Eligible Events for National Emergency Grant Funding
The DOL Employment & Training Administration (ETA) supports innovative strategies that assist dislocated workers, and the communities in which they live and work, recover economically from the effects of plant closures and mass layoffs. A primary strategy is building a demand-driven workforce system that integrates workforce investment activities with economic development initiatives.
National Emergency Grant applications cover the following dislocation events:
- A single company layoff of 50 or more workers. Priority in funding will be given to applications that document the participation of a large enough group of workers to sustain a separately funded project. Generally, participation of fewer than 50 workers would be expected to be served with formula Dislocated Worker program funds, but ETA will examine the sustainability of projects serving smaller groups on a case-by-case basis.
- Multiple company layoffs, where the dislocations from each company impact 50 or more workers. Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate a sustainable project size. Generally, the documented planned participation of at least 50 workers from each qualified company will be considered to meet this standard.
- Industry-wide layoffs from companies in the same industry as determined by the three-digit code level in the North American Industrial Classification System. Priority will be given to applications that document the planned participation of 50 or more workers from each company of 50 or more workers (mass layoff/plant closure minimum for a NEG application) when the affected workers are not in the same local workforce investment area. Where the dislocation events are in the same local workforce investment area, one company must have a layoff of more than 50 workers, and other identified companies may have layoffs of fewer than 50 workers as part of the same application.
- Community impact projects to assist workers in a local workforce investment area (primarily rural) where multiple small dislocations over a 6-month period have a significant impact on the unemployment rate of the local workforce area, as determined by the State. For single-area States, a local commuting area or labor market area should be used. Priority will be given to applications where an increase in the unemployment rate of 1 percent has occurred in the affected local workforce area (or local commuter area or labor market area in single area states) over the previous six months. Each company and location must be identified as with other multiple company applications.
Trade-WIA Dual Enrollment NEGs
Trade dual-enrollment projects with single- or multi-company layoffs of more than 50 workers each, and where DOL has determined that workers were trade-impacted. The following policies and expectations apply to dual-enrollment applications:
- The application and review process for dual-enrollment projects will include consideration of annual planning estimates for expenditure in the year of allotment as issued by the DOL for the trade program. This will strengthen the State's ability to project needs and manage dislocated worker funds, and ETA's ability to evaluate the need for additional training funds for trade-certified dislocated workers.
- The primary purpose of dual-enrollment projects is to provide trade-eligible dislocated workers with "wrap-around" services that are not available through the trade program, and where State formula dislocated worker program funds are not sufficient to provide such services as comprehensive assessment and development of individual re-employment plans, case management, and supportive services (WIA core, intensive, and supportive services). As described in Para. 4.m., we will take into account the State's success in meeting a 70-percent formula dislocated worker program expenditure rate when deciding whether to approve a NEG application.
- NEG funds may also be requested to provide training when the State demonstrates that it has spent or will spend by the end of the Trade program's fiscal year its annual allotment, reserved trade funds are not available and the requesting State met the 70-percent expenditure requirement for dislocated worker formula funds (see Para 4.m.). Consideration of planning estimates and expenditure rates will permit States and the DOL to address any trade shortfall in a timely and rational manner before they become acute problems.
- Generally, NEG funds awarded for training will be used to fill a temporary gap in trade training funds to ensure that workers, who have been assessed as requiring training to return to the workforce, will have access to such training as soon as possible after dislocation. Systems must be in place to seamlessly accommodate a change in the funding of training, as appropriate.
- Before a State applies for NEG funds for training trade-eligible workers, it must have evaluated its trade and WIA Dislocated Worker funds availability in the context of the expenditure requirements described above. Any training proposed to be provided with NEG funds to trade-eligible workers must qualify under both the trade and the WIA programs, and workers will be eligible for Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) (income support payments)(as a result of timely enrollment or as the result of a waiver).
- All dislocated workers, including those for whom trade petitions have been filed, are required to have access to rapid response, core and intensive services (paid with WIA or other resources available to a state). This assistance should be available prior to a determination of trade certification to limit the period of unemployment. Once a worker has been determined as eligible for trade assistance, those services authorized under the Trade Program (approved training, job search and relocation allowances and transportation) should be funded with trade training funds to the extent those funds are available. Participants must sign off on their individual reemployment plans (including training as appropriate).
- TRA (income support) is also paid under the Trade program. It is the responsibility of State and local program managers to manage WIA and Trade program funds in an integrated manner to best meet the needs of the workers and in accordance with all applicable Trade and WIA regulations. Discretionary funds, including both the Trade reserved funds and National Emergency Grant resources, may be requested as needed, following applicable application procedures.
- In instances in which a trade petition has been filed, but no determination has been made, such companies may be included in a NEG application indicating that a petition is pending. In addition, if dislocations impacting trade-certified workers also qualify for industry-wide or community impact projects, those application criteria will also apply (e.g., for a dual-enrollment application that also qualifies as industry-wide, where all layoffs are trade-impacted), an application would be required to have at least one company with 50 or more workers, but other companies could have fewer than 50.
These applications require verification that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared a disaster area eligible for public assistance. The primary purpose of a disaster project is to create temporary employment to assist with clean-up activities. The initial award will restrict the clean-up period to 6 months from the date of grant award, until there is a subsequent modification (e.g., fully documented plan or other request) that justifies a longer clean-up period.
A State may include in its fully documented plan, or modification request, a component for employment-related services. This component is for workers involved in the clean-up work and who will not return to their prior employment. The application must demonstrate that the participants need employment-related assistance to return to the workforce and that non- NEG resources are not available to provide such services. The employment-related component must provide information on the number of participants that require assistance, the type of assistance and the duration and planned performance goals. The application must also include the outcomes of those who will not require employment-related assistance through the NEG project.
Trade - Health Coverage Infrastructure NEGs
Trade Program: Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Infrastructure NEG projects help States develop an infrastructure in support of the implementation and operation of the HCTC or health insurance coverage assistance through the NEG "bridge" program. Application requirements are outlined in TEGL 10-02, issued on October 2, 2002.
"Bridge" projects are designed to help States provide health coverage assistance through qualified health plans for trade-certified workers who are Trade Readjustment Assistance (TRA) recipients (including those who would be if they had exhausted UI); Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) wage-subsidy recipients; as well as certain Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recipients. The application guidelines are described in TEGL 20-02, issued on March 3, 2003, and additional guidance is forthcoming.
Health Insurance Premiums: The Trade Act of 2002 amended WIA by adding Section 173(g), and appropriated funds to permit the use of NEGs to provide appropriate qualified health coverage assistance for eligible TAA (TRA) recipients, certain TAA individuals who have not exhausted UI benefits, ATAA wage subsidy participants, and certain PBGC recipients. Guidance was issued by the DOL in TEGL 20-02 on March 3, 2003. However, based upon recent experience, further guidance is being developed and will be issued.
ETA's policy is that the limited resources available for regular NEGs will not be awarded to pay for health insurance premiums for dislocated workers who do not qualify under the trade program. NEG supportive service funds may be used to pay for emergency medical treatment and needs-related payments--where authorized by local workforce investment boards for the Dislocated Worker formula program. This income support can be used by participants to pay for insurance premiums and other personal expenses.
Regional Economic Impact
The new Recovery Act-funded Regional Economic Impact (REI) NEG is designed to respond to the needs of an entire region impacted by economic changes. These NEGs permit the aggregation of a series of layoff events that do not meet the requirements of other NEG categories, such as community impact NEGs and industry wide NEGs. REI NEGs encourage joint service planning between local providers, and foster communication and collaborative leadership to serve dislocated workers with an eye towards strengthening a region’s current and future economic competitiveness. In addition, REI NEGs allow regional economies to respond to widespread economic challenges in a coherent and cohesive manner, even when regional economies cross state or local workforce investment area borders.
Regional economic impact can consist of two components:
Formula Funds Replenishment
This Recovery Act-funded NEG was created due to the extraordinary effect that the recent economic downturn has had on the labor market and available reemployment resources. These NEGs, available under limited circumstances, are intended to replenish WIA DW formula funds. Formula Funds Replenishment NEGs may be used for intensive, training and supportive services, as well as needs related payments. In circumstances where other resources, such as Wagner-Peyser or WIA Adult formula funds are available, the costs of core services should be covered by one of these funding sources prior to using resources available under the NEG. In general, no more than one quarter’s worth of funding, as determined by the state’s WIA DW PY 2008 formula allotment, will be approved for this type of application. If the application is received during the last quarter of the PY, any award will be prorated for the period of time remaining until the next PY begins. To be eligible for a formula funds replenishment NEG, the applicant must have disbursed 95 percent of both their current PY and Recovery Act DW formula funds.