Section 288.047, Florida Statutes 2003
288.047 Quick-response training for economic development.--
(1) The Quick-Response Training Program is created to meet the workforce-skill needs of existing, new, and expanding industries. The program shall be administered by Workforce Florida, Inc., in conjunction with Enterprise Florida, Inc., and the Department of Education. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall adopt guidelines for the administration of this program. Workforce Florida, Inc., shall provide technical services and shall identify businesses that seek services through the program. Workforce Florida, Inc., may contract with Enterprise Florida, Inc., or administer this program directly, if it is determined that such an arrangement maximizes the amount of the Quick Response grant going to direct services.
(2) Workforce Florida, Inc., shall ensure that instruction funded pursuant to this section is not available through the local community college or school district and that the instruction promotes economic development by providing specialized training to new workers or retraining for current employees to meet changing skill requirements caused by new technology or new product lines and to prevent potential layoffs. Such funds may not be expended to provide training for instruction related to retail businesses or to reimburse businesses for trainee wages. Funds made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community in this state unless Workforce Florida, Inc., determines that without such relocation the business will move outside this state or determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale for the relocation which creates additional jobs.
(3) Requests for funding through the Quick-Response Training Program may be produced through inquiries from a specific business or industry, inquiries from a school district director of career education or community college occupational dean on behalf of a business or industry, or through official state or local economic development efforts. In allocating funds for the purposes of the program, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish criteria for approval of requests for funding and shall select the entity that provides the most efficient, cost-effective instruction meeting such criteria. Program funds may be allocated to any area technical center, community college, or state university. Program funds may be allocated to private postsecondary institutions only upon a review that includes, but is not limited to, accreditation and licensure documentation and prior approval by Workforce Florida, Inc. Instruction funded through the program must terminate when participants demonstrate competence at the level specified in the request; however, the grant term may not exceed 24 months. Costs and expenditures for the Quick-Response Training Program must be documented and separated from those incurred by the training provider.
(4) For the first 6 months of each fiscal year, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall set aside 30 percent of the amount appropriated for the Quick-Response Training Program by the Legislature to fund instructional programs for businesses located in an enterprise zone or brownfield area. Any unencumbered funds remaining undisbursed from this set-aside at the end of the 6-month period may be used to provide funding for any program qualifying for funding pursuant to this section.
(5) Prior to the allocation of funds for any request pursuant to this section, Workforce Florida, Inc., shall prepare a grant agreement between the business or industry requesting funds, the educational institution receiving funding through the program, and Workforce Florida, Inc. Such agreement must include, but is not limited to:
(a) An identification of the personnel necessary to conduct the instructional program, the qualifications of such personnel, and the respective responsibilities of the parties for paying costs associated with the employment of such personnel.
(b) An identification of the estimated length of the instructional program.
(c) An identification of all direct, training-related costs, including tuition and fees, curriculum development, books and classroom materials, and overhead or indirect costs, not to exceed 5 percent of the grant amount.
(d) An identification of special program requirements that are not addressed otherwise in the agreement.
(e) Permission to access information specific to the wages and performance of participants upon the completion of instruction for evaluation purposes. Information which, if released, would disclose the identity of the person to whom the information pertains or disclose the identity of the person's employer is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). The agreement must specify that any evaluations published subsequent to the instruction may not identify the employer or any individual participant.
(6) For the purposes of this section, Workforce Florida, Inc., may accept grants of money, materials, services, or property of any kind from any agency, corporation, or individual.
(7) In providing instruction pursuant to this section, materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, business transactions, or proprietary information received, produced, ascertained, or discovered by employees of the respective departments, district school boards, community college district boards of trustees, or other personnel employed for the purposes of this section is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). The state may seek copyright protection for all instructional materials and ancillary written documents developed wholly or partially with state funds as a result of instruction provided pursuant to this section, except for materials that are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(8) There is created a Quick-Response Training Program for participants in the welfare transition program. Workforce Florida, Inc., may award quick-response training grants and develop applicable guidelines for the training of participants in the welfare transition program. In addition to a local economic development organization, grants must be endorsed by the applicable regional workforce board.
(a) Training funded pursuant to this subsection may not exceed 12 months, and may be provided by the local community college, school district, regional workforce board, or the business employing the participant, including on-the-job training. Training will provide entry-level skills to new workers, including those employed in retail, who are participants in the welfare transition program.
(b) Participants trained pursuant to this subsection must be employed at a wage not less than $6 per hour.
(c) Funds made available pursuant to this subsection may be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from one community to another community if approved by Workforce Florida, Inc.
(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, eligible matching contributions received under the Quick-Response Training Program under this section may be counted toward the private-sector support of Enterprise Florida, Inc., under s. 288.90151(5)(d).
(10) Workforce Florida, Inc., and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall ensure maximum coordination and cooperation in administering this section, in such a manner that any division of responsibility between the two organizations which relates to marketing or administering the Quick-Response Training Program is not apparent to a business that inquires about or applies for funding under this section. The organizations shall provide such a business with a single point of contact for information and assistance.
History.--s. 2, ch. 93-187; ss. 2, 71, ch. 94-136; s. 874, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 95-345; s. 37, ch. 96-320; s. 134, ch. 96-406; s. 15, ch. 97-278; s. 34, ch. 97-307; s. 23, ch. 98-57; s. 78, ch. 2000-165; s. 3, ch. 2000-317.