Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/06/2017 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 141 AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD;FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 79 OMNIBUS WORKERS' COMPENSATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 132 TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
+ SB 14 TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
<Pending Referral>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
           HB 141-AK WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD;FUNDS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:18:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 141, "An  Act relating to allocations  of funding                                                               
for the Alaska  Workforce Investment Board; and  providing for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:18:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ZACH   FANSLER,  Alaska  State   Legislature,  as                                                               
sponsor, presented HB  141.  He read from  the sponsor statement,                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     AS   23.15.820   authorizes    the   Alaska   Workforce                                                                    
     Investment  Board to  administer  the Alaska  Technical                                                                    
     and   Vocational   Education   Program   (TVEP).   This                                                                    
     legislation  reauthorizes the  allocation  of the  TVEP                                                                    
     funding for five years.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     TVEP was  established by Legislature  in 2000  with the                                                                    
     purpose of  enhancing the quality and  accessibility of                                                                    
     job training  across the  state, and  aligning training                                                                    
     with  regional   workforce  demands.  TVEP   funds  are                                                                    
     obtained from  a portion  of employee  contributions to                                                                    
     the unemployment insurance trust fund.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The  TVEP   funds  are   allocated  to   technical  and                                                                    
     vocational education entities  across Alaska designated                                                                    
     by AS 23.15.835. Each entity  receives a set percentage                                                                    
     of  the  TVEP funds  available  each  fiscal year.  The                                                                    
     current allocation  sunsets June  30, 2017.  Unless the                                                                    
     allocation  is  reauthorized   this  funding  will  sit                                                                    
     unused in  the TVEP  account instead  of being  used by                                                                    
     these entities to train Alaskans.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     TVEP recipients  are required by  statute to  track and                                                                    
     report  program   outcomes  to  the   Alaska  Workforce                                                                    
     Investment  Board. Each  year  the  Board compiles  and                                                                    
     provides to  the legislature a TVEP  performance report                                                                    
     containing this  information. In Fiscal Year  2016, the                                                                    
     ten  TVEP  recipients  were allocated  $12,510,900  and                                                                    
     served 10,295 youth and adults.  A statewide network of                                                                    
     training  providers   is  critical  to   developing  an                                                                    
     Alaskan workforce.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     This  legislation  is  necessary to  help  educate  and                                                                    
     train Alaskans for Alaska's jobs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER   listed  the  programs   that  currently                                                               
receive TVEP funds:   University of Alaska  statewide receives 45                                                               
percent,  Galena  Interior  Learning Academy  (GILA)  receives  4                                                               
percent,  the  Alaska Technical  Center  in  Kotzebue receives  9                                                               
percent,  Alaska Vocational  Technical Center  (AVTEC) in  Seward                                                               
receives  17   percent,  the   Northwestern  Alaska   Career  and                                                               
Technical  Center  (NACTEC)  in  Nome  receives  3  percent,  the                                                               
Southwest Alaska Vocational and  Education Center (SAVEC) in King                                                               
Salmon receives  3 percent, Yuut Elitnaurviat  in Bethel receives                                                               
9 percent,  Partners for  Progress in  Delta receives  3 percent,                                                               
the Amundsen  Educational Center in Soldotna  receives 2 percent,                                                               
and Ilisagvik College in Utqiagvik receives 5 percent.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER explained that  the bill would reauthorize                                                               
funding for five  years and the distributions would  be set until                                                               
June 30, 2022.   He expressed that the bill  is important to many                                                               
communities  around the  state and  is important  to the  state's                                                               
resource  development  systems.    The  bill  would  ensure  that                                                               
Alaskans are trained to perform the jobs in their regions.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:23:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked where the funds come from.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER  described  that  TVEP  is  funded  by  a                                                               
portion of  the contributions to  unemployment insurance  paid by                                                               
every working  Alaskan.  The  funds are distributed  to technical                                                               
and  vocational education  entities  across  Alaska's regions  in                                                               
accordance with AS 23.15.835.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH asked  how TVEP  benefits his  constituents                                                               
who have funds taken out of their wages.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FANSLER  noted   that  unemployment   [insurance                                                               
contributions]  are   currently  pulled  out   for  "unemployment                                                               
reasons."   He said that  one benefit of  TVEP is the  ability to                                                               
train a  worker for a  well-paying job,  like those on  the North                                                               
Slope.   He  added that  the  programs are  regionally based  and                                                               
target  the industries  of each  region.   He explained  that the                                                               
Yuut Elitnaurviat  in Bethel does  a lot of  [Commercial Driver's                                                               
License]  (CDL) training.   He  proposed one  might consider  the                                                               
TVEP program as an opportunity  for upward mobility for employees                                                               
to  get better  jobs, for  Alaska  to keep  its high-paying  jobs                                                               
within the state,  and [to have the wages from  such jobs remain]                                                               
in Alaska's economy.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:25:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  offered   his  interpretation  that  [TVEP                                                               
funding] "comes  out of the hide  of the working person"  and the                                                               
money is taken  out of an individual's paycheck  to fund training                                                               
for  someone that  might  replace him/her.   He  said  he is  not                                                               
convinced  that is  a good  thing.   He acknowledged  the pot  of                                                               
money is big, but he questioned  what the return value is for the                                                               
person who is working and seeing his/her paycheck diminish.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FANSLER  responded   that   there   is  a   wide                                                               
distribution   of  jobs   around   the  state   that  require   a                                                               
professional degree.   He  said that TVEP  is a  program designed                                                               
specifically  for jobs  that would  utilize resource  development                                                               
industries to  provide skills  to Alaskans.   He stated  that the                                                               
funding mechanisms for [TVEP] have  been in place for many years.                                                               
He remarked:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Ideally, I  think what  we all want  as Alaskans  is to                                                                    
     [at] some  point get to  a place where workers  can ...                                                                    
     get  that upward  mobility and  be able  to say,  "I no                                                                    
     longer ... qualify  for ... just the  bare minimum wage                                                                    
     job."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FANSLER   suggested   that  TVEP   provides   an                                                               
opportunity for  such a worker  to get  a job with  a respectable                                                               
living wage to  bring back to the community and  help the overall                                                               
economy of Alaska.   He noted that billions of  dollars leave the                                                               
state each year with people that  don't live in Alaska:  He said,                                                               
"They're working  two on,  and then they're  flying down  to live                                                               
their two off."   He observed that such money  is being taken out                                                               
of the  Alaskan economy and  is directly impacting Alaskans.   He                                                               
remarked:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     We want  those jobs  to being going  to folks  that are                                                                    
     going  to -  if  they are  taking a  two  on, two  off,                                                                    
     they're  going to  return to  your ...  region; they're                                                                    
     going  to come  back,  and they're  going  to put  that                                                                    
     money back ... into the economy locally.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER offered  that the  goal of  HB 141  is to                                                               
train Alaskans to do Alaska's jobs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:28:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES asked  whether the  funds for  the program                                                               
come from "the unemployment that is paid."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER answered yes.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    STUTES   offered    her   understanding    that                                                               
unemployment  insurance would  not be  reduced even  if the  TVEP                                                               
program were discontinued.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER agreed.  He remarked:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     This is not  going to be a means of  putting money back                                                                    
     in the pockets of currently  working Alaskans.  This is                                                                    
     money that is simply  designated from that unemployment                                                                    
     removal to make  sure that we can get  as many Alaskans                                                                    
     back to work as possible.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:29:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked where  the Alaska Technical  Center is                                                               
located.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER said it is in Kotzebue, Alaska.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:30:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  asked  if other  states  make  similar                                                               
investments with unemployment insurance  benefits.  He also asked                                                               
what  percent of  all the  collected unemployment  insurance TVEP                                                               
receives.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER  said he would follow  up with information                                                               
on other  states' unemployment investments.   He noted  that TVEP                                                               
receives  .16  percent  of the  employee  unemployment  insurance                                                               
contributions.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:31:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked if [paying unemployment]  is optional                                                               
to the  employee.  He said,  "Obviously, if people ...  choose to                                                               
have  a  benefit,  then  they  can  opt  to."    He  offered  his                                                               
understanding that  the program is basically  just "layered into"                                                               
what  is perceived  to be  unemployment  insurance; however,  the                                                               
program takes $5 million from  working people's paychecks to fund                                                               
training all over the state.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER responded that there  is a good chance the                                                               
working Alaskans [who contribute  to unemployment insurance] have                                                               
passed  through TVEP  programs to  qualify  for their  jobs.   He                                                               
suggested  that they  are  paying  back into  a  system that  has                                                               
already benefited them.   He mentioned that  the program provides                                                               
training  at a  reasonable  price close  to communities  allowing                                                               
individuals  to  become a  "very  important  part of  our  fiscal                                                               
climate."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH pointed  out  that employees  don't have  a                                                               
choice to participate.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:33:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  indicated  that  the  money is  being  paid  by  the                                                               
employees  regardless   of  whether  or  not   the  TVEP  program                                                               
continues.  He commented that  the program provides opportunities                                                               
for  retraining  individuals  who  might need  to  change  career                                                               
paths.  He remarked:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Not having that opportunity, I  think, is going to be a                                                                    
     challenge  for   Alaska,  especially  when  we   see  a                                                                    
     contraction in  the economy where people  might need to                                                                    
     be  retrained.   So, we  could  we let  the program  go                                                                    
     away, but  then we're  not going to  have opportunities                                                                    
     for individuals  in Alaska that could  get the training                                                                    
     that  could get  them  into productive  careers in  the                                                                    
     future.   So I do think  that the idea is  ... keep the                                                                    
     program going  so we can  keep some  training available                                                                    
     for people that might need to change careers.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked for clarification  that the program is                                                               
paid for with unemployment insurance.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO answered, "Correct."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:34:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP   expressed  that   Representative  Birch's                                                               
concerns  are unrelated  to  HB  141.   He  noted  that the  bill                                                               
extends the deadline by five  years and allocates a percentage of                                                               
money already collected.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:35:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER agreed  that the bill does  not affect how                                                               
much is taken out of  the unemployment compensation.  Rather, the                                                               
bill designates  a method to  use those funds for  vocational and                                                               
technical education programs.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:36:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  if the  approximately $4  million [of                                                               
TVEP funds] represents .016 of  all [unemployment insurance] (UI)                                                               
contributions.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER clarified that it is .16 percent.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:37:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD  asked   how  much  unemployment                                                               
insurance is captured  on an average yearly basis  since it began                                                               
in 2000.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:37:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PALOMA   HARBOUR,   Director,   Central   Office,   Division   of                                                               
Administrative   Services,  Department   of  Labor   &  Workforce                                                               
Development (DLWD),  responded that she  does not have  a rolling                                                               
total from 2000.   She explained that the amount  projected to be                                                               
available in  the fund for  distribution in fiscal year  2018 (FY                                                               
18) is  almost $12 million,  which is  similar to the  last three                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:38:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO asked whether $12  million is the entire collection of                                                               
unemployment insurance or the amount available for TVEP.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR clarified that it is the amount available for TVEP.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:39:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked what flexibility the  legislature has                                                               
in designating the use of the TVEP funds.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HARBOUR  reported  that  the   entities  are  designated  in                                                               
statute;  therefore, the  legislature  decides  who receives  the                                                               
funding and what percentage they receive.   She noted that HB 141                                                               
is  a straight  reauthorization of  the current  distribution for                                                               
five more years.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked  if the .16 percent  is the percentage                                                               
of the total unemployment insurance received by TVEP.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR  responded that  .16 percent is  the percent  of each                                                               
employee's UI  taxable wage base  - which  is close to  $40,000 -                                                               
that goes into  the TVEP fund for each employee.   She noted that                                                               
overall  UI  employment  contributions  vary each  year,  but  on                                                               
average they are about .5 percent of the taxable wage base.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked,  "So .16 goes into .5  about 3 times,                                                               
so it's like 30 percent?"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR responded, "That would makes sense."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  concluded   that   30   percent  of   the                                                               
unemployment insurance is being redirected to TVEP funds.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR  answered no.   She explained  that 30 percent  of an                                                               
employees'  contribution  goes to  TVEP,  and  the employer  pays                                                               
another .7 percent.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  described  that  one-third  of  employee's                                                               
contribution  is  being  directed  by the  legislature  to  these                                                               
programs.   He  asked whether  there are  any constraints  on the                                                               
percentages.    He  said  he  is  challenged  by  the  idea  that                                                               
unemployment insurance is funding education.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HARBOUR stated that [the  legislature] could direct up to 100                                                               
percent  of the  employee contribution  to TVEP.   She  explained                                                               
that  doing  so  would  impact  the  amount  contributed  by  the                                                               
employer:  There is a formula  describing how much money needs to                                                               
be collected  to support unemployment  insurance.   She remarked,                                                               
"If you decide  to divert more of the  employee's contribution to                                                               
training programs,  then the employer  will have to fund  more of                                                               
that  total  contribution  that's  needed  to  fund  unemployment                                                               
insurance."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  said   that  unemployment   insurance  is                                                               
supposed  to  be available  to  those  who  are unemployed.    He                                                               
offered his  belief that using a  third of the insurance  to fund                                                               
an education  program for those  who are already employed  is not                                                               
using the funds as they were originally intended.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:43:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HEIDI  DRYGAS,  Commissioner,  Department of  Labor  &  Workforce                                                               
Development (DLWD), said  she will follow up  with the percentage                                                               
of  overall   UI  [that   goes  to  TVEP].     She   offered  her                                                               
understanding  that  TVEP  has  been working  since  2000.    She                                                               
offered that  the adage  'A rising tide  lifts all  boats' really                                                               
encapsulates what the TVEP program is  about.  She stated that UI                                                               
is an  insurance program which  kicks in  when someone is  out of                                                               
work.    She explained  that  the  TVEP programs  fall  "squarely                                                               
within the  ambit of  unemployment insurance."   She  opined that                                                               
the idea  is for people to  collectively have a portion  of their                                                               
insurance  syphoned off  to help  all Alaskans  go back  to work.                                                               
She noted  that TVEP has 10  recipients across the state  who use                                                               
the  money to  train Alaskans  for  jobs -  which is  why UI  was                                                               
created.    She  noted  that   the  program  has  been  extremely                                                               
successful and the department fully supports the program.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH expressed  that  he  buys insurances  which                                                               
benefit him or  his beneficiaries.  He opined  that the one-third                                                               
of employees'  contributions to  unemployment insurance  is being                                                               
taken  away to  train other  people, which  does not  benefit the                                                               
payers.   He  offered that  [the TVEP  program] doesn't  fill the                                                               
role  of  insurance   since  it  does  not   benefit  the  payer.                                                               
Syphoning  off a  third of  $12 million  to support  colleges and                                                               
learning academies is not insignificant.   He again noted that he                                                               
is  not comfortable  with using  unemployment insurance  for that                                                               
purpose.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:46:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KITO  offered that  he  pays  for auto  insurance  without                                                               
receiving a benefit  unless he is in an accident.   He stated, "I                                                               
can  pay  for many  years  and  not  receive  a benefit  of  that                                                               
insurance."   He added  that [employees] pay  to try  and benefit                                                               
the overall  program which provides education  and retraining for                                                               
unemployed individuals.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:47:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRED  VILLA,   Associate  Vice  President,   Workforce  Programs,                                                               
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF),  testified in support of HB
141.  He stated that the  university uses TVEP funding to respond                                                               
to  the needs  of the  state of  Alaska with  outreach, academic,                                                               
certification, and  professional development  programs.   He said                                                               
that  the funding  is critical  to provide  the size,  scope, and                                                               
quality  of  the  programs  and  is critical  to  the  access  to                                                               
programs throughout  the state.   He relayed that  the university                                                               
is  focused  on  career   pathways,  opportunities  for  economic                                                               
development, and high-demand jobs  in areas throughout the state.                                                               
He remarked:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     We   work   specifically   based  on   the   priorities                                                                    
     established  by   the  [Alaska]   Workforce  Investment                                                                    
     Board,  in priority  industries  and  occupations.   So                                                                    
     this  is  a  critical[ly]   important  program  to  the                                                                    
     university as  we look at addressing  issues across the                                                                    
     state.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. VILLA drew attention to  documents [included in the committee                                                               
packet]  which show  the milestones  and  contributions TVEP  has                                                               
made across  the university system.   He explained that  TVEP has                                                               
helped all health  related fields, which is  the largest industry                                                               
sector  in  the state;  TVEP  has  helped  double the  number  of                                                               
engineers; and it has helped  high school students receive double                                                               
credit for technical skills.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:49:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PEARL BROWER,  Ph.D., President, Ilisagvik College,  testified in                                                               
support  of HB  141.   She  explained that  Ilisagvik College  is                                                               
Alaska's  only  tribal  college and  only  independent  community                                                               
college.   In  the fall  of  2016, it  was rated  the number  two                                                               
community  college   in  the  nation  and   Alaska's  number  one                                                               
community  college.   Ilisagvik College  is a  public institution                                                               
accredited   by  the   Northwest  Commission   on  Colleges   and                                                               
Universities.   She stated that  Ilisagvik College  advocates for                                                               
the reauthorization of the TVEP  funds through HB 141.  Ilisagvik                                                               
College is  among nine other  organizations that are part  of the                                                               
[TVEP] program and that all  have a mission of providing quality,                                                               
workforce development designed education  to support the needs of                                                               
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. BROWER noted that Ilisagvik  College receives five percent of                                                               
the allocated  TVEP funding.   The funding has  allowed Ilisagvik                                                               
to serve  over 700 students.   She stated that  Ilisagvik College                                                               
ranks  the  highest  in  2016   performance  measures  among  the                                                               
programs  that  receive TVEP  funding.    She relayed  that  82.7                                                               
percent of Ilisagvik's TVEP students  were employed with a median                                                               
wage of  over $24,000  within seven to  twelve months  of exiting                                                               
the program.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. BROWER explained that TVEP  allows Ilisagvik College to offer                                                               
training opportunities to residents across  the state in order to                                                               
get credentialed  for jobs or  to advance in their  current jobs.                                                               
Due to the many  required certifications, many employed residents                                                               
must get certified  and recertified every year.   She stated that                                                               
without  TVEP funding,  Ilisagvik College  would not  be able  to                                                               
reach as many  Alaskans or provide as  many workforce development                                                               
training opportunities.  She remarked:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     As we  look to the future,  I believe we all  know that                                                                    
     education must  be a priority  for all of  us Alaskans.                                                                    
     We  must  continue  to support  programs  that  provide                                                                    
     opportunity  for   the  future   of  our  state.     At                                                                    
     Ilisagvik, we say, "More  education, more options, more                                                                    
     out of life."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:52:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS DISHION, Executive  Director, Yuut Elitnaurviat, testified                                                               
in  support of  HB  141.   He  explained  that Yuut  Elitnaurviat                                                               
translates  to  "The  people's  learning  center."    The  center                                                               
educates  local people  for family-wage  jobs  locally.   Various                                                               
programs use TVEP  funding for new training  and incumbent worker                                                               
training,  and several  programs operate  on an  as-needed basis.                                                               
He remarked, "All of our  programs are structured to where people                                                               
go to work at  the completion of their program."   In FY 16, Yuut                                                               
Elitnaurviat   serviced  724   individual  students   with  1,082                                                               
services given.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DISHION  noted  that  the   programs  at  Yuut  Elitnaurviat                                                               
include:     National  Center  for  Construction   and  Education                                                               
Research   certifications,   adult  basic   education,   [General                                                               
Educational  Development](GED) training,    dental assistant  and                                                               
health aid therapy training,  certified nursing training, federal                                                               
apprenticeship programs  for plumbers and  electricians, driver's                                                               
license and  CDL programs, and other  various on-demand trainings                                                               
that  lead  directly  to  employment.    He  said  that  TVEP  is                                                               
important to Yuut Elitnaurviat to  maintain its structure and the                                                               
ability to  train local  Alaskans close to  their home  for high-                                                               
paying jobs.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:54:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on HB 141.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:55:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOEL   ALOWA,  Community   Health  Services   Director,  Maniilaq                                                               
Association, testified in  support of HB 141.   He explained that                                                               
the Maniilaq  Association is a regional  non-profit that provides                                                               
medical, social, and  tribal services for the  8,500 residents of                                                               
the Northwest Artic Borough and the  community of Point Hope.  He                                                               
said  that  the Maniilaq  Association  has  an important  working                                                               
relationship with the Alaska Technical  Center (ATC) in Kotzebue,                                                               
which  provides training  and  training  facilities for  regional                                                               
medical  providers   and  water  sanitation   and  infrastructure                                                               
technicians.    He observed that the medical and  health field is                                                               
continually  changing  with new  practices  and  technology.   He                                                               
remarked,  "Our partnership  with  ATC enables  our  staff to  be                                                               
trained  and  be  provided  with  the  best  medical  and  health                                                               
environment services  possible to all  of our regional  and state                                                               
residents."   He  stated  his support  of HB  141  and urged  the                                                               
reauthorization of funds for technical training.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:56:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANISHA ELBIE, Co-executive  Director, Southwest Alaska Vocational                                                               
Educational Center  (SAVEC), urged the committee's  support of HB
141.  She stated that with  large declines in taxable wages, TVEP                                                               
will have  a shortfall of  $1.32 million,  and SAVEC will  have a                                                               
detriment  of  $39,600  for  FY  18.   She  said  that  providing                                                               
training and  retraining Alaskans  for Alaskan jobs  becomes more                                                               
important  as more  workers get  displaced.   She explained  that                                                               
SAVEC  provides workforce  training  for 31  villages within  its                                                               
service area,  which has  a direct impact  on the  local economy.                                                               
She remarked:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     In  the  state's  2014  wage   report  for  SAVEC,  115                                                                    
     [Hazardous  Waste  Operations and  Emergency  Response]                                                                    
     (HAZWOPER) trainees contributed over  $5 million to the                                                                    
     state's  economy  in  the first  year  after  training.                                                                    
     This April, SAVEC will  have three HAZWOPER restructure                                                                    
     courses  and   one  40-hour  HAZWOPER  class.     These                                                                    
     students  ... will  continue to  add to  the local  and                                                                    
     state economy.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. ELBIE  noted that SAVEC is  working to improve the  hiring of                                                               
Alaskans in  the seafood processing  industry.   She acknowledged                                                               
that  the state  has made  gains  in hiring  residents but  still                                                               
battles [high]  non-resident hire.   She pointed out  the Bristol                                                               
Bay  Borough  has  a  non-resident hire  rate  of  93.8  percent,                                                               
Dillingham  84.6 percent,  and  Lake and  Peninsula Borough  91.3                                                               
percent.   This amounts to over  3,300 jobs and over  $29 million                                                               
that could have  stayed in the state and multiplied  in the local                                                               
economy.   She expressed that  SAVEC provides  workforce training                                                               
through  strong  partnership  funding including  TVEP  and  local                                                               
contributions  from  regional   organizations:  the  Bristol  Bay                                                               
Native  Corporation,  the  Bristol Bay  Native  Association,  the                                                               
Bristol Bay Borough, and the  Bristol Bay Housing Authority.  She                                                               
stated that  the [University of  Alaska Fairbanks]  (UAF) Bristol                                                               
Bay Campus  and the Bristol Bay  Economic Development Corporation                                                               
provide contributions directly  for training.  Since  the fall of                                                               
2016, 152 students have been trained  in 22 classes at SAVEC, and                                                               
there are  12 more  trainings planned this  spring.   She thanked                                                               
the committee and the bill sponsor.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:00:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNETTE   CARUSO,   Co-executive   Director,   Southwest   Alaska                                                               
Vocational Educational  Center (SAVEC),  testified in  support of                                                               
HB 141.   She stated that she  had nothing further to  add to Ms.                                                               
Elbie's testimony.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:00:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
D'ANNE  HAMILTON, Personnel  Officer, Teck  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support of HB  141.  She explained that Teck  Alaska operates the                                                               
Red Dog  mine in Northwest Alaska  and employs 600 people  at its                                                               
busiest time  of the  year.   She stated  that Teck  Alaska works                                                               
closely with  the Alaska Technical  Center and provides  input to                                                               
develop  [Alaska  Technical  Center's] (ATC)  process  technology                                                               
program.   She  noted  that  the ATC  responded  quickly to  Teck                                                               
Alaska's  request  for more  soft  skill  development, which  was                                                               
important to  Teck Alaska.   She explained  that ATC  revised its                                                               
schedule to demonstrate  to students what working long  days at a                                                               
mine would  be like and show  a realistic viewpoint of  life in a                                                               
mine.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HAMILTON offered  her belief that [training  at ATC] improves                                                               
employee retention.  She noted  that Teck Alaska recently brought                                                               
11  ATC  students  to  the  mine to  build  on  ATC  training  by                                                               
providing job shadow experience and  allowing the students to see                                                               
firsthand  the   work  they  could  be   doing  after  completing                                                               
training.   She remarked that  ATC helps students gain  access to                                                               
high-paying jobs and make connections  to the industry that would                                                               
likely  not  have happened  without  ATC.   Through  its  process                                                               
technology and  millwright maintenance  programs, ATC  works very                                                               
hard to teach the skills needed  at the mine.  She expressed that                                                               
TVEP funding  is important for ATC  to continue its work  and she                                                               
urged the  committee to reauthorize  funding for TVEP  by passing                                                               
HB 141.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:02:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL  EDENSHAW,   Director,  Alaska  Technical   Center  (ATC),                                                               
testified in support  of the reauthorization of  funding for TVEP                                                               
proposed under HB  141.  She noted that ATC  is recognized by the                                                               
state as a statewide post-secondary  training center eligible for                                                               
TVEP funding.  She thanked the  committee and the State of Alaska                                                               
for the  support of workforce  development by investments  to ATC                                                               
over the  years.  She stated  that ATC has key  partnerships with                                                               
business  and  industry to  train  safe  and responsible  Alaskan                                                               
workers  and to  help develop  and sustain  the state's  economy.                                                               
She remarked:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Without the TVEP  funds, we would not be  in a position                                                                    
     to   maintain   our   long-term  commitment   to   meet                                                                    
     employers'  needs in  the local  and statewide  economy                                                                    
     that  we   fulfilled  since  our  inception   in  1981.                                                                    
     Without TVEP funding,  we would not be  able to provide                                                                    
     training necessary for jobs in  the ... areas of health                                                                    
     care,   resource   development,   process   technology,                                                                    
     culinary  arts, and  construction training.   We  would                                                                    
     also  be not  poised to  respond to  employers' market-                                                                    
     driven, on-demand  training needs  in a  timely fashion                                                                    
     to align with  those job opportunities.  I  urge you to                                                                    
     support reauthorization  of TVEP and, with  the state's                                                                    
     help, we can build  a future for Alaskans strengthening                                                                    
     our families and communities across the state.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:04:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  CEDZO,  Partners  for  Progress  in  Delta,  testified  in                                                               
support of HB  141.  She explained that Partners  for Progress in                                                               
Delta has  been a part  of TVEP's regional training  center group                                                               
since  2008.   Partners in  Progress for  Delta came  about as  a                                                               
result  of the  U.S. Department  of Defense  (DoD) identifying  a                                                               
lack of skilled workers in Delta  Junction when it was making the                                                               
decision   whether   to   establish   a   ground-based   military                                                               
installation  in  Delta  Junction.     She  noted  that  the  DoD                                                               
completed an  economic development  report identifying a  lack of                                                               
skilled  workers,  which  resulted  in  the  Delta/Greely  School                                                               
District taking the lead to  bring educational partners together.                                                               
This led to  a very formal educational  consortium which includes                                                               
partners such  as: the Delta/Greely  School District,  the Alaska                                                               
Works Partnership,  the UAF Community and  Technical College, and                                                               
the UAF Cooperative  Extension Service.  She stated  that all the                                                               
partners have  a dedicated vision of  building Alaska's workforce                                                               
through education and training.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CEDZO stated  that  "the board"  remains  committed to  that                                                               
mission.   She stated  her interviews  with students  involved in                                                               
the  program have  shown her  how life-changing  the program  is,                                                               
especially for  the young people  in the community.   She stated,                                                               
"Many would not  have the opportunity to go on  and get real jobs                                                               
and be  able to contribute to  a fund that makes  it possible for                                                               
those in need to be assisted."   She noted that some young people                                                               
who do  not plan  on attending  college are not  sure what  do to                                                               
with  their lives.    The  quality of  the  augmented career  and                                                               
technical  classes at  the Delta/Greely  High School  operated by                                                               
Delta/Greely School  district and Partners for  Progress in Delta                                                               
would be at risk without TVEP funding.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CEDZO  explained that  some high  school students  are taking                                                               
dual-credit  courses   such  as  occupational   endorsements  for                                                               
welding,  certificates  in   applied  business,  expanded  health                                                               
classes, construction trade,  math for a trade,  English 111, and                                                               
other  core  requirement  classes.   Additionally,  a  wealth  of                                                               
programs  are offered  through  [UAF]  Cooperative Extension  for                                                               
pesticide certification  and agricultural related programs.   She                                                               
relayed that there are adults in Delta  who are not able to go to                                                               
Fairbanks to  earn a  degree, but  can work  towards a  degree in                                                               
Delta with the  local access to the facility.   She stated, "It's                                                               
an amazing  experience to walk  into that building and  see young                                                               
people's  eyes light  up  getting an  idea of  what  might be  an                                                               
option for  a career  path in  their future."   She added  that a                                                               
significant component  of the program  is the  entry-level summer                                                               
construction  trade  academy  which  is  a  three-week  intensive                                                               
training program  in Delta.   It is an approved  training program                                                               
from which some participants might have direct opportunities.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. CEDZO  explained that since  the inception of the  academy in                                                               
2006,  more   than  125  participants  have   been  accepted  for                                                               
opportunities  in apprenticeships  or construction  trade related                                                               
industry [positions].   She indicated that  the academy's twelfth                                                               
program  would  be offered  in  June  as a  three-week  intensive                                                               
program.   Students walk  away from the  program with  work ethic                                                               
and safety  skills, as well  as certifications in such  things as                                                               
[Mine  Safety and  Health  Administration] (MSHA),  [Occupational                                                               
Safety and Health Administration]  (OSHA), and forklift training.                                                               
She listed that participants of  the program have come from North                                                               
Pole,  Delta, Tok,  Glen Allen,  Valdez, Juneau,  and some  rural                                                               
villages.   She  stated that  the program  has a  very successful                                                               
working relationship with the operating engineers.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:10:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KITO announced that HB 141 was held over.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB141 Sponsor Statement 2.27.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB141 Sectional Analysis 2.27.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB141 Supporting Documents-Pages from UA TVEP Advocacy Package 2.27.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB079 Fiscal Note DOA-DRM 1.19.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Supporting Documents-Letters of Support 3.3.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 79
HB141 Fiscal Note DOLWD-WD 2.24.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB141 Fiscal Note-DOLWD-AVTEC 2.24.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB141 Fiscal Note-EED-SSA 3.2.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB 141 Supporting Documents-Letters of Support 3.4.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB079 ver D CS workdraft.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 79
HB141 Fiscal Note-UA-SYSBRA 3.6.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 141
HB079 Supporting Documents Index 3.5.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Supporting Documents-Letters of Opposition 3.5.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Summary of Changes ver A to ver D 3.6.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2017 3:15:00 PM
HB 79