May 17, 2022

House Passes Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Reauthorization with Castro-Authored Provisions to Fund Career Navigation Programs and Support Survivors of Domestic Violence

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2022 with Congressman Joaquin Castro’s (TX-20) Navigating to Success Act and additional Castro-authored provisions that would improve trauma-informed workforce services to help survivors of domestic violence. 

“As our nation rebuilds from the pandemic, Texans deserve a strong economy that works for everyone,” said Congressman Castro. “After months of work on this bill, I’m excited to see the House pass WIOA with my provisions to expand career navigation programs and fund workforce programs that help survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives.”

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has long been the backbone of the U.S. workforce development system. The law provides funding for career training programs that prepare Americans for good-paying jobs in high-demand fields. WIOA programs are designed to support youth and those with significant barriers to employment, including displaced workers, victims of domestic violence, and military spouses.

The authorization for WIOA expired in 2020, leaving workforce development programs without the funding to support the growing U.S. population. As the country rebuilds from the pandemic, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 will fund much-needed workforce services in San Antonio and across the country.

Congressman Castro’s Navigating to Success Act was introduced as a standalone bill on March 31, 2022 and included in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 as originally introduced. The bill would allow organizations to use federal WIOA funding to support career counseling and workforce navigation services. The Navigating to Success Act was inspired by the success of Project QUEST, a San Antonio-based non-profit organization that provides wrap-around services to San Antonians seeking new careers in health care, manufacturing and trades, IT, and cybersecurity.

The Castro-authored domestic violence provisions in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act would enhance access to WIOA-funded services for victims of domestic violence and require the Department of Labor to facilitate technical assistance for career services staff on trauma-informed approaches to career development.

About the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 reauthorizes and strengthens our nation’s workforce development system. The legislation:

  • Fully funds WIOA programs by authorizing roughly $80 billion over six years, which will allow the workforce system to train one million workers per year by 2028;
  • Establishes a permanent Department of Labor program to help individuals released from incarceration transition back to employment and access sustainable career pathways;
  • Expands summer and year-round jobs programs for youth;
  • Strengthens the quality of the Job Corps program;
  • Codifies partnerships between employers and community colleges to provide high-quality job training;
  • Strengthens industry and sector partnerships to better meet the needs of both employers and job seekers; and
  • Provides funding for innovative approaches to workforce development.