Apprenticeship Notice of Funding Opportunity 2021 FAQs

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Audience

Subjects

Eligibility

  1. ​The NOFO requires the naming of a WIOA case manager and requests the corresponding resume/bio for the case manager. Is that necessary if the participants being served are not WIOA eligible?

    Yes.  Although grant participants do not need to meet the WIOA eligibility criteria, the program administrator will be required to provide case management and report the case management activities in Illinois workNet for each participant that is served under this grant.  DCEO will want to make sure that the program staff are qualified to provide case management services and able to complete the reporting requirements.

  2. Who are the Eligible Participants under this grant?

    ​The US Department of Labor Funding Opportunity FOA-ETA-21-07 that grant funds can be used for "projects that expand the number of individuals enrolled in RAPs and/or provide pre-apprenticeship programs that directly lead to grant-funded RAPs within the grant's period of performance. For the purposes of this program, eligible participants are persons 16 years of age and older who are not enrolled in a registered apprenticeship program at the time of initial grant service."

Fiscal, Budget

  1. Can recipients use grant funding to provide employer partners with funds to implement apprenticeship programs as in previous years?

    Allowable costs must be necessary, reasonable, and allocable based on activities contained in the scope of work.

    • Recipients that administer apprenticeship intermediary projects that increase the number of new registered apprenticeships are allowed to "charge" the Apprenticeship Expansion grant with the cost of Related Technical Instruction and/or the cost of the On-the-Job Training wage.  
    • It may also be allowable for an apprenticeship intermediary or navigator to "charge" the Apprenticeship Expansion grant that is provided to employer partners and/or employer industry associations for work that is directly associated with the establishment of new registered apprenticeship program(s).
    • It is important to note that DCEO will review each budget in detail and will advise applicants if costs are not allowed or need to be reclassified as a part of the grant negotiation process.

  2. If the majority of the grant participants would be co-enrolled in WIOA how much funding would be appropriate to budget for the WIOA Title IB administers?

    The amount that is provided to the WIOA Title IB administrators will depend on the services that are provided.  It is important to note that all program participants (regardless of their co-enrollment status with WIOA) will be required to receive case management services that are document in Illinois WorkNet and are reported to the US Department of Labor.

  3. Is the Navigator cap of $125,000 for a two year budget? We don't believe we could hire a full-time Navigator whose qualified to do the job and serve our 10 county region for two years for that amount of money.

    If you can justify the reason for a different amount, provide supporting documentation and it is open for negotiation.

  4. The NOFO lists Budget Narrative/Cost Effectiveness/ROI/Sustainability as part of the Project Narrative section & says the page limit is 3 pages (p17 and 19). Then it also asks for a budget narrative on p19 and says there’s no page limit. Which is correct?

    ​The budget narrative section on page 17 refers to the APPRENTICESHIP NAVIGATOR PROJECT NARRATIVE. The budget narrative on page 19 refers to the APPRENTICESHIP INTERMEDIARY PROJECT NARRATIVE and is part of the larger section Budget Narrative/Cost Effectiveness/Return on Investment/Sustainability, which has a limit of 3 pages.

General

  1. ​Does this program require a separate commitment letter specific to this NOFO or are we allowed to use commitment letters from WIOA?

    The applicant will still need a separate memo, which clearly states their role in THIS particular grant.

  2. Are Intermediaries limited to serving a region of the state?

    No.​

  3. Are tax credits for new hires, incumbents, one or both?

    ​The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is generally available for new hires.

  4. Are there other Apprenticeship Tax Credits?

    ​Employers are allowed a tax credit for qualified educational expenses associated with qualifying apprentices. Employers may receive a credit of up to $3,500 per apprentice against the taxes imposed by subsections (a) and (b) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act, and an additional credit of up to $1,500 for each apprentice if (1) the apprentice resides in an underserved area or (2) the employer's principal place of business is located in an underserved area.  For more information please see this page on DCEO's website.

  5. Are these DOL Apprenticeship Expansion grants WIOA dollars?

    ​This grant program utilizes federal funds from the U.S. Department of Labor under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the National Apprenticeship Act under the Apprenticeship USA Grant Program (CFDA 17.285). The federal award number will be incorporated into the state grant awards. 

  6. Can applicant enter budget information directly on the “SECTION A – BUDGET SUMMARY” tab of the Uniform Grant Budget Template?

    ​No.  Applicants must enter the budget figures and budget descriptions in each of the corresponding budget line item tabs.  Example:  If an applicant is requesting funds for "personnel costs, they would click on the "Personnel" tab of the Uniform Budget Template and input the costs in this part of the excel workbook.  The information from each of the corresponding budget line items will be automatically transferred to the SECTION A – BUDGET SUMMARY tab where the total cost will be automatically calculated

  7. Can grant funds be subcontracted to Local Workforce Innovation Area Title IB administrators for the purpose of providing case management or other services?

    ​Regional and Local partners are encouraged to leverage existing program and funding to support the administration of the Apprenticeship Expansion Program.  It is allowable for LWIA's to charge this grant for case management or other services that are reasonable, necessary, and allocable to this grant. 

  8. Can one of the employers to accept apprenticeships be the grant recipient agency as well?

    No.​

  9. Can organizations that provide workforce preparedness workshops apply? Sessions include resume writing, interviewing for success, and career exploration.

    ​Yes.

  10. Can programs include multiple counties?

    ​Yes.

  11. Can two partnering entities submit one application for both navigator

    ​There must be two separate applications—one for the Navigator approach and one for the Intermediary approach.

  12. Can we buy equipment with this grant? Example welders need lathes.

    Yes, if necessary, as a supportive service for participants.​

  13. Can we respond to both Program Approaches 1 and 2?

    Yes, you can respond to both program approaches, but a separate application must be submitted for each approach.

  14. Do American Job Centers frequently submit shared applications to request funds such as those for Apprenticeships? Our staff has been asked to sign such a request. I am just double checking to see if this is what all LWIA/One Stops use for this process?

    ​All applicants must have an MOU with their partners. The MOU should clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each partner and list their funding contribution. If an applicant enters into an MOU with a training provider, list the training length, location, class size, cost, and other important information. 

  15. Do we submit "all the components of the application except the Uniform Budget document as an e-mail in a PDF file to Lorraine.Warren@illinois.gov? Then do we submit that document as an Excel file to the same email?

    Reference Page 20 of the NOFO. 

    Application materials must be submitted to the Department via electronic form with this URL.

    The Department will not accept applications submitted by mail, overnight mail, diskette, or by fax machine. The Department is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the above requirements. Application Deadline: The application due date for this round of funding is September 15, 5:00PM (Central time).

  16. Do you know if rent and utilities can be included in the budget this year? In our previous application we were asked to take those amounts out of the budget - do I include rent and utilities in the application?

    ​Rent, utilities, and other overhead costs may be allowable under the Apprenticeship Expansion NOFO if they are not also included in the indirect costs that are charged to the grant.  In previous grant rounds, it was fairly common for the State to negotiate specific budget line items based on the funds available for grants.  The overhead costs such as rent and utilities that could potentially be leveraged is a common starting point in budget negotiations.

  17. Does Attachment III of the NOFO require the number of participants or percentages?

    ​Generally speaking, Attachment III requires the number of participants.

  18. During the webinar, it was stated the grant would run through June 2024. Page 11 of the NOFO states the grant period would begin 12/1/21 and the performance period will be awarded for 18-24 months thus ending on 12/1/23. Would you clarify dates?

    Our typical grants do not exceed 24 months – We may be able to extend for an additional six months after the 24 months.  If the start date begins on 12/1/21, the end date would be 12/1/23.  If the grant is extended an additional six months, the end date would be 6/1/23.

  19. For grantees that have enrolled new apprentices/apprenticeship programs under the current FY 2019 grant, will we be able to continue to support those apprentices' training with the 2021 grant?

    You will be able to support the apprentice’s training, however, they can not count towards the number of apprentice’s served.

  20. For Question 2 on the Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance, Should Intermediaries with an existing apprenticeship expansion grant select New or Continuation?

    T​hese Intermediaries should select Existing.

  21. How can I verify that my application was received?

    ​Applicants can select “Send me a copy of my responses” (located at that bottom of the application submission form) and a copy of the information that was submitted will be emailed to the “Contact Email Address”

  22. How do I submit my application?

    ​Application materials must be submitted to the Department via electronic form here. The Department will not accept applications submitted  by mail, overnight mail, diskette, or by fax machine. Please note that this is a new submission method that requires applicants to enter basic information, and upload the application documents.

  23. How do I submit the grant once I have completed the application?

    According to the NOFO, application materials must be submitted to the Department via electronic form. The Department will not accept applications submitted by mail, overnight mail, diskette, or by fax machine.

  24. How long must an employee be employed by the company to be considered an incumbent worker?

    T​here is no finite time, needs to be a current employee. The employer determines who would be eligible to work as an apprentice.

  25. I have a question about the Apprenticeship Intermediary portion of the NOFO: Is the $350,000 max amount for the entire 24 month grant period or is that per year?

    The awarded amount is for the duration of the entire 24 month grant period.

  26. If software development to facilitate connection between intermediaries and companies is included as part of the project budget, who will own the software when the project is over and during the project?

    Illinois workNet has a system to track navigator and intermediary activities with companies. All information is entered and tracked through the state systems for reporting to the Department of Labor.

  27. If the resumes included with the application indicate the staff's positions and total years in the organization, education, and relevant work experience, then does it need to be restated in the application narrative?

    Yes.

  28. If we choose the Intermediary option, upon award would we be assigned a Navigator?

    ​You would be reviewed for whichever role you applied. Please note: Navigators are assigned to specific economic development regions across the State of Illinois.

  29. If you have DOL registered apprentice program...is there funding to help with wages for an apprentice as they earn certificates.

    ​Wage support might be available for WIOA-eligible apprentices.

  30. In the narrative there is a mention of a 2-page limit for certain sections. Is it allowable to use more space for some of these sections, meaning they are guidelines not required limitations? Or is the entire limit actually 17 pages?

    ​The Page Limits to each of the sections should be “general guidelines” that will not impact.

  31. Is an applicant required to have a WIOA Case Manger provide case management to all program participants including participants that co-enrolled with WIOA AND the participants that are only enrolled in the Apprenticeship Expansion Program?

    Applicants that serve participants that are Co-enrolled with WIOA must identify a qualified WIOA case manager.  Applicants are not required to use a WIOA case manager to provide case management to Apprenticeship Expansion Program participants that are not co-enrolled; although, they must meet the apprenticeship program case management and reporting requirements.

  32. Is it possible for an EDR to apply for more than one intermediary grant?

    ​Yes, but each entity can only be awarded one grant.

  33. Is program income how much the program will make or how much it will cost for the program to be implemented?

    ​Program income means how much a program will make.

  34. Is there a list of direct regional contact names, info for Illinois Apprenticeship Intermediaries?

    ​A complete list of the current Apprenticeship IL Navigators and Intermediaries are located at: Apprenticeship Illinois Apprenticeship Navigators and Intermediaries

  35. Is there a size limit on the files that I can submit?

    ​Yes. The application system will not accept files that exceed 30 MB.  Please contact the grant manager if you need technical assistance.

  36. Is there a tax credit for companies if they hire a person with a felony or certain backgrounds?

    ​Yes.  The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a Federal tax credit available who hire and retain individuals with significant barriers to employment including workers with a felony. For more information, please see this page on IDES website.

  37. Is there any licensed classification that are required to have an apprenticeship program to do business? Example General Contractors, Demolition Contractors or Foundation Contractor.

    ​Refer to State of Illinois | Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (idfpr.com) regarding required licensed classifications for specific businesses in Illinois. To host an apprenticeship, there is not a special license.

  38. My email to Lorraine Wareham bounces back? What is her correct email?

    ​Here is Lorraine's email address: Lorraine.Wareham@illinois.gov

  39. On the FAQ under “General”, Q&A #19 says not all apprentices have to be WIOA eligible. Can you clarify which apprentice services do not require WIOA eligibility?

    Local Workforce Development Boards can use Title IB funds to help support the two primary components of apprenticeship programs: On-the-Job Learning (OJL), also referred to as On-the-Job Training (OJT), and Related Training and Instruction (RTI). WIOA funding can also help provide support services necessary to enable individuals to successfully participate in apprenticeship programs such as tools, books, and uniforms.   Source DOL

  40. Should Intermediaries communicate regularly with Navigators? And vice versa?

    ​Yes to both. Navigators and Intermediaries in the same region should coordinate their activities.

  41. Should Intermediaries direct business/business communication to the Navigators since Navigators are the main business contact?

    ​If an intermediary connects with a potential employer and can assist the employer with setting up their apprenticeship, no it is not necessary to direct the business to the Navigator.

  42. Should we include the number of existing apprentices supported by FY 2019 grant with the number of new apprentices we plan to enroll during for the 2021 grant, if the existing apprentices will continue to be supported with grant funding?

    Only the number of apprentices enrolled during the duration of the 2021 grant will be counted. If a participant was already in a Registered Apprenticeship Program, prior to this grant starting, they can not be counted towards the number of apprentices served.

  43. State contracts usually run for 12 months. This grant says an 18 to 14-month timeframe, is that referring to the contract or the amount of time that a client is being served?

    ​This NOFO is funded through a grant DCEO received from the U. S. Department of Labor with additional support from Illinois.  The grant timeframe is 18-24 months.

  44. The first tab of the DCEO Budget Template has a section of "Definitions" at the bottom of that tab. Each definition for every tab in the template requests amounts only for expenses "not serving youth". Can you please explain this?

    This grant opportunity will provide funding for youth and adults.  The Uniform Budget Template will be updated with the correct definitions that do not limit youth expenditures.

  45. We have a Mentor program, aligning business mentor w/ students to develop awareness of job opportunities & career pathways. If we included apprenticeship, who qualifies as applicant? Economic Development Council School DistrictBusinesses

    Either the Economic Development Council or the School District could serve as the Intermediary for the apprenticeships.  The business would serve as partners in the application.

  46. We listed the "scholarship funding" under the "Training and Education" tab; however, in reading through the Definitions in the first tab, we realized these funds should be listed under Direct Training Costs: Supportive Services instead. Is this okay?

    We initially listed the "scholarship funding" (training costs) under the "Training and Education" tab; however, after reading through the Definitions in the first tab, we realized these funds should be listed under the Direct Training Costs: Supportive Services tab instead. Does this seem to be a proper understanding of the definitions?

    Yes.  The "Training and Education" budget line is specifically defined in the Uniform Administrative Guidelines.  Applicants would only include the costs that are provided to the applicant's staff under this budget line item.  The training costs that are provided to the program participants should be listed under the "Direct Training" or "Work Based Training" budget line items.

  47. What about a Driver Apprenticeship?

    ​DOL has already approved Registered Apprenticeships in these occupations (all variations of Heavy Truck Driver): Driver Service Provider (Existing Title: Truck Driver, Heavy), Commercial Propane Transport Driver, and Construction Driver.  A searchable database of Registered Apprenticeship occupations is available at this DOL website.

  48. What are the participant reporting requirements under this grant?

    ​Grantees are required to adhere to OMB-approved performance reporting requirements. This included submitting a Quarterly Progress Report containing updates on the implementation and progress specified in the grant's Statement of Work and the status of grant program outcomes for all participants that receive grant-funded services.  In order to submit these quarterly reports, the grantee will be expected to track and report on certain participant-level data to ETA, including Social Security Numbers (SSNs), on all individuals who are provided grant-funded services.

  49. When will the APPENDIX H. Memorandum of Understanding Template be available? The linked Word document is blank.

    It is available now.

  50. Where is the MOU template?

    It is posted on the Apprenticeship NOFO page.​

  51. Will all apprentices served by intermediaries have to be WIOA eligible?

    No.​

  52. Will the state accept a customized approach to apprenticeship development (structure and training content based on business needs)?

    Yes.

Partnership Agreements/MOUs

  1. Can an applicant submit a statewide application in conjunction with a statewide industry association serving only incumbent workers?

    ​Yes.

    If this is possible, would we need MOUs with every local area in the State?  

    No. However, they might if each local area would be providing some kind of service.  Please note: The local areas that are determining eligibility would need an MOU.  MOU's are most critical in defining the roles and responsibilities specific to the grant application.  Those roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined.  

  2. Can an existing Appendix "A and/or E" suffice as an MOU? It clear defines all roles and expectations.

    Appendix A of the 2021 Apprenticeship Expansion NOFO outlines the Apprenticeship Illinois Framework.  Appendix E of the 2021 Apprenticeship Expansion NOFO outlines that Diversity Equity and Inclusion Action Plan.  These Appendixes should inform the information that is included in the project Memorandum of Understanding(s).  The MOU must meet the requirement outlined on page 19 of the NOFO.  Generally speaking, applicants that provide only the information outlined in Appendix A and Appendix E will not satisfy the MOU requirements.

  3. Can we have partners outside of the state?

    ​The focus of this NOFO is to expand apprenticeship in Illinois.  Applicant are allowed to have partners that not located in Illinois however, competitive applications will be focused on building apprenticeship opportunities for Illinois businesses and job seekers.

  4. We want include a WIOA Delegate Agency as a sub-grantee and we will provide an MOU with the Delegate Agency in our application. Do we also need to provide an MOU with the LWIA Board, or is the MOU with their delegate agency sufficient?

    An MOU for the Delegate Agency and the LWIA Board should be provided.

Training

  1. Can training dollars be used on non-WIOA eligible participants?

    Yes.

  2. Is the incumbent worker grant to be used within the state, or can the training be in a different state?

    ​No, all funds must be used in Illinois.

  3. OJTs can only be provided if trainee is fulltime-unless specific criteria is met. Apprentices enrolled in school might not be working fulltime except during school breaks. Would the state consider revising OJT policy for RAs?

    The request for revising the OJT policy for RAs will be submitted to the IWIB for review.

  4. Who should request funding related to training dollars, the Intermediary or the Navigator?

    The organization providing the training, typically this will be the Intermediary.