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Notice

Urban Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) Grants for Program Year (PY) 2005

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Announcement Type: Initial Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA).

Funding Opportunity Number: SGA # 05-01.

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance #: 17-805.

Dates: Applications are due on April 28, 2005.

Period of Performance is PY 2005, July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006.

Executive Summary (Applicants For Grant Funds Should Read This Notice In Its Entirety): The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), announces a grant competition under 38 U.S.C. Section 2021, as added by Section 5 of Public Law 107-95, the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001 (HVCAA). Section 2021 requires the Secretary of Labor to 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.

Due to limited available funding and the high concentration of homeless veterans in the metropolitan areas of the 75 U.S. cities largest in population and the metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the only jurisdictions eligible to be served through this urban competition for HVRPs are those areas listed in Appendix I.

HVRP grants are intended to address two 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. Successful applicants will design programs that assist eligible veterans by providing job placement services, job training, counseling, supportive services, and other assistance to expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force. Successful programs will also be designed to be flexible in addressing the universal as well as the local or regional problems that have had a negative impact on homeless veterans reentering the workforce.

Under this solicitation covering Fiscal Year (FY) 2005, VETS anticipates that up to $2,000,000 will be available for grant awards up to a maximum of $300,000 for each grant award. VETS expects to award approximately seven (7) grants. This notice contains all of the necessary information and forms to apply for grant funding. The period of performance for these PY 2005 grants will be July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006. Two (2) optional years of funding may be available, depending upon Congressional appropriations, the agency's decision to exercise the optional year(s) of funding, and satisfactory grantee performance.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), announces a grant competition under 38 U.S.C. Section 2021, as added by Section 5 of Public Law 107-95, the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001 (HVCAA) . Section 2021 requires the Secretary of Labor to conduct, directly or through grant or contract, such programs as the Secretary determines appropriate to provide job training, counseling, and placement services (including job readiness, literacy training, and skills training) to expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force.

1. Program Concept and Emphasis

HVRP grants are intended to address two objectives: (a) To provide services to assist in reintegrating homeless veterans into meaningful employment within the labor force, and (b) to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that will address the complex problems facing homeless veterans.

For this Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 grant solicitation, VETS seeks applicants that will provide direct services through a case management approach that networks with Federal, State, and local resources for veteran support programs. Successful applicants will have clear strategies for employment and retention of employment for homeless veterans. Successful applicants will design programs that assist eligible veterans by providing job placement services, job training, counseling, mentoring, supportive services, and other assistance to expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force. Successful applicants will also Start Printed Page 15900design programs that are flexible in addressing the universal as well as the local or regional problems that have had a negative impact on homeless veterans reentering the workforce. The HVRP in PY 2005 will seek to continue to strengthen development of effective service delivery systems, to provide comprehensive services through a case management approach that address complex problems facing eligible veterans trying to transition into gainful employment, and to improve strategies for employment and retention in employment.

Due to the limited amount of funding and the high concentration of homeless veterans in the metropolitan areas of the 75 U.S. cities largest in population and the metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the only jurisdictions eligible to be served through this urban competition for HVRP are those areas listed in Appendix I.

2. Project Awareness Program Information and Orientation Activities

In order to promote networking between the HVRP funded program and local service providers (and thereby eliminate gaps or duplication in services and enhance the provision of assistance to participants), the grantee must provide project orientation workshops and/or program awareness activities that it determines are the most feasible for the types of providers listed below. Grantees are encouraged to demonstrate strategies for incorporating small faith-based and community organizations (defined as organizations with social services budgets of $350,000 or less and six (6) or fewer full-time employees) into their outreach plans. Project orientation workshops conducted by grantees have been an effective means of sharing information and informing the community of the availability of other services; they are encouraged but not mandatory. Rather, grantees will have the flexibility to attend service provider meetings, seminars, and conferences, to outstation staff, and to develop individual service contracts as well as to involve other agencies in program planning.

The grantee will be responsible for providing project awareness, program information, and orientation activities to the following:

A. Direct providers of services to homeless veterans, including shelter and soup kitchen operators, to make them aware of the services available to homeless veterans to make them job-ready and to aid their placement into jobs.

B. Federal, State, and local agencies such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and local One-Stop Centers (which integrate Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and other employment and training services), mental health services, and healthcare detoxification facilities: to familiarize them with the nature and needs of homeless veterans.

C. Civic and private sector groups, in particular Veterans' Service Organizations, support groups, job training and employment services, and community-based organizations (including faith-based organizations), to provide information on homeless veterans and their needs.

The grantee will also be responsible for participating in “Stand Down” events. A “Stand Down” is an event held in a locality, usually for one (1) to three (3) days, where services are provided to homeless veterans along with shelter, meals, clothing, employment services, and medical attention. This type of event is mostly a volunteer effort, which is organized within a community and brings service providers together such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialists (DVOP) and Local Veterans' Employment Representatives (LVER) staff from the State Workforce Agencies, Veteran Service Organizations, military personnel, civic leaders, and a variety of other interested persons, groups, and organizations. Many services are provided on-site with referrals also made for continued assistance after the Stand Down event. These events can often be the catalyst that enables homeless veterans to get back into mainstream society. The Department of Labor has supported replication of these events and many have been held throughout the nation.

In areas where an HVRP is operating, grantees are expected and encouraged to participate fully and offer their services for all locally planned Stand Down event(s). Toward this end, up to $8,000 of the requested HVRP grant funds may be used to supplement the Stand Down efforts, where funds are not otherwise available, and may be requested in the budget and explained in the budget narrative.

3. Scope of Program Design

In addition to the activities described above, the project design must include the following services:

A. Outreach, intake, assessment, peer counseling to the degree practical, employment services, and follow-up support services to enhance retention in employment. Program staff providing outreach services should have experience in dealing with, and an understanding of the needs of, homeless veterans. Outreach activities must include and coordinate with the DVOP and LVER staff in the State Workforce Agencies or in the workforce investment systems' One-Stop Career Centers, Veterans' Workforce Investment Program (VWIP), and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

B. Provision of or referral to employment services such as: job search workshops, job counseling, assessment of skills, resume writing techniques, interviewing skills, subsidized trial employment (work experience), job development services, job placement into unsubsidized employment, job placement follow-up services to enhance retention in employment.

C. Provision of or referral to training services such as: basic skills instruction, remedial education activities, life skills and money management training, on-the-job training, classroom training, vocational training, specialized and/or licensing training programs, and other formal training programs as deemed appropriate to benefit the participant. At least 80% of the enrolled HVRP participants must participate in training activities.

D. Grantees must perform a preliminary assessment of each participant's eligibility for Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) service-connected disability, compensation, and/or pension benefits. As appropriate, grantees will work with the Veterans Service Organizations or refer the participants to DVA in order to file a claim for compensation or pension. Grantees will track progress of claims and report outcomes in case management records.

E. Coordination with veterans' services programs, including: DVOPs and LVERs in the workforce investment system's One-Stop Career Centers, as well as Veterans' Workforce Investment Programs (VWIPs), Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) services, including its Health Care for Homeless Veterans, Domiciliary Care, Regional Benefits Assistance Program, and Transitional Housing under Homeless Provider Grant and per diem programs.

F. Networking with Veterans' Service Organizations such as: The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, the American Veterans (AMVETS).

G. Referral as necessary to health care, counseling, and rehabilitative services including, but not limited to: alcohol and drug rehabilitation, therapeutic services, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Start Printed Page 15901(PTSD) services, and mental health services as well as coordination with Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (MHAA) programs for health care for the homeless, and health care programs under the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act (HVCAA) of 2001.

H. Referral to housing assistance, as appropriate, 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 and HVCAA, and permanent housing programs for disabled homeless persons funded under MHAA and HVCAA.

4. Results-Oriented Model: No specific model is mandatory, but successful applicants will design a program that is responsive to the needs of the local community and achieves the HVRP objectives. The HVRP objectives are to successfully reintegrate homeless veterans into the workforce and to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that will address the complex problems facing homeless veterans.

Under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), Congress and the public are looking for program results rather than program processes. The outcome measurement established for HVRP grants is for grantees to meet a minimum entered employment rate of 58%, determined by dividing the number of participants who entered employment by the number of HVRP enrollments. (Actual performance outcomes will be reported quarterly using an Internet-based reporting system for HVRP with access provided to successful grantees after the award process has been completed.) While the percentage of HVRP enrollments that enter employment is an important outcome, it is also necessary to evaluate and measure the program's long-term results, through the 90-day and 180-day follow-up periods, to determine the quality and success of the program.

The applicant's program should be based on a results-oriented model. The first phase of activity should consist of the level of outreach necessary to introduce the program to eligible homeless veterans. Outreach also includes establishing contact with other agencies that encounter homeless veterans. Once the eligible homeless veterans have been identified, an assessment must be made of each individual's abilities, interests, needs, and barriers to employment. In some cases, participants may require referrals to services such as rehabilitation, drug or alcohol treatment, or a temporary shelter before they can be enrolled into the HVRP program. Once the eligible homeless veteran is stabilized, the assessment must concentrate on the employability of the individual and whether the individual is to be enrolled into the HVRP program.

A determination should be made as to whether the HVRP enrolled participant would benefit from pre-employment preparation such as resume writing, job search workshops, related employment counseling, and case management, or possibly an initial entry into the job market through temporary jobs. Additionally, sheltered work environments, classroom training, and/or on-the-job training must be evaluated. Such services should be noted in an Employability Development Plan to facilitate the staff's successful monitoring of the plan. Entry into full-time employment or a specific job-training program should follow, in keeping with the overall objective of HVRP, to bring the participant closer to self-sufficiency. Supportive services may assist the HVRP enrolled participant at this point or even earlier.

Job development, a crucial part of the employability process, usually occurs when there are no competitive job openings that the HVRP-enrolled participant is qualified to apply for, therefore, a job opportunity is created or developed specifically for that HVRP enrolled participant with an employer. HVRP-enrolled participants who are ready to enter employment and/or who are in need of intensive case management services are to be referred to the DVOP and LVER staff at a One-Stop Career Center. DVOP and LVER staff are able to provide HVRP-enrolled participants the following services: job development, employment services, case management and career counseling. Most DVOP and LVER staff received training in case management at the National Veterans' Training Institute. All DVOP and LVER staff provide employment-related services to veterans who are most at a disadvantage in the labor market. VETS' recommends working hand-in-hand with DVOP/LVER and other One-Stop Career Center staff to achieve economies of resources and to avoid duplication of services. DVOP/LVER staff may also be able to provide valuable assistance in tracking participants in their State wage record management information system for follow-up purposes at 90 and 180 days after a participant enters employment.

The applicant's program must include tracking of program participants. Tracking should begin with the referral to employment and continue through the 90-day and 180-day follow-up periods after entering employment to determine whether the veteran is in the same or similar job. It is important that the grantee maintain contact with veterans after placement to ensure that employment-related problems are addressed. The 90-day and 180-day follow-ups are fundamental to assessing program results. Grantees need to budget for 90-day and 180-day follow-up activity so that it can be performed for those participants placed at or near the end of the grant performance period. All grantees, prior to the end of the grant performance period, must obligate sufficient funds to ensure that follow-up activities are completed. Such results will be reported in the final technical performance report.

II. Award Information

1. Type of Funding Instrument: One (1) year grant.

2. Funding Levels: The total funding available for this Urban HVRP solicitation is up to $2,000,000. It is anticipated that approximately seven (7) awards will be made under this solicitation. Awards are expected to range from $75,000 to a maximum of $300,000. The Department of Labor reserves the right to negotiate the amounts to be awarded under this competition. Please be advised that requests exceeding $300,000 will be considered non-responsive and will not be evaluated.

3. Period of Performance: The period of performance will be for the twelve (12) month period of July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006, unless modified by the Grant Officer. It is expected that successful applicants will begin program operations under this solicitation on July 1, 2005. All program funds must be obligated by June 30, 2006; a limited amount of funds may be obligated and reserved for follow-up activities and closeout.

4. Optional Year Funding: Should Congress appropriate additional funds for this purpose, VETS may consider up to an optional two (2) years of funding. The Government does not, however, guarantee optional year funding for any grantee. In deciding whether to exercise any optional year(s) of funding, VETS will consider grantee performance during the previous period of operations as follows:

A. The grantee must meet, at minimum, 85% of planned goals for Federal expenditures, enrollments, and placements in each quarter and/or at least 85% of planned cumulative goals by the end of the third quarter; and

B. The grantee must be in compliance with all terms identified in the Start Printed Page 15902Solicitation for Grant Application (SGA) and grant award document; and

C. All program and fiscal reports must have been submitted by the established due dates and must be verified for accuracy.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Applications for funds will be accepted from State and local Workforce Investment Boards, local public agencies, for-profit/commercial entities, and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations. Applicants must have a familiarity with the area and population to be served and the ability to administer an effective and timely program.

Eligible applicants will generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • State and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), established under Sections 111 and 117 of the Workforce Investment Act.
  • Public agencies, meaning any public agency of a State or of a general purpose political subdivision of a State that 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.
  • For-profit/commercial entities.
  • Nonprofit organizations. If claiming 501(c)(3) status, the Internal Revenue Service statement indicating 501(c)(3) status approval must be submitted.

Note that entities organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities are not eligible to receive funds under this announcement. Section 18 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, Public Law 104-65, 109 Stat. 691 (2 U.S.C. 1611) prohibits instituting an award, grant, or loan of federal funds to 501(c) (4) entities that engage in lobbying.

2. Cost Sharing: Cost sharing and/or matching funds are not required. However, we do encourage grantees to maximize the resources available to the project.

3. Other Eligibility Criteria:

A. The proposal must include a participant outreach component that uses DVOP/LVER staff and/or trained outreach staff. Programs must be “employment-focused.” An “employment-focused” program is a program directed toward: (1) increasing the employability of homeless veterans through training or arranging for the provision of services that will enable them to work and (2) matching homeless veterans with potential employers.

B. Applicants are encouraged to utilize, through partnerships or sub-awards, experienced public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, private businesses, faith-based and community organizations, and colleges and universities (especially those with traditionally high enrollments of minorities) that 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.

C. To be eligible for enrollment as a participant under this HVRP grant an individual must be homeless and a veteran defined as follows:

  • The term “homeless or homeless individual” includes persons who lack 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 public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. [42 U.S.C. 11302 (a)].
  • The term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. [38 U.S.C. 101(2)].

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request an Application and Amendments: Application announcements or forms will not be mailed. The Federal Register may be obtained from your nearest government office or library. Additional application packages may be obtained from http://www.dol.gov/​vets or http://www.fedgrants.gov/​. The application forms and their instructions, and other pertinent materials are included in the Appendices. If copies of the standard forms are needed, they can also be downloaded from: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants/​grants_​forms.html.

To receive amendments to this Solicitation, all applicants must register their name and address in writing with the Grant Officer at the following address: U.S. Department of Labor, Procurement Services Center, Attn: Cassandra Mitchell, Reference SGA # 05-01, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-5416, Washington, DC 20210, Phone Number: (202) 693-4570 (not a toll-free number).

2. Content and Form of Application: In addition to the cover letter, the grant application must consist of three (3) separate and distinct sections: the Executive Summary, the Technical Proposal, and the Cost Proposal. The information provided in these three (3) sections is essential to gain an understanding of the programmatic and fiscal contents of the grant proposal. A complete grant application package must not exceed 75 single-sided pages and is to include:

  • An original, blue ink-signed, and two (2) copies of the cover letter.
  • An original and two (2) copies of the Executive Summary (see below).
  • An original and two (2) copies of the Technical Proposal (see below) that includes a completed Technical Performance Goals Form (Appendix D). Also include all attachments with the technical proposal.
  • An original and two (2) copies of the Cost Proposal (see below) that includes an original, blue ink-signed, Application for Federal Assistance, SF-424 (Appendix A), a Budget Narrative, Budget Information Sheet SF-424A (Appendix B), an original, blue ink-signed, Assurances and Certifications Signature Page (Appendix C), a Direct Cost Description for Applicants and Sub-applicants (Appendix E), and a completed Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants (Appendix F).

A. Section 1—Executive Summary: A one to two page “Executive Summary” reflecting the grantee's overall strategy, timeline, and outcomes to be achieved in their grant proposal is required. The Executive Summary should include:

  • The proposed area to be served through the activities of this grant.
  • The years the grantee has served the residents in the proposed area to be served.
  • The projects and activities that will expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the workforce.
  • A summary of outcomes, benefits, and value added by the project.

B. Section 2—Technical Proposal consists of a narrative proposal that demonstrates the need for this particular grant program, the services and activities proposed to obtain successful outcomes for the homeless veterans to be served; and the applicant's ability to accomplish the expected outcomes of the proposed project design.

The technical proposal narrative must not exceed fifteen (15) pages double-spaced, font size no less than 11 pt., no Start Printed Page 15903less than 1 inch margins, and typewritten on one (1) side of the paper only. Note: Resumes, charts, standard forms, transmittal letters, Memorandums of Understanding, agreements, lists of contracts and grants, and letters of support are not included in the technical proposal narrative page count. If provided, include these documents as attachments to the technical proposal. Attachments to the technical proposal are included in the maximum 75 single-sided pages per grant application limitation.

Required Content: There are program activities that all applications must contain to be found technically acceptable under this SGA. Programs must be “employment-focused” and must be responsive to the rating criteria in Section V(1). The required program activities are: participant outreach and project awareness activities, pre-enrollment assessments, employment development plans for each enrolled participant, case management, job placement, job retention follow-up (at 90 and 180 days) after individual enters employment, utilization and coordination of employment services through the One-Stop System, including the DVOP and LVER staff, and with community linkages with other programs that provide support to homeless veterans. These activities are described in section I.3. of this SGA.

The following format for the technical proposal is recommended: Need for the program: The applicant must identify the geographical area to be served and provide an estimate of the number of homeless veterans in the designated geographical area. Include poverty and unemployment rates in the area and identify the disparities in the local community infrastructure that exacerbate the employment barriers faced by the targeted veterans. Include labor market information and job opportunities in the employment fields and industries that are in demand in the geographical area to be served. Applicants are to clearly describe the proposed program awareness and participant outreach strategies.

Approach or strategy to increase employment and job retention: Applicants must be responsive to the Rating Criteria contained in Section V(1) and address all of the rating factors as thoroughly as possible in the narrative. The applicant must:

  • Describe the specific supportive employment and training services to be provided under this grant and the sequence or flow of such services;
  • Indicate the type(s) of training that will be provided under the grant and how it relates to the jobs that are in demand, length of training, training curriculum, and how the training will improve the eligible veterans' employment opportunities within that geographical area;
  • Provide a follow-up plan that addresses retention after 90 and 180 days with participants who have entered employment;
  • Include the completed Planned Quarterly Technical Performance Goals (and planned expenditures) form listed in Appendix D.

Linkages with facilities that serve homeless veterans: Describe program and resource linkages with other facilities that will be involved in identifying potential clients for this program. Describe any networks with other related resources and/or other programs that serve homeless veterans. Indicate how the program will be coordinated with any efforts that are conducted by public and private agencies in the community. Indicate how the applicant will coordinate with any continuum of care efforts for the homeless among agencies in the community. If a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other service agreement with service providers exists, copies should be provided.

Linkages with other providers of employment and training services to homeless veterans: Describe the linkages, networks, and relationships the proposed program will have with other providers of services to homeless veterans; include a description of the relationship with other employment and training programs in the One Stop System such as Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP), the Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) program, and programs under the Workforce Investment Act such as the Veterans' Workforce Investment Program (VWIP); list the type of services that will be provided by each. Note the type of agreement in place, if applicable. Linkages with the workforce investment system are required. Describe any networks with any other resources and/or other programs for homeless veterans. If a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other service agreement with other service providers exists, copies should be provided.

Linkages with other Federal agencies: Describe program and resource linkages with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), to include the Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) and per diem programs. If a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other service agreement with other service providers exists, copies should be provided.

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 faith-based and community programs, the applicant must fully explain the use of these resources and how they will be applied. If a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other service agreement with other service providers exist, copies should be provided.

Organizational capability to provide required program activities: The applicant's relevant current and prior experience (within the last three year period) in operating employment and training programs is to be clearly described, if applicable. A summary narrative of program experience and employment and training performance outcomes is required. The applicant must provide information showing outcomes of employment and training programs that it has had in the past three (3) years in terms of enrollments and participants who have entered into employment. An applicant that has operated a HVRP, other Homeless Employment and Training program, or VWIP program must also include the final or most recent technical performance report.

Please note that the Department of Labor grant review panel members, who will be reviewing all grant applications submitted as a result of this SGA, do not have access to any reporting information systems during the review process, therefore, if final or most recent technical performance reports are not submitted, the grant application may be considered non-responsive.

The applicant must also provide evidence of key staff capability. It is preferred that the grantee be a well established service provider and not in the initial start-up phase or process.

Proposed housing strategy for homeless veterans: Describe how housing resources for eligible homeless veterans will be obtained or accessed. These resources must be from linkages or sources other than the HVRP grant such as HUD, HHS, community housing resources, DVA leasing, or other programs.

C. Section 3—The Cost Proposal must contain the following: Applicants can expect that the cost proposal will be reviewed for allocability, allowability, and reasonableness.

(1) Standard Form SF-424, “Application for Federal Assistance” (with the original signed in blue-ink) (Appendix A) must be completed; Start Printed Page 15904

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for this program is 17.805 and it must be entered on the SF-424, in Block 10.

The organizational unit section of Block 5 of the SF-424 must contain the Dun and Bradstreet Number (DUNS) of the applicant. Beginning October 1, 2003, all applicants for Federal grant funding opportunities are required to include a DUNS number with their application. See OMB Notice of Final Policy Issuance, 68 Federal Register 38402 (June 27, 2003). Applicants' DUNS number is to be entered into Block 5 of SF-424. The DUNS number is a nine-digit identification number that uniquely identifies business entities. There is no charge for obtaining a DUNS number. To obtain a DUNS number call 1-866-705-5711 or access the following Web site: http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/​ Requests for exemption from the DUNS number requirement must be made to the Office of Management and Budget.

(2) Standard Form SF-424A “Budget Information Sheet” (Appendix B) must be included;

(3) As an attachment to SF-424A, the applicant must provide a detailed cost breakout 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 SF-424A correspond accurately with the Budget Narrative;

The Budget Narrative must include, at a minimum:

  • Breakout of all personnel costs by position, title, annual salary rates, and percent of time of each position to be devoted to the proposed project (including sub-grantees) by completing the “Direct Cost Descriptions for Applicants and Sub-Applicants” form (Appendix E);
  • Explanation and breakout of extraordinary fringe benefit rates and associated charges (i.e., rates exceeding 35% of salaries and wages);
  • Explanation of the purpose and composition of, and method used to derive the costs of each of the following: travel, equipment, supplies, sub-awards/contracts, and any other costs. The applicant must include costs of any required travel described in this Solicitation. Planned travel expenditures will not exceed 5% of the total HVRP funds requested. Mileage charges may not exceed 40.5 cents per mile or the current Federal rate;
  • All associated costs for obtaining and retaining participant information pertinent to the follow-up survey, at 90 and 180 days after the program performance period ends;
  • 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
  • Matching funds, leveraged funds, and in-kind services are not required for HVRP grants. However, if matching funds, leverage funds, or in-kind services are to be used, an identification of all sources of leveraged or matching funds and an explanation of the derivation of the value of matching/in-kind services must be provided. When resources such as matching funds, leveraged funds, and/or the value of in-kind contributions are made available, please show in Section B of the Budget Information Sheet.

(4) A completed Assurance and Certification signature page (Appendix C) (signed in blue ink) must be submitted;

(5) All applicants must submit evidence of satisfactory financial management capability, which must include recent (within the last 18 months) financial and/or audit statements. All successful grantees are required to utilize Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP), maintain a separate accounting for these grant funds, and have a checking account;

(6) All applicants must include, as a separate appendix, a list of all employment and training government grants and contracts that it has had in the past three (3) years, including grant/contract officer contact information. VETS reserves the right to have a DOL representative review and verify this data;

(7) A completed Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants (Appendix F) must be provided.

3. Submission Dates and Times (Acceptable Methods of Submission): 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. EDT, April 28, 2005, will not be considered unless it is received before the award is made and:

  • 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
  • It was sent by registered or certified mail not later than the fifth calendar day before April 28, 2005; or
  • It was sent by U.S. Postal Service Express Mail Next Day Service-Post Office to Addressee, not later than 5 p.m. at the place of mailing two (2) working days, excluding weekends and Federal holidays, prior to April 28, 2005.

➢ Applicants may apply online at http://grants.gov. Applicants submitting proposals online are requested to refrain from mailing an application as well. Any application received after the deadline will not be considered and will not be evaluated.

4. Intergovernmental Review: Not Applicable.

5. Funding Restrictions:

A. Proposals exceeding $300,000 will be considered non-responsive and will not be evaluated.

B. There is a limit of one (1) application per submitting organization and physical location serving the same HVRP participant population. If two (2) applications from the same organization for the same physical location serving the same HVRP participant population are submitted, the application with the later date will be considered non-responsive. Please do not submit duplicate original grant applications as only one (1) grant application will be considered for funding purposes.

C. Due to the limited availability of funding, if an organization was awarded Fiscal Year 2003 or Fiscal Year 2004 HVRP funds for a specific physical location serving the same HVRP participant population and will be receiving second and possible third year funding, then that organization at that specific physical location serving the same HVRP participant population will be considered ineligible to compete for FY 2005 HVRP funds. Therefore, due to the limited funding availability, we are unable to award more than one (1) HVRP grant per organization at a specific physical location serving the same HVRP participant population.

D. There will not be reimbursement of pre-award costs unless specifically agreed upon in writing by the Department of Labor.

E. 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 because Section 18 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, Public Law No. 104-65, 109 Stat. 691, prohibits the award of Federal funds to these entities.

F. The only potential areas that will be served through this urban competition for HVRPs in FY 2005 are the metropolitan areas of the 75 U.S. cities largest in population and the metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico (see Appendix I).

G. The U.S. Government is generally prohibited from providing direct financial assistance for inherently Start Printed Page 15905religious activities. The grantee may work with and partner with religious institutions; however, direct Federal assistance provided under grants with the U.S. Department of Labor may not be used for religious instruction, worship, prayer, proselytizing or other inherently religious activities. 29 CFR part 2, Subpart D governs the treatment in government programs of religious organizations and religious activities; the grantee and sub-awardees are expected to be aware of and observe the regulations in this Subpart.

H. Limitations on Administrative and Indirect Costs

  • Administrative costs, which consist of all direct and indirect costs associated with the supervision and management of the program, are limited to and will not exceed 20% of the total grant award.
  • Indirect costs claimed by the applicant must be based on a Federally approved rate. A copy of the current negotiated approved and signed indirect cost negotiation agreement must be submitted with the application. Furthermore, indirect costs are considered a part of administrative costs for HVRP purposes and, therefore, may not exceed 20% of the total grant award.
  • 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 within 90 days of grant award with the appropriate DOL Regional Office of Cost Determination or with the applicant's cognizant agency for indirect cost rates (See Office of Management and Budget web site at http://www.whitehouse. gov/omb/grants/attach.html).
  • Indirect cost rates traceable and trackable through the State Workforce Agency's Cost Accounting System represent an acceptable means of allocating costs to DOL and, therefore, can be approved for use in grants to State Workforce Agencies.

6. Other Submission Requirements:

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 “bull's-eye” postmark on both the receipt and the envelope or wrapper. Applications cannot be accepted by e-mail or facsimile machine.

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 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 other delivery services, such as Federal Express, UPS, etc., will also be accepted.

All applicants are advised that U.S. mail delivery in the Washington, DC area has been erratic due to security concerns. All applicants must take this into consideration when preparing to meet the application deadline, as you assume the risk for ensuring a timely submission, that is, if, because of these mail problems, the Department does not receive an application or receives it too late to give proper consideration, even if it was timely mailed, the Department is not required to consider the application.

V. Application Review Information

1. Application Evaluation Criteria: Applications will receive up to 110 total points based on the following criteria:

A. Need for the Project: 10 Points

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

B. Overall Strategy To Increase Employment and Retention in Employment: 35 Points [and Up to 10 Additional Points (for a Total of 45 Points) if Overall Strategy Includes an Approach for Addressing Barriers to Employment Faced by Homeless Female Veterans as Described Below.]

The application must include a description of the approach to providing comprehensive employment and training services, including job training, job development, obtaining employer commitments to hire, placement, and post-placement follow-up services. Applicants must address how they will target occupations in emerging industries. Supportive services provided as part of the strategy of promoting job readiness and job retention must be indicated. The applicant must identify the local services and sources of training to be used for participants. At least 80% of enrolled participants must participate in training activities. A description of the relationship with other employment and training programs delivered through the One-Stop Career Center System must be specified. Applicants must indicate 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.

Additional Points: Up to an additional 10 points under this section will be awarded to grant proposals that focus some of their effort on addressing the barriers to employment faced by homeless female veterans. For such purposes, it is recommended that grant applicants have an established network of service providers to assist the children of homeless veterans, including but not limited to, housing, child care, medical care, etc. It is recommended that formal Memorandum of Understandings with providers of children services be established and attached to the grant application request.

Note:

The applicant must complete Appendix D, the Recommended Format for Planned Quarterly Technical Performance Goals, with proposed programmatic outcomes, including participants served, placement/entered employments and job retention.

C. Quality and Extent of Linkages With Other Providers of Services to the Homeless and to Veterans: 20 Points

The application must provide information on the quality and extent of the linkages this program will have with other providers of services to homeless veterans in the local community including faith-based and community Start Printed Page 15906organizations. For each service, the applicant must specify 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 be incorporated into the community's continuum of care approach and/or the ten (10) year plan to end homelessness. Describe how the proposed project links to the appropriate State Workforce Agency and One-Stop Center(s) including coordination and collaboration with DVOP/LVER and other One Stop Center staff, HUD, HHS, DVA, and/or other local community based programs and the services that will be provided as necessary on behalf of the homeless veteran participants to be served.

D. Demonstrated Capability in Providing Required Program Services, Including Programmatic Reporting and Participant Tracking: 25 Points

The applicant must describe its relevant prior experience in operating employment and training programs and providing services to participants similar to those that are proposed under this solicitation. Specific outcomes previously achieved by the applicant must be described, such as job placements, benefits secured, network coalitions, etc. The applicant must also address its capacity for timely startup of the program, programmatic reporting, and participant tracking. The applicant should describe its staff experience and ability to manage the administrative, programmatic and financial aspects of a grant program. Include a recent (within the last 18 months) financial statement or audit. Final or most recent technical reports for other relevant programs must be submitted, if applicable. Because prior HVRP experience is not a requirement for this grant, some applicants may not have any HVRP technical performance reports to submit but may have other similar type programmatic performance reports to submit as evidence of experience in operating other employment and training type programs.

E. Quality of Overall Housing Strategy: 10 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, or other means. HVRP funds may not be used for housing purposes or purchasing or leasing of vehicles.

2. Review and Selection Process:

Applications will initially be screened to ensure timeliness, completeness, and compliance with the SGA requirements. Applications that satisfy this initial screening will receive further review as explained below.

Technical proposals will be reviewed by a Department of Labor grant review panel using the point scoring system specified above in Section V(1). The review panel will assign scores after careful evaluation by each panel member and rank applications based on this score. The ranking will be the primary basis to identify applicants as potential grantees. The review panel may establish a competitive range, based upon the proposal evaluation, for the purpose of selecting qualified applicants. The review panel may further evaluate grant applications deemed within the competitive range by assigning a point system for proposed grantee performance goals in order to compare goals of other grant applications deemed within the competitive range. The review panel's conclusions are advisory in nature and not binding on the Grant Officer.

Cost proposals will be considered in two (2) ways. The Department of Labor review panel will screen all applicant cost proposals to ensure expenses are allocable, allowable, and reasonable. If the review panel concludes that the cost proposal contains an expense(s) that is not allocable, allowable, and/or reasonable, the application may be considered ineligible for funding. Further, VETS and the Grant Officer will consider applicant information concerning the proposed cost per placement, percentage of participants placed into unsubsidized employment, average wage at placement, 90 and 180-day retention in employment percentages, and geographical balance. The national average cost per placement for HVRP for last year was $2,200.

The Government reserves the right to ask for clarification on any aspect of a grant application. The Government also reserves the right to discuss any potential grantee concerns amongst Department of Labor staff. 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 geographic service areas. The Grant Officer's determination for award under SGA #05-01 is the final agency action. The submission of the same proposal from any prior year HVRP competition does not guarantee an award under this Solicitation.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

A. The Notice of Award signed by the Grant Officer is the authorizing document and will be provided through postal mail and/or by electronic means to the authorized representative listed on the SF-424 Grant Application. Notice that an organization has been selected as a grant recipient does not constitute approval of the grant application as submitted. Before the actual grant award, the Grant Officer may enter into negotiations concerning such items as program components, funding levels, and administrative systems. If the negotiations do not result in an acceptable submittal, the Grant Officer reserves the right to terminate the negotiation and decline to fund the proposal.

B. A post-award conference will be held for those grantees awarded FY 2005 HVRP funds through this competition. The post-award conference is expected to be held in August 2005 and up to two (2) representatives must be present. The site of the post-award conference has not yet been determined, however, for planning and budgeting purposes, please allot five (5) days and use Denver, Colorado as the conference site. The post-award conference will focus on providing information and assistance on reporting, recordkeeping, grant requirements, and also include networking opportunities to learn of best practices from more experienced and successful grantees. Costs associated with attending this conference for up to two (2) grantee representatives will be allowed as long as they are incurred in accordance with Federal travel regulations. Such costs must be charged as administrative costs and reflected in the proposed budget.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Unless specifically provided in the grant agreement, DOL's acceptance of a proposal and an award of Federal funds to sponsor any program(s) does not provide a waiver of any grant requirements and/or procedures. For example, the OMB circulars require that an entity's procurement procedures must provide all procurement transactions will be conducted, as practical, to provide open and free competition. If a proposal identifies a specific entity to provide the services, the DOL award does not provide the Start Printed Page 15907justification or basis to sole-source the procurement, i.e., avoid competition. All grants will be subject to the following administrative standards and provisions, as applicable to the particular grantee:

  • 29 CFR part 2, Subpart D—Equal Treatment in Department of Labor Programs for Faith-Based and Community Organizations; Protection of Religious Liberty of Department of Labor Social Service Providers and Beneficiaries.
  • 29 CFR part 31—Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs of the Department of Labor—Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • 29 CFR part 32—Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs or Activities Receiving or Benefiting from Federal Financial Assistance.
  • 29 CFR part 33—Enforcement of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs or Activities Conducted by the Department of Labor.
  • 29 CFR part 35—Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age in Programs and Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance from the Department of Labor.
  • 29 CFR part 36—Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Assistance.
  • 29 CFR part 37—Implementation of the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
  • 29 CFR part 93—Lobbying.
  • 29 CFR part 95—Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations, and with Commercial Organizations.
  • 29 CFR part 96—Federal Standards for Audit of Federally Funded Grants, Contracts and Agreements.
  • 29 CFR part 97—Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments.
  • 29 CFR part 98—Federal Standards for Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non procurement) and Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants).
  • 29 CFR part 99—Audit of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organization.
  • Applicable cost principles under OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-122, or 48 CFR part 31.

3. Reporting

The grantee will submit the reports and documents listed below:

A. Quarterly Financial Reports

No later than 30 days after the end of each Federal fiscal quarter, the grantee must report outlays, program income, and other financial information on a federal fiscal quarterly basis using SF-269A, Financial Status Report, Short Form, and submit a copy of the HHS/PMS 272 draw down report. These reports must cite the assigned grant number and be submitted to the appropriate State Director for Veterans' Employment and Training (DVET).

B. Quarterly Program Reports

No later than 30 days after the end of each Federal fiscal quarter, grantees also must submit a Quarterly Technical Performance Report to the DVET that contains the following:

(1) A comparison of actual accomplishments to planned 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: identification of corrective action that will be taken to meet the planned goals, if required; and a timetable for accomplishment of the corrective action.

C. 90-Day Final Performance Report

No later than 120 days after the grant performance expiration date, the grantee must submit a final report showing results and performance as of the 90th day after the grant period, and containing the following:

(1) Final Financial Status Report SF-269A Short Form (that zeros out all unliquidated obligations); and

(2) Final Technical Performance Report comparing goals vs. actual performance levels.

D. 180-Day Follow-Up Report/Longitudinal Survey

No later than 210 days after the grant performance expiration date, the grantee must submit a Follow-Up Report/Longitudinal Survey showing results and performance as of the 180th day after the grant expiration date, and containing the following:

(1) Final Financial Status Report SF-269A Short Form (if not previously submitted); and

(2) 180-Day Follow-Up Report/Longitudinal Survey identifying:

(a) The total combined (directed/assisted) number of veterans placed into employment during the entire grant period;

(b) The number of veterans still employed after the 90 and 180 day follow-up period;

(c) If the veterans are still employed at the same or similar job, and if not, what are the reason(s);

(d) Whether training received was applicable to jobs held;

(e) Wages at placement and at the 90 and 180 day follow-up period;

(f) An explanation of 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.

VII. Agency Contact

Questions and applications are to be forwarded to: Department of Labor, Procurement Services Center, Attention: Cassandra Mitchell, Reference SGA # 05-01, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-5416, Washington, DC 20210, phone number: (202) 693-4570 (this is not a toll-free number).

Resources for the Applicant: Applicants may review “VETS” Guide to Competitive and Discretionary Grants” located at http://www.dol.gov/​vets/​ grants/Final_VETS_Guide-linked.pdf. Applicants may also find these resources useful: The Department of Labor's Homeless and Service Providers of Homeless Information site at http://www2.dol.gov/​dol/​audience/​aud-homeless.htm, America's Service Locator http://www.servicelocator.org/​ provides a directory of our nation's One-Stop Career Centers. The National Association of Workforce Boards maintains an Web site (http://www.nawb.org/​asp/​wibdir.asp) that contains contact information for the State and local Workforce Investment Boards. The web page for the Department of Labor, Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives (http://www.dol.gov/​cfbci).

Comments: Comments are to be submitted to the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-1312, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-4701. Written comments are limited to ten (10) pages or fewer and may be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 693-4755. Receipt of submissions, whether by U.S. mail, e-mail, or facsimile transmittal, will not be automatically acknowledged; however, the sender may request confirmation that a submission has been received, by telephoning VETS at (202) 693-4701 or (202) 693-4753 (TTY/TDD).

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Start Signature

Signed at Washington, DC this 23rd day of March, 2005.

Lisa Harvey,

Acting Grant Officer.

End Signature

Appendices

Appendix A: Application for Federal Assistance SF-424

Appendix B: Budget Information Sheet SF-424A

Appendix C: Assurances and Certifications Signature Page

Appendix D: Recommended Format for Planned Quarterly Technical Performance Goals

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

Appendix F: Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Appendix G: The Glossary of Terms

Appendix H: List of Common Acronyms

Appendix I: List of 75 Largest Cities Nationwide

End Preamble

BILLING CODE 4510-74-C

[FR Doc. 05-6132 Filed 3-20-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-79-P