Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) What is Workforce Development

Workforce development is a term used to describe comprehensive career-related services delivered to individuals who are seeking to improve their earning potential and career options by increasing skill levels, educational levels, or obtaining industry-relevant certification or licensure. Workforce development services are provided through a collaborative effort involving public and private sector organizations including local businesses and industry associations, local Workforce Development Board and the One-Stop Career Centers they operate, local post-secondary, adult and private vocational schools, and apprenticeship programs. Services may include, but are not limited to career exploration and planning, job readiness instruction, industry-driven education, occupational skill development, vocational technical training, and job placement and retention services. At its core, workforce development focuses on assisting individuals with identifying jobs that match their skills, aptitudes, interest and abilities, and understand how to improve their skills for career advancement opportunities. At the same time workforce development entities focus on establishing educational and training programs which match career pathways and support the development of the pool of skilled workers businesses and industries need to compete and succeed in a changing economy.


2) What are Local Workforce Development Areas?

Local Workforce Development Areas (LWDAs) are designated by the Governor. California has 49 LWDAs. In some cases a single county comprises one LWDA; in other cases, a county contains more than one LWDA; in still others, a LWDA includes more than one county. In each case, the LWDA’S designation is based on population and commonality of labor market. Each LWDA is administered by a Local Board certified by the state and comprised of representatives from private sector businesses, organized labor, community-based organizations, local government agencies, and local education agencies. Local Boards designate the One-Stop operators, provide policy guidance, and oversee the job training activities within their local areas. For a listing of Local Boards, click here Return to Top

3) What are One-Stops?

One-Stop Career Centers are facilities established by Local Workforce Development Boards as the service delivery arm of the Local Board. Workforce development services are provided through the One-Stop Career Centers. For job seekers, the One-Stop Career Centers provide a full range of services including employment, training, and education services. For employers seeking employees, services include resources for placing job orders and obtaining referrals, labor market data, information/referral on training resources, and business assistance to assist local companies with their recruiting, training, and outplacement needs. For locations, click here. Return to Top

4) What kinds of programs are authorized by WIA?

WIA Title I authorizes and funds a number of employment and training programs in California. These programs help to prepare Californians to participate in the state’s workforce by increasing their employment and earnings potential, improve their educational and occupations skills, and, in some cases, reduced their dependency on public assistance. Workforce investment activities authorized by WIA are provided to serve two primary customer groups:

  • Job Seekers, including dislocated workers, youth, incumbent workers, and new entrants to the workforce; and
  • Employers looking for effective workers to fill the jobs they offer.

The Department of Labor has the most definitive information regarding the Workforce Investment Act hosted on their site. Return to Top

5) What services are available to adults and dislocated workers?

The adult and dislocated worker programs are designed to offer core services, intensive services, and training services to individuals who are 18 years of age or older.

  • Core services include initial assessment, job search and placement assistance, and career counseling.
  • Intensive services include in-depth assessment, counseling and career planning, and pre-vocational services for unemployed individuals unable to obtain jobs through core services, as well as employed individuals needing additional training services to reach self-sufficiency.
  • Training services are available to those who are eligible for intensive services but have been unable to obtain employment through those services.

The dislocated worker program assists workers displaced by disasters, mass layoffs, or plant closures to regain economic security. Core services are provided to return individuals to work as quickly as possible. Return to Top

6) Do clients need to go through WIA core and intensive services before they can access training?

Yes. Core services determine a client’s eligibility for intensive services, which in turn determine his or her eligibility for training. For more information on services, see the Federal Register for August 11, 2000 Sections. 662.240 (core), 663.115 – 663.165 (intensive) and 663.300 – 663.320 (training). Return to Top

7) What services are available to youth?

The youth program prepares youth (ages 14 to 21) for postsecondary educational opportunities or employment. Programs will link academic and occupational learning. Services include:

  • Tutoring
  • Study skills training
  • Instruction leading to completion of secondary school (including dropout prevention)
  • Alternative school services
  • Mentoring by appropriate adults
  • Paid and unpaid work experience (such as internships and job shadowing)
  • Occupational skills training
  • Leadership development
  • Appropriate supportive services

Youth participants also receive guidance to counseling and follow-up services. Return to Top

8) What if I am unsatisfied with services I receive from a One-Stop or LWDA?

If you have concerns about WIA services you have received, your first course of action should be to take advantage of the appeal process that every LWDA is required to have in place. A specific inquiry about your LWDA’s appeal and/or complaint procedures may provide you with a means of resolving your situation. If you remain unsatisfied, the next step would be to get in touch with the EDD Regional Advisor for your LWDA. Return to Top

9) Where can I go for general complaints about my present or former employer?

If you have a problem with a present or former employer that is unrelated to WIA services, consult the Web site of the California Department of Industrial Relations Web page. You will find several links to labor law in California, and directions on filing a variety of complaints, should you so desire. Return to Top

10) Is there one Web site where I can find Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in the state of California?

The Department of General Services recently launched “BID-SYNC.”

This website contains RFPs issued by the state of California. Individual state, county, and local agencies do, however, publish their own RFPs as the occasion arises, both online and by other means. Your best bet is to periodically check the websites of those agencies that are of particular interest to you.

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11) How often, and when, does the California Workforce Development Board meet?

The California Workforce Development Board meets three to four times per year. Information on meetings is posted to this website as they are scheduled, and agenda materials are posted as they become available. Check our website regularly for details. Return to Top

12) How often do the Board’s committees and work groups meet?

The Board’s committees and work groups by their nature do not follow a formal meeting schedule. For information on the status of their various projects, check the agenda packet for the most recent State Board meeting, which usually includes the work group reports that were presented to the Board at that time. If you would like details about specific groups, contact us and we’ll have the appropriate staff person respond. Return to Top

13) What is the Eligible Training Provider List?

WIA training programs are conducted by what are called Eligible Training Providers. California’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) includes all providers who have been approved to receive WIA funds for the training programs they offer. To get on the ETPL, an organization must apply to the LWDA in which the organization is located. The ETPL can be found on the EDD website. A person accessing the ETPL can perform a number of searches (by provider, location, training program, etc.) that can help to locate programs in specific career fields or geographic areas. Return to Top

14) Do providers on the ETPL remain there permanently, or must they be recertified?

The WIA requires that Programs be periodically determined eligible to continue to remain on the ETPL. This determination is to be made within 18 to 24 months of their initial listing and annually thereafter. However, the US Department of Labor has approved California’s formal Waiver Request to this procedure. Therefore, Programs that are listed on the ETPL as initially eligible will continue to be able to provide Training Services to eligible participants. You can find a description of this process in the ETPL Policy and Procedures on the EDD website. Return to Top

15) To whom should I address a complaint about an ETPL provider?

Concerns about an ETPL provider should be brought to the attention of the LWDA responsible for the provider. EDD also has Regional Advisors who oversee the administration of the WIA. Return to Top

16) Can funds from the WIA Governor’s 15 Percent Discretionary Fund be used to pay for the full cost of an internship program?

WIA funds may be used to fund youth internships. Refer to WIA Sec. 129(c)(2)(D), which says: “…as appropriate, paid and unpaid work experiences, including internships and job shadowing…” Adults and dislocated workers may also qualify for paid internships under the work experience criterion if they meet WIA eligibility guidelines” Refer to WIA Sec. 134(d)(4)(D)(iii). Return to Top

17) What is the definition of an economically disadvantaged adult?

The term “economically disadvantaged adult” was a category under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) that no longer applies under WIA. WIA adult and dislocated worker programs do not have a means test for income; only youth programs use income as an eligibility criterion. For more information on WIA eligibility requirements, see the,Federal Register for August 11, 2000 Sections. 663.110 – 663.310 (adults and dislocated workers) and Sec. 664.200 (youth). Return to Top

18) How can I learn about any job fairs in my area?

One of the best ways to learn of job fairs in your area would be to contact the LWDA nearest you. A list of their offices can be found here. Job Fairs and events are held throughout the state. For a list of scheduled events, please visit the Employment Development Department’s site for job fairs or visit your LWDA. Return to Top

19) Contractors with the federal government are required to post available positions through the workforce development system. What is the process for doing this?

Available positions can be listed by registering with America’s Job Bank. Click on “Register here” under “Employers” and you will be taken through the registration process. Positions in California that are listed with America’s Job Bank will automatically be posted to EDD’s CalJOBS Web site. Return to Top

20) What is Cal-WARN?

Cal-WARN refers to a state law, passed in 2002, requiring employers to give 60 days written notice of mass layoffs (50 or more persons), relocation, or termination of employees. The notice must be provided to affected employees, the Employment Development Department, the local workforce development board, and the chief elected official of each city and county affected. Employers who fail to provide the notice may be liable for back pay, benefits, penalties, attorneys’ fees and court costs. It is called Cal-WARN because it is California’s version of a federal law, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60 days notice of a layoff involving 50 or more employees. The Cal-WARN Act extends the requirement to businesses with 75 or more employees. Return to Top