2019 Technical Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) sets forth the requirements for the PY2019 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Statewide Workforce Innovation Program and focuses on integrating services for job seekers and improving employer access to the skilled workforce they need through the systemwide adoption of best practices in service integration and WIOA regional & local planning.  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity ("Illinois Department of Commerce", "Commerce" or "the Department") administers WIOA funds, awarded by the United States Department of Labor (DOL).  Funding received from DOL supports the work of Local Workforce Innovation Areas (LWIAs) and other partners in serving adults, youth, and dislocated workers as defined within WIOA (Public Law 113-128).

Specifically, the WIOA Statewide Workforce Innovation Program funds projects that support the vision, principles, goals and strategies articulated within the WIOA Unified State Plan.  The overarching areas of focus for this program include: industry sector partnership projects, innovative workforce pilot and research projects, and statewide technical assistance initiatives. 

The Illinois Workforce Innovation Board (IWIB) has placed a priority on service integration that leads to coordinated intake and the alignment of services.  Through the IWIB Strategic Plan and under their oversight the Unified State Plan lays out the vision for WIOA services in Illinois.  Additionally, Governor Pritzker's Executive Order 2019-03 broadens this vision and directs Illinois' State agencies to review current and potential industries targeted for economic growth and recommend how education and workforce resources can better align to serve disenfranchised populations in communities throughout Illinois. To that end, the NOFOs under this program also will support the following Action Areas developed in response to Governor Pritzker's Executive Order.

  • Action Area 1: Unite workforce development partners around regional cluster strategies
  • Action Area 3:  Integrate Workforce Services for Job Seekers

Submission Dates and Times: Grant Applications was accepted until 5:00 p.m. December 23, 2019. Submit the proposal via e-mail to grantapplications@illinoisworknet.com.  When submitting the proposal list in the Subject Line the NOFO # and organization name.  Please submit the application as one PDF file and one Excel file for the budget.  Applications will be considered based on quality and feasibility and contingent on the availability of funds.  The Department will not accept applications submitted by mail, overnight mail, diskette, or by fax machine.

Program Design
​Commerce will accept proposals that support the systemwide adoption of best practices in service integration and WIOA regional & local planning priorities outlined in the regional workforce development plans.  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 award number AA-33227-19-55-A-17.  It is anticipated that the Department of Commerce will award $1-2 million in Statewide Workforce Innovation Program grants to support projects awarded through this funding opportunity.  Grant funds should not supplant funding for ongoing program coordination and development. The funding amounts for proposals will correspond with the project's anticipated outcomes and deliverables.  Grant awards will generally not exceed $100,000.  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 local workforce innovation boards or their designee organizations that are in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State.  Additional consideration will 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

Past Sessions

Monday December 2, 2019 – 2019 - Technical Assistance NOFO Review Webinar

  • WIOA Technical Assistance Regional & Local Planning Support and Service Integration Implementation (PDF)