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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

 

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.

     

    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.

     

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    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.

     

    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...

     

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    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

     

    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...

     

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