ASSEMBLY, No. 1923

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 8, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington and Camden)

Assemblyman  JACK CONNERS

District 7 (Burlington and Camden)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Schaer and Assemblywoman Wagner

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Concerns access to certain job training courses for employees affected by plant closings, mass layoffs or transfer of operations.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning access to certain job training courses and amending P.L.1983, c.469, P.L.1983, c.470 and P.L.1992, c.43.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.1983, c.469 (C.18A:64-13.2) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    Each public institution of higher education shall permit a person who has been in the labor market for at least two years and is unemployed or has received a layoff notice as a result of a factory or plant closing or transfer, or mass layoff, to enroll without payment of tuition in a job training course, provided that the person is not eligible for any available State or federal student financial aid and that available classroom space permits and that tuition paying students constitute the minimum number required for the course.  In the case of an employee of an employer who is required to provide notification to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.2007, c.212 (C.34:21-2), that person shall be permitted to enroll without payment of tuition in a job training course regardless of any classroom space restrictions.  Nothing herein shall preclude a public institution of higher education from requiring a registration fee not to exceed $20.00 per academic term. 

(cf:  P.L.1992, c.45, s.2)

 

     2.    Section 2 of P.L.1983, c.470 (C.18A:64A-23.2) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    Each county college shall permit a person who has been in the labor market for at least two years and is unemployed or has received a layoff notice as a result of a factory or plant closing or transfer, or mass layoff, to enroll without payment of tuition in a job training course, provided that the person is not eligible for any available State or federal student financial aid and that available classroom space permits and that tuition paying students constitute the minimum number required for the course.  In the case of an employee of an employer who is required to provide notification to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.2007, c.212 (C.34:21-2), that person shall be permitted to enroll without payment of tuition in a job training course regardless of any classroom space restrictions.  Nothing herein shall preclude a county college from requiring a registration fee not to exceed $20.00 per academic term. 

(cf: P.L.1992, c.45, s.4)


     3.    Section 3 of P.L.1992, c.43 (C.34:15D-3) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    As used in this act:

     "Administrative costs" means any costs incurred by the department to administer the program, including any cost required to collect information and conduct evaluations of service providers pursuant to section 8 of this act and conduct surveys of occupations pursuant to [section 12 of this act] subsection d. of section 27 of P.L.2005, c.354 (C.34:1A-86), to the extent that funding is not available from federal or other sources.

     "Apprenticeship Policy Committee" means the New Jersey Apprenticeship Policy Committee established by an agreement between the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training in the United States Department of Labor, the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the State Department of Education and consisting of a representative of the Commissioner of the State Department of Education, a representative of the Commissioner of the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Director of Region II of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training in the United States Department of Labor and a representative of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.

     "Approved community-based or faith-based organization" means an organization which is an approved service provider, a nonprofit organization exempt from federal taxation under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. s. 501), and approved by the commissioner as demonstrating expertise and effectiveness in the field of workforce investment and being representative of a community or a significant segment of a community where the organization provides services.

     "Approved service provider" or "approved training provider" means a service provider which is on the State Eligible Training Provider List.

     "Commission" means the State Employment and Training Commission.

     "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development or the commissioner's designees.

     "Credential" means a credential recognized by the Department of Education or the Commission on Higher Education, or approved by the Credentials Review Board established by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to section 25 of P.L.2005, c.354 (C.34:1A-1.10).

     "Customized training services" means employment and training services which are provided by the Office of Customized Training pursuant to section 5 of this act.

     "Department" means the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

     "Employer" or "business" means any employer subject to the provisions of R.S.43:21-1 et seq.

     "Employment and training services" means:

     a.     Counseling provided pursuant to section 7 of this act;

     b.    Occupational training;

     c.     Remedial instruction; or

     d.    Occupational safety and health training.

     e.     In the case of a qualified disadvantaged worker who is or was receiving, or is eligible for but not receiving, benefits under the Work First New Jersey program, "employment and training services" includes, in addition to any of the benefits listed in subsections a. through d. above, Supplemental Workforce Development Benefits approved as part of the workers' Employability Development Plan pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1992, c.43 (C.34:15D-7).

     "Fund" means the Workforce Development Partnership Fund established pursuant to section 9 of this act.

     "Labor Demand Occupation" means an occupation which:

     a.     The Center for Occupational Employment Information has, pursuant to subsection d. of section 27 of P.L.2005, c.354 (C.34:1A-86), determined is or will be, on a regional basis, subject to a significant excess of demand over supply for trained workers, based on a comparison of the total need or anticipated need for trained workers with the total number being trained; or

     b.    The Center for Occupational Employment Information, in conjunction with a Workforce Investment Board, has, pursuant to subsection d. of section 27 of P.L.2005, c.354 (C.34:1A-86), determined is or will be, in the region for which the board is responsible, subject to a significant excess of demand over supply for adequately trained workers, based on a comparison of total need or anticipated need for trained workers with the total number being trained.

     "Occupational safety and health training" means training or instruction which is designed to assist in the recognition and prevention of potential health and safety hazards related to an occupation.

     "Office" means the Office of Customized Training established pursuant to section 5 of this act.

     "One Stop Career Center" means any of the facilities established, sponsored or designated by the State, a political subdivision of the State and a Workforce Investment Board in a local area to coordinate or make available State and local programs providing employment and training services or other employment-directed and workforce development programs and activities, including job placement services, and any other similar facility as may be established, sponsored or designated at any later time to coordinate or make available any of those programs, services or activities.

     "Permanent employment" means full-time employment unsubsidized by government training funds which provides a significant opportunity for career advancement and long-term job security.

     "Poverty level" means the official poverty level based on family size, established and adjusted under section 673 (2) of Subtitle B of the "Community Services Block Grant Act," Payable-35 (42 U.S.C. s. 9902 (2)).

     "Program" means the Workforce Development Partnership Program created pursuant to this act.

     "Qualified disadvantaged worker" means a worker who is not a qualified displaced worker or a qualified employed worker but who otherwise meets the following criteria:

     a.     Is unemployed;

     b.    Is working part-time and actively seeking full-time work or is working full-time but is earning wages substantially below the median salary for others in the labor force with similar qualifications and experience; or

     c.     Is certified by the Department of Human Services as:

     (1)   Currently receiving public assistance;

     (2)   Having been recently removed from the public assistance rolls because of gross income exceeding the grant standard for assistance; or

     (3)   Being eligible for public assistance but not receiving the assistance because of a failure to apply for it.

     "Qualified displaced worker" means a worker who:

     a.     Is unemployed, and:

     (1)   Is currently receiving unemployment benefits pursuant to R.S.43:21-1 et seq. or any federal or State unemployment benefit extension; or

     (2)   Has exhausted eligibility for the benefits or extended benefits during the preceding 52 weeks; [or]

     b.    Meets the criteria set by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub.L.105-220 (29 U.S.C. s.2801 et seq.), to be regarded as a "dislocated worker" pursuant to that act; or

     c.     Has received a layoff notice as the result of a plant closing or transfer or a mass layoff.

     "Qualified employed worker" means a worker who is employed by an employer participating in a customized training program, or other employed worker who is in need of remedial  instruction.

     "Qualified job counselor" means a job counselor whose qualifications meet standards established by the commissioner.

     "Qualified staff" means staff whose qualifications meet standards set by regulations adopted by the commissioner.

     "Remedial education" or "remedial instruction" means any literacy or other basic skills training or instruction which may not be directly related to a particular occupation but is needed to facilitate success in occupational training or work performance, including training or instruction in mathematics, reading comprehension, computer literacy, English proficiency and work-readiness skills.

     "Self-sufficiency" for an individual means a level of earnings from employment not lower than 250% of the poverty level for an individual, taking into account the size of the individual's family.

     "Service provider," "training provider" or "provider" means a provider of employment and training services including but not limited to a private or public school or institution of higher education, a business, a labor organization or a community-based organization.

     "State Eligible Training Provider List" means the Statewide list of eligible training providers maintained pursuant to section 14 of P.L.2005, c.354 (C.34:15C-10.2).

     "Supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills" means the fund established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2001, c.152 (C.34:15D-21).

     "Total revenues dedicated to the program during any one fiscal year" means all moneys received for the fund during any fiscal year, including moneys withdrawn from the State disability benefits fund pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1992, c.44 (C.34:15D-14), minus any repayment made during that fiscal year from the fund to the State disability benefits fund pursuant to that section.

     "Training grant" means a grant provided to fund occupational training and any needed remedial instruction for a qualified displaced or disadvantaged worker pursuant to section 6 of this act, or to fund needed remedial instruction for a qualified employed worker pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2001, c.152 (C.34:15D-21). 

     "Vocational training" or "occupational training" means training or instruction which is related to an occupation and is designed to enhance the marketable skills and earning power of a worker or job seeker. 

     "Workforce Investment Services" means core, intensive, and training services as defined by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub.L.105-220 (29U.S.C. s.2801 et seq.).

(cf: P.L.2005, c.354, s.20)

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides employees whose employers are required to provide them with advanced notice of a plant closing or transfer or mass layoff under the “Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act,” P.L.2007, c.212 (C.34:21-1 et seq.), with increased opportunities to obtain tuition waivers for job training at all public and county colleges in the State.  The tuition waiver program currently restricts the number of available class slots for participants.  This bill eliminates classroom space restrictions for individuals affected by a plant closing, transfer of operations or mass layoff.  The bill also specifies that workers notified of a layoff due to a plant closing or transfer or a mass layoff are, even prior to an actual layoff, included in the definition of “qualified displaced worker” under the Workforce Development Partnership Program and therefore immediately eligible for training benefits under that program.