S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















SECTION 1. The legislature finds that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 3,700,000 students were expected to graduate high school during the 2019-2020 school year. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, whether high school students enter the workforce immediately or pursue a postsecondary education, they will all eventually face a job market where an estimated sixty-five per cent of positions demand postsecondary credentials. States striving to increase the career readiness of their students can ensure that career and technical education offerings will lead to credentials most valued in each unique workforce. An industry-recognized certification conveys a student's career readiness because the credential validates the competencies and skills required for success in a given occupation or industry. According to the National Skills Coalition, full-time employees having an industry certification earn more than their counterparts having only a high school diploma and, in some cases, the salaries of non-degree credential employees were found to be similar to workers having college degrees.

The legislature further finds that the State has critical shortages of qualified local workers in sectors such as health, education, air travel, and technology. Due to the needs of the State's economy, Hawaii's public high schools should strategically prepare students for the workforce by encouraging industry certification in "high value" occupations, including jobs that have a high demand for competent and skilled employees, high potential for growth, and high wages.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Incentivize public high schools to encourage students to obtain industry certification in high value occupations by requiring the department of education to establish high value employment criteria for industry certification awards to public high schools; and

(2) Appropriate funds to the department to carry out this purpose.

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

"302A-   Industry certification; awards. (a) The department shall coordinate with the University of Hawaii system and other relevant cross-sector partners, such as the P-3 Initiative and Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, to develop high value employment criteria for making industry certification awards to public high schools. High value employment criteria shall include occupations with high need of additional competent and skilled employees, high growth potential, and high wages. High value employment criteria may also include pre-existing cross-sector initiatives to achieve employment in certain fields. In addition, the department shall consult with employers in the State to obtain critical input about competencies and skills that students need to attain in order to succeed in high value employment occupations.

(b) The department shall request, and Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education shall provide, an annual list of occupations that meet the high value employment criteria developed pursuant to subsection (a) and in which an industry-recognized certification is required or will materially enhance a job applicant's opportunities for employment or compensation in that occupation.

(c) The department shall make the current annual list of occupations received from the department of labor and industrial relations available to all public high schools and on the department's website.

(d) Subject to the appropriation of funds by the legislature and the requirements of subsection (e), the department shall pay each eligible public high school an industry certification award, calculated as follows:

(1) $250 for each student who earns an industry-recognized certification for an occupation meeting the high value employment criteria;

(2) $250 for each student who earns an industry-recognized certification that is recognized by any public institution of higher learning in Hawaii as a basis for academic credit in that institution; or

(3) $100 for each student who earns an industry-recognized certification that does not meet the criteria of paragraph (1) or (2); provided that the student fulfills regional demands identified by the most recent Hawaii Statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy report.

(e) For a public high school to be eligible to receive payment of industry certification awards:

(1) The high school shall have a recognized career and technical education program with an advisory council;

(2) The student's industry certification selection shall:

(A) Meet the high value employment criteria, if an award is made pursuant to subsection (d)(1); and

(B) Reflect regional labor market data on high growth industry sectors and be broad enough to allow entry into those industry sectors, if an award is being made pursuant to subsection (d)(3);

(3) Each industry certification selection shall be nationally recognized, or shall be recognized in the State as representing high quality and rigorous standards in that industry; and

(4) The advisory council shall review and sign the industry certification proposal and selection to ensure that the student is aware that the certification holds value to employers based in the State.

(f) A public high school receiving payment of an industry certification award shall allocate one hundred per cent of that award to support or maintain the school's career and technical education program, including the payment of stipends for instructors and subsidization of fees for low-income students to obtain the industry certification.

(g) The department shall prepare an annual report on the progress made under this section, including:

(1) The number of public high school students who are seeking industry certifications for high value employment;

(2) The industry certifications earned by students, including the number of each type of certification earned; and

(3) The number of public high school students who are seeking or earning industry certifications and are economically disadvantaged, English language learners, or receiving special education services.

The department shall submit its annual progress report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session, beginning with the regular session of 2022."

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 department of education to implement the requirements set forth in section 2 of this Act.

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, 2021.



Report Title:

DOE; Public High Schools; Industry Certification Awards; Appropriation



Establishes criteria for industry certification awards to public high schools and appropriates funds to the Department of Education to incentivize public high schools to encourage students to obtain industry-recognized certifications. Requires the Department to submit an annual report containing specified information about the progress of the incentivization. Makes an appropriation. (SD1)




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