March 15, 2013(Key vote)
Title: Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act (SKILLS Act)
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that amends employee training programs, beginning in fiscal year 2014.
Authorizes a state to establish a “state unified plan,” without prior approval by the state legislature, that combines 2 or more employee training activities or programs including, but not limited to, the following (Sec. 140):
Programs for adult education and family literacy education;
Programs authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
Programs for secondary career education;
Programs authorized by the Community Services Block Grant Act; and
Programs authorized by the Public Workers and Economic Development Act of 1965.
Specifies that a state unified plan is considered to be approved at the end of 90 days, which begins on the day the plan is submitted for approval by the Secretary of Labor (Sec. 140).
Establishes the Workforce Investment Fund (WIF) to appropriate funds to each state for employment and training activities and workforce investment activities according to the following formula (Sec. 111):
25 percent of funds on the basis of the number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment in each state, relative to the total number in all states;
25 percent of funds on the basis of the number of individuals in the civilian labor force in each state, relative to the total number in all states;
25 percent of funds on the basis of the number of individuals in each state who have been unemployed for 15 weeks or more, relative to the total number in all states; and
25 percent of funds on the basis of the number of disadvantaged youth in each state, relative to the total number in all states.
Authorizes a state to consolidate the funds appropriated by the WIF to improve the administration of state and local employment and training programs (Sec. 140).
Requires a state unified plan to meet the requirements, limitations, and intent and purpose of any activity or program that is consolidated into the WIF (Sec. 140).
Prohibits a state from being appropriated funds in fiscal years 2014 through 2016 that are less than 100 percent of the appropriated percentage of the state for fiscal year 2012 and starting in fiscal year 2017, funds that are less than 90 percent of the appropriated percentage of the state from the preceding fiscal year (Sec. 111).
Prohibits a state from being appropriated funds in fiscal years 2014 through 2016 that are more than 130 percent of the appropriated percentage of the state for fiscal year 2012 and starting in fiscal year 2017, funds that are more than 130 percent of the appropriated percentage for the preceding fiscal year (Sec. 111).
Establishes 6 core performance indicators for individuals who participate in activities funded by the WIF, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, and Vocational Rehabilitation as follows (Secs. 114, 231 & 506):
Entry into unsubsidized employment;
Retention in unsubsidized employment;
Change in median earnings in unsubsidized employment;
Attainment of postsecondary credentials and education;
Participation in education or training and achievement of gain in basic skills; and
Entry into unsubsidized employment in the occupation in which the training was received.
Requires a State Workforce Investment Board to assist the governor of the state in which the board is located with certain functions including, but not limited to, the following (Sec. 103):
Develop a 3-year state plan for the statewide workforce investment system;
Review and develop statewide policies and programs in a manner that will result in meeting the workforce needs of the state and its local areas;
Develop a statewide workforce and labor market information system;
Enhance communication, coordination, and collaboration among employers, economic development entities, and service providers;
Conduct program oversight to ensuring the appropriate use and management of the funds appropriated for state employment and training activities; and
Develop and improve comprehensive state performance measures, including state adjusted levels of performance.
Amends requirements for members of the State Workforce Investment Board to include a two-thirds majority of individuals who represent businesses with immediate and long-term employment opportunities in in-demand industries, whereas existing law required a simple majority of individuals who represent businesses with employment opportunities that reflect the employment opportunities of the state (Sec. 103).
Amends requirements for membership of the State Workforce Investment Board to authorize the governor to appoint members of the state legislature, whereas existing law required the board to include 2 members of each chamber of the state legislature (Sec. 103).