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(Oct 30 2014)   BLS Data Users Advisory Committee to Meet on November 12 with Redesign of Occupational Outlook Handbook and Occupational Outlook Quarterly on Agenda; Technical Advisory Committee to Meet on November 21 to Examine Internet Job Search and OES Program 
 
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(Oct 29 2014)   HHS/ACF Seeks Comments on Upcoming Report to Congress under the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act; Cites Requisite for Identification of Best Practices for Employment Support  
 
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(Oct 29 2014)   Secretary of Labor Announces Renewal of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Technical Advisory Committee 
 
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(Oct 28 2014)   NIH Awards $31 Million to Enhance Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce 
 
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(Oct 28 2014)   Department of Education Announces Final Rule to Strengthen Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program 
 
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(Oct 28 2014)   ETA Seeks Comments on the Unemployment Insurance State Quality Service Plan Planning and Reporting Guidelines 
 
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(Oct 28 2014)   BLS Technical Advisory Committee to Meet on November 21; Agenda Includes Examination of Internet Job Search in Measuring Unemployment in CPS, Redesign of Occupational Employment Statistics Program 
 
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(Oct 28 2014)   USDA Announces Rural Business Enterprise Grants 
 
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(Oct 28 2014)   Office of Naval Research Announces STEM Grant Opportunity 
 
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(Oct 28 2014)   Federal Funding Opportunities: HUD Publishes “General Section” with Requirements Applicable to All FY 2015 NOFAs 
 
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(Oct 28 2014)   HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on the Data Collection in Support of the State Plan for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
 
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(Oct 27 2014)   Department of Commerce Announce Membership of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 
 
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(Oct 27 2014)   Youth CareerConnect: ETA Proposes Data Collection in Support of an Impact and Implementation Evaluation 
 
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(Oct 27 2014)   Unemployment Insurance: ETA Proposes Regulation for the Occupations Requiring Regular Drug Testing 
 
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(Oct 27 2014)   ETA Announces Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship to Meet on November 18 - 19 
 
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(Oct 27 2014)   Manufacturing Communities Partnership Summit Scheduled for October 30 - 31 
 
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(Oct 23 2014)   New Research Center Established for U.S. Economy and Public Policy Issues 
 
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(Oct 23 2014)   HUD Seeks Comment on Information Collection in Support of the Strong Cities Strong Communities 
 
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(Oct 23 2014)   Assets and Opportunity Initiative Unveils Local Data Center 
 
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(Oct 22 2014)   Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Seeks Public Comment on Its 'Language Access Plan" for Persons with Limited English Proficiency 
 
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(Oct 22 2014)   BLS and OMB Seek Comment on Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 
 
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(Oct 22 2014)   National Crosswalk Service Center Announces Availability of Latest Annual Report 
 
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(Oct 21 2014)   Department of Education Seeks Public Comment on FERPA "E-Complaint" Form 
 
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(Oct 21 2014)   National Crosswalk Service Center Announces Availability of Latest Annual Report 
 
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(Oct 21 2014)   Coal Industry: EDA, NACo and NADO Support County and Regional Leaders in Economic Diversification; Plan Workshops on Economic Diversification in 2015 
 
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(Oct 21 2014)   HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on State Plan for Grants to States for Refugee Resettlement 
 
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(Oct 10 2014)   BLS and OMB Seek Comment on Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages 
 
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(Oct 10 2014)   National Big Data R&D: National Science Foundation Issues RFI 
 
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(Oct 9 2014)   HHS/ACF Announces Latest Funding under "Assets for Independence Program" 
 
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(Oct 9 2014)   ETA Issues Instructions on Senior Community Service Employment Program State Plan Modifications 
 
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(Oct 9 2014)   Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Grant Competition Application Instructions 
 

 

Description

 

BLS Data Users Advisory Committee to Meet on November 12 with Redesign of Occupational Outlook Handbook and Occupational Outlook Quarterly on Agenda; Technical Advisory Committee to Meet on November 21 to Examine Internet Job Search and OES Program


The Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. The meeting will be held in the Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, DC.

8:30 a.m. Registration 9:00 a.m. Commissioner's welcome and review of agency developments 9:45 a.m. Disease Based Concepts for Published Medical Statistics 11:00 a.m. Responding to Customers' needs: Redesigning the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Occupational Outlook Quarterly 1:30 p.m. Topics at a Glance 2:00 p.m. Measurement of household relationships in BLS statistical surveys 3:00 p.m. IT-related suggestions from the DOL/BLS media round-table 3:30 p.m. Feedback on the Office of Productivity's Users Guide 4:00 p.m. Update on perturbed data 4:30 p.m. Future topics and meeting wrap-up

The meeting is open to the public. Click here for additional background and instructions regarding attendance.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Technical Advisory Committee will meet on Friday, November 21, 2014. The open meeting will be held in the Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, DC. Click here for the full notice. The agenda will include:

How to Take Account of Internet Job Search in Measuring Unemployment in the Current Population Survey (CPS)

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Redesign: Sampling and Estimation

More …

 

HHS/ACF Seeks Comments on Upcoming Report to Congress under the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act; Cites Requisite for Identification of Best Practices for Employment Support


The Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services has requested public comments to inform its upcoming Report to Congress. The Report to Congress is required to be submitted no later than June 30, 2015 under Title III, Section 305 of H.R. 4980 (Pub. L. 113-183), Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014. The legislation was signed into law on September 29, 2014. This Request for Information offers the opportunity for interested individuals and organizations to provide input on specific Report requirements or other information that would be valuable to the Report development.

Comments must be received by December 22.

The October 23 FEDERAL REGISTER provides complete background and instructions for the submission of comments. Note that the Report to Congress must include, among other items:

  • Identification of best practices for determining which services and support programs available to custodial and noncustodial parents are non-duplicative, evidence-based, produce quality outcomes, and connect parents to those services and support programs.

  • Identification of best practices for providing employment support, job training, and job placement for custodial and noncustodial parents.
 

Secretary of Labor Announces Renewal of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Technical Advisory Committee


Through a notice in the October 27, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER, The Secretary of Labor has announced the renewal of a Federal Advisory Committee.

The Committee presents advice and makes recommendations to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on technical aspects of the collection and formulation of economic measures.

The Committee functions solely as an advisory body to the BLS, on technical topics selected by the BLS. Important aspects of the Committee's responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    Provide comments on papers and presentations developed by BLS research and program staff. The comments will advise BLS as to whether the academic community will regard the work as being technically sound and reflecting best practices in the relevant fields.

    Conduct research on issues identified by BLS on which an objective technical opinion or recommendation from outside of BLS would be valuable.

    Recommend BLS conduct internal research projects to address technical problems with BLS statistics that have been identified in the academic literature.

    Participate in discussions of areas where the types or coverage of economic statistics could be expanded or improved and areas where statistics are no longer relevant.

    Establish working relationships with professional associations with an interest in BLS statistics, such as the American Statistical Association and the American Economic Association.

 

NIH Awards $31 Million to Enhance Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce


The National Institutes of Health has announced the award of nearly $31 million in fiscal year 2014 funds to develop new approaches that engage researchers, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce. These awards are part of a projected five-year program to support more than 50 awardees and partnering institutions in establishing a national consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate approaches to encourage individuals to start and stay in biomedical research careers. Supported by the NIH Common Fund and all NIH 27 institutes and centers, 12 awards will be issued as part of three initiatives of the Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce program.

Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD): BUILD is a set of experimental training awards designed to learn how to attract students from diverse backgrounds into the biomedical research workforce and encourage them to become future contributors to the NIH-funded research enterprise. The 10 BUILD awardees will work with multiple partnering institutions. Some of these partnerships will enrich the pool of trainees from less research intensive institutions and others will provide robust research experiences for students and faculty.

The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN): The NRMN will be a nationwide network of mentors and mentees spanning all disciplines relevant to the NIH mission. NRMN will also develop best practices for mentoring, provide training opportunities for mentors, and provide professional opportunities for mentees. Within the NRMN, an extensive network of collaborating institutions and partners across the country will engage a robust network of mentors and mentees and pilot multiple approaches to mentoring.

The Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC): The CEC will coordinate consortium-wide activities and assess efficacy of the training and mentoring approaches developed by the BUILD and NRMN awardees. The CEC will develop short- and long-term measures of efficacy, allowing the consortium to continuously gather data and respond to emerging program needs.

For information about the BUILD, NRMN, and CEC awardees and partners, please visit http://commonfund.nih.gov/diversity/fundedresearch.

 

Department of Education Announces Final Rule to Strengthen Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program


The Department of Education has announced publication of a final rule to strengthen the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program today helping more students and families pay for college, and ensuring they have the tools and resources to make informed decisions about financing their educational pursuits. The new regulations will both expand student access to postsecondary education and safeguard taxpayer dollars by reflecting economic and programmatic changes that have occurred since the program was established more than 20 years ago.

More ...

 

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ETA Seeks Comments on the Unemployment Insurance State Quality Service Plan Planning and Reporting Guidelines


The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) today published the information collection request to extend Paperwork Reduction Act authority for the Unemployment Insurance State Quality Service Plan Planning and Reporting Guidelines (Reporting Form ETA-8623A, Employment and Training Handbook 336, 18th Edition).

The State Quality Service Plan (SQSP) represents an approach to the unemployment insurance (UI) performance management and planning process that allows for an exchange of information between Federal and State partners to enhance the ability of the program to reflect a joint commitment to performance excellence and client-centered services. As part of UI Performs, a comprehensive performance management system for the UI program, the SQSP is the principal vehicle that a State UI program uses to plan, record, and manage improvement efforts. Social Security Act section 302 authorizes this information collection. See 42 U.S.C. 502.

The current approval for this collection is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2014. ETA seeks to extend PRA authorization for this information collection for three (3) more years, without any change to existing requirements. ETA notes that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review.

Comments are due by November 20. Click here for today’s 30-day notice. Click here for the April 29, 2015 60-day notice.

 

BLS Technical Advisory Committee to Meet on November 21; Agenda Includes Examination of Internet Job Search in Measuring Unemployment in CPS, Redesign of Occupational Employment Statistics Program


The Bureau of Labor Statistics Technical Advisory Committee will meet on Friday, November 21, 2014. The open meeting will be held in the Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, DC. Click here for the full notice. The agenda:

8:30 a.m. Commissioner's welcome and review of agency developments

9:00 a.m. Adjusting Major Sector Productivity Industry Multifactor Productivity to Account for Changes in the Composition of Labor

10:45 a.m. Updates on topics from past committee meetings: Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) Undercount

How to Take Account of Internet Job Search in Measuring Unemployment in the Current Population Survey (CPS)

1:30 p.m. Discussion of future priorities

2:00 p.m. Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Redesign: Sampling and Estimation

4:00 p.m. Approximate conclusion

 

USDA Announces Rural Business Enterprise Grants


The Department of Agriculture has announced it is investing $4.9 million in 50 projects across the country to support small and emerging rural businesses and rural transportation projects. Through USDA's Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program, these investments promote the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. RBEGs may also be used to help fund distance learning networks and employment-related adult education programs. Eligible applicants include local public entities, private non-profit corporations and federally recognized Indian Tribes.

The list of current grantees appears below; many of the awards support some form of technical assistance/mentoring assistance to business. Note a subvention to IEDC to analyze skills of former coal mine industry workers in Kentucky and provide training workshops. Note grants to CTAA for rural transportation projects in several states; funding for community colleges for TA to business on exporting; food hub support; and, assistance to Maryland-based micro-entrepreneurs.

USDA also has provided significant resources (through the largest individual grant of $254K) to the Montana-based Native American Development Corporation to provide technical assistance to small businesses in rural Native American communities.

News release / listing of grantees

 

Office of Naval Research Announces STEM Grant Opportunity


Subject: Training and Employment Notice 23-07: Building and Sustaining an Educated and Prepared STEM Workforce

The Office of Naval Research announced on October 21 it is seeking proposals for developing innovative solutions that directly support the development and maintenance of a robust STEM workforce. The goal of any proposed effort should be to provide "game changing" solutions that will establish and maintain a diverse pipeline of U.S. citizens who are interested in uniformed or civilian DoN (or Navy and Marine Corps) STEM related workforce opportunities. While this announcement is relevant for any stage of the STEM pipeline, for FY15, funding efforts will be targeted primarily towards High School, Post-Secondary education, and outreach designed to enhance the DoN (or Naval) STEM workforce and its mission readiness.

See: http://www.onr.navy.mil/~/media/Files/Funding-Announcements/BAA/2015/15-0002.ashx

 

Federal Funding Opportunities: HUD Publishes “General Section” with Requirements Applicable to All FY 2015 NOFAs


The General Section describes the requirements that are applicable to all HUD FY 2015 Program NOFAs. The General Section also provides information on HUD's priorities and strategic goals. Each Program NOFA will describe additional applicable procedures and requirements, including a description of the eligible applicants, eligible activities, threshold requirements, cross-program requirements such as nondiscrimination, environmental protection, and any additional program requirements or limitations. To adequately address all of the application requirements for any program, potential applicants are encouraged carefully read and respond to both this General Section and any applicable Program NOFA.

The workforce community may wish to note references to “jobs,” “job readiness,” and “job training” on pages 39, 50 and 51 of the General Section.

 

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HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on the Data Collection in Support of the State Plan for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families


The State plan is a mandatory statement submitted to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by the State. It consists of an outline specifying how the state's TANF program will be administered and operated and certain required certifications by the State's Chief Executive Officer. It is used to provide the public with information about the program.

Authority to require States to submit a State TANF plan is contained in section 402 of the Social Security Act, as amended by Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. States are required to submit new plans periodically (i.e., within a 27-month period).

Click here for additional background and instructions for the submission of comments.

 

Department of Commerce Announce Membership of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has recently announced the 27 individuals who have been selected to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). The Council will operate as an independent entity within the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), which is housed within the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). NACIE members will advise the Secretary of Commerce on issues related to accelerating innovation, expanding entrepreneurship, and developing a globally competitive workforce.

Also see: Employment and Training Administration’s "Integrating Entrepreneurship into the Public Workforce System throughout America"

 

Youth CareerConnect: ETA Proposes Data Collection in Support of an Impact and Implementation Evaluation


The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has proposed a data collection that will support an impact and implementation evaluation of the Youth CareerConnect (YCC) program. In spring 2014, ETA awarded a total of $107 million to 24 grantees to implement the YCC program. The program is a high school based initiative aimed at improving students' college and career readiness in particular employment sectors. The programs are redesigning the high school experience through partnerships with colleges and employers to provide skill-developing and work-based learning opportunities to help students prepare for jobs in high-demand occupations.

The evaluation will address three main research questions:

(1) What was the impact of the YCC programs on students' short-term outcomes? (2) How were the YCC programs implemented? And (3) Did the effectiveness of YCC programs vary by student and grantee characteristics?

The impact study will employ a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to estimate program effectiveness and will be carried out in a subset of YCC grantees. The implementation study will draw on data gathered from all YCC grantees.

An October 10 FEDERAL REGISTER notice provides complete background, instructions for the submission of comments on the four proposed data collection instruments.

 

Unemployment Insurance: ETA Proposes Regulation for the Occupations Requiring Regular Drug Testing


The Employment and Training Administration proposes to establish in regulation, for State Unemployment Insurance (UI) program purposes, occupations that regularly conduct drug testing. These regulations would implement the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 amendments to the Social Security Act (SSA), permitting States to enact legislation that would allow State UI agencies to conduct drug testing on unemployment compensation (UC) applicants for whom suitable work (as defined under the State law) is only available in an occupation that regularly conducts drug testing (as determined under regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor (Secretary)). States may deny UC to an applicant who tests positive for drug use under these circumstances. The Secretary is required under the SSA to issue regulations determining those occupations that regularly conduct drug testing.

More ...

 

ETA Announces Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship to Meet on November 18 - 19


The Employment and Training Administration has announced an open meeting of the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA) on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 and Wednesday, November 19, 2014. The meeting will convene over a day and a half.

The purpose of the meeting will focus on Registered Apprenticeship expansion efforts. The agenda will cover the following topics:

  • The American Apprenticeship Initiative
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Implications for Registered Apprenticeship
  • Federal and State Partnerships Supporting Apprenticeship
  • Expansion
  • Sector-Based Outreach Efforts and Technical Assistance
  • ACA Workgroup Updates
  • New Member FACA Orientation and Ethics Training
  • Other Matters of Interest to the Apprenticeship Community
  • Public Comment
  • Adjourn

Additional background / logistics / contacts

 

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Manufacturing Communities Partnership Summit Scheduled for October 30 - 31


The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and other federal partners will host the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Summit on October 30 (8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and October 31 (8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) at the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The conference agenda will include various topics including measuring success, building an effective network, and IMCP best practices. The deadline for registration is October 20 and there is no cost to attend. Click here to register and here to view the agenda.      Agenda          Registration

 

New Research Center Established for U.S. Economy and Public Policy Issues


The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, as part of a consortium consisting of the Kauffman Foundation, the University of Kansas, the University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has announced the establishment of a new research data center (RDC) that will provide area researchers with access to some of the nation's highest-quality data for analysis of the U.S. economy and public policy issues.

The Kansas City RDC, one of 19 such centers across the country, will be located at the Kansas City Fed's headquarters and will provide approved researchers with secure access to restricted micro-level Census data. The result of an in-depth application process involving contributions from each consortium member and the review of the U.S. Census Bureau, the center is expected to open in the fall of 2015.

The data available at the RDC are used to produce economic indicators such as gross domestic product, personal income, consumer spending, corporate profits, the unemployment rate and more. Research using the underlying microdata can provide a better understanding of the regional and national economy, including analysis of structural and cyclical changes that are affecting businesses and households.

The RDC also will provide researchers from across the region in fields such as economics, entrepreneurship, demography, urban and regional development, statistics, health care and public policy with the data needed to answer research questions.

 

HUD Seeks Comment on Information Collection in Support of the Strong Cities Strong Communities


The Strong Cities Strong Communities National Resource Network (SC2  Network) provides comprehensive technical assistance to cities with populations of 40,000 or more that are experiencing long-term economic  challenges as evidenced by population decline, high unemployment rates, high poverty, and low education attainment.

The SC2 Network is seeking to evaluate its program through a combination of site visits, surveys, interviews, and quantitative and qualitative data collection. In addition, the SC2 Network will solicit information from cities to provide direct technical assistance. Such information includes information related to population; employment rates; poverty; education attainment; fiscal and economic distress; priorities, goals, and initiatives of local government; regional partnerships or efforts; types of direct assistance that could improve a city's economic outcome; support from political and community leadership; city budgets;  and comprehensive annual financial reports.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is currently seeking public comments on a proposed revision to the Strong Cities Strong Communities National Resource Network.  Comments are due by December 15, 2014.

The estimated number of respondents to complete surveys, interviews, and/or provide data collection is estimated to be 120 respondents. The estimated number of respondents to provide information to the SC2 Network to solicit for direct technical assistance is estimated to be 500.

The estimated number of responses for surveys, interviews, and/or data collection is estimated to be 240. The estimated number of responses for direct technical assistance is 1000.

Click here for the FEDERAL REGISTER notice which provides complete background and instructions for the submission of comments.

 

Assets and Opportunity Initiative Unveils Local Data Center


CFED, in partnership with Citi Community Development, unveiled the Assets & Opportunity Local Data Center. This new tool provides data and information on household financial security at the county and city level, including estimates of household wealth and financial access. The Local Data Center provides localized financial security data on four key measures: asset poverty, liquid asset poverty, unbanked and under banked rates. Using the Local Data Center''s Mapping Tool, users can drill down to the county or city level to see how residents in their community are faring when it comes to their ability to absorb financial shocks or access safe and affordable financial products and services. For example, we found that the percentage of unbanked households in major U.S. cities (those with populations over 200,000) ranges from a low of 11% in Irvine, CA, to a high of almost 75% in Newark, NJ. With these key insights, policymakers, practitioners and assets advocates can better understand the deep levels of financial insecurity in the communities they serve.

  • To learn more about Family Assets Count, click here.
  • To view the Assets & Opportunity State and Local Data click here.
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    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Seeks Public Comment on Its 'Language Access Plan" for Persons with Limited English Proficiency


    Consistent with Executive Order 13166 (Aug. 11, 2000), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is committed to providing persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) meaningful access to its programs and services. The Language Access Plan describes the Bureau'''s policy and how the Bureau's current language access activities are implemented across all of the Bureau's operations, programs and services. The Bureau will review this plan every three years and revise it as necessary.

    The public is invited to comment on the Bureau's programs and activities available to LEP persons and on steps that the Bureau could take to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to such services. Comments must be received on or before January 6, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    The October 8 FEDERAL REGISTER provides additional background.

     

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    BLS and OMB Seek Comment on Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is seeking authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act for the extension of the the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) information collection.

    • The BLS uses QCEW data provided by State Workforce Agencies as a sampling frame for establishment surveys; for publishing accurate current estimates of employment for the U.S., States, counties, and metropolitan areas; and for publishing quarterly census totals of local establishment counts, employment, and wages.
    • The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data to produce accurate personal income data in a timely matter for the U.S., States, and local areas.
    • Finally, the data is critical to the Employment Training Administration in administrating unemployment insurance programs.

    The October 8, 2014 FEDEAL REGISTER provides full background and the instructions for the submission of comments to the Office of Management and Budget.

     

    National Crosswalk Service Center Announces Availability of Latest Annual Report


    The State of Iowa operates a national service center charged with helping Federal and State agencies, along with private sector groups, use and connect occupation, education and training classifications and related data. This center, the National Crosswalk Service Center (NCSC), has operated under a series of federal grants since April 1, 1983. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor has funded the operation of the center since July, 1997.

    This Center has just announced the availability of the latest annual report which covers its activities for the twelve months ending June 30, 2014. During the year the Center has continued its support for the Analyst Resource Center and state Workforce Information Database efforts. The number of files downloaded continued to increase, passing 120,000, with over 70 percent of those files relating to the Workforce Information Database. The Center also distributed updates to a number of O*NET files.

    Funding for the Center's operation are part of an ETA grant to the State of Minnesota for operation of the Analyst Resource Center (ARC), a resource for state analysts who populate state-specific versions of a standardized database structure. This database is designed for the storage, delivery and analysis of workforce, education/training, demographic and other data relating to their labor markets. Structure for this Workforce Information Database (WID) is managed by the ARC, and standardized and some state-specific content is provided by the NCSC.

    The National Crosswalk Service Center's mission is to maximize the effective and efficient use of occupational information by providing specialized tools (files, reports, software and more) and technical assistance to users and producers of occupational information

    The products and services of the center have become much more diverse over time, largely as the result of two trends:

    • Federal agencies have made more of their working files available electronically as the data processing capabilities of many of their customers has grown.
    • Use of the Internet for service delivery has led to an international market for these types of products.

     

    Department of Education Seeks Public Comment on FERPA "E-Complaint" Form


    The Department of Education's Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) administers the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As fully investigating complaints of alleged violations takes time, FPCO ask parents and students filing complaints carefully read accompanying information prior to completing and submitting the complaint form. Through a notice in the October 6, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER, FPCO is requesting public comment on the FERPA "E-Complaint" Form.
     

    National Crosswalk Service Center Announces Availability of Latest Annual Report


    The State of Iowa operates a national service center charged with helping Federal and State agencies, along with private sector groups, use and connect occupation, education and training classifications and related data. This center, the National Crosswalk Service Center (NCSC), has operated under a series of federal grants since April 1, 1983. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor has funded the operation of the center since July, 1997.

    This Center has just announced the availability of the latest annual report which covers its activities for the twelve months ending June 30, 2014. During the year the Center has continued its support for the Analyst Resource Center and state Workforce Information Database efforts. The number of files downloaded continued to increase, passing 120,000, with over 70 percent of those files relating to the Workforce Information Database. The Center also distributed updates to a number of O*NET files.

    Funding for the Center’s operation are part of an ETA grant to the State of Minnesota for operation of the Analyst Resource Center (ARC), a resource for state analysts who populate state-specific versions of a standardized database structure. This database is designed for the storage, delivery and analysis of workforce, education/training, demographic and other data relating to their labor markets. Structure for this Workforce Information Database (WID) is managed by the ARC, and standardized and some state-specific content is provided by the NCSC.

    The National Crosswalk Service Center's mission is to maximize the effective and efficient use of occupational information by providing specialized tools (files, reports, software and more) and technical assistance to users and producers of occupational information

    The products and services of the center have become much more diverse over time, largely as the result of two trends:

  • Federal agencies have made more of their working files available electronically as the data processing capabilities of many of their customers has grown.

  • Use of the Internet for service delivery has led to an international market for these types of products.
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    Coal Industry: EDA, NACo and NADO Support County and Regional Leaders in Economic Diversification; Plan Workshops on Economic Diversification in 2015


    The National Association of Counties and the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation are pleased to launch a new partnership to support county and regional leaders in coal-reliant communities with retooling their economies to become more resilient to changing conditions. With the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, NACo and NADO Research Foundation will assist counties and regions affected by the contraction of the coal industry to identify opportunities for economic diversification and asset-based economic development.

    Coal-producing counties represent a significant portion of the population and economic output in specific states and geographic regions of the U.S. According to an analysis prepared by NACo, 196 counties in 27 states in the U.S. were coal-producing in 2012. These counties are home to over 13 million residents and more than six million jobs. Combined, coal-producing counties generate a GDP of over $636 billion, and contribute a significant portion of the economies of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Alabama and Wyoming. Additionally, many other regions and counties are economically reliant upon the coal industry, whether they house coal-fired power plants or facilities that process and transport coal, or contain other coal-related infrastructure and activities that provide jobs and revenue.

    Counties and regions that have been reliant upon the coal industry for generations are now experiencing the effects of the industry’s downturn. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal production in the U.S. was down more than seven percent in 2012 from 2011 levels. Smaller communities are particularly hard-hit and face prolonged difficulties in expanding economic opportunities and addressing high poverty rates and associated community challenges. Consider this sample of 2013 economic outcomes for all counties that were coal-producing as of 2012:

    • Coal-producing counties showed lower economic recovery rates when compared with county economies nationwide in 2013,

    • On average, coal-producing counties had very weak job expansion (at 0.6 percent growth) and slow economic output growth (1.1 percent, less than half the growth rate of all the 3,069 county economies) in 2013, and

    • Unemployment rates remained above 10 percent in 26 coal-producing counties in 2013, with rates as high as 14 to 16 percent in some counties (while the national unemployment rate in 2013 was 7.2 percent).

    In 2015, NACo and NADO Research Foundation will host a series of intensive, hands-on workshops designed to boost the innovative potential of coal-reliant counties and regions seeking to grow and diversify their economies. Counties and regions will be asked to form teams to apply to enter the program; selected entrants will participate in one of a series of workshops guided by expert facilitators and economic development practitioners.

     

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    HHS/ACF Seeks Comment on State Plan for Grants to States for Refugee Resettlement


    A State Plan is required by 8 U.S.C. 1522 of the Immigration and Nationality Act for each State agency requesting Federal funding for refugee resettlement under 8 U.S.C. 524 [Title IV, Sec. 414 of the Act], including Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance, Unaccompanied Minor Refugee Program, Refugee Social Services, Cuban/Haitian Entrant Program and Targeted Assistance program funding. Note that Targeted Assistance resources prioritize unemployed refugees not receiving cash assistance as well as employed refugees in need of services to retain employment or to attain economic independence.

    The Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services is requesting public comment on this information collection. More...

     

    BLS and OMB Seek Comment on Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics is seeking authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act for the extension of the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) information collection.

    • The BLS uses QCEW data provided by State Workforce Agencies as a sampling frame for establishment surveys; for publishing accurate current estimates of employment for the U.S., States, counties, and metropolitan areas; and for publishing quarterly census totals of local establishment counts, employment, and wages.
    • The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data to produce accurate personal income data in a timely matter for the U.S., States, and local areas.
    • Finally, the data is critical to the Employment Training Administration in administrating unemployment insurance programs.

    The October 8, 2014 FEDERAL REGISTER provides full background and the instructions for the submission of comments to the Office of Management and Budget.

     

    National Big Data R&D: National Science Foundation Issues RFI


    The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced on October 2 it is encouraging feedback from multiple big data stakeholders to inform the development of a framework, set of priorities, and ultimately a strategic plan for the National Big Data R&D Initiative. Comments are due by November 14.

    A number of areas of interest have been identified by agency representatives in the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Big Data Senior Steering Group (BDSSG) as well as the many members of the big data R&D community that have participated in BDSSG events and workshops over the past several years. Today’s Request for Information (RFI) is a critical step in developing a cross-agency strategic plan that has broad community input and that can be referenced by all Federal agencies as they move forward over the next five to ten years with their own big data R&D programs, policies, partnerships, and activities.

    This RFI is open to all. NSF especially encourages public and private sector organizations (e.g., universities, government laboratories, companies, non-profits) with big data interests to submit their ideas. Participants must also be willing to have their ideas posted for discussion on a public Web site and included with possible attribution in the plan.

    Comments and suggestions based on reading the initial framework, The National Big Data R&D Initiative: Vision and Priority Actions, and guided by the following questions:

    • What are the gaps that are not addressed in the Visions and Priority Actions document?

    • From an interagency perspective, what do you think are the most high impact ideas at the frontiers of big data research and development?

    • What new research, education, and/or infrastructure investments do you think will be game-changing for the big data innovation ecosystem?

    • How can the federal government most effectively enable new partnerships, particularly those that cross sectors or domains?

    Additional background / contacts / submission format …

     

    HHS/ACF Announces Latest Funding under "Assets for Independence Program"


    A new set of grants recently announced by HHS'' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will give Americans greater support in their efforts to save money.

    The Assets for Independence (AFI) program, funded by ACF's Office of Community Services (OCS), will award 44 grants totaling close to $10 million to community-based programs that help individuals and families build long-term savings.

    AFI grants use existing individual and community assets to give individuals access to savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Each dollar deposited into an IDA receives a match of $1 to $8 from public and private sector resources. Individuals in the program also receive financial education to help in their path to become financially self-sufficient.

    "AFI is an important platform for bringing financial capability, credit and debt counseling, access to federal tax credits and other asset-building tools to working families across the nation,"� said Mark Greenberg, acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families.

    In addition to funding programs in 48 states and the District of Columbia, AFI also works with the Administration for Native Americans to help increase awareness of and access to matched savings programs in Native American communities.

    AFI grantees enroll participants to save earned income in special-purpose, matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Every dollar that a participant deposits into an AFI IDA is matched (from $1 to $8 in combined federal and non-federal funds) by the AFI project. AFI participants use their IDAs and matching funds for one of three allowable assets: purchase a first home; capitalize or expand a business; or fund post-secondary education or training. AFI grantees also provide training and support services to participants, such as financial education; credit counseling and repair; and guidance in accessing refundable tax credits.

    See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/afi-grant-awards-fy-2014 for a listing of the organizations, locations, and amounts.

     

    ETA Issues Instructions on Senior Community Service Employment Program State Plan Modifications


    The Employment and Training Administration has issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter 08-14. This TEGL provide guidance to Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) grantees for modifying unified, integrated, and stand-alone State Plans that were approved in 2012.


    ETA's SCESP Webpage

    Older Workers Community of Practice

     

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    Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Grant Competition Application Instructions


    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced today is soliciting comments concerning its proposed renewal of the Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Grant Competition Application Instructions. Funding for this competition was created as a result of the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act. This competition responds to the need in the social sector for new ways of funding as traditional resources are declining and demands are increasing. It offers the opportunity to support innovation in the social sector while driving better results and conserving government resources. The affected public includes nonprofit organizations, funders and intermediary organizations.

    CNCS requests comments by November 28. More...