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DATE March 26, 2002
DIRECTIVE OLDER WORKER BULLETIN 02-02
TO ALL SENIOR COMMUNITY SERVICE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (SCSEP) GRANTEES
SUBJECT Senior Employment Services Coordination Plan

1.        PURPOSE: To provide guidance to SCSEP grantees on the preparation of the State Senior Employment Services Coordination Plan (“State Plan”).

2.        REFERENCES: Older Worker (OW) Bulletin No. 01-1, 01-4 and Section 503 of the Amended and Reauthorized Older Americans Act (OAA) of 2000.

3.        BACKGROUND: Section 503 of the reauthorized OAA provides that the Governor of each State must complete an annual State Senior Employment Services Coordination Plan (the “State Plan”). For the convenience of the reader the relevant portions of this section are included in Attachment I.

4.        DISCUSSION: States should use the best information available to prepare the plan. Census 2000 information is not generally available but it should be used as it becomes available.

The State Plan is intended to improve coordination among organizations engaged in older worker activities, and to enhance employment services for older workers. It should serve as guidance for program operators as they prepare plans and grant applications for operations in a State. The law requires all Title V sponsors within a State to cooperate in the planning and development process. While coordination is a requirement, it is also a good practice and we encourage all participants to do so enthusiastically.

States may submit an update of the PY 2001 State plan for PY 2002, or they may develop a new State Plan. Either approach is allowable.

5. DIRECTIVE: The Governor is responsible for developing the State Plan. The OAA requires that all Title V sponsors operating in a State participate in the development of the State Plan. In addition, the Department encourages the Governor to include a broad array of partners and stakeholders, such as State and local Workforce Investment Boards, in the development of the State Plan. Attachment II outlines the minimum information that should be included in the State Plan for 2002. If a State chooses to update its PY2001 plan rather than develop a new plan for 2002, the update may be submitted by the State agency rather than by the Governor. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that the modified plan represents the Governor's preferences for employment activities for seniors. In this regard, all parties including all SCSEP grantees, should participate in the process whether the end result is a new or updated 2001 plan.

Until the OAA amendments of 2000 are implemented and published the Department intends to be flexible in its review of updated or new State Plans.

6. SCHEDULE: The State Plan must be provided to the Department by June 1, 2002. Only one copy need be sent to the Division of Older Worker Programs. This copy may be sent electronically. If it is an update of last year's State Plan we prefer that the entire plan be resubmitted as the 2002 plan -- even if the changes are minor. The Division will arrange duplication for review by the Administration on Aging.

If a State is unable to meet this schedule, it should advise the Department no later than May 15.

7.INQUIRIES: Questions should be directed to your Federal Representative at (202) 693-3842.

ATTACHMENT I Section 503 of the OAA
II Outline for the State Senior Employment Services Coordination Plan



___________________________
ERICH W. ("RIC") LARISCH
Chief
Division of Older Worker Programs
___________________________
SHIRLEY M. SMITH
Administrator
Office of Adult Services

Attachment I

Section 503 of the Older Americans Act (OAA)

503. ADMINISTRATION.
(a) STATE SENIOR EMPLOYMENT SERVICES COORDINATION PLAN. --
(1) GOVERNOR SUBMITS PLAN. -- The Governor of each State shall submit annually to the Secretary a State Senior Employment Services Coordination Plan, containing such provisions as the Secretary may require, consistent with the provisions of this title, including a description of the process used to ensure the participation of individuals described in paragraph (2).
(2) RECOMMENDATIONS. -- In developing the State plan prior to its submission to the Secretary, the Governor shall obtain the advice and recommendations of --
(A) individuals representing the State and area agencies on aging in the State, and the State and local workforce investment boards established under title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.);
(B) individuals representing public and private nonprofit agencies and organizations providing employment services, including each grantee operating a project under this title in the State; and
(C) individuals representing social service organizations providing services to older individuals, grantees under title III of this Act, affected communities, underserved older individuals, community-based organizations serving the needs of older individuals, business organizations, and labor organizations.
(3) COMMENTS.-- Any State plan submitted by a Governor in accordance with paragraph
(1) shall be accompanied by copies of public comments relating to the plan received pursuant
to paragraph (4) and a summary thereof.
(4) PLAN PROVISIONS.-- The State Senior Employment Services Coordination Plan shall identify and address--
(A) the relationship that the number of eligible individuals in each area bears to the total number of eligible individuals, respectively, in that State;
(B) the relative distribution of individuals residing in rural and urban areas within the State;
(C) the relative distribution of--
(i) eligible individuals who are individuals with greatest economic need;
(ii) eligible individuals who are minority individuals; and
(iii) eligible individuals who are individuals with greatest social need;
(D) consideration of the employment situations and the type of skills possessed by local eligible individuals;
(E) the localities and populations for which community service projects of the type authorized by this title are most needed; and
(F) plans for facilitating the coordination of activities of grantees in the State under this title with activities carried out in the State under title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
(5) GOVERNOR'S RECOMMENDATIONS ON GRANT PROPOSALS.-- Prior to the submission to the Secretary of any proposal for a grant under this title for any fiscal year, the Governor of each State in which projects are proposed to be conducted under such grant shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to submit recommendations to the Secretary--
(A) regarding the anticipated effect of each such proposal upon the overall distribution of enrollment positions under this title within the State (including such distribution among urban and rural areas), taking into account the total number of positions to be provided by all grantees within the State;
(B) any recommendations for redistribution of positions to underserved areas as vacancies occur in previously encumbered positions in other areas; and
(C) in the case of any increase in funding that may be available for use within the State under this title for any fiscal year, any recommendations for distribution of newly available positions in excess of those available during the preceding year to underserved areas.
(6) DISRUPTIONS.-- In developing plans and considering recommendations under this subsection, disruptions in the provision of community service employment opportunities for current enrollees shall be avoided, to the greatest possible extent.
(7) DETERMINATION; REVIEW.--
(A) DETERMINATION.-- In order to effectively carry out the provisions of this title, each State shall make available for public comment its senior employment services coordination plan. The Secretary, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary, shall review the plan and public comments received on the plan, and make a written determination with findings and a decision regarding the plan.
        (B) REVIEW.-- The Secretary may review on the Secretary's own initiative or at the request of any public or private agency or organization, or an agency of the State government, the distribution of projects and services under this title within the State including the distribution between urban and rural areas within the State. For each proposed reallocation of projects or services within a State, the Secretary shall give notice and opportunity for public comment.
(8) EXEMPTION.-- The grantees serving older American Indians under section 506(a)(3) will not be required to participate in the State planning processes described in this section but will collaborate with the Secretary to develop a plan for projects and services to older American Indians.

ATTACHMENT II


OUTLINE FOR THE STATE SENIOR EMPLOYMENT SERVICES COORDINATION PLAN


Section 1. Plan Participation. In this section briefly explain the process the Governor used to insure participation of interested individuals and groups in the development or modification of the State Plan.

Section 2. Organizational Involvement. Succinctly describe the involvement of the following groups in the planning process:
a. The State Office on Aging, and the Area Agencies on Aging; b. Each SCSEP grantee operating in the State;
c. Non-profit providers of employment services;
d. Workforce Investment Boards; and
e. Other organizations including businesses and labor

Section 3. Comments. This section should briefly summarize the public comments received on the State Plan. These may be collected via notices on the internet or meetings with strategic partners. Copies of the public comments that were received should be submitted as an appendix.

Section 4. Plan Provisions. The Plan should be brief, identifying action items and, particularly, noting progress made in the past year if this is a update. States may prepare or update the State Plan document in any format they wish. The document should be formulated so that it is useful to all Title V grantees and organizations operating in the State. It may be submitted electronically. The required plan provisions are described below.
        
a. Basic Distribution of SCSEP Positions: Reference should be made to the Equitable Distribution report, which is required by OAA Section 508. This report provides the basic information needed to assess the location of the eligible population and the current distribution of people being served as required at Section 503(a)(4)(A) and (B) of the OAA. The report may be summarized to identify the areas, if any, that are significantly under-served or over-served. The entire Equitable Distribution report may be attached as a second appendix to the State Plan.
b. Special Populations: Section 503(a) (4) (C) of the OAA requires information about the relative distribution of those eligible individuals with greatest economic needs, eligible individuals who are minorities, and eligible individuals with the greatest social needs. For 2002, this information may be included on a statewide basis, a county-by-county basis or some other geographic area basis, such as AAA, PSA level or WIA area. The participants in the development of the State Plan may decide which approach will be utilized. If a State has below 20 percent in any of the categories, they may provide a statement stating that this category is not relevant in this area or State. The following descriptions will be used for submitting this information:

(1) “Greatest economic need” means those persons at or below the poverty level established by the Department of Health and Human Services and approved by the Office of Management and Budget;

(2) “Minorities” include: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asians, Black or African Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders,

(3) “Greatest social need” means needs caused by non-economic factors. It includes persons with physical and mental disabilities; language barriers; and cultural, social, or geographic isolation, including isolation brought about by racial or ethnic status. As in the overall approach, if a particular area does not have an incidence of 20 percent or more, the plan may indicate that it is not relevant in this area. For example, geographical isolation in New York City would not be a relevant factor.

For 2002, the State may provide information that collectively shows how persons in the above categories were served without a sub-state breakout. For instance, if the percentage of eligible people at or below poverty in the entire State is 20 percent and the reports of all grantees show that 21 percent or more of the program participants are in that category, the plan may include this information. If the collective report were to indicate that less than 20 percent of the participants are at or below poverty, the plan should provide an explanation indicating what actions will be taken to increase the percentage of program participants who are at or below the poverty level.

In preparing this section of the State Plan, grantees may wish to review a somewhat similar requirement that was included with Equitable Distribution reports before 1997 (see OW Bulletin no. 96-2 dated February 7, 1996).

When preparing to discuss the items mentioned above in the State Plan it will be necessary to make use of the best available information at the local level. The data used should be agreed upon by all of the SCSEP grantees in the State.

c. Type of Skills. Section 503(a)(4)(D) of the OAA indicates that the State Plan must address the employment situations and the skills available among the eligible population. For Program Year 2002, this information will not be required; however, if it is provided, the information source should be identified, as well as progress and results in the collection of data. If not provided, the plan should describe how this information will be collected in future years, including a description of the steps that will be taken to gather it.

d. Community Service Needs. The term “community service” means social, health, welfare, and educational services (including literacy tutoring), legal and other counseling services, and library, recreational, conservation, maintenance, or restoration of natural resources; community betterment or beautification; antipollution and environmental quality efforts; weatherization activities; economic development; and other services essential and necessary to the community as the State may determine.

Information identifying specific populations and local community service needs will not be required for program year 2002. A narrative description of how this information will be collected, monitored and measured in future years is required, however, as well as the progress that has been made to date.

e. Coordination with the Workforce Investment Act. A narrative description of measures taken by all the SCSEP grantees in the State to carry out the activities under the Workforce Investment Act should be provided, along with steps to be taken to encourage and improve coordination.

Section 5. Plan Recommendations: In this section, the Governor may make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor on actions to be taken by SCSEP grantees in the State to improve SCSEP services. The recommendations may include such topics as the location of positions, the types of community services, the time required to make changes in the distribution of positions, and the types of enrollees to be enrolled. If recommendations are provided, they should reflect the items discussed in Section 4, above, Plan Provisions. They should also be realistic recommendations that the Secretary may consider.
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