There shall be established a community college workforce grant advisory committee, hereinafter referred to as the committee, to provide recommendations to the board of higher education for grant awards to community colleges from the Community College Fund, established pursuant to section 99 of chapter 194 of the acts of 2011, to promote the development of workforce training programs and partnerships with commonwealth businesses and industry, other educational and training institutions, labor organizations, and other organizations supporting workforce development in the commonwealth.
The committee shall consist of the commissioner of higher education, or a designee, who shall serve as chair; the secretary of the executive office of education, or a designee; the secretary of labor and workforce development, or a designee; the secretary of housing and economic development, or a designee; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, or a designee; the president of the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators, or a designee; the president of the Commonwealth Corporation, or a designee; the chair of the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board Association, or a designee; the president of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, or a designee; the president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, or a designee; a member of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, or a designee; a member of the Governor's Science Technology Engineering and Math Advisory Council, or a designee; and 1 member appointed by the Governor who represents organized labor. The members of the committee shall serve without compensation, but each member shall be entitled to reimbursement for his actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his official duties.
The committee shall establish criteria and guidelines for the award of grants to community colleges. The criteria for the award of grants to community colleges shall focus on workforce development programs and partnerships and shall include, but not be limited to: collaboration, coordination and partnerships with commonwealth businesses and other educational and training institutions, including vocational-technical schools, state universities and career centers; a focus on existing and emerging business and industry sectors in the commonwealth, as identified by the committee; alignment of degree and certificate programs with regional workforce development demands; an ability or likelihood to foster high rates of completion of certificate and degree programs by students served by the program; and a record of, or explicit commitment to, successful job placement for program graduates. Partnerships with vocational schools shall include, but not be limited to, agreements to utilize facilities at vocational high schools and offer degrees and certificates that build upon current vocational offerings
The committee shall make recommendations to the board of higher education and the board shall promulgate regulations to develop a formula for required matching grants to be made by business and industry partners of applicants. Required matching grants shall range from 30 cents for each state dollar invested to $3 for each state dollar invested. The lowest match amounts shall be reserved for those programs with the highest concentration of credits and credentials that articulate with other educational degrees or certifications at other educational and training institutions. The committee shall establish a formula for the geographic distribution of grant awards among the community colleges.
The committee shall solicit grant applications from community colleges and review such applications according to the criteria so established. The committee shall establish timely deadlines for the submission of applications and recommendations of grant awards including provision for an expedited process of consideration and recommendation in instances when the secretary of housing and economic development and secretary of labor and workforce development jointly certify the need for timely evaluation and disposition of the application. The board of higher education shall make the final determination as to the distribution of the grants. No more than $12,000,000 or 1/2 of the amount deposited in the Community College Fund, established pursuant to said section 99 of said chapter 194, or whichever is less shall be awarded in grants from the fund in any given fiscal year.
Each grant recipient shall submit an annual report for the duration of the program or partnership funded through a grant to the committee for its review.
The committee shall submit an annual report to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate who shall forward the same to the senate and house committees on ways and means, the joint committee on higher education, the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies, and the joint committee on labor and workforce development on or before December 31. Said report shall include a list of grant recommendations and recipients, including the amount of each grant. The report shall include a current assessment of the progress of each program funded through the grant program and the progress of the committee's activity, including any recommendations for legislation. The report shall be made available on a public website.
The board of higher education, in consultation with the committee, may promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation and administration of this section.