Illinois Talent Pipeline Guide

​This funding opportunity has closed. Visit the Funding Opportunities page to learn about current opportunities.

​Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)


The Illinois Talent Pipeline Program uses strategies to train workers who can contribute to a companies’ growth and success. Projects funded under this program are intended to develop sustainable work-based learning programs to help Illinois companies retain and train current workers and hire new staff. The goal of a talent pipeline grant is to maintain a pipeline of hirable talent for the employer being served. Applications must address one or more of the Illinois Talent Pipeline activities listed below to be considered for funding.

  • Projects that connect talent strategies with business needs.
  • Layoff aversion projects that support businesses and workers that are impacted or at risk of being impacted by company closures or layoffs.
  • Projects that expand work-based learning opportunities including apprenticeships for targeted populations. 
This funding opportunity is no longer available for Program Year 2018.  It is anticipated that a new funding opportunity (NOFO) will be posted in the Spring of 2019.

Program Design

Commerce will accept proposals that support the priorities outlined in the NOFO and regional workforce development plans. 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 under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. It is expected that 8-10 pilot projects of $250,000 to $500,000 will be funded through this NOFO. The funding amounts for proposals will correspond with the project’s anticipated outcomes and deliverables. Grant awards will generally not exceed $500,000. However, the Department of Commerce may elect to award amounts over this amount based on strength of application or strength of performance during the grant period.   

Eligible Applicants

This funding opportunity is limited to public and private organizations that are in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State. Additional consideration will be given to organizations that demonstrate the administrative capacity and a history of successfully implementing innovative pilot projects. Additional consideration will also be given to organizations and projects in local workforce areas and regions throughout the State that document how the project will impact workforce, education, and economic development, and that can be replicated throughout the State (if applicable).

Informational Sessions
  • July 24, 2018 - Grantee Webinar Training for NOFO Quarterly Reports
    • Webinar
    • Call In Number: 866-803-3878
      • OET Standardized Grantee Reporting Presentation (PDF)
      • Periodic Financial Report (PDF)
      • Periodic Performance Report (PDF)
      • PFR Trial Balance Cover (DOC)
      • PPR Supportive Cover (DOC)
  • January 25, 2018 - Illinois Workforce Grants Webinar (PDF)
  • February 28 & March 7, 2018 -Workforce Grants 101 and Overview of Grant Opportunities -Springfield & Naperville
    • Grants 101 - Application and Preaward Requirements (PDF)
  • April 3 & 4 2018 - DCEO WORKFORCE GRANT WORKSHOPS - Chicago & Rockford
    • Grants 101 Presentation (PDF)
    • Youth Pathways NOFO (PDF)
    • Budget Handouts (PDF)
    • Combined NOFO Presentation (PDF)
    • Employer Fact Sheet (PDF)
    • Apprenticeship Tool Kit (PDF)
    • Apprenticeship Partnership Model (PDF)
    • Partner Roles Infographic (PDF)
  • March 27 & 28 2018 - DCEO WORKFORCE GRANT WORKSHOPS - Bellville & Effingham
    • Grants 101 Presentation (PDF)
    • Youth Pathways NOFO (PDF)
    • Budget Handouts (PDF)
    • Combined NOFO Presentation (PDF)
    • Employer Fact Sheet (PDF)
    • Apprenticeship Tool Kit (PDF)
    • Apprenticeship Partnership Model (PDF)
    • Partner Roles Infographic (PDF)

NOFO Materials
  • 2018 WIOA Budget Template for Illinois Talent Pipeline (Excel)
  • 2018 Illinois Talent Pipeline Grant Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF)
  • 2018 Illinois Talent Pipeline Grant Application (PDF)
    • Fillable Project Implementation Plan: 75-412 (DOC)
  • DCEO Office of Employment & Training - Lay-off Aversion Documentation (DOC)
  • MOU Example Training Program (PDF)
  • MOU Example Between a Company and School (PDF)