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Youth Opportunity Grants SGA

Billing Code: 4510-30

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

Office of Job Training Programs;

Workforce Investment Act;

Title I, National Programs: Youth Opportunity Grants

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, announces the competitive grants to be awarded under the Youth Opportunity initiative. Part I of this announcement provides the legislative authority and provides background information on this initiative; Part II provides instructions on the application submission process; Part III describes the Youth Opportunity Grant initiative; Part IV describes how to apply for urban and rural grants; and Part V describes how to apply for Native American grants. This announcement includes all of the information and forms needed to apply for Youth Opportunity Grants.

DATES: The closing date for receipt of applications is September 30, 1999, by 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time. No exceptions to the mailing and hand-delivery conditions set forth in Part II of this notice will be granted. Applications that do not meet the conditions set forth in this notice will not be considered.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be mailed or hand-delivered to: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Federal Assistance, Attention: Yvonne Harrell, Reference: SGA/DFA 99-015; 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S-4203; Washington, DC 20210. Your application should specify on the cover whether you are applying for an urban, rural, or Native American grant. Areas that are not EZ/ECs are urban if they are located in metropolitan areas as defined by the Census.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fax questions to Yvonne Harrell, Division of Federal Assistance at (202) 219-8739. This is not a toll-free number. All inquiries sent via fax should include the SGA number (DFA 99-015) and a contact name and phone number. This announcement is also being published on the Internet on the Employment and Training Administration's Home Page at http://doleta.gov. Commonly asked questions and answers regarding these grants will also be published on the ETA Home Page. Award notifications will also be published on the Home Page.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Part I. Authority

Section 169 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Regulations applicable to this Act are at 20 CFR Parts 660 through 671, published at 64 Fed. Reg. 18662 (April 15, 1999). Regulations specifically applicable to Youth Opportunity Grants are at 20 CFR Part 664, Subpart H (Sections 664.800-664.830).

Background

The nation's overall unemployment rate is near its lowest level in almost 30 years, but there continue to be serious economic inequalities and pockets of poverty in this country. Youth living in inner-city and rural areas with poverty rates of 30 percent or higher face considerable barriers to succeeding in life. The employment rate for out-of-school youth in high-poverty areas typically is less than 50 percent. In our country's largest urban school districts, less than 50 percent of each year's entering 9th grade class graduates four years later. Many of these out-of-school youth are at risk of becoming permanently lost to the legitimate economy. The labor market is simply not working for these youth.

The Youth Opportunity Grants authorized under Section 169 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 significantly increase resources available for serving youth growing up in high-poverty urban and rural areas. The Department of Labor (DOL) envisions that these new resources will be used as a complement to the Job Corps, School-to-Work, formula-funded WIA programs, Department of Education programs, and other programs funded at the Federal, State, and local level to help youth make the transition to adulthood. We expect through these grants to develop high-quality programs that help individual youth find better jobs and increase their educational attainment. In addition to these positive outcomes for individual youth, we also expect to achieve community-wide impacts in increasing youth employment rates and educational attainment.

The Youth Opportunity Grants also offer a chance to build improved systems for serving youth. Planning and implementing these grants will require local areas to think geographically in targeting resources; to coordinate more closely with the public school system, juvenile justice system, the private sector, community-based organizations, and existing programs providing services to youth; to retain dedicated staff over several years; to develop high-quality programs based on best practices; and to provide follow-up services to youth for a longer period than previously required by employment and training grants. A primary goal of Youth Opportunity Grants is to put systems in place that will be sustained after grant funds cease and result in long-term improvements in our capacity to serve youth.

Grantees must assure that youth with disabilities have physical and programmatic access to programs operated with Youth Opportunity funds, and that programs include extensive and targeted outreach to ensure that eligible disabled youth are served under these initiatives.

DOL also requires that grantees ensure that young workers placed by their programs receive on-the-job occupational safety and health training, and that employers guarantee that jobs provided are in compliance with all appropriate State and Federal labor standards, including child labor.

Part II. Application Submission Process .

This part pertains to "ALL" eligible applicants (Workforce Investment Boards, SDA administrative entity receiving JTPA formula funds, and Native American, JTPA Section 401 or WIA Section 166 Grantees).

What should my application consist of?

You must include both a financial and a technical proposal. An original and three (3) copies of the application must be submitted. The application will consist of two (2) separate and distinct Sections: (1) the Financial Proposal, (2) the Technical Proposal. Your application must specify on the cover sheet whether you are applying for an urban, rural, or Native American grant. Areas that are not EZ/ECs are urban if they are located in metropolitan areas as defined by the Census.

What information should be included in Section I - the Financial Proposal?

Section I, must include your Financial Proposal which consists of the required forms listed in Appendix "A", (Cover Sheet, Application for Federal Assistance, SF424 and the Budget Information Sheet). Do not attach any documents on top of the "Cover Sheet". This sheet must be the first page of your application package. The "Budget Information Sheet" must reflect the 12-month initial grant period. The budget include on a separate page a detailed breakout of each proposed budget line item. For each budget line item that includes funds or in-kind contributions from a source other than grant funds, identify the source, the amount, and any restrictions that may apply to these funds. You should reserve funds in the budget for staff development and travel to training conferences. Also include in this section a two page Executive/Project Summary, and the letter from the Governor designating your area as eligible for award if you are not an EZ/EC. The Federal Domestic Assistance Catalogue Number is 17.249. This number must be placed in Block # 10 of the SF424.

What information should be included in Section II - Technical Proposal?

Section II, of your application will contain your "Technical Proposal" which should addresses the grant requirements identified in Part IV for urban and rural grants and Part V for Native American grants. Technical proposal must be limited to 30 double-spaced single-side, 8.5- inch x 11- inch pages with a 1 - inch margin. The text type must be 12 point or larger. Attachments must not exceed ten (10) pages. Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be considered. Each application must include the Checklist provided as Appendix B. NO COST DATA OR REFERENCE TO PRICE SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL.

May application be hand-delivered?

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 4:00 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. All applications that fail to adhere to the above instructions will not be honored.

What happens if an application is delivered late?

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.

How may I withdraw an application?

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 sign a receipt for the proposal.

Part III. Youth Opportunity Grant Initiative

What is DOL's Vision of the Youth Opportunity Initiative?

At DOL, the vision of the Youth Opportunity Grant Program, and all of its other youth programs, is to assist all youth, particularly those out of school, to acquire the necessary academic, technical, and workplace skills and work experience to successfully transition into adulthood, careers, and further education and training. The Department envisions a "youth movement," involving partnerships with local education agencies, the private sector, post-secondary institutions, community-based organizations, and foundations. As well, we will be promoting public awareness of the Department's commitment to America's youth.

What are the objectives and goals of the initiative?

The Workforce Investment Act specifies that Youth Opportunity grants are to be used to increase the long-term employment of youth who live in empowerment zones, enterprise communities, and high-poverty areas. Currently, both the employment rates and the educational attainment of youth in these areas are very low. DOL expects to achieve individual positive outcomes in job placement and retention, high school completion, and college enrollment. By serving large numbers of youth in target areas, DOL also expects to achieve community-wide impacts on employment rates, high school completion rates, and college enrollment rates.

Am I an eligible applicant for these grants?

You are an eligible applicant for these grants if you are a Local Workforce Investment Board (or, in areas that have not yet made the transition to Workforce Investment Boards, the administrative entity that receives formula funds for a local service delivery area (SDA) under the Job Training Partnership Act) serving a community that meets one of the following three criteria:

    (1) the community has been designated a federal Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community (EZ/EC) by the Department of Housing and Urban and Development or the Department of Agriculture under section 1391 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

    (2) if the State has no federally designated EZ/EC, the community has been designated by the Governor as a high poverty area; or

    (3) if the State has one or more EZs or ECs, the community is one of two additional areas in the state that the Governor has designated as eligible to apply for funds under this grant program. Such communities must meet the poverty criteria for EZ/ECs set forth in section 1392 (a)(4), (b), and (d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

You may also apply for a Youth Opportunity Grant if you are a Workforce Investment Act Section 166 (JTPA Section 401) Native American Grantee and the community that you serve meets certain criteria. Part V of this grant announcement, which deals specifically with Native American applications, lists these criteria.

What are applicant restrictions?

Under the 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 a award grant or loan.

How large should the target area be?

We recommend that you make your entire EZ/EC the target area for this grant, except for the largest urban EZs with populations of over 70,000. For these large EZs, we recommend that the target area be limited to a population of 70,000 and be among the poorest areas within the EZ. In the interest of fairness, we recommend that Governors follow EZ/EC population criteria in designating areas other than EZ/ECs as eligible for these grants. Thus, we are recommending that (1) cities with populations of over 700,000 have target areas limited to 70,000 people; (2) cities with populations of less than 700,000 have target areas limited to 50,000 people; and (3) rural areas have target areas limited to 30,000 people.

Do target areas need to be contiguous?

For EZ/ECs that are not contiguous, local boards can submit the entire EZ/EC as the target area or a sub-part of the EZ/EC. For areas that are not EZ/ECs, we recommend that the target area be contiguous. Having contiguous areas will make it much easier for sites to operate their projects. Further, for areas that are not EZ/ECs or are part of EZ/ECs, the target area should follow existing and meaningful geographic, labor market, neighborhood, and economic borders as much as possible. Following service area demarcations that are meaningful to the local neighborhood will increase a project's chances of affecting community-wide change.

How large a grant may I apply for?

Cities serving a target area with a population of 70,000 can apply for a first-year grant of up to $12 million. Cities serving a target area with a population of 45,000 to 70,000 can apply for first-year grants of up to $8 million. Cities with target areas with a population of less than 45,000 and rural areas can apply for first-year grants of up to $5 million.

What is the grant period?

Grant awards will be made for an initial period of one year, with up to 4 additional option years based on the availability of funds and satisfactory progress towards achieving the goals and objectives of the grant. If the grant is extended to the third and fourth years, the grant will be reduced to 75 percent of the initial grant amount. If the grant is extended to the fifth year, the grant will be 50 percent of the initial grant amount.

What is the expected number of awards?

We expect to award approximately 25 and 30 grants. Grants will be distributed equitably among local boards and entities serving urban areas, rural areas, and Indian reservations based on factors such as the poverty rate in these areas, the number of people in poverty in these areas, and the quality of proposals received.

Can DOL Migrant Worker grantees apply for these grants?

Separate funds have been authorized for new projects to serve youth from migrant and seasonal farmworker families, and these funds will be competed separately. Youth from migrant and seasonal farm worker families can be served in the rural projects funded under Youth Opportunity Grants, and we encourage sites to include services to such youth in these proposals, but Local Boards rather than Migrant Worker Grantees must apply for these grants.

How will applications be reviewed and selected?

The Department will screen all applications to determine whether all required elements are present and clearly identifiable. These required elements are discussed in the application process in Sections IV and V and are summarized in Appendix B "Application Checklist." Failure to include all required elements will result in rejection of the application. Proposals will be reviewed by an independent panel including both federal staff and peer reviewers. Site visits will be made to finalists. We will put more weight on site visits in this competition than we have in any recent grant selection process, and expect to meet with all key local partners during these site visits. The panel recommendations to the Grant Officer are advisory in nature. Final award decisions will be based on the best interests of the government, including consideration of geographic and urban/rural balance. The Grant Officer may elect to award grants either with or without discussions with the applicant. In situations where no discussions occur, an award will be based on the applicant's signature on the SF424 form, which constitutes a binding offer.

Will there be technical assistance conferences?

Technical assistance conferences will be held at the following times and places:

June 15: Washington, D.C. at the Hilton Washington Embassy
Row Hotel, 2015 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20036 (202-265-1600).
June 16: Chicago at the Westin O'Hare Hotel,
6100 River Road, Rosemont, Illinois 60018 (847-698-6000)
June 23: Denver (for Native American grants only, see Section V)
June 24: Los Angeles - (Location to be announced on the
DOL Home Page).
June 29: Atlanta - (Location to be announced on the DOL Home Page).

For general information and up-to-date information regarding these technical assistance conferences, please call 703-299-1680. You can register for one of these conferences by fax at 703-299-4589 or by e-mail at youthbid@dtihq.com. To register, please include the following information: Full name, Title, Organization, Address, Phone, Fax, E-mail, number of participants, and which conference you will be attending. Please identify any special needs. You will need to make hotel reservations on your own. Please call the above number for information on the hotels in which the technical assistance conferences will be held.

Who may be served under these grants?

These grants can serve all youth who live in the target community who are not less than age 14 and not more than age 21 at the time of initial enrollment. We are looking for proposals that address the needs of both in-school and out-of-school youth. We expect that the largest share of funds from these grants will go towards serving out-of-school youth, with some grant funds and many complementary activities going towards decreasing the dropout rate and increasing the college enrollment of in-school youth. Project operators should take care not to give incentives for in-school youth to drop out of high school to participate in any programs offered here.

What are allowable uses of grant funds?

The allowable uses of grant funds are described in the activities authorized at Sections 129 and 169 (b)(2) of the Workforce Investment Act, and at 20 CFR 664.400 through 664.620 of the WIA regulations. Allowable activities include intensive placement services and follow-up services. [Specific examples of all allowable uses of funds, including intensive placement services and follow-up services are described in detail later in this announcement.]

What restrictions are there on the use of these grant funds?

The restrictions described at Section 181 of the Workforce Investment Act and at 20 CFR 667.260 through 667.268 of the WIA regulations apply to the use of these grant funds.

Will there be a planning period for sites after grant award?

We understand that it will take sites that have been awarded grants some time to hire staff, formalize partnerships, and locate and renovate operating space. We will work with sites and provide technical assistance from the beginning of the grant period to help sites avoid start-up problems and get off as fast a start as is possible. Most likely, sites will be able to start some components of their projects fairly quickly, and then gradually introduce other components.

Will DOL conduct an evaluation of this initiative?

DOL will conduct an evaluation of the Youth Opportunity Grant initiative. Grantees will be required to cooperate by providing enrollment and participation data and other information, but there will be no significant burden on sites for this evaluation. We also may require quarterly progress reports.

Part IV. Application for Urban and Rural Grants

What should I do if I wish to apply for an urban or rural grant?

Begin your planning process early and include the public and private sectors and members of the community. Suggested agencies that should be represented in the planning include local youth councils, the mayor's office in urban sites and county government in rural areas, One-Stop Centers, local employers, high schools and middle schools in the target area, EZ/EC Boards, the juvenile justice system, public housing agencies, community colleges, local four-year colleges, local Job Corps centers, representatives of Job Corps center industry councils, community-based organizations, local foundations, and faith-based organizations. You should also try to get the community involved, including youth and their parents or guardians. This is not an exhaustive list. Considering how the various components in your project will be sustained after grant funds cease should be an integral part of your planning process.

What will be the criteria for award?

Panelists will rate proposals based on answers to the questions which are more fully explained below in this section. DOL is especially interested in how grantees will sustain their programs after federal funds cease, and plans for sustainment will be a key factor for award. For urban and rural grants, the weight for each answer is as follows:

    (1) Need in the target area (no regular points, but up to 10 bonus points)
    (2) Project design and service strategy (40 points)
    (3) Management and accountability (20 points)
    (4) Sustainability: Public sector and community partnerships and complementary resources (15 points)
    (5) Private sector resources (15 points)
    (6) Dropout prevention plans (10 points)

How should my technical proposal be organized?

The technical proposal must be organized to follow the format and answer the questions below. The criteria below will be used to evaluate your proposal. Points will be deducted from applications that are not responsive to these questions. The technical questions are as follows:

1. What is the need for the project in the target area? (up to 10 bonus points)

Provide a good general description of the target area and the extent of poverty and other risk factors for youth. Most important, provide the population of the area in the 1990 Census, the poverty rate of the area in the 1990 Census, and the dropout rate of target area high schools calculated by showing the 9th grade enrollment at each high school in 1994 and the graduating class in June of 1998. If circumstances have changed markedly in the target community since the 1990 Census, describe such changes and provide any additional information on the community. Also provide an estimate of the number of youth in the target community based on the 1990 Census or other information. Describe how the area compares with other communities in the city or State regarding poverty and unemployment. Describe what the target area looks like; its relation to downtown or the center of activity and/or commerce; the elementary, middle, and high schools in the area; other organizations in the target community that serve youth such as Job Corps, One-Stop Centers, and YouthBuild, and the number of youth they serve; and other features that will help us understand the area. Also provide a map of the target community, with schools in the area identified, and the planned location of program activities.

2. What is the project design and service strategy? (40 points)

The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that several core principles underlie an effective youth strategy. These principles include: providing comprehensive services; ensuring the participation of caring adults; a commitment to excellence; and guaranteeing long term follow-up to all youth participants. We are also committed to instilling in youth a sense of personal responsibility and accountability for their actions. These core principles must be present in all Youth Opportunity Grant initiatives. These principles are quite similar to the effective practices common to successful youth programs identified by the Promising and Effective Practices Network (PEPNet). Information from PEPNet can be obtained from the National Youth Employment Coalition at 202-659-1064 (nyec@nyec.org).

Two critical components for ensuring that design requirements will be enhanced are: Youth Opportunity Community Centers, where most of the project activities such as case management should take place; and a core staff of youth development specialists serving as case managers who will play a critical role in recruiting youth and assuring intensive placement, follow-up, and other identified services are provided to youth. Applications must address how these two critical components will be provided.

A. Youth Opportunity Community Center. We expect that Community Youth Opportunity Centers and perhaps some satellites offices will be set up in the target area. This center must be tied into One-Stop Centers serving the target area--either co-located at a One-Stop Center or as a satellite of a full One-Stop Center. The youth center must be a well-situated place where youth can enroll, receive an individual assessment, develop their service strategy, and meet with youth development specialists for referrals to job training, intensive placement, education programs, the Job Corps, other youth programs, follow-up, job development, and other services. It must also be a place where youth receive training in basic employability skills, and access to program information, referrals, and other youth development activities. Applications must discuss tentative locations for such centers and satellites. Also be specific about renovations that will be needed to establish the center, and the costs of such renovations.

B. Core staff. The staff must be of a size sufficient to handle the expected demand for services. We expect that typical urban sites will have a core staff of 40 to 50 youth development specialists and job developers working to place and retain out-of-school youth in private sector jobs and to keep in-school youth from dropping out of school, as well as up to 10 additional outreach workers actively recruiting youth into the program. For urban grants in target areas with populations of 70,000, we expect even larger numbers of core staff. Rural sites will have smaller grants and may wish to have fewer job developers. Grantees must hold steady the amount of grant funds for core staff throughout the five years of the grant, even though the overall grant funding will decline over time. Your plan must also indicate the expected number of youth each case worker will be assigned to at a given point in time, understanding that, over time, many youth will require less attention and new youth can be brought onto the caseload. You must indicate how many staff will be working with out-of-school youth and how many will be working with in-school youth.

C. Building a Better System for Serving Youth. Describe in this section the gaps in the current system for serving youth in the target community. Explain how the services provided under this grant will improve this system. Describe your vision of how the new system for serving youth will work as opposed to the old system. Also describe gaps that will remain, and plans for building capacity so as to eventually fill these gaps. The existing Out-of-School Youth Opportunity grantees applying under this solicitation should indicate how they plan to include and transition their current project into a larger initiative funded under the Youth Opportunity Grant.

D. Program Activities. The framework for serving youth under the Workforce Investment Act and in this project must provide for: individual needs assessments; individual service strategies; preparation for employment and/or post-secondary education; linkages between academic and occupational learning and connections to intermediaries; a menu of program elements; intensive placement and follow-up services; and access to information and referrals.

Individual assessments and services strategies. Discuss how you will actively recruit youth through various strategies rather than waiting for them to apply. Provide a description of the individual assessment and service strategy development processes.

Program elements. 20 CFR 664.410 lists ten elements that must be included in all local workforce investment area youth programs. These ten program elements can be grouped around four broad themes: (1) preparation for and success in employment (including summer jobs, paid and unpaid work experience, and occupational skills training); (2) improving educational achievement (including such elements as tutoring, study skills training, instruction leading to a high school diploma, alternative school and dropout prevention); (3) support for youth (including meeting supportive service needs, providing mentoring and follow-up activities); and (4) services to develop the potential of youth as citizens and leaders (the concept of leadership and youth development). In addition, these program elements must incorporate preparation for employment and/or post-secondary education; linkages between academic and occupational learning; and connections to intermediaries for job development assistance. We are particularly interested in teaching methods which put learning in a real-world context.

Applications must describe how each of these program elements is present in your project. While every youth does not have to be provided each of the ten program elements [with the exception of intensive placement and follow-up services], each site must ensure that they are available as the services will be provided on an individual assessment. Discuss how the array of services will be sequenced, and how various activities will be available taking into account the different ages, language proficiency, ethnicity, culture, disabilities, stages of development, and job readiness of individual youth.

DOL expects that the costs for serving individual youth will vary greatly--from perhaps $20,000 a year for conservation corps programs to less than $2,000 for youth who primarily need job placement. The Department of Labor's budget presented to Congress assumes that the average cost for serving youth will be $5,000 a year in Youth Opportunity Grant funds. The average cost per youth can be supplemented with other resources. Applicants can use this average cost figure as a guide, but will not be penalized for proposing a different average cost figure.

The program elements can be met in a variety of ways. Possible new initiatives which correspond to the required program elements include, but are not limited to, the following activities (where we refer to an existing program, we have provided a telephone number as well as a web site where available where additional information can be obtained):

    -- pre-employment training emphasizing the development of positive social behaviors and then job placement, with long-term follow-up by case managers;

    -- a new alternative school started in partnership with the public school system, using average daily attendance funds as a match;

    -- a vocational training program modeled after the Center for Employment Training (CET) (408-294-7849) in San Jose, California;

    -- a pre-apprenticeship program to train and place youth in construction or other trades;

    -- training programs to get youth interested in non-traditional occupations;

    -- on-the-job training with local employers;

    -- a YouthBuild construction training program (617-623-9900, www.youthbuild.org);

    -- a Youth Conservation Corps (National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, 202-737-6272, www.nascc.org);

    -- a work/study program started by the local community college;

    -- offering incentives to youth for completing education or training;

    -- a dropout prevention program in the target area high schools;

    -- expanded tutoring and mentoring programs for high school youth, including tutoring programs conducted by Sylvan Learning Centers (800-338-2283, www.educate.com/home.html), Score! Educational Services (949-363-6764, www.score-ed.com), and Huntington Learning Centers (201-261-8400, www.tutoringhlc.com);

    -- remedial education and GED courses, including those that lead to regular high school diplomas;

    -- a comprehensive sports, cultural, music, dance, art, and drama program;

    -- expanded work-based learning opportunities for high-school youth, and 2+2+2 programs with community colleges and four-year colleges;

    -- the Federal Bonding Program to cover job applicants, such as youth without prior work history, who employers may otherwise consider too much of a risk to hire (888-266-3562);

    -- English to Speakers of Other Languages services; and

    -- an on-the-job mentor training program operated by the local Chamber of Commerce designed to build relationships between youth placed in work experiences and local employers.

Leadership development, citizenship, community service, and recreation activities. These activities are specifically authorized in the Youth Opportunity section of the legislation. DOL expects that all sites will place great emphasis on having youth participate in community service. We encourage applicants to coordinate with community service programs such as AmeriCorps wherever possible. Discuss plans for engaging both in-school and out-of-school youth in community service projects, and the skills you expect them to learn from these projects. Discuss plans for youth development activities, including how you will provide training in positive social behavior. For example, conflict resolution classes and diversity training can be provided. Also discuss peer-centered activities that encourage youth to take responsibility for their own lives, and efforts to develop youth leadership through activities that build decision-making skills, team work, and self-esteem. Comprehensive sports and cultural programs are one way grantees can instill leadership and a sense of community to participants. Leagues can be started in the target area in several sports for both boys and girls. Cultural activities can also be provided. Discuss the availability of existing resources such as cultural offerings and playing fields in the target area. Also discuss whether you will have youth sign a contract describing program rules of conduct, mutual responsibilities of enrollees and staff, and expected outcomes for each enrollee. Also discuss how you will involve the parents and guardians of youth and how you will involve youth in advisory boards.

Intensive placement and follow-up services. As required under the WIA youth formula-funded program, intensive placement and follow-up services must be provided to every youth enrolled in the program. The Youth Opportunity Grant section of the legislation goes further in requiring that every youth must receive follow-up services for a minimum of 24-months. Describe complementary strategies for placement and long-term follow-up activities.

One-Stop Center Linkages. Describe linkages with local One-Stop Centers and how these connections will be accomplished. In most cases, we expect that the Youth Opportunity Community Center will be co-located at the One-Stop Center or a satellite of the One-Stop Center.

Job Corps Center Linkages. The plan must describe linkages with local Job Corps centers, and how these connections will be accomplished.

Access to information and referrals. Project staff must ensure that eligible youth receive information on the full array of appropriate services available to them and referrals to appropriate training and educational programs. Discuss how you will tie into the existing One-Stop system to provide such information and referrals.

Serving youth with disabilities. Describe how you will recruit and serve youth with disabilities, and how you will assure that they have full access to programs under the grant.

E. Case Studies. To help us better understand how your new system will work in serving youth in the target community, describe how your project would address the needs of the following youth. Feel free to add other details to these examples, and contrast how these youth would be served under the old system and the new system you are planning.

Case Study #1. An 17-year old who has completed the eighth grade has a history of substance abuse and school suspensions due to fighting, and has subsequently dropped out of school with a poor academic record. This youth has had limited and intermittent work experience at fast food restaurants, since the age of 14, but has never held any one job for longer than 3 months. This youth lives in a household headed by a grandmother who also cares for three younger siblings. This youth has had minor brushes with the juvenile justice system, but hangs out with other youth and young adults who have serious criminal records. This youth has been identified by a school counselor as having certain artistic gifts which have never been developed.

Case Study #2. An 18 year-old is a teen mother. She has a learning disability, and is not interested in returning to school. Her main goal in life is to be able to support herself.

Case Study #3. A brother and sister have become involved in your program through sports activities you provide. The brother is age 19 and has just lost his job after getting into a fight with his boss. He does not do well in school, and mainly he wants to work right now. The sister is age 15 and will be entering ninth grade in the fall. She has only average grades, but always gets one of the highest scores at her school on national standardized tests. She has a lot of energy, but has given little thought to what she wants to do with her life.

3. How will the project be managed? (20 points)

A commitment to excellence and quality management reflect both DOL and PEPNet core principles discussed earlier in this section. You should discuss in your answer here how this project will be managed to ensure excellence.

Program structure. You must provide a diagram to show the sequence and flow of Youth Opportunity services. You must show coordination between Youth Opportunity sub-grantees and other programs and services in terms of recruitment, assessment, and referrals. Also show links between the Youth Opportunity program and complementary new activities promised by public and private sector partners. You should also show links between the Youth Opportunity program and existing services available to youth in the target community, including the Job Corps and other youth employment, education, and training programs.

Fiscal Management. Describe the fiscal management systems that you have in place. Describe the fiscal management experience of your organization. How will you provide fiscal oversight of sub-grantees?

Staffing plan. Provide a staffing plan in which you discuss how you will select a project coordinator and the qualifications this person must possess; how you will recruit and retain quality staff, including paying competitive salaries; how you will select staff, with the main criteria for selection being their ability to motivate youth and be positive role models. We expect that most staff will have attended college, so that they can be role models for youth to further their education.

Accountability. Which agency or agencies will hire the case managers and other core staff for this project? Describe why this agency was selected to be the lead for this project, the background of the agency, and current or past projects conducted by the agency. We wish to avoid situations in which case managers and job developers are spread out over several agencies, with little or no accountability to the lead agency. We also wish to avoid situations in which case managers are accountable to one agency and job developers to another. Where possible, the bulk of core staff should be hired by one agency, and then perhaps stationed at different sites. An alternative is to divide the target area into three or four geographic segments and assign agencies to be accountable for each of these segments.

Expected performance levels. Your application must propose expected levels of performance. (The levels of performance will be negotiated with the Department before the grant is awarded.) Your plan must indicate the number of 14-18 year-olds and 19-21 year-olds you plan to enroll during the first year of the project. For 19-21 year-olds, you must indicate the number of first-year enrollees who will enter unsubsidized employment, enter education or training programs, join the military, be retained in employment for six months, one year, and two years, and the earnings of these youth six months, one year, and two years after placement. For 14-18 year-olds, you must indicate the number of first-year enrollees who will attain basic skills, work readiness skills, and occupational skills; attain high school diplomas or GEDs; and be placed and retained in post-secondary education, employment, the military, or apprenticeships. In particular, we want to know the overall number of youth who will be placed in jobs, school, training, college, and the military. You must also estimate the proportion of employers and participants who will indicate satisfaction with services received in surveys which you will need to conduct. You can also propose other performance measures for the indicators of performance described in WIA Sec. 136 to either replace some of the above measures or complement them, and we will negotiate the measures with you prior to grant award. DOL expects to implement a performance incentive system in which the best performing sites receive some increases in grant funds, while sites not meeting their goals are subject to sanctions. Urban, rural, and Native American sites will be judged separately in determining these incentives.

Role of local Workforce Investment Board and Youth Council. DOL expects that the Local Board, through its Youth Council, will be heavily involved in this project and will be ultimately responsible for the project's success or failure. We also envision the chief elected official being accountable for the success of the project. We also see Local Boards taking the lead in helping business leaders see youth in the target community as a positive resource and their future workforce. How will the Board and Youth Council involve itself in the project so that it is responsible for the project's success? How will the Local Board provide programmatic oversight? How will the Board hold the staff accountable? How will the chief local elected official provide oversight and direction? How will the Board work with business leaders to promote the sustainment of the project after grant funds cease? What will be the relationship between the Board and the One-Stop Center? If you do not have a Youth Council yet, you can discuss your plans for developing the Council.

Community involvement. How will you use your Youth Council to involve the community served by this grant? DOL expects that each site will set up a community advisory board to participate in the planning and oversight of this project. You must discuss what the role of this community advisory board will be. You must also discuss how you plan to have community residents and families involved in program efforts, including sports leagues, cultural activities, community service, job shadowing, mentoring, and leadership development.

Staff development. You must discuss how you provide initial training and offer development opportunities to project staff, including educational opportunities at local community colleges and four-year colleges and additional training to help support the case managers and job developers with the demands of their jobs. Describe ways in which existing local resources such as technical assistance and supportive services from staff in other youth programs such as the Job Corps and YouthBuild can be used and integrated into staff development.

4. How will you sustain your program and leverage other resources? (15 points)

Sustainability. Discuss in this section how you plan to sustain this project after grant funds cease. Your sustainment plan must include a combination of federal, state, and local public sector resources, as well as local non-profit sector resources. Sustainment must be built into the design and ongoing operation of the project. We are particularly interested in service strategies that can be sustained with average daily attendance funds provided through State Educational Agencies. Encouraging community ownership and participation in these projects will also help promote sustainment. We especially encourage sites to commit increasing cash resources during the declining years of federal funding to encourage sustainability, and up to five of the 15 points under this criteria will be awarded based on the increasing cash commitments.

Other Resources. You must discuss here how you will use Workforce Investment Act adult and youth formula funds to complement these grant funds, including having a One-Stop satellite center co-located with the Youth Opportunity Community Center. You also must discuss the role of the public school system, the EZ/EC Board, social service agencies, the Parks and Recreation Department, the juvenile justice system, the Police Athletic League, police, health service agencies, local charter schools, community colleges, four-year colleges, local foundations, Boys and Girls Clubs, adult education, YWCAs and YMCAs, 4-H Youth Development, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, parents, faith-based organizations, community development corporations, and State agencies, including State Educational Agencies, and any other potential community participants. You should also show linkages with agencies that serve youth with disabilities and youth who will be leaving foster care. Rural sites must show coordination with the cooperative extension of Land-Grant Universities, and with the research and extension of Regional Rural Development Centers.

We also encourage grantees to use the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds to help renovate buildings for the new Youth Centers that will be needed for these grants. Other possible federal collaborations include Juvenile Justice gang prevention projects; the Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Kids in Family Camp, and Upward Bound programs; the Department of Agriculture's Children, Youth and Families at Risk program; Housing and Urban Development's Youth Build projects; Welfare-to-Work formula and competitive grants; School-to-Work local partnership activities; the Job Corps; the Department of Health and Human Services' child health and child development programs; the AmeriCorps and VISTA programs; and the National Guard's Community Learning and Information Network.

We are not interested in promises of in-kind commitments representing already existing services. Rather, we are looking for detailed commitments for specific new activities in the target area. These commitments can be either to complement services to 14-21 year-olds or to serve younger youth or young adults above 21 years-old. If you have recently received a grant from another agency or started a new initiative in the target area, you can discuss this in the proposal--but be precise about which activities precede this grant and which will occur because of the grant. You must discuss in this section how supportive services such as child care, substance abuse assistance, health services, and mental health services will be made available to enrollees through your partners. You must also discuss in this section how public sector commitments can contribute to the sustainment of this project after federal funds cease. It may be helpful to include a flowchart that describes the interrelationships between the various agencies and partners described in your plan. Examples of the types of public sector commitments we are looking for include the following:

    --The Workforce Investment Board commits to use WIA adult formula funds and Welfare-to-Work funds for job training and placement in the target area, and to opening a One-Stop Center or satellite in the target area.

    -- The school system commits to starting an alternative school in the target community and to use average daily attendance funds, as well as funds from this grant, to operate the school.

    -- The school system commits to a major early intervention and dropout prevention program in the target area's elementary and middle schools, including home visits, modeled after the program operated by the Rheedlen Foundation (212-866-0770, or at www.pbs.org/jobs/rheedlen.html) in New York City.

    -- The mayor's office commits to starting a comprehensive after-school program for elementary and middle school youth in the target community similar to the LA's Best After School Program (213-847-3681) in Los Angeles.

    -- The city commits to using CDBG funds to renovate a building for the Youth Community Opportunity Center.

    -- The Parks Department and the school district jointly agree to develop new baseball and soccer fields in the target neighborhood and to open school playing fields after school so that a comprehensive sports and recreation program can be developed in the community.

    -- The Police Department commits to increase community policing in the target community and an expanded Police Athletic League in the area, and the juvenile justice system commits to a new alternative sentencing program for youth offenders in the target community.

    -- The city starts a new program to assist youth leaving foster care to make the transition to independence.

    -- The local school board authorizes the use of school buses for transporting youth who participate in after-school training and education programs. (Oran MOU with the local Head Start agency to use their vehicles during non-Head Start time).

    -- AmeriCorps commits to financing education awards for a certain number of youth in the target area.

Summary Table of New Initiatives. Your plan should include a summary table of the various new initiatives started under this grant, numbers of youth to be served by each initiative each year, and annual funding levels. An example of such a summary table is provided below:

DOL GrantOther Resources
Job developers/case managers (Staff of 50)$1,800,000---
Outreach workers (staff of 10)300,000
Pre-employment soft skills (500 youth @ $1,000)500,000---
CET training (100 youth @ $6,000)300,000300,000
Work experience (80 youth @ $5,000)400,000---
Pre-Apprenticeship (200 youth @ $5,000)500,000500,000
Local conservation corps (80 youth @ $20,000)800,000800,000
Alternative school (120 youth @ $8,000)500,000440,000
Community College 2+2+2 (100 @ $10,000)500,000500,000
Futures program in high school (500 @ $4,000)1,000,0001,000,000
Sylvan, Score!, or Huntington Learning Center200,000200,000
College Bound program (400 @ $2,000)800,000
Sports and cultural program 240,000100,000
Transportation and supportive services500,000500,000
Juvenile alternative sentencing program300,000200,000
Gang prevention program160,000160,000
Renovation of Youth Opportunity Center500,000
Job Corps (80 youth)________________
$8,000,000$6,000,000

5. How will you involve the private sector? (15 points)

You must include in your answer here a description of the local labor market in the target area, city, and surrounding region--who are the employers, what kinds of jobs are available, the skill requirements for available jobs, the employment outlook, the unemployment rate in the area, and wage data for the area. You could also discuss the public transportation system, and the availability of transportation to jobs downtown and in the suburbs. A goal of the project is to expand the job horizon of youth to occupations and employers throughout the local area.

Vocational training must be available for a range of occupations that are in demand locally and that offer career-track jobs. Identify the occupations for which you plan to provide training, the reasons why you selected these occupations, how employers will be involved in designing the training, and any commitments made by employers to offer apprenticeship, work-based learning, or employment opportunities. Describe how you will use existing vocational training programs like the Job Corps and vocational schools to assist in providing training.

Discuss in this section the private sector role in your project. We are not looking here for vague promises of hundreds of jobs, but rather for detailed commitments for specific activities. Explain how you will identify potential employers, secure job commitments, and maintain the participation of those employers. Discuss new school-to-work initiatives that will be started in conjunction with this project, including new work-based learning opportunities. Explain the role in the project of business representatives on your local Workforce Investment Board or Private Industry Council, and the role of major Corporate Partnerships or Compacts in your area and the role of the Chamber of Commerce. Also discuss possible mutual agreements in which the private sector commits jobs or resources in exchange for commitments from schools, public agencies, or students. Also discuss how private sector commitments can help sustain this project after federal funds cease. Examples of possible commitments include the following:

    -- a consortium of major corporations agrees to be partners in the project and assign a staff person responsible for coordinating work-based internships with target area high schools and identifying job openings within the corporations for target area youth.

    -- a firm agrees to be a corporate sponsor of the project and to make available its management expertise, advertising department, and other resources to the project.

    -- local foundations and corporations form a public/private partnership to start a college access program for target area youth similar to the CollegeBound Foundation (410-783-2905) in Baltimore.

    -- a corporation adopts a high school in the target community and agrees to provide school-to-work opportunities for students and $1,000 college scholarships to all youth who graduate with a B average or higher.

    -- the local Chamber of Commerce recruits small business owners and operators

    to serve as mentors and entrepreneurial coaches for youth interested in

    business operation (including providing apprenticeship opportunities).

    -- a faith-based organization commits to finding mentors for 100 middle school youth in the target area.

    -- a university commits to providing 100 student volunteers for an after-school tutoring program in target area elementary and middle schools.

    -- various community agencies commit to providing part-time jobs for youth in the target area.

Special Note to Rural Areas: We fully understand that rural sites will not have as much access to private sector jobs and partnerships as urban sites, and that some extremely poor rural areas may have few if any private sector partners with which to work. Rural sites can still get full credit under this question if they make the best use of private sector resources available. For example, rural sites could propose either paid or unpaid internships at small stores or small companies in the target area. Rural sites can also substitute public and non-profit sector internships and job placements for private sector job placements. Rural sites can also propose strong school-to-work components, which include work-based learning opportunities and class trips to major corporations in nearby cities to expand the career horizons of students. Rural sites could also propose school-to-work efforts to expand the interest of students in science and technology careers.

6. How will you reduce the school dropout rate and increase the college enrollment of youth in the target area (10 points)

Increasing high school graduation and college enrollment rates are fundamental steps to improving the long-term employability of target area youth. In this section you must present a detailed plan for increasing the educational attainment of youth growing up in the target community. We expect that local public schools will have the lead in developing this section of the proposal, and that the plan presented includes new initiatives in target area schools and new collaborations with the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Dramatic increases in the educational attainment will require new dropout prevention efforts in neighborhood elementary and middle schools as well as high schools. Given the age restrictions on this grant, new dropout prevention efforts in elementary and middle schools must be paid for with other sources of funds. Your answer to this question must include both efforts paid for through this grant and new complementary efforts that are proposed. Your answer must clearly distinguish between what is being paid for by the grant and what will be provided through other resources.

Discuss current efforts and future plans for breaking large high schools and middle schools in the target area into "houses" or schools-within-schools. Discuss plans for reducing the student-teacher ratio in target area schools. A dropout prevention model that sites may wish to consider is the Futures Program operated by the City of Baltimore's Office of Employment Development (410-396-1910). In this program, entering ninth graders are provided remedial education in August prior to starting high school, receive various incentives throughout their four years of high school, and have case managers who are stationed at their high school. Other dropout prevention models include the Rheedlen Foundation's efforts to serve chronic truants in elementary and middle schools, the Quantum Opportunity Program developed by Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) of America (215-236-4500), and the LA's Best After-School Program. Other options include hiring additional reading teachers, a new remedial reading program for middle school youth, or hiring outreach counselors to work with truant youth. Another option is tutoring programs in which high school youth, local Job Corps youth, or AmeriCorps volunteers serve as tutors for elementary school children. You may also want to introduce or expand Communities in Schools programs (703-519-8999) in the target area middle schools and high schools. You may also may wish to involve private sector educational services such as Sylvan Learning Centers, Score! Educational Centers, and Huntington Learning Centers. Grant funds can be used to pay for tutoring services for youth ages 14 and above, while matching funds would be needed to pay for tutoring services for younger youth.

We would also like local community colleges, four-year colleges, and corporations to take on the challenge of increasing the college enrollment rate of target area youth. There are numerous ways corporations could become involved in such an effort. Baltimore's CollegeBound Foundation is a partnership of major corporations and the public sector that provides counselors and financial aid to help inner-city youth enter college. The Chamber of Commerce in Detroit (313-596-0478) guarantees college financial aid to youth meeting attendance and academic criteria. There are also examples of colleges making special efforts to serve youth from particular high-poverty areas. Berea College (606-986-9341) serves youth from Appalachia; Alice Lloyd College (606-368-2101) serves youth from specific counties in Kentucky and Tennessee; and Brandeis University (781-736-3500) has a program guaranteeing acceptance to youth in certain neighborhoods in Boston who meet specified criteria.

Should letters of support be included?

You can include letters of support if they provide specific commitments. Such letters can increase your score by showing that commitments presented in the text of your proposal are serious. Form letters will not be considered. We encourage you to have letters of support from your chief local elected official and the public school superintendent. Letters of support must be included as part of the 10 page attachment to your proposal.

Is a letter from the Governor required?

If you are not an EZ/EC, you must include a letter from the Governor stating that your area has been designated as eligible to apply for one of these grants. We encourage State involvement in all of these projects and if the State is contributing resources to the project, then a letter indicating such support from the Governor would show that the State's commitment is serious. We especially encourage States to help rural areas prepare their proposals and to contribute resources to these grants, as these sites may not have the resources available to them that large cities will have. States must be given an information copy of all urban and rural proposals when they are submitted to the Department of Labor.

What should be included in the financial proposal? (Please See Part II).

Part V. Application for Native American Grants

Can I apply for one of these grants?

You may apply for a Youth Opportunity Grant if you are a Workforce Investment Act Section 166 (JTPA Section 401) Native American Grantee and the community that you serve meets both of the following criteria:

    (1) it meets the poverty rate criteria set forth in Section 1392 (a)(4), (b), and (d) of the Internal Revenue Code; and

    (2) it is located on an Indian reservation or serves Oklahoma Indians or Alaska Native villages or Native groups (as such defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act).

Can DOL Native American Grantees serving persons in State-wide or urban programs apply for one of these grants?

Except for the provisions pertaining to Oklahoma Indians and Alaskan Native Villages, Native American Grantees can only apply for projects serving reservations. Native Americans living in cities and rural areas outside of reservations can be served in urban and rural Youth Opportunity Grant projects and we encourage services to such youth in these proposals, but Local Boards rather than Section 166 Native American Grantees must apply for grants outside of reservations.

How large of a grant can I apply for?

Reservations with a Native American population of over 70,000 can apply for a first-year grant of up to $12 million. Reservations and target areas with a population of 5,000 to 70,000 Native Americans can apply for a first-year grant of up to $5 million. Reservations and target areas with a Native American population of less than 5,000 can apply for first-year grants of up to $2 million.

What will be the criteria for award for Native American Grants?

Panelists will rate proposals based on answers to the questions presented below. The weights for each answer are as follows:

    (1) Need in the target area (no regular points, but up to 10 bonus points)

    (2) Project design and service strategy (40 points)

    (3) Youth development and community service (20 points)

    (4) Dropout prevention (20 points)

    (5) Management and accountability (20 points)

These questions are discussed in more detail below.

Will there be a technical assistance conference for sites applying for Native American grants?

There will be a technical assistance conference specifically for sites applying for Native American grants on June 23 in Denver. It will be held at the Stapleton Plaza Hotel & Fitness Center, 3333 Quebec Street, Denver CO 80207, (1-800-950-6070). A block of hotel rooms have been reserved. Please indicate to the hotel that you will be attending the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment & Training Administration conference.

For general information and up-to-date information regarding this technical assistance conference, please call 703-299-1680. You should make hotel reservations on your own, but we would also like you to let us know you will be attending the conference by fax at 703-299-4589 or by e-mail at youthbid@dtihq.com. Please include the following information: Full name, Title, Organization, Address, Phone, Fax, and e-mail.

What should my application consist of?

You must include both a technical proposal and a financial proposal. The technical proposal must be limited to 30 double-spaced pages and must be organized to follow the format and questions below.

1. What is the need for the project on your reservation or in your target area? (up to 10 bonus points)

You must provide a good general description of the reservation or, in the case of Oklahoma Indians or Alaskan Villages, the target area. Most importantly, you must provide the Native American population of the reservation or target area, the Native American youth population, the poverty rate, and the dropout rate of target area high schools. You can use the best data available to you including statistics from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services. Dropout rates must be calculated by showing the ninth grade enrollment at each high school in 1994 and the graduating class in June of 1998. You must also describe what the target area looks like; the towns in the area; the elementary, middle, and high schools in the area; other organizations in the target community that serve youth and the number of youth they serve; and other features that will help us understand the area. You must also provide a map of the reservation or target community, with schools identified and the planned location of program activities.

2. What is your project design and service strategy? (40 points)

The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that several core principles underlie an effective youth strategy. These principles include: providing comprehensive services; ensuring the participation of caring adults; a commitment to excellence, and guaranteeing long term follow-up to all youth participants. These core principles must be present in all youth Opportunity Grant initiatives. These principles are quite similar to the effective practices common to successful youth programs identified by the Promising and Effective Practices Network (PEPNet). Information from PEPNet can be obtained from the National Youth Employment Coalition at 202-659-1064 (nyec@nyec.org).

Two critical components for ensuring that design requirements will be enhanced are: Youth Opportunity Community Centers, where most of the project activities such as case management should take place; and a core staff of youth development specialists serving as case managers who will play a critical role in assuring intensive placement, follow-up, and other identified services are provided to youth. Your plan must address how these two critical components will be provided.

A. Youth Opportunity Community Center. We expect that Youth Opportunity Community Centers and perhaps some satellites offices will be set up on the reservation or in the target area. The center should be a well-situated place where youth can enroll, receive an individual assessment, develop their service strategy and meet with youth development specialists for referrals to job training, intensive placement, follow-up, job development, other youth programs, and other services. It should also be a place where there is access to program information, referrals, and other youth development activities. If there is a tribal college on your reservation, this may be the most appropriate place to have the center. Discuss tentative locations for such centers and satellites and how the proposed Center meets the criteria discussed in this paragraph. Also, be specific about renovations that will be needed to establish the center, and the costs of such renovations.

B. Core staff. The staff must be of a sufficient size to handle the expected demand for services. We expect that reservations with total Native American populations in the 5,000 to 12,000 range will have a core staff of 25 to 35 youth development specialists working with youth. We would expect even a larger core staff for a larger reservation, and less core staff in smaller reservations. Sites must hold steady the amount of grant funds for core staff throughout the five years of the grant, even though the overall grant funding will decline over time. Indicate the expected number of youth each case worker will be assigned to at a given point in time, understanding that over time many youth will require less attention and new youth can be brought onto the caseload. You must indicate how many staff will be working with out-of-school youth and how many will be working with in-school youth.

C. Building a Better System for Serving Youth. Describe in this section the gaps in the current system for serving youth on the reservation or in the target community. Explain how the services provided under this grant will improve this system. Describe your vision of how the new system for serving youth will work as opposed to the old system. Also describe gaps that will remain, and plans for building capacity so as to eventually fill these gaps.

D. Program Activities. The framework for serving youth under the Workforce Investment Act and in this project must provide for: individual needs assessments; individual service strategies; preparation for employment and/or post-secondary education; linkages between academic and occupational learning and connections to intermediaries; a menu of program elements; intensive placement and follow-up services; and access to information and referrals.

Individual assessments and services strategies. Discuss how you will actively recruit youth through various strategies rather than waiting for them to apply. Provide a description of the individual assessment and service strategy development processes.

Program elements. 20 CFR 664.410 lists ten elements that must be included in all local workforce investment area youth programs. These ten program elements can be grouped around four broad themes: (1) preparation for and success in employment (including summer jobs, paid and unpaid work experience, and occupational skills training); (2) improving educational achievement (including such elements as tutoring, study skills training, instruction leading to a high school diploma, alternative school and dropout prevention); (3) Supports for youth (including meeting supportive service needs, providing mentoring and follow-up activities; and (4) services to develop the potential of youth as citizens and leaders (the concept of leadership and youth development). In addition, as required under program design, these program elements should incorporate preparation for employment and/or post-secondary education; linkages between academic and occupational learning and connections to intermediaries for job development assistance.

Describe how you will ensure that each of these program elements is present in your project. Although every youth does not have to be provided each of the ten program elements [with the exception of intensive placement and follow-up services], each site must ensure that they are available. In particular, describe the supportive services that will be provided to youth. Supportive services can include, but are not limited to, transportation, life skills development, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, teen pregnancy prevention, and job retention skills. Supportive services need to be limited to 14 to 21 year-olds, but we encourage you to find other resources to address the needs of the entire family through other WIA funds, Welfare-to-Work Funds, or other resources.

DOL expects that the costs for serving individual youth will vary greatly--from perhaps $20,000 a year for conservation corps programs to less than $2,000 for youth who primarily need job placement. The Department of Labor's expects that the average cost for serving youth will be $7,500 a year in Native American Youth Opportunity Grant funds. The average cost per youth can be supplemented with other resources. Applicants can use this average cost figure as a guide, but will not be penalized for proposing a different average cost figure.

Work Experience. Discuss how you will provide work experience for youth. In particular, you may wish to establish either a Youth Conservation and Service Corps or YouthBuild program, or both of these. Conservation and Service Corps (202-737-6272, www.nascc.org) allow youth to work on community service and environmental projects. Such programs can serve large numbers of youth, perhaps 100 at a time. The California Conservation Corps (916-324-4785, www.ccc.ca.gov/frame.ntm) is probably the best example of such a program. YouthBuild (617-623-9900, www.youthbuild.org) teaches construction skills to enrollees while they rehabilitate houses and public buildings.

Career Development. Discuss adding new or expanded fields of study at the tribal college that would allow youth to get a college degree yet still return to work on or near the reservation if they so chose. For example, youth getting degrees in forestry and conservation would be able to find work for federal land management agencies near their reservation if they so chose. We are particularly interested in proposals that link new fields of study in forestry and land management with efforts to have the reservation become involved in land preservation and conservation. One example of tribal involvement in conservation is the work done by the Department of Resource Preservation in the Pueblo Jemez. We also are very interested in proposals that include linkages with state universities in which youth would take the first and possibly second years of study at the tribal college and then move on to the state university to complete the degree. We also are interested in links between land grant extension services at State universities and tribal colleges that could increase the number of jobs near the reservation in land conservation.

Job Training. Discuss how you will provide vocational training or on-the-job training in occupations in demand on or near the reservation. For example, job training could be provided in health professions or construction. We are particularly interested in commitments from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and nearby federal and State land management agencies to provide on-the-job training or work experience slots. Discuss possible links to nearby Job Corps Centers for vocational training.

Intensive placement and follow-up services. As required under WIA Section 169, intensive placement and follow-up services must be provided to every youth enrolled in the program. Since an increased level of funding is available under this initiative for intensified follow-up services, the requirement is that every youth must receive follow-up services for a minimum of 24-months. Describe complementary strategies for long-term follow-up activities.

E. Case Studies. To help us better understand how your new system will work in serving youth in the target community, describe how your project would address the needs of the following youth. Feel free to add other details to these examples, and contrast how these youth would be served under the old system and the new system you are planning.

Case Study #1. A 19-year old who has completed the eighth grade, has a history of substance abuse, school suspensions due to fighting and has subsequently dropped out of school with a poor academic record. This youth has had limited work experience since the age of 14, but has never held any one job for longer than 3 months. This youth lives in a household headed by a grandmother who also cares for three younger siblings. This youth has had minor brushes with the tribal justice system, but hangs out with other youth and young adults who have serious criminal records. This youth has been identified by a school counselor as having certain artistic gifts which have never been developed.

Case Study #2. An 18 year-old is a teen mother. She has a learning disability, and is not interested in returning to school. Her main goal in life is to be able to support herself.

Case Study #3. A brother and sister have become involved in your program through sports activities you provide. The brother is age 19 and has just lost his job after getting into a fight with his boss. He does not do well in school, and mainly he wants to work right now. The sister is age 15 and will be entering ninth grade in the fall. She has only average grades, but always gets one of the highest scores at her school on national standardized tests. She has a lot of energy, but has given little thought to what she wants to do with her life.

3. What youth development and community service activities will you establish? (20 points)

DOL expects that youth development will be a key part of Native American Youth Opportunity Grants. Youth development can include community service, UNITY (405-236-2800, www.unityinc.org) leadership development activities, and sports and cultural programs. Some examples of possible youth development activities include the following. Youth development specialists from your core staff could serve as the staff for these programs.

    -- the forming of a UNITY Youth Council in which youth identify and carry out community service projects. For example, on one reservation, youth councils have repaired homes of elders, become Big Brothers and Big Sisters to elementary school youth, and helped the Forestry Department by serving as guides and tree planting.

    -- a leadership development program in which youth visit other reservations to learn about their culture and tribal governments; visit Washington, D.C. to learn about the national government; and tour the United Nations headquarters to learn about international conflict resolution;

    -- computer links to youth from other reservations and other exchanges and research projects with elders to help youth better understand the history and shared culture of the various Native American peoples;

    -- a community service project developed by UNITY in which youth help promote health on their reservation through a National Fitness Initiative;

    -- a comprehensive sports and recreation program, including baseball, basketball, and soccer leagues;

    -- a 4-H community service project in which older youth tutor younger youth; and

    -- an outdoors group in which youth participate in community service conservation projects, and also go on hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and camping trips.

4. How will you reduce the school dropout rate and increase the college enrollment of youth on the reservation or target area? (20 points)

DOL also sees efforts to reduce the dropout rate and increase college enrollment as critical to Native American Youth Opportunity projects. We are also interested in programs to better prepare youth for college so that they have a better chance of graduating once they get there. We are particularly interested in tribal colleges being involved in dropout prevention and college bound efforts, especially instances in which tribal colleges in turn are linked to State universities or other colleges. We would like to see dropout prevention efforts at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Given the age restrictions on this grant, new dropout prevention efforts in elementary and middle schools will need to be paid for with other sources of funds.

Describe how you will reduce the dropout rate and increase the college enrollment rate of youth on your reservation.

Dropout prevention and college bound programs you may wish to consider include the following. Youth development specialists from your core staff could serve as the staff for these programs. The following are some examples of successful youth development programs:

    -- The Futures Program operated by the City of Baltimore's Office of Employment Development (410-396-1910) provides entering ninth graders with remedial education in August prior to starting high school; students receive various incentives throughout their four years of high school; and students have case managers who are stationed at their high school.

    -- The Rheedlen Foundation (212-866-0770) in New York City begins serving chronic truants in elementary and middle schools. Case managers make home visits to the families of these children, and attempt to work with parents and guardians to get children attending school regularly.

    -- The Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) of America (215-236-4500) Quantum Opportunity Program combines entering ninth graders into groups of 20 or 25, and students stay with the same group and same youth worker throughout their four years in high school. Students participate in community service projects, receive remedial education and tutoring, make trips to college campuses and cultural events, and receive stipends and educational accrual accounts based on hours of participation.

    -- Sylvan Learning Centers (800-338-2283, www.educate.com./home.html), Score! Educational Centers (949-363-6764, www.score-ed.com), and Huntington Learning Centers (201-261-8400, www.tutoringhlc.com) are for-profit firms that provide remedial education and tutoring. Their programs can be set up both within schools or after school.

    -- Baltimore's CollegeBound Foundation (410-783-2905) provides counselors to let students and their parents know about college, take students on visits to college campuses, make sure that students take the necessary courses to go to college, take SAT tests, and apply on time to colleges and for financial aid. The program also works with colleges to get youth accepted, and provides "last dollar" financial aid if scholarships and loans do not fully cover students needs.

    -- A program being developed by UNITY takes students on trips to visit major corporations in order to widen the occupational awareness and aspirations of youth.

    -- 2+2+2 Programs link courses in high school, community colleges, and four-year colleges to increase high school graduation and college enrollment rates. Such programs could be developed with tribal colleges and State universities.

    -- There are efforts in some communities to turn high schools into "high-technology schools" with the latest generation of computers and software and teachers trained in computer technology.

    -- Bridge projects help youth make the transition from grade school to middle school, middle to high school, and high school to college. Examples of bridges to college programs include the American Summer Bridge program operated by the University of New Mexico (305-277-2611), and similar programs at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona, Montana State, and Stanford. The Tribal Institute for Business, Engineering, and Science also offers such a bridge program.

    -- The High Plains Rural Systemic Initiative funded by the National Science Foundation encourages youth to go into math and science careers, and similar efforts could be funded through this grant.

    -- Communities in Schools (703-519-8999) provide counseling and a variety of supportive services to in-school youth.

    -- State universities could form linkages with tribal colleges to guarantee admission to two-year graduates of tribal colleges; exchange professors; and share resources, research projects, and supportive services available to students.

    -- On reservations with State-funded public schools, the State could commit to additional resources for additional reading, math, and science teachers at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.

    -- Summer Institutes could be set up at tribal colleges to give high school youth summer jobs, remedial education, and a chance to become familiar with college environments.

5. How will the project be managed? (20 points)

A commitment to excellence and quality management reflect both DOL and PEPNet core principles discussed earlier in this section. You must discuss in your answer here how this project will be managed to ensure excellence.

Program structure. You must provide a diagram to show the sequence and flow of Youth Opportunity services. You must show coordination between Youth Opportunity sub-grantees in terms of recruitment, assessment, and referrals. You must also show links between the Youth Opportunity program and existing services available to youth in the target community.

Fiscal Management. Describe the fiscal management systems that you have in place. Describe the fiscal management experience of your organization. How will you provide fiscal oversight of sub-grantees?

Staffing plan. Discuss how you will select a project coordinator and the qualifications this person should possess. Discuss how you will recruit and retain quality staff, including paying competitive salaries. In particular, discuss how you will recruit the project coordinator and youth development specialists, as these will be key people for your project. We expect that most youth development specialists will have attended college, so that they can be role models for youth to further their education. We expect that you will recruit widely--either regionally or nationally-- for these positions.

Accountability. Which entity (tribal government, tribal college, employment and training department) will hire the youth development specialists and other core staff for this project? Describe why this entity was selected to be the lead for this project and current or past projects conducted by the entity. If you have a tribal college on your reservation, the tribal college may be best positioned to be the lead agency. We wish to avoid situations in which case managers and job developers are spread out over several agencies, with little or no accountability to the lead agency. We also wish to avoid situations in which case managers are accountable to one agency and job developers to another. Where possible, the bulk of core staff should be hired by one agency, and then perhaps out stationed at different sites. For a large reservation, an alternative would be to divide the target area into three or four geographic segments and assign agencies to be accountable for each of these segments.

Your plan must propose expected levels of performance. (The levels of performance will be negotiated with the Department before the grant is awarded.) Your plan must indicate the number of 14-18 year-olds and 19-21 year-olds you plan to enroll during the first year of the project. For 19-21 year-olds, you must indicate the number of first-year enrollees who will enter unsubsidized employment, enter education or training programs, join the military, be retained in employment for six months, one year, and two years, and the earnings of these youth six months, one year, and two years after placement. For 14-18 year-olds, you must indicate the number of first-year enrollees who will attain basic skills, work readiness skills, and occupational skills; attain high school diplomas or GEDs; and be placed and retained in post-secondary education, employment, the military, or apprenticeships. In particular, we want to know the overall number of youth who will be placed in jobs, school, training, college, and the military. You must also estimate the proportion of employers and participants who will indicate satisfaction with services received in surveys which you will need to conduct. You can also propose other performance measures for the indicators of performance described in WIA Sec. 136, to either replace some of the above measures or complement them, and we will negotiate the measures with you prior to grant award. DOL expects to implement a performance incentive system in which the best performing sites receive some increases in grant funds, while sites not meeting their goals are subject to sanctions. Urban, rural, and Native American sites will be judged separately in determining these incentives.

Community involvement. How will the tribal government encourage community participation and ownership in this project? We encourage the tribal government to set up a community advisory board made up of the various partner agencies, community residents, and youth to participate in the planning and oversight of this project. Discuss what the role of this community advisory board will be. Discuss how you plan to have community residents and families involved in program efforts, including sports leagues and cultural activities.

Staff development. Discuss how you provide initial training and offer development opportunities to project staff, including educational opportunities at local community colleges and four-year colleges and additional training to help support the case managers and job developers with the demands of their jobs.

Summary Table of New Initiatives. Include a summary table of the various new initiatives started under this grant, numbers of youth to be served by each initiative each year, and annual funding levels. An example of such a summary table is provided below:

DOL Grant
Youth Development Specialists (Staff of 30)$ 1,080,000
Conservation corps (80 youth @ $20,000)1,600,000
Tribal College 2+2+2 Pre-Forestry Program320,000
Work experience (50 youth @ $3,000)150,000
Pre-construction training (50 youth @ $3,000)150,000
Futures program in high school (100 @ $4,000)400,000
Sylvan, Score!, or Huntington Learning Center200,000
College Bound program (100 youth @ $2,000)200,000
Youth Leadership Program (100 youth @$1,000)100,000
Community Service Projects (100 youth @ $2,000)200,000
Residential summer program (100 youth @ $1,000)100,000
Transportation and other supportive services200,000
Sports and cultural program100,000
Making the high school a "High-Tech School"200,000
Job Corps (50 youth) __________
$5,000,000

Should letters of support be included?

You can include letters of support if they provide specific commitments. Such letters can increase your score by showing that commitments presented in the text of your proposal are serious. Form letters will not be considered. You must have a letter from tribal government and we encourage a letter from the tribal college if one exists on your reservation. Letters of support must be included as part of the 10 page attachment to your proposal.  The closing date for receipt of proposals is September 30, 1999. Your application should specify on the cover sheet, whether you are applying for an urban, rural, or Native American grant.

Signed at Washington, DC this 26th day of May 1999.

Janice E. Perry, Chief

Division of Federal Assistance

Appendices

1. Appendix A - Cover Sheet, Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), and Budget Information Sheet.

2. Appendix B - Application Checklist.