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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: January 6, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 3)]
[Notices]               
[Page 567-578]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr06ja03-71]                         


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


DEPARTMENT OF LABOR


Employment and Training Administration


[SGA/DFA 03-100]


 
H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants


AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Labor.


ACTION: Notice of procedures for grant applications for H-1B technical 
skills training grants.


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


SUMMARY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. 
Department of Labor (DOL), announces the availability of approximately 
$200 million in grant funds for skill training programs for unemployed 
and employed workers. These grants are financed by a user fee paid by 
employers to bring foreign workers into the U.S. under a new H-1B 
nonimmigrant visa. As part of the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program, this 
technical skills training program was authorized under the American 
Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA), as 
amended. The grants are a long-term solution to domestic skill 
shortages in high skill and high technology occupations. H-1B technical 
skills grants are focused on addressing the high skill technology 
shortages of American businesses; they are not intended to address 
labor shortages due to reasons other than technical skill shortages. 
Grant awards will be made only to the extent that funds are available.
    Eligible applicants for these grants will be local Workforce 
Investment Boards (Local Boards) established under section 117 of the 
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and representing a local or regional 
public-private partnership that is comprised of at least one Local 
Board, one business or business-related non-profit organization such as 
a trade association, and one community-based organization, higher 
education institution or labor union that will carry out such programs 
or projects through One-Stop delivery systems established under section 
121 of WIA, or regional consortia of Local Boards.
    This notice describes the application submission requirements, the 
process that eligible entities must use to apply


[[Page 568]]


for funds covered by this solicitation, and how grantees will be 
selected.


DATES: The grant policies and procedures described in these guidelines 
are effective immediately, and remain in effect until further notice. 
Funds are available for obligation by the Secretary of Labor (the 
Secretary) under 29 U.S.C. 2916. Applications for grant awards will be 
accepted immediately upon publication of this notice in the Federal 
Register. It is anticipated that review panels will begin to convene to 
evaluate applications 60 days after publication.


ADDRESSES: Applications must be mailed to the U.S. Department of Labor, 
Employment and Training Administration, Division of Federal Assistance, 
Attention: Ella Freeman, SGA/DFA 03-100, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Room S-4203, Washington, DC 20210. Telefacsimile (FAX) applications 
will not be accepted. Applicants are advised that mail delivery in the 
Washington area may be delayed due to mail decontamination procedures.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ella Freeman, Grants Management 
Specialist, Division of Federal Assistance, Telephone (202) 693-3301. 
(This is not a toll free number.) You must specifically ask for Ella 
Freeman.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Employment and Training Administration 
(ETA), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), announces the availability of 
grant funds for technical skills training for employed and unemployed 
American workers. These grants are financed by a user fee paid by 
employers to bring foreign workers into the U.S. on a temporary basis 
to work in high skill or specialty occupations. As part of the H-1B 
non-immigrant visa program, this technical skills training program was 
established under the American Competitiveness and Workforce 
Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA 1998) as amended by the American 
Competitiveness in the Twentieth Century Act of 2000 (ACWIA 2000) and 
companion legislation. The grants are a long-term solution to domestic 
skill shortages in high skill and high technology occupations--raising 
the technical skill levels of American workers so they can take 
advantage of the new technology-related, high skills employment 
opportunities. This will, in turn, help businesses reduce their 
dependence on skilled foreign professionals permitted to work in the 
U.S. on a temporary basis under the H-1B visa program. H-1B technical 
skills grants are focused on directly addressing the high skill 
technology shortages of American businesses; they are not intended to 
address labor shortages due to reasons other than technical skill 
shortages. Grant awards will be made only to the extent that funds are 
available.
    The Act creates a two-part eligibility and funding system for the 
program. Seventy-five (75%) percent of the available grant funds will 
be awarded to Local Boards established under section 117 of the 
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) that will carry out such programs or 
projects through the One-Stop delivery systems established under 
section 121 of WIA, or regional consortia of Local Boards. Regional 
consortia of boards may be interstate. Each Local Board or consortium 
of boards receiving grant funds must represent a local or regional 
public-private partnership that is comprised of at least (i) One Local 
Board; (ii) one business or business-related non-profit organization 
such as a trade association; and (iii) one community-based organization 
or higher education institution or labor union. This notice governs the 
process for awarding the 75 percent funds.
    The remaining 25 percent of the available funds will be awarded to 
business partnerships that consist of at least two businesses or a 
business-related nonprofit organization that represents more than one 
business. The partnership may also include any educational, labor, 
community organization, or Local Board. Applicants for the 25 percent 
funds must explain the barriers they faced in meeting the partnership 
eligibility criteria for the 75 percent funds--for example, the 
business partnerships may be on a national, multi-state, regional or 
rural area basis (such as rural telework programs). The Solicitation 
for Grant Applications (SGA) governing the competition for the first 
round of grants for the 25 percent funds was published in the Federal 
Register in December 2001.
    Successful applicants under earlier H-1B training grant 
solicitations are eligible to apply for grants under this competition. 
Current awardees are encouraged to indicate how their new proposals can 
provide a different approach or scope to skills training given program 
improvements developed under the current award. Consideration will be 
given to grantees which use grant funds to significantly expand their 
training program or project through such means as training more workers 
or offering more courses, or to applicants whose training programs or 
projects expand as a result of increasing collaborations--especially 
with more than one small business or with a labor-management training 
program or project.
    ACWIA 2000 provides resources for skill training in high skill and 
high technology occupations that are in demand by U.S. businesses. One 
key measure of this demand is determined by the number of employer H-1B 
applications for foreign workers. For example, the occupation with the 
most current H-1B demand is information technology (IT). Appendix B to 
this solicitation provides information on the occupations approved 
under H-1B petitions by the Immigration and Naturalization Service 
(INS) for Fiscal Year 2001. Applicants should check the INS Web site 
(www.ins.gov) or the Department of Labor's Employment and Training 
Administration's Web site (www.doleta.gov/h-1b/) for the latest INS 
information on occupations approved under H-1B petitions.
    This announcement consists of four parts:
    [sbull] Part I provides background, basic DOL policies and 
emphasis, principles of H-1B technical skills grants, and the 
legislative mandate for technical skills training grants under Section 
286(s) of INA, Section 111 of ACWIA 2000, and Section 214(i) of INA.
    [sbull] Part II describes specific program, administrative and 
reporting requirements that will apply to all grant awards.
    [sbull] Part III describes the application process.
    [sbull] Part IV describes the review process and rating criteria 
that will be used to evaluate applications for funding.


Part I--Background, DOL Policies and Emphases


A. Background


    In response to demands from industries that were experiencing skill 
shortages in areas such as information technology, Congress enacted the 
Immigration Act of 1990. This act, implemented in 1992, established the 
H-1B visa category for non-immigrants who sought to work in high skill 
or specialty occupations, and set annual limits of 65,000 on the number 
of H-1B visas granted. In a subsequent effort to help employers access 
skilled foreign workers and compete internationally, Congress enacted 
the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 
(ACWIA 1998) Pub. L. 105-277 in October 1998. The provisions of ACWIA 
1998 created technical skills training grants under the Department of 
Labor's Employment and Training Administration. ACWIA 1998


[[Page 569]]


was amended by the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century 
Act of 2000 (ACWIA 2000) Pub.L. 106-313.
    High skill and specialty occupations require theoretical and 
practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and 
sometimes may even require full state licensure to practice in the 
occupation. These occupations require at least a bachelor's degree or 
higher and/or experience in the specific specialty. They also may 
require recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively 
responsible positions relative to the specialty occupation.
    ACWIA 1998 increased the annual limit on H-1B visas temporarily to 
115,000 in fiscal years 1999 and 2000, and to 107,500 in 2001. In 
addition, a $500 user fee was imposed on employers for H-1B 
applications. ACWIA 1998 authorized the use of 56.3% of the fee to 
finance the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant Program. Grants funded 
under ACWIA 1998 had the long-term goal of raising the technical skill 
levels of American workers in order to fill specialty occupations 
presently being filled by temporary workers admitted to the United 
States under the provisions of the H-1B visa.
    ACWIA 1998 described eligible grant applicants as local Workforce 
Investment Boards (local Boards) or a consortium of local Boards. 
Current grantees are local Boards, as established under section 117 of 
the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), that have been funded to carry out 
specifically designed high technology skill training programs or 
projects for employed and unemployed workers through one-stop delivery 
systems or a regional consortia of local boards, as established under 
section 121 of the WIA. Regional consortia may be interstate as well as 
intrastate.
    ACWIA 2000, enacted on October 17, 2000, increased the temporary 
cap to 195,000 H-1B visas annually and extended this higher cap for two 
additional years, until the end of fiscal year 2003. Separate 
legislation raised the employer H-1B application fee from $500 to 
$1,000. ACWIA 2000 authorized the use of 55% of the funds generated by 
fees to continue the Department of Labor's H-1B Technical Skills 
Training Grant Program through September 30, 2003.
    ACWIA 2000 created two-part eligibility and funding criteria for 
the new program. Local WIBs are eligible to receive 75% of total funds 
awarded. These grants provide funds to partnerships consisting of one 
or more local WIBs, at least one business or business related non-
profit (such as a trade association) and one community-based 
organization (which may be faith-based), higher education institution 
or labor union. The remaining 25% of funds are made available through 
grants to eligible partnerships that consist of at least two businesses 
or a business-related nonprofit organization that represents more than 
one business. Partnerships may include any educational, labor, 
community organization, or WIB, but funds may be used only to carry out 
a strategy that would otherwise not be eligible for funds under the 75% 
clause due to barriers in meeting partnership eligibility criteria.
    The 75 percent funding stream requires a 50 percent match in cash 
or in kind; the 25 percent portion requires a 100 percent match in cash 
or in kind. The matching requirement is assessed for the entire Federal 
grant funding level. Partners cooperating in the proposed project may 
divide the responsibility for the match among themselves in any way 
they choose to do so. ACWIA 2000 requires that consideration be given 
to applicants that provide a specific commitment from other public or 
private sources, or both, to demonstrate the long-term sustainability 
of the training program or project after the grant expires.
    Eighty percent of the grants are to be awarded to projects that 
train workers in high technology, information technology, and 
biotechnology skills. For example, this includes skills needed for 
software and communications services, telecommunications, systems 
installation and integration, computers and communications hardware, 
advanced manufacturing, health care technology, biotechnology and 
biomedical research and manufacturing, and innovation services. No more 
than 20 percent may be awarded to projects that train for skills 
related to any single specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is 
one that requires at a minimum a college degree or comparable 
experience. In accordance with ACWIA 2000, the Secretary of Labor must 
make every effort to fairly distribute grant funds among urban and 
rural areas and across the different geographic regions of the country.
    The technical skills training portion of the law (Section 111) is 
designed to help both employed and unemployed American workers acquire 
the requisite technical capabilities in high skill occupations that 
have shortages. Training generally is aimed at occupations at the H-1B 
skill levels, which are defined as a bachelor's degree or comparable 
experience. Under ACWIA 2000, training is not limited to skill levels 
commensurate with 4-year undergraduate degrees, but can include the 
preparation of workers for a broad range of positions along a career 
ladder leading to an H-1B skill level job.
    To meet the legislative intent of training American workers to 
replace foreign workers under the H-1B visa program, technical skills 
training grants under this SGA must focus on a high level of training 
and on selected occupations. As shown on Table 1, foreign workers 
coming to the United States under the H-1B visa program are 
exceptionally well-educated, nearly 60 percent possess a Bachelor's 
degree, over 30 percent have a Master's degree, and 10 percent have a 
Doctorate or Professional degree. With respect to occupations, nearly 
60 percent are computer/information technology related occupations, 
such as programmers, database administrators and systems analysts. The 
second largest occupational area is architecture, engineering and 
surveying related occupations. It should be noted that of the 
education-related area occupations, most are college and university 
level, not elementary or secondary level. Of the medicine and health 
related occupations, the largest grouping is physicians and surgeons 
rather than nurses or other healthcare workers.
    ACWIA 2000 requires certain accountability factors. Specifically, 
the Secretary of Labor is to give consideration to applicants who 
commit to achieving certain outcome goals for individuals who complete 
training. These outcome goals are: (1) Hiring or causing the hiring of 
unemployed trainees; (2) increasing the wages or salary of incumbent 
workers; or (3) providing skill certifications to trainees or linking 
the training to industry accepted occupational skill standards, 
certificates, or licensing requirements. These accountability factors 
represent a list of possible, desired outcomes or goals rather than 
contractual requirements. (For example, an applicant may propose a 
specific goal by designing a technical skills training program that is 
expected to result in increased wages and the awarding of 
certifications that document skills acquisition). In accordance with 
ACWIA 2000, applicants must agree that the project will be subject to 
evaluation by the Department of Labor and agree to fully cooperate in 
evaluation studies.
    ACWIA 2000 specified that consideration be given to the use of 
grant funds to demonstrate a significant ability to expand a training 
program or project through such means as training


[[Page 570]]


more workers or offering more courses or projects resulting from 
collaborations, especially with more than one small business or with a 
labor management training program or project, or for a partnership that 
involves and directly benefits more than one small business.


Table 1.--Key Facts About H-1B Visa Approved Petitions, Fiscal Year 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Percent
                                                                of total
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Country of Birth:
    India....................................................       48.9
    China....................................................        8.3
    Canada...................................................        3.9
    Philippines..............................................        3.1
    United Kingdom...........................................        2.9
    All other................................................       33.8
Age:
    Under 20.................................................       00.0
    20-24....................................................       11.6
    25-29....................................................       41.9
    30-34....................................................       25.8
    35-39....................................................       12.0
    40 and over..............................................       8.70
Level of Education:
    Less than Associate's degree.............................        1.2
    Associate's degree.......................................        0.6
    Bachelor's degree........................................       56.8
    Master's degree..........................................       31.1
    Doctorate degree.........................................        7.4
    Professional degree......................................        3.0
Occupational Area:
    Computer/information technology..........................       58.0
    Architecture, engineering and surveying..................       12.2
    Administrative specialties...............................        7.2
    Education................................................        5.3
    Managers and officials...................................        3.8
    Medicine and health......................................        3.4
    Life sciences............................................        2.0
    Social sciences..........................................        1.9
    Mathematics/physical sciences............................        1.7
    All other................................................       3.2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Report on Characteristics of Specialty Occupation Workers (H-
  1B), Fiscal Year 2001, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service,
  July 2002.


    Forty-three H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants totaling $95.6 
million were awarded under the provisions of ACWIA 1998. Under ACWIA 
2000, the Department of Labor has awarded, as of October 1, 2002, a 
total of 45 grants totaling $116.7 million; of these, 31 grants 
totaling $82.3 million were under the 75 percent funding stream and 14 
grants totaling $34.5 million were under the 25 percent funding stream. 
H-1B grants under earlier SGAs were funded for up to a 24-month period, 
with the possibility of an additional option year, based on 
performance, continued demand for training, and availability of funds.
    Combining awards made under both ACWIA 1998 and ACWIA 2000, the 
Department of Labor has awarded a total of 88 H-1B Technical Skills 
Training Grants totaling $212 million. Because funds are available as 
they are collected from H-1B user fee revenues, the Department 
anticipates that additional H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant 
applications will be funded throughout fiscal year 2003 (October 1, 
2002-September 30, 2003). Additional details on the background of the 
H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants demonstration project can be 
found at the H-1B Web site http://www.doleta.gov/h-1b. This Web site 
contains descriptions of current projects, legislative documents and 
research papers.


B. Principles of H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants


    Development, implementation and operation of H-1B Technical Skills 
Training Grants as envisioned under the authorizing legislation (see 
Background above) is based on the following principles:
    Business Involvement: Businesses are the workforce investment 
system's customers who generate the demand for all jobs, in particular, 
the demand for high skill occupations. Businesses are essential 
partners in formulating, developing and operating H-1B technical skills 
grant projects. Under WIA, business plays a critical, leadership role 
in planning and overseeing training and employment activities. WIA 
requires that the majority of the membership of state and local 
Workforce Investment Boards are business representatives, and that the 
state and local board chairs be drawn from business. For the purpose of 
these grants, it is desirable that businesses represented in the group 
applying for this grant include those with current high technology 
skills shortages. Some of these businesses may have in the past 
utilized foreign workers under the H-1B visa program. Now, they intend 
to hire, retain, or promote graduates of the H-1B technical skills 
training program.
    Partnership Sustainability: The grant awards under this SGA will 
not exceed duration of 36 months with an option for a no cost extension 
of up to 12 additional months. No cost extensions extend the period 
during which existing grant funds may be spent. ETA intends that 
regional partnerships sustain themselves over the long term and well 
after the federal resources from this initiative have been exhausted. 
In addition, coordination and consultation with the applicable state 
workforce agency and/or the Governor's office or State Workforce 
Investment Board is vital to long-term sustainability and will 
potentially spread high skill training efforts beyond the grantee site. 
The statutory 50 percent non-federal matching requirement is an 
integral part of ensuring sustainability because the matching resources 
are expected to help extend the skill shortages training effort beyond 
the term of the grant. This partnership sustainability concept relates 
to two rating criteria: Links with Key Partners and Sustainability (the 
resources each partner offers and the role of external resources in 
building the foundation for a long-term partnership).
    High Skill Level Focus and Innovative Service Delivery: Training 
selected employed and unemployed workers to fill current local or 
regional high skill level shortages is the immediate focus of this 
initiative. Training investments should be targeted in occupational 
areas that have been identified on the basis of H-1B occupations as 
high technology skill shortage areas. H-1B Technical Skills Training 
Grants are not intended to address lower level skill labor shortages 
nor are they intended to fund training programs aimed at imparting 
basic educational skills. In addition, H-1B grants are not intended to 
address occupational shortages due to reasons other than high 
technology skill shortages.
    Innovative or proven tools and approaches, that may include on-the-
job training, distance learning, or combinations of training and 
educational techniques, to close particular skill gaps and provide 
strategies for training that promote regional development are hallmarks 
of successful H-1B technical skills training projects. H-1B grantees 
should tailor training to the needs of the selected incumbent and 
unemployed workers, both in content and delivery.
    Qualified Target Population: Technical skills training is geared 
towards employed and unemployed workers who can be trained and placed 
directly in highly skilled H-1B occupations or in the highest echelons 
of an H-1B career ladder. Candidates for training funded by H-1B 
Technical Skills Training Grants should possess (and be identified 
through appropriate assessment tools) a high level of general 
educational background and, in addition, have the prerequisites for the 
occupational training being proposed. Targeted individuals should also 
possess certain characteristics such as drive and initiative that will 
help guarantee successful completion of the high skill level training 
funded by H-1B grants.


[[Page 571]]


    Employees at the H-1B skill level are generally characterized as 
having a Bachelor's degree or comparable work experience. The H-1B 
technical skill training is not limited to skill levels commensurate 
with a four-year degree. It may be used to prepare workers for a broad 
range of positions along a specified career ladder. ``Career ladder'' 
may generally be defined as a system of career options which encourage 
opportunities for professional growth and upward mobility. Technical 
skills training can include a broad range of positions along a career 
ladder that directly leads to a high skills level job within a 
reasonable period of time. Thus, potential trainees are not required to 
enter training with a four-year degree. Additionally, trainees do not 
necessarily have to acquire a four-year degree to be successful, 
although many will have a four-year degree and many others will possess 
two-year degrees. Career ladders create opportunities for individuals 
who may vary in experience and education levels (such as specialty 
training and Associates' degrees) to advance along a defined career 
ladder and qualify through additional training and education for H-1B 
level related occupations.
    Use of Skill Standards: Skill standards represent a benchmark by 
which an individual's achieved competence can be measured. Work in this 
area has been performed by private industry and trade associations, 
registered apprenticeship training systems, and public and private 
partnerships. Well-defined skill standards can be useful tools in 
matching training goals to targeted occupational areas. Applicants are 
encouraged to survey the progress to date in developing occupational 
skill standards in their community and in applicable industries.
    As noted earlier (In Part IA--Background), the definition of the 
minimum proficiency level required to be considered an H-1B occupation, 
contained in section 214 (i), 8 U.S.C. 1184 (i) of the Immigration and 
Naturalization Act (INA), speaks to a very high skill level for these 
``specialty occupations.'' These are occupations that require 
``theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized 
knowledge,'' and full state licensure, if required for the occupation, 
to practice in the occupation. The standard for these occupations is 
either completion of at least a Bachelor's degree or experience in the 
specialty equivalent to the completion of such a degree and recognition 
of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible 
positions relating to the specialty. Specialized and professionally 
recognized certificates may also be characteristic of a high level of 
technical skills.
    Comprehensive Local and Regional Planning: H-1B technical skills 
training applicants must describe the local area or region that will be 
served with particular emphasis on high technology skills shortages. 
Applicants are encouraged to ascertain current labor force and industry 
data to reflect the skills shortages in their region. The proposal also 
must identify the political jurisdictions to be included and provide an 
enumeration of the specific local workforce investment areas that are 
served under WIA. Current data on approved H-1B visa petitions should 
be utilized to the extent feasible to describe skill shortages in 
specific occupations. Appendix B to this solicitation is a listing of 
occupations for which H-1B visa petitions have been recently approved. 
Requests for H-1B visas for the applicant's region may reflect a skills 
shortage for those occupations, as well. Applicants may consider 
surveying local and regional employers to ascertain the extent of 
employer use of H-1B visas to obtain foreign workers and to obtain 
information on the specific occupations and skills imported.
    Applicants are encouraged to utilize all available state and local 
data, including that provided by area businesses and business 
associations, in making determinations of regional shortages. 
Applicants are encouraged to analyze data made available by their state 
labor market information (LMI) director, the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
(BLS), and through the local One-Stop delivery system.


C. DOL Policies and Emphases


    Section 111(c)(4)(A) of ACWIA 2000 states that consideration will 
be given to applicants who, where applicable, commit to provide three 
target outcomes for participants who complete training. These outcomes 
are the hiring of unemployed trainees, increased wages or salaries of 
employed workers, and skill certificates documenting skills acquisition 
or a link to industry accepted occupational skill standards, 
certificates, or licensing requirements.
    The Employment and Training Administration anticipates that 
applicants may need to make a range of supportive services available to 
enhance the quality and effectiveness of the skill training provided 
under the grant. Grant funds may not be used to provide supportive 
services. Appropriately focused services, as defined by section 101(46) 
of WIA--such as transportation or childcare--are considered as 
important enhancements to the technical skills training package.
    Utilizing federal resources through co-enrollment in H-1B technical 
skills training and WIA is a strongly recommended course of action. 
While WIA resources cannot be counted toward the matching requirement; 
co-enrollment allows for much broader and comprehensive service 
provision. Successful applicants are encouraged to leverage such 
Federal resources to help make the technical skills training more 
effective.
    In order to provide these resources, applicants should build 
linkages to the One-Stop Career Center network to reach out, inform, 
and recruit individuals to participate in H-1B technical skills 
training. The central role of the Local Boards in the planning and 
policy activity surrounding these grants is critical. WIA requires the 
Local Board to prepare a strategic workforce investment plan for the 
area that it oversees. The Local Board also designates One-Stop center 
operators and certifies or approves eligible training providers.
    As required by ACWIA, ETA will give consideration in awarding 
grants to any proposal which includes and directly benefits two or more 
small businesses (100 employees or less).
    DOL emphases for this SGA relate to level of training and 
occupations selected for training. In accordance with the legislative 
provisions to train American workers to an H-1B visa level, DOL seeks 
to achieve a higher level of skill training than has occurred to date 
in some H-1B grants--to a level that clearly prepares individuals to 
meet the H-1B visa definition of ``theoretical and practical 
application of a body of specialized knowledge* * *'' In addition, 
since a major objective of H-1B technical skills training grants is to 
alleviate dependency upon foreign workers in specialty occupations, DOL 
believes that increased priority is needed in occupations relating to 
the higher levels of computer science and information technology; 
architecture, engineering and surveying; biotechnology, biomedical 
research and manufacturing, and advanced manufacturing technology. 
Lower level healthcare and other non-H-1B occupations and preparatory 
or introductory level information technology areas will receive low 
selection priority under this SGA. DOL anticipates that the focus on a 
high level of training and on H-1B occupations will result in most 
participants being enrolled in training programs during the first year 
of the grant operation, with


[[Page 572]]


actual training occurring during the remainder of the grant period.


Part II--Requirements


A. Eligible Participants


    Training funded by a grantee may be both for persons who are 
currently employed and who wish to obtain and upgrade skills and for 
persons who are unemployed. The aim of the skills training is to place 
employed and unemployed workers in highly skilled H-1B related 
occupations. As noted above, eligible participants for H-1B Technical 
Skills Training Grants, prior to beginning training funded by H-1B 
training grants, should possess (and be identified as having through 
appropriate assessment tools) a high level of general educational 
background and, in addition, have the prerequisites for the 
occupational training being proposed. H-1B targeted individuals should 
also possess those characteristics such as drive and initiative that 
will help guarantee successful completion of the high skill level 
training funded by H-1B grants.


B. Administrative Requirements


1. General
    Grantee organizations will be subject to: ACWIA 2000; these 
guidelines; the terms and conditions of the grant and any subsequent 
modifications; applicable Federal laws (including provisions in 
appropriations law); and any applicable requirements listed below--
    a. Workforce Investment Boards--20 Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR) Part 667.220, published in the Federal Register on Friday, August 
11, 2000 (Administrative Costs).
    b. Non-Profit Organizations--Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
Circulars A-122 (Cost Principles) and 29 CFR part 95 (Administrative 
Requirements).
    c. Educational Institutions--OMB Circulars A-21 (Cost Principles) 
and 29 CFR part 95 (Administrative Requirements).
    d. State and Local Governments--OMB Circulars A-87 (Cost 
Principles) and 29 CFR part 97 (Administrative Requirements).
    e. Profit Making Commercial Firms--Federal Acquisition Regulation 
(FAR)--48 CFR part 31 (Cost Principles), and 29 CFR part 95 
(Administrative Requirements). In addition, the audit requirements at 
20 CFR 627.480 applies to commercial recipients.
    f. All entities must comply with 29 CFR parts 93 and 98, and, where 
applicable, 29 CFR parts 96 and 99.
2. Administrative Costs
    ACWIA 2000 Section 111 (c)(6) provides that an entity that receives 
a grant to carry out a program or project under section 414(c)(1)(A) of 
ACWIA may not use more than 10 percent of the amount of the grant to 
pay administrative costs associated with the program or project. 
Administrative costs are defined at 20 CFR 667.220.
3. Start-up Costs
    ACWIA 2000 Section 111 (c)(3) limits the amount of start-up costs 
of partnerships or new training projects, which may be charged to these 
grants. Except for partnerships of small businesses, the limit is five 
(5) percent of any single grant or costs not to exceed $75,000. For 
partnerships consisting primarily of small businesses, the limit is ten 
(10) percent of the cost allocable for a single grant or a maximum of 
$150,000.


C. Reporting Requirements


    The grantee is required to provide the reports and documents listed 
below:
    Quarterly Financial Reports. A Quarterly Financial Status Report 
(SF269) is required until such time as all funds have been expended or 
the period of availability has expired. Quarterly reports are due 30 
days after the end of each calendar year quarter. Grantees must use 
ETA's On-Line Electronic Reporting System.
    Progress Reports. The grantee must submit a quarterly progress 
report to the GOTR within 30 days following each quarter. Two copies 
are to be submitted providing a detailed account of activities 
undertaken during that quarter including:
    1. Number completing training this quarter
    2. Number completing training overall
    3. Number enrolled in training
    4. Number expected to complete training by end of project
    5. Number new job placements as a result of training
    6. Number promotions resulting from the training
    7. Number wage increases resulting from training and amount of wage 
increases resulting from training
    8. Number certifications and/or /degrees, by type, awarded as 
result of training


    Note: DOL may require additional data elements to be collected 
and reported on either a regular basis or special request basis. 
Grantees must agree to meet DOL reporting requirements.


    A narrative section is also required for each quarterly report, 
including:
    1. General overview of project progress, new developments and 
resolution of previous issues and problems.
    2. Explanation of any problems and issues encountered and planned 
response.
    3. Lessons learned in the areas of project administration and 
management, training delivery, partnership relationships and other 
related areas.
    4. Discussion of the occupational areas for which skills training 
is being provided, including a listing of the occupations being 
trained, training delivery, number of students per occupation and other 
relevant information that provides a reasonable picture of the 
occupational training being conducted.
    Final Report. A draft final report which summarizes project 
activities and employment outcomes and related results of the 
demonstration must be submitted no later than 60 days prior to the 
expiration date of the grant. After responding to DOL questions and 
comments on the draft report, three copies of the final report must be 
submitted no later than the grant expiration date. Grantees must agree 
to use a designated format specified by DOL for preparing the final 
report.


D. Evaluation


    As required by ACWIA 2000, applications must include an agreement 
that the program or project shall be subject to evaluation by the 
Secretary of Labor to measure its effectiveness. To measure the impact 
of these skill training grants, ETA will arrange for or conduct an 
independent evaluation of the outcomes and benefits of the projects. 
Grantees must agree to make records on participants, employers and 
funding available and to provide access to program operating personnel 
and to participants, as specified by the evaluator(s) under the 
direction of ETA, including after the period of operation.


E. Matching Funds


    Applicants must demonstrate the ability to provide resources 
equivalent to at least 50 percent of the grant award amount as a match. 
This statutory match may be provided in-cash or in-kind, and federal 
resources may not be counted against the matching requirement. At least 
one-half of the non-Federal matching funds shall be from the business 
or businesses or business-related nonprofit organizations involved. The 
amount and nature of the match must be clearly described in the 
application.
    The 50 percent matching requirement is designed to assist grantees 
in initiating sustainability for the proposed project. The Department 
is particularly


[[Page 573]]


interested that the applicants demonstrate clear evidence that matching 
resources will sustain training activities after the expiration of the 
grant. Although matches may be one-time occurrences, applicants are 
encouraged to seek partnerships that reflect a commitment, financially 
and non-financially, to the future success of the proposed program.


F. Grantee Data System


    The grantee must have a system capable of collecting, storing and 
retrieving participant and training result information and producing 
reports needed for administrative, management, and analytical purposes. 
ETA will be routinely validating data as part of its oversight 
responsibilities, so grantees must ensure the accuracy and validity of 
information reported. The grantee must identify the data elements to be 
routinely collected.


G. Other


    The application must include identification of a management entity, 
the proposed staffing pattern, the resumes of key staff members and 
detailed descriptions of the roles of various entities participating in 
the partnership. Each application MUST designate an individual who will 
serve as project director and who will devote a substantial portion of 
his/her time to the project, which may be defined as at least 60 
percent. The applicant should also include a description of the 
organizational capacity and track record in high skill training and 
related activities of the primary actors in the partnership.


Part III--Application Process


A. Eligible Applicants


    Section 111(c)(2)(A)(i) of ACWIA 2000 specifies that the Secretary 
shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, subject to the 
availability of funds in the H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account, 
award 75 percent of the grants to Local Boards established under 
section 116(b) or 117 of the WIA, 29 U.S.C. 2831(b) and 2832, or 
consortia of such Boards in a region. A consortium can cross state 
lines or involve more than one statewide Local Board.
    Each Local Board or consortium of boards receiving grant funds must 
represent a local or regional public-private partnership consisting of 
at least one Local Board; one business or business-related non-profit 
organization such as a trade association and one community-based 
organization (which may be a faith-based organization), or higher 
education institution, or labor union.
    The activities of the local or regional public-private partnership 
must be conducted in coordination with the activities of the relevant 
Local Board or Boards established under WIA. ACWIA 2000 requires that 
each partnership designate a fiscal agent responsible for being the 
recipient of grant funds.
    Under this announcement, only Local Boards (through their 
designated fiscal agents) and consortia of Local Boards may apply for 
and receive these grant awards. This requirement does not prevent the 
participation of other partners or concerned entities, which are 
integral to the process of planning for and conducting skills training 
in skills shortage areas. As noted earlier under Supplementary 
Information, successful applicants under earlier H-1B solicitations are 
eligible to apply for grants under this competition. Current awardees 
must indicate how their new proposals can provide a different approach 
or scope to skills training given program improvements developed under 
the current award.
    Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with entities that possess 
a sound grasp of the job market in the region and are in a position to 
address the issue of skill shortage occupations. These entities include 
organizations such as private, for-profit businesses--including small 
and medium-size businesses; business, trade, or industry associations 
such as local Chambers of Commerce and small business federations; and 
labor unions. These partners should include businesses and business 
associations, which have experienced first hand the problems of coping 
with skill shortages and which employ workers engaged in skill shortage 
occupations.
    This notice will not prescriptively define the roles of individual 
entities within the partnership beyond requiring that the Local Boards 
or consortia be the applicant and designate a fiscal agent for 
receiving grant funds, as stated in ACWIA 2000. The applicant's 
proposal is expected to provide a detailed discussion of participating 
organizations' respective responsibilities.
    Based on ETA's experience, regional partnerships that actively 
engage a wide range of participation from community groups--
particularly with strong private employer involvement--appear to be 
more successful. Consortia of Local Boards representing more than one 
area that share common economic goals may join together as one 
applicant rather than applying individually.
    The application must clearly identify the applicant (or the fiscal 
agent), the grant recipient (and/or fiscal agent), and describe its 
capacity to administer this project. It must also indicate that the 
project is consistent with and will be coordinated with the activities 
of the relevant Local Board or Boards and with the other partners in 
the workforce investment system(s) that are involved in technical 
skills activities in the relevant region(s).
    According to Section 18 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, an 
organization described in Section 501 (c) (4) of the Internal Revenue 
Code of 1986 that engages in lobbying activities will not be eligible 
for the receipt of federal funds constituting an award, grant, or loan.


    Note: Except as specifically provided in this Notice, DOL/ETA's 
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 are conducted, as much as practical, to provide open 
and free competition. If a proposal identifies a specific entity to 
provide services, the DOL/ETA's award does not provide the 
justification or basis to sole-source the procurement, i.e., it does 
not authorize the applicant to avoid competition when procuring 
these services.


    Part IV of this announcement identifies the criteria that will be 
used to rate applicant submissions. These criteria and point value are:


------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Criterion                              Points
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Statement of Need...........................................       10
B. Level of Training and Service Delivery Strategy.............       25
C. Target Population...........................................       10
D. Sustainability..............................................       15
E. Linkages with Key Partners..................................       15
F. Outcomes, Management and Cost Effectiveness.................       25
                                                                --------
    Total Possible Points......................................      100
------------------------------------------------------------------------


B. Submission of Proposals


    Applicants must submit four (4) copies of their proposal, with 
original signatures. The proposal must consist of two (2) separate and 
distinct parts, Parts I and II.
    Part I of the proposal must contain the Standard Form (SF) 424, 
``Application for Federal Assistance'' (Appendix C) and the Budget 
Information Form (Appendix D). Upon confirmation of an award, the 
individual signing the SF 424 on behalf of the applicant shall 
represent the responsible financial and administrative entity.


[[Page 574]]


    In preparing the Budget Information form, the applicant must 
provide a concise narrative explanation to support the request. The 
statutory language of ACWIA 2000 is specific in stating that grant 
resources are to be expended for programs or projects to provide 
technical skills training. An illustrative, but not exclusive, list of 
allowable and allocable types of administrative costs is provided in 
the WIA regulations at 20 CFR 667.200. In general, however, this grant 
does not contemplate or permit the purchase of capital equipment. The 
budget narrative should discuss precisely how the administrative costs 
support the project goals.
    Part II must contain a technical proposal that demonstrates the 
applicant's capabilities in accordance with the Statement of Work. A 
grant application is limited to twenty-five (25) double-spaced, single-
sided, 8.5 inch x 11 inch pages with one-inch margins. The applicant 
may provide resumes, a staffing pattern, statistical information and 
related material in attachments, which may not exceed fifteen (15) 
pages. Although not required, letters of commitment from partners or 
from those providing matching resources may be submitted as 
attachments. Such letters will not count against the allowable maximum 
page total. The applicant must briefly itemize those participating 
entities in the text of the proposal. Text type shall be 12 point or 
larger. Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be 
considered. Each application must include a Time Line outlining project 
activities and an Executive Summary that is not to exceed two pages. 
The Time Line and the Executive Summary do not count against the 25-
page limit. No cost data or reference to prices should be included in 
the technical proposal.


C. Hand Delivered Proposals


    Hand delivered proposals will be received at the address identified 
above. Telegraphed and/or faxed proposals will not be accepted. Failure 
to adhere to the administrative instructions pertaining to Submission 
of Proposals (contained in Section B) and Delivery of Proposals 
(contained in Section C) will be considered as non-responsive.


D. Period of Performance


    The initial period of performance will be up to 36 months from the 
date of execution of the grant documents. It is anticipated that 
individual awards will not exceed $3,000,000. ETA may elect to exercise 
its option for a no-cost extension for these grants for an additional 
period not to exceed 12 months, based on the success of the program and 
other relevant factors.


Part IV--Review Process & Rating Criteria


A. The Review Process


    Applications for the H-1B technical skills training grants will be 
accepted continuously after the publication of this announcement until 
further notice. Technical review panels will meet periodically on an 
as-needed basis, given the number of applications and the availability 
of funds.
    The technical review panel will make careful evaluation of 
applications against the criteria below. Final funding decisions will 
be based on the rating of applications as a result of the review 
process, and other factors such as statutory requirements (urban/rural 
balance, geographic balance, the requirement that at least 80 percent 
of funds be awarded for high technology, information technology, and 
biotechnology occupational training and that not more than 20 percent 
of funds be available for training in any single specialty occupation), 
availability of funds, and what is most advantageous to the Government. 
The panel results are advisory in nature and not binding on the Grant 
Officer. The Government may elect to award the grant(s) with or without 
discussions with the offeror(s). In situations without discussions, an 
award will be based on the offeror(s) signature on the SF 424, which 
constitutes a binding offer.
    The rated applications will be placed in the following categories:
    (1) If the application receives a rating of 80 and above, it will 
be placed on an eligible to be funded list. The applicant will remain 
on this list for 9 months before resubmittal is required. Applicants in 
this category may require further discussions. Inclusion on this list 
is not a guarantee of funding.
    (2) If the application receives a rating of 79 or below, the 
applicant will be eligible to receive technical assistance through 
group workshops in areas such as:
    [sbull] Grant Writing
    [sbull] Partnership Building/Linkages
    [sbull] Administrative Requirements
    [sbull] Service Delivery Strategies
    (3) Those applications receiving a rating of 70-79 will also be 
eligible to receive additional individualized technical assistance.
    All applicants will receive written notice of their rating which 
will include a summary of their strengths and weaknesses in the 
application at the conclusion of the review process.


B. Rating Criteria


    Applications will be rated on how completely they respond to the 
criteria set forth below, and how responsive they are to the policy 
goals and emphases set forth in Part II of this document.
1. Statement of Need (10 points)
    ACWIA 2000 is a response to high technology skill shortages around 
the country in specific occupations. The most recent H-1B occupation 
data are provided as an attachment to this solicitation. Applicants 
should clearly describe the local area or region for which services are 
to be provided and the high technology skill shortages prevalent in the 
geographic area and region.
    Applicants are encouraged to utilize all available data resources 
to ensure that their descriptions of need are relevant to local and 
regional labor market shortages. Information can include, but is not 
limited to: statistical information from Federal government sources, 
state labor market information, H-1B applications, newspaper want ads, 
expressed employer hiring demands, and information from the One-Stop 
system, in responding to this criterion. Descriptive items about the 
local area or region, such as rural or urban, should be included. (What 
high technology needs and opportunities exist in the region? What are 
the particular characteristics of the local political, economic and 
administrative jurisdictions--Local Boards, labor market areas, or 
special district authorities--that led them to associate for the 
purpose of this application?)
    A general description of the local area or region should include 
socioeconomic data, with a particular focus on the general education 
and skill levels prevalent in the area. Applicants are encouraged to 
include information such as transportation patterns, and statistical 
and demographic information (e.g., age and income data). Other germane 
questions that will provide greater depth of description include: What 
is the general business environment? What industries and occupations 
are growing and declining? What types of skills are being sought in the 
geographic area or region by the major employers in general, and the 
partnership member companies, in particular? Data from local and 
regional employers relating to the use of H-1B visas to import foreign 
workers to meet their high technology skill needs will be of special 
help in demonstrating high technology training needs.


[[Page 575]]


2. Level of Training and Service Delivery Strategy (25 points)
    Applicants must lay out the comprehensive strategy proposed for 
providing the technical skills training that is mandated as the core 
activity of these grant awards. Applicants shall describe a service 
delivery strategy that provides training at or leading to an H-1B level 
skill. Part 1C of this SGA spells out very clearly DOL's strong 
interest in achieving a higher level of training than has occurred in 
some H-1B grants, to a level that clearly prepares individuals to meet 
the H-1B visa definition of ``theoretical and practical application of 
a body of specialized knowledge.'' A discussion of the impact of skills 
training in response to the identified skill shortages of the region 
should be included. Since the H-1B skill level is at the Bachelor 
degree level or above, training may include formal education. Specific 
issues that must be addressed as part of this section include:
    [sbull] The range and identity of potential training providers, 
including identifying whether they are on the eligible training 
provider list as described in WIA, section 122, the types of skills 
training that will be offered, how the training will meet the local 
area or regional skills needs, and how the training will be provided.
    [sbull] The targeted occupations and skill level and how the skill 
upgrading will be measured. If degrees and/or certificates are 
contemplated, the type and recognition authority should be described as 
well as an estimate of the number and type to be attained.
    [sbull] What steps will be taken to reach out to the community(ies) 
to provide information about the project and planned training 
activities.
    [sbull] How will the types of training planned for project 
participants be determined.
    Training at a sufficiently high skill level will be an important 
factor in this criterion. If career ladder training is proposed, the 
applicant must provide adequate detail demonstrating that all rungs of 
the ladder lead to H-1B training at the top rung and that it is 
reasonably likely that the majority of individuals on the ladder will 
complete the highest rungs of H-1B level training under the H-1B 
Technical Skills Training Grant.
    Innovation in the context of service delivery is also considered 
essential and is a basic principle of H-1B Technical Skills Training 
Grants and can represent a wide variety of approaches and techniques. 
Innovation may be implemented in the manner in which training services 
are provided, e.g., distance learning to provide instruction, 
interactive video self-instructional materials, and flexible class 
scheduling (sections of the same class scheduled at different times of 
the day to accommodate workers whose schedules fluctuate). Creativity 
in developing the service strategy is also encouraged. The service 
delivery strategy must meet the needs of business partners, providing 
skills identified in the statement of need. Evidence should be provided 
that business partners have been involved in developing the training 
service delivery plan. The service delivery strategy should also 
effectively reach out to and meet needs of the target population, i.e., 
desired candidates are recruited and training conducted in such a 
manner that participants can attend without undo hardship (training 
during workday, on weekends and/or through distance learning methods). 
Applicants should fully describe any innovative and creative approaches 
contemplated.
3. Target Population (10 points)
    The eligibility criteria for skills training enumerated in ACWIA 
2000 are extremely broad and include employed and unemployed workers. 
This section should clearly identify the targeted workers, including 
their characteristics and explain why they are targeted. A discussion 
of what assessment procedures are to be used to ensure that the 
targeted individuals are qualified for the training and have a high 
likelihood of successful completion of the training is critical. The 
applicant should address some specific issues relating to the target 
worker population such as:
    [sbull] How many employed workers and unemployed workers will be 
targeted for services and why?
    [sbull] What are the technical skills training needs of those 
workers to fulfill skill shortage occupations at the H-1B level? Note 
that employers' needs should be addressed in Statement of Need.
    [sbull] It is extremely important that the selection process for 
workers, both employed and unemployed, be carefully described to make 
it clear how those individuals will be determined to possess the 
capacity after the completion of training to accept jobs that 
previously were filled via the H-1B visa process, or could be filled at 
the H-1B level. In the case of both incumbent workers and unemployed 
workers, there needs to be an extensive discussion of the criteria to 
be used to assess and enroll individuals. Applicants shall describe how 
members of the target population will be selected and the technical 
skills training needs of the target population in such a way as to 
verify that H-1B level training is actually required, especially in the 
case of incumbent workers. Applicants shall describe the assessment 
tools used to ensure that proposed trainees are able to complete H-1B 
level training, in terms of ability and educational preparation. Note 
that trainees must possess a fairly advanced skills set prior to the 
start of H-1B training, i.e., they should be capable of pursuing 
training at the college level.
    [sbull] What is the business partners' involvement in the selection 
of candidates?
    [sbull] What is the targeted education and skill level of trainees 
as they enter the program?
4. Sustainability (15 points)
    Sustainability refers to the continuation of the partnership based 
on the strength of that partnership and the ability of the training 
program to deliver value to employers. Applicants must demonstrate that 
they will meet the statutory requirement to provide a 50 percent match 
to the resources for proposed projects. Matches may either be in-cash 
or in-kind and federal resources cannot be counted towards the matching 
requirement. Applicants must describe to what extent the partners 
provide matching funds or services and how this contribution assists in 
building the foundation for a long-term partnership, i.e., 
sustainability. Matching resources and partnerships are considered an 
integral element of the project, as they support and strengthen the 
quality of the technical skills training provided and contribute 
materially toward sustainability. This section MUST contain a detailed 
discussion of the size, nature, and quality of the non-federal match 
and how the match will be used to further the goals of the project. 
Proposals not presenting a detailed discussion of the non-federal match 
or not meeting the statutory 50 percent match requirement will be 
considered non-responsive and will not be considered.
    Technical Skills Training Grant resources are limited to raising 
the skill levels of individuals to fill high skills H-1B occupations. 
Applicants will be given preference for identifying other resources 
both federal and non-Federal, because they can contribute materially 
toward quality outcomes and sustainability. (Note that although federal 
resources may not be counted as match, they may be counted to 
demonstrate the project sustainability.) Applicants are also encouraged 
to establish relationships with State Workforce Investment Boards and


[[Page 576]]


relevant state agencies, as they may provide valuable assistance and 
resources that can contribute to the success of a proposed project. 
Applicants should enumerate these resources in this section to support 
their discussion of sustainability and also describe any specific 
existing contractual commitments. The sustainability issue can be 
addressed by providing concrete evidence that training activities of 
the partnership will be continued after the expiration date of the 
grant by using other public or private resources.
5. Linkages With Key Partners (15 points)
    The application must show the partnership required by Section 
111(c)(2)(A)(i) of ACWIA 2000 (a Local Board or consortium of Local 
Boards; one community-based organization, higher education institution, 
or labor union; and one business or business-related nonprofit 
organization such as a trade association). ETA encourages, and will be 
looking for, applications that go beyond the minimum requirements of 
the statute and show broader, expected long-term partnerships. The 
applicant should identify the partners and how they will interact 
together, i.e., what role each will play and what resources each 
partner will offer. In particular, this section should identify 
partnerships with the private and public sectors, including ties with 
small- and medium-sized businesses and small business federations. In 
addition, the proposal should include a description of any coordination 
and consultation activities with the applicable state workforce agency 
and/or Governor's office or state Workforce Investment Board. Evidence 
of such coordination and/or consultation such as written documentation 
should be included in the application. The Service Delivery Strategy 
section of the Statement of Work describes the role of each of the 
actors in delivering the proposed services, while this section is 
intended to look at the linkages from a more structural perspective 
with particular emphasis on the employers in the consortium that are 
experiencing skills shortages and have hiring or upgrading needs.
    ETA also is interested in the extent of the involvement of small 
businesses in the partnership. Consideration will be given to any 
partnership that involves and directly benefits more than one small 
business (each consisting of 100 employees or less).
6. Outcomes, Management and Cost Effectiveness (25 points)
    This criterion includes three areas: (a) Program and training 
outcomes, (b) project and grant management, and (c) cost effectiveness. 
Applicants must describe the predicted outcomes resulting from this 
training. It is estimated that the projected results will be somewhat 
varied given the mix of people who will be served. Success can be 
determined through placements in H-1B skills shortage occupations, 
increased wages, or skills attainment in H-1B occupations, or in 
training for or placement in positions on a defined career ladder 
directly leading toward such skills attainment.
    For unemployed workers, outcomes will be viewed in terms of gaining 
new employment and enhanced skills attainment in, or on the ladder to 
H-1B skill shortage occupations.
    Outcomes for employed workers may be at a somewhat higher level 
than for those unemployed workers who do not possess similar skills at 
the outset. Because of the differing skill levels and backgrounds of 
participants in an H-1B training program, the outcomes section should 
discuss gains attained for individual participants in context of their 
backgrounds and skill levels when they entered. Therefore, the focus of 
the discussion in this section should emphasize very specifically the 
benefits that occur because of the training. For example, an applicant 
might state that a certain skill level is projected for a given group 
and indicate what change in skills that represents and how that might 
translate into an increase in earnings.
    As noted in Level of Training and Service Delivery Strategy above, 
the application must identify what occupations will be trained for 
under this grant. Please identify each occupation in terms of skills in 
high technology, information technology and biotechnology, including 
skills needed for software and communication services, 
telecommunications, systems installation and integration, computers and 
communications hardware, advanced manufacturing, health care 
technology, bio-technology and biomedical research and manufacturing 
and innovation services.
    Applicants should indicate how they plan to achieve one or more of 
the following outcome goals upon successful completion of a training 
program:
    (1) The hiring of unemployed trainees (if applicable);
    (2) Increases in the wages or salaries of already employed trainees 
(if applicable); and
    (3) Awards of educational degrees, credit toward degrees, skill 
certifications to trainees or links the trainees to industry-accepted 
occupational skill standards, certificates or licensing requirements.
    Management includes qualifications and experience of proposed staff 
and related areas. Applicants should include a description of the 
organizational structure and processes and automated system to be used 
for managing the project, collecting project data, monitoring and 
tracking progress, responding to issues and problems, and producing 
relevant reports for both the grantee and DOL.
    Applicants will provide a detailed discussion of the expected cost 
effectiveness of their proposal in terms of the expected cost per 
participant compared to the expected benefits for these participants. 
Applicants should address the employment outcomes, placement, increased 
salary, promotion or retention and the levels of skills to be achieved 
(such as attaining state licensing in an occupation) relative to the 
amount of training that the individual needed to receive to achieve 
those outcomes. Benefits can be described both qualitatively in terms 
of skills attained, including degrees and certificates attained, and 
quantitatively in terms of wage gains. Costs must be justified in 
relation to cost per participant and, when possible, contrast with 
similar costs for training conducted elsewhere. Cost effectiveness may 
be demonstrated in part by cost per participant and cost per activity 
in relation to the level and duration of services provided and outcomes 
to be attained; the applicant's expectations regarding these measures 
should be included.


    Signed in Washington, DC, this 31st day of December 2002.
Laura Cesario,
Grant Officer.
Appendix A: Legislative Mandate
Appendix B--H-1B Petitions Approved in Fiscal Year 2001 for Top 10 
Major Occupational Groups and Top 23 Detailed Occupations, Source: INS, 
July 2002
Appendix C: (SF) 424--Application Form
Appendix D: Budget Information Form
Appendix E: Project Profile Information (completed by applicant)


Appendix A--Legislative Mandate


(1) ACWIA and ACWIA 2000


    The relevant portions of ACWIA 2000 dealing with the 
establishment of a fund for implementing a program of H-1B skills 
training grants are as follows:


[[Page 577]]


``Section 286(s)--H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account (As Amended)


    (1) In General--There is established in the general fund of the 
Treasury a separate account, which shall be known as the `H-1B 
Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account.' Notwithstanding any other section 
of this title, there shall be deposited as offsetting receipts into 
the account all fees collected under 8 U.S.C. 1184 (c)(9)(section 
214(c)(9)).
    (2) Use of Fees for Job Training--55 percent of amounts 
deposited into the H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account shall remain 
available to the Secretary of Labor until expended for demonstration 
programs and projects described in section 414(c) of the American 
Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.''
    ``SEC. 111. Demonstration Programs and Projects To Provide 
Technical Skills Training for Workers.
    Section 414(c) of the American Competitiveness and Workforce 
Improvement Act of 1998 (as contained in title IV of division C of 
Public Law 105-277; 112 Stat. 2681-653) is amended to read as 
follows:
    (c) Demonstration Programs and Projects To Provide Technical 
Skills Training for Workers.--
    (1) In General.--
    (A) Funding.--The Secretary of Labor shall use funds available 
under section 286(s)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
U.S.C. 1356(s)(2)) to establish demonstration programs or projects 
to provide technical skills training for workers, including both 
employed and unemployed workers.
    (B) Training Provided.--Training funded by a program or project 
described in subparagraph (A) shall be for persons who are currently 
employed and who wish to obtain and upgrade skills as well as for 
persons who are unemployed. Such training is not limited to skills 
levels commensurate with a four-year undergraduate degree, but 
should include the preparation of workers for a broad range of 
positions along a career ladder. Consideration shall be given to the 
use of grant funds to demonstrate a significant ability to expand a 
training program or project through such means as training more 
workers or offering more courses, and training programs or projects 
resulting from collaborations, especially with more than one small 
business or with a labor-management training program or project. The 
need for the training shall be justified through reliable regional, 
state, or local data.
    (2) Grants.--
    (A) Eligibility.-- To carry out the programs and projects 
described in paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary of Labor shall, in 
consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, subject to the 
availability of funds in the H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account, 
award--
    (i) 75 percent of the grants to a local workforce investment 
board established under section 116(b) or section 117 of the 
Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2832) or consortia of 
such boards in a region. Each workforce investment board or 
consortia of boards receiving grant funds shall represent a local or 
regional public-private partnership consisting of at least--
    (I) one workforce investment board;
    (II) one community-based organization or higher education 
institution or labor union; and
    (III) one business or business-related non-profit organization 
such as a trade association: Provided, That the activities of such 
local or regional public-private partnership described in this 
subsection shall be conducted in coordination with the activities of 
the relevant local workforce investment board or boards established 
under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2832); and
    (ii) 25 percent of the grants under the Secretary of Labor's 
authority to award grants for demonstration projects or programs 
under section 171 of the Workforce Investment Act (29 U.S.C. 2916) 
to partnerships that shall consist of at least 2 businesses or a 
business-related nonprofit organization that represents more than 
one business, and that may include any educational, labor, community 
organization, or workforce investment board, except that such grant 
funds may be used only to carry out a strategy that would otherwise 
not be eligible for funds provided under clause (i), due to barriers 
in meeting those partnership eligibility criteria, on a national, 
multi state, regional, or rural area (such as rural telework 
programs) basis.
    (B) Designation of Responsible Fiscal Agents.-- Each partnership 
formed under subparagraph (A) shall designate a responsible fiscal 
agent to receive and disburse grant funds under this subsection.
    (C) Partnership Considerations.--Consideration in the awarding 
of grants shall be given to any partnership that involves and 
directly benefits more than one small business (each consisting of 
100 employees or less).
    (D) Allocation of Grants.--In making grants under this 
paragraph, the Secretary shall make every effort to fairly 
distribute grants across rural and urban areas, and across the 
different geographic regions of the United States. The total amount 
of grants awarded to carry out programs and projects described in 
paragraph (1)(A) shall be allocated as follows:
    (i) At least 80 percent of the grants shall be awarded to 
programs and projects that train employed and unemployed workers in 
skills in high technology, information technology, and 
biotechnology, including skills needed for software and 
communications services, telecommunications, systems installation 
and integration, computers and communications hardware, advanced 
manufacturing, health care technology, biotechnology and biomedical 
research and manufacturing, and innovation services.
    (ii) No more than 20 percent of the grants shall be available to 
programs and projects that train employed and unemployed workers for 
skills related to any single specialty occupation, as defined in 
section 214(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
    (3) Start-Up Funds.--
    (A) In General.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), not 
more than 5 percent of any single grant, or not to exceed $75,000, 
whichever is less, may be used toward the start-up costs of 
partnerships or new training programs and projects.
    (B) Exception.--In the case of partnerships consisting primarily 
of small businesses, not more than 10 percent of any single grant, 
or $150,000, whichever is less, may be used toward the start-up 
costs of partnerships or new training programs and projects.
    (C) Duration of Start-Up Period.--For purposes of this 
subsection, a start-up period consists of a period of not more than 
2 months after the grant period begins, at which time training shall 
immediately begin and no further Federal funds may be used for 
start-up purposes.
    (4) Training Outcomes.--
    (A) Consideration for Certain Programs and Projects.--
Consideration in the awarding of grants shall be given to applicants 
that provide a specific, measurable commitment upon successful 
completion of a training course, to--
    (i) hire or effectuate the hiring of unemployed trainees (where 
applicable);
    (ii) increase the wages or salary of incumbent workers (where 
applicable); and
    (iii) provide skill certifications to trainees or link the 
training to industry-accepted occupational skill standards, 
certificates, or licensing requirements.
    (B) Requirements for Grant Applications.--Applications for 
grants shall--(i) articulate the level of skills that workers will 
be trained for and the manner by which attainment of those skills 
will be measured; (ii) include an agreement that the program or 
project shall be subject to evaluation by the Secretary of Labor to 
measure its effectiveness; and (iii) in the case of an application 
for a grant under subsection (c)(2)(A)(ii), explain what barriers 
prevent the strategy from being implemented through a grant made 
under subsection (c)(2)(A)(i).
    (5) Matching Funds.--Each application for a grant to carry out a 
program or project described in paragraph (1)(A) shall state the 
manner by which the partnership will provide non-Federal matching 
resources (cash, or in-kind contributions, or both) equal to at 
least 50 percent of the total grant amount awarded under paragraph 
(2)(A)(i), and at least 100 percent of the total grant amount 
awarded under paragraph (2)(A)(ii). At least one-half of the non-
Federal matching funds shall be from the business or businesses or 
business-related nonprofit organizations involved. Consideration in 
the award of grants shall be given to applicants that provide a 
specific commitment or commitments of resources from other public or 
private sources, or both, so as to demonstrate the long-term 
sustainability of the training program or project after the grant 
expires.
    (6) Administrative Costs.--An entity that receives a grant to 
carry out a program or project described in paragraph (1)(A) may not 
use more than 10 percent of the amount of the grant to pay for 
administrative costs associated with the program or project.


(2)INA


    The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)(section 101(a)(15) 
(H)(i)(b))(8 U.S.C 1101 (a)(15)(H)(i)(B)) defines the H-1B alien as 
one ``who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform 
services in a specialty occupation * * * or as a fashion model * * * 
''


[[Page 578]]


    The INA (Section 214(i)) sets criteria to define the term 
``specialty occupation:''
    (1) For purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) and paragraph 
2, a ``specialty occupation'' means an occupation that requires--(A) 
theoretical and practical application of a body of highly 
specialized knowledge and,
    (B) attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific 
specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the 
occupation in the United States.
    (2) For purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)), the 
requirements of this paragraph with respect to a specialty 
occupation are--(A) full state licensure to practice in the 
occupation, if such licensure is required to practice in the 
occupation,
    (B) completion of the degree described in paragraph (1)(B) for 
the occupation, or (C)(i) experience in the specialty equivalent to 
the completion of such degree, and (ii) recognition of expertise in 
the specialty through progressively responsible positions relating 
to the specialty.


     Appendix B.--H-1B Petitions Approved in Fiscal Year 2001 for Top 10 Major Occupational Groups and Top 23
                                  Detailed Occupations, Source: INS, July 2002
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Group    Detailed    LCA*
                         Occupations                             rank      rank      code     Total     Percent
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Computer-related............................................        1  .........       03    191,397       58.0
     Systems analysis and programming........................  .......          1      030    171,784       52.1
     Occupations not elsewhere classified (n.e.c.)...........  .......          3      039     13,661        4.1
     Data communications and networks........................  .......         17      031      2,618        0.8
     Computer systems technical support......................  .......         18      033      2,590        0.8
 Architecture, engineering and surveying.....................        2  .........    00/01     40,388       -2.2
     Electrical/Electronics engineering......................        2  .........      003     15,356        4.7
     Occupations n.e.c.......................................  .......          6      019      8,404        3.4
     Mechanical engineering..................................  .......         10      007      4,815        1.5
     Architectural...........................................  .......         15      001      2,937        0.9
     Civil engineering.......................................  .......         19      005      2,534        0.8
     Industrial engineering..................................  .......         23      012      2,184        0.7
 Administrative specializations..............................        3  .........       16     23,794        7.2
     Accountants, auditors and related occupations...........  .......          5      160     11,076        3.4
     Occupations n.e.c.......................................  .......         13      169      3,279        1.0
     Budget and management systems...........................  .......         14      161      3,245        1.0
     Sales and distribution management.......................  .......         21      163      2,415        0.7
 Education...................................................        4  .........       09     17,431        5.3
     College and university education........................  .......          4      090     12,183        3.7
     Preschool, primary school and kindergarten education....  .......         20      092      2,534        0.7
 Managers and officials......................................        5  .........       18     12,423        3.8
     Miscellaneous n.e.c.....................................  .......          7      189      6,864        2.1
 Medicine and health.........................................        6  .........       07     11,334        3.4
     Physicians and surgeons.................................  .......         12      070      4,541        1.4
     Occupations n.e.c.......................................  .......         16      079      2,827        0.9
 Life Sciences...............................................        7  .........       04      6,492        2.0
     Biological Sciences.....................................  .......         11      041      4,813        1.5
 Social Sciences.............................................        8  .........       05      6,145        1.9
     Economics...............................................  .......          8      050      5,733        1.7
 Mathematics and physical sciences...........................        9  .........       02      5,772        1.7
     Chemistry...............................................  .......         22      022      2,360        0.7
 Miscellaneous professional, technical & managerial..........       10  .........       19      5,662        1.7
     Occupations n.e.c.......................................  .......          9      199      5,106       1.5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Labor Condition Application code


Appendix E--Project Profile Information


Applicant Name:--------------------------------------------------------
Project Title:---------------------------------------------------------
Occupations and Number of individuals to be Trained [list]:
Level of Training:
    a. Pre-career ladder------
    b. Lower career ladder------
    c. Mid-career ladder------
     d. H-1B visa level (bachelor's degree or equivalent, 
professionally recognized certificate training)------


    Note: Pre-Career Ladder training refers to training that is 
meant to prepare someone for development along a career path. This 
may include basic literacy classes, GED classes, basic computer 
skills training, ESL education, or other low level training that in 
and of itself will not prepare the student to hold a job on an H-1B 
level career ladder. Lower career ladder and mid-career level 
training is more advanced than pre-career ladder but still 
constitutes foundation preparation rather than training specifically 
addressing a specialty occupation at the H-1B visa level. The H-1B 
visa level requires ``a theoretical and practical application of a 
body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor's 
or higher degree in the specialty.''


Targeted Population:
    a. Incumbent workers------
    b. Unemployed workers------


    Note: incumbent workers are those currently employed by a 
specific company or business. Unemployed workers are those workers 
not currently employed, but still part of the labor force.


Geographic area served:
    a. Rural------
    b. Urban------


    Note: A general delineation of urban/rural is whether the 
geographic area served in within a Metropolitan Statistical Area 
(MSA). If within a MSA, the area is considered urban, otherwise, 
rural.


Degrees/certificates expected [list by type. name and number]:


[FR Doc. 03-193 Filed 1-3-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-30-P





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