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  Funding Opportunity Details
 
 -380588-Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant
  Future Ready Iowa
  Application Deadline: 10/27/2020 11:59 PM
 
 
Award Amount Range: $10,000.00 - $250,000.00
Project Start Date: 11/02/2020
Project End Date: 02/28/2021
Award Announcement Date: 10/19/2020
Eligible Applicant:
Program Officer: Allison Hanrahan
Phone: 515-725-9077 x
Email: allison.hanrahan@iwd.iowa.gov
Categorical Area:
 
 
Description
 
 

Notice of Funding Opportunity

 

State Agency Name: Iowa Workforce Development

Funding Opportunity Title: Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant  

Announcement Type: Initial

CFDA Number (if applicable): Not applicable

Awardees: Notice of Intent to Award Information

 

Important Dates

 

  • Deadline: Applications for the funds are due by Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.  
  • Application Notification: A Notice of Intent to Award will be posted on the Future Ready Iowa website:  https://www.futurereadyiowa.gov/earn-learn-grants

 

 

 

Program Description

1.        Purpose

 

The purpose of the Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant Awards is to:

  • Support the creation and expansion of short-term “earn and learn” training programs resulting in industry-recognized credentials by providing grants for the purchase of equipment, tools, simulators, related training instruction materials, updated curriculum, tuition, books, wrap-around services to support participants during the grant period (internet access, childcare, transportation, stipends etc.), or other necessary items to provide for on-line learning as well as hands-on learning when necessary and safe.
  • Expand opportunities for Iowans whose employment has been affected or eliminated because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Eligible applicants for the Earn and Learn Grant Awards include non-profits, adult-training providers including but not limited to post-secondary education institutions and unions, and small businesses with less than 50 employees.  Applicants, organizations, programs or other entities that have previously received Coronavirus relief funding via the Coronavirus Relief Fund including the Employer Innovation Fund or either of the Registered Apprenticeship Incentive Funds, are not eligible to apply for this program.  This fund will award competitive grants to support local initiatives that accelerate the creation and expansion of short-term “earn and learn” training programs resulting in industry-recognized credentials for Iowans whose employment has been affected or eliminated by the pandemic.  Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) is seeking applicants that meet the applicant criteria and can work in an expedited fashion to expend the funds by December 31, 2020 and begin new or enhanced programs that provide training opportunities in early 2021, but not later than February 28, 2021.

 

First Amendment to this Notice of Funding effective 10/21/2020:

     1. Eligible applicants shall now include Iowa secondary schools and high schools, to the extent that they meet all other eligibility factors.

          a. Applicant entities and programs must impact participants whose employment has been affected or eliminated because of the Coronavirus pandemic as contemplated by the federal CARES Act.

          b. Registered apprenticeship programs that have been impacted or eliminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic shall be deemed employment for the purposes of consideration under this Notice.

    2. Entities that have received previous awards under the Coronavirus Relief Fund are eligible to apply for the Earn and Learn Grant, but in no case shall cumulative awards exceed $250,000.

    3. An award under a previous Coronavirus Relief Fund grant does not guarantee an award under the Earn and Learn Grant. 

 

The purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity is to solicit applications that will enable IWD to award funding to support the goals of the Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grants and Future Ready Iowa to accelerate Iowa’s recovery from the pandemic.

 

2.        Program Funding Requirements

 

IWD seeks to prioritize the investment of resources in the following areas:

 

  1. Creation or expansion of “earn and learn” training programs within Iowa including non-profit organizations, adult-training providers including but not limited to post-secondary education institutions and unions, and small businesses with less than 50 employees.  Priority will be given to programs resulting in an industry-recognized credential related to high-demand jobs.
  2. Recruitment and enrollment of Iowans whose jobs have been affected by or eliminated because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  3. Participants must be enrolled in the training program by February 28, 2021.

 

3.        Performance Measures

 

All applications must include performance measures that logically connect a project’s goal(s) with proposed activities.  Performance measures should include whether the expected results were achieved.

 

4.        Program Authority

 

IWD’s authority to award the grants may found in the CARES Act as delegated by Governor Kim Reynolds pursuant to her authority under the same Act.  The framework for the receipt and evaluation of the grants is as provided under the Future Ready Iowa Act.

 

5.          Definitions

 

Earn and Learn program:  A training program that is an employer-driven model, combining on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction that results in an industry-recognized credential and allows the participant to earn a paycheck beginning and throughout the training period

 

High-demand job:  For purposes of this funding opportunity, a job identified by the workforce development board or a community college pursuant to Iowa Code §84A.1B, subsection 13A, or a job linked to locally identified high demand jobs as demonstrated by statewide or regional data.

 

Outcome:  A type of performance measure that indicates progress toward achieving the intended result of a program and usually represents a change in the situation of beneficiaries of a service, such as completing a training program or securing employment upon completion of training provided.

 

Post-secondary education institution:  An institution under the control of the state board of regents, a community college established under Iowa Code chapter 260C, or an accredited private institution as defined in Iowa Code section 261.9, subsection 1. 

 

Union:  An organization formed to negotiate with employers, on behalf of workers collectively, about job-related issues such as salary, benefits, hours, and working conditions.

 

Small Business:  Less than 50 employees.

 

Participant:  A reportable individual who has received grant-assisted services.

 

Award Information

 

  1. Estimated Available Funds

 

Governor Kim Reynolds has designated approximately $4 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund that Iowa received under the CARES Act.  The source of funding is the federal CARES Act.  No matching funds are required for this grant program.  Applicants, organizations, programs or other entities that have previously received Coronavirus relief funding via the Coronavirus Relief Fund including the Employer Innovation Fund or either of the Registered Apprenticeship Incentive Funds, are not eligible to apply for this program.    

 

  1. Estimated Award Amount

 

IWD anticipates awarding grants ranging from $10,000 to $250,000.  Grant awards may vary in amount as determined by the scope of the project and the availability of funding (based on number of applications received).  Funding decisions are made as funding is available and IWD is not obligated to provide any requested amount or the maximum grant amount.  The intent is to fund as many programs as possible, throughout the state, and funds will be awarded accordingly.  A maximum amount of 10% of the award may be used for administrative expenses of operating the program.  Administrative costs include, but are not limited to, office supplies, marketing and outreach, personnel salary and benefit costs, travel expenses, etc.

 

  1.      Project and Award Period

 

Pursuant to the CARES Act, funds received as part of this program must be entirely expended by the applicant by December 31, 2020, with services provided and participants enrolled no later than February 28, 2021.  Any funds that are not expended by December 31, 2020 must be returned to Iowa Workforce Development no later than January 5, 2021.

 

Award recipients must provide a detailed report of the use of funds with accompanying documentation supporting the use of funds by December 30, 2020.  A final project report will be due by March 15, 2021. 

 

  1.       Type of Award

 

IWD will award cash funds to successful applicants to carry out planned proposals once a completed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed by the applicant and IWD.  Funds must be requested by successful applicants no later than December 1, 2020 and expended by December 31, 2020.  Any funds not requested by December 1, 2020 will not be provided.

 

  1.       Use of Funds

 

The Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant can be used for the purchase of equipment, tools, simulators, related training instruction materials, updated curriculum, tuition, books, wrap-around services to support participants during the grant period (internet access, childcare, transportation, stipends etc.), or other necessary items to provide for on-line learning as well as hands-on learning when necessary and safe.  A maximum amount of 10% of the award may be used for administrative expenses of operating the program.  Administrative costs include, but are not limited to, office supplies, marketing and outreach, personnel salary and benefit costs, travel expenses, etc.

 

  1.      Reporting Requirements

 

Successful applicants will be required to submit vouchers, receipts, expenditures and reports to document how the funds were spent and certify the funds were used in accordance with the grant application and grant program.  All grantees must provide a detailed report of the use of funds by December, 30, 2020, to the Director of Iowa Workforce Development.  A final project report is due by March 15, 2021 and must include, but is not necessarily limited to:

 

  1. Date funds received;
  2. Amount of funds received;
  3. The numbers of individuals, agencies and businesses and others who received the funds including amounts received;
  4. A description of entities or individuals the monies were paid to, along with description of services or items received for each payment along with accompanying receipts as proof of payment;
  5. A description of the activities paid for by the funds, the dates of distribution, along with amounts disbursed for each activity, and the number of participants served;
  6. The persistence and/or completion rate for individuals supported by the award, including specific credentials earned;
  7. Employment and wage outcomes after completion; and
  8. Lessons learned and future recommendations.

 

  1.       Payment Schedule

 

The executed grant agreement will specify conditions for payment and payment schedule.

 

Eligibility Information

  1. Eligible Applicants

 

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, adult-training providers including but not limited to post-secondary education institutions and unions, and small businesses with less than 50 employees that are in good standing with the State of Iowa.  Applicants, organizations, programs or other entities that have previously received Coronavirus relief funding via the Coronavirus Relief Fund including the Employer Innovation Fund or either of the Registered Apprenticeship Incentive Funds, are not eligible to apply for this program.  Applicants must reside in or have their primary place of business in Iowa or hire and employ Iowans within the state.  IWD encourages applicants to cultivate partnerships to enhance project activities and outcomes.  Grantees must comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment, and equal employment opportunity.

First Amendment to this Notice of Funding effective 10/21/2020:

     1. Eligible applicants shall now include Iowa secondary schools and high schools, to the extent that they meet all other eligibility factors.

          a. Applicant entities and programs must impact participants whose employment has been affected or eliminated because of the Coronavirus pandemic as contemplated by the federal CARES Act.

          b. Registered apprenticeship programs that have been impacted or eliminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic shall be deemed employment for the purposes of consideration under this Notice.

    2. Entities that have received previous awards under the Coronavirus Relief Fund are eligible to apply for the Earn and Learn Grant, but in no case shall cumulative awards exceed $250,000.

    3. An award under a previous Coronavirus Relief Fund grant does not guarantee an award under the Earn and Learn Grant. 

 

 

  1. Additional Consideration

 

Additional consideration will be given to organizations that demonstrate the administrative capacity and a history of successfully implementing innovative projects.  Additional consideration will also be given to organizations and projects in local workforce areas and regions throughout the State of Iowa that document how the project will impact workforce, education and economic development.

 

 
 
 
 Attachments
 
 Click on the File Name to open attachment
 
Description File Name File Size
Amendment 1 Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Notice of Funding Opportunity Amendment 1 - CRF Earn and Learn NOFO (1).pdf 370 KB
Appendix A - Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant Guidance APPENDIX A- Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant Guidance.pdf 434 KB
Appendix B- Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) APPENDIX B- Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).pdf 393 KB
Appendix C- Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant Scoring Rubric APPENDIX C-Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant Scoring Rubric.pdf 360 KB
APPENDIX D - Iowagrants.gov New User Guidance APPENDIX D-Iowagrant.gov new user directions.pdf 698 KB
Appendix E - Budget Spreadsheet APPENDIXE--CoronavirusReliefFundEarnandLearnProgramBudgetSpreadsheet1 (1).xlsx 14 KB
Earn and Learn Notice of Funding Opportunity Full Document Earn and Learn Notice of Funding final.pdf 921 KB
Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Webinar Slides October 10/21/2020 EarnandLearngrantslides - Updated Oct 21.pptx 7.3 MB
 
 
 Website Links
 
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Questions
 
 
Submitted Date Question Answer
10/19/2020 I was a recipient of the Coronavirus Relief Registered Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, would my application be eligible for this funding opportunity? IWD will not consider applications eligible if the applicant has been awarded funds from either the Coronavirus Relief Registered Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, or the Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund.
10/20/2020 Would a piece of equipment that costs $50,0000 be an allowable use of funds? Yes, as long as it directly relates to the training of individuals in the earn and learn program.
10/20/2020 I am considered an eligible participant if I received a small business grant that was the Small Business Coronavirus relief grant through IEDA? Yes.
10/20/2020 Could we use these grant funds to pay for apprentices wages, in the form of stipends? Stipends are allowable, they differ from wages as they are not based on an hourly wage per hour worked. Stipends are available however grant funds must be spent by Dec. 31,2020.
10/20/2020 Is there a minimum age that participants need to be in order to qualify as an eligible participant? Participants need to be at least 14 years old.
10/20/2020 Can IWD clarify what an eligible participant who has been impacted by COVID-19? IWD follows the criteria put forth in the CARES Act funding. Unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of a COVID-19 related reason per section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I) of the CARES Act: Individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, A member of the individualís household was diagnosed with COVID-19, Individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individualís household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility due to a COVID-19 public health emergency closure and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work, Individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, Individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19, Individual has to quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19, Individualís place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency
10/21/2020 The health related certification training we want to provide requires that the work based learning occurs the last 8-10 weeks of the 22 week training. This is an industry standard. Is it allowable for the work based learning with the employer partner to start later during the training or does it need to begin at the same time the classroom training begins? It is allowable however the participants need to be earning wages during the entire program.
10/22/2020 We train plumbers, pipefitters, and HVACR service techs and I have staff looking at different classes to upgrade. I thought I saw something in all the directions and now I cant find it again. If I am going to submit for more than one class and in different aspects of the trade like that, should I submit them as separate grants or do I put them all on the same grant. Appears it would be cleaner and easier to understand doing them separate, but if I can only submit one than I can try to combine it all. Let me know. This decision remains with the potential applicant. The total awarded amount to any one entity cannot exceed $250,000. We will grade more than one application if that is what you chose to do.
10/22/2020 We are a small plumbing business in northeast Iowa. At the beginning of this year we became a registered apprenticeship so we could help employees further their education and work toward becoming journeymen plumbers. Iím checking if we would be eligible to apply for this grant to pay tuition for the guys who are part way through the program. You are eligible to apply as long as you meet the eligibility criteria provided in this funding opportunity. The training is an allowable expense. The individuals you are serving must have had employment impacted by COVID-19. For a complete list of this see the response in question regarding CARES Act eligible participants.
10/22/2020 Can I use the grant funds for this training so I can learn how to start using the equipment better to get my business going? You must meet the eligibility criteria for this funding opportunity. Awards will be considered if they are Earn and Learn models and are providing training to Iowans whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus. Please see the Notice of Funding for additional information.
10/22/2020 Since I was considered self-employed, but currently not working, would I be able to apply for the grant to get the training needed to operate the machine? You must meet the eligibility criteria for this funding opportunity. Awards will be considered if they are Earn and Learn models and are providing training to Iowans whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus. Please see the Notice of Funding for additional information.
10/22/2020 Would I be able to use some of the funds to purchase upgrades/enhancements for the machine/business and learn how to utilize them as well? This is possible, the proposal requires you to describe your earn and learn program and how it will make opportunities available to Iowanís whose unemployment has been affected by coronavirus. If you are an eligible applicant and if this is part of that project, then it will be considered.
10/22/2020 I am not familiar with receiving grant money. Do we withhold taxes or are grants not taxed monies? The potential applicant should consult their accountant on this matter since there are several scenarios here. IWD can not advise on this.
10/22/2020 Can I use this as an in home child care provider to further my training in the childcare field? Answer: You must meet the eligibility criteria to apply, if you meet the eligibility criteria you can apply, awards will be considered if they earn and learn models and are providing training to Iowans whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus. Please see Notice of Funding.
10/22/2020 If I wanted to become a temporary proctor to administer the NCRC test, is that allowed? Yes, if it is related to an earn and learn training program.
10/23/2020 In the attachments section, there are instructions for adding letters of reference but there is not a place to upload them. Are we allowed to include additional attachments beyond the budget? There should now be an option to attach additional attachments that are optional, such as letters of reference.
10/23/2020 The Budget form is not fillable. Will you please make it fillable, and include the formulas? Please try downloading the excel spreadsheet from the listed attachments in IowaGrants. If this doesn't work, please email Allison Hanrahan.
10/23/2020 Can IWD define Stipends more clearly? A stipend is a regular fixed sum of money paid for services or to defray expenses.
10/23/2020 Can IWD provide the difference between wage and stipend? A wage is paid based upon a measure of time - e.g. $ per hour, and varies based upon the number of hours worked. Stipend is a form of award or funds given to individuals pursuing a course of study or training to help pay for associated costs.
10/23/2020 Do stipends meet the "earn while you learn" component to the grant? Yes, They must be called a stipend and directed toward the training for the benefit of the worker and not the employer.
10/23/2020 If a student is currently participating in work toward a post-secondary credential but has already paid tuition for the semester, can funds from Learn and Earn be used to reimburse them for a portion of those costs? For example,a student whose family has lost income due to COVID is working toward their AA at DMACC and is enrolled for the Fall 2020 semester. They have completed fall tuition payments but will not have a new tuition payment to make until after the December deadline for using Learn and Earn funds. Could an Earn and Learn applicant provide the student reimbursement for tuition/books? No.
10/23/2020 Are there guidelines about whether direct assistance is paid to the individual or to the institution/vendor for books, tools, etc.? No, receipts and documentation must be provided to show how funds are spent
10/23/2020 Can the staff doing the work (outreach, documentation, payment, etc.) be contracted as part of the grant or must it be included as part of the allowable 10% of overhead? This would be considered part of the administrative 10%, if it is direct support to participants to address barriers it may be considered.
10/23/2020 How does IWD define industry recognized recognized credential for this grant? A credential is an umbrella term which encompasses postsecondary degrees, diplomas, licenses, certificates and certifications. For purposes of the workforce system, an industry-recognized credential is awarded in recognition of an individualís attainment of measurable technical or occupational skills necessary to obtain employment or advance within an occupation. These technical or occupational skills are generally based on standards developed or endorsed by employers.
10/26/2020 Can stipend costs be pre paid? For example; if costs must be expensed prior to December 31, 2020 but the program runs through Feb 28, 2021 can the project expense stipend costs for those in the program January 1, 2021 thru Feb 28, 2021 or can only stipends be paid Nov 2 thru December 31? yes, they can be prepaid and the funds would have to be spent by Dec. 31st.
10/26/2020 Is the cost to lease space for the training program an allowable expense, if so is it considered part of the 10% administrative cost? Yes a portion of the rent could be an allowable expense. When space is on a grant, it is listed as an "indirect cost" because typically the space may be used for offices, training, and other non-grant programming. This is usually a percentage based on a pre-determined negotiated indirect cost rate agreement. If the entity does not have an agreement, then as the applicant you would want to consider the % of use for the space as it relates to this programming only. Please use that percentage to calculate the amount you use on the budget. This would count toward the 10% admin cap.
10/27/2020 Do the attachments, such as the reference letter, need to be submitted in a specific format? PDF is a preferred format but not required. There is only one "other attachment" so any attachments other than the budget narrative should be combined into one file.
10/27/2020 Is this grant available for self-employed people? Yes, but the application would still need to meet all of the requirements of the grant including eligible applicant information, eligible participant information and align with other program requirements found in the posting.
 
 
 
 
 
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