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S. 2859 (113th): PACE Act

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 18, 2014 (Introduced).


II

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2859

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 18, 2014

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

A BILL

To promote apprenticeships for credentials and employment, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title and table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Promoting Apprenticeships for Credentials and Employment Act or the PACE Act .

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings and purposes.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

TITLE I—Promoting Registered Apprenticeships

Sec. 101. Promoting registered apprenticeship programs.

Sec. 102. Promoting integration with postsecondary education.

TITLE II—Program development and enhancement

Sec. 201. Expanding registered apprenticeship programs.

TITLE III—Conforming amendments

Sec. 301. Amendments.

2.

Findings and purposes

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

A highly skilled workforce is necessary to compete in the global economy, support economic growth, and maintain the standard of living of the United States.

(2)

The registered apprenticeship program model is a longstanding, on-the-job training and education model that prepares workers for the skill demands of particular occupations and employers while, at the same time, providing the workers with recognized, portable credentials, and wages while in training.

(3)

The registered apprenticeship program model has been successful in skilled trade industries, including construction and manufacturing, as well as service industries, such as health care, and holds great potential for expansion into other industries.

(4)

Registered apprenticeship programs are an essential element of an effective workforce development system and help individuals attain a recognized postsecondary credential, contributing to their personal economic sustainability.

(5)

According to a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2018, the United States will face a shortage of workers with recognized postsecondary credentials—shortages of 3,000,000 workers with degrees and 4,700,000 workers with certificates.

(6)

According to a 2012 report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, youth employment in the United States has reached the lowest point since World War II. More than 6,000,000 young people ages 16 through 24 are disconnected from school and work.

(7)

A 2012 evaluation of registered apprenticeship programs in 10 States by Mathematica Policy Research found that—

(A)

individuals who completed registered apprenticeship programs earned over $240,000 more over their careers than individuals not participating in such apprenticeship programs;

(B)

the estimated social benefits of registered apprenticeship programs exceeded their costs by more than $49,000; and

(C)

the tax return on every Federal Government dollar invested in registered apprenticeship programs was $27.

(8)

An evaluation in Washington State found the following:

(A)

Registered apprenticeship programs have been among the most effective workforce development programs, with the highest impact and the greatest return on investment of any such program.

(B)

For each individual who completes a registered apprenticeship program, over the individual's career, there is a 90-to-1 return on investment, for a total net benefit of just over $300,000 for that career.

(C)

The general public also receives a lifetime return on investment of 23-to-1, or around $80,000, for each person completing a registered apprenticeship program.

(b)

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are—

(1)

to increase the number of highly skilled workers in the United States, particularly in in-demand industry sectors and occupations;

(2)

to increase the attainment of recognized postsecondary credentials by participants;

(3)

to increase awareness about the value of the registered apprenticeship program model as an effective earn-and-learn model for students, workers, and employers;

(4)

to support the development of registered apprenticeship programs with employers, joint labor management partnerships, and other program sponsors, that offer jobs that lead to economic self-sufficiency;

(5)

to support the development and expansion of pre-apprenticeship programs that lead to success in a registered apprenticeship program; and

(6)

to support a closer alignment between registered apprenticeship programs, the workforce development system, and postsecondary education.

3.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Office of Apprenticeship appointed under section 101(a).

(2)

Career pathway

The term career pathway means a combination of rigorous and high-quality education, training, and other services that—

(A)

aligns with the skill needs of industries in the economy of the State or regional economy involved;

(B)

prepares an individual to be successful in any of a full range of secondary or postsecondary education options, including apprenticeships registered under the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the National Apprenticeship Act ; 50 Stat. 664, chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq. ) (referred to individually in this Act as an apprenticeship);

(C)

includes counseling to support an individual in achieving the individual’s education and career goals;

(D)

includes, as appropriate, education offered concurrently with and in the same context as workforce preparation activities and training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster;

(E)

organizes education, training, and other services to meet the particular needs of an individual in a manner that accelerates the educational and career advancement of the individual to the extent practicable;

(F)

enables an individual to attain a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and at least 1 recognized postsecondary credential; and

(G)

helps an individual enter or advance within a specific occupation or occupational cluster.

(3)

Educational service agency

The term educational service agency

(A)

has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 7801 ); and

(B)

includes a consortium of those agencies.

(4)

High school

The term high school means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school that—

(A)

provides secondary education, as determined under State law;

(B)

grants a diploma, as defined by the State; and

(C)

includes, at least, grade 12.

(5)

In-demand industry sector or occupation

(A)

In general

The term in-demand industry sector or occupation means—

(i)

an industry sector that has a substantial current or potential impact (including through jobs that lead to economic self-sufficiency and opportunities for advancement) on the State, regional, or local economy, as appropriate, and that contributes to the growth or stability of other supporting businesses, or the growth of other industry sectors; or

(ii)

an occupation that currently has or is projected to have a number of positions (including positions that lead to economic self-sufficiency and opportunities for advancement) in an industry sector so as to have a significant impact on the State, regional, or local economy, as appropriate.

(B)

Determination

The determination of whether an industry sector or occupation is in-demand under this paragraph shall be made by the State board or local board, as appropriate, using State and regional business and labor market projections, including the use of labor market information.

(6)

National apprenticeship system

The term national apprenticeship system means the collective group of registered apprenticeship programs and pre-apprenticeship programs in the Nation (including the rules and regulations governing the 2 types of programs).

(7)

Postsecondary educational institution

The term postsecondary educational institution has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2801 ).

(8)

Pre-apprenticeship program

The term pre-apprenticeship program means a program or set of strategies that—

(A)

is designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a registered apprenticeship program;

(B)

is carried out by an entity that has a documented partnership with at least 1 sponsor of a registered apprenticeship program; and

(C)

includes each of the following elements:

(i)

Training (including a curriculum for the training), aligned with industry standards and approved by the documented partnership, that will prepare individuals by teaching the skills and competencies needed to enter one or more registered apprenticeship programs.

(ii)

Provision of hands-on training and theoretical education to individuals in a simulated laboratory experience or volunteer opportunity that—

(I)

accurately simulates the industry and occupational conditions of the registered apprenticeship program described in subparagraph (B);

(II)

is carried out in a manner that includes proper observation of supervision and safety protocols; and

(III)

is carried out in a manner that does not displace a paid employee.

(iii)

A formal agreement with a sponsor of a registered apprenticeship program that would enable participants who successfully complete the pre-apprenticeship program to enter directly into the registered apprenticeship program (if a place in the program is available), and includes agreements concerning earning credit for skills and competencies acquired during the pre-apprenticeship program.

(9)

Recognized postsecondary credential

The term recognized postsecondary credential means a credential consisting of an industry-recognized certificate or certification, a certificate of completion of an apprenticeship, a license recognized by the State involved or Federal Government, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.

(10)

Registered apprenticeship program

The term registered apprenticeship program means a program registered under the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the National Apprenticeship Act ; 50 Stat. 664, chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq. ).

(11)

Secretary

Except as provided in section 102 or as otherwise modified, the term Secretary means the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Administrator.

(12)

Sponsor

The term sponsor means—

(A)

with respect to a registered apprenticeship program, an employer, joint labor management partnership, trade association, labor organization, or other entity that administers the registered apprenticeship program; and

(B)

with respect to a pre-apprenticeship program, an entity that administers the pre-apprenticeship program.

I

Promoting Registered Apprenticeships

101.

Promoting registered apprenticeship programs

(a)

Establishment of the Office of Apprenticeship

(1)

Office

There is established, in the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor, an Office of Apprenticeship.

(2)

Administrator

The Office shall be headed by an Administrator of the Office of Apprenticeship appointed by the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training. The Assistant Secretary shall appoint an individual who has the demonstrated knowledge of registered apprenticeship programs necessary to serve as the Administrator.

(3)

Responsibilities

The Administrator, through the Office of Apprenticeship, shall carry out responsibilities including—

(A)

determining whether an apprenticeship program meets the requirements to become a registered apprenticeship program and maintains the standards necessary to remain a registered apprenticeship program;

(B)

managing the national apprenticeship system;

(C)

carrying out activities under subsection (b) to promote high-quality pre-apprenticeship programs;

(D)

promoting awareness about registered apprenticeship programs, including carrying out activities under subsection (c);

(E)

promoting greater diversity in registered apprenticeship programs and pre-apprenticeship programs, including by promoting outreach to underrepresented populations and veterans and supporting the development of apprenticeship models for nontraditional occupations;

(F)

providing for evaluations and research, as described in subsection (e); and

(G)

providing technical assistance to sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs, entities who are interested in developing and becoming sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs, and sponsors of pre-apprenticeship programs.

(b)

Supporting the development of pre-Apprenticeship programs

(1)

Support

The Secretary shall support the development of pre-apprenticeship programs.

(2)

Grants

(A)

In general

Using funds available under subsection (f), the Secretary shall make grants on a competitive basis to eligible entities, to provide the Federal share of the cost of carrying out projects that support that development.

(B)

Period

The Secretary shall make initial grants under this paragraph for periods of not more than 3 years, except that if an eligible entity demonstrates satisfactory performance under paragraph (7) by the end of that third year, the Secretary may extend the grant period up to an additional 2 years for that entity.

(C)

Recipients

(i)

Qualified organizations

In a State without a State apprenticeship agency, a qualified organization may serve as an eligible entity, and may receive a grant under this subsection.

(ii)

State apprenticeship agencies

In a State with a State apprenticeship agency, a qualified organization may serve as an eligible entity. The agency shall receive a grant under this subsection on behalf of the eligible entity, and act as a fiscal agent for the entity.

(3)

Qualified organizations

To be considered a qualified organization under this subsection, an organization shall be a public-private partnership consisting of—

(A)

a local educational agency, high school, 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institution, or consortium of such entities; and

(B)

representatives of—

(i)

in a State with a State apprenticeship agency, that agency;

(ii)

an industry or business, consisting of an employer, a group of employers, or an industry group that sponsor a registered apprenticeship program or are interested in supporting or establishing a registered apprenticeship program;

(iii)

a labor organization;

(iv)

a State or local workforce investment board (established under subtitle B of title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2811 et seq.));

(v)

an entity carrying out a registered apprenticeship program;

(vi)

a community-based organization that provides pre-apprenticeship programs, as appropriate; and

(vii)

a 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institution or consortium of such institutions, if such an institution or consortium is not a partner under subparagraph (A).

(4)

Applications

To be eligible to receive a grant from the Secretary under this subsection, an eligible entity (including, in a State with a State apprenticeship agency, that agency, acting on behalf of an eligible entity) shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including—

(A)

information on the quality of the proposed pre-apprenticeship program, including the training and curriculum described in section 3(9)(C)(i), and how it makes individuals who successfully complete the pre-apprenticeship program qualified to enter into an established registered apprenticeship program;

(B)

evidence that there are or will be sufficient openings available in the registered apprenticeship program referenced in (A) to enable the registered apprenticeship program sponsor to place into that program those individuals who successfully complete the pre-apprenticeship program;

(C)

information about the organization that demonstrates the existence of an active, advisory partnership between the partners described in subparagraphs (A) and (B), of paragraph (3) and the organization’s capacity to provide the training and education services necessary for a pre-apprenticeship program; and

(D)

information about the proposed pre-apprenticeship program that demonstrates—

(i)

that the program is in an in-demand industry or occupation in the region in which the project is located;

(ii)

the use of integrated work-based and academic learning that includes training in the workplace;

(iii)

the inclusion of career exploration focused activities, such as job shadowing, career information activities, and resume preparation, in the program;

(iv)

if the eligible entity carrying out the project includes a high school, that the model to be used for the program leads to a high school diploma for participants without such a diploma;

(v)

that the project aligns with an established registered apprenticeship program, including that the model used for the program leads to the attainment of skills and competencies necessary for entrance into the registered apprenticeship program for participants; and

(vi)

how the eligible entity will facilitate access through the program to the appropriate support services for participants, including facilitating access through partnerships with entities providing such services.

(5)

Use of funds

(A)

In general

An eligible entity that receives a grant under this subsection shall use the grant funds to carry out a project that implements a pre-apprenticeship program in an organization specified in paragraph (3) (other than paragraph (3)(B)(i)) that is part of the eligible entity, or a consortium of such entities.

(B)

Required activities

The eligible entity shall use the grant funds—

(i)

to pay for the cost of training or education associated with the pre-apprenticeship program;

(ii)

to provide student stipends during work-based training in the project;

(iii)

for curriculum development that align with the requirements of the appropriate registered apprenticeship programs and learning assessments;

(iv)

to maintain a connection between the pre-apprenticeship program and registered apprenticeship program;

(v)

to promote the pre-apprenticeship program to potential participants; and

(vi)

to conduct evaluations described in paragraph (7)(B).

(C)

Allowable activities

The eligible entity may use the grant funds for teacher training, including providing externship opportunities for teachers to learn about the skill needs of the industry or occupation that the pre-apprenticeship program focuses on.

(6)

Federal share

(A)

In general

The Federal share of the cost described in paragraph (2)(A) shall be 75 percent.

(B)

Non-Federal share

The eligible entity may contribute the non-Federal share of the cost in cash or in-kind, fairly evaluated, including plant, equipment, or services.

(7)

Performance

(A)

Measures

The Secretary shall identify a set of common measures that, at a minimum, include measures of entry into a registered apprenticeship program and that are aligned with the performance measures described in section 136(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2871(c) ) for the local workforce investment area (designated under section 116 of such Act ( 29 U.S.C. 2831 )) involved.

(B)

Evaluations

Each eligible entity that receives a grant to carry out a project under this subsection shall annually conduct, or arrange for another entity to conduct, an evaluation of the project using the identified common measures, and shall, to the extent practicable, cooperate with the Secretary in any evaluations of activities carried out under this section.

(C)

Extensions

The Secretary shall use the results of an evaluation for a project to determine whether to extend the grant period, or renew a grant, for the project under paragraph (2)(B).

(c)

Promoting awareness of registered apprenticeship programs

(1)

Information for State and local boards

To promote awareness about registered apprenticeship programs within the workforce development system, the Secretary shall disseminate information on the value of registered apprenticeship programs, to State and local workforce investment boards described in subsection (b)(3)(B)(iv), which information shall include—

(A)

a list of registered apprenticeship programs in the State involved;

(B)

guidance for training staff of the workforce development system within the State on the value of registered apprenticeship programs, including relevant placement, retention and earnings information, as a training option for participants;

(C)

guidance on how individual training accounts under section 134(d)(4) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2864(d)(4) ) could be used by participants for a registered apprenticeship program; and

(D)

guidance on how performance measures under section 136 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2871 ) apply to participants in registered apprenticeship programs, including relevant placement, retention and earnings information.

(2)

Information for industry groups and labor organizations

To promote awareness about registered apprenticeship programs to workers and employers, the Secretary shall provide information about the value of registered apprenticeship programs, including relevant placement, retention and earnings information, through the one-stop delivery systems described in section 121 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2841 ), to industry groups and to labor organizations, which information shall include, at a minimum—

(A)

a list of registered apprenticeship programs in the State;

(B)

information on how to develop a registered apprenticeship program; and

(C)

information on financial resources available to assist with the establishment and implementation of registered apprenticeship programs.

(3)

Information for students and schools

To promote awareness about registered apprenticeship programs among students and school staff, the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Education, shall disseminate information on the value of registered apprenticeship programs, including relevant placement, retention and earnings information, to high schools, 2- and 4-year postsecondary educational institutions, and educational service agencies, which information shall include, at a minimum—

(A)

a parent guide to understanding registered apprenticeship programs and postsecondary education;

(B)

a student guide to understanding registered apprenticeship programs as part of a career pathway;

(C)

a guide, for career and academic counselors, to understanding registered apprenticeship programs as a postsecondary education option for students; and

(D)

information for school administrators, workforce and economic development coordinators, and teachers and faculty that will assist with the development, implementation, and continuation of registered apprenticeship programs.

(d)

Secretary’s National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships

(1)

Establishment

(A)

In general

There is established in the Department of Labor a National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships, referred to in this section as the Advisory Committee.

(B)

Composition

The Advisory Committee shall have—

(i)

21 voting members appointed by the Secretary, composed of—

(I)

7 representatives of employers who participate in a registered apprenticeship program, including employers who participate in a registered apprenticeship program sponsored by a joint labor-management partnership;

(II)

7 representatives of labor organizations who have responsibility for the administration of a registered apprenticeship program sponsored by a joint labor-management partnership; and

(III)

7 representatives of State apprenticeship agencies, community organizations with significant experience with a registered apprenticeship program, and 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institutions with at least 1 articulation agreement with the entity administering a registered apprenticeship program; and

(ii)

members who are ex officio nonvoting representatives from the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services.

(C)

Qualifications

The members shall be selected upon the basis of their experience and competence concerning apprenticeships.

(D)

Terms

The Secretary shall appoint the members for terms of 4 years.

(2)

Chairperson

The Secretary shall designate one of the members of the Advisory Committee to serve as Chairperson of the Advisory Committee.

(3)

Meetings

The Advisory Committee shall hold not fewer than 2 meetings during each calendar year. All meetings of the Advisory Committee shall be open to the public. A transcript shall be kept of each meeting and made available for public inspection.

(4)

Duties

The Advisory Committee shall advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary on matters relating to the administration of this title and the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the National Apprenticeship Act ; 50 Stat. 664, chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq. ).

(5)

Personnel

(A)

Procurement

(i)

In general

The Chairperson of the Advisory Committee may procure the temporary and intermittent services of voting members of the Advisory Committee under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.

(ii)

Officers or employees of the United States

All members of the Advisory Committee who are officers or employees of the United States shall serve without compensation in addition to that received for their services as officers or employees of the United States.

(B)

Staff

The Secretary shall supply the Committee with an executive secretary and provide such secretarial, clerical, and other services as the Secretary determines to be necessary to enable the Advisory Committee to conduct its business.

(6)

Permanent committee

Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act ( 5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the advisory committee.

(e)

Evaluations and research

(1)

Evaluations of programs and activities carried out under this title

For the purpose of improving the management and effectiveness of the programs and activities carried out under this title, the Secretary shall provide for the continuing evaluation, by an independent entity, of the programs and activities, including activities carried out under subsection (a)(3)(C). Such evaluations shall address—

(A)

the general effectiveness of such programs and activities in relation to their cost, including the extent to which the programs and activities—

(i)

improve the skill and employment competencies of participants in comparison to comparably situated individuals who did not participate in such programs and activities; and

(ii)

to the extent feasible, increase the level of total employment and recognized postsecondary credential attainment over the level that would have existed in the absence of such programs and activities;

(B)

the impact of the programs and activities for the participants, sponsors, and employers;

(C)

the return on investment of Federal funding for the programs and activities;

(D)

the longitudinal outcomes for participants in the programs and activities; and

(E)

the impact of specific policies on the general effectiveness of such programs and activities.

(2)

Research

The Secretary may conduct, through an independent entity, research on best practices in registered apprenticeship programs and pre-apprenticeship programs and other issues relating to such programs.

(3)

Techniques

Evaluations and research conducted under this subsection shall utilize appropriate methodology and research designs.

(4)

Reports

The independent entity carrying out the evaluations described in paragraph (1) or research described in paragraph (2) shall prepare and submit to the Secretary a draft report and a final report containing the results of the evaluations or research, respectively, and including policy recommendations. The draft and final reports shall be made available for public inspection.

(5)

Reports to Congress

Not later than 60 days after the completion of such final report, the Secretary shall transmit the final report 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.

(6)

Public access

(A)

Public access procedure

The Secretary shall develop a mechanism to make research and curricula developed under this title publically available in a timely manner.

(B)

Curriculum

An eligible entity that develops a curriculum under this title shall make the curriculum available to the Secretary. Using the mechanism established under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall make such curriculum accessible to providers of pre-apprenticeship programs and to the public.

(f)

Reservation

The Secretary may reserve not more than 5 percent of the funds appropriated under subsection (g) for each fiscal year for Federal administration and management, technical assistance, and evaluation and research activities.

(g)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015 and each subsequent fiscal year.

102.

Promoting integration with postsecondary education

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Consortium

The term consortium means the Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium established under subsection (b)(1).

(2)

Secretaries

The term Secretaries means the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Administrator, working jointly with the Secretary of Education, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education.

(b)

Consortium with 2- and 4-Year postsecondary educational institutions

(1)

Establishment

The Secretaries shall establish and maintain a voluntary Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium. The Consortium shall consist of the sponsors carrying out registered apprenticeship programs, 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institutions, and organizations that represent such programs or institutions, that agree to meet certain criteria in order to support the purposes described in paragraph (2).

(2)

Purposes

The Consortium shall support the purposes of—

(A)

promoting stronger connections between the registered apprenticeship programs involved and participating 2- and 4-year postsecondary educational institutions;

(B)

promoting the translation of experience in a registered apprenticeship program to academic credit at participating 2- and 4-year postsecondary educational institutions;

(C)

facilitating the enrollment of an individual who has completed a registered apprenticeship program (referred to in this section as an apprentice) at a participating 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institution for the purpose of attaining academic credit toward an associate’s or more advanced degree;

(D)

advancing the attainment of associate’s and more advanced degrees by apprentices;

(E)

promoting the attainment of recognized postsecondary credentials with value in the labor market; and

(F)

expanding awareness about the value of registered apprenticeship programs as a postsecondary education option.

(3)

Participant requirements

The Secretaries shall establish criteria that any interested 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institution or sponsor shall meet in order to participate in the Consortium, which criteria shall include, at a minimum—

(A)

for a 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institution—

(i)

agreement to recognize the academic credit (as assessed under subparagraph (B)(i)) earned by an apprentice for, and the assessment of the apprentice’s learning in, a registered apprenticeship program at another participating institution;

(ii)

agreement to develop a formal articulation agreement with a participating sponsor of a registered apprenticeship program, other than a 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institution; and

(iii)

agreement to provide certain information, as determined by the Secretaries, to the Consortium; and

(B)

for a sponsor—

(i)

agreement to participate in third-party evaluations of the quality and rigor of the program offerings in order to determine the value of academic credit for learning during a registered apprenticeship program;

(ii)

agreement to develop a formal articulation agreement with a participating 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institution; and

(iii)

agreement to provide certain information, as determined by the Secretaries, to the Consortium.

(4)

Memorandum of understanding

(A)

In general

In order to participate in the Consortium, interested 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institutions and sponsors shall agree to meet certain conditions determined by the Secretaries.

(B)

Conditions

Such conditions shall address, at a minimum—

(i)

how learning during a registered apprenticeship program, including related instruction and on-the-job training, will be assessed for academic credit;

(ii)

how programs and procedures, especially those related to admissions, credit transfer, and recognition of such learning will be structured to support accessibility for apprentices;

(iii)

how the structure and scheduling of courses will be developed in a way that supports the matriculation of apprentices; and

(iv)

how residency requirements will be modified to support the transferability of credit earned by apprentices.

(5)

Publicly available information

The Secretaries shall maintain a publicly accessible website identifying, at a minimum—

(A)

the participating members of the Consortium in each State, including those with established articulation agreements;

(B)

a model for articulation agreements, and copies of some exemplary articulation agreements for illustrative purposes; and

(C)

such other information as the Secretaries determine to be necessary to promote awareness of the Consortium and its members.

(6)

Advisory committee

(A)

Establishment

The Secretaries shall establish an advisory committee for the Consortium.

(B)

Composition

The advisory committee shall be composed of members appointed by the Secretaries, consisting of—

(i)

representatives of 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institutions;

(ii)

representatives of sponsors; and

(iii)

a representative from the Advisory Committee described in section 101(d).

(C)

Term

Members of the advisory committee shall serve for a term of 2 years.

(D)

Duties

Such advisory committee shall seek input from organizations and experts representing industry, labor, and postsecondary education, and shall make recommendations to the Consortium and the Secretary regarding actions necessary to achieve the objectives of this subsection.

(E)

Travel expenses

The members of the advisory 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 advisory committee.

(F)

Permanent committee

Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the advisory committee.

(7)

Use of funds

(A)

Administrative

The Secretaries shall use 30 percent of the funds appropriated under subsection (c) to establish and maintain the Consortium and the website referred to in paragraph (5), to support the advisory committee referred to in paragraph (6), and for technical assistance, evaluation, and research activities.

(B)

For program participants

The Secretaries shall use 70 percent of the appropriated funds to carry out, directly or by grant or contract with an eligible entity, activities consisting of—

(i)

providing funding to Consortium participants to support the development of articulation agreements with other Consortium participants;

(ii)

providing funding to the Consortium to support the assessment of learning during a registered apprenticeship program, for academic credit;

(iii)

providing funding to the Consortium to support third-party assessments of the quality and rigor of program offerings, referred to in paragraph (3)(B)(i);

(iv)

providing curriculum development, for participating institutions and sponsors; and

(v)

carrying out other purposes that will help participating 2- and 4-year postsecondary educational institutions and sponsors meet the requirements of paragraphs (3) and (4).

(C)

Eligible entities

To be eligible to receive a grant or contract under subparagraph (B), an entity shall be a partnership comprised of—

(i)

at least one 2- or 4-year postsecondary educational institution participating in the Consortium; and

(ii)

at least one sponsor of a registered apprenticeship program participating in the Consortium.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

Fiscal year 2015

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2015.

(2)

Subsequent fiscal years

(A)

Authorization

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section for each fiscal year subsequent to fiscal year 2015 the amount determined under subparagraph (B) for the fiscal year involved.

(B)

Adjustment for inflation

The amount referred to in subparagraph (A) for a fiscal year shall be determined by multiplying—

(i)

the amount authorized under this subsection for the preceding fiscal year; by

(ii)

the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers during the annual interval immediately preceding the date on which the determination is made.

II

Program development and enhancement

201.

Expanding registered apprenticeship programs

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall provide payments of assistance for eligible sponsors of new (as of the date of submission of an application under subsection (b)) registered apprenticeship programs, or for sponsors of existing joint labor-management registered apprenticeship programs that add employers as new (as of such date) partners.

(b)

Applications

To be eligible to receive payments under this section for a registered apprenticeship program, a sponsor shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including information on how the activities carried out under the grant would enhance and expand the registered apprenticeship system, such as extending registered apprentice programs into new industries and occupations, and including information demonstrating that, as of the date the sponsor submitted an application under this section—

(1)

for a new registered apprenticeship program, the program received recognition as a registered apprenticeship program within the 36 months preceding that date;

(2)

the sponsor offered jobs that lead to economic self-sufficiency, as determined by a local workforce investment board established under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2832 ) located in the same local workforce investment area (as designated under section 116 of such Act (29 U.S.C. 2831));

(3)

the sponsor has demonstrated success in enrolling, instructing, advancing, and graduating individuals in the relevant registered apprenticeship program, and in the employment of such individuals after completion of the program; and

(4)

the sponsor had not received a payment under subsection (d).

(c)

Use of funds

In providing assistance under this section, the Secretary shall arrange to provide payments for eligible sponsors, as funds are available under this section. Funds made available through such a payment shall be used to reimburse an eligible sponsor for the allowable costs (as determined by the Secretary) of operating the registered apprenticeship program involved. The maximum total payment to any one sponsor may not exceed $5,000 or 50 percent of the allowable costs of operating the program.

(d)

Disbursement through local boards

The Secretary shall enter into arrangements with the local workforce investment boards described in subsection (b)(2) to provide the payments to the eligible sponsors.

(e)

Evaluations

Sponsors receiving grants under this section shall, to the extent practicable, cooperate with the Secretary in the conduct of evaluations of the activities carried out under this section.

(f)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2015 and each subsequent fiscal year.

(2)

Reservation

The Secretary may reserve 5 percent of the amount appropriated under paragraph (1) for a fiscal year for distribution to the local workforce investment boards, to pay for the costs of the boards associated with making determinations under subsection (b)(2) and disbursements under subsection (d), and as funds remain available, other costs of Federal administration and management, technical assistance, research and evaluation under this section.

III

Conforming amendments

301.

Amendments

(a)

References

(1)

Section 3(7) is amended by striking section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2801 ) and inserting section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 1002 ) .

(2)

Section 101 is amended—

(A)

in subsection (b)—

(i)

in paragraph (3)(B)(iv), by striking State or local workforce investment board (established under subtitle B of title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2811 et seq.)) and inserting State or local workforce development board (established under subtitle A of title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act); and

(ii)

in paragraph (7)(A), by striking performance measures described in section 136(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2871(c) ) for the local workforce investment area (designated under section 116 of such Act ( 29 U.S.C. 2831 )) and inserting (before July 1, 2016) performance measures described in section 136(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2871(c) ) for the local workforce investment area (designated under section 116 of such Act ( 29 U.S.C. 2831 )) or (after June 30, 2016) performance accountability measures described in section 116(c) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for the local workforce development area (meaning a local area, as defined in section 3 of such Act); and

(B)

in subsection (c)—

(i)

in paragraph (1)—

(I)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking State and local workforce investment boards and inserting State and local workforce development boards;

(II)

in subparagraph (C), by striking section 134(d)(4) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2864(d)(4) ) and inserting section 134(c)(3) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act ; and

(III)

in subparagraph (D), by striking performance measures under section 136 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2871 ) and inserting (before July 1, 2016) performance measures under section 136 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2871 ) or (after June 30, 2016) performance accountability measures under section 116 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act ; and

(ii)

in paragraph (2), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking section 121 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2841 ) and inserting section 121 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act .

(3)

Section 201 is amended—

(A)

in subsection (b)(2), by striking local workforce investment board established under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2832 ) located in the same local workforce investment area (as designated under section 116 of such Act (29 U.S.C. 2831)) and inserting local workforce development board (meaning a local board, as defined in section 3 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) located in the same local workforce development area (meaning a local area, as defined in that section 3); and

(B)

in subsections (d) and (f)(2), by striking local workforce investment boards and inserting local workforce development boards.

(b)

Effective date

This section takes effect on July 1, 2015.