Topics Of Interest
Federal Reserve to Host Economic Mobility Conference in Washington D.C. (April 2 – 3)
The Community Affairs Officers of the Federal Reserve System will host the ninth biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference ( Economic Mobility: Research & Ideas on Strengthening Families, Communities & the Economy) on April 2 – 3 in Washington D.C.
The conference organizers will use the broad theme of economic mobility to advance participants’ understanding about how people and communities get ahead, where impediments exist, how factors such as inequality play a role, and what has changed over time.
Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz are scheduled to deliver the keynote speeches.
Community developers and practitioners, policymakers, lenders, the philanthropic community, researchers, the financial services sector, state and local economic development agency representatives, and students are all encouraged to attend.
Department of Education Proposes Revision to Measures and Methods for National Reporting System for Adult Education
The National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS) is an outcome-based reporting system for the State-administered, federally funded adult education program. Developed by the U.S. Department of Education's Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL), the NRS continues a cooperative process through which State adult education directors and DAEL manage a reporting system that demonstrates learner outcomes for adult education.
The Department of Education published a notice January 13 FEDERAL REGISTER seeking public comment on a proposed revision to measures and methods for the National Reporting System (NRS) for Adult Education.
The proposed change is to modify the learning objectives associated with each educational functioning level identified in the NRS. The modified learning objectives, known as descriptors, will help modernize the accountability system to reflect the adult educational demands of the21st Century. The current NRS educational functioning level descriptors remain in effect until further notice from the Department. The change proposed will have no effect on the regulatory burden of the NRS-related information collection.
USDA NASS Seeks Comment on Agricultural Labor Survey; Free Tools from Farm Bureau Designed to Help Promote Ag Literacy among Youth
Agricultural labor statistics are an integral part of National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) primary function of collecting, processing, and disseminating current state, regional, and national agricultural statistics. Comprehensive and reliable agricultural labor data are also needed by the Department of Labor in the administration of the ``H-2A' program (non-immigrants who enter the United States for temporary or seasonal agricultural labor) and for setting ``Adverse Effect Wage Rates.' The Agricultural Labor Survey is the only timely and reliable source of information on the size of the farm worker population. NASS will collect information using a survey.
NASS announced it is seeking public comment on this data collection. NASS will collect information on wage rate estimates and the year-to-year changes in these rates and how changes in wage rates help measure the changes in costs of production of major farm commodities. NASS will also collect Standard Occupational Classifications data information for field workers, livestock workers, supervisors and other workers to measure the availability of national farm workers. The information is used by farm worker organizations to help set wage rates and negotiate labor contracts as well as determine the need for additional workers and to help ensure federal assistance for farm worker assistance programs supported with government funding.
Click here for the January 12 FEDERAL REGISTER which contains full background and instructions for obtaining the collection and submitting comments. Comments are due by February 11.
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, with the support of DuPont Pioneer, has announced the launch of an online database cataloging educational resources designed to improve understanding of the agriculture industry among students.
The new “Best of Ag Literacy” database will include more than 200 publicly submitted tools and resources tailored to multiple grade levels. Users will be able to review and download the resources for free, in addition to interacting with other users to share feedback and implementation strategies. The site will be updated annually, with top submissions recognized each January at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.
This database will support AFBFA’s “Pillars of Agricultural Literacy”— a framework of standards for increasing agricultural literacy among learners of all ages. AFBFA believes that all people should have a basic understanding of the agriculture industry, and this document provides a guideline for expected learning outcomes by age. Designed with the purpose of guiding consistent development of educator resources, these standards are applicable in classrooms and non-traditional learning environments nationwide. The AFBFA board endorsed the Pillars of Agricultural Literacy in July 2013.
This site and resources are made possible through the generous support of title sponsor, DuPont Pioneer. The public is invited to submit resources for consideration for the 2015 “Best of Ag Literacy” database by Feb. 13. To receive a submission form and for more information, email email@example.com.
2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit is Now Open for Business
This blog post from Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appears on both the White House and Department of Commerce websites. In my first year as Secretary, one of my proudest moments was welcoming international investors to the 2013 SelectUSA Investment Summit. Alongside President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, we made it clear that America is “Open for Business.”
As 2015 begins, we are moving full speed ahead with registration for the second SelectUSA Investment Summit, which will take place in the DC metro area on March 23-24, 2015.
In November, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released new data showing why efforts to attract international investment are so important. U.S. affiliates of foreign firms employed 5.8 million people in the United States in 2012. These companies spent $48 billion on U.S. research and development, and they exported nearly $344 billion worth of goods manufactured in the United States. In 2013, the United States attracted $231 billion in FDI, up from $170 billion in 2012.
There has never been a better time to consider establishing or expanding operations in the United States, and it is clear that investors recognize the opportunities that America offers. We are home to an attractive consumer market, a thriving culture of innovation, and a talented workforce. The U.S. economic recovery is outshining others, and investors are increasingly confident. In fact, A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index said, “the United States tops the index for the second year in a row,” with the highest net positive rating in the index’s 16-year history.
The 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit aims to build on the tremendous success of the inaugural event, which connected investors from 60 countries with representatives from nearly every U.S. state and territory. At this year’s Summit, economic development organizations (EDOs) from across the United States will once again gather to showcase investment opportunities to companies from around the world. This event will bring together the tools, information, and connections companies need to grow their business here. The two-day summit will include many sessions with high-profile CEOs, breakout panels with practical tools for investors, one-on-one matchmaking meetings, and pitches on the trade show floor.
Given the incredible interest in the first event, we are doubling the size of the Summit and adding some new features, including a pre-Summit SelectUSA Academy that will cover the basics for first-time investors and the fundamentals of attracting FDI for economic developers. We are also including sessions on rural investment, infrastructure investment, and other new features like robust online matchmaking and a more expansive trade show floor.
U.S. economic development organizations and companies that are interested in establishing operations in the United States – including reshoring and foreign investment – can learn more at the SelectUSA Summit website.
The SelectUSA team stands by to assist with investments at any time. Learn more about their services at www.SelectUSA.gov.
SelectUSA is the U.S. government-wide program, housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, to facilitate investment into the United States.
Department of Justice Announces Funding Opportunity under the Second Chance Adult Recidivism Reduction Strategic Planning Program
The Second Chance Act seeks a comprehensive response to the increasing number of incarcerated adults and juveniles who are released from prison, jail, and juvenile residential facilities and return to their communities. There are currently over 2.2 million individuals serving time in our federal and state prisons, and millions of people cycling through local jails every year. Ninety-five percent of those incarcerated today will eventually be released and will return to communities. The coordination of reentry services for members of Native American tribes is even more complex given that they can return from federal, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), state, local, and tribal facilities. The Second Chance Act Programs are designed to help communities develop and implement comprehensive and collaborative strategies that address the challenges posed by reentry and recidivism reduction. Developing a reentry approach for reducing recidivism is extremely challenging for even the most sophisticated correctional agency, requiring access to data and service delivery and coordination from multiple systems, including housing, health, employment, education, etc.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has announced on January 12 it is seeking applications for funding for the Second Chance Act Statewide Adult Recidivism Reduction Strategic Planning Program. This solicitation will provide funding for 12-month strategic planning grants during which time state-level participants will convene and work to
1) identify the drivers of recidivism in the state, 2) identify a target population and recidivism reduction goals for the state, 3) review the alignment of existing corrections programs and practices with evidenced-based practices, and 4) develop a plan to meet recidivism reduction goals using evidenced-based practices.
Upon the completion of the Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategic Plan, states will be invited by BJA to submit applications for implementation grants of up to $1 million with the potential for two supplemental awards of $1 million each. The total possible available in implementation funding per state is $3 million. Future funding decisions for implementation grants will be competitive and will consider the quality and comprehensiveness of the Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategic Plan. Supplemental funding will be dependent on grantee progress and performance toward goals as well as the availability of funds.
Eligible applicants are limited to state correctional agencies (state departments of corrections or community corrections) or State Administering Agencies (SAAs). Agencies from states that were awarded Second Chance Act Statewide Recidivism Reduction grants in fiscal year (FY) FY 2013 are NOT eligible to apply. Applicants should note that the next potential opportunity to apply for a Second Chance Act Statewide Adult Recidivism Reduction Strategic Planning grant will be FY 2017.
BJA welcomes applications that involve two or more entities; however, one eligible entity must be the applicant and the others must be proposed as subrecipients. The applicant must be the entity with primary responsibility for administering the funding and managing the entire project. BJA may elect to make awards for applications submitted under this solicitation in future fiscal years, dependent on the merit of the applications and on the availability of appropriations.
Applications are due by March 10. The application is available under "Department of Justice" on www.grants.gov.
HUD Awards Choice Neighborhood Grants in Six Cities
Building on a commitment to help local communities redevelop distressed public or assisted housing and transform neighborhoods, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro has announced seven new Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant awards. These awards will help grantees craft comprehensive, locally driven plans to revitalize and transform distressed neighborhoods. Part of the Obama Administration's effort to build Ladders of Opportunity to the middle class, HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative? promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming neighborhoods struggling to address the interconnected challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital.
ETA's Office of Foreign Labor Certification Updates FAQ Webpage
The Employment and Training Administration's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has updated the FAQ page of its official website with a new keyword search function, Search FAQs. Users may now search the FAQ page by using a single keyword or exact phrase to identify items in the FAQ database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user. A Tip sheet has been developed to assist with use of the Search FAQs tool. To access the FAQs page and Search FAQs Tip Sheet, click here.
Federal Reserve Announces Formation of New Advisory Committee on Policy Matters Related to Community Development- and Consumer-Related Policy
The Federal Reserve Board on Friday, January 16 announced the formation of a new advisory council that will be comprised of individuals with consumer- and community development-related expertise. The Community Advisory Council (CAC) will provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Board on a wide range of relevant policy matters and emerging issues of interest.
The CAC will meet semiannually with the Board in Washington to offer diverse perspectives on the economic circumstances and financial services needs of consumers and communities, with a particular focus on the concerns of low- and moderate-income populations. The fifteen CAC members will serve staggered three-year terms and will be selected by the Board through a public nomination process.
Information regarding the nomination process will be provided soon. The Board plans to hold the first meeting of the CAC in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Census Bureau and OMB Seek Comment on the ?Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Survey?
The Census Bureau is seeking Office of Management and Budget emergency review of the “Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Survey (ASEC).”
The income data from the ASEC are used by social planners, economists, government officials, and market researchers to gauge the economic well-being of the country as a whole, and selected population groups of interest. Government planners and researchers use these data to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of various assistance programs. Market researchers use these data to identify and isolate potential customers. Social planners use these data to forecast economic conditions and to identify special groups that seem to be especially sensitive to economic fluctuations. Economists use ASEC data to determine the effects of various economic forces, such as inflation, recession, recovery, and so on, and their differential effects on various population groups.
The information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.
Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 14 days of publication of the notice to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395-5806. The notice appears in the January 14, 2015 FEDERAL REGISTER.
USDA Seeks Comment on Agricultural Labor Data Collection
Agricultural labor statistics are an integral part of National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) primary function of collecting, processing, and disseminating current state, regional, and national agricultural statistics. Comprehensive and reliable agricultural labor data are also needed by the Department of Labor in the administration of the "H-2A" program (non-immigrants who enter the United States for temporary or seasonal agricultural labor) and for setting "Adverse Effect Wage Rates." The Agricultural Labor Survey is the only timely and reliable source of information on the size of the farm worker population. NASS will collect information using a survey.
On January 12, 2014, NASS announced it is seeking public comment on this data collection. NASS will collect information on wage rate estimates and the year-to-year changes in these rates and how changes in wage rates help measure the changes in costs of production of major farm commodities. NASS will also collect Standard Occupational Classifications data information for field workers, livestock workers, supervisors and other workers to measure the availability of national farm workers. The information is used by farm worker organizations to help set wage rates and negotiate labor contracts as well as determine the need for additional workers and to help ensure federal assistance for farm worker assistance programs supported with government funding.
Click here for the January 12 FEDERAL REGISTER which contains full background and instructions for obtaining the collection and submitting comments. Comments are due by February 11.
21st Century Conservation Service Corps Launches Outreach to Organizations Desiring Membership
The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) National Council is requesting letters of interest from all conservation corps, youth, and veteran programs that would like to be identified as a 21CSC member organization. The Council is initiating this outreach in order to catalyze the establishment of a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) to engage young Americans and returning veterans in the conservation and stewardship of America's public lands and water.
Letters will be accepted on a rolling basis. More …