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Dislocated Worker Manufacturing Technology Demonstration Program

Billing Code:4510-30

    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

    Employment and Training Administration

    Job Training Partnership Act, Title III, Demonstration

    Program: Dislocated Worker Manufacturing Technology Demonstration Program

    AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

    ACTION: Notice of Availability of Funds and Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA).

    SUMMARY: All information required to submit a grant application is contained in this announcement. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA), announces a demonstration program to test the ability of the workforce development system to partner with employers, training providers and others to train dislocated workers in the skills necessary to obtain work requiring technology skills in occupations in manufacturing industry settings with long-term growth potential. The program will be funded with Secretary's National Reserve funds appropriated for Title III of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and administered in accordance with 29 CFR Part 95 and 97 as applicable.

    This notice provides information on the process that eligible entities must use to apply for these demonstration funds and how grantees will be selected. It is anticipated that up to $10 million will be available for funding demonstration projects covered by this solicitation, with no award being more than $1 million.

    DATES: The closing date for receipt of proposals is February 16, 1999 at 4 p.m.(Eastern Time).

    ADDRESSES: Applications shall be mailed to: U.S. Department of Labor; Employment and Training Administration; Division of Acquisition and Assistance; Attention: Yvonne Harrell, Reference: SGA/DFA 99-001; 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S-4203; Washington, DC 20210.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fax questions to Yvonne Harrell, Division of Acquisition Assistance at 202) 219-8739 (this is not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This announcement consists of five parts. Part I describes the authorities and purpose of the demonstration program and identifies demonstration policy. Part II describes the application process and provides guidelines for use in applying for demonstration grants. Part III includes the statement of work for the demonstration projects. Part IV describes the selection process, including the criteria that will be used in reviewing and evaluating applications. Part V discusses the demonstration program's monitoring, reporting and evaluation.

    Part I. Background

    A. Authorities

    Section 323(a)(6)of JTPA (29 U.S.C. 1662b) authorizes the use for demonstration programs of funds reserved under Section 302 of JTPA (29 U.S.C. 1652) and provided by the Secretary for that purpose under Section 322 of JTPA (29 U.S.C. 1662a). Demonstration program grantees must comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations in setting up and carrying out their programs.

    B. Purpose

    It is now well understood that the economy has transitioned from the industrial age to the information age. In this age, the most valued commodities are the skills and knowledge possessed by the individual. Global competition has reached an unprecedented level. Technology plays an increasingly important role in this global scenario as nations strive to build things or provide services that are faster, better or cheaper than their competitors.

    In this era of global competition and rapid technological advances, technology is the most critical driver of economic growth. The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Technology Policy, has reported advances in technology to be the single most important determining factor in sustaining economic growth, estimated to account for as much as half of the Nation's long-term economic growth over the past 50 years. Technology as a method for achieving a practical result encompasses the techniques, machines and equipment, controls, processes, and organization of work, as well as the ideas, skills, and knowledge underlying the work process. Traditional work environments have altered, as have the requisite skills needed by workers to succeed in today's workplace. Technology provides the tools for creating a wide array of new and improved products and new services that reach well beyond the narrow confines of traditional labor markets. A product can now be provided from almost any community, each with the potential to reach global markets. The ability of a company to innovate, incorporate technology, improve products or services, increase market share and thus expand capacity and employment is the engine of economic growth.

    Information technologies affect almost every sector and every industry in the United States, in terms of digitally based products, services, and production and work processes. The very nature of advanced technology lies in the ability of a business or industry to identify, assess, adopt and incorporate information based technologies into everyday business and production processes. The information/

    knowledge-based workplace of today's leading companies requires workers to possess conceptual, analytical, communication, interpersonal, and self-management skills beyond the basic academic and technical skills of the traditional workplace. There is often a skills deficit experienced by employers who continuously push the envelope to innovate, and adopt new technology in order to stay ahead of competitors, both domestic and international.

    With accelerated changes in technology, America's workers often discover their skill base has become out of date. New approaches are needed to help American workers stay competitive. Workers need to know and understand what skill standards employers are looking for, and they need to have the means to raise their skills to match that demand.

    Our Nation's workforce development system is working to meet this need, but skill shortages in technology are currently very high in some industry sectors and geographic areas. Severe shortages of workers who can apply and use advanced technologies could undermine U.S. innovation, productivity, and competitiveness in world markets. A steady supply of skill workers will help our Nation's industries remain competitive. More importantly, these workers need to possess the appropriate skills demanded in the workplace. Ideally, a system of "just in time" training would be able to supply skilled workers that meet industry driven standards and certifications.

    The purpose of this demonstration is to test the ability of the Nation's workforce development system to partner with employers, training providers and others to train dislocated workers in the skills necessary to obtain work requiring technology skills in manufacturing occupations and industries experiencing shortages of such workers.

    Industries such as aerospace, computers and electronics manufacturing, machinery and motor vehicles, chemicals and petroleum, and specialized instruments and devices as well as bio-technical/biomedical could be among the manufacturing industries experiencing technology skill shortages among those workers they seek to employ.

    Manufacturing technologies have gone through several metamorphoses. The impact of these technological trends is often felt as a loss in the number of unskilled jobs with an increase in more technology-savvy jobs required to control automated, computer-operated machinery. As the tools and equipment become more automated, the skills needed for entry level technicians and operators multiply. Increasing use of robotics requires employees who once performed manual labor to become technicians who control automatic processes remotely by computer. Assemblers frequently are now required to possess computer skills for controlling automatic processes remotely. The shift towards automating the production line has resulted in a need for workers who are able to work with computers, robotics, and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines. Instead of interacting with the products, line workers may now manage machines which perform the processes.

    A large number of the layoffs that occur within a manufacturing company are associated with elimination or reduction of a product and changes in technology. They generally have the largest impact on those with lower or outdated skills. Amid massive and continual restructuring within manufacturing, it is imperative for manufacturing employees to commit to lifelong learning. The technology and the push to produce a particular product that created their present position is often soon to be replaced by another generation of product and production process.

    As a part of the Nation's Workforce Development System, programs presently funded under Title III of the Job Training Partnership Act, and soon to be funded under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, annually provide adjustment and training assistance to over 500,000 individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. These employment and training funds targeted to serve dislocated workers are managed through State and local workforce development organizations who design and operate a national system for training and reemployment programs based on: 1) the needs and characteristics of the local dislocated worker population; 2) the needs of local employers for skilled workers; and 3) the capabilities and capacities of training institutions and other local service providers. The emerging infrastructure of One-Stop/Career Center systems provides comprehensive and integrated workforce development services to both participants and employers.

    Under this demonstration, the Department will fund projects that specifically document the existence of and respond to the reported shortages in their geographical area of workers in manufacturing jobs requiring technology skills. For purposes of this solicitation, the term "technology" may be viewed broadly as the link between people and technology in the workplace.

    Successful applications may be based on the use of new or innovative service strategies such as the involvement of under represented groups of dislocated workers for existing training programs; the development and use of curricula geared specifically to eligible groups of dislocated workers and the needs of employers with openings in technology-related jobs; or the development of concentrated training models for workers with a residue of skill knowledge from previous related employment, or use of curriculum and skills training interventions designed to impart knowledge, skills and abilities of industry skill standards (where available or under development).

    Each successful application will document where there are strong linkages with specific employers' demand for workers with technology-related skills. The demonstration program goals of placement of the project participants in jobs using technology in manufacturing industries which are targeted in the proposal must be clearly addressed and sufficient assurance must be demonstrated that this goal can be accomplished.

    Participant satisfaction with project services and with their jobs, as well as their employer's satisfaction with project services and with the participants' skill level and work, should be measured not only at the end of the project but also at critical points identified by the applicant during the progress of the demonstration's implementation.

    C. Demonstration Policy

    1. Grant Awards

    DOL anticipates awarding ten (10) to fifteen (15) grants, not to exceed $1 million per grant. It is anticipated that awards will be made by April 30, 1999. Award decisions will be published on the Internet at ETA's Home Page at http://www.doleta.gov.

    2. Eligible Applicants

    Any organization capable of fulfilling the terms and conditions of this solicitation may apply. Applicants who are not Substate grantees under JTPA Title III, or One-Stop Career Center Operators or Workforce Investment Boards under WIA must submit a letter from the authorized signatory of one or more of such organizations continuing comments on the applicant's proposal. Under Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, Section 18, an organization described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue code of 1986 which engages in lobbying activities shall not be eligible for the receipt of Federal funds constituting an award grant or loan. This is a risk free Federal program: therefore, all for profit organizations that apply will not be able to receive a fee if awarded a grant.

    3. Eligible Participants:

    All participants in projects funded under this demonstration program must be either:

    a). Eligible dislocated workers as defined at JTPA Section 301(a)(1), and 314(h)(1) of the Job Training Partnership Act. These sections of the law may be viewed at http://doleta.gov/regs/statutes/jtpalaw.htm.

    Proposed projects may target subgroups of the eligible population based on factors such as (but not limited to) occupation, industry, nature of dislocation, and reason for unemployment. Note: Individuals whose eligibility is based upon their status as long-term unemployed (Section 301(a)(1)(C) JTPA) must have a demonstrated attachment to the labor force.

    b). Incumbent workers. These are currently-employed workers whose employers have determined that the workers require training in order to help keep their firms competitive and the subject workers employed, avert layoffs, upgrade workers' skills, increase wages earned by employees and/or keep workers skills competitive. Such technology training would support further job retention and career development for improved economic self-sufficiency for employed workers, especially those most vulnerable to job loss, and increase the capability of the employing firm(s) to access and retain skilled workers.

    4. Applicable technology. Applicant's proposal must describe the technology skills to be demonstrated in the grant in the context of the skills presently in use in the industry or plants-- e.g., how this demonstration is related to the introduction of new equipment, upgrading incumbent workers, development of a new product. If this technology application will enable improvements in the manufacturing process, a description of such benefits should be provided. If this technology is linked to a specific employer or group of employers, discuss the impact on present skill levels caused by the demonstration activities including changes caused by equipment, materials or work organization. Where applicable, relate changes to factors affecting workers such as increased or decreased decision-making responsibility, changes in advancement opportunities or transferability of new skills, changes in the pace of work, and wage increases related to increased skill attainment. Indicate whether this technology could be considered "leading edge" by the industry.

    5. Allowable Activities

    Funds provided through this demonstration may be used only to provide services of the type described at Section 314(c) and (d) of JTPA. Supportive services may be provided when they are necessary to enable an individual who is eligible for training but cannot afford to pay for such supportive services, to participate in the training program. These services are defined in Section 4(24) of JTPA. (Use ETA's web site reference above to view.)

    Grant funds may be used to reimburse employers for extraordinary costs associated with on-the-job training of program participants, in accordance with the provisions of 20 CFR 627.240. In addition to the limitations and requirements provided in JTPA, particularly at Part C of Title I, prospective applicants should be aware that grant funds may not be used for the following purposes: (a) for training that an employer is in a position to provide and would have provided in the absence of the requested grant; (b) to pay salaries for program participants; and (c) for acquisition of production equipment. Applicants may budget limited amounts of grant funds to work with technical experts or consultants to provide advice and develop more complete project plans after a grant award, however, the level of detail in the project plan may affect the amount of funding provided.

    Grant activities may include:

    (a) development, testing and initial application of curricula focused on intensive, short-term training to get participants into productive, high demand information or advanced technology employment as quickly as possible;

    (b) working with employers in develop and apply worksite-based learning strategies that utilize cutting-edge technology and equipment;

    (c) development of employer-based training programs that will take advantage of opportunities created by employers' needs for workers with new technology skills;

    (d) development and initial application of contextual learning opportunities for participants to learn technology theory in a classroom setting while applying that learning in an on-the-job setting;

    (e) use of curriculum and skills training programs that are designed to impart learning to meet employer-specified or industry specific skill standards or certification requirements;

    (f) convening of an Employer Advisory Board to identify skills gaps of job applicants and present workers affecting the ability of the employer to offer a competitive product and develop a strategy for retraining;

    (g) innovative linkage and collaboration between employers and the local Substate Grantee and/or One-Stop/Career Center system to ensure a steady supply of high demand, high skill information or advanced technology workers.

    The above are illustrative examples and are not intended to be an exhaustive listing of possible demonstration project designs or approaches which may achieve the purpose of this solicitation. However, successful applicants must demonstrate the direct involvement by employers experiencing skill shortages in the design and operation of the project as well as provide substantive documentation about the existence of skill shortages for the industry or occupations to be targeted by the proposed project. Documentation should include a description of the employer involvement anticipated in the project. An employer advisory committee may be one means of accomplishing employer involvement.

    6. Coordination

    In order to maximize the use of public resources and avoid duplication of effort, applicants will coordinate the delivery of services under this demonstration with the delivery of services under other programs (public or private), available to all or part of the target group. Projects linking or collaborating with an existing USDOL funded One-Stop/Career Center initiative and/or local JTPA Substate Grantee located within a project area fulfill this requirement. The use of Pell Grants for eligible workers or the use of State training or education funds provided for dislocated workers or certain types of employers should also be addressed in the application.

    7. Period of Performance

    The period of performance shall be 27 months from the date of execution by the Government. Delivery of services to participants shall commence within 90 days of execution of a grant unless a significant portion of the grant implementation addresses the development of new curriculum or planning strategies. If enrollments are not anticipated to occur within 90 days, the circumstances should be specifically addressed in the application with the reasons provided and an alternative time frame provided.

    8. Option to Extend

    DOL may elect to exercise its option to extend these grants for an additional one (1) or two (2) years of operation, based on the availability of demonstration funding under the Workforce Investment Act, successful program operation, and the determination that a grantee's initial program findings could further inform the workforce development system through refinement of the present demonstration.

    Part II. Application Process and Guidelines

    A. Contents

    An original and three (3) copies of the application shall be submitted. The application shall consist of two (2) separate and distinct parts: Part I, the Financial Proposal, and Part II, the Technical Proposal.

    1. Financial Application

    Part I, the Financial Proposal, shall contain the SF-424, "Application for Federal Assistance" (Appendix A) and the "Budget Information Sheet" (Appendix B). The Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog number is 17.246. The budget shall include on separate pages a detailed breakout of each proposed budget line item found on the Budget Information Sheet, including detailed administrative costs and costs for one or more of the following categories as applicable: basic readjustment services, supportive services, and retraining services. The Salaries line item shall be used to document the project staffing plan by providing a detailed listing of each staff position providing more than .05 FTE support to the project, by annual salary, number of months assigned to demonstration responsibilities, and FTE percentage to be charged to the grant. In addition, for the Contractual line item, list each of the planned contracts and the amount of the contract. Where a contract amount exceeds $75,000, a detailed backup budget to how the amount of the contract was derived must be included. For each budget line item that includes funds or in-kind contributions from a source other than the grant funds, identify the source, the amount, and in-kind contributions, including any restrictions that may apply to these funds.

    Costs associated with the development of curriculum and other one-time costs should be noted separately in order for reviewers to identify costs associated with development and start-up as well as on-going participant costs.

    2. Technical Proposal

    Part II, the technical proposal shall demonstrate the offeror's capabilities in accordance with the Statement of Work in Part III of this solicitation. A grant application shall be limited to twenty (20) double-spaced, single-side, 8.5-inch x 11-inch pages with 1-inch margins. Attachments shall not exceed ten (10) pages. Text type shall be 12 point or larger. Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be considered. Each application shall include the Checklist provided as Appendix C, a Time line outlining project activities provided as Appendix D, and an Executive Summary not to exceed two (2) pages. NO COST DATA OR REFERENCE TO PRICE SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL.

    B. Hand-Delivered Applications

    Applications should be mailed no later than five (5) days prior to the closing date for the receipt of applications. However, if applications are hand-delivered, they must be received at the designated place by 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time on the closing date for receipt of applications. All overnight mail will be considered to be hand-delivered and must be received at the designated place by the specified time and closing date. Telegraphed and/or faxed proposals will not be honored. Applications that fail to adhere to the above instructions will not be honored.

    C. Late Applications

    Any application received at the office designated in the solicitation after the exact time specified for receipt will not be considered unless it:

      (1) Was sent by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified mail not later than the fifth calendar day before the closing date specified for receipt of applications (e.g., an offer submitted in response to a solicitation requiring receipt of application by the 30th of January must have been mailed by the 25th); or

      (2) Was sent by U.S. Postal Service Express Mail Next Day Service--Post Office to Addressee, not later than 5:00 p.m. at the place of mailing two working days prior to the date specified for receipt of application. The term "working days" excludes weekends and U.S. Federal holidays.

    The only acceptable evidence to establish the date of mailing of a late application sent by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified mail is the U.S. postmark on the envelope or wrapper and on the original receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. Both postmarks must show a legible date or the proposal shall be processed as if it had been mailed late. "Postmark" means a printed, stamped, or otherwise placed impression (exclusive of a postage meter machine impression) that is readily identifiable without further action as having been supplied and affixed by an employee of the U.S. Postal Service on the date of mailing. Therefore, applicants should request the postal clerk to place a legible hand cancellation "bull's eye" postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper.

    The only acceptable evidence to establish the date of mailing of a late application sent by "Express Mail Next-Day Service--Post Office to Addressee" is the date entered by the post office receiving clerk on the "Express Mail Next Day Service--Post Office to Addressee" label and the postmarks on both the envelope and wrapper and the original receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. "Postmark" has the same meaning as defined above. Therefore, an applicant should request the postal clerk to place a legible hand cancellation "bull's eye" postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper.

    D. Withdrawal of Applications

    Applications may be withdrawn by written notice or telegram (including mailgram) received at any time before award. Applications may be withdrawn in person by the applicant or by an authorized representative thereof, if the representative's identity is made known and the representative signs a receipt for the proposal.

    Part III. Statement of Work

    Each grant application must follow the format outlined in this Part. For sections A through G below, each application should include:

    (1) Information that indicates adherence to the provisions described in Part I, Background (Authorities, Purpose, and Demonstration Policy) and Part II, Application Process and Guidelines, of this announcement; and (2) other information that the applicant believes will address the selection criteria identified in Part IV of this solicitation.

    Information required under A and B below shall be provided separately for each labor market area where dislocated workers will be served. To the extent that the project design differs for different geographic areas, information required under section C below shall be provided for each geographic area.

    A. Target Population

    Describe the characteristics of the proposed target population for the project, e.g.,educational level, previous occupation, age range, likely transferrable skills, length of unemployment, and language limitations. If that population is limited to one or more subgroups of the dislocated worker population, explain the basis for such limitation. Describe the size and needs of the target population in the local area as they relate to the services available to the grant. Provide documentation showing there is a significant number of dislocated workers with the target population's characteristics in the project area(s).

    If the project seeks to serve under represented subgroups such as minority groups, women, older workers (50 years of age and older), disabled individuals, within a particular occupation and the selected subgroup has unique characteristics or needs such characteristics or needs should be identified. Substantive and timely documentation of the subgroup's under representation must be included. Note: Up to 5 points of extra credit will be awarded when the targeted population includes at least 40 percent planned enrollment of an under represented subgroup for the occupation in which training will take place.

    Indicate how the number of workers to be enrolled was determined. Sufficient documentation should be provided to show that workers with appropriate characteristics to meet the purposes of this grant are available in sufficient numbers to meet the recruitment goals of the grant recognizing that not all workers with appropriate characteristics will chose to participate.

    No more than 20 percent of the total demonstration funding allocated by the Department pursuant to this Solicitation for Grant Applications shall be for incumbent workers.

    B. Available Jobs

    Jobs targeted for this demonstration must be related to the manufacturing industry covered by the Standard Industrial Classification(SIC) Codes 21-39 and must involve the use of technology skills in a manufacturing setting. Describe the jobs that will be available and targeted for placement to project participants upon completion of training and placement services including the strategy(ies) for identifying job openings that appear appropriate to the training planned and meet the target wage at placement goals established in the proposal. Include information about the number and type of jobs, wage information and the specific set of skills, knowledge or duties (industry-sponsored standards of certifications). Provide documentation (Footnote sources) that a shortage of qualified workers exists in the local area to fill positions in the targeted occupations in the absence of the proposed project. Anecdotal data should not be used. Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) available through a variety of web sites including BLS, O*NET and America's Labor Market Information System (ALMIS), should be considered as a key source of documentation. In addition, State Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (SOICC) and JTPA Substate Grantee local job training plan may also be considered. Other sources from the private sector such as Chamber of Commerce or local Technology Council surveys as well as university studies are also acceptable. Data must relate to local employment shortages.

    Substantive linkages with specific employers who are experiencing skill shortages among their present workforce and/or the demand for additional employees with technology skills in documented occupational shortages must be provided. Letters from employers who have made a commitment to the demonstration project are the most appropriate form of documentation.

    If some placements will be made with employers who have not been identified at the time of application, describe the job development and placement strategy to be used to assure placement of demonstration participants.

    C. Project Design

      (1)Purpose. Describe the specific purpose or purposes of the proposed project.

      (2)Service Plan. Describe the services to be provided from the time of selection of participants through placement of those participants in jobs. Describe any services to be provided subsequent to job placement. The descriptions shall provide a clear understanding of the services and support that will be necessary for participants to be placed successfully in jobs and to retain those jobs, including services not funded under the grant, and ways to address participants' financial needs during periods of training. Grant-funded activities should, at a minimum, include recruitment, eligibility determination, assessment, retraining, job placement, and supportive services.

        (a) Outreach and recruitment. Describe how eligible dislocated workers will be identified and recruited for participation in the project. Recruitment efforts may address public service communications and announcements, use of media, coordination with the JTPA Service Delivery Area or Substate Grantee, use of community-based organizations and other service groups. Describe the applicant's experience in reaching dislocated workers, especially the targeted population. It is highly recommended that non-JTPA applicants partner with the appropriate JTPA Title III Substate Grantee(s) or local One-Stop Career Center system to plan and implement effective outreach and recruitment strategies.

        (b) Eligibility determination. Describe the process to be used in determining the JTPA Title III eligibility of potential participants in the project. It is highly recommended that non-JTPA applicants partner with the appropriate JTPA Title III substate grantee(s)or local One-Stop Career Center system to carry out eligibility determination.

        (c) Selection criteria. Describe the criteria and process to be used in selecting those individuals to be served by the project from among the total number of eligible persons recruited for the project. Explain how the selection criteria relate to the specific purpose of the proposed project. Identify any assessment tools that will be used as part of selection process.

        (d) Training Services. Describe the training to be provided--classroom, experiential, on-the-job, internships, etc. Include the length (days and hours)and schedule, any perquisite courses, and customization to account for transferable skills, previous education (note: whether the training requires new and higher educational levels than previous skill training in the same industry), and particular circumstances of the target population and the skill needs of the hiring employer(s). Include information to demonstrate that any proposed training provider is qualified to deliver training that meets appropriate employment standards, and any applicable certification or licensing requirement. Past performance, qualifications of instructors, accreditation of curricula, and similar matters should be addressed if appropriate. Address the costs of proposed training and other services relative to the costs of similar training and services including courses provided by both public and private providers in the local area. If the training is be customized to account for individual differences in skills levels of participants or employer hiring needs, describe how these considerations will be taken into account in the delivery of the training.

        The training provided must support the information provided regarding skill shortages and demand for jobs using technology skills.

        (e) Job Placement

        Describe the role of the employer linkages previously addressed in assuring the availability of jobs for participants completing training. If an Employer Advisory Committee is the primary employer linkage, the members of the committee should be listed and the type of expertise they bring to the committee noted. Provide a discussion of the role(s) of the advisory committee and its projected meeting frequency. Describe any additional job seeking skills training or assistance provided to participants completing training.

        (f) Post placement services. Describe any post placement services to be provided and explain their value to the achievement of the project's purpose and planned outcomes.

        (g) Supportive services. Describe those supportive services determined to be appropriate to the target population's needs. Describe policies and procedures to ensure that supportive services are provided only when they are necessary to enable an individual who is eligible for training but cannot afford to pay for such supportive services, to participate in the training program. Indicate how the participants' financial needs during the period of training will be addressed.

        (h) Relocation. Describe the limitations and eligibility criteria for relocation assistance, if such assistance is included in the proposal.

      (3)Participant flow. Provide a flowchart noting length of time for various activities (such as one day for assessment, etc.) to illustrate how the project will ensure access to necessary and appropriate reemployment and retraining services. Show the sequence of services and the criteria to be used to determine the appropriateness of specific services for particular participants. Note where service choice options will be available to participants. Indicate the average length of participation from eligibility determination and enrollment in the demonstration project to placement in an unsubsidized job.

      (4) Relationship to prior experience. Discuss how the applicant's prior experience in working with dislocated individuals affects or influences the design of the proposed project. Note especially lessons learned or positive experiences that will be replicated.

    D. Planned Outcomes

    A description of the project outcomes and of the specific measures, and planned achievement levels, that will be used to determine the success of the project. These outcomes and measures must include, but are not limited to:

      (1) The number of participants projected: to be enrolled in services, to successfully complete services through the project, and to be placed into new jobs; a minimum of 80 percent entered employment rate is required;

      (2) Measurable effects of the services provided to project participants as indicated by gains in individuals' skills, competencies, or other outcomes;

      (3) Wages of participants prior to, at placement and 90 days after placement: (a) for dislocated worker participants: a minimum of 90 percent wage replacement rate is required for at least 75 percent of the participants and an average 90 percent wage replacement for the overall demonstration project is required; (b) for incumbent worker participants: a minimum of 100 percent wage retention is required for all participants successfully completing training and meeting the competencies/skills levels specified by the employer prior to the training.

      (4) For projects serving dislocated workers, as part of the targeted outcome for wage at placement, each project should benchmark at least two key wage averages for the labor market in which each project will operate. Suggested benchmarks might include:

        (a) the average weekly wage in the manufacturing sector, if the project is focused on manufacturing technology; the average weekly wage for technical and skilled trade jobs; or the average weekly wage for computer programmers and (b) the average wage at placement for the JTPA Title III, dislocated worker program operated by the local Substate Grantee. Provide an explanation of the particular benchmarks chosen for the project. For incumbent workers, indicate the present wage level of the workers to be trained and discuss how this wage level compares with the appropriate benchmark wage for the local labor market area.

      (5) For each project serving dislocated workers, at least 80 percent of the individuals placed shall be placed at a wage that meets or exceeds (a) the average benchmarked wage in the labor market area, or (b) the average wage at placement for the last program year completed (currently 1997) for the JTPA Title III dislocated worker program operated by the local Substate Grantee in the targeted labor market, whichever is greater. The manufacturing wage for any labor market may be obtained from the Covered Wages and Employment Program administered by each State's Employment Service.

      (6) Customer satisfaction with the project services including participant at critical points in the service delivery process as well as upon placement and employer satisfaction with the skills and preparation of the participants placed with their organization;

      (7) Planned average cost per placement (amount of the grant request divided by the number of program-related placements, and the cost per placement for continued placements (the amount of the grant request minus development/start-up costs divided by the number of program-related placements); and

      (8) Other additional measurable, performance-based outcomes that are relevant to the project and which may be readily assessed during the period of performance of the project, such as cost effectiveness of services, comparison with other available service strategies. Where possible, it would also be useful to look at production improvement and other measures the employer uses regarding efficiency, product quality and output. [Note: An explanation of how such additional measures are relevant to the purpose of the demonstration program shall be included in the application.]

    E. Collaboration

    Describe the nature and extent of collaboration and working relationships between the applicant and other workforce development partners in the design and implementation of the proposed project. Include services to be provided through resources other than grant funds under this demonstration. Provide documentation that the collaboration described can reasonably be expected to occur (signed letters of agreement and/or the charter of a formally established advisory council are considered the strongest evidence, while letters of support are considered weaker evidence. Because a core purpose of this demonstration program involves the publicly funded workforce system, the applicant shall describe working relationships with local Substate Grantee(s), including One-Stop/Career Center partners where present.

    Describe the number and types of employers to be directly involved in implementation of the demonstration through activities as participation on an advisory council, provision of input to curriculum development and design, training provider, internship supervision, participation in establishment of local skill standards, etc. Describe activities, presently in place or to be undertaken to link activities to program interventions under this grant to employers, industry, or curriculum/learning centers currently designing and developing occupational/job skill standards and certifications. Collaboration should focus on linking employers involved in grant activities with any employer, industry, or trade and worker association that has already developed or is developing skill standards certifications. Employer linkages must be specifically addressed in the application and documentation provided of the specific role(s) the employer(s) will play in implementation of the grant provided.

    Skill standards play an important role in ensuring participants are meeting the accepted standards of the industry. Grant applicants may show how skills standards and O*NET are used to help dislocated/incumbent workers acquire training and new jobs. Skill standards can mean National Skill Standards (NSS) developed under the auspices of the National Skill Standards Board or other skill standards recognized by employers as valid requirements for jobs. O*NET refers to the Occupational Information Network that replaces the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and defines all jobs in terns of worker requirements, occupational requirements, experience requirements, worker characteristics, occupational characteristics and occupation-specific requirements. The applicant may request a brochure explaining O*NET at the following e-mail address: rannr@doleta.gov.

    Skill standards and O*NET are useful for structuring training curriculum, assessing dislocated/incumbent workers' skills and interests, and defining career paths from one occupation to another. Their application in the proposed project's training design would indicate close links to employers and an understanding of the demands faced by workers in high performance workplaces.

    Applicants are encouraged to commit matching funds to the implementation and management of their proposed programs. Matches may be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. These may include but are not limited to such contributions as the development of training modules; payment of tuition costs for training; support for child care or transportation; and provision of staff time at no cost to the project.

    Sources of matching funds may include but are not limited to employers, employer associations, labor organizations, and training institutions. With reference to the sources and amounts of project funds and in-kind contributions identified in the financial proposal as being other than those requested under the grant applied for, describe the basis for valuation of those funds and contributions. Note: National Reserve Account grants for specific plant closures and layoffs may not be used to match demonstration grant funds, these grants provide sufficient funds to meet the needs of any worker in the targeted dislocation event. However, NRA grant funds may be used to purchase 50 percent or less of the total training slots in a training developed with demonstration grant funds.

    Documentation of consultation on the project concept from applicable labor organizations must be submitted when 20 percent or more of the targeted population is represented by one or more labor organizations, or where the training is for jobs where a labor organization represents a substantial number of workers engaged in similar work. Where the union has been involved in bargaining relative to the introduction of either the technology or the addition of new skilled workers at the workplace, provide information as to any role the union played in the design and delivery of the training as well as any impact on the workers with respect to the growth or shrinkage in the number of jobs, the selection of workers for retraining,

    F. Innovation

    Describe key innovations in the proposed project, including (but not limited to) innovations in concept to be tested, type of participant to be served, services provided, delivery of services, training methods, job development, or job retention strategies. These innovations should be unique to the ongoing knowledge base of service delivery and training presently available to the workforce system. Explain the impact of such innovation on project costs to substantiate the budget items designated as development and start-up costs.

    G. Previous Experience.

    If the applicant has had a demonstration grant with the Department of Labor, Education or HHS within the last three years, list the title of the grant, the amount of the grant, the funding agency, a Federal contact phone number and a brief summary of purpose of the grant. For those grants, funded by the Department of Labor explain how this grant application differs from grant activity. Explain how the proposed project is similar to and differs from the applicant's prior and current operations.

    H. Project Management

      (1) Structure. Describe the management structure for the project, including a staffing plan that describes each position and the percentage of its time to be assigned to this project and assures that sufficient staff are available to implement the project in a timely and effective manner. Provide an organizational chart showing the relationship among project management and operational components, including those at multiple sites of the project, in the overall structure of the applicant's organization. Note: It is highly recommended for applicants requesting $500,000 or more that a full-time project director be available to ensure timely implementation of the project.

      (2) Program Integrity. Describe the mechanisms to ensure financial accountability for grant funds and performance accountability relative to job placements, in accordance with standards for financial management and participant data systems in 29 CFR Part 95 or 97, as appropriate, and 20 CFR 627.425. Explain the basis for the applicant's administrative authority over the management and operational components.

      Describe how information will be collected to determine the achievement of project outcomes as indicated in section D of this part; and report on participants, outcomes, and expenditures.

      (3) Monitoring and Reporting. Describe how the project will keep records of its activities, as required in 29 CFR Parts 95 and 97 and 20 CRF 631.63 as appropriate, which will include information such as the following:

        (a) Benchmarks. Provide a Time Line of implementation and projected performance benchmarks covering the period of performance of the project(Appendix E). Include a monthly schedule of planned implementation activities and start-up events (such as curriculum development, selection of advisory council, advisory council meetings, hiring of staff, and completion of lease arrangement for space, development of an internal program progress reporting system, design of customer satisfaction measures, initiation of customer satisfaction activities for participants/for employers); quarterly projections of planned participant activity, showing cumulative numbers of enrollments, participation in training and other services, placements, and terminations; and quarterly cumulative expenditure projections. The quarterly performance projection data may be shown in the same implementation benchmark timeline or separately.

        (b) Participant progress. Describe how a participant's continuing participation in the project will be monitored, including determination of successful progress in training activities.

        (c) Project performance. Identify the information on project performance that will be collected on a short-term basis (e.g., weekly or monthly) by program managers for internal project management to determine whether the project is accomplishing its objectives as planned and whether project adjustments are necessary.

        Describe the process and procedures to be used to obtain feedback from participants, employers, and any other appropriate parties on the responsiveness and effectiveness of the services provided. The description shall identify the types of information to be obtained, the methods and frequency of data collection, and ways in which the information will be used in implementing and managing the project. Grantees may employ focus groups and surveys, in addition to other methods, to collect feedback information. Technical assistance in the design and implementation of customer satisfaction data collection and analysis may be provided by DOL.

        (d) Impact of Collaboration and Innovation. Describe the process for assessing and reporting on the impact of collaboration and innovation in the project with respect to the purpose and goals of the demonstration program and the specific purpose and goals of the project.

      (4) Grievance Procedure.

      If the applicant is a JTPA administrative entity or service provider, assure that a grievance procedure is presently in place. Otherwise, describe the grievance procedure to be used for grievances and complaints from participants, contractors, and other interested parties, consistent with the requirements at Section 144 of JTPA and 20 CFR 631.64(b) and (c).

      (5) Previous Project Management Experience.

      Provide an objective demonstration of the grant applicant's ability to manage the project, ensure the integrity of the grant funds, and deliver the proposed performance. Indicate the grant applicant's past experience in the management of grant-funded projects similar to that being proposed, particularly regarding oversight and operating functions including financial management.

      (6) Sustainability and Replicability. Provide assurances that if the project is successful, the demonstration partners will continue to improve and develop the demonstrated approach. Describe the aspects of the demonstration approach that will allow other workforce development entities to replicate the proposed project. Note: The cost per participant will be a consideration in any replication consideration by other entities. Discuss the potential applicability of the project, or aspects of the project (such as new assessment tools, etc.), to other dislocated worker programs.

    Part IV. Evaluation Criteria

    Selection of grantees for awards will be made after careful evaluation of grant applications by a panel selected for that purpose by DOL. Panel results will be advisory in nature and not binding on the ETA Grant Officer. Panelists shall evaluate proposals for acceptability based upon overall responsiveness in accordance with the factors below.

    A. Target Population (10 points).

    The description of the characteristics of the target group to be served is clear and meaningful, and sufficiently detailed to determine the potential participants' service need. Documentation is provided showing that a significant number of eligible dislocated workers who possess these characteristics are available for participation within the project area. Sufficient information is provided to explain how the number of dislocated workers to be enrolled in the project was determined. The recruitment plan supports the number of planned enrollments. The target population is appropriate for the specific purpose of the proposed project. The project identifies under represented groups to be trained in the targeted occupation(s).

    B. Targeted Jobs (15 points). The jobs in the manufacturing industry identified by SIC code are clearly available to workers who have received appropriate training and preparation given:

      (1) the match between the documented skill shortage and the training planned;

      (2) the documentation provided specifying that training meets or is developed based on industry driven skill standards or certifications;

      (3) the substantial level of involvement of employers in making known their needs regarding requisite worker skills necessary for hiring program completers

      (4) the documentation and reliability of job availability is based upon recognized, reliable and timely sources of information

      (5) where appropriate, the role of workers or representatives of a labor organization representing the workers in the design and/or delivery of training in enhancing worker skills during workplace change

    C. Service Plan (12 points).

    The scope of services to be provided is consistent with the demonstration program and project purposes and goals. The scope of services to be provided is adequate to meet the needs of the target population given:

      (1) their characteristics and circumstances;

      (2) the complexity of the training and the skills to be developed relative to their characteristics and previous job experience

      (3) the jobs in which they are to be placed relative to targeted wage at placement goals;

      (4) the length of program participation planned prior to placement.

    D. Costs (20 points)

    Proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the characteristics and circumstances of the target group, the services to be provided, planned outcomes, the management plan, and coordination/collaboration with other entities, including One-Stop/Career Center organizations. The cost information provided regarding similar training available through other training providers is within an acceptable range or sufficient rationale is provided for the cost differences. The impact of development/start-up and innovation on costs is explained clearly in the proposal and is reasonable.

    Identification is provided of the specific sources and amounts of other funds which will be used, in addition to funds provided through this grant, to implement the project. The application must include information on any non-JTPA resources committed to this project, including employer funds, grants, and other forms of assistance, public and private. Value and level of external resources being contributed, including employer contributions, to achieve program goals will be taken into consideration in the rating process.

    The degree to which other interested partners in the workforce development system invest resources to test the concepts put forth in the application.

    D. Management (10 points).

    The project management plan is designed to track project performance in such a way as to assure that benchmarks are achieved in a timely manner, issues affecting performance such as employer involvement, collaboration partners commitments, etc. are quickly identified and addressed, and planned outcomes will be achieved in a cost effective manner.

    The applicant (as a part of a collaborative approach) has experience working with technology training. The management structure and management plan for the proposed project will ensure the integrity of the funds requested. The project work plan demonstrates the applicant's ability to effectively track project progress with respect to planned expenditures. Sufficient procedures are in place to use the information obtained by the project operator(s) to take corrective action if indicated. In addition, review by appropriate labor organizations, where applicable, is documented.

    The proposal includes a method of assessing customer feedback for both participants and employers involved, and establishes a mechanism to take into account the results of such feedback as part of a continuous system of management and operation of the project.

    E. Collaboration (15 points).

    The proposal includes evidence of direct participation by JTPA SubState Grantees and One-Stop/Career Center entities (where present) in the planning and management of this grant. Evidence of participation of employers whose positions are targeted under the grant is present. Evidence of coordination with other programs and entities for project design or provision of services is also be provided. Evidence is presented that ensures cooperation of coordinating entities, as applicable, for the life of the proposed project. The project includes a reasonable method of assessing and reporting on the impact of such coordination, relative to the demonstration purpose and goals and the specific purpose and goals of the proposed project.

    F. Innovation (13 points).

    The proposal demonstrates innovation in the concept(s) to be tested, the project's design, and/or the services to be provided. "Innovation" refers to the degree to which such concept(s), design and/or services are not currently found in dislocated worker programs. The project includes a reasonable method of assessing and reporting on the impact of such innovation, relative to the demonstration program and project purposes and goals.

    G. Sustainability and Replicability (5 points)

    The proposal provides evidence that, if successful, activities supported by the demonstration grant will be continued after the expiration date of the grant, using JTPA Title III formula-allotted funds or other public or private resources. The likelihood that the approach may be applicable to a broad range of dislocated worker programs across the country. The proposal provides evidence that the approach and training strategy(ies) used can be replicated by other workforce development partners to address technology skill shortages in their local area.

    Grant applications will be evaluated for the reasonableness of proposed costs, considering the proposed target group, targeted jobs, services, outcomes, management plan, and coordination with other entities.

    Applicants are advised that discussions may be necessary in order to clarify any inconsistency or ambiguity in their applications. The final decision on awards will be based on what is most advantageous to the Federal Government as determined by the ETA Grant Officer. The Government may elect to award grant(s) without discussion with the applicant(s). The applicant's signature on the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form) SF-424 constitutes a binding offer.

    Part V. Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation

    A. Monitoring

    The Department shall be responsible for ensuring effective implementation of each competitive grant project in accordance with the Act, the Regulations, the provisions of this announcement and the negotiated grant agreement. Applicants should assume that at least one on-site project review will be conducted by Department staff, or their designees. This review will focus on the project's performance in meeting the grant's programmatic goals and participant outcomes, complying with the targeting requirements regarding participants who are served, expenditure of grant funds on allowable activities, collaboration with other organizations as required, and methods for assessment of the responsiveness and effectiveness of the services being provided. Grants may be subject to their additional reviews at the discretion of the Department.

    B. Reporting

    DOL will arrange for or provide technical assistance to grantees in establishing appropriate reporting and data collection methods and processes taking into account the applicant's project management plan. An effort will be made to accommodate and provide assistance to grantees to be able to complete all reporting electronically.

    Applicants selected as grantees will be required to provide the following reports:

    1. Monthly progress reports, during initial start-up and implementation of the project, and Quarterly Progress Reports

    2. Standard Form 269, Financial Status Report Form, on a quarterly basis

    3. Final Project Report including an assessment of project performance. This report will be submitted in hard copy and on electronic disk utilizing a format and instructions to be provided by the Department.

    C. Evaluation

    DOL will arrange for or conduct an independent evaluation of the outcomes, impacts, and benefits of the demonstration projects. Grantees must agree to make available records on participants and employers as well as project financial and management data and to provide access to personnel, as specified by the evaluator(s) under the direction of the Department.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 9th day of December, 1998.

    JANICE E. PERRY

    Grant Officer

    Appendices

    1. Appendix A--Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424)

    2. Appendix B-- Budget Information Sheet

    3. Appendix C--Application Checklist

    Appendix C

    Application Checklist

    Please complete and submit this checklist with your application. It should be used as a quick reference of key provisions of the

    Solicitation and whether or not these provisions have been included, complied with or addressed. This document is not intended to be comprehensive or address every aspect of the solicitation.

    Organization Applying_______________________________.

    Contact Person______________________________________.

    Phone Number______________________________________.

    Date submitted______________________________________.

    Application Process

    Please check below:

    ___Application is 20 pages or less.

    ___Attachments limited to 10 or fewer.

    ___An original and three copies submitted.

    ___SF424 (Appendix A) included.

    ___Budget Information Sheet (Appendix B) included.

    ___Checklist (Attachment C) included.

    ___Implementation schedule (Attachment D) included.

    ___Executive Summary of two pages or less included.

    Financial and Technical Provisions

    Provide page number below:

    ___Target Population identified, with supportive documentation.

    ___Manufacturing industry's(ies') jobs targeted are described and SIC codes are listed.

    ___Role and involvement in the project of employers experiencing skill shortages discussed and documented.

    ___Role of the local JTPA Substate Grantee for dislocated worker programs and One-Stop/Career Center system discussed and documented.

    ___Number and type of targeted jobs and requisite skill sets for employment addressed.

    ___Specific skill standards and certification for targeted occupations identified and discussed.

    ___Sources and credibility of labor market/job data cited.

    ___Approach to identifying and recruiting eligible participants included.

    ___Eligibility determination approach discussed.

    ___Process in selecting eligible participants discussed.

    ___Job placement strategy included.

    ___Sequence of services and activities to be provided discussed.

    ___Flowchart of participant services included.

    ___Applicants' prior experience with dislocated workers addressed.

    ___All project outcomes and measures of success specified in Part III D addressed.

    ___Method of assessing impact of coordination included.

    ___Coordination with other entities discussed.

    ___Innovation and impact of the project discussed.

    ___Management structure and staffing plan addressed ___Organizational chart and relationships included.

    ___Mechanism to ensure financial accountability discussed.

    ___Basis for applicant's administrative authority addressed.

    ___Applicant's Method/System to collect, track, manage, report, and utilize data on the project's progress and performance addressed.

    ___Ability to collect and submit SPIR data indicated.

    ___Benchmarks to indicate planned implementation schedule included.

    ___Method to obtain feedback from participants and employers discussed.

    ___Past experience in Federal demonstration grant projects discussed.

    ___Project's sustainability addressed.

    4. Appendix D--Implementation Benchmarks and Time Line

Appendix D

DISLOCATED WORKER

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION GRANT

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY BENCHMARKS AND TIMETABLE FORM

Below are examples of the types of tasks found in implementing a demonstration grant. The tasks, methodology and tangible results for any particular project may be different and probably include more tasks than those illustrated below. It is important, however, for any demonstration planning process to set forth the all of the necessary tasks to be accomplished and to think through the sequencing of sub-tasks and timing requirements necessary to assure the project can be accomplished effectively and efficiently within the period of performance. The time frames should be realistic ones that project administrators and operators can fulfill.

SPECIFIC TASKS TO BE COMPLETED (for use of grantee not to be included in application submittal)
ACCOUNTABLE
PERSON

(specify agency/organization if outside grantee organization)

METHODOLOGY/APPROACH TO BE USED TANGIBLE RESULT TIME FRAME
(begin with Day 1 when notification of grant award is received)
FROM TO
1. Hire staff a. Write job description
b. Announce opening
c. Interview candidates
d. Select individual
e. Individual reports for work
f. All staff positions filled
a. Completed job description
b. Announcement published
c. Personnel papers completed on candidate
d. Project at full staff complement
2. Ensure adequate facilities to operate project a. Determine space needs
b. Arrange for space
c. Negotiate lease
d. Obtain necessary furniture and other equipment
e. Review maintenance and security needs
Lease signed
3. Establish participant reporting procedures a. Review and identify participant data to be collected b. Form prepared to collect participant data or contract prepared for processing of data
c. Staff trained in collection and coding of data
d. Management report of data designed and tested
4. Development of customer satisfaction measures a. Identify the areas in which to determine customer satisfaction
b. With consultant, design and test customer satisfaction survey
c. Train staff in customer satisfaction philosophy
e. Determine schedule for collection of customer satisfaction data
f. Analyze and report on customer satisfaction findings
g. Use findings to make appropriate program adjustments
a. Areas identified with regard to participant, employer and training provider satisfaction
b & c. Surveys developed and pilot tests conducted
d. Staff training completed on customer satisfaction
e. Schedule for customer satis-faction data collection established
f. Report analyzing customer satisfaction prepared and shared with appropriate staff
g. Data used to initiate program adjustments
5. Develop procedures for collection and reporting of financial data a. Review required data and report forms to ensure that financial reporting system will collect required information.
b. Develop internal report that will ensure that project personnel with operational responsibility will be able to keep informed of project expenditures
c. Assign staff responsibility to review reports regularly
d.....
e....
6. Develop and implement participant recruitment plan. a. Establish responsibility for recruitment results
b. Determine appropriate entities to participate in recruitment efforts
c. Design recruitment materials
.....
7. Develop and implement agreements as necessary with other appropriate agencies and entities a. Establish contact with .....
b. Develop draft agreements as necessary
c. Negotiate and obtain necessary signatures....
8. Develop and implement job development plan a. Identify likely employers
b. Survey of potential employers to determine need for additional workers and their characteristics
c. .....
d.......
9. Establish training needs, curriculum and select training provider(s) a. Using information from employers, identify training required for placement with interested employers
b. Ensure that curriculum to meet employers' needs is available or develop curriculum in collaboration with employers
c. Determine method for selection of training providers
a. Areas most in need of trained workers per area's employers are identified
b. Curriculum reviewed with employers
c. Training provider(s) selected.
d. Any necessary special arrangements with training provider(s) completed.
10. Establish job search and placement assistance plan for participants a.
11. Establish Advisory Panel a. Identify appropriate members
b. Select desired members and issue invitation to participate
c. Conduct training of panel regarding responsibilities to project
d. Schedule meetings and tentative agendas
12. Develop management benchmarks for program review and improvement a. Identify data to be used to determine effectiveness of project activities (recruitment, assessment, training enrollments, training completions, job placements, wage rate, follow-up placement rate)
b. Determine how data will be collected, the frequency of review, possible use of data collected, etc.
.....