Apprenticeship 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity



​​Background

In June 2021, Illinois received a State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation Grant for approximately $6 million from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to develop, modernize and diversify Registered Apprenticeships in Illinois. The objective of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to diversify apprenticeship programs and find innovative ways of employing the apprenticeship model to meet the needs of businesses, resulting in a total of 750 new registered apprenticeship programs by the end of 2024. It is Illinois' goal to use this NOFO to increase apprenticeship opportunities for historically underrepresented populations, including but not limited to: individuals with disabilities; youth from underserved communities; older workers; returning citizens from incarceration; and workers in jobs that have been severely impacted by COVID, such as the Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and Hospitality industries. This NOFO supports the Governor's priority of expanding apprenticeship opportunities in Illinois. 

Read the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's (DCEO) press release about this funding opportunity.

For more information about Apprenticeships in Illinois, visit ApprenticeshipIllinois.com.

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. A fundamental goal of this NOFO is to increase apprenticeship opportunities for minorities and targeted populations that are underrepresented in registered apprenticeship occupations in Illinois.  The applications that serve the targeted populations listed  below will be given priority in the merit review process:
  • Low-income individuals;
  • Individuals with disabilities;
  • Returning citizens (previously incarcerated);
  • Homeless individuals;
  • Justice involved youth;
  • Youth who are in the foster care system or have aged out of the foster  care system;
  • Individuals who are English language learners, individuals who have low levels of literacy, and individuals facing substantial cultural barriers;
  • Eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers;
  • Single parents (including single pregnant women);
  • Long-term unemployed individuals;
  • Older workers;
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals; and
  • Minorities that are under-represented in registered apprenticeships.

Specific project outcomes, goals, and deliverables must be included in the proposal.


Funding Information

This grant program is utilizing federal funds from the U.S. Department of Labor under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and additional funding under the USDOL State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation grant program.  The anticipated number of awards and funding range is outlined below.  Please note that the Department may exceed the funding range based on the proposed project outcomes. 


PROGRAM APPROACH #1: Apprenticeship Navigators

ANTICIPATED NUMBER OF GRANTS: 10-12

FUNDING RANGE: $75K-125K

ANTICIPATED NAVIGATOR PROJECTS TOTAL: $750K - $1.5 Million

ANTICITPATED GRANT START DATE: December 1, 2021

 

PROGRAM APPROACH #2: Apprenticeship Intermediaries

ANTICIPATED NUMBER OF GRANTS: 16-20

FUNDING RANGE: $150K-350K

ANTICIPATED EXISTING INTERMEDIARY PROJECTS TOTAL: $1 - $4 Million

ANTICITPATED GRANT START DATE: December 1, 2021


Submission Details
​Applicants must submit a project narrative that answers the questions for the navigator or intermediary grant as outlined in the NOFO.  The project narrative must include enough information for the Department to understand the scope of the project. For detailed information about the funding opportunity and instruction on how to submit an application, see the full NOFO, as well as required documents, linked under NOFO Materials.

Award Timeline
​Applications are due by September 15th, 2021. The grant term/performance period is determined on a project-specific basis. It is anticipated that most grants will be awarded for 18-24 months.

An informational webinar will be held on July 13 and 14, 2021 at 1:00 pm. Information about how to access the webinar is available under the Informational Sessions header below.

Appendices

NOFO Materials

Additional Resources
Useful State Workforce Resources for Competitive Applications:

Resources for Regional Apprenticeship Navigators:


Success Story Submission in Illinois workNet

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. Learn how to submit your story.


FAQs

Illinois Pathways

Informational Sessions
Four technical assistance sessions have been postponed. Please stay tuned for new dates/times:
  • Best Practices for Apprenticeship Intermediary Programs - July 15, 2021, 11 AM- 12 PM
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Apprenticeship - July 20, 2021, 10-11:30 AM
  • Apprenticeships for Arts, Entertainment Recreation and Accommodation Industry- July 20, 2021, 1-2:30 PM
  • Apprenticeships for Individuals Re-entering the Workforce- July 21, 2021, 8:30-10 AM

Content

Date​

Time​

​Registration/Recording Link

Navigating through Apprenticeships-What's in your toolbox?*​
June 23
10 - 11:30 pm​​

Learn from DCEO Regional Navigators and business partners how to navigate through establishing an effective and successful apprenticeship program in your region. Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally recognized credential. 

(Recording)

​Apprenticeship Expansion Notice of Funding Opportunity 2021 INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR

​1st session: July 13


2nd session: July 14

​1 - 3 pm


1 - 3 pm

​This 2-hour webinar will provide background information for organizations interested in applying for 2021 Apprenticeship Illinois funding. The webinar will go through what the state is looking for in competitive proposals. 

The July 14th session is a repeat of the session on July 13th and covers the same information.


July 13th (Recording) (PPT Presentation)


July 14th (Recording) (PPT Presentation)

​Apprenticeship Expansion Notice of Funding Opportunity 2021 Budget webinar

​1st session: July 13


2nd session: July 14

3:30 - 5 pm


3:30 - 5 pm


​This 2-hour webinar will provide an overview of the budget requirements for the 2021 Apprenticeship Illinois funding.

The July 14th session is a repeat of the session on July 13th and covers the same information.


July 13th (Recording) (PPT Presentation)


July 14th (Recording) (PPT Presentation)

​Apprenticeship Areas of Industry Focus

​July 14

11 - 12 pm​

​This is a technical assistance session for both navigator and intermediary applicants for apprenticeship expansion funding. Learn what industry sectors have a high demand for apprentices or where the state is interested in expanding sector-based apprenticeships. 


(Recording) (PPT Presentation)

​Talent Pipeline Management: A Strategy for Improving Apprenticeship Expansion

​July 16

9 - 10:30 am​

​The Talent Pipeline Management® (TPM) initiative puts employers in the driver's seat of workforce partnerships for demand-driven workforce solutions. Facilitated by the U.S. Chamber Foundation, the TPM Academy is an in-person experience, combined with online activities and meetings, to train workforce leaders on the TPM approach. TPM is a core strategy for improving and expanding apprenticeships in Illinois. Competitive navigator and intermediary applicants will learn more during this TA session.

(Recording) (PPT Presentation)

​Apprenticeship Opportunities for the Disabled

​July 21

11 - 12:30 pm​

​The purpose of this session is providing an overview of Apprenticeship Illinois and how individuals with a disability can fit into the framework as employers continue to build a robust workforce.  NOFO highlights and resources will also be discussed.

(Recording) (PPT Presentation)

Apprenticeship Expansion Notice of Funding Opportunity 2021 Informational Webinar
​July 21
​1:30 - 3:00 pm
​Learn from DCEO Regional Navigators and business partners how to navigate through establishing an effective and successful apprenticeship program in your region. Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally recognized credential.

(Recording) (PPT Presentation)

​Youth Apprenticeships and Programs of Study

​July 22

8:30 - 10 am​

​The purpose of this session is providing an overview of Apprenticeship Illinois and how education partners can establish youth apprenticeships in combination of program of studies and career pathway programs.  NOFO highlights and resources will also be discussed.

(Recording) (PPT Presentation)

​Transferring Military Skills to Apprenticeship Opportunities

​July 22

1 - 2:30 pm​

​The purpose of this session is providing an overview of how military skills can be transferred into the Apprenticeship Illinois Framework.   NOFO highlights and resources will also be discussed.

(Recording) (PPT Presentation)

​Aging Population and New Careers through Apprenticeships

​July 27

​3 - 4:30 pm

​The purpose of this session is to gain an understanding on how the aging population fits into the Apprenticeship Illinois Framework.  NOFO highlights and resources will also be discussed.

(Recording) (PPT Presentation)

​Best Practices for Apprenticeship Intermediary Programs
July 28​1:00 - 2:00 pm​​Learn what it takes to be a competitive applicant to become an Apprenticeship Illinois Intermediary. This technical assistance session will review best practices for intermediary programs.

(Recording) (PPT Presentation)
​​Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Apprenticeship* - Postponed
​TBA
TBA​​This is a technical assistance session for applicants for the 2021 Apprenticeship Illinois Notice of Funding Opportunity. Both Navigators and Intermediary applicants will be expected to include specific action steps and plans to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in their submissions. This webinar will walk the audience through specific strategies and best practices that aim to make marketing of apprenticeship more inclusive, build business champions for DEI, develop programmatic supports such as wrap-around services, barrier reduction funds, mentorship, affinity networks, and more.

Postponed


​Apprenticeships for Arts, Entertainment Recreation and Accommodation industry - Postponed
TBA​TBA​

The purpose of this session is providing an overview of Apprenticeship Illinois and how the Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and Hospitality Industry can fit into the framework.  NOFO highlights and resources will also be discussed.

Postponed


​Apprenticeships for Individuals Re-entering the Workforce - Postponed
​TBA
TBA​​​The purpose of this session is providing an overview of the Apprenticeship Illinois how populations reentering the workforce fit into the framework by to reduce barriers to employment.  NOFO highlights and resources will also be discussed.

Postponed



*Doubles as WIOA Wednesday Webinars