(a) The Alabama Construction Trade Academy Fund is established in the State Treasury. The fund shall be comprised of federal, state, and private funding through direct budgetary funding and grants for the expansion of construction trade education. To the extent practicable, monies in the fund shall be used to leverage other forms of funding from private sources. A percentage of matching funds, as established by the advisory council, must come from private, non-governmental sources. The board may not use more than 15 percent of the monies in the fund for administrative and operational costs incurred in the implementation and administration of this section.
(b) The board, in cooperation with public and private sector partners, stall establish a program to provide funding mechanisms for tool grants, program incentives, supplies, mobile facilities, and other programs to support the development and continuation of construction trade education programs in the state.
(c) The board shall administer the program and shall apply for funds from federal grant programs and other applicable funding sources authorized by law.
(d)(1) The Alabama Construction Trade Advisory Council is established. The advisory council shall consist of the following members:
a. One member appointed by and currently serving on the Home Builders Licensure Board.
b. One member appointed by and currently serving on the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board.
c. One member appointed by and currently serving on the Licensing Board for General Contractors.
d. One member appointed by and currently serving on the State Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors.
e. One member appointed by and currently serving on the Alabama Board of Electrical Contractors.
f. One appointee of the State Department of Education who specializes in technical trade education.
g. One appointee of the Alabama Community College System who specializes in technical trade education.
(2) Members of the advisory council shall be appointed for a period of one year. Membership on the advisory council shall be without compensation, except for reimbursement of necessary travel expenses as is paid to state employees for attending meetings and other necessary events of the advisory council. Any expenses paid to a member of the advisory council shall be paid by the member’s appointing authority.
(e) The advisory council shall make recommendations to the board, and the board shall establish program guidelines, promote the program statewide, evaluate applications for funds, distribute funds, and monitor and report the effect of the funding on the availability of construction trade education. The board may adopt rules to implement and administer this act.
(f) The advisory council shall recommend and the board shall establish monitoring and accountability mechanisms for projects receiving funding. Not later than the fifth legislative day of each regular legislative session, the board shall file a report to the Legislature on the projects funded, the geographic distribution of projects funded, the private sector participation rates in funded projects, the administrative costs of the program, and the outcomes of the program, including the number of students and adult learners trained by each project funded through the program.
(g) The advisory council shall recommend and the board shall create eligibility guidelines and provide project funding through an application process. Projects eligible for funding include the following:
(1) Mobile demonstration units that show the various systems of a structure and how they interconnect.
(2) Tool and supply grants for public and private educational providers that provide construction trade education.
(3) Incentives for newly established construction trade education courses, with priority given to carpentry courses.
(4) Adult education initiatives that provide continued learning opportunities through mobile training facilities or distance learning opportunities with priority focus on those serving underserved areas and widely offered trainings.
(5) Any other proposal that in the opinion of the board would address the need for construction trade education in the state.
(h) An applicant may be a nonprofit organization, not-for-profit entity, public school system, two-year college, university, or other governmental entity. An applicant for funding shall do all of the following:
(1) Demonstrate its capacity to successfully implement the proposal.
(2) Demonstrate how the proposal shall positively impact construction trade education in the state.
(3) Demonstrate private sector support through matching funding.
(4) Establish an advisory council consisting of at least three active trade representatives from the construction trade being funded.
(5) Agree, for a period of not less than five years, to comply with the following conditions:
a. Offer the courses funded through this section for a period of not less than five years.
b. Comply with all data collection and reporting requirements established by the board.
(i) In determining which qualified projects to fund, the board shall consider all of the following factors:
(1) The level of private sector support for the project.
(2) The level of need in the area in which the funding is directed.
(3) The projected number of students that will be served.
(4) The degree to which the project will have a positive impact on the availability of construction trade education in the area to be served.
(5) The degree to which the project will leverage public and private sector funds.
(j) The board shall establish program guidelines that require matching funds on all funded projects. A minimum of 10 percent of matching funds shall be provided by private, non-governmental sources. Total matching funds required may not be required to exceed 25 percent of awarded state funds, although additional consideration may be provided to projects that exceed this amount.
(k) In the event that a recipient of funding provided by this section fails to provide the proposed project in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the board, any equipment, supplies, or materials acquired with the funding shall be transferred to the Alabama Home Builders Foundation for redistribution to public or private programs that provide construction trade education to high school, postsecondary, or adult learners supported by this session.
(1) Any and all proceeds from the sale of equipment, supplies, or materials acquired through academy funding shall go into the fund. (Acts 2019, No. 19-482, § 2)