Relating to employment and training of Alaska’s workforce
I, Steve Cowper, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority granted by art. III of the Alaska Constitution and by Alaska Statute 44.17.060, hereby order the following as the policy and guidelines for the Executive Branch of Alaska State Government on employment and training of Alaska’s work force.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
A comprehensive policy and implementation strategy are needed in the area of employment and training to ensure that Alaska’s work force is capable of satisfying the state’s labor market demands. Lack of an official policy from the top level of government contributes to a potential for duplication of effort, lack of important services, uneven quality of services and questions of jurisdiction among governmental agencies.
Justification for an Alaskan Employment and Training Policy are based upon the following findings:
Finding 1. In the competition for scarce resources, increased coordination between existing employment and training programs and increased efficiency of program delivery are essential in meeting Alaska’s labor market needs.
1.1 The Alaska Statutes Advance equal employment opportunity for all Alaskans in both urban and rural settings without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy or parenthood.
1.2 All levels of government in Alaska must strive to coordinate efforts in designing and implementing programs for effective human resource development. This is best done in cooperation with the private sector.
1.3 Technological applications within Alaska’s economy are best achieved by applying state-of-the-art technology to employment and training programs where financially feasible and practical.
1.4 The public education system, state and local government, and the private sector are responsible for the development of occupational awareness and employment skills. This objective is best met by developing cooperative strategies to assist youth and adults in their attainment of these skills.
1.5 The availability of employment for all Alaskans is the optimum means of reducing the expenditure of public money while contributing to increased economic development.
1.6 Medical care, transportation, child care and elder care are among the essential support services needed by participants in employment and training programs.
1.7 The impact of change in the world economy on Alaska in recent years has increased the need to link employment, training, and economic development programs to enable Alaskans to be prepared to take advantage of new economic opportunities.
Finding 2. A cooperative and coordinated approach to the development of Alaskan human resources will allow Alaskans to benefit more fully from economic development within the state.
2.1 Society pays an unacceptably high price in human suffering and social welfare costs when it fails to address the special needs of those who have social, physical, or economic barriers to employment.
2.2 A trained, identifiable and available Alaskan work force is an essential state resource and a critical element in the hiring and location decisions of industry and commerce
2.3 The investment of state resources in development of a trained and adaptable work force provides a tangible return to the state in the form of greater employment opportunities for Alaskans. This represents a proactive change in policy by encouraging resident hire among qualified candidates rather than reliance on local hire statutes.
2.4 Economic growth promotes human resource development by providing employment opportunities and the means for Alaskans to be self-sufficient. The long-range success of economic and human resource development is governed – primarily by the market place but is also substantially influenced by public policy.
2.5 New technologies and structural changes in the economy require ongoing training and retraining of the work force. Responsibility for the provision of these services lies with both the public and private sectors.
Finding 3. The success of any economic development strategy requires a responsible, comprehensive human resource development system.
3.1 Components of a state comprehensive general education system include career competencies such as life skills and employment readiness skills.
3.2 Increasing the level of literacy and basic skills competencies is essential for preparing Alaskans for training and employment opportunities.
3.3 Opportunities for advanced training and retraining are provided through postsecondary education.
3.4 Comprehensive employment training includes outreach,
assessment, support services, skills training, job placement
3.5 A comprehensive statewide labor exchange network exists in the Job Service, providing a ready labor pool for potential employers.
3.6 Employers are an essential source of job-specific training in Alaska.
3.7 Policy guidance and oversight by the public is a necessary and desirable component in an effective human resource development system. It is in the state’s best interest to utilize delivery systems that have demonstrated effective education and training capabilities.
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING MISSION STATEMENT
Alaskan citizens are entitled to the benefits of employment and training opportunities provided with assistance from state government. In order to fulfill this mission, state agencies shall:
Mutually implement Alaska’s Employment and Training Policy; Work in concert with the private sector;
Assist Alaskans seeking full employment opportunities within the Alaska job market; and
Provide viable opportunities to ensure that Alaskans become qualified and are able to successfully compete for employment opportunities.
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING POLICY
Based upon the preceding findings and in an effort to fulfill this mission, the following Employment and Training Policy shall be undertaken:
- Every effort shall be made to achieve an integrated education, employment and training system in which all elements are coordinated to deliver services to Alaskans in need of them. The Governor’s Coordination and Special Services Plan shall articulate the implementation mechanism.
- Every effort shall be made to assist Alaskans to overcome social, cultural, psychological, physical, geographic, and economic barriers to employment; to protect the health and safety of workers; and to promote equality of access to the state’s employment training programs regardless of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, or place of domicile within Alaska.
- Employment and training programs shall target individuals who are most at risk of becoming, or currently are, dependent on public welfare. Targeted groups shall include: school dropouts and those at-risk of dropping out; teenage parents; those lacking basic literacy skills; those with disabilities; and long-term recipients of public assistance.
- Employment and training programs shall provide participants with access to essential literacy and educational services, occupational training, support services, and reasonable access for people with disabilities, in an effort to promote economic independence and self-sufficiency.
- The public education system has primary responsibility for educating Alaska’s citizenry. It must work to ensure equal access to career counseling and occupational skills development. Business, industry, organized labor, and government are encouraged to support elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education as preparation for work.
- Alaska’s public education system will, to the extent provided by law, provide occupational training and retraining, and cross-cultural education opportunities to its citizens to ensure that the work force will be competitive in a global economy.
- The state shall work to increase the employment potential of Alaskans, especially youth and women, by providing opportunities to investigate traditional and nontraditional occupations. A coordinated statewide system of career counseling and education shall provide an opportunity to assess individual skills, aptitudes and abilities.
- The employment and training system shall continue to include a statewide public labor exchange that assists individuals in obtaining suitable jobs and enables employers in recruiting qualified workers.
- Occupational training shall be targeted toward areas for which there is a continuing or emerging need for additional workers as demonstrated by reliable labor market information. Labor market, demographic and current economic development information will be collected, analyzed and disseminated in an effective and consistent manner to enhance the planning, development and operation of training programs.
- Business and industry representatives shall be encouraged to participate in the development, implementation and evaluation of employment and training programs.
- Occupation specific training provided by private sector employers will continue to be an- important component of employment and training programs.
- A consolidated statewide data information system shall be established to assist in planning, evaluation and financial accountability among the state administrative agencies.
Administrative Policy. The Employment and Training Mini-Cabinet shall be formally organized to function as the administrative policy board for human resource development. The Cabinet shall implement employment and training policy with advice from the Alaska State Job Training Coordinating Council.
Goals and Objectives. The State Job Training Coordinating Council, in concert with the Employment and Training Mini-Cabinet, shall develop a biennial “Governor’s Coordination and Special Services Plan.” The Plan shall reflect the elements of the Alaska Employment and Training Policy. The Plan shall also contain coordination criteria to assess collaboration, cooperation and duplication, further clarifying agency responsibilities in carrying out state policy. Agencies represented by the Mini-Cabinet will directly participate in the development of the Governor’s goals and objectives for job training and placement programs. These goals and objectives shall be articulated in the Governor’s Plan and shall be reflected in the job training plans required under the Job Training Partnership Act and the Wagner-Peyser Act.
Policy and Program Review. The Alaska State Job Training Coordinating Council (SJTCC) is vested with responsibility for policy and program review. The review will include such actions as necessary to evaluate the policy contained herein and the method of implementation. The SJTCC shall report to the Governor and Mini-Cabinet by way of an annual report, and as need prevails, the status of employment and training policies and programs in Alaska.
Implementation. The organizational structure established under the federal Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) shall be used as the model for delivery of state employment training services. The JTPA system shall coordinate closely with education agencies, among them: the University of Alaska; the Governor’s Council on Vocational Education; state and local general and vocational education agencies; proprietary and apprenticeship training schools.
Vocational education programs within the University of Alaska are governed by the Board of Regents. The University of Alaska will be a member of the Employment and Training Mini-Cabinet, sharing with the SJTCC, responsibility for the direction of employment and training. The university will cooperate with the programs that the SJTCC organized and coordinates and will exchange information about employment and training program directions with the SJTCC on a continuing basis through methods determined by the University and the State Job Training Coordinating Council.
The Alaska Occupational Information Coordinating Committee shall establish a comprehensive, consolidated statewide data collection system and serve as a clearinghouse between the Departments of Labor and Commerce and Economic Development, and the employment and training community.
Evaluation. A method for evaluation of state policy relating to employment and training and human resource development will be developed under the auspices of the SJTCC. The evaluation shall occur for each two-year implementation period covered by the “Governor’s Coordination and Special Services Plan.”
Definition of Terms
ALASKA OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION COORDINATING COMMITTEE. Established under Alaska Administrative Order #96, and funded by the Job Training Partnership Act and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act, the AOICC promotes the development and use of occupational information. It consists of representatives of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, the Employment Security Division, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the State Board of Education, and the State Job Training Coordinating Council. It is staffed by Research & Analysis, Department of Labor.
ALASKA STATE JOB TPAINING COORDINATING COUNCIL. Established under the federally funded Job Training Partnership Act, the Council is empowered to carry out a wide range of oversight and coordination functions related to employment and training as well as vocational education. In Alaska, the Council consists of 20 members appointed by the Governor for staggered terms. The chairperson is appointed from among the business and industry representatives. It is staffed by the Department of Community and Regional Affairs.
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING MINI-CABINET. Membership is comprised of the commissioners of the Departments of Community and Regional Affairs, Commerce and Economic Development, Health and Social Services, Labor, Military and Veterans’ Affairs, and the president of the University of Alaska. The purpose of the Mini-Cabinet is to act as the chief administrative policy board for human resource development.
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING PROGRAMS. Programs either administered or operated by the state providing services to participants, including provision of up-to-date labor market information, job search assistance, assessment of skills and aptitudes, classroom training, and support services such as medical and dental care, tools and clothing, transportation, and child care, to enable a person to participate in training and secure a job. These programs depend on an already existing vocational education system public and postsecondary schools.
GOVERNOR’S COORDINATION AND SPECIAL SERVICES PLAN. The biennial plan required by the Job Training Partnership Act (PL 97-300), which articulates the means of implementing Alaska’s Employment and Training Policy.
JOB TRAINING PARTNERSHIP ACT (JTPA). PL 97-300, as amended, was passed by Congress in October 1983. There are three main job training programs under JTPA: Title II-A Adult and Youth Training Programs; Title Il-B Summer Youth Employment and Training Programs; and Title III Dislocated Worker Programs. In FY 90, the State of Alaska expects to receive $6.5 million, $2.5 million, and $1.2 million for the programs, respectively.
JOB TRAINING PLANS. These are the local plans developed by Alaska’s three Private Industry Councils for the JTPA programs within each service delivery area. The plans are tailored to local conditions within the parameters established by the Governor’s Coordination and Special Services Plan.
PRIVATE INDUSTRY COUNCILS. These are the councils appointed by the elected official within each service delivery area established under JTPA. The councils provide local guidance and oversight for programs and approve the job training plans. Alaska’s Private Industry Councils and respective service delivery areas are: Statewide — appointed by the Governor; Anchorage/Mat-Su — appointed by the Anchorage Mayor; Fairbanks — appointed by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor.
This Order takes effect June 12, 1989. Dated at Juneau, this 12th day of June, 1989.
By: S/S Steve Cowper
Governor of the State of Alaska