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Release Date

December 06, 2018

Manufacturing Innovator Challenge and Additive Manufacturing: Department of Energy Announces Prizes, Seeks Public Ideas

The Department of Energy (DOE) this week has announced two new prizes as part of its Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, an effort to crowdsource solutions for next generation manufacturing to increase energy productivity and strengthen America's industrial base.

In partnership with the crowdsourcing platform, this challenge offers applicants an opportunity to submit innovative design concepts for additive manufacturing (3D printing) and other topics within several technology areas, including bioenergy, buildings, and vehicle technologies. Individual prizes will be awarded to innovators with the best solutions for today's manufacturing challenges. Prizes now open for ideas include:

Biobased Additive Manufacturing (BAM) - $9,600 total prize purse (3 winners of $3,200 each)

DOE is seeking new concepts in biobased materials for additive manufacturing. Large-scale additive manufacturing allows for rapid prototyping of complex structures. Biobased printing materials are critical for making 3D printed structures renewable and potentially biodegradable; however, they are currently plagued with problems of material strength and printability. The BAM Prize is looking to identify new materials that are made from at least 90% plant matter or algae and can meet or exceed the performance of current commercial 3D printing materials. This opportunity ends on January 10, 2019. Learn more.

Novel Concepts for Large-Scale 3D Printing - $7,500 total prize purse (3 winners of $2,500 each)

DOE is seeking new and exciting concepts for the use of large-scale 3D printing. The ability to manufacture large-scale objects using 3D printing has opened a range of new technical possibilities. DOE is hoping to bring attention to these possibilities, while harnessing the creative power of the crowd to identify spaces where 3D printing can play a role in breakthrough technologies. This opportunity ends on February 1, 2019. Learn more.

DOE and launched two prizes in October, and have extended the application deadlines to December 17, 2018. These prizes include:

Additive Manufacturing for Disaster Response - $7,500 total prize purse (3 winners of $2,500 each)

DOE is seeking design concepts that explore new applications for large-scale additive manufacturing for disaster response. Natural disasters can rapidly destroy critical large- and small-scale infrastructure, such as power lines and communications towers, and delay aid and relief efforts. By producing critical infrastructure components on-site, rather than shipping them from afar, additive manufacturing has the potential to accelerate disaster recovery times. Learn more.

Solid State Lighting Manufacturing - $9,000 total prize purse (3 winners of $3,000 each)

DOE is seeking applicants for a Solid State Lighting (SSL) manufacturing design concept that advances novel 3D printing for use in luminaire applications, specifically 3D printing concepts of optical materials for SSL. Learn more.

Learn more about the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge and how to submit your ideas on the contest's home page.

Release Date

December 06, 2018

Department of Education Publishes Deadline Dates for Title IV HEA Financial Aid Programs

The Department of Education has published the deadline dates in the December 4 Federal Register for the receipt of documents and other information from applicants and institutions participating in certain Federal student aid programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), for the 2018-2019 award year.

These programs provide financial assistance to students attending eligible postsecondary educational institutions to help them pay their educational costs.

The Federal student aid programs (title IV, HEA programs) covered by this deadline date notice are the Pell Grant, Direct Loan, TEACH Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, and campus-based (FSEOG and FWS) programs.


Who can get an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?

You may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant if

  • you are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of your Expected Family Contribution but
  • meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements, and
  • your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, and
  • you were under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of your parent's or guardian's death.

Release Date

December 06, 2018

Employer Attestation for H-2B Nonimmigrant Workers: ETA Publishes Thirty-Day PRA Notice

The Employment and Training Administration has published the thirty-day PRA notice for the information collection --"Attestation for Employers Seeking to Employ H-2B Nonimmigrant Workers Under Section 205 of Division M of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 Public Law 115-141 (March 23, 2018),"

The Office of Management and Budget will consider all comments received by December 31.

November 30, 2019 Thirty-Day PRA Notice
August 30, 2019 Sixty-Day PRA Notice

Release Date

December 06, 2018

Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Announces New Policies

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has announced three directives aimed at establishing an opinion letter process and enhancing OFCCP's Help Desk, establishing a process to resolve compliance evaluations at the earliest stage possible with corporate-wide compliance, and clarifying the Agency's compliance review procedures.

Release Date

December 06, 2018

EPA Announces Three Opportunities for Brownfields Funding: Assessment, Cleanup, and Multi-Purpose Grants

The Environmental Protection Agency announced three grant opportunities on November 29:

FY 2019 Guidelines for Brownfields Assessment Grants

Funding Level: $37,000,000 Application Deadline: January 31, 2019

FY 2019 Guidelines for Brownfields Cleanup Grants

Funding Level: $11,000,000 Application Deadline: January 31, 2019

FY 2019 Guidelines for Brownfields Multipurpose Grants

Funding Level $8,000,000 Application Deadline: January 31, 2019

Release Date

December 06, 2018

Department of Education Publishes Sixty-Day PRA Notice for NTLS 2012; Focus on Collecting Education, Employment and Earnings Data for Youth with Disabilities

The Department of Education's sixty-day PRA notice for the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012) was published in the December 3, 2018 Federal Register. Comments will be due to the Department by February 3, 2019.

(NLTS 2012) is the third in a series of studies being conducted by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), with the goal of describing the characteristics, secondary school experiences, transition, and outcomes of youth who receive special education services under IDEA.

Phase II of NLTS 2012 will utilize high school and post -high school administrative records data to collect information in three broad areas important to understanding outcomes for youth with disabilities:

  1. high school course-taking and completion
  2. post-secondary education and training, and
  3. employment and earnings after high school

Release Date

December 06, 2018

ARC and NACo Announce Forthcoming Appalachian Substance Abuse Response Initiative

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas has announced plans for the forthcoming Appalachian Substance Abuse Response Initiative, a new partnership between ARC and the National Association of Counties (NACo) to develop educational materials, provide informational resources, and build a toolkit for community leaders to effectively address substance abuse at the local level.

This effort, which will officially launch in 2019, will include recommendations for how county leaders can best respond to the current substance abuse crisis by exercising strategic local leadership, emphasizing preventative and educational initiates, expanding access to addiction treatments, facilitating treatment and/or diversion for justice-involved individuals, and considering new economic development strategies. Using these recommendations,

NACo will host educational sessions at each affiliated state-level associations in the 13 Appalachian states throughout 2019. As a wrap-up, NACo and ARC will host a final peer-to-peer exchange in Washington, D.C., to share key takeaways and insights. “The Appalachian Substance Abuse Response Initiative to help local leaders educate communities, prevent substance abuse disorder before it starts, strengthen access to treatment to help people achieve long-term sobriety and get back to work, and mitigate the impact the drug epidemic is having on local economies," Thomas said. "Our intent is equip county leaders with the tools to help meet this challenge."

ARC and NACo have partnered previously in taking on some of the Region's most pressing challenges. For instance, as part of the POWER Initiative, the two organizations worked with the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) to provide targeted technical assistance to teams of community developers from eleven coal communities in four Appalachian states. This included support for grant writing, feasibility studies, strategic plan development, and capacity building to facilitate strategic and sustainable investments. The teams were then networked with other communities across the country facing similar challenges to share best practices.

Release Date

December 06, 2018

Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens: Department of Homeland Security Publishes NPRM

The Department of Homeland Security is proposing to amend its regulations governing petitions filed on behalf of H-1B beneficiaries who may be counted toward the 65,000 visa cap established under the Immigration and Nationality Act or beneficiaries with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education who are eligible for an exemption from the regular cap.

The proposed amendments would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B petitions subject to the regular cap, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during a designated registration period. USCIS would select from among the registrations timely received a sufficient number projected as needed to meet the applicable H-1B allocations.

DHS also proposes to change the process by which USCIS counts H-1B registrations (or petitions, if the registration requirement is suspended), by first selecting registrations submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS would then select from the remaining registrations a sufficient number projected as needed to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which USCIS counts these separate allocations would likely increase the number of beneficiaries with a master's or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected for further processing under the H-1B allocations.

Written comments must be received on or before January 2, 2019.

Updated: December 06, 2018