Government agencies oversee the public workforce system, which administers publicly funded education, employment, training, and supportive services. These agencies create and administer workforce development policies and programs and make funding decisions that affect local workforce systems. These agencies include local, state, and federal governments, including labor, employment, or workforce; economic development; and social or human services. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs are overseen by workforce development boards, which are mostly composed of employers and include government agencies and education, training, and direct service providers and other community partners. Individuals can access Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act services through American Job Centers, which can be operated by nongovernmental agencies, such as training, education, and direct service providers.
- Mayors' offices and offices of the city administrator or county executive often oversee and set policies related to workforce development programs and services. City and county agencies administer some of the functions of local workforce systems, including establishing priorities, managing funding and resources, and monitoring program implementation and performance, especially for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs.
- Local workforce development boards administer workforce programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, in conjunction with local government agencies and with guidance and oversight from state workforce development boards and workforce agencies. Local boards are mostly composed of employers, including agency partners that oversee the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act, and partner with other organizations, such as community and technical colleges, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families agencies, and labor unions. Local boards also address issues like skills shortages by engaging employers and industry in preparing workers for available jobs.
- American Job Centers offer “one-stop” employment services and provide access to education, training, and supportive services. Overseen by workforce development boards, the 3,000 centers are the face of the public workforce system nationwide. Centers may go by different names and may be operated by government agencies, local and regional nonprofit organizations, or for-profit organizations. American Job Centers provide job seekers with local labor market information, job listings, job readiness workshops, career counseling, skill-level and personal needs assessments, and information on and funding for job training. Staff may also connect customers to job training and other government programs, such as unemployment insurance, veterans’ programs, vocational rehabilitation services, and public benefits (e.g., food or cash assistance).
- Public social services agencies assist workers and job seekers by providing access to child care, food, medical, and cash assistance. Some public social service agencies also provide training programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education and Training. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides time-limited cash benefits to families and requires individuals engage in work activities, such as job search, training, or education, depending on the state.
- Economic development agencies help new and established businesses start up, expand, and prosper through financial subsidies for location decisions, assistance in navigating regulations, and support for new or expanding businesses’ needs. These agencies may partner with organizations to coordinate workforce needs of new businesses.
- Other public-sector organizations in local workforce systems are public colleges and universities, which are education, training, and direct service providers. Additionally, public libraries can play various workforce development roles, such as hosting job clubs.