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SENATE PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT 2007-2008

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H.885

An act relating to developing consistent measurement standards for economic growth.

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

*** Workforce Education and Training ***

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 543 is amended to read:

§ 543.  WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUND; GRANT

             PROGRAMS

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(b)  Purposes.  The fund shall be used exclusively for the following two purposes:

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(2)  internships to provide work-based learning opportunities with Vermont employers for students from Vermont colleges, public and private high schools, regional technical centers, and the Community High School of Vermont, and for students who are Vermont residents attending college, high school, technical or vocational schools out of state.

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(d)  Eligible Activities.  Awards from the fund shall be made to employers and entities that offer programs that require collaboration between employees and businesses, including private, public, and nonprofit entities, institutions of higher education, technical centers, and workforce development programs.  Funding shall be for training programs and student internship programs that offer education, training, apprenticeship, mentoring, or work-based learning activities, or any combination; that employ innovative intensive student‑oriented competency-based or collaborative approaches to workforce development; and that link workforce education and economic development strategies.  Training programs or projects that demonstrate actual increased income and economic opportunity for employees and employers may be funded for more than one year.  Student internships and training programs that involve the same employer may be funded multiple times, provided that new students participate.

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(f)  Awards.  Based on guidelines set by the council, the commissioner of labor shall make awards to the following:

(1)  Training Programs.  Public, private, and nonprofit entities for existing or new innovative training programs.  There shall be a preference for programs that include training for newly created or vacant positions.  Awards may be made to programs that retrain incumbent workers.  Awards under this subdivision shall be made to programs or projects that do all the following:

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(G)  demonstrate an integrated connection between training and employment including an effort and consideration by participating employers to hire those who successfully complete a training program If employment is not guaranteed at the successful completion of the training, the applicant must demonstrate employer involvement and that the training is likely to lead to employment in fields in which there is demand for jobs.

(H)  The department shall ensure there are resources available in each quarter of the fiscal year.

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*** Workforce Development for Green Industries ***

Sec. 2.  FINDINGS; PURPOSE

(a)  The general assembly finds the following:

(1)  There is a growing global demand for products and services that will reduce the impact on the natural environment by individuals, businesses, governments, and many other entities.

(2)  There is a common international perception that Vermont has a very well‑defined green identity, a reputation developed through years of commitment to environmental integrity.

(3)  Vermont’s resources should be used to build a vibrant and strong environmental industry sector that creates high-wage jobs for Vermonters through the development and export of value‑added products and services designed to reduce our collective impact on the environment.

(4)  Vermont must create a framework that stimulates the innovation and investment necessary to expand the development of new renewable energy sources and distribution capacity.

(5)  Vermont’s economic development strategy must be designed to raise Vermont’s profile as a hub of environmental integrity, innovation, and opportunity for working Vermonters.

(b)  The purpose of this act is to effect the following:

(1)  To understand better and quantify the economic value and market opportunities and benefits of the emerging environmental technology sector in Vermont so that Vermont can derive economic value in the form of job creation, innovation, and development of technologies, products, and services that protect and enhance the environment.

(2)  To formulate a strategy for environmental technology sector workforce development and training and develop programs that promote and market that sector and create a competitive workforce equipped with the necessary skills and competencies to assure that Vermont is strategically positioned to compete effectively in environmental technology industries and the global marketplace and space.


Sec. 3.  WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN; ENVIRONMENTAL

               TECHNOLOGY SECTOR JOB TRAINING; LABOR FORCE

               ANALYSIS

(a)  For the purposes of this section:

(1)  “Environmental technology employee” means a fulltime employee primarily engaged in providing goods or delivering services in the environmental technology sector.

(2)  “Environmental technology sector” means businesses and organizations that work in or are related to at least one of the following:

(A)  Waste management, including waste collection, treatment, disposal, reduction, recycling, and remediation.

(B)  Natural resource protection and management, including water and wastewater purification and treatment, air pollution control and prevention or remediation, soil and groundwater protection or remediation, and hazardous waste control or remediation.

(C)  Energy efficiency or conservation.

(D)  Clean energy, including solar, wind, wave, hydro, geothermal, hydrogen, fuel cells, waste-to-energy, or biomass.

(E)  Any other environmental technology certified by the secretary of commerce and community development.

(b)  The commissioner of labor in collaboration with the secretary of commerce shall perform a labor force analysis using the inventory of green business developed by the agency of commerce and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  The analysis shall include the geographic distribution of existing businesses and anticipated opportunities for business recruitment in the environmental technology sector.  The analysis shall be issued in a written report to the house committee on commerce and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs no later than February 1, 2009 and shall include:

(1)  Regional profiles that identify the concentration and distribution of environmental technology opportunities in Vermont.

(2)  The skills and competencies necessary for successful employment in the environmental technology sector.

(3)  Projection of employer needs and employee skills required for the future of the environmental technology sector.

(c)  The commissioner of labor shall develop a workforce development plan relating to green building, energy efficiency, and renewable energy industries.  The plan shall be developed in consultation with the following groups:  the apprenticeship program; the building trades; the Vermont workforce development council; the association of weatherization contractors; Efficiency Vermont; Vermont Technical College; the association of general contractors; associated industries of Vermont; Vermont businesses for social responsibility; Vermont fuel dealers association; the coalition for workforce solutions; Renewable Energy Vermont; Vermont small business development centers; the  association of vocational‑technical schools; the association of adult service coordinators; Vermont green building network; the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce; the Vermont Chamber of Commerce; the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC) and the green institute for the advancement of sustainability.

* * * Employment Practices ***

Sec. 4.   21 V.S.A. § 385 is amended to read:

§ 385. ADMINISTRATION

The commissioner and the commissioner's authorized representatives have full power and authority for all the following:

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(4) To recommend and determine the amount of deductions for board, lodging, apparel, or other items or services supplied by the employer or any other conditions or circumstances as may be usual in a particular employer-employee relationship, including gratuities; provided, however, that in no case shall the total remuneration received by an employee, including wages, board, lodging, apparel, or other items or services supplied by the employer, including gratuities, be less than the minimum wage rate set forth in section 384 of this title.   No deduction may be made for the care, cleaning, or maintenance of required apparel.  No deduction for required apparel shall be made without the employee’s express written authorization and the deduction shall not:

(A)   Reduce the total remuneration received by an employee below the hourly minimum wage.

(B)  Include any administrative fees or charges.

(C)  Amend, nullify or violate the terms and conditions of any collective bargaining agreement.

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Sec. 5.  TASK FORCE; HYBRID ELECTRIC AND ALTERNATIVE

              POWERED VEHICLES

     (a)  There is hereby created a task force to develop, encourage and create opportunities to build or assemble components in Vermont for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or vehicles using other fuel sources, such as hydrogen and compressed natural gas, and to use those vehicles in Vermont and surrounding areas.

     (b)  The task force shall be comprised of the lieutenant governor, who shall chair the task force, the commissioner of public service, and the secretaries of commerce and transportation.

     (c)  The task force shall:

          (1)  identify incentives available;

          (2)  identify obstacles present; and

          (3)  recommend statutory and regulatory changes to the General Assembly and executive branch agencies to remove obstacles, facilitate the use of incentives, and to otherwise encourage these activities in Vermont.

     (d)  To implement the goals of this task force, the referenced department and the agencies, with the advice and guidance of the task force, and notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, are each authorized to:

          (1)  accept in-kind contributions and grants from manufacturers and suppliers capable of assembling, manufacturing and deploying  these components or vehicles, with the approval of the Joint Fiscal Committee;

          (2)  apply for and utilize federal funds from any source as authorized by the funding source, with the approval of the Joint Fiscal Committee;

          (3)  develop and enter into necessary alliances and protocols;

          (4)  spend a portion of their respective budgets to accomplish these objectives with the approval of the Joint Fiscal Committee;

          (5)  enter into agreements; and

          (6)  develop and implement one or more pilot projects;

     (e)  The task force may engage:

          (1)  institutions of higher education to include the Center For Transportation and the Center For Emerging Technology, both at UVM; and

          (2)  technical education centers and STEM education in Vermont secondary schools.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage.

and that upon passage, the title of the bill shall be amended to read:  “AN ACT RELATING TO WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT”



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us