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H.R. 4591 (113th): Workforce Investment and Job Creation Act

The text of the bill below is as of May 7, 2014 (Introduced).

I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4591

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 7, 2014

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

A BILL

To establish a national strategy for identifying job training needs to increase opportunities for technical school training and promote hiring.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Workforce Investment and Job Creation Act .

2.

Identifying Job Training Needs

(a)

Strategy report

(1)

Strategy report required

The Secretary of Labor shall develop and submit to Congress a strategy report to address the skills gap by providing analysis and recommendations to increase on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities and increase employer participation in education and workforce training.

(2)

Goals of the strategy report

The strategy report required by paragraph (1) shall include specific recommendations to achieve the following goals:

(A)

To increase the aggregate number of employers and employees participating in on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

(B)

To determine ways in which the Department of Labor can increase employer outreach to encourage new and expanded employer participation in education and workforce training.

(C)

To identify and prioritize industry-recognized postsecondary credentials that are nationally portable and aligned with in-demand occupations in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and others that are emerging.

(D)

To determine ways in which the Department of Labor can better address the skills gap by maximizing existing resources, programs, and personnel.

(3)

Analysis required

As part of the strategy report under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall, at a minimum, include the following:

(A)

A comparison of United States on-the-job training and apprenticeship policies and strategies with the policies and strategies of other countries where employers play a larger role in education and workforce training.

(B)

An assessment of the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship program to determine how it can be better utilized to appeal to more industries and to boost the goals described in paragraph (2).

(C)

An evaluation of any existing or potential opportunities within the Department of Labor to refocus or repurpose resources and personnel to better support on-the-job training and apprenticeship goals.

(D)

An analysis of the specific barriers preventing the domestic workforce from acquiring the skills desired by domestic employers, including an assessment of opportunities to reduce those barriers by—

(i)

improving coordination between Federal agencies that administer employment and training programs; and

(ii)

modifying Federal employment and training programs to enable States to better utilize Federal employment and training funds.

(4)

Recommendations

The Secretary shall include in the skills gap strategy report required under paragraph (1) recommendations for achieving the goals included in the strategy pursuant to paragraph (2). Such recommendations may include proposals as follows:

(A)

Actions that may be taken by the Federal Government, Congress, State, local and territorial governments, the private sector, universities, industry associations, and other stakeholders to improve policies, coordination, and interaction between such entities, including strategies and best practices to—

(i)

boost public-private partnerships and employer-led partnerships; and

(ii)

help establish regional industry partnerships.

(B)

Adoption of strategies that have been implemented and proven successful in key industries and regions in the United States and in other countries.

(C)

In coordination with the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Education, develop plans that identify strategies—

(i)

for increased employer participation in career and technical education;

(ii)

to better align career and technical education curriculums and programs with fast growing industry sectors;

(iii)

to encourage more pre-apprenticeship and college credit courses in secondary schools;

(iv)

to improve school-to-work transitions and connections; and

(v)

to assist employers in partnering with elementary schools, secondary schools, and institutions of higher education.

(5)

Submittal of strategy report

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress the strategy report developed under this subsection.

(6)

Implementation

The Secretary may implement the recommendations under paragraph (4) as the Secretary determines appropriate, if otherwise permitted under law.

(b)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

ESEA terms

The terms elementary school and secondary school have the meanings given such terms in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 7801 ).

(2)

Industry-recognized

The term industry-recognized, as used with respect to a credential, means a credential that—

(A)

is sought or accepted by employers within the industry sector involved as recognized, preferred, or required for recruitment, screening, hiring, or advancement;

(B)

is endorsed by a recognized trade or professional association or organization, representing a significant part of the industry sector; and

(C)

is a nationally portable credential that is sought or accepted across multiple States, as described in subparagraph (A).

(3)

Institution of higher education

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

(4)

Recognized postsecondary credential

The term recognized postsecondary credential means a credential consisting of an industry-recognized credential for postsecondary training, a certificate that meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (C) of paragraph (1) for postsecondary training, a certificate of completion of a postsecondary apprenticeship through a program described in section 122(a)(2)(B) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2842(a)(2)(B)), or an associate degree or baccalaureate degree awarded by an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 1001(a) )).

(5)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Labor.

(6)

Skills gap

The term skills gap refers to the difference, or gap, between the current supply of labor and skills of the workforce and that which is desired by employers.

3.

Technical school training subsidy 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)

Technical school training subsidy pilot program

(1)

Establishment of Technical School Training Subsidy Pilot program

From the amounts appropriated to carry out this subsection, the Secretary shall award competitive grants to States to provide such funds to local boards for the provision of technical school training subsidies in local areas through one-stop delivery systems described in section 134(c).

(2)

Application

To receive a grant under this subsection a State shall submit to the Secretary an application in such manner, at such time, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(3)

Qualifications and Requirements for subsidy

(A)

In general

A technical school training subsidy for an academic year may be provided, in accordance with subparagraph (E) , to a technical school on behalf of an unemployed individual who is enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, at a technical school.

(B)

Amount of subsidy

(i)

Considerations

In determining the amount of a subsidy to provide to an unemployed individual under this subsection, a one-stop operator or one-stop partner, as appropriate, shall take into account—

(I)

the cost of tuition of such individual;

(II)

the expected family contribution, as determined in accordance with section 474 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 1087nn ), for such individual; and

(III)

the estimated financial assistance for such individual not received under this subsection.

(ii)

Aggregate amount

The aggregate amount of subsidies an individual may receive under this subsection may not exceed $2,000.

(C)

Number of subsidies

An individual may receive subsidies under this subsection for not more than 2 academic years.

(D)

Use of funds

A subsidy an individual receives under this subsection shall be used to assist the individual in paying the cost of tuition for career and technical education at a technical school. All subsidies received by an individual under this subsection shall be used to pay the cost of tuition for career and technical education at the same technical school.

(E)

Provision of subsidy

Upon approving an unemployed individual for a subsidy under this subsection, a one-stop operator or one-stop partner, as appropriate, shall provide, prior to the start of an academic year, the subsidy to the technical school in which the unemployed individual is enrolled or accepted for enrollment.

(4)

Definitions

In this subsection—

(A)

The term career and technical education has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 ( 20 U.S.C. 2302 ).

(B)

The term cost of tuition means—

(i)

tuition and fees normally assessed a student carrying the same academic workload as determined by the technical school, and including costs for rental or purchase of any equipment, materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study; and

(ii)

an allowance for books and supplies, for a student attending the technical school on at least a half-time basis, as determined by the school.

(C)

The term technical school means a postsecondary vocational institution that provides career and technical education.

(D)

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)).

(E)

The term unemployed individual means an unemployed individual who is a citizen of the United States.

.

4.

Tax Credits for New Hires

(a)

Credit for increasing employment

Subpart C of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to refundable credits) is amended by inserting after section 36B the following new section:

36C.

Credit for increasing employment

(a)

In general

There shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this subtitle—

(1)

for any taxable year beginning in 2014, an amount equal to 60 percent of the excess of—

(A)

the aggregate wages paid during 2014, over

(B)

the aggregate wages paid during 2013, and

(2)

for any taxable year beginning in 2015, an amount equal to 40 percent of the excess of—

(A)

the aggregate wages paid during 2015, over

(B)

the aggregate inflation-adjusted wages paid during 2014.

(b)

Maximum credit

The amount of the credit allowable under this section for any employer with respect to any calendar year shall not exceed $500,000.

(c)

Minimum preceding year wages

For purposes of subsection (a)

(1)

the amount taken into account under paragraph (1)(B) thereof shall not be less than 50 percent of the amount described in paragraph (1)(A) thereof, and

(2)

the amount taken into account under paragraph (2)(B) thereof shall not be less than 50 percent of the amount described in paragraph (2)(A) thereof.

(d)

Total wages must increase

The amount of credit allowed under this section for any taxable year shall not exceed the amount which would be so allowed for such year (without regard to subsection (c)) if—

(1)

the aggregate amounts taken into account as wages were determined without any dollar limitation, and

(2)

103 percent of the amount of wages otherwise required to be taken into account under subsection (a)(1)(B) or subsection (a)(2)(B), as the case may be, were taken into account.

(e)

Wages; inflation-Adjusted wages

For purposes of this section:

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the term wages has the meaning given to such term by section 3306(b).

(2)

Railway and agricultural labor

Rules similar to the rules of section 51(h) shall apply for purposes of this section.

(3)

Inflation-adjusted wages

The term inflation-adjusted wages means the aggregate wages paid during 2014 increased by an amount equal to—

(A)

such aggregate wages, multiplied by

(B)

the cost-of-living adjustment determined under section 1(f)(3) for 2014, determined by substituting calendar year 2012 for calendar year 1992 in subparagraph (B) thereof.

Any increase determined under the preceding sentence shall be rounded in such manner as the Secretary shall prescribe.
(f)

Special rules

(1)

Adjustments for certain acquisitions, etc

(A)

Acquisitions

If, after December 31, 2012, an employer acquires the major portion of a trade or business of another person (hereinafter in this subparagraph referred to as the predecessor) or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business of a predecessor, then, for purposes of applying this section for any calendar year ending after such acquisition, the amount of wages deemed paid by the employer during periods before such acquisition shall be increased by so much of such wages paid by the predecessor with respect to the acquired trade or business as is attributable to the portion of such trade or business acquired by the employer.

(B)

Dispositions

If, after December 31, 2012—

(i)

an employer disposes of the major portion of any trade or business of the employer or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business of the employer in a transaction to which subparagraph (A) applies, and

(ii)

the employer furnishes the acquiring person such information as is necessary for the application of subparagraph (A),

then, for purposes of applying this section for any calendar year ending after such disposition, the amount of wages deemed paid by the employer during periods before such disposition shall be decreased by so much of such wages as is attributable to such trade or business or separate unit.
(2)

Change in status from self-employed to employee

If—

(A)

during 2013 or 2014 an individual has net earnings from self-employment (as defined in section 1402(a)) which are attributable to a trade or business, and

(B)

for any portion of the succeeding calendar year such individual is an employee of such trade or business,

then, for purposes of determining the credit allowable for a taxable year beginning in such succeeding calendar year, the employer’s aggregate wages for 2013 or 2014, as the case may be, shall be increased by an amount equal to so much of the net earnings referred to in subparagraph (A) as does not exceed the median household income in the United States for 2013 or 2014, as the case may be.
(3)

Certain other rules to apply

Rules similar to the following rules shall apply for purposes of this section:

(A)

Section 51(f) (relating to remuneration must be for trade or business employment).

(B)

Section 51(i)(1) (relating to related individuals ineligible).

(C)

Section 51(k) (relating to treatment of successor employers; treatment of employees performing services for other persons).

(D)

Section 52 (relating to special rules).

(4)

Short taxable years

If the employer has more than 1 taxable year beginning in 2014 or 2015, the credit under this section shall be determined for the employer’s last taxable year beginning in 2014 or 2015, as the case may be.

.

(b)

Denial of double benefit

Subsection (a) of section 280C of such Code is amended by inserting 36C(a), before 45A(a).

(c)

Conforming amendments

(1)

Section 1324(b)(2) of title 31, United States Code, is amended by inserting 36C, after 36B,.

(2)

The table of sections for subpart C of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 36B the following new item:

Sec. 36C. Credit for increasing employment..

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013.