Frequently Asked QuestionsHow competitive is the award process?
The program is very competitive. In recent years, the total amount requested by applicants has been two to three times the amount available for award. We estimate that approximately $6.5 million dollars will be available for award, similar to recent years.
Is there a minimum or maximum amount of award?
No. Awards have ranged from $1,000 to nearly $300,000. The amounts cover a wide range because grants are awarded to a wide variety of entities. These can include a small business seeking to train their employees in a specific limited topic to an organization training statewide on a variety of topics.
Who makes the awards?
The Hazard Abatement Board (HAB) makes the awards. The HAB is an independent entity consisting of five appointed members. The decision of what proposals to fund is made by the Board based on their review of the proposals submitted. In addition to their review, the Board receives input from OSH T&E and Safety and Health Technical staff, who review the proposals for technical content and reasonableness.
What other factors does the HAB consider in their review?
Several other factors are taken into account by the Board. These include overall quality of the proposal, justification of need for the program, amount of requested dollars being directly used for training, lack of other funding to carry out the training and the quality and success of any prior programs the applicant might have operated.
What is the most important element of the program?
The major emphasis of the program is on actual training of the workers. Programs emphasizing activities other than training (i.e., surveys, development, purchase of equipment, publications, production of videos, research, etc.) will probably not be funded. Also, while there is no set limit on administrative costs, these should be minimal and reasonable.
Is the deadline for submittal of proposals firm?
Yes, Proposals not received in accordance with submittal instructions, in the RFP, will generally not be considered by the Board. Also, no faxed or e-mailed copies can be accepted.
Five copies are required if your request is for more than $25,000. If your request is for $25,000 or less, four copies will sufice.
The form EEO 100 requests a "Solicitation No." What is that?
We have been informed by the Divisin of Equal Opportunity Development that the Solicitation No. for this application is 2013 HAB TE.
The form MWBE 100/BDC 334 requests "Detailed Description of Work." How much detail is needed there?
The Division of Equal Opportunity Development has informated us that it would suffice, for the purposes of the application, to indicate HAB, Safety & Health Training Services as a response.
What workforce data should be submitted on the Equal Employment Opportunity Staffing Plan (EEO 100)
The company or organization that is applying for the grant should provide the data for their current employees. So, if your company/organization employs 25 people, you are to complete the form by identifying those 25 employees by their job category (i.e. Professional, Service Workers, Managers), total numbers, gender, ethnicity and veteran status.
How do I identify and/or determine what MWBE subcontractors or suppliers I can use? Re: MWBE Utilization Plan (MWBE 100)
In order to complete the MWBE Utilization Plan (MWBE 100), you will need to conduct an assessment of your proposed budget. Examine your budget to identify those goods and services that you may be able to subcontract to a minority or women-owned business. This could include training consultant, supplies, transportation services, office services, IT consultants etc. Once you have identified these areas, you may search the online MWBE Directory to find a certified MWBE who may be able to provide the goods or services. For your convenience, you can search by geographic areas. The link to the Directory: http://www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov/cf/search.cfm
What items in the application require original signature by the applicant?
You will need to have an
original signature on the Grant Application Cover Sheet, Potential Conflict
of Interest Disclosure, State Certifications and Responsibility Questionnaire.
Additionally, you must answer all questions on the Potential Conflict
of Interest Disclosure, State Certifications and Responsibility Questionnaire.
In regards to the MWBE/EEO requirements: Our organization takes all possible steps to recruit and hire MWBE’s but must also adhere to public competitive bidding requirements (unlike private employers). Due to competitive bidding, we cannot directly award contracts to specific companies outside of the bidding process. Would it be acceptable for us to request a waiver of the MWBE/EEO requirements on the basis of our legal mandate of competitive bidding even though we have not, to date, made any “good faith efforts” to procure MWBE companies since we are in the application stage for this grant program?
The competitive bidding process doesn’t prevent you from conducting an assessment of your program’s budget and identifying areas where you may subcontract (goods, services) with M/WBEs. If not applicable, you can ask for a waiver.
By signing the M/WBE Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement (to be submitted by you within 72 hours of receiving an award), you are agreeing, as the Contractor (and for their subcontractors), to take good faith actions to achieve the M/WBE goals set by New York State, which is utilizing 11% MBEs and 9% WBEs for the HAB 2012 grant.
If your entity has a bidding process, which they state interferes with the M/WBE achievement goals, then they should submit documentation stating the specific reasoning why their bidding process doesn’t allow them to utilize the M/WBEs when they submit their application for the HAB 2102 application.
As far as a waiver submittal goes, the Contractor has the following options:
We have some female and/or minority staff instructors; would I call them “Professionals”, “Craft Workers”, “Service Workers”?
Instructors are defined as “Professionals” staff under the Definitions of Federal Occupational/Equal Opportunity Job Categories. We have attached the web link to the job categories definitions http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/jobclassguide.cfm for your review and to assist you the future.
How do I show the sub-contractor instructors who are female and/or minority (am guessing their classifications as I have not met them)? Under the law, am I able to ask about ethnicity?
In order to compile EO data on race and ethnicity the employer may collect data to satisfy affirmative action/EO requirements and should provide employees with an anonymous form that states the submittal of the EO data is on a “voluntary basis.” We have provided a sample EO data form for your review at http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf181.pdf. Your form would need to include disability and veteran questions, again on a voluntary basis. Employees “do not have” to identify their race or ethnicity or disability, it is voluntary.
The employer can acquire the information necessary for EEO report from a “visual survey or post employment records.” For purposes of the EO report an employee may be included in the group to which s/he appears to belong, identifies with or is so regarded in the community as belonging. Reference US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/2007instructions.cfm, see Appendix #4, Race & Ethnicity Identification.
Do not verbally ask someone their race or ethnicity; that can be interpreted as a potential discriminatory question.
A “Certified Minority & Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE)” can be found by searching the M/WBE Directory at NYS Empire State Development at www.nylovesmwbe.ny.gov/cf/search.cfm.
In your case you stated you have trainers from a university, a health clinic and a private business. If those instructors, your three subcontractors, are being utilized on the HAB grant they should be listed on the M/WBE Workforce Employment Utilization Compliance Report, EEO 101 form with information by gender, race/ethnicity, disability or veteran status listed for them. This is the form that is submitted quarterly after an award is made and a contract is in place.