Workforce Innovation Notice of Funding Opportunity

​Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)


The purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to solicit proposals from eligible organizations capable of planning and implementing innovative projects that support the vision, principles, goals and strategies articulated within the WIOA Unified State Plan.  Applicants should document how the project will impact the competitive position of Illinois businesses and workers through workforce development, education, and economic development projects that can be replicated throughout the State (as applicable).  Applications must address one or more of the WIOA Statewide Workforce Activities listed below to be considered for funding.

  • Sector Partnership Projects
  • Innovative Workforce Pilot and Research Projects
  • Priority Population Projects
  • Statewide Technical Assistance

Grant Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the 2018 State Fiscal Year (SFY). The cut-off date to ensure that proposals will be considered in State Fiscal Year 2018 is May 1, 2018.

Program Design

​Commerce will accept proposals that support the priorities outlined in the regional workforce development plans.  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 under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  It is expected that 3-5 pilot projects of $100,000 to $350,000 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

  • January 25, 2018 - Illinois Workforce Grants Webinar (PDF
  • Workforce Grants 101 and Overview of Grant Opportunities - Naperville Session
    • Grants 101 - Application and Preaward Requierments (PDF)

NOFO Materials

  • 2018 WIOA Budget Template for the Workforce Innovation Program  (Excel)
  • ​2018 Workforce Innovation Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF)
  • 2018 Workforce Innovation Application (PDF)