and it represents the first major overhaul of the federal workforce system since the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. WIOA seeks to improve services to both the job seeker and the employer; aligns programs, services, and data collection for adults, youth, dislocated workers, adult basic education participants, and vocational rehabilitation clients; and emphasizes use of career pathways and industry sector partnerships to promote employment for in-demand industries and occupations.

WIOA State Plan

WIOA requires states to submit a four-year workforce plan to the USDOL. Alaska submitted its original WIOA Plan on March 29, 2016, and a revised plan on September 1, 2016, which addressed clarifications requested by USDOL. The required two-year revision was submitted on April 2, 2018. The vision, goals, and strategies for Alaska’s workforce system are summarized below.


All Alaskans have multiple pathways to high skill, high wage jobs and careers.
The vision for Alaska’s workforce development system is that all Alaskans, including individuals with disabilities, the underserved, Alaska Natives, dislocated workers, and others who experience significant barriers to employment, will have access to the career education, training, and support services needed to prepare for and participate in high-demand occupations that pay family-sustaining wages.


Goal 1:Build clear routes to careers for students, youth, and adults.
Goal 2:Support and grow learning opportunities for workers at all stages of life.
Goal 3:Develop multiple paths for employers and workers.


  • Engage industry sector partnerships and create career pathways for all Alaskans, including the state’s targeted populations under WIOA.
  • Expand Registered Apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, and other work-based learning approaches.
  • Demonstrate innovation in delivery of Alaska Job Center services.
  • Prioritize services to target populations.
  • Partner with other agencies, organizations, and programs to leverage resources.
  • Streamline internal processes.