The City of Springfield’s Department of Workforce Development, housed at the Missouri Job Center in Springfield, is the designated Service Provider/Operator of the Missouri Job Centers for the Ozark Region and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs for the seven-county Ozark Region. The Department has been operating workforce training programs for over forty years.
The Department functions as the operator under the guidance of the Workforce Development Board and the Council of Local Elected Officials. Operation of the Missouri Job Centers and WIOA programs are mandated by WIOA and funding is provided through the Department of Labor. No general funds are utilized for this department. The City of Springfield, Department of Finance serves as the Fiscal Agent, appointed by the CLEO, to manage grant funds.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)WIOA was signed into law on July 22, 2014 and was the first legislative reform to the workforce system in 15 years (previously the Workforce Investment Act). There are six core programs authorized under WIOA:
- To expand access to employment, education, training, and support services for people with barriers to employment;
- To coordinate workforce investment, education, and economic-development efforts among multiple agencies;
- To enhance the labor-market relevance of workforce investment, education, and economic development, providing workers with skills and credentials and providing employers with a skilled workforce;
- To improve the structure of, and delivery of, services through the workforce-development system;
- To boost the prosperity of workers and employers, the economic growth of communities, regions, and states, and overall U.S. global competitiveness;
- To increase the employment, retention, and earnings of system participants, and to enlarge their attainment of post-secondary credentials, with the aim of improving workforce quality, reducing welfare dependency, increasing economic self-sufficiency, and meeting skill requirements of employers.
One Stop Approach
Title I of WIOA authorizes employment training and other workforce investment activities administered at the state and local level by workforce boards. The services must be provided through one-stop centers (Missouri Job Centers) that are established through the local board.
In the year 2000, named the Ozark Workforce Investment Board (WIB) at that time and the State of Missouri’s Division of Workforce Development (DWD) entered into an agreement to establish a Missouri Career Center (MCC) (now the Missouri Job Center) that would provide workforce development programs and services in a single location. This One Stop system also provides access to all WIOA mandated partner services. State of Missouri DWD employees, funded through Wagner-Peyser, are co-located with WIOA staff at the Ozark Region Missouri Job Centers.
In addition to these two partners, the Springfield Job Center is host to numerous partners, including Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) and OTC Center for Workforce Development, WIC, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Missouri Work Assistance (MWA), and the Family Support Division. Our Branson Job Center partner staff also includes MWA, VR and MERS Goodwill.