Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 557
107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     107-248

======================================================================



 
 NATIVE AMERICAN COMMERCIAL DRIVING TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 
                                  ACT

                                _______
                                

                August 28, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

   Filed under authority of the order of the Senate of July 29, 2002

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Inouye, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1344]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 1344) the Native American Commercial Driving Training 
and Technical Assistance Act (hereinafter ``the Act''), a bill 
to authorize the Department of Labor to award competitive 
grants to Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities to support 
and promote commercial vehicle driving training programs, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute and recommends that the bill as amended do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 1344 is to direct the Secretary of Labor 
to award competitive grants to Indian Tribal Colleges and 
Universities to support and promote commercial vehicle driving 
training programs in order to assist in creating an employment 
training regime that is oriented to the actual demands of the 
labor market.

                               Background

    Despite a national unemployment rate of 5.6%, the jobless 
rate in Native American communities hovers around 50%, with 
some Indian economies experiencing jobless rates near 80%. 
These rates are more than twice that of the national 
unemployment rate in the Great Depression of the 1930's. 
Despite recent successes some Indian tribes have had with 
gaming, energy and natural resource development and other 
initiatives, most Indian tribes still suffer a lack of jobs, 
high unemployment, intense poverty and a lack of physical 
infrastructure.
    Given the near-complete absence of private sector 
enterprises in Native communities, nearly one in three American 
Indians and Alaska Natives, or 31.2%, lives in poverty. The 
earning capacity of Native communities also lags behind that of 
other Americans. For every $100 earned by the average American 
family, an Indian family earns $62. Additionally, the average 
annual per capita income for Indians is $8,284, far less then 
that for other Americans.
    In reservation areas with high poverty and unemployment 
rates, the majority of Native American communities lack private 
sector employment opportunities. At the same time, employment 
training, skills development, and related services are 
increasingly being tailored to the demands of the job market 
and with an eye toward assisting Native people develop the 
skills necessary to enter into the modern marketplace.
    In recent years Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities 
(ITCUs) have assumed greater roles in the education and 
vocational training of Native people. Recognizing the role that 
ITCUs play in Native education, on July 3, 2002, President Bush 
issued Executive Order 13270, which states that:

        [tribal colleges are both integral and essential to 
        their communities . . . Tribal colleges provide crucial 
        services in communities that continue to suffer high 
        rates of unemployment and the resulting social and 
        economic distress.

    One area in the labor force where the current demand for 
skilled employees exceeds the supply is the American trucking 
industry. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation 
(DoT), there are currently 3 million truck drivers in the 
United States, yet between 10 percent and 20 percent of the 
Nation's trucks sit idle to a lack of qualified drivers. The 
DoT estimates that from 200,000 to 500,000 new, qualified 
drivers will be needed in the immediate future.
    The Native American Commercial Driving Training and 
Technical Assistance Act (S. 1344) provides additional 
resources to ITCUs to develop and promote commercial vehicle 
training programs and provide Native Americans with increased 
opportunities in the trucking industry. Two ITCUs, D-Q 
University in the State of California and Fort Peck Community 
College in the State of Montana, offer commercial vehicle 
driving programs. The grant program authorized in this bill is 
designed to encourage additional ITCUs to develop commercial 
driving training programs.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    As introduced, S. 1344 authorizes the Department of Labor 
to award four grants to Tribally Controlled Community Colleges 
and Universities to support commercial vehicle (tractor-trailer 
truck) driving training programs. A section-by-section 
description of the changes contained in the substitute 
amendment follows:

                    Summary of Substitute to S. 1344


Section 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``Native American Commercial 
Driving Training and Technical Assistance Act''.

Section 2. Findings and purposes

    Congress finds that there are high rates of unemployment, 
poverty, poor health, and associated social problems in Native 
communities; that the United States has an obligation to assist 
Indian tribes in building their economies; that two Indians 
tribal Colleges offer commercial vehicle driving programs; that 
there is and will be a shortage of trucking positions; and that 
a truck driving career is a well-paying profession. The 
purposes of this Act are to promote job creation for Native 
Americans and to provide training and technical assistance to 
Native Americans who are interested in a commercial driving 
career.

Section 3. Definition

    Terms defined in this section include ``Commercial Vehicle 
Driving'', ``Indian Tribe'', ``Native American'' and others. 
The term ``Tribal college'' which appears in section 4, has 
been changed to reflect the definition contained in the Higher 
Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. 1059(b)(3).

Section 4. Commercial Vehicle Driving Training Program

    The Secretary of Labor may award competitive grants to 
eligible Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities to provide 
training and certification of commercial vehicle driving and 
other vehicles that require a commercial drivers license. In 
addition, the Secretary will give priority to grant 
applications that propose an ``education partnership'' with 
either a private trucking firm, trucking association, or 
similar entity in order to ensure the effectiveness of this 
grant program.

                          Legislative History

    The Native American Commercial Driving Training and 
Technical Assistance Act (S. 1344) was introduced on August 2, 
2001 by Senator Campbell, and was referred to the Committee on 
Indian Affairs. A hearing was held on the bill on July 24, 
2002, and on July 30, 2002, the Committee convened a business 
meeting to consider S. 1344 and other measures that had been 
referred to it. On that date the Committee, in open business 
session, favorably reported a substitute amendment to S. 1344.

            Committee Recommendation and Tabulation of Vote

    On July 30, 2002, the Committee on Indian Affairs, in an 
open business session, adopted an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to S. 1344 by voice vote and ordered the bill, as 
amended, reported favorably to the Senate.

                    Cost and Budgetary Consideration

    The cost estimate for S. 1344 as calculated by the 
Congressional Budget Office, is set forth below:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 23, 2002.
Hon. Daniel K. Inouye,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1344, the Native 
American Commercial Driving Training and Technical Assistance 
Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Christina 
Hawley Sadoti (for federal costs), and Marjorie Miller (for the 
state, local, and tribal impact).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 1344--Native American Commercial Driving Training and Technical 
        Assistance Act

    Summary: S. 1344 would authorize grants to tribal colleges 
and universities for programs to train Native Americans to 
drive commercial vehicles. CBO estimates the new provisions 
would cost about $10 million over the 2003-2007 period, 
assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. This bill 
would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    S. 1344 contains no new intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), 
and would impose no costs to state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 1344 is shown in the following table. 
The cost of this legislation falls within budget function 500 
(education, training, employment, and social services).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                    --------------------------------------------
                                                                       2003     2004     2005     2006     2007
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Commercial Vehicle Driving Training Program:
    Estimated Budget Authority.....................................        2        2        2        2        2
    Estimated Outlays..............................................        1        2        2        2        2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
1344 will be enacted by September 30, 2002, and that the 
estimated amounts will be appropriated for each year. Outlays 
are based on historical spending patterns for similar programs.
    S. 1344 would authorize competitive grants to tribal 
colleges and universities to provide training for driving 
commercial vehicles. The bill would authorize the appropriation 
of such sums as may be necessary for this purpose. Based on the 
average costs of similar training programs, CBO estimates that 
such programs would cost about $2 million per year, resulting 
in additional outlays of about $10 million over fiscal years 
2003 through 2007.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 1344 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA, and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Spending: Christina Hawley 
Sadoti; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: 
Marjorie Miller; Impact on the Private Sector: Cecil McPherson.
    Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill evaluate 
the regulatory paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
implementing the legislation. The Committee has concluded that 
enactment of S. 1344 will create only de minimis regulatory or 
paperwork burdens.

                        Executive Communications

    The Committee has received no official communication from 
the Administration on the provisions of the bill.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
enactment of S. 1344 will result in the following changes in 25 
U.S.C. Sec. 3409 et seq., with existing language which is to be 
deleted in black brackets and the new language to be added in 
italic:
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Native 
American Commercial Driving Training and Technical Assistance 
Act''.
    Findings and Purpose.--
          (A) Findings.--Congress finds that--
                  (i) despite the availability of abundant 
                natural resources on land under the 
                jurisdiction of Indian Tribes and the existence 
                of a rich cultural legacy that accords great 
                value to self-determination, self-reliance, and 
                independence, Native Americans suffer higher 
                rates of unemployment, poverty, poor health, 
                substandard housing, and associated social 
                problems than any other group in the United 
                States;
                  (ii) the United States has an obligation to 
                assist Native American communities in the 
                establishment of appropriate economic and 
                political conditions;
                  (iii) the economic success and material well-
                being of Indian communities depend on the 
                combined efforts of the Federal Government, 
                tribal governments, the private sector, and 
                individuals;
                  (iv) commercial vehicle driving programs are 
                currently offered at several tribal colleges 
                and universities;
                  (v) the American Trucking Association reports 
                that at least until 2005, the trucking industry 
                will need to hire 403,000 truck drivers each 
                year to fill vacant positions;
                  (vi) according to the Federal Government 
                Occupational Handbook, the commercial vehicle 
                driving industry is expected to expand at the 
                average rate of expansion for all occupations 
                through the year 2008 because of economic 
                growth and an increase in the quantity of 
                freight carried by trucks; and
                  (vii) a career in commercial vehicle driving 
                offers a competitive salary, employment 
                benefits, job security, and a profession.
          (B) Purpose.--The purposes of this Act are--
                  (i) to foster and promote job creation and 
                economic opportunities for Native Americans; 
                and
                  (ii) to provide education, technical, and 
                training assistance to Native Americans who are 
                interested in commercial vehicle driving 
                careers.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                             25 U.S.C. 3409

    (a) In General._A tribal government participating in a 
demonstration program under this chapter is authorized to 
utilize funds available under such plan to place participants 
in training positions with private employers and pay such 
participants a training allowance or wage for a period not to 
exceed 12 months, if the tribal government obtains a written 
agreement from the private employer to provide on-the-job 
training to such participants and, upon satisfactory completion 
of the training period, to guarantee permanent employment to 
such participants for a minimum of 12 months.
    (b) Definitions.--In this act:
          (1) Commercial vehicle driving.--The term 
        ``commercial vehicle driving'' means the driving of--
                  (A) a vehicle that is a tractor-trailer 
                truck;
                Or
                  (B) any other vehicle (such as a bus or a 
                vehicle used for the purpose of construction) 
                the driving of which requires a commercial 
                license.
          (2) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
        meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act of (25 
        U.S.C. 450b).
          (3) Native american.--The term ``Native American'' 
        means an individual who is a member of--
                  (A) an Indian tribe; or
                  (B) any people or culture that is indigenous 
                to the United States, as determined by the 
                Secretary.
          (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of Labor.
    (c) Commercial Vehicle Driving Training Program.--
          (1) Grants.--The Secretary may provide grants, on a 
        competitive basis, to entities described in subsection 
        (b) to support programs providing training and 
        certificates leading to the licensing of Native 
        Americans with respect to commercial vehicle driving.
          (2) Eligibility.--To be eligible to receive a grant 
        under subsection (a), an entity shall--
                  (A) be a tribal college or university (as 
                defined in section 316(b)(3) of the Higher 
                Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1059(b)(3))); and
                  (B) prepare and submit to the Secretary an 
                application at such time, in such manner, and 
                containing such information as the Secretary 
                may require.
    (d) Priority.--In providing grants under subsection (a), 
the Secretary shall give priority to grant applications that--
          (1) propose training that exceeds proposed minimum 
        standards for training tractor-trailer drivers of the 
        Department of Transportation;
          (2) propose training that exceeds the entry level 
        truck driver certification standards set by the 
        Professional Truck Driver Institute; and
          (3) propose an education partnership with a private 
        trucking firm, trucking association, or similar entity 
        in order to ensure the effectiveness of the grant 
        program under this section.
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this 
Act.