WIOA Youth Service Elements – Entrepreneurial Skill Training, Support Services, Etc..

Youth services, programs and activities funded under the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Program Element 12: Entrepreneurial skills training
20 CFR § 681.560 states this program element provides the basics of starting and operating a small business. Such training must develop the skills associated with entrepreneurship. Such skills may include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

• take initiative;
• creatively seek out and identify business opportunities;
• develop budgets and forecast resource needs;
• understand various options for acquiring capital and the trade-offs associated with each option; and
• communicate effectively and market oneself and one’s ideas.

Approaches to teaching youth entrepreneurial skills may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Entrepreneurship education that provides an introduction to the values and basics of starting and running a business. Entrepreneurship education programs often guide youth through the development of a business plan and also may include simulations of business start-up and operation.

(2) Enterprise development which provides supports and services that incubate and help youth develop their own businesses. Enterprise development programs go beyond entrepreneurship education by helping youth access small loans or grants that are needed to begin business operation and by providing more individualized attention to the development of viable business ideas.

(3) Experiential programs that provide youth with experience in the day-to-day operation of a business. These programs may involve the development of a youth-run business that young people participating in the program work in and manage. Or, they may facilitate placement in apprentice or internship positions with adult entrepreneurs in the community.

Program Element 10: Comprehensive guidance and counseling
20 CFR § 681.510 states that comprehensive guidance and counseling provides individualized counseling to participants. This includes drug and alcohol abuse counseling, mental health counseling, and referral to partner programs, as appropriate. When referring participants to necessary counseling that cannot be provided by the local youth program or its service providers, the local youth program must coordinate with the organization it refers to in order to ensure continuity of service. When resources exist within the local program or its service providers, it is allowable to provide counseling services directly to participants rather than refer youth to partner programs.

Program Element 6: Leadership development opportunities
20 CFR § 681.520 defines this program element as opportunities that encourage responsibility, confidence, employability, self-determination, and other positive social behaviors such as:

(a) exposure to postsecondary educational possibilities;
(b) community and service learning projects;
(c) peer-centered activities, including peer mentoring and tutoring;
(d) organizational and team work training, including team leadership training;
(e) training in decision-making, including determining priorities and problem solving;
(f) citizenship training, including life skills training such as parenting and work behavior training;
(g) civic engagement activities which promote the quality of life in a community; and
(h) other leadership activities that place youth in a leadership role such as serving on youth leadership committees, such as a Standing Youth Committee.​

​Program Element 7: Supportive services
20 CFR § 681.570 describes supportive services for youth as defined in WIOA Sec. 3(59), are services that enable an individual to participate in WIOA activities. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) linkages to community services;
(b) assistance with transportation;
(c) assistance with child care and dependent care;
(d) assistance with housing;
(e) needs-related payments;
(f) assistance with educational testing;
(g) reasonable accommodations for youth with disabilities;
(h) legal aid services;
(i) referrals to health care;
(j) assistance with uniforms or other appropriate work attire and work-related tools, including such items as eyeglasses and protective eye gear;
(k) assistance with books, fees, school supplies, and other necessary items for students enrolled in postsecondary education classes; and
(l) payments and fees for employment and training-related applications, tests, and certifications​

​Program Element 5: Education offered concurrently with workforce preparation and training for a specific occupation
20 CFR § 681.630 states that this program element reflects an integrated education and training model and describes how workforce preparation activities, basic academic skills, and hands-on occupational skills training are to be taught within the same time frame and connected to training in a specific occupation, occupational cluster, or career pathway. While programs developing basic academic skills, which are included as part of alternative secondary school services and dropout recovery services (program element 2), workforce preparation activities that occur as part of a work experience (program element 3), and occupational skills training (program element 4) can all occur separately and at different 18 times (and thus are counted under separate program elements), this program element refers to the concurrent delivery of these services which make up an integrated education and training model. ​