WSR 02-01-133

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed December 19, 2001, 10:58 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: Amending WAC 388-310-0600 WorkFirst -- Job search.

Purpose: DSHS seeks to expand WorkFirst job search requirements to include longer term full-time training that will lead to high-wage, high-demand employment.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.08.090, 74.04.050.

Summary: This will allow full-time training and degree completion in a high-wage, high-demand field as an acceptable WorkFirst activity.

This proposes two types of high-wage, high-demand full-time training options for TANF recipients to complete a certificate or degree in a high-wage, high-demand field.

(1) Information technology and health care: This option allows participants to start and finish a one year community or technical college training in the information technology or health care fields.

(2) Certificate/degree completion: This option allows participants to finish up the last year of a two- or four-year certificate or degree in a high-wage, high-demand field on an exception basis.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Brent D. Low, DEAP Headquarters, P.O. Box 45445, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 413-3015.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: DSHS seeks to expand WorkFirst job search requirements to include longer-term full-time training that will lead to high-wage, high-demand employment. This will allow full-time training and degree completion in a high-wage, high-demand occupation as an acceptable WorkFirst activity.

It is anticipated that those who pursue this as a viable WorkFirst option will enter the work force in an occupation that traditionally pays higher wages and is more stable. This would assist clients in becoming independent of TANF and decrease the numbers of those who return to TANF due to job loss or inadequate wages.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Amends WAC 388-310-0600, this proposes two types of high-wage, high-demand full-time training options for TANF recipients to complete a certificate or degree in a high-wage, high-demand field.

(1) Information technology and health care: This option allows participants to start and finish a one year community or technical college training in the information technology or health care fields.

(2) Certificate/degree completion: This option allows participants to finish up the last year of a two- or four-year certificate or degree in a high-wage, high-demand field on an exception basis.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not have an economic impact on small business.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. This is not a significant legislative rule pursuant to RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(ii).

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on January 22, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by January 18, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail fernaax@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., January 22, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: No earlier than January 23, 2002.

December 7, 2001

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

2961.2
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-16-055, filed 7/26/00, effective 8/1/00)

WAC 388-310-0600   WorkFirst--Job search.   (1) What is job search?

Job search is an opportunity to learn and use skills you need to find and keep a job. Job search may include:

(a) Classroom instruction; and/or

(b) Structured job search that helps you find job openings, complete applications, practice interviews and apply other skills and abilities with a job search specialist or a group of fellow job-seekers; and/or

(c) Pre-employment training; and/or

(d) High wage, high demand training.

(2) What is pre-employment training?

Pre-employment training helps you learn skills you need for an identified entry level job that pays more than average entry level wages.

(a) Pre-employment training is an acceptable job search activity when an employer or industry commits to hiring or giving hiring preference to WorkFirst participants who successfully complete pre-employment training.

(b) You can find out about current pre-employment training opportunities by asking your job service specialist, your case manager or staff at your local community and technical college.

(3) What is high wage, high demand training?

There are two types of high-wage/high-demand (HWHD) full-time training options for TANF recipients to complete a certificate or degree that will lead to employment in a high-wage, high-demand occupation.

(a) Information technology & health care: This option allows participants to start and finish a one-year community or technical college training program in the information technology or health care fields; and/or

(b) Certificate/degree completion: This option allows participants to finish up the last year of a two- or four-year certificate or degree in a high-wage, high-demand field on an exception basis. The high-wage/high-demand criteria for this option is based on median income and high-demand occupations within the local labor market as determined by employment security department.

For both types of HWHD training, the training can be approved one-time only (barring an approved exception to policy) There is no work requirement with either option for the twelve months of training time.

To qualify for HWHD training, a participant must also:

(i) Meet all of the pre-requisites for the course;

(ii) Obtain the certificate or degree within twelve calendar months;

(iii) Participate full-time in the training program and make satisfactory progress;

(iv) Work with co-located ESD staff during the last quarter of training for job placement; and

(v) Return to job search once s/he completes the educational program if still unemployed.

(4) Who provides me with job search?

You get job search from the employment security department or another organization under contract with WorkFirst to provide these services.

(((4))) (5) How long do I stay in job search?

Periods of job search may last up to twelve continuous weeks. Job search specialists will monitor your progress. By the end of the first four weeks, a job search specialist will determine whether you should continue in job search. Job search will end when:

(a) You find a job; or

(b) You become exempt from WorkFirst requirements (see WAC 388-310-0300); or

(c) Your situation changes and you are temporarily deferred from continuing with job search (see WAC 388-310-0400); or

(d) Job search specialists have determined that you need additional skills and/or experience to find a job; or

(e) You have not found a job at the end of the job search period.

(((5))) (6) What happens at the end of job search if I have not found a job?

At the end of each job search period, you will be referred back to your case manager for an employability evaluation if you have not found a job. You and your case manager will also modify your individual responsibility plan.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08A.340(2), 45 C.F.R. 260.31, RCW 74.08.090, and chapter 74.04 RCW. 00-16-055, 388-310-0600, filed 7/26/00, effective 8/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.050. 99-10-027, 388-310-0600, filed 4/28/99, effective 5/29/99; 97-20-129, 388-310-0600, filed 10/1/97, effective 11/1/97.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office