Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program

Purpose: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I Youth Program provides services to youth ages 14-24. The main thrust of the Youth Program is to increase the focus on longer-term academic and occupational learning opportunities and provide long-term comprehensive service strategies. Youth services are provided to in-school youth ages 14-21 and out-of-school youth ages 16-24.

The Youth Program is designed to prepare Arizona’s youth to either enter post-secondary education, training or employment upon completion of their secondary education. The aging of Arizona’s workforce is an issue of concern and therefore this program can be an instrument toward meeting the future workforce demands.

Youth program elements consist of:


  1. Tutoring, study skills training, instruction and evidence-based dropout prevention and recovery strategies that lead to completion of the requirements for a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent (including a recognized certificate of attendance or similar document for individuals with disabilities) or for a recognized post-secondary credential;
  2. Alternative secondary school services, or dropout recovery services, as appropriate;
  3. Paid and unpaid work experiences that have academic and occupational education as a component of the work experience, which may include the following types of work experiences:
    • Summer employment opportunities and other employment opportunities available throughout the school year;
    • Pre-apprenticeship programs;
    • Internships and job shadowing; and
    • On-the-job training opportunities;
  4. Occupational skill training, which includes priority consideration for training programs that lead to recognized post-secondary credentials that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations in the local area involved, if the Local Board determines that the programs meet the quality criteria described in WIOA sec. 123;
  5. Education offered concurrently with and in the same context as workforce preparation activities and training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster;
  6. Leadership development opportunities, including community service and peer-centered activities encouraging responsibility and other positive social and civic behaviors;
  7. Supportive services, including the services listed in § 681.570;
  8. Adult mentoring for a duration of at least 12 months, that may occur both during and after program participation;
  9. Follow-up services for not less than 12 months after the completion of participation, as provided in § 681.580;
  10. Comprehensive guidance and counseling, which may include drug and alcohol abuse counseling, as well as referrals to counseling, as appropriate to the needs of the individual youth;
  11. Financial literacy education;
  12. Entrepreneurial skills training;
  13. Services that provide labor market and employment information about in-demand industry sectors or occupations available in the local area, such as career awareness, career counseling, and career exploration services; and
  14. Activities that help youth prepare for and transition to post-secondary education and training.


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act requires that at least 75 percent of youth funds must be used to serve out-of-school youth. An out-of-school youth is an eligible youth who is a school dropout; or an eligible youth who has received a secondary school diploma or its equivalent but is basic skills deficient, unemployed, or underemployed. WIA allows for five percent of each youth providers participants to be non-economically disadvantaged provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.

Administration: The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) has statewide oversight responsibilities of the WIA Youth Program in Arizona. These responsibilities include fiscal controls, grant management, participant data collection and tracking, reporting to the U.S. Department of Labor, monitoring, service provider training, technical assistance and policy interpretation and development. Fifteen percent of the youth dollars allocated to the state is reserved for the governor’s set-aside and eighty-five percent of the funding is passed through to the local workforce investment boards. Youth services are provided locally through contracts between DES and local workforce investment areas.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program
auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities
Equal Opportunity Contact Information 

Large textLarge Font Small textSmall Font   PrintPrint EmailEmail  Average4out of 5
LEP Flags