Program Review and Investigations Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5377

Title:

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM REVIEW AND INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE REEMPLOYMENT OF OLDER WORKERS AS THEY RELATE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

Vote Date:

3/13/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/4/2014

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

The PRI committee authorized a study of the reemployment of older workers on June 7, 2013. Overall, the study concluded there are a multitude of programs and services to assist with the reemployment of unemployed workers, including older workers; however, only a few programs are specifically for older adults. Additionally, there is no comprehensive, easily accessible way for unemployed residents to find out about these resources. On average, the study found programs with an on-the-job training component tended to have higher reemployment rates for program participants. The committee approved a final report on December 18, 2013, which presented 16 recommendations. This bill implements recommendations relating to the Labor Department.

Substitute language to specify that older workers refers to workers fifty years of age or older.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

● CT Department of Labor – (Did not testify, but submitted written testimony).  Supports parts of bill (but opposes most of the bill). Department supports continuation of the STEP UP program but opposes elimination of residency requirements. Also opposes inclusion of the reemployment of older workers in the CETC plan (older workers not defined, but addressed with substitute language), the electronic state hiring campaign to inform potential employers of the advantages to hiring older workers (CTDOL serves all age populations), apprenticeship informational campaign (would need additional funding and staff), and access to on-line learning courses to unemployed individuals (CTDOL could not endorse without first conducting a cost/benefit analysis).

The submitted testimony does not explicitly support or oppose one page quick-reference guide summarizing resources for older unemployed workers, workgroup to consider requiring professional resume credential at CTWorks One Stop Career Centers, and combining the STEP UP Small Business Wage Subsidy program and the STEP UP Small Manufacturer Training Grant program.

● Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (Did not testify, but submitted written testimony). Supports bill. Gave overall support for the four study-related bills and all efforts to employ and reemploy adults/older adults.

● Commission on Aging (Did not testify, but submitted written testimony). Supports bill. Gave overall support for the four study-related bills.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

● AARP supports the four study-related bills and believes proposed legislation would create easier access to retraining programs and assistance in building job seeking skills for the more experienced unemployed persons.

● Private citizen testified on her unsatisfactory experience with CTWorks One Stop Career Centers amd believes CTWorks needs to be overhauled, with workers having good sales and interpersonal skills, and showing more empathy and compassion for the older unemployed.

● Private citizen supports the passing of the four older worker bills and working collaboratively with educators and the Department of Labor to increase older job seeker opportunities.

● Private citizen (Did not testify, but submitted written testimony). Supports addressing unemployment of older workers, but is unsure what should be done to improve the outlook for this population.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

See DOL response. There was no other testimony received opposing the bill.

Reported by: Bonnine T. Labbadia

Date: March 21, 2014