IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 9, 2011
Mrs. Gillibrand introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to authorize the Secretary of Labor to provide grants for Urban Jobs Programs, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as
Urban Jobs Act of
Findings and purpose
Congress finds the following:
One-third of minority youth are unemployed.
The labor force participation rate for persons without a high school diploma is 20 percentage points lower than the labor force participation rate for high school graduates.
Nationally, approximately 70 percent of all students graduate from high school, but African-American and Hispanic students have a 55 percent or lower chance of graduating from high school.
High school dropouts from the class of 2004 will cost the Nation more than $325,000,000,000 in lost wages, taxes, and productivity over their lifetimes.
Only 52 percent of students in the 50 largest cities in the United States graduate from high school. That rate is below the national high school graduation rate of 70 percent, and also falls short of the average high school graduation rate of 60 percent for urban districts across the Nation.
Over a lifetime, a high school dropout earns, on average, about $260,000 less than a high school graduate, and about $1,000,000 less than a college graduate.
Approximately 75 percent of State prison inmates and 59 percent of Federal prison inmates have not completed high school. Increasing the high school completion rate by 1 percent for all men ages 20 to 60 would save the United States $1,400,000,000 annually in reduced costs associated with crime.
According to a recent study, a 10-percent increase in the male high school graduation rate would reduce arrest rates for murder and assault by about 20 percent, motor vehicle theft by 13 percent, and arson by 8 percent.
It is the purpose of this Act to provide adequate resources for national nonprofit organizations to prevent and reduce the disproportionate incarceration of eligible youth, especially minority youth, and to prepare eligible youth for entry into employment, or education leading to employment, that places participants on a path to economic self-sufficiency and provides opportunities for advancement, by providing a comprehensive set of services that includes job training, education, and support services.
Urban jobs programs
Subtitle D of title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 is amended by inserting after section 173A (29 U.S.C. 2918a) the following:
Urban jobs programs
The purpose of this section is to provide, through competitive grants, needed resources for the following objectives:
To establish a feeder system for youth ages 18 through 24, who are out-of-school youth or are or have been subject to the criminal justice process, in urban communities, into employment, or education leading to employment, through national intermediaries that have demonstrated effectiveness in conducting outreach to, and serving, eligible youth through a national network of community-based affiliates.
To provide a holistic approach for preparing eligible youth in urban communities for entry into employment, or education leading to employment, through a comprehensive set of services.
To prevent and reduce the disproportionate incarceration of eligible youth in urban communities, including minority youth.
In this section:
The term community-based affiliate means a community-based organization that is an affiliate of a national intermediary.
The term eligible youth means individuals ages 18 through 24 who—
are not enrolled in secondary or post-secondary school; or
are or have been subject to any stage of the criminal justice process.
The term national intermediary means a national private nonprofit community-based organization that—
has an affiliate network comprised of community-based organizations in at least 50 or more urban communities;
has demonstrated expertise and effectiveness in conducting outreach to eligible youth and providing workforce investment activities to such youth; and
has operated in 25 States continuously for more than 20 years.
The term recidivism means a tendency to return to criminal behavior.
The term unsubsidized job means an employment position with an employer—
that pays the wages for the position; and
that does not receive public funds for the creation and maintenance of the employment position.
Urban jobs program
The term Urban Jobs Program means an Urban Jobs Program funded under subsection (c).
Urban jobs program grants
The Secretary is authorized to make grants, on a competitive basis, to national intermediaries for the purpose of carrying out Urban Jobs Programs that provide a comprehensive set of services to eligible youth in urban communities to provide such youth with a pathway to employment, or education leading to employment.
Form and procedure
To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, a national intermediary shall submit an application at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require.
The Secretary shall require that the application contain, at a minimum—
a request for the grant, specifying the amount of the grant requested and proposed uses of the grant funds;
a description of how the national intermediary will meet, for participants in the Urban Jobs Program, goals consisting of—
increased long-term employment in unsubsidized jobs;
increased attainment of the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma;
improved literacy and numeracy; and
increased attainment of industry-recognized certificates or credentials, or preparation for entry into an institution of higher education without need for further remediation;
a description of underlying supports for the program, including—
engaged community partners;
staff expertise in youth development; and
demonstrated understanding of youth characteristics;
a description of how the program will enable program participants to achieve outcomes consisting of—
creation of caring relationships with peers and staff;
creation of goals (such as the attainment described in clause (ii)(III), attainment of employment, admission to or completion of a degree at an institution of higher education, attainment of industry-recognized certificates or credentials, or preparation for entry into an institution of higher education without need for further remediation);
participation in opportunities to contribute to the community through service or volunteerism;
development of 21st century workplace skills, including critical thinking and collaboration;
development of a sense of responsibility for one’s future;
development of plans or strategies to meet one’s goals;
reduction of risk-taking behaviors;
achievement of improved educational outcomes (such as numeracy, literacy, or the attainment described in clause (ii)(II));
achievement of improved employment outcomes; and
reduction of recidivism; and
a description of activities to be provided through the Urban Jobs Program that lead to the attainment of industry-recognized certificates or credentials described in paragraph (3).
A national intermediary that receives a grant under this subsection shall use the funds made available through the grant to carry out an Urban Jobs Program, which shall include the following comprehensive set of services:
Case management, through an individual responsible for helping participants navigate the Urban Jobs Program activities.
Educational services, including skill assessment, reading and math remediation, educational enrichment, services involving preparation for and opportunities for attainment of the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma, services that connect to career pathways such as opportunities for attainment of industry-recognized certificates or credentials or for preparation for entry into an institution of higher education without the need for further remediation, and postsecondary education.
Employment and job readiness activities, including mentoring, community service opportunities, internships, on-the-job training, occupational skills training, personal development, and unsubsidized jobs.
Support services, health and nutrition service referral, substance abuse counseling and treatment, and provision of housing assistance, interpersonal and basic living skills, and transportation, child care, clothing, and other assistance as needed.
Not more than 2 percent of the funds appropriated for any fiscal year under section 174(d) may be used for expenses associated with carrying out this subsection.
Not later than August 1 following each program year for which amounts are made available to carry out this section, the Secretary of Labor shall submit to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, a report that details the progress made under this section in establishing Urban Jobs Programs through national intermediaries.
Inapplicability of Section 172
The program shall not be subject to evaluations required under section 172.
National jobs council advisory committee
The Secretary of Labor shall establish a committee to be known as the National Jobs Council Advisory Committee (referred to in this subsection as the Committee).
The Committee shall be comprised of 11 members, appointed by the Secretary, consisting of—
3 individuals from the private sector, who are senior human resources or diversity employees with national or regional responsibilities, and who have experience in oversight that includes hiring, employee training, or overseeing employee relations;
5 representatives of employers in high-impact, high-growth industries, as defined by the Secretary;
1 national intermediary staff member; and
2 representatives from the Department of Labor.
Period of appointment; vacancies
Members shall be appointed for the life of the Committee. Any vacancy in the Committee shall not affect the powers of the Committee, but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment was made.
The Committee shall analyze, and prepare recommendations for the Secretary concerning—
the design and operation of the program carried out under this section;
long-term strategic priorities for the program; and
the formulation and application of guidelines related to activities carried out under the program.
The Committee shall prepare and submit to the Secretary periodic reports containing the recommendations described in subparagraph (A).
The members of the Committee shall not receive compensation for the performance of services for the Committee, but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Committee. Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the Secretary may accept the voluntary and uncompensated services of members of the Committee.
Detail of government employees
Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Committee without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Committee.
Sense of Congress regarding local advisory committees
It is the sense of Congress that—
a community-based affiliate receiving funding under this section should establish a local jobs council advisory committee to aid in establishing support from the local community for and guiding the local implementation of the program; and
not less than 1/3 of the members the committee should be employers in high-impact, high-growth industries in the locality.
Section 174 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2919) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Urban Jobs Programs
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out section 173B—
$20,000,000 for fiscal year 2012;
$30,000,000 for fiscal year 2013;
$40,000,000 for fiscal year 2014;
$50,000,000 for fiscal year 2015; and
$60,000,000 for fiscal year 2016.
The table of contents in section 1(b) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 is amended—
by inserting a period at the end of the item relating to section 173A; and
by inserting after the item relating to section 173A the following:
Sec. 173B. Urban jobs programs.