Introduced in Senate (10/01/1991)
High Skills, Competitive Workforce Act of 1991 - Title I: Findings and National Policy - Sets forth findings and purposes of this Act.
Makes national policy declarations involving: (1) Federal encouragement of a voluntary system of educational and occupational standards of proficiency to be used in design and evaluation of worker training programs; (2) increased attention and resources to provide adequate educational resources to students of all backgrounds, school-to-work transition programs, and adult education and training; (3) techical assistance and diagnostic services for employers and labor unions to implement changes to high performance forms of work organization; (4) workforce training, education, and other activities emphasizing increasing education, skills, and direct authority and autonomy of front-line workers; (5) the Federal role as a guide and catalyst, providing incentives, establishing broad strategic goals, sponsoring research and pilot projects, disseminating information and knowledge, and simplifying and coordinating existing Federal resources; and (6) the private sector lead role and the involvement of business, labor, educational institutions, State and local governments, and community organizations. Sets forth nondiscrimination provisions and prohibitions against State use of funds under this Act to attract existing businesses to relocate from another State.
Title II: Standards of Excellence in Education and Training - Establishes a National Board for Professional and Technical Standards (the National Board).
Directs the National Board to establish advisory committees for each major industry and for major occupations that involve more than one industry.
Requires the National Board: (1) by December 1, 1993, to have identified at least 20 occupational categories and developed recommendations for occupational standards, curricula, and certifications for such occupations; and (2) develop a program to ensure that standards, curricula, and certifications for all remaining identified occupational categories are completed by January 1, 2000.
Requires that such developed occupational proficiency standards be applied so that their attainment is likely to meet requirements for transferable credit and enable students to continue their education. Requires that such developed occupational standards, curricula, and certification systems for an industry or occupation be made available for voluntary use by postsecondary education institutions offering professional and technical education, labor organizations, trade and technical associations, employers providing formalized training, and other organizations.
Authorizes appropriations for the National Board and the industry committees and their development of professional and technical standards for occupational training.
Amends the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to make a national declaration of policy with respect to encouraging and promoting research relative to internationally competitive standards in academic achievement.
Includes among priority resource and development needs, for which the Office of Educational Research and Improvement is to concentrate its resources under GEPA: (1) research to develop a system of academic achievement and proficiency standards in specific subjects at appropriate age/grade levels; (2) research to develop curricula to facilitate academic achievement in specific subjects; and (3) development of multiple assessment tools, such as assessments of student performance, proficiency, projects, and portfolios of work in and across specific subject areas.
Authorizes the Secretary of Education to award grants under GEPA for pilot projects to design, develop, and evaluate State or multi-State assessment systems for elementary, middle, and high school students, leading to an assessment system to assist both educators and policymakers to improve instruction and learning. Sets forth requirements for such pilot projects, including wide dissemination of evaluation findings. Authorizes appropriations.
Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to add to requirements for student aid program participation agreements that the higher education institution certify that it will release to the public information (confirmed by independent audit) concerning each program it offers, including number of students enrolled, costs to students, characteristics of students participating, student completion rate, and other outcomes, including, where appropriate, job placement rate and employment status of graduates for the two years following program completion.
Title III: School-to-Work Transition - Subtitle A: Career Preparation - Directs the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to award grants for career preparation demonstration programs (to the extent appropriations are available). Requires such career preparation programs to: (1) involve students in grades seven through ten who are prospective program participants, through career awareness and counseling programs; (2) give students in grades 11 and 12 the opportunity to voluntarily enter into such programs that integrate academic and workplace instruction leading to a high school diploma, community college degree, or occupational certificate of mastery; (3) if the program is for two years, require participants to receive in-school training in a high school, vocational educational institution, Youth Opportunity Center, or alternative State-approved institution; and (4) if the program is for three or four years, require in-school training for the first two years in a high school, vocational educational institution, or Youth Opportunity Center, and for the third or fourth years in a community college, technology college, vocational educational institution, or other State-approved institution. Requires maximum flexibility to be afforded to participants to transfer from career preparation to a conventional academic program or from one field to another. Requires coordination with the Regional Employment and Training Board. Directs the Secretary of Labor to designate a wide variety of occupations for such grants, but prohibits such awards for occupations with existing registered apprenticeship programs. Sets forth requirements for eligible entities, applications, and regional distribution. Requires priority consideration for applications approved by the appropriate Regional Employment and Training Board that include specified assurances. Directs the Secretary of Labor, by January 15, 1996, to: (1) conduct a comprehensive evaluation of such career preparation demonstration program; and (2) report, with recommendations, to specified congressional committees. Authorizes appropriations.
Directs the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Director of the National Science Foundation, to make grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for career information materials, including videos and software. Requires such materials to be designed to convey to students in grades seven through 12 an awareness and realistic understanding of a wide variety of career options, utilizing advanced educational technologies. Sets forth requirements for eligible entities and applications. Requires the Secretary of Education to provide such developed career information materials to all States and encourage their use in programs in all school districts. Requires career awareness programs to also include work site trips, career days, workshops, and demonstrations. Authorizes appropriations.
Subtitle B: Community Youth Employment Compacts - Directs the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to award incentive grants to establish collaborative public-private Community Youth Employment Compacts (to the extent appropriations are available). Requires such Compacts to: (1) organize the community's youth labor market; and (2) provide youth who are attending high school or alternative education programs with job coaching services and access to private sector work experience and jobs upon graduation. Requires promulgation of program guidelines and criteria for equitable distribution of grants. Sets forth requirements for eligible entities, applications, uses of grants, individual participants, and State and local contributions. Authorizes appropriations.
Subtitle C: Youth Opportunity Centers - Directs the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to award grants to States to provide incentives to local communities to establish Youth Opportunity Centers (to the extent appropriations are available). Requires such Centers to provide comprehensive alternative education and school-to-work transition services to high school dropouts under age 21. Requires promulgation of guidelines for such Centers and criteria for equitable distribution of grants. Sets forth requirements for State applications, uses of grants, eligible entities, individual participants, services to participants, contracts for provision of services, and administrative procedures. Allows waivers of certain other Federal program requirements, under specified conditions. Authorizes appropriations.
Title IV: High Performance Work Organization - Directs the Secretary of Labor to award grants for encouraging adoption and utilization of high performance forms of work organization to stimulate high productivity and quality (to the extent appropriations are available). Sets forth requirements for eligible entities, use of grants, grant terms and non-Federal share. Requires priority consideration for applications emphasizing small businesses and involving State economic development agencies and employer, trade, or industry associations. Authorizes appropriations.
Title V: High Skills Training Consortia - High Skills Training Consortium Act of 1991 - Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to: (1) make planning grants to companies or trade associations to plan for establishment of high skills training consortia of companies operating within the same industry or utilizing similar technologies; and (2) pay up to 50 percent of start-up grants to such newly established consortia to pay their initial organization costs. Requires priority consideration for consortia which: (1) emphasize training for participation in high performance work organization; (2) include employees and their representatives in design and implementation of training programs; (3) encourage membership of firms that are not technologically advanced; and (4) provide incentives for participation by small businesses. Sets forth requirements for consortia, programs, and shared investment in training. Sets forth provisions relating to application of antitrust laws, antitrust limitation on recovery, and antitrust attorney's fees. Sets forth requirements for high skills training consortia disclosure to the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. Authorizes appropriations.
Title VI: State and Regional Employment and Training Systems - Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to award start-up grants to States to establish statewide systems to provide coordinated employment and training services. Sets forth requirements for applications and uses of funds. Requires a State to use grant funds for specified activities, and also for establishing regional employment and training boards to coordinate delivery of all employment and training services in regional labor market areas (including services delivered through Youth Opportunity Centers, provision of labor market information, job placement services, job counseling, and skill training). Sets forth requirements for composition of such boards, strategic plans, board review and approval of applications for grants and loans from a High Skills Training Trust Fund, and annual independent evaluation of board activities. Authorizes appropriations.
Directs the Comptroller General to conduct a study of all Federal employment and training programs, including a specified inventory and determination; and (2) report with recommendations to the appropriate congressional committees, by January 1, 1993.more » « less