The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) California’s economy is being challenged by competition from other states and overseas. In order to meet this challenge, California’s employers, workers, labor organizations, and government need to invest in a skilled and productive workforce, and in developing the skills of frontline workers. For purposes of this section, “frontline worker” means a worker who directly produces or delivers goods or services.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a strategically designed employment training program to promote a healthy labor market in a growing, competitive economy that shall fund only projects that meet
the following criteria:
(1) Foster creation of high-wage, high-skilled jobs, or foster retention of high-wage, high-skilled jobs in manufacturing and other industries that are threatened by out-of-state and global competition, including, but not limited to, those industries in which targeted training resources for California’s small and medium-sized business suppliers will increase the state’s competitiveness to secure federal, private sector, and other nonstate funds. In addition, provide for retraining contracts in companies that make a monetary or in-kind contribution to the funded training enhancements.
(2) Encourage industry-based investment in human resources development that promotes the competitiveness of California industry through productivity and product quality enhancements.
(3) Result in secure jobs for
those who successfully complete training. All training shall be customized to the specific requirements of one or more employers or a discrete industry and shall include general skills that trainees can use in the future.
(4) Supplement, rather than displace, funds available through existing programs conducted by employers and government-funded training programs, such as the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 2801 et seq.), the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act (Public Law 98-524), CalWORKs (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code), the Enterprise Zone Act (Chapter 12.8 (commencing with Section 7070) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code), and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.), the California Community Colleges Economic Development Program, or apportionment funds allocated to the community colleges, regional
occupational centers and programs, or other local educational agencies. In addition, it is further the intention of the Legislature that programs developed pursuant to this chapter shall not replace, parallel, supplant, compete with, or duplicate in any way already existing approved apprenticeship programs.
(b) The Employment Training Panel, in funding projects that meet the requirements of subdivision (a), shall give funding priority to those projects that best meet the following goals:
(1) Result in the growth of the California economy by stimulating exports from the state and the production of goods and services that would otherwise be imported from outside the state.
(2) Train new employees of firms locating or expanding in the state that provide high-skilled, high-wage jobs and are committed to an ongoing
investment in the training of frontline workers.
(3) Develop workers with skills that prepare them for the challenges of a high performance workplace of the future.
(4) Train workers who have been displaced, have received notification of impending layoff, or are subject to displacement, because of a plant closure, workforce reduction, changes in technology, or significantly increasing levels of international and out-of-state competition.
(5) Are jointly developed by business management and worker representatives.
(6) Develop career ladders for workers.
(7) Promote the retention and expansion of the state’s manufacturing workforce.
(c) The program established through this chapter is to be coordinated with all existing employment training programs and economic development programs, including, but not limited to, programs such as the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 2801 et seq.), the California Community Colleges, the regional occupational programs, vocational education programs, joint labor-management training programs, and related programs under the Employment Development Department and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.