H. R. 3471
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
November 17, 2011
Ms. Tsongas introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To authorize the Secretary of Labor to award grants for the employment of individuals in targeted communities to perform work for the benefit of such communities.
This Act may be cited as the
Helping Individuals Return to
Employment Act or the
Community employment grants
The Secretary of Labor is authorized to award competitive grants for the hiring of unemployed individuals to perform work to benefit communities, under terms and conditions set forth in this section.
Grants under this section may be awarded to any of the following entities in the areas described in subsection (c):
Units of local government.
Workforce investment boards, established pursuant to section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2832).
Non-profit organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)).
Grants under this section may be awarded to eligible entities located in or primarily serving in one of the following areas, if the unemployment rate in such area is higher than 7 percent during the 3-month period preceding the award of the grant:
A renewal community with respect to which a designation was in effect under section 1400E(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1400E(a)) on December 31, 2009.
An empowerment zone designated under section 1391 of such Code.
A historically underutilized business zone designated under section 3(p)(1) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(p)(1)).
Individuals eligible for employment
Grants awarded under this section shall be used to hire unemployed individuals residing in the areas described in subsection (c), including individuals age 16 and older, with priority going to individuals who have been unemployed for more than a year.
No individual whose employment is funded under a grant authorized under this Act may work for an employer at which a collective bargaining agreement is in effect covering the same or similar work, unless—
the consent of the labor organization at such employer is obtained; and
negotiations have taken place between such labor organization and the employer as to the terms and conditions of such employment.
An individual whose employment is funded under this Act may not displace other employees whose employment is not funded under this Act. A grant recipient under this Act may not hire an employee or employees with funds under this Act for any employment which the grant recipient would otherwise hire an employee who has been furloughed.
Effect on unemployment compensation
The amount of any unemployment compensation payable to an individual employed under a grant established by this Act is a pro rata portion of the unemployment compensation which would otherwise be payable to the employee if such employee were totally unemployed.
An eligible entity that receives a grant under this Act shall consult with community leaders, including small business owners, labor organizations, and local residents to assess the needs of the community to determine the qualifying activities for which individuals will be hired.
Individuals hired using grant funds awarded under this section shall be employed for a minimum of 20 hours per week only in activities that benefit the community in the areas described in subsection (c), including activities such as public works, beautification, historic restoration, tutoring, and adult education. In addition, where an eligible entity determines appropriate, a portion of the grant funds may be used to ensure the safety of employees hired under the grant and provide necessary job training.
Funds awarded under this section shall supplement, not supplant, funds of the eligible entity that are used for such purposes.
Eligible entities seeking a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such form, and containing such information and assurances as the Secretary may require.
Required deadline for hiring
An eligible entity receiving a grant under this section shall—
determine the number of individuals that may be hired for a 3-year period using both grant funds and local funds available for such purpose; and
hire such individuals within 60 days after receiving a grant.
The Secretary of Labor may promulgate regulations necessary to implement the grant program authorized by this Act, including any necessary regulations necessary to apply wage and labor protections to individuals employed under a grant.
Authorization of Appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Labor such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.