An Individual Training Account (ITA) is an expenditure account established on behalf of a participant in a One-Stop Career Center. This topic provides information about ITAs in several sections. You may read through the topic, or jump to any section shown below:
· Eligible Training Providers
· Roles - Customer/Staff/Board
An Individual Training Account (ITA) is essentially a voucher given to One-Stop Career Center customers who need occupational skills training to become gainfully employed or re-employed. Under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, adult and dislocated workers purchase training services from eligible providers they select in consultation with the case manager. The Individual Training Account represents a cornerstone of self-determination established by the Workforce Investment Act.
Supported by assessment and informed decision-making, customers may use their ITAs to purchase training slots in any program on the eligible program/provider list. Customers approved for ITA funds can only select from programs on the statewide program/provider list. If a program is not on the list, WIA cannot pay the cost of attendance.
An ITA will be provided after an assessment of customer needs, demand occupations, local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) policies and selection of a training program after consultation with a career advisor. The process will be recorded in a career plan called an Individual Employment Plan (IEP). Local Workforce Investment Boards may establish monetary and time limits for an ITA.
Depending upon local policy, the ITA may be approved by a customer's career advisor, a committee, a representative of a local board, or other mechanisms. This process will reflect what is determined locally to provide the appropriate balance between accountability for training funds and effective customer service.
Providers and their programs automatically eligible for certification on the eligible program/provider list include universities, colleges, community colleges, technical institutes, some proprietary schools and apprenticeship programs registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship Training, U. S. Department of Labor. Additionally, public and private providers of a program of training services, which includes entities such as vocational-technical schools, community-based organizations (CBOs), private training companies, labor organizations, employer organizations, private individuals, entities that provided training under JTPA and Local Boards who meet certain conditions of WIA may submit programs for eligible training provider approval selection. Others who may apply include a post-secondary educational institution wishing to receive training funds for a program(s) which do not lead to an associate or baccalaureate degree of certificate or are not funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965; and an apprenticeship program not registered with the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship Training. Providers must submit information with their application addressing each program they would like included on the statewide Eligible Provider list because USDOL requires that programs, not providers, be certified. The application requests information on programs, cost and past performance for use in a Consumer Report.
The approved ITA program/provider system requires local staff to assist customers to make informed choices regarding career paths and training. The career advisor's role is to provide customers with guidance and feedback from assessment that can help them understand their needs and choices prior to selection of a training program/provider. Local staff may inform customers and facilitate career decisions, however, the ultimate decision rests with the customer within defined local policies and parameters.
ITA accounts are the responsibility of the local WIBs. They may establish ITA funding limits, length of time, mechanisms for payment, etc. Additionally, local WIBs identify local training needs identified by area businesses, as will be noted in their respective local WIA plans.
As stated above, each local WIB defines local criteria and the process by which individuals can access an Individual Training Account. Local boards establish criteria for providing ITAs based on critical local workforce needs, e.g., economic development priorities, occupations in demand in the area, expected wage levels, funds available, and performance parameters, so long as criteria are reasonable and uniformly applied.
The State or Local Board may impose limits on ITA's, such as limitations on the dollar amount and/or duration. Limits to ITA's may be established in different ways: (1) There may be a limit for an individual participant that is based on the needs identified in the individual employment plan; or (2) There may be a policy decision by the State Board or Local Board to establish a range of amounts and/or a maximum amount applicable to all ITA's. Limitations established by State or Local Board policies must be described in the State or Local Plan, respectively, but must not be implemented in a manner that undermines the Act's requirement that training services are provided in a manner that maximizes customer choice in the selection of an eligible training provider.
This section provides a glossary of key terms that relate to ITA/Eligible Training Provider programs and services. The glossary is organized alphabetically.
A Career Management Account is a term that was used in a previously completed U.S. DOL demonstration project involving the use of vouchers to pay for training provided to dislocated workers who qualified for services under Title III of JTPA. The demonstration project was conducted prior to passage of the WIA.
A Consumer Report consists of key information on the performance outcomes of all training and education providers in the ITA/Eligible Training Provider system.
The customer is defined primarily as a program participant who is eligible to receive training services through an Individual Training Account. Training vendors, employers, and staff are also considered valued "customers" of the ITA/Eligible Training Provider system.
Core services are services that One-Stop Career Centers are responsible for providing for all adults and dislocated workers under WIA. Core services include initial assessment of skill levels, job search and placement assistance, provision of labor market information, provision of information about the performance and cost of education and training providers in the area, career counseling, information about filing unemployment compensation claims, assistance in establishing eligibility for welfare-to-work programs, information relating to the availability of supportive services such as child care and transportation, and follow-up counseling services after someone becomes employed. The WIA mandates that there be universal access to core services.
An eligible training provider is an organization, entity or institution, such as a public or private college and university, community-based organization, or proprietary school whose application has been approved by the local workforce board and submitted to the state for inclusion on the state list of to provide training services through the use of an Individual Training Account.
An eligible training provider list is a statewide compilation of providers that are approved to provide services through the One-Stop system. These lists contain consumer information, including cost and performance information for each of the providers, so that participants can make informed choices on where to use their ITAs.
Eligible Training Provider Approval Selection is the method for approving training providers' programs to be initially eligible (if the program is not HEA-eligible or an apprenticeship program) and to be subsequently eligible (for all programs) using criteria such as completion rates, placement rates, earnings or wages, and other performance indicators, as determined by the state.
The individual employment plan is an ongoing strategy jointly developed by the participant and the case manager that identifies the participant's employment goals, the appropriate achievement objectives, and the appropriate combination of services for the participant to achieve the employment goals.
An ITA is an expenditure account established on behalf of a participant.
Intensive services are services that local Boards are responsible for providing for adults and dislocated workers under WIA. Intensive services may include specialized assessments of individual skill levels and service needs, individual or group counseling and career planning, development of an individual employment plan, short-term job-readiness activities, literacy activities related to basic workforce readiness, and paid or unpaid work experience.
Local Board means a local Workforce Investment Board established under WIA sec. 117 to set policy for the local workforce investment system.
A targeted customer is a participant that is determined to be "more capable" of utilizing the ITA/Eligible Training Provider system to choose a training provider. Some CMA sites focused on using vouchers to serve customers that appeared to be better able to handle the voucher process—customers with recent labor force attachment, stronger work history, and more education. However, with the enactment of the Workforce Investment Act, a broader range of customers—dislocated workers, those seeking to leave welfare, adult learners, and even the employed—are eligible for ITAs.
A training market reflects an approach with vendors selling training directly to individual participants rather than through intermediary organizations.
Training services is a special category of services that local Boards are responsible for providing to adults and dislocated workers under WIA. Training services may include occupational skills training, on-the-job training, job-readiness training, adult education and literacy activities, cooperative education programs, training programs operated by the private sector, skill upgrading and retraining, entrepreneurial training, and customized training conducted by an employer. Training Services are available to individuals who meet eligibility criteria, and have used Core and Intensive Services, but still are not successfully employed.
Universal services are services available to every individual through the One-Stop system including information about job vacancies, career options, relevant employment trends, job search techniques, resume writing, and access to the Consumer Report information gathered on training institutions in the area through the eligible training provider process.
Vendor means an entity responsible for providing generally required goods or services to be used in the WIA program. These goods or services may be for the recipient's or sub-recipient's own use or for the use of participants in the program.
A voucher is a document that is exchangeable for training services.
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