[Federal Register: July 5, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 130)]
[Page 35581-35584]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 35581]]


Part VI

Department of Labor


Employment and Training Administration


Department of Education


Office of Vocational and Adult Education; School-to-Work Opportunities;
Urban/Rural Opportunities Grants; Notice

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Employment and Training Administration


Office of Vocational and Adult Education School-to-Work 
Opportunities; Urban/Rural Opportunities Grants

AGENCIES: Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor; 
Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of Final Priority for School-to-Work Urban/Rural 
Opportunities Grants Using Fiscal Year (FY) 1995 Funds.


SUMMARY: The Secretaries of Labor and Education (the Secretaries) 
announce a competitive priority for the Urban/Rural Opportunities 
Grants competition authorized by Title III of the School-to-Work 
Opportunities Act of 1994 (the Act) using FY 1995 funds. This priority 
provides for a competitive preference to be given to applications from 
local partnerships proposing to implement a School-to-Work 
Opportunities initiative for youth residing or attending school in an 
Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community (EZ/EC) designated under 
section 1391 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), as amended by Title 
XIII of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The Secretaries 
announce that they intend to use this priority, along with the 
selection criteria published in the November 14, 1995, issue of the 
Federal Register (60 FR 57276), to select applications for funding 
under the Urban/Rural Opportunities Grants competition using FY 1995 
funds. The Secretaries take this action to focus Federal financial 
assistance on implementing School-to-Work Opportunities initiatives in 
urban or rural areas of high poverty.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This priority takes effect on August 5, 1996.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Clark, National School-to-Work 
Office, U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, 400 Virginia Avenue, 
S.W., Room 210, Washington, D.C. 20024. Telephone: (202) 401-6222 (this 
is not a toll-free number). Individuals who use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay 
Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern 
time, Monday through Friday.



    The Secretaries intend to award grants to local partnerships to 
implement School-to-Work Opportunities initiatives serving youth 
residing or attending school in urban or rural high poverty areas. The 
Secretaries recognize the particular challenges faced by local 
partnerships serving youth in urban and rural high-poverty areas in 
preparing the youth for first jobs in high-skill, high-wage careers and 
in increasing their opportunities for further education and training. 
Similarly, the EZ/EC initiative is aimed at rebuilding communities in 
America's poverty-stricken inner cities and rural heartlands. Under the 
EZ/EC initiative, the Federal Government has designated certain 
geographic areas as EZs and as ECs in accordance with Internal Revenue 
Code (IRC) section 1391, as amended by Title XIII of the Omnibus Budget 
Reconciliation Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-66). The selected areas were 
designated as EZs or ECs based on the quality of their strategic plans 
addressing how each zone or community would link economic development 
with education and training, as well as how community development, 
public safety, human services, and environmental initiatives together 
would support sustainable community improvement efforts.
    On December 6, 1995, the Secretaries published a notice of proposed 
priority for this competition in the Federal Register (60 FR 62698).

    Note: This notice of final priority does not solicit 
applications. A solicitation for grant applications under this 
competition was published in the Federal Register on November 14, 
1995 (60 FR 57276).

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to the Secretaries' invitation in the notice of 
proposed priority, 34 parties submitted comments. An analysis of the 
comments and of the changes in the priority since publication of the 
notice of proposed priority follows. Technical and other minor 
changes--and suggested changes the Secretaries are not legally 
authorized to make under the applicable statutory authority--are not 
    Comments: Several commenters expressed support for the Secretaries' 
proposal to give competitive preference to applications from 
partnerships that propose to implement a School-to-Work Opportunities 
initiative serving youth who reside or attend school in an area 
designated as an EZ or EC.
    Discussion: The EZ/EC initiative seeks to implement a broad-based 
strategy for meeting the needs of youth in high poverty areas, and the 
Urban/Rural Opportunities Grants are well-suited for inclusion in such 
an overarching strategy. Similarly, as a part of the EZ/EC designation 
process, communities designated as EZs or ECs have already demonstrated 
a capacity for the type of collaboration and cooperative planning that 
is critical to developing and implementing successful School-to-Work 
Opportunities initiatives.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Two commenters stated that there are typographical errors 
in the list of ECs that appeared in the Federal Register notice. One 
commenter suggested that five San Francisco neighborhoods that were 
also designated as ECs should have been included in the list.
    Discussion: The Secretaries agree with the commenters about the 
typographical errors and the addition of the five San Francisco 
neighborhoods to the ECs list.
    Changes: In the list of ECs, ``New Mexico: Moro, Rico Arriba, Taos 
Counties'' has been changed to ``New Mexico: Mora, Rio Arriba, Taos 
Counties'' and ``California: San Francisco, Bayview, Hunters Point'' 
has been changed to ``California: San Francisco, Bayview-Hunters Point, 
Southeast Section.'' In addition, the following San Francisco 
neighborhoods have been added to the list of Enterprise Communities: 
Tenderloin, Chinatown, South of Market, Mission, and Visitacion Valley. 
This revised list is included as an appendix to this notice.
    Comment: One commenter noted that there was no mention in the 
proposed priority of special populations (such as individuals with 
disabilities, economically and educationally disadvantaged individuals, 
individuals with limited English proficiency, individuals in non-
traditional occupations by gender, and individuals in corrections 
programs) in the discussion of the target service population. The 
commenter argued that the failure to include a reference to those 
special populations would result in selecting EZs or ECs that do not 
serve those most in need.
    Discussion: The inclusion of special populations in a local 
partnership's plan to serve high poverty area youth is covered in 
Criterion 3 of the selection criteria to be used for this competition. 
These criteria were published in the November 14, 1995, Federal 
Register notice. Criterion 3 requires that a local partnership describe 
its strategies for effectively ensuring opportunities for the 
participation of all students and to identify ways of overcoming 
barriers to the participation of any student. Like the Act, Criterion 3 
refrains from

[[Page 35583]]

requiring applicants to design specific programs for each specific 
group of students. Rather, the focus is on building a school-to-work 
system for all students. The Secretaries agree that to receive the 
maximum points for Criterion 3, applicants may not neglect the needs of 
any student and must convincingly describe how the local partnership's 
School-to-Work Opportunities system will provide the same options and 
produce the same results for all participating students, while 
recognizing that certain groups of students have different needs and, 
therefore, that specific strategies may be required for the target 
groups listed in the definition of ``all students.'' Applications that 
fail to address the critical needs of various student populations and 
fail to develop effective strategies based on identified student needs 
will not be as competitive as applications that have comprehensive and 
effective strategies for all students.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: Several commenters disagreed with the Secretaries' 
proposal to give competitive preference to partnerships in EZs and ECs. 
Five commenters expressed concern that this would create a disincentive 
to the point of deterring innovation among existing effective high-
poverty models and efforts at collaboration. One commenter suggested 
changing the way points are awarded by giving partnerships in EZ/ECs 5 
to 10 points rather than giving them a preference among applications of 
comparable merit. Another commenter argued that giving priority to 
partnerships in EZ/ECs discounts the value of projects implemented by 
partnerships that do not serve EZ/EC areas and impedes the effective 
use of other Federal dollars by those partnerships. One commenter 
suggested that the proposed competitive preference would serve to 
exclude youth who would be denied the career and academic skills they 
need. Two commenters argued that this preference is unfair in general, 
and one of them requested a waiver from the preference. Finally, one 
commenter suggested that the preference is unfair to certain high-
poverty rural areas that have not been able to receive an EZ/EC 
    Discussion: The Secretaries recognize that certain otherwise worthy 
local areas may not have been designated as EZ/ECs. However, the 
Secretaries believe that the missions of the EZ/EC initiative and the 
School-to-Work Opportunities initiative, particularly with regard to 
Urban/Rural Opportunities Grants, effectively complement one another. 
The purpose of the EZ/EC priority is to encourage collaboration between 
those initiatives, not to deny services to youth in any area. Moreover, 
Criterion 5 of the selection criteria requires a partnership to develop 
a strategy for using other resources, including other Federal funds, 
when Federal resources under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act are 
no longer available. As with previous competitions, applications that 
fail to address a partnership's ability to leverage additional 
resources, including other Federal resources, will not be as 
competitive as other applications that demonstrate the partnership's 
ability to effectively use additional funding. The Secretaries believe 
that all Federal funds are important for building an effective School-
to-Work Opportunities system and do not believe that the EZ/EC 
preference discounts the value of or impedes the effective use of other 
Federal dollars in any way. Although it is unfortunate that it is too 
late for high-poverty areas to gain an EZ or EC designation in time for 
the current Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant competition, applicants are 
reminded that this priority merely provides a line of distinction when 
two applications are of comparable merit. Applicants are also reminded 
that the President is expected to announce a second round of EZ/EC 
designations in the coming months. The Secretaries preferred this 
priority method over assigning a specific number of points to EZ/ECs to 
avoid increasing an applicant's score merely on the basis of EZ/EC 
designation. Finally, granting waivers of a competitive preference 
established as applicable to a particular grant competition is not an 
available option under either the Act or under applicable Department 
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the criteria for funding 
programs should include the provider's background, commitment, and 
experience in developing partnerships in his or her community rather 
than giving preference to partnerships serving areas designated as EZs 
or ECs.
    Discussion: The Secretaries agree that the quality of a provider's 
background, commitment, and experience are important for the 
implementation of successful School-to-Work Opportunities systems. 
Toward that end, Criterion 2 of the selection criteria requires that 
applicants demonstrate an effective and convincing strategy for 
continuing the commitment of required partners and other interested 
parties in the local School-to-Work Opportunities system. In addition, 
Criterion 5 requires that applicants develop a feasible and effective 
strategy for using other resources, including private sector resources, 
to maintain the system when Federal resources under the School-to-Work 
Opportunities Act are no longer available. Applications that fail to 
adequately address these criteria, regardless of EZ/EC designation, 
will not be as competitive as applications that effectively demonstrate 
the ability of the partnership to develop resources and commitments 
that will build a long-lasting, quality school-to-work system.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: Two commenters suggested that communities that operate 
Youth Fair Chance programs should be given the same preference as EZ/
ECs because their areas meet the same demographic requirements as 
listed in the grant announcement for EZ/ECs.
    Discussion: Both EZ/ECs and Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant local 
partnerships are called upon to carry out activities that require a 
high degree of collaboration as indicated in the Federal Register 
notice announcing the competition. Because EZ/ECs already demonstrate 
such a high degree of collaboration at the local level, the Secretaries 
believe that the activities and goals of Urban/Rural Opportunities 
Grant local partnerships and those who implement the EZ/EC initiative 
effectively complement each other, resulting in a high degree of 
collaboration among school-to-work activities. The Secretaries are 
sympathetic to these commenters and recognize Youth Fair Chance 
projects as worthwhile initiatives; however, in taking into account the 
scarcity of resources that promote community collaboration, they 
believe this competitive preference is the most effective way to 
channel Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant funds and foster local 
collaborative efforts.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter protested the late notification of the EZ/EC 
priority in the Federal Register, arguing that the announcement was 
made after the partnership submitted its application to the State for 
    Discussion: The Secretaries believe applicants had fair notice of 
their intent to give a competitive preference to applicants from EZs or 
ECs. First, on December 6, 1995, a notice of proposed priority appeared 
in the Federal Register more than three weeks before applications were 
due to the States. Second, applicants were asked to indicate their 
collaboration with other programs, including EZs or ECs, under 
Criterion 2 of the selection criteria. Finally, the preference is based 
on whether the applicant is part of an EZ or EC, not on anything else 
in the application, so the timing of the priority

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notice would not have affected the way the applicants wrote their 
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that giving priority preference to 
EZ/ECs discriminates against Indian Reservations because they were 
excluded from the EZ/EC application process and that areas eligible for 
priority preference should include Indian reservations and USDA 
Champion designated areas.
    Discussion: Many programs for Indian youth are eligible for School-
to-Work Opportunities funding under Urban/Rural Opportunities Grants, 
Local Partnership Grants, and State Implementation subgrants to local 
partnerships. In addition, a special set-aside for School-to-Work 
Indian Program Grants is available for local partnerships that include 
the involvement of schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) 
and is used to create school-to-work systems that serve Indian youth. 
Last year, $593,219 was awarded under this set-aside in nine School-to-
Work Indian Program Grants to develop and implement those systems. This 
year, $1.225 million is available for new grants and continuations to 
partnerships serving Indian youth.
    Changes: None.


    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii), the Secretaries give preference to 
applications that meet the following competitive priority. An 
application that meets this competitive priority is selected by the 
Secretaries over applications of comparable merit that do not meet the 
    This priority is for local partnerships serving youth residing or 
attending school in urban or rural high poverty areas designated as 
Empowerment Zones (EZs) or Enterprise Communities (ECs).

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR Part 79 and 29 CFR Part 17. The 
objective of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and to strengthen federalism by relying on processes 
developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of 
proposed Federal financial assistance.
    In accordance with the order, this document is intended to provide 
early notification of the Departments' specific plans and actions for 
this program.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6101, et seq.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number 278D of 
School-to-Work Opportunities of Urban/Rural Opportunities Grants)

    Dated: June 28, 1996.
Timothy M. Barnicle,
Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of 
Patricia McNeil,
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department 
of Education.


Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities

    Note: Many EZ/ECs cover only a portion of the listed city or 
county. To meet the competitive priority, the local partnership must 
serve youth residing or attending school in the EZ/EC, not just in 
the city or county listed.


Georgia: Atlanta
Illinois: Chicago
Kentucky: Kentucky Highlands*
Maryland: Baltimore
Michigan: Detroit
Mississippi: Mid Delta*
New York: Harlem, Bronx
Pennsylvania/New Jersey: Philadelphia, Camden
Texas: Rio Grande Valley*


California: Los Angeles
Ohio: Cleveland


Alabama: Birmingham
Alabama: Chambers County*
Alabama: Greene, Sumter Counties*
Arizona: Phoenix
Arizona: Arizona Border*
Arkansas: East Central*
Arkansas: Mississippi County*
Arkansas: Pulaski County
California: Imperial County*
California: Los Angeles, Huntington Park
California: San Diego
California: San Francisco, Bayview-Hunters
Point, Southeast Section
California: San Francisco, Tenderloin
California: San Francisco, Chinatown
California: San Francisco, South of Market
California: San Francisco, Mission
California: San Francisco, Visitacion Valley
California: Watsonville*
Colorado: Denver
Connecticut: Bridgeport
Connecticut: New Haven
Delaware: Wilmington
District of Columbia: Washington
Florida: Jackson County*
Florida: Tampa
Florida: Miami, Dade County
Georgia: Albany
Georgia: Central Savannah*
Georgia: Crisp, Dooley Counties*
Illinois: East St. Louis
Illinois: Springfield
Indiana: Indianapolis
Iowa: Des Moines
Kentucky: Louisville
Louisiana: Northeast Delta*
Louisiana: Macon Ridge*
Louisiana: New Orleans
Louisiana: Ouachita Parish
Massachusetts: Lowell
Massachusetts: Springfield
Michigan: Five Cap*
Michigan: Flint
Michigan: Muskegon
Minnesota: Minneapolis
Minnesota: St. Paul
Mississippi: Jackson
Mississippi: North Delta*
Missouri: East Prairie*
Missouri: St. Louis
Nebraska: Omaha
Nevada: Clarke County, Las Vegas
New Hampshire: Manchester
New Jersey: Newark
New Mexico: Albuquerque
New Mexico: Mora, Rio Arriba, Taos Counties*
New York: Albany, Schenectady, Troy
New York: Buffalo
New York: Newburgh, Kingston
New York: Rochester
North Carolina: Charlotte
North Carolina: Halifax, Edgecombe, Wilson Counties*
North Carolina: Robeson County*
Ohio: Akron
Ohio: Columbus
Ohio: Greater Portsmouth*
Oklahoma: Choctaw, McCurtain Counties*
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
Oregon: Josephine*
Oregon: Portland
Pennsylvania: Harrisburg
Pennsylvania: Lock Haven*
Pennsylvania: Pittsburg
Rhode Island: Providence
South Carolina: Charleston
South Carolina: Williamsburg County*
South Dakota: Beadle, Spink Counties*
Tennessee: Fayette, Haywood Counties*
Tennessee: Memphis
Tennessee: Nashville
Tennessee/Kentucky: Scott, McCreary Counties*
Texas: Dallas
Texas: El Paso
Texas: San Antonio
Texas: Waco
Utah: Ogden
Vermont: Burlington
Virginia: Accomack*
Virginia: Norfolk
Washington: Lower Yakima*
Washington: Seattle
Washington: Tacoma
West Virginia: West Centeral*
West Virginia: Huntington
West Virginia: McDowell*
Wisconsin: Milwaukee

*denotes rural designee


California: Oakland
Massachusetts: Boston
Missouri/Kansas: Kansas City, Kansas City
Texas: Houston

[FR Doc. 96-17086 Filed 7-3-96; 8:45 am]