Topics Of Interest
NGA Announces Governors for Leadership for Education and Workforce Committee, and Economic Development and Commerce Committee
The National Governors Association (NGA) has announced the new leadership of NGA’s five standing committees for the 2014-2015 year.
NGA Chair Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and NGA Vice Chair Utah Gov. Gary Herbert made the following appointments:
Education and Workforce Committee
Economic Development and Commerce Committee
Health and Human Services Committee
For a list of the executive committee, please click here
For a list of the executive committee, please click here
Geospatial Sector: Advisory Committee to Meet on September 23-24
The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) will meet on September 23-24, 2014 at the National Conservation Training Center, 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV 25443. The meeting will be held in Room 201 Instructional East. The NGAC, which is composed of representatives from governmental, private sector, non-profit, and academic organizations, was established to advise the Federal Geographic Data Committee on management of Federal geospatial programs, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16.
Topics to be addressed at the meeting include:
- Leadership Dialogue
- Recent FGDC Activities
- NSDI Strategic Plan
- Geospatial Platform
- NGAC Subcommittee Activities -
- National Information Exchange Model
- Emerging Geospatial Issues
EPA Announces National Brownfields Training Conference for September 2-4, 2015 in Chicago; Issues “Call for Ideas”; Requests Session Suggestions by November 3, 2014
The 2015 National Brownfields Training Conference will be held in Chicago, IL, September 2 - 4, 2015. The Conference will be held at the Chicago Hilton on Michigan Ave. Additional meeting space and sleeping rooms will be available at the Palmer House Hilton.
Please visit the Conference Website for additional information: www.brownfieldsconference.org
The workforce community should note that the Conference “Call for Ideas” is now open. The deadline for submitted session ideas is November 3, 2014. More information on the “Call for Ideas,” including EPA’s proposed “Tracks” for the educational programming can be found at: http://www.brownfieldsconference.org/en/Article/201/Brownfields_2015_Call_for_Ideas_Announced
Please visit the ConferenceWebsite for additional information: www.brownfieldsconference.org
EPA Announces Funding Opportunities under "People, Prosperity, and the Planet" Award Program
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3-People, Prosperity and the Planet Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Award program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and protection of the planet -- people, prosperity, and the planet – the three pillars of sustainability. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability.
EPA’s P3 Program has identified the following four strategic program goals.
Goal 1: Engage and educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and the greater academic and external communities in the principles of sustainability.
Goal 2: Spark innovation and sustainable technologies through research and development conducted by the P3 projects.
Goal 3: Support the demonstration of sustainable technologies around the world.
Goal 4: Foster the development of small businesses rooted in sustainability.
The closing date for applications is December 16.
RSA Publishes Thirty-Day Notice on the "Annual Performance Report for the State Grant for Assistive Technology Program"; Seeks Comments by October 10
The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) has published the thirty-day notice on the Annual Performance Report for the State Grant for Assistive Technology Program in the September 10, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER.
Section 4 of the Assistive Technology (AT) Act of 1998, as amended, requires states to submit annual data reports. This instrument helps the grantees report annual data related to the required activities implemented by the State under the AT Act. This data is used by RSA in order to prepare required annual reports to Congress. RSA calls this data collection an Annual Progress Report.
Comments are due by October 10.
NSF Seeks Public Comment on the Proposed Establishment of a National Network of 'Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs'
Aiming to make the most of the fast-growing volume of digital data, the Obama Administration announced the "Big Data Research and Development Initiative" in March 2012,
In support of this objective, the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced it is exploring the establishment of a national network of "Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs," and seeks public comment. These Hubs are designed to help to continue and scale up the kinds of activities and partnerships established by National Big Data R&D Initiative over the past 3 years as well as stimulate, track, and help sustain new regional and grassroots partnerships around Big Data.
Potential roles for Hubs include, but are not limited to:
- Accelerate the ideation and development Big Data solutions to specific global and societal challenges by convening stakeholders across sectors to partner in results-driven programs and projects.
- Act as a matchmaker between the various academic, industry, and community stakeholders to help drive successful pilot programs for emerging Big Data technology.
- Coordinate across multiple regions of the country, based on shared interests and industry sector engagement to enable dialogue and share best practices.
- Aim to increase the speed and volume of technology transfer between universities, public and private research centers and laboratories, large enterprises, and SMB''s.
- Facilitate engagement with opinion and thought leaders on the societal impact of Big Data technologies as to maximize positive outcomes of adoption while reducing unwanted consequences.
- Support the education and training of the entire Big Data workforce, from data scientists to managers to data end-users.
- The goals of interest for a Big Data Regional Hub, with metrics for evaluating the success or failure of the Hub to meet that goal;
- The multiple stakeholders that would participate in the Hub and their respective roles and responsibilities;
- Plans for initial and long-term financial and in-kind resources that the stakeholders would need to commit to this hub; and
- A principal point of contact.
NSF emphasizes today's announcement is "solely for information and planning purposes; it does not constitute a formal solicitation for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements."
OECD Employment Outlook 2014 Now Available; Chapters Include 'Recent Wage Developments," "Job Quality," "Non-Regular Employment," and the "Employment Impact of Skills and Qualifications"
The OECD Employment Outlook 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of the OECD Jobs Strategy and includes chapters on recent labor market developments with a special section on earnings/wages, job quality, youth employment, unemployment and unemployment rates, and forms of employment and employment protection.
This year's special chapters cover four topics: recent wage developments, job quality, non-regular employment, and the employment impact of skills and qualifications.
The individual chapters, statistical annex, tables and graphs can be accessed in seriatim or in chosen order of preference at http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/employment/oecd-employment-outlook-2014_empl_outlook-2014-en ( A subscription would be required to download the entire PDF document.)
HHS/ACF Seeks Comments on Runaway and Homeless Youth Management Information System
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act mandates that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report regularly to Congress on the status of HHS-funded programs serving runaway and homeless youth. Such reporting is similarly mandated by the Government Performance and Results Act. Organizations funded under the Runaway and Homeless Youth program are required by statute. These requirements include maintenance of client statistical records on the number and the characteristics of the runaway and homeless youth, and youth at risk of family separation, who participate in the project, and the services provided to such youth by the project.
The Administration for Children and Families within HHS is seeking public comment on this collection, noting “a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.
The August 29 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background and instructions for submitting comments.
HHS/ACF Publishes Evaluation Policy for Research or Demonstration Projects
The Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services has published its evaluation policy for research or demonstration projects as authorized by 42 U.S.C. 1310.
ACF notes, in part:
This evaluation policy builds on ACF's strong history of evaluation by outlining key principles to govern our planning, conduct, and use of evaluation. The evaluation policy reconfirms our commitment to conducting rigorous, relevant evaluations and to using evidence from evaluations to inform policy and practice. ACF seeks to promote rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics in the conduct of evaluations. This policy addresses each of these principles.
Click here for the policy statement in the August 29 FEDERAL REGISTER.
Department of Labor’s Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR)
What Works In Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence
Department of Labor Evaluation Policy
Employment and Training Administration’s Research Publication Database
Secretary of Labor Announces Intent to Renew Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee
The Secretary of Labor is announcing the intent to renew a Federal Advisory Committee. In accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, the Secretary of Labor has determined that the renewal of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Commissioner of Labor Statistics by 29 U.S.C. 1 and 2. This determination follows consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration.
The Committee provides advice to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the points of view of data users from various sectors of the U.S. economy, including the labor, business, research, academic and government communities, on matters related to the analysis, dissemination, and use of the Bureau''s statistics, on its published reports, and on gaps between or the need for new Bureau statistics.
The Committee will function solely as an advisory body to the BLS, on technical topics selected by the BLS.
The Committee is responsible for providing the Commissioner of Labor Statistics:
The Committee reports to the Commissioner of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
- The priorities of data users;
- suggestions concerning the addition of new programs, changes in the emphasis of existing programs or cessation of obsolete programs; and
- advice on potential innovations in data analysis, dissemination and presentation.
The Committee will not exceed 20 members. Committee members are nominated by the Commissioner of Labor Statistics and approved by the Secretary of Labor. Membership of the Committee will represent a balance of expertise across a broad range of BLS program areas, including employment and unemployment statistics, occupational safety and health statistics, compensation measures, price indexes, and productivity measures; or other areas related to the subject matter of BLS programs. All committee members will have extensive research or practical experience using BLS data. The Committee will function solely as an advisory body, in compliance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Charter will be filed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
VA Releases New Version of the GI Bill® Comparison Tool; Online Resource Provides Student Veterans with Key Education and Benefits Information
On August 28, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched an improved version of the GI Bill® Comparison Tool, which was first launched in February 2014. The GI Bill Comparison Tool is designed to make it easier for Veterans, Servicemembers, and dependents to estimate their GI Bill education benefits and learn more about VA's approved college, university, and other education and training programs across the country. It also provides key information about college affordability and value so beneficiaries can choose the best education program to meet their needs.
In the past 6 months, nearly 350,000 people have accessed the tool on VA's GI Bill website. The top schools searched by users include: American Public University, Harvard, University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University, and University of Washington.
"We are excited to see how Veterans respond to the wealth of information now available on the updated GI Bill Comparison Tool" said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. "We're grateful for the chance to work with our partners at the departments of Defense and Education (ED) to ensure beneficiaries are informed education consumers."
The updated version of the GI Bill Comparison Tool has new functionality, including a more robust GI Bill benefits calculator and additional information pertinent to the Veteran population (e.g., identifies schools with student Veteran groups, VetSuccess on Campus program, and those that have agreed to the 8 Keys to Success). The GI Bill calculator provides a personalized estimate of Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition and fee, housing allowance, and book stipend benefits that would potentially be paid to the student. The calculator prepopulates the tuition and fee estimates from the ED's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The Veteran indicator section now contains new information on schools' student Veterans groups, VetSuccess on Campus program and Yellow Ribbon agreement status.
The GI Bill Comparison Tool is one item in a series of resources VA has launched in response to the President's Executive Order 13607, signed April 27, 2012, which directs agencies to implement and promote "Principles of Excellence" for educational institutions that interact with Veterans, Servicemembers and their families; and to ensure beneficiaries have the information they need to make informed choices about VA education benefits and approved programs. As students return to school this fall, VA is committed to providing the support and information they need to succeed.
Since April 2012, VA has deployed the GI Bill Comparison Tool, the GI Bill Feedback System, and offered a free academic-readiness tool online. In addition, VA, the Department of Education and Department of Defense have agreed to new Veteran-specific outcome measures and signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange information, which will ensure greater compliance from schools receiving military and Federal education benefits. VA successfully trademarked GI Bill to prevent its fraudulent use for recruiting purposes and to protect this publicly-owned intellectual property.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit created by Congress in 2008. Veterans and Servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible for the benefit. The Veterans Benefits Administration, which administers the Post-9/11 GI Bill program, has distributed more than $43 billion in the form of tuition and other education-related payments to more than one million Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families; and to the universities, colleges, and trade schools they attend. The GI Bill Comparison Tool can be found at: http://gibill.va.gov/comparison/