Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 6563

January Session, 2013

 

LCO No. 3735

 

*03735_______HED*

Referred to Committee on HIGHER EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT ADVANCEMENT

 

Introduced by:

 

(HED)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE OFFICE OF WORKFORCE COMPETITIVENESS.

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 Section 4-124w of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) There shall be within the [Labor Department] Office of Policy and Management an Office of Workforce Competitiveness.

(b) The [Labor Commissioner shall, with the assistance of the] Office of Workforce Competitiveness 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) Enter into such contractual agreements, in accordance with established procedures, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section;

(7) Take any other action necessary to carry out the provisions of this section; and

(8) Not later than October 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, submit a report [, with the assistance of the Labor Department,] to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, economic development, labor and higher education and employment advancement 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 [Labor Department] Office of Workforce Competitiveness shall be the lead state agency for the development of employment and training strategies and initiatives required to support the state's position in the knowledge economy. The [Labor Commissioner, with the assistance of 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 its duties and requirements. Each officer or employee of such office, department, board, commission or [other] agency of the state is authorized and directed to cooperate with the [Labor Commissioner] Office of Workforce Competitiveness and to furnish such reports, information and assistance.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 4-124bb of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(b) The Connecticut Career Ladder Advisory Committee shall be comprised of the following thirteen members: (1) The Commissioners of Education and Public Health and the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, or their designees; (2) the Labor Commissioner, or a designee; and (3) the following public members, all of whom shall be selected by [the Labor Commissioner, with recommendation of the staff of] the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, in conjunction with the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and all of whom shall be knowledgeable about issues relative to career ladder programs or projected workforce shortage areas: (A) One member with expertise in the development of the early childhood education workforce; (B) one member with expertise in job training for women; (C) one member with expertise in the development of the health care workforce; (D) one member with expertise in labor market analysis; (E) one member representing health care employers; (F) one member representing early childhood education employers; and (G) three members with expertise in workforce development programs.

Sec. 3. Section 4-124gg of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

Not later than October 1, 2012, [the Labor Commissioner, with the assistance of] the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, [and] in consultation with the chairperson of the technical high school system board and the superintendent of the technical high school system, shall create an integrated system of state-wide industry advisory committees for each career cluster offered as part of the technical high school and regional community-technical college systems. Said committees shall include industry representatives of the specific career cluster. Each committee for a career cluster shall, with support from the [Labor Department] Office of Workforce Competitiveness, technical high school and regional community-technical college systems and the Department of Education, establish specific skills standards, corresponding curriculum and a career ladder for the cluster which shall be implemented as part of the schools' core curriculum.

Sec. 4. Section 4-124tt of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

Within available appropriations, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, within the [Labor Department] Office of Policy and Management, may establish a pilot program to provide any eligible individual with a minor dependent access to training in order to obtain skills and credentials necessary to obtain and maintain employment. Such skills and credentials may include, but need not be limited to (1) a high school diploma or its equivalent; (2) an alternative degree; (3) English as a second language training; and (4) vocational training. For purposes of this section, an eligible individual is an individual who would qualify for benefits under the temporary assistance for needy families program pursuant to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act.

Sec. 5. Section 4-124uu of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) The Office of Workforce Competitiveness, [in conjunction with the Labor Commissioner and] in consultation with the Commissioners of Education and Economic and Community Development and the Labor Commissioner, shall establish a program that is designed to develop a trained workforce for the film industry in the state. Such program shall have three components: (1) An unpaid intern training program for high school and college students; (2) a production assistant training program open to any state resident; and (3) a workforce training program that would include classroom training, on-set training and a mentor program.

(b) Not later than ninety days after July 1, 2012, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness [, with the approval of the Labor Commissioner,] shall establish written participation guidelines for the program authorized under this section.

(c) Not later than January 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness shall submit a status report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on the establishment and operation of the program authorized under this section to [the Labor Commissioner,] the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to commerce and higher education and employment advancement.

Sec. 6. Section 4-124vv of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

The [Labor Department, working with its] Office of Workforce Competitiveness [,] shall, within available appropriations, fund Connecticut Career Choices.

Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of section 10-21c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) Any local or regional board of education that has a demonstrated shortage of certified teachers in those fields designated by the State Board of Education pursuant to the provisions of section 10a-163 or that elects to expand the academic offerings to students in the areas identified by [the Labor Commissioner and] the Office of Workforce Competitiveness pursuant to the provisions of section 4-124w, as amended by this act, may solicit and accept qualified private sector specialists, not necessarily certified to teach, whose services to teach in shortage areas have been donated by business firms, as defined in section 12-631. Private sector specialists who donate their services may be permitted to offer instruction in existing or specially designed curricula, provided no private sector specialist shall be permitted to work more than one-half of the maximum classroom hours of a full-time certified teacher, and provided further no private sector specialist teaching in an area identified by [the Labor Commissioner and] the Office of Workforce Competitiveness pursuant to section 4-124w, as amended by this act, shall have sole responsibility for a classroom. No certified teacher may be terminated, transferred or reassigned due to the utilization of any private sector specialist. Local or regional boards of education shall annually review the need for private sector specialists and shall not renew or place a private sector specialist if certified teachers are available.

Sec. 8. Subsection (b) of section 10a-19d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(b) The president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, in consultation with the [Labor Department's] Office of Workforce Competitiveness, the Department of Education, the Department of Social Services, Charter Oak State College, early childhood education faculty at two and four-year public and independent institutions of higher education, early childhood education professional associations, early childhood education advocates and practitioners, and persons knowledgeable in the area of career development and programs in early childhood care and education, shall define the preservice and minimum training requirements and competencies for persons involved in early childhood education, from birth to five years of age, including requirements for individual levels of early childhood credentialing and licensing.

Sec. 9. Section 31-2d of the general statutes is repealed. (Effective October 1, 2013)

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2013

4-124w

Sec. 2

October 1, 2013

4-124bb(b)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2013

4-124gg

Sec. 4

October 1, 2013

4-124tt

Sec. 5

October 1, 2013

4-124uu

Sec. 6

October 1, 2013

4-124vv

Sec. 7

October 1, 2013

10-21c(a)

Sec. 8

October 1, 2013

10a-19d(b)

Sec. 9

October 1, 2013

Repealer section

Statement of Purpose:

To move the Office of Workforce Competitiveness from the Labor Department to the Office of Policy and Management.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]