WIOA Services

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA, is a legislation act signed in 2014 designed to strengthen and improve the public workforce system by helping people overcome barriers to employment and education. Our regional team is supported by the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, with funding from the Department of Labor. Our region serves residents in the counties of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Marquette, and Sauk, and partners with local, non-profit agencies and technical colleges to make up the “WorkSmart Network.”

Contact Information

Columbia, Dodge, Marquette & Sauk Counties
Angel Smith
608-432-1027
asmith@worksmartnetwork.org

Dane County
LaShana Buckner
608-242-4542
lbuckner@worksmartnetwork.org

Jefferson County
Sam Centeno
608-444-2728
scenteno@worksmartnetwork.org

Workforce Development Board Partner agencies include:
    • DWD: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
    • DWD: Job Service
    • FSET: Foodshare and Employment & Training
    • TANF/W2
    • Opportunities, Inc.
    • Operation Fresh Start
    • Madison College (multiple campuses)
    • Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin (CACSCW)
    • And many more!
Services Offered
  1. Employment
    1. Resume building, interview preparation, job search assistance, career support, work experience, apprenticeships, etc.
  2. Education
    1. Connection to GED program providers and tutors
    2. FAFSA application assistance
    3. Tech college and university enrollment assistance
    4. Other training options
    5. Tuition assistance* (additional eligibility requirements), etc.
  3. Supportive Services
    1. Community partner referrals
    2. Emergency rent assistance*
    3. Transportation*
    4. Childcare assistance*, etc.
  4. Events/Workshops
  1. At the time of eligibility determination, the individual must be:
    1. Not attending secondary or post-secondary school
    2. Not younger than 16 or older than 24
    3. Eligible to work in the united states
    4. Registered for the selective services (if applicable)
  2. and satisfy at least ONE of the following eligibility barriers
    1. School dropout
    2. Within the compulsory age of secondary school attendance but not attending
    3. Low-income individual with a secondary school diploma or equivalent who is basic skills deficient or an English language learner
    4. Offender or ex-offender
    5. Homeless or runaway
    6. Foster Care
    7. Pregnant or Parenting
    8. Has a disability
    9. Low-income and requires additional assistance
Training Funding
  • Tuition
  • Academic Fees
  • Books
  • Test Fees
  • Required School Supplies
Employment Assistance
  • Uniforms
  • Tools
  • Required Physicals
Supportive Services
  • Transportation
    • Mileage Reimbursement
    • Bus Pass
    • Parking Permit
    • Car Repairs
  • Childcare
  • Rent/Housing
1. WIOA is NOT an entitlement program

  • Programs and services may have some requirements and are not appropriate for everyone. Program funding is provided by request and not guaranteed by those who apply

2. Communication is key

  • Regular contact with the training navigator/career planner will be a marker of success in the program. The more we stay connected, the more services and referrals we can provide.

3. WIOA is a voluntary program

  • Through the program is not mandatory, enrollment with a service provider establishes a commitment of attendance to scheduled appointments, as well as satisfactory progress for continued training.

4. Follow Up Services

  • We provide follow-up services for one year after their goal is met to make sure our participants remain successful.
Independent Living

Transitioning into adulthood is difficult for anyone- that’s why we cover a multitude of topics to assist young adults wherever possible. From finding and keeping housing to learning how to cook meals and pay car insurance- we’re here to teach, guide, and empower youth into self sufficiency

Independent Living Service Topics:
● Life Skills
● Education
● Housing
● Permanence
● Finances & Money Management
● Career
● Transportation
● Pregnancy / Parenting
● Self-Care & Health
● Identity
● Community, Culture, and Social Life

● Between 17 ½- 21 years old (or 23 through ETV)
● Placed in court-ordered out-of-home care
● Aged out of care OR entered Ch. 48 Guardianship after age 16 OR was adopted after age 16

*Can age out of foster care in a different region and transfer to any county within WI for IL
services.

Youth In Care
● Supportive Services (unpaid)
● Transitional/ future planning
● Community Resources
● Connections to youth apprenticeship opportunities
● Monthly Workshops

Youth After Care
● Supporitive Services (paid and unpaid)
● Community Resources/ Co-enrollement in other eligible programs (WIOA OSY eligible, etc.)
● Youth Leadership Opportunities
● Acess to ETV Funding (Brighter Star)
● Monthly workshops

The mission of the statewide Wisconsin Youth Advisory Council (W-YAC) is to inspire change by providing education, advocacy, support, training, and awareness to governmental systems and the general public to better the image of youth by addressing issues on behalf of current and former youth in foster care in Wisconsin.

In addition to the standard WIOA services for which we provide funding, there are specific
services that are provided under the Independent Living Grant:

● Basic personal necessities
● Furniture and small appliances
● Rent and security deposit
● Groceries
● Emergency funds
● Driver’s Ed and related fees
● Insurance (ex: car, renters)
● Acquiring Personal Docs (ex: birth certificate)
● Health & Wellness services
● Other supportive services (must specify)

*Independent Living Funding is open once a youth ages out of care or whose case is officially closed with the county. Funding is not guaranteed and is applied for on a case-by-case basis, with proof of need.

What is Brighter Star?
Brighter Star is the name of Wisconsin’s Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program. It is funding distributed to help young adults pay for college and career or training programs.

Who is eligible?
● Students who are at least 17.5 years old and are likely to remain in court-ordered out-of-home care placement until the age of 18 or older
● Students who were adopted or entered Ch. 48 guardianship at age 16+, following time in a court-ordered out-of-home care placement; or
● Students between 18 and 23 years old who “aged out” of the foster care system (left at age 18 or older)

Is there an age limit?
Brighter Star serves youth up to age 23 or for five academic years, whichever comes first.

What are the requirements to receive funds?
The student must be enrolled in (or accepted to) an accredited or pre-accredited post high school program and maintain good standing to receive continued funding.

How much funding is available for eligible youth?
Students can receive up to $5,000 per academic year based on their school’s cost of attendance and available funds.

Independent Living

Let’s Talk.

Columbia, Dodge, Marquette & Sauk Counties
Angel Smith
608-432-1027
asmith@worksmartnetwork.org

Dane County
Kim Murphy
608-249-9001
kmurphy@wdbscw.org

Jefferson County
Sam Centeno
608-444-2728
scenteno@worksmartnetwork.org

Grant, Iowa, Lafayette & Richland Counties
Miranda Addison
608-732-3021
m.addison@swwdb.org

Green & Rock Counties
Jodi Rich
608-314-3300 ext. 334
j.rich@swwdb.org

Ozaukee & Washington Counties
Cindy Hinkley
262-335-5309
wdc_chinkley@morainepark.edu

Waukesha County
Lauren Friedl
262-695-8042
lfriedl@wctc.edu