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Notice

Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Project Competitive Grants for FY 2001

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AGENCY:

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, Labor.

ACTION:

Notice of availability of funds and solicitation for grant applications (SGA) for Homeless Veterans Reintegration Projects (SGA 01-02).

SUMMARY:

This notice contains all of the necessary information and forms needed to apply for grant funding. All applicants for grant funds should read this notice in its entirety. The U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans' Employment and Training Service, (VETS) announces a grant competition for Homeless Veterans Reintegration Projects (HVRP) authorized under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. Such projects will assist eligible veterans who are homeless by providing employment and training, supportive, and transitional housing assistance. Under this solicitation, VETS may award up to thirty grants in Fiscal Year (FY) 2001. This notice describes the background, the application process, description of program activities, evaluation criteria, and reporting requirements for Solicitation of Grant Applications (SGA) 01-02. VETS anticipates that up to $6.66 million will be available for grant awards under this SGA.

The information and forms contained in the Supplementary Information Section of this announcement constitute the official application package for this Solicitation. To receive any amendments to this Solicitation (Please reference SGA 01-02), which may be subsequently issued, all applicants must register their name and address with the Grant Officer at the following address: U. S. Department of Labor, Procurement Services Center, Room N-5416, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

DATES:

Applications and proposals are to be submitted, including those hand-delivered, to the address below by no later than 4:45 p.m., Eastern Time, May 16, 2001, or be postmarked or date stamped by the U.S. Postal Service on or before that date.

ADDRESSES:

Applications will be mailed or hand delivered to the U.S. Department of Labor, Procurement Services Center, Attention: Cassandra Willis, Reference SGA 01-02, Room N-5416, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cassandra Willis, U.S. Department of Labor, Procurement Services Center, telephone (202) 219-6445 [not a toll free number].

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project Solicitation

I. Purpose

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Veterans' Employment and Training Service, (VETS) is requesting grant applications for the provision of employment and training services in accordance with the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (MHAA), now called the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as reauthorized and codified at Chapter 41 of 38 U.S.C. Section 4111. These instructions contain general program information, requirements, and forms for application for funds to operate a Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project (HVRP).

II. Background

The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, enacted on July 22, 1987, under Title VII, Subtitle C, Section 738(a) provides that “The Secretary * * * shall conduct, directly or through grant or contract, such programs as the Secretary determines appropriate to expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force.”

This program was reauthorized under Section 621 of the McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-645) for an additional three years, i.e., through FY 1993. Under the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Service Programs Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-590—enacted on November 10, 1992), the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project was reauthorized through Fiscal Year 1995. However, the program was rescinded in FY 1995. Public Law 104-275, dated October 9, 1996, was amended to reauthorize the program through FY 1998. Public Laws 105-41 and 105-114, enacted in 1997, extend the program through FY 1999. Public Law 106-73, dated October 19, 1999, reauthorized and codified at Title Start Printed Page 1954038, Chapter 41, Section 4111, extends the program through FY 2003.

The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project was the first nationwide Federal program that focused on placing homeless veterans into jobs. In accordance with the MHAA, the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training (ASVET) is making approximately $6.66 million of the funds available to award grants for HVRPs in selected cities in FY 2001 under this competition. Both types of projects, urban and rural, in the past have provided valuable information on approaches that work in the different environments.

III. Application Process

A. Potential Jurisdictions to be Served

Due to the demonstration nature of the Act, the amount of funds available, and the emphasis on establishing or strengthening existing linkages with other recipients of funds under the MHAA, the only potential jurisdictions which will be served through this urban competition for HVRPs in FY 2001 are the metropolitan areas of the 75 U.S. cities largest in population and the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. All potential HVRP jurisdictions are listed in Appendix E.

B. Eligible Applicants

Applications for funds will be accepted from State and local public agencies, and nonprofit organizations, including Faith based organizations follow:

1. Workforce Investment Boards (WIBS) as defined in the Workforce Investment Act, Pub. L. 105-220, are eligible applicants, as well as State and local public agencies. “Local public agency” refers to any public agency of a general purpose political subdivision of a State which has the power to levy taxes and spend funds, as well as general corporate and police powers. (This typically refers to cities and counties). A State agency may propose in its application to serve one or more of the potential jurisdictions located in its State. This does not preclude a city or county agency from submitting an application to serve its own jurisdiction.

Applicants are encouraged to utilize, through sub grants, experienced public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and private businesses which have an understanding of unemployment and the barriers to employment unique to homeless veterans, a familiarity with the area to be served, and the capability to effectively provide the necessary services.

2. Also eligible to apply are nonprofit organizations that have operated an HVRP or similar employment and training program for the homeless or veterans; have proven capacity to manage Federal grants; and have or will provide the necessary linkages with other service providers. Nonprofit organizations will be required to submit with their application, a recent (within one year) financial audit statements that attest to the financial responsibility and integrity of the organization. Entities described in Section 501(c)4 of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities are not eligible to receive funds under this announcement. The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, Public Law No. 104-65, 109 Stat. 691, prohibits the award of Federal funds to these entities if they engage in lobbying activities.

C. Funding Levels

The total amount of funds available for this solicitation is $6.6 million. It is anticipated that up to 30 awards may be made under this solicitation. Awards are expected to range from $200,000 to $250,000. The Federal government reserves the right to negotiate the amounts to be awarded under this competition. Please be advised that requests exceeding this range by 15% or more may be considered non-responsive.

D. Period of Performance

The period of performance will be for twelve (12) months from date of award. It is expected that successful applicants will commence program operations under this solicitation by July 1, 2001.

E. Second-Year Option

As stated in Section II of this Part, the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project was reauthorized and codified by statute at 38 U.S.C. Section 4111. Should there be action by Congress to appropriate funds for this purpose, a second-year option may be considered. The Government does not, however, guarantee second year funding for any awardee. Should VETS decide that an option year for funding be exercised, the grantees' performance during the first period of operations will be taken into consideration as follows:

1. By the end of the third quarter, the grantee must achieve at least 75% of the twelve month total goals for Federal expenditures, enrollments, and placements, or

2. The grantee must meet 85% of goals for Federal expenditures, enrollments, and placements for the twelve month period if planned activity is NOT evenly distributed in each quarter; and

3. The Grantee is in compliance with all terms identified in the solicitation for grant applications.

All instructions for modifications and announcement of fund availability will be issued at a later date. Please note that the Government does reserve the right to compete any subsequent funds appropriated for this purpose in lieu of an option year.

F. Submission of Proposal

A cover letter, an original and two (2) copies of the proposal will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor, Procurement Service Office, Room N-5416, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. The proposal will consist of two (2) separate and distinct parts: One (1) blue ink-signed original SF 424, complete grant application, plus two (2) copies of the Technical Proposal, and two (2) copies of the Cost Proposal.

G. Late Proposals

The grant application package must be received at the designated place by the date and time specified or it will not be considered. Any application received at the Office of Procurement Services after 4:45 p.m. ET, May 16, 2001, will not be considered unless it is received before the award is made and:

1. It was sent by registered or certified mail not later than the fifth calendar day before May 16, 2001;

2. It is determined by the Government that the late receipt was due solely to mishandling by the Government after receipt at the U.S. Department of Labor at the address indicated; or

3. It was sent by U.S. Postal Service Express Mail Next Day Service-Post Office to Addressee, not later than 5:00 p.m. at the place of mailing two (2) working days, excluding weekends and Federal holidays, prior to May 16, 2001.

The only acceptable evidence to establish the date of mailing of a late application sent by registered or certified mail is the U.S. Postal Service postmark on the envelope or wrapper and on the original receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. If the postmark is not legible, an application received after the above closing time and date shall be processed as if mailed late. “Postmark” means a printed, stamped or otherwise placed impression (not a postage meter machine impression) that is readily identifiable without further action as having been applied and affixed by an employee of the U.S. Postal Service on the date of mailing. Therefore applicants should request that the postal clerk place a legible hand cancellation Start Printed Page 19541“bull's-eye” postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper.

The only acceptable evidence to establish the date of mailing of a late application sent by U.S. Postal Service Express Mail Next Day Service-Post Office to Addressee is the date entered by the Post Office receiving clerk on the “Express Mail Next Day Service-Post Office to Addressee” label and the postmark on the envelope or wrapper and on the original receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. “Postmark” has the same meaning as defined above. Therefore, applicants should request that the postal clerk place a legible hand cancellation “bull's-eye” postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper.

The only acceptable evidence to establish the time of receipt at the U.S. Department of Labor is the date/time stamp of the Procurement Services Center on the application wrapper or other documentary evidence or receipt maintained by that office. Applications sent by telegram or facsimile (FAX) will not be accepted.

H. Proposal Content

A cover letter, an original, and two (2) copies of the proposal must be submitted. The applicant must complete the forms provided (i.e. quarterly goals chart). The proposal will consist of two (2) separate and distinct parts:

Part I—Technical Proposal must consist of a narrative proposal that demonstrates the applicant's knowledge of the need for this particular grant program, its understanding of the services and activities proposed to alleviate the need and its capabilities to accomplish the expected outcomes of the proposed project design. The technical proposal must consist of a narrative not to exceed fifteen (15) pages double-spaced, font size no less than 11pt. and typewritten on one side of the paper only. The applicant must complete the forms provided (i.e. quarterly goals chart). Charts, and exhibits, letters of support and letters of reference are not counted against the page limit. The following format is strongly recommended:

1. Need for the project: the applicant must identify the geographical area to be served and provide an estimate of the number of homeless veterans and their needs, poverty and unemployment rates in the area, the gaps in the local community infrastructure that contribute to the employment and other barriers faced by the targeted veterans, and how the project would respond to these needs. Include the outlook for job opportunities in the service area.

2. Approach or strategy to increase employment and job retention: Applicants should be responsive to the Rating Criteria contained in Section VI and address all of the rating factors noted as thoroughly as possible in the narrative. The applicant must: (1) Provide the length of training, the training curriculum and how the training will enhance the eligible veterans employment opportunities within that geographical area; (2) describe the specific supportive, employment and training services to be provided under this grant and the sequence or flow of such services—flow charts may be provided; (3) provide a plan for follow up addressing retention after 90 and 180 days with participants who entered employment. (See discussion on results in Section VI. D.); and (4) include the required chart of proposed performance goals and planned expenditures listed in Appendix D.

3. Linkages with other providers of employment and training services to the homeless and to veterans: Describe the linkages this program will have with other providers of services to veterans and to the homeless outside of the HVRP grant. Include a description of the relationship with other employment and training programs such as Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP), the Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) program, and programs under the Workforce Investment Act. List the type of services provided by each. Note the type of agreement and provide copies of the agreement(s) in place if applicable. Linkages with the workforce development system [inclusive of State Employment Security Agencies (SESA's)] should be delineated. Describe any linkages with resources and other programs for veterans. Describe any program and resource linkages with Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) for the homeless. Indicate how the applicant will coordinate with any “continuum of care” efforts for the homeless among agencies in the community.

4. Proposed supportive service strategy for veterans: Describe how supportive service resources for veterans will be obtained and used. If resources are provided by other sources or linkages, such as Federal, State, local or community based programs, the applicant needs to fully explain the use of these resources and why they are necessary.

5. Organizational capability in providing required program activities: The applicant's relevant current or prior experience, to include program recidivism rate in operating employment and training programs should be delineated. Provide information denoting outcomes of past programs in terms of enrollments and placements. Applicants who have operated an HVRP program or Homeless Veterans Employment and Training (HVET) program should include final or most recent technical performance reports. (This information is also subject to verification by the Veterans' Employment and Training Service.) Provide evidence of key staff capability. Non-profit organizations must submit evidence of satisfactory financial management capability including recent financial and/or audit statements.

6. Proposed housing strategy for homeless veterans: Describe how housing resources for homeless veterans will be obtained or accessed. These resources may be from linkages or sources other than the HVRP grant such as HUD, HHS, community housing resources, DVA leasing, or other programs. The applicant must explain whether HVRP resources will be used and why this is necessary. Nonprofit organizations, including faith based organizations must submit evidence of satisfactory financial management capability, which will include recent financial and/or audit statements.

(For consideration by panel members, this information is subject to verification by the Government—Veterans' Employment and Training Service reserves the right to have a representative within your state provide programmatic and fiscal information about applicants and forward those findings to National Office during the review of the applications).

Note:

Resumes, charts, and standard forms, transmittal letters, letters of support are not included in the page count. [If provided include these documents as attachments to the technical proposal.]

Part II—Cost Proposal will contain: (1) The Standard Form (SF) 424, “Application for Federal Assistance”, (2) the Standard Form (SF) 424A “Budget Information Sheet” in Appendix B, if resources/matching funds and/or the value of in-kind contributions are made available please show in Section B of the Budget Information Sheet; (3) a detailed costs break out of each line item on the Budget Information Sheet. Please label this page or pages the “Budget Narrative” and ensure that costs reported on the SF424A coordinate accurately with the Budget Narrative. In addition to the cost proposal the applicants must include the Assurance and Certification signature page, Start Printed Page 19542Appendix C. Copies of all required forms with instructions for completion are provided as appendices to this solicitation.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for this program is 17.805, which should be entered on the SF 424, Block 10.

IV. Budget Narrative Information

As an attachment to the Budget Information Sheet, the applicant must provide at a minimum, and on separate sheet(s), the following information:

(a) A breakout of all personnel costs by position, title, salary rates, and percent of time of each position to be devoted to the proposed project (including subgrantees);

(b) An explanation and breakout of extraordinary fringe benefit rates and associated charges (i.e., rates exceeding 35% of salaries and wages);

(c) An explanation of the purpose and composition of, and method used to derive the costs of each of the following: travel, equipment, supplies, subgrants/ contracts, and any other costs. The applicant must include costs of any required travel described in this Solicitation. Mileage charges will not exceed 34.5 cents per mile;

(d) In order that the Department of Labor meet legislative requirements, submit a plan along with all costs associated with retaining participant information pertinent to a longitudinal follow up survey for at least six (6) months after the ninety day (90) closeout period;

(e) Description/specification of and justification for equipment purchases, if any. Tangible, non-expendable, personal property having a useful life of more than one year and a unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit must be specifically identified; and (f) Identification of all sources of leveraged or matching funds and an explanation of the derivation of the value of matching/in-kind Services.

V. Participant Eligibility

To be eligible for participation under HVRP, an individual must be homeless and a veteran defined as follows:

A. The term “homeless or homeless individual” includes persons who 1ack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. It also includes persons whose primary nighttime residence is either a supervised public or private shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or a private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. (Reference 42 U.S.C. section 11302 (a)).

B. The term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable. [Reference 38 U.S.C. Section 101(2)]

VI. Project Summary

A. Program Concept and Emphasis

The HVRP grants under Section 738 of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act are intended to address dual objectives:

(1) To provide services to assist in reintegrating homeless veterans into meaningful employment within the labor force; and (2) to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that will address the complex problems facing homeless veterans.

These programs are designed to be flexible in addressing the universal as well as local or regional problems barring homeless veterans from the workforce. The program in FY 2001 will continue to strengthen the provision of comprehensive services through a case management approach, the attainment of housing resources for veterans entering the labor force, and strategies for employment and retention.

B. Required Features

1. The proposal should include an outreach component. It is recommended that the applicants coordinate these activities through veteran service providers who have experience working and serving the veteran population. This requirement can be modified to allow the project to utilize veterans in other positions where there is direct client contact if extensive outreach is not needed, such as intake, counseling, peer coaching, and follow up. This requirement applies to projects funded under this solicitation.

2. Projects will be required to show linkages with other programs and services which provide support to homeless veterans. Coordination with the Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists and Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) in the jurisdiction is required.

3. Projects will be “employment focused”. The services provided will be directed toward increasing the employability of homeless veterans through training or arranging for the provision of services which will enable them to work; and (b) matching homeless veterans with potential employers.

C. Scope of Program Design

The project design must provide or arrange for the following services:

—Outreach, intake, assessment, counseling to the degree practical and employment services. Outreach must be provided at shelters, day centers, soup kitchens, VA medical centers, and other programs for the homeless. Program staff providing outreach services are to be veterans who have experienced homelessness.

Coordination with veterans' services programs and organizations such as:

—Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists, Local Veterans' Employment Representatives (LVERs) in the State Employment Security/Job Service Agencies (SESAs) or in the newly instituted workforce development system's One-Stop Centers, and VWIP—Veterans' Workforce Investment Programs;

—Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) services, including its Health Care for Homeless Veterans, Domiciliary, and other programs, including those offering transitional housing; and

—Veteran service organizations such as The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the American Veterans (AMVETS);

Referral to necessary treatment services, rehabilitative services, and counseling including, but not limited to:

—Alcohol and drug;

—Medical;

—Post Traumatic Stress Disorder;

—Mental Health;

—Coordinating with MHAA Title VI programs for health care for the homeless;

Referral to housing assistance provided by:

—Local shelters;

—Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) food and shelter programs;

—Transitional housing programs and single room occupancy housing programs funded under MHAA Title IV;

—Permanent housing programs for the handicapped homeless funded under MHAA Title IV;

—Department of Veterans Affairs programs that provide for leasing or sale of acquired homes to homeless providers; and

—Transitional housing leased by HVRP funds (HVRP funds cannot be used to purchase housing or vehicles)

Employment and training services such as:

—Basic skills instruction; Start Printed Page 19543

—Basic literacy instruction;

—Remedial education activities;

—Job search activities;

—Job counseling;

—Job preparatory training, including resume writing and interviewing skills;

—Subsidized trial employment (Work Experience);

—On-the-Job Training;

—Classroom Training;

—Job placement in unsubsidized employment;

—Placement follow up services; and

—Services provided under WIA Program Titles

D. Results-Oriented Model

Based on past experience of grantees working with this target group, a workable program model evolved which is presented for consideration by prospective applicants. No model is mandatory. The applicant should design a program that is responsive to local needs, but will carry out the objectives of the homeless veteran to successfully reintegrate them into the workforce.

With the advent of implementing the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), Congress and the public are looking for program results rather than program processes. While entering employment is a viable outcome, it will be necessary to measure results over a longer term to determine the success of programs. In order to do this, the following program discussion must be considered. Without a sound program foundation, the results of program are in question, which places the program success in jeopardy.

The first phase of activity consists of the level of outreach that is necessary to reach homeless veterans. This may also include establishing contact with other agencies that encounter homeless veterans such as shelters, soup kitchens, and other facilities. Once the eligible clients have been identified, an assessment should be made of their abilities or interests and needs. In some cases these clients may require referrals to services, such as social rehabilitation, drug or alcohol treatment, or a temporary shelter, before they can be enrolled into core training. When the individual is stabilized, the assessment should focus on the employability of the individual and their enrollment into the program. A determination should be made as to whether if they would benefit from pre-employment preparation such as resume writing, job search workshops, related counseling and case management, and initial entry into the job market through temporary jobs, sheltered work environments, or entry into classroom or on-the-job training. Such services should also be noted in an Employability Development Plan so that successful completion of the plan may be monitored by the staff.

Entry into full-time employment or a specific job training program should follow in keeping with the objective of HVRP to bring the participant closer to self-sufficiency. Supportive services or transitional housing may assist the participant at this stage or even earlier. Job development is a crucial part of the employability process. Wherever possible, DVOP and LVER staff must be utilized for job development and placement activities for veterans who are ready to enter employment or who are in need of intensive case management services. Many of these staff members have received training in case management at the National Veterans' Training Institute and have a priority of focus, assisting those most at a disadvantage in the labor market. VETS urges working hand-in-hand with DVOP/LVER staff to achieve economies of resources. If the DVOP and LVER staff are not being utilized, the applicant must submit a written explanation detailing the reasons why they are not.

The following program discussion emphasizes that follow up is an integral program component.

Follow up to determine whether the veteran is in the same or similar job at the 90 and 180 day period after entering employment is required. It is important that the grantee maintain contact with the veterans after placement to assure that employment related problems are addressed. The 90 and 180 day follow up is fundamental to assessing the results of the program success. Grantees should be careful to budget for this activity so that followup can and will occur for those placed at or near the end of the grant period. Such results will be reported in the final technical performance report.

Retention of records will be reflected in the Special Grant Provisions to be provided at the time of any award.

VII. Related HVRP Program Development Activities

Community Awareness Activities

In order to promote linkages between the program and local service providers (and thereby eliminate gaps or duplication in services and enhance provision of assistance to participants), the grantee must provide project orientation and/or service awareness activities that it determines are the most feasible for the types of providers listed below. Project orientation workshops conducted by grantees have been an effective means of sharing information and revealing the availability of other services; they are encouraged but not mandatory. Rather, the grantee will have the flexibility to attend service provider meetings, seminars, conferences, outstation staff, develop individual service contracts, and involve other agencies in program planning. This list is not exhaustive. The grantee will be responsible for providing appropriate awareness, information sharing, and orientation activities to the following:

a. Providers of hands-on services to the homeless veteran, such as shelter and soup-kitchen operators, to make them fully aware of services available to homeless veterans to make them job-ready and place them in jobs.

b. Federal, State and local entitlement services such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA), State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs) and their local Job Service offices, One-Stop Centers (which integrate WIA, labor exchange, and other employment and social services), detoxification facilities, etc., to familiarize them with the nature and needs of homeless veterans.

c. Civic and private sector groups, and especially veterans' service organizations, to describe homeless veterans and their needs.

d. Stand Down Support—A “Stand Down” as it relates to homeless veterans is an event held in a locality usually for three days where services are provided to homeless veterans along with shelter, meals, clothing, and medical attention. This type of event is mostly volunteer effort, which is organized within a community and brings service providers together such as the DVA, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists, Local Veterans' Employment Representatives from the State Employment Service Agencies, veteran service organization, military personnel, civic leaders, and a variety of other interested persons and organizations. Many services are provided on site with referrals also made for continued assistance after the event. This can often be the catalyst that enables the homeless veterans to get back into mainstream society. The Department of Labor has supported replication of this event. Many such events have been held throughout the nation.

In areas where an HVRP is operating, the grantees are encouraged to participate fully and offer their services for any planned Stand Down event. Towards this end, up to $5,000 of the currently requested HVRP MHAA grant funds may be used to supplement the Stand Down effort where funds are not Start Printed Page 19544otherwise available and should be reflected in the budget and budget narrative.

VIII. Rating Criteria for Award

Applications will be reviewed by a DOL panel using the point scoring system specified below. Applications will be ranked based on the score assigned by the panel after careful evaluation by each panel member. The ranking will be the primary basis to identify approximately 30 applicants as potential grantees. Although the Government reserves the right to award on the basis of the initial proposal submissions, the Government may establish a competitive range, based upon the proposal evaluation, for the purpose of selecting qualified applicants. The panel's conclusions are advisory in nature and not binding on the Grant Officer. The government reserves the right to ask for clarification or hold discussions, but is not obligated to do so. The Government further reserves the right to select applicants out of rank order if such a selection would, in its opinion, result in the most effective and appropriate combination of funding, program and administrative costs, e.g., cost per enrollment and placement, demonstration models, and geographical service areas. While points will not be assessed for cost issues, cost per placements will be given serious consideration in the selecting of awards. The Grant Officer's determination for award under SGA 01-02 is the final agency action. The submission of the same proposal from any prior year HVRP or HVET competition does not guarantee an award under this Solicitation.

Panel Review Criteria

1. Need for the Project: 15 Points

The applicant will document the extent of need for this project, as demonstrated by: (1) The potential number or concentration of homeless individuals and homeless veterans in the proposed project area relative to other similar areas of jurisdiction; (2) the high rates of poverty and/or unemployment in the proposed project area as determined by the census or other surveys; and (3) the extent of gaps in the local infrastructure to effectively address the employment barriers that characterize the target population.

2. Overall Strategy To Increase Employment and Retention: 40 Points

The application must include a description of the proposed approach to providing comprehensive employment and training services, including job training, job development, any employer commitments to hire, placement, and post placement follow up services. Applicants must address their intent to target occupations in expanding industries, rather than declining industries. The supportive services to be provided as part of the strategy of promoting job readiness and job retention must be indicated. The applicant must identify the local human resources and sources of training to be used for participants. A description of the relationship, if any, with other employment and training program such as SESAs (DVOP and LVER Programs), VWIP, other WIA programs, and Workforce Development Boards or entities where in place, must be presented. It should be indicated how the activities will be tailored or responsive to the needs of homeless veterans. A participant flow chart may be used to show the sequence and mix of services.

Note:

The applicant MUST complete the chart of proposed program outcomes to include participants served, and job retention. (See Appendix D)

3. Quality and Extent of Linkages With Other Providers of Services to the Homeless and to Veterans: 10 Points

The application must provide information on the quality and extent of the linkages this program will have with other providers of services to benefit the homeless veterans in the local community outside of the HVRP grant. For each service, it must be specified who the provider is, the source of funding (if known), and the type of linkages/referral system established or proposed. Describe to the extent possible, how the project would fit into the community's continuum of care approach to respond to homelessness and any linkages to HUD, HHS or DVA programs or resources to benefit the proposed program.

4. Demonstrated Capability in Providing Required Program Services: 20 Points

The applicant must describe its relevant prior experience in operating employment and training programs and providing services to participants similar to that which is proposed under this solicitation. Specific outcomes achieved by the applicant must be described in terms of clients placed in jobs, etc. The applicant must also delineate its staff capability and ability to manage the financial aspects of Federal grant programs. Relevant documentation (within the last 12 months), such as financial and/or audit statements must be submitted (required for applicants who are non-profit). Final or most recent technical reports for HVRP, HVET, or other relevant programs should be submitted as applicable. The applicant must also address its capacity for timely startup of the program.

5. Quality of Overall Housing Strategy: 15 Points

The application must demonstrate how the applicant proposes to obtain or access housing resources for veterans in the program and entering the labor force. This discussion should specify the provisions made to access temporary, transitional, and permanent housing for participants through community resources, HUD, DVA lease, HVRP, or other means. HVRP funds will not be used to purchase housing or vehicles.

Applicants can expect that the cost proposal will be reviewed for allowability, allocability, and reasonableness of placement and enrollment costs.

IX. Post Award Conference

A post-award conference for those awarded FY 2001 HVRP funds is tentatively planned for July or August, 2001. Costs associated with attending this conference for up to two grantee representatives will be allowed as long as they were incurred in accordance with Federal travel regulations. Such costs must be charged as administrative costs and reflected in the proposed budget. The site of the conference has not yet been determined but will likely be for three days in Washington, DC. Please use Washington, DC for budget planning purposes. The conference will focus on providing information and assistance on reporting, record keeping, and grant requirements, and will also include best practices from past projects.

X. Reporting Requirements

The grantee will submit the reports and documents listed below:

A. Financial Reports

The grantee must report outlays, program income, and other financial information on a quarterly basis using SF 269A, Financial Status Report, Short Form. This form will cite the assigned grant number and be submitted to the appropriate State Director for Veterans' Employment and Training (DVET) no later than 30 days after the ending date of each Federal fiscal quarter (i.e., October 30, January 30, April 30 and July 30) during the grant period.

B. Program Reports

Grantees must submit a Quarterly Technical Performance Report 30 days Start Printed Page 19545after the end of each Federal fiscal quarter to the DVET that contains the following:

1. A comparison of actual accomplishments to established goals for the reporting period and any findings related to monitoring efforts;

2. An explanation for variances of plus or minus 15% of planned program and/or expenditure goals, to include: (i) identification of corrective action which will be taken to meet the planned goals, and (ii) a timetable for accomplishment of the corrective action.

C. Final Report Packages

The grantee must submit no later than 90 days after the grant expiration date a final report containing the following:

1. Final Financial Status Report (SF-269A) (copy to be provided following grant awards);

2. Final Technical Performance Report—(Program Goals); and

3. Final Narrative Report identifying—(a) major successes of the program; (b) obstacles encountered and actions taken (if any) to overcome such obstacles; (c) the total combined number of veterans placed in employment during the entire grant period; (d) the number of veterans still employed at the end of the grant period; (e) an explanation regarding why those veterans placed during the grant period, but not employed at the end of the grant period, are not employed; and (f) any recommendations to improve the program.

D. Six (6) Month Close Out

No later than 6 months after the 90 day closeout period, the grantee must submit a follow up report containing the following:

1. Closeout Financial Status Report (SF-269A)

2. Closeout Narrative Report identifying—(a) The total combined (directed/assisted) number of veterans placed during the entire grant period; (b) the number of veterans still employed during follow up; (c) are the veterans still employed at the same or similar job, if not what are reasons; (d) was the training received applicable to jobs held; (e) wages at placement and during follow up period; (f) an explanation regarding why those veterans placed during the grant, but not employed at the end of the follow up period, are not so employed; and (g) any recommendations to improve the program.

XI. Administration Provisions

A. Limitation on Administrative and Indirect Costs

1. Direct Costs for administration, plus any indirect charges claimed.

2. Indirect costs claimed by the applicant shall be based on a federally approved rate. A copy of the negotiated, approved, and signed indirect cost negotiation agreement must be submitted with the application.

3. If the applicant does not presently have an approved indirect cost rate, a proposed rate with justification may be submitted. Successful applicants will be required to negotiate an acceptable and allowable rate with the appropriate DOL Regional Office of Cost Determination within 90 days of grant award.

4. Rates traceable and trackable through the SESA Cost Accounting System represent an acceptable means of allocating costs to DOL and, therefore, can be approved for use in MHAA grants to SESAS.

B. Allowable Costs

Determinations of allowable costs will be made in accordance with the following applicable Federal cost principles:

State and local government—OMB Circular A-87

Nonprofit organizations—OMB Circular A-122

C. Administrative Standards and Provisions

All grants will be subject to the following administrative standards and provisions:

1. 29 CFR Part 93—Lobbying.

2. 29 CFR Part 95—Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations, and with Commercial Organizations.

3. 29 CFR Part 96—Federal Standards for Audit of Federally Funded Grants, Contracts and Agreements. This rule implements, for State and local governments and Indian tribes that receive Federal Assistance from the DOL, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-128 “Audits of State and Local Governments” which was issued pursuant to the Single Audit Act of 1984, 31 U.S.C. Section 7501-7507. It also consolidates the audit requirements currently contained throughout the DOL regulations.

4. 29 CFR Part 97—Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments.

5. 29 CFR Part 98—Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Government wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants).

6. 29 CFR Part 99—Audit Of States, Local Governments, and Non-profit Organization.

7. Section 168(b) of WIA—Administration of Programs Please note that Sections 181-195 may also apply.

8. 29 CFR Parts 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34—Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship and Training; Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs of the Department of Labor, Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs and Activities Receiving or Benefitting from Federal Financial Assistance (Incorporated by Reference). These rules implement, for recipients of federal assistance, non-discrimination provisions on the basis of race, color, national origin, and handicapping condition, respectively.

9. Appeals from non-designation will be handled under 20 CFR Part 667.260

10. 29 CFR Part 97—Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Government.

Start Signature

Signed at Washington, DC this 5th day of April, 2001.

Lawrence J. Kuss,

Grant Officer.

End Signature

Appendices

Appendix A: Application for Federal Assistance SF Form 424

Appendix B: Budget Information Sheet

Appendix C: Assurances and Certifications Signature Page

Appendix D: Technical Performance Goals Form

Appendix E: List of 75 largest U.S. Cities

Appendix F: HVRP Performance Goals Definitions

Appendix G: Direct Cost Descriptions for Applicants and Sub-Applicants

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End Supplemental Information

BILLING CODE 4510-79-U

[FR Doc. 01-9346 Filed 4-13-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-79-C