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Training: A Targeted Policy Proposal - page 7 / 23





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In program year (PY) 2008 (July 1, 2008June 30, 2009), WIA received $3.9 billion in

direct funding and $2.9 billion in supplemental funding as part of the American Recovery and

Reemployment Act (ARRA) for a total of $6.8 billion (DOL, 2009a). In PY 2008, 1.4 million participants successfully exited the WIA program, meaning that approximately $4,900 was spent for every person who successfully exited the program (DOL, 2009a).4

Table 1: Major Federal Training Programs

Program, year of information Workforce Investment Act (WIA), 2008

Total Cost $6.8 billion

Participants 1.4 million

Cost/participant $4,900

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)


Employment Services (ES), 2008


$975 million

$725 million



17 million


WIA provides three types of broad services. The first is core services that include job search assistance, information about local vacancies, skill assessment and career counseling. These services are meant to be provided over a short period of time to help an unemployed worker quickly find another job. Intensive WIA services are expected to be provided over a longer period of time and include more indepth career counseling, assistance in developing an individual employment plan, and some shortterm vocational training. Finally, the third WIA category is training services, which are expected to be provided over a longer period of time, include occupational and/or vocational training, onthejob training, and activities for skill upgrading. WIA participants typically receive money to pay for training services through an


A third WIA program provides training to youths who have been classified as economically disadvantaged.

4 The Department of Labor requires states to report on the number of participants who exit WIA and these are the only readily available data. This means that people who enter WIA but do not complete their training or people who are still in the program are not included in these numbers. Actual dollars per participants are thus likely to be lower than stated here in periods of growing participation such as program year 2008 when there are entrants who have not yet exited.


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