SECTION 1. Chapter 29 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2CCCCC the following section:-
Section 2DDDDD. There shall be established and set upon the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Trucking Industry Workforce Training Fund, hereinafter the fund, to be administered by the board of higher education. Trucking industry workforce personnel shall be defined as truck drivers, mechanics, technicians, and ancillary support personnel. The fund shall be used to administer a program to support training and education programs that address the workforce shortages of the trucking industry for the commercial transportation industry with the goal of training students, creating new jobs, retraining and upgrading existing jobs, and retraining existing workers to implement new technologies and to help meet the workforce needs of the trucking industry; provided that, not more than five percent of monies in the fund annually may be retained by the administering agency to implement and oversee the grant program established in section 58 of chapter 74. The fund shall be credited with all revenues collected from the surcharge imposed by section 8 of chapter 90. The fund shall not be subject to section 5C of chapter 29.
SECTION 2. Chapter 74 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 58 the following section:-
Section 59. (a) The board of higher education shall establish and maintain, in cooperation with school districts and vocational school authorities, postsecondary technical schools, and the boards of trustees of community colleges, a grant program, funded by the Trucking Industry Workforce Training Fund, established in section 2DDDDD of chapter 29, to support training and education programs that address the workforce shortages in the commercial trucking industry; provided that, trucking industry workforce personnel shall be defined as truck drivers, mechanics, technicians, and ancillary support personnel. The grant program shall be established with the goals of training students, creating new jobs, retraining and upgrading existing jobs, and retraining existing workers to implement new technologies and to help meet the workforce needs of the trucking industry within the commonwealth.
(b) The grant program shall be developed to address the following components :
(i) identify, support or establish collaborative regional partnerships including, but not limited to, employers, workforce development and education organizations, regional economic development organizations established pursuant to sections 3J and 3K of chapter 23A, and economic development officials where a demand for trucking industry workforce personnel exists;
(ii) address critical workforce shortages in the commercial trucking industry;
(iii) improve and increase employment opportunities for the trucking industry workforce in the commercial motor transportation sector for low-income individuals, women, minorities, and veterans;
(iv) provide training and educational or career ladder services for employed or unemployed trucking industry personnel in the commercial motor transportation sector who are seeking new positions or responsibilities within the industry;
(vi) boost industry-relevant instructor capacity for high school and postsecondary programs; and
(vii) direct support for succession planning, worker retention, and upskilling strategies for older and incumbent workers.
(c) Entities eligible to apply to participate in the grant program shall include but not be limited to (i) employers and employer associations; (ii) local workforce investment boards; (iii) institutions of higher education; (iv) public comprehensive high schools and vocational technical high schools; (v) private for-profit and nonprofit organizations providing education and workforce training; (vi) 1-stop career centers; (vii) local workforce development entities; (viii) union training programs; and (viii) any partnership or collaboration among such eligible applicants. Any funds allocated through the grant program shall complement and not replace existing local, state, private or federal funding for training and educational programs.
(d) A grant proposal submitted pursuant to this section shall include but not be limited to:
(i) a plan that defines specific goals for increasing the number of trucking industry personnel in the commercial motor transportation sector;
(ii) the evidence-based program or programs the applicant shall use to meet the goals;
(iii) a budget necessary to implement the plan, including a detailed description of any funding or in-kind contributions that an applicant will be providing in support of the proposal;
(iv) any private funding or private sector participation that the applicant anticipates in support of the proposal; and
(v) the proposed number of individuals who would be enrolled, complete training and be placed into employment within the trucking or related industries.
(e) The department of higher education shall, in consultation with the executive office of housing and economic development, executive office of labor and workforce development, department of elementary and secondary education, and entities representing parties who are eligible to participate in the grant program, develop guidelines for an annual review of the progress being made by each grantee. A grantee shall participate in any evaluation or accountability process implemented by or authorized by department of higher education.
(f) The department of higher education shall file an annual report with the chairs of the house and senate committee on ways and means, the chairs of the joint committee on labor and workforce development, and the chairs of the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies not later than January 1; provided, however, that the report shall include an overview of the activities of the programs, the number of participants in the programs, and the employment outcomes in the programs.
SECTION 3. Section 8 of chapter 90 is hereby amended by inserting the following new paragraph at the end thereof:-
There shall be a surcharge of $5 on all applications for licensure or renewal of a commercial driver’s license. The surcharge shall be transferred by the registrar of motor vehicles to the state treasurer for deposit into the Trucking Industry Workforce Training Fund established in section 2DDDDD of chapter 29.
SECTION 4. Section 8B of chapter 90 is hereby amended by inserting the following new paragraph at the end thereof:-
The registrar, in consultation with the board of higher education, shall provide information to applicants who receive a learner’s permit about careers in the trucking industry.
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