Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2285 State employment: Foster Youth Job Readiness Training Pilot Program.(2015-2016)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The state has a unique obligation to children and youth in the foster care system. When the state removes children and youth from their parents, it is responsible for providing for the safety and well-being of the children and youth and for preparing them for self-sufficient adulthood.
(b) Foster youth who leave the foster care system because of age face unique challenges in seeking and obtaining employment upon leaving the system. The foster care program provides little assistance to youth in finding employment.
(c) The unemployment rate for youth who have left the foster care system because of age is estimated at 50 percent.
(d) The state is a major employer within the state, yet state law makes no provision for assisting youth who have left the foster care system because of age in becoming civil service employees of the state.
(e) The state owes a unique responsibility to foster youth in assisting them to secure permanent employment. It also has an obligation to demonstrate to private employers, by example, the importance of hiring foster youth and former foster youth.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize the state’s role as a parent to children and youth in foster care and to assist them in securing permanent employment in state government by providing them access to needed training positions.

SEC. 2.

 Article 3 (commencing with Section 54660) is added to Chapter 9 of Part 29 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:

Article  3. Foster Youth Job Readiness Training Pilot Program
54660.
 (a) With moneys appropriated by the Legislature for the purposes of this article, the Sacramento County Office of Education shall develop and administer the Foster Youth Job Readiness Training Pilot Program.
(b) The purpose of the program is to prepare the foster care population that is 18 to 25, inclusive, years of age for entry-level employment in state service.
54661.
 (a) The Sacramento County Office of Education shall develop an application and create criteria for selecting eligible organizations to provide job readiness training to eligible participants.
(b) The Sacramento County Office of Education shall award grants to selected eligible organizations that shall be used for the following purposes:
(1) To pay for trainers to provide job readiness training to eligible participants.
(2) To provide a stipend to an eligible participant who satisfies both of the following:
(A) Remains actively engaged in and attends the training as set forth in his or her individual service plan.
(B) If he or she has not received a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate, the participant shall enroll, be actively engaged in, and attend a high school equivalency exam preparation class.
(c) The Sacramento County Office of Education shall compile disaggregated data on the number of participants enrolling in the program, the number of participants completing the program, the number of participants receiving a placement after completing the program, and the number of participants receiving state employment after completing a placement. The office, upon request, shall make this data available to the Department of Human Resources and the Legislature.
(d) For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Eligible organization” means an organization that satisfies all of the following:
(A) The organization is exempt from federal income taxation as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is in compliance with all applicable laws and requirements.
(B) The organization demonstrates expertise in providing job readiness training.
(C) Any additional criteria required by the Sacramento County Office of Education to promote the job readiness training of eligible participants.
(2) “Eligible participant” means an individual who is 18 to 25, inclusive, years of age and who is certified by a county as being, or having been, for at least one year at any time on or after the date that the individual turns 15 years of age, either a recipient of foster care maintenance payments under a state plan approved under Part E of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670 et seq.), or in a foster care program under the responsibility of the State of California.
(3) “Job readiness training” means an individual service plan that develops core competencies that create an experience and educational base for an individual to meet the qualifications for entry-level employment in state service.
54662.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 19816.22 is added to the Government Code, to read:

19816.22.
 (a) The department, in consultation with the State Department of Social Services and the Sacramento County Office of Education, shall promote the training of foster youth who participate in the Foster Youth Job Readiness Training Pilot Program (Article 3 (commencing with Section 54660), Chapter 9, Part 29, Division 4, Title 2, Education Code) in specified entry-level unclassified positions for their eventual hiring in classified positions with any state agency or department that is located within the County of Sacramento, as determined by the department.
(b) A participant in the pilot program shall not apply for a classification unless he or she meets the minimum qualifications for that classification.
(c) After a participant in the pilot program has been trained in an unclassified position for three months, but before being trained for nine months, he or she shall take a written examination for the classification in which he or she is trained, if a written examination is generally required for other applicants in that classification. The participant shall be eligible to take the written examination only after receiving a positive recommendation from the appropriate supervisor.
(d) A participant in the pilot program who does not pass the written examination for the classification in which he or she is trained, or who does not receive a favorable promotional rating, shall be released from the training program.
(e) This section shall be repealed on January 1, 2020.
SEC. 4.
 The Legislature finds and declares that a special law is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the need to enact Section 2 of this act that adds Article 3 (commencing with Section 54660) to Chapter 9 of Part 29 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code on a trial basis only, applied to one appropriately large and diverse county, before extending the act to every county in the state.
SEC. 5.
 To the extent permitted by federal law, the sum of one million one hundred thousand dollars ($1,100,000) is hereby appropriated from the Consolidated Work Program Fund to the Sacramento County Office of Education for the purpose of implementing the Foster Youth Job Readiness Training Pilot Program pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 54660) to Chapter 9 of Part 29 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code.
SEC. 6.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.