HBA-JLV H.B. 2593 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2593 By: Chavez Economic Development 7/17/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The U.S. Senate passed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on November 20, 1993. NAFTA went into effect January 1, 1994, establishing free and open trading borders between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. This agreement was designed to change the nature of trade among its partners, creating U.S. jobs and increasing import-export activity. With the increasing impact of NAFTA and other changes in the state economy, the Texas job market is shifting toward high tech positions requiring a skilled labor force. According to the Texas Workforce Commission's Texas Labor Market Review, the demand for computer-related occupations will continue to increase as a result of the advances in computer technology and the continuing demand for new computer applications. Workers skilled in computer technology will continue to be needed across all industries. House Bill 2593 authorizes the Texas Workforce Commission to establish and implement a pilot program for technology training for certain persons. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Workforce Commission in SECTION 1 (Section 301.0674, Labor Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 2593 amends the Labor Code to authorize the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), by rule, to establish and implement a pilot program to provide, or through competitive grants, contract with other persons to provide adult technology training for residents of the state who are first-generation citizens of the United States or who are displaced workers as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement or other changes in the state economy. The bill authorizes the pilot program to be established to provide training in an urban community, a rural community, and a community in the region of the state that borders the United Mexican States. The bill authorizes TWC to obtain funds for the pilot program, to the extent possible, from the telecommunications infrastructure fund, the federal government, and private corporate partners. TWC may, not later than December 1 of each year, submit a report to the governor and the members of the legislature regarding the status and results of the pilot program. The bill expires September 1, 2005. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.