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Gov. Brown signs Sen. Ted Lieu bill to improve training, oversight for job boards statewide
October 06, 2011
SB 698 increases standards for local workforce development
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Brown today signed into law a bill by Sen. Ted W. Lieu that will help slash unemployment by improving how workers are connected to well-paying jobs.
“My bill will require the governor to establish a process by which to hold local job-training programs more accountable to higher standards and comply with strategic state plans,” Lieu said about Senate Bill 698. “In addition, only those local programs, known as Workforce Investment Boards, that are certified as high-performing would be eligible to receive any more state funds and grants.”
California established a state Workforce Investment Board and 49 local WIBs to provide oversight and coordination of many publicly funded training programs under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Since then, local workforce areas created One-Stop Centers to provide access to career information, counseling, funding for education, training and supportive services.
Existing law requires the governor to certify one local board for each local area in the state once every two years. This certification, however, must be granted as long as a local WIB meet only minimum federal requirements for performance and board composition.
Lieu, chair of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, said these federal performance measures are largely inadequate for ensuring that local WIA dollars provide the services needed to guide workers toward pathways that actually lead to a well-paying job. In addition, Lieu added, the federal certification requirements don’t hold local WIBs accountable to state policy and high state standards for system performance.
Given today’s economic environment, Lieu said it’s crucial for the governor to have greater powers outlined n SB 698 to ensure local WIB are responsive to today’s workforce training needs.
“Workers in California are facing the toughest jobs crisis in more than 50 years as we endure a recession that has shattered the job market and set a record-high unemployment rate,” Lieu said. “It is crucial for our state to ensure strong and comprehensive workforce investment systems that provide quality services and effective return on investment in terms of employment for workers hardest hit by the recession.
“This means placing higher standards on investments of California’s limited federal Workforce Investment Act dollars to ensure the best measurable outcomes.”
Lawmakers agreed, approving SB 698 on unanimous, bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly.
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial that every dollar of federal workforce funds that our state receives is invested in premium-quality employment services that connect workers with good paying jobs,” Lieu said.
SB 698 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2011.
For more, including actual bill language and a Fact Sheet on SB 698, Lieu’s Web site at the address below.
Ted W. Lieu represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu