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ARTICLE 1. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.

ARTICLE 1A. WEST VIRGINIA RAILS TO TRAILS PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 1B. SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA LAKE DEVELOPMENT STUDY COMMISSION.

ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA DEVELOPMENT OFFICE.

ARTICLE 2A. OFFICE OF COALFIELD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.

ARTICLE 2B. WEST VIRGINIA WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT.

ARTICLE 2C. WEST VIRGINIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.

ARTICLE 2E. WEST VIRGINIA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ACT.

ARTICLE 2F. DIVISION OF ENERGY.

ARTICLE 2G. LAND CONSERVATION.

ARTICLE 2H. MARCELLUS GAS AND MANUFACTURING DEVELOPMENT ACT.

ARTICLE 2I. WEST VIRGINIA TOURISM OFFICE.

ARTICLE 2J. NATURAL GAS LIQUIDS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT.

ARTICLE 3. WEST VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY: A VISION SHARED.

ARTICLE 4. LABOR-MANAGEMENT COUNCIL.

ARTICLE 5. EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 6. SMALL BUSINESS EXPANSION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 7. RECOVERY ZONE BONDS.

ARTICLE 8. SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH AND SMALL BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER MATCHING FUNDS PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 9. FLATWATER TRAIL COMMISSION.

ARTICLE 2D. WEST VIRGINIA GUARANTEED WORK FORCE PROGRAM.

§5B-2D-1. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the “West Virginia Guaranteed Work Force Program.”

§5B-2D-2. Definitions.

As used in this article, the following words and terms have the following meanings unless the context indicates another or different meaning or intent:

(1) "WVDO" means the West Virginia Development Office;

(2) "Employer" means an individual, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that employs or plans to employ skilled workers;

(3) "Retraining and job upgrade" means the specialized training that is given to an identified level of employees to enable them to advance to a higher level of employment;

(4) "Program" means the West Virginia Guaranteed Work Force Program established pursuant to section three of this article;

(5) "Training" means custom-designed training given to employees or prospective employees of new or expanding businesses and industries within the state;

(6) "Training provider" means any persons, public or private educational institutions, agencies, companies or other entities that may be utilized for training or consultative services for an employer.

§5B-2D-3. Training program.

The West Virginia Development Office shall develop a business and industrial training program, the purpose of which is to provide assistance for new or expanding businesses for the training, retraining or upgrading of the skills of potential employees. The program shall emphasize employee training specifically designed to accommodate the needs of individual employers. The program shall encourage the expansion of existing businesses and industries within the state, promote retention of businesses and industries within the state, promote retention of existing jobs within the state, prevent economic and industrial out-migration, and assist in the relocation of out-of-state businesses and industries in the state. Under this program, the West Virginia Development Office may pay up to one hundred percent or $2,000 per employee, whichever is less, of training costs of new employees in firms creating at least ten jobs in a one-year period. Training assistance may also be provided to existing businesses in cases in which training, retraining or upgrading services will result in the retention of existing jobs or the creation of additional jobs, or both: Provided, That the West Virginia Development Office may pay up to one hundred percent or $10,000 per employee, whichever is less, for the training, retraining or upgrading. Training costs associated with this program will be paid directly by the training provider.

Provision of training services will depend upon the employer meeting program requirements as set forth by the West Virginia Development Office and this article. The state of West Virginia guarantees if employer satisfaction is not achieved, the West Virginia Development Office will carefully review the effectiveness of the recently completed training plan and program with the employer and the training provider. After such review, if the West Virginia Development Office determines that the training program was inadequate to meet the employer's specifications and satisfaction as originally agreed to, then those employees so trained shall be eligible for retraining under the guarantee provision except when the training program curriculum or provider were selected solely at the discretion of the employer, then no such additional training shall be considered or approved: Provided, That in no instance may the cost of training and retraining an employee exceed $4,000.

§5B-2D-4. Funds.

The funds made available by this section shall supplement but not displace funds available through existing programs conducted by employers themselves and public programs such as the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, and the JOBS Act, or apportionment fund allocated to the community colleges, regional occupational centers and programs, or other local educational agencies. In addition, it is further the intention of the Legislature that the program established pursuant to this section shall not replace, parallel, supplant, compete with, or duplicate in any way existing, approved apprenticeship programs.

The fund shall consist of all moneys provided by the Legislature and also any contributions, grants or bequests received from federal, private or other sources. Appropriations made from the funds shall be for the purpose of providing contractual services through the West Virginia Development Office for vocational related training or retraining provided by public or private training institutions within West Virginia and for contracted services through the West Virginia Development Office for vocational related training, retraining or upgrading provided by public or private training institutions located outside of West Virginia and for vocational related training or retraining provided on site, within West Virginia by any training provider as defined in this article.

§5B-2D-5. Program activities.

The primary concern in the provision of training services shall be the needs and types of services identified by the employer. A college or university, community college or area vocational education center shall be given initial consideration to provide any training, retraining, or job upgrade training. The employer will have the opportunity to participate in the selection of a training provider and training program curriculum. Training services may begin upon execution of a written agreement between the West Virginia Development Office and the employer.

Program activities may include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) The performance of a job skills analysis and the designing of a training curriculum for an employer.

(b) The recruitment and referral of trainee applicants to an employer.

(c) The provision of off site preemployment training to prospective employees of a new or expanding business or industry or to existing employees for purposes of retraining or upgrading: Provided, That on site preemployment training may be provided if off site preemployment training is not practical.

(d) Retraining of employees in response to a technological change.

(e) The provision of job upgrade training, if the training will retain or increase the employer's total work force.

(f) Contracting with persons, public or private educational institutions, agencies or other bodies for training or consultative services for an employer.

(g) The provision of materials and supplies used in the training process, instructors with specialized skills, instructional training aids and equipment, consultative services relative to highly specific or technical data and other services.

(h) Assisting a foreign employer locating or expanding in this state by familiarizing the employer's foreign personnel with the work attitudes, work methods, expectations, customs and life style of employees who work within this state.

(i) Taking any other action that is considered to be necessary or desirable for the furtherance of the provisions of this article.

Funds may not be awarded or reimbursed to any business or industry for the training, retraining or upgrading of skills of potential employees with the purpose of replacing or supplanting employees engaged in an authorized work stoppage.

§5B-2D-6. Reporting.

(a) The office shall file a report with the Legislature, the Legislative Oversight commission on workforce investment for economic development and the Governor at the end of each fiscal year, commencing June 30, 1990. This report shall include the following:

(1) The number of persons trained and their demographics;

(2) The number of persons placed in employment;

(3) The number of employers for which persons have been trained and placed;

(4) The number of persons trained and placed for each employer;

(5) The types of work for which persons have been trained;

(6) The source of training fund; and

(7) The overall effectiveness of this article in contributing to economic stabilization and business and industrial growth within this state.

(b) In addition, the West Virginia Development Office shall report on a quarterly basis to the West Virginia workforce investment council and the Legislative Oversight commission on workforce investment for economic development the following as they relate to the training program established by this article:

(1) The names of all companies approved for training during the reporting quarter;

(2) The names of all companies receiving funding for training during the reporting quarter;

(3) The amount and source of funds utilized for each training program;

(4) The type of training being delivered;

(5) The number of employees trained; and

(6) Those agencies providing the training.

§5B-2D-7. Marketing.

The West Virginia Development Office shall market and promote the program.

§5B-2D-8. Summer youth intern pilot program.

A summer youth intern pilot program is established within the Department of Commerce to provide high school students with internship opportunities that allow these youths to explore and prepare for high-demand careers, gain work experience, and develop the life characteristics necessary for success in occupations and entrepreneurship. The Department of Commerce shall work with employers, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions to provide for the placement of youth in internships primarily in high-demand career fields with a prioritization of offering equitable opportunities for all students. Subject to an appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose, the Department of Commerce may award grants to assist employers with costs of the summer youth intern pilot projects on a competitive basis subject to the following:

(1) The Department of Commerce shall annually issue a request for proposals to the public, specifying the expectations, requirements, and qualifications for the summer youth intern pilot program grant, including, but not limited to, the provision of facilities, programming, staffing, and outcomes; and

(2) The Department of Commerce shall give full and fair consideration to each proposal submitted under subdivision (1) of this subsection and shall award grants after considering, at a minimum, the following:

(A) The bidder’s history and experience in the community;

(B) The capacity to serve a substantial number of youths;

(C) The suitability of the available facilities;

(D) The bidder’s contacts and partnerships in the community that can be leveraged to maximize opportunity for project participants; and

(E) The capacity to provide employability skills, including but not limited to training relating to soft skills, financial literacy, and career development.

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