COVID-19 WIOA Waivers

Workforce Services Information Notice

Issued: April 2, 2021

In 2020, the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and the Employment Development Department (EDD) requested four Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) waivers from the US Department of Labor (DOL) to provide Local Workforce Development Boards (Local Board) with additional flexibility when assisting individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the four waivers that were requested, two were approved and two were denied.

Approved Waivers

The following two waivers were approved and guidance outlining the policies and procedures to apply for and use the approved waivers is forthcoming.

This waiver will allow up to 30 percent of Adult and Dislocated Worker local formula funds to be used for the provision of transitional jobs.

This waiver will allow up to a 90 percent reimbursement of on-the-job training costs for businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

Denied Waivers

The following two waivers were denied. The DOL determined that these two waiver requests were unnecessary because statutory and regulatory authority currently exists.

This waiver would allow for supportive services to be included amongst the list of follow-up services that can be provided to Adult and Dislocated Worker participants for up to 12 months after they are placed in unsubsidized employment.

The DOL stated that Local Boards have the flexibility to determine what specific services are suitable as follow-up services. In response, CalJOBS Activity Codes (WSD19-06) (PDF) was updated to provide Local Boards with further guidance regarding supportive and follow up services.

This waiver would address limitations on the use of funds for business capitalization and permit funds to be used to capitalize small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DOL states that existing statutory and regulatory authority allows the use of formula funds for layoff aversion activities, as described in WIOA Section 134(d)(1)(A)(vi-ix) and (xii). Additionally, up to 20 percent of local formula funds may be used to fund incumbent worker training (IWT) and supportive services for eligible participants. IWT may be used to upgrade employee skills in order to allow them to fulfill job duties that may have changed due to evolving working conditions or to retain employment.

For questions regarding supportive services and business capitalization, contact your assigned Regional Advisor.

For questions regarding these waivers, contact the CWDB at

Central Office Workforce Services Division

Last Revised: 02/15/2022