BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                    AB 2061

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          Date of Hearing:  March 29, 2016
          Consultant:          Matt Dean


                       Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr., Chair

                    2061 (Waldron) - As Introduced  February 17, 2016

          SUMMARY:  Expands programs eligible for grants funds from the  
          California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) to include "earn  
          and learn" opportunities, and to give "earn and learn" programs  
          preference.  Specifically, this bill:   

          1)Adds and defines "earn and learn" as a program to do either of  
            the following:  

             a)   A program that combines applied learning in a workplace  
               setting with compensation so workers and students can gain  
               work experience and skills; or 

             b)   Bring together classroom instructions with on-the-job  
               training.  Such programs include but are not limited to:

               i)     apprenticeships;

               ii)    pre-apprenticeships;

               iii)    incumbent worker training

               iv)    transitional and subsidized employment (particularly  
                 for persons with barriers to employment);


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               v)     paid internships and externships; and

               vi)    project-based compensated learning.

          2)Replaces apprenticeships with "earn and learn" opportunities,  
            as defined, for programs which are eligible to receive grant  
            funds distributed by the CWDB.

          3)Adds to the list of preferences for grant proposals  
            applications that propose participation by one or more  
            employers who have demonstrated interest in employing  
            individuals in the supervised population, including earn and  
            learn opportunities.

          4)Adds to CWDB's reporting requirements on grant recipients that  
            the report include whether the grant program recipients  
            provided training opportunities in areas related to work  
            skills learned while incarcerated, including, but not limited  
            to, while working with the Prison Industry Authority.

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Establishes the California Workforce Investment Board (now  
            known as the CWDB).  (Unemp. Ins. Code, § 14010 et seq.)
          2)Defines "supervised population" as those persons who are on  
            probation, mandatory supervision, or post-release community  
            supervision and are supervised by, or are under the  
            jurisdiction of, a county.  (Pen. Code, §1234, subd. (c).)

          3)Establishes the Supervised Population Workforce Training Grant  
            Program (SPWTGP), to be administered by the California  
            Workforce Investment Board (now known as the CWDB).  (Pen.  
            Code, §1234.1.)

          4)Requires the CWDB to administer the SPWTGP by doing the  

             a)   Developing criteria for the selection of grant  


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               recipients, as provided; 

             b)   Design the grant program application process to ensure  
               outreach and technical assistance is available to  

             c)   Ensure grants are awarded on a competitive basis; ensure  
               small and rural counties are competitive in applying for  

             d)   Encourages applicants to develop evidence-based best  
               practices for serving the workforce training and education  
               needs of the supervised population; and

             e)   The education and training needs of individuals with  
               some postsecondary education and those who need basic  
               education are addressed.  (Pen. Code, § 1234.2.)

          5)States that grants shall be awarded competitively.  (Pen.  
            Code, § 1243.3, subd. (a).) 

          6)Requires, at a minimum, that each proposed project include a  
            provision for an education and training assessment for each  
            supervised population participant.  (Pen. Code, § 1243.3,  
            subd. (c).)

          7)States that eligible uses of SPWTGP funds include vocational  
            training, stipends for trainees and apprenticeship  
            opportunities.  (Pen. Code, § 1243.3, subd. (d).)

          8)Gives preference to SPWTGP applications which: 

             a)   Propose matching funds; 

             b)   Is proposed by a county that currently administers a  
               workforce training program for the supervised population;  

             c)   Proposes participation by one or more nonprofit  
               community-based organizations that serve the supervised  
               population.  (Pen. Code, § 1243.3, subd. (e).)


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          9)Requires SPWTGP applications to set specific purposes and  
            criteria by which the program can be evaluated, defines the  
            subset of the supervised population the grant will serve,  
            defines the industry sector in which the targeted supervised  
            population will be trained and the estimated pay and demand  
            for workers in that industry, defines the general methodology  
            and training methods to be used, and explains how progress  
            among the supervised population trained will be measured.   
            (Pen. Code, § 1243.3, subd. (f).)

          10)Conditions receipt of SPWTGP grant funds on recipients  
            agreeing to provide information related to CWDB's reporting  
            requirements.  (Pen. Code, § 1243.3, subd. (g).)

          11)Requires the CWDB to annually report on the outcomes achieved  
            by grant recipients, including the overall success of the  
            SPWTGP based on the metrics set in awarded grants, and to make  
            a recommendation on the long-term viability of local workforce  
            investment boards for the supervised populations.  Criteria  
            for evaluation of the SPWTGP's success shall include:  

             a)   The education and workforce readiness of the supervised  
               population at the time individual participants entered the  
               program and how this impacted the types of services needed  
               and offered;

             b)   Whether the programs aligned with the workforce needs of  
               high-demand sectors of the state and regional economies;

             c)   Whether there was an active job market for the skills  
               being developed where the member of the supervised  
               population was likely to be released;

             d)   Whether the program increased the number of members of  
               the supervised population that obtained a marketable and  
               industry or apprenticeship board-recognized certification,  
               credential, or degree;

             e)   Whether the program increased the numbers of the  
               supervised population that successfully complete a job  
               readiness basic skill bridge program and enroll in a  
               long-term training program;


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             f)   Whether there were formal or informal networks in the  
               field that support finding employment upon release from  

             g)   Whether the program led to employment in occupations  
               with a livable wage;  and

             h)   Whether the metrics used to evaluate the individual  
               grants were sufficiently aligned with the objectives of the  
               program.  (Pen. Code, § 1234.4.)

          12)Sunsets the CWDB's reporting requirements on January 1, 2021.  
             (Pen. Code, § 1234.4, subd. (c).) 

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          1)Author's Statement:  According to the author, "Returning to  
            responsible working life after incarceration or drug/alcohol  
            intervention is a critical and often a difficult process.  
            Finding employment for rehabilitated persons is a major  
            contribution to reducing recidivism rates. Business and  
            non-profits that hire former convicts significantly help them,  
            their families, and communities they will live in.

            "In reality, it is difficult, if not daunting, for a  
            previously convicted person to attain employment due to lack  
            of training, social skills, bias or fear.  AB 2061 will bridge  
            the gap in making it easier for a business or non-profit to  
            hire those rehabilitated persons, allowing them to learn much  
            needed job skills and experience in order to fully return to  
            life in society."

          2)State Strategy on Employment of Former Offenders:  The federal  
            Workforce Investment Act requires the Governor, through CWIB,  
            to submit a State Strategic Workforce Development Plan (State  
            Plan) to the U.S. Department of Labor. This plan outlines a  
            five-year strategy for the investment of federal workforce  


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            training and employment services funds.  With respect to  
            services to former offenders, CWIB states the following:  
             "The State Board has leveraged the [California Department  
            of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)] expertise to  
            help Local Boards obtain additional funding from  
            "realignment" funds allocated to counties. A workshop was  
            conducted by the California Workforce Association, which  
            included CDCR and Local Board staff sharing knowledge  
            about realignment and funding so that Local Boards might  
            be in a better position to engage their counties in  
            seeking funding to serve this new "realigned" population.  

            "The State Board will continue to work closely with CDCR  
            and Local Boards to encourage and develop innovative  
            services for the ex-offender population. 

            "With Policy Link and the National Employment Law Project  
            (NELP), the State Board is helping convene Local Boards,  
            to ensure formally incarcerated individuals have access  
            to quality employment services. The State Board also  
            worked with EDD and NELP to develop a directive to ensure  
            that Local Boards comply with nondiscrimination  
            obligations when serving individuals with criminal  

            "Consistent with Adults Goal Objective 1, Action 2; the  
            State Board will work with the Local Boards to identify  
            in their Local Plan strategies they will utilize to  
            identify and remove barriers hampering their investment  
            of WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker funds in [career  
            technical education] programs to the ex-offender  
            population in their areas.  (Shared Strategy for a Shared  
            Prosperity: California's Strategic Workforce Development  
            Plan 2013 - 2017, California Workforce Investment Board.  
            (2013)  Services to State Target Populations, p. 10-7, 8  
            e%20Target%20Populations.pdf  > [as of Apr. 2, 2014].)  


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           3)Recidivism Reduction Fund:  Pursuant to an order from the  
            federal Three-Judge Court presiding over the Plata/Coleman v.  
            Brown cases, California was required to reduce its prison  
            population to 137.5% of system-wide design capacity by  
            December 31, 2013.  In response, the Governor proposed an  
            immediate plan to expand inmate housing to comply with the  
            court order and avoid the early release of prison inmates.  In  
            the days following the release of the Governor's original  
            plan, the Governor and the Legislature agreed to a different  
            proposal that would take effect should the Three-Judge Court  
            grant the state's request to modify the order to allow the  
            state additional time to comply.  The new plan, laid out in SB  
            105 (Steinberg), Chapter 310, Statutes 2013, stipulated that  
            if the amount of funding necessary to comply with a revised  
            court order extending the time to comply is less than the $315  
            million appropriated to facilitate immediate inmate housing  
            without any early release, the Director of Finance is to  
            direct the Controller to transfer the first $75 million of  
            such savings to the Recidivism Reduction Fund.  Any additional  
            savings is to be allocated as follows: 50% reverted to the  
            General Fund and 50% transferred to the Recidivism Reduction  
            Fund.  The purpose of the Recidivism Reduction Fund is to fund  
            activities aimed at reducing the state's prison population,  
            including, but not limited to, reducing recidivism.  (Pen.  
            Code, § 1233.9.)   
           4)Argument in Support:  According to Legal Services for  
            Prisoners with Children, "We believe that the escalation of  
            tough-on-crime policies over the past three decades has not  
            made us safer.  We believe that in order to build truly safe  
            and healthy communities we must ensure that all people have  
            access to adequate housing, quality health care and education,  
            healthy food, meaningful work and the ability to fully  
            participate in the democratic process, regardless of their  
            involvement with the criminal justice system.

          "Often, formerly incarcerated people are denied jobs for which  
            they are qualified on the basis of a past conviction.  The  
            purpose of these grants is to provide a path for formerly  
            incarcerated people to find employment.  By giving preference  
            to employers who hire formerly incarcerated people, this bill  
            asks these grant recipients to put their money where their  
            mouths are; to hire the people they are training for  


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            employment.  This will increase the incentive to hire formerly  
            incarcerated people and hopefully decrease bias against hiring  

          "This bill may result in a greater diversity within the  
            recipients of the grant money, as well as improving the  
            quality and responsiveness of these organizations to the  
            people they serve.

          "Passing this bill is a step towards full restoration of  
            people's rights upon release from custody.  For these reasons,  
            we urge your 'aye' vote on this bill."

          5)Related Legislation: 

             a)   AB 2288 (Burke) would require the CWDB and each local  
               board to ensure that pre-apprenticeship training in the  
               construction trades follows the Multi-Craft Core  
               Curriculum, and that programs funded by the federal  
               Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 and  
               directed to apprentice-able occupations in the construction  
               trades include plans to increase the percentage of women in  
               those trades.

             b)   AB 2105 (Rodriguez) would set the sunset date for the  
               CWDB's requirement to report to the Legislature a report on  
               the board's findings and recommendations regarding "earn  
               and learn" job training opportunities to January 1, 2020.

          6)Prior Legislation:  AB 2060 (V. Manuel Pérez), Chapter 383,  
            Statutes of 2014, established the Supervised Population  
            Workforce Training Grant Program.


          Legal Services for Prisoners with Children



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          Analysis Prepared  
          by:              Matt Dean / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744