Topics Of Interest
Department of Labor Announces $36 Million in Grants to Provide 12,000 Veterans with Training; VA Announces $5 Million in Grants to Aid Homeless Veterans with Special Needs
The Department of Labor has recently announced grants totaling $36,710,368 awarded to 156 organizations nationwide to provide more than 12,000 veterans with training to help them succeed in civilian careers. The grants are being awarded under the department's Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program, administered by the Veterans' Employment and Training Service.
The grants include $9,094,355 in funding for 37 new grantees to provide job-driven training, in which they will actively engage with employer partners to identify the skills needed for in-demand jobs and careers. They will also provide job placement, career counseling, life skills and money management mentoring, as well as help in finding housing. VETS estimates that these new funds will help approximately 3,000 veterans.
Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations. Notably, this year's new grantees also include one tribal organization, Idaho's Nez Perce Tribe. These grantees are familiar with the areas and populations to be served and have demonstrated that they can administer effective programs to help homeless veterans.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has also recently announced that it is making renewed funding available to 25 organizations in 11 states that provide transitional housing and supportive services to homeless Veterans with special needs. The Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD) Special Need Grants – totaling $5 million to grantees – will allow the organizations to continue providing housing and necessary services to homeless Veterans from any or all of the following groups with special needs: women, frail elderly, terminally ill, chronically mentally ill and individuals who care for minor dependents.
VA’s Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program provides funds to community agencies that provide services to homeless Veterans. The program promotes the development and provision of supportive housing and services with the goal of helping homeless Veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and income and gain greater self-determination.
To review the Notice of Funding Availability for the GPD Special Need grant, visit the website of the National Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program at www.va.gov/homeless/GPD.ASP. The deadline for submitting proposals will be July 16, 2014.
A June 26 news release provides additional background.
Demonstration Grants for Domestic Victims of Severe Forms of Human Trafficking: HHS/ACF/FYSB Announces Cooperative Agreement Opportunity
The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) within the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families will award approximately three cooperative agreements for 24 months to implement demonstration that will build and sustain coordinated services in partnership with allied professionals in community-based organizations such as runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking victim services programs. FYSB is particularly interested in applicants with experience serving victims of human trafficking in communities with evidence of high rates of human trafficking. FYSB has identified $1,435,000 in support of these agreements.
The program will support the provisions of victim-centered services for United States citizens and lawful permanent resident victims of severe forms of trafficking regardless of age. To do so, programs will implement the following activities: 1) Develop, expand, and strengthen victim service programs; 2) Facilitate communication and coordination between the providers of assistance to United States citizen and lawful permanent resident victims; 3) Provide a means to identify such providers; and 4) Provide a means to make referrals to programs for which United States citizen and lawful permanent resident victims are already eligible, including programs administered by the Department of Justice and elsewhere within the Department of Health and Human Services.
Page 5 of the 59 page solicitation discusses the components of “coordinated case management and comprehensive assistance for victims of sex or labor trafficking” including “literacy education, job training, and/or education/GED assistance … and employment assistance.”
Click here for the solicitation.
Department of Education Proposes Priority to Establish a "Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center"
The Department of Education has proposed a priority to establish a Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center. The Department may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and later years. The Department takes this action "to provide training and technical assistance to improve the capacity of State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and their partners to equip individuals with disabilities with the skills and competencies necessary to help them obtain high-quality competitive employment."
Click here for June 19 FEDERAL REGISTER notice. Comments are due by July 21, 2014.
The background section of the notice acknowledges the impact of the January 30, 2014 Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce and Education “to take action to address job-driven training for the Nation's workers.”
The purpose of this proposed priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to establish a Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center (JDVRTAC) to achieve, at a minimum, the following outcomes:
The JDVRTAC will develop and provide training and TA to State VR agency staff and related rehabilitation professionals and service providers in the following four job-driven topic areas:
- Use of labor market data and occupational information to provide individuals with disabilities with the best information regarding job demand, skills matching, supports, and education, training, and career options;
- Disability-related consultation and services to employers related to competitive employment of individuals with disabilities (including individuals with the most significant disabilities) and strategies to recruit, train and serve employees with disabilities for the purposes of hiring, job retention, or return to work;
- Building and maintaining relationships with employers; and
- Services to providers of customized training and other types of training that are directly responsive to employer needs and hiring requirements.
The FEDERAL REGISTER notice (35123 – 35126) outlines the various activities to be conducted by the JDVRTAC (including knowledge development, technical assistance and dissemination, and coordination activities).
Federal Reserve Board Launches Portal (FedCommunities.org) with Architecture of 'People,' 'Place," "Practice" and "Small Business"; Publishes "Community Development Perspectives - A Summary of Activities, Insights and Future Opportunities"
The Federal Reserve Board and our Federal Reserve Bank partners recently launched a joint portal called FedCommunities.org, which is meant to try and bring together into one place a lot of the materials, events, and other resources that the Community Development function of the Federal Reserve System generates. It is organized into 4 categories, People, Place, Practice and Small Business.
Federal Reserve Community Development Perspectives - it is "meant to give an overview of the types of activities that the Federal Reserve''s CD function engages in. We hope this will act as a good baseline-setting guide as to what our function does and how it participates in CD efforts around the country." FRB. Official description below:
Ever wonder about the Federal Reserve's involvement in the field of community development? Wonder no more. Released in June 2014, Federal Reserve Community Development Perspectives: A summary of activities, insights, and future opportunities answers the "what," "why" and "how" of the Fed's role in community development. The report highlights the Fed's recent efforts to address barriers to economic growth, and promote fair and informed access to financial markets. Featuring brief summaries of its community development work organized into four focus areas--people, place, the policy and practice of community development, and small business--the report includes background information that helps to provide context for this work, a sampling of key research, outreach programs and other initiatives, as well as some ideas on future challenges, needs and opportunities.
The new portal includes access these late May 2014 additions to the canon:
Federal Reserve Human Capital Compendium This repository provides access to research published since 2008 by the Board of Governors and all 12 Federal Reserve Banks on topics related to employment, unemployment and workforce development. The aim is to make this resource a vital tool for researchers, students, and all those interested in the economics of labor markets and
Center for Human Capital Studies As part of the U.S. central bank-which has a dual mandate to promote price stability and maximum employment-the Atlanta Fed has a natural interest in deepening its understanding of labor force dynamics and workforce development issues. The Center for Human Capital Studies supports those efforts through its research, as well as by offering such resources as conferences, seminars, and labor market tracking tools.
Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference (April 2015) Issues Call for Papers
The Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference is a unique event that aims to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice on key issues facing the country. High-quality and emerging research is presented in a dialogue with policymakers and community practitioners who can utilize the lessons gleaned from research.
The Community Affairs Officers of the Federal Reserve System invite paper submissions for the ninth biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference which will be held in Washington D.C. on April 2 - 3, 2015. The conference seeks
" to inform a robust public conversation about economic mobility. Profound economic forces, most recently those associated with the Great Recession, have challenged the financial stability and optimism of families, the prosperity of communities, and the sustained growth of the U.S. economy. These challenges have led to widespread public debate over whether and how the prospect of economic mobility (moving up the economic ladder) has changed in the U.S. Conference organizers hope to use the broad theme of economic mobility to advance our 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. To add to this dialogue, the Federal Reserve invites original, high-quality research from a range of disciplines that can inform and affect how policy is formed and how community practice is carried out. Submissions for plenary, concurrent and poster sessions are invited in three broad categories: families, communities and the economy. Submissions may also span more than one category."
Abstracts are due by September 8; accepted authors must complete drafts by March 2, 2015. Full information can be found here.
HUD Announces Funding Opportunity under the ROSS Service Coordinators Program; Solicitation Notes Encouragement for PHA - WIB Partnership
The purpose of the Public and Indian Housing Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Service Coordinators (ROSS-SC) program is to provide grant funding to public housing agencies (PHAs), tribes/Tribally-designated housing entities (TDHEs), Resident Associations (RAs), and tax-exempt nonprofit organizations (including grassroots, faith-based and other community-based organizations) to hire and maintain Service Coordinators (SC) who will assess the needs of residents of conventional Public Housing or Indian housing and coordinate supportive services and other activities designed to help such residents attain economic and housing self-sufficiency.
The primary goal of a ROSS-Family Service Coordinator is to assist families in increasing earned income and move towards economic and housing self-sufficiency.
HUD has announced it is making $36,000,000 available for support of the Resident Opportunity andSelf Sufficiency (ROSS) Service Coordinators Program. The application deadline is August 18, 2014.
In the section “Demonstrated Link between Partners and Local Need,” the solicitation notes that the Secretaries of HUD and Labor co-signed a letter encouraging PHAs and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) to partner for job training and placement of public housing residents.
In the section “Demonstrated Link between Partners and Local Need,” the solicitation notes that the Secretaries of HUD and Labor co-signed a letter encouraging PHAs and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) to partner for job training and placement of public housing residents.The solicitation provides a link to that letter.
The solicitation also includes "examples of services to be coordinated" including a Life-Skills Training; Financial Capability and Money Management; Job Training, Job Search, and Placement Assistance; Employer Linkage and Job Placement; and, Support for Career Advancement and Long-term Economic Self-Sufficiency.
The solicitation also specifically supports the following criterion:
ob-readiness for low-income Residents. To receive credit for meeting this criterion, applicants must demonstrate that their programs are designed to increase beneficiaries’ job-readiness, and link participants with employers. Renewal applicants will also be evaluated on whether their past programs had positive program outcomes (i.e. participants obtained or improved their employment status).
EDA Grant to Support Public-Private Partnerships Focused on Developing New Technologies; Clemson University Research to Focus on New Technologies for Automotive, Mobility, Energy and IT Fields
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to build a Research One building at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The Research One building will provide space for private-public partnerships focused on developing new technologies in the automotive, mobility and IT fields, supporting the intersection of productivity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
CU-ICAR is a world-class research and education facility focused on workforce development for the area’s thriving automotive ecosystem. The site, which is approximately two acres, is part of an overall master-planned research campus that has been designed to be mixed use for academic, commercial, office, and research facilities. According to the grantee, the Research One building will create 220 jobs and generate $2.6 million in private investment at the outset.
The new building will sit adjacent to the CU-ICAR Center for Emerging Technologies, which EDA supported through a $3 million investment in 2009. The facility helps complete the technology chain from laboratory to the consumer end-user by providing the office and lab space that companies need to develop new technologies in the automotive, mobility and energy fields.
Business.USA.gov Launches State Resources Portal; Small Business Administration Releases Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories
Business.USA.gov has launched its newest website feature -- the State Resources Portal. Together with the other local resource tools on our site, American businesses can find local resources, events, and business assistance centers in their state. Click the State button at the top of the Business.USA.gov Home Page Once on the State Resources Portal main page, just click on your state on the map image or on the name of your state in the links below it to locate government programs in your state (In the example below, the state of Texas is highlighted).
BusinessUSA has also assembled a number of in-person assistance centers all over the country where business owners and entrepreneurs can come in for free expert advice to take advantage of government programs that can help take their businesses to the next level.
In-person assistance is also available. Businesess may visit the Resource Centers and/or call the toll-free number, 1-800-FED-INFO (333-4636) or by using Business.USA.gov through its Request an Appointment Feature.
The SBA Office of Advocacy has released Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, an annual analysis of each state's small business activities. In a new and improved format, the profiles feature information on small business employment, industry composition, small business borrowing, exporting, and survival rates, as well as business owner demographics. This annual publication provides information for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and United States.
The profiles are available online at www.sba.gov/advocacy/848/938561.
Department of Justice Announces Funding Opportunity under Reentry Mentoring Project; Funds Can Used for Job Training and Job Placement Activities
The Department of Justice intends to award $400,000 (and up to four grants) under the “FY 2014 Second Chance Act Strengthening Relationships Between Young Fathers and Their Children: A Reentry Mentoring Project.” The full solicitation is available on www.grants.gov OJJDP-2014-3948. Applications are due by July 17.
Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit organizations (including faith-based, tribal, and community nonprofit organizations) and federally recognized Indian tribes. Applicants must submit letters of support or memoranda of understanding with juvenile justice or adult correctional agencies that oversee the reentry process for young fathers (younger than 25 years old). Applicants may choose to partner with other community-based agencies to provide some reentry services, including the mentoring component. Award recipients must admit to the program targeted youth who were adjudicated prior to their 25th birthday. Further, applicants may continue to implement a reentry plan for these individuals beyond their 25th birthday. OJJDP does not have a set timeline for terminating these services; they can continue as long as is deemed therapeutically necessary. The Department may elect to make awards for applications submitted under this competitive solicitation in future fiscal years, dependent on the merit of the applications and on the availability of appropriations. OJJDP 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 conducting and leading the program as applicable.
Based on a young father’s risk/needs assessment, OJJDP urges applicants to make available a comprehensive range of programs and a process for addressing the needs of individuals. Besides mentoring activities, funding can be used to provide job training and job placement activities, job referrals, basic skills remediation, educational services, occupational skills training, on-the-job training, and work experience. OJJDP expects the applicant to coordinate with other programs and entities to provide substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, or housing services to the eligible young fathers
Census Bureau Announces Retirement of QWI Online and Industry Focus
With the release of the new Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) Explorer application, quarterly data updates to the QWI Online and Industry Focus applications will cease following the 2014 Q2 release of the QWI. These two tools will be officially retired and removed from Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics LEHD website on September 30, 2014.
The workforce community should begin using QWI Explorer and the LED Extraction Tool for access to the Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) dataset. Please send questions and comments regarding this transition to CES.QWI.Feedback@census.gov.
Click here for an overview of the QWI Explorer.
IEDC Releases (1) 'Engaging Small Businesses in Disaster Preparedness' and (2) "Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency"
The International Economic Development Council has released "Engaging Small Businesses in Disaster Preparedness: Practical Tips and Guidance for Community & Business Organizations". Funded through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the guide is designed to provide practical advice in how to encourage small to midsized businesses to better prepare for a future crisis.
Out of the 60 percent of small businesses that fail to prepare for an emergency, more than half will either never re-open or will fail within three years of a major disaster. This guide serves to equip business organizations with the tips on how to alter those statistics and ensure local businesses survive a catastrophic event.
The intended audience for this resource includes local chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, small business development centers, SCORE offices, community colleges, business schools, community development financial institutions, local banks, and nonprofits that serve small businesses. Information from this guide can be referenced when creating workshops or writing articles for company newsletters and e-blasts.
Available for free download at RestoreYourEconomy.org, the guide includes:
- Why community and business organizations should engage small businesses in business continuity;
- The top ten ways to engage small businesses in preparedness activities;
- A case study on ‘A Day without Business’ workshop in Tulsa, OK;
- Resources for crisis preparedness and business continuity planning.
IEDC has also launched "Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency", a guide to help economies recover after a disaster. Available for free download at www.RestoreYourEconomy.org, the toolkit includes practical resources, proven how-to''s, real world case examples, checklists and best practices to implement recovery programs following any type of disaster and to make preparations for future events.
The Toolkit is designed to benefit a wide range of public and private sector officials working with businesses and industries in the economic recovery process including:
- Economic development organizations (EDOs);
- Chambers of Commerce;
- Business leaders;
- Small business development centers (SBDC);
- Community colleges and business schools;
- Community development financing institutions (CDFIs)
Beyond property and infrastructure costs, disasters impact the health of the business community: According to the Small Business Association, as much as 25% of small businesses do not reopen after major disasters. "Leadership in Times of Crisis" provides strategies and tactics for community leaders to focus on for economic recovery and preserving jobs, incorporating useful information for convening private and public stakeholders to identify key economic recovery strategies, tips on how to navigate federal resources for response and recovery, and implementation of recovery initiatives.
Available for free download at www.RestoreYourEconomy.org, the Toolkit's 11 chapters cover:
- Disaster preparation for organizations, businesses and communities;
- Small business assistance;
- Business retention and expansion;
- Strategic planning for economic recovery;
- Economic impact studies;
- Economic diversification; and neighborhood redevelopment.
- Case examples including Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Sandy, tornadoes in Joplin, MO and Greensburg, KS, Cedar Rapids flooding, and the Northridge Earthquake;
- Checklists, forms, sample plans, and resource contacts.
EDA Releases “Making Connections, Evaluation Project to Assess Best Practices in EDA’s University Center Program”
A recent advisory from the Economic Development Administration (EDA):
EDA funds a number of projects and tools to help communities and regions evaluate their economic opportunities and help them build capacity. The tools are intended to assist with economic development, but sometimes it's challenging to really measure the impact of a project. Thanks to an in-depth analysis of EDA's University Centers (UC), we now have some valuable information assessing the best practices of this particular endeavor.
The goal of the University Center program is to provide resources to develop, implement, and support regional strategies to promote job creation, the development of high-skilled regional talent pools, and business expansion in a region’s innovation cluster. It’s about boosting capacities and capabilities. In short, EDA is aiming to mobilize higher education behind the needs of the U.S. economy.
The University Center program began in 1966 and was re-launched in 2004 to make it more competitive. EDA, under its Research and National Technical Assistance program, conducted a formal evaluation and collected data on the performance on the University Centers to better understand the impact of the program. EDA engaged SRI to develop the framework and conduct the evaluation.
As the evaluation got underway, SRI realized that there were going to be some challenges with conducting an evaluation. Namely, each of these centers is fairly localized, and while the services are often similar, they are provided in specialized ways to be responsive to the needs of the local community. As part of the evaluation, SRI conducted an inventory of all services and the ways they are provided by each of the UCs.
In addition to looking at the services themselves, SRI surveyed UC staff, stakeholders, and customers to figure out what the most valuable and in-demand services are. For local governments and economic development organizations, UC’s can tap into academic expertise to assist with data analysis, impact studies, GIS toolkits, and a number of other technical assistance services. For existing businesses and entrepreneurs, UC's can provide a range of services including process improvements, legal services, and commercialization. One of the most important services UC's provide to the business community is acting as a conduit to the expertise of faculty and students in a wide range of fields such as engineering, law, marketing, and computer science.
Based on that data, SRI was able to develop best practices for services across the program to influence and improve national services. Additionally, SRI developed one-pagers highlighting the focus and successes of each individual UC to highlight the local work and impact of each center.
Read the Making Connections, Evaluation Project to Assess Best Practices in EDA’s University Center Program (PDF) to learn more about the program and how your organization can use this important resource.
Healthcare Sector: CareerSTAT Provides Updates on Its Activities, Including Examination of the Workforce Implications of the ACA
Launched in 2011, CareerSTAT is an employer-led national collaboration of health care leaders who promote employer investment in the skill and career development of frontline health care workers. An initiative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and its implementation partner, Jobs for the Future, CareerSTAT is led by Director Jan Hunter, and guided by an executive committee comprised of national health care leaders. Generously funded through The Joyce Foundation, CareerSTAT is working to promote investment by healthcare employers in the skills and career development of their frontline workforce.
CareerStat has released a recent newsletter which summarizes its ongoing activities. Excerpts:
- CareerStat published new research, Implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to help health care leaders, policymakers, and practitioners gain a greater understanding of the workforce implications of the ACA, particularly for the frontline workforce
- Recognized nine organizations as CareerSTAT'''s 2014 Frontline Healthcare Worker Champions-each of which has made significant investment in the skill and career development of their frontline workforce
- Held our first CareerSTAT Partner Affinity Call, which brought together more than two dozen health care partners to share insight into supporting investment in the frontline health care workforce. Another call is scheduled for June 26th. More ...
VA Announces $5 Million in Grants to Aid Homeless Veterans with Special Needs
WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it is making renewed funding available to 25 organizations in 11 states that provide transitional housing and supportive services to homeless Veterans with special needs. The Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD) Special Need Grants - totaling $5 million to grantees - will allow the organizations to continue providing housing and necessary services to homeless Veterans from any or all of the following groups with special needs: women, frail elderly, terminally ill, chronically mentally ill and individuals who care for minor dependents.
VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program provides funds to community agencies that provide services to homeless Veterans. The program promotes the development and provision of supportive housing and services with the goal of helping homeless Veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and income and gain greater self-determination.
A national count in 2013 of homeless persons in the United States revealed there were 57,849 homeless Veterans. While still large, this number represents a 24-percent decline since January 2010. In support of President Obama and VA's goal of ending Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA committed more than $1 billion in fiscal year 2014 to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.
To review the Notice of Funding Availability for the GPD Special Need grant, visit the website of the National Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program at www.va.gov/homeless/GPD.ASP. The deadline for submitting proposals will be July 16, 2014.
University of Virginia Miller Center Commission Proposes Recommendations to Accelerate Innovation for Small- and Medium-Sized Manufacturing Enterprises
A University of Virginia Miller Center commission, chaired by former Governors Haley Barbour and Evan Bayh, has released a report offering innovative, non-partisan, and actionable ideas on creating manufacturing jobs, which have been an engine of well-paying, middle-class employment throughout U.S. history.
"Building a Nation of Makers" proposes six ideas to accelerate the pace of innovation for America'''s small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs.) The report is the first in the Milstein Symposium, a series that is focusing on restoring the American Dream. The report can be found at http://web1.millercenter.org/conferences/milstein/MilsteinReport-Manufacturing.pdf, and a summary is available at http://web1.millercenter.org/conferences/milstein/MilsteinExecSummary-Manufacturing.pdf .
1. Talent investment loans to expand human capital - Government-backed talent investment loans will give SMEs the capital to hire the workers necessary to expand their businesses, as well as to up-skill these new and current employees.
2. Upside-down degrees to connect classroom learning with on-the-job learning - Upside-down programs allow students to transfer accredited technical training, work experience, military training, or community college coursework as credit toward a bachelor's degree.
3. A skills census to build a more efficient skilled labor force - A regular survey of employers to determine current and projected skills needs - commissioned by state governments, with data freely available to the public - will allow businesses, policymakers, and educators to tailor their programs in real-time in order to forestall projected imbalances between skills and employer needs.
4. A national supply chain initiative to fully map America's manufacturing ecosystems - This will allow businesses and policymakers to cost-effectively fill gaps in the existing infrastructure and keep up with rapid changes around emerging technologies.
5. Up-skilling high school students with expanded technology and engineering certification programs - All students should have the opportunity to acquire a certified technical skill before graduating high school.
6. A "big trends-small firms" initiative to diffuse the latest technologies to manufacturing SMEs - This initiative, implemented through the Commerce Department's Manufacturing Extension Partnership, will connect small and medium-sized manufacturers with the latest innovations.
Lumina Foundation Adds 35 Communities to Its Community-Based Postsecondary Education Attainment Strategy
The Lumina Foundation recently announced its second cohort of Lumina Foundation's community-based postsecondary education attainment strategy. The strategy was designed to help communities and regions dramatically increase the number of local residents with postsecondary credentials. The collaborative effort connects participating cities with significant technical and planning assistance, data tools, flexible funding, and the ability to customize attainment plans that will best suit each community’s needs and the well-being of its residents.
Lumina's goal for this work is to mobilize all sectors in a community to improve postsecondary attainment. Communities will partner with Lumina and national thought leaders through 2016 to establish attainment goals. Organizations will work with national partners to develop an action plan focused on reaching the attainment goal to increase the percentage of high-quality credentials held by community residents. Progress toward the goal will be measured by credentials earned after high school, including certificates, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees held by local residents. The cities selected have already demonstrated momentum in advancing attainment agendas, and this effort aims to expand and deepen their work.
The overall effort connects to Goal 2025, a national goal to increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. Lumina’s partners in this effort will provide guidance to the cities as they develop goals and action plans. The national thought-leadership organizations that communities will have access to through this work include: the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Brookings Institution, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, DCA Inc., Excelencia in Education, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the Michigan College Access Network, the National College Access Network, the National League of Cities, the OMG Center, the Say Yes to Education Foundation, and Strive Together.
SBA Solicits Research on Impact of Job Training, Entrepreneurship, Microenterprise, Business Incubators and Innovation Accelerators
The Small Business Administration''s Office of Advocacy's mission includes providing research documenting the status of small businesses and the impact of important trends. To fulfill this task, Advocacy periodically funds small business research from researchers through requests for quotations (RFQs). Areas of continuing interest are listed below and have been chosen because they are researchable, show the status or role of small businesses, can be a catalyst for further research, or may provide policymaking insight. The proposal solicitations and synopses are listed on FedBizOpps (if the below links are not active, go to www.fedbizopps.gov and search for recent Small Business Administration listings).
The deadline for proposal submission is Thursday, July 3, 2114.
- Research on Minority and /or Immigrant Entrepreneurship in STEM Fields (SBAHQ-14-Q-0034), available here
- Research on the Face of Microenterprise: Policy, Workforce, and Capital Implications (SBAHQ-14-Q-0033), available here
- Research on the Current State of Crowdfunding (SBAHQ-14-Q-0032), available here
- Research on the Effects of Job Training in Small and Large Firms (SBAHQ-14-Q-0030), available here
- Research on Entrepreneurship in Low Income Areas (SBAHQ-14-Q-0037), available here
- Research on Assessing the Microfinance Impact on Small Businesses (SBAHQ-14-Q-0036), available here
- Research on Who Participates in Innovation Accelerators and Business Incubators (SBAHQ-14-Q-0035), available here
- Research on Miscellaneous Small Business Topics Using Large Datasets (SBAHQ-14-Q-0031), available here
- Research on the Face of Microenterprise: Policy, Workforce, and Capital Implications (SBAHQ-14-Q-0033), available here
Unemployment Compensation: ETA Publishes Thirty-Day Notices for (1) Interstate Arrangement for Combining Employment and Wages, and (2) Overpayment Detection and Recovery Activities
The Employment and Training Administration has recently published these thirty-day notices:
- Interstate Arrangement for Combining Employment and Wages
- Overpayment Detection and Recovery Activities
Comments on both collections are due by July 7.
Oil and Natural Gas Industry: New Site Provides Information on Careers, Training and Certifications
WASHINGTON, June 12, 2014 - The American Petroleum Institute (API) has officially launched www.oilgasworkforce.com, new website that provides information to anyone interested in careers, training, and certifications in the oil and natural gas industry.
A recent report by IHS predicts an additional 1.3 million new career opportunities in the oil and natural gas industry by 2030, and a 2013 Energy Information Administration study estimates that job growth has been 40-times higher in the oil and natural gas industry compared to the economy as a whole.
The new website offers both English and Spanish versions and builds on existing recruiting initiatives by API and companies to reach veterans'' groups, labor unions, African American and Hispanic communities, and colleges and universities.
HUD Seeks Comment on Proposed Information Collection for the “Jobs Plus Pilot”
The Jobs Plus Pilot is a locally designed program implemented in a collaboration among local housing authorities, residents of public housing developments, local welfare agencies, local workforce development agencies, and other relevant partners. It is aimed at significantly increasing employment and income of public housing residents. The program provides intensive, employment-focused programs targeting every able-bodied, working-age welfare recipient at a public housing development. The place-based Jobs Plus Pilot program addresses entrenched poverty among public housing residents by saturating developments with job and career support, community building, and rent-based work incentives. This program helps residents of public housing increase their earnings through on-site employment-related services, financial incentives, and community support for work. The Jobs Plus Pilot program consists of the following three core components: Employment-Related Services, Financial Incentives, and Community Support for Work.
The demonstration was launched in seven cities during the late 1990s. A 2005 evaluation by MRDC examined six Jobs Plus housing developments over a five-year period. Researchers found that participants in three of the six Jobs Plus sites had substantial earnings gains during the first four years after the program started. MRDC conducted a second evaluation in 2010, covering the seven-year period after the program started, which demonstrated continued positive effects for residents in the same three housing developments even three years after the program ended. The average income gain for a working-age, nondisabled household in the program over the evaluation period was 16%, or $1,300 annually.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed a new data collection in support of the program. The information to be collected by HUD will be used to preliminarily rate applications, to determine eligibility for the Jobs Plus Pilot Grant Competition and to establish grant amounts. The Jobs Plus Pilot Grant Competition Application will be used to determine eligibility and funding for recipients. Respondents of this information collection will be public housing agencies. Forms for this information collection are under development, however it is anticipated that applicants will provide quantitative and qualitative data as well as narrative information for evaluation.
Comments are due by August 4. Click for the full notice.
BLS Publishes Sixty-Day Notice on Current Employment Statistics Program
The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program provides current monthly statistics on employment, hours, and earnings, by industry and geography. CES estimates are among the most visible and widely-used Principal Federal Economic Indicators (PFEIs). CES data are also among the timeliest of the PFEIs, with their release each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the Employment Situation, typically on the first Friday of each month.
The statistics are fundamental inputs in economic decision processes at all levels of government, private enterprise, and organized labor.
BLS has published the sixty-day notice on June 3, 2014 for the information collections supporting the CES. Comments are due by August 4. The PDF version of the notice is available here.
Department of Education Releases Guidance to Improve Educational Outcomes of Children and Youth in Foster Care
The U.S. Department of Education has released resources to emphasize and support the needs of foster care students. In addition to new guidance, ED has launched a dedicated web page, Students in Foster Care, and issued a joint letter with the U.S. Department of Health Human Services to education authorities about increasing educational stability for children and youth in foster care.
The guidance will make it easier for caseworkers, child welfare agencies and tribal organizations responsible for the placement and care of children and youth in foster care to have direct access to their education records. The guidance provides states with information to implement the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA), an amendment to The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It also details the amendment’s impact on the confidentiality provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The guidance will help states improve educational and developmental outcomes for students in foster care by providing authorized agencies with access to the records they need to meet the early intervention or educational needs of the students.
The USA amends FERPA in the following two ways:
- First, it permits educational agencies and institutions to disclose students’ education records to authorized child welfare agency representatives and tribal organizations.
- Second, the USA also allows educational agencies and institutions to disclose students’ education records to authorized child welfare agency representatives and tribal organizations following a judicial order, without requiring additional notice to the parent.
The Department is working with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide new resources to support educators and child welfare professionals in their work to improve the well-being of students in foster care. ED and HHS released a letter advising local educational and child welfare agencies to coordinate efforts to ensure the educational stability of students in foster care under the Fostering Connections Act.
ED also launched the Students in Foster Care webpage this week, which provides information on important laws, guidance and technical assistance materials.
FDI and Job Creation: BEA Seeks Comments on Proposed Reinstatement of "Survey of New Foreign Direct Investment in the United States"
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has proposed the reinstatement of the reporting requirements for the BE-13, Survey of New Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, which was discontinued in 2009.
BEA is proposing to reinstate this survey to better measure Commerce Department efforts through the ``Build It Here, Sell It Everywhere'' initiative to expand foreign business investment in the United States and to ensure complete coverage of BEA's other foreign direct investment statistics.
This survey will collect information on the acquisition or establishment of U.S. business enterprises by foreign investors, which was collected on the previous BE-13 survey, and information on expansions by existing U.S. affiliates of foreign companies, which was not previously collected.
This mandatory survey would be conducted under the authority of the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act. Unlike other BEA surveys conducted pursuant to the Act, a response would be required from persons subject to the reporting requirements of the BE-13, Survey of New Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, whether or not they are contacted by BEA, in order to insure that respondents subject to the requirements for foreign direct investments in the U.S. are identified.
Comments are due by July 28. Click here for the May 28 FEDERAL REGISTER notice.
SSA Publishes Notice on Its SSN Verification Service; Ups Fee to $3.10 Per SSN Verification Transaction
The Social Security Administration provides fee-based Social Security number (SSN) verification service to enrolled private businesses and government agencies who obtain a valid, signed consent form from the Social Security number holder. SSA originally published a notice announcing the CBSV service in the Federal Register on August 10, 2007.
Based on the consent forms, SSA verifies the number holders' SSNs for the requesting party. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)), section 1106 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1306) and regulation at 20 CFR 401.100, establish the legal authority for SSA to provide SSN verifications to third party requesters based on consent.
The CBSV process provides the business community and other government entities with consent-based SSN verifications in high volume. We developed CBSV as a user-friendly, internet-based application with safeguards that will protect the public's information.
In addition to the benefit of providing high volume, centralized SSN verification services to the business community in a secure manner, CBSV provides us with cost and workload management benefits.
New Information from the May 28 FEDERAL REGISTER notice:
To use CBSV, interested parties must pay a one-time non-refundable enrollment fee of $5,000. Currently, users also pay a fee of $1.10 per SSN verification transaction in advance of services. SSA agreed to calculate its costs periodically for providing CBSV services and adjust the fees as needed. SSA also agreed to notify our customers who currently use the service and allow them to cancel or continue using the service at the new transaction fee.
Based on the most recent cost analysis, we will adjust the fiscal year 2014 fee to $3.10 per SSN verification transaction. New customers will still be responsible for the one-time $5,000 enrollment fee.
The changes described above are effective June 2, 2014.
The contact is Esset Tate, Office of Public Service and Operations Support, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, [410-966-8502], for more information about the CBSV service, visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/cbsv.
The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (AMJIAC): Mid-Project Review
In recent years, Federal economic development policy has embraced the idea of fostering “industry clusters” as a mechanism for driving regional economic growth. Industry clusters represent dense formal and informal networks of companies, a supportive ecosystem for innovation, and deep pools of specialized and skilled workers. Through a series of challenge grant programs—the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge grants—the Obama Administration has invested in numerous regional efforts to strengthen and grow regionally-based industry clusters. The challenge grants leverage funding and technical assistance from multiple Federal agencies in a coordinated regional effort to generate greater impact than any individual agency might be able to achieve through their respective individual grant programs.
The first of these competitive Federal grant award (the Jobs and Innovation Challenge) involved three agencies provided funding to twenty regions in 2010. In 2011, a slightly different group of funders awarded grants to 13 rural regions (the Rural Jobs and Innovation Challenge). In the third round, five agencies (including the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership) came together in an effort to support advanced manufacturing. In the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (AMJIAC), NIST provided resources directly to MEP centers. In prior rounds, MEP contributed technical assistance to many grantees, but the AMJIAC grants received NIST MEP funding for the first time. Four other agencies joined NIST MEP to support advanced manufacturing clusters through the AMJIAC. Those agencies included the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Energy (DoE), and the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
The AMJIAC call for proposals was announced in May 2012. After a competitive grant process, ten regions were selected located in Arizona, California, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, and Oregon1. These grants support the creation and strengthening of regional partnerships capable of accelerating innovation and growing a region’s capacity for advanced manufacturing. This funding has been used for activities such as worker training programs or connecting manufacturers to resources like national labs or universities. Ultimately, these grants present regions with an opportunity not only to expand their current activities, but also to fundamentally transform the way that the region supports its manufacturers.
The AMJIAC regions are now roughly halfway through their three year awards. The foundation for each initiative has been put into place, and implementation has begun. The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) worked with the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to conduct a mid-project review about how MEP centers are participating in the AMJIAC projects and their early project accomplishments. It also considers what MEP centers have gained through their participation in these regional initiatives. Click here for the "The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (AMJIAC): Mid-Project Review."
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee to Meet on June 12; Scheduled to Discuss Competitiveness and Trade Policy
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (RE&EEAC) will meet in a public meeting on June 12, 2014 to consider proposed recommendations from the U.S. Competitiveness, Trade Policy, Finance and Trade Promotion Subcommittees that address issues affecting U.S. competitiveness in exporting renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) products and services. This will be the final meeting of the RE&EE Advisory Committee under its current charter which expires on June 18.
The meeting will be held in room 4830 at the U.S. Department of Commerce; 1401 Constitution Avenue NW; Washington, DC 20230. It begins at 9:00 a.m. and concludes at 5:00 p.m.Additional background / registration information
Department of Interior Announces Grants to Support Conservation Employment and Mentoring Opportunities in 43 Project Locations
As part of the Department of the Interior's ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young adults and veterans to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors and the President's 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on May 22 announced $6.7 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities at 43 projects on public lands across the country - a 60 percent increase over last year's funding.
The grants, the latest in the Obama Administration's efforts to develop a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) and expand employment opportunities for young people and veterans, will provide jobs resulting in paid conservation work experiences for more than 620 youth on public lands, as well as fund materials, transportation and other related supplies. These projects will also support approximately 1,550 volunteers working on public lands.
SBA Seeks Comments on the “Entrepreneurial Development Management Information System (EDMIS) Counseling Information Form & Management Training Report"
The Small Business Administration has published the sixty-day notice seeking comments on the “Entrepreneurial Development Management Information System (EDMIS) Counseling Information Form & Management Training Report.”
SBA'''s Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED) collects information from the Agency's resource partners, including: Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and Women's Business Centers, on the training and counseling provided to existing or potential small business owners through SBA funded grants, cooperative agreements or contracts. The information may be uploaded to SBA through the Entrepreneurial Development Management Information System (EDMIS). OED uses the information to facilitate its management and oversight of each OED program or activity funded by SBA and to assist in evaluating the impact of each program or activity on the small business community.
SBA is not proposing any changes to this collection of information at this time; it is seeking OMB’s approval to continue the use of the existing approved information collection beyond the current expiration date of September 30, 2014. Implementation of the changes proposed in the May 3, 2003 FEDERAL REGISTER has been postponed until a later date.
Comments are due by July 28, 2014. Click here for the May 27 FEDERAL REGISTER notice which provides additional background and instructions for the submission of comments.
HHS/ACF/OCS Announces Availability of Community Economic Development Grant Funds; Business Start-Up and Expansion Activities Allowable
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) will award up to $17.9 million in Community Economic Development (CED) discretionary grant funds to Community Development Corporations (CDC) for well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development for low-income individuals.
CED grants will be made as part of a broader strategy to address objectives such as decreasing dependency on federal programs, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas. CED projects are expected to actively recruit low-income individuals to fill the positions created by CED-funded development activities, and to assist those individuals to successfully hold those jobs and ensure that the businesses and jobs created remain viable for at least one year after the end of the grant period.
CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects. The grant period for non-construction projects is 3 years; for construction projects, the grant period is 5 years. The CED program permits facility construction as needed to support business creation, business expansion, and/or job creation. However, it is important to note that short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program as they are designed to be temporary in nature.
OCS is encouraging applications from CDCs to target rural areas and underserved areas, and from 19 states and territories that do not have active CED projects, including American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Island of Guam, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Furthermore, OCS is encouraging projects that align with the Promise Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program.
CED funds may be used for business start-up or business expansion activities, as consistent with the cost principles, as implemented in 2 CFR Part 230, provided that the expenditures result in the creation of positions that can be filled with low-income individuals. This includes start-up capital for operating expenses, such as salaries, facilities, and equipment that will be replaced by projected earnings. Many projects utilize grant funds to provide loans to identified, viable businesses, and/or as an equity or stock investment. Regarding the equity/stock investment, grantees can convey grant funds to third parties to help finance businesses creating jobs for eligible program participants. In exchange for a percentage ownership (via stock purchase or equity) specified in a third-party agreement (contract), a business receives cash needed to buy, start, or expand a business, provided they agree to specified CED program terms and conditions, including reporting jobs and other benefits to grantees. If there is no third-party business and the grantee is the sole owner of the business creating jobs, funds are typically conveyed to the grantee’s for-profit subsidiary via a loan or purchase of 100 percent of the stock in the business. Grant funds can be used to support one or multiple project strategies. However, evidence that identifies the necessity is required for each strategy used.
Applications are due by July 27. Click here for the application package.
Department of Education Research Priority: Vocational Rehabilitation Practices for Youth and Young Adults
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has proposed a priority for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) Program administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
Specifically, OSERS proposes a priority for research on Vocational Rehabilitation Practices for Youth and Young Adults. OSERS takes this action "to focus research attention on an area of national need. OSERS intends for this priority to contribute to improved outcomes of youth and young adults with disabilities in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services program."
Comments are due on or before June 26.
Click here for the May 27 FEDERAL REGISTER notice.