Substitute Senate Bill No. 1370

Public Act No. 01-170

AN ACT ESTABLISHING CAREER LADDER PROGRAMS FOR CRITICAL EMPLOYMENT AREAS AND REQUIRING A REVIEW OF APPRENTICESHIP HIRING RATIOS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 4-124w of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There is established an Office of Workforce Competitiveness which shall be within the Office of Policy and Management, for administrative purposes only.

(b) The office shall:

(1) Be the Governor's principal workforce development policy advisor;

(2) Be the liaison between the Governor and any local, state or federal organizations and entities with respect to workforce development matters, including implementation of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, P.L. 105-220, as from time to time amended;

(3) Coordinate the workforce development activities of all state agencies;

(4) Coordinate the state's implementation of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, P.L. 105-220, as from time to time amended, and advise and assist the Governor with matters related to said act;

(5) Establish methods and procedures to ensure the maximum involvement of members of the public, the legislature and local officials in workforce development matters, including implementation of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, P.L. 105-220, as from time to time amended;

(6) Subject to the provisions of chapter 67, appoint such officials and other employees as may be necessary for the discharge of the duties of the office;

(7) Enter into such contractual agreements, in accordance with established procedures, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of public act 00-192*; [and]

(8) Take any other action necessary to carry out the provisions of public act 00-192*; and

(9) Not later than October 1, 2002, and annually thereafter, submit a report, with the assistance of the Labor Department, to the Governor, the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, economic development and labor and the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to workforce development specifying a forecasted assessment by the Labor Department of workforce shortages in occupations in this state for the succeeding two and five-year periods. The report shall also include recommendations concerning (A) methods to generate a sufficient number of workers to meet identified workforce needs, including, but not limited to, scholarship, school-to-career and internship programs, and (B) methods secondary and higher education and private industry can use to address identified workforce needs.

(c) The Office of Workforce Competitiveness may call upon any office, department, board, commission or other agency of the state to supply such reports, information and assistance as may be necessary or appropriate in order to carry out the duties and requirements of the Office for Workforce Competitiveness. Each officer or employee of such office, department, board, commission or other agency of the state is authorized and directed to cooperate with the Office of Workforce Competitiveness and to furnish such reports, information and assistance.

Sec. 2. (NEW) Not later than September 1, 2003, the Commissioners of Education and Higher Education, in consultation with the Office of Workforce Competitiveness and the constituent units of the state system of higher education, shall establish career ladder programs for high school students seeking to pursue careers in occupations in this state with projected workforce shortages in the next five years, as forecasted by the Office of Workforce Competitiveness pursuant to section 4-124w of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

Sec. 3. Not later than January 1, 2002, the Labor Department shall report to the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to workforce development, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, on the status of the department's efforts to (1) simplify the application process for requesting an exemption from established apprenticeship hiring ratios, including (A) the creation of an application form that can be easily revised to apply to new or additional projects, and (B) a reduction in the amount of time such requests are reviewed and approved or denied, and (2) establish a system for tracking apprentices participating in apprentice programs adopted and registered with the Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council.

Sec. 4. Not later than January 1, 2002, the Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council shall review existing apprenticeship hiring ratios and report to the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to workforce development, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, concerning any proposed changes to such ratios.

Sec. 5. Section 31-51b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Governor shall appoint twelve members to the Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council, each of whom shall have some association with apprentice training. Four shall be representative of Connecticut industry, with one representative each from the manufacturing, building, mechanical and service industries, provided at least one such member represents a business [which] that operates without a collective bargaining agreement; four shall be Connecticut members of national labor organizations with apprentice training programs; four shall represent the public, one of whom shall be the [Deputy] Labor Commissioner. Members shall each serve a term which is coterminous with the term of the Governor, each member to hold office until [his] a successor is appointed. Any vacancy in the membership of the council shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term. It shall meet on the call of the chairman, who shall be the [Deputy] Labor Commissioner. On or before August first of each year, the council shall [present] prepare a report describing the activities of the council, [to the Labor Commissioner,] this report to be included in the [commissioner's] Labor Commissioner's report to the Governor. The members of the council shall not be compensated for their services, but the members, except the [Deputy] Labor Commissioner and any state employee, shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

Approved July 6, 2001