SENIOR COMMUNITY SERVICE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM
Instructions for Completion of the Grant Application Package
Project Narrative Instructions
Budget SF-424 A (and a detailed budget breakout)
Employment and Training Administration
United States Department of Labor
Division of Older Worker Programs
INTRODUCTION TO THE GRANT APPLICATION PACKAGE
The completed application shall consist of the following parts.
Part I. Project Narrative. (Statement of Work/technical proposal) PLEASE READ EACH SECTION OF THE NARRATIVE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. In this part, the applicant describes the objectives and needs that the proposed project will meet, the results and benefits expected, the program approach, the geographic areas to be served, and the administrative mechanisms to be used. The SCSEP Project Narrative must be prepared and the program operated in accordance with Title V of the Older Americans Act, the SCSEP Regulations of May 17, 1995, and Older Worker Bulletins.
Part II. Proposed Project Budget. The budget should be prepared using the SF 424-A. Other formats, which contain the same information, are acceptable. All applicants must also include a detailed budget breakout with their grant application package.
The text of the project narrative should be double-spaced with one-inch margins at the top, bottom, right and left sides. Pages should be numbered. The use of graphs, maps and tables is permitted. In addition to using the required section headings, applicants are encouraged to use brief topic headings for paragraphs in the text.
The title, "PART I - PROJECT NARRATIVE" should be centered and the section headings and subheadings should be entered at the left-hand margin.
o Number all narrative pages and properly label attachments or enclosures
The guidelines for project narrative content are discussed in each section. The content should be concise and relevant. Avoid direct reiteration of statutory or regulatory requirements. The grant application should provide an explanation of the proposed project. The instructions for the five sections follow:
SECTION 1- STATE SENIOR EMPLOYMENT SERVICES COORDINATION PLAN. State grantees need not complete this section. National grantees should briefly describe how they are engaged in the process of developing State Senior Employment Services Coordination Plans, which are described at Section 503 of the OAA.
SECTION 2 - APPROACH. Section 2 requires information about the operations of the proposed project and the methods and procedures the applicant will use to implement it. This section shall consist of three subsections, each of which is discussed separately below.
a. Plan of Action. Provide a description of each project function or activity. Applicants must provide adequate descriptions for the reviewer to ascertain how the applicant will implement the project. The following activities should be discussed separately:
(1) Recruitment and selection of participants. Indicate the methods and resources that will be used to recruit project participants. Indicate how eligibility will be determined and documented. Describe efforts to assure participation of minority groups, those with greatest economic need and those with poor employment prospects.
Grantees are reminded that the enrollment priorities are found at 20 CFR section 641.306.
(2) Continued Eligibility for Enrollment in the SCSEP. All sponsors are required to recertify the income of each enrollee at least once each program year. Indicate the schedule for certifying participants and action, if any, to be taken on behalf of those found to be ineligible. Indicate where eligibility records will be maintained. (See OW Bulletins Nos. 96-5, 95-5, and 98-31.)
(3) Physical Examinations. Describe the arrangements that will be made to offer initial physical examinations and annual physical examinations to participants. These examinations are a service to participants -- a fringe benefit of participation -- and are not to be used as an eligibility criterion.
The results of physical exams should not be included in the enrollee file. They should be maintained in a separate file. Participants are not required to have an examination, but there should be documentation of an offer to provide for an examination. If through their own efforts participants obtain a medical examination or if they have just had one, this will meet the intent of the regulations. Participants should be encouraged to get annual physical examinations, and waivers of the physical should be the exception and not the rule. If an enrollee waives the exam this should be documented. Please see OW Bulletin No. 97-34 for more details.
(4) Orientation (Optional). Describe enrollee and host agency orientation procedures. The description should include mention of enrollee and agency responsibilities, permissible political activities, grievance procedures, etc.
(5) Assessment. Describe the procedures to be followed in assessing the job aptitudes, job readiness, and job preferences of participants, as well as their potential for transition into unsubsidized employment. The training and supportive service needs of participants should also be addressed as part of the enrollee assessment. Such assessments shall be made upon enrollment and no less frequently than once each year thereafter. The assessment must be considered in the formation of the IDP.
(6) Individual Development Plan (IDP). Describe how the assessment will be used to develop the IDP. The IDP is a plan for an enrollee, which generally includes an employment goal and an appropriate sequence of services for the participant based on the assessment. The IDP should be reviewed and updated at least once in a 12-month period. More successful projects generally update the IDP more frequently; i.e., on a continuing, as-needed basis.
(7) Placement into Subsidized Employment. Describe the methods to be used to place participants into subsidized employment. Include such factors as: (i) the types of community service activities that will be emphasized in assigning participants to subsidized jobs; (ii) methods used to match participants with subsidized jobs; (iii) the extent to which participants will be placed in work assignments involving the administration of the project itself; (iv) the types of host agencies to be used and the procedures and criteria for selecting work assignments; (v) average number of hours in enrollee work weeks; (vi) the average enrollee wage rate; (vii) enrollee fringe benefits; and (viii) the procedures for assuring participants are given adequate work site supervision.
(8) Training during community service employment and for other employment. Describe the training that will be provided to participants. (This training should be related to the enrollee assessment and to the IDP.) Training may be related to the SCSEP job duties or it may be developmental, i.e., the skills developed will enhance the enrollee's unsubsidized employment opportunities. Grantees are reminded that the number of paid hours of allowable training is limited to 500.
(9) Supportive services (Optional). Describe the supportive services to be provided to participants and the source of these services.
(10) Enrollee transportation (Optional). Where applicable, describe the arrangements that will be made to provide transportation assistance to participants and
the reimbursement rate for transportation. (Transportation expenditures should be for the purpose of providing benefit to participants; they are not to be used to support other programs or services.)
(11) Placement into unsubsidized employment. Describe the steps, which will be taken to move or place participants into unsubsidized employment. Include the cooperative measures that will be taken with the Workforce Investment Act and one-stop career centers. Describe follow-up efforts and indicate if these will be done by phone, letter or visits. Grantees that were unable to place into unsubsidized employment the number of participants that equals at least 20 percent of their annual authorized positions in the prior year shall submit a plan of action for addressing the goal in the forthcoming year.
(12) Maximum Duration of Enrollment (Optional). Maximum duration of enrollment is an optional provision of the regulations and, as such, sponsors may elect not to exercise this option. For those grantees who wish to exercise this option, please refer to OW Bulletin No. 96-12. Describe the efforts taken to ensure that this option is applied equitably and uniformly. What will be the specified time limitation under this option? Describe efforts to ensure that enrollee rights are safeguarded.
(13) Individual Development Plan-Related Terminations (Optional). Termination of an enrollee based on his/her IDP is an optional provision of the regulations and, as such, grantees may elect not to exercise this option. For those grantees wishing to exercise this option, please refer to OW Bulletin No. 96-11. Describe efforts to provide adequate notification of this option to participants. Indicate the relationship between this option and the IDP. Describe efforts to ensure that this policy is applied equitably and uniformly. Define the kinds of referrals and number that must be refused in order to implement the IDP-related termination. Indicate situations that would exempt the enrollee from this policy. Describe how the grievance procedures will be related to the IDP related terminations, including corrective action letters and documentation.
(14) Enrollee Complaint Resolution. Describe fully the system of due process that will be used in cases where an adverse action is contemplated against an enrollee or in cases where an applicant for enrollment wishes to dispute an unfavorable determination of eligibility. If available, provide as an attachment an example of the written explanation, which is given to each enrollee.
(15) Over-enrollment (Optional). Describe the utilization of participants when there is over-enrollment and the anticipated number of participants that may be employed above the number of authorized positions. Describe how participants will be notified of their short-term status, and how the short-term status of participants will be identified in enrollee records.
(16) Maintenance of Effort. Describe steps to be taken to assure compliance with the Maintenance of Effort provision. (See 20 CFR section 674.325)
Program participants may not be used to replace other employed workers, workers on layoff, or private contracts.
b. Performance Goals. Specify the following: (1) the number of authorized community service employment positions under the program; (2) the number of unsubsidized placements to be achieved during the funding period; and (3) the number of participants to be served during the program year. The goal for unsubsidized placements shall be based on the grantees number of authorized positions.
c. Equitable Distribution. Indicate any other cooperative or coordination relationships that will assist program performance and assure equitable access to the program among cities, counties or other appropriate jurisdictions. In addition, describe current slot imbalances and the steps YOUR ORGANIZATION is proposing to correct such inequities in conjunction with other SCSEP grantees. Slot reductions should be made from over-served areas.
SECTION 3 - GEOGRAPHIC AREAS TO BE SERVED. List the States, cities and counties where the project and its subprojects will be conducted. Include the number of SCSEP authorized positions to be established in each jurisdiction. For multi-State projects (national grantee projects), the distribution of authorized positions by county and the allocation of funds by States should be listed for each State along with the geographic area (generally counties) served within the State. For those applicants with a project located in a city but also serving surrounding counties (or other jurisdictions) the surrounding counties (or jurisdictions) should be listed with the number of authorized positions. Please indicate where authorized positions have been changed from the prior year.
SECTION 4 - PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION.
a. Organizational Structure. Describe the organizational structure of the project, including a description of the mission and function of each unit connected with the
project. The national non-profit organizations and the U.S. Forest Service should have available brief job descriptions for all key administrative and professional technical staff. (Do not include resumes).
b. Subproject Management. In completing this section grantees need not provide specific information on their subgrantees or contractors. The Department is interested only in general procedures and practices utilized by the grantee to manage and select their subproject operators. Grantees should describe how they will assure that subgrantees, affiliates, contractors or other entities receive adequate resources to effectively operate local projects. (See OAA Section 502(b)(1) ( R).
c. Training of subproject (local) staff. Describe the training that will be provided to increase the skills, knowledge, and abilities of local staff. Where applicable include a description of the proposed staff training with dates, content, and potential participants.
d. Project Monitoring. Explain the methods and procedures to be used to monitor and evaluate project activities, their subgrantees and contractors, to determine if the project is being administered in accordance with Federal guidelines and regulations and if project goals and timetables are being met. Include in this explanation: (1) how frequently monitoring/evaluation visits will be made to local projects (generally local projects should be monitored no less than once each grant period); (2) who will be responsible for monitoring/evaluation; (3) what criteria will be used to monitor and evaluate project activities; (4) what methods will be used for prescribing remedial action when necessary; (5) what follow-up procedures will be used to ensure that any identified problem has been remedied; and (6) how sub-project reports are validated. All written monitoring reports and subsequent follow-up actions must be made a part of the permanent files.
e. Financial Monitoring. Describe how the financial management system of local subprojects will be monitored. Included in this explanation should be: (1) who will be responsible for monitoring subsponsor expenditures; (2) how frequently monitoring of expenditures will be done; and (3) what follow-up procedures will be used. (4) How will financial reports be validated? All written monitoring reports and subsequent follow-up actions must be made a part of the permanent files.
f. Audits. Describe audit coverage including plans to audit local projects as well as plans to audit the headquarters activities. To the extent feasible, provide dates, possible audit firms and selection procedures for future audits. Provide specific references to the most recent audit. Include the name of the audit firm and the date.
SECTION 5. CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR PARTICIPANTS:
Grantees should describe how on-board participants will be transferred to new grantees if a grantee loses all or some of its positions. Such losses may occur if there are position reductions resulting from competition, swaps, or reductions in funding. In this section include the following: (1) how and when the participants will be notified, (2) if appropriate, what records will be turned over to the new grantee, (3) what efforts will be made to place program participants into other employment and training opportunities, (4) what other services will be provided to ease the transition, and (5) how will final payroll payments be made. By accepting this grant, the grantee agrees to carry out the transition plan should that be necessary.
PART II - BUDGET
The applicant must prepare the proposed budget using Standard Form 424-A or comparable format.
Sections A, B, C, and D of the Budget Information Form should include budget estimates for the entire grant period. In Sections A and B, three basic grant functional areas are required. They are: (1) Administration; (2) Enrollee Wages and Fringe Benefits; and (3) Other Enrollee Costs. Costs attributable to these functional areas are described in the regulations (also see OW Bulletin No. 97-26). Applicants must ensure that the proportional distribution of the Federal funds among these three functional areas meets the program requirements.
SPONSORS SHOULD HAVE CURRENT COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY AND ENSURE THEIR ORGANIZATIONS HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO LINK TO THE INTERNET. REPORTING IS NOW TO BE DONE THROUGH THE INTERNET.
The following instructions are intended to clarify instructions for completing each section of the budget forms. The regulations at 20 CFR sections 641.401-407 should be reviewed as well as OW Bulletin No. 97-26, Classification of Other Enrollee Costs.
BUDGET INFORMATION FORM (CLARIFYING INSTRUCTIONS)
Section A - Budget Summary
Lines 1 - 4, Columns (a) and (b). Under Column (a), enter the following: Line 1 - "Administration", Line 2 - "EW/FB" (Enrollee Wages and Fringe Benefits); Line 3 - "OEC" (Other Enrollee Costs). Under Column (b) on Line 1, enter "17.235".
Lines 1 - 4, Column (c) through (g). Leave Columns (c) and (d) blank. For each line entry under Column (a), enter in Columns (e), (f), and (g) the appropriate amounts of funds needed to support the project for the grant period.
Line 5. Show totals for all columns used. Applicants should note that the non-Federal share must be no less than 10 percent of the total cost of the project. Rules regarding non-Federal funds are found in the appropriate administrative regulations, 29 CFR part 95 for non-profits and 29 CFR Part 97 for State governments.
Section B - Budget Categories
In the column headings at Line 6 titled "Object Class Categories" (1) through (3), enter the titles of the grant functional areas (i.e., Administration, EW/FB, and OEC) shown on Lines 1 - 4, Column (a), Section A. For each functional area fill in the total funds needed (Federal plus non-Federal) by object class categories. For applicants proposing multi-State projects, in the column headings (1) through (4), enter the titles of the grant functional areas (i.e., Administration, EW/FB, and OEC).
Lines 6a through 6h. Show the estimated amount (include the Federal and non-Federal share) for each direct object class category under each column used. All costs to be incurred under contracts or subgrants should be reflected in line 6f (Contractual). The costs to be incurred under individual contracts or sub-grants must be properly attributed among the three basic functional areas (i.e., Administration, EW/FB, and OEC). Under the EW/FB column (Enrollee Wages and Fringe Benefits), entries may be made in three object class categories: "Personnel" (Enrollee Wages), "Fringe Benefits" (Enrollee Fringe Benefits), or "Contractual" (when funds for enrollee wages and fringe benefits are to be included in contracts or subgrants).
Line 6i. Show the total of entries made for lines 6a through 6h in each column.
Line 6j. Show the amount of indirect costs. A copy of the CURRENT indirect cost rate agreement must be sent with the application. If it is not available please provide an explanation and an estimate as to when it will be available.
Line 6k. Enter the totals of the amounts indicated on lines 6i and 6j. For all applications, the total amount in Column (5), Line 6k, should be the same as the total amount shown in Section A, Column (g), Line 5.
Line 7. Enter the estimated amount of income, if any, expected to be generated from this project. Do not add or subtract this amount from the total project amount. Under the project narrative statement describe the nature and source of such income. Remember: Income generated by SCSEP projects must be used for SCSEP activities.
Section C - Source of Non-Federal Resources
Line 8. Enter amounts of non-Federal resources that will be used in the grant.
Column (a). On Line (8) Column (a) only, enter "SCSEP" (Senior Community Service Employment Program). A breakdown by functional areas is not necessary. Use Line (8) for entries under all columns.
Column (b). Enter the amount of applicant cash and/or in-kind contributions to be made.
Column (c). Enter the State(s) contribution if the applicant is not a State or State agency. Applicants that are State agencies should leave this column blank.
Column (d). Enter the amount of cash and/or in-kind contributions to be made from all other sources.
Column (e). Enter totals of Columns (b), (c), and (d). The amount under Column (e) should be equal to the amount on Line 5, Column (f), Section A.
Line 12. Under each column enter the same figure entered in Line (8).
Section D - Forecasted Cash Needs
Make no entries.
Section E - Budget Estimates of Federal Funds Needed for Balance of Project Make no entries.
Section F - Other Budget Information
Line 21 - Direct Charges
A Detailed Cost Breakout is now required with the Grant Application Package.
The applicant may consult with the Grant Officer Technical Representative (GOTR) regarding the needed level of detail. In categorizing costs and their allocability, all sponsors must follow the Regulations at 20 CFR Part 641 Subpart D, sections 641.401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406 and 407.
All grantees should prepare a detailed cost breakout and have available for inspection the basis for their estimated costs by line item and must provide it if needed including the detail for the "Other" line item. Information on actual expenditure by line item and category must also be available. Grantees are encouraged to describe any
extraordinary item such as planned conferences, travel, and unusual expenses. When sponsors divide costs between the "Administration" and "Other Enrollee Cost" Categories they should describe the basis for that division and include mention of any surveys used to determine the allocations. (National grantees must submit a copy of their travel policy as an attachment to the Detailed Cost Breakout.) The Department of Labor reserves the right to require additional information on any budget line item or cost category.
Line 22 - Indirect Charges
Enter the type of indirect rate (provisional, predetermined, final, or fixed) that will be in effect during the grant period, and the nature and the amount of the base to which the rate is applied, and the total indirect charges. Where the applicant intends to make indirect charges against Federal funds under the grant, the Grant Officer or his representative must be contacted.
The Grant Officer will advise the grant applicant of the documents and materials that must accompany the grant application in support of the request. Where indirect charges are approved, the terms and conditions relating to the payment of indirect costs, which are subject to negotiation by the Department, will be specified in the grant document. Those national nonprofit grantees proposing to utilize an indirect cost rate must submit a roster showing all positions and individuals that are direct grant charges and those positions that are in the indirect cost pool.
Include a copy of your agencys approved indirect cost rate agreement. It should cover the entire grant period. If not, state that a new one will be provided when available.
Line 23 - Remarks. Provide any other explanations or comments deemed necessary.