Work Incentive Grants

The Work Incentive Grants (WIGs) and Disability Program Navigators (DPNs) have been established to increase the labor force participation and career advancement of persons with disabilities by effecting systemic change in the One-Stop Career Centers.

These programs support the capacity of the
One-Stop Career Center system to achieve integrated, seamless, and comprehensive services for people with disabilities, thereby increasing their employment, retention, and earnings.

The competitive WIG Program has been reoriented from a competitive solicitation to the Disability Program Navigator (DPN) cooperative agreement, thereby assuring that the essential goals of the WIGs are achieved in the workforce investment system.

The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) jointly established a new position, the Disability Program Navigator (DPN), in the DOL's One-Stop Career Centers.

The DPN guides the One-Stop Career Center staff in helping people with disabilities access and navigate the various programs that impact upon their ability to gain/retain employment.

Complex rules surrounding entitlement programs, along with the fear of losing cash assistance and health benefits, can often discourage people with disabilities from working.

Consequently, the DPN initiative was established to better inform beneficiaries and other people with disabilities about the work support programs now available at the DOL-funded One-Stop Career Centers.

The major objectives of the DPN initiative are: (1) creating systemic change and transforming the culture of how the One-Stop Career Center system serves customers with disabilities; (2) promoting meaningful and effective access, both physical and programmatic, to the One-Stop Career Center system for all customers, including persons with disabilities; (3) creating attitudinal change about the abilities of people with disabilities to work in a variety of jobs and industries; (4) developing new/ongoing partnerships to achieve comprehensive services to people with disabilities; (5) expanding and enhancing the workforce development system's capacity to serve customers with disabilities and employers through the implementation of effective DPN strategies and practices; and (6) increasing the number of people with disabilities served under the WIA and achieving quality employment outcomes for jobseekers with disabilities through accessing WIA Title I and Wagner-Peyser Programs.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The cooperative agreement funds are to establish positions for Disability Program Navigators in the One-Stop Career Centers.

These positions facilitate universal access to the One-Stop Career Center for job seekers with disabilities through reaching out to the disability community, assuring the availability of trained and expert staff, and enhancing coordination across programs and services.


Agency - Department of Labor

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities, protecting their retirement and health benefits and generally protecting worker rights and monitoring national economic measures.

Office - Contact the Federal Project Officer (FPO) for the DPN Cooperative Agreements in the appropriate Regional Employment and Training Administrative Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.


Program Accomplishments

There has been continued expansion and implementation of disability resource specialists or DPNs in One-Stop Career Centers to assure access to comprehensive, seamless services, and expertise. Currently, there will be approximately 450 Navigators in One-Stop Career Centers in One-Stop Career Centers across the country funded under this initiative as of June 2007 WIASRD data for PY 2005 for workforceinvestment boards (WIBs) with Navigators show the following outcome data for people with disabilities: 6.90 percent exiters; 80.4 percent employment retention rate; 69.9 entered employment rate; and $3,256 earnings change. Universal access has been promoted in the One-Stop Career Centers by expanding the availability of assistive technologies, training One-Stop Career Center staff and workforce investment boards on the utilization of assistive technology, reasonable accommodation resources and strategies, disability etiquette, WIA Section 188 non-discrimination regulations, Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act provisions. Enhanced partnerships have been expanded at the Federal, regional, state, and local levels with both mandated and other WIA partners by coordinating access to services in the One-Stop Career Centers. This included outreach to public and non-profit agencies that serve individuals with disabilities and facilitating coordinated services to this customer group. By including non-WIA mandated partners (e.g., the state Medicaid agencies or the SSA's Ticket to Work implementation) in their efforts, the WIGs/DPNs have demonstrated that expanding the scope of available services through innovative partnerships can have a positive effect on long-term employment outcomes of people with disabilities. A number of DPNs facilitated access to new Medicaid demonstration and waiver projects that are intended to remove health care barriers and facilitate employment for beneficiaries of the SSA. The One-Stop Toolkit (http://onestoptoolkit.org) Web site was utilized to share tools and products that grantees have developed for their state and local areas. These include training curriculum, self-assessment accessibility tools, memoranda of understanding with Vocational Rehabilitation or other agencies, mystery shopping protocols, effective strategies, etc. The Webcourse (www.wiawebcourse.org) for One-Stop-Career Center staff: "At Your Service: Welcoming Customers with Disabilities" was revised and disseminated.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds are used for establishing Disability Program Navigators in One-Stop Career Centers and improving the centers' physical and programmatic access for customers with disabilities.

All proposed costs should be necessary and reasonable according to the federal guidelines set forth in the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to state and local governments, codified at 289 CFR Part 97, and must comply with the applicable OMB cost principles circulars, as identified in 29 CFR 96.27 and 29 CFR 97.22(b).

Awardees must comply with the all other applicable administrative standards and national policy provisions (listed in the SGA).

Indirect costs cannot exceed 10 percent of the award.

The DOL will negotiate performance goals with successful applicants that will be consistent with the Department's GPRA goals.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State WIA administrating agencies.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Limited to persons with disabilities eligible for employment and training services under the WIA.

Credentials/Documentation

None.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This funding opportunity is not subject to Executive Order (EO) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs."

Application Procedures

Solicitations for cooperative agreements will be published on the ETA Web site: http://www.doleta.gov/disability/. All information concerning the proper application, format, content, and applicable forms are contained in the solicitation and published cooperative agreement. The State WIA administrative entity in the states that meets the eligibility criteria will receive a cooperative agreement solicitation requesting a response within 30 days of receipt.

Award Procedures

Awards for cooperative agreements are made directly to successful applicants by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor.

Deadlines

Contact the Employment and Training Administration, Office of Workforce Investment, Division of Adult Services for application deadlines.

Authorization

Key provisions are included in Sections 121, 134(c), and 189(c)(c) of the Workforce Investment Act (29 U.S.C 2841, 2864 (c), and 2939(c)and the Wagner-Peyser Act (29 USC 49f). Key regulations governing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Wagner-Peyser Act programs are at 20 CFR Parts 651-652 and 660-671.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Up to 120 days.

Appeals

Contact the Employment and Training Administration, Office of Workforce Investment, Division of Adult Services, to obtain information on appeal procedures.

Renewals

The cooperative agreements may be extended beyond the initial period of award, depending upon the availability of funds, to provide additional support.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The period of performance will be up to approximately 24 months from the date of execution by the Department. The Department may extend the period of performance based on the availability of funds and satisfactory performance. Payment will be made through electronic funds transfer utilizing the computerized Payment Management System (PMS).

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Awardees will be required to submit quarterly financial reports.

Additional data or narrative reports may be required.

In addition, ETA will continue to evaluate the DPN program consistent with the evaluation process for the first 17 DPN states.

This will include a qualitative evaluation for the DPN program, Submission of Workforce Investment Act Standard Record Data (WIASRD), and Wagner-Peyser Act data related to services and outcomes for customers with disabilities may also be required.

Awardees must also provide to DOL semi-annual data for the workforce investment areas served by the DPN that includes Wagner-Peyser and WIA Title I data on individuals with disabilities who are participants, entered employment, are retained in employment, and their average earnings compared to the same data for individuals without disabilities., consistent with the requirements that will be in place under the common measures.

It is also necessary for all applicants that receive grants to meet performance targets that are consistent with the Department of Labor's Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) goals for the DPN initiative.

Audits

In accordance with the provision of OMB Circular A-133 (Revised June 2003), audits of states, local governments, and nonprofit organizations, nonfederal entities that received financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

Grant recipients are required to maintain records in accordance with 29 CFR 95 and 97. Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other pertinent records shall normally be retained for a period of three years after the grant is closed out. Participant records shall be retained for five years. Records must be retained longer in certain cases, such as when audit findings have not been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

16-0179-0-1-999.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 07 $30,000,000; FY 08 est $14,000,000; and FY 09 est $0.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been awarded statewide cooperative agreements under the SGAs to eligible applicants. The cooperative agreement awards will be for a two-year period and will range from $300,000 to $2,000,000, depending upon the request of the State applying for the cooperative agreement and its size and population.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Regulations governing the WIA are at 20 CFR Parts 651 through 652, 660 through 671 (65 FR 49294, August 11, 2000). The Uniform Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments (also known as the "Common Rule") are applicable. The "Common Rule" is codified at 29 CFR Part 97 (97.22).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact the Federal Project Officer (FPO) for the DPN Cooperative Agreements in the appropriate Regional Employment and Training Administrative Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Older Workers and Disability Unit, Division of Adult Services, Office of Workforce Investment Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-3046; Fax: (202) 693-3818; TTY: (202) 693-2871.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Selection criteria are described in the Solicitation for Cooperative Agreement published on ETA's Web site.



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