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116L.17 State dislocated worker program.

Subdivision 1. Definitions. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them in this subdivision.

(b) "Dislocated worker" means an individual who is a resident of Minnesota at the time employment ceased or was working in the state at the time employment ceased and:

(1) has been terminated or has received a notice of termination from public or private sector employment, is eligible for or has exhausted entitlement to unemployment benefits, and is unlikely to return to the previous industry or occupation;

(2) has been terminated or has received a notice of termination of employment as a result of any plant closing or any substantial layoff at a plant, facility, or enterprise;

(3) has been long-term unemployed and has limited opportunities for employment or reemployment in the same or a similar occupation in the area in which the individual resides, including older individuals who may have substantial barriers to employment by reason of age;

(4) has been self-employed, including farmers and ranchers, and is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions in the community in which the individual resides or because of natural disasters, subject to rules to be adopted by the commissioner;

(5) has been self-employed as a farmer or rancher and, even though that employment has not ceased, has experienced a significant reduction in income due to inadequate crop or livestock prices, crop failures, or significant loss in crop yields due to pests, disease, adverse weather, or other natural phenomenon. This clause expires July 31, 2003; or

(6) is a displaced homemaker. A "displaced homemaker" is an individual who has spent a substantial number of years in the home providing homemaking service and (i) has been dependent upon the financial support of another; and now due to divorce, separation, death, or disability of that person, must find employment to self support; or (ii) derived the substantial share of support from public assistance on account of dependents in the home and no longer receives such support.

To be eligible under this clause, the support must have ceased while the worker resided in Minnesota.

(c) "Eligible organization" means a state or local government unit, nonprofit organization, community action agency, business organization or association, or labor organization.

(d) "Plant closing" means the announced or actual permanent shutdown of a single site of employment, or one or more facilities or operating units within a single site of employment.

(e) "Substantial layoff" means a permanent reduction in the workforce, which is not a result of a plant closing, and which results in an employment loss at a single site of employment during any 30-day period for at least 50 employees excluding those employees that work less than 20 hours per week.

Subd. 2. Grants. The board shall make grants to workforce service areas or other eligible organizations to provide services to dislocated workers. The board shall allocate funds available for the purposes of this section in its discretion to respond to large layoffs. The board shall regularly allocate funds to provide services to individual dislocated workers or small groups. The allocation for this purpose must be no less than 35 percent and no more than 50 percent of the projected collections, interest and other earnings of the workforce development fund during the period for which the allocation is made, less any collection costs paid out of the fund. The board shall consider the need for services to individual workers and workers in small layoffs in comparison to those in large layoffs relative to the needs in previous years when making this allocation. The board may, in its discretion, allocate funds carried forward from previous years under subdivision 9 for large, small, or individual layoffs.

Subd. 3. Allocation of funds. The board, in consultation with local workforce councils and local elected officials, shall develop a method of distributing funds to provide services for dislocated workers who are dislocated as a result of small or individual layoffs. The board shall consider current requests for services and the likelihood of future layoffs when making this allocation. The board shall consider factors for determining the allocation amounts that include, but are not limited to, the previous year's obligations and projected layoffs. After the first quarter of the program year, the board shall evaluate the obligations by workforce service areas for the purpose of reallocating funds to workforce service areas with increased demand for services. Periodically throughout the program year, the board shall consider making additional allocations to the workforce service areas with a demonstrated need for increased funding. The board shall make an initial determination regarding allocations under this subdivision by July 15, 2001, and in subsequent years shall make a determination by April 15.

Subd. 4. Use of funds. Funds granted by the board under this section may be used for any combination of the following, except as otherwise provided in this section:

(1) employment transition services such as developing readjustment plans for individuals; outreach and intake; early readjustment; job or career counseling; testing; orientation; assessment of skills and aptitudes; provision of occupational and labor market information; job placement assistance; job search; job development; prelayoff assistance; relocation assistance; and programs provided in cooperation with employers or labor organizations to provide early intervention in the event of plant closings or substantial layoffs;

(2) services that will allow the participant to become reemployed by retraining for a new occupation or industry, enhancing current skills, or relocating to employ existing skills, including classroom training; occupational skill training; on-the-job training; out-of-area job search; relocation; basic and remedial education; literacy and English for training non-English speakers; entrepreneurial training; and other appropriate training activities directly related to appropriate employment opportunities in the local labor market; and

(3) support services, including family care assistance, including child care; commuting assistance; housing and rental assistance; counseling assistance, including personal and financial; health care; emergency health assistance; emergency financial assistance; work-related tools and clothing; and other appropriate support services that enable a person to participate in an employment and training program.

Subd. 5. Cost limitations. (a) Funds allocated to a grantee are subject to the following cost limitations:

(1) no more than ten percent may be allocated for administration;

(2) at least 50 percent must be allocated for training assistance as provided in subdivision 4, clause (2); and

(3) no more than 15 percent may be allocated for support services as provided in subdivision 4, clause (3).

(b) A waiver of the training assistance minimum in clause (2) may be sought, but no waiver shall allow less than 30 percent of the grant to be spent on training assistance. A waiver of the support services maximum in clause (3) may be sought, but no waiver shall allow more than 20 percent of the grant to be spent on support services. A waiver may be granted below the minimum and above the maximum otherwise allowed by this paragraph if funds other than state funds appropriated for the dislocated worker program are used to fund training assistance.

Subd. 6. Performance standards. (a) The board, in consultation with representatives of local workforce councils and local elected officials, shall establish performance standards for the programs and activities administered or funded under this section. The board may use, when appropriate, existing federal performance standards or, if the commissioner determines that federal standards are inadequate or not suitable, may formulate new performance standards to ensure that the programs and activities of the dislocated worker program are effectively administered.

(b) The board shall, at a minimum, establish performance standards that appropriately gauge the program's effectiveness at placing dislocated workers in employment, replacing lost income resulting from dislocation, early intervention with workers shortly after dislocation, and retraining of workers from one industry or occupation to another.

Subd. 7. Reports. (a) Grantees receiving funds under this section shall report to the board information on program participants, activities funded, and utilization of funds in a form and manner prescribed by the board.

(b) The board shall report quarterly to the workforce development council information on grants awarded, activities funded, and plant closings and substantial layoffs. Specific information to be reported shall be by agreement between the board and the workforce development council.

Subd. 8. Administrative costs. No more than three percent of the funds appropriated to the board for the purposes of this section may be spent by the board for its administrative costs.

Subd. 9. Carryforward. Any funds not allocated, obligated, or expended in a fiscal year shall be available for allocation, obligation, and expenditure in the following fiscal year.

HIST: 1Sp2001 c 4 art 2 s 7; 2002 c 380 art 2 s 6

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes