Section 11. (a) There shall be in the department, but not subject to the jurisdiction thereof, a performance standards and workforce accountability task force, hereinafter called the task force. The task force shall develop and recommend policies that advance skills and workforce development opportunities for incumbent, unemployed and underemployed youth and adult workers whose lack of skills prevent or limit their successful employment. Lack of skills may include, but shall not be limited to, being less than proficient in English, mathematics, reading, writing, science and technology, or such other skills as Massachusetts employers may identify. The following groups shall be specifically targeted for assistance: adult workers with no post-secondary education; adult immigrants who seek to learn English; adults without a high school diploma; displaced workers; older workers; individuals not currently connected to the workforce; and youths between the ages of 16 and 21 who have either dropped out of school or are at risk of dropping out, or who are academically at-risk of not completing the requirements for high school graduation. The task force shall develop recommendations which shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (i) maximizing the skills gained, the number of people served, and the quality of outcomes achieved through the workforce development system; (ii) increasing services and resources for those most in need and for the purpose of moving individuals and families out of poverty; (iii) identifying professional development and technical assistance needs and resources to strengthen workforce development programs and the skills of staff who deliver workforce development services; and (iv) evaluating and analyzing current local and state policies for the governance and coordination of workforce development agencies and programs in Massachusetts and making recommendations for improving coordination, oversight, performance standards, streamlining bureaucracy and maximizing resources.
(b) The task force shall design and conduct an evaluation and analysis of the present governance and coordination of workforce development agencies and programs in the commonwealth. On the basis of that study the task force shall recommend to the general court, and other appropriate agencies, policies and changes to policies likely to improve the results of workforce development efforts in the commonwealth. Said recommendations shall address improving coordination, oversight and maximizing resources. The goals of the study shall include assisting citizens of the commonwealth in making better use of the state’s workforce development system, defining clearer lines of responsibility and accountability, and analyzing the management of the system in an effort to both improve service delivery and supplement the resources available for education and training. The task force shall publish a resource guide of all the workforce education and training resources available in the commonwealth.
(c) The task force shall consist of: the director of the department of career services or his designee; 3 members of the senate, 2 of whom shall be appointed by the senate president, 1 of whom shall serve as co-chair, and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 3 members of the house of representatives, 2 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall serve as co-chair, and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; the chancellor of the board of higher education or his designee; the secretary of the executive office of health and human services or his designee; and 18 members to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be from the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, 1 of whom shall be from the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, 2 of whom shall be from of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO nominated by its president, 2 of whom shall employ members from the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board Association, 1 of whom shall be from the Workforce Investment Association of Massachusetts, 1 of whom shall be from the executive office of community colleges 1 of whom shall be from the department of education, 1 of whom shall be from the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, 1 of whom shall be from the Commonwealth Corporation, 1 of whom shall be from the Women’s Union, 1 of whom shall be from the Massachusetts State Colleges Council of Presidents, 1 of whom shall be from the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations 1 of whom shall be from the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education, 1 of whom shall be from JFYNetWorks and 1 of whom shall be from the Massachusetts Workforce Alliance; provided, further, that at least 2 of the aforementioned members appointed by the governor shall represent business and workers’ organizations from rural areas and communities with a population of less than 31,000 residents.
(d) Members of the task force shall serve without compensation. The task force shall annually, on or before December 31, file a report with the clerk of the house of representatives and the clerk of the senate, the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on labor and workforce development, and the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies.
(e) The department of career services shall provide the funds necessary to carry out the activities of this section through workforce investment act funds. The department may use up to $500,000 of the workforce competitiveness trust fund for this purpose and shall provide administrative support to the task force, as requested.
(f) It shall be the responsibility of the department of career services, through the Commonwealth Corporation, in consultation with the workforce accountability task force to evaluate existing, and develop additional, performance standards for workforce and job-training programs receiving state funding in the areas of employment, skill, education, business and customer satisfaction impact for the agencies of the commonwealth that provide workforce development resources, education or training programs as defined by the task force. Commencing July 1, 2006, all workforce development services and job skills training programs receiving state or federal funds must submit, not later than June 30, an annual performance report to the department, the state workforce investment board, the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on education, the joint committee on higher education, the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies, and the joint committee on labor and workforce development. The annual performance report shall use the employment, education, business and customer satisfaction measures and standards as agreed upon and shall include any recommendations for the termination of any programs no longer required.