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(Oct 25 2012)   HHS/ACF/OCSE Announces Grants to Child Support Agencies in 8 States to Help Increase Employment among Noncustodial Parents 
(Oct 23 2012)   SBA Sets Schedules for National Small Business Development Center Advisory Board Meetings; Announces Funding Opportunities for Universities to Build Capacity under the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Program 
(Oct 17 2012)   The Greenforce Initiative Links Employers and Community Colleges to Meet Growing Need for Sustainability Skills 
(Oct 16 2012)   EPA Announces Opportunity to Apply for 2013 Environmental Justice Small Grants  
(Oct 2 2012)   October 24 Webinar: Taking Root - The Virginia Career Pathways System 




HHS/ACF/OCSE Announces Grants to Child Support Agencies in 8 States to Help Increase Employment among Noncustodial Parents

In an effort to engage and involve low-income noncustodial parents who are behind with their child support payments, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has awarded nearly $6.2 million to child support agencies in eight states – California, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin to link these parents with employment services.

Officially called the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Demonstration Projects, the grants are intended to reduce barriers to payment and increase employment among noncustodial parents over a five-year period.

To that end, child support offices in the project states will provide:

  • child support case management
  • employment-oriented services that include job placement and retention;
  • fatherhood/parenting activities using peer support; and
  • enhanced child support procedures including the review and appropriate adjustment of child support orders.
If a parent is unemployed and not paying support, child support agencies have limited tools at their disposal to enforce a parent’s financial obligation to provide kids the support they deserve. Unemployed parents who owe child support often cycle in and out of family court, costing courts and the child support system money without producing results.

By linking child support efforts with employment programs, the demonstration projects are expected to increase the number of parents paying child support, increase the financial support kids receive, facilitate better child-parent relationships, and reduce family dependence on public assistance.

Throughout the grant period the effectiveness of the projects will be rigorously evaluated.

Click here for the news release and listing of grantees.


SBA Sets Schedules for National Small Business Development Center Advisory Board Meetings; Announces Funding Opportunities for Universities to Build Capacity under the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Program

The Small Business Administration has announced its slate of upcoming meetings of the National Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Advisory Board:

  • Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. EST,
  • Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. EST,
  • Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. EST.

These meetings will be held via conference call and are open to the public with advance notice of attendance.

Click here for additional information.

The SBA has also announced it is inviting proposals for funding from Public or Private Institutions interested in obtaining administrative funding to further build their capacity to market and promote their existing Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) Program to post 9/11 service-disabled veterans and to expand their existing Consortium of world-class, 4-year Colleges and Universities that offer entrepreneurship training to service-disabled veterans from the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This Program Announcement is subject to the availability of funding.

SBA has identified $450,000 in funding with an anticipated 25 awards (with a floor of $25,000 and a ceiling of $150,000). The closing date for applications is November 22, 2012.


The Greenforce Initiative Links Employers and Community Colleges to Meet Growing Need for Sustainability Skills

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Jobs for the Future (JFF) have launched a new phase of the Greenforce Initiative, a multi-year effort to help community colleges expand economic opportunity as the United States moves toward a more environmentally sustainable economy.

Through a two-year, $500,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, NWF and JFF are building networks of employers and community college leaders to collaborate on helping students develop job-ready skills through better sustainability and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) training, which also helps address the skills gaps that exist in these employment fields.

According to the University of Wisconsin's Center on Wisconsin Strategy, global investments in clean energy grew dramatically in 2011, with a record $260 billion invested in the clean energy sector. The U.S. led this surge, investing $55 billion in clean energy, a 33 percent increase over 2010.

Employers are seeking workers with sustainability skills that can help businesses more successfully conserve resources, save money, and produce more sustainable products and services for their businesses and customers.

Since its launch in 2010, the Greenforce Initiative has engaged nearly 1,000 community college, workforce, and sustainable development leaders in their regions; awarded $75,000 in grants to help college leaders seed innovation and implement model projects; helped community college faculty and staff develop relationships with their peers and employers; and promoted the role of community colleges in advancing a sustainable economy. This new investment from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation builds on its earlier $1 million commitment that helped launch the initiative.

Learn more about some of the initiative's work during Advancing Greener Careers and Campuses, a virtual summit taking place on Friday, November 2. Bringing together college faculty, students and administrators, employers, and community leaders from across the nation, this summit will showcase best practices and successful efforts to enhance career pathways and connect campus sustainability to hands-on teaching and learning. To read local case studies and learn more about the Greenforce Initiative, visit www.greenforceinitiative.org.


EPA Announces Opportunity to Apply for 2013 Environmental Justice Small Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it is seeking applicants for a total of $1.5 million in environmental justice small grants to be awarded in 2013. EPA's environmental justice efforts aim to ensure equal environmental and health protections for all Americans, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. The grants enable non-profit organizations to conduct research, provide education and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in communities overburdened by harmful pollution. Grants are available for up to $30,000 each.

The 2013 grant solicitation is now open and will close on Jan. 7, 2013. Applicants must be incorporated non-profits or tribal organizations working to educate, empower and enable their communities to understand and address local environmental and public health issues. EPA will host four pre-application teleconference calls on Oct. 30, 2012; Nov. 14, 2012; Dec. 1, 2012; and Dec. 13, 2012 to help applicants understand the requirements.

Previous grants have supported activities including projects to better protect children in the Boston-area from incidences of lead poisoning and asthma attacks, conduct research on air quality in a portside Philadelphia community and provide support to residents on the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota to repair failing septic systems and identify water that is unsafe to drink.

The principles of environmental justice uphold the idea that all communities overburdened by pollution - particularly minority, low income and indigenous communities - deserve the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, equal access to the decision-making process and a healthy environment in which to live, learn and work. Since 1994, the environmental justice small grants program has provided funding in more than 1,300 communities, to community-based non-profit organizations and local governments working to address environmental justice issues. The grants represent EPA's commitment to expand the conversation on environmentalism and advance environmental justice in communities across the nation.

More information about the Environmental Justice Small Grants program:

Environment Justice Small Grants 2013 Request for Proposals and schedule of pre-application teleconference calls:

Also see:

Department of Labor's Environmental Justice Strategy


October 24 Webinar: Taking Root - The Virginia Career Pathways System

In 2008, the Commonwealth of Virginia set in motion a process to build a statewide career pathways system. The purpose of that effort was to weave together and align education, workforce development, and economic development at all levels. You can read about Virginia's progress, outcomes to date, and lessons learned in Taking Root: The Virginia Career Pathways System, a new released report from Workforce Strategy Center released by the Commonwealth.

The Workforce Strategy Center has announced webinar on Wednesday, October 24th, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT. Hear from key Virginia stakeholders who will discuss their career pathways work. The webinar will be moderated by WSC Senior Associate Melissa Goldberg, a coauthor of the report. The webinar is designed to help state leaders interested in pursuing career pathways learn from Virginia's experiences. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Speakers include:

  • Elizabeth Creamer, Director of Education and Workforce Development, Office of the Secretary of Education
  • Elizabeth Povar, Vice President, Business & Ally Services, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
  • Randall Stamper, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Career Pathways and Workforce Programs, Virginia Community College System and former Director, Adult Education and Literacy, Virginia Department of Education

Please register here for the webinar.


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