Sector partnership funding available in Ohio

By Bryan Wilson, June 05, 2014

Governor Kasich’s Administration has unveiled the Industry Workforce Alliance Pilot Initiative to support regional sector partnerships. State support for sector partnerships has been a priority of the Ohio Workforce Coalition (OWC), which has worked at length with the Administration to achieve this success. Just last year, OWC released their statewide proposal to fund industry partnerships – a proposal that gained substantial traction with the Administration and a number of key leaders in the legislature and helped to seed the development of this new investment.

On May 27, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, issued a Request for Grant Applications to fund up to six regional sector partnerships, one in each JobsOhio region, with up to $245,000 per region. Funding is provided from a Workforce Investment Act Section 503 Incentive Grant and the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation Innovation Fund.

Successful proposals must be from existing employer-led sector partnerships and include a local Workforce Investment Board (WIB), an adult education provider, and a community college, university, or Ohio technical center (adult education program). Community-based organizations may also be a partner. Any of the partners may be the lead entity for the partnership; however, a local WIB must serve as the fiscal agent and be the grant recipient.

The purpose of the grants is to support the development or enhancement of career pathways within a high-demand, high growth regional industry sector and build collaboration and alignment among partners. Grants will be issued in two phases. In Phase 1, partnerships will establish or enhance pathways beginning with adult basic education using contextualized curriculum and experiential learning. Phase 2 will support short-term (12 months or less) classroom training, on-the-job-training, internships, and co-ops primarily for low-skilled, underemployed or unemployed individuals.

Applications must be submitted by July 1.