Order of the Wisconsin
Department of Workforce Development
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development proposes an order to create ch. DWD 802, relating to technical education equipment grants under the Wisconsin Fast Forward program. The statement of scope for this rule, SS 002-20, was approved by the Governor on January 22, 2020, published in register No. 769B, on January 27, 2020, and approved by the Department of Workforce Development on February 6, 2020. This emergency rule was approved by the Governor on February 21, 2020.
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Workforce Development
Finding of Emergency
The Department of Workforce Development seeks to promulgate new rules in Chapter DWD 802 to implement the Technical Education Equipment Grants program created by 2017 Wisconsin Act 59. Section 1407k of the Act, creating s. 106.275, Stats., required the Department to promulgate rules to implement the program.
In a November 2019 Audit, the Legislative Audit Bureau ("LAB") found that the Department had not complied with the statute requiring it to promulgate rules for awarding grants for advanced manufacturing technical education equipment. The LAB recommended that the Department comply with the statutes by promulgating rules for awarding grants for technical education equipment for advanced manufacturing fields and report to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee by March 31, 2020, on its effort to implement this recommendation. Legislative Audit Bureau Report 19-24, November 2019, p. 46.
In addition, the funding for the Technical Education Equipment Grant program is an annual appropriation of $1,000,000 for 2019-2020 that will lapse if not encumbered by the end of the fiscal year. The grants must be encumbered by June 30, 2020. See s. 20.445(1)(cg), Stats. Furthermore, the Legislature by Section 9151 (5y) in 2017 Wisconsin Act 59 provides an exemption from a finding of emergency for the adoption of this rule. Statutes Interpreted: Section 106.275, Stats.
Explanation of Statutory Authority.
2017 Wisconsin Act 59 created s. 106.275, Stats, which allows the Department to award technical education equipment grants to school districts and requires the Department to promulgate rules to implement the grant procedures and requirements. Related Statute or Rules: Section 106.275, Stats.
Plain Language Analysis.
This rule establishes procedures and requirements for the Department of Workforce Development to award technical education equipment grants to school districts in this state. A school district may use a grant only for acquiring the following: 1) equipment that is used in advance manufacturing fields in the workplace; 2) any software necessary to operate such equipment; and 3) any instructional material necessary to train pupils in the operation of such equipment. A grant may not be less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000. To be eligible for a grant, a school district must provide matching funds equal to 200 percent of the amount of the grant. The matching funds may be in the form of money or the monetary value of equipment. The rule allows the matching funds to be contributed by an applicant, private sources, or both.
The rule requires the Department to solicit applications for the grants by preparing one or more Grant Program Announcements (GPAs). A GPA must do all of the following: 1) describe the grants; 2) invite applications; 3) specify who may apply; and 4) establish application procedures, criteria for awarding the grants, and conditions and restrictions accompanying the grants. The Department must publish a notice of availability of each GPA on its website and distribute copies upon request. School districts must apply on an application form included in the GPA by the date and in accordance with procedures and requirements specified in the GPA. An applicant must describe all of the following information: 1) the purpose and need for the grant; 2) project outcomes that the applicant seeks to achieve from receiving the grant; 3) the amount, form, and source of matching funds; and 4) any other information required in the GPA.
The rule requires the Department to make a preliminary review of applications. Based on the preliminary review, the Department may deny applications that fail to include the above information or to comply with the format and content specifications of the GPA. For applications that satisfy the preliminary review, the Department must evaluate them and, as specified in the GPA, assign points signifying the degree to which they meet applicable criteria. The Department must award grants to applications with the most points and notify applicants in writing of its decision by the date set in the GPA. The grants are made through contracts between the Department and grant recipients.
The rule also imposes reporting requirements on school districts that receive grants. The rule requires a grant recipient to file a report with the Department by September 1 of each of the first 3 fiscal years following the fiscal year in which the grant was received. The report must describe how the grant moneys were expended, describe the outcomes achieved as a result of receiving the grant, share best practices for training pupils on the use of equipment acquired with the grant, and include a plan for sustainability of that training. Finally, the report must provide such other information as the Department may require in the GPA.
Summary of, and comparison with, existing or proposed federal regulations.
The federal Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) provides funding for employment and training programs. The Department, with the approval of the Council on Workforce Investment, provides grant allocations to 11 regional workforce development boards, which fund and supervise local programs. Programs for employment placement/retention, job training, and education-related training programs are delivered through Wisconsin Job Centers.
Comparison with rules in adjacent states.
Illinois. The Industrial Development Assistance Law allows local school districts and community colleges to apply for and receive grants under Act 100-0679 for the acquisition of land, construction of facilities, and purchase of equipment, dedicated solely to the instruction of occupations in manufacturing.
Iowa. The Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) uses apprenticeship training program funds to support grants to Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors – which are typically employers, labor management partnerships, or industry associations to subsidize the cost of RAP. Such costs included related classroom instruction, purchasing equipment for the apprenticeship program, and establishing new locations to expand apprenticeship training.
Michigan. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in 2018 awarded $5 million in grants to 14 districts and intermediate districts to purchase specialized equipment and expand programs as part of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Innovation and Equipment Grants. These grants allow districts to obtain equipment to expand career and technical education programs in manufacturing with an emphasis on mechatronics, computer numerical control machining, and welding.
Summary of factual data and analytical methodologies.
The rules for the standard Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program under Wis. Admin. Code ch. DWD 801 were reviewed as part of the process for developing this proposed rule. No other data or analysis was needed.
Analysis and supporting documents used to determine effect on small business or in preparation of an economic impact analysis.
The proposed rule will have no significant economic impact on small businesses as defined in s. 227.114 (1), Stats.