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(Apr 29 2013)   SBA Announces Funding Opportunity to Spur Business Recovery in States Impacted by Hurricane Sandy 
 
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(Apr 25 2013)   Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service to Undertake "Rural Establishment Innovation Survey"; Seeks Comments by May 5 
 
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(Apr 24 2013)   HHS/ACF Announces Funding Opportunity to Support Projects to Establish Individual Development Account Programs for Refugees 
 
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(Apr 24 2013)   EDA Announces Funding Opportunity under FY 2013 University Center Economic Development Program Competition 
 
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(Apr 23 2013)   NGA Publishes New Report: The Cornerstones of Economic Security for Resilient Workers – A Policy Framework for Shared Action 
 
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(Apr 23 2013)   HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on Descriptive Study of County and State Administered TANF Programs 
 
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(Apr 23 2013)   Department’s Wage and Hour Division Seeks Comments on the Proposed Extension of the Employment Information Form (Form WH-3) 
 
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(Apr 11 2013)   FY 2013-FY 2017 Long-Range Plan for National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Services 
 
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(Apr 9 2013)   Employee Benefits Security Administration to Host Affordable Care Act April 10 Webcast in Spanish 
 
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(Apr 8 2013)   CLASP Announces Release of “Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Funding Toolkit for States” 
 
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(Apr 8 2013)   SBA and AARP to Host National Entrepreneurship Mentor Month; 100 Events to be Held Across the Country in April; Announce a “50+ Toolkit” and Webinars to Assist Entrepreneurs 
 
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(Apr 5 2013)   SBA and AARP to Host National Entrepreneurship Mentor Month; 100 Events to be Held Across the Country in April; Announce a “50+ Toolkit” and Webinars to Assist Entrepreneurs 
 

 

Description

 

SBA Announces Funding Opportunity to Spur Business Recovery in States Impacted by Hurricane Sandy


The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED) is supporting the Sandy Recovery with a two-phase approach:

  • Phase 1, a short-term initiative for immediate need, will get funds flowing quickly to its partners to further ramp up existing counseling and training services.
  • Phase 2 will spur long-term economic small business recovery and resiliency through collaborative technical assistance provided by our Resource Partners working with their state and local economic development partners and initiatives.

OED has announced a funding opportunity under Phase 2.Applications are due June 5. Applicants will develop collaborative Sandy Recovery counseling and training programs to support the recovery and start-up of small business concerns in communities that were physically and economically impacted by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 resulting in the loss of jobs or small business instability. The collaborative group of partners, coordinated by the lead applicant, will each bring unique contributions to deliver superior results. State and local public or private business assistance entities or other local economic development entities are encouraged to partner with eligible applicants to become part of the Application team.

In order to be eligible for this funding opportunity, the applicant must be the coordinator for a collaborative group of partners and must currently be funded by SBA as a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Lead Center, Women's Business Center, or SCORE National Association. Only applications that are submitted by SBDC Lead Centers, WBC, or SCORE National Association will be accepted. An application submitted by an entity that is not in the aforementioned category will not be considered.

Expected Number of Awards: 14
Estimated Total Program Funding: $13,189,000
Award Ceiling: $6,191,000
Award Floor: $18,000

 

Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service to Undertake "Rural Establishment Innovation Survey"; Seeks Comments by May 5


The Department of Agriculture has announced that its Economic Research Service (ERS) plans to conduct the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey (REIS) as a one-time inquiry with a canvass of 34,000 businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

The proposed collection will contribute to a better understanding of how international competition and the increasing knowledge intensity of economic activity in the U.S. are affecting the vitality of rural areas and effective adjustment of these pressures.

Data obtain from the survey will allow ERS to examine the prevalence of innovation activity in nonmetropolitan businesses and those establishment and community-level characteristics associated with innovation. Information will be collected using a multi-mode survey where respondents will be able to complete the survey via telephone interview or by either completing a questionnaire sent via mail or available electronically through a secure web link.

The data collected through the survey will help fill serious gaps in ERS understanding of what rural establishments need to be competitive in the national and global economics and provide USDA and other policymakers with sound information so they can craft more effective rural development policies.

The results will inform the degree to which human capital endowments; access to credit; access to infrastructure; and potentially more limited interaction with suppliers, customers, and peer firms impedes processes of rural innovation. USDA notes: "Failure to collect this information will severely limit the evidentiary basis for improving the innovative capacity of business establishments located in less favorable areas."

Click here for additional background and instructions for obtaining the survey instrument. Comments are due by May 25.

 

HHS/ACF Announces Funding Opportunity to Support Projects to Establish Individual Development Account Programs for Refugees


The Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services has announced it has identified $2.2 million in funding to award an expected 9 grants to support "Projects to Establish Individual Development Account (IDA) Programs for Refugees." Applications are due by June 17, 2013. Click here for full background and application requirements.

The Refugee IDA Program represents an anti-poverty strategy built on asset accumulation for low-income refugee individuals and families with the goal of promoting refugee economic independence. In particular, the objectives of this program are to:

  • Encourage regular saving habits among refugees;
  • Promote their participation in the financial institutions of this country;
  • Promote refugee acquisition of assets to build individual, family, and community resources;
  • Increase refugee knowledge of financial and monetary topics including developing a household budget;
  • Assist refugees in advancing their education;
  • Increase home ownership among refugees; and
  • Assist refugees in gaining access to capital.

Eligible applicants include:

  • State governments
  • County governments
  • Local governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Independent School districts
  • Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
  • Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education
  • Non-profits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Non-profits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education

 

EDA Announces Funding Opportunity under FY 2013 University Center Economic Development Program Competition


The Economic Development Administration has announced the availability of funding for its FY 2013 University Center Economic Development Program Competition.

The purpose of EDA's University Center Economic Development Program (also referred to as the University Center program) is to assist institutions of higher education and consortia of institutions of higher education in establishing and operating University Centers specifically focused on leveraging university assets to build regional economic ecosystems (*) that support high-growth entrepreneurship. University Centers collaborate with other EDA partners by providing resources to develop, implement, and support regional strategies that promote job creation, the development of high-skilled regional talent pools, and business expansion in a region's innovation clusters. These resources may include technology commercialization, feasibility studies, market research, economic impact analyses training, and other technical assistance to help communities foster vibrant economic ecosystems.

EDA solicits competitive applications from accredited institutions of higher education and from consortia of accredited institutions of higher education that are located in, and have programs targeting, only the following geographic areas in EDA's Austin Region: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas; and in EDA's Denver Region: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. (An accredited institution of higher education, including a community college, junior college, or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher education is eligible to apply for and to receive funding under the University Center Economic Development Program.

The solicitation can be found at www.grants.gov or directly at this web address

The closing date for applications is June 17.

For prospective applicants, the Austin Regional Office will hold an informational teleconference on May 3, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. CT. The Denver Regional Office will hold an informational teleconference on May 16, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.

 

NGA Publishes New Report: The Cornerstones of Economic Security for Resilient Workers – A Policy Framework for Shared Action


The National Governors Association has released a new report -- The Cornerstones of Economic Security for Resilient Workers: A Policy Framework for Shared Action -- which “explores the nature of ongoing economic changes, the meaning of economic security in today’s economy and the roles that government, business, the civic sector and individuals play to create a new approach better suited to current and future economic and social conditions.” News Release

NGA’s Economic, Human Services & Workforce Division Webpage / Access to Other Reports

 

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HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on Descriptive Study of County and State Administered TANF Programs


The Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a new information collection activity as part of the Descriptive Study of County and State Administered TANF Programs. The proposed information collection consists of semi-structured interviews with key County and State staff on questions of county TANF administration, policies, service delivery, and program context. Through this information collection, ACF seeks to gain an in-depth, systematic understanding of the differences in program implementation, operations, outputs and outcomes between state and county administered TANF programs, and identify special technical assistance needs of state supervised, county administered programs.

The April 18, 2013 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background, respondents and burden hour estimates, and instructions for submission of comments. ACF is requesting comments by May 18, 2013.

 

Department’s Wage and Hour Division Seeks Comments on the Proposed Extension of the Employment Information Form (Form WH-3)


The Department's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has announced it is seeking comment on the proposed extension of an information collection -- Employment Information Form (Form WH-3).

WHD staff use Form WH-3 as a guide for obtaining optional information from complainants (e.g., current and former employees, unions, and competitor employers) about alleged employer violations of the labor standards provisions of the above-cited Acts. Complainants generally provide the optional information requested on the form to WHD staff over the telephone or in-person. Where the information provided does not support a potential WHD enforcement action, complainants are advised and referred to the appropriate agency for further assistance.

When the WHD schedules a complaint-based investigation, the agency makes the completed Form WH-3 part of the investigation case file. The form is printed in both English and Spanish.

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) uses this information to determine whether covered employers have complied with various legal requirements of the laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division.

Comments are due by June 17, 2013. Click here for additional background and instructions for the submission of comments.

 

FY 2013-FY 2017 Long-Range Plan for National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Services


The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has announced the publication of the Final Long-Range Plan (FY 2013 – 2017) for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Services (NIDRR).

This Plan provides an overview of NIDRR's goals and objectives, identifies contributions that NIDRR research has made to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, and presents NIDRR's specific goals and objectives for the next five years.

This Plan is effective May 6, 2013.

NIDRR's purpose is to:

(a) Provide for research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities of all ages, with particular emphasis on improving the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act;

(b) provide for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the support and conduct of such research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities;

(c) promote the transfer of rehabilitation technology to individuals with disabilities;

(d) ensure the widespread distribution, in usable formats, of practical scientific and technological information;

(e) identify effective strategies to enhance the opportunities of individuals with disabilities to engage in employment, including employment involving telecommuting and self-employment; and

(f) increase opportunities for researchers who are members of traditionally underserved populations, including researchers who are members of minority groups and researchers who are individuals with disabilities.

 

Employee Benefits Security Administration to Host Affordable Care Act April 10 Webcast in Spanish


Of potential interest to the workforce community:

The U.S. Department of Labor''s Employee Benefits Security Administration will host a free Spanish-language webcast, "The Affordable Care Act: Important New Protections for You and Your Family," on Wednesday, April 10, at 2 p.m. EDT.

The one-hour webcast will help workers of all ages and their families understand how the Affordable Care Act will impact their employment-based group health plans. It will cover protections under the ACA that improve health coverage, many of which are already in effect, including the extension of health coverage for dependents until age 26. The webcast also will discuss protections that will become available in 2014. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide information on the new health insurance marketplace. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the event and will receive contact information for future questions.

Register for the webcast online at:
http://mp163422.cdn.mediaplatform.com/163422/wc/mp/4000/15208/21710/24011/Lobby/default.htm?ref=ProductionTeamEmail.

 

CLASP Announces Release of “Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Funding Toolkit for States”


CLASP has recently announced the release of an updated resource, Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Funding Toolkit for States. This toolkit is designed to help interagency state teams identify and facilitate "braiding" of federal resources to build career pathways for adults and out-of-school youth.

Career pathways are an approach that many states are adopting to fix fragmented and leaky educational pipelines, so that adults and out-of-school youth can succeed in postsecondary education and employment. Career pathways are linked education and training services that enable students to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in a given industry or occupational sector. Each step on a career pathway is designed to prepare students to progress to the next level of employment and education. CLASP announces the release of an updated resource, Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Funding Toolkit for States. This toolkit is designed to help interagency state teams identify and facilitate "braiding" of federal resources to build career pathways for adults and out-of-school youth.

Career pathways are an approach that many states are adopting to fix fragmented and leaky educational pipelines, so that adults and out-of-school youth can succeed in postsecondary education and employment. Career pathways are linked education and training services that enable students to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in a given industry or occupational sector. Each step on a career pathway is designed to prepare students to progress to the next level of employment and education.

Also see:

Career Pathways Community of Interest
 

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SBA and AARP to Host National Entrepreneurship Mentor Month; 100 Events to be Held Across the Country in April; Announce a “50+ Toolkit” and Webinars to Assist Entrepreneurs


The U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are teaming up to host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month targeted at entrepreneurs over the age of 50. Building on the success of a joint SBA and AARP Mentor Day in October, the two organizations will match “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance. To find a local event near you go to www.sba.gov/mentormonth

Throughout April, SBA District Offices, state AARP Offices and SBA Resource Partners will host more than 100 events around the country.  Events include speed mentoring, which allows mentors and entrepreneurs to share information for five-minute sessions, and mentor lunches for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners. 

SBA developed a 50+ toolkit that includes free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses.  The training courses include profiles of successful entrepreneurs, recommended action steps, and information on licensing and financing.  Go online to www.sba.gov/encore for the toolkit and other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.  AARP and SBA are also producing two webinars in April to help current and potential entrepreneurs.  For more information, and to register, visit www.aarp.org/startabusiness.

 

SBA and AARP to Host National Entrepreneurship Mentor Month; 100 Events to be Held Across the Country in April; Announce a “50+ Toolkit” and Webinars to Assist Entrepreneurs


The U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are teaming up to host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month targeted at entrepreneurs over the age of 50. Building on the success of a joint SBA and AARP Mentor Day in October, the two organizations will match “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance. To find a local event near you go to www.sba.gov/mentormonth

Throughout April, SBA District Offices, state AARP Offices and SBA Resource Partners will host more than 100 events around the country.  Events include speed mentoring, which allows mentors and entrepreneurs to share information for five-minute sessions, and mentor lunches for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners. 

SBA developed a 50+ toolkit that includes free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses.  The training courses include profiles of successful entrepreneurs, recommended action steps, and information on licensing and financing.  Go online to www.sba.gov/encore for the toolkit and other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.  AARP and SBA are also producing two webinars in April to help current and potential entrepreneurs.  For more information, and to register, visit www.aarp.org/startabusiness.