2010 Florida Statutes
This chapter may be cited as the “Workforce Innovation Act of 2000.”
s. 1, ch. 2000-165.
As used in this chapter, the term:
“Agency” means the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
“Services and one-time payments” or “services,” when used in reference to individuals who are not receiving temporary cash assistance, means nonrecurrent, short-term benefits designed to deal with a specific crisis situation or episode of need and other services; work subsidies; supportive services such as child care and transportation; services such as counseling, case management, peer support, and child care information and referral; transitional services, job retention, job advancement, and other employment-related services; nonmedical treatment for substance abuse or mental health problems; teen pregnancy prevention; two-parent family support, including noncustodial parent employment; court-ordered supervised visitation, and responsible fatherhood services; and any other services that are reasonably calculated to further the purposes of the welfare transition program. Such terms do not include assistance as defined in federal regulations at 45 C.F.R. s. 260.31(a).
“Welfare transition services” means those workforce services provided to current or former recipients of temporary cash assistance under chapter 414.
s. 2, ch. 2000-165.
Implementation of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998.—
WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT PRINCIPLES.—The state’s approach to implementing the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-220, should have six elements:
Streamlining Services.—Florida’s employment and training programs must be coordinated and consolidated at locally managed one-stop delivery system centers.
Empowering Individuals.—Eligible participants will make informed decisions, choosing the qualified training program that best meets their needs.
Universal Access.—Through a one-stop delivery system, every Floridian will have access to employment services.
Increased Accountability.—The state, localities, and training providers will be held accountable for their performance.
Local Board and Private Sector Leadership.—Local boards will focus on strategic planning, policy development, and oversight of the local system, choosing local managers to direct the operational details of their one-stop delivery system centers.
Local Flexibility and Integration.—Localities will have exceptional flexibility to build on existing reforms. Unified planning will free local groups from conflicting micromanagement, while waivers and WorkFlex will allow local innovations.
FIVE-YEAR PLAN.—Workforce Florida, Inc., shall prepare and submit a 5-year plan, which includes secondary career education, to fulfill the early implementation requirements of Pub. L. No. 105-220 and applicable state statutes. Mandatory federal partners and optional federal partners shall be fully involved in designing the plan’s one-stop delivery system strategy. The plan shall detail a process to clearly define each program’s statewide duties and role relating to the system. Any optional federal partner may immediately choose to fully integrate its program’s plan with this plan, which shall, notwithstanding any other state provisions, fulfill all their state planning and reporting requirements as they relate to the one-stop delivery system. The plan shall detail a process that would fully integrate all federally mandated and optional partners by the second year of the plan. All optional federal program partners in the planning process shall be mandatory participants in the second year of the plan.
Title I, Workforce Investment Act of 1998 funds; Wagner-Peyser funds; and NAFTA/Trade Act funds will be expended based on the 5-year plan of Workforce Florida, Inc. The plan shall outline and direct the method used to administer and coordinate various funds and programs that are operated by various agencies. The following provisions shall also apply to these funds:
At least 50 percent of the Title I funds for Adults and Dislocated Workers that are passed through to regional workforce boards shall be allocated to Individual Training Accounts unless a regional workforce board obtains a waiver from Workforce Florida, Inc. Tuition and fees qualify as an Individual Training Account expenditure, as do other programs developed by regional workforce boards in compliance with policies of Workforce Florida, Inc.
Fifteen percent of Title I funding shall be retained at the state level and shall be dedicated to state administration and used to design, develop, induce, and fund innovative Individual Training Account pilots, demonstrations, and programs. Of such funds retained at the state level, $2 million shall be reserved for the Incumbent Worker Training Program, created under subparagraph 3. Eligible state administration costs include the costs of: funding for the board and staff of Workforce Florida, Inc.; operating fiscal, compliance, and management accountability systems through Workforce Florida, Inc.; conducting evaluation and research on workforce development activities; and providing technical and capacity building assistance to regions at the direction of Workforce Florida, Inc. Notwithstanding s. 445.004, such administrative costs shall not exceed 25 percent of these funds. An amount not to exceed 75 percent of these funds shall be allocated to Individual Training Accounts and other workforce development strategies for other training designed and tailored by Workforce Florida, Inc., including, but not limited to, programs for incumbent workers, displaced homemakers, nontraditional employment, and enterprise zones. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall design, adopt, and fund Individual Training Accounts for distressed urban and rural communities.
The Incumbent Worker Training Program is created for the purpose of providing grant funding for continuing education and training of incumbent employees at existing Florida businesses. The program will provide reimbursement grants to businesses that pay for preapproved, direct, training-related costs.
The Incumbent Worker Training Program will be administered by Workforce Florida, Inc. Workforce Florida, Inc., at its discretion, may contract with a private business organization to serve as grant administrator.
To be eligible for the program’s grant funding, a business must have been in operation in Florida for a minimum of 1 year prior to the application for grant funding; have at least one full-time employee; demonstrate financial viability; and be current on all state tax obligations. Priority for funding shall be given to businesses with 25 employees or fewer, businesses in rural areas, businesses in distressed inner-city areas, businesses in a qualified targeted industry, businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant upgrade in employee skills, or businesses whose grant proposals represent a significant layoff avoidance strategy.
All costs reimbursed by the program must be preapproved by Workforce Florida, Inc., or the grant administrator. The program will not reimburse businesses for trainee wages, the purchase of capital equipment, or the purchase of any item or service that may possibly be used outside the training project. A business approved for a grant may be reimbursed for preapproved, direct, training-related costs including tuition; fees; books and training materials; and overhead or indirect costs not to exceed 5 percent of the grant amount.
A business that is selected to receive grant funding must provide a matching contribution to the training project, including, but not limited to, wages paid to trainees or the purchase of capital equipment used in the training project; must sign an agreement with Workforce Florida, Inc., or the grant administrator to complete the training project as proposed in the application; must keep accurate records of the project’s implementation process; and must submit monthly or quarterly reimbursement requests with required documentation.
All Incumbent Worker Training Program grant projects shall be performance-based with specific measurable performance outcomes, including completion of the training project and job retention. Workforce Florida, Inc., or the grant administrator shall withhold the final payment to the grantee until a final grant report is submitted and all performance criteria specified in the grant contract have been achieved.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may establish guidelines necessary to implement the Incumbent Worker Training Program.
No more than 10 percent of the Incumbent Worker Training Program’s total appropriation may be used for overhead or indirect purposes.
At least 50 percent of Rapid Response funding shall be dedicated to Intensive Services Accounts and Individual Training Accounts for dislocated workers and incumbent workers who are at risk of dislocation. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall also maintain an Emergency Preparedness Fund from Rapid Response funds which will immediately issue Intensive Service Accounts and Individual Training Accounts as well as other federally authorized assistance to eligible victims of natural or other disasters. At the direction of the Governor, for events that qualify under federal law, these Rapid Response funds shall be released to regional workforce boards for immediate use. Funding shall also be dedicated to maintain a unit at the state level to respond to Rapid Response emergencies around the state, to work with state emergency management officials, and to work with regional workforce boards. All Rapid Response funds must be expended based on a plan developed by Workforce Florida, Inc., and approved by the Governor.
The administrative entity for Title I, Workforce Investment Act of 1998 funds, and Rapid Response activities, shall be the Agency for Workforce Innovation, which shall provide direction to regional workforce boards regarding Title I programs and Rapid Response activities pursuant to the direction of Workforce Florida, Inc.
FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS, EXCEPTIONS AND REQUIRED MODIFICATIONS.—
Workforce Florida, Inc., may provide indemnification from audit liabilities to regional workforce boards that act in full compliance with state law and the board’s policies.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may negotiate and settle all outstanding issues with the United States Department of Labor relating to decisions made by Workforce Florida, Inc., any predecessor workforce organization, and the Legislature with regard to the Job Training Partnership Act, making settlements and closing out all JTPA program year grants.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may make modifications to the state’s plan, policies, and procedures to comply with federally mandated requirements that in its judgment must be complied with to maintain funding provided pursuant to Pub. L. No. 105-220. The board shall notify in writing the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives within 30 days after any such changes or modifications.
LONG-TERM CONSOLIDATION OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.—Workforce Florida, Inc., may recommend workforce-related divisions, bureaus, units, programs, duties, commissions, boards, and councils that can be eliminated, consolidated, or privatized.
s. 57, ch. 99-251; s. 46, ch. 2000-158; s. 3, ch. 2000-165; s. 69, ch. 2001-62; s. 41, ch. 2004-357; s. 78, ch. 2005-2; s. 2, ch. 2005-255.
Former s. 288.9956.
Workforce Florida, Inc.; creation; purpose; membership; duties and powers.—
There is created a not-for-profit corporation, to be known as “Workforce Florida, Inc.,” which shall be registered, incorporated, organized, and operated in compliance with chapter 617, and which shall not be a unit or entity of state government and shall be exempt from chapters 120 and 287. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall apply the procurement and expenditure procedures required by federal law for the expenditure of federal funds. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall be administratively housed within the Agency for Workforce Innovation; however, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall not be subject to control, supervision, or direction by the Agency for Workforce Innovation in any manner. The Legislature determines, however, that public policy dictates that Workforce Florida, Inc., operate in the most open and accessible manner consistent with its public purpose. To this end, the Legislature specifically declares that Workforce Florida, Inc., its board, councils, and any advisory committees or similar groups created by Workforce Florida, Inc., are subject to the provisions of chapter 119 relating to public records, and those provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings.
Workforce Florida, Inc., is the principal workforce policy organization for the state. The purpose of Workforce Florida, Inc., is to design and implement strategies that help Floridians enter, remain in, and advance in the workplace, becoming more highly skilled and successful, benefiting these Floridians, Florida businesses, and the entire state, and to assist in developing the state’s business climate.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall be governed by a board of directors, the number of directors to be determined by the Governor, whose membership and appointment must be consistent with Pub. L. No. 105-220, Title I, s. 111(b), and contain one member representing the licensed nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions authorized as individual training account providers, one member from the staffing service industry, at least one member who is a current or former recipient of welfare transition services as defined in s. 445.002(3) or workforce services as provided in s. 445.009(1), and five representatives of organized labor who shall be appointed by the Governor. Members described in Pub. L. No. 105-220, Title I, s. 111(b)(1)(C)(vi) shall be nonvoting members. The importance of minority, gender, and geographic representation shall be considered when making appointments to the board.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., shall be chaired by a board member designated by the Governor pursuant to Pub. L. No. 105-220 and shall serve no more than two terms.
Members appointed by the Governor may serve no more than two terms and must be appointed for 3-year terms. However, in order to establish staggered terms for board members, the Governor shall appoint or reappoint one-third of the board members for 1-year terms, one-third of the board members for 2-year terms, and one-third of the board members for 3-year terms beginning July 1, 2005. Following that date, the Governor shall appoint or reappoint board members for 3-year terms exclusively, except that, when a board member is replaced before the end of a 3-year term, the replacement shall be appointed to serve only the remainder of that term, after which the replacement may be appointed for a full 3-year term. Private sector representatives of businesses, appointed by the Governor pursuant to Pub. L. No. 105-220, shall constitute a majority of the membership of the board. Private sector representatives shall be appointed from nominations received by the Governor, including, but not limited to, those nominations made by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Private sector appointments to the board shall be representative of the business community of this state; no fewer than one-half of the appointments to the board must be representative of small businesses, and at least five members must have economic development experience. Members appointed by the Governor serve at the pleasure of the Governor and are eligible for reappointment.
A member of the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., may be removed by the Governor for cause. Absence from three consecutive meetings results in automatic removal. The chair of Workforce Florida, Inc., shall notify the Governor of such absences.
Representatives of businesses appointed to the board of directors may not include providers of workforce services.
The president of Workforce Florida, Inc., shall be hired by the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor in the capacity of an executive director and secretary of Workforce Florida, Inc.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., shall meet at least quarterly and at other times upon call of its chair. The board and its committees, subcommittees, or other subdivisions may use any method of telecommunications to conduct meetings, including establishing a quorum through telecommunications, provided that the public is given proper notice of the telecommunications meeting and is given reasonable access to observe and, when appropriate, participate.
A majority of the total current membership of the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., comprises a quorum of the board.
A majority of those voting is required to organize and conduct the business of the board, except that a majority of the entire board of directors is required to adopt or amend the bylaws.
Except as delegated or authorized by the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., individual members have no authority to control or direct the operations of Workforce Florida, Inc., or the actions of its officers and employees, including the president.
Members of the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and its committees shall serve without compensation, but these members, the president, and all employees of Workforce Florida, Inc., may be reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses pursuant to s. 112.061.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., may establish an executive committee consisting of the chair and at least six additional board members selected by the chair, one of whom must be a representative of organized labor. The executive committee and the president shall have such authority as the board delegates to it, except that the board of directors may not delegate to the executive committee authority to take action that requires approval by a majority of the entire board of directors.
The chair may appoint committees to fulfill its responsibilities, to comply with federal requirements, or to obtain technical assistance, and must incorporate members of regional workforce development boards into its structure.
Each member of the board of directors who is not otherwise required to file a financial disclosure pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 must file disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall have all the powers and authority, not explicitly prohibited by statute, necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes as determined by statute, Pub. L. No. 105-220, and the Governor, as well as its functions, duties, and responsibilities, including, but not limited to, the following:
Serving as the state’s Workforce Investment Board pursuant to Pub. L. No. 105-220. Unless otherwise required by federal law, at least 90 percent of the workforce development funding must go into direct customer service costs.
Providing oversight and policy direction to ensure that the following programs are administered by the Agency for Workforce Innovation in compliance with approved plans and under contract with Workforce Florida, Inc.:
Programs authorized under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-220, with the exception of programs funded directly by the United States Department of Labor under Title I, s. 167.
Programs authorized under the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, as amended, 29 U.S.C. ss. 49 et seq.
Activities authorized under Title II of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended, 19 U.S.C. ss. 2272 et seq., and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.
Activities authorized under 38 U.S.C., chapter 41, including job counseling, training, and placement for veterans.
Employment and training activities carried out under funds awarded to this state by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Welfare transition services funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, created under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as amended, Pub. L. No. 104-193, and Title IV, s. 403, of the Social Security Act, as amended.
Displaced homemaker programs, provided under s. 446.50.
The Florida Bonding Program, provided under Pub. L. No. 97-300, s. 164(a)(1).
The Food Assistance Employment and Training Program, provided under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, 7 U.S.C. ss. 2011-2032; the Food Security Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 99-198; and the Hunger Prevention Act, Pub. L. No. 100-435.
The Quick-Response Training Program, provided under ss. 288.046-288.047. Matching funds and in-kind contributions that are provided by clients of the Quick-Response Training Program shall count toward the requirements of s. 288.90151(5)(d), pertaining to the return on investment from activities of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, provided under the Tax and Trade Relief Extension Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-277, and the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 105-34.
Offender placement services, provided under ss. 944.707-944.708.
The agency may adopt rules necessary to administer the provisions of this chapter which relate to implementing and administering the programs listed in paragraph (b) as well as rules related to eligible training providers and auditing and monitoring subrecipients of the workforce system grant funds.
Contracting with public and private entities as necessary to further the directives of this section. All contracts executed by Workforce Florida, Inc., must include specific performance expectations and deliverables. All Workforce Florida, Inc., contracts, including those solicited, managed, or paid by the Agency for Workforce Innovation pursuant to s. 20.50(2) are exempt from s. 112.061, but shall be governed by subsection (1).
Notifying the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of noncompliance by the Agency for Workforce Innovation or other agencies or obstruction of the board’s efforts by such agencies. Upon such notification, the Executive Office of the Governor shall assist agencies to bring them into compliance with board objectives.
Ensuring that the state does not waste valuable training resources. Thus, the board shall direct that all resources, including equipment purchased for training Workforce Investment Act clients, be available for use at all times by eligible populations as first priority users. At times when eligible populations are not available, such resources shall be used for any other state authorized education and training purpose. Workforce Florida, Inc., may authorize expenditures to award suitable framed certificates, pins, or other tokens of recognition for performance by a regional workforce board, its committees and subdivisions, and other units of the workforce system. Workforce Florida, Inc., may also authorize expenditures for promotional items, such as t-shirts, hats, or pens printed with messages promoting the state’s workforce system to employers, job seekers, and program participants. However, such expenditures are subject to federal regulations applicable to the expenditure of federal funds.
Establish a dispute resolution process for all memoranda of understanding or other contracts or agreements entered into between the agency and regional workforce boards.
Archiving records with the Bureau of Archives and Records Management of the Division of Library and Information Services of the Department of State.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may take action that it deems necessary to achieve the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to:
Creating a state employment, education, and training policy that ensures that programs to prepare workers are responsive to present and future business and industry needs and complement the initiatives of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
Establishing policy direction for a funding system that provides incentives to improve the outcomes of career education programs, and of registered apprenticeship and work-based learning programs, and that focuses resources on occupations related to new or emerging industries that add greatly to the value of the state’s economy.
Establishing a comprehensive policy related to the education and training of target populations such as those who have disabilities, are economically disadvantaged, receive public assistance, are not proficient in English, or are dislocated workers. This approach should ensure the effective use of federal, state, local, and private resources in reducing the need for public assistance.
Designating Institutes of Applied Technology composed of public and private postsecondary institutions working together with business and industry to ensure that career education programs use the most advanced technology and instructional methods available and respond to the changing needs of business and industry.
Providing policy direction for a system to project and evaluate labor market supply and demand using the results of the Workforce Estimating Conference created in s. 216.136 and the career education performance standards identified under s. 1008.43.
Reviewing the performance of public programs that are responsible for economic development, education, employment, and training. The review must include an analysis of the return on investment of these programs.
Expanding the occupations identified by the Workforce Estimating Conference to meet needs created by local emergencies or plant closings or to capture occupations within emerging industries.
By December 1 of each year, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Minority Leader, and the House Minority Leader a complete and detailed annual report setting forth:
All audits, including the audit in subsection (8), if conducted.
The operations and accomplishments of the board, including the programs or entities listed in subsection (6).
The Auditor General may, pursuant to his or her own authority or at the direction of the Legislative Auditing Committee, conduct an audit of Workforce Florida, Inc., or the programs or entities created by Workforce Florida, Inc. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, pursuant to its authority or at the direction of the Legislative Auditing Committee, may review the systems and controls related to performance outcomes and quality of services of Workforce Florida, Inc.
Workforce Florida, Inc., in collaboration with the regional workforce boards and appropriate state agencies and local public and private service providers, and in consultation with the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, shall establish uniform measures and standards to gauge the performance of the workforce development strategy. These measures and standards must be organized into three outcome tiers.
The first tier of measures must be organized to provide benchmarks for systemwide outcomes. Workforce Florida, Inc., must, in collaboration with the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, establish goals for the tier-one outcomes. Systemwide outcomes may include employment in occupations demonstrating continued growth in wages; continued employment after 3, 6, 12, and 24 months; reduction in and elimination of public assistance reliance; job placement; employer satisfaction; and positive return on investment of public resources.
The second tier of measures must be organized to provide a set of benchmark outcomes for the strategic components of the workforce development strategy. Cost per entered employment, earnings at placement, retention in employment, job placement, and entered employment rate must be included among the performance outcome measures.
The third tier of measures must be the operational output measures to be used by the agency implementing programs, and it may be specific to federal requirements. The tier-three measures must be developed by the agencies implementing programs, and Workforce Florida, Inc., may be consulted in this effort. Such measures must be reported to Workforce Florida, Inc., by the appropriate implementing agency.
Regional differences must be reflected in the establishment of performance goals and may include job availability, unemployment rates, average worker wage, and available employable population.
Job placement must be reported pursuant to s. 1008.39. Positive outcomes for providers of education and training must be consistent with ss. 1008.42 and 1008.43.
The uniform measures of success that are adopted by Workforce Florida, Inc., or the regional workforce boards must be developed in a manner that provides for an equitable comparison of the relative success or failure of any service provider in terms of positive outcomes.
By December 1 of each year, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall provide the Legislature with a report detailing the performance of Florida’s workforce development system, as reflected in the three-tier measurement system. Additionally, this report must benchmark Florida outcomes, at all tiers, against other states that collect data similarly.
The workforce development strategy for the state shall be designed by Workforce Florida, Inc. The strategy must include efforts that enlist business, education, and community support for students to achieve long-term career goals, ensuring that young people have the academic and occupational skills required to succeed in the workplace. The strategy must also assist employers in upgrading or updating the skills of their employees and assisting workers to acquire the education or training needed to secure a better job with better wages. The strategy must assist the state’s efforts to attract and expand job-creating businesses offering high-paying, high-demand occupations.
The workforce development system shall use a charter-process approach aimed at encouraging local design and control of service delivery and targeted activities. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall be responsible for granting charters to regional workforce boards that have a membership consistent with the requirements of federal and state law and that have developed a plan consistent with the state’s workforce development strategy. The plan must specify methods for allocating the resources and programs in a manner that eliminates unwarranted duplication, minimizes administrative costs, meets the existing job market demands and the job market demands resulting from successful economic development activities, ensures access to quality workforce development services for all Floridians, allows for pro rata or partial distribution of benefits and services, prohibits the creation of a waiting list or other indication of an unserved population, serves as many individuals as possible within available resources, and maximizes successful outcomes. As part of the charter process, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish incentives for effective coordination of federal and state programs, outline rewards for successful job placements, and institute collaborative approaches among local service providers. Local decisionmaking and control shall be important components for inclusion in this charter application.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall enter into agreement with Space Florida and collaborate with vocational institutes, community colleges, colleges, and universities in this state, to develop a workforce development strategy to implement the workforce provisions of s. 331.3051.
s. 1, ch. 94-232; s. 875, ch. 95-148; s. 112, ch. 96-320; s. 6, ch. 96-404; s. 42, ch. 97-278; s. 52, ch. 99-8; s. 75, ch. 99-13; s. 53, ch. 99-251; s. 4, ch. 2000-165; s. 3, ch. 2001-66; s. 4, ch. 2001-175; s. 1003, ch. 2002-387; s. 42, ch. 2004-357; s. 3, ch. 2005-255; s. 66, ch. 2006-60; s. 12, ch. 2006-301; s. 121, ch. 2008-4; s. 35, ch. 2010-209.
Former s. 288.0475; s. 288.9620; s. 288.9952.
Strategic and operational plans for workforce development.—
Workforce Florida, Inc., in conjunction with state and local partners in the workforce system, shall develop a strategic plan that produces skilled employees for employers in the state. The strategic plan shall be updated or modified by January 1 of each year. The plan must include, but need not be limited to, strategies for:
Fulfilling the workforce system goals and strategies prescribed in s. 445.004;
Aggregating, integrating, and leveraging workforce system resources;
Coordinating the activities of federal, state, and local workforce system partners;
Addressing the workforce needs of small businesses; and
Fostering the participation of rural communities and distressed urban cores in the workforce system.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish an operational plan to implement the state strategic plan. The operational plan shall be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature along with the strategic plan and must reflect the allocation of resources as appropriated by the Legislature to specific responsibilities enumerated in law. As a component of the operational plan required under this section, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall develop a workforce marketing plan, with the goal of educating individuals inside and outside the state about the employment market and employment conditions in the state. The marketing plan must include, but need not be limited to, strategies for:
Distributing information to secondary and postsecondary education institutions about the diversity of businesses in the state, specific clusters of businesses or business sectors in the state, and occupations by industry which are in demand by employers in the state;
Distributing information about and promoting use of the Internet-based job matching and labor market information system authorized under s. 445.011; and
Coordinating with Enterprise Florida, Inc., to ensure that workforce marketing efforts complement the economic development marketing efforts of the state.
The operational plan must include performance measures, standards, measurement criteria, and contract guidelines in the following areas with respect to participants in the welfare transition program:
Work participation rates, by type of activity;
Participation in diversion and relocation assistance programs;
Wage growth; and
Other issues identified by the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc.
The strategic plan must include criteria for allocating workforce resources to regional workforce boards. With respect to allocating funds to serve customers of the welfare transition program, such criteria may include weighting factors that indicate the relative degree of difficulty associated with securing and retaining employment placements for specific subsets of the welfare transition caseload.
The operational plan may include a performance-based payment structure to be used for all welfare transition program customers which takes into account:
The degree of difficulty associated with placement and retention;
The quality of the placement with respect to salary, benefits, and opportunities for advancement; and
The employee’s retention in the placement.
The payment structure may provide for bonus payments of up to 10 percent of the contract amount to providers that achieve notable success in achieving contract objectives, including, but not limited to, success in diverting families in which there is an adult who is subject to work requirements from receiving cash assistance and in achieving long-term job retention and wage growth with respect to welfare transition program customers. A service provider shall be paid a maximum of one payment per service for each participant during any given 6-month period.
The operational plan must include strategies that are designed to prevent or reduce the need for a person to receive public assistance, including:
A teen pregnancy prevention component that includes, but is not limited to, a plan for implementing the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Community Initiative within each county of the services area in which the teen birth rate is higher than the state average;
A component that encourages community-based welfare prevention and reduction initiatives that increase support provided by noncustodial parents to their welfare-dependent children and are consistent with program and financial guidelines developed by Workforce Florida, Inc., and the Commission on Responsible Fatherhood. These initiatives may include improved paternity establishment, work activities for noncustodial parents, programs aimed at decreasing out-of-wedlock pregnancies, encouraging involvement of fathers with their children which includes court-ordered supervised visitation, and increasing child support payments;
A component that encourages formation and maintenance of two-parent families through, among other things, court-ordered supervised visitation;
A component that fosters responsible fatherhood in families receiving assistance; and
A component that fosters the provision of services that reduce the incidence and effects of domestic violence on women and children in families receiving assistance.
Specifications for welfare transition program services that are to be delivered include, but are not limited to:
Initial assessment services prior to an individual being placed in an employment service, to determine whether the individual should be referred for relocation, up-front diversion, education, or employment placement. Assessment services shall be paid on a fixed unit rate and may not provide educational or employment placement services.
Referral of participants to diversion and relocation programs.
Preplacement services, including assessment, staffing, career plan development, work orientation, and employability skills enhancement.
Services necessary to secure employment for a welfare transition program participant.
Services necessary to assist participants in retaining employment, including, but not limited to, remedial education, language skills, and personal and family counseling.
Desired quality of job placements with regard to salary, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.
Expectations regarding job retention.
Strategies to ensure that transition services are provided to participants for the mandated period of eligibility.
Services that must be provided to the participant throughout an education or training program, such as monitoring attendance and progress in the program.
Services that must be delivered to welfare transition program participants who have a deferral from work requirements but wish to participate in activities that meet federal participation requirements.
Expectations regarding continued participant awareness of available services and benefits.
s. 6, ch. 2000-165; s. 4, ch. 2005-255; ss. 145, 197, ch. 2010-102.
Regional workforce boards.—
One regional workforce board shall be appointed in each designated service delivery area and shall serve as the local workforce investment board pursuant to Pub. L. No. 105-220. The membership of the board shall be consistent with Pub. L. No. 105-220, Title I, s. 117(b), and contain one representative from a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution that is an authorized individual training account provider within the region and confers certificates and diplomas, one representative from a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution that is an authorized individual training account provider within the region and confers degrees, and three representatives of organized labor. The board shall include one nonvoting representative from a military installation if a military installation is located within the region and the appropriate military command or organization authorizes such representation. It is the intent of the Legislature that membership of a regional workforce board include persons who are current or former recipients of welfare transition assistance as defined in s. 445.002(3) or workforce services as provided in s. 445.009(1) or that such persons be included as ex officio members of the board or of committees organized by the board. The importance of minority and gender representation shall be considered when making appointments to the board. The board, its committees, subcommittees, and subdivisions, and other units of the workforce system, including units that may consist in whole or in part of local governmental units, may use any method of telecommunications to conduct meetings, including establishing a quorum through telecommunications, provided that the public is given proper notice of the telecommunications meeting and reasonable access to observe and, when appropriate, participate. Regional workforce boards are subject to chapters 119 and 286 and s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution. If the regional workforce board enters into a contract with an organization or individual represented on the board of directors, the contract must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the entire board, and the board member who could benefit financially from the transaction must abstain from voting on the contract. A board member must disclose any such conflict in a manner that is consistent with the procedures outlined in s. 112.3143.
The regional workforce board shall elect a chair from among the representatives described in Pub. L. No. 105-220, Title I, s. 117(b)(2)(A)(i) to serve for a term of no more than 2 years and shall serve no more than two terms.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall assign staff to meet with each regional workforce board annually to review the board’s performance and to certify that the board is in compliance with applicable state and federal law.
In addition to the duties and functions specified by Workforce Florida, Inc., and by the interlocal agreement approved by the local county or city governing bodies, the regional workforce board shall have the following responsibilities:
Develop, submit, ratify, or amend the local plan pursuant to Pub. L. No. 105-220, Title I, s. 118, and the provisions of this act.
Conclude agreements necessary to designate the fiscal agent and administrative entity. A public or private entity, including an entity established pursuant to s. 163.01, which makes a majority of the appointments to a regional workforce board may serve as the board’s administrative entity if approved by Workforce Florida, Inc., based upon a showing that a fair and competitive process was used to select the administrative entity.
Complete assurances required for the charter process of Workforce Florida, Inc., and provide ongoing oversight related to administrative costs, duplicated services, career counseling, economic development, equal access, compliance and accountability, and performance outcomes.
Oversee the one-stop delivery system in its local area.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall implement a training program for the regional workforce boards to familiarize board members with the state’s workforce development goals and strategies.
The regional workforce board shall designate all local service providers and may not transfer this authority to a third party. The regional workforce board may be designated as a one-stop operator and direct provider of intake, assessment, eligibility determinations, or other direct provider services except training services. Such designation may occur only with the agreement of the chief elected official and the Governor as specified in 29 U.S.C. s. 2832(f)(2). Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish procedures by which a regional workforce board may request permission to operate under this section and the criteria under which such permission may be granted. The criteria shall include, but need not be limited to, a reduction in the cost of providing the permitted services. Such permission shall be granted for a period not to exceed 3 years for any single request submitted by the regional workforce board.
Regional workforce boards shall adopt a committee structure consistent with applicable federal law and state policies established by Workforce Florida, Inc.
The importance of minority and gender representation shall be considered when appointments are made to any committee established by the regional workforce board.
For purposes of procurement, regional workforce boards and their administrative entities are not state agencies and are exempt from chapters 120 and 287. The regional workforce boards shall apply the procurement and expenditure procedures required by federal law for the expenditure of federal funds. Regional workforce boards, their administrative entities, committees, and subcommittees, and other workforce units may authorize expenditures to award suitable framed certificates, pins, or other tokens of recognition for performance by units of the workforce system. Regional workforce boards; their administrative entities, committees, and subcommittees; and other workforce units may authorize expenditures for promotional items, such as t-shirts, hats, or pens printed with messages promoting Florida’s workforce system to employers, job seekers, and program participants. However, such expenditures are subject to federal regulations applicable to the expenditure of federal funds. All contracts executed by regional workforce boards must include specific performance expectations and deliverables.
State and federal funds provided to the regional workforce boards may not be used directly or indirectly to pay for meals, food, or beverages for board members, staff, or employees of regional workforce boards, Workforce Florida, Inc., or the Agency for Workforce Innovation except as expressly authorized by state law. Preapproved, reasonable, and necessary per diem allowances and travel expenses may be reimbursed. Such reimbursement shall be at the standard travel reimbursement rates established in s. 112.061 and shall be in compliance with all applicable federal and state requirements. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall develop a statewide fiscal policy applicable to the state board and all regional workforce boards, to hold both the state and regional boards strictly accountable for adherence to the policy and subject to regular and periodic monitoring by the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the administrative entity for Workforce Florida, Inc. Boards are prohibited from expending state or federal funds for entertainment costs and recreational activities for board members and employees as these terms are defined by 2 C.F.R. part 230. This subsection expires July 1, 2011.
To increase transparency and accountability, regional workforce boards shall comply with the requirements of this section before contracting with a member of the regional workforce board. Such contracts shall not be executed before or without the approval of Workforce Florida, Inc. Such contracts, as well as documentation demonstrating adherence to this section as specified by Workforce Florida, Inc., must be submitted to the Agency for Workforce Innovation for review and recommendation according to criteria to be determined by Workforce Florida, Inc. Contracts between relatives, as defined in s. 112.3143(1)(b), of a board member or employee of a board must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the entire board; all conflicts must be disclosed prior to the vote; and any member who may benefit from the contract, or whose relative may benefit from the contract, must abstain from the vote and the contract must be reviewed and approved as stated above. Contracts under $25,000 between a regional workforce board and a member of that board or between relatives, as defined in s. 112.3143(1)(b), of a board member or employees of a board are exempt from the review and recommendation process but must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the entire board and must be reported to the Agency for Workforce Innovation and Workforce Florida, Inc., within 30 days after approval. If a contract cannot be approved by Workforce Florida, Inc., a review of the decision to disapprove the contract may be requested by the regional workforce board or other parties to the disapproved contract. This subsection expires July 1, 2011.
s. 2, ch. 96-404; s. 1072, ch. 97-103; s. 54, ch. 99-251; s. 7, ch. 2000-165; s. 3, ch. 2001-160; s. 5, ch. 2001-175; s. 8, ch. 2004-230; s. 5, ch. 2005-255; s. 3, ch. 2006-287; s. 1, ch. 2008-161; s. 49, ch. 2010-153.
Section 49, ch. 2010-153, added subsections (10) and (11) “[i]n order to implement Specific Appropriation 2214, and associated proviso, of the 2010-2011 General Appropriations Act.”
Former s. 446.602; s. 288.9953.
Florida Youth Summer Jobs Pilot Program.—
CREATION.—Contingent upon appropriations, there is created the Florida Youth Summer Jobs Pilot Program within workforce development district 22 served by the Broward Workforce Development Board. The board shall, in consultation with Workforce Florida, Inc., provide a program offering at-risk and disadvantaged children summer jobs in partnership with local communities and public employers.
Children at least 14 but not more than 18 years of age are eligible to participate in the program if they are:
At risk of welfare dependency, including economically disadvantaged children, children of participants in the welfare transition program, children of migrant farmworkers, and children of teen parents. For purposes of this section, “economically disadvantaged children” are those whose family income is below 150 percent of the federal poverty level;
Children of working families whose family income does not exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty level;
Children in foster care; or
Children with disabilities.
Employers are eligible to participate in the program under the following conditions:
The employer shall meet the program requirements of subsection (3).
The employer shall pay the state minimum wage to a program participant hired under the program.
The maximum hours required of a program participant per week shall not exceed 30 hours.
The employer shall comply with state and federal child labor and antidiscrimination laws.
The program shall:
Provide the program participant a work experience that will teach personal responsibility and reinforce the obligations and rewards of holding a job.
Allow for an academic enrichment component that will assist the program participant in remaining in or returning to school.
Provide documented learning experiences relevant to the type of work performed and tailored to the needs of the program participant.
Allow for the provision of life skills training by the local community or a third-party provider contracted by the local community if such skills training takes up no more than 10 percent of the program participant’s work time.
The program may begin on the day after the end of the regular school year in the local community and shall end before the first regular day of school in the local community.
The pilot program shall be administered by the regional workforce board in consultation with Workforce Florida, Inc.
The regional workforce board shall report to Workforce Florida, Inc., the number of at-risk and disadvantaged children who enter the program, the types of work activities they participate in, and the number of children who return to school, go on to postsecondary school, or enter the workforce full time at the end of the program. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall report to the Legislature by November 1 of each year on the performance of the program.
The regional workforce board shall, consistent with state and federal laws, use funds appropriated specifically for the pilot program to provide youth wage payments and educational enrichment activities. The regional workforce board and local communities may obtain private or state and federal grants or other sources of funds in addition to any appropriated funds.
Program funds shall be used as follows:
No less than 85 percent of the funds shall be used for youth wage payments or educational enrichment activities. These funds shall be matched on a one-to-one basis by each local community that participates in the program.
No more than 2 percent of the funds may be used for administrative purposes.
The remainder of the funds may be used for transportation assistance, child care assistance, or other assistance to enable a program participant to enter or remain in the program.
The regional workforce board shall pay a participating employer an amount equal to one-half of the wages paid to a youth participating in the program. Payments shall be made monthly for the duration that the youth participant is employed as documented by the employer and confirmed by the regional workforce board.
s. 2, ch. 2005-149.
Workforce Training Institute.—
Workforce Florida, Inc., may create the Workforce Training Institute, which shall be a comprehensive program of workforce training courses designed to meet the unique needs of, and shall include Internet-based training modules suitable for and made available to, professionals integral to the workforce system, including advisors and counselors in educational institutions.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may enter into a contract for the provision of administrative support services for the institute. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall adopt policies for the administration and operation of the institute and establish admission fees in an amount which, in the aggregate, does not exceed the cost of the program. Workforce Florida, Inc., may accept donations or grants of any type for any function or purpose of the institute.
All moneys, fees, donations, or grants collected by Workforce Florida, Inc., under this section shall be applied to cover all costs incurred in establishing and conducting the workforce training programs authorized under this section, including, but not limited to, salaries for instructors and costs of materials connected to such programs.
s. 8, ch. 2000-165.
One-stop delivery system.—
The one-stop delivery system is the state’s primary customer-service strategy for offering every Floridian access, through service sites or telephone or computer networks, to the following services:
Job search, referral, and placement assistance.
Career counseling and educational planning.
Consumer reports on service providers.
Recruitment and eligibility determination.
Support services, including child care and transportation assistance to gain employment.
Employability skills training.
Adult education and basic skills training.
Technical training leading to a certification and degree.
Claim filing for unemployment compensation services.
Temporary income, health, nutritional, and housing assistance.
Other appropriate and available workforce development services.
Subject to a process designed by Workforce Florida, Inc., and in compliance with Pub. L. No. 105-220, regional workforce boards shall designate one-stop delivery system operators.
A regional workforce board may designate as its one-stop delivery system operator any public or private entity that is eligible to provide services under any state or federal workforce program that is a mandatory or discretionary partner in the region’s one-stop delivery system if approved by Workforce Florida, Inc., upon a showing by the regional workforce board that a fair and competitive process was used in the selection. As a condition of authorizing a regional workforce board to designate such an entity as its one-stop delivery system operator, Workforce Florida, Inc., must require the regional workforce board to demonstrate that safeguards are in place to ensure that the one-stop delivery system operator will not exercise an unfair competitive advantage or unfairly refer or direct customers of the one-stop delivery system to services provided by that one-stop delivery system operator. A regional workforce board may retain its current One-Stop Career Center operator without further procurement action where the board has established a One-Stop Career Center that has complied with federal and state law.
Beginning October 1, 2000, regional workforce boards shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Agency for Workforce Innovation for the delivery of employment services authorized by the federal Wagner-Peyser Act. This memorandum of understanding must be performance based.
Unless otherwise required by federal law, at least 90 percent of the Wagner-Peyser funding must go into direct customer service costs.
Employment services must be provided through the one-stop delivery system, under the guidance of one-stop delivery system operators. One-stop delivery system operators shall have overall authority for directing the staff of the workforce system. Personnel matters shall remain under the ultimate authority of the Agency for Workforce Innovation. However, the one-stop delivery system operator shall submit to the agency information concerning the job performance of agency employees who deliver employment services. The agency shall consider any such information submitted by the one-stop delivery system operator in conducting performance appraisals of the employees.
The agency shall retain fiscal responsibility and accountability for the administration of funds allocated to the state under the Wagner-Peyser Act. An agency employee who is providing services authorized under the Wagner-Peyser Act shall be paid using Wagner-Peyser Act funds.
One-stop delivery system partners shall enter into a memorandum of understanding pursuant to Pub. L. No. 105-220, Title I, s. 121, with the regional workforce board. Failure of a local partner to participate cannot unilaterally block the majority of partners from moving forward with their one-stop delivery system, and Workforce Florida, Inc., pursuant to s. 445.004(5)(e), may make notification of a local partner that fails to participate.
To the extent possible, regional workforce boards shall include as partners in the local one-stop delivery system entities that provide programs or activities designed to meet the needs of homeless persons.
To the extent possible, core services, as defined by Pub. L. No. 105-220, shall be provided electronically, using existing systems. These electronic systems shall be linked and integrated into a comprehensive service system to simplify access to core services by:
Maintaining staff to serve as the first point of contact with the public seeking access to employment services who are knowledgeable about each program located in each one-stop delivery system center as well as related services. An initial determination of the programs for which a customer is likely to be eligible and any referral for a more thorough eligibility determination must be made at this first point of contact; and
Establishing an automated, integrated intake screening and eligibility process where customers will provide information through a self-service intake process that may be accessed by staff from any participating program.
To expand electronic capabilities, Workforce Florida, Inc., working with regional workforce boards, shall develop a centralized help center to assist regional workforce boards in fulfilling core services, minimizing the need for fixed-site one-stop delivery system centers.
To the extent feasible, core services shall be accessible through the Internet. Through this technology, core services shall be made available at public libraries, public and private educational institutions, community centers, kiosks, neighborhood facilities, and satellite one-stop delivery system sites. Each regional workforce board’s web page shall serve as a portal for contacting potential employees by integrating the placement efforts of universities and private companies, including staffing services firms, into the existing one-stop delivery system.
Intensive services and training provided pursuant to Pub. L. No. 105-220, shall be provided to individuals through Intensive Service Accounts and Individual Training Accounts. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall develop an implementation plan, including identification of initially eligible training providers, transition guidelines, and criteria for use of these accounts. Individual Training Accounts must be compatible with Individual Development Accounts for education allowed in federal and state welfare reform statutes.
Individual Training Accounts must be expended on programs that prepare people to enter high-wage occupations identified by the Workforce Estimating Conference created by s. 216.136, and on other programs as approved by Workforce Florida, Inc.
For each approved training program, regional workforce boards, in consultation with training providers, shall establish a fair-market purchase price to be paid through an Individual Training Account. The purchase price must be based on prevailing costs and reflect local economic factors, program complexity, and program benefits, including time to beginning of training and time to completion. The price shall ensure the fair participation of public and nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions as authorized service providers and shall prohibit the use of unlawful remuneration to the student in return for attending an institution. Unlawful remuneration does not include student financial assistance programs.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall periodically review Individual Training Account pricing schedules developed by regional workforce boards and present findings and recommendations for process improvement to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
To the maximum extent possible, training providers shall use funding sources other than the funding provided under Pub. L. No. 105-220. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall develop a system to encourage the leveraging of appropriated resources for the workforce system and shall report on such efforts as part of the required annual report.
Training services provided through Individual Training Accounts must be performance-based, with successful job placement triggering full payment.
The accountability measures to be used in documenting competencies acquired by the participant during training shall be literacy completion points and occupational completion points. Literacy completion points refers to the academic or workforce readiness competencies that qualify a person for further basic education, career education, or for employment. Occupational completion points refers to the career competencies that qualify a person to enter an occupation that is linked to a career program.
Workforce Florida, Inc., working with the Agency for Workforce Innovation, shall coordinate among the agencies a plan for a One-Stop Electronic Network made up of one-stop delivery system centers and other partner agencies that are operated by authorized public or private for-profit or not-for-profit agents. The plan shall identify resources within existing revenues to establish and support this electronic network for service delivery that includes Government Services Direct. If necessary, the plan shall identify additional funding needed to achieve the provisions of this subsection.
The network shall assure that a uniform method is used to determine eligibility for and management of services provided by agencies that conduct workforce development activities. The Department of Management Services shall develop strategies to allow access to the databases and information management systems of the following systems in order to link information in those databases with the one-stop delivery system:
The Unemployment Compensation Program of the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
The public employment service described in s. 443.181.
The FLORIDA System and the components related to temporary cash assistance, food assistance, and Medicaid eligibility.
The Student Financial Assistance System of the Department of Education.
Enrollment in the public postsecondary education system.
Other information systems determined appropriate by Workforce Florida, Inc.
To the maximum extent feasible, the one-stop delivery system may use private sector staffing services firms in the provision of workforce services to individuals and employers in the state. Regional workforce boards may collaborate with staffing services firms in order to facilitate the provision of workforce services. Regional workforce boards may contract with private sector staffing services firms to design programs that meet the employment needs of the region. All such contracts must be performance-based and require a specific period of job tenure prior to payment.
A participant in an adult or youth work experience activity administered under this chapter shall be deemed an employee of the state for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage. In determining the average weekly wage, all remuneration received from the employer shall be considered a gratuity, and the participant shall not be entitled to any benefits otherwise payable under s. 440.15, regardless of whether the participant may be receiving wages and remuneration from other employment with another employer and regardless of his or her future wage-earning capacity.
This subsection expires July 1, 2011.
s. 10, ch. 96-404; s. 217, ch. 99-8; s. 52, ch. 99-251; s. 53, ch. 99-399; s. 45, ch. 2000-158; s. 9, ch. 2000-165; s. 70, ch. 2001-62; s. 15, ch. 2001-98; s. 47, ch. 2003-36; s. 43, ch. 2004-357; s. 79, ch. 2005-2; s. 6, ch. 2005-255; s. 54, ch. 2006-1; s. 44, ch. 2009-82; s. 40, ch. 2010-153; s. 36, ch. 2010-209.
Section 40, ch. 2010-153, amended subsection (11) “[i]n order to implement section 54 of the 2010-2011 General Appropriations Act.”
Former s. 446.604; s. 288.9951.
Workforce system information technology; principles and information sharing.—
The following principles shall guide the development and management of workforce system information resources:
Workforce system entities should be committed to information sharing.
Cooperative planning by workforce system entities is a prerequisite for the effective development of systems to enable the sharing of data.
Workforce system entities should maximize public access to data, while complying with legitimate security, privacy, and confidentiality requirements.
When the capture of data for the mutual benefit of workforce system entities can be accomplished, the costs for capturing, managing, and disseminating those data should be shared.
The redundant capture of data should, insofar as possible, be eliminated.
Only data that are auditable, or that otherwise can be determined to be accurate, valid, and reliable, should be maintained in workforce information systems.
The design of workforce information systems should support technological flexibility for users without compromising system integration or data integrity, be based upon open standards, and use platform-independent technologies to the fullest extent possible.
Information that is essential to the integrated delivery of services through the one-stop delivery system must be shared between partner agencies within the workforce system to the full extent permitted under state and federal law. In order to enable the full integration of services for a specific workforce system customer, that customer must be offered the opportunity to provide written consent prior to sharing any information concerning that customer between the workforce system partners which is subject to confidentiality under state or federal law.
s. 12, ch. 2000-165.
Workforce information systems.—
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall implement, subject to legislative appropriation, automated information systems that are necessary for the efficient and effective operation and management of the workforce development system. These information systems shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:
An integrated management system for the one-stop service delivery system, which includes, at a minimum, common registration and intake, screening for needs and benefits, case planning and tracking, training benefits management, service and training provider management, performance reporting, executive information and reporting, and customer-satisfaction tracking and reporting.
The system should report current budgeting, expenditure, and performance information for assessing performance related to outcomes, service delivery, and financial administration for workforce programs pursuant to s. 445.004(5) and (9).
The information system should include auditable systems and controls to ensure financial integrity and valid and reliable performance information.
The system should support service integration and case management by providing for case tracking for participants in welfare transition programs.
An automated job-matching information system that is accessible to employers, job seekers, and other users via the Internet, and that includes, at a minimum:
Skill match information, including skill gap analysis; resume creation; job order creation; skill tests; job search by area, employer type, and employer name; and training provider linkage;
Job market information based on surveys, including local, state, regional, national, and international occupational and job availability information; and
Service provider information, including education and training providers, child care facilities and related information, health and social service agencies, and other providers of services that would be useful to job seekers.
In procuring workforce information systems, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall employ competitive processes, including requests for proposals, competitive negotiation, and other competitive processes to ensure that the procurement results in the most cost-effective investment of state funds.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may procure independent verification and validation services associated with developing and implementing any workforce information system.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall coordinate development and implementation of workforce information systems with the executive director of the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology to ensure compatibility with the state’s information system strategy and enterprise architecture.
s. 13, ch. 2000-165; s. 14, ch. 2008-116.
Small business workforce service initiative.—
Subject to legislative appropriation, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish a program to encourage regional workforce development boards to establish one-stop delivery systems that maximize the provision of workforce and human-resource support services to small businesses. Under the program, a regional workforce board may apply, on a competitive basis, for funds to support the provision of such services to small businesses through the region’s one-stop delivery system.
Eligible uses of funds under this program include, but are not limited to:
Identifying common training needs among small businesses;
Developing curriculum to address common training needs among small businesses;
Facilitating the provision of training services for such small businesses through eligible training providers;
Assisting small businesses to identify incentives and complete applications or other paperwork associated with such incentives; and
Establishing a single point of contact for the provision of preemployment and postemployment services to small businesses.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish guidelines governing the administration of this program and shall establish criteria to be used in evaluating applications for funding. Such criteria must include, but need not be limited to, a showing that the regional board has in place a detailed plan for establishing a one-stop delivery system designed to meet the workforce needs of small businesses and for leveraging other funding sources in support of such activities.
For purposes of this section, the term “small business” means an independently owned and operated business concern that employs 30 or fewer permanent full-time employees and that, together with its affiliates, has a net worth of not more than $3 million and an average net income, after federal income taxes and excluding any carryover losses, of not more than $2 million for the preceding 2 years.
s. 161, ch. 2000-165.
Untried Worker Placement and Employment Incentive Act.—
This section may be cited as the “Untried Worker Placement and Employment Incentive Act.”
For purposes of this section, the term “untried worker” means a person who is a hard-to-place participant in the welfare transition program because he or she has limitations associated with the long-term receipt of welfare and difficulty in sustaining employment, particularly because of physical or mental disabilities.
Incentive payments may be made to for-profit or not-for-profit agents selected by regional workforce boards who successfully place untried workers in full-time employment for 6 months with an employer after the employee successfully completes a probationary placement of no more than 6 months with that employer. Full-time employment that includes health care benefits will receive an additional incentive payment.
The for-profit and not-for-profit agents shall contract to provide services for no more than 1 year. Contracts may be renewed upon successful review by the contracting agent.
Incentives must be paid according to the incentive schedule developed by Workforce Florida, Inc., the Agency for Workforce Development, and the Department of Children and Family Services which costs the state less per placement than the state’s 12-month expenditure on a welfare recipient.
During an untried worker’s probationary placement, the for-profit or not-for-profit agent shall be the employer of record of that untried worker, and shall provide workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation coverage as provided by law. The business employing the untried worker through the agent may be eligible to apply for any tax credits, wage supplementation, wage subsidy, or employer payment for that employee that are authorized in law or by agreement with the employer. After satisfactory completion of such a probationary period, an untried worker shall not be considered an untried worker.
This section shall not be used for the purpose of displacing or replacing an employer’s regular employees, and shall not interfere with executed collective bargaining agreements. Untried workers shall be paid by the employer at the same rate as similarly situated and assessed workers in the same place of employment.
An employer that demonstrates a pattern of unsuccessful placements shall be disqualified from participation in these pilots because of poor return on the public’s investment.
Any employer that chooses to employ untried workers is eligible to receive such incentives and benefits that are available and provided in law, as long as the long-term, cost savings can be quantified with each such additional inducement.
s. 3, ch. 96-404; s. 216, ch. 99-8; s. 56, ch. 99-251; s. 16, ch. 2000-165.
Former s. 446.603; s. 288.9955.
Many customers of the one-stop delivery system do not need ongoing temporary cash assistance, but, due to an unexpected circumstance or emergency situation, require some immediate assistance to secure or retain employment or child support. These immediate obligations may include a shelter or utility payment, a car repair to continue employment, or other services that will alleviate the applicant’s emergency financial need and allow the person to focus on obtaining or continuing employment.
Up-front diversion shall involve four steps:
Linking applicants with job opportunities as the first option.
Offering services, such as child care or transportation, as an alternative to welfare.
Screening applicants to respond to emergency needs.
Offering a one-time payment of up to $1,000 per family.
Before finding an applicant family eligible for up-front diversion services, the regional workforce board must determine that all requirements of eligibility for diversion services would likely be met.
The regional workforce board shall screen each family on a case-by-case basis for barriers to obtaining or retaining employment. The screening shall identify barriers that, if corrected, may prevent the family from receiving temporary cash assistance on a regular basis. Assistance to overcome a barrier to employment is not limited to cash, but may include vouchers or other in-kind benefits.
The family receiving up-front diversion must sign an agreement restricting the family from applying for temporary cash assistance for 3 months, unless an emergency is demonstrated to the regional workforce board. If a demonstrated emergency forces the family to reapply for temporary cash assistance within 3 months after receiving a diversion payment, the diversion payment shall be prorated over an 8-month period and deducted from any temporary assistance for which the family is eligible.
The department may adopt rules governing the administration of this section and may establish guidelines for screening criteria, referrals to community resources, restrictions on receipt of up-front diversion and transitional services, definitions of emergency services, verification requirements, and processing timeframes.
s. 19, ch. 96-175; s. 14, ch. 97-173; s. 17, ch. 2000-165; s. 6, ch. 2000-300.
Former s. 414.15.
Diversion program to strengthen Florida’s families.—
The diversion program to strengthen families in this state is intended to provide services that assist families in avoiding welfare dependency by gaining and retaining employment.
Before finding a family eligible for the diversion program created under this section, a determination must be made that:
The family includes a pregnant woman or a parent with one or more minor children or a caretaker relative with one or more minor children.
The family is at risk of welfare dependency because the family’s income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
The provision of services related to employment, including assessment, service planning and coordination, job placement, employment-related education or training, child care services, transportation services, relocation services, workplace employment support services, individual or family counseling, or a Retention Incentive Training Account (RITA), are likely to prevent the family from becoming dependent on welfare by enabling employable adults in the family to become employed, remain employed, or pursue career advancement.
The services provided under this section are not considered assistance under federal law or guidelines.
Each family that receives services under this section must sign an agreement not to apply for temporary cash assistance for 6 months following the receipt of services, unless an unanticipated emergency situation arises. If a family applies for temporary cash assistance without a documented emergency, the family must repay the value of the diversion services provided. Repayment may be prorated over 8 months and shall be paid through a reduction in the amount of any monthly temporary cash assistance payment received by the family.
Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, a family that meets the requirements of subsection (2) is considered a needy family and is eligible for services under this section.
s. 18, ch. 2000-165.
Teen parent and pregnancy prevention diversion program; eligibility for services.—
The Legislature recognizes that teen pregnancy is a major cause of dependency on government assistance that often extends through more than one generation. The purpose of the teen parent and pregnancy prevention diversion program is to provide services to reduce and avoid welfare dependency by reducing teen pregnancy, reducing the incidence of multiple pregnancies to teens, and by assisting teens in completing educational or employment programs, or both.
Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in ss. 414.075, 414.085, and 414.095, a teen who is determined to be at risk of teen pregnancy or who already has a child shall be deemed eligible to receive services under this program.
Services provided under this program shall be limited to services that are not considered assistance under federal law or guidelines.
Receipt of services under this section does not preclude eligibility for, or receipt of, other assistance or services under chapter 414.
s. 20, ch. 99-241; s. 19, ch. 2000-165; s. 7, ch. 2005-255.
Former s. 414.159.
Diversion programs; determination of need.—
If federal regulations require a determination of needy families or needy parents to be based on financial criteria, such as income or resources, for individuals or families who are receiving services, one-time payments, or nonrecurring short-term benefits, the TANF state plan shall clearly indicate such criteria. If federal regulations do not require a financial determination for receipt of such benefits, payments, or services, the criteria otherwise established in this chapter shall be used.
s. 20, ch. 2000-165; s. 8, ch. 2005-255.
Relocation assistance program.—
The Legislature recognizes that the need for public assistance may arise because a family is located in an area with limited employment opportunities, because of geographic isolation, because of formidable transportation barriers, because of isolation from their extended family, or because domestic violence interferes with the ability of a parent to maintain self-sufficiency. Accordingly, there is established a program to assist families in relocating to communities with greater opportunities for self-sufficiency.
The relocation assistance program shall involve five steps by the regional workforce board, in cooperation with the Department of Children and Family Services:
A determination that the family is receiving temporary cash assistance or that all requirements of eligibility for diversion services would likely be met.
A determination that there is a basis for believing that relocation will contribute to the ability of the applicant to achieve self-sufficiency. For example, the applicant:
Is unlikely to achieve economic self-sufficiency at the current community of residence;
Has secured a job that provides an increased salary or improved benefits and that requires relocation to another community;
Has a family support network that will contribute to job retention in another community;
Is determined, pursuant to criteria or procedures established by the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., to be a victim of domestic violence who would experience reduced probability of further incidents through relocation; or
Must relocate in order to receive education or training that is directly related to the applicant’s employment or career advancement.
Establishment of a relocation plan that includes such requirements as are necessary to prevent abuse of the benefit and provisions to protect the safety of victims of domestic violence and avoid provisions that place them in anticipated danger. The payment to defray relocation expenses shall be determined based on criteria approved by the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc. Participants in the relocation program shall be eligible for diversion or transitional benefits.
A determination, pursuant to criteria adopted by the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., that a community receiving a relocated family has the capacity to provide needed services and employment opportunities.
Monitoring the relocation.
A family receiving relocation assistance for reasons other than domestic violence must sign an agreement restricting the family from applying for temporary cash assistance for a period of 6 months, unless an emergency is demonstrated to the regional workforce board. If a demonstrated emergency forces the family to reapply for temporary cash assistance within such period, after receiving a relocation assistance payment, repayment must be made on a prorated basis and subtracted from any regular payment of temporary cash assistance for which the applicant may be eligible.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., may establish criteria for developing and implementing relocation plans and for drafting agreements to restrict a family from applying for temporary cash assistance for a specified period after receiving a relocation assistance payment.
s. 24, ch. 98-57; s. 16, ch. 99-241; s. 21, ch. 2000-165.
Former s. 414.155.
Retention Incentive Training Accounts.—
To promote job retention and to enable upward job advancement into higher skilled, higher paying employment, the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and regional workforce boards may assemble, from postsecondary education institutions, a list of programs and courses for participants who have become employed which promote job retention and advancement.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., may establish Retention Incentive Training Accounts (RITAs). RITAs shall utilize Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant funds specifically appropriated for this purpose. RITAs must complement the Individual Training Account required by the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-220.
RITAs may pay for tuition, fees, educational materials, coaching and mentoring, performance incentives, transportation to and from courses, child care costs during education courses, and other such costs as the regional workforce boards determine are necessary to effect successful job retention and advancement.
Regional workforce boards shall retain only those courses that continue to meet their performance standards as established in their local plan.
Regional workforce boards shall report annually to the Legislature on the measurable retention and advancement success of each program provider and the effectiveness of RITAs, making recommendations for any needed changes or modifications.
s. 25, ch. 99-241; s. 22, ch. 2000-165.
Former s. 414.223.
Program for dependent care for families with children with special needs.—
There is created the program for dependent care for families with children with special needs. This program is intended to provide assistance to families with children who meet the following requirements:
The child or children are between the ages of 13 and 17 years, inclusive.
The child or children are considered to be children with special needs.
The family meets the income guidelines established under s. 411.01(6), notwithstanding any financial eligibility criteria to the contrary in s. 414.075, s. 414.085, or s. 414.095.
Implementation of this program shall be subject to appropriation of funds for this purpose.
If federal funds under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant provided under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act, as amended, are used for this program, the family must be informed about the federal requirements on receipt of such assistance and must sign a written statement acknowledging, and agreeing to comply with, all federal requirements.
In addition to school readiness services provided under s. 411.01, dependent care may be provided for children age 13 years and older who are in need of care due to disability and where such care is needed for the parent to accept or continue employment or otherwise participate in work activities. The amount of subsidy shall be consistent with the rates for special needs child care established by the department. Dependent care needed for employment may be provided as transitional services for up to 2 years after eligibility for temporary cash assistance ends.
Notwithstanding any provision of s. 414.105 to the contrary, the time limitation on receipt of assistance under this section shall be the limit established pursuant to s. 408(a)(7) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. s. 608(a)(7).
s. 22, ch. 99-241; s. 23, ch. 2000-165; s. 24, ch. 2001-170.
Former s. 414.18.
WORK ACTIVITIES.—The Agency for Workforce Innovation may develop activities under each of the following categories of work activities. The following categories of work activities, based on federal law and regulations, may be used individually or in combination to satisfy the work requirements for a participant in the temporary cash assistance program:
Subsidized private sector employment.
Subsidized public sector employment.
Community service programs.
Job search and job readiness assistance.
Vocational educational training.
Job skills training directly related to employment.
Education directly related to employment.
Satisfactory attendance at a secondary school or in a course of study leading to a graduate equivalency diploma.
Providing child care services.
WORK ACTIVITY REQUIREMENTS.—Each individual who is not otherwise exempt from work activity requirements must participate in a work activity for the maximum number of hours allowable under federal law; however, a participant may not be required to work more than 40 hours per week. The maximum number of hours each month that a family may be required to participate in community service or work experience programs is the number of hours that would result from dividing the family’s monthly amount for temporary cash assistance and food assistance by the applicable minimum wage. However, the maximum hours required per week for community service or work experience may not exceed 40 hours.
A participant in a work activity may also be required to enroll in and attend a course of instruction designed to increase literacy skills to a level necessary for obtaining or retaining employment if the instruction plus the work activity does not require more than 40 hours per week.
Program funds may be used, as available, to support the efforts of a participant who meets the work activity requirements and who wishes to enroll in or continue enrollment in an adult general education program or other training programs.
EXEMPTION FROM WORK ACTIVITY REQUIREMENTS.—The following individuals are exempt from work activity requirements:
An individual who receives benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program or the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
An adult who is not defined as a work-eligible individual under federal law.
A single parent of a child under 3 months of age, except that the parent may be required to attend parenting classes or other activities to better prepare for the responsibilities of raising a child.
An individual who is exempt from the time period pursuant to s. 414.105.
PRIORITIZATION OF WORK REQUIREMENTS.—Regional workforce boards shall require participation in work activities to the maximum extent possible, subject to federal and state funding. If funds are projected to be insufficient to allow full-time work activities by all program participants who are required to participate in work activities, regional workforce boards shall screen participants and assign priority based on the following:
In accordance with federal requirements, at least one adult in each two-parent family shall be assigned priority for full-time work activities.
Among single-parent families, a family that has older preschool children or school-age children shall be assigned priority for work activities.
A participant who has access to child care services may be assigned priority for work activities.
Priority may be assigned based on the amount of time remaining until the participant reaches the applicable time limit for program participation or may be based on requirements of a case plan.
Regional workforce boards may limit a participant’s weekly work requirement to the minimum required to meet federal work activity requirements. Regional workforce boards may develop screening and prioritization procedures based on the allocation of resources, the availability of community resources, the provision of supportive services, or the work activity needs of the service area.
USE OF CONTRACTS.—Regional workforce boards shall provide work activities, training, and other services, as appropriate, through contracts. In contracting for work activities, training, or services, the following applies:
A contract must be performance-based. Payment shall be tied to performance outcomes that include factors such as, but not limited to, diversion from cash assistance, job entry, job entry at a target wage, job retention, and connection to transition services rather than tied to completion of training or education or any other phase of the program participation process.
A contract may include performance-based incentive payments that may vary according to the extent to which the participant is more difficult to place. Contract payments may be weighted proportionally to reflect the extent to which the participant has limitations associated with the long-term receipt of welfare and difficulty in sustaining employment. The factors may include the extent of prior receipt of welfare, lack of employment experience, lack of education, lack of job skills, and other factors determined appropriate by the regional workforce board.
Notwithstanding the exemption from the competitive sealed bid requirements provided in s. 287.057(3)(f) for certain contractual services, each contract awarded under this chapter must be awarded on the basis of a competitive sealed bid, except for a contract with a governmental entity as determined by the regional workforce board.
Regional workforce boards may contract with commercial, charitable, or religious organizations. A contract must comply with federal requirements with respect to nondiscrimination and other requirements that safeguard the rights of participants. Services may be provided under contract, certificate, voucher, or other form of disbursement.
The administrative costs associated with a contract for services provided under this section may not exceed the applicable administrative cost ceiling established in federal law. An agency or entity that is awarded a contract under this section may not charge more than 7 percent of the value of the contract for administration, unless an exception is approved by the regional workforce board. A list of any exceptions approved must be submitted to the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., for review, and the board may rescind approval of the exception.
Regional workforce boards may enter into contracts to provide short-term work experience for the chronically unemployed as provided in this section.
A tax-exempt organization under s. 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which receives funds under this chapter must disclose receipt of federal funds on any advertising, promotional, or other material in accordance with federal requirements.
PROTECTIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS.—Each participant is subject to the same health, safety, and nondiscrimination standards established under federal, state, or local laws that otherwise apply to other individuals engaged in similar activities who are not participants in the welfare transition program.
PROTECTION FOR CURRENT EMPLOYEES.—In establishing and contracting for work experience and community service activities, other work experience activities, on-the-job training, subsidized employment, and work supplementation under the welfare transition program, an employed worker may not be displaced, either completely or partially. A participant may not be assigned to an activity or employed in a position if the employer has created the vacancy or terminated an existing employee without good cause in order to fill that position with a program participant.
s. 24, ch. 2000-165; s. 71, ch. 2001-62; s. 16, ch. 2001-278; s. 35, ch. 2002-22; s. 42, ch. 2002-207; s. 1005, ch. 2002-387; s. 46, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2007-197; s. 33, ch. 2008-61; s. 35, ch. 2010-151; s. 37, ch. 2010-209; s. 22, ch. 2010-210.
Other support services.—
Support services shall be provided, if resources permit, to assist participants in complying with work activity requirements outlined in s. 445.024. If resources do not permit the provision of needed support services, the regional workforce board may prioritize or otherwise limit provision of support services. This section does not constitute an entitlement to support services. Lack of provision of support services may be considered as a factor in determining whether good cause exists for failing to comply with work activity requirements but does not automatically constitute good cause for failing to comply with work activity requirements, and does not affect any applicable time limit on the receipt of temporary cash assistance or the provision of services under chapter 414. Support services shall include, but need not be limited to:
TRANSPORTATION.—Transportation expenses may be provided to any participant when the assistance is needed to comply with work activity requirements or employment requirements, including transportation to and from a child care provider. Payment may be made in cash or tokens in advance or through reimbursement paid against receipts or invoices. Transportation services may include, but are not limited to, cooperative arrangements with the following: public transit providers; community transportation coordinators designated under chapter 427; school districts; churches and community centers; donated motor vehicle programs, van pools, and ridesharing programs; small enterprise developments and entrepreneurial programs that encourage participants to become transportation providers; public and private transportation partnerships; and other innovative strategies to expand transportation options available to program participants.
Regional workforce boards may provide payment for vehicle operational and repair expenses, including repair expenditures necessary to make a vehicle functional; vehicle registration fees; driver’s license fees; and liability insurance for the vehicle for a period of up to 6 months. Request for vehicle repairs must be accompanied by an estimate of the cost prepared by a repair facility registered under s. 559.904.
Transportation disadvantaged funds as defined in chapter 427 do not include support services funds or funds appropriated to assist persons eligible under the Job Training Partnership Act. It is the intent of the Legislature that regional workforce boards consult with local community transportation coordinators designated under chapter 427 regarding the availability and cost of transportation services through the coordinated transportation system prior to contracting for comparable transportation services outside the coordinated system.
ANCILLARY EXPENSES.—Ancillary expenses such as books, tools, clothing, fees, and costs necessary to comply with work activity requirements or employment requirements may be provided.
MEDICAL SERVICES.—A family that meets the eligibility requirements for Medicaid shall receive medical services under the Medicaid program.
PERSONAL AND FAMILY COUNSELING AND THERAPY.—Counseling may be provided to participants who have a personal or family problem or problems caused by substance abuse that is a barrier to compliance with work activity requirements or employment requirements. In providing these services, regional workforce boards shall use services that are available in the community at no additional cost. If these services are not available, regional workforce boards may use support services funds. Personal or family counseling not available through Medicaid may not be considered a medical service for purposes of the required statewide implementation plan or use of federal funds.
s. 23, ch. 96-175; s. 17, ch. 97-173; s. 14, ch. 98-57; s. 23, ch. 99-241; s. 25, ch. 2000-165.
Former s. 414.20.
Cash assistance severance benefit.—
An individual who meets the criteria listed in this section may choose to receive a lump-sum payment in lieu of ongoing cash assistance payments, provided the individual:
Is employed and is receiving earnings.
Has received cash assistance for at least 6 consecutive months.
Expects to remain employed for at least 6 months.
Chooses to receive a one-time, lump-sum payment in lieu of ongoing monthly payments.
Provides employment and earnings information to the regional workforce board, so that the regional workforce board can ensure that the family’s eligibility for severance benefits can be evaluated.
Signs an agreement not to apply for or accept cash assistance for 6 months after receipt of the one-time payment. In the event of an emergency, such agreement shall provide for an exception to this restriction, provided that the one-time payment shall be deducted from any cash assistance for which the family subsequently is approved. This deduction may be prorated over an 8-month period. The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., shall adopt criteria defining the conditions under which a family may receive cash assistance due to such emergency.
Such individual may choose to accept a one-time, lump-sum payment of $1,000 in lieu of receiving ongoing cash assistance. Such payment shall only count toward the time limitation for the month in which the payment is made in lieu of cash assistance. A participant choosing to accept such payment shall be terminated from cash assistance. However, eligibility for Medicaid, food assistance, or child care shall continue, subject to the eligibility requirements of those programs.
s. 15, ch. 99-241; s. 26, ch. 2000-165; s. 38, ch. 2010-209.
Former s. 414.1525.
Transitional benefits and services.—
In cooperation with Workforce Florida, Inc., the Department of Children and Family Services shall develop procedures to ensure that families leaving the temporary cash assistance program receive transitional benefits and services that will assist the family in moving toward self-sufficiency. At a minimum, such procedures must include, but are not limited to, the following:
Each recipient of cash assistance who is determined ineligible for cash assistance for a reason other than a work activity sanction shall be contacted by the workforce system case manager and provided information about the availability of transitional benefits and services. Such contact shall be attempted prior to closure of the case management file.
Each recipient of temporary cash assistance who is determined ineligible for cash assistance due to noncompliance with the work activity requirements shall be contacted and provided information in accordance with s. 414.065(1).
The department, in consultation with the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., shall develop informational material, including posters and brochures, to better inform families about the availability of transitional benefits and services.
Workforce Florida, Inc., in cooperation with the Department of Children and Family Services shall, to the extent permitted by federal law, develop procedures to maximize the utilization of transitional Medicaid by families who leave the temporary cash assistance program.
s. 27, ch. 2000-165.
Transitional medical benefits.—
A family that loses its temporary cash assistance due to earnings shall remain eligible for Medicaid without reapplication during the immediately succeeding 12-month period if private medical insurance is unavailable from the employer or is unaffordable.
The family shall be denied Medicaid during the 12-month period for any month in which the family does not include a dependent child.
The family shall be denied Medicaid if, during the second 6 months of the 12-month period, the family’s average gross monthly earnings during the preceding month exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level.
The family shall be informed of transitional Medicaid when the family is notified by the Department of Children and Family Services of the termination of temporary cash assistance. The notice must include a description of the circumstances in which the transitional Medicaid may be terminated.
s. 24, ch. 96-175; s. 18, ch. 97-173; s. 28, ch. 2000-165.
Former s. 414.21.
Transitional education and training.—
In order to assist former recipients of temporary cash assistance who are working or actively seeking employment in continuing their training and upgrading their skills, education, or training, support services may be provided for up to 2 years after the family is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance. This section does not constitute an entitlement to transitional education and training. If funds are not sufficient to provide services under this section, the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., may limit or otherwise prioritize transitional education and training.
Education or training resources available in the community at no additional cost shall be used whenever possible.
Regional workforce boards may authorize child care or other support services in addition to services provided in conjunction with employment. For example, a participant who is employed full time may receive child care services related to that employment and may also receive additional child care services in conjunction with training to upgrade the participant’s skills.
Transitional education or training must be job-related, but may include training to improve job skills in a participant’s existing area of employment or may include training to prepare a participant for employment in another occupation.
A regional workforce board may enter into an agreement with an employer to share the costs relating to upgrading the skills of participants hired by the employer. For example, a regional workforce board may agree to provide support services such as transportation or a wage subsidy in conjunction with training opportunities provided by the employer.
s. 25, ch. 96-175; s. 19, ch. 97-173; s. 24, ch. 99-241; s. 29, ch. 2000-165; s. 23, ch. 2010-210.
Former s. 414.22.
In order to assist former recipients of temporary cash assistance in maintaining and sustaining employment or educational opportunities, transportation may be provided, if funds are available, for up to 2 years after the participant is no longer in the program. This does not constitute an entitlement to transitional transportation. If funds are not sufficient to provide services under this section, regional workforce boards may limit or otherwise prioritize transportation services.
Transitional transportation must be job or education related.
Transitional transportation may include expenses identified in s. 445.025, paid directly or by voucher, as well as a vehicle valued at not more than $8,500 if the vehicle is needed for training, employment, or educational purposes.
s. 16, ch. 98-57; s. 26, ch. 99-241; s. 30, ch. 2000-165.
Former s. 414.225.
Transitional child care.—
In order to assist former welfare transition program participants and individuals who have been redirected through up-front diversion in obtaining employment, continuing to be employed, and improving their employment prospects, transitional child care is available for up to 2 years:
To a former program participant who is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance and who is employed or is actively seeking employment if his or her income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level at any time during that 2-year period.
To an individual who has been redirected through up-front diversion and who is employed or is actively seeking employment if his or her income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level at any time during that 2-year period.
s. 31, ch. 2000-165; s. 2, ch. 2007-197.
Welfare Transition Trust Fund.—
The Welfare Transition Trust Fund is created in the State Treasury, to be administered by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Funds shall be credited to the trust fund to be used for the purposes of the welfare transition program set forth in ss. 445.017-445.032.
The intent of the Welfare Transition Trust Fund is to support the welfare transition program, including diversion services, employment and related services, transition services, and support services.
Funds budgeted for the welfare transition program may be appropriated to the Welfare Transition Trust Fund for implementation of welfare transition services. Additional funds may be placed in the Welfare Transition Trust Fund, including incentive funds earned by the state for purposes of this section.
All funds transferred to and retained in the trust fund shall be invested pursuant to s. 17.61. Any interest accruing to the trust fund shall be for the benefit of the welfare transition program. Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any undisbursed balance remaining in the trust fund and interest accruing to the trust fund not distributed at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund and shall increase the total funds available to implement the welfare transition program.
s. 1, ch. 2001-174; s. 499, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2004-212; s. 3, ch. 2004-235.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and the Department of Children and Family Services shall arrange for evaluation of TANF-funded programs operated under this chapter, as follows:
If required by federal waivers or other federal requirements, the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and the department may provide for evaluation according to these requirements.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and the department shall participate in the evaluation of this program in conjunction with evaluation of the state’s workforce development programs or similar activities aimed at evaluating program outcomes, cost-effectiveness, or return on investment, and the impact of time limits, sanctions, and other welfare reform measures set out in this chapter. Evaluation shall also contain information on the number of participants in work experience assignments who obtain unsubsidized employment, including, but not limited to, the length of time the unsubsidized job is retained, wages, and the public benefits, if any, received by such families while in unsubsidized employment. The evaluation shall solicit the input of consumers, community-based organizations, service providers, employers, and the general public, and shall publicize, especially in low-income communities, the process for submitting comments.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and the department may share information with and develop protocols for information exchange with the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and the department may initiate or participate in additional evaluation or assessment activities that will further the systematic study of issues related to program goals and outcomes.
In providing for evaluation activities, the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and the department shall safeguard the use or disclosure of information obtained from program participants consistent with federal or state requirements. Evaluation methodologies may be used which are appropriate for evaluation of program activities, including random assignment of recipients or participants into program groups or control groups. To the extent necessary or appropriate, evaluation data shall provide information with respect to the state, district, or county, or other substate area.
The board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., and the department may contract with a qualified organization for evaluations conducted under this section.
s. 26, ch. 96-175; s. 20, ch. 97-173; s. 68, ch. 97-237; s. 27, ch. 99-241; s. 32, ch. 2000-165; s. 51, ch. 2004-350.
Former s. 414.23.
Any expenditures from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant shall be made in accordance with the requirements and limitations of part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, as amended, or any other applicable federal requirement or limitation. Prior to any expenditure of such funds, the Secretary of Children and Family Services, or his or her designee, shall certify that controls are in place to ensure such funds are expended in accordance with the requirements and limitations of federal law and that any reporting requirements of federal law are met. It shall be the responsibility of any entity to which such funds are appropriated to obtain the required certification prior to any expenditure of funds.
s. 33, ch. 2000-165.
Data collection and reporting.—
The Department of Children and Family Services and the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., shall collect data necessary to administer this chapter and make the reports required under federal law to the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture.
s. 47, ch. 96-175; s. 35, ch. 97-173; s. 29, ch. 99-241; s. 34, ch. 2000-165.
Former s. 414.44.
Digital media; job training.—
Workforce Florida, Inc., through the Agency for Workforce Innovation, may use funds dedicated for Incumbent Worker Training for the digital media industry. Training may be provided by public or private training providers for broadband digital media jobs listed on the targeted occupations list developed by the Workforce Estimating Conference or Workforce Florida, Inc. Programs that operate outside the normal semester time periods and coordinate the use of industry and public resources should be given priority status for funding.
s. 154, ch. 2000-165.
Development of an Internet-based system for information technology industry promotion and workforce recruitment.—
Workforce Florida, Inc., is responsible for directing the development and maintenance of a website that promotes and markets the information technology industry in this state. The website shall be designed to inform the public concerning the scope of the information technology industry in the state and shall also be designed to address the workforce needs of the industry. The website shall include, through links or actual content, information concerning information technology businesses in this state, including links to such businesses; information concerning employment available at these businesses; and the means by which a job seeker may post a resume on the website.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall coordinate with the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology and the Agency for Workforce Innovation to ensure links, where feasible and appropriate, to existing job information websites maintained by the state and state agencies and to ensure that information technology positions offered by the state and state agencies are posted on the information technology website.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall ensure that the website developed and maintained under this section is consistent, compatible, and coordinated with the workforce information systems required under s. 445.011, including, but not limited to, the automated job-matching information system for employers, job seekers, and other users.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall coordinate development and maintenance of the website under this section with the executive director of the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology to ensure compatibility with the state’s information system strategy and enterprise architecture.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may enter into an agreement with the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or any other public agency with the requisite information technology expertise for the provision of design, operating, or other technological services necessary to develop and maintain the website.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may procure services necessary to implement the provisions of this section, if it employs competitive processes, including requests for proposals, competitive negotiation, and other competitive processes to ensure that the procurement results in the most cost-effective investment of state funds.
In furtherance of the requirements of this section that the website promote and market the information technology industry by communicating information on the scope of the industry in this state, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall coordinate its efforts with the high-technology industry marketing efforts of Enterprise Florida, Inc., under s. 288.911. Through links or actual content, the website developed under this section shall serve as a forum for distributing the marketing campaign developed by Enterprise Florida, Inc., under s. 288.911. In addition, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall solicit input from the not-for-profit corporation created to advocate on behalf of the information technology industry as an outgrowth of the Information Service Technology Development Task Force created under chapter 99-354, Laws of Florida.
In fulfilling its responsibilities under this section, Workforce Florida, Inc., may enlist the assistance of and act through the Agency for Workforce Innovation. The agency is authorized and directed to provide the services that Workforce Florida, Inc., and the agency consider necessary to implement this section.
s. 35, ch. 2000-164; s. 4, ch. 2002-265; s. 15, ch. 2008-116.
Establishment of a network access point.—
The state actively supports efforts that enhance the information technology industry in this state, particularly those efforts that increase broadband technology. A critical initiative to enhance this industry in this state is determined to be the development of a network access point, which is defined to be a carrier-neutral, public-private Internet traffic exchange point. The state encourages private information technology businesses to forge partnerships to develop a network access point in this state. Moreover, the state recognizes the importance of a network access point that addresses the needs of small information technology businesses.
s. 36, ch. 2000-164.
Passport to Economic Progress Act; legislative intent.—
The purpose of the Passport to Economic Progress Act is to provide incentives and services designed to assist individuals who are recipients of temporary cash assistance or who are former recipients of temporary cash assistance generate family income levels that help foster the achievement and maintenance of economic self-sufficiency. It is the intent of the Legislature to create through this act a demonstration program for the provision of such incentives and services, with the goal of developing a model for the continued evolution and enhancement of the welfare reform efforts of the state.
s. 1, ch. 2001-175.
Passport to Economic Progress program.—
AUTHORIZATION.—Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, Workforce Florida, Inc., in conjunction with the Department of Children and Family Services and the Agency for Workforce Innovation, shall implement a Passport to Economic Progress program consistent with the provisions of this section. Workforce Florida, Inc., may designate regional workforce boards to participate in the program. Expenses for the program may come from appropriated revenues or from funds otherwise available to a regional workforce board which may be legally used for such purposes. Workforce Florida, Inc., must consult with the applicable regional workforce boards and the applicable local offices of the Department of Children and Family Services which serve the program areas and must encourage community input into the implementation process.
WAIVERS.—If Workforce Florida, Inc., in consultation with the Department of Children and Family Services, finds that federal waivers would facilitate implementation of the program, the department shall immediately request such waivers, and Workforce Florida, Inc., shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives if any refusal of the federal government to grant such waivers prevents the implementation of the program. If Workforce Florida, Inc., finds that federal waivers to provisions of the Food Assistance Program would facilitate implementation of the program, the Department of Children and Family Services shall immediately request such waivers in accordance with s. 414.175.
TRANSITIONAL BENEFITS AND SERVICES.—In order to assist them in making the transition to economic self-sufficiency, former recipients of temporary cash assistance participating in the passport program shall be eligible for the following benefits and services:
Notwithstanding the time period specified in s. 445.030, transitional education and training support services as specified in s. 445.030 for up to 4 years after the family is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance;
Notwithstanding the time period specified in s. 445.031, transitional transportation support services as specified in s. 445.031 for up to 4 years after the family is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance; and
Notwithstanding the time period specified in s. 445.032, transitional child care as specified in s. 445.032 for up to 4 years after the family is no longer receiving temporary cash assistance.
All other provisions of ss. 445.030, 445.031, and 445.032 shall apply to such individuals, as appropriate. This subsection does not constitute an entitlement to transitional benefits and services. If funds are insufficient to provide benefits and services under this subsection, the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., or its agent, may limit such benefits and services or otherwise establish priorities for the provisions of such benefits and services.
INCENTIVES TO ECONOMIC SELF-SUFFICIENCY.—
The Legislature finds that:
There are former recipients of temporary cash assistance and families who are eligible for temporary assistance for needy families who are working full time but whose incomes are below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Having incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level makes such individuals particularly vulnerable to reliance on public assistance despite their best efforts to achieve or maintain economic independence through employment.
It is necessary to implement a performance-based program that defines economic incentives for achieving specific benchmarks toward self-sufficiency while the individual is working full time.
Workforce Florida, Inc., in cooperation with the Department of Children and Family Services and the Agency for Workforce Innovation, shall offer performance-based incentive bonuses as a component of the Passport to Economic Progress program. The bonuses do not represent a program entitlement and shall be contingent on achieving specific benchmarks prescribed in the self-sufficiency plan. If the funds appropriated for this purpose are insufficient to provide this financial incentive, the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., may reduce or suspend the bonuses in order not to exceed the appropriation or may direct the regional boards to use resources otherwise given to the regional workforce to pay such bonuses if such payments comply with applicable state and federal laws.
To be eligible for an incentive bonus under this subsection, an individual must:
Be a former recipient of temporary cash assistance who last received such assistance on or after January 1, 2000, or be part of a family that is eligible for temporary assistance for needy families;
Be employed full time, which for the purposes of this subsection means employment averaging at least 32 hours per week, until the United States Congress enacts legislation reauthorizing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant and, after the reauthorization, means employment complying with the employment requirements of the reauthorization; and
Have an average family income for the 6 months preceding the date of application for an incentive bonus which is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
EVALUATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.—Workforce Florida, Inc., in conjunction with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, and the regional workforce boards, shall conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the program operated under this section. Evaluations and recommendations for the program shall be submitted by Workforce Florida, Inc., as part of its annual report to the Legislature.
CONFLICTS.—If there is a conflict between the implementation procedures described in this section and federal requirements and regulations, federal requirements and regulations shall control.
s. 2, ch. 2001-175; ss. 78, 79, ch. 2003-399; ss. 52, 53, ch. 2004-269; s. 5, ch. 2005-61; ss. 37, 38, 55, ch. 2005-71; s. 1, ch. 2005-149; s. 39, ch. 2010-209.
Digital Divide Council.—
LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.—The Legislature finds as follows:
Frequent access to use of information technology and possession of the knowledge and skills required to use information technology productively is becoming increasingly more important to being competitively qualified for high-skill, high-wage employment.
The availability of reasonable opportunities to have frequent access to use of information technology and to obtain the education and training necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills required to use information technology productively is critical to becoming competitively qualified for high-skill, high-wage employment.
Families that are living near or below the poverty level are without adequate economic resources to have reasonable opportunities to obtain frequent access to use of information technology or the education and training necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills required to become competitively qualified for high-skill, high-wage employment.
The absence of such economic resources divides such families from those who have adequate economic resources to have such opportunities, places such families at risk of never realizing their employment and income earning potential, and prevents the state’s economy from prospering to the extent possible if such families realized their employment and income earning potential.
The divide between the members of such at-risk families and those who have adequate economic resources to have reasonable opportunities to obtain access to frequent use of information technology and the education and training necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills required to become competitively qualified for high-skill, high-wage employment could be reduced, and the economy of the state could be enhanced, by designing and implementing programs that provide such opportunities to members of such at-risk families.
It is the intent of the Legislature to provide the authority and resources reasonably necessary to facilitate design and implementation of such programs.
DIGITAL DIVIDE COUNCIL.—The Digital Divide Council is created in the Department of Education. The council shall consist of:
A representative from the information technology industry in this state appointed by the Governor.
The director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development in the Executive Office of the Governor.
The president of Workforce Florida, Inc.
The director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
The chair of itflorida.com, Inc.
The Commissioner of Education.
A representative of the information technology industry in this state appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
A representative of the information technology industry in this state appointed by the President of the Senate.
Two members of the House of Representatives, who shall be ex officio, nonvoting members of the council, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be a member of the Republican Caucus and the other of whom shall be a member of the Democratic Caucus.
Two members of the Senate, who shall be ex officio, nonvoting members of the council, appointed by the President of the Senate, one of whom shall be a member of the Republican Caucus and the other of whom shall be a member of the Democratic Caucus.
TERMS OF APPOINTED MEMBERS OF COUNCIL; VACANCIES; COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS.—The appointed members of the council shall serve an initial term of 1 year commencing July 1, 2007, and ending June 30, 2008, and successor appointees shall serve a term of 2 years, the first of which shall commence July 1, 2008, and end June 30, 2010. Successive 2-year terms shall commence and end on the same schedule in subsequent years. Any vacancy in the membership of the council resulting from resignation, incapacity, or death shall be filled within 30 days after the date the vacancy is effective. The appointed members of the council shall serve without compensation, but such appointees and the other members of the council shall be entitled to receive per diem and reimbursement for travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061. Payment of such per diem and reimbursement of such travel expenses may be made from appropriations authorized to be used for such purposes.
COUNCIL MEETINGS; ELECTION OF OFFICERS.—The council shall conduct its initial meeting by August 1, 2007, and shall meet thereafter at least once every 90 days. In its initial meeting, the members of the council shall elect a member to serve as chair and another to serve as vice chair, each for a term of 1 year from the date of the election. Any vacancy in the offices of chair and vice chair resulting from resignation, incapacity, or death shall be filled by similar election within 30 days after the date the vacancy is effective.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT; PAYMENT OF SUPPORT COSTS.—The Department of Education shall provide such administrative and technical support to the council as is reasonably necessary for the council to effectively and timely carry out its duties and responsibilities. All direct and indirect costs of providing such support and performing the other duties assigned to the Department of Education related to design and implementation of the programs authorized by this section may be paid from appropriations authorized to be used for such purposes.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF COUNCIL.—The council, through the Department of Education, is authorized and empowered to facilitate the design and implementation of programs that are aimed at achieving the objectives and goals stated in this section. The Department of Education shall present and demonstrate to the council the design characteristics and functional elements of each program proposed to be implemented to achieve the objectives and goals stated in this section and each such program shall be reviewed and approved by the council before being implemented.
PROGRAM OBJECTIVES AND GOALS.—The programs authorized by this section shall have the following objectives and goals:
Maximizing efficient and productive use of existing facilities, equipment, personnel, programs, and funds available from federal, state, and local government agencies and from any private person or entity.
Using innovative concepts employing newly developed technologies in educating and training those who are enrolled in the programs authorized by this section.
Developing viable partnerships between public agencies and private persons and entities based on mutual commitment to responsible and dedicated participation in designing and implementing the programs authorized by this section.
Recruiting, enrolling, retaining, and graduating as many at-risk family members as feasible to ensure that they have reasonable opportunities to obtain access to frequent use of information technology and the education and training necessary to competitively qualify them for high-skill, high-wage employment.
Reducing the number of underachieving and failing students in the state’s public school systems who are members of at-risk families.
Reducing the number of underemployed and unemployed members of at-risk families through educational initiatives.
Using information technology to facilitate achievement of the Sunshine State Standards by all children enrolled in the state’s K-12 school system who are members of at-risk families.
Training teachers in the state’s K-12 school system to efficiently and effectively use information technology to plan, teach, and administer all courses of instruction required and available by election of children enrolled in the system.
Using information technology to enable members of at-risk families who are no longer enrolled in K-12 schools to obtain the education needed to achieve successful completion of general education development test preparation to earn a high school diploma, an applied technology diploma, a career certificate, an associate of arts degree, or a baccalaureate degree.
Bridge the digital divide in developing a competitive workforce to meet the employment needs of state-based information technology businesses and establish this state as having the most information technology ready workforce in the western hemisphere.
MONITORING, REVIEWING, AND EVALUATING PROGRAM PERFORMANCES; REPORTING RESULTS.—The council, through the Department of Education, shall continually monitor, review, and evaluate the progress of performances realized from implementation of the programs authorized by this section. The Department of Education shall prepare and submit a report to the council at least 10 days before each of its meetings subsequent to its initial meeting and each such report shall, at a minimum, identify and describe the functional elements of each program being implemented and identify and describe the facilities, equipment, personnel, programs, and funds used to design and implement the program. For each such program, the report shall also identify by name, address, age, and sex the school-age children, and their older siblings and parents, who are enrolled in the program; state the educational level achieved by each enrollee as of the date he or she enrolled in the program; state the attendance and achievement level recorded for each enrollee in the program; evaluate the progress each enrollee is making toward successful completion of the program; and identify by name, address, age, and sex each enrollee who successfully completes the program. For each such program that is designed to prepare enrollees for high-skill, high-wage employment, the report shall identify each enrollee who successfully completes the program; describe each such employment position for which each enrollee has applied; identify by name, address, and nature of business each employer based in this state to whom each such application for employment has been addressed; state the results each enrollee obtained from making each such application; and describe the nature of any employment obtained and terms of compensation being earned from such employment by each enrollee as a result of making such applications.
s. 6, ch. 2001-175; s. 78, ch. 2004-41; s. 47, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2007-158; s. 101, ch. 2010-5.
Individual development accounts.—
The purpose of this act is to provide for the establishment of individual development accounts that can provide families having limited means an opportunity to accumulate assets and to facilitate and mobilize savings; to promote education, homeownership, and microenterprise development; and help to stabilize families and build communities. This section implements the provisions of s. 404(h) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. s. 604(h), related to individual development accounts. Nothing in this section is intended to conflict with the provisions of federal law.
As used in this section, the term:
“Individual development account” means an account established exclusively to pay the qualified expenses of an eligible individual or family. The account is funded through periodic contributions by the establishing individual which are matched by or through a qualified entity for a qualified purpose.
“Qualified entity” means:
A not-for-profit organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of such code; or
A state or local government agency acting in cooperation with an organization described in subparagraph 1. For purposes of this section, a regional workforce board is a government agency.
“Financial institution” means a financial institution as defined in s. 655.005(1)(h).
“Eligible educational institution” means:
An institution described in s. 481(a)(1) or s. 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. s. 1088(a)(1) or s. 1141(a), as such sections are in effect on the date of the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-193.
An area vocational education school, as defined in s. 521(4)(C) or (D) of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 2471(4), in this state, as such sections are in effect on the date of the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-193.
“Postsecondary educational expenses” means:
Tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance of a student at an eligible educational institution.
Fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at an eligible educational institution.
“Qualified acquisition costs” means the costs of acquiring, constructing, or reconstructing a residence. The term includes any usual or reasonable settlement, financing, or other closing costs.
“Qualified business” means any business that does not contravene any law or public policy.
“Qualified business capitalization expenses” means qualified expenditures for the capitalization of a qualified business pursuant to a qualified plan.
“Qualified expenditures” means expenditures included in a qualified plan, including capital, plant, equipment, working capital, and inventory expenses.
“Qualified first-time homebuyer” means a taxpayer and, if married, the taxpayer’s spouse, who has no present ownership interest in a principal residence during the 3-year period ending on the date of acquisition of the principal residence.
“Date of acquisition” means the date on which a binding contract to acquire, construct, or reconstruct the principal residence is entered into.
“Qualified plan” means a business plan or a plan to use a business asset purchased, which:
Is approved by a financial institution, a microenterprise development organization, or a nonprofit loan fund having demonstrated fiduciary integrity.
Includes a description of services or goods to be sold, a marketing plan, and projected financial statements.
May require the eligible individual to obtain the assistance of an experienced entrepreneurial advisor.
“Qualified principal residence” means a principal residence, within the meaning of s. 1034 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, the qualified acquisition costs of which do not exceed 100 percent of the average area purchase price applicable to such residence, determined in accordance with s. 143(e)(2) and (3) of that code.
The Department of Children and Family Services shall amend the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families State Plan which was submitted in accordance with s. 402 of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. s. 602, to provide for the use of funds for individual development accounts in accordance with this section.
Any family subject to time limits and fully complying with work requirements of the temporary cash assistance program, pursuant to ss. 414.045, 414.065, 414.095, 414.105, and 445.024, which enters into an agreement with an approved fiduciary organization is eligible to participate in an individual development account.
Contributions to the individual development account by an individual may be derived only from earned income, as defined in s. 911(d)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
The individual or family must enter into an individual development account agreement with a certified fiduciary organization as described in subsection (7). This account agreement shall include, but need not be limited to, the matching funds to be contributed to the account, limits on the deposits for which the match will be provided, required documentation necessary for payment of moneys in the account to be made for a qualified purpose, and penalties for withdrawal of funds not used for one or more of the qualified purposes.
Eligible participants may receive matching funds for contributions to the individual development account, pursuant to the strategic plan for workforce development. When not restricted to the contrary, matching funds may be paid from state and federal funds under the control of the regional workforce board, from local agencies, or from private donations.
Eligible participants may receive bonus payments for program compliance, to the extent provided in the strategic plan for workforce development. Such bonus payments may provide for a matching proportion higher than that of matching funds described in paragraph (d).
Individual development accounts may be available for any of the following qualified purposes once the family no longer receives cash assistance:
Postsecondary educational expenses paid from an individual development account directly to an eligible educational institution;
Qualified acquisition costs with respect to a qualified principal residence for a qualified first-time homebuyer, if paid from an individual development account directly to the persons to whom the amounts are due; or
Amounts paid from an individual development account directly to a business capitalization account that is established in a federally insured financial institution and is restricted to use solely for qualified business capitalization.
The Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish procedures for regional workforce boards to include in their annual program and financial plan an application to offer an individual development account program as part of their TANF allocation. These procedures shall include, but need not be limited to, administrative costs permitted for the fiduciary organization and policies relative to identifying the match ratio and limits on the deposits for which the match will be provided in the application process. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish policies and procedures that are necessary to ensure that funds held in an individual development account are not withdrawn except for one or more of the qualified purposes described in this section.
Fiduciary organizations shall be the regional workforce board or other community-based organizations designated by the regional workforce board to serve as intermediaries between individual account holders and financial institutions holding accounts. Responsibilities of such fiduciary organizations may include marketing participation, soliciting matching contributions, counseling program participants, and conducting verification and compliance activities.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish procedures for controlling the withdrawal of funds for uses other than qualified purposes, including specifying conditions under which an account must be closed.
A fiduciary organization shall establish a grievance committee and a procedure for hearing, reviewing, and responding in writing to any grievance filed by a holder of an individual development account who disputes a decision of the operating organization that funds were withdrawn for uses other than qualified purposes.
Upon an account holder’s death, his or her account may be transferred to the ownership of a contingent beneficiary. An account holder shall name contingent beneficiaries at the time the account is established and may change such beneficiaries at any time.
Financial institutions approved by Workforce Florida, Inc., may establish individual development accounts pursuant to this section. A financial institution shall certify the establishment of the individual development accounts in accordance with the forms, documentation, and requirements prescribed by Workforce Florida, Inc.
In accordance with s. 404(h)(4) of the Social Security Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. s. 604(h)(4), and notwithstanding any other provision of law, other than the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, funds in an individual development account, including interest accruing in such account, shall be disregarded in determining eligibility for any federal or state program.
Pursuant to policy direction by Workforce Florida, Inc., the Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt such rules as are necessary to implement this act.
s. 1, ch. 2001-96.
Employment advocacy and assistance program targeting military spouses and dependents.—
The Legislature finds that military families are faced with a variety of challenges, including frequent relocations, recurring deployments, lengthy periods of separation, and heightened anxiety and uncertainty during periods of conflict. A military spouse’s ability to gain job skills and maintain a career contributes to the financial well-being of the family, spouse satisfaction with military life, and military retention and readiness. Military spouses are often required to terminate their employment in order to support their spouse’s highly mobile military commitment. The unemployment rate for military spouses is approximately four times the civilian unemployment rate, and military spouse earnings are significantly lower than those of their comparably educated civilian peers. Recognizing the employment challenges faced by military spouses and the importance of military families to our communities and economy, the Legislature declares its intent to establish an employment advocacy and assistance program to serve Florida’s military families.
Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish an employment advocacy and assistance program targeting military spouses and dependents. This program shall deliver employment assistance services through military family employment advocates colocated within selected one-stop career centers. Persons eligible for assistance through this program shall include spouses and dependents of active duty military personnel, Florida National Guard members, and military reservists.
Military family employment advocates are responsible for providing the following services and activities:
Coordination of employment assistance services through military base family support centers, Florida’s one-stop career centers, and veteran support organizations.
Training to one-stop career center managers and staff on the unique employment needs and skills of military family members.
Promoting and marketing the benefits of employing military family members to prospective employers.
Assisting employment-seeking military family members through job counseling, job search and placement services, the dissemination of information on educational and training programs, and the availability of support services.
Other employment assistance services Workforce Florida, Inc., deems necessary.
Workforce Florida, Inc., may enter into agreements with public and private entities to provide services authorized under this section.
s. 15, ch. 2004-230.
Citizen Soldier Matching Grant Program.—
The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall establish a matching grant program to award matching grants to private sector employers in this state that provide wages to employees serving in the United States Armed Forces Reserves or the Florida National Guard while those employees are on federal active duty. A grant may not be provided for federal active duty served before January 1, 2005. Each grant shall be awarded to reimburse the employer for not more than one-half of the monthly wages paid to an employee who is a resident of this state for the actual period of federal active duty. The monthly grant per employee may not exceed one-half of the difference between the amount of monthly wages paid by the employer to the employee at the level paid before the date the employee was called to federal active duty and the amount of the employee’s active duty base pay, housing and variable allowances, and subsistence allowance. The agency shall develop a plan by no later than October 1, 2005, subject to the notice, review, and objection procedures of s. 216.177, to administer the application and payment procedures for the matching grant program. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall not award any matching grants prior to the approval of the plan.
s. 1, ch. 2005-48.