Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act provides education, training and employment opportunities for individuals in Northwest Georgia. We work in a fifteen-county area that includes Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission administers the federally-funded program for the chief elected officials in our fifteen counties.

Training Programs

Our Workforce Programs have been designed to meet the needs of discouraged workers, unemployed or underemployed individuals, and workers who have lost their jobs through layoff or business closures. Our Career Counselors assess customers while they are in training as well as pre and post training. They administer interest and career assessments and provide career counseling, educational counseling, job coaching, and post-employment assistance for up to one year after completing their program of study or ending training.

We have training available at schools and colleges throughout Northwest Georgia and its surrounding regions. We also have an on-the-job training program in which individuals can receive occupational training by area businesses. A complete list of our training sites, programs of study, and contact information is available at Career Depot.

Individual Training Accounts

People who are eligible for training at schools and colleges are awarded an Individual Training Account (ITA). An ITA is similar to a bank account in that a sum of money is set aside to assist in paying for an individual’s training. The ITA pays for training in a specific occupation or specific program of study. It is available for individuals ages 19 and older and for workers of any age whose plants have had major layoffs or have closed. People who receive ITAs must have met the criteria for training under Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded services. The school or program of study for which an ITA is issued must be on the State approved list of training providers. More information about ITA,s can be found at Career Depot.

On-the-Job Training

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is training for an occupation while on an employer’s payroll, i.e., on the job. The employer may be in either the private or public sector. Trainees are engaged in productive work and gain knowledge and skills essential to performance of the job for which he/she is being trained. On-the-Job trainees who successfully complete all training requirements will remain on the employer,s payroll. Local Department of Labor Career Centers have staff who work with individuals and businesses to develop OJT agreements. We also have an on-the-job training program for individuals who are 50 or older who live in Catoosa, Chattooga, Walker, or Floyd counties. This program is run by Mercy Senior Care out of Rome. More information about OJT is located at Career Depot.


The Youth Success Academy (YSA) program provides opportunities for youth who have dropped out of school or for youth 14 – 21 who need additional education or work related assistance.

Young people ages 19 – 21 may be eligible for the Individual Training Account (ITA) program discussed above. Young workers aged 18+ who meet the qualifications for being classified as Dislocated Workers may also be eligible to participate in on-the-job training which is also discussed above.

Youth 16 – 21 who have dropped out of high school can obtain their GEDs. While in the GED program, they receive other specialized services that will help them go on to further career training or to find employment. The youth programs are available through Endless Opportunities in Dalton 706-275-0545 and Northwestern Technical College in Rock Spring 706-764-3597.

Youth Apprenticeship allows junior and senior high school students to explore the career area of their choice before making college, technical school and full-time employment decisions. It establishes a “career pathway” to the real world so that students make connections between classroom study and applying those skills to work.

Youth Success Academy also has a limited number of scholarships for youth 19 or older who are recent high school graduates. The scholarships assist the students in obtaining further training at our area technical colleges. Youth interested in the scholarship program should contact the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission at 706-295-6485.

For information about any of our Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Program opportunities, contact Workforce Development staff at 1-800-332-1965 or 706-295-6485. You can also visit our web sites at Career Depot or Youth Success Academy.

One-Stop Centers

Northwest Georgia has a system of comprehensive one-stop career centers that will assist anyone in the community with workforce development services. One-stop centers provide self-service, group services, and one-on-one services depending on the customers, requirements. All centers have assistive technology for customers with vision or hearing problems. Available at the centers are:

  • Resource areas with computers with Internet access, printers, fax, telephones, printed materials, software, books, videos, etc.
  • Labor Market Information
  • Referral to Jobs
  • Veterans Services
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits
  • Federal Bonding Program
  • Local and national job listings
  • Information about and referral to education and training opportunities
  • Information about and services from Family and Children Services and Vocational Rehabilitation
  • And many more.

Check with your local Career Center for more information.

Tri-State Regional Workforce Alliance

The Tri-State Regional Alliance is a multi-state, multi-county, regional collaborative that was formed in early 2006. The purpose was to garner the support of a wide variety of public and private partners to develop and implement a strategy designed to transform the regional economy in a 26-county area located in Southeast Tennessee, Northeast Alabama, and Northwest Georgia (T.A.G.). Residents of our 26 counties have long traveled freely across state and county lines to access employment and education opportunities.

A tightly knit, like-minded group of strongly committed partners including leaders in business and industry, education, economic and workforce development, community and faith-based organizations, philanthropy and government are members of the Alliance. The vision of the Alliance is to seek to advance the region’s economic competitiveness through collaboration of efforts to promote talent development of the area,s workforce.

The Alliance members have agreed that the following principles are an integral part of success in achieving regional economic competitiveness:

  • New business models for working together within multiple regions and states are necessary to maintain competitiveness in a global market.
  • Government, business, economic development and educational organizations must work collaboratively in the region to develop a talent pool sufficient to attract and/or retain quality jobs.
  • Individuals in the region should have access to the best assessment of their abilities/skills levels, career advisement, training and proper credentialing that can be provided regardless of their residency, their income, their disability or any other characteristic.