Workforce Boards were preceded by Private Industry Councils (PICs) which had a narrower function than the Boards.
Private Industry Councils were first created in 1978 under the Private Sector Initiative Program to increase private sector involvement in federal job training programs. Four years later, they became the key local governing bodies under the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982.
Later legislation relating to the training and placement of welfare recipients, federal funding of vocational education, and programs for dislocated workers invested PICs with additional oversight responsibilities.
In 1998, the entire federal approach to workforce development was reformed under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). In the process PICs were eliminated and Workforce Boards authorized.
In 2014, the Workforce Investment Act was rewritten to the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Source: National Association of Workforce Boards