NOFAs (Notice of Funds Available)

GCDD Announces New NoFA for The Initiative for Equity in Tech Jobs

24SC12:  The Initiative for Equity in Tech Jobs

See the complete NOFA and apply at https://www.ddsuite.org/?nofa_id=2115

Purpose 

The Initiative for Equity in Technology White Paper will generate research and environmental scans that illustrate barriers, trends, needs, national comparisons, and recommended solutions for how GCDD can increase career pipelines and employment access for African American men w/DD in the field.

Grant amount is $30,000 with $3,000 match. Applications for this grant are due by March 6, 2024. This notice was posted on January 31, 2023. 

This Request for Proposals will be governed by the following schedule:

  • Applications Due – March 6, 2024
  • Staff Application Review – March 6, 2024 – March 20, 2024
  • Grants Selection Committee Review – March 21, 2024 – April 11, 2024
  • Council Approval – April 22, 2024
  • Contract Negotiations and Signed Contracts – April 23 – April 30, 2024
  • Start Date/Work Begins – May 1, 2024

Scope of Work

GCDD works in partnership with allies, advocates, stakeholders and communities, to ensure people who have intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families have increased access to and benefit from equitable, quality supports and services, and healthy communities that increase self-determination and meet their needs and preferences.

GCDD’s goal is for its activities and collaborations to increase access of to education, housing, employment, and healthcare for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities who are racial and ethnic minorities and/or who live in rural areas. Annually, we will strengthen capacity by investing resources in housing, employment, transportation, and healthcare projects that are sustainable and can be replicated.

GCDD intends to increase access to employment in the tech industry for African American males with developmental disabilities by 2027. The Initiative for Equity in Technology Jobs White Paper is a foundational step towards that aim and will support the collection and analysis of data that will provide the Council, Advocates, and tech industry employers with objective analysis and conclusions that promote systemic change and build capacity to improve career opportunities for African-American males w/DD in Georgia’s technology industry.

BACKGROUND:

In the current era of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, of which President Obama said WIOA "will help workers, including workers with disabilities, access employment, education, job-driven training, and support services that give them the chance to advance their careers and secure the good jobs of the future," expertly delivered supports are still the key for successful employment. This initiative is aimed at meeting the demands of the ever-growing Tech Industry through supporting the training, employment preparation and hiring of historically marginalized young, black, neurodivergent males who are disproportionately segregated in schools, jails, services, and prisons.

Successful submissions will address:

  • Collaborating with technology focused companies, inclusive training curriculum developers and other thought leaders in the technology employee recruitment to address spaces where African American males with developmental disabilities have low representation and/or opportunities.
  • Identifying existing inclusive technology career recruitment pipeline programs.
  • Developing or implementing an existing training and technical assistance approach to support tech industry employers in educating, recruiting, hiring, supporting, retaining, and advancing African American males with developmental disabilities.
  • Evaluating the sustainability of existing best practices for the Georgia job market

Potential activities include:

  • Partnering with employers and other placement entities committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and support the process of ensuring identified job seekers receive consideration.
  • Implement robust tech job preparatory training for identified participants using inclusive universal design for learning strategies and supports

Expected Outcomes

  • Detailed summary of activity results along with clear, action-oriented recommendations regarding pipeline creation, inclusive education, and employer supports that the Council can act on during the current 5-year plan.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Experience managing tech or equity initiatives.
  • Capacity for reaching potential employees and employers.

Performance Measures to include:

Output Measures:

IFA 1.1 - The number of people with developmental disabilities who participated in Council supported activities designed to increase their knowledge of how to take part in decisions that affect their lives, the lives of others, and/or systems

IFA 1.2 - The number of family members who participated in Council supported in activities designed to increase their knowledge of how to take part in decisions that affect the family, the lives of others, and/or systems

Policy and/or Procedure Changes:

SC 1.3.1- The number of promising practices created

SC 2.1.3 - The number of promising and/or best practices improved as a result of systems change activities

Proposal Requirements:

The white paper should include, but it’s not limited to

(1) public input from people with developmental disabilities and their families,

(2) input from relevant tech industry employers and inclusive employment organizations,

(3) an analysis of current technology career pipeline systems, and inclusive education, resources, supports and services available in Georgia including the differences among African-American men w/DD and their white counterparts,

(4) an analysis of trends in disparity by race/ethnic city and socio-economic status,

(5) any challenges and barriers that might exist for African-American men w/DD in accessing careers in the technology field,

(6) a review of best practices from other states, emphasizing states in the Southeast,

(7) clear, action- oriented recommendations regarding pipeline creation, inclusive education, and employer supports that the Council can act on during the current 5-year plan.

The grantee is ultimately responsible for detailing their plans for successful implementation and completion of the Diversity in Technology white paper; however, some activities that should be included in the work plan include:

1. Develop a questionnaire and/or survey to interview African American participants with developmental disabilities and their families. Some combination of survey methods and focus group methods should be considered. These tools will be used to identify participants' needs and issues related to access to careers in technology.

2. Develop a questionnaire and/or survey to interview participants who have insight into technology career opportunities available to people with developmental disabilities and the availability of or barriers to accessing technology. Some combination of survey methods and focus group methods should be considered. These tools will be used to identify the participants' perspective on the topic area.

3. Identify and recruit African American men with developmental disabilities and their families to participate in the project. Justify the number of participants, assuring it is sufficient to fully represent the issue. Participants must represent urban, suburban, and rural areas of Georgia and mirror the socio-economic strata of the community.

4. Identify and analyze technology companies in Georgia that currently have inclusive career pipeline programs in place that address or are impacted by disparities in candidate diversity and if these types of resources are missing.

5. Compile, review and analyze accessible, plain language technology trainings and career pipeline issues identified by African American men with developmental disabilities and their families and if these resources are missing.

6. Review best practices of corporations, technology educational institutions, NGOs in other states, including state councils, for addressing barriers to technology careers for African American men with developmental disabilities and identify them to the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.

7. Deliver a final report to the Council that includes the information listed above.

Experience Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in research, human resources or related field required; master’s degree preferred
  • Extensive and proven experience in field of technology or human resource diversity program development
  • Knowledgeable in various research and testing methodologies
  • Experience using statistical analysis software
  • Proficient using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Always performs objective and ethical research
  • Effective communicator, both orally and written

Application Submission & Evaluation

The Applicant must submit a complete application in DD Suite which includes a Project Outline, a Project Work Plan and a Project Budget.

Applications must be submitted online via https://www.ddsuite.org, prior to the published deadline. No hard copies will be accepted. Applicants must have or create a DD Suite user account and an organization account in order to submit an application. Go to https://www.ddsuite.org and click on "HELP TAB" for detailed instructions on creating DD Suite user and organization accounts. (See complete application process and Guide to DD Suite)

Additional Submission Requirements:

1) Upload of copy of the Federal W-9 

2) Two written professional references who can speak to your qualifications and experience. 

3) 2 sample work products related to this proposal 

Each proposal should be prepared simply and economically, avoiding the use of elaborate promotional materials (unless materials have been requested) beyond those sufficient to provide a complete presentation. If supplemental materials are a necessary part of the proposal, the Applicant should reference these materials in the technical proposal, identifying the document(s) and citing the appropriate section and page(s) to be reviewed.

Any proposal received after the due date and time will not be evaluated.

Evaluation Process

The evaluation of proposals received on or before the due date and time will be conducted in the following phases. Any proposal received after the due date and time will not be evaluated.

Administrative Review

The Operations & Contracts Director will screen each proposal. The screening will consist of:

(1) determining if the Applicant is eligible to receive Council funds including determining if the Applicant meets eligibility requirements and is registered to do business in Georgia;

(2) the budget is within the funding limits and includes the required match;

(3) the application is complete and all sections in DD Suite have responses; and,

(4) the required forms are attached.

DD Suite will issue an automatic reply acknowledging receipt of your proposal immediately after successful submission.

There will be no debriefing for applicants who are not selected. All applicants who respond to this NOFA will be notified of the outcome of their application (awarded, application modifications requested, or denied) by email through DD Suite.

Proposal Evaluation

The GCDD Chairperson will appoint a selection committee and may consider individuals other than Council member or advisory members. No one may evaluate proposals in which there is, or there is an appearance of, a conflict of interest. They will recuse themselves from all parts of the grant evaluation and award process.

The Selection Committee may meet twice within 30 days of proposal due date. Before the first meeting, staff will send proposals and the Solicitation Evaluation Form. The first meeting may be either in person or virtual and members will review, rank, and narrow down proposals to the top 2 or 3 for consideration as finalist. Staff will collect and file all completed Solicitation Evaluation Forms.

Using the Solicitation Evaluation Form, members will identify the most critical factors contributing to the value or success of the proposed solutions to the issues identified. Among the criteria used are the following:

1. Does the outline clearly state goals and major activities?
2. Is applicant qualified or experienced to complete the goals and activities?
3. Does the application satisfactorily describe the impact of activities of the project will have on people with developmental disabilities?
4. Is each required goal and outcome addressed? Are the goals and outcomes satisfactory?
5. Does the application adequately describe who will be responsible for each activity and a timeframe for completion?
6. Is the proposed budget consistent with the goals and activities identified in the project?
7. Does the budget justification for each item include how amounts were determined?
8. Does the evaluation plan satisfactorily describe both process and outcomes evaluation approaches?

The criteria are scored by each member of the selection team and a proposal is eligible to receive a maximum of 1000 points. Each criteria is rated either Exceptional (receives full points), Acceptable (receives half points), Not Acceptable (Receives no points). For example, if the criterion Organizational Ability has a maximum points value of 75. An Exceptional Rating gets 75 points, Acceptable gets 37.5 and Not Acceptable gets 0. If there is more than one proposal, only those that have a score of at least 700 (70% ) will have their applications forwarded to the Council’s Grants Selection Committee.

Oral Presentations

GCDD reserves the right to conduct site visits or to invite Applicants to present their proposals between April 1 to April 11, 2024 at 2Sloppy Floyd Building, West Tower, 200 Piedmont Avenue SE, Suite 426, 4th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30334 or by video conference (Zoom) virtually during this time.

Financial (Cost) Proposal Evaluation

The Successful Applicant submit a proposed budget for this initiative. The Financial Proposal will provide a 10% match (in-kind or funds) to augment the federal grant. The 10% match may be in the form of matching dollars, and/or in-kind costs, on an annual basis. Match funds must be documented by submitting a Report of Certified or In-Kind costs at each reporting period.

What kind of things can be considered in-kind match?

Your in-kind match may include expenses that are:

  • allowable under federal guidelines and GCDD policies;
  • necessary for your project;
  • not paid by federal funds (ours or those of another agency); and
  • not already being used as match for another federal grant.

Some examples include office space, utilities, volunteer time (including members of your Project Advisory Committee), printing costs, consultants (if not paid through the grant), or staff not paid for through the grant.

Applicant should provide a detailed annual plan explaining how it will generate the required match and how much, i.e., the percentage that will be provided. The plan must show in detail what will be done, how it will be done, and what specific commitment the Applicant is willing to make as a match.

Restrictions on Communication

All questions about this NoFA must be submitted in the following format:

  • Organization/Individual Name
  • 1. Question (Citation of relevant section of the NoFA)
  • 2. Question (Citation of relevant section of the NoFA)

Questions must be directed in writing to the Operations & Contracts Director (OCD) Lisa Eaves at:

Questions must include the company name and the referenced NoFA section.

From the issue date of this NoFA until a contractor is selected and the selection is announced, Applicants are not allowed to communicate for any reason with any State staff except through the OCD, or during the Applicants' conference, or as provided by existing work agreement(s). The State reserves the right to reject the proposal of any Applicant violating this provision. All questions concerning this NoFA must be submitted in writing by email to . Only written questions will be accepted. No response other than written will be binding upon the State.

The DD Council

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is one of 56 entities of its type in the United States and territories that report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration for Community Living. It is authorized under Public Law 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000.

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) makes funds available to fulfill its mission in accordance with its Five-Year Strategic Plan (pdf file) and in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through its funding, GCDD works to increase the capacities and resources of public and private nonprofit entities and others to develop a comprehensive community system that responds to the choices, capabilities and needs of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The purpose of GCDD grants is to expand best practices and contribute to system-wide changes that support the rights of people with developmental disabilities and their full inclusion as community members. Recipients of GCDD grants are expected to be ongoing partners in bringing about positive change.

Our activities are governed by a 27-member board, appointed by the Governor and comprised of at least 60 percent individuals with developmental disabilities and family members. Other members include policymakers that represent various federally mandated partners and state agencies and organizations having a vested interested in persons with developmental disabilities.

GCDD is charged with creating systems change for people with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing opportunities for independence, inclusion, integration, productivity, and self-determination. Activities include public policy research and analysis, project demonstrations, education and training, advocacy, and public information. The GCDD is a quasi-state agency, attached to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) for administrative purposes.

See the complete NOFA and apply at: https://www.ddsuite.org/?nofa_id=2115