(1) 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 Department of Economic Opportunity; however, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall not be subject to control, supervision, or direction by the department 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.
(2) 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.
(3)(a) 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). 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 Governor, when in attendance, shall preside at all meetings of the board of directors.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) Representatives of businesses appointed to the board of directors may not include providers of workforce services.
(4)(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) A majority of the total current membership of the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., comprises a quorum of the board.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(g) 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.
(h) 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.
(i) 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.
(5) 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:
(a) 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.
(b) Providing oversight and policy direction to ensure that the following programs are administered by the department in compliance with approved plans and under contract with Workforce Florida, Inc.:
1. 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.
2. Programs authorized under the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, as amended, 29 U.S.C. ss. 49 et seq.
3. 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.
4. Activities authorized under 38 U.S.C., chapter 41, including job counseling, training, and placement for veterans.
5. Employment and training activities carried out under funds awarded to this state by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
6. 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.
7. Displaced homemaker programs, provided under s. 446.50.
8. The Florida Bonding Program, provided under Pub. L. No. 97-300, s. 164(a)(1).
9. 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.
10. 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. 288.904, pertaining to the return on investment from activities of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
11. 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.
12. Offender placement services, provided under ss. 944.707-944.708.
(c) The department 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.
(d) 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 department pursuant to s. 20.60(5)(c) are exempt from s. 112.061, but shall be governed by subsection (1).
(e) Notifying the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of noncompliance by the department 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.
(f) 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.
(g) Establish a dispute resolution process for all memoranda of understanding or other contracts or agreements entered into between the department and regional workforce boards.
(h) Archiving records with the Bureau of Archives and Records Management of the Division of Library and Information Services of the Department of State.
(6) Workforce Florida, Inc., may take action that it deems necessary to achieve the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to:
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(g) 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.
(7) 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:
(a) All audits, including the audit in subsection (8), if conducted.
(b) The operations and accomplishments of the board, including the programs or entities listed in subsection (6).
(8) 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.
(9) 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.
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(g) 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.
(10) 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.
(11) 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.
(12) 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.