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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Workforce Florida, Inc.; creation; purpose; membership; duties and powers.
Section 445.004, Florida Statutes 2004

445.004  Workforce Florida, Inc.; creation; purpose; membership; duties and powers.--

(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. 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.

(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), 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. Notwithstanding s. 114.05(1)(f), the Governor may appoint remaining members to Workforce Florida, Inc., from the current Workforce Development Board and the WAGES Program State Board of Directors, established pursuant to chapter 96-175, Laws of Florida, to serve on the reconstituted board. By July 1, 2000, the Workforce Development Board will provide to the Governor a transition plan to incorporate the changes required by this act and Pub. L. No. 105-220, specifying the manner of changes to the board. This plan shall govern the transition, unless otherwise notified by the Governor. The importance of minority, gender, and geographic representation shall be considered when making appointments to the board.

(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.

(c)  Members appointed by the Governor must be appointed for 2-year terms. 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 from any member of the Legislature. A member of the Legislature may submit more than one board nomination to the Governor through his or her respective presiding officer. Private sector appointments to the board shall be representative of the business community of this state, and no less than one-half of the appointments to the board must be representative of small businesses. Members appointed by the Governor serve at the pleasure of the Governor and are eligible for reappointment.

(d)  The Governor shall appoint members to the board of directors of Workforce Florida, Inc., within 30 days after the receipt of a sufficient number of nominations.

(e)  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.

(f)  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.

(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 operational plan.

(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 board of directors, 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. At a minimum, the chair shall establish the following standing councils: the First Jobs/First Wages Council, the Better Jobs/Better Wages Council, and the High Skills/High Wages Council. For purposes of Pub. L. No. 105-220, the First Jobs/First Wages Council shall serve as the state's youth council.

(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 Agency for Workforce Innovation 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.  Welfare-to-work grants administered by the United States Department of Labor under Title IV, s. 403, of the Social Security Act, as amended.

4.  Activities authorized under Title II of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, 2 U.S.C. ss. 2271 et seq., and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.

5.  Activities authorized under 38 U.S.C., chapter 41, including job counseling, training, and placement for veterans.

6.  Employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 9901 et seq.

7.  Employment and training activities carried out under funds awarded to this state by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

8.  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.

9.  Displaced homemaker programs, provided under s. 446.50

10.  The Florida Bonding Program, provided under Pub. L. No. 97-300, s. 164(a)(1).

11.  The Food Stamp Employment and Training Program, provided under the Food Stamp Act of 1977, 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.

12.  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.

13.  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.

14.  Offender placement services, provided under ss. 944.707-944.708.

15.  Programs authorized under the National and Community Service Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. ss. 12501 et seq., and the Service-America programs, the National Service Trust programs, the Civilian Community Corps, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the American Conservation and Youth Service Corps, and the Points of Light Foundation programs, if such programs are awarded to the state.

(c)  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.

(d)  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.

(e)  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.

(f)  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 partnership 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 initiatives of the First Jobs/First Wages Council, the Better Jobs/Better Wages Council, and the High Skills/High Wages Council and for each of 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., and shall be centered around the strategies of First Jobs/First Wages, Better Jobs/Better Wages, and High Skills/High Wages.

(a)  First Jobs/First Wages is the state's strategy to promote successful entry into the workforce through education and workplace experience that lead to self-sufficiency and career advancement. The components of the strategy 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. A minimum of 15 percent of all Workforce Investment Act youth services funds shall be expended for after-school care programs, through contracts with qualified community-based organizations and faith-based organizations, on an equal basis with other private organizations, to provide after-school care programs to eligible children 14 through 18 years of age. These programs shall include academic tutoring, mentoring, and other appropriate services. Similar services may be provided for eligible children 6 through 13 years of age using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds. Funds expended under this paragraph may not be used for religious or sectarian purposes. To provide after-school care programs under this paragraph, a community-based organization or a faith-based organization must be a nonprofit organization that holds a current exemption from federal taxation under s. 501(c)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code or must be a religious organization that is not required to apply for recognition of its exemption from federal taxation under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(b)  Better Jobs/Better Wages is the state's strategy for assisting employers in upgrading or updating the skills of their employees and for assisting incumbent workers in improving their performance in their current jobs or acquiring the education or training needed to secure a better job with better wages.

(c)  High Skills/High Wages is the state's strategy for aligning education and training programs with high-paying, high-demand occupations that advance individuals' careers, build a more skilled workforce, and enhance Florida's efforts to attract and expand job-creating businesses.

(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.

History.--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.

Note.--Former s. 288.0475; s. 288.9620; s. 288.9952.