Notice of Funding Opportunity
State Agency Name: Iowa Workforce Development
Funding Opportunity Title: 2021 Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund
Announcement Type: Initial
CFDA Number (if applicable): Not applicable
- Deadline: Applications for the funds are due by Friday, February 12, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. Subsequent application deadlines will be determined depending on the availability of funds after the second round is awarded.
- Application Notification: A Notice of Intent to Award will be posted on the Future Ready Iowa website: https://www.futurereadyiowa.gov/innovation.
The purpose of the fund is expanding opportunities for more Iowans to earn for-credit and non- credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs and encouraging Iowa employers, community leaders and others to collaborate to support regional workforce talent development. Future Ready Iowa establishes the goal of 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025, but also seeks to strengthen the talent pipeline longer term. Iowa’s current attainment level has stalled at around 60 percent. To help change this, the fund will award competitive grants to support regional initiatives that accelerate credential attainment. Iowa Workforce Development is seeking collaborative applications that propose new, cutting-edge ideas as well as proven strategies.
The purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity is to solicit applications that will enable Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) to award grant funding to match local investment and support the goals of the Employer Innovation Fund and Future Ready Iowa.
Estimated Award Amount
IWD anticipates awarding grants ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Grant awards may vary in amount as determined by the scope of the project. Funding decisions are made as funding is available and IWD is not obligated to provide the maximum grant amount requested. If more funds are requested than are available, funds will be awarded proportionately to eligible proposals to provide the greatest amount of support across all eligible applicants.
Project and Award Period
According to Iowa Administrative Rule 871-16.3(7), there is no set time period. The recipients must provide a detailed report by December 31 of each year.
Type of Award
IWD may award matching grants to successful applicants.
Use of Funds
The Employer Innovation Fund can be used to support credit and non-credit programs, along with wrap-around support programs such as child care, transportation, books, equipment, fees or other innovative ideas and proposals that can assist Iowa residents in completing training and education. It cannot be used for administrative expenses of operating the program or implementing the project.
Cost Sharing or Matching
The Employer Innovation Fund is a match grant. What this means is that the grant is intended to serve as a match to funds raised privately by the applicant. Applicants may request an Employer Innovation Fund match grant for an amount up to the amount of the private funds raised.
Applicants must prove the existence of and security of the original funds in order to qualify for a match from the Employer Innovation Fund. Documentation must be included in the application submission as an attachment. Proof may be provided by an official statement from an FDIC- insured financial institution holding the funds. In the absence of a statement from a financial institution, an affidavit from a certified public accountant can be used to certify the existence and security of the funds to be matched. Applicants need to plan to expend all private funds first.
Housing expenses, such as rent, do not qualify for consideration for matching funds, nor do administrative or personnel costs for overseeing a project or implementation of a plan.
Successful applicants will be required to submit reports to document the progress of the project as part of the grant requirements. Annually, all grantees must provide a detailed report of the use of funds by December 31st of the reporting year to the Director of Iowa Workforce Development. The report must include, but is not necessarily limited to:
- Date funds received
- Amount of funds received
- Amount of funds provided by the employer
- The numbers of individuals, agencies and businesses and others who received the funds
- Balance of available funds remaining as of December 31st of the reporting year
- 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
- The persistence and/or completion rate for individuals supported by the award, including the specific credit or non-credit program completed
- Employment and wage outcomes after completion
- First and last name of each student/employee who received assistance/support
- Date of birth of each student/employee who received assistance/support
- Home address of each student/employee who received assistance/support
The executed grant agreement will specify conditions for payment and payment schedule. Private funds must be expended first, then matching funds may be drawn down on a reimbursement basis. Applicants need to plan to expend all private funds first.
Eligible applicants include employers, employer consortiums, community organizations or other entities that are in good standing with the State of Iowa. IWD encourages applicants to cultivate partnerships to enhance project activities and outcomes. If an employer is not the lead applicant, applicants are required to include a letter of commitment from an employer as a key project partner with the application submission. Grantees must comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment, and equal employment opportunity.
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.
Additional Information: Additional information regarding this funding opportunity can be found in the attachments provided on www.iowagrants.gov. For any additional questions regarding this posting, please use the "ask a question" function in IowaGrants at the top of the page, or email IWD Grants Program Coordinator, Allison Hanrahan at: Allison.Hanrahan@iwd.iowa.gov.