Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q:  What is WIOA?
    A:  The Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act is a federally funded program to assist low income job seekers and individuals that have lost their job due to a business closing or downsizing, with employment and training services.
  2. Q: Who is eligible?
    A:  Individuals who have lost their job through no fault of their own such as a plant or business closing or a permanent layoff, and those individuals who are low income or receiving state assistance may qualify for WIOA funding. To determine if you qualify under either the Dislocated Worker or Adult Program, please contact your local Iowa Works Center.
  3.  Q.  How do I apply for WIOA assistance?
    A: You can apply at any Iowa Works Center or contact us at 515-281-9700 to get information on how to apply and where the nearest Center is to your residence.
  4. Q:  What services are available through WIOA?
    A:  Many services are available to anyone needing assistance with resume preparation, job search assistance, skills assessments, computer usage to look up jobs and research labor market information, fax and copy usage for job search activities, and various workshops to help you with your job search.  If deemed further assistance is needed to allow you to find employment, short term or long term training may be available if you qualify.  Support Services such as gas money for travel back and forth to training and/or child care assistance funds while you are in training may also be provided.
  5. Q: Can I get assistance with obtaining my HiSET?
    A: Yes. The WIOA program can assist you with obtaining the HiSET upon enrollment in the WIOA program.  You may also be referred to partner services that can help you in obtaining your HiSET.
  6. Q: Will I have to pay back WIOA funds?
    A:  No. WIOA is federally funded and does not require repayment. WIOA funds may be available to partner with you in the cost of reaching your career goal.  There are limits on the amount of financial assistance a person can receive so some costs may be your responsibility.
  7. Q: Can WIOA provide assistance if I am already in training?
    A: Yes, WIOA may provide assistance to an individual already in training. Once eligibility has been established, the individual may qualify to receive assistance with training costs and support services in order to continue to attend training. Eligibility must be determined prior to the start of the next term for WIOA to assist with remaining terms.  WIOA may also assist with job placement after training is completed.
  8. Q: Will WIOA pay for previous training expenses, or training I am currently attending?
    A: Unfortunately, WIOA cannot pay for previous training or the training semester the individual is currently attending. The individual needs to be officially enrolled in WIOA and approved for training before the next term or semester starts.  At that time WIOA may be able to assist with funding.
  9. Q: How long can I receive assistance?
    A: It depends on the assistance you need.  If you are in training, WIOA will assist with up to two years of training.  At the end of the training program you must receive a credential such as a certificate, diploma or associates degree.  WIOA will not assist with pre requisite programs. Due to the waiting lists that many programs have you must have proof that you have been accepted into the program and the start date prior to receiving funding.
  10. Q: What if I have already obtained a degree or certification?
    A: If an individual has a current degree or certification that is in demand he/she may not be able to receive training, unless there are unique circumstances that prohibit that individual from obtaining employment in that area. Counselors will need to assess each case on an individual basis.
  11. Q: Is the WIOA program the same as the PELL Grant?
    A: No. PELL Grant and other grants are used as the primary source of financial aid. WIOA funding would be used to cover required costs once all Pell Grant and other grants are applied.  Student loans do not count in the need for assistance.
  12. Q: Why do I have to go through this process, if all I want to do is go to school?
    A: The WIOA program is a “Work First” program, meaning an individual needs to make an effort to find employment. The individual needs to show he/she has limited skills and experience or obsolete skills before being considered for training.
  13. Q: Do I need a HiSET or HS diploma to go through WIOA?
    A: An individual is not required to have a HiSET or HS Diploma in order to access basic WIOA services, although an individual training program may require it.
  14. Q: How long will the process take to find out if I qualify?
    A: The length of time depends on each individual. Each case is unique and needs to be assessed one on one basis.