BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    





          SENATE COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
                             Senator Tony Mendoza, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:               AB 2719      Hearing Date:    June 22,  
          2016
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          |Author:    |Eduardo Garcia                                       |
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          |Version:   |June 13, 2016                                        |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|Brandon Seto                                         |
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                Subject:  Workforce development:  out-of-school youth


          KEY ISSUE
          
          Should the Legislature make out-of-school youth a state  
          workforce development priority and therefore make services  
          available for this group through funds available under the  
          federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act?  

          ANALYSIS
          
           Existing law

                  Establishes the California Workforce Development Board  
               (CWDB), whose members are appointed by the Governor and are  
               representative of the areas of business, labor, public  
               education, higher education, economic development, youth  
               activities, employment and training, as well as the  
               Legislature (Unemployment Insurance Code 14011 and  
               14012).

                 The CWDB assists the Governor in the development,  
               oversight, and continuous improvement of California's  
               workforce investment system, including its alignment to the  
               needs of the economy and the workforce (Unemployment  








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               Insurance Code 14010).

                 Requires the CWDB to assist the Governor in supporting  
               the use of career pathways to provide individuals,  
               including those with barriers to employment, with workforce  
               investment activities, education, and supportive services  
               in order to enter or retain employment (Unemployment  
               Insurance Code 14013).

                 Defines an "individual with employment barriers" as one  
               with any characteristic that substantially limits their  
               ability to obtain employment, including indicators of poor  
               work history, lack of work experience, or access to  
               employment in non-traditional occupations, long-term  
               unemployment, lack of educational or occupational skills  
               attainment, dislocation from high-wage and high-benefit  
               employment, low levels of literacy or English proficiency,  
               disability status, or welfare dependency (Unemployment  
               Insurance Code 14005).





           Existing federal law
           
                 Establishes the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act  
               (WIOA) of 2014 in order to help job seekers access  
               employment, education, training, and support services to  
               succeed in the labor market and to match employers with  
               skilled workers. WIOA coordinates employment and training  
               services for adults, dislocated workers, and youth through  
               grants to states that are implemented at the state and  
               local level.

                 Requires that WIOA, among other things:

                  1)        Increase employment, education, training, and  
                    support services for individuals who face barriers to  
                    employment (also known as individuals with employment  
                    barriers, as defined above).

                  2)        Provide workforce investment activities,  
                    through statewide and local workforce development  
                    systems, that increase the employment, retention, and  







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                    earnings of participants, and increase the attainment  
                    of recognized postsecondary credentials by  
                    participants, and as a result, improve the quality of  
                    the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, increase  
                    economic self-sufficiency.

                 Defines "out-of-school youth" as an individual who is  
               not attending any school (as defined under State law), is  
               16 to 24 years of age; and is one or more of the following:

                  1)        A school dropout.

                  2)        A youth who is within the age of compulsory  
                    school attendance, but has not attended school for at  
                    least the most recent complete school year calendar  
                    quarter.

                  3)        A recipient of a secondary school diploma or  
                    its recognized equivalent who is a low-income  
                    individual and is basic skills deficient or an English  
                    language learner.

                  4)        An individual who is subject to the juvenile  
                    or adult justice system.

                  5)        A homeless individual, a homeless child or  
                    youth, a runaway, in foster care or has/aged out of  
                    the foster care system, a child eligible for  
                    assistance under 677 of Title 42 of the United States  
                    Code, or in an out-of-home placement.

                  6)        An individual who is pregnant or parenting.

                  7)        A youth who is an individual with a  
                    disability.

                  8)        A low-income individual who requires  
                    additional assistance to enter or complete an  
                    educational program or to secure or hold employment.

            [United States Code, Title 29, 3164 (a)(1)(B)]

                 Intends through WIOA, to prepare vulnerable youth and  
               other job seekers for successful employment through the use  
               of proven service models services. 







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                 Requires local areas statewide to increase the  
               percentage of youth formula funds used to serve  
               out-of-school youth to 75 percent from 30 percent under  
               current law.

                 Requires federal funds dedicated to youth activities be  
               used for tutoring, study skills training, and instruction  
               leading to secondary school completion.
           
          This Bill 
          
           This bill would include "out-of-school youth" as individuals  
          with barriers to employment (IBEs) and thus match federal WIOA  
          standards by making them a workforce development priority. In  
          order to address the IBEs requirement, local workforce  
          development boards would be required to lead efforts to develop  
          and implement career pathways emphasizing education for these  
          youth, with the assistance of certain secondary and  
          postsecondary education programs. 

          Specifically this bill, among other things:
           
            Identifies and defines "out-of-school youth" as individuals  
            with barriers to employment.   

           Defines a "school operating in partnership with United States  
            Department of Labor programs" as a school that serves  
            out-of-school youth through a partnership that includes, but  
            is not limited to the CWDB or local workforce development  
            board.

           Charges the CWDB with developing strategies for providing  
            effective outreach to individuals with barriers to employment  
            and improving access to the workforce development system.

           Stipulates that the required CWDB status report on credential  
            attainment include among others, degree attainment, such as  
            high school diplomas. Also requires the CWDB to request an  
            opportunity to present relevant portions of the credential  
            attainment report to the State Board of Education and the  
            California Community College Board at least once every  
            calendar year.

           Identifies serving out-of-school youth as one of the metrics  







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            that a workforce development board will be evaluated on when  
            determining whether they met or exceed their performance goal  
            when designating high-performing boards.
            
           Requires that the local plan of the workforce development  
            board include out-of-school youth as a target group within the  
            analysis of programs available to provide education and  
            training in the region to address the education and skill  
            needs of the employers.

           Establishes, to the extent permitted by federal law, the  
            eligibility of school districts, county offices of education,  
            and schools operating in partnership with DOL programs to  
            apply to local workforce development boards in order to  
            provide skills and training to help out-of-school youth earn a  
            secondary school diploma.

           States that when considering appropriate education providers  
            for the out-of-school youth services mentioned above, the  
            local workforce development boards shall include for  
            consideration, among others, programs at schools accredited by  
            the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. 


          COMMENTS
          
          1.    Brief Background on WIOA and California's Workforce  
          Development System  

            The federal WIOA provides funds and sets priorities for  
            workforce development activities but leaves room for  
            implementation decisions to be made at the State and local  
            levels. California's federal workforce funds are overseen by  
            the CWDB. The CWDB provides guidance to local workforce boards  
            and is charged with developing a unified, strategic plan to  
            coordinate various education, training, and employment  
            programs with the goal of fostering an integrated workforce  
            development system that supports economic development.  At the  
            local and regional level there are 49 local workforce  
            development boards that plan for and oversee the workforce  
            system in their areas.  By federal requirement, business  
            community representatives make up the majority of local  
            workforce board membership. With respect to the provisions of  
            this bill, California law allows schools partnering with DOL  
            programs to help youth over 19 years of age earn a high school  







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            diploma which is considered to be beneficial to workforce  
            development.  

          2.  Need for this bill?
           
            According to the author, high school diploma attainment is a  
            primary indicator of employment potential and performance for  
            out-of-school youth and for dislocated workers. Following the  
            lead of the federal WIOA, this bill intends to strengthen the  
            state's implementation of its workforce program by aligning  
            California's workforce development system with schools serving  
            out-of-school youth. While services to out-of-school youth are  
            treated as a priority under the federal WIOA, they are not  
            mentioned specifically under current state law.  

          3.    Committee Amendment  

            An amendment negotiated by the author and stakeholders will be  
            taken as a committee amendment should the bill be passed by  
            this committee. The amendment (below) clarifies in SEC. 6 of  
            the bill, which amends Section 14510 of the Unemployment  
            Insurance Code that Western Association of Schools and  
            Colleges-accredited programs are not the only appropriate  
            education providers for out-of-school youth. 

            (b) Among the appropriate education providers considered for  
            out-of-school youth services, the boards shall include for  
            consideration  , but not be limited to,   programs that  
            specialize in a secondary school diploma from a school  
            accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges  
            from the relevant geographic area.

          4.  Proponent Arguments  :
            
            Proponents state that out-of-school youth face many  
            challenges, especially in access to employment. They argue  
            that employment rates and salaries are higher for young adults  
            who have completed high school as opposed to those who have  
            not. Those youth who have dropped out of high school are more  
            likely to live in poverty and face incarceration. 

            Proponents state that AB 2719 updates the state WIOA programs  
            to identify "out-of-school youth" specifically as a population  
            that faces barriers to employment. In doing so, AB 2719  
            elevates the needs of California's out-of-school youth to a  







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            level consistent with federal law. Youth who have not  
            completed a traditional high school route often enroll in WIOA  
            programs and receive job training and education. AB 2719  
            creates a pathway for increasing educational and vocational  
            credentials available to out-of-school youth. Proponents  
            believe that by adding this population to California's  
            workforce development priorities, the state will recognize  
            their unique needs, and will be better able to assist them in  
            community re-engagement and attaining self-sufficiency and  
            economic stability.

          5.  Opponent Arguments  :

            None received.

          6.  Prior Legislation  :

            AB 1270 (E. Garcia), Chapter 94, Statutes of 2015 - aligned  
            California statute with the new requirements of the federal  
            Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 while  
            preserving core elements of California's workforce development  
            policies.                                              


          SUPPORT
          
          California Association of Local Conservation Corps
          California Charter Schools Association Advocates
          California School Boards Association
          California Teachers Association
          California Urban Partnership
          John Muir Charter Schools
          Los Angeles County Office of Education
          Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
          Riverside County Superintendent of Schools
          SIA Tech California
          YouthBuild Charter School of California
          
          OPPOSITION
          
          None on file

                                      -- END --
          







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