Text: H.R.5774 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/10/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 5774


To provide effective employment, training, and career and technical education programs and to address barriers that result from family responsibilities, and to encourage and support individuals to enter nontraditional occupational fields.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 10, 2008

Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California (for herself, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. Bordallo, Mrs. Christensen, Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mrs. Maloney of New York, Mr. Payne, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Towns, Ms. Watson, and Mr. Welch of Vermont) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


A BILL

To provide effective employment, training, and career and technical education programs and to address barriers that result from family responsibilities, and to encourage and support individuals to enter nontraditional occupational fields.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Pathways Advancing Career Training Act”.

SEC. 2. Purpose and findings.

(a) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is—

(1) to create workforce pathways for individuals who face barriers during employment transitions and help to meet the employment needs of high-skilled, high-wage industries, including those facing significant skilled labor shortages;

(2) to provide assistance to States for effective employment and training programs to address barriers to employment that result from current or prior family responsibilities, including time out of the workforce to care for a child or family members; and

(3) to provide assistance to States for effective employment and training programs to encourage and support individuals to enter occupational fields that are nontraditional for their gender.

(b) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(1) A high quality, productive, and diverse workforce is necessary to compete in the global economy.

(2) Nearly 14,000,000 individuals in the United States are the sole breadwinners and caretakers for their families and nearly a third of them (31 percent) have family incomes below the poverty level.

(3) More than 7,000,000 individuals in the United States face barriers to entering or re-entering the workforce due to extended periods of time spent caring for family members, and nearly half of them (42 percent) have family incomes below the poverty level.

(4) Employment in high-skill, high-wage, nontraditional careers offers wages and advancement opportunities to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency.

(5) Job training and career and technical education programs continue to be highly sex-segregated, resulting in a dearth of female students filling the pipeline for jobs in the growing high-skill, high-wage labor market, especially in the areas of technology and the skilled trades.

(6) The employment and training needs of individuals who have taken time out of the workforce to care for children or family members, and individuals pursuing nontraditional occupations are not sufficiently met through existing systems.

(7) Individuals who face barriers during employment transitions represent an untapped workforce pool to address growing skilled labor shortages.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

Except as otherwise specified in this Act, as used in this Act the following definition apply:

(1) AREA CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION SCHOOL.—The term “area career and technical education school” has the same meaning given such term in section 3(a)(22) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2302(a)(22)).

(2) COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATION.—The term “community-based organization” means a public or private nonprofit organization of demonstrated effectiveness that—

(A) is representative of a community or significant segments of a community; and

(B) provides educational, preparatory, training, or related services to individuals in the community.

(3) DISPLACED HOMEMAKER.—The term “displaced homemaker” means an individual who—

(A)(i) has worked primarily without remuneration to care for a home or family and for that reason has diminished marketable skills; or

(ii) has been dependent on the income of another household member but is no longer supported by that income; or

(iii) is a parent whose youngest dependent child will become ineligible to receive assistance under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) not later than two years after the date on which the parent applies for assistance under the title; or

(iv) is a victim of domestic violence as defined by section 40002(a)(6) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13701 note); and

(B) is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.

(4) ELIGIBLE STATE AGENCY.—The term “eligible State agency” means the State agency responsible for the administration of workforce investment activities authorized under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

(5) ELIGIBLE RECIPIENT.—The term “eligible recipient” means a community-based organization, a one-stop operator, a post-secondary educational institution, a local educational agency providing education to students who have completed or left without completing secondary school, an area career and technical education school providing education to students who have completed or left without completing secondary school, a postsecondary vocational institution or other entity that has demonstrated an ability to meet the employment and training needs of displaced homemakers, single parents and individuals preparing for nontraditional training and employment.

(6) LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY.—The term “local educational agency” has the same meaning given such term under section 14101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(7) NONTRADITIONAL EMPLOYMENT.—The term “nontraditional employment,” means, with respect to an individual, an occupation or field of work for which members of such individual’s gender comprise less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in such occupation or field of work.

(8) ONE-STOP OPERATOR.—The term “one-stop operator” means one or more entities designated or certified under section 121(d) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2841(d)).

(9) PREPARATORY SERVICES.—The term “preparatory services” means services, programs, or activities designed to assist individuals in selecting or participating in an appropriate education or training program or in securing, retaining, or improving employment, such as—

(A) services, programs, or activities related to outreach in the recruitment of potential participants;

(B) career and personal counseling, including group counseling;

(C) life skills development, including financial literacy;

(D) vocational and skill assessment and testing;

(E) career planning;

(F) use of a self-sufficiency calculator to identify income needs and career paths that lead to self-sufficiency;

(G) job search and placement activities;

(H) pre-vocational training, including learning skills, remediation, communication skills, interviewing skills and resume writing, punctuality, professional conduct, pre-apprenticeship assistance, job readiness, and other services to prepare individuals to succeed in employment or training; and

(I) other appropriate services, programs, or activities.

(10) POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION.—The term “postsecondary educational institution” has the same meaning given such term in section 3(a)(22) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2302(a)(22)).

(11) POSTSECONDARY VOCATIONAL INSTITUTION.—The term “postsecondary vocation institution” has the same meaning given such term in section 102(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002(c)).

(12) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Labor.

(13) SELF-SUFFICIENCY STANDARD.—The term “self-sufficiency standard” means a measure of how much income families need to cover their basic costs without subsidies. It uses a consistent methodology that calculates the costs of living and working (including taxes) based upon sub-State geographic location and family size and composition.

(14) SINGLE PARENT.—The term “single parent” means an individual who is unmarried, or has been abandoned by their spouse, and—

(A) has a minor child or children for which the parent has either full or joint custody; or

(B) is pregnant.

(15) SUPPORTIVE SERVICES.—The term “supportive services” means services such as transportation, child care, dependent care, home health care for family members, and needs-based payments, that are necessary to enable an individual to participate in employment and training activities and retain employment.

(16) TRAINING.—The term “training” means training or education related to the preparation of individuals for employment, including training activities authorized under section 134(d)(4)(D) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864(d)(4)(D)) and career and technical education, as defined by section 3(a)(5) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2302(a)(5)).

SEC. 4. Program authorized.

The Secretary of Labor is authorized to provide grants to States to enable such States to develop or enhance programs described in sections 9 and 10 of this Act.

SEC. 5. Allocation.

(a) In General.—After reserving the amount designated under section 12(c)(2) of this Act, the remaining funds appropriated shall be divided into 3 equal groups on the basis of—

(1) the relative number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in each State, compared to the total number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in all States;

(2) the relative excess number of unemployed individuals in each State, compared to the total excess number of unemployed individuals in all States; and

(3) the relative number of disadvantaged adults in each State, compared to the total number of disadvantaged adults in all States.

(b) Definitions.—For purposes of this section, the terms “substantial unemployment”, “excess number of unemployed individuals”, and “disadvantaged adult” have the meanings given such terms in section 132(b)(1)(B)(v) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2862(b)(1)(B)(v)).

(c) Supplement not Supplant.—Funds provided under this Act shall be used to supplement not supplant other Federal, State, and local public funds expended to provide services to displaced homemakers, single parents, and individuals pursuing nontraditional employment.

SEC. 6. State plan.

(a) Submission of State plan.—For a State to be eligible to receive an allocation under section 5 the Governor of the State shall submit to the Secretary a plan for a 5-year period, together with such annual revisions as the eligible State agency determines to be necessary.

(b) Revisions and Review.—Each eligible State agency shall—

(1) submit such annual revisions of the plan to the Secretary as the eligible State agency determines to be necessary; and

(2) after the second year of the 5-year State plan, conduct a review of activities assisted under this Act and submit any revisions of the State plan that the eligible State agency determines necessary to the Secretary.

(c) Plan Development.—The eligible State agency shall develop the State plan in consultation with experts on serving displaced homemakers and single parents, experts on nontraditional employment, participants in employment and training programs for displaced homemakers and single parents, participants in employment and training programs for nontraditional employment, and any other individual the State considers necessary.

(d) Plan Contents.—The State plan shall include information that—

(1) describes the employment and training activities to be provided under section 9 and 10 of this Act;

(2) describes the process for soliciting competitive applications and the criteria that will be used by the eligible State agency in awarding eligible recipients funds under this Act;

(3) describes how the eligible State agency will—

(A) annually evaluate the effectiveness of such programs; and

(B) coordinate such programs to ensure nonduplication with other existing Federal programs;

(4) provides assurances that the eligible State agency or agencies will comply with the requirements of this Act and the provisions of the State plan, including the provision of a financial audit of funds received under this Act which may be included as part of an audit of other Federal or State programs;

(5) provides assurances that none of the funds expended under this Act will be used to acquire equipment (including computer software) in any instance in which such acquisition results in a direct financial benefit to any organization representing the interests of the purchasing entity, the employees of the purchasing entity, or any affiliate of such an organization;

(6) describes how the eligible State agency will measure and report the progress of the students who are served pursuant to this Act, including progress on the indicators of performance described in section 7 of this Act; and

(7) describes the methods proposed for the joint planning and coordination of programs carried out under this Act with other Federal programs.

(e) Plan Option.—The eligible State agency may fulfill the requirements of subsection (d) by submitting the plan required under this section as a part of the plan submitted under section 112 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2822).

(f) Plan Approval.—The Secretary shall consider a plan or revision of a State plan approved, unless the Secretary determines, within 120 days of submission, that the State plan, or revision, respectively, does not meet the requirements of this section.

SEC. 7. Accountability.

(a) Purpose.—The purpose of this section is to establish activities to assess the effectiveness of the State in creating workforce pathways for individuals with barriers to employment including single parents, displaced homemakers and individuals pursuing nontraditional training and employment, and to maximize the return on investment of Federal funds.

(b) Core Indicators of Performance for Displaced Homemaker and Single Parent Programs.—Each eligible State agency shall identify in the State plan the process used to collect data on the core indicators of performance from eligible recipients that include, at a minimum, measures of each of the following:

(1) The core indicators of performance required by section 136(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2871(b)(2)(A)(i)) adjusted based upon—

(A) specific economic, geographic, and demographic factors in the State and in local workforce investment areas within the State;

(B) the characteristics of the population to be served;

(C) the demonstrated difficulties in serving the population; and

(D) the type of services to be provided.

(2) Participation in and completion of preparatory services.

(c) Core Indicators of Performance for Nontraditional Employment Programs.—Each eligible State agency shall identify in the State plan the process used to collect data on the core indicators of performance from eligible recipients that include, at a minimum, measures of each of the following—

(1) The core indicators of performance required by section 136(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2871(b)(2)(A)(i)) adjusted based upon:

(A) specific economic, geographic, and demographic factors in the State and in local workforce investment areas within the State;

(B) the characteristics of the population to be served;

(C) the demonstrated difficulties in serving the population; and

(D) the type of services to be provided.

(2) Participation in and completion of preparatory services.

(3) Participation in and completion of employment and training programs that lead to nontraditional training and employment.

(4) Placement in and retention of nontraditional employment.

(d) Additional indicators.—An eligible agency, with input from eligible recipients, may identify in the State plan additional indicators of performance for employment and training activities authorized under this Act, such as attainment of self-sufficiency.

(e) Annual Report by State Agency.—Each eligible State agency shall transmit to the Secretary an annual report of data compiled in accordance with section 7(b) and (c) disaggregated by gender, race, age, disability, national origin, ethnicity, English proficiency status and status as a displaced homemaker, single parent, or individual training for nontraditional employment. The eligible State agency may submit the report required under this section as a part of the report submitted under section 136(d)(1) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2871(d)(1)).

(f) Annual Report of the Secretary.—The Secretary shall transmit to Congress annually a national report that describes the extent to which the purposes of the Act are being achieved. The Secretary’s report shall include individual State annual reports and a compilation of those State reports with national data disaggregated by gender, race, age, disability, national origin, ethnicity, English proficiency status, and status as a displaced homemaker, single parent, or individual training for nontraditional employment.

SEC. 8. Evaluation of programs for single parents and displaced homemakers and programs for nontraditional employment.

(a) Multi-site evaluation.—The Secretary shall, through the award of competitive grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements with an independent institution of higher education, public or private nonprofit organization, or agency, conduct at least 1 multi-site evaluation under this section by the end of fiscal year 2012. Such an evaluation shall address—

(1) the general effectiveness of programs and activities described in sections 9 and 10 of this Act including:

(A) the extent to which such programs improved the self-sufficiency and employment outcomes of participants in comparison to comparably-suited individuals who did not participate in such programs;

(B) the extent to which programs described in section 9 of this Act improved the self-sufficiency and employment outcomes of participants in comparison to single parents and displaced homemakers who participated in non-specialized employment and training activities as authorized by section 134 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864), but did not participate in programs described in sections 9;

(C) the extent to which programs described in section 10 of this Act improved the self-sufficiency and employment outcomes of participants in comparison to similarly situated individuals who participated in adult and dislocated worker employment and training activities as authorized by section 134 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864), but did not participate in programs described in section 10 of this Act;

(D) the effectiveness of the performance measures described in section 7 of this Act relating to programs and activities described in sections 9 and 10 of this Act;

(E) the effectiveness of the structure and mechanisms for delivery of services through such programs and activities;

(F) the extent to which such programs and activities meet the needs of various demographic groups; and

(G) such other factors as may be appropriate.

(b) Methodology.—Evaluations conducted under this section shall utilize appropriate methodology and research designs, including the use of control groups chosen by scientific random assignment.

(c) Report.—The entity carrying out an evaluation described in subsection (a) shall prepare a report of key findings and submit copies to the Secretary, the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the Senate, and the Library of Congress. The Secretary shall make the report available to the public.

SEC. 9. Programs for single parents and displaced homemakers.

Each State may use funds allocated under section 5 of this Act to implement or carry out programs designed to provide single parents and displaced homemakers the following:

(1) Preparatory services.

(2) Subsidies, reimbursement, tuition assistance, or payment for preparatory services, and necessary educational materials (including books and supplies).

(3) The provision of information to inform individuals of career and technical education, training programs, and related preparatory and supportive services.

(4) Case management and supportive services.

(5) Training and other activities designed to fulfill the purpose of this Act.

SEC. 10. Programs for individuals entering into nontraditional employment.

Each State may use funds allocated under section 5 of this Act to implement or carry out programs designed to assist individuals pursuing nontraditional training and employment, including the following:

(1) All services described in section 9.

(2) Mentoring.

(3) Pre-apprenticeship assistance.

(4) Other activities designed to increase the number of individuals pursuing nontraditional employmenty, including—

(A) dissemination of information to inform individuals about nontraditional employment;

(B) ensuring a fair and respectful learning environment in career and technical education and training programs; and

(C) creating and distributing replicable model programs and materials that increase participation, completion, and placement rates.

SEC. 11. Within state allocation and administration.

(a) Reservation for State Activities.—From the amounts allocated under section 5—

(1) not more than 5 percent shall be reserved for State administration;

(2) not less than 25 percent shall be used to provide programs for single parents and displaced homemakers, as described in section 8 of this Act; and

(3) not less than 25 percent shall be used to provide programs for individuals training for nontraditional employment as described in section 9 of this Act.

(b) Matching Requirement.—Each eligible State agency receiving funds made available under section 5(a), shall match, from non-Federal sources and on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the funds received under section 10(a)(1).

SEC. 12. Administration.

(a) Administration.—Any State desiring to participate in a program authorized by this Act shall assign an individual within the eligible state agency to assist in fulfilling the purposes of this Act by—

(1) managing the distribution of funds pursuant to section 6;

(2) monitoring the use of funds distributed to recipients under such programs;

(3) evaluating the effectiveness of programs and activities supported by such funds; and

(4) developing the State plan described in section 6.

(b) Competitive Awards.—The Administrators assigned under subsection (c) shall—

(1) on a competitive basis, provide grants to eligible recipients; and

(2) ensure that each grant is for a program that is of sufficient size, scope, and quality to be effective.

(c) Technical Assistance.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall award a grant, a contract, or enter into a cooperative agreement with a national organization with demonstrated expertise in providing technical assistance to employment and training programs for displaced homemakers, single parents, and individuals entering nontraditional employment. This assistance shall be available for the purposes of—

(A) providing online and toll-free referral services to assist individuals in accessing the employment and training programs established under sections 9 and 10;

(B) developing resources for and providing technical assistance to such employment and training programs;

(C) developing state-wide networks to enhance the capacity of service delivery among such employment and training programs; and

(D) conducting other activities to advance career pathways for displaced homemakers, single parents, and individuals entering nontraditional employment.

(2) Not less than 1 percent or more than 10 percent of the amount authorized under section 13 of this Act shall be available for the assistance described in paragraph (1).

SEC. 13. Authorization of appropriations.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this Act $95,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2014.