The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I Youth Program contains a new provision that allows for youth living in a high poverty area to automatically meet the low-income criterion that is one of the eligibility criteria for in-school youth, for some out-of-school youth in the WIOA youth program, and for youth in the Indian and Native American Supplemental Youth Program.
The WIOA regulations at 20 CFR § 681.260 define high-poverty areas as a Census tract, a set of contiguous Census tracts, an American Indian Reservation, Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area (as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau), Alaska Native Village Statistical Area or Alaska Native Regional Corporation Area, Native Hawaiian Homeland Area, or other tribal land as defined by the Secretary in guidance or county that has a poverty rate of at least 25 percent as set every 5 years using American Community Survey 5-Year data.
The regulations at 20 CFR § 684.130 allow Indian and Native American grantees to use either the poverty rate of the total population or the poverty rate of Indian and Native Americans in determining whether the poverty rate of an area meets the 25 percent threshold.
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Determining Whether Youth are Living in a High Poverty Area