Apprenticeship NOFO FAQs

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Fiscal, Budget

  1. Are applicants allowed to adjust to budget forms?

    ​Applicants are allowed to add rows and expand the text boxes in Section C - BUDGET WORKSHEET & NARRATIVE.  The other Sections of the Uniform Budget Template do not allow editing.

  2. Are pre-award costs included in the full award disbursement, if contract is awarded?

    Pre-award costs for services in anticipation of an award are allowable, where necessary, for the efficient and timely performance of the program, and are subject to 2 CFR 200.458.  To be accepted, proof of services must meet the guidelines and requirements outlined within this NOFO.  Only applicants who receive an award as a result of the NOFO and merit-based review process will be eligible for pre-award costs.​
  3. How do we present the sliding scale match in the Uniform Grant Budget Template? Do we just use an average for a number?

    According to the NOFO, there is no cost sharing or matching requirement.  There is an employer match requirement for incumbent worker training that should be detailed in the SECTION C of the budget template.​
  4. If our organization has a Federally negotiated indirect cost rate, are we permitted to use that indirect cost rate as we craft our budget?

    Yes. For more information on the Indirect cost rate options please see page 14 of the NOFO.​

  5. Is there a list of allowable costs specific to this grant?

    According to the NOFO, allowable costs must be necessary, reasonable, and allocable based on the activity or activities contained in the scope of work.  Costs must be in accordance with the Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR 200 and the DOL Exceptions to the Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR 2900.  See the Uniform Budget Template INSTRUCTIONS Tab for a complete list of budget line items.​
  6. We are to use the standard budget proposal as stated on page 18 NOFO - where can this be found?

    The Uniform Budget Template is posted on the NOFO webpage under the NOFO Materials.​


  1. Are we to use the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance?

    Yes, The Uniform Application must be completed as a cover for each proposal.  All applications must include the following mandatory forms/attachments in the order identified below.  Please compile these attachments into one electronic file for items 1-7 and one electronic file for the budget proposal.
    1. Signed Application
    2. Executive Summary
    3. Technical Proposal
    4. Implementation Plan
    5. Other Required Attachments (see Section D of the NOFO)
    6. Resumes of Program Staff
    7. Partnership Agreements and/or Memorandums of Understanding
    8. Budget Proposal​
  2. Does the DCEO intend to name only one organization as the grantee to run the Apprenticeship Expansion program or will there be several grants between multiple organizations?

    It is anticipated that the DCEO will identify one organization that will administer the program per grant; although the Department reserves the right to identify multiple organizations.​
  3. How do I register in the SAMS System (System for Award Management)?

    Organizations should follow the step by step instruction at the following website to complete this the SAMS registration:

  4. How long does it take to complete the pre-award registration process?

    Organizations should go to to start the automated registration process.  This process takes several steps and should be completed with the assistance with the organization's fiscal officer to ensure that the automated e-mails are routed to the appropriate staff.  New organizations are generally advised to allow for at least a week to complete the State of Illinois registration process.  Please note that this timeline assumes that the organization also has a valid DUNS number and is registered in the federal System for Award Management System (SAMS).​
  5. In the application format section, it states that the proposal narrative is a maximum of 12 pages. Does that refer to the Technical Proposal portion only? (excluding executive summary, application, and other attachments)

    Yes, the Technical Proposal is the 12-page maximum.​
  6. The NOFO directs applicants to submit a one-page Executive Summary & a Technical Proposal of no more than 12 pages. Is there a form to use? Are these to be an attachment to the application? Is there a specific font & size of print? Single spaced or dou

    There is no standard form for the executive summary and technical proposal.  Applications must be formatted to an 8 1/2 x 11-inch page size, using 11-point type and at 100% magnification. Tables may be used to present information with a 10-point type.  The program narrative must be typed single-spaced, with 1-inch margins on all sides. The proposal narrative is a maximum of 12 pages.  The entire application, including appendices, must be sequentially page numbered (hand written page numbers are acceptable). Items included in the attachments are NOT included in the page limitations.​
  7. We are considering applying to the Apprenticeship Expansion Program RFP that has been released. We have programs that fit well within each scope. Should we select one to focus in on or apply to both?

    It is your choice if you want to apply to one or more of the NOFO opportunities. The project must meet the criteria established in the NOFO.​
  8. When should an organization update the Internal Control Questionnaire on the portal?

    Grantees are required to update the Internal Control Questionnaire at least every fiscal year.  The ICQ responses should be updated and resubmitted if there are significant changes that would impact an organization's capacity to administer a grant.​
  9. Where will the awards for the Apprenticeship Expansion be posted? I am curious to see who the Regional Navigators will be.

    ​A list of the awards for the Apprenticeship Expansion will be posted by the end of February 2019 on Illinois workNet's Apprenticeship Illinois announcements page along with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's website.

Partnership Agreements/MOUs

  1. Is a complete Memorandum of Understanding with a Local Workforce Area, LWIA contractor, industry association, employer, CBO, training provider, chambers of commerce, etc. required to be submitted with the application or can the MOU be “developed” after

    Competitive applications will include a complete Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement with established and named partners. A complete Memorandum of Understanding that details the roles and responsibilities of each named partner is required when you submit your application.​ The Department will accept a letter of commitment (on company letterhead) that outlines a company’s role in the project including but not limited to hiring new employees.​
  2. Where can I go to find out more information regarding my local workforce areas.

    A listing of the local workforce areas is posted on-line at  - Also contact the NOFO staff contact for additional assistance and referrals based on your local area


  1. What is the difference between a registered and nonregistered apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and youth apprenticeship?

    See the Resources section on this site for the Illinois Common Career Pathways Definition. Also, see for more information.​