At CobbWorks, we strive to provide you with the best possible customer service as we assist you with career planning, training decisions, and eligibility determination for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) training assistance. To accommodate the large number of customers requesting assistance, we utilize a self-managed application process. You are responsible for reviewing all the information contained below regarding training assistance and submitting your completed application with all required documentation.
Please review the following information to prepare your application packet (links to documents and other websites you will need to reference are highlighted and underlined):
Demand Occupation List to determine whether your chosen career field is considered “in-demand” based on labor market data and local policy.
The Eligible Provider List (EPL) to identify training providers and programs that are eligible to be funded through the WIA. You should consider a number of factors when investigating programs on the EPL:
• Location of the institution or training provider
• Schedule and duration of the desired program (Will you be able to attend all classes and complete the program?)
• Past performance of students in terms of completion, credential attainment, job placement, and placement wages
• Availability of success rate of placement assistance at the institution
• Your learning style compatibility with training format (instructor led, computer-based, team format, self-directed)
• Quality of facilities, equipment, and instructors
Other “Do’s and Don’ts” related to selecting your training provider:
• Do visit training providers and audit a class prior to your final decision
• Do work very closely with your Workforce Development Specialist (WDS) in selecting programs and schools
• Do gain a clear understanding of what is covered by the training costs (testing, supplies, equipment, licenses, application fees, etc.) as well as any expenses you may have that are not covered by your ITA
• Don’t sign any contracts, loan applications, or agreements with the provider without discussing with your WDS
• Don’t begin classes expecting WIA payment until your training plan is completed, signed, and approved by your WDS; a training voucher is the only approved payment method for training
• Don’t make any payments to the provider without discussing with your WDS; remember, you cannot be reimbursed for any payments you may make
Other facts to consider prior to applying for WIA training services:
Customers applying for training services with recent training or attainment of a recognized technical school certificate, college degree or diploma (1 year or less) may not be considered for training services. This is particularly relevant for customers with recent training or education in areas considered to be “in-demand”. Career pathways in healthcare may be approved on a case by case basis. A case-by-case determination will be made in the marketability of a prior degree or certificate.
A 2-year or less policy will apply to those individuals who have completed WIA funded training. An individual who has had WIA funded training but did not complete the training will not be considered for additional training. An individual who completed prior WIA funded training but was exited without employment will be required to provide information to substantiate extenuating circumstances for lack of successful placement. A person who completed training but has failed to take credentialing exam (especially in the IT field); will be required to provide information to substantiate extenuating circumstances for lack of credential prior to reenrollment.
Training assistance for individuals seeking four-year College and advanced degrees, college and advanced degree education will only be approved for funding in areas that are occupational specific, and are in current demand areas, and can be completed within the time limits by the CobbWorks. General liberal arts degrees will not be approved or funding. Some examples of approved degree programs include: teaching, accounting, nursing and medical related occupations. Please note that additional options are approved for persons considering training in the health care critical shortages occupations.
Please Note: Your chosen occupation must be on the Demand Occupation list and your training provider must be listed on the Eligible Provider List.
2) If you meet the basic eligibility criteria of “Dislocated Worker” or “Economically Disadvantaged” and think we can help you, complete the CobbWorks Application for Training Assistance and submit all required documents. Applications will only be accepted via mail or at the CobbWorks’ office located at 463 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 100, Marietta, GA 30060. Applicants are responsible for insuring that all required documentation is attached to their application. Missing documentation will delay the processing of your application. If you require assistance completing the application, contact us at 770-528-4300.
3) Eligible customers with fully completed application packets will be scheduled for the Labor Market Information Workshop and the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) assessment approximately one week from the date that your application is reviewed and you are determined eligible. This workshop will allow you to begin, and sometimes complete, your Labor Market Questionnaire. Staff will guide you through this process and point you towards resources to help you assess your situation. This research involves self-evaluating your current skills along with the skills you will attain through training to demonstrate a match with real-world jobs currently in-demand. You will be asked to critically assess the minimum and preferred requirements, realistic salary and growth potential, and transferability of your current skills and work history to those positions you will be seeking after training. You must demonstrate how your work history and current skills along with the desired training will clearly increase your marketability in the labor market. You must also demonstrate the availability of jobs in your chosen field.
4) The TABE assessment will evaluate your basic skills in reading, language and math. The assessment is not a “pass-fail” test, but is used in conjunction with other information you provide to assess the likelihood of your success in your chosen training program. You must achieve at least the minimum grade level required by the training program as published on the Eligible Provider List or an 8.0 if not indicated on the list. For more information on TABE, click here. Other assessment instruments may also be used to determine your suitability for your training.
5) After completing your labor market analysis and meeting the minimum TABE requirements, you will be assigned a Workforce Development Specialist (WDS) to determine further eligibility and suitability for your training program and complete steps for enrollment.
6) Upon approval from your WDS, apply to the institution and obtain your acceptance letter. If you are applying for a program at an institution that accepts PELL or HOPE grants or other financial aid, you must apply for that assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov) and the HOPE grant application (www.gsfc.org). Your WDS will help you determine if these resources may be available to you and if you must apply.
7) Submit your acceptance letter and course schedule to your WDS and complete any other required paperwork to generate a training voucher. Sign your training agreement with your WDS and follow any further directions to begin your training.
8) Once you begin training, maintain monthly contact with your WDS for progress updates. Contact your WDS immediately with any problems or issues you may be having or if you anticipate no longer attending school.
9) As your training ends, contact your WDS to plan your job search strategies. Complete your training and any related testing to obtain relevant licenses, credentials, or certifications.
10) Begin your job search immediately and contact your WDS if you need additional assistance. Be sure to utilize the training provider’s job placement assistance resources.
11) Report your employment immediately to your WDS and let us know if you encounter any problems at work or stop working.
12) Respond to requests for updates for one year after you complete training and go to work. As a federally funded program with specific performance requirements, we are evaluated positively when you 1) complete training, 2) obtain employment, 3) earn good wages, and 4) stay employed over time. If you are not successful in any of these areas, we are penalized and risk losing funding to help other customers. Please work with us to track and document your success.
Keep in mind, some steps may be completed concurrently. Many steps are governed by specific time frames; however, we have found the customer can expedite the process by returning documents and completing needed research as quickly as possible.
Due to each customer’s unique circumstances and external variables such as school schedules, we are unable to estimate a definite time frame for completing the process.
We look forward to working with you.