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(Mar 27 2014)   Microbusinesses and Jobs: Aspen Institute’s FIELD Announces New Website 
 
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(Mar 27 2014)   Department of Defense Seeks Comments on Military Spouse Employment Partnership Career Portal 
 
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(Mar 25 2014)   O*NET Work Activities Data and Technical Report: Updated and Enhanced Work Activities 
 
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(Mar 25 2014)   UEDA Seeks Nominations for Its Awards of Excellence Program; Universities Encouraged to Submit in Categories Spanning Talent Development, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Development of Tools for Workforce Development Practitioners 
 
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(Mar 25 2014)   Manufacturing Sector: Akron to Host Partnership Regional Meeting on April 2 
 
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(Mar 25 2014)   Social Enterprises in Workforce Development: Outcomes and Experiences from the Field Explored in April 9 Webinar 
 
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(Mar 24 2014)   HHS/OCS/ACF Announces Opening of New Grant Cycle for Individual Development Accounts 
 
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(Mar 24 2014)   Trade, Exports, Job Creation: Best Practices in Foreign Direct Investment and Exporting Based on Regional Industry Clusters 
 
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(Mar 24 2014)   IRS Announces Availability of Application Packages for the (1) 2015 Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program and (2) 2015 Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Matching Grant Program 
 
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(Mar 24 2014)   Literacy Information and Communication System Regional Professional Development Centers: Department of Education Proposes Waiver and Extension of the Project Period 
 
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(Mar 24 2014)   At-Risk Youth: ACF Announces Funding Opportunity under “Basic Center Program” and “Street Outreach Program” 
 
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(Mar 14 2014)   Department of Commerce Releases FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan 
 
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(Mar 14 2014)   DOJ Announces Funding Opportunity under the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Infrastructure Week 2014 (May 12 – 16) 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   NASWA Publishes State Supplemental Funding Survey FY 2013 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   HHS/OCS/ACF Announces Opening of New Grant Cycle for Individual Development Accounts 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   National League of Cities Announces Homeless Veteran Leadership Network 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Funding Opportunity: Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   IREC Calls for Comments on Standard for Clean Energy Certificate Programs 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Asset Formation for Low-Income Individuals: CFED Selects Savings Innovation Learning Cluster Participants 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Powering Advanced Industries: A Dialogue on State Strategies  
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   MDRC Publishes Five New Briefs on Intersection of Welfare and Disability Programs 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Department of Education Releases New Guidance on Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Kauffman Foundation’s Announces “America’s New Entrepreneurial Growth Agenda”  
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Manufacturing Sector: NIST Invites Applications from Eligible Florida Applicants to Administer MEP Center 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Economic Competitiveness, Trade as Source of Jobs: Executive Order 13659 – Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Business 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Business Engagement: SBA Announces April – June Meetings of the National Small Business Development Center 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations to Address Census Issues on March 20 – 21 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   Department of Education Seeks Comment on Information Collection – Measuring Educational Gain in the National Reporting System for Adult Education 
 
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(Mar 12 2014)   VEVRAA: DOL/VETS Publishes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Proposing Changes to Federal Contractor and Subcontractor Reporting 
 
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(Mar 7 2014)   Education Commission of the States Offers Summaries and Databases on Career Technical Education, Dual Enrollment, STEM, and Executive Branch and Legislative Branch Activity 
 
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(Mar 5 2014)   Labor Certification Process for the Temporary Employment of Aliens in Agriculture: ETA Issues Guidance on Meals and Travels 
 

 

Description

 

Microbusinesses and Jobs: Aspen Institute’s FIELD Announces New Website


March 26 advisory from the Aspen Institute:

What role do microbusinesses play in providing good jobs?

To answer this question, AspenWSI''s sister program, FIELD, has launched www.gainfuljobs.org to provide data on the jobs created by clients of microenterprise programs, including statistics on numbers of jobs, wage levels, and return on investment. Also available are findings from FIELD's newest report, "Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs." This in-depth qualitative study of workers employed by borrowers of microlender Accion East captures data on the most common measures of a "good" job: wages and benefits. It then goes beyond these typical measures to explore other critical components of "good" jobs, such as stable schedules, skill development, advance opportunities, and job flexibility.

Learn what we heard from the workers themselves, through profiles organized around the key themes that emerged from the interviews. Notably, these measures of a "good" job have also been focal points of AspenWSI's research on workforce development strategies that promote job quality for low-wage workers.

Interested in understanding more about the return on investment in microenterprise or microenterprise job quality? Visit www.gainfuljobs.org

 

Department of Defense Seeks Comments on Military Spouse Employment Partnership Career Portal


The Department of Defense has published a sixty-day notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER seeking comment on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Career Porta. Comments are due by May 23.

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Career Portal is the web platform utilized to connect military spouses and same-sex spouses with companies seeking to hire military spouse employees. Participating companies, called MSEP Partners, are vetted and approved participants in the MSEP Program and have pledged to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers. MSEP is a targeted recruitment and employment partnership that connects American businesses with military spouses who possess essential 21st-century workforce skills and attributes and are seeking portable, fulfilling careers.

This program was developed in compliance with 10 U.S. Code 1784 Employment Opportunities for Military Spouses which states:

(f) Private-Sector Employment.--The Secretary of Defense-- (1) shall seek to develop partnerships with firms in the private sector to enhance employment opportunities for spouses of members of the armed forces and to provide for improved job portability for such spouses, especially in the case of the spouse of a member of the armed forces accompanying the member to a new geographical area because of a change of permanent duty station of the member; and (2) shall work with the United States Chamber of Commerce and other appropriate private-sector entities to facilitate the formation of such partnerships.
 

O*NET Work Activities Data and Technical Report: Updated and Enhanced Work Activities


The O*NET Resource Center provides this recent advisory:

Learn about the new updated and enhanced O*NET Detailed Work Activities (DWAs) in the O*NET Work Activities Project Technical Report. The new DWAs were developed using updated work information and are useful for career exploration, skills transferability, resume writing, job descriptions, and other workforce development activities. Take advantage of this great source of occupational data that’s now available for download in the O*NET 18.1 database.
 

UEDA Seeks Nominations for Its Awards of Excellence Program; Universities Encouraged to Submit in Categories Spanning Talent Development, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Development of Tools for Workforce Development Practitioners


Established in 1976, the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) is a cornerstone membership organization representing higher education, private sector and community economic development stakeholders. UEDA is currently seeking nominations by May 31 for its annual Awards of Excellence program, which recognizes cutting edge university-based economic development initiatives from across the country. The Awards of Excellence Program recognizes higher education institutions and their partners who are transforming their campuses into engines of economic prosperity through creative initiatives in five categories:

Talent Development: initiatives that promote the development of 21st-century skills

Innovation and Entrepreneurship: initiatives designed to support startups, high-growth companies and clusters within a region

Research and Analysis: initiatives that enhance the capacity of colleges and universities to provide new forms of research and tools for community, economic and workforce development practitioners

Community Connected Campus: initiatives that promote the physical development of quality connected campuses and their surrounding communities

Leadership and Collaboration: initiatives that support the development of collaborative economic development strategies and the leaders required to implement them

More …

 

Manufacturing Sector: Akron to Host Partnership Regional Meeting on April 2


The second regional meeting of President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative—AMP 2.0—will be held Wednesday, April 2, at the InfoCision Stadium on the campus of The University of Akron.

Jointly hosted by the United Steelworkers and The University of Akron, the all-day meeting will focus on how academia, industry, labor, and government can partner to shape and promote the development and growth of advanced manufacturing jobs in the Midwest and all of the United States.

Key topics will include: challenges and opportunities in scaling up supply chains, job creation and workforce training development, and national and regional challenges to growth in advanced manufacturing and strategies to overcome them.

AMP 2.0 is a renewed national effort to secure U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness. It builds on progress made by its predecessor, created by President Obama in 2011. In its 2012 report, Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing, the inaugural AMP committee made 16 recommendations "aimed at reinventing manufacturing in a way that ensures U.S. competitiveness, feeds into the Nation's innovation economy, and invigorates the domestic manufacturing base."

A working group of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the AMP 2.0 steering committee is helping to implement the report's recommendations and to identify new, concrete strategies for securing the nation’s competitive advantage in transformative early-stage technologies. University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza and Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steel workers, are steering committee members.

To learn more about the meeting and to register, go to: https://www.uakron.edu/advanced-manufacturing-partnership/

Also see:

Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model

 

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Social Enterprises in Workforce Development: Outcomes and Experiences from the Field Explored in April 9 Webinar


The Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Institute will host the second webinar in its four-part series on social enterprise on April 9th, 2014 at 2:00 EST.

Social enterprises in workforce development are businesses that sells goods or services in the marketplace while also helping disadvantaged workers gain meaningful employment and work experience. Today, landscaping businesses, restaurants, retail establishments and temporary staffing firms are just a few of the types of businesses workforce development organizations have started as social enterprises. While many social enterprises have created positive outcomes for workers, there are many challenges to starting, financing, managing, and sustaining a social enterprise. In this webinar, social enterprise experts and workforce development leaders will discuss the latest research into social enterprise, as well as their own experience in supporting, starting and growing their businesses. They will also discuss what knowledge and expertise is involved in creating a successful business, what revenues and costs to realistically expect, and how these businesses fit within the activities, strategies, and mission of their workforce organizations.

Registration / Presenter Information

 

HHS/OCS/ACF Announces Opening of New Grant Cycle for Individual Development Accounts


The Office of Community Services (OCS) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has recently announced that competing applications will be accepted for grants to administer projects for the national Assets for Independence (AFI) of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). The projects will provide IDAs and related services to individuals and families with low incomes.

A primary feature of each AFI project is that participants save earned income in an IDA to purchase a home, capitalize or expand a business for self-employment, or attend postsecondary education or training. Projects also ensure that participants have access to financial education training and coaching, including family budgeting, debt and credit counseling, using mainstream financial products, and accessing refundable tax credits.

Participants use their IDA savings to purchase a first home, capitalize or expand a business for self-employment, or attend higher education or training.

As a condition of their federal AFI grant, grantees must provide non-federal funds to support their AFI project in an amount at least equal to the Federal AFI grant amount.

Click here for full background and the key application timetables.

 

Trade, Exports, Job Creation: Best Practices in Foreign Direct Investment and Exporting Based on Regional Industry Clusters


On Thursday, March 13, 2014 the NADO Research Foundation and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) hosted an informative webinar about the Best Practices in Foreign Direct Investment and Exporting Based on Regional Industry Clusters. The webinar walks attendees through the web-based resource that is designed to promote ways to more effectively attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and develop export potential. The project profiles several useful examples for local communities that may want to introduce initiatives to promote exporting and FDI or have already launched such initiatives and want to make them more effective.

The sixth and final in a series of free webinars about various data tools developed with support from EDA, a nationwide analysis was done to identify case studies of exporting and FDI that were situated in a local community or region, or that could provide guidance for a local community or region. Although state and federal governments are commonly key actors in exporting and FDI, this research provides direction for communities by emphasizing local and regional initiatives. The case studies provide examples from across the United States that collectively create a global network that reaches nearly every corner of the world and includes: Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

There are a range of industries covered in these case studies including: biosciences, automotive and aerospace, electronics and energy, advanced manufacturing, information technology, financial services, distribution, and food, agriculture, and water.

Partnerships are fundamental to the success of exporting and FDI, and while exact partnerships are unique to each case study there are common themes: industry, universities, foundations, and local, state, and federal government institutions.

The previous webinars in this series addressed the U.S. Cluster Map and Registry, Triple Bottom Line, Stats America, RIAN, and Working Waterfronts. Click here to see the recorded webinars.

 

IRS Announces Availability of Application Packages for the (1) 2015 Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program and (2) 2015 Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Matching Grant Program


The IRS has recently announced the availability of application packages for the 2015 Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program.

Authority for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program is contained in Section 163 of the Revenue Act of 1978, Public Law 95-600, (92 Stat. 12810), November 6, 1978. Regulations were published in the Federal Register at 44 FR 72113 on December 13, 1979. Section 163 gives the IRS authority to enter into cooperative agreements with private or public non-profit agencies or organizations to establish a network of trained volunteers to provide free tax information and return preparation assistance to elderly individuals. Elderly individuals are defined as individuals age 60 and over at the close of their taxable year. Because applications are being solicited before the FY 2015 budget has been approved, cooperative agreements will be entered into subject to the appropriation of funds.

More …

The IRS has also announced the availability of the application package for the 2015 Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Matching Grant Program. Authority for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Matching Grant Program is contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, Public Law 113-76, signed January 17, 2014.

More …

 

Literacy Information and Communication System Regional Professional Development Centers: Department of Education Proposes Waiver and Extension of the Project Period


For the current 36-month grant projects under the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Regional Professional Development Centers (RPDC) program, the Secretary of Education proposes to:

  • waive the restriction against project period extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds; and

  • extend for an additional 12 months the project period of these grants.

The Department does not believe that it would be in the public interest to hold a LINCS RPDC competition in FY 2014, the same year in which the Department's LINCS Resource Collection contract and the LINCS technical services contract will end. This proposed one-year extension of the LINCS RPDC project period is intended to ensure seamless technical assistance service delivery to our adult education customers.

Comments are due by April 11, 2014.

More …

 

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At-Risk Youth: ACF Announces Funding Opportunity under “Basic Center Program” and “Street Outreach Program”


The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) has announced it is accepting applications for the Basic Center Program (BCP). The purpose of the BCP is to provide an alternative for runaway and homeless youth who might otherwise end up with law enforcement or in the child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems.

The BCP works to establish or strengthen community-based programs that meet the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth, youth at risk of running away, and their families. The programs provide youth up to age 18 with emergency shelter, food, clothing, counseling, and referrals for health care and other appropriate services. Most basic centers can provide up to 21 days of shelter for a maximum of 20 youth at a time. Basic centers seek to reunite young people with their families, whenever possible, or to locate appropriate alternative safe placements.

  • Estimated Total Funding: $18,166,163
  • Expected Number of Awards: 116
  • Award Ceiling: $200,000 Per Budget Period
  • Award Floor: $50,000 Per Budget Period

See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/files/HHS-2014-ACF-ACYF-CY-0792_0.pdf Applications are due by May 5.

ACF has also announced it is accepting applications for the Street Outreach Program (SOP). The purpose of the SOP is to conduct outreach services designed to build relationships between grantee staff and runaway, homeless, and street youth with the ultimate goal being to keep youth safe and help them leave the streets.

SOP grantees provide support services that aim to move youth into stable housing and prepare them for independence. The program''s ultimate goal is to prevent the sexual abuse or exploitation of young people living on the streets or in unstable housing.

  • Estimated Total Funding: $2,248,804
  • Expected Number of Awards: 20
  • Award Ceiling: $200,000 Per Budget Period
  • Award Floor: $90,000 Per Budget Period

See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/files/HHS-2014-ACF-ACYF-YO-0790_0.pdf Applications are due by May 5.

 

Department of Commerce Releases FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan


Department of Commerce Releases FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan The Department of Commerce has released its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2014 to 2018. The five-year plan, along with the recently released FY15 budget, provides the pathway for meeting the Department’s long-term goals and objectives. The plan summarizes the key strategies and initiatives that will drive progress in the Department’s five priority areas:

  • Trade and Investment. Expanding the U.S. economy through increased exports and foreign direct investment that leads to more and better American jobs.

  • Innovation. Fostering a more innovative U.S. economy—one that is better at inventing, improving, and commercializing products and technologies that lead to higher productivity and competitiveness.

  • Data. Improve government, business, and community decisions and knowledge by transforming Department data capabilities and supporting a data-enabled economy.

  • Environment. Ensuring communities and businesses have the necessary information, products, and services to prepare for and prosper in a changing environment.

  • Operational Excellence. Delivering better services, solutions, and outcomes that benefit the American people.

    The plan is in direct alignment with the “Open for Business Agenda,” which reflects the Department’s role as the voice of business, and the Administration’s focus on economic growth and job creation. Department leaders and employees will use this plan to transform strategies into actions, and actions into results.

    Read a summary of the plan or the entire plan.

    FY 2014-2018 Complete Strategic Plan

    FY 2014-2018 Summary of Goals and Objectives

 

DOJ Announces Funding Opportunity under the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is seeking applications from eligible entities to plan and implement place-based, community-oriented strategies to address targeted crime issues within a neighborhood as a part of a broader neighborhood revitalization initiative. Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) resources will target hot spots of crime where a significant proportion of crime occurs as compared to the overall jurisdiction. BCJI furthers the Department’s mission by leading efforts to enhance the capacity of local and tribal communities to effectively target and address significant crime issues through collaborative cross-sector approaches that help advance broader neighborhood development goals.

BJA notes, in part:

Each year, the federal government funds numerous crime, affordable housing, health, cradle-to-career education, and community and economic development initiatives through an array of programs. Yet, the need for federal money to fund these initiatives has continued to grow, while the federal budget increasingly has been strained by other competing funding priorities.

Through coordinated federal support, there are growing interagency efforts to align a comprehensive range of federal programs across several agencies, including the Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Treasury to revitalize the nation’s most distressed neighborhoods.

Due to similarities in geographic targets and the inextricable link between housing, education, health, economic development, and public safety, applicants should develop a plan to coordinate BCJI with other existing neighborhood revitalization efforts—such as ED’s Promise Neighborhoods, HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods and/or HHS’s Community Health Center grants, or Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) funds, or a Promise Zone’s designation—whenever these resources are directed to locations proposed to be targeted with a grant under this solicitation.

Applications are due by May 6. Review or download the www.grants.gov application package under the Department of Justice menu selection

 

Infrastructure Week 2014 (May 12 – 16)


The Infrastructure Week 2014 Steering Committee has recently announced that Building America’s Future (BAF), a bipartisan coalition of elected officials dedicated to bringing about a new era of U.S. investment in infrastructure - has joined in the initiative to co-convene Infrastructure Week 2014, set to take place May 12-16th in Washington, D.C.

Infrastructure Week will be a series of events designed to build awareness and educate both the public and policy makers about America’s infrastructure challenges. If such challenges are not soon addressed in a long-term, strategic way; they will have enormous implications on America’s economic prosperity, jobs, and competitiveness.

The week will explore emerging solutions, innovative approaches, and best practices being developed nationwide to modernize aging infrastructure. Daily signature events organized by steering committee members will focus on major infrastructure challenges, including freight and goods movement, passenger transportation, and drinking water and wastewater treatment.

To learn more about Infrastructure Week 2014 visit www.infrastructureweek2014.com.

 

NASWA Publishes State Supplemental Funding Survey FY 2013


Over the last 20 years, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) has surveyed state workforce agencies to determine the amount of state funds used to supplement federal grants to operate a variety of federal workforce and unemployment insurance programs. The NASWA State Supplemental Funding Survey is the Association’s longest running survey, with NASWA collecting supplemental funding information from states since 1994.

The NASWA State Supplemental Funding Survey, overseen by the NASWA Administration and Finance Committee, helps gauge the actual expenditures for unemployment insurance (UI) administration, Wagner-Peyser Employment Services (ES), Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs, labor market information (LMI) activities, interest payments on Title XII Unemployment Trust Fund balances, and any other activities which are supported with state funds, but cannot be classified into one single category. The four categories of funding sources include: State Penalty and Interest, State General Fund, State Administrative Tax, and Other Funds. In addition, the Survey captures how states have spent funds allocated to them from Reed Act Distributions.

The results from the FY 2013 NASWA State Supplemental Funding Survey show state supplemental funding appears to have turned a corner, as state budgets have moved from reductions in state spending due to a decline in economic activity during and after the Great Recession resulting in lower tax revenues, to slight increases in spending because of improved economic activity.

The following are some highlights from the fiscal (FY) 2013 NASWA State Supplemental Funding Survey:

• All fifty states, the District of Columbia and Guam responded to the NASWA Survey, representing the first time the survey has captured data for all states in a fiscal year.

• State workforce agencies contributed slightly more than $620 million dollars of state funds to the above mentioned programs and activities.

• Approximately 93 percent of all supplemental funds provided by states went to three primary programs: UI administration, ES and WIA, with UI receiving the most.

• Ninety-one percent of funds states used came from three sources in FY 2013: Other Sources, Administrative Taxes, and Penalty and Interest fees.

• States reported approximately $40 million in Reed Act funds used to supplement UI and ES operations. After FY 2010, Reed Act expenditures dropped substantially, with the lowest amount expended in FY 2013 over a ten year span.

• For FY 2013, states reported payment of approximately $755 million dollars in interest for Title XII UTF balances, with 50 percent coming from state general funds.

Click here for full document.

 

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HHS/OCS/ACF Announces Opening of New Grant Cycle for Individual Development Accounts


The Office of Community Services (OCS) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced on March 7 that competing applications will be accepted for grants to administer projects for the national Assets for Independence (AFI) of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). The projects will provide IDAs and related services to individuals and families with low incomes.

A primary feature of each AFI project is that participants save earned income in an IDA to purchase a home, capitalize or expand a business for self-employment, or attend postsecondary education or training. Projects also ensure that participants have access to financial education training and coaching, including family budgeting, debt and credit counseling, using mainstream financial products, and accessing refundable tax credits.

Participants use their IDA savings to purchase a first home, capitalize or expand a business for self-employment, or attend higher education or training.

As a condition of their federal AFI grant, grantees must provide non-federal funds to support their AFI project in an amount at least equal to the Federal AFI grant amount.

Deadlines for this “rolling” competition:

FY 2014: 05/07/2014 and 07/14/2014
FY 2015: 10/25/2014 and 04/20/2015
FY 2016: 10/19/2015 and 04/18/2016

 

National League of Cities Announces Homeless Veteran Leadership Network


The National League of Cities (NLC) announced on March 9 the Homeless Veteran Leadership Network" (HVLN), a national effort to challenge cities to meet the Administration''s goal to end veteran homelessness in 2015. Sixteen cities have initially signed on to the HVLN to meet the Administration's recent challenge to mayors by partnering with community stakeholders and offering support for strategies to end veteran homelessness. Each HVLN city will aim to engage in a "friendly competition" with another comparable city to be the next community to achieve this goal. The HVLN is co-chaired by NLC President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn., NLC 1st Vice President Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah and Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Ariz.

In 2013, NLC helped facilitate a "friendly competition" between Phoenix and Salt Lake City to see which city could end veteran homelessness first. Recently, both cities have announced that they succeeded in ending chronic veteran homelessness.

Participating cities will connect with existing and emerging efforts in their communities, form community partnerships and offer strong municipal support for strategies that put an end to veteran homelessness. The initial cities participating in the HVLN include:

• Saint Paul, Minn. • Salt Lake City, Utah • Phoenix, Ariz. • Minneapolis, Minn. • New Orleans, La. • Columbus, Ohio • Des Moines, Iowa • Washington, D.C. • Miami, Fla. • Winston-Salem, N.C. • Eugene, Ore. • Joplin, Mo. • Waco, Texas • Charlotte, N.C. • Little Rock, Ark. • Pittsburgh, Pa.

For more information on how to join the HVLN, email veterans@nlc.org.

 

Funding Opportunity: Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking


The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has announced the availability of funds for its Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Regional Program. Building on the work of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Campaign, which began to establish local anti-trafficking coalitions, ORR seeks to continue and expand its efforts to increase identification of foreign victims of trafficking and promote local capacity to prevent human trafficking and protect victims of human trafficking.

Grant recipients will serve as focal points for the identification of foreign victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and their referral for protection and assistance in their targeted geographic area. Foreign victim identification activities include direct outreach to victims, anti-trafficking training and outreach to local professionals and organizations or entities that may encounter victims of trafficking, active participation in a strong-multidisciplinary anti-trafficking coalition or task force, and strategic public awareness activities.

Rescue & Restore Program grant recipients must build local capacity by providing training and technical assistance on human trafficking to local individuals and organizations that are not involved in the anti-trafficking coalition. These activities must improve the ability of these individuals and organizations to identify and assist victims of human trafficking in the geographic area of the project.

Topics for training and technical assistance must include, but are not limited to the following:

• The federal definition of severe forms of trafficking in persons; • Information about human trafficking, including types of trafficking and tactics used by traffickers to recruit and retain victims; • Indicators that a person may be a victim of human trafficking; • Community outreach strategies; • Safety protocols for those in direct contact with potential trafficking victims; • Modifications to organizations’ intake forms to screen for trafficking indicators; • Services available for foreign victims who have or have not yet received a Certification Letter or Eligibility Letter from ORR; • How trafficking victims become eligible for benefits and services to the same extent as refugees; • Continued Presence and T nonimmigrant status; • HHS anti-trafficking programs and resources; • Special considerations for child trafficking victims, which may include relevant legal and social welfare systems such as juvenile justice, child welfare, and immigration; and • State anti-trafficking laws in the specified geographic area.

 

IREC Calls for Comments on Standard for Clean Energy Certificate Programs


The Interstate Renewable Energy Council brings this opportunity to comment on Standard for Clean Energy Certificate Program to the attention of the workforce community.

In its role as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards developer and national leader in training credentials, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has undertaken standards activities to develop IREC Standard 14732:201X General Requirements for the Accreditation of Clean Energy Certificate Programs.

The proliferation of workforce-related training and credentialing programs in the clean energy sector has led to confusion in the marketplace and inconsistency in workforce skills. IREC has identified a need to differentiate between certification and certificate programs, and to describe best practices and requirements that form the foundation for accrediting clean energy certificate programs.

The scope of the draft standard is as follows:

This standard forms the foundation for the accreditation of certificate-awarding entities that develop and administer credit or non-credit clean energy related programs offered in formal educational institutions and other legal entities. For the purposes of this standard, clean energy technologies and practices include renewable energy, energy efficiency, distributed renewable energy generation, and other sustainability practices.

Impacted or interested parties are encouraged to provide comments on the content of the standard. Comments should be specific to requirement(s) of the standard and include sufficient detail so as to enable the reader to understand the commenter's position, concerns and suggested alternative language, if appropriate.

Comments will be accepted until April 14, 2014.

Review the content of IREC Standard 14732:201X

Use our survey tool to submit your comments.

Also see: Renewable Energy Competency Model

 

Asset Formation for Low-Income Individuals: CFED Selects Savings Innovation Learning Cluster Participants


Late last year, CFED announced a new venture in partnership with the MetLife Foundation, the Savings Innovation Learning Cluster (SILC). SILC will seek to foster the development and testing of innovative products and strategies that facilitate savings by low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals and families. Through a learning cluster model, CFED will work with six organizations to develop, implement and evaluate their savings innovations and identify promising ideas that can then be further refined, replicated and brought to scale.

CFED announced 114 organizations submitted applications; a total of six were selected. • Cooperative Federal(Syracuse, NY) • John H. Boner Community Center (Indianapolis, IN) • Live the Solution (Tucson, AZ) • People’s Community Action Corporation (St. Louis, MO) • The Midas Collaborative (Boston, MA) • United Way for Greater Austin (Austin, TX)

In addition to peer learning, SILC members will receive targeted technical assistance from CFED to design and test their savings innovations. CFED will provide periodic updates on this project.

 

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Powering Advanced Industries: A Dialogue on State Strategies


On February 20, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted a forum highlighting the importance of the nation’s advanced industries and state-level actions being taken to expand them. Brookings Vice President Bruce Katz and McKinsey Americas Advanced Industries Director Daniel Pacthod framed the discussion by describing the nature and importance of advanced industries. Their remarks were followed by a bipartisan dialogue between Govs. Haslam and Hickenlooper, discussing their efforts to expand key advanced industry clusters and the need for a supportive federal platform for those efforts.

The video and event materials from the forum are now available here.

 

MDRC Publishes Five New Briefs on Intersection of Welfare and Disability Programs


Both Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) serve low-income individuals with disabilities. Yet the two programs’ differences in approach and structure pose challenges to coordinating services. To understand how best to help TANF recipients with disabilities, the Administration for Children and Families and the Social Security Administration, the parent agencies of TANF and SSI, contracted with MDRC and its partners to conduct the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project. The following publications were all produced as part of that research effort.

Overall, the project found that the overlap in populations between TANF and SSI is not large, suggesting that the interaction between the two programs has little to do with TANF recipients being pushed toward SSI due to changes in TANF policy, as some had thought. This new understanding of the interaction between welfare and disability may better position policymakers to address other important questions, including how best to provide services to meet the special employment and support needs of low-income adults with disabilities. Toward that end, the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project profiled three promising pilot interventions in California, Michigan, and Minnesota that are intended to address how TANF and SSI can work together. Finally, the project developed two practice briefs — one a guide to SSI for TANF staff members and the other a description of assessment strategies used by local TANF agencies to identify the needs of clients with disabilities and offer them appropriate services.

Connections Between TANF and SSI: Lessons from the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project
. This brief summarizes the project’s findings overall, covering the analysis of merged data, field assessments, and the pilot interventions.

Examining the Interaction Between Welfare and Disability: Lessons from an In-Depth Data Analysis
This brief uses MDRC’s analysis of merged national-level TANF and SSI data — two rich data sources that have never before been linked — to better understand the extent of the two programs’ overlap.

The TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project: Innovative Strategies for Serving TANF Recipients with Disabilities
This report describes the implementation and findings of three promising pilot interventions intended to address how TANF and SSI can work together.

Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Guide for TANF Staff Members
This brief compares the SSI disability determination process with TANF procedures, discusses how some TANF agencies gauge who is likely to qualify for SSI, and reviews the employment support programs of both.

Assessing and Serving TANF Recipients with Disabilities
This practice brief describes assessment strategies used by local TANF agencies and organizations to identify the needs of clients with disabilities and offer them appropriate services. It discusses the strengths and weaknesses of these various strategies and offers points to consider in choosing methods.

 

Department of Education Releases New Guidance on Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services


The U.S. Department of Education's Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has recently released new guidance to help school systems and educators interpret and understand the major laws and best practices protecting student privacy while using online educational services.

The guidance summarizes the major requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) that relate to these educational services, and urges schools and districts to go beyond compliance to follow best practices for outsourcing school functions using online educational services, including computer software, mobile applications and web-based tools.

"As an education community, we have to do a far better job of helping teachers and administrators understand technology and data issues so that they can appropriately protect privacy while ensuring teachers and students have access to effective and safe tools," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "We must provide our schools, teachers and students cutting-edge learning tools—and we must protect our children's privacy. We can accomplish both—but we will have to try harder to do it."

Recent advances in technology and telecommunications have dramatically changed the landscape of education in the United States and resulted in the proliferation of student data. Today's classrooms increasingly employ on-demand delivery of personalized content, virtual forums for interacting with other students and teachers, and a wealth of other interactive technologies that help foster and enhance the learning process. While these technologies have the potential to transform the educational process, they also raise new questions about how best to protect student privacy.

The Department is issuing this guidance to answer questions from schools, districts and vendors about how student data can and should be used, what steps are necessary to protect students' privacy, and how to prevent the misuse, abuse and commercialization of students' information. The guidance addresses a range of concerns regarding the security and privacy of student data. For example: "What does FERPA require if personally identifiable information from students' education records is disclosed to a provider?" and, "Do FERPA and PPRA limit what providers can do with the student information they collect or receive?"

The guidance is online at http://ptac.ed.gov.

The Department established PTAC as a one-stop resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level longitudinal data systems and other uses of data. PTAC provides timely information and updated guidance on privacy, confidentiality, and security practices through a variety of resources, including training materials and opportunities to receive direct assistance with privacy, security, and confidentiality of student data systems.

 

Kauffman Foundation’s Announces “America’s New Entrepreneurial Growth Agenda”


The Kauffman Foundation has recently released a video and policy brief highlighting ideas to spur entrepreneurial growth. The new research initiative called America''s New Entrepreneurial Growth Agenda, which is geared toward identifying ways the United States can foster a faster-growing and more broad-based entrepreneurial economy.

See www.kauffman.org/SOE2014 and http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/2014/02/kauffman-foundation-releases-policy-brief

Also see: Employment and Training Administration’s Integrating Entrepreneurship Into the Public Workforce System

 

Manufacturing Sector: NIST Invites Applications from Eligible Florida Applicants to Administer MEP Center


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced it is inviting applications from eligible applicants for funding one MEP center in the State of Florida. The objective of the MEP center is to provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small- and medium-sized manufacturers in the state of Florida. The MEP center will become part of the MEP national system of extension service providers, currently comprised of more than 400 centers and field offices located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Applications are due by May 14. The earliest anticipated start date for awards made under this notice and the corresponding Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement is expected to be October 1, 2014.

More …

Training and Employment Notice 38-11: Benefits of Collaboration Between State/Local Workforce Investment Boards and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program

 

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Economic Competitiveness, Trade as Source of Jobs: Executive Order 13659 – Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Business


Executive Order 13659 “Streamlining the Export’/Import Process for America’s Businesses” was recently published in the FEDERAL REGISTER.

Excerpt:

… In particular, we must increase efforts to complete the development of efficient and cost-effective trade processing infrastructure, such as the International Trade Data System (ITDS), to modernize and simplify the way that executive departments and agencies (agencies) interact with traders. We must also improve the broader trade environment through the development of innovative policies and operational processes that promote effective application of regulatory controls, collaborative arrangements with stakeholders, and a reduction of unnecessary procedural requirements that add costs to both agencies and industry and undermine our Nation''s economic competitiveness. By demonstrating our commitment to utilizing technology, coordinating government processes, fulfilling international obligations, and embracing innovative approaches to promote new opportunities for trade facilitation in the 21st century, we can lead by example and partner with other countries willing to adopt similar programs. This will encourage compliance with applicable laws and, more broadly, result in a more prosperous, safe, secure, and sustainable trading environment for all.

Also see: WWW.BUSINESS.USA.GOV

 

Business Engagement: SBA Announces April – June Meetings of the National Small Business Development Center


Business Engagement: SBA Announces April – June Meetings of the National Small Business Development Center The Small Business Administration announced today that conference calls of the National Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Advisory Board will be held on:

• Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 1:00pm EST • Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 1:00pm EST • Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 1:00pm EST

More …

 

National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations to Address Census Issues on March 20 – 21


The Census Bureau has published a notice that the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations (NAC) will meet in plenary session on March 20 – 21. The NAC will address census policies, research and methodology, tests, operations, communications/messaging, and other activities to ascertain needs and best practices to improve censuses, surveys, operations, and programs.

More …

 

Department of Education Seeks Comment on Information Collection – Measuring Educational Gain in the National Reporting System for Adult Education


The Department of Education has published the thirty-day notice today for “Measuring Educational Gain in the National Reporting System for Adult Education.

Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 462 establishes procedures the Secretary uses to consider literacy tests for use in the National Reporting System (NRS) for adult education. This information is used by the Secretary to determine the suitability of published literacy tests to measure and report educational gain under the NRS.

The Office of Management and Budget projects 15 respondents with a total burden hour estimate of 600 hours.

Click here for the notice. Comments are due by March 27.

 

VEVRAA: DOL/VETS Publishes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Proposing Changes to Federal Contractor and Subcontractor Reporting


The Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service today has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to propose revisions to the regulations implementing the reporting requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, (VEVRAA). VEVRAA requires Federal contractors and subcontractors to annually report on the total number of their employees who belong to the categories of veterans protected under the Act, and the total number of those employees who were hired during the period covered by the report.

• The NPRM proposes rescinding the regulations which prescribe the reporting requirements applicable to Government contracts and subcontracts entered into before December 1, 2003, because VETS believes the regulations have become obsolete.

• The NPRM proposes revisions to the regulations which prescribe the reporting requirements applicable to Government contracts and subcontracts of $100,000 or more entered into or modified on or after December 1, 2003.

• The NPRM proposes revising the annual report prescribed by the regulations to require contractors and subcontractors to report the specified information for protected veterans in the aggregate rather than for each of the categories of veterans protected under the statute.

• The NPRM proposes renaming the annual report prescribed by the regulations the Federal Contractor Veterans' Employment Report VETS-4212 (`VETS-4212 Report).

• The NPRM proposes to revise regulations that address the definitions of terms used in the regulations, the text of the reporting requirements clause included in Government contracts and subcontracts, and the methods of filing the annual report on veterans' employment.

VETS proposes that contractors begin complying with the reporting requirements in the revised regulations one year after the effective date of the final rule.

Comments are due by April 25, 2014.

 

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Education Commission of the States Offers Summaries and Databases on Career Technical Education, Dual Enrollment, STEM, and Executive Branch and Legislative Branch Activity


The Education Commission of the States has provided this helpful update on the release of some of its recent publications as well as databases for the workforce community interested in career technical education, dual enrollment programs and STEM strategies.

CTE Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment

Section of the dual enrollment database that describes CTE-specific components to dual enrollment programs:
http://ecs.force.com/mbdata/MBQuestRT?Rep=DE1316N

Landing page for the full database:
http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/HighSchool/highschooldb1_intro.asp?topic=de

ECS monitors state activity on CTE, including enrolled/enacted/vetoed legislation, substantive changes to administrative code, and executive orders:
http://www.ecs.org/ecs/ecscat.nsf/WebTopicView?OpenView&count=-1&RestrictToCategory=Career/Technical+Education

http://www.ecs.org/ecs/ecscat.nsf/WebTopicView?OpenView&count=-1&RestrictToCategory=Career/Technical+Education--Career+Academies/Apprenticeship.

ECS also tracks economic/workforce development policy initiatives:
http://www.ecs.org/ecs/ecscat.nsf/WebTopicView?OpenView&count=-1&RestrictToCategory=Economic/Workforce+Development
and STEM initiatives: http://www.ecs.org/ecs/ecscat.nsf/WebTopicView?OpenView&count=-1&RestrictToCategory=STEM

2014 State of the State Addresses Education-Related Proposals by Educational Issue http://www.ecs.org/ecs/ecscat.nsf/WebStateofStateTopic2014?OpenView&Count=-1.

 

Labor Certification Process for the Temporary Employment of Aliens in Agriculture: ETA Issues Guidance on Meals and Travels


The Employment and Training Administration has announced:

  • the allowable charges for 2014 that employers seeking H-2A workers may charge their workers when the employer provides three meals a day, and

  • the maximum travel subsistence meal reimbursement that a worker with receipts may claim in 2014.

The March 5, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER provides full background.