In 1998, President Clinton signed into law (PL 105-220) the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), to stimulate local areas’ strategic redevelopment and improvement of local workforce systems. This comprehensive reform superseded the Job training Partnership Act and mended the Wagner-Peyser Act. WIA was designed to increase employment, retention, and earnings of participants, and as a result, improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the Nation. Fundamentally, it is guided by the following premise:
To develop a customer-focused workforce development system, which encourages and assists Americans with accessing tools needed to manage their careers and to assist U.S. companies with finding skilled workers on an on-going basis.
To foster the development of an effective workforce development system in local areas, the Federal Government has offered seven major principles to guide local area initiatives, these include:
- Streamlining services
- Empowering individuals
- Universal access
- Increased accountability
- Strong role for local workforce investment boards and the private sector
- State and local flexibility
- Improved youth programs
The Act requires the formation of a State Board to assist the Governor in developing and carrying out workforce activities. The Kaua`i Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) brings together representatives from around the island, encompassing business, labor, community-based organizations, education, human services, economic development, government and other critical groups, to restructure the way the workforce development services are planned and delivered so they meet employers and job seekers needs.
The Board has undertaken the challenge of developing a workforce system a “One-Stop” consortium, which cultivates needed individual and organizational investment through education and training opportunities, this enhancing the value of investment in our local labor market supply.
Group of educators from the Department of Education and Kauai Community College on a field trip to the Pacific Missile Range facility, to see first-hand the type of high-tech job opportunities Kauai's west side offers. The field trip was co-sponsored by KWIB and the Kauai Economic Development Board.