HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

69

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

URGING THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM TO ESTABLISH A JOB CORPS PROGRAM TO HELP ADDRESS UNEMPLOYMENT IMPACTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND SUPPORT ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, 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; and

 

WHEREAS, 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; and

 

WHEREAS, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation; and

 

WHEREAS, the pandemic has placed tens of thousands of residents out of work, and Hawaii now has among the nation's highest rates of unemployment; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported that in September 2019, Hawaii had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.7 percent, compared to a national unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, and a year later, in September 2020, Hawaii's unemployment rate was 15.1 percent, compared to a national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent; and

 

WHEREAS, these figures highlight the need for increased and diverse workforce development initiatives; and

 

WHEREAS, tourism, the State's largest industry, has dropped considerably because of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a unique opportunity to build a more resilient, equitable, and diversified economy; and

 

WHEREAS, 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; and

 

WHEREAS, the State is mandated to be powered by one hundred percent renewable energy and to sequester more carbon than the State emits by 2045; and

 

WHEREAS, the State is also mandated to transition cesspools to septic systems by 2050; and

 

WHEREAS, to support a comprehensive economic recovery, the State must invest in the community and emerging economic sectors and provide residents with the education and training opportunities needed to succeed; and

 

WHEREAS, 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; and

 

WHEREAS, Aloha Connects Innovation and Kupu Āina Corps are two workforce development initiatives supported by the State with 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; and

 

WHEREAS, "From Today to Tomorrow: A Talent Roadmap to Support Economic Recovery" by the Hawaii Executive Collaborative 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; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism is urged to establish a job corps program to help address unemployment impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and support economic diversification; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism is requested to consult with and seek advice from the Workforce Development Council in its efforts to establish the program; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism is requested to identify public-private partnerships and outline components of a job corps program that focuses on resiliency and green sector jobs; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism is requested to report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2022 Regular Session on the Department's recommendations on funding sources and program structure for the job corps program; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor; Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; and Chair of the Workforce Development Council.

Report Title:

State Job Corps Program; DBEDT; Workforce Development Council