Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519
03/16/2017 01:30 PM House FINANCE
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HOUSE BILL NO. 141 "An Act relating to allocations of funding for the Alaska Workforce Investment Board; and providing for an effective date." 4:38:15 PM REPRESENTATIVE ZACH FANSLER, SPONSOR, introduced the legislation which was an act relating to allocations of funding for the Alaska Workforce Investment Board. The bill was a renewal of an already existing bill. He reviewed the sponsor statement: AS 23.15.820 authorizes the Alaska Workforce Investment Board to administer the Alaska Technical and Vocational Education Program (TVEP). This legislation reauthorizes the allocation of the TVEP funding for five years. TVEP was established by Legislature in 2000 with the purpose of enhancing the quality and accessibility of job training across the state, and aligning training with regional workforce demands. TVEP funds are obtained from a portion of employee contributions to the unemployment insurance trust fund. The TVEP funds are allocated to technical and vocational education entities across Alaska designated by AS 23.15.835. Each entity receives a set percentage of the TVEP funds available each fiscal year. The current allocation sunsets June 30, 2017. Unless the allocation is reauthorized this funding will sit unused in the TVEP account instead of being used by these entities to train Alaskans. TVEP recipients are required by statute to track and report program outcomes to the Alaska Workforce Investment Board. Each year the Board compiles and provides to the legislature a TVEP performance report containing this information. In Fiscal Year 2016, the ten TVEP recipients were allocated $12,510,900 and served 10,295 youth and adults. A statewide network of training providers is critical to developing an Alaskan workforce. This legislation is necessary to help educate and train Alaskans for Alaska's jobs. Representative Fansler emphasized the importance of making sure the state's highest paying technical and vocational jobs were being performed by Alaskans. The system was set up so that the legislation helped every region. He relayed that 10 different programs were affected by the legislation: 1. University of Alaska (statewide) 45 percent TVEP funds 2. Galena Interior Learning Academy 4 percent TVEP funds 3. Alaska Technical Center (Kotzebue) 9 percent TVEP funds 4. Alaska Vocational Technical Center (Seward) 17 percent TVEP funds 5. Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center (Nome) 3 percent TVEP funds 6. Southwest Alaska Vocational and Education Center (King Salmon) 3 percent TVEP funds 7. Yuut Elitnaurviat, The People's Learning Center (Bethel) 9 percent TVEP funds 8. Partners for Progress (Delta Junction) 3 percent TVEP funds 9. Amundsen Educational Center (Soldotna) 2 percent TVEP funds 10. I (Bethel) 5 percent TVEP funds Co-Chair Foster reviewed the list of testifiers available for questions. 4:44:01 PM Representative Tilton asked if the distribution in the bill had changed from what it was prior to the sunset date. Representative Fansler responded that the distribution was the same. Representative Tilton asked if any other entities were interested in being part of the distribution. Representative Fansler reported no other entities approaching his office wanting to be on the distribution list. He understood that previously there had been a significant amount of discussion on the subject and anticipated hearing from other entities. However, he had not heard from anyone. Representative Wilson asked about how the funding was used and about the certification having to do with the university. Representative Fansler responded that he could provide a PowerPoint detailing the information Representative Wilson requested. He was happy to provide the materials for members to review. MARY SCHLOSSER, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER, added that the information provided in the Labor PowerPoint was 5 pages, which was the standard submission for committees. The full technical report from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development was available online. She was happy to provide the information to the representative. Representative Wilson wondered if the state had an obligation, because funds were being provided for by the federal government, to use the funds to help people to return to work. Representative Fansler responded that he was not inclined to answer her question and would likely differ her question to someone else. He relayed that the funds were state unemployment insurance funds being used on a state a state level. He did not believe there were any federal guidelines that applied to it. He was happy to differ to someone else if he was incorrect. 4:48:42 PM Representative Wilson commented that unemployment dollars were being used to pay the amounts. She wanted to make sure there was enough money to be able to train those people who were not working so they could get back to work. She hoped for additional information regarding retraining expectations. Representative Fansler would provide additional information in a memo. Co-Chair Foster reminded members that Paloma Harbour with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development was in the room and available for questions as well as others. Representative Wilson understood the committee was short on time presently and suggested that Representative Fansler get an answer back to committee members. 4:50:18 PM Co-Chair Foster OPENED Public Testimony. 4:50:45 PM DENNIS DISHION, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, YUUT ELITNAURVIAT, BETHEL (via teleconference), informed committee members that the funds were paramount in order for the center to continue its operations in preparing local people for local jobs in the Yukon Delta Region. He noted jobs associated with many large construction projects becoming available in the region. The funds helped the center to deliver training and workforce development skills for those people living in the area. The training facilitated locals being able to obtain family wage jobs rather than out-of-state skilled tradesmen filling them. The ultimate mission of the organization was to train local people for local, family wage jobs. 4:52:06 PM Representative Guttenberg remembered having a conversation about the cost of broadband services at the center. He asked if Mr. Dishion had that dollar figure. Mr. Dishion responded that it was likely Representative Guttenberg had spoken with his predecessor. He did not have the figure off the top of his head but was happy to get the number to him. 4:52:47 PM Co-Chair Foster CLOSED Public Testimony. Co-Chair Foster indicated he would be setting the bill aside. Amendments were due to Jane Pierson by Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. HB 141 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. 4:53:18 PM AT EASE 4:53:48 PM RECONVENED