Legislature(2021 - 2022)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/08/2021 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 56 EXTENDING COVID 19 DISASTER EMERGENCY TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
*+ SB 10 FREE/REDUCED TUITION FOR ESSENTIAL WORKER TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 10 Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Department of Labor & Workforce Development: TELECONFERENCED
- Dan Robinson, Chief of Research & Analysis
- James Harvey, Assistant Director of Division
of Employment & Training Services
- Louise Dean, Executive Director of Alaska
Workforce Investment Board
*+ SB 24 VIRTUAL MEETINGS FOR CORPORATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
        SB  10-FREE/REDUCED TUITION FOR ESSENTIAL WORKER                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:36:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO announced  the consideration  of SENATE  BILL NO.                                                               
10, "An Act establishing a  grant program to provide to essential                                                               
workers  the  tuition  and  fees   to  attend  a  state-supported                                                               
postsecondary educational institution."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:36:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH,   Alaska  State  Legislature,   Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
sponsor  of  SB  10,  introduced   the  legislation  reading  the                                                               
following sponsor statement into the record:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     During this  unprecedented time, thousands  of Alaskans                                                                    
     have remained  steadfast in  their commitment  to their                                                                    
     communities.   From  restocking   grocery  shelves   to                                                                    
     delivering medicine,  from hauling  away our  trash, to                                                                    
     continuing to care for the  most vulnerable amongst us,                                                                    
     essential  workers have  provided the  critical support                                                                    
     our communities  have needed during this  pandemic. Now                                                                    
     is  the time  to recognize  the efforts  and invest  in                                                                    
     this  ready and  able workforce.  SB 10  establishes an                                                                    
     Essential   Worker   Grant  Program,   leveraging   the                                                                    
     dedication  of our  frontline workers  and providing  a                                                                    
     tuition  free  pathway for  them  to  enhance and  grow                                                                    
     their professional capacity.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     According to the US Department  of Labor, rising levels                                                                    
     of education  attainment correlates  to a  14% increase                                                                    
     in output  per hour  worked in  the private  sector. In                                                                    
     fact,  data shows  that  the  typical college  graduate                                                                    
     working full-time  pays more than 80%  in local, state,                                                                    
     and  federal   taxes  than  the  typical   high  school                                                                    
     graduate. Investing in our  essential workers will make                                                                    
     Alaska   more   competitive   and  reduce   strain   on                                                                    
     government financial assistance  programs, reduce crime                                                                    
     rates, and increase tax revenue and wages.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Research   indicates  that   an  overwhelming   93%  of                                                                    
     employees would  stay at their companies  longer if the                                                                    
     company  invested  in their  professional  development.                                                                    
     With  declining  population   rates  affecting  all  of                                                                    
     Alaska, investing in our  essential workforce will keep                                                                    
     Alaskans here   working  hard to stabilize, strengthen,                                                                    
     and build back our economy.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  referred to a  state health mandate  and directed                                                               
attention to the  document in the packets that lists  a number of                                                               
the  sectors  that  have provided  essential  services.  He  said                                                               
legislative legal has  advised that this is  the appropriate term                                                               
and  it matches  the document  titled "Alaska  Essential Services                                                               
and Critical  Workforce Infrastructure Order," amended  April 10,                                                               
2020. He noted  that section II (e) lists each  of the areas that                                                               
would be  eligible for  either free or  reduced tuition  under SB
10.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH read the following  from the most recent quarterly                                                               
report  from  National Bank  Alaska  that  was reporting  on  the                                                               
Federal Reserve:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The  negative  consequences  of  COVID-19  have  fallen                                                                    
     disproportionately    upon   low-wage    workers.   The                                                                    
     employment rate  for low-wage workers is  down by about                                                                    
     25  percent compared  with January  2020. In  contrast,                                                                    
     the  employment rate  for high-wage  workers has  fully                                                                    
     recovered  and  now  stands   about  1  percent  higher                                                                    
     compared with January 2020.                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH stated that SB 10 was appropriate because this                                                                   
public  health  emergency  disproportionately  affected  low-wage                                                               
workers who were least able to carve a path for their futures.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He noted that Senator Stevens and Senator Holland were on the                                                                   
next committee of referral and advised that he hoped to add some                                                                
technical changes to the bill in that committee.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:43:20 PM                                                                                                                    
LOKI TOBIN, Staff, Senator Tom Begich, Alaska State Legislature,                                                                
Juneau, Alaska presented the sectional analysis for SB 10.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1.                                                                                                                 
     Establishes an  Essential Worker  Grant Program  as new                                                                    
     uncodified law of the State of Alaska.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Directs   the   Alaska  Commission   on   Postsecondary                                                                    
     Education to  establish an undergraduate  tuition grant                                                                    
     program for essential workers employed  at the start of                                                                    
     or   during   the   declared  federal   public   health                                                                    
     emergency. This  section also includes  a comprehensive                                                                    
     listing of  occupations that  qualify as  essential for                                                                    
     the purpose of this grant program.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Provides   stipulations    for   qualifying   essential                                                                    
     workers,  including  employment  status,  postsecondary                                                                    
     enrollment status,  residency requirement,  high school                                                                    
     or  equivalency  completion  requirement,  grade  point                                                                    
     minimum,  completion of  federal  aid application,  and                                                                    
     post-secondary credit hour limitations.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Includes   grant   program  eligibility   requirements,                                                                    
     including  grade  point minimum,  program  progression,                                                                    
     and enrollment status.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Directs   the   Alaska  Commission   on   Postsecondary                                                                    
     Education  to  establish  policies and  procedures  for                                                                    
     application  and admission  to  the program,  including                                                                    
     establishing evaluation process of program efficacy.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2.                                                                                                                 
     Establishes  an Essential  Worker Grant  Program Report                                                                    
     as new uncodified law of the State of Alaska.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Directs   the   Alaska  Commission   on   Postsecondary                                                                    
     Education to  submit the report of  program efficacy to                                                                    
       the Alaska State Legislature on or before December                                                                       
       st                                                                                                                       
     31.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3.                                                                                                                 
         Repeals Section 1 on the date of expiration or                                                                         
      determination of the declaration of a federal public                                                                      
     health emergency.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4.                                                                                                                 
     Sets a repeal date of January 1, 2025 for Section 2 of                                                                     
     this Act.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  said the Higher  Education Endowment  Fund seemed                                                               
to  be  the  appropriate  vehicle for  funding,  but  unallocated                                                               
federal  resources  for  education  may be  used.  The  estimated                                                               
funding need  was based on  numbers from Michigan that  adopted a                                                               
similar program. In  that instance, less than one  percent of the                                                               
population  applied and  fully half  of  those applicants  joined                                                               
because  of  a  high  school  element. The  intent  in  the  next                                                               
committee of referral  is to set a hard date  for application and                                                               
it will likely  be December 31, 2021. He  explained that somebody                                                               
who  worked during  an emergency  order is  eligible and  if they                                                               
apply in 2021, they have up to four years to use the grant.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  mentioned grocery store workers  specifically and                                                               
asked if the  intention was to reward people that  the public had                                                               
been  relying  on   during  the  pandemic  or   to  provide  them                                                               
additional  education   to  add  value  to   their  position  and                                                               
potentially help them move forward.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH replied it was both.  Some people may choose to do                                                               
the  same  or  similar  work  or they  may  choose  to  pursue  a                                                               
different career path.  It also is thanking these  people for the                                                               
work they  did putting  themselves on the  line and  providing an                                                               
opportunity and path toward success.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He  said  Ms.  Tobin  has  some  data  points  about  the  health                                                               
consequences of being an essential  worker that the committee may                                                               
find interesting.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:50:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. TOBIN cited  a study that shows over 20  percent of essential                                                               
workers  had contracted  COVID-19 and  95 percent  were positive.                                                               
Over 24 percent experienced high anxiety and depression.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:51:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked  him to restate the  timeline for enrolling                                                               
in the program and using the funds.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  said he wanted  to set a  hard date to  apply for                                                               
the  program,  so  it  was   easier  to  predict  the  cost.  The                                                               
expectation  was  that this  public  health  emergency would  end                                                               
between September  and December of  this year. The idea  was that                                                               
an essential  worker would be  able to apply this  calendar year.                                                               
If  the public  health emergency  were  to extend  into 2022,  he                                                               
would ask  the legislature  to revisit the  matter. He  asked Ms.                                                               
Tobin how many people applied in Michigan.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOBIN replied 85,000.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  estimated that about 5,000  Alaskans would apply.                                                               
Applicants that  the Postsecondary Education  Commission approved                                                               
would have  up to  four years  to act.  He said  he was  happy to                                                               
entertain amendments in the Education Committee.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  said his concern  was for a student  who applied                                                               
this year but could not start classes until next January.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEGICH clarified  that if  someone had  applied for  the                                                               
program, he or  she could start next year and  have four years to                                                               
complete the program.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:54:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON asked if an  essential worker had the option                                                               
of applying for  a grant to be either a  full-time or a part-time                                                               
student, but the decision was theirs.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  said yes and added  that the intent was  that the                                                               
grant  would  apply  to both  college  and  vocational  education                                                               
opportunities such as AVTEC.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked if  the language  in the  bill specifically                                                               
included AVTEC.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  replied that Legislative Legal  Services believes                                                               
it  applies  but  suggested  a   small  amendment  to  make  that                                                               
abundantly clear.  He posited  that it  was appropriate  to offer                                                               
the  amendment   in  the  Education  Committee.   He  noted  that                                                               
Legislative  Legal further  advised him  to state  on the  record                                                               
that the intent was to have the grant program apply to AVTEC.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO restated  that the  intent was  that SB  10 would                                                               
apply to  Alaska Vocation  Educational Technical  College (AVTEC)                                                               
students.  She  asked if  he  had  talked  to any  grocery  store                                                               
managers  about how  this bill  might  result in  a reduction  in                                                               
their workforce.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEGICH  replied he  had  not  talked  to any  owners  or                                                               
managers  directly  but  he  did  speak  with  Joelle  Hall,  the                                                               
incoming  [president]  of  the Alaska  AFL-CIO,  about  food  and                                                               
commercial workers  in the AFL-CIO's  United Food  and Commercial                                                               
Workers union.  He said he was  not sure that this  program would                                                               
move grocery workers out of  that workforce, but it would provide                                                               
an opportunity  for those workers to  choose to move out  of that                                                               
workforce at some point in their lives.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked if he  was aware  of any opposition  to the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH replied he was not aware of any opposition.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:58:16 PM  [spotty audio from 1:5837-1:58:30]                                                                                
DAN  ROBINSON,  Chief  of  Research  and  Analysis,  Division  of                                                               
Administrative  Services,  Department   of  Labor  and  Workforce                                                               
Development,  Juneau, Alaska,  informed  the  committee that  the                                                               
division was  policy neutral and  politically free, and  that was                                                               
key to their value to the state.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBINSON advised that he  would provide information about job                                                               
numbers during  the COVID-19  health emergency  and point  to two                                                               
reports the  department produces  that would be  helpful broadly,                                                               
as  the  committee  thinks  about the  value  of  investments  in                                                               
Alaska's training and education institutions.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:00:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ROBINSON directed  attention to a line graph on  slide 2 that                                                               
showed the percent change in  Alaska employment from 2014 through                                                               
2020. He  noted that the  data was from  the same month  from the                                                               
previous  year to  eliminate fluctuation  due to  seasonality. He                                                               
pointed  out  the  recession  from October  2015  to  the  fourth                                                               
quarter of  2018 and  commented that it  looked mild  compared to                                                               
the  unprecedented plunge  in employment  that resulted  from the                                                               
COVID-19 pandemic. He  said that percent drop  had never happened                                                               
in  Alaska's history.  To the  people  who might  think this  was                                                               
worse  than in  the 1980s,  he said  the COVID-19  drop was  very                                                               
different  and the  rebound would  likely be  very different.  He                                                               
noted that  a lot was  yet to be  determined about how  2021 pans                                                               
out.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:02:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ROBINSON turned  to the  summary  of job  losses during  the                                                               
pandemic reflected  slide 3. He highlighted  that, by percentage,                                                               
the  largest  job   losses  by  far  were  in   the  leisure  and                                                               
hospitality category.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He said  the second  largest losses, by  percentage, were  in the                                                               
oil and  gas category and  that there was more  uncertainty about                                                               
those jobs  going forward  than for  leisure and  hospitality. He                                                               
explained that oil  and gas jobs had just climbed  back to 10,000                                                               
before the pandemic,  and since then the numbers  have dropped to                                                               
7,000.  He  noted  that  each  of those  3,000  jobs  paid  about                                                               
$100,000.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked  him to elaborate on the  comment that there                                                               
was more uncertainty about oil and gas jobs going forward.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBINSON said  different and  more structural  factors might                                                               
affect  oil   and  gas  jobs   when  the  economy   reopens.  The                                                               
expectation  is that  gyms, bars,  and  restaurants that  survive                                                               
COVID-19 will  reopen when the  health emergency has  passed, but                                                               
the trajectory of  oil and gas jobs may be  affected for a longer                                                               
period. Part of  that is that the demand for  business travel may                                                               
not bounce back quickly.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBINSON  said the third point  on slide 3 was  that COVID-19                                                               
did not spare any part of  the economy. The fourth point was that                                                               
Alaska's losses were among the most  severe of all states and the                                                               
recovery so far had been slower than other states.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:05:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ROBINSON directed  attention  to  the data  on  slide 5  and                                                               
explained  that the  point of  including it  was to  make members                                                               
aware that this  annual report exists. It looks in  detail at the                                                               
types of jobs  that are growing and the types  that were expected                                                               
to decline. The  division also does some job  compilation to look                                                               
at the jobs  that pay better than average and  are growing better                                                               
than average. He  said this report would be useful  for SB 10 and                                                               
plenty  of other  legislation to  understand  what was  happening                                                               
with job growth and decline in the economy.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO asked him to give  the title of the report and the                                                               
website where it was located.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBINSON said  the annual  report called  "Employment Trends                                                               
for Alaska,  2018-2028," was  published in  the October  issue of                                                               
"Alaska  Economic  Trends."  To   find  it,  search  for  "Alaska                                                               
employment projections."  He offered  to follow up  with specific                                                               
links  for  this  report  and  more  detailed  information  about                                                               
occupations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO  asked him  to  talk  about how  people  changing                                                               
careers may affect occupational projections.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:07:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.   ROBINSON  said   people   frequently  change   occupations,                                                               
particularly at the  lower end where there are  not many training                                                               
requirements.  He  noted  that  some  people  work  10  types  of                                                               
occupations in two years.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS   commented  on  the  decline   of  loggers  and                                                               
potentially fewer lawsuits.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBINSON  pointed out  that the numbers  were small  but old-                                                               
fashioned media  was declining  and marijuana  was number  one in                                                               
growth.  Second  in growth  was  the  combination of  mining  and                                                               
brewing. He  explained that occupations  in both gold  mining and                                                               
brewing study the  suspension of solids in liquid.  He noted that                                                               
other compilations  such as registered  nurses and  teachers have                                                               
the big numbers.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:10:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ROBINSON  explained  that   the  report  that  Research  and                                                               
Analysis publishes  annually looks in detail  at the nonresidents                                                               
working in  Alaska. He noted  that the definition  of nonresident                                                               
worker was someone  who worked but had not lived  in Alaska for a                                                               
full  year. This  was important  because the  Alaska economy  was                                                               
generating  these  jobs  but  the citizens  of  Alaska  were  not                                                               
benefiting.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBINSON  directed  attention  to slide  7  that  looked  at                                                               
construction as a  sample of what was included in  the report. It                                                               
looks, by  industry, at the  historical trends for  the different                                                               
occupations  and  percentage  of  wages that  go  to  nonresident                                                               
workers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:11:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON referred to  declining occupations and asked                                                               
what a faller does.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBINSON replied it was somebody who cuts down trees.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  assumed that  the nonresident  report was  on the                                                               
department's website.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBINSON  answered yes; legislators also  received the report                                                               
in an email.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:12:08 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:12:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  reconvened the meeting  and invited  James Harvey                                                               
to testify.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:12:43 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  HARVEY, Assistant  Director,  Division  of Employment  and                                                               
Training Services, Department of  Labor and Workforce Development                                                               
(DOLWD), Juneau, Alaska, stated that  he oversees the job centers                                                               
throughout Alaska,  their operations, and the  programs delivered                                                               
to the citizens of Alaska.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He directed  attention to the  map on  slide 2 of  the PowerPoint                                                               
that  showed  the  locations  of   the  14  job  centers  located                                                               
throughout  the   state.  He  explained  that   the  centers  run                                                               
primarily through  the Workforce  Innovation and  Opportunity Act                                                               
(WIOA), which was  a partnership among 18  required programs that                                                               
form a one-stop system. He noted  that DOLW operated 11 of the 18                                                               
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:14:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARVEY  reviewed slide 3. He  said the division staffs  14 of                                                               
the  Alaska  job  centers  and  provides  services  in  a  tiered                                                               
approach.  Applicants   that  need   help  generally   need  base                                                               
assistance   with   things   like  resumes,   applications,   and                                                               
interviews. These types of services  were provided to over 75,000                                                               
job seekers last fiscal year, he said.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARVEY  said  the  next  tier  of  support  was  to  provide                                                               
individualized and training services  for Alaskans experiencing a                                                               
skill or  credential barrier to employment.  Case managers assess                                                               
and work one-on-one with these  Alaskans to develop an individual                                                               
employment plan  or roadmap to  suitable employment.  These plans                                                               
can include  things like  funding to assist  with training  for a                                                               
credential,  skills upgrade,  AVTEC, a  CDL license  from another                                                               
provider, or from  the University of Alaska.  He highlighted that                                                               
the division  also provided  supportive services  for individuals                                                               
in training  and job placement  assistance when the  training was                                                               
completed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  reported  that  job  training  and  placement  assistance  of                                                               
individuals   includes   traditional   training,   training   for                                                               
credentials,  and  on  the  job  training that  may  lead  to  an                                                               
apprenticeship   and   nationally  recognized   credential.   The                                                               
division  also works  with individuals  in prisons  both pre  and                                                               
post release.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:17:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARVEY  reviewed the Employer  Services provided  through the                                                               
Job  Service System  listed on  slide 4.  He said  this work  was                                                               
primarily through  the AlaskaJobs  System, which was  the primary                                                               
exchange to  match employers and  job seekers. The  division also                                                               
works  with employers  on job  fairs and  individualized employer                                                               
recruitment  sessions. He  highlighted that  the veterans  career                                                               
fair  scheduled for  November  2020, moved  online  in a  virtual                                                               
format. It  spanned several  weeks to  allow employers  and other                                                               
service  agencies an  opportunity  to connect  with veterans  and                                                               
eligible spouses.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:19:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REVAK  asked  if  that   program  operated  through  the                                                               
Disabled Veterans Outreach Program  (DVOP) and the Local Veterans                                                               
Employment Representative staff (LVERs).                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARVEY replied  it was  in conjunction  with DVOP  and LVERS                                                               
through a  federal grant  called Jobs  for Veterans  State Grant.                                                               
The  job center  used  those staff  to do  the  majority of  that                                                               
connection. He  noted that the leader  of that job fair  does the                                                               
majority of the  outreach to businesses to  ensure that employers                                                               
understand  the  benefits  of  hiring  a  veteran.  It  was  also                                                               
leveraged heavily  by Wagoner-Peyser Act funding  that covers the                                                               
scope of employment services, including veterans.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REVAK  asked if the  division reported on  these programs                                                               
annually.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARVEY replied  the division  prepared, in  conjunction with                                                               
the Alaska Workforce Investment Board,  the annual report for the                                                               
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REVAK  expressed interest  in receiving  a report  on the                                                               
details of  the implementation  of these  programs over  the last                                                               
several years.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  asked Mr. Harvey  for that  report and a  list of                                                               
what the division offers for  veterans so legislators could share                                                               
that with their constituents.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:21:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HARVEY continued  the presentation,  highlighting additional                                                               
employer services  listed on slide  4. He explained that  some of                                                               
the  hiring incentives  for employers  that  address barriers  to                                                               
employment   include   the   Fidelity   Bonding   Program,   Work                                                               
Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), and  the Alaska Veteran Employment                                                               
Corporate  Tax Credit.  Additionally,  the division  has a  Rapid                                                               
Response component to work with  businesses undergoing closure to                                                               
promote economic recovery  and minimize the impact  on workers so                                                               
they   receive  benefits   through  the   Unemployment  Insurance                                                               
Program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARVEY also  highlighted that  all  the division's  programs                                                               
through the  US Department  of Labor  give priority  to veterans.                                                               
Regarding DVOPs  and LVERs, he  said two half-time  positions are                                                               
located in Fairbanks, four half-time  positions in Anchorage, two                                                               
half-time positions in  MatSu are coming soon,  and one full-time                                                               
Local  Veteran  Employment  Representative primarily  to  address                                                               
employer relationships.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:23:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARVEY  turned to slide  5. He  advised that the  Division of                                                               
Employment and  Training Services administers  workforce training                                                               
through  the  broad  categories   of  programs  to  grantees  and                                                               
programs  delivered through  the Job  Center System.  Delivery of                                                               
the  Alaska   Adult  Education  (GED)  Program   and  the  Senior                                                               
Community  Service Employment  Program was  through grantees.  He                                                               
noted that  in Alaska the  latter was called the  Mature Alaskans                                                               
Seeking Skills Training (MASST).                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Programs delivered  through the  Job Center System  include Trade                                                               
Adjustment Assistance;  Workforce Innovation and  Opportunity Act                                                               
programs  for adults,  dislocated workers,  and incumbent  worker                                                               
training;  and   State  Training   and  Employment   Program  for                                                               
individuals.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:24:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARVEY said  he was focusing on the  federal funded programs,                                                               
primarily those delivered through the  Job Centers, which are the                                                               
WIOA Adult and  Dislocated Worker Programs. They play  a key role                                                               
in helping  Alaskans to  secure self-sufficient  employment. Both                                                               
programs have the same service structure discussed earlier.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARVEY  said the  Adult Program  focused on  individuals with                                                               
barriers to  employment, while the Dislocated  Worker Program was                                                               
designed  primarily  to  assist   workers  affected  by  business                                                               
closure or layoff. Both programs  have types of 104 week training                                                               
program that  lead to certification, credential,  or diploma upon                                                               
completion   and   employment   is   an   immediate   expectation                                                               
thereafter.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:26:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARVEY paraphrased the text on slide 7 that describes the                                                                   
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult Program:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The  WIOA Adult  program  improves the  quality of  the                                                                    
     adult  workforce,  increases  self-sufficiency  through                                                                    
     employment,   and   enhances   the   productivity   and                                                                    
     competitiveness  of  Alaska's   workforce.  It  enables                                                                    
     workers to obtain good jobs  by providing them with job                                                                    
     search assistance and training opportunities.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     General Program Eligibility:                                                                                               
        • Age 18 or older                                                                                                       
        • In need of workforce services, training or                                                                            
          retraining to secure unsubsidized employment                                                                          
        • Priority is given to veterans, low-income                                                                             
          individuals, individuals who are basic skills                                                                         
         deficient and recipients of public assistance                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARVEY paraphrased the text on slide 8 that describes the                                                                   
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Dislocated                                                                      
Worker Program:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     WIOA Dislocated Worker Program                                                                                           
     The  Dislocated  Worker  program is  designed  to  help                                                                    
     workers get  back to  work as  quickly as  possible and                                                                    
     overcome  barriers  to   employment.  When  individuals                                                                    
     become  dislocated workers  as  a result  of job  loss,                                                                    
     mass layoffs, global trade  dynamics, or transitions in                                                                    
     economic   sectors,  the   Dislocated  Worker   program                                                                    
     provides  services to  assist them  in re-entering  the                                                                    
     workforce.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     General Program Eligibility:                                                                                               
          Unemployed and have lost their job through no                                                                         
          fault of their own                                                                                                    
          Veterans receive priority of service                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARVEY displayed slides 9 and 10 that show contact                                                                          
information for the Alaskan Job Center System and his work email                                                                
and phone number.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:29:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO invited Louise Dean to testify.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
LOUISE  DEAN,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Workforce  Investment                                                               
Board (AWIB),  Anchorage, Alaska,  stated that AWIB  had multiple                                                               
funding sources to provide support and training programs...                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:30:36 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease due to technical difficulties                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO reconvened the meeting.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:31:40 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease due to technical difficulties                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:32:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO reconvened the meeting.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Technical  difficulties continued  and Chair  Costello asked  Ms.                                                               
Dean to submit her testimony in writing.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:33:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO opened public testimony on SB 10.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:33:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE COONS, representing self, Palmer,  Alaska, said he could not                                                               
support SB  10, largely because  of the definition  of "essential                                                               
worker." He opined that these  workers were given higher priority                                                               
over all other Alaskans who  are just as essential. He maintained                                                               
that the  low-income workers the  sponsor referenced in  the bill                                                               
are those  who are working  and drawing a paycheck.  However, the                                                               
"nonessential" workers  are the new  low-income and new  poor. He                                                               
described this as upside down  and potentially discriminatory. He                                                               
emphasized the  importance of getting  all Alaskans back  to full                                                               
employment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COSTELLO said  she was  sure  the sponsor  would take  his                                                               
questions to the next committee.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:36:00 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease due to technical difficulties.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:37:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO reconvened the meeting.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:37:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SANA  EFIRD,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Commission  on  Post-                                                               
Secondary Education,  Juneau, Alaska,  said she was  available to                                                               
answer questions.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS congratulations her on her new position.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. EFIRD said she looked forward to working with him.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:38:22 PM                                                                                                                    
JOELLE  HALL,  incoming  President,  Alaska  AFL-CIO,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, said  she was pleased to  report that many of  the Alaska                                                               
AFL-CIO frontline  workers had been working  during the pandemic.                                                               
However,  she said  many other  workers who  hold important  jobs                                                               
that make  the gears  of the  economy turn  did not  benefit from                                                               
collective bargaining.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
She  said  we  have  learned  a  lot  during  this  pandemic  but                                                               
something that  sticks in our  collective memories and  hearts is                                                               
that without childcare and grocery  store workers, everyone is in                                                               
deep trouble.  She thanked the  sponsor for introducing  the bill                                                               
and emphasized  the importance of  training to get  Alaskans back                                                               
to work.  She related that  a cornerstone  of the work  the labor                                                               
movement  does was  to provide  training and  the opportunity  to                                                               
build a better  life for families. She agreed  with the statement                                                               
in  the  sponsor statement  that  better  training also  benefits                                                               
employers.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL described  SB 10  as a  win-win for  workers and  their                                                               
current or future employers. She said  it was a good idea and the                                                               
Alaska  AFL-CIO was  in full  support and  looked forward  to its                                                               
passage.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:40:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  found no  further testimony.  She noted  that the                                                               
bill had a Finance Committee referral  so she would not ask for a                                                               
review of the fiscal note.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH thanked the committee for hearing the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO closed public testimony on SB 10.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:41:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON moved and asked  unanimous consent to report                                                               
SB  10   from  committee  with  individual   recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COSTELLO  found no  objection and SB  10 was  reported from                                                               
the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 10 v. B Sponsor Statement 1.26.2021.pdf SFIN 4/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 v. B Sectional Analysis 1.26.2021.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 v. B Supporting Document ADN Article.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 v. B DOLWD Research and Analysis Presentation.pptx SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 v. B DETS-Job Center and AWIB Presentation.pptx SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 Univ. of Alaska - Workforce Reports Summary.pdf SFIN 4/8/2021 9:00:00 AM
SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 v. B Fiscal Note DEED 1.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 10 v. B Fiscal Note DEED 2.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 10
SB 24 Sponsor Statement 2.1.21.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB 24 Sectional Summary 2.1.21.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB 24 v. A Fiscal Note DCCED.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB 24 Letter of Support AK Realtors.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB 24 Letter of Support Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation.pdf SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 24
SB 24 v.A.PDF SL&C 2/8/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 24