THE WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
This Weeks Spotlight: HBCU Contributions to Defeat COVID-19
West Virginia State University Professor Making Face Masks to Assist in Coronavirus Response
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – A West Virginia State University (WVSU) art professor is producing face masks using 3-D printer technology to assist those working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Josh Martin, chair of WVSU’s art department, is using the University’s 3-D printers in the creation of the masks, which are being sent to the West Virginia National Guard for completion and distribution to areas of need.
The process is time-consuming but fairly straight-forward, Martin said, noting that each mask takes several hours to complete.
“A digital file of the object to be fabricated is sent to the printer, and the printer extrudes layer after layer of plastic, eventually creating a physical representation of the digital object,” Martin said. “Then I do some clean-up, such as sanding, and stack them.”
As of Wednesday, Martin had completed 20 mask shells. They will be picked up by members of the West Virginia National Guard, who add padding, a filter and straps to make the masks functional.
Martin’s contribution is one part of a larger effort across the state to create proper face masks to be used by those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, and he is grateful for the opportunity to contribute.
“The design is constantly being improved by quite a large community of makers involved in this project across the state and country,” he said. “It is a good example of using the internet the right way in a crisis, and it’s quite rewarding to be able to make some sort of difference, small as it might be.”
WVSU moved to an alternative delivery method for academic courses for the remainder of the spring semester last month, as well as canceling internal and external campus events. For more information about the University’s COVID-19 response, visit wvstateu.edu/coronavirus.
More HBCU Contributions
Getting to Know Your Agency Liaisons!
The White House Initiative on HBCUs wants to get federal agency stories! Each month we will be featuring responses from our federal agency partners in our newsletter.
Meet Harvey Johnson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Resolution Management, Diversity and Inclusion. Johnson full biography
How long have you been working in the HBCU space? I have been working to sustain the health and vitality of HBCUs since graduating from Morgan State University in 1988. I’ve been on the HBCU White initiative since 2017.
What is/are your favorite part(s) about working with the Initiative and/or HBCUs? That’s just it, it’s not work, when you do something you love. I love leveraging the VA and its experience with healthcare, benefits and resources as a large government agency to provide a wide range of services in support of our HBCUs to address the wide range of challenges our institutions face.
o you have a personal connection to an HBCU? I am a proud graduate of Morgan State University where I also received my commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. It’s an amazing feeling to visit any of the HBCUs, but especially to visit my alma mater, and meet with the dean’s, professors, staff and students. It’s in that moment right after the greeting, just as the meeting is about to commence, and you realize you are at the table, here to make a difference at the very school where your career began. It’s absolutely exhilarating, a “wow” moment. I will never forget the 2019 HBCUs Summit, it was one of the best ones ever. I was very proud of the turnout from students, staff, fellow government colleagues and our special visitor: President Trump and the gracious remarks he provided. The entire event left a warm place in my heart re garding the future of HBCUs.
Within your agency are there any policies or programs of note that you’d like the HBCU community to learn about? We are very proud of our VA National Federal Women’s Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the VA’s Federal Women’s Program, please visit the Office of Resolution Management, Diversity and Inclusion Web site at: www.diversity.va.gov/programs/women.aspx.
Are there any upcoming HBCU related events that you are looking forward to this year? We want to ensure students of HBCUs continue to see the Department of Veterans Affairs as an employer of choice. We have a diverse population and we want to continue that through our many programs. One such program is the VA Travel Nurse Corps Program (TNC). We recruit Registered Nurses, who are flexible and mobile to take an assignment at any of our VA medical centers in the U.S. as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These positions are temporary, intermittent, and the minimum assignment is 13 weeks. You are required to accept at least two assignments each year (three if enrolling in health benefits). The TNC is a VA operated internal pool of Registered Nurses available for temporary short-term assignments at VA Medical Centers throughou t the country. The TNC seeks to enhance patient access, quality of care and satisfaction by optimizing the national availability of a highly trained cadre of mobile registered nurses. The goals of the program are to maintain high standards of patient care quality and safety; reduce the use of outside supplemental staffing, improve recruitment of new nurses into the VA system; improve retention by decreasing turnover of newly recruited nurses, support the delivery of VA health care in rural or underserved areas, provide alternatives for experienced nurses considering leaving the VA system; and to establish a potential pool of Registered Nurses for national emergency preparedness efforts. For more information contact VALocum.Program@va.gov or www.va.gov/nursing.
What is the best way to get in touch with your office to learn more about your work with HBCUs? Please visit our websites, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Resolution Management, or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. You can view VA Efforts to Advance HBCUs You can also contact us at:Harvey.email@example.com; or Annemarie.firstname.lastname@example.org or Tynnetta.email@example.com.
Thank you for Harvey for all the work you do for HBCUs!
The White House Internship Program
Fall 2020 Applications Available
The Fall 2020 White House Internship Program application is now open (Link to application: https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/internships/apply/).
The application portal will remain open until 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, April 24, 2020. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
The Fall 2020 White House Internship Program term runs from Wednesday, September 16 to Friday, December 11, 2020. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the internship program start date and must be able to commit to the full internship term to be eligible.
Additionally, applicants must be United States citizens and meet at least one of the following criteria to apply:
- Are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution) and have completed two semesters prior to the internship start date.
- Have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution) no more than two years before the internship program start date.
- Are a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty—for any length of time—in the two years preceding the internship program start date.
The White House Internship Program is highly competitive. Applicants are selected based on their demonstrated commitment to public service, leadership in the community, and commitment to the Trump Administration. Questions about the White House Internship Program application can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information, including details about placements in the White House Internship Program and a list of frequently asked questions, can be found on the White House website: https://www.whitehouse.gov/participate/internships.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
FREE WEBINARS HOSTED BY THE U.S. OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
If you or someone you know is interested in working for the federal government, then the following webinars will be of interest. All sessions are free. However, they are limited to 1,500 participants each. All times are Eastern.
Writing Your Federal Resume
Interested in a Federal Government job and learning from the experts? The staff of the Recruitment Policy and Outreach (RPO) division at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will present an in-depth webinar that provides attendees with the tips and tools needed to write a competitive Federal resume.
April 14, 2020, 3:00 p.m. REGISTER
April 29, 2020, 1:30 p.m. REGISTER
May 12, 2020. 11:00 a.m. REGISTER
May 27, 2020, 1:30 p.m. REGISTER
Navigating USAJOBS – Finding and Applying for Federal Jobs
Join the staff of the Recruitment Policy and Outreach (RPO) division of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), for an in-depth webinar that provides a step-by-step process for navigating USAJOBS. We cover job searching, creating your account/profile, reviewing Job Opportunity Announcements, applying, and application status.
April 21, 2020, 1:30 p.m. REGISTER
May 5, 2020, 11:00 a.m. REGISTER
Join the staff of the Recruitment Policy and Outreach (RPO) division of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), for an in-depth webinar on the Federal Government interview process. It explains the types of interviews, delivery methods, common questions, responding using the S.T.A.R. (Situation/Task, Action, Result) method and preparing for an interview.
April 29, 2020, 2:00 p.m. REGISTER
May 14, 2020, 11:00 a.m. REGISTER
May 26, 2020, 1:00 p.m. REGISTER
National and Federal Opportunities
Is your Historically Black College or University interested in federal Information Technology (IT) contracts?
If so, join the NIH Small Business Program Office for a webinar featuring NITAAC on April 16, 2020, from 1PM-2:30PM EST.
NITAAC is the NIH Information Technology Acquisition & Assessment Center that administers three “Best in Class” Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) for information technology (IT) services, solutions, and commodities. Vendors that are successfully “on-ramped” to NITAAC can compete for IT contracts across the federal government.
Bring your Office of Research/Sponsored Program Staff and a small business teaming partner, this is an opportunity you do NOT want to miss!
U.S. Department of Treasury
The IRS will soon be issuing Economic Impact Payments to every eligible American.More information is being added to IRS.gov/coronavirus. Please follow the IRS Social Media accounts to receive the latest information.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Pre-Webinar Conference Call
The purpose of the conference call is to allow HBCUs representatives an opportunity to ask questions regarding the VITA Grant Program. The conference call will also be helpful as it prepares them to participate on the VITA Grant Application Process Webinar to be held in May.
The conference call will be held Tuesday, April 28th, 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST. The numbers are:
Access Code: 6406620
In preparation of the call, please note:
- An overview of the VITA Grant Program can be found in Publication 4671 VITA Grant Program Overview and Application Instructions
- There isn’t a minimum nor maximum grant amount awarded.
- Grant recipients must match awards. This is done monetary or via in-kind services.
- If applicable, recipients must have filed all required IRS forms and paid in full any taxes that are due.
- Applications process opens May 1, 2020 – May 29, 2020.
- Grants will be awarded October 1.
U.S. Department of Energy
DOE Women Leading Sustainable Energy Collaborations Webinar April 16, 2020
Women across various offices at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lead the agency in addressing America’s energy challenges. To highlight past, current, and future examples, an April 16, 2020 webinar from 1 p.m.–2 p.m. EDT will feature DOE leaders from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: Valerie Reed, deputy director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office, Valri Lightner, deputy director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office, and Alison Hewett, a senior research analyst in the Water Power Technologies Office.
These women have a combined 60 years of experience, representing a positive force that is changing the framework of research, development, and adoption of energy-related technologies and practices to drive U.S. economic competitiveness and energy productivity. They focus on improving energy performance, lowering costs, and accelerating market entry for new technologies through collaborations with industry, academia, and government.
During the webinar, these accomplished women will discuss:
- Career paths and career decision-making processes
- How the professional landscape has changed for women
- Individual DOE office priorities and successes in collaborating on joint initiatives, including the Plastics Innovation Challenge
- How their work is making a difference for the United States and future generations.
National Endowment for the Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants exist to strengthen the institutional base of the humanities by enabling infrastructure development and capacity building. Funding may go toward capital projects or digital infrastructure. The maximum award amount is $750,000 and, for HBCUs, requires a 1:1 match from non-federal, third -party source(s).
Grant Deadline: May 15
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Preservation and Access Education and Training program supports the development of knowledge and skills among professionals responsible for preserving and establishing access to humanities collections. Preservation and Access Education and Training awards are made to organizations that offer national, regional, or statewide education and training programs. T he maximum award amount is $350,000.
Grant Deadline: June 11
U.S. Department of Labor
The Department announced the availability of $42.5 million in Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grants to support the enrollment of youth (16-24 years, in-and-out of school) apprentices into new or existing Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs). The Department intends to fund approximately 15 to 25 youth apprenticeship readiness grants, with awards ranging from $1 million to $5 million. The amount of grant funding an applicant can receive will depend on the proposed number of youth enrolled in RAPs. Allowable activities under this grant include establishing or expanding existing RAPs for youth, pre-apprenticeship leading to a RAP, and wrap-around/supportive services that enable youth to participate and succeed in a pre-apprenticeship leading to a RAP or a RAP. Funds cannot be used to support IRAPs.
As a critical step toward advancing high-quality RAPs in the United States, these funds will be awarded to the lead of a youth apprenticeship partnership that seeks to partner with business and industry to develop new RAPs or expand existing RAPs. Through this grant program, partnerships will directly engage educational entities, including traditional, alternative, and non-traditional schools, as well as programs that serve out-of-school youth, school boards, workforce boards, employers, workforce partners, and other apprenticeship intermediaries, to develop comprehensive approaches to establishing new apprenticeship models for youth or expanding existing apprenticeship programs for youth.
For additional information on this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), please see below:
- DOL press release: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20200406
- FOA posting: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=325965. Will also be posted on DOL’s grants page soon: https://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm
- FOA close date – May 6, 2020 @ 4PM ET
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
U.S. Department of Defense
Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during the COVID-19 Pandemic
This award will be presented to a single investigator or team of up to two investigators that develops a “transformative idea” to resolve challenges, advance frontiers, and set new paradigms in areas of immense potential benefit to DoD and the nation at large.
For more information, please view the funding announcement here: BRO-20-NEWTON.pdf
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is please to announce four different funding opportunities available to a variety of partners, including state governments, land owners, nonprofits, educators and researchers, to develop and implement programs to conserve or recover at-risk, threatened, and endangered species. See each opportunity below.
Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund: Traditional Conservation Grants
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to announce the availability of funding to help State, Commonwealth, and Territories (hereafter states) develop and implement programs to conserve and recover threated and endangered species under the Service’s jurisdiction. Financial assistance, provided in the form of grants, can be used to support projects that have direct conservation benefits for federally listed species, candidate and at-risk species, and recently delisted species.
Candidate Conservation Action Funds
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to announce the availability of funding on a competitive basis to states, landowners, educators, non-profit organizations, researchers and other potential partners to secure information about candidate and other at-risk species to avert listing of species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, and to help conserve the ecosystems upon which these species depend.
RECOVERY CHALLENGE FUNDS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to announce the Recovery Challenge funding opportunity to enhance and increase partnerships with agencies and organizations implementing highest priority recovery actions for federally listed endangered and threatened species, and in particular for genetically-sound breeding, rearing and reintroduction programs.
RECOVERY IMPLEMENTATION FUNDS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to announce the availability of financial assistance on a competitive basis to States, other Federal agencies, landowners, educators, non-profit organizations, researchers, and other partners for projects that will contribute to the recovery of FWS-managed endangered and threatened species in the United States, and is limited to projects carrying out actions described in a species’ approved recovery document.