Topics Of Interest
HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency Evaluation; Analysis Directed at 9 Promising Career Pathways Strategies
The Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a data collection activity as part of the Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) evaluation. ISIS is an evaluation of 9 promising career pathways strategies to promote education, employment, and self-sufficiency. The major goal of ISIS is to increase the empirical knowledge about the effectiveness of programs for low-income individuals and families to achieve educational credentials, attain employment and advance to positions that enable self-sufficiency.
ISIS is one project within the broader portfolio of research that HHS/ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. OPRE is utilizing to assess the success of the career pathways programs and models. In addition to ISIS, this strategy includes a multi-pronged research and evaluation approach for the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program to better understand and assess the activities conducted and their results. In order to maximize learning across this portfolio, survey development for the HPOG and ISIS baseline and follow up surveys is being coordinated, and the majority of the data elements collected in these surveys are similar.
An August 27, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER notice provides the opportunity for provides the public the opportunity to comment on a proposed new information collection activity for ISIS -- a second follow-up survey for ISIS participants approximately 36 months after program enrollment. The purpose of the survey is to follow-up with study participants to document their education and training experiences, employment experiences, and parenting practices and child outcomes for participants with children.
The notice provides additional background, the history of data collections approved to date for ISIS, burden hour estimate, and the desired focus for public comment.
HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on Data Collections in Support of Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program
HHS/ACF is proposing data collection activities as part of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program. The proposed data collection activities will provide data for the Impact Studies of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG-Impact) and the National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grant to Serve TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Individuals (HPOG-NIE).
The goal of HPOG-Impact is to evaluate the effectiveness of approaches used by 20 of the HPOG grantees to provide TANF recipients and other low-income individuals with opportunities for education, training and advancement within the health care field. HPOG-Impact also is intended to evaluate variation in participant impact that may be attributable to different HPOG program components and models. The impact study design is a classic experiment in which eligible applicants will be randomly assigned to a treatment group that is offered participation in HPOG and a control group that is not permitted to enroll in HPOG. In a subset of sites, eligible applicants will be randomized into two treatment arms (a basic and an enhanced version of the intervention) and a control group.
The goal of HPOG-NIE is to describe and assess the implementation, systems change, and outcomes and other important information about the operations of the 27 HPOG grantees focused on TANF recipients and other low-income individuals. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to collect information about the composition and intensity of services received, participant characteristics and HPOG experiences, and participant outputs and outcomes.
The August 27, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER provides full background, discusses data collections to date, summarizes burden hour estimates, and furnishes the burden hour estimates. The instruction is similar with respect to comments:: “OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document …. therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.”
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Board to Meet on September 18
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board will hold an open meeting on Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The meeting will be held on the NIST campus in Gaithersburg.
The Board provides a forum for input and guidance from Hollings MEP program stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of tools and services focused on supporting and growing the U.S. manufacturing industry, provides advice on MEP programs, plans, and policies, assesses the soundness of MEP plans and strategies, and assesses current performance against MEP program plans.
This meeting will focus on (1) the MEP Advisory Board's review of the plans for implementing the recently adopted NIST MEP Strategic plan, (2) overview of Hollings MEP export initiatives and partnerships, and (3) an update on NIST Hollings MEP system competitions. The final agenda will be posted on the MEP Advisory Board Web site at http://www.nist.gov/mep/advisory-board.cfm.
BLS Releases Analysis and Data Tables for "Worker Displacement: 2011 to 2013"
Since 1984, the Employment and Training Administration has sponsored surveys that collect information on workers who were displaced from their jobs. These surveys have been conducted biennially as supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households that is the primary source of information on the nation's labor force.
Based on the most recent survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics today released the analysis and data tables for “Worker Displacement: 2011 to 2013.”
From January 2011 through December 2013, 4.3 million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least 3 years. This was down from 6.1 million workers for the prior survey period covering January 2009 to December 2011. In January 2014, 61 percent of workers displaced from 2011 to 2013 were reemployed, up by 5 percentage points from the prior survey in January 2012.
Displaced workers are defined as persons 20 years of age and older who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished. The period covered in this study was 2011-13, the 3 calendar years prior to the January 2014 survey date. Most of this period was characterized by employment growth.
The BLS analysis focuses primarily on the 4.3 million persons who had worked for their employer for 3 or more years at the time of displacement (referred to as long-tenured). An additional 5.2 million persons were displaced from jobs they had held for less than 3 years (referred to as short-tenured). Combining the short- and long-tenured groups, the number of displaced workers totaled 9.5 million from 2011 to 2013. In the prior survey, which was conducted in January 2012 and covered 2009-11, this group numbered 12.9 million.
Department of Education Seeks Comment on Proposed Revision to the 2015 – 2016 Federal Student Aid Application
The Department of Education has announced it is seeking comment on the proposed revision to the 2015-2016 Federal Student Aid Application.
For 2015-2016, the Department is reporting a net burden decrease of 2,081,212 hours.
Click here for the August 27 FEDERAL REGISTER notice with instructions on filing of public comments. Comments are due by October 27.
Investing in Appalachia's Youth Conference Set for October 8 - 9 in Alabama
Many communities in Appalachia, especially those in rural areas, are facing the impacts of high rates of youth outmigration: the loss of potential workers, business owners, community leaders, and parents of the next generation. The Appalachian Regional Commission’s October 2014 Investing in Appalachia’s Youth conference will focus on strategies communities can use to engage their young people and build a stronger future. The conference will be held Wednesday, October 8–Thursday, October 9 at the Marriott Shoals Hotel, 10 Hightower Place, Florence, Alabama 35630 (256.246.3600 or 800.228.9290).
Conference sessions will focus on critical strategies for reversing youth outmigration, including:
- Developing effective youth leadership programs that expose young people to community issues and teach leadership skills;
- Using new technology and media to reach and engage young residents;
- Empowering young people to serve their communities by becoming actively involved in current issues;
- Guiding students towards careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;
- Incorporating entrepreneurial learning and support into all levels of the education system;
- Teaching business skills to young people in the creative sectors; and
- Creating communities young people will want to work and live in.
See the conference agenda to learn more.
Registration. Online registration ends Tuesday, September 30.
Trade Adjustment Assistance: ETA Publishes New Benefits and Services, Exiter, and Performance Information
Beginning with Fiscal Year 2014, Second Quarter (January 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014), the Employment and Training Administration’s Office of will post select participant outcomes and results for: employment, training, training completion, industry-recognized credentials, and individual employment plans. This posting contains informational resources needed to ensure that job seekers and workers are equipped with the skills needed by employers as part of the vision for a job-driven workforce system
Trade Adjustment Assistance Main Webpage
Trade Adjustment Assistance Research Menu Tab
Update on Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program: Census Bureau Reports Delay in Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) for 2012
The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program is part of the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau. The LEHD program produces new, cost effective, public-use information combining federal, state and Census Bureau data on employers and employees under the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership. State and local authorities increasingly need detailed local information about their economies to make informed decisions. The LED Partnership works to fill critical data gaps and provide indicators needed by state and local authorities.
Under the LED Partnership, states agree to share Unemployment Insurance earnings data and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data with the Census Bureau. The LEHD program combines these administrative data, additional administrative data and data from censuses and surveys. From these data, the program creates statistics on employment, earnings, and job flows at detailed levels of geography and industry and for different demographic groups. In addition, the LEHD program uses these data to create partially synthetic data on workers' residential patterns.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have joined the LED Partnership, although the LEHD program is not yet producing public-use statistics for Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. The LEHD program staff includes geographers, programmers, and economists
The program makes available several data products that may be used to research and characterize workforce dynamics for specific groups. These data products include online applications, public-use data, and restricted-use microdata. The Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) and LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) data are available online for public use. Confidential microdata are available to qualified researchers with approved projects through restricted access use in Census Research Data Centers.
Note: On August 21, 2014, the Census Bureau reported that production of LODES data for 2012 has been postponed due to the unavailability of key state-sourced input data. When these data do become available, production and public release of LODES data will resume. This will delay the release of updates to LEHD's OnTheMap data product. Comments and questions about this issue should be sent to CES.OnTheMap.Feedback@census.gov
Individuals with Disabilities Act: Department of Education to Fund Cooperative Agreement to Provide TA to States
The Department of Education today announced the availability of $3,200,000 in funding to support a cooperative agreement to provide technical assistance (TA) to improve the capacity of States to meet the data collection requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The funded Fiscal IDEA Data Center will provide States with TA for meeting their fiscal data collection and reporting obligations under IDEA.
Eligible applicants include SEAs; LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IDEA Part C State lead agencies; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.
Applications are due by September 10.
|Funding announcement||Priority statement|
HUD Seeks Comments on 'Job Plus Pilot" Data Collection; Program Consists of Employment-Related Services, Financial Incentives, and Community Support for Work
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. This place-based Jobs Plus Pilot program in HUD's description:
“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.”
Grant funds may be used to pay the cost of implementing Jobs Plus start-up, planning, and programming activities (employment and incentives); and the salary and fringe benefits of program staff. Only residents of conventional public housing may benefit from this program.
Through a thirty-day notice, HUD today announced it is seeking approval for a new information collection in support of the program. The OMB approval number for this collection is pending. The information provided by the eligible applicants will be reviewed and evaluated by HUD. 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.
BEA Releases New Dataset Focused on State Economic Growth and Regional Economies; Prototype Statistics Present Quarterly GDP for 21 Industry Sectors Spanning 2005 - 2013
On August 20, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released prototype statistics of quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) by state for 2005–2013. These new statistics provide a more complete picture of economic growth across states that can be used with other regional data to gain a better understanding of regional economies as they evolve from quarter to quarter.
The new data provide a fuller description of the accelerations, decelerations, and turning points in economic growth at the state level, including key information about changes in the distribution of industrial infrastructure across states. These prototype statistics are released for evaluation and comment by data users.
The quarterly GDP by state statistics are released for 21 industry sectors and are released in both current dollars and inflation-adjusted chained (2009) dollars.
BEA plans additional outreach with data users to assess these prototype statistics. Subject to data users' evaluations and comments, we plan to review the estimation methodology and continue to incorporate improved data sources. Provided that user evaluations are positive, we plan to release official statistics in 2015.
Prototype statistics of current-dollar and real GDP for each state and for the 21 industry sectors may be found on BEA's Regional Accounts webpage.
More information on the statistics and the methodology will appear in an article in an upcoming issue of the Survey of Current Business, the monthly online journal of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
OMB and OSTP Request Comments on Digital Services Playbook and TechFAR Handbook
The Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) and OMB's Offices of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) and E-Government & Information Technology (E-Gov) are seeking public comment on two documents, the Digital Services Playbook and the TechFAR Handbook, which were developed to improve the delivery of digital services by the Federal Government.
The Digital Services Playbook identifies a series of ``plays' drawn from successful best practices from the private sector and government that, if followed together, will help government build effective digital services. The plays outline an approach to delivering services that increases our ability to be flexible, iterative and, most importantly, to focus on the needs of the people that use our services.
The TechFAR Handbook highlights the flexibilities in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that can help agencies implement ``plays' from the Playbook that would be accomplished with acquisition support--with a particular focus on how to use contractors to support an iterative, customer-driven software development process, as is routinely done in the private sector.
OFPP, E-Gov, and OSTP intend for these documents to be used together by agencies as resources for the successful delivery of digital services. Comments are especially welcome on additional best practices or lessons learned that may be appropriate for inclusion in this guidance.
Interested parties may provide comment through an open source repository on GitHub by reviewing the documents and response dates posted at the following links: http://playbook.cio.gov; http://playbook.cio.gov/techfar/. The contacts are Ms. Malissa Levesque, E-Gov, 202-395-0376 or email@example.com; or Mr. Mathew Blum, OFPP, 202-395-4953, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investing in Appalachia's Youth Conference Set for October 8 - 9
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has announced a Youth Conference on October 8 – 9 to be held at the Marriott Shoals Hotel in Florence, Alabama.
Many communities in Appalachia, especially those in rural areas, are facing the impacts of high rates of youth outmigration: the loss of potential workers, business owners, community leaders, and parents of the next generation. ARC’s Investing in Appalachia’s Youth conference will focus on strategies communities can use to support Appalachia’s youth and help engage and retain the youth population.
Conference sessions will focus on critical strategies for reversing youth outmigration, including:
- Targeting entrepreneurial programs to youth
- Engaging youth in civic leadership and organizing
- Preparing Appalachia’s youth for tomorrow’s jobs
A detailed conference agenda and registration will be posted in the near future on www.arc.gov
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance to Meet on September 12
The Department of Education has announced that the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance will hold a September 12 meeting in Washington D.C.
The Advisory Committee serves as an independent source of advice and counsel to the Congress and the Secretary of Education on student financial aid policy. Since its inception, the congressional mandate requires the Advisory Committee to conduct objective, nonpartisan, and independent analyses on important aspects of the student assistance programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.
The one-day meeting/hearing will provide an opportunity for members of the public to suggest strategies and techniques to address the technical challenges involved in creating the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS).
RSA Seeks Comment on Vocational Rehabilitation "Corrective Action Plan"
Pursuant to Section 107 (a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) must conduct periodic monitoring of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) programs in each state. As a result of this monitoring, RSA may require that VR agencies to develop a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) in order to resolve findings of non-compliance. The CAP must contain the specific steps that the agency will take to resolve each finding, timelines for the completion of each step and methods for evaluating that the findings have been resolved. RSA requires the agency to report progress toward completion of the CAP on a quarterly basis.
RSA has published the sixty-day notice seeking public comment on this Corrective Action Plan collection. Comments are due by October 17. More ...
BLS Publishes Thirty-Day Notice for the "National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979"
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published the thirty-day notice for the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979.” The August 18 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background on the Survey and instructions for the submission of comments. The Office of Management and Budget will consider all written comments received by September 17.
NASA Selects Proposals to Increase STEM Education at Community and Technical Colleges
NASA''s Office of Education will award more than $17.3 million through the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program to increase student and faculty engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at community colleges and technical schools across the U.S. Each award has a two-year performance period and a maximum value of $500,000.
The 35 awards were granted after a solicitation to members of the national Space Grant Consortia. Winning proposals outlined ways to attract and retain more students from community and technical colleges in STEM curricula, develop stronger collaborations to increase student access to NASA's STEM education content, and increase the number of students who advance from an associate to a bachelor's degree.
The California Space Grant Consortium, for example, proposes to enhance STEM preparation at 12 state community colleges and improve opportunities for approximately 300 students to transfer to either the University of California or the California State University system. This multi-faceted program includes development of a distance learning STEM course for faculty and students that fosters education and training in programmable microcomputers, near-space ballooning, small satellites, autonomous ground robots and wearable sensor vests for sports and health monitoring.
The Colorado Space Grant Consortium proposes to add four new community college campuses as affiliates to the consortium. Students and faculty members from these institutions will participate in STEM activities by designing, building and launching high-altitude balloon payloads. In addition, the students will have an opportunity to compete for scholarships, summer internships at NASA centers and to participate in the RockOn! workshop, part of an ongoing collaboration with NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
On the East Coast, the North Carolina Space Grant Consortium proposes to offer competitive STEM scholarships at the community college level in order to attract and retain students through graduation and/or matriculation into four-year universities. The consortium also will offer a Team Design Challenge and Competition for faculty and students across the state to increase STEM education experiences featuring NASA content.
Space Grant Consortia operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Each has a lead institution to manage its activities. In addition, there are more than 850 affiliates, including colleges and universities, industry, museums and science centers, and state and local agencies, that work to support and enhance science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts for NASA's aeronautics and space projects. The affiliates work directly with the lead Space Grant institutions to deliver quality STEM programs.
Through this NASA higher education program, the agency continues its tradition of investing in the U.S. education infrastructure with the goal of developing STEM skills and capabilities critical to achieving the nation's exploration goals through a robust, STEM-literate workforce.
To view a complete list of the awardees and their winning abstracts, visit:
For more information about the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program, visit:
For more information about NASA's education programs, visit:
Job Creation, Environmental Justice: EPA Announces $11 Million in Supplemental Funds to Clean up and Redevelop Contaminated Brownfields Sites Across the Country
On August 14, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $11 million in supplemental funding to help clean up contaminated Brownfields properties. The Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) will help 31 grantees carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects. These projects are expected to create more than 700 jobs and leverage over $57 million in cleanup and redevelopment, while utilizing unique financing mechanisms and partnerships to protect people'''s health and the environment.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States. EPA's Brownfields program targets these sites to encourage redevelopment, and help to provide the opportunity for productive community use of contaminated properties. EPA's Brownfields investments overall have leveraged more than $21 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from public and private sources and on average, $17.79 is leveraged for every EPA Brownfields grant dollar spent.
|News release||More information on Brownfields||More information on Brownfields RLF|
- In New York, N.Y., funds will be used to carry-out two projects in partnership with a local non-profit that will build over 500 affordable housing units and create 320 temporary jobs and 46 permanent jobs.
- The State of Vermont will make a loan to complete cleanup of a site in St. Albans that is targeted for manufacturing redevelopment. The site is the focus of a state Brownfields Economic Revitalization Alliance that brings a wide-array of concentrated state resources to cleanup and redevelopment.
- Kansas City, Mo., a loan will be used to clean-up the Westport Middle School and redevelop the site into residential housing and substantial greenspace with urban garden and urban farming components. The local developer plans to leverage New Market Tax Credits to finance other parts of the project.
- The State of Illinois' EPA will use funds to partner with a nonprofit to bring urban agriculture to an Environmental Justice community in Chicago.
EEOC Requests Emergency Extension of the Employer Information Report from OMB
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that it intends to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for an emergency extension of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) to be effective after the current August 31, 2014 expiration date.
Section 709(c) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(c), requires employers to make and keep records relevant to a determination of whether unlawful employment practices have been or are being committed, to preserve such records, and to produce reports as the Commission prescribes by regulation or order. Accordingly, the EEOC issued regulations prescribing the EEO-1 reporting requirement. Employers in the private sector with 100 or more employees and some federal contractors with 50 or more employees have been required to submit EEO-1 reports annually since 1966. The individual reports are confidential.
EEO-1 data is used by EEOC to investigate charges of employment discrimination against employers in private industry and to provide information about the employment status of minorities and women. The data is shared with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), U.S. Department of Labor, and several other federal agencies. Pursuant to Section 709(d) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, EEO-1 data is also shared with state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs).
The estimated number of respondents included in the annual EEO-1 survey is 70,000 private employers. The annual number of responses is approximately 290,410. The form is estimated to impose 987,394 burden hours annually or 3.4 hours per response. In order to help reduce survey burden, respondents are encouraged to report data electronically whenever possible.
The August 14 FEDERAL REGISTER provides additional background on the EEOC request.
White House Announces New Commitments to Improve College Opportunity
The White House has recently announced several developments on August 13 to expand efforts to promote and support college opportunities. Click here for the blog post. Click here for the fact sheet.
The Administration is announcing that the White House will host another College Opportunity Summit on December 4, 2014. The goal of this conference will build on the work launched in the first College Opportunity Summit last January, while launching initiatives in new areas. This year’s summit will focus on building sustainable collaborations in communities with strong K-12 and higher education partnerships to encourage college going, and supporting colleges to work together to dramatically improve persistence and increase college completion, especially for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students.
New community college partners working to expand college opportunity: The Administration is announcing 14 new commitments by community colleges to expand college opportunity by strengthening college readiness for academically underprepared students, building on the more than 100 colleges and universities and 40 nonprofit organizations who made commitments in January.
New commitments from the field to strengthen college readiness: The Department of Education’s Institute for Education Studies (IES) is launching a new Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) led by the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University and the social policy research organization MDRC that will work to strengthen the research, evaluation, and support of college-readiness efforts across the nation. In addition, Khan Academy is announcing new commitments that will focus on technology-based solutions customized to improve student success in developmental math. Lastly, the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation will commit $5 million, partnering with MDRC, the Ohio Board of Regents, and City University of New York (CUNY) to replicate CUNY’s successful Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) to support as many as 2,000 community college students in Ohio to help more students graduate sooner.
Continued progress on ongoing college opportunity commitments: In addition to new commitments, we continue to make progress on our previously announced efforts to expand access to college for all students, including efforts to improve the effectiveness of college advising and enhance support for school counselors, and increasing efforts to boost student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to broaden participation in STEM fields to women, underrepresented groups, and students from low-income or underserved communities. These efforts have inspired engagement and supported the progress of education leaders who are taking collective action in their schools, on college campuses, and in their communities to do all they can to help more low-income students prepare to enter and succeed in college.
USDA Announces Funding Opportunity under Rural Community Development Initiative; Grant Funds Can Be Used To Support Entrepreneurship and Microenterprise
The Department of Agriculture has announced the availability of $5,967,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 funding for competitive grant funds for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. Applications are due by November 12, 2014.
Congress, in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Pub. L. 113-76) authorized the RCDI to develop the capacity and ability of qualified private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized Native American Tribes to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance.
Eligible applicants include qualified private, nonprofit, (including faith-based and community organizations and philanthropic foundations), in accordance with 7 CFR part 16, and public (including tribal) intermediary organizations.
Allowable activities include:
- Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct community development programs, e.g., homeownership education or training for business entrepreneurs.
- Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct development initiatives, e.g., programs that support micro-enterprise and sustainable development.
Click here for the August 14 FEDERAL REGISTER notice with complete background on this funding opportunity.
Department of Education Seeks Public Comment on 'State Plan for Assistive Technology" and "Progress Report for the Access to Telework Program under the Rehabilitation Act"
The Department of Education today has published the sixty-day notice for the State Plan for Assistive Technology. Comments are due by October 14.
Section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended, requires states to submit an application in order to receive funds under the state grant for assistive technology program. This information collection will be used by states to meet their application requirements and annual data reports. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) calls this application a State Plan for Assistive Technology. RSA has eliminated the reporting of Telework activities under State Financing activities and reduced burden to grantees by setting the performance measure targets in section H of the State Plan.
Click here for the August 14 FEDERAL REGISTER notice with full background, burden hour estimates, the desired focus for public comment, and instructions for obtaining the collection.
The Department has also published the sixty-day notice for the Progress Report for the Access to Telework Program Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Comments are also due by October 14.
Transportation Sector: FTA Proposes Circular, Seeks Comments by October 14; Enumerates Workforce Development and Transportation for Special Populations
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 112-141, July 6, 2012) made a number of changes to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) research program. The FTA has recently published a proposed circular that reflects these updates to Federal law, proposes policy, clarifies FTA's requirements and processes, and restructures FTA Circular 6100.1D (Research, Technical Assistance and Training Program: Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines) for clarity and ease of use.
FTA seeks public comment on the proposed circular, in particular those portions of the circular reflecting changes in the law as a result of MAP-21, as well as those portions reflecting new guidance, policies, or interpretations. Comments must be received by October 14, 2014. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. FTA will publish a second notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER after the close of the comment period. The second notice will respond to comments received and announce the availability of the final circular 6100.1E. When adopted, circular 6100.1E will supersede circular 6100.1D.
An electronic version of the proposed circular is available at www.fta.dot.gov. Paper copies may be obtained by contacting FTA's Administrative Services Help Desk, at (202) 366-4865.
Of particular interest to the public workforce system:
Section 5314(b) authorizes the Secretary to make Grants and enter into Contracts, Cooperative Agreements, and Other Agreements to provide public transportation-related technical assistance to assist providers of public transportation to: Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); comply with human services transportation coordination requirements and enhance the coordination of related Federal resources; meet the transportation needs of elderly individuals; assist market-based development around transit stations; address transportation equity for low-income and minority individuals; and any other technical assistance activity that the Secretary determines is necessary to advance the interests of public transportation.
Section 5322(a) authorizes the Secretary to undertake, or make grants and contracts for, programs that address human resource needs as they apply to public transportation activities including employment training, outreach to minority and female candidates, research on public transportation personnel and training needs, and training and assistance for minority business opportunities.
Section 5322(b) directs the Secretary to establish a competitive innovative public transportation workforce development program to assist the development of innovative activities in these areas.
In addition, Section 5322(d) directs the Secretary to establish a national transit institute and award grants to a public 4-year degree-granting institution of higher education to develop and conduct training and educational programs for Federal, State, and local transportation employees, United States citizens, and foreign nationals engaged or to be engaged in Government-aid public transportation work.
DHS Announces Update and Reissuance of '011 E-Verify Program System of Records"
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Homeland Security has recently proposed on August 11, 2014 to update and reissue a current Department of Homeland Security system of records titled, Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services--011 E-Verify Program System of Records.
Click here for the August 11 FEDERAL REGISTER notice. Comments should be submitted by September 10; the system will be effective on September 10, 2014.
EPA Announces 2014 Annual Environmental Job Training Grantee Meeting on October 22 – 24
The Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed the dates for the 2014 Annual Environmental Job Training All-Grantee Meeting.
Wednesday-Thursday, October 22-23, 2014 8am – 6pm each day Location: Sheraton Suites Old Town, Alexandria, VA
NGA Announces Four States to Examine Ways to Improve Outcomes for Youth Involved in Juvenile Justice System; NACO Identifies New Resources for Local Leaders Interested in Juvenile Justice Reform
The National Governors Association (NGA) has recently announced the selection of four States (Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee) s to examine ways to improve outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
Over the next several months, these state teams will explore strategic recommendations, focusing on improving information sharing across youth-servicing systems, limiting involvement of low-risk youth in the juvenile justice system and expanding community based-alternatives to incarceration. By implementing policies and practices shown to improve outcomes for justice-involved youth, states can lower recidivism rates, reduce costs and improve public safety.
Selected states will:
- Participate in a two-day meeting in Connecticut;
- Participate in regular networking activities;
- Receive ongoing technical assistance from NGA staff and national experts; and
- Identify potential recommendations to be presented to their governor.
The National Association of Counties also takes recent note of the following resources:
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) released its report on Law Enforcement's Leadership Role in Juvenile Justice Reform: Actionable Recommendations for Practice & Policy. IACP held a summit on law enforcement leadership in juvenile justice, which drew attention to the often untapped potential of law enforcement executives to improve their agencies' response to young people and to serve as credible voices for "smart on crime" juvenile justice reforms in their communities and beyond. The summit report sets forth 33 recommendations for concrete actions that law enforcement leaders can take in collaboration with partners at the local, state, and national levels. The report is available at http://www.theiacp.org/jjsummitreport.
The Council for State Governments Justice Center (CSG), along with the National Reentry Resource Center, also released two publications with recommendations for what local governments can do to improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. The first publication, Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation, provides state and local policymakers with five recommendations for improving their approach to the measurement, analysis, collection, reporting and use of recidivism data for youth involved with the juvenile justice system and provides examples of how a number of states have translated these recommendations into policy and practice.
To ensure state and local governments are not only obtaining more data to guide their programs but are also working to provide alternatives to detention and lower recidivism rates, the CSG Justice Center also published Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, a white paper that offers guiding principles and recommendations based on what's been proven to work to reduce recidivism. Those recommendations, which range from engaging family in decisions regarding a child to moving away from curfew laws and "scared straight" programs, are also offered with concrete examples of states and counties that have succeeded by employing these strategies.
NTIA Announces 'Community Broadband Workshop" on September 4
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will hold a one-day regional workshop, "Building a Community Broadband Roadmap: Lessons in Implementation," to share information to help communities build their broadband capacity and utilization
Topics will include marketing/demand aggregation, outreach, coordination with government agencies, partnership strategies, construction and oversight. Another panel will examine business model options, including private networks, public/private partnerships, co-ops and municipal systems. The workshop will also include a panel discussion with federal and private funding entities that support investments in broadband infrastructure and adoption. NTIA will provide tips to communities on how to research funding options, make a compelling case to funders and leverage multiple federal and state funding streams.
NTIA Broadband Program Supports Workforce Preparation Across the United States
Laura Breeden, program director for public computing and broadband adoption, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, provides this look at the impact of the employment-related impacts of its broadband projects in four case studies.
Last week, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st century jobs. Ensuring U.S. workers are able to compete and succeed is a key priority at the U.S. Commerce Department. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker served on a task force with Vice President Biden that recently released a report looking at solutions for making the nation's workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated and effective.
At the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), workforce development is a priority of our broadband grant programs. Grant recipients have helped unemployed and under-employed people learn to use computers and the Internet for job searching, skill-building, resume development and networking. Today, in keeping with the Department's commitment to helping match skilled workers with good jobs, we are releasing four case studies on employment-related impacts of our broadband projects. The reports, prepared by independent contractor ASR Analytics, examined the effectiveness of the more than $450 million in matching grants, provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to establish or upgrade public computer centers and initiate innovative broadband adoption programs in underserved communities.
The first report focuses on Workforce West Virginia (WFWV). The agency is responsible for promoting employment and job growth in West Virginia, which has chronically high rates of poverty and unemployment. The grantee upgraded 19 workforce centers and 75 additional centers in locations such as libraries and veterans' support organizations, with new computers and Wi-Fi. In addition to serving thousands of low-income and unemployed patrons each week, the WFWV centers experienced measurable productivity gains as a result of patrons' ability to search for jobs, prepare resumes and practice computer skills more independently. This has allowed staff to spend more time focusing on specialized assistance. The high-speed network has also made intra-agency communication and technology management faster and more reliable.
The second report examines a grant awarded to South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS), which serves all of South Carolina through 16 colleges with multiple campuses. By locating public computer centers strategically, the grantee was able to provide high-speed Internet access (including Wi-Fi) and computers within a half-hour drive of anyone in the state. In 2012, more than 50,000 people visited these centers each week to pursue post-secondary education, take digital literacy classes, and search for jobs. SCTCS provided more than 150,000 training hours during the project, one third of them focused on workforce readiness. As one student told the ASR research team, "This class has helped me with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the rest of Microsoft Office. My office skills are much improved. ...My confidence with computers has also improved."
The third case study released today examines the C.K. Blandin Foundation, a private foundation that serves rural Minnesota, especially its home area in Grand Rapids. Foundation officials realized early that broadband access was a key enabling factor in promoting and preserving rural communities, and applied for a BTOP grant to carry out a multifaceted program called "Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities." Using a model adapted from the Intelligent Community Forum, 11 local communities and nine partners assessed their own broadband needs and engaged a wide spectrum of community members in planning how to meet those needs. Additionally, since broadband adoption was the focus of this grant, C.K. Blandin staff engaged other partners with expertise in economic development, health care and social services. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development developed a user-driven, scenario-based curriculum for digital literacy, funded by the foundation, which was delivered in 30 work force centers throughout the state and translated in to Spanish and Somali. The project increased broadband subscriptions in rural areas by more than 56,000 households and helped revitalize participating rural communities. As one local business owner commented, "We've turned a corner and become a community that's actually growing and thriving instead of stagnant and dying."
The final report released today examines NTIA's grant to the Las Vegas Urban League (LVUL), which is a nonprofit organization that serves lower-income residents of southern Nevada and focuses on education, economic development and community empowerment. LVUL established or upgraded 33 public computer centers in housing developments, community organizations and senior centers. Training in resume development, office computer skills and job search was provided to a diverse audience that included youth in foster care and people with disabilities. To increase the program's impact, LVUL developed a curriculum tailored to the needs of the target populations. The program helped many residents, including a 50-year-old man who had not worked in five years but obtained a job as a result of the training he received through the program. A mother, unemployed for two years and living in a shelter with her son, found employment after receiving training and job counseling at a LVUL public computer center.
The remaining reports will be released in the weeks ahead. Together, they will help serve the needs of the research and policy communities for years to come as we apply the lessons of our broadband programs to build the nation's broadband capacity.
ETA Seeks Comment on Reporting Requirements under the Youth CareerConnect Program
The Employment and Training Administration is seeking public comment by September 30 in the proposed reporting requirements for the Youth CareerConnect Program.
Click here for the August 1, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER notice with complete background.
In applying for the YCC grant program, grantees agreed to submit participant-level data and quarterly aggregate reports for individuals who receive services through YCC programs and their partnerships with entities administering the workforce investment system as established under Section 1169(b) and 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), Local Education Agencies (LEA's), non-profit organizations with program model experience, education and training providers such as community colleges and other institutions of higher education and employer partners. The reports will include aggregate data on demographic characteristics, types of services received, placements, program outcomes, and follow-up status. Specifically, they will summarize data on participants who received core YCC program services, program enrollment, retention and credential rates, placement services, and other services essential to successful outcomes for YCC program participants.
Delta Regional Authority Announces Workforce Development Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Funding Opportunity for Counties and Parishes in 8 States
The Delta Regional Authority has posted a Notice of Fund Availability for workforce development capacity building and technical assistance. Regional Authority that a NOFA has been posted on the DRA website (excerpts below). Counties and states are encouraged to apply for the available funds in "conjunction with economic development partners such as state and local chambers of commerce, planning and development districts, 2 and 4 year colleges/universities, and workforce development boards. Priority will be given to applicants who have garnered the support and commitments from a network of partners who will engage in a region-wide approach." DRA states include 252 counties and parishes in Alabama | Arkansas | Illinois | Kentucky |Louisiana | Mississippi | Missouri | Tennessee.
Click here for the schedule for the remaining DRA Summit meetings this summer.
Extracts from the NOFA:
The Delta Regional Authority shall establish a competitive, technical assistance and capacity building investment program, which will allow rural counties/parishes and states to develop a connected workforce development system at the local level. DRA will make funds available as a first step in economic development which is needed for growth in the Delta region. By the use of a place-based approach, such technical assistance will help county-wide, parish-wide leadership teams- consisting of members such as cities states, local economic development service providers, workforce agencies, chambers of commerce and educational institutions- identify and build the capacity and skill level of the available workforce.
By participating in workforce development system planning sessions, participants will experience the development of a more connected, comprehensive workforce system among education systems and business and industry sectors.
Additionally, the end result will include a well-educated and highly skilled workforce thus resulting in increased jobs, improved quality of lives, and rebuilt communities. Program development and recommendations are based on findings in the DRA commissioned report, Reimagining Workforce Development. Such recommendations include:
- Reimagining readiness- Applicants should demonstrate plans to strengthen connections between education and job skills, rethink the value of credentials in the workplace, expose students to the work world, and scale take technology to scale.
- Reengaging adult learners and disconnected youth - Applicants should demonstrate plans to target adults who lack a degree or credentials, assist dislocated workers to rejoin the workforce, and recover disconnected youth.
- Realigning relationships and resources - Applicants should demonstrate plans to create continuity in education and workforce development, align and track data across the education and workforce pipeline, and engage business in a meaningful way.
- Ramping up - Applicants should demonstrate plans to take new development workforce development plan to scale upon program completion.
NIST Announces New Competition for Advanced Manufacturing Planning Awards
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced a new competition for planning awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing research plans and charting collaborative actions to solve high-priority technology challenges and accelerate the growth of advanced manufacturing in the United States.
NIST''s AdvancedManufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program anticipates awarding a total of $5.6 million in two-year grants during the young program's second competition. Awards will range between about $250,000 and $500,000, subject to the availability of funds. Applications are due Oct. 31, 2014, and selections will be announced during the first half of 2015.
Teaming and partnerships that include broad participation by companies of all sizes, universities and government agencies, driven by industry, are encouraged. Nonprofit U.S. organizations as well as accredited institutions of higher education and state, tribal and local governments are eligible to apply for the program.
AMTech's goal is to spur consortia-planned and led research on long-term, precompetitive technology needs of U.S. manufacturing industries. The program aims to help eliminate barriers to advanced manufacturing capabilities and to promote domestic development of an underpinning technology infrastructure, including high-performing supply chains.
AMTech is designed to address a serious weakness in the nation's innovation ecosystem, an issue identified by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, among other bodies.
According to the NSTC, there is a gap between R&D activities and the deployment of technological innovations in the domestic production of goods, which is contributing significantly, for example, to the growing trade deficit in high-value-added, advanced-technology products.
In May 2014, the program conferred 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning awards totaling $9 million to new or existing industry-driven consortia. Of the 19 consortia that received awards, 11 are new efforts that are being launched with AMTech funding. Collaborations spanned a wide variety of industries and technologies, from flexible-electronics manufacturing to biomanufacturing and from pulp-and-paper manufacturing to forming and joining technologies. Full details of the solicitation, including eligibility requirements, selection criteria, legal requirements and the mechanism for submitting proposals are found in an announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) posted at Grants.gov under funding opportunity number 2014-NIST-AMTECH-01.
Pre-applications are required for this AMTech competition and are due by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, Sept.5, 2014. Full applications must be received by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, Oct. 31, 2014.
NIST will host webinars on the AMTech funding opportunity on Aug. 7 and 14, 2014, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern time. The events will offer guidance on the AMTech program and preparing proposals. Webinar participants will be able to ask questions. Advance registration is required. To registerfor the Aug. 7 webinar go to: www.nist.gov/amo/amtech-webinar.cfm. To register for the Aug. 14 webinar go to: www.nist.gov/amo/amtech-webinar-2.cfm.
The text of the FFO announcement also is available at www.nist.gov/amo/funding.cfm.
More information on the AmTech program is available at: www.nist.gov/amo.
New Executive Director of Appalachian Regional Commission Named; Partnership Launches “Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge,” Competition Open to September 15
The president and CEO of AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, Scott T. Hamilton, has been appointed executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
With its headquarters in Washington, D.C., ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government working for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia. Hamilton begins his appointment on Sept. 8.
AdvantageWest is a nonprofit regional economic development organization that has served the western region of North Carolina, an area of about 10,000 square miles, since 1994.
Each year, ARC provides funding for economic development projects in the 13-state Appalachian Region, including Western North Carolina, in areas such as business development, education and job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing, and transportation. During Hamilton’s nine-year tenure at AdvantageWest—the past five years as head of the organization—ARC grants have helped support AdvantageWest programs such as Blue Ridge Food Ventures …
ARC has also noted on its webpage that the American Farm Bureau Federation -- in partnership with Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business Global Social Enterprise Initiative and the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative's StartupHoyas -- has recently launched the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge, a national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs and business innovations cultivated in rural regions of the United States. The Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge will recognize new business ideas in any sector and is open to entrepreneurs in any nonmetropolitan county in the United States. Participants will compete for prize money of up to $30,000 and technical assistance to help them take their business ideas from concept to reality.
Applications to the challenge will be accepted until September 15. To learn more about the challenge and application requirements, please visit www.strongruralamerica.com/challenge. (The Employment and Training Administration’s paper on “Integrating Entrepreneurship into the Public Workforce System” can be found here.)
Department of Education Proposes New “High School Reform Study”; Survey of Approximately 2,000 Public High School Administrators Designed to Identify Supports for At-Risk Youth
The Department of Education has proposed a new data collection in support of the High School Reform Study. The request for Office of Management and Budget clearance is to collect data through a nationally representative survey of high schools during the 2014-15 school year. Data from the National High School Reform Study will inform a descriptive report on the strategies that high schools are using to help students graduate from high school, especially students at risk for dropping out and students in high schools with low graduation rates. Information from the survey will fill critical information gaps about the use and prevalence of high school reform strategies to support at-risk youth. The survey will be administered to a nationally representative sample of approximately 2,000 public high school administrators.
Comments are due by September 29. Click here for the FEDERAL REGISTER notice with additional background and contact information for obtaining the ICR and submitting comments
Department of Labor Invites States and Stakeholders to Join Online Dialogue on Employment of Workers with Disabilities through August 18
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy invites state governments and other interested stakeholders to participate in an online dialogue from Monday. Aug. 4, to Monday, Aug. 18, on hiring, retaining and advancing workers with disabilities. "State Governments: What Can We Do? Join the Conversation for Change," will help inform ODEP's technical assistance to states.
"State governments can play a critical role when it comes to increasing the employment rate of people with disabilities," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "We need to fully understand their needs and how we can assist them so they, in turn, can foster increased employment of people with disabilities in state government and in the private sector."
The online dialogue, will be facilitated through ODEP's ePolicyWorks initiative and moderated by ODEP's employer policy team. To register and participate, visit http://EmployerDialogue.ePolicyWorks.org/.
ODEP invites state government disability employment professionals, state human resource and diversity professionals, and all others with insight into disability employment issues to participate in the dialogue. Participants are encouraged to share new or innovative approaches to employing individuals with disabilities and to comment or vote on posts made by others.