Sneak Preview: ETA Revises Senior Program’s Performance Measures

December 22, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) Nonfederal entities receiving federal funds under the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) should be aware that the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is revising the program’s performance accountability measures.

SCSEP, authorized by title V of the Older Americans Act (OAA) (Pub. L. 89-73), is an employment and training program targeted specifically to low-income older individuals who want to enter or re-enter the workforce. Participants must be 55 years of age or older, with incomes no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level. The program offers participants training through community service employment assignments in public and nonprofit organizations and agencies so that they can gain on-the-job experience. According to ETA, the program’s goals are to promote useful opportunities in community service activities and transition SCSEP participants to unsubsidized employment, where appropriate, so that they can be economically self-sufficient.

To comply with provisions in the Older American’s Act Reauthorization Act of 2016 (OOA Reauthorization Act) (Pub. L. 114-144), ETA issued an interim final rule in the Dec. 1 Federal Register to revise the program’s performance accountability measures and align them with those mandated for programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Pub. L. 113-128). The OOA Reauthorization Act required that these new measures be implemented by Dec. 31, 2017. The interim final rule is effective Jan. 2, 2018, although ETA is accepting comments on the interim rule through Jan. 30, 2018, and will consider these comments prior to making the rule final.

The interim rule also made minor amendments to other subparts of the SCSEP regulations to align the SCSEP statutory language with WIOA. These changes included updating outdated terminology and references to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which WIOA superseded.

The interim rule includes both performance measure definitions and processes that SCSEP recipients must use to implement these measures. These processes address how the ETA and recipients will initially determine, and later adjust, expected levels of performance for the SCSEP grants, and how ETA will determine whether a recipient has failed, met or exceeded those levels of performance.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

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