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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
     DOL Home > Federal Register > By Date > June 2009
ODEP Notices

Registered Apprenticeship for Youth and Young Adults With Disabilities Initiative; Solicitation for Cooperative Agreements.   [6/16/2009]
[PDF]
FR Doc E9-14076
[Federal Register: June 16, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 114)]
[Notices]               
[Page 28562-28573]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr16jn09-80]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Office of Disability Employment Policy

[SGA 09-03]

 
Registered Apprenticeship for Youth and Young Adults With 
Disabilities Initiative; Solicitation for Cooperative Agreements.

    Announcement Type: New Notice of Availability of Funds and 
Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA) for Cooperative Agreement.
    Funding Opportunity Number: SGA 09-03.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 17.720.

DATES: Key Date: Applications must be received thirty (30) days after 
the publication date in the Federal Register.
    Executive Summary: The U.S. Department of Labor (``DOL'' or 
``Department''), Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the 
DOL's Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) Office of 
Apprenticeship (OA) announce the availability of approximately $400,000 
to fund cooperative agreements to conduct two pilot projects to develop 
models to improve systems capacity to provide inclusive Registered 
Apprenticeship training and pre-apprenticeship training to youth and 
young adults with disabilities with a 24-month period of performance, 
and the possibility of up to 3 additional option years of funding at 
the discretion of the Department depending on the availability of funds 
and satisfactory performance. Under this initiative, funding will be 
awarded through a competitive process to two consortia to research, 
test, and evaluate innovative systems models for providing inclusive 
integrated apprentice training in a high-growth industry to youth and 
young adults with disabilities, including those with the most 
significant disabilities, between the ages of 16 and 27. To be 
considered for an award, consortium applying for the grant must have 
representation from each of the following four organization types:
    1. A Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) sponsor in a high-
growth industry sector;
    2. A community-based organization (CBO) with demonstrated 
experience securing job training services from established training 
institutions such as community colleges, and providing placement and 
support services to apprentices in high-growth industries;
    3. A public/private non-profit or for-profit organization, which 
may be faith-based, with demonstrated experience providing employment 
and training services and employment related support services to people 
with disabilities; and
    4. An educational institution.
    This solicitation provides background information, describes the 
application submission requirements, outlines the process that eligible 
entities must use to apply for funds covered by this solicitation, and 
outlines the evaluation criteria used as a basis for selecting the 
grantees.
    Application and submission information is explained in detail in 
Part IV of this SGA. There will be a Prospective Applicant Webinar held 
for this grant competition. The date and access information for this 
Prospective Applicant Webinar will be posted on ODEPs Web site at 
http://www.dol.gov/odep.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This solicitation consists of eight parts:
     Part I provides a description of this funding opportunity.
     Part II describes the size and nature of the anticipated 
awards.
     Part III describes eligibility information.
     Part IV provides information on the application and 
submission process.
     Part V describes the criteria against which applications 
will be reviewed and explains the proposal review process.
     Part VI provides award administration information.
     Part VII contains DOL agency contact information.
     Part VIII lists additional resources of interest to 
applicants and other information.

Part I. Funding Opportunity Description

1. Background

    The Office of Disability Employment Policy provides national 
leadership by developing and influencing disability-related employment 
policies and practices. A five-year strategic plan guides ODEP in 
achieving its mission by identifying long-term strategic and outcome 
goals as well as shorter-term intermediate and performance goals. In 
addition to measuring agency performance, as required by the Government 
Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the strategic plan sets forth a 
road map for prioritizing the formulation and dissemination of 
innovative employment policies and practices to service delivery 
systems and employers.
    ODEP's annual goal is to build knowledge and advance disability 
employment policy that affects and promotes systems change. The 
agency's long- and short-term goals focus efforts on initiatives that 
bring about this level of change. In short, ODEP develops policies and 
strategies that will:
     Enhance the capacity of service delivery systems to 
provide appropriate and effective services and supports to youth and 
adults with disabilities.
     Increase planning and coordination within service delivery 
systems to develop and improve systems, processes, and services.
     Improve individualization of services to better assist 
youth and adults with disabilities in seeking, obtaining, and retaining 
employment or self-employment.
     Increase employer access to supports and services to meet 
their employment needs.
     Increase the quality of competency-based training for 
service delivery systems.
     Increase the adoption of universal strategies for service 
provision.
     Develop partnerships with and among critical stakeholders 
to effectively leverage available resources and facilitate 
implementation of practices and policies that increase employment and 
self-employment opportunities and the recruitment, retention, and 
promotion of youth and adults with disabilities.
    As required by the Government Performance and Results Act, the 
following three output measures inform ODEP of its progress in meeting 
its annual goal of building knowledge and advancing disability 
employment policy:
    1. The number of policy-related documents.
    2. The number of formal agreements.
    3. The number of effective practices.
    These performance measures generate results that in turn support 
the achievement of the following outcome goals: Increased Awareness/
Knowledge Transfer; Adoption/Implementation of Policies and/or 
Effective Practices; and Customer Satisfaction with ODEP's Products and 
Services. Achievement of these outcome goals will eventually lead to 
the creation of Most Significant Changes (MSCs) in systems and entities 
affecting employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
    Developing the talents, skills and capabilities of the workforce 
has always played an important part in our nation's economic strength. 
The 21st century economic landscape is rapidly changing as technology 
and globalization alter the nature of work and the skills and

[[Page 28563]]

training needed by workers to remain competitive. Ninety percent of the 
fastest growing jobs in the United States today require post-secondary 
education. This, coupled with the rapidly growing rate of baby boomer 
retirements heightens the importance of preparing youth for the skills 
employers need.
    This issue has significant impact on the economic development of 
communities, states, regional economies and ultimately that of our 
nation. The workforce investment system plays a vital role in 
addressing the need to develop talent pools of young workers who serve 
as a ``youth supply pipeline,'' which helps to drive economic growth.
    To improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses in the global 
economy, recent high school reform advocates have focused on the need 
for greater preparation of all high school students for both work and 
advanced education. A widespread recognition now exists that schools 
must help the nation's youth advance both academically and 
occupationally, and to see these as compatible goals (Butler, 2006).
    Over the past decade through the School to Work Opportunities Act 
and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Federal 
Government has stressed the importance of improving transition services 
nationally for youth with disabilities, and has assumed a strategic 
role in supporting state and local efforts to improve transition 
services through the identification of promising practices, delivery 
strategies, and policy development. Moreover, the 2006 reauthorization 
of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act has 
reenergized efforts to promote the use of career and technical 
education as a strategy for learning in the context of improved 
academic achievement for all students. In addition, the Workforce 
Investment Act of 1998 and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 have 
resulted in reform efforts that focus on high academic and occupational 
standards; promote the use of state and local standards-based 
accountability systems; call for broad-based partnerships between 
schools, employers, postsecondary institutions, and families; support 
full participation and equal access to the general education 
curriculum; and emphasize research-based teaching methods.
    Federal and state efforts to improve transition policies and 
practices for youth with disabilities over the past decade have 
resulted in some positive gains including increases in graduation 
rates, enrollments in postsecondary education, and in the number of 
youths entering the workforce (Office of Special Education Programs, 
Data Analysis System (DANS); Newman, 2005; Cameto and Levine, 2005). 
For example, national data indicate that there has been some 
improvement in the overall graduation rate of students with 
disabilities in the United States. Between the 1995-1996 and 1999-2000 
school years, the percentage of youth with disabilities graduating with 
regular diplomas, as reported by states, grew from 52.6 percent to 56.2 
percent while the percentage of students with disabilities who dropped 
out of school declined from 34.1 percent to 29.4 percent (U.S. 
Department of Education, 2002).
    Nonetheless, significant challenges remain. National studies and 
reports have shown that, compared to their non-disabled peers, students 
with disabilities are less likely to receive a regular high school 
diploma; drop out twice as often; and enroll in and complete 
postsecondary education programs at half the rate. Up to two years 
after leaving high school, about 4 in 10 youth with disabilities are 
employed as compared to 6 in 10 same-age out-of-school youth in the 
general population (National Center for Education Statistics, 2000; 
National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS-2), 2005).
    The Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the first 
official data on the employment status of people with disabilities on 
February 6, 2009. In January 2009, the employment rate for people with 
disabilities was 23.1 percent. The unemployment rate for those with 
disabilities was 13.2 percent. (http://www.bls.gov./cps/
cpsdisability.htm).\1\ The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 
(NLTS-2) indicates that employment rates vary considerably across 
disability categories for students with disabilities who were enrolled 
in special education. Youth with learning disabilities, emotional 
disturbances, other health impairments, or speech impairments are the 
most likely to be employed in a 1-year period (50 percent to 60 
percent). In contrast, youth with significant disabilities have 
significantly lower employment rates, e.g., 15 percent for youth with 
autism, 25 percent for youth with multiple disabilities, deaf-
blindness, or orthopedic impairments, and 33 percent for youth with 
mental retardation or visual impairments.
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    \1\ After several years of research and testing, ODEP sponsored 
the addition of new disability questions to the Current Population 
Survey (CPS) to generate data to gauge the employment status of 
people with disabilities. These data provide, for the first time, an 
official measure to the labor force situation for people with 
disabilities.
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    A number of recent studies examining career and technical education 
programs and the use of structured work-based learning approaches 
suggest that such approaches are an important aspect of and contribute 
to better outcomes in school, e.g., student achievement; knowledge 
assimilation and retention; motivation and post-school, e.g., 
educational continuation and employment success (AYPF, 2003; National 
Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education, 2003). 
Moreover, when youth with disabilities take career and technical 
education in their last year of high school or concentrate in a career 
and technical education content area, research indicates that they have 
higher rates of high school graduation, competitive employment, 
postsecondary education attendance, and advances in earnings or wages 
(Scholl & Mooney, 2003; Benz, Lindstrom, & Yovanoff, 2000; Cobb, et 
al.,1999; Eisenman, 2000; Harvey, 2002; Luecking & Fabian, 2000; 
Phelps, 1998).
    Research further identifies the following program components as 
effective in linking work experiences with permanent employment and 
postsecondary education success for students with and without 
disabilities:
     Work-based and school-based learning supported by high 
academic content and standards;
     Standards that emphasize the application of knowledge and 
skills to the same extent that they emphasize their accomplishment;
     Integration of academic and vocational education;
     Authentic teaching and learning strategies that ensure 
students gain a better understanding of the connections between 
learning and working;
     Opportunities for students to explore their interests and 
ambitions, and to apply and practice skills and knowledge;
     Exposure to positive role models and constructive support 
systems; and
     Family/parental involvement and support (Scholl & Mooney, 
2002; Hayward & Tallmadge, 1995; Lambrecht et al., 1997; Merritt & 
Williams, 1999; Phelps & Wermuth, 1992; Woloszyk, 1996).
    Registered Apprenticeship programs offer one type of career and 
technical education experience that can help youth and young adults 
with disabilities to achieve employment success. A Registered 
Apprenticeship is a nationally registered program overseen either by 
DOL's Office of Apprenticeship working in conjunction with State 
Apprenticeship Agencies

[[Page 28564]]

(SAAs) in states which are recognized by DOL as authorized to register 
apprentices for Federal purposes or by DOL's OA in other states. 
Apprentices may begin a Registered Apprenticeship at age 16, but the 
minimum age for most programs is 18. Most apprenticeship programs 
require applicants to possess high school diplomas. Program sponsors, 
which include employers, employer associations, and labor-management 
organizations, voluntarily operate and cover most or all costs of the 
program.
    Newly revised regulations issued by DOL on October 29, 2008 create 
more flexibility for apprentices and employers, providing each with 
increased choices to meet the needs of industries that have 
traditionally used Registered Apprenticeship programs, as well as the 
needs of new and emerging industries. The most significant changes to 
the regulations include the recognition of multiple training approaches 
which increase flexibility for employers to select the path that best 
serves an apprentice's and/or an employer's needs. Under the new 
regulations, in addition to the traditional, time-based approach, which 
requires the apprentice to complete a specific number of hours of on-
the-job training and technical instruction, training may also be 
provided via a competency-based approach, or a hybrid of a time and 
competency based approach. The newly revised regulations also provide 
for the awarding of interim credentials that offer active apprentices 
official recognition of their accomplishments and equip them with a 
portfolio of skills and incentives to continue their career preparation 
and complete their programs. Increased options for using electronic 
media to provide related technical instruction are also provided, 
allowing for distance learning and other technology-based instruction.
    More than 950 occupations across all industry clusters nationwide 
are recognized through Registered Apprenticeship programs, and new 
occupations are regularly added as employer needs evolve to meet new 
economic realities. These occupations span a broad range of industry 
clusters and demonstrate the power of the Registered Apprenticeship 
model to build a 21st century workforce.
    In the United States today, approximately 250,000 separate 
employers offer Registered Apprenticeship employment and training to 
almost 450,000 apprentices in such industries as construction, 
manufacturing, transportation, telecommunications, information 
technology, biotechnology, retail, health care, the military, 
utilities, security, and the public sector. By providing on-the-job 
training, related classroom instruction, and guaranteed wage 
structures, employers who sponsor apprentices provide incentives that 
can help them to attract and retain more highly qualified employees and 
improve productivity and services. Regions that adopt robust Registered 
Apprenticeship programs in the context of economic development 
strategies contribute to the pipeline of skilled workers and flexible 
career pathways to support current and future workforce demands.
    The duration of training, and the skills and competencies required 
for mastery, are driven by industry. Certifications earned through 
Registered Apprenticeship programs are recognized nationwide as 
portable industry credentials. The primary apprentice certification is 
a Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship, which is awarded at the 
end of the apprenticeship. Many apprenticeship programs, however, 
particularly in high-growth industries such as health care, advanced 
manufacturing, and transportation, also offer interim credentials and 
training certificates based on a competency model that leads to a 
Certificate of Completion. There may be beginning, intermediate, 
advanced, and specialty certification levels. Registered Apprenticeship 
programs also allow credit for previous apprenticeship-related 
experience.
    Pre-apprenticeship training programs serve as a bridge for youth 
exploring career options and workers who may not have the fundamental 
skills to succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program. Operated by 
education, community- or faith-based organizations, these training 
programs can help apprenticeship candidates decide on an occupational 
track and develop fundamental skills which improve productivity once 
employed. Pre-apprenticeship programs operate under an approved plan 
whereby candidates participate in a short, intensified training period 
in a school or training center with the intent to place them in 
Registered Apprenticeships upon completion or soon after completion of 
the program. Pre-apprenticeship can be used as a means of selecting 
apprentices under a particular program sponsor's approved program 
standards.
    Two DOL sponsored national programs, Job Corps and YouthBuild, have 
the potential to serve as pre-apprentice feeder programs into 
Registered Apprenticeship. While Youth Build focuses on the building 
and construction trades, Job Corps provides more variety in course 
offerings, ranging from culinary arts to automotive technology.
    Although limited research has been conducted on the impact of 
apprenticeship programming on post-secondary and employment outcomes 
for people with disabilities, an independent study conducted by the 
Center on Education and Work at the University of Wisconsin for the 
Wisconsin Governor's Work-Based Learning Board on graduates' 
experiences with the Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Program suggests a 
positive link between apprenticeship and employment earnings, 
retention, and enrollment in post-secondary education (Mickelson, 
Pereira, Fillingame, 2005). In addition, an earlier study on this same 
program identified the following factors as enhancing the success of 
all youth apprentices with and without disabilities:
    1. High levels of program organization and coordination;
    2. Meaningful and consistent communication between stakeholders;
    3. A good ``fit'' between a young persons' abilities and their 
chosen youth apprenticeship career field;
    4. A quality worksite placement (e.g., adequate rotation through 
competencies, presence of an experienced mentor); and
    5. Rigorous and engaging classroom instruction that integrated 
technical and academic competencies.
    While these factors were central to all youth apprenticeship 
experiences, they were found to be particularly critical in the 
apprenticeship experiences of youth with disabilities (Scholl & Mooney, 
2003).
    Although Federal legislation mandates that youth and young adults 
with disabilities have equal opportunity to benefit from the full range 
of career/technical educational programs and services available to 
their peers without disabilities, research conducted on this issue by 
ODEP in 2007 revealed that youth and young adults with disabilities 
rarely participate in apprenticeship programs. To capitalize on the 
potential that apprenticeship holds for improving employment 
opportunity and self-sufficiency for youth and young adults with 
disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, ODEP and 
OA have joined in this capacity-building initiative.

2. Description and Purpose

    The overarching goal for this solicitation is to increase systems 
capacity to provide integrated inclusive apprenticeship training to 
youth and

[[Page 28565]]

young adults with a full range of disabilities, including those with 
the most significant disabilities, utilizing the increased 
flexibilities detailed in DOL's newly released apprenticeship 
regulations. To help address the disproportionately negative 
employment-related outcomes of youth and young adults with 
disabilities, ODEP in collaboration with the OA will award cooperative 
agreements to two consortia.
    Capitalizing on the increased flexibilities allowable under DOL's 
revised apprenticeship regulations, 29 CFR Part 29, regarding the 
provision of training and interim credentialing, successful applicants 
will research, develop, and evaluate innovative models of Registered 
Apprenticeship service delivery that are inclusive of youth and young 
adults with disabilities, including those with significant 
disabilities, between the ages of 16 and 27. It is expected that the 
models will produce skilled workers who are in demand in one or more 
high-growth, high-demand industries including but not limited to, 
construction, healthcare, green jobs, information technology, and 
biotechnology. To create a continuum of service delivery for youth with 
disabilities of high-school age, and to provide apprenticeship 
opportunities for those who may lack relevant skills, and those who may 
have dropped out or otherwise failed to obtain a high school diploma, 
the service delivery model being developed must also include a pre-
apprenticeship component.
    In addition to consortium members, successful applicants will also 
have formal partnerships with one or more of the following groups: 
employers, organized labor, employer associations, disability 
organizations, mental health, and developmental disability agencies, 
vocational rehabilitation agencies, One-Stop Career Centers, workforce 
investment boards, educational institutions, and the State 
Apprenticeship Agencies in states which are recognized by DOL as 
authorized to register apprentices for Federal purposes or the DOL 
Office of Apprenticeship in other states. Together, representatives of 
these partnerships will serve as the Advisory Council for the design 
and operation of this initiative.
    Allowable uses of grant funds include:
    a. Education and workforce investment activities such as:
     Basic skills instruction and remedial education;
     Tutoring, credit retrieval programs, dropout prevention 
activities, GED instruction, and career awareness classes;
     Counseling and assisting with obtaining postsecondary 
education and required financial aid;
     Alternative secondary school services;
     Job placement services;
     Job coaching;
     Vocational skills training;
     Occupational skills training;
     Paid and unpaid work experiences, including internships 
and job shadowing; and
     Career-related mentoring.
    b. Participant personal development activities that seek to develop 
non-technical skills, abilities, and traits that participants need to 
function in a specific employment environment that support one or more 
workplace competencies including problem-solving and other cognitive 
skills, oral communication skills, personal qualities, and work ethic, 
and interpersonal and teamwork skills. Examples include leadership 
training, financial literacy, and job readiness training.
    c. Recruiting employers to provide training and supervision for 
apprentices and pre-apprentices and students to participate in the 
pilot.
    d. Monitoring the progress of pilot participants.
    e. Employment-related support services and accommodations.
    f. Follow-up services that focus efforts on job retention, wage 
gains and career progress through regular contact with participant 
employers, including assistance in addressing work-related problems 
that arise, assistance in securing better paying jobs, career 
development and further education, mentoring, and tracking of progress 
made by participants in employment after training.
    g. Researching, testing, and evaluating the program model(s).

3. Definitions

    Definitions for purposes of this solicitation include:
     Youth and young adults with disabilities refers to 
individuals with disabilities who are ages 16 to 27.
     Significant disability is defined as an individual with a 
disability who is receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security 
Income disability benefits.
     Pre-Apprenticeship Programs are those programs that 
prepare individuals for Registered Apprenticeship.
     Registered Apprenticeship is a formal employment 
relationship designed to promote skill training and learning on the job 
that is certified by DOL or a federally-recognized SAA as meeting the 
basic standards and requirements of DOL. ``Hands on'' learning takes 
place in conjunction with related theoretical instruction (often in a 
classroom setting). An apprentice, who successfully completes an OA 
registered program, is awarded a certificate of completion of 
apprenticeship. Newly revised DOL apprenticeship regulations, 29 CFR 
Part 29, also provide for interim credentialing. An OA registered 
program is one in which employers, or groups of employers, and unions 
design, organize, manage, and finance apprenticeship programs under the 
standards developed and registered with OA or an OA-recognized State 
Apprenticeship Agency. Employers, or groups of employers, and unions 
also select apprentices who are trained to meet certain predetermined 
occupational standards. For more information, see the OA Web site at 
http://www.doleta.gov/oa/.
     Community-Based Organization is a private non-profit 
organization, which may be faith-based, that is representative of a 
community or a significant segment of a community, which has for this 
project demonstrated experience in securing job training services from 
established training institutions such as community colleges, and 
providing placement and support services to apprentices in high-growth 
industries (included within the definition are ``union-related 
organizations'' and ``employer-related nonprofit organizations'').
     RAP refers to a Registered Apprenticeship Program.
     Consortium refers to a group formed to undertake a 
project. The consortium required for this solicitation must have 
representation from each of the following four organization types:
    (1) A RAP sponsor in a high-growth industry sector;
    (2) A CBO with demonstrated experience in securing job training 
services from established training institutions such as community 
colleges, and providing placement and support services to apprentices 
in high-growth industries;
    (3) A public/private non-profit or for-profit organization, 
including faith-based organizations, with demonstrated experience in 
providing employment and training services and employment related 
support services to people with disabilities; and
    (4) An educational institution.

[[Page 28566]]

Part II. Award Information

1. Award Amount

    Funding is expected to be provided for two Registered 
Apprenticeship cooperative agreements at approximately $200,000 each. 
Applicants are required to submit budgets within this financial range. 
The budget should reflect a phased approach that anticipates a planning 
period of up to 6 months followed by 18 full months of project 
operations.

    Note:  Selection of an organization as a grantee does not 
constitute approval of the grant application as submitted. Before 
the actual grant is awarded, DOL may enter into negotiations about 
such items as program components, staffing and funding levels, and 
administrative systems in place to support grant implementation. If 
the negotiations do not result in a mutually acceptable submission, 
the Grant Officer reserves the right to terminate the negotiation 
and decline to fund the application.

    Inasmuch as the award will be made in the form of a cooperative 
agreement, DOL will have substantial involvement in the administration 
of the agreement. Such DOL involvement will consist of:
    (1) Approval of any subcontract awarded by the grantee after the 
grant award;
    (2) Participation in site visits to project areas;
    (3) Providing advice and consultation to the grantee on specific 
program criteria;
    (4) Providing the grantee(s) with technical and programmatic 
support, including training in DOL monitoring and evaluation systems, 
and standard procedures regarding DOL management of cooperative 
agreements;
    (5) Reviewing, at reasonable times, all documents pertaining to the 
project, including status and technical progress reports, and financial 
reports. ODEP will provide the format for the reports;
    (6) Discussing administrative and technical issues pertaining to 
the project;
    (7) Approving all key personnel decisions, and sub-contractors or 
sub-awardees;
    (8) Approving all deliverables, including but not limited to fact 
sheets, training materials, press releases and publicity-related 
materials regarding the project;
    (9) Approving all content for online resources developed through 
project activities, including clearing concepts for material production 
and final document production; and
    (10) Drafting terms of reference for, and participating in project 
evaluations.

2. Period of Performance

    Cooperative Agreements will be awarded for an initial twenty four 
(24) month period of performance. This period of performance includes 
up to a six (6) month planning period prior to project implementation 
and at least eighteen (18) full months of direct service delivery. Each 
grant may receive up to three (3) additional option years of funding at 
the discretion of the Department depending on the availability of funds 
and satisfactory performance.

Part III. Eligibility Information and Other Grant Specifications

1. Eligible Applicants

    Under this announcement only consortia may apply for and receive a 
cooperative agreement. Each consortium must, at a minimum, have 
representation from each of the following four organization types: (1) 
A RAP sponsor in a high-growth industry sector; (2) A CBO with 
demonstrated experience in securing job training services from 
established training institutions such as community colleges, and 
providing placement and support services to apprentices in high growth 
industries; (3) A public/private non-profit or for-profit organization 
which may be faith-based with demonstrated experience in providing 
employment and training services and employment related support 
services to people with disabilities; and (4) An educational 
institution. This requirement does not in any way prevent the 
participation of other entities, which are integral to the 
implementation of the project. All applications must clearly identify 
the lead grant recipient and fiscal agent, as well as all other members 
of the consortium applying for the cooperative agreement. In addition, 
the application must identify the relationship between all of the 
members of the consortium, and their respective roles in carrying out 
the project.
    According to section 18 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, an 
organization, as described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue 
Code of 1986, that engages in lobbying activities will not be eligible 
for the receipt of Federal funds constituting an award, grant, or loan. 
See 2 U.S.C. 1611; 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(4). Funding restrictions apply. See 
Section IV(5).

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    Cost sharing, matching funds, and cost participation are not 
required under this SGA. However, complementary funds will be needed to 
pay the costs associated with providing training to participants who 
are youth without disabilities. The leveraging of public and private 
resources to foster inclusive service delivery and achieve project 
sustainability is highly encouraged and included under evaluation 
criteria. See Section V (1)(b)(8) below.
    Leveraged resources can come from a variety of sources, including 
but not limited to: public sector (e.g., Federal, State, or local 
governments); non-profit sector (e.g., community organizations, faith-
based organizations, or education and training institutions); private 
sector (e.g., businesses or industry associations); investor community 
(e.g., angel networks); philanthropic community; and the economic 
development community. Applicants must describe in detail how such 
leveraged funds will be used and demonstrate how these funds will 
contribute to the goals of the project.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Enrollees
    An individual may participate in a Registered Apprenticeship-
focused project funded through this cooperative agreement if such 
individual is between the ages of 16 and 27 on the date of enrollment. 
Although the Registered Apprenticeship program training model being 
tested must be inclusive and will therefore include youth without 
disabilities, funding for the training provided to youth without 
disabilities is not an allowable expense under this grant.
    Legal Rules Pertaining to Inherently Religious Activities by 
Organizations that Receive Federal Financial Assistance:
    Direct Federal grants, sub-award funds, or contracts under this 
program shall not be used to support inherently religious activities 
such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization. Therefore, 
organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their 
inherently religious activities from the services funded under this 
program. Neutral, secular criteria that neither favor nor disfavor 
religion must be employed in the selection of grant and sub-grant 
recipients. In addition, under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and 
DOL regulations implementing the Workforce Investment Act, a recipient 
may not use direct Federal assistance to train a participant in 
religious activities, or employ participants to construct, operate, or 
maintain any part of a facility that is used or to be used for 
religious instruction or worship. See 29 CFR 37.6(f). Under WIA, ``no 
individual shall be excluded from participation in,

[[Page 28567]]

denied the benefits of, subjected to discrimination under, or denied 
employment in the administration of or in connection with, any such 
program or activity because of race, color, religion, sex (except as 
otherwise permitted under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 
and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993), national origin, 
age, disability, or political affiliation or belief.'' Regulations 
pertaining to Equal Treatment in Department of Labor Programs for 
Religious Organizations, which includes the prohibition against Federal 
funding of inherently religious activities, can be found at 29 CFR Part 
2, Subpart D. Provisions relating to the use of indirect support (such 
as vouchers) are at 29 CFR 2.33(c) and 20 CFR 667.266.
    A faith-based organization receiving Federal funds retains its 
independence from Federal, State, and local governments, and may 
continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, 
and expression of its religious beliefs. For example, a faith-based 
organization may use space in its facilities to provide secular 
programs or services funded with Federal funds without removing 
religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols. In 
addition, a faith-based organization that receives Federal funds 
retains its authority over its internal governance, and it may retain 
religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on 
a religious basis, and include religious references in its 
organization's mission statements and other governing documents in 
accordance with all program requirements, statutes, and other 
applicable requirements governing the conduct of DOL-funded activities.
    The Department notes that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act 
(RFRA), 42 U.S.C. sec. 2000bb, applies to all Federal law and its 
implementation. If your organization is a faith-based organization that 
makes hiring decisions on the basis of religious belief, it may be 
entitled to receive Federal financial assistance under Title I of the 
Workforce Investment Act and maintain that hiring practice even though 
Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act contains a general ban on 
religious discrimination in employment. If you are awarded a grant, you 
will be provided with information on how to request such an exemption.

4. Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses

    The Jobs for Veterans Act (Pub. L.107-288) requires priority of 
service for veterans and spouses of certain veterans for the receipt of 
employment, training, and placement services in any job training 
program directly funded, in whole, or in part, by the Department. On 
December 19, 2008, the Department published a Final Rule (at 20 CFR 
Part 1010) implementing this statutory requirement to provide priority 
of service, effective January 19, 2009. A copy of these regulations can 
be accessed at: http://www.dol.gov/vets/E8-30166.pdf. Section 1010.220 
of these regulations requires all recipients of Department job training 
funds to agree to implement priority of service as a condition for the 
receipt of funds and also requires all recipients of funds to ensure 
that priority of service is implemented by all of their sub-recipients. 
ETA Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 5-03 (September 
16, 2003), which was issued prior to publication of the regulations, 
provides guidance on the scope of the Jobs for Veterans Act and its 
implications for employment and training programs. TEGL No. 5-03, along 
with additional guidance, is available at the ``Jobs for Veterans 
Priority of Service'' Web site (http://www.doleta.gov/programs/vets). 
It is anticipated that updated guidance that more fully reflects the 
new regulations will be issued in the near future.

Part IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package

    This announcement contains all of the information and links to 
forms needed to apply for this funding opportunity. Additional 
application packages and amendments to this SGA may be obtained from 
the ODEP Web site address at www.dol.gov/odep, and the Federal Grant 
Opportunities Web site address at http://www.grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    The three required sections of the application are titled below and 
described thereafter:
Part I: The Cost Proposal/Budget (No page limit).
Part II: Executive Summary--Project Synopsis (Not to exceed two (2) 
pages).
Part III: Project Narrative (Not to exceed twenty-five (25) pages 
excluding timeline and organizational chart).

    Applications that fail to adhere to the instructions in this 
section will be considered non-responsive and may not be given further 
consideration.
    A. Part I is the Cost Proposal/Budget and must include the 
following three items:
     The Standard Form (SF) 424, ``Application for Federal 
Assistance'' (available at http://www07.grants.gov/agencies/approved_
standard_forms.jsp). The SF-424 must clearly identify the applicant 
and be signed by an individual with authority to enter into a grant 
agreement. Upon confirmation of an award, the individual signing the SF 
424 on behalf of the applicant shall be considered the representative 
of the applicant.
     Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) number. All applicants for 
Federal grant and funding opportunities are required to have a DUNS 
number. See OMB Notice of Final Policy Issuance, 68 FR 38402 (June 27, 
2003). Applicants must supply their DUNS number on the SF-424. The DUNS 
number is a nine-digit identification number that uniquely identifies 
business entities. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no 
charge. To obtain a DUNS number, access this Web site: http://
www.dnb.com/us/ or call 1-866-705-5711. If no DUNS number is provided 
then the grant application will be considered non-responsive and it 
will not be evaluated. Requests for exemption from the DUNS number 
requirement must be made to the Office of Management and Budget.
     The SF-424-A Budget Information Form (available at: http:/
/www07.grants.gov/agencies/approved_standard_forms.jsp). In preparing 
the Budget Information Form, the applicant must provide a concise 
narrative explanation to support the request. The budget narrative 
should break down the budget and leveraged resources by the activities 
specified in the technical proposal. The narrative should also discuss 
precisely how the administrative costs support the project goals.
    Applicants that fail to provide a SF-424, SF-424-A and/or a budget 
narrative will be removed from consideration prior to the technical 
review process. Leveraged resources should not be listed on the SF-424 
or SF-424-A Budget Information Form, but must be described in the 
budget narrative and in Part II of the proposal. The amount of Federal 
funding requested for the entire period of performance must be shown on 
the SF-424 and SF-424-A Budget Information Form. Applicants are also 
required to submit OMB control number 1890-0014 Survey on Ensuring 
Equal Opportunity for Applicants, which can be found at: http://
www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm and a completed

[[Page 28568]]

Assurance and Certification signature page must be submitted.
    B. Part II is the Executive Summary technical proposal which must 
contain the following information:
     A Project Synopsis of no more than two single-spaced, 
single-sided pages on 8\1/2\'' x 11'' paper with standard margins 
throughout that identifies the following:
    (1) The lead entity;
    (2) The list of consortium members; and
    (3) An overview of how the applicant will carry out research 
activities described in this solicitation.
    C. Part III is the Project Narrative which must satisfy the 
requirements outlined below:
     The DOL Cooperative Agreement Project Narrative is limited 
to twenty-five (25) double-spaced single-sided with a 12-point font and 
one-inch margins. Any pages submitted in excess of this twenty-five 
(25) page limit will not be reviewed.

    Note:  Any Appendices, including letters of cooperation and 
resumes are not included in the twenty-five (25) page limit. The 
Timeline and Organizational Chart are also not included in this page 
limit. A page is 8\1/2\'' x 11'' (on one side only) with one-inch 
margins (top, bottom, and sides). All text in the application 
narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, and 
captions must be double-spaced (no more than three lines per 
vertical inch); and, if using a proportional computer font, use no 
smaller than a 12-point font, and an average character density no 
greater than 18 characters per inch (if using a non-proportional 
font or a typewriter, do not use more than 12 characters per inch).

     The Project Narrative includes the applicant's capability 
to plan, implement, and evaluate a pilot project in accordance with the 
provisions of this solicitation. Following the outline provided in 
Section V (Significance of the Proposed Project, Project Design, 
Organizational Capacity and Quality of Key Personnel, Budget and 
Resource Capacity, Quality of the Management Plan, and Quality of the 
Project Evaluation), successful applicants will describe in the Project 
Narrative their innovative and comprehensive plan for accomplishing the 
research activities described in Part (1), Description and Purpose and 
Part I (2) Background. The Project Narrative must:
    1. Identify members of the consortium (including the lead entity, a 
minimum of 4 consortium members is required) and provide documentation 
(such as letters of intent and memorandum of agreement which must be 
included in an Appendix) of a formal agreement of participation.
    2. Demonstrate each of the consortium members' relevant experience 
and expertise.
    3. Describe in detail the key features of the apprenticeship 
training program model that will be tested for effectiveness using 
these cooperative agreement funds, specifying the occupation(s) that 
will be the focus of the program, how any disability-related needs of 
youth and young adult participants will be addressed, and the potential 
contribution of the proposed project to increasing the quality and 
availability of integrated inclusive apprenticeship training to youth 
and young adults with a full range of disabilities.
    4. Identify the organizations that will be the sponsoring 
agency(ies) for the Registered Apprenticeship program, and provide a 
memorandum of understanding or letter from these unions or employers 
indicating that they will be the sponsoring agencies for the project.
    5. Describe the experience of the sponsoring agency(ies)/
organizations in conducting apprenticeship training, including any 
currently operating apprenticeship training they are providing.
    6. Identify the organizations that will serve on the advisory 
council for the apprenticeship program, and provide letters from these 
organizations indicating that they will serve on the advisory council.
    7. Identify the number of individuals that will be served by this 
program when fully operational.
    8. Describe how participants, with and without disabilities, will 
be identified and selected for the Registered Apprenticeship program.
    9. Describe the characteristics of the participants the project 
expects to serve (i.e. age, number of participants, types of 
disabilities, educational level).
    10. Describe the types of employment-related support services and 
follow-up services that will be provided to assist program participants 
with disabilities and how they will be funded.
    11. Discuss how the workforce investment system will be a partner 
in this project, and include a memorandum of understanding or letter 
from the workforce investment system describing their role in the 
project.
    12. Describe the role of educational institutions in the project.
    13. Discuss what complementary funds will be leveraged to cover the 
cost of services being provided to youth without disabilities.
    14. Describe what efforts will be undertaken to establish workforce 
system, community, business, disability and school-based partnerships 
sufficient to support project implementation.
    15. Describe efforts that will be undertaken to encourage the 
active involvement of people with all types of disabilities, and 
disability-related experts, and organizations in project activities.
    16. Identify additional Federal, state, and other resources that 
will be leveraged and used to support and sustain the overall 
objectives of the grant.
    17. Describe in detail the design and analysis that will be used to 
validate the model being tested and the methods and procedures that 
will be used for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data in order to 
evaluate the project.
    18. Describe the procedures and approaches that will be used to 
work with multiple Federal, state and local public agencies, and 
business, disability, and other private entities to sustain, replicate, 
and expand the apprenticeship model being tested.
     Each Project Narrative must also include:
    1. A detailed twenty-four (24) month management plan for project 
goals, objectives, and activities;
    2. A detailed twenty-four (24) month timeline for project 
activities, including producing and submitting a final report;
    3. A detailed outline for an evaluation of the project which 
references the applicant's commitment to working with ODEP on all 
evaluation activities (see Section V(1)(F), below, for more 
information);
    4. A description of procedures and approaches that will be used to 
provide ongoing communication, collaboration with, and input from 
ODEP's Project Officer on all grant-related activities;
    5. A detailed description of how the consortia will work with 
multiple Federal, state and local public and private partners in 
carrying out project activities; and
    6. A detailed description of measures that will be taken to ensure 
the sustainability of the apprenticeship model implemented after 
Federal funding ceases.
     The Project Narrative must describe the proposed staffing 
for the project and must identify and summarize the qualifications of 
the personnel who will carry it out. In addition, the applicant must 
provide an organizational chart for staff that will operate the 
proposed project. In instances where the project is part of the work of 
a larger organization (i.e. a lead human services agency), please 
include a diagram that indicates where the proposed project will fit 
within the larger organization. (The organizational chart does not 
count

[[Page 28569]]

toward the twenty-five (25) page limit for the Project Narrative.)
     In addition, the evaluation criteria listed in Section 
V(1)(c), below, include consideration of the qualifications, including 
relevant education, training and experience of key project personnel, 
as well as the qualifications, including relevant training and 
experience, of project consultants or subcontractors. Resumes must be 
included in the appendices. Key personnel, which need not all be from 
the same consortium organization, include: Principle Investigator, 
Project Director, Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Research 
Analyst, and any other individual playing a substantial role in the 
project. In addition, the applicant must specify in the application, 
the percentages of time to be dedicated by each key person on the 
project.
     For each staff person named in the application, please 
provide documentation of all internal and external time commitments. In 
instances where a staff person is committed on a federally supported 
project, please provide the project name, Federal office, program 
title, the project Federal Award Number, and the amount of committed 
time by each project year. This information (e.g., Staff: Jane Doe; 
Project Name: Succeeding in the General Curriculum; Federal Office: 
Office of Special Education Programs; Program Title: Field Initiated 
Research; Award Number: H324C980624; Time Commitments: Year 1--30 
percent; Year 2--25 percent, and Year 3--40 percent) can be provided as 
an appendix to the application.
    In general, ODEP will not reduce time commitments on currently 
funded grants from the time proposed in the original application. 
Therefore, we will not consider for funding any application where key 
staff are bid above a time commitment level that staff have available 
to bid. Further, the time commitments stated in newly submitted 
applications will not be negotiated down to permit the applicant to 
receive a new grant award.
     The Project Narrative should also describe how the 
applicant plans to comply with the employment discrimination and equal 
employment opportunity requirements of the various laws listed in the 
assurances section.
    Applications may be submitted electronically on http://
www.grants.gov/applicants/app_help_reso.jsp#faqs or in hard-copy via 
U.S. mail, professional delivery service, or hand delivery. These 
processes are described in further detail in Section IV(3). Applicants 
submitting proposals in hard-copy must submit an original signed 
application (including the SF-424) and two (2) ``copy-ready'' versions 
free of bindings, staples or protruding tabs to ease in the 
reproduction of the proposal by DOL. Applicants submitting proposals in 
hard-copy are also requested, though not required, to provide an 
electronic copy of the proposal on CD-ROM.

3. Submission Date, Times, and Addresses

    The closing date for receipt of applications under this 
announcement is thirty (30) days after the publication date in the 
Federal Register. Applications must be received at the address below no 
later than 5 p.m. (Eastern Time). Applications submitted electronically 
through Grants.gov, must be successfully submitted http://
www.grants.gov no later than 5 p.m. (Eastern Time) on that same date, 
and then subsequently validated by Grants.gov. The submission and 
validation process is described in more detail below. The process can 
be complicated and time-consuming. Applicants are strongly advised to 
initiate the process as soon as possible and to plan for time to 
resolve technical problems if necessary.
    Applications sent by e-mail, telegram, or facsimile (fax) will not 
be accepted.
    If an application is submitted by both hard-copy and through 
www.grants.gov a letter must accompany the hard-copy application 
stating why two applications were submitted and the differences between 
the two submissions. If no letter accompanies the hard-copy we will 
review the copy submitted through www.grants.gov. For multiple 
applications submitted through www.grants.gov, we will review the 
latest submittal.
    Applications that do not meet the conditions set forth in this 
notice will not be honored. No exceptions to the mailing and delivery 
requirements set forth in this notice will be granted.
    Mail/overnight mail/hand delivery--To apply by mail, please submit 
one (1) blue-ink signed, typewritten original of the application and 
two (2) signed photocopies in one package to the United States 
Department of Labor, Procurement Services Center, Attention: Cassandra 
Mitchell, Reference SGA (09-03), 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room S-
4307, Washington, DC 20210. Information about applying online through 
www.grants.gov can be found in Section IV.B of this document. 
Applicants are advised that mail delivery in the Washington area may be 
delayed due to mail decontamination procedures. Hand delivered 
proposals will be received at the above address.
    Electronic submission_Applicants may apply online through 
Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). It is strongly recommended that 
before the applicant begins to write the proposal, applicants should 
immediately initiate and complete the ``Get Registered'' registration 
steps at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp. These 
steps may take multiple days or weeks to complete, and this time should 
be factored into plans for electronic submission in order to avoid 
unexpected delays that could result in the rejection of an application. 
It is highly recommended that applicants use the ``Organization 
Registration Checklist'' at http://www.grants.gov/assets/Organization_
Steps_Complete_Registration.pdf to ensure the registration process is 
complete.
    Within two business days of application submission, Grants.gov will 
send the applicant two e-mail messages to provide the status of 
application progress through the system. The first e-mail, almost 
immediate, will confirm receipt of the application by Grants.gov. The 
second e-mail will indicate the application has either been 
successfully validated or has been rejected due to errors. Only 
applications that have been successfully submitted and successfully 
validated will be considered. It is the sole responsibility of the 
applicant to ensure a timely submission, therefore sufficient time 
should be allotted for submission (two business days), and if 
applicable, subsequent time to address errors and receive validation 
upon resubmission (an additional two business days for each ensuing 
submission). It is important to note that if sufficient time is not 
allotted and a rejection notice is received after the due date and 
time, the application will not be considered.
    The components of the application must be saved as either .doc, 
.xls or .pdf files. Documents received in a format other than .doc, 
.xls or .pdf will not be read.
    The Grants.gov helpdesk is available from 7 a.m. (Eastern Time) 
until 9 p.m. (Eastern Time). Applicants should factor the 
unavailability of the Grants.gov helpdesk after 9 p.m. (Eastern Time) 
into plans for submitting an application.
    Applicants are strongly advised to utilize the plethora of tools 
and documents, including FAQs, that are available on the ``Applicant 
Resources'' page at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/app_help_
reso.jsp#faqs. To receive updated information about critical issues, 
new tips for users and other time sensitive updates as information is 
available, applicants may subscribe to ``Grants.gov Updates'' at

[[Page 28570]]

http://www.grants.gov/applicants/e-mail_subscription_signup.jsp. If 
applicants encounter a problem with Grants.gov and do not find an 
answer in any of the other resources, call 1-800-518-4726 to speak to a 
Customer Support Representative or e-mail support@grants.gov.
    Late Applications: For applications submitted on Grants.gov, only 
applications that have been successfully submitted no later than 5 p.m. 
(Eastern Time) on the closing date and successfully validated will be 
considered. For applicants not submitting on Grants.gov, any 
application received after the exact date and time specified for 
receipt at the office designated in this notice will not be considered, 
unless it is received before awards are made, was properly addressed, 
and: (a) Was sent by U.S. Postal Service registered or certified mail 
not later than the fifth calendar day before the date specified for 
receipt of applications (e.g., an application required to be received 
by the 20th of the month must be postmarked by the 15th of that month) 
or (b) was sent by professional overnight delivery service to the 
addressee not later than one working day prior to the date specified 
for receipt of applications.
    ``Postmarked'' means a printed, stamped or otherwise placed 
impression (exclusive of a postage meter machine impression) that is 
readily identifiable, without further action, as having been supplied 
or affixed on the date of mailing by an employee of the U.S. Postal 
Service. Therefore, applicants should request the postal clerk to place 
a legible hand cancellation ``bull's eye'' postmark on both the receipt 
and the package. Failure to adhere to the above instructions will be a 
basis for a determination of non-responsiveness. Evidence of timely 
submission by a professional overnight delivery service must be 
demonstrated by equally reliable evidence created by the delivery 
service provider indicating the time and place of receipt.

4. Withdrawal of Applications

    Applications may be withdrawn by written notice or telegram 
(including mailgram) received at any time before an award is made. 
Applications may be withdrawn in person by the applicant or by an 
authorized representative thereof, if the representative's identity is 
made known and the representative signs a receipt for the proposal.

5. Intergovernmental Review

    This funding opportunity is not subject to Executive Order (EO) 
12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.''

6. Funding Restrictions

    All proposed costs must be necessary and reasonable in accordance 
with Federal guidelines. Determinations of allowable costs will be made 
in accordance with the applicable Federal cost principles, e.g., Non-
Profit Organizations--OMB Circular A-122. Disallowed costs are those 
charges to a grant that the grantor agency or its representative 
determines not to be allowed in accordance with the applicable Federal 
Cost Principles or other conditions contained in the grant. Applicants 
will not be entitled to reimbursement of pre-award costs.

7. Indirect Costs

    As specified in OMB Circulars on Cost Principles, indirect costs 
are those that have been incurred for common or joint objectives and 
cannot be readily identified with a particular cost objective. In order 
to utilize grant funds for indirect costs incurred, the applicant must 
obtain an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement with its Federal Cognizant 
Agency either before or shortly after the grant award. The Federal 
Cognizant Agency is generally determined based on the preponderance of 
Federal dollars received by the recipient.

8. Administrative Costs

    An entity that receives a grant to carry out a project or program 
may not use more than 15 percent of the amount of the grant to pay 
administrative costs associated with the program or project. 
Administrative costs could be both direct and indirect costs and are 
defined at 20 CFR 667.220. Administrative costs do not need to be 
identified separately from program costs on the SF-424A Budget 
Information Form. They should be discussed in the budget narrative and 
tracked through the grantee's accounting system. To claim any 
administrative costs that are also indirect costs, the applicant must 
obtain an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement from its Federal Cognizant 
Agency as specified above.

V. Application Review Information

1. Evaluation Criteria

    A technical panel will review grant applications against the 
criteria listed below, on the basis of the maximum points indicated.
(a) Significance of the Proposed Project (10 Points)
    In determining the significance of the proposed research, the 
Department will consider the following factors:
    (1) The potential contribution of the proposed project to increase 
knowledge or understanding of problems, issues, or effective strategies 
for providing inclusive Registered Apprenticeship training services and 
supports to youth and young adults with disabilities;
    (2) The likelihood that the proposed project will result in systems 
change or improvement;
    (3) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build 
capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs 
of the target population as they relate to employment;
    (4) The likely replicability of the model that will result from the 
proposed project, and its potential for being used effectively in a 
variety of other settings;
    (5) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely 
to be attained by the proposed project; and
    (6) The extent to which the proposed project builds upon prior work 
done by ODEP and its partners around youth in transition, including the 
Guideposts for Success and related policies and practices.
(b) Project Design (25 Points)
    In evaluating the quality of the proposed project design, the 
Department will consider the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable;
    (2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project includes 
a high-quality review of the relevant literature, a high-quality plan 
for project implementation, and the use of appropriate methodological 
tools to ensure successful achievement and measurement of project 
objectives;
    (3) The extent to which the proposed project will effectively 
contribute to increased knowledge and understanding by building upon 
current theory, research, and effective practices;
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project encourages involvement 
of youth with disabilities and their families, relevant experts, 
organizations and groups;
    (5) The extent to which performance feedback and continuous 
improvement are integral to the design of the proposed project;
    (6) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or 
beneficiaries of those services as well as to the needs of employers;
    (7) The adequacy of the documentation submitted in support of the 
proposed project to demonstrate the

[[Page 28571]]

commitment of each entity or individual included in project 
implementation;
    (8) The extent to which the proposed project leverages other public 
and private resources to foster inclusive service delivery and 
sustainability and provides other concrete evidence of sustainability, 
including appropriate letters of support included in the appendices; 
and
    (9) The extent to which the design of the proposed project 
capitalizes on the flexibilities provided in DOL's new apprenticeship 
regulations and utilizes cutting edge strategies to promote inclusive 
pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship training of youth and 
young adults with disabilities in a high growth industry(ies).
(c) Organizational Capacity and Quality of Key Personnel (20 Points)
    Applications will be evaluated based on the extent to which the 
applicant demonstrates organizational capacity and quality of key 
personnel to implement the proposed project, including:
    (1) Demonstrated experience with similar projects that plan, 
develop, implement, and evaluate new strategies and produce replicable 
models for providing employment-related training to youth, including 
youth with disabilities;
    (2) Qualifications and experience of the applicant's key personnel 
and consultants;
    (3) Commitment to developing and sustaining work across key 
stakeholders;
    (4) Experience and commitment of any proposed consultants or 
subcontractors; and
    (5) Appropriateness of the organization's structure to carry out 
the project. (The structure and staffing of the organization align with 
the project's requirements, vision, and goals and are designed to 
assure responsible general management of the project).
(d) Budget and Resource Capacity (10 Points)
    In evaluating the capacity of the applicant to carry out the 
proposed project, ODEP will consider the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the 
proposed project; and
    (2) The extent to which the anticipated costs are reasonable in 
relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the 
proposed project.
(e) Quality of the Management Plan (15 Points)
    In evaluating the quality of the management plan for the proposed 
project, ODEP will consider the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the management plan for project 
implementation appears likely to achieve the objectives of the proposed 
project on time and within budget, and includes clearly defined staff 
responsibilities, time allocation to project activities, time lines, 
milestones for accomplishing project tasks, project deliverables and 
information on adequacy of other resources necessary for project 
implementation;
    (2) The extent to which the management plan appears likely to 
result in sustainable activities beyond the period of direct Federal 
investment;
    (3) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products 
and services relating to the scope of work for the proposed project; 
and
    (4) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and/or principal investigator and other key project personnel 
are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project.
(f) Quality of the Project Evaluation (20 Points)
    In evaluating the quality of the project's evaluation design, the 
Department will consider the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, 
feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, context, and 
outcomes of the proposed project;
    (2) The extent to which the design of the evaluation includes the 
use of objective performance measures and methods that will clearly 
document the project's intended outputs and outcomes and will produce 
measurable quantitative and qualitative data;
    (3) The extent to which the evaluation will provide Federal, State 
and local government entities with useful information about transition 
and systems change models suitable for replication or testing in other 
settings; and
    (4) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide measures 
that will inform ODEP's annual performance goals and measures and 
ODEP's long-term strategic goals.

2. Review and Selection Process

    Proposals that are timely and responsive to the requirements of 
this SGA will be rated against the criteria listed above by an 
independent panel comprised of representatives from DOL and other 
peers. The ranked scores will serve as the primary basis for selection 
of applications for funding, in conjunction with other factors such as 
urban, rural, and geographic balance; the availability of funds; and 
which proposals are most advantageous to the Government. The panel 
results are advisory in nature and not binding on the Grant Officer, 
and the Grant Officer may consider any information that comes to his/
her attention. The Department may elect to award the grant(s) with or 
without discussions with the applicants.
    Should a grant be awarded without discussions, the award will be 
based on the applicant's signature on the SF- 424, which constitutes a 
binding offer by the applicant (including electronic signature via E-
Authentication on http://www.grants.gov).

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

    The anticipated date of announcement and award is September 29, 
2009.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

    All award notifications will be posted on the ODEP homepage at 
http://www.dol.gov/odep/and the OA Web site http://www.doleta.gov/oa. 
Applicants selected for award will be contacted directly before the 
grant's execution. The notice of award signed by the Grants Officer 
will serve as the authorizing document. Applicants not selected for 
award will be notified by mail.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements--Administrative 
Program Requirements

    All grantees, including faith-based organizations, will be subject 
to all applicable Federal laws (including provisions of appropriation 
laws), regulations, and the applicable OMB Circulars. The grant(s) 
awarded under this SGA must comply with all provisions of this 
solicitation and will be subject to the following statutory and 
administrative standards and provisions, as applicable to the 
particular grantee:
     20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 667.220, 
administrative costs;
     Non-Profit Organizations--OMB Circular A-122 (cost 
principles) and 29 CFR part 95 (administrative requirements); 
Educational Institutions--OMB Circular A-21 (cost principles) and 29 
CFR part 95 (administrative requirements);
     State, local and Indian Tribal--OMB Circular A-87 (cost 
principles) and 29 CFR part 97 (administrative requirements);

[[Page 28572]]

     All entities must comply with 29 CFR parts 93 and 98 and, 
where applicable, 29 CFR parts 96 and 99;
     In accordance with Section 18 of the Lobbying Disclosure 
Act of 1995, Public Law 104-65 (2 U.S.C. 1611), non-profit entities 
incorporated under Internal Revenue Service Code section 501(c)(4) that 
engage in lobbying activities are not eligible to receive Federal funds 
and grants;
     29 CFR part 2, subpart D--Equal Treatment in Department of 
Labor Programs for Religious Organizations; Protection of Religious 
Liberty of Department of Labor Social Service Providers and 
Beneficiaries;
     29 CFR part 30--Equal Employment Opportunity in Registered 
Apprenticeship and Training;
     29 CFR part 31--Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted 
Programs of the Department of Labor--Effectuation of Title VI of the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964; 29 CFR part 32--Nondiscrimination on the 
Basis of Handicap in Programs and Activities Receiving or Benefiting 
from Federal Financial Assistance;
     29 CFR part 33--Enforcement of Nondiscrimination on the 
Basis of Handicap in Programs or Activities Conducted by the Department 
of Labor;
     29 CFR part 35--Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age in 
Program or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance from the 
Department of Labor;
     29 CFR part 36--Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in 
Education Program or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance;
     29 CFR part 37--Implementation of the Nondiscrimination 
and Equal Opportunity Provisions of the Workforce Investment Act of 
1998 (WIA);
     29 CFR part 1926, Safety and Health Regulations for 
Construction of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA); and
     29 CFR part 570, Child Labor Regulations, Orders and 
Statements of Interpretation of the Employment Standard 
Administration's Child Labor Provisions.

    Note:  Except as specifically provided in this Notice, DOL/
ODEP's acceptance of proposal and award of Federal funds to sponsor 
any program(s) do not provide a waiver of any grant requirements 
and/or procedures. For example, OMB Circulars require that an 
entity's procurement procedures must ensure that all procurement 
transactions are conducted, as much as practical, to provide open 
and free competition. If a proposal identifies a specific entity to 
provide services, the DOL/ODEP award does not provide the 
justification or basis to sole source the procurement, i.e., avoid 
competition, unless the activity is regarded as the primary work of 
an official partner to the application.

3. Travel

    Any travel undertaken in performance of this cooperative agreement 
shall be subject to and in strict accordance with Federal travel 
regulations.

4. Acknowledgement of DOL Funding

    Printed Materials: In all circumstances, the following shall be 
displayed on printed materials prepared by the grantee under the 
cooperative agreement: ``Preparation of this item was funded by the 
United States Department of Labor under Grant No. [insert the 
appropriate Grant number].''
    All printed materials must also include the following notice: 
``This document does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of 
the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, 
commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. 
Government. ''
    Public reference to grant: When issuing statements, press releases, 
requests for proposals, bid solicitations, and other documents 
describing projects or programs funded in whole or in part with Federal 
money, all grantees receiving Federal funds must clearly state:
    (1) The percentage of the total costs of the program or project, 
which will be financed with Federal money;
    (2) The dollar amount of Federal financial assistance for the 
project or program; and
    (3) The percentage and dollar amount of the total costs of the 
project or program that will be financed by non-governmental sources.
    Use of DOL and ODEP Logo: In consultation with DOL/ODEP, the 
grantee must acknowledge DOL's role as described. The DOL and/or ODEP 
logo may be applied to DOL-funded material prepared for world-wide 
distribution, including posters, videos, pamphlets, research documents, 
national survey results, impact evaluations, best practice reports, and 
other publications of global interest. The grantee must consult with 
DOL on whether the logo may be used on any such items prior to final 
draft or final preparation for distribution. In no event shall the DOL 
and/or ODEP logo be placed on any item until DOL has given the grantee 
written permission to use the logo on the item.

5. Intellectual Property

    Federal Government reserves a paid-up, nonexclusive and irrevocable 
license to reproduce, publish or otherwise use, and to authorize others 
to use for Federal purposes: (i) The copyright in all products 
developed under the grant, including a subgrant or contract under the 
grant or subgrant; and (ii) any right to copyright to which the 
grantee, subgrantee or a contractor purchases ownership under an award 
(including but not limited to curricula, training models, technical 
assistance products and any related materials). Such uses include, but 
are not limited to, the right to modify and distribute such products 
worldwide by any means, electronically or otherwise. Federal funds may 
not be used to pay any royalty or licensing fee associated with such 
copyrighted material, although they may be used to pay costs for 
obtaining a copy which is limited to the developer/seller costs of 
copying and shipping.
    If revenues are generated through selling products developed with 
grant funds, including intellectual property, these revenues are 
program income. Program income is added to the grant and must be 
expended for allowable grant activities.

6. Approval of Key Personnel and Subcontractors

    The recipient shall notify the Grant Officer at least fourteen (14) 
calendar days in advance if any key personnel are to be removed or 
diverted from the cooperative agreement, shall supply written 
justification as part of this notice as to why these persons are to be 
removed or diverted, shall provide the names(s) of the proposed 
substitute or replacement, and shall include information on each new 
individual's qualifications such as education and work experience.

7. Reporting and Accountability

    The Registered Apprenticeship grants will be subject to performance 
measures based upon project focus. ODEP is responsible for ensuring 
effective implementation of this cooperative agreement, in accordance 
with the provisions of this announcement and the terms of the 
cooperative agreement award document.
    Applicants should assume that ODEP staff will conduct on-site 
project reviews periodically. Reviews will focus on timely project 
implementation, performance in meeting the cooperative agreement's 
objectives, tasks and responsibilities, expenditures of cooperative 
agreement funds on allowable activities, and administration of project 
activities. Projects may be subject to other additional reviews, at the 
discretion of the ODEP.
    The selected applicant must submit on a quarterly basis, beginning 
ninety (90) days from the award of the grant,

[[Page 28573]]

financial and activity reports under this program as prescribed by OMB 
Circular A-110, codified at 2 CFR part 215 and 29 CFR part 95. 
Specifically the following reports will be required:
    1. Quarterly report: The quarterly report is estimated to take five 
(5) hours to complete. The form for the quarterly report will be 
provided by ODEP. The Department will work with the grantee to help 
refine the requirements of the report, which, among other things, will 
include measures of ongoing analysis for continuous improvement. This 
report will be filed using an on-line reporting system. The form will 
be submitted within thirty (30) days of the close of the quarter.
    2. Standard Form 269, Financial Status Report Form: This form is to 
be completed and submitted on a quarterly basis using the on-line 
electronic reporting system unless ODEP provides different 
instructions.
    3. Final Project Report: The Final Project Report is to include an 
assessment of project performance and outcomes achieved. It is 
estimated that this report will take twenty (20) hours to complete. 
This report will be submitted in hard copy and on electronic disk using 
a format and following instructions, to be provided by ODEP. A draft of 
the final report is due to ODEP sixty (60) days before the end of the 
period of performance of the cooperative agreement. The final report is 
due to ODEP and the DOL Grants Office ten (10) days before the end of 
the period of performance of the cooperative agreement.
    The Department will arrange for an evaluation of the outcomes, 
impacts, accomplishments, and benefits of each funded project. The 
grantee must agree to cooperate with this evaluation and must make 
available records on all parts of project activity, including available 
data on service delivery models being studied, and provide access to 
personnel, as specified by the evaluator(s), under the direction of 
ODEP. This evaluation is separate from the ongoing evaluation for 
continuous improvement required of the grantee for project 
implementation.

VII. Agency Contacts

    Any questions regarding this SGA should be directed to Cassandra 
Mitchell, e-mail address: mitchell.cassandra@dol.gov, tel: 202-693-4570 
(note that this is not a toll-free number). To obtain further 
information about the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the 
U.S. Department of Labor, visit the DOL Web site of the Office of 
Disability Employment Policy at http://www.dol.gov/odep.

VIII. Additional Resources and Other Information

1. Resources for the Applicant

    DOL maintains a number of Web based resources that may be of 
assistance to applicants:
     For general information about Registered Apprenticeship 
see http://www.doleta.gov/OA/.
     For information about DOL's new Apprenticeship Regulations 
see http://www.doleta.gov/OA/regulations.cfm.
     For a basic understanding of the grants process and basic 
responsibilities of receiving Federal grant support, please see 
``Guidance for Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Partnering 
with the Federal Government'' (http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/
fbci/guidance/index.html).

2. Other Information

    OMB Information Collection No.: 1225-0086, Expires: September 30, 
2009. 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. Public reporting burden 
for this collection of information is estimated to average twenty (20) 
hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, 
searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data 
needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. 
Send comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of 
this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this 
burden, to the U.S. Department of Labor, the OMB Desk Officer for ETA, 
Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503. 
Please do not return your completed application to the OMB. Send it to 
the sponsoring agency as specified in this solicitation. This 
information is being collected for the purpose of awarding a grant. The 
information collected through this ``Solicitation for Grant 
Applications'' will be used by the Department of Labor to ensure that 
grants are awarded to the applicant best suited to perform the 
functions of the grant. Submission of this information is required in 
order for the applicant to be considered for award of this grant. 
Unless otherwise specifically noted in this announcement, information 
submitted in the respondent's application is not considered to be 
confidential.
    Appendices: (Located on U.S. Department of Labor, Office of 
Disability Employment Policy Web page http://www.dol.gov/odep follow 
link for the applicable SGA.)

Appendix A: Application for Federal Assistance SF-424
Appendix B: Budget Information Sheet SF-424A
Appendix C: Assurances and Certifications Signature Page
Appendix D: Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants
Appendix E: Indirect Charges or Certificate of Direct Costs


    Signed at Washington, DC, this 10th day of June 2009.
Cassandra Mitchell,
Grant Officer.
[FR Doc. E9-14076 Filed 6-15-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-FT-P