Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6563

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE OFFICE OF WORKFORCE COMPETITIVENESS.

Vote Date:

3/26/2013

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/19/2013

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE)

REASONS FOR BILL:

The bill calls for the Office of Workforce Competitiveness to be governed by the Office of Policy and Management, as opposed to the Labor Department.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Sharon Palmer, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Labor:

The commissioner spoke and submitted testimony in opposition to the bill and notes that the current organizational structure has only been in place for 18 months. Additionally, she notes the large number of programs (Subsidized Training and Employment Program, Jobs Funnel Initiative, State Energy Sector Partnership, Connecticut Manufacturing Job Match, and Connecticut Conservation Corp Program) that are overseen by the Office of Workforce Competitiveness. Ms. Palmer also details a number of different studies that have been conducted by Office of Workforce Competitiveness. Interestingly, she highlights that the United States Department of Labor after “extensive monitoring” cited their program for “best practices” and that the Office of Workforce Competitiveness was currently in the process of creating a “comprehensive statewide inventory of all relevant employment funding and resources among state agencies, Workforce Investment Boards, non-profits and others that support workforce education and training. This inventory will further aid us in the identification, coordination, and leveraging of these valuable investments in our state.” The Commissioner stated in her remarks that it would be “detrimental to move [Office of Workforce Competitiveness] back to OPM” after all this work and all these accomplishments.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Richard H Strauss, Executive Director, Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE):

Mr. Strauss submitted testimony in support of the bill and noted that the bill is “consistent” with the recommendations detailed during the January 19th presentation before the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. In bulleted highlights, he notes that this legislation would create “focused leadership”, create an “independent office”, and “assure accountability.”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None Submitted.

Reported by: Todd M Szabo, Assistant Clerk

Jeanie B. Phillips, Clerk

Date: April 2, 2013