Topics Of Interest
NIST Releases Cybersecurity White Paper "Data Integrity: Reducing the Impact of an Attack"; Requests Comments by January 26, 2016
From the National Institute of Standards and Technology
We are excited to announce the release of the latest NIST cybersecurity white paper, "Data Integrity: Reducing the impact of an attack." The document is a draft, and we welcome your comments and feedback.
What's the paper about?
The draft white paper describes a new project being undertaken by the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at NIST. The project will focus on helping organizations ensure data integrity, specifically with respect to preparing for and recovering from attacks that might compromise their data.
Businesses face a near-constant threat of destructive malware, ransomware, and malicious insider activities that can alter or destroy critical data. Even honest mistakes can alter data in ways that cause a significant loss to a company's reputation, business operations, and bottom line. To reduce this risk, organizations need to be able to recover quickly from a data integrity attack and trust the accuracy and precision of that recovered data.
The draft whitepaper, Data Integrity: Reducing the impact of an attack, describes the technical challenges of ensuring accurate and complete back-up data when recovering systems after an attack. It was developed in collaboration with members of the business community, the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), and cybersecurity solutions vendors.
The NCCoE Data Integrity project will explore methods to help businesses effectively recover operating systems, databases, user files, applications, and software/system configurations. It also will explore issues of auditing and reporting to support recovery operations.
NCCoE began work on the Data Integrity project as a result of a previously published report, NIST IR 8050, which summarized feedback from a 2015 workshop hosted by NIST and Stanford University in conjunction with the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection.
The paper is available for download in PDF.
We want to know if the white paper accurately reflects your challenges and concerns around data integrity and look forward to receiving your comments.
Read the NIST press release for additional information.
National Network of Business and Industry Associations Releases Work and Learn Guidebook for Employers
The National Network of Business and Industry Associations has recently released a guidebook for employers to understand and adopt work-and-learn programs, including modernized internships, apprenticeships and mentorships. Led by Business Roundtable and ACT Foundation, the National Network is a collaboration of 25 business organizations representing 10 economic sectors, and focuses on connecting the worlds of learning and work.
Work-and-Learn in Action: Successful Strategies for Employers highlights 15 real-life models, providing a blueprint to help companies implement similar strategies that improve workforce recruitment, training and advancement.
The guidebook underscores the range of ways that employers are increasingly involved in addressing the skills gap, which is leaving an estimated 4 million jobs unfilled. The examples featured can help more companies design work-based learning opportunities for more students and workers who need new skills.
Recent reports show there are 14 million working learners in the United States ?individuals who are formally enrolled in postsecondary learning while also active in the labor market ? who are seeking simultaneous opportunities to gain skills and work experiences that lead to good jobs. Companies can use the guidebook to create work-and-learn programs that connect to this working-learner talent pool.
Illustrating real examples from a wide range of company sizes and industries ? from healthcare and hospitality to manufacturing and construction ? the guidebook explains the benefits of integrating work experience and learning for both employers and individuals. Educators and workforce development professionals, who are working to help students connect what they are learning in school to what they will need to know in the workplace, can find valuable, current information in the real-life examples in the guidebook.
"Businesses must be committed to collaborating with their local communities in developing strategies to grow the next generation of local, skilled talent," said Mario Lozoya, Director, Government Relations and External Affairs, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, Inc., whose Alamo Academies dual-enrollment model is highlighted in the guidebook. "Those communities with engaged businesses that focus on growing local talent will be the surviving and globally competitive communities of tomorrow."
Key components of the guidebook include: a checklist for determining what quality work-and-learn models should entail; an analysis of the value of work-and-learn programs to companies and working learners; a list of key questions for employers to consider in designing programs that meet their specific needs; and a glossary of common work-and-learn terms.
"It has been extremely gratifying to see these talented individuals develop right in our ''backyard' with an opportunity to recruit them for full-time employment upon graduation," said Jeff Cobb, Senior Engineering Manager, Medtronic, which participates in a university co-op program to recruit manufacturing talent. "With the talent and successes that the CME [co-op] program brings to Medtronic, this strategy has been secured to support our overall business initiatives going forward."
Low-and moderate-income workers pursuing new career paths need support for both their academic and financial needs. Partnerships between community colleges and nonprofit workforce organizations can help, especially when designed with best practices in mind.
To access the downloadable PDF, visit: http://bit.ly/1l0atKu
Aspen Institute Issues Volume to Inform Workforce and Community College Leaders on Best Practices for Launching or Expanding Partnerships
From the Aspen Institute
Working Together and Making a Difference is our latest report aimed at informing community college and workforce leaders of best practices for launching or expanding partnerships. Co-published by AspenWSI and Achieving the Dream, the report reveals the stages of a forming a new partnership, using a case study of the partnership between Virginia Western Community College and Goodwill Industries of the Valleys.
Working Together and Making a Difference provides a compelling case for acquiring critical new capabilities through partnerships, rather than trying to develop them separately. It illustrates how leaders within two organizations weaved their assets together, pursuing a shared vision and making a bigger difference for students together than they could have apart.
For more information, we invite you to read Working Together and Making a Difference. And as always, let us know what you think by responding to this email or sharing your thoughts with @AspenWorkforce on social media!
Education Commission of the States Publishes Report -- “Aligning K-12 and Postsecondary Career Pathways with Workforce Needs”
From the Education Commission of the States
Since 2013, states have witnessed significant legislative activity related to secondary- and postsecondary-level career/technical education (CTE). One key goal of much recent policymaking activity has been to improve alignment between high school and postsecondary CTE programs, including by developing state or regional structures to design career pathways that prepare students for high-skill, high-demand jobs.
This report provides a first look at state policymaking activity in 13 states. Policy activity summarized here:
(1) establishes a process for educators and employers to convene and use workforce data to set priorities, and
(2) sets forth strategies to enhance and scale up career pathways bridging K-12 and postsecondary, designed to prepare students for high-skill, high-demand jobs.
While not a comprehensive compilation of state policies addressing these issues, this review is intended to allow readers to determine whether policies have been adopted in these 13 states, and compare and contrast approaches.
HUD Publishes Revised Program Regulations for the Community Development Block Grant Program
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has published a November 12, 2015 rule that makes several changes to the existing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program regulations in order to better track the use of grant funds and improve accounting procedures in the program. Through this rule, HUD requires grantees to commence tracking the obligations and expenditures of funds for each specific fiscal year grant, rather than track such information cumulatively. In order to effectively implement this accounting change, changes are needed to the regulations applicable to affected grants, such as the program-specific regulations, consolidated plan regulations, and methods to calculate the cap on administrative and planning expenses. While amending these regulations to conform to and support this accounting practice in applicable regulations, HUD is also making certain grammatical and other technical corrections in those regulations.
The effective date is December 14, 2015.
Census Bureau Seeks Comment on Census Employment Inquiry; Proposes to Eliminate Questions on Various Background Information (Convictions, Imprisonment, Probation, or Parole)
The Census Bureau has announced it is seeking comment Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the BC-170A, BC-170B, and the BC-170D, Census Employment Inquiry, along with modifications to the paper form BC-170D and the implementation of an online job application process, which will collect the same information as presented on the BC-170D. Comments are due by January 11, 2016. Click here for the full notice.
The BC-170 is used to collect information such as personal data and work experience from job applicants. Selecting officials review the information shown on the form to evaluate an applicant's eligibility for employment and to determine the best qualified applicants to fill Census jobs.
The BC-170 is used throughout the census and intercensal periods for the special census, one time or recurring survey operations and other decennial pretests. The Census Bureau uses different versions of the BC-170 in various circumstances to collect appropriate data from applicants. Applicants completing the form BC-170D for a census related position are applying for temporary jobs in office and field positions (clerks, enumerators, recruiting assistants, supervisors) during the Decennial Census and Decennial Census Tests. In addition, the BC-170A may be used when applying for temporary/permanent office and field positions (clerks, field representatives, supervisors) on a recurring survey in one of the Census Bureau's six Regional Offices (ROs) throughout the United States. The Form BC-170B is used for special censuses for temporary field and office positions (enumerators, clerks, supervisors).
The use of this form is limited to only situations which require the establishment of a temporary office and/or involve special, one-time or recurring survey operations at one of the ROs. The form has been demonstrated to meet our recruitment needs for temporary workers and requires significantly less burden than the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Optional Forms that are available for use by the public when applying for Federal positions. There are no proposed changes to the BC-170A and BC-170B.
Specific changes to the BC-170D include:
- Adding a Prior Work Experience section to collect information about prior work experience.
- Deleting background information that was previously collected at the time of application such as -- convictions, imprisonment, probation, or parole in the last 7 years; convictions by a military court-martial in the past 7 years; current charges for any violation of the law; firings from any job for any reason, quitting after being told that you would be fired, leaving any job by mutual agreement because of specific problems, or debarred from Federal employment by the Office of Personnel Management or any other Federal agency during the past 5 years; and delinquency on any Federal debt.
- Creating an optional section on the form for questions which are needed for research and evaluation purposes but not necessary for selection purposes. The optional section will collect the applicant's level of education, how the applicant found out about the job, and the information to help determine whether applicants may be willing and/or able to use their personal smartphone for work.
- Adding questions to gain more detail about current Federal, State, Local, or Tribal government employment, which could pose a conflict of interest with census jobs.
- Adding categories to clarify the type of work that an applicant might be interested in.
- Clarifying and updating instructions on the cover pages of the form and item specific instructions, and the privacy act statement.
- Reformatting/rewording questions/items for clarification purposes.
- Formatting of questions for collection on a paper form and electronic online job application.
Department of Education Seeks Comment on Earnings Survey to Support Gainful Employment Program Evaluations
The Department of Education is seeking public comment by December 14, 2015 on a proposed new data collection -- Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) Standards and Survey Form.
Click here for the notice and instructions for the submission of comments.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is required by regulation to develop an earnings survey to support gainful employment (GE) program evaluations. The regulations specify that the Secretary of Education will publish in the Federal Register the survey and the standards required for its administration. NCES has developed the
Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) Standards and Survey Form. The RGEES can be used in a debt-to-earnings (D/E) ratio appeal under the GE regulations as an alternative to the Social Security administration earnings data.
Institutions that choose to submit alternate earnings appeal information will survey all Title IV funded students who graduated from GE programs during the same period that the Department used to calculate the D/E ratios, or a comparable period as defined in 668.406(b)(3) of the regulations. The survey will provide an additional source of earnings data for the Department to consider before determining final D/E ratios for programs subject to the gainful employment regulations. Programs with final D/E ratios that fail to meet the minimum threshold may face sanctions, including the possible loss of Title IV federal student financial aid program funds.
Department of Homeland Security Publishes 30-Day Notice for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) Cybersecurity Training and Education Catalog (Training/Workforce Development Catalog)
The Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity Education & Awareness Office (CE&A), will submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) -- National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) Cybersecurity Training and Education Catalog (Training/Workforce Development Catalog) -- to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DHS previously published this information collection request (ICR) in the September 2, 2015 FEDERAL REGISTER for a 60-day public comment period. No comments were received by DHS. The purpose of the November 13, 2015 notice is to allow additional 30-days for public comments.
Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until January 12, 2016. More ...
Federal Initiative Highlights Roles of Libraries in Immigrant Skill-Building
From the National Skills Coalition:
Participants in the federal Networks for Integrating New Americans technical assistance initiative gathered in Washington DC recently for a two-day convening. Joining the convening for its second day were members of the initiative's Technical Work Group, a group of advisors that includes National Skills Coalition Senior Policy Analyst Amanda Bergson-Shilcock.
The initiative is funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. It is led by World Education, Inc. and supported by partner organizations Community Science, IMPRINT, National Partnership for New Americans, Network Impact Inc., and Welcoming America.(Learn more about the initiative, and read the detailed Theoretical Framework (pdf) on immigrant integration that guides its work.)
The recent event highlighted the diverse approaches taken by the five local networks supported by the initiative. Each network is comprised of stakeholders in adult education, workforce development, and other fields who work to facilitate immigrants' linguistic, economic, and civic integration.
Libraries as Sites of Integration: Two Examples
Several of the networks' presentations at the recent convening shed light on how libraries can facilitate immigrant integration and skill-building. For example, WeRIN members are participating in the Adult Lifelong Learning (ALL) Access project, spearheaded by Rhode Island libraries and funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.
As part of ALL Access, local libraries now offer a "Learning Lounge" that allows adult learners to drop in (thus creating an on-ramp for participation even while prospective learners are on a waiting list for an adult education class). ALL Access also provides learners with one-on-one technology appointments with librarians, and offers computer skills certifications through library classes.
On the other side of the country, members of the White Center Promise Network are participating in The Big Read, a storytelling and civic engagement project coordinated by a host of partners including the King County (WA) Library System. Focusing on Ethiopian-American author Dinaw Mengestu's book The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, the project is offering dozens of activities for immigrant and US-born community members over a months-long period beginning in September 2015.
Perhaps the most notable: Teenage and adult immigrants have been trained as facilitators for community discussion groups. Armed with translated excerpts of Mengestu's book, newcomers are now fostering their fellow immigrants' civic engagement and literacy skills while improving their own public-speaking abilities.
A National Push
Looking beyond the local examples of WeRIN and White Center Promise Network, libraries' role in supporting access to skill-building and economic opportunity is receiving increasing attention at the federal level.
In 2013, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and US Citizenship and Immigrations Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The USCIS website now hosts a resource section specifically for libraries on citizenship.
Similarly, in 2014, the US Departments of Labor and Education collaborated with the IMLS on an article emphasizing opportunities for libraries in implementing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Soon after, the American Library Association hosted a webinar: $2.2 Billion Reasons Libraries Should Care about WIOA.
National Skills Coalition will continue to highlight emerging developments in this important arena.
New Report from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions: “Promising Practices in Young Adult Employment”
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions has released a new case study on innovative methods for connecting young adult workers to quality jobs in their communities' fastest growing industries. The report documents new findings developed through the National Fund’s Young Adult Initiative and details efforts developed and implemented by the Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance Collaborative (WFA).
The report, ";Promising Practices in Young Adult Employment: Hands-On Career Exploration," focuses on promising findings from two WFA programs. These programs were designed to expose high school students to promising careers in design, construction, and information technology. Drawing from these and similar programs, this report considers which program characteristics fostered success and how other cities can design similar initiatives.
December 10 Meeting: Leveraging Financial Education to Improve the Impact of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
The Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and New York - in partnership with Region 1 of the U.S. Department of Labor - have announced a December 10 conference focused on improving systems leading to enhanced financial behaviors and outcomes for youth and young adults.
Presenters will highlight how building the financial skills of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) youth can be part of a holistic approach to ensuring positive program outcomes. Conference participants will learn from financial education experts what a "financially capable" WIOA youth would look like and highlight initiatives, delivery models, tools and resources for workforce entities and Employment and Training Administration grantees to build successful programs and critical partnerships.
The goal of the conference is to share concrete tools, strategies and potential program models, and will include an opportunity to request additional technical assistance as participants consider program options. A strong emphasis will be placed on how to move from just increasing knowledge to changing behavior to increase not only financial skills, but also academic and workforce-readiness skills. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
ETA Announces New Adverse Effect Wage Rate for H-2A Foreign Workers in Herding or Production of Livestock on the Range
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has published a November 16 notice announcing the new Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) for the employment of temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H-2A workers) to perform herding or production of livestock on the range.
AEWRs are the minimum wage rates the Department has determined must be offered and paid by employers to H-2A workers and workers in corresponding employment so that the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers will not be adversely affected. In this notice, the Department announces the new AEWR for workers engaged in the herding or production of livestock on the range, as required by the methodology established in the Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Foreign Workers in the Herding or Production of Livestock on the Range in the United States.
President's Export Council to Meet on December 3; Public May Join Webcast; Agenda Scheduled to Include "Trade Agenda," "Workforce Readiness" and "Access to Capital for Microbusinesses and SMEs"
The President's Export Council will hold a December 3 meeting to deliberate on recommendations related to promoting the expansion of U.S. exports.
Topics may include: the Administration's trade agenda, Safe Harbor, infrastructure investment, workforce readiness, access to capital for microbusinesses and SMEs, and export control reform. The final agenda will be posted at least one week in advance of the meeting on the President's Export Council Web site at http://trade.gov/pec.
The meeting will be broadcast via live webcast on the Internet at http://whitehouse.gov/live beginning at 9:30 a.m (ET).
APLU Names Four Public Research Universities Winners of 2015 Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) this week has named winners of its fourth annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Awards. The winners - Clemson University, the University of Minnesota, Auburn University and the University of Maryland - competed in four different categories that recognize different components of economic engagement. The categories are talent, innovation, place and connections. The awards, which honor public universities actively engaged in and promoting regional economic development, were awarded on the final day of the APLU Annual Meeting now underway in Indianapolis, Indiana.
"Each of the four winners have demonstrated an institution-wide commitment to economic engagement and have delivered on that commitment by spurring economic development in their communities," said APLU President Peter McPherson. "APLU applauds their work and is happy to spotlight these universities as models of economic engagement."
2015 Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awardees:
- The Talent category winner, Clemson University, has fueled workforce development in the auto industry through partnerships with leading auto industry organizations, and through its University Professional Internship and Co-op Program helped nearly 850 students gain internship experience in a variety of fields, many connected to university faculty partnerships with business and industry.
- In the Innovation category, the University of Minnesota System took the prize for Minnesota's Discovery, Research, and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) initiative, which has helped catalyze the launch of a record 16 startups in 2015, bringing its total to 86 since 2006. The University of Minnesota also demonstrated how research and innovation are fueling entrepreneurship and building resilient communities.
- The Place category winner was Auburn University. The University's Rural Studio, established in 1993, provides hands-on experience in architectural education and at the same time improves living conditions in western rural Alabama. Auburn is also working to sustain its community by strengthening the live chicken production industry and by fostering the growth of the emergent oyster industry.
- The University of Maryland garnered the top award, in the Connections category. The university has partnered with Northrop Grumman to create the Advanced Cybersecurity Experiences for Students, cementing its place at the vanguard of one of the most strategically important fields of the 21st century. Through its Live, Learn, and Earn in Greater College Park initiative, the university is tying their leading talent development efforts to research and innovation, and to community building.
"APLU's Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity works closely with universities to advance their economic engagement efforts so they can achieve the greatest impact," said Jim Woodell, Vice President for Innovation & Technology Policy at APLU. "That's why we developed CICEP's Economic Engagement Framework, which provides tools for university self-assessment, metrics determination, and economic impact analysis. These tools serve as the basis for university efforts to achieve the APLU designation of "Innovation and Economic Prosperity University," and to compete for these awards."
There were six finalists for the 2015 IEP Awards. In addition to the four winners, finalists included the University of Illinois System and Ohio University.
Department of Education Proposes Revision of Information Collection in Support of “Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound”
The Study of Enhanced College Advising in Upward Bound will test the effectiveness of providing Upward Bound projects with a professional development package and tools to provide semi-customized college advising to students participating in Upward Bound. Upward Bound projects were invited to volunteer for the demonstration, and approximately 200 projects that volunteered for the demonstration are included. Volunteer projects will be randomly assigned so that half receive the staff training, materials, tools, and resources in the first wave (spring 2015), and the other half will receive the staff training, materials, tools, and resources in the second wave (summer and fall 2016).
The study will follow students who participate in both groups of projects as 11th graders in the 2014-2015 school year. The study will examine the impact of the demonstration on key outcomes including college application behavior, college acceptance and matriculation, and receipt of financial aid. The first of two ICRs for the study requested approval for the overall evaluation design, to collect 11th grade student rosters at each participating project and to administer the student baseline survey; the first ICR was approved on August 8, 2014. This is the second of two ICRs and requests approval for the remaining data collection activities, including a project survey, a follow-up student survey, and administrative records. Three reports will be produced, with one (expected 2017) reporting on the outcomes measures prior to high school graduation; a second (expected 2018) reporting on the results regarding actual college enrollment, college selectivity and use of Federal financial aid; and a third (expected 2020) reporting results regarding college persistence. The analyses will be both descriptive (distributions and means) and causal (using standard regression analyses to estimate impacts).
Click here for the full background and instructions for obtaining the collection and submitting comments.
Information Technology Sector: Launch of the Midwest Cyber Center of Excellence
The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois this week joined with partners from Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC), Webster University, The Aegis Strategies Foundation, and leaders from St. Clair County and Scott Air Force Base (AFB) to announce the launch of the Midwest Cyber Center of Excellence (MWCCOE).
The top priority of the MWCCOE is workforce development, first in relation to the growing cyber footprint at Scott Air Force Base, including the new Cyber Readiness Support Squadrons, but secondarily in relation to the many other cyber-intensive industries operating across the St. Louis region, such as finance, healthcare, government, etc. The Center also will work to raise public awareness of cyber security issues.
Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship: SBA Seeks Comment on "Business Development Program Application"
The 8(a) BD Program is designed to enhance the business development of small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same or similar line of business.
Historically, over 2,000 entrepreneurs apply for 8(a) BD Program certification each year. Each year approximately 1,500 applications are returned without processing or withdrawn because they are incomplete. In an effort to increase the 8(a) BD Program's accessibility to socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners, the Small Business Administration (SBA) seeks to reduce the information collection and forms. The reduced collection of information is based directly on the 8(a) Program eligibility criteria in 13 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 124. SBA believes this initiative will reduce the administrative paperwork burden for 8(a) applicants while maintaining the integrity of the 8(a) BD Program.
A November 17 FEDERAL REGISTER notice provides additional background and instructions for commenting on the application. Comments are due by January 19, 2016.
Healthcare Sector: HRSA Seeks Nomination for National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting nominations to fill vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP).
Specifically, HRSA is requesting nominations for voting members of the NACNEP representing leading authorities in the various fields of nursing, higher and secondary education, and associate degree schools of nursing; and from representatives of advanced education nursing groups (such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists); from hospitals and other institutions and organizations which provide nursing services; from practicing professional nurses; from the general public; and full-time students enrolled in schools of nursing. The majority of NACNEP members shall be nurses.
The agency will receive nominations on a continuous basis.
Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee to Hold Public Meeting on December 11
The Census Bureau has announced that the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee will hold a December 11 meeting.
The Committee advises the Directors of the Economics and Statistics Administration's (ESA) two statistical agencies, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Census Bureau, and the Commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on statistical methodology and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation, and analysis of federal economic statistics.
The meeting will be held at the U.S. Census Bureau Conference Center, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, MD 20746. The meeting will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. and adjourn approximately at 4:30 p.m.
The meeting is open to the public, and a brief period is set aside for public comments and questions. Persons with extensive questions or statements must submit them in writing at least three days before the meeting to the Designated Federal Official named above. If you plan to attend the meeting, please register by Tuesday, December 1, 2015. You may access the online registration form with the following link: https://www.regonline.com/fesac_december2015_meeting.
Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship: Federal Partnership (HUD, Treasury, CDFI Fund) Seek Comment on Proposed Reporting under the Indian Community Capital Initiative; USA.GOV Announces Availability of "Native One-Stop"
The Indian Community Capital Initiative (ICCI) is a collaborative effort among three federal agencies -- the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of the Treasury--Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), and the Department of Agriculture--Rural Development (USDA-RD). The ICCI's goal is to increase access to capital for business lending and economic development and entrepreneurship for Federally recognized Indian tribes.
HUD requests comments by January 19, 2016. Click here for full background and instructions for the submission of comments.
Copies of the forms -- SF 424; HUD 424CB; HUD 424-CBW; SF-LLL; HUD 2880; HUD 2990; HUD 2991; HUD 2993; HUD 2994A; HUD 27061; and HUD 27300 – can be obtained from Colette Pollard, Colette.Pollard@hud.gov
The overall ICCI programmatic contact is Thann Young at Thann.Young@hud.gov or 202-708-2290.
USA.gov has also recently advised:
Native Americans seeking information on a variety of topics now have a new tool, Native One Stop. Whether you are a Native American veteran who is looking for a home loan or a student looking for an educational grant, the site is a quick resource finder.
Department of Education Proposes Expansion of "Experimental Sites Initiative / Competency-Based Education Experiment"
The Department of Education today (November 18) has published a notice regarding the expansion of the Competency-Based Education Experiment to provide additional flexibility in how institutions provide Federal student aid to students who are enrolled in competency-based education programs, including providing waivers and modifications to statutory and regulatory requirements designed to support competency-based education programs that charge a flat fee for a period of time rather than charging by course or by competency.
The expansion of the Competency-Based Education experiment provides two additional sets of waivers that are available to both institutions currently approved for the experiment and institutions that may be approved based on their submission of a letter of interest.
Through a July 31, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER notice, the Secretary of Education invited postsecondary educational institutions that participate in the student financial assistance programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), to apply to participate in institutionally-based experiments, including the Competency-Based Education experiment, under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI).
Institutions that have not already received approval to participate in the Competency-Based Education experiment must submit a letter of interest following the instructions included in the November 18, 2015 notice.
Letters of interest must be received by the Department no later than January 19, 2016 in order for an institution to receive priority to be considered for participation in the experiment. Letters received after January 19, 2016 may still, at the discretion of the Secretary, be considered for participation.
NSF Seeks Re-clearance of Program Accountability Data Collections that Describes and Tracks Impact of Funding on STEM Education and Workforce; Office of Naval Research Announces STEM Funding Opportunity
The National Science Foundation announced on November 10 it is seeking re-clearance of program accountability data collections that describe and track the impact of NSF funding that focuses on the Nation''''s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and STEM workforce. NSF funds grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements to colleges, universities, and other eligible institutions, and provides graduate research fellowships to individuals in all parts of the United States and internationally. Click here for the full notice and instructions for the submission of comments.
The Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), a unit within NSF, promotes rigor and vitality within the Nation's STEM education enterprise to further the development of the 21st century's STEM workforce and public scientific literacy. EHR does this through diverse projects and programs that support research, extension, outreach, and hands-on activities that service STEM learning and research at all institutional (e.g., pre-school through postdoctoral) levels in formal and informal settings; and individuals of all ages (birth and beyond). EHR also focuses on broadening participation in STEM learning and careers among United States citizens, permanent residents, and nationals, particularly those individuals traditionally underemployed in the STEM research workforce, including but not limited to women, persons with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities.
The scope of this information collection request will primarily cover descriptive information gathered from education and training (E&T) projects that are funded by NSF. NSF will primarily use the data from this collection for program planning, management, and audit purposes to respond to queries from the Congress, the public, NSF's external merit reviewers who serve as advisors, including Committees of Visitors (COVs), the NSF's Office of the Inspector General, and as a basis for either internal or third-party evaluations of individual programs.
The collections will generally include three categories of descriptive data: (1) Staff and project participants (data that are also necessary to determine individual-level treatment and control groups for future third-party study or for internal evaluation); (2) project implementation characteristics (also necessary for future use to identify well-matched comparison groups); and (3) project outputs (necessary to measure baseline for pre- and post- NSF-funding-level impacts).
This information is required for effective administration, communication, program and project monitoring and evaluation, and for measuring attainment of NSF's program, project, and strategic goals, and as identified by the President's Accountability in Government Initiative; GPRA, and the NSF's Strategic Plan. The Foundation's FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan may be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14043/nsf14043.pdf.
Since this collection will primarily be used for accountability and evaluation purposes, including responding to queries from COVs and other scientific experts, a census rather than sampling design typically is necessary. At the individual project level funding can be adjusted based on individual project's responses to some of the surveys. Some data collected under this collection will serve as baseline data for separate research and evaluation studies.
NSF-funded contract or grantee researchers and internal or external evaluators in part may identify control, comparison, or treatment groups for NSF's E&T portfolio using some of the descriptive data gathered through this collection to conduct well-designed, rigorous research and portfolio evaluation studies.
The Office of Naval Research has announced it is seeking proposals for developing existing or innovative solutions that directly support the development and maintenance of a robust STEM workforce. The goal of any proposed effort should be to provide solutions that will establish and maintain a diverse pipeline of U.S. citizens who are interested in uniformed or civilian DoN (or Navy and Marine Corps) STEM related workforce opportunities.
While this announcement is relevant for any stage of the STEM pipeline, funding efforts will be targeted primarily towards the future DoN (naval) STEM workforce in High Schools, all categories of Post-Secondary institutions, the STEM research enterprise, and efforts that enhance the current naval STEM workforce and its mission readiness. Efforts may encompass a spectrum of project sizes from exploratory pilots to large-scale regional or national initiatives. The technical content of any idea must establish naval relevance within the broad scope of key engineering and scientific areas as outlined in the Naval S&T Strategic Plan, or such as our National Naval Responsibilities (see ONR website), or any identified gaps in workforce needs.
Specific audience priority areas may include, but not be limited to, military dependent children, education systems integral to the naval science and technology enterprise, and veteran initiatives that improve education outcomes and connections to naval STEM careers.
While not a formal requirement or program focus of this FOA, applicants are strongly encouraged to consider under-represented populations including women and minorities in project plans.
Applicants are encouraged to understand the significant reorganization of STEM funding across the Federal government. Applicants seeking to improve general national STEM performance rather than a focus on Naval workforce needs, and particularly efforts aimed at the P/K-9 levels, are encouraged to seek funding from one of the designated lead agencies: The Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, or the Smithsonian Institution.
Additional information may be found on www.grants.gov (N00014-16-R-FO03).
EPA Awards Environmental Education Grants in 24 States, Puerto Rico, D.C.
On November 10, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the completion of the latest round of awards under the Environmental Education (EE) Grants Program.
Projects include a community-based program to study Monarch butterflies, a watershed and stream monitoring teacher training program, a classroom-based simulation of the United Nations Climate Summit, and a mobile laboratory. Additional projects include school-based, after-school and non-formal EE programs focusing on a range of environmental issues, from air quality to recycling.
The agency funded 35 grants from across the country, ranging from $40,000 to $192,200, for a total of approximately $3.3 million.
Grant recipients include organizations in 24 states as well as from Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia
Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 million and $3.5 million in grant funding per year, for a total of approximately $65.5 million supporting more than 3,600 grant projects.
This year, EPA distributed two types of grants under the EE Grants Program. Projects awarded under the Model Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) are intended to serve as model, replicable projects; each project will be implemented in at least two states. Local Grant awards fund locally focused EE projects. EPA anticipates issuing a new RFP for Local Grants in the winter of 2015-2016.
The grantees were selected from more than 400 applications received in February and March of this year. This longstanding, highly competitive grants program supports EE projects that increase public awareness about environmental issues and provide participants with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods or techniques.
For more information on the new awardees and on how to apply for future EE grant competitions, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants
Department of Labor Publishes Thirty-Day Notice on "Distribution of Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed"
The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, "Distribution of Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed," to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use, without change, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
The OMB will consider all written comments received by December 7, 2015.
The "Distribution of Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed" (Form ETA-203) information collection that provides a once a month snapshot of the demographic composition of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimant population. This report is the only source of current and consistent demographic information (age, race/ethnicity, sex, occupation, industry) on the UI claimant population. These characteristics identify important claimant cohorts for legislative, economic and social planning purposes, and evaluation of the UI program on the Federal and State levels.
Economic Innovation Group Releases Beta Version of 'Distressed Communities Index" Online Dashboard
The Economic Innovation Group has recently released the beta version of its Distressed Communities Index (DCI) online dashboard - an interactive visualization of economic conditions in zip codes, counties, cities, and states throughout the United States.
From EIG's announcement:
The DCI was designed to provide a simple way to identify and evaluate distressed communities around the country, as well as to understand key economic challenges on a local and regional level. Good data is essential for good public policy; we want this data in the hands of those working to drive economic growth in areas that need it most - policymakers, academics, entrepreneurs, and Americans of every background who care about their communities. We hope the DCI draws new attention to the need for investment, entrepreneurship, and economic growth to provide opportunity for millions of Americans trapped in struggling regions of the country.
How? The DCI was built using data from more than 25,000 zip codes (those with populations over 500 people). In all, it covers 244 million Americans - 99 percent of those over the age of 16. Each zip code is given a distress score based upon the ranking of seven economic indicators: educational attainment, housing vacancy, unemployment rate, poverty rate, median income, change in employment, and change in business establishments. There is an infographic below that ranks the top and bottom cities for each indicator. Users can identify how a target geography performs in those seven metrics and compare it to other communities throughout the country. The result is a first-of-its-kind interactive "heat map" of distress and prosperity.
The Index is organized below in tabs, each providing a different view of the data. Some tabs allow you to drill deeper into a geographic area. For example, if you click on the bubble representing Detroit in the "Cites" tab, you will be taken to a map of that city where you can explore pockets of distress by zip code. And if you click on Nevada in the "States and Counties" tab, you can get more information for a specific county in that state.
What's Next? In the coming months, we'll continue to refine the dashboard and update the DCI with new data as it becomes available. In the meantime, take a minute to try out the dashboard for yourself and send us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can share the DCI on social media using our Twitter handle @innovateeconomy and #EIGIndex.
National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Hold Public Meeting on December 3-4
The Department of Commerce has announced that the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2015, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) and Friday, December 4, 2015, 8:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET.
The meeting will take place at Google, Inc., 25 Massachusetts Ave NW., #900, Washington, DC 20001.
- Thursday, December 3, 2015
- Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
- Friday, December 4, 2015
- Time: 8:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET
- Dial-In: 1-800-369-1986
- Passcode: 3758910
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the Council's planned work initiatives in three focus areas: Workforce/talent, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The final agenda will be posted on the NACIE Web site at http://www.eda.gov/oie/nacie/ prior to the meeting.
Department of Labor Publishes Thirty-Day Notice for "Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Activity" Information Collection
The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, "Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Activity," to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use, without change, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
This ICR seeks to extend PRA authority for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Activity information collection that comprises the Unemployment Trust Fund (UTF) management reports. These reports assure that UTF contributions collected are immediately paid over to the Secretary of the Treasury. The reports also assure that expenditure of all money withdrawn from the unemployment fund of a State is used exclusively for the payment of benefits, exclusive of refund.
OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before December 7, 2015.
Office of Science and Technology Policy Issues RFI to Identify Sources of Agricultural Innovation; Inquiry Addresses STEM, Education, and Workforce Preparation
The Office of Science and Technology Policy has recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) is to discover new ideas that will spur innovation in agriculture and food systems and raise the profile of agricultural research. According to recent projections from The United Nations, the global population could reach 9.15 billion people by 2050. In the future, to meet the demand for food and other plant-derived products from a global population of this size, an increase of global agriculture production by as much as 70 percent will be required. More than four-fifths of the necessary production gains will need to occur on existing agricultural land through sustainable intensification that makes effective use of land and water resources.
OSTP specifically seeks information about programs, public or private, that are actively working to innovate agricultural science, as well as areas of need in research, education, and training. Input is sought from biological and agricultural stakeholders, including researchers in academia and industry, non-governmental organizations, scientific and professional societies, and other interested members of the public.
Respondents may wish to address the following questions with regard to the future of agriculture and food systems:
- Over the next ten years, what are the most important research gaps that must be addressed to advance agricultural innovation?
- What interdisciplinary agriculture and food programs successfully impact agricultural innovation?
- What elementary, middle, and high school outreach programs are successful examples of introducing students to agricultural careers, and what are examples of effective ways to introduce agriculture to suburban and urban students interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)?
- How can colleges and universities recruit STEM undergraduates into agricultural disciplines? What effect, if any, do introductory courses that engage students in discovery-based research have for this purpose?
- What resources are fundamental to addressing agricultural research needs?
- What further training is needed among agricultural professionals to take advantage of advances in agriculture research?
- Is there any additional information, not requested above, that you believe OSTP should consider in identifying crucial areas of agricultural research?
Responses must be received by December 4, 2015 to be considered. Click here for the RFI.
Department of Education Publishes Formal Notice Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions to Participate under the "Experimental Sites Initiative"
The Department of Education today published the formal notice inviting postsecondary educational institutions to participate in experiments under the "Experimental Sites Initiative."
Under the ESI, the Secretary has authority to grant waivers from certain title IV, HEA statutory or regulatory requirements to allow a limited number of institutions to participate in experiments to test alternative methods for administering the title IV, HEA programs. ESI experiments are designed to facilitate efforts by institutions to explore particular innovative practices aimed at improving student outcomes, the delivery of services, or both.
Under this experiment, participating institutions will be provided a waiver of the specific statutory and regulatory provisions that prevent students who are enrolled in secondary school from receiving Federal Pell Grants for enrollment in title IV-eligible postsecondary programs.
Letters of interest to participate in the experiment described in this notice must be received by the Department no later than February 1, 2016 in order for the institution to ensure that it is considered for participation in the experiment. Institutions submitting letters that are received after February 1, 2016 may still be considered for participation, at the discretion of the Secretary.
Letters of interest must be submitted by electronic mail to the following email address: email@example.com .
The contact is Warren Farr at (202) 377-4380 or by email at: Warren.Farr@ed.gov. .
Career Pathways: Creating a Pipeline to Employment for Young Adults
Kristin Abner, Ph.D., is a manager at ICF International where she works on technical assistance and research projects relating to child poverty, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and work force programs. Christina Techico, M.A, is a principal at ICF International where she manages projects related to work force development, social service programs, youth development and education reform efforts, primarily for the U.S. departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. The authors examine “ Career Pathways: Creating a Pipleine to Employment for Young Adults " in a recent essay on Youth Today.
HUD Publishes FY 2015 Juvenile Re-Entry Assistance Program NOFA
From the Department of Housing and Urban Development
This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) announces the availability of approximately $1.75 million for the Juvenile Re-entry Assistance Program (JRAP) to support successful transition to the community by reducing barriers to public housing, employment, and/or educational opportunities. This NOFA provides funding for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) who have established a partnership with a legal aid organization, university legal center, public defender's office, or other legal service organization that is a non-profit and has experience providing legal services to juveniles (including expungement and/or sealing the juvenile and/or adult criminal records) for 1) current public housing resident youth up to 24 years old who have a criminal record and/or 2) former household members (who are youth up to 24 years old) of current public housing residents who, but for their criminal record, would be living in public housing. These services must be in accordance with state law. In this program, expunging/sealing/correcting is not allowed for criminal records of makers of methamphetamine on public housing property, for criminal records of sex offenders on the lifetime sex offender registry, and for criminal records where the crime was domestic violence or a Part I Violent Crime (defined in Section I.A.3). Further, other services eligible under this program are prohibited for individuals who were convicted of the same criminal violations listed in the NOFA.
The deadline for applications is January 4, 2016.
Unemployment Insurance: Department of Labor Publishes Thirty-Day Notice Regarding Revision of 'Resource Justification Model"
The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) revision titled, ``Resource Justification Model,'' to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for use in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995.
The Office of Management and Budget will consider all written comments received before November 30, 2015.
This information collection request seeks approval under the PRA for revisions to the Resource Justification Model (RJM) information collection the ETA uses to collect actual unemployment insurance administrative cost data from a State's accounting records and projected expenditures for upcoming years. A State uses the RJM to submit detailed cost data electronically in a structured format (spreadsheet file). The information specifies salary and benefit rates, workloads, processing times, and non-personal services costs. The ETA uses RJM data to inform administrative funding allocations. ETA regional office data review and validation is also an important RJM component. This information collection has been classified as a revision, because of three (3) changes: (A) Reduced the number of categories of existing Non-Personal Services categories from eight (8) to three (3): (IT/Communications, Non IT and Personal Service Contracts); (B) discontinued the requirement to submit hard copy note books containing the supporting documentation; and (C) added a requirement to the breakout of Personal Services/Personal Benefits of IT expenditures.
SSA Extends Comment Period on APRM: Vocational Factors of Age, Education and Work Experience in the Adult Disability Determination
The Social Security Administration published a September 14 advanced notice of rulemaking regarding Vocational Factors of Age, Education, and Work Experience in the Adult Disability Determination Process and solicited public comments. SSA provided a 60-day comment period ending on November 13, 2015. SSA has recently announced t is extending the comment period to December 14, 2015, noting:
"the extension of the comment date accommodates and facilitates public comments we expect in response to the National Disability Forum we are sponsoring on Friday, November 20, 2015. During the forum, we are hosting a moderator-led discussion entitled: The Realities of Work for Individuals with Disabilities: Impact of Age, Education, and Work Experience.”
EDA Grant to Continue "Statsmerica.org" Website for Economic Development Practitioners, Planners and Researchers
October 28 Advisory from the University of Indiana
The Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business has been awarded a grant of nearly half a million dollars from the Economic Development Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The $499,977 grant will support further development of the center’s popular StatsAmerica.org website, which is used by economic development practitioners, planners and researchers nationwide.
The new two-year Economic Development Administration grant will enable the IBRC to maintain and expand the StatsAmerica.org databases and website, as well as develop a new digital resource library to provide economic development professionals convenient access to important reports, planning guidelines, best practices and related materials essential to effective economic development programs.
“We originally developed StatsAmerica as a robust and convenient information resource for use by economic development professionals,” said Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center. “Over time, it has become one of the most widely used sources of detailed data for every county in the nation, including demographic, workforce and economic statistics.
Conover added that the site also features interactive tools offering users insight into the kinds of industries and occupations that are most important to their regions.
"StatsAmerica brings a powerful suite of data tools to the fingertips of economic developers and policy-makers across the nation,” said Bryan Borlik, director of performance and national programs at the U.S. Economic Development Administration. “The information it provides is critical to developing sound economic development strategy and policy, and EDA is proud of its partnership with Indiana Business Research Center to support the site.”
One such tool is the Innovation Index, created by the IBRC to diagnose a region’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to innovation-driven economic activity.
"The first version of the Innovation Index provided users relevant data and analytical tools for economic practitioners and policy-makers to see and understand a region's weaknesses, strengths and potential," said Timothy Slaper, the center’s director of economic analysis, who led the index’s development.
In the latest stage of the Innovation Index’s development, it has been expanded to include more than 50 new measures of innovation and economic performance.
"The new measures reflect practitioner thinking and recent academic research on understanding and measuring innovation," Slaper said. "For example, the new version of the Innovation Index includes measures that take into account regional knowledge spillovers, technology diffusion, foreign direct investment and industry cluster performance."
One user is the I-69 Innovation Corridor regional initiative, an 11-county effort to spur innovation-driven economic growth in southwestern Indiana. I-69 Innovation Corridor efforts led by the University of Southern Indiana leveraged StatsAmerica’s Innovation Index in helping regional stakeholders understand the opportunities and challenges they face in propelling economic growth.
This project won an Award of Excellence recently at the University Economic Development Association's annual conference.
"It is exciting to consider that Version 2.0, with more robust and comprehensive innovation data, will be used to accelerate economic performance in southwest Indiana," Slaper said.
StatsAmerica also received the Award of Excellence for Websites at the annual meeting of the Association for University Business and Economic Research.
SBA Seeks Comment on Information Collection in Support of "Emerging Leaders Initiative"; Outlines Performance Monitoring Activities; Plan Measures of Job Creation and Economic Outcomes
The Small Business Administration’s "Emerging Leaders Initiative" aims to assist established small businesses located in historically challenged communities with increasing their sustainability, attracting outside investment, and strengthening each community's economic base by creating jobs and providing valuable goods and services.
These objectives are pursued by offering eligible business executives a 7-month intensive course focused on the skills essential to develop their companies, expand their resource networks, and increase their confidence and motivation. The course is designed to be hands-on and is composed of classroom sessions, out-of-class preparation work, and executive mentoring groups where participants can discuss their challenges. A broad range of topics is covered in the curriculum, including financial measures of business health, strategies for marketing, access to funding, and employee management and recruitment.
SBA plans to conduct annual performance-monitoring activities to assess the short- and intermediate-term outcomes of participants in the Emerging Leaders Initiative. The broad outcomes assessed will include satisfaction, changes in management behavior, and changes in economic outcomes, such as loans obtained and jobs created. Specifically, SBA plans to implement three instruments with the participants in each cohort: an intake assessment form at the start of the program to document baseline conditions, a satisfaction-oriented feedback form at the end of the program, and an annual outcome-oriented survey for 3 years after program completion. The latter instrument will document changes in key outcomes over a longer period, because job growth, revenue growth, profitability, and other economic outcomes of program participation are expected to manifest in the intermediate and long terms.
SBA is seeking public comment by December 29. More …
NSF Announces Funding Opportunity under 'Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications'
In 2012, the Administration announced the National Big Data Research and Development Initiative to address some of the Nation''s most pressing R&D challenges in extracting knowledge and insights from large, complex collections of digital data. To this end, NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) initiated the National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs) program to foster multi-sector collaborations among academia, industry, and government. Four BD Hubs have been established, one each in the Midwest, Northeast, South, and West regions of the country. The BD Hubs are expected to serve a convening and coordinating role-helping to bring together a wide range of Big Data stakeholders in order to connect solution seekers with solution providers.
The National Science Foundation has announced a Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications (BD Spokes) solicitation to extend the BD Hubs network by establishing multi-institutional and multi-sector collaborations (i.e., across academia, industry, government, non-profits, etc.) focused on topics of specific interest to a given region, which build upon the capabilities and strengths of said region.
Working in concert with the corresponding regional BD Hub, a BD Spoke would work on a particular topic that requires Big Data approaches and solutions. Each BD Spoke would function similar to a BD Hub-in that it will take on a convening and coordinating roll as opposed to primarily carrying out research-but with a narrower and goal-driven scope. The set of activities managed by a BD Spoke would ensure that progress is made toward providing solutions in the chosen topic area, including, for example, gathering important stakeholders via forums, meetings, workshops, etc.; engaging with end users and solution providers via competitions, community challenges, etc.; and forming multi-disciplinary teams to tackle questions no single field can solve alone. The regional BD Hub Steering Committee will provide general guidance to the BD Spoke and assist the BD Spoke in coordinating with the national BD Hub network, other BD Spokes, and the broader innovation ecosystem.
The Big Data activities of a BD Spoke will be guided by the following broad themes:
- Accelerating progress towards addressing societal grand challenges relevant to regional and national priority areas;
- Helping automate the Big Data lifecycle; and
Enabling access to and increasing use of important and valuable available data assets, also including international data sets, where relevant.
This solicitation covers one aspect of NSF's overall Big Data R&D portfolio, which includes: research; infrastructure development and provisioning; education and workforce development; and community engagement. Prior to preparing a proposal in response to this or any other Big Data-related solicitation, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the solicitation requirements and consult with cognizant NSF program officers to determine appropriateness of fit. For example, this solicitation funds the formation of BD Spokes, as well as planning grants for future BD Spokes proposals, which will primarily carry out collaboration and partnership building activities, and will require a topical and collaborative linkage with a specific BD Hub. This solicitation is not meant to fund proposals where fundamental research is the primary activity. All proposals to this solicitation must include a letter of collaboration from a BD Hub coordinating institution.
Proposals may only be submitted by the following: Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.
Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.
State and Local Governments: State educational offices or organizations and local school districts.
Letters of Intent due by January 12, 2015. Proposals due by February 25, 2015.
NIST Seeks Comment on 'Cybersecurity Practice Guide-IT Asset Management'
From the National Institute of Standards and Technology
We are excited to announce release of our latest NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide, " IT Asset Management " for the Financial Services sector. The document is a draft, and we welcome your comments and feedback.
Financial institutions deploy a wide array of information technology devices, systems, and applications across a wide geographic area. While these physical assets can be labeled and tracked using bar codes and databases, understanding and controlling the cybersecurity resilience of those systems and applications is a much larger challenge. Not being able to track the location and configuration of networked devices and software can leave an organization vulnerable to security threats. Additionally, many financial organizations include subsidiaries, branches, third-party partners, and contractors as well as temporary workers and guests; tracking and managing hardware and software across these groups adds another layer of complexity.
To address this cybersecurity challenge, NCCoE security engineers developed an example solution that allows an organization to centrally monitor and gain deeper insight into their entire IT asset portfolio with an automated platform. Using open source and commercially available technologies, this example solution addresses questions such as "What operating systems are our laptops running?" and "Which devices are vulnerable to the latest threat?"
The example solution gives companies the ability to track, manage, and report on information assets throughout their entire life cycle. This can ultimately increase cybersecurity resilience by enhancing the visibility of assets, identifying vulnerable assets, enabling faster response to security alerts, revealing which applications are actually being used, and reducing help desk response times.
We look forward to receiving your comments on the draft guide—the approach, the architecture, and possible alternatives.
IREC Announces November 5 Webinar – "Explore New Solar Career Map: An Addition to Your Workforce Education Toolkit"
From the Interstate Renewable Energy Commission
The solar industry is adding jobs at a rate nearly 20-times faster than the overall economy,* offering an exciting range of opportunities for new and incumbent workers. And now there is an updated tool to help you find out more about this rapidly advancing and changing industry.
IREC's unique, newly enhanced Solar Career Map features the faces and information behind the expanding universe of solar-energy occupations. It describes diverse jobs across the industry, charting possible progression between them, and identifies the types of experience and credentials necessary to do them well. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative through the Solar Instructor Training Network.
A complimentary IREC webinar, November 5, 2:30-4pm ET, introduces the Solar Career Map for those who deliver clean energy training, are involved in workforce development, already work in the industry, or are interested in working in solar.
Designed to demonstrate the breadth of our industry and its critical occupations, as well as the necessity for integrated solar training in a variety of related fields, the Solar Career Map emerged from a simple vision: high-quality work and high-quality jobs are the key to building a robust, high-quality solar industry. After attending, you will understand how to:
• Access the Map's interactive features, including 40 jobs in 4 sectors and how they are related. • Apply ideas about how you can leverage the map to make your work more effective. • Use the map as a 'conversation starter' with internal and external audiences.
The IREC Team will answer your questions, submitted in advance or during the webinar, as time allows.
Register for the webinar
Availability of a New Volume – Smarter Government for Social Impact: A New Mindset for Better Outcomes
An October 29 advisory from Sonal Shah, Executive Director Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Georgetown University
It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the launch of our latest publication, Smarter Government for Social Impact: A New Mindset for Better Outcomes , co-authored by our good friend and colleague Jim Shelton, Chief Impact Officer at 2U and the former Deputy Secretary of Education of the United States.
Yesterday, we had the honor of presenting the publication’s key recommendations for transforming government to a group of cross-sector leaders and government officials at a White House convening, “A New Paradigm for Government: Adopting an Outcomes Mindset,” hosted by the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Smarter Government for Social Impact is the second publication in the Beeck Center’s Better Outcomes Series, building off the findings in our first publication Funding for Results: How Governments Can Pay for Outcomes . Our latest paper offers strategies for transforming the public sector and shifting billions of dollars in public spending to incentivize and pay for policies and programs that deliver impact. You can download and read the full report here.
As evidenced by yesterday’s robust White House discussion, this is a critical conversation that we need to continue and carry to other sectors. To that end, we are pleased to announce several new efforts for 2016 to move the conversation from thinking about how to transform the public sector to doing the hard work for implementing systems change: • Launch of the Beeck Center’s Innovation Roundtable: Beginning in 2016, we will convene a quarterly Innovation Roundtable of multi-sector leaders to accelerate strategies for embedding innovation in systems and transforming the delivery of social services.
• Development of an Impact Taxonomy: Working with members of the Innovation Roundtable, we will produce a new impact taxonomy to help policymakers understand where they can achieve reforms to realize both fiscal and social impact.
• The Next Step in our Better Outcomes Series: Our next publication in the Better Outcomes series will more closely examine the opportunity and role of data to transform the public sector.
We hope you enjoy reading our latest publication, and we look forward to collaborating with all of you as we continue to #DriveImpact in 2016.
National Skills Coalition Releases Sector Partnership Policy Toolkit; Announces November 3 Webinar
The National Skills Coalition (NSC) has released a new toolkit to help states develop or expand policies that support local sector partnerships.
The toolkit is a companion piece to our recent 50-state scan , which identifies 21 states with sector partnership policies in place.
Please join us for a webinar on November 3. NSC will share tips for creating robust state sector partnership policies, and our partners in the field will share lessons learned from sector partnership policy in their states.
Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Time: 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. ET
Host: Bryan Wilson, State Policy Director, National Skills Coalition
Speakers: • Brooke DeRenzis, Senior State Policy Analyst, National Skills Coalition • Nancy Snyder, President, Commonwealth Corporation • Emily Templin Lesh, Assistant Director, Policy and Industry Partnerships, Colorado Workforce Development Council • Kerrie Carte Planning & Development Coordinator at WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc.
November 19 Webinar: Using Real-Time Data to Define WIOA In-Demand Occupations and Industries
The Council for Community and Economic Research and the LMI Institute have announced a free November 19 webinar – Using Real-Time Data to Define WIOA In-Demand Occupations and Industries.
This webinar by Geographic Solution staff will focus on understanding how traditional and real-time labor market statistics can be used to identify occupations and industries in demand and their current labor market conditions. Using the Americas Labor Market Analyzer (ALMA) tool, this session will demonstrate how staff can utilize personalized dashboards and widgets to gain one-click access to vital statistics as well as robust mapping and graphing tools. ALMA simplifies the process of analyzing labor markets across state lines by showing side-by-side comparisons for multiple labor market data sets corresponding to relevant time periods, various geographic areas, occupations, industries, and other key parameters.
Census Bureau Announces Plans to Streamline American Community Survey Summary Tables
The Bureau of Census has announced its plans to streamline the production and release of American Community Survey (ACS) Summary Level 070 tables state/county/county subdivision/place remainder (or part)) to the 15 tables necessary for the delineation of metropolitan, micropolitan, and related statistical areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The ACS collects detailed demographic, social, economic, and housing data from about 3.5 million addresses in the United States and 36,000 in Puerto Rico each year. Annual data products are released in the form of 1-Year and 5-Year estimates with 5-Year estimates being produced for over 578,000 geographies by 87 different summary levels. Most summary levels and their corresponding geographies are then produced for approximately 1,000 detailed tables.
As a cost-saving measure and to improve the usability of the estimates, the Census Bureau has decided to streamline the production and release of Summary Level 070 tables to the 15 tables necessary for delineation. Based on data user analytics, customer feedback, and responses from an June 5, 2015 FEDERAL REGISTER notice soliciting comments on the streamlining of the summary level, the Bureau believes that the streamlining of this summary level will not have a significant impact to our data users. Therefore, beginning in December 2015, the Census Bureau will be tabulating and releasing only those 15 tables for Summary Level 070 that are necessary for the delineation of metropolitan, micropolitan, and related statistical areas (particularly for identification of New England City and Town Area principal cities), commuting analysis, and basic demographic and housing analysis.
The 15 tables available for Summary Level 070 include: 1. B01001--Sex by Age 2. B01003--Total Population 3. B02001--Race 4. B08007--Sex of Workers by Place of Work--State and County Level 5. B08008--Sex of Workers by Place of Work--Place Level 6. B08009--Sex of Workers by Place of Work--Minor Civil Division Level for 12 Selected States (CT, ME, MA, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WI) 7. B08301--Means of Transportation to Work 8. B08302--Time Leaving Home to Go to Work 9. B08303--Travel Time to Work 10. B08601--Means of Transportation to Work for Workplace Geography 11. B08602--Time Arriving at Work from Home for Workplace Geography 12. B08603--Travel Time to Work for Workplace Geography 13. B08604--Worker Population for Workplace Geography 14. B25001--Housing Units 15. B25003—Tenure
If additional estimates are needed from this summary level, data users are encouraged to use block group or tract-level data, which will continue to be available on American FactFinder, the Census Application Programming Interface (API), and the summary files on the FTP site. Data are available at: http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.
NIST Seeks Interest from Technology Providers to Participate in "National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence"; OMB Issues SAP on S. 754 (Cybersecurity Sharing Act of 2015); St. Louis Region Launches "Midwest Cyber Center of Excellence"
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a new data collection -- National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) Participant Letter(s) of Interest (LoI).
Technology providers having an interest in participating in an announced project are invited to submit Letters of Interest in participation. NIST provides a LoI template to technology providers that express a desire to participate in a project.
A copy of the information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395-5806. Comments are due by November 26
The Office of Management has posted an October 22 Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) regarding the Senate Bill 754 (Cybersecurity Sharing Act of 2015).
Metro-east leaders took a big step toward addressing the soaring need for cyber-security workers around the St. Louis region by announcing Tuesday morning the launch of the Midwest Cyber Center of Excellence.
The center will serve the needs of undergraduate students, industry professionals and government and private sector employers, whose demand for cyber-security workers continues to surge annually in lockstep with the evolving nature and complexity hacker threats from around the globe. The center’s co-founders are Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, Southwestern Illinois College and Webster University, as well as partners Aegis Strategies Foundation, St. Clair County and nearby Scott Air Force Base. More …