Capitol Correspondence - 10.07.19

ACL Announces Business Competition for Inclusive Talent Pipeline

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We are sharing this announcement by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) because people with disabilities are employed at lower rates than their peers without disabilities. Our members who offer employment supports might be interested in flagging this announcement to their corporate partners.

While the announcement explains in greater detail how the competition work, its goals, and how the process is different from grants, below are the timeline, eligibility rules and prizes involved.


  • “Phase 1, beginning in Fall of 2019, seeks proposals from competitors who aim to innovate and tailor the pipeline models to include individuals with IDD.
  • Phase 2, beginning in Spring of 2020, participants will be asked to conduct small scale feasibility testing on the selected workforce pipeline models.  Teams will convene in Washington, D.C. to propose their ideas to a panel of judges who will help select winners.  Judges will have expertise in increasing access into the labor force for people with disabilities.
  • Phase 3, beginning in Summer 2020, will examine the long-term sustainability and the Grand Prize winner will be announced in October of 2020.”

Eligibility rules:

“To be eligible to win a prize under this challenge, an individual or entity—

(1) Shall have registered to participate in the competition under the rules promulgated by the Administration for Community Living;

(2) Shall have complied with all the requirements under this section;

(3) In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;

(4) May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment (all non-HHS federal employees must consult with their agency Ethics Official to determine whether the federal ethics rules will limit or prohibit the acceptance of a COMPETES Act prize);

(5) Shall not be an HHS employee;

(6) Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop submissions unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award; and

(7) Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a COMPETES Act challenge submission.”


“Total Cash Prize Pool: $380,000.00

Prize Breakdown:

Phase 1 – Proposal of Innovative Models: Total Cash Prize of $100,000

HHS will make up to five awards

Phase 2 – Small Scale Testing of Models: Total Cash Prize of $80,000

HHS will make up to two awards

Phase 3 – Promise of Model Sustainability: Total Cash Prize of $200,000. HHS will make two awards.

Non-monetary Prizes:

Winners will also obtain:

  • Trip to Washington, D.C. for a demo day
  • Mentorship from experts in the field
  • Networking opportunities
  • Promotion of business innovation model”