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SBA Announces Intent to Create a Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse

The Small Business Administration has announced a funding opportunity to support the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) National Information Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse serves as a centralized information resource within the SBDC network as well as a library and distribution center for information, media, marketing materials and technology for access by any SBDC service center. The Clearinghouse provides business related informational support for the SBDCs and facilitates ever greater exchange of information between SBDCs employing its collection and accessing its business data. The link is

SBA has identified $300,000 for investment in the Clearinghouse. In FY 2019, the grant will run from December 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019, with four option years. Thereafter, each option year will run from October 1 through September 30. In FY 2019, the grant amount will be prorated to reflect the 10-month period of performance.

Applications are due November 30. The application field is limited to an accredited SBDC under §21(k)(2) of the Small Business Act that is currently funded as an SBDC Lead Center by SBA.

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Lumina Foundation, Robin Hood and Salesforce Ventures Announce New Alliance Dedicated to Investing in Education and Workforce Development Companies

Lumina Foundation, Robin Hood, and the Salesforce Impact Fund this week announced the launch of an impact investing alliance dedicated to investing in for-profit education and workforce development companies whose products, services and technologies not only produce a positive financial return, but also have the potential to alleviate or eliminate poverty.

The members of this alliance will share information, knowledge and deal flow around relevant investment opportunities. The alliance commits to an initial $15 million in co-investments to companies who are building products and solutions to benefit society across two key focus areas:

  • Education: Companies enabling students to successfully complete schooling and graduate with high school diplomas; promoting STEM education access; increasing access to and success in universities and/or high quality postsecondary credentialing programs.

  • Workforce Development: Companies focusing on job training and reskilling programs; promoting equitable compensation and benefits; and creating diversity, equality and inclusion in the recruiting process.

This is a first foray into impact investing for Robin Hood. Partnering with proven leaders in this area from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors will enable a fast start to providing impact in the for-profit social change space.

Impact investing has become a proven tool to move the needle forward for business leaders in every business sector and region, in addition to traditional philanthropic strategies. This alliance builds on the already successful co-investing relationship between Lumina Foundation and Salesforce Ventures. Both companies share a focus on investing in high-growth technology companies advancing solutions in education and workforce development.

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WIOA Reporting: ETA Prepares "Reportable Individuals Scenario Tool"

The Employment and Training Administration has prepared the Reportable Individuals Scenario Tool. This tool provides six different scenarios for reporting on an individual whose status as a reportable individual or a participant changes across different reporting periods. This tool helps to clarify when it is appropriate to include multiple records for the same individual based on these changes.

Each of the six scenarios includes a sample WIOA Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL) record (using select PIRL element #s) that demonstrates which dates are entered in each field for the different reporting periods, a visual timeline to demonstrate these dates, and a description of the business rules used to derive the six scenarios.

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Small Business Administration Proposes Amending Regulations for the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program; Seeks Comments by December 31

The U.S. Small Business Administration this week has proposed to amend its regulations for the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program to reduce the regulatory burdens imposed on HUBZone small business concerns and government agencies, implement new statutory provisions, and eliminate ambiguities in the regulations.

SBA has reviewed all of its HUBZone regulations and is proposing a comprehensive revision to the HUBZone Program to clarify current HUBZone Program policies and procedures and to make changes that will benefit the small business community by making the HUBZone Program more efficient and effective.

In general, HUBZone small business concerns are those that have a principal place of business located in a HUBZone and 35 percent of their employees residing in one or more HUBZones. After SBA certifies eligible businesses into the program, they become eligible for HUBZone contracting preferences. HUBZone areas are generally defined as areas with low income levels, high poverty and unemployment rates, Indian reservations, closed military bases, or disaster areas.

The proposed amendments are intended to make it easier for small business concerns to understand and comply with the program's requirements and to make the HUBZone program a more attractive avenue for procuring agencies.

Comments must be received on or before December 31, 2018. The October 31 FEDERAL REGISTER contains the rulemaking:

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USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Education, Workforce Training and Health Care Opportunities in Rural Communities

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today (October 31) announced that USDA is awarding grants for job training, education and healthcare in rural areas.

"Empowering rural Americans with access to services for quality of life and economic development is critical to rural prosperity," Secretary Perdue said. "Distance learning and telemedicine technology bridges the gap that often exists between rural communities and essential education, workforce training and health care resources."

USDA is awarding $39.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. More than 4.5 million residents in 40 states and three territories will benefit from the funding.


Updated: November 01, 2018