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Systematic Approach-Profile\Referral Welfare Participants

Billing Code: 4510-30-M

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

Job Training Partnership Act

Project Title: Systematic Approach-Profile\Referral Welfare Participants

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 by eligible applicants is contained in this announcement. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA), announces the availability of funds for demonstration projects to provide additional testing of a profiling process whereby State and local officials can allocate reemployment and training services under the major requirements of the new legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. The program will be funded by the Job Training Partnership Act, (JTPA), Titles III and IV.

This notice provides information on the process that eligible entities must use to apply for demonstration funds, how grantees are to be selected, and the responsibilities of grantees.

DATES: The closing date for receipt of proposals is May 29, 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: Marian G. Floyd, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room S-4203, Washington, DC 20210, Reference: SGA/DAA 98-010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marian G. Floyd, Division of Acquisition and Assistance. Telephone 202-219-7300, ext. 142 (this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, is soliciting proposals on a competitive basis to provide additional testing of a profiling process whereby State and local officials can allocate reemployment and training services. The announcement consist of four parts. Part I describes the application process for eligible applicants who wish to apply for grant funds. Part II provides the Government's Required Statement of Work. Part III provides the deliverables and timetables. Part IV describes the selection criteria for award.

PART I. APPLICATION PROCESS

A. ELIGIBILITY. Eligible applicants are State Security Agencies (SESAs) and Service Delivery Areas (SDAs) as designated by the State under JTPA, within States containing a minimum of 0.50% of welfare recipients as a percentage of the national welfare recipient population as of June 30, 1997.

B. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE. The Period of Performance will be twenty-one (21) months from date of grant execution.

C. FUNDING. The Department anticipates awarding three (3) to five (5) grants between $75,000 and $100,000 per grant, for a total of $400,000. Applications that exceed $100,000 will not be considered. Awards will be made on a competitive basis.

D. MATCHING FUNDS. Applicants will be expected to provide at least a 60 percent match of the Federal funding with an in-kind or cash contribution to assure a jointly administered pilot program. Also, applicants may use the expertise, experience, and data and computer facilities of universities or other interested research centers. Applicants are further encouraged to coordinate with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) grantee agency in their areas.

E. PAGE LIMITATION. Applicant's technical proposal shall be limited to 20 double-spaced, single-sided pages with 1-inch margins. Text type shall be at least 10 pitch or larger. Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be considered.

F. SUBMISSION OF PROPOSAL. Four (4) copies of the proposal (an original and three copies) must be received. Your proposal must be organized in the following manner:

Section I - Financial and Summary Information ( this section does not count against your page limitation.)

(1) Standard Form (SF)-424; "Application for Federal Assistance" (Appendix A). The Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog number 17.246.

(2) A one or two page summary of your proposed project which shall include information on the number of welfare recipients in the State and proposed target area.

(3) "Budget Information", (Appendix B). Also include, on separate pages, a detailed breakout of each proposed budget line item.

Section II - Technical Proposal (limited to 20 pages)

Your technical proposal must demonstrate the grant applicant's capabilities in accordance with the Statement of Work in Part II of this solicitation. No costs data or reference to costs shall be included in the Technical Proposal. Applicants must also include resumes of proposed staff and an organizational chart.

G. HAND DELIVERED PROPOSALS. Proposals may be mailed or delivered by hand. A mailed proposal should be mailed no later than five (5) calendar days prior to the closing date for the receipt of applications. Hand-delivered grant applications 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 shall be considered to be hand-delivered and must be received at the designated place by the specified time on the closing date. Telegraphed, electronic mail, or faxed proposals will not be honored. Applications that fail to adhere to the above instructions will not be honored. H. LATE PROPOSALS. A proposal received at the office designated in the solicitation afterthe exact time specified for receipt will not be considered unless it is received before award is made and it--

(1) 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 the proposals. The term "working days" excludes weekends and U.S. Federal holidays.

(2) Was sent by registered or certified mail not later than the fifth calendar day before the date specified for receipt of applications (e.g., an offer submitted in response to a solicitation requiring receipt of applications by the 20th of the month must be mailed by the 15th);

The term "post-mark" 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 in the original receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. Both postmarks must show a legible date, or the application shall be processed as though it had been mailed late. "Post-mark" 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.

I. WITHDRAWAL OF PROPOSALS. A grant applications may be withdrawn by written notice or telegram (including mailgram) received at any time before the awarding of a grant. An application may be withdrawn in person by the grant applicant, or by an authorized representative of the grant applicant if the representative's identity is made known and the representative signs a receipt for the proposal.

PART II. STATEMENT OF WORK

A. PURPOSE. The purpose of this solicitation is to fund pilot projects to adapt, test and implement a profiling and referral model for welfare recipients. The Department wants to expand the pilot sites to include a variety of State Agencies or SDAs with emphasis placed on the metropolitan areas with high welfare caseloads. The projects will be developing models which:

1. Identify welfare recipients by using welfare administrative data taken from applications/initial interviews for use in determining the participants probability of finding (or not finding) employment within a defined time period.

2. Provide a systematic approach for determining, referring, and following up participants within the agencies to determine the efficacy of the model, with computer communications available and used by major parties, including TANF grantees, JTPA entities, and SESAs.

B. BACKGROUND. States and localities are facing significant challenges resulting from the recent passage of federal welfare reform legislation. They are confronted with the dilemma of moving large numbers of welfare recipients into jobs to provide reemployment assistance to participants in Welfare-to-Work (WTW) programs. Currently, a demonstration in Kalamazoo, Michigan is testing a profiling model that will assist States dealing with this problem. This solicitation will provide for additional testing of a profiling process, which, if successful, will enable State and local officials to allocate reemployment and training services in a cost effective manner and fulfill the requirements of the new legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (PWRO).

Profiling is an early intervention approach for providing welfare recipients with reemployment services to help speed their entry/reentry into productive employment. It consists of two components: a profiling mechanism and a set of reemployment services. It is the goal of welfare profiling to predict the probability that individual welfare recipients will find employment, based on administrative data that is collected at the time individuals apply for welfare.

The model developed for a locality is based on historical data for a recent past period of one to two years duration. It can then be applied to current welfare recipients to determine the level and kinds of employment services that should be provided to particular individuals. Welfare profiling is a targeting tool that can be used by program managers to guide them in their assignment of welfare recipients to available employment services. It can also be used as an allocation tool to assist in determining which welfare recipients should be assigned to limited employment services.

The concept of profiling is not new. The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program has been profiling since 1994 to assist dislocated workers in their transition to new employment. The creation of the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) system represents a major development for the employment and training system.

Throughout its history, UI had been concerned solely with providing temporary compensation to eligible unemployed people while they look for a new job. However, as economic conditions have changed and permanent dislocation of workers has become a more common phenomenon, UI has expanded the scope of its mission to attend more adequately to the needs of dislocated workers who are likely to exhaust their UI benefits before finding a new job.

UI now profiles claimants to determine their likelihood to exhaust their benefits. Claimants who have the highest probabilities of exhaustion are referred to reemployment services --provided by the Employment Service (ES) and JTPA --as a condition of continued eligibility for benefits. The success employment and training programs have had in the early years of implementation of WPRS strongly suggests that this model can be applied in other areas (like welfare-to-work) to target services more effectively.

The Kalamazoo Welfare-to-Work Profiling pilot has developed a PC-based software program that incorporates into the client intake system the process of assigning probabilities of employment and referring participants to services. It is designed to be used at the intake site during the initial orientation as individuals are enrolled in the welfare-to-work program. This software package can be adapted to welfare-to-work programs at other sites and is available at no cost to agencies involved in this initiative. The program, constructed using standard database software, integrates and automates the various steps in the intake process.

The intake administrator can use this program in the following way. First, client information that has been previously collected is entered into the database. Second, the administrator is notified of missing information, which can be updated by asking the client to furnish that information during intake. Third, based on the client information and the predetermined weights generated from the statistical model, probabilities of employment are assigned to each individual. Fourth, the administrator enters the number of slots available in the various services, and the program refers clients to these services based upon their probabilities and a pre-assessment of the efficacy of these services for clients with various needs. Fifth, referral slips are printed for each client as a reminder of their assignment to services. Sixth, all relevant information is stored in the database.

C. PROJECT DESIGN. Starting with the experience derived from developing and implementing the Kalamazoo model, the purpose of the project is to adapt or modify, test, and implement a profiling system geared to assisting welfare recipients in acquiring the services needed to obtain gainful employment.

The pilot will be based on the Kalamazoo WTW profiling model which, in turn, takes as its starting point the approach used by the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services, which was mandated by Congress (PL 103-152). (The WTW profiling paper for the Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph County SDA is available from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, as a working paper on their website at: http://www.upjohninst.org/publication/wp). This model should have value for welfare recipients because it uses a targeting approach to allow custom targeting of scarce resources for welfare recipients.

The major tasks are as follows:

  • The State Agency/SDA will adapt or modify and test a profiling model for the selected area that requires a two step process. First, appropriate data for estimating the statistical profiling model will be developed using recent welfare and work history of recipients eligible for welfare. Second, a statistical model will be adapted that uses the data to estimate the probability that an individual participant will find employment. This involves benchmarking results from a sample and applying results to characteristics for predicted levels for individuals.

  • The State Agency/SDA will implement the profile and referral system within the area using the characteristics of each welfare recipient to generate probabilities of long term welfare recipiency for individuals entering the welfare program. Based upon the probabilities, welfare participants will be referred to services that best meet their needs. This will require participant data collection and processing. Successful implementation and outcomes of the profiling and referral system will require the ability of states and SDAs to vary their mix and intensity of services to participants according to their estimated probabilities of employment.

  • The State Agency/SDA will assess effectiveness of the project within the area and based upon its experience, provide a general evaluation strategy for other SDA's/other states. They further agree to provide the model and documentation for further testing and evaluation to a sample of SDA's within ETA's pilot program and work with and provide data to related research contractors funded by ETA as part of this project.

PART III. DELIVERABLES AND TIMETABLES. The Period of performance is 21 months from the date of execution of the grant. The deliverables and due dates are as follows: (The due dates are subject to negotiations between the grantee and the Grant Officer's Technical Representative (GOTR).

  • Paper illustrating the adaptation and testing of the profiling model. This includes the appropriate data, recent welfare and work history of welfare eligibles for estimating the model. This includes a benchmark for assessing the accuracy of the model. This will be due approximately 150 days after award.

  • Paper describing implementation of the profiling and referral system focusing on the results from the area. This will involve tracking and processing information on a sample of participants. (A process and impact analysis) This would be due 180 days after award.

  • Grantees will prepare periodic and final program and financial reports as stipulated in the grant agreement.

PART IV. SELECTION/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 shall be advisory in nature and not binding on the Grant Officer. Panelists shall evaluate applications for acceptability based upon overall responsiveness to the Statement of Work, with emphasis on the factors enumerated below. Applicants are advised that awards may be made without further discussions.

a. Design and implementation plan for a profiling model for the area served.(40 points)

b Plan for participating in the assessment of the effectiveness of the project (it will include a process and impact analysis). (25 points)

Relationship and linkages with other organizations and agencies within the service area. (20 points) This should include agencies which traditionally serve the target population (welfare recipients).

d. Experience and qualifications of key staff. (15 points)

Applicants are advised that letter of support are not necessary.

Signed at Washington , DC, this 27th day of April 1998.

Janice E. Perry, Grant Officer

APPENDICES.

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

Appendix B - Budget Information