Dislocated Worker Program

Have you recently lost your job or been laid off by no fault of your own? You can return to the workforce with the skills you need to succeed in your future employment pursuits with the assistance of the Dislocated Worker Program. The WIOA Dislocated Worker Program offers training and employment assistance to qualified workers who have been laid off or who are unemployed for no fault of their own. 


The WIOA Dislocated Worker program provides employment and training services to eligible workers who are out of work due to no fault of their own or have received an official layoff notice. WIOA broadens the definition of dislocated worker to include the spouse of an active military member who lost employment due to permanent change in duty location, or who is unemployed or underemployed and having difficulty finding or upgrading work.


To be eligible to receive WIOA services as an adult in the adult and dislocated worker programs, an individual must:

  1. Be 18 years of age or older
  2. Be registered for Selective Service or have valid exemption
  3. Be able to work in the United States
  4. Provide a valid Social Security Number 
  5. Must meet criteria of one of the following categories below.

A dislocated worker is an individual who meets one of the following criteria listed below. 

Category A- Individual Lay-off. The applicant must meet all three of the numbered conditions. 

  1. Has been terminated of laid off or has received a notice of termination or layoff, from employment
  2. Meets one of the following conditions concerning unemployment compensation. Has been employed long enough to demonstrate attachment to the workforce (that is, has received wages in at least one (1) quarter in the last year, immediately prior to eligibility determination, but not eligible for unemployment compensation due to insufficient earnings or having performed services for an employer not covered under a state unemployment compensation law.
  3. Is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation (In compliance with TEGL 19-16, it is Arkansas state policy that local areas must define “unlikely to return-to a previous industry or occupation.”)

Special Veteran’s Criterion: A separating service member qualifies as a dislocated worker under Category A if the separation is anything other than dishonorable, whether or not he or she receives or is eligible for Unemployment Compensation. A DD-214 from the Department of Defense or other appropriate documentation that shows a separation or imminent separation from the Armed Forces qualifies as the notice of termination or layoff to meet the dislocated worker definition. ETA policy dictates that a separating service member meets the Dislocated Worker requirement that an individual is unlikely to return to his or her previous industry or occupation . A separating service member may be provided career services while he or she is still part of the Active Duty military if the service member has an imminent separation date and the discharge will be anything other than dishonorable.

Category B – Business closure or substantial layoff. The applicant must meet one of the following conditions:                                                                   ·

  1. Has been terminated or laid off or has received a notice of termination or layoff from employment as a result of any permanent closure of or any substantial layoff at a plant, facility, or enterprise

  2. Is employed at a facility at which the employer has made a general announcement that such facility will close within 180 days

In addition to the definition of “substantial layoff’, Arkansas state policy clarifies that being laid off as a result of any substantial layoff must meet one of the following conditions:

  1. Has been laid off permanently

  2. Has been laid off indefinitely (no end date)

  3. Has been laid off with a call-back date no less than 30 days after the lay-off date

Category C – Self-employed individuals. An individual who was previously self-employed (including employment as a farmer, a rancher, or a fisherman) but is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions in the community in which the individual resides or because of natural disasters qualifies as a dislocated worker.

Category D – Displaced homemaker. To qualify as a displaced homemaker, an individual must meet all three of the following numbered conditions:

  1. Has been providing unpaid services to family members in the home

  2. Meets one of the following conditions of losing the income of another family member:
    Has been dependent on the income of another family member, but is no longer supported by that income
    Is the dependent spouse of a member of the Armed Forces on active duty, and the . family income is significantly reduced because of a deployment, a call or order to active duty, a permanent change of state, or the service-connected death or disability of the member

  3. Is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment

Category E – Spouse of an active-duty member of the Armed Forces who meets one of the following conditions:

  1. Has lost employment as a direct result of a relocation due to a permanent change in the duty station of such member

  2. Is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment


WIOA is intended to improve participant access to training services. Individuals are given training to help them enter and remain in the workforce. Examples of training services include:

  1. Occupational skills training, including training for nontraditional employment;

  2. On-the-job training (OJT), including registered apprenticeship;

  3. Incumbent worker training in accordance with WIOA §134(d)(4);

  4. Workplace training and cooperative education programs;

  5. Private sector training programs;

  6. Skills upgrading and retraining;

  7. Entrepreneurial training;

  8. Job readiness training provided in combination with other training described above;

  9. Adult education and literacy activities, including activities of English language acquisition and integrated education and training programs, in combination with training; and

  10. Customized training conducted with a commitment by an employer or group of employers to employ an individual upon successful completion of the training.

Download the application and call the Arkansas Workforce Center near you and ask to speak with a member of the West Central Arkansas staff. 


Adult and Dislocated Worker Application