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Workforce Investment Act Operations Bulletin

Volume 3, Number 17

For the week ending April 30, 2004

(For Internal Use Only)



Events Upcoming ETA Meeting/Events



2005 National Medal of Technology Awards

The Department of Commerce has announced a "Call for Nominations" for the 2005 National Medal of Technology awards, the nation’s highest honor awarded by the President to America’s leading technological innovators. This year’s nominators have been encouraged to consider the high-impact contributions which colleagues, mentors or associates in four categories, including "Technology and Technological Manpower Development." The nomination in this category is evaluated for the nominee’s contributions to the improvement of the economic and social well-being of the United States, and for the challenges faced and overcome.
Contact: http://www.technology.gov/Medal/Nomination.htm

Touching Lives and Communities -- Technical Assistance Project (TLC-TAP)

The U.S. Department of Labor's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI) has launched a new initiative, Touching Lives and Communities Technical Assistance Project. The CFBCI is providing a number of resources on how Workforce Investment Boards and the One Stop Career Centers can foster sustainable collaborations with faith-based and community organizations to address employment needs in their communities.
Contact: http://www.dol-tlc.org/technicalAssistanceProject.shtml



New Trade Program for Farmers

ONR’s Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance (DTAA) staff met with staff from the Department of Agriculture to discuss a joint effort to provide trade benefits to workers in the agriculture and fisheries industries. This program is nearing implementation at the Department of Agriculture, and DTAA will need to ensure a coordinated effort with the workforce system for those workers who may wish to avail themselves of retraining. A major issue is the decision to include workers who have had zero income, since the trade program uses prior worker income to make suitable work and training decisions.
Contact: Erin Fitzgerald (202-693-3506; fitzgerald.erin@dol.gov)

National Emergency Grants (NEG)

Secretary Chao announced two Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) National Emergency Grants to aid dislocated workers in Pennsylvania and Utah. The HCTC grant for Utah was in the amount of $3,065,477 with $1,451,682 released initially. The Pennsylvania HCTC NEG was in the amount of $200,000. HCTC NEGs provide funding for infrastructure for the HCTC program and for gap payments for health insurance coverage assistance and support services to eligible trade-impacted workers and other eligible individuals, as specified in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002.
Contact: Doug Small (202-693-3095; douglas.small@dol.gov)

Program Year 2002 Workforce Investment Act Standardized Record Data (WIASRD)

The final Program Year 2002 WIASRD is available. In order to address privacy and confidentiality concerns regarding this data, ETA is providing a public use file that includes an age at registration rather than birth date variable, and that excludes exiter information from local areas with 50 or fewer exiters. This public use file is the information source behind the Federal Research and Evaluation Database (FRED at www.fred-info.org), and will be distributed as requested. Various researchers and individuals representing FutureWorks, the Urban Institute, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Congressional Research Service have received the data. ETA employees interested in gaining access to an "ETA-only" FRED site, which contains the complete database, should contact Amanda Ahlstrand (202-693-3052; ahlstrand.amanda@dol.gov)

Mystery Shopping

Individual reports have been prepared for and shared with each of the seven States that participated in last year’s mystery shopping pilot project. Each report provided an overview of the project, summarized which aspects of the projects worked well and which could be improved upon, and shared general common findings across the States. Each report was also customized to provide State-specific information including an identification of the significant issues identified by the mystery shoppers, a summary of all of the qualitative comments made by shoppers, and quantitative rankings of the One-Stops shopped in the State. A conference call was held with each State to review the report. In general, State staff were quite appreciative of the feedback and in many cases stated that it reinforced issues which had been identified previously and that the feedback would help inform their staff capacity building efforts. The reports were prepared by the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce. Contact: Chris Chudd (619- 224- 8166; chudd.christine@dol.gov)