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This week, the Department of Labor announced $34 million in competitive grant funding available through the Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF), which supports innovative employment and training approaches.
This is the third round of WIF funding, but the first since the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) became law. Consistent with WIOA’s emphasis on creating a more integrated and aligned workforce system, the WIF solicitation promotes collaboration across programs both within and outside of WIOA. Specifically, DOL is requiring applicants to develop strategies that include at least two additional core programs under WIOA, such as the Wagner-Peyser Employment Service, and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and Vocational Rehabilitation programs. In addition, applicants’ strategies must also include at least one non-core program, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Carl D. Perkins Act, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program, state Jobs for Veterans programs, and apprenticeship programs.
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is seeking proposals that address one or more of the following strategies:
The performance period for the grants is four years, and awards will range from $3 million to $6 million. Applications are due by July 23, 2015, and awards will be announced no later than September 30, 2015.
National Skills Coalition strongly supports efforts to enhance coordination and alignment across a broad range of human capital programs and services. NSC recently launched a webinar series, "Aligned by Design," which explores how states can use the WIOA planning process to align key human capital investments to produce better outcomes for individuals and local economies. The webinars focus on the interaction between WIOA and Perkins Career and Technical Education, Adult Education, TANF, and SNAP E&T.