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Local Job Vacancy Survey

    Billing Code: 4510-30-P

    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

    Employment and Training Administration

    Project Title: Local Job Vacancy Survey

    AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Labor

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

    SUMMARY: This Notice contains all of the necessary information and required forms to apply for grant funding. The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA), announces the availability of funds for Service Delivery Areas (SDAs) and/or organizations that represent them (e.g., States, One-Stop Centers, partners) to participate in enhancing the One-Stop Career System. The demonstration program will be funded by the Wagner-Peyser Act. This notice provides information on the process that eligible entities must use to apply for demonstration funds, how grantees are selected, and the responsibilities of grantees.

    DATES: The closing date for receipt of proposals is March 31, 1999, at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

    ADDRESSES: Applications must be mailed to: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Acquisition and Assistance, Attention: Reda Harrison, Grants Management Specialist, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room S-4203, Washington, DC 20210, Reference: SGA/DAA 99-004.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions should be faxed to Reda Harrison, Grants Management Specialist, Division of Acquisition and Assistance, Fax (202) 219-8739. This is not a toll-free number. All inquiries should include the SGA number (SGA/DAA 99-004) and a contact name and phone number. This solicitation will also be published on the Internet, on the Employment and Training Administration's Home Page at http://www.doleta.gov. Award notifications will also be published on the Home Page.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The One-Stop/Labor Market Information (LMI) Initiative is soliciting proposals, on a competitive basis, from Service Delivery Areas (SDAs) to fund the collection of localized job vacancy surveys. Applicants selected for award will be those who best delineate their innovative approaches to conduct the surveys. Proposals must demonstrate methods of how SDAs will cooperatively work with State and local One-Stops to produce localized job vacancy surveys that will be useful to One-Stop Career Centers.

    The announcement consists of four parts. Part I describes the application process for eligible applicants who wish to apply for grants funds. Part II provides the Government's Required Statement of Work. Part III describes the selection criteria for award. Part IV provides information regarding reporting requirements.

    PART I. APPLICATION PROCESS

    A. ELIGIBILITY. Eligible applicants are JTPA Service Delivery Areas (SDAs) and/or organizations that represent them, e.g., stakeholders, Human Resource Councils, PICs, local Workforce Investment Boards, and other local entities, or State Workforce Development Councils. Applicants must demonstrate how they will develop a good working relationship with the state Labor Market Information (LMI) or Research and Analysis (R&A) offices and the local One-Stop Center. Finally, applicants must have fiscal agents familiar with Department of Labor practices AND must be able to sustain the survey two years after ETA seed money expires.

    B. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE. The Period of Performance will be for a 12-month period.

    C. FUNDING. The Department anticipates awarding six (6) grants not to exceed $75,000 each for a total of $450,000. Applications that exceed $75,000 will not be considered. Awards will be made on a competitive basis.

    D. PAGE LIMITATION. Applicant's technical proposal shall be limited to 20 double-spaced, single-sided pages with 1-inch margins. Text type shall be at least 10 pitch or larger. Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be considered.

    E. SUBMISSION OF PROPOSAL. An original and three copies must be received. Your proposal must be organized in the following manner:

    Section I - Financial and Summary Information. (This section does not count against the page limitation.)

      (1) Standard Form (SF)-424: "Application for Federal Assistance" (Appendix A). The Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog number 17.246.

      (2) A one page summary of your proposed project which shall include information on the number of welfare recipients in the State and proposed target area.

      (3) "Budget Information", (Appendix B). Also include, on separate pages, a detailed breakout of each proposed budget line item.


    Section II - Technical Proposal (limited to 20 pages)

      Your technical proposal must demonstrate the grant applicant's capabilities in accordance with the Statement of Work in Part II of this solicitation. No cost data or reference to costs shall be included in the Technical Proposal. Applicants must also include resumes of proposed staff and an organizational chart. (This does not count against the page limitation).


    F. HAND DELIVERED PROPOSALS. Proposals should be mailed at least five (5) days prior to the closing date. However if proposals are hand-delivered, they must be received at the designated place by 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time, March 31, 1999. All overnight mail will be considered to be hand-delivered and must be received at the designated place by the specified time on the closing date. Telegraphed, electronic mail, or faxed proposals will not be honored. Failure to adhere to these instructions will be a basis for determination of nonresponsiveness.

    G. LATE PROPOSALS. A proposal received at the office designated in the solicitation after the exact time specified for receipt will not be considered unless it is received before the award is made and was either:

      (1) Sent by the 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 the proposals. The term "working days" excludes weekends and the U.S. Federal holidays.

      (2) Sent by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified mail not later than the fifth calendar day before the date specified for receipt of application (e.g., an offer submitted in response to a solicitation requiring receipt of applications by the 20th of the month must be mailed by the 15th). The only acceptable evidence to establish the date of mailing of a late proposal sent either by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified mail is the U.S. postmark both 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 mailed late. "Post-mark" 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, offerors should request the postal clerk to place a legible hand cancellation "bull's eye" postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper. Both postmarks must show a legible date, or the application shall be processed as though it had been mailed late. 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 proposal 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 postmark on both the envelope or wrapper and on the original receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. "Postmark" has the same meaning as defined above. Therefore, offerors should request the postal clerk to place a legible hand cancellation "bull's eye" postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper.


    H. WITHDRAWAL OF PROPOSALS. A grant application may be withdrawn by written notice or telegram (including mailgram) received at any time before the awarding of a grant. An application may be withdrawn in person by the grant applicant, or by an authorized representative of the grant applicant if the representative's identity is made known and the representative signs a receipt for the proposal.



    PART II. BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

    A. Background: In the past thirty years, the Federal Government has conducted three different experimental survey programs designed to measure job openings in the labor market. In the period 1969-1973, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began the JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) program which collected data primarily in the manufacturing sector. Then in 1979-80, the BLS Job Openings Pilot Program (JOPP) conducted a series of pilot programs to assess the feasibility of collecting data nationally. Finally in 1990 and 1991, the BLS once again embarked on another similar pilot project which concluded that such data could be collected but was expensive to obtain. According to BLS officials, it is doubtful that any national effort to collect local job vacancy data will occur in the near future. Throughout the 1970s, Wisconsin policymakers continued to collect job vacancy data despite the lack of federal funds in support of the program. From 1975 through 1981, the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Resources (DILHR) expanded coverage to all industries from the initial manufacturing emphasis; but, eventually shut down the program in December 1981 when federal funds were withdrawn.

    In the mid-1960s, when unemployment rates were very low and job vacancies may have equaled the number of unemployed, the common view among academics and policymakers was that vacancies beyond normal turnover were the result of the unemployed not knowing how to find available jobs and that jobseekers mainly needed mechanisms to link up with the companies looking to fill vacancies (Abraham, 1983). More recently, the Employee Turnover Job Openings (ETJO) experiment reflected an interest in identifying occupational labor shortages to determine where hard to fill openings were occurring (BLS, 1991). Others have stressed the importance of collecting vacancy survey data and analyzing it in comparison to the unemployed and underemployed, noting that the supply of workers dramatically exceeds demand (Abraham, 1983: Reimer, 1988); (Levitan and Gallo, 1989). The combination of demand information available through establishment surveys combined with supply data from a CPS type of household survey can provide policy makers, employers and educators with an analysis more suited to solving the employment needs of those seeking work and of the non-working population which policymakers argue should be seeking employment.

    During the 1970s and up until December 1981, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, regularly surveyed manufacturing establishment to obtain data on long- and short-term job openings, new hires and separation rates. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) was established by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and administered locally. It was sent out monthly to a statewide sample of 7,200 businesses in covered establishments, mostly in the manufacturing sector. The survey did not collect data on full-time/part-time status, wages or benefits, but provided valuable survey indicators to gauge local labor market trends. However, funding for this joint federal and state effort was discontinued by the Federal Government. Since the JOLTS survey was last administered in December 1981, no other establishment data has been collected on either openings or separations. More recently, the U.S. Department of Labor has piloted a survey which examines job vacancies and which was considered for introduction at the federal and state levels. This survey requests occupational and industry data and wage data, but not part-time/full-time status or fringe benefits.

    B. Purpose: The primary purpose of this award is to institute six pilot sites where local job vacancy data can be produced at a level of quality that will fulfill the needs of local One-Stop Centers as they serve a variety of customers, including welfare-to-work recipients.

    Innovation, coordination and partnerships, non-duplication of existing services, and leveraging of scarce resources are also important factors. DOL is interested in SDAs, or their representatives, who can use leverage funds from other sources to maintain the survey two years after the initial one year DOL funding expires.

    PART III. STATEMENT OF WORK

    With the tremendous growth in the economy over the past several years coupled with the growing needs for better labor market information as a result of the Welfare-to-Work legislation, localities need to know where local job vacancies exist. Information on new hires is particularly important because many firms use entry-level positions as steps for promotions within companies. Location of employment is essential not only for the value it may have for descriptive purposes but because companies often have sub-units throughout the state or region for which hiring and wage reporting is included, and metropolitan employment trends on administrative office locations may be skewed to overestimate openings.

    To that end the major tasks of this procurement are, but not limited to, the following:

    • To conduct local job vacancy surveys using the methodology designed by John Pawasarat at the Employment and Training Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

    • SDAs will have to develop a good working relationship with the state LMI or R&A offices in order to obtain the ES-202 file or the Employer Database file to design the survey instrument. Close coordination between SDAs and the State LMI office is strongly encouraged and is a necessity if the state is to share confidential employer files with the SDAs.

    • Applicants must be willing and able to get a 75% response rate to any proposed survey or else submit an explanatory note why they were unable to do so.

    • Applicants should also have a good working relationship with the local One-Stop Center and design a survey instrument which produces information helpful to the local One-Stop in supplying clients with job vacancy information.

    • Applicants must be familiar with DOL practices ANDt be able to sustain the survey two years after ETA seed money expires.

    • Applicants must include a detailed work plan that delineates a schedule of proposed activities and milestones for implementing the tasks indicated above within the 12-month award period.

    • Finally, selected applicants will be required to work with the Department of Labor to ensure that the survey instrument complies with all legal requirements that affect the Department, such as the Paperwork Reduction Act.


    PART IV. SELECTION/EVALUATION CRITERIA. Selection of grantees will be made after formal review of grant applications by a technical review panel. Each panelist will review the proposals for acceptability based upon overall responsiveness to the Statement of Work, with emphasis on the rating criteria listed below. The panels' recommendations are advisory in nature to help establish the competitive range. The Grant Officer will make final awards based on overall quality and what is in the best interests of the government. The Grant Officer may consider any or all available information. Applicants are advised that awards may be made without further discussions.

      A. Technical Approach (20 points) --Applicants should develop a technical approach that includes, but is not limited to: (1) a detailed questionnaire design, (2) definition of terms, (3) sample design (including address correction issues), and (4) how to handle nonresponses. The technical approach must match or exceed the "cookbook" developed by the Employment and Training Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee which is available on their website: http://www.uwm.edu:80/Dept/ETI/.

      B. Grantee's Past Performance (15 points) -- Applicants should document prior experience with conducting job vacancy surveys or such experience of anyone who might be sub-contracted to do the same (i.e., a State LMI or R&A office).

      C. Understanding (15 points) -- Applicants should describe in their own words why they believe local job vacancy surveys are needed and by whom. Understanding should be couched in the realm of One-Stop Career Centers' delivery system philosophy.

      D. Coordination with Other State Agencies (25 points) -- Applicants must prove a close working relationship with the State Labor Market Information or Research and Analysis Office. This relationship is necessary because the SDA, or its representative, must use confidential ES-202 Employer or other Employer files which exist in the LMI offices in order to draw a sample from which to survey.

      E. Coordination with local One-Stop Centers (25 points) -- It is imperative that survey results are useful to the local One-Stop affiliated with the SDA; therefore, points will be awarded to those applicants who are able to show that the results of their job vacancy survey can be used in conjunction with other America's Labor Market Information System (ALMIS)-related products; specifically, but not limited to, America's Job Bank (AJB), America's Talent Bank (ATB), and America's Career InfoNet (ACINet).


    PART V. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

    Applicants selected as grantees will be required to provide the following information in timely fashion:

      A. Quarterly Financial Status Reports (i.e., Standard Form (SF) 269);

      B. Monthly progress against the work plan (i.e., status) reports with narrative summaries:

      C. Draft Final Project Report on desired outcomes within 30 days prior to grant expiration date. Specific format to be determined.


    Signed on this 19th day of January 1999.

    _____________________________________________________________

    JANICE E. PERRY

    GRANT OFFICER, Department of Labor/ETA

    APPENDICES.

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

    Appendix B - Budget Information