Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 17

01/23/2009 03:00 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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03:02:40 PM Start
03:02:53 PM Overview: In-state Labor and Workforce Development
05:01:11 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: TELECONFERENCED
In-state Labor and Workforce Development
Presentations by
Dept. of Labor, Commissioner Bishop;
University of Alaska
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                        January 23, 2009                                                                                        
                           3:02 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice Chair                                                                                          
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Robert L. "Bob" Buch                                                                                             
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE Kyle Johansen                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
IN-STATE LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OVERVIEW                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CLARK BISHOP, Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD),                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented and answered questions during an                                                               
overview of the workforce development.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
GUY BELL, Assistant Commissioner                                                                                                
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD)                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented answered questions during a                                                                    
PowerPoint overview of Workforce development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
FRED ESPOSITO, Director                                                                                                         
Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC)                                                                                      
Division of Business Partnership                                                                                                
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD)                                                                              
Seward, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented and answered  questions during an                                                             
overview of the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC).                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARK HAMILTON, President                                                                                                        
Statewide Programs & Services                                                                                                   
University of Alaska (UA)                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented and answered  questions during an                                                             
overview on the University of Alaska.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
FRED VILLA, Associate Vice-President                                                                                            
Workforce Programs                                                                                                              
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented a  PowerPoint overview of  the UA                                                             
Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) program.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:02:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KURT  OLSON called  the House  Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  3:02 p.m.   Representatives Buch,                                                               
Holmes,  and   Olson  were   present  at   the  call   to  order.                                                               
Representatives Neuman, Coghill, and  Lynn arrived as the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^ Overview: In-state Labor and Workforce Development                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:02:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                               
an  overview on  in-state  Labor and  Workforce Development  with                                                               
presentations   by   the   Department  of   Labor   &   Workforce                                                               
Development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:03:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLARK  BISHOP,  Commissioner,  Department of  Labor  &  Workforce                                                               
Development  (DLWD), began  by  introducing  Guy Bell,  Assistant                                                               
Commissioner  of  the  DLWD.    Commissioner  Bishop  offered  to                                                               
provide a  succinct overview and  read a  portion of a  letter to                                                               
President Hamilton  that he wrote  several months ago  to clarify                                                               
and solidify  the DLWD's  commitment to  the legislature  and the                                                               
State of  Alaska.   He characterized the  letter's purpose  as an                                                               
example  of the  DLWD's good  faith  effort in  working with  the                                                               
University of Alaska on workforce development.  He read:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     I'm seeking your support to  develop a strategy for the                                                                    
     postsecondary   systems   for  career   and   technical                                                                    
     education in  the state to  assure they are  aligned to                                                                    
     train  and   educate  our  citizens   without  needless                                                                    
     duplication of  programs and investments.   I  hope you                                                                    
     will  join me  in this  endeavor to  make sure  that we                                                                    
     position  the  State  of Alaska;  to  place  the  right                                                                    
     programs  in the  right places  to  assist Alaskans  in                                                                    
     getting  quality  jobs  in  Alaska,  maximizing  Alaska                                                                    
     resident hire, and reducing the  wages that are leaving                                                                    
     our state:  1.7 billion dollars last year.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  BISHOP  stated  that   the  letter  continues  with                                                               
additional  discussion on  the Alaska  Gas Inducement  Act (AGIA)                                                               
training plan, and the K-12  linkage agreement to higher learning                                                               
for postsecondary and university.   Additionally, the DLWD met in                                                               
August  with  President  Hamilton and  statewide  chancellors  to                                                               
discuss delivery  of training in  the state.   He stated  he also                                                               
works closely with Department of  Education and Early Development                                                               
(EED) Commissioner  LeDoux on workforce  development issues.   He                                                               
asked Assistant Commissioner,  Guy Bell, to present  a handout of                                                               
PowerPoint slides titled "Alaska  Department of Labor & Workforce                                                               
Development".                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:07:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GUY  BELL, Assistant  Commissioner, Office  of the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department of  Labor & Workforce  Development (DLWD)  referred to                                                               
slide  2, titled  "Our  Mission".   He  explained  that the  DLWD                                                               
consists   of   two   functions:     regulatory   and   workforce                                                               
development.    He  indicated   that  the  Workforce  development                                                               
component   produces    labor   market    information   including                                                               
projections  and  analysis.    He   stated  that  the  department                                                               
produces  unemployment  estimates,  including issuing  a  monthly                                                               
press release on unemployment.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL pointed  out that  while  the number  of unemployed  is                                                               
rising, the  state has seen  some annual job growth,  although it                                                               
has  slowed.    He  noted   that  the  DLWD  provides  employment                                                               
assistance  through  the  Job Center  Network  and  training  and                                                               
education   through  the   Alaska  Vocational   Technical  Center                                                               
(AVTEC).   Additionally, training is  offered to trainers  from a                                                               
variety  of funding  sources.   Further, the  DLWD's Division  of                                                               
Vocational Rehabilitation  (DVR) provides  unemployment insurance                                                               
benefits  compensation and  assists people  with disabilities  to                                                               
obtain and maintain employment.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL outlined  the DLWD's regulatory component  such that the                                                               
DLWD  assures  workers  are  paid   fair  compensation  for  work                                                               
performed.   Additionally,  the  Occupational  Safety and  Health                                                               
program  helps to  assure  that workers  have  a safe  workplace.                                                               
Other   DLWD   regulatory   functions  include   inspections   of                                                               
mechanical  devices  including  pressure  vessels,  boilers,  and                                                               
elevators for safety.   He offered that the  Division of Workers'                                                               
Compensation and Workers' Compensation  Appeals Division helps to                                                               
assure  a fair  adjudication  of  workers' compensation  disputes                                                               
between workers  and employers.   Lastly, the DLWD  also collects                                                               
and monitors unemployment insurance taxes, he stated.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:10:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL explained  that slide 3, titled  "Alaska's Dynamic Labor                                                               
Market", focuses  on what is happening  in the labor market.   He                                                               
highlighted  substantial activity  in the  labor market  not just                                                               
with  the number  of jobs,  but also  with changes  in the  labor                                                               
market.   He pointed out  that while Alaska employers  hired over                                                               
250,000  "new-to-the-firm"  workers,   about  87,000  individuals                                                               
moved in  and out of Alaska  during the period from  July 1, 2006                                                               
to June  30, 2007.   He indicated  that Alaska has  a significant                                                               
seasonal economy.   In some job  sectors, a 15 percent  change is                                                               
realized in the  number of workers between January  and July each                                                               
year.    He   cautioned  that  Alaska  has   an  aging  workforce                                                               
illustrated by  the approximately  18 percent of  Alaskan workers                                                               
between the ages of 51 and 65 who will soon retire.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL referred  to  slide 4,  titled  "Nonresident Workers  -                                                               
Resident   Opportunities,"   and   highlighted  that   in   2006,                                                               
nonresident  workers   earned  $1.7   billion  in   wages,  which                                                               
represents  approximately 13  percent  of total  wage and  salary                                                               
earnings  in  the  state.     He  explained  these  figures  were                                                               
calculated using the permanent fund  dividend data.  He clarified                                                               
that these  jobs were not just  low wage jobs, but  also included                                                               
high wage jobs.   He noted that the oil  and gas industry employs                                                               
approximately   29  percent   nonresident   workers  who   earned                                                               
approximately $365 million.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:12:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BISHOP  reiterated that $1.7 billion  in wages "left                                                               
the  state" last  year.   He offered  his belief  that while  the                                                               
state cannot  capture all the  nonresident earnings, it can  do a                                                               
better job.  He  said, "I think we could grow  our economy in the                                                               
time of recession if we can  get more residents into these jobs."                                                               
He  recalled conversations  he held  with business  owners around                                                               
the state  who would  like to  sell more  goods and  services in-                                                               
state.   He opined that  the state could set  a target to  try to                                                               
recapture  $700  million  in  wages  currently  being  earned  by                                                               
nonresidents.      He   emphasized  his   strong   advocacy   for                                                               
apprenticeship programs.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:13:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL referred  to slide 5, titled  "Alaska's Skills Mismatch,                                                               
The case  for training".   He explained that 22,000  Alaskans are                                                               
seeking jobs each  month, which includes the  unemployed, and the                                                               
underemployed.   He defined  the underemployed  as those  who are                                                               
completely  outside  the  workforce  for  a  variety  of  reasons                                                               
including those  who do  not think  that a  job exists  for them.                                                               
Meanwhile,  he lamented  the state  is importing  workers to  the                                                               
tune  of about  $78,000  per  year.   He  stated  that nearly  20                                                               
percent of Alaska's  workers are nonresidents.   He surmised that                                                               
training  is  needed  for  Alaskans   to  qualify  for  the  jobs                                                               
currently held by nonresidents, especially  the skilled jobs.  He                                                               
noted that one of the  department's roles is to provide training,                                                               
whether the  training is through the  UA system or is  offered by                                                               
other training providers.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.   BELL  referred   to  slide   6  titled   "Alaska's  Youth".                                                               
Previously,  the DLWD  did not  engage with  Alaska's youth,  but                                                               
over the  past 4 or 5  years the DLWD has  been increasingly more                                                               
active in investing  and preparing youth for  careers, he stated.                                                               
He offered statistical information,  such that 11,000 new Alaskan                                                               
18-year-olds enter  the workforce  each year,  while at  the same                                                               
time, 4,000 Alaskan  youth, ages 16-19 are not in  school and are                                                               
not  working.   He cautioned  that problems  also exist  with in-                                                               
state graduation  rates.  Additionally,  only 62 percent  of high                                                               
school graduates remain in the  state for training or employment,                                                               
while  the rest  leave  the state.   He  emphasized  that once  a                                                               
student leaves the  state to attend college or  for training that                                                               
he/she is less likely to return to the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL noted that student  migration information can be tracked                                                               
through  the  permanent fund  dividend  applications.   Thus,  he                                                               
opined  providing the  education  or training  in  the state  for                                                               
Alaskan  students  can result  in  a  significant return  on  the                                                               
investment.   He  stated that  a significant  number of  Alaskans                                                               
over the  age of  18 do not  possess a high  school diploma  or a                                                               
General Equivalency  diploma (GED).   However, he noted  that the                                                               
DLWD works to assist students  in obtaining adult basic education                                                               
(ABE) services.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:16:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  BISHOP  interjected,  recalling his  experience  in                                                               
statewide travel to places like  Barrow and Kenai last fall, that                                                               
the  ABE  offices  are  working at  maximum  capacity  to  assist                                                               
students obtain their GED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:17:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL referred  to slide 7 titled, "FY 10  Operating Budget is                                                               
$175.2 million", which he said  illustrates that the General Fund                                                               
(GF)  portion of  the  DLWD operating  budget  represents a  very                                                               
small portion  of the overall GF  budget.  He said  that slide 8,                                                               
titled   "Training   System  at   a   Glance"   is  a   pictorial                                                               
representation   of   the   DLWD  training   system,   which   he                                                               
characterized as  focused entirely on  jobs.  He stated  that the                                                               
K-12,  secondary,  postsecondary education,  employment  service,                                                               
grantees, and  Workforce Investment  Board are all  about getting                                                               
people into jobs.  Therefore,  the partnerships with industry are                                                               
so  critical  since  industry  is  also  focused  on  same  core:                                                               
getting people into jobs and careers,  he noted.  Slide 9, titled                                                               
"State Entity  Partnerships" expands  on the  partnerships within                                                               
the state such  that the University of Alaska uses  DLWD data and                                                               
projections, he stated.   He further noted that  the DLWD reports                                                               
on  overall  system  performance   through  its  annual  training                                                               
program performance  report.   He suggested  the report  would be                                                               
forthcoming to the legislature in  February 2009.  He pointed out                                                               
that  the  department  has  a   significant  involvement  in  the                                                               
coordination of  training and articulation agreements.   He noted                                                               
that  Mr.  Villa   will  later  explain  how   his  students  can                                                               
articulate to university programs.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL   highlighted  partnerships  with  the   Department  of                                                               
Education and  Early Development  (EED).   He explained  that the                                                               
DLWD  has been  involved more  extensively  than in  the past  in                                                               
career and  technical education and  training.  While  he pointed                                                               
out  that the  activity  is largely  through  grants, career  and                                                               
technical  education   and  training  is  also   offered  through                                                               
construction academies scattered throughout  the state.  The DLWD                                                               
also distributed  legislatively funded career guides  to schools,                                                               
he advised.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:19:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BISHOP pointed  out that the DLWD and  EED have been                                                               
traveling  together in-state  to  promote workforce  development.                                                               
He related that  last fall he traveled with  the EED commissioner                                                               
to dedicate a  new school in White Mountain, then  traveled on to                                                               
Nome to dedicate new housing  for student living at the Northwest                                                               
Campus -  NacTech.  He reported  that the Nome facility  offers a                                                               
great model  such that educators  can bring students in  from the                                                               
region for two to four  week intensive training programs and also                                                               
house them  in the  same facility.   He  opined that  the NacTech                                                               
facility also affords exceptional shop space.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:20:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL  continued  his   presentation  by  characterizing  the                                                               
WorkKeys® assessments and the  career readiness certificate (CRC)                                                               
as yet another  successful partnership between the  EED and DLWD.                                                               
He  explained  that  the   DLWD  provides  WorkKeys®  assessments                                                               
through  the Job  Center Network,  a comprehensive  employability                                                               
skills   assessment  tool   designed   to   help  employers   and                                                               
individuals develop  better work skills.   He noted the  DLWD has                                                               
seen some  progress and  success by  students who  have developed                                                               
their skills  through the  preparatory work.   He  explained that                                                               
the WorkKeys® assessments in reading,  applied math, and locating                                                               
information  provides workers  with  skills  that translate  into                                                               
work  readiness for  employers.   He commented  that a  number of                                                               
employers  currently  recognize  the certificate  as  a  valuable                                                               
component of  the student's  resume.  He  further noted  that the                                                               
DLWD  works  with  the  Department   of  Commerce,  Community,  &                                                               
Economic  Development (DCCED)  and  also with  the Department  of                                                               
Transportation   &  Public   Facilities   (DOTPF)  on   workplace                                                               
development  issues.   He pointed  out  that Commissioner  Bishop                                                               
also  advocates   for  apprenticeship  opportunities   on  public                                                               
construction projects.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:22:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BISHOP expanded on  the apprenticeship programs.  He                                                               
offered that  the DLWD has  been successful in helping  to review                                                               
the  formula for  apprenticeship  on  DOT/PF projects  containing                                                               
Federal  Highway Administration  (FHWA).   He offered  his belief                                                               
that  the  requirement  on DOTPF  projects  represents  the  only                                                               
mandatory apprenticeship  utilization in  the state.   He further                                                               
outlined that his goal is  to expand the scope of apprenticeships                                                               
into the Federal  Aviation Administration (FAA).   This will take                                                               
federal legislation  to accomplish,  but the department  has been                                                               
working  on apprenticeship  utilization  at the  FAA  for over  a                                                               
year, he related.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:22:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.   BELL  referred   to  slide   10,  titled   "Private  Sector                                                               
Partnerships",  noting that  the  DLWD has  also developed  close                                                               
relationships  with a  number of  private sector  partners.   The                                                               
slide lists  a small number  of partnerships, which  he reviewed.                                                               
He pointed out  the Workforce Investment Board  is private sector                                                               
driven and sets the overall  workforce development policy for the                                                               
state.   The Regional  Advisory Councils  provide region-specific                                                               
input  to  the  Workforce  Investment   Board,  he  stated.    He                                                               
highlighted that  the gasline training steering  committee helped                                                               
Commissioner  Bishop to  develop the  Gasline Strategic  Training                                                               
Plan  (GSTP), which  has been  developed largely  by the  private                                                               
sector.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:23:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  BISHOP  explained that  the  DLWD  brought two  new                                                               
entities  to   the  table:     the  Denali  Pipeline   Group  and                                                               
TransCanada Alaska  Pipeline Group to participate  in the Gasline                                                               
Strategic Training  Plan (GSTP) as  the state moves  forward with                                                               
the planning process.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:23:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.   BELL  explained   that  the   construction  academies   are                                                               
partnerships   between  school   districts,  Associated   General                                                               
Contractors  (AGC),  and  local  homebuilder  associations  whose                                                               
purpose  is  to  deliver  construction training  to  high  school                                                               
students  and adults  after hours  in  the same  facilities.   He                                                               
praised  the  partnerships,  stressing the  importance  of  these                                                               
partnerships to make the construction  academies work.  He stated                                                               
that thus  far the academies  have been  successfully implemented                                                               
in  Anchorage, the  Matanuska-Susitna Borough,  Fairbanks, Kenai,                                                               
Juneau, and Ketchikan.  He offered  that the DLWD is beginning to                                                               
use  the  Denali  Training  Fund  with the  help  of  the  Denali                                                               
Commission.   The  Denali Commission  is  an innovative  federal-                                                               
state  partnership   designed  to  provide   critical  utilities,                                                               
infrastructure,  and  economic  support throughout  Alaska.    He                                                               
stated that  DLWD hopes to deliver  the same type of  training in                                                               
rural  Alaska.    Thus,  the  model fits  both  urban  and  rural                                                               
settings, he stated.   The State Training  and Employment Program                                                               
focuses on partner  contributions to the training  efforts in the                                                               
program.    He   pointed  out  the  DLWD   also  tracks  industry                                                               
contributions.    In  FY  08, the  department  received  over  $5                                                               
million from industry for training, he  noted.  He then turned to                                                               
the Division of  Labor Standards & Safety,  Occupational Safety &                                                               
Health and commented that its role  is focused on compliance.  He                                                               
acknowledged that  enforcement is  also important.   He commended                                                               
the  program's  record in  reducing  workplace  injuries and  the                                                               
cooperative  relationships that  help  address workplace  safety.                                                               
Another example  of close relationships  with the  private sector                                                               
is the  Medical Services Advisory Committee,  which offers advice                                                               
on medical  cost control with  respect to  workers' compensation,                                                               
he stated.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL  referred  to  slide  11, titled  "FY  08  Key  Program                                                               
Accomplishments",   and   reviewed  the   workforce   development                                                               
accomplishments.  He  informed members that last  year the Alaska                                                               
Job Center Network connected 31,274  Alaskans with jobs, provided                                                               
training opportunities for  over 6,000 people, and  94 percent of                                                               
trained  participants entered  employment.    He mentioned  other                                                               
accomplishments of  the DLWD such  as the Division  of Vocational                                                               
Rehabilitation  (DVR)  assisted  529  people  obtain  jobs.    He                                                               
surmised that  represented the highest  record for  the division;                                                               
over  1,500  General  Equivalency Diplomas  (GEDs)  were  issued,                                                               
while  the Alaska  Vocational  Technical  Center (AVTEC)  trained                                                               
nearly  900 Alaskans.    Finally, he  noted  that the  department                                                               
published an Alaska Gasline Inducement Act Training Plan.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL outlined  the DLWD  accomplishments  on the  regulatory                                                               
side of the department.   He applauded the significant reduction,                                                               
down  by 21  percent in  accidental injuries  and illnesses.   He                                                               
offered his belief that the  reduction in accidental injuries and                                                               
illnesses is  partially attributed  to the DLWD  workplace safety                                                               
efforts as  well as  the reduced  cost of  workers' compensation.                                                               
Additionally,  he   noted  that  incentives  to   employers  also                                                               
encourage them  to focus on  a safe workplace to  reduce workers'                                                               
compensation costs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:26:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BISHOP added  that the DLWD has ramped  up its audio                                                               
and  visual public  service announcements  (PSA).   Additionally,                                                               
the department  now includes  a safety trends  minute in  each of                                                               
its Alaska  Economic Trends publications.   He  characterized the                                                             
DLWD  as  being  very  aggressive in  raising  the  awareness  of                                                               
workplace safety.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:27:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL said  the  DLWD is  also  proud of  its  Wage and  Hour                                                               
Program's  enforcement activity.   He  informed members  that the                                                               
legislature  added  funding  for a  Fraud  Investigation  Section                                                               
within  the Division  of Workers'  Compensation,  which has  been                                                               
quite   successful  in   identifying   uninsured  employers   and                                                               
uninsured  injuries.   He noted  that  the Workers'  Compensation                                                               
Benefits  Guaranty  Fund  has  also   provided  some  measure  of                                                               
compensation for persons  injured when the employer  is unable to                                                               
cover the costs.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:27:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.   BELL  referred   to  slide   12,  titled   "A  Note   about                                                               
Apprenticeship".    He  emphasized  that this  slide  recaps  the                                                               
DLWD's apprenticeship efforts.   He explained that apprenticeship                                                               
refers  to a  registered  program within  the  state through  the                                                               
Bureau  of Apprenticeship  and Training  (BAT), a  federal agency                                                               
responsible    for   the    administration   of    the   National                                                               
Apprenticeship System in the United  States.  He outlined that in                                                               
order to become a registered  program, an employer must register,                                                               
set up  an approved wage  scale, and offer a  specific curriculum                                                               
of  instruction.     He  emphasized  the  process   to  become  a                                                               
registered  apprenticeship.   He  characterized  that the  DLWD's                                                               
goal  is to  increase apprenticeship  opportunities, particularly                                                               
in  non-traditional  fields such  as  the  mining industry.    He                                                               
commented that Deputy Commissioner Stone,  DLWD, as well as other                                                               
staff, have  been working very  closely with the  mining industry                                                               
to  develop  specific  apprentice opportunities  and  occupations                                                               
within  the mining  industry.    He noted  that  the  DLWD has  a                                                               
coordinator and is proud to  have achieved an apprenticeship data                                                               
sharing agreement with the U.S.  Department of Labor (USDOL).  He                                                               
said he  anticipated a forthcoming Alaska  Economic Trends Report                                                             
will capture the last 10  years of apprenticeship data.  Finally,                                                               
he  offered  that  apprenticeship   works  by  keeping  residents                                                               
working in  Alaska and by  offering wages  on which a  family can                                                               
live, as well.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:29:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BISHOP reiterated the  DLWD's efforts that went into                                                               
securing  the  data  sharing  agreement  with  the  USDOL,  which                                                               
represents more than  a year's worth of effort.   He also offered                                                               
his belief that Alaska is the  only state to have formalized this                                                               
specific agreement with  the USDOL in order  to conduct research.                                                               
He characterized the DLWD's relationship  with the federal agency                                                               
as  good.   He pointed  out the  10-year result  is that  over 91                                                               
percent of the  3,439 active or completed  apprentices are Alaska                                                               
residents and are currently working.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:30:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL also  referred  to slide  13,  titled "Key  Legislative                                                               
Issues".    He  offered  that  this  slide  touches  on  two  key                                                               
legislative issues:   the State  Training and  Employment Program                                                               
(STEP)  and Workers'  Compensation medical  costs.   He explained                                                               
that the STEP is in  the Division of Business Partnerships (DBP).                                                               
He explained that the program  includes a required set-aside from                                                               
employee  contributions  to  an unemployment  insurance  account.                                                               
Additionally,  the FY  10 budget  includes $8.5  million for  job                                                               
training  and assistance  for underemployed  and unemployed.   He                                                               
estimated this  funding would support training  for approximately                                                               
2,500 Alaskans who are unemployed  or underemployed.  The program                                                               
is set to expire  on June 30, 2010, unless it  is extended by the                                                               
legislature, he  advised.  He  pointed out that last  session the                                                               
program  was  extended  with  the  caveat  that  the  DLWD  bring                                                               
together  a  task  force  comprised  largely  of  private  sector                                                               
members to  provide advice on  how the STEP should  be structured                                                               
or restructured.   He said  he anticipates that  legislation will                                                               
be   introduced  shortly   as  a   result  of   the  task   force                                                               
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL referred  to slide 13, titled  "Key Legislative Issues".                                                               
He highlighted  the "Workers' Compensation Medical  Cost" portion                                                               
of the slide.   He pointed out the current  medical fee schedule,                                                               
which was  based on  a Consumer Price  Index (CPI)  adjustment to                                                               
the existing medical fee schedule that  is set to expire on March                                                               
31, 2009.   He  further cautioned the  committee that  unless the                                                               
medical fee schedule  is extended by the  legislature, that there                                                               
will  be no  statutory or  regulatory cost  controls on  workers'                                                               
compensation medical charges.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:32:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON advised  that bills would be introduced  soon in both                                                               
bodies  to address  the issue  of  workers' compensation  medical                                                               
cost.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:32:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL referred  to  his  last slide,  slide  14, titled  "The                                                               
Training  Continuum",  which he  said  shows  a snapshot  of  all                                                               
training offered  by the DLWD,  the number of people  served, and                                                               
the funding source for the  training.  He characterized the slide                                                               
as  a one  page summary  of  the DLWD's  entire training  program                                                               
ranging from secondary  and postsecondary training to  on the job                                                               
and re-employment training.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  BISHOP offered  to provide  further details  to any                                                               
members who wished to have more information.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:34:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked for clarification on  slide 3, with                                                               
respect to the figure of 250,000  new workers each year.  He gave                                                               
his  understanding   that  the  total  workforce   in  Alaska  is                                                               
comprised of only 315,000 workers.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BELL agreed that the figure  also caught him by surprise.  He                                                               
explained the DLWD's  process to calculate new  workers such that                                                               
it  reviews  the unemployment  insurance  database  to track  new                                                               
hires.  The question the  DLWD considers is whether an individual                                                               
has been employed in  the past four quarters by a  firm.  If not,                                                               
the person is counted  as a new hire.  Thus,  the figure not only                                                               
tracks job growth,  but also job turnover.   He characterized the                                                               
state's job  turnover as tremendous.   However, he  surmised that                                                               
many  of  the  jobs  that  turnover are  the  lower  entry  level                                                               
positions.   He  offered to  provide a  further breakdown  of the                                                               
statistical figures in order to give a different perspective.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL acknowledged  that he  would like  to see                                                               
further detail  to examine  whether people  are changing  jobs to                                                               
take  opportunities for  advancement or  if people  are laterally                                                               
changing  jobs  from  one  grocery store  to  another,  which  he                                                               
opined, would not be good.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL reiterated  his  offer to  provide  the committee  with                                                               
additional information on the labor market.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:36:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BISHOP, in response  to Representative Neuman agreed                                                               
to meet with him for further discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  also inquired  as to the  primary industry                                                               
for the 80,000 nonresident jobs.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER BISHOP answered that  29 percent of the nonresidents                                                               
were employed in the oil &  gas industry, and that figure is down                                                               
less than  1 percent; the  mining industry employs between  20 to                                                               
44 percent  of the nonresident,  depending on the  mine location.                                                               
He noted that large numbers  of nonresidents are also employed in                                                               
the  seafood and  tourism  industries.   However,  the DLWD  will                                                               
target capturing  high skills, high  wage jobs for  Alaskans that                                                               
are  currently  being held  by  nonresidents.   This  will  allow                                                               
Alaskans to  make a good  living in jobs in  construction, health                                                               
care, oil and gas, and mining industries, he asserted.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:38:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN acknowledged that  many jobs in the seafood                                                               
and tourism  industry range  are lower paying  jobs, in  the $7-8                                                               
dollar range.   He  surmised that many  Alaskans choose  to avoid                                                               
the lower paying jobs.  He  offered his support for the DLWD goal                                                               
to target  better jobs so Alaskan  workers can afford to  raise a                                                               
family.   He  expressed interest  in  knowing how  the labor  and                                                               
university system come together to  improve the lower paying jobs                                                               
in the industries.   He asked President Hamilton  to elaborate on                                                               
the   cooperative   partnerships    between   agencies   in   his                                                               
presentation  on  the  University   of  Alaska's  (UA)  workforce                                                               
development efforts.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:39:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  offered his  appreciation for  the expertise                                                               
and  continuity  that  Commissioner  Bishop has  brought  to  the                                                               
administration.       He   also   stressed   his    interest   in                                                               
interdepartmental   cooperation   and  creativity,   particularly                                                               
between the Department of Education  and Early Development (EED),                                                               
the  DLWD, and  the  UA, to  provide  opportunities to  Alaskans,                                                               
especially given the downturn in the economy.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN also  expressed his  interest in  agency                                                               
cooperative efforts.  He commented that  he is a member of one of                                                               
the House Finance Committee's subcommittees,  which will give him                                                               
additional information  on programs.  He  expressed gratitude for                                                               
the construction academy in Ketchikan,  which he characterized as                                                               
successful and  helpful to the  outlying areas such as  Prince of                                                               
Wales  Island.    He informed  members  that  the  apprenticeship                                                               
program for  mining is  ongoing.  He  stressed the  importance of                                                               
mining  to  his community.    He  inquired  as to  what  regional                                                               
training sites currently exist and their locations.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  BISHOP answered  that training  is being  conducted                                                               
throughout the  state ranging from rural  Alaska communities such                                                               
as  Galena,  King  Salmon,  and  Fort Yukon  to  cities  such  as                                                               
Fairbanks  and  Anchorage, and  in  the  maritime communities  of                                                               
Sitka, Seward, and  Ketchikan.  He related his goal  to visit all                                                               
school district sites  in the state and noted that  he has nearly                                                               
reached  that  goal.    He  closed with  the  comment  that  each                                                               
committee member  can help  to inspire  Alaskan youth  in his/her                                                               
home  districts.   He emphasized  the  importance of  encouraging                                                               
Alaskan youth  to complete  school and also  become aware  of the                                                               
job opportunities available to them.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:44:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BELL, in  response to  Representative Johansen,  agreed that                                                               
the figures on slide 7 are in millions of dollars.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN stressed  his interest  in meeting  with                                                               
the Commissioner  Bishop to review  the "massive amount  of money                                                               
that's  going  towards  workforce  development."    He  expressed                                                               
further  interest in  learning how  this dovetails  with proposed                                                               
gasline  work.   He noted  Chancellor Pugh's  presence and  noted                                                               
that he  saw this  as an  opportunity to  promote Ketchikan.   He                                                               
opined  that  his  community  has all  the  necessary  tools  for                                                               
Alaskans  to build  up the  workforce development,  from students                                                               
including a branch  UA campus, to industrial  shipyard area owned                                                               
by Alaska  Industrial Development  and Export  Authority (AIDEA).                                                               
He further  highlighted his  high expectations  for the  DLWD and                                                               
his hope  that the UA's efforts  will put Alaskan youth  from all                                                               
areas of the state to work on gasline projects.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:47:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRED  ESPOSITO,  Director,  Alaska  Vocational  Technical  Center                                                               
(AVTEC), Division of Business Partnership,  Department of Labor &                                                               
Workforce Development (DLWD), began  his presentation by giving a                                                               
brief overview  of AVTEC.   He stated  AVTEC's tagline  of "great                                                               
careers" and  noted that AVTEC  has been training  Alaskans since                                                               
1969.  He commented that  the main office and vocational training                                                               
facility is  located in  Seward, but  AVTEC also  provides Allied                                                               
Health Care  training at its  Anchorage facility.   Additionally,                                                               
the AVTEC  has worked to develop  distance learning opportunities                                                               
over the past  six-seven years.  He pointed out  that the average                                                               
age of students has reduced from  26 years to 25 or possibly even                                                               
24 this  year, with about 70  percent male and 30  percent female                                                               
student enrollment.   While every region and  every community are                                                               
among  AVTEC's graduating  students, about  half of  the students                                                               
are  from Southcentral,  he noted.   He  offered statistics  such                                                               
that 83 percent  of AVTEC students graduate, which  is well above                                                               
national average.   Students must have adequate  math and reading                                                               
skills, he  stressed.  He said  that when he visits  schools that                                                               
he counsels  students to graduate  from high school.   He pointed                                                               
out that students  can enroll and also receive  28 credits toward                                                               
an associate  degree in a  related program at the  university due                                                               
to the strong  articulation agreements in the  Tech Prep program.                                                               
He offered  that the  AVTEC program  is nationally  accredited by                                                               
the Council  on Occupational Education,  which will  also undergo                                                               
accreditation  renewal this  spring.   He  offered  that all  the                                                               
programs are  industry certified,  as well  as that  students are                                                               
eligible to apply for federal PELL grants.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:52:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ESPOSITO referred to a  handout dated January 23, 2009, which                                                               
lists  the  available AVTEC  training  programs.   He  reiterated                                                               
AVTEC training  helps workers  obtain the  high skill,  high wage                                                               
industry   jobs    discussed   earlier   in   fields    such   as                                                               
transportation,  construction,  health   care,  hospitality,  and                                                               
information technology.  Thus, the  training covers a broad range                                                               
of programs that  feed a wide range of industries.   He mentioned                                                               
that one of  the newer programs expands the  pipe welding program                                                               
in  Seward, increasing  from training  about 4  pipe welders  per                                                               
year to 15  pipe welders per year.  Additionally,  the AVTEC will                                                               
also  create  a  medium  to heavy  duty  truck  training  program                                                               
designed to feed the registered  apprenticeship program for truck                                                               
mechanics.    He noted  the  AVTEC  also developed  green  energy                                                               
training with  the addition of  a hydroelectric and  wind turbine                                                               
program.    He  offered  that AVTEC  provides  housing  and  food                                                               
service,   recreation,   tutoring,    learning   resources,   and                                                               
counseling for  its students.   Therefore, AVTEC provides  all of                                                               
the  services to  get in  school, stay  in school,  and graduate,                                                               
along  with  placement services  to  connect  students with  good                                                               
jobs, he asserted.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:55:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ESPOSITO,  in response to Representative  Holmes, agreed that                                                               
many students who  drop out of high school  lack adequate reading                                                               
and math skills  would not qualify for the  AVTEC trade programs.                                                               
However, he offered that while  students must test to assure they                                                               
meet the  entry level requirements,  students who don't  meet the                                                               
minimum  requirements can  obtain tutoring  through AVTEC  or are                                                               
referred  to the  local Adult  Basic Education  (ABE) program  to                                                               
acquire the necessary  skills.  He further  reiterated that AVTEC                                                               
works with  high school students  and encourages them to  stay in                                                               
school,  graduate,  and  then  apply   to  AVTEC  or  to  another                                                               
technical program for training.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:56:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ESPOSITO,  in response  to Chair  Olson, answered  that AVTEC                                                               
runs programs year  round in Anchorage, and nearly  year round in                                                               
Seward, with a break in July and half of August.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. ESPOSITO,  in further response  to Chair Olson,  welcomed the                                                               
committee to  visit its Seward facilities  during the legislative                                                               
interim.   He opined  that a  tour of  all its  Seward facilities                                                               
would take about three hours.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:58:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:58 p.m. to 3:59 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:59:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced that the  committee would now hear from the                                                               
University of Alaska.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARK   HAMILTON,  President,   Statewide  Programs   &  Services,                                                               
University of Alaska (UA), began  his presentation by providing a                                                               
brief overview of the University of  Alaska (UA).  He stated that                                                               
the  UA   is  involved  in  workforce   development  because  the                                                               
overwhelming  majority of  Alaska's workforce  attends school  at                                                               
UA.  He offered that  UA currently graduates about 2,600 students                                                               
specifically in  workforce development  jobs.  He  explained that                                                               
the UA is  unique in that UA also provides  the community college                                                               
system in Alaska.  Additionally,  the UA has initiated nearly 100                                                               
new  programs  during  his  11-year   tenure,  with  85  programs                                                               
consisting  of two-years  or less,  he elaborated.   Thus,  those                                                               
programs  represent the  workforce development  programs normally                                                               
offered at a community college.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAMILTON  stressed the  UA's  involvement  in the  workforce                                                               
development  effort,  which  he  said  has  been  developed  from                                                               
information provided by the DLWD.   He noted statistics such that                                                               
in  1950,  20 percent  of  all  jobs  required a  4-year  degree.                                                               
However,  in 2009  only  23  percent of  jobs  required a  4-year                                                               
degree.   However, he acknowledged  that the other 77  percent of                                                               
jobs  generally  required  some postsecondary  education,  either                                                               
through  AVTEC or  training acquired  through a  union hall.   He                                                               
stated  that  UA's mission  is  to  develop and  train  workforce                                                               
leaders in Alaska.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:03:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAMILTON reiterated that the  DLWD provides the UA with lists                                                               
of jobs.   Commissioner Bishop  has joined him with  concern over                                                               
the  $1.7  billion   that  leaves  the  state  in   the  form  of                                                               
nonresident   payroll,  he   stated.      He  characterized   the                                                               
nonresident payroll as  "rentals" and mentioned that  many of the                                                               
jobs are two weeks on and two weeks  off.  He pointed out that in                                                               
those  instances  the worker's  payroll  check  is spent  out-of-                                                               
state,  plus  most of  these  workers  also retire  out-of-state.                                                               
Meanwhile, businesses  are spending  more to hire  "rentals", who                                                               
often  cost more.   For  example,  in the  health care  industry,                                                               
contracts  can cost  up  to  three times  the  normal  wage.   He                                                               
related   a  scenario   in  which   Bartlett  Memorial   Hospital                                                               
discovered it will  save about $250,000 a year due  to the recent                                                               
graduation  of  2 radiology  technologists  in  Juneau since  the                                                               
hospital previously  had to  contract for  those services  from a                                                               
nonresident pool.  MR. HAMILTON  offered his belief that there is                                                               
a  desperate need  to  improve  reading and  math  skills in  the                                                               
state.   He  opined that  the UA  is the  only university  in the                                                               
country that  has requested  K-12 outreach as  a priority  in its                                                               
operating budget in order to address workforce preparedness.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:07:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRED   VILLA,  Associate   Vice-President,  Workforce   Programs,                                                               
University of  Alaska (UA), prefaced  his PowerPoint  overview by                                                               
explaining  that  he has  a  large  family  so  he has  a  vested                                                               
interest  in  educating Alaska's  youth.    He provided  a  brief                                                               
background  of his  work  experience, noting  that  he has  spent                                                               
nearly 20 years working at the  North Pole oil refinery.  He said                                                               
he has been with UA for nearly  four years.  He stressed that his                                                               
work  in  the oil  refinery  has  helped  him bring  an  industry                                                               
perspective  to   UA,  including   the  hiring  of   interns  and                                                               
apprenticeships.   He  referred to  a handout  titled, "Workforce                                                               
Programs."    He  explained  that  the  UA's  role  in  workforce                                                               
development is  threefold:   First, the role  is to  support pre-                                                               
college activities  and career pathways,  which are  the building                                                               
blocks  of  educational programs  and  courses  that guide  youth                                                               
through elementary  and secondary school.   Second, the community                                                               
college or university mission is  to educate and prepare students                                                               
for  entry-level  positions.   Third,  the  community college  or                                                               
university role  is to provide  mechanisms and  opportunities for                                                               
professional  growth.    He  offered   an  example,  of  military                                                               
personnel  who transition  into the  private sector  and can  use                                                               
their skills to find employment.   He referred to slide 4, titled                                                               
"Award Levels", which summarizes the  award levels offered at UA.                                                               
The   UA   offers   Occupational   Endorsement:   9-29   credits;                                                               
Certificate  Awards:   30  credits  minimum,  which   focuses  on                                                               
industry  standards;  Associates  Degree:   60  credits  minimum,                                                               
which also  acts as  a building  block for  the Bachelor  of Arts                                                               
(BA) degree: 120 credits minimum;  the Master's degree which is a                                                               
BA degree plus 30 credits  minimum; and the Doctor's degree, with                                                               
credit hours varying by program, he explained.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VILLA  further  explained  that  the  workforce  development                                                               
programs  with a  workforce or  technical education  emphasis are                                                               
programs  that consist  of two  years  or less.   However,  these                                                               
programs often bridge to the next  level.  He offered the example                                                               
of the Construction Management Degree  program that is a two-year                                                               
Associates Degree program  but is also offered in  a four-year BA                                                               
degree program.   He  highlighted that the  UA offers  200 degree                                                               
and award programs in its system.   He noted that the DLWD's AGIA                                                               
Training  Plan  identifies  113 occupations  directly  associated                                                               
with the pipeline  construction.  However, the  combined total of                                                               
all university  and campus  programs system  wide equates  to 485                                                               
programs  available in  Alaska in  those occupations,  he stated.                                                               
He offered his  belief that the plan  creates great opportunities                                                               
for Alaskans.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VILLA  referred  to slide  5,  titled  "Main  Administrative                                                               
Units", stating  that the UA  statewide has  three administrative                                                               
units:  the University of  Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), the University                                                               
of  Alaska   Anchorage  (UAA),  and  the   University  of  Alaska                                                               
Southeast (UAS).  He offered  that each main administrative unit,                                                               
(MAU)  lists   the  community  and  technical   college  campuses                                                               
associated  with the  unit.   Thus,  UAA has  the Anchorage  main                                                               
campus, plus a  community college within it  called the Community                                                               
and  Technical College  which is  comprised of  the Chugiak-Eagle                                                               
River campus,  the Kodiak College,  the Kenai  Peninsula College,                                                               
the  Matanuska  Susitna  campus, military  programs,  and  Prince                                                               
William  Sound  Community  College.     The  UAF  has  a  broader                                                               
geographic  distribution, which  consists of  the Fairbanks  Main                                                               
Campus,  the College  of Rural  and Community  Development, which                                                               
include the  Bristol Bay campus, the  Chukchi Campus, Cooperative                                                               
Extension,  Interior-Aleutians Campus,  the  Kuskokwim Campus  in                                                               
Bethel, the Northwest  Campus in Nome, and  Tanana Valley Campus.                                                               
The UAS  has the  Juneau Main Campus  including a  marine campus,                                                               
the  Ketchikan Campus,  and  the  Sitka Campus,  he  stated.   He                                                               
advised that  each of the three  MAUs was asked to  highlight all                                                               
of  its programs  and  any contributions  to  the communities  it                                                               
serves.   Mr. Villa encouraged  members to  look at the  areas of                                                               
emphasis in individual member's regions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:15:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VILLA  continued.  He  acknowledged that attending UA  is not                                                               
right for  everyone.  However,  he noted that many  campuses have                                                               
small  centers affiliated  with  them such  as  the Copper  River                                                               
Basin  Center  in Glenallen,  the  extension  center in  Cordova,                                                               
Kachemak Bay in Homer, the  McGrath center in McGrath, the Nenana                                                               
Center in  Nenana, the Tok Center  in Tok, and several  others in                                                               
the  Kuskokwim associated  with  the  Interior Aleutians  Campus.                                                               
Additionally, he  noted that the  UA also  has a presence  on the                                                               
military installations in the state,  including Eielson Air Force                                                               
Base,  Elmendorf  Air  Force  Base,  Fort  Richardson,  and  Fort                                                               
Wainwright.   He  stressed that  programs are  offered throughout                                                               
the state in close proximity to Alaskan citizens.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VILLA referred  to  slide 9,  titled  "Alaska's Pathways  to                                                               
Successful Careers."   He pointed  out that the  model identifies                                                               
career  clusters  or groups  of  careers  that require  the  same                                                               
levels of  need in math  and science.   He explained that  the UA                                                               
reviewed  its  programs  and  organized  them  into  clusters  to                                                               
identify  and  demonstrate  a  career  pathway.    He  offered  a                                                               
scenario,  such  that  a   student  interested  in  environmental                                                               
science could  examine the programs that  the university provides                                                               
by degree  level.   Mr. Villa emphasized  that the  student could                                                               
translate  this into  tangible credits  needed to  qualify for  a                                                               
job.   Further, the person  could also clearly identify  a career                                                               
path, the  additional education and  number of credits  needed to                                                               
qualify  for the  next  higher  program.   He  explained that  UA                                                               
developed every program, including  career clusters with pathways                                                               
for the entire  college and community college system.   Mr. Villa                                                               
held  up  a  binder  and  noted  it  contains  all  UA  programs,                                                               
pathways,  including  recommended  high  school  courses,  degree                                                               
options,   required   time   to   complete   the   program,   all                                                               
requirements, and  electives.   He further noted  that a  copy of                                                               
this binder  was sent to every  high school and middle  school in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:20:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VILLA  stressed the importance of  providing this information                                                               
to students.   He pointed  out that the information  contained in                                                               
the  binder  is  also  posted   online.    He  acknowledged  that                                                               
summarizing and  preparing this information  was possible  due to                                                               
funding provided  by the legislature  last year in House  Bill 2,                                                               
which  provided funding  for vocational  and technical  education                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. VILLA referred to slide  10, titled "Program Highlights, K-12                                                               
Outreach.  He explained that the  UA Tech Prep Program provides a                                                               
dual credit  program in  which students take  two courses  at the                                                               
secondary  level  and a  third  course  that articulates  into  a                                                               
program  at the  postsecondary level.   He  noted that  last year                                                               
Tech Prep  was involved in  30 school districts, with  1,200 high                                                               
school  students  statewide that  were  designated  as Tech  Prep                                                               
students, while  an additional 340 students  completed their high                                                               
school  courses and  subsequently  enrolled in  UA  courses.   He                                                               
highlighted that  the Tech Prep program  represents UA's outreach                                                               
and  provides a  bridge  between  high school  and  college.   He                                                               
pointed out that UA often partners  with EED and DLWD in outreach                                                               
activities.   He mentioned  other outreach  categories, including                                                               
the career  academies located in  communities such  as Ketchikan,                                                               
Sitka, and Juneau.  He stated  the UA provides faculty, staff, or                                                               
facilities in order to assist the academies.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VILLA  pointed  out  that  in  Fairbanks,  the  construction                                                               
academies  provide   flexible  schedules  to   provide  education                                                               
according  to  student  availability   such  as  during  holiday,                                                               
spring,  and  summer  breaks,  as   well  as  on  weekends.    He                                                               
highlighted this  student-centric approach is different  than the                                                               
typical  faculty-centric   approach.    Thus,  the   schedule  is                                                               
adjusted for  when students are  available.  He offered  that the                                                               
construction  academies   offer  process   technology,  painting,                                                               
construction,  electrical,  drywall,  and heavy  equipment.    He                                                               
stressed the  UA's goal  is not  to take  over all  training, but                                                               
rather to  provide assistance and  support for these trades.   He                                                               
noted  the  UA  promotes  students  in  rural  Alaska  to  obtain                                                               
training  and education  and return  to their  home community  to                                                               
teach.   He explained  that the Future  Farmers of  America (FFA)                                                               
and  4-H, a  youth organization  administered by  the Cooperative                                                               
State Research, Education, and Extension  Service (CSREES) of the                                                               
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)  are considered part of the                                                               
UA due  to its land grant  status.  He applauded  the 4-H program                                                               
that requires  youth to learn  leadership skills,  perform public                                                               
service,  public  speaking,  documentation, and  create  business                                                               
plans.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:25:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VILLA  noted that  the UA  sponsors 4-H  and FAA  students to                                                               
come  to  Juneau  during  the   legislative  session.    He  also                                                               
mentioned that  engineering programs are increasing,  in part due                                                               
to the  Alaska Native Science  and Engineering program,  and Lego                                                               
robotics  competitions   which  also   spur  youth  to   go  into                                                               
engineering and math.  He  added that the pre-engineering program                                                               
encourages high  school students to  sign up  for courses.   As a                                                               
result, nearly 150 students participate  in the program at Dimond                                                               
High School,  50 students at  Lathrop High  School, and 30  to 40                                                               
students at the Juneau-Douglas High  School, he stated.  He noted                                                               
that the UA supports the program with faculty and facilities.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VILLA  mentioned that  a  third  area  of the  UA  workforce                                                               
development is professional development.   He pointed out that UA                                                               
Corporate  Programs (UACP)  provide training  for regulatory  and                                                               
workforce development  in mining  and petroleum.   He  added that                                                               
the  service  provides  timely  training at  the  demand  of  the                                                               
employer,  and at  the employer's  work site.   He  characterized                                                               
UACP as  UA's marketing arm  for workforce development  such that                                                               
it produces  a quarterly publication, UA  @ Work.  He  offered to                                                             
provide members  with a copy  of the publication if  members have                                                               
not already received it in the mail.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:28:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VILLA  turned  to  slide   15,  titled  "Workforce  Programs                                                               
Performance Summary,  Technical Vocational Education  Program, FY                                                               
01- FY  08."  He stated  that the UA received  $25.9 million from                                                               
the  Technical  and  Vocational Education  Program  (TVEP).    He                                                               
emphasized that  the UA's investments  and priorities  are guided                                                               
by the Workforce  Investment Board.  As a  result, enrollment has                                                               
increased 47 percent.  Additionally,  graduation rates have risen                                                               
to 48  percent, he stated.   He provided current  distribution of                                                               
the  funds:  UAA  received  about 55  percent,  UAF  received  25                                                               
percent, UAS  18 percent, and  Corporate Programs and  Mining and                                                               
Petroleum Programs received about 2 percent of the funds.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VILLA  referred  to slide  17,  titled  "Workforce  Programs                                                               
Performance Summary,  Technical Vocational Education  Program, FY                                                               

01 - FY 08." He expanded on the program distributions, explaining that about 17 percent supported the Allied Health programs, with the remainder spread to Information Technology, Transportation, Nursing, Early Childhood, and Process Technology programs. MR. VILLA referred to slide 18, titled "Program Performance, High Demand, High Growth Occupation, Degree Production." He explained the number of degrees in each category ranging from 407 degrees issued in its Allied Health and Nursing programs and 46 degrees issued for its Construction programs. He stressed that the UA has developed partnerships which have created "a buzz within the university system" with its alignment to address important issues. He mentioned a scenario, in which the DLWD decided to produce a publication for high school students to demonstrate opportunities in the health industry. The UA worked with the DLWD to produce a publication to provide high school students with "hot jobs", which also identifies where students could obtain specific training. He pointed out that industries such as health or welding identify the apprenticeship jobs they need, while the UA develops the program and education to fit the needs of the industries. He noted that beginning in April, the UA will offer a 15-week Nondestructive Testing (NDT) training course that will help people obtain jobs much more quickly. He further noted that the UA relies on the statistical and research data produced by the DLWD in order to understand the demographics of where students work and their specific job. Mr. Villa explained that a person who holds a degree in Process Technology may work in the oil and gas industry. However, the technical skills acquired in another field may be used and applied to the position he/she currently holds. 4:35:27 PM MR. VILLA moved on to slide 13, titled "UA Private Sector Partnerships in Workforce Training." He asked to touch briefly on them, mentioning the Alaska Workforce Investment Board identifies the state's priorities for workforce needs as well as setting guidelines and policies for workforce development. The UA has a close relationship with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE), ranging from the scholarships it issues to the management of its Alaska Learning Exchange System (ALExSys). He informed members that every program within the UA system associated with workforce development has an advisory council based on community and industry advisors. MR. VILLA referred to slide 14, titled "Campuses and Regional Training Centers." He noted that the DLWD met with regional training centers to understand and align their respective interests. He stated that every training center has a university campus with which it is closely affiliated, such as the Partners for Progress in Delta and the Tanana Valley Campus. He said, "I attend the Regional Training Center meetings on behalf of the university and all our campuses. They recognize that our campuses that are in those regions also serve as regional training centers in partnership." He opined that it is "incredibly smart" to share faculty, facilities, and programs whenever possible. 4:41:20 PM MR. HAMILTON, in response to Representative Neuman, agreed that the 4-H program is a wonderful program in that it can reach youth. He acknowledged the reality that programs are prioritized according to available budget levels. Thus, many programs are underfunded since many higher priorities exist. He reiterated his belief that the experimental farm in the Matanuska-Susitna valley is important to the region. 4:42:52 PM REPRESENTATIVE BUCH congratulated Mr. Hamilton on the service and success of the UA system. He suggested that the legislature should consider reinstating the forgiveness clause on student loans to assist Alaskan students and provide for their future. He closed by offering his genuine appreciation for the community oriented university that the UA system represents. 4:47:48 PM MR. HAMILTON, in response to Chair Olson, welcomed the committee to visit the UAF campus. He stated that partnerships and the workforce development programs represent the most expensive programs in the UA system. He explained technical instructors are expensive; that welding classes must be small with the typical class size serving about 8 students instead of serving 120 students in an auditorium being taught by one professor. He acknowledged that the equipment and technology must be relevant or students enter the workplace with little familiarity with the latest technology. He said, "You train the workforce today in all of these areas that we're dealing with; you're entering into something that is going to cost money. It's going to pay off enormously when Alaskans get Alaskan jobs. That's the goal." In further response to Chair Olson, Mr. Hamilton provided Mr. Villa's binder for the committee library. 4:51:00 PM MR. HAMILTON, in response to Representative Buch, agreed to give a "smart board" demonstration to the committee. 4:54:17 PM MR. VILLA, in response to Representative Coghill, noted that scholarships and grants are available to students for travel and tuition for programs. He explained another transitional piece available is through grants to students, which was established in legislation that passed last year. He further explained that an individual vocational education account is set up and administered through the DLWD which allows students to apply for competitive grant funds for job specific vocational education. Additionally, he noted that scholarships are also offered by industry and businesses. MR. VILLA, in response to Representative Coghill, offered that it is challenging to keep counselors up-to-date on vocational educational training and grant opportunities since most high school counselors have heavy work loads. 4:57:01 PM COMMISSIONER BISHOP interjected that one of the outcomes of the AGIA Training Plan is to identify all of the segments of training and to identify all training providers ranging from the UA to the private sector for the public. He emphasized the necessity to provide a "one-stop shop" as part of the AGIA Training Plan outcomes. He reiterated his support to gather, compile, and analyze the details to "put the meat on the bones." He said, "It's a great question and I just wanted you to know we're on that." 4:58:06 PM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL inquired as to whether Alaska is competitive on a national and international basis and whether Alaska will be able to be an exporter of education. MR. HAMILTON responded not at higher levels since the UA only offers about 66 percent of the BA degrees, 50 percent of the Master's Degrees, and about 20 percent of the Doctorate Degree programs that other states offer. He reiterated that the UA lags behind at the upper half of the spectrum, since it does not have the full spectrum of degrees. However, he offered his belief that with respect to workforce development, Alaska's UA program is "absolutely the best in the west. We have the best workforce development program of any university in any state in this union. There's no question about it," he said. 5:00:03 PM MR. VILLA, in response to Chair Olson, offered to provide a copy of the binder previously distributed, which contains all UA programs, pathways to each of the legislative offices for constituent use. 5:01:11 PM ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the committee, the House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 5:01 p.m.

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AVTECOverviewHLC123092.pdf HL&C 1/23/2009 3:00:00 PM
Overview on Jan 23 2009 by Dept Labor HL&C 1/23/2009 3:00:00 PM
UofA Presentation to L&C 1-23-2009.pdf HL&C 1/23/2009 3:00:00 PM