Illinois Talent Pipeline NOFO FAQ

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  1. For the intermediary portion of the app. we may hire staff or we may decide to include this grant in our WIOA subcontract. If the app. includes a plan to hire, then once funded we subcontract out a portion of the case management will that become an issue?

    It is possible but a competitive bid would include job descriptions at the very least. ​

  2. Is there a budget template specific for the new Illinois Talent Pipeline grant application? Or can we use all the line items on the existing Uniform Grant Budget Template?

    ​There will be an updated budget template that should be posted by the end of this week (2/9/18).

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 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. For incumbent worker training or OJT, do Direct Training Costs (Section C of GATA budget) include employees wages paid by the employer during the training period plus cost of the training program?

    On the Job Training (OJT) and Incumbent Worker Training costs are detailed in the Work Based Training Tab (Budget Line Item #15b) of the Budget Template.  This budget worksheet includes a table for the grant costs (that are summarized in Section A of the Budget) and a table for the matching costs (that are summarized in Section B of the Budget).  Grant funds are not allowed to pay for the cost of wages for incumbent workers; however, the wages of incumbent workers can be used to match the incumbent worker training project.  Grant funds are allowed to pay for OJT wages and an applicant can also include OJT wages as match.

  4. 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 detialed in the SECTION C of the budget template
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. On the FFATA tab of the Budget, please provide any clarification on the term “total compensation”?

    "Total compensation" means the cash and noncash dollar value earned by the executive during the recipient's or subrecipient's preceding fiscal year and includes the following (for more information see 17 CFR 229.402(c)(2)):

      1. Salary and bonus.

      2. Awards of stock, stock options, and stock appreciation rights. Use the dollar amount recognized for financial statement reporting purposes with respect to the fiscal year in accordance with the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123 (Revised 2004) (FAS 123R), Shared Based Payments.

      3. Earnings for services under non-equity incentive plans. This does not include group life, health, hospitalization or medical reimbursement plans that do not discriminate in favor of executives, and are available generally to all salaried employees.

      4. Change in pension value. This is the change in present value of defined benefit and actuarial pension plans.

      5. Above-market earnings on deferred compensation which is not tax-qualified.

      6. Other compensation, if the aggregate value of all such other compensation (e.g. severance, termination payments, value of life insurance paid on behalf of the employee, perquisites or property) for the executive exceeds $10,000.
  8. On the FFATA tab, the total compensation of our top 5 officials is requested. Being confidential info, is it allowable for us to provide this info should a contract be awarded? Also, can this info be provided separately from our proposal submission?

    The Department understanding the sensitive nature of this information and will accept this form separately from the proposal submission.  This submission can indicate that this information is confidential until the organization enters into a Grant Agreement with the State of Illinois.

  9. Our org. has a federally negotiated indirect rate of 44.5% for both facilities and admin costs. The NOFO limits direct & indirect admin costs to no more than 10%. Can proceed with the federally rate or do we need modify to account for the 10% admin cost?

    ​The applicant must elect one of the indirect cost rate options outlined in the NOFO.  If an applicant has an indirect cost rate that was negotiated with its federal cognizant agency, it must use the federally negotiated rate up to the administrative cost limitation applicable to the program.  It should be noted that not all indirect costs are necessarily administrative.  Also, a high indirect cost rate doesn’t necessarily result in higher indirect or administrative costs; it depends on the direct cost base.  If the 44% indirect cost rate only applies to direct salaries and wages, for example, it is possible that the indirect costs could be less than 10% of the total program costs. 
  10. 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
  11. Would Capital Investment in New Technology/Processes be an example of “other at-risk” under the financial risk indicators?

    It is possible that this could be considered on the Risk Analysis under “other”, but certainly more clarification is needed to define “middle skills”.  The “other” category is listed so that additional risk factors MIGHT be applicable.  My suggestion is “other” be used in conjunction with one of the other risk factors.


  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. How do I register in the SAMS System (System for Award Management)?

    Organizations should follow the step-by-step instruction on this website to complete the SAMS registration.
  3. 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 insure 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 Managment System(SAMS).
  4. 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.   
  5. Page 16 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 double?

    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.
  6. We are considering applying to the Talent Pipeline, Workforce Innovation, and Youth Career Pathways RFPs that were released. We have programs & participants that fit well within each scope. Should we select one to focus in on, or apply to all three?

    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.

  7. 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.
  8. Where can I find the ITPM 2018 NOFO?

    ​You can find the Illinois Talent Pipeline (ITP) 2018 NOFO here.

Participant Eligibility

  1. Can you please verify if 100% of the participants have to be WIOA eligible to participate?

    Yes. Grant funds can only pay for WIOA adults dislocated workers or incumbent works.  ​

Partnership Agreements/MOUs

  1. Is a complete Memorandum of Understanding with a Local Workforce Area or LWIA contractor required to be submitted with the application or can the MOU be “developed” after the application is submitted?

    A complete Memorandum of Understanding that details the roles and responsibilities related to recruitment, eligibility determination, enrollment, performance requirements, and strategies for this project is required when you submit your application.

  2. Is a complete Memorandum of Understanding with an employer required to be submitted with the application or can the MOU be “developed” after the application is submitted?

    Competitive applications will include a complete Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement with an employer.  The Department will accept a letter of commitment (on company letterhead) that outlines the company’s role in the project including but not limited to training incumbent workers or hiring new employees.

  3. Is a Memorandum of Understanding required if my organization is a WIOA contractor of LWIA 7 (Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership)?

    Applicants / grantees must work with their designated LWIA(s) to create a viable approach for complying with WIOA client eligibility (Appendix C), reporting, and performance requirements.  A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed and signed by the applicant and an LWIA that details the roles and responsibilities related to recruitment, eligibility determination, enrollment, performance requirements, and strategies for this project may be required.  If a contractor meets these requirements then a MOU with the CCWP is not required.

  4. What is the role and responsibility the LWIA will have regarding recruitment, eligibility determination, enrollment, performance requirements and strategies?

    Applicants other than Local Workforce Innovation Areas (LWIAs) and their active WIOA operators and providers must work with their designated LWIA(s) to create a viable approach for complying with WIOA client eligibility, reporting, and performance requirements.  Applicants must identify staff that is qualified to certify and document eligibility in the Illinois Workforce Development System for WIOA customers and Illinois Workforce Training System for incumbent worker trainees.  Applicants are advised to work wtih with project partners to clearly identify the roles and responsiblity regarding the recruitment, eligibility determination, enrollment, on-going case managment performance and any other applicable project managment considerations. 
  5. 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. Also contact the NOFO staff contact for additional assistance and referrals based on your local area.


  1. Can Incumbent Worker funds be used to pay the salaries of workers when they are in training?

  2. In regards to the incumbent worker training services, are funds available through the grant to pay employers to offset training costs?

    Yes, Incumbent Worker funds are available to support the cost of training.  Employers could be reimbursed up to 90% of the Incumbent Worker training costs based on the number of employees.  Companies are required to provide matching contributions based on the following:
    • 10 percent of the cost, for employers with not more than 50 employees;
    • 25 percent of the cost, for employers with more than 50 employees but not more than 100 employees; and
    • 50 percent of the cost, for employers with more than 100 employees.
  3. The NOFO identifies on of the target populations to serve as "Individuals facing substantial cultural barriers". Can you provide more information on what "facing substantial cultural barriers" means?

    This targeted population includes individuals with barriers to employment as defined in WIOA including but not limited to individuals who have low levels of literacy and individuals served under the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) that is authorized under Section 167 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.
  4. What are the Incumbent Worker eligibility requirements? Can WIOA funds pay for training of workers that are not US Citizens?

    An incumbent worker is a paid employee who has been employed at least 6 months with the applicant business, who is at least 18 years of age; a citizen of the United States or a non-citizen whose status permits employment in the United States.
  5. What is the difference between a registered and nonregistered apprenticeship?

    See Appendix A - Illinois Common Career Pathways Definition and Guidance of the NOFO and Apprenticeship Illinois for more information.
  6. What is the difference between and in-school and out-of-school youth?

    See Appendix C of the NOFO for detailed information regarding the WIOA eligibility requirements
  7. What type of information must be provided by the business on the employees to be trained?

    Because the WIOA funding for Incumbent Worker Training is a federal Grant, each incumbent worker must meet eligibility criteria to receive federal funds. Illinois will require the complete name, social security number, and training information for each incumbent worker participant.  This information is submitted securely through the Illinois Workforce Tracking System.