Legislature(2021 - 2022)DAVIS 106
04/09/2021 08:00 AM EDUCATION
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HB 108-CONCURRENT SECONDARY & TRADE SCHOOL 8:45:16 AM CO-CHAIR STORY announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 108, "An Act relating to concurrent vocational education, training, and on-the-job trade experience programs for students enrolled in public secondary schools; relating to child labor; and providing for an effective date." 8:45:59 AM REPRESENTATIVE KEN MCCARTY, Alaska State Legislature, as prime sponsor, presented HB 108. He said that in secondary education, Alaska offers concurrent enrollment to enter college courses, but the state does not offer the same for trade classes. He explained that if a student wanted to pursue a trade format, he/she would have to do so independent of the secondary education experience. He explained that HB 108 would resolve the issue so a student could do concurrent enrollment in trade and recognize that it is done by industry recognized trade experts. 8:47:50 AM The committee took an at-ease from 8:47 a.m. to 8:48 a.m. 8:48:41 AM REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY added that the proposed legislation opens up opportunities for the tactile learning process. 8:49:06 AM DENEEN TUCK, Staff, Representative Ken McCarty, Alaska State Legislature, presented the sectional analysis for HB 108 on behalf of Representative McCarty, prime sponsor. She stated, "Going over the sectional analysis, there's one thing that I'd like to point out, and that will come up in the presentation. We talk about the Department of Education in here, but we have learned since talking with Mr. Anderson at the Anchorage School District that districts are already doing this. So, we would like to replace 'The Department of Education' with 'each district,' and we'll talk about that as we move along in the bill." MS. TUCK said Section 1 adds criminal history checks for instructors of students in trades, on-the-job-training, or apprenticeship. Section 2, she explained, instructs DEED/school districts to provide students CTE opportunities. Section 3 adds six new sections to AS 14.35. First, it makes it so those aged 14 years or older may participate in concurrent vocational education programs, she shared. Second, it instructs the school district to contract with external programs for on-the-job style instruction, requires a published list of available programs, allows for enrollment in the program, mandates individual learning plans for students, and requires instructor certification. Ms. Tuck said that Section 4 amends the requirements for supervision of an employed minor, Section 5 lowers the employment age to 16 years old, Section 6 allows minors to work to 10 p.m., and Section 7 provides for an effective date. 8:55:28 AM REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND asked if brothers-in-law or sisters-in- law would count as extended family referred to in Section 4. MS. TUCK replied that she and Representative McCarty would have no objections if Representative Drummond would propose that as an amendment. REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY added that the language "the department or district" could be part of the amendment. 8:56:53 AM REPRESENTATIVE PRAX asked how HB 108 interfaced with CSHB 132(L&C) and how it was different. REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY replied that CSHB 132(L&C) was mostly for individuals seeking apprenticeship who were 18 and older. He explained that HB 108 captured all secondary school-age kids who didn't fit into the category of CSHB 132(L&C). He commented that this was a "synergy of different bills that had come together for workability." He explained that a student at age 14 could start the process towards workability and would get industry recognized certifications in that process. He suggested students could graduate at 18 and be offered a $100,000 [annual paying] job. 8:58:55 AM REPRESENTATIVE GILLHAM asked what the "domestic work" in Section 6 of the bill entailed. REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY replied that the current statute says the criteria listed does not apply to a baby-sitter or to housework, so a babysitter could work until 2 a.m. What this proposed legislation does is address the current statute that says student youth must be off the clock by 9 p.m. He said this section extended that time by one hour, but there were still the same time frames. He offered an example of a Juneau resident who owned several movie theaters and had to send youth employees home at 9 p.m., even with movies still going. REPRESENTATIVE GILLHAM related anecdotally that his son started working 10-hour days on his charter boat at age eight for seven days a week. He commented that limiting fishing families to 23 hours a week is a hindrance and said that in the fishing industry, people wouldn't keep to 23 hours. REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY replied that Representative Gillham's particular concern has been raised often. He commented that when the youth is working for a parent that puts it in a "whole different paradigm." MS. TUCK added the 23 hours was already in statute, and HB 108 would not change that. She explained that the only thing the proposed legislation would change would be to allow youth to work one hour later. 9:02:14 AM REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND asked if 10 p.m. was late enough, especially in Alaska summer considering the "geographic advantage to daylight." REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY replied it was also an issue with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) child labor laws at the federal level. He said there had been an attempt previously to make a shift to expand the available youth working hours to both earlier in the morning and later at night, which was shut down due to federal regulation. REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND commented that these were "baby steps while we train OSHA that Alaska is part of the United States but has a totally different latitudinal experience." 9:04:12 AM REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY gave a PowerPoint presentation on HB 108. He overviewed slide 2, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]: ? Gives high school students age 14 and up, concurrent enrollment opportunity for vocational education with industry-standard instruction and certification. ? Ensures that students receive the best training by requiring an industry standard master skill certification for instructors. ? Trade programs contracted with school districts must prove that their instruction meets agency accredited national or regional standards. ? Gives equal opportunity to all students who wish to participate. ? Will raise attendance and graduation rates and produce a stronger workforce with skilled experience and work ethic. REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY stated this wasn't something new; it was something that the state already wanted to do. 9:07:38 AM REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY directed attention to slide 4, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]: Youth & Workforce Engagement ? Less 0.5% of Alaska's Active Apprentices are under 18 ? In 2019 only 35% of teens ages 16-19 were part of the U.S Workforce ? A 25% decrease in teen workers from the peak in 1979 when 60% of Teens ages 16-19 held down part-time jobs REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY said there has been a large drop of participation in the workforce and offered anecdotes from various states. He moved to slide 5 and commented that CTE education is a national trend, and HB 108 is in line with that movement. He presented slide 6, which showed findings from a study performed by the American Student Association (ASA) and Bellwether Education Partners on work-based learning policies. He observed that Alaska has improvements to make. He stated that with HB 108, CSSB 32(FIN), and CSHB 132(L&C), the legislature would make great strides. REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY presented slide 7. He shared that HB 108 supports "Program Lists." He said DEED is already asking for vocational trade lists, which he explained the industry already has. He pointed to "Instructor Certification," and said that there are already instructors, and he explained the certification process which would allow industry standard professionals to teach in the classroom. Lastly, he directed attention to "Program Contracts." He said that many Alaska schools have programs and materials, but some do not. He suggested these programs could happen with neighborhood businesses and offered an anecdote from when he ran a special needs school which offered sewing classes with a local business. 9:11:34 AM REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY moved to slide 8 and explained that funding came from base student allocation (BSA) funding, and no special funding was needed for the proposed legislation. He presented slide 9 and addressed the term "higher education." He shared his view that higher education is any education that builds a career. REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY presented slides 10-13 and discussed seven benefits of trade skills and vocational education. The first benefit he presented was the ability to start young at age 14. The second benefit he pointed out was having smaller classes and like-minded peers, which he likened to the relationships built in a sports team setting. He offered the next two benefits: career service opportunities from specific training and the cost benefit of industry level pay. He pointed out the impact of hands-on training. The last two benefits he mentioned were job placement and faster workforce certification. 9:14:41 AM BRAD AUSTIN, Apprenticeship Coordinator, Plumbers, Pipefitters & Southeast Mechanical Contractors Apprenticeship Program, Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 262 provided invited testimony in favor of HB 108. He shared with the committee that he was also representing the Alaska Pipe Trades, Local 375 in Fairbanks and Local 367 in Anchorage, all three of which are multi- employer union programs that run federally registered apprenticeship programs. He explained that with that, comes a set of rules called the "Standard of Apprenticeship." He commented that one part of that is the on-the-job training component, and the other component is the related technical instruction. He shared that Local 262's training program has 240 hours a year, adding up to six weeks of instruction including formal classroom training, from math to more advanced skills such as medical gas installation, which involves a certificate. He stated that there is a wage progression, with the program starting at 50 percent of journeyman scale for first year apprentices, and then every six months there is a raise and an advancement within the program. He noted that the program was five years long, 10,000 hours, and completes with a state plumbing test. MR. AUSTIN commented that electrician and plumber apprentices must be registered in order to obtain a trainee card, and that the state tracks the hours. Once an apprentice reaches 8,000 hours, the individual may take the state test. He opined that it is much like school and shared that there are monthly grade cards given by the journeyman who oversees an apprentice. He shared that the grade card also documents the hours and the processes completed by the apprentice. The grade cards are reviewed, and then it is decided whether an apprentice is ready for advancement, he explained. He compared it to a freshman becoming a sophomore in high school. He shared that the Plumber's and Pipefitters apprenticeship is registered as a post-secondary exempt training facility with DEED. He mentioned that college credits were also involved with the apprenticeship program and noted that the union had agreements with two universities and two community colleges, along with UA. MR. AUSTIN asserted that these are great careers, and said the apprentices begin at $19.41 an hour when starting with no training. He said HB 108 would provide opportunities for students who may not realize there are high paying careers in the plumbing and pipefitting industry. He requested that "registered apprenticeship" be added to the bill next to "on- the-job" trade experience to "open it up" and add clarity regarding these programs. 9:21:43 AM JIM ANDERSON, CFO, Anchorage School District (ASD), testified in favor of HB 108. He shared that the Anchorage School Board's three goals are: reading proficiency; math proficiency; and life, college, and career readiness upon graduation. He asserted that those goals would be reinforced by the proposed legislation. He stated that HB 108 strengthens the state's focus to provide high school students an opportunity to receive industry-standard training so they will have viable skills for a trade upon graduation. He also noted that the bill addressed the partnership with businesses in many areas that may not have state certified apprentice programs. He said ASD has split its work-based learning opportunities into two areas: internships and job shadowing. He stated that internships with businesses have allowed many students to develop skills that enable them to receive jobs immediately following graduation. He said the district has partnered with 93 business, some of which are local union apprentice programs although the vast majority are not, in 21 distinct career fields, such as art design, bio-medical, telecommunications, horticulture, carpentry, veterinary assistants, welding, collision repair, and many more. He shared that ASD was expanding an intern program within its business units so that soon students would be able to build skills in maintenance, information technology, human resources, and nutrition. He explained that students participating in these programs receive course credit, and he noted that the partnerships were nearly always available at no cost to the district. MR. ANDERSON said Alaska's future depended on ensuring that students who don't attend college have pathways to start careers upon graduating high school. He shared that in 2019 prior to the pandemic, ASD had 126 students participate in intern programs with district partners and another 190 students who participated in job shadowing. He said that state registered apprenticeships are a small part of the district's workforce development, with five to eight students entering a state registered apprenticeship at age 18, but noted that the other industry partnership programs have three times the employment rate upon graduation. Mr. Anderson reiterated that HB 108 supports the Anchorage School Board's goal of having student's life, college, and career ready upon graduation, and [ASD] strongly supports the bill. 9:25:32 AM CO-CHAIR STORY announced HB 108 would be held over.