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School-to-Work Opportunities Act: Leadership Development

Billing Code 4510-30-M

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Office of Vocational and Adult Education

School-to-Work Opportunities Act: Leadership Development Application Procedures

AGENCIES: Employment and Training Administration, Labor. Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Education.

ACTION: Notice of availability of funds and solicitation for Leadership Development Grant Applications (SGA).

SUMMARY: THIS NOTICE CONTAINS ALL OF THE NECESSARY INFORMATION AND FORMS NEEDED TO APPLY FOR GRANT FUNDING. The Departments of Labor and Education jointly invite proposals for one new award in FY 1997, as authorized under section 403 of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (the Act). This award will be used to provide seed capital to support research and policy exchanges between State and local School-to-Work leaders and government and business leaders from other countries. The intent is to provide a grant to an organization that has the demonstrated capability to undertake these activities and to use these funds to leverage support for the maintenance of this effort once the Federal investment had ended.

DATES: Applications for grant awards will be accepted commencing (date of publication). The closing date for receipt of applications is (30 days from date of publication), at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) at the address below. Telefacsimile (FAX) applications WILL NOT BE HONORED.

ADDRESSES: Applications shall be mailed to: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Acquisition and Assistance, Attention: Ms. Laura Cesario, Reference: SGA/DAA 97-018, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S-4203, Washington, D.C. 20210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Division of Acquisition and Assistance, telephone: (202) 219-8694 (this is not a toll free number). This solicitation will also be published on the Internet, on the Employment and Training Administration's Home Page at http://www.doleta.gov.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SOLICITATION

I. Purpose. To invite proposals to establish a leadershipprogram for State and local School-to-Work leaders to supportinternational research and policy exchanges with a focus on youth education and employment development, including skill standards and qualifications and portable credential systems; institutional and social partnerships; integrated curriculum; and policy development within the context of globalization, technological and economic change.

II. Background. The School-to-Work Opportunities Act was signed into law by the President on May 4, 1994. Jointly administered by the Departments of Labor and Education, this Act is a new approach to education that seeks to better prepare all American youth for careers in high skill, high wage jobs and to strengthen the linkages between what is learned in school with work. Under the Act, venture capital grants are provided to States and local communities to undertake systemic reform. Grants are for a limited duration with the Federal investment declining over time.

These investments are intended to support the one-time costs of States and local communities to restructure learning experiences for all students. The Act also provides a set-aside of funds for national activities to support School-to-Work system-building nationwide. These funds are used for technical assistance and capacity building, for outreach, and for research and evaluation.

III. Statement of Work. The focus on global competitiveness, rapidly changing technology and its impact on work force preparedness of individuals is not unique to the United States. Both U.S. and policy leaders from other countries have struggled to address the "skills gap" among its youth and the need to prepare students to succeed in the rapidly changing workplace. Policy leaders have long benefitted from international exchange and policy learning. The enactment of the National School-to-Work Opportunities Act was preceded by almost a decade of study and experimentation by national, State and local policy leaders.

National and State leaders in particular were heavily influenced by the European models. Many of the early State initiatives were modeled after the European apprenticeship and training programs. The Competitiveness and Human Resources program of the German Marshall Fund has served community, state and federal policymakers and the research community. This program has been phased-out. The Departments believe that there is a need to continue this capability if the School-to-Work initiative is to reach scale and sustainability. The School-to-Work movement is approaching year three in its design and implementation strategy and funding. Much has been accomplished, but just as our colleagues abroad are faced with evaluating their education and training systems' ability to respond and prepare individuals for careers in the new global economy, so too must STW leaders evaluate their progress to date. School-to-Work leaders need to understand how systems work and how to build them. Policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic recognize the need to find more cost-effective ways of providing high quality initial and continuing education and work force training for all. Trans-Atlantic networks can and do assist in devising new policies and programs promoting effective approaches benchmarked to best practice.

The Departments are interested in capacity-building andleadership support activities that are specifically targeted toState and local STW leaders, with the intent to:

  • Facilitate communications and partnerships among lead agencies, programs, Ministries and policy research communities addressing issues of transitions from school-to-work education reform, and work force training in the U.S. and Europe and focusing on such areas as: skill standards and certifications, innovations in curriculum development, partnerships between public and private institutions, integration of school-based and work-based learning; organization and recruitment of the business and labor communities; and strategies for serving the needs of out-of-school youth.
  • Disseminate information, analysis and technical assistance on best practices, promising innovations and programs evaluations relevant to the needs of national, state and local policy makers, researchers and education/training program practitioners and directors.
  • Develop strategic trans-Atlantic networks to promote new forms of partnerships centered on related initiatives;
  • Provide a forum for continuing international policy exchange with National, State and local STW leaders, through multi-

    Over the past decade the German Marshall Fund has promoted increased trans-Atlantic understanding and collaboration on employment and training issues. The Departments are seeking an organization to assume this type work which is no longer being supported by the German Marshall Fund. The Departments' intent is to award funds under this solicitation to an organization that has demonstrated the capability to undertake these activities and to use these funds to leverage support for the maintenance of this effort once the Federal investment has ended. Further, the Department intends that the funds available under this grant will be used to support activities, but will not be used to cover international travel expenses. Organizations submitting a proposal under this solicitation must demonstrate how such international travel expenses will be financed.

    IV. Application Process.

    Eligible Applicants: Non-profit organizations that can demonstrate the capability to undertake this project, including requirements for leveraging funds.

    In preparing the proposal, please use the following headings and respond to the information requested in each of the following categories.

    I. Project Title. Identify the title of the proposed policy exchange program.

    ii. Project Proposal. Provide a description of the proposed project. This description should include information on the capability of the offeror to undertake this project and should specifically address the prior experience and current capability of the offeror to establish these international policy exchanges. The proposal must describe the approach and methodologies the offeror will employ in establishing these international research and policy exchanges and should be specific as to activities, with time lines, that are proposed including how these activities will build the capacity of State and local leaders to implement School-to-Work systems. The proposal should also detail specific products that will be developed and how these products will be disseminated.

    iii. Staff Involved. Provide information about the staff proposed for this project, including their background and qualifications as well as percentage of time committed to the project.

    iv. Support and Sustainability. Provide information on how the organization intends to use the funds under this award to leverage additional funding to support the continuation< of this project once the federal funds have ended. The offeror must provide specific information on how international travel expenses will be financed since federal funds may not be used for this project.

    V. Application Submittal. Applicants must submit an original and three (3) copies of their proposal. The applications shall be divided into two distinct parts: Part I - which contains Standard Form (SF 424, "Application for Federal Assistance," (Appendix A) and "Budget Information Sheet" (Appendix B). All copies of the SF 424 MUST have original signatures of the designated fiscal agent. Applicants shall indicate on the SF-424 the organization's IRS status. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number is 17.249. In addition, the budget shall include--on a separate page(s)--a detailed cost break-out of each line item on the Budget Information Sheet. Part II shall contain the program narrative that demonstrates the applicant's plan and capabilities in accordance with the evaluation criteria contained in this notice. Applicants must describe their plan in light of each of the Evaluation Criteria. No cost data or reference to price shall be included in this part of the application. Applicants MUST limit the program narrative section to no more than 25 double-spaced pages, on one side only. This includes any attachments. Applications that fail to meet the page limitation requirement will not be considered.

    VI. Late Applications. Any application received after the exact date and time specified for receipt at the office designated in this notice will not be considered, unless it is received before awards are made and it - (a) Was sent by registered or certified mail not later than the fifth calendar day before the date specified for receipt of applications (e.g., an application submitted in response to a solicitation requiring receipt of applications by the 20th of the month must have been mailed/post marked by the 15th of that month); or (b) Was sent by the U.S. Postal service Express Mail next Day Service to addresses not later than 5:00 P.M. at the place of mailing two working days prior to the date specified for receipt of applications. The term "working days" excludes weekends and Federal holidays. The term "post marked" means a printed, stamped or other wise placed impression (exclusive of a postage meter machine impression) that is readily identifiable, without further action, as having been supplied or affixed on the date of mailing by an employee of the U.S. Postal Service.

    VI. Hand Delivered Applications. It is preferred that applications be mailed at least five days prior to the closing date. To be considered for funding, hand-delivered applications must be received by 4:00 p.m., (Eastern Time), on the closing date. TELEGRAPHED AND/OR FAXED APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE HONORED. Failure to adhere to the above instructions will be a basis for a determination of nonresponsiveness. Overnight express mail from carriers other than the U.S. Postal Service will be considered hand-delivered applications and MUST BE RECEIVED by the above specified date and time.

    VII. Funding Availability and Period of Performance. The Departments' expect to make one award, not to exceed $500,000. The period of performance will be for 12 months from the date the grant is awarded. The Departments may, at their option, provide additional funds for a second year, depending upon availability of funds, and performance of the awardee.

    VIII. Review Process. A careful evaluation of applications will be made by a technical review panel, who will evaluate the applications against the criteria listed below. The government may elect to award the grant without discussions with the offeror. In such situations, an award based on the offeror's signature on the SF 424 constitutes a binding offer.

    EVALUATION CRITERIA

    1. The innovation and soundness of the plan. (30 Points)

    Does the plan address the activities identified in the work statement?

    Does the plan indicate how it will identify and bring together international leaders?

    Is the plan specific as to the products that will be developed and how these products will be disseminated?

    Are the goals and objectives of the plan clearly identified?

    Is the target audience clearly identified?

    Is the plan specific as to methodology and approach?

    2. The capability and experience of the offeror in establishing international exchange programs. (20 Points)

    Has the offeror clearly identified prior experience in establishing international exchanges in related fields?

    Does the offeror demonstrate the capability to identify and bring together appropriate leaders both in the U.S. and internationally?

    3. The knowledge and experience of the offeror in school-to-work transition and related education and training fields. (20 Points)

    Does the offeror cite specific examples of prior experience in school-to-work transition and related fields?

    Does the proposed staff have background and experience in working in areas related to school-to-work transition?

    Does the proposal reflect an understanding of issues and effective strategies relating to transitioning young people from school to careers?

    4. The demonstrated capability of the offeror to commit and leverage resources for this project. (30 Points)

    Has the offeror identified the amount and sources of resources to be committed to this project?

    Is the plan specific as to how proposed international travel will be financed?

    Does the offeror make a compelling case for being able to sustain these efforts once federal funds are no longer available?

    The grant will be awarded based on applicant response to the above mentioned criteria and what is otherwise most advantageous to the Departments. The panel results are advisory in nature and not binding on the Grant Officer.

    Signed at Washington, D.C., this 8th day of July 1997.

    Janice E. Perry

    Grant Officer

    Appendices

    Appendix A: Application for Federal Assistance, SF Form 424

    Appendix B: Budget Information Sheet