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External Systems Building

Billing Code: 4510-30-M

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

Job Training Partnership Act

Project Title: External Systems Building

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), Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, announces the availability of funds for State Apprenticeship Agencies and/or organizations that represent them (i.e., stakeholders, partners) to participate in enhancing the National Apprenticeship System. The demonstration 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 must be mailed to: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Acquisition and Assistance, Attention: Denise Roach, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room S-4203, Washington, DC 20210, Reference: SGA/DAA 98-012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Roach, Division of Acquisition and Assistance. Telephone 202-219-7300, ext. 134 (this is not a toll-free number). Questions of a technical nature must be FAXED to 202-219-8739 to the attention of Ms. Roach.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, is soliciting proposals, on a competitive basis, to provide opportunities for apprenticeship stakeholders and partners to assist in enhancing the modern National Registered Apprenticeship System in order to improve its effectiveness in the 21st Century. Applicants selected for award will be those who best delineate their innovative approaches for enhancing the National Apprenticeship System. Proposals must demonstrate methods for modernizing apprenticeship systems to become aligned with the National Apprenticeship System's initiatives in expanding apprenticeship, developing competency systems, and developing new and innovative strategies for increasing the participation of women and minorities in our nation's apprenticeship programs.

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 describes the selection criteria for award. Part IV provides information regarding reporting requirements.

PART I. APPLICATION PROCESS

A. ELIGIBILITY. Eligible applicants are State Apprenticeship Agencies and/or organizations that represent them, i.e., stakeholders, partners, Human Resource Councils or State Workforce Development Councils.

B. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE. The Period of Performance will be July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999.

C. FUNDING. The Department anticipates awarding two (2) grants not to exceed $60,000 each for a total of $120,000. Applications that exceed $60,000 will not be considered. Awards will be made on a competitive basis.

D. 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.

E. 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 cost data or reference to costs shall be included in the Technical Proposal. Applicants must also include resumes of proposed staff and an organizational chart.

F. 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. G. 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.

H. WITHDRAWAL OF PROPOSALS. A grant application 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

Changes in our economy, technology, and our need to embrace diversity are the major driving forces behind new initiatives to expand apprenticeship, develop competency systems, and identify additional strategies for increasing the participation of women and minorities in our nation's apprenticeship programs.

To that end, the major tasks of this procurement are, but not limited to the following:

To propose suggestions, methods, practices, protocols, and or systems which delineate the modernization of registration processes and improvements and or updates in services to enhance the modern apprenticeship system (i.e., survey of registration agency "Best Practices" or "Benchmarking" of services which registration agencies provide to workforce development systems);

To propose methods and approaches that would result in a better alignment between apprenticeship stakeholders (i.e., Human Resource Councils, State Workforce Development Councils, State Apprenticeship Agencies) and the National Apprenticeship System (i.e., activities, forums, suggestions, governance, collective or collaborative action on apprenticeship issues);

To propose practices, procedures, methods for the expansion and information sharing of National Apprenticeship Systems;

To discuss, propose, and recommend approaches for the development of Competency Based Systems (i.e., pilot activities for the application of "skills standards" to apprenticeship training);

To develop and propose new and innovative strategies for increasing the participation of minorities and women in apprenticeship.

Applicants must include a detailed workplan that delineates a schedule of proposed activities and milestones for implementing the tasks indicated above within the award period (July 1998 - June 1999).

PART III. 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. Modernization of registration process (20 points)-- The extent to which the offeror has delineated reliable processes to identify efficient procedures of registration and service delivery.

B. Alignment (20 points) -- Delineation and prioritization of initial steps, activities, and areas that would provide a better alignment between Apprenticeship Agencies and stakeholders.

C. Expansion (20 points) -- Analyze and propose the most effective strategies for the expansion of registered apprenticeship.

D. Competency Based Systems (20 points) -- Assess and propose strategies for incorporating Competency Based Systems (i.e., skill standards) in registered apprenticeship training.

E. Increase Minority & Female Participation (20 points) -- Identify and delineate promising strategies (i.e., best practices) for increasing the number of minority and female apprentices.

Applicants are advised that letters of support are not necessary.

PART IV - REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

Applicants selected as grantees will be required to provide the following information in timely fashion:

A. Monthly Financial Status Reports (i.e., Standard Form 269);

B. Quarterly progress against the workplan (i.e., status) reports with narrative summaries;

C. Draft Final Project Report on desired outcomes within 30 days prior to grant expiration date. Specific format to be determined.

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