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[Federal Register: April 11, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 70)]
[Notices]               
[Page 18800-18811]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11ap01-90]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

 
Grants for Implementing Disability Information Technology (IT) 
Initiative

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration (ETA), 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, Employment and Training 
Administration (DOL/ETA) announces the availability of approximately 
$2.8 million in competitive grant funds for information technology 
skills training for people with disabilities.

DATES: Applicants will be accepted commencing on the date of 
publication. The closing date for receipt of applications under this 
announcement is Tuesday, May 15, 2001 at 4 pm Eastern Daylight Time 
(EDT) at the address below.

ADDRESSES: Applications shall be mailed to the U.S. Department of 
Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Federal 
Assistance, Attention: B. Jai Johnson, SGA/DFA 01-107. 200 Constitution 
Avenue, NW., Room S-4203, Washington, DC. 20210. Applications that do 
not meet the conditions set forth in this notice will not be honored. 
Telefacsimile (FAX) applications will not be honored.
    Hand Delivered Proposals. It is preferred that applications be 
mailed at least five days before the closing date (see ``Late 
Proposals'' section below). To be considered for funding, hand 
delivered proposals must be received at the address identified above by 
4 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) Tuesday, May 15, 2001. All overnight 
express mail will be considered to be hand delivered and must be 
received at the designated place by the specified time on the closing 
date. Grant applications transmitted by electronic mail, telegraph or 
facsimile will not be considered. Failure to adhere to the above 
instructions will be a basis for a determination of non responsiveness.
    Late Proposals. Any application received after the exact date and 
time specified for receipt at the office designated in this notice will 
not be considered, unless it is received before awards are made and 
it--
     Was sent by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified 
mail not later than the fifth calendar day before the date specified 
for receipt of applications (e.g., an application submitted in response 
to a solicitation requiring receipt of applications by the 20th of the 
month must have been mailed/post marked by the 15th of that month); or
     Was sent by the U.S. Postal Service Express Mail Next Day 
Service, Post Office to Addressee, not later than 5:00 p.m. at the 
place of mailing two working days prior to the deadline date specified 
for receipt of applications in this SGA. The term ``working days'' 
excludes weekends and 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 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 an 
employee of the U.S. Postal Service.
    Withdrawal of Applications. Applications may be withdrawn by 
written notice or telegram (including mail gram) 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 should be faxed to B. Jai 
Johnson at (202) 693-2879 (this is not a toll-free number). All 
inquiries should include the SGA number 01-107, and a contact name, 
fax, and telephone numbers. This solicitation is also being published 
on the Internet at ETA's home page at http://www.doleta.gov and at 
ETA's disAbility Online website at http://www.wdsc.org/disability 
(click on ``Grantee Communication'' to access these forms). Award 
notifications will also be published on both the ETA home page and the 
disAbility Online website.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

[[Page 18801]]

A. Authority

    Funds made available for this Solicitation for Grant Application 
are authorized under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, section 171 
(c) and (d). Approximately $1.16 million of the total funds available 
for this grant award are dislocated worker funds.
    This announcement consists of five parts:

 Part I--Application Process
 Part II--Background and Purpose
 Part III--Review Process, Evaluation Criteria and Statement of 
Work
 Part IV--Government Requirements, and
 Part V--Definitions.

Part I.--Application Process

A. Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants must be a consortium of public, private non-
profit and for-profit entities. The Local Workforce Investment Board(s) 
(Local Boards) and the local One-Stop Center(s) must be included in the 
consortium. Applicants must obtain and provide letters of commitment 
from Local Boards. Representatives from the information technology 
business community, and representatives from the disability advocacy 
community or with expertise in services to people with disabilities 
should also be represented in the consortium.
    The consortium members should contribute substantively to the 
overall goals and objectives of this solicitation. Representation 
should include corporate and academic entities that possess a sound 
grasp of the information technology job market in the region, are able 
to address the issue of information technology skill shortages, and 
have expert knowledge of the academic, professional, technical or other 
training requirements for information technology careers. Such 
organizations may include private for-profit information technology 
business enterprises--including small and medium-size businesses; 
Business Leadership Networks; industry associations such as local 
Chambers of Commerce and small business federations; local affiliates 
of national associations such as Information Technology Association of 
America (ITAA); and labor unions. Disability representation may include 
participation of Centers for Independent Living, Disability Business 
and Technical Assistance Centers, Rehabilitation Technology Centers, 
and national or regional non-profit organizations which are advocates 
for, or provide services to, people with disabilities. Consortia 
members may also include other Workforce Investment Act programs 
partners.
    Local Workforce Investment Boards that share common economic goals 
may band together as one applicant rather than applying individually. 
Applicants may also submit grant applications for multi-site projects, 
i.e., projects that will provide employment and training services in 
different areas of the country.
    Indian and native Tribal entities, or consortia of Tribes, may 
apply for Information Technology Initiative Grants. In such cases, 
letters of commitment from Local Boards may not be applicable because 
of sovereignty and self-governance of Tribal entities established under 
the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act allowing for 
the government to government relationship between the Federal and 
Tribal Governments.
    All applications must clearly identify the lead agent and fiscal 
agent, and other members of the Consortium applying for the grant. The 
application must identify who the grant recipient (and/or fiscal agent) 
is and describe its capacity to administer this project. It must 
indicate that the project is consistent with and will be coordinated 
with the workforce investment system(s) that are involved in technical 
skills activities in the region(s) encompassed by the application.

    Note: Except as specifically provided, DOL/ETA acceptance of a 
proposal and an award of federal funds to sponsor any program(s) 
does not provide a waiver of any grant requirements and/or 
procedures. For example, the OMB circulars require an entity's 
procurement procedures must require that all procurement 
transactions shall be conducted, as practical, to provide open and 
free competition. If a proposal identifies a specific entity to 
provide the services, the DOL/ETA's award does not provide the 
justification or basis to sole-source the procurement, i.e., avoid 
competition.

B. Submission of Proposals

    Applicants must submit four (4) copies with original signatures. A 
proposal shall consist of two (2) separate and distinct sections. 
Section I, the Financial Proposal shall contain the SF-424, 
``Application for Federal Assistance,'' (Appendix A) and Budget 
Information Form (Appendix B).
    In addition, the budget shall include on a separate page a detailed 
cost analysis of each line item. Administrative costs should not exceed 
15 percent of total proposed costs. Justification must be provided on 
the need for administrative costs that exceed this limit. Approval of a 
budget by DOL is not the same as approval of actual costs. The Catalog 
of Federal Domestic Assistance number is 17.261. 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 must 
include, on a separate page, a detailed breakout of each line item. 
Section II, the Technical Proposal, will demonstrate the applicant's 
capabilities in accordance with the Statement of Work in Part III of 
this solicitation. This must be organized to follow the evaluation 
criteria. No cost data or reference to costs shall be included in the 
Technical Proposal. In addition, the Technical Proposal shall be 
limited to 20 doubled-spaced, single-side, 8.5 inch x 11 inch pages 
with 1 inch margins. Appendices shall not exceed 10 pages, and may 
include charts, graphs, staff resumes, composition of advisory boards, 
and other supporting documents. Required letters of commitment from 
Local Boards should be included in the appendix rather than in Section 
I. Letters of commitment from other partnered entities should also be 
included. Text type shall be 12 point or larger. Applications not 
meeting these requirements may not be considered. The Technical 
Proposal must also contain participant, activity and outcome 
information.

C. Scope of Award

    DOL/ETA anticipates making approximately 5-9 awards, ranging from 
$300,000 to $600,000. Proposals are not to exceed $600,000.

D. Period of Performance

    The initial period of performance will be 12 months from the date 
of execution by the Government. Based on the availability of funds, 
project performance and needs, the Department may elect to exercise its 
option to extend these grants for up to two additional option years for 
a total not to exceed 36 months.

Part II--Background and Purpose

A. Background

    This initiative builds upon similar ETA initiatives that address 
increasing

[[Page 18802]]

the employment of people with disabilities in the information 
technology industry. It is also supportive of President Bush's New 
Freedom Initiative focused on helping people with disabilities by 
increasing access to assistive and universally designed technologies, 
expanding educational opportunities, integrating individuals with 
disabilities into the workforce, and promoting increased access into 
daily community life. Other ETA initiatives addressing the employment 
of people with disabilities include the Work Incentive Grants, which 
focus on enhancing One-Stop services for people with disabilities, and 
the Disability Employment Grants, which are focused on building 
partnerships with the One-Stop Center system, interagency coordination 
and innovative employment and training practices. The Department's 
Office of Disability Employment Policy, formerly the President's 
Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities, has also fostered 
the potential of the information technology employment sector with 
their High School/High Tech internship and mentoring program that is 
now in approximately 60 locations around the country. Please go to: 
http://wdsc.org/disability for more information on these initiatives.
    The Department of Labor also recognizes the critical importance of 
a highly skilled workforce to the continued economic progress and well-
being of the United States. ETA is the administering agency for the H1-
B visa program and the resulting grant programs designed to train 
America's workers in those occupations experiencing skill shortages, in 
particular in the technology programming and technical support areas. 
With expectations that computer related applications will be a dominate 
force in the economic infrastructure of the United States in the 
foreseeable future, ETA is fostering relationships with technology 
related stakeholders such as the Information Technology Association of 
America and CompTIA to connect the workforce delivery system in a 
variety of capacities. These efforts include capacity building and 
linkage of the information technology business community with local 
providers and community based organizations who are important 
stakeholders in the delivery of training and employment services. ETA 
considers this Information Technology Skills Training solicitation to 
be aligned with these overarching goals of workforce readiness.
    According to the White Paper entitled the IT Workforce Shortage and 
the Skills Gap, published jointly by the Computing Technology Industry 
Association (CompTIA), the Technology Workforce Coalition (TWC), and 
the National Cristina Foundation (NCF), the societal costs of the 
information technology skills gap are significant. Businesses lose 
opportunities, customers are not serviced, and opportunities are unmet. 
The information technology skills gap results in reduced economic 
prosperity, and suppresses wage growth, corporate earnings, and the tax 
base. The White Paper also points out that by simply focusing on the 
300,000 positions that do not require a computer science degree, 
American society stands to benefit substantially if it can create 
effective programs to fill those positions. Training and certification 
for positions in the technology workforce such as computer technicians, 
networking, and Internet professional can be completed in 3-12 months.
    There are approximately 54 million Americans with disabilities, 30 
million of whom are of working age. Only 26% of working age adults with 
significant disabilities have a job or a business compared to 82% of 
those without disabilities (U.S. Bureau of the Census, Survey of Income 
and Program Participation, 1997). The US Department of Labor report, 
Futureworks points out that while educational attainment made some 
difference in the rate of unemployment for people with disabilities, 
the employment figures for workers with severe disabilities lie in 
sharp contrast to those for workers without disabilities. Among workers 
with college degrees, only 52% of those with severe disabilities 
reported labor market activity compared to 90% of those with no 
disability--a gap of 38 percentage points.
    Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act, which amends the 
Rehabilitation Act, included several findings relating to ethnic and 
racial minorities as traditionally under-served populations in the 
vocational rehabilitation system (29 U.S.C. 718). Ethnic and racial 
minorities tend to have disabling conditions at a disproportionately 
high rate. The rate of work-related disability for Native Americans is 
about one and one-half times that of the general population. African-
Americans are also one and one-half times more likely to be disabled 
than whites and twice as likely to be significantly disabled. According 
to the US Census Bureau's 1994-1995 data approximately 85.5% of 
African-Americans with severe disabilities and 75.4% of Hispanics with 
severe disabilities are not working. Individuals with disabilities who 
are members of other minority groups are also disproportionately 
represented among the unemployed. Among the reasons for the 
disproportionately high rate of unemployment are disparities in the 
rehabilitation services provided to minorities with disabilities, fewer 
educational opportunities, poor outreach to minority communities, and 
inadequate transportation and housing.

B. Purpose

    The primary purpose of this award is to expand opportunities for 
information technology training and improve access to employment with 
long-term career potential in the information technology industry for 
people with disabilities, particularly those with severe disabilities. 
In addition, this solicitation seeks to foster the commitment and 
experience of the One-Stop system in the training and successful 
attainment of employment for people with disabilities, including 
supporting partnerships with (1) the business community to achieve 
quality program designs and placement outcomes, (2) academic 
institutions with expertise in information technology skill 
requirements, (3) and non-profit entities which may provide expertise 
regarding accessible technologies and accommodations or outreach. Non-
duplication of existing services, and leveraging of scarce resources 
are also important factors.
    DOL is seeking applications that address one or more of the 
following concerns: Strategies for training and employment of 
individuals with severe disabilities in the information technology 
industry, including those with a specific disabling condition or who 
also may be members of a subgroup (e.g., minorities, youth, older 
workers); strategies for re-employment of individuals with disabling 
conditions (e.g., brain/spinal cord injury from accident, emotional/
psychiatric conditions, stroke, multiple sclerosis) resulting in 
dislocation from employment and a need for retraining; linkages with 
public (national, state and local) and/or private delivery systems; 
disability consumer organizations (e.g., independent living centers), 
and other entities that address significant employment barriers (e.g., 
lack of medical coverage, transportation needs, personal care 
requirements); linkages with existing service strategies that build on 
and facilitate workforce development and other systemic changes 
impacting individuals with disabilities (e.g., DOL Work Incentive Grant 
programs, Social Security's Ticket to Work Program, Welfare-to-Work 
implementation, Medicaid

[[Page 18803]]

Infrastructure Grants); innovative approaches using technology, 
particularly assistive technology, innovative training and workplace 
strategies or other approaches (e.g., distance learning, computer based 
training, telecommuting, and entrepreneurship) which result in 
significant information technology skill development (e.g., 
certification in CompTIA's iNet or Net+, Microsoft Certified Systems 
Engineer, Networking, etc.), and significant employment outcomes 
related to the information technology industry.
    DOL expects the awardee to evaluate the effectiveness of 
implementation strategies and refine their proposed project as it 
progresses. Refinements impacting the agreed upon Statement of Work 
must be coordinated with ETA. Any formal evaluation process will be 
performed by DOL; therefore, proposals need not identify evaluation 
strategies.

Part III.--Review Process, Evaluation Criteria and Statement of 
Work

    A careful evaluation of applications will be made by a technical 
review panel who will evaluate the applications against the established 
criteria listed in this SGA. The panel results are advisory in nature 
and are not binding on the Grant Officer. The Government may elect to 
award the grant with or without discussions with the offeror. In 
situations without discussions, an award will be based on the offeror's 
signature on the SF-424, which constitutes a binding offer. All 
applications must include the required elements. The Grant Officer will 
make final award decisions based upon what is most advantageous to the 
Federal Government in terms of geographic mix, technical quality, 
justification and evidence of activities included in the management and 
design of the projects.
    Each criteria listed below incorporates the statement of work 
components/elements.

A. Project Design--Activities and Outcomes (30 points)
B. Consortium Membership and Coordination (30 points)
C. Information Technology Grant Participants (20 points)
D. Management and Administration (20 points)

A. Project Design--Activities and Outcomes (30 points)

1. Purpose and Scope of the Project
    Describe the specific purpose or purposes of the proposed project. 
Explain how the proposed project will be applicable to disability 
issues of national scope and the potential for replication in other 
workforce areas. Also describe whether or how the proposed project is 
similar to or differs from the applicant's prior and current 
activities.
2. Training and Supportive Services
    The program design should describe training, and services to be 
provided from the time of participant selection through placement in 
unsubsidized employment and follow-up. The design should describe in 
detail the kinds of skill training that will be offered, the method by 
which the training will be provided, and whether training will 
culminate in certification in one or more information technology 
concentrations. Training leading to employment in the following 
occupations may include, but is not limited to:
     Computer Support Specialist; Computer Operator; Computer 
Service Technician; Computer Aided Design Specialist; Network Control 
Operator; Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technician and 
Technologist; Data Processing Equipment Repairer, and Central Office 
and PBX Repairer.
    Certifications in the following areas will be considered, but are 
not limited to:
     Computer Architecture and Structure, such as CompTIA's A+; 
Internet Skills, such as Website Development, CompTIA's i-Net+, Net+, 
HTML, and Java; Languages, such as Cobol, C, and C++; Networking, such 
as Help Desk, TCP/IP; Desktop Operating Systems, such as Windows 95, 
Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows NT 
Workstation, Linux, and Unix; Local Area Network (LAN) Administration, 
such as Microsoft NT Server, Novell Netware, and Ethernet; and Software 
Applications, such as Microsoft Office Suite, and Corel WordPerfect 
Suite.
    The use of exit competencies to detail specific technical knowledge 
and skill sets attained will also be considered. The scope and 
intensity of training curricula should also be clearly articulated to 
achieve desired goals and outcomes.
    Design description should describe the role of the business 
community in an advisory capacity to the project, the extent to which 
they may provide internships or possible employment for successful 
participants, the extent to which they may serve as mentors, and their 
input into decisions on curricula and identification of trends and 
skill shortages.
    Design description should include a rationale for additional 
activities and services in terms of overall project design, overcoming 
employment barriers of planned participants, and achieving quality 
employment outcomes in the information technology industry. Narratives 
should provide a clear understanding of services and supports needed 
for successful placement and job retention in the information 
technology industry. Descriptions should detail how the consortium will 
work together to achieve project goals and should also detail linkages 
with State and Local Workforce Investment Boards. Linkages may also 
include DOL's Work Incentive Grant programs, programs under Social 
Security's Ticket-To-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act, and 
other work related incentives.
    The program design must provide information on planned activities 
and services to participants, including per site if applicable. This 
must include the number of participants to be served in basic 
educational training, job skill training, or any job search assistance, 
on-the-job training, work readiness and work experience, and post-
placement training and job retention services. Include how other 
employment barriers such as inadequate access to housing, 
transportation, medical coverage, and personal assistance services will 
be addressed.
    Describe how project design has potential for replication in the 
workforce system at large and how it meets potential needs which are 
not available otherwise.
    Program design may include a component which addresses aggressive 
employment outreach for individuals with disabilities who have 
previously acquired academic credentials or certifications in the skill 
areas identified above, but who have not been able to secure 
competitive employment because of their disability or the lack of 
effective linkages with the corporate and business community.
3. Employment Outcomes
    Available Jobs. Based on labor market information, project design 
should describe information technology jobs that are expected to be 
available to participants upon completion of training and placement 
services, including prevailing wage levels, career potential and 
opportunities for advancement. Narrative should indicate what high tech 
occupations are the focus of project design. Include information on the 
number and type of jobs and the availability of qualified workers. The 
project design should also identify how and why job placement and 
retention for participant group will more likely occur as a result of 
the proposed project. Sources of information should be identified, and

[[Page 18804]]

may include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET, America's Career 
Kit, State Occupational Information Coordinating Committees. Other 
resources regarding the information technology labor market may include 
the information technology associations, information technology 
industry employers, and other representatives of the local business 
community.
    Planned Placements. The project design must indicate how many 
placements in unsubsidized, competitive employment are expected to 
result from activities at each site. Describe the quality of job 
placements in terms of entry wage or salary levels, long-term career 
potential, and the long-term growth of the occupations under 
consideration in the local area. Information on participant flow from 
intake, assessment, through placement should be provided indicating 
clearly when placement will occur. Program design should include post-
placement follow-up of 90 days, 180 days, and 12 months.
    Planned outcome information should be provided, including site 
specific information if applicable: (1) Number of terminees completing 
program; (2) number of placements in unsubsidized employment; (3) 
number of placements in full time employment (35 hours per week or 
more); and (4) the average hourly wage, and placements with durations 
of 180 days and more.
    Applicants are also requested to provide an explanation, if 
applicable, on ``temporary job'' placements; and the extent to which 
program participants and/or recipients of SSDI/SSI are expected to 
transition to economic self-support in the mainstream workforce.
    Applicants are requested to describe methods of ongoing assessment 
of ``customer satisfaction'' and how results will be used in project 
operation. The Department of Labor expects that applicants will achieve 
an entered employment rate of 55%. If applicant does not anticipate 
achieving this competitive placement level, an explanation should be 
provided on why this level may not be reached.
    Special Wage Waivers Under Fair Labor Standards Act. Employment in 
jobs, and/or related training, approved for Special Minimum Wage 
Certificates under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act 
(FLSA), as amended (29 U.S.C. 214) and it's implementing regulations at 
29 CFR part 525 will not be considered as an allowable activity or 
outcome. Organizations receiving FLSA special wage certifications must 
provide assurances and verification that FLSA special wage training and 
placement are not incorporated within proposed project design. 
Employment outcomes must be at the prevailing wage and under no 
circumstances, below the applicable Federal or State minimum wage, 
whichever is higher.

B. Consortium and Other Coordination (30 points)

1. Consortium Membership
    Identify and describe consortium members which must include the 
Local Board or One-Stop Center(s) in a public/private partnership with 
the information technology business sector, academic and other 
institutions of learning who are qualified to deliver the applicable 
skill training defined in Section III, A, 4 (Training and Supportive 
Services), and disability representation to address access and 
accommodations or outreach. Descriptions should include the following 
information for each consortium member:
    1. Name of the consortium member.
    2.The type of organization the consortium member represents and the 
member's primary mission.
    3. Consortium member's area of expertise.
    4. Consortium member's level of commitment to serve people with 
disabilities.
    5. Consortium member's specific area of focus and contributions to 
the goals and objectives of this project.
    6. Additional resources and funds the consortium member will bring 
to this project.
2. Coordination and Linkages
    Describe the roles of consortium partners and their contribution to 
the project if not previously addressed. This should include how 
private non-profit and for-profit consortium members will work together 
to achieve the goals of this project. Describe the role of the business 
community and information technology associations in this project, 
including how information technology representatives and other members 
of the business community will serve in a business advisory capacity. 
If a business advisory board is established, identify the 
representatives expected to be on the board.
    Describe any additional coordination with state and local entities, 
consumer organizations, and/or others in the design and implementation 
of the proposed project as appropriate. Applications should identify 
any planned coordination strategies with adult, dislocated worker and 
youth programs authorized under the Workforce Investment Act, Bureau of 
Apprenticeship Training, educational institutions, such as community 
colleges and vocational training schools, labor organizations, and 
information technology associations.
    Other coordination efforts should address major employment 
obstacles such as insufficient medical coverage and/or other barriers 
to employment (e.g., access to assistive technology, transportation, 
personal assistance needs, job coach requirements, housing). Identify 
funds or resources to be contributed to the project by the applicant 
and/or partnership entities. Evidence should be presented demonstrating 
the cooperation of coordinating entities and the program design should 
include a reasonable method of assessing and reporting on the impact of 
that coordination. Consultation with and/or review by appropriate labor 
organizations, where applicable, is encouraged and should be 
documented.

C. Information Technology Grant Participants (20 points)

1. Target Population
    Participants for the proposed project must be individuals with 
disabilities (i.e., physical, sensory, emotional, or mental functional 
impairments) as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities 
Act at 42 U.S.C. 12102. Describe the characteristics of the client 
population to which proposal is targeted including, where applicable: 
(1) Specific type(s) of disability, (e.g., psychiatric disorders, 
neurologic disorders); (2) specific subgroup of disabled population, 
(e.g., minority, youth, older workers); (3) why the project design will 
result in quality career and/or employment outcomes in the information 
technology industry; and (4) what innovative and coordinated approaches 
will be used to serve the target population. It is anticipated that a 
significant percentage of the population will require the use of 
assistive technology in both training and in the workplace.
    Proposals must also provide the following planning information on 
the participants to be served in project design, in total and by 
project site:
     The number of participants,
     The age range of participants (e.g., under 22, 23-50, 51-
65),
     The number of participants who receive Supplemental 
Security Income and/or Social Security Disability Income (SSI/SSDI),
     The number and percent of participants that will be 
qualified as dislocated workers.
    Applicants may also provide other information about participants 
considered important such as

[[Page 18805]]

educational level, number of minority or ethnic, etc.
2. Outreach and Recruitment
    Describe how outreach and recruitment addresses the overall design 
of the project. Outreach and recruitment may address public service 
announcements, use of media, use of community-based organizations, and 
other service groups. Identify how workforce development systems, 
disability consumer organizations, and information technology 
associations will be used in the recruitment process. Describe how the 
target population will be recruited for participation at each site if 
utilizing a multi-site approach.
3. Eligibility
    Describe the eligibility process for project participants. This 
includes the process for determining whether a participant is an 
individual with a disability and those with a significant disability 
(see Definitions).
4. Assessment
    Describe the process for evaluating participants' skill levels, 
education levels, career interests, accommodation requirements, 
training and services, and other barriers and needs. Narrative should 
identify whether assessment will be conducted by the awardee or another 
service provider. Applicants should indicate whether and how the Test 
of Adult Basic Education (TABE) or an alternative assessment tool will 
be used to assess reading, mathematical skills, and other employment 
readiness skills to participate in this project, as applicable. 
Applicants should include how the project will address the remedial or 
preparatory training needs of the participants and how the project will 
address possible Learning Disabilities. Please note, the implementation 
of these assessments may require reasonable accommodation and use of 
Assistive Technology.

D. Management and Administration (20 points)

1. Management Structure
    Describe the management structure for the proposed project. 
Applicants must identify the lead agency, provide a staffing plan from 
each of the Consortium entities, showing each position and the 
percentage of time assigned to the project. Provide an organizational 
chart showing the relationship between the management and operational 
components of the project and the overall organization. Include staff 
and operations projected for the project. Include resumes of current 
key staff. For each of the key staff not identified at the time of 
application, provide a job description or the qualifications sought for 
the position. Specific information on staff and organizational 
structure may be provided in the Appendix.
2. Program Integrity and Public Accountability
    Describe the mechanisms to be used to ensure financial and program 
accountability in record keeping and reporting. The design must 
demonstrate oversight of project implementation and progress 
benchmarks. Describe how the project will keep records of activities 
and satisfy the administrative requirements set out under 29 CFR parts 
95-99 as applicable.
    The design must include a comprehensive discussion describing in 
detail, the types of information to be collected, methods and frequency 
of collections, and ways information will be used to implement and 
manage the program. The following must be covered:
    (1) Program data collection and reporting systems to determine the 
achievement of project outcomes;
    (2) Financial management systems to ensure fiscal accountability in 
accordance with statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements;
    (3) Communication processes and technology that will be utilized;
    (4) Administrative process for each project site; and
    (5) Grievance procedure.
3. Project Management
    Awardee will be responsible for management and oversight of all 
activities under the grant. Identify the information on project 
performance and financial management to be collected on a short-term 
basis by project staff. Describe the process of on-site monitoring of 
each project site, including employer site visits, if applicable. 
Describe the process and procedures to be used to obtain feedback from 
participants, employers, and any other appropriate parties on the 
responsiveness and effectiveness of the services provided.
4. Grievance Procedures
    Describe the grievance procedure to be used for grievances and 
complaints from participants, contractors, and other interested 
parties, consistent with requirements at 20 CFR part 667 subpart F.
5. Previous Project Management Experience
    Provide objective evidence of the grant applicant's ability to 
manage this project, ensure the integrity of the grant funds, and 
deliver the proposed performance. Indicate the grant applicant's past 
management experience, particularly regarding oversight and operating 
functions including financial management and relevant audit or grant 
reviews of the organization. Provide references and/or contact persons 
of former or current funding organizations.

Part IV.--Government Requirements

A. Reporting Requirements

    Applicants receiving awards under this solicitation will be 
required to submit financial, program, and participant reports on a 
quarterly and annual basis. Grantees will be required to submit (1) 
Activity and Placement Report (APR) on the number of participants being 
served, activities and services provided, and placement outcomes; and 
(2) Participant Characteristics Report (PCR) on age, race, type of 
disAbility, etc., of participants enrolled in the grantee's program. 
Narrative information on the grant program should be submitted 
quarterly with the APR. The narrative may include information on the 
status of project implementation, participant success stories during 
the reporting period, conferences or job fairs planned or held, 
meetings with employers related to placements, or other information of 
interest about the grant project. In addition to the APR and PCR, 
grantees are required to submit a Financial Status Report (FSR), SF 
269. Report submissions to the Employment and Training Administration 
(ETA) are quarterly for the APR and FSR, and annually for the PCR 
following the end of the Fiscal Year. The APR, PCR and FSR forms and 
related instructions can be downloaded from ETA's disAbility Online 
website at: http://wdsc.org/disability (click on ``Grantee 
Communication'' to access these forms). Reports are due to ETA no later 
than 30 days after the last day of the report period.

B. Evaluation

    The Department of Labor may conduct a quantitative and qualitative 
evaluation that provides an in-depth analysis and assessment of the 
grant program.

C. Departmental Oversight

    DOL reserves the right to conduct programmatic and financial 
oversight/monitoring of grant and project sites.

D. Use of Federal Funds

    Federal funds cannot be used to support activities that would be

[[Page 18806]]

provided in the absence of these funds. Grant funds may cover only 
those costs that are appropriate and reasonable. Federal grant funds 
may only be used to acquire equipment that is necessary for the 
operation of the grant. Except as specifically provided, DOL/ETA 
acceptance of a proposal and an award of federal funds to sponsor any 
program(s) does not provide a waiver of any grant requirements and/or 
procedures. For example, the OMB circulars require, and an entity's 
procurement procedures must require that all procurement transactions 
shall be conducted, as practical, to provide open and free competition. 
If a proposal identifies a specific entity to provide the services, the 
DOL/ETA's award does not provide the justification or basis to sole-
source the procurement, i.e., avoid competition.
    Grantees must comply with all applicable Federal statutes, 
regulations, administrative requirements and OMB Circulars. For 
example, OMB Circular A-122, which applies to nonprofit organizations, 
requires prior approval for certain capital expenditures to be 
allowable as direct costs. Requests for prior approval, if applicable, 
may be included in the grant budget application or submitted after 
grant award.

Part V.--Definitions

    For the purpose of this demonstration project, the following 
definitions apply to the specified terms, as used in this SGA:
    Assistive Technology--The term ``assistive technology'' means 
technology designed to be utilized in an assistive technology device or 
assistive technology service. (29 USCA 3002(a)(2), the Assistive 
Technology Act of 1998).
    Assistive Technology Device--The term ``assistive technology 
device'' means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether 
acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to 
increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals 
with disabilities.
    Assistive Technology Service--The term ``assistive technology 
service'' means any service that directly assists an individual with a 
disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive 
technology device. Such term includes--
    (A) The evaluation of the assistive technology needs of an 
individual with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the 
impact of the provision of appropriate assistive technology and 
appropriate services to the individual in the customary environment of 
the individual;
    (B) Services consisting of purchasing, leasing, or otherwise 
providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by 
individuals with disabilities;
    (C) Services consisting of selecting, designing, fitting, 
customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing 
assistive technology devices;
    (D) Coordination and use of necessary therapies, interventions, or 
services with assistive technology devices, such as therapies, 
interventions, or services associated with education and rehabilitation 
plans and programs;
    (E) Training or technical assistance for an individual with 
disabilities, or, where appropriate, the family members, guardians, 
advocates, or authorized representatives of such an individual; and
    (F) Training or technical assistance for professionals (including 
individuals providing education and rehabilitation services), 
employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are 
otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of 
individuals with disabilities.
    Basic Education--Training activities designed to enhance the 
employability of participants by upgrading basic skills (e.g., General 
Equivalency Diploma (GED), remedial education or training in English 
language proficiency).
    Disability--See definition in section 3 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act, (42 USC 12102(2)), and the requirements at 28 CFR 
35.104.
    Dislocated Worker--See definition in the Workforce Investment Act 
of 1998 section 101(9) which states that the term ``dislocated worker'' 
means and individual who--
    (A)(i) Has been terminated or laid off, or who has received a 
notice of termination or layoff, from an employment;
    (ii)(I) Is eligible for or has exhausted entitlement to 
unemployment compensation; or
    (II) Has been employed for a duration sufficient to demonstrate, to 
the appropriate entity at a one-stop center referred to in section 
134(c), attachment to the workforce, but is not eligible for 
unemployment compensation due to insufficient earnings or having 
performed services for an employer that were not covered under a State 
unemployment compensation law; and
    (iii) Is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation;
    (B)(i) Has been terminated or laid off, or has received a notice of 
termination or layoff, from employment as a result of any permanent 
closure of, or any substantial layoff of, a plan, facility, or 
enterprise;
    (ii) Is employed at a facility at which the employer has made a 
general announcement that such a facility will close within 180 days; 
or
    (iii) For purposes of eligibility to receive services other than 
training services described in section 134(d)(4), intensive services 
described in section 134(d)(3), or supportive services, is employed at 
a facility at which the employer has made a general announcement that 
such a facility will close;
    (C) Was self-employed (including employment as a farmer, a rancher, 
or a fisherman) but is unemployed as a result of general economic 
conditions in the community in which the individual resides or because 
of natural disaster; or
    (D) Is a displaced homemaker.
    Individual with a Disability--See definition in the Workforce 
Investment Act section 101(17) (29 USC 2801(17)) which states: (A) In 
general.--The term ``individual with a disability'' means an individual 
with any disability as defined in section 3 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102)). (B) Individuals with 
disabilities.--The term ``individuals with disabilities'' means more 
than one individual with a disability.
    Individual with a Significant Disability--See definition pursuant 
to WIA Title IV, section 403, which amends section 6(21) of the 
Rehabilitation Act, 29 USC 705(21).
    Job Search Assistance--This includes, but is not limited to:
    (1) Orientation to the world of work;
    (2) Training/Job-related counseling and testing;
    (3) Employability assessment (other than that involved during 
intake);
    (4) Job development;
    (5) Job search assistance;
    (6) Job referral and placement.
    Job Skills Training--Training conducted in an institutional 
setting, and designed to provide individuals with technical skills and 
information required to perform a specific job or group of jobs (e.g., 
vocational technical school, community college, etc.).
    On-the-Job Training (OJT)--Training provided by an employer that is 
provided to a paid participant while engaged in productive work in a 
job that--
    (A) Provides knowledge or skills essential to the full and adequate 
performance of the job;
    (B) Provides reimbursement to the employer of up to 50 percent of 
the wage rate of the participant, for the extraordinary costs of 
providing the training and additional supervision related to the 
training; and
    (C) Is limited in duration as appropriate to the occupation for 
which

[[Page 18807]]

the participant is being trained, taking into account the content of 
the training, the prior work experience of the participant, and the 
service strategy of the participant, as appropriate (WIA section 
101(31), 29 USC 2801(31)).
    Post-Employment/Job Retention Services--Services which may include, 
but are not limited to, post placement follow-up activities, work site 
evaluation and accommodation assistance, and training services provided 
following placement in unsubsidized, competitive employment.
    Unsubsidized/Competitive Employment--Non-grant or unsupported 
employment that includes, entry into the Armed Forces (including entry 
onto active duty from Reserve and National Guard units), entry into 
employment in a registered apprenticeship program, self-employment, 
etc. Employment performed on a full-time or part-time basis in an 
integrated setting in which wages/salaries are at or above the minimum 
wage. Employment with special wage provisions authorized under section 
14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 USC 214 and its implementing 
regulations at 29 CFR part 525) are not considered unsubsidized nor 
competitive for the purpose of this grant.
    Work Experience (WE)--A planned, structured learning experience 
that takes place in a workplace for a limited period of time. Work 
experience may be paid or unpaid, as appropriate. A work experience 
workplace may be in the private for-profit sector, the non-profit 
sector, or the public sector. Labor standards apply in any work 
experience where an employee/employer relationship as defined by the 
Fair Labor Standards Act, exists (See 20 CFR 663.200(b)).

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 5th day of April, 2001.
Laura A. Cesario,
Grant Officer.
Attachments
1. Appendix A--``Application for Federal Assistance'' (Standard Form 
424)
2. Appendix B--Budget Information Form

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[FR Doc. 01-8817 Filed 4-10-01; 8:45 am]
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