Topics Of Interest
CNCS Seeks Comment on (1) Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Grant Competition Application Instructions and (2) Performance Measurement in AmeriCorps
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced today is soliciting comments concerning its proposed renewal of the Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Grant Competition Application Instructions. Funding for this competition was created as a result of the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act. This competition responds to the need in the social sector for new ways of funding as traditional resources are declining and demands are increasing. It offers the opportunity to support innovation in the social sector while driving better results and conserving government resources. The affected public includes nonprofit organizations, funders and intermediary organizations.
CNCS requests comments by November 28. More ...
CNCS also seeks to renew its current data collection - Performance Measurement in AmeriCorps.
The questionnaire submitted for clearance is a combination of new and existing content from the previously cleared exit questionnaire. The new content reflects changing agency and program priorities. In addition, some approved questions have been edited to make them easier to understand and to provide more useful information for programs. The new questions include data points on problem-solving and cross-cultural communication skills.
CNCS projects 80,000 respondents. Comments are due November 17. More ...
Gulf Coast Recovery: Treasury Department Publishes Funding Opportunities under RESTORE Act
The Treasury Department has published multiple funding opportunity notices on www.grants.gov as part of the RESTORE Act. Applications are due by March 15, 2015 under each competition.
Trust Fund amounts are available to carry out eligible activities described in the RESTORE Act. These are:
a) Restoration and protection of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region.
b) Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife and natural resources.
c) Implementation of a federally approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring.
d) Workforce development and job creation.
e) Improvements to or on State parks located in coastal areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
f) Infrastructure projects benefitting the economy or ecological resources, including port infrastructure.
g) Coastal flood protection and related infrastructure.
h) Planning assistance.
i) Administrative costs.
j) Promotion of tourism in the Gulf Coast region, including recreational fishing.
k) Promotion of the consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast region.
Links are also available from the Treasury Department's website at http://www.treasury.gov/services/restore-act/Pages/default.aspx. This webpage presents a complete compendium of the Department’s activities.
Direct Component Funding Opportunity Announcements
RESTORE Act Direct Component – Non-Construction Activities
RESTORE Act Direct Component – Construction Activities
RESTORE Act Direct Component – Real Property Activities
RESTORE Act Direct Component – Non-Federal Share of Another Federally Funded Activity – Non-Construction or Real Property Activities
RESTORE Act Direct Component – Non-Federal Share of Another Federally Funded Activity – Construction Activities
Department of Education Seeks Comment on Extension of FERPA Regulatory Requirements
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that subject educational agencies and institutions notify parents and students of their rights under FERPA and requires that they record disclosures of personally identifiable information from education records, with certain exceptions.
The Department of Education has published the thirty-day notice for the extension of the FERPA Regulatory Requirements. The Department projects 20,293,021 annual responses under this collection. Comments are due by October 16.
HUD Seeks Public Comment on Reporting Requirements for Sustainable Communities Initiative Grantees
Through the Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI), local and regional partners, working with a supportive federal government partner, embraced a collective impact approach to transform their neighborhoods, cities, and counties and position their communities to prosper far into the future. The local grantee communities are pushing the next generation of planning and investment in housing, transportation, infrastructure, economic development, natural resources, workforce, and other critical community development issues. This program’s impact stems from the collaborative effort of the federal government, local organizations, and regional planning entities to ensure that these projects transform lives and catalyze new investment opportunities for the 119 million Americans living communities benefiting from an SCI grant.
The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 provided a total of $100,000,000 to HUD for a Sustainable Communities Initiative to improve regional planning efforts that
integrate housing and transportation decisions, and increase the capacity to improve land use and zoning. Of that total, $70,000,000 is available for the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant
Program, and $30,000,000 is available for the Community Challenge Planning Grant Program.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 provided a total of $150 million in fiscal year 2010 to HUD for a Sustainable Communities Initiative to improve regional planning efforts that integrate housing and transportation decisions, and increase the capacity to improve land use and zoning.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) Planning Grant Programs, which comprise of the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program, the
Community Challenge Planning Grant Program, and the Capacity Building for Sustainable Communities Grant Program, require progress reporting by grantees on a semi-annual basis (i.e., Twice per year: January 30th and July 30th). The grant program terms and conditions require the grantee to submit a semi-annual progress report which reflects activities undertaken, obstacles encountered and solutions achieved, and accomplishments. Progress reports that show progress of the program in meeting approved work plan goals, objectives are to be submitted.
Through a notice in the September 17 FEDERAL REGISTER, HUD is inviting public comment on this data collection by November 17. The notice outlines the background, desired focus for public comment, and instructions on obtaining the collection. The respondents are the Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) grantees. Click here for the grantee map.
Department of Labor Awards Resources to 19 States to Implement or Improve Worker Classification Detection and Enforcement Initiatives
The U.S. Department of Labor has recently awarded $10,225,183 to 19 states to implement or improve worker misclassification detection and enforcement initiatives in unemployment insurance programs.
The funds will be used to increase the ability of state UI tax programs to identify instances where employers improperly classify employees as independent contractors or fail to report the wages paid to workers at all. The states that were selected to receive these grants will use the funds for a variety of improvements and initiatives, including enhancing employer audit programs and conducting employer education initiatives.
Upward Bound Program: Department of Education Proposes New System of Records in Support of Evaluation of 136,000 Students; Announces Award of $81 Million in Support of the States
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Privacy Act), the Department of Education has published this notice of a new system of records entitled "Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound" (18-13-36). The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance at the Department's Institute of Education Sciences awarded a contract in September 2012 to Abt Associates Inc. to conduct an impact evaluation of a strategy to enhance college advising within Upward Bound--consisting of a professional development program for Upward Bound staff that includes a set of tools and resources for staff and students. The system of records will contain records on approximately 136,000 Upward Bound students and 200 Upward Bound project staff and will be used to conduct the study.
Comments are due by October 15. More …
The Department has also recently announced the award of $82 million for 41 grants under Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) that will help 116,000 at-risk students to prepare for college and receive the support they need to achieve success in postsecondary education.
Secretary Duncan announced the grantees in New York City at the launch of American Graduate Day, a public awareness and community engagement program to celebrate the work of individuals and groups across the country who are helping students stay on track to college and career successes.
Two types of grants are being awarded: $51,420,120 for 31 partnership grants in 19 states, and $31,264,008 for 10 state grants to Alabama, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Aspen Institute Names Finalists for Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, awarded every two years, is the nation's signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges and recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.
Improving community college completion rates is a vital national priority. Their open access and affordability have benefitted millions of Americans, but now the nation must get more community college students successfully through to high-wage career opportunities and further education. Today, there are 13 million students being educated in more than 1,000 community colleges across the country. Of these students, nearly seven million – over forty percent of all those enrolled in postsecondary education – are working towards degrees and certificates.
The Aspen Institute recently named 10 community college finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Aspen's Finalist Selection Committee, comprised of former community college presidents, respected researchers and policy experts, selected the ten finalist institutions after reviewing extensive data on performance and improvements in learning, graduation, workforce outcomes, and equitable outcomes for all students, focusing on those in traditionally underserved racial/ethnic groups - African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American - and those from low-income backgrounds. Of the 150 institutions named eligible in January, over one hundred applied to compete for the Prize.
EPA Announces Environmental Justice Awards; Plans to EJ Small Grant RFA in Fall 2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced competitive cooperative agreements with 12 community-based organizations working to address environmental justice issues nationwide. The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding for non-profit and tribal organizations to partner with stakeholders from across industry, government, and academia to develop and implement solutions that significantly address environmental and/or public health issues in American communities.
In 2003, EPA's Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) launched the first solicitation for the EJCPS Cooperative Agreement Program. Since the Program's inception, EPA has provided funding to 50 projects to help communities understand and address exposure to environmental harms and risks. Each of this year's recipients are awarded up to $120,000 to support two-year projects, including identifying and reducing sources of air pollution, reducing lead exposure in homes of low-income residents, and the cleanup and repurposing of community dump sites. Projects must use the Collaborative Problem Solving model, comprised of seven elements of a successful collaborative partnership, to address local environmental and/or public health issues.
Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. These awards represent EPA's commitment to promoting localized, community-based actions to address environmental justice issues.
The twelve cooperative agreements total about $1.4 million. The selected recipients are:
- Montachusett Opportunity Council, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
- Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts
- Desarrollo Integral del Sur, Inc., Peñuelas, Puerto Rico
- Greensboro Housing Coalition, Greensboro, North Carolina
- Mississippi Conference of Black Mayors, Yazoo City, Mississippi
- Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision Project, Detroit, Michigan
- Groundwork New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Trailnet, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri
- Conejos County Clean Water, Inc., Antonito, Colorado
- Environmental Health Coalition, San Diego, California
- Tolani Lake Enterprise, Navajo Nation, Northeast Arizona
- Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, Seattle, Washington
Please visit http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/publications/grants/cps-project-abstracts-2014.pdf for a complete listing of the 2014 Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement recipients and project descriptions.
In the fall of 2014, EPA plans to release a Request for Applications for the fiscal year 2015 Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. A schedule of pre-application teleconference calls will be announced at that time.
More information about EPA's Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-cps-grants.html
ACVETEO to Meet on October 2 to Discuss Core Programs and Services for Veterans
The Department of Labor’s Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) has announced that the Advisory Committee on Veterans' Employment, Training and Employer Outreach will meet on October 2 at the Frances Perkins Building.
The September 10 FEDERAL REGISTER notice provides full background, agenda, times, logistics and admittance procedures.
Department of Commerce Announces Renewal of the Manufacturing Council; Seeks Nominations Leading to the Appointment of 30 Members for Two-Year Term
The Department of Commerce has recently announced the renewal of the Manufacturing Council (Council) with a call for applications leading to the appointment of up to 30 members of the Council for a two-year term to begin in December 2014. The purpose of the Council is to advise the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the U.S. manufacturing sector and to provide regular communication between Government and the manufacturing sector.
The Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the U.S. manufacturing industry, including on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. manufacturing industry and identifying and recommending programs and policies to help United States manufacturers maintain competitiveness both at home and abroad. The Council shall recommend ways to ensure that the United States remains the preeminent destination for investment in manufacturing throughout the world.
Applications should be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Office of Advisory Committees and Industry Outreach, Manufacturing Council Executive Secretariat, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 4043, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.
The September 10, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background and outlines the information required for a nomination.
Research Study on Facilitating the Reintegration and Employment of Veterans with PTSD
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is seeking a 3-year approval from OMB on a research study aimed at understanding the benefits of human-animal interactions for the purpose of facilitating the reintegration and employment of veterans with PTSD.
The efficacy of using service dogs or other types of assistance dogs to help veterans with disabilities return to work has not been established in well-controlled scientific studies, and fundamental empirical evidence is scant. As a step toward a greater understanding, a laboratory-based work-simulation study will be conducted to investigate the influence of the presence of and interactions with a dog on the reactivity and performance of veterans with and without PTSD to work-related and startle stressors.
Results of the laboratory-based study will complement the findings of another project (OMB No. 09200985), which is gathering information about veteran perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to reintegration through two national Web-based surveys. There is no duplication of effort or burden because the research objectives and research methods are substantial different.
U.S. Veterans, with and without PTSD, and veterans with service dogs will be recruited with the assistance of various veterans' organizations to participate in this research study.
NIOSH sets forth additional background on this ICR and the instructions for submitting comments in the September 9, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER.
Community Reinvestment Act: Treasury Department, Federal Reserve System, and FDIC Clarify and Supplement Questions and Answers
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporaton (FDIC) (the Agencies) have proposed to clarify and supplement their Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment to address questions raised by bankers, community organizations, and others regarding the Agencies' Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations. The Agencies propose to revise three questions and answers that address (i) alternative systems for delivering retail banking services and (ii) additional examples of innovative or flexible lending practices. In addition, the Agencies propose to revise three questions and answers addressing community development-related issues, including economic development, community development loans, and activities that are considered to revitalize or stabilize an underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geography. The Agencies also propose to add four new questions and answers, two of which address community development services, and two of which provide general guidance on responsiveness and innovativeness.
Note there are nearly a dozen references to job creation in the announcement text.
The September 10 FEDERAL REGISTER provides the announcement with additional background.
New Entrepreneurship Report and Case Study from the Kauffman Foundation
ETA’s " Integrating Entrepreneurship Into the Public Workforce System Throughout America"; SBA's entrepreneurship programs and initiatives, Federal Reserve Bank’s Workforce Development and the Entrepreneurship Infrastructure, Kauffman Foundation programs, NAWB's analysis of WIB-provided entrepreneurship services, NACCE, IMVF's work with veterans and entrepreneurship ....
The Kauffman Foundation has released a study which examines connections and relationships that help communities maximize job-creating potential of young and growing companies. "Examining the Connections within the Startup Ecosystem: A Case Study of St. Louis," released on September 10 by the Foundation, reports on the elements necessary for creating a nurturing entrepreneurial environment. Most important, it found, are the connections and relationships that pull support organizations, new entrepreneurs and experienced entrepreneurs together in a way that helps founders get the mentoring and information that most benefits the company at its particular stage of development.
Department of Commerce Requests Respondents to Fill Out "Survey of Business Owners"; Survey Benchmarked to the 2012 Economic Census
Blog post from John Thompson, Director, U.S. Census Bureau
Did you know that there are 27.1 million non-farm businesses in America? The U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons provides the only comprehensive source of statistics about business ownership in the U.S. The Census Bureau conducts the SBO every five years. This is the first time the SBO is being conducted primarily online.
If you own a business, such as a salon or a landscaping company, you may be one of the one million Americans selected to participate in the Survey of Business Owners. Even if you do not have employees other than yourself, we want to hear from you. By participating online now, you can help provide consistent, comparable, and comprehensive statistics on U.S. business performance. For example, the 2007 SBO showed us that 5.9 percent of responding firms reported income from e-commerce – an important insight into how the Internet is shaping our economy.
Right now we are in the process of asking respondents to fill out the Survey of Business Owners, which is part of, and benchmarked to, the 2012 Economic Census. We begin the Survey of Business Owners after the data collection phase of the Economic Census is complete. It provides information every five years on business characteristics (e.g., if a business is home-based, or how much start-up capital it received) and owner characteristics (such as gender, race and ethnicity, and veteran status) for businesses of all sizes across America.
Businesses of all sizes are crucial to the U.S. economy and having quality statistics on businesses is critical. Some of the ways that government leaders and others use SBO statistics include:
- Business owners are able to analyze their operations in comparison to similar firms, compute their market share, and assess their growth prospects.
- Entrepreneurs can make informed decisions about what types of products and services to sell, and where to sell them. They can also use SBO data in business plans and loan applications.
- The Small Business Administration can assess business assistance needs and allocate available resources.
- Local government commissions are able to establish and evaluate contract procurement practices.
- Federal, state, and local government agencies have a framework for planning, directing, and assessing programs that promote veteran-, women-, and minority-owned businesses.
- Researchers can analyze long-term economic and demographic shifts, and differences in ownership and performance among geographic areas.
Although some Census Bureau surveys have given respondents the option to reply via the Internet, the 2012 SBO is the first to utilize the Internet as the primary form of response. I’m pleased that the Census Bureau has embraced the use of technology to make responding to surveys, like the SBO, easier for you.
If you received a letter about Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons, it included instructions for filling it out online. If you have questions, I encourage you to call 1-888-824-9954, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, for more information. Our staff can answer any questions about the survey you may have. Visit our website to learn more:https://econhelp.census.gov/sbo.
NGA Announces Governors for Leadership for Education and Workforce Committee, and Economic Development and Commerce Committee
The National Governors Association (NGA) has announced the new leadership of NGA’s five standing committees for the 2014-2015 year.
NGA Chair Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and NGA Vice Chair Utah Gov. Gary Herbert made the following appointments:
Education and Workforce Committee
Economic Development and Commerce Committee
Health and Human Services Committee
For a list of the executive committee, please click here
For a list of the executive committee, please click here
Geospatial Sector: Advisory Committee to Meet on September 23-24
The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) will meet on September 23-24, 2014 at the National Conservation Training Center, 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV 25443. The meeting will be held in Room 201 Instructional East. The NGAC, which is composed of representatives from governmental, private sector, non-profit, and academic organizations, was established to advise the Federal Geographic Data Committee on management of Federal geospatial programs, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16.
Topics to be addressed at the meeting include:
- Leadership Dialogue
- Recent FGDC Activities
- NSDI Strategic Plan
- Geospatial Platform
- NGAC Subcommittee Activities -
- National Information Exchange Model
- Emerging Geospatial Issues
EPA Announces National Brownfields Training Conference for September 2-4, 2015 in Chicago; Issues “Call for Ideas”; Requests Session Suggestions by November 3, 2014
The 2015 National Brownfields Training Conference will be held in Chicago, IL, September 2 - 4, 2015. The Conference will be held at the Chicago Hilton on Michigan Ave. Additional meeting space and sleeping rooms will be available at the Palmer House Hilton.
Please visit the Conference Website for additional information: www.brownfieldsconference.org
The workforce community should note that the Conference “Call for Ideas” is now open. The deadline for submitted session ideas is November 3, 2014. More information on the “Call for Ideas,” including EPA’s proposed “Tracks” for the educational programming can be found at: http://www.brownfieldsconference.org/en/Article/201/Brownfields_2015_Call_for_Ideas_Announced
Please visit the ConferenceWebsite for additional information: www.brownfieldsconference.org
EPA Announces Funding Opportunities under "People, Prosperity, and the Planet" Award Program
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3-People, Prosperity and the Planet Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Award program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and protection of the planet -- people, prosperity, and the planet – the three pillars of sustainability. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability.
EPA’s P3 Program has identified the following four strategic program goals.
Goal 1: Engage and educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and the greater academic and external communities in the principles of sustainability.
Goal 2: Spark innovation and sustainable technologies through research and development conducted by the P3 projects.
Goal 3: Support the demonstration of sustainable technologies around the world.
Goal 4: Foster the development of small businesses rooted in sustainability.
The closing date for applications is December 16.
RSA Publishes Thirty-Day Notice on the "Annual Performance Report for the State Grant for Assistive Technology Program"; Seeks Comments by October 10
The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) has published the thirty-day notice on the Annual Performance Report for the State Grant for Assistive Technology Program in the September 10, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER.
Section 4 of the Assistive Technology (AT) Act of 1998, as amended, requires states to submit annual data reports. This instrument helps the grantees report annual data related to the required activities implemented by the State under the AT Act. This data is used by RSA in order to prepare required annual reports to Congress. RSA calls this data collection an Annual Progress Report.
Comments are due by October 10.
NSF Seeks Public Comment on the Proposed Establishment of a National Network of 'Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs'
Aiming to make the most of the fast-growing volume of digital data, the Obama Administration announced the "Big Data Research and Development Initiative" in March 2012,
In support of this objective, the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced it is exploring the establishment of a national network of "Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs," and seeks public comment. These Hubs are designed to help to continue and scale up the kinds of activities and partnerships established by National Big Data R&D Initiative over the past 3 years as well as stimulate, track, and help sustain new regional and grassroots partnerships around Big Data.
Potential roles for Hubs include, but are not limited to:
- Accelerate the ideation and development Big Data solutions to specific global and societal challenges by convening stakeholders across sectors to partner in results-driven programs and projects.
- Act as a matchmaker between the various academic, industry, and community stakeholders to help drive successful pilot programs for emerging Big Data technology.
- Coordinate across multiple regions of the country, based on shared interests and industry sector engagement to enable dialogue and share best practices.
- Aim to increase the speed and volume of technology transfer between universities, public and private research centers and laboratories, large enterprises, and SMB''s.
- Facilitate engagement with opinion and thought leaders on the societal impact of Big Data technologies as to maximize positive outcomes of adoption while reducing unwanted consequences.
- Support the education and training of the entire Big Data workforce, from data scientists to managers to data end-users.
- The goals of interest for a Big Data Regional Hub, with metrics for evaluating the success or failure of the Hub to meet that goal;
- The multiple stakeholders that would participate in the Hub and their respective roles and responsibilities;
- Plans for initial and long-term financial and in-kind resources that the stakeholders would need to commit to this hub; and
- A principal point of contact.
NSF emphasizes today's announcement is "solely for information and planning purposes; it does not constitute a formal solicitation for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements."
OECD Employment Outlook 2014 Now Available; Chapters Include 'Recent Wage Developments," "Job Quality," "Non-Regular Employment," and the "Employment Impact of Skills and Qualifications"
The OECD Employment Outlook 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of the OECD Jobs Strategy and includes chapters on recent labor market developments with a special section on earnings/wages, job quality, youth employment, unemployment and unemployment rates, and forms of employment and employment protection.
This year's special chapters cover four topics: recent wage developments, job quality, non-regular employment, and the employment impact of skills and qualifications.
The individual chapters, statistical annex, tables and graphs can be accessed in seriatim or in chosen order of preference at http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/employment/oecd-employment-outlook-2014_empl_outlook-2014-en ( A subscription would be required to download the entire PDF document.)
HHS/ACF Seeks Comments on Runaway and Homeless Youth Management Information System
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act mandates that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report regularly to Congress on the status of HHS-funded programs serving runaway and homeless youth. Such reporting is similarly mandated by the Government Performance and Results Act. Organizations funded under the Runaway and Homeless Youth program are required by statute. These requirements include maintenance of client statistical records on the number and the characteristics of the runaway and homeless youth, and youth at risk of family separation, who participate in the project, and the services provided to such youth by the project.
The Administration for Children and Families within HHS is seeking public comment on this collection, noting “a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.
The August 29 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background and instructions for submitting comments.
HHS/ACF Publishes Evaluation Policy for Research or Demonstration Projects
The Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services has published its evaluation policy for research or demonstration projects as authorized by 42 U.S.C. 1310.
ACF notes, in part:
This evaluation policy builds on ACF's strong history of evaluation by outlining key principles to govern our planning, conduct, and use of evaluation. The evaluation policy reconfirms our commitment to conducting rigorous, relevant evaluations and to using evidence from evaluations to inform policy and practice. ACF seeks to promote rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics in the conduct of evaluations. This policy addresses each of these principles.
Click here for the policy statement in the August 29 FEDERAL REGISTER.
Department of Labor’s Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR)
What Works In Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence
Department of Labor Evaluation Policy
Employment and Training Administration’s Research Publication Database
Secretary of Labor Announces Intent to Renew Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee
The Secretary of Labor is announcing the intent to renew a Federal Advisory Committee. In accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, the Secretary of Labor has determined that the renewal of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Commissioner of Labor Statistics by 29 U.S.C. 1 and 2. This determination follows consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration.
The Committee provides advice to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the points of view of data users from various sectors of the U.S. economy, including the labor, business, research, academic and government communities, on matters related to the analysis, dissemination, and use of the Bureau''s statistics, on its published reports, and on gaps between or the need for new Bureau statistics.
The Committee will function solely as an advisory body to the BLS, on technical topics selected by the BLS.
The Committee is responsible for providing the Commissioner of Labor Statistics:
The Committee reports to the Commissioner of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
- The priorities of data users;
- suggestions concerning the addition of new programs, changes in the emphasis of existing programs or cessation of obsolete programs; and
- advice on potential innovations in data analysis, dissemination and presentation.
The Committee will not exceed 20 members. Committee members are nominated by the Commissioner of Labor Statistics and approved by the Secretary of Labor. Membership of the Committee will represent a balance of expertise across a broad range of BLS program areas, including employment and unemployment statistics, occupational safety and health statistics, compensation measures, price indexes, and productivity measures; or other areas related to the subject matter of BLS programs. All committee members will have extensive research or practical experience using BLS data. The Committee will function solely as an advisory body, in compliance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Charter will be filed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
VA Releases New Version of the GI Bill® Comparison Tool; Online Resource Provides Student Veterans with Key Education and Benefits Information
On August 28, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched an improved version of the GI Bill® Comparison Tool, which was first launched in February 2014. The GI Bill Comparison Tool is designed to make it easier for Veterans, Servicemembers, and dependents to estimate their GI Bill education benefits and learn more about VA's approved college, university, and other education and training programs across the country. It also provides key information about college affordability and value so beneficiaries can choose the best education program to meet their needs.
In the past 6 months, nearly 350,000 people have accessed the tool on VA's GI Bill website. The top schools searched by users include: American Public University, Harvard, University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University, and University of Washington.
"We are excited to see how Veterans respond to the wealth of information now available on the updated GI Bill Comparison Tool" said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. "We're grateful for the chance to work with our partners at the departments of Defense and Education (ED) to ensure beneficiaries are informed education consumers."
The updated version of the GI Bill Comparison Tool has new functionality, including a more robust GI Bill benefits calculator and additional information pertinent to the Veteran population (e.g., identifies schools with student Veteran groups, VetSuccess on Campus program, and those that have agreed to the 8 Keys to Success). The GI Bill calculator provides a personalized estimate of Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition and fee, housing allowance, and book stipend benefits that would potentially be paid to the student. The calculator prepopulates the tuition and fee estimates from the ED's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The Veteran indicator section now contains new information on schools' student Veterans groups, VetSuccess on Campus program and Yellow Ribbon agreement status.
The GI Bill Comparison Tool is one item in a series of resources VA has launched in response to the President's Executive Order 13607, signed April 27, 2012, which directs agencies to implement and promote "Principles of Excellence" for educational institutions that interact with Veterans, Servicemembers and their families; and to ensure beneficiaries have the information they need to make informed choices about VA education benefits and approved programs. As students return to school this fall, VA is committed to providing the support and information they need to succeed.
Since April 2012, VA has deployed the GI Bill Comparison Tool, the GI Bill Feedback System, and offered a free academic-readiness tool online. In addition, VA, the Department of Education and Department of Defense have agreed to new Veteran-specific outcome measures and signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange information, which will ensure greater compliance from schools receiving military and Federal education benefits. VA successfully trademarked GI Bill to prevent its fraudulent use for recruiting purposes and to protect this publicly-owned intellectual property.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit created by Congress in 2008. Veterans and Servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible for the benefit. The Veterans Benefits Administration, which administers the Post-9/11 GI Bill program, has distributed more than $43 billion in the form of tuition and other education-related payments to more than one million Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families; and to the universities, colleges, and trade schools they attend. The GI Bill Comparison Tool can be found at: http://gibill.va.gov/comparison/