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Sen. Ted W. Lieu’s job-training bill passes first Assembly policy review
June 06, 2012
Program would require annual reviews of skill shortages
SACRAMENTO – As part of an ongoing plan to help prepare workers for skilled jobs that are in demand, the California Assembly today approved a plan by Sen. Ted W. Lieu that would improve ways to funnel resources and training to better prepare workers.
“California will never have a competitive advantage making socks,” Lieu, D-Torrance, testified to the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee shortly before passage of Senate Bill 1401. “What we need to do is to focus our efforts and resources toward training workers for those areas in which we do have an advantage.”
Together with SB 1402, which passed out of the Senate last week and promises to recast and reauthorize the Economic Workforce Development program to focus on a sector strategies approach, this package of Lieu bills would help start transforming California government to focus on the state’s comparative advantages.
Lieu, chair of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and longtime advocate of more aggressive state efforts to create jobs, including the return of a unified state trade and commerce agency, said California established the California Workforce Investment Board to coordinate education, training and employment programs into an effective system that supports economic development.
As a result, there now are 49 Local Workforce Investment Boards statewide that plan and oversee local workforce investment systems. Existing law requires that the CWIB, in collaboration with specified state and local partners, develop a strategic workforce plan that’s updated at least every five years and addresses the state’s latest economic, demographic and workplace needs.
SB 1401 by Lieu will help earmark training for our future workforce needs through key requirements that would:
• Establish workforce education and training principles that are coupled with a statewide sector strategy focus for state board activities.
• Mandate the board conduct an annual skills gap analysis identifying those industries facing shortages of skilled workers or sectors with job-growth potential.
• Ensure the state workforce investment plan be organized around the adoption of sector strategies that use the state-level skills-gap analysis as a guide.
SB 1401 is supported by numerous education, labor and training groups, including the California Labor Federation, the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, the California Teachers Association, the California Workforce Association, the City and County of San Francisco, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, the Jewish Vocational Service of Los Angeles, the Jewish Vocational Services of San Francisco, John Muir Health, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the National Skills Coalition, the State Building and Construction Trades Council, the AFL-CIO and the San Francisco Foundation.
SB 1401 next faces a hearing in the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee later this month.
For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 1401, please visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.
Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor Committee and 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