Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/28/1996 02:05 PM HES

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

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