Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (W.I.O.A.)

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act is a new regulation under federal law that started on July 22, 2016. This new work rule provides choices to individuals who are earning less than the minimum wage at least once a year, to learn about the services and supports available to assist them in obtaining competitive, integrated employment.

SMILES Center for Independent Living is an advocacy based organization and has no financial stake in the WIOA process. The SMILES advocacy team works as the designee for Vocational Rehabilitation Services to carry out this process so individuals are informed of their choices.

The SMILES advocacy team provides information meetings to people participating in sub-minimum wage employment and their parents/guardians when applicable, and facilitating conversations around pursuing competitive employment.


There are two options for getting information

Call: 507-345-7139


Employers will schedule informed choice  interviews for consumers. Please allow 10 – 15 minutes. Consumers will meet with an advocate from SMILES Center for Independent Living to have a person-centered conversation and complete the required form.  Guardians are welcome to attend.

Questions?  Please contact the SMILES Center for Independent Living advocacy team:

Abigail Jones
507-345-7139 Ext. 221

W.I.O.A. Resources