R1. Organization and Staffing
a. Center operators and Outreach and Admissions/Career Transition Services (OA/CTS) contractors must:
1. Develop and submit a staffing plan (organizational chart) to the Regional Office for approval within 90 days of contract award.
2. Submit current job position descriptions for Regional Office approval within 90 days of contract award.
b. Federal agency operators must develop and submit a staffing plan (organizational chart) to the Office of Job Corps and Regional Offices annually.
R2. Staffing Ratios
Center Operators must comply with the following staffing requirements:
a. The student-to-teacher ratio for academic instructional activities is 18:1. Career Technical Training (CTT) programs will remain unchanged and in accordance with revised Exhibit 5-5. Student-to-teacher ratios may not be changed except through the written approval of the Office of Job Corps. For purposes of defining CTT training slots, one full-time CTT student is equivalent to two CTT training slots. Therefore, a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio is equivalent to a 30:1 slot-to-teacher ratio.
b. Student-to-staff ratios for National Training Contract (NTC) programs must be in accordance with contract provisions.
d. All other staffing levels must be based on center configuration and must be approved by the Regional Office.
R3. Health Services Staffing
b. For contract centers, employ or subcontract with medical, dental, Trainee Employee Assistance Program (TEAP), and mental health professionals who are subject to the prior approval of the Regional Office, in consultation with the Regional Health Specialists.
c. For USDA Forest Service Civilian Conservation Centers (CCCs), employ or subcontract with medical, dental, TEAP, and mental health professionals that are subject to the prior approval of the National Office, in consultation with the Regional Health Specialists.
d. Ensure that a health professional cannot serve as a consultant to, or an employee of, two or more Job Corps-related entities concurrently, when one entity has review and/or oversight responsibilities over the other(s). (Entities include Job Corps centers, health support contractors, and center operators.)
R4. Personnel Policies
Center Operators and OA/CTS contractors must:
a. Develop and implement personnel management policies to include hiring, supervision, evaluation, conduct, and disciplinary procedures.
b. Define standards for acceptable and unacceptable behavior between students and staff that protect individuals from exploitative, coercive, and traumatic experiences. Ensure that center rules for acceptable and unacceptable behavior are communicated equally, understood, and applied to all staff members. These rules, which should be included in the Employee Handbook, must provide a clear explanation and rationale for appropriate and inappropriate behavior, and clearly state the consequences for unacceptable staff behavior. Staff should know the legal consequences of unacceptable behavior, if applicable.
c. Establish labor management relations in accordance with agency guidelines for federally operated centers and in accordance with the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act for contractors. The U.S. Department of Labor will not undertake conciliation, mediation, or arbitration of organizations, nor will Job Corps pay legal or other fees generated by such disputes as direct costs against contracts.
d. Develop and implement volunteer management policies to include volunteer screening, training, and supervision. At a minimum, plans should include background checks for all volunteers in accordance with state laws, and plans to ensure volunteers are covered by the contractor’s liability insurance while they are performing their assigned tasks.
R5. Staff Qualifications
b. Center and OA/CTS contractors must request written approval or waivers from the Regional Director for the following:
1. Hiring staff who do not meet minimum qualifications as specified in the approved position descriptions, in which case, a professional development plan must be submitted and updated annually
2. Hiring relatives of current staff
3. The appointment, continued assignment, or change in employment status of the Center Director, Project Director, or senior staff. This also includes all supervisory personnel who report directly to the Center Director.
c. Regional Offices will not grant a waiver if it would negatively impact the center’s eligibility for accreditation or its ability to produce high school graduates.
d. Federal agency operators must advise the Regional Office of changes in employment status of Center Directors and senior staff.
e. Centers must request a waiver from the National Office prior to filling the following health and wellness positions if the minimum requirements set forth in Exhibit 5-3 are not met:
1. Trainee Employee Assistance Program (TEAP) Specialist: A one-time, one-year waiver for the TEAP Specialist must include a professional development plan identifying the steps necessary to meet the minimum requirements within one year of employment. A copy of the license or certification must be shared with the National Office once obtained. If the license or certification is not achieved within one year, the waiver is terminated, and the staff member can no longer be employed as the TEAP Specialist.
2. Center Mental Health Consultant (CMHC): A one-time waiver may be issued for CMHCs with a master’s degree or higher in behavioral health, and a license to practice independently in the state. This one-time waiver will only be considered if there is unsuccessful recruitment for a clinical/counseling psychologist or clinical social worker. Those approved for the one-time waivers will not be required to have a professional development plan.
Providers must meet all requirements for license renewal to maintain an active license as set forth by their state boards. The one-time waiver for the CMHC covers the hiring period and is automatically renewed on an annual basis.
f. Centers must request a waiver from the National Office prior to hiring the following health and wellness positions if the minimum coverage requirements set forth in Exhibit 5-6 are not met:
1. Nurse Practitioner (NP): A one-time waiver for the NP may be requested if an NP assumes more coverage than 2 hours/100 students/week with supervision. The supervising physician will be the center’s Medical Director. This supervision arrangement must be clearly defined as part of the NP contract and in the collaborative agreement.
An annual waiver for the NP may be requested in independent practice states, where an NP with an active Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registration could serve as Medical Director.
2. Physician Assistant (PA): A one-time waiver for the PA may be requested if a PA assumes more coverage than 2 hours/100 students/week. Supervision is always required, and the supervising physician will be the center’s Medical Director. This supervision arrangement must be clearly defined as part of the PA contract and in the collaborative agreement.
g. Regional Health Specialists will review all health and wellness staff waivers prior to National Office approval/denial of the request.
R6. Background Checks and Credential Verification for Employees of Job Corps Contractors
Center Operators and other Job Corps contractors, which include all subcontractors of a Job Corps contractor (collectively referred to below as “Job Corps Contractors”), must conduct a nationwide (to include all United States territories) criminal background check on all employees and all applicants for employment prior to making an offer of employment. Each background check and any employment decision based upon them must conform to the requirements set out below. Further, Job Corps Contractors must verify that all applicants receiving an employment offer and all employees have obtained all licenses, certifications, or other credentials required, and that the individual is in good standing with the licensing body for their profession.
a. All criminal background checks must be conducted by a third-party background checking company in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and result in a written report from the third-party company.
b. All criminal background checks must include a review of the history of all state (including United States territories) and Federal criminal convictions.
1. Decisions on the employability of applicants and continued employment of employees must only be made on records of convictions, not arrest records or indictments.
2. Consideration must be given to any conviction or release from incarceration during the 7 years prior to the date of the applicant’s application for employment or the initial employment date of an employee, except for convictions referenced in subparagraph c.1. below.
c. Disqualifying convictions
1. If an employee or applicant for employment has been convicted or adjudicated responsible as a juvenile of any of the crimes listed below, regardless of when the conviction or adjudication occurred, that employee or applicant cannot be employed by a Job Corps Contractor:
(b) Child Abuse; and
(c) Rape or Sexual Assault.
2. Health-and-wellness staff, or any other employee with access to prescription medications, cannot be employed by a Job Corps Contractor if they have been convicted of the following crimes:
(a) Fraud, theft, larceny, and similar crimes involving deception; and
(b) Drug-related offenses.
d. If an employee or applicant for employment has been convicted or released from incarceration for a crime not identified in c.1., the Job Corps Contractor must determine the relevance of the record of conviction or release from incarceration to the duties of the position of the employee or position for which the applicant is applying. In making an employment decision, the Job Corps Contractor must use an individualized assessment for each applicant and employee.
1. Individualized assessment means that the Job Corps Contractor must:
(a) Inform the individual that he/she may be excluded because of past criminal conduct;
(b) Provide an opportunity to the individual to present additional information regarding the criminal conduct and demonstrate that the exclusion does not properly apply to them; and
(c) Consider whether the additional information provided by the individual shows that the policy as applied is not job-related and consistent with business necessity.
2. In doing an individualized assessment for an employee or applicant with criminal convictions, the Job Corps Contractor must consider the following:
(a) Whether the conviction was a felony or a misdemeanor;
(b) The nature of the conviction(s) and the facts underlying it, and whether they involve serious or repeated violence;
(c) The amount and frequency of contact the employee has, or the applicant will have with students;
(d) The age of the employee or applicant at the time of the conviction;
(e) Whether the employee or applicant has a history of multiple convictions that suggests a pattern of criminal behavior or bad judgment;
(f) The length of time between the conviction and/or completion of any sentence and the employee’s initial employment date or applicant’s application to work at the center; and
(g) Any evidence of rehabilitation in the time period since the conviction.
e. When asking questions about criminal records, inquiries must be consistent with business necessity.
1. Questions must be limited to records for which exclusion or potential exclusion would be job related for the position in question.
2. Information about applicants’ and employees’ criminal records must be kept confidential and used only for the purpose for which it was intended.
f. For each employee or applicant hired, the Job Corps Contractor must document:
1. That he/she conducted a background check according to the requirements above;
2. What, if any information from the background check, factored into the Job Corps Contractor’s employment decision; and
3. Details of the individualized assessment the Job Corps Contractor undertook in accordance with the above before making an employment decision based on the information from the background check.
g. Job Corps Contractors must conduct a new background check for each employee every 3 years. The documentation requirements in f. above apply.
h. Job Corps Contractors also must verify that all employees and applicants for employment or other individuals providing services under an agreement or contract have obtained all licenses, certifications, or other credentials required under state and Federal law, and that the individual is in good standing with the licensing body or regulatory authority for his/her profession. Job Corps Contractors must verify this information every 3 years.
i. Requests for exceptions for the hiring or continuation of employment restrictions imposed by this policy must be made in writing to the National Director. The National Director may waive the requirements in this policy for an employee or applicant for employment based on compelling evidence that such an exception is in the best interest of Job Corps, and Job Corps students and staff.
j. Job Corps Contractors may continue to use existing criminal background check procedures, provided those procedures are stricter than and do not conflict with the procedures outlined in the policy above. If a Job Corps Contractor’s existing policy is less stringent or inconsistent with the policy outlined above, the Job Corps Contractor must modify the policy so that it is in line with the requirements outlined above.
R7. Staff Coverage
Center operators must provide coverage for staff absences for those positions that have direct staff/student interaction. Use of students or volunteers for this purpose is prohibited. All substitutes must be trained in safety procedures.
R8. Staff Performance Appraisal
Center operators and OA/CTS contractors must develop a staff performance appraisal system that allows for documentation of staff competence, to include:
c. Staff’s modeling, mentoring, and monitoring each of the eight Career Success Standards (CSS)
d. Support of students’ career development goals, the zero-tolerance (ZT) policy, and student placement efforts
R9. Staff Training Documentation
Centers and OA/CTS contractors must maintain up-to-date records of training completed by each employee.
R10. Center Occupational Safety and Health Orientation and Training
In accordance with 29 CFR 1960.58 centers must provide the appropriate safety and occupational health training to students and staff including specialized training appropriate to the training or work tasks performed. Center safety and health orientation and training must be included in the following:
c. Ongoing Staff Training
The center must provide required occupational safety and health training included as part of the center’s annual training plan. Each plan must include anticipated occupational safety and health training needs, such as the anticipated number of staff members to be trained, where and when the training is to be performed, and the estimated cost (see Exhibit 5-4).
d. Training Standards and Documentation
Safety training must be conducted in accordance with current Occupational Safety and Health Aministration (OSHA) standards 29 CFR 1904, 1910, 1926, and 1960 and DOL guidance provided by the National Office of Job Corps. Center Safety Officers must have and maintain these references and regulations on hand at all times. Further, all completed training must be properly documented and maintained on center in the individual’s personnel or continuing education file for up to three years, and one year beyond employment. Training records must be available upon request.
e. Minimum Training Requirements for Center Safety Officers
1. Center Human Resources Manager must implement a professional development program (signed by the Center Director) for the Safety Officer that must include but is not limited to the courses listed in Exhibit 5-4.
2. Center Safety Officer must complete the Occupational Safety and Health for Other Federal Agencies course with expanded segment on accident/incident investigation training (OSHA 600) within the first 180 days of initial assignment.
3. Center Safety Officer must complete Asbestos Identification and Handling course, if applicable, within 90 days of initial assignment.
4. Center Safety Officer must complete Lead Based Paint Identification and Handling course, if applicable, within 90 days of initial assignment.
5. The center operator and Center Director must ensure that the Safety Officer receives training in the remaining safety-related courses referenced in Exhibit 5-4 within 18–24 months of appointment.
6. In accordance with Chapter 5, Section 5.1, R12, annual advanced or refresher training must be provided to the center Safety Officer after basic required courses are completed.
7. In accordance with Department of Labor Manual Series (DLMS) 4, Chapter 800, Paragraph 822, the Center Director must ensure that a written professional development plan is developed and implemented for the center Safety Officer. Further, all completed courses must be properly documented and maintained on center in the individual’s personnel or professional development file for the duration of employment, and one year beyond employment. Training records must be available upon request.
R11. Disability-Related Staff Training
Additional guidance and tools for meeting all Disability Program requirements are available on the Job Corps Disability website.