THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

619

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO EDUCATION.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there is a disconnect between the needs and expectations of today's employers and the current skills of the State's local workforce. Industries in the State require employees with skills in coding, computer science, engineering, foreign language, and other technology-based jobs. The current low unemployment rate has contributed to employers finding it more difficult than normal to fill technology-based jobs. According to business and education groups, too few individuals have the right skills for the right job openings. The way to close this skills gap is to improve job training and more closely align education to employment.

Closing the skills gap is especially critical in the manufacturing industry. Over the next decade, nearly 3,500,000 manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled throughout the country, yet the skills gap is expected to result in 2,000,000 of these jobs remaining unfilled. There are numerous contributing factors to this widening gap, including looming baby boomer retirements and economic expansion. However, other contributing factors include loss of embedded knowledge due to movement of experienced workers; a perceived preference among younger generations for industries other than manufacturing; lack of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills among workers; and a gradual decline of technical education programs in public high schools.

The legislature finds that closing the skills gap for STEM jobs is extremely important because STEM jobs are expected to grow 1.7 times faster than non-STEM jobs in the coming years. However, Honolulu has not been able to keep up with the rising demand for STEM professionals. According to a 2017 analysis of the best metropolitan areas for STEM professionals, Honolulu ranked ninety-five out of one hundred.

Hawaii has also experienced difficulties with "brain drain", which describes the constant challenge encountered in public and private sectors in retaining Hawaii's highly-skilled or highly-intelligent workers or encouraging workers who left the State for school or work to return. A recent United States Census report found that ten thousand more people moved out of Hawaii than moved in from other states the biggest loss since 2010.

The legislature additionally finds that Hawaii needs to develop programs and initiatives to ensure that the State has an engaged supply of workers with the skills required to meet today and tomorrow's workforce requirements.

Finally, the legislature supports the greater use of sector partnerships that develop and implement a clear pipeline toward careers for the State's K-12 students and concludes that Hawaii should lead the way in adding "learn" to the concept of "live, work, play".

The purpose of this Act is to provide K-12 students with more career options by requiring the department of education, in collaboration and consultation with the department of business, economic development, and tourism; the department of labor and industrial relations; and the university of Hawaii, to develop and implement a K-12 curriculum to career pipeline initiative that will enable students to enter the State's workforce upon graduation from high school.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-   K-12 curriculum to career pipeline initiative. (a) There shall be created in the department a K-12 curriculum to career pipeline initiative.

(b) The purpose of the K-12 curriculum to career pipeline initiative shall be to enable a student to pursue training and education throughout the student's time at a school complex, so that upon graduation, the student is prepared with the appropriate skills; certifications; licensing; or college credit, through a dual credit program, to enable the student to enter the State's workforce.

(c) The department shall collaborate and consult with the department of business, economic development, and tourism; the department of labor and industrial relations; and the university of Hawaii to develop and implement the K-12 curriculum to career pipeline initiative.

(d) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 necessary to carry out the purposes of this section."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2017-2018 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the department of education, in collaboration and consultation with the department of business, economic development, and tourism; the department of labor and industrial relations; and the university of Hawaii, to develop and implement a K-12 curriculum to career pipeline initiative.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2051.



 

Report Title:

Education; Workforce Development; K-12 Curriculum to Career Pipeline Initiative; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the DOE, in collaboration and consultation with DBEDT, DLIR, and UH, to develop and implement a K-12 curriculum to career pipeline initiative to ensure that the State's public school students are adequately trained and prepared to enter the State's workforce upon graduation from high school. Appropriates funds. (SB619 HD1)

 

 

 

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