PA 10-55—sHB 5028 (VETOED)

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

Commerce Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CREATIVE ECONOMY

SUMMARY: This act establishes a 22-member task force to study the creative economy in the state and, for five years beginning by February 1, 2011, annually report its findings and recommendations. It also requires the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to identify and analyze “creative clusters” in both its annual report and the state's economic strategic plan, which is submitted every five years. Lastly, it specifies that representatives from creative clusters are to make recommendations for certain curricular changes in the state's vocational-technical (V-T) schools and the community-technical colleges (CTC).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010, except the formation of the task force is effective upon passage.

CREATIVE ECONOMY DEFINED

Under the act, the “creative economy” includes the cultural goods and services produced and distributed by artists, cultural nonprofit organizations, and creative individuals and businesses that impact the economy by generating jobs and revenue and improving the quality of life. The creative economy includes a creative (1) cluster, (2) workforce, and (3) community.

The act defines “creative cluster” as a grouping of creative, cultural, and innovative individuals or enterprises that directly or indirectly produce or provide cultural ideas, works, or services. It defines “creative workforce” as the individuals trained in specific cultural and artistic skills that drive the success of leading industries, including arts and culture. “Creative community” means a geographic area with a concentration of creative workers, businesses, and organizations.

Task Force Membership

The six legislative leaders each must appoint one task force member. The remaining members are:

1. the higher education and DECD commissioners, or their designees;

2. the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism (CCCT) executive director, or a designee;

3. an administrator or faculty member from the arts departments at (a) UConn, (b) the Connecticut State University System, (c) the community colleges, and (d) three independent colleges and universities, appointed by the higher education commissioner for a total of six members;

4. five representatives from the regional arts councils in the state, selected by the councils;

5. a representative from the Office of Workforce Competitiveness (OWC), appointed by the governor; and

6. a designee of the labor commissioner who has experience in labor market information.

The appointing authorities must make their appointments within 30 days after the act's passage and fill any vacancies. The DECD commissioner and another individual, whom the House speaker and the Senate president pro tempore select from among the task force members, must chair the task force. They must schedule its first meeting within 60 days after the act takes effect.

Reporting Requirements

The task force must:

1. perform an economic analysis of the state's cultural industries and workforce,

2. examine the economic force of the state's cultural sector,

3. analyze how to brand the state as a leader in the creative economy,

4. foster and demonstrate the cultural sector and its ability to attract economic activity to the state,

5. develop education and career paths for creative industries, and

6. explore methods for expanding the creative workforce and creative economy in order to create more jobs in the state.

It must annually report its findings and recommendations to the Higher Education and Employment Advancement and Commerce committees. DECD is the lead agency for purposes of conducting the study and must use existing appropriations to fulfill its responsibilities. The act requires DECD and OWC to provide administrative staff for the task force and to reallocate funds from other agency accounts or programs for this purpose. The task force terminates on the date it submits its report (presumably its last report), or by February 1, 2016, whichever is later.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CURRICULAR IMPROVEMENTS

The act requires the OWC and various officials to consult with one industry member from each creative cluster in (1) reviewing, evaluating, and recommending improvements for certificate and degree programs at the V-T schools and the CTC to make sure they meet business and industry's employment needs and (2) developing ways to strengthen ties between skill standards for education and training and business and industry's employment needs.

The officials are the (1) commissioners of Labor, DECD, Education, and Social Services; (2) secretary of the Office of Policy and Management; and (3) CTC chancellor. Under existing law, they and the OWC must consult with the superintendent of the V-T school system and with one member of industry from each “economic cluster. ” They must report annually to various legislative committees on (1) the CTCs' and V-T schools' implementation of any recommended programs or strategies to strengthen the linkage between their certificate and degree programs and business and industry's employment needs and (2) any V-T school or CTC certificate or degree program that does not meet current industry standards.

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