U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Located in:

c. 2. Describe the strategies the State will use to achieve improved outcomes for out-of-school youth as described in 129(a)(1)(B), including how it will leverage and align the core programs, any Combined State Plan partner programs included in this Plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs, and any other resources available.

Current Narrative:

Connecting with Youth remains a major emphasis among the State’s Combined State Plan partners. Despite the resurgence in the economy since the peak of the pandemic, young people, as a broad group, still appear at a disadvantage in terms of finding employment. This disadvantage is compounded when applied to persons with additional barriers to employment such as being an out-of-school youth.

Since PY2016, the state’s Title I Youth program has directed 100% of program funds towards out-of-school youth. Program staff across the state have exclusively targeted their outreach efforts to this population since then, boosted by the Workforce Development Council’s directive to focus PY2016 Youth in Need funds be specifically applied towards outreach efforts to out-of-school youth with barriers to employment so these youth understand what services are available to them. 

However, later in PY21, the council will allow the six Service Delivery Areas across the state to enroll in-school youth in their individual Summer Youth Work Experience projects designed to boost youth employment opportunities. WIOA-eligible in-school youth will only be allowed to participate in this project – the state’s emphasis on serving out-of-school youth will not change with this slight modification. Project staff will have undergone training on how to work with in-school youth so as not miss any opportunities to serve youth who may benefit from this project. .

A workforce goal identified by the Idaho Workforce Development Council (Section 11(b)(2)(A)) is “Improve the effectiveness, quality, and coordination of programs and services designed to maintain a highly skilled workforce.” Beneath this goal are several strategies specifically designed to target the improvement of out-of-school youth outcomes, including:

A) Create, align, and sustain partnerships with stakeholders to implement workforce development programs.
B) Support development in work-based learning, and innovative programs to drive Idaho’s present and future workforce solutions.
C) Leverage existing local employer-focused initiatives to build and support effective pathways to connect Idahoans to careers.
D) Cultivate a high-quality One-Stop Career System that connects employers and workers and facilitates access to workforce services, education services, and information.

Out-of-school and disconnected youth specifically benefit from expanded alternative learning modalities and training opportunities developed within Idaho’s education and workforce systems. These may include work-based learning, apprenticeships, distance education, and compressed scheduling. The state’s Title II programs connect participants, including those age 16-24, to career pathways through contextualized education in reading, writing, math and the English language, as well as integrated education and training, and transition into training by utilizing the previously noted modalities. This strategy will improve outcomes for out-of-school youth who may not benefit from or have access to traditional modes of education.

The State workforce partners are enacting more focused efforts around specific youth with barriers, including out-of-school youth, youth with disabilities, and low-skilled youth. The Workforce Development Council has identified the following groups with barriers to employment to receive priority service under the WIOA Title I Youth program for out-of-school youth:

  • low-income youth involved with the juvenile justice system;
  • low-income youth exiting foster care;
  • low-income youth that are pregnant and/or parenting; and
  • low-income youth with disabilities.

The Council’s prioritization of out-of-school youth with disabilities for the WIOA Title I youth program serves as a counterpart to Title IV’s requirement to emphasize pre-employment transition services to (in-school) students with disabilities. The alignment of WIOA core programs to maximize service through limited resources continues to improve outcomes for both in-school and out-of-school youth with disabilities throughout the state.

Additionally, the Workforce Development Council has continued with its implementation of an incentives policy to encourage youth achievement.  The council will be reviewing and updating the policy the determine if additional incentives may be incorporated as part of the state’s offerings. The current policy follows on the next page. 

WIOA Youth Program Incentives

Purpose:         Revise Youth Program Incentives to comply with WIOA.

WIOA allows for incentive payments to be made to youth participants, provided the incentives are:

(a) Tied to the goals of the specific program;
(b) Outlined in writing before the commencement of the program that may provide incentive payments;
(c) Aligned with the local program’s organizational policies; and
(d) Issued in accordance with the requirements contained in 2 CFR part 200.

WIOA-funded youth incentives must be connected to recognition of achievement of milestones in the program tied to work experience, education or training provided it is made a part of the participant’s individualized assessment and service strategy.  It should be noted that WIOA funds may not be used for incentives for recruitment and eligibility documentation

This policy and incentive options align with the Workforce Development Council’s directive to focus 100 percent of WIOA Youth funding on Out-of-School Youth, as well as WIOA’s Youth program outcomes - remediation of basic skills, attainment of HS/GED, gaining industry-recognized skills and credentials that will lead to in-demand, self-sustaining employment. 

Limitations on Incentives:

WIOA regulations allow provision of incentives to youth during enrollment in the WIOA Youth program or during the youth’s 12-month follow-up time period after completion of the program.  Achievements completed prior to WIOA enrollment do not qualify for incentives.  WIOA youth program incentives are not intended for use as emergency assistance, but rather as a tool to encourage ongoing participation and attainment of specific program goals. WIOA Youth in need of emergency assistance must be connected to an appropriate service provider.

1) Requirements for Youth:
         a) Active in WIOA Youth program or follow up activity; b) In collaboration with a career planner, has developed an Individual Service Strategy (ISS) delineating training and employment goals. Follow-up incentives are established to only help complete predetermined program goals.

2) Incentive Documentation:
         a) Description of achievement to qualify for specified incentive award is documented in case file and IdahoWorks management information system as part of the Individual’s Service Strategy (ISS) and WIOA career planner intervention in accomplishing the established goals leading to the incentive;
         b) Supporting documentation of attainment prior to issuance of incentive award (copy of credential/test scores/grades, employer evaluations, attendance record, etc.) retained in case file.

3) Incentive Options:
         a) Credential Attainment – Attainment of a recognized postsecondary credential or secondary school diploma during WIOA Youth program participation or during the 12-month follow-up period;
         b) Measurable Skill Gain – Attainment of a WIOA skill gain as defined by USDOL for program reporting:
                i) Achievement of at least one educational functioning level, if receiving instruction below postsecondary education level
               ii) Attainment of secondary school diploma or equivalent;
               iii) Secondary or postsecondary transcript for sufficient number of credit hours
                       (1) Secondary: transcript or report card for 1 semester, or
                       (2) Postsecondary:at least 12 hours per semester or, for part-time students, a total of at least 12 hours over 2 completed consecutive semesters
                iv) Satisfactory progress report toward established skill-based milestone from an employer or training provider;
                v) Passage of an exam required for an occupation or progress attaining technical/occupational skills as evidenced by trade-related benchmarks.
         c) Employment and Retention – Attainment of fulltime employment in the youth’s selected occupation/industry as reflected in the ISS; 6-month retention with the same occupation/employer.

4) WIOA Youth program participants may only participate in one incentive option during a program year.

5) Incentives during follow-up may only assist with completion towards predetermined program goals.

Idaho WIOA Youth Incentive Options

          A. A progressive, job retention incentive for youth who have successfully completed all their WIOA Youth program services and attained full–time, unsubsidized employment in the individual’s selected career/industry as planned in the WIOA ISS. Verification of employment and retention by the career planner are required for reimbursement.
               a. $200 for obtaining employment.
               b. $300 for retaining the same position/employer for 6 months.

          B. A $150 skill attainment incentive that allows a youth in a work-based activity (OJT, Internship or Work Experience) who can demonstrably show a measurable skill gain verified by the employer/worksite, based upon a positive employer evaluation which enumerates the skill obtained. The evaluations are incorporated as part of the overall process to show the participant’s progress, either at the mid-point of the work-based activity or at the end of the activity, based upon the participant’s goal as established in each activity’s Memorandum of Agreement with the worksite/ employer.;

          C. $150 incentive for each GED section (a total of four) passed during participation in the WIOA Youth Program or during the 12-month follow-up period. Career planners will be allowed the flexibility to provide the GED incentive individually as each test is passed, or cumulatively once the GED is obtained; OR
           $100 Incentive for secondary or postsecondary transcript for sufficient number of credit hours.
               a. Secondary: transcript or report card for 1 semester, or
               b. Postsecondary: at least 12 hours per semester or, for part-time students, a total of at least 12 hours over 2 completed consecutive semesters

          D. $300 incentive for a youth’s successful completion of a WEX/Internship - all activities required for participation.  This includes pre- and post-orientations, workshops, fulfilling WEX requirements, meeting all established program expectations, and positive successful employer evaluation report(s).

          E.  $100 Perfect Attendance incentive for youth participating in any work-based learning activity. Youth must have:
               a. No unexcused absences.
               b. No more than a single tardy of less than 15 minutes.
               c. Includes attendance at any required pre-/post-work orientations/job search workshop.

          F. $250 incentive for each area - literacy and numeracy - in which a basic skills deficient participant demonstrates an increase of one or more educational functioning levels based on pre- and post-test scores, utilizing any of the assessments recognized by the National Reporting System for Adult Education programs, including the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education), Casas, etc.  The same assessment instrument must be used for pre- and post-tests.

          G. $400 incentive for successful passage of an exam required for employment in a particular occupation, or progress in attaining technical or occupational skills as evidenced by trade-related benchmarks, such as knowledge-based exams which lead to a credential.  These may include items such as a welding test or passage of the NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program). Exams for general skills, such as a typing test, do not qualify for the incentive.

          H. $400 incentive for obtaining a recognized postsecondary credential, OR a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.  The post-secondary credential must reflect attainment of measurable technical or industry/occupational skills necessary to obtain employment or advance within an industry/occupation based on standards developed or endorsed by employers or industry associations. Certificates must recognize skills specific to the industry/occupation rather than general skills related to safety, hygiene, etc., which excludes credentials such as CPR, OSHA Health and Safety, flagging certification and other similar certifications.  Listed below are examples of credentials eligible for this incentive:
               a. Secondary School diploma or recognized equivalent
               b. Associate’s degree
               c. Bachelor’s degree
               d. Occupational licensure
               e. Occupational certificate, including Registered Apprenticeship and Career and Technical Education educational certificates
               f. Occupational certification

Below is a list of the types of organizations and institutions that award recognized postsecondary credentials.  Please note that not all credentials awarded by these entities meet the definition of recognized postsecondary credential.

  • A State educational agency or a State agency responsible for administering vocational and technical education within a State;
  • An institution of higher education, which includes community colleges, proprietary schools, and all other institutions of higher education that are eligible to participate in Federal student financial aid programs;
  • An institution of higher education that is formally controlled, or has been formally sanctioned or chartered, by the governing body of an Indian tribe or tribes.
  • A professional, industry, or employer organization or product manufacturer or developer (e.g., recognized Microsoft Information Technology certificates, such as Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), Certified Novell Engineer, etc.) using a valid and reliable assessment of an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities;
  • USDOL Federal Office of Apprenticeship;
  • A public regulatory agency, which awards a credential upon an individual’s fulfillment of educational, work experience or skill requirements that are legally necessary for an individual to use an occupational or professional title or to practice an occupation or profession (e.g., Federal Aviation Administration aviation mechanic’s license, or a State-licensed asbestos inspector);
  • A program that has been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer education benefits to veterans and other eligible persons.
  • Job Corps, which issues certificates for completing career training programs that are based on industry skills standards and certification requirements.