HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1176

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to a job corps program.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. The pandemic has placed tens of thousands of residents out of work and Hawaii now has among the nation's highest rates of unemployment. The department of labor and industrial relations reported that in September 2019, Hawaii had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.7 per cent, compared to a national unemployment rate of 3.5 per cent, and a year later, in September 2020, Hawaii's unemployment rate was 15.1 per cent, compared to a national unemployment rate of 7.9 per cent. In addition, tourism, the State's largest industry, has dropped considerably because of the pandemic, providing a unique opportunity to build a more resilient, equitable, and diversified economy, and highlighting the need for increased and diverse workforce development initiatives.

The legislature further finds that models exist for the creation of such initiatives to support the State's ailing workforce. The Civilian Conservation Corps established after the Great Depression was a federal work relief program to help employ Americans on conservation projects, alleviate economic distress, and support the protection and responsible development of natural resources and agricultural use. The federal Job Corps program is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the United States Department of Labor that helps young people ages sixteen to twenty-four improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training. In addition, the Hawaii job corps center supports the Job Corps program's mission to teach eligible young people the skills they need to become employable and independent and place them in meaningful jobs or further their education.

The State is mandated to be powered by one hundred per cent renewable energy and to sequester more carbon than the State emits by 2045. The State is also mandated to transition cesspools to septic systems by 2050. The legislature finds that, to support a comprehensive economic recovery, the State must invest in our community and emerging economic sectors and provide residents with the education and training opportunities they need to succeed. The creation of a state-run job corps program would provide residents of all ages who have been economically impacted by the pandemic with opportunities to learn new skills and increase their prospects of employment within resiliency and green sectors, including local agriculture, conservation, climate adaptation, renewable energy, cesspool conversion, and technology.

The legislature also finds that Aloha Connects Innovation and Kupu Āina Corps are two workforce development initiatives launched by the State with federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, and serve as examples the State can integrate and build upon in establishing its own job corps program. The State can also capitalize on "From Today to Tomorrow: A Talent Roadmap to Support Economic Recovery" by the Hawaii Executive Collaborative, which provides a framework to establish a job corps program by outlining a talent development strategy through expanding work-based learning, retraining, credentialing programs, industry-driven solutions, and partnerships.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Establish a job corps program within the department of business, economic development, and tourism to help address unemployment impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, support economic diversification, and focus on resiliency and green sector jobs; and

(2) Appropriate funds for this purpose.

SECTION 2. (a) There is established within the department of business, economic development, and tourism a state job corps program to address the unemployment impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program shall support economic diversification and focus on resiliency and green sector jobs.

(b) No later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2022 regular session, the department of business, economic development, and tourism shall submit an interim report to the legislature on its progress in implementing the requirements of subsection (a).

(c) No later than twenty days prior the convening of the 2023 regular session, the department of business, economic development, and tourism shall submit a final report on the outcomes of the program established pursuant to subsection (a), including recommendations on whether the program should be made permanent and any future funding needs.

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 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the purposes of this Act.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of business, economic development, and tourism for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Job Corps Program; DBEDT; Appropriations

 

Description:

Establishes a state job corps program within the department of business, economic development, and tourism to help address unemployment impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and support economic diversification. Appropriates funds for this purpose.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.