Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/28/1996 02:05 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 435 - STATE TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM Number 1778 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON commented she had contacted Greens Creek to find out what kind of involvement they planned to have in this program. She received a letter in response from the lobbyist representing Greens Creek which indicated their definite plans to participate with the university in this program, in addition to training of the individuals they plan to hire in the future. CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Dwight Perkins of the Department of Labor to briefly address the concerns raised by committee members in the last hearing on HB 435. Number 1806 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Labor, directed committee members' attention to his letter to Representative Rokeberg which addressed the question concerning how the distribution of State Training & Employment Program (STEP) funds is determined and what communities were located within each state delivery area (SDA). In response to Representative Rokeberg's request earlier that day about numbers of people for each area, Mr. Perkins said he had the total numbers, but apologized for not having it broken down by area. He did however have the State Training & Employment Program subgrants by service delivery area, which included statewide, Anchorage-Mat/Su and Fairbanks SDA. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY inquired as to Representative Rokeberg's reason for the question; had he heard of anyone in Anchorage being denied training by STEP? REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the nature of his question was based on the idea that all the state workers throughout the state pay for this, and his concerns were in regard to the methodology used in applying these monies. Therefore, he had asked the department to supply information as to the numbers and dollars put into specific communities and locales. He didn't think it was unfair to ask the department how much money goes to specific areas when they are spending $3.5 million to $4 million. Additionally, he was curious about the formula used. For example, the city of Wrangell is experiencing substantial unemployment because of the closure of the mill and he wondered if there was anything in the formula that would accommodate additional job training in a situation like that. CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she could appreciate Representative Rokeberg's thoughts, but asked how would people be trained in a profession that is not ongoing in their community. Number 1986 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it was her understanding that through the university system, the mining industry for example has contributed equipment and money to a small mine outside of Juneau. When the underground mining training is offered in Juneau, there are individuals that come from all over the state and when they have completed the training they go work in other mines or fill existing jobs in Juneau. Therefore, it may not necessarily be a program that's offered in a specific community to address a specific job need, but it brings people from all over the state who get training and go to work in that field. Number 2053 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said there was nothing in the formula mentioned in Mr. Perkins' letter that indicates general employment and wondered if unemployed parents inferred that unemployment is a major portion of the statistical formula for the allocation. MR. PERKINS said as was mentioned in his March 28 letter, the formula was updated annually using labor market statistics. Pertinent statistics, by service delivery area, include the number of the six factors listed in his letter. He said we're going after a work force of people who are out of work, people who are looking to upgrade their training skills, or workers making less than the average annual wage. He referenced Representative Rokeberg's concern about whether people were being trained in an industry where there are no jobs, for example the mining industry, and said yes, people have been trained and have gone to work in mines in other parts of the state. Number 2132 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG expressed disappointment that the department wasn't able to furnish a better breakdown as to where the money was going. MR. PERKINS noted that he had provided an extensive package of information last week. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the information contained the areawide SDA, the Anchorage SDA and the Fairbanks SDA, but it didn't have the names of individual programs. MR. PERKINS pointed out there was a breakdown in committee packets that showed the FY 95 actual statewide service delivery area grant line items. The total was footed through the breakdown of the different names of businesses and training groups that had received the amounts, the locations, and the total amount. Unfortunately, it didn't indicate the exact number of people, except for the Fairbanks service delivery area which specified the names of the people, how much was spent, the industry specific on-the-job training, participants at UAF for training, upgrading skills, etc. Mr. Perkins offered to provide Representative Rokeberg with the information to his liking if Representative Rokeberg would let him know exactly what information he was seeking. Number 2254 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony. Number 2259 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved HB 435 out of committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes to the next committee of referral. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted for the record there were corrected fiscal notes. Fiscal notes 3 and 4, and a new fiscal note from the Department of Community & Regional Affairs dated 3/18/96 were the corrected fiscal notes.