[Federal Register: December 30, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 249)]
[Notices]               
[Page 67902-67918]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30de97-152]

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

 
Welfare-to-Work Competitive Grants

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration (ETA), DOL.

ACTION: Notice of availability of funds; solicitation for grant 
applications.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training 
Administration (ETA) announces the first round of competitive grants 
under a two year Welfare-to-Work (WtW) grant program enacted under the 
Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The WtW program assists States and local 
communities to provide the transitional employment assistance needed to 
move hard-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy 
Families (TANF) into lasting unsubsidized jobs. WtW grants are targeted 
to assisting those TANF recipients, and certain noncustodial parents, 
who have experienced, or have characteristics associated with, long-
term welfare dependence. This announcement describes the conditions 
under which applications will be received under the Welfare-to-Work 
(WtW) Competitive Grants Program and how DOL/ETA will determine which 
applications it will fund. This announcement includes all of the 
information and forms needed to apply for WtW competitive grants.

DATES: The closing date for receipt of applications under this 
announcement is March 10, 1998. For the funding cycle covered by this 
announcement, complete applications must be received at the address 
below no later than 2 p.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time). Except as 
provided below, grant applications received after this date and time 
will not be considered. Applications which are not accepted for this 
announcement must be resubmitted to be considered for future 
announcements.

ADDRESSES: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training 
Administration, Division of Acquisition Assistance, Attention: Mr. 
Willie Harris, SGA/DAA 98-004, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room S4203, 
Washington, D.C. 20210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Willie Harris, Grant Management 
Specialist, Division of Acquisition Assistance, Telephone: (202) 219-
8694. This is not a toll-free number. This announcement is also being 
published on the Internet on the Employment and Training 
Administration's Welfare-to-Work Home Page at http://wtw.doleta.gov. 
Copies of the Interim Final Rule governing the Welfare-to-Work program, 
including activities conducted under the competitive grants, are also 
available on the WtW Home Page. In addition, award notifications will 
be published on the WtW Home Page.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Authority

    Section 403(a)(5)(B) of Title IV of the Social Security Act. 
Regulations governing the WtW program are at 20 CFR Part 645, published 
at 62 FR 61588. These Interim Final Regulations were published in the 
Federal Register on November 18, 1997.

II. Submission of Applications

    A signed original of the application and three copies must be 
submitted. An application should be single-spaced and shall not exceed 
twenty (20) single-sided pages for the Government Requirements/
Statement of Work section, as described in the ``Required Content for 
WtW Competitive Grant Applications--Fiscal Year 1998,'' plus an 
additional twenty-five (25) pages for Attachments, including the 
Project Synopsis, Evidence of State and Local Coordination, the 
Financial Plan and other recommended forms. A font size of at least 12 
pitch is required.

Acceptable Methods of Submission

    Applications may be hand-delivered or mailed. Hand-delivered 
applications must be received at the address identified above by the 
date and time specified. Overnight mail deliveries will be treated as 
hand-deliveries. Mailed applications that arrive after the closing date 
will be accepted if they are post-marked at least five (5) days prior 
to the closing date. Applications submitted via overnight mail that 
arrive after the closing date will be accepted if they are post-marked 
at least two (2) days prior to the closing date. Otherwise, late 
applications will not be accepted. Telegraphed and/or faxed 
applications will not be accepted.
    Applications may be withdrawn by written notice or telegram 
(including mailgram), or in person if the representative's identity is 
made known, and the representative signs a receipt for the application.

OMB Approval of Paperwork Burden

    According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are 
required to respond to a collection of information unless such 
collection displays a valid OMB control number. The valid OMB control 
number for this information collection is 1205-1387. The time required 
to complete this information collection is estimated to average twenty 
(20) hours per response, including the time to review the instructions, 
search existing data resources, gather data needed, and complete and 
review the information. Comments concerning this burden estimate or any 
other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions 
for reducing this burden, to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of 
Job Training Programs, Room N4459, Washington, D.C. 20210 (Paperwork 
Reduction Project 1205-1387). Comments may be reflected in the 
development of future solicitations.

III. Program Scope and Funding

    Competitive grant projects will be expected to achieve the purpose 
of all WtW grants:

    To provide transitional assistance which moves welfare 
recipients into unsubsidized employment providing good career 
potential for achieving economic self-sufficiency.

    This transitional assistance is to be provided through a ``work 
first'' service strategy in which recipients are engaged in employment-
based activities. Grant funds may be used to provide needed basic and/
or vocational skills training as a post-employment service in 
conjunction with either subsidized or unsubsidized employment. This 
flexibility, established in the Regulations, reflects the basic ``work 
first'' philosophy of the WtW legislation, and recognizes the critical 
importance of continuous skills acquisition and lifelong learning to 
economic self-sufficiency.
    All competitive grant projects will be expected to be an integral 
part of a comprehensive strategy for moving eligible individuals into 
unsubsidized employment in a local, community-based context. Projects 
should develop and implement innovative approaches that enhance a 
community's ability to move eligible individuals into self-sustaining 
employment, create upward mobility paths and higher earnings

[[Page 67903]]

potential for WtW participants, and achieve sustainable improvements in 
the community's service infrastructure for assisting welfare 
recipients. All applications will be reviewed under the criteria set 
forth in Part VII of this announcement, including the effectiveness of 
the proposal in moving TANF recipients who are least job ready into 
unsubsidized employment, in moving such recipients into unsubsidized 
employment in labor markets that have a shortage of low-skill jobs, and 
in expanding the base of knowledge about programs aimed at moving TANF 
recipients into long-term unsubsidized employment.

Areas of Special Interest

    In addition to proposing innovative strategies for moving welfare 
recipients into lasting unsubsidized employment, applicants are 
encouraged to consider the following in designing responsive service 
strategies for the eligible population in their local area:
    <bullet> Targeted assistance to specific subgroups of the eligible 
populations such as noncustodial parents, individuals with learning 
disabilities, individuals who require substance abuse treatment for 
employment, and public housing residents;
    <bullet> Development of responsive transportation and child care 
service systems;
    <bullet> Use of integrated work and learning strategies to develop 
skills;
    <bullet> Creation of job opportunities (including self-employment) 
that allow for flexibility to address work and family needs while 
providing income levels that are adequate for self-sufficiency;
    <bullet> Proactive strategies to involve employers in design of 
service strategies and implementation of the project;
    <bullet> Strategies that focus on family-based assistance and that 
are integrated with children systems (e.g., Child Care, Head Start) 
that can assist the full family unit;
    <bullet> Activities to help women access nontraditional 
occupations; and
    <bullet> Strategies that reflect effective integration with both 
the workforce development (e.g., One-Stop) and welfare systems.
    The Department is also interested in receiving applications to 
implement projects in conjunction with community saturation strategies 
(in which comprehensive services are available to assist all of the 
eligible residents in a defined community). The Department expects that 
these applications would be submitted from communities in which there 
are concentrations of eligible hard-to-employ individuals, there is a 
reasonable opportunity to provide employment for all such individuals, 
and there are established partnerships which can contribute a 
significant level of resources to implement the strategy.

Funding Availability

    A total of $368.25 million is available for competitive grant 
awards in Fiscal Year (FY) 1998 and $343.25 million in FY 99. 
Approximately $184 million (or 50 percent of FY 98 competitive grant 
funding) is available for Federal grant assistance through this 
announcement. The balance of the available funding for FY 98 will be 
covered in subsequent announcements. Of the funds available in FY 98, 
the Department aims to distribute approximately 70 percent for projects 
to serve cities with large concentrations of poverty and 30 percent for 
projects to serve rural areas. Definitions for ``cities with large 
concentrations of poverty'' and ``rural area'' can be found in Appendix 
B of this announcement. Applications to serve rural areas should be 
targeted to serve eligible residents from subareas that represent 
concentrations of poverty. Further, as indicated under the Criteria 
section of this solicitation, applications are strongly encouraged to 
present innovative strategies to address the needs of areas with 
concentrations of poverty.
    It is expected that most grant awards will be between $1 million 
and $5 million. Furthermore, it is expected that most grants will serve 
a minimum of 100 eligible participants. Applications that are outside 
of this range should provide an explanation of how the project will 
have substantial community impact (especially for those below $1 
million and/or fewer than 100 participants), or how project services 
will be provided on a local level and targeted to the specific needs of 
the defined target group (especially for those applications over $5 
million).

Award Period

    It is expected that the planned performance period for most 
projects will be between 18 and 30 months. Grant funds are not 
available for expenditure for longer than three years. No obligation or 
commitment of funds will be allowed beyond the grant period of 
performance. Any unspent grant funds must be returned to the Department 
of Labor.

IV. Eligible Grant Applicants

    Private Industry Councils (PIC), political subdivisions of the 
State (as defined in Appendix B), and private entities (as defined in 
Appendix B) are eligible to receive grant funds under this 
announcement. Eligible private entities include community development 
corporations, community action agencies, community-based and faith-
based organizations, disability community organizations, public and 
private colleges and universities, and other qualified private 
organizations. Private entities include both non-profit and for-profit 
organizations but do not include individuals.
    Entities other than a PIC or a political subdivision of the State 
must submit an application for competitive grant funds in conjunction 
with the PIC(s) or political subdivision(s) for the area in which the 
project is to operate. The term ``in conjunction with'' shall mean that 
the application must include a signed certification by both the 
applicant and either the appropriate PIC(s) or political subdivision(s) 
indicating that:
    1. The applicant has consulted with the appropriate PIC(s)/
political subdivision(s) during the development of the application; and
    2. The activities proposed in the application are consistent with, 
and will be coordinated with, the WtW efforts of the PIC(s)/political 
subdivision(s).
    If the applicant is unable to obtain the certification, it will be 
required to include information describing the efforts which were 
undertaken to consult with the PIC(s)/political subdivision(s) and 
indicating that the PIC(s)/political subdivision(s) were provided a 
sufficient opportunity to cooperate in the development of the project 
plan and to review and comment on the application prior to its 
submission to the Department of Labor. ``Sufficient opportunity for 
PIC/political subdivision review and comment'' shall mean at least 30 
calendar days.
    The certification, or evidence of efforts to consult, must be with 
either each PIC or each political subdivision in the service area in 
which the proposed project is to operate.

State-level Consultation

    All applicants for competitive grants, including PICs and political 
subdivisions, must submit their applications to the Governor or, at the 
discretion of the Governor, to the designated State administrative 
entity for the WtW program, for review and comment prior to submission 
of the application to the Department. For private entities, State 
review must be subsequent to review by the PIC or political entity. 
When submitted to the Department, the application must include any 
comments from the Governor or his/her designee or must include 
information indicating that the Governor was provided a sufficient

[[Page 67904]]

opportunity for review and comment prior to submission to the 
Department. ``Sufficient opportunity for State review and comment'' 
shall mean at least 15 calendar days.

Applicants for Multiple Community or National Projects

    Consideration will be given to applications which propose multi-
community or national strategies to move welfare recipients into long-
term unsubsidized employment leading to economic self-sufficiency. For 
example, an applicant may design a nationwide project to create jobs 
for welfare recipients in a particular industry. Applications which 
propose multi-community or national strategies must meet all of the 
application requirements contained in this Announcement. Specifically, 
private entities proposing such projects must include the signed 
certification from the applicable PIC or political subdivision of each 
SDA in which the project will operate or other evidence indicating the 
efforts undertaken to obtain the required consultation as described 
above. Such applications must also demonstrate the required 
consultation with the Governors of the States in which the project will 
operate. Applications proposing national projects must comply with all 
statutory and regulatory requirements and will be rated under the same 
evaluation criteria as other applications. Applicants should be aware 
that the extent of local collaboration demonstrated in a national 
project will be considered as an important factor in the overall 
strength of the proposal.

Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995

    Entities described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue 
Code that engage in lobbying activities are not eligible to receive 
funds under this announcement. The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, 
Public Law 104-65, 109 Stat. 691, prohibits the award of Federal funds 
to these entities if they engage in lobbying activities.

V. Program and Administrative Requirements

Participant Eligibility and Funding Expenditures

    Each project will be required to meet the targeting provisions 
described at 20 CFR 645.211-645.213. [NOTE: The WtW Regulations are 
available at the WtW Internet web site at http://wtw.doleta.gov.] These 
provisions dictate that a minimum of 70 percent of the funds in each 
WtW competitive grant must be used to serve hard-to-employ individuals 
as described in Sec. 645.212. Furthermore, no more than 30 percent of 
the funds in each grant may be used to serve individuals with 
characteristics predictive of long-term welfare dependence, as 
described in Sec. 645.213.

Allowable Uses of Funds

    Competitive grant funds shall only be spent for those activities 
identified in the WtW Regulations, at 20 CFR 645.220, and for 
appropriate administrative costs.

Administrative Costs

    Allowable costs and the 15 percent limitation on administrative 
costs for WtW competitive grants are defined in the WtW Regulations at 
20 CFR 645.235. All proposed costs must be reflected as either a direct 
charge to specific budget line items, or as an indirect cost. Direct 
and indirect administrative costs are allowable, but combined, these 
costs cannot exceed 15 percent of the total grant. The administrative 
costs negotiated in the final grant document may be below fifteen 
percent.
    Only costs which result from applying a Federally-approved indirect 
cost rate may be entered on the ``indirect cost'' line item of the 
budget. If an indirect cost rate is used, the applicant must include 
documentation from the cognizant Federal agency which includes the 
approved rate, the cost base against which it is applied, and the 
approval date.
    All applicants will be expected to justify proposed costs (see Item 
3 of the Financial Plan in the ``Required Content for WtW Competitive 
Grants Applications--Fiscal Year 1998''). Profits are not an allowable 
use of grant funds.

Use of Federal Funds

    Federal funds cannot be used to support activities which would be 
provided in the absence of those funds. Grant funds may cover only 
those costs which are appropriate and reasonable. Federal grant funds 
may only be used to acquire equipment which is necessary for the 
operation of the grant. The grantee must receive prior approval from 
the DOL/ETA Grant Officer for the purchase and/or lease of any property 
and/or equipment with a per unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, 
and a useful life of more than one year as defined in the ``Uniform 
Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to 
State and Local Governments'', codified at 29 CFR Part 97, and ``Grants 
and Agreements with Institutes of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other 
Non-Profit Organizations'', codified at 29 CFR Part 95. This 
restriction includes the purchase of Automated Data Processing (ADP) 
equipment. A request for such prior approval may be included in the 
grant application or submitted after the grant award. Requests 
submitted after the grant award must be directed through the Grant 
Officer Technical Representative (GOTR) and must include a detailed 
description and cost of the items to be acquired.
    Grant funds also may not be used to cover any project-related costs 
incurred prior to the effective date of the grant award. In making a 
grant award, DOL/ETA has no obligation to provide any future additional 
funding in connection with the grant award.
    Pursuant to 20 CFR 645.235(c)(3), the costs of information 
technology--computer hardware and software--needed for tracking or 
monitoring under a WtW grant are not subject to the fifteen percent 
limitation on administrative costs.

Year 2000 Compliance

    Any information technology purchased in whole or in part with WtW 
funds, which is used for a period of time that goes beyond December 31, 
1999, must be ``year 2000 compliant.'' This means that such information 
technology shall accurately process date/time data (including, but not 
limited to, calculating, comparing and sequencing) from, into and 
between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the years 1999 and 
2000, and leap year calculations. Furthermore, ``year 2000 compliant'' 
information technology, when used in combination with other information 
technology, shall accurately process date/time data if the other 
information technology properly exchanges date/time with it.

Assurances and Certifications

    The following assurances and certifications will apply to each 
executed grant agreement:
    <bullet> Assurances/Non-Construction Programs;
    <bullet> Debarment & Suspension Certification;
    <bullet> Certification Regarding Lobbying;
    <bullet> Drug Free Workplace Certification;
    <bullet> Certification of Non-delinquency; and
    <bullet> Non-discrimination and Equal Opportunity Requirements.
    These Assurances and Certifications will appear as part of the 
final grant award document.

Departmental Oversight

    The Department reserves the right to conduct oversight and both

[[Page 67905]]

programmatic and financial monitoring activities for all competitive 
grants awarded under the WtW grants program.

Department of Health and Human Services Evaluation of the Welfare-to-
Work Program

    Competitive grant projects will participate in the evaluation of 
the WtW grant program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services (DHHS), as described in Title IV, section 413(j)(1) of the 
Social Security Act. The goal of the DHHS evaluation is to expand the 
base of knowledge about programs aimed at moving the least job ready 
welfare recipients into unsubsidized employment. The evaluation will 
collect program and administrative data to determine the range of WtW 
project designs and the employment outcomes for all WtW grantees, 
consistent with sec. 413(j)(1)(C) of the Social Security Act. In 
addition, DHHS will select certain sites at which to qualitatively 
study the implementation of the WtW program and other sites where net 
impact and cost effectiveness of the program will be examined 
quantitatively.

VI. Monitoring & Reporting

Monitoring

    The Department shall be responsible for ensuring effective 
implementation of each competitive grant project in accordance with the 
Act, the Regulations, the provisions of this announcement and the 
negotiated grant agreement. Applicants should assume that at least one 
on-site project review will be conducted by Department staff, or their 
designees, at approximately the midpoint of the project performance 
period. This review will focus on the project's performance in meeting 
the grant's programmatic goals and participant outcomes, complying with 
the targeting requirements regarding recipients who are served, 
expenditure of grant funds on allowable activities, integration with 
other resources and service providers in the local area, and methods 
for assessment of the responsiveness and effectiveness of the services 
being provided. Grants may be subject to other additional reviews at 
the discretion of the Department.

Reporting

    Applicants selected as grantees will be required to provide the 
following reports:
    1. Financial Reporting: The Department of Labor (DOL) will issue 
financial reporting instructions for competitive grantees. Specific 
reporting instructions are awaiting clearance from the Office of 
Management and Budget. Financial reports will be submitted directly to 
DOL.
    2. Participant Reporting: The Department of Health and Human 
Services (DHHS) will issue participant reporting instructions covering 
the entire WtW program--both formula and competitive grants. 
Participant reports for each competitive grant will be submitted in 
accordance with reporting instructions to be issued by DHHS at a later 
date.
    3. Other Reporting: The Department of Labor may negotiate 
additional reporting requirements with individual grantees, where 
necessary, for grants management and/or knowledge development purposes.
    In addition to required quarterly financial and participant 
reporting, some grantees may be asked to provide information to the 
appropriate ETA Regional Office during the early implementation phase 
of the project for the purpose of project oversight. This information 
may include project enrollment levels, participant characteristics, and 
emerging implementation issues.

VII. Review and Selection of Applications for Grant Award

Review Process

    The Department will screen all applications to determine whether 
all required elements are present and clearly identifiable. These 
elements are described below in the ``Required Content for WtW 
Competitive Grant Applications--Fiscal Year 1998.'' Failure to include 
and clearly identify all required elements will result in rejection of 
the application.
    Each complete application will be objectively rated by a panel 
against the criteria described in this announcement. Applicants are 
advised that the panel recommendations to the Grant Officer are 
advisory in nature. The Grant Officer may elect to award grants either 
with or without discussion with the applicant. In situations where no 
discussions occur, an award will be based on the applicant's signature 
on the SF424 form (See Appendix C), which constitutes a binding offer. 
The Grant Officer will make final award decisions based on what is most 
advantageous to the Government, considering factors such as:
    <bullet> panel findings;
    <bullet> the geographic distribution of the competitive 
applications;
    <bullet> the extent to which the competitive applications reflect a 
reasonable distribution of funds across the areas of special interest 
identified in this announcement; and
    <bullet> the availability of funds.

Criteria

    The criteria, and the weights assigned to each, which will apply to 
the review of applications submitted in response to this announcement 
are:
    1. ``Relative Need for Assistance'' [20 points] which shall 
consider the concentration of poverty and long-term welfare dependence 
and the lack of employment opportunities in the project service area 
(up to 9 points); the extent of gaps in the capacity of the local 
infrastructure to effectively address the employment barriers which 
characterize the targeted population (up to 6 points); and the 
responsiveness of the project design to the areas of special interest 
identified in Part III of this announcement (up to 5 points).
    2. ``Innovation'' [20 points] which shall consider the extent to 
which the project incorporates new and better strategies for moving 
welfare recipients into lasting unsubsidized employment leading to 
economic self-sufficiency. These strategies can include, but are not 
limited to, new and better ways that services can be accessed by 
participants in the local community, new and better ways for local 
organizations to work together, or the replication of effective 
strategies in a new setting.
    3. ``Outcomes'' [25 points] which shall consider the quality of the 
proposed employment and earnings outcomes (up to 10 points); the extent 
to which the proposed plan of services responds to identified needs, 
the barriers faced by proposed participants, and the conditions in the 
local area as well as the likelihood that the proposed service plan 
will result in the proposed outcomes (up to 12 points); and the 
reasonableness of the level of investment in relation to the proposed 
outcomes (up to 3 points).
    4. ``Local Collaboration and Sustainability'' [25 points] which 
shall consider the extent and quality of local partnerships that are 
involved in and making substantial contributions to the project (up to 
4 points); the extent to which the project is coordinated with the WtW 
formula grant and TANF grant activities and supported by the PIC/
political subdivision and local TANF agency (up to 4 points); the 
commitment and integration of other community resources (up to 7 
points); involvement of and participation by local employers (up 5 
points); and the extent to which the community and/or the local area 
has developed plans and commitments to maintain and expand the capacity 
to serve the target population with local

[[Page 67906]]

resources over a sustained period of time (up to 5 points).
    5. ``Demonstrated Capability'' [10 points] which shall consider the 
extent to which the applicant and its partner organizations demonstrate 
a history of success in serving a comparable target group, the extent 
of use of current or former welfare recipients in the provision of 
services, and the extent to which the applicant demonstrates the 
ability to effectively execute grant management responsibilities.
    For those proposals that are deemed by the Grant Officer to be most 
competitive, applicants for projects to operate in designated 
Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC) will be eligible 
for 5 bonus points.
    In addition, proposals that are deemed by the Grant Officer to be 
most competitive, that plan to serve at least 450 WtW participants, and 
that are willing to participate in a random assignment evaluation may 
be awarded from zero to five bonus points (based on an HHS assessment 
of the suitability of the project for evaluation against the criteria 
outlined in Appendix A). Selected projects may also be able to access 
additional technical assistance resources, as well as a small amount of 
funding to offset the additional administrative costs of random 
assignment. These applicants should submit the additional information 
identified in Appendix A of this announcement. This information will be 
submitted as an Addendum to the grant application and will not be 
counted against the application page limit or count as an Attachment.

    Signed at Washington, D.C., this 19th day of December, 1997.
Janice E. Perry,
Grant Officer.

Required Content for WtW Competitive Grant Applications

Fiscal Year 1998

    Each application must contain the information and follow the format 
outlined in this Part. The application should include: (1) Information 
that responds to these requirements; (2) information that indicates 
adherence to the provisions described in preceding sections of this 
announcement; and (3) any other information the applicant believes will 
address the review and selection criteria.

I. Project Synopsis/Summary

    Each application shall provide a project synopsis which identifies 
the applicant, the type of organization, the project service area, 
whether the service area is a city with a large concentration of 
poverty or a rural area, the specific areas of interest identified in 
the announcement which are addressed by the project, the amount of 
grant funds requested, the planned period of performance, the planned 
number of WtW-eligible TANF recipients to be served, the number of 
noncustodial parents to be served (if applicable), the significant 
employment barriers which characterize the target group, the planned 
employment and earnings outcomes, a summary description of the proposed 
service strategy, and other significant service organizations involved 
in the delivery of services. This section must be limited to no more 
than two single-spaced, single-sided pages. A recommended format for 
this synopsis can be found in Appendix D.

II. Evidence of Required Local and State Consultation

    It is the expectation of the Department that, to the extent 
possible, all applications will be developed in consultation with the 
appropriate PIC/political subdivision and the Governor. Competitive 
grant projects should complement the WtW formula program activity, 
rather than exist independent of, or in conflict with, that program.
    Each application must include the signed certification or other 
evidence of the required consultation with the Governor as described in 
this announcement. Applications from private entities must also include 
the signed certification from the appropriate PIC(s) or political 
subdivision(s) or other evidence indicating the efforts undertaken to 
obtain the required consultation as described in this announcement. In 
areas where an entity other than the PIC has been designated by the 
Governor and approved by the Secretary to administer the WtW formula 
grant, the applicant should also include evidence of consultation and/
or support from that entity. General letters of support (e.g., from 
community organizations, elected officials, employers) should not be 
included in this part of the application.

III. Government Requirements/Statement of Work

    This section of the application should not exceed 20 single spaced 
pages. The application should include information of the type described 
below, as appropriate.

Description of Service Area

--Identify the specific political and geographic jurisdictions (e.g., 
cities, counties, subsections of cities/counties) which are included in 
the service area for the project.
--Identify the percent of the population in the service area that has 
income below the poverty level.
--Identify the percent of the population in the service area that is 
receiving TANF assistance.
--Identify the percent of the TANF population that has received 
assistance for 30 months or more, or is within 12 months of losing 
eligibility for assistance under State or Federal law.
--Identify the unemployment rate in the service area.
--Describe the significant deficiencies in the local area 
infrastructure that represent significant barriers to moving eligible 
recipients into permanent employment in an efficient manner (e.g., lack 
of transportation, labor market with a shortage of low-skill jobs, 
shortage of employers with appropriate employment opportunities, 
remoteness from health facilities, limited number of social and support 
service agencies).

Summary of Strategy for Use of WtW Formula Funds in the Local Area

--Identify the substate service area covered by the WtW formula grant.
--Describe the allocation of formula grant funds among the allowable 
activities.
--Identify the significant local and community organizations involved 
and their roles in providing assistance through the formula grant.
--Describe how the proposed competitive grant project will supplement 
and enhance the capacity of the WtW formula grant activities to 
effectively serve eligible recipients in the local area who have 
significant employment barriers.
--In cases where the applicant cannot obtain this information because 
the State has not yet submitted a complete WtW Formula Grant Plan, the 
application should so indicate. Absence of this information, in and of 
itself, will not penalize the applicant.

Analysis of Target Group

--Describe the individuals targeted for assistance through this 
project, including any noncustodial parents.
--Describe the significant employment barriers which characterize this 
target group, including the process for identifying those participants 
who are least job ready.
    [Note: An adequate analysis of employment barriers of the target 
group will be a critical factor in evaluating the need for grant 
assistance and the appropriateness of the proposed plan of 
services.]

[[Page 67907]]

Analysis of Employment Opportunities

--Identify the types of occupations in the local area which are being 
targeted as appropriate employment opportunities for the target group 
of this project.
--Describe the justification for the selection of the occupations in 
terms of their availability and the adequacy of expected placement wage 
and post-placement earnings potential to achieve self-sufficiency.

Service Strategy

--Identify the specific job readiness, placement (in both subsidized 
and unsubsidized employment), post-employment, job retention and/or 
support services to be provided with competitive grant funds as well as 
services to be leveraged from other sources.
--Describe the rationale for planned enrollments in activities in terms 
of the employment barriers, infrastructure deficiencies and employment 
opportunities previously identified above (enrollments in each activity 
will be reflected in the Quarterly Implementation Plan).
--Where vouchers for services are to be used, describe the process by 
which vouchers will be distributed and redeemed (in compliance with 20 
CFR Sec. 645.230(a)(3)), including who will be eligible, how amounts of 
vouchers will be determined, and how the grantee will ensure that 
quality services are being provided.

Service Process

--Describe the comprehensive service process that will be available to 
participants, and identify the organizations which will be involved in 
providing specific services/activities. [A process flowchart and/or 
service matrix may be used to provide this description.] The 
description should specify what elements of the service strategy are 
already available in the community, whether through the WtW formula 
program, the TANF program or from other sources, as well as the 
elements or services that will be funded through the WtW competitive 
grant award. Also describe what individual support services, such as 
mentoring and case management, will be used to maintain participants in 
the program.
--Describe the specific methods which will be used by the grantee and 
the local TANF agency to coordinate and work jointly in providing the 
following services:
    --outreach, recruitment, and referral of appropriate recipients for 
assistance through the project;
    --assessment of skills and identification of specific employment 
barriers;
    --counseling and case management; and
    --support services.

Integration of Resources

--Identify specific financial resources and organizational/service 
provider capabilities which are being contributed to provide the full 
range of assistance to the identified target group for the project. At 
a minimum, describe the coordination and contributions of local JTPA 
service providers, local TANF providers, and local housing and 
transportation authorities. In developing their plans, applicants are 
encouraged to be mindful of their obligations not to interefere with 
collective bargaining rights or agreements or to displace employees.
--Describe the process that will be used to maintain and expand the 
service structure in the local area and engage new partners after 
receipt of WtW competitive grant funds.
--Describe how the project will develop a sustainable capacity in the 
local community to effectively move welfare recipients into permanent 
jobs and to foster the long-term self-sufficiency of the target 
population. It is expected that project services will provide 
assistance oriented towards long-term solutions. It is also expected 
that the need for grant funds to provide this assistance will diminish 
over time, specifically in the latter stages of the grant performance 
period.

Employer Support

--Describe the specific responsibilities and approaches for developing 
relationships with and support of area employers to generate a 
sufficient number of unsubsidized employment opportunities for the 
target group. Specifically describe how employers will be encouraged to 
customize employment opportunities to meet work-related needs (e.g., 
child care, flexible work schedules) of recipients.
--Identify the employers in the local area who have made commitments to 
the project and describe the types of commitments made (e.g., number 
and types of jobs, contribution of employer resources for post-hire 
support services and/or training).

Planned Outcomes

--Identify and justify planned performance for the comprehensive 
service strategy on the following measures:
    --number of participants to be placed into unsubsidized employment;
    --average earnings at placement in unsubsidized employment;
    --expected average earnings one year after placement in 
unsubsidized employment; and
    --cost per placement in unsubsidized employment.

    In addition, where applicable, for those services supported 
specifically by WtW competitive grant funds, describe specific process 
or outcome objectives for those services.
    The application may include other measures and planned performance 
levels as deemed appropriate by the applicant. If these are included, 
the applicant should briefly describe their relevance to the project.

Implementation Plan

--Identify the critical activities, time frames and responsibilities 
for effectively implementing the project within the first 60 days after 
the award of the grant.
--Include a completed quarterly implementation schedule showing the 
number of participants, enrollments in allowable activities, placements 
in unsubsidized employment and terminations. (See Appendix D for a 
recommended format.)

Project Management Plan

    Applicants must be able to document that they have systems capable 
of satisfying the administrative and grant management requirements for 
WtW grants as defined in 20 CFR Part 645.

--Include a project organizational chart which identifies the 
organizations, and staff, with key management responsibilities and the 
specific responsibilities of each organization;
--Describe the specific experience of the applicant and other key 
organizations involved in the project in serving individuals with 
significant barriers to employment. The information should include 
specific projects or grants, a comparison of the characteristics of 
individuals served to the target group for this project, and the 
employment outcomes which were achieved.
--As appropriate, describe how current or former welfare recipients 
will be used to provide services.
--Describe the procedures which will be used to obtain feedback from 
participants and other appropriate

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parties on the responsiveness and effectiveness of the services 
provided.

Innovation

    Recipients of WtW competitive grants are expected to use creativity 
and innovation to help eligible individuals obtain long-term 
unsubsidized employment and economic self-sufficiency. The application 
should describe how the proposed approach represents an innovative 
method for achieving the employment objectives of the project. Proposed 
strategies should represent an improvement over, or a variation on, 
approaches that have traditionally been used in the project service 
area to assist welfare recipients and other low income unemployed 
individuals.
    Grant recipients are also expected to share knowledge which they 
develop through the use of innovative approaches. Applicants should 
describe how they will report lessons learned in the course of the 
grant implementation, and further, describe their plans for 
disseminating the knowledge they have gained.

Additional Requirements for Community Saturation Projects

--Describe why a project employing a saturation strategy is appropriate 
for the project service area and target group.
--Describe the feasibility of a saturation strategy for the project 
service area and target group (i.e., based on available employment 
opportunities and other factors).
--Identify the local partners who will be involved in implementing the 
saturation strategy, the services to be provided and the dollar value 
of the contribution from each.

IV. Financial Plan

    The financial plan shall describe all costs associated with 
implementing the project that are to be covered with grant funds. All 
costs should be necessary and reasonable according to the Federal 
guidelines set forth in the ``Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments'', 
codified at 29 CFR Part 97, and ``Grants and Agreements with Institutes 
of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations'', 
codified at 29 CFR Part 95.
    The financial plan must contain the following four parts:
    1. ``Application for Federal Assistance'' and ``Budget Information 
Sheet'' by line item for all costs required to implement the project 
design effectively. Submission of these two completed forms is 
required. (See Appendix C for these forms.) [NOTE: Although there is no 
matching requirement for these grants, the Department strongly 
encourages the leveraging of resources in the implementation of WtW 
competitive grant projects. On the Budget Information form, the 
``Matching/Cost Sharing'' section of the form provides an opportunity 
for applicants to reflect such leveraged resources.]
    2. Detailed line item break-out budget identifying items by cost 
category (``administration'' and ``activities''). A recommended format 
is included in Appendix D. At a minimum, the line item budget included 
in the application must provide the level of information indicated in 
the recommended format.
    3. Budget narrative/justification which provides sufficient 
information to support the reasonableness of the costs included in the 
budget in relation to the service strategy and planned outcomes.
    4. Quarterly expenditure plan which identifies the planned 
cumulative expenditure of grant funds by Fiscal Year quarter for the 
planned period of performance of the project. Expenditures must be 
identified by grant activity. A recommended format is included in 
Appendix D.

Appendix A: Instructions for Random Assignment Plan Addendum

Background

    The Department of Health and Human Services is charged with the 
responsibility to conduct a national evaluation of the welfare-to-work 
(WtW) grants program. The goal of the evaluation is to expand the base 
of knowledge about effective strategies for moving the least job-ready 
welfare recipients into unsubsidized employment. Ten to fourteen WtW 
competitive grant project sites will be selected for an in-depth study 
of the net impact and cost-effectiveness in moving hard-to-employ 
recipients into employment. This analysis will rely on both 
administrative data and, potentially, in-person interviews with program 
participants. In addition, these sites will participate in a 
qualitative study of the issues, challenges, and successes associated 
with implementing and operating WtW programs. This qualitative analysis 
will rely on on-site interviews with program administrators and staff, 
administrative data, and potentially, focus groups with WtW 
participants.
    To qualify as a site for the in-depth study, the site must plan to 
serve at least 450 WtW eligible individuals. Up to five (5) bonus 
points are available to competitive grant applicants which meet this 
participant threshold and which are willing to participate in the net 
impact and cost-effectiveness components of the evaluation. Sites 
selected to participate in the evaluation will receive additional 
resources to cover the extra administrative costs associated with 
participating in the evaluation. Additionally, selected sites will have 
access to enhanced technical assistance from the evaluation contractor. 
Finally, the sites will benefit from a high-quality evaluation of their 
program, as well as the opportunity to have their program showcased 
nationally to demonstrate innovative techniques for serving hard-to-
employ welfare recipients.

What Will Participation in the Net Impact and Cost-Effectiveness 
Components of the Evaluation Mean for the Selected Sites

    To effectively measure the net impact and cost-effectiveness of 
specific service strategies, an experimental design involving the 
random assignment of individuals to either treatment status (receipt of 
WtW services) or control status (receipt of regular TANF services) will 
be used to estimate program net impacts. The random assignment approach 
will also be applied to test impacts among a variety of WtW services.
    Since the level of funding available to a particular WtW site will 
not be sufficient to serve the entire population eligible in that site, 
the applicant must demonstrate the capacity to design a random 
assignment study so that no fewer participants will be served by the 
WtW program than would have been served in the absence of the study. 
Random assignment will only change the mechanism by which program 
administrators would otherwise respond to the funding shortfall (e.g., 
waiting lists, first-come first-serve, priority groups). Nor will 
random assignment require excluding the control group from services--
the control group will be eligible to receive the regular TANF services 
available to participants in the TANF program.

Application Process

    WtW applicants who would like to be considered as net impact and 
cost-effectiveness evaluation site should submit an ``Evaluation 
Addendum'' in addition to their programmatic application. The addendum 
should address the following items:
    <bullet> Appropriateness of site for evaluation purposes. Because 
of the statistical requirements associated with random assignment, 
programs selected

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for the evaluation will need to serve at least 450 participants in this 
grant cycle (with funding available over three years). Preference may 
be given to programs that address the areas of interest identified in 
the SGA and that will be able to be implemented quickly. The 
application should explain the importance of the program model for 
learning about effective strategies for hard-to-employ recipients. It 
also should include evidence of the applicant's understanding of what 
is required to carry out a net impact evaluation program under the 
coordination of a contractor, and evidence of the site's commitment to 
provide the necessary supports and resources to ensure the success of 
the project.
    <bullet> Evidence of capacity to participate. Evaluation sites must 
be willing and able to collect administrative data on participants' 
experiences and outcomes. The following are specific examples of 
evaluation site requirements: utilizing staff time to oversee the 
administration of special data collection forms and reviewing them for 
completeness; having on staff personnel with knowledge about or 
experience in data systems management and extraction; utilizing staff 
time to contact program participants to set up meetings or elicit their 
cooperation in focus groups; helping to identify current address or 
additional contact information for participants who cannot be located 
after program termination; and utilizing management and staff time to 
meet with evaluation staff for individual and/or group interviews and 
information exchange. The application should list the ability of the 
site to participate in these tasks. It also should identify the key 
individuals who will work on the evaluation along with a short 
description of the nature of their contribution and the percentage of 
their time available for the project. There also should be evidence of 
support from management of the organization for the purposes of 
research and evaluation. Applicants are encouraged to discuss relevant 
staff experience with research and evaluation.
    <bullet> Budget for reimbursement of evaluation costs. Additional 
grant funds are available to help defray the incremental administrative 
costs associated with the site's participation in the national 
evaluation. This may include the costs associated with special data 
collection and reporting (above that required of all WtW grant 
recipients), monitoring case status and ensuring that cases receive the 
services appropriate under the arrangements agreed upon for the 
evaluation, supporting the evaluation by notifying participants and 
arranging for meetings between evaluators and WtW participants, and 
providing liaison between the program and the evaluator as a part of 
the national evaluation team. Based on past experience, it is estimated 
that the costs to carry out these special tasks equate to between 1 and 
1.5 full time employees (FTE) per year for a mid-range support staff 
person. WtW applicants applying to be considered as participants in 
this component of the evaluation should include a budget attachment 
that includes the costs of evaluation (use a budget format similar to 
the suggested format in Appendix D).
    Sites that are interested in participating in a random assignment 
experiment but are unsure whether they meet the criteria are encouraged 
to submit an application for the bonus points. Efforts will be made to 
work closely with the selected sites to facilitate participation in the 
study and to minimize the administrative burden of random assignment.

Appendix B: Definitions of Key Terms

City with Large Concentration of Poverty--Any county that contains an 
urban center of more than 50,000 people with a poverty rate of greater 
than 7.5 percent.
Noncustodial Parent--A parent of a child whose custodial parent is an 
eligible TANF recipient.
Private Entity--Any organization, public or private, which is neither a 
PIC nor a political subdivision of a State.
Private Industry Council (PIC)--from Sec. 645.120 of the WtW 
Regulations--A Private Industry Council established under Section 102 
of the Job Training Partnership Act, which performs the functions 
authorized at Section 103 of the JTPA.
Political Subdivision--A unit of general purpose local government, as 
provided for in State laws and/or Constitution, which has the power to 
levy taxes and spend funds and which also has general corporate and 
police powers.
Rural Area--(1) Any county that does not contain an urban center of 
more than 50,000 people, and where at least 50 percent of the 
geographical area of the county has a population density of less than 
100 persons per square mile; or (2) in counties where there is an urban 
center, a rural area within the county that constitutes, or is part of, 
a distinct rural labor market.

Appendix C: Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424) 
Budget Information Sheet

    Note: In completing the Standard Form 424, the applicant should 
indicate in Item 11 of the form whether the project is to operate in 
a city with a large concentration of poverty or in a rural area; 
identify the EC/EZ included in the project service area, if 
applicable; and identify any of the areas of interest identified in 
the announcement which are addressed by the project.
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