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Job Training Partnership Act, Title III, Demonstration

Billing Code: 4510-30

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

Job Training Partnership Act, Title III, Demonstration

Program: Dislocated Worker Technology Demonstration Program

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Funds and Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA).

SUMMARY: All information required to submit a grant application is contained in this announcement. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA), announces a demonstration program to test the ability of the workforce development system to partner with employers, training providers and others to train dislocated workers in the skills necessary to obtain work requiring high technology skills in occupations and industry settings with long-term growth potential.

The program will be funded with Secretary's National Reserve funds appropriated for Title III of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and administered in accordance with 29 CFR Part 95 and 97 as applicable.

This notice provides information on the process that eligible entities must use to apply for these demonstration funds and how grantees will be selected. It is anticipated that up to $6 million will be available for funding demonstration projects covered by this solicitation, with no award being more than $750,000.

DATES: The closing date for receipt of proposals is April 30, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

ADDRESSES: Applications shall be mailed to: U.S. Department of Labor; Employment and Training Administration; Division of Acquisition and Assistance; Attention: B.Yvonne Harrell, Reference: SGA/DAA 98-006; 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S-4203; Washington, DC 20210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: B.Yvonne Harrell, Division of Acquisition and Assistance. Telephone (202) 219-8694 (this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This announcement consists of five parts. Part I describes the authorities and purpose of the demonstration program and identifies demonstration policy. Part II describes the application process and provides guidelines for use in applying for demonstration grants. Part III includes the statement of work for the demonstration projects. Part IV describes the selection process, including the criteria that will be used in reviewing and evaluating applications. Part V discusses the demonstration program's monitoring, reporting and evaluation.

Part I. Background

A. Authorities

Section 323 of JTPA (29 U.S.C. 1662b) authorizes the use for demonstration programs of funds reserved under Section 302 of JTPA (29 U.S.C. 1652) and provided by the Secretary for that purpose under Section 322 of JTPA (29 U.S.C. 1662a). Demonstration program grantees shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations in setting up and carrying out their programs.

B. Purpose

It is now well understood that the economy has transitioned from the industrial age to the information age. In this age, the most valued commodities are the skills and knowledge possessed by the individual. These skills are the essential ingredient necessary to compete for jobs in an information-based economy. Global competition has reached an unprecedented level. Technology plays an increasingly important role in this global scenario as nations strive to build things or provide services that are faster, better or cheaper than their competitors.

In this era of global competition and rapid technological advances, technology is the most critical driver of economic growth. The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Technology Policy, has reported advances in technology to be the single most important determining factor in sustaining economic growth, estimated to account for as much as half of the Nation's long-term economic growth over the past 50 years. Traditional work environments have altered, as have the requisite skills needed by workers to succeed in today's workplace. Technology provides the tools for creating a wide array of new products and new services that reach well beyond the narrow confines of traditional labor markets. A product or service can now be provided from almost any community, each with the potential to reach global markets. The ability of a company to innovate, incorporate technology, improve products or services, increase market share and thus expand capacity and employment is the engine of economic growth.

Information technologies are the most important enabling technologies in the economy today. They affect every sector and every industry in the United States, in terms of digitally based products, services, and production and work processes. The very nature of advanced technology lies in the ability of a business or industry to identify, assess, adopt and incorporate information based technologies into everyday business and production processes. However, too many Americans are not adequately prepared for work place roles in this new economy. The information/knowledge based workplace of today's leading companies requires workers to possess conceptual, analytical, communication, interpersonal, and self-management skills beyond the basic academic and technical skills of the traditional workplace. There is often a skills deficit experienced by employers who continuously push the envelop to innovate, and adopt new technology in order to stay ahead of competitors, both domestic and international.

With accelerated changes in technology, America's workers often discover their skill base has become out of date. New approaches are needed to help American workers stay competitive. Workers need to know and understand what skills employers are looking for, and they need to have the means to raise their skills to match that demand.

Our Nation's workforce development system is working to meet this need, but skill shortages in information and advanced technology are currently very high in some industry sectors and geographic areas. Severe shortages of workers who can apply and use information and advanced technologies could undermine U.S. innovation, productivity, and competitiveness in world markets. A steady supply of skill workers will help our Nation's industries remain competitive. More importantly, these workers need to possess the appropriate skills demanded in the workplace. Ideally, a system of "just in time" education and training would be able to supply skilled workers that meet industry driven standards and certifications.

The purpose of this demonstration is to test the ability of the Nation's workforce development system to partner with employers, training providers and others to train dislocated workers in the skills necessary to obtain work requiring information and advanced technology skills in occupations and industries experiencing shortages of such workers.

As a part of the Nation's Workforce Development System, programs funded under Title III of the Job Training Partnership Act annually provide adjustment and training assistance to over 500,000 individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The vast majority of Title III funds are managed by over 600 substate grantees. These organizations design and operate a national system for training and reemployment programs based on: 1) the needs and characteristics of the local dislocated worker population; 2) the needs of local employers for skilled workers; and 3) the capabilities and capacities of training institutions and other local service providers. Also emerging is an infrastructure for a One-Stop/Career Center system to provide comprehensive and integrated workforce development services to both participants and employers. The Secretary of Labor uses a portion of the Title III funds to support demonstration projects to test new and innovative means of assisting dislocated workers.

Under this demonstration, the Department will fund projects that document the existence of and respond to the widely reported shortage across the nation of workers in information and advanced technology jobs. For purposes of this solicitation, the term "information and advanced technology" may be viewed broadly as the link between people, information and technology in the workplace. It encompasses computers, communication, data and information systems' hardware and software, but also the personnel who design, manage, operate, support and maintain these systems. For example, in the manufacturing sector, the application of information technology for technology transfer, high performance management, statistical process control, quality control, and data management are a fundamental part of operating as a high performance, world class organization. More specifically, information technology occupations comprise computer or computer systems related jobs engaged in either managing, storing, transmitting, or generating the information that organizations use to make decisions or installing, repairing or supporting the computer hardware and software used to perform such tasks.

Successful applications may be based on the use of new or innovative service strategies such as the involvement of new target groups of dislocated workers for existing training programs; the development and use of curricula geared specifically to eligible groups of dislocated workers and the needs of employers with openings in technology-related jobs; or the use of curriculum and skills training interventions designed to impart knowledge, skills and abilities of industry skill standards (where available). Each successful application will document substantive linkages with specific employers where there is a strong demand for workers with technology-related skills. Successful proposals will address the demonstration program goals of placement of the project participants in information and advanced technology jobs trained for as a part of the project. Participant satisfaction with project services and with their jobs, as well as their employer's satisfaction with project services and with the participants' skill level and work, should also be measured.

C. Demonstration Policy

1. Grant Awards

DOL anticipates awarding eight to ten grants, not to exceed $750,000 per grant. It is anticipated that awards will be made by June 30, 1998. Award decisions will be published on the Internet at ETA's Home Page at http://www.doleta.gov.

2. Eligible Applicants

Any organization capable of fulfilling the terms and conditions of this solicitation may apply. Under Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, Section 18, an organization described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue code of 1986 which engages in lobbying activities shall not be eligible for the receipt of Federal funds constituting an award grant or loan. This is a risk free Federal program: therefore, all for profit organizations that apply will not be able to receive a fee if awarded a grant.

3. Eligible Participants

All participants must be eligible dislocated workers as defined at JTPA Section 301(a)(1), and 314(h)(1) of the Job Training Partnership Act. These sections of the law may be viewed at http://doleta.gov/regs/statutes/jtpalaw.htm.

Proposed projects may target subgroups of the eligible population based on factors such as (but not limited to) occupation, industry, nature of dislocation, and reason for unemployment.

4. Allowable Activities

Funds provided through this demonstration may be used only to provide services of the type described at Section 314(c) and (d) of JTPA. Supportive services are defined in Section 4(24) of JTPA. (Use ETA's web site reference above to view.)

Grant funds may be used to reimburse employers for extraordinary costs associated with on-the-job training of program participants, in accordance with 20 CFR 627.240. Grant funds may not be used for the following purposes: (a) for training that an employer is in a position to provide and would have provided in the absence of the requested grant; (b) to pay salaries for program participants; and (c) for acquisition of production equipment. Applicants may budget limited amounts of grant funds to work with technical experts or consultants to provide advice and develop more complete project plans after a grant award. The level of detail in the project plan may affect the amount of funding provided.

Grant activities may include:

(a) development, testing and initial application of curricula focused on intensive, short-term training to get participants into productive, high demand information or advanced technology employment as quickly as possible;

(b) working with employers to utilize cutting-edge technology and equipment in worksite-based learning strategies;

(c) development of employer-based training programs that will take advantage of opportunities created by employers' needs for workers with new information and advanced technology skills;

(d) development and initial application of contextual learning opportunities for participants to learn technology theory in a classroom setting while applying that learning in an on-the-job setting;

(e) use of curriculum and skills training programs that are designed to impart learning to meet employer specified or industry specific skill standards or certification requirements; or

(f) innovative linkage and collaboration between employers and the local Substate Grantee and/or One-Stop/Career Center system to ensure a steady supply of high demand, high skill information or advanced technology workers.

The above are illustrative examples and are not intended to be an exhaustive listing of possible demonstration project designs or approaches which may achieve the purpose of this solicitation. However, successful applicants must demonstrate the direct involvement by employers experiencing skill shortages as well as provide substantive documentation about the existence of skill shortages for the industry or occupations to be targeted by the proposed project.

5. Coordination

In order to maximize the use of public resources and avoid duplication of effort, applicants will coordinate the delivery of services under this demonstration with the delivery of services under other programs (public or private), available to all or part of the target group. Projects linking or collaborating with an existing USDOL funded One-Stop/Career Center initiative and/or local JTPA Substate Grantee located within a project area fulfill this requirement.

6. Period of Performance

The period of performance shall be 24 months from the date of execution by the Government. Delivery of services to participants shall commence within 90 days of execution of a grant.

7. Option to Extend

DOL may elect to exercise its option to extend these grants for an additional one (1) or two (2) years of operation, based on the availability of funds, successful program operation, and the needs of the Department.

Part II. Application Process and Guidelines

A. Contents

An original and three (3) copies of the application shall be submitted. The application shall consist of two (2) separate and distinct parts: Part I, the Financial Proposal, and Part II, the Technical Proposal.

1. Financial Application

Part I, the Financial Proposal, shall contain the SF-424, "Application for Federal Assistance" (Appendix A) and the "Budget Information" (Appendix B). The Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog number is 17.246.

The budget shall include on separate pages detailed breakouts of each proposed budget line item, including detailed administrative costs and costs for one or more of the following categories as applicable: basic readjustment services, supportive services, and retraining services. For each budget line item that includes funds or in-kind contributions from a source other than the grant funds, identify the source, the amount, and in-kind contributions, including any restrictions that may apply to these funds.

2. Technical Proposal

Part II, the technical proposal shall demonstrate the offeror's capabilities in accordance with the Statement of Work in Part III of this solicitation. A grant application shall be limited to twenty (20) double-spaced, single-side, 8.5-inch x 11-inch pages with 1-inch margins. Attachments shall not exceed ten (10) pages. Text type shall be 11 point or larger. Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be considered. Each application shall include the Checklist provided as Appendix C, a Timeline outlining project activities, and an Executive Summary not to exceed two pages. NO COST DATA OR REFERENCE TO PRICE SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL.

B. Hand-Delivered Applications

Applications should be mailed no later than five (5) days prior to the closing date for the receipt of applications. However, if applications are hand-delivered, they must be received at the designated place by 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time on the closing date for receipt of applications. All overnight mail will be considered to be hand-delivered and must be received at the designated place by the specified time and closing date. Telegraphed and/or faxed proposals will not be honored. Applications that fail to adhere to the above instructions will not be honored.

C. Late Applications

Any application received at the office designated in the solicitation after the exact time specified for receipt will not be considered unless it:

(1) was sent by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified mail not later than the fifth calendar day before the closing date specified for receipt of applications (e.g., an offer submitted in response to a solicitation requiring receipt of application by the 30th of January must have been mailed by the 25th); or

(2) was sent by U.S. Postal Service Express Mail Next Day Service--Post Office to Addressee, not later than 5:00 p.m. at the place of mailing two working days prior to the date specified for receipt of application. The term "working days" excludes weekends and U.S. Federal holidays.

The only acceptable evidence to establish the date of mailing of a late application sent by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified mail is the U.S. postmark on the envelope or wrapper and on the original receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. Both postmarks must show a legible date or the proposal shall be processed as if it had been mailed late. "Postmark" means a printed, stamped, or otherwise placed impression (exclusive of a postage meter machine impression) that is readily identifiable without further action as having been supplied and affixed by an employee of the U.S. Postal Service on the date of mailing. Therefore, applicants should request the postal clerk to place a legible hand cancellation "bull's eye" postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper.

The only acceptable evidence to establish the date of mailing of a late application sent by "Express Mail Next-Day Service--Post Office to Addressee" is the date entered by the post office receiving clerk on the "Express Mail Next Day Service--Post Office to Addressee" label and the postmarks on both the envelope and wrapper and the original receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. "Postmark" has the same meaning as defined above. Therefore, an applicant should request the postal clerk to place a legible hand cancellation "bull's eye" postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper.

D. Withdrawal of Applications

Applications may be withdrawn by written notice or telegram (including mailgram) received at any time before award. Applications may be withdrawn in person by the applicant or by an authorized representative thereof, if the representative's identity is made known and the representative signs a receipt for the proposal.

Part III. Statement of Work

Each grant application must follow the format outlined in this Part. For sections A through G below, each application should include:

(1) information that indicates adherence to the provisions described in Part I, Background (Authorities, Purpose, and Demonstration Policy) and Part II, Application Process and Guidelines, of this announcement; and (2) other information that the applicant believes will address the selection criteria identified in Part IV of this solicitation.

Information required under A and B below shall be provided separately for each labor market area where dislocated workers will be served. To the extent that the project design differs for different geographic areas, information required under section C below shall be provided for each geographic area.

A. Target Population

Describe the proposed target population for the project. If that population is limited to one or more subgroups of the dislocated worker population, explain the basis for such limitation. Describe the size, location, and needs of the target population relative to the services to be provided. Provide documentation showing there is a significant number of dislocated workers with the target population's characteristics in the project area(s).

If the project seeks to serve under represented subgroups within a particular occupation, describe services to that subgroup and provide reliable and substantive documentation of the group's under representation.

B. Available Jobs

Describe the jobs that will be available and targeted for placement to project participants upon completion of training and placement services, and the documentation on which such description is based. Include information about the number and type of jobs, wage information and the specific set of skills, knowledge or duties (including any industry-sponsored standards of certifications), and the insufficiency of qualified workers to fill those positions in the absence of the proposed project. Identify sources of the occupational information or data used. Anecdotal data should not be used. Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) available through a variety of web sites including BLS, O*NET and America's Labor Market Information System (ALMIS), should be considered as a key source of documentation. In addition, State Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (SOICC) and JTPA Substate Grantee local job training plan may also be considered.

C. Project Design

(1) Purpose. Describe the specific purpose or purposes of the proposed project.

(2) Outreach and recruitment. Describe how eligible dislocated workers will be identified and recruited for participation in the project. Recruitment efforts may address public service communications and announcements, use of media, coordination with the JTPA Service Delivery Area or Substate Grantee, use of community-based organizations and other service groups. Describe the applicant's experience in reaching the target population. Non-JTPA applicants should partner with the appropriate JTPA Title III Substate Grantee(s) to plan and implement effective outreach and recruitment strategies.

(3) Eligibility determination. Describe the criteria and process to be used in determining the JTPA Title III eligibility of potential participants in the project. Non-JTPA applicants should partner with the appropriate JTPA Title III substate grantee(s) to carry out eligibility determination.

(4) Selection criteria. Describe the criteria and process to be used in selecting those individuals to be served by the project from among the total number of eligible persons recruited for the project. Explain how the selection criteria relate to the specific purpose of the proposed project.

(5) Services to be provided. Describe the services to be provided from the time of selection of participants through placement of those participants in jobs. Describe any services to be provided subsequent to job placement. The descriptions shall provide a clear understanding of the services and support that will be necessary for participants to be placed successfully in jobs and to retain those jobs, including services not funded under the grant, and ways to address participants' financial needs during periods of training. Grant-funded activities should, at a minimum, include assessment, retraining, job placement, and supportive services.

Identify any assessment tools proposed to be used before or after services are provided. Describe how training will be customized to account for transferable skills, previous education, and particular circumstances of the target population and the skill needs of the hiring employer(s). Include information to demonstrate that any proposed training provider is qualified to deliver training that meets appropriate employment standards, and any applicable certification or licensing requirement. Past performance, qualifications of instructors, accreditation of curricula, and similar matters should be addressed if appropriate. Address the costs of proposed training and other services relative to the costs of similar training and services through other providers.

Describe the limitations and eligibility criteria for relocation assistance, if such assistance is included in the proposal.

(6) Participant flow. Provide a flowchart with time indications to illustrate how the project will ensure access to necessary and appropriate reemployment and retraining services. Describe the sequence of services and the criteria to be used to determine the appropriateness of specific services for particular participants. Note if service choice options will be available to participants.

(7) Relationship to prior experience. Show how the applicant's prior experience in working with dislocated individuals affects or influences the design of the proposed project.

D. Planned Outcomes

A description of the project outcomes and of the specific measures, and planned achievement levels, that will be used to determine the success of the project. These outcomes and measures must include, but are not limited to:

(1) The number of participants projected: to be enrolled in services, to successfully complete services through the project, and to be placed into new jobs; a minimum of 80 percent entered employment rate is required;

(2) Measurable effects of the services provided to project participants as indicated by gains in individuals' skills, competencies, or other outcomes;

(3) Wages of participants prior to, at placement and 90 days after placement; a minimum of 90 percent average wage replacement rate is required;

(4) As part of the targeted outcome for wage at placement, each project should benchmark two key wage averages for the labor market in which each project will operate. These are:

(a) the average weekly wage in the manufacturing sector; and (b) the average wage at placement for the JTPA Title III, dislocated worker program operated by the local Substate Grantee.

(5) For each project, at least 80 percent of the individuals placed shall be placed at a wage that meets or exceeds (a) the average manufacturing wage in the labor market area, or (b) the average wage at placement for the last program year completed (currently 1996) for the JTPA Title III dislocated worker program operated by the local Substate Grantee in the targeted labor market, whichever is greater. The manufacturing wage for any labor market may be obtained from the Covered Wages and Employment Program administered by each State's Employment Service.

(6) Customer satisfaction with the project services, and of critical points in the service delivery process;

(7) Planned average cost per placement (amount of the grant request divided by the number of program-related placements); and

(8) Other additional measurable, performance-based outcomes that are relevant to the project and which may be readily assessed during the period of performance of the project, such as cost effectiveness of services and comparison with other available service strategies. [Note: An explanation of how such additional measures are relevant to the purpose of the demonstration program shall be included in the application.]

E. Collaboration

Describe the nature and extent of collaboration and working relationships between the applicant and other entities in the design and implementation of the proposed project. Include services to be provided through resources other than grant funds under this demonstration. Applicants are encouraged to commit matching funds to the implementation and management of their proposed programs. Matches may be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. These may include but are not limited to such contributions as the development of training modules; payment of tuition costs for training; support for child care or transportation; and provision of staff time at no cost to the project. Sources of matching funds may include but are not limited to employers, employer associations, labor organizations, and training institutions. With reference to the sources and amounts of project funds and in-kind contributions identified in the financial proposal as being other than those requested under the grant applied for, describe the basis for valuation of those funds and contributions.

Provide evidence, which ensures the collaboration described can reasonably be expected to occur, such as letters of agreement or formally established advisory councils. Because a core purpose of this demonstration program involves the publicly funded workforce system, the applicant shall describe working relationships with local Substate Grantee(s), including One-Stop/Career Center entities where present. Describe activities that may be undertaken to link activities to program interventions under this grant to employer, industry, or curriculum/learning centers currently designing and developing occupational/job skill standards and certifications. Collaboration should focus on linking employers involved in grant activities with any employer, industry, or trade and worker association that has already developed or is developing skill standards certifications.

Documentation of consultation on the project concept from applicable labor organizations must be submitted when 20 percent or more of the targeted population is represented by one or more labor organizations, or where the training is for jobs when a labor organization represents a substantial number of workers engaged in similar work.

F. Innovation

Describe any innovation in the proposed project, including (but not limited to) innovations in concept to be tested, services, delivery of services, training methods, job development, or job retention strategies. Explain the impact of such innovation on project costs. Explain how the proposed project is similar to and differs from the applicant's prior and current activities.

G. Project Management

(1) Structure. Describe the management structure for the project, including a staffing plan that describes each position and the percentage of its time to be assigned to this project. Provide an organizational chart showing the relationship among project management and operational components, including those at multiple sites of the project.

(2) Program Integrity. Describe the mechanisms to ensure financial accountability for grant funds and performance accountability relative to job placements, in accordance with standards for financial management and participant data systems in 29 CFR Part 95 or 97, as appropriate, and 20 CFR 627.425. Explain the basis for the applicant's administrative authority over the management and operational components. Describe how information will be collected to determine the achievement of project outcomes as indicated in section D of this part; and report on participants, outcomes, and expenditures.

(3) Monitoring.

(a) Benchmarks. Provide a timeline of benchmarks covering the period of performance of the project. Include a monthly schedule of planned start-up events; a quarterly schedule of planned participant activity, showing cumulative numbers of enrollments, participation in training and other services, placements, and terminations; and quarterly cumulative expenditure projections.

(b) Participant progress. Describe how a participant's continuing participation in the project will be monitored.

(c) Project performance. Identify the information on project performance that will be collected on a short-term basis (e.g., weekly or monthly) by program managers for internal project management to determine whether the project is accomplishing its objectives as planned and whether project adjustments are necessary.

Describe the process and procedures to be used to obtain feedback from participants, employers, and any other appropriate parties on the responsiveness and effectiveness of the services provided. The description shall identify the types of information to be obtained, the methods and frequency of data collection, and ways in which the information will be used in implementing and managing the project. Grantees may employ focus groups and surveys, in addition to other methods, to collect feedback information. Technical assistance in the design and implementation of customer satisfaction data collection and analysis may be provided by DOL.

(d) Impact of Coordination and Innovation. Describe the process for assessing and reporting on the impact of coordination and innovation in the project with respect to the purpose and goals of the demonstration program and the specific purpose and goals of the project.

4. Grievance Procedure.

Describe the grievance procedure to be used for grievances and complaints from participants, contractors, and other interested parties, consistent with the requirements at Section 144 of JTPA and 20 CFR 631.64(b) and (c).

5. Previous Project Management Experience.

Provide an objective demonstration of the grant applicant's ability to manage the project, ensure the integrity of the grant funds, and deliver the proposed performance. Indicate the grant applicant's past experience in the management of grant-funded projects similar to that being proposed, particularly regarding oversight and operating functions including financial management.

Part IV. Evaluation Criteria

Selection of grantees for awards will be made after careful evaluation of grant applications by a panel selected for that purpose by DOL. Panel results will be advisory in nature and not binding on the ETA Grant Officer. Panelists shall evaluate proposals for acceptability based upon overall responsiveness in accordance with the factors below.

A. Target Population (10 points).

The description of the characteristics of the target group to be served is clear and meaningful, and sufficiently detailed to determine the potential participants' service need. Documentation is provided showing that a significant number of eligible dislocated workers who possess these characteristics are available for participation within the project area. Sufficient information is provided to explain how the number of dislocated workers to be enrolled in the project was determined. The recruitment plan supports the number of planned enrollments. The target population is appropriate for the specific purpose of the proposed project. The project identifies underrepresented groups to be trained in the targeted occupation(s).

B. Service Plan and Cost (30 points).

The scope of services to be provided is consistent with the demonstration program and project purposes and goals. The scope of services to be provided is adequate to meet the needs of the target population given:

(1) their characteristics and circumstances;

(2) the jobs in which they are to be placed relative to targeted wage at placement goals;

(3) the match between the documented skill shortage and the training planned;

(4) the documentation provided specifying that training meets or is developed based on industry driven skill standards or certifications; and

(5) the length of program participation planned prior to placement.

Documentation and reliability of job availability is based upon recognized, reliable and timely sources of information.

Proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the characteristics and circumstances of the target group, the services to be provided, planned outcomes, the management plan, and coordination/collaboration with other entities, including One-Stop/Career Center organizations. The impact of innovation on costs is explained clearly in the proposal and is reasonable.

Identification is provided of the specific sources and amounts of other funds which will be used, in addition to funds provided through this grant, to implement the project. The application must include information on any non-JTPA resources committed to this project, including employer funds, grants, and other forms of assistance, public and private. Value and level of external resources being contributed, including employer contributions, to achieve program goals will be taken into consideration in the rating process.

C. Management (20 points).

The applicant (as a part of a collaborative approach) has experience working with technology training. The management structure and management plan for the proposed project will ensure the integrity of the funds requested. The project work plan demonstrates the applicant's ability to effectively track project progress with respect to planned performance and expenditures. Sufficient procedures are in place to use the information obtained by the project operator(s) to take corrective action if indicated. In addition, review by appropriate labor organizations, where applicable, is documented.

The proposal includes a method of assessing customer feedback for both participants and employers involved, and establishes a mechanism to take into account the results of such feedback as part of a continuous system of management and operation of the project.

D. Collaboration (15 points).

The proposal includes evidence of direct participation by JTPA SubState Grantees and One-Stop/Career Center entities (where present) in the planning and management of this grant. Evidence of participation of employers whose positions are targeted under the grant is present. Evidence of coordination with other programs and entities for project design or provision of services may also be provided. Evidence is presented that ensures cooperation of coordinating entities, as applicable, for the life of the proposed project. The project includes a reasonable method of assessing and reporting on the impact of such coordination, relative to the demonstration purpose and goals and the specific purpose and goals of the proposed project.

E. Innovation (20 points).

The proposal demonstrates innovation in the concept(s) to be tested, the project's design, and/or the services to be provided. "Innovation" refers to the degree to which such concept(s), design and/or services are not currently found in dislocated worker programs. The project includes a reasonable method of assessing and reporting on the impact of such innovation, relative to the demonstration program and project purposes and goals.

F. Sustainability (5 points)

The proposal provides evidence that, if successful, activities supported by the demonstration grant will be continued after the expiration date of the grant, using JTPA Title III formula-allotted funds or other public or private resources.

Grant applications will be evaluated for the reasonableness of proposed costs, considering the proposed target group, services, outcomes, management plan, and coordination with other entities.

Applicants are advised that discussions may be necessary in order to clarify any inconsistency or ambiguity in their applications. The final decision on awards will be based on what is most advantageous to the Federal Government as determined by the ETA Grant Officer. The Government may elect to award grant(s) without discussion with the applicant(s). The applicant's signature on the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form) SF-424 constitutes a binding offer.

Part V. Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation

A. Monitoring

The Department shall be responsible for ensuring effective implementation of each competitive grant project in accordance with the Act, the Regulations, the provisions of this announcement and the negotiated grant agreement. Applicants should assume that at least one on-site project review will be conducted by Department staff, or their designees. This review will focus on the project's performance in meeting the grant's programmatic goals and participant outcomes, complying with the targeting requirements regarding participants who are served, expenditure of grant funds on allowable activities, collaboration with other organizations as required, and methods for assessment of the responsiveness and effectiveness of the services being provided. Grants may be subject to their additional reviews at the discretion of the Department.

B. Reporting

DOL will arrange for or provide technical assistance to grantees in establishing appropriate reporting and data collection methods and processes. An effort will be made to accommodate and provide assistance to grantees to be able to complete all reporting electronically.

Applicants selected as grantees will be required to provide the following reports:

1. Monthly and Quarterly Progress Reports

2. Standard Form 269, Financial Status Report Form, on a quarterly basis

3. Final Project Report including an assessment of project performance. This report will be submitted in hard copy and on electronic disk utilizing a format and instructions to be provided by the Department.

C. Evaluation

DOL will arrange for or conduct an independent evaluation of the outcomes, impacts, and benefits of the demonstration projects. Grantees must agree to make available records on participants and employers and to provide access to personnel, as specified by the evaluator(s) under the direction of the Department.

Signed at Washington, DC, this 13th day of March 13, 1998.

JANICE E. PERRY

Grant Officer

Division of Acquisition and Assistance

Appendices

1. Appendix A--Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424)

2. Appendix B--Information

3. Appendix C--Application Checklist