Workforce development, or the all-encompassing approach to improving access to and readiness for employment among workers, is consistently a hot topic in state legislatures, with some facet of the issue garnering attention each year. In 2017 and 2018, trends in workforce development legislation included apprenticeship programs, data sharing and systems, job services for special populations and tax incentives. A look at workforce development enactments across both years shows that states have continued to play a pivotal role in helping ensure their workforces are prepared to meet the demands of the modern job market.
Read on to learn more about some of these enactments and to see examples of legislation in each trend category for 2017 and 2018.
Youth Apprenticeships, Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training
CO 2017 SB 292
- Legislatures appropriated $4 million for workers in the Colorado Works Subsidized Training and Employment Program to assist 720 workers in the state in job-placement in permanent positions through hands-on employment opportunities with subsidized wages, including apprenticeships, on-the-job training, transitional jobs and paid internships.
IA 2018 HB 2458
- The Future Ready Iowa Act was created to strengthen workforce development by establishing a variety of related programs, including a registered apprenticeship development program, volunteer mentoring program, summer youth intern program, and summer postsecondary courses for high school students that are aligned with high-demand career pathways. Overall, the legislation's goal is to help equip at least 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce with training or education beyond high school by the year 2025.
IN 2018 SB 50
- This bill created the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to help bring workforce development efforts together in the state, including those stakeholders that work with apprenticeships and apprentices
MD 2017 SB 317
- The More Jobs for Marylanders Program provides a tax credit to new or existing manufacturers that create a certain number of jobs. The legislation also does a number of things related to apprenticeships including:
- Creation of an apprenticeship tax crediforfr employers allowing them to receive up to $1,000 for every apprentice they hire who is a registered apprentice and has been employed for at least seven full months
- Requires the Divisin of Workforce Development and Adult Learning to partner with other state agencies to identify opportunities to create new registered apprenticeships as well as to combine existing youth and registered apprenticeships.
- Funds schlarships of up to $2,000 per student who is enrolled in non-credit workforce development programs in state community colleges.
RI 2017 SB 826
- This bill required that the Governor’s Workforce Board and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training develop a plan to expand apprenticeships in a variety of sectors and help employers register these new apprenticeship programs.
Information and Data Sharing and Streamlining
CT 2017 HB 17-207
- Connecticut's bill codified the state’s existing longitudinal data system and governing board while also requiring the state’s labor commissioner to develop a universal intake form for persons entering job centers or workforce development board facilities. The commissioner must then use the information from the standardized intake forms for an annual report to the General Assembly, reporting on the number of people using the job center services and their related outcomes such as employment rates and average wages.
SC 2017 HB 3969
- This bill requires the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, in coordination with other government branches, to develop, implement and maintain a longitudinal data system that includes the information necessary to determine if the state’s students are college and career ready. Additionally, the legislation aims to encourage cross-agency collaboration to find out what outcomes the state’s high school students who are using the system are having.
Job Services for Special Populations
CA 2017 AB 1111
- California's bill creates a grant program to provide individuals with barriers to employment the services they need to enter, participate in and complete broader workforce preparation, training and education programs aligned with regional labor market needs. Although this legislation doesn’t mandate which populations are to be considered those facing barriers to employment, it does list a few that would be eligible to be served by grants authorized by this act, including: youths who are disconnected from the education system or employment, women seeking training or education to move into nontraditional fields of employment, dislocated workers, non-native English speakers, armed services veterans, and persons with developmental or other disabilities.
OR 2018 HB 4041
- This bill established a task force consisting of members from across state government to establish policies and strategies for increasing opportunities for competitive integrated employment of people with disabilities in state government. The task force is also tasked with evaluating Oregon’s programs related to employing people with disabilities for adequacy in outcomes and to identify any current programs that may serve as models for public and private sector employers. Click here to learn more about NCSL’s disability employment resources.
AR 2017 SB 505
- SB 505 combines tax credits in the Youth Apprenticeship Program with the state’s Youth Apprenticeship/Work-Based Learning Program. The bill allows employers to receive tax credits for each apprentice up to $2,000 or 10 percent of the apprentice’s wages, whichever is less.
IN 2017 HB 1008
- Indiana's bill provides a tax credit of either $25,000 or 50 percent of a training program’s expenses, whichever is lower, with 250 employees or less. The tax credit is capped at $2,500 per employee and can be claimed once an existing employee is able to receive an industry-level certification and an increase in pay by 5 percent or more as a result of participating in a training program.
MT 2017 HB 308
- This bill provides tax credits to employers of $750 for each apprentice employed and $1,500 for each apprentice employed who is a veteran. The tax credit is available for apprentices for up to five years and the total amount of credit a business can claim for all apprentices they employ may not exceed the taxpayer’s tax liability.