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Public Comment Sought on Waiver of Required Activities under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Pennsylvania’s Proposed Waiver for Some Requirements of the WIOA; Public Comment Notice

The PA Department of Labor & Industry, or L&I, invites comment on Pennsylvania's request for the U. S. Department of Labor's, or USDOL, approval to waive some requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The proposed waiver request is available for viewing here.


This waiver will allow WIOA statewide funds to support local areas impacted by a qualifying disaster event. When a disaster or emergency occurs, there are opportunities for L&I to provide assistance. The funds to support the assistance comes from a federal disaster grant. There are significant time delays before the funds are approved and allocated, and the grant has built-in limitations that impede disaster recovery efforts (e.g. entities charged with disaster safety and clean-up responsibilities must use certain WIOA eligible participants). The waiver allowance will allow the commonwealth to quickly respond to local areas requesting assistance by using WIOA funds already allocated while also adding a degree of flexibility so that there is a larger pool of WIOA eligible participants to select from.

Any interested party wishing to comment on the waiver request must do so in writing by five o'clock PM (5:00 PM) on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Comments may be e-mailed to

Comments received during this period will be addressed prior to the waiver request’s submission to USDOL.


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires the governor of each state to submit a two-year modification of the Combined State Plan outlining the state’s workforce development strategies. Pennsylvania's 2016-20 WIOA Combined State Plan sets the framework for a workforce development system built on a foundation of alignment, innovation, employer engagement, accountability, and effective use of data.

Pennsylvania established five broad goals for a comprehensive workforce development system to increase the number of Jobs That Pay, expand the number of Schools That Teach the skills necessary to succeed in college and careers, and serve as a model of Government That Works. The commonwealth's five broad WIOA goals are:

  1. Establish career pathways as the primary model for skill, credential, and degree attainment, and provide all Pennsylvanians, with an emphasis on Pennsylvanians with barriers to employment, an opportunity to obtain a job that pays.

  2. Expand public-private investment in the state's pipeline of workers and in incumbent workers for targeted industry sectors from entry-level skills to middle skills through Industry Partnerships, WEDnetPA, and other innovative strategies.

  3. Increase opportunities for all youth to participate in work based learning through summer employment, pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, internships and other similar experiences.

  4. Engage employers through multi-employer workforce partnerships to improve the connection and responsiveness of workforce programs to the demand side of the labor market, increase public-private investment in critical skills, and support the spread of employer practices that create jobs that pay.

  5. Strengthen data sharing across state agencies and workforce development partners to better understand education and employment outcomes and rely more effectively on data to improve and target our efforts.

Pennsylvania submitted a WIOA Combined State Plan Modification aligning the six WIOA core programs (Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth, Wagner-Peyser, Adult Basic Education, and Vocational Rehabilitation), as well the following optional programs:

  • Career and Technical Education Programs-Perkins Act
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (including SNAP Employment & Training and SNAP 50/50)
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Programs
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grants Program
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program
  • Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Program
  • Community Services Block Grant

The WIOA Combined State Plan Modification was required to be posted for public comment for a minimum of 30 days. Pennsylvania’s WIOA Combined State Plan Modification was posted for public comment from December 15, 2017 to January 15, 2018.

2018 Pennsylvania WIOA Combined State Plan Modification (as substantially approved on June 11, 2018)

2018 Pennsylvania WIOA Combined State Plan Modification Public Comments and Responses

2016 Pennsylvania WIOA Combined State Plan (as substantially approved on June 16, 2016)

2016 Pennsylvania WIOA Combined State Plan – Accessible Version (as substantially approved on June 16, 2016)

2016 Pennsylvania WIOA Combined State Plan (as initially submitted on March 17, 2016)

2016 Pennsylvania WIOA Combined State Plan Public Comment and Responses


Pennsylvania’s 10 planning regions and 22 Local Workforce Development Boards submitted plans with strategies to implement the WIOA Combined State Plan and the commonwealth’s workforce development goals at the regional and local level. These regional and local plans were developed collaboratively with stakeholders and provide the framework for statewide workforce development alignment, creating a comprehensive workforce development system, and achieving the commonwealth’s WIOA goals.

Other Resources