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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-453

======================================================================



 
                      ENERGY JOBS FOR VETERANS ACT

                                _______
                                

 March 22, 2010.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Filner, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4592]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4592) to provide for the establishment of a 
pilot program to encourage the employment of veterans in 
energy-related positions, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     5
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     6
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     6
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     6
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     6
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     8
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     8
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     8
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     8

                               AMENDMENT

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be referred to as the ``Energy Jobs for Veterans Act''.

SEC. 2. VETERANS ENERGY-RELATED EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM.

  (a) Establishment of Pilot Program.--To encourage the employment of 
eligible veterans in the energy industry, the Secretary of Labor, as 
part of the Veteran's Workforce Investment Program, shall carry out a 
pilot program to be known as the ``Veterans Energy-Related Employment 
Program''. Under the pilot program, the Secretary shall award 
competitive grants to three States for the establishment and 
administration of a State program to make grants to energy employers 
and labor-management organizations that provide covered training, on-
job training, apprenticeships, and certification classes to eligible 
veterans. Such a program shall be known as a ``State Energy-Related 
Employment Program''.
  (b) Eligibility for Grants.--To be eligible to receive a grant under 
the pilot program, a State shall submit to the Secretary an application 
that includes each of the following:
          (1) A proposal for the expenditure of grant funds to 
        establish and administer a public-private partnership program 
        designed to provide covered training, on-job training, 
        apprenticeships, and certification classes to a significant 
        number of eligible veterans and ensure lasting and sustainable 
        employment in well-paying jobs in the energy industry.
          (2) Evidence that the State has--
                  (A) a population of eligible veterans of an 
                appropriate size to carry out the State program;
                  (B) a robust and diverse energy industry; and
                  (C) the ability to carry out the State program 
                described in the proposal under paragraph (1).
          (3) Such other information and assurances as the Secretary 
        may require.
  (c) Use of Funds.--A State that is the recipient of a grant under 
this section shall use the grant for the following purposes:
          (1) Making grants to energy employers and labor-management 
        organizations to reimburse such employers and organizations for 
        the cost of providing covered training, on-job training, 
        apprenticeships, and certification classes to eligible 
        veterans.
          (2) Conducting outreach to inform energy employers, labor-
        management organizations, and veterans, including veterans in 
        rural areas, of their eligibility or potential eligibility for 
        participation in the State program.
  (d) Conditions.--Under the pilot program, each grant to a State shall 
be subject to the following conditions:
          (1) The State shall repay to the Secretary, on such date as 
        shall be determined by the Secretary, any amount received under 
        the pilot program that is not used for the purposes described 
        in subsection (c).
          (2) The State shall submit to the Secretary, at such times 
        and containing such information as the Secretary shall require, 
        reports on the use of grant funds.
  (e) Employer Requirements.--In order to receive a grant made by a 
State under the pilot program, an energy employer shall--
          (1) submit to the administrator of the State Energy-Related 
        Employment Program an application that includes--
                  (A) the rate of pay for each eligible veteran 
                proposed to be trained using grant funds;
                  (B) the average rate of pay for an individual 
                employed by the energy employer in a similar position 
                who is not an eligible veteran; and
                  (C) such other information and assurances as the 
                administrator may require; and
          (2) agree to submit to the administrator, for each quarter, a 
        report containing such information as the Secretary may 
        specify.
  (f) Limitation.--None of the funds made available to an energy 
employer through a grant under the pilot program may be used to provide 
training of any kind to a person who is not an eligible veteran.
  (g) Report to Congress.--Together with the report required to be 
submitted annually under section 4107(c) of title 38, United States 
Code, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the pilot 
program for the year covered by such report. The report on the pilot 
program shall include a detailed description of activities carried out 
under this section and an evaluation of the program.
  (h) Administrative and Reporting Costs.--Of the amounts appropriated 
pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under subsection (j), 
two percent shall be made available to the Secretary for administrative 
costs associated with implementing and evaluating the pilot program 
under this section and for preparing and submitting the report required 
under subsection (f). The Secretary shall determine the appropriate 
maximum amount of each grant awarded under this section that may be 
used by the recipient for administrative and reporting costs.
  (i) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
          (1) The term ``covered training, on-job training, 
        apprenticeships, and certification classes'' means training, 
        on-job training, apprenticeships, and certification classes 
        that are--
                  (A) designed to provide the veteran with skills that 
                are particular to an energy industry and not directly 
                transferable to employment in another industry; and
                  (B) approved as provided in paragraph (1) or (2), as 
                appropriate, of subsection (a) of section 3687 of title 
                38, United States Code.
          (2) The term ``eligible veteran'' means a veteran, as that 
        term is defined in section 101(3) of title 38, United States 
        Code, who is employed by an energy employer and enrolled or 
        participating in a covered training, on-job training, 
        apprenticeship, or certification class.
          (3) The term ``energy employer'' means an entity that employs 
        individuals in a trade or business in an energy industry.
          (4) The term ``energy industry'' means any of the following 
        industries:
                  (A) The energy-efficient building, construction, or 
                retrofits industry.
                  (B) The renewable electric power industry, including 
                the wind and solar energy industries.
                  (C) The biofuels industry.
                  (D) The energy efficiency assessment industry that 
                serves the residential, commercial, or industrial 
                sectors.
                  (E) The oil and natural gas industry.
                  (F) The nuclear industry.
  (j) Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2015, for 
the purpose of carrying out the pilot program.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 4592 was introduced on February 3, 2010, by 
Representative Harry Teague of New Mexico. H.R. 4592, as 
amended, would create a pilot program within the U.S. 
Department of Labor (DOL) to provide competitive grants for up 
to three States to encourage the hiring and training of 
military veterans in the energy industry.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    A recent survey of veterans' unemployment by the DOL shows 
that the number of unemployed Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is 
now almost the same as the number of servicemembers currently 
deployed in support of those two wars. When the United States 
unemployment rate hit 9.7 percent last fall, veterans of the 
Iraq and Afghanistan wars were unemployed at a rate of 11.3 
percent. Furthermore, from 2008 to 2009, the unemployment rate 
for young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans between the ages of 18 
to 24, jumped seven points and hit 21.1 percent, as compared to 
16.6 percent for the rest of the nation. Moreover, veterans' 
unemployment in general has increased to 9.5 percent with over 
one million veterans seeking work. Among that number there are 
246,000 between the ages of 18 and 34. Another 739,000 are 
between the ages of 35 and 64 or about 75 percent of unemployed 
veterans.
    Additionally, energy employers have indicated a need to tap 
into a market of skilled, trained workers that does not always 
exist. Large scale investments in renewable energy, nuclear 
energy, natural gas, and energy efficiency, among other energy 
technologies, mean that a trained and skilled workforce must be 
developed quickly. Veterans are technically proficient, hard 
working and disciplined, and can provide an excellent source of 
talented employees to meet the energy industry's needs.
    Recognizing the need to fill the need of a growing industry 
with a professional workforce, and to combat the problem of 
unemployment among those who served our nation in uniform, 
Representative Harry Teague introduced H.R. 4592 to encourage 
energy employers to hire veterans. The bill establishes a 
competitive grant program in which up to three states could be 
selected to fund incentives for energy employers to hire 
veterans. The selected states would reimburse employers for the 
cost of training and apprenticeship needed to qualify the 
veteran for the job. The program legislated by the bill is 
different than other Federal employment programs, including 
others aimed at veterans, because it would ensure that a 
veteran has secured sustainable employment before the State 
reimburses the employer for the training. The employer benefits 
because he or she has the opportunity to hire a veteran and 
provide training and apprenticeship without incurring cost. The 
veteran benefits because employers are provided a further 
incentive to hire him or her for a position that might 
otherwise go to a non-veteran and because the employer is 
required to offer training and work experience that ensures 
sustainable employment for the veteran.
    Entities eligible for funding through H.R. 4592 would 
include employers and labor-management organizations involved 
in the energy efficient building, construction and retrofits 
industries; the renewable electric power industry; the biofuels 
industry; the energy efficiency assessment industry; the oil 
and gas industry; and, the nuclear industry.
    During Subcommittee consideration of the bill as 
introduced, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, 
Representative John Boozman of Arkansas, expressed concern that 
government funds would be used to artificially create jobs in 
the energy industry that were not created by regular market 
forces. Mr. Boozman also suggested that instead of paying a 
portion of the salary that the language be changed to reimburse 
employers that were providing on the job training or 
certification. In addition, DOL expressed concern that the bill 
language, as introduced, could create a program that was 
duplicative of current programs under its authority. DOL 
suggested the program be placed under the Veteran's Workforce 
Investment Program which already awards grants to train 
veterans for green energy jobs and that a portion of the 
appropriations be set aside for administration and evaluation 
of the program. These concerns were addressed by the 
Subcommittee in an amendment to H.R. 4592.
    H.R. 4592 is meant to assist those who served their country 
in the Armed Forces to be able to continue their work for the 
security of our country when they return home--by getting a 
job, and a career, producing our energy right here in America. 
Energy independence is one of our nation's foremost security 
imperatives, and there is no one more suitable for--or capable 
of--filling energy jobs in America than our veterans.

                                HEARINGS

    On February 25, 2010, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunity conducted a legislative hearing on various bills 
introduced during the 111th Congress, including H.R. 4592. The 
Following witnesses testified: The Honorable John J. Hall of 
New York; The Honorable Adam H. Putnam of Florida; The 
Honorable Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania; The Honorable Adam Smith 
of Washington; The Honorable Michael R. Turner of Ohio; Mr. 
Robert W. Madden, Assistant Director, National Economic 
Commission, The American Legion; Mr. Justin Brown, Legislative 
Associate, National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign 
Wars; Mr. Timothy S. Embree, Legislative Associate, Iraq and 
Afghanistan Veterans of America; Mr. James Bombard, Legislative 
Director, National Association of State Approving Agencies; Mr. 
Mark E. Sullivan, Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan, P.A.; Col. 
Shawn Shumake, U.S. Army, Director, Office of Legal Policy, 
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and 
Readiness), Program Integration and Legal Policy, U.S. 
Department of Defense; Mr. Keith M. Wilson, Director of 
Education Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs, accompanied by Mr. Mark 
Bologna, Director of Loan Guaranty Service, Veteran Benefits 
Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Mr. F. 
John Brizzi, Jr., Deputy-Assistant General Counsel, U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs. Those submitting statements for 
the record included: The Honorable Bob Filner of California; 
The Honorable Ron Klein of Florida; Ms. Patricia E. Apy, 
American Bar Association; Ms. Stacy Bannerman of Medford, 
Oregon; Ms. Kelly Hruska, Government Relations Deputy Director, 
National Military Family Association; Mr. Brian Hawthorne, 
Legislative Director, Student Veterans of America; and, the 
Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators.

                       SUBCOMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On March 4, 2010, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in an open markup session and ordered favorably forwarded 
to the full Committee H.R. 4592, as amended, by voice vote. 
During consideration of the bill the following amendment in the 
nature of a substitute was considered:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute by Mr. Harry 
Teague of New Mexico to create a ``Veterans Energy Related 
Employment Program'' pilot program which would award 
competitive grants to three states for the establishment of a 
program that would reimburse energy employers for the cost of 
providing on-the-job training for veterans in the energy sector 
while addressing the concerns highlighted in the February 25, 
2010, Subcommittee legislative hearing was agreed to by voice 
vote.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On March 10, 2010, the full Committee met in an open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 4592, as 
amended, reported favorably to the House of Representatives, by 
voice vote.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken on amendments or in connection 
with ordering H.R. 4592 reported to the House. A motion by Mr. 
Jeff Miller of Florida to order H.R. 4592, as amended, reported 
favorably to the House of Representatives was agreed to by 
voice vote.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

   NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  EARMARKS AND TAX AND TARIFF BENEFITS

    H.R. 4592 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
4592 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 4592 provided by the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 12, 2010.
Hon. Bob Filner,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4592, the Energy 
Jobs for Veterans Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Camille 
Woodland.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4592--Energy Jobs for Veterans Act

    Summary: H.R. 4592 would require the Department of Labor 
(DoL) to create a pilot program to assist veterans in 
qualifying for jobs in the energy sector. The bill would 
authorize the appropriation of $50 million over the 2011-2015 
period for this program. Assuming appropriation of the 
specified amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost $31 million over the 2011-2015 period.
    Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending 
or revenues; therefore pay-as-you-go procedures would not 
apply.
    H.R. 4592 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 4592 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 700 
(veterans benefits and services).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2011      2012      2013      2014      2015    2011-2015
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level................................        10        10        10        10        10         50
Estimated Outlays..................................         0         3         8        10        10         31
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: Under H.R. 4592, the Department of Labor 
would be required to initiate a program that would provide 
grants to employers and organizations that provide training, 
apprenticeships, and certification classes to prepare veterans 
for employment in energy-related fields. To fund the pilot 
program, which would be available in three states, the bill 
would authorize the appropriation of $10 million a year for 
2011 through 2015. Based on historical spending patterns for 
similar programs, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4592 
would cost $31 million over the 2011-2015 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 4592 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. State, local, and tribal governments that 
provide employment assistance to veterans would benefit from 
grants authorized in the bill.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Camille Woodland; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa Ramirez-
Branum; Impact on the Private Sector: Elizabeth Bass.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 4592 prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
4592.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for H.R. 4592 is provided by Article 
I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    This section would provide the short title of H.R. 4592, as 
amended, as the ``Energy Jobs for Veterans Act.''

Section 2. Veterans Energy-Related Employment Program

    This section would create a ``Veterans Energy Related 
Employment Program'' pilot program which would award 
competitive grants to three States for the establishment of a 
program that would reimburse energy employers for the cost of 
providing on-the-job training for veterans in the energy 
sector. The reimbursements would go to employers or labor-
management organizations.
    This section would require that each participating State 
provide evidence that it can produce such training to serve a 
population of eligible veterans, has a diverse energy industry, 
and the ability to carry out such a program.
    This section would authorize the use of grant funds to 
provide training to veterans, and conduct outreach to veterans 
informing them of the program and require that states submit 
proposals that certify that participating veterans would be 
hired at a wage rate consistent with the standard industry 
average for jobs that are technically involved and have a 
skill-set that is not transferable to other non-energy 
industries. Grant funds would be limited to veterans and the 
Secretary of Labor would be required to submit a report to 
Congress on the activities carried out by the program and an 
evaluation of the program.
    This section would authorize two percent of appropriated 
funds to be used for administrative costs and authorize the 
Secretary of Labor to determine the maximum amount of each 
grant awarded that may be used by the States for administrative 
and reporting costs.
    This section would authorize to be appropriated $10 million 
a year for five years, beginning in 2011 through 2015.