Apprenticeship Expansion 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunity

​This funding opportunity has closed. View the current funding opportunity for Apprenticeship Expansion.


​In June of 2019, Illinois received an Apprenticeship State Expansion (ASE) Grant for $2.19M to serve at least 800 new registered apprentices. With an additional $2-3M from DCEO's WIOA Statewide Activities Fund, the total funds to be released via a NOFO in Fall of 2019 will be approximately $4-5 Million. The Apprenticeship Expansion Program is part of a larger strategy to help Illinois' companies develop and expand apprenticeships. The NOFO will also identify projects to serve WIOA eligible youth, adults and incumbent workers in Registered Apprenticeship programs. This NOFO supports the Governor's priority of expanding apprenticeship opportunities in Illinois. 

For more information about Apprenticeships in Illinois, visit

For information on previous Apprenticeship funding opportunities, visit this page.

Program Design
​The Apprenticeship Expansion Program Design is centered on supporting businesses and individuals. Expanding apprenticeships helps businesses with their current and future workforce needs as well as individuals with a career pathway, which includes work-based learning. Commerce will accept proposals that expand registered apprenticeships in Illinois.  This may include projects that serve youth, adults, dislocated workers, and/or incumbent workers that are eligible under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  Additional consideration will be provided to projects that serve the targeted populations included in the Illinois' WIOA Unified State Plan.  Specific project outcomes, goals, and deliverables must be included in the proposal.

Funding Information
​Funding for this program will utilize federal funds from the U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship State Expansion grant and Commerce's Statewide Activities fund under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  There will be approximately $4-5 million available for these grants.

Program Approach #1: Apprenticeship Navigators
​A major goal of this grant round will be to fund an apprenticeship navigator in all ten economic development regions. Note: that consideration may be given to supporting more than one apprenticeship navigator from the Greater Chicago Metropolitan area (Region 4)
  • FUNDING RANGE: $100K-150K
  • NAVIGATOR total: $500K-1.5 Million
Program Approach #2: Expanding Established Apprenticeship Programs Through Existing Intermediaries
​These grants will leverage the activity of established intermediaries that supplement both existing and emerging programs. This grant round seeks to supplement apprenticeship programs that have existing apprenticeship programs in place or can quickly operationalize emerging apprenticeship programs, with a focus on the ability to immediately recruit and register apprentices.
  • FUNDING RANGE: $50K-200K
  • INTERMEDIARY OPTION 2 total: $2-2.5 Million
Program Approach #3: Develop Apprenticeship Programs Through New Intermediaries
​A major goal of new development grants will be to cultivate apprenticeship development and registered apprentice enrollment in areas of the state where apprenticeship programs do not exist or are underdeveloped despite employer interest.
  • FUNDING RANGE: $200K-300K
  • INTERMEDIARY OPTION 1 total: $1.5-2 Million

NOFO Materials

Archived Webinar

10/21/2019 Apprenticeship Expansion Kickoff Webinar Presentation - (PDF)


​APPENDIX A. - 2018 Apprenticeship Grantees


APPENDIX D. - Useful State Workforce Resources for Competitive Applications:

APPENDIX F. - Resources for Regional Apprenticeship Navigators

APPENDIX M. - Best Practices for Addressing Equity in Apprenticeship
Written testimonials for program participant successes  are published on Illinois workNet  to show how programs are making a difference in people's lives. It is above and beyond a list of events or activities, it describes a positive significant and noteworthy change to the participant. It should show how participating with the program is making Illinois a better place to live – for individuals, families, organizations, businesses, local governments and communities.

Appendix P. - Illinois Economic Development Regions and Local Workforce Innovation Areas - Updated July 1, 2019

IL EDR and LWIAs 7.1.2019.jpg 

Informational Sessions
Date Time Activity Location Coordinator/Room Registration
10/21/2019 2 – 4:00pm Webinar  Online
Illinois workNet Webinar
10/22/2019 9 – 11:00am Bidder's Conference Chicago James R. Thompson Center Auditorium, Atrium Level, 100 W Randolph Ave, Chicago, IL 60601 Chicago
1 – 3:00pm Bidder's Conference Naperville

NIU Naperville

Room 260

1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563

9 – 11:00am Bidder's Conference Rockford

Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning

313 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61101

10/29/2019 2 – 4:00pm Bidder's Conference Peoria

Peoria Public Main Library

Main Library Auditorium

107 NE Monroe St, Peoria, IL 61602

10/30/2019 9 – 11:00am Bidder's Conference Champaign

Parkland College - Applied Technology Center Room T106/T107

2400 West Bradley Avenue

Champaign, IL 61821

11/4/2019 2 – 4:00pm Bidder's Conference Marion

Marion State Regional Office Building - Main Conference Room

2309 West Main Street

Marion, IL 62959

11/5/2019 9 – 11:00am Bidder's Conference Collinsville

Illinois Health and Family Services building

1803 Ramada Blvd., STE B204

Collinsville, IL  62234

11/6/2019 9 – 11:00am Bidder's Conference Springfield

SIU Center for Workforce Development

Lincoln Land Community College

2450 Foundation Dr

Suite 100

Springfield, IL 62703