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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XXXI
LABOR
Chapter 445
WORKFORCE SERVICES
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F.S. 445.003
445.003 Implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
(1) WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT PRINCIPLES.The state’s approach to implementing the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Pub. L. No. 113-128, should have six elements:
(a) Streamlining services.Florida’s employment and training programs must be coordinated and consolidated at locally managed one-stop delivery system centers.
(b) Empowering individuals.Eligible participants will make informed decisions, choosing the qualified training program that best meets their needs.
(c) Universal access.Through a one-stop delivery system, every Floridian will have access to employment services.
(d) Increased accountability.The state, localities, and training providers will be held accountable for their performance.
(e) Local board and private sector leadership.Local workforce development boards will focus on strategic planning, policy development, and oversight of the local system, choosing local managers to direct the operational details of their one-stop delivery system centers.
(f) Local flexibility and integration.Localities will have exceptional flexibility to build on existing reforms. Unified planning will free local groups from conflicting micromanagement, while waivers and WorkFlex will allow local innovations.
(2) FOUR-YEAR PLAN.The state board shall prepare and submit a 4-year plan, consistent with the requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Mandatory and optional federal partners shall be fully involved in designing the plan’s one-stop delivery system strategy. The plan must clearly define each program’s statewide duties and role relating to the system. The plan must detail a process that would fully integrate all federally mandated and optional partners.
(3) FUNDING.
(a) Title I, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds; Wagner-Peyser funds; and NAFTA/Trade Act funds will be expended based on the 4-year plan of the state board. The plan must outline and direct the method used to administer and coordinate various funds and programs that are operated by various agencies. The following provisions apply to these funds:
1. At least 50 percent of the Title I funds for Adults and Dislocated Workers which are passed through to local workforce development boards shall be allocated to and expended on Individual Training Accounts unless a local workforce development board obtains a waiver from the state board. Tuition, books, and fees of training providers and other training services prescribed and authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act qualify as Individual Training Account expenditures.
2. Fifteen percent of Title I funding shall be retained at the state level and dedicated to state administration and shall be used to design, develop, induce, fund, and evaluate the long-term impact of innovative Individual Training Account pilots, demonstrations, and programs to enable participants to attain self-sufficiency and to evaluate the effectiveness of performance-based contracts used by local workforce development boards under s. 445.024(5) on increasing wages and employment over the long term. Of such funds retained at the state level, $2 million may be reserved for the Incumbent Worker Training Program created under subparagraph 3. Eligible state administration costs include the costs of funding for the state board and state board staff; operating fiscal, compliance, and management accountability systems through the department; conducting evaluation and research on workforce development activities; and providing technical and capacity building assistance to local workforce development areas at the direction of the state board. Notwithstanding s. 445.004, such administrative costs may not exceed 25 percent of these funds. An amount not to exceed 75 percent of these funds shall be allocated to Individual Training Accounts and other workforce development strategies for other training designed and tailored by the state board in consultation with the department, including, but not limited to, programs for incumbent workers, nontraditional employment, and enterprise zones. The state board, in consultation with the department, shall design, adopt, and fund Individual Training Accounts for distressed urban and rural communities.
3. The Incumbent Worker Training Program is created for the purpose of providing grant funding for continuing education and training of incumbent employees at existing Florida businesses. The program will provide reimbursement grants to businesses that pay for preapproved, direct, training-related costs. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “businesses” includes hospitals operated by nonprofit or local government entities which provide nursing opportunities to acquire new or improved skills.
a. The Incumbent Worker Training Program will be administered by CareerSource Florida, Inc., which may, at its discretion, contract with a private business organization to serve as grant administrator.
b. The program shall be administered under s. 134(d)(4) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Funding priority shall be given in the following order:
(I) Businesses that provide employees with opportunities to acquire new or improved skills by earning a credential on the Master Credentials List.
(II) Hospitals operated by nonprofit or local government entities that provide nursing opportunities to acquire new or improved skills.
(III) Businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant upgrade in employee skills.
(IV) Businesses with 25 employees or fewer, businesses in rural areas, and businesses in distressed inner-city areas.
(V) Businesses in a qualified targeted industry or businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant layoff avoidance strategy.
c. All costs reimbursed by the program must be preapproved by CareerSource Florida, Inc., or the grant administrator. The program may not reimburse businesses for trainee wages, the purchase of capital equipment, or the purchase of any item or service that may possibly be used outside the training project. A business approved for a grant may be reimbursed for preapproved, direct, training-related costs including tuition, fees, books and training materials, and overhead or indirect costs not to exceed 5 percent of the grant amount.
d. A business that is selected to receive grant funding must provide a matching contribution to the training project, including, but not limited to, wages paid to trainees or the purchase of capital equipment used in the training project; must sign an agreement with CareerSource Florida, Inc., or the grant administrator to complete the training project as proposed in the application; must keep accurate records of the project’s implementation process; and must submit monthly or quarterly reimbursement requests with required documentation.
e. All Incumbent Worker Training Program grant projects shall be performance-based with specific measurable performance outcomes, including completion of the training project and job retention. CareerSource Florida, Inc., or the grant administrator shall withhold the final payment to the grantee until a final grant report is submitted and all performance criteria specified in the grant contract have been achieved.
f. The state board may establish guidelines necessary to implement the Incumbent Worker Training Program.
g. No more than 10 percent of the Incumbent Worker Training Program’s total appropriation may be used for overhead or indirect purposes.
4. At least 50 percent of Rapid Response funding shall be dedicated to Intensive Services Accounts and Individual Training Accounts for dislocated workers and incumbent workers who are at risk of dislocation. The department shall also maintain an Emergency Preparedness Fund from Rapid Response funds, which will immediately issue Intensive Service Accounts, Individual Training Accounts, and other federally authorized assistance to eligible victims of natural or other disasters. At the direction of the Governor, these Rapid Response funds shall be released to local workforce development boards for immediate use after events that qualify under federal law. Funding shall also be dedicated to maintain a unit at the state level to respond to Rapid Response emergencies and to work with state emergency management officials and local workforce development boards. All Rapid Response funds must be expended based on a plan developed by the state board in consultation with the department and approved by the Governor.
(b) The administrative entity for Title I, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds, and Rapid Response activities is the department, which shall provide direction to local workforce development boards regarding Title I programs and Rapid Response activities.
(4) FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS, EXCEPTIONS AND REQUIRED MODIFICATIONS.
(a) The state board may provide indemnification from audit liabilities to local workforce development boards that act in full compliance with state law and board policy.
(b) The state board, in consultation with the department, may make modifications to the state’s plan, policies, and procedures to comply with federally mandated requirements that in its judgment must be complied with to maintain funding provided pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128. The state board shall provide written notice to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives within 30 days after any such changes or modifications.
(c) The state board shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Florida Department of Education to ensure that federally mandated requirements of Pub. L. No. 113-128 are met and are in compliance with the state plan for workforce development.
(5) LONG-TERM CONSOLIDATION OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.The state board may recommend workforce related divisions, bureaus, units, programs, duties, commissions, boards, and councils for elimination, consolidation, or privatization.
(6) AUTHORITY TO HIRE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND STAFF.The state board may hire an executive director and staff to assist in carrying out the functions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and in using funds made available through the act. The state board shall require the executive director and staff to work with the department to minimize duplication and maximize efficient use of resources in carrying out the functions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
(7) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.The department shall adopt rules to implement the requirements of this chapter, including:
(a) The submission, review, and approval of local workforce plans.
(b) Initial and subsequent eligibility criteria, based on input from the state board, local workforce development boards, the Department of Education, and other stakeholders, for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act eligible training provider list. This list directs training resources to programs leading to employment in high-demand and high-priority occupations that provide economic security, particularly those occupations facing a shortage of skilled workers. A training provider who offers training to obtain a credential on the Master Credentials List under s. 445.004(4)(h) may not be included on a state or local eligible training provider list if the provider fails to submit the required information or fails to meet initial or subsequent eligibility criteria. Subsequent eligibility criteria must use the performance and outcome measures defined and reported under s. 1008.40, to determine whether each program offered by a training provider is qualified to remain on the list.
1. For the 2021-2022 program year, the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Department of Education shall establish the minimum criteria a training provider must achieve for completion, earnings, and employment rates of eligible participants. The minimum program criteria may not exceed the threshold at which more than 20 percent of all eligible training providers in the state would fall below.
2. Beginning with the 2022-2023 program year, each program offered by a training provider must, at a minimum, meet all of the following:
a. Income earnings for all individuals who complete the program that are equivalent to or above the state’s minimum wage in a calendar quarter.
b. An employment rate of at least 75 percent for all individuals. For programs linked to an occupation, the employment rate is calculated based on obtaining employment in the field in which the participant was trained.
c. A completion rate of at least 75 percent for all individuals, beginning with the 2023-2024 program year.
(c) Monitoring compliance of programs authorized by this chapter and determining whether such programs are meeting performance expectations, including an analysis of the return on investment of workforce related programs on individual employment, earnings, and public benefit usage outcomes and a cost-benefit analysis of the monetary impacts of workforce services from the participant and taxpayer points of view.
History.s. 57, ch. 99-251; s. 46, ch. 2000-158; s. 3, ch. 2000-165; s. 69, ch. 2001-62; s. 41, ch. 2004-357; s. 78, ch. 2005-2; s. 2, ch. 2005-255; s. 381, ch. 2011-142; s. 1, ch. 2012-29; s. 27, ch. 2015-98; s. 26, ch. 2016-216; s. 9, ch. 2017-233; s. 11, ch. 2020-30; s. 5, ch. 2021-164.
Note.Former s. 288.9956.