The bill establishes the regional talent development initiative grant program (grant program) in the office of economic development (office) to fund talent development initiatives across the state that meet regional labor market needs and specified grant program goals, including initiatives that meet workforce development needs in regions as they recover from the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The office, a state agency designated by the office, or a third party with whom the office contracts is to serve as the administrator of the grant program (program administrator). The office is directed to appoint a steering committee of business, civic, education, and nonprofit professionals (steering committee) to support the program administrator, including:
- Developing a grant application process;
- Establishing grant application selection and prioritization criteria; and
- Advising the program administrator in appointing a selection committee to review grant applications and make grant award recommendations.
The office, in collaboration with the departments of labor and employment, higher education, and education (departments) and the steering committee, is to identify regions throughout the state to inform the selection of grant applications.
The office is to publish a report on the grant program by November 1, 2023, and by each November 1 through November 1, 2027.
The bill creates the regional talent development initiative grant program fund (grant program fund) and directs the state treasurer to transfer $91 million from the workers, employers, and workforce centers cash fund (cash fund) to the grant program fund as follows:
- $56,750,000 from federal money in the cash fund that the state received pursuant to the "American Rescue Plan Act of 2021"; and
- $34,250,000 from money in the cash fund that originated from the general fund.
The money in the grant program fund is continuously appropriated to the office for the grant program and related costs. The grant program repeals on July 1, 2028.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)