Youth Work Experience

Under WIOA, a work experience is a planned, structured learning experience that takes place in a workplace for a limited period of time. Work experiences may be paid or unpaid, as appropriate. A work experience may take place in the private for-profit sector, non-profit sector, or public sector. Work experiences must include academic and occupational education. 

The types of work experiences include the following categories: 

  • Summer employment opportunities and other employment opportunities available throughout the year; 
  • Pre-apprenticeship programs; 
  • Internships and job shadowing; and 
  • On-the-job training opportunities. 

Understanding the academic and occupational education component: Work experiences must include academic and occupational education which: 

  • Refers to contextual learning that accompanies a work experience; 
  • May occur concurrently or sequentially with the work experience; 
  • May occur inside or outside the work site; 
  • Includes information needed to understand and work in specific industries or occupations; 
  • Can be provided by the employer, or may be provided separately in the classroom or through other means. 


Employers committed to helping participants attain work experiences that will provide them with career pathway opportunities are optimal partners. When worksites match participants’ interests and goals both the employers and youth benefit. A combination of public sector, private sector, and non-profit employers, as well as summer and year-round employment opportunities will help in meeting participants’ needs. 

Examples of local worksites in the Region VI area are: Lewis County Day Report Center, Pediatric Partners, Eastview Unity Apartments, Tuscan Sun Spa and Salon, The Givers Hand, Mountain State ESC and Connecting Link. 


Wages are generally paid for services rendered where an employer/employee relationship exists and will be no less then the current state minimum wage of $8.75 per hour, but could be more if an employer is willing to pay more. This form of compensation is usually paid through a payroll system and subject to the taxes applicable to the employer of record and participants. Paying a wage usually indicates that a program views the youth as an employee or a trainee. 


A Stipend is a fixed regular small payment made to a WIOA Youth participant during his/her enrollment to encourage the WIOA youth to participate in certain activities (seat/participation time payments). Stipends may be paid to participants for their successful participation in and completion of education or training services (except such allowances may not be provided to participants in OJT).  

Stipends may be awarded for the following activities: 

  • Virtual training with seat time tracking capabilities 
  • Clinical work experience associated with classroom training which is based at a physical location  
  • Attendance at Adult Basic Education classes (working towards obtaining high school equivalency certificate)  
  • Attendance at secondary school  
  • Attendance at alternative school  
  • Attendance at Adult Basic Education classes for the purpose of basic skills enhancement (individual must be basic skills deficient)  
  • Participation in community service projects, service-learning projects, job shadowing.  


An incentive is a payment to a WIA/WIOA youth participant as an award for the successful participation and/or achievement of expected outcomes as defined in the individual service strategy (ISS). The incentive must be linked to an achievement and must be tied to training and education, and/or an occupational skills attainment goal as identified in the ISS. 

Incentives may be awarded for the following: 

  • Attainment of high school equivalency certificate  
  • Attainment of high school diploma  
  • Secondary or post-secondary transcript for sufficient number of credit hours (Secondary Transcript or report card for 1 semester / Post-secondary-at least 12 hours per semester or, for part-time students, a total of at least 12 hours over 2 completed semesters during a 12-month period) 
  • Increase of at least one educational functioning level, if receiving instruction below postsecondary educational level 
  • Satisfactory progress report toward an established milestone from an employer or training provider 
  • Passage of an exam required for an occupation or progress attaining technical/occupational skills as evidenced by trade-related benchmarks 


Youth interested in finding out more about the Region VI Youth Ready Program can contact the Youth Mentor located near them in the list below: 

Marion, Monongalia, Harrison, Doddridge, Taylor & Preston County Youth – Contact: 
Suzanne Lewis – gro.vwfdrh@siwels 
Phone (681) 404-6199 

Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Randolph, Tucker & Upshur County Youth – Contact: 
Crystal Replogle – gro.vwfdrh@elgolperc 
Phone (304) 637-0718 

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