U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

JTPA/SYETP

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

TDC

ISSUE DATE

March 9, 1998

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

Continuing

DIRECTIVE

:

TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER NO. 04-97

 

TO

:

ALL STATE JTPA LIAISONS
ALL STATE WORKER ADJUSTMENT LIAISONS
ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES
ALL ONE-STOP CAREER CENTER SYSTEM LEADS

 

FROM

:

DAVID HENSON
Director
Office of Regional Management

 

SUBJECT

:

Program Guidance and Allocations for the Calendar Year 1998 Summer Youth Employment and Training Program

  1. Purpose. To provide States with program guidance and allocations for the Calendar Year (CY) 1998 Summer Youth Employment and Training Program (SYETP).

  2. References.

    1. The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), as amended;

    2. JTPA Final Rules, as published in the Federal Register on September 2, 1994;

    3. Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 2-97 (February 23, 1998), "Instructions for Submission of Consolidated State Plans Under Titles II and III of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) for Program Years (PYs) 1998 and 1999; and PY 1998 Wagner-Peyser (W-P) Planning Guidance".

    4. Training and Employment Information Notice No. 33-92 (June 1, 1993), "Child Labor Restrictions Applicable to Youth Participants in Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Funded Programs".

    5. Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 7-95 (July 31, 1996), "Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Intertitle Transfers of Funds".

    6. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 203 (m)), as amended by the Minimum Wage Increase Act of 1996.

  3. Background. The Summer Youth Employment and Training Program, funded under Title II-B of the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) provides summer jobs and training for economically disadvantaged youth ages 14-21 during the summer months. These programs provide participants with academic enrichment, including basic and remedial education, work-experience with public and private agencies and support services such as counseling and transportation.

    The Department of Labor is obligating $871 million to the States, Territories and Insular areas for the CY 1998 SYETP under Title II-B of the JTPA. Allocations are attached. As was the case with last year's funds, these funds are being obligated as fiscal year (FY), not program year (PY) funds. Notices of Obligation (NOOs) have been issued under the current PY 1997 JTPA grant agreement to obligate these funds to the States, and they will not be combined with Title II-A and Title II-C funds.

    As was done last summer, States will be required to submit a separate JTPA Title II-B Quarterly Status Report (JQSR) for these FY 1998 Title II-B funds. These funds will be reported separately from Title II-A and Title II-C PY 1997 data. Additionally, as States draw cash under the Payment Management System (PMS) for Title II-B FY 1998 funds, these II-B funds will be accounted for separately, similarly to how the FY 1997 II-B funds are being handled.

  4. Program Vision, Emphases and Goals/Objectives.

    1. Vision. s;The Department of Labor's vision of the summer program is one where new entrants to the labor force and those with limited job histories: (1) build and refine a strong work foundation and employment competencies, and experience the discipline of work; and (2) gain an appreciation of the connection between work and learning which is critical to a long-term attachment to and success in a rapidly changing labor market.

    2. Emphases. In this year's summer program, the program emphases are to enhance the basic educational skills of youth and encourage school completion, as well as to provide an exposure to the world of work. Academic enrichment should be a major component of the summer jobs program.

      States, service delivery areas (SDAs), employers and school districts are encouraged to develop an academic component which provides work-based learning.

    3. Goals and Objectives. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) goal for JTPA Title II-B is that 50% of disadvantaged youth enrolled in the program will enhance their basic skills in addition to working at summer jobs. States should strongly encourage SDAs to increase enrollment of youth in the academic enrichment component, and promote the importance of performance improvements under the GPRA.

      The overall goals and objectives for States and SDAs are to:

        (1)  Increase the educational attainment levels of program participants through a strengthened academic enrichment component.

        (2)  Implement comprehensive performance management systems for measuring the academic enrichment component of the summer program.

        (3)  Achieve at least 90 percent of local planned enrollment levels.

        (4)  Strengthen integration of summer youth program with School-to-Work (STW) and other related employment and training activities.

        (5)  Work with the private sector to provide more unsubsidized employment opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth.

  5. Program Components.

    1. Academic Enrichment. For the purposes of the SYETP, SDAs should consider participants enrolled in educational activities as having received academic enrichment. A participant is considered to have enrolled in an academic enrichment activity if:

        (1)  she/he participated in a structured learning experience off the job where the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) Foundation Skills and Competencies (or reasonable variation thereof) and/ or other academic disciplines are taught and progress can be measured and documented; or

        (2)  she/he participated in a structured learning experience on the job (e.g., "contextual learning") where SCANS Foundation Skills and Competencies (or reasonable variation thereof) and/or other academic disciplines are taught and progress can be measured and documented; or,

        (3)  she/he participated in structured learning experience, as described above, which combined learning off the job and on the job.

      SDA staff should link education and work to the fullest extent possible, through functional context-based instructions. Improving, enhancing and documenting performance outcomes of participants enrolled in educational academic activities should become a high priority for program operators of the summer program.

      At the National level, ETA plans to implement the following strategies for strengthening the academic enrichment component.

        (1)  Building on the results of a study conducted by Social Policy Research Associates (SPRA) and Brandeis Center for Human Resources' assessment report from 83 site visits, and subsequent study of participant outcomes, develop a technical assistance guide (TAG) (see section 10).

        (2)  ETA will select and work with a contractor to gather information on the availability of tests and means of measuring performance as it relates to the educational activities of youth in the summer jobs program. These results will be provided to the employment and training system.

    2. Work Experience. Work experience continues to be one of the most effective components in the summer program. However, when viewed from a system-wide perspective, it is clear that SDAs and worksites can further improve, refine and enhance this component.

      All States and SDAs should ensure that worksites introduce and/or reinforce the rigors, demands, rewards, and sanctions associated with holding a job. Documented learning experiences should be an integral part of the youth's work experience.

    3. Linkages-Integration of Work and Learning.  Work-based learning and classroom-based learning must complement and reinforce each other so that the youth are provided with assistance in developing and refining attitudes, values, and work habits which will contribute to their success in the workplace. Many SDAs' program designs have traditionally consisted of two distinct components--work experience and classroom education--with very little interaction between the two. However, the two components need to be complementary and mutually reinforcing.

      Some SDAs have integrated work and learning to the point that all learning is acquired on the job. This is an acceptable model, although program experience suggests that this approach is most useful for older youth who do not suffer from serious educational deficiencies.

      On the other hand, some SDAs have a program design which provides an educational services component, but no work experience component, for either all participants or for a defined segment, e.g., 14-and 15-year olds. ETA strongly recommends that all participants, including 14 and 15-year olds, spend considerable time on an actual job. If an SDA has an education-only program design, the SDA must provide an explanation in the job training plan as to why such a design is the most effective strategy for the youth involved. Even if such a design is approved by the State, to be consistent with SYETP's statutory purpose, such participants must receive some form of work-related experience, such as vocational exploration, job shadowing, simulated workplaces, or other similar activity.

      ETA continues to advocate an approach to the summer program which goes beyond static and self-contained work experience and education components. ETA encourages the concept of the summer program as a "total learning experience", with relevant learning, including academic instruction and life skills training, taking place in any activity in which a youth participates. Thus, classrooms should be transformed into interactive, work-related environments; and worksites should be re-oriented to include rich learning experiences related to the SCANS Foundation Skills and Competencies.

    4. Life Skills Training. The majority of SYETP participants need assistance in developing work habits and in refining attitudes, values, and behavior patterns.

      This assistance should be part of the educational services provided in every summer youth work experience component. Many SDAs term such individual developmental activities "life skills training". Assistance should be focused on those attitudes, values, and behavior patterns which are vital to success in educational pursuits, on the job, and as a citizen.

      Many of the SCANS Foundation Skills (e.g.,"Personal Qualities") and Competencies (e.g., "Interpersonal") are geared to individual development. Thus, SDAs are encouraged to incorporate individual development activities into learning on the job and in an educational setting.

      When individual development activities are integrated with learning on the job and in an educational setting, they may be properly considered part of an SDA's education component. However, stand-alone personal development activities, while allowable, are not to be considered part of the education component.

    5. Support Services. All employment and training programs are encouraged to provide AIDs awareness and prevention information to participants. Therefore, the Department encourages SDAs to incorporate AIDs awareness and prevention in their supportive services efforts.

    6. Objective Assessment and Individual Services Strategy.  The requirements of objective assessment have been clearly specified in the JTPA statute (as amended by the Goals 2000: Educate America Act) and the final JTPA regulations. However, ETA will neither require nor recommend any particular assessment device. It is the responsibility of the SDAs to utilize effective assessment instruments. Likewise, while pre and post-testing of educational attainment are strongly encouraged, but not required, ETA will not recommend any particular testing protocol. SDAs are urged to consult with their local school systems to determine which measurements of educational achievement are most appropriate and useful to both the individual SDAs and the local school system(s).

      There is evidence to suggest that the use of portfolios is also gaining increasing acceptance among school systems for measuring educational attainment, particularly in STW activities. In measuring a participant's workplace skills, ETA recommends that SDAs specifically explore the use of participant portfolios as a measurement device.

  6. Linkages with Other Programs.

    1. Linkages with School-to-Work. The components outlined in the School-to-Work Opportunities Act continue to serve as the framework of the Administration's strategy for meeting the education and job training needs of America's youth. SDAs should work with States and local STW partnerships in the development and establishment of the STW components, including school-based learning, work-based learning, and connecting activities, as well as skill certification and career development, so that SYETP effectively coordinates with the goals of each State's STW system.

      Effective working relationships between SDAs and the local school systems are crucial to achieving the goals of enriching the quality of the education component and preserving educational gains made during the summer by providing services to youth year-round. States, SDAs, and local school systems should strive to develop productive working relationships with the goal of achieving their mutually shared objective--namely, the preparation of all youth for successful careers and lifelong learning.

      It is essential that SDAs and local school systems maintain open channels of communication and share information, either formally or informally.

    2. Linkages/Transfers with Year-Round Services to Youth.  Strengthening linkages between SYETP and the year-round youth program under Title II-C remains an ETA goal. The ability to transfer funds between Title II-B and Title II-C clearly facilitates such a strengthening of linkages.

      This enhanced flexibility also has positive implications for the application of School-to-Work principles and practices in the local community. Section 9 provides further details on transfer of funds from Title II-B to II-C.

    3. Limited Private Sector Internships/Entry Employment Experience. States and SDAs are encouraged to operate their internship program in tandem with their voluntary private sector summer jobs campaign (see attachment II) so as to assure that these two initiatives complement rather than compete against each other.

  7. Job Safety and Health. States and SDAs are reminded to review Federal, State and local safety and job health standards and child labor restrictions to ensure that participants are not assigned to job activities which violate the standards and/or restrictions. For specific guidance, States and SDAs may refer to TEIN 33-92, "Child Labor Restrictions Applicable to Youth Participants in Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Funded Programs."

  8. Minimum Wage. The provisions under the amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which resulted from the Minimum Wage Increase Act of 1996, apply to all participants enrolled in programs operated under JTPA. Effective on October 1, 1996, the amendments require that not less than $4.75 an hour must be paid for employment under JTPA and not less than $5.15 an hour beginning September 1, 1997.

    The new Opportunity Wage created by the Minimum Wage Increase Act of 1996, $4.25 an hour for the first 90 days a youth under 20 is initially employed, does not apply to JTPA programs.

    In making this determination, the FLSA amendments need to be viewed in terms of the statutory minimum wage provisions contained in JTPA. The FLSA minimum rate referred to in sections 142(a)(2) and (3) of JTPA is the currently applicable rate set forth in section 6(a)(1) of the FLSA which is $5.15.

    Section 142(a)(2) of JTPA establishes that individuals in on-the-job training shall be compensated at the same rates as similarly situated employees or trainees, but in no event less than the higher of the rate specified in section 6(a)(1) of the FLSA or applicable State or local minimum wage law. Section 142(a)(3) of JTPA establishes the requirements for the payment of wages.

    Individuals employed in activities authorized under the Act shall be paid wages which shall not be less than the highest of the minimum wage under 6(a)(1) of the FLSA, the minimum wage under the applicable State or local minimum wage law, or the prevailing rates of pay for individuals employed in similar occupations by the same employer.

  9. Transfers. The FY 1998 appropriation bill, PL 105-78, which retains provisions that permit 100 percent transfer authority between II-C and II-B, is identical to the FY 1997 transfer authority.

    This authorization is intended to provide States and local communities with the malleability to design programs and allocate resources to best serve the employment and training needs of disadvantaged and at-risk youth. The intent is also to allow greater flexibility as the system moves toward an integrated workforce development approach to consolidate programs and give greater authority to State and local decision makers.

    Funds transferred are transferred in total (i.e., without regard to cost limits), and SDAs must use the funds in accordance with the appropriate Title II-B or Title II-C rules of the receiving Title and Part. SDAs should use the same reporting as required under the current transfer policy. For more detailed information on transfer policy refer to TEGL No. 7-95.

    The amounts transferred must be identified on appropriate lines and columns of the JQSR. Expenditures against the transferred amounts are not to be reported separately, but as a part of total expenditures reported against available funds in the receiving Title and Part.

    Transfers can be made at any time during the appropriated life of the funds. However, a transfer must be made within the appropriated years and according to the transfer rules applicable to that year of appropriation.

  10. Technical Assistance. The Department will transmit a "Technical Assistance Guide for Providing Educational Services in the Summer Youth Employment and Training Program" developed by SPRA and Brandeis to the employment and training system in the near future. The TAG is based on an evaluation of over 80 sites from previous summer programs. It provides information about effective strategies for delivering educational instruction in the context of SYETP.

    The developers of the TAG conducted a quantitative analysis of the relationship between alternative modes of providing educational instruction and outcomes for participants, including gains in reading and math skills, participants' satisfaction with the services received, and their attendance and grades during their subsequent return to school following enrollment in the summer youth program.

  11. Oversight. Specific information regarding the monitoring and reporting requirements will be forwarded separately.

  12. Action. States should: (a) transmit this guidance to SDAs as expeditiously as possible; and (b) instruct SDAs to quickly provide relevant guidance to worksites and service providers.

  13. Inquiries. Questions on this TEGL should be directed to your Regional Office.

  14. Attachments.

    Attachment I - Allotments

    Attachment II - Private Sector Efforts