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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXXI
LABOR
Chapter 445
WORKFORCE SERVICES
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CHAPTER 445
CHAPTER 445
WORKFORCE SERVICES
445.001 Short title.
445.002 Definitions.
445.003 Implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
445.004 CareerSource Florida, Inc.; creation; purpose; membership; duties and powers.
445.006 State plan for workforce development.
445.007 Local workforce development boards.
445.0071 Florida Youth Summer Jobs Pilot Program.
445.008 Workforce Training Institute.
445.009 One-stop delivery system.
445.010 Workforce system information technology; principles and information sharing.
445.011 Workforce information systems.
445.014 Small business workforce service initiative.
445.016 Untried Worker Placement and Employment Incentive Act.
445.017 Diversion.
445.018 Diversion program to strengthen Florida’s families.
445.019 Teen parent and pregnancy prevention diversion program; eligibility for services.
445.020 Diversion programs; determination of need.
445.021 Relocation assistance program.
445.022 Retention Incentive Training Accounts.
445.023 Program for dependent care for families with children with special needs.
445.024 Work requirements.
445.025 Other support services.
445.026 Cash assistance severance benefit.
445.028 Transitional benefits and services.
445.029 Transitional medical benefits.
445.030 Transitional education and training.
445.031 Transitional transportation.
445.032 Transitional child care.
445.0325 Welfare Transition Trust Fund.
445.033 Evaluation.
445.034 Authorized expenditures.
445.035 Data collection and reporting.
445.038 Digital media; job training.
445.045 Development of an Internet-based system for information technology industry promotion and workforce recruitment.
445.046 Establishment of a network access point.
445.047 Passport to Economic Progress Act; legislative intent.
445.048 Passport to Economic Progress program.
445.051 Individual development accounts.
445.055 Employment advocacy and assistance program targeting military spouses and dependents.
445.056 Citizen Soldier Matching Grant Program.
445.06 Florida Ready to Work Certification Program.
445.07 Economic security report of employment and earning outcomes.
445.001 Short title.This chapter may be cited as the “Workforce Innovation Act of 2000.”
History.s. 1, ch. 2000-165.
445.002 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Department” means the Department of Economic Opportunity.
(2) “Services and one-time payments” or “services,” when used in reference to individuals who are not receiving temporary cash assistance, means nonrecurrent, short-term benefits designed to deal with a specific crisis situation or episode of need and other services; work subsidies; supportive services such as child care and transportation; services such as counseling, case management, peer support, and child care information and referral; transitional services, job retention, job advancement, and other employment-related services; nonmedical treatment for substance abuse or mental health problems; teen pregnancy prevention; two-parent family support, including noncustodial parent employment; court-ordered supervised visitation, and responsible fatherhood services; and any other services that are reasonably calculated to further the purposes of the welfare transition program. Such terms do not include assistance as defined in federal regulations at 45 C.F.R. s. 260.31(a).
(3) “Welfare transition services” means those workforce services provided to current or former recipients of temporary cash assistance under chapter 414.
History.s. 2, ch. 2000-165; s. 380, ch. 2011-142.
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.CareerSource Florida, Inc., 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 CareerSource Florida, Inc. 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 CareerSource Florida, Inc. 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, and fund innovative Individual Training Account pilots, demonstrations, and programs. Of such funds retained at the state level, $2 million shall be reserved for the Incumbent Worker Training Program created under subparagraph 3. Eligible state administration costs include the costs of funding for the board and staff of CareerSource Florida, Inc.; operating fiscal, compliance, and management accountability systems through CareerSource Florida, Inc.; conducting evaluation and research on workforce development activities; and providing technical and capacity building assistance to local workforce development areas at the direction of CareerSource Florida, Inc. 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 CareerSource Florida, Inc., including, but not limited to, programs for incumbent workers, nontraditional employment, and enterprise zones. CareerSource Florida, Inc., 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.
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 pursuant to s. 134(d)(4) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Priority for funding shall be given to businesses with 25 employees or fewer, businesses in rural areas, businesses in distressed inner-city areas, businesses in a qualified targeted industry, businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant upgrade in employee skills, 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. CareerSource Florida, Inc., 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. CareerSource Florida, Inc., 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 CareerSource Florida, Inc., 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 of Economic Opportunity, which shall provide direction to local workforce development boards regarding Title I programs and Rapid Response activities pursuant to the direction of CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(4) FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS, EXCEPTIONS AND REQUIRED MODIFICATIONS.
(a) CareerSource Florida, Inc., may provide indemnification from audit liabilities to local workforce development boards that act in full compliance with state law and board policy.
(b) CareerSource Florida, Inc., 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 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) CareerSource Florida, Inc., 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.CareerSource Florida, Inc., may recommend workforce-related divisions, bureaus, units, programs, duties, commissions, boards, and councils for elimination, consolidation, or privatization.
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.
Note.Former s. 288.9956.
445.004 CareerSource Florida, Inc.; creation; purpose; membership; duties and powers.
(1) CareerSource Florida, Inc., is created as a not-for-profit corporation, which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617. CareerSource Florida, Inc., is not a unit or entity of state government and is exempt from chapters 120 and 287. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall apply the procurement and expenditure procedures required by federal law for the expenditure of federal funds. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall be administratively housed within the Department of Economic Opportunity; however, CareerSource Florida, Inc., is not subject to control, supervision, or direction by the department in any manner. The Legislature finds that public policy dictates that CareerSource Florida, Inc., operate in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. To this end, the Legislature specifically declares that CareerSource Florida, Inc., its board, councils, and any advisory committees or similar groups created by CareerSource Florida, Inc., are subject to the provisions of chapter 119 relating to public records, and those provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings.
(2) CareerSource Florida, Inc., is the principal workforce policy organization for the state. The purpose of CareerSource Florida, Inc., is to design and implement strategies that help Floridians enter, remain in, and advance in the workplace, so that they may become more highly skilled and successful, which benefits these Floridians, Florida businesses, and the entire state, and fosters the development of the state’s business climate.
(3)(a) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall be governed by a board of directors, whose membership and appointment must be consistent with Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 101(b). Members described in Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 101(b)(1)(C)(iii)(I)(aa) shall be nonvoting members. The number of directors shall be determined by the Governor, who shall consider the importance of minority, gender, and geographic representation in making appointments to the board. When the Governor is in attendance, he or she shall preside at all meetings of the board of directors.
(b) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall be chaired by a board member designated by the Governor pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128. A member may not serve more than two terms.
(c) Members appointed by the Governor may serve no more than two terms and must be appointed for 3-year terms. However, in order to establish staggered terms for board members, the Governor shall appoint or reappoint one-third of the board members for 1-year terms, one-third of the board members for 2-year terms, and one-third of the board members for 3-year terms beginning July 1, 2016. Subsequent appointments or reappointments shall be for 3-year terms, except that a member appointed to fill a vacancy on the board shall be appointed to serve only the remainder of the term of the member whom he or she is replacing, and may be appointed for a subsequent 3-year term. Private sector representatives of businesses, appointed by the Governor pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128, shall constitute a majority of the membership of the board. Private sector representatives shall be appointed from nominations received by the Governor, including, but not limited to, those nominations made by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Private sector appointments to the board must be representative of the business community of this state; no fewer than one-half of the appointments must be representative of small businesses, and at least five members must have economic development experience. Members appointed by the Governor serve at the pleasure of the Governor and are eligible for reappointment.
(d) The board must include the vice chairperson of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and one member representing each of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act partners, including the Division of Career and Adult Education, and other entities representing programs identified in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as determined necessary.
(e) A member of the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., may be removed by the Governor for cause. Absence from three consecutive meetings results in automatic removal. The chair of CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall notify the Governor of such absences.
(f) Representatives of businesses appointed to the board of directors may not include providers of workforce services.
(4)(a) The president of CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall be hired by the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor in the capacity of an executive director and secretary of CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(b) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall meet at least quarterly and at other times upon the call of its chair. The board and its committees, subcommittees, or other subdivisions may use any method of telecommunications to conduct meetings, including establishing a quorum through telecommunications, if the public is given proper notice of the telecommunications meeting and is given reasonable access to observe and, if appropriate, participate.
(c) A majority of the total current membership of the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., constitutes a quorum.
(d) A majority of those voting is required to organize and conduct the business of the board, except that a majority of the entire board of directors is required to adopt or amend the bylaws.
(e) Except as delegated or authorized by the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., individual members have no authority to control or direct the operations of CareerSource Florida, Inc., or the actions of its officers and employees, including the president.
(f) Members of the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and its committees serve without compensation, but these members, the president, and the employees of CareerSource Florida, Inc., may be reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses pursuant to s. 112.061.
(g) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., may establish an executive committee consisting of the chair and at least six additional board members selected by the chair, one of whom must be a representative of organized labor. The executive committee and the president have such authority as the board delegates to them, except that the board of directors may not delegate to the executive committee authority to take action that requires approval by a majority of the entire board of directors.
(h) The chair may appoint committees to fulfill the board’s responsibilities, to comply with federal requirements, or to obtain technical assistance, and must incorporate members of local workforce development boards into its structure.
(i) Each member of the board of directors who is not otherwise required to file a financial disclosure pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 must file disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
(5) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall have all the powers and authority not explicitly prohibited by statute which are necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate its purposes as determined by statute, Pub. L. No. 113-128, and the Governor, as well as its functions, duties, and responsibilities, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) Serving as the state’s Workforce Development Board pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128. Unless otherwise required by federal law, at least 90 percent of workforce development funding must go toward direct customer service.
(b) Providing oversight and policy direction to ensure that the following programs are administered by the department in compliance with approved plans and under contract with CareerSource Florida, Inc.:
1. Programs authorized under Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Pub. L. No. 113-128, with the exception of programs funded directly by the United States Department of Labor under Title I, s. 167.
2. Programs authorized under the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, as amended, 29 U.S.C. ss. 49 et seq.
3. Activities authorized under Title II of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended, 19 U.S.C. ss. 2272 et seq., and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.
4. Activities authorized under 38 U.S.C. chapter 41, including job counseling, training, and placement for veterans.
5. Employment and training activities carried out under funds awarded to this state by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
6. Welfare transition services funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, created under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as amended, Pub. L. No. 104-193, and Title IV, s. 403, of the Social Security Act, as amended.
7. The Florida Bonding Program, provided under Pub. L. No. 97-300, s. 164(a)(1).
8. The Food Assistance Employment and Training Program, provided under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, 7 U.S.C. ss. 2011-2032; the Food Security Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 99-198; and the Hunger Prevention Act, Pub. L. No. 100-435.
9. The Quick-Response Training Program, provided under ss. 288.046-288.047. Matching funds and in-kind contributions that are provided by clients of the Quick-Response Training Program shall count toward the requirements of s. 288.904, pertaining to the return on investment from activities of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
10. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, provided under the Tax and Trade Relief Extension Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-277, and the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 105-34.
11. Offender placement services, provided under ss. 944.707-944.708.
(c) The department may adopt rules necessary to administer this chapter which relate to implementing and administering the programs listed in paragraph (b) as well as rules related to eligible training providers and auditing and monitoring subrecipients of the workforce system grant funds.
(d) Contracting with public and private entities as necessary to further the directives of this section. All contracts executed by CareerSource Florida, Inc., must include specific performance expectations and deliverables. All CareerSource Florida, Inc., contracts, including those solicited, managed, or paid by the department pursuant to s. 20.60(5)(c) are exempt from s. 112.061, but shall be governed by subsection (1).
(e) Notifying the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of noncompliance by the department or other agencies or obstruction of the board’s efforts by such agencies. Upon such notification, the Executive Office of the Governor shall assist agencies to bring them into compliance with board objectives.
(f) Ensuring that the state does not waste valuable training resources. The board shall direct that all resources, including equipment purchased for training Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act clients, be available for use at all times by eligible populations as first priority users. At times when eligible populations are not available, such resources shall be used for any other state-authorized education and training purpose. CareerSource Florida, Inc., may authorize expenditures to award suitable framed certificates, pins, or other tokens of recognition for performance by a local workforce development board, its committees and subdivisions, and other units of the workforce system. CareerSource Florida, Inc., may also authorize expenditures for promotional items, such as t-shirts, hats, or pens printed with messages promoting the state’s workforce system to employers, job seekers, and program participants. However, such expenditures are subject to federal regulations applicable to the expenditure of federal funds.
(g) Establishing a dispute resolution process for all memoranda of understanding or other contracts or agreements entered into between the department and local workforce development boards.
(h) Archiving records with the Bureau of Archives and Records Management of the Division of Library and Information Services of the Department of State.
(6) CareerSource Florida, Inc., may take action that it deems necessary to achieve the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to:
(a) Creating a state employment, education, and training policy that ensures that programs to prepare workers are responsive to present and future business and industry needs and complement the initiatives of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(b) Establishing policy direction for a funding system that provides incentives to improve the outcomes of career education, registered apprenticeship, and work-based learning programs and that focuses resources on occupations related to new or emerging industries that add greatly to the value of the state’s economy.
(c) Establishing a comprehensive policy related to the education and training of target populations such as those who have disabilities, are economically disadvantaged, receive public assistance, are not proficient in English, or are dislocated workers. This approach should ensure the effective use of federal, state, local, and private resources in reducing the need for public assistance.
(d) Designating Institutes of Applied Technology composed of public and private postsecondary institutions working together with business and industry to ensure that career education programs use the most advanced technology and instructional methods available and respond to the changing needs of business and industry.
(e) Providing policy direction for a system to project and evaluate labor market supply and demand using the results of the Workforce Estimating Conference created in s. 216.136 and the career education performance standards identified under s. 1008.43.
(f) Reviewing the performance of public programs that are responsible for economic development, education, employment, and training. The review must include an analysis of the return on investment of these programs.
(g) Expanding the occupations identified by the Workforce Estimating Conference to meet needs created by local emergencies or plant closings or to capture occupations within emerging industries.
(7) By December 1 of each year, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Minority Leader, and the House Minority Leader a complete and detailed annual report setting forth:
(a) All audits, including any audit conducted under subsection (8).
(b) The operations and accomplishments of the board, including the programs or entities specified in subsection (6).
(8) Pursuant to his or her own authority or at the direction of the Legislative Auditing Committee, the Auditor General may conduct an audit of CareerSource Florida, Inc., or the programs or entities created by CareerSource Florida, Inc. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, pursuant to its authority or at the direction of the Legislative Auditing Committee, may review the systems and controls related to performance outcomes and quality of services of CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(9) CareerSource Florida, Inc., in collaboration with the local workforce development boards and appropriate state agencies and local public and private service providers, shall establish uniform performance accountability measures that apply across the core programs to gauge the performance of the state and local workforce development boards in achieving the workforce development strategy.
(a) The performance accountability measures for the core programs consist of the primary indicators of performance, any additional indicators of performance, and a state-adjusted level of performance for each indicator pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 116(b).
(b) The performance accountability measures for each local area consist of the primary indicators of performance, any additional indicators of performance, and a local level of performance for each indicator pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128. The local level of performance is determined by the local board, the chief elected official, and the Governor pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 116(c).
(c) Performance accountability measures shall be used to generate performance reports pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 116(d).
(d) The performance accountability measures of success that are adopted by CareerSource Florida, Inc., or the local workforce development boards must be developed in a manner that provides for an equitable comparison of the relative success or failure of any service provider in terms of positive outcomes.
(10) The workforce development strategy for the state shall be designed by CareerSource Florida, Inc. The strategy must include efforts that enlist business, education, and community support for students to achieve long-term career goals, ensuring that young people have the academic and occupational skills required to succeed in the workplace. The strategy must also assist employers in upgrading or updating the skills of their employees and assisting workers to acquire the education or training needed to secure a better job with better wages. The strategy must assist the state’s efforts to attract and expand job-creating businesses offering high-paying, high-demand occupations.
(11) The workforce development system must use a charter-process approach aimed at encouraging local design and control of service delivery and targeted activities. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall be responsible for granting charters to local workforce development boards that have a membership consistent with the requirements of federal and state law and have developed a plan consistent with the state’s workforce development strategy. The plan must specify methods for allocating the resources and programs in a manner that eliminates unwarranted duplication, minimizes administrative costs, meets the existing job market demands and the job market demands resulting from successful economic development activities, ensures access to quality workforce development services for all Floridians, allows for pro rata or partial distribution of benefits and services, prohibits the creation of a waiting list or other indication of an unserved population, serves as many individuals as possible within available resources, and maximizes successful outcomes. As part of the charter process, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish incentives for effective coordination of federal and state programs, outline rewards for successful job placements, and institute collaborative approaches among local service providers. Local decisionmaking and control shall be important components for inclusion in this charter application.
(12) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall enter into agreement with Space Florida and collaborate with vocational institutes, community colleges, colleges, and universities in this state to develop a workforce development strategy to implement the workforce provisions of s. 331.3051.
History.s. 1, ch. 94-232; s. 875, ch. 95-148; s. 112, ch. 96-320; s. 6, ch. 96-404; s. 42, ch. 97-278; s. 52, ch. 99-8; s. 75, ch. 99-13; s. 53, ch. 99-251; s. 4, ch. 2000-165; s. 3, ch. 2001-66; s. 4, ch. 2001-175; s. 1003, ch. 2002-387; s. 42, ch. 2004-357; s. 3, ch. 2005-255; s. 66, ch. 2006-60; s. 12, ch. 2006-301; s. 121, ch. 2008-4; s. 35, ch. 2010-209; s. 382, ch. 2011-142; s. 28, ch. 2015-98; s. 27, ch. 2016-216; s. 10, ch. 2017-233.
Note.Former s. 288.0475; s. 288.9620; s. 288.9952.
445.006 State plan for workforce development.
(1) STATE PLAN.CareerSource Florida, Inc., in conjunction with state and local partners in the workforce system, shall develop a state plan that produces an educated and skilled workforce. The state plan must consist of strategic and operational planning elements. The state plan shall be submitted by the Governor to the United States Department of Labor pursuant to the requirements of Pub. L. No. 113-128.
(2) STRATEGIC PLANNING ELEMENTS.CareerSource Florida, Inc., in conjunction with state and local partners in the workforce system, shall develop strategic planning elements, pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 102, for the state plan.
(a) The strategic planning elements of the state plan must include, but need not be limited to, strategies for:
1. Fulfilling the workforce system goals and strategies prescribed in s. 445.004;
2. Aggregating, integrating, and leveraging workforce system resources;
3. Coordinating the activities of federal, state, and local workforce system partners;
4. Addressing the workforce needs of small businesses; and
5. Fostering the participation of rural communities and distressed urban cores in the workforce system.
(b) The strategic planning elements must include criteria for allocating workforce resources to local workforce development boards. With respect to allocating funds to serve customers of the welfare transition program, such criteria may include weighting factors that indicate the relative degree of difficulty associated with securing and retaining employment placements for specific subsets of the welfare transition caseload.
(3) OPERATIONAL PLANNING ELEMENTS.CareerSource Florida, Inc., in conjunction with state and local partners in the workforce system, shall develop operational planning elements, pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 102, for the state plan.
History.s. 6, ch. 2000-165; s. 4, ch. 2005-255; ss. 145, 197, ch. 2010-102; s. 29, ch. 2015-98; s. 28, ch. 2016-216.
445.007 Local workforce development boards.
(1) One workforce development board shall be appointed in each designated service delivery area and shall serve as the local workforce development board pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128. The membership of the board must be consistent with Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 107(b). If a public education or training provider is represented on the board, a representative of a private education provider must also be appointed to the board. CareerSource Florida, Inc., may waive this requirement if requested by a local workforce development board if it is demonstrated that such representatives do not exist in the region. The importance of minority and gender representation shall be considered when making appointments to the board. The board, its committees, subcommittees, and subdivisions, and other units of the workforce system, including units that may consist in whole or in part of local governmental units, may use any method of telecommunications to conduct meetings, including establishing a quorum through telecommunications, provided that the public is given proper notice of the telecommunications meeting and reasonable access to observe and, when appropriate, participate. Local workforce development boards are subject to chapters 119 and 286 and s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution. If the local workforce development board enters into a contract with an organization or individual represented on the board of directors, the contract must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the board, a quorum having been established, and the board member who could benefit financially from the transaction must abstain from voting on the contract. A board member must disclose any such conflict in a manner that is consistent with the procedures outlined in s. 112.3143. Each member of a local workforce development board who is not otherwise required to file a full and public disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 shall file a statement of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145. The executive director or designated person responsible for the operational and administrative functions of the local workforce development board who is not otherwise required to file a full and public disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 shall file a statement of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
(2)(a) The local workforce development board shall elect a chair from among the representatives described in Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 107(b)(2)(A) to serve for a term of no more than 2 years and shall serve no more than two terms.
(b) The Governor may remove a member of the board, the executive director of the board, or the designated person responsible for the operational and administrative functions of the board for cause. As used in this paragraph, the term “cause” includes, but is not limited to, engaging in fraud or other criminal acts, incapacity, unfitness, neglect of duty, official incompetence and irresponsibility, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, or lack of performance.
(3) The Department of Economic Opportunity, under the direction of CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall assign staff to meet with each local workforce development board annually to review the board’s performance and to certify that the board is in compliance with applicable state and federal law.
(4) In addition to the duties and functions specified by CareerSource Florida, Inc., and by the interlocal agreement approved by the local county or city governing bodies, the local workforce development board shall have the following responsibilities:
(a) Develop, submit, ratify, or amend the local plan pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 108 and this act.
(b) Conclude agreements necessary to designate the fiscal agent and administrative entity. A public or private entity, including an entity established pursuant to s. 163.01, which makes a majority of the appointments to a local workforce development board may serve as the board’s administrative entity if approved by CareerSource Florida, Inc., based upon a showing that a fair and competitive process was used to select the administrative entity.
(c) Complete assurances required for the charter process of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and provide ongoing oversight related to administrative costs, duplicated services, career counseling, economic development, equal access, compliance and accountability, and performance outcomes.
(d) Oversee the one-stop delivery system in its local area.
(5) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall implement a training program for the local workforce development boards to familiarize board members with the state’s workforce development goals and strategies.
(6) The local workforce development board shall designate all local service providers and may not transfer this authority to a third party. Consistent with the intent of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, local workforce development boards should provide the greatest possible choice of training providers to those who qualify for training services. A local workforce development board may not restrict the choice of training providers based upon cost, location, or historical training arrangements. However, a board may restrict the amount of training resources available to any one client. Such restrictions may vary based upon the cost of training in the client’s chosen occupational area. The local workforce development board may be designated as a one-stop operator and direct provider of intake, assessment, eligibility determinations, or other direct provider services except training services. Such designation may occur only with the agreement of the chief elected official and the Governor as specified in 29 U.S.C. s. 2832(f)(2). CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish procedures by which a local workforce development board may request permission to operate under this section and the criteria under which such permission may be granted. The criteria shall include, but need not be limited to, a reduction in the cost of providing the permitted services. Such permission shall be granted for a period not to exceed 3 years for any single request submitted by the local workforce development board.
(7) Local workforce development boards shall adopt a committee structure consistent with applicable federal law and state policies established by CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(8) The importance of minority and gender representation shall be considered when appointments are made to any committee established by the local workforce development board.
(9) For purposes of procurement, local workforce development boards and their administrative entities are not state agencies and are exempt from chapters 120 and 287. The local workforce development boards shall apply the procurement and expenditure procedures required by federal law and policies of the Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida, Inc., for the expenditure of federal, state, and nonpass-through funds. The making or approval of smaller, multiple payments for a single purchase with the intent to avoid or evade the monetary thresholds and procedures established by federal law and policies of the Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida, Inc., is grounds for removal for cause. Local workforce development boards, their administrative entities, committees, and subcommittees, and other workforce units may authorize expenditures to award suitable framed certificates, pins, or other tokens of recognition for performance by units of the workforce system. Local workforce development boards; their administrative entities, committees, and subcommittees; and other workforce units may authorize expenditures for promotional items, such as t-shirts, hats, or pens printed with messages promoting Florida’s workforce system to employers, job seekers, and program participants. However, such expenditures are subject to federal regulations applicable to the expenditure of federal funds. All contracts executed by local workforce development boards must include specific performance expectations and deliverables.
(10) State and federal funds provided to the local workforce development boards may not be used directly or indirectly to pay for meals, food, or beverages for board members, staff, or employees of local workforce development boards, CareerSource Florida, Inc., or the Department of Economic Opportunity except as expressly authorized by state law. Preapproved, reasonable, and necessary per diem allowances and travel expenses may be reimbursed. Such reimbursement shall be at the standard travel reimbursement rates established in s. 112.061 and shall be in compliance with all applicable federal and state requirements. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall develop a statewide fiscal policy applicable to the state board and all local workforce development boards, to hold both the state and local workforce development boards strictly accountable for adherence to the policy and subject to regular and periodic monitoring by the Department of Economic Opportunity, the administrative entity for CareerSource Florida, Inc. Boards are prohibited from expending state or federal funds for entertainment costs and recreational activities for board members and employees as these terms are defined by 2 C.F.R. part 230.
(11) To increase transparency and accountability, a local workforce development board must comply with the requirements of this section before contracting with a member of the board or a relative, as defined in s. 112.3143(1)(c), of a board member or of an employee of the board. Such contracts may not be executed before or without the approval of CareerSource Florida, Inc. Such contracts, as well as documentation demonstrating adherence to this section as specified by CareerSource Florida, Inc., must be submitted to the Department of Economic Opportunity for review and recommendation according to criteria to be determined by CareerSource Florida, Inc. Such a contract must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the board, a quorum having been established; all conflicts of interest must be disclosed before the vote; and any member who may benefit from the contract, or whose relative may benefit from the contract, must abstain from the vote. A contract under $25,000 between a local workforce development board and a member of that board or between a relative, as defined in s. 112.3143(1)(c), of a board member or of an employee of the board is not required to have the prior approval of CareerSource Florida, Inc., but must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the board, a quorum having been established, and must be reported to the Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida, Inc., within 30 days after approval. If a contract cannot be approved by CareerSource Florida, Inc., a review of the decision to disapprove the contract may be requested by the local workforce development board or other parties to the disapproved contract.
(12) Each local workforce development board shall develop a budget for the purpose of carrying out the duties of the board under this section, subject to the approval of the chief elected official. Each local workforce development board shall submit its annual budget for review to CareerSource Florida, Inc., no later than 2 weeks after the chair approves the budget.
(13) By March 1, 2018, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish regional planning areas in accordance with Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 106(a)(2). Local workforce development boards and chief elected officials within identified regional planning areas shall prepare a regional workforce development plan as required under Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 106(c)(2).
History.s. 2, ch. 96-404; s. 1072, ch. 97-103; s. 54, ch. 99-251; s. 7, ch. 2000-165; s. 3, ch. 2001-160; s. 5, ch. 2001-175; s. 8, ch. 2004-230; s. 5, ch. 2005-255; s. 3, ch. 2006-287; s. 1, ch. 2008-161; s. 49, ch. 2010-153; s. 383, ch. 2011-142; s. 9, ch. 2012-6; s. 2, ch. 2012-29; s. 22, ch. 2013-36; s. 114, ch. 2014-17; s. 30, ch. 2015-98; s. 29, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 446.602; s. 288.9953.
445.0071 Florida Youth Summer Jobs Pilot Program.
(1) CREATION.Contingent upon appropriations, there is created the Florida Youth Summer Jobs Pilot Program within workforce development district 22 served by the Broward Workforce Development Board. The board shall, in consultation with CareerSource Florida, Inc., provide a program offering at-risk and disadvantaged children summer jobs in partnership with local communities and public employers.
(2) ELIGIBILITY.
(a) Children at least 14 but not more than 18 years of age are eligible to participate in the program if they are:
1. At risk of welfare dependency, including economically disadvantaged children, children of participants in the welfare transition program, children of migrant farmworkers, and children of teen parents. For purposes of this section, “economically disadvantaged children” are those whose family income is below 150 percent of the federal poverty level;
2. Children of working families whose family income does not exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty level;
3. Juvenile offenders;
4. Children in foster care; or
5. Children with disabilities.
(b) Employers are eligible to participate in the program under the following conditions:
1. The employer shall meet the program requirements of subsection (3).
2. The employer shall pay the state minimum wage to a program participant hired under the program.
3. The maximum hours required of a program participant per week shall not exceed 30 hours.
4. The employer shall comply with state and federal child labor and antidiscrimination laws.
(3) PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.
(a) The program shall:
1. Provide the program participant a work experience that will teach personal responsibility and reinforce the obligations and rewards of holding a job.
2. Allow for an academic enrichment component that will assist the program participant in remaining in or returning to school.
3. Provide documented learning experiences relevant to the type of work performed and tailored to the needs of the program participant.
4. Allow for the provision of life skills training by the local community or a third-party provider contracted by the local community if such skills training takes up no more than 10 percent of the program participant’s work time.
(b) The program may begin on the day after the end of the regular school year in the local community and shall end before the first regular day of school in the local community.
(4) GOVERNANCE.
(a) The pilot program shall be administered by the local workforce development board in consultation with CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(b) The local workforce development board shall report to CareerSource Florida, Inc., the number of at-risk and disadvantaged children who enter the program, the types of work activities they participate in, and the number of children who return to school, go on to postsecondary school, or enter the workforce full time at the end of the program. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall report to the Legislature by November 1 of each year on the performance of the program.
(5) FUNDING.
(a) The local workforce development board shall, consistent with state and federal laws, use funds appropriated specifically for the pilot program to provide youth wage payments and educational enrichment activities. The local workforce development board and local communities may obtain private or state and federal grants or other sources of funds in addition to any appropriated funds.
(b) Program funds shall be used as follows:
1. No less than 85 percent of the funds shall be used for youth wage payments or educational enrichment activities. These funds shall be matched on a one-to-one basis by each local community that participates in the program.
2. No more than 2 percent of the funds may be used for administrative purposes.
3. The remainder of the funds may be used for transportation assistance, child care assistance, or other assistance to enable a program participant to enter or remain in the program.
(c) The local workforce development board shall pay a participating employer an amount equal to one-half of the wages paid to a youth participating in the program. Payments shall be made monthly for the duration that the youth participant is employed as documented by the employer and confirmed by the local workforce development board.
History.s. 2, ch. 2005-149; s. 31, ch. 2015-98; s. 30, ch. 2016-216.
445.008 Workforce Training Institute.
(1) CareerSource Florida, Inc., may create the Workforce Training Institute, which shall be a comprehensive program of workforce training courses designed to meet the unique needs of, and shall include Internet-based training modules suitable for and made available to, professionals integral to the workforce system, including advisors and counselors in educational institutions.
(2) CareerSource Florida, Inc., may enter into a contract for the provision of administrative support services for the institute and shall adopt policies for the administration and operation of the institute and establish admission fees in an amount which, in the aggregate, does not exceed the cost of the program. CareerSource Florida, Inc., may accept donations or grants of any type for any function or purpose of the institute.
(3) All moneys, fees, donations, or grants collected by CareerSource Florida, Inc., under this section shall be applied to cover all costs incurred in establishing and conducting the workforce training programs authorized under this section, including, but not limited to, salaries for instructors and costs of materials connected to such programs.
History.s. 8, ch. 2000-165; s. 32, ch. 2015-98.
445.009 One-stop delivery system.
(1) The one-stop delivery system is the state’s primary customer-service strategy for offering every Floridian access, through service sites or telephone or computer networks, to the following services:
(a) Job search, referral, and placement assistance.
(b) Career counseling and educational planning.
(c) Consumer reports on service providers.
(d) Recruitment and eligibility determination.
(e) Support services, including child care and transportation assistance to gain employment.
(f) Employability skills training.
(g) Adult education and basic skills training.
(h) Technical training leading to a certification and degree.
(i) Claim filing for reemployment assistance services.
(j) Temporary income, health, nutritional, and housing assistance.
(k) Other appropriate and available workforce development services.
(2)(a) Subject to a process designed by CareerSource Florida, Inc., and in compliance with Pub. L. No. 113-128, local workforce development boards shall designate one-stop delivery system operators.
(b) A local workforce development board may designate as its one-stop delivery system operator any public or private entity that is eligible to provide services under any state or federal workforce program that is a mandatory or discretionary partner in the local workforce development area’s one-stop delivery system if approved by CareerSource Florida, Inc., upon a showing by the local workforce development board that a fair and competitive process was used in the selection. As a condition of authorizing a local workforce development board to designate such an entity as its one-stop delivery system operator, CareerSource Florida, Inc., must require the local workforce development board to demonstrate that safeguards are in place to ensure that the one-stop delivery system operator will not exercise an unfair competitive advantage or unfairly refer or direct customers of the one-stop delivery system to services provided by that one-stop delivery system operator. A local workforce development board may retain its current one-stop career center operator without further procurement action if the board has an established one-stop career center that has complied with federal and state law.
(c) The local workforce development board must enter into a memorandum of understanding with each mandatory or optional partner participating in the one-stop delivery system which details the partner’s required contribution to infrastructure costs, as required by Pub. L. No. 113-128, s. 121(h). If the local workforce development board and the one-stop partner are unable to come to an agreement regarding infrastructure costs by July 1, 2017, the costs shall be allocated pursuant to a policy established by the Governor.
(3) Local workforce development boards shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Economic Opportunity for the delivery of employment services authorized by the federal Wagner-Peyser Act. This memorandum of understanding must be performance based.
(a) Unless otherwise required by federal law, at least 90 percent of the Wagner-Peyser funding must go into direct customer service costs.
(b) Employment services must be provided through the one-stop delivery system, under the guidance of one-stop delivery system operators. One-stop delivery system operators shall have overall authority for directing the staff of the workforce system. Personnel matters shall remain under the ultimate authority of the department. However, the one-stop delivery system operator shall submit to the department information concerning the job performance of employees of the department who deliver employment services. The department shall consider any such information submitted by the one-stop delivery system operator in conducting performance appraisals of the employees.
(c) The department shall retain fiscal responsibility and accountability for the administration of funds allocated to the state under the Wagner-Peyser Act. An employee of the department who is providing services authorized under the Wagner-Peyser Act shall be paid using Wagner-Peyser Act funds.
(4) One-stop delivery system partners shall enter into a memorandum of understanding pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128, Title I, s. 121, with the local workforce development board. Failure of a local partner to participate cannot unilaterally block the majority of partners from moving forward with their one-stop delivery system, and CareerSource Florida, Inc., pursuant to s. 445.004(5)(e), may make notification of a local partner that fails to participate.
(5) To the extent possible, local workforce development boards shall include as partners in the local one-stop delivery system entities that provide programs or activities designed to meet the needs of homeless persons.
(6)(a) To the extent possible, core services, as defined by Pub. L. No. 113-128, shall be provided electronically, using existing systems. These electronic systems shall be linked and integrated into a comprehensive service system to simplify access to core services by:
1. Maintaining staff to serve as the first point of contact with the public seeking access to employment services who are knowledgeable about each program located in each one-stop delivery system center as well as related services. An initial determination of the programs for which a customer is likely to be eligible and any referral for a more thorough eligibility determination must be made at this first point of contact; and
2. Establishing an automated, integrated intake screening and eligibility process where customers will provide information through a self-service intake process that may be accessed by staff from any participating program.
(b) To expand electronic capabilities, CareerSource Florida, Inc., working with local workforce development boards, shall develop a centralized help center to assist local workforce development boards in fulfilling core services, minimizing the need for fixed-site one-stop delivery system centers.
(c) To the extent feasible, core services shall be accessible through the Internet. Through this technology, core services shall be made available at public libraries, public and private educational institutions, community centers, kiosks, neighborhood facilities, and satellite one-stop delivery system sites. Each local workforce development board’s web page shall serve as a portal for contacting potential employees by integrating the placement efforts of universities and private companies, including staffing services firms, into the existing one-stop delivery system.
(7) Intensive services and training provided pursuant to Pub. L. No. 113-128 shall be provided to individuals through Intensive Service Accounts and Individual Training Accounts. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall develop an implementation plan, including identification of initially eligible training providers, transition guidelines, and criteria for use of these accounts. Individual Training Accounts must be compatible with Individual Development Accounts for education allowed in federal and state welfare reform statutes.
(8)(a) Individual Training Accounts must be expended on programs that prepare people to enter high-wage occupations identified by the Workforce Estimating Conference created by s. 216.136, and on other programs as approved by CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(b) For each approved training program, local workforce development boards, in consultation with training providers, shall establish a fair-market purchase price to be paid through an Individual Training Account. The purchase price must be based on prevailing costs and reflect local economic factors, program complexity, and program benefits, including time to beginning of training and time to completion. The price shall ensure the fair participation of public and nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions as authorized service providers and shall prohibit the use of unlawful remuneration to the student in return for attending an institution. Unlawful remuneration does not include student financial assistance programs.
(c) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall periodically review Individual Training Account pricing schedules developed by local workforce development boards and present findings and recommendations for process improvement to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(d) To the maximum extent possible, training providers shall use funding sources other than the funding provided under Pub. L. No. 113-128. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall develop a system to encourage the leveraging of appropriated resources for the workforce system and shall report on such efforts as part of the required annual report.
(e) Training services provided through Individual Training Accounts must be performance-based, with successful job placement triggering full payment.
(f) The accountability measures to be used in documenting competencies acquired by the participant during training shall be literacy completion points and occupational completion points. Literacy completion points refers to the academic or workforce readiness competencies that qualify a person for further basic education, career education, or for employment. Occupational completion points refers to the career competencies that qualify a person to enter an occupation that is linked to a career program.
(9)(a) CareerSource Florida, Inc., working with the department, shall coordinate among the agencies a plan for a One-Stop Electronic Network made up of one-stop delivery system centers and other partner agencies that are operated by authorized public or private for-profit or not-for-profit agents. The plan shall identify resources within existing revenues to establish and support this electronic network for service delivery that includes Government Services Direct. If necessary, the plan shall identify additional funding needed to achieve the provisions of this subsection.
(b) The network shall assure that a uniform method is used to determine eligibility for and management of services provided by agencies that conduct workforce development activities. The Department of Management Services shall develop strategies to allow access to the databases and information management systems of the following systems in order to link information in those databases with the one-stop delivery system:
1. The Reemployment Assistance Program under chapter 443.
2. The public employment service described in s. 443.181.
3. The public assistance information system used by the Department of Children and Families and the components related to temporary cash assistance, food assistance, and Medicaid eligibility.
4. The Student Financial Assistance System of the Department of Education.
5. Enrollment in the public postsecondary education system.
6. Other information systems determined appropriate by CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(10) To the maximum extent feasible, the one-stop delivery system may use private sector staffing services firms in the provision of workforce services to individuals and employers in the state. Local workforce development boards may collaborate with staffing services firms in order to facilitate the provision of workforce services. Local workforce development boards may contract with private sector staffing services firms to design programs that meet the employment needs of the local workforce development area. All such contracts must be performance-based and require a specific period of job tenure before payment.
(11) A participant in an adult or youth work experience activity administered under this chapter shall be deemed an employee of the state for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage. In determining the average weekly wage, all remuneration received from the employer shall be considered a gratuity, and the participant is not entitled to any benefits otherwise payable under s. 440.15, regardless of whether the participant may be receiving wages and remuneration from other employment with another employer and regardless of his or her future wage-earning capacity.
History.s. 10, ch. 96-404; s. 217, ch. 99-8; s. 52, ch. 99-251; s. 53, ch. 99-399; s. 45, ch. 2000-158; s. 9, ch. 2000-165; s. 70, ch. 2001-62; s. 15, ch. 2001-98; s. 47, ch. 2003-36; s. 43, ch. 2004-357; s. 79, ch. 2005-2; s. 6, ch. 2005-255; s. 54, ch. 2006-1; s. 44, ch. 2009-82; s. 40, ch. 2010-153; s. 36, ch. 2010-209; s. 47, ch. 2011-47; s. 384, ch. 2011-142; s. 3, ch. 2012-29; s. 70, ch. 2012-30; s. 6, ch. 2012-127; s. 33, ch. 2015-98; s. 31, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 446.604; s. 288.9951.
445.010 Workforce system information technology; principles and information sharing.
(1) The following principles shall guide the development and management of workforce system information resources:
(a) Workforce system entities should be committed to information sharing.
(b) Cooperative planning by workforce system entities is a prerequisite for the effective development of systems to enable the sharing of data.
(c) Workforce system entities should maximize public access to data, while complying with legitimate security, privacy, and confidentiality requirements.
(d) When the capture of data for the mutual benefit of workforce system entities can be accomplished, the costs for capturing, managing, and disseminating those data should be shared.
(e) The redundant capture of data should, insofar as possible, be eliminated.
(f) Only data that are auditable, or that otherwise can be determined to be accurate, valid, and reliable, should be maintained in workforce information systems.
(g) The design of workforce information systems should support technological flexibility for users without compromising system integration or data integrity, be based upon open standards, and use platform-independent technologies to the fullest extent possible.
(2) Information that is essential to the integrated delivery of services through the one-stop delivery system must be shared between partner agencies within the workforce system to the full extent permitted under state and federal law. In order to enable the full integration of services for a specific workforce system customer, that customer must be offered the opportunity to provide written consent prior to sharing any information concerning that customer between the workforce system partners which is subject to confidentiality under state or federal law.
History.s. 12, ch. 2000-165.
445.011 Workforce information systems.
(1) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall implement, subject to legislative appropriation, automated information systems that are necessary for the efficient and effective operation and management of the workforce development system. These information systems shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:
(a) An integrated management system for the one-stop service delivery system, which includes, at a minimum, common registration and intake, screening for needs and benefits, case planning and tracking, training benefits management, service and training provider management, performance reporting, executive information and reporting, and customer-satisfaction tracking and reporting.
1. The system should report current budgeting, expenditure, and performance information for assessing performance related to outcomes, service delivery, and financial administration for workforce programs pursuant to s. 445.004(5) and (9).
2. The information system should include auditable systems and controls to ensure financial integrity and valid and reliable performance information.
3. The system should support service integration and case management by providing for case tracking for participants in welfare transition programs.
(b) An automated job-matching information system that is accessible to employers, job seekers, and other users via the Internet, and that includes, at a minimum:
1. Skill match information, including skill gap analysis; resume creation; job order creation; skill tests; job search by area, employer type, and employer name; and training provider linkage;
2. Job market information based on surveys, including local, state, regional, national, and international occupational and job availability information; and
3. Service provider information, including education and training providers, child care facilities and related information, health and social service agencies, and other providers of services that would be useful to job seekers.
(2) In procuring workforce information systems, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall employ competitive processes, including requests for proposals, competitive negotiation, and other competitive processes to ensure that the procurement results in the most cost-effective investment of state funds.
(3) CareerSource Florida, Inc., may procure independent verification and validation services associated with developing and implementing any workforce information system.
(4) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall coordinate development and implementation of workforce information systems with the state chief information officer to ensure compatibility with the state’s information system strategy and enterprise architecture.
History.s. 13, ch. 2000-165; s. 14, ch. 2008-116; s. 27, ch. 2014-221; s. 34, ch. 2015-98; s. 25, ch. 2019-118.
445.014 Small business workforce service initiative.
(1) Subject to legislative appropriation, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish a program to encourage local workforce development boards to establish one-stop delivery systems that maximize the provision of workforce and human-resource support services to small businesses. Under the program, a local workforce development board may apply, on a competitive basis, for funds to support the provision of such services to small businesses through the local workforce development area’s one-stop delivery system.
(2) Eligible uses of funds under this program include, but are not limited to:
(a) Identifying common training needs among small businesses;
(b) Developing curriculum to address common training needs among small businesses;
(c) Facilitating the provision of training services for such small businesses through eligible training providers;
(d) Assisting small businesses to identify incentives and complete applications or other paperwork associated with such incentives; and
(e) Establishing a single point of contact for the provision of preemployment and postemployment services to small businesses.
(3) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish guidelines governing the administration of this program and shall establish criteria to be used in evaluating applications for funding. Such criteria must include, but need not be limited to, a showing that the local workforce development board has in place a detailed plan for establishing a one-stop delivery system designed to meet the workforce needs of small businesses and for leveraging other funding sources in support of such activities.
(4) For purposes of this section, the term “small business” means an independently owned and operated business concern that employs 30 or fewer permanent full-time employees and that, together with its affiliates, has a net worth of not more than $3 million and an average net income, after federal income taxes and excluding any carryover losses, of not more than $2 million for the preceding 2 years.
History.s. 161, ch. 2000-165; s. 35, ch. 2015-98; s. 33, ch. 2016-216.
445.016 Untried Worker Placement and Employment Incentive Act.
(1) This section may be cited as the “Untried Worker Placement and Employment Incentive Act.”
(2) For purposes of this section, the term “untried worker” means a person who is a hard-to-place participant in the welfare transition program because he or she has limitations associated with the long-term receipt of welfare and difficulty in sustaining employment, particularly because of physical or mental disabilities.
(3) Incentive payments may be made to for-profit or not-for-profit agents selected by local workforce development boards who successfully place untried workers in full-time employment for 6 months with an employer after the employee successfully completes a probationary placement of no more than 6 months with that employer. Full-time employment that includes health care benefits will receive an additional incentive payment.
(4) The for-profit and not-for-profit agents shall contract to provide services for no more than 1 year. Contracts may be renewed upon successful review by the contracting agent.
(5) Incentives must be paid according to the incentive schedule developed by CareerSource Florida, Inc., the Department of Economic Opportunity, and the Department of Children and Families which costs the state less per placement than the state’s 12-month expenditure on a welfare recipient.
(6) During an untried worker’s probationary placement, the for-profit or not-for-profit agent shall be the employer of record of that untried worker, and shall provide workers’ compensation and reemployment assistance coverage as provided by law. The business employing the untried worker through the agent may be eligible to apply for any tax credits, wage supplementation, wage subsidy, or employer payment for that employee that are authorized in law or by agreement with the employer. After satisfactory completion of such a probationary period, an untried worker shall not be considered an untried worker.
(7) This section shall not be used for the purpose of displacing or replacing an employer’s regular employees, and shall not interfere with executed collective bargaining agreements. Untried workers shall be paid by the employer at the same rate as similarly situated and assessed workers in the same place of employment.
(8) An employer that demonstrates a pattern of unsuccessful placements shall be disqualified from participation in these pilots because of poor return on the public’s investment.
(9) Any employer that chooses to employ untried workers is eligible to receive such incentives and benefits that are available and provided in law, as long as the long-term, cost savings can be quantified with each such additional inducement.
History.s. 3, ch. 96-404; s. 216, ch. 99-8; s. 56, ch. 99-251; s. 16, ch. 2000-165; s. 385, ch. 2011-142; s. 71, ch. 2012-30; s. 258, ch. 2014-19; s. 36, ch. 2015-98; s. 34, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 446.603; s. 288.9955.
445.017 Diversion.
(1) Many customers of the one-stop delivery system do not need ongoing temporary cash assistance, but, due to an unexpected circumstance or emergency situation, require some immediate assistance to secure or retain employment or child support. These immediate obligations may include a shelter or utility payment, a car repair to continue employment, or other services that will alleviate the applicant’s emergency financial need and allow the person to focus on obtaining or continuing employment.
(2) Up-front diversion shall involve four steps:
(a) Linking applicants with job opportunities as the first option.
(b) Offering services, such as child care or transportation, as an alternative to welfare.
(c) Screening applicants to respond to emergency needs.
(d) Offering a one-time payment of up to $1,000 per family.
(3) Before finding an applicant family eligible for up-front diversion services, the local workforce development board must determine that all requirements of eligibility for diversion services would likely be met.
(4) The local workforce development board shall screen each family on a case-by-case basis for barriers to obtaining or retaining employment. The screening shall identify barriers that, if corrected, may prevent the family from receiving temporary cash assistance on a regular basis. Assistance to overcome a barrier to employment is not limited to cash, but may include vouchers or other in-kind benefits.
(5) The family receiving up-front diversion must sign an agreement restricting the family from applying for temporary cash assistance for 3 months, unless an emergency is demonstrated to the local workforce development board. If a demonstrated emergency forces the family to reapply for temporary cash assistance within 3 months after receiving a diversion payment, the diversion payment shall be prorated over an 8-month period and deducted from any temporary assistance for which the family is eligible.
(6) The department may adopt rules governing the administration of this section and may establish guidelines for screening criteria, referrals to community resources, restrictions on receipt of up-front diversion and transitional services, definitions of emergency services, verification requirements, and processing timeframes.
History.s. 19, ch. 96-175; s. 14, ch. 97-173; s. 17, ch. 2000-165; s. 6, ch. 2000-300; s. 35, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 414.15.
445.018 Diversion program to strengthen Florida’s families.
(1) The diversion program to strengthen families in this state is intended to provide services that assist families in avoiding welfare dependency by gaining and retaining employment.
(2) Before finding a family eligible for the diversion program created under this section, a determination must be made that:
(a) The family includes a pregnant woman or a parent with one or more minor children or a caretaker relative with one or more minor children.
(b) The family is at risk of welfare dependency because the family’s income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
(c) The provision of services related to employment, including assessment, service planning and coordination, job placement, employment-related education or training, child care services, transportation services, relocation services, workplace employment support services, individual or family counseling, or a Retention Incentive Training Account (RITA), are likely to prevent the family from becoming dependent on welfare by enabling employable adults in the family to become employed, remain employed, or pursue career advancement.
(3) The services provided under this section are not considered assistance under federal law or guidelines.
(4) Each family that receives services under this section must sign an agreement not to apply for temporary cash assistance for 6 months following the receipt of services, unless an unanticipated emergency situation arises. If a family applies for temporary cash assistance without a documented emergency, the family must repay the value of the diversion services provided. Repayment may be prorated over 8 months and shall be paid through a reduction in the amount of any monthly temporary cash assistance payment received by the family.
(5) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, a family that meets the requirements of subsection (2) is considered a needy family and is eligible for services under this section.
History.s. 18, ch. 2000-165.
445.019 Teen parent and pregnancy prevention diversion program; eligibility for services.The Legislature recognizes that teen pregnancy is a major cause of dependency on government assistance that often extends through more than one generation. The purpose of the teen parent and pregnancy prevention diversion program is to provide services to reduce and avoid welfare dependency by reducing teen pregnancy, reducing the incidence of multiple pregnancies to teens, and by assisting teens in completing educational or employment programs, or both.
(1) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in ss. 414.075, 414.085, and 414.095, a teen who is determined to be at risk of teen pregnancy or who already has a child shall be deemed eligible to receive services under this program.
(2) Services provided under this program shall be limited to services that are not considered assistance under federal law or guidelines.
(3) Receipt of services under this section does not preclude eligibility for, or receipt of, other assistance or services under chapter 414.
History.s. 20, ch. 99-241; s. 19, ch. 2000-165; s. 7, ch. 2005-255.
Note.Former s. 414.159.
445.020 Diversion programs; determination of need.If federal regulations require a determination of needy families or needy parents to be based on financial criteria, such as income or resources, for individuals or families who are receiving services, one-time payments, or nonrecurring short-term benefits, the TANF state plan shall clearly indicate such criteria. If federal regulations do not require a financial determination for receipt of such benefits, payments, or services, the criteria otherwise established in this chapter shall be used.
History.s. 20, ch. 2000-165; s. 8, ch. 2005-255.
445.021 Relocation assistance program.
(1) The Legislature recognizes that the need for public assistance may arise because a family is located in an area with limited employment opportunities, because of geographic isolation, because of formidable transportation barriers, because of isolation from their extended family, or because domestic violence interferes with the ability of a parent to maintain self-sufficiency. Accordingly, there is established a program to assist families in relocating to communities with greater opportunities for self-sufficiency.
(2) The relocation assistance program shall involve five steps by the local workforce development board, in cooperation with the Department of Children and Families:
(a) A determination that the family is receiving temporary cash assistance or that all requirements of eligibility for diversion services would likely be met.
(b) A determination that there is a basis for believing that relocation will contribute to the ability of the applicant to achieve self-sufficiency. For example, the applicant:
1. Is unlikely to achieve economic self-sufficiency at the current community of residence;
2. Has secured a job that provides an increased salary or improved benefits and that requires relocation to another community;
3. Has a family support network that will contribute to job retention in another community;
4. Is determined, pursuant to criteria or procedures established by the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., to be a victim of domestic violence who would experience reduced probability of further incidents through relocation; or
5. Must relocate in order to receive education or training that is directly related to the applicant’s employment or career advancement.
(c) Establishment of a relocation plan that includes such requirements as are necessary to prevent abuse of the benefit and provisions to protect the safety of victims of domestic violence and avoid provisions that place them in anticipated danger. The payment to defray relocation expenses shall be determined based on criteria approved by the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc. Participants in the relocation program shall be eligible for diversion or transitional benefits.
(d) A determination, pursuant to criteria adopted by the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., that a community receiving a relocated family has the capacity to provide needed services and employment opportunities.
(e) Monitoring the relocation.
(3) A family receiving relocation assistance for reasons other than domestic violence must sign an agreement restricting the family from applying for temporary cash assistance for a period of 6 months, unless an emergency is demonstrated to the local workforce development board. If a demonstrated emergency forces the family to reapply for temporary cash assistance within such period, after receiving a relocation assistance payment, repayment must be made on a prorated basis and subtracted from any regular payment of temporary cash assistance for which the applicant may be eligible.
(4) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., may establish criteria for developing and implementing relocation plans and for drafting agreements to restrict a family from applying for temporary cash assistance for a specified period after receiving a relocation assistance payment.
History.s. 24, ch. 98-57; s. 16, ch. 99-241; s. 21, ch. 2000-165; s. 259, ch. 2014-19; s. 37, ch. 2015-98; s. 36, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 414.155.
445.022 Retention Incentive Training Accounts.To promote job retention and to enable upward job advancement into higher skilled, higher paying employment, the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the local workforce development boards may assemble a list of programs and courses offered by postsecondary educational institutions which may be available to participants who have become employed to promote job retention and advancement.
(1) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., may establish Retention Incentive Training Accounts (RITAs) to use Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant funds specifically appropriated for this purpose. RITAs must complement the Individual Training Account required by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Pub. L. No. 113-128.
(2) RITAs may pay for tuition, fees, educational materials, coaching and mentoring, performance incentives, transportation to and from courses, child care costs during education courses, and other such costs as the local workforce development boards determine are necessary to effect successful job retention and advancement.
(3) Local workforce development boards shall retain only those courses that continue to meet their performance standards as established in their local plan.
(4) Local workforce development boards shall report annually to the Legislature on the measurable retention and advancement success of each program provider and the effectiveness of RITAs, making recommendations for any needed changes or modifications.
History.s. 25, ch. 99-241; s. 22, ch. 2000-165; s. 38, ch. 2015-98; s. 37, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 414.223.
445.023 Program for dependent care for families with children with special needs.
(1) There is created the program for dependent care for families with children with special needs. This program is intended to provide assistance to families with children who meet the following requirements:
(a) The child or children are between the ages of 13 and 17 years, inclusive.
(b) The child or children are considered to be children with special needs.
(c) The family meets the income guidelines established under s. 1002.87, notwithstanding any financial eligibility criteria to the contrary in s. 414.075, s. 414.085, or s. 414.095.
(2) Implementation of this program shall be subject to appropriation of funds for this purpose.
(3) If federal funds under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant provided under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act, as amended, are used for this program, the family must be informed about the federal requirements on receipt of such assistance and must sign a written statement acknowledging, and agreeing to comply with, all federal requirements.
(4) In addition to school readiness program services provided under part VI of chapter 1002, dependent care may be provided for children age 13 years and older who are in need of care due to disability and where such care is needed for the parent to accept or continue employment or otherwise participate in work activities. The amount of subsidy shall be consistent with the rates for special needs child care established by the department. Dependent care needed for employment may be provided as transitional services for up to 2 years after eligibility for temporary cash assistance ends.
(5) Notwithstanding any provision of s. 414.105 to the contrary, the time limitation on receipt of assistance under this section shall be the limit established pursuant to s. 408(a)(7) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. s. 608(a)(7).
History.s. 22, ch. 99-241; s. 23, ch. 2000-165; s. 24, ch. 2001-170; s. 25, ch. 2013-252.
Note.Former s. 414.18.
445.024 Work requirements.
(1) WORK ACTIVITIES.The Department of Economic Opportunity may develop activities under each of the following categories of work activities. The following categories of work activities, based on federal law and regulations, may be used individually or in combination to satisfy the work requirements for a participant in the temporary cash assistance program:
(a) Unsubsidized employment.
(b) Subsidized private sector employment.
(c) Subsidized public sector employment.
(d) On-the-job training.
(e) Community service programs.
(f) Work experience.
(g) Job search and job readiness assistance.
(h) Vocational educational training.
(i) Job skills training directly related to employment.
(j) Education directly related to employment.
(k) Satisfactory attendance at a secondary school or in a course of study leading to a high school equivalency diploma.
(l) Providing child care services.
(2) WORK ACTIVITY REQUIREMENTS.Each individual who is not otherwise exempt from work activity requirements must participate in a work activity for the maximum number of hours allowable under federal law; however, a participant may not be required to work more than 40 hours per week. The maximum number of hours each month that a family may be required to participate in community service or work experience programs is the number of hours that would result from dividing the family’s monthly amount for temporary cash assistance and food assistance by the applicable minimum wage. However, the maximum hours required per week for community service or work experience may not exceed 40 hours.
(a) A participant in a work activity may also be required to enroll in and attend a course of instruction designed to increase literacy skills to a level necessary for obtaining or retaining employment if the instruction plus the work activity does not require more than 40 hours per week.
(b) Program funds may be used, as available, to support the efforts of a participant who meets the work activity requirements and who wishes to enroll in or continue enrollment in an adult general education program or other training programs.
(3) EXEMPTION FROM WORK ACTIVITY REQUIREMENTS.The following individuals are exempt from work activity requirements:
(a) An individual who receives benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program or the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
(b) An adult who is not defined as a work-eligible individual under federal law.
(c) A single parent of a child under 3 months of age, except that the parent may be required to attend parenting classes or other activities to better prepare for the responsibilities of raising a child.
(d) An individual who is exempt from the time period pursuant to s. 414.105.
(4) PRIORITIZATION OF WORK REQUIREMENTS.Local workforce development boards shall require participation in work activities to the maximum extent possible, subject to federal and state funding. If funds are projected to be insufficient to allow full-time work activities by all program participants who are required to participate in work activities, local workforce development boards shall screen participants and assign priority based on the following:
(a) In accordance with federal requirements, at least one adult in each two-parent family shall be assigned priority for full-time work activities.
(b) Among single-parent families, a family that has older preschool children or school-age children shall be assigned priority for work activities.
(c) A participant who has access to child care services may be assigned priority for work activities.
(d) Priority may be assigned based on the amount of time remaining until the participant reaches the applicable time limit for program participation or may be based on requirements of a case plan.

Local workforce development boards may limit a participant’s weekly work requirement to the minimum required to meet federal work activity requirements. Local workforce development boards may develop screening and prioritization procedures based on the allocation of resources, the availability of community resources, the provision of supportive services, or the work activity needs of the service area.

(5) USE OF CONTRACTS.Local workforce development boards shall provide work activities, training, and other services, as appropriate, through contracts. In contracting for work activities, training, or services, the following applies:
(a) A contract must be performance-based. Payment shall be tied to performance outcomes that include factors such as, but not limited to, diversion from cash assistance, job entry, job entry at a target wage, job retention, and connection to transition services rather than tied to completion of training or education or any other phase of the program participation process.
(b) A contract may include performance-based incentive payments that may vary according to the extent to which the participant is more difficult to place. Contract payments may be weighted proportionally to reflect the extent to which the participant has limitations associated with the long-term receipt of welfare and difficulty in sustaining employment. The factors may include the extent of prior receipt of welfare, lack of employment experience, lack of education, lack of job skills, and other factors determined appropriate by the local workforce development board.
(c) Notwithstanding the exemption from the competitive sealed bid requirements provided in s. 287.057(3)(e) for certain contractual services, each contract awarded under this chapter must be awarded on the basis of a competitive sealed bid, except for a contract with a governmental entity as determined by the local workforce development board.
(d) Local workforce development boards may contract with commercial, charitable, or religious organizations. A contract must comply with federal requirements with respect to nondiscrimination and other requirements that safeguard the rights of participants. Services may be provided under contract, certificate, voucher, or other form of disbursement.
(e) The administrative costs associated with a contract for services provided under this section may not exceed the applicable administrative cost ceiling established in federal law. An agency or entity that is awarded a contract under this section may not charge more than 7 percent of the value of the contract for administration unless an exception is approved by the local workforce development board. A list of any exceptions approved must be submitted to the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., for review, and the board may rescind approval of the exception.
(f) Local workforce development boards may enter into contracts to provide short-term work experience for the chronically unemployed as provided in this section.
(g) A tax-exempt organization under s. 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which receives funds under this chapter must disclose receipt of federal funds on any advertising, promotional, or other material in accordance with federal requirements.
(6) PROTECTIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS.Each participant is subject to the same health, safety, and nondiscrimination standards established under federal, state, or local laws that otherwise apply to other individuals engaged in similar activities who are not participants in the welfare transition program.
(7) PROTECTION FOR CURRENT EMPLOYEES.In establishing and contracting for work experience and community service activities, other work experience activities, on-the-job training, subsidized employment, and work supplementation under the welfare transition program, an employed worker may not be displaced, either completely or partially. A participant may not be assigned to an activity or employed in a position if the employer has created the vacancy or terminated an existing employee without good cause in order to fill that position with a program participant.
History.s. 24, ch. 2000-165; s. 71, ch. 2001-62; s. 16, ch. 2001-278; s. 35, ch. 2002-22; s. 42, ch. 2002-207; s. 1005, ch. 2002-387; s. 46, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2007-197; s. 33, ch. 2008-61; s. 35, ch. 2010-151; s. 37, ch. 2010-209; s. 22, ch. 2010-210; s. 386, ch. 2011-142; s. 17, ch. 2013-154; s. 5, ch. 2014-20; s. 39, ch. 2015-98; s. 38, ch. 2016-216.
445.025 Other support services.Support services shall be provided, if resources permit, to assist participants in complying with work activity requirements outlined in s. 445.024. If resources do not permit the provision of needed support services, the local workforce development board may prioritize or otherwise limit provision of support services. This section does not constitute an entitlement to support services. Lack of provision of support services may be considered as a factor in determining whether good cause exists for failing to comply with work activity requirements but does not automatically constitute good cause for failing to comply with work activity requirements, and does not affect any applicable time limit on the receipt of temporary cash assistance or the provision of services under chapter 414. Support services shall include, but need not be limited to:
(1) TRANSPORTATION.Transportation expenses may be provided to any participant when the assistance is needed to comply with work activity requirements or employment requirements, including transportation to and from a child care provider. Payment may be made in cash or tokens in advance or through reimbursement paid against receipts or invoices. Transportation services may include, but are not limited to, cooperative arrangements with the following: public transit providers; community transportation coordinators designated under chapter 427; school districts; churches and community centers; donated motor vehicle programs, van pools, and ridesharing programs; small enterprise developments and entrepreneurial programs that encourage participants to become transportation providers; public and private transportation partnerships; and other innovative strategies to expand transportation options available to program participants.
(a) Local workforce development boards may provide payment for vehicle operational and repair expenses, including repair expenditures necessary to make a vehicle functional; vehicle registration fees; driver license fees; and liability insurance for the vehicle for a period of up to 6 months. Request for vehicle repairs must be accompanied by an estimate of the cost prepared by a repair facility registered under s. 559.904.
(b) Transportation disadvantaged funds as defined in chapter 427 do not include support services funds or funds appropriated to assist persons eligible under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. It is the intent of the Legislature that local workforce development boards consult with local community transportation coordinators designated under chapter 427 regarding the availability and cost of transportation services through the coordinated transportation system before contracting for comparable transportation services outside the coordinated system.
(2) ANCILLARY EXPENSES.Ancillary expenses such as books, tools, clothing, fees, and costs necessary to comply with work activity requirements or employment requirements may be provided.
(3) MEDICAL SERVICES.A family that meets the eligibility requirements for Medicaid shall receive medical services under the Medicaid program.
(4) PERSONAL AND FAMILY COUNSELING AND THERAPY.Counseling may be provided to participants who have a personal or family problem or problems caused by substance abuse that is a barrier to compliance with work activity requirements or employment requirements. In providing these services, local workforce development boards shall use services that are available in the community at no additional cost. If these services are not available, local workforce development boards may use support services funds. Personal or family counseling not available through Medicaid may not be considered a medical service for purposes of the required statewide implementation plan or use of federal funds.
History.s. 23, ch. 96-175; s. 17, ch. 97-173; s. 14, ch. 98-57; s. 23, ch. 99-241; s. 25, ch. 2000-165; s. 39, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 414.20.
445.026 Cash assistance severance benefit.An individual who meets the criteria listed in this section may choose to receive a lump-sum payment in lieu of ongoing cash assistance payments, provided the individual:
(1) Is employed and is receiving earnings.
(2) Has received cash assistance for at least 6 consecutive months.
(3) Expects to remain employed for at least 6 months.
(4) Chooses to receive a one-time, lump-sum payment in lieu of ongoing monthly payments.
(5) Provides employment and earnings information to the local workforce development board, so that the local workforce development board can ensure that the family’s eligibility for severance benefits can be evaluated.
(6) Signs an agreement not to apply for or accept cash assistance for 6 months after receipt of the one-time payment. In the event of an emergency, such agreement shall provide for an exception to this restriction, provided that the one-time payment shall be deducted from any cash assistance for which the family subsequently is approved. This deduction may be prorated over an 8-month period. The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall adopt criteria defining the conditions under which a family may receive cash assistance due to such emergency.

Such individual may choose to accept a one-time, lump-sum payment of $1,000 in lieu of receiving ongoing cash assistance. Such payment shall only count toward the time limitation for the month in which the payment is made in lieu of cash assistance. A participant choosing to accept such payment shall be terminated from cash assistance. However, eligibility for Medicaid, food assistance, or child care shall continue, subject to the eligibility requirements of those programs.

History.s. 15, ch. 99-241; s. 26, ch. 2000-165; s. 38, ch. 2010-209; s. 40, ch. 2015-98; s. 40, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 414.1525.
445.028 Transitional benefits and services.In cooperation with CareerSource Florida, Inc., the Department of Children and Families shall develop procedures to ensure that families leaving the temporary cash assistance program receive transitional benefits and services that will assist the family in moving toward self-sufficiency. At a minimum, such procedures must include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Each recipient of cash assistance who is determined ineligible for cash assistance for a reason other than a work activity sanction shall be contacted by the workforce system case manager and provided information about the availability of transitional benefits and services. Such contact shall be attempted prior to closure of the case management file.
(2) Each recipient of temporary cash assistance who is determined ineligible for cash assistance due to noncompliance with the work activity requirements shall be contacted and provided information in accordance with s. 414.065(1).
(3) The department, in consultation with the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall develop informational material, including posters and brochures, to better inform families about the availability of transitional benefits and services.
(4) CareerSource Florida, Inc., in cooperation with the Department of Children and Families shall, to the extent permitted by federal law, develop procedures to maximize the utilization of transitional Medicaid by families who leave the temporary cash assistance program.
History.s. 27, ch. 2000-165; s. 260, ch. 2014-19; s. 41, ch. 2015-98.
445.029 Transitional medical benefits.
(1) A family that loses its temporary cash assistance due to earnings shall remain eligible for Medicaid without reapplication during the immediately succeeding 12-month period if private medical insurance is unavailable from the employer or is unaffordable.
(a) The family shall be denied Medicaid during the 12-month period for any month in which the family does not include a dependent child.
(b) The family shall be denied Medicaid if, during the second 6 months of the 12-month period, the family’s average gross monthly earnings during the preceding month exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level.
(2) The family shall be informed of transitional Medicaid when the family is notified by the Department of Children and Families of the termination of temporary cash assistance. The notice must include a description of the circumstances in which the transitional Medicaid may be terminated.
History.s. 24, ch. 96-175; s. 18, ch. 97-173; s. 28, ch. 2000-165; s. 261, ch. 2014-19.
Note.Former s. 414.21.
445.030 Transitional education and training.In order to assist former recipients of temporary cash assistance who are working or actively seeking employment in continuing their training and upgrading their skills, education, or training, support services may be provided for up to 2 years after the family is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance. This section does not constitute an entitlement to transitional education and training. If funds are not sufficient to provide services under this section, the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., may limit or otherwise prioritize transitional education and training.
(1) Education or training resources available in the community at no additional cost shall be used whenever possible.
(2) Local workforce development boards may authorize child care or other support services in addition to services provided in conjunction with employment. For example, a participant who is employed full time may receive child care services related to that employment and may also receive additional child care services in conjunction with training to upgrade the participant’s skills.
(3) Transitional education or training must be job-related, but may include training to improve job skills in a participant’s existing area of employment or may include training to prepare a participant for employment in another occupation.
(4) A local workforce development board may enter into an agreement with an employer to share the costs relating to upgrading the skills of participants hired by the employer. For example, a local workforce development board may agree to provide support services such as transportation or a wage subsidy in conjunction with training opportunities provided by the employer.
History.s. 25, ch. 96-175; s. 19, ch. 97-173; s. 24, ch. 99-241; s. 29, ch. 2000-165; s. 23, ch. 2010-210; s. 42, ch. 2015-98; s. 41, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 414.22.
445.031 Transitional transportation.In order to assist former recipients of temporary cash assistance in maintaining and sustaining employment or educational opportunities, transportation may be provided, if funds are available, for up to 2 years after the participant is no longer in the program. This does not constitute an entitlement to transitional transportation. If funds are not sufficient to provide services under this section, local workforce development boards may limit or otherwise prioritize transportation services.
(1) Transitional transportation must be job or education related.
(2) Transitional transportation may include expenses identified in s. 445.025, paid directly or by voucher, as well as a vehicle valued at not more than $8,500 if the vehicle is needed for training, employment, or educational purposes.
History.s. 16, ch. 98-57; s. 26, ch. 99-241; s. 30, ch. 2000-165; s. 42, ch. 2016-216.
Note.Former s. 414.225.
445.032 Transitional child care.In order to assist former welfare transition program participants and individuals who have been redirected through up-front diversion in obtaining employment, continuing to be employed, and improving their employment prospects, transitional child care is available for up to 2 years:
(1) To a former program participant who is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance and who is employed or is actively seeking employment if his or her income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level at any time during that 2-year period.
(2) To an individual who has been redirected through up-front diversion and who is employed or is actively seeking employment if his or her income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level at any time during that 2-year period.
History.s. 31, ch. 2000-165; s. 2, ch. 2007-197.
445.0325 Welfare Transition Trust Fund.
(1) The Welfare Transition Trust Fund is created in the State Treasury, to be administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity. Funds shall be credited to the trust fund to be used for the purposes of the welfare transition program set forth in ss. 445.017-445.032.
(2) The intent of the Welfare Transition Trust Fund is to support the welfare transition program, including diversion services, employment and related services, transition services, and support services.
(3) Funds budgeted for the welfare transition program may be appropriated to the Welfare Transition Trust Fund for implementation of welfare transition services. Additional funds may be placed in the Welfare Transition Trust Fund, including incentive funds earned by the state for purposes of this section.
(4) All funds transferred to and retained in the trust fund shall be invested pursuant to s. 17.61. Any interest accruing to the trust fund shall be for the benefit of the welfare transition program. Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any undisbursed balance remaining in the trust fund and interest accruing to the trust fund not distributed at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund and shall increase the total funds available to implement the welfare transition program.
History.s. 1, ch. 2001-174; s. 499, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2004-212; s. 3, ch. 2004-235; s. 387, ch. 2011-142.
445.033 Evaluation.The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the Department of Children and Families shall arrange for evaluation of TANF-funded programs operated under this chapter, as follows:
(1) If required by federal waivers or other federal requirements, the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the department may provide for evaluation according to these requirements.
(2) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the department shall participate in the evaluation of this program in conjunction with evaluation of the state’s workforce development programs or similar activities aimed at evaluating program outcomes, cost-effectiveness, or return on investment, and the impact of time limits, sanctions, and other welfare reform measures set out in this chapter. Evaluation shall also contain information on the number of participants in work experience assignments who obtain unsubsidized employment, including, but not limited to, the length of time the unsubsidized job is retained, wages, and the public benefits, if any, received by such families while in unsubsidized employment. The evaluation must solicit the input of consumers, community-based organizations, service providers, employers, and the general public, and must publicize, especially in low-income communities, the process for submitting comments.
(3) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the department may share information with and develop protocols for information exchange with the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program.
(4) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the department may initiate or participate in additional evaluation or assessment activities that will further the systematic study of issues related to program goals and outcomes.
(5) In providing for evaluation activities, the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the department shall safeguard the use or disclosure of information obtained from program participants consistent with federal or state requirements. Evaluation methodologies may be used which are appropriate for evaluation of program activities, including random assignment of recipients or participants into program groups or control groups. To the extent necessary or appropriate, evaluation data shall provide information with respect to the state, district, or county, or other substate area.
(6) The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the department may contract with a qualified organization for evaluations conducted under this section.
History.s. 26, ch. 96-175; s. 20, ch. 97-173; s. 68, ch. 97-237; s. 27, ch. 99-241; s. 32, ch. 2000-165; s. 51, ch. 2004-350; s. 262, ch. 2014-19; s. 43, ch. 2015-98.
Note.Former s. 414.23.
445.034 Authorized expenditures.Any expenditures from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant shall be made in accordance with the requirements and limitations of part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, as amended, or any other applicable federal requirement or limitation. Prior to any expenditure of such funds, the Secretary of Children and Families, or his or her designee, shall certify that controls are in place to ensure such funds are expended in accordance with the requirements and limitations of federal law and that any reporting requirements of federal law are met. It shall be the responsibility of any entity to which such funds are appropriated to obtain the required certification prior to any expenditure of funds.
History.s. 33, ch. 2000-165; s. 263, ch. 2014-19.
445.035 Data collection and reporting.The Department of Children and Families and the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall collect data necessary to administer this chapter and make the reports required under federal law to the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture.
History.s. 47, ch. 96-175; s. 35, ch. 97-173; s. 29, ch. 99-241; s. 34, ch. 2000-165; s. 264, ch. 2014-19; s. 44, ch. 2015-98.
Note.Former s. 414.44.
445.038 Digital media; job training.CareerSource Florida, Inc., through the Department of Economic Opportunity, may use funds dedicated for incumbent worker training for the digital media industry. Training may be provided by public or private training providers for broadband digital media jobs listed on the targeted occupations list developed by the Workforce Estimating Conference or CareerSource Florida, Inc. Programs that operate outside the normal semester time periods and coordinate the use of industry and public resources should be given priority status for funding.
History.s. 154, ch. 2000-165; s. 388, ch. 2011-142; s. 45, ch. 2015-98.
445.045 Development of an Internet-based system for information technology industry promotion and workforce recruitment.
(1) CareerSource Florida, Inc., is responsible for directing the development and maintenance of a website that promotes and markets the information technology industry in this state. The website shall be designed to inform the public concerning the scope of the information technology industry in the state and shall also be designed to address the workforce needs of the industry. The website must include, through links or actual content, information concerning information technology businesses in this state, including links to such businesses; information concerning employment available at these businesses; and the means by which a job seeker may post a resume on the website.
(2) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall coordinate with the Department of Management Services and the Department of Economic Opportunity to ensure links, as feasible and appropriate, to existing job information websites maintained by the state and state agencies and to ensure that information technology positions offered by the state and state agencies are posted on the information technology website.
(3) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall ensure that the website developed and maintained under this section is consistent, compatible, and coordinated with the workforce information systems required under s. 445.011, including, but not limited to, the automated job-matching information system for employers, job seekers, and other users.
(4)(a) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall coordinate development and maintenance of the website under this section with the state chief information officer to ensure compatibility with the state’s information system strategy and enterprise architecture.
(b) CareerSource Florida, Inc., may enter into an agreement with the Department of Economic Opportunity or any other public agency with the requisite information technology expertise for the provision of design, operating, or other technological services necessary to develop and maintain the website.
(c) CareerSource Florida, Inc., may procure services necessary to implement this section, if it employs competitive processes, including requests for proposals, competitive negotiation, and other competitive processes to ensure that the procurement results in the most cost-effective investment of state funds.
(5) In furtherance of the requirements of this section that the website promote and market the information technology industry by communicating information on the scope of the industry in this state, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall coordinate its efforts with the high-technology industry marketing efforts of Enterprise Florida, Inc., under s. 288.911. Through links or actual content, the website developed under this section shall serve as a forum for distributing the marketing campaign developed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., under s. 288.911. In addition, CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall solicit input from the not-for-profit corporation created to advocate on behalf of the information technology industry as an outgrowth of the Information Service Technology Development Task Force created under chapter 99-354, Laws of Florida.
(6) In fulfilling its responsibilities under this section, CareerSource Florida, Inc., may enlist the assistance of and act through the Department of Economic Opportunity. The department is authorized and directed to provide the services that CareerSource Florida, Inc., and the department consider necessary to implement this section.
History.s. 35, ch. 2000-164; s. 4, ch. 2002-265; s. 15, ch. 2008-116; s. 389, ch. 2011-142; s. 28, ch. 2014-221; s. 46, ch. 2015-98; s. 26, ch. 2019-118.
445.046 Establishment of a network access point.The state actively supports efforts that enhance the information technology industry in this state, particularly those efforts that increase broadband technology. A critical initiative to enhance this industry in this state is determined to be the development of a network access point, which is defined to be a carrier-neutral, public-private Internet traffic exchange point. The state encourages private information technology businesses to forge partnerships to develop a network access point in this state. Moreover, the state recognizes the importance of a network access point that addresses the needs of small information technology businesses.
History.s. 36, ch. 2000-164.
445.047 Passport to Economic Progress Act; legislative intent.The purpose of the Passport to Economic Progress Act is to provide incentives and services designed to assist individuals who are recipients of temporary cash assistance or who are former recipients of temporary cash assistance generate family income levels that help foster the achievement and maintenance of economic self-sufficiency. It is the intent of the Legislature to create through this act a demonstration program for the provision of such incentives and services, with the goal of developing a model for the continued evolution and enhancement of the welfare reform efforts of the state.
History.s. 1, ch. 2001-175.
445.048 Passport to Economic Progress program.
(1) AUTHORIZATION.Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, CareerSource Florida, Inc., in conjunction with the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Economic Opportunity, shall implement a Passport to Economic Progress program consistent with this section. CareerSource Florida, Inc., may designate local workforce development boards to participate in the program. Expenses for the program may come from appropriated revenues or from funds otherwise available to a local workforce development board which may be legally used for such purposes. CareerSource Florida, Inc., must consult with the applicable local workforce development boards and the applicable local offices of the Department of Children and Families which serve the program areas and must encourage community input into the implementation process.
(2) WAIVERS.If CareerSource Florida, Inc., in consultation with the Department of Children and Families, finds that federal waivers would facilitate implementation of the program, the department shall immediately request such waivers, and CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives if any refusal of the federal government to grant such waivers prevents the implementation of the program. If CareerSource Florida, Inc., finds that federal waivers to provisions of the Food Assistance Program would facilitate implementation of the program, the Department of Children and Families shall immediately request such waivers in accordance with s. 414.175.
(3) TRANSITIONAL BENEFITS AND SERVICES.In order to assist them in making the transition to economic self-sufficiency, former recipients of temporary cash assistance participating in the passport program shall be eligible for the following benefits and services:
(a) Notwithstanding the time period specified in s. 445.030, transitional education and training support services as specified in s. 445.030 for up to 4 years after the family is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance;
(b) Notwithstanding the time period specified in s. 445.031, transitional transportation support services as specified in s. 445.031 for up to 4 years after the family is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance; and
(c) Notwithstanding the time period specified in s. 445.032, transitional child care as specified in s. 445.032 for up to 4 years after the family is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance.

All other provisions of ss. 445.030, 445.031, and 445.032 apply to such individuals, as appropriate. This subsection does not constitute an entitlement to transitional benefits and services. If funds are insufficient to provide benefits and services under this subsection, the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., or its agent, may limit such benefits and services or otherwise establish priorities for the provisions of such benefits and services.

(4) INCENTIVES TO ECONOMIC SELF-SUFFICIENCY.
(a) The Legislature finds that:
1. There are former recipients of temporary cash assistance and families who are eligible for temporary assistance for needy families who are working full time but whose incomes are below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
2. Having incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level makes such individuals particularly vulnerable to reliance on public assistance despite their best efforts to achieve or maintain economic independence through employment.
3. It is necessary to implement a performance-based program that defines economic incentives for achieving specific benchmarks toward self-sufficiency while the individual is working full time.
(b) CareerSource Florida, Inc., in cooperation with the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Economic Opportunity, shall offer performance-based incentive bonuses as a component of the Passport to Economic Progress program. The bonuses do not represent a program entitlement and are contingent on achieving specific benchmarks prescribed in the self-sufficiency plan. If the funds appropriated for this purpose are insufficient to provide this financial incentive, the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., may reduce or suspend the bonuses in order not to exceed the appropriation or may direct the local workforce development boards to use resources otherwise given to the local workforce development board to pay such bonuses if such payments comply with applicable state and federal laws.
(c) To be eligible for an incentive bonus under this subsection, an individual must:
1. Be a former recipient of temporary cash assistance who last received such assistance on or after January 1, 2000, or be part of a family that is eligible for temporary assistance for needy families;
2. Be employed full time, which for the purposes of this subsection means employment averaging at least 32 hours per week, until the United States Congress enacts legislation reauthorizing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant and, after the reauthorization, means employment complying with the employment requirements of the reauthorization; and
3. Have an average family income for the 6 months preceding the date of application for an incentive bonus which is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
(5) EVALUATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.CareerSource Florida, Inc., in conjunction with the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Economic Opportunity, and the local workforce development boards, shall conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the program operated under this section. Evaluations and recommendations for the program shall be submitted by CareerSource Florida, Inc., as part of its annual report to the Legislature.
(6) CONFLICTS.If there is a conflict between the implementation procedures described in this section and federal requirements and regulations, federal requirements and regulations shall control.
History.s. 2, ch. 2001-175; ss. 78, 79, ch. 2003-399; ss. 52, 53, ch. 2004-269; s. 5, ch. 2005-61; ss. 37, 38, 55, ch. 2005-71; s. 1, ch. 2005-149; s. 39, ch. 2010-209; s. 390, ch. 2011-142; s. 265, ch. 2014-19; s. 47, ch. 2015-98; s. 43, ch. 2016-216.
445.051 Individual development accounts.
(1) The purpose of this act is to provide for the establishment of individual development accounts that can provide families having limited means an opportunity to accumulate assets and to facilitate and mobilize savings; to promote education, homeownership, and microenterprise development; and help to stabilize families and build communities. This section implements the provisions of s. 404(h) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. s. 604(h), related to individual development accounts. Nothing in this section is intended to conflict with the provisions of federal law.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Individual development account” means an account established exclusively to pay the qualified expenses of an eligible individual or family. The account is funded through periodic contributions by the establishing individual which are matched by or through a qualified entity for a qualified purpose.
(b) “Qualified entity” means:
1. A not-for-profit organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of such code; or
2. A state or local government agency acting in cooperation with an organization described in subparagraph 1. For purposes of this section, a local workforce development board is a government agency.
(c) “Financial institution” has the same meaning as in s. 655.005.
(d) “Eligible educational institution” means:
1. An institution described in s. 481(a)(1) or s. 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. s. 1088(a)(1) or s. 1141(a), as such sections are in effect on the date of the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-193.
2. An area vocational education school, as defined in s. 521(4)(C) or (D) of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 2471(4), in this state, as such sections are in effect on the date of the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-193.
(e) “Postsecondary educational expenses” means:
1. Tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance of a student at an eligible educational institution.
2. Fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at an eligible educational institution.
(f) “Qualified acquisition costs” means the costs of acquiring, constructing, or reconstructing a residence. The term includes any usual or reasonable settlement, financing, or other closing costs.
(g) “Qualified business” means any business that does not contravene any law or public policy.
(h) “Qualified business capitalization expenses” means qualified expenditures for the capitalization of a qualified business pursuant to a qualified plan.
(i) “Qualified expenditures” means expenditures included in a qualified plan, including capital, plant, equipment, working capital, and inventory expenses.
(j)1. “Qualified first-time homebuyer” means a taxpayer and, if married, the taxpayer’s spouse, who has no present ownership interest in a principal residence during the 3-year period ending on the date of acquisition of the principal residence.
2. “Date of acquisition” means the date on which a binding contract to acquire, construct, or reconstruct the principal residence is entered into.
(k) “Qualified plan” means a business plan or a plan to use a business asset purchased, which:
1. Is approved by a financial institution, a microenterprise development organization, or a nonprofit loan fund having demonstrated fiduciary integrity.
2. Includes a description of services or goods to be sold, a marketing plan, and projected financial statements.
3. May require the eligible individual to obtain the assistance of an experienced entrepreneurial advisor.
(l) “Qualified principal residence” means a principal residence, within the meaning of s. 1034 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, the qualified acquisition costs of which do not exceed 100 percent of the average area purchase price applicable to such residence, determined in accordance with s. 143(e)(2) and (3) of that code.
(3) The Department of Children and Families shall amend the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families State Plan which was submitted in accordance with s. 402 of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. s. 602, to provide for the use of funds for individual development accounts in accordance with this section.
(4)(a) Any family subject to time limits and fully complying with work requirements of the temporary cash assistance program, pursuant to ss. 414.045, 414.065, 414.095, 414.105, and 445.024, which enters into an agreement with an approved fiduciary organization is eligible to participate in an individual development account.
(b) Contributions to the individual development account by an individual may be derived only from earned income, as defined in s. 911(d)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
(c) The individual or family must enter into an individual development account agreement with a certified fiduciary organization as described in subsection (7). This account agreement shall include, but need not be limited to, the matching funds to be contributed to the account, limits on the deposits for which the match will be provided, required documentation necessary for payment of moneys in the account to be made for a qualified purpose, and penalties for withdrawal of funds not used for one or more of the qualified purposes.
(d) Eligible participants may receive matching funds for contributions to the individual development account, pursuant to the strategic plan for workforce development. When not restricted to the contrary, matching funds may be paid from state and federal funds under the control of the local workforce development board, from local agencies, or from private donations.
(e) Eligible participants may receive bonus payments for program compliance, to the extent provided in the strategic plan for workforce development. Such bonus payments may provide for a matching proportion higher than that of matching funds described in paragraph (d).
(5) Individual development accounts may be available for any of the following qualified purposes once the family no longer receives cash assistance:
(a) Postsecondary educational expenses paid from an individual development account directly to an eligible educational institution;
(b) Qualified acquisition costs with respect to a qualified principal residence for a qualified first-time homebuyer, if paid from an individual development account directly to the persons to whom the amounts are due; or
(c) Amounts paid from an individual development account directly to a business capitalization account that is established in a federally insured financial institution and is restricted to use solely for qualified business capitalization.
(6) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish procedures for local workforce development boards to include in their annual program and financial plan an application to offer an individual development account program as part of their TANF allocation. These procedures must include, but need not be limited to, administrative costs permitted for the fiduciary organization and policies relative to identifying the match ratio and limits on the deposits for which the match will be provided in the application process. CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish policies and procedures necessary to ensure that funds held in an individual development account are not withdrawn except for one or more of the qualified purposes described in this section.
(7) Fiduciary organizations shall be the local workforce development board or other community-based organizations designated by the local workforce development board to serve as intermediaries between individual account holders and financial institutions holding accounts. Responsibilities of such fiduciary organizations may include marketing participation, soliciting matching contributions, counseling program participants, and conducting verification and compliance activities.
(8) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish procedures for controlling the withdrawal of funds for uses other than qualified purposes, including specifying conditions under which an account must be closed.
(9) A fiduciary organization shall establish a grievance committee and a procedure for hearing, reviewing, and responding in writing to any grievance filed by a holder of an individual development account who disputes a decision of the operating organization that funds were withdrawn for uses other than qualified purposes.
(10) Upon an account holder’s death, his or her account may be transferred to the ownership of a contingent beneficiary. An account holder shall name contingent beneficiaries at the time the account is established and may change such beneficiaries at any time.
(11) Financial institutions approved by CareerSource Florida, Inc., may establish individual development accounts pursuant to this section. A financial institution shall certify the establishment of the individual development accounts in accordance with the forms, documentation, and requirements prescribed by CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(12) In accordance with s. 404(h)(4) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. s. 604(h)(4), and notwithstanding any other provision of law, other than the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, funds in an individual development account, including interest accruing in such account, shall be disregarded in determining eligibility for any federal or state program.
(13) Pursuant to policy direction by CareerSource Florida, Inc., the Department of Economic Opportunity shall adopt such rules as are necessary to implement this act.
History.s. 1, ch. 2001-96; s. 392, ch. 2011-142; s. 36, ch. 2011-194; s. 266, ch. 2014-19; s. 48, ch. 2015-98; s. 44, ch. 2016-216.
445.055 Employment advocacy and assistance program targeting military spouses and dependents.
(1) The Legislature finds that military families are faced with a variety of challenges, including frequent relocations, recurring deployments, lengthy periods of separation, and heightened anxiety and uncertainty during periods of conflict. A military spouse’s ability to gain job skills and maintain a career contributes to the financial well-being of the family, spouse satisfaction with military life, and military retention and readiness. Military spouses are often required to terminate their employment in order to support their spouse’s highly mobile military commitment. The unemployment rate for military spouses is approximately four times the civilian unemployment rate, and military spouse earnings are significantly lower than those of their comparably educated civilian peers. Recognizing the employment challenges faced by military spouses and the importance of military families to our communities and economy, the Legislature declares its intent to establish an employment advocacy and assistance program to serve Florida’s military families.
(2) CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall establish an employment advocacy and assistance program targeting military spouses and dependents. This program shall deliver employment assistance services through military family employment advocates colocated within selected one-stop career centers. Persons eligible for assistance through this program include spouses and dependents of active duty military personnel, Florida National Guard members, and military reservists.
(3) Military family employment advocates are responsible for providing the following services and activities:
(a) Coordination of employment assistance services through military base family support centers, Florida’s one-stop career centers, and veteran support organizations.
(b) Training to one-stop career center managers and staff on the unique employment needs and skills of military family members.
(c) Promoting and marketing the benefits of employing military family members to prospective employers.
(d) Assisting employment-seeking military family members through job counseling, job search and placement services, the dissemination of information on educational and training programs, and the availability of support services.
(e) Other employment assistance services CareerSource Florida, Inc., deems necessary.
(4) CareerSource Florida, Inc., may enter into agreements with public and private entities to provide services authorized under this section.
History.s. 15, ch. 2004-230; s. 49, ch. 2015-98.
445.056 Citizen Soldier Matching Grant Program.The Department of Economic Opportunity shall implement the matching grant program established by the former Agency for Workforce Innovation to award matching grants to private sector employers in this state which provide wages to employees serving in the United States Armed Forces Reserves or the Florida National Guard while those employees are on federal active duty. A grant may not be provided for federal active duty served before January 1, 2005. Each grant shall be awarded to reimburse the employer for not more than one-half of the monthly wages paid to an employee who is a resident of this state for the actual period of federal active duty. The monthly grant per employee may not exceed one-half of the difference between the amount of monthly wages paid by the employer to the employee at the level paid before the date the employee was called to federal active duty and the amount of the employee’s active duty base pay, housing and variable allowances, and subsistence allowance. The Department of Economic Opportunity shall implement the plan administered by the former Agency for Workforce Innovation.
History.s. 1, ch. 2005-48; s. 393, ch. 2011-142.
445.06 Florida Ready to Work Certification Program.
(1) There is created the Florida Ready to Work Certification Program to enhance the workplace skills of Floridians to better prepare them for successful employment in specific occupations.
(2) The Florida Ready to Work Certification Program may be conducted in public middle and high schools, Florida College System institutions, technical centers, one-stop career centers, vocational rehabilitation centers, and Department of Juvenile Justice educational facilities. The program may be made available to other entities that provide job training. The Department of Economic Opportunity, in coordination with the Department of Education, shall establish institutional readiness criteria for program implementation.
(3) The Florida Ready to Work Certification Program shall be composed of:
(a) A comprehensive identification of workplace skills for each occupation identified for inclusion in the program by the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Department of Education.
(b) A preinstructional assessment that delineates an individual’s mastery level on the specific workplace skills identified for that occupation.
(c) A targeted instructional program limited to those identified workplace skills in which the individual is not proficient as measured by the preinstructional assessment. Instruction must utilize a web-based program and be customized to meet identified specific needs of local employers.
(d) A Florida Ready to Work Credential and portfolio awarded to individuals upon successful completion of the instruction. Each portfolio must delineate the skills demonstrated by the individual as evidence of the individual’s preparation for employment.
(4) A Florida Ready to Work Credential shall be awarded to an individual who successfully passes assessments in Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information or any other assessments of comparable rigor. Each assessment shall be scored on a scale of 3 to 7. The level of the credential each individual receives is based on the following:
(a) A bronze-level credential requires a minimum score of 3 or above on each of the assessments.
(b) A silver-level credential requires a minimum score of 4 or above on each of the assessments.
(c) A gold-level credential requires a minimum score of 5 or above on each of the assessments.
(5) The Department of Economic Opportunity, in consultation with the Department of Education, may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section.
History.s. 35, ch. 2006-74; s. 15, ch. 2008-235; s. 73, ch. 2011-5; s. 476, ch. 2011-142.
Note.Former s. 1004.99.
445.07 Economic security report of employment and earning outcomes.
(1) Beginning December 31, 2013, and annually thereafter, the Department of Economic Opportunity, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall prepare, or contract with an entity to prepare, an economic security report of employment and earning outcomes for degrees or certificates earned at public postsecondary educational institutions.
(2) The report must be easily accessible to and readable by the public and shall be made available online. The report, by educational sector, must:
(a) Use the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program for data relating to the employment, earnings, continued education, and receipt of public assistance by graduates of a degree or certificate program from a public postsecondary educational institution.
(b) Use the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System or its equivalent for calculating the average student loan debt of a graduate of a degree or certificate program from a public postsecondary educational institution.
(c) Include data on the employment of graduates of a degree or certificate program from a public postsecondary educational institution the year after the degree or certificate is earned by number and percentage and for graduates employed full time in the year after graduation by number and percentage. Beginning with the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the report must include the employment data of graduates of a degree or certificate program from a public postsecondary educational institution 5 years after graduation by number and percentage.
(d) Include data on the earnings of graduates of a degree or certificate program from a public postsecondary educational institution the year after earning the degree or certificate by at least the following levels on a quarterly and annualized basis, rounded to the nearest dollar:
1. Quarterly wages of $6,250 and annualized wages of $25,000 and below.
2. Quarterly wages between $6,251 and $11,250 and annualized wages between $25,001 and $45,000.
3. Quarterly wages of $11,251 and annualized wages of $45,001 and above.
History.s. 15, ch. 2012-195; s. 32, ch. 2016-216.