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WIOA Training Grants for Pinellas County

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Are you unemployed or low-income? Have you been laid off or have you been notified there will be a lay-off? Are you on food stamps or other assistance? If any of these apply, you might be eligible for a grant that can really help you get trained, certified, and placed in your new career. There is no out-of-pocket for you. This grant is called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and is designed to help unemployed and under-employed people get back into the workforce by helping them get the marketable skills that employers are looking for.

How to Apply for a WIOA Grant in Pinellas County

Pinellas WIOA

First the good news: You are in Pinellas County. My first piece of advice: do not move—at least not for a few weeks. Pinellas County is one of the best if not the best county to be in for the WIOA program in the state of Florida. They are a lot more consumer-friendly than many counties. They offer more choices, more flexibility, and greater funding than other counties, up to $10,000 to help you get trained, certified, and placed in your career.

This is broken down into two grants, or vouchers. You get the first one now for $5,000 and the second one the following fiscal year for another $5,000. The fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th. You are not required to use the whole amount if you do not need it.

Now the not so good news: There is still a lot of red tape and if you do not know what you are doing, there will be unnecessary delays and you could end up being not approved.

Here are the steps to get approved:



Pinellas County WIOA
WIOA Grants

You must be both eligible AND suitable

We start here because if you are not both eligible and suitable you will not be approved. This is a jobs program; it is not for hobbies and the career you are looking for must be one that is in high demand where you have a high probability of success. This is not an entitlement, so if there are any doubts about either your commitment or ability to complete then training and gain employment, then you could be turned down.

Another area that determines your suitability is how stable you will be during the training. I have seen people trying to make the WIOA counselor feel sorry for them by telling them all their financial woes, how desperately they need this, and that they could lose their home if they can’t get back to work right away. How likely is this person to be able to finish their training?

I always try to prepare my clients before they start interacting with the WIOA counselor to make sure you present yourself as being ready to hit the ground running so you are determined to be both eligible and suitable.

Cover letter

Documents you will need for your application

The application itself is as clear as mud and can take hours to complete. Mistakes can cause your application to be delayed. I have assisted hundreds of people and always prefer to walk my clients through this. It will save a lot of time and aggravation, plus it makes sure you get it done correctly the first time.

Your WIOA counselor is going to need some documents from you to prove your eligibility. These include:

  • Proof of eligibility (Unemployment, food stamps, layoff letter, etc.)
  • Proof that you are eligible to work in the US (your social security card)
  • Proof of residence in Pinellas County
  • Your resume
  • Your last 10 job searches
  • You will also need to register with Employ Florida

There may be other items depending on your individual case. Once everything is in, they can send your application up for approval.


Once you have been approved, a voucher is issued, and you can be enrolled in your classes. The training is short term, usually a few weeks or less, but intense. Tell your family aliens have abducted you because you will be very busy during the training. The sooner you finish, the quicker we can go to work to help you get placed.

Depending on the training program, you will receive practice tests. You can do these as many times as you wish, but we ask that you pass them three times in a row to get our test pass guarantee: If you do not pass the exam the first time, we will pay for another exam voucher.

Technically you have 6 – 12 months to take the exam but try to take it within a month of taking the class. Otherwise, you will be forgetting things you learned and will likely need to retake the class first.

Once you have completed your training, our career services department can go to work to help you get placed. They will reach out to you when you start your training, to help you with your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, interview skills, and most importantly, getting your information in front of a hiring manager.

As soon as you finish your training, they can start trying to help you get placed, but you will have the most opportunities once you pass the exam and are certified.

Best Career Choices for the WIOA Grant

Information Technology

With the number of computer networks doubling every 5 years, the job demand for Information Technology workers continues to heat up for this high-paying career. If you qualify you can use the grant to get the certifications that the employers we work with are asking for: CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, VMware, and more.

Cyber Security

This is one of the hottest job opportunities with over 700,000 job openings nationwide. Just in the Tampa/Clearwater/St. Petersburg job market,  according to Cyberseek, there are over 10,000 job openings in the local area and the number of qualified workers is very low. Many of these jobs have a legal requirement that you must be certified. The cyber-crime epidemic is expected to triple the number of job openings over the next 5 years. Employers desperately need workers who are certified in Security+, CISSP, Certified Security Analyst (CySA), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and more.

Project Management

If you have management experience, one of the job opportunities that is in very high demand is project management. In the Tampa/St. Petersburg job market the demand is especially strong for project managers and pays quite well. Project Management Professional (PMP), Scrum master, Scrum Product Owner, Agile Master Certified, DevOps Foundation, DevOps Leader, ITIL FoundationsThe Project Management Professional (PMP) is the most sought-after credential for this field. Forbes magazine ranked this certification number two for all certifications. Other certifications in this field include ITIL, Scrum Master, Product Owner and Agile Master.

Business Analyst (Also Data Analyst, Financial Analyst, Data Scientist, etc.)

Each year, more businesses are realizing the benefits Business Analysts offer. Because of this, the Business Analyst job market is expected to grow at a rate of 19% over the next 10 years! What is WIOA? How do I apply for the WIOA grant in Pasco County? How do you qualify for a WIOA grant in Pasco County? How to apply for the WIOA grant in Pasco County Is there a catch or any hidden costs? I always have a hard time believing anything is free. Can I use this grant for any program I want? What types of career choices are best under the WIOA program?With that amount of growth, businesses are already fighting for every Business Analyst they can get and pay good salaries.  One of the most significant changes to this career is the need for business intelligence skills, like Excel, Product Owner, and Power BI. Organizations now mostly depend on data analysis technologies like Big Data analysis for business growth. With the right certifications, business analysts will get the business intelligence abilities they need to succeed in their careers.

Executive Secretary/Administrative Assistant

Responsible administrative assistants perform several administrative jobs and clerical tasks. Duties include providing support to managers and employees, helping in everyday office needs, and managing the company’s general administrative duties. The more skilled administrative assistants can make a surprisingly good salary if they have the necessary abilities. Certifications like Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) can really help to move up in this career.

Human Resources

If you already have some experience in this field, you can enhance your marketability significantly by getting your SHRM certification. This field is best suited to career enhancers rather than career changers, especially for mature workers.

There are other options as well, but keep these things in mind when making your choice:

  • It must be an approved occupation
  • It must be suitable for WIOA
  • It needs to be a field where there is a high expectation of employability when you get certified.

Let’s see if you qualify! 

You can call me at 813-387-3503 or book a time for me to call you. If you are eligible, we can review your options to come up with a plan to suit your needs. Then I can help you apply for this grant and help you get approved, so we can go to work to help you get trained, certified, and placed.