Applications for New Awards: Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Quality Management and Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Quality Employment, 46603-46615 [2020-16686]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES guidance on how to address situations where creditors seek to ascertain the continuance of public assistance benefits in underwriting decisions? 9. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: As the Bureau noted in its annual fair lending report to Congress dated April 30, 2020 36 and a blog post dated July 7, 2020,37 financial institutions are starting to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across a range of functions. For example, they are used as virtual assistants that can fulfill customer requests, in models to detect fraud or other potential illegal activity, as compliance monitoring tools, and in credit underwriting. Should the Bureau provide more regulatory clarity under ECOA and/or Regulation B to help facilitate innovation in a way that increases access to credit for consumers and communities in the context of AI/ ML without unlawful discrimination? If so, in what way(s)? Another important issue is how lenders using complex AI/ML models satisfy ECOA’s adverse action notice requirements. ECOA requires creditors to provide consumers with the principal reason(s) for a denial of credit or other adverse action.38 These notice provisions serve important antidiscrimination, educational, and accuracy purposes. There may be questions about how institutions can comply with these requirements if the reasons driving an AI/ML decision are based on complex interrelationships.39 Should the Bureau modify requirements or guidance concerning notifications of action taken, including adverse action notices, under ECOA and/or Regulation B to better empower consumers to make more informed financial decisions and/ or to provide additional clarity when credit underwriting decisions are based in part on models that use AI/ML? If so, in what way(s)? 10. ECOA Adverse Action Notices: Under ECOA and Regulation B, a 36 See Fair Lending Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Apr. 2020), 85 FR 27395, https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/ documents/cfpb_2019-fair-lending_report.pdf. 37 See Patrice Alexander Ficklin et al., Innovation spotlight: Providing adverse action notices when using AI/ML models (July 7, 2020), https:// www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/ innovation-spotlight-providing-adverse-actionnotices-when-using-ai-ml-models/. 38 15 U.S.C. 1691(d). 39 See Fair Lending Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Apr. 2020), 85 FR 27395 (May 8, 2020), https:// files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_2019fair-lending_report.pdf; Patrice Alexander Ficklin et al., Innovation spotlight: Providing adverse action notices when using AI/ML models (July 7, 2020), https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/ innovation-spotlight-providing-adverse-actionnotices-when-using-ai-ml-models/. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 statement of reasons for adverse action must be specific and indicate the principal reason(s) for the adverse action.40 The Bureau understands from direct engagement and its supervisory work that stakeholders continue to have questions about this requirement. Should the Bureau provide any additional guidance under ECOA and/or Regulation B related to when adverse action has been taken by a creditor, requiring a notification that includes a statement of specific reasons for the adverse action? If so, in what way(s)? Authority: 12 U.S.C. 5511(c). III. Signing Authority 46603 Environmental Impact Statement, and includes inputs from the public and regulatory agencies. The Final Environmental Impact Statement was made available to the public on May 29, 2020 through a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register (Volume 85, Number 104, Page 32390) with a review period that ended on June 29, 2020. Authority: This Notice of Availability is published pursuant to the regulations (40 CFR part 1506.6) implementing the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.) and the Air Force’s Environmental Impact Analysis Process (32 CFR parts 989.21(b) and 989.24(b)(7)). The Director of the Bureau, having reviewed and approved this document, is delegating the authority to electronically sign this document to Laura Galban, a Bureau Federal Register Liaison, for purposes of publication in the Federal Register. Adriane Paris, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer. Dated: July 28, 2020. Laura Galban, Federal Register Liaison, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [FR Doc. 2020–16722 Filed 7–31–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–AM–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Housing Program at WrightPatterson Air Force Base, Ohio Notice of availability. On July 16, 2020, the United States Air Force (USAF) signed the Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Housing Program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. ADDRESSES: Mr. Mike Ackerman, AFCEC/CZN, Bldg 1, 2261 Hughes Ave. (STE 155), JBSA-Lackland, TX 78236– 9853, (210) 925–2741; michael.ackerman.2@us.af.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USAF has decided to implement the first phase of Alternative 2, specifically renovation of 30 historic housing units and the demolition of governmentowned non-historic housing located on Yount Drive. This decision will support the near-term housing needs of WPAFB’s key and essential leaders. The Air Force’s decision, documented in the Record of Decision, was based on analysis provided in the Final SUMMARY: PO 00000 40 15 U.S.C. 1691(d)(3); 12 CFR 1002.9(b)(2). Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 BILLING CODE 5001–10–P Applications for New Awards: Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Quality Management and Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Quality Employment Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Department of the Air Force ACTION: [FR Doc. 2020–16729 Filed 7–31–20; 8:45 am] The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Management (VRTAC–QM) and a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC–QE), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers 84.264J and 84.264K. The VRTAC–QM and VRTAC–QE will focus on identified national needs and improvement of the number and quality of employment outcomes under the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program and raise expectations for all people with disabilities. DATES: Applications Available: August 3, 2020. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 2, 2020. Date of Pre-Application Meeting: The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) will post a PowerPoint presentation that provides general information related to the Rehabilitation Services Administration’s (RSA’s) discretionary SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 46604 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices grant competitions and PowerPoint presentations specifically related to the VRTAC–QM and VRTAC–QE competitions at https://ncrtm.ed.gov/ RSAGrantInfo.aspx. OSERS will conduct a pre-application meeting via conference call to respond to questions specific to the VRTAC–QM and the VRTAC–QE. Information about the preapplication meeting will be available at https://ncrtm.ed.gov/RSAGrantInfo.aspx prior to the date of the call. OSERS invites you to send questions about the VRTAC–QM to 84.264J@ed.gov and the VRTAC–QE to 84.264K@ed.gov in advance of the pre-application meetings. The VRTAC–QM and VRTAC–QE preapplication meeting summaries of questions and answers, will be available at https://ncrtm.ed.gov/ RSAGrantInfo.aspx approximately six business days after the pre-application meeting. For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR–2019– 02–13/pdf/2019–02206.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For VRTAC–QM: Douglas Zhu, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5095, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202– 2800. Telephone: (202) 245–6037. Email: 84.264J@ed.gov. For VRTAC–QE: Felipe Lulli, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5101, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202– 2800. Telephone: (202) 245–7425. Email: 84.264K@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. ADDRESSES: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Full Text of Announcement khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), RSA makes grants to States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations (including institutions of higher education) to pay part of the cost of projects to provide State VR agency personnel with training and technical assistance designed to assist in increasing the numbers of, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 upgrading the skills of, qualified personnel (especially rehabilitation counselors) who are trained in providing vocational, medical, social, and psychological rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, who are trained to assist individuals with communication and related disorders, and who are trained to provide other services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act. Projects must be awarded and operated in a manner consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws. Priorities: Priorities 1 and 2 are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, and definitions for this program published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register (NFP). Applicants must address either Absolute Priority 1 or Absolute Priority 2, in the budget information (ED Form 524, Section B) and budget narrative. Applicants may apply for both priorities if they submit separate applications and demonstrate in each application that it has sufficient institutional capacity to fully implement multiple awards, including the required cost share. Absolute Priorities: For FY 2020, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet one or more of these priorities. These priorities are: Absolute Priority 1: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Management. The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to establish a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Management (VRTAC–QM). The VRTAC–QM will provide intensive training and technical assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal training and technical assistance to State VR agencies on quality management strategies that will enable VR agencies to improve service delivery to, and employment outcomes achieved by, individuals with disabilities. For States that request intensive training and technical assistance, the training and technical assistance will upgrade and increase the competencies, skills, and knowledge of VR personnel, enabling them to assess current VR program performance and to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for improvement, and threats (SWOT) that impact the effectiveness of VR agency service delivery and the quality of PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 employment outcomes. This SWOT assessment will be based on a review of a wide variety of information sources, including, but not limited to, RSA’s monitoring findings and recommendations; State audit reports; consumer feedback provided in public hearings and through consumer satisfaction surveys; results of comprehensive statewide needs assessments; and input from workforce development partners, community rehabilitation programs, and other VR stakeholders. Based on SWOT assessments, the center and VR agency personnel will develop individualized intensive training and technical assistance agreements designed to provide personnel with skills and strategies they need to address the weaknesses identified in the SWOT assessments to improve service delivery and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The center will also provide VR agency personnel with technical assistance on evaluating whether the quality management strategies they adopt lead to increasing the percentage of participants who achieve an MSG and exit the program with an employment outcome and to modify those strategies, if necessary, to achieve continuous program improvement. In addition to the intensive training and technical assistance, the VRTAC–QM also will provide targeted training and technical assistance and universal training and technical assistance to State VR agencies on a broad range of quality management strategies and practices, both programmatic and fiscal, to address needs common to many agencies. With regard to program management and performance, the VRTAC–QM’s training and technical assistance will support the assessment, development, and enhancement of staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the following functions in order to improve service delivery and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities: • Analyzing the State VR agency’s comprehensive system of personnel development to identify strengths and weaknesses in staff’s ability to understand and address factors affecting program performance and designing management strategies to address these deficits. • Analyzing case service data to identify trends and inconsistencies in program performance, and developing strategies to improve the effectiveness and timeliness of services provided, including addressing inconsistencies in the quality and quantity of employment outcomes achieved by various groups of E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices individuals with disabilities served by the program. • Understanding statutory and regulatory requirements related to performance management, including calculations for the common performance measures required under WIOA and factors that may be affecting the agency’s performance on these measures. • Conducting quality assurance and performance improvement, including the use of data for performance management systems and the implementation of the common performance measures required by WIOA. • Strategic planning to address aspects of the SWOT assessment that pose challenges and barriers to improving service delivery and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, particularly students and youth with disabilities and individuals with significant and the most significant disabilities. • Implementing effective and efficient policies for delivering pre-employment transition services under section 113, VR services under section 103(a), and supported employment services under title VI of the Rehabilitation Act. • Understanding the relationship to important outcomes of various cost containment measures, such as implementing an order of selection giving priority for services to individuals with the most significant disabilities, establishing a financial needs test for various services, implementing policies for consumer participation in the cost of services, and implementing the requirement to seek comparable services and benefits for certain services, among others. Under the VR program, agencies must comply with several complex Federal fiscal requirements related to maintenance of effort, reallotment, reservation of funds for pre-employment transition services, and match, among others. VR agencies must understand, track, assess, and adjust, when necessary, program activities to meet these requirements while maximizing program outcomes. Additionally, the lack of knowledge and skills in fiscal and resource management can negatively affect the ability of VR agency personnel to meet consumer needs, for example, necessitating the implementation of orders of selection limiting the numbers of eligible individuals served in the VR program. With regard to effective resource management, the training and technical assistance will support the assessment, development, and enhancement of staff VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 knowledge, skills, and abilities to ensure that— • Resources, including program funds and personnel, are being used for allowable purposes and innovative employment strategies and supports that maximize employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, including students and youth with disabilities and individuals with significant and the most significant disabilities; • Programs have sound internal controls and reliable reporting systems upon which to base fiscal and programmatic decision-making to support attainment of program goals and objectives, including those related to increasing the numbers and qualifications of service delivery personnel; and • Resources, including program funds and personnel, are maximized for program needs. The following are examples of activities the VRTAC–QM may undertake to address weaknesses in resource management: • Assess grantee financial management processes used to support attainment of fiscal and programmatic outcomes (for example, whether an agency’s fiscal processes support the accurate tracking and reporting of nonFederal funds to maximize the drawdown of Federal award funds to support attainment of employment outcomes). The assessment will be used to identify areas for improvement in fiscal processes that will assist the agency in meeting program goals. • Assess personnel training and technical assistance needs to identify gaps in fiscal knowledge, skills, and abilities that prevent the agency from effective and efficient resource utilization necessary to achieve employment outcomes. • Provide intensive training and technical assistance on financial planning to maximize program resources and attainment of program goals and objectives, maximizing opportunities for funds matching, avoiding potential maintenance of effort and match penalties, and meeting the reservation of funds requirement for pre-employment transition services in order to increase resources available for service delivery. • Provide technical assistance on implementing Federal, State, and program fiscal requirements, including internal controls, in an efficient and effective manner to reduce unnecessary burden and to focus efforts on program outcomes. • Provide technical assistance on the identification, collection, and analysis of program and fiscal data necessary for PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46605 program management and maximizing available resources to support consumer services. Absolute Priority 2: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment. The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to establish a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC–QE). The purpose of the VRTAC–QE is to upgrade and increase the competencies, skills, and knowledge of VR personnel to implement and sustain employment strategies and supporting practices that enable individuals with disabilities to achieve quality employment and career advancement, particularly competitive integrated employment as defined in the Rehabilitation Act. The center will include strategies and practices that meet the needs and promote the quality employment of individuals with significant and the most significant disabilities, students and youth with disabilities, and traditionally underserved populations. The VRTAC– QE will implement a coordinated plan to provide intensive training and technical assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal training and technical assistance to State VR agencies on a broad range of employment strategies and supporting practices. Employment strategies for consideration include, but are not limited to, the following: (a) Career pathways education, training, and supports in high-demand occupations, including those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. (b) Registered and industryrecognized apprenticeships, preapprenticeships, and on-the-job training. (c) Supported employment and customized employment. (d) Customized training and credential programs to meet employer demand. (e) Self-employment and entrepreneurship, including services available under the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program. (f) Business engagement and employer supports, including dual customer models such as Progressive Employment. Supporting practices for consideration include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) Practices to enhance the employment capacity of individuals with the most significant disabilities receiving supported employment E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 46606 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES services, such as the Individual Placement and Support model. (2) Pre-employment transition services that prepare students with disabilities and transition services that prepare youth with disabilities to identify career interests through workbased learning and early career exploration opportunities, including internships and job shadowing, with a focus on high-demand and STEM careers. (3) Career counseling techniques and resources, including labor market information tools such as Career Index Plus. (4) Strategies involving workforce development partners, community rehabilitation programs, and other community-based organizations to provide the comprehensive support services that individuals with significant and the most significant disabilities need to succeed, such as the Integrated Resource Teams model. (5) Approaches that encourage VR clients to enter and remain engaged in the VR process, such as rapid engagement, motivational interviewing, benefits counseling, and financial empowerment training, and vehicles such as the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) tax-free accounts for individuals with disabilities. (6) Community outreach strategies to expand the pool of potential VR applicants and referral sources, including traditionally underserved populations. Requirements: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, the following requirements apply to the VRTAC–QM and VRTAC–QE. The requirements are from the NFP. Project Requirements of Priority 1 To meet the requirements of this priority, the VRTAC–QM must, at a minimum, conduct one or more of the following activities: (1) Establish a committee on quality management of State VR programs that meets at least semi-annually to obtain individual advice and recommendations for the project. The committee must include, but is not limited to, individuals with disabilities, representatives from State VR agencies, representatives from community rehabilitation programs, stakeholders, and individuals with subject matter expertise in improving outcomes through effective program and resource management and in employment strategies for people with disabilities. At a minimum, the committee members will provide VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 individual input and recommendations pertaining to the implementation of the project and the project evaluation and quality assurance plan. (2) Establish a state-of-the-art website and information technology (IT) platform for communicating with State VR agencies and ensure that all products produced by the VRTAC–QM and posted on the website meet government and industry-recognized standards for accessibility. The website will become a key training and technical assistance delivery vehicle; a major communication center for the VRTAC– QM and State VR agencies; and the central repository of information about quality management strategies and practices that will form the basis for intensive training and technical assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal training and technical assistance. (3) Complete a comprehensive review of programmatic and fiscal quality management strategies and practices for VR services for individuals with disabilities to achieve employment outcomes and develop an overarching training and technical assistance plan for the project. Both the review and the plan must be made available to the public, ensuring applicable privacy requirements are met. The purpose of the review is to identify those strategies and practices for inclusion in VRTAC–QM’s overarching training and technical assistance plan. The center will develop an analytical framework and selection criteria against which to evaluate potential strategies and practices. The analysis will focus on: State VR agency needs and priorities, up-to-date information on quality management strategies and practices that have proven to be effective in the field of rehabilitation as well as other public and private sectors of the economy that may have applicability to the management of VR agencies, and quantitative and qualitative research on the effectiveness of the identified program and resource management strategies and practices leading to improved service delivery and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Sources of information used for this review may include: State VR agency interviews and consultations; information from such sources as the RSA–911 Case Service Report aggregate data, general labor market data and information, Unified or Combined State Plans, and RSA monitoring reports; and information and resources generated by technical assistance centers funded by PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services. The overarching training and technical assistance plan must include, at a minimum— (a) Quality management strategies and practices that result in improved service delivery and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, including the rationale for their selection; (b) Conceptual framework for the selected strategies and practices, including key assumptions, expectations, and presumed relationships or linkages among strategies and practices; (c) Nature and scope of the intensive training and technical assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal training and technical assistance to be provided in support of the selected strategies and practices; and (d) Protocols and timelines for requesting and obtaining training and technical assistance. (4) Provide intensive training and technical assistance to State VR agencies. Intensive training and technical assistance will be provided to increase State VR agencies’ capacity to adopt, expand, or sustain programmatic and fiscal quality management strategies and practices that improve the quality of service delivery and employment outcomes. Intensive training and technical assistance will be provided on-site, over an extended period, under the terms of signed intensive training and technical assistance agreements between the VRTAC–QM and the participating State VR agencies. Numerical targets for the number of intensive training and technical assistance agreements will be included in the cooperative agreement between RSA and the VRTAC–QM. Agreements will reflect the participating VR agencies’ needs and priorities, goals, and objectives. They must include the following components: (a) Quality management strategies and practices to be implemented by the State VR agency and that result in improved service delivery and employment outcomes. (b) Nature and scope of the training and technical assistance to be provided by the VRTAC–QM. (c) Roles and responsibilities of the VRTAC–QM, State VR agency, other workforce development partners, community rehabilitation programs, and other partners, including the commitment of resources. E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices (d) Logic model 1 that includes: Performance outcomes, targets, and baselines; project activities, inputs, and outputs; and data collection and analysis commitments. The intensive training and technical assistance agreements will be developed based on the VRTAC–QM and participating VR agency’s review and analysis of such information sources as Unified or Combined State Plans; RSA– 911 and other performance data; general labor market data and information; RSA monitoring reports; State audit reports; and a review of pertinent Federal, State, and local resources in the State, including existing employment and training programs. (5) Provide targeted training and technical assistance and universal training and technical assistance on programmatic and fiscal quality management strategies and practices that lead to effective and efficient service delivery and quality employment outcomes. (6) Coordinate training and technical assistance with other technical assistance centers. The VRTAC–QM must coordinate the provision of training and technical assistance with the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment and other RSA-funded technical assistance and training centers. This coordination is particularly critical when developing intensive training and technical assistance agreements with the VR agencies to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts. The VRTAC–QM must also coordinate with other technical assistance centers funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services. (7) Present at a national conference or regional forums or specialized meetings throughout the grant period, with special focus in the fifth year of the grant to disseminate the VRTAC–QM’s summative findings and results. The primary objectives are to help State VR agencies to expand and sustain their VRTAC–QM programmatic and fiscal management strategies and practices that result in improved service delivery and employment outcomes by promoting an exchange of ideas and experiences with other participating VR agencies and to encourage other State VR agencies to consider adopting 1 ‘‘Logic model’’ (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active ‘‘ingredients’’ that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 VRTAC–QM strategies and practices. In addition, the VRTAC–QM will explore cost-effective approaches such as virtual convenings to engage VR agencies and partners who may be unable to attend in-person meetings. (8) Develop a plan for an evaluation, including a timeline for the evaluation and measurement benchmarks, that will assess the effect of the center’s training and technical assistance on the service delivery and employment outcomes achieved by the VR agencies that received the center’s services. This should be done through an analysis of the quality, relevance, and usefulness of VRTAC–QM training and technical assistance activities designed to improve State VR agencies’ program and resource management and lead to improved service delivery and achievement of high-quality employment outcomes and career advancement. Project Requirements of Priority 2 To meet the requirements of this priority, the VRTAC–QE must, at a minimum, conduct one or more of the following activities: (1) Establish a state-of-the-art website and IT platform for communicating with State VR agencies and ensure that all products produced by the VRTAC–QE and posted on the website meet government and industry-recognized standards for accessibility. The website will become a key training and technical assistance delivery vehicle; a major communication center for the VRTAC– QE, State VR agencies, workforce development partners, and other professionals; and the central repository of information about employment strategies and practices that will form the basis for intensive training and technical assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal training and technical assistance. (2) Complete a comprehensive review of effective strategies and practices leading to quality employment for individuals with disabilities and develop an overarching training and technical assistance plan for the project. Both the review and the plan must be made available to the public, ensuring applicable privacy requirements are met. The purpose of the review is to identify employment strategies and supporting practices for inclusion in VRTAC–QE’s overarching training and technical assistance plan. The center will develop an analytical framework and selection criteria against which to evaluate potential strategies and practices. The analysis will focus on: PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46607 State VR agency needs and priorities; up-to-date information on national trends, barriers, challenges, and opportunities regarding quality employment for individuals with disabilities, including factors leading to successful employment of individuals with significant and the most significant disabilities, students and youth with disabilities, and traditionally underserved populations; and quantitative and qualitative research on the effectiveness of the identified strategies and practices. Sources of information for this review may include, but are not limited to, State VR agency interviews and consultations; analyses of aggregate RSA–911 Case Service Report data, Unified or Combined State Plans, and RSA monitoring reports; information and tools generated by RSA’s vocational rehabilitation technical assistance centers and special demonstration projects, available on the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials website; and other resources funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, and institutions of higher education. The overarching training and technical assistance plan must include, at a minimum— (a) Employment strategies and supporting practices, including the rationale for their selection; (b) Conceptual framework for the selected strategies and practices, including key assumptions, expectations, and presumed relationships or linkages among strategies and practices; (c) Nature and scope of the intensive training and technical assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal training and technical assistance to be provided in support of the selected strategies and practices; and (d) Protocols and timelines for requesting and obtaining training and technical assistance. (3) Provide intensive training and technical assistance to State VR agencies. Intensive training and technical assistance will be provided to increase the capacity of State VR agencies to adopt, expand, or sustain employment strategies and supporting practices that improve the quality of employment outcomes. Intensive training and technical assistance will be provided on-site, over an extended period, under the terms of signed intensive training and technical assistance agreements between the VRTAC–QE and the participating State VR agencies. E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 46608 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices Numerical targets for the number of intensive training and technical assistance agreements will be included in the cooperative agreement between RSA and the VRTAC–QE. Agreements will reflect the participating VR agencies’ needs and priorities, goals, and objectives. They must include the following components: (a) Employment strategies and supporting practices to be implemented by the State VR agency. (b) Nature and scope of the training and technical assistance to be provided by the VRTAC–QE. (c) Roles and responsibilities of the VRTAC–QE, State VR agency, workforce development partners, community rehabilitation programs, and other partners, including the commitment of resources. (d) Logic model 2 that includes: Statespecific performance outcomes, targets, and baselines; project activities, inputs, and outputs; and data collection and analysis commitments. The intensive training and technical assistance agreements will be developed based on the VRTAC–QE and participating VR agency’s review and analysis of such information sources as Unified or Combined State Plans; RSA– 911 and other performance data; RSA monitoring reports; relevant labor market information; and a review of pertinent Federal, State, and local resources in the State, including existing employment and training programs. Intensive training and technical assistance will be implemented in coordination with, and leveraging the resources of, State and local workforce development partners and other parties specified in the intensive training and technical assistance agreement. (4) Provide targeted training and technical assistance meeting the identified needs of a limited number of State VR agencies, as well as universal training and technical assistance broadly available to all State VR agencies and their partners. (5) Coordinate training and technical assistance with other technical assistance centers. The VRTAC–QE must coordinate the provision of training and technical assistance with the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Management and 2 ‘‘Logic model’’ (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active ‘‘ingredients’’ that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 other RSA-funded training and technical assistance investments. This coordination is particularly critical when developing intensive training and technical assistance agreements with the VR agencies to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts. The VRTAC–QE must also coordinate with other training and technical assistance resources funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, and other pertinent Federal or State organizations, and institutions of higher education, as appropriate. (6) Disseminate VRTAC–QE summative findings and results through a national conference or regional forums or specialized meetings throughout the grant period and at with special focus in the fifth year of the grant. The primary objectives are to help State VR agencies to expand and sustain their VRTAC–QE strategies and practices and to encourage other State VR agencies to consider adopting some VRTAC–QE strategies and practices by promoting an exchange of ideas and experiences with other participating VR agencies. To maximize the dissemination of project findings and results throughout the grant period and with special focus in the fifth year, the VRTAC–QE will explore cost-effective approaches such as virtual convenings to engage VR agencies and partners who may be unable to attend in-person meetings. (7) Develop a plan for an evaluation, including a timeline for the evaluation and measurement benchmarks, that will assess VRTAC–QE employment strategies and supporting activities’ effect on VR participants’ employment outcomes and career advancement. The evaluation will also assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the VRTAC–QE’s training and technical assistance in improving State VR agencies’ ability to identify and implement the appropriate strategies and practices. Application Requirements: The following application requirements apply to both Priority 1 and Priority 2. The Department encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements. Applicants must— (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the Evaluation Plan,’’ how the proposed project will meet the evaluation requirements of the priority. Applicants must describe the anticipated implementation steps, milestones, and timelines for the development of a logic model for the project. The logic model must include data elements, inputs, activities, PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 outputs, and short-term and long-term performance indicators regarding— (1) Quantitative outcomes resulting from the program management or employment strategies and practices, including— (i) Quality and timeliness of the VR processes and services; (ii) Number and quality of employment outcomes; (iii) VR participants’ employment or career-readiness; (iv) Cost-effectiveness; and (v) Sustainability; (2) Quality, relevance, and usefulness of the project’s training and technical assistance activities; (3) Quantitative or qualitative insights about the relationship between strategies, practices, and training and technical assistance activities on critical outcomes for VR personnel, VR clients, and key partners, including through— (i) Pre- and post-training assessments; (ii) Comparison groups; (iii) Focus groups; or (iv) Success stories. (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Adequacy of Project Resources,’’ how the applicant will ensure that— (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have historically been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate; (2) Projects will be operated in a manner consistent with nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws; (3) Key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to meet all the requirements of the priority, including expertise in— (i) Programmatic areas addressed in the Project Requirements section of the priority; (ii) Program and resource management and oversight; (iii) Knowledge translation and dissemination, including the effective use of communication technologies; and (iv) Project evaluation leading to continuous improvement, including qualitative and quantitative assessments; (4) The applicant and key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed project activities, and achieve anticipated project outcomes and impact on the VR services to individuals with disabilities, including assurances that the proposed allocation of human and financial resources for project E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices evaluation will be enough to meet the requirements in section (a) of the application requirement regarding the ‘‘Quality of the Evaluation Plan,’’ above; and (5) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits. (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the Management Plan,’’ how the applicant will ensure that— (1) The project’s intended outcomes, including implementation of the evaluation plan, will be achieved on time and within budget, through— (i) Clearly defined responsibilities of key project personnel, consultants, and contractors, as applicable; (ii) Procedures to track and ensure completion of the action steps, timelines, and milestones established for key project activities, requirements, and deliverables, in accordance with the cooperative agreement between RSA and the applicant; (iii) Internal monitoring processes to ensure that the project is being implemented in accordance with an established project performance plan, including timelines and milestones; and (iv) Financial and budgetary oversight processes to ensure timely obligations and reporting of grant funds, in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200 and the terms and conditions of the Federal award; (2) The allocation of key project personnel, consultants, and contractors—including levels of effort of key personnel—will be appropriate and adequate to achieve the project’s intended outcomes, including an assurance that key personnel will have enough availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA; (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services are of high quality, relevance, and usefulness, in both content and delivery; and (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including those of State and local personnel, providers, researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation. Additional Application Requirements for Priority 1 The following application requirements apply only to priority 1 (VRTAC–QM). The Department encourages innovative approaches to VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 meet these requirements. Applicants must— (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Significance of the Project,’’ how the proposed project will increase State VR agencies’ capacity to improve the quality of VR services and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities by enabling VR agencies to develop and implement efficient and effective program and resource management techniques leading to increases in the numbers and improved skills of VR counselors and other service delivery personnel. To meet this requirement, the applicant must demonstrate— (1) Knowledge about State VR program challenges, opportunities, barriers, and trends regarding program and resource management or quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities including those with significant and the most significant disabilities, students and youth with disabilities, and traditionally underserved populations; (2) Knowledge about Federal, State, and nongovernment initiatives to promote program and resource management and quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, particularly in response to requirements under WIOA; (3) The proposed project’s potential to contribute to these Federal, State, and nongovernment initiatives by assisting State VR agencies in equipping personnel with the necessary skills and training to implement the substantive provisions of the Rehabilitation Act introduced by WIOA that are designed to improve the quality of employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities; and (4) How the proposed project will increase State VR agencies’ capacity to implement program and resource management strategies leading to improved VR services, employment outcomes, and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities. (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application, under ‘‘Quality of Project Services,’’ how the proposed project will achieve the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of this priority. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe its plan for implementing the project, including major implementation activities, timelines, and milestones (particularly for the initial fiscal year), as well as key assumptions and expectations, presumed relationships or linkages among variables, and underlying rationale and empirical support, for the PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46609 following Project Requirements of the priority: (1) State-of-the-art website. Applicants must describe how the website will serve as an effective communication center, training and technical assistance delivery vehicle, and repository of information about quality management or employment strategies and practices, including— (i) Expected features and capabilities, including information-delivery and stakeholder-convening technologies; and (ii) Anticipated uses of such features and capabilities in support of the project goals and objectives. (2) Comprehensive review. Applicants must describe how the comprehensive review will provide the factual basis for the project training and technical assistance plan. At a minimum, the comprehensive review must include— (i) Input from State VR agencies about their needs, priorities, and innovative approaches to program and resource management that lead to improved service delivery; (ii) Information regarding the latest— (A) National trends, barriers, challenges, and opportunities; (B) Effective and efficient program and resource management strategies, techniques, and practices that may be applicable to State VR agencies; and (C) Additional information that the applicant deems relevant; and (iii) An analytical framework for assessing the collected information and selecting the program and resource management strategies and practices for inclusion in the training and technical assistance plans. (3) Provision of intensive training and technical assistance. Applicants must describe how the intensive training and technical assistance agreements will increase State VR agencies’ capacity to improve the State VR agencies’ performance and quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, through State-appropriate— (i) Program and resource management; (ii) Federal, State, and local partnerships; and (iii) Performance outcomes, outputs, inputs, targets, baselines, and data collection requirements. (4) Provision of targeted training and technical assistance and universal training and technical assistance. Applicants must describe how each training and technical assistance modality (targeted or universal) will help State VR agencies to adopt, expand, and sustain program and resource management practices. For each training and technical assistance modality, describe— E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 46610 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES (i) Topics, activities, and products; (ii) Intended audience and outreach strategies; (iii) Content delivery and dissemination methods; and (iv) Steps to ensure quality, relevance, and usefulness. (5) Coordination. The applicant must describe how it will maximize coordination between the VRTAC–QE and the VRTAC–QM and seek opportunities to coordinate with other training and technical assistance investments, including those funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, in the provision of training and technical assistance to State VR agencies. (6) National conference, regional forums, or specialized meetings throughout the grant period and with special focus in the fifth year of the grant performance period. Applicants must describe how the project will disseminate its summative findings and results, including cost-effective approaches such as virtual convenings to engage State VR agencies and other potential Federal, State, local, and nongovernment partners, including— (i) Types of events (e.g., conferences, forums, specialized meetings); (ii) Target audience (e.g., by event type, types of stakeholders with a variety of roles and sectors); and (iii) Convening modes (in-person, virtual). (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the Evaluation Plan,’’ the applicant’s capacity and experience in addressing the State VR agencies’ training and technical assistance needs in the areas of program and resource management, including but not limited to strategic planning and performance improvement leading to performance improvement, including SWOT assessment related to implementing strategies that ensure education funds are spent in a way that increases their efficiency and cost-effectiveness, including by reducing waste or achieving better outcomes. Additional Application Requirements for Priority 2 The following application requirements apply only to Priority 2 (VRTAC–QE). The Department encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements. Applicants must— (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Significance of the Project,’’ how the proposed project will increase State VR agencies’ capacity to improve the VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 quality of VR services and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities by enabling VR agencies to develop and implement innovative employment and support strategies that are designed to improve employment outcomes and career advancement for individuals with disabilities. To meet this requirement, the applicant must demonstrate— (1) Knowledge about State VR program challenges, opportunities, barriers, and trends regarding program and resource management or quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities including those with significant and the most significant disabilities, students and youth with disabilities, and traditionally underserved populations; (2) Knowledge about Federal, State, and nongovernment initiatives to promote program and resource management and quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, particularly in response to requirements under WIOA; (3) The proposed project’s potential to contribute to these Federal, State, and nongovernment initiatives by assisting State VR agencies in equipping personnel with the necessary skills and training to implement the substantive provisions of the Rehabilitation Act introduced by WIOA that are designed to improve the quality of employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities; and (4) How the proposed project will increase State VR agencies’ capacity to implement employment strategies and supporting practices leading to improved VR services, employment outcomes, and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application, under ‘‘Quality of Project Services,’’ how the proposed project will achieve the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of this priority. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe its plan for implementing the project, including major implementation activities, timelines, and milestones (particularly for the initial fiscal year), as well as key assumptions and expectations, presumed relationships or linkages among variables, and underlying rationale and empirical support, for the following Project Requirements of the priority: (1) State-of-the-art website. Applicants must describe how the website will serve as an effective communication center, training and technical assistance delivery vehicle, and repository of information about PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 quality management or employment strategies and practices, including— (i) Expected features and capabilities, including information-delivery and stakeholder-convening technologies; and (ii) Anticipated uses of such features and capabilities in support of the project goals and objectives. (2) Comprehensive review. Applicants must describe how the comprehensive review will provide the factual basis for the project training and technical assistance plan. At a minimum, the comprehensive review must include— (i) Input from State VR agencies about their needs, priorities, and innovative approaches to program and resource management that lead to quality employment and career-readiness that lead to quality employment outcomes; (ii) Information regarding the latest— (A) National trends, barriers, challenges, and opportunities; (B) Effective employment strategies and practices that prepare individuals with disabilities to compete in the global economy and designed to create or expand innovative and affordable paths to relevant careers through postsecondary credentials or job-ready skills; and (C) Additional information that the applicant deems relevant; and (iii) An analytical framework for assessing the collected information and selecting the employment and careerreadiness strategies and practices for inclusion in the training and technical assistance plans. (3) Provision of intensive training and technical assistance. Applicants must describe how the intensive training and technical assistance agreements will increase State VR agencies’ capacity to improve the State VR agencies’ performance and quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, through State-appropriate— (i) Employment strategies and supporting practices; (ii) Federal, State, and local partnerships; and (iii) Performance outcomes, outputs, inputs, targets, baselines, and data collection requirements. (4) Provision of targeted training and technical assistance and universal training and technical assistance. Applicants must describe how each training and technical assistance modality (targeted or universal) will help State VR agencies to adopt, expand, and sustain employment strategies and practices that improve employment outcomes and career advancement opportunities for eligible VR participants. For each training and E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices technical assistance modality, describe— (i) Topics, activities, and products; (ii) Intended audience and outreach strategies; (iii) Content delivery and dissemination methods; and (iv) Steps to ensure quality, relevance, and usefulness. (5) Coordination. The applicant must describe how it will maximize coordination between the VRTAC–QE and the VRTAC–QM and seek opportunities to coordinate with other technical assistance centers, including those funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, in the provision of training and technical assistance to State VR agencies. (6) National conference, regional forums, or specialized meetings throughout the grant period, with special focus in the fifth year of the grant performance period. Applicants must describe how the project will disseminate its summative findings and results, including cost-effective approaches such as virtual convenings to engage State VR agencies and other potential Federal, State, local, and nongovernment partners, including— (i) Types of events (e.g., conferences, forums, specialized meetings); (ii) Target audience (e.g., by event type, types of stakeholders with a variety of roles and sectors); and (iii) Convening modes (in-person, virtual). Definitions: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, the following definitions apply to the VRTAC–QM and VRTAC–QE priorities. The definitions are from the NFP. Intensive training and technical assistance means training and technical assistance provided to State VR agencies and State VR agency personnel primarily on-site or through remote delivery, as needed and appropriate, over an extended period. Intensive training and technical assistance are based on an ongoing relationship between the training and technical assistance center staff and State VR agencies and State VR agency personnel under the terms of a signed intensive training and technical assistance agreement. Targeted training and technical assistance means training and technical assistance based on needs common to one or more State VR agencies and State VR agency personnel on a time-limited basis and with limited commitment of training and technical assistance center resources. Targeted training and VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 technical assistance are delivered through virtual or in-person methods tailored to the identified needs of the participating State VR agencies and State VR agency personnel. Universal training and technical assistance means training and technical assistance broadly available to State VR agencies and State VR agency personnel and other interested parties through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with training and technical assistance center staff. Universal training and technical assistance includes generalized presentations, products, and related activities available through a website or through brief contacts with the training and technical assistance center staff. Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772(a)(1) and 29 U.S.C. 773(b)(1). Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR parts 385 and 373. (e) The NFP. 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 VRTAC–QM Type of Award: Cooperative agreement. Estimated Available Funds: $3,344,560. Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $3,344,560 for a single budget period of 12 months. Note: Of the $3,344,560 available for this award, $3,000,000 is from the Rehabilitation Training program and will be used for the provision of training and technical assistance, and $344,560 is from the Demonstration and Training program and will be used for evaluation activities. These funds must be budgeted and tracked separately. Applications must include separate ED–524 budget forms and budget narratives for funds requested under the PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46611 Rehabilitation Training and Demonstration and Training programs, respectively. Estimated Number of Awards: 1. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 60 months. VRTAC–QE Type of Award: Cooperative agreement. Estimated Available Funds: $3,344,560. Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $3,344,560 for a single budget period of 12 months. Note: Of the $3,344,560 available for this award, $3,000,000 is from the Rehabilitation Training program and will be used for the provision of training and technical assistance, and $344,560 is from the Demonstration and Training program and will be used for evaluation activities. These funds must be budgeted and tracked separately. Applications must include separate ED–524 budget forms and budget narratives for funds requested under the Rehabilitation Training and Demonstration and Training programs, respectively. Estimated Number of Awards: 1. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 60 months. III. Eligibility Information VRTAC–QM and VRTAC–QE 1. Eligible Applicants: States and public or private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian Tribes and institutions of higher education. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching: The Department determined that cost sharing of 10 percent of the total cost of the project is required of grantees under both the Rehabilitation Training program and the Demonstration and Training program. Therefore, cost sharing of 10 percent of the total cost of the project (i.e., based on the sum of Federal and non-Federal project costs) is required of the grantee under this competition. Any program income that may be incurred during the period of performance may only be directed towards advancing activities in the approved grant application and may not be used towards the 10 percent cost share requirement. The Secretary does not, as a general matter, anticipate waiving this requirement. However, the Secretary may waive part of the nonFederal share of the cost of the project after negotiations if the applicant demonstrates that it does not have sufficient resources to contribute the E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 46612 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices entire cost share. Furthermore, given the importance of the cost share funds to the long-term success of the project, eligible entities must identify appropriate cost share funds in the proposed budget. Finally, the selection criteria include factors such as ‘‘the adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization’’ and ‘‘the relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project,’’ which may include a consideration of demonstrated cost sharing support. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Note: The awards will be jointly funded by the Rehabilitation Training program and the Demonstration and Training program, which have different indirect cost rate requirements. These funds must be budgeted and tracked separately, with the correct indirect cost rate applied to each set of funds. Under 34 CFR 75.562(c), an indirect cost reimbursement on a training grant is limited to the recipient’s actual indirect costs, as determined by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or eight percent of a modified total direct cost base, whichever amount is less. Indirect costs in excess of the limit may not be charged directly, used to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements, or charged to another Federal award. This requirement applies only to the Rehabilitation Training program funds, which amount to up to $3,000,000 of the $3,344,560 available for each award. Under 34 CFR 373.22, indirect cost reimbursement for grants under the Demonstration and Training program is limited to the recipient’s actual indirect costs, as determined by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or 10 percent of the total direct cost base, whichever amount is less. This requirement applies only to the Demonstration and Training program funds, which amount to up to $344,560 of the $3,344,560 available for each award. 3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 373.23(b), a grantee under this competition may not award subgrants using Demonstration and Training program funds to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c), a grantee under this competition may award subgrants using Rehabilitation Training program funds—to directly carry out project activities described in its application— to the following types of entities: States and public or private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 Tribes and institutions of higher education. The grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application or that it selects through a competition under procedures established by the grantee. Under 34 CFR 75.708(e) and 373.23(b), a grantee may use either Demonstration and Training program or Rehabilitation Training program funds to contract for supplies, equipment, and other services in accordance with 2 CFR part 200. IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Application and Submission Information: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/ pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application. 2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the Rehabilitation Training competition, your application may include business information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ‘‘business information’’ and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended). Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information. Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under ‘‘Other Attachments Form,’’ please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c). 3. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make an award by the end of FY 2020. 4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. 5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 45 pages and (2) use the following standards: • A ‘‘page’’ is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1’’ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative, Part III. V. Application Review Information 1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows: (a) Need for project and the significance of the proposed project. (10 points) The Secretary considers the need for and significance of the proposed project. In determining the need for and significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the proposed project will focus on serving or otherwise addressing the needs of disadvantaged individuals. (ii) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses. (iii) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in employment, independent living services, or both, as appropriate. (b) Quality of the project design. (25 points) (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable. (ii) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of Federal financial assistance. (iii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice. (iv) The extent to which the proposed project will increase efficiency in the use of time, staff, money, or other resources in order to improve results and increase productivity. (c) Quality of project services. (25 points) (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services. (ii) The likely impact of the services to be provided by the proposed project on the intended recipients of those services. (iii) The extent to which the technical assistance services to be provided by the proposed project involve the use of efficient strategies, including the use of technology, as appropriate, and the leveraging of non-project resources. (d) Quality of project personnel and adequacy of resources. (15 points) The Secretary considers the quality of project personnel who will carry out the proposed project and the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, in determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel. (ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of project consultants or subcontractors. (iii) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization. (iv) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project. (v) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project (e) Quality of the management plan and strategy to scale. (15 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and the strategy to scale the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project and the applicant’s capacity to scale the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks. (ii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project. (iii) The applicant’s capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to bring the proposed project to scale on a national or regional level (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)) working directly, or through partners, during the grant period. (f) Quality of the project evaluation. (10 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible. (ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46613 In addition to the selection criteria listed above, the Secretary, in making awards under this program, in accordance with 34 CFR 385.33, considers the past performance of the applicant in carrying out similar training activities under previously awarded grants, as indicated by such factors as compliance with grant conditions, soundness of programmatic and financial management practices, and attainment of established project objectives. This criterion will be used after nonFederal reviewers score the applications and will be applied to all applications that are recommended for funding. 2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant’s use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality. In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). When reviewing prior performance under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3) and conducting risk assessments pursuant to 2 CFR 200.205, the Secretary will consider factors such as whether applicants have demonstrated sufficient institutional capacity through the commitment of adequate resources, as described in the selection criteria, and adequate past performance in fully implementing multiple awards. 3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition, the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible. E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 46614 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS. Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000. 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 Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your 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 of this notice. We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of 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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20. 4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b). (b) 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 multiyear award, you must submit quarterly and annual performance reports that provide 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 www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/ appforms/appforms.html. 5. Performance Measures: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals. The GPRA measures applicable to the VRTAC–QM and the VRTAC–QE are as follows: (a) Number and percentage of participating State VR agencies reporting improved coordination and collaboration with Federal, State, or local organizations as a result of the training and technical assistance. (b) Number and percentage of VR agency personnel reporting that the training and technical assistance is high in quality, relevant, and useful to their work. (c) Of State VR agencies that received training and technical assistance, the percentage change in consumers PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 achieving an employment outcome compared to the prior year. (d) Of State VR agencies that received training and technical assistance, the number and percentage of agencies that achieved their negotiated level of performance for the measurable skill gains indicator in the VR Program Year. In addition to the GPRA measures, the following program measure has been established for the VRTAC–QM and the VRTAC–QE: The number and percentage of participating State VR agencies that adopt quality management or quality employment strategies and practices as a result of training and technical assistance provided under this grant. Applicable short-term and long-term indicators and targets will be specified in the VRTAC–QM and VRTAC–QE cooperative agreements. Grant recipients will report the data necessary to assess performance against these measures, indicators, and targets in their quarterly, annual and final performance reports. Annual project progress toward meeting project goals must be posted on the project website. 6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee’s approved application. In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). VII. Other Information Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 149 / Monday, August 3, 2020 / Notices LLC, Foote Creek IV, LLC, Garnet Wind, LLC, Luz Solar Partners VIII, Ltd., Luz Solar Partners IX, Ltd., Mojave 3/4/5 LLC, Mojave 16/17/18 LLC, Oasis Alta, LLC, Oasis Power Partners, LLC, Pacific Crest Power, LLC, Painted Hills Wind Holdings, LLC, PHWD Affiliate LLC, Refresh Wind, LLC, Refresh Wind 2, LLC, Ridge Crest Wind Partners, LLC, Ridgetop Energy, LLC, Rock River I, LLC, San Gorgonio Westwinds II, LLC, San Jacinto Wind II, LLC, Tehachapi Plains Wind, LLC, Terra-Gen 251 Wind, LLC, Terra-Gen Dixie Valley, LLC, Terra-Gen Energy Services, LLC, TerraGen Mojave Windfarms, LLC, Terra-Gen VG Wind, LLC, TG High Prairie, LLC, Mark Schultz, TGP Energy Management, LLC, Victory Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Garden Phase IV, LLC, Voyager Wind I, Administration, Delegated the authority to LLC, Voyager Wind II, LLC, Voyager perform the functions and duties of the Wind IV Expansion, LLC, Whitewater Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Hill Wind Partners, LLC, VPI Enterprises, LLC, Yavi Energy, LLC, [FR Doc. 2020–16686 Filed 7–30–20; 4:15 pm] DifWind Farms Limited I, San Gorgonio BILLING CODE 4000–01–P Westwinds II—Windustries, LLC. Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Alta Oak Realty, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY LLC, et al. Federal Energy Regulatory Filed Date: 7/27/20. Accession Number: 20200727–5185. Commission Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. Combined Notice of Filings #1 Docket Numbers: ER19–1643–001. Applicants: Hopewell Power Take notice that the Commission Generation, LLC. received the following electric rate Description: Report Filing: Refund filings: report to be effective N/A. Docket Numbers: ER19–1575–003; Filed Date: 7/27/20. ER10–3050–005; ER14–2871–014; Accession Number: 20200727–5157. ER16–182–009; ER20–71–001; ER20– Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. 72–001; ER17–1785–004; ER20–74–001; Docket Numbers: ER20–529–003. ER16–1130–007; ER16–1131–007; Applicants: Wilderness Line ER16–1132–007; ER17–47–006; ER19– 1658–002; ER17–1574–004; ER10–3245– Holdings, LLC. Description: Tariff Amendment: 011; ER10–3249–011; ER10–3250–011; ER18–2241–002; ER19–426–002; ER19– Executed Windstar LGIA & TSA to be effective 6/30/2020. 427–002; ER19–1660–002; ER19–1662– Filed Date: 7/27/20. 002; ER20–75–001; ER10–2488–019; Accession Number: 20200727–5131. ER15–621–013; ER20–77–001; ER19– Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. 1663–002; ER19–1664–002; ER19–1665– Docket Numbers: ER20–1921–001. 002; ER11–2639–012; ER15–622–013; Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, ER10–3052–004 ; ER15–463–013; ER16– Inc. 72–009; ER20–78–001; ER20–76–002; Description: Tariff Amendment: ER19–1666–002; ER18–2013–003; Amended Filing—Revisions to ER15–110–013; ER17–48–007; ER19– Attachment AF to Clarify Market 1667–002; ER19–274–001; ER13–1586– Mitigation Process to be effective 8/3/ 015; ER10–1992–021; ER16–902–006; 2020. ER18–47–005; ER20–79–001; ER16– Filed Date: 7/28/20. 1129–007; ER10–3053–005; ER18–2240– Accession Number: 20200728–5055. 002. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/18/20. Applicants: Alta Oak Realty, LLC, Cabazon Wind Partners, LLC, Cameron Docket Numbers: ER20–1939–000. Ridge, LLC, Cameron Ridge II, LLC, Applicants: Calpine Northeast Coachella Hills Wind, LLC, Coachella Development, LLC. Wind Holdings, LLC, Coachella Wind, Description: Amendment to May 29, LLC, Desert Hot Springs, LLC, DifWind 2020 Calpine Northeast Development, Farms Limited II, DifWind Farms LLC tariff filing. Limited V, DifWind Farms LTD VI, Filed Date: 7/27/20. Dutch Wind, LLC,EUI Affiliate LLC, Accession Number: 20200727–5173. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/6/20. Foote Creek II, LLC, Foote Creek III, khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:39 Jul 31, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46615 Docket Numbers: ER20–2508–000. Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original ISA, SA #5699; Queue #AF1– 178; Cancel ISA, SA #3039; Queue #W2–075 to be effective 6/30/2020. Filed Date: 7/27/20. Accession Number: 20200727–5130. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–2509–000. Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original ISA, SA No. 5690; Queue No. AF1–184 to be effective 6/30/2020. Filed Date: 7/27/20. Accession Number: 20200727–5140. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–2510–000. Applicants: Odom Solar LLC. Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: MBR Application to be effective 9/25/ 2020. Filed Date: 7/27/20. Accession Number: 20200727–5162. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–2511–000. Applicants: ISO New England Inc., New England Power Pool Participants Committee. Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ISO– NE & NEPOOL; Addition of 30 Min. to Day-Ahead Energy Mkt Submission Window to be effective 9/30/2020. Filed Date: 7/27/20. Accession Number: 20200727–5163. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–2512–000. Applicants: SR Baxley, LLC. Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: MBR Application to be effective 9/25/ 2020. Filed Date: 7/27/20. Accession Number: 20200727–5164. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–2513–000. Applicants: Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Tri-State Rate Schedule No. 113 to be effective 7/28/2020. Filed Date: 7/27/20. Accession Number: 20200727–5165. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–2514–000. Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original ISA, SA No. 5686; Queue No. AF1–187 to be effective 6/29/2020. Filed Date: 7/27/20. Accession Number: 20200727–5166. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/17/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–2515–000. Applicants: SR Georgia Portfolio I MT, LLC. E:\FR\FM\03AUN1.SGM 03AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 149 (Monday, August 3, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46603-46615]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-16686]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards: Rehabilitation Training: Vocational 
Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Quality Management and 
Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Quality 
Employment

AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 
Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for a Vocational 
Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Management 
(VRTAC-QM) and a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center 
for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE), Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) numbers 84.264J and 84.264K. The VRTAC-QM and VRTAC-
QE will focus on identified national needs and improvement of the 
number and quality of employment outcomes under the vocational 
rehabilitation (VR) program and raise expectations for all people with 
disabilities.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: August 3, 2020.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 2, 2020.
    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: The Office of Special Education 
and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) will post a PowerPoint presentation 
that provides general information related to the Rehabilitation 
Services Administration's (RSA's) discretionary

[[Page 46604]]

grant competitions and PowerPoint presentations specifically related to 
the VRTAC-QM and VRTAC-QE competitions at https://ncrtm.ed.gov/RSAGrantInfo.aspx. OSERS will conduct a pre-application meeting via 
conference call to respond to questions specific to the VRTAC-QM and 
the VRTAC-QE. Information about the pre-application meeting will be 
available at https://ncrtm.ed.gov/RSAGrantInfo.aspx prior to the date 
of the call. OSERS invites you to send questions about the VRTAC-QM to 
[email protected] and the VRTAC-QE to [email protected] in advance of the 
pre-application meetings. The VRTAC-QM and VRTAC-QE pre-application 
meeting summaries of questions and answers, will be available at 
https://ncrtm.ed.gov/RSAGrantInfo.aspx approximately six business days 
after the pre-application meeting.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    For VRTAC-QM: Douglas Zhu, U.S. Department of Education, 400 
Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5095, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 
20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-6037. Email: [email protected].
    For VRTAC-QE: Felipe Lulli, U.S. Department of Education, 400 
Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5101, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 
20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7425. Email: [email protected].
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 
(Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and 
Opportunity Act (WIOA), RSA makes grants to States and public or 
nonprofit agencies and organizations (including institutions of higher 
education) to pay part of the cost of projects to provide State VR 
agency personnel with training and technical assistance designed to 
assist in increasing the numbers of, and upgrading the skills of, 
qualified personnel (especially rehabilitation counselors) who are 
trained in providing vocational, medical, social, and psychological 
rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, who are 
trained to assist individuals with communication and related disorders, 
and who are trained to provide other services authorized under the 
Rehabilitation Act. Projects must be awarded and operated in a manner 
consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the 
U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws.
    Priorities: Priorities 1 and 2 are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, and definitions for this program published 
elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register (NFP).
    Applicants must address either Absolute Priority 1 or Absolute 
Priority 2, in the budget information (ED Form 524, Section B) and 
budget narrative. Applicants may apply for both priorities if they 
submit separate applications and demonstrate in each application that 
it has sufficient institutional capacity to fully implement multiple 
awards, including the required cost share.
    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2020, and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet one or more of 
these priorities.
    These priorities are:
    Absolute Priority 1: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance 
Center for Quality Management.
    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to 
establish a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for 
Quality Management (VRTAC-QM).
    The VRTAC-QM will provide intensive training and technical 
assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal 
training and technical assistance to State VR agencies on quality 
management strategies that will enable VR agencies to improve service 
delivery to, and employment outcomes achieved by, individuals with 
disabilities. For States that request intensive training and technical 
assistance, the training and technical assistance will upgrade and 
increase the competencies, skills, and knowledge of VR personnel, 
enabling them to assess current VR program performance and to identify 
the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for improvement, and threats 
(SWOT) that impact the effectiveness of VR agency service delivery and 
the quality of employment outcomes. This SWOT assessment will be based 
on a review of a wide variety of information sources, including, but 
not limited to, RSA's monitoring findings and recommendations; State 
audit reports; consumer feedback provided in public hearings and 
through consumer satisfaction surveys; results of comprehensive 
statewide needs assessments; and input from workforce development 
partners, community rehabilitation programs, and other VR stakeholders. 
Based on SWOT assessments, the center and VR agency personnel will 
develop individualized intensive training and technical assistance 
agreements designed to provide personnel with skills and strategies 
they need to address the weaknesses identified in the SWOT assessments 
to improve service delivery and employment outcomes for individuals 
with disabilities. The center will also provide VR agency personnel 
with technical assistance on evaluating whether the quality management 
strategies they adopt lead to increasing the percentage of participants 
who achieve an MSG and exit the program with an employment outcome and 
to modify those strategies, if necessary, to achieve continuous program 
improvement. In addition to the intensive training and technical 
assistance, the VRTAC-QM also will provide targeted training and 
technical assistance and universal training and technical assistance to 
State VR agencies on a broad range of quality management strategies and 
practices, both programmatic and fiscal, to address needs common to 
many agencies.
    With regard to program management and performance, the VRTAC-QM's 
training and technical assistance will support the assessment, 
development, and enhancement of staff knowledge, skills, and abilities 
to perform the following functions in order to improve service delivery 
and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities:
     Analyzing the State VR agency's comprehensive system of 
personnel development to identify strengths and weaknesses in staff's 
ability to understand and address factors affecting program performance 
and designing management strategies to address these deficits.
     Analyzing case service data to identify trends and 
inconsistencies in program performance, and developing strategies to 
improve the effectiveness and timeliness of services provided, 
including addressing inconsistencies in the quality and quantity of 
employment outcomes achieved by various groups of

[[Page 46605]]

individuals with disabilities served by the program.
     Understanding statutory and regulatory requirements 
related to performance management, including calculations for the 
common performance measures required under WIOA and factors that may be 
affecting the agency's performance on these measures.
     Conducting quality assurance and performance improvement, 
including the use of data for performance management systems and the 
implementation of the common performance measures required by WIOA.
     Strategic planning to address aspects of the SWOT 
assessment that pose challenges and barriers to improving service 
delivery and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, 
particularly students and youth with disabilities and individuals with 
significant and the most significant disabilities.
     Implementing effective and efficient policies for 
delivering pre-employment transition services under section 113, VR 
services under section 103(a), and supported employment services under 
title VI of the Rehabilitation Act.
     Understanding the relationship to important outcomes of 
various cost containment measures, such as implementing an order of 
selection giving priority for services to individuals with the most 
significant disabilities, establishing a financial needs test for 
various services, implementing policies for consumer participation in 
the cost of services, and implementing the requirement to seek 
comparable services and benefits for certain services, among others.
    Under the VR program, agencies must comply with several complex 
Federal fiscal requirements related to maintenance of effort, 
reallotment, reservation of funds for pre-employment transition 
services, and match, among others. VR agencies must understand, track, 
assess, and adjust, when necessary, program activities to meet these 
requirements while maximizing program outcomes. Additionally, the lack 
of knowledge and skills in fiscal and resource management can 
negatively affect the ability of VR agency personnel to meet consumer 
needs, for example, necessitating the implementation of orders of 
selection limiting the numbers of eligible individuals served in the VR 
program. With regard to effective resource management, the training and 
technical assistance will support the assessment, development, and 
enhancement of staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to ensure that--
     Resources, including program funds and personnel, are 
being used for allowable purposes and innovative employment strategies 
and supports that maximize employment outcomes for individuals with 
disabilities, including students and youth with disabilities and 
individuals with significant and the most significant disabilities;
     Programs have sound internal controls and reliable 
reporting systems upon which to base fiscal and programmatic decision-
making to support attainment of program goals and objectives, including 
those related to increasing the numbers and qualifications of service 
delivery personnel; and
     Resources, including program funds and personnel, are 
maximized for program needs.
    The following are examples of activities the VRTAC-QM may undertake 
to address weaknesses in resource management:
     Assess grantee financial management processes used to 
support attainment of fiscal and programmatic outcomes (for example, 
whether an agency's fiscal processes support the accurate tracking and 
reporting of non-Federal funds to maximize the drawdown of Federal 
award funds to support attainment of employment outcomes). The 
assessment will be used to identify areas for improvement in fiscal 
processes that will assist the agency in meeting program goals.
     Assess personnel training and technical assistance needs 
to identify gaps in fiscal knowledge, skills, and abilities that 
prevent the agency from effective and efficient resource utilization 
necessary to achieve employment outcomes.
     Provide intensive training and technical assistance on 
financial planning to maximize program resources and attainment of 
program goals and objectives, maximizing opportunities for funds 
matching, avoiding potential maintenance of effort and match penalties, 
and meeting the reservation of funds requirement for pre-employment 
transition services in order to increase resources available for 
service delivery.
     Provide technical assistance on implementing Federal, 
State, and program fiscal requirements, including internal controls, in 
an efficient and effective manner to reduce unnecessary burden and to 
focus efforts on program outcomes.
     Provide technical assistance on the identification, 
collection, and analysis of program and fiscal data necessary for 
program management and maximizing available resources to support 
consumer services.
    Absolute Priority 2: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance 
Center for Quality Employment.
    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to 
establish a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for 
Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE).
    The purpose of the VRTAC-QE is to upgrade and increase the 
competencies, skills, and knowledge of VR personnel to implement and 
sustain employment strategies and supporting practices that enable 
individuals with disabilities to achieve quality employment and career 
advancement, particularly competitive integrated employment as defined 
in the Rehabilitation Act. The center will include strategies and 
practices that meet the needs and promote the quality employment of 
individuals with significant and the most significant disabilities, 
students and youth with disabilities, and traditionally underserved 
populations. The VRTAC-QE will implement a coordinated plan to provide 
intensive training and technical assistance, targeted training and 
technical assistance, and universal training and technical assistance 
to State VR agencies on a broad range of employment strategies and 
supporting practices.
    Employment strategies for consideration include, but are not 
limited to, the following:
    (a) Career pathways education, training, and supports in high-
demand occupations, including those in science, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
    (b) Registered and industry-recognized apprenticeships, pre-
apprenticeships, and on-the-job training.
    (c) Supported employment and customized employment.
    (d) Customized training and credential programs to meet employer 
demand.
    (e) Self-employment and entrepreneurship, including services 
available under the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program.
    (f) Business engagement and employer supports, including dual 
customer models such as Progressive Employment.
    Supporting practices for consideration include, but are not limited 
to, the following:
    (1) Practices to enhance the employment capacity of individuals 
with the most significant disabilities receiving supported employment

[[Page 46606]]

services, such as the Individual Placement and Support model.
    (2) Pre-employment transition services that prepare students with 
disabilities and transition services that prepare youth with 
disabilities to identify career interests through work-based learning 
and early career exploration opportunities, including internships and 
job shadowing, with a focus on high-demand and STEM careers.
    (3) Career counseling techniques and resources, including labor 
market information tools such as Career Index Plus.
    (4) Strategies involving workforce development partners, community 
rehabilitation programs, and other community-based organizations to 
provide the comprehensive support services that individuals with 
significant and the most significant disabilities need to succeed, such 
as the Integrated Resource Teams model.
    (5) Approaches that encourage VR clients to enter and remain 
engaged in the VR process, such as rapid engagement, motivational 
interviewing, benefits counseling, and financial empowerment training, 
and vehicles such as the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) tax-
free accounts for individuals with disabilities.
    (6) Community outreach strategies to expand the pool of potential 
VR applicants and referral sources, including traditionally underserved 
populations.
    Requirements: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make 
awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, 
the following requirements apply to the VRTAC-QM and VRTAC-QE. The 
requirements are from the NFP.

Project Requirements of Priority 1

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the VRTAC-QM must, at a 
minimum, conduct one or more of the following activities:
    (1) Establish a committee on quality management of State VR 
programs that meets at least semi-annually to obtain individual advice 
and recommendations for the project.
    The committee must include, but is not limited to, individuals with 
disabilities, representatives from State VR agencies, representatives 
from community rehabilitation programs, stakeholders, and individuals 
with subject matter expertise in improving outcomes through effective 
program and resource management and in employment strategies for people 
with disabilities. At a minimum, the committee members will provide 
individual input and recommendations pertaining to the implementation 
of the project and the project evaluation and quality assurance plan.
    (2) Establish a state-of-the-art website and information technology 
(IT) platform for communicating with State VR agencies and ensure that 
all products produced by the VRTAC-QM and posted on the website meet 
government and industry-recognized standards for accessibility.
    The website will become a key training and technical assistance 
delivery vehicle; a major communication center for the VRTAC-QM and 
State VR agencies; and the central repository of information about 
quality management strategies and practices that will form the basis 
for intensive training and technical assistance, targeted training and 
technical assistance, and universal training and technical assistance.
    (3) Complete a comprehensive review of programmatic and fiscal 
quality management strategies and practices for VR services for 
individuals with disabilities to achieve employment outcomes and 
develop an overarching training and technical assistance plan for the 
project. Both the review and the plan must be made available to the 
public, ensuring applicable privacy requirements are met.
    The purpose of the review is to identify those strategies and 
practices for inclusion in VRTAC-QM's overarching training and 
technical assistance plan. The center will develop an analytical 
framework and selection criteria against which to evaluate potential 
strategies and practices. The analysis will focus on: State VR agency 
needs and priorities, up-to-date information on quality management 
strategies and practices that have proven to be effective in the field 
of rehabilitation as well as other public and private sectors of the 
economy that may have applicability to the management of VR agencies, 
and quantitative and qualitative research on the effectiveness of the 
identified program and resource management strategies and practices 
leading to improved service delivery and employment outcomes for 
individuals with disabilities.
    Sources of information used for this review may include: State VR 
agency interviews and consultations; information from such sources as 
the RSA-911 Case Service Report aggregate data, general labor market 
data and information, Unified or Combined State Plans, and RSA 
monitoring reports; and information and resources generated by 
technical assistance centers funded by the U.S. Departments of 
Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services.
    The overarching training and technical assistance plan must 
include, at a minimum--
    (a) Quality management strategies and practices that result in 
improved service delivery and employment outcomes for individuals with 
disabilities, including the rationale for their selection;
    (b) Conceptual framework for the selected strategies and practices, 
including key assumptions, expectations, and presumed relationships or 
linkages among strategies and practices;
    (c) Nature and scope of the intensive training and technical 
assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal 
training and technical assistance to be provided in support of the 
selected strategies and practices; and
    (d) Protocols and timelines for requesting and obtaining training 
and technical assistance.
    (4) Provide intensive training and technical assistance to State VR 
agencies.
    Intensive training and technical assistance will be provided to 
increase State VR agencies' capacity to adopt, expand, or sustain 
programmatic and fiscal quality management strategies and practices 
that improve the quality of service delivery and employment outcomes. 
Intensive training and technical assistance will be provided on-site, 
over an extended period, under the terms of signed intensive training 
and technical assistance agreements between the VRTAC-QM and the 
participating State VR agencies. Numerical targets for the number of 
intensive training and technical assistance agreements will be included 
in the cooperative agreement between RSA and the VRTAC-QM. Agreements 
will reflect the participating VR agencies' needs and priorities, 
goals, and objectives. They must include the following components:
    (a) Quality management strategies and practices to be implemented 
by the State VR agency and that result in improved service delivery and 
employment outcomes.
    (b) Nature and scope of the training and technical assistance to be 
provided by the VRTAC-QM.
    (c) Roles and responsibilities of the VRTAC-QM, State VR agency, 
other workforce development partners, community rehabilitation 
programs, and other partners, including the commitment of resources.

[[Page 46607]]

    (d) Logic model \1\ that includes: Performance outcomes, targets, 
and baselines; project activities, inputs, and outputs; and data 
collection and analysis commitments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ ``Logic model'' (also referred to as a theory of action) 
means a framework that identifies key project components of the 
proposed project (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are 
hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and 
describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the 
key project components and relevant outcomes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The intensive training and technical assistance agreements will be 
developed based on the VRTAC-QM and participating VR agency's review 
and analysis of such information sources as Unified or Combined State 
Plans; RSA-911 and other performance data; general labor market data 
and information; RSA monitoring reports; State audit reports; and a 
review of pertinent Federal, State, and local resources in the State, 
including existing employment and training programs.
    (5) Provide targeted training and technical assistance and 
universal training and technical assistance on programmatic and fiscal 
quality management strategies and practices that lead to effective and 
efficient service delivery and quality employment outcomes.
    (6) Coordinate training and technical assistance with other 
technical assistance centers.
    The VRTAC-QM must coordinate the provision of training and 
technical assistance with the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical 
Assistance Center for Quality Employment and other RSA-funded technical 
assistance and training centers. This coordination is particularly 
critical when developing intensive training and technical assistance 
agreements with the VR agencies to avoid confusion and duplication of 
efforts. The VRTAC-QM must also coordinate with other technical 
assistance centers funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, 
and Health and Human Services.
    (7) Present at a national conference or regional forums or 
specialized meetings throughout the grant period, with special focus in 
the fifth year of the grant to disseminate the VRTAC-QM's summative 
findings and results.
    The primary objectives are to help State VR agencies to expand and 
sustain their VRTAC-QM programmatic and fiscal management strategies 
and practices that result in improved service delivery and employment 
outcomes by promoting an exchange of ideas and experiences with other 
participating VR agencies and to encourage other State VR agencies to 
consider adopting VRTAC-QM strategies and practices. In addition, the 
VRTAC-QM will explore cost-effective approaches such as virtual 
convenings to engage VR agencies and partners who may be unable to 
attend in-person meetings.
    (8) Develop a plan for an evaluation, including a timeline for the 
evaluation and measurement benchmarks, that will assess the effect of 
the center's training and technical assistance on the service delivery 
and employment outcomes achieved by the VR agencies that received the 
center's services. This should be done through an analysis of the 
quality, relevance, and usefulness of VRTAC-QM training and technical 
assistance activities designed to improve State VR agencies' program 
and resource management and lead to improved service delivery and 
achievement of high-quality employment outcomes and career advancement.

Project Requirements of Priority 2

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the VRTAC-QE must, at a 
minimum, conduct one or more of the following activities:
    (1) Establish a state-of-the-art website and IT platform for 
communicating with State VR agencies and ensure that all products 
produced by the VRTAC-QE and posted on the website meet government and 
industry-recognized standards for accessibility.
    The website will become a key training and technical assistance 
delivery vehicle; a major communication center for the VRTAC-QE, State 
VR agencies, workforce development partners, and other professionals; 
and the central repository of information about employment strategies 
and practices that will form the basis for intensive training and 
technical assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and 
universal training and technical assistance.
    (2) Complete a comprehensive review of effective strategies and 
practices leading to quality employment for individuals with 
disabilities and develop an overarching training and technical 
assistance plan for the project. Both the review and the plan must be 
made available to the public, ensuring applicable privacy requirements 
are met.
    The purpose of the review is to identify employment strategies and 
supporting practices for inclusion in VRTAC-QE's overarching training 
and technical assistance plan. The center will develop an analytical 
framework and selection criteria against which to evaluate potential 
strategies and practices. The analysis will focus on: State VR agency 
needs and priorities; up-to-date information on national trends, 
barriers, challenges, and opportunities regarding quality employment 
for individuals with disabilities, including factors leading to 
successful employment of individuals with significant and the most 
significant disabilities, students and youth with disabilities, and 
traditionally underserved populations; and quantitative and qualitative 
research on the effectiveness of the identified strategies and 
practices.
    Sources of information for this review may include, but are not 
limited to, State VR agency interviews and consultations; analyses of 
aggregate RSA-911 Case Service Report data, Unified or Combined State 
Plans, and RSA monitoring reports; information and tools generated by 
RSA's vocational rehabilitation technical assistance centers and 
special demonstration projects, available on the National Clearinghouse 
of Rehabilitation Training Materials website; and other resources 
funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and 
Human Services, and institutions of higher education.
    The overarching training and technical assistance plan must 
include, at a minimum--
    (a) Employment strategies and supporting practices, including the 
rationale for their selection;
    (b) Conceptual framework for the selected strategies and practices, 
including key assumptions, expectations, and presumed relationships or 
linkages among strategies and practices;
    (c) Nature and scope of the intensive training and technical 
assistance, targeted training and technical assistance, and universal 
training and technical assistance to be provided in support of the 
selected strategies and practices; and
    (d) Protocols and timelines for requesting and obtaining training 
and technical assistance.
    (3) Provide intensive training and technical assistance to State VR 
agencies.
    Intensive training and technical assistance will be provided to 
increase the capacity of State VR agencies to adopt, expand, or sustain 
employment strategies and supporting practices that improve the quality 
of employment outcomes. Intensive training and technical assistance 
will be provided on-site, over an extended period, under the terms of 
signed intensive training and technical assistance agreements between 
the VRTAC-QE and the participating State VR agencies.

[[Page 46608]]

Numerical targets for the number of intensive training and technical 
assistance agreements will be included in the cooperative agreement 
between RSA and the VRTAC-QE. Agreements will reflect the participating 
VR agencies' needs and priorities, goals, and objectives. They must 
include the following components:
    (a) Employment strategies and supporting practices to be 
implemented by the State VR agency.
    (b) Nature and scope of the training and technical assistance to be 
provided by the VRTAC-QE.
    (c) Roles and responsibilities of the VRTAC-QE, State VR agency, 
workforce development partners, community rehabilitation programs, and 
other partners, including the commitment of resources.
    (d) Logic model \2\ that includes: State-specific performance 
outcomes, targets, and baselines; project activities, inputs, and 
outputs; and data collection and analysis commitments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ ``Logic model'' (also referred to as a theory of action) 
means a framework that identifies key project components of the 
proposed project (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are 
hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and 
describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the 
key project components and relevant outcomes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The intensive training and technical assistance agreements will be 
developed based on the VRTAC-QE and participating VR agency's review 
and analysis of such information sources as Unified or Combined State 
Plans; RSA-911 and other performance data; RSA monitoring reports; 
relevant labor market information; and a review of pertinent Federal, 
State, and local resources in the State, including existing employment 
and training programs.
    Intensive training and technical assistance will be implemented in 
coordination with, and leveraging the resources of, State and local 
workforce development partners and other parties specified in the 
intensive training and technical assistance agreement.
    (4) Provide targeted training and technical assistance meeting the 
identified needs of a limited number of State VR agencies, as well as 
universal training and technical assistance broadly available to all 
State VR agencies and their partners.
    (5) Coordinate training and technical assistance with other 
technical assistance centers.
    The VRTAC-QE must coordinate the provision of training and 
technical assistance with the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical 
Assistance Center for Quality Management and other RSA-funded training 
and technical assistance investments. This coordination is particularly 
critical when developing intensive training and technical assistance 
agreements with the VR agencies to avoid confusion and duplication of 
efforts. The VRTAC-QE must also coordinate with other training and 
technical assistance resources funded by the U.S. Departments of 
Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, and other pertinent 
Federal or State organizations, and institutions of higher education, 
as appropriate.
    (6) Disseminate VRTAC-QE summative findings and results through a 
national conference or regional forums or specialized meetings 
throughout the grant period and at with special focus in the fifth year 
of the grant. The primary objectives are to help State VR agencies to 
expand and sustain their VRTAC-QE strategies and practices and to 
encourage other State VR agencies to consider adopting some VRTAC-QE 
strategies and practices by promoting an exchange of ideas and 
experiences with other participating VR agencies. To maximize the 
dissemination of project findings and results throughout the grant 
period and with special focus in the fifth year, the VRTAC-QE will 
explore cost-effective approaches such as virtual convenings to engage 
VR agencies and partners who may be unable to attend in-person 
meetings.
    (7) Develop a plan for an evaluation, including a timeline for the 
evaluation and measurement benchmarks, that will assess VRTAC-QE 
employment strategies and supporting activities' effect on VR 
participants' employment outcomes and career advancement. The 
evaluation will also assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of 
the VRTAC-QE's training and technical assistance in improving State VR 
agencies' ability to identify and implement the appropriate strategies 
and practices.
    Application Requirements: The following application requirements 
apply to both Priority 1 and Priority 2. The Department encourages 
innovative approaches to meet these requirements. Applicants must--
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Evaluation Plan,'' how the proposed project will meet 
the evaluation requirements of the priority. Applicants must describe 
the anticipated implementation steps, milestones, and timelines for the 
development of a logic model for the project. The logic model must 
include data elements, inputs, activities, outputs, and short-term and 
long-term performance indicators regarding--
    (1) Quantitative outcomes resulting from the program management or 
employment strategies and practices, including--
    (i) Quality and timeliness of the VR processes and services;
    (ii) Number and quality of employment outcomes;
    (iii) VR participants' employment or career-readiness;
    (iv) Cost-effectiveness; and
    (v) Sustainability;
    (2) Quality, relevance, and usefulness of the project's training 
and technical assistance activities;
    (3) Quantitative or qualitative insights about the relationship 
between strategies, practices, and training and technical assistance 
activities on critical outcomes for VR personnel, VR clients, and key 
partners, including through--
    (i) Pre- and post-training assessments;
    (ii) Comparison groups;
    (iii) Focus groups; or
    (iv) Success stories.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Adequacy of Project Resources,'' how the applicant will ensure that--
    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment 
from persons who are members of groups that have historically been 
underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or 
disability, as appropriate;
    (2) Projects will be operated in a manner consistent with 
nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and 
the Federal civil rights laws;
    (3) Key project personnel, consultants, and
    subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to meet all 
the requirements of the priority, including expertise in--
    (i) Programmatic areas addressed in the Project Requirements 
section of the priority;
    (ii) Program and resource management and oversight;
    (iii) Knowledge translation and dissemination, including the 
effective use of communication technologies; and
    (iv) Project evaluation leading to continuous improvement, 
including qualitative and quantitative assessments;
    (4) The applicant and key partners have adequate resources to carry 
out the proposed project activities, and achieve anticipated project 
outcomes and impact on the VR services to individuals with 
disabilities, including assurances that the proposed allocation of 
human and financial resources for project

[[Page 46609]]

evaluation will be enough to meet the requirements in section (a) of 
the application requirement regarding the ``Quality of the Evaluation 
Plan,'' above; and
    (5) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the 
anticipated results and benefits.
    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Management Plan,'' how the applicant will ensure 
that--
    (1) The project's intended outcomes, including implementation of 
the evaluation plan, will be achieved on time and within budget, 
through--
    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities of key project personnel, 
consultants, and contractors, as applicable;
    (ii) Procedures to track and ensure completion of the action steps, 
timelines, and milestones established for key project activities, 
requirements, and deliverables, in accordance with the cooperative 
agreement between RSA and the applicant;
    (iii) Internal monitoring processes to ensure that the project is 
being implemented in accordance with an established project performance 
plan, including timelines and milestones; and
    (iv) Financial and budgetary oversight processes to
    ensure timely obligations and reporting of grant funds, in 
accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200 
and the terms and conditions of the Federal award;
    (2) The allocation of key project personnel, consultants, and 
contractors--including levels of effort of key personnel--will be 
appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, 
including an assurance that key personnel will have enough availability 
to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA;
    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and 
services are of high quality, relevance, and usefulness, in both 
content and delivery; and
    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of 
perspectives, including those of State and local personnel, providers, 
researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and 
operation.

Additional Application Requirements for Priority 1

    The following application requirements apply only to priority 1 
(VRTAC-QM). The Department encourages innovative approaches to meet 
these requirements. Applicants must--
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how the proposed project will increase 
State VR agencies' capacity to improve the quality of VR services and 
employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities by enabling VR 
agencies to develop and implement efficient and effective program and 
resource management techniques leading to increases in the numbers and 
improved skills of VR counselors and other service delivery personnel. 
To meet this requirement, the applicant must demonstrate--
    (1) Knowledge about State VR program challenges, opportunities, 
barriers, and trends regarding program and resource management or 
quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities including 
those with significant and the most significant disabilities, students 
and youth with disabilities, and traditionally underserved populations;
    (2) Knowledge about Federal, State, and nongovernment initiatives 
to promote program and resource management and quality employment 
outcomes for individuals with disabilities, particularly in response to 
requirements under WIOA;
    (3) The proposed project's potential to contribute to these 
Federal, State, and nongovernment initiatives by assisting State VR 
agencies in equipping personnel with the necessary skills and training 
to implement the substantive provisions of the Rehabilitation Act 
introduced by WIOA that are designed to improve the quality of 
employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities; and
    (4) How the proposed project will increase State VR agencies' 
capacity to implement program and resource management strategies 
leading to improved VR services, employment outcomes, and career 
advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application, under 
``Quality of Project Services,'' how the proposed project will achieve 
the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of this priority. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must describe its plan for implementing 
the project, including major implementation activities, timelines, and 
milestones (particularly for the initial fiscal year), as well as key 
assumptions and expectations, presumed relationships or linkages among 
variables, and underlying rationale and empirical support, for the 
following Project Requirements of the priority:
    (1) State-of-the-art website. Applicants must describe how the 
website will serve as an effective communication center, training and 
technical assistance delivery vehicle, and repository of information 
about quality management or employment strategies and practices, 
including--
    (i) Expected features and capabilities, including information-
delivery and stakeholder-convening technologies; and
    (ii) Anticipated uses of such features and capabilities in support 
of the project goals and objectives.
    (2) Comprehensive review. Applicants must describe how the 
comprehensive review will provide the factual basis for the project 
training and technical assistance plan. At a minimum, the comprehensive 
review must include--
    (i) Input from State VR agencies about their needs, priorities, and 
innovative approaches to program and resource management that lead to 
improved service delivery;
    (ii) Information regarding the latest--
    (A) National trends, barriers, challenges, and opportunities;
    (B) Effective and efficient program and resource management 
strategies, techniques, and practices that may be applicable to State 
VR agencies; and
    (C) Additional information that the applicant deems relevant; and
    (iii) An analytical framework for assessing the collected 
information and selecting the program and resource management 
strategies and practices for inclusion in the training and technical 
assistance plans.
    (3) Provision of intensive training and technical assistance. 
Applicants must describe how the intensive training and technical 
assistance agreements will increase State VR agencies' capacity to 
improve the State VR agencies' performance and quality employment 
outcomes for individuals with disabilities, through State-appropriate--
    (i) Program and resource management;
    (ii) Federal, State, and local partnerships; and
    (iii) Performance outcomes, outputs, inputs, targets, baselines, 
and data collection requirements.
    (4) Provision of targeted training and technical assistance and 
universal training and technical assistance. Applicants must describe 
how each training and technical assistance modality (targeted or 
universal) will help State VR agencies to adopt, expand, and sustain 
program and resource management practices. For each training and 
technical assistance modality, describe--

[[Page 46610]]

    (i) Topics, activities, and products;
    (ii) Intended audience and outreach strategies;
    (iii) Content delivery and dissemination methods; and
    (iv) Steps to ensure quality, relevance, and usefulness.
    (5) Coordination. The applicant must describe how it will maximize 
coordination between the VRTAC-QE and the VRTAC-QM and seek 
opportunities to coordinate with other training and technical 
assistance investments, including those funded by the U.S. Departments 
of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, in the provision of 
training and technical assistance to State VR agencies.
    (6) National conference, regional forums, or specialized meetings 
throughout the grant period and with special focus in the fifth year of 
the grant performance period. Applicants must describe how the project 
will disseminate its summative findings and results, including cost-
effective approaches such as virtual convenings to engage State VR 
agencies and other potential Federal, State, local, and nongovernment 
partners, including--
    (i) Types of events (e.g., conferences, forums, specialized 
meetings);
    (ii) Target audience (e.g., by event type, types of stakeholders 
with a variety of roles and sectors); and
    (iii) Convening modes (in-person, virtual).
    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Evaluation Plan,'' the applicant's capacity and 
experience in addressing the State VR agencies' training and technical 
assistance needs in the areas of program and resource management, 
including but not limited to strategic planning and performance 
improvement leading to performance improvement, including SWOT 
assessment related to implementing strategies that ensure education 
funds are spent in a way that increases their efficiency and cost-
effectiveness, including by reducing waste or achieving better 
outcomes.

Additional Application Requirements for Priority 2

    The following application requirements apply only to Priority 2 
(VRTAC-QE). The Department encourages innovative approaches to meet 
these requirements. Applicants must--
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how the proposed project will increase 
State VR agencies' capacity to improve the quality of VR services and 
employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities by enabling VR 
agencies to develop and implement innovative employment and support 
strategies that are designed to improve employment outcomes and career 
advancement for individuals with disabilities. To meet this 
requirement, the applicant must demonstrate--
    (1) Knowledge about State VR program challenges, opportunities, 
barriers, and trends regarding program and resource management or 
quality employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities including 
those with significant and the most significant disabilities, students 
and youth with disabilities, and traditionally underserved populations;
    (2) Knowledge about Federal, State, and nongovernment initiatives 
to promote program and resource management and quality employment 
outcomes for individuals with disabilities, particularly in response to 
requirements under WIOA;
    (3) The proposed project's potential to contribute to these 
Federal, State, and nongovernment initiatives by assisting State VR 
agencies in equipping personnel with the necessary skills and training 
to implement the substantive provisions of the Rehabilitation Act 
introduced by WIOA that are designed to improve the quality of 
employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities; and
    (4) How the proposed project will increase State VR agencies' 
capacity to implement employment strategies and supporting practices 
leading to improved VR services, employment outcomes, and career 
advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application, under 
``Quality of Project Services,'' how the proposed project will achieve 
the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of this priority. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must describe its plan for implementing 
the project, including major implementation activities, timelines, and 
milestones (particularly for the initial fiscal year), as well as key 
assumptions and expectations, presumed relationships or linkages among 
variables, and underlying rationale and empirical support, for the 
following Project Requirements of the priority:
    (1) State-of-the-art website. Applicants must describe how the 
website will serve as an effective communication center, training and 
technical assistance delivery vehicle, and repository of information 
about quality management or employment strategies and practices, 
including--
    (i) Expected features and capabilities, including information-
delivery and stakeholder-convening technologies; and
    (ii) Anticipated uses of such features and capabilities in support 
of the project goals and objectives.
    (2) Comprehensive review. Applicants must describe how the 
comprehensive review will provide the factual basis for the project 
training and technical assistance plan. At a minimum, the comprehensive 
review must include--
    (i) Input from State VR agencies about their needs, priorities, and 
innovative approaches to program and resource management that lead to 
quality employment and career-readiness that lead to quality employment 
outcomes;
    (ii) Information regarding the latest--
    (A) National trends, barriers, challenges, and opportunities;
    (B) Effective employment strategies and practices that prepare 
individuals with disabilities to compete in the global economy and 
designed to create or expand innovative and affordable paths to 
relevant careers through postsecondary credentials or job-ready skills; 
and
    (C) Additional information that the applicant deems relevant; and
    (iii) An analytical framework for assessing the collected 
information and selecting the employment and career-readiness 
strategies and practices for inclusion in the training and technical 
assistance plans.
    (3) Provision of intensive training and technical assistance. 
Applicants must describe how the intensive training and technical 
assistance agreements will increase State VR agencies' capacity to 
improve the State VR agencies' performance and quality employment 
outcomes for individuals with disabilities, through State-appropriate--
    (i) Employment strategies and supporting practices;
    (ii) Federal, State, and local partnerships; and
    (iii) Performance outcomes, outputs, inputs, targets, baselines, 
and data collection requirements.
    (4) Provision of targeted training and technical assistance and 
universal training and technical assistance. Applicants must describe 
how each training and technical assistance modality (targeted or 
universal) will help State VR agencies to adopt, expand, and sustain 
employment strategies and practices that improve employment outcomes 
and career advancement opportunities for eligible VR participants. For 
each training and

[[Page 46611]]

technical assistance modality, describe--
    (i) Topics, activities, and products;
    (ii) Intended audience and outreach strategies;
    (iii) Content delivery and dissemination methods; and
    (iv) Steps to ensure quality, relevance, and usefulness.
    (5) Coordination. The applicant must describe how it will maximize 
coordination between the VRTAC-QE and the VRTAC-QM and seek 
opportunities to coordinate with other technical assistance centers, 
including those funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and 
Health and Human Services, in the provision of training and technical 
assistance to State VR agencies.
    (6) National conference, regional forums, or specialized meetings 
throughout the grant period, with special focus in the fifth year of 
the grant performance period. Applicants must describe how the project 
will disseminate its summative findings and results, including cost-
effective approaches such as virtual convenings to engage State VR 
agencies and other potential Federal, State, local, and nongovernment 
partners, including--
    (i) Types of events (e.g., conferences, forums, specialized 
meetings);
    (ii) Target audience (e.g., by event type, types of stakeholders 
with a variety of roles and sectors); and
    (iii) Convening modes (in-person, virtual).
    Definitions: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make 
awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, 
the following definitions apply to the VRTAC-QM and VRTAC-QE 
priorities. The definitions are from the NFP.
    Intensive training and technical assistance means training and 
technical assistance provided to State VR agencies and State VR agency 
personnel primarily on-site or through remote delivery, as needed and 
appropriate, over an extended period. Intensive training and technical 
assistance are based on an ongoing relationship between the training 
and technical assistance center staff and State VR agencies and State 
VR agency personnel under the terms of a signed intensive training and 
technical assistance agreement.
    Targeted training and technical assistance means training and 
technical assistance based on needs common to one or more State VR 
agencies and State VR agency personnel on a time-limited basis and with 
limited commitment of training and technical assistance center 
resources. Targeted training and technical assistance are delivered 
through virtual or in-person methods tailored to the identified needs 
of the participating State VR agencies and State VR agency personnel.
    Universal training and technical assistance means training and 
technical assistance broadly available to State VR agencies and State 
VR agency personnel and other interested parties through their own 
initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with training and 
technical assistance center staff. Universal training and technical 
assistance includes generalized presentations, products, and related 
activities available through a website or through brief contacts with 
the training and technical assistance center staff.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772(a)(1) and 29 U.S.C. 773(b)(1).
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to 
Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 
2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department 
in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR parts 385 and 
373. (e) The NFP.

    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

VRTAC-QM

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.
    Estimated Available Funds: $3,344,560.
    Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $3,344,560 for a 
single budget period of 12 months.

    Note:  Of the $3,344,560 available for this award, $3,000,000 is 
from the Rehabilitation Training program and will be used for the 
provision of training and technical assistance, and $344,560 is from 
the Demonstration and Training program and will be used for 
evaluation activities. These funds must be budgeted and tracked 
separately.

    Applications must include separate ED-524 budget forms and budget 
narratives for funds requested under the Rehabilitation Training and 
Demonstration and Training programs, respectively.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

VRTAC-QE

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.
    Estimated Available Funds: $3,344,560.
    Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $3,344,560 for a 
single budget period of 12 months.

    Note: Of the $3,344,560 available for this award, $3,000,000 is 
from the Rehabilitation Training program and will be used for the 
provision of training and technical assistance, and $344,560 is from 
the Demonstration and Training program and will be used for 
evaluation activities. These funds must be budgeted and tracked 
separately.

    Applications must include separate ED-524 budget forms and budget 
narratives for funds requested under the Rehabilitation Training and 
Demonstration and Training programs, respectively.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

VRTAC-QM and VRTAC-QE

    1. Eligible Applicants: States and public or private nonprofit 
agencies and organizations, including Indian Tribes and institutions of 
higher education.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: The Department determined that cost 
sharing of 10 percent of the total cost of the project is required of 
grantees under both the Rehabilitation Training program and the 
Demonstration and Training program. Therefore, cost sharing of 10 
percent of the total cost of the project (i.e., based on the sum of 
Federal and non-Federal project costs) is required of the grantee under 
this competition. Any program income that may be incurred during the 
period of performance may only be directed towards advancing activities 
in the approved grant application and may not be used towards the 10 
percent cost share requirement. The Secretary does not, as a general 
matter, anticipate waiving this requirement. However, the Secretary may 
waive part of the non-Federal share of the cost of the project after 
negotiations if the applicant demonstrates that it does not have 
sufficient resources to contribute the

[[Page 46612]]

entire cost share. Furthermore, given the importance of the cost share 
funds to the long-term success of the project, eligible entities must 
identify appropriate cost share funds in the proposed budget. Finally, 
the selection criteria include factors such as ``the adequacy of 
support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other 
resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant 
organization'' and ``the relevance and demonstrated commitment of each 
partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of 
the project,'' which may include a consideration of demonstrated cost 
sharing support.

    Note: The awards will be jointly funded by the Rehabilitation 
Training program and the Demonstration and Training program, which 
have different indirect cost rate requirements. These funds must be 
budgeted and tracked separately, with the correct indirect cost rate 
applied to each set of funds.

    Under 34 CFR 75.562(c), an indirect cost reimbursement on a 
training grant is limited to the recipient's actual indirect costs, as 
determined by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or eight 
percent of a modified total direct cost base, whichever amount is less. 
Indirect costs in excess of the limit may not be charged directly, used 
to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements, or charged to another 
Federal award. This requirement applies only to the Rehabilitation 
Training program funds, which amount to up to $3,000,000 of the 
$3,344,560 available for each award.
    Under 34 CFR 373.22, indirect cost reimbursement for grants under 
the Demonstration and Training program is limited to the recipient's 
actual indirect costs, as determined by its negotiated indirect cost 
rate agreement, or 10 percent of the total direct cost base, whichever 
amount is less. This requirement applies only to the Demonstration and 
Training program funds, which amount to up to $344,560 of the 
$3,344,560 available for each award.
    3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 373.23(b), a grantee under this 
competition may not award subgrants using Demonstration and Training 
program funds to entities to directly carry out project activities 
described in its application. Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c), a grantee 
under this competition may award subgrants using Rehabilitation 
Training program funds--to directly carry out project activities 
described in its application--to the following types of entities: 
States and public or private nonprofit agencies and organizations, 
including Indian Tribes and institutions of higher education. The 
grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified in an 
approved application or that it selects through a competition under 
procedures established by the grantee. Under 34 CFR 75.708(e) and 
373.23(b), a grantee may use either Demonstration and Training program 
or Rehabilitation Training program funds to contract for supplies, 
equipment, and other services in accordance with 2 CFR part 200.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application and Submission Information: Applicants are required 
to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of 
Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal 
Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which 
contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.
    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for the Rehabilitation 
Training competition, your application may include business information 
that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ``business 
information'' and describe the process we use in determining whether 
any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from 
disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 
U.S.C. 552, as amended).
    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the 
public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business 
information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your 
application, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' please list the page 
number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional 
information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, 
under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to 
make an award by the end of FY 2020.
    4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of 
the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection 
criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend 
that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 45 pages 
and (2) use the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover 
sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-
page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the 
application narrative, Part III.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows:
    (a) Need for project and the significance of the proposed project. 
(10 points)
    The Secretary considers the need for and significance of the 
proposed project. In determining the need for and significance of the 
proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the proposed project will focus on serving 
or otherwise addressing the needs of disadvantaged individuals.
    (ii) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be 
addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude 
of those gaps or weaknesses.
    (iii) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely 
to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in 
employment, independent living services, or both, as appropriate.
    (b) Quality of the project design. (25 points)
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the 
proposed project. In determining the quality of the

[[Page 46613]]

design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following 
factors:
    (i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.
    (ii) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build 
capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of 
Federal financial assistance.
    (iii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project 
reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.
    (iv) The extent to which the proposed project will increase 
efficiency in the use of time, staff, money, or other resources in 
order to improve results and increase productivity.
    (c) Quality of project services. (25 points)
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be 
provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the 
services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary 
considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal 
access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members 
of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, 
color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or 
beneficiaries of those services.
    (ii) The likely impact of the services to be provided by the 
proposed project on the intended recipients of those services.
    (iii) The extent to which the technical assistance services to be 
provided by the proposed project involve the use of efficient 
strategies, including the use of technology, as appropriate, and the 
leveraging of non-project resources.
    (d) Quality of project personnel and adequacy of resources. (15 
points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of project personnel who will 
carry out the proposed project and the adequacy of resources for the 
proposed project. In determining the quality of the personnel, the 
Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages 
applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that 
have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, in determining the 
adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers 
the following factors:
    (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel.
    (ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and 
experience, of project consultants or subcontractors.
    (iii) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, 
supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the 
lead applicant organization.
    (iv) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.
    (v) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project
    (e) Quality of the management plan and strategy to scale. (15 
points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and the 
strategy to scale the proposed project. In determining the quality of 
the management plan for the proposed project and the applicant's 
capacity to scale the proposed project, the Secretary considers the 
following factors:
    (i) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks.
    (ii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project.
    (iii) The applicant's capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified 
personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to bring the 
proposed project to scale on a national or regional level (as defined 
in 34 CFR 77.1(c)) working directly, or through partners, during the 
grant period.
    (f) Quality of the project evaluation. (10 points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the 
evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the 
intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible.
    (ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward 
achieving intended outcomes.
    In addition to the selection criteria listed above, the Secretary, 
in making awards under this program, in accordance with 34 CFR 385.33, 
considers the past performance of the applicant in carrying out similar 
training activities under previously awarded grants, as indicated by 
such factors as compliance with grant conditions, soundness of 
programmatic and financial management practices, and attainment of 
established project objectives.
    This criterion will be used after non-Federal reviewers score the 
applications and will be applied to all applications that are 
recommended for funding.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    When reviewing prior performance under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3) and 
conducting risk assessments pursuant to 2 CFR 200.205, the Secretary 
will consider factors such as whether applicants have demonstrated 
sufficient institutional capacity through the commitment of adequate 
resources, as described in the selection criteria, and adequate past 
performance in fully implementing multiple awards.
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition, the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in 
appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the 
applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of 
unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system 
that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not 
fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not 
responsible.

[[Page 46614]]

    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your 
integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal 
awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before we make 
an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that 
is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as 
the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.
    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal 
funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

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 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your 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 of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of 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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant 
funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. 
This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20.
    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) 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 multiyear award, you must submit quarterly 
and annual performance reports that provide 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 www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    5. Performance Measures: The Government Performance and Results Act 
of 1993 (GPRA) directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the 
effectiveness of programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting 
outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results 
against those goals. The GPRA measures applicable to the VRTAC-QM and 
the VRTAC-QE are as follows:
    (a) Number and percentage of participating State VR agencies 
reporting improved coordination and collaboration with Federal, State, 
or local organizations as a result of the training and technical 
assistance.
    (b) Number and percentage of VR agency personnel reporting that the 
training and technical assistance is high in quality, relevant, and 
useful to their work.
    (c) Of State VR agencies that received training and technical 
assistance, the percentage change in consumers achieving an employment 
outcome compared to the prior year.
    (d) Of State VR agencies that received training and technical 
assistance, the number and percentage of agencies that achieved their 
negotiated level of performance for the measurable skill gains 
indicator in the VR Program Year.
    In addition to the GPRA measures, the following program measure has 
been established for the VRTAC-QM and the VRTAC-QE: The number and 
percentage of participating State VR agencies that adopt quality 
management or quality employment strategies and practices as a result 
of training and technical assistance provided under this grant.
    Applicable short-term and long-term indicators and targets will be 
specified in the VRTAC-QM and VRTAC-QE cooperative agreements. Grant 
recipients will report the data necessary to assess performance against 
these measures, indicators, and targets in their quarterly, annual and 
final performance reports.
    Annual project progress toward meeting project goals must be posted 
on the project website.
    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 
75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: whether a grantee 
has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of 
the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is 
consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the 
Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the 
performance targets in the grantee's approved application.
    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations at

[[Page 46615]]

www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this document, as well as 
all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you 
must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

Mark Schultz,
Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration, Delegated the 
authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant 
Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. 2020-16686 Filed 7-30-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P