83R6716 KEL-F
  By: J. Davis of Harris H.B. No. 834
  relating to the establishment of the Texas Fast Start Program to
  promote rapid delivery of workforce education and development.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 302, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 302.0032 to read as follows:
         Sec. 302.0032.  TEXAS FAST START PROGRAM. (a)  In this
               (1)  "Fast start program" means a career and technical
  educational program designed to help students earn career
  certifications and enter into the workforce quickly.
               (2)  "Public junior college" and "public technical
  institute" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003, Education
         (b)  The commission shall establish and administer the Texas
  Fast Start Program to identify, develop, and support methods to
  maximize academic or workforce education credit from public junior
  colleges and public technical institutes to expedite the entry of
  postsecondary students into the workforce.
         (c)  The commission shall work collaboratively with the
  Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, public junior colleges,
  and public technical institutes to accomplish the purposes of this
         (d)  Through the collaboration, the commission shall develop
  new competency-based, rapid-deployment education delivery models
  for use by a public junior college or public technical institute in
  developing or expanding a fast start program as described by this
         (e)  A fast start program under this section must:
               (1)  focus on the current and future needs of employers
  in this state;
               (2)  enable students to obtain certifications at an
  accelerated pace in high-demand fields or occupations, as
  identified by local employers;
               (3)  incorporate competency-based learning techniques;
               (4)  feature a variety of access channels that are
  uniquely designed to maximize job preparedness for identified
  groups such as veterans, high school graduates, and current
  workforce members seeking retraining; and
               (5)  be designed for rapid deployment statewide.
         (f)  Through the collaboration, the commission:
               (1)  may award grants to public junior colleges and
  public technical institutes for:
                     (A)  the expansion of existing fast start
                     (B)  the development of new fast start programs;
                     (C)  any other activities related to the purposes
  of this section; and
               (2)  shall create a variety of incentives that
  encourage public junior colleges and public technical institutes to
  expand any existing fast start programs.
         (g)  A grant received under this section may be used only to:
               (1)  support a course or program that prepares students
  for career employment in fields or occupations that are identified
  as high-demand by local employers;
               (2)  finance the initial costs of developing a fast
  start program, including the costs of constructing or renovating
  facilities, purchasing equipment, and other associated expenses;
               (3)  finance the development or expansion of a fast
  start program leading to a license, certificate, or postsecondary
  degree; and
               (4)  offer a new or expanded dual credit fast start
  program jointly with a public high school.
         (h)  The commission shall administer the program using money
  appropriated to the commission, money received from federal or
  other sources, or money from holding accounts that may be used by
  the commission for the purpose of skills development.
         (i)  The commission may adopt rules as necessary for the
  administration of this section.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2013.