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Department of Labor: Trade and Economic Transition National Dislocated Worker Grants

Deadline: September 7, 2018

Trade and Economic Transition National Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) will enable successful applicants to address ongoing or emerging workforce and economic challenges by providing training and career services to dislocated workers seeking reentry into the workforce, and increasing their skill levels to become competitive for growing or high-demand employment opportunities.

To receive an Economic Transition DWG, applicants first must show they qualify by documenting that they have been affected by an Economic Transition and have significant worker dislocations. For the purposes of this competition, an “Economic Transition” is a far-reaching economic or workforce trend or event, beyond the operating conditions of one employer, which has caused a significant worker dislocations in a stated geographic area. “Significant worker dislocation” generally is either a dislocation that affects 50 or more workers, or a dislocation that an applicant can demonstrate is significant for a particular geographic area.

There are three types of Economic Transitions that, if appropriately documented in an application, qualify an applicant for DWG funds:

  • Job loss or employer/industrial reorganization due to trade or automation
  • The loss, significant decline, or major structural change/reorganization of a primary or legacy industry in a regional economy, such as the manufacturing downturn due to technological advances, impacts on the agricultural industry due to trade, or other economic trends
  • Other economic transition or stagnation that may disproportionately impact mature workers, putting them at risk for extended unemployment, lower wages, underemployment, and more

The types of activities and services that may be provided include:

1. Training and Work-Based Training Models. Some of the allowable training and work-based training approaches include, but are not limited to:

  • Traditional classroom training funded through Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) including apprenticeship programs on the state’s Eligible Training Provider List
  • Connecting businesses and workers to on-the-job or customized training programs and apprenticeships before or after layoff, in order to help facilitate reemployment

2. Career Services. Career services provide dislocated workers with a range of services, training, and job placement assistance they need to fill jobs in the identified emerging or high-demand sectors. Examples of allowable career services include, but are not limited to:

  • Soft skills such as punctuality, personal maintenance skills, and professional conduct
  • In-depth interviewing and evaluation to identify employment barriers and development of individual employment plans
  • Career planning (that includes a career pathway approach), job coaching, and job matching services

3. Supportive Services. Grant recipients may offer supportive services to participants either directly or through partner organizations, based upon the specific needs and focus of the project plan. Supportive service strategies may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assistance with transportation
  • Assistance with child care and dependent care
  • Linkages to community services, including services offered by partner organizations designed to support grant participants
  • Needs-Related Payments (available only to individuals enrolled in training services)
  • Assistance with uniforms or other appropriate work attire and work-related tools, including such items as eye glasses and protective eye gear
  • Assistance with books, fees, school supplies, and other necessary items for students enrolled in post-secondary education classes
  • Payments and fees for employment and training-related applications, tests, and certifications

Amount: A total of up to $100,000,000 is available to make awards of up to $8,000,000 each.

Eligibility: Under 20 C.F.R. 687.120(a), the following entities are eligible for Economic Transition DWGs:

i. States or outlying areas, or a consortium of states
ii. Local Workforce Development Boards (WDBs), or a consortium of WDBs
iii. an entity described in Section 166( c) of WIOA (relating to Indian and Native American programs)
iv. Other entities determined to be appropriate by the Governor of the state or outlying area involved
v. Other entities that demonstrate to the Secretary the capability to respond effectively to circumstances relating to particular dislocations (e.g., expertise with systemic economic issues; expertise with workforce development or training; the geographic or administrative reach to handle large-scale workforce issues)

Multiple entities from within the same state are eligible to submit applications for Trade and Economic Transition DWGs. The Department strongly encourages coordination among states, local workforce development boards, and other entities that may seek or obtain eligibility for DWG funds in order to avoid duplication.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=308051

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