Grant Details

Americas Promise Job Driven Grant Program

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    Department of Labor (DoL)


    The purpose of Americas Promise grant program is to strengthen the pipeline of skilled workers to expand an economic regions middle- to high skilled workforce within one or more prioritized H-1B industry sector(s), thereby creating economic opportunities for Americas workforce to gain the necessary skills to fill in-demand jobs and increasing the long-term competitiveness of an economic region. To help achieve this goal, the grant will provide individuals the opportunity to get high-quality, tuition free education and training that leads to in-demand and industry-recognized credentials and degrees.

    As an effective way to build a skilled workforce that addresses knowledge and skills shortages in specific industry sectors, this program requires applicants to develop new, or expand and strengthen, existing regional workforce partnerships to implement sector strategies and industry partnerships. Sector strategies provide a means to engage directly with multiple employers from a similar industry sector across traditional boundaries. Economic regions do not typically correspond to state, county, local workforce investment area, or municipal boundaries, but rather are defined by the interdependence of their people and organizations. Businesses operate in economic regions that may cross city, county, and state lines and education and economic development areas. Sector strategies work across these boundaries to identify and address specific workforce needs in almost every industry. As such, sector strategies focus on organizing multiple employers from a high growth industry sector that collectively define their skill needs and the credentials they use to make hiring and advancement decisions. In addition, sector strategies can help to align state programs and resources for employers and workers in a region by aligning the regional workforce systems training programs to adapt to employer skill needs through sector-based career pathways. 

    A fundamental goal of Americas Promise is to accelerate the development of new and the expansion of existing 21st century regional workforce partnerships with business and industry leaders committed to providing a pipeline of skilled workers in a specific industry sector(s). These partnerships will bring together industry leaders with senior level leadership from workforce and economic development, secondary and post-secondary education, elected officials, and other important community stakeholders.

    These partnerships will be focused on four key priorities:   
    • Increasing opportunities for all Americans: By 2020, an estimated 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelors degree and another 30 percent will require at least some college or an associates degree. Unfortunately with the rising costs of higher education, pursuing post-secondary education is not an affordable option for many, including low-income or lower skilled workers. Grantees will be developing strategies that increase tuition-free opportunities for unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers including disadvantaged populations such as low-income, underrepresented in the targeted industry (including women and minorities), dislocated workers, and other populations with employment barriers into middle-to high-skilled occupations and industries. These strategies will encompass income and support needs, and preparatory training needed to support the targeted populations attainment of middle- to high-skilled employment. Up to 25 percent of participants served by applicants may be incumbent workers, particularly lower-skilled and lower-wage workers who need training to upgrade their skills.
    • Expanding employer engagement: The Regional Workforce Partnerships will actively engage a range of employers and partners committed to participating in the sector strategies. Grantees will secure commitments for deep employer involvement in various aspects of program design and delivery, including defining program goals and activities; identifying career pathways; informing training design; identifying necessary skills and competencies for targeted occupations; providing resources to support training, such as instructors, funding, and offering innovative and creative ways for skills attainment through work-based learning and customized upskilling strategies including OJT, registered apprenticeship, paid-work experience, and/or paid internship opportunities; and considering hiring trainees after program completion. 
    • Using evidence-based design: There is growing evidence that sector strategies can increase the employability, employment, earnings, and outcomes of job seekers, and at the same time benefit employers through improved worker productivity, job retention, and enhanced profitability. For applicants that already have sector strategies in place, the program is interested in seeing data and demonstration of strong outcomes for job seekers and employers alike.
    • Leveraging and aligning additional resources: Another important aspect of sector strategies and this program will be the improved alignment and use of Federal resources, particularly those invested in a region through the Administrations place-based initiatives. These include Federally-supported sector programs, such as EDAs Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership (IMCP) communities, Department of Transportations (DOT) Ladders programs, Department of Energys (DOE) Energy Jobs Strategy Council programs,  DOLs Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program,  Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, Registered Apprenticeship programs, and other applicable sector-based and place-based efforts. Projects developed through this program should be aligned with and build upon, but not duplicate, the WIOA Plan sector strategies. Leveraged resources are a critical component of the project design, and in addition to leveraging federal resources, applicants should also seek to leverage private, public, and foundation resources to ensure resources are sufficient to meet the service and training needs of all participants served. 

    History of Funding

    None is available.

    Additional Information

    Americas Promise grants will fund projects that support well-paying, middle- and high-skilled, and high-growth jobs across a diversity of H-1B industries in the area applicants are proposing to serve.  High-growth jobs, are defined as those which: 
    1. Are projected to add substantial numbers of new jobs to the economy;
    2. Have substantial job vacancies currently available;
    3. Are being transformed by technology and innovation that require workers to obtain new skill sets; or
    4. Have a significant impact on the economy overall or on the growth of other industries and occupations.   
    Occupations at the H-1B skills level generally require a bachelors degree or comparable experience and are middle- to high-skill level. Americas Promise grants will help individuals pursue the education and training necessary to reach middle- to high-skill levels by accumulating college credits to earn a postsecondary degree, including credits leading up to a bachelors degree, or attaining other industry-recognized credentials. While program participants do not need to have these educational credentials or skill levels to enter the program, programs should help participants earn the education and experience that can lead to job placement during the grant period in middle- and high-skill jobs and grantees must provide information about the sector-based career pathway to these jobs.

    Grants will be awarded to a regional workforce partnership of public and private sector entities that includes the following partners:
    • Employer and industry representatives that align with the partnerships regional sector strategies;
    • Workforce investment system representing the regional service area;
    • Economic development agencies representing the regional service area; and
    • Education and training providers representing the regional service area, including community and technical colleges or systems; joint labor-management training partnerships; and nonprofit and community-based organizations that offer job training.


    Ariam Ferro

    Ariam Ferro
    200 Constitutional Ave. NW
    Washington, DC 20210
    (202) 693-3968

  • Eligibility Details

    To be eligible for consideration, the lead applicant in the regional workforce partnership must represent one of the following types of entities:
    1. The workforce investment system;
    2. Education and training providers, including community and technical colleges and systems; and
    3. Business-related nonprofit organizations, an organization functioning as a workforce intermediary for the express purpose of serving the needs of an industry, or a regional or industry association.

    Deadline Details

    Applications were to be submitted by August 25, 2016. A similar program and deadline is anticipated for FY 2018.

    Award Details

    There is approximately $100,000,000 available in total funding. There are expected to be approximately 20-40 grants, ranging from $1 million to $6 million. Cost sharing or matching funds are not required for this program. Projects last up to 2 years. As this grant investment is intended to offset costs of support services and provide tuition-free training to participants, to help ensure a successful project and meet the minimum goal for participants served, applicants must secure leveraged resources in an amount equal to at least 25 percent (25%) of the total requested funds to support higher service and training costs and accomplish the projects overall goals and milestones. In addition to leveraging and alignment with Federal resources, applicants should ensure public, private, and foundation leveraged resources are sufficient to meet the service and training needs of all participants served. This includes cash or in-kind support, private sector investment, and funds and other resources leveraged from businesses, labor organizations, education and training providers, and/ or Federal, state, and local government programs. While there is no match requirement and applicants should not propose matching funds, applicants will be scored based on the strength of leveraged resources (leveraged resources are not match), and these leveraged resources should be considered a critical component of the Project Design.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available
    • Top 10 Local Grant Programs You Won't Want to Miss in 2015 - Sponsored by Sprint - Playback Available


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