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Notice

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services: Overview Information; Projects With Industry (PWI) Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.234S.

DATES:

Applications Available: March 28, 2008.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 27, 2008.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 28, 2008.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The PWI program creates and expands job and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the competitive labor market by engaging the talent and leadership of private industry as partners in the rehabilitation process. Projects identify competitive job and career opportunities and the skills needed to perform those jobs, create practical settings for job readiness and training programs, and provide training, job placements, and career advancement services.

Statutory Requirements: Each grantee under the PWI program must—

a. Provide for the establishment of a business advisory council (BAC), which must be comprised of representatives of private industry, business concerns, organized labor, individuals with disabilities and their representatives, and a representative of the appropriate designated State unit. The BAC must (1) identify job and career availability within the community, consistent with the current and projected local employment opportunities identified by the local workforce investment board for the community under section 118(b)(1)(B) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998; (2) identify the skills necessary to perform the jobs and careers identified; and (3) prescribe training programs designed to develop appropriate job and career skills, or job placement programs designed to identify and develop job placement and career advancement opportunities, for individuals with disabilities (see 29 U.S.C. 795(a)(2)(A));

b. Provide job development, job placement, and career advancement services (see 29 U.S.C. 795(a)(2)(B));

c. To the extent appropriate, provide for—

1. Training in realistic work settings to prepare individuals with disabilities for employment and career advancement in the competitive labor market (see 29 U.S.C. 795(a)(2)(C)(i)); and

2. To the extent practicable, the modification of any facilities or equipment of the employer involved that are used primarily by individuals with disabilities under this program. However, a project may not be required to provide for this modification if the modification is required as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213 (see 29 U.S.C. 795(a)(2)(C)(ii)); and

d. Provide individuals with disabilities with support services as may be required to maintain the employment and career advancement for which the individuals have received training under this program (see 29 U.S.C. 795(a)(2)(D)).

Priorities: This competition uses a competitive preference priority and an invitational priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the competitive preference priority is from the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (34 CFR 75.225(c)(2)).

Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2008 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this Start Printed Page 16657competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional five points to the application that meets this priority.

This priority is:

Novice Applicant. The applicant must be a novice applicant. Novice applicant means any applicant for a grant from the Department that—

1. Has never received a grant or subgrant under the PWI program;

2. Has never been a member of a group application, submitted in accordance with CFR 75.127 through 75.129, that received a grant under the PWI program; and

3. Has not had an active discretionary grant from the Federal Government in the five years before the deadline date for applications under the PWI program.

Invitational Priority: For FY 2008 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105 (c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Faith-based and Community Organizations. The Secretary is especially interested in applications in which the applicant proposes to—

1. Contact faith-based and community organizations to determine whether such organizations will participate in the project by providing services or placement opportunities, as appropriate and

2. Engage such organizations to provide services and placement opportunities to the project, as appropriate.

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 795.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 379 and part 369.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $18,900,000.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2009 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $250,000-$350,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $300,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 63.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Employers, nonprofit agencies or organizations, designated State units, labor unions, community rehabilitation program providers, trade associations, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and other agencies or organizations, including faith-based and community organizations, with the capacity to create and expand job and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Grant awards will be made only to organizations that provide job and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities within the State in which the organization is located or a contiguous State.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing of at least 20 percent of the total cost of the project is required of grantees under the PWI program. (see 29 U.S.C. 795(c))

3. Other: In order to receive a continuation award under this program, an applicant receiving a grant under this program must comply with the provisions of 34 CFR 75.253(a), including making substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved application. In assessing substantial progress, the Department will consider whether the grantee has served the number of individuals with disabilities it projected it would serve in its application. In addition, the grantee must submit data in accordance with 34 CFR 379.54 showing that it has met the program compliance indicators established under 34 CFR 379.51. Grantees must meet each of the indicators in order to receive a continuation award as provided in 34 CFR 379.50.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number: 84.234S.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under Alternative Format in section VIII of this notice.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: March 28, 2008.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 27, 2008.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 28, 2008.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.

6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this Start Printed Page 16658competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

Applications for grants under the PWI Program, CFDA Number 84.234S, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

You may access the electronic grant application for the PWI Program at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.234, not 84.234S).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not consider your application if it is date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov at http://e-Grants.ed.gov/​help/​GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf.
  • To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process (see http://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​get_​registered.jsp). These steps include (1) registering your organization, a multi-part process that includes registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (2) registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/​section910/​Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf). You also must provide on your application the same D-U-N-S Number used with this registration. Please note that the registration process may take five or more business days to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to allow you to submit successfully an application via Grants.gov. In addition you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. Please note that two of these forms—the SF 424 and the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424—have replaced the ED 424 (Application for Federal Education Assistance).
  • You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your Start Printed Page 16659application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and
  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Kerrie Clark, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5048, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800. FAX: (202) 245-7281.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.234S), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260; or

By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.234S), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address you use, you must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark.

(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.234S), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 379.30 and 34 CFR 379.31 and are listed in the application package.

2. Review and Selection Process: Additional factors we consider in selecting an application for an award under this program are as follows:

a. The equitable distribution of projects among the States; and

b. The past performance of the applicant in carrying out a similar PWI project under previously awarded grants, as indicated by factors such as compliance with grant conditions, soundness of programmatic and financial management practices, and meeting the compliance indicators and other requirements for continuation of funding.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notice (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Start Printed Page 16660Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established five performance measures for the PWI program. The measures are: Percentage of individuals served who were placed in competitive employment; cost per placement; average increase in weekly earnings experienced by individuals placed in competitive employment; percentage of participants exiting the program who are placed into competitive employment; and cost per participant. Each grantee must submit an annual performance report documenting its success in addressing these performance measures, as well as the compliance indicators required by the program regulations in 34 CFR part 379, subpart F.

In addition, the PWI program is part of the Administration's job training and employment common measures initiative. The common measures for job training and employment programs targeting adults are—entered employment (percentage of individuals employed in the first quarter after program exit); retention in employment (percentage of individuals employed in the first quarter after exit that were still employed in the second and third quarters after program exit); earnings increase (percentage change in earnings pre-registration to post-program and first quarter after exit to third quarter after exit); and efficiency (annual cost per participant). The Department is currently working toward implementation of these common measures. Each grantee will be required to collect and report data for the common measures when implemented.

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kerrie Clark, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5048, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7281 or e-mail: kerrie.clark@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Alternative Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​fedregister.

To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

Note:

The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

Start Signature

Dated: March 25, 2008.

Tracy R. Justesen,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. E8-6453 Filed 3-27-08; 8:45 am]

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