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


DCEO is pleased to announce $13 - $15 million in funding for job training and support activities to assist individuals most in need to become qualified and employed in industries hardest hit by COVID-19.

The Job Training and Economic Development (JTED) program provides funding to build the capacity of the state's workforce system and prioritize creating equitable access for historically underrepresented populations in Illinois. The JTED program model intends to address the barriers to work experienced by adults and youth after the pandemic and provides a pool of talented job seekers for businesses still struggling due to the pandemic to fill their workforce needs.

Read the press release about this funding opportunity.

Program Design

JTED provides an opportunity to provide innovative, employer-driven training approaches that pair education and occupational training with work-based learning to support regional and local economic development for businesses and individuals most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, a key feature is the flexible funding available for individuals with emergency costs for basic needs.

Through the JTED program, DCEO will connect the unemployed, underemployed, and underrepresented with employers needing a skilled workforce or upskill their existing workers by providing funding for accessible equity-driven services to those in disadvantaged communities.

Who can apply for funding:

First-time applicants and entities represented in underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply. Eligible entities must demonstrate expertise and effectiveness in administering workforce development programs. These include:

  • Private nonprofit organizations (which may consist of a faith-based organization), 
  • Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) administrative entities,
  • Community Action Agencies, 
  • Industry associations, and  
  • Public or private educational institutions.

Who will the funding serve
JTED program regulations require that services be provided to the "target population," described as unemployed, under-employed, or under-represented individuals, including youth with one or more barriers to employment and defined below.  Additionally, DCEO has identified priorities, including services targeted to immigrants and refugees, justice-involved individuals, and rural residents.

  • Unemployed – individuals who are without a job and available to work.
  • Underemployed - individuals including those working part-time who are experiencing barriers to employment (particularly those facing layoffs or other negative impacts due to pandemic)
  • Underrepresented – individuals from disproportionately impacted areas, including a qualified census tract and experience one or more barriers to employment. Individuals who are long-term unemployed, meaning those "who have been unemployed for at least twelve (12) of the last twenty-six (26) weeks" are also included as under-represented.  

What Target Industries are the Priority?
Industries and occupations that will be targeted for training programs must be struggling with identifying skilled workers in the aftermath of the pandemic or must be occupations in growth sectors as specified in the Local Workforce Innovation Area (LWIA).  Consideration should be given to the sectors identified in the governor's 5-year economic which includes: manufacturing, agriculture, food and natural resources (energy), information technology, transportation, distribution and logistics, architecture and construction, health science, hospitality and tourism healthcare, arts and entertainment, waste management, retail, these funds will also place a priority on small and medium-sized minority-owned companies. 

What is the Service Delivery Model?
Two categories will guide service delivery under the JTED Program. The approach used must be based on what best serves the employers' and industry sectors' needs and provides equitable-driven services to the target population.  Additionally, programs must consider the experience of people identified in the priority population, as well as how it will increase access, enrollment, and completion.  

  • Category 1 – Adult Focus
    • Provides occupational training along with work-based learning to individuals who need self-sustaining employment.
    • Upskills employees to address the negative economic impact post COVID-19 by connecting employers to individuals meeting the definition of underemployed, underrepresented, and dislocated workers.  Incumbent workers can be served if the employer identifies the specific skillsets needed for entry-level positions or those needed to advance participants' careers.
    • Training strategies must be based on the individual's assessment and be part of a career pathway for demand occupations in the targeted industries and result in participants earning measurable skill gains, stackable certification, or credentials.
  • Category 2 – Youth
    • Offers career development opportunities and work-based learning (e.g., pre-apprentice and apprenticeship) for youth ages 16-24 with one or more barriers to education, training, and employment.
    • Involve educators and business leaders to develop a mix of academic, employability (including digital skills and digital financial literacy), and technical skills through contextualized instruction. 

Barrier reduction services is strongly recommended to be incorporated in the service delivery module to increases family stability and job retention by covering accumulated emergency costs for basic needs.

Entities can apply for an adult and youth program, but an application must be submitted for both.  If award both categories the applicant will have to administer two grants.

Submission Details

Application Deadline:  The application due date for this round of funding is 5:00PM (Central Time) January 10, 2024. Failure to meet the application deadline or failure to submit all required materials may result in the Department returning the application without review or may preclude the Department from making the award.

Application Submission Requirements:  Application materials must be submitted to the Department via the SmartSheet. The link to the SmartSheet is in the NOFO. The Department will not accept applications submitted by mail, overnight mail, diskette, or by fax machine.  Electronic submissions including links to documents stored in Google Docs or other cloud-based servers are not allowed.  The Department is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the above requirements. 

An informational webinar will be held on December 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. Information about how to access the webinar is available under the Informational Sessions header below.

Funding Information

This Notice of Funding Opportunity ("NOFO") is provided under the Illinois Job Training and Economic Development Grant Program (JTED) 20 ILCS 605/605-415 (JTED Act) and the rules adopted in support of the JTED Act, 56 Ill. Admin. Code Part 2660 (JTED Rules).

It is anticipated that the Department will provide funding of $13,000,000 to $15,000,000 to address the needs of businesses and individuals in the aftermath of the pandemic.  Please note that the Department may exceed the funding range based on the proposed project outcomes. 
Total Funds Available: $13,000,000 - $15,000,000
Anticipated Number of Grants: 30
Funding Range: $250 - 750K
Anticipated Grant Term/Performance Period: May 1, 2024 – April 30, 2026 (2-year grants)

Based on successful performance and if funds are available, the Department may determine that grant extensions and additions of funds to current grantees will be permitted.



NOFO Materials

Useful State Resources for Successful Applications

Partnerships - MOU, Business Engagement, etc.

Equity and Employment

Career Pathways and Work-Based Learning

Support Service and Barrier Reduction

Training videos will introduce current and potential grantees to the content, functions, and processes of grant programs. Under each video you will find a brief overview of the subject matter along with any supplemental resources. The video training can be found on DCEO website at the below link.

Video Training & Resources (illinois.gov)

TA Sessions

Informational Sessions
Informational Sessions will be held within the first two weeks of NOFO development to assure that all applicants will have the skills needed to submit a competitive application regardless of familiarity with Department funding opportunities.

​Application Technical Assistance Conference
​December 13, 2023
10:00am - 11:30am​​Overview of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) including details of the award, restrictions, definitions, requirements, and target population.
Workforce Grants 101
December 13​, 2023
2:00pm - 3:30pm
An Overview of the Grant Submission Requirements under the Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency
​JTED NOFO Technical Assistance Session: Capacity and Need
​December 18, 2023
10:00am - 11:30am​
This interactive session will examine the questions of capacity and need as potential applicants consider the application processes. Presenters will also provide an overview of the priority population support, including immigrants and refugees, justice impacted, and rural target populations of youth and adults – as well as explore resources to enhance support.
​NOFO Technical Assistance Office Hours
​December 19, 2023
​9:00am - 10:00am
​Applicants are invited to sign up for Technical Assistance Office Hours (via Zoom) to receive one-on-one assistance to prepare their proposals. These Office Hours provide an opportunity to ask questions related to the intent of the JTED NOFO.

​JTED NOFO Technical Assistance Session: Program Planning
​December 19, 2023
1:00pm - 3:00pm​
This session will allow participants to take a deeper dive into what makes a good program plan. Key elements of this interactive presentation will include outreach and recruitment, partnerships, services offered, employer engagement, and how the program design looks for adults, youth, and priority populations.
​JTED NOFO Technical Assistance Session: Budget
December 20, 2023
​10:00am - 11:30am
​This session will cover topics related to the budget like: Return on Investment, Budget Purpose, Budget Expenditure Categories, Types of Costs, Budget Walkthrough, Helpful Tips, Do's/Don'ts, and Budget Resources.
​NOFO Technical Assistance Office Hours
​January 2, 2024
​9:00am - 10:00am
​Applicants are invited to sign up for Technical Assistance Office Hours (via Zoom) to receive one-on-one assistance to prepare their proposals. These Office Hours provide an opportunity to ask questions related to the intent of the JTED NOFO.

​NOFO Technical Assistance Office Hours
​January 9, 2024
​9:00am - 10:00am
​Applicants are invited to sign up for Technical Assistance Office Hours (via Zoom) to receive one-on-one assistance to prepare their proposals. These Office Hours provide an opportunity to ask questions related to the intent of the JTED NOFO.

NOFO Technical Assistance Office Hours
Applicants are invited to sign up for Technical Assistance Office Hours (via Zoom) to receive one-on-one assistance to prepare their proposals. These Office Hours provide an opportunity to ask questions related to the intent of the JTED NOFO. Office hours will be held from 9:00am – 10:00am on December 19 January 2nd and January 9th. You can enter the office hours at this link.