WIOA Youth Programs

Workforce Innovations & Opportunities Act Youth Programming

The BCREB oversees federal Workforce Innovations & Opportunities Act (WIOA) funding serving  eligible In-School and Out-of-School youth in Berkshire County.

WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. This programming is most imperative for Berkshire County as it serves as one of many workforce development initiatives in addressing the region’s population decline, widening skills gap and low youth employment rate. WIOA outlines a broader youth vision that supports an integrated service delivery system and provides a framework through which local areas can leverage other federal, state, local, and philanthropic resources to support in-school youth (ISY) and out-of-school youth (OSY). WIOA charges local workforce areas to provide a continuum of high-quality, evidence-based services and programs for all youth and young adults, including career exploration and guidance, continuous support for educational attainment, opportunities for skills training in high-demand industries and occupations, placement in secure jobs along a career pathway and enrollment in post-secondary education.

The 2017 In-School WIOA Programs are being implemented through the following school districts & organizations:

Pittsfield Public Schools

Hillcrest Educational Centers

In-school, income eligible youth ages 14-21 are provided with academic remediation, drop out prevention services, case management, support services, career readiness and pathway development activities and post-secondary transition services.

WIOA In-school Eligibility Criteria

Under WIOA, an In-School Youth is an individual who is:

(a) Attending school;
(b) Not younger than 14 or older than 21 at the time of enrollment;
(c) Be low income (includes residing in a designated high poverty area), and
(d) Have one or more of the following barriers as provided in WIOA section 129(a)(1)(C)(iv):

(1) Basic skills deficient;
(2) An English language learner;
(3) An offender;
(4) A homeless youth or a runaway, in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system;
(5) Pregnant or parenting;
(6) A youth who is an individual with a disability;
(7) An individual who requires additional assistance to complete an educational program or to secure or hold employment.

Out-of-School WIOA programming serves eligible youth ages 16-24 who are no longer enrolled in school having dropped out or are not enrolled in post secondary education/training. The 2017 Out-of-School Program is being implemented by Berkshire Training & Employment Program (BTEP) via Berkshire Works Career Center in partnership with Berkshire Community Action Council’s Reconnect Center . Youth are provided with essential college & career development and training leading to employment, post-secondary placement, life skill development and HiSet attainment.Youth have access to related services including the Young Parents Program, DTA Skills Program and Post Employment Services.

WIOA Out-of-School Youth Eligibility Criteria

Under WIOA, an Out-of-School Youth is an individual who is:

(a) Not attending any school (as defined under State law);
(b) Not younger than 16 or older than age 24 at time of enrollment. Because age eligibility is based on age at enrollment, participants may continue to receive services beyond the age of 24 once they are enrolled in the program; and
(c) One or more of the following:

(1) A school dropout;
(2) A youth who is within the age of compulsory school attendance, but has not attended school for at least the most recent complete school year calendar quarter. School year calendar quarter is based on how a local school district defines its school year quarters;
(3) A recipient of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent who is a low-income individual and is either basic skills deficient or an English language learner;
(4) An individual who is subject to the juvenile or adult justice system;
(5) A homeless individual, a runaway, an individual who is in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system, a child eligible for assistance under section 477 of the Social Security Act, or an individual who is in an out-of-home placement;
(6) An individual who is pregnant or parenting;
(7) An individual with a disability;
(8) A low-income individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program or to secure or hold employment. (WIOA sections 3(46) and 129(a)(1)(B).)

                             Required 14 Program Elements Under WIOA

  1. Tutoring, Study Skills and Dropout Prevention Strategies
  2. Alternative Secondary School
  3. Paid and Unpaid Work Experience (Career Exploration, Skill Building)
  4. Occupational Skills Training
  5. Leadership Development
  6. Supportive Services
  7. Adult Mentoring
  8. Follow-up Services
  9. Comprehensive guidance and counseling
  10. Integrated education and training for a specific occupation or cluster
  11. Financial Literacy Education
  12. Entrepreneurial Skills Training
  13. Services that provide Labor Market Information
  14. Postsecondary preparation and transition activities