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Workforce Investment System


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the public workforce system is a network of federal, state, and local offices that function to support economic expansion and develop the talent of our nation's workforce. Organized labor is an essential part of this network because of its commitment to training workers, knowledge of the business process and human capital, and its worker advocacy.

Although the public workforce system is federally funded, most of the services are available at the state and local levels. Under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, each state establishes a state workforce investment board, which determines strategic priorities, identifies high-growth industries, develops a workforce investment budget, and establishes local workforce investment areas across the state.

To ensure that the workforce system is focusing on the regional economy, Illinois is divided into 26 workforce areas, controlled by a local workforce investment board. Workforce investment boards have several important functions in the public workforce system. They determine the number of service providers required, their location and how they will operate. The boards analyze workforce information to identify targeted industries and plan for growth.

To ensure workers are well-served by the public workforce system, workforce investment boards need the input of labor leaders. Contact the workforce investment board in your area, to find out how you can get involved!