Topics Of Interest
USDA Seeks Comment on Proposed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Study
USDA’s Food and Nutritional Service has published the sixty-day notice for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Study. This is a new data collection. Comments are due by September 15. The July 15 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background, summarizes the two methodologies for data collection, and includes the burden hour estimates for the three categories of respondents. Some excerpts follow:
It has been 20 years since FNS sought information about the characteristics of work registrants, E&T participants, and the providers that serve them. This nationally representative study will identify the characteristics of registrants and participants, the challenges they face and the E&T services available to SNAP participants. The information generated will help FNS understand how these programs serve clients, what participants need to develop their skills, and whether current programs meet clients' needs.
This study has three objectives:
(1) To provide FNS with a detailed description of the characteristics of SNAP work registrants and SNAP E&T participants; (2) to describe the needs and challenges faced by registrants and participants in finding and retaining employment in the changing economy; and (3) to describe the characteristics of the E&T service providers and the types of services available to participants.
To meet these objectives, data will be collected from two sources – Surveys in 25 states and Focus Groups in 5 states.
Tailored instruments with simple and respondent-friendly language will be used for the survey and focus groups. Responses to all questions will be voluntary. The contractor will follow two rules to ensure that respondent data are treated confidentially: (1) No data will be released in a form that identifies individual respondents by name, and (2) information collected through interviews will be combined across other respondents in the same category and reported only in aggregate form.
ETA Seeks Comment on “Petition for Classifying Labor Surplus Areas”
The Employment and Training Administration’s thirty-day notice regarding the “Petition for Classifying Labor Surplus Areas” appears in the July 14 FEDERAL REGISTER. Comments are due by August 13.
Department of Education Announces Funding Opportunity under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities Program
Department of Education Announces Funding Opportunity under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities Program The purpose of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians With Disabilities program is to provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near Federal or State reservations, consistent with their individual strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership.
This program also supports an important White House initiative issued in a Presidential Memorandum on Job-Driven Training for Workers on January 30, 2014. This memorandum emphasizes the importance of developing a workforce with the skills that employers need. The Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities program supports the initiative by providing training and other services to assist individuals with disabilities to prepare for and engage in gainful and competitive employment.
The Department of Education has announced a funding opportunity under the program.
Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Estimated Available Funds: $21,000,000.
Estimated Range of Awards: $340,000-$550,000.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $425,000.
Estimated Number of Awards: 48.
Applications are due September 2. Click here for the full background and application requirements.
Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy Seeks Authority for 'Employment First Leadership Mentoring Program Community of Practice Evaluation' Information Collection
The Department of Labor''s Office of Disability Employment (ODEP) seeks PRA authority for the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program Community of Practice Evaluation information collection. This information collection is designed to gauge, via a Web-based survey, the effectiveness of ODEP efforts to promote the implementation of Employment First (EF) policies and practices for persons with disabilities and to determine how well remote training and online forums facilitate the implementation of EF activities in each of the thirty participating states. Findings from this census of participating community of practice states also will provide the DOL with important information for strategic planning, program replication, and development of disability employment policies, approaches, and practices.
APLU Announces Designation of 14 Institutions as Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities; Highlights "Economic Engagement Framework" for University Self-Assessment and Economic Impact Analysis
In recognition of a strong commitment to economic engagement, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) designated 14 public institutions this week as Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities. The designation acknowledges universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development. Each university received the designation after conducting a thorough self-review with outside stakeholder input and subsequently submitting an application that went through a rigorous independent review process.
The 14 Iinstitutions that comprise the second annual class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities are: Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University, North Carolina State University, The Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, South Dakota State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, the University of Illinois, the University of Massachusetts Boston, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and Wayne State University.
"Public universities serve as economic engines for their local communities and states by conducting cutting edge research to reach new breakthroughs, and by developing the talent to help existing businesses grow stronger and enabling new ones to develop and thrive," APLU President Peter McPherson said. "The 14 institutions receiving the 2014 Innovation & Economic Prosperity University designation serve as models. They demonstrate how public research universities extend beyond their campuses to engage their communities in economic development that creates jobs and improves lives."
APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP) is continuing to lead efforts to help public universities plan, assess, and communicate their work in local and regional economic development using the CICEP "Economic Engagement Framework" (http://www.aplu.org/CICEPFramework). The framework includes tools for university self-assessment, metrics determination, and economic impact analysis.
September 16 Webinar on Gaining Credit for Military Experience
The Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education has pointed out that openings are still available for a webinar on the process used to review assessments for recommending college credits for military experience and to explain how individuals can earn these credits. The first webinar, on July 9, was filled to capacity. “Gaining Credit for Technical Skill Work Experience,” is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16, at 10 a.m. ET. To register, please visit http://www.noctibusiness.com/WebinarRegistration.cfm
New Policy Action Initiative: CFED Issues RFP to Boost Financial Inclusion in the Northwest
The Northwest Area Foundation and CFED are excited to announce a groundbreaking initiative to advance state and tribal policies that build the long-term prosperity of urban and rural low-income communities, Native American communities and communities of color. The Financial Inclusion Policy Action Initiative is a $3 million, three-year investment to support advocacy on policies that increase access to safe and affordable financial services, improve financial education, curb predatory lending and encourage saving.
In addition to policy adoption, the Initiative also seeks to build enduring advocacy capacity in the region, to increase understanding about effective policy change strategies, and to bring national visibility to the effort in order to spur replication and encourage greater philanthropic investment. The Initiative will support a minimum of six organizations in the Northwest Area Foundation’s eight-state region—Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and the 75 sovereign Tribal Nations that share the same geography—using a peer learning model in combination with real-time, expert technical assistance and coaching on development of adaptive advocacy campaigns that respond to changing policy environments.
The Foundation and CFED invite nonprofit organizations (501(c)3 or 501(c)9 status) that are based and operating in the eight-state region to apply for the first nine-month phase of the Initiative. Joint applications for partnerships are welcome.
Please find the formal request for proposals here. The deadline for submissions is Monday, August 11, 2014.
For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Institute of Standards and Technology Solicits Applications for Establishment of 'Community Resilience Center of Excellence'
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is currently soliciting applications to establish a Community Resilience Center of Excellence in which NIST researchers collaborate with interdisciplinary researchers from academia and industry on development of tools and standardized methods that will enhance the disaster resilience of communities and their built environment through innovations in measurement science and in new modeling, simulation, data, and informatics tools coupled with field studies of multiple hazard events.
NIST anticipates approximately $4,000,000 per year may be made available to award one (1) multi-year award to an eligible applicant. This award would be for up to five (5) years with the possibility to renew for an additional 5 years at the end of the initial award period. If renewed, NIST anticipates a total of approximately $40,000,000 may be available.
Eligible applicants are accredited institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, and commercial organizations that are organized and operated in the United States and its territories. An eligible organization may work individually or include proposed subawardees, contractors or other collaborators in a project proposal, effectively forming a team or consortium. An organization may only serve as the lead organization on one proposal. In a team or consortium structure, eligible subawardees are U.S. non-profit organizations, accredited institutions of higher education, commercial organizations, and State, Tribal, and local governments.
NIST plans to hold a webinar to offer information on the Community Resilience Center of Excellence program. The webinar will be held in approximately 30 days. The webinar will provide general guidance on preparing proposals and provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions about the program.
Electronic applications through www.Grants.Gov must be received no later than September 12, 2014. The earliest anticipated start date for awards under this FFO is expected to be approximately December 12, 2014.
Department of Education Seeks Comment on National Household Education Surveys Program; Outlines Specifics of "Credentials for Work Survey" and "Training for Work Survey"
The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) is conducted by the Department of Education''s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
NHES is the principal mechanism for addressing education topics appropriate for households rather than establishments. Such topics cover a wide range of issues, including early childhood care and education, children's readiness for school, parent perceptions of school safety and discipline, before- and after-school activities of school-age children, participation in adult education and training, parent involvement in education, school choice, homeschooling, and civic involvement. The NHES consists of a series of rotating surveys using a two-stage design in which a household screener collects household membership and key characteristics for sampling and then appropriate topical survey(s) are mailed to sample members. Data from the NHES are used to provide national cross-sectional estimates on populations of special interest to education researchers and policymakers.
The Department of Education's ICR submission to OMB seeks clearance to repeat the child topical surveys conducted in 2012, Parent and Family Involvement in Education (PFI) and Early Childhood Program Participation (ECPP), to begin to measure changes over time with the new methodology. It also seeks clearance to conduct the first adult topical survey in NHES since 2005, the Credentials for Work Survey (CWS), and to pilot an adult topical survey for NHES:2017, the Training for Work Survey (TWS). The adult surveys were developed in conjunction with the Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA) and the CWS was pilot tested in the 2014 NHES Feasibility Study. Data collection approaches that were most successful at balancing the need to limit overall bias, respondent burden, and cost in the Feasibility Study will be used for the 2015 data collection.
Click here for the July 9 FEDERAL REGISTER notice which provides additional background and instructions for the submission of comments. Comments are due by August 8.
Lessons from History on 'Integrated Service Delivery': A Primer
CFED's Anne Guthrie provides this look at "integrated service delivery" through the decades and examines a number of organizations which are "embracing the core strategy of integrating workforce and asset-building services."
"Integrated service delivery" is one of the most popular topics in the asset-development field. What was once a jargon-laden term confined to public administrative journals is now widely used in describing a particular asset-building model that has gone to scale over the last five years. This model was first piloted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation when it launched its Centers for Working Families (CWF) in 2004. The CWF model integrates employment, income supports and financial services to address the multiple and complex needs low-income families have in reaching long-term financial stability.
A record number of nonprofit organizations have embraced the CWF approach. There are now Financial Opportunity Centers, Spark Point Centers, Prosperity Centers, Financial Empowerment Centers and others—each may have a different name and variations on the model, but all embrace the core strategy of integrating workforce and asset-based services. Just last year, the Working Families Success Network was formed to build the capacity for what is now known as the "Integrated Service Delivery" (ISD) model. This network collectively invests and delivers the ISD model in over 155 locations in more than 30 cities in 12 states around the country.
This site contains resources and tools designed to help system administrators, local leaders and staff to support high quality case management in the workforce system. The best place to start is with the Effective Case Management Model menu. There, you''ll find a briefing paper and a visual "map" that shows the key elements of the case management system hyperlinked to resources for improving the effectiveness of case management in each area. The Webinars menu will give you access to recordings and transcripts to a series of webinars featuring key principles for providing system support for effective case management and discussions with peer mentors who share their experiences and answer questions about pursuing supporting case management in their state and local systems.
National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities
The purpose of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve results for children with disabilities by providing technical assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by scientifically based research.
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services within the Department of Education has announced a funding opportunity under this program, identifying $2,500,000 to fund a single award.
The priority and objective is to jointly fund a cooperative agreement to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities (Center). The Center will assist State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, and other VR service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed for success in postsecondary education and employment.
Eligible Applicants are SEAs; LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; State VR agencies; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.
The July 2 FEDERAL REGISTER provides full background and the application requirements. Applications are due by August 18.
Social Security Administration Seeks Comments on (1) "National Beneficiary Survey" to Determine Factors that Impede Beneficiary Efforts to Maintain Employment and (2) Plan for Achieving Self-Support
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is proposing to undertake the National Beneficiary Survey (NBS), a survey intended to gather data from SSI recipients and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries about their characteristics, their well-being, and other factors that promote or hinder employment.
In particular, the survey seeks to uncover important information about the factors that promote beneficiary self-sufficiency and, conversely, factors that impede beneficiary efforts to maintain employment. The SSA will use this data to improve the administration and effectiveness of the SSDI and SSI programs. These results will be valuable as SSA and other policymakers continue efforts to improve programs and services that help SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients become more self-sufficient.
SSDI and SSI programs provide a crucial and necessary safety net for working-age people with disabilities. By improving employment outcomes for SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients, SSA supports the effort to reduce the reliance of people with disabilities on these programs. SSA conducted the prior NBS in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2010, and was an important first step in understanding the work interest and experiences of SSI recipients and SSDI beneficiaries, and in gaining information about their impairments, health, living arrangements, family structure, pre-disability occupation, and use of non-SSA programs (e.g., the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The prior NBS data is available to researchers and the public.
The primary purpose of the new NBS-General Waves is to assess beneficiary well-being and interest in work, learn about beneficiary work experiences (successful and unsuccessful), and identify factors that promote or restrict long-term work success. Information collected in the survey includes factors such as health, living arrangements, family structure, current occupation, use of non-SSA programs, knowledge of SSDI and SSI work incentive programs, obstacles to work, and beneficiary interest and motivation to return to work. SSA proposes to conduct the first wave of the NBS-General Waves in 2015. SSA will further conduct subsequent rounds in 2017 (round 2) and 2019 (round 3). The information to be collected is not available from SSA administrative data or other sources.
In the NBS-General Waves, the sample design is similar to what SSA used for the prior NBS. Enhancement of the prior questionnaire includes additional questions on the factors that promote or hinder employment success. SSA also propose to conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews (in 2015 only) to provide SSA an in-depth understanding of factors that aid or inhibit individuals in their efforts to obtain and retain employment and advance in the workplace. SSA will use the qualitative data to add context and understanding when interpreting survey results, and to inform the sample and survey design of rounds 2 and 3. Respondents are current SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients. Respondent participation in the NBS is voluntary and the decision to participate or not has no impact on current or future receipt of payments or benefits.
SSA is also inviting comments on the “Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS). The SSI program encourages recipients to return to work. One of the program objectives is to provide incentives and opportunities that help recipients toward employment. The PASS provision allows individuals to use available income or resources (such as business equipment, education, or specialized training) to enter or re-enter the workforce and become self-supporting.
The July 2 FEDERAL REGISTER provides additional background and outlines the process for the submission of comments.
New NACO Publication: A Workforce that Works -- County Innovations in Workforce Development
The National Association of Counties recently released a new issue brief that demonstrates the importance of a quality workforce as one of the most important factors for promoting county economic competitiveness. A Workforce that Works: County Innovations in Workforce Development showcases county-level strategies in workforce development by highlighting four counties that are aligning workforce development with economic development efforts to sustain a competitive and healthy economy.
The publication is organized around three central themes, representing workforce system innovations that are emerging across the country. The three themes are:
- Advancing Data-Driven Approaches:Access to accurate, easily shared data is a crucial resource for counties to better understand local demographic trends and how to guide investments of limited government resources in workforce development initiatives.
Overall, the examples provided here indicate that county leaders can employ a variety of strategies to deliver workforce development approaches that respond to current and future industry needs, promote robust economic growth and enrich overall community quality of life.
From investing in sector-based education and training programs that prepare workers to meet employer demands to prioritizing data-driven methods that improve knowledge of local demographic trends, county leaders and their partners are marrying economic development and workforce development efforts in innovative new ways. Read the report here.
ETA Publishes Strategies for Using Workforce Investment Act Youth Formula Funds to Serve Court-Involved Youth and Youth At-Risk of Offending;NIC Seeks to Fund Cooperative Agreement to Review Research Related to Workforce Development
The WIA Youth Formula Program provides funds to state and local areas to serve low-income youth ages 14 to 21 who face barriers to employment. The Employment and Training Administration has issued Training and Employment Notice 01-14 which
- provides examples of strategies that may prove useful for WIA programs that serve court-involved youth and youth at-risk of offending
- offers points to keep in mind in designing and operating programs for this population.
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is soliciting proposals from organizations, groups, or individuals to enter into a cooperative agreement for a 24-month period to begin no later than September 15, 2014. Applications are due by July 30. Work under this cooperative agreement will involve:
- the facilitation of a key informant focus group consisting of subject matter experts specific to career theory, cognitive behavioral principles, motivational interviewing and blended learning techniques and practices;
- the review of current research related to workforce development, employment retention, recidivism and evidence-based programing; and
- the identification of the various practices and policies that support successful community transition and the long-term attachment of justice involved adults to the workforce.
New Initiative to Provide All Students Access to Great Educators: Department of Education Launches “Excellent Educators for All Initiative”
As part of its efforts to ensure that all students have equal access to a quality education, the U.S. Department of Education today announced the launch of the Excellent Educators for All Initiative. The initiative will help states and school districts support great educators for the students who need them most.
The three-part Excellent Educators for All Initiative includes:
Comprehensive Educator Equity Plans
The Department is asking states to analyze their data and consult with teachers, principals, districts, parents and community organizations to create new, comprehensive educator equity plans that put in place locally-developed solutions to ensure every student has effective educators.
Chief State School Officers will receive a letter today from Secretary Duncan asking them to submit their new plans by April 2015. These plans were first created in 2006 and are required by Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Educator Equity Support Network
The Department is investing $4.2 million to launch a new technical assistance network to support states and districts in developing and implementing their plans to ensure all students have access to great educators.
The network will work to develop model plans, share promising practices, provide communities of practice for educators to discuss challenges and share lessons learned with each other, and create a network of support for educators working in high-need schools.
Educator Equity Profiles
To empower communities and help states enhance their equity plans, the Department will publish Educator Equity profiles this fall. The profiles will help states identify gaps in access to quality teaching for low-income and minority students, as well as shine a spotlight on places where high-need schools are beating the odds and successfully recruiting and retaining effective educators.
In addition to the profiles, the states will receive their complete data file from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). States will be able to conduct detailed analyses of the data to inform their discussions about local inequities and design strategies for improving those inequities.
Governor Beshear and Congressman Rogers Announce EDA and CNCS Investments in Eastern Kentucky
Today, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers joined the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Executive Committee to announce new investments into the region and new partnerships.
Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, announced an investment of $312,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to provide technical assistance in the formation and implementation for the SOAR initiative for job creation and private sector growth in the region.
The EDA investment will support implementation and technical assistance by a consortium of nine Area Development Districts located in the region.
Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), announced an investment of more than $1 million to engage 52 full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to improve the economy and quality of life in eastern Kentucky
Through this investment, AmeriCorps VISTA members will provide more than 100,000 volunteer hours to Eastern Kentucky families and individuals in the areas of job creation and retention, youth engagement, education success, and health and human services over the next year. The VISTAs will recruit and manage volunteers, raise funds, and build the capacity of 16 local nonprofit and education organizations that tackle poverty and expand opportunity in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.
Gov. Beshear announced he will promote eastern Kentucky during his upcoming attendance at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Opportunity Investment Conference in Washington, D.C. July 24. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack created a new export and investment initiative called “Made in Rural America” to help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America.
Treasury Department Releases Community Development Financial Institutions Fund's "2013 Year in Review"
The CDFI Fund serves communities primarily through the nationwide network of Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs. CDFIs are mission-driven financial institutions dedicated to community development and provide financial services and products to meet the needs of economically disadvantaged individuals within underserved communities.
July 2 post by Dennis Nolan, Acting Director of the CDFI Fund:
The Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) has released its annual report, the "2013 Year in Review," which provides an overview of just how much has been accomplished and how wide-reaching and impactful the CDFI Fund’s programs are. Titled “Investing for the Future, One Community at a Time,” the report highlights a year of achievements for the CDFI Fund and the community development organizations it supports that focus on, among other things, fostering business growth, job creation, and revitalizing low-income communities.
Last year, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that received awards from the CDFI Fund and Community Development Entities (CDEs) that were allocated New Markets Tax Credits financed over 7,000 businesses, created or maintained almost 50,000 jobs, and financed over 19,500 affordable housing units. These are just a few of the impacts realized from $6.8 billion in loans and investments made by CDFIs and CDEs nationwide that had a tangible effect in low-income communities across the nation.
It was with an eye to the future that last year the CDFI Fund began a rigorous, evidence-based evaluation of our cornerstone CDFI Program to better understand its impact and to inform policy making decisions. In 2013, we also launched the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, which has the potential to transform the CDFI industry by injecting substantial new long-term capital into our nation’s most distressed communities.
Beyond just highlighting the broad story of the CDFI Fund's achievements supporting community development finance and generating economic growth in America, the 2013 Year in Review helps tell the story of how each CDFI and CDE are certified, each business financed, each job created. Further, it outlines how each housing unit, daycare center, charter school, and health center developed represents a critical step in the transformation of one life, one family, and one community.
So, I invite you to take a look at the results in the CDFI Fund's 2013 Year in Review here.
HHS/ACF/ORR Requests Comments on State Plan for Grants to States for Refugee Resettlement
The HHS/ACF Office of Refugee Resettlement is requesting comments on the State Plan for Grants to States for Refugee Resettlement. The State Plan is a comprehensive narrative description of the nature and scope of a State’s programs and provides assurances that the programs will be administered in conformity with the specific requirements stipulated in 45 CFR 400.4-400.9. The State Plan must include all applicable State procedures, designations, and certifications for each requirement as well as supporting documentation.
States must submit by August 15 each year new or amended State Plan for the next Federal fiscal year. For previously approved plan, States must certify no later than October 31 each year that the approved State plan is current and continues in effect.
The June 30 FEDERAL REGISTER provides additional background and instructions for the submission of comments.
Social Innovation Fund Launches Pay for Success Grants Competition
The 2014 Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Pay for Success (PFS) Grants Competition will provide up to $11.2 million in grants to eligible nonprofit organizations and city and state governments seeking to advance and evaluate emerging models that align payment for social services with verified social outcomes. Consistent with the broader mission of the SIF, the PFS Competition intends to encourage the implementation of PFS projects in order to enhance the reach and impact of innovative community-based solutions in low-income communities.
Pay for Success offers innovative ways of partnering with philanthropic and private sector investors to create incentives for service providers to deliver better outcomes at lower cost—producing the highest return on taxpayer investments. The concept is simple: pay providers after they have demonstrated success, not based on the promise of success, as is done now. Pay for Success financing is a mechanism for increasing investments in effective social interventions by changing the way government allocates and invests its resources – focusing on results and outcomes. This grant competition will determine in which situations the Pay for Success will be most effective. Overall, this will aid in advancing the emerging models that align payment for social services with verified social outcomes. Learn more about Pay for Success at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet/paying-for-success.
As part of the PFS Competition, each grantee will be awarded between $200,000 and $1,800,000 each year over the three year project period. Every SIF grant dollar must be matched by the grantee with nonfederal dollars and services.
Applicants are encouraged to send a Notice to Intent to Apply by Tuesday, July 15, 2014.
Click here for the solicitation website.
Entrepreneurship: Kauffman Foundation Announces (1)Three-Year Challenge Grant to Expand Impact of "Pipeline " in the Midwest, and (2) Nominations Remain Open to August 15 under "Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash"
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has announced a new challenge grant of up to $1.435 million over three years to support and enhance programming for Pipeline, an exclusive community of high-potential entrepreneurial leaders building high-growth companies throughout the Midwest region. The grant follows on a close relationship between the two organizations since Pipeline's inception and will be matched dollar for dollar with private sector participation – including from its own entrepreneurs.
Pipeline received its first challenge grant from the Foundation three years ago to make possible the expansion from a Kansas-only program to one serving entrepreneurs from Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
This new grant will continue to support this regional format, while also providing funds to develop and deploy substantial new programming for its ongoing and growing Membership of entrepreneurs – sometimes referred to as "alumni."
Operating since 2006, Pipeline has emerged as the Midwest's premier organization for successful, fast-growing entrepreneurs. Pipeline operates as an entrepreneurial fellowship that identifies, trains, mentors and connects the highest potential, high-growth entrepreneurs. Once admitted into the program, Pipeline Fellows learn while doing and learn in the company of their peers who are building high-growth companies as well. Upon graduation from the year-long fellowship, the entrepreneurs then join as full members to continue working with Pipeline (and each other) as they continue to face challenges and opportunities in their growth.
Over the next few months, Pipeline leadership will work with its entrepreneurs, national advisors and mentors to determine best practices for the enhanced Pipeline Member programming. In addition, Pipeline will be working with its regional partners to once again determine the regional boundaries for the upcoming three years to see if the boundaries will expand beyond the current borders.
Applications are now open for U.S. entrepreneurs to compete in the second annual Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash competition hosted by the Kauffman Foundation. Entrepreneurs have until August 15 to apply at http://getinthering2014.istart.org/ for the chance to pitch their companies against the most promising startups in the country, the continent and, possibly, the world.
Get in the Ring is a pitch competition founded in 2009 by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands to bring the world's most promising entrepreneurs together with those who can help them succeed and to inspire others to start their entrepreneurial journeys. In just five years, the competition has grown to include more than 60 countries.
Up to 20 U.S. semifinalists will be selected from among all written applications received to submit a three-minute application/pitch video. Judges will review the videos to select five national finalists. Any entrepreneur meeting the following criteria is eligible to apply for the U.S. competition:
- The startup is not more than five years old.
- The founder is a United States citizen and proficient in the English language.
- The startup is a scalable and innovative business idea or model.
- The entrepreneur has a valid passport and is able and willing to travel to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the international finals.
- The entrepreneur is seeking funding of up to $1 million (if he or she wins the North American competition and his or her startup is determined to be worthy of funding by investor judges at the Rotterdam finals).
Department of Commerce Welcomes Comments on the American Community Survey
The authors of these June 30 blog posts on the Department of Commerce outline plans for a review of the American Community Survey -- and invite comments and suggestions on the content review.
American Community Survey: Best Quality Data with the Least Public Burden Guest blog post by Mark Doms, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs
The Census Bureau is conducting a top-to-bottom content review of every question on the ACS. They are asking whether the ACS is the only possible source for each data point, or whether another source of data could be used. They are documenting the legal requirements for each ACS question and the need for data by federal agencies. And, they are also asking businesses, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations to weigh-in and detail which ACS data they rely upon to meet their sector’s needs.
Evaluating the American Community Survey: The ACS Content Review U.S. Census Bureau's Director's Blog by John H. Thompson
Excerpt: We are working with the Office of Management and Budget to establish criteria for evaluating all reported data uses. This will factor in elements such as whether the data are required by federal law, whether the data are needed to manage a required program, and whether the data are needed for small geographies. We encourage you to provide feedback about your or your organization’s data needs. Ultimately, the findings will form the basis of recommendations for the future of the survey. Our goal is that the ACS would provide the most useful information with the least amount of burden. To follow this process and sign up for updates, visit our ACS Content Review web page.
ETA Requests Comments the Unemployment Compensation "Contributions Operations" (ETA 581)
State Unemployment Insurance agencies report data on the ETA 581 report in order to measure performance, accuracy and promptness in employer registrations, timeliness of filing contribution and wage reports by employers, collections (accounts receivable), and field audits of employers. Data on the report also measures state efforts to detect employer tax avoidance schemes, which is known as State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) Dumping. Section 303(k) of the Social Security Act requires states to detect SUTA Dumping. ETA uses the information reported on the report to monitor and measure program performance and make projections and forecasts in conjunction with the budgetary process.
Comments are due by September 2. The July 1 FEDERAL REGISTER provides full background, summarizes the desired focus for public comment, furnishes the burden hour estimates, and contains the instructions for the submission of comments.
NGA Releases "State Strategies for Global States Increasingly Prioritize Global Trade, Investment"
From the National Governors Association’s June 30 advisory:
Economic growth and job creation top of every governor’s policy agenda. The economic success of states and the companies inside their borders increasingly is affected by how closely a state is tied to the global economy, according to a new paper released today by the National Governors Association.
As governors look for the best ways to bolster state economic performance, one strategy is to strengthen their state’s connection to the international economy through trade and investment. Between 2009 and 2013, exports accounted for nearly one-third of U.S. economic growth, in part because of growth in international markets but also because the domestic economy has lagged compared to previous recoveries.
State Strategies for Global Trade and Investment examines actions governors can take to develop more robust international strategies in conjunction with their state’s overall economic development strategy.
States can benefit from stronger ties to the global economy through trade and investment by focusing on overcoming impediments that inhibit the private sector, including lack of connection to global supply and distribution networks. Governors also can take three key actions:
- Create an integrated long-term strategy and plan;
- Develop tactics and tools; and
- Identify export-ready companies and potential foreign investors.
To learn more, please visit www.nga.org/cms/center/ehsw.
Manufacturing Sector: NIST Seeks Comment on Data Collection from Manufacturing Extension Partnership Customers
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a national network of locally based manufacturing extension centers working with small manufacturers to assist them improve their productivity, improve profitability and enhance their economic competitiveness. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is currently seeking public comment on a data collection which provides MEP with information regarding MEP Center performance regarding the delivery of technology, and business solutions to U.S.-based manufacturers. The collected information will assist in determining the performance of the MEP Centers at both local and national levels, provide information critical to monitoring and reporting on MEP programmatic performance, and assist management in policy decisions. Responses to the collection of information are mandatory per the regulations governing the operation of the MEP Program. The information collected will include MEP Customer inputs regarding their sales, costs, investments, employment, and exports. Customers will take the survey online. Customers will only be surveyed once per year under this collection. Data collected in this survey is confidential.
Comments on the proposed extension of the data collection are due by August 25. The June 26 FEDERAL REGISTER provides additional background and burden hour estimates.
Energy Sector: ANSI Releases 'Standardization Roadmap," Advances Recommendations on Workforce Credentialing; Extends Final Approval to IREC's Clean Energy Certificate Standard
ANSI Releases Standardization Roadmap, Advances Recommendations on Workforce Credentialing
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the nation's buildings account for more than 70 percent of total U.S. electricity use and 40 percent of the nation's total energy bill, at a cost of $400 billion dollars per year. With 20 percent or more of this energy wasted, comparable reductions in energy have the potential to save an estimated $80 billion annually. Standards, codes, and conformity assessment programs offer significant opportunities for energy and cost savings, and improved energy efficiency capabilities for the nation's buildings.
The Standardization Roadmap: Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment, developed by the ANSI Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC), establishes a national framework for action and coordination on energy efficiency standardization, and charts 125 actionable recommendations to advance energy efficiency in the built environment. Released this week, this Roadmap identifies many such opportunities, detailing 125 recommendations and timelines for action across five inter-related areas of focus:
- Chapter One: Building Energy and Water Assessment and Performance Standards outlines 46 recommendations to address identified standardization gaps in these areas
- Chapter Two: System Integration and Systems Communications details 9 gaps and recommendations examining how building subsystems could be integrated in order to manage the energy use of a building or campus of buildings for maximum efficiency
- Chapter Three: Building Energy Rating, Labeling, and Simulation outlines 22 recommendations to address identified standardization gaps
- Chapter Four: Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) details 32 gaps and recommendations to advance the field of EM&V
- Chapter Five: Workforce Credentialing puts forth 16 overarching recommendations to advance workforce credentialing for the energy efficiency field
5.0 Introduction 5.1 Terminology: Defining Workforce Credentialing 5.2 Indicators of Quality Credentialing Programs 5.3 Role of Registered Apprenticeships in Workforce Credentialing 5.4 Determining Market Value of Workforce Credentialing Programs 5.5 The Role of Conformity Assessment in Building Confidence in Credentialing Programs 5.6 Programmatic Accreditation for Training 5.7 Defining the Energy Efficiency Content of Occupations 5.8 Measuring Outcomes on the Performance of the Credentialed Workforce 5.9 Recommendations to Advance Credentialing for the Energy Efficiency Workforce
The roadmap's recommendations for closing standardization gaps in the near-term (0-2 years), mid-term (2-5 years), and long-term (5+ years) are intended to map out a coordinated approach to energy efficiency standardization, and to assist standards developing organizations in identifying priority areas for work, as well as opportunities for collaboration, consolidation, and harmonization.
ANSI Extends Final Approval to IREC's Clean Energy Certificate Standard A new national standard for the accreditation of clean energy education/training certificate programs, developed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), has received final approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an American National Standard. IREC was accredited by ANSI in 2013 as a standards developing organization, leading the nation in clean energy education/training credentials and standards.
ANSI/IREC Standard 14732-2014 was developed by an independent, subject matter expert working group of the IREC Standards Committee, working closely with industry leaders so that the standard is aligned with specific job task analysis, and linked to real-world skills needed by individuals entering the clean energy workforce. Certificate programs that apply for accreditation under the standard may be hosted by a variety of institutions, including colleges, industry training groups, for-profit organizations, or unions.
The IREC Standards Committee and the working groups who develop and revise IREC's standards help to ensure industry validation and acceptance.
For questions about IREC's standards development activities: email@example.com, or call (518) 621-7379.
Libraries and Adult Education Program Team Up on Digital Literacy: Workforce Community Encouraged to Review Joint Letter, Blog, and Talking Points
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education are working together to encourage effective collaborations between libraries and federally funded adult education programs. The goal of this joint effort is to enhance the skills, employability, and quality of life of youths and adults with low skills.
IMLS and OCTAE are asking public libraries, state and local adult education agencies, and literacy providers to work together to complement and extend the adult education and English literacy services available through adult education programs for youths and adults.
The workforce community is encouraged to review the June 23 joint "Dear Colleague" letter from IMLS and OCTAE which provides complete background on the partnership and the current and planned activities of the two organizations. The letter offers this encouragement on the mutual benefits:
Given that people of all ages are using libraries as learning sites, library staff can benefit from the expertise of the adult education system, and the specialized tools and resources it has developed. Equally important, the adult education system can increase its reach and visibility in communities and extend learning opportunities by explicitly partnering with libraries.
The Appendix to the letter provides highlights of current IMLS-supported projects between the public adult education system and public libraries (California, Hawaii; Philadelphia, Providence and Portland).
This June 26 blog post provides additional background on the genesis and maturation of this partnership, and presents the perspectives of IMLS Director Susan Hildreth and OCTAE Acting Assistant Secretary on how libraries and adult education programs can support building digital literacy among adults. You will also find some additional and relevant talking points here.
HHS/ACF Seeks Comments on Data Collections – (1) Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency Evaluation and (2) Evaluation of "Health Profession Opportunity Grants"
The Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Education has proposed a data collection activity as part of the Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) evaluation. ISIS is an evaluation of 9 promising career pathways strategies to promote education, employment, and self-sufficiency. The major goal of ISIS is to increase the empirical knowledge about the effectiveness of programs for low-income individuals and families to achieve educational credentials, attain employment and advance to positions that enable self-sufficiency.
ISIS is one project within the broader portfolio of research that ACF’s OPRE is utilizing to assess the success of the career pathways programs and models. In addition to ISIS, this strategy includes a multi-pronged research and evaluation approach for the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program to better understand and assess the activities conducted and their results. In order to maximize learning across this portfolio, survey development for the HPOG and ISIS baseline and follow up surveys is being coordinated, and the majority of the data elements collected in these surveys are similar.
Two data collection efforts have been approved for ISIS, including one for baseline data collection (approved November 2011), a second for data collection activities to document program implementation, data collection activities for an initial follow-up survey of participants to be administered approximately 15 months after random assignment, and data collection through in-depth interviews for a small sample of study participants (approved August 2013). Additionally, three related data collection efforts for HPOG research were approved by OMB under OMB 0970-0394. These include approval of a Performance Reporting System (PRS) (approved September 2011), for collection of additional baseline data for the HPOG-Impact study (approved October 2012), and for collection of data for the National Implementation Evaluation (approved August 2013). Additionally, a new request is being submitted at the same time as this request.
A June 23 FEDERAL REGISTER notice provides the opportunity to comment on a proposed new information collection activity for ISIS--a second follow-up survey for ISIS participants approximately 36 months after program enrollment. The purpose of the survey is to follow-up with study participants to document their education and training experiences, employment experiences, and parenting practices and child outcomes for participants with children.
Data collection activities to submit in a future information collection request include a third follow-up survey for ISIS study participants approximately 60 months after study enrollment.
ACF has also proposed data collection activities as part of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of the FEDERAL REGISTER notice.
The proposed data collection will provide data for the Impact Studies of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG-Impact) and the National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants to Serve TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Individuals (HPOG-NIE). The goal of HPOG-Impact is to evaluate the effectiveness of approaches used by 20 of the HPOG grantees to provide TANF recipients and other low-income individuals with opportunities for education, training and advancement within the health care field. HPOG-Impact also is intended to evaluate variation in participant impact that may be attributable to different HPOG program components and models. The impact study design is a classic experiment in which eligible applicants will be randomly assigned to a treatment group that is offered participation in HPOG and a control group that is not permitted to enroll in HPOG. In a subset of sites, eligible applicants will be randomized into two treatment arms (a basic and an enhanced version of the intervention) and a control group.
The goal of HPOG-NIE is to describe and assess the implementation, systems change, and outcomes and other important information about the operations of the 27 HPOG grantees focused on TANF recipients and other low-income individuals. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to collect information about the composition and intensity of services received, participant characteristics and HPOG experiences, and participant outputs and outcomes.
HPOG-Impact and HPOG-NIE are two projects within the broader portfolio of research that OPRE is utilizing to assess the success of the career pathways programs and models. This strategy includes a multi-pronged research and evaluation approach for the HPOG program to better understand and assess the activities conducted and their results as well as the Innovative Strategies for Improving Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) project. In order to maximize learning across the portfolio, survey development for the HPOG and ISIS baseline and follow up surveys is being coordinated, and the majority of the data elements collected in these surveys are similar.
Three data collection efforts related to HPOG research were approved by OMB, including approval of a Performance Reporting System (PRS) (approved September 2011), for collection of additional baseline data for the HPOG-Impact study (approved October 2012), and for collection of data for the National Implementation Evaluation (approved August 2013). Additionally, two data collection efforts for ISIS were approved (November 2011 and August 2013), and a new request is being submitted at the same time as this request (under OMB 0970- 0397).
A June 23 FEDERAL REGISTER notice provides the opportunity to comment on proposed new information collection activities.
Census Bureau Announcements: (1) Registration Now Open for Local Employment Dynamics Partnership Workshop (September 9 - 10); Version 4 of OnTheMap for Emergency Employment Now Available
The Census Bureau has announced that registration is now open for the 2014 Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership Workshop. The September 9 opening will feature plenary sessions held at the US Department of Commerce at 1401 Constitution Ave NW in Washington, DC. September 10 will feature breakout sessions and training opportunities held at the US Census Bureau, located at 4600 Silver Hill Road in Suitland, MD. The LED Partnership is a collaborative partnership between state data agencies and the Census Bureau to leverage existing data in the development of new sources of economic and demographic information for policy makers and data users. The workshop provides professional development and networking for Labor Market Information directors, data analysts and data providers at state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and other data users.
The theme for this year's workshop is Open for Business - LED and Economic Development. The Bureau will be highlighting the work of our state LMI partners and other state and local data users through plenary and breakout sessions. Further details and an agenda are available on our conference registration site: http://2014ledworkshop.eventbrite.com/. Please visit the site to register for the workshop. Space is limited; early registration is recommended.
The Bureau has also released version 4 of OnTheMap for Emergency Management on June 20, 2014. OnTheMap for Emergency Management provides real-time access to a range of detailed U.S. Census Bureau data about the people living and working in areas being affected by hurricanes, floods, wildfires, winter storms, and federal disaster declaration areas.
Version 4 improvements include:
- Addition of selected American Community Survey (ACS) data providing much greater detail on affected populations including demographic, economic, and housing characteristics that may influence response and recovery decisions.
- New community level reporting providing the ability to generate reports for individual communities of interest to support local area response and recovery.
- New tools for local, regional, and comparative analyses enabling a way to quickly assess the relative impact of disasters and weather events across different communities and political jurisdictions.
- Improved dashboard interface with new interactive reports, charts, and maps which are more informative and easier to use.
- Improved event search tool making it easier to find and analyze the impacts of historical disasters and weather events.
- New linkable maps and reports for easier sharing of data and analyses and useful information on the effects of disasters and weather events.
For help and documentation, please go to: http://lehd.ces.census.gov/applications/help/onthemap_em.html#!what_is_onthemap_em.
For comments or questions, please contact CES.OnTheMap.Feedback@census.gov.
Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division Seeks Comment on NPRM Regarding the Amendment of the Definition of 'Spouse"
Employment and Training Administration references:
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM LETTER No.14-14 (June 18, 2014) Subject: Effect of the U. S. Supreme Court''s Decision in United States v. Windsor on the Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program
TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER No. 27-13 (June 18, 2014) Subject: Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision in United States v. Windsor on the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program
TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER No. 26-13 (June 18, 2014) Subject: Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision in United States v. Windsor on Eligibility and Services Provided Under Workforce Grants Administered by the Employment and Training Administration
The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division proposes to revise the regulation defining ``spouse' under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA or the Act) in light of the United States Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor, which found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional.
The WHD Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM )in the June 27 FEDERAL REGISTER proposes to amend the definition of spouse to include all legally married spouses.
Comments must be received on or before August 11, 2014.
Economic Development Administration Publishes 2013 Annual Report
The Economic Development Administration submitted its 2013 annual report on its activity to the Congress on June 25, 2014. An interactive map allows readers to quickly retrieve a summary of EDA investments in any given state, as well as a case study of an EDA project underway in each state.
State Policies that Could Promote Apprenticeship
The Center for American Progress has posted this announcement about a new paper “Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States.”
In response to growing concerns among employers and economists that the United States faces a looming shortage of skilled workers, policymakers across the country are taking a new look at an old idea. Apprenticeship—the time-tested worker-training model that combines on-the-job training with classroom-based instruction—is gaining traction as a possible solution to America’s workforce training and development challenges. From Iowa to South Carolina to Vermont, state governments are making important new investments in this critical training program.
As we illustrate in "Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States," apprenticeships help businesses meet their demand for skilled workers while offering workers higher wages and better employment outcomes. Although young people around the world enter the labor market through apprenticeships, the training model is relatively underused in the United States. Thus far, lack of awareness and misperceptions among both businesses and workers have prevented the formation of a more robust U.S. apprenticeship system. However, this could be changing.