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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Offers Many Opportunities

Sabrina Flipse when she graduated from Scottsdale Community College with her AA.
Photo submitted by SRPMIC Human Resources

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA, is a program available to support individuals with their education and employment goals. Established under the Community Employment Division of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Human Resources, the WIOA Program offers different avenues for individuals to receive essential support to reach their goals successfully.

The WIOA Program has been available to the Community for several years. Although some changes have occurred within the federal regulations, the goal of supporting individuals with their education, training and employment goals has always been and will continue to be its focus.

The WIOA Program is available to support both youth and adults. Many people are familiar with our Youth Work Experience Program; we have more than 100 youth between the ages of 14 and 18 participate every summer.

In addition to the summer sessions, we also provide opportunities for youth to gain additional work experience during the fall and spring; the youth arrive to work in the afternoon once they get out of school. This program continues to be very successful and often serves as a stepping-stone to jobs or internships and definitely helps youth to gain a better understanding of what is expected when entering the workforce. This program has sparked a lot of interest and really encouraged our youth to continue with their education and training goals.

Helping Adults Overcome Obstacles to Further Their Education

The Adult side of the program has been extremely supportive of many adults, and as a result we have been a party to individuals reaching their education, training and employment goals. Participants understand that the WIOA Program is here first and foremost as a support.

Ultimately, the WIOA Program staff is very excited when individuals leverage it for their success.

Program participant Sabrina Flipse said, “The WIOA Program has helped in so many ways, by helping with paying for supplies and books, and [it has] been there for me in stressful times.” Flipse, an enrolled SRPMIC member, has been a participant with the WIOA Program for several years. Presently she is a student at Arizona State University and Scottsdale Community College pursuing coursework in the pre-professional architectural studies program. Her ultimate goal is to become an architect and help others obtain affordable housing. Flipse is an advocate for education, encouraging people to attend school, which will assist them in developing and achieving their ultimate goal.

Flipse is not shy about saying it has taken her 23 years to obtain her associate’s degree; she, along with so many others, see that as a huge accomplishment. She did not give up, even when challenging times required her to step away from her education. She has continued and is now looking to obtain her degree and become an architect so she can help the needy, elderly and students to live in beautiful sustainable housing.

The WIOA Program is very proud of Sabrina Flipse and is one of her biggest supporters.

Helping Young Adults Earn a Diploma

Another focus of the WIOA Program is to support young adults looking to earn their GED or high school diploma. The Education to Success Program was launched within the last nine months; its goal is to support young adults ages 16 to 24 to get that diploma so they can immediately continue on to higher education or employment.

The Education to Success Program has assisted Lucinda Ochoa, a Native American who is currently a student at the Accelerated Learning Academy. Ochoa’s goal is to earn her GED so she can attend college and study computer information technology. Ochoa is very appreciative of the WIOA Program staff, saying, “They have helped me a lot with the resources needed to prepare me for my GED. They helped me with clothes and glasses so I can continue attending school.”

The WIOA Program is here to support individuals with their education and employment goals. It is important to come and speak to a staff member to discuss eligibility criteria and to learn more about the program areas that may be of most support to your educational objectives and career goals. The WIOA Program holds orientation sessions once a month and can be reached at (480) 362-7950.