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AB-1111 Removing Barriers to Employment Act: Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/19/2017 09:00 PM
AB1111:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1111


Introduced by Assembly Members Eduardo Garcia, Arambula, Eggman, Maienschein, Quirk-Silva, Reyes, Santiago, and Steinorth
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Weber)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Division 1.4 (commencing with Section 180) to the Labor Code, relating to workforce development.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1111, as amended, Eduardo Garcia. Removing Barriers to Employment Act: Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative.
Existing law establishes the Labor and Workforce Development Agency overseen by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development and provides that the agency consists of, among other entities, the California Workforce Investment Board, the Employment Development Department, and the Employment Training Panel. The California Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act establishes the California Workforce Development Board as the body responsible for assisting the Governor in the development, oversight, and continuous improvement of California’s workforce investment system and the alignment of the education and workforce investment systems to the needs of the 21st century economy and workforce. That act requires the establishment of a local workforce development board in each local workforce development area of the state to, among other things, carry out analyses of the economic conditions in the local region.
This bill would enact the Removing Barriers to Employment Act, which would establish the Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative within the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. The bill would require the initiative to be led by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development and authorizes the secretary to assign all or part of the administration of the initiative to one or more entities within the agency’s oversight, or to authorize another state agency, under specified conditions, to administer a portion of the initiative. The bill would specify that the purpose of the initiative is to create a grant program to assist individuals who have multiple barriers to employment to receive the remedial education and work readiness skills that will help those individuals to successfully participate in training, apprenticeship, or employment opportunities that enhance skill development that will lead to self-sufficiency and economic stability, and would set forth the goals of the initiative. The bill would require the secretary to develop criteria for the selection of grant recipients, as specified, and would require the secretary, by January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, to post a report on the agency’s Internet Web site that provides a status report on the implementation of the initiative and aggregates information provided by grant recipients. The bill would authorize the secretary, when implementing the initiative, to fund a project that uses a model that was previously funded as a pilot project under certain programs if specified criteria are met. The bill would make the funding of the initiative subject to an appropriation by the Legislature for that purpose and would make implementation of the initiative contingent on the secretary notifying the Department of Finance that sufficient moneys have been appropriated.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Division 1.4 (commencing with Section 180) is added to the Labor Code, to read:

DIVISION 1.4. REMOVING BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT ACT

180.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The economy in California continues to improve as shown by lower unemployment rates and higher job growth, but poverty is still an issue in many of our cities and among many of our citizens. The California Poverty Measure reported in 2015 that 78 percent of Californians in poverty live in families with at least one adult working, with 69 percent of those working full time. Low-income families continue to struggle to pay for the basic cost of supporting their families. With low wages, lack of job skills, and limited access to current resources for workforce training, this target population falls further behind and cannot escape poverty.
(b) Lack of formal education, low English literacy, and lower-level job skills prevent upward mobility in pay and job stability. There is a need for improved access and funding to provide “career pathways” services, particularly for the poor.
(c) Increased funding for English language improvement training, basic skills and adult education, high school diploma and GED acquisition, skills training, work experience, on-the-job training, earn-as-you-learn, industry certifications, mentoring, case management, and more is needed to bridge the gap to gainful employment for the more difficult to reach in our population.
(d) Local community-based organizations, government agencies, and workforce development boards throughout California struggle to provide adequate services to the increasing number of poor residents who need career pathways services. In particular, funding is needed for case management, career guidance, and other services that enhance training/job training and job retention and the ability to meet family basic expense needs while pursuing a career opportunity. It is important to recognize the range of career pathways available to individuals who face barriers to employment. Identifying the best pathway for an individual may include those developed by the state, federal, or tribal governments, as well as community-based service providers.
(e) Special emphasis is needed to make sure that programs reach those among us with the most difficult needs with the goal of preparing those persons for training, educational, apprenticeship, or employment opportunities.

180.1
 As used in this division, “Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative” or “initiative” means the Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative established in this chapter.

180.2
 (a) This division establishes the Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative within the agency. The initiative shall be led by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, who may assign all or part of the administration of the initiative to one or more entities within the agency’s oversight. The Secretary may authorize another state entity that has experience with serving one or more of the populations identified in subdivision (e) of Section 180.3 to administer a portion of the initiative, if the other state entity agrees to meet all the requirements of this division and to provide the Secretary with the information necessary to meet the reporting requirements.
(b) (1) The purpose of the initiative is to assist individuals who have multiple barriers to employment to receive the remedial education and work readiness skills that will help them to successfully participate in training, apprenticeship, or employment opportunities that enhance skill development that will lead to self-sufficiency and economic stability.
(2) The initiative operationalizes an innovative model of effective collaboration between two important workforce partners for the benefit of populations that routinely face barriers to employment. By leveraging the experience of community-based organizations to meet the unique needs of certain groups with the resources of the workforce boards, the initiative creates an on-ramp to groups that have been historically disconnected from traditional programs. The role of the lead community-based organization is to use its expertise in working with the targeted populations to remediate education and workforce readiness skills and to collaborate with the lead workforce board to transition clients to career pathways and sector strategies. The role of the lead workforce development board, at a minimum, is to collaborate with and assist the lead community-based organization in designing a program that supports the transition of participants who have successfully achieved the goals and objectives of the grant proposal to career pathways and sector strategies.
(c) In developing the initiative, the Secretary or his or her delegate shall consult with public and private stakeholders, including nonprofit community-based organizations, workforce development boards, local governments, and other entities that serve individuals who face barriers to employment. employment and educational programs.
(d) Funding for the initiative shall be subject to appropriation by the Legislature for that purpose. Implementation of the initiative is contingent upon the Secretary notifying the Department of Finance that sufficient moneys have been appropriated and deposited in the Consolidated Work Program Fund.
(e) The goals of the initiative shall include all of the following:
(1) Individuals who face barriers to employment take measurable steps to remediate education and workforce readiness skills.
(2) Partnerships between community-based organizations and workforce development boards and providers of quality education and training are demonstrably strengthened in ways that benefit their client’s ability to continue to access services that ultimately lead clients utilizing career pathways and sector strategies.
(3) Community-based organizations increase their capacity to achieve and measure results.
(f) Targeted population for initiative grant proposals are defined in subdivision (e) of Section 180.3.
(g) The Secretary or the state entity authorized by the Secretary pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be responsible as appropriate for the oversight and monitoring of any funds awarded pursuant to the initiative to ensure the goals, objectives, and other requirements of the initiative are met.
(h) The outcomes of the initiative shall be reported pursuant to Section 180.3.

180.3.
 The Secretary shall develop criteria for the selection of grant recipients that meet all of the following:
(a) Outreach and technical assistance shall be provided to prospective applicants, especially in rural and small population areas.
(b) (1) Grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis. The initiative shall include provisions to ensure a range of targeted populations and geographic locations receive training opportunities.
(2) Applications shall be evaluated based on the lead community-based organization’s and workforce development board’s demonstrated capacity to successfully deliver previous programs to the targeted populations who the applicant is proposing to serve pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (e).
(3) Each grant proposal shall further the initiative goals, as identified in subdivision (e) of Section 180.2.
(4) Eligible activities for grant funds shall may include, but are not limited to, English language improvement training, basic skills and adult education, high school diploma and GED acquisition, or recognized equivalency certificate, skills and vocational training, work experience, on-the-job training, stipends for trainees, entrepreneurship training, earn-as-you-learn, industry certifications, preapprenticeship programs, job placement, mentoring, and other remedial education and work readiness and retention skills.
(5) Grant proposals funded through the initiative shall use at least 90 percent of their funds for direct services to the clients who face multiple barriers to employment, including staffing to provide those services.
(6) Grant proposals funded through this initiative shall be for a term of at least two years.
(c) Each application shall, at a minimum, include all of the following:
(1) The designation of at least one lead workforce development board and one lead community-based organization. Documentation shall be included that each lead workforce development board and lead community-based organization has agreed to be the lead designation in the grant proposal.
(2) The designation of one or more targeted populations which will be served by the grant, as specified in subdivision (e).
(3) The designation of a service area, which may include one or more neighborhoods, local jurisdictions, regions, or statewide. A grant proposal that proposes to serve clients across one or more workforce development areas shall include a commitment to notify each workforce development board in the proposed service area, pursuant to the requirements in subdivision (g).
(4) An explanation of the specific purpose of the grant funds, the roles and responsibilities of each of the lead workforce development boards and community-based organizations, and a discussion of the general methodology and training methods proposed to be used.
(5) A description of how the grant proposal is designed to complement the work of, and integrate the individuals being served with, the workforce development boards within the proposed service area.
(d) A grant application may be submitted jointly by a lead workforce development board and a lead community-based organization, or jointly by one or more lead workforce development boards, or board or boards, and one or more of the lead community-based organization or organizations.
(e) Eligible targeted populations for the initiative grant proposals include:
(1) Youths who are disconnected from the education system or employment.
(2) Women seeking training or education to move into nontraditional fields of employment.
(3) Displaced workers and long-term unemployed.
(4) Unskilled or under-skilled, low-earning workers.
(5) Persons for whom English is not their primary language.
(6) Economically disadvantaged persons.
(7) CalWORKS participants.
(8) Persons who are incarcerated and soon to be released or formerly incarcerated.
(9) Armed services veterans.
(10) Native Americans.
(11) Migrants or seasonal farmworkers.
(12) Persons with developmental or other disabilities.
(f) (1) The proposal shall identify baseline criteria and metrics by which the overall success of the proposal can be evaluated, consistent with the initiative goals as identified in subdivision (e) of Section 180.2. The proposal shall also explain the manner in which the progress of the individuals participating in the program will be monitored during the grant period.
(2) One component of the grant proposal shall provide for a preservice education and training assessment, which shall form the baseline for measuring program performance. A prior assessment may be used if, in the determination of the Secretary, its results are accurate and appropriate for the grant proposal.
(3) The grant proposal shall identify overall measurements of success relevant to the targeted population, consistent with the initiative goals identified in subdivision (e) of Section 180.2. The proposal shall explain how the baseline measurements, as established by individual assessments, will be used to calibrate the overall measurements of success. Measurements and metrics may include, but are not limited to:
(A) The number of participants in the program who have completed a high school diploma or received a GED.
(B) The number of participants in the program who have completed a remedial education program.
(C) The number of participants in the program who have completed a work readiness program.
(D) The number of participants who have received assistance to enroll their children in after school programs while the program participant enrolls in secondary or postsecondary education or maintains employment.
(E) The number of participants who have completed a certified drug treatment or mental health program.
(F) The number of participants who have matriculated to a preapprenticeship or apprenticeship program.
(G) The number of participants who passed the Ability to Benefit test and enrolled into a career pathway program, as defined in the federal Higher Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1091(d)(2)).
(H) The number of participants placed into part-time or full-time jobs.
(g) (1) Key features of the grant shall be provided in a grant agreement between the grant recipient and the agency, including, but not limited to, the purpose of the grant, expected outcomes, the oversight and monitoring process, reporting requirements, the term of the grant, amount of the grant, and intended use of the grant moneys.
(2) As a condition of receiving funds, a grant recipient shall agree to provide information to the Secretary that is determined by the Secretary as necessary to meet all reporting requirements.
(3) Prior to the signing of the grant agreement, the grant recipient or recipients who have been awarded funds for a grant proposal that serves clients across one or more workforce development areas shall provide the Secretary with documentation that each workforce development board within the proposed service area has been notified of the grant award and provided a summary of its purpose and goals.
(h) On at least an annual basis and upon completion of the grant period, grant recipients shall report to the Secretary information regarding their use of funds, workforce training outcomes, and any other information required by the Secretary.
(i) By January 1, 2019, and by January 1 of each year thereafter, the Secretary shall post a report on the agency’s Internet Web site that provides a status report on the implementation of the initiative and aggregates the information provided by the grant recipients, including, but not limited to, the overall progress and success of the grant programs.

180.4.
 In implementing the initiative, the Secretary may fund a full-scale project that uses a model that was previously funded as a pilot project through the Workforce Accelerator, the Supervised Population Workforce Training Program, SlingShot, or other existing programs, to the extent that the goals, measures, and metrics are sufficiently aligned, so as to:
(a) Serve the same client base.
(b) Address the needs of individuals who face multiple barriers to employment to receive remedial education and work readiness skills.
(c) Have an end goal of preparing those individuals for further training that results in apprenticeship or middle-skill employment opportunities. Eligible applicants for programs under this section shall exclusively be joint applications from one or more workforce development boards and one or more community-based organizations.