[Federal Register: May 29, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 103)]
[Page 29120-29125]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Employment and Training Administration


Office of Vocational and Adult Education School-to-Work 
Opportunities Act; State and Territory Implementation Grants

AGENCIES: Department of Labor and Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year 
(FY) 1997 for School-to-Work Opportunities State and Territory 
Implementation Grants (State and Territory Implementation Grants).


SUMMARY: The Departments of Labor and Education jointly invite 
applications for new awards in FY 1997, as authorized under section 212 
of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (the Act). These State 
Implementation Grants will enable States and Territories to carry out 
their plans for statewide and jurisdiction-wide School-to-Work 
Opportunities partnership systems, offering young Americans access to 
programs designed to prepare them for a first job in high-skill, high-
wage careers, and for achievement in further postsecondary education 
and training.

DATES: In order to ensure review and processing of applications 
recommended for award prior to the expiration of FY 1997 
appropriations, applications must be submitted by May 31, 1998. (FY 
1997 appropriations expire in September of 1998.)



    The Departments of Labor and Education are reserving funds 
appropriated for FY 1997 under the Act (Pub. L. 103-329) for awarding 
State and Territory Implementation Grants authorized under section 212 
of the Act.
    This notice contains the selection criteria and describes the 
review and

[[Page 29121]]

technical assistance process that will be used in evaluating 
applications submitted in response to this year's solicitation.

Invitation for Application for New Awards

    Purpose of Program: Funds awarded under this solicitation will 
serve as ``venture capital'' to allow States and Territories to build 
comprehensive partnerships. These partnerships, including teachers, 
parents, students, schools, businesses, and alternative education 
providers will provide all youth with high-quality education that 
integrates classroom learning, hands-on work-based learning, and 
connecting activities, prepares them for success in high-skill, high 
wage careers, and helps them make the transition to further 
postsecondary education and training.
    Eligible Applicants: All States, including the District of Columbia 
and Puerto Rico, that did not receive a State Implementation Grant in 
FY 1994, FY 1995, or FY 1996, are eligible for Implementation Grants 
under this solicitation. This solicitation also applies to all seven 
Territories listed in section 212(b) of the Act. In accordance with the 
School-to-Work Opportunities Act, the Governor must submit the 
application on behalf of the State or Territory.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 31, 1998. Further 
details on the application deadline are included in the application 
package which will be mailed to each eligible applicant. Telefacsimile 
(FAX) applications will not be honored.
    Availability of Applications: Application packages will be mailed 
directly to both the State and Territorial Governors and School-to-Work 
Development Grant contacts in each eligible State and Territory. These 
applications will be sent by overnight mail within one day of the 
publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Any other party 
interested in receiving a copy of the application package should 
contact: The National School-to-Work Office, 400 Virginia Avenue, S.W., 
Room 210, Washington, D.C. 20024. Telephone: (202) 401-6222. This is 
not a toll-free number.
    Available Funds: Approximately $56 million for States, DC and 
Puerto Rico; and $2 million for Territories (funding for the first 
twelve-month period).
    Estimated Range of Awards: The Departments expect the minimum award 
to be approximately $1.5 million and the maximum award to be 
approximately $10 million for States. For the Territories, the minimum 
award is anticipated to be approximately $200,000 and the maximum award 
to be approximately $475,000. The Departments wish to emphasize that, 
in accordance with sections 212, 213, 214, and 216 of the Act, the 
actual amount of each award made under this process will depend on such 
factors as the scope and quality of the plan and application, the 
number of projected participants in programs operating within each 
State or Territory School-to-Work Opportunities system, and the total 
youth population. Therefore, the Departments strongly encourage all 
applicants to consider these factors, and the estimated average grant 
award amount, in deciding the amount of funds to request. State 
applicants are discouraged from requesting significantly more funds 
than States with similar numbers of school-age youth received last year 
without a strong programmatic basis for doing so. (Information on 
previous years' State Implementation award amounts is contained in the 
application package.) Actual award amounts will be determined during 
negotiations with the Department of Labor's Grants Office; see note 
below on compressed four-year funding period for States.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $3.4 million for State awards, $ 
285,000 for Territories.
    Estimated Number of Awards: Up to 15 State awards and 7 Territory 

    Note: The Departments are not bound by any estimates in this 

    Project Period of Performance: Up to 4 years (4 twelve-month grant 

    Note: States funded in previous Implementation Grant rounds were 
funded for up to five years. However, the Departments expect that 
the last appropriation for the School-to-Work Opportunities Act will 
be for FY 2000, which would provide for only four years of funding 
under this solicitation. It is anticipated that, subject to 
appropriations and grantee progress and expenditures, States funded 
under this solicitation in 1997 will receive the total amount they 
would have received through a five-year grant, but will receive it 
during a compressed, four-year period. Territories will likely 
receive no more than level funding in each of four years, due to the 
fact that the Act limits the amount to be used for awards to the 
Territories to not more than \1/2\ of one percent of each year's 
total School-to-Work appropriation. Both State and Territory awards 
are subject to appropriations and the grantee's progress toward its 
stated objectives.

    Applicable Regulations: 29 CFR Parts 33, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98. The 
selection criteria and definition published in this notice, as well as 
the instructions contained in the application package and the 
eligibility and other requirements specified in the Act, apply to this 
    For Additional Information Contact: Ms. Laura Cesario, U.S. 
Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division 
of Acquisition and Assistance, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room S-
4203, Washington, D.C. 20210. Telephone: (202) 219-7300, extension 111 
(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.

[Reference: SGA# DAA--97-015.]

Implementation Grant Competition


    All definitions in the Act apply to School-to-Work Opportunities 
systems funded under this and future State and Territory Implementation 
Grant selection processes. Since the Act does not contain a definition 
of the term ``administrative costs'' as used in section 217 of the Act, 
the Departments will apply the following definition to this and future 
selection processes for State and Territory Implementation Grants:
    The term ``administrative costs'' means the activities of a State 
or local partnership that are necessary for the proper and efficient 
performance of its duties under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act 
and that are not directly related to the provision of services to 
participants or otherwise allocable to the system's allowable 
activities listed in section 215(b)(4) and section 215(c) of the Act. 
Administrative costs may be either personnel costs or non-personnel 
costs, and direct or indirect. Costs of administration shall include, 
but not be limited, to:
    (A) Costs of salaries, wages, and related costs of the grantee's 
staff engaged in:
    (1) Overall system management, system coordination, and general 
administrative functions;
    (2) Preparing program plans, budgets, and schedules, as well as 
applicable amendments;
    (3) Monitoring of local initiatives, pilot projects, subrecipients, 
and related systems and processes;
    (4) Procurement activities, including the award of specific 
subgrants, contracts, and purchase orders;
    (5) Developing systems and procedures, including management 
information systems, for assuring compliance with the requirements 
under the Act;
    (6) Preparing reports and other documents related to the Act; and

[[Page 29122]]

    (7) Coordinating the resolution of audit findings.
    (B) Costs for goods and services required for administration of the 
    (C) Costs of system-wide management functions; and
    (D) Travel costs incurred for official business in carrying out 
grant management or administrative activities.

    Note on Administrative Cost Cap: In accordance with section 
215(b)(6) of the Act, a local partnership receiving a subgrant from 
State Implementation Grant funds awarded under this solicitation may 
use no more than 10 percent of that subgrant for administrative 
costs associated with carrying out the School-to-Work program 
activities in one fiscal year. A 10 percent cap on administrative 
costs applies to both State Implementation grantees and all State-
funded local partnerships. This same cap applies to Territory 
Implementation grantees and their local partnerships.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

Territory Review Process
    In reviewing applications from the Territories, the Departments 
will utilize the selection criteria, point values, scoring system, and 
time frames described below for States. It is anticipated that the 
technical assistance and review process will also parallel that 
outlined for States. However, given such unique factors as the 
geography, government, demographics, educational systems, and economies 
of the Territories, and the special considerations that may affect 
School-to-Work design and implementation plans for these areas, the 
specific types and frequency of technical assistance offered will be 
determined by the federal review teams. The Territory review process 
will be managed by staff of the New York and San Francisco Regional 
Offices of the Departments of Education and Labor.
State Review Process
    The Act anticipates that all States with comprehensive system plans 
will receive Implementation Grants through this voluntary initiative. 
However, in the first three rounds, limited resources and the large 
pool of States eligible to apply made it necessary to use a more 
competitive process to prioritize funding decisions, identifying those 
States most ready to begin implementing their systems. To date, 37 
States have received implementation awards. The 1997 appropriation will 
allow the Departments to finance the remaining 15 States, as those 
States submit applications which address appropriately the provisions 
of the Act and this Notice, and demonstrate readiness to implement 
quality school-to-work systems.
    Based on the fact that adequate funds are now available to fund all 
States, the Departments have modified the State Implementation Grant 
review process. This will enable the Departments to meet the 
legislative intent that all interested States with comprehensive plans 
receive funding, and to provide States with adequate time to implement 
their systems prior to the Act's expiration in 2001. This year's 
process will be more flexible, while maintaining the rigor of prior 
rounds, and is designed to help all States make the transition from 
development to implementation.
    As discussed below, the Departments will provide technical 
assistance prior to and during the review, and will apply the selection 
criteria given below in evaluating State applications.
    * Ongoing assistance. The approach for this solicitation
will facilitate better communication with potential applicants during 
the period when applications are being accepted, and in later steps. In 
this round, each applicant will be assigned a technical assistance/
review team, composed of the federal Grant Officer's Technical 
Representative, staff of the Departments of Education and Labor, and 
National School-to-Work Office staff. This team is responsible for 
providing and coordinating technical assistance for the State. 
Technical assistance efforts will focus on helping the applicants 
address any outstanding issues and finalize their plans.
    This same federal team will continue to work with the State 
throughout the review. Applicants will be able to discuss proposed 
application contents and share draft materials with the federal team 
prior to submitting the application. When the application is formally 
submitted for review, communications will continue.
    A two-phase review process will be used, as in previous rounds. 
During the first phase of the review, the team will be able to request 
additional documentation from the State to support sections that were 
not adequately addressed in the original submission, or travel to the 
site for strategic planning and problem-solving sessions, if necessary.
    After all criteria are met on paper, the review team will conduct a 
second-phase, on-site review to verify its findings. In the event that 
the site visit raises new concerns, the team will continue working with 
the State to address them. However, the Departments anticipate that the 
level of exchange and assistance available prior to the visit will do 
much to preempt this possibility. If the site visit confirms that the 
State is ready to implement, the team will make a funding 
recommendation to the School-to-Work Steering Committee and the 
Department of Labor Grants Office for approval. The review team will 
also participate in final negotiations with the State, led by the 
Department of Labor's Grants Office.
    * Review process. The selection criteria, point system and
the process used to evaluate State Plans will be the same as previous 
years. As mentioned above, the first-phase evaluation of written 
applications will be followed by a second-phase, on-site review to 
confirm the applicant's readiness to implement. The Departments will 
base final funding decisions on information obtained during the 
application review and site visits, and are also interested in such 
factors as replicability, sustainability, innovation, and geographic 
balance and diversity of program approaches.
    * Rating system to pinpoint areas needing additional work.
    In order to isolate areas needing improvement before an application 
can be deemed acceptable, panelists will rate applications using the 
selection criteria and associated point values, and will then assign a 
rating of ``satisfactory'' or ``unsatisfactory'' to each major section, 
such as Comprehensive Statewide System, Participation of All Students, 
and Management Plan, based on the number of points received. The 
minimum ``satisfactory'' score will be approximately 70% of the total 
available points for that section. The State can then submit supporting 
materials in areas that lacked sufficient detail. After a minimum total 
score of 70 points has been reached, the State will receive a site 
visit, with the selection criteria again being applied.
    * Longer period to submit applications. In previous rounds,
States generally had less than two months to submit applications. In 
this round, States will be able to file an application at any time 
during a period of approximately twelve months. This will allow for the 
provision of any necessary technical assistance prior to and during the 
review, while ensuring that all awards are obligated before the 1997 
appropriations expire in September, 1998. A recommendation to approve 
or disapprove funding will be made to the Secretaries of Education and 
Labor for every State that submits an application by May 31, 1998, and 
receives a site visit. If a State submits an application, receives a 
site visit, and is not initially

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approved for funding, the review team will continue to work with the 
State during the review period to bring the plan to an acceptable 
level. However, final recommendations for all applications for the FY 
1997 funding cycle will be made by August 1, 1998, to ensure that the 
Department of Labor's Grants Office has adequate time to process awards 
and obligate funds.

Selection Criterion 1: Comprehensive Statewide or Territory-wide System

    Points: 35.
    Considerations: In applying this criterion, reviewers will 
    (a) 20 points. The extent to which the State or Territory has 
designed a comprehensive Statewide or Territorywide School-to-Work 
Opportunities plan that--
    (1) Includes effective strategies for integrating school-based and 
work-based learning, integrating academic and vocational education, and 
establishing linkages between secondary and postsecondary education;
    (2) Is likely to produce systemic change in the way youth are 
educated and prepared for work and for further education, across all 
geographic areas of the State or Territory, including urban and rural 
areas, within a reasonable period of time;
    (3) Includes strategic plans for effectively aligning other 
Statewide or Territorywide priorities, such as education reform, 
economic development, and workforce development into a comprehensive 
system that includes the School-to-Work Opportunities system and 
supports its implementation at all levels--State, regional and local;
    (4) Ensures that all students, including school dropouts, will have 
a range of options, including options for higher education, additional 
training and employment in high-skill, high-wage jobs; and
    (5) Ensures coordination and integration with existing local 
education and training programs and resources, including those School-
to-Work Opportunities systems established through local partnership 
grants and Urban/Rural Opportunities grants funded under Title III of 
the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, and related Federal, State, and 
local programs.
    (b) 15 points. The extent to which the State or Territory plan 
demonstrates the capability of the State or Territory to achieve the 
statutory requirements and to effectively put in place the system 
components in Title I of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, 
    (1) The work-based learning component that includes the statutory 
mandatory activities and that contributes to the transformation of 
workplaces into active learning components of the education system 
through an array of learning experiences, such as mentoring, job-
shadowing, unpaid work experiences, school-sponsored enterprises, 
supported work experiences, and paid work experiences;
    (2) The school-based learning component that will provide students, 
as well as school dropouts, with high level academic skills consistent 
with academic standards that the State or Territory establishes for all 
students, including, where applicable, standards established under the 
Goals 2000: Educate America Act;
    (3) A connecting activities component to provide a functional link 
between school and work activities and employers and educators for both 
students and school dropouts; and
    (4) A plan for an effective process for assessing students' skills 
and knowledge required in career majors, and the process for issuing 
portable skill certificates that are benchmarked to high quality 
standards such as those the State or Territory establishes under the 
Goals 2000: Educate America Act, and for periodically assessing and 
collecting information on youth outcomes, as well as a realistic 
strategy and timetable for implementing the process.

Selection Criterion 2: Commitment of Employers and Other Interested 

    Points: 15.
    Considerations: In applying this criterion, reviewers will consider 
the following:
    (a) The extent to which the State or Territory has obtained the 
active involvement of employers and other interested parties listed in 
section 213(d)(5) of the Act, such as locally elected officials, 
secondary schools and postsecondary educational institutions (or 
related agencies), business associations, industrial extension centers, 
employees, labor organizations or associations of such organizations, 
teachers, related services personnel, students, parents, community-
based organizations, rehabilitation agencies and organizations, 
registered apprenticeship agencies, local vocational educational 
agencies, vocational student organizations, State or regional 
cooperative education associations, and human service agencies, as well 
as State legislators or Territorial representatives.
    (b) Whether the State plan demonstrates an effective and convincing 
strategy for continuing the involvement of employers and other 
interested parties in the Statewide or Territorywide system, such as 
the parties listed in section 213(d)(5) of the Act, as well as State 
legislators or Territorial representatives.
    (c) The extent to which the State or Territory plan proposes to 
include private sector representatives as joint partners with educators 
in the oversight and governance of the overall School-to-Work 
Opportunities system.
    (d) The extent to which the State or Territory has developed 
strategies to provide a range of opportunities for employers to 
participate in the design and implementation of the School-to-Work 
Opportunities system, including membership on councils and 
partnerships; assistance in setting standards, designing curricula and 
determining outcomes; providing worksite experience for teachers; 
helping to recruit other employers; and providing worksite learning 
activities for students, such as mentoring, job shadowing, unpaid work 
experiences, supported work experiences, and paid work experiences.

Selection Criterion 3: Participation of All Students

    Points: 15.
    Considerations: In applying this criterion, reviewers will refer to 
the definition of the term ``all students'' in section 4(2) of the Act, 
and consider the following:
    (a) The extent to which the State or Territory will implement 
effective strategies and systems to--
    (1) Provide all students with equal access to the full range of 
program components specified in sections 102 through 104 of the Act and 
related activities such as recruitment, enrollment and placement 
activities; and
    (2) Ensure that all youth have meaningful opportunities to 
participate in School-to-Work Opportunities programs.
    (b) Whether the plan identifies potential barriers to the 
participation of any students or out-of-school youth, and the degree to 
which the plan proposes effective ways of overcoming these barriers.
    (c) The degree to which the State or Territory has developed 
realistic goals and methods for assisting young women to participate in 
School-to-Work Opportunities programs leading to employment in high-
performance, high-paying jobs, including nontraditional jobs and has 
developed realistic goals to ensure an environment free from racial and 
sexual harassment.
    (d) The feasibility and effectiveness of the State or Territory's 
strategy for

[[Page 29124]]

serving youth from rural communities with low population densities.
    (e) The State or Territory's methods for ensuring safe and healthy 
work environments for youth, including strategies for encouraging 
schools and alternative education providers to provide youth with 
general awareness training in occupational safety and health as part of 
the school-based learning component, and for encouraging employers to 
provide risk-specific training as part of the work-based learning 

    Note: Experience with the FY 1994, FY 1995 and FY 1996 School-
to-Work Opportunities State Implementation Grant applications has 
shown that many applicants do not give adequate attention to 
designing systems that will serve school dropouts and systems that 
will serve students with disabilities. Therefore, the Departments 
would like to remind applicants that reviewers will consider whether 
an application includes strategies to specifically identify the 
barriers to participation of dropouts and students with disabilities 
and proposes specific methods for effectively overcoming such 
barriers and for integrating academic and vocational learning, 
integrating work-based learning and school-based learning, and 
linking secondary and postsecondary education for dropouts and 
students with disabilities. Applicants are reminded that JTPA Title 
II funds may be used to design and provide services to youth who 
meet the appropriate JTPA eligibility criteria.

Selection Criterion 4: Stimulating and Supporting Local School-to-Work 
Opportunities Systems

    Points: 15.
    Considerations: In applying this criterion, reviewers will consider 
the following:
    (a) The effectiveness of the State or Territory's plan for ensuring 
that local partnerships include employers, representatives of local 
educational agencies and local postsecondary educational institutions 
(including representatives of area vocational education schools, where 
applicable), local educators (such as teachers, counselors, or 
administrators), representatives of labor organizations or 
nonmanagerial employee representatives, and students, and others such 
as those included in section 4(11)(B) of the Act.
    (b) The extent to which the State or Territory assists local 
entities to form and sustain effective local partnerships serving 
communities in all parts of the State.
    (c) Whether the plan includes an effective strategy for addressing 
the specific labor market needs of localities that will be implementing 
School-to-Work Opportunities systems.
    (d) The effectiveness of the State or Territory's strategy for 
building the capacity of local partnerships to design and implement 
local School-to-Work Opportunities systems that meet the requirements 
of the Act.
    (e) The extent to which the State or Territory will provide a 
variety of assistance to local partnerships, as well as the 
effectiveness of the strategies proposed for providing this assistance, 
including such services as: developing model curricula and innovative 
instructional methodologies, such as creative strategies for meeting 
the needs of school dropouts; expanding and improving career and 
academic counseling services; and assisting localities in the use of 
technology-based instructional techniques.
    (f) The effectiveness of the State or Territory's strategy for 
providing staff development to teachers, employers, mentors, 
counselors, related services personnel, and others who are critical to 
successful implementation of School-to-Work Opportunities systems for 
all youth, such as staff in alternative learning environments.
    (g) The ability of the State or Territory to provide constructive 
assistance to local partnerships in identifying critical and emerging 
industries and occupational clusters.

Selection Criterion 5: Resources

    Points: 10.
    Considerations: In applying this criterion, reviewers will consider 
the following:
    (a) The amount and variety of other Federal, State, and local 
resources the State or Territory will commit to implementing its 
School-to-Work Opportunities plan, as well as the specific use of these 
funds, including funds for JTPA Summer and Year-Round Youth programs 
and Perkins Act programs.
    (b) The feasibility and effectiveness of the State or Territory's 
long-term strategy for using other resources, including private sector 
resources, to maintain the statewide system or territory-wide system 
when Federal resources under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act are 
no longer available.
    (c) The extent to which the State or Territory is able to limit 
administrative costs in order to maximize the funds spent on the 
delivery of services to youth, as required in section 214(b)(3)(B) of 
the Act, while ensuring the efficient administration of the School-to-
Work Opportunities system.

Criterion 6: Management Plan

    Points: 10.
    Considerations: In applying this criterion, reviewers will consider 
the following:
    (a) The adequacy of the management structure that the State or 
Territory proposes for the School-to-Work Opportunities system.
    (b) The extent to which the State or Territory's management plan 
anticipates barriers to implementation and proposes effective methods 
for addressing barriers as they arise.
    (c) Whether the application includes an evaluation plan containing 
feasible, measurable goals for the School-to-Work-Opportunities system, 
based on performance measures contained in section 402(a) of the Act.
    (d) The extent to which the evaluation plan includes an effective 
method for collecting information relevant to the State's progress in 
meeting its goals, and is likely to assist the State or Territory to 
meet its School-to-Work Opportunities system objectives, to gauge the 
success of the system in achieving those objectives, to continuously 
improve the system's effectiveness, and to contribute to the review of 
results across all States and Territories.
    (e) Whether the plan includes a feasible workplan for the School-
to-Work Opportunities system that includes major planned objectives 
over a four-year period.

Additional Priority Points

    As required by section 214(a)(1) and (a)(2) of the Act, the 
Departments will give priority to applications that demonstrate the 
highest level of concurrence among State or Territorial partners with 
the State or Territory's plan, and to applications that require paid, 
high quality work-based learning experiences as an integral part of the 
School-to-Work Opportunities system by assigning additional points--
above the 100 points described in the criteria--as follows:
(a) Highest Levels of Concurrence--5 Points
    Up to 5 points will be awarded to applications that can fully 
demonstrate that each of the State or Territorial partners listed in 
section 213(b)(4) of the Act concurs with the State or Territory 
School-to-Work Opportunities plan, and that the State or Territorial 
partners' concurrence is backed by a commitment of time and resources 
to implement the plan.

[[Page 29125]]

(b) Paid, High-quality Work-based Learning--10 Points
    Up to 10 points will be awarded to applications that demonstrate 
that the State or Territory--
    (1) Has developed effective plans for requiring, to the maximum 
extent feasible, paid, high-quality work experience as an integral part 
of the State or Territory's School-to-Work Opportunities system, and 
for offering the paid, high-quality work experiences to the largest 
number of participating students and school dropouts as is feasible; 
    (2) Has established methods for ensuring consistently high quality 
work-based learning experiences across the State or Territory.

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

    Dated: May 20, 1997.
Raymond J. Uhalde,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, Department of 
Patricia W. McNeil,
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, Department of 
[FR Doc. 97-13966 Filed 5-28-97; 8:45 am]