June 10, 2002
OLDER WORKER BULLETIN 02-09
ALL SENIOR COMMUNITY SERVICE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (SCSEP) GRANTEES
Limited Solicitation for Section 502(e) Projects
1. PURPOSE: To announce a limited grant competition for additional Older Americans Act (OAA) funds in the amount of $2.3 million to conduct private sector projects under Section 502(e) of the OAA. The competition is limited to current SCSEP grantees.
2. REFERENCES: Older Worker Bulletins No. 94-12, No. 97-7, No. 98-15, No. 00-13 and No. 01- 8.
3. BACKGROUND: Section 502(e)(1) of the OAA Amendments of 2000 authorizes the Department to conduct projects providing SCSEP participants with second career training and placement opportunities with private business concerns. Such projects can facilitate the achievement of economic self-sufficiency for SCSEP participants. In addition, Section 502(e) provides grantees and subgrantees with opportunities to initiate or enhance their relationships with the private sector, fostering collaboration with the One-Stop Delivery System, improving their ability to meet and exceed performance standards, and broadening the range of options available to SCSEP participants, including new work modes such as flex-time, job sharing, and other arrangements relating to reduced physical exertion.
OAA Title V funds, in the amount of $2.3 million, are available for obligation and expenditure for 502(e) projects in Program Year (PY) 2002.
Section 502(e) projects can be effective tools to move participants into unsubsidized employment. These projects may assist SCSEP grantees to become more active partners in the One-Stop System by having another resource to offer employers and applicants. Further, OAA Section 502(e) projects may be the best vehicle for obtaining job placements in the private for-profit sector, where wages and fringe benefits often exceed those in the public or non-profit sectors. The private sector, particularly the private for-profit sector, should be involved in the development and implementation of each project.
ETA plans to fund several grants, ranging considerably in size, for Section 502(e) projects to be conducted during PY 2002. Although the amount of available funding is small, the flexibility to work in the private sector often produces positive results.
The main differences between the Section 502(e) projects and regular SCSEP activities are:
Sec. 502(e) projects are not required to have community service project components;
Sec. 502(e) private sector training activities are focused solely on providing SCSEP-eligible individuals with second career training and placement opportunities and other assistance necessary to obtain unsubsidized employment in the private sector; and
Sec. 502(e) projects do not require non-federal matching funds.
Generally, a project should not be proposed if it can be conducted within the regular SCSEP program guidelines without the flexibility provided by Section 502(e). Applicants should note that the overall requirement that 75 percent of SCSEP grant funds be used for wages and fringe benefits applies to the entire SCSEP grant, including any Section 502(e) modifications. (OW Bulletin No. 01-09).
4. ACTION: Grantees are encouraged to compete for the available funds. For PY 2002, each Section 502(e) project must be identified separately. Multiple projects bundled under one "umbrella" proposal are acceptable, where appropriate. An applicant/grantee may submit multiple proposed projects within a single proposal; however, each project that is included in a single proposal must have an identifiable budget and narrative.
5. PLANS: ETA plans to fund several grant modifications, ranging in size from $50,000 to $1 million, for Section 502(e) projects to be conducted during PY 2002, including but not to exceed, the period that will end August 31, 2003. Grant modifications for Section 502(e) projects will be awarded using the criteria and procedures outlined in this bulletin. In addition, a limited amount of funds may be reserved for technical assistance and other materials related to fostering Section 502(e) program activities and other matters of interest to SCSEP grantees.
6. PROCEDURES: A review panel will consider the applications against the criteria detailed below. The panel results will be advisory in nature, and not binding on the Grant Officer. The Grant Officer may decide to fund some but not all projects from those proposed under an umbrella proposal. The Department may elect to award the grant with or without discussions. In situations without discussions, an award will be based on the applicant's signature on the form SF 424, which constitutes a binding offer. Awards will be made based on the best interest of the Government.
7. SECTION 502(e) TRAINING PROJECT APPLICATION OUTLINE AND CRITERIA: Applicants must prepare their application using the following outline. Please note that there is a 15-page limit. The panel will only read the first 15 pages of applications. If an application exceeds the 15-page limit, the panel will not read beyond page 15.
a. Target Populations. (15 Points) Describe the participant and employer populations to be targeted. Include such information as: Where are they located? Are the locations rural, urban, or suburban? What are the recent poverty and unemployment rates for those areas? What are the expected participants' skill and education levels? What barriers to employment, if any, do your expected participants face, including those who are minorities, have limited English proficiency or disabilities, or are Indian-eligible individuals? What percentage of the expected participants face each of those barriers? What additional services will the project provide to assist those with barriers to employment?
What training does the target population need to obtain employment in the area? Is/Are the community(ies) economically depressed? Describe how the community will benefit as a result of this project.
b. Service Strategy, Benefits to Participants. (25 points) Describe the service strategy you propose to meet the needs of participants you plan to serve. How will participants benefit from participation in the Section 502(e) program? How will you recruit and select participants? How will your service strategy prepare participants for the skills and positions employers require? How do you propose to match participants' skills and interests with employers? How will you ensure that participants have the support they need to stay in their positions (transportation and dependent care assistance, other supportive services)?
How will participants benefit from the program, both on and off the job? (Will they obtain new career and life skills? If so, which ones? Will the project address significant barriers to employment or participation in community life? Which barriers?) Why do you expect the proposed jobs will be a good match for the SCSEP-eligible participants you propose to serve?
What is the expected average wage at placement?
c. Service Strategy, Benefits to Employers. (20 Points) How will employers benefit from participation in the Section 502(e) program? What employer needs will be addressed? How will the service strategy prepare participants for the skills and positions employers require?
Successful applicants for Section 502(e) projects generally have expected entered employment rates (EER) of 75 percent and above. What is your project's expected EER? (The EER is calculated by dividing the number of participants placed in unsubsidized jobs by the total number of Section 502(e) project participants.)
What is the expected retention rate 6 months after placement?
How will you recruit and select employers for participation in the program? Describe the steps you will take to ensure your program is meeting the needs of the employers you are serving.
Describe how employers have been or will be involved in designing your Section 502(e) program. Which employers or employer association will be involved in the program?
d. Cost Reasonableness. (15 points) Any average cost over $2500 per participant will be considered carefully in view of the nature of the training and prospective placements. The cost per placement is the Federal cost divided by the number of participants.
Applicants should address the following:
What is the expected cost per placement (the total Federal cost of the project divided by the number of participants placed)? Are there additional non-Federal resources provided, such as donations or contributions from the private sector? Describe how the project will coordinate with adult services under WIA and participate in One-Stops in the project's service area.
Does the applicant coordinate with a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) partner (Welfare to Work, Vocational Rehabilitation, etc.)? Does this increase the value and quality of services offered to the participants? To what extent are there firm commitments through any partner, which would result in lower costs and/or increase the quality of the training.
Submit the project budget and a budget narrative (maximum two pages). The budget should include the Federal share of funds allocated among the following categories:
Administration: This category includes the cost of providing adequate management of the project.
Enrollee Wages and Fringe Benefits (EWFB): This category includes the cost of wages and fringe benefits connected with work experience, or stipends to attend classroom or other special training. In the narrative, this should be broken out in number of slots, expected number of participants to move through the slots, hours of training per enrollee, and anticipated cost per enrollee for training leading to unsubsidized placement. NOTE: Reimbursement to employers for the costs of on-the-job training should be charged to the EWFB cost category.
Other Enrollee Costs: This category includes the costs of providing training, counseling and supportive services.
A budget form SF 424 A (Sections A and B only) should be completed for the project. Budgets should include a detailed cost breakout in the same manner as is provided for in the regular SCSEP grants. If more than one discrete project is submitted, in addition to a single budget application indicating total costs for all proposed projects, separate budget sheets should be submitted for each project along with sufficient information to determine the costs associated with each project.
e. Administration/Ability to Implement Project Quickly. (20 points) Briefly describe how the project will be administered, including the staff structure, lines of authority, and potential sub-grantees, if any. Describe the applicant's role in the project.
Applicants must provide a discussion of the strategy for project implementation. Is it anticipated that the project will start no later than one month after funding? Provide a timeline for implementation that includes how many days after award it will take to hire and train staff, recruit participants to the program, provide training to participants, place participants in assignments, and any other major steps, using the service strategy (Criteria b and c) as a guide.
f. Emphasis on New Work Modes. (5 points) Are there proposal features that support the legislative direction at Section 502(e) (2) (A) that the projects involve second career training, innovative work modes such as flex-time, job sharing, flexi-place, and reduced physical activity? Please describe these features.
8. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Applicants may be funded for more or less than the proposed amount. If more applications are received than available dollars can accommodate, ETA will fund as many applicants as feasible. Geographic distribution will be taken into consideration as well.
9. SCHEDULE: Section 502(e) grant application packages under this competition must be received at the ETA Office below no later than 4:00 PM July 15, 2002 or must be post marked on or before July 12, 2002*.
Acceptable Methods Of Submission. Due to the erratic mail delivery in the Washington, D.C. area, in addition to using the U.S. Postal Service or overnight delivery, applicants can submit their applications via E-Mail. In submitting by E-Mail, the return receipt option must be utilized in order to verify receipt of the application (see instructions below); and, an originally signed signature sheet, along with a copy of the grantee's E-Mail/written verification of receipt, must follow via overnight mail. E-mailed applications will be accepted in Microsoft WORD only and should be addressed to JCarter@doleta.gov.
Prior to sending the E-Mail, click on "file," go to "properties, return notification," and then click on "mail receipt." The sender will automatically receive an E-Mail notification when the E-Mail message is opened.
Send the completed and signed grant application (maximum 15 pages) and four copies to:
U.S. Department of Labor - ETA
Division of Federal Assistance
ATTN.: JACQUELYN CARTER- SGA
200 Constitution Avenue NW, Room S-4203
Washington D.C. 20210
*LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED!
10. RECISION: Older Worker Bulletin No. 01-8
11. INQUIRIES: Questions should be directed to your Federal Representative at (202) 693-3842 or Jacquelyn Carter at 693-3339.
Supplemental Information on Application Procedures for Projects under Section 502(e)
ERICH W. ("RIC") LARISCH SHIRLEY M. SMITH
Division of Older Worker Programs Office of Adult Services
LORRAINE H. SAUNDERS
Division of Federal Assistance
Office of Grants and Contract Management
Cc: Saunders/Smith/Larisch/Files- s:/ostp/dowp/bulletins.02/02-09
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION ON APPLICATION PROCEDURES FOR PROJECTS UNDER SECTION 502(E) OF THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT (OAA)
1. Purpose. This attachment describes plans and procedures for the training and employment activities authorized by OAA Section 502(e).
2. Background and Introduction. Section 502(e)(1) of the OAA states that the Secretary of Labor " shall conduct projects that are designed to assure second career training and the placement of eligible individuals into employment opportunities with private business concerns." To comply with this section, the DOL has undertaken limited competitions during the past several years. In addition, all SCSEP grantees are invited to initiate projects that comply with the SCSEP Regulations at 29 CFR section 641.326, in conjunction with their regular Title V activities. Although the amount of available funding is small, the flexibility to work in the private sector often produces positive results.
3. Permissible Activities and Private Sector Emphasis. The objective of all Section 502(e) projects is the development of skills and/or work modes that will result in unsubsidized employment. Section 502(e)(2) of the OAA suggests activities, such as flextime, job sharing and other arrangements relating to reduced physical exertion; and projects involving second careers and job placement, giving consideration to placement in growth industries and in jobs reflecting new technological skills.
In addition to the activities described above, the Department prefers projects that demonstrate coordination with the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), particularly private-sector projects in which Title V enrollees also participate in WIA supported training.
When considering whether a project is suitable, grantees may consider whether the project can be accomplished within the regular Title V program guidelines. A project should not be proposed if the activities could be conducted within the regular SCSEP program guidelines without the flexibility provided by Section 502(e).
The private sector, particularly the private for-profit sector, should be involved in the development and implementation of each project. Placements in the private non-profit sector, including on-the-job training placements, are permitted. Public agencies may serve as work sites, but applicants should explain why these sites would not be appropriate under the regular SCSEP program.
4. General Information.
a) Eligible Grantees. All SCSEP grantees are eligible to apply.
b) Amount of Funds Available. $2.96 million is available for these projects. The actual amounts will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the review panel's ratings.
c) Limitation on the Amount of Funds. No less than $50,000 and no more than $1,000,000 will be provided to any grantee selected under this limited competition.
d) Participant Eligibility. Current Title V eligibility criteria will be used to select enrollees. Grantees are encouraged to select participants with the greatest economic need.
e) Funding Cycle. The plan is to fund all projects as early as possible after July 1, 2002. Projects may be designed for up to 14 months but not to exceed August 31, 2003.
f) Geographic Distribution. Through communication with other SCSEP State and national grantees, Section 502(e) projects should be widely distributed. Grantees should minimize duplication of projects in the same labor market areas. In addition, grantees are encouraged to conduct their projects in different localities from year-to-year.
g) Equipment. Generally, grantees of projects should no more purchase equipment than is absolutely necessary.
5. Other Considerations:
a. New Work Modes. Grantees are encouraged to utilize new work modes such as flex-place, flex time, and reduced physical activity.
b. Hours of Participation. The regulatory limit of no more than 1,300 hours of participation in the SCSEP during a 1-year period does not apply. Hours spent in training and related activities in projects funded under Section 502(e) will not be counted toward the 1,300-hour limit. There is no limit on the number of training hours.
c. Part-time or Full-time Training. Training may be part-time or full-time. If the training is part-time, participants may also work at regular SCSEP assignments during the non-training hours.
d. Reasonableness of Costs. Applicants are advised that reasonableness of costs is a rating factor. While there is no set figure that applies across the board, the effective use of the Federal funds will be considered along with the use of or availability of non-Federal resources, particularly that of private-for-profit contributions. Describe the applicant organization's role in the project. Is that organization simply passing through funds or is it providing oversight coordination, monitoring, etc.?
6. Other Training Resources. Grantees should seek training assistance from all available resources, and particularly from programs operated under the WIA or the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act. Where possible, dual enrollment in Section 502(e) training and WIA activities is strongly encouraged.
7. Matching Share. A matching share is not required specifically for Section 502(e) funds. If private sector or other appropriate non-Federal contributions are involved, these funds may be included in the non-Federal contribution. The panel may consider matching funds in rating cost reasonableness. Contributions from the private sector are desirable.
8. Current Competitive Private Sector Project Grantees. Applications from grantees of current or previously funded competitively awarded training projects will be considered. Information on performance and experiences, such as the number of previous participants who obtained training-related employment, would be helpful. Data from the prior program year or the most recent quarter may be used as evidence of performance.
9. Reporting/Performance Goals.
a. Each project must establish placement goals. Progress toward those goals will be reported on a twice-yearly basis as part of the regular SCSEP narrative reporting process in a separate section titled " Private Sector Projects." A separate Progress Report must be submitted. Multiple private sector projects may be "rolled up" together in one report. Other reports will be requested as needed. (Contact your GOTR for information on filling out forms.)
- Financial information on 502(e) funds must be included in the Title V Financial Status Report within the regular program cost categories: Administration, Other Enrollee Costs, and Wages and Fringe Benefits. A separate, final Financial Status Report is required for Section 502(e) funds. The purpose of this one-time report is to provide the Department with a perspective on the type and amount of costs associated with the training projects. One overall Financial Status Report, including 502(e) and regular SCSEP funds, is required at the end of the project. The regular quarterly reports should include the project expenditures; however, those grantees submitting more than one application should submit separate budget sheets for each project.
10. General Procedures. The basic steps that will be followed to implement the Section
502(e) projects for Program Year 2002 are:
a. Applicants must prepare and submit the application by the deadline, using the format for the application contained in the bulletin.
b. A panel will review all applications, rate them and provide a report to the Grant Officer who will make the final selection based largely on panel scores, geographic distribution and responsibility review criteria. The 502(e) project will be incorporated into the current SCSEP grant via a modification.
Contents of the APPLICATION PACKAGE: (4 copies). The application package must include:
- SF 424, Application Form
- A Project Narrative including a description of each proposed project using the format provided.
- SF 424A Budget, Sections A and B. The detailed cost breakout must include sufficient budget detail to determine costs associated with each discrete project within an umbrella application.