Report Title:

Workforce Training; University of Hawaii Community Colleges; Reed Act Funds; Appropriation

 

Description:

Enhances the training capacity of Hawaii's community colleges by establishing a skilled worker and business development center to provide workforce training to meet the rapidly evolving needs of both employers and employees; appropriates Reed Act funds. (SD1)

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1665

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii's community colleges can play a critical role in the economic recovery and revitalization of the State: from supporting the individual worker going back to school for enhanced career opportunities to helping companies and nonprofit organizations change the way they do business in these difficult economic times. Community colleges are at the forefront of workforce training both locally and across the United States. Nationally, fifty-nine per cent of new nurses and a majority of new health care workers are educated at community colleges. Nearly eighty per cent of firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical technicians are credentialed at community colleges. And ninety‑five per cent of businesses and organizations that employ community college graduates recommend community college workforce education and training programs.

In Hawaii, enrollment in the community colleges has grown by ten per cent in the past year, with the seven campuses serving a record 28,591 students. Hawaii's community colleges have been in the forefront of helping employers improve their operations and overall efficiency through training programs. For example, during the five months that the first time supervisory training program was offered, over three hundred thirty individuals participated in the program, saving businesses $71,000 through discounted tuition fees. And in response to mass layoffs at Aloha Airlines, ATA, Molokai Ranch, and Weyerhaeuser, $70,000 was allocated from the community college rapid response fund to help displaced workers. Eligible for a one-time fifty per cent tuition scholarship (up to $500 per displaced worker), eighty‑four individuals took advantage of this program to enhance their job skills during fall 2008, with more expected to enroll in the spring 2009 courses.

The legislature further finds that Hawaii's community colleges are poised to help both employees and employers prepare to change the way they work. Employers will need to consider downsizing, cross training, identifying efficiencies, and developing new business models to stay afloat and to preserve as many jobs as possible. Employees will need access to affordable training and professional services that can be delivered in a timely manner.

The purpose of this Act is to enhance the training capacity of Hawaii's community colleges by establishing a skilled worker and business development center to provide workforce training to meet the rapidly evolving needs of both employers and employees.

SECTION 2. (a) There is established under program ID (UOH 800), University of Hawaii community colleges, a skilled worker and business development center to develop curriculum to assist businesses and nonprofit organizations retrain and cross train their workers to adapt to changing times and new technology. The skilled worker and business development center may be modeled after the Pacific center for advanced technology training, which is a not-for-profit consortium of the University of Hawaii community colleges.

In addition to providing workforce training, the skilled worker and business development center shall include a two-fold counseling component to provide:

(1) Assistance to businesses and nonprofit organizations that face difficult economic times or changes in their industry; and

(2) Occupational and career counseling for displaced workers or other individuals.

(b) There is established an advisory board for the skilled worker and business development center, including but not limited to, representatives of the:

(1) University of Hawaii community college system;

(2) Seven community college campuses;

(3) Department of education;

(4) County workforce investment boards;

(5) Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations;

(6) Hawaii Community Foundation;

(7) Hawaii Business Roundtable Incorporated;

(8) Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii;

(9) Small Business Administration; and

(10) United States armed forces in Hawaii.

(c) The skilled worker and business development center shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session detailing the training and counseling programs, the numbers of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals participating in the center programs, including the use of both Reed Act funds and other moneys in the rapid response fund.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the unemployment trust fund from moneys deposited pursuant to section 383-123(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 to assist in the creation of the skilled worker and business development center and the development of its skills-based program, including curriculum design and counseling services.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of labor and industrial relations for the purposes of this Act; provided that the funds shall be expended in conjunction with the University of Hawaii through the rapid response fund established under program ID (UOH 800), University of Hawaii community colleges.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.