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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 8, 2014 02:53 PM
From: Representative W. Curtis Thomas
To: All House members
Subject: Expansion of the Keystone Works Program
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation amending the Workforce Development Act to expand eligibility to include anyone who is unemployed or collecting unemployment compensation, along with those enrolled in a two-year or four-year institution of higher education. The definition also is expanded to include veterans.

In addition to expanding eligibility, the legislation is intended to better respond to the job training needs of employers by amending the Keystone Works Program, requiring the Department of Labor and Industry to provide enhanced notification of the program and better match eligible businesses with participants. The department will provide information and materials to businesses through its website. The legislation prioritizes applicants who are currently receiving unemployment compensation and those who have exhausted the benefit.

A training plan for participants is established which includes a scope of work. Businesses are not required to accept all applicants offered by the department in order to participate. If a business decides to terminate its involvement in the program, they are required to provided participants 7-days’ notice.

In addition to creating an advisory committee to help the department administer the program, the legislation contains a reporting requirement to better track program achievements and outcomes.

Approved businesses shall be eligible for reimbursement of up to 80% of a participant’s wages, and businesses are not prohibited from applying for job creation tax credits from other federal or state sources.

Funding to the program is not to exceed $10,000,000 and shall be derived from existing federal sources, by way of applications through the Workforce Investment Act, the Industrial Partnerships Program and the Dislocated Worker Program.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation. Thank you.

Introduced as HB2205