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  Funding Opportunity Details
 -411014-2022 Employer Innovation Fund- Future Ready Iowa
  Future Ready Iowa
  Application Deadline: 12/17/2021 5:00 PM
Award Amount Range: $1,000.00 - $50,000.00
Project Start Date: 03/01/2021
Project End Date: 06/30/2022
Award Announcement Date:
Eligible Applicant:
Program Officer: Katherine Leggett
Phone: 515-204-1378 x
Categorical Area:

Notice of Funding Opportunity

State Agency Name: Iowa Workforce Development

Funding Opportunity Title: 2022 Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund

Announcement Type: Initial

CFDA Number (if applicable): Not applicable


Important Dates:


  • Deadline: Applications for the funds are due by Friday, December 17 at 5:00pm 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
  • IWD will host a webinar to provide information and an opportunity for a live Q&A. Check back on this posting for details and registration link.


Program Description


  1. Purpose

The purpose of the fund is to:

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 long 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.

  1. Funding Priorities

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

  1. Innovative and creative initiatives lead by employers to address local needs and expand opportunities for credit and noncredit education and training leading to high-demand jobs. 
  2. Earning of high-demand credentials by Iowans from underrepresented populations (African-American, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander). 
  3. Strategies that increase the number of eligible students receiving financial assistance under the Future Ready Iowa Skilled Workforce Last-Dollar Scholarship. 
  4. Proposals that include performance-based bonuses for high school students who earn national-industry-recognized credentials in high-demand fields. 
  5. Proposals with connection to high-demand jobs from the State Workforce Board list, regional community college lists, locally identified high-demand jobs or non- credentialed programs supported by regional or statewide data, innovative measures, geographic diversity and equity. 
  6. Proposals that expand internships leading to high-demand jobs. 
  7. Proposals that include community engagement with community partners or incorporating existing community programs. 
  8. The number of participants the project can serve and the cost per participant. 


  1. Performance Measures


All applications must include performance measures that logically connect a project’s goal(s) with proposed activities and demonstrate an overall theory of change. Performance measures should include to the extent possible whether the expected results were achieved.

  1. Program Authority

IWD’s authority to award these grants is found at Iowa Code §84A.13. 

  1. Definitions
  • Internship: Temporary employment of a student that focuses on providing the student with work experience in the student’s field of study. 
  • High-demand job: A job identified by the workforce development board or a community college pursuant to Iowa Code §84A.1B, subsection 13A. 
  • 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. 
  • Participant: A reportable individual who has received grant-assisted services. 

Award Information

  1. Estimated Available Funds

The State of Iowa has appropriated $1.2 million to support both the Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund. The source of funding is state-appropriated and subject to annual appropriations. Some funds available for award may be carried-over from the previous year’s Employer Innovation Fund appropriation. 

  1. Estimated Award Amount

IWD anticipate awarding grants ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Grant awards may vary in amount as determined by the scope of the project and the availability of funding (based on the 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.

  1. Project and Award Period

 Successful applicants must provide proof to Iowa Workforce that privately raised funds have been expended in full, at which time, then matching funds may be drawn down. Awardees must be able to draw down state funds by June 30, 2022. All matching funds must be utilized within 12 months of receipt and any unexpended matching dollars must be returned to Iowa Workforce Development thereafter. 

 The recipients must provide a detailed report by December 31 of each year. 

  1. Type of Award

IWD may award matching grants to successful applicants. The 2022 Employer Innovation Grant will provide a one for one match of private dollars up to $50,000. 

  1. 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 childcare, 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. 

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching 

The Employer Innovation Fund is a matching 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 matching grant for an amount up to twice 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. 

  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 31st of each project year to the Director of Iowa Workforce Development. The report must include, but is not necessarily limited to:

    1. Date funds received;
    2. Amount of funds received;
    3. A description of the activities paid for by the funds.
    4. Number of program participants.
    5. Number of participants completing the program.
    6. Number of participants earning a credential.
    7. Credentials earned.
    8. Number of participants still participating in the program.
    9. Number of total certifications earned by participants.
    10. Partner organizations
    11. Employment and wage outcomes after completion
    12. First and last name of each student/employee who received assistance/support
    13. Date of birth of each student/employee who received assistance/support
    14. Home address of each student/employee who received assistance/support
  1. Payment Schedule

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

Eligibility Information

  1. Eligible Applicants

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. 

  1. Additional Consideration

Additional consideration will be given to organizations that demonstrate the administrative capacity and a history of successfully implementing innovative projects and successfully implementing and reporting on prior IWD grants. 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 For any additional questions regarding this posting, please use the "ask a question" function in IowaGrants at the top of the page, or email Brian Dennis at:  

 Click on the File Name to open attachment
Description File Name File Size
2022 Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Grant Notice of Funding. 2022 Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Grant Notice of Funding Final.pdf 346 KB
2022 Employer Innovation Grant Request Budget Form 2022 Employer Innovation Grant Request Budget Form.xlsx 169 KB
APPENDIX A - 2022 Employer Innovation Fund Grant Guidance APPENDIX A - 2022 Employer Innovation Fund Grant Guidance.pdf 141 KB
APPENDIX B - Employer Innovation Fund Frequently Asked Questions. APPENDIX B - Employer Innovation Fund Frequently Asked Questions final.pdf 151 KB
APPENDIX C - Employer Innovation Fund Scoring Rubric APPENDIX C - Employer Innovation Fund Scoring Rubric.pdf 111 KB
APPENDIX D - New User Directions APPENDIX D - New User Directions.pdf 153 KB
 Website Links
 Click on the URL to go to website
URL Description Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund
  – The Official Website of the State of Iowa. Dulles Technology Partners Inc.