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Round 3 Blog Post (2016)

Federal agencies have released a third call for bold proposals to improve education, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth.

While our nation has seen progress over the last few years, there still remain over five million 14-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. who are out of school and not working. In many cases, these youth face additional challenges including being low-income, homeless, in foster care, or involved in the justice system. In response, seven federal agencies, are, for the third time, jointly inviting state, local, and tribal communities to apply to become a Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) to test innovative, outcome-focused strategies to achieving better outcomes for these youth, as well as youth at risk of becoming disconnected from critical social institutions and supports.

The P3 initiative allows pilots to receive customized flexibility from the participating agencies—including the Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, Justice, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and now also the Department of Housing and Urban Development—to overcome barriers and align program and reporting requirements across programs. This flexibility enables communities to pursue the most innovative and effective ways to use their existing funds that they already receive from the federal government to improve outcomes for the neediest youth.

This third round of pilots will build on innovative work underway by existing pilots. In October 2015, the Department of Education announced the first round of nine pilots on behalf of all the participating agencies. From supporting young moms and their young children with a two-generation approach to helping foster care youth transition successfully from high school to college and career, these pilots will serve a total of roughly 10,000 disconnected youth from urban, rural, and tribal communities around the country. Applications for the second round of pilots closed on June 27, 2016, and agencies expect to designate pilots by the end of the year.

Early pilots are seeing the value of the P3 model. “It takes more than a single agency or funding source to help young people in tough situations get back on track," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "The Performance Partnership Pilot gives L.A. the flexibility to break down boundaries and test new ideas for putting kids on a path to success."

This third round of pilots again offers up to 10 state, local or tribal communities the opportunity to propose bold new ideas for how they would use P3 flexibility to transform the way they deliver services and improve outcomes for their disconnected youth. Additionally, this round will newly permit communities to use their Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Grants Program funds, funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the pilots.

Stakeholders on the front lines of service delivery have let us know that flexibility, such as better aligning the multiple systems that serve youth, is sometimes needed to achieve powerful outcomes. P3 responds directly to on-the-ground challenges by offering broad new flexibility in exchange for better outcomes. While this competition offers small start-up grants that can fund administrative expenses, data collection, evaluation or other activities that support effective implementation of a pilot, P3 primarily focuses on creating flexibility. Partner organizations already working together on the ground can propose true seamless service delivery systems that maximize outcomes for disconnected youth by seeking waivers across multiple funding streams that they already receive.

This round of P3 includes several priorities to test this authority in diverse environments across America and support broader learning in the field. For example, acknowledging the diverse needs of communities, the competition allows separate categories of consideration for applicants that propose to serve disconnected youth in rural communities, in tribal communities, or in communities that recently have experienced civil unrest. In addition, applicants can earn bonus points in the selection process by proposing to rigorously evaluate at least one component of their pilot, proposing to implement work-based learning opportunities, or proposing projects that would specifically serve youth who are neither employed nor in school.

To hear representatives from Federal agencies present the details of the recently released Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) on P3, including application requirements and selection criteria, please register and join us for the P3 Bidders Conference on August 25, 2016, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. EDT.