Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program

The WIA Youth Program is federally funded to provide a comprehensive system of training and support services for young adults 14 - 21 years of age in preparation for the Alaskan workforce and citizenry. The program is dedicated to academic excellence, career preparation for youth in the workplace and community, development and support in a safe environment by caring adults, and visible and active leadership roles for participants.

Special emphasis is on youth services through federal mandates, statewide initiatives and regional services. Youth services are provided primarily through grants allocated to both private and public entities throughout the state. In-school and out-of-school youth are served, including those who have dropped out of school.  When available, the Request of Grant Applications can be found on the Division’s electronic on-line grant management system, EGrAMS, or on the state’s online public notice web site.

Grant awards to grantees and public agencies provide a variety of activities and services to enhance education and employment opportunities for youth taken from the Ten Basic Elements (below). Participants enrolled in a WIA program may also be eligible for an Individual Training Account to pursue post-secondary training. Youth service providers may provide services using many approaches and opportunities.

Ten Basic Elements:

  1. Tutoring, study skills training, and instruction leading to high school completion including dropout prevention strategies
  2. Alternative high school services
  3. The Summer Youth Employment and Training Program with direct links between academic and occupational learning
  4. Paid and unpaid work experiences, including internships and job shadowing
  5. Occupational skills training
  6. Leadership development opportunities
  7. Supportive services
  8. Adult mentoring
  9. Follow-up services for 12 months after program completion
  10. Comprehensive guidance and counseling, which may include drug and alcohol abuse, counseling, and referrals

WIA Youth Program Activities

Youth and career guides work through engaging activities in preparation
for a strong Alaskan workforce and citizenry. These are the requirements
for the program:

Recruit interested young people and establish eligibility

  • Determine if youth is eligible to receive services under program.
  • Recruit “neediest youth” populations.
  • Develop effective strategies for recruiting and serving out-of-school youth.

Assess skills

  • Provide an assessment of each participant including a review of the academic and occupational skill levels and match this information with appropriate services.
  • Identify barriers to employment and/or education.

Develop strategies and goals

  • Develop an individual service strategy (ISS) for each youth participant that includes identifying age-appropriate goals and sub-goals to meet those goals.
  • Develop activities to meet needs.
  • Develop internships or job shadows for youth to explore career options.
  • Provide training and support services to meet career and education goals and document in the ISS.
  • Provide special events and activities that focus on keeping youth in school.
  • Encouraging and incentivizing youth to finish school through the Adult Basic Education (GED) or an alternative school option.
  • Assisting participants in the “how to” process to successfully enter a post-secondary education or registered apprenticeships.
  • Provide training and support to youth to enter employment in high wage, high growth areas such as healthcare, construction, resource development, education, information technology and tourism and hospitality.
  • Provide follow-up support after exit to ensure that participants have been able to meet barriers and mediate if needed with employers.

Choose services from a menu of ten:

  1. Tutoring, study skills training, and instruction leading to high school completion including dropout prevention strategies.
  2. Alternative high school services.
  3. The Summer Youth Employment and Training Program with direct links between academic and occupational learning.
  4. Paid and unpaid work experiences, including internships and job shadowing.
  5. Occupational skills training.
  6. Leadership development opportunities.
  7. Supportive services.
  8. Adult mentoring.
  9. Follow-up services for 12 months after program completion.
  10. Comprehensive guidance and counseling, which may include drug and alcohol abuse, counseling, and referrals.
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aides and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.