Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government


Employment and Training Administration

Comment Request for Information Collection; Pell Grants and the Payment of Unemployment Benefits to Individuals in Approved Training; Extension Without Change

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Labor.
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (Department), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, ETA is soliciting comments on the renewal of the information collection required for state notification to individuals about the opportunity for Pell Grants and the payment of unemployment benefits to individuals in approved training.
DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addressee's section below on or before November 26, 2012.
ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to Scott Gibbons, Office of Unemployment Insurance, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone number: 202-693-3008 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-877-889-5627 (TTY/TDD). copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting Mr. Gibbons.

To enable more individuals to obtain job training while receiving unemployment benefits so they can develop their skills while the economy recovers, states are strongly encouraged to widen their definitions of the types of training and the conditions under which education or training are considered “approved training” for purposes of the state's UI law.

States are also encouraged to notify unemployed individuals of their potential eligibility for Pell Grants and to assist individuals with applications. Pell Grants are awarded based on financial need and other factors. Many Unemployment Insurance (UI) beneficiaries are potentially eligible forPell Grants, and the Department of Education is currently undertaking a major effort to encourage student financial aid administrators to use the discretion available to them in determining if UI beneficiaries are eligible for Pell Grants. Through information dissemination, the Department is encouraging state UI agencies to notify UI beneficiaries that they may qualify for Pell Grants and to give them information about how to apply. States are strongly encouraged to determine if their approved training requirements are appropriate to the current economy. Post-secondary education and training are increasingly important for success in the job market. Periods of unemployment, particularly in the current economic climate, provide opportunities for laid-off workers to develop new skills, so that employers will benefit from a skilled workforce when the economy recovers. In particular, states are asked to consider approval of courses at community colleges with significant job skills components, courses leading to general equivalency degrees, courses in adult basic education, language courses, or other courses of study, including degree and certificate courses that are likely to increase the individual's long-term employability.

II. Review Focus

The Department is particularly interested in comments which:

• Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

• Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

• Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

• Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

III. Current Actions

Type of Review:Extension without changes

Title:Pell Grants and the Payment of Unemployment Benefits to Individuals in Approved Training

OMB Number:1205-0473

Affected Public:State Workforce Agencies.

Total Respondents:53

Frequency of Collection:Once per year

Total Responses:53

Average Time per Respondent:40 hours

Estimated Total Burden Hours:2120

Total Annual Costs Burden:$0

Comments submitted in response to this comment request will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

Dated: Signed in Washington, DC, this 20th day of September, 2012. Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, Labor.