Topics Of Interest
ETA Announces Unemployment Insurance Integrity Technology Symposium (September 1 - 2)
The Employment and Administration, in collaboration with the UI Integrity Center of Excellence (Integrity Center), is sponsoring the 2015 UI Integrity Technology Symposium. The two-day Symposium is a new integrity technology information sharing forum where states and vendors with the latest software and analytic tools dedicated to identifying and preventing potential overpayments and fraud will demonstrate and discuss solutions that have been implemented and are proving to be successful. The Symposium will also explore promising practices in the use of information technology to reduce overpayments, fraud risk, and increase the rate of overpayment recovery.
The agenda is designed to educate and inform attendees about new information technology tools, and to promote successful practices and management strategies in preventing and reducing improper payments and fraud. The Symposium will provide attendees the opportunity to hear from private entities, other Federal agencies, and ETA officials. The Symposium will also allow for participation in a series of workshop sessions featuring states’ technology efforts in this arena. The target audience is UI Directors, Benefit Payment Control Managers, UI Benefit Managers, State information technology staff, and other appropriate staff as determined by the states.
ETA Publishes Employment and Training Order 1-15 with Updated Designations of Trade Adjustment Assistance Certifying Officers
The Employment and Training Administration has published the text of Employment and Training Order 1-15 in the July 20, 2015 FEDERAL REGISTER.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance program operates under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, to provide assistance to domestic workers adversely affected in their employment by certain types of foreign trade. Workers become eligible for program benefits only if the worker group is certified under the Act as eligible to apply for adjustment assistance.
From time to time the agency issues an Order designating or redesignating officials of the agency authorized to act as Certifying Officers, responsible for reviewing and signing adjustment assistance determinations. This also is done when current Certifying Officials retire or leave and/or when there is a need to designate new Certifying Officials. Employment and Training Order No. 1-15 was issued to revise the listing of officials designated as Certifying Officers, superseding Employment and Training Order No. 1-11.
Director of EDA's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Comments on NACIE, New Round of RIS Funding, Community Playbook, and Restructuring of i6
Julie Kirk was appointed by Secretary Pritzker to lead the Economic Development Administration's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) in May 2014. As Director of OIE, she is charged with driving programs and priorities that support innovative economic development such as innovation-based entrepreneurship and regional innovation clusters. She took a few minutes to answer some questions about her first year in the role and what she hopes will be her EDA legacy when her term is over. (The following Q’s and A’s are from an EDA July 16 blog post.)
How do you see the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship's work fitting into the larger EDA mission?
OIE provides subject matter expertise for EDA regional teams and communities across the nation in leveraging innovation and entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth and resiliency, a key pillar of EDA’s mission. We help amplify the great work going on in our regions and create national grant programs such as the Regional Innovation Strategies aimed at helping communities support the building blocks of an ecosystem of innovation.
How has your first year at EDA been and what are some projects that OIE has accomplished during your first year?
Being an entrepreneur in government has been a bit of a challenge, yet incredibly rewarding. It has been an extremely great growth opportunity for me personally and professionally.
The biggest surprise coming from the outside is the amount of innovation going on in this agency and that there are so many people who are passionate about what they do. That’s not always the picture you get from the outside.
It's hard to believe it has been a year already! During my first year, we re-established the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE), which is undertaking some groundbreaking projects aimed at tasks such as standardizing labor market data, creating and implementing a Community Playbook for regional innovation, and exploring ways to incentivize companies to conduct more collaborative R&D in the nation.
We also distributed nearly $15 million as part of the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) initiative through 39 grants – all within a year. Additionally, we will be releasing another $10 million in grants for the second round of RIS later this summer.
As we developed the RIS, we not only introduced a new program aimed at helping get more seed capital into the hands of startups, but we also restructured the i6 program to reach more communities by decreasing the maximum amount of each award. We didn’t allocate a certain number of awards per region, making this a truly national program. In the end, a number of smaller and rural communities that may not have been able to compete at a larger grant level received funding. We are very excited to see what kind of outcomes they produce.
What do you see as the greatest challenge and as the greatest opportunity facing your office?
The greatest challenge is to continue our outreach to new communities who perhaps have never had an opportunity to receive a grant from EDA. Starting in FY2014, RIS funding was provided under the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) authorization. Under this legislation, applicants are not required to document distress, which opens up the field of potential applicants. However, we will continue to focus our investments on the most impact.
The greatest opportunity OIE has in front of it is focusing on how we can help EDA as a whole evolve as the role of economic development changes and more and more communities’ needs shift to resources and a culture that supports innovation and entrepreneurship.
What do you hope to accomplish during your tenure with EDA/OIE?
My goal at the end of my tenure is for OIE to be established as a value-added resource for all of EDA, the Commerce Department, and the Administration. Additionally, I want to ensure our role as a contributor to the overall mission of EDA is documented and solidified.
I am proud to have brought together an awesome team in career positions for OIE, ensuring the office will be sustained despite the inevitable changes in Administration.
National Science Foundation Seeks Public Comment on Data Collection in Support of the "Community College Innovation Challenge"
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has published a July 20 FEDERAL REGISTER notice seeking public comment on its intent to establish a new information collection -- Community College Innovation Challenge.
NSF notes, in part:
NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA) requests of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an approval for an information collection intended to monitor outputs, short-term, intermediate and long term outcomes of OLPA's new Community College Innovation Challenge.
The survey questionnaire, individually tailored to measure outputs and outcomes for this initiative, will provide essential information for program monitoring purposes. Data collected by this collection will be used for program planning, management, and evaluation. A summary of monitoring data can be used to respond to queries from Congress, the public, NSF's external merit reviewers who serve as advisors, including Committees of Visitors (COVs), and NSF's Office of the Inspector General.
This data collection effort will enable OLPA to longitudinally monitor outputs and outcomes given the unique goals and purpose of the CCIC. This is very important to enable appropriate and accurate evidence-based management of the program and to determine whether or not the specific goals of the program are being met.
Participants will be invited to submit this information via data collection methods that include but are not limited to online surveys, interviews, phone interviews, etc. The indicators are both quantitative and descriptive and may include number of students majoring in STEM disciplines or joining the STEM workforce, faculty expressions of mentoring ability for STEM careers, number of participants continuing to participate in innovation or entrepreneurship activities among other indicators.
Comments will be due September 20.
Broadband: FCC Seeks Comment on Proposed Rulemaking for the Lifeline Program
The Federal Communications Commission announced on July 17 its intention to "rebuild the current framework of the Lifeline program and continue its efforts to modernize the Lifeline program so that all consumers can utilize advanced networks." In presenting the proposed regulation, the FCC notes a renewed focus on "targeting funding to those low-income consumers who really need it while at the same time shifting the burden of determining consumer eligibility for Lifeline support from the provider." The Commission further seeks to leverage efficiencies from other existing federal programs and expand its outreach efforts. By rebuilding the existing Lifeline framework, the Commission hopes to more efficiently and effectively address the needs of low-income consumers. It ultimately seeks to equip low-income consumers with the necessary tools and support system to realize the benefits of broadband independent of Lifeline support.
Comments are due August 17, 2015. Reply comments are due September 15, 2015. Click here for the 35 page PDF version of the full notice.
The workforce community may wish to note a number of references in the raised questions on veterans, homeless veterans, TANF, SNAP, eligibility for governmental benefit programs, leveraging of technology, entrepreneurship, youth education, individuals with disabilities, and tribal broadband access.
OMB Announces Availability of the Circular A-133 Supplement
Through a July 14 FEDERAL REGISTER notice , the Office of Management and Budget has announced the availability of the OMB Circular A-133 Supplement. The notice also offers interested parties an opportunity to comment on the 2015 Supplement.
The 2015 Supplement supersedes the 2014 Supplement and will apply to audits of fiscal years beginning after June 30, 2014. All comments on the 2015 Supplement must be in writing and received by October 31, 2015. Late comments will be considered to the extent practicable. OMB received no comments on the 2014 Supplement.
The 2015 Supplement is available online on the OMB home page at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a133_compliance_supplement_2015.
White House Releases Fact Sheet on the Conference on Aging
Today (July 13), the President will host the White House Conference on Aging, which focuses on the issues facing Americans as they plan for retirement, care for older loved ones, and work to improve our quality of life as we age. One of the most critical components of middle-class life in this country is a secure and dignified retirement, and today the President announced new steps we’re taking to ensure that Americans have the tools they need to prepare for the future. These actions build on the President’s announcement earlier this year of the Department of Labor’s proposed rule requiring retirement advisers to put their clients’ best interest first, before their own profits.
- Today, the Administration launched Aging.gov to provide older Americans, their families, friends, and other caregivers, a one-stop resource for government-wide information on helping older adults live independent and fulfilling lives. The Web site links to a broad spectrum of Federal information, including how to find local services and resources in your community for everything from healthy aging to elder justice to long-term care, as well as how to find key information on vital programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Utilizing Technology to Support Older Americans: As part of the President’s commitment to making Federal government data open and more easily usable, today the Administration is announcing that by September 2015, Federal data sets relevant to aging and to elderly Americans will be made easily available on Data.gov, the repository for the U.S. Government’s open data. This resource will continuously be updated with datasets on aging, much like it is for other important Administration priorities such as climate, public safety, and education.
The U.S. Department of Labor, recognizing that health care constitutes one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the workforce due, in part, to the aging population''s growth, announced a forthcoming catalogue summarizing the range of career pathways programs to support entry into health care careers and the development of a Federal plan targeted for release this fall for continuing to build the evidence about promising health care career pathway programs.
U.S. Companies Launch the '100,000 Opportunities Initiative' to Create Pathways to Economic Opportunity for Young Americans
More than a dozen leading, U.S.-based companies today (July 13) announced the formation of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, which has the goal of being the nation''s largest employer-led coalition committed to creating pathways to meaningful employment for America's young people. The coalition has the collective goal of engaging at least 100,000 Opportunity Youth" 16-24 year olds who face systemic barriers to jobs and education -"by 2018 through apprenticeships, internships, training programs, and both part-time and full-time jobs. Additionally, the coalition will leverage existing collaborative efforts on the ground in a handful of cities to partner in building these pathways. The founding companies include Alaska Airlines, Cintas, CVS Health, Hilton Worldwide, HMSHost, JCPenney, JPMorgan Chase, Lyft, Macy's, Microsoft, Porch.com, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Target, Walgreens and Walmart.
Health Information Technology: ONC Announces Cooperative Agreement to Support "Tracking Electronic Health Record Adoption and Capturing Related Insights in U.S. Hospitals"
The Office of the National Coordinator has announced a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on June 15 that will provide funds in the form of a sole source, single award, through a cooperative agreement, between the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and American Hospital Association (AHA). The AHA has an ongoing data collection effort in place designed to capture information on the adoption of and attitudes towards electronic health records in U.S. hospitals.
Tracking the adoption of health information technology (health IT) is critical to evaluating the effects of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT ONC programs and the relationship between the use of health IT and quality improvements and cost-savings. Since 2008, the AHA and ONC have worked collaboratively to collect data for these purposes through an annual AHA Information Technology Survey (IT Supplement), a supplementary data collection that is separate from the AHA’s annual general census of hospitals. The survey has enabled ONC to track health IT adoption, evaluate its programs and inform policy, and examine the link between health IT and health care system improvements. Additionally, the survey has furthered health IT research in inpatient settings, with many collaborative partners and independent researchers using the data in their work.
The full announcement can be found on www.grants.gov (NAP-AX-15-006)
Economic Development Administration Releases Fiscal Year 2014 Report
The Economic Development Administration has forwarded its 2014 annual report to the Congress Statement of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
America COMPETES Act, Regional Innovation Strategies Program, Make it America Challenge, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, Cluster Mapping website and registry, and the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE)
Full Report Appendices
HUD Issues Final Rule 'Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing"; Includes References to "Employment," "Job(s)," and "WIBs" in Consideration of Comments Received
HUD has published the final rule in the FEDERAL REGISTER designed to “provide HUD program participants with an approach to more effectively and efficiently incorporate into their planning processes the duty to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which is title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.” The Fair Housing Act not only prohibits discrimination but, in conjunction with other statutes, directs HUD's program participants to take significant actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, achieve truly balanced and integrated living patterns, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.
The approach to affirmatively furthering fair housing carried out by HUD program participants prior to this rule, which involved an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice and a certification that the program participant will affirmatively further fair housing, has not been as effective as originally envisioned. This rule refines the prior approach by replacing the analysis of impediments with a fair housing assessment that should better inform program participants' planning processes with a view toward better aiding HUD program participants to fulfill this statutory obligation.
Note: There are two dozen references to “employment” and 29 references to “job(s)” found in the final rule and the HUD analysis of comments. The rule also contains a number of references to regional approaches or regional collaborations, specifically mention WIBs (below), and addresses “technical assistance” in three dozen locations.
Several excerpts from the rule:
…Other commenters suggested non-financial incentives that HUD should consider to encourage regional collaboration among local governments and States and greater engagement with public housing planning, including:
(1) National level partnerships: The commenters stated that HUD should continue to build strong partnerships at the national level, opening the doors to encourage collaboration at the local and regional level. The commenters stated that national level partnerships can be effective in setting the tone at the local and regional levels and can catalyze regional planning in partnership with other public and private agencies. The commenters stated that partnerships develop and increase capacity, ensure coordination among stakeholders, increase program efficiency and sustainability and, most importantly, help to meet the needs of the community. As an example of such national partnerships, the commenters cited to the partnership between HUD and DOL, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009, which was created to encourage PHAs and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) to collaboratively identify opportunities to train and place public housing residents into jobs created by PHAs' Recovery-funded capital improvement projects. (2) Grant Application Bonus Points: The commenters stated that awarding bonus points in HUD grant applications for creating partnerships with other local governments and Federal grant programs will assist in increasing capacity, avoid duplication of services, and create sustainability. As an example of this effective grant bonus points, the commenters cited to the recent NOFA in which HUD awarded bonus points for applicants that have received Preferred Sustainability Status.
HUD Response: HUD appreciates these suggestions offered by all commenters, and will take them into consideration …
… Comment: Reward regional collaboration by giving priority in the provision of HUD technical assistance. Commenters stated that regional collaborations and large urban counties should be allowed to have some priority in the provision of HUD fair housing technical assistance. Commenter stated that these potential collaborations may be more complicated in nature and may have a greater need for technical assistance, especially at the planning stage.
Comment: The job access index is not applicable to rural areas.
Commenters stated that one of the key measures provided in the proposed rule is the job access index, which pertains to the accessibility of a given residential neighborhood as a function of its distance to all job locations, with distance to larger employment centers weighted more heavily. The commenters stated that the job access index may not be appropriate for rural areas, where the real distance to the job location is from the house to the barn. The commenters stated that community assets are fewer in rural areas, but that does not mean this situation needs to be corrected. The commenters stated that population density needs to be considered in the application of key measures, and that communities with a population density that would classify the area as ``rural' should be exempt from this regulation.
HUD Response: HUD acknowledges the unique issues and challenges in applying the rule to rural communities and intends the implementation of the rule to be flexible and adaptable to meet those challenges. The commenter is correct that some of the data on community assets, including access to jobs, transportation, and education may very well appear different when mapped or incorporated into an index to measure those assets. The purpose of the indices is to provide an easy-to-use simple measure, in part to reduce the burden on program participants in developing an AFH. However, where the usefulness of the index itself is limited, either by data limitations or how it is applied in certain areas, including rural areas, those limitations can be acknowledged by the program participant in the AFH by supplementing HUD-provided data with local data and knowledge.
The larger question is what goals, strategies, and actions the program participant can design and adopt to meet the fair housing and equal opportunity needs of its jurisdiction. In many rural areas, for instance where poverty is much more widespread than in an urban or metro area, the strategies will often be different. HUD's rule already acknowledges that place-based strategies can be adopted to address problematic issues identified in the needs analysis portion of the AFH Plan. In the case of rural areas, this is particularly important to acknowledge. For instance, in making decisions about where an affordable housing development or assistance is needed, the fact that poverty is often spread over large geographic portions of rural America will be a key consideration in deciding how to best allocate housing resources.
Office of Naval Research Program Expands Professional Opportunities for At-Risk, Underrepresented Youth
From the June 9 SEAPOWER:
An innovative program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) will open the door to professional career opportunities for at-risk and historically underrepresented youth through training in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).
The program, dubbed the "Animate My Action Plan," is a partnership between the National Guard Youth Foundation (NGYF) and Royer Studios, which has been developing and implementing media-based educational programs since 1989. During the program, youth participating in the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academies (NGYCA) receive specialized, technology-based vocational arts training.
This is followed by apprenticeships focused on web content development-writing, video, photography, graphics, animation and data management-with an emphasis on developing interest in STEAM-related careers.
"This program is truly a creative, unique path to professional careers for youth who may never have the opportunity to realize their creative talents otherwise," said Dr. Richard Carlin, head of ONR’s Sea Warfare and Weapons Department. "The Navy has been extremely supportive of efforts to find the best and brightest minds to maintain our nation’s technological edge, including the ever-growing need for computer-skilled professionals."
The ONR-supported STEAM effort is slated for an initial three-year period, and may serve as a model vocational training program to be replicated and administered in other sites, including veteran and other military centers.
Academy youth participants-called cadets-have 5 a.m. wakeup calls, followed by physical training and barracks maintenance as part of NGYCA’s congressional mandate to educate, train and mentor at-risk youth, fostering self-esteem, integrity and character.
NGYF is a nonprofit organization that works with the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program — located at 35 sites in 27 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia — to provide young people faced with limited career or academic prospects a pathway back to graduation day. It equips them with the job skills and life skills necessary to succeed as adults. NGYF also works with public and private partners to provide cadets with unique learning opportunities and higher education grants.
Studies have found the program significantly improves the likelihood of earning a high school diploma or GED for youth who had previously dropped out of school — and that participants were 86 percent more likely to attend college and ultimately earn 20 percent more in income than their peers.
"One of the challenges for any science and technology-focused organization is to recognize and nurture the talents in our youth across every community," said Carlin. "Statistics are not in our favor to produce a consistent talent pipeline unless we reach out to communities that have been underrepresented until now."
To cite just one example: Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggest that the U.S. economy will annually create 120,000 new jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree in computer science by the end of the decade. However, only 51,000 degrees in that field are awarded each year.
Census Bureau Releases OntheMap Version 6.4 and 2012 LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistic (LODES)
The U.S. Census Bureau has released Version 6.4 of the OnTheMap application. Included is the release of LODES data for 2012. OnTheMap now contains 11 years of data (2002-2012). Additionally, this release of OnTheMap updates the base geography to TIGER 2014.
2012 LODES data contain employment statistics for 48 states and the District of Columbia (not included are KS, MA, PR, and VI). Along with the release in OnTheMap, the 2012 LODES data have been made available for download as raw data files. These files can be accessed at http://lehd.ces.census.gov/data/#lodes and an updated technical document at http://lehd.ces.census.gov/data/lodes/LODES7/LODESTechDoc7.1.pdf.
OnTheMap is supported by the state partners under the Local Employment Dynamics partnership with the Census Bureau as well as the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.
OnTheMap can be accessed by clicking OnTheMap under Quick Links at http://lehd.ces.census.gov or directly at http://onthemap.ces.census.gov. For additional information about OnTheMap and LODES, go to http://lehd.ces.census.gov/applications/help/onthemap.html.
Comments should be sent to CES.OnTheMap.Feedback@census.gov.
SBA Seeks Comment on Information Collection in Support of "Boots to Business" - Career Track within DoD's "Transition GPS"
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has published the sixty-day notice regarding the information collection in support of "Boots to Business."
Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education initiative offered by SBA (SBA) as a career track within the Department of Defense's revised Training Assistance Program called Transition Goals, Plans, Success (Transition GPS). The curriculum provides valuable assistance to transitioning service members exploring self-employment opportunities by leading them through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and the foundational knowledge required for developing a business plan. Participants are also introduced to SBA resources available to help access startup capital and additional technical assistance.
The proposed Boots to Business Post Course surveys will be online, voluntary surveys that enable the Boots to Business program office to capture data related but not limited to the effectiveness of all Boots to Business courses, quality of the instructors and materials, and number of small businesses created as a result of participating in Boots to Business. Boots to Business will send an initial survey via email to all course participants immediately following course completion to gain insight on the quality of the program. Every 6 months following course completion, a follow up survey will be sent to all participants to measure participant outcomes as we link course effectiveness to the creation of veteran owned small businesses. Participants will be surveyed twice a year for 5 years following course completion to allow time for business creation.
The July 9 FEDERAL REGISTER notice offers additional background and outlines the process for obtaining the collection and submitting comments.
Department of Education Seeks Comment on EDFacts Data Collection for Upcoming School Years
EDFacts is a U.S. Department of Education initiative to collect, analyze, report on and promote the use of high-quality, pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (pre-K-12) performance data for use in education planning, policymaking, and management and budget decision making to improve outcomes for students.
EDFacts enables the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to report on students, schools, staff, services, and education outcomes at the state, district, and school levels, by centralizing data provided by state education agencies, local education agencies, and schools. This centralized approach provides ED users with the ability to efficiently analyze and report on submitted data and has reduced the reporting burden for state and local data producers through the use of streamlined data collection, analysis, and reporting tools
The Department of Education has published a July 9 request for comment on this proposed data collection for School Years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
Click here for the July 9 notice with information on obtaining the collection and submitting comments. Comments are due by September 8.
This collection package will be available for public comment during two open periods, a 60 day and a 30 day, and revisions will be made accordingly. This submission includes a few proposed changes to the EDFacts data collection. In addition to reviewing the proposed changes (detailed in Attachment C and the B Attachments), ED requests that SEAs and other stakeholders respond to the directed questions found in Attachment D.
Healthcare Sector: U.S. Nurses Encouraged to Respond to National Workforce Research Survey
The National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers is a national group of nurse workforce entities that focus on addressing the nursing shortage within each state and contribute to the national effort to assure an adequate supply of qualified nurses to meet the health needs of the U.S. population. The Forum shares information in three major ways: through publications, via annual conferences, and by way of a virtual network located at http://NursingWorkforceCenters.org. The Forum has published this July 8 advisory:
Approximately 260,000 nurses in the U.S. will receive a survey from National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and The National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers in the month of July. All nurses who receive the survey are strongly encouraged to respond as quickly and completely as possible to enable NCSBN and The National Forum to construct an accurate description of the current nursing workforce.
The 2015 survey targets both registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs). Selected nurses were drawn as a nationally-representative sample of the more than 4.5 million RNs and LPN/VNs currently licensed in the U.S.
Nurses who receive the survey will be able to respond via return mail or a survey website. The aggregated responses will comprise the national nursing workforce dataset, which will be analyzed by NCSBN and The National Forum researchers. Results will be published in the April 2016 edition of the "Journal of Nursing Regulation."
This study is the only national-level survey in the U.S. specifically focused on the nursing workforce. Survey respondents have a unique opportunity to contribute information that is critical to a comprehensive understanding of the supply of nurses in the country. Accurate data on the nursing workforce is vital to predicting potential shortages and assisting in the allocation of resources, program development and recruitment efforts in the health care and education sectors.
Results of the 2015 survey will be especially valuable in light of expanding demand for nursing services, including primary care for the millions of newly insured under the Affordable Care Act, the growing population of aging Americans, and the advance of technologies that provide virtual access to health care providers.
2015 Amendment to Opening Doors Reaffirms Federal Commitment to End Youth Homelessness
July 6 advisory:
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) in June released a new amendment to the nation's plan to prevent and end homelessness. The June release updates Opening Doors, the roadmap first laid out in 2010, to guide the nation in its work to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.
The Family and Youth Services Bureau's Runaway and Homeless Youth Program promotes the Opening Doors goal of preventing and ending homelessness for families, youth, and children by 2020. The 2015 amendment includes several youth-focused strategies first introduced by the council in 2012 to:
- Better understand youth homelessness
- Create a base of knowledge on what works to help homeless youth
- Improve young people's access to emergency help, housing, and support
Evaluation of the Young Parents Demonstration Program: ETA Proposes Reinstatement (with Change) of the Supporting Data Collection
The Employment and Training Administration is soliciting comments concerning the information collection request (ICR) to collect data for the Evaluation of the Young Parents Demonstration Program (YPDP).
The proposed reinstatement with change of information collection is for an evaluation of the YPDP. The YPDP is sponsored by ETA to test innovative strategies that can improve the skills and education of young parents and, ultimately their employment and earnings.
The YPDP grantees are required to develop a ``bump-up' intervention providing an additional level of services above and beyond the existing services currently provided that are specifically intended to increase an individual's education, job training and employment. A key factor in the bump-up design is having a single, persistent intervention for the treatment group that is substantially different from what the control group receives. Each of the grantees is implementing one of the following two bump-up interventions:
Mentoring Models -- Intensive professional staff mentoring specifically for education, employment, and training; and specifically for pregnant and parenting teens and young parents; or
Employment/Education/Training Models -- Guided employment, education, training and related supports specifically for pregnant and parenting teens and young parents.
Individuals enrolling in YPDP have a 50/50 chance of receiving this additional level of services. Those individuals not receiving the bump-up services receive the existing services offered by the grantee.
To evaluate the YPDP bump-up interventions, we will compare the education, employment, and other outcomes for the two groups over various points in time. The evaluation will estimate the success in providing educational and occupational skills training that fosters family economic self-sufficiency to young parents (both mothers and fathers) and expectant parents ages 16-24.
The July 8 FEDERAL REGISTER provides additional background, and instructions for obtaining the collection and submitting comments. Comments are due by September 8, 2015.
Census Bureau Proposes Modifications to the "Business and Professional Classification Report Survey"
The Census Bureau conducts the Business and Professional Classification Report survey (SQ-CLASS) to collect information from new businesses to obtain proper industry classification for use in economic surveys and the Economic Census. The survey, conducted quarterly, samples businesses with newly assigned Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Businesses can only be selected once for the survey. The survey collects data about a business in such areas as: Primary business activity, company structure, size, and business operations. This information is used to update the sampling frame for current business surveys, which ensures high quality economic estimates. Additionally, by ensuring proper industry classification, this survey reduces burden for the businesses in the five-year Economic Census, as the questions in the census are tailored to the industry in which the business operates.
In a July 8 FEDERAL REGISTER notice, the Bureau notes proposed modifications to the SQ-CLASS:
- The major change in this survey will be the way respondents report their primary business activity. In the past, respondents provided a brief description of their primary business activity. Respondents will now choose the economic sector of their business and then select from a list of business activities. If the respondent does not see their business activity listed, then they will provide a brief description of their business activity. This is the same methodology that the Census Bureau uses in the Economic Census to assign industry classification.
- Additionally, there will no longer be a paper form on which to report. Respondents can report over the Internet or by telephone. However, we will work with the individual respondents if reporting on the Internet or by telephone presents difficulties.
- Minimal changes will be made to the wording and organization of existing questions and instructions.
Comments are due by September 8. Click here for additional background and instructions for submitting comments.
Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Scott Handmaker, Chief, Classification Processing Branch, U.S. Census Bureau, 8K149, Washington, DC 20233, Telephone 301-763-7107; Email: Scott.P.Handmaker@census.gov.
GAO Releases Results from Forum Focusing on Financial Education in the Workplace
Americans today confront an array of challenges in their efforts to achieve and maintain financial security. Financial literacy—the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively—has thus become increasingly important. Experts have identified the workplace as a potentially effective venue for providing financial education and helping individuals improve their financial decision making.
On March 17, 2015, the General Accountability Office (GAO) convened a select group of leaders and experts for a forum focusing on financial education in the workplace. The participants discussed
- the role of the employer in promoting financial literacy,
- the effectiveness of such efforts,
- how best to serve low-income and other underserved populations, and the federal government’s role in supporting these efforts.
Participants at the forum included:
Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration U.S. Department of Labor
Debra Golding , Deputy Director, Consumer and Compliance Outreach and Education U.S. Department of Labor
Nation's Governors to Meet July 23 – 25 in West Virginia; Colorado Governor’s Chair Initiative under Discussion; Education and Workforce Committee to Discuss Career Pathways
Governors from across the country will gather in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, July 23-25, for the National Governors Association (NGA) Summer Meeting to discuss innovative work in states in several areas, including effective and efficient government, jobs, tourism, health care and education. Through NGA, governors share best practices, speak with a collective voice on national policy and develop innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.
On Friday, governors will begin with a news conference at which the NGA chair, vice chair and host governor will highlight the weekend’s events and governors’ collective priorities. Following a governors-only business session, governors will meet in a session that will highlight NGA Chair Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s chair’s initiative, Delivering Results .
This initiative focuses on streamlining state government operations to deliver people better results. It centers on three core elements:
- Hiring the best and the brightest leadership team;
- Adopting innovative performance improvement practices that use data and evidence to drive results; and
- Improving regulations and requirements so they protect the public while also making it easy to work with state government and without impeding economic growth.
"Delivering Result"? is about transforming state government to make it work efficiently and effectively in delivering services," Gov. Hickenlooper said. "Across the country, governors are cutting bureaucratic red tape and making government work better for people and businesses. I''m excited to showcase some of those examples at the opening session."
Saturday morning begins with a governors-only business session, followed by a joint session of the Health and Human Services and Homeland Security and Public Safety Committees, where governors will examine actions to address the nation'opioid crisis. After a governors-only lunch, the Education and Workforce Committee will look at career pathways.
Official business will conclude with a session about health care transformation. Governors will be joined by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
NIST Seeks Comment on Its Plan for Providing Public Access to the Results of Federally-Funded Research
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks comments on the NIST Plan for Providing Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research (NIST Public Access Plan). NIST is taking steps to make its scientific data and publications more readily available and accessible by the public, as directed in several recent White House memoranda. The NIST Public Access Plan applies to the results of research funded wholly or in part by NIST, presented in peer-reviewed scholarly publications and as research data. The NIST Public Access Plan was reviewed by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget; they approved it on December 4, 2014. Comments received on the NIST Public Access Plan will inform NIST as it revises its directives that implement the Plan.
Comments must be received by August 21, 2015 to be considered.
ATD Announces Survey to Gauge Training Investments, Expenditures, Practices and Outcomes across Industry Types and Organization Sizes; Requests Input by July 25 from Participating Firms
July 7 advisory from the Association for Talent Development to employers may be of interest to the public workforce community
Thank you for your willingness to submit your organizational data to ATD for inclusion in the 2015 State of the Industry report. It is only because of your participation that ATD is able to effectively measure and report critical training and development industry metrics including investments, expenditures, practices, and outcomes, across industry types and organization sizes. If you are not the appropriate person in your organization to provide this data, please share this request with your organization’s Chief Talent Development Officer or equivalent.
ATD Research handles participant data with strict confidence and sensitivity. The State of the Industry reports data in aggregates and averages that do not identify participating organizations or organization specific data.
We understand that collecting this data may take time. For your reference, here is the 2015 State of the Industry survey worksheet to assist you in collecting the metrics. It is important for ATD to capture as many data points as possible from your company, so please make every effort to fill this out as completely as possible.
Deadline for completing survey: July 25, 2015
Please contact ATD Research at email@example.com. if you have any questions about the State of the Industry report.
O*NET 20.0 Database Release Scheduled for August 11
The Occupational Information Network Resource Center has provided an advance notice that the O*NET 20.0 database will be available for download from the O*NET Resource Center on August 11th. Beginning on that date, it will also serve as the production database for our web applications ( O*NET OnLine , O*NET Code Connector , My Next Move, My Next Move for Veterans and Mi Pr''Oximo Paso ).
HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on Proposed New Information Collection - Goal-Oriented Adult Learning in Self-Sufficiency Study
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is proposing a data collection activity as part of the Goal-Oriented Adult Learning in Self-Sufficiency (GOALS) study. The purpose of the GOALS project is to address the nexus between the growing knowledge base in the psychological sciences and long-standing approaches to self-sufficiency programs targeted to adults and young adults. The project will explore the programmatic implications of existing research on psychological processes associated with goal-directed behaviors, including socio-emotional regulation and cognitive skills, executive functioning, and related areas. The project will synthesize current research on these topics; address how insights gained from research can be used to promote economic advancement among low-income populations, identify promising strategies, or strengthen underlying skills in these areas; and inform measurement of changes and developments in skill acquisition.
The proposed information collection activity consists of exploratory calls with program directors and administrators, semi-structured interviews with key program staff and community partner organization staff, and focus group discussions with program participants. ACF seeks to gain an in-depth, systematic understanding of program administration and implementation, service delivery and operation, outputs and outcomes, and identify promising practices and other areas for further study.
The July 1 FEDERAL REGISTER has complete background and instructions for obtaining a copy of the data collection and submitting comments. ACF notes: "Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of (today''s) publication."
Department of Education Proposes Project Extension for Current Native American Career and Technical Education Programs
The Department of Education has published its intentions with respect to grant support for the Native American Career and Technical Education Program.
The Department of Education notes, in part:
For the 24-month projects funded in fiscal year (FY) 2013 under the Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP), the Secretary of Education waives the requirements that generally prohibit project period extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. The Secretary also extends the project periods of these grants for up to an additional 24 months. This enables the current NACTEP grantees to request and continue to receive Federal funding annually in FY 2015 and FY 2016 for project periods through FY 2016 and possibly through FY 2017.
Click here for the July 6 notice which provides an analysis of the 22 comments received on this statement of intent. Additional excerpts:
NACTEP, as authorized by section 116(a) through (g) of the Perkins Act, supports grants to federally recognized Indian tribes, tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities and eligible Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools to improve career and technical education programs that benefit Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. On February 26, 2013, we published in the Federal Register (78 FR 13030) a notice inviting applications for NACTEP grants (2013 NIA). Although in previous NACTEP competitions the Secretary invited applications with a proposed project period of five years, in anticipation of congressional reauthorization of the Perkins Act, in the FY 2013 competition, the Department invited applications with proposed project periods of only two years. The project period for the current 31 NACTEP grantees is scheduled to end in FY 2015.
Because there is the potential for changes in the Perkins Act for NACTEP beyond FY 2015, we do not believe it is in the public interest to hold a new NACTEP competition in FY 2015 for projects that may then operate for just one year, or to announce a competition under which eligible entities would be expected to proceed through the application preparation and submission process while lacking critical information about the future of the program. Further, we do not think that it is in the public interest to have a lapse in the services currently provided by the NACTEP grantees.
For these reasons, the Secretary waives the requirements of 34 CFR 75.261(a) and (c)(2) that generally prohibit project extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds and extends the NACTEP project periods for up to 24 months. The waiver and extension will allow the current NACTEP grantees to request and continue to receive Federal funding annually for project periods through FY 2016 and possibly through FY 2017. We will fund the extended project period by using funds appropriated for FY 2015 or FY 2016, depending on whether the grants are extended for one or two years. Any activities carried out during the period of a NACTEP continuation award will have to be consistent with, or a logical extension of, the scope, goals, and objectives of the grantee’s application as approved in the FY 2013 NACTEP competition.
Veterans' Data Exchange Initiative: Department of Labor to Announce New System of Records
The Department of Labor has published a July 6 FEDERAL REGISTER notice announcing a new system of records, notifying the public of a forty day comment period. Click here for the display/docket version. The system of records is scheduled to go into effect fifty-five days after the publication date.
The proposed new system is entitled DOL/VETS-5, Veterans’ Data Exchange Initiative (VDEI) This system contains records related to Exiting Service Members (ESMs) participating in the United States Department of Defense (DOD) Pre-separation Counseling of the Transition Assistance Program.
SBA Announces Intention to Fund Small Business Development Centers
On July 1, 2015, the Small Business Administration has published two FEDERAL REGISTER notices regarding its intentions to fund Small Business Development Centers.
Additional background on Small Business Development Centers:
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide a wide array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs supporting business performance and sustainability and enhancing the creation of new businesses entities. These small businesses in turn foster local and regional economic development through job creation and retention as a result of the extensive one-on-one long-term counseling, training and specialized services they receive from the SBDCs. The SBDCs are made up of a unique collaboration of SBA, state and local governments, and private sector funding resources.
SBDCs provide clients with professional business assistance regarding business plans, market research, financial preparation packages, cash flow, and procurement contracts. Special emphasis areas include: Manufacturing; international trade and export assistance; e-commerce; technology transfer; assistance for veterans, both active duty and personnel returning from deployment; disaster recovery assistance; IRS, EPA, and OSHA regulatory compliance; as well as research and development. Based on client needs, business trends and individual business requirements, SBDCs modify their services to meet the evolving needs through more than 900 local service delivery points across the nation and all U.S. Territories.
SBDCs deliver these services to small business concerns using an effective education network of 63 Lead Centers reaching out to both rural and urban areas, serving entrepreneurs of all types throughout a state or region. SBDCs can be found in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. SBDCs provide professional business counseling free of charge along with low cost training.
To reach the millions of small businesses across the U.S., SBDC assistance is available virtually anywhere: from rural circuit riders in Alaska to marine services in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Many centers are located within or are co-located with: Local economic development entities; chambers of commerce; Department of Defense's Procurement Technical Assistance Centers; the Department of Commerce's Manufacturing Extension Partnership sites; and community colleges. Some SBDCs also have International Trade Centers and some are classified by a special emphasis on Technology.
Lead Center SBDCs hosts include:
48 University-sponsored Lead SBDCs
2 SBDC locations are located at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Howard University in Washington, DC and the University of the Virgin Islands, U.S.V.I.).
8 Community college-sponsored Lead SBDCs ( Dallas-TX, UT, OR, NM, AZ, San Diego-CA, Los Angeles, CA, and American Samoa)
7 State-sponsored Lead SBDCs (CO, IL, IN, MN, MT, OH, & WV).
DirectEmployers Association Reports on Job Opening Growth
June 30 advisory from the DirectEmployers Association
New data from the National Labor Exchange (NLx) shows an increasing number of available and distinct job openings across the nation in 2015. An employer driven tool and partnership between DirectEmployers Association and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), the NLx has provided over 50 million distinct job postings to job seekers, since January 2009. In March, the average daily number of NLx job openings jumped to 2.1 million from 1.7 million where it had hovered during the fourth quarter of 2014.
The NLx collects and distributes job openings exclusively provided by over 350,000 employers on a daily basis. All job postings are active, unduplicated and have been vetted for authenticity. The bulk of NLx job postings originate from over 20,000 corporate career center websites indexed daily by DirectEmployers, as well as from thousands of small and medium sized employers who post their job openings directly with the publicly-funded workforce system.
"The NLx provides the best information on screened job vacancies in real time to job seekers. This has made the NLx a cost-effective and efficient labor exchange tool for our members in their mission to connect employers with job seekers," said Scott B. Sanders, Executive Director, NASWA.
Since the jobs are collected on a daily basis and the system only searches websites where the original job was posted (either the company''s website or the state job bank) the entire body of jobs on the NLx are distinct and currently available, addressing a common frustration among online job seekers of duplicate, expired or scam job postings. In addition to providing the "cleanest" large job search platforms in the United States, when a job seeker discovers a job opening from the NLx–either on US.jobs , any of the 40,000 .JOBS network sites or a state job bank - they are returned to the point of origin of the job: either the employer's career website or the state workforce agency. This addresses another common frustration of requiring job seekers to provide their personal information to third parties.
"The success seen by our partnership is due to the collaborative efforts of NASWA, our state partners and the Members of DirectEmployers," said Bill Warren, Executive Director of DirectEmployers Association. "This collective effort has helped mold the NLx into what it is today - a trusted and unparalleled job portal that gives job seekers a faster connection to authentic jobs."
Established in 2007, the NLx is a public-private partnership aiming to collect all available, real job openings appearing on the internet. Unlike other job aggregators, the NLx does not include duplicate job content because its information is only acquired directly from an employer's corporate career site or a state job bank. This results in a better overall job seekers experience and a faster connection to authentic job openings. Additional measures, such as a freshly updated jobs and the employer validation process, have helped to make the NLx a trusted source by both job seekers and employers alike.
Department of Education Seeks Comment on New Data Collection - 'Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey Standards and Survey Form"
The Department of Education has proposed a new data collection -- Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) Standards and Survey Form.
The Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is required by regulation to develop an earnings survey to support gainful employment (GE) program evaluations. The regulations specify that the Secretary of Education will publish in the Federal Register the survey and the standards required for its administration. NCES has developed the Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES) Standards and Survey Form. The RGEES can be used in a debt-to-earnings (D/E) ratio appeal under the GE regulations as an alternative to the Social Security administration earnings data.
Institutions that choose to submit alternate earnings appeal information will survey all Title IV funded students who graduated from GE programs during the same period that the Department used to calculate the D/E ratios, or a comparable period as defined in 668.406(b)(3) of the regulations. The survey will provide an additional source of earnings data for the Department to consider before determining final D/E ratios for programs subject to the gainful employment regulations. Programs with final D/E ratios that fail to meet the minimum threshold may face sanctions, including the possible loss of Title IV federal student financial aid program funds.
Comments are due by August 29.
Administration Invites Communities to Participate in 'Local Foods, Local Places'; Wide Spectrum of Federal Partners (USDA, CDC, EPA, DOT, ARC and DRA) Support Initiative to Boost Local Economies
On June 30, the Obama Administration invited communities to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing direct technical support to build strong local food systems as part of a community''s emerging economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, public health, environmental, and regional economic experts will work directly with local communities to spur local economic growth and improve the quality of life for all residents.
Local food sales topped $11.7 billion in 2014 according to industry estimates, underscoring the economic benefit that a local food system can offer a community. As part of today's announcement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an updated state-by-state "Made in Rural America" report illustrating the impact of USDA's investments in rural communities, including local food. USDA has invested more than $800 million in more than 29,100 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects over the past six years.
"These state by state analyses reaffirm that local food is rapidly growing from a niche market to an integrated system recognized for its economic boost to communities across the country," said Secretary Vilsack. "Local food creates new market opportunities for farmers, brings fresh meals into schools and other institutions, expands healthy food access to underserved communities, and builds infrastructure needed to support ranchers and other meat processors. By investing in projects at the local level, this Administration is encouraging growth in this sector and creating new opportunities for families who live in rural America."
This is the second year of the Local Foods, Local Places program. In 2014, 26 rural and urban communities participated in the program to create year-round, downtown markets featuring foods from local farmers; establish retail outlets to help revitalize small-town main streets; build centrally located community kitchens or food hubs to aggregate and market local foods; support business incubators to help entrepreneurs start food-related businesses on main streets; enhance public spaces for people to walk or bicycle to farmers markets and local restaurants; assist schoolchildren to grow their own food and make healthy local food accessible to families, including via SNAP benefits; and develop community gardens in walkable, transit-accessible places.
Technical support teams through Local Foods, Local Places helped Osceola, Arkansas (pop 7,700) develop a new health foods cooking curriculum for the local school district, create a plan for a new downtown farmers market and implement infrastructure improvement efforts; guided North Little Rock, Arkansas (population 62,000) to enhance the livability of an emerging neighborhood though a new food hub; and worked with Wheeling, West Virginia (pop 28,000) to revitalize underused property into a community orchard, multi-use food facility, and a mobile market.
Local Foods, Local Places is a partnership between USDA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Transportation (DoT), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). The effort is part of the White House Rural Council's "Rural Impact" effort to improve quality of life and upward mobility for kids and families in rural and tribal communities. Together, the agencies are investing $800,000 to support this round of assistance. Application guidelines and deadlines are available on line.
Since 2009, USDA has invested in 29,100 food hubs, small scale processing, farmers market and other opportunities in local food across all 50 states and the US territories. This includes USDA investments in the local food sector through over 12,000 microloans, smaller loans of up to $50,000 for small-scale producers who often sell products locally; and over 13,000 high tunnels, low-cost covered structures that extend the growing season and make locally-grown products available later into the year.
Among the top ten states with federally funded local food projects are Kentucky, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Minnesota, West Virginia, Iowa, and Michigan. Five of these states (Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and West Virginia) are part USDA's StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity which coordinates USDA assistance in the Nation's most economically challenged rural areas.
Many of these projects can be found on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. Searchable by state, zip code, project type and funding program, the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass maps federal local food investments made by USDA and 10 other federal agencies between fiscal years 2009-2013. The Compass is part of the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative. Secretary Vilsack has identified local and regional food systems as one of the four pillars of rural economic development, along with production agriculture, the bio-based economy, and natural resources and conservation.
The state by state fact sheets are available at www.usda.gov/opportunities. Each state factsheet highlights specific USDA investments in local food as well investments in rural businesses, manufacturing, energy, water and other infrastructure development. They also outline how USDA is helping rural communities attract businesses and families by investing in housing and broadband.
MSHA Solicits Proposals for Education and Training Programs to Identify, Avoid, and Prevent Unsafe Working Conditions in and around Mines
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), is making $1,000,000 available in grant funds for education and training programs to help identify, avoid, and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around mines. The focus of these grants for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 will be on training and training materials for mine emergency preparedness and mine emergency prevention for all underground mines. Applicants for the grants may be States and nonprofit (private or public) entities, including U.S. territories, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities, Indian-controlled organizations serving Indians, and Native Hawaiian organizations.
MSHA will award no more than 20 grants. The amount of each individual grant will be at least $50,000.00 and the maximum individual award will be $250,000. A June 29 FEDERAL REGISTER notice contains all of the information needed to apply for grant funding.
Beta Release of National Quality Workforce Indicators (QWIs)
The Census Bureau has recently reported that a beta release of National Quarterly Workforce Indicators (NQWI) is now available. This first national, rather than state-level, release of the QWI provides a consistent reference point for users of the QWI. Also provided are rates and new variability measures that preview future enhancements to the state-level QWI. More detailed statistics will be available in future releases, including firm-age and firm-size tabulations, race and ethnicity tabulations, and tabulations at the NAICS3 level.
For more information, see the National QWI Data Page at http://lehd.ces.census.gov/data/qwi_national_beta.html.
Please send feedback on this Beta release to CES.QWI.Feedback@census.gov..
Department of Labor Awards $80 Million to Help Unemployment Insurance Beneficiaries through Improved Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments
The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $80 million to workforce agencies - in 44 states and in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia - to provide re-employment and eligibility assessments. The funds will also implement the new Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments program.
The grants will fund services such as in-person assessments at American Job Centers. These assessments of eligible claimants include the following:
- Development of an individual re-employment plan
- Access to labor market information specific to the individual's location, job skills and employment prospects
- A complete review of the claimant's eligibility for UI benefits
- Referrals to re-employment services or training at American Job Center
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded grants through this initiative for 11 years. Alabama and Arkansas are receiving a grant to implement an RESEA program for the first time, while additional funds will continue programs in the other states to continue their programs through 2015.
For the first time these grants will be available to fund reemployment services for these beneficiaries. States will be transitioning to a new, targeted population during 2015 and will begin serving claimants who are identified as most likely to exhaust their UI benefits and claimants receiving Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members.
Recent evaluations of the program have shown that Reemployment Assessments reduce the number of weeks claimants seek UI benefits by expediting the re-employment of UI claimants. Information about the positive impact and effectiveness of REAs can be found in a report by Impaq International LLC. An additional evaluation is currently underway in four participating states and results are expected to be available in 2016.
EDA Seeks Comment on the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
In order to receive investment assistance under the Economic Development Administration’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment programs, applicants must undertake a planning process that results in a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). A CEDS also is a prerequisite for a region's designation by EDA as an Economic Development District (EDD).
The CEDS planning process and resulting CEDS is designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. It is a key component in establishing and maintaining a robust economic ecosystem by helping to build regional capacity (through hard and soft infrastructure) that contributes to individual, firm, and community success. This collection of information is required to insure that recipients of EDA funds understand and are able to comply with EDA's CEDS requirements.
EDA seeks an extension of the CEDS regular submission. Comments are due to the Office of Management and Budget by July 30.
Click here for additional background, burden hour estimates, and instructions for the submission of comments.
Cybersecurity: National Science Foundation Announces Funding Opportunity under the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service; Recipients to Work for Government after Matriculation
Cybersecurity is arguably one of the most important challenges confronting society in the information age. Neither governments nor individuals are exempt from the ravages of malicious cyber acts upon imperfect technologies. Posing cyber conflict solely in terms of classic attackers and defenders understates the diversity and subtlety of the motivations, incentives, ethics, asymmetries, and strategies of the constituent actors in cyberspace. The intelligent adversary, whether human or software, learns and evolves to exploit, disrupt, and overpower. Addressing this challenge requires a coordinated multi-disciplinary approach, contributing to the body of knowledge on cybersecurity in multiple disciplines, and leading to practical, deployable technologies. These efforts require an innovative and efficient cybersecurity education system that will create an unrivaled cybersecurity workforce critical to US national security, continued economic growth and future technological innovation in secure cyberspace.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced on June 29 that it is welcoming proposals proposals that address cybersecurity education and workforce development. The CyberCorps(R) Scholarship for Service (SFS) provides funding to institutions for awarding scholarships to students in cybersecurity. In return for their scholarships, recipients will work after graduation for a Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government organization in a position related to cybersecurity for a period equal to the length of the scholarship. A proposing institution must provide clearly documented evidence of a strong existing academic program in cybersecurity. Such evidence can include: designation by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD), in Cyber Operations or in Research (CAE-R); a specialized designation by a nationally recognized organization (for example, in forensics); or equivalent evidence documenting a strong program in cybersecurity. The Capacity Track seeks innovative proposals leading to an increase in the ability of the United States higher education enterprise to produce cybersecurity professionals.
NSF has identified $27 Million for an estimated 20 to 30 awards (10-15 Scholarship Track awards and 10-15 Capacity Building Track awards).
Universities and four-year colleges accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Community colleges are eligible only as sub-awardees of the partnering 4-year SFS institution'''s Scholarship Track award as described in the Program Description section.
Click here for additional background on the PFS and the application requirements.
Executive Order 13697--Amendment to Executive Order 11155, Awards for Special Capability in Career and Technical Education
June 22, 2015
Amendment to Executive Order 11155, Awards for Special Capability in Career and Technical Education By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered that section 2 of Executive Order 11155 of May 23, 1964, as amended by Executive Order 12158 of September 18, 1979, is further amended by adding a new paragraph (6) to read as follows:
``(6) In addition to the Presidential Scholars provided for in paragraphs (3), (4), and (5) of this section, the Commission may choose other Presidential Scholars not exceeding twenty in any one year. These Scholars shall be chosen at large, from the jurisdictions referred to in paragraph (3), on the basis of outstanding scholarship and demonstrated ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.'
ETA Publishes Thirty-Day Notice for the 'Work Opportunity Tax Credit and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit"
The Employment and Training Administration has published the thirty-day notice for the Thirty-Day Notice for the "Work Opportunity Tax Credit and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit" in the June 24 FEDERAL REGISTER.
The Office of Management and Budget will consider all written comments received by July 30.
This information collection seeks to extend PRA authority for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit information collection. This submission includes five program forms:
(1) a reporting form, ETA-9058;
(2) two processing forms, ETA-9061 English and Spanish versions and ETA-9062;
(3) and two administrative forms, ETA-9063 and ETA-9065.
A State Workforce Agency (SWA) prepares Form ETA-9058 to report information on processing WOTC certification requests by target groups to the ETA. An employer uses Form ETA-9061 or ETA-9062 together with Form IRS-8850 to request certification for new hires. A SWA uses information from the two forms to verify target group eligibility and process the employer's requests. A SWA uses Form ETA-9063 to issue a final certification to an eligible employer or its representative and ETA Form 9065 in an internal quarterly administrative audit.
The June 24 notice provides additional background and contains instructions for obtaining a copy of the collection and filing comments.
HUD Seeks OMB Approval of Its "Pay for Success Demonstration Application"
HUD announced on June 24 that it is seeking OMB approval of its proposed information collection – the Pay for Success Demonstration Application.
HUD characterizes the request as "emergency" seeking public comments by July 1.
The information to be collected will be used to rate applications, to determine eligibility for the PFS Demonstration and to establish grant amounts. Applicants, which must be public or private nonprofit organizations, will respond to narrative prompts to demonstrate their experience and expertise in PFS financing and to describe their intended program design, both for PFS Demonstration activities, such as conducting a feasibility assessment and structuring a PFS transaction, as well as deal implementation activities, such as administering a PSH intervention, tracking outcomes, and making success payments.
National Fund for Workforce Solutions/Business Leaders United Hosts Employer Peer-to-Peer Learning Day
Business Leaders United (BLU) for Workforce Partnerships is comprised of employers from a range of industries who are concerned about our nation's skills gap, who are working with local partners to train and hire community residents for skilled jobs, and who want our country's policymakers to follow suit and invest, aggressively and effectively, in the skills of America's workers. BLU seeks to create a common platform from which these diverse business leaders can jointly communicate to national policymakers, the press and the American public about the effective industry-based strategies they've developed which could serve as models for a more comprehensive national skills policy.
The National Skills Coalition's website contains this June 23 post:
Employers were the headliners for an entire day at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions fifth annual meeting last Thursday. BLU was thrilled to co-sponsor NFWS's first employer peer-to-peer learning day. More than 130 employers participated in 20 employer-focused and employer-led workshops to share practices that are working in the field.
The morning began with a brief history of BLU from Michael Tamasi, BLU Executive Committee chairman and owner of AccuRounds. Mike expressed the critical need for employers to engage in closing the technical skill gap through policy advocacy and by sharing successful local efforts with each other.
"Without your efforts, we will continue to have open jobs even though there are individuals who want to work, but are unemployed,"? Tamasi said.
Throughout the day, employers participated in open discussions on a number of topics, including apprenticeships, employer roles in public policy, credentials, and making time for workforce development.
During his session on retaining entry-level workers, Karl Robinson, President of R&R Transportation, noted that "for employers to attain single digit turnover, you have to train your workers and make sure they understand that you want them to succeed."
Karl was one of more than 20 current BLU employer partners who participated as speakers at the breakout sessions.
The employer-focused day was a terrific opportunity to learn from some of the most creative and successful employers that are making the workforce system work for them. Beyond the employers, more than 325 providers also in attendance were able to learn directly from those who are most intimately in touch with working in the field.
In addition to BLU's advocacy in the states and on the hill, peer-to-peer learning is an important component of BLU's work and our partnership with NFWS enabled us to facilitate a more formal conversation.
HUD Announces Finalists in the National Disaster Resilience Competition
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced this week that 40 states and local communities will compete in the second and final phase of HUD's National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). Aligned closely with a companion education and technical assistance effort by the Rockefeller Foundation, HUD's competition is designed to help states and local communities recover from past disasters while improving their ability to withstand future extreme events through strategic community investments.
In Phase 2, each finalist is invited to propose specific projects that advance their community's comprehensive resilience plans, as envisioned in Phase 1. Selected projects will be funded from a total pool of nearly $1 billion. $181 million is set aside for projects in New York and New Jersey. The maximum grant award available at the end of Phase 2 will be $500 million and the minimum will be $1 million.
The deadline for Phase 2 applications will be October 27, 2015. All successful applicants will be required to tie their proposals back to the eligible disaster from which they are recovering. For example, a community that suffered a flood might want to offer buyouts to property owners in the most impacted and distressed areas, coupled with restoration of a wetland to limit future flooding and provide a nature preserve or recreation area. A community that lost housing and a road during a mudslide might want to construct housing in safer areas for survivors, while also making infrastructure investments that support a more diverse and vibrant economy to help impacted businesses recover from the effects of the last event and bounce back more quickly from future hazards. HUD will announce the winners of Phase 2 in early 2016.
Manufacturing Sector: GAO Issues Report on Additive Manufacturing (Opportunities, Challenges, Policy Considerations)
Additive manufacturing has the potential to fundamentally change the production and distribution of goods. Unlike conventional or subtractive manufacturing processes, such as drilling, which create a part by cutting away material, additive manufacturing builds a part using a layer-by-layer process. Additive manufacturing has been used as a design and prototyping tool, but the focus of additive manufacturing is now shifting to the direct production of functional parts— parts that accomplish one or more functions, such as medical implants or aircraft engine parts—that are ready for distribution and sale.
On October 15-16, 2014, GAO, with the assistance of the National Academies, convened a forum to discuss the use of additive manufacturing to directly produce functional parts, including its (1) opportunities, (2) key challenges, and (3) key considerations for any policy actions that could affect its future use. Forum participants included officials from government, business, academia, and nongovernmental organizations that were selected to represent a range of viewpoints and backgrounds.
On June 24, the GAO issued a report that summarizes the ideas and themes that emerged during the forum and the collective discussions of the forum participants. This report does not necessarily represent the views of the organizations whose representatives participated in the forum, including GAO. Participants were given the opportunity to comment on a draft of this report and their technical comments were incorporated, as appropriate.
What Participants Said
Forum participants identified many opportunities for using additive manufacturing— also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing—to produce functional parts and discussed benefits that have been realized in the medical, aerospace, and defense sectors. For example, they said that the medical industry is using additive manufacturing to produce customized prosthetics and implants, including cranial implants (see fig.). Because it is made specifically for a patient, the part results in a better fit, which leads to a better medical outcome. In the aerospace industry, participants said additive manufacturing was used to design and produce a complex jet engine fuel nozzle as a single part, which will reduce assembly time and costs for the engine (see fig.). Participants identified some future applications of additive manufacturing including enhancing supply chain management. Overall, participants concluded that additive manufacturing will not replace conventional manufacturing, but rather it will be an additional tool for manufacturers to use when it is appropriate from a cost-benefit perspective.
Forum participants identified three broad groups of challenges in using additive manufacturing to produce functional parts: (1) ensuring product quality, (2) limited design tools and workforce skills, and (3) supporting increased production of functional parts. First, they identified challenges related to building quality parts, such as the need to improve the quality control of the additive manufacturing process. Second, they said that existing design and analytical tools combined with an insufficiently skilled workforce could limit the use of additive manufacturing and its ability to reach its potential for greater innovation. Finally, participants identified challenges that affect the increased production of functional parts, such as the need for an improved industrial infrastructure, including more robust supply chains of machines and materials.
Forum participants identified key considerations for potential federal policy actions that could affect the future use of additive manufacturing, including industry challenges, areas affected by additive manufacturing growth, and trade-offs. Although there was no consensus on specific policy actions needed and many participants suggested caution on potential government action, participants discussed several areas of potential government involvement, such as coordinating standards setting, considering risks for infringement of intellectual property rights with regard to additive manufacturing products, and encouraging a national dialogue about the government's role and its goals.