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Strong Workforce Program   

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(a) This section only applies for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

(b) To promote the success of community college students and the career technical education programs that serve them, up to 5 percent of the funds appropriated for the program in the annual Budget Act may be allocated by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges to a community college district for statewide activities to improve and administer the program, including the facilitation of system, program, and data alignment at the state and regional levels. The chancellor's office shall consult with the California Workforce Development Board and other appropriate state agencies on the development of all statewide activities that would be implemented by the selected district to facilitate broader workforce and education system alignment. Statewide coordination activities funded out of this allocation may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

(1) State-level coordination for the development of labor market analyses pertaining to economic and industry trends and jobs projections for the purpose of supporting common regional planning efforts and the alignment of career technical education program offerings with regional labor market dynamics.

(2) Research, evaluation, and technical assistance on the use of effective local and regional policies, best practices, and model partnerships.

(3) Development and prototyping of innovative policies, practices, and coordinated services with local workforce and education partners.

(4) Participation of community college districts in existing regional coalitions and planning efforts.

(5) Cross-training local program staff.

(6) Development and maintenance of a state-level cross-system data reporting mechanism with partners formed pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) for the purpose of monitoring workforce program outcomes and performance accountability.

(7) Leveraging allocated funds with state and local partners through interagency agreements, memorandums of understanding, or other appropriate mechanisms.

(c) (1) The chancellor's office shall provide to the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst's Office its recommendations for the allocation of funds available for each consortium no later than August 30, 2016. The department shall approve the allocation plan before the release of funding. Each consortium, in consultation with local colleges, community college districts, and the chancellor's office, shall select a community college to be a fiscal agent that shall directly receive funds apportioned for the consortium in accordance with this section. The chancellor's office shall determine, for purposes of allocating funds for the consortium and its community college districts, the local unemployment rate, the region's proportion of career technical education full-time equivalent students, and proportion of projected job openings. Each of these three factors shall comprise one-third of the allocation formula. Funds may be used for regionally prioritized projects and programs and locally prioritized projects and programs that meet regional needs for career technical education and workforce development courses, programs, pathways, credentials, certificates, and degrees.

(2) Forty percent of the funds apportioned for the program shall be provided directly to the fiscal agent of the consortium for the purpose of funding regionally prioritized projects and programs that meet the needs of local and regional economies, as identified in regional plans and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) regional plans.

(3) Sixty percent of the funds apportioned for the program shall be provided directly to community college districts in the consortium. Funds apportioned directly to a community college district shall be expended for the purpose of funding regionally prioritized projects and programs within the community college district that meet the needs of local and regional economies, as identified in regional plans and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) regional plans. As a condition of receiving direct funding, each community college district shall actively participate in its consortium.

(d) As a condition of receipt of funds pursuant to subdivision (c), a community college district shall comply with all of the following requirements:

(1) Be a member of a consortium.

(2) Participate in regional planning efforts established pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) and other efforts to align workforce, employment, and education services.

(3) Work with other members of the consortium to create and submit a plan to the chancellor by January 31, 2017, for inclusion in the submissions of regional plans for purposes of the program and the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128).

(4) Provide accessible performance and labor-market data that can be used by community college districts and their regional partners to support the implementation of the program and describe related efforts to align regional workforce and education programming with regional labor market needs, including, but not limited to, regional planning efforts established pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128).

(5) Certify that the use of funds will meet the intent of the program to accomplish all of the following:

(A) Increase the number of students in quality career technical education courses, programs, and pathways that will achieve successful workforce outcomes.

(B) Increase the number of quality career technical education courses, programs, and pathways that lead to successful workforce outcomes, or invest in new or emerging career technical education courses, programs, and pathways that may become operative in subsequent years and are likely to lead to successful workforce outcomes.

(C) Address recommendations from the Strong Workforce Task Force, including the recommended provision of student services related to career exploration, job readiness and job placement, and work-based learning.

(e) Funds appropriated to community college districts for the program shall supplement, not supplant, existing funding of community college career technical education programs. This subdivision shall not be interpreted to mean that a participating community college district is prohibited from eliminating or altering existing programs, but the percentage of that community college district's total full-time equivalent students enrolled in career technical education courses relative to the total full-time equivalent students enrolled in the district shall not be reduced from the percentage computed for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

(f) A consortium shall allocate funds only to community college districts.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 24, Sec. 23.)