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      RS 23:1514     

  

§1514.  Worker training fund; purpose; training programs; eligibility criteria; program administration

A.  Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 23:1511, there is hereby established a special account in the Employment Security Administration Fund to be known as the Incumbent Worker Training Account.  Amounts from this account shall be pledged and dedicated exclusively to fund training for businesses operating in Louisiana that incur a state unemployment insurance tax liability.  This program shall be known as the Incumbent Worker Training Program.  The purpose of this program is to upgrade job skills through training.  Additional emphasis shall be placed on preventing job loss caused by obsolete skills, technological change, or national or global competition; retaining jobs; and creating jobs in labor demand occupations.

B.  Incumbent Worker Training Account funds shall be used only for the following types of training:

(1)  Customized training.  Designed to meet the special need and skill requirements of business and industry, customized training programs may include specialized curriculums, instructional materials, training delivery methods, and training locations.  Customized training may also include standardized courses.

(2)  Small business employee training.  This type of training is individual standardized (off-the-shelf) training and shall be available to businesses having fifty or fewer employees.

(3)  Preemployment training.  This type of training shall be provided for nonincumbent workers for expanding businesses.  This training may include screening, skills assessment, testing, remediation, and occupational and technical training.

C.  An applicant is eligible to participate in the Incumbent Worker Training Program if it meets the following criteria:

(1)  Is an individual employer or a consortium made up of two or more eligible employers that meets all of the following requirements:

(a)  Has been operating in Louisiana for not less than three years.

(b)  Is contributing to the Incumbent Worker Training Account for which liability is incurred under this Chapter.

(c)  Is current on the payment of its state unemployment taxes.

(2)  Is a labor or community-based organization, or a consortium made up of any combination of educational institutions, eligible individual employers, or labor or community-based organizations, that seek to provide customized or preemployment training for workers who meet all of the following:

(a)  Are in a demand occupation.

(b)  Are incumbent to an industry.

(c)  Were attached to a contributing employer within the last twelve months.

(d)  Are not receiving unemployment insurance benefits at the time of training.

D.(1)(a)  Training shall be done by a third-party training provider selected by the applicants. The training provider selected by an applicant must have a demonstrated history of successful training through its replacement, retention, and satisfaction rates; show collaboration with regard to industry in the development of customized training; and use current industry standards as the basis for programs utilized to train individuals in a targeted industry. Training may be provided by the applicant's employees under limited circumstances as permitted by duly promulgated rules and regulations. Third-party training providers must have a demonstrated history of successful training. No third-party training provider may be an entity whose principal owner is an immediate family member, as defined by the Code of Governmental Ethics, of an individual in a management position with the applicant who has the authority to make decisions regarding a training grant or a business related to the applicant, such as a parent, subsidiary, or partner of the applicant.

(b)  Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a Louisiana college or university from acting as a third-party training provider.

(c)  Subject to the provisions of Subparagraph (d) of this Paragraph, a Louisiana college or university may subcontract with an out-of-state college or university to provide the actual training pursuant to this Section provided the training takes place on the campus of a Louisiana college or university or on a Louisiana job site.

(d)(i)  Prior to entering into an agreement with an out-of-state college or university as provided for in Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph, the Louisiana college or university shall make an inquiry, in writing, to the commissioner of higher education to determine if such third-party training already exists at another Louisiana college or university.

(ii)  If the commissioner of higher education advises the inquiring Louisiana college or university within fifteen days that another Louisiana college or university provides such third-party training, the inquiring college or university may contract with the college or university that provides such third-party training.

(iii)  If the commissioner of higher education fails to advise the inquiring Louisiana college or university within fifteen days that another Louisiana college or university provides such third-party training, the inquiring college or university may contract with an out-of-state college or university to provide the actual training as provided for in Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.

(2)  All disbursements of funds for training shall be made to the training provider, except that payments shall be made directly to the applicant if the applicant's employees perform all training.

(3)  No single grant award may exceed ten percent of the amount appropriated to the fund by the state legislature for the program year.  For the purposes of this Section, the program year is defined as the state fiscal year.

(4)  No more than ten percent of such amounts appropriated to the fund by the state legislature shall be used for the payment of expenses incurred for the administration of this account.

(5)  The administrator may annually set aside an amount up to ten percent of the amount appropriated to the fund by the state legislature for preemployment training in any year in which the legislature appropriates funds for training equal to or exceeding those funds appropriated in the previous year to the Rapid Response Fund created by R.S. 51:2361 or to the Louisiana Economic Development Fund created by R.S. 51:2315.  All preemployment training shall require an employer matching contribution of not more than fifty percent, and job placement outcomes at wage rates commensurate with training, as determined by the administrator pursuant to duly promulgated rules and regulations.

(6)  At no time shall the outstanding contractual obligations of the account exceed the balance of the account.

(7)  Training shall, at a minimum, meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards, when applicable.

(8)  Funds awarded pursuant to this Section shall not be expended or be available for expenditure in any manner which would permit their substitution for, or a corresponding reduction in, any state or federal appropriation to any public postsecondary institution of higher education.

(9)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in order to receive monies from the Incumbent Worker Training Account to upgrade job skills, an employer or consortium of employers, except an applicant for small business employee training under Paragraph (B)(2) of this Section, shall agree to one of the following requirements:

(a)  Increase the wages of those persons who complete the training funded with such monies.

(b)  Create new jobs.

(c)  Give preference to those currently unemployed when hiring new employees.

(d)  Provide an in-kind match as a component of the training program.

(10)  Qualified applicants may not have more than one training contract in effect at any time.

(11)  The administrator shall administer the account and shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act for the administration of this Section, including the procedures for applying for funds, distribution of funds, monitoring of and auditing of training conducted with funds, reimbursement of costs, and any additional requirements he deems appropriate and necessary to carry out the provisions of this Section.

(12)  The administrator shall, not less than sixty days before the legislature convenes for its regular session, submit an annual report to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, the House and Senate committees on labor and industrial relations, and the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council.  This report shall detail the number of applications received, number of applications approved, contract obligations, funds expended, employers and training entities participating, number of persons trained, number of jobs created and retained, and training impact on wages.

(13)  The administrator shall present fiscal reports to the legislative auditor as often as the legislative auditor finds appropriate.

E.  The provisions of this Section are subject to reauthorization as provided in R.S. 23:1553(G).

Acts 1997, No. 1053, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 197, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2003, No. 516, §1; Acts 2003, No. 669, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; Acts 2007, No. 59, §1; Acts 2008, No. 743, §7, eff. July 1, 2008; Acts 2014, No. 283, §1, eff. May 28, 2014.



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