Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/13/2017 01:30 PM Senate LABOR & COMMERCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
01:38:11 PM Start
01:38:54 PM HB141
02:10:49 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS HB 141(L&C) Out of Committee
          HB 141-AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD; FUNDS                                                                       
1:38:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO announced the consideration  of HB 141. She stated                                                               
that the intent is to  hear the deputy commissioner's response to                                                               
comments  made  during  the meeting  this  morning,  take  public                                                               
testimony, and report the bill from committee.                                                                                  
1:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
GREGG  CASHEN,  Deputy  Commissioner,  Department  of  Labor  and                                                               
Workforce  Development (DOLWD),  paraphrased the  letter that  he                                                               
prepared  after   the  meeting   this  morning.  He   stated  the                                                               
     The first item was that  it's important to clarify that                                                                    
     both Ilisagvik College  and Amundsen Educational Center                                                                    
     are  public  not-for-profit training  institutions.  We                                                                    
     would also  like to clarify  that Alaskans  served with                                                                    
     TVEP funds that go through  the University of Alaska to                                                                    
     the Fairbanks Pipeline Training  Center are included in                                                                    
     the University  of Alaska's performance data  that they                                                                    
     submitted  both  to  the department  and  in  the  TVEP                                                                    
     Second,  it's  important  to know  what  technical  and                                                                    
     vocational    education   really    means.   Vocational                                                                    
     education  is simply  another  term for  career-focused                                                                    
     education and includes  business and office technology.                                                                    
     Many small  businesses rely heavily on  office managers                                                                    
     to stay afloat.  One example would be  a medical office                                                                    
     assistant. It's  a high-demand occupation in  Alaska in                                                                    
     the  health care  industry and  that falls  within this                                                                    
     Third, administrative  or overhead  cost usage  by many                                                                    
     of the small regional  training centers is necessary to                                                                    
     provide  local  access  to programs  and  job  training                                                                    
     opportunities   by  partnering   with  other   training                                                                    
     centers  to  host programs.  Without  the  use of  TVEP                                                                    
     funds to  cover the operational cost  of these centers,                                                                    
     access to  these programs  would be  extremely limited.                                                                    
     Limiting these costs to just  two percent would be very                                                                    
     difficult in most cases.                                                                                                   
     Fourth,  there was  reference to  a  penalty clause  in                                                                    
     statute  that was  recently  added  and effective  with                                                                    
     FY2016. This penalty is only  applied if an entity does                                                                    
     not have  an articulation agreement  or if they  do not                                                                    
     provide  the participant  data to  the department.  All                                                                    
     the TVEP recipients reported  their participant data to                                                                    
     the  department  and  had  at  least  one  articulation                                                                    
     agreement so  there was no  need for the  department to                                                                    
     apply the penalty to any of the TVEP recipients.                                                                           
     The problem  with the report is  that we do not  have a                                                                    
     crosswalk  between  a  training provided  and  all  the                                                                    
     occupations employed  in to define  whether or  not the                                                                    
     participants are employed  in a job that  is related or                                                                    
     somewhat related to the area of their training.                                                                            
     Finally, the  department is  committed to  working with                                                                    
     the  Alaska  Workforce   Investment  Board  to  develop                                                                    
     suggestions for  performance measures  and improvements                                                                    
     for the Technical and Vocational Educational Program.                                                                      
MR. CASHEN offered to answer additional questions.                                                                              
CHAIR COSTELLO thanked Mr. Cashen  for being so responsive to the                                                               
committee's questions and concerns.                                                                                             
1:42:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  said he's  not sure  that getting  a job  in the                                                               
area  of the  training  is  really a  major  concern because  any                                                               
education  will help  in  a  future job.  Someone  who takes  one                                                               
administrative  training  may  want   to  become  a  welder,  for                                                               
example. He asked Mr. Cashen to reflect on that thought.                                                                        
MR.  CASHEN said  he  agrees that  it might  not  be an  accurate                                                               
indicator  because  many  students   who  attend  these  training                                                               
institutions  move  on  to  employment  or  additional  training.                                                               
Testimony  from AVTEC  indicated  that  students receive  initial                                                               
training from  regional training centers like  Yuut and Ilisagvik                                                               
then go on to postsecondary education.                                                                                          
SENATOR STEVENS remarked  that the important point  is for people                                                               
to get jobs.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  noted that Dennis Dishion  from Yuut Elitnaurviat                                                               
was available online to respond to the question.                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER asked  why he  singled out  Ilisagvik College  and                                                               
Amundsen  Educational Center  as  public not-for-profit  training                                                               
institutions. "Aren't they all that status?"                                                                                    
MR. CASHEN said he was  responding to testimony from this morning                                                               
when those institutions were identified as private.                                                                             
SENATOR  MEYER  noted  that  the  letter  does  not  address  the                                                               
assertion that  some grant monies  are used for  capital projects                                                               
rather than operational expenses.                                                                                               
1:46:38 PM                                                                                                                    
PALOMA  HARBOUR, Director,  Division of  Administrative Services,                                                               
Department of Labor and  Workforce Development (DOLWD), clarified                                                               
that the  statute does  not restrict  how the  funds are  used so                                                               
long as  it's to keep  the center  open to provide  training. She                                                               
said that could  include repairing a roof or  replacing a boiler,                                                               
but she didn't know if funds had been used for that.                                                                            
SENATOR MEYER said  he can understand that  the Pipeline Training                                                               
Center  may need  to buy  a  backhoe, but  he isn't  sure that  a                                                               
center  should be  able to  buy another  building or  even fix  a                                                               
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked  why  TVEP funds  are  allocated  to  the                                                               
university  for  distribution  to  another  agency  such  as  the                                                               
Pipeline  Training Center.  Why aren't  we working  directly with                                                               
the pipeline group?                                                                                                             
MS. HARBOUR explained that the  university submitted an operating                                                               
request to  the legislature to  add a process  technology program                                                               
to its offerings  about the same time that  the Pipeline Training                                                               
Center  opened. It  was  the  will of  the  legislature that  the                                                               
university  partner   with  the   pipeline  center   through  the                                                               
university's Career and Technical College in Fairbanks.                                                                         
SENATOR STEVENS  asked for confirmation  that the  legislature is                                                               
apprised  of  the  success  of the  program  because  the  center                                                               
reports  to the  university and  the information  is subsequently                                                               
reported to the legislature.                                                                                                    
MS. HARBOUR said that's correct.                                                                                                
1:49:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHERYL  EDENSHAW,   Director,  Alaska  Technical   Center  (ATC),                                                               
Kotzebue, stated support for HB  141, reauthorizing the Technical                                                               
Vocational and Education  Program. She said ATC  is recognized as                                                               
a statewide  postsecondary training center and  has been eligible                                                               
for TVEP funding  since 2000. ATC is  passionate about partnering                                                               
with  the state  as  well as  business and  industry  to train  a                                                               
responsible Alaskan  workforce and  help develop and  sustain the                                                               
economy. The stable  funding that TVEP provides  is essential for                                                               
ATC to  maintain its  long-term commitment to  meet the  needs of                                                               
employers, both local and statewide.                                                                                            
Responding to previous testimony,  she clarified that ATC neither                                                               
allocates TVEP  funds for administration  nor uses them  for high                                                               
school  students.  Because  of TVEP  funding,  they  can  provide                                                               
training for  jobs in health care,  resource development, process                                                               
technology, culinary arts, and  construction trades. The training                                                               
is  aligned  with  local and  statewide  job  opportunities.  She                                                               
opined that ATC is the only  institution in the state that offers                                                               
a  guarantee to  employers that  hire ATC  graduates. If  the new                                                               
employee  lacks  a  skill  that   was  part  of  the  curriculum,                                                               
employers can  send the person back  to ATC for retraining  at no                                                               
cost  to the  employer. She  asked the  committee to  reauthorize                                                               
TVEP funds  for five years,  which will  help build a  future for                                                               
Alaskans and strengthen families and communities statewide.                                                                     
1:50:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES joined the committee.                                                                                            
1:52:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  asked if she  believes that success can  only be                                                               
measured by the  number of people who  get a job in  the field in                                                               
which they received training.                                                                                                   
MS EDENSHAW said their priority would  be to help a student get a                                                               
job in  the area in  which they received training.  However, part                                                               
of every  training includes learning about  work ethic, attitudes                                                               
and values.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  COSTELLO  invited  Fred Villa  to  provide  testimony  and                                                               
advised members  that the  university's report is  on page  28 of                                                               
the TVEP report.                                                                                                                
1:53:58 PM                                                                                                                    
FRED  VILLA,   Associate  Vice  President,   Workforce  Programs,                                                               
University of  Alaska Fairbanks stated  that he called  to answer                                                               
questions  and provide  information about  the Pipeline  Training                                                               
Center as  a passthrough  of TVEP funds  from the  university. It                                                               
has been part of the university's fiscal note since 2008.                                                                       
He   explained  that   the  university's   workforce  development                                                               
committee decides to fund programs  based on three criteria. They                                                               
look at:  1) high-demand occupations identified  by the Workforce                                                               
Investment    Board,    2)    regional    economic    development                                                               
opportunities,  and 3)  priorities for  the campuses  themselves.                                                               
The committee represents all three  campuses and has an executive                                                               
director  from   the  Alaska  Workforce  Investment   Board.  The                                                               
process, manual,  and schedule for  the distributions  are online                                                               
at  Alaska.edu/research/wp/funding. He  opined  that the  maximum                                                               
employee contribution  of $64 per  year and the cost  per student                                                               
of between  $1,000 and $1,400  is a good investment  of resources                                                               
that is returned to the state in workforce development.                                                                         
CHAIR  COSTELLO  invited Kathy  Leary  to  provide testimony  and                                                               
advised members that  the Ilisagvik College report is  on page 16                                                               
of the TVEP report.                                                                                                             
1:57:04 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHY  LEARY,  Ilisagvik  College,  Barrow, said  she  called  to                                                               
clarify that  Ilisagvik is a  public, nonprofit  institution. She                                                               
noted  that  DOLWD also  clarified  the  misstatement in  earlier                                                               
testimony.  She echoed  Ms. Edenshaw's  request  for a  five-year                                                               
CHAIR  COSTELLO invited  Anishia Elbie  to provide  testimony and                                                               
advised  members   that  the  Southwest  Alaska   Vocational  and                                                               
Education Center report is on page 23 of the TVEP report.                                                                       
1:58:20 PM                                                                                                                    
ANISHIA   ELBIE,   Co-Executive    Director,   Southwest   Alaska                                                               
Vocational  Center  (SAVC),  King   Salmon,  said  she  testified                                                               
previously and is  calling today to reiterate support  for HB 141                                                               
to  reauthorize   funding  for   the  Technical   Vocational  and                                                               
Education Program (TVEP) for five  years. She also clarified that                                                               
SAVC is a public nonprofit organization.                                                                                        
CHAIR  COSTELLO invited  Kevin Spence  to  provide testimony  and                                                               
advised members that  the Amundsen Education Center  report is on                                                               
page 12 of the TVEP report.                                                                                                     
1:59:29 PM                                                                                                                    
KEVIN SPENCE,  Board Chair, Amundsen Education  Center, Soldotna,                                                               
said  he  is  calling  to  support  the  reauthorization  of  the                                                               
Technical Vocational  and Education  Program (TVEP).  He reported                                                               
that Amundsen  does teacher  recertification and  initial teacher                                                               
certification  training  as well  as  soft  skills training  that                                                               
Senator  Stevens  correctly  identified   as  important  for  any                                                               
employment. Amundsen has also started  the only Microsoft Imagine                                                               
Academy in  the area. They  estimate that business  employees can                                                               
earn up  to $16,000 more  than their uncertified peers.  He noted                                                               
that  many graduates  move on  to get  additional training  which                                                               
skews the performance data down.                                                                                                
2:01:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  closed public testimony  on HB 141 and  asked the                                                               
will of the committee.                                                                                                          
2:02:08 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
2:06:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO reconvened  the  meeting  and recognized  Senator                                                               
2:06:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES moved  Conceptual Amendment  1. Page  1, line  6,                                                               
change 2022 to 2018.                                                                                                            
SENATOR GARDNER objected.                                                                                                       
2:06:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  said  the  concern centers  on  the  quality  of                                                               
reporting  of  TVEP  recipients.  It's important  to  follow  the                                                               
requirements  in state  law  regarding  reporting. She  expressed                                                               
hope  that   the  discussion  could   continue  in   the  finance                                                               
committee. She noted  that the sponsor said there  are efforts to                                                               
review  the program  and perhaps  develop suggestions  to tighten                                                               
the   reporting  requirements.   She  stated   support  for   the                                                               
SENATOR  HUGHES  said   she  is  concerned  about   the  lack  of                                                               
consistent reporting and the wide  range of cost per participant.                                                               
The committee also heard testimony  that funds are being used for                                                               
office-type  training  and safety  courses  that  could be  taken                                                               
online more  economically. She stated support  for the amendment,                                                               
workforce training,  and getting  a better understanding  for how                                                               
TVEP dollars can best be spent.                                                                                                 
2:09:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS said reauthorizing the  program for just one year                                                               
is  reasonable   given  the   concerns  about   common  reporting                                                               
standards and ensuring that the data is meaningful.                                                                             
2:09:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER withdrew her objection.                                                                                         
CHAIR COSTELLO announced that Conceptual Amendment 1 is adopted.                                                                
2:10:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  moved  to  report   HB  141,  as  amended,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
CHAIR COSTELLO  announced that without objection  SCS HB 141(L&C)                                                               
is  reported   from  the  Senate  Labor   and  Commerce  Standing                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects