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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - August 15th, 2022

Performance Pilot Partnerships Initiative Launched

Washington Update

Performance Pilot Partnerships

On Wednesday, August 10, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued a notice inviting applications for selection as a performance partnership pilot for FY22 under the Performance Partnership Pilot for Disconnected Youth (P3) authority. The FY22 P3 authority enables pilot sites to blend FY22 federal funds and obtain waivers of program requirements, including statutory, regulatory, and administrative requirements that are barriers to achieving improved outcomes for youth-serving programs included in the authority. Under P3, pilots can test innovative strategies to achieve significant improvements in educational, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth using the flexibility provided by P3. Deadline for applications is Friday, October 7, 2022.

Click here to access more information on how to apply.

Cybersecurity Apprenticeships Sprint

On Tuesday, July 19, the U.S Department of Labor (DOL), in partnership with the White House and the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced a 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint in order to promote the Registered Apprenticeship model as a solution for numerous industries to develop and train a skilled cybersecurity workforce. This national campaign aims to encourage employers, industry associations, labor unions, and training providers to explore Registered Apprenticeship as a recruitment, training, and retention strategy, as well as connect with the DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship to develop new apprenticeship programs or quickly join existing programs. The sprint will continue until the end of National Apprenticeship Week which runs from November 14-20, 2022.

Currently, there are 714 registered apprenticeship programs and 42,260 apprentices in cybersecurity-related occupations. Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, 199 new programs have been created. The Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint will build upon this progress and focus on creating new pathways for workers in cybersecurity or a related field through partnerships with K-12, higher education, workforce partners and training programs. Click here to learn more about the initiative. Click here to read the White House fact sheet on the summit.

GAO Report

On Wednesday, August 10, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the report College Closures: Education Should Improve Outreach to Borrowers about Loan Discharges, which found that students who face college closures could be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness, but colleges and the Department of Education do not notify their students of this eligibility in a timely manner. According to the report, a key issues students face is delays in identifying college closures on the Department of Education’s part. The report found the Department didn’t identify a third of school closures from 2010-2020 until two months or more after the colleges actually closed.

House Education and Labor Chair Bobby Scott (VA) asked GAO to review issues related to college closures and also called on the Biden Administration to implement the GAO’s recommendations. The report said the Department should ensure more outreach for at-risk borrowers who are potentially eligible for a closed school discharge. Rich Cordray, Department of Education’s Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid, said the office is implementing steps to address each of the recommendations and respond to school closures, including implementing a new platform called Next Gen PPO for faster reporting. The data system is expected to be launched in the fall, which Cordray wrote would expedite the processing of school closures.

Click here to access the GAO report.

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending August 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 262,000, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 12,000 from 260,000 to 248,000. The 4-week moving average was 252,000, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 7,250 from 254,750 to 247,500. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.0 percent for the week ending July 30, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.

Click here to access the report.

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