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Questions and Answers


Q: Can grant funds pay for salaries?

A: No. Grant funds cannot pay for participant (trainee) salaries, but can pay for instructor and project management salaries.

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Q: If participants receive an increase in salary after completing training and/or earning an industry-recognized credential, will that be considered career advancement?

A: Yes.This was inadvertently left off the original definition listed in the Glossary (Attachment E).

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Q: Is the focus of training for the new RFP limited to the original grant occupations listed here?

A: No. The training focus can go outside the original grant occupations as long as it meets a current acute care and/or long-term care employer need. Healthcare workforce needs have changed since the original grant proposal, and we want to be flexible enough with this redeployment to meet current needs.

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Q: In one section of the RFP the area of emphasis is for entry-level workers along the nursing pathway. In the grant target section it states those interested in advancing healthcare careers. Is it both?
 

A: The training programs funded by the grant can be focused on any healthcare occupation as long as it meets a current acute care and/or long-term care employer need and helps advance participants' healthcare careers.

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Q: It says in the RFP that grant funds can be used for training costs. Does this include paying for college tuition?

A: Yes. Current healthcare workforce needs vary, as do the type (and location) of training employers need. As stated in section 1.7 of the RFP, grant funds can pay for "1.1 or small group instruction, classroom, online, and/or apprenticeship training occurring in and/or outside the workplace."

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Q: In regards to performance outcomes, many allied health students who successfully complete an allied health course (earning a credential) will enroll in advanced training such as nursing in lieu of seeking out employment immediately. Do you consider this an outcome?

A: Possibly. This outcome is focused on employment advancement vs. education advancement. The U.S. Department of Labor was promised that 90 percent of participants will be placed in training-related employment/advance their careers before the end of the grant period (Feb. 28, 2013). The scenario above may work if the additional training is short-term and participants are placed in training-related employment/advance their careers before the end of the grant period. See Glossary (Attachment E) for the definition of Employment Placement/Career Advancement.

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Q: It’s a bit confusing in that the RFP seems open to all, but then the Healthcare Training Coalition webpage refers specifically to only seven Community and Technical Colleges.  Was that for last year’s round? 

A: The colleges and other partners listed on the Healthcare Training Coalition webpage are our current partners. We anticipate adding more partners with this redeployment of funds.

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Q: Is this grant opportunity different than the HEET grants?

A: Yes. It is a different program altogether.

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Q: Is there any chance the deadline could be extended? Colleges, for example, would like to participate but find the deadline for this grant (Sept. 26) is extremely challenging given the involvement of employers/union and letters of support required in the application. Also, this time of year is difficult given the start of the academic year.

 

A: No, the deadline cannot be extended. The turnaround time is extremely short in getting contracts out. Even with the current timeline, new contractors will have at most 16 months to complete grant activities.

 

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Q: Was this money originally allocated to SEIU and now they are giving it back?

A: Mostly, yes. A couple of our current partners for a variety of reasons are unable to meet outcomes and most of the money in this solicitation is a redeployment of those funds. Some additional funds for this redeployment were taken from reserve contract funds.

Q: Are non-profits eligible applicants?

A: Yes.

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Q: Do incumbent workers include long-term and acute care healthcare workers?

A: Yes. Incumbent Healthcare Worker includes any individual currently working in the healthcare industry.

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Q: We have a cost allocation plan that we use for all grants. Are overhead and administration costs allowable?

A: We can pay for administrative costs that directly support grant activities. Cost allocation rates can be used, but documentation must be provided showing how the cost is related is supporting grant activities. All costs need to be tied to grant-related activities

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Q: Could indirect cost rates be an in-kind match?

A: Yes it could, if it can be documented.

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Q: Is there a cap on administrative costs?

A: Currently, there is no cap.

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Q: What is the total amount available for all grants in this solicitation? Will we be less or more competitive with how much we ask for?

A: $429,600 is the total amount of money available under this redeployment. Points will not be given or subtracted based on the amount of the proposal. The funds may be awarded to one or more applicants.

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Q: Can we be approved for fewer funds than we requested?

A: It is possible, but not ideal. It really depends on how many good applications we get. Our preference is to fund at the amount requested. The only way we would fund someone for less than they ask for would be to also reduce the number of people served.

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Q: Can leverage be from other federal grants?

A: Yes.

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Q: “Dislocated” is not the same definition as WIA. Is that correct?

A: Our definition of Dislocated is pulled directly from the DOL language for these grants. Please use the definition as provided in the glossary.

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Q: Can we serve people from all three eligibility areas?

A: Yes.

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Q: Do unemployed individuals need to have prior work experience in healthcare to be eligible?

A: Unemployed people do not need health care experience to be eligible for the grant.

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Q: Would pharmacy technician training be allowed under this grant? What about other jobs/trainings not listed on the website?

A: As long as partner-employers are acute care or long-term care employers, the occupation being trained for is flexible to meet their current workforce needs.

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Q: When filling out Exhibit B, if we will be delivering the same training (i.e. CNA) but through different modalities (1:1, classroom training, online, etc.), do we need to list each modality as a separate project?

A: No. Projects should be listed by type of training (i.e. CNA), not by modality.

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Q: Do we need to use the Eligible Training Provider lists, or can we use proprietary training that an employer already has in place?

A: No, you are not required to use Eligible Training Providers.

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Q: Can the grant pay for on-the-job training?

A: We are not allowed to pay for participant salaries or wages.

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Q: How strict are the performance outcome requirements? For smaller programs, even if just 1 or 2 drop out, these programs won’t meet the performance measures.

A: We are required to meet these performance outcomes by the end of the grant period (February 2013). There is no flexibility around this.

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Q: How many participants total is this solicitation intended to serve?

A: At least 179 people.

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Q: If you have a training participant who is unemployed, and is just a few credits away from finishing a credential, can grant-funds pay for the last few credits? And would that meet the training and credential performance measure?

A: Yes, provided you can prove the person needs the support to meet training, credential and employment gains.

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Q: Question about the definition of "training-related employment": If someone completes MA training, could they get a job in medical secretary or something else, or do they need to only get a job MA?

A: As long as the skills from training are being used, and that you can make the case for it, it would be training related employment.

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Q: Does continued schooling count for the employment requirements?

A: No. Participants need to gain career advancement within the grant period.

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Q: How does the data entry work?

A: Three web-based forms are used to collect participant date: Intake (completed once), New Training (completed once for each new training the participant is enrolled in), and the Update form (completed monthly for updates).

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Q: Are we required to maintain data in SKIES as well?

A: SKIES is not part of this grant’s data reporting systems. If the participant in co-enrolled in WIA, then the WIA provider would need to maintain their information in SKIES.

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Q: Do we need to maintain separate files in addition to files maintained by colleges or other partners?

A: You don’t need separate files, but you do need to make sure you have all the required documentation and access to the information that is entered into the data entry system. Files can be electronic or hardcopy, but they must be available for review.

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Q: Can we view the intake forms?

A: Attachment F outlines the questions asked in the data entry forms. We will work on providing a screen shot of the system. Contact us if you need assistance.

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Q: Are you expecting us to track retention and placement?

A: Yes.

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Q: What are you looking for in regard to the employer letters? We may have 100 agencies involved; do you want just a sample?

A: We did not anticipate that people would be working with that many employers. Further problem solving of this issue was to take place offline. However, after the bidder’s conference the potential applicant who asked the question decided to not pursue the grant opportunity.

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Q: We’re working on developing relationships with employer-partners. Must we obtain letters from employers before we submit our proposal?

A: Upon submission of your proposal you must have employer letters which address the bullet points in section 3.2 of the RFP, under “Workforce Need”. We need a commitment that your employer-partners are on board with the project.

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Q: If we are working with incumbent workers, the employer doesn’t need to commit to hiring, correct?

A: They need to address the bullets in this section. If you’re not an employer applying for the grant, consider establishing MOUs with employer-partners committing them to provide grant participants an opportunity to apply for an open position so that their incumbent workers can move up the ladder.

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Q: If we have one facility providing training that is committed to hiring some of those trained, but other facilities also plan on hiring, do you also need letters from the non-training facilities?

A: Yes. We need letters from all employer-partners who are interested in hiring and/or promoting healthcare workers after they receive grant-funded training.

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Q: If the participant applies for an opening after training, and doesn’t get it, does that meet the grant requirements?

A: It meets some of the grant requirements, but not the employment performance measure.

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Q: Do the people being trained need to be involved in the project design?

A: They don't need to be intensely involved. The intent is that employers with represented employees, the union will be involved in design. For employers who don’t have represented employees, we wanted to make sure the workers were involved as well. It won’t be a lot of points, but if there is a way to get feedback from workers and/or unions, we prefer that.

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Q: Can participants be underemployed and qualify for training?

A: Participants must be unemployed, dislocated, or incumbent healthcare workers. If people are working part-time, they must be working in the healthcare industry to qualify.

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Q: Would OJT wages paid by other grants be considered in-kind for leverage resources?

 

A: Yes.

 

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Q: Our Home Care employer partners are telling us that they would like to support their workers to get CNA training and possibly bring on new workers with CNA training. Homecare workers with CNA training receive a higher wage. Would employment in the “Home Care” capacity after completion of a CNA or other
applicable training program be a qualifying employment outcome?

A: Yes. Home care workers are considered long-term care workers, so training incumbent home care workers to get their CNA would be a fit, especially with what employers have been telling you. You could also train unemployed folks or dislocated healthcare workers if your employer partners do not have enough incumbent workers to fill their workforce needs.

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Q: Can hospitals apply directly for the training money, or is it just for individual workers to apply for?

 

A: Hospitals can apply for the training money.  Individual workers cannot apply. See section 1.3 on page 3 of the RFP for more information.

 

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Q: Letters from partnering health care employers DO NOT count as part of the 5 pages in our proposals, correct?

 

A: Correct.

 

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Q: I trust that the $2,400 per is an average.  Reason being that some types of training will cost more than others, e.g. incumbent RN specialty training vs. entry level CNA training.  Is this a safe assumption?

 

A: Your total request cannot exceed $2,400 per participant you are proposing to serve, but you can spend more or less than that amount on each participant, depending on the need. 

 

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Q: I am trying to complete Attachment B and we have not yet determined exactly how many participants will be trained in each of our training programs, because our initial project activities include meeting with participants to determine their specific training needs.  Should we try to estimate how many people will participate in each training program or should we roll it all into one general allied health category?

 

A: If you feel like you have a good enough sense of what will happen, go ahead and estimate the numbers for each training program.  If you do not feel like you have a good sense of it, go ahead and roll it up in one category and add in an explanation for this on the form.

 

Return to Request for Proposal page.

 

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