Rural Schools and the Workforce Investment Act. ERIC Digest.Report as inadecuate

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The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 authorized a comprehensive workforce improvement program that will significantly impact rural areas. Local schools can help shape implementation of WIA because of its principles of local participation, increased skills for workers, and improved youth programs. This digest focuses on WIA's major elements, with particular reference to the role that rural schools can play in local and statewide implementation planning. WIA seeks to invest in efforts that increase participants' employment and earnings, increase workers' occupational skills, help improve worker quality, and reduce welfare dependency. Rural schools have a host of youth development resources rarely present in other locally-based rural institutions. In addition, rural schools may be the most convenient sites for WIA's one-stop adult centers. Rural school administrators can be key players in WIA's implementation if they are willing to support the notion that rural schools are vital resources for meeting the workforce development needs of their communities. Program components of particular interest to rural educators are described: (1) local youth councils, characteristics of targeted youth, and required youth activities; (2) one-stop delivery system for adults (core, intensive, and training services); and (3) individual training accounts. Opportunities for rural participation in decision making on state and local workforce investments boards are discussed. Eight relevant Web sites are listed. (SV)

Descriptors: Adult Programs, Disadvantaged Youth, Education Work Relationship, Employment Services, Job Training, Labor Force Development, Postsecondary Education, Rural Schools, Rural Youth, School Role, Secondary Education, State Programs, Youth Programs

ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348; Tel: 800-624-9120. Full text at Web site:

Author: Beaulieu, Lionel J.


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