Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act?

The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federally funded program through the Department of Labor (DOL) that helps adults, out of school youth and dislocated workers to achieve self-sufficiency. The WIOA program is designed to provide in demand training services which will allow participants to enter unsubsidized employment upon completion. This can improve the quality of life and reduce welfare dependence for participants and enhance the productivity of the economy.

Where does this money come from?

The WIOA program is funded by the Department of Labor and administered by each state through local workforce systems. Because the program is funded Federally, any fraudulent activity will be turned over to the office of the District Attorney.

Does it cost money to participate?

WIOA is not a loan and the programs are free of charge for all eligible participants for all programs. There are no fees to you. In some cases, if the training or participant is eligible for financial aid, Financial Aid will be applied to training first. WIOA will pay the remainder balance. (subject to change due to funding availability)

What program should I apply for?

If you are under the age of 24, look into our Youth Program HERE.

If you are a military spouse, displaced homemaker, or have been recently laid off, look into our Dislocated Worker Program HERE.

If you are over the age of 24 and do not fit into the Dislocated Worker Program, look out our Adult Program HERE.

Where do I go to apply for services under the WIOA Program?

Please click HERE to access our WIOA Pre-screening Application. You may also call or visit your local American Job Center and request to speak with one of our Account Executive for further guidance.

How long does the enrollment process take?

The enrollment process can be quite quick. If a participant has their supporting documents and has been in contact with their training provider to gain acceptance to their school of choice, the local account executive can process the participant for eligibility in as little as 10 business days in most cases.

Is the WIOA program income based?

Not all WIOA programs are based on income. Some of our programs are based on your unique situation. Are you entering the workforce for the first time, are you a military spouse that has recently experienced a PCS, are you a young parent, have you been subjected to the legal system? Each of these barriers to employment may open doors for you for eligibility for the WIOA program. Answering our short pre-application will help us determine where is the best fit for you and your situation.

What is my responsibility while participating in the WIOA program?

As a participant in the WIOA program your account executive will make regular contact with you to monitor your progress and success, to assist you to overcome any barriers that might prevent you from completing. It is especially important to finish the program strong and provide employment information as you graduate with your credential. For participants seeking multi term programs, grades and course outlines will be submitted prior to funding of additional terms. Basically, your account executive will assist you through your entire program offering monthly communication and resources needed to help you achieve your goal.

How can I succeed in this program and afterwards?

Success in the WIOA program is determined by how much you put into it. You will be most successful if you are in communication with your account executive to discuss challenges/barrieres along your journey. There are resources in place to help you achieve your goals. WIOA is much more than a program to cover your basic tuition costs.

What geographical areas does the CDC serve?

CDC is responsible for administering the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds that are designed to help you with your employment needs. If you live or work (or worked) in Bienville, Bossier, Caddo (Balance), Claiborne, DeSoto, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, or Webster Parishes, we can help you.

What is the WIOA program?

WIOA is an acronym for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The primary objective of this federal legislation is to assist job seekers in obtaining employment.

What can the WIOA program do for me?

WIOA offers a wide array of services to customers who require a little more help in finding a job. WIOA does not guarantee a job but can assist customers with their job search efforts. It is the ultimate responsibility of the job seeker to secure employment.

Can WIOA pay for training or classes?

Many of our customers come to us seeking financial assistance for training, but the WIOA program does not focus primarily on training. Our main goal is to help you in finding employment, and if it is determined that you need to upgrade your skills in order to be competitive in the job market, then training may be considered as an option for you. We have to assess the skills that you possess and determine whether or not you can obtain employment with your current skill set. WIOA is not an entitlement program and, therefore, just because a customer wants training does not necessarily mean that he or she is going to be determined to be in need of training. WIOA is not here to retrain people who just decide they want a new career when they could currently qualify for other jobs.

What services does WIOA provide?

The WIOA program can offer a variety of services that are based upon the customer's goals. Services may include goal setting, career exploration, job referrals, counseling, budgeting, training, and supportive services.

Who is eligible for WIOA?

The WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker programs serve individuals who are 18 years of age and older who are unemployed, underemployed or have lost their jobs due to plant closings, mass layoffs or other reasons. WIOA programs are also available to youth ages 14 – 24.

How do you get into the WIOA program?

Everyone’s first step is to complete the WIOA pre-screening application at Our Eligibility Coordinators will be in contact to begin the eligibility process within two weeks of receiving your application.

How long does it take to get into the WIOA program?

The length of time may vary from person to person. You may be required to provide additional information before a final decision is made so a lot will depend on how quickly you respond to what is requested of you.

Who decides which applicants are served by WIOA?

The process of determining who will be registered into WIOA is a committee decision and is based upon input from the eligibility certification staff, case managers, placement and follow-up staff, the WIOA management and representatives from any of the partner agencies that may also be serving the individual.

If I am certified as eligible am I guaranteed services by WIOA?

WIOA is not an entitlement program just because you meet the eligibility requirements. Because WIOA is an employment program, we are seeking to assist only those individuals who are serious about obtaining a job. Our continued funding depends upon the customer and the program mutually agreeing to achieve the same performance outcomes. In other words, the goals of someone wanting to participate in the WIOA program have to be compatible with the goals of the program and what WIOA can provide to that individual.

How long do I have to participate in WIOA?

There is no official timeframe for participating in WIOA; however, our goal is to assist you in obtaining your employment goal in the shortest period of time possible. Some customers may only participate for a few months while others may be in the program for a longer period depending on whether or not they have been determined in need of training. Customers who are not actively participating for a 90-day period will automatically be transitioned out of the program, a process we refer to as being exited. Once you agree to participate in the program, you must commit to cooperating fully with the WIOA staff throughout the time you are receiving services and for up to one year after you exit the program. During this one-year follow-up period you will be contacted by WIOA staff at least once a quarter so that we may check up on your employment status and to determine whether or not you need additional services from the program.

Why do I have to continue participating in the program once I find a job?

Once you are successful in finding a job, whether through our referrals or on your own, it is critical that you share this employment information with a representative from our staff. Since WIOA is a performance driven program, we must report the successes and failures of our customers finding and retaining employment in order to continue receiving funds to operate and serve others. The majority of these performance outcomes are measured during the year after customers have transitioned out of the program. This is why we have to continue contacting our customers even though they have already gotten a job and no longer need our assistance.

Can WIOA guarantee a job for me?

WIOA cannot guarantee anyone a job. We will commit to assisting you in any way possible in finding employment, but you, and only you, are ultimately responsible for getting the job. WIOA can make a job referral, help you in preparing a resume, or coach you for the interview. However, you have to make the right impression on a perspective employer and sell yourself as the best candidate for them to hire.

What are the qualifications for training?

Training is not an entitlement service under WIOA. Approval for training is generally given to those individuals who do not have marketable job skills and are determined to be in need of training in order to be competitive in the job market. WIOA funds can only be used for training in occupations where the jobs are available or showing growth in the region. Customers may view vocational training options at link to the ETPL. CDC only uses vendors who are on this website and contracted to serve.

What does WIOA pay if I also receive a Pell grant?

There is a limit to the amount of funding that may be paid for training so customers must demonstrate that they are able to afford the balance of the costs before a request for training can be considered. Customers are required to apply resources from other sources of financial aid such as Pell grants or scholarships. Student loans are not permissible under WIOA as a form of payment for training.

What does it mean when I am "exited" from the program?

The term "exited" is used to describe the point at which WIOA customers are transitioned out of the program and begin the one-year follow-up period where they will be contacted periodically to check on their progress and to obtain employment information that will be used in evaluating program performance measurements. The reasons that a customer may be exited include: employment and completion of all planned goals, no longer actively participating, incarceration, health or medical reasons that prohibit employment.

Why was I exited from the program?

WIOA is a performance-based program that must achieve contractual outcome measures in order to continue operations. There are strict guidelines placed on the staff in terms of providing services to customers. If a customer is not actively participating on at least a monthly basis then WIOA staff may be forced to transition him or her out of the program.

Do I have to be eligible for the program to attend the job search assistance workshops offered at a AJC?

You can sign up to attend any one of our workshops that are offered to the general public. You can find a calendar of workshop topics and times on our website.

What can I do if my employer is planning a layoff?

Pre-layoff assistance to businesses that are closing, downsizing, or transferring out of the State are offered through the AJC. If your employer is planning a layoff, please contact a Business Representative at your local AJC.

Do Veterans receive priority service?

Yes, first priority will be given to Veterans and eligible spouses. Priority of service for veterans means that if they meet minimum eligibility standards they would move ahead of others without their priority in the processing of their application as funding is available.

Equal opportunity employer/program  |  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities  |  TYY: 1-800-846-5277