Title 17. Education
Chapter 5-B. Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges
17:1874 Workforce Training Rapid Response Fund
A. It is an important responsibility of the state to promote workforce development and provide significant opportunity for business and labor to assist in the development and delivery of workforce education and workforce training policy, programs, and performance standards. Carrying out this responsibility requires the development of strategies that will upgrade the skills of our existing workforce and prepare new workers with the skills for a constantly changing economy. Institutions of higher education play a vital role in providing an education that will augment workforce development, and the legislature hereby declares its intent to provide a mechanism to provide supplemental funding for workforce training. The entity to manage and control the Workforce Training Rapid Response Fund shall be the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, hereinafter referred to as “the board”.
B. (1) There is hereby created in the state treasury, as a special fund, the Workforce Training Rapid Response Fund, hereinafter referred to as the “fund”, which will supplement the cost of high-demand workforce training programs in order to fill urgent market needs, as determined by economic and employment projections.
(2) Monies in the fund shall be invested in the same manner as monies in the general fund. Interest earned on investment of monies in the fund shall be credited to the fund. Unexpended and unencumbered monies in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the fund.
(3) The state treasurer is directed to deposit into the fund at the beginning of each fiscal year an amount sufficient to bring the unencumbered balance in the fund to ten million dollars.
(4) Money from other sources, such as donations, appropriations, or dedications, may be deposited in and credited to the fund. The unencumbered fund balance provided for in Paragraph (3) of this Subsection shall not include monies deposited into the fund pursuant to this Paragraph.
(5) Monies in the fund shall be appropriated, administered, and used solely as provided in Subsection C of this Section.
C. (1) Monies in the fund shall be appropriated to the board and used in accordance with a strategic plan to be developed as provided in this Subsection exclusively for workforce education which shall assist an individual in his ability to function as an adequate employee in a workplace, including education directed at refining or developing literacy or other basic education skills; programs directed at lifelong learning or continuing education; job readiness training; vocational, technical, or occupation education; worker or workplace education; articulated career path programs and constituent courses of such programs that lead to initial or continuing licensure, certification, or associate degree level accreditation; and other education programs whose purpose is to assist citizens to improve their employment opportunities.
(2) The board is hereby authorized to receive the appropriations for the exclusive purpose of workforce education in accordance with the provisions of this Section.
(3) The executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development, the commissioner of higher education, the chairman of the Workforce Investment Council, and the chief executive officer of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, collectively, shall approve a strategic plan that provides direction to the board regarding the expenditure of funds appropriated from the fund. The strategic plan shall be based on the following:
(a) Labor market information.
(b) Occupational forecast data.
(c) Business and industry input.
(d) Workforce education program costs.
(e) The current and anticipated workforce demands of business and industry on a regional basis.
(f) The potential economic impact of addressing such workforce demands.
(g) Available resources, such as facilities, curricula, and instructors.
(h) Regional needs and priorities, including geographic regions and regional economies.
(i) The anticipated time frame for establishing or expanding educational or training programs to address such workforce demands.
(j) The potential participants available to enter such educational or training programs.
(k) Related workforce considerations.
(4) Funding from monies deposited into the fund pursuant to Paragraph (B)(4) of this Section shall be distributed by the board only upon the board’s receipt of certification by the public postsecondary education board on behalf of the receiving public postsecondary institution that a match of no less than twenty-five percent of the amount of funding to be distributed to that institution from monies deposited into the fund pursuant to Paragraph (B)(4) of this Section has been guaranteed by a private entity. Match certification shall be reported to the executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development, the commissioner of higher education, the chairman of the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council, and the chief executive officer of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System within thirty days of receipt of certification from the education board. The certification shall detail the type of private match to be provided, which may include cash, in-kind donations of technology, personnel, construction materials, facility modification, or tangible property, internships, scholarships, sponsorship of staff or faculty, or faculty endowment. For any in-kind donation greater than one hundred thousand dollars, the certification shall include a determination of the value of the donation by an independent third party. Nothing in this Paragraph shall be construed to require the legislature to make any additional appropriations to the fund as authorized by Paragraph (B)(4) of this Section based on the availability of a private match.
(5) The executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development, and the chief executive officer of the system, collectively, shall monitor whether the funds are being used in accordance with the strategic plan and the effectiveness of the board’s workforce development efforts and report these findings to the Board of Regents on an annual basis.
D. The fund is in addition to, and separate from, any monies allocated to the institutions under the management and control of the board or any other postsecondary education board. The availability of the fund shall not in any way substitute, limit, or otherwise affect the allocation of any funds otherwise available to those institutions under state or federal laws.
E. The executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development, and the chief executive officer of the board annually shall report to the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations and the House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations and such committees shall have oversight of the use of monies in the fund.
Added by Acts 2008, No. 890, § 1, eff. July 9, 2008. Amended by Acts 2010, No. 861, § 8; Acts 2015, No. 385, § 1.