Commerce will fund innovative programs from diversity-focused community organizations that have a record of successfully delivering job training. Organizations applying for funding should prioritize women, people of color, persons with a record, former foster care recipients, and other job seekers with specific barriers to employment. Selected grantees will recruit, train, and place participants in clean energy-related occupations throughout the State of Illinois.
Projects funded under this NOFO will provide equitable access to quality training, jobs, and economic opportunities in the career pathway energy sector, with services to be provided across the spectrum from outreach to retention in employment and offered fluidly to allow program participants the latitude and flexibility to participate and succeed in establishing a family-sustaining career.
The Multi-Cultural Jobs Program provides an opportunity to provide innovative, employer-driven training approaches that pair education and occupational training with work-based learning to individuals in need of self-sustaining employment. It is the goal and objective of the Multi-Cultural Jobs Training program to implement job training programs that:
- Assist in the development of a workforce with the requisite knowledge, skills, training, experience, and competence to work in the clean energy sector.
- Identify partnership opportunities within training programs to maximize the societal benefits of the funds provided pursuant to Section 16-108.12(a)(3) of the Public Utilities Act.
Training services are critical to the employment success of many individuals. The Multi-Cultural Jobs Program recommends any of the following types of training be incorporated into the service delivery approach (described more fully in the Notice of Funding Opportunity):
Training services leading to industry-led credentials
Occupational skills training, training for nontraditional employment
Skill upgrading and retraining
Job readiness training
Adult education and literacy activities
Work-Based Learning / Work-Based Training
- Work experiences or internships
- Transitional jobs
- On-the-Job Training (OJT)
- Customized Training
- Incumbent Worker Training
To support success in training programs, the Multi-Cultural Jobs Program service delivery design includes the following components:
- Outreach and Recruitment
- Employer Engagement
- Comprehensive Assessments
- Individual Employment Plans
- Supportive Services
- Follow-Up (if appropriate)
The Multi-Cultural Jobs Program will fund one grant for each of the following diversity-focused community organizations that have a record of successfully delivering job training.
- CATEGORY A: Community-based civil rights and human services not-for-profit organization that provides economic development, human capital, and education program services.
- CATEGORY B: Not-for-profit organization that is also an educational institution that offers training programs approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and United States Department of Education with the goal of providing workforce initiatives leading to economic independence.
- CATEGORY C: Not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing the educational and leadership capacity of minority youth through the operation of schools, youth leadership clubs, and youth development centers.
- CATEGORY D: Not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing equal access to opportunities in the construction industry that offer training programs that include Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10 and 30 certifications, Environmental Protection Agency Renovation, Repair and Painting Certification, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Green Associate Exam preparation courses.
- CATEGORY E: Non-profit organization that has a proven record of successfully implementing utility industry training programs, with expertise in creating programs that strengthen the economics of communities including technical training workshops and economic development through community and financial partners.
- CATEGORY F: Non-profit organization that provides family services, housing education, and job and career education opportunities that have successfully partnered with the electric industry on-the-job training.
Only entities that meet one of the categories identified in A – F above and properly operate in accordance with Federal, State, and local law, in the state of Illinois, may submit a proposal for consideration. Organizations are limited to applying for only one category.