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[Federal Register: August 1, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 148)]
[Notices]               
[Page 46969-46988]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01au00-92]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

 
Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA) Workforce Investment 
Act of 1998; Minority Colleges and Universities Workforce Partnerships 
and Training Strategies To Address Skill Shortages Demonstration 
Program

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice of availability of funds and Solicitation for Grant 
Applications (SGA).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    This notice contains all of the necessary information and forms 
needed to apply for grant funding.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training 
Administration (ETA) announces a competitive demonstration solicitation 
for grant applications (SGA) to respond to employers' identified skill 
shortages through the establishment or

[[Page 46970]]

strengthening of regional consortia. Grants will be made to successful 
applicants representing minority colleges and universities which 
provide evidence of being positioned to plan and implement a successful 
strategy to respond to shortages of workers seeking employment with 
skills needed by specific employers in a regional labor market 
(including typical local commuting area). Successful applicants must 
also initiate a skill training design for preparing eligible dislocated 
workers, incumbent workers and new entrants into the workforce that 
will alleviate skill shortages within the region which the applicant 
represents and provide the necessary skill sets to those seeking new 
employment or reemployment. DOL will convene an informational session 
in early August to share information with eligible applicants and other 
interested parties. Refer to Pre-Application Information Session.
    The funding for this program will be the demonstration authority of 
the Secretary as appropriated for Title I, Section 171(b) (1) and (2) 
of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and administered in accordance 
with 29 CFR parts 95 and 97, as applicable. Applicants are encouraged 
to become familiar with the provisions of the Workforce Investment Act 
of 1998 (WIA). With the implementation of WIA which became effective 
July 1, 2000, and for the next few years, it is anticipated that even 
greater emphasis will be placed on regional and unified planning and 
other initiatives to accommodate or address regional workforce 
development concerns. It is expected that the consortia established or 
strengthened as a result of the award of these demonstration grant 
funds will actively collaborate with the emerging structures of WIA 
implementation.
    The Department encourages interested applicants to consult with 
other on-going programs such as grantees funded by the June 1998 $7.7 
million dislocated worker technology demonstration, June 1999 $10 
million manufacturing technology demonstration program and the June 
2000 $11.2 million skill shortages, partnership training/system 
building demonstration program. Information regarding these 
demonstrations may be found at http://www.doleta.gov.
    Two types of demonstration grants to address skill shortages will 
be available under this solicitation--(1) Three to nine partnership 
building grants of up to $750,000 and (2) up to three training grants 
in the approximate range of $1.5 to $2 million. Each type of grant 
(partnership building and skill shortage training) will require 
coordination and collaboration with the local workforce investment 
system.
    In addition, experiences gained through current regional 
initiatives may provide insight into developing a regional consortia 
approach to addressing workforce development needs and strategies for 
partnership building grants as well as training grants. The partnership 
building grants funded as a result of this SGA to address skill 
shortages will also support assessment of community employment needs 
(community audits), designing or adapting training curricula based upon 
specific employer needs, and limited operational testing of a training 
design. Partnerships and systems for responding to skill shortages 
developed as a part of this demonstration will be expected to continue, 
and indeed improve and expand, after the conclusion of this initiative. 
One objective of this demonstration initiative is to assist minority 
colleges and universities in developing and sustaining an active 
partnership with local workforce investment boards and chief elected 
officials in the addressing strategies and training programs that 
respond effectively to area employers' needs for skilled workers. Of 
particular interest to the Department are broad-based strategies that 
address such issues as shortages in technology, health care, and H-1B 
visa-identified occupations.
    Consortia developed in response to this solicitation could also be 
appropriate applicants to apply for skill training grants established 
under the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 
1998 (ACWIA). Potential grants under the ACWIA authority would provide 
additional funding to address the skill shortages identified under this 
grant, and could utilize the information gained from pilot testing the 
training curriculum to ensure an effective skill training delivery 
approach. Eligible applicants for the ACWIA grants are limited by 
statute to local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) under Section 117 
of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), and consortia of WIBs. 
For this reason, WIB participation in activities conducted under the 
Partnership Building grants will be a requirement to show satisfactory 
progress toward achieving the objectives of this demonstration program 
for receipt of Phase II Implementation funding.
    Training grants funded under this SGA will test the ability of 
minority colleges and universities to partner with the local workforce 
investment system with employers, training providers and others to 
train participants in the skills necessary to obtain work in 
occupations and industries experiencing shortages of such workers. In 
order to assure that the training provided under the grant is 
consistent with workforce development plans for the local area and to 
prepare the local area to possibly sustain the training activity by 
applying for a skill training grant under the American Competitiveness 
and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA), the local Workforce 
Investment Board(s) must be an active partner in planning for the 
training including the determination that the proposed training is 
consistent with employer-identified skill needs in the community. The 
application must contain a statement from the local Workforce 
Investment Board(s) explaining its role as the policy decision-making 
entities for the targeted geographic area(s) as well as the role its 
One Stop operator(s) will play in the planned service delivery 
activities.

DATES: The closing date for receipt of the application is Friday, 
September 22, 2000. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. eastern 
standard time. No exceptions to the mailing and hand-delivery 
conditions set forth in this notice will be granted. Applications that 
do not meet the conditions set forth in this notice will not be 
considered. Telefacsimile (FAX) applications will not be honored.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be mailed or hand-delivered to: U.S. 
Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division 
of Federal Assistance, Attention: Mamie D. Williams, Reference: SGA/DFA 
00-109; 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S-4203; Washington, DC 
20210.
    Hand Delivered Proposals. If proposals are hand delivered, they 
must be received at the designated address by 4:00 p.m., Eastern 
Standard Time on Friday, September 22, 2000. All overnight mail will be 
considered to be hand delivered and must be received at the designated 
place by the specified closing date and time. Telegraphed, e-mailed 
and/or faxed proposals will not be honored. Failure to adhere to the 
above instructions will be a basis for a determination of 
nonresponsiveness.
    Late Proposals. A proposal received at the designated office after 
the exact time specified for receipt will not be considered unless it 
is received before the award is made and it:
     Was sent by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified 
mail not later than the fifth (5th) calendar day before the closing 
date specified for receipt of applications (e.g., an offer submitted in

[[Page 46971]]

response to a solicitation requiring receipt of applications by the 
20th of the month must be mailed by the 15th);
     Was sent by U.S. Postal Service Express Mail Next Day 
Service, Post Office to Addressee, not later than 5 p.m. at the place 
of mailing two working days prior to the deadline date specified for 
receipt of proposals in this SGA. The term ``working days'' excludes 
weekends and U.S. Federal holidays.
    The only acceptable evidence to establish the date of mailing of an 
application received after the deadline date for the receipt of 
proposals sent by the U.S. Postal Service registered or certified mail 
is the U.S. postmark on the envelope or wrapper affixed by the U.S. 
Postal Service and on the original receipt from the U.S. Postal 
Service. The term ``post marked'' means a printed, stamped, or 
otherwise placed impression (exclusive of a postage meter machine 
impression) that is readily identifiable without further action as 
having been supplied or affixed on the date of mailing by employees of 
the U.S. Postal Service.
    Withdrawal of Applications. Applications may be withdrawn by 
written notice or telegram (including mailgram) received at any time 
before an award is made. Applications may be withdrawn in person by the 
applicant or by an authorized representative thereof, if the 
representative's identity is made known and the representative signs a 
receipt for the proposal.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions/clarifications should be 
faxed to Mamie D. Williams, Grants Management Specialist, Division of 
Federal Assistance at (202) 219-8739 (this is not a toll free number). 
All inquiries should include the SGA/DFA 00-109 and contact name, fax 
and phone number. This solicitation will also be published on the 
Internet, on the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Home Page 
at http://www.doleta.gov. Award notifications will also be published on 
the ETA Home Page.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ETA is soliciting proposals on a competitive 
basis for the conduct of partnership system-building activities to 
assist minority colleges and universities in partnership with local 
Workforce Investment Boards and interested employers in developing the 
capacity to plan and implement regional skill shortage training 
strategies. It is envisioned that the consortia developed under this 
grant will focus on serving a regional labor market area. The area to 
be served may be multi-jurisdictional, and could be multi-State 
depending on the geographic area encompassing the regional labor market 
area.
    This announcement consists of five (5) parts:
     Part I--Background Summary: describes the authorities, the 
purpose and the goals of the solicitation for this demonstration 
program;
     Part II--Eligible Applicants and Application Process: 
describes the organizations authorized to apply for funds under this 
program, the application process and requirements for submitting an 
application (deadlines);
     Part III--Statement of Work: contains the Statement of 
Work for the two types of projects that will be funded under this 
demonstration initiative;
     Part IV--Monitoring, Independent Evaluation and Reporting 
Requirements: provides for the monitoring of the grants by DOL staff to 
determine the project's performance, an independent evaluation of the 
grants awarded for this demonstration and describes the reviews that 
will be conducted by DOL of each of the projects; and notes the 
requirements for reports to DOL and the independent evaluator; and
    Part VI--Rating Criteria for Award and Selection Process: describes 
the selection process, including the criteria for each type of 
demonstration application which will be used in reviewing and 
evaluating all applications received by DOL as a result of this 
solicitation.

See Appendix ``C'' for definitions

Part I. Background

A. Authority

    Title I, Section 171(d) of the Workforce Investment Act authorizes 
the use for demonstration programs of funds reserved under section 
132(a)(2)(A) and establishes the administration of these funds by the 
Secretary for that purpose under section 173(b). In addition, the DOL 
FY 2000 Appropriations Act enacted November 17, 1999 authorizes 
dislocated worker demonstration projects that provide assistance to new 
entrants in the workforce and incumbent workers.

B. Purpose

    The growth in the U.S. economy and the increasing global 
competition that has occurred throughout the 1990's has been 
accompanied by significant restructuring actions regarding the 
organization and performance of work in many industries. These actions 
have redefined the job performance requirements in these industries and 
have resulted in the dual effects of substantial numbers of worker 
layoffs and of reported shortages of workers skilled in other areas.
    As a result, employers and employees alike are facing increasing 
challenges in their efforts to remain competitive. Increased 
competition, along with other factors such as reductions in the defense 
industry, relocation of facilities outside the United States, and 
technological advances in manufacturing processes, have resulted in 
significant reductions in the size of many employers' workforces. The 
increased adoption of technology has resulted in the realization that 
the skills of many workers are redundant and must be upgraded in order 
for them to be able to compete in the current economy and for them to 
be successful candidates for available jobs in the future.
    Despite the generally strong economy, pockets of Americans are at 
risk of being left behind the rest of the country. In an effort to 
encourage minority colleges and universities to partner with regional 
workforce investment leaders to address the challenge of keeping all 
citizens employed and competitive and ensuring the health of the 
businesses on which communities depend for their economic stability, 
this initiative will allow for the maximum flexibility in approaches to 
establishing and/or enhancing partnerships that will address skill 
shortages now and in the future.

Part II. Eligible Applicants and the Application Process

A. Eligible Applicants

    Any minority college or university referred to in the following 
Executive Orders designed to strengthen the capacity of such 
institutions to provide quality education and increase the 
opportunities for them to participate in and benefit from Federal 
programs which are capable of fulfilling the terms and conditions of 
this solicitation may apply:
     Executive Order Number 12876 Historically Black Colleges 
and Universities issued November 1, 1993
     Executive Order Number 12900 Educational Excellence for 
Hispanic Americans issued February 22, 1994
     Executive Order Number 13021 Tribal Colleges and 
Universities issued October 19, 1996
    Although present DOL demonstration grantees who have received 
awards addressing skill shortage training issues are not directly 
eligible for this grant. They may participate as a member of a local 
area consortium addressing which addresses a skill shortages for which 
the local area is not already receiving demonstration grant funds.

[[Page 46972]]

B. Demonstrated Capacity

    Partnership Building Grant awards will be made to applicants that 
demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Department the capacity in 
conjunction with the local workforce investment system(s) (under the 
policy direction of the local board(s) and chief elected officials) and 
other partners to--
    1. develop a collaborative, integrated regional approach for the 
involvement, design and implementation of a comprehensive skill 
shortage action plan. The basic design of the plan shall be 
sufficiently robust to respond to current and projected skill shortages 
in the region;
    2. collect information on current (real time) local employer based 
skill needs and the availability of workers who possess such skills in 
the labor market and available training resources to meet the 
established or developed standards of the local employer or industry;
    3. design a training strategy, that may include curricula, to 
respond to at least one specific skills shortage that currently exists 
in the region;
    4. test the plan on a small scale, by implementing the training 
strategy developed and placing those trained in related employment that 
meets or exceeds the outcome goals of the grant; and
    5. incorporate lessons learned into the local workforce investment 
system(s).

    Note: As discussed later in this SGA, these areas of expertise 
are not viewed or presented by the Department as discrete or 
sequential activities, but rather to delineate the expected capacity 
of any successful candidate's application for funding under this 
Solicitation.

    Training Grants will be made to applicants that demonstrate to the 
satisfaction of the Department the capacity to engage with workforce 
investment partners especially employers, workforce investment boards 
and local One-Stop operators to provide resources for skill training in 
occupations that are in employer demand. Measures of this demand could 
include data from employer surveys, review of local employment 
advertisements, job order listings at the local One-Stop, and employer 
H-1B applications.

C. Financial Management Capability

    The applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the 
Department that it has the financial management capacity to receive 
federal funds in accordance with Sections 184 and 185 of the Workforce 
Investment Act. A consortium organized by the applicant for the purpose 
of responding to this SGA must designate one entity of the group as the 
fiscal agent to manage the funds in the event an award is granted.

D. Cooperation With DOL, Technical Assistance Contractor and the 
Independent Demonstration Evaluation Contractor

    An applicant must also commit to sharing on-going information with 
DOL and its independent evaluators. An applicant may propose to use 
grant funds to purchase technical assistance support for the project 
from sources known to the applicant. The Department will make technical 
assistance available to the grantee during the course of the grant 
activities. The technical assistance contractor will visit the grantee 
and, in coordination with the grantee and other consortium members, 
assist in identifying the topic or operational areas in which technical 
assistance would be helpful. The grantee and its partners may then 
determine which areas would be most beneficial and set priorities for 
the use of such assistance. A maximum number of hours of technical 
assistance per demonstration grantee will be established at the time of 
the grant award. The applicant must agree to participate with the DOL 
technical assistance contractor in its progress assessments. As part of 
the acceptance of a grant award the applicant agrees to participate in 
conference calls during the course of the demonstration and attend and 
conduct workshops at conferences and other meetings to assist with 
further guidance throughout the workforce investment system, as 
necessary and appropriate. A reasonable amount of grant funds may be 
earmarked for this purpose.

E. Partnerships

    The establishment of creative partnership configurations that 
include representatives of employers with skill shortages and are 
broadly representative of community interest is strongly encouraged. It 
is highly recommended that applicants submit a statement (or chart) 
that shows how the actual or proposed configuration represents fully 
the community at large and how each partner adds value to the skill 
shortage assessment and planning process. Other federal partners, where 
present and appropriate, are suggested for inclusion in any consortium, 
such as the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Extension 
Program, Department of Housing and Urban Development neighborhood and 
community enhancement programs and others.

F. Support From Partners

    The partnerships that are being established are an important part 
of any application. Partnership Building grant applicants are strongly 
encouraged to include letters of support signed by proposed consortium 
members, including the local WIB chair(s). Consideration should be 
given to demonstrations of support from representatives of key groups 
who are likely to have a significant impact on the likely success of 
this project in the region, such as employer associations, curriculum 
developers, etc. Grant-funded partnership-building activities operating 
in the local workforce investment area should be viewed as a mechanism 
to improve the capacity of the area to address skill shortages and to 
provide the types of training opportunities that result in improved 
outcomes for workers and an adequate supply of trained workers for 
employers.
    1. The Partnership Building grant application must also describe a 
preliminary agreement of key regional stakeholders (beyond the required 
parties described above) to those activities to be undertaken in the 
course of operation described in the application, as well as a 
description of other organizations or individuals who are likely to be 
added to the list of collaborators, and what they are expected to 
contribute to the initiative.
    Appropriate partners to serve as part of the consortium to be 
formed include local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) or consortia of 
WIBs; employers; business and trade associations; labor unions; other 
post-secondary educational institutions including community colleges; 
economic development agencies, and private-sector led groups including 
community-and faith-based organizations addressing the needs of 
specific cultures, among others.
    Regional consortia may be interstate in composition to accommodate 
adequate coverage of cohesive labor markets or regional communities, 
including typical commuting patterns. No minimum size for the 
geographic or labor market to be covered by this demonstration program 
has been established, and the smallest grants may cover single local 
workforce investment areas or portions thereof. A key goal of this 
initiative is to encourage regional approaches to cover the commuting 
area from which employers in the region draw or hire their employees.
    2. Training grant applicants must partner with the local Workforce 
Investment Board(s), which forms the policy-making body for local 
workforce investment activities. Applicants are also strongly 
encouraged to partner with other entities which possess a sound

[[Page 46973]]

grasp of the job marketplace in the region and which are in a position 
to assist in addressing the issue of skill shortage occupations. Such 
organizations would include private, for profit business--including 
small and medium-size business; business, trade, or industry 
associations such as local Chambers of Commerce and small business 
federations; and labor unions. While the Department is not prescriptive 
as to the partners required, beyond requiring comments from the WIB, in 
the past those grantees with strong private employer involvement have 
been particularly successful in achieving their grant's planned 
placement outcomes.

Pre-Application Information Session

    Applicants interested in becoming a demonstration grantee are 
encouraged to attend a Pre-Application information session which will 
be held in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 10, 2000, on the campus 
of Bennett College. The purpose of this all-day session is to summarize 
the current knowledge about workforce partnerships, approaches to skill 
shortages and the basics of preparing an application in response to a 
grant solicitation. The session will review the goals and objectives of 
the demonstration project and explain the two phase methodology planned 
for funding of the demonstration grants. Attendees will learn about the 
technical assistance services that will be provided to grantees. This 
session is being offered, free of charge, to prospective applicants on 
a space-available basis. Attendees will, however, have to pay for their 
own travel and lodging. Attendance at this session is strongly 
encouraged but voluntary and no written summary of the meeting will be 
distributed. Further information about this session, the registration 
process, meeting agenda and availability of lodging can be found on the 
DOL web page www.usworkforce.org or by calling America's Workforce 
Network Toll-Free Telephone Number: 1-877-US-2JOBS.

Proposal Submission

    Applicants must submit four (4) copies of their proposal, with 
original signatures. The introductory paragraph of the application must 
state the type of grant for which the proposal is directed--(1) a 
Partnership Building grant or (2) a Training grant. The proposal must 
consist of two (2) distinct parts, Part I and Part II.
    Part I of the proposal shall contain the Standard Form (SF) 424, 
``Application for Federal Assistance'' (Appendix #A) and Budget Form 
(Appendix #B). The Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog number is 
17.246. Applicants shall indicate on the SF 424 the organization's IRS 
status, if applicable. According to the Lobbying disclosure Act of 
1995, section 18, an organization described in section 501(c)(4) of the 
Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which engages in lobbying activities 
shall not be eligible for the receipt of federal funds constituting an 
award, grant, or loan. The individual signing the SF 424 on behalf of 
the applicant must represent the responsible financial and 
administrative entity for a grant should that application result in an 
award.
    The budget (Appendix #B) shall include on separate pages a detailed 
breakout of each proposed budget line item found on the Budget 
Information Sheet, including detailed administrative costs. An 
explanation of how the budget costs were derived must be included. The 
Salaries line item shall be used to document the project staffing plan 
by providing a detailed listing of each staff position providing more 
than .05 FTE support to the project, by annual salary, number of months 
assigned to demonstration responsibilities, and FTE percentage to be 
charged to the grant. In addition, for the Contractual line item, list 
each of the planned contracts and the amount of the contract. Where a 
contract amount exceeds $75,000, a detailed backup budget to show how 
the amount of the contract was derived must be included. For each 
budget line item that includes funds or in-kind contributions from a 
source other than the grant funds, identify the source, the amount and 
in-kind contributions, including any restrictions that may apply to 
these funds.
    DOL will convene a two-day grantee orientation meeting in 
Washington, DC. Attendance will be mandatory for all grantees for this 
demonstration program. We anticipate this meeting to be scheduled 
within 45 days of the award of grants to allow sufficient time to have 
all project managers present as well as other appropriate 
representatives of the regional consortia in attendance. Travel for 
three individuals (one to be a WIB representative) to attend this 
meeting as well as at least one other meeting to be convened during the 
course of the grant's period of performance should be included in the 
grant budget .
    Part II must contain a technical proposal that demonstrates the 
applicant's capabilities in accordance with the Statement of Work 
contained in this document. The grant application is limited to 25 one-
sided, double-spaced pages with 12 point font size on 8.5 x 11 inch 
paper with 1-inch margins which must include the following:

I. Executive summary--(1 page)
II. Application narrative technical proposal
III. Time line implementation plan and the appendix

    The 25 page limitation includes all attachments.

Funding/Period of Performance

    It is anticipated that up to $12 million will be available for 
funding these demonstrations. It is expected that 6 to 12 awards will 
be made, depending upon the quality of the proposals received and the 
amount of funds requested and awarded. The maximum grant award will be 
$750,000 for Partnership Building grants (maximum of nine awards) and 
$2 million for Training grants (maximum of three grant awards).
    1. For Partnership Building grant, twenty percent of the grant 
amount, up to a maximum of $100,000, will be made available upon 
announcement of the grant award. The funds will be released in phases: 
(1) Phase I: Plan Development; and, (2) Phase II: Implementation--this 
phase will only take place pending approval of the grant plan by DOL. 
Further directions regarding the expected products to be provided to 
indicate completion of Phase I: Plan Development will be provided by 
DOL at the grantee orientation meeting. The remaining grant funds will 
be made available based upon achievement of progress benchmarks 
consistent with the purposes of the Workforce Investment Act and this 
demonstration initiative.
    2. For Training grants, the full amount of the grant will be 
available upon announcement of the grant award.
    The maximum duration of any demonstration project under this SGA 
will be 30 months, beginning on the date of a signed award. This 
includes closeout time and preparation of the draft final report. 
Successful grantees will be expected to commence operations within 30 
days of the award date. If the applicant anticipates that a period 
longer than the 30 days will be required prior to commencing 
operations, it should be stated in the application and provide an 
explanation for the expected delay.
    Training grants shall be required to commence the delivery of 
services to participants within 90 days of execution of a grant unless 
a significant portion of the grant implementation addresses the 
development of new curriculum or planning strategies. If participant 
enrollments are not anticipated to occur within 90 days, the 
circumstances should be specifically addressed in the application with 
the reasons provided and an alternative time frame provided.

[[Page 46974]]

Option To Extend

    DOL may elect to exercise its option to extend either type of grant 
offered under this solicitation for an additional one (1) or two (2) 
years of operation, based on the availability of demonstration funding 
under the Workforce Investment Act, successful program operation, and 
the determination that a grantee's initial program findings could 
further inform the workforce development system through refinement of 
the present demonstration. However, in most cases, future funding is 
expected to be the responsibility of all stakeholders, including 
employers, local Boards and other members of the community.

Part III--Statement of Work

A. Background

    On January 12, 1999, during his summit on 21st Century Skills for 
21st Century jobs, Vice President Gore announced a major new skills 
shortage initiative to accomplish two purposes:
     To promote the creation of regional consortia to assess 
employers' need for skilled workers and workers' skills deficits, and
     To provide resources to established partnerships to 
provide technical skill training to incumbent and unemployed workers.
    Traditionally, overall tight labor markets and even skill shortages 
are good for workers in that they can lead to rising wages, improved 
working conditions, and new opportunities for workers and new labor 
market entrants. However, problematic regional or sectoral industry 
skills shortages--those that occur when there is imbalance between 
worker supply and demand for a persistent period of time--can mean that 
particular goods and services are not provided and that the economy is 
operating less efficiently than it could. At the microeconomic level, 
i.e., for individual employers, the inability to find an adequate 
supply of workers even after offering higher wages and better working 
conditions can cause a loss of business and profits.

B. Purpose

    1. Partnership building grants will support minority colleges and 
universities in their creation of, or membership in, regional alliances 
for the development and implementation of skills training strategies 
focused on qualifying significant numbers of minorities to work within 
the identified occupations at specific companies experiencing such 
shortages. This initiative acknowledges that communities and regions 
will be at different starting points in their responses to skill 
shortages. It is envisioned that this demonstration will be used as a 
catalyst to build a coalition of community-wide leaders, including 
those from the applicant colleges and universities, to work with 
specific employers to identify skill shortages and then develop 
processes for ameliorating or eliminating them or to strengthen an 
existing partnership.
    2. Training grants will enable minority colleges and universities 
to provide specific training in occupations experiencing skill 
shortages which have been identified by employers to assure minority 
participants access to jobs in growth occupations. Successful 
applications may be based on the use of innovative service strategies 
such as the involvement of traditionally under represented groups of 
dislocated workers for existing training programs; the development and 
use of curricula geared specifically to eligible groups of dislocated 
workers and the needs of employers with openings in skill shortage 
occupations; or the development of concentrated training models for 
workers with a residue of skill knowledge from previous related 
employment, or use of curriculum and skills training interventions 
designed to impart knowledge, skills and abilities of industry skill 
standards (where available or under development).
    A major challenge, then, in addressing both types of grant 
applications, becomes how does a local workforce investment system work 
with employers to identify the skills they need, develop the necessary 
training to respond to the need, and outreach to the workers who are 
being laid off soon enough to acquire the skills needed for the jobs 
that employers have. This means that training curricula must be 
flexible and easily adjusted or reconfigured to meet employer needs in 
a timely and responsive manner as they respond to industry 
technological advances, market changes, new certification requirements 
and other changes. This approach is distinctly different from the 
general academic setting, and this type of flexibility and 
responsiveness will require substantial commitment on the part of the 
institution and its leadership.
    Another challenge to the community is how to encourage individuals 
currently in the workforce to continually upgrade their skills (life-
long learning) so that if a layoff occurs the transition to a new job 
can be quicker and smoother--a benefit to the economic well-being of 
the community and the economic security of the family. This means that 
applicants should consider training to upgrade currently employed 
individuals in skills in growth occupations, especially those with 
career ladders that may offer some of the best opportunities for the 
economic stability of both the community and the family. Offering 
training in the evenings and on Saturdays, to permit employed 
individuals to improve their skills and employability may be part of 
this strategy.

C. Activities Conducted as Part of Demonstration Program

    1. Partnership Building Grants `` There are four elements (they may 
run concurrently in some circumstances) in this initiative described 
below. Although they may be occurring concurrently, the funding related 
to the elements are indicated by Phase I and Phase II .
a. Phase I: Coalition Building and Planning
    The first phase or element of a project will be the development and 
solidification of the coalition of all the partners--including the 
grantee and other educational institutions, community businesses (and 
business organizations), community-based organizations, labor 
organizations--into a functioning entity.
    Throughout the demonstration, it is expected that there will be 
cooperation with and active collaboration and consultation between the 
grantee and the regional workforce investment system(s). This means 
that if the region proposed under this solicitation covers more than 
one local workforce investment area, the cooperation and consultation 
expected under this solicitation must be demonstrated to have taken 
place with the appropriate representatives and organizations in each 
local area from early in the development of application, on a 
continuing basis during the planning period as policies and systems are 
developed, and, finally but not less importantly, as the project 
activities are implemented. If there are regional strategies such as 
those authorized under WIA Section 116(c) in place currently, DOL 
expects those relationships will be built upon for the purpose of this 
initiative.
    Skill shortage assessment and planning is a dynamic process--
reflecting the changing nature of business demands and labor market 
supplies. It is therefore anticipated that the partnerships established 
under this rubric would be open-ended and invite additional members--
especially from private industry--as emerging needs are perceived or 
additional sectors of

[[Page 46975]]

industry are considered for further strategic planning.
    A significant aspect of coalition building is the resources that 
partners can bring to the table and contribute to the partnership. DOL 
is not requiring a match for this competition. However, a major 
emphasis of this effort is to create entities and relationships which 
can sustain themselves once the partnership building grant has expired, 
and a key aspect of that sustainability will be the amount of 
resources--both cash and in kind--that can be generated by the 
participants in the partnership. Sustainability is an important 
consideration for the full implementation of the action plan, beyond 
the scope of this grant, that will be developed as part of this project 
and which is discussed immediately below.
    When a substantial number of the workers (20 percent or more) in a 
targeted skill shortage occupation/industry is represented by one or 
more labor organizations, or where the training is for jobs where a 
labor organization represents a substantial number of workers engaged 
in similar work, the application must provide documentation of 
consultation on the project concept from applicable labor 
organizations. Further, in incumbent worker settings or those involving 
customized training where the union has been involved in bargaining 
relative to the introduction of either the technology or the addition 
of new skilled workers at the workplace, the application shall provide 
information as to any role the union played in the design and delivery 
of the training as well as any impact on the workers with respect to 
the growth or shrinkage in the number of jobs, and the selection of 
workers for retraining.
b. Phase I: Plan Development
    This element of the project will involve activities to assess 
specific employer skill needs and to measure the gaps between the 
skills needed by industry and the skills held by dislocated, employed 
and incumbent workers in the region. The application must identify what 
is presently known regarding the skill shortage needs of the employers, 
the skill needs of the workforce and the training resources available 
to meet these needs. In many instances, this information will be 
preliminary and require additional investigation, research and data 
collection. The selection of the assessment tools necessary to add to 
the existing body of knowledge including data sources, survey 
instruments, interview protocols, etc., as well as measurement 
processes, is a key aspect of the development of a strategy to address 
skill shortages. Although final selection of the specific assessment 
tools may not occur until the planning phase of the grant, inclusion of 
some discussion of the preliminary direction the consortium plans to 
consider would be useful in providing a sense of the level of 
understanding that presently exists among consortium members.
    The plan will enumerate the data sources that are used to support 
the statement of skill shortages. Coalitions are encouraged to research 
widely and be inclusive in utilization of data. Resources for general 
skill shortage information include data generated by the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics (BLS) (such as the Current Population Survey (CPS) and 
the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey), by regional and 
local trade associations, and by national and regional business 
associations (such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce). However, the 
action plan will also be required to deal with current and short term 
needs of local employers identified, in part, by the initiatives 
developed as a result of this demonstration program such as community 
audits, evaluated in the context of the skills of workers currently 
seeking reemployment or employment. Regional and local hiring patterns 
as provided by local industry and trade associations are also extremely 
valuable information in terms of any sustained skills shortage. 
Information regarding minority skill levels and hiring practices in the 
targeted skill shortage occupations will also be helpful in assessing 
the need for the proposed project.
    The plan for the implementation phase of the grant will include an 
analysis of the data information developed. The analysis will 
contribute substantially to the formulation of a training strategy that 
will be agreed to and signed off by all of the partners in the 
coalition and signed off on by the local board(s) if it is not an 
active member of the coalition. The certification by the local board in 
the latter instance will attest that this proposed specific training 
strategy is not inconsistent with and does not conflict with the 
activities of the workforce investment system and does not constitute 
the development of a parallel workforce investment system. Activities 
that may be part of the implementation plan include the identification, 
design and/or adaptation of appropriate training curricula to meet the 
needs of skill shortage occupational areas or to reflect the employment 
demands of key regional businesses or industries.
c. Phase II: Implementation--Operational Testing, Assessment of 
Results, and Program Adjustments
    This phase of the project (which may, in fact, occur concurrently 
with the pursuit of strategies to begin to address other skill 
shortages) will be to test the implementation plan and the training 
strategy by training eligible individuals described in this SGA in the 
skills identified as a result of the first two elements of this 
demonstration program. Thus, although planning and capacity/partnership 
building are the primary objectives, grantees will be required to test 
any new curricula they develop and, in a limited trial fashion, to 
implement the action plan that they formulate. The test is required to 
see if the strategy developed can be operationalized, and if not, what 
changes need to be made. This test should be conducted to work out 
whatever imperfections there are in the action plan, so that upon 
completion of this grant period, the partnership is prepared to 
successfully implement the action plan on a fully operational basis. 
Most of the training to be conducted in this test period, will be 
relatively of an intensive or compressed nature. It is expected that 
during this period and upon completion of the pilot training effort, 
the consortium will determine the appropriateness of initiating the 
application process for the WIA State Eligible Training Provider List.
    Please note that the training may be provided by more than one 
training provider based on level of complexity, geographic convenience 
or other reasons. The training may be developed as part of a career 
ladder system, with different training providers addressing different 
levels of the career ladder. However, regardless of the training 
approach used, the participants completing training are expected to be 
ready for jobs in the skill shortage areas identified and analyzed in 
the planning phase of the demonstration. Training may include paid and 
unpaid internships with employers.
    (1) Operational Activities. Applicants must describe:
     How and through what entity(ies) trainees will be 
outreached and selected;
     What entity will have operational responsibility for the 
training and case management activities;
     The expected outcomes (jobs) for the trainees, including 
wage goals, and
     Training activities like those authorized under WIA 
Section 134(d)(4)(D) which will be conducted as part of the operational 
testing under this demonstration. Because the applicant

[[Page 46976]]

will likely not know what skill training will be provided as part of 
the demonstration, the description of the training activities to be 
funded as part of the operational test will at first need to be more 
conceptual in the initial application.
    Grantees will receive more detailed information describing the 
information to be submitted in the Phase I plan in order for Phase II 
implementation funding to be released. In addition to other 
information, the grantee will be expected to submit a description of 
the training provider selection process; the development or 
modification of curricula; identification and recruitment of eligible 
individuals; and the types of assessments (including employer 
assessments) that will be used to identify candidates who would be 
likely to be able to succeed in the proposed skill training.
    (2) Participant Services. Three categories of individuals who may 
be trained with any funds awarded as a result of this demonstration are 
eligible dislocated workers, employed and incumbent workers and new 
entrants.
    The application will describe at what points during the operation 
of a demonstration the training is likely to occur. This is 
particularly important where applicants have already identified and 
gathered information on a skill shortage which they are prepared to 
begin addressing upon receipt of the grant. In other words, testing of 
a training concept or process is not limited to a period of time in any 
project that other ``phases'' or ``segments'' have been completed. In 
such cases, within a brief time after release of the Phase I planning 
funds, additional Phase II implementation funds will be released upon 
satisfying the Department's requirements to show that a consortium of 
appropriate community interests has been involved in the identification 
and planning regarding the skill shortage, adequate data exists to 
support the shortage, and the training plan addresses the additional 
information requirements.
    Prior to the release of additional funds, the applicant must 
identify the entities responsible for the following:
     Determining eligibility;
     Selecting individuals for training or referral to 
employers participating in the demonstration for screening;
     Case management and other services (such as orientation to 
employer expectations, internships, supportive services, etc.,) that 
will be available to maximize the trainees' success in completing the 
training;
     Developing and filling job openings identified as part of 
the employers' participation in this demonstration;
     Addressing contingencies for trainees who encounter 
difficulties and for whom alternative reemployment strategies must be 
developed outside the demonstration;
     Developing opportunities for work-based training which may 
or may not be in conjunction with classroom training (if not held on 
site or not a type of contextual training);
     Arranging for trainees to receive credit toward some kind 
of credential that provides evidence of accomplishment in the event a 
participant later changes jobs.
    Other categories of individuals may be served through processes 
developed under projects implemented as a result of this solicitation, 
using resources other than demonstration grant funds to support 
training expenses.
d. Internal Monitoring and Evaluation/Next Steps
(1) Project Benchmarks
    A time line (Appendix to the application) must be provided of 
implementation and project performance benchmarks covering the period 
of performance of the project. The monthly schedule of planned 
implementation activities and start-up events (including benchmarks 
such as completion of lease arrangements for space, selection of an 
employer or community advisory group, advisory group meetings, hiring 
of staff, completion of data collection survey, design of customer 
satisfaction measures, development of a participant selection policy, 
initiation of customer satisfaction activities for employers and 
participants, etc.).
(2) Quantitative projections
    A chart indicating quarterly projections of cumulative expenditures 
for Phase I funds should be included with the grant application. Prior 
to the release of Phase II funds, a number of products will be required 
in addition to the Implementation Plan. These include a second chart of 
quarterly projections of cumulative expenditures based on full funding 
of the demonstration project and a chart providing planned participant 
activity levels-enrollments, assignment to training, entered employment 
(or retained employment) and terminations.
    It is expected that there will be ongoing reports (monthly progress 
reports during the early stages of the project, followed by quarterly 
reports as the projects as the pilot testing phase of the training is 
underway) by the demonstration project director to the consortia 
signatories. Further, it is expected that there will be sufficient 
opportunity to review decisions made and strategies implemented if 
circumstances change or initial project design proves to be 
unproductive or insufficiently productive to proceed further. These 
reports and an active interest on the part of the key leadership in the 
Region and the entities involved will serve as a progress review and 
oversight function to ensure continuous improvement of the strategy and 
its implementation.
    As indicated in the coalition building section and reemphasized 
here, part of this initiative also will be to explore the resources 
that the newly joined partners in the regional consortia can bring to 
the table. DOL is not imposing a matching requirement on this 
procurement. One of the key questions that has emerged with regard to 
this partnership initiative revolves around the issue of 
sustainability, i.e., how will these newly emerging partnerships keep 
themselves going once Federal funding abates? Clearly, one of the root 
factors in this area will be whether the partnership has managed to 
establish a viable financial base, as well as the leadership to ensure 
that the community can build a timely response to the needs of the 
employers and the workers, and continually improve the systems to meet 
this long-term commitment. At the end of the grant period, the grantee 
will be expected to prepare an assessment of the activities undertaken 
as part of the project, in particular providing an assessment of 
whatever operational testing was carried out under the authority of the 
project. That assessment will comprise a portion of the final report 
for the project. This requirement is in addition to the evaluation 
report that will be prepared by the independent evaluator.
2. Training Grants
    a. Funds provided through this demonstration may be used only to 
provide services of the type described at Section 134(d)(2)(A)-(K), 
(3)(C), (4)(D), and (e)(2)and (3) of WIA. (Use DOL/ETA's web site 
www.doleta.gov to view.)
    Grant funds may be used to reimburse employers for extraordinary 
costs associated with on-the-job training of program participants, in 
accordance with the provisions of 20 CFR 663 subpart G. In addition to 
the limitations and requirements provided in WIA, prospective 
applicants should be aware that grant funds may not be used for the 
following purposes: (a) for training that an employer is in a position 
to provide

[[Page 46977]]

and would have provided in the absence of the requested grant; (b) to 
pay salaries for program participants; and (c) for acquisition of 
employers' equipment. Applicants may budget limited amounts of grant 
funds to work with technical experts or consultants to provide advice 
and develop more complete project plans after a grant award, however, 
the level of detail in the project plan may affect the amount of 
funding provided.
    b. Grant activities may include:
    (1) Development, testing and initial application of curricula 
focused on intensive, short-term training to get participants into 
productive, high demand employment as quickly as possible;
    (2) Working with employers in develop and apply worksite-based 
learning strategies that utilize cutting-edge technology and equipment;
    (3) Development of employer-based training programs that will take 
advantage of opportunities created by employers' needs for workers;
    (4) Development and initial application of contextual learning 
opportunities for participants to learn worksite theory and practices 
in a classroom setting while applying that learning in an on-the-job 
setting;
    (5) Use of curriculum and skills training programs that are 
designed to impart learning to meet employer-specified or industry 
specific skill standards or certification requirements;
    (6) Convening of an Employer Advisory Board to identify skills gaps 
of job applicants and present workers affecting the ability of the 
employer to offer a competitive product and develop a strategy for 
retraining;
    (7) Innovative linkage and collaboration between employers and the 
local Substate Grantee and/or One-Stop/Career Center system to ensure a 
steady supply of high demand, skilled workers.
    The above are illustrative examples and are not intended to be an 
exhaustive listing of possible demonstration project designs or 
approaches which may achieve the purpose of this solicitation. However, 
successful applicants must demonstrate the direct involvement by 
employers experiencing skill shortages in the design and operation of 
the project as well as provide substantive documentation about the 
existence of skill shortages for the industry or occupations to be 
targeted by the proposed project. Documentation should include a 
description of the employer involvement anticipated in the project. An 
employer advisory committee may be one means of accomplishing employer 
involvement.
    c. Applications must address the following areas:
(1) Target Population
    Describe the characteristics of the proposed target population for 
the project, e.g.,educational level, previous occupation, age range, 
likely transferrable skills, length of unemployment, and language 
limitations. If that population to be served represents a particular 
minority group, describe the size and needs of the target population in 
the local area as they relate to the services available either through 
the grant or other resources in the geographic area covered by the 
grant. Provide documentation or other assurance showing there are 
sufficient numbers of WIA eligible individuals with the target 
population's characteristics in the project area(s) who can be expected 
to succeed in the planned training.
    Indicate how the number of workers to be enrolled was determined. 
Documentation should be provided to show that individuals with 
appropriate characteristics to meet the purposes of this grant are 
available in sufficient numbers to meet the recruitment goals of the 
grant recognizing that not all workers with appropriate characteristics 
will chose to participate.
Available Jobs
    Describe the jobs that will be available and targeted for placement 
to project participants upon completion of training and placement 
services including the strategy(ies) for identifying job openings that 
appear appropriate to the training planned and meet the target wage at 
placement goals established in the proposal. Include information about 
the number and type of jobs, wage information and the specific set of 
skills, knowledge or duties (industry-sponsored standards of 
certifications). Provide documentation (Footnote sources) that a 
shortage of qualified workers exists in the local area to fill 
positions in the targeted occupations in the absence of the proposed 
project. Anecdotal data should not be used. Information from the Bureau 
of Labor Statistics (BLS) available through a variety of web sites 
including BLS, O*NET and America's Labor Market Information System 
(ALMIS), should be considered as a key source of documentation. In 
addition, State Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (SOICC) 
and WIA local workforce investment plan may also be cited. Other 
sources from the private sector such as Chamber of Commerce or employer 
association studies as well as university studies are also acceptable. 
The data must relate to local employment shortages.
    Substantive linkages with specific employers who are experiencing 
skill shortages among their present workforce and/or the demand for 
additional employees with identified skill sets in documented 
occupational shortages must be provided. Letters from employers who 
have made a commitment to the demonstration project are the most 
appropriate form of documentation.
    If some placements will be made with employers who have not been 
identified at the time of application, describe the job development and 
placement strategy to be used to assure placement of demonstration 
participants.
(3) Project Design
     Service Plan. Describe the services to be provided from 
the time of selection of participants through placement of those 
participants in jobs. Describe any services to be provided subsequent 
to job placement. The descriptions shall provide a clear understanding 
of the services and support that will be necessary for participants to 
be placed successfully in jobs and to retain those jobs, including 
services not funded under the grant, and ways to address participants' 
financial needs during periods of training. Grant-funded activities 
should, at a minimum, include recruitment, eligibility determination, 
assessment, retraining, job placement, and supportive services.
     Outreach and recruitment. Describe how eligible dislocated 
workers will be identified and recruited for participation in the 
project. Recruitment efforts may address public service communications 
and announcements, use of media, coordination with the One-Stop Career 
Center system, use of community-based organizations and other service 
groups. Describe the applicant's experience in reaching dislocated 
workers, especially the targeted population. It is highly recommended 
that applicants partner with the appropriate local One-Stop Career 
Center operators to plan and implement effective outreach and 
recruitment strategies.
     Eligibility determination. Describe the process to be used 
in determining the WIA eligibility of potential participants in the 
project. It is highly recommended that applicants partner with the 
local One-Stop Career Center operators or community-based organizations 
with eligibility determination experience to carry out this critical 
activity.
     Selection criteria. Describe the criteria and process to 
be used in

[[Page 46978]]

selecting those individuals to be served by the project from among the 
total number of eligible persons recruited for the project. Explain how 
the selection criteria relate to the specific purpose of the proposed 
project. Identify any assessment tools that will be used as part of 
selection process.
     Training Services. Describe the training to be provided--
classroom, experiential, on-the-job, internships, etc. Include the 
length (days and hours) and schedule, any perquisite courses, and 
customization to account for transferable skills, previous education 
(note: whether the training requires new and higher educational levels 
than previous skill training in the same industry), and particular 
circumstances of the target population and the skill needs of the 
hiring employer(s). Include information to demonstrate that any 
proposed training provider is qualified to deliver training that meets 
appropriate employment standards, and any applicable certification or 
licensing requirement. Past performance, qualifications of instructors, 
accreditation of curricula, and similar matters should be addressed if 
appropriate. Address the costs of proposed training and other services 
relative to the costs of similar training and services including 
courses provided by both public and private providers in the local 
area. If the training is be customized to account for individual 
differences in skills levels of participants or employer hiring needs, 
describe how these considerations will be taken into account in the 
delivery of the training. The training provided must support the 
information provided regarding skill shortages and demand for jobs.
     Job Placement. Describe the role of the employer linkages 
previously addressed in assuring the availability of jobs for 
participants completing training. If an Employer Advisory Committee is 
the primary employer linkage, the members of the committee should be 
listed and the type of expertise they bring to the committee noted. 
Provide a discussion of the role(s) of the advisory committee and its 
projected meeting frequency. Describe any additional job seeking skills 
training or assistance provided to participants completing training.
     Post placement services. Describe any post placement 
services to be provided and explain their value to the achievement of 
the project's purpose and planned outcomes.
     Supportive services. Describe those supportive services 
determined to be appropriate to the target population's needs. Describe 
policies and procedures to ensure that supportive services are provided 
only when they are necessary to enable an individual who is eligible 
for training but cannot afford to pay for such supportive services, to 
participate in the training program. Indicate how the participants' 
financial needs during the period of training will be addressed.
     Relocation. Describe the limitations and eligibility 
criteria for relocation assistance, if such assistance is included in 
the proposal.
     Participant flow. Provide a flowchart noting length of 
time for various activities (such as one day for assessment, etc.) to 
illustrate how the project will ensure access to necessary and 
appropriate reemployment and retraining services. Show the sequence of 
services and the criteria to be used to determine the appropriateness 
of specific services for particular participants. Note where service 
choice options will be available to participants. Indicate the average 
length of participation from eligibility determination and enrollment 
in the demonstration project to placement in an unsubsidized job.
     Relationship to prior experience. Discuss how the 
applicant's prior experience in working with the targeted population 
affects or influences the design of the proposed project. Note 
especially lessons learned or positive experiences that will be 
replicated.
(4) Collaboration
    Describe the nature and extent of collaboration and working 
relationships between the applicant and other workforce development 
partners in the design and implementation of the proposed project. 
Include services to be provided through resources other than grant 
funds under this demonstration. Provide documentation that the 
collaboration described can reasonably be expected to occur (signed 
letters of agreement and/or the charter of a formally established 
advisory council are considered the strongest evidence, while letters 
of support are considered weaker evidence). Because a core purpose of 
this demonstration program involves the publicly funded workforce 
system, the applicant shall describe working relationships with local 
One-Stop Career Center partners where present.
    Describe the number and types of employers to be directly involved 
in implementation of the demonstration through activities as 
participation on an advisory council, provision of input to curriculum 
development and design, training provider, internship supervision, 
participation in establishment of local skill standards, etc. Describe 
activities, presently in place or to be undertaken to link activities 
to program interventions under this grant to employers, industry, or 
curriculum/learning centers currently designing and developing 
occupational/job skill standards and certifications.
    Collaboration should focus on linking employers involved in grant 
activities with any employer, industry, or trade and worker association 
that has already developed or is developing skill standards 
certifications. Employer linkages must be specifically addressed in the 
application and documentation provided of the specific role(s) the 
employer(s) will play in implementation of the grant provided.

D. Outcome Goals

    Outcome goals for this demonstration program include, but are not 
limited to those stated below:
1. Partnership Building Grants
    a. Increasing opportunities for minority colleges and universities 
to play a significant role in addressing skill shortages as a partner 
in the workforce investment system;
    b. Increasing job opportunities for minorities through skill 
training in growth occupations where employers have identified skill 
shortages in order to access quality jobs that provide for economic 
self-sufficiency and long-term employability security;
    c. Providing minority colleges and universities with access to 
timely, meaningful workforce data to be used in planning curriculum and 
future directions for their institutions;
    d. Providing minority colleges and universities with an additional 
means of accessing the employer community;
    e. Formation of region skills alliances that include minority 
colleges and universities to collaborate in implementing integrated 
strategies in response to employer needs;
    f. Identification of ways to best respond to reported skill 
shortages;
    g. Testing the viability of conducting on-going community audits to 
help avoid future skill shortages and to assist in community-or 
regional-wide planning for adjusting to economic change;
    h. Development of a broad based consortium which will continue 
after the conclusion of this demonstration; and
    i. Development of a process for collecting information and 
responding to employer needs which can be used by local workforce 
investment boards and chief elected officials as a basis for policy 
development for the local one stop system.

[[Page 46979]]

    In addition, the Phase II--Operational Testing of the program 
should demonstrate connections between training provided to 
participants and the industries where participants are employed. Unless 
otherwise provided for in the grant, it is expected that 95% of the 
participants placed in jobs will find employment with those businesses 
or industries for which the training strategy is implemented. For 
dislocated workers, the wage replacement rate is expected to be 90% or 
better; for incumbent workers and new entrants, the wage rates will be 
consistent with requirements in the proposal, and any subsequent 
negotiations; and for employed workers, the wage rates will result in 
wages that meet the local workforce investment board's standard for 
achieving self-sufficiency, taking into consideration each 
application's description of these populations that will be trained as 
part of any funded project.
2. Training Grants
    a. The number of participants projected: to be enrolled in 
services, to successfully complete services through the project, and to 
be placed into new jobs; a minimum of--percent entered employment rate 
is required;
    b. Measurable effects of the services provided to project 
participants as indicated by gains in individuals' skills, 
competencies, or other outcomes;
    c. Wages of participants prior to, at placement and 90 days after 
placement: (1) for dislocated worker participants: a minimum of--
percent wage replacement rate is required for at least--percent of the 
participants and an average--percent wage replacement for the overall 
demonstration project is required; (2) for incumbent worker 
participants: a minimum of 100 percent wage retention is required for 
all participants successfully completing training and meeting the 
competencies/skills levels specified by the employer prior to the 
training.
    d. For projects serving dislocated workers, as part of the targeted 
outcome for wage at placement, each project should benchmark at least 
two key wage averages for the labor market in which each project will 
operate. Suggested benchmarks might include: (1) The average weekly 
wage in the manufacturing sector, if the project is focused on 
manufacturing; the average weekly wage for technical and skilled trade 
jobs; or the average weekly wage for technical or professional workers; 
whichever is appropriate to the training program selected and (2) the 
average wage at placement for the local JTPA Title III, dislocated 
worker program operated June 1999 to July 2000 by the local Substate 
Grantee prior to transfer to the operations under the Workforce 
Investment Act. Provide an explanation of the particular benchmarks 
chosen for the project. For incumbent workers, indicate the present 
wage level of the workers to be trained and discuss how this wage level 
compares with the appropriate benchmark wage for the local labor market 
area.
    e. For each project serving dislocated workers, at least 80 percent 
of the individuals placed shall be placed at a wage that meets or 
exceeds (1) the average benchmarked wage in the labor market area, or 
(2) the average wage at placement for the last program year completed 
(currently 1999) for the JTPA Title III dislocated worker program 
operated in the targeted labor market, whichever is greater. The 
manufacturing wage and other wage information for any labor market may 
be obtained from the Covered Wages and Employment Program administered 
by each State's Employment Service.
    f. Customer satisfaction with the project services including 
participant at critical points in the service delivery process as well 
as upon placement and employer satisfaction with the skills and 
preparation of the participants placed with their organization; and
    g. Planned average cost per placement (amount of the grant request 
divided by the number of program-related placements, and the cost per 
placement for continued placements (the amount of the grant request 
minus development/start-up costs divided by the number of program-
related placements).

E. Staffing

    Each grantee will be expected to hire a full-time project director 
who will begin within 30 days of the grant award to ensure that an 
appropriate level of effort is committed to the success of the 
initiative. A tentative staffing plan should be provided listing each 
position of more than .10 FTE with a brief description of the position, 
salary, fringe, and the percentage of time to be devoted to the 
demonstration project. The individual with primary accountability for 
the implementation of the demonstration should be identified, with the 
information provided as to where this key individual will be placed in 
the organizational structure and to whom he/she will report.

Part IV. Monitoring, Independent Evaluation and Reporting 
Requirements

    As part of the agreement for the receipt of funds under this 
solicitation, each Grantee will be required to provide reports and 
documents as well as participate in evaluation and review activities 
described below. DOL will arrange for or provide technical assistance 
to grantees in establishing appropriate reporting and participant data 
collection methods and processes taking into account the applicant's 
project management plan. An effort will be made to accommodate and 
provide assistance to grantees to be able to complete all reporting 
electronically.

A. Monitoring

    The Department shall be responsible for ensuring effective 
implementation of each competitive grant in accordance with the WIA, 
the Regulations at 20 CFR 652, the provisions of this announcement and 
the negotiated grant agreement. Applicants should assume at least one 
on-site project review will be conducted by DOL staff, or their 
designees.
    This review will focus on the project's progress and performance in 
meeting the grant's programmatic gals and participant outcomes, 
complying with the targeting requirements regarding participants who 
are served, expenditure of grant funds on allowable activities, 
collaboration with employers and other organizations as required, and 
methods for assessment of the responsiveness and effectiveness of the 
services being provided. Grants may be subject to additional reviews at 
the discretion of the Department.

B. Independent Evaluation

    DOL will contract for an independent evaluator of all phases of 
projects funded under this Solicitation. The purpose of the evaluation 
is to inform the system on all phases of the demonstration program in 
order that others who subsequently establish such partnerships to 
address skill shortages may learn from grantees' experiences. Each 
Grantee is required to participate in this effort.

C. Reporting

1. Progress Reports
    a. Partnership Building Grants. The grantee must submit brief 
narrative progress reports. The reports will be submitted monthly 
during the Phase I of the project and during the first three months of 
Phase II funding and then quarterly thereafter. These reports are due 
15 days following the end of each reporting period during which the 
project is operational (funded). The quarters end March 31, June 30, 
September 30 and December 31.
    b. Training Grants. The grantee must submit brief narrative 
progress reports

[[Page 46980]]

as well as quantitative reports based on the planned levels of 
activity'enrollment, training assignment, completion, job placement. 
The reports will be submitted monthly until 50 percent of the 
enrollment goal has been reached. Thereafter they may be submitted 
quarterly.
    2. Quarterly Financial Status Report. Each grantee must submit to 
the Grant Officer's Technical Representative (GOTR) identified in each 
grant agreement within the 30 days following the end of each quarter, 
three copies of a quarterly Financial Status Report (SF 269) until such 
time as all funds have been expended or the period of availability has 
expired.
    3. Final Project report. A draft final report which summarizes 
project activities and results of the demonstration shall be submitted 
no later than 30 days prior to the expiration date of the grant. The 
grantee's assessment of operational testing activities under the grant 
is to be included. The final report shall be submitted in 3 copies no 
later than 15 days before the grant expiration date. It is expected 
that this report includes information on challenges to the system and 
how those challenges were overcome as well as what worked best and what 
did not work as well, or did not work at all.

D. Other Documents or Reports To Be Submitted to DOL

1. Partnership Building Grant
    a. It is expected that either with the application or within 90 
days after the grant award, the grantee shall submit a copy of a signed 
consortium partnership agreement. The agreement shall include a written 
statement of operating principles and procedures defining roles and 
decision-making processes for each member of the partnership, as 
appropriate, as well as the overall principles and procedures of the 
partnership. It must include the frequency of meetings and how the 
review and oversight function will be conducted. A copy of the 
partnership agreement when modified thereafter to add additional 
partners should also be submitted.
    b. The grantee must submit a copy of the Phase II--Implementation 
Plan upon completion of its development, and when modified thereafter. 
The Implementation Plan must be signed by the consortium partners.

Part V. Rating Criteria for Award and Selection Process

    A careful evaluation of applications will be made by a technical 
review panel who will evaluate the applications against the criteria 
listed in the SGA. The panel results are advisory in nature and not 
binding on the Grant Officer. The Government may elect to award grants 
with or without discussions with the offerors. In situations without 
discussions, an award will be based on the offeror's signature on the 
Standard Form (SF) 424, which constitutes a binding offer. The 
Government reserves the right to make awards under this section of the 
solicitation to ensure geographical balance. The Grant Officer will 
make final award decisions based upon what is most advantageous to the 
Federal Government in terms of technical quality, responsiveness to 
this Solicitation (including goals of the Department to be accomplished 
by this solicitation) and other factors.

Rating Criteria for Partnership Building Grants

A. Overall Statement of Problem and Objectives (5 Points)
    A concise statement clearly setting forth the problem(s) to be 
addressed and the objectives for accomplishing the purposes of the 
grant.
B. Regional Characteristics (15 Points)
    1. Region Description. The applicant must provide a clear statement 
describing the region or area that the partnership will encompass. The 
description must enumerate concisely the economic conditions of the 
region. Socioeconomic and demographic data should also be provided to 
buttress the discussion. Judicious use of relevant statistical 
information is encouraged. The statistical information must identify 
the characteristics that make this area a cohesive region.
    2. Employer Characteristics. A discussion of the general business 
environment, including some emphasis on small and medium-sized 
businesses, the characteristics of the major employers in the region 
and in particular, identification of those employers--both major and 
small and medium-sized--that have experienced skill shortages. The 
application should include a discussion of the nature of the skills 
shortages as presently known and the extent to which additional areas 
of information needed to develop a response strategy and action plan 
and what is the nature of those shortages.
    3. Identified Data Needs. The extent to which the applicant 
identified the additional information regarding the employer community 
necessary for the development of an implementation plan.
C. Strength of the Consortium (15 Points)
    1. Partners and Roles. The applicant should enumerate who the 
partners are in this endeavor and how they will link together-i.e., 
what role each will play. This may be presented in chart form. The 
Department is interested in a broad representation of organizations and 
entities that are identified as able to contribute to this effort to 
address reported employer skills shortages in a timely and responsive 
manner. The application must clearly differentiate between actual and 
prospective partners.
    2. Private Sector Involvement. This section should articulate ties 
to the private sector, including ties with small-and medium-sized 
businesses, minority businesses, and small business federations and 
businesses with skill shortages. Provide in detail the role of the 
private sector-employers, employer associations and training providers 
(where appropriate) in developing the application.
    3. Resources provided by partners. A discussion of what resources, 
actual and leveraged, each partner will bring to the partnership. 
Although DOL has not imposed a matching requirement upon this 
procurement, applicants are strongly encouraged to enumerate in 
substantial detail exactly what assets the partners (including 
employers and employer associations) propose to contribute. Assets may 
include, but are not limited to, office or training space, equipment, 
curriculum development, office support staff, meeting space, 
communication lines, as well as cash contributions. Identify additional 
sources of support to be pursued if the grant is funded.
    4. Role of training institutions. The development of a training 
strategy to equip individuals in the Region with the skills to address 
the skill shortages identified is important to the outcomes of the 
overall demonstration. This training may be accomplished through 
customized training contracts or through the Individual Training 
Account mechanisms established by the local workforce investment 
systems. In selecting a training approach, applicants will need to 
consider the replicability of the approach for other workforce 
investment systems as well as the sustainability of the approach under 
the WIA program design developed in the local area . The rationale on 
which consideration of the selection process will take occur or the 
approach most likely to be selected should be discussed. Note: There is 
no particular approach that is favored by DOL.

[[Page 46981]]

However, since the sustainability of the project will depend to some 
extent on the local or regional WIA program training designs, it will 
be important to recognize the philosophy of WIA training in developing 
the project's training rationale.
    Role of unions should be discussed where appropriate.
    5. Sustainability of the partnership and strategies. To be highly 
rated under this criterion, applicants must provide a detailed 
discussion of how the partnership is presently operating, or is 
envisioned to operate and how it will (could) sustain itself once the 
Federal grant funding has expired. Clearly, establishing a strong 
resource base is a significant factor in resolving that question.
D. Prospective Target Population (20 Points)
    1. Characteristics of the target population. The description of the 
characteristics of those individuals the plan envisions serving should 
be clear and sufficiently detailed to determine the potential 
participants' service needs. If the individuals to be served will be 
drawn from one eligible group of participants (by industry, working 
status, etc.) the application should so state and provide the rationale 
for that group's selection. Describe the extent to which target 
populations will be drawn from groups under represented in the targeted 
industries/occupations.
    2. Documentation of available participants. Documentation should be 
provided showing that a significant number of incumbent, employed, and 
dislocated workers as well as new entrants are available for 
participation within the project area.
E. Strategy and Service Plan (20 Points)
    1. Collection and Data Analysis. The extent to which the applicant 
provides information about the approach to data collection and 
analysis, specifically citing rationale for methodology selected for 
data collection, responsibilities assigned regarding collection and 
analysis, and timeliness of data collection and analysis as it relates 
to development of an action plan and training strategy.
    2. Strategy. The extent to which the proposed strategy approach 
addresses:
    a. identification of the region or geographical area within the 
region to be served;
    b. the relationship of the employers' skill shortages and 
employment needs, including an assessment of the current workforce's 
skills if the skill shortage is identified and confirmed as a result of 
the data collection and analysis at the time of application, or a 
description of those areas of reported skill shortages which the 
proposal plans to examine and verify and the types of data collection 
and analysis presently under consideration; and
    c. the employment and training needs of the targeted minority 
population to assure that the required demonstration outcomes are 
achieved.
    3. Geographic, neighborhood or industry concentration. Applicants 
are strongly encouraged to include under represented communities and 
populations particularly those that may reside in Empowerment Zones and 
Enterprise Communities (EZ/ECs) in the region, or industries, and/or 
areas in the community or region that have been targeted for other 
assistance that together with funds from this initiative may result in 
sufficient concentration of resources to achieve even greater goals 
than those established for this demonstration. This approach also 
allows for great opportunity to leverage other funding sources.
    4. Participant Services. While this Solicitation envisions only 
limited operational testing of the action plan, it is expected that 
some participants will be served during the period of this start up 
grant. Applicants must describe with clarity the participant focus of 
projected activities (from outreach/recruitment, assessment, case 
management, and supportive services to job search and placement 
activities) that will emanate from the Phase II: Implementation Plan. 
It is expected that the appropriate mix of services will be tailored to 
the characteristics of the target population.
F. Previous Experience and Management Plan (15 Points)
    1. Previous individual staff experience and experience of partner 
organizations. Applicants should provide a detailed discussion of 
specific experience in the activities contemplated by the Solicitation. 
The kinds and quality of experience the regional skills alliance 
(including the applicant and other partners) has had in economic 
planning including the use of economic and demographic data to identify 
skill shortage occupations. The level and quality of experience the 
applicant and other partners have in curriculum planning and 
development. The quality of the experience the partners bring to the 
demonstration regarding occupational skill training.
    2. Staffing. The application should include resumes of key staff 
who will be expected to play a key role in the first six months of the 
project implementation. As noted above, it may well be that the 
individual staff members do not have substantive experience in 
partnership building activities. Therefore, it will be acceptable to 
demonstrate that the key staff has substantial background in economic 
planning and other activities (e.g., curriculum development) 
contemplated as part of the coalition building effort for this 
initiative.
    3. Management Plan. The application should include a management 
plan for how this grant will be administered. The structure under which 
the project will operate must be carefully described and must identify 
the lines of authority for accountability for the achievement of the 
project goals. The required time line will indicate the key benchmark 
achievements identified by the applicant and the timeframe for their 
accomplishment. It is recommended that the time line include such 
benchmarks as the selection and hiring of staff, finalization of an MOU 
with all demonstration project partners, selection of the methodology 
for gathering and analyzing necessary data to determine the 
occupational areas of skill shortages and employer needs, the 
identification of training needs and appropriate curricula, initial 
testing of training to meet employer skill shortage needs, formation of 
any subcommittees to focus on particular aspects of the demonstration 
activity, establishment of policies for the selection of participants 
and employers, approval of training strategy, assessment of customer 
satisfaction and assurance of continuous improvement efforts, and 
schedule for review of progress reports. This list is not meant to be 
inclusive, but rather to illustrate some activities to be accomplished 
that could serve as benchmarks for oversight review and for negotiation 
with DOL in determining the appropriate time for the release of the 
balance of demonstration grant funds.
G. Cost Effectiveness (10 Points)
    Applicants will provide a detailed cost proposal including a 
detailed discussion of the expected cost effectiveness of their 
proposal. This discussion should be couched in terms of the 
reasonableness of the cost in relation to the activities planned, 
including such factors as the geographic area covered by the proposed 
project, the number and range of the partners, the operational testing 
of the Implementation Plan (in particular, training). The agreement 
shall include a written statement of operating principles and 
procedures defining roles and decision-making processes for each member 
of the partnership, as appropriate, as well as the overall

[[Page 46982]]

principles and procedures of the partnership. It must include the 
frequency of meetings and how the review and oversight function will be 
conducted. Expenses should be identified that will be incurred in terms 
of establishing and/or strengthening the collaborative, cooperative 
partnership. The cost benefits of assessing community needs and 
curriculum development should also be addressed. Benefits can be 
described both qualitatively in terms of the value of established 
cooperative relationships and skills attained and quantitatively in 
terms of wage gains and cost savings resulting from collaborative 
efforts and activities.
    In view of the fact that there will be relatively little actual 
provision of services to individuals; proposals will have to discuss 
costs and benefits, to some extent, in terms of projected participants. 
This may, of necessity, involve a certain amount of hypothetical model 
building. However, it is anticipated that applicants would have a fully 
completed and tested action plan which is ready to be fully implemented 
upon completion of this grant, so that the model building could produce 
some excellent guide posts for the successful applicant to use in 
carrying out this grant.

Selection Criteria for Training Grants

A. Statement of Need (15 Points)
    1. Region Description. The applicant must provide a clear statement 
describing the region or area that the partnership will encompass. The 
description must enumerate concisely the economic conditions of the 
region including those industries in growth and decline. Socioeconomic 
and demographic data should also be provided to buttress the 
discussion. Judicious use of relevant statistical information is 
encouraged. The statistical information must identify the 
characteristics that make this area a cohesive region.
    2. Employer Characteristics. A discussion of the general business 
environment, including some emphasis on small and medium-sized 
businesses, the characteristics of the major employers in the region 
and in particular, identification of those employers--both major and 
small and medium-sized'' that have experienced skill shortages.
    3. Identification of the skill shortages. A discussion of 
information and data sources used in selecting the particular skill 
shortages selected for training must be provided. The application 
should include a discussion of the nature of the skills shortages as 
presently known and the extent to which additional areas of information 
needed to develop a response strategy and action plan and what is the 
nature of those shortages.
B. Target Population (10 Points)
    1. Description of the characteristics. The applicant must provide a 
clear statement describing the target group to be served that is 
sufficiently detailed to determine the potential participants' service 
needs.
    2. Availability of Sufficient Number of Workers. Documentation must 
be provided showing that a significant number of eligible dislocated 
workers who possess these characteristics are available for 
participation within the project area. An explanation of how the number 
of dislocated workers to be enrolled in the project was determined 
should be provided.
    3. The recruitment plan must support the number of planned 
enrollments. The target population must be appropriate for the specific 
purpose of the proposed project.
C. Targeted Jobs (15 Points)
    1. Appropriateness of Selected Occupations. The applicant should 
provide information indicating that the jobs identified for training 
are clearly available to workers who successfully complete the planned 
training and preparation given that:
    a. the match between the documented skill shortage and the training 
planned;
    b. the documentation provided specifying that training meets or is 
developed based on industry driven skill standards or certifications;
    c. the substantial level of involvement of employers in making 
known their needs regarding requisite worker skills necessary for 
hiring program completers;
    d. the documentation and reliability of job availability is based 
upon recognized, reliable and timely sources of information;
    e. where appropriate, the role of workers or representatives of a 
labor organization representing the workers in the design and/or 
delivery of training in enhancing worker skills during workplace 
change;
    2. Consultation with labor unions has occurred where appropriate 
and a statement is included noting the consultation or determination 
that such consultation was not necessary.
D. Service Delivery Strategy. (20 Points)
    1. Strategy. Applicants must lay out a comprehensive strategy of 
providing the skills training. It must include how many types of 
training will be provided, by what organizations (in addition to the 
grantee), and demonstrate that the scope of services to be provided is 
consistent with the demonstration program and project purposes.
    2. Scope of Services. The scope of services must be adequate to 
meet the needs of the target population given:
    a. their characteristics and circumstances;
    b. the complexity of the training and the skills to be developed 
relative to their characteristics and previous job experience, 
including discussion on how internships, hands-on training, or other 
practicum opportunities will be part of the curricula;
    c. the jobs in which they are to be placed relative to targeted 
wage at placement goals;
    d. the length of program participation planned prior to placement.
    3. Services to be Provided. The applicant should discuss the 
services to be provided including at a minimum: outreach and 
recruitment, assessment, selection process, training, job search 
assistance and job placement, supportive services and follow-up 
services. The provision of any training or employment related tools and 
uniforms should be noted.
    4. Innovation. Innovation in the context of service delivery can 
represent a wide variety of items. There can be innovation in the way 
training services are provided--e.g., distance learning to provide 
instruction to rural areas, interactive self-instructional video 
materials, flexible class scheduling (to accommodate employed and 
incumbent workers schedules), professional mentoring. Creativity in 
developing other aspects of service strategy (recruitment, assessment, 
transportation linkages, etc.) is also encouraged.
E. Cost Effectiveness (10 Points)
    1. Reasonableness of Costs. Applicants should address the 
employment outcomes and the levels of skills to be achieved (such as 
attained State licensing, an industry-recognized certification, etc.) 
relative to the amount of training that the individual would need to 
receive in order to achieve those outcomes. The cost information 
provided regarding similar training available through other training 
providers is within an acceptable range or sufficient rationale is 
provided for the cost differences. The impact of development/start-up 
and innovation on costs is explained clearly in the proposal and is 
reasonable. Benefits can be described both qualitatively in terms of 
skills attained and quantitatively in terms of wage gains. Proposed 
costs must be reasonable in relation to the

[[Page 46983]]

characteristics and circumstances of the target group, the services to 
be provided, planned outcomes, the management plan, and coordination/
collaboration with other entities, including One-Stop/Career Center 
organizations.
    2. Leveraged resources. Identification should be provided of the 
specific sources and amounts of other funds which will be used, in 
addition to funds provided through this grant, to implement the 
project. The application must include information on any non-WIA 
resources committed to this project, including employer funds, grants, 
and other forms of assistance, public and private. The degree to which 
other interested partners in the workforce development system invest 
resources to test the concepts put forth in the application. In-kind 
contributions should also be discussed. Value and level of external 
resources being contributed, including employer contributions, to 
achieve program goals will be taken into consideration in the rating 
process.
    3. Cost effectiveness may also be demonstrated in part by cost per 
participant and cost per activity in relation to services provided and 
outcomes to be attained taking into consideration the characteristics 
of the planned participants.
F. Management (10 Points)
    1. Project progress tracking system. The project management plan 
must be designed to track project performance in such a way as to 
assure that benchmarks are achieved in a timely manner, issues 
affecting performance such as employer involvement, collaboration 
partners commitments, etc. are quickly identified and addressed, and 
planned outcomes will be achieved in a cost effective manner.
    2. Integrity of WIA funds. The management structure and management 
plan for the proposed project must ensure the integrity of the funds 
requested. The project work plan demonstrates the applicant's ability 
to effectively track project progress with respect to planned 
expenditures. Sufficient procedures are in place to use the information 
obtained by the project operator(s) to take corrective action if 
indicated.
    3. Customer Satisfaction. The proposal must have a method of 
assessing customer feedback for both participants and employers 
involved, and establish a mechanism to take into account the results of 
such feedback as part of a continuous system of management and 
operation of the project.
G. Collaboration (15 Points)
    1. Evidence of involvement of key workforce investment 
stakeholders. The application must include evidence of partnership with 
the local Workforce Investment Board(s) and the local One-Stop/Career 
Center operator(s) in the planning and other appropriate demonstration 
activities. Evidence of coordination with other programs and entities 
for project design or provision of services should also be provided. A 
written agreement or memorandum of understanding is a suggested vehicle 
for presenting a clear indication that the signatory stakeholders have 
agreed to cooperate and coordinate resources and operating 
responsibilities, as applicable, for the life of the proposed project.
    2. Employer Involvement. The applicant should discuss and provide 
documentation of the role of the employer(s) in the overall design of 
the project, the occupations targeted for training and the 
identification of the skills for which training is provided, and in the 
placement of training completers. The project includes a reasonable 
method of assessing and reporting on the impact of such coordination, 
relative to the demonstration purpose and goals and the specific 
purpose and goals of the proposed project.
H. Sustainability and Replicability (5 Points)
    1. Sustainability. The applicant must provide evidence that, if 
successful, activities supported by the demonstration grant will be 
continued after the expiration date of the grant, using WIA-allotted 
formula funds or other public or private resources.
    2. Replicability. The likelihood that the approach may be 
applicable to a broad range of dislocated worker programs across the 
country. The proposal must provide evidence that the approach and 
training strategy(ies) used can be replicated by other workforce 
development partners to address skill shortages in their local area.
    This solicitation is designed to promote involvement and provide 
support of minority colleges and universities in establishing a role in 
their local workforce investment areas' strategies to address skill 
shortages as well as in their provision of training services in 
response to employer-identified skill shortages. For this reason, the 
Federal Government intends to award grants to institutions representing 
each of the three primary categories of minority colleges and 
universities--Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic 
Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
    Applicants are advised that discussions may be necessary in order 
to clarify any inconsistency or ambiguity in their applications. The 
final decision on awards will be based on what is most advantageous to 
the Federal Government as determined by the ETA Grant Officer. The 
Government may elect to award grant(s) without discussion with the 
applicant(s). The applicant's signature on the Application for Federal 
Assistance (Standard Form) SF-424 constitutes a binding offer.

    Signed this date, July 26, 2000 at Washington, D.C.
Laura A. Cesario,
Grant Officer.

Appendix ``A''--Standard Form (SF) 424
Appendix ``B''--Budget Information Sheet
Appendix ``C''--Definitions
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BILLING CODE 4510-30-C

Appendix ``C''

Definitions That Will Apply to This Demonstration Program

    1. Community Audit. A mechanism used by a community or region 
that collects ``real-time data'' from regional employers regarding 
actual and projected short term and longer term labor surpluses and 
needs, to enable the regional workforce development system (the 
entire community) to plan effectively for expected events-- both 
positive and negative--in order to improve the functioning of the 
market and minimize the overall negative impact on the community.
    2. Consortium. A group of entities (agencies or organizations) 
representing key policy makers within a Region (as identified in the 
application, consistent with the definition herein) which has a 
common interest in developing strategies and processes to respond to 
skill shortages within the Region. At a minimum, the consortium must 
include the local workforce development board chairs, or their 
representatives (speaking on behalf of the board), and chief elected 
officials, or their representatives, within the Region who will use 
the outcomes developed as part of this demonstration to develop or 
direct policy decisions for the workforce investment system.
    3. Contextual Learning. A combination of compressed work and 
class-based learning strategies that may include integrated basic 
skills, literacy, and vocational training.
    4. Chief Elected Officials. Those elected officials whose 
responsibilities are defined in JTPA and the Workforce Investment 
Act.
    5. Customized Training. Training and or curricula that is 
developed for specific employers' specific hiring needs in a 
collaborative fashion by the employer, the

[[Page 46988]]

education system, the local workforce investment system. It may be 
entirely work-based, entirely classroom or a combination of the two. 
The cost of the training must be leveraged from a variety of 
sources, including the employer, the education system and this 
demonstration program.
    6. Displaced Homemaker. An individual who meets the definition 
at WIA Section 101(10).
    6. Eligible Dislocated Worker. An individual who meets the 
definition at WIA Section 101(9)(A), (B), and (D). See also 
``employed dislocated worker.''
    7. Employed Dislocated Worker. An individual who meets the 
definition of an eligible dislocated worker at WIA Sec. 101(9) and 
who has not yet been laid off or has been dislocated and has 
accepted a temporary, income-maintenance job at a wage of less than 
90% of layoff wage; and is determined by the project operator or the 
designated one-stop operator to require training to obtain or retain 
employment that permits the individual to achieve self-sufficiency 
in accordance with the criteria set by the State or local workforce 
investment board under WIA.
    8. H1-B Visa Skill Shortages. Those skill shortages identified 
by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I&NS) for which 
employers are permitted to apply to bring into the U.S. foreign 
workers to meet demands when the supply of workers with such skills 
in the local labor market are insufficient. A list of the 
occupations certified by the Department of Labor under the H1-B 
program for non-immigrant visas may be found on page 44549 of the 
Federal Register, Volume 64, Number 157, Monday, August 16, 1999.
    9. Incumbent Worker. An individual who is currently employed at 
small or medium-sized businesses (see definition) whose job skills 
do not meet the current or future needs of the company if it is to 
remain competitive by keeping workers employed, averting layoffs, 
and upgrading workers' skills. As a result, the company has 
identified such workers as being at risk of being laid off in the 
future (5 year projection). This definition is for purposes of this 
grant solicitation.
    10. Independent Evaluation. A process and outcome evaluation 
conducted by a contractor hired by DOL. The evaluation will be 
designed to identify the lessons learned and the variety of 
effective models developed in order to maximize the value of systems 
tested and inform the workforce investment system.
    11. Local Workforce Investment Areas. Those geographic areas 
designated by the Governor of each State under the Workforce 
Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 (or service delivery areas under JTPA).
    12. Local Workforce Investment Boards. Boards are authorized 
under Section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. 
More than half of the membership of each local board must be key 
officials from the private employers.
    13. Memorandum of Understanding or Cooperative Agreement. A 
living and growing agreement that is a critical element of the 
establishment and on-going development of a regional skills alliance 
process. The initial agreement to be submitted with an application, 
at a minimum, articulate the outcomes and action plant to occur if a 
project is funded. It must include the affected local workforce 
development board chairs and the chief elected officials in the 
Region for which application is made must be parties to the 
agreement. This agreement shall include the role each organization 
will take in implementing the demonstration strategy as well as any 
monetary and in-kind contribution by each signatory organization.
    14. New Entrants. Eligible individuals in this category include-
young adults aged 18 years and over; welfare recipients; disabled 
individuals and others who have limited work histories but for whom 
the type of training envisioned under this demonstration will lead 
to self-sufficiency as defined by the State or local workforce 
investment board.
    15. Private Industry Council (PIC). The policy making local 
entity as described in JTPA Sections 102 and 103.
    16. Performance Outcomes. A determination of how many 
participants enter jobs for which the training was conducted and the 
wage received as a result of the training, both in terms of prior 
wage for incumbent workers and dislocated workers, and in 
relationship to self-sufficiency for new entrants to the workforce. 
Other performance factors will be negotiated for each grant 
depending upon the design of the demonstration project and shall 
include factors for planning and implementation of strategies to 
respond to area employers' skill shortages and consistent with the 
goals articulated in this SGA.
    17. Region. An area which exhibits a commonality of economic 
interest. Thus, a region may comprise several labor market areas, 
one large labor market, one labor market area joined together with 
several of adjacent rural districts, special purpose districts, or a 
few contiguous PICs or local boards. If the region involves multiple 
economic or political jurisdictions, it is essential that they be 
contiguous to one another. A region may be either intrastate or 
interstate. Although the rating criteria will provide more detail, 
it is the applicant's responsibility to demonstrate the regional 
nature of the area which that application covers. Also, a region may 
be coterminous with a single PIC or local board.
    18. Regional Planning. A process described in WIA Section 
116(c).
    19. Self-Sufficiency for:
    Dislocated workers. The wage of the job for which the individual 
is trained will pay at least 95% of the worker's layoff wage within 
one year of entering employment as a result of the training 
received.
    New entrants. The wage of the job for which the individual is 
trained will at a minimum exceed the lower living standard for the 
family size as published by the DOL.
    20. Skills Shortage. Those specific vocational skills that 
employers have identified as lacking in sufficient numbers to meet 
their needs. A labor shortage occurs when the demand for workers 
possessing a particular skill is greater than the supply of workers 
who are qualified, available and willing to perform those skills. 
Problematic skills shortages occur when there is an imbalance 
between worker supply and demons for a significant amount of time 
for which the labor market does not, or is unable, adjust in a 
timely manner.
    21. Small and Medium-sized Business. A business with 500 or 
fewer full-time employees.
    22. Unified Plan. A State plan authorized under WIA Section 
501(b), containing coordination principles strongly encouraged by 
the Department.

[FR Doc. 00-19297 Filed 7-31-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-30-P




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