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(Feb 10 2016)   SBA Announces March Meetings of the (1) Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs and (2) Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development 
 
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(Feb 10 2016)   ACF/ORR Seeks Comment on Reporting on Refugee Microenterprise Program 
 
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(Feb 10 2016)   WIOA Combined State Plan Partners: DOL/VETS Seeks Revisions to Reporting under the “Jobs for Veterans State Grants” Program 
 
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(Feb 10 2016)   Native American Employment and Training Council to Meet on February 23 - 24 
 
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(Feb 9 2016)   SBA Seeks Comment on Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC) Initiative Evaluation Study 
 
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(Feb 9 2016)   New Volume from Aspen Institute and JobsFirstNYC: 'Optimizing Talent -- The Promise and Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers"  
 
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(Feb 8 2016)   Entrepreneurship/Self-Employment/Microbusiness: February 10 Webinar Examines “New Resources for Building Better Business Financial Capability Solutions” 
 
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(Feb 8 2016)   Transportation Sector: Funding for Demonstration Projects Available 
 
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(Feb 8 2016)   Renewable Energy Sector: Energy Department Announces $21 Million to Lower Solar Energy Deployment 
 
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(Feb 8 2016)   HUD and Council on Foundations Kick Off 2016 Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships 
 
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(Feb 8 2016)   Legal Services Corporation Requests Further Public Input on the Determination of Agricultural Worker Populations; Publishes Update on Maximum Income Levels to Reflect Latest HHS Poverty Data Guidelines  
 
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(Feb 8 2016)   Department of Treasury Announces Opening of Funding Cycle for “Capital Magnet Fund” Grants; CDFIs and Non-Profits Can Finance Affordable Housing, Economic Development, Workforce Development Centers  
 
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(Feb 5 2016)   Legal Services Corporation Requests Further Public Input on the Determination of Agricultural Worker Populations 
 
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(Feb 4 2016)   Learning Cluster Uses Human Insights Research to Develop Promising Savings Innovations 
 
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(Feb 4 2016)   Department of Education Announces Intention to Establish a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for ESEA/ESSA; Cites Students with Disabilities, English Learners and Business Community among Constituencies for Representation 
 
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(Feb 4 2016)   National Digital Inclusion Summit (May 18 - 19 in Kansas City, Missouri)  
 
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(Feb 3 2016)   Department of Education Seeks Comment on Reinstatement of Data Collection Supporting the 2016/17 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study 
 
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(Feb 2 2016)   'Go Global Through Regional Partnerships': C2ER and LMI Institute to Host Conference in Minneapolis (June 6- 10) 
 
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(Feb 2 2016)   IVMF and USAA Launch Workforce Readiness Research Series for Transitioning Service Members 
 
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(Feb 1 2016)   CCSSO Announces Investment to Advance State Career Readiness Pathways for Students 
 
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(Feb 1 2016)   March 7 Webinar: The Case for a National, Virtual University Innovation Ecosystem 
 

 

Description

 

SBA Announces March Meetings of the (1) Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs and (2) Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development


The Small Business Administration has announced two upcoming meetings.

A meeting of the Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs will be held on March 9 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m) at SBA Headquarters, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416. Eisenhower Conference Room B, Concourse Level.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the formation and growth of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans and service disabled-veterans, to focus on strategic planning, and provide updates on past and current events, and to discuss the Committee''s objectives for 2016. For information regarding SBA veterans' resources and partners, please visit: www.sba.gov/vets.

More ...

A March 10 meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development to be held on March 10 (9:00 a.m. to noon) at SBA Headquarters, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416 Eisenhower Conference Room B, Concourse Level.

This public meeting is to discuss recommendations identified by the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development (IATF) to further enable veteran entrepreneurship policy and programs. In addition, the Task Force will allow public comments regarding the veteran owned small business focus areas.

More …

 

ACF/ORR Seeks Comment on Reporting on Refugee Microenterprise Program


The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Administration for Children and families (ACF) is responsible for resettling thousands of refugees every year from all over the world. The main goal of the ORR (US) refugee domestic resettlement program is to assist the refugees in becoming self-reliant at the shortest time possible.

ORR has many different discretionary grants that it employs to accomplish this goal. Two of the discretionary grants are the Refugee Microenterprise Development (MED) and the Refugee Home-Based Child Care Microenterprise Development (HBCC MED) Programs.

The goals of the MED program are to assist refugees in becoming economically self-sufficient, assist refugee serving organizations galvanize resources to strengthen their capacities to expand and continue their microenterprise services at an expanded and sustainable level, and enhance the integration to the mainstream and realize the American Dream.

The focus of the HBCC Program is on women that have limited opportunity to get employment at livable wages because of limited transferable skills and lack of knowledge of the English language. Through the program women refugees are provided basic training in child care and development, state and local legal requirements to get a license and to establish a home-based child care service. The ultimate goal of the program is to enable the women refugees establish a home-based child care service in their neighborhood.

ORR works with nonprofit organizations in implementing these projects. Currently, there are 22 projects in the Refugee Microenterprise Development Program and 23 projects in the Refugee Home-Based Child Care Microenterprise Development Program. It is critical to collect data through a semi-annual report in order to determine whether or not the programs are achieving their intended goals, to address concerns, issues, and challenges the grantees may be experiencing in implementing their projects on a timely manner, and, for writing Annual Report to Congress.

ORR published the sixty-day notice on February 10, 2016 regarding its information collection in support of these programs. Comments are due by March 11, 2016.

 

WIOA Combined State Plan Partners: DOL/VETS Seeks Revisions to Reporting under the “Jobs for Veterans State Grants” Program


The Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) is seeking for revisions to the Jobs for Veterans State Grants Reports information collection. The VETS administers funds for multi-year Jobs for Veterans State Grants given to each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam on an annual basis on a fiscal year cycle.

This information collection is used to facilitate the identification of required programmatic and financial data provided by States requesting and expending funds and for monitoring the grants, making quarterly adjustments, and reporting results to Congress. The use of program-specific standard formats helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in a uniform way, reporting burdens are minimized, the impact of collection requirements on respondents are properly assessed, collection instruments are clearly understood by respondents, and the information is easily consolidated for posting in accordance with statutory requirements.

Reporting instruments under this ICR are: Manager's Report on Services to Veterans and Forms VETS-201, VETS-401, VETS-402A, VETS-501, and VETS-601.

This information collection has been classified as a revision, because the VETS has adopted clarifying changes submitted by users to Form VETS-201. These changes are more fully explained in the ICR. The Training and Rehabilitation for Veterans with Service Connected Disabilities Act, Job Counseling, Training, and Placement Service for Veterans Act, Employment and Training of Veterans Act, and Employment Assistance, Job Training Assistance and other Transitional Services Act authorize this information collection

The February 10 FEDERAL REGISTER contains the sixty-day notice. Comments are due by March 11, 2016.

 

Native American Employment and Training Council to Meet on February 23 - 24


The Employment and Training Administration has announced that the next meeting of the Native American Employment and Training Council, as constituted under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, will be held on February 23 - 24, 2016.

The meeting will be open to the public.

The formal agenda will focus on the following topics:

(1) U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration Update and follow-up on the Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014;

(2) Performance Measures

(3) Information Technology and Reporting

(4) Training and Technical Assistance

(5) Council and Workgroup Updates and Recommendations

(6) New Business and Next Steps

(7) Public Comment

The February 10, 2016 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background and logistical information.

 

SBA Seeks Comment on Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC) Initiative Evaluation Study


In October 2014, a new cohort of sites was added to the Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC) initiative, which was originally started in October 1, 2010 by the Small Business Administration (SBA)'s Office of Entrepreneurial Development. Through this initiative, organizations in 11 communities across the U.S. have been selected to provide industry-specific assistance to small businesses, and to develop industry relationships and supply chains within their regions. Clusters--geographically concentrated groups of interconnected businesses, suppliers, service providers, and associated institutions in a particular industry or field--act as a networking hub to convene a number of resources to help navigate the funding, procurement, and supply-chain opportunities in a specific industry.

SBA is conducting an evaluation of the Regional Innovation Clusters initiative to determine how the clusters have developed, the type and volume of services they provided to small businesses, client perceptions of the program, and the various outcomes related to their existence, including collaboration among firms, innovation, and small business growth. Small business growth will be compared to the overall growth of firms in those same regions and industries. This evaluation will also include lessons learned and success stories.

SBA proposes the use of three instruments for data collection and analysis of three distinct populations. These instruments are: (1). Small Business Survey, (2.) Large Organization Survey and (3.) Cluster Administrator Survey. In addition, SBA plans to interview each of the 11 cluster administrators several times a year regarding program impact and successes or challenges, and to obtain clarifications on information provided in quarterly reports. Each of the proposed surveys will be administered electronically and will contain both open- and close-ended questions. The information collected and analyzed from these instruments will contribute to monitoring performance metrics and program goals, as well as recommendations on improving program practices.

The Small Business Administration has published the thirty-day notice seeking public comment on its proposed data collection. Click here for the February 9 FEDERAL REGISTER notice.

 

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New Volume from Aspen Institute and JobsFirstNYC: 'Optimizing Talent -- The Promise and Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers"


From the Aspen Institute:

Young people today face a tough job market. Many struggle to find work, and those who find work often find only part-time, low-wage positions. These challenges are particularly pronounced for young adults from poor communities. Many young adults seek options to gain skills and connect to jobs that might lead to economic stability for themselves and their families. For these young people, sectoral strategies--which have gained traction in the workforce development field over the past two decades--may offer a promising alternative.

To explore this alternative, the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) and JobsFirstNYC are pleased to present a new report, Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers (2016). The report draws on studies of the effectiveness of sectoral workforce development programs, as well as the experience of a network of young adult and sector practitioners. As Optimizing Talent highlights, sector strategies have the potential to help build ladders and raise the floor for low-income workers. For young adult workers in particular, sector strategies may be an important way of expanding economic opportunities.

We invite you to read Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers . As always, let us know what you think by responding to this email (eop.program@aspeninst.org) or sharing your thoughts with @AspenWorkforce on social media.

 

Entrepreneurship/Self-Employment/Microbusiness: February 10 Webinar Examines “New Resources for Building Better Business Financial Capability Solutions”


From CFED:

Most entrepreneurs launch their businesses because they have a passion or skill to share with the world and a desire to make a meaningful living. All too often, they struggle to master the financial management knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to succeed in the long-run. In 2015, CFED launched the Microbusiness Solutions Learning Cluster to help three business development organizations better understand their clients'' needs and build solutions that enhance their financial capability. Today, we're excited to share major outcomes from this project that can inform your efforts to design creative, client-focused products and services.

In Finding Common Threads , we explore a set of themes about the desires, values and behaviors shared by financially vulnerable entrepreneurs.To learn more, join us for a webinar on Wednesday, February 10 from 2-3 pm ET! You'll hear directly from each organization about the client insights they uncovered, the methods that generated these new understandings and the ways in which these insights influenced their solutions.

Over the past year, each organization dedicated time, energy and resources to gather insights about their clients' challenges and needs, create solutions to address them and collect feedback to validate and improve their solutions by testing them with clients. Through this process, CAMBA redesigned an in-person workshop series on using mobile technology to manage business finances, Northern Initiatives enhanced its online training system and WESST designed a mobile app to make its in-person financial management training more accessible on-demand. The findings from these experiences are captured in greater detail in the following briefs:

Making Learning Stick: Encouraging Business Owners to Adopt Technology to Manage their Finances

Laying the Path to Business Financial Security: Improving an Online Training Platform to Teach Business Financial Management

Going Mobile to Meet Demand: Designing an On-Demand Solution to Teach Business Financial Management

Register for the February 10 Webinar
 

Transportation Sector: Funding for Demonstration Projects Available


Nonprofit organizations and government agencies can apply for grants of up to $86,000 for demonstration projects on inclusive planning for coordinated transportation systems. This funding is available through a program called Transit Planning 4 All, a partnership of the Community Transportation Association, Easter Seals, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and Westat, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to encourage development of an inclusive coordinated transportation system in which people with disabilities and older adults actively participate in both advisory and decision-making capacities.”

Applications are due March 18. For more information, the request for proposals, and application materials, click here.

 

Renewable Energy Sector: Energy Department Announces $21 Million to Lower Solar Energy Deployment


The U.S. Department of Energy today (February 8) announced $21 million in new funding to lower solar energy deployment barriers and expand access to solar energy to all Americans. The Department is making $13 million available to help states take advantage of falling solar prices and maximize the benefits of solar electricity through energy and economic strategic planning. This new program will offer technical and analytical support in the development and implementation of solar energy deployment plans. An additional $8 million under this funding opportunity will support research on solar energy innovation and technology adoption patterns in order to increase understanding of solar deployment barriers and other "soft costs."

As more communities across the country look to solar energy as a source of clean, renewable electricity to meet their economic goals, the funding announced today will help lower barriers to solar energy deployment for states and regions across United States. It will also increase understanding of how and why solar innovations are adopted throughout communities to enable expedited development moving forward.

"As the cost of solar technology continues to fall, it's more important than ever that we lower the other barriers to solar deployment—soft costs," said David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. "The funding announced today will provide technical and analytical assistance to states in setting and meeting their renewable energy goals. This initiative will leverage decision science and solar datasets to build our understanding of how and why solar technologies are adopted to make it faster, easier, and more affordable for families and businesses to choose solar to power their daily lives."

$13 million from the funding opportunity announced today will directly tackle solar soft costs and market barrier challenges at the state and regional levels by maximizing the benefits of solar electricity through energy and economic strategic planning. In 2015, solar was the second-most installed source of new electric generating capacity—but this remarkable growth has been limited to a handful of states. Many states do not have the knowledge, time, or staff resources needed to develop a robust solar deployment strategy. They might not know where to begin with "going solar," but require technical and analytical support. This program will help to establish partnerships between states and utilities and provide them with technical support, enabling teams to develop strategies to determine optimal solar energy targets that will maximize emissions reductions, create jobs, expand energy access, and increase grid resiliency.

The funding opportunity announced today will also aim to increase understanding of the technology evolution, soft costs, and barriers to solar deployment in the United States. By combining cutting-edge research tools with the creation, analysis, and use of data and information, this second round of the Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies (SEEDS) p rogram will partner researchers with data and energy experts. Through this collaboration, they will examine how solar technologies, the electric grid system, and the institutions that comprise the solar business marketplace support or inhibit the evolution and adoption of solar energy. For this second round of SEEDS, the projects will specifically examine barriers to solar energy deployment within low- and moderate-income communities. The goal of these projects is to increase foundational understanding of solar technology evolution, soft costs, and barriers to solar deployment, while advancing social and decision science methods though the use of the unprecedented data available within the solar sector.

The United States has installed more than 24 gigawatts of solar power—enough to power five million average American homes—and deployment is expected to accelerate as costs continue to fall and more residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects come online. These investments support the broader goals of the SunShot Initiative to drive down the cost of solar power so that it is accessible and affordable for all Americans.

 

HUD and Council on Foundations Kick Off 2016 Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Council on Foundations (COF) have launched the 2016 HUD Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships . HUD and COF are seeking nominations from charitable foundations working with the public sector to improve the neighborhoods and the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents. The winners of this prestigious HUD Secretary's Award will be presented at COF's 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in April.

"Partnerships among the public and private sectors are revitalizing how we serve the neediest among us, and philanthropies are leading the way," said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. "This award recognizes some of the outstanding charitable foundations that are working with government to expand opportunities for low income families and children."

"The Secretary's Award highlights the transformational power of strong public-philanthropic partnerships that improve the quality of life for low- and moderate-income communities in urban, suburban, and rural areas," said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. "The Council is grateful to Secretary Castro and HUD for recognizing the impact of foundations across the country and is delighted to partner with them again to raise up such important collaborations."

The Secretary's Awards for Public Philanthropic Partnerships recognize excellence in partnerships that have transformed the relationship between the sectors and led to measurable benefits in terms of increased economic, employment, health, safety, education, sustainability, inclusivity and cultural opportunities, and/or housing access for low- and moderate-income families.

Nominations may include projects affiliated with housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, community participation, arts and culture, safety, sustainability, innovative regional approaches, and economic development. All entries must be completed using the award's fillable PDF form and submitted by an eligible foundation via email to HUDAward@cof.org. The deadline for completing submission is 11:59 p.m. PST, Monday, March 7, 2016.

Brochure

 

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Legal Services Corporation Requests Further Public Input on the Determination of Agricultural Worker Populations; Publishes Update on Maximum Income Levels to Reflect Latest HHS Poverty Data Guidelines


On February 3, 2015, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comment on a proposal to update the agricultural worker population estimates used for determining the amount of Basic Field funds that LSC will distribute through Basic Field--Migrant grants. 80 FR 5791. Based on comments received in response to this notice, LSC has identified three areas for further public input.

Specifically, LSC seeks:

(1) comments on the methodology and data used for estimating the agricultural worker population by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Training Administration (ETA) considering the additional ETA materials published with this notice;

(2) comments on a new estimate of aliens within the agricultural worker population who are eligible for services from LSC grantees based on sexual abuse, domestic violence, trafficking, or other abusive or criminal activities; and

(3) submission of available and reliable state- or region-specific, data-based estimates of the population of agricultural workers eligible for LSC-funded services to augment the ETA estimates in individual states or regions. LSC will accept such estimates only if they include the data and methodologies used, including authorship and other relevant information.

Comments must be submitted on or before March 21, 2016.

The February 5, 2016 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background.

LSC is required by law to establish maximum income levels for individuals eligible for legal assistance. LSC has also published a February 5 notice (final rule) updating the specified income levels to reflect the annual amendments to the Federal Poverty Guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

 

Department of Treasury Announces Opening of Funding Cycle for “Capital Magnet Fund” Grants; CDFIs and Non-Profits Can Finance Affordable Housing, Economic Development, Workforce Development Centers


FYI.

The CDFI Fund awards Capital Magnet Fund grants to certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and certain nonprofit organizations to finance:

(1) the development, preservation, rehabilitation, or purchase of affordable housing for primarily extremely low-, very low-, and low-income families; and

(2) economic development activities or community service facilities, such as day care centers, workforce development centers, and health care clinics, which in conjunction with affordable housing activities implement a concerted strategy to stabilize or revitalize a low-income area or underserved rural area.

The Department of Treasury has announced the opening of the latest funding cycle for these grants. March 30 is the closing date.

https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/Programs/cmf/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.cdfifund.gov/news-events/Pages/news-detail.aspx?NewsID=189&Category=Updates

 

Legal Services Corporation Requests Further Public Input on the Determination of Agricultural Worker Populations


On February 3, 2015, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comment on a proposal to update the agricultural worker population estimates used for determining the amount of Basic Field funds that LSC will distribute through Basic Field--Migrant grants. 80 FR 5791. Based on comments received in response to this notice, LSC has identified three areas for further public input.

Specifically, LSC seeks:

(1) comments on the methodology and data used for estimating the agricultural worker population by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Training Administration (ETA) considering the additional ETA materials published with this notice;

(2) comments on a new estimate of aliens within the agricultural worker population who are eligible for services from LSC grantees based on sexual abuse, domestic violence, trafficking, or other abusive or criminal activities; and

(3) submission of available and reliable state- or region-specific, data-based estimates of the population of agricultural workers eligible for LSC-funded services to augment the ETA estimates in individual states or regions. LSC will accept such estimates only if they include the data and methodologies used, including authorship and other relevant information.

Comments must be submitted on or before March 21, 2016.

The February 5, 2016 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background.

 

Learning Cluster Uses Human Insights Research to Develop Promising Savings Innovations


Reference:Emphasis of financial literacy/financial management skills under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

From CFED:

Years of evidence show that with the right tools, even the most financially vulnerable families can save to build a better future for themselves and their children. At the same time, we know that being diligent about saving can be a challenge for people from all walks of life. That’s why CFED, with the generous support of MetLife Foundation, convened six organizations from across the country in the Savings Innovation Learning Cluster. The goal of this project was to design and implement innovative savings solutions based on the needs of low- and moderate-income clients. The result is a series of lessons about “human-centered design” that can inform the development of products that boost financial capability.

Over the past 18 months, Learning Cluster participants have been working on projects that incorporate elements of consumer research, behavioral economics and human-centered design—a creative, inclusive process for developing programs that are tailored to the needs of clients. In other words, by gaining more insight into the needs of their clients, Learning Cluster participants designed and implemented services that meet client needs while maximizing impact. These methods are highlighted in Spurring Savings Innovations: Human Insight Methods for Savings Programs , a brief that details four of the human insight methods used during the Learning Cluster: client interviews, client journey mapping, concept boards and prototyping. The brief also highlights how other financial capability and asset-building organizations across the country can use these methods to enhance their own service delivery.

We also published Saving by Design: An Analysis of Six Strategies’ Potential for Scale , which provides a scalability analysis of the six savings strategies pioneered by the Learning Cluster participants. This analysis details each organization’s savings strategies and their results, as well as the types of organizations that could implement similar strategies and their potential for widespread adoption.

We encourage service providers looking to improve the outcomes of their savings programs to leverage these lessons to inform opportunities to innovate and refine those programs. By embracing a human-centered approach—one that takes client input, behavior and needs into account during each stage of the process—we can put more families on the road to financial capability and long-term financial stability.

 

Department of Education Announces Intention to Establish a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for ESEA/ESSA; Cites Students with Disabilities, English Learners and Business Community among Constituencies for Representation


The Department of Education today has announced its intention to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee prior to publishing proposed regulations to implement part A of title I, Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The negotiating committee will include representatives of constituencies that are significantly affected by the topics proposed for negotiations,

including Federal, State, and local education administrators, tribal leadership, parents and students, including historically underrepresented students, teachers, principals, other school leaders (including charter school leaders), paraprofessionals, members of State and local boards of education, the civil rights community, including representatives of students with disabilities, English learners, and other historically underserved students, and the business community.

Through a notice in the February 4, 2016 FEDERAL REGISTER, the Department is requesting nominations for individual negotiators who represent key stakeholder constituencies for the issues to be negotiated to serve on the committee. Nominations for negotiators to serve on the committee must be received on or before February 25, 2016.

Full background / dates, times and locations of committee meetings

 

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National Digital Inclusion Summit (May 18 - 19 in Kansas City, Missouri)


Employment and Training Administration colleagues at The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has forwarded this advisory of an upcoming meeting:

Net Inclusion 2016: The National Digital Inclusion Summit

When: May 18-19, 2016

Where: Kansas City Public Library

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the Kansas City Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to join us at Net Inclusion 2016: The National Digital Inclusion Summit to be held May 18-19, 2016 at the Kansas City Public Library in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Net Inclusion Summit Purpose:

1. Summit participants will discuss current and potential local, state and federal policies crafted to increase digital equity.

2. Summit participants will share broadband adoption best practices and new strategies.

3. NDIA Affiliates will revise and affirm NDIA policy goals.


NDIA notes:

Effective digital inclusion public policy relies upon strategies tested on the ground by community-based organizations, libraries and local government increasing equitable broadband access and use. Net Inclusion 2016 will be a forum for sharing while also documenting current and potential local, state and federal public policy crafted to increase digital equity. Today more organizations, of all kinds, are working to increase digital empowerment than ever before. This means it is time for a gathering! NDIA represents efforts in 32 states. We have a unique opportunity to discuss solutions to digital equity that cross silos and cross the country.

Click here for the NDIA conference website information and information about helping plan the Summit.

 

Department of Education Seeks Comment on Reinstatement of Data Collection Supporting the 2016/17 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study


The Department of Education is seeking public comment on plans for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to conduct a field test of the (B&B:16/17).

The B&B studies of the education, work, financial, and personal experiences of individuals who have completed a bachelor's degree at a given point in time are a series of longitudinal studies. Every 8 years, students are identified as bachelor's degree recipients through the National Postsecondary

Student Aid Study (NPSAS). B&B:16/17 is the first follow-up of a panel of baccalaureate degree recipients identified in the 2015-16 NPSAS, and part of the fourth cohort (B&B:16) of the B&B series.

The primary purposes of the B&B studies are to describe the post-baccalaureate paths of new college graduates, with a focus on their experiences in the labor market and post-baccalaureate education, and their education-related debt. B&B also focuses on the continuing education paths of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates, as well as the experiences of those who have begun careers in education of students through the 12th grade. Since graduating from college in 2014-15 for the field test, and 2015-16 for the full-scale study, members of this B&B:16 cohort will begin moving into and out of the workforce, enrolling in additional undergraduate and graduate education, forming families, and repaying undergraduate education-related debt. Documenting these choices and pathways, along with individual, institutional, and employment characteristics that may be related to those choices, provides critical information on the costs and benefits of a bachelor's degree in today's workforce.

B&B studies include both traditional-age and non-traditional-age college graduates, whose education options and choices often diverge considerably, and allow study of the paths taken by these different graduates. The results of this field test will inform the B&B:16/17 full-scale data collection.

Comments on this proposed data collection reinstatement are due by April 4. More ...

 

'Go Global Through Regional Partnerships': C2ER and LMI Institute to Host Conference in Minneapolis (June 6- 10)


The Labor Market Institute is currently administered by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), with direction provided by Institute's Board of Directors. Though the Institute began with Employment and Training Administration (ETA) funding support, for nearly ten years it has operated using a cost-recovery model through financial investments made by member states. That model includes state membership dues, training registration income, and fees for customized training (and research) services to support the LMI system. Under the Institute's current operating model, it has been able to build full-time staff capacity that it had not had for several years prior to 2009, and the demand continues to grow.

The C2ER Annual Conference is held in conjunction with the LMI Annual Forum, creating a premier national event for economic development researchers and labor market information analysts. The 2016 Conference will be held in Minneapolis MN, June 6-10. The theme is regional partnerships.

Conference highlights include industry-leading keynotes, training classes and breakout sessions, the annual State Economic Researchers' Roundtable, presentation of the annual Community & Economic Research Awards and Charles Benefield Award (named for a former ETA labor market information specialist), and opportunities to build important networks within the research community. Sponsors and exhibitors will showcase their latest products and services.

The C2ER and LMI networks comprise over 700+ professionals, representing all aspects of community and economic development along with labor market data, in the U.S. and Canada. They include research professionals from:

  • Chambers of commerce
  • Economic development organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Universities
  • Utility companies
  • Workforce development boards
  • Community development organizations
  • Consultants and data providers
  • Labor market information agencies

Preliminary Agenda

Registration

 

IVMF and USAA Launch Workforce Readiness Research Series for Transitioning Service Members


An advisory from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), in collaboration with USAA, today (February 2) launched an employment-focused research series on the topic of workforce readiness as it relates to transitioning service members and veterans in the civilian labor force.

The opening paper, aptly titled Work After Service: Developing Workforce Readiness and Veteran Talent for the Future, marks the first in a series of short papers that will cover several veteran workforce readiness topics to include career preferences, financial readiness, job matching and employer perspectives on retention and workplace performance.

"With veteran unemployment at a seven-year low, employers are now shifting their attention from addressing transitioning veterans, acute hiring needs to more long-term issues such as creating talent pipelines, improving job matching, and workforce performance and development," said Dr. Nick Armstrong, senior director of research and policy at IVMF. "For companies, especially, it's about learning how to take a veteran's unique skills and experiences and put them to their first, best use for the organization," said Armstrong.

In the first paper of the series, located at http://vets.syr.edu/research/workforcereadiness/, the authors cite a recent IVMF survey of 8,500 veterans and service members that indicated 55 percent said they have or are likely to pursue a different career than their military specialization. The paper highlights how veteran employment goes beyond simply placing veterans in jobs. While veterans need certain baseline skills to enter the civilian workforce, just as any working adult, employers must also set the conditions that enable veterans to succeed in the workplace to make the most out of the hire.

IVMF senior research associate, Dr. Deborah Bradbard, remarked that "engaging corporate partners and developing initiatives that foster long-term workforce readiness earlier in a military career facilitates a seamless transition to civilian employment. A steady pipeline of work-ready talent provides added benefit and confidence to the transitioning service member and the hiring company."

The paper highlights how employers, veterans themselves, as well as public-private partnerships all play a part in how prepared a transitioning service member is once they enter the workforce. Workforce readiness is heightened when both the veteran and employer minimize assumptions and maximize their respective assets, ensuring a positive employment outcome for the veteran and a good return on investment for the employer.

"With more than one million service members entering the civilian community over the next four years, it's important we help employers provide veterans meaningful careers that empower them to make a successful financial transition to civilian life," said

"We know that in an all-volunteer force, individuals are more likely to serve if they are able to seamlessly obtain employment after service or, while serving, they are able to obtain civilian recognized credentials, licenses, or educational benefits that may be financially inaccessible otherwise."

Executive Summary

Full Report

 

CCSSO Announces Investment to Advance State Career Readiness Pathways for Students


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has recently announced a new grant opportunity to help states pursue bold plans to redesign and advance career pathways for students across the country.

CCSSO is partnering with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) to support states as they elevate career education by working with educators, business, higher education, and community members to align career pathways with high-skill, high-demand jobs.

"State education leaders have demonstrated a strong commitment to making sure all children are not only prepared for college but ready for careers once they graduate from high school. Through CCSSO's Career Readiness Initiative, states are creating bold plans to reinvent learning so every child has the opportunity to experience a meaningful career pathway that prepares them for the high-skill, high-demand needs of today's economy," said Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

"This historic investment from JPMorgan Chase will help states make this vision a reality in the next several years."

The New Skills for Youth state grant opportunity is one piece of a $75 million, five-year initiative JPMorgan Chase announced aimed at increasing economic opportunity for young people by strengthening career-focused education, starting in high school. JPMorgan Chase has set aside $35 million in grant funding for states.

This grant opportunity builds on CCSSO's Career Readiness Initiative, launched in 2015 to help close the skills gap in this country. The goal is to ensure that students are not only college ready, but all children also graduate from high school prepared for careers.

Through that initiative, CCSSO has been helping all states in their efforts to create plans to reinvent learning so every child has the opportunity to experience a meaningful career pathway that prepares them for the high-skill, high-demand needs of today's economy.

For more information on New Skills for Youth grants for states click here.

Also see:

Career Pathways Toolkit: A Guide for System Development

 

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March 7 Webinar: The Case for a National, Virtual University Innovation Ecosystem


This University Economic Development Association has passed along an advisory of an upcoming webinar that be of interest to the public workforce system.

Innovation is a matter of national security. Our military is history's greatest, and our economy is the world's strongest, both in large measure because of our nation's innovation competitive advantage. But this competitive advantage is being challenged, as other nations embark on large scale innovation initiatives, and as domestic venture capital concentrates on an increasingly narrow spectrum of technologies. There is now a divide between innovation that is attractive to venture investors and that is important to our nation's future. MIT and Stanford continue to be the gold standard for university-centric innovation. But our country's innovation leadership depends on our ability to leverage more of the innovation assets across all universities. Could a national and virtual university innovation ecosystem be the answer? Join the Innovation Accelerator - of the iBridgeNetwork.org property - to consider this and other related questions. Registration

The webinar begins at 2:00 p.m. (EST) ON March 7.

Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8624436539509121794