< Back to H.R. 5975 (112th Congress, 2011–2013)

Text of the WISE Investment Act

This bill was introduced on June 20, 2012, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 20, 2012 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5975

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 20, 2012

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce

A BILL

To amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to provide for the establishment of the Small Business Liaison Pilot Program.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Workforce Infrastructure for Skilled Employees Investment Act or the WISE Investment Act.

2.

Small Business Liaison Pilot Program

Section 171 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2916) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(f)

Small Business Liaison Pilot Program

(1)

Establishment of Small Business Liaison Pilot Program

The Secretary may award competitive grants to local boards, community colleges, and postsecondary vocational institutions in States and outlying areas to promote local economic growth and eliminate gaps between the workforce skills available and the workforce skills needed in local areas or regions.

(2)

Application

To receive a grant under this subsection a local board, community college, or postsecondary vocational institution in a State or outlying area shall submit to the Secretary an application in such manner, at such time, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(3)

Specifications of grants

(A)

Time period

A grant shall be used over a 36-month period.

(B)

Amount of grant

In determining the amount of a grant made under this subsection, the Secretary may consider—

(i)

the ability of the grant applicant to conduct outreach activities;

(ii)

the ability of the grant applicant to conduct skills gap assessments;

(iii)

the extent to which the grant applicant works with or, after implementing a strategic skills gap action plan, plans to work with small businesses within its local area or region; and

(iv)

any other factor that the Secretary deems appropriate.

(C)

Limitations

(i)

A recipient may not receive more than one grant under this subsection.

(ii)

No grant under this subsection may be for an amount more than $500,000.

(iii)

The Secretary shall, in determining whether to award a grant, consider the geographic diversity of grant recipients.

(D)

Use of funds

(i)

In general

A local board, community college, or postsecondary vocational institution that receives a grant under this subsection shall use the grant funds to pay for a new or current employee to serve as liaison to conduct activities described in clause (ii).

(ii)

Small & Local Business Liaison

The liaison—

(I)

shall—

(aa)

prepare a strategic action skills gap assessment;

(bb)

develop a strategic skills gap action plan; and

(cc)

conduct any other activity that the Secretary deems appropriate for the purposes of this subsection; and

(II)

may—

(aa)

engage in outreach in the local area or region;

(bb)

conduct business site visits, interviews, and assessments;

(cc)

consult in the implementation of the skills action plan;

(dd)

complete more than 1 skills gap action plan; and

(ee)

consult with the local offices of the Small Business Administration.

(iii)

Prohibition

A grant received under this subsection may not be used to supplant existing funding or efforts.

(E)

Confidentiality of information

The grant recipient may not disclose the name, address, or contact information of a business, employer, or other person that provided information to the grant recipient to compile information in the strategic skills gap assessment or strategic skills gap action plan without consent of such business, employer, or other person.

(4)

Reporting

Each year, the Secretary shall report to the Congress—

(A)

the number of grants awarded under this subsection;

(B)

the recipients of grants awarded under this subsection;

(C)

the activities carried out by each recipient under paragraph (3)(D); and

(D)

an assessment describing—

(i)

the success of the program to promote local economic growth and eliminate gaps between the workforce skills available and the workforce skills needed in local areas or regions; and

(ii)

any recommendations for reauthorization and expansion of the program that the Secretary may have.

(5)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Community College

The term community college has the meaning given the term in section 312(f) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)).

(B)

Local area

The term local area means the labor market immediately surrounding or affected by a local board, community college, or postsecondary vocational institution.

(C)

Postsecondary vocational institution

The term postsecondary vocational institution has the meaning given the term in section 102(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002(c)).

(D)

Region

The term region means 2 or more local areas that comprise a common labor market for an industry sector of related occupations.

(E)

Strategic skills gap assessment

The term strategic skills gap assessment means an assessment that—

(i)

identifies areas of current and expected demand for labor and skills in a specific industry sector of related occupations that is—

(I)

producing jobs in the local area or region involved;

(II)

developing emerging jobs in the local area or region involved; or

(III)

suffering chronic worker shortages;

(ii)

identifies the current and expected supply of labor and skills in that sector or group in the local area or region;

(iii)

identifies gaps between the current and expected demand and supply of labor and skills in that section or group in the local area or region;

(iv)

contains the results of a survey or focus group interviews of employers, labor organizations, and other relevant individuals and organizations in the local area or region; and

(v)

contains data regarding—

(I)

specific employment opportunities offered by industries in the local area or region;

(II)

specific skills desired for employment opportunities offered by industries in the local area or region;

(III)

occupations and positions in the local area or region that are difficult to fill;

(IV)

specific skills desired for occupations and positions in the local area or region that are difficult to fill;

(V)

areas of growth and decline among industries and occupations in the local area or region;

(VI)

specific skills desired for areas of growth among industries and occupations in the local area or region; and

(VII)

specific inventories of skills of unemployed or underemployed individuals in the local area or region.

(F)

Strategic skills gap action plan

The term strategic skills gap action plan means a plan based on the strategic skills gap assessment that—

(i)

identifies—

(I)

specific barriers to adequate supply of labor and skills in demand in a specific industry sector of related occupations that is producing jobs in the local area or region; and

(II)

activities that will remove or alleviate the barriers described in subclause (I) that could be undertaken by the local board, community college, or postsecondary vocational institution;

(ii)

specifies how the local board, community college, or postsecondary vocational institution may integrate the activities described in clause (i) within the local area or region; and

(iii)

identifies resources and strategies that may be used in the local area or region to address the skills gaps for both unemployed and employed workers in that industry sector.

(6)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary such sums as may be necessary to carry out this subsection.

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