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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Youth program

Target population

The Youth Program targets young people who are ages 14 through 24, who are low income, and who may need help to complete an educational program or find and hold employment. To be low income, one must be receiving welfare or food stamps, homeless, a foster child, or have a family income that meets specific income guidelines.

Program description & services

Youth Programs provide a wide variety of services to low-income in-school (ages 14-21) and out-of-school (ages 16-24) youth to help them succeed in school and work. Program participants may receive a range of services from the following areas: 1) occupational skills training; 2) career counseling; 3) internships; 4) job placements; 5) mentoring; 6) tutoring; 7) leadership development; 8) financial literacy; 9) entrepreneurial skills training; 10) local labor market and employment information services; 11) postsecondary education and training transition support; 12) workforce preparation and training activities designed for specific career clusters; and 13) additional supportive services.

To participate in this program, a young person must be low-income and meet one of the following requirements: 1) deficient in basic literacy skills; 2) English Language Learner; 3) a school dropout; 4) homeless; 5) a runaway; 6) a foster child; 7) an individual with a disability; 8) pregnant or a parent; 9) an offender; 10) requires additional assistance to complete education or secure and hold employment.

The program prepares low-income young people, ages 14 to 24, for success in school and at work. Eligible young people are assessed to determine academic, skill level, and support service needs. Strategies are developed for each person based on the assessment results. They may receive counseling, tutoring, job training, mentoring, or work experience. Other strategies include summer employment, study skills training, or instruction in obtaining a GED or equivalent.


To enhance youth education, encourage school completion through alternative educational programs, and provide exposure to the world of work through apprenticeship and career exploration.

How to apply
Apply at any WorkSource center or Affiliated Site.