Individuals interested in training for a new career may be eligible for assistance through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA is landmark legislation that is designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.
Available services are based on need determination and include tuition assistance, book allowances, uniform/supplies and career counseling. Services under this program are eligibility-based – all interested persons must meet and be able to document eligibility criteria to be a potential candidate.
What sorts of training can I get?
Under WIOA, Tuition Assistance may only be provided training programs that lead to high-demand occupations in Illinois. Key industries in central Illinois are Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Transportation & Logistics. The list of approved training programs changes to reflect the local job markets.
Who can apply?
Individuals that live in Fulton, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell or Woodford counties may apply for Tuition assistance.
Who might be eligible for Tuition Assistance?
You may be eligible, if you can answer "Yes" to one of the following questions:
- Are you a member of a low-income household? For example, do you or someone in your household receive public assistance (SNAP, TANF, SSI)?
- Are you unemployed through no fault of your own, eligible/receiving/exhausted your unemployment benefits?
- Have you been affected by a business closure or layoff?
Applicants under age 25, please see additional ways someone can be determined eligible.
Can I receive Tuition Assistance and collect unemployment benefits? You can continue to receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits while you attend classes, if you receive Career Link's Tuition Assistance. UI benefits are typically exhausted after 26 weeks. It is possible to work part-time, attend training, and stretch unemployment benefits up to a full year. Be sure to tell your Career Planner if you're receiving UI benefits.
Do WIOA grants have to be paid back?
No, Tuition Assistance is provided through federal Department of Labor funding. It is a grant, not a loan. The assistance is taxpayer funded, but it comes with important expectations - that you will complete your training and go to work. Career Link receives funding to administer WIOA grants because our recipients in the past have been very successful. By accepting a WIOA grant, you will be agreeing to allow us to monitor your job success for a full-year after the completion of training.