Opportunity Detail

Questions and Answers

Industry Workforce Alliance Pilot Initiative RFGA
Document #:  JFSR1415158075


Question:   4.5: Grant Agreement Requirements (Page 14): Is there a fiscal allowance for fiscal agents?

Answer:   Roles of all required partners should be defined by the alliance and outlined in the application. The time needed to fulfill the duties will depend on the assigned roles. Administrative fees are permitted; however, they will be limited to 10 percent for the entire project. The definition of costs, which must be counted against the 10 percent administration limit (which includes costs of accounting, budgeting, and financial and cash management), may be found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 20 CFR Part 667.220.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31515


Question:   Section 4.5, Grant Agreement Requirements, (page 14) mentions that ODJFS will execute grant agreements with local WIBs serving as fiscal agents and the lead entities if different from the fiscal agents. So, will there be two separate grant agreements in the case of different lead entities and fiscal agents? Are you using the terms “subcontractors” and “subrecipients” interchangeably? Could you provide more explanation about the role of the fiscal agent in the case where there is a separate lead entity?

Answer:   In Attachment B, the vendor name is the fiscal agent; however, if there is a separate lead entity, then the subgrant agreement will be among all three parties. Yes, the terms subcontractors and subrecipients are interchangeable for purposes of this project. The primary role of the Workforce Investment Areas (fiscal agent) will be receiving the funds from ODJFS and then dispersing the funds as agreed upon by the alliance. The lead entity will be the primary point of contact for the ODJFS agreement manager in all matters relating to the implementation of the grant. Roles of all required partners should be defined by the alliance and outlined in the application.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31514


Question:   Section 3.1.C.1, Page 13, Scope of Work/Reporting Requirements. If all participants are to be reported through the Ohio Workforce Case Management System and the goal is to increase collaboration among partners related to tracking activities, will partners be given access to the system? We note on page 13 the mention of information being accessible only to “authorized personnel.” How will “authorized personnel” be determined? Will this decision be made at the state or local level?

Answer:   The alliance can determine who enters data into the Ohio Workforce Case Management System. If the individual(s) assigned for data entry does not already have access to do so, then security and confidentiality statements will be required to gain access. This will be completed after grants are awarded.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31513


Question:   Section 3.1.A.2, Page 12 – Scope of Work/Phase 2 Objectives. The Phase 2 Objectives include “increased enrollments.” If the Industry Workforce Alliance is looking to develop or modify training programs, would all enrollments in the identified/improved programs be included in tracking and related performance?

Answer:   The application should outline the number of planned participants based on the occupational demand, types and costs of training, etc. Therefore, the outcomes are the number of participants served and the percentage that successfully complete the program, the number of participants who receive a license or credential, and the number of participants who secure employment within the industry. Only participants found eligible for this program and enrolled in the tracking system will be counted for performance – not non-participants who happen to enroll in the same training program.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31512


Question:   Section 3.1.A.1 – Page 10, Scope of Project Work: Phase 1 Objectives. It is our understanding that the Ohio Workforce Case Management System is primarily a tracking system for WIA programs. Yet, the RFP references “increased collaboration among partners specifically related to the use of performance measures and tracking activities and services.” Are you suggesting other required partners (ABLE, Ohio Technical Centers, Community Colleges and Universities) should be using this system to track participants?

Answer:   The alliance can determine who enters data into the Ohio Workforce Case Management System. If the individual(s) assigned for data entry does not already have access to do so, then security and confidentiality statements will be required to gain access. This will be completed after grants are awarded.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31511


Question:   Section 3.1.A.2 - Page 11, under Scope of Work: Phase 2 Objectives, it notes “Eligible participants include low-skilled, underemployed and/or unemployed individuals.” Will we be expected to determine/document “eligibility” as we think about eligibility in a WIA sense? Related to the above question and to the fact that local Workforce Investment Areas are required to serve as fiscal agents, does WIA eligibility apply to participants served under this opportunity? If someone is enrolled in a training program, but is not WIA eligible, how will they be tracked?

Answer:   A low-skilled individual is an individual who is basic skills deficient, defined as an individual who has English reading, writing, or computing skills at or below 8th grade on a generally accepted standardized test or a comparable score on a criterion-referenced test. (Note: Ohio interprets the 8th grade level to be 8.9 or below). An underemployed individual is defined as an individual who is working part time but desires full time employment, or who is working in employment not commensurate with the individual's demonstrated level of educational and/or skill achievement. Also includes individuals who fall below the dislocated worker self-sufficiency threshold, as defined by the local Workforce Investment Board. An unemployed individual is defined as an individual who is without a job and who wants and is available for work. The determination of whether an individual is without a job is made in accordance with the criteria used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in defining individuals as unemployed. Yes, subgrantees will be expected to determine/document eligibility. Participants do not necessarily have to be WIA eligible, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria stated above. A special grant office in the Ohio Workforce Case Management System will be created to track participant data and services.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31510


Question:   1. can grant funds be used to pay for wages for internships/co-ops? 2. does "continuous employment" mean with the same employer? 3. on p12, what is meant by showing a "reduction in occupational demand"? how is that to be measured? 4.is a particular specific entity required to be the lead applicant or can it be any organization with an existing industry alliance?

Answer:   Yes, grant funds can be used to pay for wages for internships/co-ops. There is a difference between an employee and a trainee, and there are options for unpaid experiences where subgrantees can provide incentives or stipends. WIA Transmittal Letter 17 outlines the differences between paid and unpaid work experiences (http://emanuals.odjfs.state.oh.us/emanuals/GetDocument.do?doc=Document%28storage%3DREPOSITORY%2CdocID%3D%23Ref_WIATL17%29&locSource=input&docLoc=%24REP_ROOT%24%23Ref_WIATL17&username=guest&password=guest&publicationName=emanuals). Yes, continuous employment means with the same employer. The application should identify the demand of the industry applying for the grant. Reduction in the occupational demand of the industry refers to decreases in industry employer vacancies and increases in the employers’ ability to locate talent and hire skilled workers. Reduction will be based on the number of participants served and the percentage that successfully complete the program, the number of participants who receive a license or credential, and the number of participants who secure employment within the industry. Any organization can be the lead entity or lead applicant; however, that organization must be identified in the application.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31507


Question:   The requirements state that the technical application is limited to 50 pages excluding tab 1 and 5, but when looking at letters D,E,F and G I only find a total of 12 pages (plus a page from each partner) which would be only around 12-17 pages total. Is the reason for the remaining page limit up to 50 due to attaching other non-required materials into the application?

Answer:   Yes. It also allows for numerous letters from partners that may go beyond the required partners.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31492


Question:   I represent the single WIB for Lima and Allen County. There are multiple programs that serve different populations in our community. Can I submit multiple grant proposals witin Lima/Allen Co.

Answer:   Yes, a workforce investment area can serve as the fiscal agent and a partner in more than one application.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31491


Question:   I represent the single WIB for Lima and Allen County. There are multiple programs that serve different populations in our community. Can I submit multiple grant proposals witin Lima/Allen Co.

Answer:   Yes, a workforce investment area can serve as the fiscal agent and a partner in more than one application.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31490


Question:   Does the applicant include Attachment C: Application Score Sheet in the application materials?

Answer:   No, applicants do not need to include Attachment C in the materials; it is provided as a reference and guide for applicants to examine their own submissions for completeness and quality.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31489


Question:   On Page 17, Section 5.1.3: Application Submission, there are hand delivery instructions. Can this be done via UPS, FedEx, other courier services?

Answer:   Yes, delivery can be done via UPS, FedEx or other courier services. Applications must be received by the ODJFS Office of Contracts and Acquisitions, no later than 3:00 p.m. on July 1, 2014.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31488


Question:   The RFGA refers to organizing according to Tabs. Does this mean that the application should be placed in a binder? (Page 18)

Answer:   Applications do not need to be presented in a binder. The application must be organized in 6 primary tabs and divided into sub]tabs as described on pages 17 and 18. There are no other requirements on binding copies or the packaging of the applications beyond those already stated in Section V of the RFGA.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31472


Question:   Section 5.3 Format for Submission of the Grant Application (pg17-18): Should the 6 hard copies of RFP be packaged in a binder? If a binder is required for each copy, are there specifications regarding the size of the binder? Are there any additional specifications for packaging?

Answer:   Applications do not need to be presented in a binder. The application must be organized in 6 primary tabs and divided into sub]tabs as described on pages 17 and 18. There are no other requirements on binding copies or the packaging of the applications beyond those already stated in Section V of the RFGA.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31487


Question:   How will occupational demand—and related reductions (per the objectives listed for Phase 2) be captured and measured? (page 12 – 3.1.A.2 Scope of Project Work – Phase 1 and Phase 2 Strategies)

Answer:   The application should identify the demand of the industry applying for the grant. Reduction in the occupational demand of the industry refers to decreases in industry employer vacancies and increases in the employers’ ability to locate talent and hire skilled workers. Reduction will be based on the number of participants served and the percentage that successfully complete the program, the number of participants who receive a license or credential, and the number of participants who secure employment within the industry.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31486


Question:   We note the requirement for all participants to be reported through the Ohio Workforce Case Management System as well as the note on page 13 (3.1.C.1 Scope of Project Work – Reporting Requirements) regarding information being accessible only to “authorized personnel.” How will “authorized personnel” be determined? Will this decision be made at the state or local level?

Answer:   The alliance can determine who enters data into the Ohio Workforce Case Management System. If the individual(s) assigned for data entry does not already have access to do so, then security and confidentiality statements will be required to gain access. This will be completed after grants are awarded.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31485


Question:   On page 11, 3.1.A.1 Scope of Project work – Phase 1 and Phase 2 Strategies: Related to the above question, should ODJFS Labor Market Information (“high growth, high demand”) reflect the entire JobsOhio region, or can it reflect the needs of a sub-region?

Answer:   The Labor Market Information can reflect the needs of a sub-region. If serving a sub-region, the application should identify what geographic areas the alliance will support as part of the implementation of the grant.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31484


Question:   On page 9, under section 2.1, “Mandatory Qualifications”, the RFP mentions a “service delivery area.” Does this need to be one and the same as the JobsOhio region, or can it be a sub-region?

Answer:   It can be a sub-region; however, it must be clear which JobsOhio region the sub-region is located in, and it may only be located in one JobsOhio region. If serving a sub-region, the application should identify what geographic areas the alliance will support as part of the implementation of the grant.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31483


Question:   Are the results of the state’s forecasting process readily available? (Page 3, Section 1.2: Background)

Answer:   The state has created a list of in-demand occupations (http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/OMJResources/In-DemandOccupations.stm). “In-demand" occupations were chosen using various industry- and occupation-focused measures. These measures include: projected openings; projected growth; select JobsOhio industry cluster occupations; and historic job posting data. The in-demand occupations do include the results of Ohio’s forecasting process. The list also is updated as additional data is received from Ohio employers.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31482


Question:   Hello - We are a 94 year old regional snack food manufacturer with 70 employees. 20 of our employees work less than 30 hours a week and our production is less than 1 shift per week. We are pursing our SQF certification which will help us to quote our product to large companies (we lost 1 large companys business because we are not SQF certified - this is the next level of Food Safety for our industry). In order to become SQF certified, we need to purchase a lot of items (many of which we have already purchased), train our management team and all of our employees. We will also need to implement many more processes and procedures. The biggest expense we have is an X-Ray machine which will cost approximately $190,000. We will also need to hire an SQF Certified Quality Manager. Once we are SQF Certified, we should be able to give our part time employees full time work and add a second shift within a short period of time (dependent upon the size of the customer/s we attract.) Is this something this grant could help with? Thank you.

Answer:   No, this grant is focused on developing career pathways from the work of existing industry workforce alliances. If you were part of an industry workforce alliance, and you needed to train individuals for new positions, then this would qualify. The grant will not pay for large equipment or incumbent worker training.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31474


Question:   RE: Section 1.3 (pg 5 on RFGA), are there specific criteria for individuals to meet the guidelines for "low skilled underemployed or unemployed individuals" (as referenced in Phase 2 description). Thank you.

Answer:   A low-skilled individual is an individual who is basic skills deficient, defined as an individual who has English reading, writing, or computing skills at or below 8th grade on a generally accepted standardized test or a comparable score on a criterion-referenced test. (Note: Ohio interprets the 8th grade level to be 8.9 or below). An underemployed individual is defined as an individual who is working part time but desires full time employment, or who is working in employment not commensurate with the individual's demonstrated level of educational and/or skill achievement. It also includes individuals who fall below the dislocated worker self-sufficiency threshold, as defined by the local Workforce Investment Board. An unemployed individual is defined as an individual who is without a job and who wants and is available for work. The determination of whether an individual is without a job is made in accordance with the criteria used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in defining individuals as unemployed.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31473


Question:   Will a Word Document for this RFGA be available so that information may be entered directly into the application? Are the Grantee and the Lead Agency the same entity? (Attachment A) In the Subgrant Agreement, is the vendor name (Subgrantee) the Lead Agency? (Attachment B)

Answer:   No, a Word Document is not available. The grantee in Attachment A is the fiscal agent (workforce investment area), which is the entity receiving the funds. The fiscal agent does not have to be the lead entity for the grant. In Attachment B, the vendor name is the fiscal agent; however, if there is a separate lead entity, then the subgrant agreement will be among all three parties. Please note that applicants should NOT try to complete any information in Attachment B; that document is provided for reference only, to indicate to sort of requirements and information applicants should expect to find in the agreement they will be asked to sign if they are selected for an award.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31469


Question:   The RFP does not provide a list of allowable or unallowable expenses. Can this be provided? For example: Are student tuition fees allowable? Will Administrative fees be permitted? Is there guidance for equipment purchases?

Answer:   Phase 2 is for training, including classroom training. Since all Phase 2 funds must be expended between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, any classroom training will be short-term training, so individuals have time to complete the training prior to the grant end date. Yes, administrative fees are permitted; however, they will be limited to 10 percent. Equipment may be purchased, but will need prior approval. Therefore, it will need to be outlined in the application or submitted to the agreement manager prior to purchase. Any equipment purchased with grant funds also must be disposed of at the end of the grant in accordance with 29 CFR part 97.33(b).

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31467


Question:   Is there a minimum target age for training under this initiative? WIA title IB states 18 as minimum age and WIA Title II states 16 years old as minimum. However the RFP indicates a focus on low-skilled, underemployed or unemployed individuals. Does this also include the emerging workforce?

Answer:   The minimum target age is 18.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31466


Question:   Can grant funds be used for incumbent workers?

Answer:   No, grant funds cannot be used for incumbent workers.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31462


Question:   Reference Page 10 of 21, Paragraph 2.2, D. 1. Is the Partnership History of the workforce alliance referring to the date it was established for the grant and/or can the establishment date include prior history of working together on various employment activities and projects?

Answer:   The industry workforce alliance must exist prior to the application for this RFGA. Therefore, the history would be the establishment date and the work of the alliance prior to the application.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31461


Question:   How does ODJFS define "high-growth, high-demand industry" relative to this funding opportunity? Are there specific criteria--and if so, where (online) are they described? Thank you.

Answer:   The state has created a list of in-demand occupations (http://jfs.ohio.gov/owd/OMJResources/In-DemandOccupations.stm). “In-demand" occupations were chosen using various industry- and occupation-focused measures. These measures include: projected openings; projected growth; select JobsOhio industry cluster occupations; and historic job posting data. There also may be in-demand occupations within a specific region or workforce investment area. This includes employment associated with regional industry alliances or career pathway consortiums. Existing industry alliances that identify available occupations within the industry would be deemed high growth, high demand.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31456


Question:   1.7 Time Frames and Funding Available (Page 8) Area 7 WIB - Fiscal Agent WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. Kerrie Carte, Planning & Development Specialist 419-332-8263 klcarte@wsos.org Should the grantee not utilize all of the $121,500 available in Phase 1 can the remainder of the funds carry over into Phase 2 in order to serve additional participants? Thank You.

Answer:   No, the Phase 1 funds expire June 30, 2015. Any funds not spent in Phase 1 will return to ODJFS.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31454


Question:   Question from the Ohio Means Job Center: As the fiscal agent, what would that the Ohio Means Job Center role be? How much time would be involved? As the fiscal agent, would there need to be contracts or agreements outside the RFP for pass-through payment to the OTC/college for the program services broken down in to funding areas (personal, training, supplies, etc.) or would the Ohio Means Job Center use "Purchase Services"

Answer:   The primary role of the Workforce Investment Areas will be receiving the funds from ODJFS and then dispersing the funds as agreed upon by the alliance. Roles of all required partners should be defined by the alliance and outlined in the application. The time needed to fulfill the duties will depend on the assigned roles. Yes, areas would need to have agreements with any other entity that is going to be receiving funds.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31445


Question:   1. Can grant funds go toward workers who are temporarily employed? 2. Can grant funds be used for certification (scholarship)? 3. Can grant funds be used to reimburse workers footing the bill for their own training? 4. Who can be the grant applicant? ie. regional OhioMeansJobs?, Local economic development workforce coalition?, other?

Answer:   Yes. An underemployed individual is defined as an individual who is working part time but desires full time employment, or who is working in employment not commensurate with the individual's demonstrated level of educational and/or skill achievement. Also includes individuals who fall below the dislocated worker self-sufficiency threshold, as defined by the local Workforce Investment Board. No, grant funds cannot be used for scholarship. They can be used to pay for classroom training, on-the-job training, internships and co-ops. No, grant funds cannot be utilized to reimburse workers who are paying for their training. Any organization can apply for the grant; however, the local workforce investment area must be the fiscal agent and all required partners must be part of the proposal.

Date: 6/16/2014

Inquiry: 31444


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Inquiry period ended:  6/9/2014 8:00:00 AM