Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of Education.
Notice; public challenge.
The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is announcing the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge (the Challenge), a Challenge funded under title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)(i.e., Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA)), Section 242, National Leadership Activities (29 U.S.C. 3332). The Challenge invites eligible providers, as defined in section 203(5) of WIOA, 29 U.S.C. 3272(5), to submit designs for pre-apprenticeship programs (as defined in this notice). The Challenge will offer eligible providers the opportunity to develop new, innovative pre-apprenticeship programs, or design approaches to improving existing programs.
The Challenge launches on September 24, 2020 with the announcement of the Challenge. Stage 1 submissions must be received on or before 11:59:59 p.m., Washington, DC time, November 25, 2020. The dates for Stage 2 submissions will be determined following the launch of the Challenge, and published on the website at www.rethinkadulted.com.
The Department will determine timeframes for judging submissions, as well as the dates that finalists and winners will be announced. The Department will conduct an online information session during Stage 1 of the Challenge. The date of the online information session will be determined and announced by the Department, posted on www.rethinkadulted.com (Challenge website), and emailed to parties who request to be notified of Challenge updates. The dates for any other Challenge events will be determined and announced by the Department.
Submit entries for the Challenge on www.rethinkadulted.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Carolyn Lampila, U.S. Department of Education: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
The definition of “adult education” is from section 203(1) of WIOA (29 U.S.C. 3272(1)). The definition of “adult education and literacy activities” is from section 203(2) of WIOA (29 U.S.C. 3272(2)). The definition of “eligible individual” is from section 203(4) of WIOA (29 U.S.C. 3272(4)). The definition of “eligible provider” is from section 203(5) of WIOA (29 U.S.C. 3272(5)). We are establishing the definitions of “apprenticeship program” and “pre-apprenticeship program” for the purposes of this Challenge.
“Adult education” means academic instruction and education services below the postsecondary level that increase an individual’s ability to—
(A) read, write, and speak in English and perform mathematics or other activities necessary for the attainment of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent;
(B) transition to postsecondary education and training; and
(C) obtain employment.
“Adult education and literacy activities” means programs, activities, and services that include adult education, literacy, workplace adult education and literacy activities, family literacy activities, English language acquisition activities, integrated English literacy and civics education, workforce preparation activities, or integrated education and training.
“Apprenticeship program” means a program that provides on-the-job training and related technical instruction, leading to a recognized industry credential. Apprentices are paid and often receive progressive wage increases as they further develop their skills. Apprenticeships may include unregistered apprenticeships as well as registered apprenticeship programs, as defined in section 171(b)(10) of WIOA, and industry-recognized apprenticeship programs, as referenced in Executive Order 13801.
“Eligible individual” means someone who:
(A) has attained 16 years of age;
(B) is not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law; and
(C) (i) is basic skills deficient; (ii) does not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and has not achieved an equivalent level of education; or (iii) is an English language learner.
“Eligible provider” means an organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities that may include—
(A) a local educational agency;
(B) a community-based organization or faith-based organization;
(C) a volunteer literacy organization;
(D) an institution of higher education;
(E) a public or private nonprofit agency;
(F) a library;
(G) a public housing authority;
(H) a nonprofit institution that is not described in any of subparagraphs (A) through (G) and has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals;
(I) a consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described in any of subparagraphs (A) through (H); and
(J) a partnership between an employer and an entity described in any of subparagraphs (A) through (I).
“Pre-apprenticeship program” means a program that supports individuals in developing the skills and knowledge they need to gain entry to and succeed in one or more apprenticeship programs. A relationship with an apprenticeship program is what distinguishes pre-apprenticeships from other adult education or workforce readiness programs.
I. Administration of the Challenge
The Challenge is being conducted by the Department. Luminary Labs, LLC (Luminary Labs), has been contracted by the Department to assist and support the Department in organizing and managing this Challenge. Activities conducted by Luminary Labs may also include providing technical assistance to potential entrants, entrants, and finalists.
II. Subject of Challenge Competition
The Challenge is a $750,000 competition to advance pre-apprenticeships. The Department invites eligible providers to design pre-apprenticeship programs that better prepare learners for apprenticeships to succeed in their chosen professions.
Apprenticeships serve as an important pathway to well-paying careers across a range of industries, such as manufacturing, construction, technology, and healthcare. However, many adults miss out on these opportunities because they are not aware of apprenticeship programs or do not have the necessary skills to prepare for or gain entry to them.
Pre-apprenticeships bridge this gap by equipping people with the skills and knowledge – or refreshing knowledge they may have lost since completing their secondary education – that they need to gain entry to, and succeed in, apprenticeships. Pre-apprenticeship program participants learn academic skills, time management skills, technology skills and conflict management skills. Participants may also learn industry specific skills, such as how to use relevant tools and machinery. Programs may also include distance learning and artificial intelligence, so they may go to scale and serve a larger population of students.
The Challenge aims to spur the creation of new pre-apprenticeship programs and increase the capacity of adult education providers to deliver high-quality programs. The Challenge will be conducted in two stages:
- Stage 1: Open submissions
- Stage 2: Virtual accelerator
At the end of the Challenge, the resources and materials from Stage 2 will be formatted and published online for public distribution.
These stages are described further below.
Stage 1: Open Submissions
During Stage 1, eligible providers will enter the Challenge by completing a Stage 1 submission (the Preliminary Design) on the Challenge website. This submission must include: evidence of the local industry demand the pre-apprenticeship program may meet, an overview of the adult education and literacy activities the program may provide, a description of prospective adult learners, and a description of potential apprenticeship and industry partners.
An independent review panel will review Preliminary Designs using the Stage 1 Finalist Selection Criteria, which are included in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice, and make recommendations to the Department as to which entrants should be selected as finalists. Up to 100 entrants will be selected as finalists, and progress to Stage 2.
Stage 2: Virtual Accelerator
During Stage 2, finalists will participate in a virtual accelerator, through which they will have access to curated virtual resources. The virtual accelerator will run for approximately five months. At the end of Stage 2, entrants may submit a Stage 2 submission (the Program Proposal). This submission must include: a description of the proposed pre-apprenticeship program structure, the academic and workplace preparation skills the program will address, the partnerships the program has developed, and the team’s relevant expertise.
Depending on the volume of Program Proposals received, an independent review panel may conduct a preliminary review of submissions, as described in the Submission Review Information section of this notice.
Independent judges with expertise relevant to the selection criteria will review Program Proposals using the Stage 2 Winner Selection Criteria, which are included in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice, and make recommendations to the Department as to which entrants should be selected as winners. A grand-prize winner and up to five runners-up will be selected.
The goals, purposes, and activities related to the Challenge are authorized under section 242(c)(2)(C)(iv) of WIOA, 29 U.S.C. 3332(c)(2)(C)(iv). Section 242 requires the Secretary of Education to establish and carry out a program of national leadership activities to enhance the quality and outcomes of adult education and literacy activities and programs nationwide, and section 242(c)(2)(C)(iv) authorizes national leadership activities that increase the effectiveness, and improve the quality, of adult education and literacy activities, including developing and promoting career pathways for eligible individuals.
(a) To be eligible, an entrant must be:
(1) An eligible provider, as defined in section 203(5) of WIOA, that receives funding, and is providing adult education and literacy services, under AEFLA, Title II of WIOA, at the time of application and for the duration of the 10-month Challenge.
(b) To participate in the Challenge, entrants must:
(1) Register on the Challenge website (see Additional Terms that are part of the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions in this notice);
(2) Enter a submission on the Challenge website according to the Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions in this notice;
(3) Comply with all requirements on the Challenge website and this notice;
(4) Provide affirmation upon submission to the Challenge that the entrant is eligible under paragraph (a) of this section;
(5) Submit a signed letter from the entrant’s relevant State eligible agency for AEFLA, granting the entrant permission to enter the Challenge; and
(6) Agree to:
(i) Assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in the Challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arises through negligence or otherwise;
(ii) Indemnify the Federal government against third-party claims for damages arising from, or related to, Challenge activities, patents, copyrights, and trademark infringements; and
(iii) Comply with and abide by the Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions in this notice, and the decisions of the Department which shall be final and binding in all respects.
The total prize pool for the Challenge is $750,000. Following the judging of Stage 2 submissions, a grand prize winner will be awarded $250,000, and up to five runners-up will receive at least $100,000 each.
Any potential prizes awarded under this Challenge will be paid by electronic funds transfer. Award recipients will be responsible for any applicable local, State, and Federal taxes and reporting that may be required under applicable tax laws.
V. Challenge Eligibility Criteria
(a) To participate in the Challenge, an entrant must submit an eligible entry according to the Eligibility section of this notice.
(b) An entrant must complete the entry requirements outlined in the Submission Information section of this notice.
(c) Challenge participants will be chosen based on the extent to which their submission provides all of the required information in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section and to which it is sufficient for the Department to determine their eligibility and intent to participate in the Challenge.
VI. Award Selection Criteria
Stage 1 Finalist Selection Criteria
Up to a maximum of 25 points may be assigned during the judging of Stage 1 submissions. Independent panelists and/or judges with expertise relevant to the selection criteria may assign each submission 1-5 points in each of the criteria described below.
(1) Local or national need: Extent to which the entrant describes local or national industry demand for more skilled workers in the relevant field.
(2) Industry connection: Extent to which the entrant identifies quality apprenticeship programs and other potential industry partners.
(3) Skill advancement: Extent to which the entrant identifies appropriate adult education and literacy activities needed to help adult learners prepare for apprenticeships or other industry roles with opportunities for progression.
(4) Learner focused: Extent to which the entrant demonstrates an understanding of its prospective adult learners and their specific needs.
(5) Team: Extent to which the entrant demonstrates the necessary skills, experience, and commitment needed to advance its pre-apprenticeship program concept.
Stage 2 Winner Selection Criteria
Up to a maximum of 25 points may be assigned during the judging of Stage 2 submissions. Independent panelists and/or judges with expertise relevant to the selection criteria may assign 1-5 points for each selection criteria described below.
(1) Local or national need: Extent to which the entrant demonstrates local or national industry demand for more skilled workers in the relevant field.
(2) Industry connection: Extent to which the entrant has established partnership commitments to facilitate placements in apprenticeships or other industry roles with opportunities for progression.
(3) Skill advancement: Extent to which the program will deliver adult education and literacy activities that will equip participants with the necessary academic, occupational, and workplace skills and credentials needed to enter apprenticeships or other industry roles with opportunities for progression.
(4) Learner focused: Extent to which the program reflects the interests and needs of the target adult learners, such as through tailored outreach strategies and support services.
(5) Team: Extent to which the entrant demonstrates the necessary skills, resources, and commitment to establish and deliver a high-quality pre-apprenticeship program beyond the challenge.
VII. Submission Information
1. To participate in the Challenge, an entrant must:
(a) Register on the Challenge website.
(b) Enter the required information on the Challenge website submission form.
2. Content and Form of Submission
To submit an entry to the Challenge, an entrant must complete the submission form on the Challenge website.
3. Stage 1 Submission Dates and Times:
Stage 1 officially begins on September 24, 2020 with this announcement of the Challenge and continues until the Stage 1 deadline on November 25, 2020 at 11:59:59 p.m., Washington, DC time.
Submissions must be received during Stage 1 to be eligible. To submit an entry, an entrant must go to the Challenge website and complete all required fields of the submission form before the close of Stage 1. Each entrant must complete all required fields in the Stage 1 submission in accordance with the Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions of this notice. All entrants are required to provide consent to those Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions upon submitting an entry. Once submitted, a Stage 1 submission may not be altered. The Department reserves the right to disqualify any submission that the Department deems inappropriate.
Following Stage 1, up to 100 finalists will be invited to participate in Stage 2. Entrants must designate a primary contact to serve as the team lead.
The Department encourages entrants to submit entries as far in advance of the deadline as possible and suggests not later than one hour before the deadline to ensure the completed submission is received. If an entrant submits an entry after the deadline date because of a technical problem with the Challenge website system, the entrant must immediately contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in this notice, and provide an explanation of the technical problem experienced on the Challenge website system. The Department will accept the entrant’s submission if the Department can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Challenge website system and that the technical problem affected the entrant’s ability to submit an entry by 11:59:59 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the entry deadline date. The Department will contact the entrant after a determination is made on whether the entry will be accepted.
Note: These extensions apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Challenge website system. The Department will not grant an entrant an extension if the entrant failed to submit an entry in the system by the submission deadline date and time, or if the technical problem experienced is unrelated to the Challenge website system.
Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the submission process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the submission process, the entry remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
VIII. Submission Review Information
Stage 1 Review and Selection Process
The Department, with the assistance and support of Luminary Labs, will review Stage 1 submissions to ensure that entrants meet the requirements described in the Eligibility and Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions sections of this notice.
An independent review panel with expertise relevant to the criteria described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice will then conduct a review of the Preliminary Designs. The size of the review panel will be based on the quantity of Preliminary Designs received. The panel will assign scores to each Preliminary Design according to the criteria described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice. Based on this, the review panel will recommend up to 100 finalists to be selected to progress to Stage 2.
Stage 2 Review and Selection Process
Finalists may choose to refine their Preliminary Designs during Stage 2 and prepare a Program Proposal for submission.
The Department, with the assistance and support of Luminary Labs, will review all Program Proposals submitted in Stage 2 to ensure that entrants meet the requirements described in the Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions section of this notice.
Should the volume of Program Proposals received in Stage 2 exceed the capacity of the independent judges to conduct a thorough evaluation of the Program Proposals, an independent review panel with expertise relevant to the criteria described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice will conduct a preliminary review of the submissions. In conducting the preliminary review, the independent review panel will assign scores to each Program Proposal received in Stage 2 according to the criteria described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice. During the preliminary review each criterion may be assigned 1-5 points for a maximum total of up to 25 points.
The size of the independent review panel will be based on the number of entrants in Stage 2 and the quantity of submissions received. Each member of the independent review panel will score a maximum of 25 submissions, and all submissions will receive scores from three different independent review panelists.
The submissions with the highest scores assigned by the independent review panel will then be scored by independent judges, based on the quality of each entry, according to the criteria described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice. At least 20, but no more than 30, of the highest-scoring submissions will advance for scoring by the independent judges. Judges may assign 1-5 points for each criterion for a total of up to 25 points.
From the pool of submissions received in Stage 2, judges will recommend one finalist be selected as the grand prize winner, and up to five finalists to be selected as runners-up. The Department will review the recommendations of the judges and make final selection decisions as described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice.
By participating in the Challenge, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that such recommendations of the judges based on the criteria may differ and agrees to be bound by, and not to challenge, the final decisions of the Department.
IX. Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions
General Terms and Conditions
The Department reserves the right to suspend, postpone, cease, terminate, or otherwise modify this Challenge or any entrant’s participation in the Challenge, at any time at the Department’s sole discretion.
All entry information submitted on the Challenge website and all materials, including any copy of the submission, become property of the Department and will not be acknowledged or returned by Luminary Labs or the Department. Proof of submission is not considered proof of delivery or receipt of such entry. Furthermore, the Department and Luminary Labs shall have no liability for any submission that is lost, intercepted, or not received by the Department and/or Luminary Labs. The Department and Luminary Labs assume no liability or responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to, or alteration of, submissions.
Representations and Warranties/Indemnification
By participating in the Challenge, each entrant represents, warrants, and covenants as follows:
(a) The entrants are the sole authors, creators, and owners of the submission;
(b) The entrant’s submission—
(i) Is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim;
(ii) Does not, and will not, violate or infringe upon the privacy rights, publicity rights, or other legal rights of any third party;
(iii) Does not contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as “malware,” “viruses,” or “worms”); and
(c) The submission, and entrants’ implementation of the submission, does not, and will not, violate any applicable laws or regulations of the United States.
Entrants will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Department and Luminary Labs from and against all third party claims, actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to, or arising from, entrant’s submission or any breach or alleged breach of any of the representations, warranties, and covenants of entrant hereunder.
The Department reserves the right to disqualify any submission that the Department, in its discretion, deems to violate these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions in this notice.
Each entrant retains title to, and full ownership of, their submission. The entrant expressly reserves all legal rights not expressly granted under this agreement. By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby irrevocably grants a license to the Department and Luminary Labs to store and access submissions in perpetuity that may be reproduced, published, or distributed in the future.
By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby irrevocably grants to the Department and Luminary Labs the right to use such entrant’s name, likeness, image, and biographical information in any and all media for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Challenge in perpetuity and otherwise as stated in the Submission License section of this notice.
The Department reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Challenge, Challenge website, or other Challenge-related websites; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions; to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Challenge; or to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person; and, the Department reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Links to Third-Party Webpages
The Challenge website may contain links to third-party webpages that are not owned or controlled by Luminary Labs or the Department. Luminary Labs and the Department do not endorse or assume any responsibility for any such third-party sites. If an entrant accesses a third-party webpage from the Challenge website, the entrant does so at the entrant’s own risk and expressly relieves Luminary Labs and/or the Department from any and all liability arising from use of any third-party webpage content.
The Challenge website contains information and resources from public and private organizations that may be useful to the reader. Inclusion of this information does not constitute an endorsement by the Department or Luminary Labs of any products or services offered or views expressed. Blog articles provide insights on the activities of adult education providers, programs, grantees, and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. Blog articles do not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum, or pedagogy.
The Challenge website also contains hyperlinks and URLs created and maintained by outside organizations, which are provided for the reader’s convenience. The Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.
Notice to Challenge Entrants and Award Recipients
Attempts to notify entrants and award recipients will be made using the email address associated with the entrants’ submission. The Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for email or other communication problems of any kind.
If, despite reasonable efforts, an entrant does not respond within three days of the first notification attempt regarding selection as an award recipient (or a shorter time as exigencies may require) or if the notification is returned as undeliverable to such entrant, that entrant may forfeit the entrant’s award and associated prizes, and an alternate award recipient may be selected.
If any potential award recipient is found to be ineligible, has not complied with these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions, or declines the applicable prize for any reason prior to award, such potential award recipient will be disqualified. An alternate award recipient may be selected, or the applicable award may go unawarded.
The Department reserves the right to modify any dates or deadlines set forth in these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions or otherwise governing the Challenge.
The Department reserves the right to suspend, postpone, cease, terminate, or otherwise modify this Challenge, or any entrant’s participation in the Challenge, at any time at the Department’s discretion.
General Liability Release
By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby agrees that —
(a) The Department and Luminary Labs shall not be responsible or liable for any losses, damages, or injuries of any kind (including death) resulting from participation in the Challenge or any Challenge-related activity, or from entrants’ acceptance, receipt, possession, use, or misuse of any prize; and
(b) The entrant will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Department and Luminary Labs from and against all third-party claims, actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to, or arising from, the entrant’s participation in the Challenge.
Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for incomplete, illegible, misdirected, misprinted, late, lost, postage-due, damaged, or stolen entries or prize notifications; or for lost, interrupted, inaccessible, or unavailable networks, servers, satellites, Internet Service Providers, websites, or other connections; or for miscommunications, failed, jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected computer, telephone, cable transmissions or other communications; or for any technical malfunctions, failures, difficulties, or other errors of any kind or nature; or for the incorrect or inaccurate capture of information, or the failure to capture any information.
These Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions cannot be modified except by the Department in its sole and absolute discretion. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions shall otherwise remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein.
The failure of the Department to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.
All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with U.S. Federal law as applied in the Federal courts of the District of Columbia if a complaint is filed by any party against the Department, and the laws of the State of New York as applied in the New York state courts in New York City if a complaint is filed by any party against Luminary Labs.
Additional Terms That Are Part of the Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions
Please review the Luminary LightboxTM Terms of Service at www.LuminaryLightbox.com/terms for additional rules that apply to participation in the Challenge and more generally to use of the Challenge website. Such Terms of Service are incorporated by reference into these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions. If there is a conflict between the Terms of Service and these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions, the latter terms shall control with respect to this Challenge only.
Participation in the Challenge constitutes an entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions. By entering, an entrant agrees that all decisions related to the Challenge that are made pursuant to these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions are final and binding, and that all such decisions are at the sole discretion of the Department and/or Luminary Labs.
List of Finalists or Winners/Official Rules/Contact
To obtain a list of finalists or winners (after the conclusion of the Challenge) or a copy of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions, send a self-addressed envelope with the proper postage affixed to: Luminary Labs, 61 Broadway Suite 2800. New York, NY 10006. Please specify “Awards List” or “Official Rules” and the name of the specific Challenge in this request.
Please contact the person listed in the For Further Information Contact section of this notice, should you have any comments or questions about these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions.
X. Other Information
Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the submission package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under For Further Information Contact in this notice. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published on www.rethinkadulted.com/rules-terms-conditions.