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News & Press: MPMA News

Workforce Wednesday: Strengthening the PIPELINE Legislation

Wednesday, March 15, 2017  
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MPMA’s youth skills training bills (HF 631/SF 474) continue to await inclusion in yet-to-be-drafted omnibus bills. As legislative committees wrap up hearings on other bills, it’s important to note that MPMA is supporting other workforce-related bills.

HF 2227/SF 1846 is a bill to strengthen the PIPELINE Project (Private Investment/Public Education Labor-Industry Experience), which was established to expand dual training and apprenticeship programs. Dual training programs provide structured on-the-job training and related instruction so that employees can develop the necessary occupational competencies to succeed in their chosen career.

The original legislation was passed in 2014, and since then, MPMA has played a key role in helping to develop the PIPELINE program. Many MPMA members have been early adopters of the dual-training approach and have received grant funding to support employee training through the program.

PIPELINE has experienced great success over the past three years by engaging industry leaders in developing training programs and assisting employers in changing the question from "How do we get workers with the skills we need?" to "How do we train our workers with the skills we need?" Dual training, like apprenticeship, is an earn-as-you-learn approach whereby the employer invests in its employees by building a training infrastructure, developing career pathways, and supporting employee education.

To continue the success of the program and move it from pilot phase into a full program, the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) has proposed a few technical changes to clarify its statutory charge and to increase funding.

MPMA’s workforce development director, Luann Bartley, and lobbyist, Amy Walstien, have been involved with the PIPELINE since early days. Amy testified in support of the bill in both the House and Senate Jobs Committees this week.