TITLE 40. SOCIAL SERVICES AND ASSISTANCE

PART 20. TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION

CHAPTER 808. YOUTH DRIVER EDUCATION FUNDING PROGRAM

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) adopts new Chapter 808, relating to the Youth Driver Education Funding Program, comprising the following subchapters:

Subchapter A. Youth Driver Education Funding Program Eligibility, §808.1

Subchapter B. Use of Youth Driver Education Funds, §808.21

New §808.1 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the February 25, 2022, issue of the Texas Register (47 TexReg 893) and, therefore, the adopted rule text will not be published. New §808.21 is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published and the adopted rule text will be published.

PART I. PURPOSE, BACKGROUND, AND AUTHORITY

The purpose of the Chapter 808 rules is to implement Senate Bill (SB) 2054 from the 87th Texas Legislature, Regular Session (2021). SB 2054 amended Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521, Subchapter H to add §521.168, Payment of Fees for Certain Foster and Homeless Children and Youths, which states that unless prohibited by Texas Transportation Code, §521.4265(c), TWC shall, upon request from an individual who meets the eligibility criteria outlined in Texas Transportation Code, §521.168, pay the fees associated with obtaining a driver's license imposed under Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521, Subchapter H, or Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001.

Texas Transportation Code, §521.168(a) lists the following criteria for eligible individuals:

--Individuals eligible for a driver's license fee exemption under Texas Transportation Code, §521.1811; or

--Individuals younger than 26 years of age who were or are:

--in the managing conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) on the day before the individual's 18th birthday; or

--a homeless child or youth, as defined by 42 United States Code §11434a.

Texas Transportation Code, §521.168(b) stipulates that TWC shall establish a process by which an eligible individual may apply to TWC for the payment of fees associated with obtaining a driver's license imposed under Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521, Subchapter H, or Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, and TWC pays those fees on the eligible individual's behalf.

SB 2054 also amended Texas Transportation Code, §521.4265(b) and (c) and added §521.4265(d). Texas Transportation Code, §521.4265(b) and (c) states that these fees will be paid for through the Texas Department of Public Safety's (DPS) identification fee exemption account. Texas Transportation Code, §521.4265(b) stipulates that DPS shall request that the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts transfer to TWC amounts sufficient to cover the cost of implementing the Youth Driver Education Funding Program under Texas Transportation Code, §521.168, including amounts sufficient for TWC's payment of fees to entities other than DPS.

Texas Transportation Code, §521.4265(c)(1) states that fund transfers for the Youth Driver Education Funding Program may not be requested if the balance of the account for the fiscal year is less than three times the amount expended in the previous fiscal year for fee waivers provided by Texas Transportation Code, §521.1015(e) and §521.1811.

Texas Transportation Code, §521.4265(d) requires DPS, in consultation with TWC, to establish rules for a process governing these fund transfers.

PART II. EXPLANATION OF INDIVIDUAL PROVISIONS

SUBCHAPTER A. Youth DRIVER EDUCATION FUNDING PROGRAM Eligibility

TWC adopts new Subchapter A:

§808.1. Eligible Population

New §808.1 states that TWC shall pay the fees associated with obtaining a driver's license imposed under Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521, Subchapter H, or Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, for eligible individuals who meet the criteria listed in Texas Transportation Code, §521.168(a).

SUBCHAPTER B. Use of Youth DRIVER EDUCATION Funds

TWC adopts new Subchapter B:

§808.21. Verification Process

New §808.21 describes the verification process by which eligible individuals may apply to have fees associated with obtaining a driver's license--imposed under Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521, Subchapter H, or Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001--paid for through TWC's Youth Driver Education Funding Program. New §808.21 also describes how TWC will respond to individuals requesting payment who are determined to be ineligible and provides steps required for driver education providers to receive a fee payment.

TWC hereby certifies that the rules have been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within TWC's legal authority to adopt.

PART III. PUBLIC COMMENTS

The public comment period closed on March 28, 2022. TWC received comments from DFPS and a joint comment from the coalition of youth advocates, which included Partnerships for Children, Texas Appleseed, Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates, Texas Foster Youth Justice Project, Texas Network of Youth Services, and two individuals who advocate for foster youth.

§808.1. Eligible Population

COMMENT: The coalition recommended that the rule be revised to make clear that behind-the-wheel training was available to participants 18 years of age and older.

RESPONSE: TWC does not plan to incorporate specific allowable costs within the rule and will address these issues as part of the policy and processes to implement the rule. TWC does plan to make the policy clear that behind-the-wheel training is allowable to all participants who need it.

No changes were made in response to this comment.

§808.21. Verification Process

COMMENT: DFPS and the coalition requested that TWC provide a list of approved driver education providers in Texas that meet all the requirements listed in §808.21(a).

RESPONSE: Due to the statewide nature of the program and considering that providers continue to open and close and are not under obligation to provide any information to TWC, TWC does not intend to keep a current list. TWC will use the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation list of licensed applications for its eligibility determinations and recommends that applicants use the same list. Applicants are not expected to conduct an eligibility check because TWC will confirm eligibility. TWC does not expect a significant number of education providers to be ineligible based on research conducted. Should an applicant propose an ineligible provider, TWC will provide a list of nearby eligible providers.

No changes were made to the rule in response to this comment.

COMMENT: DFPS and the coalition recommended that TWC accept applications in multiple digital formats, accept eligibility verification in multiple forms, and provide an opportunity for the applicant to give an additional contact to receive information relating to the application. Additionally, the coalition recommended that TWC provide a confirmation of receipt along with a confirmation number to ease future inquiries.

RESPONSE: TWC intends to accept applications through a website, by email, and through standard mail. Automatic confirmation will be given where feasible. TWC will accept documents in any legally acceptable format and intends to accept commonly used eligibility verification documents in addition to the form that TWC will develop and make available. Should an applicant wish to provide a second contact person, the second contact person will also be contacted.

The language in §808.21(b) is changed to clarify that submission can be made through multiple methods.

COMMENT: DFPS requested that the signatory for the youth's eligibility be automatically included in communication regarding the application if the applicant is currently in foster care.

RESPONSE: TWC will include the designated case manager or any other appropriate DFPS staff members in communication with those individuals currently in foster care.

No changes were made to the rule in response to this comment.

COMMENT: The coalition requested that TWC amend the rule to require contact with the applicant in the event that TWC is unable to determine the individual's eligibility.

RESPONSE: TWC revised the language in §808.21(c) to clarify that TWC will make reasonable efforts to contact any individual whose eligibility cannot be determined.

COMMENT: The coalition recommended that TWC include an explanation of why an applicant is ineligible if an application is rejected.

RESPONSE: TWC intends to provide clear information on why an applicant is ineligible if he or she is found to be so. Any applicant will be able to reapply to the program if circumstances change or he or she is able to provide more accurate documentation.

No changes were made to the rule in response to this comment.

COMMENT: DFPS and the coalition asked for clarification on what specifically will be paid for, a website clearly explaining payment procedures, and how payment and enrollment will interact.

RESPONSE: TWC will provide a website with complete guidance for applicants, both on what is eligible to be paid for and how payment procedures will work. TWC intends to support youth even if enrollment requires simultaneous payment, the process for which will be addressed in TWC policies.

The language in §808.21(e) is changed to clarify this intent.

COMMENT: DFPS requested that staff be familiar with situations that may prevent participants in the program from completing an education program or test. The coalition recommended that language pertaining to whether a youth "fails to attend" be omitted.

RESPONSE: TWC intends for staff overseeing this program to be familiar with the challenges that participants may face. TWC also accepts a self-attestation of inability from the participant to receive the waiver. The intention of the language is specifically to avoid participants not completing a program or test, and not to assess their attendance.

The language in §808.21(f) is changed to clarify this intent.

COMMENT: The coalition requested that payment be streamlined, possibly by agreeing to contract with specific providers.

RESPONSE: Due to the statewide nature of the program and considering that providers continue to open and close and are not under obligation to provide any information to TWC, TWC is not looking to select specific providers beyond the eligibility requirements laid out in rule. TWC is concerned that any limitations might be more detrimental than the benefits of the streamlining.

No changes were made to the rule in response to this comment.

COMMENT: The coalition suggested revisions to §808.21(i)(2) and (3) to address a situation where an applicant mistakenly pays the provider prior to applying and ensure that all fees can be refunded.

RESPONSE: TWC reviewed the language and feels that current language is sufficient to ensure that all relevant payments are recaptured if appropriate. In cases in which a youth has mistakenly paid the provider prior to the application's approval, TWC will work with the youth and provider to resolve the situation, but the emphasis and primary structure of this program is intended to be a direct payment from TWC to the education provider. Additional documentation and the applicant's time will be required to address a prepayment situation. TWC will make clear in all materials that applicants should not make any payments to the provider, and if this prevents enrollment, TWC will work with them to address the situation.

No changes were made to the rule in response to this comment.

SUBCHAPTER A. YOUTH DRIVER EDUCATION FUNDING PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

40 TAC §808.1

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The new rule is adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The new rule implements the changes made to the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521, by SB 2054, specifically the requirements of amended Texas Transportation Code, §521.168(b).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202410

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: February 25, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


SUBCHAPTER B. USE OF YOUTH DRIVER EDUCATION FUNDS

40 TAC §808.21

The new rule is adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The new rule implements the changes made to the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 521, by SB 2054, specifically the requirements of amended Texas Transportation Code, §521.168(b).

§808.21.Verification Process.

(a) To receive a driver education fee waiver, an eligible individual must identify a driver education provider with whom he or she intends to enroll that:

(1) is registered with the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration as a certified Texas driver education provider;

(2) is a registered vendor in accordance with rules established by the Agency and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts; and

(3) charges a rate that does not exceed twice the average rate of all other certified Texas driver education providers within a 30-mile radius of the selected certified Texas driver education provider's physical location. For driver education providers providing online instruction, their rate will be compared to the average rate for online driver education instruction available in Texas.

(b) Once a driver education provider is selected, the eligible individual must visit a website designated by the Agency to complete and submit via the website, email, or mail, the Driver Education Waiver Request Form, which includes:

(1) individual eligibility verification; and

(2) Youth Driver Education Funding Program eligibility verification.

(c) Agency staff shall review the form within five business days of submission and notify the requestor of the individual's eligibility status. If staff is unable to determine eligibility, staff will make reasonable efforts to contact the individual for further information.

(d) Once participant and Youth Driver Education Funding Program eligibility are determined, Agency staff shall:

(1) for an eligible individual, submit a payment request on the individual's behalf to the Agency's Finance Division; or

(2) for an ineligible individual, send a response to the individual alerting them of their ineligibility.

(e) After an eligible participant has completed enrollment with the selected provider, or submitted documentation that enrollment cannot be completed without payment, the Agency's Finance Division shall review and process the payment request in keeping with Agency policies and procedures regarding fee payment, and if sufficient funds have been transferred from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Agency. If enrollment is not possible without payment, TWC will work with applicants to enroll them at time of payment.

(f) An eligible participant who does not complete driver education or a test paid for under this chapter must wait for a period of three months before they enroll in a new course or test to be paid for by this chapter. An eligible participant may have the required waiting period waived by providing a written attestation describing the circumstances that prevented them from attending or completing the driver education or test and explaining why they assert the circumstances were outside their control.

(g) The Agency shall pay driver education providers for services provided to an eligible individual from the fund after the individual's application receives approval from the Agency, the driver's education provider submits required payment documentation that is accurate and complete, and the individual submits a completed driver education enrollment agreement.

(h) All Youth Driver Education Funding Program uses described in this chapter shall be monitored and reported on as required by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Agency, and DPS.

(i) Driver education providers shall repay to the Agency improper payments received or refunds due for driver education funded under this chapter in instances:

(1) involving fraud committed by the driver education provider;

(2) in which the provider was paid for driver education from another source;

(3) in which the provider did not deliver driver education; or

(4) in which a refund is due under Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, Subchapter I.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202411

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: February 25, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


CHAPTER 840. WIOA ELIGIBLE TRAINING PROVIDERS

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) adopts amendments to Chapter 840, relating to WIOA Eligible Training Providers:

Subchapter A. General Provisions, §840.2

Subchapter F. Adverse Actions, §§840.51, 840.53, and 840.54

Subchapter G. State and Local Flexibility, §840.61

The amendments to §§840.2, 840.51, 840.53, 840.54, and 840.61 are adopted without changes, to the proposed text as published in the March 25, 2022, issue of the Texas Register (47 TexReg 1609), and the adopted rule text will not be published.

PART I. PURPOSE, BACKGROUND, AND AUTHORITY

TWC's Chapter 840 addresses the requirements of training services provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The chapter became effective on January 4, 2021.

The amendments to Chapter 840 will clarify the requirements for participants, Local Workforce Development Boards (Boards), and eligible training providers (ETPs) engaged with TWC's statewide Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) specifically, and the ETP system in general.

Chapter 840 describes rules for the provision of training services funded through TWC as required by WIOA §§116, 122, and 134; 20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 680, Subparts B - D; and 20 CFR §681.550.

Communication with Boards and ETPs indicated that enhancements to Chapter 840 relating to the local administration of training services provided through the ETPL would be beneficial to the effective administration of the ETP system and statewide ETPL.

PART II. EXPLANATION OF INDIVIDUAL PROVISIONS

(Note: Minor editorial changes are made that do not change the meaning of the rules and, therefore, are not discussed in the Explanation of Individual Provisions.)

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter A:

§840.2. Definitions

Section 840.2 is amended to add the definition for "eligible training provider list" and the subsequent paragraphs are renumbered accordingly.

SUBCHAPTER F. ADVERSE ACTIONS

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter F:

§840.51. Reporting Actions

Section 840.51(a) and (d) are amended to make technical corrections to the language.

§840.53. Compliance Violations

Section 840.53 is amended to rename the section "Compliance Violations." New §840.53(b) is added to explicitly require providers to acknowledge TWC's authority under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to receive education records. Relettered §840.53(c) and (d) are amended to require providers to submit acknowledgement of §840.53(a) and (b) requirements during initial eligibility determination and annual reporting periods. New §840.53(g) is added to clarify that providers no longer meeting the requirements in §840.10 will be removed from the statewide ETPL.

§840.54. Continuation of Students in Removed Programs

Section 840.54 is amended to update the relating to statement for the reference to §840.53 from "WIOA Violations" to "Compliance Violations."

SUBCHAPTER G. STATE AND LOCAL FLEXIBILITY

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter G:

§840.61. Individual Training Accounts

Section 840.61 is amended to add subsection (c) to clarify that all changes to program costs must be included on the statewide ETPL and add subsection (g) to require that a Board informs participants and training providers that funds are not available unless the Board or Board's fiscal agent has approved and issued an individual training account.

TWC hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within TWC's legal authority to adopt.

PART III. PUBLIC COMMENTS

The public comment period ended on April 25, 2022. TWC received comments from the Tracy Andrus Foundation.

§840.2. Definitions

COMMENT: One organization expressed concern that the phrase "at the discretion of the board" in proposed §840.2(6) was not adequately described and supported with "clear directives to boards on the scope of their discretion."

RESPONSE: TWC appreciates the comment and will work with Boards to provide guidance and technical assistance as needed.

No changes were made to the rule in response to this comment.

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

40 TAC §840.2

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The rule is adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rule implements the requirements set out in WIOA §§116, 122, and 134; 20 CFR Part 680, Subpart D; and 20 CFR §681.550.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202412

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: March 25, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


SUBCHAPTER F. ADVERSE ACTIONS

40 TAC §§840.51, 840.53, 840.54

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules implement the requirements set out in WIOA §§116, 122, and 134; 20 CFR Part 680, Subpart D; and 20 CFR §681.550.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202414

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: March 25, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


SUBCHAPTER G. STATE AND LOCAL FLEXIBILITY

40 TAC §840.61

The rule is adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rule implements the requirements set out in WIOA §§116, 122, and 134; 20 CFR Part 680, Subpart D; and 20 CFR §681.550.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202415

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: March 25, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


CHAPTER 849. EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICES FOR DISLOCATED WORKERS ELIGIBLE FOR TRADE BENEFITS

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) adopts amendments to the following sections of Chapter 849, relating to Employment and Training Services for Dislocated Workers Eligible for Trade Benefits:

Subchapter A. General Provisions, §§849.1 - 849.3

Subchapter B. Trade Services Responsibilities, §849.11 and §849.12

Subchapter C. Trade Services, §§849.21 - 849.23

Subchapter D. Support Services, §849.41

Subchapter E. Complaints and Appeals, §849.51 and §849.52

The amendments to §§849.1 - 849.3, 849.11, 849.12, 849.21 - 849.23, 849.41, 849.51, and 849.52 are adopted without changes, to the proposed text as published in the May 6, 2022, issue of the Texas Register (47 TexReg 2705), and the adopted rule text will not be published.

PART I. PURPOSE, BACKGROUND, AND AUTHORITY

The purpose for the amendments is to align Chapter 849 with Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Final Rule (TAA Final Rule).

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal entitlement program established by the Trade Act of 1974 to assist workers adversely impacted by foreign trade or the shifting of jobs from the United States to other countries. Workers who have lost or may lose their jobs because of their company's decline in production or sales due to increased imports or the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries are potentially eligible for TAA services and benefits.

On August 21, 2020, the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released the TAA Final Rule, which is codified under 20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 618. The final rule modernizes the TAA Program, consolidates all applicable program regulations into a single section of the CFR, removes outdated references to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), and continues to align the TAA Program with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The TAA Final Rule became effective on September 21, 2020.

Texas Government Code, §2001.039, requires that every four years each state agency review and consider for readoption, revision, or repeal each rule adopted by that agency. TWC reviewed the rules in Chapter 849 and determined that the rules are needed, reflect current legal and policy considerations, and reflect current TWC procedures. The reasons for initially adopting the rules continue to exist and any changes to the rules are described in Part II of this preamble.

PART II. EXPLANATION OF INDIVIDUAL PROVISIONS

(Note: Minor editorial changes are made that do not change the meaning of the rules and, therefore, are not discussed in the Explanation of Individual Provisions.)

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter A:

§849.1. Purpose

Section 849.1(a)(2) is amended to update the reference from WIA to WIOA.

Section 849.1(a)(3) is amended to clarify that Rapid Response services are provided following an announcement or notification of a permanent closure or mass layoff or the filing of a TAA petition.

Section 849.1(b)(1) and (2) is amended to state that suitable employment is required for trade-affected workers.

§849.2. Definitions

New §849.2(1), the definition for "Adversely affected employment," is added to align with the language of the TAA Final Rule.

New §849.2(2), the definition for "Adversely affected incumbent worker," is added to align with the language of the TAA Final Rule.

New §849.2(3), the definition for "Adversely affected worker," is added to align with the language of the TAA Final Rule. The subsequent paragraphs are renumbered accordingly.

Current §849.2(5), the definition for "Employer-Based Training," is removed to align with the TAA Final Rule. The TAA Final Rule uses the term "Work-based training," and that term is defined in new §849.2(21).

New §849.2(8) is added to define "Individual Employment Plan (IEP)." The TAA Final Rule uses the term "Individual Employment Plan (IEP)" instead of "Reemployment and Training Plan (REP)," and, therefore, the definition for REP in §849.2(9) is removed.

Renumbered §849.2(9), the definition for "Job search allowance," is amended to remove the reference to a "cash" benefit and replace the term "trade-certified workers" with "trade-affected workers."

New §849.2(10) is added to define "Labor market information."

Renumbered §849.2(11) is amended to update the reference from WIA to WIOA.

Renumbered §849.2(12), the definition for "Relocation allowance" is amended to replace the term "trade-certified worker" with "trade-affected worker" and expand the definition to include that relocation of the worker's household and family can be supported if the wage is in at least the 75th percentile of national wages.

Renumbered §849.2(14) is amended to modify the definition of "Trade Act" to include reversions of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015, referred to as Reversion 2021.

New §849.2(15), formerly §849.2(12), is amended to update the definition of "Trade-affected worker" to include adversely affected workers and adversely affected incumbent workers. The TAA Final Rule uses the term "Trade-affected worker" in place of "Trade-Certified Worker," and, therefore, the definition of Trade-Certified Worker in §849.2(14) is removed.

Renumbered §849.2(16) is amended to clarify that "Trade benefits" are benefits available to any member of a worker group certified by the United States Department of Labor as trade-affected.

Renumbered §849.2(17) is amended to clarify that "Trade Readjustment Allowances" are a weekly allowance payable to adversely affected workers who meet the requirements outlined in the TAA Final Rule.

Renumbered §849.2(20) is amended to update the reference from WIA to 29 United States Code Chapter 23.

New §849.2(21) is added to provide the definition for "Work-based training."

§849.3. Trade Service Strategy

Section 849.3(a)(2) is amended to replace "demand occupations" with "in-demand occupations and the earning potential of those occupations" for the analysis of the local labor market.

New §849.3(a)(3) is added to include "determine skill requirements of local in-demand occupations" to the analysis of the local labor market. The subsequent paragraphs are renumbered accordingly.

Renumbered §849.3(a)(4) is amended to change "employment opportunities" to "job vacancy listings" and the skills necessary to obtain the jobs identified in the listings to align with the TAA Final Rule.

Section 849.3(a)(4) is deleted to remove "identify employer-based training opportunities" from the analysis of the local labor market.

Section 849.3(b) is amended to remove "coordinate various service delivery approaches."

Section 849.3(b)(2) is amended to remove WIA core and intensive services to support rapid reattachment to the workforce and incorporates the WIOA term of career services.

Section 849.3(b)(3) is deleted to remove the language that Local Workforce Development Boards (Boards) shall set local policy to "refer to prevocational and vocational training in demand and targeted occupations, or occupations in which there is a reasonable expectation of employment." The subsequent paragraph is renumbered.

Renumbered §849.3(b)(3) replaces the term "job" with "employment."

Section 849.3(c) is deleted and the content relating to coenrollment is moved to new §849.21(c). The subsequent subsection is relettered.

Relettered §849.3(c)(4) is amended to add group career counseling and clarify that the counseling described in §849.3 is available during the period the trade-affected worker receives Trade Readjustment Assistance.

Relettered §849.3(c)(7) is amended to change the reference from REP to IEP and relettered §849.3(c)(10) is amended to change the reference from WIA to WIOA.

Relettered §849.3(c)(11) is amended to include employment services.

Relettered §849.3(c)(12) is amended to clarify that follow-up services are available during training.

New §849.3(c)(13) adds the provision of employment statistics information, including the provision of accurate information relating to local, regional, and national labor market areas.

SUBCHAPTER B. TRADE SERVICES RESPONSIBILITIES

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter B:

§849.11. General Board Responsibilities

Section 849.11(c) is amended to change the term "participant" to "trade-affected worker" to align with the TAA Final Rule.

Section 849.11(c)(4) is amended to change the reference from "REP" to "IEP" and update the reference to the definition from §849.2(9) to §849.2(8).

§849.12. Participant Responsibilities

Section 849.12 is amended to change the title from "Participant Responsibilities" to "Trade-Affected Worker Responsibilities" to align with the TAA Final Rule.

Section 849.12(2) is amended to remove full-time. Under the TAA Final rule, in some instances, multiple part-time jobs are allowable.

New §849.12(7) is added to include the trade-affected worker's responsibility to review labor market information and expected wage of the new occupation as required by the TAA Final Rule. The subsequent paragraphs are renumbered accordingly.

Renumbered §849.12(9) is amended to change "trade funded" to "trade-approved."

Renumbered §849.12(10) is amended to change "academic status" to "academic standing," "trade funded" to "trade-approved," and "REP" to "IEP."

SUBCHAPTER C. TRADE SERVICES

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter C:

§849.21. Activities Prior to Certification of a Trade Petition

Section 849.21(a) is amended to remove the term long-term employment. References to long-term employment were eliminated in the TAA Final Rule because the concept of long-term employment is included in the definition of suitable employment.

Section 849.21(b) is amended to change layoff assistance to Rapid Response assistance to reflect language in the TAA Final Rule and change the reference from WIA to WIOA.

Section 849.21(b)(1) is amended to add the conditions under which Rapid Response is provided.

Section 849.21(b)(2) is amended to remove "on-site."

New §849.21(b)(3) is added to include the requirements for scheduling Rapid Response services. The subsequent paragraphs are renumbered accordingly.

Renumbered §849.21(b)(4) is amended to change "companies" to "employers."

Renumbered §849.21(b)(5) is amended to clarify initial assessment requirements to align the TAA Program with WIOA.

New §849.21(b)(6) is added to include helping affected workers register in the state's labor exchange system.

Current §849.21(b)(5) and (6) are removed and the removed language is clarified in new §849.21(b)(3).

New §849.21(c)(1) and (2) is added to include the requirement of coenrollment of Trade-affected workers in the WIOA Dislocated Worker program as required in the TAA Final Rule. New §849.21(c)(2) describes the method to document instances when a trade-affected worker declines coenrollment.

§849.22. Postcertification of a Trade Petition

Section 849.22(a)(1) is amended to replace language related to WIA with language related to WIOA.

Section 849.22(a)(2) is amended to change the reference from WIA to WIOA.

Section 849.22(b) is amended to replace the WIA term "intensive" with WIOA term "career services."

Section 849.22(b) is amended to change the reference from REP to IEP.

Section 849.22(b)(1) - (9) is deleted to remove the REP requirements under WIA that are not required under WIOA.

New §849.22(b)(1) - (5) is added to clarify the requirements of an IEP as described in the TAA Final Rule.

Section 849.22(d) is amended to change "Agency's TAA unit" to "Agency's TAA State Office."

§849.23. Training Referrals

Section 849.23 is amended to remove "Referrals" from the section title to align with the language in the TAA Final Rule.

Section 849.23(a)(1) is amended to clarify that TAA training requirements must be met under the TAA Final Rule.

Section 849.23(a)(3) is amended to remove "occupationally specific" and add "be specific to the worker's occupational goal" to align with language in the TAA Final Rule.

Section 849.23(a)(4) is amended to change the term "participant" to "trade-affected worker" to align with the TAA Final Rule.

Section 849.23(a)(5) is amended to clarify that the worker is capable of completing and securing a degree or certificate within the maximum time frame.

Section 849.23(b) is amended to change "intensive and training services" to "career and training services" to align with WIOA language.

Section 849.23(b)(1) is amended to replace "employer-based training" with "work-based training" and new §849.23(b)(2) and (3) are added to include occupational and labor market information. The subsequent paragraphs are renumbered accordingly.

Renumbered §849.23(b)(4) is amended to replace "contextual vocational skills" with "contextualized occupational training" to align with the TAA Final Rule.

SUBCHAPTER D. SUPPORT SERVICES

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter D:

§849.41. Support Services for Dislocated Workers Eligible for Trade Benefits

Section 849.41(a) is amended to update references from WIA to WIOA and remove "co-enrolled in WIA." The requirement for coenrollment in the WIOA Dislocated Worker is addressed in new §849.21(c)(1).

Section 849.41(b)(2) is amended to clarify transportation services are "local" and remove "that may be provided for participating workers" for clarity.

New §849.41(b)(3) and (4) are added to include "housing assistance, if necessary" and "dependent care" as support services under the TAA Program.

Section 849.41(b)(3) is removed to align with the definition of support services in the TAA Final Rule.

SUBCHAPTER E. COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter E:

§849.51. Appeals of Commission Determinations on Trade Act Activities

Section 849.51(c) is amended to change the term "participant" to "trade-affected worker" to align with the TAA Final Rule.

New §849.51(d) is added to include the requirement to inform trade-affected workers about the circumstances that lead to overpayments and clarify that the Agency's TAA State Office makes final determination for overpayment requests.

§849.52. Discrimination Complaints

Section 849.52(a) is amended to change the term "participant" to "trade-affected worker" to align with the TAA Final Rule.

TWC hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within TWC's legal authority to adopt.

PART III. PUBLIC COMMENTS

The public comment period closed on June 6, 2022. No comments were received.

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

40 TAC §§849.1 - 849.3

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules implement necessary changes made to align with the updated TAA Final Rule and update references from WIA provisions to WIOA provisions.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202416

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: May 6, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


SUBCHAPTER B. TRADE SERVICES RESPONSIBILITIES

40 TAC §849.11, §849.12

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules implement necessary changes made to align with the updated TAA Final Rule and update references from WIA provisions to WIOA provisions.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202417

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: May 6, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


SUBCHAPTER C. TRADE SERVICES

40 TAC §§849.21 - 849.23

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules implement necessary changes made to align with the updated TAA Final Rule and update references from WIA provisions to WIOA provisions.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202418

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: May 6, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


SUBCHAPTER D. SUPPORT SERVICES

40 TAC §849.41

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules implement necessary changes made to align with the updated TAA Final Rule and update references from WIA provisions to WIOA provisions.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202419

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: May 6, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855


SUBCHAPTER E. COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

40 TAC §849.51, §849.52

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code, §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules implement necessary changes made to align with the updated TAA Final Rule and update references from WIA provisions to WIOA provisions.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 28, 2022.

TRD-202202421

Les Trobman

General Counsel

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: July 18, 2022

Proposal publication date: May 6, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 689-9855