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Workforce Investment Act Operations Bulletin

Volume 3, Number 29

For the week ending July 30, 2004

(For Internal Use Only)





Unemployment Insurance Program Letter No. 28-04

Subject: Preliminary Estimates of Calendar Year (CY) 2004 Average Employer Contribution Rates

Purpose To transmit estimated employer contribution rates for CY 2004.

Contact: http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=1590

Unemployment Insurance Program Letter No. 29-04

Subject: Study of the Measure of Nonmonetary Determination Quality

Purpose: To distribute the recommendations of a federal/state workgroup regarding changes to the Benefits Timeliness and Quality (BTQ) Nonmonetary Determination Quality Review and to solicit states’ comments on those recommendations.

Contact: http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=1591


Technical Assistance and Training

Workforce Innovations Conference Presentation Materials Now Available for Download

If you were unable to join over 2,600 colleagues from the workforce community in San Antonio, Texas on July 19 - 21, the Workforce Innovations Conference planning team reports that many of the workshop handouts from presenters/panelists are now available.

Contact: http://www.workforceinnovations.org/



President Announces $43 Million in Grants from Compassion Capital Fund

President Bush has announced $42,957,597 in 145 grants to organizations that provide services and support through soup kitchens, homeless shelters, drug treatment centers, job training programs, and other compassionate programs. Faith-based and community-based organizations will receive the federal funding from the Compassion Capital Fund, which is in its third year of existence.

Contact: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20040803b.html or
Compassion Capital Fund --http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ccf/



National Emergency Grant Award

The Secretary of Labor approved a National Emergency Grant for the State of Louisiana in the amount of $50,000 to provide funds to support development of the infrastructure in the State to make available health insurance coverage benefits (primarily through tax credits) for eligible recipients under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002.

Contact: Doug Small (202-693-3095; small.douglas@dol.gov)

GAO Studies

At the request of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman and ranking minority member respectively of the Senate Finance Committee, GAO initiated a study of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) and state grant programs included in the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Reform Act of 2002 (GAO Job Code 290331). The HCTC is a new tax credit that covers 65% of the premium paid by dislocated workers for state-designated health insurance coverage. The law also allows the laid-off workers to receive advance payment of this tax credit if they so choose. The states have access to two types of grants in support of the HCTC: one, administered by ETA, is the National Emergency Grants program, and the other, administered by HHS, provides support and funding of high risk pools. For this study, GAO determined what health plans states have designated, what benefits have been purchased, the characteristics of individuals using the tax credit, how states have used the grants, and why some states did not apply for grant funds. An exit conference has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 11, at 3 pm in room C-5309.

Contact: Sherri Spencer (spencer.sherri@dol.gov; 202-693-2772)

GAO initiated, under the Comptroller General’s authority, a study of community college involvement in workforce development activities, and how these activities fit in with overall state and national workforce development efforts and goals. GAO’s objectives were to determine: 1) to what extent are post-secondary institutions involved in local workforce development efforts; 2) how do the workforce development efforts at these institutions complement state and national efforts to better certify workers; and 3) to what extent do federal programs help local workforce development efforts. Education, Workforce and Income Security staff conducted the study, and anticipated doing work at the Employment and Training Administration and the Office of the 21st Century Workforce as well as at a number of community colleges to be selected during the design phase of the study. An exit conference has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 10, at 11:30 am in room C-5309.

Contact: Sherri Spencer (spencer.sherri@dol.gov; 202-693-2772)

Youth Careers Skills Challenge

The second annual Youth Careers Skills Challenge was held in Washington, DC the week of July 26th at Catholic University. 24 of the 36 Youth Opportunity grant sites were represented by over 140 youth representing urban, rural and Native American Youth. Prior to participating in competitive events and workshops designed to gauge and improve their work readiness and academic skills, the youth took to the streets of DC for a day of community service projects. Youth worked at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library sorting books and reading to children, at the Washington Area Food Bank organizing and packing food for shipment to various food banks, at a Goodwill center sorting and pricing donations, and cleaning up Watts Branch Park in Northeast Washington. They also assisted with a variety of gardening projects in Anacostia’s “Urban Oasis Community Farm” and served lunch to, played board games and interviewed veterans at the Armed Forces’ Retirement Home. Over 1000 hours of community service were completed by the youth. On Wednesday and Thursday, youth attended workshops on a variety of topics including: Crime Lab; Finding Sources of Financial Aid for College; Emerging Industries; Careers in the Entertainment Industry and other work or college related topics. They competed in events such as Public Speaking, Language Arts, Employment Interviewing, Employment Survival and College Essays. The week of festivities was capped with an awards banquet at the university.

The event was supported by volunteers from DOL, the community and ETA contractors. Over 150 adults assisted as workshop coordinators, event planners and coordinators, workshop presenters and event judges including Deputy Assistant Secretary Mason Bishop and Office of Workforce Investment Administrator Gay Gilbert who assisted in judging the finalists of the Public Speaking event. Thanks to everyone who assisted with the 2004 Youth Careers Skills Challenge.

Contact: Katie Joyce (202-693-3627; joyce.katie@dol.gov)