Montana Administrative Register Notice 24-13-386 No. 21   11/05/2021    
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                                       OF THE STATE OF MONTANA 


In the matter of the amendment of ARM 24.13.101 and 24.13.105, and the repeal of ARM 24.13.109 pertaining to the Montana HELP Act workforce development services








            TO: All Concerned Persons


            1. On November 30, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., the Department of Labor and Industry (department) will hold a public hearing via remote conferencing to consider the proposed amendment and repeal of the above-stated rules. There will be no in-person hearing. Interested parties may access the remote conferencing platform in the following ways:

            a. Join Zoom Meeting, https://mt-gov.zoom.us/j/83342666723, Meeting ID: 83342666723; or

            b. Dial by telephone, +1 406 444 9999 or +1 646 558 8656, Meeting ID: 83342666723.


            The hearing will begin with a brief introduction by department staff to explain the use of the videoconference and telephonic platform. All participants will be muted except when it is their time to speak.


            2. The department will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this public hearing or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the department no later than 5:00 p.m., on November 23, 2021, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Jessica Westerhold, Workforce Services Division, P.O. Box 1728, Helena, Montana 59624-1728; telephone (406) 444-1647; facsimile (406) 444-4140; Montana TTD (406) 444-5549; or e-mail Jessica.Westerhold@mt.gov.  


            3. General Statement of Reasonable Necessity:  There is a reasonable necessity to amend and repeal the following rules to comply with the changes implemented by Chapter 547, Laws of 2021 (House Bill 614), amending the Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP Act), 39-12-101 through 39-12-107, MCA.  House Bill 614 allows for greater flexibility in the scope of workforce development services offered to program participants and employers.  The amendments require the department to contract with private nonprofit or for-profit entities to provide workforce development services, including education, training, and supportive services.  House Bill 614, Section 1.  The workforce development services are designed to improve a program participant's employment situation.


            4. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


            24.13.101 DEFINITIONS  For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

            (1)  "Active participant" means a HELP Act participant that has obtained a reportable service within 90 days.

            (1)  "Contracted agency" means a private or for-profit entity that has entered into a written contract with the state to provide workforce development services pursuant to the HELP Act program.

            (2) through (5) remain the same.

            (6)  "Program participant" must be an individual who is actively enrolled in the department's HELP-Link workforce development program and is receiving services and assistance from a DLI contracted agency.

            (6)(7)  "Services and assistance" means help from activities, whether delivered in person at a Job Service office or remotely, related to the participant making use of the workforce development program, and in finding suitable employment or related to an employer finding qualified employees.

            (7)  "WIOA" means the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, 29 USC 3101, et. seq.

            (8)  "Workforce development program" means the full range of assistance and services provided by Job Service offices to job seekers, potential job seekers, and participants in order to allow the individual to obtain long-term, meaningful employment that improves the individual's quality of life to program participants and employers.  The programs and services shall help individuals to enter the workforce or obtain better-paying jobs, and the programs and services help employers to obtain and maintain qualified employees.


            AUTH:  39-12-107, 53-6-1318, MCA

            IMP:  39-12-101, 39-12-102, 39-12-103, MCA


REASON:  There is a reasonable necessity to amend this rule and define "contracted agency" because House Bill 614 requires the department to contract with private or for-profit entities to provide workforce development services and assistance to program participants.  The amendments to the definitions for "services and assistance" and "workforce development program" allow for greater flexibility in the scope of services offered to program participants and employers, as required by House Bill 614, Section 2.  The definition of "program participant" clarifies the statutory definition to be an individual actively receiving services under the program.


            24.13.105 WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES FOR HELP ACT PARTICIPANTS (1) DLI delivers HELP Act services and assistance to participants through its Job Service offices contracted agencies.

            (a)  The types of services and assistance available to participants through contracted agencies generally fall into one of the following four categories:

            (i)  job search services career services;

            (ii)  workforce information services training services;

            (iii)  career guidance services worksite learning services; and

            (iv)  intensive services supportive services.

            (b)  Participants may also be eligible for referral to WIOA partners other workforce development programs, qualified training providers, employers, and any other suitable program or service provider.

            (2)  A participant's initial reportable service must consist of an assessment, performed by a Job Service employee.  An assessment is a formal evaluation of the participant's:

            (a) and (b) remain the same.

            (3)  After having obtained an assessment, in order to remain an active become a program participant, the individual must access a reportable service, as defined in ARM 24.13.109, at least once every 90 days develop an approved employment goal in a high-wage and in-demand career field.

            (4)  An active A program participant enrolled in an approved educational or training program is considered to will remain active as long as the individual continues to remain enrolled and actively participating in the educational or training program actively participate in the education, training, or worksite learning activities identified to reach their approved employment goal.

            (5)  DLI shall promptly report to DPHHS whenever:

            (a)  a participant becomes an active participant; or

            (b)  an active participant loses that status due to that individual's failure to obtain any reportable service for more than 90 days.

            (6)  An individual who has lost the status of being an active participant may regain the active participant status by obtaining an assessment as provided in (2).


            AUTH:  39-12-107, 53-6-1318, MCA

            IMP:  39-12-101, 39-12-103, MCA


REASON: There is a reasonable necessity to amend this rule to clarify and simplify the requirements for a HELP Act participant to access services and assistance from contracted agencies.


            5. The rule proposed to be repealed is as follows:


            24.13.109 REPORTABLE SERVICES


            AUTH:  39-12-107, 53-6-1318, MCA

            IMP:  39-12-101, 39-12-103, MCA


REASON:  There is a reasonable necessity to repeal this rule because ARM 24.13.109 no longer applies to the HELP Act program pursuant to House Bill 614.  ARM 24.13.109 pertains to the specific services provided to program participants by the department's Job Service offices, and those services are now provided to program participants by contracted agencies under House Bill 614.


            6. Concerned persons may present their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to Jessica Westerhold, Workforce Services Division, P.O. Box 1728, Helena, Montana 59624-1728; facsimile (406) 444-4140; or e-mail Jessica.Westerhold@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., December 6, 2021.


            7. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request, which includes the name and e-mail or mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies the particular subject matter or matters regarding which the person wishes to receive notices. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in paragraph 2 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the agency.


            8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, apply and have been fulfilled. The primary bill sponsor was contacted on September 22, 2021, by telephone.


            9. Pursuant to 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the rule changes proposed in this notice will not have a significant and direct impact upon small businesses.


            10. Department staff has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.





Quinlan L. O'Connor

Alternate Rule Reviewer


Laurie Esau, Commissioner




            Certified to the Secretary of State October 26, 2021.



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