Topics Of Interest
National Center for Education Statistics Seeks Comments on Survey Program; Plans to Include “Adult Training and Education Survey” after Long Absence
The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NHES is NCES's principal mechanism for addressing education topics appropriate for households rather than establishments. Such topics cover a wide range of issues, including early childhood care and education, children's readiness for school, parent perceptions of school safety and discipline, before- and after-school activities of school-age children, participation in adult education and training, parent involvement in education, school choice, homeschooling, and civic involvement.
NCES has published recently posted a notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER the seeking public comment by June 12 on the NHES.
The NHES consists of a series of rotating surveys using a two-stage design in which a household screener collects household membership and key characteristics for sampling and then appropriate topical survey(s) are mailed to sample members. Data from the NHES are used to provide national cross-sectional estimates on populations of special interest to education researchers and policymakers. NHES surveys were conducted approximately every other year from 1991 through 2007 using random digit dial (RDD) methodology; beginning in 2012 NHES began collecting data by mail to improve response rates.
This submission seeks clearance to conduct NHES:2016, which will repeat the child topical surveys conducted in 2012: the
Parent and Family Involvement in Education (PFI) and the Early Childhood Program Participation (ECPP), and will include the first adult topical survey in NHES since 2005, the Adult Training and Education Survey (ATES). The adult survey was developed in conjunction with the Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA) and was pilot tested in the 2014 NHES Feasibility Study.
Appalachian Regional Commission to Hold "Listening Sessions" in May and June
The Appalachian Regional Commission is holding a series of "listening sessions" in Appalachia as it develops a new strategic plan to guide the Commission?s economic and community development efforts over the next five years. These sessions will help ARC develop a deeper understanding of emerging opportunities, challenges, and issues in communities across the Region.
ARC hopes to hear from a broad range of community members, including citizens, local leaders, students, and representatives of private, public, and nonprofit organizations. Please join us at one of these sessions to share your ideas and vision for your community.
There is no cost to attend the listening sessions, but registration is required. Each session will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
Listening sessions will be held at these locations:
- Forest City, North Carolina: Friday, May 15
Carolina Event and Conference Center , 374 Hudlow Road
- Starkville, Mississippi: Thursday, May 21
Hunter Henry Center at Mississippi State University, 1 Hunter Henry Boulevard
- Morehead, Kentucky: Thursday, June 4
Morehead Conference Center, 111 East 1st Street
- Altoona, Pennsylvania: Thursday, June 11
Blair County Convention Center, One Convention Center Drive
- Morgantown, West Virginia: Tuesday, June 16
Morgantown Event Center, Three Waterfront Place
See a preliminary agenda for the listening sessions.
REGISTER to attend a session.
ETA Issues Program Year 2015 Planning Instructions and Allotments for Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) Grantees
The Employment and Training Administration has published Program Year planning instructions and allotments for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP Grantees) Training and Employment Guidance Letter 25-14 contains the instructions and allotments.
|Funding Allocations and Authorized Positions||Program Narrative||Budget Narrative|
|Programmatic Assurances||Optional Special Requests||List of FPOs|
April 30 Webinar: Tools for Skills-Focused SNAP E&T Programs
The National Skills Coalition has provided an advisory about an upcoming webinar: Tools for Skills-Focused SNAP E&T Program Thursday, April 30 (1:00 – 2:15 p.m. EDT) States can use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) to help participants build skills, grow their earnings, and remove barriers to work. Join National Skills Coalition for a webinar on how states can use SNAP E&T formula funds and 50 percent reimbursement grants to provide education, training, and supportive services to SNAP participants. The webinar will also discuss how states can use data to strengthen their SNAP E&T programs.
Panelists: Rachel Gragg, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services David Kaz, Seattle Jobs Initiative Steve Ovel, Kirkwood Community College Rachel Zinn, Workforce Data Quality Campaign Moderator: Brooke DeRenzis, National Skills Coalition
Department of Education Releases "Ed Tech Developer's Guide"
The Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology has recently released a 66-page guide that with an objective to inform the ed-tech industry about the most pressing challenges schools face, encourage a school-centered design process, and offer help navigating the complex regulatory and bureaucratic landscape that developers face when trying to get their products into schools."
The Office of Educational Technology created this guide to assist you in gaining specialized knowledge about the education ecosystem that experienced developers have taken years to learn. Crowd-sourced from knowledgeable educators, developers, and researchers who were willing to share what they have learned, this guide is designed to help you apply technology in smart ways to solve persistent problems in education.
It is our hope that this guide will answer key questions and highlight critical needs as you explore opportunities to develop digital tools and apps for learning.
The demand for high-quality educational apps is increasing as communities become more connected, devices become more affordable, and teachers and parents are looking for new ways to use technology to engage students. Yet, many existing solutions don’t address the most urgent needs in education. Opportunities abound for software designers and developers to create impactful tools for teachers, school leaders, students, and their families.
Creating apps and tools for education is different from other fields. A variety of federal, state, and local policies may shape the features you choose to include, and you will need to address some unique questions along the way. The aim of this guide is to help you navigate these complexities.
The guide provides basic information about districts, schools, teachers, and students. In addition, it will help you consider questions affecting design and logistics: Do teachers have the training to use your app in the right way? How do privacy and accessibilty laws intersect with the features you want to include? Who makes the decision to purchase your tool, and how long does purchasing take? Can your app be equally effective at school and home? What features are most important to parents?
Developers and entrepreneurs who choose to apply their talents to build tools for learning have the ability to help transform education in America and exponentially increase opportunities for all students.
I hope this guide will help you do that.
Looking forward to seeing your solutions!
New Study: "The Economy Goes to College: The Hidden Promise of Higher Education in the Post-Industrial Service Economy"
College-educated workers make up only 32 percent of the workforce but now produce more than 50 percent of the nation’s economic output, up from 13 percent in 1967, according to a detailed historical analysis of industry data by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. The dramatic increase in the economic value generated by college-educated workers is directly linked to the rise of a college-educated service economy. The Georgetown study finds that the mass production of standardized goods and services has been replaced by more complex consumer demands that include quality, variety, customization, convenience, production speed, innovation, and novelty. College-educated workers and flexible technologies have allowed the United States to achieve this rich mix of economic value at reasonable prices.
|April 13 News Release||Executive Summary||Full Report|
BLS Announces June 9 Meeting of Data Users Advisory Committee; Agenda Includes Discussion of New Products, Occupational Requirements Survey, and - 12 Webpages
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced that its Data Users Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday June 9, 2015. The meeting will be held in the Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, DC. The meeting will be held in Meeting Rooms 1, 2, and 3 of the Postal Square Building Conference Center
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 technical matters related to the collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of the Bureau's statistics, on its published reports, and on the broader aspects of its overall mission and function.
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Commissioner's welcome and review of agency developments
9:45 a.m. Ethics Briefing
10:15 a.m. New Data Products in OEUS (Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics) 11:15 a.m. Occupational Requirements Survey status and outputs
1:15 p.m. Chart packages with news releases
1:45 p.m. K-12 pages
2:30 p.m. New inputs to PPI industry indexes
3:45 p.m. Report on Stakeholders Surveys
4:45 p.m. Future topics and meeting wrap-up
The meeting is open to the public. Any questions concerning the meeting should be directed to Kathy Mele, Data Users Advisory Committee, on 202.691.6102.
MDRC Publishes New Report (New Pathways to Careers and College - Examples, Evidence, and Prospects); Lumina Foundation Issues Annual Report Examining Postsecondary Attainment
MDRC''s latest newsletter has announced the availability of a new report --New Pathways to Careers and College: Examples, Evidence, and Prospects.
The debate about high school reform is increasingly focused on the role of career-technical education (CTE) in helping to prepare all students for success in both postsecondary education and the workforce. The stand-alone vocational courses into which high school students with lower academic achievement were often channeled are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, programs that merge CTE, rigorous academic coursework, and career exploration opportunities, while creating clear pathways through high school, college, and beyond, are gaining momentum.
This report describes some of the most prominent of these "pathway" models, identifies localities where the approach has gained the most traction, discusses the underlying principles that characterize the most promising programs, and briefly presents the evidence of their potential to make a difference. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for future investment to strengthen and scale such programs.
From the Lumina Foundation:
A new report released on April 9 by Lumina Foundation reveals real progress has been made in the national effort to increase postsecondary attainment, but current rates won’t be enough to meet America’s future economic and workforce demands. The annual report, A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, finds that unless actions are taken now to significantly increase postsecondary attainment, the nation will fall short of workforce needs by the end of this decade.
According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 65 percent of U.S. jobs will require some form of postsecondary education by 2020. Yet, according to Lumina’s A Stronger Nation through Higher Education report, only 40 percent of working-age Americans (ages 25-64) held a two- or four-year college degree in 2013—the most recent year for which data are available. That figure is up from 2012, when the rate was 39.4 percent, and from 2008, when the rate was 37.9 percent, or a total of more than 2.8 million more degrees.
This progress reflects both increasing demand for postsecondary credentials and the efforts of higher education institutions, policymakers and many others to respond to that demand. But, these incremental gains aren't nearly enough to reach Goal 2025,- a national effort calling for 60 percent of Americans to have a high-quality postsecondary degree, certificate or other credential by the year 2025.
Excerpts from the report:
… Fortunately, we should soon have reliable data on high-quality postsecondary certificates. The U.S. Census will begin reporting data on certificates as early as next year. When we have publicly available annual data on certificates, we will be able to count them toward the goal and therefore expect to see an increase in the U.S. attainment rate of at least 5 percent.
There are also large numbers of postsecondary certifications that, while conveying significant labor market value, do not necessarily offer a clear path to further education. To address this issue, Lumina is working with many organizations to develop a strong national system of postsecondary credentials. The first step is to develop a common framework that can be used to define the learning outcomes of all types of postsecondary credentials so that stronger pathways into and through postsecondary education can be designed and built. Once this work bears fruit, we believe postsecondary certifications can boost the attainment rate by 2 percentage points, a significant step in the effort to reach Goal 2025 …
BLS Publishes Thirty-Day Notice for the "Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)"
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published the thirty-day notice for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The JOLTS collects data on job vacancies, labor hires, and labor separations. The data can be used as demand-side indicators of labor shortages. These indicators of labor shortages at the national level greatly enhance policy makers' understanding of imbalances between the demand and supply of labor. Presently there is no other economic indicator of labor demand with which to assess the presence of labor shortages in the U.S. labor market. The availability of unfilled jobs is an important measure of tightness of job markets, symmetrical to unemployment measures. This information collection has been classified as a revision, because all Touchtone Data Entry forms have been removed, as they are no longer used, and new instruments and forms have been added (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview Data Collection Scripts, Drop Letter Panel 84, JOLTS Fax Data Entry, and Web Postcard).
The Office of Management and Budget will consider all comments received by May 11, 2015.
Click here for the April 10, 2015 FEDERAL REGISTER thirty-day notice.
Click here for the December 29, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER sixty-day notice.
Click here for the April 7, 2015 JOLTS release (addressing February 2015 data)
ETA Publishes Thirty-Day Notice for the "Pre-Apprenticeship Database"
The Employment and Training Administration has published the thirty-day notice entitled "Pre-Apprenticeship Database" on April 10, 2015.
This information collection request seeks Paperwork Reduction Act authority for the Pre-Apprenticeship Database information collection that will provide a valuable tool for job seekers, registered apprenticeship program sponsors, and American Job Center front line staff. A dedicated database will also provide a way for job seekers and registered apprenticeship programs to access pre-apprenticeship programs in their local areas. The Application for Pre-Apprenticeship Programs asks the program:
(1) for contact information including the program name, program director and an alternate point of contact; (2) about the population served and whether the pre-apprenticeship program has a direct link to a registered apprenticeship program as well as information on the nature of any direct link or partnership; (3) about the curriculum, whether a registered apprenticeship program or industry provided input into the pre-apprenticeship program's development, whether the training may lead to a credential or certificate, and whether a registered apprenticeship program has approved the training; and (4) about other services the pre-apprenticeship program provides to participants (i.e., supportive services beyond training to the most-in-need participants), any skill assessments conducted, case manager availability, whether the program is structured to offer a real work environment, industries the program services, and the occupation(s) for which training is offered.
The Office of Management and Budget will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before May 11, 2015.
Click here for the sixty-day notice which was published on November 25, 2014.
HHS Announces $1 Million in New Grant Programs to Help Improve Sharing of Health Information
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Karen B. DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., has announced the availability of $1 million in grant funds to support community projects for the Community Interoperability Health Information Exchange (HIE) Program. The funding will help support and enable the flow of health information at the community level, leading to better care and better health.
The Community Interoperability and HIE program will provide funds to up to ten community organizations, state or local government agencies, or other community groups. The awards will help unlock health information and better integrate community resources advancing better care and healthier communities.
Under the new grant program, awardees will demonstrate the use of health IT to the wide range of health providers, including those that are not eligible under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. These include long-term and post-acute care providers, behavioral health providers, individuals and their caregivers, and other care setting and providers. These additional providers could also be safety net providers, public health, social service, emergency medical services and other key members of the care continuum.
The deadline for the submission of applications is 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2015. The deadline to submit intent to apply notices is May 15, but intent to apply notices are not mandatory. The submission application is available at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=275875.
To find out more information about the New Funding Opportunity Announcement please visit: http://www.healthit.gov/newsroom/grants-funding
New Administration Report: Exports Helping to Support Jobs, Grow Small Businesses across America
On April 9, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman released a new report that shows that the number of jobs supported by goods exports continues to rise in states across the country. The report also includes individual success stories, in all 50 states, of small and medium sized businesses that are using exports to expand their businesses and support well-paying American jobs.
The United States of Trade report also includes the most current data for all 50 states on the overall value of goods exports and on exports to countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), as well as data on the number of exporters and the percent of exporters that are small-or medium-sized businesses. The Administration report was released in conjunction with the Jobs Supported by State Exports 2014 economic brief from the Department of Commerce, which showed that 43 states registered increases in the number of jobs supported by goods exports from 2009-2014.
National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Meet on April 29; Teleconference Open to Public
Subjects: WIOA emphasis on entrepreneurial skills training; ETA's Integrating Entrepreneurship into the Public Workforce System; TAACCCT and other grants-in-aid with entrepreneurship components; Entrepreneurship Competency Model; BusinessUSA entrepreneurship holdings; CFED microenterprise activities; Delta Entrepreneurship Network; Federal Reserve's Workforce Development and the Entrepreneurship Infrastructure; ARC's entrepreneurship and business development activities; SBA's Office of Entrepreneurial Development; NACCE; AACC's Virtual Incubation Network (VIN) Toolkit ; USDA's SET and Rural Microenterprise programs; VA's Entrepreneurship Portal for Veterans; EBV Program for Veterans
The National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) will hold a teleconference meeting on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 2:00--3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The meeting is open to the public.
NACIE's overarching focus is recommending transformational policies to the Secretary that will help U.S. communities, businesses, and the workforce become more globally competitive 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.
Teleconference, Dial-In: 1-877-950-4778
Department of Labor Publishes Thirty Day Notice for the Labor Market Information Cooperative Agreement Information Collection
The Department of Labor has published the thirty day notice for the Labor Market Information Cooperative Agreement information collection. This Agreement includes all information needed by a State Workforce Agency to apply for funds to assist it in operating one or more of the four BLS LMI programs and to report on the status of the obligation and expenditure of any such funds as well as to close out the Cooperative Agreement. This information collection has been classified as a revision, because of updates to the Cooperative Agreement application instructions and materials. BLS Authorizing Statute sections 1 and 2, Wagner-Peyser Act as Amended section 14, and Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 section 6 authorize this information collection.
Comments are due to the Office of Management and Budget by May 7, 2015.
Click here for the November 12, 2014 sixty-day notice.
National Infrastructure Investments: Department of Transportation Announces Funding Opportunity; Emphasizes "Ladders of Opportunity" Projects for Workforce Development, Community Revitalization and Special Populations
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 appropriated $500 million to be awarded by the Department of Transportation for National Infrastructure Investments. This appropriation is similar, but not identical, to the program funded and implemented pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 known as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or "TIGER Discretionary Grants," program.
Because of the similarity in program structure, DOT will continue to refer to the program as "TIGER Discretionary Grants." Funds for the FY 2015 TIGER program ("TIGER FY 2015") are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.
Through a notice in the April 3, 2015 FEDERAL REGISTER, the Department of Transportation is soliciting applications for TIGER Discretionary Grants.
Pre-applications must be submitted by May 4; final applications must be submitted by June 5, 2015.
Eligible projects for TIGER Discretionary Grants are capital projects that include, but are not limited to: (1) Highway or bridge projects eligible under title 23, United States Code (including bicycle and pedestrian related projects); (2) public transportation projects eligible under chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code; (3) passenger and freight rail transportation projects; (4) port infrastructure investments (including inland port infrastructure); and (5) intermodal projects.
The FY 2015 TIGER program will fund transformative projects of all eligible types, including projects that promote Ladders of Opportunity, to the extent permitted by law. The FY 2014 TIGER program gave consideration to projects that sought to improve access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for disconnected communities in urban, suburban, and rural areas. This included, but was not limited to, capital projects that better connected people to jobs, removed physical barriers to access, and strengthened communities through neighborhood redevelopment. The FY 2015 TIGER program clearly identifies this concept as Ladders of Opportunity. Ladders of Opportunity projects may increase connectivity to employment, education, services and other opportunities, support workforce development, or contribute to community revitalization, particularly for disadvantaged groups: low income groups, persons with visible and hidden disabilities, elderly individuals, and minority persons and populations.
Department of Defense's Office Economic Adjustment Announces Funding Opportunity for Community Planning Assistance Regarding Energy Projects; Announces Research Project to Evaluate Design of the Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) Program
The Office of Economic Adjustment within the Department of Defense has announced an opportunity to request funding from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), a Department of Defense (DoD) field activity, for community planning assistance to help prevent the siting of energy projects from adversely affecting DoD's test, training, and military operations.
Commercial development of energy projects may affect unique DoD activities and military readiness, especially when located near installations, ranges, or on lands beneath designated military training routes or special use airspace. State, tribal, and local governments can support effective collaboration, early engagement and dialogue between DoD and energy developers to ensure proposed energy projects may proceed without compromising the DoD missions.
This notice includes proposal submission requirements and instructions, eligibility requirements, and selection criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals from eligible respondents. OEA grants to a state or local government may result from any proposal submitted under this notice, subject to the availability of appropriations.
Eligible respondents are states, counties, municipalities, other political subdivisions of a state; special purpose units of a state or local government; other instrumentalities of a state or local government; and tribal nations. If multiple proposals are received for the same affected region, or installation, OEA will ask respondents to coordinate and submit only one proposal.
OEA also announced on April 6 an opportunity to enter into a cooperative agreement to undertake a research project to assess and evaluate the design and effect of OEA’s Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) program and the assistance that its Grantees provide to affected communities, workers, and businesses. The announcement includes proposal submission requirements and instructions, eligibility requirements, and selection criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals from eligible respondents.
DIA Grantees include States, local governments and instrumentalities of State and local government. Grants have ranged from $245,000 to $8 million. Some Grantees are planning in anticipation of announced defense acquisition cuts, while others are responding to actual reductions. Respondents should describe how they anticipate addressing the diversity of Grantee types and activities as they design the methodology for the program evaluation. OEA will work closely with the successful respondent to design the project. The successful respondent will be expected to meet with OEA at least quarterly as the methodology is being refined and tested.
Eligible respondents include any State, tribal, or local governments, Institutions of Higher Education, non-profit entities, or for-profit organizations.
SBA Launches Second Growth Accelerator Fund Competition to Award $4 Million for Small Business Startups; Manufacturing Accelerator Models Given "Special Consideration"
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has recently announced that for the second year it is launching an Accelerator Growth Fund competition for accelerators and other entrepreneurial ecosystem models to compete for monetary prizes of $50,000 each, totaling $4 million. The application period is from April 10-June 1 and information about the application process can be found at: www.sba.gov.
“We’re launching a second Accelerator Growth Fund competition to spur even greater opportunities for America’s small businesses,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Last year’s event was so successful, we’re looking forward to discovering and empowering the next trailblazers. Accelerators provide valuable resources to potential startups: a physical infrastructure to work in their infancy, mentoring, business-plan assistance, networking, opportunities to obtain venture capital, and introductions to potential customers, partners and suppliers—all critical elements to ensuring that small businesses flourish and succeed.”
Similar to last year’s competition, several panels containing expert judges from the private and public sector with collective experience in early stage investing, entrepreneurship, academia, start-ups and economic development will select the winners. The competition includes accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, shared tinker-spaces or other models. The panel will give particular attention to, applicants that fill geographic gaps in the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystem space.
Through this competition, the SBA is looking to support the development of accelerators and their support of startups in parts of the country where there are fewer conventional sources of access to capital (i.e., venture capital and other investors).
In addition, the SBA is also seeking accelerators headed by women and those that support them or other underrepresented groups. Thirty-two percent of last year’s accelerator winners were run by women and 14 percent were classified as underrepresented groups.
Manufacturing accelerator models will be given special consideration during this year’s competition, because they are critical to job growth and strengthening the nation’s economy.
For more information on last year’s competition, please read the Report to the Congress of the United States on our 1st batch of winners Q1 metrics and results: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/2014_Report.pdf.
Please click here for the Accelerator Growth Fact Sheet and specifics on how to apply and the timeline for 2015’s competition. For questions or comments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail).
HUD Seeks Comment on Proposed Demonstration to Test Effectiveness of Collaborations to Accelerate Broadband Adoption and Use in HUD-Assisted Homes; Emphasis on Narrowing “Digital Divide” for Students and Families
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is soliciting advance comment on a demonstration designed to test the effectiveness of collaborative efforts by government, industry, and nonprofit organizations to accelerate broadband adoption and use in HUD-assisted homes.
This demonstration is designed to encourage and create the platform for communities to collaborate with their Internet service providers, other businesses, foundations, nonprofit organizations, educational leaders, digital literacy organizations, and others to narrow the digital divide in their communities and to test the effectiveness of a collaborative set of actions that address barriers.
Approximately 20 HUD-assisted communities, selected from across the country, are anticipated to participate in the demonstration. The purpose of the demonstration is to provide students--and their families--the ability to benefit from life-changing opportunities that technology affords. Specifically, the demonstration will focus on providing students housed with HUD assistance the opportunity to improve their educational and economic outcomes through a range of efforts to narrow the digital divide.
The April 3 FEDERAL REGISTER provides full background and instructions for the submission of comments. The major headings of the notice include:
- Making Broadband More Adoptable
- Criteria for Participation
Excerpt: To ensure presence of local support and leverageable HUD infrastructure for implementation of this demonstration, communities should be currently participating in two or more Federal place-based initiatives, such as: The Choice Neighborhoods program; the Promise Zones program; the Promise Neighborhoods program; the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program; the Strong Cities, Strong Communities program; the STEM, Energy and Economic Development program; or the Building Neighborhood Capacity program.
- Stakeholder Meetings
- Evaluation of the Demonstration
Comments are due by May 1, 2015.
AARP Public Policy Institute Report: "The Long Road Back: Struggling to Find Work after Unemployment"
The AARP Public Policy Institute has released a new report titled, "The Long Road Back: Struggling to Find Work after Unemployment," which features results from a survey of nearly 2,500 workers ages 45 to 70 who faced unemployment in the past five years.
Although the unemployment rate has been falling, long-term unemployment continues to be a challenge for older jobseekers. The survey report focuses on reemployment and the steps people took to find work. It compares the new jobs of the reemployed with their prior jobs. It also examines the barriers jobseekers faced in trying to find a job, as well as various types of discrimination and other factors that affected the search for work. In addition to releasing the study's findings, the Issues Forum will include a panel of thought leaders who will discuss how best to deal with the problems facing the unemployed and how to better prepare for the next economic downturn. The report was released at a March 30 event at Washington D.C.’s Newseum with the keynote address by the Department of Labor’s Chief Economist, Heidi Schierholz.
Excerpt: Help during the Job Search
Forty-five percent of jobseekers received some type of help during their job search. Assistance with updating or writing a resume was the most common help reported. Emotional support was mentioned by nearly one in five respondents. Help with using online job boards and other online job search websites was mentioned by 19 percent of jobseekers. Assistance with using a computer was mentioned by 12 percent of respondents. Eight percent sought assistance with using LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites. Interestingly, 17 percent of jobseekers did not use a computer to look for work.
Jobseekers who had received help were asked where they got that help. The most common sources of help included family and friends (48 percent), workforce centers/One Stop Job centers (37 percent), and online job-search sites (31 percent). Less common sources of help included career or job coaches (12 percent), libraries (9 percent), educational institutions (6 percent), and job clubs (5 percent).
Senior Administration Officials and Kentucky Governor Announce the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jerry Abramson, Senior Advisor to the President Brian Deese, and Lillian Salerno, Administrator of USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service, in Lexington, Kentuck on March 27, 2015 announce the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative. The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) will lead the POWER initiative, which is a coordinated effort among multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, using already appropriated funds to make a down payment on the POWER+ Plan (PDF), a suite of proposals in the President’s FY 2016 Budget that invests in coal communities, workers, and technology. The goal of the POWER initiative is to effectively align, leverage and target a range of federal economic and workforce development programs and resources to assist communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector.
"The Obama Administration is committed to supporting our workers and communities as they face challenges related to a changing energy landscape in this country,"? said Assistant Secretary Williams. "EDA is proud to be leading the POWER initiative and we look forward to working with our federal partners to help communities diversify their economies and help workers get the skills they need to adapt to and thrive in this changing economy." "Solving today's workforce challenges means bringing everyone to the same table to invest in infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, and broadband to attract new industries, but it also means strengthening our skills infrastructure to enable communities in Kentucky and around the country to strengthen the skills and talents of those who need a new opportunity,"? said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Portia Wu. "The POWER initiative is an opportunity to bring together the best efforts of federal, state, and local governments and the private and non-profits sectors to help Kentuckians build a better future for themselves, their businesses, and their families,” said Jerry Abramson, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Deputy Assistant to President Obama."
The POWER initiative will award grants competitively on two parallel tracks to partnerships anchored in affected communities. This year roughly $28 to $38 million will be awarded, primarily using EDA and Department of Labor resources, and also using funds from the Small Business Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission. These grants will serve as catalytic funding that will leverage and target additional investments from the private sector and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grants will enable communities to organize themselves to respond on behalf of affected workers and businesses, develop a comprehensive strategic plan that charts their economic future, and execute coordinated economic and workforce development activities. These activities will seek to diversify economies, create jobs in new or existing industries, attract new sources of job-creating investment, and provide a range of workforce services and skills training resulting in industry-recognized credentials for high-quality, in-demand jobs.
In addition to the POWER initiative, EDA is collaborating with the National Association of Counties and the National Association of Development Organizations to support the economic diversification efforts of coal country communities through an Innovation Challenge.
HUD Seeks Comment on Proposed Rule on Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses through Strengthened "Section 3" Requirements; References Registered Apprenticeship and YouthBuild
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published a proposed rule regarding section 3 in the March 27 FEDERAL REGISTER for comment. Comments are due by May 26. Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (Section 3), contributes to the establishment of stronger, more sustainable communities by ensuring that employment and other economic opportunities generated by Federal financial assistance for housing and community development programs are, to the greatest extent feasible, directed toward low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing.
The purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that employment, training, contracting, and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD financial assistance shall, to the greatest extent feasible, and consistent with existing Federal, State and local laws and regulations, be directed to low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.
HUD is statutorily charged with the authority and responsibility to implement and enforce Section 3. HUD's regulations implementing the requirements of Section 3 have not been updated since 1994. This proposed rule would update HUD's Section 3 regulations to address new programs established since 1994 that are subject to the Section 3 requirements and promote compliance with the requirements of Section 3 by recipients of Section 3 covered financial assistance, while also recognizing barriers to compliance that may exist, and strengthening HUD's oversight of Section 3.
The proposed rule would add to categories (a) and (b) of the current definition of Section 3 Business the following categories in an effort to increase contracting opportunities for businesses that are owned by residents of public housing and to incentivize contractors to sponsor Section 3 residents to attend Department of Labor (DOL) or DOL-recognized registered apprenticeship programs. HUD would add the following categories to the definition of a Section 3 business: (1) The business meets the definition of a resident-owned business, as set forth in HUD's regulations at 24 CFR 963.5; and (2) the business demonstrates that at least 20 percent of its permanent full-time employees are Section 3 residents and the business either: (i) Sponsored a minimum of 10 percent of its current Section 3 employees to attend a DOL or DOL-recognized, State Apprenticeship Agency-approved, registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship training program that meets the requirements outlined in DOL's Employment Training Administration (ETA) Training and Employment Notice 13-12; or (ii) 10 percent of the employees of the business are participants or graduates of a DOL YouthBuild program.
NSF Announces Funding Opportunity under the "National Big Data Research and Development Initiative"; Outlines Plans for a Network of Four Regional Innovation Hubs
In March 2012, the Administration announced the National Big Data Research and Development Initiative, which aims to solve some of the Nation's most pressing R&D challenges related to extracting knowledge and insights from large, complex collections of digital data. As part of this initiative, the Administration encouraged multiple stakeholders including federal agencies, private industry, academia, state and local governments, non-profits, and foundations, to develop and participate in Big Data research and innovation projects across the country.
To augment ongoing activities and to ignite new Big Data public-private partnerships across the Nation, the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) is seeking to establish a National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs). Each BD Hub would be a consortium of members from academia, industry, and/or government. This solicitation aims to establish four Hubs across distinct geographic regions of the United States, including the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Each BD Hub should focus on key Big Data challenges and opportunities for its region of service. The BD Hubs should aim to support the breadth of interested local stakeholders within their respective regions, while members of a BD Hub should strive to achieve common Big Data goals that would not be possible for the independent members to achieve alone.
To foster collaboration among prospective partners within a region, NSF is sponsoring a series of regional, intensive, one-day workshops (called "charrettes"). One charrette will be held in each geographic region to convene stakeholders, explore Big Data challenges, and aid in the establishment of that consortium. For more information on these charrettes, see the following webpage: http://www.usenix.org/BDHubs15. To facilitate discussion among interested parties, a HUBzero community portal has been established at http://bdhub.info. Interested parties may leverage this portal to communicate with members within their region or other stakeholders nationwide.
A March 30, 2015 solicitation is the first of a multi-phase process meant to develop a National Network of BD Hubs. The first phase will set up the governance structure of each BD Hub's consortium of members as well as develop approaches to ensure cross-hub collaboration and sustainability over the long term. The next phase will focus on building out various sectors of particular interest to each BD Hub (e.g., transportation, smart cities, health, energy, public safety, and education) so as to advance sector innovation in that region. The final phases will focus on connecting the BD Hubs and their regional sectors into a national Big Data innovation ecosystem.
This solicitation is part of NSF's Big Data program, which includes: research and infrastructure development; education and workforce development; and multi-disciplinary collaborative teams and communities that address complex science and engineering grand challenges. Before preparing a proposal in response to this or any other Big Data solicitation, applicants are strongly encouraged to review those solicitations and consult with cognizant NSF program officers to determine appropriateness of fit. For example, this solicitation funds the establishment and coordination of a BD Hubs National Network, but is not meant to be a source of funding for new research. By contrast, the BIGDATA solicitation may be more relevant for research funding.
Each BD Hub should focus on key challenges and opportunities in its region of service. Opportunities could include facilitating partnerships on overarching themes (e.g., privacy, data sharing, data stewardship, etc.), providing shared resources to the community (e.g., tools, infrastructure, testbeds, etc.) and/or coalescing around key topical themes (e.g., energy, transportation, healthcare). Potential activities for BD Hubs include, but are not limited to:
- Accelerating the ideation and development of Big Data solutions to specific regional and/or societal challenges by convening stakeholders across sectors to partner in results-driven programs and projects;
- Driving successful pilot programs for emerging Big Data technology by acting as a matchmaker between the various academic, industry, and community stakeholders;
- Engaging stakeholders across the region, based on shared interests and industry sector engagement, to enable dialogue and share best practices, and to set standards for data access, data formats, metadata, etc.;
- Increasing the speed and volume of technology transfer between universities, public and private research centers and laboratories, large enterprises, and small and medium-sized businesses;
- Providing data resources of critical importance to the region such as a data steward or public trust service that validates and certifies privacy-sensitive data sets, infrastructure or other testbeds for small scale experimentation, and/or data tools relevant to the analysis needs of stakeholders; and
- Facilitating 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. Topical examples could include privacy or broadening participation.
Benefits of Adult Basic Skills Program Participation: Findings from the Portland State University Longitudinal Study of Adult Learners
From the March 26 Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) newsletter:
OCTAE commissioned Dr. Stephen Reder, professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University, to create five research briefs using that university’s Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning (LSAL) data to examine the long-term impacts of adult basic skills (ABS) program participation on a range of outcome measures. The study was part of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute for Literacy. All entities interested in or serving adult learners are encouraged to review each of the briefs in their entirety for a comprehensive discussion of the findings, as well as data graphics, and references. Links to each of them can be found in the summaries below. PDFs for the series may be accessed on LINCS.
Background: National as well as international studies, including the Survey of Adult Skills, demonstrate the need and economic value of ABS. Yet, there is little rigorous research demonstrating that participation in basic skills programs directly impacts the skill levels, educational attainment, or social and economic well-being of adults with low levels of education.
Most research on adult literacy development has only examined the short-term changes occurring as students pass through single ABS programs. Most studies use short follow-up intervals and include only program participants—making it difficult to see the long-term patterns of both program participation and persistence, and the ability to assess the long-term impact of ABS program participation. ABS program evaluation and accountability studies have shown small gains for program participants in test scores and other outcomes, but they rarely include comparison groups of nonparticipants and, studies that do include such controls have not found statistically significant ABS program impact. In short, more research is needed that compares adult literacy development among program participants and nonparticipants across multiple contexts and over significant periods of time. This will provide life-wide and lifelong perspectives on adult literacy development and a better assessment of program impacts on a range of outcome measures.
The LSAL is one study that does address these long-term impacts. Between 1998 and 2007, LSAL randomly sampled and tracked nearly 1,000 high school dropouts’ participation in ABS programs. The study assessed their literacy skills and skill uses over time, along with changes in their social, educational, and economic status, to provide a more comprehensive representation of adult literacy development.
The Impact of ABS Program Participation on Long-Term Economic Outcomes considers the long-term impact of participation in ABS programs on individuals’ earnings. The research results show that individuals who participate in ABS programs have higher future earnings as a result of participating, and their income premiums are larger with more intensive participation. Minimal levels of participation do not produce statistically significant premiums, but 100 hours or more of attendance were found to equate to extra earnings of $9,621 per year, in 2013 dollars.
The Impact of ABS Program Participation on Long-Term Literacy Growth examines the effect of ABS participation on students’ literacy proficiency. The study finds that individuals who participate in at least 100 hours of ABS programs tend to have correspondingly higher levels of literacy proficiency. Their proficiency premiums are larger with more intensive participation. This statistically significant but modest literacy premium (an average of 15 points on a 500 point scale) takes time (on the order of years) to develop after participation. Minimal levels of participation, however, may not produce significant premiums. LSAL’s relatively small sample size limits precise estimates of how many hours of attendance or how long a follow-up period are needed to see a significant literacy dividend of a given size. GED attainment does not seem to mediate the long-term impact of participation on literacy.
The Impact of ABS Program Participation on Long-Term GED Attainment examines the impact of ABS participation on General Educational Development (GED) credential attainment. While student “participation patterns in LSAL were often complex and fragmented—with many adults having multiple episodes of participation at different times and in different programs across the years of the study”—the findings nevertheless demonstrated the robust impact and importance of ABS program participation on GED attainment. The overall GED attainment rate for those whose goal was to obtain a GED is estimated to have risen from 16 percent to 36 percent because of ABS program participation. Although individuals used a variety of methods for GED preparation, including ABS program participation, GED attainment rates for all groups appear to have been elevated substantially by program participation.
The Impact of ABS Program Participation on Long-Term Postsecondary Engagement The study found a robust impact of ABS participation on engagement in postsecondary education at any level of attendance. “The estimated impact of ABS participation on postsecondary engagement appears to be considerably larger in models using more intensive attendance criteria.” These programs are increasing ABS students’ success in the early stages of postsecondary engagement (matriculating into college, receiving credits for college courses). In short, despite methodological limitations, the analyses of the LSAL data show the importance of ABS programs as effective “on-ramps” for this nontraditional student population in supporting postsecondary engagement.
The Long-Term Impact of ABS Program Participation on Voting The study considers ABS program participation that occurred between the 1996 and 2004 general elections, in assessing the impact of participation on changes in voting behavior between the elections. Findings indicated that there was little evidence of an impact of ABS program participation on voting. While the difference-in-differences (DID) analysis shows a larger increase in voting rates over time for program participants, it is not statistically significant. “It is important to note, however, the relatively small subsample size that was available for analysis of the voting data—the corresponding loss of statistical power increases the likelihood of failing to detect an actual impact of participation on voting behavior. LSAL also did not have the ability to validate self-reported voting against administrative records, as was done with self-reported GED attainment and postsecondary engagement. Therefore, it is unknown whether ABS program participation would increase future over reporting compared with the future self-reporting of nonparticipants. Additional research is needed to better determine the impact of program participation, if any, on voting behavior and other measures of civic participation.”
Key Takeaways from the Briefs:
- Participants in ABS programs experience significant, and, in some cases, substantial increases in long-term educational and economic outcomes.
- The enhanced outcomes require an average of 100 or more cumulative hours of program attendance.
- The enhanced outcomes do not typically appear until several years following program participation.
- The income premiums to ABS program participation average $10,000 per year, in 2013 dollars.
- The overall GED attainment rate is estimated to have risen from 16 percent to 36 percent because of ABS program participation. ABS programs appeared to be effective “on-ramps” into postsecondary education, but additional supports are likely needed for completion.
Census Bureau and C2ER to Sponsor April 15 Webinar: "Interactive Exploration of Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Data -- A Case Study in Knowledge Discovery"
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership in collaboration with the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) welcomes Saman Amraii. Mr. Amraii shares an interactive visualization tool for analyzing large and complex datasets using Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) data as an example to show how responsive exploration of massive datasets accompanied by novel methods for navigating high-dimensional space can facilitate hypothesis generation.
Saman Amraii is a senior software engineer and researcher at CREATE Lab, Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a PhD student at Intelligent Systems Program, University of Pittsburgh. His research is on human-data interaction with a focus on large and high-dimensional datasets. His goal is to develop visual analytic tools, which facilitate knowledge discovery and knowledge dissemination through interactive exploration of complex data.
The free webinar begins at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern) on April 15.
C2ER Updates the FY 2016 Proposed State Economic Development Budget Database
From a March 26 C23R advisory:
As data from the proposed FY2016 State Budgets are released, C2ER has been updating the C2ER State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database. The proposed budgets provide information on eliminated programs and decreased funding for economic development financing, with many affecting small business development related programs.
For more information and updates, visit the C2ER State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database. Please note that updates will not appear to users until all state updates are complete in June 2015.
IEDC Releases New Volume: "Shifting Workforce Development into High Gear: How Economic Developers Lead Workforce System Alignment"
From the IEDC news release:
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has announced the release of "Shifting Workforce Development into High Gear: How Economic Developers Lead Workforce System Alignment". The report was produced under the auspices of IEDC''s Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP) program that serves as a think-tank within the organization.
For professionals in the field of economic development, effective workforce development is vitally important. IEDC's Chair JoAnn Crary, CEcD, President of Saginaw Future Inc. in Saginaw, MI, notes, "This report offers explanations and solutions to the workforce issue, helping economic developers take a lead role in crafting strategic approaches that will grow a talented workforce to help retain, attract and expand business."
"Shifting Workforce Development into High Gear: How Economic Developers Lead Workforce System Alignment" provides a comprehensive understanding of how workforce development is carried out and how economic developers can shape their role in this important task. The paper provides an overview of the players in workforce development, a survey of economic developers' approach to the issue, five case studies of organizations making an impact, and recommendations for how to best influence workforce development on a regional, state, and local scale.
One of several case studies within the report that exemplifies an effective workforce strategy is the partnership between the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) and the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County (EDC). As the leading community organizations concentrated on workforce and economic development for the Seattle region, they have collaborated on several projects, including securing grants through the Washington State Department of Commerce to fund on-site job trainings. These grants, ranging from $100,000 to $200,000, have been a useful business retention and attraction tool for the region. WDC and EDC have also strengthened federal resources to improve their aerospace sector. By working together, the two organizations ensure sustainable business practices for their community and its generations to come.
The report is available from IEDC to nonmembers for $60.00. IEDC members can download the report at no cost at www.iedconline.org