The Employment and Training Administration has announced the availability of approximately $25,000,000 in grant funds for ex-offender activities under Section 169 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for Young Adult Reentry Partnership (YARP) projects, as part of the Reentry Employment Opportunities (REO) grant program. Click here for the solicitation. Applications are due by April 20.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) provides community- or faith-based organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status—including women’s and minority organizations and postsecondary educational institutions—and any Indian and Native American entity eligible for grants under section 166 of WIOA the opportunity to partner with community colleges and the criminal justice system to improve the employment outcomes for young adults who have been involved in the juvenile or adult criminal justice system.
Applicants must be intermediary organizations that have sub-grantees, an affiliate network, or offices in at least three communities and across at least two states and that propose to serve at least three communities across at least two states for this project. Applicants, through their sub-grantees, must partner with at least one community college to provide education/credentialing in locally in-demand industries and occupations. Priority consideration will be given to applicants that identify serving communities in high-poverty and high-crime areas and that have at least one census tract in at least one of their sub-grantees’ target areas designated by the Secretary of Treasury as a qualified opportunity zone.
ETA plans to award approximately six grants of up to $4,500,000 each. These grants will have a 42-month period of performance, including a period of up to six months for planning, at least 24 months of operation, and 12 months of follow-up services. Future funding opportunities will take into account grantee performance on this grant. These projects will serve young adults ages 18-24 years old who are currently or have previously been involved with the juvenile or adult criminal justice system or are high school dropouts, are low-income as defined under WIOA, and either reside in or are returning to the target area. As a result of these services, this initiative intends to protect community safety by ensuring these individuals involved in the criminal justice system:
• Become productive, responsible, and law-abiding members of society;
• Receive positive opportunities to engage in pro-social activities, such as employment and/or education;
• Maintain long-term financially sustaining employment;
• Sustain a stable residence; and
• Successfully address their substance abuse issues and mental health needs, as applicable, through partnerships with local programs.
Grants under this FOA must provide occupational training facilitated by a community college in locally in-demand industries, including but not limited to healthcare, information technology, and energy. Projected high-demand occupations include not only newly created jobs but also consider the increasing demands in certain industry sectors due to the retirements of an aging workforce. There are many considerations beyond occupational projections for placing individuals in jobs, training, or select career pathways. These considerations include: educational attainment, aptitude and strengths, age, and the ability to support themselves or their family.
Applicants must ensure that sub-grantees consult with the state and local workforce boards and verify that the selected industry sector and high-growth jobs offer employment opportunities in their local communities. Applicants must also identify the specific career pathways/occupations within each sector for which participants will receive training. Applicants must ensure that the occupational training provided has no state or local licensing regulations that prevent individuals with criminal records from obtaining licenses in that career.
The Department is also interested in program models that provide work-based learning opportunities, which could include apprenticeships, and models that exhibit strong partnerships with employers. Under the June 15, 2017, Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeships in America, it is the policy of the Federal Government to provide more affordable pathways to secure high-paying jobs by y promoting apprenticeships and effective workforce development programs.
To read more and apply, click here.