Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 5377

    February Session, 2014

 

*_____HB05377FIN___041114____*

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 Subsection (b) of section 31-3h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):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 within and without the state 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 program.

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. Subsection (c) of section 31-3pp of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(c) (1) An eligible small business may apply to the department for a grant to subsidize on-the-job training and compensation for a new employee, where "new employee" means a person who (A) was unemployed immediately prior to employment, regardless of whether such person collected unemployment compensation benefits as a result of such unemployment, [(B) is a resident of a municipality that has (i) an unemployment rate that is equal to or higher than the state unemployment rate as of September 1, 2011, or (ii) a population of eighty thousand or more, and (C)] and (B) has a family income equal to or less than two hundred fifty per cent of the federal poverty level, adjusted for family size. "New employee" does not include a person who was employed in this state by a related person with respect to the eligible small business during the prior twelve months or a person employed on a temporary or seasonal basis by a retailer, as defined in section 42-371.

(2) Grants to eligible small businesses under the Subsidized Training and Employment program shall be in the following amounts: (A) For the first thirty calendar days a new employee is employed, one hundred per cent of an amount representing the hourly wage of such new employee, exclusive of any benefits, but in no event shall such amount exceed twenty dollars per hour; (B) for the thirty-first to ninetieth, inclusive, calendar days, seventy-five per cent of such amount; (C) for the ninety-first to one hundred fiftieth, inclusive, calendar days, fifty per cent of such amount; and (D) for the one hundred fifty-first to one hundred eightieth, inclusive, calendar days, twenty-five per cent of such amount. Grants shall be cancelled as of the date the new employee leaves employment with the eligible small business.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2014

31-3h(b)

Sec. 2

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 3

October 1, 2014

31-22q

Sec. 4

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 5

October 1, 2014

31-3pp(c)

FIN

Joint Favorable Subst.