S 1243

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1243

To require that certain Federal job training and career education programs give priority to programs that provide an industry-recognized and nationally portable credential.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 21 (legislative day, June 16), 2011

Mrs. HAGAN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To require that certain Federal job training and career education programs give priority to programs that provide an industry-recognized and nationally portable credential.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Achievement Works Act' or the `AMERICA Works Act'.

SEC. 2. INDUSTRY-RECOGNIZED AND NATIONALLY PORTABLE CREDENTIALS FOR JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS.

    (a) Workforce Investment Act of 1998-

      (1) GENERAL EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES- Section 134(d)(4)(F) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864(d)(4)(F)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

          `(iv) PRIORITY FOR PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE AN INDUSTRY-RECOGNIZED AND NATIONALLY PORTABLE CREDENTIAL- In selecting and approving training services, or programs of training services, under this section, a one-stop operator and employees of a one-stop center referred to in subsection (c) shall give priority consideration to services and programs (approved by the appropriate State agency and local board in conjunction with section 122) that lead to a credential that is in demand in the local area served and listed in the registry described in section 3(b) of the AMERICA Works Act.'.

      (2) YOUTH ACTIVITIES- Section 129(c)(1)(C) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2854(c)(1)(C)) is amended--

        (A) by redesignating clauses (ii) through (iv) as clauses (iii) through (v), respectively; and

        (B) inserting after clause (i) the following:

          `(ii) training (with priority consideration given to programs that lead to a credential that is in demand in the local area served and listed in the registry described in section 3(b) of the AMERICA Works Act, if the local board determines that such programs are available and appropriate);'.

    (b) Career and Technical Education-

      (1) STATE PLAN- Section 122(c)(1)(B) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2342(c)(1)(B)) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the following: `and, with respect to programs of study leading to an industry-recognized credential or certificate, will give priority consideration to programs of study that--

          `(i) lead to an appropriate (as determined by the eligible agency) skills credential (which may be a certificate) that is in demand in the area served and listed in the registry described in section 3(b) of the AMERICA Works Act; and

          `(ii) may provide a basis for additional credentials, certificates, or degrees;'.

      (2) USE OF LOCAL FUNDS- Section 134(b) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2354(b)) is amended--

        (A) in paragraph (11), by striking `; and' and inserting a semicolon;

        (B) in paragraph (12)(B), by striking the period and inserting `; and'; and

        (C) by adding at the end the following:

      `(13) describe the career and technical education activities supporting the attainment of industry-recognized credentials or certificates, and how the eligible recipient, in selecting such activities, gave priority consideration to activities supporting in-demand registry skill credentials described in section 122(c)(1)(B)(i).'.

      (3) TECH-PREP PROGRAMS- Section 203(c)(2)(E) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2373(c)(2)(E)) is amended by striking `industry-recognized credential, a certificate,' and inserting `industry-recognized credential or certificate (such as an in-demand registry skill credential described in section 122(c)(1)(B)(i)),'.

    (c) Training Programs Under TAA- Section 236(a)(5) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2296(a)(5)) is amended by inserting after the sentence that follows subparagraph (H)(ii) the following: `In approving training programs under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall give priority consideration to programs that lead to a credential that is in demand in the local area (defined for purposes of title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.)) served by the corresponding one-stop delivery system under that title for the training programs, and that is listed in the registry described in section 3(b) of the AMERICA Works Act.'.

SEC. 3. SKILL CREDENTIAL REGISTRY.

    (a) Definitions- In this section:

      (1) COVERED PROVISION- The term `covered provision' means any of sections 129 and 134 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2854, 2864), section 122(c)(1)(B) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2342(c)(1)(B)), and section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2296).

      (2) INDUSTRY-RECOGNIZED- The term `industry-recognized', used with respect to a credential, means a credential that--

        (A) is sought or accepted by companies within the industry sector involved as recognized, preferred, or required for recruitment, screening, or hiring; and

        (B) is endorsed by a nationally recognized trade association or organization representing a significant part of the industry sector.

      (3) NATIONALLY PORTABLE- The term `nationally portable', used with respect to a credential, means a credential that is sought or accepted by companies within the industry sector involved, across multiple States, as recognized, preferred, or required for recruitment, screening, or hiring.

      (4) WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES- The term `workforce investment activities' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801).

    (b) Registry-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor (referred to in this section as the `Secretary') shall create a registry of skill credentials (which may be certificates), for purposes of enabling programs that lead to such a credential to receive priority under a covered provision.

      (2) REGISTRY- The Secretary shall--

        (A) list a credential in the registry if the credential is--

          (i) required by Federal law for an occupation; or

          (ii) required by State law for an occupation (such as a credential required by State law regarding qualifications for a health care occupation) and submitted to the Secretary by a State or appropriate entities within a State pursuant to a request made by the Secretary, no less frequently than biennially, for the identification of such a credential;

        (B) list the credential in the registry if the credential is a credential from the Manufacturing Institute-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System; and

        (C) list the credential, and list an updated credential, in the registry if the credential involved is an industry-recognized, nationally portable credential that is consistent with the Secretary's established industry competency models and is consistently updated to reflect changing industry competencies.

    (c) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require an entity with responsibility for selecting or approving an education, training, or workforce investment activities program with regard to a covered provision, to select a program with a credential listed in the registry described in subsection (b).

SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act, and the amendments made by this Act, take effect 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

END