In the fall of 2014, the nation's workforce system received a significant update with the new, bi-partisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA replaces the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which was previously signed into law in 1998. Under the previous law, One-Stop Career Centers were established in all states. These career centers encouraged the utilization of multiple organizations, or “partners”, operating out of each career center to help maximize the available resources for job seekers and employers. The act also provided educational grants/scholarships for low-income Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth. 

Through the new WIOA, most of the strengths from WIA are retained, including local Workforce Investment Boards (also know as Workforce Development Boards) that provide oversight to each region's One-Stop Career Center network (in Wisconsin, these centers are called Job Centers). There are many more changes in WIOA, including the streamlining of career services for Dislocated Workers and expanded services for younger job seekers. However, one of the most significant additions with WIOA is the focus on services to businesses. WIOA places a much stronger emphasis on meeting employer needs, and will include performance indicators surrounding that goal. Nationally, this focus will support a business-first approach to workforce development.

Workforce Investment Boards are charged with carrying out employment and training activities under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board is one of eleven workforce development boards within the state of Wisconsin. Together the state's workforce development boards work together through the Wisconsin Workforce Development Association to develop and implement statewide workforce strategies, and build a stronger workforce for Wisconsin to meet the needs of growing businesses.

Map of Wisconsin's 11 Workforce Development Areas