U.S. Department of Labor Announces Job Corps Contracting Reform
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced the release of the first solicitation under the new firm-fixed price approach to procuring Job Corps center operations on Federal Business Opportunities at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=8ebcfadd06ee5319297bd729f8ed447f&tab=core&_cview=0. The vast majority of Job Corps centers are operated through contracts awarded on a competitive basis to private business operators. The Department of Labor today issued a solicitation to procure services of a contractor to operate the Flint Genesee Job Corps Center in Flint, Michigan.
“The development and training of students is the top priority of every Job Corps Center,” Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said. “Today’s announcement is a historic shift in the Department’s continued efforts to help students, ensure accountability, and serve as responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. I commend the work of the Employment and Training Administration, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, and the Solicitor’s Office for getting this done.”
Historically, Job Corps services have been procured using cost-reimbursement type contracts. This solicitation represents a shift to firm-fixed price contracting, which has been recommended by the Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office and the Office of the Inspector General. By transitioning to firm-fixed price contracts, the Department creates administrative efficiencies leading to an increased focus on program monitoring and oversight. In addition, these firm-fixed price contracts should increase the Department’s cost certainty for these operations contracts and leverages its increased knowledge and experience of administering the Job Corps program.
In addition, the new solicitation streamlines procurement process requirements, promotes innovation, and seeks to increase collaboration with employment and training partners at the local level. The Department, through this new solicitation, continues its efforts to expand the number of potential offerors interested in Job Corps center operations.
Job Corps is a national residential training and employment program administered by the Department of Labor to address the multiple barriers to employment faced by at-risk youth. The program provides comprehensive career development services to students, including academic, career technical, career success and independent living skills, career readiness training, and support services. The unique combination of services provided in Job Corps is intended to prepare youth to obtain and hold gainful employment, pursue further education or training, or satisfy entrance requirements for careers in the Armed Forces. Today, there are 123 Job Corps centers, both residential and non-residential, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The Department of Labor engaged with interested vendors and released a draft template solicitation to the public in a Job Corps Outreach Day event held on June 19th. The Department considered the comments and questions received from the public in finalizing this solicitation.
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) administers federal government job training and worker dislocation programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.