Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210






June 29, 1983




June 30, 1984











for Regional Management




Acceptance of Training Opportunities under Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)


  1. Purpose. To inform SESAs that acceptance of training opportunities by eligible individuals pursuant to Section 302, JTPA, will be deemed acceptance of such training with in the meaning of requirements in Section 3304(a)(8), FUTA.

  2. References. Section 302, JTPA; and Section 3304(a)(8), FUTA.

  3. Background. Paragraph (8) was added to Section 3304(a), FUTA, in 1970 requiring, as a condition for State certification under Section 3304(c), FUTA, that benefits shall not be denied to an otherwise eligible individual for any week during attendance of training with the State agency's approval. That means that an individual taking such training may not be found ineligible for benefits on grounds that he/she is not available for suitable work, is not making an active search for work, or has refused suitable work. A State must consider a trainee in an approved training course entitled to benefits if otherwise eligible, and it is prohibited from denying benefits thereafter for the causes specified above.

    Ordinarily, a State has discretion to determine what training is appropriate for a claimant for benefits, to establish the criteria for approval of a training course, and to adopt safeguards to assure that the claimant is actually attending approved training. Section 302, JTPA, however, preempts State agency discretion to approve training under specified conditions.

    Under Section 302, a State "is authorized to establish procedures to identify substantial groups of eligible individuals who" have been terminated or received a notice of termination or layoff from employment; "are eligible for or have exhausted their entitlement to unemployment compensation, and are unlikely to return to their previous industry or occupation"; or are long-term unemployed with limited opportunities for work in the same or similar occupations where they reside. The State then "shall determine" what job opportunities exist for which such individuals can be retrained and "whether training opportunities for such employment opportunities exist or can be provided within the local labor market area."  When such training opportunities are so identified, information about such opportunities "shall be made available to the individuals." Under subsection (d)

    "The acceptance of training for such opportunities shall be deemed to be acceptance of training with the approval of the State within the meaning of any other provision of Federal law relating to unemployment benefits."

  4. Interpretation. Such "other provision of Federal law" is interpreted to include Section 3304(a)(8), FUTA, as described above. All State laws contain, or should contain, provisions that parallel requirements of Section 3304(a)(8). A State agency is prohibited, as a condition of a State's certification under Section 3304(c), FUTA, from denying benefits to an individual who:

    1. is one of a substantial group of eligible individuals who has been terminated or received notice of termination from their jobs;

    2. is one of a group which is eligible for unemployment benefits or has exhausted entitlement thereto; and

    3. either, (1) is unlikely to return to the previous industry or occupation, or (2) is long-term unemployed with limited opportunities for work in the same or similar occupations in the area where he/she resides; and

    4. has accepted a training opportunity for which information was made available by the State to such group of individuals.

  5. Action Required. Administrators are requested to review their laws to ensure that there is no obstacle to requiring acceptance of JTPA as approved training and to establish procedures for coordinating their activities with those of other State agencies or officials administering programs and training under JTPA in fulfillment of the requirements described above.

    States that can not interpret their laws to implement this requirement should notify their regional office as to what corrective action will be undertaken to comply with the new requirement.

  6. Inquiries. Direct questions to the appropriate regional office.