Revised Methodology for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure: Comments Request, 36823-36827 [2014-15275]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 125 / Monday, June 30, 2014 / Notices Total Estimated Number of Responses: 502. Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 4,267 hours. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $2,510. Dated: June 24, 2014. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2014–15198 Filed 6–27–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Revised Methodology for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure: Comments Request Office of Job Corps, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Labor. ACTION: Notice AGENCY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (Department or DOL) issues this notice to propose a Revised Methodology for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure. The Office of Job Corps in ETA published a proposed methodology for selecting centers for closure at 78 FR 2284 on January 10, 2013. We received a total of eighteen (18) public comments in response to this proposal. After analyzing the comments, the Department has decided to adjust the weights given to the various factors. Additionally, the Department is proposing to adjust the methodology to use the performance period of Program Year (PY) 2008 through PY 2012 instead of PY 2007 through PY 2011 as was proposed in the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice. The Department is also proposing additional considerations that we will include in the closure methodology. This revised methodology would be used to select centers for closure. The Department requests public comment on the revised methodology, as outlined in this notice. DATES: To be ensured consideration, comments must be submitted in writing on or before July 21, 2014. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number ETA– 2014–0001, by only one of the following methods: Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the Web site instructions for submitting comments. Mail and hand delivery/courier: Submit comments to Lenita Jacobs- mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:01 Jun 27, 2014 Jkt 232001 Simmons, Acting National Director, Office of Job Corps (OJC), U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N– 4459, Washington, DC 20210. Due to security-related concerns, there may be a significant delay in the receipt of submissions by United States Mail. You must take this into consideration when preparing to meet the deadline for submitting comments. The Department will post all comments received on http://www.regulations.gov without making any changes to the comments or redacting any information, including any personal information provided. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is the Federal e-rulemaking portal and all comments posted there are available and accessible to the public. The Department recommends that commenters not include personal information such as Social Security Numbers, personal addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses that they do not want made public in their comments as such submitted information will be available to the public via the http:// www.regulations.gov Web site. Comments submitted through http:// www.regulations.gov will not include the email address of the commenter unless the commenter chooses to include that information as part of his or her comment. It is the responsibility of the commenter to safeguard personal information. Instructions: All submissions received should include the Docket Number for the notice: Docket Number ETA–2014– 0001. Please submit your comments by only one method. Again, please note that due to security concerns, postal mail delivery in Washington, DC may be delayed. Therefore, the Department encourages the public to submit comments on http:// www.regulations.gov. Docket: All comments on this proposal for a methodology to select centers for closure will be available on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. The Department also will make all of the comments it receives available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the above address. If you need assistance to review the comments, the Department will provide appropriate aids such as readers or print magnifiers. The Department will make copies of this proposed methodology available, upon request, in large print and electronic file on computer disk. To schedule an appointment to review the comments and/or obtain the notice in an alternative format, contact the Office of PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36823 Job Corps at (202) 693–3000 (this is not a toll-free number). You may also contact this office at the address listed below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, Acting National Director, Office of Job Corps, ETA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N–4463, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone (202) 693–3000 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1–(877) 889–5627 (TTY/TDD). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Established in 1964, the Job Corps program is a national program administered by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in the Department of Labor (DOL or Department). It is the nation’s largest federally-funded, primarily residential training program for at-risk youth, ages 16–24. With 125 centers in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, Job Corps provides economically-disadvantaged youth with the academic, career technical, and employability skills to enter the workforce, enroll in post-secondary education, or enlist in the military. Job Corps emphasizes the attainment of academic credentials, including a high school diploma (HSD) or a high school equivalency credential, and career technical training credentials, including industry-recognized credentials, state licensures, and pre-apprenticeship credentials. Large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and Native American tribes manage and operate 97 of the Job Corps centers through contractual agreements with the Department of Labor following competitive procurement, while 28 centers are operated through an interagency agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Separate from center operation contracts, Job Corps also contracts with firms and companies, usually small businesses, through competitive procurements, to recruit new students for the program and place graduates and former enrollees into meaningful jobs, education programs, the military, or apprenticeship training. In some instances, however, Job Corps contracts with one entity to both operate a center and manage student recruitment and job placements. Job Corps also receives annual Construction, Rehabilitation, E:\FR\FM\30JNN1.SGM 30JNN1 36824 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 125 / Monday, June 30, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES and Acquisition (CRA) funding to build, maintain, expand, or upgrade new and existing facilities at all 125 centers. Pursuing Performance Excellence In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, we began an ambitious reform agenda aimed at improving the performance of Job Corps centers nationwide. This included setting higher standards for all centers, identifying chronically underperforming centers, and implementing appropriate corrective action. As part of this reform process, Job Corps continues to undergo a rigorous and comprehensive review of its operations and management to identify changes that can be made to improve the program’s effectiveness and efficiency. Job Corps has implemented a National Certification Initiative to strengthen and align existing career technical training programs to technical standards established by industries or trade organizations, which enables students to graduate with industryrecognized credentials. These credentials provide for long-term attachment to the workforce and economic mobility as Job Corps graduates advance through their careers. They also ensure that program graduates have gained the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in today’s workforce. Job Corps has also expanded academic opportunities for students with the introduction of evening educational programs, as well as community college partnerships and expanded high school diploma options. Current budgetary constraints make it even more critical to ensure the program’s resources are deployed in a way that maximizes results to students and taxpayers. Job Corps has intensified and reinforced federal oversight of operations and performance outcomes for all centers. Federal program managers supervise centers through monitoring visits, desk audits, and Contractor Performance Assessment Reports during each contractor’s performance period. Job Corps regional offices also conduct the Regional Office Center Assessments. Through these oversight activities, Job Corps federal program managers develop Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) for entire centers that need improvement, or Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) to address specific aspects of operations, such as career technical training. Both PIPs and CAPs are used for continued monitoring and implemented for USDA and contract centers respectively. These oversight actions have strengthened collaboration between Job Corps, contractors, and the USDA to rectify VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:01 Jun 27, 2014 Jkt 232001 deficiencies, and improve policy compliance and performance outcomes. While the majority of centers meet program standards, some centers are chronically low-performing and have remained in the bottom cohort of center performance rankings for multiple years despite extensive DOL interventions including corrective measures. Given the resource intensiveness of the Job Corps model, the Administration has determined that it can no longer continue to expend resources on the small number of chronically lowperforming centers that have repeatedly failed to provide participants with highquality Job Corps programming. For the purpose of identifying chronically low-performing centers for closure, DOL has defined ‘‘chronically low-performing centers’’ as those that consistently lagged in overall performance over the past five consecutive program years without evidence of significant recent performance improvement. As we explain below, the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice had proposed using the performance data from PY 2007–2011. Final PY 2012 data is now available and has been published on the Job Corps Web site. The Department is proposing to use performance data from PY 2008–2012 in the closure methodology. The Department is committed to selecting centers for closure in a manner that is transparent and objective. We previously solicited comments on our proposed methodology for selecting centers for closure. We have now analyzed those comments and revised the closure methodology to reflect that public feedback. Job Corps’ published performance metrics were the primary consideration in the selection of centers for closure. Provided below is our revised methodology for using the Outcome Measurement System (OMS, Job Corps’ internal, comprehensive performance management system. For details, please go to jobcorps.gov— About Job Corps—Performance and Planning—Job Corps Performance Management System Overview Guide) and other factors to select proposed centers for closure. The Department is also proposing additional considerations that we will include in the closure methodology. The Department is requesting comments on the change in the data we will use and on the additional considerations proposed for inclusion in the methodology. Interested parties may submit comments to DOL on these subjects, and on the proposed closure methodology as a whole. The Department will consider these PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 comments as we finalize the methodology and select centers for closure. Process for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure On August 14, 2012, the Office of Job Corps hosted a national Job Corps listening session, via webinar, with the Job Corps community to solicit input on the methodology factors. More than 100 Job Corps stakeholders participated in the session and provided criteria-related suggestions in the areas of performance, geographic location, local economic impact, contract budgets, facilities, and the time period for evaluating chronic low performance. On January 10, 2013, the Office of Job Corps published a Federal Register Notice requesting public comments on a proposed methodology for selecting Job Corps centers for closure (78 FR 2284). The Department received a total of 18 public comments, which we reviewed and analyzed. As a result of this analysis, we revised the methodology factors for selection of Job Corps centers for closure, as explained below. The Department is also proposing additional considerations for inclusion in the methodology. Factors for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure Provided below is a description of the revised methodology factors the Department proposes to use to select Job Corps centers for closure. As the Department proposed in the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice, we propose to use the following primary criteria against which all centers were measured: 1. Five-year OMS performance level, including considerations for patterns of demonstrable and recent performance improvement. The OMS includes the following 14 measures: Æ High School Diploma (HSD) or General Educational Development (GED) Attainment Rate; Æ Career Technical Training (CTT) Completion Rate; Æ Combination HSD or GED, and CTT Attainment Rate; Æ Average Literacy Gain; Æ Average Numeracy Gain; Æ CTT Industry-Recognized Credential Attainment Rate; Æ CTT Completer Job—Training Match/Post-Secondary Credit Placement Rate; Æ Former Enrollee Initial Placement Rate; Æ Graduate Initial Placement Rate; Æ Graduate Average Hourly Wage at Placement; Æ Graduate Full-Time Job Placement Rate; E:\FR\FM\30JNN1.SGM 30JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 125 / Monday, June 30, 2014 / Notices Æ Graduate 6-Month Follow-up Placement Rate; Æ Graduate 6-Month Average Weekly Earnings; Æ Graduate 12-Month Follow-up Placement Rate; and 2. Five-year On-Board Strength (OBS); and 3. Five-year Facility Condition Index (FCI). After ranking the centers based on the primary criteria, we will then apply the following additional considerations: 1. Continued availability of Job Corps services in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; 2. Sufficiency of data available to evaluate center performance; 3. Indication of significant recent performance improvement; and 4. Job Corps’ continuing commitment to diversity. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1. Five-Year Performance Levels Given that the Job Corps’ performance metrics provide a comprehensive assessment of center performance, allow for comparison of performance among centers, and supply enough data for decision makers to determine trends over time, the OMS will be the guiding factor in selecting centers for closure. The Department believes this approach is the most equitable and transparent for both stakeholders and the public, as these published performance metrics have driven center performance and programmatic decisions for over a decade. The Department invites public comments on how the five-year performance levels have been incorporated into the closure methodology below. The Department has determined that the closure methodology will evaluate each center’s overall OMS ratings for five full program years to derive a weighted five-year average performance rating. We selected the five-year performance period for the following reasons: • The five-year period is reasonably long enough to incorporate both the most recent performance data and relatively older data; • It allows enough time to analyze impact of any Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs); • It provides a stable basis for comparison, since the OMS had no significant changes over the past five years; and • It relies on published outcomes that are familiar to the Job Corps community. In the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice, the past five years of performance data we proposed using for this factor was the data from PY 2007– 2011. We now propose to use the VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:01 Jun 27, 2014 Jkt 232001 performance data for PY 2008–2012 in the closure methodology. The Department received public comments that recommended using OMS ratings for the last 10 consecutive program years with a different weight structure to identify chronically low performing centers and excluding PY 2011 data. The comments stated that five program years was not enough time for centers to exhaust all options to improve, and 10 years would allow the assessment of a center that may have had multiple operators. In addition, the comments stated that PY 2011 performance data was impacted by Job Corps’ cost saving actions taken at the end of that program year and should be excluded from the calculation. The Department considered these comments and other options during the development of the final methodology criteria, and determined that five program years is long enough to provide a solid basis for assessing a center’s performance. Additionally, Job Corps’ OMS has been held fairly consistent and stable over the past five program years, with no dramatic shifts in weights, goals or measures. This allows for a strong comparison of consistent data that would be weakened considerably if the time period were extended. Finally, Job Corps’ cost saving actions at the end of PY 2011 were limited to a short period of enrollment suspension in the summer, a hiring freeze, budget and spending plan reviews, moderate reductions of some centers’ incremental funding, and tighter control on student travel and allowance costs. They did not have any significant impact on the PY 2011 OMS results. Similarly, the cost savings activities in PY 2012 did not appear to have a significant impact on the PY 2012 OMS performance results. Since the PY 2012 enrollment suspension was applied to all centers, the overall improved OMS performance in PY 2012 is largely attributable to the smaller student populations that centers served and the more concentrated services they were able to receive during the suspension period. The performance factor in the previous closure methodology was originally assigned a weight of 70% in the Federal Register Notice dated January 10, 2013. Public comments received suggested that the weights for OBS and Facility Condition Index (FCI) should be reduced as factors, allowing an increase from 70% to 90% in the performance factor. The Department agrees with public comments suggesting increasing the weighting factor for OMS from 70% to 90%, and made this change. The original OMS and OBS ratings for each of the five program PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36825 years, which exceeded 100% for some centers, were normalized at one hundred percent (100%) to be consistent with the FCI data. ‘‘Normalized’’ means the data has been placed on a 100-point scale. The calculation formula for the final methodology also contains the normalized data for OMS. As proposed in the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice, the final closure methodology weights recent performance more heavily than performance in earlier years. This approach addresses centers that may have had recent improvements in performance. To reflect this, weights are applied to each of the five program year’s performance data, with recent years receiving a greater weight than earlier years. The year-by-year weighted structure is as follows: PY 2012 ................................ PY 2011 ................................ PY 2010 ................................ PY 2009 ................................ PY 2008 ................................ Total: ................................. 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 100% The calculation formula for five-year performance for the final closure methodology is as follows: Center’s Five-Year Weighted Average Rating μ 90% = Overall Performance Rating 2. On-Board Strength On-Board Strength is an efficiency rating that demonstrates the extent to which a center operates at full capacity. Job Corps already uses this measure to assess center performance. The measure is reported as a percentage, calculated by the actual slot capacity divided by the planned slot capacity (daily number of students that a center is authorized to serve). The national goal for OBS is 100% in order to operate the program at full capacity, maximize program resources, and fulfill the mission of serving the underserved student population. As proposed in the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice, this criterion of the methodology evaluates each center’s end of Program Year OBS rating for the last five full program years to derive a five-year average rating. As explained above in the context of OMS data, the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice stated that the closure methodology would use data from the five-year period of PY 2007–2011. Now DOL is proposing to use the OBS data from PY 2008–2012. The Department received numerous public comments regarding OBS which can be summarized into two categories. The first group of comments suggested E:\FR\FM\30JNN1.SGM 30JNN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 36826 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 125 / Monday, June 30, 2014 / Notices reducing the weight of the OBS criterion because most Job Corps centers rely on third-party admission contractors for enrollment. The second group suggested excluding the PY 2011 OBS data because it was impacted by Job Corps’ cost saving actions taken at the end of PY 2011. The Department agrees with public comments suggesting reduction of the weighting factor for OBS from 20% to 5%. Adoption of this suggestion reflects DOL’s recognition that centers should not be held solely responsible for enrollment and retention of students. Reducing the weight of the OBS factor also enables the Department to strengthen its emphasis on performance, making performance the predominant factor in consideration for center closure. Further, we recognized that the June/July 2012 enrollment suspension impacted PY 2011 OBS results. To address this issue, the Office of Job Corps issued Program Information Notice 12–17 on October 1, 2012 stating that the May 31, 2012, Program Year Cumulative OBS (PY–COBS) report will be used as the basis for assessing centerlevel OBS performance for PY 2011. Therefore, the Department will use the May 31, 2012 PY–COBS report as the PY 2011 OBS report for calculating each center’s OBS rating. In addition, we adjusted downward the relative performance goals in the OA OMS Report Card. This action had the effect of using the first 11 months of the program year as the official performance basis for PY 2011, thereby holding contractors harmless for the remaining month of OBS measurements. Additionally, since the performance basis for the center closure methodology is over a five-year period, we determined that the absence of a single month would not distort a center’s historic performance trends to any meaningful degree. PY 2012 saw significant OBS reductions at all centers because of the enrollment suspension that lasted from January 28, 2013 through April 22, 2013. To address this issue, the Office of Job Corps issued Program Information Notice 13–14 on September 10, 2013 stating that the January 31, 2013, PY– COBS report will be used as the basis for assessing center-level OBS performance for PY 2012. Therefore, the Department will use the January 31, 2013 PY–COBS report as the PY 2012 OBS report for calculating each center’s OBS rating. The original OBS ratings for each of the five program years were normalized at one hundred percent (100%) so as to VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:01 Jun 27, 2014 Jkt 232001 be consistent with the OMS and FCI data. The calculation formula for the final methodology also contains the normalized data for OBS. As with the performance criterion, the revised methodology weights each of the five program year’s OBS data, with recent years receiving more weight to incorporate performance improvement. The year-by-year weighted structure is as follows: PY 2012 ................................ PY 2011 ................................ PY 2010 ................................ PY 2009 ................................ PY 2008 ................................ Total: ................................. 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 100% The calculation formula for five-year OBS for the final closure methodology is as follows: Center’s Five-Year Weighted Average Cumulative OBS μ 5% = Overall OBS Rating 3. Facility Condition and Physical Plant For a program that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week and is primarily residential, facility conditions are important. The quality of Job Corps’ residential and learning facilities has a direct impact on students’ experiences and, ultimately, their educational achievement. Each Job Corps center is a fully operational complex with academic and career technical training facilities, dining and recreation buildings, administrative offices, and residence halls (with the exception of solely non-residential facilities), including the surrounding owned or leased property on which the center is located. Job Corps receives an annual appropriation for Construction, Rehabilitation, and Acquisition (CRA) that is used to improve facility conditions at Job Corps centers. To properly manage the program’s facility and condition needs, Job Corps uses a Facility Condition Index (FCI) and gives each center an annual rating. This rating, which is expressed as a percentage, accounts for the value of a center’s construction, rehabilitation, and repair backlog, as compared to the replacement value of the center’s facilities. Facility condition affects the outcomes of the Job Corps program because good outcomes begin with facilities that contribute to a safe learning environment. For this factor, the Department will evaluate each center’s PY 2008–PY 2012 FCI, which takes into account all construction projects completed over the same five-year period as the other two factors. PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DOL received a number of public comments stating that FCI is an inappropriate factor because it is not within the control of centers. Some further contend that an FCI score five years ago has no relevance to the current facility condition and whether a center should close or not. We acknowledge that FCI, like OBS, is not entirely under the control of the centers. We considered this during development of the proposed closure methodology. Our intent of incorporating FCI was to include a factor that would capture and recognize the importance of significant capital investments that were made on particular centers. In addition, we determined that it is in the government’s best interest to consider past facility investments and future investment needs as a factor in the consideration of any center’s possible closure. We have decided to lessen the impact of this factor. Accordingly, as a result of the public comments received, we reduced the FCI weighting factor from 10% to 5%. Additionally, because FCI is already expressed on a 100-point scale, normalization of this data was not necessary. We also believe that a single year’s FCI value cannot adequately reflect the Government’s continued capital investment in a center and a center’s efforts to maintain its buildings and facilities. Therefore, we will continue to use five years’ FCI results for this evaluation. As with the performance and OBS criteria, the final methodology applies weights to each of the five program year’s FCI data, with recent years receiving more weight to incorporate any recent improvement. The year-byyear weighted structure is as follows: PY 2012 ................................ PY 2011 ................................ PY 2010 ................................ PY 2009 ................................ PY 2008 ................................ Total: ................................. 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 100% The calculation formula for FCI for the final closure methodology is as follows: Center’s Five-Year Weighted Average FCI Rating μ 5% = Overall FCI Rating Ranking Centers for Closure Applying the factors above will yield an overall rating for each center. This will allow DOL to create a list that ranks all centers, with the lowest performing centers receiving the lowest ratings. The calculation formula for the revised methodology is as follows: E:\FR\FM\30JNN1.SGM 30JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 125 / Monday, June 30, 2014 / Notices Overall Performance Rating (90%) + Overall OBS Rating (5%) 4. Other Considerations Included in the Closure Methodology a. Job Corps Services in Each State, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia In addition to the above three primary criteria, another consideration in the closure methodology explained in the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice involved an adequate level of Job Corps services remaining available in each state (Job Corps’ goal is to have at least one center operating in each state), the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. One comment stated that this factor would allow center location to trump center performance, and it stated that local and regional labor markets do not conform to state boundaries. We continue to believe that it is in the best interest of the Job Corps’ target population to ensure that this model is available in each state. Therefore, in making the decision about which centers to close, we will maintain at least one Job Corps center in each state, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, and will take into consideration whether a center’s closure would have a disproportionate impact on students in any one state. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES b. Sufficiency of Data Available To Evaluate Center Performance The centers in Ottumwa, Milwaukee, Pinellas, Denison, Long Beach, Gulfport and New Orleans are not included for consideration for closure. For each center, there is not enough OMS data to evaluate the center’s performance over the full five-year period for varying reasons. Those reasons include: New centers opened later during the five-year period (Ottumwa and Milwaukee); exclusion from OMS evaluation due to the Center for Excellence (CFE) pilot status (Pinellas County, Denison, and Long Beach); and center closure due to Hurricane Katrina (Gulf Port and New Orleans). No public comments were received regarding application of this criterion. c. Indication of Significant Recent Performance Improvement The Department has determined that performing in the top half of centers in PY 2013 should be taken as evidence of significant recent performance improvement. Therefore, we propose that a center will not be considered for closure if there is evidence of significant improvement in a center’s available PY VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:01 Jun 27, 2014 Jkt 232001 + Overall FCI Rating (5%) 2013 performance data. This consideration was not previously proposed, and therefore, we invite public comment on it. d. Job Corps’ Commitment to Diversity = 36827 Overall Rating for Primary Selection Factors reasonable period of time in advance of any final decision to close the center. Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training. [FR Doc. 2014–15275 Filed 6–27–14; 8:45 am] The closure methodology will also consider Job Corps’ commitment to diversity. Job Corps currently serves a diverse student population and remains committed to serving disadvantaged youth from all backgrounds. In making final closure decisions, we will consider whether a center’s closure would result in a significant reduction in student diversity within the overall Job Corps system. No public comments were received regarding Job Corps’ commitment to diversity or application of this criterion. The Department will accept comments for 20 days, beginning on the date of publication of this Notice. After we have received and analyzed any comments, we will finalize the methodology for center closure. The Department will implement the selection and closure process pursuant to the center closure requirements outlined in the WIA at section 159(g) and as stipulated in the DOL/USDA Interagency Agreement. We anticipate that it will take several months to execute closure of a center, and possibly longer for centers with larger student populations or Civilian Conservation Centers (CCCs). The Process for Closing Job Corps Centers, as Outlined in the Workforce Investment Act We will ensure that our process for closing Job Corps centers will follow the requirements of Section 159(g) of the WIA, which include the following: • The proposed decision to close a particular center is announced in advance to the general public through publication in the Federal Register or other appropriate means; • a reasonable comment period, not to exceed 30 days, is established for interested individuals to submit written comments to the Secretary once a decision to close a particular center is made; and • the Member of Congress who represents the district in which such center is located is notified within a PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 BILLING CODE 4510–FT–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration [TA–W–83,321] LATA Environmental Services of Kentucky, LLC, a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Los Alamos Technical Associates, Inc., Kevil, Kentucky; Notice of Revised Determination on Reconsideration On January 24, 2014, the Department of Labor issued a Notice of Negative Determination Regarding Eligibility to Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance applicable to workers and former workers of LATA Environmental Services of Kentucky, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Los Alamos Technical Associates, Inc., Kevil, Kentucky (subject firm). The Department’s Notice was published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2014 (79 FR 8508). Workers at the subject firm were engaged in employment related to the supply of environmental remediation services. The worker group does not include onsite leased workers. In an application dated March 11, 2014, the United Steel, paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied-Industrial and Service Workers International Union requested administrative reconsideration of the negative determination applicable to workers and former workers of the subject firm. The request for reconsideration alleges that workers at the subject firm are eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) under Section 222(b) of the Trade Act, 19 U.S.C. 2272(b). Previously-submitted information revealed that a significant number or proportion of the workers in the subject firm have been totally or partially separated or threatened by such separation. Therefore, the Department determines that Section 222(b)(1) has been met. A careful review of administrative record, the request for reconsideration, and publically-available information E:\FR\FM\30JNN1.SGM 30JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 125 (Monday, June 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36823-36827]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15275]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration


Revised Methodology for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure: 
Comments Request

AGENCY: Office of Job Corps, Employment and Training Administration 
(ETA), Labor.

ACTION: Notice

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SUMMARY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. 
Department of Labor (Department or DOL) issues this notice to propose a 
Revised Methodology for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure. The 
Office of Job Corps in ETA published a proposed methodology for 
selecting centers for closure at 78 FR 2284 on January 10, 2013. We 
received a total of eighteen (18) public comments in response to this 
proposal. After analyzing the comments, the Department has decided to 
adjust the weights given to the various factors. Additionally, the 
Department is proposing to adjust the methodology to use the 
performance period of Program Year (PY) 2008 through PY 2012 instead of 
PY 2007 through PY 2011 as was proposed in the January 10, 2013 Federal 
Register Notice. The Department is also proposing additional 
considerations that we will include in the closure methodology. This 
revised methodology would be used to select centers for closure. The 
Department requests public comment on the revised methodology, as 
outlined in this notice.

DATES: To be ensured consideration, comments must be submitted in 
writing on or before July 21, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number ETA-
2014-0001, by only one of the following methods:
    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
Web site instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail and hand delivery/courier: Submit comments to Lenita Jacobs-
Simmons, Acting National Director, Office of Job Corps (OJC), U.S. 
Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Room N- 4459, Washington, DC 20210. Due to 
security-related concerns, there may be a significant delay in the 
receipt of submissions by United States Mail. You must take this into 
consideration when preparing to meet the deadline for submitting 
comments. The Department will post all comments received on http://www.regulations.gov without making any changes to the comments or 
redacting any information, including any personal information provided. 
The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is the Federal e-rulemaking 
portal and all comments posted there are available and accessible to 
the public. The Department recommends that commenters not include 
personal information such as Social Security Numbers, personal 
addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses that they do not want 
made public in their comments as such submitted information will be 
available to the public via the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. 
Comments submitted through http://www.regulations.gov will not include 
the email address of the commenter unless the commenter chooses to 
include that information as part of his or her comment. It is the 
responsibility of the commenter to safeguard personal information.
    Instructions: All submissions received should include the Docket 
Number for the notice: Docket Number ETA-2014-0001. Please submit your 
comments by only one method. Again, please note that due to security 
concerns, postal mail delivery in Washington, DC may be delayed. 
Therefore, the Department encourages the public to submit comments on 
http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: All comments on this proposal for a methodology to select 
centers for closure will be available on the http://www.regulations.gov 
Web site. The Department also will make all of the comments it receives 
available for public inspection by appointment during normal business 
hours at the above address. If you need assistance to review the 
comments, the Department will provide appropriate aids such as readers 
or print magnifiers. The Department will make copies of this proposed 
methodology available, upon request, in large print and electronic file 
on computer disk. To schedule an appointment to review the comments 
and/or obtain the notice in an alternative format, contact the Office 
of Job Corps at (202) 693-3000 (this is not a toll-free number). You 
may also contact this office at the address listed below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, Acting National 
Director, Office of Job Corps, ETA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-4463, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone 
(202) 693-3000 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with 
hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via 
TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-
(877) 889-5627 (TTY/TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Established in 1964, the Job Corps program is a national program 
administered by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in the 
Department of Labor (DOL or Department). It is the nation's largest 
federally-funded, primarily residential training program for at-risk 
youth, ages 16-24. With 125 centers in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the 
District of Columbia, Job Corps provides economically-disadvantaged 
youth with the academic, career technical, and employability skills to 
enter the workforce, enroll in post-secondary education, or enlist in 
the military. Job Corps emphasizes the attainment of academic 
credentials, including a high school diploma (HSD) or a high school 
equivalency credential, and career technical training credentials, 
including industry-recognized credentials, state licensures, and pre-
apprenticeship credentials.
    Large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and Native 
American tribes manage and operate 97 of the Job Corps centers through 
contractual agreements with the Department of Labor following 
competitive procurement, while 28 centers are operated through an 
interagency agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
Separate from center operation contracts, Job Corps also contracts with 
firms and companies, usually small businesses, through competitive 
procurements, to recruit new students for the program and place 
graduates and former enrollees into meaningful jobs, education 
programs, the military, or apprenticeship training. In some instances, 
however, Job Corps contracts with one entity to both operate a center 
and manage student recruitment and job placements. Job Corps also 
receives annual Construction, Rehabilitation,

[[Page 36824]]

and Acquisition (CRA) funding to build, maintain, expand, or upgrade 
new and existing facilities at all 125 centers.

Pursuing Performance Excellence

    In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, we began an ambitious reform agenda aimed 
at improving the performance of Job Corps centers nationwide. This 
included setting higher standards for all centers, identifying 
chronically underperforming centers, and implementing appropriate 
corrective action.
    As part of this reform process, Job Corps continues to undergo a 
rigorous and comprehensive review of its operations and management to 
identify changes that can be made to improve the program's 
effectiveness and efficiency. Job Corps has implemented a National 
Certification Initiative to strengthen and align existing career 
technical training programs to technical standards established by 
industries or trade organizations, which enables students to graduate 
with industry-recognized credentials. These credentials provide for 
long-term attachment to the workforce and economic mobility as Job 
Corps graduates advance through their careers. They also ensure that 
program graduates have gained the skills and knowledge necessary to 
compete in today's workforce. Job Corps has also expanded academic 
opportunities for students with the introduction of evening educational 
programs, as well as community college partnerships and expanded high 
school diploma options. Current budgetary constraints make it even more 
critical to ensure the program's resources are deployed in a way that 
maximizes results to students and taxpayers.
    Job Corps has intensified and reinforced federal oversight of 
operations and performance outcomes for all centers. Federal program 
managers supervise centers through monitoring visits, desk audits, and 
Contractor Performance Assessment Reports during each contractor's 
performance period. Job Corps regional offices also conduct the 
Regional Office Center Assessments. Through these oversight activities, 
Job Corps federal program managers develop Performance Improvement 
Plans (PIPs) for entire centers that need improvement, or Corrective 
Action Plans (CAPs) to address specific aspects of operations, such as 
career technical training. Both PIPs and CAPs are used for continued 
monitoring and implemented for USDA and contract centers respectively. 
These oversight actions have strengthened collaboration between Job 
Corps, contractors, and the USDA to rectify deficiencies, and improve 
policy compliance and performance outcomes.
    While the majority of centers meet program standards, some centers 
are chronically low-performing and have remained in the bottom cohort 
of center performance rankings for multiple years despite extensive DOL 
interventions including corrective measures. Given the resource 
intensiveness of the Job Corps model, the Administration has determined 
that it can no longer continue to expend resources on the small number 
of chronically low-performing centers that have repeatedly failed to 
provide participants with high-quality Job Corps programming.
    For the purpose of identifying chronically low-performing centers 
for closure, DOL has defined ``chronically low-performing centers'' as 
those that consistently lagged in overall performance over the past 
five consecutive program years without evidence of significant recent 
performance improvement. As we explain below, the January 10, 2013 
Federal Register Notice had proposed using the performance data from PY 
2007-2011. Final PY 2012 data is now available and has been published 
on the Job Corps Web site. The Department is proposing to use 
performance data from PY 2008-2012 in the closure methodology.
    The Department is committed to selecting centers for closure in a 
manner that is transparent and objective. We previously solicited 
comments on our proposed methodology for selecting centers for closure. 
We have now analyzed those comments and revised the closure methodology 
to reflect that public feedback. Job Corps' published performance 
metrics were the primary consideration in the selection of centers for 
closure. Provided below is our revised methodology for using the 
Outcome Measurement System (OMS, Job Corps' internal, comprehensive 
performance management system. For details, please go to jobcorps.gov--
About Job Corps--Performance and Planning--Job Corps Performance 
Management System Overview Guide) and other factors to select proposed 
centers for closure. The Department is also proposing additional 
considerations that we will include in the closure methodology.
    The Department is requesting comments on the change in the data we 
will use and on the additional considerations proposed for inclusion in 
the methodology. Interested parties may submit comments to DOL on these 
subjects, and on the proposed closure methodology as a whole. The 
Department will consider these comments as we finalize the methodology 
and select centers for closure.

Process for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure

    On August 14, 2012, the Office of Job Corps hosted a national Job 
Corps listening session, via webinar, with the Job Corps community to 
solicit input on the methodology factors. More than 100 Job Corps 
stakeholders participated in the session and provided criteria-related 
suggestions in the areas of performance, geographic location, local 
economic impact, contract budgets, facilities, and the time period for 
evaluating chronic low performance.
    On January 10, 2013, the Office of Job Corps published a Federal 
Register Notice requesting public comments on a proposed methodology 
for selecting Job Corps centers for closure (78 FR 2284). The 
Department received a total of 18 public comments, which we reviewed 
and analyzed. As a result of this analysis, we revised the methodology 
factors for selection of Job Corps centers for closure, as explained 
below. The Department is also proposing additional considerations for 
inclusion in the methodology.

Factors for Selecting Job Corps Centers for Closure

    Provided below is a description of the revised methodology factors 
the Department proposes to use to select Job Corps centers for closure.
    As the Department proposed in the January 10, 2013 Federal Register 
Notice, we propose to use the following primary criteria against which 
all centers were measured:
    1. Five-year OMS performance level, including considerations for 
patterns of demonstrable and recent performance improvement. The OMS 
includes the following 14 measures:
    [cir] High School Diploma (HSD) or General Educational Development 
(GED) Attainment Rate;
    [cir] Career Technical Training (CTT) Completion Rate;
    [cir] Combination HSD or GED, and CTT Attainment Rate;
    [cir] Average Literacy Gain;
    [cir] Average Numeracy Gain;
    [cir] CTT Industry-Recognized Credential Attainment Rate;
    [cir] CTT Completer Job--Training Match/Post-Secondary Credit 
Placement Rate;
    [cir] Former Enrollee Initial Placement Rate;
    [cir] Graduate Initial Placement Rate;
    [cir] Graduate Average Hourly Wage at Placement;
    [cir] Graduate Full-Time Job Placement Rate;

[[Page 36825]]

    [cir] Graduate 6-Month Follow-up Placement Rate;
    [cir] Graduate 6-Month Average Weekly Earnings;
    [cir] Graduate 12-Month Follow-up Placement Rate; and
    2. Five-year On-Board Strength (OBS); and
    3. Five-year Facility Condition Index (FCI).
    After ranking the centers based on the primary criteria, we will 
then apply the following additional considerations:
    1. Continued availability of Job Corps services in each state, the 
District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico;
    2. Sufficiency of data available to evaluate center performance;
    3. Indication of significant recent performance improvement; and
    4. Job Corps' continuing commitment to diversity.

1. Five-Year Performance Levels

    Given that the Job Corps' performance metrics provide a 
comprehensive assessment of center performance, allow for comparison of 
performance among centers, and supply enough data for decision makers 
to determine trends over time, the OMS will be the guiding factor in 
selecting centers for closure. The Department believes this approach is 
the most equitable and transparent for both stakeholders and the 
public, as these published performance metrics have driven center 
performance and programmatic decisions for over a decade. The 
Department invites public comments on how the five-year performance 
levels have been incorporated into the closure methodology below.
    The Department has determined that the closure methodology will 
evaluate each center's overall OMS ratings for five full program years 
to derive a weighted five-year average performance rating. We selected 
the five-year performance period for the following reasons:
     The five-year period is reasonably long enough to 
incorporate both the most recent performance data and relatively older 
data;
     It allows enough time to analyze impact of any Performance 
Improvement Plans (PIPs);
     It provides a stable basis for comparison, since the OMS 
had no significant changes over the past five years; and
     It relies on published outcomes that are familiar to the 
Job Corps community.
    In the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice, the past five 
years of performance data we proposed using for this factor was the 
data from PY 2007-2011. We now propose to use the performance data for 
PY 2008-2012 in the closure methodology.
    The Department received public comments that recommended using OMS 
ratings for the last 10 consecutive program years with a different 
weight structure to identify chronically low performing centers and 
excluding PY 2011 data. The comments stated that five program years was 
not enough time for centers to exhaust all options to improve, and 10 
years would allow the assessment of a center that may have had multiple 
operators. In addition, the comments stated that PY 2011 performance 
data was impacted by Job Corps' cost saving actions taken at the end of 
that program year and should be excluded from the calculation.
    The Department considered these comments and other options during 
the development of the final methodology criteria, and determined that 
five program years is long enough to provide a solid basis for 
assessing a center's performance. Additionally, Job Corps' OMS has been 
held fairly consistent and stable over the past five program years, 
with no dramatic shifts in weights, goals or measures. This allows for 
a strong comparison of consistent data that would be weakened 
considerably if the time period were extended. Finally, Job Corps' cost 
saving actions at the end of PY 2011 were limited to a short period of 
enrollment suspension in the summer, a hiring freeze, budget and 
spending plan reviews, moderate reductions of some centers' incremental 
funding, and tighter control on student travel and allowance costs. 
They did not have any significant impact on the PY 2011 OMS results. 
Similarly, the cost savings activities in PY 2012 did not appear to 
have a significant impact on the PY 2012 OMS performance results. Since 
the PY 2012 enrollment suspension was applied to all centers, the 
overall improved OMS performance in PY 2012 is largely attributable to 
the smaller student populations that centers served and the more 
concentrated services they were able to receive during the suspension 
period.
    The performance factor in the previous closure methodology was 
originally assigned a weight of 70% in the Federal Register Notice 
dated January 10, 2013. Public comments received suggested that the 
weights for OBS and Facility Condition Index (FCI) should be reduced as 
factors, allowing an increase from 70% to 90% in the performance 
factor. The Department agrees with public comments suggesting 
increasing the weighting factor for OMS from 70% to 90%, and made this 
change. The original OMS and OBS ratings for each of the five program 
years, which exceeded 100% for some centers, were normalized at one 
hundred percent (100%) to be consistent with the FCI data. 
``Normalized'' means the data has been placed on a 100-point scale. The 
calculation formula for the final methodology also contains the 
normalized data for OMS.
    As proposed in the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice, the 
final closure methodology weights recent performance more heavily than 
performance in earlier years. This approach addresses centers that may 
have had recent improvements in performance. To reflect this, weights 
are applied to each of the five program year's performance data, with 
recent years receiving a greater weight than earlier years. The year-
by-year weighted structure is as follows:

PY 2012.................................................             30%
PY 2011.................................................             25%
PY 2010.................................................             20%
PY 2009.................................................             15%
PY 2008.................................................             10%
  Total:................................................            100%
 

The calculation formula for five-year performance for the final closure 
methodology is as follows:

Center's Five-Year Weighted Average Rating x 90% = Overall Performance 
Rating

2. On-Board Strength

    On-Board Strength is an efficiency rating that demonstrates the 
extent to which a center operates at full capacity. Job Corps already 
uses this measure to assess center performance. The measure is reported 
as a percentage, calculated by the actual slot capacity divided by the 
planned slot capacity (daily number of students that a center is 
authorized to serve). The national goal for OBS is 100% in order to 
operate the program at full capacity, maximize program resources, and 
fulfill the mission of serving the underserved student population.
    As proposed in the January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice, this 
criterion of the methodology evaluates each center's end of Program 
Year OBS rating for the last five full program years to derive a five-
year average rating. As explained above in the context of OMS data, the 
January 10, 2013 Federal Register Notice stated that the closure 
methodology would use data from the five-year period of PY 2007-2011. 
Now DOL is proposing to use the OBS data from PY 2008-2012.
    The Department received numerous public comments regarding OBS 
which can be summarized into two categories. The first group of 
comments suggested

[[Page 36826]]

reducing the weight of the OBS criterion because most Job Corps centers 
rely on third-party admission contractors for enrollment. The second 
group suggested excluding the PY 2011 OBS data because it was impacted 
by Job Corps' cost saving actions taken at the end of PY 2011.
    The Department agrees with public comments suggesting reduction of 
the weighting factor for OBS from 20% to 5%. Adoption of this 
suggestion reflects DOL's recognition that centers should not be held 
solely responsible for enrollment and retention of students. Reducing 
the weight of the OBS factor also enables the Department to strengthen 
its emphasis on performance, making performance the predominant factor 
in consideration for center closure. Further, we recognized that the 
June/July 2012 enrollment suspension impacted PY 2011 OBS results. To 
address this issue, the Office of Job Corps issued Program Information 
Notice 12-17 on October 1, 2012 stating that the May 31, 2012, Program 
Year Cumulative OBS (PY-COBS) report will be used as the basis for 
assessing center-level OBS performance for PY 2011. Therefore, the 
Department will use the May 31, 2012 PY-COBS report as the PY 2011 OBS 
report for calculating each center's OBS rating. In addition, we 
adjusted downward the relative performance goals in the OA OMS Report 
Card. This action had the effect of using the first 11 months of the 
program year as the official performance basis for PY 2011, thereby 
holding contractors harmless for the remaining month of OBS 
measurements. Additionally, since the performance basis for the center 
closure methodology is over a five-year period, we determined that the 
absence of a single month would not distort a center's historic 
performance trends to any meaningful degree.
    PY 2012 saw significant OBS reductions at all centers because of 
the enrollment suspension that lasted from January 28, 2013 through 
April 22, 2013. To address this issue, the Office of Job Corps issued 
Program Information Notice 13-14 on September 10, 2013 stating that the 
January 31, 2013, PY-COBS report will be used as the basis for 
assessing center-level OBS performance for PY 2012. Therefore, the 
Department will use the January 31, 2013 PY-COBS report as the PY 2012 
OBS report for calculating each center's OBS rating.
    The original OBS ratings for each of the five program years were 
normalized at one hundred percent (100%) so as to be consistent with 
the OMS and FCI data. The calculation formula for the final methodology 
also contains the normalized data for OBS.
    As with the performance criterion, the revised methodology weights 
each of the five program year's OBS data, with recent years receiving 
more weight to incorporate performance improvement. The year-by-year 
weighted structure is as follows:

PY 2012.................................................             30%
PY 2011.................................................             25%
PY 2010.................................................             20%
PY 2009.................................................             15%
PY 2008.................................................             10%
  Total:................................................            100%
 

    The calculation formula for five-year OBS for the final closure 
methodology is as follows:

Center's Five-Year Weighted Average Cumulative OBS x 5% = Overall OBS 
Rating

3. Facility Condition and Physical Plant

    For a program that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week 
and is primarily residential, facility conditions are important. The 
quality of Job Corps' residential and learning facilities has a direct 
impact on students' experiences and, ultimately, their educational 
achievement. Each Job Corps center is a fully operational complex with 
academic and career technical training facilities, dining and 
recreation buildings, administrative offices, and residence halls (with 
the exception of solely non-residential facilities), including the 
surrounding owned or leased property on which the center is located.
    Job Corps receives an annual appropriation for Construction, 
Rehabilitation, and Acquisition (CRA) that is used to improve facility 
conditions at Job Corps centers. To properly manage the program's 
facility and condition needs, Job Corps uses a Facility Condition Index 
(FCI) and gives each center an annual rating. This rating, which is 
expressed as a percentage, accounts for the value of a center's 
construction, rehabilitation, and repair backlog, as compared to the 
replacement value of the center's facilities. Facility condition 
affects the outcomes of the Job Corps program because good outcomes 
begin with facilities that contribute to a safe learning environment.
    For this factor, the Department will evaluate each center's PY 
2008-PY 2012 FCI, which takes into account all construction projects 
completed over the same five-year period as the other two factors.
    DOL received a number of public comments stating that FCI is an 
inappropriate factor because it is not within the control of centers. 
Some further contend that an FCI score five years ago has no relevance 
to the current facility condition and whether a center should close or 
not.
    We acknowledge that FCI, like OBS, is not entirely under the 
control of the centers. We considered this during development of the 
proposed closure methodology. Our intent of incorporating FCI was to 
include a factor that would capture and recognize the importance of 
significant capital investments that were made on particular centers. 
In addition, we determined that it is in the government's best interest 
to consider past facility investments and future investment needs as a 
factor in the consideration of any center's possible closure. We have 
decided to lessen the impact of this factor. Accordingly, as a result 
of the public comments received, we reduced the FCI weighting factor 
from 10% to 5%. Additionally, because FCI is already expressed on a 
100-point scale, normalization of this data was not necessary. We also 
believe that a single year's FCI value cannot adequately reflect the 
Government's continued capital investment in a center and a center's 
efforts to maintain its buildings and facilities. Therefore, we will 
continue to use five years' FCI results for this evaluation.
    As with the performance and OBS criteria, the final methodology 
applies weights to each of the five program year's FCI data, with 
recent years receiving more weight to incorporate any recent 
improvement. The year-by-year weighted structure is as follows:

PY 2012.................................................             30%
PY 2011.................................................             25%
PY 2010.................................................             20%
PY 2009.................................................             15%
PY 2008.................................................             10%
  Total:................................................            100%
 

The calculation formula for FCI for the final closure methodology is as 
follows:

Center's Five-Year Weighted Average FCI Rating x 5% = Overall FCI 
Rating

Ranking Centers for Closure

    Applying the factors above will yield an overall rating for each 
center. This will allow DOL to create a list that ranks all centers, 
with the lowest performing centers receiving the lowest ratings. The 
calculation formula for the revised methodology is as follows:

[[Page 36827]]



    Overall Performance Rating (90%)       +    Overall OBS Rating (5%)      +                 Overall FCI Rat=ng (Overall Rating for Primary Selection
                                                                                                                                               Factors
 

4. Other Considerations Included in the Closure Methodology

a. Job Corps Services in Each State, Puerto Rico, and the District of 
Columbia
    In addition to the above three primary criteria, another 
consideration in the closure methodology explained in the January 10, 
2013 Federal Register Notice involved an adequate level of Job Corps 
services remaining available in each state (Job Corps' goal is to have 
at least one center operating in each state), the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. One comment stated that this 
factor would allow center location to trump center performance, and it 
stated that local and regional labor markets do not conform to state 
boundaries. We continue to believe that it is in the best interest of 
the Job Corps' target population to ensure that this model is available 
in each state. Therefore, in making the decision about which centers to 
close, we will maintain at least one Job Corps center in each state, 
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, and will 
take into consideration whether a center's closure would have a 
disproportionate impact on students in any one state.
b. Sufficiency of Data Available To Evaluate Center Performance
    The centers in Ottumwa, Milwaukee, Pinellas, Denison, Long Beach, 
Gulfport and New Orleans are not included for consideration for 
closure. For each center, there is not enough OMS data to evaluate the 
center's performance over the full five-year period for varying 
reasons. Those reasons include: New centers opened later during the 
five-year period (Ottumwa and Milwaukee); exclusion from OMS evaluation 
due to the Center for Excellence (CFE) pilot status (Pinellas County, 
Denison, and Long Beach); and center closure due to Hurricane Katrina 
(Gulf Port and New Orleans). No public comments were received regarding 
application of this criterion.
c. Indication of Significant Recent Performance Improvement
    The Department has determined that performing in the top half of 
centers in PY 2013 should be taken as evidence of significant recent 
performance improvement. Therefore, we propose that a center will not 
be considered for closure if there is evidence of significant 
improvement in a center's available PY 2013 performance data. This 
consideration was not previously proposed, and therefore, we invite 
public comment on it.
d. Job Corps' Commitment to Diversity
    The closure methodology will also consider Job Corps' commitment to 
diversity. Job Corps currently serves a diverse student population and 
remains committed to serving disadvantaged youth from all backgrounds. 
In making final closure decisions, we will consider whether a center's 
closure would result in a significant reduction in student diversity 
within the overall Job Corps system. No public comments were received 
regarding Job Corps' commitment to diversity or application of this 
criterion.
    The Department will accept comments for 20 days, beginning on the 
date of publication of this Notice. After we have received and analyzed 
any comments, we will finalize the methodology for center closure.
    The Department will implement the selection and closure process 
pursuant to the center closure requirements outlined in the WIA at 
section 159(g) and as stipulated in the DOL/USDA Interagency Agreement. 
We anticipate that it will take several months to execute closure of a 
center, and possibly longer for centers with larger student populations 
or Civilian Conservation Centers (CCCs).

The Process for Closing Job Corps Centers, as Outlined in the Workforce 
Investment Act

    We will ensure that our process for closing Job Corps centers will 
follow the requirements of Section 159(g) of the WIA, which include the 
following:
     The proposed decision to close a particular center is 
announced in advance to the general public through publication in the 
Federal Register or other appropriate means;
     a reasonable comment period, not to exceed 30 days, is 
established for interested individuals to submit written comments to 
the Secretary once a decision to close a particular center is made; and
     the Member of Congress who represents the district in 
which such center is located is notified within a reasonable period of 
time in advance of any final decision to close the center.

Portia Wu,
Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training.
[FR Doc. 2014-15275 Filed 6-27-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-FT-P