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Workforce Investment Act Operations Bulletin

Volume 2, Number 11

For the week ending March 14, 2003

(For Internal Use Only)


Upcoming ETA Meetings/Events


Money Smart Initiative

Goodwill Industries International, Inc. and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have teamed up to provide financial education to low-wage workers, low-income families and people who lack banking experience that receive job training and other career services from Goodwill. The training will utilize FDIC's Money Smart financial education curriculum. The two organizations signed a memorandum of agreement solidifying the partnership on March 14 in Washington, DC. Contact: http://wtw.doleta.gov/dollarsandsense/

National Telecommunications and Information Administration Announces FY 2003 Technology Opportunity Program

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration has announced the opening of the Fiscal Year 2003 Technology Opportunity Program (TOP) grant competition.

Non-profit entities, public sector organizations as well as state, local and tribal governments are eligible to apply. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, faith-based organizations, national organizations and associations, non-profit community-based organizations, non-profit health care providers, schools, libraries, museums, colleges, universities, public safety providers or other providers of social services.

Approximately $12.4 million is available under this year's TOP. Based on past experience, NTIA expects this year's grant round to be very competitive. In Fiscal Year 2002, NTIA received 741 applications collectively requesting more than $330 million in federal funds. From these applications, the Department of Commerce announced 25 awards totaling $12.4 million in federal funds. An applicant may request up to a total of $700,000 in funds from NTIA. Federal amounts awarded are expected to range from $350,000 to $700,000, with an average of approximately $500,000. Applications are due by April 23.

Several local Workforce Investment Boards -- including the Northwest Indiana WIB and the Lincoln (Nebraska) WIB -- have been active partners in previous successful TOP applications.

Contact: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/pdf/03-6233.pdf


Senior Community Service Employment Program Grants

The Division of Older Workers Programs will send to the states the guidelines for competition of the Senior Community Service Employment Program 502(e) grants in the next week. This competition is limited to states. They are also expected to send out the state planning guidance, and the State Plan and Equitable Distribution Reports. Contact: Ria Benedict (202-693-3198; rbenedict@doleta.gov)

New Apprenticeships

The Office Of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services has recently approved three new apprenticeable occupations: Surgical Technologist submitted by Apprenticeship and Training Representative (ATR) Lymus Capehart on behalf of the Alaska Native Medical Center/Operating Room; Lubrication Servicer-Materials Disposal Technician submitted by State Director (SD) John Hakala on behalf of the Alaska Operating Engineers/Employers Trust, and Maintenance Technician Municipal submitted by a Florida SAC Apprenticeship Representative on behalf of the City of Dunedin, Florida.
Contact: Franchella Kendall (202-693-3798; FKendall@doleta.gov)

H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant Program

The first of three Prospective Applicant Conferences was held Tuesday, March 11 in Washington. Approximately 120 individuals, mainly from Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), attended. It was well received. The purpose was to provide information and answer questions about ETA’s recently released 75% H-1B solicitation for grant application. In addition, the principles and emphases of DOL regarding the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant Program were reinforced. The Department of Commerce participated and expressed satisfaction in later feedback.
Contact: Mindy Feldbaum (202-693-3380; mfeldbaum@doleta.gov)

H-1B GOTR Meeting

The first H-1B Lead GOTR meeting was held on March 12 at DOL headquarters in Washington, D.C., with fourteen H-1B GOTRs from all ETA Regions represented. The purpose of the meeting was to: (1) gain an understanding of the performance and issues of H-1B grantees in the region, (2) understand how to make the H-1B program operationally better-improving systems, communications, and the grants management process, (3) brainstorm technical assistance needs for grantees and prospective applicants, (4) understand the outstanding policy issues that need to be resolved, and (5) to meet and provide support for the H-1B GOTR.
Contact: Mindy Feldbaum (202-693-3380; mfeldbaum@doleta.gov)

Workforce Information Council

USES staff participated in the Workforce Information Council quarterly meeting in Carson City, Nevada. A highlight of the discussion was on a report from the Customer Satisfaction work group, which approached customer satisfaction from a Marketing and Product Improvement perspective. The group is scheduled to complete its work by June 2003 and will recommend a strategy to incorporate a few standard CS and product improvement approaches for nation-wide implementation.

Contact: Tony Dais (202-693-2784; adais@doleat.gov

Performance Enhancement Project (PEP)

The consultants for the PEP held a meeting to discuss common TA topics and strategies and to develop a method to prioritize TA assistance based on the TA plans submitted by the Regions. States were grouped into four tiers based on the level of performance failure. Tier 1A states are subject to financial sanctions for failing to meet financial standards two years in a row. Six states are affected - DE, PA, VA, WV, MO, OH - and will be the first to receive technical assistance. Tier 1 states are subject to non-financial sanctions for failing to meet performance standards two years in a row. The states are - DC, GA, MS, AR, OK, AK, CA. Tier 2 are states that also fail to meet performance standards and include - CT, NH, NJ, RI, VI, AZ, HI, NV, OR. Tier 3 states involve four states with performance related issues and include NY, AL, KY, KS. A conference call was held with PEP contacts in the Regions and with the consultants to discuss the plans for TA based on the method developed for priority of TA services.
Contact: Dennis Lieberman (202-693-3375; dlieberman@doleta.gov) or Ray Palmer (202-693-3535; rpalmer@doleta.gov)

Regional Directors Meeting

OWS and OWI are planning a meeting with the OWS and OAS Regional Directors during April 1-3, 2003 in Alexandria, Virginia. OWS national office staff and OWS Regional Directors will meet on April 1 and during the morning of April 2 to discuss FY 2004 Allocation Options, UI Reform and UI Performs 5-Year Review. A joint meeting of OWS and OWI national office staff and OWS/OAS Regional Directors will occur during the afternoon of April 2 to share information on the Trade legislation, the Health Coverage Tax Credit, and Personal Reemployment Accounts. On April 3, there will be a full day meeting of OWI National Office staff and OAS Regional Directors to discuss WIA Reauthorization, Veteran's Priority, and One-Stop initiatives.
Contact: Arlene OConnor (202-693-2955; aoconnor@doleta.gov) or Ken Kopp (202-693-2751; kkopp@doleta.gov)