Substitute House Bill No. 5377
Public Act No. 14-225
AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM REVIEW AND INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE REEMPLOYMENT OF OLDER WORKERS AS THEY RELATE TO THE LABOR DEPARTMENT.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 31-3h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):
(b) The duties and responsibilities of the commission shall include:
(1) Carrying out the duties and responsibilities of a state job training coordinating council pursuant to the federal Job Training Partnership Act, 29 USC 1532, as amended from time to time, a state human resource investment council pursuant to 29 USC 1501 et seq. , as amended from time to time, and such other related entities as the Governor may direct;
(2) Reviewing all employment and training programs in the state to determine their success in leading to and obtaining the goal of economic self-sufficiency and to determine if such programs are serving the needs of Connecticut's workers, employers and economy;
(3) Developing a plan for the coordination of all employment and training programs in the state to avoid duplication and to promote the delivery of comprehensive, individualized employment and training services and the reemployment of workers fifty years of age or older. The plan shall contain the commission's recommendations for policies and procedures to enhance the coordination and collaboration of all such programs and shall be submitted on June 1, 2000, and annually thereafter, to the Governor for the Governor's approval;
(4) Reviewing and commenting on all employment and training programs enacted by the General Assembly;
(5) Implementing the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, P. L. 105-220, as [from time to time amended] amended from time to time. Such implementation shall include (A) developing, in consultation with the regional workforce development boards, a single Connecticut workforce development plan that (i) complies with the provisions of said act and section 31-11p, and (ii) includes comprehensive state performance measures for workforce development activities specified in Title I of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, P. L. 105-220, as [from time to time amended] amended from time to time, which performance measures comply with the requirements of 20 CFR Part 666. 100, (B) preparing and submitting a report on the state's progress in achieving such performance measures to the Governor and the General Assembly annually on January thirty-first, (C) making recommendations to the General Assembly concerning the allocation of funds received by the state under said act and making recommendations to the regional workforce development boards concerning the use of formulas in allocating such funds to adult employment and job training activities and youth activities, as specified in said act, (D) providing oversight and coordination of the state-wide employment statistics system required by said act, (E) as appropriate, recommending to the Governor that the Governor apply for workforce flexibility plans and waiver authority under said act, after consultation with the regional workforce development boards, (F) developing performance criteria for regional workforce development boards to utilize in creating a list of eligible providers, and (G) on or before December 31, 1999, developing a uniform individual training accounts voucher system that shall be used by the regional workforce development boards to pay for training of eligible workers by eligible providers, as required under said act;
(6) Developing and overseeing a plan for the continuous improvement of the regional workforce development boards established pursuant to section 31-3k;
(7) Developing incumbent worker, and vocational and manpower training programs, including customized job training programs to enhance the productivity of Connecticut businesses and to increase the skills and earnings of underemployed and at-risk workers, and other programs administered by the regional workforce development boards. The Labor Department, in collaboration with the regional workforce development boards, shall implement any incumbent worker and customized job training programs developed by the commission pursuant to this subdivision; [and]
(8) Developing a strategy for providing comprehensive services to eligible youths, which strategy shall include developing youth preapprentice and apprentice programs through, but not limited to, technical high schools, and improving linkages between academic and occupational learning and other youth development activities; and
(9) Coordinating an electronic state hiring campaign to encourage the reemployment of workers fifty years of age or older to be administered through the Labor Department's Internet web site, which shall include testimony from various employers that demonstrates the value of hiring and retaining workers fifty years of age or older. Not later than January 1, 2015, the commission shall submit a report, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to labor on the status of such campaign.
Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) (a) Not later than January 1, 2015, the Labor Department shall develop or approve a one-page quick-reference guide summarizing (1) the public and private resources available for unemployed workers fifty years of age or older within the state, and (2) the steps by which such workers may access such resources.
(b) The Labor Department shall, within available appropriations, ensure that the resources summarized pursuant to subsection (a) of this section are accessible through the 2-1-1 Infoline Internet web site.
Sec. 3. Section 31-22q of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):
(a) To assist in the administration of sections 31-22m to 31-22q, inclusive, as amended by this act, there shall continue to be maintained in the Labor Department a program of apprentice training. The Labor Commissioner is authorized to appoint, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 67, such personnel as may be necessary for effective administration of said sections.
(b) Not later than January 1, 2015, and annually thereafter, the Labor Department shall develop or approve an informational campaign to distribute to Workforce Investment Boards, CTWorks One-Stop Career Centers and similar job centers within the state. The informational campaign shall include a description of the program of apprentice training maintained in the department and shall address common misperceptions regarding such program and the various opportunities and benefits that apprenticeship training may provide for unemployed individuals within the state.
Sec. 4. (Effective October 1, 2014) Not later than January 1, 2015, the Labor Commissioner shall convene a working group that shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of Workforce Investment Boards, CTWorks One-Stop Career Centers and similar job centers in the state to determine whether individuals providing resume writing assistance at CTWorks One-Stop Career Centers should be required to attain a certified professional resume writer credential prior to providing such resume writing assistance. The working group shall make such determination not later than July 1, 2015.
Sec. 5. (Effective July 1, 2014) The Board of Regents for Higher Education shall (1) as part of an academic and facilities master plan, examine the potential for expanding the manufacturing technology center model to create centers of excellence, as defined in section 10a-25h of the general statutes, for other high-demand career areas, and (2) within available resources, implement the Plus 50 Initiative model throughout the regional community-technical college system. The Board of Regents for Higher Education shall report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education and labor on the results of the master plan and the implementation status not later than July 1, 2015.
Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2014) Not later than January 1, 2015, the Board of Regents for Higher Education shall establish consistent parameters for noncredit vocational courses and programs to be recognized by each of the constituent units of the state system of public higher education, as described in section 10a-1 of the general statutes.
Sec. 7. Section 10a-6b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2014):
(a) The accountability measures developed by the Higher Education Coordinating Council pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10a-6a shall be used by the Board of Regents for Higher Education and each constituent unit of the state system of higher education in assessing each public institution of higher education's progress toward meeting the following goals to: (1) Enhance student learning and promote academic excellence; (2) join with elementary and secondary schools to improve teaching and learning at all levels; (3) ensure access to and affordability of higher education; (4) promote the economic development of the state to help business and industry sustain strong economic growth; (5) respond to the needs and problems of society; and (6) ensure the efficient use of resources. The council shall develop an implementation plan for use of the accountability measures.
(b) In developing the measures pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the council shall consider: [graduation] (1) Graduation rates, (2) student retention rates, (3) completions, (4) tuition and fees, (5) allocation of resources across expenditure functions, as defined by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, (6) revenues and expenditures broken out by programs, (7) student financial need and available aid, (8) transfer patterns of students transferring in and out of the constituent units, (9) trends in enrollment and the percentage of incoming students who are state residents, (10) strategic plans pursuant to section 10a-11, (11) data on graduates, including age, by academic [program,] and noncredit vocational course and program, (12) faculty productivity, [and] (13) the goals adopted by the Planning Commission for Higher Education, and (14) any other factor that it deems relevant. All measures shall be made available for inspection and separated out by constituent unit, institution of higher education, campus and program.
(c) The council shall work with the Labor Department to (1) produce periodic reports, capable of being sorted by student age, on the employment status, job retention and earnings of students enrolled in academic and noncredit vocational courses and programs, both prior to enrollment and after completion of such courses and programs, who leave the constituent units upon graduation or otherwise, and (2) develop an annual affordability index for public higher education that is based on state-wide median family income.
(d) The council shall submit the accountability measures to the Board of Regents for Higher Education for the board's review and approval. Once the measures are approved, each constituent unit shall provide the data to the board that is necessary for purposes of applying the measures.
(e) Each public institution of higher education of the state system of higher education shall submit an accountability report to the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education annually, by November first. The president shall compile the reports and shall submit, in accordance with section 11-4a, a consolidated accountability report for the state system of higher education to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education annually, by December first. The report shall contain accountability measures for each constituent unit and public institution of higher education pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section. The report shall include updated baseline and peer comparison data, performance improvement targets for each measure, and other information as determined by the president.
Sec. 8. Section 10a-161a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):
The president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the Office of Higher Education shall report, biennially, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education on state, northeast regional and national trends in (1) the cost of attendance at public and independent institutions of higher education and private occupational schools, and (2) the availability and utilization of all forms of student financial aid for academic and noncredit vocational courses and programs relative to economic conditions and personal income.
Approved June 13, 2014