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Workforce Board

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Governor's Workforce Investment Board

Executive Committee Meeting

July 9, 2002

Committee Members Present:Chair Haley Beaudry, Verdell Jackson, Wendy Keating, Chuck Olson, Gary Willis, Dick Brown, Lew Grill, Caroline Brown, Carol Brooker, Jerry Driscoll, Leroy Bingham

Committee Members Absent: Becky Erickson

Supporting Staff: Desiree Taggart, Emily Haines

Guests: Kelly Chapman, Connie Kinsey, Sue Mohr, Leslie Duffy

Chair Haley Beaudry called the meeting to order at 10:40 am.

I.  Roll Call

Roll call was taken and a quorum was established.

II.  Review Minutes

The minutes of the April 11, 2002 Executive Committee meeting were approved.

III.  Legislative & Other Issues

  • Worker Funding

Desiree Taggart explained that the Economic Development and Business Retention Committee is looking at developing mechanisms to create a worker training fund that is contains a great deal of flexibility for the employers and potential trainee. They have asked Desiree to look at tax increment financing. In this type of funding the new income taxes derived from new jobs would be diverted for training. The committee is evaluating this option. In addition, the Department of Labor and Industry is looking at the excess Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Desiree also explained that the Governor is aware of the need for an incumbent worker-training fund and is a strong supporter of this critical component of moving Montana's economy forward. 

Wendy Keating is having staff review applicable laws to make sure the Unemployment Trust Fund will  not be jeopardized and determine a safe level to draw down to. Items they are considering is that the funds would need to be diverted and the need to keep the employer schedule at its' current rate. There is already a small diversion of funds for the Wage & Hour Program and funding about 43% of local job service office budgets.

One concern area noted is that the projections for worker shortages are very bad for Montana.

Chair Haley Beaudry explained that with the regular session upcoming and the special session to begin in a few weeks, there is a great need to get draft legislation started.

Desiree Taggart went on to explain that most of the other states that use part of their Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund  or tax increment financing for incumbent worker-training started by diverting $500,000 to $700,000 the first year and three to five million each year after.

Wendy Keating explained that Montana's 12-month balance in the fund is about 158 million and that one of the reasons that Montana is not financially as bad off as some states is because we had more than just 12-months worth of funds.  Dick Brown asked about how other states are doing it. Is it a grant or a gift?

Desiree explained that some states have requirements such as:

The eligible jobs have to pay a certain wage.

Individuals must be in the job for six months.

Only primary industries are eligible (export 80%+ out of state).

Companies must enter into contract to provide for repayment if the specified criteria are not met.

Desiree explained that theEconomic Development and Business Retention Committee would present a recommendation to the Executive Committee and full board in October.  Dick Brown explained that the possibility of running a program to reemploy nurses. Desiree Taggart added that there are funds designed for training and does not preclude health care she suggested that interested parties could contact Anne Desche of the Department of Commerce. Gary Willis commented that several hospitals are looking for nurses out of Canada and that it makes more sense to hire locally.

  • DePratu Bill

Desiree explained that House Bill 469 says that the Department of Public Health and Human Services should coordinate with the Department of Labor and Industry. This enables that Governor to move Vocational Rehabilitation, Food Stamp Employment and Training and other programs in to the Department of Labor and Industry.  Wendy Keating reported on the State Agency Management Team that has been formed to address coordination efforts. She explained that it is difficult for bureaucrats to look objectively at what they are doing and not find benefits. Right now they are trying to find the benefits involved in restructuring state government. There seem to be reasons for leaving the programs where they were and just as many or more for moving them to the Department of Labor and Industry. She added that everyone was working hard to be objective and credited the Department of Public Health and Human Services for being very open to possibilities.

Desiree Taggart reiterated that these are difficult decisions since many agencies don't want to lose a program and many don't want to gain a program either. She added that the changes nationally are bringing TANF and Workforce programs together.  Wendy Keating explained that business needs and how best to meet those needs is at the heart of this issue.  Lew Grill commented that knowing if the TANF program would be incorporated into the Workforce Investment Act might be a key factor. He went on to suggest that it might be hard to argue for change when the current system just earned Montana a 2.2 million dollar bonus.

Wendy Keating explained that one of the reasons for moving TANF is to help welfare recipients learn to use the workforce system.

Leroy Bingham stated that TANF it is an employment program at its' heart and explained that some tribes that are using 477 have already integrated TANF.  Verdell Jackson suggested that putting TANF and the Workforce Investment Act together emphasizes the fact that most people want to work.  What about the people that want to work but cannot get a job because of physical or mental limitations? Is there a provision where pay can be reduced (below minimum wage) and supplemental income can be provided?  Jerry Driscoll that there are some limited provisions for this type of support.  Desiree Taggart explained that TANF is currently showing as a mandatory partner in the reauthorization.

  • One-Stop

Leroy Bingham explained that the Regulatory Committee met on July 8, 2002 and made a decision to pursue finalization of a document outlining Workforce Development Programs for Individuals and Programs for Business. He asked that the committee members review the document at their convenience and provide feedback. He also explained that the Regulatory Committee has already begun a list of changes to be made to the document. The plan is to present a finalized version for approval at the October full board meeting. Leroy further explained that the Regulatory Committee also decided to design some guiding principles for the One Stops (JobLINC Centers) in the hopes of improving and increasing the number and quality of One Stops in Montana. Staff has been asked to gather information from other states. One of the issues will be to define collocation in relation to the One Stops as well as define some other terms to provide system wide consistency.  Desiree Taggart added that Dennis Lerum, speaking from experience at the meeting on July 8th, felt that the program document could be very helpful in many applications and prompted a discussion regarding who would receive the document such as Legislators and educators.  Verdell Jackson stated that he was glad to see the document and feels that it will be very helpful.  Desiree Taggart mentioned that this would be a living document that will be updated each year.  Gary Willis added that the document would have been very helpful in the Accountability Committee meeting recently held.  The Executive Committee made comments regarding additions and changes.

According to Leroy Bingham, the Regulatory Committee decided to add a page dedicated specifically to tribal programs. He added that one of the reasons for presenting the document to the full board was to gain support from the board and apply pressure on programs to provide the information needed.

Dick Brown inquired about how the itinerant services are being provided across the state. Leroy Bingham explained that a lot of them are staffed in the specified town one day by one program and another by a different program in the same location. He added that one of the reasons for creating some guiding principles is that the Butte One Stop works so well and it seems that other sites across the state could improve as they have.

Verdell and Leroy asked Desiree to break out the state and federal funding figures separately on the budget page.

Desiree Taggart explained that one of the other intents of the document is to eliminate some of the problems with programs being questioned for closing because of assumptions that they are state funded.

Prompted by Caroline Brown, Leroy Bingham explained in general terms how the information on the reservations will be listed.

  • System Performance Indicators

Desiree Taggart explained that when the Accountability Committee met on June 21, 2002 they decided that they needed more information on performance indicators. The committee wants to find some performance indicators that are versatile across the system and could be used for marketing Montana's workforce system. They will be looking to other states for examples. Gary Willis added that the Workforce Development Programs for Individuals and Programs for Business document would have been of great assistance in their discussion. He reported that the committee did a lot of goal setting. They looked at system measurements as well as many other topics in relation to performance.  Desiree Taggart explained that one of the benefits of the committee is that it is comprised completely of private sector members. Some of the members feel strongly about sharing some of the processes that are currently being used in their companies.  Verdell Jackson stated that in areas where we are creating flexibility by removing regulations it is important to have performance indicators in place. Desiree Taggart reminded the committee that one of Governor Martz' main topics she addressed for the board was regarding system wide accountability.  Verdell Jackson suggested that the standardized tests that are used across the nation be looked at. Stating that Montana only uses the minimum required. Most regulations are directed at class size and staffing. The local communities need the flexibility to make decisions.  Desiree Taggart agreed to address the Accountability Committee with Verdells' concerns.

Chair Haley Beaudry asked Desiree what could be done to gain information on the performance indicators for the Welfare to Work program, Displace Homemakers and others.  Desiree explained that the Displaced Homemaker program does not have performance indicators in their reporting requirements. Jerry Driscoll added that the legislature requires information on the number served, jobs acquired, wages, retention, etc.  Verdell stated that when the Project Challenge Program went to the legislature they provided very detailed information, which enabled them to receive the funds they asked for. He asked Desiree to explain the federal performance indicators. She responded that the entire Workforce Investment Act has 17 indicators.

How many entered into a job

At what wage

How long was the retention

Entered employment


Wage gain/replacement

If they went into training did they get a credential?

Was it related to employment?

Jerry Driscoll said there was a problem with how the data was gathered. For some of the data they just used Montana Unemployment information, which did not track those that did not need to file taxes here. When this problem arose phone calls had to be made.

Desiree Taggart explained that the retention numbers are required to be received from Unemployment Insurance.  Jerry asked, "If Unemployment Insurance can check to see if a person has worked anywhere in the nation why can't we track them for performance indicators?"

Verdell Jackson reported that some areas track students using income tax forms.  Gary Willis explained that the Department of Revenue also tracks employment.  Desiree explained that there is no leeway in the Workforce Investment Act performance indicators. Leroy Bingham added that in one of the Indian programs they added a community benefits measurement because in one segment of the program they found some flexibility. This may be good information when building system indicators

Western Governors' Association - Policy Resolution

Desiree Taggart explained that Governor Martz was recently elected Chair of the Western Governors' Association. As Chair she can embrace three issues to tackle. One of the issues Governor Martz has chosen is Workforce Development and Education. The committee reviewed the first policy that has been created in regards to Workforce Development from the Western Governors' Association. Desiree explained that there is no action needed at this time from the board. She explained that there seems to be a lot of concern nationwide in regards to "super waivers" but a lot of thought has gone in to the policy and the push is to give the local states/communities the power.  Verdell Jackson explained that Oregon has received waivers allowing them to more flexibly spend educational funds.  Lew Grill asked how "regional and local economies" are defined for the purposes of the policy. Desiree explained that there is no hard definition.

Leroy Bingham stated concern over helping only those that are most in need. He added that some areas are writing and running multiple programs as one, which enables better and increased service. Leroy reported tripling the services provided by combining programs and that this was done without increasing funds.

  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families - Performance Bonus for

Job Entry

          Desiree Taggart explained that Gail Gray who sits on the Regulatory Committee explained at the July 8, 2002 meeting about the 2.2 million dollars in bonuses that Montana received. Gail will present information at the full board meeting on July 16, 2002. The issues may be making recommendations to the Governor regarding possible uses of the funds.  Leroy Bingham added that one of the factors allowing Montana to receive the bonus funds was that Montana ranked number one in the nation for welfare recipients that entered employment.  Chair Haley Beaudry added that one of the issues would be to figure out what the board could do.

IV.  Other Business


V.  Public Comment

VI.  Establish Meeting Date

October 3, 2002

VII.  Adjourn

Chair Haley Beaudry adjourned the meeting at 1:50 p.m.

Next full board meeting (After July 16th) will be in January. navigation footer
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