H.919 incorporates the recommendations of a 2017 summer working group to develop the workforce to meet the current and anticipated needs of employers and employees. The bill does many things:
· Strengthens the role of the State Workforce Development Board – the board has 60 members, ½ of which must come from the private sector.
· Extends the use of Career Pathways in workforce development, engaging students as early as 7th grade.
· Establishes 4 pilot projects in Career Technical Education (CTE) settings to model a unified funding and governance structure to streamline and improve delivery of services.
· Strengthens apprenticeship programs in the state, including the establishment of “returnships” to reengage workers who are currently not in the workforce.
· Establishes a system that reviews and elevates the rigor of industry recognized credentials and certificates to create better value and relevance of them to both the recipient and employees.
· Expand the role of the Department of Labor and the Commissioner to recruit workers, including from in-state post-secondary institutions, as well as train workers.
· Authorize the use of Workforce Education Training (WET) Funds to assist small businesses recruit, relocate and retain workers.
· Develop metrics to measure the relative success of these different efforts to guide decision making in the future.